Project Gutenberg's Ten Thousand Wonderful Things, by Edmund Fillingham King

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Title: Ten Thousand Wonderful Things

Author: Edmund Fillingham King

Release Date: May 31, 2014 [EBook #45849]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Chris Curnow, Christian Boissonnas and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
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Front Cover












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A Book of Wonders requires but a brief introduction. Our title-page tells its own tale and forms the best exposition of the contents of the volume.

Everything that is marvellous carries with it much that is instructive, and, in this sense, "Ten Thousand Wonderful Things," may be made useful for the highest educational purposes. Events which happen in the regular course have no claim to a place in any work that professes to be a register of what is uncommon; and were we to select such Wonders only as are capable of familiar demonstration, we should destroy their right to be deemed wondrous, and, at the same time, defeat the very object which we profess to have in view. A marvel once explained away ceases to be a marvel. For this reason, while rejecting everything that is obviously fictitious and untrue, we have not hesitated to insert many incidents which appear at first sight to be wholly incredible.

In the present work, interesting Scenes from Nature, Curiosities of Art, Costume and Customs of a bygone period rather predominate; but we have devoted many of its pages to descriptions of remarkable Occurrences, beautiful Landscapes, stupendous Water-falls, and sublime Sea-pieces. It is true that some of our illustrations may not be beautiful according to the sense in which the word is generally used; but they are all the more curious and characteristic, as well as truthful, on that account; for whatever is lost of beauty, is gained by accuracy. What is odd or quaint, strange or startling, rarely possesses much claim to the picturesque and refined. Scrape the rust off an antique coin, and, while you make it look more shining, you invariably render it worthless in the eyes of a collector. To polish up a fact which derives its value either from the strangeness of its nature, or from the quaintness of its narration, is like the obliterating process of scrubbing up a painting by one of the old masters. It looks all the cleaner for the operation, but, the chances are, it is spoilt as a work of art.

We trust it is needless to say that we have closed our pages against everything that can be considered objectionable in its tendency; and, while every statement in this volume has been culled with conscientious care from authentic, although not generally accessible, sources, we have scrupulously rejected every line that could give offence, and endeavoured, in accordance with what we profess in our title-page, to amuse by the eccentric, to startle by the unexpected, and to astonish by the marvellous.

[Pg v]


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—— LADIES, 492
—— JACK, 23
—— A CHINESE, 440
—— HENRY VIII.'S, 488
COSTUMES, ANCIENT, 18, 71, 78, 86, 212, 213, 220, 296, 297
—— HENRY V., 416
—— AN ANCIENT, 673
—— TREE, 183
GLAIVE, A, 504
—— VIII., CHAIR OF, 488
—— I. (KING) DREAM OF, 26
HOOPS, LADIES', IN 1740, 6
—— BRACELET, 345
MONSTROUS HEAD-DRESS OF 1782, 242 [Pg vii]
—— ST. SOPHIA, 104
—— —— A CURIOUS BURMESE, 628, 629
—— —— EGYPTIAN, 405
—— —— SIGNS, 120
—— —— SIDE SADDLE OF, 340
—— A TOAD STONE, 424
—— NEST OF THE, 385
—— ASSYRIAN, 584, 585
—— THE SETON, 357
—— A CHINESE, 508
—— GREEK, 501
—— A POISON, 672

[Pg ix]


Abbey Buildings, The Arrangement of, 658
Abraham and Sarah, 101
Abyssinian Ladies, Dress of the, 491
Abyssinian Lady, Tattooed, 495
Advertisement, an American, 111
Advertisements, Curious, 406, 447, 455, 478
—— in the last Century, 207
—— of a Dying-speech Book, 116
—— New Style of, 249
—— a Pudding as an, 228
—— of a Fleet Parson, 116
A False Find, 31
A Female Sampson, 62
A Fine Old Soldier, 314
A Floating City, 308
A Funeral appropriately conducted, 235
Aged Persons, instances of many Dying, 283
Ages of Celebrated Men, 102
A Great Marvel seen in Scotland, 138
A Happy Family, 28
A Harmless Eccentric, 186
Albertus Magnus, Receipts from, 91
Ale Too Strong, 267
Alexandria, Pharos at, 274
Algerine Invasion of Ireland, 176
A Last Chance, 103
All Humbugs, 85
A Lucky Find, 6
A Man in a Vault Eleven Days, 69
—— Carries his House on his Head, 290
—— Selling his own Body, 95
—— aged One Hundred Years, 256
A Monster, 287
Ambassador, French, Entry into London, 262
—— why Held by the Arms, 162
Amphitheatres, 102
Amulets worn by Egyptian Females, 120
—— Brotche, 332
Amusements in the 15th Century, 254
—— in 1743, Popular, 56
An apparent Singularity accounted for, 93
An Eccentric Tourist, 139
Ancients, Credulity of the, 144
Anglo-Saxons, Sepulchral Barrow of, 26
Animals, Food of, 24
—— Communication between, 294
Animation, Suspended, 374
Anne Boleyn, Execution of, 375
Antimony, 570
Antipathies, 391
—— Unaccountable, 196
Antiquities, Egyptian, 642
Apollo, Oracles of, in France, 675
Arabian Horses, 291
Arabs, Horses of the, 498
Archbishop, an, Washing Feet, 5
Arch, A Beautiful, 433
A remarkable Old Man, 214
Armlet, Ancient, 425
Armour, Ancient, Curious Piece of, 341
Arms, Abyssinian, 509
Artists, Duration of Life amongst, 196
A Sea above the Sky, 81
Ash, the Shrew, 397
Ass, The, 116
Assiduity and Perseverance, 304
Attar of Roses, Origin of, 343
Attar of Roses, 298
A Woman takes the Lighted Match, 40
—— Defends a Post singly, 52
Authors, some Learned, Amusements of, 137
A Unique Library, 211
Aztec Children, 37
Babes of Bethlehem, The, 660
Bagpipes, Irish, 505
Ballot, Origin of the, 673
Bandoliers, 560
Bank, A Mattrass for a, 323
Banner, The Templars', called Beauseant, 564
Banquets of the Ancients, 439
Bara, a Machine used in Sicily, 415
Barbers, 94
Barometer, Incident connected with, 136
Bartholomew Fair in 1700, Handbill of, 148
Bastille of Paris, Storming of the, 194
Bazaar, a Turkish, 614
Bear, a Shaved, 17
Beard, Care of the, 503
Beau Brummell (a) of the 17th Century, 61
Bective Abbey, 392
Bedesmen in the time of Henry VII., 593
Bedford Missal, The, 407
Bee, The Queen, 25
Bees, Obedient to Training, 95
Beggars, Severe Enactment against, 302
—— selected as Models by Painters, 281
Bell, The Great, of Burmah, 559
—— of Rouen, 650
Bells, 193
—— of the Ancients, 279
—— of St. Mura, 411
Bell-Shrine, an Ancient, 347
Bellows, Primitive Pair of, 637
Bible, 118, 372, 490
—— Bunyan's, 121
—— Summary of the, 169
—— used by Charles I. on the Scaffold, 271
Billy in the Salt-box, 181
Birds, The Ear of, not to be Deceived, 228
Blind Jack, 23
—— Granny, 70
—— Workman, 155
Boat, Burmese, 667
Bobart, Jacob, 22
Boiling to Death, 663
Bolton Abbey, Origin of, 273
Bombardier Beetle, The, 68 [Pg x]
Bones, Adaptation of to Age, 52
Book-shaped Watch, 328
Boots an object of Honour, 232
Boydell, Alderman, 9
Brama, the Hindoo Deity, 555
Bramins, Philosophy of the, 371
Brank, The, 2
Brass Medal, of our Saviour, 241
Breakfasting Hut in 1745, 158
Bribery, 141
Bricks of Babylon, The, 612
Bridge, Old London, The Gate of, 561
—— Chinese, 439
—— Suspension, at Freybourg, 166
Britannia Tubular Bridge, 172
British Islands, Size of the, 245
Brooch, Ancient Scandinavian, 401
Bruce, Lord Edward, Case containing the Heart of, 215
Brunswick, House of, Anecdote of the, 459
Buckinger, Matthew, 53
Buddist Temples, Instruments used in, 621
Bumper, 153
Bunyan's, John, Tomb, 156
Burial Places of Distinguished Men, 390
Burmah, Elephant God of, 537
Bust, Etrurian, An Ancient, 677
Byng, Admiral, Execution of, 182
Cader Idris, 118
Cagots, The, 638
Calculation, Interesting, 474
Cambridge Clods, 20
Camden Cup, 250
Camel, as a Scape-Goat, 522
Cameleon, The Eye of the, 479
Candles in the Church, 449
Cannon, Ancient, raised from the Sea, 40
—— at the Siege of Constantinople, 69
—— First Iron, 320
Canute, The Discovery of the Body of, 176
Cardinals, Colour of the Hat for, 234
Cards, Games with, in the 16th Century, 618
Carfax Conduit, 333
Carronades, 149
Carrara, Francis, Cruelty of, 504
Carriage, Turkish, 655
Cascade des Pelerines, 135
Cat, Instinct in a, 353
Catacombs at Rome, 87
Cataract, Extraordinary, 223
Cat-Clock, A, 631
Cats, White, 51
—— with Knotted Tails, 238
Caves, The Hawthornden, 382
Chaffinch Contest, 651
Chalice, Iona, The Golden, 422
Changes of Fortune, 371
Chaplain, Instructions to a, 458
Chapter-House in Henry VIIth's time, 599
Charing Cross, Autobiography of, 128
Charity instead of Pomp, 407
—— Rewarded by a Mendicant, 257
Charlemagne, Clock presented to, 145
Charles I., Anecdote relative to, 174
—— II., Privy Purse, Expenses of, 234
Cherry Tree, 458
Chess, in India, How it Originated, 305
Chieftain, Ancient Scottish, 500
Chilcott, the Giant, 71
Child, Test of Courage in a, 132
Children of Aged Parents, 319
China, Origin of the Great Wall of, 233
Chinese Dainties, 91
—— Ivory Balls, 144
—— Method of Fishing, 315
—— Punishment of the Kang, 134
—— Ladies, Small Feet of, 475
—— Mirrors, 425
—— School, 525
—— Therapeutics, 369
Chocolate, Early use of, 52
Christmas Customs, Bygone, 14, 19
Christening, Novel Mode of Celebrating a, 393
Chronology of Remarkable Events, 218
Church of Donore, James II. and the, 557
Cigars, Extraordinary Fashion in, 274
Circumstance, a Curious, 430
—— Extraordinary, 15
Cistern of Majolica Ware, 597
Clock at Hernhuth, Watchmen Imitating, 20
—— Wonderful, 167
Clocks, Early, 171
Clonmacnois, Ruins of, 289
Coachmen of the Time of Charles II., 257
Cock Fighting at Schools, 219
Coffee, 153
Coffee and Tea, 122
Coffee-house in London, the First, 4
—— Attractions in 1760, 41
Coin, The First, with Britannia on it, 468
Coinage, Variations in the, 650
Coincidences, some Curious, 434
Collars, Stone, Ancient, 665
Column at Cussi, 533
Comb, Curious Indian, 657
Conecte, Thomas, 433
Confectionary Art in 1660, 373
Conjuring, Public Taste for in 1718, 122
Conway Church, Inscription in, 112
Coral Reefs, 73
Coronations, Prices for Seats at, 160
—— Expenses at, 283
Corpulent Man, 78
Corpulence, Cure for, 80
Cost of Articles in the 14th Century, 330
Costume, Ancient Female, 71, 78
Costumes, 395, 437, 536, 544, 547, 630, 651
Couteau-de-Chasse, Ancient, 633
Cranmer's (Archbishop) Dietary, 137
Credulity, Extraordinary Instance of, 311
Cricket-Matches, Extraordinary, 408
Criminal, a Rich and Cruel, 450
Criminals, Old Custom Relating to, 598
Cromwell's Bridge at Glengariff, 648
Cross of Cong, The, 457
—— —— Muiredach, 369
—— Ordeal of the, 463
Crown of Charlemagne, 377
Cucking-Stool, The, 1
Cupid, The, of the Hindoos, 230
Curious Feats, 181, 239
—— Law, 8
—— Manuscript, 214
Curiously-shaped Vessel, 376
Curiously-shaped Drinking Cups, 413 [Pg xi]
Curiosities, Strange, 457
Custom, Means of attracting, 683
Customs, Singular Local, 653
Daffeys' Elixir, 173
Dagger, An Ancient, 673
Dagobert, Ancient Chair of, 421
Dance, Curious Provincial in France, 679
Dances, Fashionable of the last Century, 220
Dancing Rooms, 57
Dead, Fashions for the, 523
Dead Bodies, Preservation of, 251, 280, 638
Death, Boiling to, 663
—— Lunar Influence in, 346
—— Pressing to, 515
Decorative Drinking Vessel, 336
Della Robbia Ware, 601
Demons, Bribing the, 531
Dervishes, Dancing, 669
Desolation, Scene of, 329
Destitute Cats, Asylum for, 280
Dial and Fountain in Leadenhall Street, 553
Dilemma, 499
Dinner, an Egyptian, 537
—— in China, 596
—— Party in the 17th Century, 609
Diogenes in a Pithos, not Tub, 101
Disorders Cured by Fright, 307
Dispute and appropriate Decision, 140
Dog (A) Extinguishing a Fire, 20
—— Combination of Instinct and Force, 284
—— A Sensible, Refusing to Bait a Cat, 76
—— Persevering, 80
—— Friendship, 84
—— A Piscatorial, 367
—— Sensible, 376
—— in Japan, 622
—— Figures of on Ancient Tombs, 682
Dog-wheel, The Old, 101
Dole in consequence of a Dream, 503
Doles, 399
Down among the Dead Men, 185
Dress, Forty years ago, 212
Dress in London, 18, 114, 253, 295
—— Fastidiousness at an Old Age, 243
—— of the Ancient Britons, 79
Drinking Bouts in Persia, 547
Drinks, Intoxicating, Antiquity of, 611
Dropping Wells, 142
Druids' Seat, 464
Drunkenness, the Offspring of, 666
Duns in the Mahratta Country, 379
Dyaks of Borneo, 275
Ears, Character Indicated by, 65
Earthenware, English, 575
Earthquake Panic, 520
—— Swallowed up by an, 329
—— at Lisbon, 200
—— Nottingham, in 1816, 280
Earthquakes, 398, 432
East India House, the First, 206
Eating for a Wager, 4
Eccentric Englishman, An, 438
Eccentrics, a Couple of, 318
Echo, Extraordinary, 341
Eddystone Lighthouse, 108
Edicts against Fiddlers, 328
Eel, Large, 10
Egypt, 491
—— Pyramids of, 130
Egyptian Toys in the British Museum, 129
Elephant Detects a Robber, An, 99
Elephants Frightened at Pigs, 9
Energy, A Triumph of, 193
England before the Romans, 86
Englishman, A Fat, 28
Epitaph, an Inculpatory, 268
Etna, Mount, Great Eruption of, 451
—— Changes of, 406
Europa, Ruins of, 567
Exchequer-bills, Origin of, 676
Execution, in 1793, 84
Extraordinary Tree, 183
Extravagance at Elections, 149
—— Oriental, 499
Eyam, The Desolation of, 226
Fallacy of the Virtues of a Seventh Son, 315
False Accusers, Punishing, 230
Farmers, Illustrious, 304
Fashionable Disfigurement, 213
Fayence, The, of Henry II. of France, 591
Feasts, Anglo-Saxon, 517
Federation, Fête of the, 288
Female Intrepidity, Extraordinary, 248
Ferrers, Earl, Execution of, 107
Figg, Champion, 113
Finger Rings, Porcelain, 486
Fire at Burwell, Cambridgeshire, 293
Fire-arms in the Tower of London, 29
Fire-engines, When first made, 223
Fish, Shooting, 432
—— High Price of, in London, 312
—— Extraordinary Ponds and, 561
—— Tame, 659
—— Wonderful, 542
Fishermen, Bulgarian, 497
Fleet Marriages, about 1740, 299
Floods, the Morayshire, 126
Flying Coach, 228
Fog of 1783, The Great, 414
Font at Kilcarn, The, 417
Food of the Ancients, 450
Foot-Racing in 1699, 457
Foreigners in London in 1567, 371
Fortune, Change of, 371
Fox Killed by a Swan, 4
Francis I., Funeral Oration of, 363
Franklin's Celebrated Letter to Strahan, 39
Frederick the Great at Table, 579
French Dress, 102
—— Assignats, the Origin, 253
Friars, Preaching, 221
Frost Fairs, 67
—— Extraordinary, 209
Funeral, an Eccentric, 395
—— Jar, 481
—— Obsequies, Strange, 108
Game Preserves at Chantilly, 362
Gamblers, Chinese, Playing for Fingers, 593
Gambling, Legalised, 141
—— Extraordinary, 359
Gaming, a National Taste for, 267
Gander, an Old, 27
Garden, an Egyptian, 349 [Pg xii]
—— at Kenilworth, when in its Prime, 641
—— Love of, 419
—— Sacred, 420
—— The Hanging, of Babylon, 558
Garrick's Cup, 232
Gauntlet of Henry, Prince of Wales, 661
George II., Proclamation for, 200
Georgians as Topers, 511
Giant Tree, 229
Gibraltar, Siege of, 6
Gigantic Bones, 248
Glaives, 504
Glove Money, 503
Gloves, Anne Boleyn's, 600
—— Origin of "Pin Money", 275
Grace Knives, 641
Graham Island, 443
Graves of the Stone Period, 363
Greek Vases, 501
Gretna Green Marriages, 159
Grey Man's Path, The, 528
Grinning for a Wager, 13
Groaning Boards, 66
Groat, a Castle for a, 470
Grotto, Remarkable, and Story connected with it, 625
Guillotine, Decapitation by the, 8
Gun, Celebrated, 568
Gunpowder, Making a Candlestick of, 249
Hackney Coach, The Earliest, 211
Hair, Ancient, Quantity and Colour of the, 4
—— Price of Human, 242
—— Remarkable Preservation of, 122
—— Transplantation of, 40
—— Turned Grey by Fright, 327
—— Two of the Fathers, on False, 24
Hamster Rat, The, 265
Handbills, Distributing, 178
—— from Peckham Fair, in 1726, 72
Hanging a Mayor, 140
"Happy Dispatch" in Japan, The, 578
Head Breaker, A., 338
Head-dress, Monstrous, 242
—— Ornament, Antique, 393
Hejirs, The, 222
Helmet, Early English, 632
—— of Sir John Crosby, 520
Henry I., Dream of, 26
—— II., Stripped when Dead, 39
—— V., Cradle of, 416
—— the VIIIth's Chair, 488
—— VIII., Curious Extracts from the Household Book of Lady Mary, Daughter of, 399
Highlander, A Remarkable, 238
Highwaymen in 1782, 5
Hindoo Computation, 507
—— Rites, Cruelty of, 627
Historical Anecdote, 156
Holy Water Sprinkler, 532
Homer in a Nutshell, 127
Hooking a Boy Instead of a Fish, 319
Hoops, in 1740, 6
Horse, A, Getting himself Shod, 76
Horse-race, Indenture of a, 52
Horses of the Arabs, 498
Horses, Different Sorts of, in the 16th Century, 634
—— Feeding one another, 368
—— Vicious, Novel Way of Curing, 174
Hot Cross Buns, 251
House, Novel Way of Designating a, 539
—— of Hens' Feathers, 646
Household Rules of the 16th Century, 518
How Distant Ages are Connected, 200
Hudson, Jeffery, the Dwarf of the Court of Charles I., 472
"Humbug," Origin of the Term, 97
Hume, David, on his own Death, 215
Hundred Families' Lock, 435
Hunting Party, a Regal, 391
Husband, Novel way of Purchasing a, 275
Hydra, Extraordinary Reproductive Power of the, 490
Ice, Ground, 506
Ignorance and Fear, 290
Impostor, An, 50
Impudence or Candour? Which is it? 239
Incense Chariot, An Ancient, 513
Incremation, Instance of, 353
Indian Jugglers, European Balancing, 293
Inhumanity, Extraordinary Instances of, 436
Innkeeper's Bill in 1762, 431
Insects, Wonderful Formation of the Eye in, 467
Insect Life, Minuteness of, 338
Instinct of Animals, 410
Insurance Agent, Canvass of an, 465
Interesting and Fanciful Relique, 243
Inventors, The Perils of, 141
Irrigation, Turkish Machine for, 349
"It's much the same Now", 94
James II. and the Church of Donore, 557
James II., Spent by the Corporation of Coventry at the Entertainment of, in his Progress through Coventry, 378
Javanese, Superstition of the, 244
Jenny's Whim, 174
Jewel, A Curious, which belonged to James I., 456
Jews, Wealth of the, 359
Johnson, Dr., A Visit to the Residence of, 48
Joy, William, the English Sampson, 176
Judas Iscariot, Legends of, 339
Judges attending Public Balls, 303
—— Salaries, 446
Jugglers in Japan, 529
—— of Modern Egypt, 342
Kildare, Death of the Earl of, 172
Killed by eating Mutton and Pudding, 73
King Edward I., Household Expenses of, 231
—— Fine for Insulting a, 149
—— of Kippen, The, 139
—— John and Pope Innocent, 463
King-Maker, Warwick the, 527
King's Bed, Ceremonial for Making the, 562
—— Cock Crower, The, 137
—— Dishes with the Cook's Name, 235
—— Stone, The, at Kingston, 461
Kitchen, Spacious, 383
Knight's Costume of the 13th Century, 480
Knives and Forks, 133
Knox, John, The Pulpit of, at St. Andrews, 269
Lady, Origin of the Word, 147 [Pg xiii]
Lagmi, and the Use made of it, 623
Lambeth Wells, the Apollo Gardens, 272
Lamps, Roman, 437
Land, Change in the Value of, 196
Landslip at Colebroke, Shropshire, 184
Lantern, Curious, 100
Lauderdale, The Duchess of, 403
Law of the Mozcas, 454
Law and Order in the Streets of London, 131
Laws, a Hundred years ago, Severity of, 234
Leadenhall Street, Old Dial and Fountain in, 553
Legend, A Superstitious, 351
Legends among Savage Nations, 146
Length of Life without Bodily Exercise, 274
Lepers, Treatment of, in England, 493
Leprosy, Lazars, and Lazar Houses, 169
Letter, Extraordinary, 322
Lettsom's (Dr.) Reasons, 71
Lewson, The Eccentric Lady, 221
Life, An Eventful, 427
—— in Death, 443
Lighting the Streets, Bequests for, 310
Lightning, Calmuc's Opinion of, 63
Living, Style of, among the Nobility of the 15th Century, 533
—— in the 16th Century, 357
Lizards, Swallowing, 41
Loaf Sugar, 166
Locomotives, the First, 96
Locusts, 151
London Localities in the 16th Century, 526
London Water Carrier in Olden Time, 258
—— in 1756, State of, 147
London Resorts a Hundred Years Ago, 197
Longevity, 269
Long Meg and her Daughters, 394
Lord Mayor's Feast in 1663, 551
Lotteries, 619
Louis XVI., Execution of, 258
Luther's (Martin) Tankard, 149
Luxury in 1562, 418
Lynch's Castle, Galway, 581
Mackarel, Price of, 576
Madness, Sudden Recovery from, 168
Madyn, the Capital of Persia, Magnificence of, when invaded by the Saracens A.D. 636, 554
Magic Rain Stone, 168
Magician's Mirror and Bracelet, 344
Magnet, The Summers' or Loadstone, 41
Magnificence of Former Times, 111
Magpie Stoning a Toad, 92
Mahomet, Personal Appearance of, 571
Mail, Ancient suit of, 483
Malady, Extraordinary, 670
Mandrin, the Smuggler, 167
Manners, Ancient, of the Italian, 585
Man without Hands, 77
Manufacture, One of the Effects of, 142
Marat, Funeral of, 375
Marriage Custom, Curious, 543
—— Lottery, 91
—— Vow, 419
Mary, Queen of Scots, her First Letter to English, 370
Mary Queen of Scots, her Candlestick, 436
Maternal Affection in a Dumb Woman, 140
May-pole in the Strand, 534
—— Fate of the Last, in the Strand, 682
May-poles, 100
Mecca, The Black Stone at, 550
Medmenham Abbey, 429
Memento-Mori Watch, 285
Mental Affection, A Curious, 335
Merman, A, 16
Mexican Tennis, 375
Michaelmas-day, Origin of eating Goose on, 198
Military Hats in Olden Time, 75
Mill at Lissoy, 469
Miraculous Escape, 266
Misers, Two, 459
Missal, The Bedford, 163
Mob Wisdom, 294
Monasteries, Libraries of destroyed, 334
Monkeys Demanding their Dead, 415
Monkish Prayers, 383
Monks, Gluttony of the, 347
—— and Friars, 680
Monsey (Dr.) bequeaths his own Body, 93
Monsoons, 179
Monument, Rock-cut, of Asia Minor, 441
Monuments, Wayside, 587
Mosque of Omar, 316
Mother Mapp, the Bone Setter, 158
Mountains, Height of, 148
Mouth, Character of the, 106
M.P.'s and Mayors, Privateers, 176
Mulgrave, Origin of the House of, 602
Mullet and Turbot, with the Romans, 488
Mummy Cases, 409
Murderess, a Young but Cruel, 392
Music, Effect of, on a Pigeon, 64
—— of the Hindoos, 683
—— —— —— Sea, 351
Musical Instrument, A Curious, 628
Musical Instruments, Burmese, 629
—— —— Egyptian, 404
Names, Strange Custom about, 295
Naora, The, 635
Narrow Escape, 121
Nature, Wonderful Provision of, 55
Nebuchadnezzar, Gold Mask of, 105
Necklace, Ancient Jet, 529
Negro, Bill of Sale for a, in 1770, 39
Nell Gwynne's Looking-Glass, 237
Never Sleeping in a Bed, 331
Newspapers, Vacillating, 514
New South Wales, Dances of the Natives of, 225
Newton, A Visit to the Observatory of, 10
New Zealand, The Wingless Bird of, 307
Norman Caps, 44
North American Indian War Dispatch, 45
Nose, Effect of a New, 102
Nostrums, 63
Nun, The First English, 330
Nut Crackers, Ancient, 236
Oaks, Extraordinary, 310, 426, 466, 455
—— Remarkable, 405
Old Age, Dying of, at Seventeen Years, 47
Old Books, 360
Old London Signs, 118 [Pg xiv]
Opera, The First, 567
Opium, Best Position for Smoking, 675
Oræfa Mountain, in Ireland, 356
Ornaments, Personal Antique, 293, 400, 447, 452
Orthography in the Sixteenth Century, 17
Pagoda, The Great Shoëmadoo, 572
Pailoos, Chinese, 625
Panama, Isthmus of, Passage through, 148
Paper, 619
Papyrus, The, 82
Parental Authority, Too Much, 513
Paris Garden at Blackfriars, 465
Parlour Dogs, 320
Passport, A Traveller's, 679
Pastimes, Popular, 514
Pâtés de Foies Gras, 142
Peacocks, 366
Pear-Tree, Great, 454
Pearls, British, 363
—— Fondness of the Romans for, 208
Pedestrian Feat, Wonderful, 327
Peg Tankards, 43
Penn, Tea Service which belonged to, 201
Penny Post, Origin of the, 47
Pennsylvania Journal, 63
Perfumes, 253
Persecution, 430
—— in the Reign of Queen Mary, 587
Perseverance rewarded by Fortune, 287
Persia, Drinking Bouts in, 547
Personal Charms Disclaimed, 118
Peru, Condor in, 170
Peruvian Bark, 51
Pest-house, during the Plague, in Tothill Fields, 573
Pestilence, The Black, 402
Peter the Great at Zaandam, 544
Physic, A Friend to, 267
Physick for the Poor, Choice Receipts for, 117
Pigeon Catching near Naples, 437
Pig, Roast, Advertisement of, in 1726, 46
Pike, An Old, 667
Pilgrim Fathers, Chair belonging to, 186
Pillory for Eating Flesh in Lent, 68
Plague in England, The, 183
—— Corpse Bearers during the, 283
Plantagenets, Yellow Hair in the Time, 103
Plate, Use of, in the time of Henry VIII., 523
Platypus, the Duck-billed, 273
Playbill, Curious, 227
—— in the time of William III., 530
Ploughing and Threshing, Ancient, 66
Poets, English, Fates of the Families of, 471
Pogonias Vocal Fish, 478
Poison Cup, The, 485
Poisoning the Monarch, 12
Police, London, Disgraceful State of, 193
Pont du Gard, Great Aqueduct of, 312
Pope's Chair, 577
Porcelain, Anecdote in, 517
Port Coon Cave, 516
Poet Haste One Hundred Years ago, 182
"Postman," The, Paragraph from, in 1697, 219
Pottery in China, Art of, 321
Powerscourt Fall, Phenomenon at the, 304
Prayers, Unusual Locality for Saying, 171
Praying by Machinery, 314
—— by Wheel and Axle, 539
Pre-Adamite Bone Caverns, 199
Precocious Children, 64
Presence of Mind—Escape from a Tiger, 330
Priests in Burmah, Knavery of the, 266
—— of Sikkim, 663
Prince of Wales, Origin of the Crest of the, 115
Prince Rupert, at Everton, 291
Prolific Author, 320
Proteus Anguinus, The, 152
Psalm, Value of a Long, 512
Pterodactylus, The, 360
Pulpit, Refreshments for the, 262
Punishing by Wholesale, 680
Punishment, Ancient Instrument of, 680
—— Russian, 654
—— and Torture, Ancient Instruments of, 58, 88
Puritan Zeal, 579
Purple, Tyrian, 643
Quackery in the Olden Time, 671
Queen Elizabeth, Banquets of, 414
—— —— Dresses of, 501
—— —— Old Verses on, 204
—— —— saddle of, 340
—— —— State Coach of, 128
—— —— 's Laws, 151
Raffaelle, Tomb of, 568
Raffle, A, in 1725, 47
Raleigh, Sir Walter, Residence of, 160
Ranelagh, 204
Ranz des Vaches, 173
Rats, Destructive Force of, 463
Ravilliac, Execution of, 132
Receipts, Quaint, 153
Red Sea, Luminous Appearance of the, 454
Regiments, The Modern Names of, 639
Reichstadt, The Duke de, 435
Relics, 393
—— A Group of, 261
—— Rescued, 618
Remarkable Events and Inventions, 145
Revenge, New Mode of, 423
Rheumatism, Strange Cure for the, 201
Rhinoceros, First in Europe, 655
Richardson, the Showman, 251
Ringing the Changes, 192
Rings, Calcinated, 408
Rites, Hindoo, Cruelty of, 627
Roads in 1780, 327
Rock of Cashel, 352
Romans in Britain, Dress of Native Females at that Period, 86
Rouen, The Great Bell of, 650
Royal Touch, The, 42
Royal Giants, Specimens of, 121
—— Prisoner, Expenses of, 260
Sack Pot, Old English, 521
Sacro Catino, The, 608
Sadler's Wells, 112
Saint George, Tomb of, 281
Saint Lawrence, 464
Sálagrám, Hindoo Adoration of the, 589 [Pg xv]
Sand Columns in Africa, 610
Sandwiches, Origin of the, 563
Sardonyx Ring, with Cameo Head of Queen Elizabeth, in the possession of Rev. Lord Thynne, 373
Scape Goat, Camel as a, 190
Sceptre, Ivory, of Louis XII., 476
School, Chinese, 525
School Expenses in the Olden Time, 427
Science and Perseverance, Triumphs of, 123
Scottish Wild Cattle, 278
Scriptural Antiquities, 215
Sea, Phosphorescence of the, 418
Sea Serpent, Immense, 42
Sea-Urchin, Wonderful Construction of, 475
Second Sight, 65
Seeing Two Generations, 211
Self-Nourishment, 315
Selkirk and the Dancing Goats, 22
Sepulchral Vase from Peru, 320
Sermons, Anecdotes in, 147
Serpent, Anecdote of a, 85
Seven, The Number, 354
Sèvres Porcelain, Prices of, 487
Sex, Change of, 189
"Sforza," Origin of the Title, 554
Shakspeare's Jug, 575
Sham Prophets, 319
Sharks, The Queen's, 203
Sheba, The Queen of, 518
Sheep Killer, Hunting a, 268
Shell Fish, in 1675, Price of, 178
Shetland, The Noss in, 324
Shield, Ancient Danish, 420
Shilling, Cutting a Wife off with a, 359
Shocking Depravity, 117
Shoes, Long-toed, Origin of, 646
Shrine, Curious Figures on a, 202
Shrine of St. Sebald at Nuremberg, 271
Simoom, The, 662
Skin, Human, a Drum made of, 398
Slave Advertisements, 25
Slave Trade, Iniquities of the, 175
Slaves, Recent Prices of, 435
Sleep, Protracted, 483
—— State of the Mind during, 350
Sleeper, An Extraordinary, 28
Smoking, Attachment to, 322
Snake Charmers, 299
Snakes, Power of Fascination in, 64
Snow Storm, Memorable, 327
Snuff Boxes, Ancient, 209
Snuff, Time Wasted in taking, 512
Something like a Feast, 129
Somnambulism, 72
Sound, Phenomena of, 367
Southcottian Delusion, A Phase of the, 230
South-stack Lighthouse, 239
Spain, Wealth of, under the Moors, 235
Spider, Bite of the Tarantula, 13
Spiders Fond of Music, 157
Spirit Drinker, An Aged, 228
Spontaneous Combustion, 431
Sports of the Lower Classes, 155
Sportsman, A Royal, 443
Springs, Intermittent, 455
Stage Coach in 1760, 155
Stag-Hunt in the 16th Century, 511
Stags like Cattle, Driving, 208
Stamps, Antique Roman, 448, 643
Standards, Ancient Banner and, 396, 583
State Coach in 1796, 156
Statue, Metal, the Largest in the World, 454
Steam boat, Facsimile of the First, 301
Stevens's Specific, 50
St. George's Cavern, 421
St. James's Square, 123
St. Paul's, Old, 162
St. Paul and the Viper, 125
St. Winifred's Well, 303
Sticks, Old Walking, 387
Stirrups, 571
Stomach Brush, 55
Stoneware, 649
Strasburg, Curious Custom at, 185
Strength, Feats of, in 1789, 9
Street Cries of Modern Egypt, 401
Stuff Ball at Lincoln, Origin of the, 49
Sultan, City of the, 103
Sun and Moon, Worship of the, 81
Superstition in 1856, 538
—— Curious, 424
—— Death caused by, 124
—— in France, 519
—— Vitality of, 474
Sweating Sickness, 110
Sweets, Artificial, 579
Sword, Curious Antique, 596
—— Executioner's, 340
—— The Hawthornden, 353
—— The Seton, 356
—— Fish and Whales, 565
Sword-Breaker, An Ancient, 672
Taking a Man to Pieces, 79
Tapestry, The Bayeux, 642
Tar and Feather, Notices to, 38
Taxation, Universality of, 318
Tea, 94
Tea-Drinkers, The First, Puzzled, 532
Teapot, The, 482
Temple of Pou-tou, The, 673
—— at Simonbong, 620
Temples of Brambanam, 442
Terrier, Anecdote of a, 358
Thames, Frost Fair on the, 106
—— The First Bridge over the, 428
Thanksgiving Day in 1697, 527
Theatre, Roman, at Orange, 366
Theatres in the Time of Shakespeare, 597
The First Hermits—Why so Called, 125
The Ruling Passion, 32, 188
Theodora de Verdion, 207
Thief Caught in his own Trap, The, 77
—— Singular Discovery of a, 115
Thugs, The, 574
Tiger Cave at Cuttack, 361
Tilbury Fort, 189
Time, Division of, in Persia, 633
Tobacco, Origin of the Use of, 57
Toilet, Absurdities of the, 536
—— Boxes, Egyptian, 381
Tomb, Chinese, 508
—— of Cæcilia Metella, 477
—— of Darius, 560
Tomb of the Emperor Maximilian at Inspruck, 590 [Pg xvi]
"Too Late," quoth Boice, 489
Tope, the Sanchi, 389
Topers, Georgians as, 511
Toping in the Last Century, 314
Torture, 639
—— Chamber at Nuremberg, 615
Tower of the Thundering Winds, 93
Trajan, Arch of, at Beneventum, 112
Trance, A, 354
—— at Will, 462
Trap-door Spider, 383
Travelling, Common, 220
—— in Olden Times, 108, 162
—— in the United States, 208
Treaty-Stone at Limerick, 563
Tree, Extraordinary Situation for a, 313
Trees, Age of, 521
—— that Grow Shirts, 62
Tripod, Ancient, 549
Trivial Circumstances, A Great Result from, 605
Tumbrel, The, 2
Tunisians, Ingenuity of the, 652
Turban, The, in Arabia, 618
Turkish Mode of Reparation, 326
Twin-Worm, Extraordinary Formation of the, 136
Types, the Invention of, 152
Umbrella, Anglo-Saxon, 624
Upas Tree, 123
Useful and the Beautiful, 647
Vampire, The Blood-sucking, 417
Varnish-Tree of the Japanese, 615
Vases, Ancient, 337
—— Greek, 169
—— Greek, Prices of, 385
—— Roman, in Black Ware, 373
—— Sepulchral, of Greek Pottery, 616
—— Sepulchral, of Ancient Egypt, 607
—— Teutonic, Hut-shaped, 580
Vauxhall, 380
Venetians, The, 428
Vengeance, Novel Mode of taking, 586
Ventriloquist, a Female, 62
Vesuvius, Crater of, in 1829, 165
Vinegar on the Skin, Effect of, 115
Vishnu, Incarnations of, 645
Volcanic Eruption in Japan, 601
Volcano of Jurullo, Formation of the, 163
Volition, Suspended, 199
Voltaire, English Letter of, 422
Vow, Singular Hindoo, 658
Wagers, Curious, 373
Walking-Sticks, Old, 387
Wall, Governor, Execution of, 154
Wallace, the Hero of Scotland, 99
War Boat, A Dyak, in Borneo, 540
—— Dance of the Dyaks of Borneo, 540
—— Chariot of Ancient Egypt, 365
Warwick, the King-Maker, 527
Washing Account, Method of Keeping, 3
Washington, 583
Watch, An Antique, 368
—— presented by Louis XIII. to Charles I. of England, 640
Watches, the First in England, 515
Water for Old London, Supply of, 282
—— Preservative Power of Coal-pit, 25
—— Supply of, for London, in Olden Times, 546
—— Snakes, Battle of, 470
"We hae been", 47
Weapon, Ancient, 660
—— A Poison, 672
Weaver-Bird, The Sociable, 440
Wedding, A, A Hundred Years Ago, 640
Weight, Reducing, 85
Whipping Prisoners, 175
Whitehall, Ceiling of, 121
Whitsuntide, at Durham Cathedral, 8
Why a Man Measures more in the Morning than in the Evening, 75
Wife, Diving for a, 479
Wigs, 17, 31
Will, Eccentric, 209
William the Conqueror, Courtship of, 555
Willow, Weeping, Introduction of the, 148
Wind Mills, The First, 577
Witch-Testing, at Newcastle, in 1649, 21
Wolves in England, 441
Woman, The Hairy, of Burmah, 677
Woman's Cleverness, 260
Women of England, The, 159
—— in Former Times, 127
Wonderful Escape, 215, 300
Wren's (Sir Christopher) Cost of Churches, 171
—— —— —— Report, 183
Writing Materials, 481
Writings, Terra Cotta, 466
Yorkshire Tike, The, 24
Yorkshire in the Last Century, 283

[Pg 1]



The instruments most in vogue with our ancestors were three—the cucking-stool, the brank, and the tumbrel.

The Cucking-stool was used by the pond in many village greens about one hundred years ago or little more, and then deemed the best corrective of a scolding woman.


By the sea, the quay offered a convenient spot. The barbican, at Plymouth, was a locality, doubtless terrible to offenders, however careless of committing their wordy nuisance of scolding. Two pounds were paid for a cucking-stool at Leicester in 1768. Since that it has been placed at the door of a notorious scold as a warning. Upon admission to the House of Correction at Liverpool, a woman had to undergo the severity of the cucking-stool till a little before the year 1803, when Mr. James Neild wrote to Dr. Lettsom. The pump in the men's court was the whipping-post for females, which discipline continued, though not weekly.


    s. d.
1572, The making of the cucking-stool 8 0
  Iron work for the same 3 0
  Timber for the same 7 6
  Three brasses for the same, and three wheels 4 10
    —— ——
    £1  3 4

At Marlborough, in 1625, a man had 4d. for his help at the cucking of Joan Neal.

[Pg 2]


    s. d.
1636, The porters for ducking of Goodwife Campion 2 0
  Two porters for laying up the ducking-stool 0 8

The Brank, for taming shrews, was preferred to the cucking-stool in some counties, and was used there for the same purpose. The brank was in favour in the northern counties, and in Worcestershire, though there were, notwithstanding, some of the other instruments of punishment used, called in that county gum-stools.

The brank was put over the head, and was fastened with a padlock. There are entries at Worcester about mending the "scould's bridle and cords for the same."

The cucking-stool not only endangered the health of the party, but also gave the tongue liberty 'twixt every dip. The brank was put over the head, and was fastened with a padlock.


The tumbrel was a low-rolling cart or carriage (in law Latin, tumberella) which was used as a punishment of disgrace and infamy. Millers, when they stole corn, were chastised by the tumbrel. Persons were sometimes fastened with an iron chain to a tumbrel, and conveyed bareheaded with din and cry through the principal streets of towns.

Court of Hustings Book, 1581. (Lyme.)

"The jury present that the tumbrel be repaired and maintained from time to time, according to the statute."

In 1583, Mr. Mayor was to provide a tumbrel before All Saints Day, under a penalty of 10s.

[Pg 3]


Shakerley Marmion, in his "Antiquary," says:—

"I must rev'rence and prefer the precedent
Times before these, which consum'd their wits in
Experiments; and 'twas a virtuous
Emulation amongst them, that nothing
Which, might profit posterity should perish."
Washing Account

Without a full adherence to this dictum, we would nevertheless admit that we are indebted to the past for the germ of many of our most important discoveries. The ancient washing tablet, although of humble pretensions to notice, is yet a proof of the simple and effective means frequently adopted in olden times for the economy of time and materials.

A reference to the engraving obviates a lengthened explanation. It will there be seen that if the mistress of a family has fifteen pillow-covers, or so many collars, or so many bands, to be mentioned in the washing account, she can turn the circular dial, by means of the button or handle, to the number corresponding with the rough mark at the bottom of the dial, above which is written sheets, table-cloths, &c. This simple and ingenious contrivance, obviates the necessity of keeping a book.

The original "washing board," from which the engraving is taken, was of a larger size, and showed the numbers very distinctly. Similar dials may be made of either ivory or metal.

[Pg 4]


The quality and colour of the hair was a subject of speculative theory for the ancients. Lank hair was considered indicative of pusillanimity and cowardice; yet the head of Napoleon was guiltless of a curl! Frizzly hair was thought an indication of coarseness and clumsiness. The hair most in esteem, was that terminating in ringlets. Dares, the historian, states that Achilles and Ajax Telamon had curling locks; such also was the hair of Timon, the Athenian. As to the Emperor Augustus, nature had favoured him with such redundant locks, that no hair-dresser in Rome could produce the like. Auburn or light brown hair was thought the most distinguished, as portending intelligence, industry, a peaceful disposition, as well as great susceptibility to the tender passion. Castor and Pollux had brown hair; so also had Menelaus. Black hair does not appear to have been esteemed by the Romans; but red was an object of aversion. Ages before the time of Judas, red hair was thought a mark of reprobation, both in the case of Typhon, who deprived his brother of the sceptre of Egypt, and Nebuchadnezzar who acquired it in expiation of his atrocities. Even the donkey tribe suffered from this ill-omened visitation, according to the proverb of "wicked as a red ass." Asses of that colour were held in such detestation among the Copths, that every year they sacrificed one by hurling it from a high wall.


Coffee is a native of Arabia, supposed by some to have been the chief ingredient of the old Lacedemonian broth. The use of this berry was not known in England till the year 1657, at which time Mr. D. Edwards, a Turkey merchant, on his return from Smyrna to London, brought with him one Pasquet Rossee, a Greek of Ragusa, who was used to prepare this liquor for his master every morning, who, by the way, never wanted company. The merchant, therefore, in order to get rid of a crowd of visitants, ordered his Greek to open a coffee-house, which he did in St. Michael's Alley, in Cornhill. This was the first coffee-house opened in London.


The handbill, of which the subjoined is a literal copy, was circulated by the keeper of the public-house at which the gluttony was to happen, as an attraction for all the neighbourhood to witness:—

"Bromley in Kent, July 14, 1726.—A strange eating worthy is to perform a Tryal of Skill on St. James's Day, which is the day of our Fair for a wager of Five Guineas,—viz.: he is to eat four pounds of bacon, a bushel of French beans, with two pounds of butter, a quartern loaf, and to drink a gallon of strong beer!"


At Peusey, a swan sitting on her eggs, on one side of the river, observed a fox swimming towards her from the opposite side; rightly judging she could best grapple with the fox in her own element, she plunged into the water, and after beating him off for some time with her wings, at length succeeded in drowning him.

[Pg 5]


On Wednesday, the 9th January, 1782, about four o'clock in the afternoon, as Anthony Todd, Esq., Secretary to the Post-office, was going in his carriage to his house at Walthamstow to dinner, and another gentleman with him, he was stopt within a small distance of his house by two highwaymen, one of whom held a pistol to the coachman's breast, whilst the other, with a handkerchief over his face, robbed Mr. Todd and the gentleman of their gold watches and what money they had about them. As soon as Mr. Todd got home all his men-servants were mounted on horses, and pursued the highwaymen; they got intelligence of their passing Lee-bridge, and rode on to Shoreditch; but could not learn anything farther of them.

The same evening a gentleman going along Aldermanbury, near the church, was accosted by a man with an enquiry as to the time; on which the gentleman pulled out his gold watch. The man immediately said, "I must have that watch and your money, sir, so don't make a noise." The gentleman seeing nobody near, he delivered his gold watch and four guineas, with some silver. The thief said he was in distress, and hoped the gentleman would not take away his life if ever he had the opportunity.

Sunday, the 13th January, 1782, about twelve o'clock, a man was, by force, dragged up the yard of the French-Horn Inn, High Holborn, by some person or persons unknown, and robbed of his watch, four guineas, and some silver; when they broke his arm and otherwise cruelly treated him. He was found by a coachman, who took him to the hospital.


In the Gentleman's Magazine, we find the following observance:—Thursday, April 15, 1731.—Being Maunday-Thursday, there was distributed at the Banquetting-house, Whitehall, to forty-eight poor men, and forty-eight poor women (the King's age 48) boiled beef and shoulders of mutton, and small bowls of ale, which is called dinner; after that, large wooden platters of fish and loaves, viz., undress'd, one large old ling, and one large dry'd cod; twelve red herrings, and nineteen white herrings, and four half quartern loaves; each person had one platter of this provision: after which was distributed to them shoes, stockings, linnen and woolen cloath, and leathern bags, with one penny, two penny, three penny, and four penny pieces of silver, and shillings: to each about £4 in value. His Grace the Lord Archbishop of York, Lord High Almoner, performed the annual ceremony of washing the feet of a certain number of poor in the Royal Chapel, Whitehall, which was formerly done by the Kings themselves, in imitation of our Saviour's pattern of humility, &c. James II. was the last King who performed this in person. His doing so was thus recorded in the Chapel Royal Register.—"On Maunday Thursday April 16 1685 our gracious King James ye 2d wash'd wip'd and kiss'd the feet of 52 poor men wth wonderful humility. And all the service of the Church of England usuall on that occasion was performed, his Maty being psent all the time."

[Pg 6]


Sunday, April 1.—A few days ago, Sir Simon Stuart, of Hartley, in Hampshire, looking over some old writings, found on the back of one of them a memorandum noting that 1,500 broad pieces were buried in a certain spot in an adjoyning field. Whereupon he took a servant, and after digging a little in the place, found the treasure in a pot, hid there in the time of the late civil wars, by his grandfather, Sir Nicholas Stuart.—Gentleman's Magazine, 1733.

HOOPS IN 1740.

Hoops in 1740

The monstrous appearance of the ladies' hoops, when viewed behind, may be seen from the following cut, copied from one of Rigaud's views. The exceedingly small cap, at this time fashionable, and the close up-turned hair beneath it, give an extraordinary meanness to the head, particularly when the liberality of gown and petticoat is taken into consideration: the lady to the left wears a black hood with an ample fringed cape, which envelopes her shoulders, and reposes on the summit of the hoop. The gentleman wears a small wig and bag; the skirts of his coat are turned back, and were sometimes of a colour different from the rest of the stuff of which it was made, as were the cuffs and lappels.


Gibraltar had been taken by a combined English and Dutch fleet in 1704, and was confirmed as a British possession, in 1713, by the peace of Utrecht; but in 1779 it was assailed by the united forces of France and Spain, and the siege continued till the 2nd of February, 1783. The chief attack was made on the 13th September, 1782. On the part of the besiegers, besides stupendous batteries on the land side, mounting two hundred pieces of ordnance, there was an army of 40,000 men, under the command of the Duc de Crillon. In the bay lay the combined fleets of France and Spain, comprising forty-seven sail of the line, beside ten battering ships of powerful construction, that cost upwards of £50,000 each. From these the heaviest shells rebounded, but ultimately two of them were set on fire by red-hot shot, and the others were destroyed to prevent them from falling into the hands of the British commander. The rest of the fleet also suffered considerably; but the defenders escaped with very little loss. In this engagement 8,300 rounds were fired by [Pg 7] the garrison, more than half of which consisted of red-hot balls. During this memorable siege, which lasted upwards of three years, the entire expenditure of the garrison exceeded 200,000 rounds,—8,000 barrels of powder being used. The expenditure of the enemy, enormous as this quantity is, must have been much greater; for they frequently fired, from their land-batteries, 4,000 rounds in the short space of twenty-four hours. Terrific indeed must have been the spectacle as the immense fortress poured forth its tremendous volleys, and the squadron and land-batteries replied with a powerful cannonade. But all this waste of human life and of property was useless on the part of the assailants; for the place was successfully held, and Gibraltar still remains one of the principal strongholds of British power in Europe.


During the progress of the siege, the fortifications were considerably strengthened, and numerous galleries were excavated in the solid rock, having port-holes at which heavy guns were mounted, which, keeping up an incessant fire, proved very efficacious in destroying the enemy's encampments on the land side. Communicating with the upper tier of these galleries are two grand excavations, known as Lord Cornwallis's and St. George's Halls. The latter, which is capable of holding several hundred men, has numerous pieces of ordnance pointed in various directions, ready to deal destruction on an approaching enemy.

[Pg 8]


The following curious account of the consumption of provisions in the cathedral of Durham, during Whitsun week, in 1347, together with the prices of the articles, is taken from the rolls of the cellarer, at present in the treasury at Durham:—six hundred salt herrings, 3s.; four hundred white herrings, 2s. 6d.; thirty salted salmon, 7s. 6d.; twelve fresh salmon, 5s. 6d.; fourteen ling, fifty-five "kelengs;" four turbot, 23s. 1d.; two horse loads of white fish, and a "congr," 5s. 10d.; "playc," "sparlings," and eels, and fresh water fish, 2s. 9d.; nine carcases of oxen, salted, so bought, 36s.; one carcase and a quarter, fresh, 6s. 11-3/4d.; a quarter of an oxe, fresh, bought in the town, 3s. 6d.; seven carcases and a half of swine, in salt, 22s. 2-1/4d.; six carcases, fresh, 12s. 9d.; fourteen calves, 28s. 4d.; three kids, and twenty-six sucking porkers, 9s. 7-1/2d.; seventy-one geese with their feed, 11s. 10d.; fourteen capons, fifty-nine chickens, and five dozen pidgeons, 10s. 3d.; five stones of hog's lard, 4s. 2d.; four stones of cheese, butter, and milk, 6s. 6d.; a pottle of vinegar, and a pottle of honey, 6-1/2d.; fourteen pounds of figs and raisins, sixteen pounds of almonds, and eight pounds of rice, 3s. 7d.; pepper, saffron, cinnamon, and other spices, 2s. 6d.; one thousand three hundred eggs, 15s. 5d.—sum total, £11 4s. Similar consumptions took place during the week of the feast of St. Cuthbert, and other feasts, among the monks of Durham, for a long period of years.


The following curious law was enacted during the reign of Richard I. for the government of those going by sea to the Holy Land:—"He who kills a man on shipboard, shall be bound to the dead body and thrown into the sea; if the man is killed on shore, the slayer shall be bound to the dead body and buried with it. He who shall draw his knife to strike another, or who shall have drawn blood from him, to lose his hand; if he shall have only struck with the palm of his hand without drawing blood, he shall be thrice ducked in the sea."


A gentleman of intelligence and literary attainments, makes, in an account of his travels on the continent, the following most singular remarks on an execution he witnessed, in which the culprit was beheaded by the guillotine:—"It appears," says he, "to be the best of all possible modes of inflicting the punishment of death; combining the greatest impression on the spectator, with the least possible suffering to the victim. It is so rapid, that I should doubt whether there were any suffering; but from the expression of the countenance, when the executioner held up the head, I am inclined to believe that sense and consciousness may remain for a few seconds after the head is off. The eyes seemed to retain speculation for a moment or two, and there was a look in the ghastly stare with which they stared upon the crowd, which implied that the head was aware of its ignominious situation."

[Pg 9]


It was the regular custom of Mr. Alderman Boydell, who was a very early riser, at five o'clock, to go immediately to the pump in Ironmonger Lane. There, after placing his wig upon the ball at the top of it, he used to sluice his head with its water. This well-known and highly respected character, who has done more for the British artist than all the print-publishers put together, was also one of the last men who wore a three-cornered hat.


April 21.—The following notice was given to the public:—"For the benefit of Thomas Topham, the strong man, from Islington, whose performances have been looked upon by the Royal Society and several persons of distinction, to be the most surprising as well as curious of any thing ever performed in England; on which account, as other entertainments are more frequently met with than that he proposes, he humbly hopes gentlemen and ladies, &c., will honour him with their presence at the Nag's Head, in Gateshead, on Monday the 23d of this instant, at four o'clock, where he intends to perform several feats of strength, viz.:—He bends an iron poker three inches in circumference, over his arm, and one of two inches and a quarter round his neck; he breaks a rope that will bear two thousand weight, and with his fingers rolls up a pewter dish of seven pounds hard metal; he lays the back part of his head on one chair, and his heels on another, and suffering four men to stand on his body, he moves them up and down at pleasure; he lifts a table six feet in length, by his teeth, with a half hundred weight hanging at the further end of it; and, lastly, to oblige the publick, he will lift a butt full of water." "Each person to pay one shilling." This "strong man" fell a victim to jealousy, as is proved by the following:—"August 10th, 1749, died, Mr. Thomas Topham, known by the name of the strong man, master of a publick house in Shoreditch, London. In a fit of jealousy, he stabbed his wife, then cut his own throat and stabbed himself, after which he lived two days."


"Then on a tyme there were many grete clerkes and rad of kyng Alysaunder how on a tyme as he sholde have a batayle with ye kynge of Inde. And this kynge of Inde broughte with hym many olyphauntes berynge castelles of tree on theyr backes as the kynde of the is to haue armed knyghtes in ye castell for the batayle, them ne knewe Alysaunder the kynge, of the olyphauntes that they drad no thynge more than the jarrynge of swyne, wherefore he made to gader to gyder all ye swyne that myghte be goten, and caused them to be dryuen as ny the olyphauntes as they myghte well here the jarrynge of the swyne, and thenne they made a pygge to crye, and whan the swyne herde the pygges a none they made a great jarrynge, and as soone as the olyphauntes herde that, they began to fle eche one, and keste downe the castelles and slewe the knyghtes that were in them, and by this meane Alysaunder had ye vyctory."—Liber Festivalis, printed by W. Caxton in 1483.

[Pg 10]


The memory of a great and good man is imperishable. A thousand years may pass away, but the fame that has survived the wreck of time remains unsullied, and is even brighter with age.

"The actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust."

In an age of progress like our own we have frequently to regret the destruction (sometimes necessary) of places associated with the genius of the past; but in the case of Sir Isaac Newton we have several relics existing, none of which, perhaps, are more interesting than the house in which he resided, still standing in St. Martin's Street, on the south side of Leicester Square. The engravings of the interior and exterior of this building have been made from drawings made on the spot. The house was long occupied as an hotel for foreigners, and was kept by a M. Pagliano. In 1814 it was devoted to the purposes of education. The Observatory, which is at the top, and where Sir Isaac Newton made his astronomical researches, was left in a dilapidated condition until 1824, when two gentlemen, belonging to a committee of the school, had it repaired at their own expense, and wrote a brief memoir of the philosopher, which was placed in the Observatory, with a portrait of him.


In this house Sir Isaac Newton resided for many years; and it was here, according to his biographer, that he dispensed, under the superintendence of his beautiful niece, an elegant hospitality. Our sketch gives a good idea of the appearance of the exterior of the house at the present [Pg 11] day; the front, it will be seen, has been well plastered, which, although clean and pleasant-looking to some eyes, seems to us to destroy the character of the building. The old doorway, with a projecting top, has also been removed. The interior of the house is in excellent repair, and has undergone very little change. The cornices, panelling, and the spacious staircase, are not altered since the days of Newton. The rooms are very large. Tradition states it was in the back drawing-room that the manuscript of his work, the "New Theory of Light and Colours," was destroyed by fire, caused by a favourite little dog in Sir Isaac's absence. The name of this canine incendiary was Diamond. The manner in which the accident occurred is thus related:—The animal was wantoning about the philosopher's study, when it knocked down a candle, and set fire to a heap of manuscript calculations upon which he had been employed for years. The loss was irretrievable; but Sir Isaac only exclaimed [Pg 12] with simplicity, "Ah, Diamond, Diamond, you little know what mischief you have been doing!"

Passing upstairs, and looking slightly at the various rooms, which are all well panelled, but which do not require particular notice, we reached the little observatory shown in the engraving. There, in the room in which Sir Isaac has quietly studied, and in which he may have held conferences with the most distinguished of his contemporaries, we found two shoemakers busily at work, with whom we had some pleasant conversation. Our artist has represented the interior of the observatory, with its laborious occupants, worthy sons of St. Crispin. Shoemakers are well known to be a thoughtful class of men, although sometimes they unfortunately do not make the best use of their knowledge. Brand, the historian and author of the excellent book on "Popular Antiquities," was at one time a shoemaker; so was Bloomfield, the poet, who, when working at the "last" in Bell Alley, near the Bank, strung together the charming recollection of his plough-boy life. We could give a long list of shoemakers who have been eminent for talents.

We have not the exact date at which Newton came to reside here, but certainly he was living in this house, at intervals, after 1695, when he was appointed Warder of the Mint, of which establishment he rose to be Master in the course of three years. The emoluments of this office amounted to £1200 a-year, which enabled him to live in ease and dignity.

In 1703 he was chosen President of the Royal Society—an honourable post, to which he was annually elected until the time of his death.


An idea of the popular notions about poisoning in the middle of the seventeenth century, may be formed from the following extract from an old tract, published in 1652, with the title of "Papa Patris, or the Pope in his Colours":—"Anno Dom: 1596; one Edward Squire, sometimes a scrivener at Grenewich, afterwards a deputy purveyor for the Queene's stable, in Sir Francis Drake's last voyage was taken prisoner and carried into Spaine, and being set at liberty, one Walpole, a Jesuite, grew acquainted with him, and got him into the Inquisition, whence he returned a resolved Papist, he persuaded Squire to undertake to poyson the pummell of the Queene (Elizabeth's) saddle, and, to make him constant, made Squire receive the Sacrament upon it; he then gave him the poyson, showing that he should take it in a double bladder, and should prick the bladder full of hoales in the upper part, when he should use it (carrying it within a thick glove for the safety of his hand) should after turne it downward, pressing the bladder upon the pummell of the Queene's saddle. This Squire confest. Squire is now in Spaine, and for his safer dispatch into England it was devised that two Spanish prisoners taken at Cales should be exchanged for Squire and one Rawles, that it might not be thought that Squire came over but as a redeemed captive. The Munday sennight after Squire returned into England, he, understanding the horses were preparing for the Queene's riding abroad, laid his hand, and crushed the poyson upon the pummell of the Queene's saddle, saying, 'God save the Queene,' the Queene rode abroad, and as it should seem [Pg 13] laid not her hand upon the place, or els received no hurt (through God's goodnesse) by touching it. Walpole, counting the thing as done, imparted it to some principall fugitives there, but being disappointed of his hope, supposing Squire to have been false, to be revenged on him sent one hither (who should pretend to have stolne from thence) with letters, wherein the plot of Squires was contained; this letter was pretended to be stolne out of one of their studies. Squire, being apprehended, confessed all without any rigor, but after denied that he put it in execution, although he acknowledged he consented to it in the plot, at length he confessed the putting it in execution also."


June 9, 1786.—On Whit-Tuesday was celebrated at Hendon, in Middlesex, a burlesque imitation of the Olympic Games. One prize was a gold-laced hat, to be grinned for by six candidates, who were placed on a platform, with horses' collars to exhibit through. Over their heads was printed in capitals,—

Detur Tetriori; or
The ugliest grinner
Shall be the winner.

Each party grinned five minutes solus, and then all united in a grand chorus of distortion. This prize was carried by a porter to a vinegar merchant, though he was accused by his competitors of foul play, for rinsing his mouth with verjuice. The whole was concluded by a hog, with has tail shaved and soaped, being let loose among nine peasants; any one of which that could seize him by the queue, and throw him across his shoulders, was to have him for a reward. This occasioned much sport: the animal, after running some miles, so tired his hunters that they gave up the chase in despair. A prodigious concourse of people attended, among whom were the Tripoline Ambassador, and several other persons of distinction.


A Neapolitan soldier who had been bitten by a tarantula, though apparently cured, suffered from an annual attack of delirium, after which he used to sink into a state of profound melancholy; his face becoming livid, his sight obscure, his power of breathing checked, accompanied by sighs and heavings. Sometimes he fell senseless, and devoid of pulsation; ejecting blood from his nose and mouth, and apparently dying. Recourse was had to the influence of music; and the patient began to revive at the sound, his hands marking the measure, and the feet being similarly affected. Suddenly rising and laying hold of a bystander, he began to dance with the greatest agility during an uninterrupted course of four-and-twenty hours. His strength was supported by administering to him wine, milk, and fresh eggs. If he appeared to relapse, the music was repeated, on which he resumed his dancing. This unfortunate being used to fall prostrate if the music accidentally stopped, and imagine that the tarantula had again stung him. After a few years he died, in one of these annual attacks of delirium.

[Pg 14]


——————"Now, too, is heard
The hapless cripple, tuning through the streets
His carol new; and oft, amid the gloom
Of midnight hours, prevail th' accustom'd sounds
Of wakeful waits, whose harmony (composed
Of hautboy, organ, violin, and flute,
And various other instruments of mirth),
Is meant to celebrate the coming time."

The manner in which this period of the year has been observed has often varied. The observances of the day first became to be pretty general in the Catholic church about the year 300. By some of our ancestors it was viewed in the double light of a religious and joyful season of festivities. The midnight preceding Christmas-day every person went to mass, and on Christmas-day three different masses were sung with much solemnity. Others celebrated it with great parade, splendour, and conviviality. Business was superseded by merriment and hospitality; the most careworn countenance brightened on the occasion. The nobles and the barons encouraged and participated in the various sports: the industrious labourer's cot, and the residence of proud royalty, equally resounded with tumultuous joy. From Christmas-day to Twelfth-day there was a continued run of entertainments. Not only [Pg 15] did our ancestors make great rejoicings on, but before and after Christmas-day. By a law in the time of Alfred, the "twelve days after the nativity of our Saviour were made festivals;" [1] and it likewise appears from Bishop Holt, that the whole of the days were dedicated to feasting.

Our ancestors' various amusements were conducted by a sort of master of the ceremonies, called the "Lord of Misrule," whose duty it was to keep order during the celebration of the different sports and pastimes. The universities, the lord mayor and sheriffs, and all noblemen and gentlemen, had their "lords of misrule." These "lords" were first preached against at Cambridge by the Puritans, in the reign of James I., as unbecoming the gravity of the university.


The custom of serving boars' heads at Christmas bears an ancient date, and much ceremony and parade has been occasionally attached to it. Henry II. "served his son (upon the young prince's coronation) at the table as server, bringing up the boar's head with trumpets before it."

The custom of strolling from street to street with musical instruments and singing seems to have originated from a very ancient practice which[Pg 16] prevailed, of certain minstrels who were attached to the king's court and other great persons, who paraded the streets, and sounded the hour—thus acting as a sort of watchmen. Some slight remains of these still exist, but they no longer partake of the authoritative claim as they originally did, as the "lord mayor's music," &c. It may not, perhaps, be generally known, that even at the present day "waits" are regularly sworn before the "court of burgesses" at Westminster, and act under the authority of a warrant, signed by the clerk, and sealed with the arms of the city and liberty; in addition to which, they were bound to provide themselves with a silver badge, also bearing the arms of Westminster.

In the north they have their Yule log, or Yuletide log, which is a huge log burning in the chimney corner, whilst the Yule cakes are baked on a "girdle," (a kind of frying-pan) over the fire; little lads and maidens assemble nightly at some neighbouring friends to hear the goblin story, and join in "fortune-telling," or some game. There is a part of an old song which runs thus:

"Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke.
And Christmas logs are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meate choke,
And all their spits are turning."

Among the plants usual to Christmas are the rosemary, the holly, and the mistletoe. Gay says:

"When rosemary and bays, the poet's crown,
Are bawled in frequent cries through all the town,
Then judge the festival of Christmas near—
Christmas, the joyous period of the year.
Now with bright holly all your temples strow,
With laurel green and sacred mistletoe."


"The wind being easterly, we had thirty fathoms of water, when at ten o'clock in the morning a sea monster like a man appeared near our ship, first on the larboard, where the master was, whose name is William Lomone, who took a grappling iron to pull him up; but our captain, named Oliver Morin, hindered him, being afraid that the monster would drag him away into the sea. The said Lomone struck him on the back, to make him turn about, that he might view him the better. The monster, being struck, showed his face, having his two hands closed as if he had expressed some anger. Afterwards he went round the ship: when he was at the stern, he took hold of the helm with both hands, and we were obliged to make it fast lest he should damage it. From thence he proceeded to the starboard, swimming still as men do. When he came to the forepart of the ship, he viewed for some time the figure that was in our prow, which represented a beautiful woman, and then he rose out of the water as if he had been willing to catch that figure. All this happened in the sight of the whole crew. Afterwards he came again to the larboard, where they presented to him a cod-fish hanging down with a rope; he handled it without spoiling it, and then removed the length of a cable and came again to the stern, where he took hold of the helm a [Pg 17] second time. At that very moment, Captain Morin got a harping-iron ready, and took it himself to strike him with it; but the cordage being entangled, he missed his aim, and the harping-iron touched only the monster, who turned about, showing his face, as he had done before. Afterwards he came again to the fore part, and viewed again the figure in our prow. The mate called for the harping-iron; but he was frightened, fancying that this monster was one La Commune, who had killed himself in the ship the year before, and had been thrown into the sea in the same passage. He was contented to push his back with the harping-iron, and then the monster showed his face, as he had done at other times. Afterwards he came along the board, so that one might have given him the hand. He had the boldness to take a rope held up by John Mazier and John Deffiete, who being willing to pluck it out of his hands, drew him to our board; but he fell into the water and then removed at the distance of a gun's shot. He came again immediately near our board, and rising out of the water to the navel, we observed that his breast was as large as that of a woman of the best plight. He turned upon his back and appeared to be a male. Afterwards he swam again round the ship, and then went away, and we have never seen him since. I believe that from ten o'clock till twelve that this monster was along our board; if the crew had not been frighted, he might have been taken many times with the hand, being only two feet distant. That monster is about eight feet long, his skin is brown and tawny, without any scales, all his motions are like those of men, the eyes of a proportionable size, a little mouth, a large and flat nose, very white teeth, black hair, the chin covered with a mossy beard, a sort of whiskers under the nose, the ears like those of men, fins between the fingers of his hands and feet like those of ducks. In a word, he is a well-shaped man. Which is certified to be true by Captain Oliver Morin, and John Martin, pilot, and by the whole crew, consisting of two and thirty men."—An article from Brest, in the Memoirs of Trevoux.—This monster was mentioned in the Gazette of Amsterdam, October 12, 1725, where it is said it was seen in the ocean in August, same year.


At Bristol I saw a shaved monkey shown for a fairy; and a shaved bear, in a check waistcoat and trousers, sitting in a great chair as an Ethiopian savage. This was the most cruel fraud I ever saw. The unnatural position of the beast, and the damnable brutality of the woman-keeper who sat upon his knee, put her arm round his neck, called him husband and sweet-heart, and kissed him, made it the most disgusting spectacle I ever witnessed! Cottle was with me.—Southey.


As for the origin of wigs, the honour of the invention is attributed to the luxurious Sapygians in Southern Italy. The Louvain theologians, who published a French version of the Bible, affected, however, to discover the first mention of perukes in a passage in the fourth chapter of Isaiah. The Vulgate has these words: "Decalvabit Dominus verticem filiarum Sion, et Dominus crinem earum nudabit." This, the Louvain [Pg 18] gentlemen translated into French as follows: "Le Seigneur déchèvelera les têtes des filles de Sion, et le Seigneur découvrira leurs perruques;" which, done into English, implies that "The Lord will pluck the hair from the heads of the daughters of Sion, and will expose their periwigs."

DRESS IN 1772.

Dress in 1772

The year 1772 introduced a new style for gentlemen, imported by a number of young men of fashion who had travelled into Italy, and formed an association called the Maccaroni Club, in contradistinction to the Beef-steak Club of London. Hence these new-fashioned dandies were styled Maccaronies, a name that was afterwards applied to ladies of the same genus. The accompanying cut delineates the peculiarities of both. The hair of the gentleman was dressed in an enormous toupee, with very large curls at the sides; while behind it was gathered and tied up into an enormous club, or knot, that rested on the back of the neck like a porter's knot; upon this an exceedingly small hat was worn, which was sometimes lifted from the head with the cane, generally very long, and decorated with extremely large silk tassels; a full white handkerchief was tied in a large bow round the neck; frills from the shirt-front projected from the top of the waistcoat, which was much shortened, reaching very little below the waist, and being without the flap-covered pockets. The coat was also short, reaching only to the hips, fitting closely, having a small turn-over collar as now worn; it was edged with lace or braid, or decorated with frog-buttons, tassels, or embroidery; the breeches were tight, of spotted or striped silk, with enormous bunches of strings at the knee. A watch was carried in each pocket, from which hung bunches of chains and seals: silk stockings and small shoes with little diamond buckles completed the gentleman's dress. The ladies decorated their heads much like the gentlemen, with a most enormous heap of hair, which was frequently surmounted by plumes of large feathers and bunches of flowers, until the head seemed to overbalance the body. The gown was open in front; hoops were discarded except in full-dress; and the gown gradually spread outward from the waist, and trailed upon the ground behind, shewing the rich laced petticoat ornamented with flowers and needlework; the sleeves widened to the elbow, where a succession of ruffles and lappets, each wider than the other, hung down below the hips.

[Pg 19]


During the Commonwealth, when puritanical feelings held iron sway over the rulers of the land, and rode rampant in high places, many strong attempts were made to put down what they were pleased to term superstitious festivals, and amongst these was that of Christmas Day. So determined was the Puritan party to sweep away all vestiges of evil creeds and evil deeds, that they were resolved to make one grand attempt upon the time-honoured season of Christmas. The Holly and the Mistletoe-bough were to be cut up root and branch, as plants of the Evil One. Cakes and Ale were held to be impious libations to superstition; and the Roundheads would have none of it.


Accordingly, we learn that, in the year 1647, the Cromwell party ordered throughout the principal towns and cities of the country, by the mouth of the common crier, that Christmas Day should no longer be observed—it being a superstitious and hurtful custom; and that in place thereof, and the more effectually to work a change, markets should be held on the 25th day of December.

This was attacking the people, especially the country folks, in their most sensitive part. It was hardly to be expected that they would quietly submit to such a bereavement; nor did they, as the still-existing "News-letters" of those days amply testify.

[Pg 20]


VIII. Past eight o'clock! O, Herrenhuth, do thou ponder;
Eight souls in Noah's ark were living yonder.
IX.    'Tis nine o'clock! ye brethren, hear it striking;
Keep hearts and houses clean, to our Saviour's liking.
X.     Now, brethren, hear, the clock is ten and passing;
None rest but such as wait for Christ embracing.
XI.    Eleven is past! still at this hour eleven,
The Lord is calling us from earth to heaven.
XII.   Ye brethren, hear, the midnight clock is humming;
At midnight, our great Bridegroom will be coming.
I.       Past one o'clock; the day breaks out of darkness:
Great Morning-star appear, and break our hardness!
II.     'Tis two! on Jesus wait this silent season,
Ye two so near related, will and reason.
III.    The clock is three! the blessed Three doth merit
The best of praise, from body, soul, and spirit.
IV.    'Tis four o'clock, when three make supplication,
The Lord will be the fourth on that occasion.
V.      Five is the clock! five virgins were discarded,
When five with wedding garments were rewarded.
VI.    The clock is six, and I go off my station;
 Now, brethren, watch yourselves for your salvation.


On the evening of the 21st February, 1822, the shop of Mr. Coxon, chandler, at the Folly, Sandgate, in Newcastle, was left in charge of his daughter, about nine years of age, and a large mastiff, which is generally kept there as a safeguard since an attempt was made to rob the shop. The child had on a straw bonnet lined with silk, which took fire from coming too near the candle. She endeavoured to pull it off, but being tied, she could not effect her purpose, and in her terror shrieked out, on which the mastiff instantly sprang to her assistance, and with mouth and paws completely smothered out the flame by pressing the bonnet together. The lining of the bonnet and the child's hair only were burnt.


About sixty years since, two characters, equally singular in their way, resided at Cambridge: Paris, a well-known bookseller, and Jackson, a bookbinder, and principal bass-singer at Trinity College Chapel in that University; these two gentlemen, who were both remarkably corpulent, were such small consumers in the article of bread, that their abstemiousness in that particular was generally noticed; but, to make amends, they gave way to the greatest excess and indulgence of their appetites in meat, poultry, and fish, of almost every description. So one day, having taken an excursion, in walking a few miles from home, [Pg 21] they were overtaken by hunger, and, on entering a public-house, the only provision they could procure was a clod of beef, weighing near fourteen pounds, which had been a day or two in salt; and this these two moderate bread consumers contrived to manage between them broiled, assisted by a due proportion of buttered potatoes and pickles. The landlord of the house, having some knowledge of his guests, the story got into circulation, and the two worthies were ever after denominated the Cambridge Clods!


March 26.—Mention occurs of a petition in the common council books of Newcastle, of this date, and signed, no doubt, by the inhabitants, concerning witches, the purport of which appears, from what followed, to have been to cause all such persons as were suspected of that crime to be apprehended and brought to trial. In consequence of this, the magistrates sent two of their sergeants, viz.—Thomas Shevill and Cuthbert Nicholson, into Scotland, to agree with a Scotchman, who pretended knowledge to find out witches, by pricking them with pins, to come to Newcastle, where he should try such who should be brought to him, and to have twenty shillings a piece, for all he should condemn as witches, and free passage thither and back again. When the sergeants had brought the said witch-finder on horseback to town, the magistrates sent their bellman through the town, ringing his bell and crying, all people that would bring in any complaint against any woman for a witch, they should be sent for, and tried by the person appointed. Thirty women were brought into the town-hall, and stripped, and then openly had pins thrust into their bodies, and most of them were found guilty. The said reputed witch-finder acquainted Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Hobson, deputy-governor of Newcastle, that he knew women whether they were witches or no by their looks; and when the said person was searching of a personable and good-like woman, the said colonel replied, and said, surely this woman is none, and need not be tried, but the Scotchman said she was, and, therefore, he would try her; and presently, in the sight of all the people, laid her body naked to the waist, with her cloathes over her head, by which fright and shame all her blood contracted into one part of her body, and then he ran a pin into her thigh, and then suddenly let her cloathes fall, and then demanded whether she had nothing of his in her body, but did not bleed! but she being amazed, replied little; then he put his hands up her cloathes and pulled out the pin, and set her aside as a guilty person, and child of the devil, and fell to try others, whom he made guilty. Lieutenant-Colonel Hobson, perceiving the alteration of the aforesaid woman, by her blood settling in her right parts, caused that woman to be brought again, and her cloathes pulled up to her thigh, and required the Scot to run the pin into the same place, and then it gushed out of blood, and the said Scot cleared her, and said she was not a child of the devil. The witch-finder set aside twenty-seven out of the thirty suspected persons, and in consequence, fourteen witches and one wizard, belonging to Newcastle, were executed on the town moor.

[Pg 22]


The adventures of Alexander Selkirk, an English sailor, who, more than one hundred and fifty years since, was left alone on the island of Juan Fernandez are very wonderful.

This extraordinary man sought to beguile his solitude by rearing kids, and he would often sing to them, and dance with his motley group around him. His clothes having worn out, he dressed himself in garments made from the skins of such as run wild about the island; these he sewed together with thongs of the same material. His only needle was a long slender nail; and when his knife was no longer available, he made an admirable substitute from an iron hoop that was cast ashore.

Alexander Selkirk and the Dancing Goats

Upon the wonderful sojourn of this man, Defoe founded his exquisite tale of "Robinson Crusoe," a narrative more extensively read and better known than perhaps any other ever written.


A curious anecdote of Jacob Bobart, keeper of the physic garden at Oxford, occurs in one of Grey's notes to Hudibras—"He made a dead rat resemble the common picture of dragons, by altering its head and tail, and thrusting in taper sharp sticks, which, distended the skin on each side till it resembled wings. He let it dry as hard as possible. The learned immediately pronounced it a dragon; and one of them sent an accurate description of it to Dr. Magliabecchi, librarian to the Grand Duke of Tuscany; several fine copies of verses were wrote on so rare a subject; but at last Mr. Bobart owned the cheat. However, it was looked upon as a masterpiece of the art; and, as such, deposited in the Museum."

[Pg 23]


Blind Jack

The streets of London, in the reigns of Queen Anne and Georges I. and II., were infested with all sorts of paupers, vagabonds, impostors, and common adventurers; and many, who otherwise might be considered real objects of charity, by their disgusting manners and general appearance in public places, rather merited the interference of the parish beadles, and the discipline of Bridewell, than the countenance and encouragement of such persons as mostly congregated around common street exhibitions. One-eyed Granny and Blind Jack were particular nuisances to the neighbourhoods in which the first practised her [Pg 24] mad-drunk gambols, and the latter his beastly manner of performing on the flageolet. John Keiling, alias Blind Jack, having the misfortune to lose his sight, thought of a strange method to insure himself a livelihood. He was constitutionally a hale, robust fellow, without any complaint, saving blindness, and having learnt to play a little on the flageolet, he conceived a notion that, by performing on that instrument in a different way to that generally practised, he should render himself more noticed by the public, and be able to levy larger contributions on their pockets.

The manner of Blind Jack's playing the flageolet was by obtruding the mouthpiece of the instrument up one of his nostrils, and, by long custom, he could produce as much wind as most others with their lips into the pipe; but the continued contortion and gesticulation of his muscles and countenance rendered him an object of derision and disgust, as much as that of charity and commiseration.


Ah iz i truth a country youth,
Neean us'd teea Lunnon fashions;
Yet vartue guides, an' still presides,
Ower all mah steps an' passions.
Neea coortly leear, bud all sincere,
Neea bribe shall ivver blinnd me,
If thoo can like a Yorkshire tike,
A rooague thoo'll nivver finnd me.
Thof envy's tung, seea slimlee hung,
Wad lee aboot oor country,
Neea men o' t' eearth booast greter wurth,
Or mare extend ther boounty.
Oor northern breeze wi' uz agrees,
An' does for wark weel fit uz;
I' public cares, an' all affairs,
Wi' honour we acquit uz.
Seea gret a moind is ne'er confiand,
Tu onny shire or nation;
They geean meeast praise weea weel displays
A leearned iddicasion.
Whahl rancour rolls i' lahtle souls,
By shallo views dissarning,
They're nobbut wise 'at awlus prize
Gud manners, sense, and leearnin.


Tertullian says, "If you will not fling away your false hair, as hateful to Heaven, cannot I make it hateful to yourselves, by reminding you that the false hair you wear may have come not only from a criminal, but from a very dirty head; perhaps from the head of one already damned?" This was a very hard hit indeed; but it was not nearly so clever a stroke at wigs as that dealt by Clemens of Alexandria. The latter informed the astounded wig-wearers, when they knelt at church to receive the blessing, that they must be good enough to recollect that the benediction remained on the wig, and did not pass through to the wearer! This was a stumbling-block to the people; many of whom, however, retained the peruke, and took their chance as to the percolating through it of the benediction.


Linnæus states the cow to eat 276 plants, and to refuse 218; the goat eats 449, and declines 126; the sheep takes 387, and rejects 141; the horse likes 262, and avoids 212; but the hog, more nice in its provision than any of the former, eats but 72 plants, and rejects 171.

[Pg 25]


The following announcements are curious, as showing the merchandise light in which the negro was regarded in America while yet a colony of Great Britain:—


A Choice Parcel of Muscovado and Powder Sugars, in Hogsheads, Tierces, and Barrels; Ravens, Duck, and a Negro Woman and Negro Boy.—The Coach-House and Stables, with or without the Garden Spot, formerly the Property of Joseph Murray, Esq; in the Broad Way, to be let separately or together:—Inquire of said Francis Lewis.

New York Gazette, Apr. 25, 1765.

This Day Run away from John M' Comb, Junier, an Indian Woman, about 17 Years of Age, Pitted in the face, of a middle Stature and Indifferent fatt, having on her a Drugat, Wastcoat, and Kersey Petticoat, of a Light Collour. If any Person or Persons, shall bring the said Girle to her said Master, shall be Rewarded for their Trouble to their Content.

American Weekly Mercury, May 24, 1726.

A Female Negro Child (of an extraordinary good Breed) to be given away; Inquire of Edes and Gill.

Boston Gazette, Feb. 25, 1765.

To be Sold, for want of Employ.

A Likely Negro Fellow, about 25 Years of Age, he is an extraordinary good Cook, and understands setting or tending a Table very well, likewise all Kind of House Work, such as washing, scouring, scrubbing, &c. Also a Negro Wench his Wife, about 17 Years old, born in this City, and understands all Sorts of House Work. For farther Particulars inquire of the Printer.

New York Gazette, Mar. 21, 1765.


The following is extracted from the register of St. Andrew's, in Newcastle:—"April 24th, 1695, wear buried, James Archer and his son Stephen, who, in the moneth of May, 1658, were drowned in a coal-pit in the Galla-Flat, by the breaking in of water from an old waste. The bodys were found intire, after they had lyen in the water 36 years and 11 months."


Reaumur relates the following anecdote of which he was a witness:—A queen bee, and some of her attendants, were apparently drowned in a brook. He took them out of the water, and found that neither the queen bee, nor her attendants were quite dead. Reaumur exposed them to a gentle heat, by which they were revived. The plebeian bees recovered first. The moment they saw signs of animation in their queen, they approached her, and bestowed upon her all the care in their power, licking and rubbing her; and when the queen had acquired sufficient force to move, they hummed aloud, as if in triumph!

[Pg 26]


A singular dream, which happened to this monarch when passing over to Normandy in 1130, has been depicted in a manuscript of Florence of Worcester, in Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The rapacity and oppressive taxation of his government, and the reflection forced on him by his own unpopular measures, may have originated the vision. He imagined himself to have been visited by the representatives of the three most important grades of society—the husbandmen, the knights, and the clergy—who gathered round his bed, and so fearfully menaced him, that he awoke in great alarm, and, seizing his sword, loudly called for his attendants. The drawings that accompany this narrative, and represent each of these visions, appear to have been executed shortly afterwards, and are valuable illustrations of the general costume of the period. One of them is introduced in this place.

Dream of King Henry I

The king is here seen sleeping; behind him stand three husbandmen, one carrying a scythe, another a pitchfork, and the third a shovel. They are each dressed in simple tunics, without girdles, with plain close-fitting sleeves; the central one has a mantle fastened by a plain brooch, leaving the right arm free. The beards of two of these figures are as ample as those of their lords, this being an article of fashionable indulgence within their means. The one with the scythe wears a hat not unlike the felt hat still worn by his descendants in the same grade: the scroll in his left hand is merely placed there to contain the words he is supposed to utter to the king.


Sepulchral Barrow of the Anglo-Saxons

The engraving on the next page is copied from a plate in Douglas's Neniæ and represents one of the most ancient of the Kentish barrows opened by him in the Chatham Lines, Sept. 1779; and it will enable the reader at once to understand the structure of these early graves, and the interesting nature of their contents. The outer circle marks the extent of the mound covering the body, and which varied considerably in elevation, sometimes being but a few inches or a couple of feet from the level of the ground, at others of a gigantic structure. In the centre of the mound, and at the depth of a few feet from the surface, an oblong rectangular grave is cut, the space between that and the outer circle being filled in with chalk, broken into small bits, and deposited carefully and[Pg 27] firmly around and over the grave. The grave contained the body of a male adult, tall and well-proportioned, holding in his right hand a spear, the shaft of which was of wood, and had perished, leaving only the iron head, 15 inches in length, and at the bottom a flat iron stud (a), having, a small pin in the centre, which would appear to have been driven into the bottom of the spear-handle; an iron knife lay by the right side, with remains of the original handle of wood. Adhering to its under side were very discernible impressions of coarse linen cloth, showing that the warrior was buried in full costume. An iron sword is on the left side, thirty-five and a quarter inches in its entire length, from the point to the bottom of the handle, which is all in one piece, the wood-work which covered the handle having perished; the blade thirty inches in length and two in breadth, flat, double-edged, and sharp-pointed, a great portion of wood covering the blade, which indicates that it was buried with a scabbard, the external covering being of leather, the internal of wood. A leathern strap passed round the waist, from which hung the knife and sword, and which was secured by the brass buckle (b), which was found near the last bone of the vertebræ, or close to the os sacrum. Between the thigh-bones lay the iron umbo of a shield, which had been fastened by studs of iron, four of which were found near it, the face and reverse of one being represented at (c.) A thin plate of iron (d), four and a half inches in length, lay exactly under the centre of the umbo, having two rivets at the end, between which and the umbo were the remnants of the original wooden (and perhaps hide-bound) shield; the rivets of the umbo having apparently passed through the wood to this plate as its bracer or stay. In a recess at the feet was placed a vase of red earth, slightly ornamented round the neck with concentric circles and zigzag lines.


Willoughby states in his work on Ornithology, that a friend of his possessed a gander eighty years of age; which in the end became so ferocious that they were forced to kill it, in consequence of the havock it committed in the barn-yard. He also talks of a swan three centuries old; and several celebrated parrots are said to have attained from one hundred to one hundred and fifty years.

[Pg 28]


M. Brady, Physician to Prince Charles of Lorraine, gives the following particulars of an extraordinary sleeper:—

"A woman, named Elizabeth Alton, of a healthful strong constitution, who had been servant to the curate of St. Guilain, near the town of Mons, about the beginning of the year 1738, when she was about thirty-six years of age grew extremely restless and melancholy. In the month of August, in the same year, she fell into a sleep which held four days, notwithstanding all possible endeavours to awake her. At length she awoke naturally, but became more restless and uneasy than before; for six or seven days, however, she resumed her usual employments, until she fell asleep again, which continued eighteen hours. From that time to the year 1753, which is fifteen years, she fell asleep daily about three o'clock in the morning, without waking until about eight or nine at night. In 1754 indeed her sleep returned to the natural periods for four months, and, in 1748, a tertian ague prevented her sleeping for three weeks. On February 20, 1755, M. Brady, with a surgeon, went to see her. About five o'clock in the evening, they found her pulse extremely regular; on taking hold of her arm it was so rigid, that it was not bent without much trouble. They then attempted to lift up her head, but her neck and back were as stiff as her arms. He hallooed in her ear as loud as his voice could reach; he thrust a needle into her flesh up to the bone; he put a piece of rag to her nose flaming with spirits of wine, and let it burn some time, yet all without being able to disturb her in the least. At length, in about six hours and a half, her limbs began to relax; in eight hours she turned herself in the bed, and then suddenly raised herself up, sat down by the fire, ate heartily, and began to spin. At other times, they whipped her till the blood came; they rubbed her back with honey, and then exposed it to the stings of bees; they thrust nails under her finger-nails; and it seems these triers of experiments consulted more the gratifying their own curiosity than the recovery of the unhappy object of the malady."


Keysler, in his travels, speaks of a corpulent Englishman, who in passing through Savoy, was obliged to make use of twelve chairmen. He is said to have weighed five hundred and fifty pounds, or thirty-nine stone four pounds.


A gentleman travelling through Mecklenburg, some years since, witnessed a singular association of incongruous animals. After dinner, the landlord of the inn placed on the floor a large dish of soup, and gave a loud whistle. Immediately there came into the room a mastiff, an Angora cat, an old raven, and a remarkably large rat, with a bell about its neck. They all four went to the dish, and, without disturbing each other, fed together; after which the dog, cat, and rat, lay before the fire, while the raven hopped about the room. The landlord, after accounting for the familiarity of these animals, informed his guest [Pg 29] that the rat was the most useful of the four; for the noise he made had completely freed his house from the rats and mice with which it was before infested.


We have just now before us a drawing of an old piece of ordnance, formed of bars of iron, strongly hooped with the same material, which forms a striking contrast with the finely-wrought cannons which may be seen in store at Woolwich Arsenal, and elsewhere, at the present day. The exact date and manner of the introduction of cannon is a matter which has caused much dispute. The earliest mention of the use of cannon on shipboard is in Rymer's "Fœdera." It is an order to Henry Somer, Keeper of the Private Wardrobe in the Tower, to deliver to Mr. Goveney, Treasurer to Queen Philippa, Queen of Sweeden, Denmark, and Norway, (who was then sent by her uncle, Henry the Fourth, to her husband, in the ship called the Queen's Hall,) the following military stores: 11 guns, 40 petras pro gunnes, 40 tumpers, 4 torches, 1 mallet, 2 fire-pans, 40 pavys, 24 bows, 40 sheaves of arrows.

After the old cannon composed of bars of iron, hooped together, had been some time in use, hand-cannon, a simple tube fixed on a straight stake, was used in warfare, charged with gunpowder and an iron bullet. This was made with trunnions and casabel precisely like the large cannon. In course of time, the touch-hole was improved, and the barrel cast in brass. This, fixed to a rod, had much the appearance of a large sky-rocket. What is now called the stock was originally called the frame of the gun.

Various improvements were from time to time made in the hand-gun, amongst which was a pan fixed for containing the touch-powder. In rainy weather, this became a receptacle for water; to obviate which, a small piece of brass made to turn on a pin was placed as a cover. This done, there was a difficulty in preserving the aim in consequence of the liability of the eye to be diverted from the sight by the motion of the right hand when conveying the lighted match to the priming. This was, to a certain extent, prevented by a piece of brass being fixed to the breech and perforated. The improved plan for holding the lighted match for firing the hand-guns is shown in the engraving of the Buckler and Pistol; it consists of a thin piece of metal something in shape of an S reversed, the upper part slit to hold the match, the lower pushed up by the hand when entended to ignite the powder.

After the invention of the hand-cannon, its use became general in a very short space of time in most parts of the civilized world.

Philip de Comines, in his account of the battle of Morat, in 1476, says he encountered in the confederate army 10,000 arquebusiers.

The arquebusiers in Hans Burgmain's plates of the "Triumph of Maximilian the First," have suspended from their necks large powder flasks or horns, a bullet bag on the right hip, and a sword on the left, while they carry the matchlock in their hands.

Henry the Eighth's Walking-stick, as the Yeomen of Guard at the Tower call it, is a short spiked mace, in the head of which are three [Pg 30] short guns or pistols, which may be fired at very primitive touch-holes by a match.

The Revolver has four barrels, and although clumsy in construction, is not very different in principles from those recently introduced.

1. Henry the Eighth's Walking-stick. 2. A Revolver of the Fifteenth century. 3. Buckler, with Pistol inserted.

The use of the pistol inserted inside the buckler is obvious as the latter affords protection to the person while using the former.

[Pg 31]



In 1772 the Maccaronies, as the exquisites of that time were called, wore wigs similar to 1, 2, 3, with a large toupee, noticed as early as 1731, in the play of the Modern Husband: "I meet with nothing but a parcel of toupet coxcombs, who plaster up their brains upon their periwigs," alluding to the pometum with which they were covered. Those worn by the ladies in 1772 are given as 4, showing the rows of curls at the sides. The pig-tails were worn hanging down the back, or tied up in a knot behind, as in 5. About 1780 the hair which formed it was allowed to stream in a long lock down the back, as in 6, and soon afterwards was turned up in a knot behind. Towards the end of the century, the wig, as a general and indispensable article of attire to young and old, went out of fashion.


At Falmouth, some years ago, the sexton found coal in digging a grave; he concluded it must be a mine, and ran with the news and the specimen to the clergyman. The surgeon explained that they had stolen a French prisoner who died, and filled his coffin with coal that the bearers might not discover its emptiness.

[Pg 32]


As far back as the Anglo-Saxon times, before the conclusion of the seventh century, bells had been in use in the churches of this country, particularly in the monastic societies of Northumbria; and were, therefore, in use from the first erection of parish churches among us. Those of France and England appear to have been furnished with several bells. In the time of Clothaire II., King of France, and in the year 610, the army of that king was frightened from the siege of the city of Sens, by ringing the bells of St. Stephen's Church. They were sometimes composed of iron in France; and in England, as formerly at Rome, they were frequently made of brass. And as early as the ninth century many were cast of a large size and deep note.

Weever, in his work on funeral monuments, says—"In the little sanctuary at Westminster, King Edward III., erected a clochier, and placed therein three bells, for the use of St. Stephen's Chapel. About the biggest of them were cast in the metal these words:—

"King Edward made mee thirty thousand weight and three;
Take me down and wey mee, and more you shall find mee."

"But these bells being taken down in the reign of Henry VIII., one wrote underneath with a coal:—

"But Henry the Eight,
Will bait me of my weight."

This last distich alludes to a fact mentioned by Stow, in his survey of London—ward of Farringdon Within to wit—that near to St. Paul's School stood a clochier, in which were four bells, called Jesus' bells, the greatest in all England, against which Sir Miles Partridge staked an hundred pounds, and won them of Henry VIII., at a cast of dice.

Matthew Paris observes, that anciently the use of bells was prohibited in time of mourning. Mabillon adds, that it was an old practice to ring the bells for persons about to expire, to advertise the people to pray for them—whence our passing-bell. The passing-bell, indeed, was anciently for two purposes—one to bespeak the prayers of all good Christians for a soul just departing; the other to drive away the evil spirits who were supposed to stand at the bed's foot.

This dislike of spirits to bells is mentioned in the Golden Legend, by Wynkyn de Worde. "It is said, evill spirytes that ben in the regyon of thayre, doubte moche when they here the belles rongen; and this is the cause why the belles ben rongen when it thondreth, and when grete tempeste and outrages of wether happen; to the ende that the fiends and wycked spirytes shold be abashed and flee, and cease of the movynge of tempeste." Another author observes, that the custom of ringing bells at the approach of thunder is of some antiquity; but that the design was not so much to shake the air, and so dissipate the thunder, as to call the people to church, to pray that the parish might be preserved from the terrible effect of lightning.

Warner, in his history of Hampshire, enumerates the virtues of a bell, by translating the lines from the "Helpe to Discourse:—

[Pg 33]

"Men's death's I tell by doleful knell;
Lightning and thunder I break asunder.
On Sabbath all to church I call;
The sleepy head I raise from bed;
The winds so fierce I doe disperse;
Men's cruel rage I doe assuage."

Four of the bells of the ancient Abbey of Hexham were dedicated or baptised; and although the old bells no longer exist, the legends upon the whole six have been preserved, and a free translation given by Mr. Wright, is as follows:—

1. Even at our earliest sound,
The light of God is spread around.
2. At the echo of my voice,
Ocean, earth and air, rejoice.
3. Blend thy mellow tones with mine,
Silver voice of Catherine!
4. Till time on ruin's lap shall nod.
John shall sound the praise of God.
5. With John in heavenly harmony,
Andrew, pour thy melody.
6. Be mine to chant Jehovah's fame,
While Maria is my name.

These epigraphs or legends on bells, are not uncommon. The Rev. W. C. Lukis, in his notices on church bells, read at the Wilts Archæological Meeting, gave the following instances:—

[Pg 34]

At Aldbourne, on the first bell, we read, "The gift of Jos. Pizzie and Wm. Gwynn.

"Music and ringing we like so well,
And for that reason we gave this bell."

On the fourth bell is,—

"Humphry Symsin gave xx pound to buy this bell,
And the parish gave xx more to make this ring go well."

A not uncommon epigraph is,—

"Come when I call
To serve God all."

At Chilton Foliatt, on the tenor, is,—

"Into the church the living I call,
And to the grave I summon all.
Attend the instruction which I give,
That so you may for ever live."

At Devizes, St. Mary, on the first bell, is,—

"I am the first, altho' but small.
I will be heard above you all."

And on the second bell is,—

"I am the second in this ring,
Therefore next to thee I will sing."

Which, at Broadchalk, is thus varied:—

"I in this place am second bell,
I'll surely do my part as well."

On the third bell at Coln is,—

"Robert Forman collected the money for casting this bell
Of well-disposed people, as I do you tell."

At Bath Abbey, on the tenth bell, is,—

"All you of Bath that hear me sound,
Thank Lady Hopton's hundred pound."

On the fifth bell at Amesbury is,—

"Be strong in faith, praise God well,
Frances Countess Hertford's bell."

And, on the tenor,—

"Altho' it be unto my loss,
I hope you will consider my cost."

At Stowe, Northamptonshire, and at St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford, we find,—

"Be it known to all that doth me see,
That Newcombe, of Leicester, made me."

At St. Michael's, Coventry, on the fourth bell, is,—

"I ring at six to let men know
When to and from their work to go."

On the seventh bell is,—

"I ring to Sermon with a lusty bome,
That all may come and none can stay at home."

[Pg 35]

On the eighth bell is—

"I am and have been called the common bell
To ring, when fire breaks out to tell."

At St. Peter's-le-Bailey, Oxford, four bells were sold towards finishing the tower, and in 1792 a large bell was put up, with this inscription:—

"With seven more I hope soon to be
For ages joined in harmony."

But this very reasonable wish has not yet been realized; whereas at St. Lawrence's, Reading, when two bells were added to form a peal of ten, on the second we find—

"By adding two our notes we'll raise,
And sound the good subscribers' praise."

The occasion of the erection of the Westminster Clock-tower, is said to have been as follows:—A certain poor man, in an action for debt, being fined the sum of 13s. 4d., Radulphus Ingham, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, commiserating his case, caused the court roll to be erased, and the fine reduced to 6s. 8d., which being soon after discovered, Ingham was amerced in a pecuniary mulct of eight hundred marks, which was employed in erecting the said bell-tower, in which was placed a bell and a clock, which, striking hourly, was to remind the judges in the hall of the offence of their brother. This bell was originally called Edward; "but," says a writer in the "Antiquarian Repertory," "when the Reformation caused St. Edward and his hours to be but little regarded; as other bells were frequently called Tom, as fancied to pronounce that name when stricken—that at Lincoln, for instance, and that at Oxford—this also followed the fashion, of which, to what I remember of it before it was hung up, I may add another proof from a catch made by the late Mr. Eccles, which begins—

"'Hark, Harry, 'tis late—'tis time to be gone,
For Westminster Tom, by my faith, strikes one."

Hawkins, in his "History of Music," says,—"The practice of ringing bells in change, or regular peals, is said to be peculiar to England: whence Britain has been termed the ringing island. The custom seems to have commenced in the time of the Saxons, and was common before the Conquest. The ringing of bells, although a recreation chiefly of the lower sort, is, in itself, not incurious. The tolling of a bell is nothing more than the producing of a sound by a stroke of the clapper against the side of the bell, the bell itself being in a pendant position, and at rest. In ringing, the bell, by means of a wheel and a rope, is elevated to a perpendicular; in its motion, the clapper strikes forcibly on one side, and in its return downwards, on the other side of the bell, producing at each stroke a sound." There are still in London several societies of ringers. There was one called the College Youths (bell-ringers, like post-boys, never seem to acquire old age). Of this it is said Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, was, in his youthful days, a member; and in the life of that upright judge, by Burnet, some facts [Pg 36] are mentioned which favour this relation. In England the practice of ringing has been reduced to a science, and peals have been composed which bear the names of their inventors; some of the most celebrated of these were composed about fifty years ago by one Patrick. This man was a maker of barometers. In the year 1684, one Abraham Rudhall, of the city of Gloucester, brought the art of bell-founding to great perfection. His descendants in succession have continued the business of casting bells; and by a list published by them at Lady Day, 1774, the family, in peals and odd bells, had cast to the amount of 3,594. The peals of St. Dunstan's in the East, St. Bride's, London, and St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, are among the number. The following "Articles of Ringing" are upon the walls of the belfry in the pleasant village of Dunster, in Somersetshire. They are dated 1787:—

"1. You that in ringing take delight,
Be pleased to draw near;
These articles you must observe,
If you mean to ring here.
"2. And first, if any overturn
A bell, as that he may,
He forthwith for that only fault
In beer shall sixpence pay.
"3. If any one shall curse or swear
When come within the door,
He then shall forfeit for that fault
As mentioned before.
"4. If any one shall wear his hat
When he is ringing here,
He straightway then shall sixpence pay
In cyder or in beer.
"5. If any one these articles
Refuseth to obey,
Let him have nine strokes of the rope,
And so depart away."


"Know all Men by these Presents, That I, Elizabeth Treat, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk, widow, in consideration of the sum of £25 13s. 4d. to me in hand, paid before the ensealing hereof by Samuel Breck, of Boston aforesaid, merchant, the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have granted, bargained, and sold, and by these presents do fully and absolutely grant, bargain, and sell unto the said Samuel Breck, my Negro man named Harry, aged about forty years, with his apparel, to have and to hold the said Negro man Harry, with his apparel, unto the said Samuel Breck, his executors, administrators, and assigns, to his and their only proper use, benefit, and behoof for ever; And I, the said Elizabeth Treat, for myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, do covenant, that at the time of ensealing, and until the delivery hereof, I am the true and lawful owner of the said Negro man, and that he is free from all former sales, charges, and incumbrances whatsoever, and that I will warrant and defend the said Negro man unto the said Samuel Breck, his heirs, and assigns for ever, against the lawful claims and demands of all persons whomsoever.

"Witness my hand and seal, this tenth day of October, Anno Domini, one thousand seven hundred and seventy, in the tenth year of His Majesty's reign.

"Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of us.

"Thomas Melville.
"Mary White.
"Elizabeth Treat."

[Pg 37]



Among the animated curiosities which are occasionally exposed to the gaze of the wonder-loving public, we may prominently notice the Aztec Children—two singular Lilliputians who were recently exhibited throughout the kingdom. Maximo and Bartolo (for by these names the two Aztec children have been baptized) are by some medical men supposed to be of the respective ages of twenty-two and sixteen. Professor Owen, stated them to be ten or twelve, and seven or nine in 1853. The height of the boy (the elder is about three feet, and the girl does not reach quite two feet six inches). Their limbs, though slender, are proportionate and well formed, and the general development of their figures is remarkably graceful. The cranium is peculiar, being narrower than that of any other races of beings known to the world; and though the face is somewhat prominent, the features are regular and the countenances agreeable, and, after a short acquaintance, highly interesting. Each has a beautiful head of jet black hair, which flows gracefully in curls. They are lively and intelligent, showing considerable aptitude for mental training, and have already learned to give utterance to several expressions which can be readily understood by visitors.

Since the arrival of these prodigies from the United States, they have been the objects of curious ethnological speculations. Dr. Latham does not consider them as a new species of the genus homo. Professor Owen regards them as instances of impeded development, and Dr. Conolly was struck with their resemblance to idiots.

[Pg 38]


The original handbills of the committee for Tarring and Feathering subjoined, are of singular interest, as they were the earliest emanations of the spirit that led to England's losing her American colonies, and the consequent rise of the United States:—

To the Delaware Pilots.

The Regard we have for your Characters, and our Desire to promote your future Peace and Safety, are the Occasion of this Third Address to you.

In our second Letter we acquainted you, that the Tea Ship was a Three Decker; We are now informed by good Authority, she is not a Three Decker, but an old black Ship, without a Head, or any Ornaments.

The Captain is a short fat Fellow, and a little obstinate withal.—So much the worse for him.—For, so sure as he rides rusty, We shall heave him Keel out, and see that his Bottom be well fired, scrubb'd and paid.—His Upper-Works too, will have an Overhawling—and as it is said, he has a good deal of Quick Work about him, We will take particular Care that such Part of him undergoes a thorough Rummaging.

We have a still worse Account of his Owner;—for it is said, the Ship Polly was bought by him on Purpose, to make a Penny of us: and that he and Captain Ayres were well advised, of the Risque they would run, in thus daring to insult and abuse us.

Captain Ayres was here in the Time of the Stamp-Act, and ought to have known our People better, than to have expected we would be so mean as to suffer his rotten TEA to be funnel'd down our Throats, with the Parliament's Duty mixed with it.

We know him well, and have calculated to a Gill and a Feather, how much it will require to fit him for an American Exhibition. And we hope, not one of your Body will behave so ill, as to oblige us to clap him in the Cart along Side of the Captain.

We must repeat, that the SHIP POLLY is an old black Ship, of about Two Hundred and Fifty Tons burthen, without a Head, and without Ornaments,—and, that CAPTAIN AYRES is a thick chunky Fellow.—As such, Take Care to avoid THEM.

Your Old Friends,
The Committee for Tarring and Feathering.
Philadelphia, December 7, 1773.

To Capt. Ayres, of the Ship Polly, on a Voyage from London to Philadelphia.


We are informed that you have, imprudently, taken Charge of a Quantity of Tea; which has been sent out by the India Company, under the Auspices of the Ministry, as a Trial of American Virtue and Resolution.

Now, as your Cargo, on your Arrival here, will most assuredly bring you into hot water; and as you are perhaps a Stranger to these Parts, we have concluded to advise you of the present Situation of Affairs in Philadelphia—that, taking Time by the Forelock, you may stop short [Pg 39] in your dangerous Errand—secure your Ship against the Rafts of combustible Matter which may be set on Fire, and turned loose against her: and more than all this, that you may preserve your own Person, from the Pitch and Feathers that are prepared for you.

In the first Place, we must tell you, that the Pennsylvanians are, to a Man, passionately fond of Freedom; the Birthright of Americans; and at all Events are determined to enjoy it.

That they sincerely believe, no Power on the Face of the Earth has a Right to tax them without their Consent.

That in their Opinion, the Tea in your Custody is designed by the Ministry to enforce such a Tax, which they will undoubtedly oppose; and in so doing, give you every possible Obstruction.

We are nominated to a very disagreeable, but necessary Service.—To our Care are committed all Offenders against the Rights of America; and hapless is he, whose evil Destiny has doomed him to suffer at our Hands.

You are sent out on a diabolical Service; and if you are so foolish and obstinate as to compleat your Voyage; by bringing your Ship to Anchor in this Port; you may run such a Gauntlet, as will induce you, in your last Moments, most heartily to curse those who have made you the Dupe of their Avarice and Ambition.

What think you Captain, of a Halter around your Neck—ten Gallons of liquid Tar decanted on your Pate—with the Feathers of a dozen wild Geese laid over that to enliven your Appearance?

Only think seriously of this—and fly to the Place from whence you came—fly without Hesitation—without the Formality of a Protest—and above all, Captain Ayres let us advise you to fly without the wild Geese Feathers.

Your Friends to serve
The Committee as before subscribed.
Philadelphia, Nov. 27, 1773.


As a sequel to the foregoing notices, we give Dr. Franklin's celebrated letter, written in the actual heat of the first outbreak.

Philadelphia, July 5, 1775.

Mr. Strahan,—You are a member of Parliament, and one of that majority which has doomed my country to destruction. You have begun to burn our towns, and murder our people. Look upon your hands! They are stained with the blood of your relations! You and I were long friends; you are now my enemy, and
I am, yours,
B. Franklin.


1189. Immediately upon his death, those that were about him applied their market so busilie in catching and filching awaie things that laie readie for them, that the king's corps laie naked a long time, till a child covered the nether parts of his body with a short cloke, and then it seemed that his surname was fulfilled that he had from his childhood, which was Shortmantell, being so called, because he was the first who brought short clokes out of Anjou into England.

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The Signor Dottore Domenico Nardo addressed a letter to the Academy of Padua, in 1826, on the subject of the growth of hair after death, and even after its separation from the body. The latter property had been previously observed by Krafft. The Signor Nardo recounts the results of experiments made on his own person in the transplantation of hair, and relates, that by transplanting quickly a hair, with its root, from a pore of his head, into a pore of his chest, easily to be accomplished by widening the pore somewhat with the point of a needle, introducing the root with nicety, and exciting within the pore itself, by friction, a slight degree of inflammation, the hair takes root, continues to vegetate, and grows; in due season changes colour, becomes white, and falls.


A fisherman of Calais some time since, drew up a cannon, of very ancient form, from the bottom of the sea, by means of his nets. M. de Rheims has since removed the rust from it, and on taking off the breech was much surprised to find the piece still charged. Specimens of the powder have been taken, from which, of course, all the saltpetre has disappeared after a submersion of three centuries. The ball was of lead, and was not oxidized to a depth greater than that of a line.


The great attraction of Don Saltero's Coffee-house was its collection of rarities, a catalogue of which was published as a guide to the visitors. It comprehends almost every description of curiosity, natural and artificial. "Tigers' tusks; the Pope's candle; the skeleton of a Guinea-pig; a fly-cap monkey; a piece of the true Cross; the Four Evangelists' heads cut on a cherry-stone; the King of Morocco's tobacco-pipe; Mary Queen of Scot's pincushion; Queen Elizabeth's prayer-book; a pair of Nun's stockings; Job's ears, which grew on a tree; a frog in a tobacco-stopper;" and five hundred more odd relics! The Don had a rival, as appears by "A Catalogue of the Rarities to be seen at Adams's, at the Royal Swan, in Kingsland Road, leading from Shoreditch Church, 1756." Mr. Adams exhibited, for the entertainment of the curious, "Miss Jenny Cameron's shoes; Adam's eldest daughter's hat; the heart of the famous Bess Adams, that was hanged at Tyburn with Lawyer Carr, January 18, 1736-7; Sir Walter Raleigh's tobacco-pipe; Vicar of Bray's clogs; engine to shell green pease with; teeth that grew in a fish's belly; Black Jack's ribs; the very comb that Abraham combed his son Isaac and Jacob's head with; Wat Tyler's spurs; rope that cured Captain Lowry of the head-ach, ear-ach, tooth-ach and belly-ach; Adam's key of the fore and back door of the Garden of Eden, &c., &c." These are only a few out of five hundred others equally marvellous.


During the siege of Gibraltar, in 1782, the Count d'Artois came to St. Roch, to visit the place and works. While his highness was inspecting [Pg 41] the lines, in company with the Duke de Crillon, they both alighted with their suite, and all lay flat upon the ground, to avoid the effects of a bomb that fell near a part of the barracks where a Frenchwoman had a canteen. This woman, who had two children in her arms at the time, rushed forth with them, and having seated herself, with the utmost sang-froid, on the bomb-shell, she put out the match, thus extricating from danger all that were around her, many of whom witnessed this courageous and devoted act. His highness rewarded this intrepid female by bestowing on her a pension of three francs a day, and engaged to promote her husband after the siege; while the Duke de Crillon, imitating the generous example of the prince, ensured to her likewise a daily payment of five francs.


Summers Magnet or Loadstone

Among the great naval officers of Elizabeth's reign must be ranked Sir George Summers, the discoverer of the Bermudas, often called the Summers Islands from that circumstance. Here is a representation given of what the descendants of Sir George Summers call the "Summers magnet, or loadstone." It is in the possession of Peter Franklin Bellamy, Esq., surgeon, second son of Dr. Bellamy, of Plymouth. The tradition in the family is that the admiral before going to sea used to touch his needle with it. The stone is dark-coloured, the precise geological formation doubtful. This curious stone, with armature of iron, was probably an ancient talisman.


Bertholin, the learned Swedish doctor, relates strange anecdotes of lizards, toads, and frogs; stating that a woman, thirty years of age, being thirsty, drank plentifully of water at a pond. At the end of a few months, she experienced singular movements in her stomach, as if something were crawling up and down; and alarmed by the sensation, consulted a medical man, who prescribed a dose of orvietan in a decoction of fumitory. Shortly afterwards, the irritation of the stomach increasing, she vomited three toads and two young lizards, after which, she became more at ease. In the spring following, however, her irritation of the stomach was renewed; and aloes and bezoar being administered, she vomited three female frogs, followed the next day by their numerous progeny. In the month of January following, she vomited five more living frogs, and in the course of seven years ejected as many as eighty. Dr. Bertholin protests that he heard them croak in her stomach!

[Pg 42]


A species of sea-serpent was thrown on shore near Bombay in 1819. It was about forty feet long, and must have weighed many tons. A violent gale of wind threw it high above the reach of ordinary tides, in which situation it took nine months to rot; during which process travellers were obliged to change the direction of the road for nearly a quarter of a mile, to avoid the offensive effluvia. It rotted so completely that not a vestige of bone remained.


For many ages one of the regal prerogatives in this country was to touch for the cure of regius morbus, or scrofula; a disease too well known to need any description. At different periods hundreds of persons assembled from all parts of the country annually to receive the royal interposition. Lists of the afflicted were published, to afford a criterion for determining as to its success; and from Edward the Confessor to the reign of Queen Anne, its efficacy appears to have obtained a ready and general belief.

The ceremony was announced by public proclamations; one of which we copy from "The Newes," of the 18th of May, 1664. "His Sacred Majesty" (Charles II.) "having declared it to be his royal will and purpose to continue the healing of his people for the Evil during the month of May, and then to give over until Michaelmas next, I am commanded to give notice thereof, that the people may not come up to town in the interim, and lose their labour."

An extract from the "Mercurius Politicus" affords additional information. "Saturday," says that paper, "being appointed by His Majesty to touch such as were troubled with the Evil, a great company of poor afflicted creatures were met together, many brought in chairs and flaskets, and being appointed by His Majesty to repair to the banqueting-house, His Majesty sat in a chair of state, where he stroked all that were brought unto him, and then put about each of their necks a white ribbon, with an angel of gold on it. In this manner His Majesty stroked above six hundred; and such was his princely patience and tenderness to the poor afflicted creatures, that, though it took up a very long time, His Majesty, who is never weary of well-doing, was pleased to make inquiry whether there were any more who had not yet been touched. After prayers were ended, the Duke of Buckingham brought a towel, and the Earl of Pembroke a basin and ewer, who, after they had made obeisance to His Majesty, kneeled down, till His Majesty had washed."

This sovereign is said to have touched nearly one hundred thousand patients.

With Queen Anne the practice was discontinued. But so late as the 28th of February, 1712, little more than two years before her death, the following proclamation appeared in the "Gazette":—"It being Her Majesty's royal intention to touch for the Evil on Wednesday, the 19th of March next, and so to continue weekly during Lent, it is Her Majesty's [Pg 43] command that tickets be delivered the day before at the office in Whitehall; and that all persons shall bring a certificate signed by the Minister and Churchwardens of their respective parishes, that they have never received the royal touch." Dr. Johnson, when an infant, was brought, with others, for this purpose; "and when questioned upon the subject, confessed he had a faint recollection of an old lady with something black about her head."

A religious service, of which Dr. Heylin, Prebendary of Westminster, in his "Examen Historicum," has given us the particulars, accompanied the ceremony; which, as a document of pious interest, we transcribe:—"The first Gospel is the same as that on the Ascension-day, Mark xvi. 14, to the end. At the touching of every infirm person these words are repeated: 'They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.' The second Gospel begins with the first of St. John, and ends a these words: (John i. 14:) 'Full of grace and truth.' At the putting the angel about their necks were repeated, 'That light was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.'

"'Lord, have mercy upon us.'

"'Christ have mercy upon us.'

"'Lord have mercy upon us. Our Father, &c.'

"'Minister.—O Lord, save thy servants:'

"'Response.—Which put their trust in thee.'

"'M.—Send unto them help from above:'

"'R.—And ever more defend them.'

"'M.—Help us, O God, our Saviour!'

"'R.—And for the glory of thy name sake deliver us: be merciful unto us, sinners, for thy name sake!'

"'M.—O Lord, hear our prayer:'

"'R.—And let our cry come unto thee.'

"'The Collect.—Almighty God, the eternal health of all such as put their trust in thee, hear us, we beseech thee, on the behalf of these thy servants, for whom we call for thy merciful help; that they receiving health, may give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.'

"'The peace of God,' &c."


The pegging, or marking the drinking cups, was introduced by St. Dunstan, to check the intemperate habits of the times, by preventing one man from taking a larger draught than his companions. But the device proved the means of increasing the evil it was intended to remedy; for, refining upon Dunstan's plan, the most abstemious were required to drink precisely to a peg or pin, whether they could soberly take such a quantity of liquor or not. To the use of such cups may be traced the origin of many of our popular phrases. When a person is much elated, we still say, "He is in a merry pin;" and, "He is a peg too low," when he is not in good spirits. On the same principle we talk of "taking a man down a peg," when we would check forwardness.

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There is nothing more amusing to the traveller on the continent, than to observe the extraordinary variety of those head-appendages, many of them heirlooms for generations in some families, all more or less prized according to the richness of materials employed upon them, and the peculiarity of shape. There is no article of dress more important to the Normande, whatever may be her means, than the cap which so jauntily and triumphantly asserts the dignity of the wearer. The wives of fermières who can afford such luxuries as expensive lace and trimmings, spend a little income in the decoration of their caps. Many cost upwards of three thousand francs for the materials and manufacture; and these, as we have before observed, are handed from mother to daughter through successive years, and are highly prized.

Norman Caps

In the primitive villages of Normandy, on some holidays, it is a pleasing sight to see the dense army of caps, with flaps fanning the air, and following the gesticulatory movements of their talkative and volatile owners. When the weather is doubtful, the cap-wearers take care to be provided with a red umbrella of a clumsy construction, remarkably heavy, and somewhat similar, perhaps, to the original with which Jonas Hanway braved the jeers of a London populace in first introducing it.

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The following is a facsimile of a gazette of a tribe of North American Indians, who assisted the French forces in Canada, during the war between France and England:—

North American Indian Tribe Gazette

Explanation of the Gazette, giving an account of one of their expeditions. The following divisions explain those on the plate, as referred to by the numbers:—

1. Each of these figures represents the number ten. They all signify, that 18 times 10, or 180 American Indians, took up the hatchet, or declared war, in favour of the French, which is represented by the hatchet placed over the arms of France.

2. They departed from Montreal—represented by the bird just taking wing from the top of a mountain. The moon and the buck show the time to have been in the first quarter of the buck-moon, answering to July.

3. They went by water—signified by the canoe. The number of huts, such as they raise to pass the night in, shows they were 21 days on their passage.

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4. Then they came on shore, and travelled seven days by land—represented by the foot and the seven huts.

5. When they arrived near the habitations of their enemies, at sunrise—shown by the sun being to the eastward of them, beginning, as they think, its daily course, there they lay in wait three days—represented by the hand pointing, and the three huts.

6. After which, they surprised their enemies, in number 12 times 10, or 120. The man asleep shows how they surprised them, and the hole in the top of the building is supposed to signify that they broke into some of their habitations in that manner.

7. They killed with the club eleven of their enemies, and took five prisoners. The former represented by the club and the eleven heads, the latter by the figures on the little pedestals.

8. They lost nine of their own men in the action—represented by the nine heads within the bow, which is the emblem of honour among the Americans, but had none taken prisoners—a circumstance they lay great weight on, shown by all the pedestals being empty.

9. The heads of the arrows, pointing opposite ways, represent the battle.

10. The heads of the arrows all pointing the same way, signify the flight of the enemy.


If thou wylt make a Carbuckle stone, or a thyng shyning in the nyght.—Take verye many of the lyttle beastes shyninge by nyghte, and put them beaten smale in a bottel of glasse, and close it, and burye it in hoate horses doung, and let it tarye xv dayes, afterwarde thou shalte destyll water of them Peralembicum, which thou shalt put in a vessel of Christal or glasse. It giueth so great clearnesse, that euery man may reade and write in a darke place where it is. Some men make this water of the gall of a snale, the gal of a wesel, the gall of a feret, and of a water dogge: they burie them in doung and destyll water out of them.

If thou wylt see that other men can not see.—Take the gall of a male cat, and the fat of a hen all whyte, and mixe them together, and anoint thy eyes, and thou shalt see it that others cannot see.

If the hart, eye, or brayne of a lapwyng or blacke plover be hanged vpon a mans necke it is profitable agaynste forgetfulnesse, and sharpeth mans vnderstanding.—"Albertus Magnus." Black Letter: very old.


"On Tuesday next, being Shrove Tuesday, there will be a fine hog barbyqu'd whole, at the house of Peter Brett, at the Rising Sun, in Islington Road, with other diversions.—Note. It is the house where the ox was roasted whole at Christmas last."

A hog barbecu'd is a West Indian term, and means a hog roasted whole, stuffed with spice, and basted with Madeira wine. Oldfield, an eminent glutton of former days, gormandised away a fortune of fifteen hundred pounds a-year. Pope thus alludes to him,—

"Oldfield, with more than harpy throat endu'd,
Cries, 'Send me, O, gods, a whole hog barbecu'd!'"

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March 19th, 1754, died, in Glamorganshire, of mere old age and a gradual decay of nature, at seventeen years and two months, Hopkins Hopkins, the little Welchman lately shown in London. He never weighed more than seventeen pounds, but for three years past no more than twelve. The parents have still six children left, all of whom no way differ from other children, except one girl of twelve years of age, who weighs only eighteen pounds, and bears upon her most of the marks of old age, and in all respects resembles her brother when at that age.


In Ayrshire there is a tradition, that the family motto of De Bruce—"We have been," originated from a lady named Fullarton, married to a cadet of the family of Cassilis. They had been gained to favour England during the chivalrous achievements of Wallace, and still continued zealous partisans of Edward. Before Bruce avowed his purpose to emancipate his country, he came, disguised as a palmer, to acquaint himself how far he could rely on aid from the people. A storm compelled him, and a few faithful adherents, to take shelter on the coast of Ayrshire. Extreme darkness, and the turbulence of the billows, deprived them of all knowledge where they landed; and as, in those unhappy times, the appearance of a few strangers would create alarm, the chiefs dispersed in different directions. Bruce chanced to go into the house of Mr. Kennedy, where the servants treated him with great reverence. The lady had gone to bed, and the prince wished they would not disturb her, but permit him to sit by the fire till day; however, one damsel had given her immediate notice of the visitor. He was ushered into her presence. She eyed him with scrutinizing earnestness. "We hae been—we hae been fause," said she, in the Scottish dialect, "but a royal ee takes me back to haly loyalty. I seid ye, mes royal de Bruce, I ken ye weel. We hae been baith untrue to Scotland, but rest ye safe: and albiet a' that's gane, Meg Fullarton wad dee in your cause."


The penny-post was devised in 1683, by one Mr. David Murray, an upholder in Paternoster Row. It soon became an object of attention to Government; but so low were its profits that one Dockwra, who succeeded Murray, had a pension of only £200 a year given him in lieu of it. This occurred in 1716.


May 8. The following copy of an advertisement, in the Newcastle Courant of this date, may be considered curious:—"On Friday in the race week, being the 28th of May, at the Assembly House, in Westgate, will be raffled for, 12 fine Fans, the highest three guineas, the worst 5s., at half a Crown per Ticket. Note: the lowest throw is to have the second best Fan, value £3, the other according to the height of the numbers which shall be thrown. There will be an assembly after for those who raffle."

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In one of the dreary, old-fashioned houses leading from the arched entrance to the Temple, which almost every passenger through Temple Bar must have remarked, whether he is a stranger, or a resident in the metropolis, Dr. Johnson, who occupies one of the most distinguished positions in the literature of our country, resided for several years.


It was in this place that Dr. Johnson became acquainted with his future biographer, Boswell, who thus describes their first meeting:—

"A few days afterwards I called on Davies, and asked him if he thought I might take the liberty of waiting on Mr. Johnson at his chambers in the Temple. He said I certainly might, and that Mr. Johnson would take it as a compliment. His chambers were on the first floor of No. 1, Inner Temple Lane, and I entered them with an impression given me by the Rev. Dr. Blair, of Edinburgh, who described his having found the giant in his den. He received me very courteously; but it must be confessed, that his apartment, and furniture, and morning dress, were sufficiently uncouth. His brown suit of clothes looked very rusty; he had on a little, old, shrivelled, unpowdered wig, which was too small for his head; his shirt neck and knees of his breeches were loose, his black worsted stockings ill drawn up, and he had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers;—but all these slovenly particulars were forgotten the moment he began to talk."

The "den" in which the "giant" lived, the staircase leading to it, and indeed the whole appearance of the locality, has recently undergone [Pg 49] demolition, and its interesting features knocked down to the highest bidder, to be, let us hope, preserved in some museum or other place of safety.


Dr. Johnson resided at various times in Holborn, the Strand, and other places, and died, as it is well known, in No. 8, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, in 1784. His remains were placed in a grave under the statue of Shakspere, in Westminster Abbey, and near the resting-place of his friend and companion, David Garrick.


During the want of employment in the manufactories in 1801, Mrs. Chaplain, of Blankney, in Lincolnshire, formed a patriotic institution for the encouragement of the local trade of the district. A ball was given at Lincoln for the benefit of the stuff manufactory, at which ladies were admitted gratis, on their appearance in a stuff gown and petticoat, spun, wove, and finished within the county, and producing a ticket [Pg 50] signed by the weaver and dyer at Louth, one of which tickets was delivered with every twelve yards of stuff. The gentlemen were required to appear without silk or cotton in their dress, stockings excepted. The impulse thus given to trade, was of the most signal service in relieving distress, and at the same time promoting habits of industry.


In the reign of Charles II., Dr. Jonathan Goddard obtained 5,000l. for disclosing his secret for making a medicine, called "Guttæ Anglicanæ." And in 1739, the Parliament of England voted 5,000l. to Mrs. Stevens for a solvent for stone.

The celebrated David Hartley was very instrumental in procuring this grant to Joanna Stevens. He obtained also a private subscription to the amount of £1,356, published one hundred and fifty-five successful cases, and, by way of climax to the whole, after eating two hundred pounds weight of soap! David himself died of the stone.


From the Testament of Jerome Sharp, printed in 1786:—"I entered," says the narrator, "with one of my friends, and found a man resembling an ourang-outang crouched upon a stool in the manner of a tailor. His complexion announced a distant climate, and his keeper stated that he found him in the island of Molucca. His body was bare to the hips, having a chain round the waist, seven or eight feet long, which was fastened to a pillar, and permitted him to circulate out of the reach of the spectators. His looks and gesticulations were frightful. His jaws never ceased snapping, except when sending forth discordant cries, which were said to be indicative of hunger. He swallowed flints when thrown to him, but preferred raw meat, which he rushed behind his pillar to devour. He groaned fearfully during his repast, and continued groaning until fully satiated. When unable to procure more meat, he would swallow stones with frightful avidity; which, upon examination of those which he accidentally dropped, proved to be partly dissolved by the acrid quality of his saliva. In jumping about, the undigested stones were heard rattling in his stomach."

The men of science quickly set to work to account for these feats, so completely at variance with the laws of nature. Before they had hit upon a theory, the pretended Molucca savage was discovered to be a peasant from the neighbourhood of Besançon, who chose to turn to account his natural deformities. When staining his face for the purpose, in the dread of hurting his eyes, he left the eyelids unstained, which completely puzzled the naturalists. By a clever sleight of hand, the raw meat was left behind the pillar, and cooked meat substituted in its place. Some asserted his passion for eating behind the pillar to be a proof of his savage origin; most polite persons, and more especially kings, being addicted to feeding in public. The stones swallowed by the pretended savage were taken from a vessel left purposely in the room full of them; small round stones, encrusted with plaster, which afterwards gave them the appearance of having been masticated in the mouth. Before the discovery of all this, the impostor had contrived to reap a plentiful harvest.

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In 1693, the Emperor Kanghi (then in the thirty-second year of his reign, and fortieth of his age) had a malignant fever, which resisted the remedies given by his physicians; the emperor recollected that Tchang-tchin, (Father Gerbillon), and Pe-tsin, (Father Bouret) two jesuit missionaries, had extolled to him a remedy for intermittents, brought from Europe, and to which they had given the name of chin-yo (two Chinese words, which signify "divine remedies;") and he proposed to try it, but the physicians opposed it. The emperor, however, without their knowledge took it, and with good effect. Sometime afterwards, he experienced afresh several fits of an intermittent, which, though slight, made him uneasy; this led him to proclaim through the city, that any person possessed of a specific for this sort of fever, should apply without delay at the palace, where patients might also apply to get cured. Some of the great officers of his household were charged to receive such remedies as might be offered, and to administer them to the patients. The Europeans, Tchang-tching, (Gerbillon) Hang-jo, (Father de Fontenay, jesuit) and Pe-tsin, (Bouret) presented themselves among others, with a certain quantity of quinquina, offered it to the grandees, and instructed them in the manner of using it. The next day it was tried on several patients, who were kept in sight, and were cured by it. The officers, or grandees who had been appointed to superintend the experiment, gave an account to the Emperor of the astonishing effect of the remedy, and the monarch decided instantly on trying it himself, provided the hereditary prince gave his consent. The prince, however, not only refused, but was angry with the grandees for having spoken so favourably of a remedy, of which only one successful trial had been made; at last, after much persuasion, the Prince reluctantly grants his consent, and the emperor takes the bark without hesitation, and permanently recovers. A house is given by the emperor to the Europeans, who had made known the remedy, and through the means of Pe-tsin (Father Bouret) presents were conveyed to the King of France, accompanied with the information, that the Europeans (that is, the French jesuits) were in high favour.—Histoire Generale de la Chine, &c. tome xi. p. 168, 4to. Paris, 1780.


In a number of "Loudon Gardener's Magazine," it is stated that white cats with blue eyes are always deaf, of which extraordinary fact there is the following confirmation in the "Magazine of Natural History," No. 2, likewise conducted by Mr. Loudon:—Some years ago, a white cat of the Persian kind (probably not a thorough-bred one), procured from Lord Dudley's at Hindley, was kept in a family as a favourite. The animal was a female, quite white, and perfectly deaf. She produced, at various times, many litters of kittens, of which, generally, some were quite white, others more or less mottled, tabby, &c. But the extraordinary circumstance is, that of the offspring produced at one and the same birth, such as, like the mother, were entirely white, were, like her, invariably deaf; while those that had the least speck of colour on their fur, as invariably possessed the usual faculty of hearing.

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Lord Kames in his "Sketches of the History of Man," relates an extraordinary instance of presence of mind united with courage.

Some Iroquois in the year 1690, attacked the fort de Verchères, in Canada, which belonged to the French, and had approached silently, hoping to scale the palisade, when some musket-shot forced them to retire: on their advancing a second time they were again repulsed, in wonder and amazement that they could perceive no person, excepting a woman who was seen everywhere. This was Madame de Verchères, who conducted herself with as much resolution and courage as if supported by a numerous garrison. The idea of storming a place wholly undefended, except by women, occasioned the Iroquois to attack the fortress repeatedly, but, after two days' siege, they found it necessary to retire, lest they should be intercepted in their retreat.

Two years afterwards, a party of the same nation so unexpectedly made their appearance before the same fort, that a girl of fourteen, the daughter of the proprietor, had but just time to shut the gate. With this young woman there was no person whatever except one soldier, but not at all intimidated by her situation, she showed herself sometimes in one place, sometimes in another, frequently changing her dress, in order to give some appearance of a garrison, and always fired opportunely. In short, the faint-hearted Iroquois once more departed without success. Thus the presence of mind of this young girl was the means of saving the fort.


As indicating the state of the English language amongst the nobility of Scotland in 1621, the following is curious:—

"Ane Indentour of ane Horse-raise betuix my Lords Mortoun, Abercorne, and Boyde.—The erle of Mortoun obleissis himselff to produce George Rutherfuirdis Barb Naig: The erle of Abercorne obleissis him to produce his gray Naig: My lord Boyd obleissis him to produce his bay horse; Upone the conditions following. Thay ar to run the first Thursday November nixtocum, thrie mett myleis of Cowper raise in Fyff. The waidger to be for euery horse ten dowbill Anegellis. The foirmest horse to win the hail thretty. Ilk rydare to be aucht scottis stanewecht. And the pairtie not comperaud, or refuisand to consigne the waidger, sall undergo the foirfaltour of this sowme, and that money foirfaltit salbe additt to the staik to be tane away be the wynner. Forder, we declair it to be lesum to ony gentilman to produce ane horse and the lyk waidger, and thay salbe welcum. Subscrybith with all our handis, at Hammiltoune the fyfteine day off August 1621. Morton, Abercorne, Boyde."


An advertisement in "The Public Adviser," from Tuesday, June 16th, to Tuesday, June 23d, 1657, informs us that "in Bishopsgate-street, in Queen's-head-alley, at a Frenchman's House, is an excellent West India drink, called Chocolate, to be sold, where you may have it ready at any time, and also unmade, at reasonable rates."

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Matthew Buckinger

Of all the imperfect beings brought into the world, few can challenge, for mental and acquired endowments, any thing like a comparison to vie with this truly extraordinary little man. Matthew Buckinger was a native of Nuremberg, in Germany, where he was born, June 2, 1674, without hands, feet, legs, or thighs; in short, he was little more than the trunk of a man, saving two excrescences growing from the shoulder-blades, more resembling fins of a fish than arms of a man. He was the last of nine children, by one father and mother, viz. eight sons and one daughter; after arriving at the age of maturity, from the singularity of [Pg 54] his case, and the extraordinary abilities he possessed, he attracted the notice and attention of all persons, of whatever rank in life, to whom he was occasionally introduced.

It does not appear, by any account extant, that his parents exhibited him at any time for the purposes of emolument, but that the whole of his time must have been employed in study and practice, to attain the wonderful perfection he arrived at in drawing, and his performance on various musical instruments; he played the flute, bagpipe, dulcimer, and trumpet, not in the manner of general amateurs, but in the style of a finished master. He likewise possessed great mechanical powers, and conceived the design of constructing machines to play on all sorts of musical instruments.

If Nature played the niggard in one respect with him she amply repaid the deficiency by endowments that those blessed with perfect limbs could seldom achieve. He greatly distinguished himself by beautiful writing, drawing coats of arms, sketches of portraits, history, landscapes, &c., most of which were executed in Indian ink, with a pen, emulating in perfection the finest and most finished engraving. He was well skilled in most games of chance, nor could the most experienced gamester or juggler obtain the least advantage at any tricks, or game, with cards or dice.

He used to perform before company, to whom he was exhibited, various tricks with cups and balls, corn, and living birds; and could play at skittles and ninepins with great dexterity; shave himself with perfect ease, and do many other things equally surprising in a person so deficient, and mutilated by Nature. His writings and sketches of figures, landscapes, &c., were by no means uncommon, though curious; it being customary, with most persons who went to see him, to purchase something or other of his performance; and as he was always employed in writing or drawing, he carried on a very successful trade, which, together with the money he obtained by exhibiting himself, enabled him to support himself and family in a very genteel manner. The late Mr. Herbert, of Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, editor of "Ames's History of Printing," had many curious specimens of Buckinger's writing and drawing, the most extraordinary of which was his own portrait, exquisitely done on vellum, in which he most ingeniously contrived to insert, in the flowing curls of the wig, the 27th, 121st, 128th, 140th, 149th, and the 150th Psalms, together with the Lord's Prayer, most beautifully and fairly written. Mr. Isaac Herbert, son of the former, while carrying on the business of a bookseller in Pall-Mall, caused this portrait to be engraved, for which he paid Mr. Harding fifty guineas.

Buckinger was married four times, and had eleven children, viz., one by his first wife, three by his second, six by his third, and one by his last. One of his wives was in the habit of treating him extremely ill, frequently beating and other ways insulting him, which, for a long time, he very patiently put up with; but once his anger was so much aroused, that he sprung upon her like a fury, got her down, and buffeted her with his stumps within an inch of her life; nor would he suffer her to arise until she promised amendment in future, which it seems she prudently [Pg 55] adopted, through fear of another thrashing. Mr. Buckinger was but twenty-nine inches in height, and died in 1722.


The insects that frequent the waters, require predaceous animals to keep them within due limits, as well as those that inhabit the earth; and the water-spider (Argyroneta aquatica) is one of the most remarkable upon whom that office is devolved. To this end, her instinct instructs her to fabricate a kind of diving-bell in the bosom of that element. She usually selects still waters for this purpose. Her house is an oval cocoon, filled with air, and lined with silk, from which threads issue in every direction, and are fastened to the surrounding plants. In this cocoon, which is open below, she watches for her prey, and even appears to pass the winter, when she closes the opening. It is most commonly, yet not always, under water; but its inhabitant has filled it for her respiration, which enables her to live in it. She conveys the air to it in the following manner: she usually swims on her back, when her abdomen is enveloped in a bubble of air, and appears like a globe of quicksilver. With this she enters her cocoon, and displacing an equal mass of water, again ascends for a second lading, till she has sufficiently filled her house with it, so as to expel all water. How these little animals can envelope their abdomen with an air-bubble, and retain it till they enter their cells, is still one of Nature's mysteries that has not been explained. It is a wonderful provision, which enables an animal that breathes the atmospheric air, to fill her house with it under water, and by some secret art to clothe her body with air, as with a garment, which she can put off when it answers her purpose. This is a kind of attraction and repulsion that mocks all inquiries.


One of the Court Physicians, in the reign of Charles II., invented an instrument to cleanse the stomach, and wrote a pamphlet on it; and ridiculous as a chylopoietic-scrubbing-brush may appear, it afterwards got a place among surgical instruments, and is described as the Excutor Ventriculi, or cleanser of the stomach; but the moderns not having stomach for it, have transferred it to the wine merchant, who more appropriately applies it to the scouring the interior of bottles. Heister gives a minute description of it, and very gravely enters on the mode and manner of using it: the patient is to drink a draught of warm water, or spirit of wine, that the mucus and foulness of the stomach may be washed off thereby: then, the brush being moistened in some convenient liquor, is to be introduced into the œsophagus, and slowly protruded into the stomach, by twisting round its wire handle. When arrived in the stomach, it is to be drawn up and down, and through the œsophagus, like the sucker in a syringe, till it be at last wholly extracted. Some recommend plentiful drinking in the operation, to be continued till no more foulness is discharged. But though this contrivance is greatly extolled, and said to prolong life to a great age, especially if practiced once a week, month, or fortnight; yet, there are very few (probably, because tried by very few) instances of its happy effects.

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In Merrie England of the Olden Time, we find the following copy of a handbill announcing performances:—

By a company of English, French, and Germans, at Phillips's New Wells, near the London Spa, Clerkenwell, 20th August, 1743.

Popular Amusements

This evening, and during the Summer Season, will be performed several new exercises of Rope-dancing, Tumbling, Vaulting, Equilibres, Ladder-dancing, and Balancing, by Madame Kerman, Sampson Rogetzi, Monsieur German, and Monsieur Dominique; with a new Grand Dance, called Apollo and Daphne, by Mr. Phillips, Mrs. Lebrune, and others; singing by Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Jackson; likewise the extraordinary performance of Herr Von Eeckenberg, who imitates the lark, thrush, blackbird, goldfinch, canary-bird, flageolet, and German flute; a Sailor's Dance by Mr. Phillips; and Monsieur Dominique flies through a hogshead, and forces both heads out. To which will be added The Harlot's Progress. Harlequin by Mr. Phillips; Miss Kitty by Mrs. Phillips. Also, an exact representation of the late glorious victory gained over the French by the English at the battle of Dettingen, with the taking of the White Household Standard by the Scots Greys, and blowing up the bridge, and destroying and drowning most part of the French army. To begin every evening at five o'clock. Every one will be admitted for a pint of wine, as usual.

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Dancing rooms were much frequented a century or so ago in London, which was then pretty well supplied with this means of recreation. We find that there were rare dancing doings at the original dancing room

  in the year
at the field-end of King-Street, Bloomsbury, 1742
Hickford's great room, Panton-Street, Haymarket, 1743
Mitre Tavern, Charing-Cross, 1743
Barber's Hall, 1745
Richmond Assembly, 1745
Lambeth Wells, 1747
Duke's long room, Paternoster Row, 1748
Large Assembly Room at the Two Green Lamps, near Exeter Change, (at the particular desire of Jubilee Dickey!) 1749
The large room next door to the Hand and Slippers, Long-lane, West Smithfield, 1750
Lambeth Wells, where a Penny Wedding, in the Scotch manner, was celebrated for the benefit of a young couple, 1752
Old Queen's Head, in Cock-lane, Lambeth, 1755

and at Mr. Bell's, at the sign of the Ship, in the Strand, where, in 1755, a Scotch Wedding was kept. The bride "to be dressed without any linen; all in ribbons, and green flowers, with Scotch masks. There will be three bagpipes; a band of Scotch music, &c. &c. To begin precisely at two o'clock. Admission, two shillings and sixpence."


"Maister John Nicot, Counsellor to the Kyng, beeyng Embassadour for the Kyng in Portugall, in the yeres of our Lorde, 1559, 60, 61, wente one daye to see the Prysons of the Kyng of Portugall, and a gentleman beeyng the keeper of the saide Prisons presented hym this hearbe, as a strange Plant brought from Florida; the same Maister Nicot, hauyng caused the saide hearbe to be set in his garden, where it grewe and multiplied marveillously, was vpon a tyme aduertised, by one of his Pages, that a young man, a kinne to that Page, made a saye of that hearbe bruised, both the herbe and the joice together upon an ulcer whiche he had vpon his cheeke nere vnto his nose, coming of a Noli me tangere whiche bega to take roote already at the gristles of the Nose, wherewith he founde hym self marveillously eased. Therefore the said Maister Nicot caused the sicke yong man to be brought before hym, causing the said herbe to be continued to the sore eight or tenne daies, this saide Noli me tangere, was vtterly extinguished and healed: and he had sent it, while this cure was a working to a certaine Physition of the Kyng of Portugall of the moste fame, for to see the further workyng and effect of the said Nicotiane, and sending for the same yong man at the end of tenne daies, the said Phisition seeyng the uisage of the said sicke yong man certified, that the saide Noli me tangere was utterly extinguished, as in deede he never felt it since. Within a while after, one of the Cookes of the said Embassadour hauyng almost cut off his Thombe, with a great choppyng knife, the steward of the house of the saide gentleman [Pg 58] ranne to the saide Nicotiane, and dresssed him there with fyve or sixe times, and so in the ende thereof he was healed: from that time forwarde this hearbe began to bee famous throughout all Lisborne, where the court of the Kyng of Portugall was at that presente, and the vertue of this saide hearbe was preached, and the people beganne to name it the Ambassadour's hearbe! Wherefore there came certaine daies after, a gentleman of the country, Father to one of the Pages of the Ambassadour, who was troubled with an vlcer in his Legge, hauyng had the same two yeres, and demaunded of the saide Ambassadour for his hearbe, and vsing the same in suche order as is before written, at the ende of tenne or twelve daies he was healed. From that time fourth the fame of that hearbe encreased in such sorte, that manye came from all places to have that same herbe. Emong all others there was a woman that had her face covered with a Ringworme rooted, as though she had a Visour on her face, to whom the saide L: Ambassadour caused the herbe to be given her, and told how she should vse it, and at the ende of eight or tenne daies, this woman was thoroughleye healed, she came and shewed herself to the Ambassadour, shewing him of her healyng. After there came a captain to presente his sonne, sick of the Kinges euill to the saide L: Ambassadour, for to send him into France, vnto whom there was saye made of the saide hearbe, whiche in fewe daies did beginne to shewe greate signes of healing, and finally was altogether healed of the kinges euill. The L: Ambassadour seeing so great effectes proceeding of this hearbe, and hauing heard say that the Lady Montigny that was, dyed at Saint Germans, of an vlcer bredde in her breast, that did turn to a Noli me tangere, for which there could never be remedey bee founde, and likewise that the Countesse of Ruffe, had sought for all the famous Phisitions of that Realme, for to heale her face, unto whom they could give no remedy, he thought it good to communicate the same into Fraunce, and did send it to Kyng Fraunces the seconde; and to the Queen Mother, and to many other Lords of the Courte with the maner of governyng the same: and how to applie it vnto the said diseases, even as he had found it by experience; and chiefly to the lorde of Jarnac governour of Rogell, with whom the saide Lorde Ambassadour had great amitie for the service of the Kyng. The whiche Lorde of Jarnac, told one daye at the Queenes Table, that he had caused the saide Nicotiane to be distilled, and caused the water to be dronke, mingled with water Euphrasie, otherwise called eyebright, to one that was shorte breathed, and was therewith healed."—Joyfvll News ovt of the newe found worlde, &c., 1577.—Black Letter.


There are few things among the valuable collection of antiquities preserved in the Tower of London, which excite so much interest as the grim-looking objects forming the group figured in the accompanying engraving.

With the executioner's axe, that long list of unfortunates who have met their fate within the walls of the Tower, or on Tower Hill, since the [Pg 59] time of Henry VIII., have been beheaded. Among them may be enumerated Queen Anne Boleyn, whom Henry first presented to his people as their Queen while standing with her on the Tower Stairs, after she had been conveyed thither from Greenwich with every possible pomp. Crowds of gilded barges, with gay banners waving at their sterns, then lined the stream. The noblest of the land were in the young Queen's train or were waiting to receive her. Loud rounds of cannon, and soft, merry strains, announced her arrival; and the burly King stepped forward to kiss her in the sight of the assembled multitude. On the same day, three short years afterwards, she was led forth to execution within the Tower walls. The good Sir Thomas More and the chivalrous Earl of Surrey, Lady Jane Grey and her young husband, the gallant Raleigh, and a host of others, also perished by that sad symbol of the executioner's office.

The block is said to be of less ancient date, but is known to have been used at the execution of three Scotch lords—the unfortunate adherents of the Pretender—a little more than a century ago. On the top part of the block, there are three distinct cuts, two of them very deep and parallel, and the other at an angle and less effective.

The horrible instrument of torture called the "Scavenger's Daughter," was, in the "good old days," used as a means of extorting confession. The head of the culprit was passed through the circular hole at the top, and the arms through those below. The whole of this part of the machine opens in somewhat the same manner as a pair of tongs, the upper part being fixed round the neck and arms, and the semicircular irons placed on the legs. The body was then bent, and a strong iron bar was passed through the irons connected with the head and arms, and those in which the legs were placed. "The culprit would then," as one of the "Beefeaters" who attends on visitors makes a point of observing, "be doubled up into very small compass, and made exceedingly uncomfortable."

The Bilboes need little explanation, being only a strong rod of iron, with a nob at one end, on which are two moveable hoops, for the purpose of holding the legs; these being fixed, and a heavy iron padlock put on the proper part—the wearer was said to be in a Bilboe. Instruments of this description were much used on board of ship for the purpose of securing prisoners of war.

The Iron Collar is a persuader of a formidable description, for it weighs upwards of 14 lbs., and is so made that it can be fixed on the neck and then locked. Such a necklace would, we think, be sufficiently inconvenient; but it is rendered still more uncomfortable by sundry prickles of iron knowingly placed.

The Thumb-screw, also preserved in the Tower, is a characteristic example of a species of torture at one time much resorted to. The engraved example has been constructed so as to press both thumbs; nevertheless, it is a convenient little instrument, which might be easily carried about in the pocket. We have met with varieties of the thumb-screw in several collections—some for the accommodation of one thumb only. In the Museum of the Royal Antiquarian Society of Scotland there are some thumb-screws which are said to have been used upon the Covenanters.

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1. The Executioner's Axe. 2. The Block on which Lords Balmerino, Lovat, &c., were beheaded. 3. The Scavenger's Daughter. 4. Spanish Bilboes. 5. Massive Iron Collar for the Neck. 6. Thumb-Screw.

Times have changed for the better since the "Scavenger's Daughter," and the other matters represented, were amongst the mildest of the methods used for the purposes of punishment and intimidation. The stocks, the public whipping-posts, boilings, and burnings in Smithfield and elsewhere, the exhibition of dead men's heads over gateways, the boot, the rack, the pillory, the practice of making men eat their own books in Cheapside, drawing on hurdles to the place of execution, and then hanging, drawing, and quartering, chopping off hands and ears, and other revolting punishments, have gone out of use, and it is gratifying to know that we are all the better for it.

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A Beau Brummell

This very curious representation of a first-rate exquisite is copied from a very rare broadside, printed in 1646, and styled The Picture of an English Anticke, with a List of his ridiculous Habits and apish Gestures. The engraving is a well-executed copperplate, and the description beneath is a brief recapitulation of his costume: from which we learn that he wears a tall hat, with a bunch of riband on one side, and a feather on the other; his face spotted with patches; two love-locks, one on each side of his head, which hang upon his bosom, and are tied at the ends with silk riband in bows. His beard on the upper lip encompassing his mouth; his band or collar edged with lace, and tied with band-strings, secured by a ring; a tight vest, partly open and short in the skirts, between which and his breeches his shirt protruded. His cloak was carried over his arm. His breeches were ornamented by "many dozen of points at the knees, and above them, on either side, were two great bunches of riband of several colours." His legs were incased in "boot-hose tops, tied about the middle of the calf, as long as a pair of shirt-sleeves, double at the ends like a ruff-band; the tops of his boots very large, fringed with lace, and turned down as low as his spurres, which gingled like the bells of a morrice-dancer as he walked;" the "feet of his boots were two inches too long." In his right hand he carried a stick, which he "played with" as he "straddled" along the streets "singing."


In North Wales, when a person supposes himself highly injured, it is not uncommon for him to go to some church dedicated to a celebrated saint, as Llan Elian in Anglesea, and Clynog in Carnarvonshire, and there to offer his enemy. He kneels down on his bare knees in the church, and offering a piece of money to the saint, calls down curses and misfortunes upon the offender and his family for generations to come; in the most firm belief that the imprecations will be fulfilled. Sometimes they repair to a sacred well instead of a church.

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September 4th, 1818, was shown at Bartholomew Fair, "The strongest woman in Europe, the celebrated French Female Hercules, Madame Gobert, who will lift with her teeth a table five feet long and three feet wide, with several persons seated upon it; also carry thirty-six weights, fifty-six pounds each, equal to 2,016 lbs., and will disengage herself from them without any assistance; will carry a barrel containing 340 bottles; also an anvil 400 lbs. weight, on which they will forge with four hammers at the time she supports it on her stomach; she will also lift with her hair the same anvil, swing it from the ground, and suspend it in that position to the astonishment of every beholder; will take up a chair by the hind stave with her teeth, and throw it over her head, ten feet from her body. Her travelling caravan, (weighing two tons,) on its road from Harwich to Leominster, owing to the neglect of the driver, and badness of the road, sunk in the mud, nearly up to the box of the wheels; the two horses being unable to extricate it she descended, and, with apparent ease, disengaged the caravan from its situation, without any assistance whatever."


"We saw on the slope of the Cerra Dnida," says M. Humboldt, "shirt trees, fifty feet high. The Indians cut off cylindrical pieces two feet in diameter, from which they peel the red and fibrous bark, without making any longitudinal incision. This bark affords them a sort of garment which resembles a sack of a very coarse texture, and without a seam. The upper opening serves for the head, and two lateral holes are cut to admit the arms. The natives wear these shirts of Marina in the rainy season; they have the form of the ponchos and manos of cotton which are so common in New Grenada, at Quito, and in Peru. As in this climate the riches and beneficence of nature are regarded as the primary causes of the indolence of the inhabitants, the missionaries do not fail to say in showing the shirts of Marina, 'in the forests of Oroonoko, garments are found ready made upon the trees.'"


A female ventriloquist, named Barbara Jacobi, narrowly escaped being burnt at the stake in 1685, at Haarlem, where she was an inmate of the public Hospital. The curious daily resorted thither to hear her hold & dialogue with an imaginary personage with whom she conversed as if concealed behind the curtains of her bed. This individual, whom she called Joachim, and to whom she addressed a thousand ludicrous questions, which he answered in the same familiar strain, was for some time supposed to be a confederate. But when the bystanders attempted to search for him behind the curtains, his voice instantly reproached them with their curiosity from the opposite corner of the room. As Barbara Jacobi had contrived to make herself familiar with all the gossip of the city of Haarlem, the revelations of the pretended familiar were such as to cause considerable embarrassment to those who beset her with impertinent questions.

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The Calmucs hold the lightning to be the fire spit out of the mouth of a dragon, ridden and scourged by evil Dæmons, and the thunder they make to be his roarings.


Journalism has had its trials and difficulties in England as well as in America; but we do not remember to have ever seen a more quaint last Number, than the subjoined facsimile exhibits:—

Pennsylvania Journal


Unsuccessful gamesters used formerly to make a knot in their linen, of late years they have contented themselves with changing their chair as a remedy against ill-luck. As a security against cowardice, it was once only necessary to wear a pin plucked from the winding sheet of a corpse. To insure a prosperous accouchement to your wife, you had but to tie her girdle to a bell and ring it three times. To get rid of warts, you were to fold up in a rag as many peas as you had warts, and throw them upon the high road; when the unlucky person who picked them up became your substitute. In the present day, to cure a toothache, you go to your dentist. In the olden time you would have solicited alms in honour of St. Lawrence, and been relieved without cost or pain.

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Baillet mentions one hundred and sixty-three children endowed with extraordinary talents, among whom few arrived at an advanced age. The two sons of Quintilian, so vaunted by their father, did not reach their tenth year. Hermogenes, who, at the age of fifteen, taught rhetoric to Marcus Aurelius, who triumphed over the most celebrated rhetoricians of Greece, did not die, but at twenty-four, lost his faculties, and forgot all he had previously acquired. Pica di Mirandola died at thirty-two; Johannes Secundus at twenty-five; having at the age of fifteen composed admirable Greek and Latin verses, and become profoundly versed in jurisprudence and letters. Pascal, whose genius developed itself at ten years old, did not attain the third of a century.

In 1791, a child was born at Lubeck, named Henri Heinekem, whose precocity was miraculous. At ten months of age, he spoke distinctly; at twelve, learnt the Pentateuch by rote, and at fourteen months, was perfectly acquainted with the Old and New Testaments. At two years of age, he was as familiar with Ancient History as the most erudite authors of antiquity. Sanson and Danville only could compete with him in geographical knowledge; Cicero would have thought him an "alter ego," on hearing him converse in Latin; and in modern languages he was equally proficient. This wonderful child was unfortunately carried off in his fourth year. According to a popular proverb—"the sword wore out the sheath."


Bingley gives a singular anecdote of the effect of music on a pigeon, as related by John Lockman, in some reflections concerning operas, prefixed to his musical drama of Rosalinda. He was staying at a friend's house, whose daughter was a fine performer on the harpsichord, and observed a pigeon, which, whenever the young lady played the song of "Speri-si," in Handel's opera of Admetus (and this only), would descend from an adjacent dove-house to the room-window where she sat, and listen to it apparently with the most pleasing emotions; and when the song was finished it always returned immediately to the dove-house.


Some animals are held in universal dread by others, and not the least terrible is the effect produced by the rattle-snake. Mr. Pennant says, that this snake will frequently lie at the bottom of a tree, on which a squirrel is seated. He fixes his eyes on the animal, and from that moment it cannot escape: it begins a doleful outcry, which is so well known that a passer by, on hearing it, immediately knows that a snake is present. The squirrel runs up the tree a little way, comes down again, then goes up and afterwards comes still lower. The snake continues at the bottom of the tree, with his eyes fixed on the squirrel, and his attention is so entirely taken up, that a person accidentally approaching may make a considerable noise, without so much as the snake's turning about. The squirrel comes lower, and at last [Pg 65] leaps down to the snake, whose mouth is already distended for its reception. Le Vaillant confirms this fascinating terror, by a scene he witnessed. He saw on the branch of a tree a species of shrike trembling as if in convulsions, and at the distance of nearly four feet, on another branch, a large species of snake, that was lying with outstretched neck and fiery eyes, gazing steadily at the poor animal. The agony of the bird was so great that it was deprived of the power of moving away, and when one of the party killed the snake, it was found dead upon the spot—and that entirely from fear—for, on examination, it appeared not to have received the slightest wound. The same traveller adds, that a short time afterwards he observed a small mouse in similar agonizing convulsions, about two yards from a snake, whose eyes were intently fixed upon it; and on frightening away the reptile, and taking up the mouse, it expired in his hand.


About the year 1725, the marvellous history of a Portuguese woman set the whole world of science into confusion, as will be found by referring to the "Mercure de France." This female was said to possess the gift of discovering treasures. Without any other aid than the keen penetration of her eyes, she was able to distinguish the different strata of earth, and pronounce unerringly upon the utmost distances at a single glance. Her eye penetrated through every substance, even the human body; and she could discern the mechanism, and circulation of all animal fluids, and detect latent diseases; although less skilful than the animal magnetisers, she did not affect to point out infallible remedies. Ladies could learn from her the sex of their forthcoming progeny.

The King of Portugal, greatly at a loss for water in his newly built palace, consulted her; and after a glance at the spot, she pointed out an abundant spring, upon which his Majesty rewarded her with a pension, the order of Christ, and a patent of nobility.

In the exercise of her miraculous powers, certain preliminaries were indispensable. She was obliged to observe a rigid fast; indigestion, or the most trifling derangement of the stomach, suspending the marvellous powers of her visual organs.

The men of science of the day were of course confounded by such prodigies. But instead of questioning the woman, they consulted the works of their predecessors; not forgetting the inevitable Aristotle. By dint of much research, they found a letter from Huygens asserting that there was a prisoner of war at Antwerp, who could see through stuffs of the thickest texture provided they were not red. The wonderful man was cited in confirmation of the wonderful woman, and vice versâ.


According to Aristotle, large ears are indicative of imbecility; while small ones announce madness. Ears which are flat, point out the rustic and brutal man. Those of the fairest promise, are firm and of middling size. Happy the man who boasts of square ears; a sure indication of sublimity of soul and purity of life. Such, according to Suetonius, were the ears of the Emperor Augustus.

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Groaning boards were the wonder in London in 1682. An elm plank was exhibited to the king, which, being touched by a hot iron, invariably produced a sound resembling deep groans. At the Bowman Tavern, in Drury Lane, the mantel-piece did the same so well that it was supposed to be part of the same elm-tree; and the dresser at the Queen's Arm Tavern, St. Martin le Grand, was found to possess the same quality. Strange times when such things were deemed wonderful; even to meriting exhibition before the monarch.


The ancient plough was light, the draught comparatively easy; but then the very lightness required that the ploughman should lean upon it with his whole weight, or else it would glide over the soil without making a single furrow. "Unless," said Pliny, "the ploughman stoop forward, to press down the plough, as well as to conduct it, truly it will turn aside."

Ancient Ploughing and Treshing

Oxen were anciently employed in threshing corn, and the same custom is still retained in Egypt and the east. This operation is effected by trampling upon the sheaves, and by dragging a clumsy machine, furnished with three rollers that turn on their axles. A wooden chair is attached to the machine, and on this a driver seats himself, urging his oxen backwards and forwards among the sheaves, which have previously been thrown into a heap of about eight feet wide and two in height. The grain thus beaten out, is collected in an open place, and shaken against the wind by an attendant, with a small shovel, or, as it is termed, a winnowing fan, which disperses the chaff and leaves the grain uninjured:—

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"Thus, with autumnal harvests covered o'er,
And thick bestrewn, lies Ceres' sacred floor;
While round and round, with never-wearied pain,
The trampling steers beat out th' unnumber'd grain."


Horace further tells us, that the threshing floor was mostly a smooth space, surrounded with mud walls, having a barn or garner on one side; occasionally an open field, outside the walls, was selected for this purpose, yet uniformly before the town or city gates. Such was the void place wherein the king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, sat each of them on his throne, clothed in his robes, at the entering in of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets prophesied before them. In the marginal reading we are informed, that this void space was no other than a threshing floor; and truly the area was well adapted for such an assemblage, being equally suited to accommodate the two kings and their attendants, and to separate them from the populace.


Eastern ploughshares were of a lighter make than ours, and those who notice the shortness and substance of ancient weapons, among such as are preserved in museums, will understand how readily they might be applied to agricultural uses.


In 1788-9, the Thames was completely frozen over below London-bridge. Booths were erected on the ice; and puppet-shows, wild beasts, bear-baiting, turnabouts, pigs and sheep roasted, exhibited the various amusements of Bartholomew Fair multiplied and improved. From Putney-bridge down to Redriff was one continued scene of jollity during this seven weeks' saturnalia. The last frost fair was celebrated in the [Pg 68] year 1814. The frost commenced on 27th December, 1813, and continued to the 5th February, 1814. There was a grand walk, or mall, from Blackfriars-bridge to London-bridge, that was appropriately named The City Road, and lined on each side with booths of all descriptions. Several printing-presses were erected, and at one of these an orange-coloured standard was hoisted, with "Orange Boven" printed in large characters. There were E O and Rouge et Noir tables, tee-totums, and skittles; concerts of rough music, viz. salt-boxes and rolling-pins, gridirons and tongs, horns, and marrow-bones and cleavers. The carousing booths were filled with merry parties, some dancing to the sound of the fiddle, others sitting round blazing fires smoking and drinking. A printer's devil bawled out to the spectators, "Now is your time, ladies and gentlemen,—now is your time to support the freedom of the press! Can the press enjoy greater liberty? Here you find it working in the middle of the Thames!"


The Indian magi, who are to invoke Yo He Wah, and mediate with the supreme holy fire that he may give seasonable rains, have a transparent stone of supposed great power in assisting to bring down the rain, when it is put in a basin of water, by a reputed divine virtue, impressed on one of the like sort, in time of old, which communicates it circularly. This stone would suffer a great decay, they assert, were it even seen by their own laity; but if by foreigners, it would be utterly despoiled of its divine communicative power.


The bombardier beetle (Carabus crepitans) when touched produces a noise resembling the discharge of a musket in miniature, during which a blue smoke may be seen to proceed from its extremity. Rolander says that it can give twenty discharges successively. A bladder placed near its posterior extremity, is the arsenal that contains its store. This is its chief defence against its enemies; and the vapour or liquid that proceeds from it is of so pungent a nature, that if it happens to be discharged into the eyes, it makes them smart as though brandy had been thrown into them. The principal enemy of the bombardier is another insect of the same tribe, but three or four times its size. When pursued and fatigued it has recourse to this stratagem; it lies down in the path of its enemy, who advances with open mouth to seize it; but on the discharge of the artillery, this suddenly draws back, and remains for a while confused, during which the bombardier conceals itself in some neighbouring crevice, but if not lucky enough to find one, the other returns to the attack, takes the insect by the head, and bears it off.


Even in this kingdom, so late as the Reformation, eating flesh in Lent was rewarded with the pillory. An instance of this occurs in the "Patriot King," the particulars of which, quoted in "Clavis Calendaria," are somewhat amusing. Thomas Freburn's wife, of Paternoster-row, London, having expressed a particular inclination for pig, [Pg 69] one was procured, ready for the spit; but the butter-woman who provided it, squeamish as to the propriety of what she had done, carried a foot of it to the Dean of Canterbury. The Dean was at dinner, and one of his guests was Freburn's landlord, and Garter King at Arms, who sent to know if any of his family were ill, that he ate flesh in Lent. 'All well,' quoth Freburn, (perhaps too much of a Dissenter for the times,) 'only my wife longs for pig.' His landlord sends for the Bishop of London's apparitor, and orders him to take Freburn and his pig before Stocksly, the Bishop, who sent them both to Judge Cholmley; but he not being at home, they were again brought back to the Bishop, who committed them to the Compter. Next day, being Saturday, Freburn was carried before the Lord Mayor, who sentenced him to stand in the pillory on the Monday following, with one half of the pig on one shoulder, and the other half on the other. Through Cromwell's intercession, the poor man at last gained his liberty by a bond of twenty pounds for his appearance. The mischief-making pig was, by the order of the Bishop, buried in Finsbury-field, by the hand of his Lordship's apparitor; but Freburn was turned out of his house, and could not get another in four years. Hence we may infer his ruin.


In 1432, several kinds of artillery are mentioned, cannons, bombards, vulgaires, coulverins. The vulgaires were ordinary artillery. In the year 1460, James II. of Scotland was killed by the accidental bursting of a cannon. The artillery of the Turks, in the year 1453, surpassed whatever had yet appeared in the world. A stupendous piece of ordnance was made by them; its bore was twelve palms, and the stone bullet weighed about 600 lbs.; it was brought with great difficulty before Constantinople, and was flanked by two almost of equal magnitude: fourteen batteries were brought to bear against the place, mounting 130 guns; the great cannon could not be loaded and fired more than seven times in one day. Mines were adopted by the Turks, and counter-mines by the Christians. At this siege, which was in 1453, ancient and modern artillery were both used. Cannons, intermingled with machines for casting stones and darts, and the battering-ram was directed against the walls. The fate of Constantinople could no longer be averted: the diminutive garrison was exhausted by a double attack; the fortifications were dismantled on all sides by the Ottoman cannon; a spirit of discord impaired the Christian strength. After a siege of fifty-three days, Constantinople, which had defied the power of Chosroes, the Chagan, and the Caliphs, was subdued by the arms of Mahomet II.


St. Benedict Fink.—"1673, April 23, was buried Mr Thomas Sharrow, Cloth-worker, late Churchwarden of this parish, killed by an accidental fall into a vault, in London Wall, Amen Corner, by Paternoster Row, and was supposed had lain there eleven days and nights before any one could tell where he was, Let all that read this take heed of drink."—Truly, a quaint warning!

[Pg 70]


Blind Granny

This miserable, wretched, drunken object, who was blind of one eye, used to annoy the passengers in the streets of London, while sober, with licking her blind eye with her tongue, which was of a most enormous length, and thickness; indeed, it was of such a prodigious size, that her mouth could not contain it, and she could never close her lips, or to use a common expression, keep her tongue within her teeth. This wonderful feat of washing her eye with her tongue was exhibited with a view of obtaining money from such as crowded around her, and no sooner had [Pg 71] she obtained sufficient means, but she hastened to the first convenient liquor-shop, to indulge her propensity in copious libations, and when properly inspired, would rush into the streets with all the gestures of a frantic maniac, and roll and dance about, until she became a little sobered, which was sometimes accelerated by the salutary application of a pail of water, gratuitously bestowed upon her by persons whose doorway she had taken possession of, as shelter from the persecuting tormentings of boys and girls who generally followed her.


Ancient Female Costume

A good specimen of the costume of a female of the higher classes is here given, from an effigy of a lady of the Ryther family, in Ryther church, Yorkshire, engraved in Hollis's Monumental Effigies. She wears a wimple, covering the neck and encircling the head, the hair of which is gathered in plaits at the sides, and covered with a kerchief, which falls upon the shoulders, and is secured by a fillet passing over the forehead. The sleeves of the gown hang midway from the elbow and the wrist, and display the tight sleeve with its rows of buttons beneath. The mantle is fastened by a band of ribbon, secured by ornamental studs. The lower part of the dress consists of the wide gown, lying in folds, and completely concealing the feet, which have been omitted, in order to display the upper part of this interesting effigy to greater advantage.


1815. Died at Trenaw, in Cornwall, a person known by the appellation of Giant Chilcott. He measured at the breast six feet nine inches, and weighed four hundred and sixty pounds. One of his stockings held six gallons of wheat.


The Doctor was in the practice of carrying the produce of his fees carelessly in his coat-pocket. His footman being aware of this, used to make free with a guinea occasionally, while it hung up in the passage. The Doctor, having repeatedly missed his gold, was suspicious of the footman, and took an opportunity of watching him. He succeeded in the detection, and, without even noticing it to the other servants, called him into his study, and coolly said to him, "John, art in want of money?" "No;" replied John. "Oh! then, why didst thou make so free with my pocket? And since thou didst not want money, and hast told me a lie, I must part with thee. Now, say what situation thou wouldst like abroad, and I will obtain it for thee; for I cannot keep thee; I cannot recommend thee; therefore thou must go." Suffice it to say, the Doctor procured John a situation, and he went abroad.

[Pg 72]


Our ancestors just 133 years ago had but limited opportunities for gratifying a taste for Natural History if we may judge from the supply of animals deemed sufficient to attract attention in 1726:—

"Geo. I. R.

"To the lovers of living curiosities. To be seen during the time of Peckham Fair, a Grand Collection of Living Wild Beasts and Birds, lately arrived from the remotest parts of the World.

"1. The Pellican that suckles her young with her heart's blood, from Egypt.

"2. The Noble Vultur Cock, brought from Archangell, having the finest tallons of any bird that seeks his prey; the fore part of his head is covered with hair, the second part resembles the wool of a Black; below that is a white ring, having a Ruff, that he cloaks his head with at night.

"3. An Eagle of the Sun, that takes the loftiest flight of any bird that flies. There is no bird but this that can fly to the face of the Sun with a naked eye.

"4. A curious Beast, bred from a Lioness, like a foreign Wild Cat.

"5. The He-Panther, from Turkey, allowed by the curious to be one of the greatest rarities ever seen in England, on which are thousands of spots, and not two of a likeness.

"6 & 7. The two fierce and surprising Hyænas, Male and Female, from the River Gambia. These Creatures imitate the human voice, and so decoy the Negroes out of their huts and plantations to devour them. They have a mane like a horse, and two joints in their hinder leg more than any other creature. It is remarkable that all other beasts are to be tamed, but Hyænas they are not.

"8. An Ethiopian Toho Savage, having all the actions of the human species, which (when at its full growth) will be upwards of five feet high.

"Also several other surprising Creatures of different sorts. To be seen from 9 in the morning till 9 at night, till they are sold. Also, all manner of curiosities of different sorts, are bought and sold at the above place by John Bennett."


Some years ago a Hampshire Baronet was nearly driven to distraction by the fact that, every night, he went to bed in a shirt, and every morning awoke naked, without the smallest trace of the missing garment being discovered.

Hundreds of shirts disappeared in this manner; and as there was no fire in his room, it was impossible to account for the mystery. The servants believed their master to be mad; and even he began to fancy himself bewitched. In this conjuncture, he implored an intimate friend to sleep in the room with him; and ascertain by what manner of mysterious midnight visitant his garment was so strangely removed. The friend, accordingly, took up his station in the haunted chamber; and lo! as the clock struck one, the unfortunate Baronet, who had previously given audible intimation of being fast asleep, rose from his bed, rekindled with a match the candle which had been extinguished, deliberately [Pg 73] opened the door, and quitted the room. His astonished friend followed: saw him open in succession a variety of doors, pass along several passages, traverse an open court, and eventually reach the stable-yard; where he divested himself of his shirt, and disposed of it in an old dung-heap, into which he thrust it by means of a pitchfork. Having finished this extraordinary operation, without taking the smallest heed of his friend who stood looking on, and plainly saw that he was walking in his sleep, he returned to the house, carefully reclosed the doors, re-extinguished the light, and returned to bed; where the following morning he awoke as usual, stripped of his shirt!

The astonished eye-witness of this extraordinary scene, instead of apprising the sleep-walker of what had occurred, insisted that the following night, a companion should sit up with him; choosing to have additional testimony to the truth of the statement he was about to make; and the same singular events were renewed, without the slightest change or deviation. The two witnesses, accordingly, divulged all they had seen to the Baronet; who, though at first incredulous, became of course convinced, when, on proceeding to the stable-yard, several dozens of shirts were discovered; though it was surmised that as many more had been previously removed by one of the helpers, who probably looked upon the hoard as stolen goods concealed by some thief.


Teddington.—"James Parsons, who had often eat a shoulder of mutton or a peck of hasty pudding, at a time, which caused his death, buried March 7, 1743-4, aged 36."


Coral reefs are produced by innumerable small zoophytes, properly called Coral-insects. The Coral insect consists of a little oblong bag of jelly closed at one end, but having the other extremity open, and surrounded by tentacles or feelers, usually six or eight in number, set like the rays of a star. Multitudes of these diminutive animals unite to form a common stony skeleton called Coral, or Madrepore, in the minute openings of which they live, protruding their mouths and tentacles when under water; but suddenly drawing them into their holes when danger approaches. These animals cannot exist at a greater depth in the sea than about ten fathoms, and as the Coral Islands often rise with great steepness from a sea more than three hundred fathoms deep, it would seem that a great alteration must have taken place in the depth of the ocean since the time when these little architects commenced their labours. Throughout the whole range of the Polynesian and Australasian islands, there is scarcely a league of sea unoccupied by a coral reef, or a coral island; the former springing up to the surface of the water, perpendicularly from the fathomless bottom, "deeper than did ever plummet sound;" and the latter in various stages, from the low and naked rock, with the water rippling over it, to an uninterrupted forest of tall trees.

"Every one," says Mr. Darwin, "must be struck with astonishment when he first beholds one of these vast rings of coral rock, often many leagues in diameter, here and there surmounted by a low verdant island [Pg 74] with dazzling white shores, bathed on the outside by the foaming breakers of the ocean, and on the inside surrounding a calm expanse of water, which, from reflection, is of a bright but pale green colour. The naturalist will feel this astonishment more deeply after having examined the soft and almost gelatinous bodies of these apparently insignificant creatures; and when he knows that the solid reef increases only on the outer edge, which, day and night, is lashed by the breakers of an ocean never at rest."

Coral Reefs

Coral being beautiful in form and colour, is sought after for purposes of ornament; and its fishery or gathering gives employment to many persons in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, and other places. In the Straits of Messina, the rocks which yield coral are from about 350 to 650 feet below the surface of the water. The coral here grows to about the height or length of twelve inches, and requires eight or ten years to come to perfection. In the general mode of fishing for coral, the instrument used consists of two heavy beams of wood, secured together at right angles, and loaded with stones to sink them.

[Pg 75]


No. 1, Charles I. No. 2, William III. No. 3, Nivernois. No. 4, Kevenhuller. No. 5, Ramilies. No. 6, Wellington.


There is an odd phenomenon attending the human body, as singular as common: that a person is shorter standing than lying; and shorter in the evening when he goes to bed, than in the morning when he rises.

This remark was first made in England, and afterwards confirmed at Paris, by M. Morand, a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in France, and by the Abbot Fontana likewise.

The last-mentioned person found, from a year's experience, that ordinarily in the night he gained five or six lines, and lost nearly as much in the day.

The cause of which effect, so ancient, so common, but so lately perceived, proceeds from the different state or condition of the intervertebral annular cartilages.

The vertebræ, or joints of the spine, are kept separate, though joined by particular cartilages, every one of which has a spring. These yield[Pg 76] on all sides, without any inflexion on the spine, to the weight of the head and upper extremities; but this is done by very small and imperceptible degrees, and most of all when the upper parts of the body are loaded with any exterior weight. So that a man is really taller after lying some time, than after walking, or carrying a burthen a great while.

For this reason it is that, in the day and evening, while one is sitting or standing, the superior parts of the body that weigh or press upon the inferior, press those elastic annular cartilages, the bony jointed work is contracted, the superior parts of the body descend towards the inferior, and proportionably as one approaches the other, the height of the stature diminishes.

Hence it was, that a fellow enlisting for a soldier, by being measured over-night, was found deficient in height, and therefore refused; but by accident being gauged again the next morning, and coming up to the stature, he was admitted.

On the contrary, in the night-time, when the body is laid a-bed, as it is in an horizontal situation, or nearly so, the superior parts do not weigh, or but very little, upon the inferior; the spring of the cartilages is unbent, the vertebræ are removed from one another, the long jointed work of the spine is dilated, and the body thereby prolonged; so that a person finds himself about half an inch, or more, higher in stature in the morning than when going to bed. This is the most natural and simple reason that can be given, for the different heights of the same person at different times.


A dustman of the name of Samuel Butcher, residing at Mile-end, who kept a large dog, having taken it into his head to divert himself and others, a few days ago, by the cruel sport of cat baiting, which the dog refusing to perform to the satisfaction of his master, was beat by him in a most brutal manner, when the animal at length, in retaliation, flew at his unmerciful keeper, and inflicted very severe wounds about his face, limbs, and body, in some instances tearing large mouthfuls of his flesh quite clean out, and at one time clung so fast to the man, that before he disengaged from him the animal's throat was obliged to be cut. The man was promptly conveyed to the London Hospital, and there died of the injuries he received.


A horse having been turned into a field by its owner, Mr. Joseph Lane, of Fascombe, in the parish of Ashelworth, was missed therefrom the next morning, and the usual inquiries set afoot, as to what could have become of him. He had, it seems, been shod (all fours) a few days before, and as usual got pinched in a foot. Feeling, no doubt, a lively sense of proper shoeing, and desirous of relieving the cause of pain, he contrived to unhang the gate of his pasture with his mouth, and make the best of his way to the smithy, a distance of a mile and a half from Fascombe, waiting respectfully at the door until the bungling artist got up. The smith relates that he found him there at opening his shed; that the horse advanced to the forge and held up his ailing foot; and [Pg 77] that he himself, upon examination, discovered the injury, took off the shoe, and replaced it more carefully, which having done, the sagacious creature set off at a merry pace homewards. Soon after, Mr. Lane's servants passed by the forge in quest of the animal, and upon inquiry, received for answer—"Oh, he has been here and got shod, and is gone home again."


The following account is extracted from a letter sent to the Rev. Mr. Wesley by a person named Walton, dated Bristol, October 14, 1788:—

"I went with a friend to visit this man, who highly entertained us at breakfast, by putting his half-naked foot upon the table as he sat, and carrying his tea and toast between his great and second toe to his mouth, with as much facility as if his foot had been a hand, and his toes fingers. I put half a sheet of paper upon the floor, with a pen and ink-horn: he threw off his shoes as he sat, took the ink-horn in the toes of his left foot, and held the pen in those of his right. He then wrote three lines, as well as most ordinary writers, and as swiftly. He writes out all his own bills, and other accounts. He then showed how he shaves himself with a razor in his toes, and how he combs his own hair. He can dress and undress himself, except buttoning his clothes. He feeds himself, and can bring both his meat or his broth to his mouth, by holding the fork or spoon in his toes. He cleans his own shoes; can clean the knives, light the fire, and do almost every other domestic business as well as any other man. He can make his hen-coops. He is a farmer by occupation; he can milk his own cows with his toes, and cut his own hay, bind it up in bundles, and carry it about the field for his cattle. Last winter he had eight heifers constantly to fodder. The last summer he made all his own hay-ricks. He can do all the business of the hay-field (except mowing), as fast and as well, with only his feet, as others can with rakes and forks. He goes to the field and catches his horse; he saddles and bridles him with his feet and toes. If he has a sheep among his flock that ails anything, he can separate it from the rest, drive it into a corner, and catch it when nobody else can. He then examines it, and applies a remedy to it. He is so strong in his teeth, that he can lift ten pecks of beans with them. He can throw a great sledge-hammer as far with his feet as other men can with their hands. In a word, he can nearly do as much without, as others can with, their arms. He began the world with a hen and chicken; with the profit of these he purchased an ewe; the sale of these procured him a ragged colt (as he expressed it) and then a better; after this he raised a few sheep, and now occupies a small farm."


A man having, some years since, stolen a sheep at Mitcham, in Surrey, tied its hind legs together, and put them over his forehead to carry it away, but in getting over a gate the sheep, it is thought, struggled, and, by a sudden spring, slipped its feet down to his throat; for they were found in that posture, the sheep hanging on one side of this gate and the man dead on the other.

[Pg 78]


The ladies' costume may be seen to advantage in the annexed engraving from the Sloane MSS., No. 3983. A wimple or gorget is wrapped round the neck, and is fastened by pins at the sides of the face, which are covered above the ears; a gown of capacious size, unconfined at the waist and loose in the sleeves, trails far behind in the dirt. The under-garment, which is darker, has sleeves that fit closely; and it appears to be turned over, and pinned up round the bottom. The unnecessary amount of stuff that was used in ladies' robes rendered them obnoxious to the satirists of that period.

Costume of the Ladies in Time of Plantagenets

In Mr. Wright's collection of Latin stories, published by the Percy Society, there is one of the fourteenth century, which is so curious an instance of monkish satire, and is so apt an illustration of the cut before us, that I cannot resist presenting it to my readers. It runs thus:—

"Of a Proud Woman.—I have heard of a proud woman who wore a white dress with a long train, which, trailing behind her, raised a dust as far as the altar and the crucifix. But, as she left the church, and lifted up her train on account of the dirt, a certain holy man saw a devil laughing; and having adjured him to tell why he laughed, the devil said, "A companion of mine was just now sitting on the train of that woman, using it as if it were his chariot, but when she lifted her train up, my companion was shaken off into the dirt: and that is why I was laughing."


November 10.—Death of Mr. Henry Bucknall, confectioner, Chandlers-lane, aged forty-nine. He was excessively corpulent, weighing more than twenty-five stone, and died very suddenly, immediately after eating a hearty breakfast. In Lord Howe's memorable engagement, on the 1st of June, 1794, he had served as a marine on board the Brunswick. His interment, at St. Mary's New Burial-ground, on the 14th, drew together a large concourse of spectators. The coffin was of enormous size, and nearly equalled the body in weight. It was made of excellent oak, was 6 feet 8 inches in length, and 2 feet 11 inches across the breast; the bottom was 2½ inches thick, the sides 1½, and the lid 1. The whole, including the body, considerably exceeded five hundred-weight.

[Pg 79]


"Don John, of Austria," says Staveley, "Governor of the Netherlands for Philip the 2d of Spain, dying at his camp at Buge (Bouges, a mile from Namur), was carried from thence to the great church at Havre, where his funeral was solemnised, and a monument to posterity erected for him there by Alexander Farnese, the Prince of Parma. Afterwards his body was taken to pieces, and the bones, packed in mails, were privately carried into Spain, where being set together with small wires, the body was rejointed again, which being filled or stuffed with cotton, and richly habited, Don John was presented to the king entire, leaning on his commander's staff. Afterwards the corpse being carried to the church of St. Laurence, at the Escurial, was there buried near his father, Charles V., with a fitting monument for him."


Ornaments of Female Dress

Fig. 1 is a necklace of beads, each bead being cut so as to represent a group of several, and give the effect of many small round beads to what are in reality long and narrow ones. Fig. 2 is a necklace of simpler construction, consisting of a row of rudely-shaped beads, its centre being remarkable for containing a rude attempt at representing a human face, the only thing of the kind Hoare discovered of so ancient a date in Britain. Fig. 3 is another necklace, consisting of a series of curious little shells, like the hirlas horn used by the Britons, which are perforated lengthways, and thus strung together. Fig. 4 is a pin of iron, supposed to have been used as a fastening for a mantle; it is ornamented with two movable rings. Fig. 5 is a small gold ornament, checkered like a chessboard, and suspended from a chain of beautiful workmanship, which, in taste and execution, bears a striking similarity to our modern curb-chains. Fig. 6 is an ear-ring, a bead suspended from a twisted wire of gold. Fig. 7 is a brass ornament, and Fig. 8 a similar one of gold: such ornaments are usually found upon the breasts of the exhumed skeletons of our barrows, and were probably fastened on their clothes as ornaments. Their cruciform character might lead to a doubt of their high antiquity, if we were not aware of the fact, that the symbol of the cross was worn, as an amulet or ornament, ages before the Christian era.

[Pg 80]


Lately, near Malden, an eel was taken, measuring five feet six inches in length, seventeen in girth, and weighing 26 pounds, the largest of the species ever caught, or described in natural history.


A boast being made of the obedience of a Newfoundland dog in fetching and carrying, the master put a marked shilling under a large square stone by the road side, and, having ridden on three miles, ordered the dog to go back and fetch it. The dog set off, but did not return the whole day. He had gone to the place, and being unable to turn the stone, sat howling by it. Two horsemen came by and saw his distress, and one of them alighting removed the stone, and finding the shilling, put it in his pocket, not supposing that the dog could possibly be looking for that. The dog followed the horses for upwards of twenty miles, stayed in the room where they supped, got into the bed-room, got the breeches in which the fatal shilling had been put, made his escape with them, and dragged them through mud and mire, hedge and ditch, to his master's house.


A few years ago, a man of about forty years of age, hired himself as a labourer, in one of the most considerable ale-breweries in the City: at this time he was a personable man; stout, active, and not fatter than a moderate-sized man in high health should be. His chief occupation was to superintend the working of the new beer, and occasionally to set up at night to watch the sweet-wort, an employment not requiring either activity or labour; of course, at these times, he had an opportunity of tasting the liquor, of which, it appears, he always availed himself; besides this, he had constant access to the new beer. Thus leading a quiet inactive life, he began to increase in bulk, and continued to enlarge, until, in a very short time, he became of such an unwieldy size, as to be unable to move about, and was too big to pass up the brewhouse staircase; if by any accident he fell down, he was unable to get up again without help. The integuments of his face hung down to the shoulders and breast: the fat was not confined to any particular part, but diffused over the whole of his body, arms, legs, &c., making his appearance such as to attract the attention of all who saw him. He left this service to go into the country, being a burthen to himself, and totally useless to his employers. About two years afterwards he called upon his old masters in very different shape to that above described, being reduced in size nearly half, and weighing little more than ten stone. The account that he gave of himself was, that as soon as he had quitted the brewhouse he went into Bedfordshire, where having soon spent the money he had earned, and being unable to work, he was brought into such a state of poverty, as to be scarcely able to obtain the sustenance of life, often being a whole day without food; that he drank very little, and that was generally water. By this mode of living he began to diminish in size, so as to be able to walk about with tolerable ease. He then engaged himself [Pg 81] to a farmer, with whom he stayed a considerable time, and in the latter part of his service he was able to go through very hard labour, being sometimes in the field ploughing and following various agricultural concerns, for a whole day, with no other food than a small pittance of bread and cheese. This was the history he gave of the means by which this extraordinary change was brought about. He added, his health had never been so good as it then was.


The Sun was first worshipped, probably, as a bright manifestation of God, but soon began to be regarded as the Deity himself. The Moon, in the absence of the Sun, and next in splendour, would succeed it in superstitious attention. And so we find the Romans, as well as the Saxons, dedicating the first and second days of the week respectively to these "great lights." Formerly, festivals were held on the appearance of a New Moon; and in some parts of England it is still customary to bless it, and in Scotland at the same time to drop a courtesy. And in times not long past, the influence of the Moon was considered to be so great as to regulate the growth of air, and the effect of medicine, and to cause steeples and other elevated buildings to bend from their upright positions.


This belief is curiously illustrated by two legendary stories preserved by Gervase of Tilbury. "One Sunday," he says, "the people of a village in England were coming out of church on a thick cloudy day, when they saw the anchor of a ship hooked to one of the tombstones; the cable, which was tightly stretched, hanging down from the air. The people were astonished, and while they were consulting about it, suddenly they saw the rope move as though some one laboured to pull up the anchor. The anchor, however, still held fast by the stone, and a great noise was suddenly heard in the air, like the shouting of sailors. Presently a sailor was seen sliding down the cable for the purpose of unfixing the anchor; and when he had just loosened it, the villagers seized hold of him, and while in their hands he quickly died, just as though he had been drowned. About an hour after, the sailors above, hearing no more of their comrade, cut the cable and sailed away. In memory of this extraordinary event, the people of the village made the hinges of the church doors out of the iron of the anchor, and 'there they are still to be seen.'—At another time, a merchant of Bristol set sail with his cargo for Ireland. Some time after this, while his family were at supper, a knife suddenly fell in through the window on the table. When the husband returned, he saw the knife, declared it to be his own, and said that on such a day, at such an hour, while sailing in an unknown part of the sea, he dropped the knife overboard, and the day and hour were known to be exactly the time when it fell through the window. These accidents, Gervase thinks, are a clear proof of there being a sea above hanging over us."—St. Patrick's Purgatory. By Thos. Wright. 1844.

[Pg 82]


Paper as we now have it, that is to say, paper made of the pulp of fibrous materials, pressed into thin sheets, dried, and, when intended for writing or printing purposes, sized, is of comparatively modern introduction to Europe and Western Asia; although the Chinese appear to have formed paper out of silk pulp, mixed with the inner pith of the bamboo, as early at least as 95 A.D.:—not from time immemorial, as some authors have stated, because the circumstance is well attested, that in the time of Confucius, the Chinese wrote with a style on the inner bark of trees.


Before the invention of paper, the surfaces employed for writing upon were numerous. Surfaces of lead or other metal; tables covered with wax, skins of animals,—(parchment in fact)—all were used; but no one of these was ever so extensively employed as the Egyptian papyrus, whenever the latter material could be obtained. So soon, however, as the Saracens in the seventh century conquered Egypt, the exportation of papyrus was at an end; and writing surfaces became so scarce in Europe that many ancient documents of great value were erased in order to render them adapted for being written on once more. Thus perished many treasures of antiquity.

As the Saracens closed the avenue of supply for the ancient papyrus, so they compensated to Europe for this deprivation by discovering the manufacture of ordinary paper—at least paper made in the ordinary modern fashion,—though the material was cotton, not linen. This discovery was made some time anterior to the year 706 A.D., for at that period a manufactory of paper existed at Samarcand. In the eighth century the Saracens conquered Spain, and introduced into the Peninsula, amongst other arts, that of the manufacture of paper, which art was a long time finding its way into other parts of Europe,—in Italy not until the eleventh or twelfth century. The vast amount of papyrus [Pg 83] which must have been employed in Italy, may be inferred from the number of rolls or scapi of this substance discovered in Herculaneum and Pompeii; also from a perusal of many existing documents bearing directly or indirectly on this branch of commerce. Even so late as the commencement of the sixth century, Cassiodorus congratulated the world on the abolition, by King Theodoric, of the high duty on papyrus from Egypt; and he spoke in high flown terms of the great utility of the material. The latest papyrus roll known is of the twelfth century, containing a brief of Pope Paschal II., in favour of the Archiepiscopal see of Ravenna.


The various species of papyrus plants belong to the natural order "Cyperaceæ," or sedges, of botanists; a main characteristic of which is a certain triangularity of stem. The method of constructing a writing surface from these stems was as follows:—The available portion being cut off (it was seldom more than twelve inches in length), and split, or, more properly speaking, unfolded into thin sheets, which were glued together transversely in such a manner that the original length of the papyrus stem became the breadth of the future sheet; the length of which might be increased at the pleasure of the operator. Frequently the manufactured scrolls were more than thirty feet long. As different methods prevail in the manufacture of our ordinary paper, so in like manner there were different processes of fashioning the papyrus into shape. The rudest manufacture appears to have been that of Egypt, and the best papyrus sheets appear to have been made in Rome during the [Pg 84] Augustine Æra. The preceding sketch represents a papyrus roll, copied from a specimen in the Egyptian Room of the British Museum.

Considering the numerous pieces entering into the composition of the roll, of which our illustration represents a portion, the lines of juncture are remarkably well concealed, only a sort of grain being visible. The surface, moreover, is smoothed, and its colour very much like that of India paper. The hieroglyphics are coloured as is usual, red is the predominant tint, and the colours are no less well demarcated and separate than they would have been on glazed paper.

Our preceding wood-cuts represent the Sicilian or Syrian papyrus, hitherto termed cyperus papyrus, in two states of development—one with flowers, the other without. In order that inflorescence may take place, the plant requires to be well supplied with water.


Friday, March 9—Was executed at Northampton, William Alcock, for the murder of his wife. He never own'd the fact, nor was at all concerned at his approaching death; refusing the prayers and assistance of any persons. In the morning he drank more than was sufficient, yet sent and paid for a pint of wine, which being deny'd him, he would not enter the cart before he had his money return'd. On his way to the gallows he sung part of an old song of "Robin Hood," with the chorus, "Derry, derry, down," &c., and swore, kick'd, and spurn'd at every person that laid hold of the cart; and before he was turn'd off, took off his shoes, to avoid a well known proverb; and being told by a person in the cart with him, it was more proper for him to read, or hear somebody read to him, than so vilely to swear and sing, he struck the book out of the person's hands, and went on damning the spectators and calling for wine. Whilst psalms and prayers were performing at the tree he did little but talk to one or other, desiring some to remember him, others to drink to his good journey, and to the last moment declared the injustice of his case.


At Bishops Stortford there were two dogs, which belonged to nobody, and lived upon the quay of the river or canal there. They took the greatest delight in rat hunting, and when the maltsters went about at night to see that all was safe, these dogs invariably followed them. Their mode of proceeding was very ingenious. As soon as the door of the malt-house was unlocked, one rushed in and coursed round the warehouse, not chasing any rat which might start, but pursuing its way among the malt. The other stood at the door and snapped at the rats as they endeavoured to escape. The one standing at the door was known to kill six rats, all of which had rushed to the door at the same time. The next room they came to, they would change posts; the one which hunted before, now standing at the door and seizing the prey. By this means the dogs killed in the malting-houses of one maltster alone, upwards of 2,000 rats in the course of one year. One of them on one occasion killed sixty-seven in less than five minutes. They seemed to pursue the sport simply for their amusement.

[Pg 85]


Just as a strolling actor at Newcastle had advertised his benefit, a remarkable stranger, no less than the Prince Annamaboo, arrived, and placarded the town that he granted audiences at a shilling a-head. The stroller, without delay, waited on the proprietor of the Prince, and for a good round sum prevailed on him to command his Serene Highness to exhibit his august person on his benefit night. The bills of the day announced that between the acts of the comedy Prince Annamaboo would give a lively representation of the scalping operation, sound the Indian war-whoop in all its melodious tones, practice the tomahawk exercise, and dine à la cannibal. An intelligent mob were collected to witness these interesting exploits. At the conclusion of the third act, his Highness marched forward flourishing his tomahawk, and shouting, "Ha, ha!—ho, ho!" Next entered a man with his face blacked, and a piece of bladder fastened to his head with gum; the Prince, with an enormous carving-knife, began the scalping part of the entertainment, which he performed in a truly imperial style, holding up the piece of bladder as a token of triumph. Next came the war-whoop, an unearthly combination of discordant sounds; and lastly, the banquet, consisting of raw beef-steaks, which he rolled up into rouleaus, and devoured with right royal avidity. Having finished his delicate repast, he wielded his tomahawk in an exulting manner, bellowed "Ha, ha!—ho, ho!" and made his exit. The bénéficiaire strolling through the market-place the following-day, spied the most puissant Prince Annamaboo selling penknives, scissors, and quills, in the character of a Jew pedlar. "What!" said the astonished Lord Townley, "my Prince, is it you? Are you not a pretty circumcised little scoundrel to impose upon us in this manner?" Moses turned round, and with an arch look, replied, "Princh be d—d! I vash no Princh; I vash acting like you. Your troop vash Lords and Ladies last night; and to-night dey vil be Kings, Prinches, and Emperor! I vash humpugs, you vash humpugs, all vash humpugs!"


A gentleman, of great respectability in the mercantile world, who weighed thirty-two stone nine pounds, put himself upon a strict diet of four ounces of animal food, six ounces of bread, and two pounds of liquid, in twenty-four hours. In one week he lost thirty pounds weight, and in six months he was diminished the astonishing quantity of one hundred and thirty-four pounds. His health and spirits were much improved, and considering his remaining size of twenty-three stone, he was very active.


Lord Monboddo relates the following singular anecdote of a serpent:—"I am well informed of a tame serpent in the East Indies, which belonged to the late Dr. Vigot, once kept by him in the suburbs of Madras. This serpent was taken by the French, when they invested Madras, and was carried to Pondicherry in a close carriage. But from thence, he found his way back again to his old quarters, though Madras was above one hundred miles distant from Pondicherry."

[Pg 86]


Shoes Made of Rawhide

Before the Roman invasion, the dress of its chieftains consisted of a close coat or covering for the body, called by Dio a tunic, and described as checkered with various colours in divisions. It was open before, and had long close sleeves to the wrist. Below were loose pantaloons, called by the Irish brigis, and by the Romans brages and bracæ; whence the modern term "breeches." Over their shoulders was thrown the mantle or cloak, called by the Romans sagum, and derived from the Celtic word saic, which signified a skin or hide, and which was the original cloak of the country. Diodorus tells us that it was of one uniform colour, generally either blue or black, the predominating tint in the checkered trousers and tunic being red. On their heads they wore a conical cap, which derived its name from the "cab," or hut of the Briton, which was of similar form. On their feet were shoes made of raw cow-hide, that had the hair turned outward, and which reached to the ankles. Shoes so constructed were worn within the last few years in Ireland; and we engrave two from specimens in the Royal Irish Academy. One is of cow-hide, and drawn together by a string over the foot; and the other has a leather thong, which is fastened beneath the heel inside, and, passing over the instep, draws the shoe like a purse over the foot. It is of untanned leather.


Roman Female Shoes

The British gwn, from whence comes the modern "gown," descended to the middle of the thigh, the sleeves barely reaching to the elbows: it was sometimes confined by a girdle. Beneath this a longer dress reached to the ancles. The hair was trimmed after the Roman fashion; and upon the feet, when covered, were sometimes worn shoes of a costly character, of which we know the Romans themselves to have been fond. An extremely beautiful pair was discovered upon opening a Roman burial-place at Southfleet in Kent, in 1802. They were placed in a stone sarcophagus, between two large glass urns or vases, each containing a considerable quantity of burnt bones. They were of superb and expensive workmanship, being made of fine purple leather, reticulated in the form of hexagons all over, and each hexagonal division worked with gold, in an elaborate and beautiful manner.

[Pg 87]


Amid the ruins of stately temples, and numerous remains of the "Eternal City," there are no objects which have such great and general interest as the subterranean churches, dwellings, and places of sepulchre of the early Christians, which perforate, by a network of excavations, the neighbourhood of Rome.

The great increase in the extent and magnificence of Rome during the times of the Republic, led to the formation of quarries in the surrounding parts. The peculiar nature of the soil has caused the excavations to be [Pg 88] made in a manner similar to that used in the working of coal, iron, stone, lime, &c. The useful material has, in fact, been cleared away, leaving long ranges of dark caves and passages. After the stone had been removed from these underground quarries, it was, for many centuries, customary to work out the sand for the purpose of making cement. Vitruvius has stated that the sand obtained from the Esquiline pits was preferable to any other. Ultimately the quarries and sandpits extended to a distance of upwards of fifteen miles on one side of Rome. Parts of this large range of excavations were from time to time used as burial-grounds by such of the Romans as could not afford the cost of burning the bodies of their dead relations. And, in addition, the Esquiline hills became infested by banditti, and was from these various causes rendered almost impassable.

In these excavations, it is said, that not only persons, but cattle, contrived to support existence; and although it was well known that large numbers were lodged in these dismal dwellings, their intricacy and numberless entrances rendered them a comparatively secure retreat. It is related that attempts were made to cover the galleries with earth, in order to destroy those who were concealed within.

Inscription in Catacomb

In course of time the catacombs became, with the exception of one or two, neglected and filled up with rubbish, and remained for a period of upwards of one thousand years untouched and almost unknown. In the sixteenth century the whole range of the catacombs were reopened, and numerous inscriptions and other matters connected with the struggles and hardships of the early Christians brought to light. The annexed brief memorial will show the general style of the lettering.


Ante page 60, we gave representations of some ancient instruments of punishment and torture, all more or less terrible in their character, the use of which, for many a long year, has been happily abandoned. As a companion to this group, we have engraved a few of the instruments of punishment by which criminals of a vulgar character were sought to be reformed. The first of these is the felon's brand, the mark of which rendered a man infamous for life. Figure 1, p. 90 represents the instrument itself. Figure 2, the mark branded in, which latter has been engraved the exact size. The device, which is deeply cut into the metal, is a gallows, such as was used before the invention of the Drop and the Wheel for Execution and torture.

The Stocks and Whipping-post, although long since removed from London Bridge, may be met with in retired country places. We have noticed some characteristic examples in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, where some of the may-poles, day-wheels, and other curious relics, may still be seen. [2] In some instances the Stocks and Whipping-posts [Pg 89] were richly carved, and clamped with iron work of an ornamental character. We remember seeing the stocks used within the last thirty years, once at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and once at Gateshead, the adjoining town. The culprit in the one instance was an elector, who, in the excess of zeal and beer, during an old-fashioned contested election, rushed into one of the churches during the Sunday's service, and shouted out, "Bell (one of the candidates) for ever." He was speedily taken hold of, and placed for several hours in the stocks in the churchyard; and, as the stimulating effect of the strong drink passed away, he looked a deplorable object, decked as he was with numerous cockades, the "favours" of the candidate, whose cause he so indiscreetly supported.

The punishment of the barrel we should think to have been adapted for drunkards who could preserve a perpendicular position.

In the histories of London, it is mentioned that bakers and other dealers caught giving false weight, or in any other ways cheating the poor, were exhibited occasionally in this manner; but more frequently they were placed in the parish dung-cart, and slowly drawn through the streets of the district.

The Whirligig, a circular cage which could be moved swiftly round on a pivot, was, in bygone days, in use for offenders in the English army. There was another instrument used for the same purpose called the Horse, which was made in rude resemblance of the animal whose name it bore. The body was composed of planks of wood, which formed a sharp angle along the back. On this the soldier was seated, and his legs fastened below to several heavy muskets. This is said to have been a very severe and dangerous punishment. In addition to the above, and flogging, imprisonment, &c., there were three ancient methods of punishment in the English army—viz., beheading, hanging, and drowning. The latter of these, according to Grose, was in use only in the reign of Richard I. This author observes that, some centuries ago, capital punishment was rare in our army, the men having generally property, which was confiscated in case of ill conduct. He, however, refers to some terrible means which were resorted to for the purpose of preserving discipline. Hanging was chiefly confined to spies; who were taken to a tree in sight of the camp, and yet sufficiently distant, and there hung up. In many instances, when a corps or a considerable body of men were guilty of crime, for which the established punishment was death, to prevent too great a weakening of the army, the delinquents, Grose says, "were decimated, that is, only every tenth man was taken. A number of billets, equal to that of the body to be decimated, were put into a helmet, every tenth billet being marked with the letter D, or some other character signifying death; the helmet was then shaken, in order to mix them, and the soldiers, filing off singly from the right, passed by the commanding officers, before whom, on a table, stood the helmet; as they passed, each drew a billet and presented it to an officer placed to receive them. If the billet had the fatal mark; the soldier was seized and marched into the rear."

This wholesale method of capital punishment must have been a solemn affair. At times, it was customary to punish the man at the right hand of companies; without giving them the chance of the billet—on the principal [Pg 90] that these were the most influential persons, and must, from their companionship with the others, have been acquainted with and have possessed the means of checking or giving information, which would prevent dangerous offences.

1. Brand for Marking Felons. 2. Impression of Brand. 3. Punishment for Drunkards, formerly in use at Newcastle-on-Tyne. 4. The Whirligig, a military method of punishment. 5. Pillory, Stocks, and Whipping Post, formerly on London Bridge.

The regulations of the English army during the time of Henry VIII., and previous reigns, may be met with in "Grose's Military Antiquities."

[Pg 91]


This, now, common expression, is a corruption of the word Hamburgh, and originated in the following manner:—During a period when war prevailed on the Continent, so many false reports and lying bulletins were fabricated at Hamburgh, that at length, when any one would signify his disbelief of a statement, he would say, "You had that from Hamburgh;" and thus, "That is Hamburgh," or Humbug, became a common expression of incredulity.


It has often been said figuratively that marriage is a lottery; but we do not recollect to have met with a practical illustration of the truth of the simile, before the following, which is a free translation of an advertisement in the Louisiana Gazette:—"A young man of good figure and disposition, unable, though desirous to procure a wife, without the preliminary trouble of amassing a fortune, proposes the following expedient to attain the object of his wishes. He offers himself as the prize of a lottery to all widows and virgins under 32. The number of tickets to be 600, at 50 dollars each. But one number to be drawn from the wheel, the fortunate proprietor of which is to be entitled to himself and the 30,000 dollars."


The common people of the country seem to fare hardly and sparingly enough, but one of our envoys praises much of the good cheer he found at the tables of the great men. They had pork, fish, and poultry, prepared in a great variety of ways, and very nice confectionery in abundance. The feasts, moreover, were served up in a very neat and cleanly manner. But there was one dainty which much offended their nostrils, and nearly turned their stomachs when it was named to them. It was not stewed dog or fricaséed pup. No; it consisted of three bowls of hatched eggs! When the Englishmen expressed some surprise at the appearance of this portion of the repast, one of the native attendants observed that hatched eggs formed a delicacy beyond the reach of the poor—a delicacy adapted only for persons of distinction! On inquiry, it was found that they cost in the market some thirty per cent. more than fresh eggs. It seems that they always form a distinguished part of every great entertainment, and that it is the practice, when invitations are sent out, to set the hens to hatch. The feast takes place about the tenth or twelfth day from the issuing the invitations,—the eggs being then considered as ripe, and exactly in the state most agreeable and pleasant to the palate of a Chinese epicure.


"Bubo a shrick owle, is a byrd wel inough knowen, which is called Magis of the Chaldes, and Hysopus of the Greekes. There bee maruaylous vertues of this Fowle, for if the hart and ryght foote of it be put upon a man sleeping, hee shall saye anone to thee whatsoever thou shalt aske of him. And thys hath beene prooued of late tyme of our [Pg 92] brethren. And if any man put thys onder his arme hole, no Dog wyll barke at hym, but keepe silence. And yf these thynges aforesayde ioyned together with a wyng of it be hanged up to a tree, byrdes wyl gather together to that tree."

"When thou wylt that thy wyfe or wenche shewe to thee all that shee hath done, take the hart of a Doove, and the heade of a Frog, and drye them both, and braie them vnto poulder, and lay them vpon the brest of her sleeping, and shee shall shew to thee all that shee hath done, but when shee shall wake, wipe it awaye from her brest, that it bee not lifted vp."

"Take an Adders skyn, and Auri pigmentum, and greeke pitch of Reuponticum, and the waxe of newe Bees, and the fat or greace of an Asse, and breake them all, and put them all in a dull seething pot full of water, and make it to seeth at a slowe fire, and after let it waxe cold, and make a taper, and euery man that shall see light of it shall seeme headlesse."—The Secreetes of Nature, set foorth by Albertus Magnus in Latine, newlye translated into English. Imprinted at London by me Wyllyam Copland. No date. Black letter, very old.


There is a story told of a tame magpie, which was seen busily employed in a garden, gathering pebbles, and with much solemnity, and a studied air, dropping them in a hole, about eighteen inches deep, made to receive a post. After dropping each stone, it cried, Currack! triumphantly, and set off for another. On examining the spot a poor toad was found in the hole, which the magpie was stoning for his amusement.


Growth produces in the species a somewhat remarkable change in the mechanical qualities of the bones. This important part of our organism consists of three constituents—fibre, cartilage, and the earthy matter already mentioned called phosphate of lime. From the fibre they derive their toughness; from the cartilage their elasticity; and from the lime their hardness and firmness. Nothing can be more admirable in the economy of our body than the manner in which the proportion of these constituents adapts itself to the habitudes of age. The helpless infant, exposed by a thousand incidents to external shocks, has bones, the chief constituents of which being gristly and cartilaginous, are yielding and elastic, and incur little danger of fracture. Those of the youth, whose augmented weight and increased activity demand greater strength, have a larger proportion of the calcareous and fibrous elements, but still enough of the cartilaginous to confer upon the solid framework of his body the greatest firmness, toughness, and elasticity. As age advances, prudence and tranquil habits increasing, as well as the weight which the bones have to sustain, the proportion of the calcareous constituent increases, giving the requisite hardness and strength, but diminishing the toughness and elasticity.

While the bones thus change their mechanical qualities as age advances, they diminish in number, the frame consequently having fewer joints [Pg 93] and less flexibility. The bones of a child, whose habits require greater bodily pliability, are more numerous than those of an adult, several of the articulations becoming ossified between infancy and maturity. In like manner, the bones at maturity are more numerous than in advanced age, the same progressive ossification of the joints being continued.

It has been ascertained by anatomists that, on attaining the adult state, the number of bones constituting the framework of the human body is 198; of which 52 belong to the trunk, 22 to the head, 64 to the arms, and 60 to the legs.


Tower of the Thundering Winds

The Great Wall is certainly a wonderful monument of ancient times; but it is almost the only one that we read of in China, except a famous Temple, or Tower, partly in ruins, which stands on an eminence in the neighbourhood of Hang-chow-foo. It is called the "Tower of the Thundering Winds," and is supposed to have been built about 2,500 years ago.


This eccentric person died at the great age of 96, and was for half a century, physician to Chelsea Hospital. He left his body for dissection, [Pg 94] and a few days before he died, wrote to Mr. Cruikshanks, the Anatomist, begging him to know, whether it would suit his convenience to do it, as he felt he could not live many hours, and Mr. Forster, his surgeon, was then out of town. He died as he predicted, and his wishes with respect to his body, were strictly attended to.


A folio sheet of the time of Charles II. entitled "An Exact Description of the Growth, Quality, and Virtues of the Leaf Tea, by Thomas Garway, in Exchange Alley, near the Royal Exchange, in London, Tobacconist, and Seller and Retailer of Tea and Coffee," informs us that "in England it hath been sold in the leaf for six pounds, and sometimes for ten pounds the pound weight; and in respect of its former scarceness and dearness, it hath been only used as a regalia in high treatments, and entertainments, and presents made thereof to princes and grandees till the year 1657. The said Thomas Garway did purchase a quantity thereof, and first publikely sold the said Tea in leaf and drink, made according to the direction of the most knowing merchants and travellers in those eastern countries: and upon knowledge and experience of the said Garway's continued care and industry, in obtaining the best Tea, and making drink thereof, very many noblemen, physicians, merchants, and gentlemen of quality, have ever since sent to him for the said leaf, and daily resort to his house, in Exchange Alley, to drink the drink thereof."


The following lines, from the Gentleman's Magazine of 1733, will give us some idea of what fashionable life was at that period:—

The Town Lady's Answer to,—"What tho' I am a Country Lass."

What tho' I am a London dame,
And lofty looks I bear, a?
I carry, sure, as good a name,
As those who russet wear, a.
What tho' my cloaths are rich brocades?
My skin it is more white, a
Than any of the country maids
That in the fields delight, a.
What tho' I to assemblies go,
And at the Opera's shine, a?
It is a thing all girls must do,
That will be ladies fine, a:
And while I hear Faustina sing,
Before the king and queen, a
By Eyes they are upon the wing,
To see, if I am seen, a.
My Peko and Imperial Tea
Are brought me in the Morn, a.
At Noon Champaign and rich Tokay
My table do adorn, a.
The Evening then does me invite
To play at dear Quadrille, a:
And sure in this there's more delight,
Than in a purling rill, a.
Then since my Fortune does allow
Me to live as I please, a;
I'll never milk my father's cow
Nor press his coming cheese, a.
But take my swing both night and day,
I'm sure it is no sin, a:
And as for what the grave ones say,
I value not a pin, a.


The barber's pole, one of the popular relics of Merrie England, is still to be seen in some of the old streets of London and in country towns, painted with its red, blue, and yellow stripes, and surmounted with [Pg 95] a gilt acorn. The lute and violin were formerly among the furniture of a barber's shop. He who waited to be trimmed, if of a musical turn, played to the company. The barber himself was a nimble-tongued, pleasant-witted fellow. William Rowley, the dramatist, in "A Search for Money, 1609," thus describes him:—"As wee were but asking the question, steps me from over the way (over-listning us) a news-searcher, viz. a barber: hee, hoping to attaine some discourse for his next patient, left his baner of basons swinging in the ayre, and closely eave-drops our conference. The saucie treble-tongu'd knave would insert somewhat of his knowledge (treble-tongu'd I call him, and thus I prove't: hee has a reasonable mother-tonger, his barber-surgions tongue; and a tongue betweene two of his fingers, and from thence proceeds his wit, and 'tis a snapping wit too). Well, sir, hee (before hee was askt the question,) told us that the wandring knight (Monsier L'Argent) sure was not farre off; for on Saterday-night hee was faine to watch till morning to trim some of his followers, and its morning they went away from him betimes. Hee swore hee never clos'd his eyes till hee came to church, and then hee slept all sermon-time; (but certainly hee is not farre afore, and at yonder taverne showing us the bush) I doe imagine hee has tane a chamber." In ancient times the barber and the tailor, as news-mongers, divided the crown. The barber not only erected his pole as a sign, but hung his basins upon it by way of ornament.


Though it is customary in many rural districts of England, when bees are swarming, to make a clanging noise with metal implements, under the impression—an erroneous one we believe—that it will induce the swarm to settle, it is not generally supposed that bees are susceptible of being trained to obey in many respects the orders of their teacher. Such, however, is the fact, and an instance of it occurs in the following advertisement, which we have copied from an old newspaper. We give it as we find it, but it is not very clear what locality is meant by "their proper places":—

"At the Jubilee Gardens, Dobney's, 1772. Daniel Wildman rides, standing upright, one foot on the saddle, and the other on the horse's neck, with a curious mask of bees on his face. He also rides, standing upright on the saddle, with the bridle in his mouth, and, by firing a pistol, makes one part of the bees march over a table, and the other part swarm in the air, and return to their proper places again."


Anatomists and surgeons have frequently incurred the odium of being precipitate in their post mortem examinations. It has been charged upon the illustrious Vessalius, and, in more modern times, on Mons. de Lassone, and others; nay, credulity has gone so far, as to suppose, that subjects have occasionally been kept till wanted; nor is such a notion altogether extravant, when we find an article of this kind offered to Joshua Brookes, the anatomical lecturer, in the following terms:—

"Mr. Brooke, i have taken it into consideration to send this poor man [Pg 96] to you, being greatly in distress, hopeing you will find sum employment for him in silling the dead carcases; and if you can find him no employment, the berer of this wishes to sill himself to you, as he is weary of this life. And I remain your humble servant,

"John Davis."



It is little more than thirty years ago, when, on the river Tyne, a large fleet of peculiarly-formed vessels was to be seen daily employed in the carriage of coals to the ships from the "staiths," which projected into the river from the various colliery tramways. At that period, there was only one very small and ill-constructed steam-packet for the conveyance of passengers between Newcastle and Shields, and against which so much prejudice existed, that the majority of persons preferred the covered wherries, which, for some centuries before, had been in use; yet so slow and uncertain was this means of transit between the two towns, that persons in a hurry often found it advisable to walk the intervening distance, which is about eight miles.

The Present Locomotive and Train

The collieries situated away from the river had tramways of wood let into the ordinary roads, in such a manner as to form wheel-tracks for carriages. These, drawn by horses, were the only means thought of for [Pg 97] bringing the coals to the river bank. Some of these tramways were nearly as old as the times of Queen Elizabeth or James I., when the increase of London and other causes began to overcome the prejudice against the use of "sea-coal." Many of the tramways passed amid green and shadowy woods and other pleasant places, and we have often thought when wandering through them, of the difficulties that beset travellers at that time. Even at a more recent date, in 1673, day coaches were considered dangerous, and it was suggested that the multitude of them in London should be limited, and not more than one be allowed to each shire, to go once a week backwards and forwards, and to perform the whole journey with the same horses they set out with, and not to travel [Pg 98] more than thirty miles a day in summer, and twenty-five in winter. The arguments advanced in favour of these proposals were, that coaches and caravans were mischievous to the public, destructive to trade, and prejudicial to the land—because, firstly, they destroyed the breed of good horses, and made men careless of horsemanship; secondly, they hindered the breed of watermen, who were the nursery of seamen; thirdly, they lessened the revenue.

In 1703, the road from Petworth to London (less than 50 miles) was so bad that the Duke of Somerset was obliged to rest a night on the road.

In March, 1739 or 1740, Mr. Pennant, the historian, travelled by the stage, then no despicable vehicle for country gentlemen, and in the first day, with "much labour," got from Chester to Whitechurch—twenty miles; and, after a "wondrous effort," reached London before the commencement of the sixth night.

Without entering into an account of the rapid improvement of the English roads soon after the time of Pennant, we may mention that, at about the date 1765, the colliery tramways underwent considerable improvement, by plating the wooden rails in many parts with iron: stone-ways were tried in some instances, but were not found successful; and in course of time the old tramways were covered with cast-iron rails laid on the old foundations. Inclined planes, with fixed steam-engines, also came into use; and at the same time the idea of a locomotive engine was attracting attention in various directions. In 1805 a machine was used on a tramway near Merthyr Tydvil, and soon after this the "Iron Horse," shown in the engraving, was placed upon the wagon way of the Wylam Colliery, from Wylam to Newburn, on the Tyne, near Newcastle, and greatly astonished all who saw it drawing along, at the rate of three miles and a half per hour, from fifteen to twenty wagons of coals, making all the while a horrible and snorting noise, difficult to describe, and sending forth at the same time fire and dense clouds of black smoke. George Stephenson was then beginning to make way, and had provided several improved locomotives for Heaton Colliery. In 1816-1817, patents for improvements in locomotives were taken out by George Stephenson, in connexion with Messrs. Dodd and Losh; and in 1825 the projection of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway afforded a further opportunity for their development. The opposition to the use of steam-engines on this line of railway seems singular enough at the present day; still it was very great. The use of horses was, however, found to be too expensive, and George Stephenson having stated that he could work a locomotive with safety at a rate of from six to eight miles an hour ("I knew," said he, "that if I told them more than that, they would look upon me as more fit for a lunatic house than to give evidence in the House of Commons"), a reward of 500l. was offered for the best locomotive engine. A trial took place in October, 1829—only twenty-seven years ago!—of the steam locomotive engines which were offered in competition. Of these, one was withdrawn at the commencement of the experiment. The "Novelty," by Braithwait and Ericsson, met with an accident; and the "Sanspareil," by Hackworth, attained a velocity of fifteen miles an hour, with a gross load of nineteen tons, but at length gave way, owing to an [Pg 99] accident; the remaining engine, constructed by Robert Stephenson and Mr. Booth, succeeded in performing more than was stipulated.

The contrast between the date mentioned at the commencement of our article and the present time is remarkable: the old and clumsy fleet has vanished from the Tyne; a railway carries passengers from Newcastle to Shields in a few minutes; numerous steam vessels sail upon the river, some of large size; which travel to various and distant ports. On the colliery railway hundreds of locomotives are at work, and hundreds of thousands of miles of iron rails spread over a wide extent of the civilized world; and, in addition to other wonders, the electric telegraph will, ere long, outrival the power of Puck, the fairy, and "put a girdle round the world in (less than) forty minutes."


1305.—This year was marked by the capture of Sir William Wallace. It appears that the King of England had anxiously sought to discover his retreat, and that, tempted by the prospects of the rewards his baseness might earn for him, Ralph de Haliburton, one of the prisoners taken a short time previously at Sterling, had proffered his services for that purpose. Upon being seized, he was conveyed to the castle of Dumbarton, and thence to England. He was brought to London, "with great numbers of men and women," says Stow, "wondering upon him. He was lodged in the house of William Delect, a citizen of London, in Fenchurch-street. On the morrow, being the eve of St. Bartholomew, he was brought on horseback to Westminster, John Segrave and Geoffrey, knights, the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen of London, and many others, both on horseback and on foot, accompanying him; and in the great hall at Westminster, he being placed on the south bench, crowned with laurel—for that he had said in times past that he ought to bear a crown in that hall, as it was commonly reported—and being appeached for a traitor by Sir Peter Malorie, the king's justice, he answered, that he was never traitor to the king of England, but for other things whereof he was accused, he confessed them." These circumstantial and minute details, inartificially as they are put together, and homely or trivial as some of them may be thought, are yet full of interest for all who would call up a living picture of the scene. Wallace was put to death as a traitor, on the 23rd of August, 1305, at the usual place of execution—the Elms in West Smithfield. He was dragged thither at the tails of horses, and there hanged on a high gallows, after which, while he yet breathed, his bowels were taken out and burnt before his face. The barbarous butchery was then completed by the head being struck off, and the body being divided into quarters. The head was afterwards placed on a pole on London-bridge; the right arm was sent to be set up at Newcastle, the left arm to Berwick, the right foot and limb to Perth, and the left to Aberdeen.


An officer in the Bengal army had a very fine and favourite elephant, which was supplied daily in his presence with a certain allowance of [Pg 100] food, but being compelled to absent himself on a journey, the keeper of the beast diminished the ration of food, and the animal became daily thinner and weaker. When its master returned, the elephant exhibited the greatest signs of pleasure; the feeding time came, and the keeper laid before it the former full allowance of food, which it divided into two parts, consuming one immediately, and leaving the other untouched. The officer, knowing the sagacity of his favourite, saw immediately the fraud that had been practiced, and made the man confess his crime.



The May-pole, decked with garlands, round which the rustics used to dance in this month, yet stands in a few of our villages through the whole circle of the year. A May-pole formerly stood in the Strand, upon the site of the church by Somerset House, but was taken down in 1717. The village May-pole we engrave still remains by the ruins of St. Briavel Castle, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and forms an object of considerable interest to the visitor. Several in the village could remember the May-day dancers, and the removal and setting up of the May-pole. No notice whatever of this old English festival has, however, been taken for some years. The May-pole is about sixty feet high; about half-way up is the rod to which it was usual to fasten the garlands and ribbons. Let us observe, that in many parts of Dean Forest, those who love to trace [Pg 101] the remains of old manners and customs will find ample employment. The people are civil and hospitable; their manner of address reminds us of the wording of the plays of Shakspere's times; and in most houses, if a stranger calls, cider and bread are offered, as in the olden time.


Old Dog Wheel

About a century and a half ago, the long-backed "turnspit" dog, and the curious apparatus here shown, yclept the "Old Dog Wheel," were to be found in most farm houses; simple machinery has, however, now been substituted for the wheel which the dog was made to turn round, like the imprisoned squirrels and white mice of the present day; and not only the dog wheels, but also the long-backed "turnspit" dog have almost disappeared. That which we engrave, however, still exists, and may be seen by the curious, at the Castle of St. Briavel, which stands on the borders of the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire.


The Talmudists relate that Abraham, in travelling to Egypt, brought with him a chest. At the custom-house the officers exacted the duties. Abraham would have readily paid them, but desired they would not open the chest. They first insisted on the duties for clothes, which Abraham consented to pay; but then they thought by his ready acquiescence that it might be gold. Abraham consents to pay for gold. They now suspect it might be silk. Abraham was willing to pay for silk, or more costly pearls—in short, he consented to pay as if the chest contained [Pg 102] the most valuable of things. It was then they resolved to open and examine the chest; and, behold, as soon as the chest was opened, that great lustre of human beauty broke out which made such a noise in the land of Egypt—it was Sarah herself! The jealous Abraham, to conceal her beauty, had locked her up in this chest.


Hippocrates, the greatest physician the world has ever seen, died at the age of one hundred and nine, in the island of Cos, his native country. Galen, the most illustrious of his successors, reached the age of one hundred and four. The three sages of Greece, Solon, Thales, and Pittacus, lived for a century. The gay Democritus outlived them by two years. Zeno wanted only two years of a century when he died. Diogenes ten years more; and Plato died at the age of ninety-four, when the eagle of Jupiter is said to have borne his soul to heaven. Xenophon, the illustrious warrior and historian, lived ninety years. Polemon and Epicharmus ninety-seven; Lycurgus eighty-five; Sophocles more than a hundred. Gorgias entered his hundred and eighth year; and Asclepiades, the physician, lived a century and a half. Juvenal lived a hundred years; Pacuvius and Varro but one year less. Carneades died at ninety; Galileo at sixty-eight; Cassini at ninety-eight; and Newton at eighty-five. In the last century, Fontenelle expired in his ninety-ninth year; Buffon in his eighty-first; Voltaire in his eighty-fourth. In the present century, Prince Talleyrand, Goethe, Rogers, and Niemcewicz are remarkable instances. The Cardinal du Belloy lived nearly a century; and Marshal Moncey lately terminated a glorious career at eighty-five.


Van Helmont tells a story, of a person who applied to Taliacotius to have his nose restored. This person, having a dread of an incision being made in his own arm, for the purpose of removing enough skin therefrom for a nose, got a labourer, who, for a remuneration, suffered the skin for the nose to be taken from his arm. About thirteen months after, the adscitious nose suddenly became cold, and, after a few days, dropped off, in a state of putrefaction. The cause of this unexpected occurrence having been investigated, it was discovered that, at the same moment in which the nose grew cold, the labourer at Bologna expired.


Sigebert was buried in St. Medrad's church, at Soissons, where his statue is still seen in long clothes, with the mantle, which the Romans called chlamys. This was the dress of Colvil's children, whether as more noble and majestic, or that they looked on the title of Augustus as hereditary in their family. However it be, long clothes were, for several ages, the dress of persons of distinction, with a border of sable, ermine, or miniver. Under Charles V. it was emblazoned with all the pieces of the coat of arms. At that time, neither ruffs, collars, nor bands were known, being introduced by Henry II. 'Till this time the neck of the French king was always quite bare, except Charles the Wise, who is [Pg 103] everywhere represented with an ermin collar. The short dress anciently worn in the country and the camp, came to be the general fashion under Louis XI. but was laid aside under Louis XII. Francis I. revived it, with the improvement of flashes. The favourite dress of Henry II. and his children was a tight, close doublet, with trunk hose, and a cloak scarce reaching the waist. The dress of French ladies, it may be supposed, had likewise its revolutions. They seem for nine hundred years, not to have been much taken up with ornament. Nothing could require less time or nicety than their head-dress, and the disposition of their hair. Every part of their linen was quite plain, but at the same time extremely fine. Laces were long unknown. Their gowns, on the right side of which was embroidered their husband's coat of arms, and on the left that of their own family, were so close as to shew all the delicacy of their shape, and came up so high as to cover their whole breast, up to their neck. The habit of widows was very much like that of the nuns. It was not until Charles VI. that they began to expose their shoulders. The gallantry of Charles the VII.'s Court brought in the use of bracelets, necklaces, and ear-rings. Queen Anne de Bretagne despised those trinkets; and Catherine de Medicis made it her whole business to invent new.


John Jones and Jn. Davis, condemn'd for robberries on the highway, were executed at Tyburn. Davis feign'd himself sick, and desir'd he might not be ty'd in the cart: But when he came to the tree, while the hangman was fastening the other's halter, he jumpt out of the cart, and ran over two fields; but being knock'd down by a countryman, was convey'd back and hang'd without any more ceremony. Jones confessed he had been confederate in several robberies with Gordon, lately executed.—Gentleman's Magazine 1733.

A convict running away over two fields at Tyburn, and then being caught by a countryman! How strange this seems, when we look at the streets and squares which now cover the locality, and when the only countrymen now seen there are those who come up from the rural districts!


Yellow hair was at this time esteemed a beauty, and saffron was used by the ladies to dye it of a colour esteemed "odious" by modern ladies. Elizabeth also made yellow hair fashionable, as hers was of the same tint. In the romance of King Alisaunder, we are told of Queen Olympias:—

"Hire yellow hair was fair atyred
With riche strings of gold wyred,
And wryen hire abouten all
To hire gentil myddel small."



The Mosques of Constantinople are the most wonderful objects of that renowned city. More than 300 are picturesquely distributed in conspicuous parts, and form a most attractive feature to the eye of the traveller. The city itself is built upon seven gentle hills, which is the main cause [Pg 104] not only of its grandeur of appearance, but also of its salubrity and comparative cleanliness. There are fourteen chief or imperial mosques, all lofty, and magnificent in their general dimensions, and built from base to dome, of enduring materials, chiefly of white marble, slightly tinged with grey. Some of these have two, some four, and one (that of Sultan Achmet) has even six of those light, thin, lofty, arrowy, and most graceful towers called minarets. The mosque of Santa Sophia was once a Christian cathedral, and is rich in historical recollections. This mosque ranks as one of the grandest edifices. The ridge of the first hill on which the city stands, setting out from the north eastern part, is covered by the Serai or palace of the Sultan, behind which, a little on the reverse of the hill, the dome of Santa Sophia shows itself. The colleges and hospitals, which are generally attached to or near the great mosques, offer no striking [Pg 105] architectural features; but some of the detached chapels or sepulchres (turbés), where sultans, viziers, and other great personages repose, are handsome.



This interesting relic of remote antiquity is at present preserved in the Museum of the East India Company. It was found by Colonel Rawlinson while engaged in prosecuting the discoveries commenced by Layard and Botta, at Nineveh and Babylon; and is supposed to have belonged to King Nebuchadnezzar. In exhuming from the mounds of these long-lost rival cities, the instructive remains of this once gigantic Power, the Colonel discovered, in a perfect state of preservation, what is well believed to be the mummy of Nebuchadnezzar. The face of the rebellious monarch of Babylon, covered by one of those gold masks usually found in Assyrian tombs, is described as very handsome—the forehead high [Pg 106] and commanding, the features marked and regular. The mask is of thin gold, and independent of its having once belonged to the great monarch, has immense value as a relic of an ancient and celebrated people.

The Arab tribes encamping about Wurka and other great mounds search in the loose gravel with their spears for coffins. Gold and silver ornaments, which have been buried in these graves for centuries, are worn by the Arab women of the present day; and many a rare object recovered from them is sold and melted by the goldsmiths of the East. The Arabs mention the discovery, by some fortunate shepherd, of Royal tombs, in which were crowns and sceptres of solid gold.


"I went crosse the Thames," says Evelyn, January 9, 1683-4, "on the ice, which now became so thick as to bear not only streetes of boothes, in which they roasted meate, and had divers shops of wares, quite acrosse as in a towne, but coaches, carts, and horses passed over. So I went from Westminster Stayres to Lambeth, and din'd with the Archbishop. I walked over the ice (after dinner) from Lambeth Stayres to the Horseferry.

"The Thames (Jany 16) was filled with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in a citty. The frost (Jany 24) continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planned with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and shops furnished and full of commodities, even to a printing-presse, where the people and ladyes took a fancy to have their names printed on the Thames. This humour took so universally, that 'twas estimated the printer gained £5 a-day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a day, besides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sleds, sliding with skeates, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet playes and interludes, cookes, tipling, and other lewd places, so that it seem'd to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water."

"It began to thaw (Feb. 5), but froze againe. My coach crossed from Lambeth to the Horseferry at Millbank, Westminster. The booths were almost all taken down; but there was first a map, or landskip, cut in copper, representing all the manner of the camp, and the several actions, sports, and pastimes thereon, in memory of so signal a frost."


We give the following extract from a very old work; not only because it contains several shrewd observations, but also because it is a good specimen of the spelling and diction which prevailed in the sixteenth century, at which period there is internal evidence that the book was written, though it bears no date on the title page:—

"The mouth greate and wyde betokeneth wrath, boldnes and warre. And such men are commonly glottons. A wyde mouth withoute meesure, as thought it were cutte and stretched out, sygnifieth ravening inhumanitie, wickednes, a warlyke hart and cruell, like unto beastes of the [Pg 107] sea. Such men are greate talkers, boasters, babblers, enuious, lyars, and full of follye. The mouthe that hathe but a lyttle closynge and a lyttle openynge, sygnyfyeth a fearful man, quyet, and yet unfaithfull. The mouthe that is verye apparent and rounde with thycknes of lyppes, sygnyfyeth vnclenlynes, follye, and cruelltye. The mouth whyche hath a quantitie in his sytuation with a lyttle shutting, and smylynge eyes wyth the reste of the face, sygnyfyeth a carnall man, a lover of daunces, and a greate lyar. When the mouthe turneth in speakinge it is a sygne that it is infected with some catarre or murre as is manyfest ynough. The long chynne declareth the man to be very lyttle subiecte to anger, and of a good complexion: and yet he is somewhat a babbler and a boaster of hymselfe. They that have a lyttle chinne, are much to be avoyded and taken heede of, for besydes all vices with the whyche they are fylled they are full of impietye and wyckednes and are spyes, lyke unto serpents. If the ende of the chynne be round it is a sygne of feminine maners and also it is a sygne of a woman. But the chynne of a man muste be almoste square."—"The most excellent, profitable, and pleasant booke of the famous doctour and expert Astrologien Arcandam or Aleandrin." ***. Now ready turned out of French into our vulgare tonge, by Will. Warde. Black letter. No date. Printed by J. Rowbothum.


Lord Ferrers was hung for the deliberate and cruel murder of his steward, Mr. Johnson, and his execution at Tyburn furnishes a curious instance of the exhibition of egregious vanity in a man who was just about to meet an ignominious death, and of misplaced pride in his family who could actually decorate the scaffold with the emblems of respectful mourning.

His lordship was dressed in his wedding-clothes, which were of light colour, and embroidered in silver. He set out from the Tower at nine o'clock, amidst crowds of spectators. First went a large body of constables, preceded by one of the high constables; next came a party of grenadiers and a party of foot; then the sheriff, in a chariot and six, the horses dressed with ribbons; and next, Lord Ferrers, in a landau and six, escorted by parties of horse and foot. The other sheriff's carriage followed, succeeded by a mourning-coach and six, conveying some of the malefactor's friends; and lastly, a hearse and six, provided for the purpose of taking the corpse from the place of execution to Surgeons' Hall.

The procession was two hours and three-quarters on its way. Lord Ferrers conversed very freely during the passage. He said, "the apparatus of death, and the passing through such crowds of people, are ten times worse than death itself; but I suppose they never saw a lord hanged, and perhaps they will never see another." He said to the sheriff. "I have written to the king, begging that I might suffer where my ancestor, the Earl of Essex, the favourite of Elizabeth, suffered, and was in great hopes of obtaining that favour, as I have the honour of being allied to his Majesty, and of quartering part of the royal arms. I think it hard that I must die at the place appointed for the execution of common felons."

[Pg 108]

The scaffold was hung with black by the undertaker, at the expense of Lord Ferrers' family. His lordship was pinioned with a black sash, and was unwilling to have his hands tied, or his face covered, but was persuaded to both. On the silken rope being put round his neck, he turned pale, but recovered instantly. Within seven minutes after leaving the landau, the signal was given for striking the stage, and in four minutes he was quite dead. The corpse was subjected to dissection.


The following, taken from an old magazine, is a singular manifestation of eccentricity in a person who, from the books he selected to be buried with him, was evidently a man of an educated and refined mind:—

Died, May 4, 1733, Mr. John Underwood, of Whittlesea, in Cambridgeshire. At his burial, when the service was over, an arch was turn'd over the coffin, in which was placed a small piece of white marble, with this inscription, "Non omnis moriar, 1733." Then the six gentlemen who follow'd him to the grave sung the last stanza of the 20th Ode of the 2d book of Horace. No bell was toll'd, no one invited but the six gentlemen, and no relation follow'd his corpse; the coffin was painted green, and he laid in it with all his cloaths on; under his head was placed Sanadon's "Horace," at his feet Bentley's "Milton;" in his right hand a small Greek Testament, with this inscription in gold letters, "eimientôbaus [Greek: ei mi en tô bausa], J. U," in his left hand a little edition of "Horace" with this inscription, "Musis Amicus, J. U.;" and Bentley's "Horace" under his back. After the ceremony was over they went back to his house, where his sister had provided a cold supper; the cloth being taken away the gentlemen sung the 31st Ode of the 1st Book of "Horace," drank a chearful glass, and went home about eight. He left about 6,000l. to his sister, on condition of her observing this his will, order'd her to give each of the gentlemen ten guineas, and desir'd they would not come in black cloaths. The will ends thus, "Which done I would have them take a chearful glass, and think no more of John Underwood."


Saturday, the seventeenth day of July, 1619, Bernard Calvert, of Andover, about three o'clock in the morning, tooke horse at St. George's Church in Southwarke, and came to Dover about seaven of the clocke the same morning, where a barge, with eight oares, formerly sent from London thither, attended his suddaine coming: he instantly tooke barge, and went to Callice, and in the same barge returned to Dover, about three of the clocke the same day, where, as well there as in diverse other places, he had layed sundry swift horses, besides guides: he rode back from thence to St. George's Church in Southwarke the same evening, a little after eight o'clock, fresh and lusty.—Stow's Annals.



As the arts and sciences improved, so did the construction of Lighthouses, until one of the greatest accomplishments of engineering skill, ever attempted upon such works, was exhibited in the construction of the [Pg 109] Eddystone Lighthouse, which is, indeed, much more entitled than the Pharos of Alexandria to be considered one of the wonders of the world. The rock on which this tower is built is placed about twelve miles south-west of Plymouth, and consists of a series of submarine cliffs, stretching from the west side (which is so precipitous that the largest ship can ride close beside them) in an easterly direction, for nearly half a mile. At the distance of about a quarter of a mile more is another rock, so that a more dangerous marine locality can hardly be imagined. Both these rocks had proved the cause of many fatal shipwrecks, and it was at last resolved to make an attempt to obviate the danger. In the year 1696, a gentleman of Essex, named Winstanley, who had a turn for architecture and mechanics, was engaged to erect a lighthouse upon the Eddystone rock, and in four years he completed it. It did not, however, stand long, for while some repairs were in progress under his direction in 1703, on [Pg 110] the 26th November, a violent hurricane came on which blew the lighthouse down, and Mr. Winstanley and all his workmen perished—nothing remaining of the edifice but a few stones and a piece of iron chain.

In the spring of 1706 an Act of Parliament was obtained for rebuilding the lighthouse, and a gentleman named Rudyerd, a silk mercer, was the engineer engaged. He placed five courses of heavy stones upon the rock and then erected a superstructure of wood. The lighthouse on the Bell Rock, off the coast of Fife, and the one placed at the entrance of the Mersey on the Black Rock, are similarly constructed, so that there seemed to be good reason for adopting the principle. Mr. Smeaton thought that the work was done in a masterly and effective manner; but in 1755 the edifice was destroyed by fire, and he was next retained as the engineer for this important building.

The result of his labours has justly been considered worthy of the admiration of the world, for it is distinguished alike for its strength, durability, and beauty of form. The base of the tower is about twenty-six feet nine inches in diameter, and the masonry is so formed as to be a part of the solid rock, to the height of thirteen feet above the surface, where the diameter is diminished to nineteen feet and a half. The tower then rises in a gradually diminishing curve to the height of eighty-five feet, including the lantern, which is twenty-four feet high. The upper extremity is finished by a cornice, a balustrade being placed around the base of the lantern for use as well as ornament.

The tower is furnished with a door and windows, and the whole edifice outside bears the graceful outline of the trunk of a mighty tree, combining lightness with elegance and strength. Mr. Smeaton commenced his labours in 1756, and completed the building in four years. Before commencing operations he took accurate drawings of the exterior of the rock, and the stones, which were brought from the striking and romantic district of Dartmoor, were all formed to fit into its crevices, and so prepared as to be dovetailed together, and strung by oaken plugs. When put into their places, and then firmly cemented, the whole seemed to form, and does indeed constitute, a part of the solid rock.


The Sweating Sickness first visited England Anno Dom. 1483, and repeated its visitations 1485, 1506, 1517, 1528, and last of all, 1551.

This epidemic disease raged with such peculiar violence in England, and had so quick a crisis, that it was distinguished by the name of Ephemera Britannica. This singular fever seems to have been of the most simple, though of the most acute kind, and notwithstanding princes and nobles were its chief victims, the physicians of the day never agreed upon the method of treating it.

The splendid French embassy, which arrived in England in 1550, found the court-festivities damped by a visitation of that strange and terrific malady.

"This pestilence, first brought into the island by the foreign mercenaries who composed the army of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., now made its appearance for the fourth and last time in [Pg 111] our annals. It seized principally, it is said, on males, on such as were in the prime of their age, and rather on the higher than the lower classes: within the space of twenty-four hours, the fate of the sufferer was decided for life or death. Its ravages were prodigious; two princes died of it; and the general consternation was augmented, by a superstitious idea which went forth, that Englishmen alone were the destined victims of this mysterious minister of fate, which tracked their steps, with a malice and sagacity of an evil spirit, into every distant country of the earth whither they might have wandered, whilst it left unassailed all foreigners in their own."


The following is an early specimen of that system of poetical advertising which in recent times has become so common. It is always interesting to note the origin of customs with which we subsequently become familiar:—

Notice to the Public, and especially to Emigrants, who wish to settle on Lands.—The Subscriber offers for Sale, several Thousand Acres of Land, situated in well settled Front Townships, in Lots to suit Purchasers.

Particulars about Location,
May be known by application.
For quality of soil, and so forth,
Buyers to see, on Nag must go forth.
This much I'll tell ye plainly,
Of big trees ye'll see mainly.
'Bout Butter Nut and Beach,
A whole week I could preach;
But what the plague's the use of that?
The lands are nigh, low, round, and flat.
There's rocks and stumps, no doubt enough,
And bogs and swamps, just quantum-suff
To breed the finest of Musquitoes;
As in the sea are bred Bonitos,
No lack of fever or of ague;
And many other things to plague you.
In short, they're just like other people's,
Sans houses, pigsties, barns, or steeples
What most it imports you to know,
'S the terms on which I'll let 'em go.
So now I offer to the Buyer,
A Credit to his own desire,
For butter, bacon, bread, and cheese,
Lean bullocks, calves, or ducks and geese,
Corn, Tates, flour, barley, rye,
Or any thing but Punkin-Pie.
In three, four years, Aye, five or six,
If that won't do, why let him fix.
But when once fix'd, if payment's slack,
As sure as Fate, I'll take 'em back.

Kingston Brewery, (Canada,) Nov. 2, 1821.


Account how the Earl of Worcester lived at Ragland Castle in Monmouthshire, before the Civil Wars, which began in 1641.

At eleven o'clock in the forenoon, the Castle gates were shut, and the tables laid; two in the dining-room; three in the hall; one in Mrs. Watson's apartment, where the chaplains are, (Sir Toby Mathews being the first;) and two in the housekeeper's room for the lady's women.

The Earl came into the dining-room attended by his gentlemen. As soon as he was seated, Sir Ralph Blackstone, Steward of the house, retired. The Comptroller, Mr. Holland, attended with his staff, as did the Sewer, Mr. Blackburne; the daily waiters, Mr. Clough, Mr. Selby, and Mr. Scudamore; with many gentlemen's sons, from two to seven [Pg 112] hundred pounds a year, bred up in the Castle; my Lady's Gentleman Usher, Mr. Harcourt; my Lord's Gentlemen of the Chamber, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Fox.

At the first table sat the noble family, and such of the nobility as came.

At the second table, in the dining-room, sat Knights and Honourable Gentlemen, attended by footmen.

In the hall, at the first table sat Sir Ralph Blackstone, Steward; the Comptroller, Mr. Holland; the Secretary; the Master of the Horse, Mr. Delewar; the Master of the Fish Ponds, Mr. Andrews; my Lord Herbert's Preceptor, Mr. Adams; with such Gentlemen as came there under the degree of a Knight, attended by footmen, and plentifully served with wine.

At the second table in the hall, (served from my Lord's table, and with other hot meats,) sat the Sewer, with the Gentlemen Waiters and Pages, to the number of twenty-four.

At the third table in the hall, sat the Clerk of the Kitchen, with the Yeomen Officers of the House, two Grooms of the Chamber, &c.

Other Officers of the Household were, Chief Auditor, Mr. Smith; Clerk of the Accounts, Mr. George Wharton; Purveyor of the Castle, Mr. Salsbury; Ushers of the Hall, Mr. Moyle and Mr. Croke; Closet Keeper, Gentleman of the Chapel, Mr. Davies; Keeper of the Records; Master of the Wardrobe; Master of the Armoury; Master Groom of the Stable for the War Horses; Master of the Hounds; Master Falconer; Porter and his man.

Two Butchers; two Keepers of the Home Park; two Keepers of the Red Deer Park.

Footmen, Grooms, and other menial Servants, to the number of 150. Some of the footmen were brewers and bakers.

Out Officers.—Steward of Ragland, William Jones, Esq.; the Governor of Chepstow Castle, Sir Nicholas Kemys, Bart.; Housekeeper of Worcester House, in London, James Redman, Esq.

Thirteen Bailiffs.

Two Counsel for the Bailiffs to have recourse to.

Solicitor, Mr. John Smith.


"T. G., Doctor in Physic," published, in 1684, a pamphlet upon this place, in which he says:—"The water of this well, before the Reformation, was very much famed for several extraordinary cures performed thereby, and was thereupon accounted sacred, and called Holywell. The priests belonging to the priory of Clerkenwell using to attend there, made the people believe that the virtue of the water proceeded from the efficacy of their prayers; but at the Reformation the well was stopped, upon the supposition that the frequenting of it was altogether superstitious; and so by degrees it grew out of remembrance, and was wholly lost until then found out; when a gentleman named Sadler, who had lately built a new music-house there, and being surveyor of the highways, had employed men to dig gravel in his garden, in the midst whereof they found it stopped up and covered with an arch of stone." After the decease of Sadler, Francis Forcer, a musician of some eminence in his profession, became proprietor of the well and music-room; he was [Pg 113] succeeded by his son, who first exhibited there the diversions of rope-dancing and tumbling, which were then performed in the garden. The rural vicinity of the "Wells," long made it a favourite retreat of the pleasure-seeking citizens.


James Figg, a native of Thame, in Oxfordshire, was a man of remarkable athletic strength and agility, and signalized himself greatly over any of his country competitors in the art of cudgel-playing, single-stick, and other gymnastic exercises. Having acquired a considerable knowledge of the broadsword, he came to London, and set up as master in [Pg 114] that science, undertaking to teach the nobility and gentry of his day the noble art of self defence; and championed himself against all comers. He took a waste piece of ground, the corner of Wells and Castle-streets, Oxford-road, and erected a wooden edifice, which, in imitation of the Romans, he denominated an amphitheatre; and established here a regular academy, to train pupils in the practice of cudgeling, broadsword, &c. &c., as well to use it, on fixed occasions, for the exhibition of prizefighting. He had many followers, and we find him commemorated and praised by most of the wits of his time. "The Tattler," "Guardian," and "Craftsman," have equally contributed to preserve his memory, as have several writers. Bramstone, in his "Man of Taste" tells us:—

"In Figg the prize-fighter by day delight,
And sup with Colley Cibber every night."

Another writer notices him in the following lines:—

"To Figg and Broughton he commits his breast,
To steel it to the fashionable test."

Sutton, the pipe-maker of Gravesend, was his rival, and dared the mighty Figg to the combat. Twice they fought, with alternate advantage; but, at the third trial, a considerable time elapsed before victory decided for either party; at length the palm of victory was obtained by Figg. In short, neither Ned Sutton, Tom Buck, nor Bob Stokes, could resist, or stand against his skill and valour. He was never defeated but once, and then by Sutton, in one of their previous combats, and that was generally supposed to have been in consequence of an illness he had on him at the time he fought.

When Faber engraved his portrait from a painting by Ellys, he was at a loss what he should insert, as an appropriate motto, and consulting with a friend what he should put, was answered, "A Figg for the Irish." This was immediately adopted, and the print had a rapid sale.

Figg died in 1734. William Flander a noted scholar of his, fought at the amphitheatre, in 1723, with Christopher Clarkson, from Lancashire, who was called the Old Soldier. The fashion of attending prizefighting matches had attained its highest zenith in Figg's time, and it was looked upon as a very great proof of self-denial in an amateur if he failed a meeting on those occasions.

From Figg's theatre he will not miss a night,
Though cocks, and bulls, and Irish women, fight.

Figg left a widow and several children; so recently as 1794 a daughter-in-law of his was living, and resided in Charles-street, Westminster, where she kept a house, and supported herself very decently by letting lodgings, aided by a very small income.

DRESS IN 1573.

The wardrobe of a country gentleman is thus given from a will, dated 1573, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, in Brayley and Britton's Graphic Illustrator—"I give unto my brother Mr. William Sheney [Pg 115] my best black gown, garded and faced with velvet, and my velvet cap; also I will unto my brother Thomas Marcal my new shepe colored gowne, garded with velvet and faced with cony; also I give unto my son Tyble my shorte gown, faced with wolf (skin), and laid with Billements lace; also I give unto my brother Cowper my other shorte gowne, faced with foxe; also I give unto Thomas Walker my night gown, faced with cony, with one lace also, and my ready (ruddy) colored hose; also I give unto my man Thomas Swaine my doublet of canvas that Forde made me, and my new gaskyns that Forde made me; also I give unto John Wyldinge a cassock of shepes colour, edged with ponts skins; also I give unto John Woodzyle my doublet of fruite canvas, and my hose with fryze bryches; also I give unto Strowde my frize jerkin with silke buttons; also I give Symonde Bisshoppe, the smyth, my other frize jerkyn, with stone buttons; also I give to Adam Ashame my hose with the frendge (fringe), and lined with crane-coloured silk; which gifts I will to be delivered, immediately after my decease."


The loss of the French at the battle of Creçy was immense. There fell 1,200 knights; 1,400 esquires; 4,000 commissioned officers; 30,000 rank and file; Dukes of Lorraine and Bourbon; Earls of Flanders, Blois, Harcourt, Vaudemont, and Aumale; the King of Bohemia; the King of Majorca. The English lost one esquire, three knights, and less than one hundred rank and file. Here did they first use field artillery; and on this battle-field did the young Prince of Wales adopt the ostrich plumes and motto of the slain King of Bohemia, who, being blind, desired to be led at a gallop between two knights into the thick of the fight, and thus met death. Those feathers and the two words "Ich dien," "I serve," are to this day the heraldic bearings of the Prince of Wales, whom God preserve! So much for Creçy or Cressy!


On February 20, as a servant in the employ of J. L. King, Esq., of Stogumber, was entering a field, his attention was attracted by a magpie, which appeared to have escaped from a neighbouring house. The bird spoke so uncommonly plain that the man was induced to follow it. "Cheese for Marget, Cheese for Marget," was its continual cry, as it hopped forward, till it stopped behind a hay-stack, and began to eat. On inspection, a number of hams, a quantity of cheese, &c., were discovered, which had been stolen, a short time previously, from Mr. Bowering, of Williton. The plunder was deposited in sacks, on one of which was marked the name of a person residing in the neighbourhood, which led to the apprehension of four fellows, who have been committed to Wilton gaol.


By the use of vinegar the Spanish General Vitellis, made his skin hang about him like a pelisse; but of the wonderful dilatability of the skin, no instance equals the Spaniard who showed himself to Van-Horn, Silvius, Piso, and other learned men at Amsterdam. Taking up with his left [Pg 116] hand the skin of his right shoulder, he would bring the same up to his mouth: again he would draw the skin of his chin down to his breast like a beard, and presently put it upwards to the top of his head, hiding both his eyes therewith; after which, the same would return orderly and equally to its proper place.


Newgate literature was more popular in the last century than it is now. The following is an advertisement in the Gentleman's Magazine of the above date:—

"A General History of Executions for the year, 1730. Containing the lives, actions, dying speeches, confessions and behaviour, of sixty malefactors executed at Tyburn, and elsewhere; particularly three unfortunate young gentlemen, viz., Mr. Goodburn, a Cambridge scholar, Mr. Johnston, and Mr. Porter, son to the late Lord Mayor of Dublin: and of several notorious highwaymen, foot-pads, street-robbers, and housebreakers, as Dalton, Everet, Doyle, Newcomb, &c., and of the five young highwaymen taken at Windsor, said to have formed a design to rob the Queen there. To which is added, the trial of William Gordon at Chelmsford for a robbery on the highway; an account of the incendiaries at Bristol, and the apprehending John Power, for sending threatening letters, and firing Mr. Packer's house; also the life of Col. Ch—s. Together with an alphabetical list of all the persons indicted or tried at the Old Bailey, the year past. With the judgment of the court respectively passed upon each, referring to the pages in the session books for the trials at large. Printed for R. Newton at St. John's Gate, and sold by the booksellers price bound 2s. 6d."


In the last century, when marriages were allowed to be transacted—we cannot say solemnized—in the Fleet Prison, and the adjacent taverns, the profligate wretches who disgraced their sacred profession by taking part in such iniquities, were obliged to bid against one another for custom—here is one of their advertisements:—

G. R.
At the true Chapel
at the old Red Hand and Mitre, three doors from Fleet Lane and next Door to the White Swan;
Marriages are performed by authority by the Reverend Mr. Symson educated at the University of Cambridge, and late Chaplain to the Earl of Rothes.
N.B. Without Imposition.


In all countries, this sure-footed and faithful animal is adopted as an emblem of stupidity, from the patience with which it submits to punishment and endures privation. A pair of ass's ears is inflicted upon a child [Pg 117] in reproof of his duncehood; and through life we hear every blockhead of our acquaintance called an ass. Whereas the ass is a beast of great intelligence; and we often owe our safety to its sure and unerring foot beside the perilous precipice, where the steps of the man of science would have faltered.

The Fathers of the Church, and the Disciples of the Sorbonne, persuaded of the universal influence of the Christian faith, believed the dark cross on the back of the ass to date only from the day on which our Saviour made his entry into Jerusalem. The ass of the desert was an animal of great price. Pliny mentions that the Senator Arius paid for one the sum of four hundred thousand sesterces. Naturalists have frequently remarked the extraordinary dimensions of an ass's heart, which is thought an indication of courage; and it is the custom of the peasantry of some countries to make their children wear a piece of ass's skin about their person. The ass's skin is peculiarly valuable, both for the manufacture of writing-tablets and drums; which may be the reason why a dead ass is so rarely seen. It is too valuable to be left on the highway. In many places, the ass serves as a barometer. If he roll in the dust, fine weather may be expected; but if he erect his ears, rain is certain. Why should not these animals experience the same atmospheric influences as man? Are we not light-hearted in the sunshine, and depressed in a heavy atmosphere?


To make any one that Sleepeth answer to whatsoever thou ask.—Take the heart of an oul, and his right legg, and put them upon the breast of one that sleepeth, and they shall reveal whatsoever thou ask them.

To know any Man or Woman's minde when they are Asleep.—Take the hart of a dove, and the legg of a frog, dry it well, and beat them to powder in a morter, put this up in a linnen cloth, with three or four round pibble stones, as big as wallnuts, then lay this upon the parties pit of their stomach, and they shall tell you all things that they have done, if there is anything remarkable that troubles them.

To make the Nose Bleed.—Take the leaves of yerrow, put it up in thy nose; this will make the nose bleed immediately.

To make a Tooth Drop out.—Mizaldus saith that if you make a powder of earth-worms and put it in the hollow of a rotten tooth, it will immediately drop out.

How strange must have been the education and intelligence of the period, when people could write, publish, and practice such incredible trash!


The following account, from an old magazine, affords a strange and lamentable instance of a wretch just about to die, being only intent with his latest breath to defame his own mother:—

Mary Lynn, condemn'd last Assizes for the County of Norfolk, was burnt to ashes at a stake, for being concern'd in the murder of her mistress; and Smith, the principal, was hang'd for the same fact. She deny'd her being guilty, and said Smith could clear her if he would. [Pg 118] She behaved with decency, and died penitent. Smith was drunk at the gallows; and seem'd to have but little sense either of his crime or punishment; however, desired all masters to pay their servants' wages on Saturday night, that they might have money to spend, and not run in debt. Said, "My mother always told me I should die in my shoes, but I will make her a liar;" so threw them off.


If any human being was free from personal vanity, it must have been the second Duchess d'Orleans, Charlotte Elizabeth of Bavaria. In one of her letters (dated 9th August, 1718), she says, "I must certainly be monstrously ugly. I never had a good feature. My eyes are small, my nose short and thick, my lips broad and thin. These are not materials to form a beautiful face. Then I have flabby, lank cheeks, and long features, which suit ill with my low stature. My waist and my legs are equally clumsy. Undoubtedly I must appear to be an odious little wretch; and had I not a tolerable good character, no creature could endure me. I am sure a person must be a conjuror to judge me by my eyes that I have a grain of wit."


On the very summit of Cader Idris there is an excavation in the solid rock, resembling a couch; and it is said that whoever should rest a night in that seat, will be found in the morning either dead, raving mad, or endued with supernatural genius.


Some notion of the houses and shops of old London may be gathered by a visit to Bell Yard, near Temple Bar; Great Winchester Street, near the Bank; the wooden houses near Cripplegate Church; and a few other districts which were spared by the Great Fire of 1666. In Bell Yard, for instance, the national feeling for improvement has from time to time effected changes; the lattices of diamond-shaped lead-work, carved pendants, and the projecting signs of the various tradesmen, have disappeared, and here and there sheets of plate glass have been used, to give a somewhat modern appearance to the places of business. Still the projecting and massive wood-work of the shops, and the peculiar picturesque appearance of the houses, cannot be altogether disguised; and if any of our readers, who may be curious in such matters, will walk up Bailey's Court, on the west side of Bell Yard, he will there see a group of wooden buildings exactly like the great mass which was cleared by the fire. In some of the pictures of London of about this time, the shops of the various tradesmen were chiefly unglazed, and above the door of each was suspended the silver swans; the golden swans; the chained swans; the golden heads; mitres; bells—black, red, white, and blue; rising and setting suns; moons of different phases; men in the moon; sceptres; crowns, and many other devices, which, even at that time, were necessary to distinguish one shop from another. The chequers; St. George and the dragon; royal oaks; king's heads; and double signs, such as the [Pg 119] horseshoe and magpie; bell and crown; bell and horns, and such like, were more particularly set apart for the use of the various hostelries. Everyone, however, who had a London shop of any kind or consequence, had his sign. Many of them were well carved in wood, and ornamented with emblazonry and gilding.

No doubt if it were possible to find at the present time the same picturesque architectural displays as were to be met with in London in Queen Elizabeth's days, our artistic friends would be able to pick up many a nice subject for their pencils, but in those days there were plenty of drawbacks; the pavement was bad, the drainage was worse, and from the eaves of the houses and pents of the shops, streams of water ran down in wet weather upon the wayfarers, and, by lodging in the thoroughfares, made the London streets something in the same state as those of Agar Town and some other neglected parts of the metropolis. We must not forget that in the days to which we allude there were no flagged footpaths, and that the only distinction from the horse and cart roads, and that for the foot passengers, was a separation by wooden posts, which, in genteel places, were made supports for chains. People, however, got tired of this bad state of things, and measures were taken to put a stop to the streams of water from the roofs, &c. After the Great Fire, an enactment was made for an alteration in the spouts, &c.; all barbers poles, and projecting signs, and other projections were to be done away with, and other changes made for the better. Up to the reign of Queen Anne, we find, by reference to views of Cheapside and the neighbourhood of the Monument, that the projecting signs were still in use; and that even at that recent date, many of the London shops in the important neighbourhoods above mentioned were without glazing, and looked much like some of the greengrocers' sheds in use now in Bermondsey and some other places.

Severe measures seem to have been at length taken against the projecting signs, and most of them disappeared, and then it became a most difficult matter either to address letters, or find a man's shop. In Dr. Johnson's day, he and other persons gave the address "over against" a particular sign, or so many doors from such a sign. In consequence of this uncertainty, many houses in London, which from their association with eminent men would possess much interest now, cannot be pointed out; and it was a wonderful benefit to the metropolis when the plan of numbering the houses in each street was hit upon. But for this, considering that the population has doubled in the last fifty years, it is difficult to know how the genius of Rowland Hill would have worked his plan of London post-office delivery, or business could be carried on with any kind of comfort.

The booksellers and publishers seem to have been the last, with the exception of the tavern-keepers, to give up the old signs. After the Great Fire, some of the ancient signs which were cut in stone, and which had escaped the conflagration, were got out of the ruins, and afterwards placed in the front of the plain, yet solid, brick buildings which were erected after that event. Some of these—the "Chained Bear," the "Collared Swan," the "Moon and Seven Stars," and "Sun," in Cheapside, [Pg 120] and some others which we now engrave—are still preserved. The carved wooden sign of the "Man in the Moon," in Wych Street, Strand, is a rare example; and the "Horse-shoe and Magpie," in Fetter Lane, is one of the last of the suspended signs to be now found in the City.

Old London Signs

Amongst the painted signs of London taverns worth notice, is one in Oxford-street (nearly opposite Rathbone-place), said to have been painted by Hogarth. The subject is "a man loaded with mischief." He has a stout woman on his shoulders, together with a monkey, magpie, etc. The male figure shown in this street picture seems to bear up pretty well under his burden.

[Pg 121]


In the year 1552, Francis Pelusius, of sixty-three years old, digging a well forty foot deep in the hill of St. Sebastian, the earth above him fell in upon him to thirty-five foot depth; he was somewhat sensible before of what was coming, and opposed a plank, which by chance he had with him, against the ruins, himself lying under it; by this means he was protected from the huge weight of earth, and retained some room and breath to himself, by which he lived seven days and nights without food or sleep, without any pain or sorrow, being full of hope, which he placed in God only. Ever and anon he called for help, as being yet safe, but was heard by none, though he could hear the motion, noise and words of those that were above him, and could count the hours as the clock went. After the seventh day, he being all this while given for dead, they brought a bier for his corpse, and when a good part of the well was digged up, on a sudden they heard the voice of one crying from the bottom. At first they were afraid, as if it had been the voice of a subterranean spirit; the voice continuing, they had some hope of his life, and hastened to dig to him, till at last, after they had given him a glass of wine, they drew him up living and well, his strength so entire that to lift him out he would not suffer himself to be bound, nor would use any help of another. Yea, he was of so sound understanding, that, jesting, he drew out his purse and gave them money, saying He had been with such good hosts, that for seven days it had not cost him a farthing.


The celebrated painting on the roof of the Banqueting House, has been restored, re-painted, and refreshed, not fewer than three times. In the reign of James II., 1687, Parrey Walton, a painter of still life, and the keeper of the king's pictures, was appointed to re-touch this grand work of art, which had then (as appears by the Privy Council Book) been painted only sixty years. Walton was paid £212 for its complete restoration, which sum was considered by Sir Christopher Wren, "as very modest and reasonable." It was restored a second time by the celebrated Cipriani; and for a third time by a painter named Rigaud.


John Bunyan's Bible (printed by Bill and Barker) bound in morocco, and which had been his companion during his twelve years' unjustifiable confinement in Bedford gaol, where he wrote his "Pilgrim's Progress," was purchased at the sale of the library of the Rev. S. Palmer, of Hackney, March, 1814, for the late Samuel Whitbread, Esq., for the sum of £21. This Bible, and the "Book of Martyrs," are said to have constituted the whole library of Bunyan during his imprisonment.


In 1206, King John grants to W. de Camville a licence to destroy game in any of the royal forests, which proves the origin of the Game Laws.

1238. Henry III. gave 500l. to Baldwyn, Emperor of Constantinople.

[Pg 122]

1342. King Edward III. forgives to the mayor and citizens of London the indignation and rancour of mind that he had conceived against them.

1344. The king grants to Adam Thorp, the trimmer of his beard, certain lands at Eye, near Westminster. The scrupulous attention which Edward III. paid to that ornament of his face, may be seen in his bronze effigy in Westminster Abbey, which was taken from a mask after his death.

1409. The king settles on Joan of Navarre, his queen, 10,000l. per annum.

1417. Henry V. grants to Joan Warin, his nurse, an annuity of 20l. during life.

1422. The jewels which had belonged to King Henry V., and were valued at so large a sum as 40,000l., were delivered to Sir Henry Fitz Hugh, and his other executors, for the payment of his personal debts.

1422. The "Pysane," or great collar of gold and rubies, was pawned by the king to his uncle, Cardinal Beaufort, who is supposed, at the time of his death, to have amassed more wealth than any subject in England.


The bill for attendance at the Dorchester Assizes in 1686 of Mr. John Bragge, the town-clerk of Lyme, presents this novelty—the article coffee is charged 2d. This may have been drunk at a coffee-house. Coffee was introduced from Turkey in 1650.

An advertisement in the "Mercurius Politicus," Sept. 30, 1658, instructs how "That excellent and by all physitians approved China drink, called by the Chineans Tcha, by other nations, tay alias tee, is sold at the Sultana's Head Coffee-house, in Sweeting's-rents, by the Exchange, London.—"

There was a "cophee-house" in St. Michael's-alley, Cornhill, about 1657. Tea, coffee, and chocolate were placed under the excise. There was no tax upon these commodities when imported, but when made into drink, as tea was, at 8d. a gallon, and sold at these houses.


In 1839 a coffin was discovered in the abbey church of Romsey, which had originally contained the body of a female of the above early time. The bones had entirely decayed, but the hair, with its characteristic indestructibility, was found entire, and appeared as if the skull had only recently been removed from it, retaining its form entire, and having plaited tails eighteen inches in length. It is still preserved in a glass case, lying upon the same block of oak which has been its pillow for centuries.


One of the amusements of 1718 was the juggling exhibition of a fire-eater, whose name was De Hightrehight, a native of the valley of Annivi in the Alps. This tremendous person ate burning coals, chewed flaming brimstone and swallowed it, licked a red-hot poker, placed a red-hot heater on his tongue, kindled coals on his tongue, suffered them to be blown, and broiled meat on them, ate melted pitch, brimstone, bees-wax, [Pg 123] sealing-wax, and rosin, with a spoon; and, to complete the business, he performed all these impossibilities five times per diem, at the Duke of Marlborough's Head, in Fleet-street, for the trifling receipts of 2s. 6d., 1s. 6d., and 1s. Master Hightrehight had the honour of exhibiting before Lewis XIV., the Emperor of Germany, the King of Sicily, the Doge of Venice, and an infinite number of princes and nobles—and the Prince of Wales, who had nearly lost this inconceivable pleasure by the envious interposition of the Inquisition at Bologna and in Piedmont, which holy office seemed inclined to try their mode of burning on his body, leaving to him the care of resisting the flames and rendering them harmless; but he was preserved from the unwelcome ordeal by the interference of the Dutchess Royal Regent of Savoy and the Marquis Bentivoglia.


Distance seems not to have entered into the calculations of the engineers who built those monuments of human skill—carriage-roads over the Alps. They were after a certain grade, and they obtained it, though by contortions and serpentine windings that seem almost endless. Thus the Simplon averages nowhere more than one inch elevation to a foot, and, indeed, not quite that. Thirty thousand men were employed on this road six years. There are six hundred and eleven bridges in less than forty miles, ten galleries, and twenty houses of refuge, while the average width of the road is over twenty-five feet. The Splugen presents almost as striking features as the Simplon. From these facts, some idea may be gathered of the stupendous work it must be to carry a carriage-road over the Alps.


The following appeared in the Newcastle Chronicle, 6th January, 1770:—

"Monday last was brought from Howick to Berwick, to be shipped for London, for Sir Henry Grey, bart., a pie, the contents whereof are as follows:—2 bushels of flour, 20 lbs. of butter, 4 geese, 2 turkeys, 2 rabbits, 4 wild ducks, 2 woodcocks, 6 snipes, 4 partridges, 2 neats' tongues, 2 curlews, 7 blackbirds, and 6 pigeons: it is supposed a very great curiosity, was made by Mrs. Dorothy Patterson, housekeeper at Howick. It was near nine feet in circumference at bottom, weighs about twelve stones, will take two men to present it at table; it is neatly fitted with a case, and four small wheels to facilitate its use to every guest that inclines to partake of its contents at table."


We give here an instance of the extravagancies of ancient travellers, this tissue of falsehoods being taken from "Foersch's Description of Java:"—

The Bohon Upas is situated in the Island of Java about twenty-seven leagues from Batavia, fourteen from Soulis Charta, the seat of the Emperor, and between eighteen and twenty leagues from Tinkjoe, the present residence of the Sultan of Java. It is surrounded on all sides by a circle of high hills and mountains; and the country round [Pg 124] it, to the distance of ten or twelve miles from the tree, is entirely barren. Not a tree, nor a shrub, nor even the least plant or grass is to be seen. I have made the tour all around this dangerous spot, at about eighteen miles distant from the centre, and I found the aspect of the country on all sides equally dreary. The easiest ascent of the hills is from that part where the old Ecclesiastick dwells. From his house the criminals are sent for the poison, into which the points of all warlike instruments are dipped. It is of high value, and produces a considerable revenue to the Emperor. The poison which is procured from this tree is a gum that issues out between the bark and the tree itself, like the camphor. Malefactors, who for their crimes are sentenced to die, are the only persons who fetch the poison; and this is the only chance they have of saving their lives. After sentence is pronounced upon them by the Judge, they are asked in Court, whether they will die by the hands of the executioner, or whether they will go to the Upas-tree for a box of poison? They commonly prefer the latter proposal, as there is not only some chance of preserving their lives, but also a certainty, in case of their safe return, that a provision will be made for them in future by the Emperor. They are also permitted to ask a favour from the Emperor, which is generally of a trifling nature, and commonly granted. They are then provided with a silver or tortoise-shell box, in which they are to put the poisonous gum, and are properly instructed how to proceed while they are upon their dangerous expedition. They are always told to attend to the direction of the wind, as they are to go towards the tree before the wind; so that the effluvia from the tree is always blown from them. They go to the house of the old ecclesiastick who prepares them by prayers and admonitions for their future fate; he puts them on a long leathern cap with two glasses before their eyes, which comes down as far as their breast; and also provides them with a pair of leather gloves. They are conducted by the priest, and their friends, and relations, about two miles on their journey. The old Ecclesiastick assured me that in upwards of thirty years, he had dismissed above seven hundred criminals in the manner described, and that scarcely two out of twenty have returned. All the Malayans consider this tree as an holy instrument of the great prophet to punish the sins of mankind, and, therefore, to die of the poison of the Upas is generally considered among them as an honourable death. This, however, is certain, that from fifteen to eighteen miles round this tree, not only no human creature can exist, but no animal of any kind has ever been discovered, there are no fish in the waters, and when any birds fly so near this tree that the effluvia reaches them, they drop down dead.


In Hamburg, in 1784, a singular accident occasioned the death of a young couple. The lady going to the church of the Augustin Friars, knelt down near a Mausoleum, ornamented with divers figures in marble, among which was that of Death, armed with a scythe, a small piece of the scythe being loose, fell on the hood of the lady's mantelet. On her return home, she mentioned the circumstance as a matter of indifference [Pg 125] to her husband, who, being a credulous and superstitious man, cried out in a terrible panic, that it was a presage of the death of his dear wife. The same day he was seized with a violent fever, took to his bed, and died. The disconsolate lady was so affected at the loss, that she was taken ill, and soon followed him. They were both interred in the same grave; and their inheritance, which was very considerable, fell to some very distant relations.


Not far from the old city of Valetta, in the island of Malta, there is a small church dedicated to St. Paul, and just by the church, a miraculous statue of the Saint with a viper on his hand; supposed to be placed on the very spot on which he was received after his shipwreck on this island, and where he shook the viper off his hand into the fire, without being hurt by it. At which time the Maltese assure us, the Saint cursed all the venomous animals of the island, and banished them for ever; just as St. Patrick treated those of his favourite isle. Whether this be the cause of it or not, we shall leave to divines to determine, though if it had, St. Luke would probably have mentioned it in the Acts of the Apostles; but the fact is certain, that there are no venomous animals in Malta.


Hermits, or Eremites, (from the Greek [Greek: erêmos], a desert place,) were men who retired to desert places to avoid persecution; they lodged in caves and cells:—

"Where from the mountain's grassy side,
Their guiltless feast they bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruit supply'd,
And water from the spring."

The first hermit was Paul, of Thebes, in Egypt, who lived about the year 260; the second, was St. Anthony, also of Egypt, who died in 345, at the age of 105.


The author of A Tour through the Island of Great Britain (Daniel Defoe), second edition, 1738, gives us the following particulars of this aristocratic locality:—"The alterations lately made in St. James's Square are entitled to our particular notice. It used to be in a very ruinous condition, considering the noble houses in it, which are inhabited by the first quality. But now it is finely paved all over with heading-stone; a curious oval bason full of water, surrounded with iron rails on a dwarf wall, is placed in the middle, mostly 7 feet deep and 150 diameter. In the centre is a pedestal about fifteen feet square, designed for a statue of King William III. The iron rails are octagonal, and at each angle without the rails, is a stone pillar about 9 feet high, and a lamp on the top. The gravel walk within the rails is about 26 feet broad from each angle to the margin of the basin. It was done at the expense of the inhabitants by virtue of an act of parliament. The house that once belonged to the Duke of Ormond, and since to the Duke of Chandos, [Pg 126] is pulled down and makes three noble ones, besides fine stables and coach-houses behind, and two or three more good houses in the street leading to St. James's Church. This noble square wants nothing but to have the lower part of it, near Pall Mall, built of a piece with the rest, and the designed statue to be erected in the middle of the basin.

"His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has taken the Duke of Norfolk's house, and another adjoining to it, which are now (October, 1737), actually repairing for his town residence; Carlton House being too small for that purpose."


Morayshire Floods

In the month of August, 1829, the province of Moray and adjoining districts were visited by a tremendous flood. Its ravages were most destructive along the course of those rivers which have their source in the Cairngorm mountains. The waters of the Findhorn and the Spey, and their tributaries, rose to an unexampled height. In some parts of their course these streams rose fifty feet above their natural level. Many houses were laid desolate, much agricultural produce was destroyed, and several lives were lost. The woodcut in our text represents the situation of a boatman called Sandy Smith, and his family, in the plains of Forres. "They were huddled together," says the eloquent historian of the Floods, "on a spot of ground a few feet square, some forty or fifty yards below their inundated dwelling. Sandy was sometimes standing and sometimes sitting on a small cask, and, as the beholders fancied, watching with intense anxiety the progress of the flood, and trembling for every large tree that it brought sweeping past them. His wife, covered with a blanket, sat shivering on a bit of a log, one child in her lap, and a girl of [Pg 127] about seventeen, and a boy of about twelve years of age, leaning against her side. A bottle and a glass on the ground, near the man, gave the spectators, as it had doubtless given him, some degree of comfort. About a score of sheep were standing around, or wading or swimming in the shallows. Three cows and a small horse, picking at a broken rick of straw that seemed to be half-afloat, were also grouped with the family." The account of the rescue of the sufferers is given with a powerful dramatic effect, but we cannot afford space for the quotation. The courageous adventurers who manned the boat for this dangerous enterprise, after being carried over a cataract, which overwhelmed their boat, caught hold of a floating hay-cock, to which they clung till it stuck among some young alder-trees. Each of them then grasping a bough, they supported themselves for two hours among the weak and brittle branches. They afterwards recovered the boat under circumstances almost miraculous, and finally succeeded in rescuing Sandy and his family from their perilous situation.


From the subversion of the Roman Empire, to the fourteenth or fifteenth century, women spent most of their time alone, almost entire strangers to the joys of social life; they seldom went abroad, but to be spectators of such public diversions and amusements as the fashions of the times countenanced. Francis I. was the first who introduced women on public days to Court; before his time nothing was to be seen at any of the Courts of Europe, but grey-bearded politicians, plotting the destruction of the rights and liberties of mankind, and warriors clad in complete armour, ready to put their plots in execution. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries elegance had scarcely any existence, and even cleanliness was hardly considered as laudable. The use of linen was not known; and the most delicate of the fair sex wore woollen shifts. In Paris they had meat only three times a week; and one hundred livres, (about five pounds sterling,) was a large portion for a young lady. The better sort of citizens used splinters of wood and rags dipped in oil, instead of candles, which, in those days, were a rarity hardly to be met with. Wine was only to be had at the shops of the Apothecaries, where it was sold as a cordial; and to ride in a two-wheeled cart, along the dirty rugged streets, was reckoned a grandeur of so enviable a nature, that Philip the Fair prohibited the wives of citizens from enjoying it. In the time of Henry VIII. of England, the peers of the realm carried their wives behind them on horseback, when they went to London; and in the same manner took them back to their country seats with hoods of waxed linen over their heads, and wrapped in mantles of cloth to secure them from the cold.


Huet, Bishop of Avranches, thus writes in his autobiography:—"When his Highness the Dauphin was one day confined to his bed by a slight illness, and we who stood round were endeavouring to entertain him by pleasant conversation, mention was by chance made of the person [Pg 128] who boasted that he had written Homer's Iliad in characters so minute, that the whole could be enclosed in a walnut shell. This appearing incredible to many of the company, I contended not only that it might be done, but that I could do it. As they expressed their astonishment at this assertion, that I might not be suspected of idle boasting, I immediately put it to the proof. I therefore took the fourth part of a common leaf of paper, and on its narrower side wrote a single line in so small a character that it contained twenty verses of the Iliad: of such lines each page of the paper could easily admit 120, therefore the page would contain 2400 Homeric verses: and as the leaf so divided would give eight pages it would afford room for above 19,000 verses, whereas the whole number in the Iliad does not exceed 17,000. Thus by my single line I demonstrated my proposition."


The following interesting "Autobiographies" of the Old London Crosses, are extracted from Henry Peacham's Dialogue between the Crosse in Cheap and Charing Cross, confronting each other, as fearing their fall in these uncertaine times, four leaves, 4to. 1641.

"Charing Cross.—I am made all of white marble (which is not perceived of euery one) and so cemented with mortar made of the purest lime, Callis sand, whites of eggs and the strongest wort, that I defie all hatchets and hammers whatsoever. In King Henry the Eighth's daies I was begged, and should have been degraded for that I had:—Then in Edward the Sixe, when Somerset-house was building, I was in danger; after that, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, one of her footmen had like to have run away with me; but the greatest danger of all I was in, when I quak'd for fear, was in the time of King James, for I was eight times begged:—part of me was bespoken to make a kitchen chimney for a chiefe constable in Shoreditch; an inn-keeper in Holborn had bargained for as much of me as would make two troughes, one to stand under a pumpe to water his guests' horses, and the other to give his swine their meate in; the rest of my poore carcase should have been carried I know not whither to the repaire of a decayed stone bridge (as I was told) on the top of Harrow-hill. Our royall forefather and founder, King Edward the First you know, built our sister crosses, Lincolne, Granthame, Woburne, Northampton, Stonie-Stratford, Dunstable, Saint Albanes, and ourselves here in London, in the 21st yeare of his raigne, in the yeare 1289."

"Cheapside Cross.—After this most valiant and excellent king had built me in forme, answerable in beauty and proportion to the rest, I fell to decay, at which time one John Hatherley, maior of London, having first obtained a licence of King Henry the Sixt, anno 1441, I was repaired in a beautiful manner. John Fisher, a mercer, after that gave 600 markes to my new erecting or building, which was finished anno 1484, and after in the second yeare of Henry the Eighth, I was gilded over against the coming in of Charles the Fift Emperor, and newly then gilded against the coronation of King Edward the Sixt, and gilded againe anno 1554, against the coronation of King Philip. Lord, how often have [Pg 129] I been presented by juries of the quest for incombrance of the street, and hindring of cartes and carriages, yet I have kept my standing; I shall never forget how upon the 21st of June, anno 1581, my lower statues were in the night with ropes pulled and rent down, as in the resurrection of Christ—the image of the Virgin Mary, Edward the Confessor, and the rest. Then arose many divisions and new sects formerly unheard of, as Martin Marprelate, alias Penrie, Browne, and sundry others, as the chronicle will inform you. My crosse should have been taken quite away, and a Piramis errected in the place, but Queen Elizabeth (that queen of blessed memory) commanded some of her privie councell, in her Majesties name, to write unto Sir Nicholas Mosely, then Maior, to have me againe repaired with a crosse; yet for all this I stood bare for a yeare or two after: Her Highness being very angry, sent expresse word she would not endure their contempt, but expressly commanded forthwith the crosse should be set up, and sent a strict command to Sir William Rider, Lord Maior, and bade him to respect my antiquity; for that is the ancient ensigne of Christianity, &c. This letter was dated December 24, anno 1600. Last of all I was marvellously beautified and adorned against the comming in of King James, and fenced about with sharp pointed barres of iron, against the rude and villainous hands of such as upon condition as they might have the pulling me down, would be bound to rifle all Cheapside."

It is scarcely necessary to say that both crosses have long since disappeared, and their sites become uncertain, although the name of Charing Cross still distinguishes an important London district.


Leland mentions a feast given by the Archbishop of York, at his installation, in the reign of Edward IV. The following is a specimen:—300 quarters of wheat, 300 tuns of ale, 100 tuns of wine, 1,000 sheep, 104 oxen, 304 calves, 304 swine, 2,000 geese, 1,000 capons, 2,000 pigs, 400 swans, 104 peacocks, 1,500 hot venison pasties, 4,000 cold, 5,000 custards hot and cold. Such entertainments are a picture of manners.


The truth of the old proverb, that "there is nothing new under the sun," will be recognised on an examination of the interesting group which forms the subject of our engraving. Here are dolls of different shapes, some of them for good children, and some, perhaps, for bad; foot-balls, covered with leather, &c., the stitches in parts still firmly adhering; models of fishes and fruit; and round pellets, which the "small boys" of the present day would call "marbles." These toys have been played with by little Egyptians who have been dead and buried three or four thousand years.

Many of the toys that hold places in the English and other markets are, so far as fashion is concerned, of considerable antiquity, having been made, without any alteration in pattern, by certain families for several generations. In the mountainous districts of the Savoy and Switzerland, large numbers, both of children and grown persons, are [Pg 130] constantly employed in the manufacture of Noah's-arks, milkmaids &c. Some of the animals carved in wood, and sold here for small prices, show considerable skill in the imitation of the forms of nature, and could only be produced at their present cost, owing to the cheapness of living in those districts, and to the systematic division of labour.

Egyptian Toys in the British Museum

Near the birthplace of Prince Albert is a very large manufactory of military toys, such as drums, trumpets, helmets, &c.; and in parts of Holland—

"——The children take pleasure in making
What the children of England take pleasure in breaking."


The Pyramids of Egypt, especially the two largest of the Pyramids of[Pg 131] Jizeh, are the most stupendous masses of building, in stone, that human labour has ever been known to accomplish. The Egyptian Pyramids, of which, large and small, and in different states of preservation, the number is very considerable, are all situated on the west side of the Nile, and they extend, in an irregular line, and in groups, at some distance from each other, from the neighbourhood of Jizeh, in 30° N. lat. as far south as 29° N. lat., a length of between 60 and 70 miles. All the Pyramids have square bases, and their sides face the cardinal points.

Pyramids of Egypt

The Pyramids of Jizeh are nearly opposite to Cairo. They stand on a plateau or terrace of limestone, which is a projection from the Libyan mountain-chain. The surface of the terrace is barren and irregular, and is covered with sand and small fragments of rock; its height, measured [Pg 132] from the base of the Great Pyramids, is 164 feet above the Nile in its low state, taken at an average of the years 1798 to 1801. The north-east angle of the Great Pyramid is 1700 yards from the canal which runs between the terrace and the Nile, and about five miles from the Nile itself.

Herodotus was informed by the priests of Memphis that the Great Pyramid was built by Cheops, King of Egypt, about 900 B. C., or about 450 years before Herodotus visited Egypt. He says that 100,000 men were employed twenty years in building it, and that the body of Cheops was placed in a room beneath the bottom of the Pyramid, surrounded by a vault to which the waters of the Nile were conveyed through a subterranean tunnel. A chamber under the centre of the Pyramid has indeed been discovered, but it does not appear to be the tomb of Cheops. It is about 56 feet above the low-water level of the Nile. The second Pyramid was built, Herodotus says, by Cephren, or Cephrenes, the brother and successor of Cheops; and the third by Mycerinus, the son of Cheops.


In the education of their children, the Anglo-Saxons only sought to render them dauntless and apt for the two most important occupations of their future lives—war and the chase. It was a usual trial of a child's courage, to place him on the sloping roof of a building, and if, without screaming or terror he held fast, he was styled a stout herce, or brave boy.—Howel.


The scene is thus described in a volume published in 1728:—

"This Francis Ravilliac was born in Angoulesme, by profession a lawyer, who, after the committing of that horrid fact, being seized and put upon the rack, May 27; the 25th he had sentence of death passed on him, and was executed accordingly in the manner following. He was brought out of prison in his shirt, with a torch of two pound weight lighted in one hand, and the knife wherewith he murdered the king chained to the other; he was then set upright in a dung-cart, wherein he was carried to the greve or place of execution, where a strong scaffold was built; at his coming upon the scaffold he crossed himself, a sign that he dyed a Papist; then he was bound to an engine of wood made like St. Andrew's cross; which done, his hand with the knife chained to it was put into a furnace, then flaming with fire and brimstone, wherein it was in a most terrible manner consumed, at which he cast forth horrible cries yet would he not confess any thing; after which the executioner having made pincers red hot in the same furnace, they did pinch the brawn of his arms and thighs, the calves of his legs, with other fleshy parts of his body, then they poured into the wounds scalding oil, rosin, pitch, and brimstone melted together; but to make the last act of his tragedy equal in torments to the rest, they caused four strong horses to be brought to tear his body in pieces, where being ready to suffer his last torment, he was again questioned, but would not reveal any thing, and so died without calling upon God, or speaking one word concerning Heaven: his flesh and joints were so [Pg 133] strongly knit together, that these four horses could not in a long time dismember him, but one of them fainting, a gentleman who was present, mounted upon a mighty strong horse, alighted, and tyed him to one of the wretch's limbs, yet for all this they were constrained to cut the flesh under his arms and thighs with a sharp razor, whereby his body was the easier torn in pieces; which done, the fury of the people was so great, that they pulled his dismembered carcass out of the executioner's hands, which they dragged up and down the dirt, and, cutting off the flesh with their knives, the bones which remained were brought to the place of execution, and there burnt, the ashes were cast in the wind, being judged unworthy of the earth's burial; by the same sentence all his goods were forfeited to the king. It was also ordained that the house where he had been born should be beaten down, a recompence being given the owner thereof, and never any house to be built again upon that ground; that within fifteen days after the publication of the sentence, by sound of trumpet in the town of Angoulesme, his father and mother should depart the realm, never to return again; if they did, to be hanged up presently: his brethren, sisters, and other kindred were forbidden to carry the name of Ravilliac, but to take some other, and the substitute of the king's attorney-general had charge to see the execution of the sentence at his peril."


"In all ancient pictures of Eating, &c. knives are seen in the hands of the guests, but no Forks."—Turner's Saxons.

"Here I will mention a thing," says Coryat in his 'Crudities,' "that might have been spoken of before in the discourse of the first Italian toun. I obserued a custome in all those Italian cities and townes through which I passed, that is not vsed in any other country that I saw in my traules, neither doe I think that any other nation of Christendome doth vse it, but only Italy. The Italians, and also most strangers that are commorant in Italy, doe alwaies at their meales vse a little forke when they cut their meate. For while with their knife, which they hold in one hand, they cut their meate out of the dish, they fasten their forke, which they hold in their other hand, upon the same dish, so that whatsoever he be that sitting in the company of others at meate, should vnaduisedly touch the dish of meate with his fingers from which all at the table doe cut, he will give occasion of offence unto the company, as hauing transgressed the laws of good manners, in so much that for his error he shall be at the least broue-beaten, if not reprehended in words.

This form of feeding, I vnderstand, is generally vsed in all places of Italy, their forkes being for the most part made of yron or steele, and some of siluer; but those are used only by gentlemen. The reason of this their curiosity is, because the Italian cannot by any means indure to have his dish touched with fingers, seeing all men's fingers are not alike clean. Hereupon I myself thought good to imitate the Italian fashion by this forked cutting of meate, not only while I was in Italy, but also in Germany, and oftentimes in England, since I came home: being once quipped for that frequent vsing of my forke, by a certain [Pg 134] gentleman, a familiar friend of mine, one Mr. Laurence Whitaker, who in his merry humour doubted not to call me at table furcifer, only for vsing a forke at feeding, but for no other cause."—Coryat's Crudities, 1611.

Even when Heylin published his Cosmography, (1652,) forks were still a novelty. See his Third Book, where having spoken of the ivory sticks used by the Chinese, he adds, "The use of silver forks, which is by some of our spruce gallants taken up of late, came from thence into Italy, and from thence into England."—Antiquarian Repertory.


The Chinese are very quiet and orderly; and no wonder, because they are afraid of the great bamboo stick.

Chinese Punishment of the Kang

The mandarins (or rulers of towns) often sentence offenders to lie upon the ground, and to have thirty strokes of the bamboo. But the wooden collar is worse than the bamboo stick. It is a great piece of wood with a hole for a man to put his head through. The men in wooden collars are brought out of their prisons every morning and chained to a wall, where everybody passing by can see them. They cannot feed themselves in their wooden collars, because they cannot bring their hands to their mouths; but sometimes a son may be seen [Pg 135] feeding his father, as he stands chained to the wall. There are men also whose business it is to feed the prisoners. For great crimes men are strangled or beheaded.


Cascade des Pelerines

There is a waterfall in Chamouni which no traveller should omit going to see, called the Cascade des Pelerines. It is one of the most curious and beautiful scenes in Switzerland. A torrent issues from the Glacier des Pelerines, high up the mountain, above the Glacier [Pg 136] du Bossons, and descends, by a succession of leaps, in a deep gorge, from precipice to precipice, almost in one continual cataract; but it is all the while merely gathering force, and preparing for its last magnificent deep plunge and recoil of beauty. Springing in one round condensed column out of the gorge, over a perpendicular cliff, it strikes, at its fall, with its whole body of water, into a sort of vertical rock basin, which one would suppose its prodigious velocity and weight would split into a thousand pieces; but the whole cataract, thus arrested, at once suddenly rebounds in a parabolic arch, at least sixty feet into the air; and then, having made this splendid airy curvature, falls with great noise and beauty into the natural channel below. It is beyond measure beautiful. It is like the fall of divine grace into chosen hearts, that send it forth again for the world's refreshment, in something like such a shower and spray of loveliness, to go winding its life-giving course afterwards, as still waters in green pastures. The force of the recoil from the plunge of so large a body of water, at such a height, is so great, that large stones, thrown into the stream above the fall, may be heard amidst the din striking into the basin, and then are instantly seen careering in the arch of flashing waters. The same is the case with bushes and pieces of wood, which the boys are always active in throwing in, for the curiosity of visitors, who stand below, and see each object invariably carried aloft with the cataract, in its rebounding atmospheric gambols. When the sun is in the right position, the rainbows play about the fall like the glancing of supernatural wings, as if angels were taking a shower-bath. If you have "the head and the legs of a chamois," you may climb entirely above this magnificent scene, and look out over the cliff right down into the point where the cataract shoots like the lightning, to be again shot back in ten thousand branching jets of diamonds.


In navigation, the barometer has become an important element of guidance, and a most interesting incident is recounted by Capt. Basil Hall, indicative of its value in the open sea. While cruising off the coast of South America, in the Medusa frigate, one day, when within the tropics, the commander of a brig in company was dining with him. After dinner, the conversation turned on the natural phenomena of the region, when Captain Hall's attention was accidentally directed to the barometer in the state-room where they were seated, and to his surprise he observed it to evince violent and frequent alteration. His experience told him to expect bad weather, and he mentioned it to his friend. His companion, however, only laughed, for the day was splendid in the extreme, the sun was shining with its utmost brilliance, and not a cloud specked the deep blue sky above. But Captain Hall was too uneasy to be satisfied with bare appearances. He hurried his friend to his ship, and gave immediate directions for shortening the top hamper of the frigate as speedily as possible. His lieutenants and the men looked at him in mute surprise, and one or two of the former ventured to suggest the inutility of the proceeding. The captain, however, persevered. The sails were furled; [Pg 137] the topmasts were struck; in short, everything that could oppose the wind was made as snug as possible. His friend, on the contrary, stood in under every sail.

The wisdom of Captain Hall's proceedings was, however, speedily evident; just, indeed, as he was beginning to doubt the accuracy of his instrument. For hardly had the necessary preparations been made, and while his eye was ranging over the vessel to see if his instructions had been obeyed, a dark hazy hue was seen to rise in the horizon, a leaden tint rapidly overspread the sullen waves, and one of the most tremendous hurricanes burst upon the vessels that ever seaman encountered on his ocean home. The sails of the brig were immediately torn to ribbons, her masts went by the board, and she was left a complete wreck on the tempestuous surf which raged around her, while the frigate was driven wildly along at a furious rate, and had to scud under bare poles across the wide Pacific, full three thousand miles, before it could be said that she was in safety from the blast.


In this curious document, quoted by Warton (Hist. of Poet, iii., 177, edit. 1840) an archbishop is allowed to have two swans or two capons in a dish, a bishop one; an archbishop six blackbirds at once, a bishop five, a dean four, an archdeacon two. If a dean has four dishes in his first course, he is not afterwards to have custards or fritters. An Archbishop may have six snipes, an archdeacon two. Rabbits, larks, pheasants, and partridges, are allowed in these proportions. A canon residentiary is to have a swan only on a Sunday; a rector of sixteen marks, only three blackbirds in a week.


A singular custom, of matchless absurdity, formerly existed in the English Court. During Lent, an ancient officer of the crown, styled the King's Cock Crower, crowed the hour each night within the precincts of the Palace. On the Ash Wednesday, after the accession of the house of Hanover, as the Prince of Wales (afterwards George II) sat down to supper, this officer abruptly entered the apartment, and in a sound resembling the shrill pipe of a cock, crowed past ten o'clock! The astonished prince, at first conceiving it to be a premeditated insult, rose to resent the affront, but upon the nature of the ceremony being explained to him, he was satisfied. Since that period, this silly custom has been discontinued.


The Chinese eat, indiscriminately, almost every living creature which comes in their way; dogs, cats, hawks, owls, eagles and storks, are regular marketable commodities: in default of which a dish of rats, field-mice, or snakes, is not objected to. Cockroaches, and other insects and reptiles are used for food or for medicine. Their taste for dogs' flesh is quite a passion. Young pups—plump, succulent, and tender—fetch good prices at the market-stalls, where a supply is always to be found. A dish of puppies, prepared by a skilful cook, is esteemed as a dish fit [Pg 138] for the gods. At every grand banquet it makes its appearance as a hash or stew. A young Englishman attached to our Canton factory, dining one day with a wealthy Hong merchant, was determined to satisfy his curiosity in Chinese gastronomy by tasting all or most of the numerous dishes which were successively handed round. One dish pleased him so well that he ate nearly all that was put before him. On returning homewards some of his companions asked him how he liked the dinner, and how such and such dishes; and then began to imitate the whining and barking of half a dozen puppies. The poor young man then understood, for the first time, that he had been eating dog, and was very angry, and very sick at the stomach. Other Europeans, however, have been known to declare that they succeeded in conquering a prejudice, and that a six weeks old pup, properly fattened upon rice, and dressed à la Chinoise, was really a bonne bouche.


The following strange and almost incredible account is given by Lindsay, of Pitscottie:—"About this time (the beginning of the sixteenth century) there was a great marvel seen in Scotland. A bairn was born, reckoned to be a man-child, but from the waist up was two fair persons, with all members pertayning to two bodies; to wit, two heads, well-eyed, well-eared, and well-handed. The two bodies, the one's back was fast to the other's, but from the waist down they were but one personage; and it could not be known by the ingene of men from which of the bodies the legs, &c., proceeded. Notwithstanding the King's Majesty caused great care and diligence on the up-bringing of both bodies; caused nourish them, and learn them to sing and play on instruments of music. Who within short time became very ingenious and cunning in the art of music, whereby they could play and sing two parts, the one the treble, and the other the tenor, which was very dulce and melodious to hear; the common people (who treated them also) wondered that they could speak diverse and sundry languages, that is to say, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, English, and Irish. Their two bodies long continued to the age of twenty-eight years, and the one continued long before the other, which was dolorous and heavy to the other; for which, when many required of the other to be merry, he answered, "How can I be merry which have my true marrow as a dead carrion about my back, which was wont to sing and play with me: when I was sad he would give me comfort, and I would do the like to him. But now I have nothing but dolour of the having so heavy a burthen, dead, cold, and unsavoury, on my back, which taketh all earthly pleasure from me in this present life; therefore I pray to God Allmighty to deliver me out of this present life, that we may be laid and dissolved in the earth, wherefrom we came, &c."

Buchanan, who relates the same strange tale, avers that he received it from "many honest and credible persons, who saw the prodigy with their own eyes." He adds that the two bodies discovered different tastes and appetites; that they would frequently disagree and quarrel, and sometimes would consult each other, and concert measures for the good [Pg 139] of both; that when any hurt was done to the lower parts, each upper body felt pain; but that when the injury was above the junction, then one body only was affected. This monster, he writes, lived twenty-eight years, but died wretchedly; one part expiring some days before the other, which, half-putrified, pined away by degrees.


The following anecdote is valuable, inasmuch as it gives us an idea of the manners which a King of Scotland could practice without offence to his subjects:—

King James V. was a very sociable, debonnaire prince. Residing at Stirling in Buchanan of Arnpryor's time, carriers were very frequently passing along the common road with necessaries for the use of the king's family. One of these being near Arnpryor's house, and he having some extraordinary occasion, ordered him to leave his load at his house and he would pay him for it; which the carrier refused to do, telling him he was the king's carrier, and his load was for his majesty's use. To which Arnpryor seemed to have small regard, compelling the carrier, in the end, to leave his load; telling him, if King James was King of Scotland, he was king of Kippen, so that it was reasonable he should share with his neighbour king in some of these loads so frequently carried that road. The carrier representing this usage, and telling the story as Arnpryor spoke it, to some of the king's servants, it came at length to his majesty's ears, who, shortly thereafter, with a few attendants, came to visit his neighbour king, who was, in the meantime, at dinner. King James having sent a servant to demand access, was denied the same by a tall fellow with a battle-axe, who stood porter at the gate, telling him there could be no access till dinner was over. This answer not satisfying the king, he sent to demand access a second time; upon which he was desired by the porter to desist, otherwise he would find cause to repent his rudeness. His majesty finding this method would not do, desired the porter to tell his master that the good man of Ballangeich desired to speak with the King of Kippen. The porter telling Arnpryor so much, he, in all humble manner, came and received the king, and having entertained him with much sumptuousness and jollity, became so agreeable to King James, that he allowed him to take so much of any provision he found carrying that road as he had occasion for; and, seeing he made the first visit, desired Arnpryor in a few days to return him a second at Stirling, which he performed, and continued in very much favour with the king, always thereafter being termed King of Kippen while he lived.


Sir Hildebrand Jacob, of Yewhall, in Oxfordshire, died at Malvern in 1790. He succeeded his grandfather, Sir John, 1740, his father, Hildebrand, having died in 1739. He was a very extraordinary character. As a general scholar, he was exceeded by few; in his knowledge of the Hebrew language he scarcely had an equal. In the earlier part of his life, one custom which he constantly followed was very remarkable. As soon as the roads became pretty good, and the fine weather [Pg 140] began to set in, his man was ordered to pack-up a few things in a portmanteau, and with these his master and himself set off, without knowing whither they were going. When it drew towards evening, they enquired at the first village they saw, whether the great man in it was a lover of books, and had a fine library. If the answer was in the negative, they went on farther; if in the affirmative, Sir Hildebrand sent his compliments, that he was come to see him; and there he used to stay till time or curiosity induced him to move elsewhere. In this manner Sir Hildebrand had, very early, passed through the greatest part of England, without scarcely ever sleeping at an inn, unless where the town or village did not afford one person in it civilized enough to be glad to see a gentleman and a scholar.


On the right of the road leading towards Caergwrle, and about a mile from Mold, is an old structure, which presents a singular specimen of the style of domestic architecture during the ages of lawless violence in which it was erected: it consists of an ancient square tower of three stories, and appears to have been designed as a place of fortified habitation. During the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, it was inhabited by Reinallt ab Gruffydd ab Bleddyn, who was constantly engaged in feuds with the citizens of Chester. In 1495, a considerable number of the latter came to Mold fair, and a fray arising between the hostile parties, great slaughter ensued on both sides; but Reinallt, who obtained the victory, took the mayor of Chester prisoner, and conveyed him to his mansion, where he hung him on the staple in his great hall. To avenge this affront, a party of two hundred men was despatched from Chester to seize Reinallt, who, retiring from his house into the adjoining woods, permitted a few of them to enter the building, when, rushing from his concealment, he blocked up the door, and, setting fire to the house, destroyed them in the flames; he then attacked the remainder, whom he pursued with great slaughter; and such as escaped the sword were drowned in attempting to regain their homes. The staple on which the mayor was hung still remains fixed on the ceiling of the lower apartment.


Mary, Countess of Orkney, was both deaf and dumb; she was married in the year 1753, by signs. Shortly after the birth of her first child, the nurse, with considerable astonishment, saw the mother cautiously approach the cradle in which the infant was sleeping, evidently full of some deep design. The Countess, having perfectly assured herself that the child really slept, raised an immense stone which she had concealed under her shawl, and, to the horror of the nurse, (who was an Irishwoman, and like all persons of the lower orders in her country, and indeed in most countries, was fully impressed with an idea of the peculiar cunning and malignity of "dumbies,") lifted it with an apparent intent to fling it down vehemently. Before the nurse could interpose, the Countess had flung the stone,—not, however, as the servant had apprehended, at the child, but on the floor, where, of course, it made a [Pg 141] great noise. The child immediately awoke, and cried. The Countess, who had looked with maternal eagerness to the result of her experiment, fell on her knees in a transport of joy. She had discovered that her child possessed the sense which was wanting in herself. She exhibited on many other occasions similar proofs of intelligence, but none so interesting.


The dangers which inventors have frequently to encounter are very great. Among many instances we may mention the following:—

Mr. Day perished in a diving bell, or diving boat of his own construction, at Plymouth, in June, 1774, in which he was to have continued for a wager, twelve hours, one hundred feet deep in water, and probably, perished from his not possessing all the hydrostatic knowledge that was necessary. Mr. Spalding was professionally ingenious in the art of constructing and managing the diving bell, he had practised the business many years with success. He went down, accompanied by one of his young men, twice to view the wreck of the Imperial East Indiaman, at Kish Bank, in Ireland; on descending the third time, in June, 1783, they remained about an hour under water, and had two barrels of air sent down to them, but on the signals from below not being repeated, after a certain time, they were drawn up by their assistants, and both found dead in the bell.


The triumphant exposure and punishments of corrupt bribe-takers on a grand scale belongs to the close of the seventeenth century. In 1695 Sir John Trevor, the Speaker of the House of Commons, was compelled to put the question himself that he should be expelled. A bill for securing the right application to poor orphans of freemen of London of funds belonging to them could not be carried without purchasing the support of influential members and of the Speaker himself, at a bribe for the latter of 1,000 guineas!

Sir Thomas Cook, the governor of the East India Company, paid £167,000 in one year for bribes to members of the House, of which Sir Basil Firebrace took for his share £40,000. Corruption was universal, therefore deemed venial.


The following statement shows the extent to which lotteries encouraged a spirit of gambling among the people, and we may hence appreciate the soundness of the policy which dictated their suppression:—

The Post Boy of December 27, says:—"We are informed that the Parliamentary Lottery will be fixed in this manner:—150,000 tickets will be delivered out at 10l. each ticket, making in all the sum of 1,500,000l. sterling; the principal whereof is to be sunk, the Parliament allowing nine per cent. interest for the whole during the term of 32 years, which interest is to be divided as follows: 3,750 tickets will be prizes from 1,000l. to 5l. per annum during the said 32 years; all the other tickets will be blanks, so that there will be 39 of these to one prize, but then [Pg 142] each blank ticket will be entitled to fourteen shillings a year for the term of 32 years, which is better than an annuity for life at ten per cent. over and above the chance of getting a prize." Such was the eagerness of the publick in subscribing to the above profitable scheme, that Mercers'-hall was literally crowded, and the Clerks were found incompetent to receive the influx of names. 600,000l. was subscribed January 21; and on the 28th of February, the sum of 1,500,000l. was completed.


How greatly does the introduction of a manufacturing establishment into a town where none previously existed, alter its whole character and condition!

It is said that the burgh of Lanark was, till very recent times, so poor that the single butcher of the town, who also exercised the calling of a weaver, in order to fill up his spare time, would never venture upon the speculation of killing a sheep till every part of the animal was ordered beforehand. When he felt disposed to engage in such an enterprise, he usually prevailed upon the minister, the provost, and the town-council, to take shares; but when no person came forward to bespeak the fourth quarter, the sheep received a respite till better times should cast up. The bellman or skellyman, as he is there called, used often to go through the streets of Lanark with advertisements such as are embodied in the following popular rhyme:—

There's a fat sheep to kill!
A leg for the provost,
Another for the priest,
The bailies and deacons,
They'll tak the neist;
And if the fourth leg we connot sell,
The sheep it maun leeve and gae back to the hill!"


Strasbourg is the great market for pâtés de foies gras, made, as it is known, of the livers of geese. These poor creatures are shut up in coops, so narrow they cannot turn round in them, and then stuffed twice a day with Indian corn, to enlarge their livers, which have been known to swell till they reached the enormous weight of two pounds and a half. Garlick, steeped in water, is given them, to increase their appetites. This invention is worthy of the French nation, where cooks are great as nobles.


Here lyeth the body of Nicholas Hookes, of Conway, gentleman, (who was the forty-first child of his father, Wm. Hookes, Esq., by Alice, his wife,) the father of twenty-seven children, who died the 27th day of March, 1637.


If you journey through Yorkshire, be sure to stop opposite the ruins of Knaresborough Castle, because, on the south-west bank of the river Nidd,[Pg 143] you will observe the petrifying spring of Knaresborough,—the celebrated dropping-well—where the peasants and the needy crowd to make their humble fortunes by afterwards retailing small sprigs of trees, such as the elder or ash, or pieces of the elegant geranium, the wild angelica, or the lovely violet, turned into "obdurate stone."

Petrifying Spring of Knaresborough

Every spring does not possess the petrifying properties of that of Knaresborough; but there are, doubtless, many dropping-wells distributed over the earth's crust; and some of these are well known to possess the property of petrifying various objects submitted to the action of their waters. For example: we have seen birds' nests, with the eggs, and delicate sprigs of moss surrounding them, and even the fibres of wool turned into stone, aye, and delicate flowers. Whence is this extraordinary power? From the soil over which the waters flow! The limpid streams absorb the silicious particles, and deposit them in the intimate structure of the materials submitted to the action of the waters; and [Pg 144] thus we find the materials of which the earth's crust is composed, always undergoing a change.

Twenty gallons are poured forth every minute from the top of the Knaresborough cliff, and the beauty of the scene can only be appreciated by those who have stood upon the margin of those "stony waters" and beheld the crystal fluid descend from above with metallic fall.


Nothing can afford a greater proof of the patience and perseverance, as well as of the taste of a Chinese handicraftsman, than one of these elegant baubles, each ball being exquisitely carved, and no two alike in pattern. Each of the balls rolls freely within that which encloses it, and is visible through apertures; so that however many there be, the beauties of each can be examined, and the number of the whole counted. Much time is spent upon the carving of these toys, for the cleverest artist will employ a whole month in the execution of each separate ball; consequently the labour of two years is not unfrequently bestowed on the production of a single toy, which is formed out of a solid globe of ivory, and has no junction in any part. The outside of this globe is first carved in some very open pattern, and is then carefully cut with a sharp, fine instrument, through the openings, till a complete coating is detached from the solid part inside, as the peel of an orange might be loosened with a scoop from the fruit, without being taken off. One hollow ball is thus formed, with a solid one inside of it. The surface of the inner ball is then carved through the interstices of the outer one, and when finished, is subjected to the same operation as the first; and thus a second hollow ball is produced, still with a solid one of smaller dimensions inside. This process is repeated again and again, the difficulties increasing as the work proceeds, till at length only a small ball, of the size of a marble, is left in the centre, which is also ornamented with figures cut upon it, and then the ingenious but useless bauble is complete. This process is said to be performed under water.


The credulity of even the learned men in the early ages may be judged of by the following facts:—

Marcus Varro writeth, that there was a town in Spain undermined with rabbits; another likewise in Thessaly by moles or molewharps. In Africa the people were compelled by locusts to leave their habitations; and out of Gyaros, an island, one of the Cyclades, the islanders were forced by rats and mice to fly away; moreover in Italy the city of Amyclæ was destroyed by serpents. In Ethiopia there is a great country lies waste and desert, by reason it was formerly dispeopled by scorpions; and if it be true that Theophrastus reporteth, the Treriens were chased away by certain worms called scolopendres. Annius writes, that an ancient city situate near the Volscian Lake, and called Contenebra, was in times past overthrown by pismires, and that the place is thereupon vulgarly called to this day, the Camp of Ants. In Media, saith Diodorus Siculus, there was such an infinite [Pg 145] number of sparrows that eat up and devoured the seed which was cast into the ground, so that men were constrained to depart from their old habitations, and remove to other places.


The French historians describe a clock sent to Charlemagne in the year 807, by the famous eastern caliph, Haroun al Raschid, which was evidently furnished with some kind of wheelwork, although the moving power appears to have been produced by the fall of water. This clock was a rather wonderful affair, and excited a great deal of attention at the French court. In the dial of it were twelve small doors forming the divisions for the hours, each door opened at the hour marked by the index, and let out small brass balls, which, falling on a bell, struck the hours—a great novelty at that time. The doors continued open until the hour of twelve, when twelve figures representing knights on horseback came out and paraded round the dial plate.


Memnon, the Egyptian, invents the letters, in the year 1822, before Christ.

The Alexandrian library, consisting of 400,000 valuable books, burnt by accident, B. C. 52.

Silk first brought from India, 274: the manufactory of it introduced into Europe by some monks, 551: first worn by the clergy in England, in 1534.

Glass invented in England by Benalt, a monk, A. C. 400.

The University of Cambridge founded A. C. 915.

Paper made of cotton rags was in use, 1000; that of linen rags in 1170: the manufactory introduced into England, at Dartford, 1588.

Musical notes invented, 1070.

Justices of the Peace first appointed in England in 1076.

Doomsday-book began to be compiled by order of William, from a survey of all the estates in England (and finished in 1086), 1080.

Glass windows began to be used in private houses in England in 1186.

Surnames now began to be used, first among the nobility, in 1200.

The houses of London and other cities in England, France, and Germany, still thatched with straw in 1233.

Tallow candles so great a luxury, that splinters of wood were used for lights, 1298.

Wine sold by apothecaries as a cordial, 1298.

Gunpowder and guns first invented by Swartz, a monk of Cologn, 1340; Edward 3rd had four pieces of cannon, which contributed to gain him the battle of Cressy, 1346; bombs and mortars were invented in the same year.

Cards invented in France for the king's amusement in 1391.

Windsor Castle built by Edward 3rd, 1386.

Guildhall, London, built 1410.

About 1430, Laurentius, of Haarlem, invented the art of Printing, which he practised with separate wooden types. Guttenburg afterwards [Pg 146] invented cut metal types: but the art was carried to perfection by Peter Schoeffer, who invented the mode of casting the types in matrices. Frederick Corsellis began to print at Oxford, in 1468, with wooden types; but it was William Caxton who introduced into England the art of printing with fusile types, in 1474.

Shillings first coined in England, 1505.

Silk stockings first worn by the French King, 1543; first worn in England by Queen Elizabeth in 1561.

Tobacco first brought from Virginia into England, 1583.

Watches first brought into England from Germany, in 1597.

Regular Posts established from London to Scotland, Ireland, &c., 1635.

The Plague rages in London, and carries off 68,000 persons, 1665.

The great fire of London began, September 2nd, and continued three days, in which were destroyed 13,000 houses, and 400 streets, 1666.

Tea first used in England, 1666.

The Habeas Corpus act passed, 1678.

William Penn, a Quaker, receives a charter for planting Pennsylvania, 1680.

Bank of England established by King William 1693.

The first public Lottery was drawn same year.

The first British Parliament, 1707.

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, in 37 years, at one million expense, by a duty on coals, 1710.

Westminster Bridge, consisting of 15 arches, begun 1738, finished in 1750, at the expense of 389,000l., defrayed by parliament.

Commodore Anson returns from his voyage round the world, 1774.

The British Museum erected at Montagu House, 1753.

149 Englishmen are confined in the black-hole at Calcutta, in the East Indies, by order of the Nabob, and 123 found dead next morning, 1755.


It is curious to note how savages endeavour to account for the prodigies of nature. In the island of Samoa, one of the Sandwich group, there is the following legend.

Mafuie is their god of earthquakes, who was deemed to possess great power, but has, according to the Samoans, lost much of it. The way in which they say this occurred is as follows:—One Talago, who possessed a charm capable of causing the earth to divide, coming to a well-known spot, cried, "Rock, divide! I am Talago; come to work!" The earth separating at his command, he went down to cultivate his taro patch. His son, whose name was Tiitii, became acquainted with the charm, and watching his father, saw him descend, and the earth close after him. At the same spot, Tiitii said, "Rock, divide! I am Talago; come to work!" The rock did not open, but on repeating the words and stamping his foot violently, the earth separated, and he descended. Being a young man, he made a great noise and bustle, notwithstanding the advice of his father to be quiet, lest Mafuie would hear him. The son then asked, "Who is Mafuie, that I should be afraid of him?" Observing [Pg 147] smoke at a distance, he inquired the cause of it. Talago said, "It is Mafuie heating his oven." Tiitii determined to go and see, notwithstanding all the persuasions of his father, and met Mafuie, who inquired who he was, "Are you a planter of taro, a builder, or a twister of ropes?" "I am a twister of ropes," said Tiitii; "give me your arm, and I shall show you." So, taking the arm of Mafuie, he twisted it off in a moment. Such a practical illustration of his powers soon made Mafuie cry out, "Na fia ola, na fia ola!"—I desire to live, I desire to live! Tiitii then took pity upon him, and let him go. The natives, on feeling an earthquake, exclaim, "Thanks that Mafuie has but one arm! if he had two, he would shake the earth to pieces."


It was the custom at the time of the Plantagenets, and previously, for ladies of distinction and wealth regularly to distribute money or food to the poor. The title of lady, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, and literally signifies giver of bread. The purse, with similar meaning, was named as a receptacle for alms, and not as an invention for the preservation of money.


The fashion which once prevailed of introducing historical anecdotes into addresses from the pulpit, is illustrated by the following extract from a sermon by the Martyr Bishop Ridley:—

Cambyses was a great emperor, such another as our master is; he had many lord-deputies, lord-presidents, and lieutenants under him. It is a great while ago since I read the history. It chanced he had under him, in one of his dominions, a briber, a gift-taker, a gratifier of rich men; he followed gifts as fast as he that followed the pudding, a hand-maker in his office, to make his son a great man; as the old saying is, "Happy is the child whose father goeth to the devil." The cry of the poor widow came to the emperor's ear, and caused him to flay the judge quick, and laid his skin in his chair of judgment, that all judges that should give judgment afterward should sit in the same skin. Surely it was a goodly sign, a goodly monument, the sign of the judge's skin: I pray God we may once see the sign of the skin in England.


The state of the police regulations in the metropolis at the above date, is exhibited in the following extract from an old magazine:—

"At one o'clock this morning (Oct. 4, 1756), the Hon. Captain Brudenel was stopped in his chair, just as it entered Berkeley-square, from the Hay-hill, by two fellows with pistols, who demanded his money; he gave them five-sixpences, telling them he had no more, which having taken, they immediately made off. The captain then put his purse and watch under the cushion, got out, drew his sword, and being followed by one of the chairmen with his pole, and the watchman, pursued them up the hill, where the Hon. Captain West, who was walking, having joined them, one of the fellows having got off, they followed the other into [Pg 148] Albemarle-mews, where finding himself closely beset, he drew a pistol, and presented it, upon which the captain made a lunge at him, and ran him through the body. The fellow at the same time fired his pistol, which, the captain being still stooping, went over his head and shot the watchman through the lungs; at the instant the pistol was discharged, while the fellow's arm was extended, the chairman struck it with his pole and broke it; he was then seized and carried with the watchman to the round-house in Dover-street, where Mr. Bromfield and Mr. Gataker, two eminent surgeons, came; but the captain would not suffer the villain to be dressed, till he discovered who he and his confederates were; when he acknowledged they were both grenadiers in Lord Howe's company. The poor watchman died in half an hour after he was shot; and the soldier was so disabled by his wound that he was carried in a chair to Justice Fielding, who sent him to New Prison, where he died."


The following extract is worth notice, inasmuch as it shows that in the matter of amusement, the tastes of the lower orders of the present day are not much improved since the last century:—

"You will see a wonderful girl of ten years of age, who walks backwards up the sloping rope driving a wheelbarrow behind her; also you will see the great Italian Master, who not only passes all that has yet been seen upon the low rope, but he dances without a pole upon the head of a mast as high as the booth will permit, and afterwards stands upon his head on the same. You will be also entertained with the merry conceits of an Italian scaramouch, who dances on the rope with two children and a dog in a wheelbarrow, and a duck on his head."


Ancient Globe.—In the Town Library (Stadt Bibliothek) of Nuremberg is preserved an interesting globe made by John Schoner, professor of mathematics in the Gymnasium there, A.D. 1520. It is very remarkable that the passage through the Isthmus of Panama, so much sought after in later times, is, on this old globe, carefully delineated.


The perpendicular height of Snowdon is, by late admeasurements, 1,190 yards above the level of the sea. This makes it, according to Pennant, 240 yards higher than Cader Idris. Some state Whernside, in Yorkshire to be the highest mountain in South Britain, and more than 4,000 feet. Helvellyn is 3,324 feet, Ben Lomond 3,262. Mont Blanc rises 15,680 feet; the American Chimborazo is 20,909 feet, the highest ground ever trodden by man; and the mountains of Thibet above 25,000 feet, the highest at present known.


The Salix Babylonica, that is the Willow of Babylon, or our English weeping Willow, is a native of the Levant, the coast of Persia, and [Pg 149] other places in the East. The manner of its introduction into England is curious; the account is as follows: Pope, the celebrated poet, having received a present of Turkey figs, observed a twig of the basket, in which they were packed, putting out a shoot. The twig he planted in his garden: it soon became a fine tree, and from this stock, all our weeping Willows have descended. This species of Willow is generally planted by a still pool, to which it is a beautiful appropriate ornament; and when in misty weather, drops of water are seen distilling from the extremities of its branches, nothing can be more descriptive than the title it has obtained of the weeping Willow.


The use of gold and silver was not unknown to the Welsh in 842, when their laws were collected. The man who dared to insult the King of Aberfraw, was to pay (besides certain cows and a silver rod) a cup, which would hold as much wine as his majesty could swallow at a draught; its cover was to be as broad as the king's face; and the whole as thick as a goose's egg, or a ploughman's thumb-nail.


This species of great gun, so much used on board of ships, is generally accounted a modern invention, taking its name from the Carron foundry where they were made. In the patent office, however, will be found a notice dated September, 1727, to the following effect: "That his Majesty was pleased to grant to Henry Brown, Esquire, a patent for the sole use and benefit of his new invention of making cannon and great guns, both in iron and brass, which will be much shorter and lighter, and with less powder will carry farther than those of equal bore now in use, and which, it is said, will save great expense to the public."


On the death of Sir James Lowther, his son William stood for the shire of Cumberland, and entertained 3,650 gentlemen freeholders at a dinner, at which were consumed 768 gallons of wine, 1,454 gallons of ale, and 5,814 bottles of punch. Sir James appears to have been eccentric in some of his habits, for after his decease £30,000 in bank notes were discovered in a closet, and £10,000 in the sleeve of an old coat.


This interesting relic of the great Reformer is of ivory, very richly carved, and mounted in silver gilt. There are six medallions on its surface, which consist, however, of a repetition of two subjects. The upper one represents the agony in the garden, and the Saviour praying that the cup might pass from Him; the base represents the Lord's Supper, the centre dish being the incarnation of the bread. This tankard, now in the possession of Lord Londesborough, was formerly in the collection of Elkington of Birmingham, who had some copies of it made. On the lid, in old characters, is the following inscription—"C. M. L., MDXXIIII." This drinking vessel, which, independent of its [Pg 150] artistic merit, was no doubt highly valued as a mere household possession, brings to mind many recollections of the life of him who raised himself from a very lowly position to one of great power and usefulness.

Martin Luther's Tankard

Martin Luther, who was the son of John Lotter or Lauther (which name our Reformer afterwards changed to Luther) and Margaret Lindenen, was born in the little town of Islebern, in Saxony, on November 10th, 1483. His father was a miner. Luther died in 1546, and princes, earls, nobles, and students without number, attended the funeral of the miner's son in the church of Islebern. On this occasion, Melancthon delivered the funeral oration.

[Pg 151]


How strange the following reads from an old journal! and how odd the state of things to give rise to such an intimation!

Wednesday, 27th March.
No Cross Buns.

Mrs. Hand respectfully informs her friends, and the public, that in consequence of the great concourse of people which assembled before her house at a very early hour, on the morning of Good Friday; by which her neighbours (with whom she has always lived in friendship and repute,) have been much alarmed and annoyed; it having also been intimated, that to encourage or countenance a tumultuous assembly at this particular period, might be attended with consequences more serious than have hitherto been apprehended; desirous, therefore, of testifying her regard and obedience to those laws by which she is happily protected, she is determined, though much to her loss, not to sell Cross Buns on that day, to any person whatever; but Chelsea Buns as usual.

Mrs. Hand would be wanting in gratitude to a generous public, who, for more than fifty years past, have so warmly patronized and encouraged her shop, to omit so favourable an opportunity of offering her sincere acknowledgments for their favours; at the same time, to assure them she will, to the utmost of her power, endeavour to merit a continuance of them.


The locusts are remarkable for the hieroglyphic that they bear upon the forehead. Their colour is green throughout the whole body, excepting a little yellow rim that surrounds their head, and which is lost at the eyes. This insect has two upper wings, pretty solid. They are green, like the rest of the body, except that there is in each a little white spot. The locust keeps them extended like great sails of a ship going before the wind. It has besides two other wings underneath the former, and which resemble a light transparent stuff pretty much like a cobweb, and which it makes use of in the manner of smack sails, that are along a vessel. But when the locust reposes herself, she does like a vessel that lies at anchor; for she keeps the second sails furled under the others.


The following extract from a very old book is truly curious:—

"Queene Elizabeth, in the xiiii and xviii yeres of hir gracious rayne, two Actes were made for ydle vagrante and maisterlesse persons, that vsed to loyter, and would not worke, should for the first offence haue a hole burned through the gristle of one of his eares of an ynch compasse. And for the second offence committed therein, to be hanged. If these and such lyke lawes were executed iustlye, treulye, and severelye (as they ought to be,) without any respect of persons, favour, or friendshippe, this dung and filth of ydlenesse woulde easily be reiected and cast oute of thys Commonwealth, there woulde not be so many loytering ydle persons, [Pg 152] so many Ruffians, Blasphemers, Swinge-Buckelers, so many Drunkards, Tossepottes, Dauncers, Fydlers, and Minstrels, Dice-players, and Maskers, Fencers, Theeves, Enterlude-players, Cut-purses, Cosiners, Maisterlesse Seruantes, Jugglers, Roges, sturdye Beggars, counterfaite Egyptians, &c., as there are, nor yet so manye Plagues to bee amongst vs as there are, if these Dunghilles and filthe in Commonweales were remooued, looked into, and cleane caste oute, by the industrie, payne, and trauell of those that are sette in authoritie, and haue gouernment."—"A Treatise against Dicing, Dauncing, Vaine playes or Enterluds." Black Letter; no date.


The honour of the invention of movable types has been disputed by two cities, Haarlem and Mentz. The claims of Haarlem rest chiefly upon a statement of Hadrien Junius, who gave it upon the testimony of Cornelius, alleged to be a servant of Lawrence Coster, for whom the invention is claimed. The claims of Mentz, which appear to be more conclusive, are in favour of Peter Schæffer, the assistant and son-in-law of John Faust, better known as Dr. Faustus. The first edition of the Speculum humanæ salvationis was printed by Coster at Haarlem, about the year 1440, and is one of the earliest productions of the press of which the printer is known. The celebrated Bible, commonly known as the Mentz Bible, without date, is the first important specimen of printing with moveable metal types. This was executed by Gutenberg and Faust, or Fust, as it is sometimes spelt, between the years 1450 and 1455. The secret of the method then becoming known, presses were speedily established in all parts of Europe, so that before the year 1500 there were printing-offices in upwards of 220 different places in Austria, Bavaria, Bohemia, Calabria, the Cremonese, Denmark, England, Flanders, France, Franconia, Frioul, Geneva, Genoa, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Lombardy, Mecklenburg, Moravia, Naples, the Palatinate, Piedmont, Poland, Portugal, Rome, Sardinia, Upper and Lower Saxony, Sicily, Silesia, Spain, Suabia, Switzerland, Thessalonica, Turkey, Tuscany, the Tyrol, Venice, Verona, Westphalia, Wurtemberg, &c.

This vast and rapid extension of the art, combined with the skill which the earlier printers displayed in it, seems to be totally incompatible with the date assigned to the invention, and it is more than probable, that the art having been long practised in private under continued attempts at secrecy, it at length broke into publicity after it had already attained a considerable degree of perfection.


It has been satisfactorily proved that the polypus cannot see its prey, but is only aware of its presence by the actual agitation of the water, from its remaining altogether passive when a thin piece of glass is interposed between them. There are many Monads, which, without possessing any trace of an eye, are yet susceptible of light. An equally extraordinary phenomenon presents itself in the Proteus Anguinus. This singular animal is found in the subterranean lakes of the interminable [Pg 153] stalactital caverns in the limestone range of the Carniolan Alps, where the author saw it. In appearance it is between a fish and a lizard; it is of a flesh-colour, and its respiratory organs, which are connected with lungs, so as to enable it to breathe above or below the water, form a red crest round the throat, like a cock's comb. It has no eyes, but small points in the place of them, and light is so obnoxious to it, that it uses every effort to exclude it, by thrusting its head under stones. It is reported also to exist in Sicily, but is known nowhere else.



The jolly toper is so fond of the thing we call a bumper, that he troubles not himself about the name, and so long as the liquor is but fine and clear, cares not a farthing in how deep an obscurity the etymology is involved. The sober antiquarian, on the contrary, being prone to etymology, contemplates the sparkling contents of a full glass with much less delight than he does the meaning, the occasion, and the original of the name. The common opinion is, that the bumper took its name from the grace-cup; our Roman Catholic ancestors, say they, after their meals, always drinking the Pope's health in this form, au bon Pere. But there are great objections to this; the Pope was not the bon Pere, but the Saint Pere; amongst the elder inhabitants of this kingdom, the attribute of sanctity being in a manner appropriated to the Pope of Rome, and his see. Again, the grace-cup, which went round of course, after every repast, did not imply anything extraordinary, or a full glass. Drinking-glasses were not in use at the time here supposed, for the grace-cup was a large vessel, proportioned to the number of the society, which went round the table, the guests drinking out of one cup, one after another.


From a number of the "Public Advertiser," of May 19 to May 26, 1657, we have 'In Bartholomew-lane, on the back side of the Old Exchange, the drink called Coffee is advertised as to be sold in the morning, and at three of the clock in the afternoon.'


The following Receipts are taken from a work entitled, "New Curiosities in Art and Nature, or a Collection of the most valuable Secrets in all Arts and Sciences. Composed and Experimented by Sieur Lemery, Apothecary to the French King. London: John King, Little Britain. 1711."

To make one Wake or Sleep.—You must cut off dexterously the head of a toad alive, and at once, and let it dry, in observing that one eye be shut, and the other open; that which is found open makes one wake, and that shut causes sleep, by carrying it about one.

[Pg 154]

Preservative against the Plague.—Take three or four great toads, seven or eight spiders, and as many scorpions, put them into a pot well stopp'd, and let them lye some time; then add virgin-wax, make a good fire till all become a liquor, then mingle them all with a spatula, and make an ointment, and put it into a silver box well stopp'd, the which carry about you, being well assured that while you carry it about you, you will never be infected with the plague.

We give the above as indicating the delusions which prevailed with respect to certain nostrums as late as the year 1711.


As the following account, by a gentleman who witnessed the scene, avoids all disgusting details, we give it as containing a description of some of the circumstances which attended the execution, at the commencement of the present century, of a criminal of the higher class. The wretched man was hung for murder and barbarity: his victims were the men he had under his charge as Governor of the Island of Goree:—

"As we crossed the Press-yard, a cock crew; and the solitary clanking of a restless chain was dreadfully horrible.

"The prisoner entered. He was death's counterfeit, tall, shrivelled, and pale; and his soul shot so piercingly through the port-holes of his head that the first glance of him nearly petrified me. I said in my heart, putting my pencil in my pocket, God forbid that I should disturb thy last moments! His hands were clasped, and he was truly penitent. After the yeoman had requested him to stand up, 'he pinioned him,' as the Newgate phrase is, and tied the cord with so little feeling that the governor, who had not given the wretch the accustomed fee, observed 'You have tied me very tight;' upon which Dr. Ford, the chaplain, ordered him to slacken the cord, which he did, but not without muttering, 'Thank you, sir,' said the governor to the doctor: 'it is of little moment.' He then observed to the attendant, who had brought in an immense iron shovel-full of coals to throw on the fire, 'Ay, in one hour that will be a blazing fire,' then turning to the doctor, questioned him: 'Do tell me, sir: I am informed I shall go down with great force; is it so?' After the construction and action of the machine had been explained, the doctor questioned the governor as to what kind of men he had at Goree:—'Sir,' he answered, 'they sent me the very riff-raff.' The poor soul then joined the doctor in prayer; and never did I witness more contrition at any condemned sermon than he then evinced.

"The sheriff arrived, attended by his officers, to receive the prisoner from the keeper. A new hat was then partly flattened on his head, for owing to its being too small in the crown, it stood many inches too high behind. As we were crossing the Press Yard, the dreadful execrations of some of the felons so shook his frame that he observed, the clock had struck; and quickening his pace, he soon arrived at the room where the sheriff was to give a receipt for his body, according to the usual custom. Owing, however, to some informality in the wording of this receipt, he was not brought out as soon as the multitude expected; and it was this [Pg 155] delay which occasioned a partial exultation from those who betted as to a reprieve, and not from any pleasure in seeing him executed.

"After the execution, as soon as I was permitted to leave the prison, I found the Yeoman selling the rope with which the malefactor had been suspended, at a shilling an inch; and no sooner had I entered Newgate-street, than a lath of a fellow, passed threescore years and ten, who had just arrived from the purlieus of Black Boy Alley, woe-begone as Romeo's apothecary, exclaimed, 'Here is the identical rope at sixpence an inch.'"


Ayscough's Nottingham Courant of this date, contained the following advertisement:—The flying machines on steel springs set off from the Swan with Two Necks Inn, Lad-lane, London, and from the Angel Inn in Sheffield, every Monday and Thursday morning at five o'clock, and lies the first night from London at the Angel Inn in Northampton, the second at the Blackmoor's Head Inn, Nottingham, and the third at Sheffield. Each passenger to pay 1l. 17s., and to be allowed fourteen pounds of luggage. Performed (if God permit) by John Hanforth and Samuel Glanville.


A young man, in Greenock, of the name of Kid, who was blind from his infancy, finished the model of a sixty-four gun ship, of about five feet keel, planked from the keel, with carriages for the guns, and every necessary material and apparelling of a ship of that rate, without any assistance whatever, or other instrument than a small knife and hammer.


The following handbill is curious, on account of the light it sheds on what was considered attractive to the million a hundred years ago:—

"According to Law. September 22, 1749. On Wednesday next, the 27th inst., will be run for by Asses (!!) in Tothill Fields, a purse of gold, not exceeding the value of Fifty Pounds. The first will be entitled to the gold; the second to two pads; the third to thirteen pence half-penny; the last to a halter fit for the neck of any ass in Europe. Each ass must be subject to the following articles:—

"No person will be allowed to run but Taylors and Chimney-sweepers; the former to have a cabbage-leaf fixed in his hat, the latter a plumage of white feathers; the one to use nothing but his yard-wand, and the other a brush.

"No jockey-tricks will be allowed upon any consideration.

"No one to strike an ass but the rider, lest he thereby cause a retrograde motion, under a penalty of being ducked three times in the river.

"No ass will be allowed to start above thirty years old, or under ten months, nor any that has won above the value of fifty pounds.

"No ass to run that has been six months in training, particularly above stairs, lest the same accident happen to it that did to one nigh a town ten miles from London, and that for reasons well known to that place.

[Pg 156]

"Each ass to pay sixpence entrance, three farthings of which are to be given to the old clerk of the race, for his due care and attendance.

"Every ass to carry weight for inches, if thought proper."

Then follow a variety of sports, with "an ordinary of proper victuals, particularly for the riders, if desired."

"Run, lads, run! there's rare sport in Tothill Fields!"


Never was a greater assemblage of persons collected together than on this occasion: in the Park and in Parliament-street there were at least 20,000 people. By the repair of the state coach, which has undergone several material alterations since the damage it received at the opening of the last session, the king is now secluded from the sight. Hitherto, the upper pannels of it had always been of glass, so that the multitude could see the king in all directions, through the front, through the sides, as well as through the windows in the doors: it has been newly glazed, and the whole of the carriage is lined with sheet copper, musket proof; between the crimson lining of the carriage is a wadding of fine wool, coated with buffalo skin, the nature of which is so close that no bullets can penetrate it.


On the dollars, stivers, &c., coined at the town of Dordrecht in Holland, is the figure of a milk-maid sitting under her cow, which figure is also exhibited in relievo on the water-gate of the place. The occasion was as follows: In the noble struggle of the United Provinces for their liberties, the Spaniards detached a body of forces from the main army, with the view of surprising Dordrecht. Certain milkmaids, belonging to a rich farmer in the vicinity of the town, perceived as they were going to milk, some soldiers concealed under the hedges. They had the presence of mind to pursue their occupation without any symptoms of alarm. On their return home they informed their master of what they had seen, who gave information to the Burgomaster, and the sluices were let loose, by which great numbers of the Spaniards were drowned, and the expedition defeated. The States ordered the farmer a handsome revenue for the loss he sustained by the overflowing of his lands, rewarded the women, and perpetuated the event in the manner described.


"Who has not read the "Pilgrim's Progress," "that wonderful book," writes Mr. Macaulay, "which, while it obtains admiration from the most fastidious critics, is loved by those who are too simple to admire it?" We can remember our own delight on reading, for the first time, the precious volume. This was in the days of our childhood, when we were deeply imbued with the fairy lore which at that time was so plentifully supplied, and so eagerly devoured.

John Bunyan was buried in Bunhill Fields burying-ground, City-road; and the tablet on his tomb, which the engraving very correctly represents is as follows:—"Mr. John Bunyan, author of the 'Pilgrim's [Pg 157] Progress,' ob. 12 Aust. 1688, æt. 60." Formerly there were also the following lines:—

"The Pilgrim's Progress now is finished.
And death has laid him in his earthly bed."
Tomb of John Bunyan

Bunhill Fields burying-ground was opened as a suburban cemetery in 1665, in the time of the great plague, and was a favourite burying-place with the Dissenters. Here are buried Daniel Defoe; Dr. Isaac Watts; Joseph Ritson the antiquary; Dr. Thomas Goodwin, the chaplain who attended Cromwell's death-bed; George Fox, the founder of the Quakers; the mother of John Wesley; Lieut.-General Fleetwood, son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell; Thomas Stothard, R.A., and other eminent men.


Spiders hear with great acuteness, and it is affirmed that they are attracted by music. Disjonval relates the instance of a spider which [Pg 158] used to place itself on the ceiling of a room over the spot where a lady played the harp, and which followed her if she removed to another part; and he also says that the celebrated violinist Berthome, when a boy, saw a spider habitually approach him as soon as he began to play, and which eventually became so familiar that it would fix itself on his desk, and on his arm. Bettina noticed the same effect with a guitar, on a spider which accidentally crossed over it as she was playing.


This quaint announcement, in a handbill of the time, shows how cheaply those who lived a century or so past could enjoy suburban pleasures in merrie Islington:—

"This is to give notice to all Ladies and Gentlemen, at Spencer's original Breakfasting-Hut, between Sir Hugh Middleton's Head and St. John Street Road, by the New River side, fronting Sadler's Wells, may be had every morning, except Sundays, fine tea, sugar, bread, butter, and milk, at fourpence per head; coffee at threepence a dish. And in the afternoon, tea, sugar, and milk, at threepence per head, with good attendance. Coaches may come up to the farthest garden-door next to the bridge in St. John Street Road, near Sadler's Wells back gate.—Note. Ladies, &c., are desired to take notice that there is another person set up in opposition to me, the next door, which is a brick-house, and faces the little gate by the Sir Hugh Middleton's, and therefore mistaken for mine; but mine is the little boarded place by the river side, and my backdoor faces the same as usual; for

I am not dead, I am not gone,
Nor liquors do I sell;
But, as at first, I still go on,
Ladies, to use you well.
No passage to my hut I have,
The river runs before;
Therefore your care I humbly crave,
Pray don't mistake my door.

"Yours to serve,
S. Spencer."


In Leroux's Journal de Medicine, is an account of a very fat woman, twenty-eight years of age, who was found on fire in her chamber, where nothing else was burning. The neighbours heard a noise of something like frying, and when the body was removed it left a layer of black grease. The doctor conceives that the combustion began in the internal parts, and that the clothes were burnt secondarily.


She was the daughter of a man named Wallis, a bone-setter at Hindon, in Wiltshire, and sister to the celebrated "Polly Peachem," who married the Duke of Bolton. Upon some family quarrel, Sally Wallis left her professional parent, and wandered up and down the country in a miserable manner, calling herself "Crazy Sally," and pursuing, in her perambulations, a course that fairly justified the title. Arriving at last at Epsom, she succeeded in humbugging the worthy bumkins of that place, so decidedly, that a subscription was set on foot to keep her among them; but her fame extending to the metropolis, the dupes of London, a numerous class then as well as now, thought it no trouble to go ten miles to [Pg 159] see the conjuror, till at length, she was pleased to bless the afflicted of London with her presence, and once a week drove to the Grecian Coffee-house, in a coach and six with out-riders! and all the appearance of nobility. It was in one of these journeys, passing through Kent-street, in the Borough, that being taken for a certain woman of quality from the Electorate in Germany, a great mob followed and bestowed on her many bitter reproaches, till Madame, perceiving some mistake, looked out of the window, and accosted them in this gentle manner, "Confound you, don't you know me? I am Mrs. Mapp, the bone-setter!" upon which, they instantly changed their revilings into loud huzzas.


"This is to sartfay all persons that my be consernid, that A B from the parish of C in the County of D and E F from the parish of G and in the county of H and both comes before me and declayred themseless both to be single persons, and now mayried by the form of the Kirk of Scotland, and agreible to the Church of England, and givine ondre my hand, this 18th day of March 1793."

"Kingdom of Scotland
"County of Dumfries
"Parish of Gretna

"These are to certify, to all whom it may concern, that John N.... from the parish of Chatham in the County of Kent, and Rosa H.... from the Parish of St. Maries in the County of Nottingham, being both here now present and having declared to me that they are single persons, but have now been married conformable to the Laws of the Church of England, and agreeable to the Kirk of Scotland. As witness our hands at Springfield this 4th day of October 1822.

"Witness"Witness me.
Jane RaeDavid Lang.
John Ainslie."John N....
Rosa H...."


The women here are generally more handsome than in other places, sufficiently endowed with natural beauties, without the addition of adulterate sophistications. In an absolute woman, say the Italians, are required the parts of a Dutch woman, from the girdle downwards; of a French woman, from the girdle to the shoulders: over which must be placed an English face. As their beauties, so also their prerogatives are greater than any nation; neither so servilely submissive as the French, nor so jealously guarded as the Italians; but keeping so true a decorum, that as England is termed the Pergatorie of Servants, and the Hell of Horses, so is it acknowledged the Paradise of Women. And it is a common by-word amongst the Italians, that if there were a bridge built across the narrow seas, all the women in Europe would run into England. For here they have the upper hand in the streets, the upper place at the table, the thirds of their husband's estates, and their equal share of all lands; privileges with which other women are not acquainted. They [Pg 160] were in high esteem in former times amongst foreign nations, for the modestie and gravitie of their conversation; but of late so much addicted to the light garb of the French, that they have lost much of their ancient honour and reputation amongst knowing and more sober men of foreign countries who before admired them.—Peter Heylin's Cosmographie, 1652.


On consulting Stowe, Speed, and other antiquaries, it appears that the price of a good place at the coronation of William the Conqueror was a blank; and probably the same at that of his son William Rufus. At that of Henry I. it was a crocard, and at King Stephen's and Henry the Second's a pillard. At King Richard's and King John's, it was a fuskin; and rose at Henry the Third's to a dodkin. In the reign of Edward I. the coins began to be more intelligible; and we find that for seeing his coronation a Q was given, or the half of a ferling, or farthing, which was, as now, the fourth part of a sterling, or penny. At the coronation of Edward II. it was a farthing; and at that of Edward III. a halfpenny, which was very generally given. In the reign of Richard II. it was a penny, and continued the same at that of Henry IV. But at that of Henry V. it was two pennies, or half of a grossus, or groat; and the same at that of Henry VI. and of Edward IV.; nor do we find it raised at the coronation of Richard III. or that of Henry VII.

At that of Henry VIII. it was the whole grossus, or groat, nor was the price altered at those of Edward VI. and Queen Mary; but at Queen Elizabeth's it was a teston, tester, or sixpence. At those of James I. and Charles I. a shilling was given; which sum was advanced to half a crown at the coronations of Charles and James II. At King William's and Queen Anne's, it was a crown; and at George the First's the show was seen by many at the same price.

At the coronation of George II. some gave half a guinea; but at that of George III. and Queen Charlotte, anno 1761, curiosity seems to have risen to an amazing height. On this occasion the price given for single seats were almost incredible; in some houses ten guineas, and in ordinary houses five guineas. Great and universal anxiety prevailed to see this grand spectacle, from the reflection how improbable it was that many who were there could ever have an opportunity of witnessing the like again. As an instance of this extreme anxiety, it is confidently related, that a gentleman was prevailed on to take a room for his lady, at the price of one hundred and forty guineas; but the appointment of the solemnity of the coronation falling unluckily at the exact time when she expected to be delivered, she actually further prevailed on her husband to let a skilful man-midwife, nurse, &c., attend her, and to hire another room, lest the hurry of the day should bring on her labour, when it might be impossible for her to be removed without endangering her life.


The house shown in the engraving is interesting from two causes; first, that it was the house in which Sir Walter Raleigh smoked his first pipe [Pg 161] of tobacco in England, and secondly, that it is one of the few relics remaining of those picturesque old houses of the days of Queen Bess. The house is built of strongly framed timber, which, in recent years, has been plastered over; and the carved heads that ornament the gables, and which are good both in design and execution, show that this house is at least 350 years old.

Ancient House at Blackwall

[Pg 162]

At the present time a tavern has been built between this house and the river. Formerly, however, there was, no doubt, a trimmed garden and terrace towards the Thames, from which the inhabitants may have watched the progress of Queen Elizabeth from the Tower to her palace at Greenwich.

It is singular to notice the fashion of these old houses, arising from the value of space within walled towns; each floor projects over the other, so that the upper apartments have more room than the lower. While, in an artistic point of view, we cannot help regretting the disappearance of the venerable and quaint gables, for sanitary and other reasons we must be content with the change.


A dervise addressed Bajazet, emperor of the Turks, 1495, for alms, and while the charitable Sultan searched for his money, the treacherous beggar wounded him with a dagger, and was instantly slain by the royal attendants. This incident is rendered memorable by its having occasioned the ungracious restraint under which even the ambassadors of Christian powers were subject to in former times when they received an audience from the Ottoman Emperor.

They were held by the arms by two attendants, when they approached the throne, nor were their arms loosed till they had quitted the presence.


The nobility and gentry were accustomed to make their long journeys in ponderous family-carriages, drawn by four horses. These vehicles would be laden at the top with an array of trunks and boxes, while perhaps six or seven persons, with a lapdog, would be stowed within. The danger of famine on the road was averted by a travelling larder of baskets of various condiments; the risk of thirst would be provided against by bottles of usquebaugh, black cherry-brandy, cinnamon-water, sack, port, or strong beer: while the convoy would be protected by a basket-hilted sword, an old blunderbuss, and a bag of bullets and a great horn of gunpowder.


In the old cathedral was a tower of stone, in height from the ground 260 feet, on which was a spire of wood, covered with lead, 274 feet high. In the tower was a celebrated peal of bells; and somewhat above the stone-work was a "faire dial," from which there was order taken in the eighteenth year of Edward III. that the rich chasing and gilding should be always kept in good preservation. On this dial was the figure of an angel pointing to the hours of both day and night—a device more appropriate than most of the clock-hands in present use. From this lofty steeple, which formed such an important feature of old London, the chimes rung merrily on saints' days and holidays; and at times the choristers mounted up aloft and chaunted forth their orisons at dawn and sunset—a custom still observed at Durham Cathedral. Before the fire of London, the spire of St. Paul's was more than once destroyed or damaged by fire and lightning.

[Pg 163]

On Candlemas Eve, 1444, about two o'clock in the afternoon, the lightning fired the steeple. The citizens came forth and succeeded in overcoming the fire; it, however, broke forth again at night, and but little of the spire was saved. In the year 1561, in the month of June, there fell a prodigious quantity of rain, attended with thunder and lightning. St. Paul's steeple was struck within a yard of the top. At first, a little fire appeared, resembling the light of a torch, and in eight minutes the weather-cock fell; and the wind rising high, the fire within an hour afterwards destroyed the steeple down to the very battlements, and then, in consequence of the mass of burning timber that fell from the spire, burnt so violently that the iron-work and the bells melted and fell upon the stairs in the church; the east and west roofs catching fire communicated with the north and south, and destroyed them all. Much damage was also done to other parts.

The spire was again reared, and the damaged bells properly replaced. In addition to the bells in the tower of old St. Paul's there was a common bell, the property of the city, hung in a suitable building, closely adjoining to the Cathedral, which was rung that the inhabitants might assemble at wardmotes and other important occasions. Another fire damaged the ancient church, and then the great fire of 1666, swept steeples, bells, churches, and all before it.


In January, 1786, when the Bedford Missal was on sale, with the rest of the Duchess of Portland's collection, King George III. sent for his bookseller, and expressed his intention to become the purchaser. The bookseller ventured to submit to his majesty, that the article in question, as one highly curious, was likely to fetch a high price. "How high?" exclaimed the king. "Probably two hundred guineas," replied the bookseller. "Two hundred guineas for a Missal!" exclaimed the Queen, who was present, and lifted up her hands with astonishment. "Well, well," said his Majesty, "I'll have it still; but since the Queen thinks two hundred guineas so enormous a price for a Missal, I'll go no further." The biddings for the royal library did actually stop at that point; and Mr. Edwards carried off the prize by adding three pounds more. The same Missal was afterwards sold at Mr. Edwards's sale, in 1815, and purchased by the Duke of Marlborough, for £637 15s.


The Mexican volcanoes of Orizaba, Popocatepetl, Jorullo, and Colima appear to be connected with each other, being placed in the direction of a line running transverse to the former, and passing east and west from sea to sea.

As was first observed by Humboldt, these mountains are all situated between north latitude 18° 59' and 19° 12'. In an exact line of direction with the other volcanoes, and over the same transverse fissure, Jorullo was suddenly elevated on the 29th of September, 1759. The circumstances attending the production of this volcano are so remarkable, that we shall here notice them in some detail.

[Pg 164]


An extensive plain, called the Malpays, was covered by rich fields of cotton, sugar-cane, and indigo, irrigated by streams, and bounded by basaltic mountains, the nearest active volcano being at the distance of eighty miles. This district, situated at an elevation of about 2600 feet above the level of the sea, was celebrated for its beauty and extreme fertility. In June, 1759, alarming subterranean sounds were heard, and these were accompanied, by frequent earthquakes, which were succeeded by others for several weeks, to the great consternation of the neighbouring inhabitants. In September tranquillity appeared to be re-established, when, in the night of the 28th, the subterranean noise was again heard, and part of the plain of Malpays, from three to four miles in diameter, rose up like a mass of viscid fluid, in the shape of a bladder or dome, to a height of nearly 1700 feet; flames issued forth, fragments of red-hot stones were thrown to prodigious heights, and, through a thick cloud of ashes, illumined by volcanic fire, the softened surface of the earth was seen to swell up like an agitated sea. A huge cone, above 500 feet high, with five smaller conical mounds, suddenly appeared, and thousands of lesser cones (called by the natives hornitos, or ovens,) issued forth from the upraised plain. These consisted of clay intermingled with decomposed basalt, each cone being a fumarolle, or gaseous vent, from which issued thick vapour. The central cone of Jorullo is still burning, and on [Pg 165] one side has thrown up an immense quantity of scoriaceous and basaltic lavas, containing fragments of primitive rocks. Two streams, of the temperature of 186° of Fahrenheit, have since burst through the argillaceous vault of the hornitos, and now flow into the neighbouring plains. For many years after the first eruption, the plains of Jorullo were uninhabitable from the intense heat that prevailed.


Crater of Vesuvius

The crater Stromboli, which has been in activity since the most ancient times, presents at present the same appearances as those which were described by Spallanzani, in 1788. It is constantly filled with lava in a state of fusion, which alternately rises and falls in the cavity. Having ascended to ten or twelve yards below the summit of the walls, this boiling fluid is covered with large bubbles, which burst with noise, letting enormous quantities of gas escape from them, and projecting on all sides scoriaceous matter. After these explosions, it again subsides, but only to rise again and produce like effects—these alternations being repeated [Pg 166] regularly at intervals of some minutes. In craters where the lava is less fluid than in that of Stromboli, new cones are sometimes formed in the midst of the Crater, which first rise in the form of a dome, and then burst out so as to form a small active volcano in the middle of the crater of the great one. This phenomenon is often presented within the crater of Vesuvius, and was more particularly witnessed in 1829.


In 1553 a sugar-loaf was presented to Mr. Waldron, of Bovey House, which weighed 7 lbs., at 1s. 1d. per lb. (7s. 7d.)

The late Lord Rolle married the last of that branch of the Waldron family. The house remains about ten miles west of Lyme. The sugar-loaf was charged at a high rate, considering the greater value of money in Queen Mary's reign. This article began to be highly prized. The sugar-cane, which had been grown from the year 1148 in Sicily, had been imported into Madeira A.D. 1419. About the year 1503 the art of refining sugar, before called "blanch powdre," was discovered by a Venetian; before which the juice, when selected instead of honey for sweetening, was used as it came from the cane. Only twenty-seven years from this date, in 1526, it was imported from St. Lucar in Spain by Bristol merchants. Let not the present of the Mayor of Lyme be considered as a cheap article produced in abundance in the islands of the West Indies. The sugar-cane was not imported thither into Barbadoes from the Brazils till the year 1641. How surprising the result of official inquiries in the year 1853 into the consumption of sugar! It amounted to 7,523,187 cwts., or 30 lbs. each individual of the United Kingdom.


There are two suspension bridges in Freybourg; one remarkable for its great length, the other for its extreme beauty. The latter connects the top of two mountains, swinging over a frightful gulf that makes one dizzy to look down into. There are no buttresses or masonwork in sight at a little distance; shafts are sunk in the solid rock of the mountains, down which the wires that sustain it are dropped. There it stretches, a mere black line, nearly three hundred feet in the heavens, from summit to summit. It looks like a spider's web flung across a chasm; its delicate tracery showing clear and distinct against the sky. While you are looking at the fairy creation suspended in mid-heaven, almost expecting the next breeze will waft it away, you see a heavy waggon driven on it; you shrink back with horror at the rashness that could trust so frail a structure at that dizzy height; but the air-hung cobweb sustains the pressure, and the vehicle passes in safety. Indeed, weight steadies it; while the wind, as it sweeps down the gulf, makes it swing under you. The large suspension bridge is supported on four cables of iron wire, each one composed of one thousand and fifty-six wires. As the Menai bridge of Wales is often said to be longer than this, I give the dimensions of both as I find them in Mr. Murray:—Freybourg: length, nine hundred and five feet; height, one hundred and seventy-four feet; breadth, twenty eight feet. Menai: length, five hundred and eighty feet; height, one [Pg 167] hundred and thirty feet; breadth, twenty-five feet. A span of nine hundred and five feet, without any intermediate pier, seems impossible at first, and one needs the testimony of his own eyes before he can fully believe it.


Towards the end of the last century, a clock was constructed by a Genevan mechanic named Droz, capable of performing a variety of surprising movements, which were effected by the figures of a negro, a shepherd, and a dog. When the clock struck, the shepherd played six tunes on his flute, and the dog approached and fawned upon him. This clock was exhibited to the King of Spain, who was highly delighted with the ingenuity of the artist. The king, at the request of Droz, took an apple from the shepherd's basket, when the dog started up and barked so loud that the king's dog, which was in the same room, began to bark also. We are moreover informed that the negro, on being asked what hour it was, answered the question in French, so that he could be understood by those present.


Mandrin was the son of a peasant in Dauphiny who dealt in cattle. His first employment was buying and selling horses, by which he subsisted several years. But having on some occasion committed a murder, he was obliged to fly from justice, and in his absence was condemned by the Parliament of Grenoble to be broken on the wheel. Being now a fugitive, and destitute of employment, he learned to counterfeit money, and by this fraud made considerable gain, till, being discovered, the officers of the Mint at Lyons issued a warrant for apprehending him, and he was again obliged to quit the country. While he was wandering about from place to place, and hiding himself in caves and woods, he became acquainted with a gang of smugglers, and associating with them was, after some time, made their captain. As this gang was very numerous, he was less cautious of being seen, and having at length lost his sense of fear by habitual danger, he frequently entered towns and cities, raised contributions on the king's officers by force, and spread the same terror among others that others had brought upon him. But in proportion as he became more formidable he was, in fact, less secure; for the Government found it necessary to detach after him such a force as he could not resist, and the Farmers-General offered 48,000 livres reward for taking him. After many times attacking his party in a running fight, in which several were cut off, Mandrin, with eight of his men, took shelter in a castle on the frontiers of Savoy. They were closely pursued by several detachments, under the command of Colonel de Molière, who entered the King of Sardinia's territory after him, without having first obtained leave. Molière was immediately opposed by a great number of peasants: whether they were instigated by Mandrin, or whether they were jealous of their privilege, is not known; but all his expostulations being fruitless, and being determined not to relinquish his prey, for whom he hoped to receive so considerable a reward, he forced his way against them, killing twelve and wounding many others. Mandrin waited the [Pg 168] issue of this contest in his castle, where he was soon besieged by 150 men, who attacked the place with great vigour. Mandrin and his partisans defended themselves like men who had nothing to fear in a battle equal to being taken alive; and after several of them were killed, and the castle gates burst open, they retreated, fighting from chamber to chamber, and from story to story, till, reaching the garret, and being able to proceed no further, they were at last overpowered by numbers, having killed twenty of their adversaries, and spent all their ammunition. Mandrin, with those that survived of his little party, were carried prisoners to Valence in Dauphiny. * * * Mandrin was examined every day from the 13th of May to the 25th, in order to discover his accomplices. In the mean time several of his associates were put to the torture to discover what they knew of him, and were afterwards broken on the wheel, that death might give a sanction to their testimony.

He himself was subjected to torture, but without eliciting anything further than he had previously revealed. Throughout he steadfastly refused to betray his comrades, and conducted himself with much dignity and heroism. On the day of his execution he received absolution from Father Gasperini, a Jesuit, who had administered to him the consolations of religion during his confinement.

Before he was led out of the prison, his shoes and stockings were taken from him; but, though barefooted, he walked along with great firmness and a good grace. When he came to the cathedral to perform the amende honorable, he asked forgiveness of the monks and priests for his want of respect to their order, and was then conducted to the scaffold. He mounted with great composure, and addressed himself in a short and pathetic exhortation to the spectators, especially the young persons of both sexes; he then sat down on the nave of the wheel, and loosened the buttons of his shirt-sleeves himself. Then he entreated pardon of the custom-house officers, whom he had so often and so grossly injured; and turning to the penitents who surrounded the scaffold—with his confessor and two other eminent persons of his order—he earnestly recommended himself as the object of their prayer, and immediately delivered himself up to the executioner. He received eight blows on his arms and legs, and one on his stomach, and was intended to have been left to expire of the wounds; but as the executioner was going down from the scaffold, an order came to strangle him; the bishop and all the considerable persons at Valence having interceded for this mitigation of his punishment. Mandrin was twenty-nine years of age, about five feet five inches high, well made, had a long visage, blue eyes, and sandy chesnut hair; he had something rough in his countenance, and a strong robust port; he was perpetually smoking tobacco, with which he drank plentifully of any liquor that was at hand, and ate till the last with a good appetite.


The following extraordinary account is taken from the Gentleman's Magazine of 1784:—"About six years since, a seafaring person was taken into the Asylum for Maniacs at York; during the space of five years and six months he never expressed any desire for sustenance, and [Pg 169] was fed in the manner of an infant. The servants undressed him at night, and dressed him in the morning; he never spoke, and remained with his body bent all day, and was regarded by all about him as an animal nearly converted into a vegetable. About the middle of May, 1783, he suddenly astonished the people round him with saying, 'Good morrow to you all.' He then thanked the servants for the care they had taken of him, and appeared perfectly sane. A few days after, he wrote a letter to his wife, in which he expressed himself with great propriety. On the 28th of May following he was allowed to leave the hospital, and return to his family; and has now the command of a ship in the Baltic trade, and is in full enjoyment of perfect health, both in mind and body. This very singular case is attested by Dr. Hunter, F.E.S., of York, in a letter to Dr. Percival, of Manchester, and by the servants now at the Asylum in York."


The following table is published, as containing accurate particulars of the English version of the Bible:—

In the Old Testament. In the New Testament. Total.
Books, 39 Books, 27 Books, 66
Chapters, 929 Chapters, 260 Chapters, 1,189
Verses, 23,214 Verses, 7,959 Verses, 31,173
Words, 592,493 Words, 181,253 Words, 773,746
Letters, 2,728,100 Letters, 838,380 Letters, 3,566,480

The middle chapter and the shortest in the Bible is the hundred and seventeenth Psalm; the middle verse is the eighth of the hundred and eighteenth Psalm. The twenty-first verse of the seventh chapter of Ezra, in the English version, has all the letters of the alphabet in it. The nineteenth chapter of the second book of Kings and the thirty-seventh chapter of Isaiah are alike.


That loathsome disorder, leprosy, was introduced into England in the reign of Henry I., and was supposed to have been brought out of Egypt, or perhaps the East, by means of the crusaders. To add to the horror, it was contagious, which enhanced the charity of a provision for such miserables, who were not only naturally shunned, but even chased by royal edict, from the society of their fellow-creatures.

Lepers, or Lazars, were sick persons removed out of monasteries to cells or hospitals, always built out of cities and towns. Their usual maintainence was, from liberty allowed them to go upon every market-day, to the market, where with a dish, called a clap dish, they would beg corn.

Their sickness and loathsome appearance giving great disgust, many withheld their charity, upon which account they were afterwards restrained from begging at large, but permitted to send the proctor of the hospital, who came with his box one day in every month to the churches, and other religious houses, at time of service; and there received the voluntary charity of the congregations. This custom is said to be the origin of the present practice of collecting briefs.

[Pg 170]

The leprosy was much more common formerly, in this part of the globe, than at present. It is said, that there were in Europe fifteen thousand hospitals founded for them. Perhaps near half the hospitals that were in England were built for lepers.

Lepers were so numerous in the twelfth century, that by a decree of the Lateran Council under pope Alexander III., A.D. 1179, they were empowered to erect churches for themselves, and to have their own ministers to officiate in them. This shows at once how infectious and offensive their distemper was.

And on this account, "In England where a man was a leper, and was dwelling in a town, and would come into the churches, or among his neighbours when they were assembled, to talk to them to their annoyance or disturbance, a writ lay De Leproso amovendo."—What follows is remarkable. The writ is for those lepers "who appear to the sight of all men, they are lepers, by their voice and their sores, the putrefaction of their flesh, and by the smell of them."

And so late as the reign of Edward VI. multitudes of lepers seem to have been in England; for in 1 Edw. 6. c. 3. in which directions are given for carrying the poor to the places where they were born, &c. we read the following clause: "Provided always, that all leprous and poor bed-red creatures may, at their liberty, remain and continue in such houses appointed for lepers, or bed-red people, as they now be in."

1184 to 1191.—The leprosy was at this period, and long after, a cruel epidemic in our country, possibly brought by the crusaders from the Holy Land, and spread here by filth and bad diet. It was supposed to be infectious, and was shunned as the plague; so that, had it not been for these pious institutions, multitudes must have perished under this loathsome disorder.

Among other wild fancies of the age, it was imagined that the persons afflicted with leprosy, a disease at that time (1327, Edward II.) very common, probably from bad diet, had conspired with the Saracens to poison all springs and fountains; and men being glad of any pretence to get rid of those who were a burthen to them, many of those unhappy people were burnt alive on the chimerical imputation.

Every one of the lazar-houses had a person, called a fore-goer, who used to beg daily for them.


Dr. Pickering, of the United States Antarctic Expedition of 1839, being in the vicinity of the Andes, attempted the ascent of one of the summits; by noon he had reached a high elevation, and looking up, he espied a huge condor soaring down the valley. He stopped to observe the majestic bird as it sailed slowly along. To his surprise it took a turn around him, then a second and a third, the last time drawing so near that he began to apprehend that it meditated an attack. He describes himself as being in the worst possible condition for a fight, his strength being exhausted by climbing, and his right hand having been lamed for some days from a hurt. The nature of the ground, too, was anything but favourable for defence; but there was nothing left but to prepare for a [Pg 171] fight, and with this intent he took a seat and drew his knife. At the instant, as if intimidated by the sight of the weapon, the bird whirled off in another direction. Dr. Pickering confessed, however humiliating the acknowledgment, that he was at the time very well satisfied with the condor's determination to let him alone.


The following is an account of what the undermentioned churches cost building, the designs for which were furnished by Sir Christopher Wren :—

  £ s. d.
St. Paul's 736,752 2
Allhallows the Great 5,641 9 9
—— Bread-street 3,348 7 2
—— Lombard-street 8,058 15 6
St. Alban's, Wood-street 3,165 0 8
St. Anne and Agnes 2,448 0 10
St. Andrew's, Wardrobe 7,060 16 11
—— Holborn 9,000 0 0
St. Antholin's 5,685 5 10¾
St. Austin's 3,145 3 10
St. Benet, Grailchurch 3,583 9
—— Paul's Wharf 3,328 18 10
—— Fink 4,129 16 10
St. Bride's 11,430 5 11
St. Bartholomew's 5,077 1 1
Christ Church 11,778 9 6
St. Clement, Eastcheap 4,365 3
—— Danes 8,786 17
St. Dionis Back Church 5,737 10 8
St. Edmund the King 5,207 11 0
St. George, Botolph-lane 4,509 4 10
St. James, Garlick-hill 5,357 12 10
—— Westminster 8,500 0 0
St. Lawrence, Jewry 11,872 1 9
St. Michael, Basinghall 2,822 17 1
—— Royal 7,455 7 9
St. Michael, Queenhithe 4,354 3 8
—— Wood-street 2,554 2 11
—— Crooked-lane 4,641 5 11
—— Cornhill 4,686 5 11
St. Martin, Ludgate 5,378 18 8
St. Matthew, Friday-str 2,301 8 2
St. Margaret Pattens 4,986 10 4
—— Lothbury 5,340 8 1
St. Mary, Abchurch 4,922 2
—— Magdalen 4,291 12
—— Somerset 6,579 18
—— at Hill 3,980 12 3
—— Aldermanbury 5,237 3 6
—— le Bow 8,071 18 1
—— le Steeple 7,388 8
St. Magnus, Lond. bridge 9,579 19 10
St. Mildred, Bread-street 3,705 13
—— Poultry 4,654 9
St. Nicholas Cole Abbey 5,042 6 11
St. Olav, Jewry 5,580 4 10
St. Peter's, Cornhill 5,647 8 2
St. Swithin, Canon-street 4,687 4 6
St. Stephen, Wallbrook 7,652 13 8
—— Coleman-str 4,020 16 6
St. Vedast, Foster-lane 1,853 15 6


The first clock which appeared in Europe, was probably that which Eginhard (the secretary of Charlemagne), describes as sent to his royal master by Abdalla, King of Persia. "A horologe of brass, wonderfully constructed, for the course of the twelve hours, answered to the hourglass, with as many little brazen balls, which drop down on a sort of bells underneath, and sounded each other."—The Venetians had clocks in 872, and sent a specimen of them that year to Constantinople.


The following letter was written by the Duchess of Norfolk to Cromwell, Earl of Essex. It exhibits a curious instance of the monstrous anomalies of our orthography in the infancy of our literature, when a spelling book was yet a precious thing:—

"My ffary gode lord,—her I sand you in tokyn hoff the neweyer, a [Pg 172] glasse hoff Setyl set in Sellfer gyld, I pra you tak hit in wort. An hy wer babel het showlde be bater. I woll hit war wort a m crone."

Thus translated:—

"My very good lord,—Here I send you, in token of the new year, a glass of setyll set in silver gilt; I pray you take it in worth. An I were able it should be better. I would it were worth a thousand crown."


In 1513, died the most powerful baron and active soldier of his age, Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare. He had been, during thirty years, at different times, chief governor of Ireland, and was too potent to be set aside, otherwise his strong attachment to the house of York would probably have been his ruin. The untameable spirit of the earl sometimes involved him in trouble, from which he was extricated by a lucky bluntness; as when once, when charged before Henry VIII. with setting fire to the cathedral of Cashel, "I own it," said the earl, "but I never would have done it had I not believed that the archbishop was in it." The king laughed, and pardoned the ludicrous culprit. The Bishop of Meath was his bitterest foe. He accused him to Henry of divers misdeeds, and closed his accusation with "Thus, my liege, you see that all Ireland cannot rule the earl." "Then," said the perverse monarch, "the earl shall rule all Ireland," and instantly made him lord-deputy. The English loved the earl because he was brave and generous, and because his good humour equalled his valour. Once, when he was in a furious paroxysm, a domestic who knew his temper, whispered in his ear, "My lord, yonder fellow has betted me a fine horse, that I dare not take a hair from your lordship's beard; I pray, my lord, win me that wager." The earl's features relaxed, and he said to the petitioner, "Take the hair, then, but if thou exceedest thy demand, my fist shall meet thy head."


This is one of the most remarkable structures in the world, the design of the celebrated architect, Sir R. Stephenson. This bridge is on the line of the Chester and Holyhead Railway, crossing the Menai Straits, within sight of Telford's Chain Suspension Bridge. It is made of cast iron of a tubular form, in the tube of which the railway passes. Four of these span the Strait, and are supported by piles of masonry; that on the Anglesea side is 143 feet 6 inches high, and from the front to the end of the wing walls is 173 feet. These wing walls terminate in pedestals, on which repose colossal lions of Egyptian character. The Anglesea pier is 196 feet high, 55 feet wide, and 32 feet long. In the middle of the Strait is the Britannia Rock, from which the bridge derives its name; on this the Britannia pier is raised. It is equi-distant from the Anglesea and Carnarvon piers, being 460 feet in the clear from each, and sustains the four ends of the four long tubes, which span the distance from shore to shore. There are two pairs of short and two of long tubes, the lengths of these pairs being 250 feet and 470 respectively. The Egyptian lions are 25 feet 6 inches long, 12 feet 6 inches high, 8 feet wide, and weigh 80 tons. Two thousand cubic feet of stone were [Pg 173] required for each lion. The total quantity of stone in the bridge is 1,400,000 cubic feet. The weight of malleable iron in the tubes is 10,000 tons; of cast iron, 1,400 tons. The whole length of the entire bridge, measuring from the extreme front of the wing walls, is 1,833 feet, and its greatest elevation at Britannia pier, 240 feet above low-water-mark. The total cost of the structure is £601,865. This wonderful structure was begun April 13, 1846, and completed July 25, 1850; opened for traffic Oct. 21, 1850.

Britannia Tubular Bridge


In the Postboy, Jan. 1, 1707-8, is the following curious advertisement:—"Daffey's famous Elixir Salutis by Catherine Daffey, daughter [Pg 174] of Mr. Thomas Daffy, late rector of Redmile, in the valley of Belvoir, who imparted it to his kinsman, Mr. Anthony Daffy, who published the same to the benefit of the community and his own great advantage. The original receipt is now in my possession, left to me by my father. My own brother, Mr. Daniel Daffy, apothecary in Nottingham, made the Elixir from the said receipt, and sold it there during his life. Those who know it, will believe what I declare; and those who do not, may be convinced that I am no counterfeit, by the colour, taste, smell, and operation of my Elixir. To be had at the Hand and Pen, Maiden-Lane, Covent Garden."


"This was a tea garden, situated, after passing over a wooden bridge on the left, previous to entering the long avenue, the coach way to where Ranelagh once stood. This place was much frequented, from its novelty, being an inducement to allure the curious, by its amusing deceptions, particularly on their first appearance there. Here was a large garden, in different parts of which were recesses; and if treading on a spring, taking you by surprise, up started different figures, some ugly enough to frighten you—a harlequin, a Mother Shipton, or some terrific animal. In a large piece of water, facing the tea alcoves, large fish or mermaids, were showing themselves above the surface. This queer spectacle was first kept by a famous mechanist, who had been employed at one of the winter theatres, there being then two."—Angelo's Pic Nic or Table Talk, p. 106.

Horace Walpole, more than once alludes to this place of entertainment in his Letters; and in 1755 a 4to. satirical tract appeared entitled Jenny's Whim; or a Sure Guide to the Nobility, Gentry, and other Eminent Persons, in this Metropolis.


It is universally known, that, at the execution of King Charles I., a man in a vizor performed the office of executioner. This circumstance has given rise to a variety of conjectures and accounts. In the Gentleman's Magazine for November, 1767, and January, 1768, are accounts of one William Walker, who is said to be the executioner. In the same magazine for June, 1784, it is supposed to be a Richard Brandon, of whom a long account is copied from an Exeter newspaper. But William Lilly, in his "History of his Life and Times," has the following remarkable passage:—"Many have curiously inquired who it was that cut off his [the king's] head: I have no permission to speak of such things: only thus much I say, he that did it is as valiant and resolute a man as lives, and one of a competent fortune." To clear up this passage, we shall present our readers with Lilly's examination (as related by himself) before the first parliament of King Charles II. in June, 1660.

"At my first appearance, many of the young members affronted me highly, and demanded several scurrilous questions. Mr. Weston held a paper before his mouth; bade me answer nobody but Mr. Prinn; I obeyed his command, and saved myself much trouble thereby, and when Mr. Prinn put any difficult or doubtful query unto me, Mr. Weston prompted me with a fit question. At last, after almost one hour's [Pg 175] tugging, I desired to be fully heard what I could say as to the person that cut Charles I.'s head off. Liberty being given me to speak, I related what follows, viz.:—

"That the next Sunday but one after Charles I. was beheaded, Robert Spavin, Secretary to Lieutenant-General Cromwell at that time, invited himself to dine with me, and brought Anthony Pearson, and several others, along with him to dinner. That their principal discourse all dinner-time was only who it was that beheaded the king; one said it was the common hangman; another, Hugh Peters; others were also nominated; but none concluded. Robert Spavin, so soon as dinner was done, took me by the hand, and carried me to the south window: saith he. 'These are all mistaken; they have not named the man that did the fact; it was Lieutenant-Colonel Joice. I was in the room when he fitted himself for the work, stood behind him when he did it; when done, went in with him again. There is no man knows this but my master, viz., Cromwell, Commissary Ireton, and myself.'—'Doth Mr. Rushworth know it?' saith I.—'No, he doth not know it,' saith Spavin. The same thing Spavin since has often related to me when we were alone."


Mr. Ellesdon, Mayor of Lyme, in 1595, paid for—

  s. d.
Four yards of canvas to make a coat to whip the rogues in 3 0
Making the same 0 6
Whipping of three of the ship boys for stealing of Mr. Hassard's salmon fish in the Cobb 1 0
(N.B.—Salmon was plentiful in the west at this epoch.)

The charge of fourpence made for whipping a boy continued for many years the same. The whipping of a woman who was a stranger was little more costly; but the inflicting such a punishment upon a townswoman was remunerated at a higher rate, as may well be supposed, from a consideration of several circumstances. To take a violent, noisy woman from her chamber, tie madam to the tumbrel and whip her round the town, was an undertaking that demanded assistance and protection to the official or hireling that wielded the thong. In the Town Accompt Book are found such entries as those which are given in illustration:—

    s. d.
1625. For whipping William Wynter's boy 0 4
  " Agnes Abbott twice 2 4
1644. Paid two soldiers to attend the whipping of a woman 2 6
  Paid to whipping four women 4 0


We may form some idea of the temptations which the trade in human beings held out, even to people who held an honourable position in the world, from the fact that the captain of a frigate, within a few years before the slave trade was abolished, was known to purchase slaves in the West India market, have them entered as able seamen, and compel the artificers to teach them a trade; so that when the ship [Pg 176] returned each was sold at a high rate as a valuable piece of property. The worst, however, has to be told. Upon sailing from Portsmouth, some of the best men were sent away upon duty in a ship's boat, in order that they might be returned "run," by which they lost pay and clothes, but made room for the negroes lately kidnapped, who were entered, though they did no work for the ship, as able seamen! We have all heard of a naval officer who had his pocket picked at a Westminster election, and who openly professed his vow, which he rigidly performed, of flogging every Londoner that joined his ship for this act. This, it is said, was no idle vow!


In June 1766, some workmen who were repairing Winchester Cathedral discovered a monument, wherein was contained the body of King Canute. It was remarkably fresh, had a wreath round the head, and several other ornaments of gold and silver bands. On his finger was a ring, in which was set a large and remarkably fine stone; and in one of his hands a silver penny. Archæologia, vol. iii. The penny found in the hand is a singular instance of a continuance of the pagan custom of always providing the dead with money to pay Charon.


William Morfote, who represented Winchelsea in Parliament in 1428, was a privateer with a hundred men under him. He found it necessary to obtain the king's pardon in 1435, by the advice of Parliament, there being a legal difficulty about his having broken prison at Dover Castle.

Two merchants of Sherborne in Dorsetshire were robbed of their cargo, worth £80, A.D. 1322, by Robert de Battyle. This transaction did not lose him the good opinion of his townsmen, who chose him Mayor of Winchelsea a few years later.


The Algerines landed in Ireland in 1627, killed 50 persons, and carried off about 400 into slavery. One vessel captured by them was worth £260,000. They made purchases of stores and provisions they wanted in the western parts of Ireland by Baltimore, and in 1631 carried off 100 captives from that town. They landed their poor captives at Rochelle, and marched them in chains to Marseilles. Twenty-six children are said to have been carried off at one time from Cornwall. In 1633, Lord Wentworth, appointed lord deputy of Ireland, named noted pirate vessels off the coast of Ireland and their captures. Persons in their wills used to leave sums of money for redeeming well-known captives from bondage in Algiers and other places.


William Joy

William Joy was a native of Kent, and born May 2, 1675, at St. Lawrence, a small village one mile from Ramsgate, in the Isle of Thanet. When very young, he distinguished himself among his juvenile companions and playmates, by his amazing superiority in strength, over any [Pg 177] antagonist that dare to come in competition with his power, whether in play or earnest When about twenty-four years of age, he first began to exhibit in public his astonishing feats, in a display of personal prowess inferior to none but the Hebrew champion recorded in holy writ. Among many other of this man's extraordinary performances may be recorded:—1. A strong horse, urged by the whip to escape his powerful rein, is restrained and kept from escape solely by the check of his pull, aided by a strong rope, and this without any stay or support whatever. 2. Seated upon a stool, with his legs horizontally elevated, solely by muscular power, he jumps clearly from his seat. 3. To prove the agility and [Pg 178] flexibility of his joints, he places a glass of wine on the sole of his foot, and, in an erect posture, without the least bending of his head or body, raises the glass to his mouth, and drinks the contents, turning his foot with both hands, to accommodate his draught. 4. Aided by a strong leather girdle, or belt, and supporting himself by pressing his arms on a railing, he lifts from the ground a stone of the enormous weight of 2,240 lbs. 5. A rope fastened to a wall, which had borne 3,500 lbs. weight, without giving way, is broke asunder by his amazing strength. The celebrity of this man attracted the curiosity of King William III., before whom he exhibited at Kensington Palace; likewise before George, Prince of Denmark, and his royal consort, the Princess, afterwards Queen Anne, and their son William, Duke of Gloucester, called the Hope of England. He also went through a regular course of performances at the Duke's Theatre, in Dorset-gardens, Salisbury-square, which was attended by the first nobility and gentry in the kingdom.


A bill for shell-fish enables us to ascertain the prices paid in Charles II.'s reign for these delicacies. Mr. Walter Tucker, mayor of Lyme, Dorset, paid for the judges, for—

30 lobsters £1 10 0
6 crabs 0 6 0
100 scallops 0 5 0
300 oysters 0 4 0
50 oranges 0 2 0
  £2 7 0


The month of July 1736 afforded a singular popular explosion, contrived in the following strange manner:—A brown paper parcel, which had been placed unobserved near the side-bar of the Court of King's-bench, Westminster-hall, blew up during the solemn proceedings of the Courts of Justice assembled, and scattered a number of printed bills, giving notice, that on the last day of Term five Acts of Parliament would be publicly burnt in the hall, between the hours of twelve and one, at the Royal Exchange, and at St. Margaret's hill, which were the Gin Act, the Smuggling Act, the Mortmain Act, the Westminster Bridge Act, and the Act for borrowing 600,000l. on the Sinking fund.

One of the bills was immediately carried to the Grand Jury then sitting, who found it an infamous libel, and recommended the offering of a reward to discover the author.


The "Ranz des Vaches," which is commonly supposed to be a single air, stands in Switzerland for a class of melodies, the literal meaning of which is cow-rows. The German word is Kureihen—rows of cows. It derives its origin from the manner the cows march home along the Alpine paths at milking time. The shepherd goes before, keeping every straggler in its place by the tones of his horn, while the whole herd wind [Pg 179] along in Indian file, obedient to the call. From its association it always creates home-sickness in a Swiss mountaineer, when he hears it in a foreign land. It is said, these melodies are prohibited in the Swiss regiments attached to the French army, because it produces so many desertions. One of the "Ranz des Vaches" brings back to his imagination his Alpine cottage—the green pasturage—the bleating of his mountain goats—the voices of the milkmaids, and all the sweetness and innocence of a pastoral life; till his heart turns with a sad yearning to the haunts of his childhood, and the spot of his early dreams and early happiness.

The Swiss retain their old fondness for rifle-shooting, and there is annually a grand rifle match at some of the large towns, made up of the best marksmen in all Switzerland. There are also yearly contests in wrestling, called Zwing Feste, the most distinguished wrestlers at which are from Unterwalden, Appenzel, and Berne.



These are periodical winds which blow over the Indian Ocean, between Africa and Hindustan for nearly six months from the north-east, and during an equal period from the south-west. The region of the monsoons lies a little to the north of the northern border of the trade-winds, and they blow with the greatest force and with most regularity between the eastern coast of Africa and Hindustan. When the sun is in the southern hemisphere a north-east wind, and when it is in the northern hemisphere, a south-west wind blows over this sea. The north-east monsoon blows from November to March. It extends one or two degrees south of the equator. It becomes regular near the coasts of Africa sooner than in the middle of the sea, and near the equator sooner than in the vicinity of the coasts of Arabia. This wind brings rain on the eastern coasts of Africa. The south-west monsoon does not extend south of the equator, but usually begins a short distance north of it. It blows from the latter end of April to the middle of October. Along the coast of Africa, it appears at the end of March; but along the coast of Malabar, not before the middle of April; it ceases, however, sooner in the former than in the latter region. The rainy season on the west coast of Hindustan commences with the first approach of the south-west monsoon. The monsoons prevail also on the seas between Australia and China.

The effect of the struggle which precedes the change in the direction of the wind in this part of the world is thus described in "Forbes's Oriental Memoirs." The author was encamped with the English troops:

"The shades of evening approached as we reached the ground, and just as the encampment was completed, the atmosphere grew suddenly dark, the heat became oppressive, and an unusual stillness presaged the immediate setting-in of the monsoon. The whole appearance of external nature resembled those solemn preludes to earthquakes and hurricanes in the West Indies, from which the East in general is providentially free. We were allowed very little time for conjecture. In a few minutes the heavy clouds burst over us. I had witnessed seventeen monsoons in India, but this surpassed them all in its awful appearance and dreadful effects. Encamped in a low situation on the borders of a lake formed to [Pg 180] collect the surrounding water, we found ourselves in a few hours in a liquid plain; tent-pins giving way in a loose soil—the tents fell down—and left the whole army exposed to the contending elements. It requires a lively imagination to conceive the situation of a hundred thousand human beings of every description, with more than two hundred thousand elephants, camels, horses, and oxen, suddenly overwhelmed by this dreadful storm in a strange country, without any knowledge of high or low ground, the whole being covered by an immense lake, and surrounded by thick darkness, which rendered it impossible for us to distinguish a single object except such as the vivid glare of the lightning occasionally displayed in horrible forms. No language can adequately describe the wreck of a large encampment thus instantaneously destroyed, and covered with water, amid the cries of old men and helpless women, terrified by the piercing shrieks of their expiring children, unable to afford them relief. During this dreadful night more than two hundred persons and three thousand cattle perished miserably, and the morning dawn exhibited a shocking spectacle!"

[Pg 181]


Francis Atkins was porter at the palace gate, at Salisbury, from the time of Bishop Burnet to the period of his death in 1761, at the age of 104 years. It was his office every night to wind up the clock, which he was capable of performing regularly till within a year of his decease, though on the summit of the palace. In ascending the lofty flight of stairs, he usually made a halt at a particular place and said his evening prayers. He lived a regular and temperate life, and took a great deal of exercise; he walked well, and carried his frame upright and well balanced to the last.


Political caricatures are generally well worth preserving, they familiarize us with the features and peculiarities of celebrated men, and they tell us what was the popular feeling of the day. We regret that in general they are too large for our pages, but now and then we meet with a small one which we are glad to present to our readers.

Billy in the Salt Box

Mr. Pitt's budget of 1805 was not allowed to pass without severe remarks, and a heavily increased duty on salt excited general dissatisfaction. People said that the grand contriver of taxes had visited every corner of the house above stairs, and that he had now descended into the kitchen; and the annexed caricature, by Gilray, which was published at this period, represents the premier alarming the poor cook by popping his head out of the salt-box, with the unexpected salutation—"How do you do, cookey?" The person thus apostrophised cries out in consternation, "Curse the fellow, how he has frightened me!—I think, on my heart, he is getting in everywhere!—who the deuce would have thought of finding him in the salt-box?"


An extraordinary instance of the rash feats which men with cool heads and courageous hearts will sometimes perform, was witnessed at Nottingham on January 22, 1789.—The vane at the top of St. Peter's spire, which was placed there in 1735, and measured thirty-three inches in length, having become insecure, the parish officers agreed with Mr. Robert Wooton, of Kegworth, to take it down and reinstate it.

This venturous man, henceforth known as "the steeple climber," commenced his undertaking by placing a ladder against the steeple, and securing it to the wall with tenters: he then mounted that with another on his shoulder, which he fastened above it in like manner; and so on till he reached the top. To prevent himself falling, he was girded round with belts, which he connected with the ladders by means of [Pg 182] hooks. In this manner he replaced the vane and cock, and rebuilt four yards of the steeple.

The celerity with which the man placed the ladders was remarkable. He began to affix the first at eleven in the morning, and brought the vane down in triumph by two in the afternoon. The bells were then set a-ringing, the congregation of people became very great, and Wooton re-ascended the spire, to exhibit his daring. He extended himself on its summit, only thirteen inches in diameter, and spread out his arms and legs. He afterwards balanced himself on the uppermost stave of the top ladder, and for a quarter of an hour capered about in every imaginable posture, the admiring crowd beneath expecting momentarily to witness his descent in a manner much less agreeable than precipitate.

Subsequently, when his undertaking was accomplished, to excite admiration and obtain money, he again balanced himself on the apex of the spire, beat a drum, and drank a bottle of ale, in the sight of thousands of people, on a market-day; but the reprobation of the man's temerity so far preponderated over public approval, as in a considerable degree to diminish his expected reward.


Glasgow is now within one minute of London; in the last century it was scarcely within a fortnight of it. It is a positive fact that when the post arrived there a hundred years ago, the firing of a gun announced its coming in. The members of the clubs who heard it tumbled out of bed, and rushed down to the club-room, where a tankard of hot herb ale, or a beverage which was a mixture of rum and sugar, was ready for them before breakfast. How forcibly do these things bring before us the size of Glasgow at that time, and the habits of its citizens.


The horrid details of the execution of criminals are wholly unfitted for our pages, but Admiral Byng was not a criminal; his life was sacrificed to party spirit and party interests, and an account of his murder—for such it really was—is therefore highly interesting, as it enables us to see the dauntless manner in which a brave man can meet a dreadful fate, which he knew to be wholly undeserved. The execution took place on board the "St. George," man-of-war in Portsmouth harbour, on the 14th of March, 1757. The Admiral, accompanied by a clergyman who attended him during his confinement, and two gentlemen, his relations, walked out of the great cabin to the quarterdeck, where he suffered, on the larboard side, a few minutes before twelve o'clock. He was dressed in a light grey coat, white waistcoat, and white stockings, and a large white wig, and had in each hand a white handkerchief. He threw his hat on the deck, kneeled on a cushion, tied one handkerchief over his eyes, and dropped the other as a signal, on which a volley from six marines was fired, five of whose bullets went through him, and he was in an instant no more. The sixth went over his head. From his coming out of his cabin could not be two minutes till he fell motionless on his left side. He died with great resolution[Pg 183] and composure, not showing the least sign of timidity. The Ramillies, the ship the admiral had in the Mediterranean, was riding at her moorings in the harbour, and about half an hour before he suffered, she broke her mooring chain, and only held by her bridle, which is looked on as a wonderful incident by people who do not consider the high wind at that time.


Extraordinary Tree

The Samoan group of islands in the South Sea lies between the latitudes of 13° 30' and 14° 30' S, and the longitudes of 168° and 173° W. In some of these islands there is a most remarkable tree which well deserves a place in our roll of extraordinary productions. It is a species of banyan (Ficus religiosa), and is called by the natives Ohwa. Our sketch gives a good idea of some of these trees. The pendant branches of many of them take root in the ground to the number of thousands, forming stems from an inch to two feet in diameter, uniting in the main trunk more than eighty feet above the ground, and supporting a vast system of horizontal branches, spreading like an umbrella over the tops of the other trees.


The Register of Ramsay, in Huntingdonshire, mentions 400 people who died there of the plague, in or about February 1665, and that it was introduced into the place by a gentleman, who first caught the infection by wearing a coat, the cloth of which came from London: the tailor who made the coat, with all his family, died, as did no less than the number above mentioned.

But the ravages made by the plague in London, about 1665, are [Pg 184] well known: it was brought over from Holland, in some Levant goods, about the close of the year 1664: its progress was arrested, in a great degree, by a hard frost which set in in the winter; but as the spring of 1665 advanced, its virulence advanced. Infected houses were shut up and red crosses painted on the doors, with this inscription, "Lord have mercy upon us." Persons going to market took the meat off the hooks themselves, for their own security, and for the Butcher's, dropped their money into pans of vinegar; for it was supposed that even their provisions were tainted with the infection. In the months of August and September the greatest mortality occurred; for the deaths of one week have been estimated at 10,000! It may be supposed, that no great accuracy existed in the Registers, to afford a correct estimate; for, in the parish of Stepney, it is said they lost, within the year, 116 sextons, grave-diggers and their assistants; and, as the disorder advanced, the churchyards were incapable of holding more bodies, and large pits were therefore dug in several parts, to which the dead were brought by cartloads, collected by the ringing of a bell and the mournful cry of "Bring out your dead." Add to this, that these carts worked in the night, and no exact account was kept, as the clerks and sextons were averse to a duty exposing them to such dangerous consequences, and often carried off before such accounts as they had taken were delivered in. All the shops were shut up, grass grew in the most public streets, until about December 1665, when the plague abated, and the citizens who had left their abodes for the country, crowded back again to their residences. The computation is, that this horrible disease carried off 100,000 persons in London: it is singular, that the only parish quite exempt from infection was St. John the Evangelist, in Watling Street.


A most remarkable circumstance happened there in the morning of the 27th of May, 1773, about four o'clock. Near 4,000 yards from the river Severn stood a house, where a family dwelt; the man got up about three o'clock, heard a rumbling noise, and felt the ground shake under him, on which he called up his family. They perceived the ground begin to move, but knew not which way to run; however, they providentially and wonderfully escaped, by taking an immediate flight, for just as they got to an adjacent wood, the ground they had left separated from that on which they stood. They first observed a small crack in the ground about four or five inches wide, and a field that was sown with oats to heave up and roll about like waves of water; the trees moved as if blown with wind, but the air was calm and serene; the Severn (in which at that time was a considerable flood) was agitated very much, and the current seemed to run upwards. They perceived a great crack run very quick up the ground from the river. Immediately about thirty acres of land, with the hedges and trees standing (except a few that were overturned), moved with great force and swiftness towards the Severn, attended with great and uncommon noise, compared to a large flock of sheep running swiftly. That part of the land next the river was a small wood, less than two acres, in which grew twenty large oaks; a few of them were [Pg 185] thrown down, and as many more were undermined and overturned; some left leaning, the rest upright, as if never disturbed. The wood was pushed with such velocity into the channel of the Severn (which at that time was remarkably deep), that it forced the waters up in columns a considerable height, like mighty fountains, and drove the bed of the river before it on the opposite shore, many feet above the surface of the water, where it lodged, as did one side of the wood; the current being instantly stopped, occasioned a great inundation above, and so sudden a fall below, that many fish were left on dry land, and several barges were heeled over, and when the stream came down were sunk, but none were damaged above. The river soon took its course over a large meadow that was opposite the small wood, and in three days wore a navigable channel through the meadow. A turnpike road was moved more than thirty yards from its former situation, and to all appearance rendered for ever impassable. A barn was carried about the same distance, and left as a heap of rubbish in a large chasm; the house received but little damage. A hedge that was joined to the garden was removed about fifty yards. A great part of the land was in confused heaps, full of cracks, from four inches to more than a yard wide. Several very long and deep chasms were formed in the upper part of the land, from about fourteen to upwards of thirty yards wide, in which were many pyramids of earth standing, with the green turf remaining on the tops of some of them. Hollows were raised into mounts, and mounts reduced into hollows. Less than a quarter of an hour completed this dreadful scene.


At Strasbourg they show a large French horn, whose history is as follows:—About 400 years ago, the Jews formed a conspiracy to betray the city, and with this identical horn they intended to give the enemy notice when to attack.

The plot, however, was discovered; many of the Jews were burnt alive, the rest were plundered of their money and effects, and banished the town; and this horn is sounded twice every night from the battlements of the steeple in gratitude for the deliverance.

The Jews deny the fact of this story, except the murdering and pillaging their countrymen. They say the whole story is fabricated to furnish a pretext for these robberies and murders, and assert that the steeple of Strasbourg, as has been said of the Monument of London,—

"Like a tall bully lifts the head and lies."


The following is an extraordinary instance of the recklessness of sailors when in the pursuit of what they call pleasure. In the year 1779, a Mr. Constable, of Woolwich, passing through the churchyard there at midnight, heard people singing jovially. At first he thought they were in the church, but the doors were locked, and it was all silent there:—on looking about he found some drunken sailors who had got into a large family vault, and were regaling with bread, cheese, tobacco, [Pg 186] and strong beer. They belonged to the Robust, man of war, and having resolved to spend a jolly night on shore, had kept it up in a neighbouring alehouse till the landlord turned them out, and then they came here to finish their evening. They had opened some of the coffins in their dare-devil drunkenness and crammed the mouth of one of the bodies with bread, and cheese, and beer. Constable, with much difficulty, prevailed on them to return to the ship. In their way one fell down in the mud, and was suffocated, as much from drunkenness as the real danger. The comrades took him on their shoulders, and carried him back to sleep in company with the honest gentlemen with whom he had passed the evening.


Chair Brought Over to America

How frequently do we obtain, from the ordinary articles of domestic life which they were accustomed to use, a correct idea of the habits and tastes of whole communities which have long since passed away. A striking instance of this is the chair, of which the above is a correct sketch. It belonged to John Carver, who was one of the band of single-hearted men who constituted the Pilgrim Fathers, and who after first setting out from Holland, eventually sailed from Plymouth in England, in August, 1620. They landed in Cape Cod Harbour, New England, on the 9th of November following. Carver, was one of the chief spirits of the band, and the chair which we have sketched was one of his best articles of furniture, which he took with him in the Mayflower. He was elected the first governor of the community, and died in the year following his election. How forcibly does it show the simplicity of taste, and the freedom from pomp and vanity which characterised the devoted and fearless men who left their native shores, and sought "freedom to worship God" in a land to them unknown, that they should have selected as their first governor, an individual, the best chair in whose house was the homely article which we have here depicted.


A Harmless Eccentric.

The annexed cut represents a singular character who was well known about the year 1790 in the southern part of the county of Cumberland. Her appearance is thus described by a correspondent of the Gentleman's [Pg 187] Magazine of that date:—"Though I have seen her at various times, and frequently conversed with her, for these 20 years, I have never been able to learn any particulars respecting her family, friends, or name. The country people know her by the appellation of Jenny Darney, from the manner, I presume, in which she used to mend her clothes. Her present garb is entirely of her own manufacture. She collects the small parcels of wool which lie about the fields in sheep farms, spins it on a rock and spindle of her own making; and as she cannot find any other method of making the yarn into cloth, she knits it on wooden needles, and by that means procures a warm comfortable dress. In the lifetime of the late Charles Lutwidge, Esq., of Holm Rook, she took possession of an old cottage, or rather cow-house, on his estate, in which she has ever since been suffered to continue. Her intellects seem at certain times greatly deranged, but her actions are harmless, and her language inoffensive. On that score she is caressed by all the villagers, who supply her with eatables, &c., for money she utterly refuses. She seems a person in her lucid intervals, of much shrewdness, and her understanding is[Pg 188] above the common level. This has also been improved by a tolerable education. Her appearance has been much the same for these 20 years, so that she must now be nearly 90 years of age; but of this, as well as her family and name, she is always silent. She seems to have chosen out the spot where she now lives, to pass the remainder of her days unknown to her friends, and in a great measure from a distaste of a wicked world, to 'prepare herself,' as she often in her quiet hours says, 'for a better.'"


A remarkable instance of the irresistible strength of the ruling passion was to be seen a few years ago in a Londoner, who had kept are retail spirit-shop, and retired into the adjoining county when he had made a fortune, to enjoy himself. This man used to amuse himself by having one puncheon filled with water, and measuring it off by pints into another. There was also another retired cit who used every day to angle in his round wash-hand-basin sized fish-pond for gold-fish. One fish he knew, because it had once lost its eye in being caught—and he used to say "Confound that fellow, this is the fifth, sixth, &c., time that I have caught him this season." It used to provoke him.


In the history of public buildings and monuments, it is always curious to note the original plans of those who designed them, and to mark the different proposals and suggestions which were taken into consideration. On this account our readers will no doubt be gratified by perusing the following Report of Sir Christopher Wren, on the ornament which it would, in his opinion, be most desirable to place on summit of the Monument, on Fish Street-hill. The Report was drawn up for the use of the Committee of City Lands:—

"In pursuance of an Order of the Comittee for City Landes, I doe heerwith offer the several designes which some monthes since I showed His Mtie. for his approbation; who was then pleased to thinke a large Ball of metall, gilt, would be most agreeable, in regard it would give an Ornament to the Town at a very great distance; not that His Mtie. disliked a statue; and if any proposall of this sort be more acceptable to the City, I shall most readily represent the same to His Mtie.

"I cannot but comend a large Statue, as carrying much dignitie with it, and that wch would be more valewable in the eyes of Forreiners and strangers. It hath been proposed to cast such a one in Brasse, of 12 foot high for £1,000. I hope (if it be allowed) wee may find those who will cast a figure for that mony of 15 foot high, wch will suit the greatnesse of the pillar, & is (as I take it) the largest at this day extant, and this would undoubtedly be the noblest finishing that can be found answerable to soe goodly a worke in all men's judgements.

"A Ball of Copper, 9 foot diameter, cast in severall peeces with the Flames and gilt, may well be don with the iron worke and fixing for 350lb., and this will be most acceptable of any thing inferior to a statue, by reason of the good appearance at distance, and because one may goe up into it, & upon occasion use it for fireworkes.

[Pg 189]

"A Phœnix was at first thought of, & is the ornament in the wooden modell of the pilar wch I caused to be made before it was begun; but upon second thoughtes I rejected it, because it will be costly, not easily understood at that highth, and worse understood at a distance, and lastly dangerous, by reason of the sayle, the spread winges will carry in the winds.

"The Belcony must be made of substantial well forged worke, there being noe need at that distance of filed worke, and I suppose (for I cannot exactly guesse the weight) it may be well performed and fixed according to a good designe for fourscore & ten poundes, including painting, All wch is humbly submitted to your consideration.

"July 28, 1675.
"Chr. Wren."


Connected with the plumage of birds is an extraordinary problem which has baffled all research, and towards the solution of which not the slightest approach has been made. Among certain of the gallinaceous birds, and it has been observed in no other family, the females occasionally assume the male plumage. Among pheasants in a wild state, the hen thus metamorphosed, assumes with the livery a disposition to war with her own race, but in confinement she is spurned and buffeted by the rest. From what took place in a hen pheasant in the possession of a lady, a friend of the late Sir Joseph Banks, it would seem probable that this change arises from some alteration in the temperament at a late period of the animal's life. This lady had paid particular attention to the breeding of pheasants. One of the hens, after having produced several broods, moulted, and the succeeding feathers were exactly those of a cock. This animal never afterwards laid an egg. The pea-hen, has sometimes been known to take the plumage of the cock bird. Lady Tynte had a favourite pea-hen, which at eight several times produced chicks. Having moulted when about eleven years old, the lady and her family were astonished by her displaying the feathers peculiar to the other sex, and appearing like a pied peacock. In this process the tail, which was like that of the cock, first appeared. In the following year she moulted again, and produced similar feathers. In third year she did the same, and then had also spurs resembling those of the cock. The bird never bred after this change of her plumage.


The chief fame of Tilbury rests on the formation of the camp here, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to defend London against the Spanish invasion. Although it is unnecessary to recount the well-known circumstances which led to the formation of the Tilbury camp, it may not be out of place to give the famous speech of Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her visit:—

"My loving People,—We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we trust ourselves to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved [Pg 190] myself that under God I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects; and therefore I am come among you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all—to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood even in the dust. I know that I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart of a king, and a king of England too; and I think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms to which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I will myself take up arms—I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your victories in the field."

The most full description of Elizabeth's reception at Tilbury is printed in a sort of doggrel poem, headed, "Elizabetha Triumphans, briefly, truly, and effectually set forth, declared, and handled by James Aske."

The poem mentions, that when about 20,000 well-appointed men had[Pg 191] arrived at Tilbury, orders were sent to the various shires to cause the troops in each to remain until further notice; and so great was the desire to meet the enemy, that one thousand men of Dorsetshire offered £500 to be allowed to march to the camp at Tilbury.

The alarm of the Spanish invasion was, however, not the last to threaten the Londoners, and direct attention to Tilbury.

On the 8th of June, 1667, Ruyter, the Dutch admiral, sailed out of the Texel with fifty ships, and came to the mouth of the Thames, from whence he detached Vice-Admiral Van Ghent, with seventeen of his lightest ships and some fire-ships. Van Ghent in the same month sailed up the Medway, made himself master of the fort of Sheerness, and, after burning a magazine of stores to the value of £40,000, blew up the fortifications. This action alarmed the City of London; so that to prevent similar mischief, several ships were sunk, and a large chain put across the narrowest part of the Medway. But by means of an easterly wind and a strong tide, the Dutch ships broke through the chain, and sailed between the sunk vessels. They burnt three ships, and carried away with them the hull of the "Royal Charles," besides burning and damaging several others. After this they advanced as far as Upnor Castle, and burnt the "Royal Oak," the "Loyal London," and the "Great James." Fearing that the whole Dutch fleet would sail to London Bridge, the citizens caused thirteen ships to be sunk at Woolwich, and four at Blackwall, and platforms furnished with artillery to defend them were raised in several places. The consternation was very great, and the complaints were no less so. It was openly said the king, out of avarice, had kept the money so generously given to him to continue the war, and left his ships and subjects exposed to the insults of the enemy. After this exploit, Ruyter sailed to Portsmouth, with a design to burn the ships in that harbour; but finding them secured, he sailed to the west, and took some ships in Torbay. He then sailed eastward, beat the English force before Harwich, and chased a squadron of nineteen men-of-war, commanded by Sir Edward Spragg, who was obliged to retire into the Thames. In a word, he kept the coasts of England in a continual alarm all July, till he received news of the conclusion of peace.


This daring attack was no doubt the cause of Tilbury Fort being made to assume its present form. It is now a regular fortification, and may be justly looked upon as the key to the City of London. The plan of the building was laid out by Sir Martin Beckman, chief engineer to Charles II., who also designed the works at Sheerness. The foundation is laid upon piles driven down, two on end of each other, till they were assured they were below the channel of the river, and that the piles, which were pointed with iron, entered into the solid chalk rock. On the land side, the works are complete; the bastions are faced with brick. There is a double ditch, or moat, the innermost of which is 180 feet broad, with a good counterscarp, and a covered way marked out with ravelins and tenailles. There are some small brick redoubts; the chief strength, however, of this part of the fort consists in being able to lay the whole level under water, and, by that means, make it impossible for an enemy to carry on approaches that way. On the river side is a very strong curtain, [Pg 192] with the picturesque water-gate shown in our engraving in the middle. Before this curtain is a platform, in the place of a counterscarp, on which are planted cannon of large size. These completely command the river, and would no doubt cripple the ships of an enemy attempting to pass in this direction. A few years ago there were placed on the platform 106 cannon, carrying from 24 to 46 pounds each, besides smaller ones planted between them. The bastions and curtains are also planted with guns.

The circular tower shown in the engraving was in existence in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and was called the Block-house.


It is curious to note the number of changes which may be rung on different peals. The changes on seven bells are 5,040; on twelve 479,001,600, which it would take ninety-one years to ring at the rate of two strokes in a second. The changes on fourteen bells could not be rung through at the same rate in less than 16,575 years: and upon four-and-twenty, they would require more than 117,000 billions of years.


That notorious burglar, Jack Sheppard, finished his disgraceful career at Tyburn in the year 1724, and we notice the event, not with the view of detailing the disgusting particulars of an execution, but because the outrages which were allowed to take place after the dreadful scene was over, exhibit in a striking light the miserable police regulations which existed at that period, and the manner in which the mob were allowed to have it nearly all their own way. The Sheriff's officers, aware of the person they had to contend with, thought it prudent to secure his hands on the morning of execution. This innovation produced the most violent resistance on Sheppard's part; and the operation was performed by force. They then proceeded to search him, and had reason to applaud their vigilance, for he had contrived to conceal a penknife in some part of his dress. The ceremony of his departure from our world passed without disorder; but, the instant the time expired for the suspension of the body, an undertaker, who had followed by his friends' desire with a hearse and attendants, would have conveyed it to St. Sepulchre's churchyard for interment; but the mob, conceiving that surgeons had employed this unfortunate man, proceeded to demolish the vehicle, and attack the sable dependants, who escaped with difficulty. They then seized the body, and, in the brutal manner common to those wretches, beat it from each to the other till it was covered with bruises and dirt, and till they reached Long-acre, where they deposited the miserable remains at a public-house called the Barley-mow. After it had rested there a few hours the populace entered into an enquiry why they had contributed their assistance in bringing Sheppard to Long-acre; when they discovered they were duped by a bailiff, who was actually employed by the surgeons; and that they had taken the corpse from a person really intending to bury it. The elucidation of their error exasperated them almost to phrensy, and a riot immediately commenced, which threatened the most serious consequences, The inhabitants [Pg 193] applied to the police, and several magistrates attending, they were immediately convinced the civil power was insufficient to resist the torrent of malice ready to burst forth in acts of violence. They therefore sent to the Prince of Wales and the Savoy, requesting detachments of the guards; who arriving, the ringleaders were secured, the body was given to a person, a friend of Sheppard, and the mob dispersed to attend it to the grave at St. Martin's in the fields, where it was deposited in an elm coffin, at ten o'clock the same night, under a guard of soldiers, and with the ceremonies of the church.


After the accession of Tippoo Saib to the throne of Mysore in 1782, the English made overtures for a termination of the war which had been commenced by his father; but flushed by the possession of a large army, a well-filled treasury, a passion for war, and an inordinate sense of his own importance, Tippoo refused all terms of pacification, and left the English no alternative but to battle against him as they could. Lord Macartney, who was at that time the Governor of Madras, on becoming acquainted with the determination of Tippoo, resolved to prosecute hostilities with the greatest vigour, and having placed Col. Fullerton at the head of his force, he provided him with an army, collected from various parts, of 16,000 good troops, and afforded that excellent officer all available assistance in carrying the war into Tippoo's territory. Fullerton laid his plans with considerable skill; he encouraged the natives to bring and sell provisions to him on his march, effectually checked devastation and plundering, scrupulously respected the religious opinions of the Hindus, consolidated and improved the mode of march, and availed himself of the subtle cunning and nimble feet of the natives to establish a remarkably complete courier-system, whereby he could receive and communicate intelligence with a rapidity never before attained by any European officer in India. He had to choose between two systems of strategy—either to march through the Mysore territory, and frustrate Tippoo in his siege of Mangalore; or boldly to attack Seringapatam, in order to compel Tippoo to leave Mangalore as a means of defending his own capital. The colonel decided on the adoption of the latter course, as promising more fruitful results. Being at Daraporam, 200 miles south of Seringapatam, Fullerton resolved to divert the route, and take a circuit nearer the western coast, where the capture of the strong fort of Palagatcherry would afford him a valuable intermediate depôt, commanding one of the chief roads from the Malabar to the Coromandel coasts. On the 18th of October he started. After capturing a few small forts, he ascended to high ground, where dense forests, deep ravines, and tortuous water courses embarrassed every yard of his progress: to fill up the ravines before he could drag his artillery over them, to throw trees across them where the depth was too great for filling up, to clear gaps through forests with the axe, to contend against tremendous rains—were only part of the difficulties he had to meet; but he met them like a skilful commander, reached Palagatcherry on the 5th of November, and captured the fort on the 15th, obtaining with it a welcome supply of money, grain, guns, [Pg 194] powder, shot, and military stores. When the difficulties which Colonel Fullerton had to encounter, and the triumphant manner in which he overcame them, are taken into consideration, it will be readily admitted, we think, that his enterprise is well deserving of being recorded as a striking example of what may be accomplished by a union of professional skill and invincible energy. Our engraving represents one of the devices which Colonel Fullerton employed for the purpose of enabling his forces to pass over a mountain torrent.

Triumph of Energy


Storming of the Bastille

The great Revolution in France, at the close of the last century, was full of wonderful events, many of which might be appropriately recorded in our pages. One of the most striking among them was the storming and capture of the Bastille, a vast state-prison which was begun to be built in 1369 by Charles V., and finished by his successor in 1383. The [Pg 195] demolition of this fortress was the first triumph of the armed populace of Paris, and it rendered the progress of the revolution irresistible. As the day closed in on the evening of Monday, the 14th of July, 1789, a reckless multitude of rioters, after seizing 30,000 muskets and several pieces of artillery at the Hotel des Invalides, rushed in wild excitement to the Bastille, rendered hateful to the people by the political imprisonment of many hapless men in past times, although less frequently applied to similar purposes under the milder rule of Louis XVI. An armed mob of at least 100,000 men, aided by troops who joined them in whole regiments at a time, had not long to contend against the old fortress. The governor, De Launay, made such a defence as a brave officer might at such a juncture; but his few troops were bewildered and wavering; he received orders from the Hotel de Ville which he knew not whether to obey or resist, but no instructions from the court or the ministers; and the military aid to the mob became stronger than any force he could bring to bear against them. The chains of three drawbridges [Pg 196] were broken by hatchets; straw, wood, oil, and turpentine were brought and kindled, to burn down the gates; and after many volleys from the mob had been answered by a few from the fortress, De Launay, seeing no hope of succour, resolved to blow up the place rather than yield. In this he was prevented by the Swiss guards, who formed a part of the small garrison, and who, after a parley with the insurgents, opened the gates, and surrendered. The Bastille was taken. The ruffians, heeding nothing but their own furious passions, disregarded the honourable rules of capitulation; they beheaded De Launay in a clumsy and barbarous manner, and putting his head on a spike, carried it through the streets shouting, laughing, and singing; they were prevented only by an accidental interruption from burning alive a young lady whom they found in one of the court-yards; they hung or maltreated many of the Swiss and invalid soldiers; and they fearfully hacked the bodies of three or four officers in the endeavour to decapitate them. The prisoners within, only seven in number, were liberated, and treated with a drunken revel; while the Châtelet and other prisons became scenes of renewed disorders. The sketch which we give above, of the attack on the Bastille, is taken from a medallion by Andrieu.


In Gould's Dictionary of Artists, published in 1839, the names, with the ages, of 1,122 persons are given; which furnish the following remarkable facts as to the longevity of this class of men. Died under 60 years old, 474; 60 years and under 70, 250; 70 years and under 80, 243; 80 years and under 90, 134; 90 years and under 100, 19; above 100, 1. The mean age at death of the whole number being 55 years; from which it would appear that the pursuit of the fine arts has a tranquilizing effect upon the spirits, and a tendency to moral refinement in the habits and manners of its professors extremely favourable to the prolongation of life.


At Brighton, within the present century, a spot of ground was offered to a hair-dresser in fee, upon condition of shaving the possessor for life. The terms were declined, and the land soon became of immense value.


The following are a few of the more striking manifestations of that unaccountable feeling of antipathy to certain objects, to which so many persons are subject, and with instances of which—in a modified form perhaps—most people are acquainted with:—

Erasmus, though a native of Rotterdam, had such an aversion to fish, that the smell of it threw him into a fever.

Ambrose Paré mentions a gentleman, who never could see an eel without fainting.

There is an account of another gentleman, who would fall into convulsions at the sight of a carp.

A lady, a native of France, always fainted on seeing boiled lobsters. Other persons from the same country experienced the same inconvenience [Pg 197] from the smell of roses, though they were particularly partial to the odour of jonquils or tuberoses.

Joseph Scaliger and Peter Abono never could drink milk.

Cardan was particularly disgusted at the sight of eggs.

Uladislaus, king of Poland, could not bear to see apples.

If an apple was shown to Chesne, secretary to Francis I., he bled at the nose.

A gentleman, in the court of the emperor Ferdinand, would bleed at the nose on hearing the mewing of a cat, however great the distance might be from him.

Henry III. of France could never sit in a room with a cat.

The Duke of Schomberg had the same aversion.

M. de Lancre gives an account of a very sensible man, who was so terrified at seeing a hedgehog, that for two years he imagined his bowels were gnawed by such an animal.

The same author was intimate with a very brave officer, who was so terrified at the sight of a mouse, that he never dared to look at one unless he had his sword in his hand.

M. Vangheim, a great huntsman in Hanover, would faint, or, if he had sufficient time, would run away at the sight of a roasted pig.

John Rol, a gentleman in Alcantara, would swoon on hearing the word lana, wool, pronounced, although his cloak was woollen.

The philosophical Boyle could not conquer a strong aversion to the sound of water running through a pipe.

La Mothe le Vayer could not endure the sound of musical instruments, though he experienced a lively pleasure whenever it thundered.

The author of the Turkish Spy tells us that he would rather encounter a lion in the deserts of Arabia, provided he had but a sword in his hand, than feel a spider crawling on him in the dark. He observes, that there is no reason to be given for these secret dislikes. He humorously attributes them to the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul; and as regarded himself, he supposed he had been a fly, before he came into his body, and that having been frequently persecuted with spiders, he still retained the dread of his old enemy.


In addition to the regular theatres, there were many places of amusement, such as the Vauxhall and Ranelagh Gardens, the site of the latter being now occupied by the houses that hem in Chelsea College; the Rotunda, famous for its music, its gardens, and its piece of water; Bell-size House and Gardens on the Hampstead Road, where tea, coffee, and other refreshments could be had, together with music, from seven in the morning,—with the advantage of having the road to London patrolled during the season by twelve "lusty fellows," and of being able to ride to Hampstead by coach for sixpence a-head; Perrot's inimitable grotto, which could be seen by calling for a pot of beer; Jenny's Whim, at the end of Chelsea Bridge, where "the royal diversion of duck-hunting" could be enjoyed, "together with a decanter of Dorchester" for sixpence; Cuper's Gardens, in Lambeth, nearly opposite Somerset House, through [Pg 198] which the Waterloo Road was ruthlessly driven; the Marble Hall, at Vauxhall, where an excellent breakfast was offered for one shilling; Sadler's Wells, celebrated both for its aquatic and its wire-dancing attractions; the Floating Coffee-House, on the river Thames, the Folly House at Blackwall, Marybone Gardens, the White Conduit House, and a multitude of others, to enumerate which would be tedious and unprofitable. On Sunday, we are told, the "snobocracy," amused themselves by thrusting their heads into the pillory at Georgia, by being sworn at Highgate, or rolling down Flamstead Hill in Greenwich Park. Some regaled their wives and families with buns at Chelsea and Paddington; others indulged in copious draughts of cyder at the Castle in the pleasant village of Islington; while the undomestic cit, in claret-coloured coat and white satin vest, sipped his beer and smoked his pipe at Mile End, or at the "Adam and Eve" in Pancras, or "Mother Red Cap's" at Camden.


Queen Elizabeth's State Coach

The accompanying engraving is taken from a very old print representing the state procession of Queen Elizabeth on her way to open Parliament on 2nd April, 1571. This was the first occasion on which a state coach had ever been used by a Sovereign of England, and it was the only vehicle in the procession; the Lord Keeper, and the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, all attending on horseback. It was drawn by two palfreys, which were decked with trappings of crimson velvet; and, according to an old authority, the name of the driver was William Boonen, a Dutchman, who thus became the first state coachman.


Queen Elizabeth, on her way to Tilbury Fort on the 29th of September, 1589, dined at the ancient seat of Sir Neville Umfreville, near that place; and as British Bess had much rather dine off a high-seasoned and substantial dish than a simple fricassee or ragout, the knight thought [Pg 199] proper to provide a brace of fine geese, to suit the palate of his royal guest. After the Queen had dined heartily, she asked for a half-pint bumper of Burgundy, and drank "Destruction to the Spanish Armada." She had but that moment returned the glass to the knight who had done the honours of the table, when the news came (as if the Queen had been possessed with the spirit of prophecy) that the Spanish fleet had been destroyed by a storm. She immediately took another bumper, in order to digest the goose and good news; and was so much pleased with the event, that she every year after, on that day, had the above excellent dish served up. The Court made it a custom, and the people the same, ever since.


Pre-Adamite Bone Caverns

Among the wonders of the world, the bone caves of the pre-Adamite period deserve a prominent place. It is to this period that the extensive remains of Mammiferæ found in the strata of the Pampas of Buenos Ayres, and in the caverns which are scattered in such vast numbers over the continents of Europe and America, and even in Australia, are to be ascribed. We regret that we can find room for a description of only one of these caverns, but it is a most extensive one, and among the first which attracted attention. It is situated at Baylenreuth, in Franconia, and the engraving which we here give represents a section of it.

The entrance of this cave, about seven feet in height, is placed on the face of a perpendicular rock, and leads to a series of chambers from fifteen to twenty feet in height, and several hundred feet in extent, in a deep chasm. The cavern is perfectly dark, and the icicles and pillars of stalactite reflected by the torches present a highly picturesque effect. The [Pg 200] floor is literally paved with bones and fossil teeth, and the pillars and corbels of stalactite also contain osseous remains. Cuvier showed that three-fourths of the remains in this and like caverns were those of bears, the remainder consisting of bones of hyenas, tigers, wolves, foxes, gluttons, weasels, and other Carnivora.


Mr. Robert Chambers, in a curious and interesting chapter in the "Edinburgh Journal," entitled "Distant Ages connected by Individuals," states, in 1847, "There is living, in the vicinity of Aberdeen, a gentleman who can boast personal acquaintance with an individual who had seen and conversed with another who actually had been present at the battle of Flodden Field!" Marvellous as this may appear, it is not the less true. The gentleman to whom allusion is made was personally acquainted with the celebrated Peter Garden, of Auchterless, who died in 1775, at the reputed age of 131, although there is reason to believe that he was several years older. Peter, in his young days, was servant to Garden, of Troup, whom he accompanied on a journey through the north of England, where he saw and conversed with the famous Henry Jenkins, who died 1670, at the age of 169. Jenkins was born in 1501, and was of course twelve years old at the period of the battle of Flodden Field; and, on that memorable occasion, bore arrows to an English nobleman whom he served in the capacity of page. "When we think of such things," adds Mr. Chambers, "the ordinary laws of nature seem to have undergone some partial relaxation; and the dust of ancient times almost becomes living flesh before our eyes."


On the 1st of November, 1755, a few minutes before 10 a.m. the inhabitants of Lisbon were alarmed by several violent vibrations of the ground which then rose and fell several times with such force that hundreds of houses came toppling into the streets, crushing thousands of people. At the same time the air grew pitchy dark from the clouds of dust that rose from the crumbling edifices. Many persons ran down to the river side, in the hope of escaping to the shipping; but the water suddenly rose some yards perpendicularly, and swept away everything before it. The quay, with nearly 200 human beings standing on it, all at once disappeared. Large ships, which were lying high and dry, floated off, and were dashed against each other or carried down the river. In every direction the surface of the water was overspread with boats, timber, casks, household furniture and corpses. The scene on dry land was yet more horrifying. Churches, government buildings, and private houses, were all involved in the same ruin. Many thousands of trembling fugitives had collected in the great square, when it was discovered that flames were spreading in every quarter. Taking advantage of the universal panic and confusion, a band of miscreants had fired the city. Nothing could be done to stay the progress of the flames, and for eight days they raged unchecked. Whatever the earthquake had spared fell a prey to this new calamity. "It is not to be expressed by human tongue," writes an eye-witness, [Pg 201] "how dreadful and how awful it was to enter the city after the fire was abated; and looking upwards, one was struck with horror in beholding dead bodies, by six or seven in a heap, crushed to death, half buried and half burnt; and if one went through the broad places or squares, nothing was to be met with but people bewailing their misfortunes, wringing their hands, and crying, 'The world is at an end.' If you go out of the city, you behold nothing but barracks, or tents made with canvass or ship's sails, where the poor inhabitants lye."

Another eye-witness is still more graphic. "The terror of the people was beyond description: nobody wept,—it was beyond tears;—they ran hither and thither, delirious with horror and astonishment—beating their faces and breasts—crying 'Misericordia, the world's at an end;' mothers forgot their children, and ran about loaded with crucifixed images. Unfortunately, many ran to the churches for protection; but in vain was the sacrament exposed; in vain did the poor creatures embrace the altars; images, priests, and people, were buried in one common ruin. * * * The prospect of the city was deplorable. As you passed along the streets you saw shops of goods with the shopkeepers buried with them, some alive crying out from under the ruins, others half buried, others with broken limbs, in vain begging for help; they were passed by crowds without the least notice or sense of humanity. The people lay that night in the fields, which equalled, if possible, the horrors of the day; the city all in flames; and if you happened to forget yourself with sleep, you were awakened by the tremblings of the earth and the howlings of the people. Yet the moon shone, and the stars, with unusual brightness. Long wished-for day at last appeared, and the sun rose with great splendour on the desolated city. In the morning, some of the boldest, whose houses were not burnt, ventured home for clothes, the want of which they had severely felt in the night, and a blanket was now become of more value than a suit of silk."


Bridget Behan, of Castle-waller, in the county of Wicklow, Ireland, retained the use of all her powers of body and mind to the close of her long life, 110 years, in 1807. About six years preceding her death she fell down stairs, and broke one of her thighs. Contrary to all expectation, she not only recovered from the effects of the accident, but actually, from thence, walked stronger on this leg, which, previously to the accident, had been a little failing, than she had done for many years before. Another remarkable circumstance relating to this fracture was, that she became perfectly cured of a chronic rheumatism of long standing, and from which on particular occasions she had suffered a good deal of affliction. A short while before her death she cut a new tooth.


Silver Tea Service

Articles of ordinary use, however small may be their intrinsic value, which have once been the property of men who have been good and great—how rare the conjunction!—are always invested with a peculiar interest. They often afford a clue to the tastes of those who once [Pg 202] possessed them. On this account we have great pleasure in laying before our readers a representation of the silver tea-service which belonged to the celebrated William Penn, the founder and legislator of Pennsylvania, whom Montesquieu denominates the modern Lycurgus. He was the son of Admiral Penn, was born at London in 1644, and was educated at Christchurch, Oxford. At college he imbibed the principles of Quakerism, and having endeavoured to disseminate them by preaching in public, he was thrice thrown into prison. It was during his first imprisonment that he wrote "No Cross, no Crown." In March, 1680-81, he obtained from Charles II. the grant of that territory which now bears the name of Pennsylvania. In 1682 he embarked for his new colony; and in the following year he founded Philadelphia. He returned to England in 1684, and died in July, 1718. He was a philosopher, a legislator, an author, the friend of man, and, above all, a pious Christian. In addition to the reasons above given, the sketch of the tea-service is an object of curiosity, as showing the state of silversmith's work in England, at the close of the seventeenth century, for articles of domestic use.


Curious figures on a Small Shrine

The figures here given are copied from a curious little bronze, strongly gilt, which was engraved in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1833, accompanied with a description, by A. J. Kempe, Esq., the author of the letterpress [Pg 203] to "Stothard's Monumental Effigies," whose intimate knowledge in these matters enables him to well authenticate dates; and he considers this relic may safely be attributed to the early part of the twelfth century; it was discovered in the Temple Church, and had originally formed a portion of a pyx, or small shrine, in which the consecrated host was kept. Our engraving is more than half the size of the original, which represents the soldiers watching the body of Our Lord, who was, in mystical form, supposed to be enshrined in the pyx. They wear scull-caps of the Phrygian form, with the nasal like those in the Bayeux Tapestry; and the mailles or rings of the hauberk appear, as in the armour there, sewn down, perhaps, on a sort of gambeson, but not interlaced. They bear kite-shaped shields, raised to an obtuse angle in the centre, and having large projecting bosses: the third of these figures is represented beside the cut in profile, which will enable the reader more clearly to detect its peculiarities. On two of these shields are some approaches to armorial bearings; the first is marked with four narrow bendlets; the second is fretted, the frets being repeated in front of his helmet, or chapelle de fer: all the helmets have the nasal. A long tunic, bordered, and in one instance ornamented with cross-lines, or chequered, appears beneath the tunic. The sword is very broad, and the spear carried by the first figure, obtuse in the head,—a mark of its antiquity. The shoes are admirable illustrations of that passage of Geoffry of Malmesbury, where, representing the luxury of costume in which the English indulged at the time when Henry I. began his reign, he says: "Then was there flowing hair, and extravagant dress; and then was invented the fashion of shoes with curved points: then the model for young men was to rival women in delicacy of person, to mimic their gait, to walk with loose gesture, half-naked." The curvature of the points of the shoes in the little relic before us, in conformity with the custom censured by Malmesbury, is quite remarkable. One turns up, another down; one to the left, another to the right; and scarcely any two in the same direction.


The harbour of Trincomalee swarms with gigantic sharks, and strange to relate, they are all under British protection; and if any one is found molesting or injuring them, the fine is £10, or an imprisonment! [Pg 204] How this ridiculous custom originated, it is hard to say; but we are told, that in the early days of British conquest in the East, sailors were apt to desert, and seek refuge in the then inaccessible wilds of the interior; and of later years, when civilisation has unbarred the gates of Cingalese commerce to all nations of the world, the soldiers of the regiment stationed at Trincomalee, discontented with their lot in life, were wont to escape from the thraldom of the service, by swimming off to American and other foreign vessels, preferring chance, under a strange flag, to a hard certainty under their own. Thus the Queen's sharks are duly protected as a sort of water-police for the prevention of desertion both from the army and navy.


The following quaint and curious verses are taken from a very old volume, entitled A Crowne Garland of Goulden Roses, Gathered out of England's Royall Garden, &c., &c. By Richard Johnson.


To a new tune, or "Phillida flouts me."

Gone is Elizabeth,
Whom we have lov'd so deare;
She our kind mistres was
Full foure and forty yeare.
England she govern'd well,
Not to be blamed;
Flanders she govern'd well
And Ireland tamed.
France she befrended,
Spaine she hath foiled,
Papists rejected,
And the Pope spoyled.
To princes powerfull,
To the world vertuous,
To her foes mercifull,
To her subjects gracious.
Her soule is in heaven,
The world keeps her glory,
Subjects her good deeds,
And so ends my story.


Ranelagh, of which no traces now remain, was situated on part of Chelsea Hospital garden, between Church Row and the river, to the east of the Hospital. It takes its name from a house erected in 1691, by Viscount Ranelagh. This house, in which the Viscount had resided from the period of its being built, was sold in 1733 to an eminent builder named Timbrell for £3,200, who advertised it for sale in the following year, as a freehold with garden, kitchen garden, and offices, and a smaller house and garden with fruit trees, coach-houses, &c., &c. These were the first vicissitudes of Ranelagh, preparatory to its conversion into a place of public amusement.

Walpole, in one of his entertaining letters to Mann, April 22nd, 1742, thus speaks of the gardens, which were then unfinished:—

"I have been breakfasting this morning at Ranelagh Garden; they have built an immense ampitheatre, with balconies full of little alehouses; it is in rivalry to Vauxhall, and cost above twelve thousand pounds. The building is not finished, but they got great sums by people going to see it and breakfasting in the house: there were yesterday [Pg 205] no less than three hundred and eighty persons, at eighteen-pence a piece." Again, under the date May 26th, 1742, he writes to his friend as follows:—

"Two nights ago, Ranelagh Gardens were opened at Chelsea; the prince, princess, duke, much nobility, and much mob besides were there. There is a vast ampitheatre, finely gilt, painted, and illuminated; into which everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring, or crowding, is admitted for twelve pence. The building and disposition of the gardens cost sixteen thousand pounds. Twice a week there are to be ridottos at guinea tickets, for which you are to have a supper and music. I was there last night, but did not find the joy of it. Vauxhall is a little better, for the garden is pleasanter, and one goes by water."

"The only defect in the elegance and beauty of the ampitheatre at Ranelagh," says the London Chronicle for August, 1763, "is an improper and inconvenient orchestra, which, breaking into the area of that superb room about twenty feet farther than it ought to do, destroys the symmetry of the whole, and diffuses the sound of music with such irregular rapidity, that the harmonious articulations escape the nicest ear when placed in the most commodious attitude; it also hurts the eye upon your first entry.

"To remedy these defects, a plan has been drawn by Messrs. Wale and Gwin, for adding a new orchestra, which being furnished with a well-proportioned curvature over it, will contract into narrower bounds the modulations of the voice, and render every note more distinctly audible. It will, by its form, operate upon the musical sounds, in the same manner as concave glasses affect the rays of light, by collecting them into a focus. The front of this orchestra being planned so as to range parallel to the balustrade, the whole area also will be disencumbered of every obstruction that might incommode the audience in their circular walk. There is likewise provision made in this plan for a stage capable of containing 30 or 40 performers, to officiate as chorus-singers, or otherwise assist in giving additional solemnity on any extraordinary occasion."

"At Ranelagh House, on the 12th of May, 1767," says the Gentleman's Magazine, "were performed (in the new orchestra) the much admired catches and glees, selected from the curious collection of the Catch Club; being the first of the kind publickly exhibited in this or any other kingdom. The entertainments consisted of the favourite catches and glees, composed by the most eminent masters of the last and present age, by a considerable number of the best vocal and instrumental performers. The choral and instrumental parts were added, to give the the catches and glees their proper effect in so large an amphitheatre; being composed for that purpose by Dr. Arne."

The Rotunda, or amphitheatre, was 185 feet in diameter, with an orchestra in the centre, and tiers of boxes all round. The chief amusement was promenading (as it was called) round and round the circular area below, and taking refreshments in the boxes while the orchestra and vocalists executed different pieces of music. It was a kind of 'Vauxhall under cover,' warmed with coal fires. The rotunda is said to have been [Pg 206] projected by Lacy, the patentee of Drury Lane Theatre. "The coup d'œil," Dr. Johnson declared, "was the finest thing he had ever seen."

The last great event in the history of Ranelagh was the installation ball of the knights of the Bath, in 1802, shortly after which the place was pulled down.


First East India House

The tradition is, that the East India Company, incorporated December 31st, 1600, first transacted their business in the great room of the Nag's Head Inn, opposite St. Botolph's Church, Bishopsgate Street. The maps of London, soon after the Great Fire of 1666, place the India House on a part of its present site in Leadenhall Street. Here originally stood the mansion of Alderman Kerton, built in the reign of Edward VI., rebuilt on the accession of Elizabeth, and enlarged by its next purchaser, Sir W. Craven, Lord Mayor in 1610. Here was born the great Lord Craven, who, in 1701, leased his house and a tenement in Lime Street [Pg 207] to the Company at £100 a year. A scarce Dutch etching, in the British Museum, of which the annexed engraving is a correct copy, shows this house to have been half timbered, its lofty gable surmounted with two dolphins and a figure of a mariner, or, as some say, of the first governor; beneath are mecrhant ships at sea, the royal arms, and those of the Company. This grotesque structure was taken down in 1726, and upon its site was erected the old East India House, portions of which yet remain; although the present stone front, 200 feet long, and a great part of the house, were built in 1798 and 1799, and subsequently enlarged by Cockerell, R.A., and Wilkins, R.A.


The following strange advertisements have been culled at random from magazines and newspapers circa 1750. They give us a good idea of the manners and tastes of that period:—

"Whereas a tall young Gentleman above the common size, dress'd in a yellow-grounded flowered velvet (supposed to be a Foreigner), with a Solitair round his neck and a glass in his hand, was narrowly observed and much approved of by a certain young lady at the last Ridotto. This is to acquaint the said young Gentleman, if his heart is entirely disengaged, that if he will apply to A. B. at Garaway's Coffee House in Exchange Alley, he may be directed to have an interview with the said young lady, which may prove greatly to his advantage. Strict secresy on the Gentleman's side will be depended on."

"A Lady who had on a Pink-coloured Capuchin, edged with Ermine, a black Patch near her right eye, sat in a front seat in the next Side Box but one to the Stage on Wednesday night at Drury Lane Playhouse; if that Lady is single and willing to treat on terms of honour and generosity of a married state, it would be deemed a favour to receive a line directed to C. D., at Clifford's Inn Old Coffee House, how she may be address'd, being a serious affair."

"To be seen this week, in a large commodious room at the George Inn, in Fenchurch-street, near Aldgate, the Porcupine Man and his Son, which has given such great satisfaction to all that ever saw them: their solid quills being not to be numbered nor credited till seen; but give universal satisfaction to all that ever saw them; the youth being allowed by all to be of a beautiful and fine complexion, and great numbers resort daily to see them."

"A Bullfinch, that pipes 'Britons rouse up your great magnanimity,' at command, also talks, is to be sold at the Cane Shop facing New Broad street, Moorfields; likewise to be sold, two Starlings that whistle and talk extremely plain.

"Great variety of fine long Walking Canes."


This singular woman was born in 1744, at Leipsic, in Germany, and died at her lodgings, in Upper Charles-street, Hatton Garden, London, 1802. She was the only daughter of an architect of the name of Grahn, who erected several edifices in the city of Berlin, particularly the Church [Pg 208] of St. Peter's. She wrote an excellent hand, and had learned the mathematics, the French, Italian, and English languages, and possessed a complete knowledge of her native tongue. Upon her arrival in England she commenced teaching of the German language, under the name of Dr. John de Verdion.

In her exterior, she was extremely grotesque, wearing a bag wig, a large cocked hat, three or four folio books under one arm, and an umbrella under the other, her pockets completely filled with small volumes, and a stick in her right hand. She had a good knowledge of English books; many persons entertained her for her advice relative to purchasing them. She obtained a comfortable subsistence from teaching and translating foreign languages, and by selling books chiefly in foreign literature. She taught the Duke of Portland the German language, and was always welcomed to his house, the Prussian Ambassador to our Court received from her a knowledge of the English language; and several distinguished noblemen she frequently visited to instruct them in the French tongue; she also taught Edward Gibbon, the celebrated Roman Historian, the German language, previous to his visiting that country. This extraordinary female has never been known to have appeared in any other but the male dress, since her arrival in England, where she remained upwards of thirty years; and upon occasions she would attend court, decked in very superb attire; and was well remembered about the streets of London; and particularly frequent in attending book auctions, and would buy to a large amount, sometimes a coachload. Here her singular figure generally made her the jest of the company. Her general purchase at these sales was odd volumes, which she used to carry to other booksellers, and endeavour to sell, or exchange for other books. She was also a considerable collector of medals and foreign coins of gold and silver; but none of these were found after her decease. She frequented the Furnival's Inn Coffee-house, in Holborn, dining there almost every day; she would have the first of every thing in season, and was as strenuous for a large quantity, as she was dainty in the quality of what she chose for her table. At times, it is well-known, she could dispense with three pounds of solid meat; and we are very sorry to say, she was much inclined to the dreadful sin of drunkenness. Her death was occasioned by falling down stairs, and she was, after much affliction, at length compelled to make herself known to a German physician, who prescribed for her, when the disorder she had, turned to a dropsy, defied all cure, and finished the life of so remarkable a female.


Buried at Disley, Cheshire, June 2nd, 1753, Mr. Joseph Watson, in the 105th year of his age. He was born at Moseley Common, in the parish of Leigh, in the county of Lancaster; and married his wife from Etchells, near Manchester, in the said county. They were an happy couple 72 years. She died in the 94th year of her age. He was park-keeper to the late Peter Leigh, Esq., of Lime, and his father used to drive and show red deer to most of the nobility and gentry in that part of the kingdom, to the general satisfaction of all who [Pg 209] ever saw them; for he could have driven and commanded them at his pleasure, as if they had been common horned-cattle. In the reign of Queen Anne, Squire Leigh was at Macclesfield, in Cheshire, in company with a number of gentlemen, amongst whom was Sir Roger Mason, who was then one of the members for the said county; they being merry and free, Squire Leigh said his keeper should drive 12 brace of stags to the Forest of Windsor, a present to the Queen. Sir Roger opposed it with a wager of 500 guineas, saying that neither his keeper, nor any other person, could drive 12 brace of red deer from Lime Park to Windsor Forest on any account. So Squire Leigh accepted the wager from Sir Roger, and immediately sent a messenger to Lime for his keeper, who directly came to his master, who told him he must immediately prepare himself to drive 12 brace of stags to Windsor Forest, for a wager of 500 guineas. He gave the Squire, his master, this answer, that he would, at his command, drive him 12 brace of stags to Windsor Forest, or to any part of the kingdom by his worship's direction, or he would lose his life and fortune. He undertook, and accomplished this most astonishing performance, which is not to be equalled in the annals of the most ancient history. He was a man of low stature, not bulky, of a fresh complexion, pleasant countenance, and he believed he had drank a gallon of malt liquor a day, one day with another, for above sixty years of his time.


The following will, as an exhibition of strange eccentricity, is not inappropriate to our pages. Mr. Tuke, of Wath, near Rotherham, who died in 1810, bequeathed one penny to every child that attended his funeral (there came from 600 to 700); 1s. to every poor woman in Wath; 10s. 6d. to the ringers to ring one peal of grand bobs, which was to strike off while they were putting him into the grave. To seven of the oldest navigators, one guinea for puddling him up in his grave. To his natural daughter, £4 4s. per annum. To his old and faithful servant, Joseph Pitt, £21 per annum. To an old woman who had for eleven years tucked him up in bed, £1 1s. only. Forty dozen penny loaves to be thrown from the church leads at twelve o'clock on Christmas day for ever. Two handsome brass chandeliers for the church, and £20 for a set of new chimes.


As an instance of great rarity in England of the severity of a frost, it is worth notice, that in January, 1808, the rain froze as it fell, and in London the umbrellas were so stiffened that they could not be closed. Birds had their feathers frozen so that they could not fly, and many were picked up as they lay helpless on the ground.


These ancient snuff-boxes furnish proof of the love of our ancestors for the titillating powder. An admiring writer of the last century, reflecting on the curious and precious caskets in which snuff was then imprisoned, asks—

[Pg 210]

"What strange and wondrous virtue must there be,
And secret charm, O snuff! concealed in thee,
That bounteous nature and inventive art,
Bedecking thee thus all their powers exert."
Ancient Snuff Boxes

But every age, since snuff was in use, appears to have cherished great regard for the beauty and costliness of its snuff boxes, and even at the present time, the snuff box is the recognised vehicle of the highest honour a corporation can bestow. Those here represented are not so much boxes as bottles. They are richly and elaborately ornamented with sporting subjects, and no doubt once belonged to some famous personage. Judging of their very antique form and figures, we are inclined to think they must have been in use earlier than it is generally supposed that snuff was introduced into this country.

[Pg 211]


Frances Barton, of Horsley, Derbyshire, died 1789, aged 107. She followed the profession of a midwife during the long period of eighty years. Her husband had been sexton of the parish seventy years; so that this aged pair frequently remarked, that she had twice brought into the world, and he had twice buried, the whole parish. Her faculties, her memory in particular, were remarkably good, so that she was enabled well to remember the Revolution in 1688, and being present at a merry making on that glorious occasion.


Earliest Hackney-Coach

The above is a correct representation of one of the earliest forms in which coaches for hire were first made. They were called Hackney, not, as is erroneously supposed, from their being first used to carry the citizens of London to their villas in the suburb of Hackney, but from the word "hack," which signifies to offer any article for sale or hire. Hackney coaches were first established in 1634, and the event is thus mentioned in one of Strafford's Letters, dated April in that year:—

"One Captain Bailey hath erected some four Hackney-coaches, put his men in livery, and appointed them to stand, at the May-pole in the Strand, giving them instructions at what rates to carry men into several parts of the town, where all day they may be had. Other hackney-men seeing this way, they flock to the same place, and perform their journeys at the same rate. So that sometimes there is twenty of them together, which disperse up and down; that they and others are to be had everywhere, as watermen are to be had by the water-side. * * * Everybody is much pleased with it."


A singular library existed in 1535, at Warsenstein, near Cassel; the books composing it, or rather the substitutes for them, being made of wood, and every one of them is a specimen of some different tree. The back is formed of its bark, and the sides are constructed of polished pieces of the same stock. When put together, the whole forms a box; and inside of it are stored the fruit, seed, and leaves, together with the [Pg 212] moss which grows on the trunk, and the insects which feed upon the tree; every volume corresponds in size, and the collection altogether has an excellent effect.


Caricature, even by its very exaggeration, often gives us a better idea of many things than the most exact sketches could do. This is more especially the case with respect to dress, a proof of which is here given by the three caricatures which we now lay before our readers. They are copied from plates published at the period to which they refer, and how completely do they convey to us a notion of the fashions of the day!

Dress Forty Years Ago

With the peace of 1815 commenced a new era in English history; and within the few years immediately preceding and following it, English society went through a remarkably rapid change; a change, as far as we can see, of a decidedly favourable kind. The social condition of public sentiment and public morals, literature, and science, were all improved. As the violent internal agitation of the country during the regency increased the number of political caricatures and satirical writings, so the succession of fashions, varying in extravagance, which characterised the same period, produced a greater number of caricatures on dress and on fashionable manners than had been seen at any previous period. During the first twelve or fifteen years of the present century, the general character of the costume appears not to have undergone any great change. The two figures here given represent the mode in 1810.

A few years later the fashionable costume furnished an extraordinary contrast with that just represented. The waist was again shortened, as well as the frock and petticoat, and, instead of concealment, it seemed to be the aim of the ladies to exhibit to view as much of the body as possible. The fops of 1819 and 1820 received the name of dandies, the ladies that of dandizettes. The accompanying cut is from a rather broadly caricatured print of a dandizette of the year 1819. It must be considered only as a type of the general character of the foppish costume of the period; for in no time was there ever such a variety of forms in the dresses of both sexes as at the period alluded to.


We give with the same reservation, a figure of a dandy, from a caricature [Pg 213] of the same year. The number of caricatures on the dandies and dandizettes, and on their fopperies and follies, during the years 1819, 1820, and 1821, was perfectly astonishing.


Fashionable Disfigurement

The extent to which people may be led to disfigure themselves by a blind compliance with the fashion of the day, was never more strikingly displayed than in the custom of dotting the face with black patches of different patterns. It might easily be supposed that the annexed sketch is a caricature, but such is not the case; it is a correct likeness of a lady of the time of Charles the First, with her face in full dress. Patching was much admired during the reign of that sovereign, and for several succeeding years. Some authors think that the fashion came originally from Arabia. No sooner was it brought to England and France, than it became an absolute fureur. In the former country, old and young, the maiden of sixteen and the grey-haired grandmama, covered their faces with these black spots, shaped like suns, moons, stars, hearts, crosses, and lozenges; and some even, as in the [Pg 214] instance before us, carried the mode to the extravagant extent of shaping the patches to represent a carriage and horses.


Mr. Ingleby, of Battle Abbey, Sussex, died 1798, aged 117. He had been for upwards of ninety-five years a domestic in the family of Lady Webster. The following narrative of this remarkable man is by a gentleman who visited him in the autumn of 1797:—

"To my great surprise," he says, "I found Mr. Ingleby in a situation very far removed from the luxuries of life, or the place which might be deemed necessary for his years. He was in an antique outbuilding, near the Castle Gate, where his table was spread under an arched roof; nearly the whole of the building being filled with billet-wood, and scarcely affording room for the oaken bench on which this wonder of longevity was reclining by the fire. His dress was a full-bottomed wig, and a chocolate-coloured suit of clothes with yellow buttons. His air and demeanour was pensive and solemn; though there was nothing in his look which impressed the mind with the idea of a person more than fourscore years old, except a slight falling of the under jaw, which bespoke a more advanced age. We were introduced by a matron, who served as a sort of interpreter between us—Mr. Ingleby's deafness not permitting any regular conversation. When the nurse explained our errand, he replied, in a very distinct but hollow voice, 'I am much obliged to the gentlemen for the favour they do me; but I am not well, and unable to converse with them.' He then turned his face to the higher part of the bench on which he reclined, and was silent. In each of his withered hands he held a short, rude, beechen walking stick, about three feet high, by the help of which he was accustomed not only to walk about the extensive premises in which he passed the most part of his life, but also to take his little rambles about the town; and once (for, occasionally, the old gentleman was irascible,) he set out on a pedestrian excursion to Hastings, to inquire for another situation in service, because his patroness desired him to be more attentive to personal neatness. It is but justice to the lady alluded to, to add, that the uncouth abode in which Mr. Ingleby dwelt was the only one in which he could be persuaded to reside, and which long familiarity had rendered dear to him. The choice appeared very extraordinary; but such persons, in their conduct, are seldom governed by the fixed and settled rules by which human life is ordinarily regulated."


A very curious manuscript was presented to the Antiquarian Society of Yorkshire in 1828. It contains sundry rules to be observed by the household of Henry the 8th, and enjoins the following singular particulars:—"None of his Highness's attendants to steal any locks, or keys, tables, forms, cupboards, or other furniture, out of noblemen's, or gentlemen's, houses where he goes to visit. No herald, minstrel, falconer, or other, to bring to the Court any boy or rascal; nor to keeps lads or rascals in Court to do their business for them. Master [Pg 215] cooks not to employ such scullions as shall go about naked, or lie all night on the ground before the kitchen fire. Dinner to be at ten, and supper at four. The Knight Marshal to take care that all such unthrifty and common women as follow the Court be banished. The proper officers are, between six and seven o'clock every morning, to make the fire in and straw his Highness's Privy Chamber. Officers of his Highness's Privy Chamber to keep secret every thing said or done, leaving hearkening or inquiring where the King is or goes, be it early or late, without grudging, mumbling, or talking of the King's past time, late or early going to bed, or any other matter. Coal only allowed to the King's, Queen's, and Lady Mary's Chambers. The Queen's Maids of Honour to have a chet loaf, a manchet, a gallon of ale, and a chine of beef, for their breakfasts. Among the fishes for the table is a porpoise, and if it is too big for a horse-load, a further allowance is made for it to the purveyor." The manuscript ends with several proclamations. One is "to take up and punish strong and mighty beggars, rascals, and vagabonds, who hang about the Court."


In 1809, a barge was going along the new cut from Paddington with casks of spirits and barrels of gunpowder. It is supposed that one of the crew bored a hole in a powder-barrel by mistake, meaning to steal spirits; the gimlet set fire to the powder, and eleven other barrels were driven to the distance of 150 yards; but only the single barrel exploded.


The letter which we here lay before our readers was addressed by David Hume to the Countess de Boufflers, and is supposed to be the last that was ever written by that great historian, as he died only five days afterwards, August 25th. With what calmness did that illustrious philosopher contemplate the rapid approach of his own death!

The letter was torn at the places where the words are printed in italics:

"Edinburgh, 20th of August, 1776.

"Tho' I am certainly within a few weeks, dear Madam, and perhaps within a few days, of my own death, I could not forbear being struck with the death of the Prince of Conti, so great a loss in every particular. My reflection carried me immediately to your situation in this melancholy incident. What a difference to you in your whole plan of life! Pray, write me some particulars; but in such terms that you need not care, in event of decease, into whose hands your letter may fall.

"My distemper is a diarrhœa, or disorder in my bowels, which has been gradually undermining me these two years; but within these six months has been visibly hastening me to my end. I see death approach gradually without any anxiety or regret. I salute you with great affection and regard for the last time.

"David Hume."


A. Drum, or Timbrel, of Baked Potter's Clay. —AA. Drum in use in the East.—B. Harp.—C. Lutes.—D. Inscribed Stone.—E. Sandals.

The rude musical instruments here represented, have been collected by modern travellers, and are but little changed from the ancient forms. [Pg 216] The drum or timbrel marked A, is made of thin baked clay, something in the shape of a bottle, with parchment stretched over the wider part. On being struck with the finger, this instrument makes a remarkably loud sound. These relics are lodged in the London Scriptural Museum, and are all ticketed with the texts they serve to illustrate. This arrangement is very judicious, and gives a great additional interest to the sacred objects while under inspection.

[Pg 217]

1. Distaff.—2. Roman Farthing.—3. Stone Money Weights.—4. Hand Mill. 5. Eastern Wine and Water Bottles.

The distaff was the instrument which wrought the materials for the robes of the Egyptian Kings, and for the "little coat" which Hannah made for Samuel; by it, too, were wrought the cloths, and other fabrics used in Solomon's temple. By reference to the above engraving, it will be seen that nothing can be more simple than this ancient instrument, which is a sort of wooden skewer, round which the flax is wrapped; it is then spun on the ground in the same manner as a boy's top, and the [Pg 218] thread wrought off, and wound upon a reel shown in the foreground of the picture. "Querns," or stone hand-mills of various sizes, similar to that represented in our engraving, have been repeatedly found in connection with Roman, Saxon, and other ancient remains in this country. They are still to be met with in constant use over the greater part of India, in Africa, and also those districts of the East which are more particularly associated with Holy Writ. It may be worth while to mention that this description of mill is an improvement upon the method of simply crushing the corn laid on a flat stone with another held in the hand. The "Quern" is a hard stone roughly rounded, and partly hollowed, into which another stone, which has a handle, is loosely fitted. The corn required to be ground is placed in the hollow receptacle, and the inner stone is moved rapidly round, and, in course of time, by immense labour, the wheat &c. is ground into flour. The Scripture prophecies mention that of two women grinding at the mill, one shall be left, and the other taken—the two-handled mill will explain the meaning of this passage.



Many years ago the scholars at our large schools had regular cock-fights, which would appear to have been an affair of the school, recognised by the masters, and the charges for which were defrayed by them, to be afterwards paid by the parents, just as some innocent excursions and festivities are managed now a days. The credit of the school was, without doubt, often involved in the proper issue of the fight.

Sir James Mackintosh, when at school at Fortrose in 1776-7, had this entry in his account, in which books were charged 3s. 6d.:—

To cocks'-fight dues for 2 years, 2s. 6d. each, 5s.

Associated are three months' fees at the dancing-school, minuet, country-dances, and hornpipe, &c. Cock-fighting up to the end of the last century was a very general amusement, and an occasion for gambling. It entered into the occupations of the old and young. Travellers agreed with coachmen that they were to wait a night if there was a cock-fight in any town through which they passed. A battle between two cocks had five guineas staked upon it. Fifty guineas, about the year 1760, depended upon the main or odd battle. This made the decision [Pg 220] of a "long main," at cock-fighting an important matter. The church bells at times announced the winning of a "long main." Matches were sometimes so arranged as to last the week. When country gentlemen had sat long at table, and the conversation had turned upon the relative merits of their several birds, a cock-fight often resulted, as the birds in question were brought for the purpose into the dining-room.


Common Travelling

We have here the common travelling dress in use at the commencement of the 12th century, tempus Henry I. and Stephen. The original is intended for the Saviour meeting the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The Saviour wears an under tunic, and his mantle, fastened by a narrow band across the chest, is held up by the right hand. The figures of the disciples are, however, the most curious, the central one particularly so, as he would seem to wear a dress expressly invented for travelling: his large round hat, with its wide brim, seems to be the original of the pilgrim's hat so well known in later times, and which formed so distinguishing a mark in their costume. His short green tunic, well adapted for journeying, is protected by a capacious mantle of skin, provided with a "capa" or cowl, to draw over the head, and which was frequently used instead of a hat. He wears white breeches ornamented with red cross-stripes; they end at the ankle, where they are secured by a band or garter, the foot being covered by close shoes. His companion wears the common cap so frequently met with, and he has his face ornamented to profusion by moustaches and beard, each lock of which appears to be most carefully separated and arranged in the nicest order. He has an under-tunic of white, and an upper one of red, and a white mantle bordered with gold; he also wears the same kind of breeches, reaching to the ankle, but he has no shoes, which frequently appears to have been the case when persons were on a journey.


The style of dancing which was fashionable at the latter part of the last century, may be seen from the following advertisement from a dancing-master, which we have copied from a newspaper of the year 1775:—

"At Duke's Long Room, in Paternoster Row, Grown Gentlemen or Ladies are taught a Minuet, or the Method of Country Dances, with the modern Method of Footing; and that in the genteelest, and most expeditious, and private Manner. And for the greater expedition of such [Pg 221] gentlemen, as chuse to dance in company, there's a complete Set of Gentlemen assembled every Monday and Wednesday evening for the said purpose. Gentlemen or Ladies may be waited on at their own Houses by favouring me with a line directed as above. Likewise to be had at my House, as above, a Book of Instructions for the figuring part of Country Dances, with the Figure of the Minuet annex'd thereon, drawn out in Characters, and laid down in such a Manner, that at once casting your Eye on it, you see the Figure directly form'd as it is to be done; so that a person, even that had never learnt, might, by the help of this book, soon make himself Master of the figuring Part. Such as reside in the Country, I doubt not, would find it of immediate Service, as they have not always an Opportunity of having Recourse to a Dancing Master. Price 10s. 6d. N. Dukes, Dancing Master."


Preaching Friars

In the romance of "St. Graal," executed in the fourteenth century, we have this representation of one of these preaching friars in his rude portable pulpit. From the contrast afforded by their mendicancy, and enthusiasm in teaching, to the pride and riches of the higher clergy, and their constant mixing with the people, they became excessively popular. The preacher in the cut has a crowded and attentive audience (though one lady seems inclined to nap); the costume of the entire body, who are all seated, after a primitive fashion, on the bare ground, is worthy of note, and may be received as a fair picture of the commonalty of England about the year 1350.


Mrs. Jane Lewson, widow, of No. 12, Coldbath Square, London, died 1816, aged 116. Mrs. Lewson, from the very eccentric style of her dress, was almost universally recognised as Lady Lewson. She was born in Essex Street, Strand, in the year 1700, during the reign of William and Mary; and was married at an early age to a wealthy gentleman then living in the house in which she died. She became a widow at the early age of 26, having only one child, a daughter, living at the time. Mrs. Lewson being left by her husband in affluent circumstances, though she had many suitors, preferred to remain in a state of widowhood. When her daughter married, being left alone, she became very fond of retirement, [Pg 222] and rarely went out or permitted the visits of any person. For the last thirty years of her life she had kept no servant, except one old female, who died in 1806; she was succeeded by the old woman's granddaughter, who was married about 1813; and she was followed in the situation by an old man, who attended the different houses in the square to go on errands, clean shoes, &c. Mrs. Lewson took this man into her house, and he acted as her steward, butler, cook, and housemaid; and with the exception of two old lap-dogs and a cat, he was her only companion. The house she occupied was elegantly furnished, but after the old style; the beds were kept constantly made, although they had not been slept in for about fifty years. Her apartment was only occasionally swept out, but never washed; the windows were so encrusted with dirt that they hardly admitted a ray of light to pass through them. She had used to tell her acquaintances that if the rooms were wetted, it might be the occasion of her taking cold; and as to cleaning the windows, she observed that many accidents happened through that ridiculous practice; the glass might be broke, and the person wounded, when the expense of repairing the one, and curing the other, would both fall upon her. A large garden at the rear of the house was the only thing connected with her establishment to which she really paid attention. This was always kept in good order; and here, when the weather permitted, she enjoyed the air, or sometimes sat and read by way of pastime; or else chatted on times past with any of the few remaining acquaintances whose visits she permitted. She seldom visited any person except Mr. Jones, a grocer at the corner of the square, with whom she dealt. She was so partial to the fashions prevailing in her youthful days, that she never changed the manner of her dress from that worn by ladies in the reign of George the First. She always wore powder with a large toupée made of horsehair on her head, nearly half a foot high, over which her front hair was turned up; a cap over it, which knotted under the chin, and three or four curls hanging down her neck. She generally wore silk gowns, the train long with a deep flounce all round, a very long narrow waist, very tightly laced up to her neck, round which was a ruff or frill. The sleeves of her gown, to which four or five large ruffles were attached, came below the elbow; a large straw bonnet, quite flat, high-heeled shoes, a full-made black silk cloak trimmed round with lace, and a gold-headed cane, completed her every-day costume for the last eighty years of her life, and in which habiliments she occasionally walked round the square, when she was uniformly spoken of by all spectators as Lady Lewson. She never practised ablutions of any kind, or hardly in any degree, because, as she alleged, those persons who washed themselves were always taking cold, or laying the foundation of some dreadful disorder. Her method was to besmear her face and neck all over with hog's lard, because that was soft and lubricating; and then, because she required a little colour in her cheeks to set off her person to advantage, she had used to paint them with rose-pink. Her manner of living was so methodical, that she would not take her tea out of any other than a favourite cup. She was equally particular with respect to her knives, forks, plates, &c. At breakfast she arranged, in a particular manner, the paraphernalia of her table: at [Pg 223] dinner she always observed a particular rule as to the placing of the two or three empty chairs, by which the table was surrounded, but herself always sat in one favourite chair. She constantly enjoyed an excellent state of health; assisted at all times in regulating the affairs of her household; and never, until a little previous to her decease, had an hour's illness. She entertained the greatest aversion to medicine; and, what is remarkable, cut two new teeth at the age of 87, and was never troubled with the toothache. Towards the close of her life her sight failed her. She lived in five reigns, and was believed to be the most faithful living chronicler of the age. A few days previous to her decease, an old lady who was her neighbour died suddenly, which had such an effect upon her that she frequently said her time was also come, and she should soon follow. She enjoyed the use of all her faculties till that period, when she became weak and took to her bed; but steadily refused all medical aid. Her conduct to a few relations was extremely capricious; and she would never see any of them; and it was not until a few hours before her dissolution that any relaxation in her temper was manifested. She was interred in Bunhill Fields burying-ground.


The Phœnix was the first fire-office established, in 1682. There were used, in towns, squirts or syringes, for extinguishing fire, which did not exceed two or three feet in length. These yielded to the Fire Engine, with leathern pipes, which was patented in 1676. Water-tight, seamless hose was made in Bethnal Green in 1720. About this date—

  £ s. d.
A fire engine and pipe for Lyme cost 6 0 0
A square pipe, 23 feet long 1 18 0
12 leather fire-buckets 2 3 3

A Fire Engine was considered an appropriate present for an aspirant to a borough. At Lewes, in 1726, T. Pelham, Esq., gave one, and having been chosen representative in 1731, he presented a second.


Extraordinary Cataract

In the Island of Pulo Penang, in the Straits of Malacca, there is a cataract which is surpassed by very few in the four quarters of the earth. It is rarely visited, and, therefore, has been but seldom described; but those who have been fortunate enough to witness it all agree in the opinion that it forms one of the wonders of the world. The stream which supplies it is of considerable volume, and after traversing a long tract of comparatively level country, is suddenly precipitated almost without a break into a ravine nearly two hundred feet below the summit of the fall. The annexed engraving gives an excellent representation of the scene. The stream descends with a mighty roar, and rushes on with a lightning speed. If you take the trouble of bringing a small looking-glass in your pocket, and come here about an hour before noon, you will be able to produce some very beautiful artificial rainbows. But, whatever you do, never attempt to clamber to the top of the rocks; for though, doubtless, [Pg 224] the scenery is very sublime up there, the pathway is slippery and dangerous in the extreme; and the guides can tell how two hapless youths, officers belonging to a regiment stationed here some twenty years ago, clambered up that hill, and how they shouted with triumph on reaching yon summit, and waved their handkerchiefs bravely; but they can also tell the gloomy and disastrous end of all this; how the wild screams echoed far and wide, as both slipped and fell headlong into the surging torrent, and the sun shone brightly upon the [Pg 225] bright red uniforms as they were hurried over the precipice, and dashed from rock to rock; and, whilst yet the horror-stricken spectators gazed with speechless agony and terror, the bodies of the poor young men were borne away and hid by the blood-stained waters from human recovery.


The manners and customs of the uncivilized are always legitimate objects of wonder and curiosity to the civilized. It is on this account that we give the above sketch of one of the festival dances of the natives of Australia.

Dances of the Natives in New South Wales

These dances are not only the usual close of their combats, but are frequent in time of peace. They appear almost necessary to stir up their blood; and under the excitement they produce, the whole nature of the people seems to be changed. To a spectator the effect of one of these exhibitions almost equals that of a tragic melo-drama.

A suitable place for the performance is selected in the neighbourhood of their huts. Here a fire is built by the women and boys, while such of the men as are to take a share in the exhibition, usually about twenty in number, disappear to arrange their persons. When these preparations [Pg 226] are completed, and the fire burns brightly, the performers are seen advancing in the guise of as many skeletons. This effect is produced by means of pipe clay, with which they paint broad white lines on their arms and legs, and on the head, while others of less breadth are drawn across the body, to correspond to the ribs. The music consists in beating time on their shields, and singing, and to it the movements of the dancers conform. It must not be supposed that this exhibition is a dance in our sense of the word. It consists of violent and odd movements of the arms, legs, and body, contortions and violent muscular actions, amounting almost to frenzy. The performers appear more like a child's pasteboard supple-jack than anything human in their movements.

This action continues for a time, and then the skeletons, for so they appear to be, since they truly resemble them, suddenly seem to vanish and reappear. The disappearance is effected by merely turning round, for the figures are painted only in front, and their dusky forms are lost by mingling with the dark background. The trees, illuminated by the fire, are brought out with some of the figures in bold relief, while others were indistinct and ghost-like. All concurs to give an air of wildness to the strange scene. As the dance proceeds, the excitement increases, and those who a short time before appear only half alive, become full of animation, and finally are obliged to stop from exhaustion.


The following fact is interesting, inasmuch as it gives us an insight into the popular tastes of the period, and the power of mob-law:—

In 1718, James Austin, inventor of the Persian ink powder, invited his customers to a feast. There was a pudding promised, which was to be boiled fourteen days, instead of seven hours, and for which he allowed a chaldron of coals. It weighed 900 pounds. The copper for boiling it was erected at the Red Lion in Southwark Park, where crowds went to see it; and when boiled, it was to be conveyed to the Swan Tavern, Fish Street Hill, to the tune of "What lumps of pudding my mother gave me." The place was changed to the Restoration Gardens in St. George's Fields, in consequence of the numerous company expected, and the pudding set out in procession with banners, streamers, drums, &c., but the mob chased it on the way and carried all off.


The ancient custom of hanging a garland of white roses, made of writing paper, and a pair of white gloves over the pew of the unmarried villagers who die in the flower of their age, prevailed up to the year 1837 in the village of Eyam, and in most other villages and little towns in the Peak of Derbyshire. In the year 1665, the plague was conveyed to this unfortunate village, which for a time had been chiefly confined to London. The infection, it appears, was carried in a box of woollen clothes; the tailor, to whom they were directed was, together with his family, the immediate victims of this fatal importation; and a few days sufficed to confirm the fact, that the entire hamlet was deeply infected. A general [Pg 227] panic ensued, the worthy and truly christian Rector, the Rev. William Mompesson, at this eventful and awful crisis, summoned the parish, and after energetically stating the case, and declaring his decided intention of remaining at his post, induced his hearers to adopt the measures he was about to propose, if not for their own preservation, at least for the more important cause, the preservation of the surrounding country. Eyam, from this moment, like a besieged city, was cut off from the living world, and to the zeal and fidelity of this ever-to-be-respected minister was confided the present, as well as eternal welfare of those who were about to prove to posterity, that devotion to their country, as well as to their God, was combined in the truly christian creed taught them by this reverend man. But alas! it was the will of the Almighty that the ranks of this devoted flock should be rapidly thinned, though Mr. and Mrs. Mompesson had been hitherto spared; but in August, the latter was carried off by the fatal disease, in the 27th year of her age; her monument may still be seen at no great distance from the chancel door. A number of grave-stones, bearing date 1666, in the churchyard, show that for a time, at least, the dead had been deposited there in the usual manner. Soon after the death of Mrs. Mompesson, the disorder began to abate, and in about two months might be said to have entirely ceased. The pious and amiable Rector was graciously preserved.


The following remarkable theatrical announcement is worth preservation, inasmuch as it forms a curious effusion of vanity and poverty, in the shape of an appeal to the taste and feelings of the inhabitants of a town in Sussex:—


At the old theatre in East Grinstead, on Saturday, May 5th, 1758, will be represented (by particular desire, and for the benefit of Mrs. P.) the deep and affecting Tragedy of Theodosius, or the Force of Love, with magnificent scenes, dresses, &c.

Varanes, by Mr. P., who will strive, as far as possible, to support the character of this fiery Persian Prince, in which he was so much admired and applauded at Hastings, Arundel, Petworth, Midworth, Lewes, &c.

Theodosius, by a young gentleman from the university of Oxford, who never appeared on any stage.

Athenais, by Mrs. P. Though her present condition will not permit her to wait on gentlemen and ladies out of the town with tickets, she hopes, as on former occasions, for their liberality and support.

Nothing in Italy can exceed the altar, in the first scene of the play. Nevertheless, should any of the Nobility or Gentry wish to see it ornamented with flowers, the bearer will bring away as many as they choose to favour him with.

As the coronation of Athenais, to be introduced in the fifth act, contains a number of personages, more than sufficient to fill all the dressing rooms, &c., it is hoped no gentlemen and ladies will be offended at being refused admission behind the scenes.

N.B. The great yard dog, that made so much noise on Thursday night, [Pg 228] during the last act of King Richard the Third, will be sent to a neighbour's over the way; and on account of the prodigious demand for places, part of the stable will be laid into the boxes on one side, and the granary be open for the same purpose on the other.

Vivat Rex.


The sense of hearing in birds is singularly acute, and their instinct leads them instantly to detect the slightest variation in the song of those of their own kind. The following is a laughable instance of this:—

A bird-catcher, wishing to increase his stock of bullfinches, took out his caged bird and his limed twigs, and placed them in such a situation of hedge and bush as he judged favourable to his success. It so happened that his own bird was one of education, such as is usually termed a piping bullfinch. In the first instance a few accidentally thrown out natural notes, or calls, had attracted three or four of his kindred feather, which had now taken their station not far distant from the cage. There they stood in doubt and curiosity, and presently moving inch by inch, and hop by hop towards him and the fatal twigs, they again became stationary and attentive. It was in this eager and suspended moment that the piping bullfinch set up the old country-dance of "Nancy Dawson." Away flew every astounded bullfinch as fast as wings could move, in such alarm and confusion as bullfinches could feel and they only can venture to describe.


If the Exeter Flying Stage arrived from London at Dorchester in two days, and at Exeter at the end of the third day, about 1739, the speed must have been considered surprising. Those who made use of such a conveyance were doubtless looked upon as presumptuous, neck-or-nothing mortals.

There was a "Devizes chaise" from London at this time which took a route through Reading, Newbury, and Marlborough.

There is a good house at Morcomb Lake, east of Charmouth, now no longer in the road, owing to this having been diverted. This was a road-side inn, where the judges slept. The Fly Coach from London to Exeter slept there the fifth night from town. The coach proceeded the next morning to Axminster, where it breakfasted, and there a woman barber shaved the coach.


Daniel Bull M'Carthy, of the county of Kerry, Ireland, died 1752, aged 111. At the age of eighty-four he married a fifth wife, a girl little more than fourteen years of age, by whom he had twenty children—one every subsequent year of his life. It was remarked that he was scarcely ever seen to expectorate; nor did any extent of cold ever seem to affect him. For the last seventy years of his life, when in company, he drank plentifully of rum and brandy, which he always took neat; and, if in compliance with solicitations he took wine or punch, always drank an equal [Pg 229] sized glass of rum or brandy, which he designated a wedge. The temperature of his body was generally so hot that he could bear but little clothing, either by day or night upon his person.


Giant Tree

There are few trees in the world like the giant tree in the island of Pulo Penang, of which the annexed engraving is a correct representation. It is one of the various kinds of palm, and some idea may be formed of [Pg 230] its height from the fact that it is twice as tall, and quite as straight, as the mainmast of a line-of-battle ship; there are no branches, no twigs anywhere to be seen, save just at the very summit, and here they bend over gracefully, something like what one would imagine a large-sized palm-tree to be if gazed at through Lord Rosse's telescope. It is a only specimen of its kind to be met with in the whole island.


Wisdom may sometimes be learned at a Quarter Sessions, and it would be advantageous if we occasionally took a hint from our ancestors. The magistrates at sessions in Charles the First's reign could and did address themselves to questions arising between parties moving in humble life, very important to them, and who could now-a-day in vain seek redress in the same quarter. A modern Bridget might continue to charge men with a breach of promise of marriage without legal measures being available against her. This was not so in 1626. Her case was considered, and her injurious conduct and mode of life were duly estimated, with what result we shall learn from the following entry in the minute book of a quarter sessions in Devonshire of that date:—"Forasmuch as it hath appeared unto this Court that Bridget Howsley of Langton, spinster, liveth idly and lewdly at home, not betaking herself to any honest course of life, and hath lately falsely and scandalously accused one [left blank in the original] of Honiton, in Devon, challenging a promise of marriage from him, which tended much to his disgrace, and that she is a continual brawler and sower of strife and debate between her neighbours, inhabitants of Langton aforesaid, this court doth therefore think fit and order that the said Bridget Howsley be forthwith committed to the House of Correction, there to be set on work and remain for the space of six whole months, and from thenceforth until she shall find very good sureties for her appearance at the next Sessions, after the said six months shall be expired, or until she shall procure a master that will take her into service."


One of the most remarkable cases on record of combined knavery, credulity, and superstition, is the belief which so extensively prevailed about fifty years ago in the mission and doctrines of Joanna Southcott, and of which, strange to say, some traces remain even to the present day. Is it not astonishing that so recently as the year 1814, August 3rd, the following paragraph—which we believe gives a correct statement of the facts—should have appeared in the Courier newspaper? "Joanna Southcott has lately given out that she expects in a few weeks to become the mother of the true Messiah. She is nearly seventy years of age. A cradle of most expensive and magnificent materials has been bespoken by a lady of fortune for the accouchement, and has been for some days exhibited at the warehouse of an eminent cabinet maker in Aldersgate-street. Hundreds of genteel persons of both sexes have been to see this cradle, in which her followers believe the true Messiah is to be rocked. The following has been given us as a correct description: 'A child's crib, three feet [Pg 231] six inches, by two feet, of satin wood, with brass trellis, side and foot board; turned feet, carved and gilt, on castors; a swing cot, inside caned, to swing on centre; at each end gilt mouldings, top and bottom for gold letters; a canopy cover, with blue silk; carved and gilt under it, a gold ball, and dove, and olive branch; green stars at each corner, gilt; blue silk furniture; an embroidered celestial crown, with Hebrew characters, gold letters; a lambs'-wool mattress, with white fustian down bed, down pillow, and two superfine blankets.'"


Edward the First kept three Christmasses at Rhuddlan castle, in Flintshire; and it is a fact not generally known, that his queen Eleanor, exclusively of the young prince Edward, born at Caernarvon, was delivered of a princess there in 1283. This shows that his entire household must have been transferred into Wales, at the time his policy was directed to complete the annexation of the principality of Wales to that of England. In an ancient record in the tower of London, dated 1281-2, and translated by Samuel Lysons, Esq., is a curious roll of Edward's expenses when at Rhuddlan. It consists of four sheets, containing the particulars, under proper heads, of the sums of money paid for the maintenance of his household. The sum of the expenses in this roll is £1,395 10s., which sum, with the expenses of the other roll of the queen's household is £2,220 2s. 10-1/2d. The roll is very curious, but too long to be inserted here. We append the following as a specimen of the various items it contains:—

Paid on the day of the queen's churching in oblations to mass £0 3 0
The queen's gift to divers minstrels attending her churching 10 0 0
The queen's gift to a female spy 0 1 0
A certain female spy, to purchase her a house as a spy 1 0 0
For the brethren at the hospital at Rhuddlan 0 1 1
For a certain player as a gift 0 8 0
For the celebration of mass for the soul of William de Bajor 0 1 10
For the messenger carrying letters to the king at London, to be sent to the court of Rome, for his expenses 0 1 0
Paid sundry bailiffs at the castle 0 4 10
For the carriage of 80 casks of wine from the water to the castle 0 22 0
For a cart bringing lances and cross bows from Ruthlan to Hope 0 1 4
For the carriage of £3,000 from the king's wardrobe to the queen's wardrobe 0 10 5
For 600 turves, to place about the queen's stew pond in the castle 0 1 0
Carriage of figs and raisins to Aberconway 0 0 1
Paid wages for 1,060 archers at twopence, with 53 captains at fourpence, with 10 constables of cavalry at 12d. a day 68 8 6
Paid the same for 1,040 archers, &c. &c. 67 4 0

[Pg 232]


Garrick's Cup

This celebrated Shakspearean relic was presented to David Garrick, by the Mayor and Corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon, in September, 1769, at the Jubilee which he instituted in honour of his favourite Bard. It measures about 11 inches in height. The tree from which it is carved was planted by Shakspeare's own hand, in the year 1609, and after having stood 147 years, was, in an evil hour, and when at its full growth and remarkably large, cut down, and cleft to pieces for fire-wood, by order of the Rev. Francis Gastrell, to whom it had become an object of dislike, from its subjecting him to the frequent importunities of travellers. Fortunately, the greater part of it fell into the possession of Mr. Thomas Sharp, a watchmaker of Stratford, who, "out of sincere veneration" for the memory of its immortal planter, and well knowing the value the world set upon it, converted the fragments to uses widely differing from that to which they had been so sacrilegiously condemned. Garrick held this cup in his hand at the Jubilee, while he sung the beautiful and well-known air, which he had composed for the occasion, beginning

"Behold this fair goblet, 'twas carved from the tree,
Which, O my sweet Shakspeare, was planted by thee;
As a relic I kiss it, and bow at the shrine,
What comes from thy hand must be ever divine!
All shall yield to the Mulberry tree,
Bend to thee,
Blest Mulberry;
Matchless was he
Who planted thee,
And thou like him immortal be!"


Mr. John Coxetter, of Greenham Mills, Newbury, had two South down sheep shorn at his factory exactly at five o'clock in the morning, from the wool of which, after passing its various processes, a complete [Pg 233] damson coloured coat was made, and worn by Sir John Throckmorton, at a quarter past six in the evening, being two and three-quarter hours within the time allotted, for a wager of 1,000 guineas. The sheep were roasted whole, and a sumptuous dinner given by Mr. Coxetter.


Great Wall of China

As has been invariably the case in the early history of all the leading nations of the earth, great confusion and civil discord existed in the empire of China in its first stages. It was divided into petty princedoms, each prince striving to outwit the other, and all anxiously aiming at the supreme power of the land, till the Emperor Chi-hoang-ti, who came to the throne about three hundred years before the Christian era, conquered the whole of the jealous petty princes, and united their states into one vast empire. But no sooner had he achieved this, than the Tartars began to be troublesome, and, hoping effectually to exclude their invasions, this emperor caused to be constructed the often-read-of great wall of China, a stupendous work of masonry, extending from the sea to the western province of Shensee and carried over a tract of fifteen hundred miles, comprising high mountains, deep valleys, and broad rivers, the wall being supported over the latter by gigantic arches. Fortified towers were erected at every hundred yards, and its summit admitted of six horsemen riding abreast. This sovereign is said to be the founder of the Hau dynasty. The wall proved an insignificant [Pg 234] barrier to the Huns or Tartars, who harassed the princes of the Hau dynasty, and were a very scourge to the farmers of the frontier provinces. About the year 264, the Hau dynasty gave way to the Tsin, which latter was founded by a lineal descendant, through many generations, of the builder of the great wall. In the sketch which we have given, our chief object has been to show the extraordinary inflexibility of the Chinese in carrying their wall strictly along their frontier line, in spite of the stupendous obstacles which, intervened in the shape of mountains and valleys.


Malone, the well known editor of Shakespeare, possessed a curious volume—an account of the privy expenses of Charles II, kept by Baptist May. A few extracts from this MS., taken from Malone's transcripts, are here offered:—

  £ s. d.
My Lord St. Alban's bill 1,746 18 11
Lady Castlemaine's debts 1,116 1 0
Sir R. Viner, for plate 850 0 0
For grinding cocoa-nuts 5 8 0
Paid Lady C., play money 300 0 0
For a band of music 50 0 0
To the footman that beat Teague 5 7 6
To Mr. Pears, for the charges of a body dissected before the king 5 1 0
Lady C., play money 300 0 0
To the Morrice Dancers at Ely 1 1 0
Lady C., play money 300 0 0
Mr. Knight for bleeding the king 10 10 0
For a receipt of chocolate 227 0 0
Mr. Price, for milking the asses 10 0 0
To one that showed tumblers' tricks 5 7 6
For weighing the king 1 0 0
Paid Hall for dancing on the rope 20 0 0
The Queen's allowance 1,250 0 0
Paid Lord Lauderdale for ballads 5 0 0
To a bone-setter attending the Duchess of Monmouth 10 0 0
Paid Terry for waiting on the king swimming 10 0 0
For 3,685 ribbons for the healing 107 10 4
Mrs. Blague, the king's valentine 218 0 0
Nell Gwyn 100 0 0
Lost by the king at play on Twelfth-night 220 0 0
Paid what was borrowed for the Countess of Castlemaine 1,650 0 0


Innocent IV. first made the hat the symbol or cognizance of the cardinals, enjoining them to wear a red hat at the ceremonies and processions, in token of their being ready to spill their blood for Jesus Christ.


Two lads were hanged for stealing a purse containing two shillings and a brass counter. Of ten criminals convicted at one sessions, four were hanged and six transported. Very often half a dozen were sentenced to death at a single sessions. On the 17th March, 1755, eight malefactors were hanged together at Tyburn. It was recorded as a matter of surprise, that, "only six convicts received sentence of death at Gloucester Assizes." One of these was a woman named Anne Ockley, who was executed on the following day, on the charge of murdering an illegitimate child. To the last she denied her guilt, except in not having called in medical advice [Pg 235] for her infant after a bad fall. She took the Sacrament, and begged for more time to prepare herself for the change; this favour being denied, she remained praying for two hours on the drop before she would give the signal.


King George II. was accustomed every other year to visit his German dominions, with the greater part of the officers of his household, and especially those belonging to the kitchen. Once on his passage at sea, his first cook was so ill with the sea-sickness, that he could not hold up his head to dress his majesty's dinner; this being told to the king, he was exceedingly sorry for it, as he was famous for making a Rhenish soup, which his majesty was very fond of; he therefore ordered inquiry to be made among the assistant-cooks, if any of them could make the above soup. One named Weston (father of Tom Weston, the player) undertook it, and so pleased the king, that he declared it was full as good as that made by the first cook. Soon after the king's return to England, the first cook died; when the king was informed of it, he said, that his steward of the household always appointed his cooks, but that he would now name one for himself, and therefore asking if one Weston was still in the kitchen, and being answered that he was, "That man," said he, "shall be my first cook, for he makes most excellent Rhenish soup." This favour begot envy among all the servants, so that, when any dish was found fault with, they used to say it was Weston's dressing: the king took notice of this, and said to the servants, it was very extraordinary that every dish he disliked should happen to be Weston's; "In future," said he, "let every dish be marked with the name of the cook that makes it." By this means the king detected their arts, and from that time Weston's dishes pleased him most.

This custom was kept up till late in the reign of George III.


Bloodletting, considered during the last century to be necessary for every one in health or not, at spring and fall, was an operation performed by the country surgeons on the labourers on a Sunday morning, at a charge of 6d. each. Bleeding in bed by a barber was, in the reign of Charles II., sometimes charged, for a lady, so high as 10s., and for a gentleman, 1s. and 2s. 6d. The operator perhaps barboured the patient at an additional charge. Barbouring by the year was charged 16s. Superstition had marked certain days in each month as dangerous for bloodletting, which were called parlous days. In July, the 1st, 7th, 13th, 12th, 25th, and 20th were of the above kind.

As the whole population had recourse to bloodletting twice a year, bleeders or barbers were in constant demand.


During the year 1700, the minister of a parish in Kent was interred at the age of 96 years; the gentleman who preached his funeral sermon was [Pg 236] 82; he who read the service 87; the clerk of the parish was the same age; the sexton was 86; in addition to which list of aged persons, there were several present from the adjacent parishes 100 years old each, and upwards.


Ancient Nut-Cracker

The two quaint instruments pictured in our engraving, of about the time of Charles I. or II., are made of hard wood rather rudely carved; and look as if in their time they had seen good service. The grotesque heads, with the mouth, affording the means of cracking the nuts, are examples of the fitness of design for a particular purpose, which characterize many of the objects in domestic use in the middle ages, and up to the reign of Queen Anne, after which ornamental art for household uses [Pg 237] seems almost to have been disused. Even in the time of George III., our chairs, tables, side-boards, &c., were made heavy, very ugly, and without any attempt at appropriate pattern.


Bell Gwynne's Looking Glass

This glass is in the possession of Sir Page Dicks, of Port Hall. It bears the likeness of Nell Gwynne and King Charles, which are modelled in wax; and also the supporters, or crest, which Nell assumed, namely, the lion and the leopard. The whole is curiously worked in coloured glass beads, and the figures, with the dresses, made to project in very high relief; indeed, they are merely attached to the groundwork. In the upper compartment is Charles in his state dress; and the bottom one, that of Nell Gwynne, in her court dress—the pattern of which is [Pg 238] very tasteful. On the right is Charles in his hunting dress. The beads have retained their colours, which are very appropriate to the subject, and must have been a work of considerable time and patience; but whether done by Nell or not, there is no record.


In August, 1827, John Macdonald expired in his son's house, in the Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, at the advanced age of one hundred and seven years. He was born in Glen Tinisdale, in the Isle of Skye, and, like the other natives of that quarter, was bred to rural labour. Early one morning in his youth, when looking after his black cattle, he was surprised by the sight of two ladies, as he thought, winding slowly round a hill, and approaching the spot where he stood. When they came up, they inquired for a well or stream, where a drink of water could be obtained. He conducted them to the "Virgin Well," an excellent spring, which was held in great reverence on account of its being the scene of some superstitious and legendary tales. When they had quenched their thirst, one of the ladies rewarded Macdonald with a shilling, the first silver coin of which he was possessed. At their own request he escorted them to a gentleman's house at some distance, and there, to his great surprise and satisfaction, he learned that the two "ladies" were Flora Macdonald and Prince Charles Stewart.

This was the proudest incident in Macdonald's patriarchal life; and, when surrounded by his Celtic brethren, he used to dilate on all the relative circumstances with a sort of hereditary enthusiasm, and more than the common garrulity of age. He afterwards turned joiner, and bore a conspicuous part in the building of the first Protestant church which was erected in the island of North Uist. He came to Edinburgh twenty-three years before his death, and continued to work at his trade till he was ninety-seven years of age.

Macdonald was a temperate, regular-living man, and never paid a sixpence to a surgeon for himself, nor had an hour's sickness in the whole course of his life. He used to dance regularly on New-year's day, along with some Highland friends, to the bagpipe. On New-year's day, 1825, he danced a reel with the father, the son, the grandson, and great-grandson, and was in more than his usual spirits. His hearing was nothing impaired, and till within three weeks of his demise he could have threaded the finest needle with facility, without glasses.


We extract the following paragraph from the narrative of a voyager in the Indian Ocean, because it contains an account of a rarity in natural history with which few, we believe, are acquainted.

"The steward is again pillowed on his beloved salt fish, and our only companion is a Malacca cat, who has also an attachment for the steward's pillow. Puss is a tame little creature, and comes rubbing herself mildly against our shoes, looking up in our faces, and mewing her thoughts. Doubtless she is surprised that you have been so long looking at her without noticing the peculiarity in her tail, which so much distinguishes [Pg 239] her from the rest of the feline race in other quarters of the globe. Take her up in your lap, and see for yourself. Did you ever observe such a singular knot—so regular, too, in its formation? Some cruel monster must have tied it in a knot whilst puss was yet a kitten, and she has outlived both the pain and inconvenience. But here comes a kitten, all full of gambols and fun, and we find that her tail is in precisely the same condition. So, then, this is a remarkable feature amongst the whole race of Malayan cats, but for which, no one we meet with, is able to give us a satisfactory explanation."


In 1553, the following extraordinary exhibition was performed in the presence of Queen Mary, in her passage through London to Westminster.—It is thus described by Holinshed, in his "Chronicle," printed 1577:—"When shee didd come to Sainte Paule's churchyarde, Maister Haywood sat in a pageant under a vine, and made to her an oration in Latine; and then there was one Peter, a man of Holland, who didd stand upon the weathercocke of St. Paule's steeple, holdyng a streamer in his handes of five yardes long, and waving thereof. Hee sometimes stood on one foot and shock the other, and then hee kneeled on his knees to the verie grate marvel of al the people. Hee hadd made two scaffolds under him—one above the cross, having torches and streamers sett upon it, and another over the ball of the cross, likewise sett with streamers and torches which could not burne, the wind was so greate." Our chronicler further informs us, that "Peter didd have xvi pounds xiii shillings and iii pence given to him by the citie of London for his costes and pains, and for all his stuffe."


The following advertisement appeared in the St. James's Chronicle of 1772. "Wanted immediately, fifteen hundred, or two thousand pounds, by a person not worth a groat; who, having neither houses, land, annuities, or public funds, can offer no other security than that of simple bond, bearing simple interest, and engaging the repayment of the sum borrowed in five, six, or seven years, as may be agreed on by the parties. Whoever this may suit, (for it is hoped it will suit somebody), by directing a line for A. Z. in Rochester, shall be immediately replied to, or waited on, as may appear necessary."


South Stack Lighthouse

Though not so celebrated as the Eddystone, the South Stack Lighthouse is unquestionably one of the marvels of science, and as such may be appropriately described in our pages. It is erected on the summit of an isolated rock, three or four miles westward from Holyhead, and separated from the main land by a chasm ninety feet in width. This splendid structure was raised in the year 1808. The elevation of the summit of the rock on which it is erected is 140 feet above the level of the sea at high-water mark; the height of the tower, from the base to the gallery, is sixty feet; and the lantern is twelve feet high from the [Pg 240] gallery; making the total elevation of the light 212 feet above high-water mark. The light is produced by twenty-one brilliant lamps, with powerful reflectors, placed on a revolving triangular frame, displaying a full-faced light every two minutes, which, in clear weather, is distinctly visible at a distance of ten leagues. Latterly there has been an addition of three red lights placed at the rock, which are more distinctly visible in foggy weather than the lighthouse lights. The rough sea caused by the strong tides about the head rendered the communication by boat very precarious. In order to obviate the danger, a passage was contrived by means of two ropes thrown across the gulf, along which the individual was drawn in a box or cradle, by the assistance of pulleys affixed at each end. This plan was superseded by a bridge of ropes, which was used some years after, though always considered unsafe, on account of the constant wear of the ropes. In 1827, a modern suspension chain-bridge was thrown over the sound, the span of which is 110 feet, the chains being firmly bolted in the rock on each side, and carried over two massive stone pillars erected for the purpose. The chain supports a platform of timber five feet wide, and seventy feet above high-water mark. The bridge is attained by descending the Holyhead mountain in a zigzag direction by a flight of 380 steps.

[Pg 241]


In 1702, the late Rev. H. Rowlands, author of Mona Antiqua, while superintending the removal of some stones, near Aberfraw, Wales, for the purpose of making an antiquarian research, found a beautiful brass medal of our Saviour, in a fine state of preservation, which he forwarded to his friend and countryman, the Rev. E. Llwyd, author of the Archeologiæ Britannica, and at that time keeper of the Ashmolean library at Oxford.

Brass Medals of Our Saviour

This medal, of which an engraving is subjoined, has on one side the figure of a head exactly answering the description given by Publius Lentulus of our Saviour, in a letter sent by him to the emperor Tiberius and the senate of Rome. On the reverse side, it has the following legend or inscription, written in Hebrew characters, "This is Jesus Christ, the Mediator or Reconciler;" or "Jesus, the Great Messias, or Man Mediator." And being found among the ruins of the chief Druids resident in Anglesea, it is not improbable that the curious relic belonged to some Christian connected with Brân the Blessed, who was one of Caractacus's hostages at Rome from A.D. 52 to 59, at which time the Apostle Paul was preaching the gospel of Christ at Rome. In two years afterwards, A.D. 61, the Roman General Suetonius extirpated all the Druids in the island. The following is a translation of the letter alluded to, a very antique copy of which is in the possession of the family of Kellie, afterwards Lord Kellie, now represented by the Earl of Mar, a very ancient Scotch family—taken from the original at Rome:—

"There hath appeared in these our days, a man of great virtue, named Jesus Christ, who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted as a prophet, but his disciples call him 'the Son of God.' He raiseth the dead, and cures all manner of diseases; a man of stature somewhat tall and comely, with very reverend countenance, such as the beholders both love and fear; his hair the colour of chesnut, full ripe, plain to his ears, whence downwards it is more orient, curling, and waving about his shoulders. In the midst of his head is a seam or a partition of his hair after the manner of the Nazarites; his forehead plain and very delicate; his face without a spot or wrinkle, beautified with the most [Pg 242] lovely red; his nose and mouth so formed that nothing can be reprehended; his beard thickish, in colour like his hair, not very long but forked; his look, innocent and mature; his eyes, grey, clear, and quick. In reproving, he is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remarked that any one saw him laugh, but many have seen him weep. In proportion of body, most excellent; his hands and arms most delicate to behold. In speaking, very temperate, modest, and wise. A man, for his singular beauty, surpassing the children of men!"

The representation of this sacred person which is in the Bodleian library, somewhat resembles that of the print of this medal, when compared together. It was taken from a likeness engraved in agate, and sent as a present from the sultan for the release of his brother, who was taken prisoner. There is a well-executed drawing of this at the Mostyn library, much worse for age.


Monstrous Head-Dress

At no period in the history of the world was anything more absurd in head-dress worn than that here depicted, which was in vogue with the fashionables of 1782. The body of this erection was formed of tow, over which the hair was turned, and false hair added in great curls, bobs, and ties, powdered to profusion; then hung all over with vulgarly-large rows of pearls, or glass beads, fit only to decorate a chandelier; flowers as obtrusive were stuck about this heap of finery, which was surmounted by broad silken bands and great ostrich-feathers, until the head-dress of a lady added three feet to her stature, and the male sex, to use the words of the Spectator, "became suddenly dwarfed beside her." To effect this, much time and trouble was wasted, and great personal annoyance was suffered. Heads, when properly dressed, "kept for three weeks," as the barbers quietly phrased it; that they would not really "keep" longer may be seen by the many recipes they give for the destruction of insects which bred in the flour and pomatum so liberally bestowed upon them. The description of "opening a lady's head," after a three weeks' dressing, given in the magazines of this period, it would be imagined, would have taught the ladies common sense; but fashion could reconcile even the disgust that must have been felt by all.


Long flaxen hair was bought from the head at 10s. the ounce, and any other fine hair at 5s. or 7s. the ounce in 1662.

Within the present century the heads of hair of whole families in [Pg 243] Devonshire were let out by the year at so much rent per poll. An Exeter perriwig maker went round periodically, cut the locks, and oiled the numskull of each thus left in stubble.


Interesting and Fanciful Relique

The enamelled jewel, of which we give an engraving, was presented by Mary, Queen of Scots, to George Gordon, fourth Earl of Huntley. The precise period at which the gift was made is not now known, though the time was not improbably during the residence of the Queen in France, when the Order of St. Michael was conferred on the Duke of Chatelherault, the Earl of Huntley, and several other Scottish nobles, about 1548. The lock of Mary's hair which is attached to the small ivory skull, is of a light auburn, inclining to a gold-colour; and if allowance be made for some fading in the course of years, and for the hair of the Queen having generally become darker as she advanced in life, the accuracy of Melvil will be confirmed, when, in speaking of her after her return to Scotland, he says, "her hair was light auburn; Elizabeth's more red than yellow." In this particular little reliance can be placed upon the portraits of Queen Mary; since it is well known, that in the latter part of her life, it was a fashionable practice to wear false hair of various hues, though in some of her pictures the colour of the locks is nearly similar to the hue of that represented in the present. The skull, from which it issues is connected by a twisted skein of silk with the figure of a Cupid shooting an arrow, standing on a heart enamelled red, transfixed with a dart. On one side the heart is a setting for a precious stone, now vacant; and, on the other, in white letters, the words "Willingly Wounded." From the point of the heart is a pendant, containing on one side a small ruby, and having the other enamelled blue with an ornament in white. Our engraving represents one side of the jewel, of the exact size of the original.


Jonn Benbow, of Northwood, in the parish of Prees, Salop, died 1806, aged 107. His occupation was that of a maker of clocks and watches. [Pg 244] His steadiness of hand, clearness of intellect, and complete command of all his faculties, were such that, till within a very few years of his decease, he was enabled to execute the most intricate and delicate manipulations connected with his business. He lived in three centuries; and, at the time of his decease, had a son, a grandson, and several great-grandchildren, living in the house with him. He was remarkable for industry, sobriety, early rising, and soon retiring to rest, and was universally respected for his integrity and ingenuity. His favourite beverage was "small beer" brewed of molasses. To the very close of his life he was remarkable for his extreme attention to his dress and everything relating to his personal appearance, as will be seen by the following anecdote. About three years before his death, his tailor brought him home a new coat; on examining which he discovered that the man, either through not being provided with the necessary material or inadvertence, had substituted a cloth collar for a velvet one, which he was accustomed to have added to his garment. Mortified at this circumstance, and learning that the tailor had not velvet of the necessary quality by him, he took up his walking-stick and straitway went off to Whitchurch, a distance of seven miles, to purchase the materials proper to make a new collar, and, to the astonishment of all his family, returned home in a few hours.


Nowhere has superstition a greater power over the human mind than among the inhabitants of Java.

When the proper chord is touched, there is scarcely anything too gross for the belief of these islanders. Mr. Crawfurd relates that some years since, it was almost accidentally discovered, that the skull of a buffalo was superstitiously conveyed from one part of the island to another. The point insisted upon was, never to let it rest, but to keep it in constant progressive motion. It was carried in a basket, and no sooner was one person relieved from the load than it was taken up by another; for the understanding was, that some dreadful imprecation was denounced against the man who should let it rest. In this manner, the scull was hurried from one province to another, and after a circulation of many hundred miles, at length reached the town of Samarang, the Dutch governor of which seized it and threw it into the sea, and thus the spell was broken. The Javanese expressed no resentment, and nothing further was heard of this unaccountable transaction. None could tell how or where it originated.

The same writer relates a still more extraordinary instance of infatuation. During the occupation of Java by the English, in the month of May 1814, it was unexpectedly discovered, that, in a remote but populous part of the island, a road, leading to the top of the mountain of Sumbeng, one of the highest in Java, had been constructed. An enquiry being set on foot, it was discovered that the delusion which gave rise to the work had its origin in the province of Banyunas, in the territories of the Susunan, and that the infection had spread to the territory of the Sultan, and thence extended to that of the Europeans. On examination [Pg 245] a road was found constructed twenty feet broad, and from fifty to sixty miles long, and it was wonderfully smooth and well made. One point which appears to have been considered necessary, was, that this road should not cross rivers, and in consequence it wound in a thousand ways. Another point as peremptorily insisted on was, that its straight course should not be interrupted by any private rights; and in consequence trees and houses were overturned to make way for it. The population of whole districts, occasionally to the amount of five or six thousand labourers, were employed on the road, and, among a people disinclined to active exertion the laborious work was nearly completed in two months—such was the effect of the temporary enthusiasm with which they were inspired. It was found in the sequel that the whole work was set in motion by an old woman, who dreamt, or pretended to have dreamt, that a divine personage was about to descend from heaven on the mountain in question. Piety suggested the propriety of constructing a road to facilitate his descent; and it was rumoured that divine vengeance would pursue the sacrilegious person who refused to join in the meritorious labour. These reports quickly wrought on the fears and ignorance of the people, and they heartily joined in the enterprise. The old woman distributed slips of palm-leaves to the labourers, with magic letters written upon them, which were charms to secure them against sickness and accidents. When this strange affair was discovered by the native authorities, orders were issued to desist from the work, and the inhabitants returned without a murmur to their wonted occupations.


The exact size of our own country is a legitimate object of curiosity. We believe the following will be found strictly accurate:—

The area of England is estimated at 31,929,340 acres.
" Wales 4,320,000 "
" Scotland 16,240,000 "
" S. Isles adjacent to the coast 1,055,080 "
" W. Isles 851,200 "
" Orkneys 153,606 "
" Shetlands 643,840 "


Case Containing the Heart of Lord Edward Bruce

Lord Edward Bruce was eldest son of Sir Edward, baron of Kinloss, so created by James I. in 1603, to whom the king gave the dissolved abbey of Kinloss, in Ayrshire, after he had been instrumental in his succession to the crown of England; whither accompanying the king, he was made master of the Rolls in 1604, died in 1610, and was buried in the Rolls chapel. His son, the lord Edward, killed in duel by Sir Edward Sackville in 1613, was succeeded by his brother, who was created Earl of Elgin in 1633, and an English baron in 1641.

Sir Edward Sackville, by whose hand the Lord Edward Bruce fell, was younger brother to Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, on whose death he succeeded to the title. He was lord president of the council, a joint lord keeper, and filled several other distinguished offices under Charles I., [Pg 246] to whom he adhered, by whose side he fought at the battle of Edge-hill, and whose death he took so much to heart, that he never afterwards stirred out of his house in Salisbury-court, but died there on the 17th of July, 1652.

Between these noblemen there arose a quarrel, which terminated in their duel; and all that is, or probably can be known respecting it, is contained in the following correspondence, preserved in a manuscript in Queen's college library, Oxford.

A Monsieur, Monsieur Sackvile.

"I that am in France, hear how much you attribute to yourself in this time, that I have given the world leave to ring your praises; and for me, the truest almanack, to tell you how much I suffer. If you call to memory, when as I gave you my hand last, I told you I reserved the heart for a truer reconcilliation. Now be that noble gentleman, my love once spoke, and come and do him right that could recite the tryals you owe your birth and country, were I not confident your honour gives you the same courage to do me right, that it did to do me wrong. Be master of your own weapons and time; the place wheresoever, I will wait on you. By doing this, you shall shorten revenge, and clear the idle opinion the world hath of both our worths.

"Ed. Bruce."

A Monsieur, Monsieur Baron de Kinloss.

"As it shall be always far from me to seek a quarrel, so will I always be ready to meet with any that is desirous to make tryal of my valour, by so fair a course as you require. A witness whereof yourself shall be, who, within a month, shall receive a strict account of time, place and weapon, where you shall find me ready disposed to give honourable satisfaction, by him that shall conduct you thither. In the mean time, be as secret of the appointment, as it seems you are desirous of it.

"E. Sackvile."

[Pg 247]

A Monsieur, Monsieur Baron de Kinloss.

"I am at Tergose, a town in Zeland, to give what satisfaction your sword can render you, accompanied with a worthy gentleman for my second, in degree a knight. And, for your coming, I will not limit you a peremptory day, but desire you to make a definite and speedy repair, for your own honour, and fear of prevention; at which time you shall find me there.

Tergose, 10th of August, 1613.
"E. Sackvile.""

A Monsieur, Monsieur Sackvile.

"I have received your letter by your man, and acknowledge you have dealt nobly with me; and now I come, with all possible haste, to meet you.

"E. Bruce."

The combat was fierce, and fatal to Lord Bruce.

It has always been presumed that the duel was fought under the walls of Antwerp; but the combatants disembarked at Bergen-op-Zoom, and fought near that town, and not Antwerp.

Bruce Heart Silver Case

In consequence of a tradition, that the heart of Lord Edward Bruce had been sent from Holland, and interred in the vault or burying-ground adjoining the old abbey church of Culross, in Perthshire, Sir Robert Preston directed a search in that place in 1808, with the following result:— Two flat stones, without inscription, about four feet in length and two in breadth, were discovered about two feet below the level of the pavement, and partly under an old projection in the wall of the old building. These stones were strongly clasped together with iron; and when separated, a silver case, or box, of foreign workmanship, shaped like a heart, was found in a hollow or excavated place between them. Its lid was engraved with the arms and name "Lord Edward Bruse;" it had hinges and clasps; and when opened, was found to contain a heart, carefully embalmed, in a brownish coloured liquid. After drawings had been taken of it, as represented in the present engravings, it was carefully replaced in its former situation. There was a small leaden box between the stones in another excavation; the contents of which, whatever they were originally, appeared reduced to dust.

Some time after this discovery, Sir Robert Preston caused a delineation of the silver case, according to the exact dimensions, with an inscription recording its exhumation and re-deposit, to be engraved on a [Pg 248] brass plate, and placed upon the projection of the wall where the heart was found.

It is a remarkable fact, that the cause of the quarrel between Lord Bruce and Sir Edward Sackville has remained wholly undetected, notwithstanding successive investigations at different periods. Lord Clarendon, in his "History of the Rebellion," records the combat as an occurrence of magnitude, from its sanguinary character and the eminence of the parties engaged in it. He does not say any thing respecting the occasion of the feud, although Lord Bruce's challenge seems to intimate that it was a matter of public notoriety.

The exact day of the duel is not known, but it was certainly in 1613, and most probably in August from the date of one of the above letters.


Early on the 24th of January, 1822, the turnpike-house, about four miles from Basingstoke, on this side of Overton, was attacked, with intent to enter, by two men, who had taken off some tiles at the back part of the premises (the roof being very low) to effect their purpose. These villains knew, it would appear, that a lone woman, Mrs. Whitehouse, received the tolls at this gate, and that her husband attended a gate as far distant as Colebrook. Mrs. Whitehouse, however, very fortunately possessed three loaded pistols, one of which she fired—then a second, and a third, without effect. These determined ruffians (notwithstanding being thrice fired at) were, it appears, resolved not to depart without accomplishing the projected robbery. Mrs. Whitehouse's little boy, only 11 years of age, in the mean time had re-loaded a brace of pistols, one of which Mrs. Whitehouse fired, and wounded one of the desperadoes full in the face—he fell, and the blood flowed profusely; yet, strange to relate, the accomplice had hardihood enough to drag away the wounded robber! On observing this, Mrs. Whitehouse fired the fifth pistol at them, but missed them. The fellow who received the contents of the fourth pistol being supposed to have been killed, and some persons residing at a considerable distance from the spot having heard of the circumstance, assembled, and made diligent search at daybreak to discover the body of the deceased; but, although the blood could be traced some distance from the house, the body could not be found; nor were those concerned in the attack ever found out. The successful resistance, however, deserves to be recorded.


Whenever any bones of unusual magnitude were discovered, it was invariably the custom to ascribe them to some giant. This was always so up to recent years, and no wonder it was intensely the case at the early period of 1660. About that period, when the brook or rivulet from which the town of Corbridge, in the north of England, derives its name, had been worn away by some impetuous land-flood, a skeleton, supposed to be that of a man of extraordinary and prodigious size, was discovered. The length of the thigh bone was nearly six feet, and the skull, teeth, and other parts proportionably monstrous, so that [Pg 249] the length of the whole body was computed at twenty-one feet. It is conjectured, by the more enlightened men of modern times, that these strange bones belonged to some large animal that had been sacrificed by the Romans at the altar dedicated to Hercules, which was found here some years ago. Notwithstanding that the superstition of our forefathers has lost nearly all its credit and influence, a singularly large bone found here is now exhibited in the Keswick Museum as the rib of the giant Cor.


The following editorial announcement is taken from the Philadelphia Weekly Mercury, of November 30, 1752, because it forms a complete novelty in its way, and also affords us an insight into the degree of communication which existed at that period between the large towns and the provinces in America. It is, moreover, a curious jumble of information, strangely mixing up the starting of the stage coach with the news of the day:—

On Monday next the Northern Post sets out from New-York, in order to perform his Stage but once a Fortnight, during the Winter Quarter; the Southern Post changes also, which will cause this Paper to come out on Tuesdays during that Time. The Colds which have infested the Northern Colonies have also been troublesome here, few Families having escaped the same, several have been carry'd off by the Cold, among whom was David Brintnall, in the 77th Year of his Age; he was the first Man that had a Brick House in the City of Philadelphia, and was much esteem'd for his just and upright dealing. There goes a Report here, that the Lord Baltimore and his Lady are arrived in Maryland, but the Southern Post being not yet come in, the said Report wants Confirmation.


A marvellous escape from destruction is related in the MS. Life of Alderman Barnes.—"One of his brother-in-law's (Alderman Hutchinson's) apprentices, stepping up into the back-lofts to fetch somewhat he wanted, in his heedlessness and haste, stops his candle into a barrel of gunpowder whose head was struck off, to serve instead of a candlestick. But the man reflecting what he had done, was struck with affrightment, his heart failed him, nor durst he stay any longer, but running down stairs, leaves the candle burning in the gunpowder cask, and with horror, trembling, and despair, tells the family what indiscretion he had committed; they were all immediately as their wits' end, and well they might, for the lofts were three stories high, very large, and stowed full with whatever is combustible, as brandy, oil, pitch, tar, rosin, flax, alum, hops, and many barrels of gunpowder. Had the candle fallen to one side, or had the least spark fallen from the snuff into the cask, the whole town had been shaken, and the whole of the house immediately blown up and in a blaze; but one of the labourers, a stout fellow, ran forthwith into the loft, and joining both his hands together, [Pg 250] drew the candle softly up between his middlemost fingers, so that if any snuff had dropped, it must have fallen into the hollow of the man's hand, and by this means was Newcastle saved from being laid in ashes." This must have happened about the year 1684.


Camden Cup

The subjoined engraving represents the Silver-gilt Standing Cup and Cover bequeathed by the celebrated historian, William Camden, Clarenceux King at Arms, to the Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers'. Camden's will is recorded in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (in the register designated III Swann 3, probate granted November 10, 1623), and it has been printed by Hearne in his Collection of Curious Discourses, Ox. 1720. After directing the sum of eight pounds to be given "to the poore of that place (Chislehurst) when it shall please God to call me to his mercie," Camden continues—"I bequeath to Sir Foulke Greville, Lord Brooke, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who preferred me gratis to my Office, a peece of plate of ten pounds; Item, to the Company of Painter-Stainers of London, to buy them a peece of plate in memoriall of mee, sixteene pounds;" the inscription upon which is directed to be—"Guil. Camdenus Clarenceux, filius Sampsonis, Pictoris Londinensis, dono dedit." This stately and richly-decorated cup and cover is used on Corporation Festivals, in memory of the illustrious donor. In height, it is altogether twenty-three inches and a quarter, the cover only being eight inches and three-quarters; and the cup, independent of the stand, five inches and a-half, its greatest diameter being five inches and a-half. The inscription encircles the upper rim of the cup; and directly under it is an engraved escutcheon of Camden's arms; Or, a fess engrailed, between six cross crosslets fitchée, Sable. The cover presents an object of much elegance, a richly ornamented open pyramid, based on the heads of birds, the breasts bending gracefully with cartouche ornaments: the pinnacle of the pyramid surmounted by a female figure, the right hand resting on a shield, charged with the same arms as shown on the side of the cup. [Pg 251] The birds' heads have apparently a reference to the phœnix heads in the second and third quarters of the armorial ensigns, and to the crest of the Company of Paper-Stainers.


This eccentric individual, who died in 1836, left behind him upwards of £20,000. He was born in the workhouse of Marlow, Bucks, but ran away from that place in order to seek his fortune in London. After various vicissitudes, he became the landlord of the Harlequin public-house, in Drury-lane, where he saved some money, which he embarked in fitting up a portable theatre, and was known for forty years as the "Prince of Showmen," and used frequently to boast that Edmund Kean and several other eminent actors were brought out by him. His property, after various legacies to the itinerant company which had attended him for many years, descended to two nephews and a niece, and he desired by his will to be buried in Marlow churchyard, in the same grave as his favourite "spotted boy," a lad who, some years before, was exhibited by him, and attracted great notice in consequence of the extraordinary manners in which he was marked on various parts of his body. Some years since the scenery, dresses, and decorations of Richardson's theatre were exposed for auction by Mr. George Robins, and £2,000 were bid for them. They were bought in; the "old man," as he was technically denominated, considering them to be worth at least £3,000.


There is an arched vault, or burying-ground, under the church of Kilsyth, in Scotland, which was the burying-place of the family of Kilsyth, until the estate was forfeited, and the title became extinct in the year 1715; since which it has never been used for that purpose, except once. The last Earl fled with his family to Flanders, and, according to tradition, was smothered to death about the year 1717, along with his lady and an infant child, and a number of other unfortunate Scottish exiles, by the falling in of the roof of a house in which they were assembled. What became of the body of the Earl is not known, but the bodies of Lady Kilsyth and her infant were emboweled and embalmed, and soon afterwards sent over to Scotland. They were landed, and lay at Leith for some time in a cellar, whence they were afterwards carried to Kilsyth, and buried in great pomp in the vault above mentioned. In the spring of 1796, some rude regardless young men, having paid a visit to this ancient cemetery, tore open the coffin of Lady Kilsyth and her infant. With astonishment and consternation, they saw the bodies of Lady Kilsyth and her child as perfect as in the hour they were entombed. For some weeks this circumstance was kept secret, but at last it began to be whispered in several companies, and soon excited great and general curiosity.

"On the 12th of June," says the Minister of the parish of Kilsyth, in a letter to J. Garnet, M.D., "when I was from home, great crowds assembled, and would not be denied admission. At all hours of the night, as well as the day, they afterwards persisted in gratifying their [Pg 252] curiosity. I saw the body of Lady Kilsyth soon after the coffin was opened; it was quite entire. Every feature and every limb was as full, nay, the very shroud was as clear and fresh, and the colours of the ribbons as bright, as the day they were lodged in the tomb. What rendered this scene more striking and truly interesting was, that the body of her son and only child, the natural heir of the title and estates of Kilsyth, lay at her knee. His features were as composed as if he had been only asleep. His colour was as fresh, and his flesh as plump and full, as in the perfect glow of health; the smile of infancy and innocence sat on his lips. His shroud was not only entire, but perfectly clean, without a particle of dust upon it. He seems to have been only a few months old. The body of Lady Kilsyth was equally well preserved; and at a little distance, from the feeble light of a taper, it would not have been easy to distinguish whether she was dead or alive. The features, nay the very expression of her countenance, were marked and distinct; and it was only in a certain light that you could distinguish anything like the ghastly and agonizing traits of a violent death. Not a single fold of her shroud was decomposed nor a single member impaired.

"Let the candid reader survey this sketch; let him recal to mind the tragic tale it unfolds; and say, if he can, that it does not arrest the attention and interest the heart. For my own part, it excited in my memory a thousand melancholy reflections; and I could not but regret that such rudeness had been offered to the ashes (remains) of the dead, as to expose them thus to the public view.

"The body seemed to have been preserved in some liquid, nearly of the colour and appearance of brandy. The whole coffin seemed to have been full of it, and all its contents saturated with it. The body had assumed somewhat the same tinge, but this only served to give it a fresher look. It had none of the ghastly livid hue of death, but rather a copper complexion. It would, I believe, have been difficult for a chemist to ascertain the nature of this liquid; though perfectly transparent; it had lost all its pungent qualities, its taste being quite vapid.

"The head reclined on a pillow, and, as the covering decayed, it was found to contain a collection of strong-scented herbs. Balm, sage, and mint were easily distinguished; and it was the opinion of many, that the body was filled with the same. Although the bodies were thus entire at first, I confess I expected to see them crumble into dust; especially as they were exposed to the open air, and the pure aromatic fluid had evaporated; and it seems surprising that they did not. For several weeks they underwent no visible change, and had they not been sullied with dust and drops of grease from the candles held over them, I am confident they might have remained as entire as ever; for even a few months ago (many months after), the bodies were as firm and compact as at first, and though pressed with the finger did not yield to the touch, but seemed to retain the elasticity of the living body. Even the shroud, through torn by the rude hands of the regardless multitude, is still strong and free from rot.

"Perhaps the most singular phenomenon is, that the bodies seem not [Pg 253] to have undergone the smallest decomposition or disorganization. Several medical gentlemen have made a small incision into the arm of the infant; the substance of the body was quite firm, and every part in its original state." To the above remarkable instance we may add the following:—The tomb of Edward the First, who died on the 7th July, 1307, was opened on the 2nd of January, 1770, and after the lapse of 463 years, the body was found not decayed; the flesh on the face was a little wasted, but not putrid.

The body of Canute the Dane, who got possession of England in the year 1017, was found very fresh in the year 1766, by the workmen repairing Winchester Cathedral. In the year 1522, the body of William the Conqueror was found as entire as when first buried, in the Abbey Church of St. Stephen, at Caen; and the body of Matilda, his wife, was found entire in 1502, in the Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity in the same city.

No device of art, however, for the preservation of the remains of the dead, appears equal to the simple process of plunging them over head and ears in peat-moss.

In a manuscript by one Abraham Grey, who lived about the middle of the 16th century, now in the possession of his representative, Mr. Goodbehere Grey, of Old Mills, near Aberdeen, it is stated, that in 1569, three Roman soldiers in the dress of their country, fully equipped with warlike instruments, were dug out of a moss of great extent, called Kazey Moss. When found, after a lapse of probably about fifteen hundred years, they "were quite fresh and plump."


So perfect were the Egyptians in the manufacture of perfumes, that some of their ancient ointment, preserved in an alabaster vase in the Museum at Alnwick, still retains a very powerful odour, though it must be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old.


Extraordinary devices for raising money are legitimate subjects for our pages. Of these devices, the French Assignats are not the least remarkable. They originated thus—in the year 1789, at the commencement of the great Revolution in France, Talleyrand proposed in the National Assembly a confiscation of all church property to the service of the state. The Abbé Maury opposed this project with great vehemence, but being supported by Mirabeau, it received the sanction of the Assembly by an immense majority on the 2nd of November. The salaries fixed for the priesthood were small, and, moreover, were not sufficiently guaranteed; whence originated much misery to all classes of priests, from the archbishops down to the humble cures; and as monastic institutions were treated in the same way, monks and nuns were suddenly placed in precarious circumstances regarding the means of subsistence. Here, however, an unexpected difficulty sprang up; the National Assembly were willing to sell church property, but buyers were wanting; conscience, prudence, and poverty combined to lessen the number of those willing to purchase; and thus the urgent claims of the [Pg 254] treasury could not be satisfied. Applications for loans were not responded to; taxes had been extinguished; voluntary donations had dwindled almost to nothing; and 400,000,000 of livres were necessary for the vast claims of the year 1790. The municipalities of Paris and other cities sought to ameliorate the state of affairs by subscribing for a certain amount of church property, endeavouring to find private purchasers for it, and paying the receipts into the national exchequer. This, however, being but a very partial cure for the enormity of the evils, the National Assembly fell upon the expedient of creating state-paper or bank-notes, to have a forced currency throughout the kingdom. Such was the birth of the memorable assignats. Four hundred millions of this paper were put in circulation; and a decree was passed that church property to that amount should be held answerable for the assignats. Our sketch represents several of the different forms in which the Assignats were issued to the public.

French Assignats


The judicial murder of Louis XVI. was the climax of the Revolution in France. The Convention voted his death at three o'clock on the [Pg 255] morning of the 20th January, 1793, and he was taken to execution in twenty-six hours afterwards.

Execution of Louis XVI

The guillotine was erected in the middle of the Place Louis XV., a large open square, having the Champs Elysées on one side, and the gardens of the Tuileries on the other. The Place bristled with artillery, and every street and avenue leading to it was crowded with troops and armed multitudes, who had cannon with them charged with grape-shot; while the carriage was surrounded by picked men, who had orders to despatch the king with their carbines in case of any rescue being attempted. At about half-past ten, the king, who had been engaged in prayer during the ride, arrived at the spot; he descended from the coach, and his confessor followed him. Three executioners approached to remove his upper garments, but he put them back, and performed that simple office for himself. He resisted somewhat the indignity of having his hands tied, and only yielded on the entreaty of his confessor; and had also to yield on the subject of cutting off his back hair. He ascended the steps that led to the platform with a firm bearing, still followed by M. Edgeworth. When on the top, he made a sudden movement towards the edge of the scaffold, and exclaimed with a loud and firm voice: "Frenchmen, I die innocent; it is from the scaffold, and when about to appear before my [Pg 256] God, that I tell you so. I pardon my enemies; I pray that France"——Here Santerre, on horseback, raised his right hand, and cried: "Drums! Executioners, do your duty!" Several drummers immediately began by their noise to drown the sound of the king's voice: and six executioners brought him to the centre of the scaffold. He exclaimed again: "I die innocent; I ever desired the good of my people;" but his voice could be heard only by the executioners and the priest. He then knelt down, in order to place his head in the appointed spot; the confessor, bending over him said: "Son of St. Louis, ascend to heaven!" The spring of the machine was touched, the heavy axe descended in its grooves, and the once royal head was severed from the body. Samson, the chief executioner, took up the bleeding head by the hair, and walked three times round the scaffold, holding it up at arm's-length to show it to the people. The troops and the spectators shouted: "Vive la République!" put their hats and caps upon their bayonets and pikes, and waved them in the air, with prolonged and re-echoing cries of "Vive la République!" "Vive la Nation!" "Vive la Liberte!" Many of the savage men standing near the scaffold dipped their pike-heads into the king's blood, and others their handkerchiefs—not as a sacred memento, but as a symbol of the downfall of all kings; they even paraded these gore-stained objects before the windows of the Temple, that perchance the queen and her children might see them. The headless trunk of Louis was put into a large wicker-basket, placed in the coach, and carried to the cemetery of La Madeleine; where, without coffin or shroud, it was thrown into a deep pit, partly filled up with quicklime. On that same morning, one Benoit Leduc, a tailor, who had on some occasions worked for Louis, presented a petition to the Convention, praying to be allowed, at his own expense, to bury the body of the king by the side of his father, Louis XV., and under the monument raised to that prince by the city of Sens; but the Convention rejected his petition, and ordered the executive council to see that Louis was buried like other criminals.


John Bull, of London, stock-broker, died 1848, aged 100 years. When at the age of about 93, and in the employ of Messrs. Spurling, stock-brokers, he left by mistake in the office of the accountant of the Bank of England, a large number of bank notes. On discovering his loss, after diligently searching for the missing parcel, he went back to the accountant's office, partly to acquaint Mr. Smee with the circumstance, and partly as a last hope that he might there find the missing treasure. To his great joy he found the parcel safe in the accountant's possession, whom he earnestly implored to keep the secret, lest his employers should think his faculties were failing. Mr. Smee of course gave him the required assurance, and goodnaturedly added, that when Mr. Bull should attain the age of 100 years, he would treat him to the finest bottle of wine in his cellar. Some time before his becoming a centenarian, he was pensioned off by his employer, and Mr. Smee had, in all probability, quite forgotten the affair; when, true to the engagement, the venerable, but still active old clerk, made his appearance at the bank on the important [Pg 257] day, and claimed the promised bottle of wine. The claim was promptly allowed; and the last birthday of the aged official was one of the happiest among his friends of the long list of such events which had been its precursor. After continuing vigorous and active, and almost free from indisposition up to this time, he, along with many other aged persons, fell a victim to that fatal influenza which prevailed so extensively throughout the country, and more especially in London and its suburbs, during the autumn of 1847 and the winter of 1848.


Within the present century, a beggar in Moorfields used daily to have a penny given him by a merchant on his way to the Exchange. The penny was withheld, and the appearance of the merchant manifested his embarrassment and distress. The beggar at length spoke to him, offered him a loan of £500, and another of the same sum if it were required. It re-established his affairs.


The print from which the engraving on next page is taken, is one of a set published by Overton, at the sign of the "White Horse" without Newgate; and its similarity to the figures given by Francis Barlow in his Æsop's Fables, and particularly in a most curious sheet-print etched by that artist, exhibiting Charles the Second, the Duke of York, &c., viewing the Races on Dorset Ferry, near Windsor, in 1687, sufficiently proves this Hackney Coachman to have been of the reign of that monarch.

The early Hackney Coachman did not sit upon the box as the present drivers do, but upon the horse, like a postillion; his whip is short for that purpose; his boots, which have large open broad tops, must have been much in his way, and exposed to the weight of the rain. His coat was not according to the fashion of the present drivers as to the numerous capes, which certainly are most rational appendages, as the shoulders never get wet; the front of the coat has not the advantage of the present folding one, as it is single breasted.

His hat was pretty broad, and so far he was screened from the weather. Another convincing proof that he rode as a postillion is, that his boots are spurred. In that truly curious print representing the very interesting Palace of Nonsuch, engraved by Hoefnagle, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the coachman who drives the royal carriage in which the Queen is seated, is placed on a low seat behind the horses, and has a long whip to command those he guides. How soon, after Charles the Second's time, the Hackney Coachmen rode on a box we have not been able to learn, but in all the prints of King William's time the coachmen are represented upon the box, though by no means so high as at present; nor was it the fashion at the time of Queen Anne to be so elevated as to deprive the persons in the carriage of the pleasure of looking over their shoulders.

In 1637, the number of Hackney Coaches in London was confined to 50, in 1652 to 200, in 1654 to 300, in 1662 to 400, in 1694 to 700, in 1710 to 800, in 1771 to 1,000, and in 1802 to 1,100. In imitation of [Pg 258] our Hackney Coaches, Nicholas Sauvage introduced the Fiacres at Paris, in the year 1650. The hammer-cloth is an ornamental covering of the coach-box. Mr. S. Pegge says, "The coachman formerly used to carry a hammer, pincers, a few nails, &c., in a leather pouch hanging to his box, and this cloth was devised for the hiding of them from public view."

Hackney Coachman

It is said that the sum of £1,500, arising from the duty on Hackney Coaches, was applied to part of the expense in rebuilding Temple Bar.


The conduits of London and its environs, which were established at an early period, supplied the metropolis with water until Sir Hugh Middleton brought the New River from Amwell to London, and then the conduits gradually fell into disuse, as the New River water was by degrees laid on in pipes to the principal buildings in the City, and, in the course of time, let into private houses.

[Pg 259]

When the conduits afforded a supply, the inhabitants either carried their vessels, or sent their servants for the water as they wanted it; but we may suppose that at an early period there were a number of men who for a fixed sum carried the water to the adjoining houses.

London Water-Carrier

The figure of a Water-carrier in the following engraving, is copied from one of a curious and rare set of cries and callings of London, published by Overton, at the "White Horse" without Newgate. The figure retains the dress of Henry the Eighth's time; his cap is similar to that usually worn by Sir Thomas More, and also to that given in the portrait of Albert Durer, engraved by Francis Stock. It appears by this print, that the tankard was borne upon the shoulder, and, to keep the carrier dry, two towels were fastened over him, one to fall before him, the other to cover his back. His pouch, in which we are to conclude he carried his money, has been thus noticed in a very curious and rare [Pg 260] tract, entitled, Green's Ghost, with the merry Conceits of Doctor Pinch-backe, published 1626: "To have some store of crownes in his purse, coacht in a faire trunke flop, like a boulting hutch."


The following curious document is a return, by the Parliamentary Committee of Revenue, of the expenses of Charles the First and his retinue, during a residence of twenty days, at Holdenby, in Northamptonshire, in the year 1647, commencing February the 13th and ending March the 4th inclusive. Sir Christopher Hatton had built a splendid mansion at Holdenby in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and to it King Charles was conveyed a prisoner by the Parliamentary Commissioners, after he had been given up to them by the Scottish army:—

His Majestie's diet of xxviij dishes at xxxl. per diem £700
The Lords' diet of xx days 520
For the Clarke of the green cloth, kitchen, and spicery, a messe of vij dishes 40
Dyetts for the household and chamber officers, and the guard 412
Board wages for common houshold servants, pott and scourers, and turnbroaches 36
Badges of Court and riding wages 140
For linnen for his Majestie's table, the lords and other diets 273
For wheat, wood, and cole 240
For all sorts of spicery store, wax-lights, torches, and tallow-lights 160
For pewter, brasse, and other necessaries incident to all officers and carriages 447


It is a singular fact that on one occasion the lives of thousands, probably, of the Irish Protestants, were saved by a clever device, which the unaided wit and presence of mind of a woman enabled her to plan and execute.

At the latter end of Queen Mary's reign, a commission was signed for the purpose of punishing the heretics in that kingdom, and Dr. Cole, Dean of St. Paul's, was honoured with this humane appointment, to execute which, he set off with great alacrity. On his arrival at Chester, he sent for the mayor to sup with him, and in the course of conversation related his business; then going to his cloak-bag, he took out the box containing the commission, and having shewn it, with great joy exclaimed, 'This will lash the heretics of Ireland.' Mrs. Edmonds, the landlady, overheard this discourse, and having several relations in Ireland, who were Protestants as well as herself, resolved to put a trick upon the doctor; and while he went to attend the magistrate to the door, took the commission out of the box, and in its room placed a pack of cards, with the knave of clubs uppermost. The zealous doctor, suspecting nothing of the matter, put up his box, took shipping, and, arriving safe in Dublin, went immediately to the Viceroy. A council was called; and, after a speech, the doctor delivered his box, which [Pg 261] being opened by the secretary, the first thing that presented itself was the knave of clubs. This sight surprised the Viceroy and the council, but much more the doctor, who assured them that he had received a commission from the Queen, but what was come of it, he could not tell. 'Well, well,' replied the Viceroy, 'you must go back for another, and we will shuffle the cards in the mean time.' The doctor accordingly hastened across the channel; but at Holyhead he received the intelligence of the Queen's death, and the accession of Elizabeth, who settled on Mrs. Edmonds a pension of forty pounds a year, for saving her Protestant subjects in Ireland.


In the days when mail-coaches had not begun to run, and when railroads and telegraphs had not entered into the imagination of man, the style of dress in the provinces was often very different to what it was in London, and on this account the following paragraph is deserving of record. We have taken it from a copy of the Nottingham Journal, of September 6, 1777, where it is headed "Ladies undress."—"The ladies' fashionable undress, commonly called a dishabille, to pay visits in the morning, also for walking in the country, on account of its being neat, light, and short, consists of a jacket, the front part of which is made like a sultana; the back part is cut out in four pieces; the middle part is not wider at the bottom than about half an inch; the sides in proportion very narrow. The materials most in vogue are, white muslins with a coloured printed border chintz pattern, printed on purpose, in borders about an inch deep. The silks, which are chiefly lutestrings, are mostly trimmed with gauze. The gauze is tuckered upon the bottom of the jacket, and edged with different-coloured fringes. The petticoat is drawn up in a festoon, and tied with a true lover's knot, two tassels hanging down from each festoon. A short gauze apron, striped or figured, cut in three scollops at the bottom, and trimmed round, with a broad trimming closely plaited; the middle of the apron has three scollops reversed. The cuffs are puckered in the shape of a double pine, one in the front of the arm, the other behind, but the front rather lower. To complete this dress for summer walking, the most elegant and delicate ladies carry a long japanned walking-cane, with an ivory hook head, and on the middle of the cane is fastened a silk umbrella, or what the French call 'a parasol,' which defends them from the sun and slight showers of rain. It opens by a spring, and it is pushed up towards the head of the cane, when expanded for use. Hats, with the feathers spread, chiefly made of chip, covered with fancy gauze puckered, variegated artificial flowers, bell tassels, and other decorations, are worn large."


The Dagger of Raoul de Courcy, of which a representation is included in the cut over leaf, is an interesting relic, and its authenticity can be relied upon. Raoul de Courcy, according to the old French chroniclers was a famous knight, the lord of a noble castle, built upon a mountain that overlooks the Valée d'Or, and the descendant of that [Pg 262] haughty noble who took for his motto: "Neither king, nor prince, nor duke, nor earl am I, but I am the Lord of Courcy"—in other words, greater than them all. He fell in love with the wife of his neighbour, the Lord of Fayel, and the beautiful Gabrielle loved him in return. One night he went as usual to meet her in a tower of the Château of Fayel, but found himself face to face with her lord and master. Raoul escaped, and Gabrielle was ever after closely guarded. Still they found the opportunity for numerous interviews, at which they interchanged their vows of love. At length, Raoul, like a true knight, set out to fight beneath the banner of the Cross, for the possession of the Holy Sepulchre. Ere he went, at a stolen meeting, he bade the fair Gabrielle adieu, giving to her "a silken love-knot, with locks of his own hair worked in with the threads of silk." She gave him a costly ring, which she had always worn, and which he swore to wear till his last breath. What tears were shed—what kisses were exchanged at this last meeting!—for the Holy Land was very far from France in the Middle Ages.

On his arrival in Syria, Ralph de Courcy became known as the "Knight of Great Deeds," for it seems he could only conquer his love by acts of daring valour. After braving every danger, he was at length wounded in the side by an arrow, at the siege of Acre. The king of England took him in his arms with respect, and gave him the kiss of hope, but the arrow was a poisoned one, Raoul felt that he had little time to live. He stretched out his arms towards France, exclaiming, "France, France! Gabrielle, Gabrielle!"

He resolved to return home, but he was hardly on board the ship that was to waft him there, ere he summoned his squire, and begged of him after he was dead, to carry his heart to France, and to give it the Lady Fayel, with all the armlets, diamonds, and other jewels which he possessed, as pledges of love and remembrance.

The heart was embalmed, and the squire sought to deliver his precious legacy. He disguised himself in a mean dress, but unluckily met with the Lord of Fayel, and, not knowing him, applied to him for information as to how admittance into the château could be gained. The Lord of Fayel at once attacked and disarmed the poor squire, who was wounded in the side with a hunting-hanger. The precious packet was soon torn open, and the heart discovered. The Lord of Fayel hastened home, and, giving it to his cook, desired that it might be dressed with such a sauce as would make it very palatable.

Raoul's heart was served up at table, and the fair Gabrielle partook of it. When she had finished eating, the Lord of Fayel said—"Lady, was the meat you eat good?" She replied, that the meat was good. "That is the reason I had it cooked," said the Castellan; "for know that this same meat, which you found so good, was the heart of Raoul de Courcy."

"Lord of Fayel," said Gabrielle, "the vengeance you have taken corresponds with the meanness of your soul; you have made me eat his heart, but it is the last meat I shall ever eat. After such noble food I will never partake of any other."

She fainted, and only recovered her consciousness a few minutes [Pg 263] before death. Such is the history of Raoul de Courcy and the Lady Gabrielle, as told in the language of the old chroniclers.

1. Dagger of Raoul de Courcy. 2. Embroidered Glove, presented by Mary Queen of Scotland, on the Morning of her Execution, to one of her Attendants. 3. Spanish Dagger of the Sixteenth Century. 4. Ring, with Inscription, "Behold the End," formerly the Property of Charles I. 5. Silver Locket, in Memory of the Execution of Charles I.

The glove shown in the engraving is said to have been presented by the unfortunate Queen Mary, on the morning of her execution, to a lady [Pg 264] of the Denny family. The embroidery is of tasteful design, and may be useful as a contrast with many of the patterns for needlework at present in fashion. Moreover, the sight of this memorial brings to recollection a few particulars in connection with this somewhat important part of both male and female costume.

The ancient Persians wore gloves, and the Romans, towards the decline of the empire, began to use them. In England they seemed to have been introduced at a very early period. In the Anglo-Saxon literature we meet with glof, a covering for the hand, and in the illuminated MSS. of that period the hands of bishops and other dignitaries are shown encased in gloves which, in many instances, were ornamented with costly rings; while on the tombs of kings and queens, &c., the hands are shown almost invariably covered.

It is related of the patron Saint of Brussels, who lived in the sixth century, that she was famous for only two miracles: one consisted in lighting a candle by means of her prayers, after it had been extinguished; the other happened in this way—the fair saint being in a church barefooted, a person near, with respectful gallantry, took off his gloves and attempted to place them under her feet. This comfort she declined; and, kicking the gloves away, they became suspended at some height in the church for the space of an hour.

On opening the tomb of Edward the First, some years ago, in Westminster Abbey, the antiquaries assembled on that occasion were surprised to find no traces of gloves. It has been suggested that in this instance linen or silk gloves had been used at the burial of the king, but which are supposed to have perished with age.

The practice of throwing down a glove as a challenge, is mentioned by Matthew Paris as far back as 1245; and a glove was worn in the hat or cap as a mistress's favour, as the memorial of a friend, and as a mark to be challenged by an enemy.

At a time when the Borders were in a state of incessant strife, Barnard Gilpin, who has been so justly called "the Apostle of the North," wandered unharmed amid the confusion. On one occasion, entering a church (we believe that of Rothbury, Northumberland,) he observed a glove suspended in a conspicuous place, and was informed that it had been hung up as a challenge by some horse-trooper of the district. Mr. Gilpin requested the sexton to remove it; who answered, "Not I sir, I dare not do it." Then Gilpin called for a long staff, took down the glove, and put it in his bosom, and in the course of his sermon, said, "I hear that there is one among you who has even in this sacred place hung up a glove in defiance;" and then producing it in the midst of the congregation, he challenged them to compete with him in acts of Christian charity.

Gloves, in former times, were common amongst other gifts offered to friends at the new year; and they were received without offence by the ministers of justice. It is related that Sir Thomas More, as Lord Chancellor, decreed in favour of Mrs. Crooker against the Earl of Arundel. On the following New-year's day, in token of her gratitude, she presented Sir Thomas with a pair of gloves containing forty angels. "It [Pg 265] would be against good manners," said the chancellor, "to forsake the ladies' New-year's gift, and I accept the gloves; the lining you may bestow otherwise."

The custom of the presentation by the sheriff of a pair of white gloves to the judge on the occasion of a maiden assize is still in vogue; and, judging from the reports in the newspapers, such presents appear to be of frequent occurrence.

"Gloves, as sweet as damask roses," were highly prized by Queen Elizabeth, and, in her day, formed such an important item of a lady's expenses, that a sum was generally allowed for "glove money."

The old fashioned gloves have now a considerable value amongst the curious. At the sale of the Earl of Arran's goods in 1759, the gloves given by Henry VIII. to Sir Anthony Denny, sold for 38l. 17s.; those given by James I. to Edward Denny, sold for 22l. 4s.; and the mitten given by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Edward Denny's lady, for 25l. 4s.

Some of the English towns which formerly were famous for the manufacture of gloves, still keep up their character. Amongst these Woodstock, Yeovil, Leominster, Ludlow, and Worcester may be mentioned.

The Spanish dagger formerly belonged to a governor of Castile, in the sixteenth century, as is shown by the perforated fetter-lock on the blade; and although the initials are engraven there also, we have not been able to discover any particulars of the original owner. The workmanship and style of the dagger are of great beauty.

The little ring with the inscription "Behold the end," was once the property of Charles I., and was presented by him to Bishop Juxon on the morning of his execution. The silver lockets, on which are the emblems of death, were extensively manufactured and sold after the execution of Charles I. They generally bore the date of the king's death.


There are various kinds of rats, and one of these is the Hamster, of the genus Cricetus of Cuvier. Though rare in Europe to the west of the Rhine, it is widely spread from that river to the Danube on the south-west, and north-easterly through a vast extent of country into Siberia. We notice it in our pages on account of its extraordinary habits. Its life appears to be divided between eating and fighting. It seems to have no other passion than that of rage, which induces it to attack every animal that comes in its way, without in the least attending to the superior strength of its enemy. Ignorant of the art of saving itself by flight, rather than yield, it will allow itself to be beaten to pieces with a stick. If it seizes a man's hand, it must be killed before it will quit its hold. The magnitude of the horse terrifies it as little as the address of the dog, which last is fond of hunting it. When the hamster perceives a dog at a distance, it begins by emptying its cheek-pouches if they happen to be filled with grain; it then blows them up so prodigiously, that the size of the head and neck greatly exceed that of the rest of the body. It raises itself on its hind legs, and thus darts upon the enemy. If it catches hold, it never quits it but with the loss [Pg 266] of its life; but the dog generally seizes it from behind, and strangles it. This ferocious disposition prevents the hamster from being at peace with any animal whatever. It even makes war against its own species. When two hamsters meet, they never fail to attack each other, and the stronger always devours the weaker. A combat between a male and a female commonly lasts longer than between two males. They begin by pursuing and biting each other, then each of them retires aside, as if to take breath. After a short interval, they renew the combat, and continue to fight till one of them falls. The vanquished uniformly serves for a repast to the conqueror.



The manner in which an uncivilized people will calmly submit to be duped by the extortionate rascality of their priests, is strongly exhibited in the kingdom of Burmah. The people who are there held in the highest estimation are the priests. Any one who pleases may be a priest. The priests pretend to be poor, and go out begging every morning with their empty dishes in their hands; but they get them well filled, and then return to their handsome houses, all shining with gold, in which they live together in plenty and in pride. They are expected to dress in rags, to show that they are poor; but not liking rags, they cut up cloth in little pieces, and sew the pieces together to make their yellow robes; and this they call wearing rags. They pretend to be so modest, that they do not like to show their faces, and so hide them with a fan, even when they preach; for they do preach in their way, that is, they tell foolish stories about Buddha. The name they give him is Guadama, while the Chinese call him Fo. They have five hundred and fifty stories written in their books about him; for they say he was once a bird, a fly, an elephant, and all manner of creatures, and was so good whatever he was, that at last he was born the son of a king. Is it not marvellous that a whole people should, for generation after generation, not only submit to be thus scandalously cheated, but should also hold those who cheat them in the highest esteem? A curious fact, indeed, in the history of mankind.


One of the most singular circumstances occurred a few years ago that ever came within our observation. Mr. Charlton, surgeon, of Wylam, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, having at a late hour been called upon in haste to give his attendance at Ovingham, borrowed a spirited horse of a friend, that he might proceed with the least possible delay. He had not gone above half a mile when he perceived his horse stumble, and he immediately threw himself from the saddle. It was fortunate he did so, for the next instant his horse had fallen down a precipice of near seventy [Pg 267] feet; and, incredible as it may seem, the animal sustained no injury, but immediately dashed into the Tyne, and swam to the opposite side. Search was made after him, and hearing his master's voice, he was heard to neigh even across the water in token of recognition, and was ultimately restored without speck or blemish.


It is a remarkable fact that a taste for gaming appears in some cases to pervade a whole people, and to become one of the chief national characteristics. No where is this more manifest than among the inhabitants of the Asiatic Islands.

Games of hazard are the favourites of these islanders. Some of them they have learned of the Chinese, the most debauched of gamesters, and others of the Portuguese. The only game of hazard, of native origin, among the Javanese consists in guessing the number of a certain kind of beans which the players hold in their hands.

But of all the species of gaming that to which the Indian islanders are most fondly addicted is betting on the issue of the combats of pugnacious animals, and particularly the cock. The breed in highest estimation is the produce of Celebes. The people of Java fight their cocks without spurs; but the Malays and natives of Celebes with an artificial spur, in the shape of a small scythe, which, notwithstanding its barbarous appearance, is in reality less destructive than the contrivance employed among ourselves.

Quail fighting also is extremely common in Java. The most famous breed of this bird is found in the island of Lombok; and it is a singular fact, that the female is used in these bitter but bloodless combats, the male being comparatively small and timid. Neither do the Javanese hesitate to bet considerable sums on a battle between two crickets, which are excited to the conflict by the titillation of a blade of grass judiciously applied to their noses. They will likewise risk their money on the strength and hardness of a nut, called kamiri; and much skill, patience and dexterity, are exercised in the selection and the strife. At other times two paper kites decide the fortune of the parties; the object of each in this contest being to cut the string of his adversary. On a favourable day fifty or sixty kites, raised for this purpose, may sometimes be seen hovering over a Javanese city.


Mr. Samuel Jessup, who died at Heckington, Lincolnshire, in 1817, was an opulent grazier and of pill-taking memory. He lived in a very eccentric way, as a bachelor, without known relatives, and at his decease was possessed of a good fortune, notwithstanding a most inordinate craving for physic, by which he was distinguished for the last thirty years of his life, as appeared on a trial for the amount of an apothecary's bill, at the assizes at Lincoln, a short time before Mr. Jessup's death, wherein he was defendant. The evidence on the trial affords the following materials for the epitaph of the deceased, which will not be transcended by the memorabilia of the life of any man. In twenty-one years (from [Pg 268] 1791 to 1816) the deceased took 226,934 pills (supplied by a most highly respectable apothecary and worthy person of the name of Wright, who resided at Bottesford), which is at the rate of 10,806 pills a year, or 29 pills each day; but as the patient begun with a more moderate appetite, and increased it as he proceeded, in the last five years preceding 1816, he took the pills at the rate of 78 a-day, and in the year 1814, he swallowed not less than 51,590. Notwithstanding this, and the addition of 40,000 bottles of mixture, and juleps and electuaries, extending altogether to fifty-five closely written columns of an apothecary's bill, the deceased lived to attain the advanced age of sixty-five years.


The following epitaph at West Allington, Devon, is deserving a place in our record of curiosities, inasmuch as it appears to be a successful attempt in making a monumental stone, both a memorial of the deceased, and also a means of reproving the parson of the parish:—

"Here lyeth the Body of
Daniel Jeffery the Son of Michael
Jeffery and Joan his Wife he
was buried ye 22 day of September
1746 and in ye 18th year of his age.
This Youth When In his sickness lay
did for the minister Send + that he would
Come and With him Pray + But he would not atend
But When this young man Buried was
The minister did him admit + he should be
Caried into Church + that he might money geet
By this you See what man will dwo + to geet
money if he can + who did refuse to come
pray + by the Foresaid young man."


It has been remarked, that when once a dog acquires wild habits, and takes to killing sheep, he does far more mischief than a wild beast, since to the cunning of the tamed animal he adds the ferocity of the untamed. A remarkable case of this sort is mentioned in the following paragraph, which we have copied from the Newcastle Courant of the year 1823. It is also curious to note the account of the chase, and of the joy which the whole country-side seems to have manifested at the slaughter of the animal.—September 21—A few days ago a dog of a most destructive nature infested the fells of Caldbeck, Carrock, and High Pike, about sixteen miles south of Carlisle. Little doubt remains of its being the same dog which has been so injurious to the farmers in the northern parts of Northumberland, as no less than sixty sheep or upwards have fallen victims to its ferocity. It was thought proper to lose no time in attempting to destroy it, and Tuesday last was fixed upon. Sir H. Fletcher, Bart., of Clea Hall, offered his pack of hounds, and several other dogs with about fifty horsemen set out from Hesket [Pg 269] New-market. Several persons with firearms were stationed at different parts. The dog was descried upon an eminence of Carrock-fell, and on sight of the pursuers set off by way of Hesket New-market, Stocklewath, and Barwick-field, then returned by Cowclose, Castle Sowerby, and attempted to gain the fells again, when Mr. Sewell, farmer at Wedlock, lying in ambush at Mossdale, fired, and succeeded in shooting him. He appears to be of the Newfoundland breed, of a common size, wire-haired, and extremely lean. During the chase he frequently turned upon the dogs which were headmost, and so wounded several as obliged them to give up the pursuit. The joy manifested on this occasion was uncommon, insomuch that on the day following about thirty persons sat down to a dinner provided at Mr. Tomlinson's, Hesket New-market. Upon the most moderate computation, excluding the various windings, the chase could not be less than thirty miles, and occupied no less than six hours.


Henry Jenkins, of Ellerton-upon-Swale, Yorkshire, died 1670, aged 169. He remembered the battle of Flodden Field, fought between the English and the Scotch, September 9, 1513, when he was about twelve years old. He was then sent to Northallerton with a cartload of arrows, but an older boy was employed to convey them to the army. At Ellerton there was also living, at the same time, four or five other old men, reputed to be of the age of one hundred years and thereabouts, and they all testified that Jenkins was an elderly man when first they knew him. Jenkins was once butler to Lord Conyers; he perfectly remembered the Abbot of Fountain's Dale before the dissolution of the monasteries. In the last century of his life he was a fisherman, and often swam in the river after he was a hundred years old. In the King's Remembrancer Office in the Exchequer, there is a record of a deposition in a cause, taken April, 1665, at Kettlewell, Yorkshire, where Henry Jenkins, of Ellerton-upon-Swale, labourer, aged 157 years, was produced, and made deposition as a witness. He was buried at Bolton, Yorkshire. In 1743, a monument, with a suitable inscription, was erected to perpetuate his memory.


John Knox, the great precursor of the Protestant Reformation, having been driven from Edinburgh by the threats of his opponents, reluctantly withdrew to St. Andrew's, in the county of Fife, where he continued with undiminished boldness to denounce the enemies of the reformed faith. It was in that place that he had first discoursed against the degeneracy of the Church of Rome, and there he occupied the Pulpit represented in the accompanying engraving; and the following curious and characteristic anecdote connected with his preaching in it, is related in the Manuscript Diary of James Melville, then a student at the college of St. Andrew's, and subsequently Minister of Anstruther. "Of all the benefits I haid that year (1571) was the coming of that maist notable profet and apostle of our nation, Mr. Jhone Knox, to St. Andrew's: who, be the faction [Pg 270] of the Queen occupying the castell and town of Edinburgh, was compellit to remove therefra, with a number of the best, and chusit to come to St. Andrew's. I heard him teache there the Prophecies of Daniel that simmer, and the winter following; I haid my pen and my little buike, and tuk away sic things as I could comprehend. In the opening up of his text he was moderat the space of an half houre; but when he onterit to application, he made me so to grew (thrill) and tremble, that I could not hold a pen to wryt. He was very weak. I saw him every day of his life go hulie and fear (hoolie and fairly—slowly and warily) with a furring of marticks, (martins) about his neck, a staffe in the ane hand, and gud godlie Richard Ballanden, his servand, haldin up the uther oxier (arm-pit), from the Abbey to the Parish-Kirk; and be the said Richart and another servant lifted up to the Pulpit, whar he behovit (was obliged) to lean at his first entry: bot er he had done with his sermone he was sa active and vigourous, that he was lyk to ding the pulpit in blads (beat it into shivers) and flie out of it."

Puplit of John Knox

The interesting relique commemorated in this curious extract, is of that stately style of carving which was introduced towards the close of the sixteenth century in Protestant preaching-places; and continued, though of a more heavy character, throughout the whole of the succeeding century. A scroll-bracket remaining on the preacher's left hand, and some broken pieces at the top of the back, appear to indicate that it was once more extended, and had probably a canopy or sounding-board.

[Pg 271]


Bible Used by Charles the First on the Scaffold

There is so much external evidence of the genuineness of this very beautiful and interesting relique, that no doubt can exist as to its perfect authenticity, though the circumstance of the King having a Bible with him on the scaffold, and of presenting it to Dr. Juxon, is not mentioned in any contemporaneous account of his death. The only notice of such a volume, as a dying gift, appears to be that recorded by Sir Thomas Herbert, in his narrative, which forms a part of the Memoirs of the last Two Years of the Reign of that unparalleled Prince of ever-blessed memory, King Charles I. London, 1702, 8vo, p. 129, in the following passage:—"The King thereupon gave him his hand to kiss: having the day before been graciously pleased under his royal hand, to give him a certificate that the said Mr. Herbert was not imposed upon him, but by his Majesty made choice of to attend him in his bed-chamber, and had served him with faithfulness and loyal affection. His Majesty also delivered him his Bible, in the margin whereof he had with his own hand, written many annotations and quotations, and charged him to give it to the Prince so soon as he returned." That this might be the book represented in our engraving, is rendered extremely probable, by admitting that the King would be naturally anxious, that his son should possess that very copy of the Scriptures which had been provided for himself when he was Prince of Wales. It will be observed [Pg 272] that the cover of the volume is decorated with the badge of the Principality within the Garter, surmounted by a royal coronet in silver gilt, inclosed by an embroidered border; the initials C. P. apparently improperly altered to an R., and the badges of the Rose and Thistle, upon a ground of blue velvet: and the book was therefore bound between the death of Prince Henry in 1612, and the accession of King Charles to the throne in 1625, when such a coronet would be no longer used by him. If the Bible here represented were that referred to by Herbert, the circumstance of Bishop Juxon becoming the possessor of it might be accounted for, by supposing that it was placed in his hands to be transmitted to Charles II. with the George of the Order of the Garter belonging to the late King, well known to have been given to that Prelate upon the scaffold, January 30th, 1648-9.


Among the numerous public places of amusement which arose upon the success of Vauxhall Gardens, which were first opened about 1661, was one in Lambeth Walk, known as Lambeth Wells. This place was first opened on account of its mineral waters, which were sold at a penny per quart. The music commenced at seven o'clock in the morning, and the price of admission was three pence. A monthly concert under the direction of Mr. Starling Goodwin, organist of St. Saviour's Church Southwark, was afterwards held here, and Erasmus King, who had been coachman to the celebrated Dr. Desaguliers, read lectures and exhibited experiments in natural philosophy, the price of admission being raised to sixpence.

This place was open before 1698, and existed as late as 1752, when "A Penny Wedding after the Scotch fashion, for the benefit of a young couple," was advertised to be kept there.

Lambeth Wells at length becoming a public nuisance, the premises were shut up, and ultimately let as a Methodist Meeting-house. The music gallery was used as a pulpit; but the preacher being greatly disturbed in his enthusiastic harangues, he was obliged to quit, when the premises were converted to various purposes, except the dwelling, which is now known by the sign of the Fountain public-house.

On the site of Messrs. Maudslay's factory, in the Westminster Road, formerly stood the Apollo Gardens. This place of amusement was opened in 1788, by an ingenious musician named Clagget, who published, in 1793, a small quarto pamphlet, entitled "Musical Phenomena: An Organ made without Pipes, Strings, Bells, or Glasses; the only Instrument in the world that will never require to be re-tuned. A Cromatic Trumpet, capable of producing just Intervals, and regular Melodies in all Keys, without undergoing any change whatever. A French Horn answering the above description of the Trumpet."

The Apollo Gardens had one spacious room elegantly fitted up, and decorated in taste suitably to its intention. The gardens consisted of a number of elegant pavilions or alcoves, well adapted for the accommodation of different companies; they were ornamented chiefly with a succession of paintings, relating to romantic histories, particularly the [Pg 273] different adventures of Don Quixote. It had a fine orchestra erected in the centre of the gardens. The place being ultimately converted into a receptacle for loose and dissolute characters, the magistracy very properly suppressed it about the year 1799.

In Gravel Lane, Southwark, was Finch's Grotto, a public garden and place of amusement, so named from William Finch, the proprietor. The Grotto was opened to the public in 1770 upon the plan of Vauxhall gardens. An orchestra and a band of musicians, added to the rural character of the place, and drew a numerous body of visitors.

Very little is known about the Grotto, but it is supposed to have been closed early in the present century.


Duck-Billed Platypus

Of the genus Ornithorynchus only one species—the Paradoxus—has yet been discovered in the whole world, and it is, therefore, one of the great curiosities of animal life. It appears to be a union of a quadruped and a bird, and is only to be found in New Holland, where it inhabits the reeds by the side of rivers. Our engraving represents it very accurately. It is about twenty inches long, having a flattened body, somewhat like the otter, and is clothed with a dark soft fur. The elongated nose very much resembles the beak of a duck, like which these animals feed upon water insects, shell-fish, and aquatic plants. The feet are five-toed and webbed, and in the fore-feet this membrane extends beyond the nails: the male is armed with a spur on each hind leg. This curious animal, in which a duck's beak is united to the body of a quadruped, rolls itself up like a hedgehog, when it sleeps in its burrows on the banks of the streams whence its food is derived.


About midway up the Vale of Bolton, amidst the gloomy recesses of the woods, the Wharfe, which is otherwise a wide and shallow river, is suddenly contracted by two huge rocks, which approach each other so nearly, that the country folk, or rather the villagers, call it the Strid, because adventurous people stride or leap from one rock to the other. In ancient [Pg 274] days, the whole of this valley belonged to Baron Romillie, whose eldest son having died, left a younger brother, of the name of Egremont, sole heir of the domains and inheritance of this family. One day, however, when this young man, familiarly called the "Boy of Egremont," was returning from hunting with the hounds in the leash, he, as he had done many times before, was going to leap the Strid, when, just as he had attempted it, the hounds held back, and precipitated him headlong into the deep and awful chasm, which the impetuous fall of water (thus produced by the sudden contraction of the river) had worn in the base of the two rude rocks, and he was never seen afterwards. The Baron, being now left childless, built the Abbey, and endowed it with the domains of Bolton.


The Rev. William Davies, Rector of Staunton-upon-Wye, and Vicar of All Saints, Hereford, died 1790, aged 105. The life of this gentleman displays one of the most extraordinary instances of departure from all those rules of temperance and exercise, which so much influence the lives of the mass of mankind, that is, probably to be found in the whole records of longevity. During the last thirty-five years of his life, he never used any other exercise than that of just slipping his feet, one before the other, from room to room; and they never after that time were raised, but to go down or up stairs, a task, however, to which he seldom subjected himself. His breakfast was hearty; consisting of hot rolls well buttered, with a plentiful supply of tea or coffee. His dinner was substantial, and frequently consisted of a variety of dishes. At supper he generally eat hot roast meat, and always drank wine, though never to excess. Though nearly blind for a number of years, he was always cheerful in his manners, and entertaining in his conversation, and was much beloved by all who knew him. He had neither gout, stone, paralysis, rheumatism, nor any of those disagreeable infirmities which mostly attend old age; but died peaceably in the full possession of all his faculties, mental and corporeal, save his eyesight. Like most long livers he was very short of stature.


A taste for tobacco in some form or other seems to extend over the whole inhabitable globe. In this respect it matters not whether nations are civilized or uncivilized; and however completely they may differ from each other in everything else, they all agree in a fondness for "the weed." In the mode, however, of indulging in the luxury, there is the greatest diversity, and no where is this more strikingly manifested than in the Philippine Islands.

"It is not till evening that the inhabitants of the higher class begin to stir; till that time they are occupied in eating, sleeping, and smoking tobacco, which is no where more general than on the island of Luzon; for children, before they can walk, begin to smoke segars. The women carry their fondness for it to a greater height than the men; for, not content with the usual small segars, they have others made for them, [Pg 275] which are a foot long and proportionably thick. These are here called the women's segars, and it is a most ludicrous sight to see elegant ladies taking their evening walk, with these burning brands in their mouths."

How widely does the fashion in Luzon differ from the fashion at Paris!


The following paragraph, which we have copied from a magazine of 1790, not only gives us a curious instance of female determination in the pursuit of a husband, but tells us of the price which human hair was worth at the period when ladies wore such monstrous head-dresses of false curls.

"An Oxfordshire lass was lately courted by a young man of that country, who was not willing to marry her unless her friends could advance 50l. for her portion; which they being incapable of doing, the lass came to London to try her fortune, where she met with a good chapman in the Strand, who made a purchase of her hair (which was delicately long and light), and gave her sixty pounds for it, being 20 ounces at 3l. an ounce; with which money she joyfully returned into the country, and bought her a husband."


Gloves were very common as New Year's gifts. For many hundreds of years after their introduction into England in the 10th century, they were worn only by the most opulent classes of society, and hence constituted a valuable present. They are often named in old records. Exchange of gloves was at one period a mode of investiture into possession of property, as amongst the ancient Jews was that of a shoe or sandal; and "glove-money" is to this day presented by High Sheriffs to the officers of their courts, upon occasion of a maiden assize, or one in which no cause is tried. Pins, which at the commencement of the sixteenth century displaced the wooden skewers previously in use, became a present of similar consequence; and at their first introduction were considered of so much importance in female dress, that "pin-money" grew into the denomination of dower, which, by the caution of parents, or justice of a consort, was settled upon a lady at her marriage.


It is impossible to appreciate properly the courage, determination, and skill which have been displayed by the gallant Sir James Brooke, unless we make ourselves acquainted with the character and habits of the extraordinary race of men over whom he triumphed. The Dyaks are a savage people who inhabit Borneo. They lived there before the Malays came, and they have been obliged to submit to them. They are savages indeed. They are darker than the Malays; yet they are not black; their skin is only the colour of copper. Their hair is cut short in front, but streams down their backs; their large mouths show a quantity of black teeth, made black by chewing the betel-nut. They wear but very little clothing, but they adorn their ears and arms, and legs, with numbers of brass rings. Their looks are wild and fierce, [Pg 276] but not cunning like the looks of the Malays. They are not Mahomedans; they have hardly any religion at all. They believe there are some gods, but they know hardly anything about them, and they do not want to know. They neither make images to the gods, nor say prayers to them. They live like the beasts, thinking only of this life; yet they are more unhappy than beasts, for they imagine there are evil spirits among the woods and hills, watching to do them harm. It is often hard to persuade them to go to the top of a mountain, where they say evil spirits dwell. Such a people would be more ready to listen to a missionary than those who have idols, and temples, and priests, and sacred books.


Their wickedness is very great. It is their chief delight to get the heads of their enemies. There are a great many different tribes of Dyaks, and each tribe tries to cut off the heads of other tribes. The Dyaks who live by the sea are the most cruel; they go out into the boats to rob and bring home, not slaves, but HEADS!! And how do they treat a head when they get it? They take out the brains, and then they dry it in the smoke, with the flesh and hair still on; then they put a string through it, and fasten it to their waists. The evening that they have got some new heads, the warriors dance with delight,—their heads dangling by their sides;—and they turn round in the dance, and gaze upon their heads,—and shout,—and yell with triumph! At night they still keep the heads near them; and in the day they play with them, as children with their dolls, talking to them, putting food in their mouths, and the betel-nut between their ghastly lips. After wearing the heads many days, they hang them up to the ceilings of their rooms.


No English lord thinks so much of his pictures, as the Dyaks do of their heads. They think these heads are the finest ornaments of their houses. The man who has most heads, is considered the greatest man. A man who has no heads is despised! If he wishes to be respected, he must get a head as soon as he can. Sometimes a man, in order to get a head, will go out to look for a poor fisherman, who has done him no harm, and will come back with his head. When the Dyaks fight against their enemies, they try to get, not only the heads of men, but also the [Pg 277] heads of women and children. How dreadful it must be to see a poor baby's head hanging from the ceiling! There was a Dyak who lost all his property by fire, but he cared not for losing anything, so much as for losing his precious heads; nothing could console him for his loss; some of them he had cut off himself, and others had been cut off by his father, and left to him!


People who are so bent on killing, as these Dyaks are, must have many enemies. The Dyaks are always in fear of being attacked by their enemies. They are afraid of living in lonely cottages; they think it a better plan for a great many to live together, that they may be able to defend themselves, if surprised in the night. Four hundred Dyaks will live together in one house. The house is very large. To make it more safe, it is built upon very high posts, and there are ladders [Pg 278] to get up by. The posts are sometimes forty feet high; so that when you are in the house, you find yourself as high as the tall trees. There is one very large room, where all the men and women sit, and talk, and do their work in the day. The women pound the rice, and weave the mats, while the men make weapons of war, and the little children play about. There is always much noise and confusion in this room. There are a great many doors along one side of the long room; and each of these doors leads into a small room where a family lives! the parents, the babies, and the girls sleep there, while the boys of the family sleep in the large room, that has just been described.

The Hill Dyaks do not live in houses quite so large. Yet several families inhabit the same house. In the midst of their villages, there is always one house where the boys sleep. In this house all the heads of the village are kept. The house is round, and built on posts, and the entrance is underneath, through the floor. As this is the best house in the village, travellers are always brought to this house to sleep. Think how dreadful it must be, when you wake in the night to see thirty or forty horrible heads, dangling from the ceiling! The wind, too, which comes in through little doors in the roof, blows the heads about; so that they knock against each other, and seem almost as if they were still alive. This is the Dead-house. Such are the men whom the Rajah Brooke subdued!


The wild white cattle, a few of which are still to be found in Chatelherault Park, belonging to the Duke of Hamilton, in Lanarkshire, are great objects of curiosity, inasmuch as they are identical with the primitive source of all our domestic cattle.

The following description of their habits is abridged from an article by the Rev. W. Patrick, in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture:—

"I am inclined to believe that the Hamilton breed of cattle is the oldest in Scotland, or perhaps in Britain. Although Lord Tankerville has said they have 'no wild habits,' I am convinced, from personal observation, that this is one of their peculiar features. In browsing their extensive pasture, they always keep close together, never scattering or straggling over it, a peculiarity which does not belong to the Kyloe, or any other breed, from the wildest or most inhospitable regions of the Highlands. The white cows are also remarkable for their systematic manner of feeding. At different periods of the year their tactics are different, but by those acquainted with their habits they are always found about the same part of the forest at the same hour of the day. In the height of summer, they always bivouac for the night towards the northern extremity of the forest; from this point they start in the morning, and browse to the southern extremity, and return at sunset to their old rendezvous; and during these perambulations they always feed en masse.

"The bulls are seldom ill-natured, but when they are so they display a disposition more than ordinarily savage, cunning, pertinacious, and revengeful. A poor bird-catcher, when exercising his vocation among the 'Old Oaks,' as the park is familiarly called, chanced to be attacked [Pg 279] by a savage bull. By great exertion he gained a tree before his assailant made up to him. Here he had occasion to observe the habits of the animal. It did not roar or bellow, but merely grunted, the whole body quivered with passion and savage rage, and he frequently attacked the tree with his head and hoofs. Finding all to no purpose, he left off the vain attempt, began to browse, and removed to some distance from the tree. The bird-catcher tried to descend, but this watchful Cerberus was again instantly at his post, and it was not till after six hours' imprisonment, and various bouts at 'bo-peep' as above, that the unfortunate man was relieved by some shepherds with their dogs. A writer's apprentice, who had been at the village of Quarter on business, and who returned by the 'Oaks' as a 'near-hand cut,' was also attacked by one of these savage brutes, near the northern extremity of the forest. He was fortunate, however, in getting up a tree, but was watched by the bull, and kept there during the whole of the night, and till near two o'clock the next day.

"These animals are never taken and killed like other cattle, but are always shot in the field. I once went to see a bull and some cows destroyed in this manner—not by any means for the sake of the sight, but to observe the manner and habits of the animal under peculiar circumstances. When the shooters approached, they, as usual, scampered off in a body, then stood still, tossed their heads on high, and seemed to snuff the wind; the manœuvre was often repeated, till they got so hard pressed (and seemingly having a sort of half-idea of the tragedy which was to be performed), that they at length ran furiously in a mass, always preferring the sides of the fence and sheltered situations, and dexterously taking advantage of any inequality in the ground, or other circumstances, to conceal themselves from the assailing foe. In their flight, the bulls, or stronger of the flock, always took the lead! a smoke ascended from them which could be seen at a great distance; and they were often so close together, like sheep, that a carpet would have covered them. The cows which had young, on the first 'tug of war,' all retreated to the thickets where their calves were concealed; from prudential motives, they are never, if possible, molested. These and other wild habits I can testify to be inherent in the race, and are well known to all who have an opportunity of acquainting themselves with them."


Bells were known in the earliest ages of which we have any certain account. But the bells of the ancients were very small in comparison with those of modern times, since, according to Polydore Virgil, the invention of such as are hung in the towers, or steeples of Christian churches, did not occur till the latter end of the fourth, or beginning of the fifth century; when they were introduced by Paulinus, Bishop of Nola. The Jews certainly employed bells, since they are spoken of in Scriptures; and the mention of them by Thucydides, Diodorus Siculus, Suidas, Aristophanes, and other ancient writers, proves that they were used in Greece; while Plautus, Ovid, Tibullus, Statius, and a variety of Latin authors, speak of bells as in use among the Romans. But these [Pg 280] bells of the ancients were all made for the hand; or were of a size to be affixed to other musical instruments, like those which were occasionally appended to the drum. Whether, when detached from other instruments, they were used on other occasions, or only in particular ceremonies, or as signals, is not known; nor have we any clue by which to guess whether they were tuned in concordance with any scale, or whether they were unisons to each other, or not formed to any particular pitch, but merely used as sonorous auxiliaries to other instruments, without any regard to their agreement of tone, either with one another, or with the instruments they accompanied.


Earthquakes are providentially occurrences of great rarity in England. The one which took place on the 17th of March, 1816, was one of the most dangerous that has ever been experienced in this kingdom. It extended over a vast area of country, and in some localities its effects were felt very severely. As a proof of this, we have copied the following paragraph from a Nottingham paper of the day:—

Nottingham, in common with a great part of the North Midland district, experienced a smart shock of an earthquake. It was felt at half-past twelve p.m., and as Divine service, it being Sunday, was not over at the churches, great alarm was expressed by the congregations. At St. Peter's and St. Nicholas's, the consternation was so great, that service had to be suspended for a few seconds, and one lady was borne out in a state of insensibility. The pillars supporting St. Mary's tower shook very visibly, but, fortunately, the attention of the crowded congregation was so engrossed by the eloquence of the sheriff's chaplain, and the presence of the Judge and his retinue, that the alarm was but slight, or the rush and loss of life might have been great. In various parts of the town and neighbourhood, glasses were shaken off of shelves, articles of domestic use displaced, window-casements thrown open, and other indications manifest of the influence of the subterranean movement.


According to a statement in Holinshed, in 1495, while digging for a foundation for the church of St. Mary-at-hill, in London, the body of Alice Hackney was discovered. It had been buried 175 years, and yet the skin was whole, and the joint pliable. It was kept above ground four days without annoyance, and then re-interred.


Of all the curious charitable institutions in the world, the most curious probably is the Cat Asylum at Aleppo, which is attached to one of the mosques there, and was founded by a misanthropic old Turk, who being possessed of large granaries, was much annoyed by rats and mice, to rid himself of which he employed a legion of cats, who so effectually rendered him service, that in return he left them a sum in the Turkish funds, with strict injunctions that all destitute and sickly cats should be provided for, till such time as they took themselves [Pg 281] off again. In 1845, when a famine was ravaging in all North Syria—when scores of poor people were dropping down in the streets from sheer exhaustion and want, and dying there by dozens per diem before the eyes of their well-to-do fellow creatures, men might daily be encountered carrying away sack loads of cats to be fed up and feasted on the proceeds of the last will and testament of that vagabond old Turk, whilst fellow creatures were permitted to perish.


Tomb of Saint George

The tomb of Saint George, England's patron-saint, is situated in the Bay of Kesrouan, between the Nahr-et-Kelb and Batroun, surrounded by luxuriant gardens and groups of romantic-looking villages and convents. The Arabs venerate St. George, whom they style Mar Djurios, and point to a small ruined chapel (as in our engraving), originally dedicated to him to commemorate his victory over the dragon, which, they say, took place near to the spot. The tradition is, that the dragon was about to devour the king of Beyrout's daughter, when St. George slew him, and thus saved the lady fair; and the credulous natives point to a kind of well, upwards of sixty feet deep, where they stoutly affirm that the dragon used to come out to feed upon his victims.

All this is very curious, inasmuch as it gives an Arabian interest to the career of the patron saint of England, whose portrait, in the act of slaying the dragon, constitutes the reverse of most English coin, and is regarded as the embodiment of English valour.


Michael Angelo Buonarotti often drew from beggars; and report says, that in the early part of his life, when he had not the means of paying them in money, he would make an additional sketch, and, presenting it to the party, desire him to take it to some particular person, who would purchase it. Fuseli, in his life of Michael Angelo, says that "a beggar rose from his hand the patriarch of poverty." The same artist, in one of his lectures, delivered at the Royal Academy, also observes, that "Michael Angelo ennobled his beggars into Patriarchs and Prophets, in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel."

[Pg 282]

Annibal Caracci frequently drew subjects in low life. His Cries of Bologna, etched by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli: pub. 1660, in folio, are evidently from real characters. It will also be recollected, that some of the finest productions of Murillo, Jan Miel, and Drogsloot, are beggars. Callot's twenty-four beggars are evidently from nature; and among Rembrandt's etchings are to be found twenty-three plates of this description.

Sir Joshua Reynolds frequently painted from beggars, and from these people have originated some of his finest pictures, particularly his "Mercury as a Pickpocket," and "Cupid as a Link-boy." His Count Ugolino was painted from a paviour, soon after he had left St. George's Hospital, from a severe fever. Mr. West painted the portrait of a beggar, on the day when he became a hundred years old; and considered him as a pensioner for several years afterwards. The same person was used also as a model, by Copley, Opie, &c. Who can forget the lovely countenance of Gainsborough's "Shepherd's Boy," that has once seen Earlom's excellent engraving from it? He was a lad, well known as a beggar to those who walked St. James's-street seventy years ago. The model for the celebrated picture of the "Woodman," by the same artist, died in the Borough, at the venerable age of 107.

Mr. Nollekens, in 1778, when modelling the bust of Dr. Johnson, who then wore a wig, called in a beggar to sit for the hair. The same artist was not equally fortunate in the locks of another great character; for on his application to a beggar for the like purpose, the fellow declined to sit, with an observation that three half-crowns were not sufficient for the trouble.


Leaden pipes conveyed spring water to London city from Tyburn in 1236; and in 1285 the first great conduit of lead was begun there. In 1442 Henry VI. granted to John Hatherley, Mayor, license to take up 200 fother of lead. The pipes from Highbury brought in the water in 1483. We may learn how much was thought of this useful work by the fact that the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and many worshipful persons used to ride and view the conduit heads at Tyburn; and after dinner there, somewhat different from recent sportsmen, they hunted a fox.

The water-works at London Bridge were established in 1512. In 1534, two-fifteenths were granted by the Common Council for defraying the expense of bringing water from Hackney to Aldgate to a conduit. But Peter Morris did not bring his supply of water to the highest parts of London till the year 1569, and Sir Hugh Middleton's far-famed New River was only rendered available in 1618, that is, a space of sixty-eight years after the introduction of a stream of pure water into the western parts of the town of Lyme in Dorset.


A dog which had been accustomed to go with his master regularly for some time to Penkridge church, still continued to go there by himself every Sunday for a whole year, while the edifice was under repair, and divine service was not held. Whenever he could, he would get into the [Pg 283] family pew and there pass the proper time. His instinct enabled him to perceive the occasion, and to measure the regular time, but it could carry him no further. A remarkable exemplification of the difference between instinct and reason.


Anecdotes which are apparently trifling in themselves, are often of importance, as exhibiting in a striking light the dialect and social condition of the people, and the period they refer to. An instance of this is the following, which has been recorded as the bellman's cry at Ripon, on the occasion of a great frost and fall of snow, about 1780:—

"I is to gie notidge, that Joanie Pickersgill yeats yewn to neit, to moarn at moarn, an to moarn at neit, an nea langer, as lang as storm hods, 'cause he can git na mare eldin."

The Translation.

I am to give notice, that John Pickersgill heats his oven to-night, to-morrow morning, and to-morrow at night, and no longer as long as the storm lasts, because he can get no more fuel.


The following is taken from a copy of Nile's "Weekly Register," published at Baltimore, in the month of January, 1823. It is the list of deaths which had been notified to the paper within one week, and we give it, as a singular instance of the decease of so many persons above one hundred years old being announced in the same paragraph.

"In Franklin co. Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Campbell, aged 104—several of her relatives had reached 100.—At Troy, N. Y., Ann Fowler, 100.—At Tyngsboro', N. Y., Abigail Hadlock, 104.—At Somers, N. Y., Michael Makeel, 103.—At Rutland, Oswego, N. Y., Mrs. Buroy, 110.—At Brunswick, Maine, Gen. James W. Ryan, 107—his wife is yet living, aged 94; they were married together 75 years before his death.—At Georgetown, Col. Yarrow, a Moor, (supposed) 135!—At the city of New York, a woman, a native of St. Domingo, 106. At Sargus, Mass., Mrs. Edwards, 101.—In Edgecomb county, N. C., William Spicer, aged about 112.—In Boston, William Homer, 116."


Of all the calamities with which a great city is infested, there can be none so truly awful as that of a plague, when the street doors of the houses that were visited with the dreadful pest were padlocked up, and only accessible to the surgeons and medical men, whose melancholy duty frequently exposed them even to death itself; and when the fronts of the houses were pasted over with large bills exhibiting red crosses, to denote that in such houses the pestilence was raging, and requesting the solitary passenger, to pray that the Lord might have mercy upon those who were confined within. Of these bills there are many extant in the libraries of the curious, some of which have borders engraved on wood printed in black, displaying figures of skeletons, bones, and coffins [Pg 284] They also contain various recipes for the cure of the distemper. The Lady Arundel, and other persons of distinction, published their methods for making what was then called plague-water, and which are to be found in many of the rare books on cookery of the time; but happily for London, it has not been visited by this affliction since 1665, a circumstance owing probably to the Great Fire in the succeeding year, which consumed so many old and deplorable buildings, then standing in narrow streets and places so confined, that it was hardly possible to know where any pest would stop.

Corpse Bearers During the Plague

Every one who inspects Agas's Plan of London, engraved in the reign of Elizabeth, as well as those published subsequently to the rebuilding of the City after the fire, must acknowledge the great improvements as to the houses, the widening of the streets, and the free admission of fresh air. It is to be hoped, and indeed we may conclude from the very great and daily improvements on that most excellent plan of widening streets, that this great city will never again witness such visitations.

[Pg 285]

When the plague was at its height, perhaps nothing could have been more silently or solemnly conducted than the removal of the dead to the various pits round London, that were opened for their reception; and it was the business of Corpse Bearers, such as the one exhibited in the preceding engraving, to give directions to the carmen, who went through the city with bells, which they rang, at the same time crying "Bring out your Dead." This melancholy description may be closed, by observing that many parts of London, particularly those leading to the Courts of Westminster, were so little trodden down, that the grass grew in the middle of the streets.


Memento-Mori Watch

The curious relic, of which we herewith give an engraving, was presented by Mary, Queen of Scots, to her Maid of Honour, Mary Seaton, of the house of Wintoun, one of the four celebrated Maries, who were Maids of Honour to her Majesty.

"Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
And Marie Carmichael and me."

The watch is of silver, in the form of a skull. On the forehead of the skull is the figure of Death, with his scythe and sand-glass; he stands between a palace on the one hand, and a cottage on the other, with his toes applied equally to the door of each, and around this is the legend from Horace "Pallida mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas Regumque turres." On the opposite, or posterior part of the skull, is a representation of Time, devouring all things. He also has a scythe, and near him is the serpent with its tail in its mouth, being an emblem of eternity; this is surrounded by another legend from Horace, "Tempus [Pg 286] edax rerum tuque invidiosa vetustas." The upper part of the skull is divided into two compartments: on one is represented our first parents in the garden of Eden, attended by some of the animals, with the motto, "Peccando perditionem miseriam æternam posteris meruere." The opposite compartment is filled with the subject of the salvation of lost man by the crucifixion of our Saviour, who is represented as suffering between the two thieves, whilst the Mary's are in adoration below; the motto to this is "Sic justitiæ satisfecit, mortem superavit salutem comparavit." Running below these compartments on both sides, there is an open work of about an inch in width, to permit the sound to come more freely out when the watch strikes. This is formed of emblems belonging to the crucifixion, scourges of various kinds, swords, the flagon and cup of the Eucharist, the cross, pincers, lantern used in the garden, spears of different kinds, and one with the sponge on its point, thongs, ladder, the coat without seam, and the dice that were thrown for it, the hammer and nails, and the crown of thorns. Under all these is the motto, "Scala cæli ad gloriam via."

The watch is opened by reversing the skull, and placing the upper part of it in the hollow of the hand, and then lifting the under jaw which rises on a hinge. Inside, on the plate, which thus may be called the lid, is a representation of the Holy Family in the stable, with the infant Jesus laid in the manger, and angels ministering to him; in the upper part an angel is seen descending with a scroll on which is written, "Gloria excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ volu——" In the distance are the shepherds with their flocks, and one of the men is in the act of performing on a cornemuse. The works of the watch occupy the position of the brains in the skull itself, the dial plate being on a flat where the roof of the mouth and the parts behind it under the base of the brain, are to be found in the real subject. The dial plate is of silver, and it is fixed within a golden circle richly carved in a scroll pattern. The hours are marked in large Roman letters, and within them is the figure of Saturn devouring his children, with this relative legend round the outer rim of the flat, "Sicut meis sic et omnibus idem."

Lifting up the body of the works on the hinges by which they are attached, they are found to be wonderfully entire. There is no date, but the maker's name, with the place of manufacture, "Moyse, Blois," are distinctly engraven. Blois was the place where it is believed watches were first made, and this suggests the probability of the opinion that the watch was expressly ordered by Queen Mary at Blois, when she went there with her husband, the Dauphin, previous to his death. The watch appears to have been originally constructed with catgut, instead of the chain which it now has, which must have been a more modern addition. It is now in perfect order, and performs wonderfully well, though it requires to be wound up within twenty-six hours to keep it going with tolerable accuracy. A large silver bell, of very musical sound, fills the entire hollow of the skull, and receives the works within it when the watch is shut; a small hammer set in motion by a separate escapement, strikes the hours on it.

This very curious relic must have been intended to occupy a stationary [Pg 287] place on a prie-dieu, or small altar in a private oratory, for its weight is much too great to have admitted of its having been carried in any way attached to the person.


It is almost incredible that such a monster, as the one we are about to describe should have been allowed to continue his wicked career for some years, in a civilized country like France, little more than a hundred years ago, but the following paragraph is copied from a Paris journal of that period—1755, January the 17th—and there is every reason to believe that it is strictly correct. "What was his fate we do not know, but can hardly doubt.—The Marquis de Plumartin, whose execrable crimes are known over all France, has at last been taken in his castle, by 300 men of the King's Own regiment of foot, and carried to Poitiers, loaded with irons. The king is going to appoint a commission to try him. This monster turned away his wife some years ago, and became the terror of Poitou. Neither woman nor man durst appear in the neighbourhood. Having one day lost a cause in one of the king's courts, he caused the usher and his man, who came to intimate the sentence to him, to be burnt alive. Some days after, having drawn six of his creditors into his castle, where he had shut himself up with several of his crew, he ordered some of his people to drag them into a pond, tied to the tails of horses, and afterwards fastened them to a stake near a great fire, where three expired, and the other three died a few days after. Thirty of the Marshalsea guards, who were sent to apprehend him, having beset his castle, he barricaded the doors and fired on them from the garret window, killing the commanding officer and five others. After which he left the kingdom, but absurdly imagining that his crimes were forgot, he lately returned."


We have copied the following paragraph from the pages of a local historian, because it gives us a striking instance of what perseverance and good fortune will accomplish, in raising a man to comparative distinction from the humblest walks of life.

August 26, 1691—Sir John Duck, bart., departed this life, being Wednesday at night, and was buried upon the Monday after, being the 31st of August. The wealthiest burgess on the civic annals of Durham. Of Sir John's birth, parentage, and education, the two first have hitherto remained veiled in impenetrable obscurity; as to the third, he was bred a butcher under John Heslop, in defiance of the trade and mystery of butchers, in whose books a record still exists, warning John Heslop that he forbear to sett John Ducke on worke in the trade of a butcher. John Duck however grew rich, married the daughter of his benefactor, and was created a baronet by James II. He built a splendid mansion in Silver-street, where a panel still exists recording his happy rise to fortune. The baronet, then humble Duck, cast out by the butchers, stands near a bridge in an attitude of despondency; in the air is seen a raven bearing in his bill a piece of silver, which according to tradition fell at the feet of the [Pg 288] lucky John, and was naturally calculated to make a strong impression on his mind. He bought a calf, which calf became a cow, and which cow being sold enabled John to make further purchases in cattle, and from such slender beginnings, to realise a splendid fortune. On the right of the picture is a view of his mansion in Silver-street, and he seems to point at another, which is presumed to be the hospital he endowed at Lumley. He died without issue, and was buried at St. Margaret's, where his wife, Pia—— Prudens—— Felix, lies buried beside him.

On Duck the Butchers shut the door;
But Heslop's Daughter Johnny wed:
In mortgage rich, in offspring poor,
Nor son nor daughter crown'd his bed.


The American advertisement, of which we here give a literal copy, is deserving of preservation on account of the quaintness of the inn-signs, the peculiarity of the spelling and diction, the "shifting" of the passengers which it announces, and the general idea it gives us of the way in which travelling was performed in America at the time when it was issued.

Philadelphia STAGE-WAGGON, and New-York STAGE BOAT performs their Stages twice a Week.

John Butler, with his waggon, sets out on Mondays from his House, at the Sign of the Death of the Fox, in Strawberry ally, and drives the same day to Trenton Ferry, when Francis Holman meets him, and proceeds on Tuesday to Brunswick, and the passengers and goods being shifted into the waggon of Isaac Fitzrandolph, he takes them to the New Blazing-Star to Jacob Fitzrandolph's the same day, where Rubin Fitzrandolph, with a boat well suted, will receive them, and take them to New-York that night. John Butler returning to Philadelphia on Tuesday with the passengers and goods delivered to him by Francis Holman, will again set out for Trenton Ferry on Thursday, and Francis Holman, &c. will carry his passengers and goods, with the same expedition as above to New-York.

Weekly Mercury.
March 8, 1759.


Fete of the Federation

The leading events of the great Revolution in France, may be fairly classed with the marvellous, and among our "Ten Thousand Wonderful Things" there will be found few more wonderful than the civic festival of the general federation of the National Guards of France, which took place on the 14th of July, 1790, and of which the above is a correct representation, taken from a view by Duplessis Bertaux. The proceedings of that memorable day had in them a mixture of religious celebration apparently singular among a people who had lately so much trampled on religion; but as this celebration was more pagan than Christian in its character, the singularity becomes less marked. On the preceding evening, a Hiérodrame was performed at the cathedral of Nôtre Dame—a kind of sacred drama, made up by M. Désaugiers of scraps from the Bible mixed with other matter, and set to music; it professed [Pg 289] to tell the story of the taking of the Bastille, and to typify the sadness, trouble, confusion, joy, and alarm of the Parisians. Then succeeded a Te Deum, chanted in presence of some of the principal federal and municipal bodies. Early in the morning of the 14th, amid dense clouds and heavy rain, the National Guards from all the eighty-three departments of France, together with deputations from the state army and navy, began to assemble, and speedily formed an immense line from the Porte St. Antoine to the Porte St. Martin; whence they marched, with bands playing and colours flying, to the Champ de Mars, regaled and cheered by the Parisians on the route. On reaching the great square of the Tuileries, the procession was headed by the municipality of Paris and the members of the National Assembly, and followed by a body of gray-headed veterans. The procession traversed the Seine by one of the bridges, greeted by salvos of artillery drawn up on the quays, and entered the Champ de Mars under a triumphal arch almost hidden by flags and patriotic inscriptions. One o'clock had arrived before the various bodies forming the procession had taken their destined places in the enclosed [Pg 290] parallelogram, surrounded by nearly 300,000 spectators on the raised terraces, most of whom were by this time drenched by the continuous rain. In the centre of the area was a lofty altar, half pagan, half Catholic in its adornments; and around this altar the provincial National Guards danced and sang in very excited fashion. The royal family appeared at three o'clock. In an immense gallery near the altar, the National Assembly were seated, with the king and the president on two chairs of state exactly equal in height and richness, and the queen and the rest of the court seated behind—a significant interpretation of the decree just announced. At the instant of the king taking his seat, the air was rent with cries of Vive le Roi! Vive la Nation! The banners were unfurled; 1,800 musicians burst forth with jubilant strains; cannon poured out continuous volleys; Talleyrand, as bishop of Autun, assisted by sixty chaplains of the Paris National Guards, performed mass at the altar; and the banners were blessed by sprinkling with holy-water. Then Lafayette, dismounting from his white charger, received from the hands of the king a written form of oath; he swore to this oath at the altar, and with his raised arm gave a signal for the countless host to do likewise—every one raising his right hand, and saying Je le jure! The king took the oath prescribed to him; and the queen held up the dauphin in her arms, as if to denote that he also, poor child, had sworn to defend the national liberties. At five o'clock the royal family retired, and the crowd began to leave the Champ de Mars. Twenty-five thousand federates or provincial deputies went to a royal château about a mile distant, where a dinner had been prepared for them by order of the municipality of Paris, with Lafayette as chairman of the banquet. At night all Paris was illuminated; and for three or four days the feastings, reviews, and celebrations were numerous, including a grand dance on the site of the demolished Bastille. On the 18th, Lafayette reviewed the provincial or federate National Guards, and on the 19th they were reviewed by the king. Paris was intoxicated for an entire week, each man displaying at once his delight and his vanity.


Simeon Ellerton, of Craike, Durham, died 1799, aged 104. This man, in his day, was a noted pedestrian, and before the establishment of regular "Posts," was frequently employed in walking commissions, from the northern counties to London and other places, which he executed with singular fidelity and despatch. He lived in a neat stone cottage of his own erecting; and what is remarkable, he had literally carried his house on his head; it being his constant practice to bring back with him from every journey which he undertook, some suitable stone, or other material for his purpose, and which, not unfrequently, he carried 40 or 50 miles on his head.


In the year 1712, Whiston predicted that the comet would appear on Wednesday, 14th October, at five minutes after five in the morning, and that the world would be destroyed by fire on the Friday following. [Pg 291] His reputation was high, and the comet appeared. A number of persons got into boats and barges on the Thames, thinking the water the safest place. South Sea and India stock fell. A captain of a Dutch ship threw all his powder into the river, that the ship might not be endangered. At noon, after the comet had appeared, it is said that more than one hundred clergymen were ferried over to Lambeth, to request that proper prayers might be prepared, there being none in the church service. People believed that the day of judgment was at hand, and acted some on this belief, more as if some temporary evil was to be expected. There was a prodigious run on the bank, and Sir Gilbert Heathcote, at that time the head director, issued orders to all the fire offices in London, requiring them to keep a good look out, and have a particular eye upon the Bank of England.


It is a singular circumstance, that it is to the Arabian that England is indebted for her improved, and now unrivalled, breed of horses for the turf, the field, and the road.

The Arabian horses are divided into two great branches; the Kadischi whose descent is unknown, and the Kochlani, of whom a written genealogy has been kept for 2000 years. These last are reserved for riding solely, they are highly esteemed and consequently very dear. They are said to derive their origin from King Solomon's studs. However this may be they are fit to bear the greatest fatigues, and can pass whole days without food. They are also said to show uncommon courage against an enemy. It is even asserted, that when a horse of this race finds himself wounded and unable to bear his rider much longer, he retires from the fray, and conveys him to a place of security. If the rider falls upon the ground, his horse remains beside him, and neighs till assistance is brought. The Kochlani are neither large nor handsome but amazingly swift. The whole race is divided into several families, each of which has its proper name. Some of these have a higher reputation than others on account of their more ancient and uncontaminated nobility.

We may not believe, perhaps, all that is told us of the Arabian. It has been remarked that there are, on the deserts which his horse traverses, no milestones to mark the distance, or watch to calculate the time; and the Bedouin is naturally given to exaggeration, and most of all when relating the prowess of the animal which he loves as dearly as his children; yet it cannot be denied that at the introduction of the Arabian into the European stables, there was no other horse comparable to him.


Prince Rupert, assisted by the Earl of Derby, having taken Bolton by storm, and refreshed his army there for some days, advanced on Liverpool, where the Parliament had a strong garrison under the command of Colonel More, of Bank-hall; and finding on his approach to the town, the high ground near it favourable to his design, compared it to a crow's nest, probably imagining it would be taken with as little difficulty; but [Pg 292] the resistance he met with, induced him to declare it was more like an eagle's nest, or a den of lions.

Head-Quarters of Prince Rupert at Everton

The siege began about the 2nd of June, and the view exhibits his head-quarters from that time till the reduction of the place. His main camp was established round the beacon, about a mile from the town, and his officers were placed in the adjoining villages, from whence a detachment marched every day, being relieved every twenty-four hours, to open trenches and erect batteries. From these advances Prince Rupert frequently attacked the besieged and their works in the way of storm, but was constantly repulsed with great slaughter of his men. At length, Colonel More, finding the town must of necessity surrender, and desirous of ingratiating himself with the Prince, for the preservation of his house and effects at Bank Hall, gave such orders for his soldiers to retire, that the works on the enemy's side were abandoned, and the royalists entered the town at three o'clock in the morning of June 26, putting to the sword all they met with, till they arrived at the High Cross, which then stood on the site where the Exchange now stands. Here the soldiers of the Castle, drawn up in line, beat a parley, and demanded quarter, which, on their submitting as prisoners of war, and surrendering the Castle to the Prince, was granted. The soldiers were then sent to the [Pg 293] tower, St. Nicholas's Church, and other places of security; but the Parliament-army, soon after the siege, repossessed themselves of the Castle, and appointed Col. Birch, as governor.


Some strollers brought down a puppet-show, which was exhibited in a large thatched barn. Just as the show was about to begin, an idle fellow attempted to thrust himself in without paying, which the people of the show preventing, a quarrel ensued. After some altercation, the fellow went away, and the door being made fast, all was quiet; but the same man, to gain admittance privately, got over a heap of hay and straw, which stood near to the barn, and accidentally set it on fire. The spectators of the show, alarmed by the flames, which had communicated to the barn, rushed to the door; but it happened unfortunately that it opened inwards, and the crowd pressing violently against the door, there could be no escape. Thus the whole company, consisting of more than 160 persons, were kept confined till the roof fell in, and covered them with fire and smoke: six only escaped with life; the rest, among whom were several young ladies of fortune, were reduced to one undistinguishable heap of mangled bodies, totally disfigured. The friends of the dead, not knowing which were the remains they sought, caused a large hole to be dug in the churchyard, and all the bodies were promiscuously interred together, and a tablet erected in the church to perpetuate this most melancholy event.


It is generally well known that birds are very active agents in the extension of vegetation, and that fruit and flowers are, to a great extent, rendered prolific by the insects which visit their blossoms; but few people are aware of the means through which fish are formed in lakes and ponds, which are not connected with other waters. Here, also, an insect is the principal agent. The large water-beetle, which is in the habit of feeding upon the spawn of fish, occasionally in the evening climbs up the stems of rushes, &c. out of the water, sufficiently high to enable it to take wing; in these circumstances it has been caught, and, putting it into water, has been found to give out the spawn with which it had gorged itself previous to taking flight, both in a digested and undigested state; so that, on trial, it has been found that it produced fish of various kinds.


The astonishing dexterity of the Indian jugglers is known to all, but many years ago a Spaniard named Cadenas made himself equal, if not superior to them. He may be truly said to be superior to them, inasmuch as several of his feats have never been attempted by them. Don Cadenas extended himself flat on his back on a large table. He then elevated his legs until they were at right angles with his body; he was assisted in keeping this position by a sort of pyramidal cushion, which was placed under him, a little below the lower end of his back. His feet and ankles were covered with boots, on which were many small castanets [Pg 294] and little bells. The tranca, which is a round piece of wood, about 8 feet long and five inches in diameter, handsomely painted, was then laid horizontally on the soles of his feet, his legs being perpendicular. Having exactly balanced the tranca, he alternately struck his feet against it, the castanets, &c., keeping time with the music. In proportion to the strength with which he struck the tranca, with one foot or both feet, was the height to which he elevated it, always catching it, in its descent, with great accuracy, on the soles of his feet. Sometimes by bending his knees and then striking out with his limbs, he threw the tranca several feet into the air, catching it, in its descent, on his feet, with as much neatness and more certainty than the Indian jugglers used to catch the brass balls in their hands. He concluded the performance with the tranca, by exactly balancing it on the sole of his left foot, and then by repeated strokes of his right foot set it rapidly in motion like a horizontal fly-wheel.


A singular instance of a mob cheating themselves by their own headlong impetuosity, is to be found in the life of Woodward, the comedian. On one occasion, when he was in Dublin, and lodged opposite the Parliament House, a mob who were making the members swear to oppose an unpopular bill, called out to his family to throw them a Bible out of the window. Mr. W. was frightened, for they had no such book in the house, but he threw out a volume of Shakespere, telling the mob they were welcome to it. They gave him three cheers, swore the members upon this book, and afterwards returned it without discovering its contents.


The means by which animals contrive to communicate their ideas to each other is a phenomenon which has never been satisfactorily explained. The two following instances of it are very curious. A gentleman who was in the habit of occasionally visiting London from a distant county performed the journey on horseback, accompanied by a favourite little terrier dog, which he left at an inn at some distance from London till his return. On one occasion on calling for his dog the landlady told him that it was lost; it had had a quarrel with the great house dog, and had been so worried and bit that it was thought he would never recover, but at the end of a few days he crawled out of the yard, and no one saw him for almost a week, when he returned with another dog bigger than his enemy, on whom they both fell and nearly destroyed him. This dog had actually travelled to its own home at Whitmore in Staffordshire, had coaxed away the great dog in question, which followed him to St. Alban's to assist in resenting the injury of his friend. The following story is related of a little spaniel which had been found lame by a surgeon at Leeds. He carried the poor animal home, bandaged up his leg, and after two or three days turned him out. The dog returned to the surgeon's house every morning till his leg was perfectly well. At the end of several months, the spaniel again presented himself in company with another dog, which had also been lamed; and he intimated, as well as piteous and intelligent looks could [Pg 295] intimate, that he desired the same assistance to be rendered to his friend as had been bestowed upon himself. The combination of ideas in this case, growing out of the recollection of his own injury, and referring that to the cure which had been performed; the compassion he had for his friend to whom he communicated the occurrence, and induced to seek relief under his guidance, together with the appeal to the humane surgeon, is as extraordinary a piece of sagacity as can be found in all the annals of animals.


The following anecdote forcibly illustrates the absurd custom which prevailed many years ago in America, of giving children names, made up of Scripture sentences. We record the anecdote as being descriptive of a curious local custom. About the beginning of the present century a New England sea captain having some business at a public office, which required him to sign his name, was rather tedious in performing the operation, which did not escape the observation of the officer, who was a little impatient at the delay, and curious withal to see what sort of a name it could be that required so long a time to spread it upon paper. Perhaps the captain had a long string of titles to grace it, such as honorable, esquire, colonel of militia, selectman of the town of ——, &c., which he chose to make an ostentatious parade of; or perhaps it was his whim to subscribe the place of his nativity and that of his residence, together with his age, height, and complexion. He was mistaken; for the captain had subscribed nothing but simply his name, which, when he had done, the officer, after some trouble in decyphering, found to read thus:—Through-Much-Tribulation-We-Enter-Into-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven Clapp. "Will you please to tell me, Captain Clapp," said he, with as demure a face as his violent inclination to indulge in a hearty laugh would allow him to put on, "what might your mother have called you in your infancy, to save herself the trouble of repeating a sermon whenever she had occasion to name her darling?" "Why, sir," replied Captain Clapp, with laughable simplicity, "when I was little they used to call me Tribby, for shortness."


The seven illustrations which accompany this article represent the progress of dress in London from 1690 to 1779. They speak for themselves, and tell their own tale far better than any description in words could tell it for them. The scale in society to which the persons depicted in the engravings belong, is what may be called the upper middle class, and we thus obtain a more correct idea of the general style of dress, than we should have done had we confined our observations solely to the higher ranks.

DRESS 1690-1715.
DRESS 1721.
DRESS, 1738.
DRESS, 1752.
DRESS CIRCA 1773, 1778.
DRESS, 1779.

It is, however, very curious to notice the value placed upon dress during the period indicated; and how frequently its loss is recorded. Thus we find it mentioned that Lady Anderson, whose house was robbed at a fire in Red Lion Square in 1700, lost a gown of orange [Pg 296] damask, lined with, striped silk. The family of George Heneage, Esq., at the same time, and by the same casualty, lost "a head, with very fine looped lace of very great value, a Flanders' laced hood, a pair of double ruffles and tuckers, two laced aprons, one [Pg 297] edged with point lace, and a large black scarf embroidered with gold." At the same period the ladies wore Holland petticoats, embroidered in figures with different coloured silks and gold, with broad orrice at the bottom. In 1702 diamond stomachers adorned the ladies; they were composed of that valuable stone set in silver, and sewed in a variety of figures upon black silk. The men imported the Champaign wig from France. They were made very full, curled, and eighteen [Pg 298] inches in length to the point, with drop locks. In the Post Boy, of November 15, 1709, there were advertised as stolen, "A black silk petticoat, with red and white calico border, cherry-coloured stays, trimmed with blue and silver, a red and dove-coloured damask gown, flowered with large trees; a yellow satin apron, trimmed with white Persian, and muslin head-clothes, with crow-foot edging; a black silk furbelowed scarf, and a spotted hood." Black and beaver hats for ladies were advertised in 1719, faced with coloured silks, and trimmed with gold and silver lace. A man of fashion in 1720 wore the full flowing curled wig, which fell in ringlets half-way down his arms and back, a laced coat, straight, formal, with buttons to the very bottom, and several on the pockets and sleeves; his shoes were square at the toes, had diminutive buckles, a monstrous flap on the instep, and high heels, a belt secured the coat and supported the sword. Perukes were a highly important article of dress in 1734. Fans were much used, ladies seldom appeared without this useful ornament in their hands. The hoop underwent many important changes; sometimes it projected at the sides only, or, like its ancestor, the fardingale, it spread itself all round in imposing majesty. High-heeled shoes maintained their place. In 1740 tight sleeves with full ruffles, small pointed waists, enclosed in whalebone, loose gowns, called sacques, and cloaks with hoods, named cardinals, were la grande monde. Among the gentlemen's costumes, the most striking was the Ramilies tail, which was a plaited tail to the wig, with an immense bow at the top and one at the bottom. Claret coloured clothes were considered as handsome; and light blue with silver button-holes, and silver garters to the knees, was very fashionable between 1740 and 1751. The change to wearing the natural hair instead of wigs took place about 1765. From that date the female dress altered by degrees: the cap was enlarged to an enormous size, and the bonnet swelled in proportion. Hoops were entirely discontinued. Hats and bonnets of straw, chip, and beaver, became well proportioned, and velvet pelisses, shawls and silk spencers were contrived to improve rather than injure the form. The male dress also insensibly changed from formality to ease, and thus, by degrees, the fashion became what our illustrations represent it to have been in 1779.


Lieutenant Colonel Polier gives a full history of extracting this essential oil, in vol i. p. 332, of the Asiatic Researches. The roses grow, cultivated near Lucknow, in fields of eleven acres each. The oil is procured by distillation; the petals of the flowers only are used; and in that country no more than a quantity of about two drachms can be procured from an hundred-weight of rose leaves, and even that in a favourable season, and by the process being performed with the utmost care. The oil is by accident of different colours; of a bright yellow, of a reddish hue, and a fine emerald. It is to the mother of Mebrul Nessa Begum, afterwards called Nourjehan Begum, or, Light of the World, that the fair sex is indebted for this discovery. On this occasion the emperor of Hindostan rewarded the inventress with a string of valuable pearls. Nourjehan Begum was the favourite wife of Jehangir, [Pg 299] and her game the fiercest of India. In a hunting party she killed four tigers with a matchlock, from her elephant, and her spouse was so delighted at her skill, that he made her a present of a pair of emerald bracelets, valued at a lack of rupees, and bestowed in charity a thousand mohurs.


Many of the early Fleet weddings were really performed at the chapel of the Fleet; but as the practice extended, it was found more convenient to have other places within the Rules of the Fleet, (added to which the Warden was compelled by act of parliament not to suffer them,) and thereupon many of the Fleet parsons and tavern-keepers in the neighbourhood fitted up a room in their respective lodgings or houses as a chapel. The parsons took the fees, allowing a portion to the plyers, &c., and the tavern-keepers, besides sharing in the fees, derived a profit from the sale of liquors which the wedding party drank. In some instances the tavern-keepers kept a parson on their establishment at a weekly salary of twenty shillings; while others, upon a wedding-party arriving, sent for any clergyman they might please to employ, and divided the fee with him. Most of the taverns near the Fleet kept their own registers, in which (as well as in their own books,) the parsons entered the weddings.


The earthquake happened on November the 1st, 1755, and its sphere of action embraced many cities and states. St. Ubes was totally destroyed. At Cadiz the sea broke down the outer wall, flooded the town, and drowned some hundreds of persons. The Cathedral of Seville was seriously damaged, several houses overthrown, and many persons injured. The shock was felt, indeed, throughout the whole of Spain, except in Catalonia, and also in Germany. In many parts of Great Britain the water in lakes and ponds was violently upheaved, and ebbed and flowed over the banks. A solemn Fast was consequently commanded to be observed on the 6th of February next ensuing, in the hope to avert, by prayer and penitence, a similar calamity from this country. A ship at sea, 100 leagues to the westward of Lisbon, had her cabin windows shattered to fragments, and many vessels in deep water quivered as if they had struck against a rock. In Morocco the effects of the shock were most disastrous. In Mequinez two-thirds of the houses were destroyed, and above 300 in Fez. A caravan of 200 persons going along the coast from Sallee to Morocco were overwhelmed by the sea, and a still more numerous caravan was swept away by the sudden rise of the inland rivers. In France and Holland earthquakes were repeatedly felt during the entire month of November, and occasionally even in December.


In the East Indies, the Pambatees, or snake-charmers, come from the mountains called the Ghauts. They make a trade of catching serpents, training them and exhibiting them for money. These reptiles are commonly the cobra-di-capello, the hooded or spectacle serpent, and of other [Pg 300] similar species. A Pambatee will sometimes carry eight or more of them in a low round basket, in which the serpents lie coiled round one another.

As soon as the lid is removed from the basket, the serpent creeps out of it. The master plays on an instrument somewhat resembling the bagpipe, and the snakes are taught to mark the cadence by the motion of their heads, till at length they fall asleep. In order to rouse them, the Pambatee suspends his music and shakes a ring round his arm to which a piece of red cloth is fastened. The irritated serpent darts at the ring; but as the master has taken care to extract the pouch containing the poison, and to file his teeth, he can do no harm.


The musical instrument just mentioned is called magootee. It is composed of a hollow calebash, to one end of which is fitted a mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. To the other extremity is adapted a tube perforated with several holes, which are successively stopped by the fingers, like those of the flute, while the player blows into the mouthpiece. In the middle of the instrument is a small mirror, on which the serpents fix their eyes while dancing. The above engraving will convey a correct idea of the Pambatee and his instrument.


In 1785, at Winster, in Derbyshire, a show being exhibited at a public-house, some gunpowder being scattered on the floor of an upper chamber, took fire, and communicated to the remainder of a barrel, by which the whole upper part of the house was blown up; about sixty persons were below, and not one hurt.

[Pg 301]


Fac-Simile of the First Steam Boat

The triumph of steam navigation is one of the wonders of science; and, traversed in all directions as the navigable waters of the earth now are, by vessels propelled by steam, it is not a little curious to look at the first rude effort, and to examine the attempt which has been followed by such extraordinary success.

The world stands indebted, not for the discovery, but for the successful application of steam power to navigation, to Robert Fulton, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1765, being the son of a poor Irish labourer who had emigrated to America. He came to London in 1786, and subsequently, in the character of an inventor and projector, proceeded to Paris, where, however, he did not meet with much success or encouragement. It is evident, from the following letter to a friend, that while residing in the French capital, that his attention was even then turned to the subject of propelling vessels by mechanical power:—

Paris, the 20th of September, 1802.

To Mr. Fulner Skipwith.
Sir,—The expence of a patent in France is 300 livers for three years, 800 ditto for ten years, and 1500 ditto for fifteen years; there can be no difficulty in obtaining a patent for the mode of propelling a boat which you have shewn me; but if the author of the model wishes to be assured of the mirits of his invention before he goes to the expence of a patent, I advise him to make the model of a boat, in which he can place a clock spring which will give about eight revolutions; he can then combine the movements so as to try oars, paddles, and the leaves which he proposes; if he finds that the leaves drive the boat a greater distance in the same [Pg 302] time than either oars or paddles, they consequently are a better application of power. About eight years ago the Earl of Stanhope tried an experiment on similar leaves in Greenland Dock, London, but without success. I have also tried experiments on similar leaves, wheels, oars, paddles, and flyars similar to those of a smoak jack, and found oars to be the best. The velocity with which a boat moves, is in proportion as the sum of the surfaces of the oars, paddles, leaves, or other machine is to the bow of the boat presented to the water, and in proportion to the power with which such machinery is put in motion; hence, if the sum of the surfaces of the oars is equal to the sum of the surfaces of the leaves, and they pass through similar curves in the same time, the effect must be the same; but oars have this advantage, they return through air to make a second stroke, and hence create very little resistance; whereas the leaves return through water, and add considerably to the resistance, which resistance is increased as the velocity of the boat is augmented: no kind of machinery can create power; all that can be done is to apply the manuel or other power to the best advantage. If the author of the model is fond of mechanics, he will be much amused, and not lose his time, by trying the experiments in the manner I propose, and this perhaps is the most prudent measure, before a patent is taken.

I am, Sir, with much respect, yours,
Robt. Fulton.

In the following year, 1803, he appears to have made an experiment in France of propelling a vessel by mechanism, and though it failed in consequence of the timbers of the boat being too weak, it served to convince him so completely of ultimate success, that he immediately gave instructions to Watt and Boulton to prepare a suitable steam engine for him, and send it to New York. Having returned to that city in 1806, he set about building a boat, and having received the engines he had ordered, he successfully started the first steam-boat in the world on her trial trip to Albany from New York in August, 1807. Her name was the "Clermont," and the above engraving is a correct representation of her. She was in length 133 feet, in depth 7, and in breadth 18.


At the commencement of the reign of Edward VI., a most severe and extraordinary statute was made for the punishment of vagabonds and relief of poor persons. It does not appear who were the contrivers of this instrument, the preamble and general spirit of which were more in accordance with the tyrannical and arbitrary measures of the preceding reign, than with the mild and merciful character of the infant sovereign, who is well known to have taken a very active part in the affairs of government. It repeals all the former statutes on this subject, and enacts, that if any beggar or other person, not being lame or impotent, and after loitering or idly wandering for the space of three days or more, shall not offer himself to labour, or being engaged in any person's service, shall run away or leave his work, it shall be lawful for the master to carry him before a justice of peace, who, on proof of the offence, shall cause the party to be marked with a hot iron with the [Pg 303] letter V on the breast, and adjudge him to be his master's slave for the space of two years, who shall feed him "on bread and water, or at his discretion, on refuse of meat, and cause the said slave to work by beating, chaining, or otherwise in such work or labour (how vile soever it be) as he shall put him unto." If the slave should run away or absent himself for a fortnight without leave, the master may pursue and punish him by chaining or beating, and have his action of damage against any one who shall harbour or detain him. On proof before the justice of the slave's escape, he is to be sentenced to be marked on the forehead or ball of the cheek with a hot iron with the letter S, and adjudged to be his master's slave for ever; and for the second offence of running away, he is to be regarded as a felon and suffer death. The children of beggars to be taken from them, and, with other vagrant children, to be apprenticed by the magistrate to whoever will take them; and if such children so apprenticed run away, they are to be retaken, and become slaves till the age of twenty in females, and twenty-four in males, with punishment by chains, &c., and power to the master to let, sell, or bequeath them, as goods and chattels, for the term aforesaid. If any slave should maim or wound the master, in resisting correction, or conspire to wound or murder him, or burn his house or other property, he is to suffer death as a felon, unless the master will consent to retain him as a slave for ever; and if any parent, nurse, or bearer about of children, so become slaves, shall steal, or entice them away from the master, such person shall be liable to become a slave to the said master for ever, and the party so stolen or enticed away restored. If any vagrant be brought to a place, where he shall state himself to have been born, and it shall be manifest that he was not so born there, for such lie he shall be marked in the face with an S, and become a slave to the inhabitants or corporation of the city for ever. Any master of a slave may put a ring of iron about his neck, arm, or leg, for safe custody, and any person taking or helping to take off such ring, without consent of the master, shall forfeit the sum of ten pounds.

This diabolical statute, after remaining for two years, was repealed, on the ground that, from its extreme severity, it had not been enforced.


That the ideas of good taste and propriety which now prevail are greatly in advance of those which our ancestors entertained, is strikingly manifested by the fact, that the dreadful scenes which followed the last business of a county assize did not prevent a festive beginning of the same. On the commission day at each county town was held an assize ball. The judges attended in black silk gowns with band and two-curl bob-wig. They did not dance, but usually played at whist. What would be thought now-a-days of judges who went to a public ball room on commission day, and played at whist in their robes?


The most copious spring in Great Britain is St. Winifred's Well, near the town of Holywell, in Flintshire. The well is an oblong square, [Pg 304] about twelve feet by seven. The water passes into a small square court through an arch; it has never been known to freeze, and scarcely ever varies in quantity either in drought or after the greatest rains. The water thrown up is not less than eighty-four hogsheads every minute.


This sacred well is the object of many pilgrimages, even in the present day, and several modern miracles are related of the influence of its waters. Pope Martin V. especially enjoined such pilgrimages, and the monks of Basingwerk were furnished with pardons and indulgences to sell to the devotees. James the 2nd visited the well in 1686, and Leopold, King of the Belgians, in 1819. Apart from all superstitious notions, its waters doubtless possess many curative properties.

Over the well, Queen Margaret, the mother of Henry VII., erected a beautiful chapel, whose elegantly fretted roof, and graceful columns and arches, are generally admired as examples of good architecture. Our engraving is a correct representation of the interior.


The Rev. Wm. Davy, a Devonshire curate, in the year 1795, begun a most desperate undertaking, viz., that of printing himself twenty-six volumes of sermons, which he actually did, working off page by page, for fourteen copies; and continuing this almost hopeless task for twelve [Pg 305] years, in the midst of poverty! Such wonderful perseverance almost amounts to a ruling passion.


The Powerscourt Fall, of which the annexed is an engraving, is formed by the river Dargle, and is situated in the county of Wicklow. When the river is full, it presents a very grand appearance. The stream precipitates itself over a nearly perpendicular cliff, 300 feet in height, and falls into a natural basin or reservoir, encircled by rocky masses of considerable magnitude, whilst the whole scene is backed by mountains. This fall exhibits rather a singular phenomenon, in the different degrees of velocity with which the water descends in different parts of the cascade. Thus, on one side, the water may be observed to pour down with considerable velocity; while, on the other side, the fall, in the upper part, presents the appearance of a continued stream of frothy foam, gliding slowly down the face of the cliff, though the lower part moves with greater velocity. This circumstance is, however, readily accounted for; being, in fact, mainly attributable to the comparatively small body of water which forms the cascade. The water, on the one side, that which descends with the greater velocity (and this forms by far the larger portion of the cascade) meets with no interruption in its descent, but falls, almost from the top, to the bottom in an unbroken sheet. On the other side, however, the cliff in the upper part deviates from the perpendicular, and the consequence is, that, owing to the slope or inclination of the rock over which it flows, the progress of the water is checked in that particular part, though lower down, where the cliff is again perpendicular, it regains its velocity. If the body of water in this cascade were greater, this phenomenon would not occur.


By the unanimous consent of all nations, chess holds the first place among social amusements. The history of this game has exercised many [Pg 306] able pens. According to Sir William Jones, it is decidedly of Hindoo invention. "If," says he, in a learned memoir on this subject inserted in the second volume of the Asiatic Researches, "evidence were required to prove this fact, we may be satisfied with the testimony of the Persians, who, though as much inclined as other nations to appropriate the ingenious inventions of a foreign people, unanimously agree that the game was imported from the west of India in the sixth century of our era. It seems to have been immemorially known in Hindoostan by the name of Cheturanga, the four angas, or members of an army, which are elephants, horses, chariots, and foot-soldiers; and in this sense, the word is frequently used by epic poets in their description of real armies. By a natural corruption of the pure Sanscrit word, it was changed by the old Persians into chetrang; but the Arabs, who soon after took possession of their country, had neither the initial nor the final letter of that word in their alphabet, and consequently altered it farther into shetranj, which presently found its way into the modern Persian, and at length into the dialects of India, where the true derivation of the name is known only to the learned. Thus has a very significant word in the sacred language of the Brahmins been transformed by successive changes into axedrez, scacchi, echecs, chess, and by a whimsical concurrence of circumstances given birth to the English word check, and even a name to the exchequer of Great Britain."

Of the origin of this game various accounts are given. Some Hindoo legends relate, that it was invented by the wife of Ravanen, king of Lanca, or Ceylon, to amuse her husband with an image of war, when Rama, in the second age of the world, was besieging his capital. The high degree of civilization which the court of Ravanen had attained at so remote a period is worthy of notice. An ancient Hindoo painting represents his capital regularly fortified with embattled towers. He there defended himself with equal skill and valour, whence he and his subjects were denominated magicians and giants. Ravanen seems to have been the Archimedes of Lanca; and his science must have appeared supernatural to the invader, Rama, and his wild horde of mountaineers, who were termed in derision satyrs or apes, whence the fable of the divine Hanooman.

According to another account, the occasion of this invention was as follows:—Behub, a young and dissolute Indian prince, oppressed his people in the most cruel manner. Nassir, a Brahmin, deeply afflicted by his excesses, and the lamentations of his subjects, undertook to recal the tyrant to reason. With this view he invented a game, in which the king, impotent by himself, is protected only by his subjects, even of the lowest class, and frequently ruined by the loss of a single individual.

The fame of this extraordinary invention reached the throne, and the king summoned the Brahmin to teach him the game, as a new amusement. The virtuous Brahmin availed himself of this opportunity to instil into the mind of the young tyrant the principles of good government, and to awaken him to a sense of his duties. Struck by the truths which he inculcated, the prince conceived an esteem for the inventor of the new game, and assured him of his willingness to confer a liberal [Pg 307] remuneration, if he would mention his own terms. Nassir demanded as many grains of wheat as would arise from allowing one for the first square, two for the second, four for the third, and so on, doubling for each square of the sixty-four on the chessboard. The king, piqued at the apparently trivial value of the demand, desired him somewhat angrily to ask a gift more worthy of a monarch to bestow. When, however, Nassir adhered to his first request, he ordered the required quantity of corn to be delivered to him. On calculating its amount, the superintendents of the public granaries, to their utter astonishment, found the demand to be so enormous, that not Behub's kingdom only, but even all Hindoostan would have been inadequate to the discharge of it. The king now admired the Brahmin still more for the ingenuity of his request than for the invention, appointed him his prime-minister, and his kingdom was thenceforward prosperous and happy.

The claim of the Hindoos to the invention of chess has been disputed in favour of the Chinese; but as they admit that they were unacquainted with the game till 174 years before Christ, and the Hindoos unquestionably played it long before that time, the pretensions of the latter must naturally fall to the ground.


Fabritius makes mention of a gentleman, with whom he was familiar, who, being unjustly suspected, was tortured upon the rack, and, when released, found himself quite cured of the gout, which was, before this violent remedy, rather troublesome. Again, we have instances of disorders being cured by fright. We find, in the Journal de Henri IV., that, "On Friday, June the 9th, 1606, as Henry IV. of France, and his Queen, were crossing the water in the ferry-boat of Neuilly, the Duke of Vendome being with them, they were all three in great danger of being drowned, especially the queen, who was obliged to drink a great deal more than was agreeable to her; and had not one of her footmen, and a gentleman called La Chatagnieraie, who caught hold of her hair, desperately thrown themselves into the water to pull her out, she would have inevitably lost her life. This accident cured the king of a violent toothache; and, after having escaped the danger, he diverted himself with it, saying he had never met with so good a remedy for that disorder before, and that they had ate too much salt meat at dinner, therefore they had a mind to make them drink after it."


One of the chief wonders of the world of Ornithology is the Apteryx, a bird which is found only in New Zealand, and even there, is rapidly becoming extinct. It is a creature so strange, that no imagination could have fancied a bird without wings or tail, with robust legs, and with claws which are suited for digging, and are actually used in forming excavations, in which this singular bird lays its eggs, and hatches its young. If the Apteryx were to become extinct, and all that remained of it, after the lapse of one or two centuries, for the scrutiny of the naturalist were a foot in one Museum, and a head in another, with a few [Pg 308] conflicting figures of its external form, the real nature and affinities of this most remarkable species would be involved in as much obscurity and doubt, and become the subject of as many conflicting opinions among the ornithologists of that period, as are those of the Dodo in the present day.

The Apteryx is not larger than a full-grown fowl, and has only a rudimentary wing, so covered with the body feathers as to be quite concealed; the terminating slender claw may, however, be discerned on examination.


The bill is long and slightly curved, having the nostrils at the extremity; its feathers, the sides of which are uniform in structure, do not exceed four and a-half inches in length, and are much prized as material for mantles or cloaks by the chiefs. It is a nocturnal bird, using its long bill in search of worms, upon which it principally feeds; it kicks with great power, and burrows at the root of the rata, at the base of which tree is also found the extraordinary Sphæria Robertsia, a species of vegetating caterpillar. Retaining the form of the caterpillar, the fungus pervades the whole body, and shoots up a small stem above the surface of the ground, the body of the caterpillar being below the earth in an erect position. The Apteryx frequently leans with its bill upon the earth—one of its chief characteristics—and thus, when viewed from a distance, appears to be standing on three legs.

By the natives of New Zealand, these birds are called Kiwis, from the cry they utter, and they are frequently caught by a cunning imitator of their tone, who, when they approach, dazzles and frightens them with a light previously concealed, and throwing his blanket over them thus secures them.



One of the most wonderful cities in the world is Bankok. It is the capital of Siam, and is situated on—or rather in—the great river Meinam. Our engraving represents a portion of this unique metropolis, and we find the following graphic account of it in a volume of recent travels—"The capital of Siam! Did you ever witness such a sight in [Pg 309] your life? On either side of the wide, majestic stream, moored in regular streets and alleys, and extending as far as the eye can reach, are upwards of seventy thousand neat little wooden houses, each house floating on a compact raft of bamboos; and the whole intermediate space of the river presents to our astonished gaze one dense mass of ships, junks, and boats, of every conceivable shape, colour, and size. As we glide along amongst these, we occasionally encounter a stray floating house, broken loose from its moorings, and hurrying down the stream with the tide, amidst the uproar and shouts of the inhabitants and all the spectators. We also observe that all the front row of houses are neatly painted shops, in which various tempting commodities are exposed for sale; behind these again, at equal distances, rise the lofty and elegant porcelain towers of the various watts and temples. On our right-hand side, far away as we can see, are three stately pillars, erected to the memory of three defunct kings, celebrated for some acts of valour and justice; and a little beyond these, looming like a line-of-battle ship amongst a lot of cockle-shells, rises the straggling and not very elegant palace of the king, where his Siamese Majesty, with ever so many wives and children, resides. Right ahead, where the city terminates, and the river, making a curve, flows behind the palace, is a neat-looking-fort, [Pg 310] surmounted with a tope of mango-trees, over which peep the roofs of one or two houses, and a tall flag-staff, from which floats the royal pendant and jack of Siam—a flag of red groundwork, with a white elephant worked into the centre. That is the fort and palace of the prince Chou Fau, now king of Siam, and one of the most extraordinary and intellectual men in the East. Of him, however, we shall see and hear more, after we have bundled our traps on shore, and taken a little rest. Now, be careful how you step out of the boat into the balcony of the floating house, for it will recede to the force of your effort to mount, and if not aware of this, you lose your balance and fall into the river. Now we are safely transhipped, for we cannot as yet say landed; but we now form an item, though a very small one, of the vast population of the city of Bangkok.

We take a brief survey of our present apartments, and find everything, though inconveniently small, cleanly and in other respects comfortable. First, we have a little balcony which overhangs the river, and is about twenty yards long by one and a half broad. Then we have an excellent sitting-room, which serves us for parlour, dining-room, and all; then we have a little side room for books and writing; and behind these, extending the length of the other two, a bed-room. Of course we must bring or make our own furniture; for, though those houses inhabited by the Chinese are pretty well off on this score, the Siamese have seldom anything besides their bedding materials, a few pots and pans to cook with, a few jars of stores and fishing-net or two. Every house has a canoe attached to it, and no nation detests walking so much as the Siamese; at the same time they are all expert swimmers, and both men and women begin to acquire this very necessary art at a very early age. Without it a man runs momentary risk of being drowned, as, when a canoe upsets, none of the passers-by ever think it necessary to lend any aid, supposing them fully adequate to the task of saving their own lives. Canoes are hourly being upset, owing to the vast concourse of vessels and boats plying to and fro; and, owing to this negligence or carelessness in rendering assistance, a Mr. Benham, an American missionary, lost his life some twelve years ago, having upset his own canoe when it was just getting dusk, and though surrounded by hundreds of boats, not one deemed it necessary to stop and pick the poor man up."


There cannot be a greater contrast than between the present and the ancient mode of lighting the streets of London. What a picture do the two following bequests present to us of the state of things a hundred years ago!

John Wardall, by will, dated 29th August, 1656, gave to the Grocers' Company a tenement called the White Bear, in Walbrook, to the intent that they should yearly, within thirty days after Michaelmas, pay to the churchwardens of St. Botolph, Billingsgate, £4, to provide a good and sufficient iron and glass lantern, with a candle, for the direction of passengers to go with more security to and from the water-side, all night long, to be fixed at the north-east corner of the parish church of St. [Pg 311] Botolph, from the feast-day of St. Bartholomew to Lady-Day; out of which sum £1 was to be paid to the sexton for taking care of the lantern. This annuity is now applied to the support of a lamp in the place prescribed, which is lighted with gas.

John Cooke, by will, dated 12th September, 1662, gave to the churchwardens, &c., of St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, £76, to be laid out to the most profit and advantage, for various uses, and amongst them, for the maintenance of a lantern and candle, to be eight in the pound at least, to be kept and hanged out at the corner of St. Michael's Lane, next Thames Street, from Michaelmas to Lady-Day, between the hours of nine and ten o'clock at night, until the hours of four or five in the morning, for affording light to passengers going through Thames Street, or St. Michael's Lane.


To the honour of the lords of the creation, there are some husbands who so grieve at the death of their partners, that they will not part with them when actually dead; and even go so far as to wish, and try hard, for their resurrection; witness Sir John Pryse, of Newtown, Montgomeryshire, who married three wives, and kept the first two who died, in his room, one on each side of his bed; his third lady, however, declined the honour of his hand till her defunct rivals