Page images
PDF
EPUB

MISCELLANY OF EXTRACTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

123

method to be adopted for its improvement, light a tallow candle, stuck in the neck of a which I know he would have followed up, had black-bottle, and a parcel of chests serving he remained longer in the Admiralty. . This for seats: the scantiness of their meal was improvement was in fact shortly after insti. owing to our having no communication with tuted, when the general taste for education any land on the homeward voyage, except St. began to spread through all classes of society. Helena, which had nothing to spare ; yet The introduction of suitable books into the these young gentlemen made no complaint, navy, to form what is called the Seaman's but all were as cheerful and happy as mortals Library, was the first step; this was followed could be. Two thumbed and torn books conby the appointment of well-qualified instruc- stituted their library,—“ Robinson Crusoe,” ters to all ships of the line and frigates, and " Roderick Random;" and they had not mostly Chaplains or young men from college: the benefit of either Chaplain or naval inso that officers now, while in pursuit of their structer: two of these youngsters mentioned, professional studies, may at the same time ac- when in command, were not inferior to the quire or keep up a knowledge of the classics best officers in the service. From forty to fifty and mathematics; and seamen's schoolmasters years after this, I visited the midshipmen's were appointed to all ships, for the instruction berths in several ships of war. I found them of the crews. The result has been, not only comfortably and neatly fitted up, a display of that the improvement of the officers of the good earthenware and table utensils, and also British navy is most conspicuous in point of a small service of plate; a library of books knowledge, but the seamen also in propriety for information or amusement; generally a of conduct, and decency of manners, within Chaplain, and always a naval instructer, and the last twenty or thirty years, so as to keep sometimes both. These, however, were ships pace with that progress among the civil classes in harbour, but the foundation was here laid of society, which the general system of edu- for a comfortable mess at sea. I have mencation has had the effect of producing. How tioned the kind and friendly disposition of the very different was the condition of the officers Lord High Admiral ; indeed I ain not aware of the navy when Prince William Henry was of his ever having given offence to any one ; sent on board the Prince George at the age and he was particularly attentive to naval of thirteen !—for sent he was; the good old officers. Once, however, after he came to King declaring that his son Henry should the throne, I was not a little mortified to work his way to promotion from a midship- witness a severe reproof-giving, in a full man, in the same routine as the most friend

levee-room, to a distinguished flag-officer and less youngster in the fleet. He served under most amiable and sensitive nobleman, Lord Keith, Lord Hood, and Lord Nelson, Admiral Lord de Saumarez. Sir Richard and was engaged in several actions. When Keats was a particular and early friend and Don Juan de Langara was brought a prisoner favourite of King William, who, on his death, on board the Prince George, and was told decided on distinguishing his funeral by that a smart young midshipman, whom inviting a great number of naval officers, and he had observed very active at his duty on the six flag-officers to bear the pall, one of whom gangway, was a Prince of the blood, a son of was Lord de Saumarez. From some cause King George III., “Well," he said, " may or other he failed to attend. On the first England be mistress of the sea, when the son levee-day that liis Lordship made his apof her King is thus engaged in her navy." pearance at court, the King upbraided him The extraordinary difference-I may venture before the whole assembly; and connected to call it improvement- that has taken place the name of Keats with that of De Saumarez in the condition of naval cadets, midshipmen, in such a way, as to wound his sensitive mind mates, or by whatever name these young non- far more deeply than the reproof for his commissioned officers may have been desig- absence. I was waiting in the lobby, when nated, is very remarkable, compared with that his Lordship came down, and, approaching me in the days of his Royal Highness. The num- in tears, told me how he had been treated, bers of youngsters-many of them sons of the and said he should never recover it; that the first families--who were in H.M.S. Lion, on King would not listen to his excuse, which her voyage to China with Lord Macartney, was a valid one. I observed to him that the had no conforts, much less luxuries, at their Duke of Clarence, when at the Admiralty, mess-table. Ofthis I had personalexperience, was occasionally thrown off his guard and as Lord Mark Kerr, Lord William Stuart, hasty, but was soon pacified ; and my advice and two or three others of that ship, were not to him would be, to ask, the following mornsatisfied if I did not sometimes descend to ing, for an audience, and to request him to the bottom of the ship, on Saturday evenings, accept your apology, and permit you to to drink to “sweethearts and wives." A bit explain. He did so, and was quite delighted of cold salt beef and biscuit, with a can of with the manner in which he was received.grog, was frequently their repast; the only Sir J. Barrow's Autobiography.

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors]

THE FORDS OF JORDAN.

people passed over right against Jericho." We sat for a considerable time on the (Josh. iii. 16.) This miracle seemed to us banks of the river, where we also breakfasted, more than ever possessed of magnitude, and and discoursed and conversed with one well calculated to bring about the effect asanother about the Scripture references to cribed to it, “that all the people of the this celebrated stream, and the valley through earth might know the hand of the Lord, that which it flows, all of which references are it is mighty." (Josh. iv. 24.) Looking to minutely accordant with all that is known of the depths of the banks of the river, we its character. When it is said that “ Lot clearly saw, as has been frequently noted, lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of that they could not have been overflowed, Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, either during the winter rains, or the melting before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, of the snows on Hermon or Lebanon, or the even as the garden of the Lord, like the land rise and fall of the winds in the northern of Egypt as thou comest unto Zoar,” (Gen. lakes of the river, in the sense in which the xiii. 10,) it is hinted that this was not the valley of the Nile is overflowed by the annual character of the plain in the days of Moses, rise of that river. According to the Hebrew, a great part of it being then desolate, and, in it is merely said that the “ Jordan fills all his the absence of streamlets of water, incapable banks;" a form of expression agreeing with of culture, as at the present time.

present appearances. That of old, as now, “Fords,” or passages of the Jordan, con- however, the rise of the Jordan extended 10 tiguous to Jericho and other places, are the thickets on its lowest bank, is evident sometimes mentioned ; and there are several from the language of Jeremiah, alluding to places now found at which the river, when the dislodgment of the fierce lion from his not particularly flooded, is still passable, covert : “Behold, he shall come up like a though with some difficulty, by men and lion from the swelling of Jordan against the animals. The general depth and rapidity of habitation of the strong." (Jer. xlix. 19.) the river, showed us the necessity of such a Such a rise in the river would not be inconmiracle being performed for the passage of siderable, especially to those called to pass the two or three millions of the Israelites, as through the violence of its stream. “If in is mentioned in Joshua, when the “ waters the land of peace wherein thou trustedst they which came down from above stood and rose wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the up on an heap very far from the city Adam, swelling of Jordan ?" (Jer. xii. 5.) The that is beside Zaretan : and those that came thickets in the days of Elisha seem, as at down toward the sea of the plain, even the present, to have been close to the river; for salt sea, failed and were cut off; and the “ when they came to Jordan they cut down

POPERY,-TABLE-TALK.

125

wood; but as one was felling a beam, the axe-head fell into the water.” (2 Kings vi. 4, 5.) The river-bed must have then, as nox, been deep; for the Prophet wrought a miracle to recover this implement. The discolourment of the waters of the Jordan, from their action against their clayey banks,

seems generally to have been known at this time, or Naaman, the Syrian, would not have asked, “ Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean ?” (2 Kings v. 12.)- Lands of the Bible.

POPERY.

AMUSEMENTS OF A POPISH member at Madrid, traversed the streets of PEOPLE.

Lisbon for the three days preceding AshThe barbarous and ungraceful mirth of Wednesday, accompanied by servants carrythe Lisbon carnival was not altered in the ing baskets of eggs, and even foliowed by least for the better this year, but consider- seges, or hackney-cabs, in which were other ably for the worse. The elegant and imagi- basketfuls of these disgusting missiles, and native resources of this period consist in indulged themselves with the Hottentot several thousands of people pelting each amusement of flinging them with all their other for many successive days with beans, force at the windows and balconies as they rotten eggs, dead rats, soot, and water. The passed along. It is impossible to describe streets during the past week have been strewn ihe hideous appearance which the walls and with beans, which, if not thus squandered, windows of the metropolis, thus plastered, might have afforded a meal to every poor presented. The contemptuous waste of food person in the metropolis. Dead and even was illustrated by a barbarous indifference to live rats have been let down from windows at the appeals of human distress ; and one young intervals upon the heads of the passengers. sprig of nobility, while in the act of removing From my balcony I reckoned twelve dozen in a basket from a tenda, or chandler's shop, of eggs which were flung within a few hours all the eggs which it contained, to be used as on the Sabbath before Lent. The walls were missiles, was implored by a beggar woman all plastered with the yolks, where they did for a solitary copper, which he refused. In not decorate Lisbonian noses. Many young addition to the loss of life which I have fellows of taste poured dozens of them already recorded, I am informed that the lile in succession into the windows of their of a woman was sacrificed through a fall, namoradas, an odd way of bringing them occasioned by her stepping back in fright, into subjection to the "matrimonial yoke." upon seeing one of these Bayards firing at In a central street, a man thus foolishly her. Many ladies of respectability had eggs engaged, lost his balance while intruding his burst full in their faces, and one was seriously boisterous mirth upon the passengers. He had hurt on the temple. Others who ventured stretched out too far in flinging a handful of in the streets upon the early days, had live beans, fell into the street from an upper rats and mice let down by strings on their window, and was killed on the spot. The bonnets and shoulders. A gentleman on unfortunate man was the father of a numer- horseback, in passing through Silver-street, ous family of children, whom he has left in the Cheapside of Lisbon, was pelted with an the greatest distress. It is to be hoped that orange, when his horse became violently Government will take measures to suppress restiff, and, instead of assisting him to quiet next year the orgies of the carnival both here the animal, scores of people pelted him with and at Oporto, which have latterly risen to a

oranges, eggs, and potatoes. "For the honour shocking excess, and are irreconcilable with of Portugal, even of Europe, (for in that the slightest pretensions to civilization. A quarter of the globe it is still set down,) I club of young men, resembling that Thunder trust such scenes will never be repeated. Clab, of which Gonzales Bravo was a leading

TABLE-TALK.

MIMICKRY, A DANGEROUS

TALENT. MR. Buck, in his “ Anecdotes," tells us of a young man, a candidate for the ministry, who, possessing a talent for mimicking the tones of other men's voices, indulged it; and

the consequence, after a while, was, that he was unable to speak without falling into the imitation of some other person. And when he became a Preacher, this unhappy habit so pursued him, than he no sooner began to preach than he set his audience to laughing;

[blocks in formation]

success.

soon

in consequence of which he was under the lowing illustration of the effect of the necessity of abandoning the pulpit. The white ash upon the rattlesnake:-“On rewriter recollects the case of a young man, turning from their traps one day, one of the who, in mimickry, excelled all he ever knew; party caught a rattlesnake, and brought it and, as he was preparing for the bar, it was alive into the camp. It was immediately expected that he would make a great figure proposed to experiment with him. Accordas a speaker. But the fact was, that by the ingly a winnow of leaves was gathered toconstant indulgence of his propensity for gether in the form of a circle; a segment of mimickry, he lost his own natural voice and the circle being composed entirely of the manner, and, when pleading at the bar, leaves of the white ash; the remaining part seemed to the audience not to be in earnest, of the leaves of the maple. The rattlesnake but to be speaking to raise a laugh; which was placed within the circle, which was proved to be a great obstruction to his fifteen or twenty feet in diameter. The

There is also an unconscious imi- rattlesnake, in great fear and trembling, retation of the tones and manners of others, treated towards the maple-leaves; but here against which young men should be on their the experimenters met him with their ashguard. Persons are frequently accused of twigs, and he was glad to stop his course, imitating some admired speaker, when they and laid down his head in quiet submission. are conscious that they never designed any After this had been essayed for some time, such thing; nevertheless the imitation is the segment of maple-leaves was set on fire, real. Upon this principle, all the members and the hunters retired to watch the effect. of a family have the same peculiar drawl or The rattlesnake raised his head towards the intonation, which they have undesignedly burning leaves, coiled himself for a throw, acquired; and on this principle the tone or gave his shrill rattle, and, plunging into the brogue of a whole province or nation is re- fame, escaped from the circle." - Manchester cognised as as it is heard. Some (United States) Democrat. persons possess an uncommon susceptibility of imitating the sounds which they hear. We recollect a Preacher in whose tones we

SEASONABLE COMFORT. could, in one discourse, trace the imitation

INSECTS IN THE WEST INDIES, of three distinguished Preachers whom he had been accustomed to hear; and yet it is

The Rev. Sydney Smith gave the followmore than probable that he never designed to

ing lively account of the swarms of insects

and reptiles which infest our West Indian imitate any one of them. Artificial tones

colonies:-" Insects are the plague of tropical are much more easily imitated than those

climates. The bêterouge lays the foundation which are perfectly natural. Every human

of a tremendous ulcer. In a moment you being, as he has organs of speech of his own, so he has a voice that is natural to him, and

are covered with ticks. Chigoes bury themno other voice is. And what is wonderful,

selves in your flesh, and hatch a large colony every hearer can instinctively judge whether

of young chigoes in a few hours. They will a sound emitted from the organs of speech is

not live together, but every chigoe sets up a natural or artificial; not, indeed, so as never

separate ulcer, and has its own private to be deceived; but so that in most cases he

portion of pus. Flies get entry into your

mouth, into your eyes, into your nose ; you can determine the fact without much danger of error. In the cultivation of the voice,

eat fies, drink flies, and breathe flies. care should be taken not to destroy the

Lizards, cockroaches, and snakes get into

the bed ; ants eat up the books; scorpions natural expression : let all improvement be grafted on this as its stock. - New-York

sting you on the foot. Everything bites, Observer.

stings, or bruises ; every second of your existence you are wounded by some piece of animal life that nobody has ever seen

before, except Swammerdam and Meriam. RATTLESNAKES AND ASH-TREES.

An insect with eleven legs is swimming in It is a curious fact, perhaps not generally your tea-cup, a nondescrip with nine wings known to those unacquainted with this is struggling in the small beer, or a caterpillar reptile, that it has a great aversion to a white

with several dozen of eyes in his belly is ash-tree. Strike it with a twig of this tree, hastening over the bread and butter! All and the rattlesnake becomes convulsed. nature is alive, and seems to be gathering all And with such a wand in his hand, a person

her entomological host to eat you up, as you may travel through the habitations of this are standing, out of your coat, waistcoat, and venomous reptile without fear of molestation. breeches. Such are the tropics. All this The Indian, aware of the virtues of this tree,

reconciles us to our dews, fogs, vapours, and strews his couch and his wigwam with its drizzle; to our apothecaries rushing about leaves, and the hunter fills his boots and with gargles and tinctures; to our old pockets with them. A gentleman, who

British constitutional cough, sore throats, formerly was in the habit of hunting

and swelled faces." in the Peqaukett country, gives the fol

[blocks in formation]

CONVERSATIONAL POWERS woman possessing all these, and even beauty OF A WIFE.

too, yet wanting conversation, might become

weary, stale, fat, and unprofitable" in the How pleasantly the evening hours may be estimation of her husband ; and, finally, might made to pass, when a woman who really can drive him from his home by the leaden weight converse will thus beguile the time! But, on of her uncompanionable society. I know the other hand, how wretched is the portion not whether other minds have felt the same of that man who dreads the dulness of his as mine under the pressure of some personal own fireside ! who sees the clog of his exist- presence without fellowship of feeling. Inence ever seated there; the same, in the nocent and harmless the individual may be deadening influence she has upon his spirit who thus inflicts the grievance, yet there is an to-day, as yesterday, to-morrow, and the next irksomeness in their bodily presence almost day, and the next! Welcome, thrice welcome, intolerable to be borne ; and in proportion to is the often-invited visiter, who breaks the the estimate we form of real society and comdismal dual of this scene. Married women panionship, and sympathy of feeling, is the are often spoken of in high terms of com- dread we entertain of association with mere mendation for their personal services, their animal life in its huinan form, while nothing handiwork, and their domestic management: of its fellowship of feeling is experienced. -but I am inclined to think that a married Mrs. Ellis's Women of England.

REMARKABLE DAYS.

GOOD FRIDAY.-April 21st.

most perfect regularity. The last supper of This day commemorates the sufferings of Christ with his disciples, the treachery of Christ, as a propitiation for our sins. Holy Judas, attended by the Priests, together with Friday, or the Friday in Holy Week, was the guards, the flagellation, the crucifixion, its most ancient and general appellation ; the taking from the cross, the anointing of the name of Good Friday is peculiar to the the body, and the burial, with every transEnglish Church. It was observed as a day action of the closing scene, and the events of extraordinary devotion. Buns, with subsequent to the passion of our Lord, were crosses upon them, are usually eaten in

represented by images as large as life, placed London, and some other places, on this day in proper order on lofty stages, many of at breakfast. St. Peter's church at Rome is which were elegant, and all as highly ornamost superbly illuminated on this night. mented as carving and gilding, rich silks,

The superstitious procession, on this day, brocades, and velvets, with curious emat Barcelona, is thus described by the Rev. broidery, all executed by their most skilful Joseph Townsend, in his " Journey through artists, could render them. No expense was Spain." “ In every church,” says he, "I spared either in the materials, the workmanfound two images, as large as life, distin- ship, or the wax lights, which, with the most guished from the rest as being stationary, splendid profusion, were consumed upon this and the more immediate objects of their occasion. Each of these stages was supdevotion; the one representing Christ as ported on the shoulders of six men, who were taken from the cross, the other the Virgin in completely hid by a covering of black velvet all her best attire, pierced by seven swords, and hanging round the margin of the stage, and leaning over the recumbent body of her Son. reaching nearly to the ground. This proBehind these images, a theatre with colon- cession was preceded by Roman centurions, nades, supporting a multitude of wax tapers, clothed in their proper armour, and the dazzled the sight, while the ear was charmed soldiers of the garrison brought up the rear. by the harmonious chaunting of the choir. The intermediate space was occupied by the

“ More than a hundred thousand persons groups of images above described, attended all the morning crowded the streets, hurrying by eight hundred burgesses, clothed in black from church to church to express the warmth buckram, with flowing trains, each carrying of their zeal, and the fervour of their devo- a flambeau in his hand. Besides these, one tion, by bowing themselves in each, and hundred and fourscore penitents engaged my kissing the feet of the most revered image. more particular attention. Like the former, Most of the spectators were natives of the they carried each a flambeau ; but their dress city; but many upon such occasions resort to was singular, somewhat resembling that of Barcelona from the adjacent villages, and the blue-coat boys of Christ's Hospital in some from distant provinces.

London, being a jacket and coat in one, * Towards the close of day the pageant reaching to their heels, made of dark brown appeared, moving with slow and solemn pace shalloon, with a bonnet on their head, like along the streets, and conducted with the what is called a fool's-cap, being a cone

« EelmineJätka »