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of fable, changed its name to Messina, (from There is a fine fountain of white inarble Messis, a harvest,) because of the great fer on the key, representing Neptune holding tility of its fields. It is certainly one of the Scylla and Charybdis chained, under the safest harbours in the world after ships emblematical figures of two sea-monsters, have got in; but it is likewise one of the as represented by the poets. most difficult access. The celebrated gulf The little neck of land, forming the haror whirlpool of Charybdis lies near to its bour of Messina, is strongly fortified. The entry, and often occasions such an intestine citadel, which is indeed a very fine work, and irregular motion in the water, that the is built on that part which connects it with helm loses most of its power, and ships the main land. The farthermost point, have great difficulty to get in, even with which runs out to sea, is defended by four the fairest wind that can blow. This whirl- small forts, which command the entry into pool, I think, is probably formed by the the harbour. Betwixt these lie the lazaret, small promontory I have mentioned ; which and a lighthouse to warn sailors of their contracting the Straits in this spot, must approach to Charybdis, as that other on necessarily increase the velocity of the cur- Cape Pelorus is intended to give them norent; but no doubt other causes, of which tice of Scylla. we are ignorant, concur, for this will by no It is probably from these lighthouses (by means account for all the appearances the Greeks called Pharoi) that the whole of which it has produced. The great noise this celebrated Strait has been denominated occasioned by the tumultuous motion of the the Faro of Messina. waters in this place, made the ancients liken it to a voracious sea-monster perpetually roaring for its prey; and it has been repre According to Brydone, the hazard to sented by their authors, as the most tremen

sailors was less in his time than the Nestor dous passage in the world. Aristotle gives of song, and the poet of the Æneid, had a long and a formidable description of it in depicted in theirs." In 1824, Capt. W. H. his 125th chapter De Admirandis, which I Smyth, to whom a survey of the coast find translated in an old Sicilian book I of Sicily was intrusted by the lords of the have got here. It begins, “ Adeo profun- Admiralty, published a “ Memoir” in 1824, dum, horridumque spectaculum, &c.” but with the latest and most authentic accounts it is too long to transcribe. It is likewise

of these celebrated classic spots-viz. : described by Homer, 12th of the Odyssey ;

SCYLLA. Virgil, 3d Æneid ; Lucretius, Ovid, Sallust, Seneca, as also by many of the old Italian As the breadth across this celebrated and Sicilian poets, who all speak of it in strait has been so often disputed, I particuterms of horror; and represent it as an larly state, that the Faro Tower is exactly object that inspired terror, even when looked six thousand and forty-seven English yards on at a distance. It certainly is not now from that classical bugbear, the Rock of so formidable; and very probably, the vio- Scylla, which, by poetical fiction, has been lence of this motion, continued for so many depicted in such terrific colours, and to ages, has by degrees worn smooth the rug- describe the horrors of which, Phalerion, a ged rocks and jutting shelves, that may painter, celebrated for his nervous reprehave intercepted and confined the waters. sentation of the awful and the tremendous, The breadth of the Straits too, in this place, exerted his whole talent. But the flights I make no doubt is considerably enlarged. of poetry can seldom bear to be shackled Indeed, from the nature of things it must by homely truth, and if we are to receive be so; the perpetual friction occasioned by the fine imagery, that places the summit the current must wear away the bank on of this rock in clouds brooding eternal each side, and enlarge the bed of the water. mists and tempests—that represents it as

The vessels in this passage were obliged inaccessible, even to a man provided with to go as near as possible to the coast of twenty hands and twenty feet, and immerses Calabria, in order to avoid the suction oc its base among ravenous sea-dogs ;-why casioned by the whirling of the waters in not also receive the whole circle of mythothis vortex; by which means when they logical dogmas of Homer, who, though so came to the narrowest and most rapid part frequently dragged forth as an authority in of the Straits, betwixt Cape Pelorus and history, theology, surgery, and geography, Scylla, they were in great danger of being ought in justice to be read only as a poet. carried upon that rock. From whence the In the writings of so exquisite a bard, we proverb, still applied to those, who in at must not expect to find all his representatempting to avoid one evil fall into another. tions strictly confined to a mere accurate

For the Table Book.


narration of facts. Moderns of intelligence, in visiting this spot, have gratified their imaginations, already heated by such descriptions as the escape of the Argonauts, and the disasters of Ulysses, with fancying it the

scourge of seamen, and that in a gale its caverns 'roar like dogs;' but I, as a sailor, never perceived any difference between the effect of the surges here, and on any other coast, yet I have frequently watched it closely in bad weather. It is now, as I presume it ever was, a common rock, of bold approach, a little worn at its base, and surmounted by a castle, with a sandy bay on each side. The one on the south side is memorable for the disaster that happened there during the dreadful earthquake of 1783, when an overwhelming wave (supposed to have been occasioned by the fall of part of a promontory into the sea) rushed up the beach, and, in its retreat, bore away with it upwards of two thousand people.

Said one,


Outside the tongue of land, or Braccio di St. Rainiere, that forms the harbour of Messina, lies the Galofaro, or celebrated vortex of Charybdis, which has, with more reason than Scylla, been clothed with terrors by the writers of antiquity. To the undecked boats of the Rhegians, Locrians, Zancleans, and Greeks, it must have been formidable; for, even in the present day, small craft are sometimes endangered by it, and I have seen several men-of-war, and even a seventy-four gun ship, whirled round on its surface; but, by using due caution, there is generally very little danger or inconvenience to be apprehended. It appears to be an agitated water, of from seventy to ninety fathoms in depth, circling in quick eddies. It is owing probably to the meeting of the harbour and lateral currents with the main one, the latter being forced over in this direction by the opposite point of Pezzo. This agrees in some measure with the relation of Thucydides, who calls it a violent reciprocation of the Tyrrhene and Sicilian seas; and he is the only writer of remote antiquity I remember to have read, who has assigned this danger its true situation, and not exaggerated its effects. Many wonderful stories are told respecting this vortex, particularly some said to have been related by the celebrated diver, Colas, who lost his life here. I have never found reason, however, during my examination of this spot, to believe one of them.


One daye when tired with worldly toil,

Upp to the Olympian mounte
I sped, as from soul-cankering care,

Had ever been my wonte ;
And there he gods assembled alle

I founde, O strange to tell !
Chaffering, like chapmen, and around

The wares they had to sell.
Eache god had sample of his goodes,

Which he displaied on high ;
And cried, “ How lack ye?” “ What's y're neede ?"

To every passer by.
Quoth I, “ What have you here to sell ?
To purchase being inclined ;"

“We've art and science here,
And every gifte of minde.”
“ What coin is current here?" I asked,

Spoke Hermes in a trice,
“ Industrie, perseverence, toile,

And life the highest price.”
I saw Apollo, and went on,

Liking his wares of olde;
“Come buy,” said he, “ this lyre of mine,

l'll pledge it sterling golde ; This is the sample of its worthe,

'Tis cheape at life, come buy !" So saying, he drew olde Homer forth,

And placed him ’neath my eye.
I turn'd aside, where in a row

Smalle bales high piled up stood ;
Tyed rounde with golden threades of life,

And eache inscribed with blood,
“ Travell to far and foreign landes ;"

" The knowledge of the sea ;" “ Alle beastes, and birdes, and creeping thinges,

And heaven's immensity;" “ Unshaken faithe when alle men change,”

“ The patriot's boly heart;"
“ The might of woman's love to stay

When alle besides departe."
I next saw things soe strange of forme,

Their names I mighte not knowe,
Unlike aught either in heaven or earthe,

Or in the deeps below;
Then Hermes to my thoughte replied,

“ Strange as these thinges appeare, Gigantic power, the mighte of arte

And science are laide here;
Yeare after yeare of toile and thoughte

Can buy these stores alone;
Yet boughte, how neare the gods is man,

What knowledge is made known!
The power and nature of all thinges,

Fire, aire, and earthe, and flood, Known and made subject to man's wille,

For evill or for good.”.


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Next look'd I in a darksome den,

Tuesday, accepts of the other's civility, and Webbed o'er with spider's thread,

away they go in Alcander's coach. Decio Where bookes were piled, and on eache booke

was splendidly entertained that night and I “metaphysics " read;

the day following ; the Monday morning, Spoke Hermes, “ Friend, the price of these

to get himself an appetite, he goes to take Is puzzling of the brain,

the air upon a pad of Alcander's, and comA gulf of words which, who gets in,

ing back meets with a gentleman of his Can ne'er get oute again.”

acquaintance, who tells him news was come I then saw “ law," piled up alofte,

the night before that the Barbadoes fleet And asked its price to know;

was destroyed by a storm; and adds, that "Its price is, conscience and good name,"

before he came out, it had been confirmed Said Hermes, whispering low. Nexte, “ Physic and divinity,”

at Lloyd's coffee-house, where it was thought I stood as I was loth,

sugars would rise twenty-five per cent. by To take or leave, with curling lip,

change time. Decio returns to his friend, Said Hermes, “Quackery, both !"

and immediately resumes the discourse “ Now, friend,” said I, “ since of your wares

they had broke off at the tavern. Alcander You no good thing can telle,

who, thinking himself sure of his chap, did You are the honestest chapman

not design to have moved it till after dinner, That e'er had wares to selle."

was very glad to see himself so happily prevented; but how desirous soever he was to sell, the other was yet more eager to buy; yet both of them afraid of one

another, for a considerable time counterDIAMOND CUT DIAMOND: feited all the indifference imaginable, till at

last Decio, fired with what he had heard, OR,

thought delays might prove dangerous, and MANNERS OF LONDON MERCHANTS throwing a guinea upon the table, struck

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. the bargain at Alcander's price. The next Tempore mutato de nobis fabula narratur.

day they went to London ; the news proved

true, and Decio got five hundred pounds by Decio, a man of great figure, that had his sugars. Alcander, whilst he had strove large commissions for sugar from several to overreach the other, was paid in his own parts beyond sea, treats about a consider- coin: yet all this is called" fair dealing ; able parcel of that commodity with Alcan- but I am sure neither of them would have der, an eminent West India merchant; desired to be done by, as they did to each both understood the market very well, but other. could not agree. Decio was a man of sub

Fable of the Bees, 1725. stance, and thought nobody ought to buy cheaper than himself. Alcander was the same, and not wanting money, stood for

CHILTERN HUNDREDS. his price. Whilst they were driving their bargain at a tavern near the Exchange, The acceptance of this office, or stewardAlcander's man brought his master a letter ship, vacates a seat in parliament, but withfrom the West Indies, that informed him of out any emolument or profit. Chiltern is a much greater quantity of sugars coming a ridge of chalky hills crossing the county for England than was expected. Alcander of Bucks, a little south of the centre, reachnow wished for nothing more than to selling from Tring in Hertfordshire to Henly at Decio's price, before the news in Oxford. This district belongs to the public; but being a cunning fox, that he crown, and from time immemorial has given might not seem too precipitant, nor yet title to the nominal office of stewards of lose his customer, he drops the discourse the Chiltern hundreds. Of this' office, as they were upon, and putting on a jovial well as the manor of East Hundred, in humour, commends the agreeableness of Berks, it is remarkable, that although frethe weather; from whence falling upon the quently conferred upon members of parliadelight he took in his gardens, invites ment, it is not productive either of honour Decio to go along with him to his country or emolument; being granted at the request house, that was not above twelve miles of any member of that house, merely to from London. It was in the month of May, enable him to vacate his seat by the acceptand as it happened upon a Saturday in the ance of a nominal office under the crown; afternoon, Decio, who was a single man, and on this account it has frequently been and would have no business in town before granted to three or four members a week. ;


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Tommy Bell of Houghton-le-Spring, Durham.

This is an eccentric, good-humoured cha- grate, watching in dreaming unconsciousracter-a lover of a chirruping cup-and a ness the various shapes and fantastic forms favourite with the pitmen of Durham. He appearing and disappearing in the bright, dresses like them, and mixes and jokes red heat of thy fire-here a beautiful with them; and his portrait seems an ap- mountain, towering with its glowing top propriate illustration of the following paper, above the broken and diversified valley by a gentleman of the north, well acquaint- beneath—there a church, with its pretty ed with their remarkable manners.

spire peeping above an imagined village;
or, peradventure, a bright nob, assuming

the ken of human likeness, thy playful

fancy picturing it the semblance of some For the Table Book.

distant friend - I say, whilst thou art sitting

in this fashion, dost thou ever think of that “O the bonny pit laddie, the cannie pit laddie,

race of mortals, whose whole life is spent beThe bonny pit laddie for me, O!

yond a hundred fathoms below the surface He sits in a hole, as black as a coal,

of mother earth, plucking from its unwilling And brings all the white money to me, 0 !"

bosom: the materials of thy greatest comOLD Pır Sono.

fort ? Gentle Reader, - Whilst thou sittest The pitman enables thee to set at toasting thy feet at the glowing fuel in thy nought the “pelting of the pitiless storm,"

and render a season of severity and pinch- separate and apart from the motley mixture ing bitterness, one of warmth, and kindly of general humanity. feeling, and domestic smiles. If thou hast The pitmen have the air of a primitive never heard of these useful and daring men, race. They marry almost constantly with who

their own people; their boys follow the “ Contemn the terrors of the mine,

occupations of their sires--their daughters, Explore the caverns, dark and drear,

at the age of blooming and modest maidenMantled around with deadly dew;

hood, linking their fate to some honest Where congregated vapours blue,

neebor's bairn :” thus, from generation Fir'd by the taper glimmering near,

to generation, family has united with family, Bid dire explosion the deep realms invade,

till their population has become a dense And earth-born lightnings gleam athwart th' infernal mass of relationship, like the clans of our shade;"*

northern friends, “ayont the Cheviot's

range.” The dress of one of them is that —who dwell in a valley of darkness for thy of the whole people. Imagine a man, of sake, and whose lives are hazarded every only middling stature, (few are tall or moment in procuring the light and heat of robust,) with several large blue marks, the flickering flame-listen with patience, occasioned by cuts, impregnated with coalif not with interest, to a short account of dust, on a pale and swarthy countenance, a then, from the pen of one who is not un coloured handkerchief around his neck, a mindful of

posied waistcoat” opened at the breast, “ The simple annals of the poor.”

to display a striped shirt beneath, a short The pitmen, who are employed in bring

blue jacket, somewhat like, but rather ing coals to the surface of the earth, from shorter than the jackets of our seamen, immensely deep mines, for the London and

velvet breeches, invariably unbuttoned and neighbouring markets, are a race entirely

untied at the knee, on the “ tapering calf” distinct from the peasantry surrounding and finished downwards by a long, low

a blue worsted stocking, with white clocks, them. They are principally within a few miles of the river Wear, in the county of quartered shoe, and you have a pitman Durham, and the river Tyne, which traces

before you, equipped for his Saturday's

cruise to the southern boundary of Northumberland.

canny Newcastle,” or for his They reside in long rows of one-storied

Sabbath's gayest holiday. houses, called by themselves “ pit-rows,''

On a Saturday evening you will see a built near the chief entrance to the mine. long line of road, leading to the nearest To each house is attached a small garden,

large market town, grouped every where

with pitmen and their wives or “ lasses,” “ For ornament or use,”

laden with large baskets of the “ stomach's and wherein they pay so much attention to comforts,” sufficient for a fortnight's conthe cultivation of Howers, that they fre- sumption. They only are paid for their

labour at such intervals; and their weeks quently bear away prizes at floral exhibitions.

are divided into what they term

pay Within the memory of the writer, (and week,” and “bauf week,” (the etymology

of " bauf,"

"* I leave thee, my kind reader, his locks are not yet “silver'd o'er with age,”) the pitmen were a rude, bold, savage

to find out.)—All merry and happyset of beings, apparently cut off from their trudging home with their spoils—not unfellow men in their interests and feelings; frequently the , thrifty husband is seen often guilty of outrage in their moments of

“half seas over," wrestling his onward way ebrious mirth ; not from dishonest motives, with an obstinate little pig, to whose hind or hopes of plunder, but from recklessness, leg is attached a string, as security for aland lack of that civilization, which binds legiance, while ever and anon this third the wide and ramified society of a great

in the number of “ obstinate graces,” seeks city. From the age of five or six years,

a sly opportunity of evading its unsteady their children are immersed in the dark guide and effecting a retreat over the road,

and “ Geordie" (a common name among abyss of their lower worlds; and when even they enjoy the “ light of the blessed them) attempts a masterly retrograde reel sun," it is only in the company of their

to regain his fugitive. A long cart, lent immediate relations : all have the same vocation, and all stand out, a sturdy band, given the pitman the benefit of this term from befter

Quære? Whether some wag has not originally or baffolier, to mock or affront; "aiblins," it may be

a corruption of our English term “ balk," to disap* HUDDESTORD.


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