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interest of decorum and national virtue —aye, and ultimately, the interest of the stage.
On Wednesday week, a new and pretty little ballet was produced at Drury-lane theatre, under the title of Russignol, or the Bird in the Hush. The principal personages are two young lovers, the continual pursuit and persecution of whom, by an old lawyer, who wants to obtain the lady, affords, by the whimsicality of the consequent situations, no little merriment. The Bird in the Bush' is the favoured swain, who, on one instance, having concealed himself in a tree, in order to evade his legal tormentor, ventures, on the approach of his mistress, to sound his flute; when not only her ear, but that of the lawyer, is attracted by the music, and he fires at the tree. The lover then appears, and pretending to be desperately wounded, his wrinkled rival flies in dread of the consequences to himself. This relieves the young lovers from the enemy of their happiness, and, attended by the assembled villagers, they hie to the altar of Hymen.
The juvenile couple are personated by Mr. and Mrs. Norle, whose dancing is very graceful, and the whole execution of the amusing little plot does credit to the scenic management, and to the abilities of the performers.
Hireling.—This term is usually employed in an opprobrious sense; but why , We are all, or nearly so, hirelings—hireling lawyers—^ hireling parsons—prime ministers—lords of the admiralty, or something. Few things worlh mentioning are now done gratuitously. Hireling does not impose dependence; the obligation is reciprocal. If I receive your money, you receive my services; and one may be as necessary and indispensable as the other.
Henry VIII. made a law that all men might read the scriptures except servants; but no women, except ladies and gentlewomen who had leisure, and might ask somebody the meaning!!! The law was repealed in Edward VI.'s days.
Steam-boats. — It is a remarkable fact, that throughout Europe more than nine-tenths of the steam-boats now in use are the property of Englishmen, and that wherever other projectors appeared, they have almost invariably been compelled to call in the aid of English capital. The steam-boat at Venice, and that at Naples,
are entirely of English property, and it is an English company which has proposed to establish others upon the lakes of Switzerland. It is but justice, however, to the Swiss to observe, that they have come forward with much spirit to cooperate in the undertaking, and have offered to advance a considerable sum of money • towards its completion, at three and a half per cent.' ••• • .
The system of pipes for the distribution of water and the conveyance of gas, stretches out in its various ramifications into a lineexceeding/owr hundred leagues in extent beneath the pavement of London.—71/. Dupin.
Birliomania. — In describing the newly discovered edition of !' Richard the Third," printed by Creede, 1594, and sold by Mr. Evans, at his sale of scarce books last week, it was declared to be worth its weight in gold, according to the old adage of every thing being worth what it will fetch; this was verified, it being knocked down for 66 guineas, which, according to the standard of English coin, weigh 17 ounces 15 pennyweights and 16 grains.
A Mr. Broster, of Edinburgh, is said to have discovered a complete cure for stuttering or stammering.
The Soldier And Tur Poet.—" It is odd enough," said lord Byron, alluding to colonel Stanhope's zealous perseverance in establishing newspapers in Greece, "that Stanhope, the soldier, is all for writing down the Turks; and I, the writer, am all for fighting them down."— Count Gamba.
Port Of London.—It is stated that more ships sail from the Port of London in , a year than from all other places in the world united. It has been computed, that the total amount of property shipped and unshipped in the Port of London in one year, amounts nearly to Seventy Millions sterling. There are employed about 8,000 watermen in navigating wherries and other craft; 4,000 labourers lading and unlading ships; 1,200 revenue officers constantly doing duty ; besides the crews of several vessels, occupying a space of five miles. On an average there are 2,000 ships in the river and docks, together with 3,000 barges and small craft employed in lading and unlading them; 2,300 barges engaged in the inland trade; and 3,000 wherries and small boats for passengers. The exports and imports employ about 4,000 ships, whilst the cargoes that annually enter the port are not less than 15,000.
Bogks.—So very valuable were books a few centuries ago, that in the year 1471, when Louis XI, of France wanted
to borrow the Works<of the Arabian physician, Rbasis, from the Faculty of Medicine at Paris, he was compelled to deposit, by way of pledge, a large quantity of valuable plate, and was also obliged to procure a nobleman to join with him as security in a deed, by which he was bound to return it under a very considerable penalty. About the commencement of the fourteenth century there were only four classics in the Royal Library at Paris; there was one copy of Cicero, Ovid, Lucan, and Bpethius. . So late as the reign of Henry VI. it is ordered, by one of the statutes of St. Mary's, Oxford, "That no scholars shall occupy a book in that library above one hour at most."
Royal Academy.—The premiums to be distributed on the 10th of next December, among the most successful students in the Royal Academy, are-—1st. A gold medal for the best historical picture in oil colours, of Joseph expounding the Dreams of Pharaoh's chief Butler and Baker, Genesis, c. 40.—2dly. Gold medal for the best group in sculpture, of David and Goliah, 1 Samuel, c. 17. The models to be either baked or cast in plaster, and the principal figure not less than two feet in height.— 3dly. Gold medal for the best finished design in architecture; the subject to be a National Edifice, adapted for the Royal Academy, the Royal Society, and the Society of Antiquaries.
Silver medals for the best drawings of academy figures done in the Academy, the best drawings from ancient statues or groups, the best copies made in the School of Painting, and other studious exercises.
Pressure And Rarefaction Of Tfie Air.—The pressure of the air, and its rarefaction by heat, are excellently illustrated by the following simple experiment: —Take hold of a wine-glass with your right hand, and with your left put into it a small piece of burning paper. When the paper has burned for a few seconds, strike the mouth of the glass against the palm of your left hand, and it willremain firmly fixed to it for a considerable time. The cause of this is, that the internal air is so rarefied by the burning paper, that the pressure upon the inside of the glass is greatly diminished. The equilibrium, therefore, of the pressures upon the outside and inside of the glass being destroyed, the glass must adhere to the hand till that equilibrium is restored.
Btaru of (Skcurrntccs.
Feb. 3.—Parliament opened by commission—his Majesty suffering from a slight attack. of his old tormentor—the
gout. The royal speech, most "gracious, full of congratulations on the general prosperity—with confusion to the Catholic Association.
The New Borrle Companies.—An important decision to-day by the court of King's Bench, in a case where one Josephs the plaintiff had sought to recover from the defendant Pebrer, the amount of certain deposits made by him in the purchase of ten shares in. a newly-formed Company, not then sanctioned by any Act of Parliament, called." The Equitable Loan Company," and which shares the defendant had refused to accept on account of their having fallen in value. The Lord Chief Justice and the other Judges were of opinion, that such a contract was void in law, because the parties who associated for the purpose of forming the Company, had no right or authority to create transferable shares.
Lord Eldon, too, seems to think John Bull requires guardians to be appointed, to take care of his' purse, and has given notice of a measure for that purpose. It is not easy to see the wisdom or consistency of these precautions. There is evidently a great amount of surplus capital in the country, and, in a general way, it is best to leave individuals at liberty to find out the best means of employing it. A few failures would operate a sufficient check to the speculating mania, without recurring to a barbarous system of legislation, which is only just beginning to be exploded. Lord Eldon, however, entertains a vast notion of keeping men in leading-strings. How he can reconcile the principle of his measure with the policy of his colleagues, I cannot conceive. Messrs. Robinson and Huskisson, during the last session of parliament, laboured almost night and day to remodel the Commercial Code—to soften the rigour of the Navigation Laws—repeal the Usury Laws — take away bounties and prohibitions— in a word, to leave individuals to pursue their own interests, their own way, without check, direction, or interference. The Lord Chancellor is starting on exactly the opposite point of the compass, and is about to introduce a law to supersede common sense and ordinary prudence—to make us, in some sort, wards in Chancery—a calamity which I sincerely hope may ba averted.
4.—" Angefs and ministers of grace defend us !"—there is snow .' Well, I never expected seeing snow this winter, but so it is: the fields and hedges are covered— and it is quite sharp too.
'5.—Went to Covent-garden theatre, curious to see if Miss Foote looked as angelic as ever. An immense crowd assembled impatient for admission. Not liking the idea of being squeezed to death, returned home, to wait a more favourable opportunity.
It is reported a Bill will shortly be presented to Parliament under the highest sanction, the object of which will be to open the court of Common Pleas to the whole Bar, instead of its practice being confined, as now, to the members of the coif.—I am sorry to see chief justice Best so cruelly afflicted with the gout— he made a touching appeal on the subject the other day, to sergeant Vaughan — whether it was felt or not, I can't say.
Took a walk to Hornsey, and passing the New River, saw a collection of ice, at which I stood staring like a negro, who bad never seen such a thing before.—Poor Alderman Cox, he'll never be out of hot water again—it is now said, his loving spouse has instituted two actions agaiast him, the one for alimony, the other for the restitution of conjugal rights!
6.—The weather has again become mild. This, in all probability, is the only touch of winter we shall have; and there being little hopes of a plentiful supply of ice for the confectioners, four vessels are getting ready in the Thames, for the purpose of fetching cargoes of ice from Norway and Spitzbergen. A similar adventure took place a few years ago, which turned out very profitable to the speculators.— The Upper Pool of the River was never known to be so full of shipping as at the present time, since the opening of the London Docks. .
High Water, Morn. IX. 15 m.—Aft. IX. 50 m.
Anniversary Chronology.—1554. Lady Jane Grey and her husband were beheaded in the tower. This illustrious and accomplished lady fell a victim to the ambition of her father, who, on the demise of Edward VI., prevailed on her to suffer herself to be proclaimed queen of England.
dFrbruarii XIII.—Shrove Sunday.
High Water,Morn. X. 25 m.—Aft. X. 58 m. Sunday Lessons, Mnrn. Gen. 9. Mark 13. Even. Gen. 12. 2 Cor. 9.
'Anniversary Chronology.—1689. King William and queen Mary were proclaimed, and, of course, this day forms
the anniversary of what has been styled; the glorious Revolution of 1688.
1691. Massacre of Glencoe. Glencoe is a vale in Argyleshire, Scotland, and noted for the inhuman massacre of its unsuspecting inhabitants. Eight and thirty persons suffered, the greater part of whom were surprised in their beds, and inhumanly butchered. This horrid business was never sufficiently investigated; nor did William III. severely punish those who had artfully made his authority subservient to their own base and cruel revenge. Glencoe is also famous as \ the birthplace of Ossian, as appears from several passages in the poems of that bard j and many of the places are accurately named and described.
Jfebruarn XIV. Valentine's Day. —Monday.
High Water, Morn. XI. 31 m.—Aft. XI. 59 m.
Customs.—The custom of choosing Valentines is of very long standing, and was practised in the houses of the gentry, in England,- early in the fifteenth century. Like many other popular observances, it is no more than a corruption of something similar that had prevailed in the times of paganism. At the celebration of the Roman Lupercalia, amidst a variety of ceremonies, it was the custom to put the names of several young women in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. The pastors of the early christian church, who endeavoured to eradicate the vestiges of pagan super, stition, substituted, in the present instance, the names of particular saints, instead of those of the women; and, as the festival of the Lupercalia had commenced about the middle of February, they appear to have chosen St. Valentine's day for celebrating the new feast. Another opinion on the origin of choosing Valentines is formed on a tradition, that at this season of the year the birds choose their mates; but this seems a mere poetical idea. Herrick, in his Hesperulcs, alludes to this notion:
Oft have I heard both youths and virgins say, Birds choose their mates, and couple, too, this
day; But, by their flight, I never can divine, When I shall couple with my Valentine.
Grose explains Valentine to mean, the first woman seen by a man, or man seen by a woman, on that day.
In the north of England, the Monday preceding Shrove Tuesday is called ColLop-monday; eggs and collops forming a principal dish at dinner on that day.
On this day, 1780, died sir William Blackstone, author of the celebrated work,
entitled " Commentaries on the Laws of England." He was born in Cheapside, London, 1723.
jFebruatrg XV.—Shrove Tuesday.
High Water, Morn. 0. 0. m.—Aft. 0. 27 m. . Customs.—Shrove Tuesday is a relic of the carnival, and is called in some parts of the country Pancake Tuesday, the shriving, or confessing of sin, taking place in the Shrovetide, or Lent, which follows it. It was the commencement of the interval between flesh-eating; and so they wisely filled up the time with pancakes, fritters, and puddings:
Let glad Shrove Tuesday bring ihe pancake thin. Or Jritter, rich with applesstored within.
The making of the pancakes used to furnish as much amusement in the kitchen as their consumption did in the parlour, the operators piquing themselves on tossing them skilfully in the pan. We see a great many reasons for the discontinuance of some customs, but we see none why we should give up the pancake—uuless subject to the heart-burn. They are of taste " not inelegant," as Hilton says j they are a nice variety ; their entrance is a blissful moment for the " young folk;" they can accommodate themselves to sophisticated palates, by means of lemonjuice, or vinegar: and we have the authority of a noted gourmand for saying, that tfie rolling one of them up; then cutting it with a knife and fqrk, and dipping the sliee into plenty of sugar, forms a most delicious morceav.
dftivuarj) XVI.—Ash Wednesday.
High Water, Morn. 0. 52 m.—Aft. I.17 m.
To the thirtyrsix days of old Lent, Gregory added four days more, to render it equal to the time Jesus fasted in the wilderness, causing it to begin on Ash Wednesday, and thus it has remained ever since. Lent is not of apostolic institution, nor was it known in the earlier ages of the christian church.
Anniversary Chronology.—1754, Expired Dr. Mead, a distinguished physician; under whose auspices inoculation for the small-pox was first introduced into this country. The experiment was first successfully tried on seven condemned criminals, in London. Dr. Young, author of the " Might Thoughts," bears testimony to Mead's medical skill:—
"Alive by miracle! or,, what is next, • Alive by Mead.".
High Water, Morn. I. 39 m.—Aft. II. 1 m.
at Paris, the place of his nativity, the celebrated French comedian, Moliere. He was seized with death in his 53d year, while acting in the character of a sick man, in " Le Malade Imaginaire," one of his own plays.
On this day died, at Rome, Michael Angelo; a man of extraordinary acquirements, since he obtained eminence in the several departments of painting, sculpture, and architecture. His favourite maxim was:
Che '1 tempo e breve, e '1 necessario poco; which Goldsmith has thus neatly expressed, in his Edwin and Angelina:
"Man wants but little here below;
High Water, Morn. 1I. 21 m.—Aft. II. 40 m. ?
Anniversary Chronology.—1478. The duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV., was drowned in the Tower. The only favour granted to him by the king, after his condemnation, was the choice of his death; and he chose to be instantly immersed in a butt of malmsey: which whimsical death implies, as Hume observes, that he had an extraordinary passion for that liquor.
1546. Expired, in the 63d year of his age, Martin Luther, the fiery and indefatigable reformer of the abuses and superstitions of the Romish church.
LES JEUX ET LE HIS.
*«* Under this head we shall from time to time insert, the poetical pleasantries, of our numerous Correspondents.
On reading the following passage in the Edinburgh Review, (the writer of which is apparently an Irishman,) and on the conclusions there drawn by him. Extract. "The non-readers must be excluded: either 1st. for a presumed incapacity in the ignorant to choose well: or 2dly. to induce "people to acquire knowledge. Either of these principles would let in many other exclusions.''
Critic! yclep'd "the wonderful i" .-* .•
Great Heasoner! you've let in a Btill,
In letting out conclusions.— "A Bull ! your wit, my friend is bald: ,. Know, tilings let inare always call'd By Erin's sons,—exclusions ."'
"A feather for each wind that blows."
Shak. Wint. Tale. . "Woman's a weathercock"—so cry The mighty masters, whose keen eye
Marks nicely each mutation.—
The" gravity of a certain great House was a little interrupted on Thursday evening by the appearance of Mr.Mathews, the actor, who sat under the gallery the whole of the debate, and who was discovered by a well-known facetious member of the house.' We shall wait most anxiously for Me, Mathews's new entertainment, when the result of his observations, during that evening, are 'likely enough to afford subjects for harmless merriment.
A New-fashioned Mouse-trap.— In an underground cellar at the new inn at Ashburton, in Devonshire, a dish of Wembury oysters was laid for coolness. At the Hime when the ,tide flows, it is well known that oysters open their shells to admit the water, and take their food. At this period a large oyster had expanded its jaws, and at the same moment, two mice, searching for prey, pounced at once on the victim, and seized it with their teeth. The oyster, shrinking at the wound, closed its shell, collapsing with such force as to Crush the marauders to death. The oyster, with the two mice dangling from its shell, was for a long time exhibited as a curiosity,by the worthy landlady, Mrs. Aldridge, to her guests. A similar circumstance of an oyster clasping a mouse within its shell forms the subject of one of the epigrams in the Greek Anthology.
The transactions of this week have presented no points for comment.
The Foreign Stocks varied but little, until news from Colombia made the bonds of that republic, which had before kept between 90 and 91, advance to 92|. ^ What with Jthe annunciations of the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Chief Justice, tie holders of shares in the various -new projects, seem quite despairing, yet afraid to throw their shares hastily on the market, for fear of depressing it. The shares are all cheaper; some of the South American Mine Shares 201. to 40/. lower.