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of conversation, particularly about mechanical subjects, aud the art of war. I found the old gentleman as lively with his tongue as with his feet, and passed a very pleasant evening; which ended by my pointing out, at his request, a plan for playing his organ by the steam of his teakettle. This little history gave lord Byron a great deal of pleasure; he very often laughed as I told it; he laughed much at its conclusion, and he frequently bade me repeat, what he called Jerry Bentham's Cruise."
Parry is very sore at being represented as the favourite butt of lord Byron; whether this was so or not we cannot say, but, judging from the contents of this publication, and his own pertona, as represented in one of the plates affixed to this trumpery volume, we must say, that a better subject for a butt we never beheld.
FORMER PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS OF LONDON. At a time when, in England, the spirit of local improvement prevails so much, and in so many places, but especially in the metropolis, where new squares, new streets, new churches, new theatres, new crescents, new quadrants, and other new "rows of palaces, and walks of state" salute the eye in every quarter, it will not be ungratifying to our readers to learn, how sensible were our forefathers of the great room, in their time, for enhancing the beauties and conveniences of Loudon.
As far back as 1760, the idea was very generally entertained, of making numerous and considerable alterations, both west and east of Temple-bar. The new openings and other improvements then made, pursuant to an Act of Parliament, we need not describe, because the present airy, healthy, and embellished state of the capital, in all its principal avenues, many of which were enlarged, and most of them newly paved, at that period, sufficiently explain what the changes were. But still, only a few of the whole of the improvements then proposed, have, even yet, been adopted. New spires have shot up, and new ways have unfolded themselves; but they are not those projected sixty-five years ago, subsequently to the opening Charing-cross to the Admiralty, which was a most eligible and advantageous undertaking, and, as it would appear, gave birth to the following suggestions for further amendments :—
"The west side of Lancaster-court, Strand, and the east side of St. Martin'slane, directly behind that side of the court, to be taken down, in order to make
a spacious opening from the Strand to the church.
"The north side of Chandos-street, Covent-garden, to be continued in a line to St. Martin's-lane.
"Durham-yard to be opened, and laid out in handsome streets, with coal-wharfs and passages beneath them.
"Exeter-change to be taken down, and also the houses in the Strand that stand between that building and Southampton-street; so that an opening may be formed corresponding with that which will be produced by the removal of the 'Change.
"Drury-lane to be continued to the Strand, and to have a proper width given to its south end.
"The whole south side of Holywellstreet to be removed, with the same side of Butcher-row, likewise St. Clement's church; and the new space thus afforded, to be thrown into the Strand.
"Bell-yard to be opened into Fleetstreet, and a width given to it equal to that of Carey-street.
"Middle-row to be laid into Holborn; Chancery-lane to be widened at its two extremities.
"Fetter-lane also to be widened at both ends ; at its south end, by throwing into it Flower-de-luce-court; and at the north end, by removing some of the old houses on the east side.
"The area of the King's-bench walk in the Temple, to be continued into Fleetstreet, and separated from it only by rails, having openings between them for foot passengers.
"All the houses between Bride-lane and Salisbury-court to be removed, in order to throw St. Bride's church open to Fleet-street.
"The east side of Ave-Maria-lane, the south side of Paternoster-row, the east side of Creed-lane, and the north side of Carter-lane, to be levelled, and thrown into St. Paul's church-yard.
"The east side of Warwick-lane to be thrown back ten or twelve feet.
"Newgate-market to be continued on its north and south sides, to Newgatestreet, and Paternoster-row.
"All the houses forming the south side of the Poultry and the north side of Bucklersbury, to be removed, by which a fine opening will be made, leading to, and displaying the city mansion.
"In order to clear the back of the Mansion-house, the church of St. Stephen, Wallbrook, to be taken down, and rebuilt on a site more to the south.
"All the ground on which stand the houses forming the north side of Cornhill, and the south side of Threadneed.le-street, from the Poultry to the Royal Exchange, to be thrown into the main street, by which the 'Change and the Bank will be laid open.
"The east side of the 'Change to be cleared, to the breadth of fifty feet.
"A street fifty feet wide to be cut, from the front of the 'Change into Lombard-street.
"Bartholomew-lane, Finch-lane, and Birchin-lane, to be widened ten feet.
"The south side of Thames-street to be entirely removed, clear to the river, and the opening to be extended from Towerwharf to the Temple. The north boundary of this quay to consist of a fine range of mercautile warehouses.
"London-wall, from Moorgate to Cripplegate, and all the houses on that side of Fore-street, to be taken down, and a line of new houses to be built on Londonwall, widening the whole street about twelve feet.
"In the spaces gained by opening Lancaster-court, St. Clement's churchyard, Middle-row, Holborn, the King's Bench walk, St. Paul's church-yard, the Poultry, Cornhill, and other places, public fountains to be constructed; which may be adorned with statues, erected in honour of those patriots, philanthropists, and sages who merit such distinction from their country."
Of these suggested improvements, some have since been effected, and others have recently been proposed. On the idea of displaying to the passengers in Fleetttreet, the beautiful structure of St. Bride's church, Farringdon VVard With-, out is now acting; and in the recommendation, to open a space between Loudon and the river, from Tower-wharf to the Temple, we seem to see the origin of the project lately brought forward, for forming a grand boulevard from Parliament-street to Fish-street-hill. In fact, the eighteenth century was as anxious to give every practicable improvement to the metropolis, and was not les3 spirited or less ingenious in effecting the great object. If the communication!between London and Paris was not formerly so constant as at present, and the advantage of the examples of the streets and edifices of the French capital was not pushed to the same extent, still much was done; the way was prepared for further improvements ; and if the present state of London is in truth less honourable to us because the taste and industry of our ancestors laid the foundation of our metropolitan grandeur, neither are they to be slighted because they lived before us, and could only begin what it will be our duty to complete.
ON THE BENEFICIAL' DIRECTION RECENTLY GIVEN TO CURIOSITY.
The desire of knowledge is as natural to man as the appetites of hunger and thirst. He who has no wish to know what is doing, or has been done in tha world;—to make himself acquainted with phenomena and events, with which his own existence and well-being may be intimately connected, must be void of the strongest motives to the exercise of intellect, and in danger of such a stagnation of thought and feeling, as would limit tha enjoyments of life to the merely animal. It is true, that the fruits of the tree of knowledge may not be always of a wholesome kind, but prove apples of Sodem— disquieting misapprehensions, hearthurnings, strifes, and enmities, being, not unfrequently, results of mawkish gossipiugs, and tale-bearers' tattle. But the desire of knowledge may be turned to better account—to acquiring useful truths—correcting of errors and prejudices,—and inspiring with worthy sentiments, and thus both point out and induce to walk in the way of well-being.
To prevent the perversion of curiosity, proper food must be provided for its legitimate gratification, and not at too high a rate, should the mental amelioration of the great body of the people be deemed an object worthy of attention. But, till within these few years, the storehouse of the intellect was inaccessible to all who had only copper in the pocket, and their reading confined to a snatch of a weekly newspaper, with little either of amusement or instruction. How much improved now is the state of things in this respect, when the labourer and mechanic can have, for the price of a pint of porter, as much wholesome mental aliment as may serve him to digest for a week. Nor are the cheap weekly publications now, as formerly, mere vent-holes for political rancour and invective, but turned to subjects more connected with the comfort and well-being of the people. It is pleasing to look forward to the effects that may flow from the regeneration of the common intellect. When hurtful errors and prejudices are corrected, and just notions, not only of their best interest, but of the proper way to attain and preserve it, are diffused among the people, they will become too enlightened to be the dupes of quackery, either medical, political, or spiritual. But, above all, the effects that the intellectual improvement of the body of the people will have upon the training and education of the young, may be supposed of the highest consequence;
When tlie shooting and pruning of the young idea are no longer intrusted to the hands of ignorance and folly, but enlightened tutors, as well as affectiouate parents, are experienced by children, in the persons of those under whose eye they are brought up, will not this be an important step towards that general reformation of manuers which has hitherto been deemed visionary, or unattainable t It is long since two things more calculated to advance the general good have been hit upon, than savings' banks, and cheap weekly publications; the one encouraging habits of economy, and, with this, it may be added, of industry ;—while the other affords an abundant store of instruction, as well as of amusement, to all classes.— A.N.
. . STANZAS.
(From Sonnets and Poems by D. L. Richardson.) Yss—I have loved and honoured thee,— Nor guile, nor fear of guile were mine;— But, oh < since thou canst faithless be, I'll grieve not for a heart like thine!
Lady, when first thine azure eye
Met, and controlled, my raptured gaze,
Mine was the fond and pleasing sigh
Could I have known what now I know,
In vain had shone the spurious glow,
Tis not an eye of brightest hue
Fidelity, and Feeling true,
Forge the strong fetters of the heart.
And the brief charm hath lost its power,— Indignant pride shall now rebel;
For, cold and false one! from this hour, My soul is free—Farewell—farewell!
MUSIC. 'Fantasia Brilliante for the Flute or Piano-forte, Composed by N. Weiss.
This fantasia, which includes the "Bridesmaid's Song," with variations, and the admired cavatina sung by Miss Stephens, Miss Faton, and Miss Graddon, in Weber's Der Freischutz, is conceived with considerable taste, and, on the whole, wears a character of novelty which announces no common degree of invention. The tender portions of the composition are marked by pathos and sentiment, and the bolder parts bear evidence of the composer's spirit and animation. To those who wish to unite iatheir practice
the gratification of the ear with the improvement of the hand, this fantasia cannot but prove highly acceptable.
Three Concertante Ihtets for twt Flutes. Composed by A. Ireland, Principal Flutist at the King's Theatre.
If these duets are not constructed on the most scientific plan, their movements are familiar and attractive. Their harmony, however, we must say, is not so perfect but that we would rather hear the two parts in succession than together. This in a two-part composition is a serious drawback on its general merit; yet we can say in favour of the composer, that he has thrown a degree of spirit and beauty into the melody of these pieces that will scarcely fail to recommend them to the attention of amateurs, and those practitioners who seek for effect rather in the agreeableness than the originality, or science, of the ideas. All the themes are pleasing, if not new, and they are skilfully supported. Mr. Ireland is evidently a man of talents; and we really think that when he has imbued his mind with a little more theoretical knowledge than he at present manifests, he will become a very respectable instrumental composer.
EXTRAORDINARY SPECIMEN OF THE OURANG-OUTANG. On the Sth of January last, Dr. Abel read in the Asiatic Society, at Calcutta, an account of the capture, by the men of the ship of the Mary Ann Sophia, in Sumatra, of an ourang-outang, which seems to have been the largest and most remarkable animal of the kind, ever seen by Europeans. His walk was erect and waddling, but not quick, and he was obliged occasionally to accelerate his motion with his hands; but with the bough of a tree he impelled himself forward with greater rapidity. When he reached the trees, his strength was shown in a high degree, for with one spring he gained a very lofty bough, and bounded from it with the ease of the smaller animals of his kind. Had the circumjacent land been covered with wood, he would certainly have escaped from his pursuers, his mode of travelling by bough or tree being described as rapid as the progress of a very fleet horse. He was first shot on a tree, and after having received five balls, his exertion was relaxed, owing, no doubt, to loss of blood; and the ammunition being about this time expended, they were obliged to have recourse to other measures for his destruction. One of the first balls probably penetrated his lungs, for immediately after the infliction of the wound, he slung'himself by his feet from a branch with his head downwards, and allowed the blood to flow from his mouth. On receiving a wound, he always put his hand over the injured part, and the human-like agony of his expression, had the natural effect of exciting painful feelings among his pursuers. With the assistance of the peasantry, the tree was cut down on which he was reclining exhausted, but the moment he found it falling, he exerted his remaining strength, aud gained another tree, and then a third, until he was finally brought to the ground, and forced to combat his assailants, who now gathered very thickly round and discharged spears and other missiles against him. The first spear, made of a very strong supple sort of wood, which would have resisted the strength of the strongest man, was broken by him like a carrot, and had he not been at this.time in almost a dying state, it was feared that he would have severed the heads of some of the party with equal ease. He fell, at length, under innumerable stabs inflicted by the peasantry. The animal is supposed to have travelled some distance from the place where he was killed, as his legs were covered with mud up to the knees. His stature was extraordinary, measuring full seven feel. Dr. Abel, who has examined the skin and all the fragments of the animal presented to the society, observes, that of the small animals.more particularly known in Europe, under the designation of ourangoutang, one is an inhabitant of Africa, the other of the East. Of both, several living specimens have been seen in Europe, but all were of small stature and very young, and never exceeding three feet in height, or as many years, of age.
. The late Mr. Scott, of Exeter,' who died a few years ago, travelled on business till about eighty years of age; He was one of the most celebrated characters in the kingdom for punctuality, and by his methodical conduct, with uniform diligence, he gradually amassed a large fortune. For a long series of years, the proprietor of every inn he frequented, in Devon and Cornwall, knew the day and the very hour he would arrive. Some time since, a gentleman, who was travelling through Cornwall, stopped at a small inn at Port Isaac to dine. The waiter immediately presented him with a bill of fare, which he did not approve of, but observing a fine duck roasting, "I'll have that," said the traveller. "You Cannot, sir," replied the landlord, " it is
for Mr. Scott, of Exeter."—" I know Mr. Scott very well," rejoined the gentleman, "he is not in your house."—" True, sir," said the landlord, " but six months ago, when he was here last, he ordered a duck to be ready for him this day precisely at two o'clock." And, to the astonishment of the traveller, he saw the old gentleman, on his Rosinante, jogging into the innyard, about five minutes before the appointed time!
Falstaff had no notion of seeking honour at the "cannon's mouth,"and a French writer observes, "Qu'un jour dans le monde, vaut mille ans dans l'histoire:" which is rather inelegantly rendered—
If a thousand years hence " Here lies M. P."
Be found on my tombstone, what is it to met . . i
I confess nothing surprises me more, than the eagerness men seek after posthumous distinction. The pursuit of wealth, power, or love, may reward its votaries, but what is fame to a person mouldering in his grave! At most, it is only a breath, a voice he hears not, a vision painted on the clouds he cannot see, or an ecstasy he does not feel. The ashes of Semiramis or Alexander, are as little enlivened by the halo that surrounds them, as the more obscure dust of their followers—they feel no delightful throbs from the world being filled with their renown. Yet unreal and shadowy as glory is, it forms the most prevailing stimulant to human actions; it is not a passion confined to any particular age or condition of life, but the desire of all classes; and even those who look on this world as " theTiere and the end all," and whom one might suppose regardless of the future, are not less eager in the pursuit of it; and though they have no faith in a "bright reversion in the skies," are anxious to establish a reversion on the tongues of succeeding ages.
Such a universal" longing after immortality," besides forming a remarkable distinction between man and the inferior creation, in my opinion entirely refutes the doctrine of the innate selfishness of mankind. The desire of being remembered by posterity is at least disinterested; it seeks a reward, if so it may be, termed, when all sense of enjoyment has ceased—when there is nothing either to hope or to fear from the opinion of others. A being that may be so excited, that may be led to sacrifice ease, pleasure, and even life to its attainment, cannot, with any regard to the meaning of the words, be termed selfish.
He may be a visionary I grant; but to say he is animated by a degrading self love, can never be allowed.
In.this view, I sometimes think the character of Bonaparte incorrectly appreciated. There is not one of his qualities in which writers more concur, than his selfishness, yet I doubt whether informed the leading feature of his mind. That it formed his ethical creed, we have the authority of madame de Stael; but besides allowing a little for her peculiar opinions on Napoleon, it may be observed, that men are not always what they profess to be, nor women either. I do not mean to observe that either sex is generally worse than it appears, but that it is also sometimes better; for we occasionally find in both, that, if there be some whose practices are not exactly equal to their professions, there are others, whose doctrines are quite latitudinarian, of very exemplary lives. This remark, which I think comes originally from Bayle, is applicable to Bonaparte; whose profession of Selfism was very little exemplified in his progress. He was strictly a Polyphemus sort of being, a man impelled by " one" idea, and that idea military glory. The examples of Roman and Grecian achievements, had early fired his imagination; they were the food of bis soul, and the goal of his ambition. But. a person who could set up such models for imitation, who could subdue every passion to emulate the heroes of Plutarch, and who could at last stake and lose a powerful empire to equal or exceed them—may, it is true, be an enthusiast, a conqueror, or a tyrant, but it would be surely unphilosophical to trace so illusive and dazzling a career, to the mere workings of a selfish and grovelling nature. • The love of fame seems an instinctive feeling intended to counteract the otherwise selfishness of humanity: without it, man would be little elevated above the brute creation; his pursuits would be directed to immediate objects, and the indulgence of the lowest appetites; but stimulated by this noble impulse, he aspires from the present to the future, and instead of the mere gratifications of sense, he seeks to realize some transcendent vision of the mind. Mankind are benefited by the illusion, for it is chiefly the operation of this divine afflatus, that the labours of our most efficient benefactor may be traced.
Another "remark will still more exemplify the wisdom of nature in this matter. The desire of fame is generally proportionate to the means to acquire it; in other words, superior endowments are usually accompanied with a superior defile to exert them. Thus it is that men
most able to benefit mankind, to enlighten them by their wisdom, reform them by their example, or ennoble them by their valour, are most active and ambitious. To this observation I know exceptions may be easily cited; but, as a general truth, I think it will hardly be denied.
History is almost exclusively occupied with the different labours of men for celebrity, and.the sacrifices they make are nearly incredible. Helvetius, we are told, piqued by the honours paid to Maupertius, secluded himself fifteen years in the country, engaged in his paradoxical work on the mind. Bufifon spent some fourteen hours a day, for fifty years, on his "Natural History." Montesquieu was engaged, at intervals, for forty years, on the "Spirit of Laws." Smith spent twelve years on the "Wealth of Nations," and Gibbon seventeen on the " Rise and Fall," a work undertaken solely to perpetuate his memory. Others have devoted longer periods to the composition of works, and their names are scarcely remembered. It 'is not indeed enough to deserve fame to acquire . it; accident, though it cannot confer real distinction, may transmit a name to posterity as well as desert. Thus Americus Vespucius gave his name to half the globe, though the honour was due to Columbus. What pains did Shakspeare take to earn immortality,! He neither watched early nor late : his glory was the gift of nature. Newton thought little about gravitation or untwisting the rays of light after being made Master of the Mint; and the great discoveries by which he is immortalized, he seems to have considered only proper for the amusement of his leisure. Mahomet could never have contemplated the wide spread of his impostures when he first divulged them to a few vagabond Arabs. And Martin Luther has engrossed nearly the whole glory of the reformation, though Wickliflfe, Huss, and Jerome laid the foundation. In philosophy, too, we sometimes observe similar injustice. The first discoveries are usually made by chance, and their inventors, who enjoy the entire glory of them, have seldom more merit in the perfection to which they attain,.than the man who fells a tree, or digs out the ore, in the beautiful fabrics manufactured by the skill of the artist. Who could foresee the changes effected by gunpowder in the art of war, the compass in navigation, the telescope in astronomy, or the steam engine in manufactories, all which inventions had probably their origin in some accidental discovery 1 On the other hand, discoveries of the utmost utility have been made; as the alphabet, printing, • the plough, and the glass manufacture j^of