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FROM THE UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE.
London; being a complete Guide to the British Capital; containing an accurate and
succinct Account of its origin, Rise, and Progress, the Increase and Extent of its Buildings, its Commerce, Curiosities, Exhibitions, Amusements, Publick Calami. ties, Religious and Charitable Foundations, Literary Establishments, Learned and Scientifick Institutions, &c. &c. Interspersed with a variety of Original Anecdotes, Eccentrick Biography, Critical Remarks, &c. &c. Faithfully abridged from Mr. Pennant's London, and brought down to the present year. By John Wallis. 12mo. 1810.
TO this compilation we give our his feet, but against the dwarf wall divi. unqualified approbation. We have ding Upper from Lower Moorfields. He afread it with pleasure and with in- terwards pulled against two horses; but as struction. It is judiciously and faith- of rising parallel to the traces of the horses,
his legs were placed horizontally, instead fully abridged, from Pennant's he was jerked from his seat, and had one larger work, and contains, besides, of his knees much bruised and hurt; much new matter. There is no whereas, it was the opinion of Dr. Desathing of any importance that is guliers, that had he been in a proper posi. omitted; and, as it is neatly printed, tion, he might have kept his situation and cheaply published, we may con
against the pulling of four horses, without
the least inconvenience. fidently expect that it will meet with “ The feats which Dr. Desaguliers says such approbation from the publick he bimself saw him perform, are as fol. as it assuredly deserves.
low: As a specimen of the manner in “By the strength of his fingers he rolled which it is compiled, we will ex. up a very strong and large pewter dish.
He broke seven or eight short pieces of a tract the account of Topham, which tobacco pipe by the force of liis middle contains particulars not very gene- finger, having laid them on his first and rally known, and will interest most third finger. Having thrust the bowl of a readers in the perusal:
strong tobacco pipe under bis garter, bis legs being bent, he broke it to pieces by the
tendons of his hams, without altering the “Cold Bath Fields, in this vicinity, was bending of his legs. Another bowl of this likewise chosen for a singular exhibition kind he broke between his first and second of bodily strength. Topham, about three. finger, by pressing them together side. score years ago, generally known by the ways. He lifted a table with his teeth six name of the strong man, kept a publick feet long, with half a hundred weight house, the sign of the apple tree, at no hanging at the end of it, holding it in a great distance from Cold Bath Fields, in horizontal position a considerable time. 1741, and chose that spot to exhibit one of “He took an iron kitchen poker, about his feats, viz. lifting three hogsheads of a yard long, and three inches round, and water, weighing 1836 pounds, upon a kind struck upon his bare left arm, between of scaffold, as it was then said, in honour the elbow and the wrist, till he bent the of admiral Vernon, on account of his taking poker nearly to a right angle. Porto Bello with six ships only. Topham “With such another poker, holding the was then so confident of lifting these hogs ends of it in his hands, and the middle of heads, that he wanted three children to it against the back of his neck, he brought stand under them at the time; but this the both ends of it together before him; and populace would not permit, though he what was yet more difficult, be pulled it performed the undertaking with ease. almost straight again.
“ Topham was then about thirty one, in “He broke a rope of two inches cir. the prime of life
cumference, though, in consequence of his “ The first publick feat performed by awkward manner, he was oluliged to exert Tophan, of much notoriety, viz, his pull. four times more strength than was neces. ing against a horse, was in the neighbour sary. hood where he then lived, viz. Moorfields; • He lifted a rolling stone of eight hun. neither was it against stumps that he put dred pounds weight, with his hands only,
standing in a frame above it, and taking at Derby with Mad Tom. The Doctor also hold of a chain that was fastened thereto. heard him sing a solo to the organ (then
“ Dr. Hutton, of Birmingham, speaking the only one in Derby) in St. Werburgh's of Topham, is right in asserting that he church; but though he might perform also kept a publick house at Islington; he with judgment, yet the voice, more terrilikewise confirms wbat was said of him ble than sweet, scarcely seemed human. by Dr. Desaguliers; besides his lifting two The ostler at the Virgin inn, where Tophogsheads of water, heaving his horse ham put up, having insulted him, he took over the turnpike gate, carrying the beam one of the kitchen spits from the mantleof a house as a soldier carries his firelock. piece, and bent it round his neck like a These, Dr. Hutton observes, were the re handkerchief; but as he did not choose to ports circulated respecting Topham in the tuck the end in the ostler's bosom, the country. But, however belief might be cumbrous ornament only excited the laugh staggered, he observes, she recovered of the company, until Topham undertook herself, when this second Samson appears to untie his iron cravat. Had he not abound. ed at Derby as a performer in publick, at ed with good nature, the men might have a shilling each. Upon application to alder. been in fear for the safety of their persons, man Cooper, to exhibit, the magistrate and the women, for that of their pewter was surprised at the feats he proposed; and on the shelves. One blow from him would as his appearance was like that of other for ever have silencedsthose heroes of the men, he requested him to strip, that he fist, who boast so much of boxing: might examine whether he was made like “ But the circumstances here related by them, but he was found extremely mus. Dr. Desaguliers and Dr. Hutton, were only cular. What were hollows under the arms the common place performances of Topand hams of others, were filled up with ham, when he went about purposely to ligaments in him.
show himself; some aged persons who “ From the jerk he received from the knew him in his neighbourhood, relate a two horses, Dr. Hutton observed, that be variety of pranks which he was occasional. limped a little in his walk; and though a ly in the habit of playing; for instance, one well made man, had nothing singular in night finding a watchman fast asleep in his appearance.
his box, near Chiswell street, he took both, “ The performances of this wonderful and carrying the load with the greatest man at Derby, in whom the doctor ob. ease, at length dropped the watchman and serves, the strength of twelve men were his wooden case over the wall of Tindall's united, were the rolling up of a pewter burying ground, where the poor fellow, dish of seven pounds, as a man rolls up a only half awake, and doubting whether he sheet of paper. Holding a pewter quart at was in the land of the living, in recovering arm's length, and squeezing the sides lo- from his fright, seemed to be waiting for gether like an egg-shell. Lifting two hun. the opening of the graves around him.dred weight with his little finger, and Another time, sitting at the window of moving it gently over his head The bodies a low, publick house, in the same street, he touched seemed to have lost the power while a butcher from a slaughter-house of gravitation. He also broke a rope fasten was going by with nearly half an ox on his ed to the floor, that would have sustained back, Topham relieved him of it with so twenty hundred weight; lifted the oak much ease and dexterity, that the fellow, table with half a liundred weight to it; a almost petrified with astonishment, swore piece of leather being fixed to one end for that nothing but the devil could have his teeth to hold, and while two of the feet flown away with his load. A third time, stood upon his knees, he raised the end of thinking to enjoy a little sport with some it, with the weight, higher than that in his bricklayers, by removing part of a scaffold mouth. Mr. Chambers, then vicar of All just before they intended to strike it, from Saints, in Derby, who weighed twenty a small building, his grasp was so rude, seven stone, he took and raised with one that a part of the front wall following the hand, his head being laid on one chair, timber, the fellows conceived it had been and his feet on another. Four people, also, the effects of an earthquake, and immefourteen stone each, sat upon Topham's diately ran, without looking behind them body, and these he heaved at pleasure. At into an adjoining field. Here, however, one blow he struck a round bar of iron, Topham was near paying dearly for his one inch in diameter, against his naked jest, as one of the poles struck him on his arm, and bent it like a bow. Weakness and side, and gave him great pain. feeling seemed fled together.
“ Another time, being persuaded by “ Being a master of some musick, Dr. one of his acquaintance to accompany im Hutton says he entertained the company on board a West India-man in the river
and being presented with a cocoa nut, he ing the landlord. But as they could be apthrew one of the sailors into the utmost peased no other way, Topham, at length, astonishment, by suddenly cracking it seizing them hoth by the nape of the close to his ear, with the same facility as neck, with the same facility as if they had we crack an egg-shell: and upon some re been children, he knocked both their heads mark being made upon an observation together, till perfectly sensible of their er. dee ned rather insolent, by the mate of the rour, they became as abject in asking par. ship, Topham replied, that he could have don, as they had before been insolent in cracked the bowsprit over his head; and giving offence. of the truth of which there was not the “ There is a report, that being opened least doubt.
after his death, the ribs, which are de. “ Another time, a race being to be run tached in other persons, were found in him on the Hackney road, when a fellow with in a manner connected into one solid suba horse and cart would attempt to keep stance. close to the contending parties, much to “ He is said to have been extremely the displeasure of the spectators in gene. irritable in his temper, but had sometimes ral, Topham, wbo was one of them, step- such a command over himself, that, to pre. ing into the road, seized the tail of the vent its effects, he would lock himself up cart, and in spite of all the fellow's exer. in a room till he found himself calm. To tions in whipping his horse to get forward, his own violence, however, he at length he drew them both backwards, with the fell a victim; his jealousy of his wife ingreatest ease and velocity: and while the duced him to beat her so severely, that pleasure of the beholders was at the high- fear and remorse, as to the consequences, est point of gratification, the surprise and had such an effect upon him, that he put rage of the driver seemed to be beyond an end to his own existence. A plate was all expression; nothing preventing him engraved, representing him in the act of from exercising his whip, upon the imme- lifting the hogsheads of water in Cold diate cause of his chagrin, but the proba. Bath Fieldds; but this was the last feat ble fear of his being pulled or crushed to he ever exhibited. pieces.
“ There were several signs some years “ During the time he kept a publick ago in different parts of the metropolis house, two fellows, extremely quarrel- referring to Topham's strength; one of the some, though patiently born with for a con last of these was in East Smithfield, where siderable time, at length proceeded so far, he was represented as “The strong man that nothing would satisfy them but fight- pulling against two horses.”
FROM THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.
History of Brazil. By Robert Southey. Part the First. 4to pp. 660. London, 1810.
IT is by no means easy to mention volume. With a share of genius and a style of composition which Mr. fancy equalled but by few; an honesSouthey has not attempted, and it ty surpassed by none; and an extent would be still harder to point out and variety of information marked one in which his talents might not with the stamp of that industrious be expected to raise him to distin- and almost forgotten accuracy which guished eminence. Few authors of brings us back to the severer days the present age, have written so of English study, he possesses a much as he has done, and still few. commanding knowledge of his moer of any age, have written so well. ther tongue, which, though the os. As a poet, we conceive his name tentation of power sometimes prohas not yet arrived at the reputation duces pedantry, and its attendant which it is hereafter destined to at- negligence betrays him too often intain; and, as a historian, the expec- to antiquated homeliness, is strongly, tation excited by his previous and however, and, we think, advantageless important essays, will not be ously contrasted with the monotodisappointed by the present, bulky nous and unbending dignity which
distinguishes the greater part of it were, the grammar of political modern historians. No author could man. And, however inglorious the be fixed upon to continue, with agents in the colonization of Brazil, greater prospect of success, the task the mariners, the missionaries, the of American history, which Robert- exiles of one of the least of our Euson left unfinished; and none is bet- ropean nations; it cannot be an unter adapted to correct and supply, important labour to trace the process by superiour minuteness, zealous by which their slender means achieve research, and lively painting of na ed effects so apparently disproporture and manners, the cold, and of- tioned. In these rude efforts of an ten inaccurate outline of that sen infant state, these struggles with sible and pleasing, but, certainly, their savage neighbours, or the more superficial writer.
important warfare which they have That portion of American annals* carried on against the beasts of the which, in this literary colonization, wood, the dragons of the fen, and has fallen to Mr. Southey's share, the unkindly effects of strange and has less, indeed, of the usual com adverse climates, we are reading the mon places of history, less that is original history of every civilized refined, or splendid, or illustrious, nation in the world; the tales of Cad. than is offered by the revolutions of mus and Jason devested of fable: it Europe and of Asia, or even by the is to such expeditions as these that transactions of the Spaniards in Europe owes its present glories: Mexico and Peru.
Sic fortis Etruria crevit “ I have to speak,” are Mr. Southey's Scilicet, et rerum facta est pulcherrima words, “ of savages so barbarous, that lit. Roma! tle sympathy can be felt for any sufferings. And if the end of history be, inwhich they endured, and of colonists, in whose triumphs no joy will be taken, be deed, instruction, what better lesson cause they added avarice to barbarity. can she afford to individual and priIgnoble men, carrying on an obscure war.
vate exertion than the contemplafare, the consequences of which have been greater than were produced by the con
tion of their gigantick result? What quests of Alexander or of Charlemagne, more important warning and examand will be far more lasting. Even the few ple to those high-souled men, who higher characters which appear, have (should the increasing calamities of obtained no fame beyond the limits of their Europe produce another age of coown religion, scarcely beyond those of lonies) may bear, with equal coutheir language.”
rage, and with greater mercy, a With all these defects incidental purer faith and better constitution to his subject, we agree with him in
than those of the conquerors of rating its importance highly. Much Brazil, to shelter beyond the reach yet remains to be learned concern
of despotism amid the forests of ing the habits and character of sava
New Zealand, or the countless isles ges, and it is a topick on which er
of the Polynesian Archipelago? roneous opinions have done such It was Vicente Yanez Pinzon, a infinite harm, that a philosophick Spaniard, and a distinguished assomind can hardly bestow its atten ciate of Columbus, who, in the year tion better, than in illustrating those 1500, discovered the coast of Brazil. barbarous manners and strange su As usual, in those days, the Casti. perstitions which, wild as they seem, lians met with gold and giants, and are the rudiments, perhaps, and, as carried as many infidels as they
• The title of “ History of Brazil” is hardly adequate to the subject, as Mr. Southey's work comprises the rise and progress of all the European colonies, from thic Andes to the Atlantick, and from the Plata to the river of Amazon.
could catch, into exile and slavery. his monks, and that of Mr. South But this was all the profit which ey's Cambrian Hero, may be added they derived from their discovery. the extraordinary expedition of The land was to the east of Pope Dante's Ulysses, whom the poet Alexander's famous boundary line; conducts in a second ramble, far and Pinzon had not yet brought the more adventurous than the first, and, news of his success to Europe, when by the same track with Columbus, the fleet of Portugal, under Cabral, to suffer shipwreck on the dusky was driven, by a fortunate storm and mountainous shore of the Terwhich befel them in their way to restrial Paradise.[Inferno, canto 26.) India, to that country which had Two fabulous, Atlantick islands, of been thus blindly allotted to their the names of Brazil and Antilia, future empire. Cabral was followed occur in maps anteriour to the Spaby the famous Amerigo Vespucci, nish voyage. The first of these may a really able navigator, who, while have been taken from an old Irish he narrowly missed the honour of superstition, founded on a natural discovering the Straits of Magellan, phenomenon, and a name once fa. has, by a singular fortune, been re mous might have been easily transcompensed far above his deserts, in ferred, as was at least the case with imposing, perhaps unconsciously, Antilia, to the discoveries afterhis name a mighty continent. wards made. The country thus partially explored, But Chaucer, when he mentions bore, according to Garcia, the native the red die of Brazil, in the same name of Arabutan. Cabral, however, breath with “ graine of Portingale,"* called it Santa Cruz, and, within a displays a premature knowledge of few years after its discovery, both its produce which is very perplexappellations were forgotten in the ing, and the more so, because we new one of Brazil, derived, as Mr. cannot find any sufficient authority Southey thinks, from the valuable
to prove that the wood existed in wood which was brought from the ancient hemisphere, or that thence, or, as appears to us also Brazil has a meaning in any eastern possible, from the Milesian Fables, or European language. Is it absurd introduced to our acquaintance in to suppose that specimens of Amerithe notes to the poem of " Madock,” can timber may have been cast on and to the present volume. With the western shores of Europe in sufout, indeed, recurring to the Plato- ficient quantities to become a rare nick Atlantis, or the lucky guess of and valuable article in dying? Or Seneca, who foresaw, according to that such arrivals may have been Garcia, the discovery of America, thought to proceed from the en“como suclen adivinar los freneticos chanted Island of O-Brazil ? This i poctas por calentarse demasiada- wood, however, which, except parmente el cclebro;" it is a very per- rots and monkics, was the only artiplexing and curious question, nor, cle of exportation Brazil was then as yet, by any means sufficiently ex known to afford (for gryphons and plained, from what source, prior to tiger's wool, though mentioned in Columbus, the suspicion arose, so an old English statement, must have prevalent in the darker ages, of been very rare commodities indeed, countries
and Pinzon was mistaken in his gol“ Farre in the sea, beyond West Spayne.” to make the country of any great
den tales) was not of sufficient value To the voyage of St. Brandan and importance in the estimation of the
Him needleth not his colour for to dien