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A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
GLASGOW, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1832.
JOURNAL OF AN EDINBURGH MINISTER'S TRAVELS TO LONDON, IN 1714.
In yesterday's paper we inserted some extracts from a Journal kept by the Rev. James Hart, of Edinburgh, one of the Commissioners appointed by the Church of Scotland, to proceed to London and congratulate George I. on his accession. We left off with the account of their last presentation at Court. Immediately after that occurrence, they set out on their journey to Scotland, travelling by way of Oxford. At that seat of learning, Mr. Hart says :—
We saw a chair made of that ship in which Sir Francis Drake did sail round the world. It's a huge two-armed chair, in which I sat a while and rested myself. We saw some paint upon canvass spread upon the table, of which we could make nothing; but an instrument set in the centre of the canvass, did so gather what was painted on the canvass, that we saw plain, Julius Caesar's head very distinctly. The instrument was of polished steel, and according to its different situation, it made different representations of the head in the canvass. We saw a manuscript book in the China language, very ancient. We saw several curious anatomies, particularly of a pigmie, not a foot and a half long; and of a woman who had twenty-eight husbands, and she was hanged, be she was 36 years of her age, for murdering four of her husbands. We saw a pair of gloves made of woman's skin, and we saw the skin of a man or woman tanned and stuffed with hay. We saw the book of Psalms written in short hand, not an inch long or broad, and a great many other things that were rare and curious.
They visit Warwick Castle:—
We saw all the armour of the famous Guy Earl of Warwick, who lived in King Athelstone'sAime. He has been a man of prodigious stature and strength, as appears from his walking staff, which reached to the roof of the porter's house, and he wanted but four inches of its length. His sword is very great, and his breastplate is a prodigious weight. We saw the rib of the wild dinn cow he killed in Dingly heath,—it's of a vast greatness. We saw also the shoulder bone of a wild boar, which he killed in Windsor Park. We saw the pan in which his pottage used to be made,—it contains 37 gallons. We saw also the slippers his lady made use of when she rode, made of iron very large and heavie. He seems to have been a gyant in his day.
Of Cheshire he says:—
There is one thing very remarkable in this country, a burning well, about two miles from Wiggan, near Park Lane Chappel. If ye touch with a candle it burns like brandie, and what bubbles up from the spring is like oyl to feed the flame. It burns to that degree that it boyls eggs hard, and would burn always except when blown out by wind when once kindled. Within these two years they have destroyed the spring by sinking a coal pit hard by it; and there was such a quantity of sulphur, that when they wrought some fathoms down it frequently kindled and blew up, and destroyed some of their timber work.
At Kendal they (incrcdibite dictu,) visited a Theatre:—
We lighted at the King's Arms, and after we had supped, we, Messrs. Mitchell, Ramsay, and I, went and saw a comedie acted; the play they called it Love for Love.
Had this reached the ears of their brethren in Edinburgh, there can be no doubt it would have become the subject of serious accusation.
Happily Mr. Hart's gloomy forebodings, when setting out on his mission were not realized :—he returned to Edinburgh in perfect safety. The Journal thus concludes:—
On Monday, January 10, about eleven of the clock in the forenoon, we took horse and left Linton, and came to the House of Moor between one and two of the clock; but there we unexpectedly met with several gentlemen in my parish, who having got notice the Sabbath night before, from John Douglas, writer, that I was at Linton on the Sabbath, he having seen me at Linton that day between sermons, and who was obliged to goe to Edin
burgh that night, sent word to Robert Black to tell my wife that he saw Mr. Mitchell and me at Linton that day. This spread through the parish—on which several of the parishioners, to the number of ten or twelve, came to meet me, and convoy me to the town that night. They were just going to take their horses at the House of Moor for Linton to meet me, when we alighted; where we staid till three of the clock, that so it might be dark before we came to town; and so we came altogether from the House of Moor to Edinburgh, and lighted at Robert Corsan's, stabler, about five of the clock, on the 10 of January 1715, being Mouday.
Subjoined to the narrative is an "Account of Disbursements," a few extracts from which may amuse our readers :—
Imp. to the Sadler, for my saddle, bridle
and pistols, .... It. to Mrs. Corsan, for eight nights for my
horse, for corn and hay, It. for a leather hood to my head, It. at Morpeth where we dined at noon, It. at Lada for a pair of shoes, it, for a pair of shamoi gloves, . . I sold my horse on Thursday, October 21, 1714, to my Lord Dalbousee, who rode on him to Scotland. He gave me five pound for him. It. paid for a hat, .... It. bought a night gown, for which I gave, For dining Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I reckon, every day for dinner and supper, besides what I give for coffee & coaches,
Dec. 20. 23.
24. 28. 1715. Jan.
It, for a purse, a case to hold needles and thread, and a looking glass, with a comb to my daughters,
It. for a pair of clogs to my wife,
Paid to Mr. Thomas Bradbury, for his mare, the sum of eight pounds sterling, two shillings, .
It. bought for my two daughters, two books, at eighteen pen per piece,
It. King George, his declaration, with his picture, ....
It. gave to Mr. Penman, for an alarm, which rings at any hour of the night or morning, when I have a mind to awake, which I put in my little trunk,
It. for dressing my pistols,
It. for an entertainment to a certain friend, in Mr. Shuttleworth's commonly called the Devil's Tavern,
It. paid for two weeks of my chamber, and four nights, . . .
It. given to the servant lass, Helen,
This day we journeyed for Scotland.
Paid for a jocky belt at Woodstock, •
It. for a pint of wine, a Saturday morning, 0 13
[The last entry is.]
at noon, . • . .011
But we must now bring our quotations to a close. Like the generality of his brethren of that age, Mr. Hart had no pretensions to literary qualifications. He was a simple-minded, pious man, who, in the words of of his excellent biographer, "possessed no small share of professional zeal, and was highly esteemed for the fidelity and diligence of his pastoral labours."
PEYRONNET'S PICTURE OF VINCENNES.
The following striking picture of this State Prison, so long associated with the fate of so many celebrated Frenchmen, is from the pen of the Count de Peyronnet, one of the unfortunate ex-ministers of Louis X. It was written by him in the dreary cell which he now occupies in the Castle of Ham, whether he Watt carried after his condemnation to perpetual imprisonment:—
"I suddenly ceased. I had read a long time, and my wearied eye-lids were becoming heavy. My halfelosed book slid imperceptibly through my hand as I pursued my thoughts upon degradation, poverty, and death. I had passed from study to meditation, and from meditation to reverie.
"It was a cold night in December. The snow, whirled into tornadoes by the wind, fell in large flakes upon the wide open courts, the ramparts the bottom of the ditches—certainly not dug for the perpetration of crime—and the angular roof of the chapel which contains the tomb of the Duke d'Enghein. Upon the mouldings of the elegant Gothic gateway, built by Francis the First, it left, as it passed, a border of pure white. The rooks, the only free inhabitants of my dreary prison, had ceased their croakingg.
"This melancholy turret—those naked and dirty walls—that cold and dusty floor—the half-broken iron candlestick, which, with a cloud of black smoke, emitted a dull and stinking light;—the grating bolts, the sharp-pointed iron-bars ;—all this apparatus of wretchedness and captivity had disappeared from my senses. My thoughts had been diverted from things present; and the outwards signs of my misfortune were effaced by the very contemplation of what I was enduring.
"And, yet, this castle was once inhabited by kings. Philip Augustus, St. Louis, Charles the Wise, Louis the Father of the People, Francis the Father of Letters, the good Henry, Louis the Just, and Louis the Great, all dwelt here;—and so did Isabel of Hninault, Blanch of Castille, Mary of Brabant, Blanche of Navarre, Ann of Austria, the lovely Agnes, named the Lady of Beauty, Lafayette, who became a recluse without having erred, and La Valliere, who erred and afterwards became a recluse. * * *
"But the glory of the old fortress is eclipsed ;— these dreary turrets are the monuments of great misfortunes. How many men have passed through them, who were yesterday all-powerful, to-day proscribed and captive. Vendome, Ornano, Gonzague, John de Wert, John Casimer, Puylaurens, Beaufort, Chavigny, Retz, Longueville, Conti, Fouquet, the last of the Stuarts, the great Conde!—and also another Conde, for whom the day of deliverance never came! How changed is the destiny of this venerable pile! Richelieu, Mazarin, Napoleon, what have ye made of the residence of Kings?
"Two friends—for I have some friends left—had come to see me in the morning. It was for the first time—perseverance had overcome every obstacle. They passed the drawbridge, and ascended the hundred and eighty steps of the long steep spiral staircase.
"Louis de V***, and Jules de R***, the friends to whom I allude, are of very different characters. The former is cold, grave, and composed,—a man of reflection, and not an enemy to discussion. His strong and acute understanding loves that a little reasoning should explain and justify his impressions. He is a man of a now rare species, one better than he would be thought, and who seriously believes that he owes to reflection that which is only the dictates of his heart.
"Jules de R*»* is younger, more prone to excitement, and more animated: amiable in a different manner from Louis de V***, and to the very excess of mannered difference ; witty in a different kind of wit; graceful, brilliant, and natural; a writer, a poet, a man of the world, and everywhere, a superior being.
"Both are old, true, and tried friends. Both trembled, as neither would have trembled for himself; both wept, and they wept the more because they saw that I did not weep.
"My children—those of my children whom Providence has yet left me—had also penetrated into this dismal abode. Poor mourners! They put a watchful restraint upon the expression of their feelings. But their filial piety betrayed itself, and their violent and unnatural efforts only the more displayed their cruel grief.
"My heart, generally master of its emotions, was overpowered at seeing them: a mixture of joy and soirow, of happiness and despair, overcame me. I sunk under this sweet though cruel trial of tenderness and affliction.
"I could read no longer, and yet I could not divest my thoughts of the things I had read of. Every idea was tinged with them. The book which had so strongly fixed my attention, treated not of the present time;—it was an old and grave work—the ancient chronicle of ancient days and ancient customs.
"The passage which had stopped me, ran thus: 1 Sir de la Riviere,' said some one to him, 1 save your person; for the envious now hold the reins of power.' But he answered, < Here and everywhere I am in God's holy keeping; I feel myself pure and clean of mind. God gave me what I possess, and he alone can take it away. The will of the Lord God be done! My services have been known to the kings to whom they were devoted, and who have greatly rewarded me. For that which I did and performed at their bidding for the advantage of this kingdom of France, I would well dare to await the judgment of the Parliament of Paris.'"
"This fate, so similar to my own—these sentiments, so similar to those I so strongly felt, produced a lively and powerful emotion, which kept my senses, as it were, suspended. My soul alone, though troubled, lived and acted within me. Thrown myself into the same abyss, I went on sounding and measuring its depth. I calculated doubts and probabilities; tried to divine which, among so many possible kinds of suffering, would be the one inflicted upon me; in a word, I studied my fate, in order to fortify myself against it.
"The longer this state of mental abstraction continued, the more complete did my forgetfulness of ordinary things and vulgar privations become. I no longer felt what I actually suffered, nor remembered where I was. The future, upon which I was meditating, though so near, was yet of such a nature that it had broken the link of its connexion with the present.
"At length, in the midst of this strange reverie, an unexpected noise, together with sudden motion, arrested my astonished imagination. At first I doubted, then doubted less, and at length doubted no more.
"Several living beings stood before me :—men in strange habiliments, whose features were unknown to me. They belonged to another age—and some perhaps to another country.
"The first who stopped had a weak and varying expression of countenance. It was evident that he had suffered, but doubtful whether he bad done so with firmness. He was advanced in years; and yet he wanted that calm and confiding dignity which gives so much authority to old age.
"' Who art thou?' I asked, —' An unhappy man.' —1 What are thy misfortunes ?'—' The same as thine.' 'Thou wert powerful ?'—* I was.'—' And deprived of thy power?'—' I was.'—1 And a captive?' —' I was' —' Wilt thou not teach me how to support such a reverseF" He made no reply. 'Thy name?' said I.,—' Le Mercier.'—1 What ! the minister of Charles VI.?' I exclaimed—' Alas!' he replied, 'it was said in the town and city of Paris that we should lose our heads, and everywhere we had a most grievous renown as traitors to the crown of France. * * * They who envied and hated us, condemned and adjudged us to die. * * * We were every day assailed with these words, Think of your souls, for your bodies are lost. Ye are adjudged to death!' * * *
"' I know, I know,' I replied. 'It is of thee that the old chroniclers have written, That in the Castle of St. Antoine [The Bastile] which was thy prison, thou wept so much, and so incessantly, that thy sight was thereby weakened and impaired, and thou wert on the eve of becoming blind.'
"A painful groan burst from his lips, and I said to him, 'Go thy ways, old man ; thou couldst teach me nothing. Thy example suits me not; and with God's help, I shall not follow it.'
"At this instant, a prodigious noise came from the outside of the fortress; it was prolonged and. tumultuous. The external gates of the castle seemed as if they were shattered and falling in splinters under the efforts of an infuriated populace. The drum beat, and the soldiers seized their arms. Precipitate and numerous footsteps were heard ; the sentinels challenged and answered each other along the ramparts. From the body of the tumult arose the sharp cries of' Death to them 1 Death to them!'
"My ear had time to become accustomed to these sounds. I pitied the error of those who were excited to utter them. They knew not what they did. I was disturbed but for a few moments, and then resumed my reverie.
"A second person came shadowing before me, cased in rich armour. In his right hand he held an enormous sword, whose scabbard was of purple velvet, ornamented with golden Jleurs-de-lis. A deep scar near one of his eyes showed that he had met the king's enemies face to face ; and that the sword of constable had not been conferred upon him for nothing.
"' Art thou also here, Oliver!" said I; for it was truly Clisson : I could not be mistaken.—• I am,' he replied. 'I am come to see and comfort there. Be of good cheer.'—' With God's help, I will try, Oliver; I will try.' * * * 'They spared thee, however, brave Clisson,' said I.—' No,' he replied. 'Hast thou forgotten? They passed a too cruel sentence upon me, for I was banished the realm as a false traitor to the crown of France.'—' Banished, Oliver I banished! Woe to me, if such a fate were mine. I know no country but France: her alone have I served, and for her have I lived. Let them do with me as they list, proTided they let me die in my native land. My existence is worthless, if I am to enjoy it at the expense of all that is dear to me—if I am to eke it out far away from my friends and country. The soil of France has received the bones of my father and my children, and shall I be so accursed that it will reject mine?" * * *
"As he finished speaking, another figure passed slowly before me. His eyes, dimmed with sorrow, seemed to seek mine, and yet fear to meet them. Though there was nothing in his appearance which either pleased or attracted me, I was impatient to hear him, and yet a sort of instinctive feeling seemed to repress the expression of such desire. His hood, long gown, and girdle with pendant tassels of gold—joined to a certain austerity which was not that of age, a dignity without any mixture of pride and ostentation showed me, that in him I beheld one of those vigilant and learned men who founded the reputation of our Courts of Justice, long, very long, before the period when I had the signal and perilous honour of being chosen to direct them.
"I called to him; he stopped with regret. 'What desirest thou, my son?' said he, 'consolation? Thou must find it in thyself. If thy misfortune be great, elevate thyself to its level. If danger await thee, fa
miliarise thyself with it. Arm thyself with strength against the severity of ill fortune; and, if it come to thee in a milder shape, so it will be lighter for thee to bear."
"My curiosity was highly excited, and I asked his name. 'What matters it to thee ?'—« Thy fate ?'—' It would not serve thee to know it. But,' resumed he, hesitating, 'my fate differs less from thine, than thou wouldst suppose. I interceded with all-powerful royalty in favour of the people, and royalty mistook me for an enemy. Thy intervention was employed with the people, who have become powerful, in favour of royalty, now feeble and in danger; and the people, in their turn, have mistaken thee for an enemy. Let us pardon the errors of both—they are natural and inevitable. The people possess not the sovereignty on better terms than Princes. Neither can they know of truth more than their courtiers choose to tell them. Envious men thought it their interest to cry thee down; and they imputed to thee a mind and character resembling their own. The people believed them; and could it be otherwise? Thou wert neither seen nor heard. They who approached, and knew thee, were in small numbers, and their voice was drowned in the noise of the multitude.'
"'I will not tell thee that thou shalt not die, for what means have I of knowing? Neither will I tell thee that there exists no law whereby thou canst be doomed to death; for what matters law or justice to him who is without power to enforce them? Revolutions made by the people are essentially popular; and the people comprehend not these nice and subtle distinctions. * * * That which thou must guard against is hope. By flattering the mind, it softens the stubborn energy of courage. Prepare thyself for the terrible moment, for come it must, some day or other. When it does come, what matters it whether it be a day sooner or a day later? No human being has the power of making thee die twice, nor of preventing thee from dying once. Dare to look death in the face: it is not so hideous as cowards suppose. He who has lived well, has lived long enough. Death, which cannot be avoided, may yet be rendered less bitter. Let us make it honoured, and we destroy its pain and agony.'
"• Is it then decided?' I exclaimed. 'No, my son; but if it were? Thy life has not been so happy as to give thee much cause of regret, nor so ill employed that thou shouldst fear it will be forgotten. What more canst thou require than to die in peace?'
"' Old man,' I replied, ' thy language fills me with respect and admiration, but it is harsh and severe.'
"' Thou wouldst have it so,' said he: ' thou shouldst not have have called me. Beware of illusions. Give credence to my counsels; they are good for I have myself proved them.'
"' Then I' I exclaimed. 'Yes, my son; and may Fate, who has betrayed thee, as she did me, spare thee at least the last trial which she forced me to undergo.' —' In pity,' said I, with earnestness, 'tell me who thou art; for I feel that the authority of thy name will fortify and give value to thy words.'—' Desmarets,' he replied. I threw myself at his feet. 'Admirable man!' I exclaimed, 'and is it you ?—you, who, when called upon to beg mercy of the King, uttered these noble words from the very scaffold: < I served well and loyally King Philip, his great-grand-father, and King John, his grandfather, and King Charles, his father; and these three Kings, his predecessors, found no fault in me; nor would this King, if he exercised his own authority; and I firmly believe that he is in no ways culpable for my doom. I have no reason to crave his mercy, nor that of any other man. To the mercy of God alone will I appeal.'
"' Do as I did,' said he, ' I will, Desmarets.' "Whoever thou art that readest this recital, abstain, friend, from treating it with harshness or derision. I have related the thoughts and lives of the sad tenants of my prison house."
The ladies are all on the T" vive about Mr. Cunningham's Ball. To-night there will be many fair faces and handsome forms in our Assembly Rooms, and we have only to wish that the votaries of fashion may realize all the enjoyment which youthful hopes and fancies are so fond of indulging in.
Our Exchange-room gossips have had rather a gloomy theme to occupy them for some days past; but, we trust, sunshine will again return to cheer them. In the meantime, the club-room of a celebrated fraternity, immortalized by a contemporary, is crowded nightly, and there is a spirit, a life, and a knowledge, elicited anent men and matters, during their orgies, that make us lament that we have not the power of enlisting Asmodius into our service. We are led to believe, that the mercantile health of the City is as well watched over, and a report as regularly made up of deaths and recoveries, as is daily done by the Board of Health,
The celebrated Mr. Sapio is now performing in Dunlop Street. Our Spectacles, of course, got the hint that their services would be required; and, being carefully wiped with the sacred handkerchief kept for the special purpose, they were dispatched to the Thespian Temple, to " mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the merits of this gentleman; and to report to us accordingly. Being, what is generally termed, "orderlypersons," it could not be expected we should wait their return, so, when the bell of St. Mungo's Tower announced the Elder's Hour we separated for the night. Upon entering our Sanctum Sanctorum in the morning, we found them snugly enveloped in their little but elegant couch of morocco; and, having roused them from their slumbers, received the following brief opinion :—11 We were much pleased with the manner in which the songs, incidental to that most stupid of all Operas 1 The Seige of Belgrade,' were executed by Mr. Sapio. His voice is clear, full and powerful—his style is chaste, and has less of straining after effect than most of his contemporaries. We were glad to observe, that he also is more sparing of introducing, what is technically but improperly termed, graces, into his songs. Unlike the generality of operatic performers, Mr. Sapio pays a due attention to the acting of the piece and business of the stage; his elocution is modest and true to nature, and his articulation clear and distinct. In short, from what we could judge from one night's performance, we would say, he is about the best operatic performer of the day; but, we will be better able to express our opinion on this point, after having seen him in Weber's unrivalled Opera of 'Der Freischutz,' which we observe is underlined in the bill of fare for the week.
When speaking thus of Mr. Sapio, we cannot help adverting to the very tasteful and able manner in which Miss Phillips sang "Lo, here the gentle lark." This fair vocalist is making daily improvement, and, if she only continues to study as she apparently has done, we prophesy she will yet obtain more celebrity than what a provincial theatre can obtain for her. Mr. Lloyd's performance, as usual, was excellent. This is a clever man and is sure to obtain the praise of every just and honest critic.
The Spectator, a precocious child of the periodical press, of the Modern Athens, bade adieu to the world, after a ten weeks' lingering consumption.
"The Magician," a two-penny Miscellany of this city, yielded op the ghost on Saturday last, after a distressing and mortifying illness of two weeks, notwithstanding the obstetric assistance gratuitously lent to it by Dr. A. who, at the same time, prescribed repeated dozes of pounded Chameleon, without the least beneficial result.
We understand that Washington Irving, who has lately quitted this country for America, has left behind him the M.S. of two volumes of Tales, &c. similar in plan to the Sketch Book, but founded on Spanish and Moorish Legends and Traditions. The title it is said, is " Tales of the Alambra."
Alexander Gordon, Civil Engineer, is about to publish " A General, Historical and Practical Treatise upon Elemental Locomotion.
GENERAL SCOTT. The following anecdote of this celebrated individual we extract from the "Memoirs of Sir James Campbell, of Ardkinglass," written by himself, and just published: —
"In all my intercourse with General Scott, I found him uniformly good-natured and obliging. When I received my commission, the regiment was stationed at Coventry, and he was so good as to carry me with him when it became my duty to join. As an instance of his easy disposition, considering the style of play to which he is understood to have been accustomed, I may mention how much he seemed to enjoy himself with his officers at a rubber of sixpenny whist. He seemed on all occasions to be perfectly sensible of the evils of gaming; and, as far as his influence could be supposed to operate, he discouraged it in the regiment earnestly and systematically. On one occasion, I remember, when walking out with one or two of his junior officers, whom he believed to be addicted to play, the conversation chanced to turn on the odd appearance of a dog-kennel, and on the form and number of the tiles with which it was covered. It was proposed by some one as the subject of a bet, which, with some people in the world, is admitted at all times as a succedaneum, or a stimulant to conversation, that the General would not name a number so near to the true one as he who had proposed the wager. This led to a sort of sweepstakes of a considerable amount, when each of the gentlemen having made his nomination, some were found to be above, and some below the mark; but the number named by the General was observed to be precisely the true one. 'Now,' said he, 1 my young friends, observe the disadvantages you must ever encounter, if you allow yourselves to hazard your money so easily. In making the bet with you I had one small advantage which another might not have acknowledged: I counted the tiles of the dog-kcnnel yesterday morning.'"
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. "A Constant Reader's" communication in an early number. We have put "O. L. on" translation from Ossian. into the hands of our Gaelic critic "Invertochy Castle" is in type.
THE CHILD'S OWN BOOK—The Second Edition This day is Published, by RICHARD GRIFFIN & CO. Glasgow, beautifully printed by WHITTINGHAM, and Illustrated with upwards of Three Hundred Engravings, price 7s. 6d. in Fancy Boards,
THE CHILD'S OWN BOOK. It is a collection of the most popular fairy tales and other stories for the nursery, printed in a bold type, and forms the most captivating collection of infant mythology aod light reading we have seen. There is a bundle of nursery soogi for the readers to amuse their lesser brethren with; and we believe there was never before such a complete lump of young amusement put together in one volume.—Athcnttuin.
Also, just published, by RICHARD GRIFFIN & CO
THE MOTHER'S BOOK, by Mrs. CHILD. The Third Edition, price 4s. bound, with gilt edges, &c
It is impossible to open the Mother's Book at any page that is not pregnant with valuable remark.—Greenock Paper. We recommend this volume to all mothers who have the welfare of their offspring at heart.—Edinburgh Pott. This beautiful little volume is really a work of great merit and utility.—(ilasemr Courier. Of all the Books on Education that have come under our notice, this is unquestionably the best.—Scots Times. We hope ere long to see this work in the hands of every mother.—Scotsman.
With a beautiful Vignette Title, price 2s. 6d. bound and lettered, or 3s. with gilt edges, &C., STORIES FROM THE HISTORY OF ROME, Addressed to a Little Boy. By LADY SANDFORD. Containing the History of Romulus
—Horatii and Curatii—Tullis—Porsenua—Coriolanus Siccitu
Dcntatus—Furius Camillus—Titus Manlius—Regnlus, Hannibal, Fall of Carthage, and the Three Punic Wars—Caius Marius—Julius Caesar—Death of Cicero—Titus The Gladiators.
A very clever work, written by a very clever woman.—Glasgow Courier. This elegant little volume is written with great simplicity, but at the same time with a clearness and graphic force admirably calculated to effect its object.— Free Press. Those stories which her Ladyship has selected cannot fail to arrest the attention of the most careless, and they are told in a manner so as to be felt and understood by the youngest who can read —Scotsman.
On Monday next will be Published—THE LITTLE GIRL'S OWN BOOK. By Mrs. CHILD, Author of" The Mother's Book," &c. Beautifully printed at the Chiswick Press, by Mr. WHITTINGHAM, and Illustrated with 120 Engravings, price 48. 6d. in Fancy Boards.
Also, nearly ready for Publication—PETER PARLEY'S TALES OF NATURAL HISTORY. Illustrated with 300 Engravings, in One Volume, duodecimo. Chiswick, printing: by C. WHITTINGHAM, for THOMAS TEGG, London • and RICHARD GRIFFIN & CO. Glasgow. 64, Hutcheson Street, April 12th, 1832.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
GLASGOW, SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 1832.
PICTURES OF THE PAST No. I.
In the upland district of Renfrewshire—on the face of that extensive range of hill and glen, around whose base now winds the Glasgow road to the southern counties, and in front of which, on the strath below, are now seen the several public works that have introduced trade and manufactures to the very centre of a country parish—there stood a mansion, distinguished, towards the end of the eighteenth century, by the name of Burnbrae. Its former name, the Greyhouse, had yielded to this more chastened appellation, arising out of the interesting combination of burn and brae in its locality.
It was a plain building, singularly large, built of a native stone—not the red and bricklike substance of the adjacent quarry, but the grey and harder material of B once famous rock in the more distant wood. The entrance to it, from the highway, was by a common carriage road, rocky and uneven, which gained the bill by several tacks or windings, and conducted the passenger to the left gable of the mansion—leaving him to enter it by a large front door which had neither step nor vestibule.
It was a house of ancient standing, and had been associated with all the romantic tales of shepherd, maid, and fairy, for a century back. At the bottom of the declivity, on which it stood, rolled a rivulet of the clearest crystal, famous for its trout, and recognized, by the peasants of the district, as the accustomed haunt of those spirits, supernal and infernal, who were supposed to lend their good or evil influence to the fortune of despairing lovers. The stream was rendered inaccessible to the opposite country by a very steep bank, rugged in many places, but had, here and there, become fordable on the nearer side, by the large fragments of broken whin which time had loosened from their paternal base. The house rose, majestically, from the stream, by a smooth and regular ascent of sixty or seventy yards, forming in the square, an esplanade of nearly half an acre. It was on this plat of grass and clover, enclosed by house and hedge, burn and garden, that tradition fixes the site of many a rustic tournament; for, often here, on summer eve or moonlight gloaming, have the village train met and tripped their country dance; and, oft at kirn or rocking, when every rural sport had plied its turn and the grey-eyed morn warned them of their coming labour, have they, in successive pairs, sought the venerated stream that rolled beneath, and, with a mixed sensation of awe and glee, bathed their wearied feet and eyes in the limpid element.
The original proprietor of Greyhouse was one Leonard Peckham, a descendant of the Peckhams of Roxburgh; who, having realized a few hundreds by his success in business as a cattle-dealer, and, prompted by no other motive than that of prosecuting his calling profitably, amid the retirement of a Scottish county, emigrated from his native vale in the year 1698, carrying with him a breed of English sheep, and some half dozen of prime bred colleys. He had often, in the way of his profession, visited the Lowlands of Scotland, and was persuaded of the possibility of converting the wastes of Renfrew into pasture grounds
for flocks and herds. He, accordingly, built the Greyhouse—bought a few adjoining acres of good arable— entered into a lease with the landholder for the surrounding uplands—expended large sums on improvements—and, at length, by dint of great personal industry and his superior professional skill, succeeded in raising himself to an independence, equal to that of any private gentleman in the county.
The mansion and lands of Greyhouse had descended, through several generations of the Peckhams, to its present proprietor—who, by an intermarriage with the daughter of the last male descendant, had now succeeded to the house, chattels and lease of territory, so long the inheritance of the Peckham family.
Miss Martha Peckham was less confined in her information, and more accomplished in her manners, than our readers will be prepared to expect, in one whose whole life had been passed at a distance from town, and in the immediate vicinity of much that was rude and vulgarizing. Her mother had been married from a family of some consequence in the south of Scotland, and was found, when set down in the mansion of Greyhouse, to be qualified, by her intelligence and accomplishments, for moving in a sphere much more exalted than that which she occupied. Not that her accomplishments were obscured by being unfolded to the eye of a merely rustic neighbourhood—for the grace and dignity of accomplishment seldom, perhaps, appear more interesting than when reflected in the mute gaze of an admiring peasantry—but many of the habits of the shepherd life, practised on the face of a cold and sterile hill, being such as she could but little mingle in, Martha's mother felt more inclined to employ her time in the education of her daughter than in listening to the vulgar, but scientific lectures which Peckham, her husband, was ever ready to deliver, upon the different breeds he was continually introducing to the parks of the Greyhouse. And thus it happened, that, during the few years she was spared with her daughter, she had initiated her into an acquaintance with much that was then fashionable in cities, and had taught her those several maxims in housewifery, which prepared her, at her mother's death, for superintending her father's domestic establishment.
Martha, a few weeks after the death of her mother, and, indeed, at her mother's dying suggestion, received a governess from Edinburgh, in the person of the lady, who was sufficiently qualified to instruct her in all that was considered either useful or ornamental, and who joined to her professional worth, the additional attraction of an enlarged mind, and an intimate acquaintance with the sacred scriptures. She was indeed a Christian—and Martha experienced from her all the friendship and attention which a motherless girl of fifteen could seek to appreciate in a female friend. Under her superintendence, she became perfected in the household arts of sewing, knitting, and dress making, and made considerable proficiency in music, classical study and drawing. Under her affectionate tuition, she learned, also, the importance of a well-governed temper, and the grand and useful distinction between sentiment or devotion, or rather between the devotion of mere sentiment, and that of the gospel. Martha possessed great sensibility of heart, but, it had, as yet, flowed entirely from secondary principles, without any