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diverting the attention of a man of humble rank from his proper avocations, it leads directly to the acquisition of habits of the most ruinous kind. The state of
the country now, as compared with what it was twenty years ago, when we were the carriers of the world, Is not taken into consideration; neither is the necessity of preserving public credit, on which our existence, as a nation, depends; but, every thing connected with the effects of foreign rivalry, excess of population, and of over-productive power, is ascribed to acts of misgovernment, which, were trade brisk, would never be heard of; and, to remedy all imperfections, some general panacea is proposed, which, like the balm of Gilead, is a cure for all diseases. Nothing, certainly, can be more distressing to a human mind, than the condition to which the manufacturing population is at present reduced; and the statement which lately appeared in a contemporary print, (Glasgow Chronicle,) of the sufferings of the poor in a neighbouring town, must have affected every sensible heart with the deepest sorrow: still, political mania, and impotent political nostrums, will not cure this state of things, the causes of which lie deep in the bosom of society, and seem, unfortunately, to be inseparably associated with the general elements of our national prosperity. But, if a working man once persuade himself that his own depression is owing to the unjust acts of the general government, his mind becomes seared against all conviction to the contrary. Like the madman in his phrenzy, who fancies himself the king, and who hugs his delusion so firmly as to demand the homage due to royalty, he can think and speak of nothing else. Others, he finds, are similarly predisposed. They meet—they talk—. they adjourn. The miserable earnings of the most grinding labour, are consumed in discussing questions quite beyond the reach of their knowledge. Habits of intemperance and profusion are engendered—wives and children are neglected—and a deserted family, or a murdered friend, closes the career of ruin, which political passion entails on its victim! Let no man say this picture is overcharged. We know that it is not; and, did we desire a striking proof of the fact, we might refer to the fate of the unfortunate person who suffered on Wednesday last, in this city, and the cause of whose melancholy death was a scuffle brought on by a discussion on the Reform Bill.
So far as the upper ranks are concerned, we consider the introduction of party politics, in a mixed society, as impertinent. When men meet together at the board of a common friend, there should be no invidious ground of distinction instituted, which must ensue, if party politics be discussed. In all arguments on these knotty points, we have invariably remarked that passion and vociferation pass for proof. No truth is elicited, and no information gained, but much angry and disagreeable feeling is excited. At present, it is a melancholy fact that many men, who have a sincere respect for each other, dare not venture into society, from a consciousness that something would occur which might diminish their mutual regard; nor is it uncommon to find father and son, and even brothers, at issue on politics at this moment. This is a dreadful state of matters, and, did we not feel that the excitement must soon wear itself out, would necessarily create great uneasiness. We sincerely hope, however, that a return to moderation will speedily take place, and that men of education, and of polished manners, will see the folly of desecrating, the sacred altar of private life, by the noise and nonsense of party politics. May we beg of them to remember that a period of great national depression and commotion is not the time which wise men should choose for creating or increasing paltry feuds. The elements of society are, at this moment, in a state of unusual agitation; and now, probably, more than at any period in the history of Great Britain, is it peculiarly incumbent, on persons who have enjoyed the benefits of liberal, instruction, to shew their practical
tendencies, which, we need not remind them, are emoUire mores.
In conclusion, we would indulge the hope that the splendid subscriptions which have been collected within a few weeks, to provide for the wants and diseases of the poor, will satisfy the discontented among that class that, whatever political quacks may 6ay to the contrary, the monied men of Glasgow, of all parties, are deeply sensible of the claims which their less amply provided brethren have on them; while we suggest to the members of the community generally, whether it would not be becoming, at this particular time, when the scourge of pestilence is hanging over the land, to suspend party passions, and allow the benevolent sympathies of the heart to have free and full issue.
BERLIN DURING THE CHOLERA.
Berlin is not a whit changed since this sickness came among us. If you walk out in the morning, at mid-day, or in the afternoon, there is still the usual stream of human beings along the Linden, and in tho Kbuigstrassc, people do not hurry faster than before along the bustling Frederick Street, nor move on at a slower paw through the quiet aud spacious Leipsic Street. They stop and niter into conversation just as willingly as ever; and where two or three are met together at a corner, in an instant, they are joined by a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth ; and we soon have what we Rrrliners call a crowd—a crowd, as usual, no one knows what about.
People are just as fond of joking as they used to be—they joke now even about death.
They still, as before, delight to talk on the topic of the day— the one fashionable topic—which is discussed as zealously, and at as great length as ever; in the streets, in society, at the Theatre, you hear the same subject—and, for the present, this subject is the Cholera. Even now, as before, men wish the endless theme were exhausted, and something new in its place.
In Berlin we have bad witticisms on all subjects—on the Horse-Artillery Barracks—ou the turn-out of the tailors—on the Sountag—and on the departed Diebitsch; so much wit, that a book might be printed on every separate subject. We still are unchanged. A book of smart sayings might be collected under the the title of" Cholera Wit." And is there, then, nothing changed?
The gentlemen now wear cloaks, though the weather is yet warm; and at night they hold a handkerchief to their mouth. Besides, there are conversations on Cholera belts and worsted stockings—on the bad effects of night-air, and what we should eat and what abstain from.
There is another notable change. The poor have now on their tables the rejected food of the rich—melons and costly fish; poor people—poor indeed; for labour is now as low as every thing else: but that is nothing new—every year complains of low prices.
In my walk, I remarked yet one greater change than all these. People are now become so kind and friendly in their intercourse! How warmly they salute and squeeze your hand, and look tenderly upon you—wish you a very good morning, and a happy meeting again! How conversation Hies along! One would think all the world had become intimate friends. 'Tis but yesterday the same men kept out of each other's way, grudged a salute if they met, and tried to pass without speaking—grumbling, each to himself, God be praised, the wearisome fellow has not fastened upon me! Has Cholera, then, banished all bores from the world? That were no bad thing in. Cholera!
You may now smoke on the street, and yet no house takes fire. It seems our police and gens-d'armes have a sinecure.
• The above article is translated expressly for The " Day,'" from the last Number of the Berlin Conversation's BUM, which has reached this country. We may mention, that we have made arrangements to present our readers with the latest Literary Intelligence from Germany, and to favour them occasionally with the most interesting papers that appear in the German Journals, which Mr. John Reid, of this city, receives regularly from the Continent.
Besides this, smoking and these friendly greetings, another change struck me—something quite new. A fair-haired boy was amusing himself—making figures of soft clay, and cutting a piece of wood. That is nothing strange; but what do you think he was making ?—A coffin !—and with all the glee in the world he cried, Sister, I must now have a dead man, and then all will be ready ;" and to work he set with his clay, and in a minute had the dead man. I went a little farther, where some bigger children were at play. One wheeled the other in a barrow, and the lad in the barrow was swaddled about with handkerchiefs, and lay most
demurely quiet. "What game are you playing at?" cried I
■ We are playing Cholera," was the answer. This, to be sure, wa9 new in Berlin.
THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL AT PARIS.
Tux following is an interesting sketch of the Enfant Trouoes at Paris is from the pen of Delrieit, and is translated from the celebrated volume of the " Livre da Cent-et-un," lately published: "No public edifice ever presented an appearance more in opposition to the painful reflections its mere existence gives rise to, than the Foundling Hospital. You expect en entering nothing but tears and disgust, and yet you scarcely hear the cries of the newly-born babes—you expect matter for dark philosophical emotion, and you see nothing around you but flowers, good grey sisters, snow-white curtains and crucifixes—to which you may add the fruits of weakness, perhaps of crime. You walk between two rows of cradles, as in a flower garden; only in the latter, nature gives to the orphan plants their proper nurture. Here you may see heads with flowing yellow ringlets, angel faces, a room poetically called the crib, a pretty little chapel, and a dissecting room. This edifice was formerly a convent of Oratorians; it is now a Foundling Hospital—there are two centuries between these names. There is nothing remarkable in the building itself; it is like a college, a manufactory, a house in the street, or your father's house. But I had almost forgotten a statue which you salute on entering. Vincent de Paule* keeps watch in the vestibule of his temple; the same Vincent de Paule whose evengelical and philanthropic zeal saved the lives of at least one-fifth part of the popu lation now treading upon his grave. His contemporaries put his name into the Almanack;—Napoleon would have made him a minister of state."
"On arriving at the outer door, I was struck with a sort of box or cupboard with a double opening, one towards the street, and the other inside the building. It was much like the letterbox at a post office, and the comparison is strengthened when we consider that a mother often dropped her child into it as she would a billet-doux, with this shade of difference, that the billet becan the intrigue, and the child ended it. This box or cupboard is no longer used. Formerly the unhappy mother deposited there, mvsteriously and at night, her new born babe; then, after ringing the bell to awaken the sister on duty, she disappeared—her tears and her remorse still heard in the surrounding darkness. It is different now—a singular abuse compelled the change. Dead bodies of children were often found in the cupboard, put there either to avoid the expense of burial or to conceal a crime. The mode of defrauding the guillotine and the undertaker,! no longer exists. A sister sits up all night at the entrance of the parloir, and receives from the hand the children that are brought to the hospital during her watch. The cupboard is closed, and its lock rusty—mishaps are thought less of than formerly. Whether the child be born in a boudoir or in a garret, it is now a mere family affair, and amicably adjusted. The infant is taken to the hospital at noon day; it is even recommended to the kind attention of the sisters; its father's name is carefully repeated, and after a few tears the whole is forgotten. If subsequently the unhappy babe cry, expire, be cut to pieces by the anatomist, and its severed limbs sewn up in a canvas bag, and consigned without ceremony to the earth, no matter; family honour is safe; the mother goes either to a ball or to the Salpetriere ;: civilization continues its progress; surgical knowledge excites admiration, and we have lectures on political economy at the university. All this is admirable!"
"In London, the education of these orphan children partakes of the Franklin school, and of the hospitality of an industrious people. Correct manners, and even morals, are instilled into them; which is rare with us. I must add that the mothers are obliged to appear, prior to their accouchement, and declare their pregnancy, and although their names escape the dishonour of being registered, the shame of appearing before hand, deters all but the most wretched and the most abandoned from availing themselves of the charity. In Russia and at Naples, the natural dispositions of the children are consulted before their future calling is decided I at Moscow there is au hospital where the foundlings
* The founder, are a monopoly, termed les pompej funebrcs, and farmed
t by the t
t A Prison for Cyprians.
learn music, dancing, and all the other accessories of the dramatic art, in a theatre which they have themselves constructed. This hospital was the first to which Napoleon sent a guard, on the very evening of his entrance into Moscow.
"In France, scarcely have the foundlings passed the age of childhood, when they are dismissed from the hospital. They are dispersed, whether they will or not, among the lowest classes, with the present of an imperfect education; and it' one of them should, under his homely garments, feel the thrill of genfns, and try to wrench off the helot's collar, his choice would still be confined to the alternatives of a' plane, a spade, or starvation.
"If I were to say, that not one-half grow up to reap this inheritance, poor as it is, and that the remainder die from the privation of a mother's milk, the uncertainty of science, and the infection of loathsome diseases, I should be far within the mark. At the present day, nearly three-fifths of the foundlings die in their first year. A fourth of the newly-born children perish during the first five days, and more than two-thirds after the first month, Five years after the day on which eight children had been deposited at the hospital, only three of them would be found alive. Extend the time to twelve years, and there is only one survivor. It is lamentable to think, that the efforts of art aud those of administration are powerless in averting this deplorable mortality. It is, however, some consolation to learn, that the number of deaths decreases daily, and that the mortality of the hospital, at present, bears no proportion to what it was forty years ago; a single fact will prove this. Now-a-days, convenient carriages bring nurses to Paris from the country, and each department has its foundling hospital. But can it be credited that, prior to the revolution, the hospital in the metropolis was the only one in the kingdom, from all parts of which children were brought to Paris to receive a life ticket, which ofteuer turned out a certificate for death! A porter walked through the proviuces, carrying upon his back a padded box containing three newly-born babes placed upright in it, supported by wadding, and breathing through a hole in the lid. This man quietly wended his way towards Paris, careless of dust, mud, the mid-day sun, or the bustle of inns. Now and then he stopped to take his meals aud make his young companions suck a little milk. On opening the box, he sometimes found one of them dead. When this happened, he would throw the body by the road side and continue his journey with the remainder. On his arrival, be got a receipt for the goods delivered, without being answerable for accidents on the road."
A PRETTY CAP FOR THE PRETTY HEAD WHICH IT FITS
To speechless rocks a tongue—
And, clerklike, then,
With sweet amen,
Would Echo from each hollow
Reply all day;
While gentle fay,
With merry whoop, would follow.
On no ]
Would they their buds unroll;
Had lilies eyes,
Could shining brooks,
Could winds be fraught
And, could the sky
We have heard it rumoured, that a splendid ball is to be given as soon as the Royal Exchange is finished, in the large room, the proceeds to be given to charitable uses. We wish it every success. If our leaders of ton take an interest in it, they may render it the most magnificent assembly of gaiety and fashion that has ever taken place in our Nineveh of the west.
Paisley is about to congregate its beauty and fashion this week, for the purpose of adding something to the funds collected for the amelioration of the poor and needy in that great mart of manufactures.
In my last I stated to you, that Lord F. L. Gower's tragedy was about to be brought forward at Covcnt Garden. I may now tell you, that it has been presented, and that the cast of the principal parts has been as follows :—St. Megrin. C. Kemble ; Duke de Guise, Ward; Henry IV. Mason; Duke de Joyeuse, AbBot; Catherine of Cleves, Miss F. Kemble. It has been successful, and will probably have a run. Respecting the prospects of Covent Garden, for next season, there is nothing new : at present its prospects are bad enough. No novelties are talked of, and several plays, that are ready, are kept back by their authors, in the hope of a new and better management being, ere long, introduced.
There is much noise making, at present, about Madlle Adelaide Tosi, who is engaged, as Prima Donna, at the King's Theatre- Certain of the newspaper puffers pretend to say, that she has never had a superior on the stage, nay, that "she exceeds Catalan! in face, person, voice, science, and acting," but, from what I have heard from those who have listened to her, at Madrid, it appears that she will scarcely realize this very high character. There is no doubt, however, that Mlle. Tosi was one of the most popular vocalists that ever trod the boards of the Spanish capital. Talking of the King's Theatre, I may mention that it was lighted up, t'other night, to enable Mr. Mason, and his friends, to judge of the ensemble. A splendid new lustre, apparently double the size and power of the last, has been put up. New scenery, and a magnificent new drop-curtain, of a rich arabesque pattern, in deep crimson and gold, are among the improvements. The Orchestra has been enlarged, and an organ, of extraordinary power, has been added to it.
FOREIGN SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
The last meeting of the Academy of Sciences, at Paris, was exceedingly interesting. The following is an abstract of its proceedings :—
Invention of A New Asia Pump.—M. Thilorier presented for the examination of the Academy, and as one of the competitors for the mechanical prize in 1832, a new pump for creating vacua, which acts entirely by hydrostatic power, without being aided in its operations by any moveable pieces whatever, and being independent of piston, valve, or cod. The inventor alleges, that his "Pneumato-statical Pump," which is the name he gives it, is essentially different from the mercurial pumps hitherto brought forward.
Second Volcano On The Coast or Sicily.—The Secretary of State for the Naval Department announced to the Academy, that the Astrolabe, on her voyage from Toulon to Navarino, in November last, had sailed past the new island, Julia or Nerila. The volcano had subsided; but, at a distance of two miles to the westward, a second submarine eruption had been observed (which did not at that time afford any trace of lava,) on the surface of the sea.
FAaADAv's Investigations.—M. Hachette read a notice from Mr. Faraday, on the memoir which he had laid before the Royal Society of London; the notice contained the result of his latest investigations into clectrodynamic phenomena, and gave rise to a scientific discussion on the part of Messrs. Arago, Ampere, and Thenard.
Russian Emeralds.—Baron de Humboldt presented the Academy with a cluster of Crystals of Emeralds, recently found in the middle region of the Ural, to the North of Ekatherineburgh. He had received it as a present from the Emperor of Russia ; and he remarked, that it was not found in the carburetted schistus of transition, like the beautiful emeralds from Muzo mine, in Columbia, but in mica-schistus, as is the case with the emeralds found in Upper Egypt. The Muzo emerald weighs twelve hundred carats, but that of the Ural cluster, fifteen hundred and fourteen.
Majendie On The Cholera At Sunderlano—The next communication was one which, we regret to observe, is no way calculated to raise the name of England in the estimation of her foreign contemporaries. It was a verbal report made by Dr. Majendie on the result of his scientific visit to Sunderland :—" I have found nothing to abate what I have already communicated on the more serious case* of Cholera," said Dr. M. "The most remarkable phenomenon in a physiological point of view, and that on
which the most alarming symptoms depend, is the change in the circulation. From the first exhibition of the disease, the heart does not present more than from twelve to fifteen contractions per minute; it is not merely that the frequency of the pulsation is diminished, but there is a diminution in the powers of that organ, and this to such an extent, that if the patient be moved from a horizontal, with a view to raise his body to a vertical position, the heart is incapable of exerting a sufficient impetus to drive the blood to the head; the patient, consequently, faints away, and sometimes expires under the simple operation of this change of posture." After drawing an appalling picture of the state of the lower classes in Sunderland, and of the filth and situation of portions of it which are calculated, in an eminent degree, either to the breeding or propagation of disease, the Dr. added, that, owing to the popular prejudice against dissection, he had only been able to examine one isolated subject; and closed his report by commenting, in no strain of eulogy indeed, on the sanltory measures adopted at Sunderland. In the subsequent debate, M. Moreau de Jonnes vindicated the Board of Health from bis colleague's aspersions, and laid much stress upon the value of the official reportsupplied to him by that body; against which, however, Dr. jendie again levelled his anathema.
LITERARY INTELLIGENCE. The Rev. P. Macindoe, has, iu the Press, on Pestilence."
"Select Essays" on various topics, religious and moral, by Dr. Bclfrage, is preparing for publication, by Mr. Melrose.
PARIS FASHIONS. LADIES' DRESSES. The make of dresses is still the same—corsages with large plaits crossed in front, and Grecian corsages. These latter are most in favour. The only alteration seen in dresses this season is, that the skirts are very full, usually comprising seven or eight breadths of stuff. These dresses have, particularly behind, very large plaits, which reach quite to the bottom of the skirt.
Ball dresses are made of crape, with a painted or embroidered wreath at the hem, wide in the middle, and tapering off as a drapery to each side of the petticoat, where a bow of ribbons is placed, which appears to join the embroidery in front with that behind; from each bow a column of corresponding embroidery or painting descends; the corsage forms a marked or decided V in front as the point passes the girdle about four inches, and at the point is placed a bow similar to those at the sides of the petticoat. The top of the corsage is it <i la sevigne; the sleeves are short, very full, and with irregular plaits. This style of dress is named d la jardiniere.
The sleeves of evening dresses are frequently made en beret, (of the same material as the dress,) from which falls a wide blond which reaches to the elbow.
The Venetian sleeves made of blond or Dona Maria gauze, (brocaded gauze,) are very fashionable; they are very full to the wrist, where they are fastened with a bracelet with cameos; the sleeve hangs down about five inches, similar to the sleeve of a domino.
Blond Is universally introduced in evening costume.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c
GLASGOW, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 1832.
CONFESSIONS OF A BURKER—No. III. ( Communicated by a Medical Practitioner. J "Evil be then my good."
On the morrow, I attended the ceremony of the interment of the pillow, and afterwards, on my way home, I called at the college, and received four guineas from the operator. With this sum in my pocket, I returned to
my lodgings, and having taken Mrs. aside, I
affected to sympathize with her distress, and, as a proof of my sincerity, I told her I had made an effort to raise the sum I was owing her, as I conceived, from the expenses incurred by the recent calamity, the money perhaps might be more acceptable than at any other time. The eyes of the poor woman became suffused; she gazed at me for a moment through her tears, then, seizing my hand in both of her's, she muttered, in the fervency of her grateful feelings, "thou art indeed a friend."
"Thou art indeed a fiend, a cursed fiend," I exclaimed, shaking ray clenched hand in the face of the Vulture.
"What!" said he, while a smile, that might have rivalled the malignant grin of an arch-demon, broke over his hateful visage, "will you blame me for the only act of honesty I ever performed 1 Nay, I forget, said he, appearing to recollect himself! Three times did I discharge my arrears of board and lodging from the proceeds of the murdered innocents of this wretched mother, who little dreamed that the wolf who devoured her offspring was the canting hypocrite, the smoothtongued villain, the 'friend indeed,' who occupied the warmest seat by her fire, and fur whose comfort no sacrifice was considered too great.
"Did the poor woman or her husband," I asked, "know the infamous employment you had taken in hand."
"No," replied the Vulture, " in their presence, I even pretended a secret reluctance to the study of medicine, and they never failed to express their sympathy for one of my tender feelings, and refined sentiments, being obliged to prosecute a branch of learning so abhorrent to my nature."
"In order to avert all suspicion, and at the same time to enable me to follow the profession of a bodysnatcher with additional profit and security, I rented a low cellar-looking hovel, in a lonely part of the town, near the top of an unfrequented court, which, as it had | several entries from various directions, I considered as a very suitable place, where I could keep the implements of my craft, and to which I could either decoy the living or convey the dead, till I found an opportunity for delivery. In this den I always had a supply of empty tea-chests and other packages, adapted for the conveyance of the goods I dealt in, and, in order to elude still farther the eye of observation, I nailed a rude painted board over the door, with the following inscription, "Itags, old iron and bones bought here." This sink of iniquity, which witnessed many of my heartless deeds of atrocity, I seldom visited, except at the "noon of night," when the glimmer from a dark lanthorn, enabled me, in the silence and depth of my concealment, to practise on some poor wretch, whose dissipation had rendered him the facile and unresisting victim of my unltallowed art."
"And who," I asked, " may have been the first who felt the merciless fangs of the Vulture in this, his horrid nest of abomination?"
"'Twas a child," he replied of five years old, who had wandered from his parents, and whom I found
surrounded by a number of women in street, I
looked on him, and instantly affected to know to whom he belonged. With little difficulty the by-standers were induced to resign him to my care, for the purpose of being returned to his parents. I soon disappeared with my charge, whom I pacified with lozenges, strongly opiated, which I seldom failed to carry about with me. These, as the little fellow was hungry, he devoured with all the readiness I could desire—so that by the time I reached the den, which we did by a circuitous route, between fatigue and the soporific nature of the lozenges, the desired effect was produced. I therefore lifted him in my arms, and carried him to the inward apartment,* where laying him on his back on a truss of straw, I
"Incarnate demon! I exclaimed, what can thy vile heart be formed of that it could have engendered such a thought?"
"Since you ask the question," said the Vulture, "I shall inform you. You have heard of petrifactions, and you have also heard of living toads being found within these petrifactions—then know that my heart is such a petrifaction, and when the knife of the dissector has laid it open, the enveraoned reptile, whose convulsive throbbings after every vile enormity, are its only pulsations, will then be disclosed, and the monstrosity, too precious in the eye of science to be lost, will be carefully encased in glass, and placed in their museum, to swell their collection of loathsome curiosities."
"How well hast thou described thy abominable core, but go on."
"After the operation I have described, I drenched the body with water, and taking a quantity of soot which lay in a corner of the cellar, I dusted the corpse so effectually with it, that I passed it off to the operator as the carcase of a chimney sweeper, who had, a day or two before, met his death by being jammed in a vent in Street.
"Though thus in a manner carrying on a traffic that would admit of no confidential communication with any of the fraternity of body-snatchers, I nevertheless continued to associate with them and attend their orgies, when they met to spend, in riotous dissipation, the profits of their unhallowed profession. I also occasionally went on the prowl with them to those church-yards where we had heard of the interments of
• Since the publication of the Second Number of the "Confessions of a Burker," we have received several letters on the subject. One of which is from the pen of a lady, who requests we will he careful how we make use of the information which our MS. affords, regarding the manner the wretch accomplished his diabolical acts, least we become the unintentional instructors of characters equally worthless with the Vulture. Without arguing the matter with our fair adviser, we shall endeavour to pay as much attention to her hint as we deem consistent with the faithful discbarge of our Editorial duties. When any thing therefore strikes us, as being novel in the horrid practice we shall omit it as w« have done in the above instance.
subjects, who had died of such complaints as created an interest among the anatomical professors. The proceeds of our joint labours, when they came to be divided, were not however sufficient to satisfy one who had discovered and engaged in an easier and more lucrative method for supplying the demands of the teachers of physiology.
"Among my infamous companions, there was only one man who exhibited the same discontent as myself, and whose conduct gave general dissatisfaction to his associates; for, while engaged on any midnight expedition, the reckless disregard which he paid to the feelings of the public, by leaving the rifled grave, with its broken coffin, and all the melancholy trappings exposed to the eye of day, excited universal indignation against our fraternity; and the consequence was, the formation of associations for guarding the repositories of the dead, and thereby rendering the trade of bodysnatching not only less profitable, but more exposed to danger. As all our remonstrances could not induce this man, who went among us by the nickname of Pat Smashie, to behave himself with prudence in his nocturnal movements, it struck me that he must have some secret motive for adhering to a line of conduct, which he could not but know, must ultimately be injurious to himself and his companions. I was the more confirmed in this belief, from the information I received sub rosa, that he disposed of more bodies than any of the others, with the exception of myself. I therefore determined to sound him on the subject, and if necessary to watch his movements."
LARGS REGATTA, By A LANDSMAN No. IV.
M As slow our ship her foaming track,
Against the wind was cleaving,
To that dear land 'twas leaving."
I Left the ball room, and never observed any thing, until I was seated in Mr. Underwood's parlour. "What a day I have had of it! What perils have beset me!"—yet I felt grateful that I had been delivered from them all, and was now retired from "mortal ken." After ruminating more at large, on the adventure! of the Day, I retired to rest.
"I gathered round my weary breast,
and, in a sweet oblivion, lost all remembrance of my sorrows, and
Largs Bay, on the morning of the 10th of July, 1830, presented a spectacle which I still retain with pleasure. The dense fogs, like the sails of heaven's own ship, careering over the mountain tops, were withdrawing, in graceful festoons, from the summit of the green hills, in the vicinity. The blue summer ocean rolled in large unbroken waves, on which floated, in majesty, some of the cutters, whose white sails, reflected in the sunshine, formed moving sunny spots, which the eye delighted to follow.
A message from Reef, senior, induced me to embark with him in a small boat, for the purpose of more minutely inspecting the different yachts before the races commenced. The first we came to was the Elizabeth, and her proprietor, being an old schoolfellow of mine, and an acquaintance of my companion, he welcomed both of us with the greatest hospitality. Reef filled a bumper to the success of the Elizabeth, and wished her owner farewell. He visited, successively, the Amethyst, Rattlesnake, Emily, and Ruby, and shared the hospitality of them all, offering up, earnestly, his prayers for success to the vessel, in the kindness of whose owner he happened to participate at the moment, so that all his good wishes could not be accomplished unless there had been a prize for each vessel. I did not like this trait in old Reefs character ; but silence, I knew, was here discretion.
The sea continued to swell, without a breaker on its surface, rolling from Bute in dark masses, on which the yachts, which were, by this time, all under sail, glided slowly along. The Warbler was, also, soon under weigh, and, in a high state of excitement, we slowly "dodged ahead," towards the mooring ground.
As it would be no entertainment to my readers, to bear the blunders I made in the use of sea terms, and the wit of old Reef at my expense, I shall merely give a specimen or two, and use the language of young Reef as to sea matters afterwards, to the best of my abilities. I complained of head-ache and nausea, he informed me the boat herself was head reaching, and I had no cause to complain. I said, I thought the waves as long as the Trongate, and as high as Greenock steeple. He replied, "I "must be on the lee side certainly." But a little attention soon made me a match for any of them, and when the heave of a sea overturned old Reef I coolly observed, that, instead of standing by the fore-stay, he had caught the tackle falls. The signal gun was fired. "Up head sails, and away they go," cried young Reef, and, in a few minutes, the fine yachts came roaring past us, their white canvass swelling with the favouring breeze, as they cleft their way through a surface of foam, raised from old ocean, by the swiftness of their flight. I was all for the Glasgow men, of course. "A blessing on the bonnie Amethyst," I exclaimed, as she bounded past within a few yards of us, "success to the Elizabeth," I cried, but here Reef interfered. "You are wrong, Sir, you are wrong, the Rattlesnake has decided the race—give Greenock men size and sail. Even without them, they will beat the world." The practised eye of my nautical friend was not deceived. It was too soon evident, that the Glasgow yachts, in this race, could only win, by their opponents splitting a sail, or springing a mast; and, as neither of these events occurred, they lost it.
The contest was now, principally, betwixt the Emily and Rattlesnake; and, as Reef had indulged in not a little coarse mirth at the expense of my townsmen, I adopted the cause, and loudly proclaimed my confidence in the success of the former vessel, although appearances had, most of the time, been against her. Sometimes, however, I could perceive, as the little Emily appeared to close with the Rattlesnake, old Reef's face began, considerably, to expand. "For heaven's sake, Rattlesnake, take a pull on your gib sheet, and luff a little," he would cry, although the yacht was a mile and a half beyond his powers of oratory. But his anxiety was unnecessary, the Rattlesnake still kept a-head, and finally reached the flag boat, off Largs, followed by the Emily, Amethyst, Elizabeth, and Ruby.
My enjoyments would have been quite uninterrupted this day, if only one of the Glasgow yachts had been victorious. In consequence of their want of success, I was insulted the whole afternoon by Reef, senior, whose potations had, latterly, greatly increased. Every opportunity was seized for the performance of his jeers and jibs, as he termed, his low jokes, and he summed up all, with the gross and Insulting observation, that the aquatic excursions of my townsmen and myself, should, in future, be confined to the boundaries of Broomielaw. There was a meanness in this, which the effects of the brandy could only account for ; but my experience in life has taught me, that, if man has patience, insult is generally punished by some accidental circumstance; besides, the age of my persecutor, also rendered personal revenge impossible, so I quietly bore it all, and said nothing. In the sequel, I had ample satisfaction.
The winner of the next race was the Vampire, a glorious vessel in full sail, and, afterwards, the "aquatic amusements" of the day, concluded with a rowing match. Two boats pulled most valiantly, but Reef, junior, said, the third only started—I never could find out at what, but I know she did not gain the prize.
We now run the Warbler, close in shore, and, after a day of diversified enjoyment, we landed, safely, on the beach of Largs.
A Roman triumph was small, in comparison of the rewards that now awaited the victors. Wreathed smiles, and outstretched hands, greeted them from every quarter, and I proceeded along the promenade, calculating, if I could not purchase a yacht upon credit, and, wondering, if I would be black-balled by the Club.
Having been, all day, on the water, young Reef and I were somewhat snappish when we arrived at the inn, and, although we had no inclination to make game of Mr. Underwood's mutton, it was declared to surpass any venison ever ate.
At supper, we entertained a few Glasgow men, somewhat saddened by the want of success experienced by those in whom they had most interest, but all, highly delighted, with the sport afforded by the liberality of the Club. The health of the Commo