« AnteriorContinuar »
striking, that the character and feelings of the “By degrees the flame of the fire became extinperson seemed, as it were, visible in the portrait. guished, leaving only the glowing embers, which threw
The attitudes of his figures are natural and a dim mystic sort of light around. The Shaman threw graceful; his colouring is much to be admired; and himself down on the ground; and, after remaining his draperies, which were taken from the fashion of motionless for about five minutes, broke out into a the period, are in a grand yet easy style.
melancholy wail, the sound of which was as if it came His best portrait, in England, is said to be that
from different voices. The fire was again kindled, and
shot up into a high flame. The Shaman then sprang up, of the Earl of Strafford, at Wentworth House.
placed one end of the bow on the ground, rested his Though Vandyck is generally considered as a
forehead on the other, and still holding the bow in his portrait painter, yet he has nearly approached his hand, he began to whirl round it, first slowly, and then great master, Rubens, in some of his historical rapidly. This whirling continued until the v pictures. He had, it is true, less genius and spirit, of it made me giddy, when suddenly he stood still, and but be excelled Rubens in the delicacy of his tints, commenced making all manner of figures in the air and the vivacity of his colours. This was acknow with his hand without exhibiting the slightest sympledged even by his enemies, on the occasion of the tom of giddiness. He then seized his drum, and, in a exhibition of the picture which he painted for the sort of inspiration, played, what seemed to me, a sort of church at Antwerp, in which is represented our
melody, while he quickened or slackened his pace, and Saviour lying dead on the knees of his mother, and
moved and contracted his body with inconceivable | surrounded by angels.
rapidity. The motion of the head was especially striking ;
it whirled round with a velocity resembling a ball on a However it must be admitted that he was
string. generally inferior to Rubens in historical subjects,
“During these operations the Shaman took, now and though he surpassed him in his portraits, which,
then, a mouthful of brandy and a whiff of tobacco, | says De Piles, “ have a softness and freedom of |
which, at a sign given by him, was handed to him by some penciling beyond anything else in that way.” one of the bystanders. This and the other operations
The most capital works of Vandyck are in must at length have stupified him, for he fell suddenly England.
down, and remained rigid and seemingly lifeless. Two of the spectators then approached, with large knives in
their hands, which they began to whet on each other DESCRIPTION OF A SIBERIAN SHAMAN. close to his head. This seemed to bring him again to
himself; he renewed his strange wailings, and moved The writer from whom we transcribe the following his body slowly and convulsively. The persons who description of a Shaman, is treating of somnambulous had the knives in their hands raised him up, and placed sestasy, and quotes, as instances of it, the conjurers or him in an erect posture. His countenance was horrid wizards of Lapland and of Samoyede, and the Sha
to look at; the eyes were as if starting from their sockmans of Siberia, who bring themselves into this singular
ets, and seemed to project out from the head, while his
face was crimson all over. He appeared perfectly unstate by artificial means, such as whirling round of the
conscious, and except a slight tremor of the body, he hody, especially of the head, accompanied by stunning remained for some minutes without a sign of life. cris, songs, and music. “ The condition,” says our “ He then awoke from his stupor apparently, and aattor, “ into which the Shaman brings himself is supported himself by his right hand on his bow, while, much more extraordinary than that of the Lapland seer | with the left, he swung the drum rapidly round his of the Samoyede enchanter: it resembles more what
head with a whirring noise, and then suddenly let it fall,
which, I was informed, was the sign that he was now We might imagine the state of an ancient Pythoness,
| fully inspired, and ready to be questioned. I approached being a kind of convulsive delirium, during which | him, as he stood motionless before me. without token lhe utters dark and oracular sentences, and remarkable of life either in eye or countenance, while neither my
clear seeing, or prophetic sight, takes place." An in- questions, nor his answers (which were given instantly, teresting account of these Shamans is given by a com- without one moment's reflection) changed in the slightpanion of Wrangel, in his expedition to the North Pole, est degree the immobility of his features. Several of contained in a letter written by Mr. Matinschkin to a his answers were very remarkable; others so obscure, friend at Petersburgh, dated December, 1829.
that none of the interpreters were able to give me them This gentleman, after wandering all day by the banks in Russian. When the curiosity of all had been satisfied, of the Siberian river, Tabalog, sought shelter from the the Shaman again fell into convulsions, accompanied DOW (which was beginning to fall, though only the with internal spasms, lying thus on the ground for month of August) in a place, where he found assembled about a quarter of an hour.” The demons, it would a great many persons around a Shaman, who was just appear, took a much shorter time to effect their exit on the point of commencing his incantations.
than their entrance; as, for the latter, four hours had By means of one of the company, to whom Mr. M. | been necessary. Besides their usual mode of departing had lately shown a trifling kindness, and by the promise -by the chimney-the traveller saw the door opened of some brandy and tobacco, our traveller was permitted by the spectators to let them out that way if they preto remain and witness the proceedings.
ferred it. "In the centre of the place a bright fire blazed, “At length, all was finished; the Shaman arose with around which a circle was marked out by black sheep marks of astonishment in his countenance, like a man skins, on which, in slow and measured steps, the Sha awakened out of a deep sleep, finding himself in the man moved round, repeating, at the same time, half midst of a large assembly. He looked at all the people aloud, the forms of his incantation. His long, black, around him, and particularly at Mr. M., whom he seemed bristly hair, covered almost completely his red and now to see for the first time. Mr. M. asked him to swollen face, while from under the shaggy eyebrows explain some of his dark sayings, but the Shaman only gleamed a pair of blood-shot eyes. His dress was a long | | looked at him with a questioning expression of counte
Talar, composed of the skins of animals, and hung from nance, as if he knew nothing of what had happened, and | top to bottom with amulets, rhymes, chains, shells, and shook his head at each interrogatory, being utterly
pieces of iron and copper. In his right hand he held a oblivious of what had passed, or of what he had said." || charm-rum in the shape of a tambourin, likewise or- Our author is of opinion that the religious ceremonies namented with shells. In his left hand was an unbent of the dervishes of the present day had, in their origin,
the same end in view as the demon-conjurations of the Siberian Shaman, namely, that of inducing a somnam- roofless, owing to the intensity of the frost having exbulous cataleptic state; but that now, the former not tracted the nails by which the shingles were fastened to carrying out their whirling and other stupifying opera the rafters. Provisions are brought into St. John's frozen tions to the same extent as was once done, these cere- hard, and they will keep perfectly well so long as the frost monies have become mere senseless and unmeaning | lasts ; it is ludicrous enough to see pigs, hares, and rites; the Dervishes themselves being now ignorant of large codfish frozen stiff, and carried by a leg or tail the purpose meant to be accomplished by their singular over a man's shoulder, like a musket. One evening a religious services. Three, however, out of the thirty-two discussion as to the degree of cold led to a bet, and the orders into which the Dervishes are divided, the Mel commanding officer's orderly was sent to ascertain what deve, the Bedive, and the Rufai, still practise the whirl- the thermometer stood at outside the window. The ing to a much greater extent than any of the others; major's servant ingenuously brought the thermometer their movements, accompanied by a barbarous kind of into the room, and looked at it by the light of the fire ; music, and various other ceremonies, while they call the mercury thus suddenly astonished, naturally ran up out in a voice of increasing loudness, “ Allah ! Hu!” a tremendous pace. In the conversation which took until, breathless and exhausted, like the Shaman, they palce between him and the orderly, he was overheard fall into a state of utter insensibility. After a few more exclaiming, “Wait till it stops, Bob! Now tell the absurd practices, they are then blessed by their chief, major it is at 45 notches above Nero."—Echoes from the “ Sheik Ulislam," as he is sometimes called, (meaning Backwoods. Chief of the True Believers,) and speedily recover.
A. R. L.
ANECDOTE OF LORD ERSKINE.
witness, Erskine divested it of asperity by a tone of jest Poetry.
and good humour. In a cause at Guildhall, brought to
recover the value of a quantity of whalebone, a witness In Original Poetry, the Name, real or assumed, of the Author, is
was called of impenetrable stupidity. There are two
descriptions of whalebone, of different value, the long printed in Small Capitals under the title; in Selections, it is printed in Italics at the end.
and the thick. The defence turned on the quality delivered ; that an inferior article had been charged at
the price of the best. A witness for the defence baffled THE THREE VOICES.
every attempt at explanation by his dulness. He con
founded thick whalebone with long in such a manner S. M.
that Erskine was forced to give it up. “Why, man, What saith the Past to thee? Weep!
you don't seem to know the difference between what is Truth is departed;
thick and what is long. Now, I'll tell you the differBeauty hath died like the dream of a sleep,
ence. Now, I'll tell you the difference. You are a Love is faint-hearted;
thick-headed fellow, and you are not a long-headed one!” Trifles of sense, the profoundly unreal,
- Townsend's Lives of Eminent Judges.
There is no small degree of malicious craft in fixing
upon a season to give a mark of enmity and ill-will; a
word-a look, which at one time would make no im. How speaks the Present lour? Act!
pression-at another time wounds the heart; and, like *Walk, upward glancing; So shall thy footsteps in glory be track’d,
a shaft flying with the wind, pierces deep, which, with Slow, but advancing.
its own natural force, would scarcely have reached the Scorn not the smallness of daily endeavour;
object aimed at.-Sterne. Let the great Meaning ennoble it ever ;
Who does not look back with feelings which he would Droop not o'er efforts expended in vain ;
in vain attempt to describe, to the delightful rambles Work, as believing that labour is gain.
which his native fields and meadows afforded to his What doth the Future say? Hope !
earliest years ? Flowers are among the first objects that Turn thy face sun-ward !
forcibly attract the attention of young children, becomLook where light fringes the far-rising slope-
ing to them the source of gratifications which are among Day cometh onward!
the purest of which our nature is capable, and of which Watch! Though so long be the twilight delaying,
even the indistinct recollection imparts often a fleeting Let the first sunbeam arise on thee praying ;
pleasure to the most cheerless moments of after-life. l'ear not, for greater is God by thy side,
WHEN two friends part, they should lock up one another's secrets, and interchange their keys.
The noblest weapon wherewith man can conquer, is Miscellaneous.
love and gentlest courtesy.
"I have here made only a nosogay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own, but the string that tios them."--Montaigne.
N.B.-The Second Volume of this periodical is now ready; covers for binding, with table of contents, may be ordered of any Booksellers.
The Death of Keeldar (with | Biographical Sketchesof EmiThe cold during the winter nights is very severe.
Illustration by Franklin)... 1 nent Painters : Vandyck ... 13 The sentinels are frequently obliged to be relieved every
The Privileges of Vienna ..... 3 Description of a Siberian half hour, and the officers, so long as they are beardless, Black Fritz, Chap. I............ 41 Shaman ........................... may enjoy horizontal refreshment in peace; but when
The Three Voices ............ 16 they obtain those manly appendages yclept whiskers,
MISCELLANEOUS....... they find that turning in bed becomes hopeless, and being “brought up with a round turn," discover that they are frozen to the sheets. And we are told that London:-Published by T.B. SIARPE, 15, Skinner Street, Snow-hill. families have been awakened by their houses becoming |
Printed by R. CLAY Bread Street Hill.
A JOURNAL OF ENTERTAINMENT AND INSTRUCTION
FOR GENERAL READING.
KING LEAR AND HIS DAUGHTERS.
Why have my sisters husbands, if they say,
They love you all ? Haply when I shall wed, The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry Strive to be interess'd; what can you say, to draw
Ilalf my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart ?
Cor. Av, good, my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender!
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so ;-thy truth then be thy dower: According to my bond; nor more, nor less.
Propinquity, and property of blood;
And as a stranger to my heart and me,
Hold thee from this for ever. Return those d ties back as are right fit;
Shakspeare.- King Lear. Obey yon, love you, and most honour you.
FARLEIGH GRANGE. So utter is its desolation that even winter lacks the not wrong him, this son-in-law was one better calculated power to make its aspect wilder or more desolate. to excite distrust and dread than love. Fair seeming, Summer leaves, and summer flowers. bright with the smooth spoken, humble almost to abjectness, winding
into men's thoughts without developing his own, with sunshine or glittering with the dew, trailing along the broken walls and shattered coping-stones, hanging a wearing a perpetual smile, a smile so like a sneer that
a wandering eye, a hesitating step, thin bloodless lips garland over porches mouldering into dust, over dim it was difficult to determine when he smiled and when discoloured window panes, over wormed and mossy he sneered,-he was a man whom dogs and children garden seats, over fountains choked with weeds, over would instinctively avoid : direr reproach we will not paths but barely pervious, mock and magnify its deso. stay to cast upon him. Those wandering eyes of his, lation and decay ; but in winter all external and sur
| how truly did they symholize the narrow restless mind
which worked within! how intelligibly they spoke of rounding objects are in keeping with the void and
growing, greedy, unsatisfied desires, of baneful, peaceruined Grange. Titanic trees circling the old house destroying passions usurping absolute dominion over like a body-guard of giants, wierd and awful in their that unquiet stormy mind! The inactive aimless life look as those which frowned upon the Pilgrim's path, he led, subserved to foster those desires by offering no naked and gnarled, and making melancholy music as I diversion to the current of his thoughts, which still the wind sighs through the leafless boughs ; bare slopes, flowed on in one direct and unimpeded course, delving with here and there a barer bush creaking as it sways; a deeper channel, expanding into a broader flood, and here and there a heap of faded leaves, that rustle with gaining might, and volume, and velocity, by the mere a startling unfamiliar rustle as you tread ; dead stems absence of all impediment and check. of flowers, and crackling sapless shrubs, weaving a He knew that, come what might, all that his benetangled network that overspreads the uneven terrace factor had amassed must one day devolve on him ; but and dismantled urns: the stagnant and turbid fishpool, then the certainty was not so proximate as he could the very clouds themselves, heavy and cold and leaden, wish. Years might elapse before the wealth so coveted and creeping sluggishly across the sky; are perfectly in should become his portion. Oh, that the inevitable, but harmony with all the eye discerns and all the imagina- yet remote, event could be accelerated! Oh, that the tion pictures of that old decaying house.
wearisome delay, the tedious waiting for the dead man's Did light laughter ever echo underneath that roof? shoes, could be abridged ! And might it not? Ay, might Did youthful footsteps ever bound along its floors? Did it not? In this one question all his gloomy reveries the firelight ever gleam in crimson fiakes upon its eventuated ; beyond it, all was dim, chaotic, undefined. shining walls? Were rosy children ever wakened by the So, brooding over this dark thought; so, day by day. summer sunshine streaming through its cheerful win-tending and nourishing the poison-plant which had dow-panes? Did the smoke of blazing yule logs ascend struck deep root and thrived apace within his mind, its tunnelled chinney stacks at bygone Christmas until its baneful growth became too mighty for festivals? Who were its inmates? what was their his-sion; so, suffering suggestion to assume the form and tory! Why is it tenantless—fallen to decay ?
| pressure of a settled purpose, and listening to the Pass through the vaulted porch, traverse the sounding whispers of a dwarfish fiend, until that fiend, dilating hall, and by the cold deserted hearth sit down, and let with his expanding influence, swelled into giant's share. us conjure up a history of the past.
and wore the mien and gestures of a stern inexorable Once on a time,--for that is, after all, your only task master; the old man's son-in-law became the docile legitimate method of opening a tale,- once on a time, / slave of Avarice. Day and night, weekday and holytwo centuries since perhaps, a grev-haired man, who day, at mass and meals, visions of wealth, of sole had amassed great wealth by trading ventures to the supreme possession, flitted before his eyes, and minisEast, came hither to reside. An only daughter, her tered unceasing aliment to the master passion of his husband, and their child, shared in the old man's heart mind. But ever there arose one uniform impediment.and home. He had been a poor dependent, this son-in-ever the figure of an old grey-headed man glided between law, whose thrifty zeal had helped to build the fabric him and his desire: and ever, as that presence troubled of the merchant's fortune, and, growing in his good him, a phantom whispered in his ear suggestions of a opinion year by year, gained at the last the rich requital fearful import, which, awful and hideous at first, crew of his daughter's hand. Her hand, we say, for that her less and less repulsive with every repetition, so that a heart accompanied it admits of doubt. If rumour did i murderous thought at length would lose its horrid
character, and harbour in his brain as naturally as | memento of earlier and happier times was now no though it were its own familiar lurking-place. From more. That wrinkled face, those silvery hairs, those thought to act, from the motive to the method, were old benignant eyes, that kindly voice — lost, losteasy, if not inevitable, transitions. And yet, and yet, irretrievably lost. While he was alive, it was a joy there was a haunting dread, the disquieting and con only to meet his affectionate greeting, morning and stant fear of subsequent detection, to deter him from evening--much more to hold untiring converse of the deed. “Silently and well would poison work, but the past, to run over the sunny retrospect of her girlif suspicion should arise--" and then the prospective hood, to compare impressions, restore the half effaced, murderer would ponder on the matter more profoundly, and, by renewing, vivify the fresh. Dreary, exceeding search into old treatises, study the nature of mineral dreary, therefore, was the void created by the death of and vegetable poisons, and test their effects on animals, that dear doting parent. whenever practicable, until his knowledge of their Her spirits sank, and then her health, and then she, character and operation was accurate and complete. too, went down into the dust. Her husband and her
And one was chosen, slow, and subtle, and sure as son, the one a haggard, prematurely grey, and consciencetruth itself; and nightly mingled and administered in stricken man, the other a dull-eyed, gibbering idiot, the stoup of spiced wine which custom had commended | abandoned Farleigh Grange within a year of her to the old man's palate. Yea, while he drank, the placid decease, and perished by shipwreck on their voyage murderer stood by and never blanched ; heard kindly to a foreign land. The estate reverted to a distant Fords, thankful acknowledgments of his (the murderer's) relative, but, often as it has been tenanted, the Grange delicate attentions fall from the old man's lips, and yet has never been the permanent abiding place of its felt no compunctious visitings ! And every day he saw inhabitants. Some curse appears annexed to its posthe fitful flame of life which burnt within the victim's session-some fatality attached to its possessors; and, frame flickering with a fainter, feebler light, and knew for half a century past, it has been, as it now is, a hor soon it would be quenched for ever; and saw the desolate, deserted, and, in common credence, haunted earnest sorrow of the daughter of that dying man, and house. Fet persisted in the desperate crime, unwavering to the last! Grey-headed old man, surrounded on thy deathbed by delusions, close thy dim eyes in peace, happy in
SCENERY OF THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY. the illusory belief that thou hast confided thy daughter's Few chapters in the history of civilization and human happiness to safe and worthy keeping! He sank so industry are so replete with importance and interest to slowly, wasting away with such a gradual decline, so
every grade of readers, as the accounts of the means by like the natural decay of life, that, when death did set his “silent seal" upon the suffering clay, no comments
which England has been, within the last score of years, followed the event, and he was laid to sleep within the covered with a net-work of iron, or System of Railways. village church with solemn pomp and simulated grief As a branch of national economy, the subject will have by the husband of his child, the inheritor of his pos- a paramount claim upon the attention of the statist and sessions, and the destroyer of his life.
the politician in forming their estimates of the means “ To sleep," said we? No, not to sleep, but thence
by which the internal prosperity and domestic peace of forth to haunt the troubled vision of the assassin by his perpetual presence. Go where he would, to the
the empire have attained a century of advancement within morderer's fancy the very air was full of eyes, dim
less than a quarter of that period. At this vast subject aged eyes, glaring upon him with a fearful menace. it is but our intention to glance ; and rather to select Through the dim gloom of midnight the angry gleam one of its stupendous examples, and describe its course of those old eyes would seem to penetrate and awe him. and construction, we trust, so as to prove that a RailIn the blazing embers, in the pictures on the walls, in way, instead of cutting up and despoiling the face of the fantastic figures on the fountain, in the white clouds
the country, has, like a fertilizing river, enriched and that skimmed athwart the sky, in the very stones upon his path, he saw the lineaments of the murdered man.
embellished the district through which it trends, in its In the moaning of the wind, in the shivering rustle of progress stretching out its giant-arms of improvement the leaves, in the murmuring ripple of the water, in on each side of its mighty course. every casual, transient, sound, there were, to his ear, For this purpose we have preferred THE GREAT WESTintelligible articulations of the old man's voice. Wine | ERN RAILWAY, in many respects the most important had no power to banish from his brain the frightful work of its class yet completed ; and one of the most images which thronged in thick succession through it; attractive by means of the picturesque and interesting there was a poisonous savour in everything which met country through which it passes. There exists, likehis lips ; and the pure element itself smacked of a wise, a peculiar facility for our task, or rather labour of polluting mixture. Music was torture to his ears, for love, in a work of the highest authority, which has just bis wife found melancholy solace in dwelling on the been issued from the press. This is a magnificent folio songs and melodies which her father in his life-time volume, detailing the history and description of the loved ; and by the mere force of association the mur. line, profusely illustrated with views of its great works, derer would shudder as he passed one vacant chair, and the adjacent scenery; and forming, altogether, the and hurry from the room, filled with the fear of seeing most complete specimen of Railway Illustration yet its former occupant glide into his accustomed seat. produced. The work is, in every respect, worthy of
His wife, too, pined and drooped, and seemed to the noble subject: the scenic pages are masterpieces of wither gradually away. As we have hinted, her affection the artists' skill, both draftsman and lithographer; and for the only parent she had ever known, had never been the literature of the volume, both as regards scientific bnpplanted by the more impassioned love which ordi- treatment and descriptive talent, takes precedence of narily springs up within a woman's heart towards him every labour of its kind. In its vivid details of the skill with whom she forms a new and nearer tie. From a of our own times in Railway construction, and of the sentiment of duty towards her father, rather than of glories of other ages in the antiquities of the country actual attachment to the object of her father's choice,
(1) The History and Description of the Great Western Railway, she had originally consented to the union proposed to
including its Geology, and the Antiquities of the District through her; and in the society of that father, and in the
which it passes; accompanied by a Plan and Section of the Railway, nurture of her infant son, she had subsequently found a Geological Map, and by numerous Views of the principal Viaducts, her greatest happiness; hence the bereavement she had Bridges, Tunnels. Stations, and of the Scenery and Antiquities in
its Vicinity : from Drawings taken expressly for this work, and sustained was full of bitterness. The one golden link
executed in Lithography, by John C. Bourne. Folio. (Size, 26 by in the chain of old remembrance was snapped--the living | 14 inches.) D. Bogue, Fleet-street. 1846.