« AnteriorContinuar »
Whose bounty soothes their sorrows. Rich thou art,
Yet far less precious than that pearl of price Which that fair princess treasured in her heart,
Who fixed upon my IVItole for her device. Marguerite of Valois, sure herself a pearl
By name and nature, chose that golden flower,
The banners of the Gospel, to its power
LITERARY NOTICES. Curiosities of Modern Travel: a Year-Booh of Adventure. Bocsue. 1847.
This is a selection of some of the most striking incidents to be found in recently published books of travels. There is little in it which is not well known to those who are at all familiar with that description of reading: but to those who have not had the opportunity of reading many larger works of the class, it will no doubt be interesting, as giving a taste of almost every kind of adventure to be encountered in modern travel. We select two specimens :—
inE BURIED TOWS OF PLEURS
"A Spot, which was to me one of the most interesting in all my rambles, was where the village of Pleurs, with about twenty-five hundred inhabitants, was overwhelmed in the year 1C18 by the falling of a mountain. This terrific avalanche took place in the night, and was so sudden, complete, and overwhelming, that not only every soul perished, but no trace whatever of the village or of any of the remains of the inhabitants could afterwards be discovered. The mountain must have buried the town to the depth of several hundred feet. Though the all-veiling gentleness of nature has covered both the mountain that stood and that which fell with luxuriant vegetation, and even a forest of chestnuts has grown amidst the wilderness of the rocks, yet the vastness and the wreck of the avalanche are clearly distinguishable. Enormous angular blocks of rocks are strewn and piled in the wildest confusion possible, some of them being at least sixty feet high. The soil has so accumulated in the space of two hundred years, that on the surface of these ruins there are smooth, grassy fields at intervals, and the chestnuts grow everywhere. A few clusters of miserable hamlets, like Indians' or gipsies' wigwams, are also scattered over the grave of the former village, and there is a forlorn-looking chapel that might serve as a convent for banditti. The mountains rise on either side to a great height in most picturesque peaks and outlines, and the valley is filled up with a snowy range at the north.
•' It was a solemn thing, to stand upon the tomb of twenty-five hundred beings, all sepulchred alive. No efforts have ever discovered a trace of the inhabitants —not a bone, not a vestije. The mountain that covers them shall be thrown off at the resurrection, but never before. It was the Mount Conto that fell; the half that was left behind still rises abrupt and perpendicular over the mighty grave. It is singular enough that the town was situated itself on the tomb of another village, which had previously been overwhelmed by a similar eatjistrophe. For that reason it was named Pleurs, The Town of Tears. From the times of old, as often as in Italy one city has been buried, another has been built upon the very same spot, except, indeed, in the case of Pompeii, so that it is no uncommon thing for the same earth to be leased to the dead and the living.
"The Town of Tears was one of the 'gayest, richest, laughing, pleasure-loving, joyous little cities in the kingdom. It might have Wen named Tears because it had laughed till it cried. It had palaces and villas of rich gentlemen and nobles; for its lovely and romantic situation, and pleasant air, attracted the wealthy families to spend, especially the summer months, in so de
lightful a retreat. I wonder that no poet or romancewriter has made this scene the subject of a thrilling story. The day before the lid of their vast sepulchre fell, the people were as happy and secure as those of Pompeii the night of the Vcsuvian eruption—and much more innocent. There had been great rains. Vast masses of gravel were loosened from the mountains, and overwhelmed some rich vineyards. The herdsmen came hurrying in to give notice that strange movements had been taking place, with alarming symptom* of some great convulsion; that there were great fissures and rents forming in the mountain, and masses of rock falling, just as the cornice of a building might topple down in fragments before the whole wall tumbles. The cattle were seized with terror, and probably perreivinj the trembling of the ground beneath their feet, fled bellowing from the region.
"Nevertheless, there was no dream of what was to follow. The storm cleared brightly away, the sun ro=* and set on the 4th of September as a bridegroom; tot people lay down securely to rest, or pursued their v customed festivities into the bosom of the night, wiih the plans for to-morrow; but that night the mountain fell and destroyed them all. At midnight, a great Mm was heard far over the country, and a shock felt as of an earthquake, and then a solemn stillness followed.: in the morning, a cloud of dust and vapour hung over the valley, and the bed of the Maira was dry. The river had been stopped by the falling of the mountain aero* its channel, and the town of Pleurs with the village of Celano had disappeared for ever All the excavatioa. of all the labourers that could be collected failed to discover a single vestiae of the inhabitants or df their dwelling-places. The miners could not reach the cathedral for its gold and jewels; and there they lie at rest, churches and palaces, villas and hovels, priests, peasants and nobles, where neither gold, nor love, nor supersti tion, nor piety, can raise them from their graves, or have any power over them."—Cheevert "Pilgrim of tin Juniifrau."
BATHS Or LECK.
"In coming from the Simplon up the Yallais !•' Geneva, one passed the baths of Leuk. a little removed from the Rhone. This hamlet, elevated 4500 feet above the level of the sea, is shut in by a circular precipice that surrounds it like a mighty wall, up which you are compelled to climb in steps cut in the face of the solid rock. Its hot springs are visited during the summer months by the French and Swiss for their healing effects. It is something of a task, as one can well imagine, to get an invalid up to these baths. The (ran* pnrtation is entirely by hand, and the terms are regulated by the director of the baths. These regulationare printed in French, and one relating to corpulent persons struck us so comically that we give a translation of it :—
For a person over ten years of age, four porters are nemaary; if he is above the ordinary weight, six porters, but if of is of an extraordinary weight, and the commissary judges pnper, two otlu'rs may be added, but never more.
There are some dozen springs in all, the principsl one of which, the St. Lawrence, has a temperature of 124 degrees Fahrenheit. The mode of bathing is f tirely unique, and makes an American open his eyes it first in unfeigned astonishment. The patient begin* by remaining in the bath the short space of one hour, ami goes on increasing the time till he reaches eight hourfour before breakfast and four after dinner. After each bath of four hours' duration, the doctor requires one hour to be passed in bed. This makes in all ten Boot* per day to the poor patient, leaving him little time for anything else. To obviate the tedionsness of soakioi" alone four hours in a private bath, the patients all bathe together. A large shed divided into four compare ments. each capable of holding about eighteen persons, constitutes the principal bath-house. A slight gall")'
is built along the partitions dividing the several baths, for visitors to occupy who wish to enjoy the company of their friends, without the inconvenience of lying in tie water. This is absolutely necessary, for ff eight hours are to be passed in the bath and two in bed, und the person enduring all this is to be left alone in the meantime, the life of an anchorite would be far preferable to it. It is solitary confinement in the penitentiary, with the exception' that the cell is a watery Oh. All the bathers, of both sexes and all ages and conditions, are clothed in long woollen mantles, with a tippet around their shoulders, and sit on benches ranged romid the bath, under water up to their necks. Stroll into this large bathing-room awhile after dinner, the list thing that meets your eye is some dozen or fifteen hods bobbing up and down", like buoys on the surface |if the steaming water. There, wagging backwards and frnards, is the shaven crown of a fat old friar. Close We, the glossy ringlets of a fair maiden, while beftwn, perhaps, is the moustached face of an invalid officer. In another direction, grey hairs are 'floating on the tide,' and the withered faces of old dames peer |wer the flood.' But to sit and soak a whole day, even m company, is no slight penalty, and so to while away the bay hours, one is engaged in reading a newspaper, "ich he holds over bis head : another in discussing a tot of toast on a floating table; a third, in keeping a withered nosegay, like a water-lilv, just above the sur«*, while it is hard to tell which looks most dolorous, loe withered flowers or her face. In one corner, two persons are engaged playing chess; and in another, "W or four more, with their chins just out of the wter, are enjoying a pleasant "tete-a-tete" about the Qeleetaliility of beine under water, seething away at a temperature of nearly 120 degrees, eight, hours per day. Persons making their daily calls on their friends are altering and leaving the trallery, or leaning over, enP?ed in earnest conversation with those below them, hot much etiquette is observed in leave-taking, for if to? patient should attempt a bow, ho would duck bis tad under water. Laughable as this may seem, it is Mvertheless a grave matter, and no one would submit » « except for health, that boon for which .the circle of lh» world is made, the tortures of amputation endured, ""J the wealth of the millionnaire squandered. The tnctest decorum is preserved, and even' breach of propriety punished by the worthy bur<roma'st.cr with a fine «l*o francs or thirty-seven and a half cents. A set of regulations is hung against, the walls specifying the ■"inner in which every patient is to conduct himself w herself. As specimens, we give Articles 7 and 0, JTM>will also be found.in Mr. Murray's Ouide
*.';• '■ I'rrjonnp ne iieut entrer dans les bains sans etre
". um' chemise lowrue ct ample, d'une etoffe grossiere, "«» Wine de deux fr, deroande.
- <p. w. 1*1 m'-me peine "era enronrir par eeux qui n'en ea»nt pw, ou n'Pn sortiraient nas d'une tnaniere decent*.
'raiMWfo,. Art. 7. No one is permitted to enter these »,V' .W1',!""lt lx''nsr clothed in a Ions, ample, and thick T**, under the penalty of a fine of two francs, fount ^''e rarao !'ena'l7 "111 ^e incurred by those who
TM enter or depart in a becoming manner.
,. "*' care is taken that everything should be done Gently and in order,' and there is nothing to prevent je"'''e 'rorn. behaving themselves while "sitting on j, C8,"i*r water as well as above water."—Hcadlafs ^ ««d the Rhine."
Tk,,u'"*kn Walls °f 0ld Enqland :—the Lives of '"'"ated Admirals. Bv Maroarrt Fraskr Tytier. IT»LPp.S30. With Frontispiece. Hatchard.
»ith '3.°ne °' "la*' numerous class of juvenile works thinirk ^e Prei,cnt gencratioa abound, and aloJ?_ no wwon is assigned why this volume is considering the many similar and more en
larged works of the same character, still its contents are well arranged, written in an agreeable style, and to those of our young friends who wish to peruse the leading events in the lives of Lord Rodney, Earl Howe, Earl St. Vincent, Lord De Saumarez, Lord Collingwood. Sir Sidney Smith, and Lord Exmouth, will form a most acceptable present. They will find much to amuse and a great deal more to instruct.
A NEW ZEALAND CHIEF.
"Neite, or—as he is now more generally known by hig baptized name—Thomas Walker (Tamati Waka), is the principal chief of the Ngatihao tribe; which, in common with many others, is comprised in the great assemblage of tribes usually called Ngapuis. The residence of this celebrated man is near the Wesleyan mission station, on the banks of the river Hokianga; where he fully established his character, as the friend and protector of Europeans, long before the regular colonization of the country. In common with most of his countrymen, Nene was, in his younger days, celebrated for his expertness in acts of petty pilfering; and he himself will now laugh heartily, if reminded of his youthful tricks. On one occasion, when on a visit to one of the missionaries at Waimate. a fine gander attracted his attention, and he secretly ordered it to be seized, and prepared for his dinner in a native oven; but, to prevent detection, the bird was cooked in its feathers. However, it was soon missed, and a rigorous inquiry instituted by its owner, but without success; until certain savoury steams arising from Nene's camp excited suspicion. To tax him with the theft, however, wonld have been contrary to all the rules of New Zealand etiquette: and the mystery of its disappearance was not unravelled until the morning after he had taken his departure, when the ill-fated gander was found concealed among the bushes; it having been found too tough for even a New Zealandcr's powers of mastication. Some years after this, a chief of East Cape killed a relation of Nene's; and, according to the customary law in New Zealand of 'blood for blood,' Nene went in a vessel, accompanied by only one attendant, to seek revenee. Landing near the spot where the chief resided, Nene entered his pah, called the murderer by name, and after accusing him of the crime, deliberately levelled his gun and shot him dead at his fe»t, and then coolly walked away. Though in the midst of his enemies, none dared to touch the avenger: all were paralvzed at. his sudden appearance and determined bravery. But, Nene is no longer the thoughtless, mischievous New Zealander: for many years he has been playing a nobler part in the great drama of life; and his conduct has deservedly gained for him a lasting reputation. Some traits may be mentioned to his honour. About the year 1 S3S», the body of an European was discovered on the banks of one of the tributary streams of Hokiansa. under circumstances which led to the suspicion that, he had been murdered by a native called Kcte. one of Nene's slaves. A large meeting was convened on the subject, and, the guilt of Kete being established, Nene condemned him to die; the murderer was accordingly taken to a small island in the river called Motiti, and there shot! So rigid were Nene's ideas of justice! When Captain Hobson arrived, and assembled the chiefs at Waitangi, in order to obtain their acquiescence in the sovereignty of the Queen over the islands of New Zealand, the Governor was received with doubt, and his proposals were at first rejected: but when Nene and his friends made their appearance, the aspect of affairs was chansr^d: Nene, by his eloquence and bv the wisdom of his counsel, turned the current of feeling, and the dissentients were silenced. In short, Nene stood recognised as the prime agent, in effecting the treaty of Waitangi. On another occasion, his intervention was of great, service to the Britisli authorities. After the Hag staff at the Bay was cut down by Hoki, Governor Fitzroy proceeded to the disaffected district with a considerable body of military, thinking by a show of force to overawe the rebellious natives. A largo concourso of chiefs was gathered together, and many speeches were made; but amongst them all the words of Nene were conspicuous for their energy. 'If,' said ho, 'another flag-staff is cut down, I shall take up the quarrel,' and nobly has he redeemed his pledge. During the whole course of the rebellion, up to the present period, he has steadily adhered to his purpose, and has on numerous occasions rendered the most essential assistance to the military. He fought in several engagements with the rebels, and each time has proved himself as superior in courage and conduct in the field, as he is in wisdom and sagacity in the council. The settlers in the northern parts of New Zealand arc under the greatest obligations to this chief. But for him and his people, many a hearth, at present the scene of peace and happiness, would have been desecrated and defiled with blood; many a family, now occupying their ancient homes, would have been driven away from their abodes, exposed to misery and privation. Those settlers who were living near the disaffected districts, but remote from the influence and out of the reach of the protecting arm of None, have been driven as houseless wanderers to seek safety in the town of Auckland; and such would most probably have been the universal fate of the out-settlers but for the courage and loyalty of this brave and noble chief."—From Aiir/as's Savage Life and Scenes in Australia,
[Tn Original Poetry, the Name, real or assumed, of the Author, ii printed In Small Capitals under the title; in Selections, it ii printed in Italics at the end.]
A TRCE TALE.
By S. M .
When, for these feeble day?, we paint
We dwellers in the vale below,
Look to the far hills1 lucid snow,
Nor dream Man's footsteps there may go.
Not Love, up grazing, and at rest,
Can reach the wonder of that crest.
But toil,—stern, patient, undeprest.
Yet even this deaf and faithless time
Fragments and trembling echoes, sent
To souls for one brief season lent,
And talon hence while innocent!
For childhood, like the Church's morn,
Of God's free spirit freshly born,
Meets sin with strange and happy scorn;
Eyes, washed by no remorseful tear,
» » * •
With folded hands and drooping head,
A holy child, whose few fair springs,
As if the frontal drops had sought
The young heart's inner depth, and wrought
A well to purity* each thought.
The watchers hnshed each trembling breath,
Bowing "the pride of Life1' beneath
The dread " humility of Death."
A sound upon that silence fell
Loved by the little sluniberer well—
The music of the vesner bell!
Soft, as the shower from autumn trees,
The parting soul that summon* know*;
Xo dying note—no faltering word,
And doubt not worshippers were there.
Freed was the spirit in that tone!
Ah, weep not friends! Ye might have known
God's mercy must resume its owu!
Surely the waiting angel may
Turn from God's face his eyes away,
To look upon that shape of clay,
By Death so softly touched! Serene
While, through faint sobs, and tearful rain
Winged by her chant—" In pence of heart
Words glad, hut nwful—which condemn
SWKARIHG IX COl'RT.
Lord Ellcnborough's interrupt ions of counsel *wM sometimes assume a jocular form. When Mr. IVi (the late Justice Allan Park,) had been moved insect case that appealed to the feelings to repeated cxclanj tions, and had called heaven to witness, and so fori. while addressing the jury, "Pray, sir," said my Lor "pray don't swear in that way here in court!" Tt effect of this interruption, in a grave tone, was irr sistible, and Mr. Park heartily joined in laugninci' this unexpected practical pleasantry.— TotctuftnirtLir* nf the Judges.
A LITTLE TALK ABOUT Perchance the reader is familiar with Vertuc's groundplan of the Palace of Whitehall, or a well-engraved bird's-eye view of that very interesting pile, "as it appeared about the reign of James the First." In either case, he may trace that, at the period above named, in the left distance, might be seen Arlington House, the mansion of Henry Bonnet, Earl of Arlington, one of the famous "Cabal.'' This property was afterwards purchased by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, who obtained an additional grant of land from the Crown, pulled down the old mansion, and, at a short distance from it, built, in 1703, the large red brick edifice subsequently known as Buckingham House. It was in the heavy, yet ornate, style of the time, the house and offices occupying three sides of a quadrangle; the red brick and stone finishings, relieved by figures; on the entablature of the eastern front was inscribed in large gilt Roman capitals, ''Sic siti ltctantur lares;" and the front to the north bore "Res is I-kbs;" with sculptural impersonations of the seasons. Pennant describes t'.ie mansion as " rebuilt in a most magnificent manner." The duke has left a curiously minute picture of his mode of living at Buckingham House, in a letter to the Duke of Shrewsbury, of which Pennant cunningly says:—"He has omitted his constant visits to the noted gaming-house at Marybonc, the place of assemblage of all the infamous sharpers of the time. Hia Grace always gave them a dinner at the conclusion of the season, and his parting toast was,' May as many of us as remain unhanged next spring, meet here again.' I remember the facetious Quin telling this story at Bath, within the hearing of the late Lord Chesterfield, when his lordship was surrounded by a crowd of worthies of the same stamp."
The site of the mansion, and the grounds, was formerly the once famous Mulberry Gardens: it must have been a strange retreat. Defoe describes It, in 1714, as "one of the great beauties of London, both by reason of its situation, and its building." At the date of the old print we have spoken of, no buildings extended beyond St. James's, to the left; the north was open to ]lampstead, and the view of the Thames almost uninterrupted from the south-west corner of the park.
The Duke of Buckingham died in 1720: his duchess, daughter of James II. by Catherine Sedley, lived here till her death. She was succeeded by the duke's natural son, Charles Herbert Sheffield, on whom hisOrace had entailed the property, after the death of the young duke, who died a minor. It was purchased from Sir Charles by KingOcorgc the Third; and, subsequently," Buckingham House, now called the Queen's House," was, by Act of Parliament, settled on Queen Charlotte, in lieu of Somerset House, (settled in 1761 on the Queen Consort, in the event of her surviving the King,) the latter edifice being vested in the King, his heirs, and successors,
"for the purpose of erecting and establishing cerUz public offices." This purchase was made soon after tb birth of the heir apparent to the throne, George Augustus Frederick, at Kew, Aug. 12, 1762. Thencefoni, until her death in 1818, Queen Charlotte resided s Buckingham House, alternately with Windsor aa4
! Kew; and nearly all her fourteen children were bors here, this being, indeed, the private town residence of taking and queen; whilst St. James's, "said to be tkt most commodious for royal parade of any in Europe." was used for drawing-rooms, levees, and state oereitv nics. The domestic happiness of George the Third a;'. Queen Charlotte at Buckingham House, and their p»:
! sonal superintendence of the early education of ibt ■ children, must have formed a delightful relief to lie courtly splendour of St. James's; whilst this retiremeoi w:is importaut to the country; for, it has been well <> served of the king, that " the decorum of Lis privau conduct was of much service to him, as well as prob*!'* ellicacious in no slight degree in giving a higher tooto the public manners, and in making the domestic virtues fashionable even in the circles where they a.-? most apt to be treated with neglect."
We may here mention that the wall of what were called the gardens of Buckingham House, formed oa» side of the main street of Pimlico: these gardens mo' however, have l>ecn strangely neglected; for, in 1S17. they were described as consisting merely of a grave! walk, shaded by trees, with a spacious and unadorned are* in the centre. In size and splendour. BuckingK»r. House was rivalled by Tart Hall, long the depositor of the Arundclian marbles: the latter mansion face! the park, on the present site of James-street; its gank: wall standing where Stafford-row is now built.
We remember the dull, heavy, facade of Buckingham House in 1820; the mansion itself stripped of it> statues and sculptured ornaments, the fountain remove,., and the basin in the lawn filled up in the taste tha rushed from one extreme to the other—from the ore: ornate to the taste which excluded ornament altogeihe* if we except the four fluted pilasters of the central t« r tion, and the semicircular colonnade connecting it will the two wings, each having pilasters and a pedimeo* the whole forming three sides of a quadrangle. Mr Pyne, In his " History of the Royal Residences," has left us a description of the interior, remarkable for itplainness: the King had. however, assembled here i largo collection of pictures, nnd among them many r-! the works of his pet painter, Benjamin West: for his "Rcgulus," the King paid one thousand guineas, a liberal commission in those days, but now sometimes paid by our gentry, for a few sittings to a portraitpainter. Of far greater consequence to the country was the collecting of a magnificent library at Buckingham House by George the Third. This collection he bequeathed to the nation, and it is now deposited in a splendid apartment, built for its reception, in the British Museum. The public have, however, derived compara