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never been accused of fraud; and families who had long been enemies were drawn together by the tie of common calamity. If this feeling seemed to calm the passions of some, and open the heart to pity, it had a contrary effect on others, rendering them more rigid and inhuman. In great calamities vulgar minds possess still less goodness than strength. Misfortune acts in the same manner as the pursuits of literature and the study of nature; their happy influence is felt only by a few, giving more ardour to sentiment, more elevation to the thoughts, and more benevolence to the disposition." The effects of conscience, here so graphically described, form a very interesting feature of the subject. Such a circumstance is so characteristic of human nature, that every one may have occasional opportunities of observing it,
On the same day on which Caracas was overwhelmed, violent commotions were experienced in various, and often far distant, places. For some time, the earth continued in a very unsettled state, and gave frequent intimations of internal commotion by loud bellowings and horrible murmurs. Volcanic eruptions likewise broke out, the explosions being heard at a distance of seven hundred miles. Indeed, this period was remarkable for the frequency of volcanic phenomena; but we shall not enter upon the subject at present.
ON READING BURTON'S "ANATOMY OF
WHAT would not one give for the power of unreading books, that one might read them again for the first time? Many books can always be taken up with the certainty of finding in their re-perusal nearly as much delight as was experienced at their first reading; there are some whose greatest beauties are not seen till they have been read again and again; as the miner, at each successive stroke of the axe, exposes some new mass of glittering ore, or gives first to the light of day some "gem of purest ray serene.' But there are books which disclose all their charms in a first interview, and never again exhibit their first perfections. Who does not remember the first reading of the "Mysteries of Udolpho?" Young and alone the book procured by stealth, and read in secrecyhorror after horror rising up, difficulty after difficulty, till it pleases the author to remove and explain them! What a power romancereading has in youth! True it is that all is not believed; but the fancy is easily led, and no critical chills come over one-no discrepancies startle one into doubt. When youth is over, never can those days return, when the wildest, absurdest Minerva-Press romance entranced one more than a novel by Bulwer or James does now. There be no romances in after-life; for the romance must be reciprocal-as much in the reader as in the book. Castles are not lonely, ruins not haunted; we may read that they are so, but our minds misgive us; the wand is broken, and "deeper than did ever plummet sound," in the ocean of time, is drowned the "book" of youthful spells!
There is some pleasure in not having read a book-in a "Yarrow unvisited." Now, I have never read Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy." I mean to read it-I have resolved for years. What a delightful book it must be, praised as it has been by all sorts of people! Dr. Johnson and Charles Lamb-who more opposite ?and yet both agree to commend quaint old Burton.
I forget what first led me to think of reading it; probably something that dropped in conversation at a period beyond the reach of memory; but it was a long time before I could meet with it, for then I had not access to many books. At last I did lay hands on it, in two volumes octavo, vilely printed, on bad paper, and with all the quotations in italics. They frightened me; besides, I had pictured something old and quaint for the appearance of the book, and it was useless to try-I could not read it. My scruples, however, I determined to overcome, and I resolved to put up with the two volumes, quotations and all; but something withdrew my attention-a new poem came out, or a new novel, or I was much engaged, and wanted time; the book went away, and I did not read Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy."
* See a brief notice of Burton's "Anatomy," in No, VI. of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL,
One day, walking along the New Road (that paradise of oldbook lovers), I found on a stall "Burton Abridged, one and sixpence." "Ay," said I, "this will do; the cream of the book is lynx-wise behind the books got up, half-extended his hand; but Ĭ here." My hand was in my pocket-the man that was sitting paused, opened the book, looked down a page-it would not do; some utilitarian editor had spoiled it-the quaintness was gonethere were the ideas, stark-naked, like unfledged chickens, and about as graceful. I laid it down, and did not buy "Burton Abridged."
Soon after this I became a frequent visitor to a large public library. Here, one day, while looking for something else, I stumbled upon "Burton's Anatomy, in folio." This, thought I, is the book-all that I had fancied or hoped for; and here, (as I looked round the spacious apartment, solemn with the accumulated wisdom of ages,) here the place to read it; the next time I come, I will begin. After all, there is nothing like an editio princeps-the book seems fresher, less handled, to come more direct from the author's mind to the reader's; and a folio-what plea sure in reading down its expansive page; no distraction in repeatedly turning over the leaf, but slowly and solemnly to enjoy it, as an alderman does turtle-soup from a vast china bowl, or one does coffee out of a breakfast cup.
Time after time did I revisit that library, generally for some specific purpose; often did that volume meet mine eye; but the library is now closed to me, and Burton still unread.
Not long ago I read a paper by Elia (Charles Lamb), in imitation of Burton. This brought to my mind all my procrastination, all my neglect of my favourite though unread book, and I am quite resolved to read Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy;" but not now. I want the leisure to enjoy it as I ought. Some day I will go into the country for a week, and devote myself to its perusal. Then, on the banks of my favourite stream, where I have often roamed in boyhood, building air-castles-beneath some wide-spreading tree, on the banks of the majestic Thames, with leisure to enjoy it, and no cares intruding, will I certainly read the "Anatomy of Melancholy." Yes! but when?
To be obliged to sue in formå
THEY say that small things are great to little men; and WE, being of the order of little folks, did feel, in a small degree, anxious about the "opening " of OUR LITERARY Letter-Box. The interval between the intimation of our intention and "the present writing" has been very brief; and we were rather fearful of being obliged to resort to the old and stale trick of setting up "men of straw," in order to knock them down again. pauperis for lack of counsel, is not very agreeable to a modest man; and to one with but a small genius for manufacturing charades, and not used to carry "two faces under one hood," it appeared a rather serious matter to be obliged, at the outset, to answer our own questions with great gravity and much cour. teousness. But our anxiety has been superfluous. We write now within a week from the intimation of our intention; and already our readers have stored "Letter-Box." The majority of letters received are from London, or rather from the suburbs of London; but there are a few from the provinces, and these, we are bound to say, are by far the best. What influence the fourpence on each letter may have had, in producing this comparative result, we must leave for future speculation; we only, as a statist might say, mention a fact. We hope, however, that the uniform Penny Postage will be soon in operation, and that we shall speedily have the privilege of as free communication with John o'Groat's or the Land's-End as with Brixton or Hackney. Meantime, if we are to take our present supply as a sample of future quality and quantity, our self-imposed task will prove anything but irksome; and we hope, after a lengthened period, to be able to look back, with much pleasure, on the nature of an extensive correspondence maintained with a large number of intelligent readers of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL,
Our readers will bear in recollection, that the chief object of "Our LetterBox" is not so much to minister to the gratification of particular correspond. ents, as to induce particular correspondents to contribute to the information of all, Consequently, we must exercise a very supreme and a very sovereign pleasure over all contributions. Attention to all will necessarily induce, as a general rule, brevity to each; and the substance, therefore, of communications will only be given, But if we receive an occasional letter which we may deem worthy of being "printed and published," we will give it; and other correspondents, who may not enjoy that privilege, must submit with all humility, and not presume to cavil at the decisions of a very fallible Infallibility. This, however, is not intended as a particularly solemn announcement; it will be neither our interest nor our pleasure to exercise a supercilious sauciness towards our friends of the "Letter-Box."
Correspondents must not be impatient if, after two or three weeks, some of their communications do not appear to be answered. They may conclude that they have given us hard "nuts to crack," and that, as the topics suggested are out of our immediate personal knowledge, search, or inquiry, we are holding their letters over to be answered as soon as we can. We have already intimated that frivolous communications will not be noticed; neglect being the only means in our power for checking mere idle interrogations. Care will be taken to prevent communications from being mislaid; and, in general, letters will be answered in the order of their arrival. We need hardly add to this a request that our correspondents should be as choice as possible; the letters we have already received, besides being, some of them, very complimentary, and almost all of them encouraging, are (at least the greater number) suggestive of topics worthy of consideration.
The following was amongst our earliest arrivals, and we have been so pleased with it, as to give it as we received it :
TO THE POST-MASTER OF THE LITERARY LETTER-BOX.' "Respected Friend,-It is with no small diffidence I take the liberty of troubling thee, fearing my letter may fall amongst the number of thy Rejected Addresses; for, on looking over thy prospectus or requirements, I find no precedent for my presumption, either amidst the ample fields for 'ingenious correspondents,' or 'in questions relating to science and art; in inquiries respecting points of constitutional history, or facts or opinions connected with commerce, trade, colonies, emigration, illustrious individuals, books, authors, &c. &c.'
"The only point I can possibly seize to my advantage as an apology, is amongst matters which, strictly speaking, are individually personal, and might be so answered as to come home to the "business and bosoms of many more readers than the individual querists.' With this faint hope for a favourable reception, I will not hang fire' in acquainting thee with my troubles. "I believe it is Friend Sterne who, in one of his quaint sermons, takes for his text, Give me neither poverty nor riches,' and opens his commission by supposing this to mean about five hundred pounds a year, paid quarterly. Now if this be the juste milieu, the happy medium, or standard of competency, on which a man should settle down in peace and quietness, then can I not be said to have arrived at the boundaries of contentment; and yet I hold sufficient barely to keep the wolves from the door, without shaking a limb or stirring a muscle. Hence the source of my troubles. I am domiciled in one of the finest cities in Europe," [the letter bears the Bath post-mark,] "the lap of luxury and ease, the nursery of the fine arts, the very focus of literature, and the acmé of refinement, politeness, and fashion. But to stand at ease' in such a place, one of two things appears to be necessary- money or marbles; or, to drop the figure, a decided independency or some knowledge of business or handicraft. I am one of those unfortunate individuals who stick between these horns. (Perhaps thou mayest cut the thread of my arguments short, by saying, Then why dost thee not get away as fast as thee canst?' but here I will as quickly reply, I cannot.)
"I have not a fortune adequate to the perfect personification of the gentleman-in the common acceptation of the word; nor have I sinews or cunning requisite for the mere drudgery or 'worky-day' business of life.
"I can keep neither hound, horse, nor dog-cart; and can handle neither spade, hammer, nor pincers. The pursuits and acquaintances which money can achieve and adopt, fall not within my power; and such is the tenderness and irritability of my nature, the colour of my imagination, and the consequence of that ideal refinemert and elevation of prospect which I have concocted, as it were, and framed for myself, that I tremble at, and am disgusted with, the coarse and vulgar natures with which I am compelled occasionally to come in contact. I have not impudence enough for the office of parish beadle, overseer, constable, tax-gatherer, plate-holder, chairman, committee-man, or M.P.; possess no nerve requisite to shine as a doctor, soldier, or sailor, have not even brass or steel adequate to the composition of a 'capital lawyer.' I can neither make a speech, sing a song, cringe, 'boo,' flatter, nor cog; have
not the heart of a fortune-hunter, and could not even ask the favour of a dedication, though it were to purchase a pen.
"I have a little smattering of the fine arts and my mother-tongue; but not sufficient to shine, or make a buzz or a Boz; am a tolerable hand at a pun, a rhyme, or a sonnet, and have had many compliments for my prose; and yetwhat is very curious-I know of no channel where it would produce a 'dump.' I am not proud, nor ill-tempered, nor idle, nor cruel, intemperate, or extravagant. I am sick and envious of fashionable life-perhaps, because I am not rich enough to enter fully into its charms or merits, I am not uncharitable, but merely unable to exhibit any metallic proofs. I am tired of the home circuit,' because my funds will not carry me up the Rhine.' I am wearied at my journeys on foot, because they are at the expense of my shoes. I am afraid to visit, because I cannot invite. And there are many other disagreeables with which I will not trouble thee; but beg, in conclusion, that thou wilt take the trouble to point out a medium for greater happiness and a brighter prospect for thy most unfortunate wight, "PETER GRIEVOUS." Wordsworth, in a well-known passage, has exclaimed :
"Oh! many are the poets that are sown
Or a nice backwardness afraid of shame),
The measure of themselves, these favoured beings,
If, without incurring the charge of parodying this earnest and eloquent philoso phy, we could, in some measure, paraphrase and adapt it, we would say, that it is admirably descriptive of one of the great evils arising out of our peculiar civilisation. "Oh! many are the gentlemen that are sown," &c. We mean real, veritable gentlemen and ladies, in education, thought, and feeling, and not that particular species of creature, "born to blush unseen," because, as the Irishman said, "never seen to blush." If we are to judge from the "thee" and "thou" phraseology of "Peter Grievous," he belongs to a class of people noted for their practical character-their ready facility in being able, not only to help themselves, but to help others. Do they also number in their ranks people who cannot dig," and "to beg are ashamed?" But the matter is too serious to be flippantly disposed of. We commend "Peter's" candid and good-humoured exposition of his case to all our readers, in the hope that some of them will assist us with suggestions for a future consideration of the subject: and meantime we pass on to attend to other correspondents.
We have received several letters, asking us to give some account of the nature of Shooting Stars. This is more than we can do. From the regularity with which great numbers of them have been observed to appear at particular seasons of the year, especially in the month of November, they have attracted very general attention, and, as many scientific observers are on the alert to watch them, it is probable that something definite will be known about them ere long, They have been supposed to be originated in the ignition of inflammable gases, floating at a great height in our atmosphere; and that some meteoric appearances, which flash suddenly before our eyes in the upper regions of the air are so produced, is probable. But we must distinguish these meteors from what are properly called shooting stars, which are conjec. tured to be bodies moving in space, and therefore beyond the supposed limits of our atmosphere. Sir Humphry Davy and other philosophers have connected falling or shooting stars with those meteoric bodies which throw down stones to the earth. "All the phenomena," says Sir Humphry Davy," may be explained, if falling stars are supposed to be small solid bodies moving round the earth in very eccentric orbits, which become ignited only when they pass with immense velocity through the upper region of the atmosphere, and if the meteoric bodies which throw down stones with explosions be supposed to be similar bodies, which contain either combustible or elastic matter."
Sir John Herschel, in his Treatise on Astronomy, after describing a method of determining longitudes by signals, says, " In place of artificial signals, natural ones, when they occur sufficiently definite for observation, may be equally employed. In a clear night, the number of those singular meteors called shooting stars which may be observed, is usually very great; and as they are sudden in
their appearance and disappearance, and from the great height at which they have been ascertained to take place, are visible over extensive regions of the earth's surface, there is no doubt but that they may be resorted to with advantage, by previous concert and agreement between distant observers to watch and note them." This idea is reduced to practice. At a recent meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, an extract of a letter was read, intimating that various continental astronomers were so doing, and that their "observations gave approximate differences, and showed that the method is practicable."
J. S., HAMPSTEAD ROAD, referring to the monetary articles which appeared in recent Numbers of the Journal, informs us that he preserves, as a rarity, a 250 franc assignat, which was taken from the pocket of a dead French officer on the field of Vittoria, by a private of the 71st regiment. He inquires, also, respecting the nature and history of the French assignats. This was the celebrated paper money of the French Revolution. The National Assembly
having, on the motion of Mirabeau, appropriated all the immense landed property of the clergy, resolved to supply the deficiency of metallic money, which had disappeared during the confusion, alarm, want of confidence, &c. (the rich emigrants, in their hasty flight, carrying with them all the specie they could secure) by an issue of paper money, based on the security of the land which they had seized. The notes thus issued were supposed to represent property which might be assigned (assigné) to the holders; hence the name of assignats. This paper money at first circulated very freely, and obtained a general confidence; and tempted by this circumstance, and also by the circumstance of additional property passing into the hands of the then rulers of France, by the confiscation of the landed estates of the emigrants, more and more paper money was issued, till it became a mere drug, working confusion through every department of trade. The sufferings of the French working classes during the assignat folly were dreadful. Work, except in trades of absolute necessity, could not be procured; the country people would not part with produce except for specie, even though the government repeatedly passed coercive laws; famishing crowds were relieved at the different "mairies," (police stations,) where poor creatures took their stations as early as two o'clock in the morning, though the bureaux were never opened till nine, in order to secure an early "turn" for an order for provisions bought by the government, and which were given in exchange for assignats. An ancient Parisian, who is still living, told us, that in 1795 he gave 1500 francs in assignats for a pair of shoes for his wife; and we have seen, in the cellars of a waste-paper merchant in Paris, bundles of assignats, weighing some cwts., representing, or at least once intended to represent, sums between 1000 francs (40%.) and five sous (2ąd.) If J. S. has ever made a trip to Paris, he may have had "change" given him, which, at first, he might have imagined was a collection of base old shillings and sixpences; these are the remains of 30 and 15 sous pieces, which were coined by the revolutionary government, and made of one-third silver and two
"Having taken in your Journal from the commencement, and perused and re-perused its pages with considerable pleasure, I am induced to avail myself of the invitation held out in your 50th Number, to solicit a plain exposition of the principles of Algebra, and of the Differential and Integral Calculus.
"In making this request, I must unequivocally acknowledge my ignorance of those abstruse branches of mathematics. Although self-educated, in the most literal meaning of the word, I have acquired a tolerable (though unavoidably superficial) share of information in the various departments of knowledge but with respect to the nature and modus operandi of the foregoing branches of mathematical science I am quite at a loss. I sufficiently understand that they constitute a species of short-hand calculation; but to my limited apprehension, their applicability is not so apparent as the more common and familiar principles of arithmetic, as exemplified in its fundamental rules, in their application to the solution of questions of Proportion, Involution, Evolution, &c.
'My knowledge of these rules of arithmetical calculation was acquired by means of diagrams and pieces of wood in the form of a cube. By various combinations of the latter, I soon comprehended the meaning of roots, squares, cubes, biquadrates, &c. Now, if you can convey the information I seek at your hands, by a similar mode of illustration, or, if the subject be so abstruse as to preclude the use of diagrams, by analogy of any other kind, I shall feel greatly obliged.
"This communication may possibly come under the ban of mean and trivial subjects,' but I trust you will be disposed to see on its face an honest and a rational object,' deserving of a draught from the fountains of information, which you have promised shall well forth in the pages of your Journal."
A FRIEND IN HACKNEY.-This correspondent wishes to know if his venerable village gave name to those useful vehicles, hackney carriages. It is certainly so stated, with plausibility, in the London histories. Hackney being the earliest, or amongst the earliest, of the rural retreats of the London merchants, it is said that horses to Hackney used to stand for hire; and that, when carriages came into use, the name passed to hired carriages. But an ingenious friend supplies us with another etymology, which we give in his own words:
"Haquenée means, in French, a strong little horse, one (like our cobs or galloways) easy to mount, such as were, in times before the use of carriages, always let out on hire for journeys, and easy to be ridden by young and old. When the great began to have equipages, the owners of haquenées found out that two or three persons could be accommodated as well as one, (and more conve. niently too,) by attaching them to rude vehicles, and making them beasts of draught. These new vehicles were called coches-à-haquenér, or hackney coaches by and by, a superior kind superseded these, called fiacres; hence the term was lost in France, but remained with us. Among the common people of France it is still said, when a person comes to a house pretending to style and having none, in the coaching way, il est venu sur la haquenée des corde. liers'-mounted on the cordelier's (Franciscan) hackney-the poorest order of
thirds brass. Pieces were also minted of one and two sous, of good quality, begging friars; that is, staff in hand: or, as the Scotch say, mounted on Shanks'
being made of church-bell metal; no bells being allowed to remain, except the tocsin (alarm bell) which everywhere, in good truth, was too often in use during these troublous times. In the "change for a sovereign," you may easily collect a little medallic history of France for the last half-century.
Connected with this money subject is the following interrogation from a Walworth correspondent:
"Could you throw a light, or state a reason for the etiquette used at the coinage in each successive reign-why her Majesty's likeness should turn its back to the late king's, as his had previously done to his royal brother's? in fine, why the obverse of each coin, in succeeding reigns, should be the reverse of its predecessor? George III. and William IV. looking right, while George IV. and her present Majesty look wrong, or left. The custom, I believe, first arose in the coinage for Charles II.; for that a good reason might be given, but why did his brother continue it ? Whether this is a nice or a curious question,' I can hardly decide; but putting great faith in your good-nature, whether I get an answer or not, I shall still feel and remain as a TAXER."
Our correspondent has mis-stated his inquiry. Her Majesty's likeness does not turn its back on the late king's; George III. and William IV. look towards the right, and George IV. and Victoria look towards the left; consequently, predecessor and successor alternately face and back each other. Can any of our readers state the reason wherefore ?
We wish we had the power of an Olinthus Gregory, or an Augustus de Morgan, in order to assist the writer of the following letter, which has come to us, bearing the Coventry post-mark. The writer himself, on a moment's reflection, will see the all but impossibility of our attempting to gratify him in such a periodical as ours; but, we give his letter, because we think it may "draw out" other individuals like-minded, and perhaps lead to some future results:
mare; or, as the vulgar of London say, by the Marrowbone stage.'"
GEORGE NEWMAN, Birmingham, who tells us that he was an early, and continues an attached friend, says, "In No. IV. of the London Saturday Journal' is one of the best-written articles, headed The Dawning of the Day,' and illustrated by a story, true to life,' of a poor family bearing the name of 'Jones.' It would afford pleasure and instruction if you would repriut it for the edification of a numerous body of readers, who may not have had an opportunity of perusing the early Numbers of the 'London Saturday Journal.'" Will it satisfy George Newman that his recommendation of that story is thus given to his fellow readers?
J. S. asks assistance on the subject of Gymnastics. "I have been led to this by reading your article on Muscular Exercise,' in No. 50 of your Journal, and want a few exercises (say ten) which children might perform in school, and which might occupy from five to ten minutes of each part of the day. If you could oblige me with a few exercises, you would confer a general favour both on teachers and pupils of National Schools."
We could not well gratify J. S. without the aid of plates or figures; but he may easily work out for himself what he wants, by referring to Clias's Gymnastic Exercises, or the recent works of Walker-" Manly Exercises," and "Exercises for Ladies," published by Hurst, St. Paul's Churchyard.
All Letters intended to be answered in the LITERARY LETTER-Box are to be addressed to "THE EDITOR of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL," and delivered FREE, at 113, Fleet-street.
London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street. Edinburgh: FRASER & Co. Dublin: CURRY & Co.-Printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars.
LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 1840.
A RAMBLE INTO IRELAND. HAVING had occasion lately to visit the south of Ireland, I was on the watch in the early part of November for the approach of what is generally called St. Martin's summer; that is, a fortnight or so of fine weather, which, when it does really come, is peculiarly delicious. It has all the softness of spring during the early part of the day. The sun gives out a genial warmth; the robin sings his most cheerful song; the monthly rose, hitherto neglected, compensates, as far as it can, for the decay all round it; the elms, the oaks, the beeches, are all bare, but the ivy is in flower, and the evergreens look greener than they did in October. The day is indeed short. Towards three o'clock mists ascend from the earth, and at four we are reminded of the rapid advent of winter. Never theless, the Martinmas interval of mildness helps us on pleasantly towards the end of the year, when Christmas and its gay festivities and countless pleasant associations rise up on our horizon, gilding the dark December days with a lustre which we would not exchange even for the skies of June.
This said Martinmas summer was long in coming, for somehow or other the seasons of the olden times seem to have taken their leave of us altogether. I suppose we used them ill, and that in a fit of resentment they have betaken themselves for a while to Saturn, or some other planet. However, the morning of the eleventh of November last having shone out with peculiar brightness, and the murky clouds that had been pouring deluges for nearly a fortnight before having completely cleared away, I thought the (little) summer was nigh, and so having packed up my portmanteau, off I set by the mail train at 20 minutes to nine o'clock P.M., fell asleep, and never awoke until I found myself, about halfpast two the following morning, at Birmingham; spent half an hour in a magnificent refreshment room, where were assembled a hundred guests and more, gathered from the carriages of the train, feasting sumptuously, and in the greatest possible order and comfort, on tea, coffee, cold fowl, ham, tongue, beef, negus, and brandyand-water. A bell soon summoned us to the train again-again Morpheus claimed me for "his own" until the corner of my eyelid opening, the pupil was dazzled by the rays of the morning star, which, like the herald of a mighty sovereign, was hastening on before him to proclaim his approach. I could sleep no more. I kept watching that beautiful light glowing with more than the moon's lustre through the misty sky, until at length it paled as the clouds reddened in its path behind.
I never before felt more in a mood to enjoy the novel comforts of railway travelling. There were we, six men, seated in easychairs, without in the least degree inconveniencing each other, placed in a neatly-fitted-out warm chamber, sleeping quietly, or looking out upon a country constantly changing its aspect, or admiring the aurora of the fine autumnal morning, moving onward at the rate of 20 miles an hour, drawn by a combination of fire, water, and machinery-the offspring of man's inventive faculty. No animal was distressed to accelerate our speed. We travelled at infinitely less peril than we should have done had we been in a stagecoach; for notwithstanding all that we hear of railway accidents, the accidents which occurred on the ordinary roads by the old modes of locomotion, either on horseback or in carriage, far outnumbered in the course of a year those to which the iron routes are liable. How often used we to hear of horses running away before the coach was regularly started, in consequence of the reins having been, through negligence, left to their discretion!—how often of
coaches overturned, or driven into floods, or into drifts of snow, or blown over by tempests, or axles broken, or collisions with other vehicles! What colds and headaches and miseries of all sorts did we not suffer from, in consequence of four and frequently six passengers, being wedged together in a box fitted more for the conveyance of monkeys than of human beings!
Add to these very pleasant mementos of days, happily now "no more," the delight of frequent stoppages and delays at publichouses on the road, the tipsiness of the driver, the impertinence when you did not give him double the gratuity to which a bad custom entitled him, the opening of the door three or four times in the course of the cold rainy night, and the agreeable salutation
Pray, sir, remember the coachman - remember the guard!" And then think of the porters, and the exchanging of coaches, and the bad dinners and worse suppers, and still more horrid breakfasts; the fragrant eggs, the dreadful butter, the dirty water called coffee, the poison denominated tea, the sky-blue milk, the broiled leather yclept beefsteak all to be swallowed in ten minutes! Oh, Heaven be praised! Oh! WATT, lightly may the turf lie on thy grave! Fortunate, indeed, is it for us of these days to be enabled to say-Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis ! Many, many more of such changes, say I.
The sun was just below the edge of the horizon, when we quitted our snug night-chamber, thus transferred from London to Liverpool in ten hours; and at a quarter before seven I found myself on board "The Merlin " steamer of 800 tons, and 320-horse power, conversing with the Captain, who was looking at the sun rising amidst a galaxy of gold and purple clouds. "We have at all events a splendid morning," I exclaimed. "Yes," he replied, "a beautiful morning, but at this time of the year these fine mornings seldom fulfil the promise they give of a fine day. I have often seen such mornings followed by very rough weather. not be surprised if you find it blow fresh when we get out to sea." I neither expected nor liked this announcement, although I am a pretty good sailor, and so I went about to look at the vessel.
The "Merlin" is one of the new packet-boats (or rather packet-ships) built for the service of the station between Liverpool and Dublin. It is fitted out less with a view to splendour than to strength and accommodation. It is furnished in a chaste and excellent style; the berths are arranged in the usual way
cleanly as possible; counterpanes and sheets snow-white and well-aired, the mattresses very good and ample enough for any man not a cyclops. The saloon is not spacious; it is however sufficiently so and no more. There are two recesses at the entrance occupied by sideboards, and panelled by mirrors in richly gilt frames, which show off the plated coffee-pots, tea-pots, waiters, and other articles necessary for the service of the cabin. The steam-engines are of the best description. The mode in which they are arranged, the elegant architectural style in which they are built, the apparently unconquerable strength with which the cylinders, pistons, cranks, axles, levers, and boilers, are constructed; the mirror-like brightness which reigns over the whole mass of instruments, moving like so many limbs of a living creature; the glowing furnaces, the mighty strokes which follow each other with all the precision of the second-hand of a clock, the swarthy faces of the firemen, the steady vigilant intellectual look of the engineer who presides over all, would make one easily believe that this chamber was the cave of a magician, actually employed in working his daily course of miracles.
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
crowd. And even there, it is not a crowd of merchants hastening here and there about their business, but of shopping ladies and their esquires, lounging students of Trinity College, military officers, attorneys, (of which the number and the hunger in Ireland are truly inordinate,) and well-dressed dandies (Heaven help their tailors!) from all parts of Ireland.
The deck was as spotless as that of a ship of war, which is saying enough; the stern-wheel, with its polished brass rim, the shining brass case of the compasses, the masts, with their furniture of ropes and chain ladders, and reefed and spread canvas, the numbers of the well-practised crew, the watchful pilot, well skilled in the locality of the sand-banks and sunken rocks, which, especially in the winter nights, often prove so disastrous to the foreign, and This crowd being dispersed by evening, Dublin then does look even to our own, shipping, the steady pace of our gallant frigate, the picture of desolation. Being near the Wicklow and other for such it might be called, at eleven knots an hour, were well cal-mountains, and also not far from an immense flat over which the culated to make me soon forget the apprehensions thrown out by the captain. Let the winds blow as they may, thought I, let the waves roll as they list, we have a "power within" that will beat
tide spreads and leaves unwholesome marshes, there is generally a mist pendent in its atmosphere which adds much to the general gloom. The suburbs, which are near at hand in every direction, are squalid in the extreme. Broken windows, tumbling walls, roofs in fragments, doors unpainted and ruinous, wretched-looking faces glaring through the window-frames, make one think perpetually of Goldsmith's " Deserted Village." And of all deserted villages in the world, those of Spain perhaps excepted, an Irish specimen is the most lamentable exhibition of misery in its lowest stage.
The captain, however, turned out no true prophet. There were neither winds nor seas of any importance. The day was clear, and the channel was calm as a lake. We had an excellent dinner in the cabin at two o'clock, and at half-past seven I sat down to tea with my friends in Dublin; thus, including all stoppages, and changes of conveyance, accomplishing within twenty-three hours a journey, which, not long since, had often cost me three days! And all this with no more fatigue than if I had been loung-house in Dublin which is not occupied. The reason is, that the ing on a sofa in my own drawing-room the whole time!
Nevertheless, it is difficult to meet with a good dwelling
proprietors of land who cannot, or think they cannot, safely reside in the country, flock to the metropolis for protection. Many live there for the sake of society, which in the country cannot be had on any terms, and several families fix there also for the education of their children. The professional men, especially lawyers, who with us generally transact their business in chambers, in Dublin have houses, the system of chambers being unknown there. Compared with the number of dwelling-houses, that of shops in the Irish metropolis is very limited-yet more than sufficient if we may judge from the few customers that are to be seen in them.
I was glad to be off-so having engaged my seat for Thurles, in a stage-coach that was to start at half-past six the following morning, I gave orders to be called at half-past five. Luckily, I possess the power of calling myself. If I wish to wake at any particular hour, I am pretty generally sure to emerge from the
found by no means a power peculiar to myself. I have heard many persons say that they can do the same thing. It is one of the numerous instances which I have witnessed of the vigilance and activity of the spirit, at moments when the animal in which it is enclosed seems wholly engrossed in repose.
My hotel was "The Hibernian," in Dawson-street, it being near the offices of the coaches which ply to the south of Ireland, whither I was destined. I met here a specimen of a rara avisa John Bull, parsimonious in his style of living. He was not at all inattentive to the "inner man." On the contrary-he was remarkably attached to that particular person, and extremely well pleased, whenever he could do it cheaply, to furnish him with all the "creature comforts" he could obtain. There was an ordinary usually at five o'clock, when soups, fish, and hot joints, were circulated in the coffee-room, furnishing really at a moderate rate an excellent dinner. Our friend, imagining that this would! be too expensive for him, kept out of the way uniformly at five o'clock, and did not make his appearance until seven; when in a hurried way, as it were to make light of the matter, he called for a pint bottle of "Guinness," (a delightful beverage "Guinness" is, by the way,) a little cold beef or mutton, or anything they had-most profound sleep at the moment I fix upon. This I have and a potato or two. The waiter, of course, was all promptnessplenty of cold remnants, cut to the bone-cold or half-boiled potatoes, pickles, soiled table-cloth, and all the paraphernalia of dinner. As much as he could discover of the beef or ham, or whatever it was, having been transferred to "John's" interior world, a "morsel" of cheese (i. e. at least a quarter of a pound) followed, and the whole having been washed down with a warm glass of whiskey and water, our friend seated himself before the fire, newspaper in hand, congratulating himself on his "doing the waiter," by making him suppose that it was but a slight supper instead of a dinner. You may imagine "John's " long face, and inexpressible surprise, when at the end of a week he was presented with a long bill, in which "dinner" was duly noted every day, together with its appendages, and opposite thereunto prices which more than equalled the amount he would have paid for a good dinner, had he attended at the "ordinary" hour. They have a ludicrous phrase in Ireland-" The d-l's cure to him ". which I am almost tempted to use on this occasion. I certainly Gould not help laughing outright, when he told me his story. He appeared in no manner whatever to feel with Hudibras that"It is a pleasure quite as great
To be cheated as to cheat."
My caller came after six: had I not been already up and dressed, I should have lost my seat, as the Irish coachmen are by no means punctual in their hours. If they are prepared. away they go half an hour or a quarter before their time, or after it, just as the whim takes them. The office clocks and the coachman's watch seldom agree. One is with the General Post-office time-another is with country time-or no time at all. As it was, while I was engaged writing a short note at the office counter, my man set off; though he knew he was to take me, and had my portmanteau in his boot, and actually saw me writing, away he went full a quarter before his time helter-skelter. In vain I ran shouting after him. It was raining a deluge. By good fortune, I lighted on a cabgot in-desired the driver to gallop with might and main, which he certainly did, for there is nothing a Dublin jingle-man likes better than a dashing run through the streets. With all his efforts I should, nevertheless, have been distanced if the coach had not been checked in its career by the uphill work it had to do near the Royal Exchange, where there is not only a great steep, much worse than Holborn-hill, but a short turn, which to vehicles descending is especially dangerous.
I had occasion to remain a day in Dublin-a city which never fails to oppress me with melancholy feelings. We have here, as it is called, the second city in the empire-the metropolis of a kingdom, most densely peopled-the chief point of passenger intercourse between the sister islands—and yet it presents at every step you take through its streets every symptom of commercial decay. As compared with London, or even with Manchester or Edinburgh, it seems almost deserted. With the exception of Grafton-street, there is hardly any place in the whole city where you meet during any part of the day with what might be called a ❘ I hard you with my own ears."
"Holloa, my friend," I exclaimed, "what the deuce impelled you to set out at this rate-and why did you not warn me of your intention?" "Why, then, sure I thought your honour was inside." "Inside !-you see I am outside-why did you not call me ?" "Call your honour is it-why, then, didn't I call— 'tis I that did-didn't I, Tim?" Tim-" Sure enough, you did