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"Oh, ay, sir-the affair of Copenhagen: I recollect I was rather taken aback last time, but I'll give it you all now, out and out;" and with the same bold, off-hand manner as on the former occasion, Jack began
"Well, you see, sir, as I tould you before, at that time I belonged to the Dareall-a noble ship, sir-fifty-six guns and 450 men, all as smart lads as you'd see anywhere. Well, sir, d'ye see, as I mentioned afore, just before the action began, we were ordered to take our station right off the Crown Battery-an ugly berth, sir-one of the ugliest going that day. Well, you see, we hadn't taken our ground five minutes, when the Crown Battery opened on us, and with the first discharge our-our-[here Jack began to get husky]-our poor first leeftenant received a shot -[a brief pause]—a shot just right in the thigh-[Jack fast breaking down again]-and in three minutes after, poor soulglorious fellow-he-he-he-" Jack couldn't go on; he was choking with emotion.
Seeing him unfit to finish his story, we once more left him, wondering at the man's extraordinary sensibility, but still respecting the feeling. Some time after this, we availed ourselves of an opportunity of again urging Jack to complete his story of the battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant, but with precisely the same result. Jack, however stoutly he might begin, never could by any means get beyond the shot in the thigh; there he was sure to
Struck now with the oddity of the circumstance, and beginning to be rather amused than affected by Jack's excessive sensibility, (which had assumed, we thought, a ludicrous character,) we began to suspect that it was a pathological peculiarity of the man's nature, rather than a result of genuine feeling; and in this im pression we were confirmed by the following incident.
Going home one night, after dark, we were attracted by a crowd consisting of about a dozen persons or so, who seemed to be highly amused with some one whom they surrounded. Curious to know what was going on, we joined the group, and had hardly done so, when one called out, "Come, Jack, give us the story of the battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant." Ay, ay, give us the story, Jack-give us the story," shouted half-a-dozen voices at once. It was Jack, then, whom they had got amongst them; and Jack's failing seemed well known to them. Jack, we perceived, was tipsy; a circumstance which we did not expect would tend much to harden his sensibilities; so we resolved to hear his version of the story of the battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant, under the mollifying influence of liquor; a story, by the way, which it now appeared was extremely popular. Complying with the general wish, Jack began his tale, and with the same readiness and confidence of manner with which he always began Ay, ay, my friends," he said, "that was a tough bit of a job, that Copenhagen affair; none of your shilly-shally work, but right, even-down whacking. I warrant me, none of you here ever saw the like. Well, d'ye see, my lads, the ship I belonged to was the Dareall-p'raps none of you ever heard of her afore, but that don't matter; she was a beauty of a ship, for all that-fifty-six guns and 450 men, and as fine a set of officers as ever trod a quarter-deck, partiklarly our first leeftenant, Mr. Bowman; he was the good soul."
Ay, Jack's coming to it now," here said one of the crowd, in a half-whisper to neighbour; "he'll cry presently." Jack went on. "Well, you see, my lads, our ship was stationed right opposite what they called the Crown Battery, and a hot enough berth it was, I warrant ye. So, d'ye see, the battle began, when poor Bowman, who was standing on the quarterdeck, just as I'm standing now, with his speaking-trumpet in his hand, received-poor fellow-good soul-a shot in the thigh." Jack here paused, and struggled hard with the emotion which was threatening to arrest his narrative at the usual point. "Three minutes after-seven wounds altogether-poor soul !-he-hehe." Off Jack went; he could no more. The crowd hailed the expected climax with a shout of laughter, in which we could not help joining, and immediately dispersed, leaving Jack solus, to recover his composure at his leisure.
We subsequently learnt, that old Jack's battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant was a well-known story; but we never met with the man who had heard the end of it, or even a single sentence beyond that which we have here put upon record. Some story or other, it was thought, Jack had; but the tenderness of his recollections of the wounded lieutenant prevented him from ever getting through with it.
NOTES ON THE REDBREAST, SPARROW, ROOK, AND TITMOUSE.
We have given, on previous occasions, both speculation and anecdote, illustrative of what is termed the instinct of the lower animals. We now add some original observations of a practical naturalist on a few of our familiar birds.
We may first describe the manners, and give the character of that well-known bird, the Redbreast. This bird is best known from his audacious familiarity in entering the open doors or windows of dwelling-houses without fear or dread. This freedom has raised a prejudice in his favour, because it is taken as a sign of his confidence in man. We wish the other traits of his character were confirmatory of the favourable view thus bestowed on his incorrigible impudence: but the truth is, there is little amiable feeling belonging to the redbreast; for he is naturally cruel, vindictive, and implacable. He is almost always at war with other birds, and especially with the males of his own species. So strong is their antipathy to each other, that two pairs or families cannot live near together in the same place. If one pair takes possession of the top of a field or garden for the purpose of breeding or lodging in, another pair may be allowed to reside at the bottom, but not nearer. Each master of a family claims a certain range of territory for himself, and over which he holds arbitrary sway. Here he keeps "watch and ward," and here he may be heard singing, morning, noon, and night; but the chief parts of his song are only impassioned shouts of defiance addressed to rivals at a distance. And whenever rivals meet, a fierce battle ensues, in which one is discomfited, if not killed outright.
The bitter animosity always subsisting between these rival birds is one reason that they are so extensively distributed over the face Their adventurous of the country, and yet nowhere numerous. boldness in entering houses is a circumstance unfavourable to their increase; for here they frequently fall a prey to the watchful cat. It is, indeed, a common saying, that cats catch and kill more redbreasts than they kill birds of any other kind.
This bird is neither skilful in building, nor careful in concealing her nest, consequently she is liable to be robbed, which diminishes the broods; but she, as well as her mate, very soon find by experience where their food is most readily found. They are carnivorous as well as vermivorous; and their usual exertion in search of food is hopping about on turf or among withered leaves, picking up earth-worms, small snails, and larvæ of insects. But as soon as they become acquainted with any locality in which they have chosen to reside, they soon learn where to find a bone to pick at the back kitchen door. Or if they see a labourer at work trenching, digging, or hoeing the ground, they are sure to join him to feast on the worms, which they seem to know he will turn up : and if, when so attending the labourer, any other bird happens to alight on the broken ground, the pugnacious little fellow flies at the intruder like a fury, and drives him off. Even blackbirds and thrushes of thrice his size must fly before him, so impetuous is his attack.
Another portion of acquired knowledge of which the redbreast often avails himself is, his attending the mole in its labours, as he does those of the gardener. Moles live chiefly on earth-worms, which, when they feel the mole mining near them, immediately escape to the surface; and here the hungry bird is on the watch for them. The keen eye of the redbreast can perceive the working of the mole at a considerable distance, as they may often be seen flying from a hedge into the middle of a field where the mole is raising a hill, and where they get their usual treat. It may be said that it is the appearance of the freshly-broken ground that attracts the notice of the bird, and not his knowledge that food is found there; but how can he know that worms are found on broken ground, if it be not from experience?
The redbreast is sometimes so attached to a favourite station in a garden, or about a house, that he will build repeatedly in the same place; but the greater number leave their winter quarters, and retire to unfrequented dells in woods, or to hollow lanes to breed during summer. They however return to their winter haunts when cold weather sets in.
The house-sparrow is another instance of a wild animal being much guided in his manners by acquired knowledge. His character is a compound of boldness, cunning, and perseverance. He learns much from his companions in the farm-yard, and attends to
the call of any of the feeders as promptly as any other of the livestock. He is naturally thievish, and seems delighted when he can steal a morsel of food from any other animal, and carry it away to a place where he can eat it alone. Adding the acquired knowledge of the sparrow to that of his powerful instincts, he may be said to be one of our most accomplished wild birds; whether we consider his assiduity in providing for himself and family, or his care in preserving himself and progeny. They make their nests in holes of walls, under the eaves of roofed buildings; and sometimes, when all such places are occupied, they will build their nests in thickbranched trees near houses; and as a means of security, if a rookery be in the near neighbourhood, the sparrows will make their nests immediately under those of the rook, and which, as the rook is a social bird, they are allowed to do without annoyance from their protectors. It is this careful regard for their young, and teaching them always to roost in inaccessible places, that makes this species much more numerous than that of any other British bird. The young leave the nest just before harvest, and then the whole congregate, fall upon the ripening fields of wheat or barley, and do much damage to the farmer if not scared off. For this crime the sparrow has in many rural parishes been proscribed, and rewards paid by the churchwardens for their destruction.
RISE OF THE LAND IN SWEDEN. MORE than a hundred years ago, a Swedish naturalist, of the name of Celsius, expressed an opinion that the waters of the Baltic sea, and the whole northern ocean, were gradually sinking; and he stated that this was proceeding at the rate of forty Swedish inches in a century. He represented several dangerous sunken reefs as having become permanently visible above water during his own time, and stated that the sea was constantly leaving dry new tracts of land along its margin; that ancient sea-ports had become inland towns; and that old mariners could testify that at a number of places great changes had occurred, within the period over which their memory extended, in the form of the coast and the depth of the sea. Lastly, he referred to marks which had been cut in the rocks before his time, for the purpose of indicating the former level, and the waters were observed to have fallen below these marks. Such an extraordinary announcement as that of the bed of the vast ocean sinking, met with little countenance from the learned. To account for the appearances described by Celsius, various hypotheses were brought forward; whilst not a few suspected that there had been some error in the observations. Those who were inclined to admit the correctness of his statements pro
The rook, and others of the same genus, appear to be instinct-posed, as a solution of the difficulty, that the altered form of the ively afraid of fire-arms; but it is probable this natural fear is inculcated by the wary parents; as, constantly living in communities, one experienced patriarch soon sounds his note of alarm, and puts all the rest on their guard. They are equally alarmed if they smell brimstone or gunpowder-a sensation they must have acquired by experience. When rooks take to a part of an avenue or other place where they are not wished to be, they are most effectually frightened away by taking a flint and steel, and striking them under the trees at night.
The next bird we have to notice, whose experience teaches him to get a meal when his ordinary food is scarce, is the greater titmouse, a common though not a plentiful bird of our woods. His ordinary food is insects and the larvæ of insects; but in hard frosts, and especially if snow covers the ground, this bird repairs to the bee-house, probably, in the first place, to look for spiders or their eggs, or for any other insect lurking about the hives. During the search the bird perceives that there are living insects within the hives, and of course wishes to taste them. Tapping at the door of the hive (perhaps with the intention of enlarging it) a sentinel appears to answer the call, and is immediately seized by the middle by the bird, and carried off to a neighbouring tree, and there beat against the bark till nearly dead. The bird rejects the head and abdomen (the latter containing the sting), and swallows the thorax only, and immediately returns to the hive for another victim. Sometimes the whole stock of a hive is destroyed by these birds in this way; and it is remarkable that one among several of these marauders is more an adept at bee-killing than the rest; for, on watching and shooting this one, the daily attacks on the bees ceased. Now, how can we consider these manoeuvres of the bird? He is instinctively led to take and devour insects whereever he may find them; but to make it his task to come every morning to a hive to allure out the bees for his breakfast, must be a portion of knowledge derived solely from experience.
HAZLITT'S CHARACTER OF COLERIDGE.
COLERIDGE Would require a hundred mouths to utter all that it hath entered into his heart to conceive, and centuries before him to embody the endless volume of his waking dreams. Cloud rolls over cloud; one train of thought suggests, and is driven away by another; theory after theory is spun out of the bowels of his brain, not like the spider's web, compact and sound, a citadel and a snare, built for mischief and for use; but like the gossamer, stretched out and entangled without end, clinging to every casual object, flitting in the idle air, and glittering only in the ray of fancy. No subject can come amiss to him, and he is alike attracted and alike indifferent to all; he is not tied down to any one in particular, but floats from one to another; his mind everywhere finding its level, and feeling no limit but that of thought-now soaring with its head above the stars, now treading with fairy feet among flowers; now winnowing the air with winged words, passing from Duns Scotus to Jacob Behmen, from the Kantian philosophy to a conundrum, and from the Apocalypse to an acrostic; taking in the whole range of poetry, painting, wit, history, politics, metaphysics, criticism, and private scandal-every question giving birth to some new thought, and every thought discoursed in eloquent music.
coast, and the shallowing of the sea, might be ascribed partly to new accessions of land at those localities where rivers entered, depositing sand and mud, and partly to the drifting of large blocks of ice, which are sometimes stranded and driven upon rocks and low islands, so as to raise their height by the stones and gravel which they have floated to these places. But these explanations could not satisfactorily account for the phenomena, however they might satisfy those who were content with a plausible hypothesis, rather than inquire further into the matter. It remained for the profound and eloquent Playfair to unloose the knot, without cutting it. He declared that the change in the relative level of sea and land in Sweden, might be ascribed to the movement of the land rather than of the ocean. The expansive forces of the mineral regions are continually at work within the solid crust of the earth; and we have only to suppose that, for a great length of time, they have been acting upwards, their natural tendency, at this peculiar place. And no doubt this is the true explanation of the phenomenon.
Subsequently to the promulgation of his views by Playfair, many distinguished men have visited the country, and recorded their impressions of the reality of the fact. But the papers published by Mr. Lyell being at once the most recent and the most interesting, we prefer giving an outline of the observations made by this distinguished geologist. At Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and situated on the shores of the Baltic sea, there is clear evidence of the existence of lines of beach once covered by the sea, but now lying high and dry, with all their marine shells and vegetables, no less than seventy feet above it. Besides the shells, several buried vessels have been found, some of them apparently of high antiquity, there being no iron in them, the planks being fastened together by wooden pegs. But a much more remarkable discovery was made at a place where a canal was cut. Here the excavation commenced in a hill or platform, covered with a forest; and after digging down about fifty feet through stratified sand, gravel, and clay, the workmen came upon a small wooden house, the floor of which was on a level with the sea. An attempt was made to dig round the walls, and leave them standing; but the wood was perfectly decomposed, and crumbled down like dust when all support was removed; but when they reached the level of the sea, they found the timbers of the walls preserved. At the bottom, on what may have constituted the floor of the hut, an irregular ring of stones was found, having the appearance of a rude fireplace; and within these there was a heap of charcoal and charred wood. On the outside of the ring was a pile of unburnt fir-wood, broken up as for fuel; the dried needles of the fir and the bark of the branches being still preserved. The building was about eight feet square, and was supposed to have been merely a fishing-hut, occasionally resorted to at the fishing season. The building was enveloped in fine sand, as if blown by the wind, and the mass over the house bore undoubted evidence of stratification, but, for the most part, of that wavy and irregular kind which would result from a meeting of currents. Multitudes of marine shells were found embedded in it.
The remarkable circumstances to be observed here are, that whilst the hut must originally have stood on the shores of the Baltic, nearly on a level with its waters, the ground on which it stood had sunk down to the depth of fifty or sixty feet, or in some
other manner become completely submerged beneath the sea; that the land had again gradually risen to its present position, which, being about even with the surface of the sea, may be supposed nearly the relative level of the hut to the Baltic, as it originally stood; and that, during this gradual_rise, it had become covered with strata sixty feet in thickness. However extraordinary this may appear, there seems no other way of accounting for the present position of the hut. 'If," says Mr. Lyell, "the buried vessels alone had been found, we should merely have been called upon to suppose that they had sunk to the bottom of a fiord, which was afterwards silted up, and then upraised; but the situation of this house seems to require far greater changes of level. Had nothing been observed but the wooden walls, we might have imagined that the hut was carried away during an inundation; for I was told of a house that was floated off entire during a flood, in the north-east of Sweden, in consequence of the artificial drainage of a lake. But the fire-place and charred wood on the floor seem entirely opposed to such an hypothesis. To imagine a subsidence of the land to the amount of more than sixty feet, and a subsequent elevation-or, in other words, a series of movements analogous to those by which the phenomena of the Temple of Serapis have been explained-generation has passed away since Celsius recorded the stories of appears necessary; yet this is undoubtedly to assume far greater revolutions in the level of the land, since fishing-huts were first erected in Sweden, than history or tradition would have led us to anticipate." Yet we do not think that it is assuming more than might have taken place, without history or tradition taking any notice of the circumstance until comparatively recent times.
At the present rate of increase, the land might have been raised to its present level since the commencement of the Christian era. With regard to previous sinking, all must be mere conjecture, with which we shall not meddle, as little that is satisfactory could be brought forward. But whatever doubts may hang over the causes which brought the hut into the extraordinary position in which it was discovered, it is impossible to reflect on this, and the other facts regarding shell-fish brought to light during the excavation of this canal, without being convinced that very important movements have taken place in the land and the bed of the sea, since the Baltic was inhabited by the existing testacea, and even since the sea was navigated by vessels, and the human race extended their migrations to these northern shores.
In 1820, the Royal Academy at Stockholm ordered a horizontal line to be cut in the face of a rock near Oregrund, on the shores of the Baltic, the line being made exactly to correspond with the level of the sea. When Mr. Lyell examined this in 1834, the line was found five inches and a half above the surface of the water, Here is unequivocal evidence in support of the fact of a gradual rise in the land; but some much stronger is yet to be adduced. The fishermen at this place also confirmed this opinion in a very satisfactory manner. They pointed out several rocks which they well remembered to have been barely covered with water in their younger days, but which are now between one and two feet above it. So strong is the conviction of the fishermen here," says our authority, "and of the seafaring inhabitants generally, that a gradual change of level, to the amount of three feet or more in a century, is taking place, that they seem to feel no interest whatever in the confirmation of the fact afforded by artificial marks; for they observed to me, that they can point out innumerable natural marks in support of the change; and they mentioned this as if it rendered any additional evidence quite superfluous." At another place, a mark, which had been made in 1731, was found to be (every allowance being made for a contrary wind) nearly three feet above the level of the sea at the present time. In another part of the same coast, one of the lines which had been ordered to be cut feet and a half; which is enormous in the short space of fourteen
in 1820, indicated a rise of the land to the extent of nearly two
In pursuing the object of his journey, Mr. Lyell crossed from the shores of the Baltic to the opposite coast of Sweden, situated between Uddevalla and Gothenburg, and which has been long celebrated for its deposits of recent shells, raised in some spots to the height of more than two hundred feet above the level of the He found that these shelly formations did not resemble beaches of the ocean which had been upraised, but were, in fact, stratified formations of clay, sand, and gravel, and in some places almost entirely of shells, which have filled up, at some former period, the deep bays and fiords of a sea resembling that which now bounds this coast. At several other places, undoubted evidence of a gradual rise in the land was obtained, both from marks which had been made on the faces of rocks washed by the sea, and from the uniform testimony of all seafaring people. By a compa
rison of the eastern and western coasts, and their islands, with the interior, the geological appearances and physical features of the country appeared to countenance the theory, that the whole tract has in its turn been first a shoal in the sea, and then for a time a shore. In some parts immense erratic blocks of rock, or boulders, were found lying upon deposits of recent shells. The transportation of these huge fragments into their present position must, therefore, have taken place after the period when the modern shelly formations of both coasts were accumulated; and it has been inferred, from observed facts, that the drifting of such blocks may now be going on, by means of ice, every year. The water here freezes to a great depth in winter, and when it is broken up on the approach of genial weather, the huge masses of ice which closely clasp large rocks round and round, often float them away altogether, and sometimes to a great distance. The fact, therefore, that the land in Sweden is in various parts gradually rising above the level of the sea, may be considered as completely proved. The evidence in favour of an upward movement is of two kinds: firstly, the testimony of the inhabitants; and secondly, the altered level indicated by artificial marks cut in the rocks. More than one pilots, fishermen, and the inhabitants of the two opposite coasts, respecting the increased extension of land and apparent sinking of the sea. In the same places, Mr. Lyell heard precisely similar accounts from persons now living; and they were so identical, he says, that, if related, they would appear mere representations of the words of Celsius, with scarcely any change except in the names of the witnesses. Further, it seems pretty clear that the rate of elevation is different in different places. In one locality it was discovered to be about three feet in a century; in another, two feet in sixty-four years; in a third, rather more than that in fourteen years; and in a fourth, only a few inches during the same period. This is perhaps the most extraordinary part of the phenomenon; and we may expect to obtain some valuable information in course of time, since such men as Berzelius have turned their attention to the subject.
THE SMITHFIELD CATTLE SHOW. AMONG the many strange sights of this strange city, not the least curious is the annual cattle show, held under the auspices of the Smithfield club. This exhibition, which has only been made for a very few years, has increased so rapidly as to render it a subject of considerable national importance. To compare great things with small, we were going to say, but the comparison will show is to agriculture, much that the annual meeting of the not hold, as prize oxen are decidedly not small-the annual cattle It forms a re-union of many of British Association is to science. the principal country gentlemen of England, who scruple not to travel themselves, and send stock, great distances to attend it.
Hitherto the show had been held on premises in Goswell-street, which were inconvenient from want of room, but the show for 1839 was transferred to very extensive premises in King-street, Portman-square, ordinarily used as a horse bazaar, which we were induced to visit. The exhibition continued open for four days, from Wednesday the eleventh, to Saturday the fourteenth, of December, and visitors were admitted up to nine o'clock in the evening.
The gas was already lighted when we arrived, and a very singu. lar scene presented itself to our view. A yard of great extent, opening on one side (the left hand) to a roofed corridor or ride, lined with a row of stalls for horses, which were closed up with hurdles (being too confined for the purposes of exhibition) was converted into an immense tent, by means of a tarpauling extended over it at a great height. On the right hand the space was bounded by a wall, beneath which, on ample couches of straw, reposed the monsters constituting the first and sixth classes of the "beasts" composing the show. The centre of the open space was occupied by another row of cattle, and behind them the pigs were arranged. Beyond we entered the riding-school, a very capacious covered building, and affording a better defence from the weather than the outer space. This was occupied by cows and sheep, and a lot of "extra stock," Scotch oxen, much admired by connoisseurs, but which did not come within the limits of any of the "classes" prescribed for competition, and consequently were
not awarded any prize. In a third area, ordinarily used as stables, the remainder of the sheep were penned in the centre, in lots of three each, and around various instruments of agriculture were displayed. The whole was crowded, and even ladies did not disdain to honour the exhibition with their presence. This may, perhaps, be heard with surprise. Many of our readers may Imagine that the sight of animals fattened up for "show" must be disgusting. They recal Tom Hood's facetious groans of the moving monster committed to the charge of the lame driver, although even he "hurried him." They remember the pathetic exclamation, "Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt!" and have visions of "the learned pig grown out of knowledge." But could they see the innocent grunters we beheld, 18 weeks' old, improved Middlesex pigs," fed by "Mr. J. Crowther, of Isleworth, on boiled potatoes, fine toppings, and skimmed milk," they would alter their opinion, and gazing on their white well-kept countenances, their sleek and comfortable-looking proportions, as, all at ease, they reclined on "the best of straw," they would be enraptured, and even incline to think it would have been a pity to cut short their innocent existence at any earlier period, even to have produced a dish such as has been so feelingly celebrated by the inimitable Elia. And then the cattle, albeit, especially those of class I., the magnates of the show, of huge proportions, exhibit no appearance of "distressing fatness." They are comfortably corpulent, but not exuberantly gross, and the care which has been taken of them is evident in the exquisite cleanness of their skins and coats, which in other instances are too generally neglected. These, on the contrary, appear to be dressed almost as carefully as a hunter or a race horse, and we can believe it possible that their keepers' care is frequently tested, in the same manner as that of grooms in some stables, by a white handkerchief, which, when passed over the animal, infallibly detects the least speck of remaining dirt. There stood these fine animals, exhibiting the most gratifying proofs of the effects of skill in producing perfection in the various points which constitute their excellence. Each particular of their feeding and an account of the exact distance each animal had travelled to the show, was set forth in a placard affixed to the wall; but no great bodily exertion had been imposed on any, for none had gone on foot more than two miles. Several had, however, by van, railroad, or canal, travelled nearly two hundred miles, and there were few that had not come from a considerable distance. Any change, however, produces considerable effect on animals long-used to perfect tranquillity; and even the easiest mode of conveyance proves a considerable trial, while the bustle of four days' publicity, and the incessant poking and pummelling to which their fat sides are subjected by the more knowing visitors during that period, must tend greatly to deteriorate their condition. On the day we visited the show, one very fine animal, the property of earl Spencer, the president of the club, died, as is supposed, from the effects of fatigue. Its disorder was probably aggravated by the comparative exposure to which it was subjected, for the defence of a tent is a far more imperfect protection than the walls and roof of a well-secured cow-house, This struck us very forcibly when we first entered, and beheld so large a portion of the exhibition so slightly sheltered, and we regretted that a place of exhibition entirely proof against the weather had not been found; but so great an extent is necessary for the display of such a collection, that it is perhaps impossible, even in London, to fix upon any place better adapted for the purpose than the bazaar in King-street. We should, we confess, rejoice to see a building erected expressly for this exhibition, which might be so contrived as to be available for other purposes when not made use of by the club. More frequent exhibitions of agricultural instruments and dead stock might perhaps be made with advantage; and as the society increases, and of consequence its funds, which must receive a very considerable addition from the multitude of visitors, it may, we hope, ere long, be found practicable to carry such a scheme into execution.
The sheep were by no means the least interesting part of the exhibition. Southdowns and new and old Leicesters formed the staple, and were as remarkable for the excellence of their wool as their fine, condition in other respects. It was amusing to watch the care with which these animals were tended by their keepers, who were feeding them with turnips, and cutting up the suppers of these innocents much as a nursery-maid carves the dinner of a youngster not yet arrived at the dignity of a knife and fork. These words opportunely remind us that the Smithfield club cannot get on, any more than other associate Englishmen, without a
dinner, and shame it would be to them if they had not a good one. Accordingly, on Friday the 13th December, 1839, between three and four hundred "of the principal noblemen and gentlemen, agriculturists," sat down to a "substantial dinner" at the Freemasons' tavern, and doubtless did honour to the good cheer. Upon the toast "Success to the Smithfield Club" being proposed, the noble president (earl Spencer) said he had great happiness in stating to them that their club had been greatly, although gradually, increasing. His lordship said he would not have spoken so confidently of the club, had he not ascertained that the receipts of this year had been sufficient to clear the whole expenses of the following one. There was, therefore, no risk to run at their next meeting. The place of exhibition had been altered, and it was the general impression that the alteration would be of the greatest benefit to the breeders and feeders of prize cattle. In consequence of a complaint having been made with respect to the judges not being sufficient, the committee had agreed that two sets of judges should be appointed - one for the adjudication of prizes for cattle and long-wooled sheep, and the other for Southdowns and pigs; and his lordship hoped this arrangement would be satisfactory to all parties. It had also been arranged that two prizes should be given for Scotch and Welch cattle. His lordship knew of no class of cattle which gave better profit to the grazier, but in consequence of their general size they could not be expected to compete with the various classes of cattle now exhibited. Such an account of the money-matters of the club is gratifying, and is a sufficient proof of the estimation in which it is held by those who are the best judges of its effects-the "agriculturists." The expenses of the last year must have been considerable, as no less than 2957. in money was distributed in premiums, besides three gold and thirteen silver medals. We hope that the next year will enable the members still further to extend their encouragement, and that they will long continue to GO ON AND PROSPER,
GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS OF THE ANCIENT
No people are so famous in ancient history for their festive meetings as the Greeks. From an early age, public games, in which various prizes were contended for, seem to have held a rank next to religion among their national customs. But although those entertainments drew together a great concourse of people from different states, it does not appear that they were as yet celebrated at the public expense, or at a certain prescribed season of the year. They were generally conducted under the patronage of some powerful and wealthy prince, upon the solemnization of the funeral of an esteemed relative or friend, or upon any other occasion which he thought fit. He furnished the prizes, and invited the neighbouring princes to the games. Many idlers among their people followed, of course; but though these were allowed to be present as spectators, the contests were usually confined to noble blood. The games consisted of chariot-races, foot-races, boxing with the cæstus, wrestling, fighting with spears, archery, throwing the quoit, casting javelins, and leaping. Singing, or rather the recitation of poetic compositions, dancing, and throwing the ball, were rather amusements than games; in none of these were prizes regularly contended for, the first alone excepted. In some instances stewards, or managers of the games, were selected to arrange the goal and course, and to keep off the spectators from crowding on the performers; but there were no judges, the prizes being awarded by the patron, according to the merit of the candidates. Where any doubt existed, an appeal was made to the disinterested princes who were present, and they decided. If foul play had been committed, the party aggrieved made a formal complaint, and the party accused either vindicated himself on oath, or by the issue of a combat. In games where several candidates might contend-such, for instance, as the chariot-race, three, four, and even five prizes were given, of different value, and adjudged, after the first, according to the place which each candidate obtained. Whatever the number of rivals might be, none went away without some reward for his exertions. The chariotprize was considered the most honourable of all others: but scarcely less ambition and emulation were evinced in the athletic contentions; for it was deemed the highest praise which a man could obtain, to say of him, that he knew how to use his hands and feet to the greatest advantage.
The goal being fixed upon for the charioteers, a steward was appointed to observe that all passed outside it. The candidates then took their stations at the starting-place, according to lot. The manner in which the lots were determined was this:-A small piece of wood was given to each charioteer, in which he cut or inscribed a private mark; the whole of the lots were thrown into a helmet, and shaken by a disinterested person, who caused them to fall out one after another. Each candidate knew his own lot, and he took his station according to the order in which it was shaken from the helmet. At a given signal they started. The experienced charioteer, from the moment of setting out, held the goal constantly in his eye, pushing his steeds and chariots as close to it as he could. When he arrived near enough to turn it, he inclined, but as gently as possible, to the left, while he goaded or lasked the right-hand horse smartly, gave him the rein, and cheered him onward; still so restraining the left-hand horse, as that the box, or head, of the wheel should almost touch the goal, yet so as not to strike it, lest the chariot and rider might be overthrown. He who first turned the goal well, and at speed, was likely to be first at the starting-place. At the funeral games in honour of Patroclus, the swiftest charioteer won as his prize a comely female captive, skilled in works of domestic utility, and a double-eared brazen tripod, capable of containing two-and-twenty measures. The second bore away an unbroken mare, six years old, and pregnant with a mule; the third, a new cauldron, of four measures; the fourth, two talents of gold; and the fifth, a small brazen pan, used for culinary purposes.
The boxers bound on the cæstus with thongs of leather; both these and the wrestlers wore a cincture which extended from the waist to the feet; the breast, and shoulders, and arms, were naked. The foot-race was distinguished by no peculiar character from similar exhibitions in our own times. He who first slightly wounded his adversary in the spear-fight was declared the conqueror. The combatants were clad in shield and mail, as in battle; but if they evinced a disposition, in the eagerness of contest, to press each other beyond the limits of mimic warfare, the
spectators interposed and separated them. For the archers, a bird was tied by a string to the top of a pole fixed in the ground. The first prize was given to him who pierced the poor flutterer with his arrow, the second to him who only divided the cord. The quoit was a solid mass of iron, large enough to afford ploughshares to a husbandman for five years. It was bestowed on him who pitched it farthest. A similar proof of superior strength in hurling the javelin, and a display of surpassing agility in bounding from a fixed mark, were rewarded in a suitable manner.
Some writers have observed, that the connexion of games with the funeral obsequies of deceased warriors of distinction, arose from a disposition to honour them in death, by the celebration of amusements which in life they cultivated with so much pleasure. Homer leads us to a more rational and satisfactory origin of these customs, when he insinuates that they were instituted for the purpose of impressing more deeply on the minds of those present the memory of the dead, and that the prizes which were given served as so many records of the place of burial, and of the magnificence of the solemnities with which that last melancholy office was performed. It was naturally a great consolation to the surviving friends of the departed to make it known, as widely as possible, that he died with a glorious, or at least a spotless character, worthy of such marked homage, and that, unlike the traitor and spoiler of the royal bed, his remains were not refused the rites of the grave, nor exposed in some desert place, to be the prey of dogs and vultures. There was no man, high or low, who did not recognise it as an imperative duty to erect a tumulus, or tomb, and to perform funeral ceremonies in honour of the dead. Indeed, the tomb, and pillar over it, on which most probably some emblematic device was wrought, characteristic of the pursuits of the deceased in life, were considered in the light of a debt due to his ashes from his kindred and friends. It was believed that the soul of the dead could not pass the gates of Ades until that debt was duly paid; that it might appear again on earth to solicit the rights, if they were neglected; but that, after they were properly performed, it could revisit the precincts of day no more. If the deceased fell in battle, the ceremonies which preceded the games were much after the following order :-The body was brought from the field in the arms of two or more of his companions, and laid in the tent, or rather hut, of his nearest relative or friend. As soon as darkness put an end to the day's strife, his associates in the field gathered around him, and all the night long they wept aloud, the lamentation being led by the chief mourner, who, while he thus expressed his feelings, placed his hands on the bosom of his lost friend. When the first burst of grief was over, the body was stripped, bathed in warm water, and anointed with limpid oil, which resisted, or at least retarded, the process of putrefaction. The wounds were filled with an ointment supposed to possess a similar power. The body was then disposed on a bed, and covered from head to foot with an under-vest of linen, over which was thrown a fine snow-white sheet of similar texture. From some superstitious motive, which has found its way to many other countries, the feet of the deceased were directed towards the vestibule. In order to preserve the body from internal taint, as well as to give it fragrance, a liquor, probably composed of vinous spirit and perfume, was poured into it through the
Thus it was kept for nine days, during which it was watched day and night by female captives. Where it was possible to procure the attendance of public singers, whose profession it was to chaunt the funeral dirge, they were summoned on the occasion. This was not difficult in any well-inhabited city of the age. If the slain warrior, instead of being conveyed to a tent, was restored to the mansion of his family, all his kindred and friends, male and female, hastened around him. The chaunters were placed beside the body, and at every close of the dirge which they sung, the female domestics answered with a general shout of sorrow.
*The attendance of minstrels on such occasions was a custom long practised in the East. Persons of this description are related to have been present in the chamber where the daughter of Jairus was laid, when she was restored to life by the miraculous power of the Messiah. "And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw there the minstrels and the multitude making a rout, He said: Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, he
went in, and took her by the hand. AND THE MAID AROSE." These few sen
tences afford a striking example of the beautiful simplicity which characterises all the narratives of the Evangelists; a simplicity that carries with it a weight of testimony powerful beyond that of any other history penned by the hand of man.