Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

fatt, after noticing the earlier abbots of session cf the golden image, in preference Malmsbury, adds, “The ideas contained in to the childish incident stated to have the following lines were suggested by the occurred when Bradenstoke Priory was perusal of the history of the foundation of Occupied by a former respectable inhabitMalmsbury abbey :

ant, Mrs. Bridges.

Your correspondent will excuse the free“ Sonnet to the Avon.

dom of this observation; his ready pen * Reclined beside the willow shadel stream,

could perhaps relate to you the detail of a On which the breath of whispering zephyr plays, tragical event, said by tradition to have Let me, 0 Avon, in untntorid lays

occurred at Dauntsey, where the mansion Assert thy fairest, purest right to fame.

of the late earl of Peterborough now stands, What tho' no myrtle bower thy banks adora,

and “ other tales of other times." Nor sportive Naiads warton in thy waves ;

A READER.* No glittering sands of gold, or coral caves,

Lyneham, Wilts, Bedeck the channel by thy waters worn :

January 23, 1827.
Yet thou canst boast of honours passing these,

For when fair science left her eastern seat,
Ere Alfred raised her sons a fair retreat,

OLD BIRMINGHAM CONJURERS. Where Isis' laurels tremble in the breeze; 'Twas there, near where thy curling streamlet Aows,

BY MR. WILLIAM HUTTON. E'en in yon dell, the Muses found repose."

No head is a vacuum. Some, like a This interesting period in the history of paltry cottage, are ill accommodated, dark, the venerable abbey, its supposed connec

and circumscribed; others are capacious as

Westminster-hall. Though none are imtion with Bradenstoke Priory, the admired scenery of the surrounding country, the mense, yet they are capable of inmense events of past ages blended into the exer

furniture. The more room is taken up by tions of a fertile imagination, and the many The more a man is acquainted with things,

knowledge, the less remains for credulity. traditions still floating in the minds of the the more willing to give up the ghost." inhabitants, would form materials deserving the attention of a writer disposed to wield Every town and village, within my knowhis pen in that department of literature,

ledge, has been pestered with spirits, which has been so successfully cultivated in which appear in horrid forms to the imathe northern and other parts of our island. gination in the winter night—but the

If by the observation, “ that his ances- spirits which haunt Birmingham, are those tors came from the Priory,” your corres

of industry and luxury.

If we examine the whole parish, we canpondent means Bradenstoke Priory, he will allow me to direct his attention to the not produce one old “witch;” but we have fact of the original register of that esta

numbers of young, who exercise a powerful blishment being in the British Museum. I influence over us. Should the ladies accuse refer him to the “ Beauties of England and sider, I allow them, what of all things they

the harsh epithet, they will please to conWales.”

most wish for, power—therefore the balance As your correspondent probably resides

is in my favour. in London, he may be induced to obtain

If we pass through the planetary worlds, access to this document, in which I con

we shall be able to muster two conjurers, clude he would have no difficulty; and if you, Mr. Editor, could favour us in your The first, John Walton, who was so busy

who endeavoured to “shine with the stars." publication with an engraving of this Priory, it would be acceptable.

in casting the nativity of others, that he I appreciate the manner in which your tion to himself

, for the discovery of stolen

Conscious of an applica

forgot his own. correspondent noticed my remarks, and wish him success in his literary efforts, whether relating to objects in this vicinity, • I am somewhat embarrassed by this difference or to other matters. One remark only I between two valued correspondents, and I hope neither

will regard me in an ill light, if I venture to interpose, will add,- that I think he should avoid ihe

and deprecate controversy beyond an extent which can naming of respectable individuals : the interest the readers of the Table Book. I do not say mention of names may cause unpleasant

that it has passed that limit, and hitherto all has been

well; perhaps, however, it wonld be advisable that feelings in a neighbourhood like this, how

“ A Reader should confide to me his name, and that ever unintentional on his part. I should he and my " Old Correspondent," whom I know, should

allow me to introdace them to each other. I think the have considered it better taste in an anti

result would be inutually satisfactory. quarian to have named the person in pos

W. H.

goods, he employed his people to steal book, the dust, or the web, was not disthem. And though, for many years con

turbed. Mercury and his shirt performed fined to his bed by infirmity, he could con their revolutions together; and Saturn jure away the property of others, and, for a changed his with his coat. He died in reward, conjure it back again.

1756, as conjurers usually die, uplaThe prevalence of this evil, induced the mented.* legislature, in 1725, to make the reception of stolen goods capital. The first sacrifice to this law was the noted Jonathan Wild.

The officers of justice, in 1732, pulled Walton out of his bed, in an obscure cottage,

PATIENCE. one furlong from the town, now Brickilnlane, carried him to prison, and from thence

For the Table Book. to the gallows-they had Letter have carried him to the workhouse, and his followers As the pent water of a mill-dain lies to the anvil.

Motionless, yielding, noiseless, and serene, To him succeeded Francis Kimberley, Patience waits meekly with companioned eyes; the only reasoning animal, who resided at Or like the speck-cloud, which alone is seen No. 60, in Dale-end, from his early youth

Silver'd within blue space, ling'ring for air

On which to sail prophetic voyages; to extreme age. A hermit in a crowd ! The windows of his house were strangers

Or as the fountain stone that doth not wear,

But suits itself to pressure, and with ease to light. The shutters forgot to open; the chimney to smoke. His cellar, though

Diverts the dropping crystal; or the wife

That sits beside her husband and her love amply furnished, never knew moisture.

Subliming to another state and life, He spent threescore years in filling six

Off'ring him consolation as a dove,rooms with such trumpery as was just too

Her sighs and tears, her heartache and her mind good to be thrown away, and too bad to be

Devout, untired, calm, precious, and resign'd. kept. His life was as inoffensive as long. Instead of stealing the goods which other

,,P. people used, he purchased what he could not use himself. He was not difficult in his choice of the property that entered his house; if there was bulk, he was satisfied.

His dark house, and his dark figure, corresponded with each other. The apart

British Portraits. ments, choked up with lumber, scarcely admitted his body, though of the skeleton CATALOGUE OF PAINTED BRITISH PORorder. Perhaps leanness is an appendage TRAITS, comprising most of the Soveto the science, for I never knew a corpu reigns of England, from Henry I. to lent conjurer. His diet, regular, plain, George IV., and many distinguished and slender, showed at how little expense personages; principally the produclife might be sustained. His library con tions of Holbein, Zucchero, C. Jansen, sisted of several thousand volumes, not one Vandyck, Hudson, Reynolds, Northof which, I believe, he ever read; having cote, &c. Now selling at the prices written, in characters unknown to all but affixed, by Horatio RODD, 17, Airhimself, his name, the price, and the date, street, Piccadilly. 1827. in the title-page, he laid them by for ever. The highest pitch of his erudition was the This is an age of book and print cataannual almanack.

logues; and lo! we have a picture dealer's He never wished to approach a woman, catalogue of portraits, painted in oil,

from or be approached by one. Should the rest

the price of two guineas to sixty. There of men, for half a century, pay no more attention to the fair, some angelic hand sum, and this is perhaps the most interest

is only one of so high value as the latter might stick up a note like the arctic circle ing in Mr. Rodd's collection, and he has over one of our continents, “this world to

allowed the present engraving from it. The be let." If he did not cultivate the acquaintance five. The subjoined particulars are from

picture is in size thirty inches by twentyof the human species, the spiders, more the catalogue. numerous than his books, enjoyed an uninterrupted reign of quiet. The silence of the place was not broken; the broom, the

• Hist. of Birmingham.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

FROM THE ORIGINAL PICTURE BY HOGARTH, LATELY DISCOVERED.

“ To the present time, none of Hogarth's “Hogarth said himself, that lord Lovat's biographers appear to have been aware of portrait was taken at the White Hart-inn, the local habitation' of the original paint- at St. Alban's, in the attitude of relating on ing from which the artist published his his fingers the numbers of the rebel forces : etching, the popularity of which, at the "Such a general had so many men, &c. ;' period to which it alludes, was so great, and remarked that the muscles of Lovat's that a printseller offered for it its weight in neck appeared of unusual strength, more gold : that offer the artist rejected; and he so than he had ever seen. Samuel Ireland, is said to have received from its sale, for in his Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, many weeks, at the rate of twelve pounds vol. i. p. 146, states that Hogarth was ineach day. The impressions could not be vited to St. Alban's for the express purpose taken off so fast as they were wanted, of being introduced to Lovat, who was then though the rolling-press was at work alí resting at the White Hart-inn, on his way night by the week together.

to London from Scotland. bv Dr. Webster,

at

a physician residing at St. Alban's, and well persons who are interested concerning the known to Boswell, Johnson, and other emic individual whom Hogarth has portrayed, nent literary characters of that period. or who are anxious respecting the works of Hogarth had never seen Lovat before, and that distinguished artist, have an opportuwas, through the doctor's introduction, ie- nity of seeing it at Mr. Rodd's until it is ceived with much cordiality, even to the sold. kiss fraternal, which was then certainly not As regards the other portraits in oil, very pleasant, as his lordship, being under collected by Mr. Rodd, and now offered the barber's hands, left in the salute much by him for sale, after the manner of bookof the lather on the artist's face. Lord sellers,at the prices annexed,” they can Lovat rested two or three days at St. Al. be judged of with like facility. Like bookban's, and was under the immediate care of sellers, who tempt the owners of empty Dr. Webster, who thought his patient's ille shelves, with “ long sets to fill up ness was feigned with his usual cunning, or small prices, Mr. R. “ acquaints the noif at all real, arose principally from his ap- bility and gentry, having spacious country prehension of danger on reaching London. mansions, that he has many portraits of The short stay of Lovat at St. Alban's considerable interest as specimens of art, allowed the artist but scanty opportunity but whom the picture is intended to reof providing the materials for a complete present, matter of doubt : as such pictures picture; hence some carpenter was em would enliven many of their large rooms, ployed on the instant to glue together some and particularly the halls, they may be had deal board, and plane down one side, at very low prices.” which is evident from the back being in the Mr. Rodd's ascertained pictures really usual rough state in which the plank leaves form a highly interesting collection of the saw-pit. The painting, from the thin- “ painted British Portraits,” from whence ness of the priming-ground, bears evident collectors may select what they please : proof of the haste with which the portrait his mode of announcing such productions, was accomplished. The course lineament by way of catalogue, seems well adapted of features so strongly exhibited in his to bring buyers and sellers together, and is countenance, is admirably hit off; so well noticed here as an instance of spirited dehas Duncombe expressed it,

parture from the ancient trading rule, viz. • Lovat's hard features Hogarth might command;'

Twiddle your thumbs for his pencil was peculiarly adapted to such representation. It is observable the button-holes of the coat, &c., are reversed in the artist's etching, which was professed

DEATH'S DOINGS. to be drawn from the life, &c.;' and in the upper corner of the picture are satirical

“ I am now worth one hundred thousand heraldic insignia, allusive to the artist's pounds,” said old Gregory, as he ascended idea of his future destiny."

á hill, which commanded a full prospect of The “ satirical heraldic insignia," men. an estate he had just purchased ; “I am lioned in the above description, and repre- now worth one hundred thousand pounds, sented in the present engraving, do not and here,” said he, “ I'll plant an orchard appear in Hogarth's well-known whole and on that spot I'll have a pinerylength etching of lord Lovat. The picture

“ Yon farm houses shall come down," is a half-length; it was found in the house said old Gregory, “ they interrupt my of a poor person at Verulam, in the neigh- view." bourhood of St. Alban's, where Hogarth “ Then, what will become of the farpainted it eighty years ago, and it is a singu- mers?” asked the steward, who attended lar fact, that till its discovery a few weeks him. ago, such a picture was not known to have “ That's their business," answered old been executed. In all probability, Hogarth Gregory, obliged his friend, Dr. Webster, with it,

“ And that mill must not stand

upon

the and after the doctor's death it passed to

stream,” said old Gregory. some heedless individual, and remained “Then, how will the villagers grind their in obscurity from that time to the present.*

corn ?" asked the steward. Further observation on it is needless; for “That's not my business," answered old

Gregory. • There is an account of lord Lovat in the Every hearty supper--drank a bottle of port

So old Gregory returned home-ate a Day Book.

Till a customer comes.

smoked two pipes of tobacco-and fell into and scissors. A smile, a compliment, a a profound slumber-and awoke no more ; remark on the weather, a diftident, sideand the farmers reside on their lands—and wind inquiry about politics, or the passing the mild stands upon the stream-and the intelligence of the day, are tendered with villagers rejoice that Death did“ business that deference, which is the most grateful with old Gregory.

as well as the handsomest demonstration of politeness. Should you, on sitting down,

half-blushingly request him to cut off “ as THE BARBER.

large a lock as he can, merely,” you assure For the Table Book.

him, “ that you may detect any future

change in its colour,” how skilfully he exBarbers are distinguished by peculiarities tracts, from your rather thin head of hair, a appertaining to no other class of men. They graceful, flowing lock, which self-love have a caste, and are a race of themselves. alone prevents you from doubting to have The members of this ancient and gentle been grown by yourself: how pleasantly profession—foul befall the libeller who shall you contemplate, in idea, its glossiness designate it a traile—are mild, peaceable, from beneath the intended glass of the procheerful, polite, and communicative. They pitiatory locket. A web of delightful mingle with no cabal, have no interest in associations is thus woven ; and the care be factions, are open to all parties, and takes to “make each particular hair to influenced by none;" and they have a stand on end ” to your wishes, so as to let good, kind, or civil word for everybody. you know he surmises your destination, The cheerful morning salutation of one of completes the charm.-We never hear of these cleanly, respectable persons is a people cutting their throats in a barber's “handsell” for the pleasures of the day; shop, though the place is redolent of razors. serenity is in its tone, and comfort glances No; the ensanguined spots that occasionfrom its accompanying smile. Their small, ally besmirch the whiteness of the revolving cool, clean, and sparingly-furnished shops, towel is from careless, unskilful, and opiwith sanded floor and towelled walls, re niated individuals, who mow their own lieved by the white-painted, well-scoured beards, or refuse to restrain their risibility. shelves, scantily adorned with the various I wonder how any can usurp the province implements of their art, denote the snug sys. of the barber, (once an almost exclusive tem of economy which characterises the one,) and apply unskilful, or unpractised owners. Here, only, is the looking-glass hands so near to the grand canal of life. not an emblem of vanity : it is placed to For my own part, I would not lose the reflect, and not to flatter. You seat your- daily elevation of my tender nose, by the self in the lowly, antique chair, worn velvet-tipped digits of my barber--no, not smooth by the backs of half a century of for an independence ! beard-owners, and instantly feel a full re The genuine barber is usually (like his pose from fatigue of body and mind. You razors) well-tempered ; a inan unvisited by find yourself in attentive and gentle hands, care ; combining a somewhat hasty assiand are persuaded that no man can be in duity, with an easy and respectful manner. collision with his shaver or hair-dresser. He exhibits the best part of the character The very operation tends to set you on of a Frenchman-an uniform exterior sua. better terms with yourself: and your barber vity, and politesse. He seems a faded hath not in his constitution the slightest nobleman, or émigré of the old régime. element of difference. The adjustment of And surely if the souls of men transmigrate, a curl, the clipping of a lock, the trimming those of the old French noblesse seek the of a whisker, (that much-cherished and congenial soil of the barber's bosom! Is it highly-valued adornment of the face,) are a degradation of worthy and untroubled matters of paramount importance to both spirits, to imagine, that they animate the parties—threads of sympathy for the time, bodies of the harmless and unsophisticated? unbroken by the divesture of the thin, soft, In person the barber usually inclines to ample manile, that enveloped you in its the portly; but is rarely obese. His is snowy folds while under his care. Who that agreeable plumpness betokening the can entertain ill-humour, much less vent man at ease with himself and the worldhis spleen, while wrapt in the symbolic and the utter absence of that fretfulness vestment? The veriest churl is softened ascribed to leanness. Nor do his comely by the application of the warm emollient proportions and fleshiness make leaden the brush, and calmed into complacency by heels, or lessen the elasticity of his step, the light-handed hoverings of the comb or transmute his feathery lightness of hand

« AnteriorContinua »