Imatges de pÓgina


Perhaps there is no implement of domestic use that we are less acquainted with, in its old form, than snuffers. I have now before me a pair, which for their antiquity and elegant workmanship seem worth attention: the engraving on the other side represents their exact size and construction.

After some research, I can only meet with particulars of one other pair, which were found in digging the foundation of a granary, at the foot of a hill adjoining to Cotton Mansion-house, (formerly the seat of the respectable family of the Mohuns,) in the parish of St. Peter, Portisham, about two miles north-east from Abbotsbury in Dorsetshire. They were of brass, and weighed six ounces. "The great difference," says Mr. Hutchins, "between these and modern utensils of the same name and use is, that these are in shape like a heart fluted, and consequently terminate in a point. They consist of two equal lateral cavities, by the edges of which the snuff is cut off and received into the cavities, from which it is not got out without particular application and trouble. There are two circumstances attending this little utensil, which seem to bespeak it of considerable age: the roughness of the workmanship, which is in all respects as rude and coarse as can be well imagined, and the awkwardness of the form." There is an engraving of the Dorsetshire snuffers in the history of that county.

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Now for the crown and throne of Israel,
To be confirm'd with virtue of my sword,
And writ with David's blood upon the blade.
Now, Jove, let forth the golden firmament,
And look on him with all thy fiery eyes,
Which thou hast made to give their glories light.
To shew thou lovest the virtue of thy hand,
Let fall a wreath of stars upon my head,
Whose influence may govern Israel
With state exceeding all her other Kings.
your Sovereign
Fight, Lords and Captains, that
May shine in honour brighter than the sun
And with the virtue of my beauteous rays
Make this fair Land as fruitful as the fields,

That with sweet milk and honey overflowed.
God in the whissing of a pleasant wind
Shall march upon the tops of mulberry trees,
To cool all breasts that burn with any griefs;
As whilom he was good to Moyses' men,
By day the Lord shall sit within a cloud,
To guide your footsteps to the fields of joy :
And in the night a pillar bright as fire
Shall go before like a second sun,
Wherein the Essence of his Godhead is;
That day and night you may be brought to peace,
And never swerve from that delightsome path
That leads your souls to perfect happiness :
This he shall do for joy when I am King.
Then fight, brave Captains, that these joys may fly
Into your bosoms with sweet victory.

The snuffers now submitted to notice are
superior in design and workmanship to
those found in Dorsetshire. The latter
seem of earlier date, and they divide in the
middle of the upper as well as the lower
part, but in one respect both pairs are
alike they are each "in shape like a
heart," and they each terminate in a point
formed exactly in the manner shown by the
present engraving. The print likewise shows
that the box of the snuffers bears a boldly
chased winged head of Mercury, who had
more employments and occupations than
any other of the ancient deities. Whether
as the director of theft, as the conductor of Proclaim'd thro' Hebron King of Israel;
the departed to their final destination, as an
interpreter to enlighten, or as an office-
bearer constantly in requisition, the portrait
of Mercury is a symbol appropriate to the
implement before us. The engraving shows
the exact size of the instrument, and the pre-
sent appearance of the chasing, which is in
bold relief, and was, originally, very elegant.

These snuffers are plain on the underside, and made without legs. They were

Absalon, triumphant.

Absalon. First Absalon was by the trumpet's sound

And now is set in fair Jerusalem
With complete state and glory of a crown.
Fifty fair footmen by my chariot run;
And to the air, whose rupture rings my fame,
Wheree'er I ride, they offer reverence.
Why should not Absalon, that in his face
Carries the final purpose of his God,
(That is, to work him grace in Israel),

Jove, for Jehovah.

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Alvida. Ladies, go sit you down amidst this bower, And let the Eunuchs play you all asleep: Put garlands made of roses on your heads, And play the wantons, whilst I talk awhile.

Ladies. Thou beautiful of all the world, we will (Exeunt.)

Alvida. King of Cilicia, kind and courteous; Like to thyself, because a lovely King;

Come lay thee down upon thy Mistress' knee,

And I will sing and talk of Love to thee.

Cilicia. Most gracions Paragon of excellence,

It fits not such an abject wretch as I

To talk with Rasni's Paramour and Love.

Alvida. To talk, sweet friend! who would not talk

with thee?

Oh be not cry: art thou not only fair?

Come twine thine arms about this snow-whit

A love-nest for the Great Assyrian King.
Blushing I tell thee, fair Cilician Prince.
None but thyself can merit such a grace.

Cilica. Madam, I hope you mean not for to mock me.
Aivida. No, King, fair King, my meaning is to yoke


Hear me but sing of Love: then by my sighs,
My tears, my glancing looks, m.y changed cheer,
Thou shalt perceive how I do hold thee dear.

Cilicia. Sing, Madam, if you please; but love in jest.
Alvida. Nay, I will love, and sigh at every jest.
(She sings.)

Beauty, alas! where wast thou born,
Thus to hold thyself in scorn,
When as Beauty kiss'd to wooe thee?
Thou by Beauty dost undo me.
Heigho, despise me not.

I and thou in sooth are one,
Fairer thou, I fairer none :
Wanton thou; and wilt thou, wanton,
Yield a cruel heart to plant on?
Do me right, and do me reason;
Cruelty is cursed treason.

Heigho, I love; Heigho, I love;
Heigho, and yet he eyes me not.
Cilicia. Madam your Song is passing passionate.

Alvida. And wilt thou then not pity my estate ? Cilicia. Ask love of them who pity may impart. Alvida. I ask of thee, sweet; thou hast stole my


Cilicia. Your love is fixed on a greater King. Alvida Tut, women's iove-it is a fickle thing. I love my Rasni for my dignity:

I love Cilician King for his sweet eye.

I love my Rasni, since he rules the worid:

But more I love this Kingly little world.
How sweet he looks !-O were I Cynthia's sphere,
And thou Endymion, I should hold thee dear:
Thus should mine arms be spread about thy neck,
Thus would I kiss my Love at every beck.
Thus would I sigh to see thee sweetly sleep;
And if thou wak'st not soon, thus would I weep:

And thus, and thus, and thus: thus much I love thee.

[From "Tethys' Festival," by Samuel Daniel, 1610.]

Song at a Court Masque
Are they shadows that we see
And can shadows pleasure give?—
Pleasures only shadows be,
Cast by bodies we conceive;
And are made the things we deem
in those figures which they seem.-
But these pleasures vanish fast,
Which by shadows are exprest:~-
Pleasures are not, if they last;
In their passing is their best.
Glory is most bright and gay
In a flash, and so away.
Feed apace then, greedy eyes,
On the wonder you behold;
Take it sudden as it flies,
Tho' you take it not to hold:
When your eyes have done their part,
Thought must lengthen it in the heart.

C. L.

Scylla and Charybdis.


Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdis. This Latin verse, which has become proverbial, is thus translated :

He falls on Scylla, who Charybdis shuns.

The line has been ascribed to Ovid; it is not, however, in that or any other classic poet, but has been derived from Philippe Gualtier, a modern French writer of Latin verses. Charybdis is a whirlpool in the straits of Messina, on the coast of Sicily, opposite to Scylla, a dangerous rock on the coast of Italy. The danger to which mariners were exposed by the whirlpool is thus

described by Homer in Pope's transla- about with great rapidity, without obeying


Dire Scylla there a scene of horror forms,

And here Charybdis fills the deep with storms;
When the tide rushes from her rumbling caves,
The rough rock roars; tumultuous boil the waves:
They toss, they foam, a wild confusion raise,
Like waters bubbling o'er the fiery blaze:
Eternal mists obscure the aerial plain,

And high above the rock she spouts the main.
When in her gulfs the rushing sea subsides,
She drains the ocean with the refuent tides,
The rock rebellows with a thundering sound;
Deep, wondrous deep, below appears the ground.

He says,

the helm in the smallest degree. When the
weather is calm, there is little danger; but
when the waves meet with this violent cur-
rent, it makes a dreadful sea.
there were five ships wrecked in this spot
last winter. We observed that the current
set exactly for the rock of Scylla, and
would infallibly have carried any thing
thrown into it against that point; so that it
was not without reason the ancients have
painted it as an object of such terror.
is about a mile from the entry of the Faro,
and forms a small promontory, which runs
a little out to sea, and meets the whole

Virgil imagines the origin of this terrific force of the waters, as they come out of the


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May 19, 1770. Found ourselves within half a mile of the coast of Sicily, which is low, but finely variegated. The opposite coast of Calabria is very high, and the mountains are covered with the finest ver

dure. It was almost a dead calm, our ship scarce moving half a mile in an hour, so that we had time to get a complete view of the famous rock of Scylla, on the Calabrian side, Cape Pylorus on the Sicilian, and the celebrated Straits of the Faro that runs between them. Whilst we were still some miles distant from the entry of the Straits, we heard the roaring of the current, like the noise of some large impetuous river confined between narrow banks. This increased in proportion as we advanced, till we saw the water in many places raised to a considerable height, and forming large eddies or whirlpools. The sea in every other place was as smooth as glass. Our old pilot told us, that he had often seen ships caught in these eddies, and whirled

• Bourn's Gazetteer.

narrowest part of the Straits. The head of this promontory is the famous Scylla. It must be owned that it does not altogether come up to the formidable description that Homer gives of it; the reading of which (like that of Shakspeare's Cliff) almost makes one's head giddy. Neither is the passage so wondrous narrow and difficult as he makes it. Indeed it is probable that the breadth of it is greatly increased since his time, by the violent impetuosity of the current. And this violence too must have always diminished, in proportion as the breadth of the channel increased.

Our pilot says, there are many small rocks that show their heads near the base of the large ones. These are probably the dogs that are described as howling round the monster Scylla. There are likewise of the water, and tend still to increase the many caverns that add greatly to the noise horror of the scene. The rock is near two hundred feet high. There is a kind of castle or fort built on its summit; and the town of Scylla, or Sciglio, containing three

or four hundred inhabitants, stands on its

south side, and gives the title of prince to a Calabrese family.


The harbour of Messina is formed by a off from the east end of the city, and sepasmall promontory or neck of land that runs rates that beautiful basin from the rest of the Straits. The shape of this promontory is that of a reaping-hook, the curvature of which forms the harbour, and secures it from all winds. From the striking resemblance of its form, the Greeks, who never gave a name that did not either describe the object or express some of its most remarkable properties, called this place Zancle, or the Sickle, and feigned that the sickle of Saturn fell on this spot, and gave it its form. But the Latins, who were not quite so fond

of fable, changed its name to Messina, (from Messis, a harvest,) because of the great fertility of its fields. It is certainly one of the safest harbours in the world after ships have got in; but it is likewise one of the most difficult access. The celebrated gulf or whirlpool of Charybdis lies near to its entry, and often occasions such an intestine and irregular motion in the water, that the helm loses most of its power, and ships have great difficulty to get in, even with the fairest wind that can blow. This whirlpool, I think, is probably formed by the small promontory I have mentioned; which contracting the Straits in this spot, must necessarily increase the velocity of the current; but no doubt other causes, of which we are ignorant, concur, for this will by no means account for all the appearances which it has produced. The great noise occasioned by the tumultuous motion of the waters in this place, made the ancients liken it to a voracious sea-monster perpetually roaring for its prey; and it has been represented by their authors, as the most tremendous passage in the world. Aristotle gives a long and a formidable description of it in his 125th chapter De Admirandis, which I find translated in an old Sicilian book I have got here. It begins, "Adeo profundum, horridumque spectaculum, &c." but it is too long to transcribe. It is likewise described by Homer, 12th of the Odyssey; Virgil, 3d Æneid; Lucretius, Ovid, Sallust, Seneca, as also by many of the old Italian and Sicilian poets, who all speak of it in terms of horror; and represent it as an object that inspired terror, even when looked on at a distance. It certainly is not now so formidable; and very probably, the violence of this motion, continued for so many ages, has by degrees worn smooth the rugged rocks and jutting shelves, that may have intercepted and confined the waters. The breadth of the Straits too, in this place, I make no doubt is considerably enlarged. Indeed, from the nature of things it must be so; the perpetual friction occasioned by the current must wear away the bank on each side, and enlarge the bed of the water. The vessels in this passage were obliged to go as near as possible to the coast of Calabria, in order to avoid the suction occasioned by the whirling of the waters in this vortex; by which means when they came to the narrowest and most rapid part of the Straits, betwixt Cape Pelorus and Scylla, they were in great danger of being carried upon that rock. From whence the proverb, still applied to those, who in attempting to avoid one evil fall into another.

There is a fine fountain of white marble on the key, representing Neptune holding Scylla and Charybdis chained, under the emblematical figures of two sea-monsters, as represented by the poets.

The little neck of land, forming the harbour of Messina, is strongly fortified. The citadel, which is indeed a very fine work is built on that part which connects it with the main land. The farthermost point, which runs out to sea, is defended by four small forts, which command the entry into the harbour. Betwixt these lie the lazaret, and a lighthouse to warn sailors of their approach to Charybdis, as that other on Cape Pelorus is intended to give them notice of Scylla.

It is probably from these lighthouses (by the Greeks called Pharoi) that the whole of this celebrated Strait has been denominated the Faro of Messina.

According to Brydone, the hazard to sailors was less in his time than the Nestor of song, and the poet of the Æneid, had depicted in theirs. In 1824, Capt. W. II. Smyth, to whom a survey of the coast of Sicily was intrusted by the lords of the Admiralty, published a " Memoir" in 1824, with the latest and most authentic accounts of these celebrated classic spots-viz.:


As the breadth across this celebrated strait has been so often disputed, I particularly state, that the Faro Tower is exactly six thousand and forty-seven English yards from that classical bugbear, the Rock of Scylla, which, by poetical fiction, has been depicted in such terrific colours, and to describe the horrors of which, Phalerion, a painter, celebrated for his nervous representation of the awful and the tremendous, exerted his whole talent. But the flights of poetry can seldom bear to be shackled by homely truth, and if we are to receive the fine imagery, that places the summit of this rock in clouds brooding eternal mists and tempests-that represents it as inaccessible, even to a man provided with twenty hands and twenty feet, and immerses its base among ravenous sea-dogs;-why not also receive the whole circle of mytho logical dogmas of Homer, who, though so frequently dragged forth as an authority in history, theology, surgery, and geography, ought in justice to be read only as a poet. In the writings of so exquisite a bard, we must not expect to find all his representations strictly confined to a mere accurate

narration of facts. Moderns of intelligence, in visiting this spot, have gratified their imaginations, already heated by such de scriptions as the escape of the Argonauts, and the disasters of Ulysses, with fancying it the scourge of seamen, and that in a gale its caverns 'roar like dogs;' but I, as a sailor, never perceived any difference between the effect of the surges here, and on any other coast, yet I have frequently watched it closely in bad weather. It is now, as I presume it ever was, a common rock, of bold approach, a little worn at its base, and surmounted by a castle, with a sandy bay on each side. The one on the south side is memorable for the disaster that happened there during the dreadful earthquake of 1783, when an overwhelming wave (supposed to have been occasioned by the fall of part of a promontory into the sea) rushed up the beach, and, in its retreat, bore away with it upwards of two thousand people.


Outside the tongue of land, or Braccio di St. Rainiere, that forms the harbour of Messina, lies the Galofaro, or celebrated vortex of Charybdis, which has, with more reason than Scylla, been clothed with terrors by the writers of antiquity. To the undecked boats of the Rhegians, Locrians, Zancleans, and Greeks, it must have been formidable; for, even in the present day, small craft are sometimes endangered by it, and I have seen several men-of-war, and even a seventy four gun ship, whirled round on its surface; but, by using due caution, there is generally very little danger or inconvenience to be apprehended. It appears to be an agitated water, of from seventy to ninety fathoms in depth, circling in quick eddies. It is owing probably to the meeting of the harbour and lateral currents with the main one, the latter being forced over in this direction by the opposite point of Pezzo. This agrees in some measure with the relation of Thucydides, who calls it a violent reciprocation of the Tyrrhene and Sicilian seas; and he is the only writer of remote antiquity I remember to have read, who has assigned this danger its true situation, and not exaggerated its effects. Many wonderful stories are told respecting this vortex, particularly some said to have been related by the celebrated diver, Colas, who lost his life here. I have never found reason, however, during my examination of this spot, to believe one of them.

For the Table Book. A FRAGMENT.


One daye when tired with worldly toil,
Upp to the Olympian mounte

I sped, as from soul-cankering care,
Had ever been my wonte;
And there the gods assembled alle
I founde, O strange to tell!
Chaffering, like chapmen, and around

The wares they had to sell.
Eache god had sample of his goodes,
Which he displaied on high;

And cried, "How lack ye?" "What's y're neede ?"
To every passer by.

Quoth I, "What have you here to sell?

To purchase being inclined;"

Said one,

"We've art and science here,

And every gifte of minde."

"What coin is current here?" I asked,

Spoke Hermes in a trice,

Industrie, perseverence, toile,
And life the highest price."

I saw Apollo, and went on,
Liking his wares of olde;

"Come buy," said he, "this lyre of mine

I'll pledge it sterling golde;

This is the sample of its worthe,

'Tis cheape at life, come buy!" So saying, he drew olde Homer forth, And placed him 'neath my eye.

I turn'd aside, where in a row

Smalle bales high piled up stood; Tyed rounde with golden threades of life. And eache inscribed with blood, "Travell to far and foreign landes;"

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"The knowledge of the sea;" "Alle beastes, and birdes, and creeping thinges, And heaven's immensity;" "Unshaken faithe when alle men change,"

"The patriot's holy heart;" "The might of woman's love to stay

When alle besides departe."

I ne saw things soe strange of forme,
Their names I might not knowe,
Unlike aught either in heaven or earthe,
Or in the deeps below;
Then Hermes to my thoughte replied,

"Strange as these thinges appeare,
Gigantic power, the mighte of arte
And science are laide here;
Yeare after yeare of toile and thoughte

Can buy these stores alone;
Yet boughte, how neare the gods is man,
What knowledge is made known
The power and nature of all thinges,
Fire, aire, and earthe, and flood,
Known and made subject to man's will
For evill or for good."

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