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494
New Volcanic Island near Sicily.

[Dec. I believe, raised by goatherds for fear is entertained, that if it does, the shelter during the day; and here I poor starving and wretched beings was glad to sit down for half an hour, who compose the great majority of and take something to eat and drink. the population, must fall victims to it. The object in travelling by night is to The strictest precautions are, however, be on the summit by sun-rise. The observed to ward it off; and the Goascent is 18 English miles ; in some vernment have it in contemplation to parts very steep and very laborious, prohibit vessels that have recently left as one has to walk for about four places visited by the dangerous mamiles over frozen snow, which takes lady, from at all entering the ports. two hours and a half to accomplish. There is some rumour afloat of my Having passed the snow, the ground regiment returning to England. I becomes soft and yielding, into which shall not be sorry to quit this little the foot sinks over the ankles; and dungeon, as I may fairly term it, if the cold is so severe that persons, even the larye islands be, what I have heard in Midsummer, have been known to they are, at best but gaols. lose the use of some of their limbs. However, at a quarter before five in Mr. Urban, the morning, I got to the top, and in THE following Letter was sent to a about fifteen minutes the sun rose, lady on occasion of a public hoax, and my object was gained. It was a performed on the credulity or increa clear bright morning, and conse- dulity of the lounging population at quently I had as splendid a view as Brighton,-before Brighton had grown the Emperor Adrian and Plato (who, up to its present monstrous enormity. we are told, visited this crater at sun- As it contains an entirely new history rise,) could have enjoyed. I got back of the inventor of the long-renowned to Nicolosi about 11.

Bottle-conjuror, it is possible you may While writing of volcanos, I must find it amusing.

X. X. inform you of an extraordinary one, which I recently went from hence to Dear Madam,- Were you survisit, and which had risen up from prised that the man who announced the bed of the sea about three months that he should walk on the sea from the previously. The sea was known, prior East to the West Cliff at Brighton, and to this event, to be 140 fathoms deep, fixed the hour, never made his appear. and the island itself was about 200 ance ? And as he said no more on the feet above the level of the sea when I subject, you conclude that his cynical visited it about six weeks since, mak- gratification terminated in walking ing together 1040 feet from the bot

among the myriads which he had coltom of the ocean. It is situated be- lected on the shores. The affair of tween Africa and Sicily, and must the Bottle-conjuror is again revived, have sprung up in the course of a and you wish me to inform you of the few hours, as ships are constantly history of a memorable person, who. passing, and it was instantly noticed. ever he was, and who appears to be It was not very active when I landed as little known as the illustrious Juon it, but a few days before, it was nius. Foreigners have often pointed seen to throw up fire, lava, and dense their sarcasms at us, for what they smoke, to the height of 1000 feet, choose to imagine as an evidence of which fell down in streams somewhat our popular credulity. Half a cenlike the overflowing water of a foun- tury has not sufficed to pass into ob. tain's vase. It is thought it must soon livion the folly of a single evening. disappear, as it has almost ceased to This hoax, as we now call it, or work or throw up maiter, and the bite as it was at the time, has been waves beating on it, easily wash away usually considered to have been one the soft pulverized stuff of which it of the follies of certain noble humour. appears to be wholly composed. It ists of the day; but to have practised may be driven out of sight, but when the joke, they must have confederated under the surface of the water, it can- with others of humbler rank. To renot be much more reduced, and will move from themselves the grossness remain a dangerous obstacle in the of the public offence, it was alleged way of ships.

that the whole had simply originated We are in expectation of the cholera in a considerable wager, without any reaching our lonely isles, and great design to swindle the audience, who

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1831.]
History of the Bottle Conjuror.

495 it was imagined would not be nume- in his council who persisted to adrous. But as the money taken at the vance. Spies in the situation of our door had been securely carried off, it Captain often flatter themselves with was evident that some of the confede- a presumed success, which in reality rates had acted for a purpose more happened by other means than their obvious than to gain a wager for a contrivances; and then follow comhare-brained Duke or Earl, in which plaints of unrequited services, and they could little if at all participate. finally of neglect, as does our present

The real person with whom this adventurer. trial of ludicrous curiosity originated, What seems less unlikely is, his ashas never been ascertained, though sertion at page 244, that he was the strong suspicions rest on the witty identical projector of the Bottle-ConChesterfield, and a wild humourist, juror. For the accuracy of his narrathe Duke of Montagu, who married tive of that almost recent event, he his mad Duchess under the character appeals to some who were his assistand in the costume of the Emperor of ants, and moreover to his own notoChina.

riety, being universally reputed as that A few years after, when “

the over

man in Ireland. To this egregious flowing” and it may be added “the honour he seems to me to have subbrilliant audience,” (for the boxes and stantiated his claim, by furnishing the stage were crowded with nobility more than one specimen of his invenas well as the house) could join in the tive adroitness at raising popular delulaugh against themselves, the affair, sions ;-schemes which, though more then like a wasp which had lost its ingenious than the bolder incident, yet sting, could be safely played with, the Bite” being less preposterous, and a man was no longer in peril by seem to have passed away with other making a public confession that he fugitive occurrences. was the Bottle-Conjuror.

While the enraged audience were Such an one appeared in a Captain dismantling the theatre, and the mob Dudley Bradstreet, and should he not rushing in, were making a bonfire of have been the actual Bottle-Conjuror, the ruins, Bradstreet and his two conat least it would be difficult to find federates at supper were sharing the another who could urge equal claims. three hundred guineas, the produce of

Captain Bradstreet was an Irish that evening's entertainment. adventurer, not destitute of fortune Elated by the unhappy success of and family, who in 1755 published this scheme, the audacious ingenuity his Autobiography in Dublin, a pe- of this singular projector raised up riod not later than six years after the another, in which the same confederenowned feat. His subscribers in- rates would act no unwilling parts. clude many names of his distinguished It was to be supposed that the pubcountrymen; and there is an air of au- lic credulity was quite extinct after thenticity, for the names of his em- the recent non-appearance ; but Bradployers are often introduced.

street knew how to touch the infirIn the free narrative of his reckless mity of man; the passions are never inventions, some incidents have a extinct. levelled his invention at breadth rather suspicious, and some the good citizens of London, and at a warmth rather indelicate. He was once roused their two darling passions a joyous spirit of the Liffy. In 1745, -politics and epicurism. being then a crony of the Duke of Now, “all well-wishers to old EngMontagu, at a moment's notice, he land were invited by the newspapers was urged to sally forth on a great to dinner at the Ship in Chanceryand hazardous office,-it was no less lane, and at Old Lebeck in the Strand.” than that of a spy in the enemy's The bills of fare for inspection, and camp. The Captain passed over to the dinner tickets for sale, were left the Pretender's army at Derby, offer- at the taverns. A crown a-head was ed his treacherous services, and by his the amazing low price, including sinister counsels and fictitious repre- much wine as should be called for," sentations, was the real occasion of at this city-feast. the Pretender's unexpected and sud- People at first were chary,—no purden retreat. His statement will seem chasers of tickets ! Frequent adverdoubtful, if we trust other accounts, tisements induced some curious souls that the Pretender was the only one to steal to the taverns; they witness

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496

History of Bottle Conjurors. . ed magnificent preparations, and con. whole week, watching the busy prened the delicious columns of the carte. parations up to the last day the They learned that the King's cabinet doors and windows closed, nothing maker was employed for the decora- remained but the tiny criminals nodtions of the apartments; the Prince of ding from the two quart bottles. Wales's wine-merchant was the pur- “I forgive the Bottle-Conjuror,” said veyor of the wines ; and the famous one, “though this be the second time cook of Count Munich presided, and that he has bit me,-twitted as I have actually furnished the bills of fare. been for having gone to the Haymar

The inquirers into the object of the ket, I have now the satisfaction of meeting received their usual answer, deciding on the superior judgment of " that at that dinner they would learn the other wiseacres, who, appealing who is to rule the roast.

to their dinner-tiekets, assumed that The confederates divided themselves there could be no imposition in a good about town, and insinuated themselves dinner at a crown.” into public meetings in the country ;

When the bubble was blown up, coffee-houses debated, and families persons would quarrel about the quarrelled. All cautious reckoners shades of their sagacity,—the ifs and proved that the five shillings' banquet the buts of their qualified opinions. was ruinous to its providers. But *A ticket-dinner" for some time conthen the rumour ran that

there was

tinued a term in vogue for a Bite ; and a great deal more meant by it than the we are further told, that many in Lonpublic knew.” Another report spread don, on these and one or two minor that “honest men had been too long delusions or disappointments, went kept from shuffling the cards, because from one extreme to another, which they would turn out the knaves from was to believe nothing they heard, but the kings.” It was now generally suspect deception in every thing. understood that “all the business of It might be a question to resolve, the nation was to be settled at the whether such a system, turning endinner, which the Lord of Oxford well tirely on popular delusion, could be knew.

practised on the public of the present The awful Wednesday now ap- day? I would neither affirm nor deny proached. Persons inquired of their the possibility. Some more recent friends whether they meant to get a instances might be cited, which exhidinner-ticket? No one confessed! bit the same prurient love of the Their curiosity was now famished, - wonderful. In 1749 the higher classes the bait was to their taste,-they had of society showed themselves as prone faith in Count Munich's cook, and the as the middle order in flocking to the dinner-tickets were more and more in first egregious hoax ; . and not long request, though it was observed that after, the second proved not less sucpersons mostly called in the dusk of cessful, though practised on a graver the evening, wary and secretly. and more calculating race, the citizens

Late in the night preceding the din- of London. ner, the confederates discharged the Yet let us honestly vindicate an inservants they had hired, and paid firmity bordering on a virtue. Cuthem liberally from the produce of riosity after extraordinary or myste1736 crowns. Moreover they got two rious circumstances, is a passion imquart bottles, and into the mouths of planted in man; it is the germ of all each they stuck two pantomimic fi- knowledge. In the present case the gures, men in miniature, which show- people were laughed at. Yet, in fact, ed to the eyes of all how it was possi. the people were more curious than ble that some men might be crammed credulous. Could any one suppose into quarts. These two personages that a man should leap into a quart were fastened on the doors of each ta. bottle; or that a magnificent feast for vern, and in large capitals in chalk, a a crown should be given to the public? label from their lips informed the No one believed these things possible; holders of the dinner-tickets, “ You but they felt an itching want to know are all bottled, by G—!"

how the parties were to extricate On the morning—but who shall themselves from their dilemma. The describe the merriment of the town, impostor, however ingenious, did not and the consternation of those who find it so difficult to impose on the had whetted their appetites during the town as it might seem, Trish spirits

1831.) Church of Manning ford Bruce, Wilts.

497 and dashing hardihood accomplished Christianity was first introduced into the feat twice !—“None but himself France to any extent by the baptism could be his parallel !” X, X. of Clovis. A contemporary writer,

Gregory of Tours, has furnished us

with a very accurate description of Mr. URBAN,

Nov. 25.

the then prevailing plan, which will The Church OF MANNINGFORD apply to all churches of the class of BRUCE in Wiltshire is one of the few which I am speaking, and among them specimens existing in this country of to that of Manningford Bruce. De churches erected shortly after the Con- Caumont after him has thus described quest. It is nevertheless the prevail. them : “ They were oblong, with a ing model of the small country churches circular east end; and sometimes in in Normandy, and originally took its the form of a cross; but this was only peculiar form from the Roman Basic in the more sumptuous edifices.—The licæ.* Thus it continued, with very windows were round-headed; in short little variation of plan, for about five every part was an imitation more or hundred years from the time when less of the Roman architecture.”

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Now this will give an excellent idea seems to have been transferred to the of the Church before us. The body south, and a modern porch has been is in the form of an oblong. To added to it. It was originally lighted the east of this is the chancel, nar- by four windows only, narrow and rower than the body, with a circular round-headed, but widening in the termination or apsis. † There are traces inside, so as to double their exterior of a doorway in the north wall, but it dimensions, which are not quite two

feet: two were in the body and two * Around the forum at Rome, and at the in the chancel. A pointed window, principal stations in the provinces, were with the mullion and tracery, has built spacious halls, called Basilicæ, where

been inserted in the place of the orithe courts of justice might sit, and other public l us ness might be transacted. The ginal one in the south wall of the tribunal, which indeed was the chief part of body, and another in the south wall

of the chancel. A pointed window has the building, being the place in which the

also been inserted in the west end of prætor sat, was of stone, and semicircular. (Vitruv. 5, 1.) They were afterwards con

the Church. They must be nearly verted into Christian churches. (Ath. iv. 26.) 250 years later than the others. t 'Ayis vel 'Afis, connexio, finis, liga

I could discover no Norman ornapeus rotæ circulus. Lexicon.

ments of any kind, and the rectanguGENT. Mag. December, 1831.

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498 Threatened Destruction of Crosby Hall, London. [Dec. lar piers, which support the circular national antiquities of the State.* In arch between the body and the chan- our own country such treasures are cel, are surmounted by the simplest either allowed to moulder under the of mouldings. The timbers of the roof hand of time, or fall a sacrifice to the were open to the Church, till within ignorance of any mercenary propriethe last thirty years; but they are now tor. Within a few years what a cataconcealed by a fiat unornamented ceil- logue of dilapidated or destroyed building, which materially increases the ings of antiquity, has accumulated in comfort of the Church, without greatly your pages! In some instances, perinterfering with its general character ; haps, the sacrifice might be palliated ; yet still the antiquary must lament, as in others, it was needless and unnein the transepts of Winchester, that he

cessary; and only in the instances of is shut out from a view of the timbers Henry VII.'s Chapel and Eltham Paand beams, which have stood for so lace, has the hand of the Government many ages. The wall is of rubble, been raised to arrest the devastations with corners of square stone; over of Time. the west end is a modern belfry of The present letter is intended to wood.

bring into notice the precarious situaThe dimensions, taken externally, tion of all that remains of that once are as follow. The nave; length, 40 celebrated residence Crosby Hall, near feet 4 inches; breadth, 25 ft. 3 in.; Bishopsgate-street, which is now adheight, 18 ft. 6 in. The chancel; vertised to let upon a building or relength, 25 ft. 5 in. ; breadth, 22 ft. 7 pairing lease. in.; height, 16 ft. The total length This once elegant building, the only is 65 feet 9 inches.

considerable relic of the ancient domesI have been so far particular in my tic splendour of the Metropolis, has long description of this Church, as it may been an object of interest, not only to be esteemed rather a rarity in Eng. those who regard it as one of the anland, and because all of this class so tiquities of London, but even to the closely resemble each other, that one casual spectator, who might be drawn may suffice for the whole. Checken- by business or curiosity to visit it. den Church in Oxfordshire, and Past. Though the interior was seen under lip in Gloucestershire, are of this pe- the disadvantages attendant on its riod, or rather later, as may be reason- conversion to a packer's warehouse, ably inferred from the Norman orna- and encumbered with floors set up for ments carved on the doorways.

the convenience of the occupant, there In Manningford Church, at the end were few, I add, even of the latter of the chancel, there is a curious mo- class of spectators who were not imnument to the memory of Mrs. Lane, pressed with admiration at the beauty who materially assisted in the escape of its elaborately decorated ceiling.of Charles II. after the battle of Wor- To the tasteful architect, to the anticester. *

H. quarian spectator, to any one capable

of viewing its many beauties with a Mr. URBAN,

Dec. 5.

critical eye, it is a perfect treat. The

ceiling of oak which covered this noble I KNOW not how far I am justified room, differed from the class to which by fact, in saying that in France a commission is appointed under the and Gray's-inn belong, in regard of the

Westminster, the Temple, Lambeth, sanction of the Government, for the main timbers of the roof being conpreservation of the national antiqui. cealed by an inner ceiling, whereas in ties of that country; but I recollect

those buildings the rafters and princireading something to that effect in pals were left naked, and being richly the periodical press : I have, however, better authority in saying, that is seldom met with in modern archi.

and tastefully decorated, showed what in the state of Hesse Darmstadt, the Ducal Board of Works was ordered by the ornamental. I can shortly de

tecture, an union of the useful with a proclamation of the Grand Duke in

scribe it as a coved ceiling, the sec1818, to take under its protection the

* Essay on the Origin and Progress of * If this has not been published, its com- Gothic Architecture, by Dr. George Moller, munication would be esteemed a favour.. first architect to the Grand Duke of Hesse, Edit.

&c.

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