Imatges de pÓgina

be too enthusiastic. To-morrow we shall noon in Fleet-street, to see the wooden see him better as he is.”

giants on the tower of old St. Dunstan's * Well, well, my love!" said Miss Martha, church strike the hour with their clubs. “ I am not going to bother you. Let us I remember when Trafalgar-square and its now get into bed.”

sculptural atrocities had no existence, and But as May went into her bedroom she when the King's Mews stood on the site thought of Katherine. And she remem of the National Gallery. I remember when bered that for some hours she had forgotten members of the Houses of Lords and to pity Paul.

Commons did not think it beneath their dignity to fight duels, and when the late

John Black of the late Morning Chronicle FEATHERS AND IRON.

challenged the still living Mr. Roebuck to

settle, or attempt to settle, a personal I am on the sunny side of fifty-five; not quarrel, arising out of a political discussion, that the fact is of the slightest importance by the same illogical method. I remembe to any one but myself and my friends; when the rate of postage varied according but I mention it to show how compara- to distance, and when a letter to the Land's tively young a man may be, who re- End or John o' Groat's House was charged members things that to those who have two shillings or half a crown for conveynot yet arrived at middle age might seem ance; and when people well to do in the to reach into a remote antiquity. I re- world, rather than pay such a rate, gave member old London Bridge. I remember themselves a vast deal of trouble to hunt shooting the particularly dangerous arch up members of parliament to badger or in a wherry. I remember the Thames coax them out of their signatures, which, watermen, with their badges and their written on the corner of letters, franked the quaint medieval costume. I remember documents to any part of the British Isles. when there was neither a cab nor an omni. I remember when the only pen that man, bus plying for hire in the streets of London, woman, or child could write with was the and when the lumbering old vehicles called goose-quill

, or the more delicate wing hackney-coaches, with two horses, did feathers of the crow; when pen-mending heavily and expensively the duty now per- was an art and an accomplishment that formed lightly and cheaply by the hansom. employed much time, and needed much I remember the wretched old watchmen, patience on the part of the inexpert or the or “Charlies,” who crawled along the hasty. I need scarcely add that I restreets at night from twilight until dawn, member the old mail-coaches, with their and called out the hour and the state of jaunty red-coated drivers and guards clad the weather and the moon, and who when in the royal livery, and their gallant, almost off their beats took refuge in crazy old triumphant departure every evening from sentry-boxes, set up for their use by the Lombard-street and St. Martin's-le-Grand, parishes that employed them, and which in days when railways, though spoken of it was the especial glory and pleasure of and recommended by the far-seeing few, the fast young men of the day to over- were condemned by the short-seeing many set and carry off

. I remember the time as very dangerous experiments, and when when flint, steel, and tinder-box afforded the agency of electricity for the conveyance the only available means of procuring of messages was utterly unsuspected, except a light or a fire, unless by borrowing by a poet or a stray visionary or two. As from a fire or a light already kindled. I for the old semaphore, that worked its remember the first feeble attempt at the ungainly arms on the top of the ugly old lucifer-match, when the match, instead Admiralty at Whitehall, to signal its fellow of being drawn over a rough surface to at Greenwich, it seems but yesterday that, be ignited, had to be dipped into a its vocation being gone, it was removed little bottle or phial, which you kept in from its airy eminence, perhaps to be preyour waistcoat-pocket. I remember when served as a relic of the past, or more prosnuffers were indispensable to the burning bably to be chopped up for firewood. of candles, when women wore patteps in The men to whom the world is indebted bad weather, and goloshes were things un- for inland and ocean telegraphy and for the known, and india-rubber, of which they are penny post, still live, and long may they now made, was only used for rubbing out flourish to receive the gratitude of their pencil-marks from paper. I remember the countrymen! He to whom we owe the crowds that used to collect every day at apparently little, but in reality great, boon

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of the steel pen, without the aid of which factory—the number which he since emRowland Hill's immense social reformation ployed, the writer cannot undertake to -the penny post-would have been re- specify-and produced between one hunstricted and comparatively valueless, has dred and fifty and two hundred millions of just passed away, having attained the steel pens annually. It would be an inallotted



seventy years, which few teresting little sum in arithmetic, to cal. are permitted to overpass. Joseph Gillott, culate how many geese would have to be of Birmingham, whose pens are known all reared, and fed, and afterwards robbed, over the civilised world, died early in the for the supply of such a vast consumpyear, at the age of seventy-two, in the tion of quills as is represented by Mr. possession of a handsome fortune, which Gillott's figures. When he first began he had accumulated in his business, and to manufacture steel pens, he had great leaving behind him the reputation, not only and manifold difficulties to contend with. of a kindly and upright man, but of the People did not approve of steel pens, and pioneer of a great manufacture and of an would not write with them. Social conintelligent patron of art.

servatives, such as bankers, great merJoseph Gillott did not invent the steel chants, lawyers, authors, and others, would pen, any more than James Watt invented not admit them into their offices or studies, the steam-engine, or George Stephenson looking upon them with as much distrust, the railway. He only did, in his own surprise, and aversion as the domestic peculiar way, what those illustrious men servants and paupers of the present day had done before him; he perfected that look upon that wholesome Australian beef which he found already in existence, but and mutton which they have not learned inchoate and inoperative, and rendered to appreciate. So great and long-continued available and cheap that which before his in certain quarters was the prejudice entertime was either unavailable or costly. The tained against steel pens, that it is recorded steel or iron pen is as old as history, and, of a late master in one of the Superior under its classic name of stylus, was the Courts at Westminster, so recently as eight medium of introducing into modern years ago, that he took so much to heart language that which we call the style the introduction of the objectionable article, or manner of a writer. Not only iron in lieu of the quill, into the sacred precincts and steel, but gold and silver pens were of the Queen's Bench, that he became manufactured for the dainty before the firmly convinced of the approaching and days of Gillott. But all of these were inevitable downfall of British liberty and expensive articles. Gillott was employed the British nation—which he thonght he as a grinder in the manufacture of steel could distinctly trace to this daring and pens, which were made by hand, and sold sacrilegious innovation. The worthy man at the rate of about three shillings and six--like the love-sick lady in the ballad—is

The correspondence of the said to have drooped his head and died, in world—its business, its loves, its friend consequence of this cruel blow, which was ships, and its quarrels-were all carried on aggravated, to his sensitive mind, by the by the aid of the quill, called by the fact that his lordship on the bench, not Germans feder, by the French plume, and only actually used the pernicious impleby ourselves pen, from the Latin penna, a ment, but publicly declared it to be an feather, so that the people of these great improvement upon the time-honoured feanations, unaware of the solecism, inaccu- ther of the goose! This blow was too hard rately and habitually speak of steel fea- to bear, and the good man never entirely thers, whenever they mention those little got over it. implements for the transmission of thought But the unreasonable prejudices of the which the people of this latter half of public, which at this early period of his the nineteenth century are compelled to career were still more formidable, did not

If no substitute for a goose - quill discourage Mr. Gillott. After awhile, had been discovered, it is evident that though in a small way, he introduced the the world could not have maintained a agency of steam into the manufacture, by tithe of its present correspondence, unless which he was speedily enabled to supply geese and other fowls had been bred in ex- a much cheaper and an infinitely better traordinary numbers for the pluckage of article. After a very few years he began their wings. Twenty years ago Mr. Gillott to accumulate wealth, and it was reported employed six hundred girls and young of him that he was fearful of opening a women, besides machinists, in his manu- banking account, lest the fame of his earn.

pence each.



ings should attract rivals into the business, unskilled workers of the softer sex are but kept his sovereigns in earthen jars-as compelled to resort to earn a bare subif they were picklesor sewed them into old sistence. The pen-makers as a rule are stockings, or into the mattress of his bed. well paid, and when out in the streets of By degrees, however, the demand for steel Birmingham in their holiday costumes on pens increased so much that he was unable Sundays or other days of leisure, present to supply it, although he largely extended not alone a highly respectable, but so gay his factories and the number of his work and showy an appearance, as to prove that people. The secret of his wealth and its the prosperity of Birmingham must react sources could be preserved no longer, and very considerably on that of Coventry, rivalry and improvement went hand in Manchester, Derby, and Paisley, and all band, until the steel pens of Birmingham others that grow rich by providing finery became known and approved all over the for the ladies. world. By the time that the penny post The quantity of steel pens annually came into operation in Great Britain, and turned ont of the factories of Birmingham, afterwards in other countries, the steel pen judged by the number produced by the one was ready for the millions of people who firm of Gillott and Company, cannot fall had scarcely ever written letters before, far short of a thousand millions. The and who could not have profited by the actual business of the world in buying and beneficent boon if the goose and the crow selling, and keeping accounts, employs, it had continued to be their only providers. must be supposed, about three-fourths of

A visit to Mr. Gillott's or any other great them-leaving some two hundred and fifty pen factory in the “ toy-shop of the world” millions, or thereabouts, for love and idle(for “toy” in the trade phraseology of ness, for friendship, acquaintance, and poBirmingham is a word that designates not liteness, and last, not least, for literature. only pens, but pins, needles, buckles, cork. What becomes of them all when they are screws, nails, hammers, and

every worn out ?—for the steel pen is too cheap ceivable tool that can be manufactured of to be worth mending. The same question metal), is one of the things which every has been asked about pins and needles, traveller who comes to England from a far and can only receive the one reply : that country must “do," just as he “does” like the men and women who make and Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, use them, they return, when they have Windsor Castle, or the Trosachs. The served their purpose, to the earth from sight is exceedingly interesting, and in which they came ; and out of which cludes a far greater variety of processes than nothing can be taken without ultimate a spectator, previously uninformed, might restoration. imagine. From the unrolling of the finely tempered sheets of steel, not thicker than cardboard—from which the first rude body

ECHO VERSES. of the future pen is pierced by the delicate but all-powerful agency of steam-to the Much ingenuity has been shown by several processes of curving, slitting the rhymesters — some of them not merely nib, polishing, drying, and packing, the little poetasters, but real poets in their hours of implement undergoes a long series of ma- merry relaxation—in the construction of nipulations and transformations. Men are what are designated Echo Verses. These only employed in the care of the engines are lines in which the last word is given and the reparation of the necessary ma- as a question, and the answer to it is the chines by which the several results are same word repeated as an echo; or there obtained. All the rest of the work is may be a group of words so treated, inperformed by women, whose deft fingers stead of a single word; or the echo may be are better suited than those of men for the a sort of corroboration instead of a direct dainty operations required. The work is answer to a question; or it may involve a light-pleasant in itself—and unlike the kind of verbal pun, such as those much labour employed in the manufacture of used in the construction of conundrums. artificial flowers and grasses, and many Some languages lend themselves more others where women and children are em- readily than others to this kind of invenployed, involves no detriment or even tive pleasantry, but examples are to be met danger to the health, while the wages are with in most European tongues. much higher than can be obtained by needle- There is an old Latin echo verse, rather work, or other forlorn occupations to which solemn than humorous in its character, in which mora is echoed by ora, fendo by the second line of each couplet, so as to endo, spero by ero, and solamen by amen. produce repetitions or reverberations, such If skilfully constructed, such verses read as the following : esempio-empio; amori agreeably enough; the echo is really an -mori; mio-io; clamore-amore; dama echo or repetition of the ending of the --ama; viaggio-aggio; profonde-onde; previous word, and not a copy of the entire altramente-mente, &c. word; it is at once a better echo and a l

In the early part of the reign of Charles better rhyme. In most instances, however, the First, a curious translation was pubthe rhymester shuns any very rigid rules of lished of a Latin composition on the right construction. Erasmus wrote a dialogue Course of possessing Life and Health ; toin which the nymph Echo was a good gether with Soundness and Integrity of linguist; she gave her echoing answers in the Senses, Judgment, and Memory. Greek, Latin, or Hebrew, according as the is in the form of a dialogue between exigencies of the rhyme best suited her a glutton and Echo. The reader will at purpose.

once see which is the echo part of each comThe sixteenth century produced many bination, without italics or special notificaspecimens, some written by court fatterers, tion : some by men whose names will not die.

“My belly I do defy."

“ Fie!" In one of the masques represented before Queen Elizabeth during her numerous

“ Who curbs his appetite's a fool.”

“Ah, fool!” progresses, Master Gascoigne holds a con- “ I do not like this abstinence." versation with Echo, in which the illus

“ Hence !" trious sovereign is flattered in a way quite “My joy's a feast, my wish is wine !"

“ Swine!” customary in those days:

“We epicures are happy truly.”

" You lie!” "Well, Echo, tell me yet, How might I come to see

“Who's that which giveth me the lie ?" This comely queen of whom we talk ?

“I!” Oh, were she now by thee !"

“What, Echo, thou that mock’st a voice?” (Echo) “By thee.”

“A voice !" “ By me, oh, were that true,

“May I not, Echo, eat my fill?” Then might I see her face ;

“ Ill!” How might I know her from the rest,

“ Wilt hurt me if I drink too much ?”
Or judge her by her

“Her grace."
“ Well, then, if so mine eyes

“ Thou mock’st me, nymph, I'll not believe it."

" Believe it !” Be such as they have been, Methinks I see among them all

“ Dost thou condemn then what I do ?” This same should be the queen.”

“I do !" “I grant it doth exhaust the purse.".

Worse !" Ben Jonson, about the same time, or somewhat later, made use of the machinery of

"Is't this which dulls the sharpest wit ?”

“ Best wit!" the echo verse in his Cynthia's Revels,

“Is't this which brings infirmities ?” much more gracefully than the poet of the

It is !” above effusion:

“Dost thou no glutton virtuous know ?” " Where

“No!" may I direct my speech that thou may'st hear?”

“Wouldst have me temp'rate till I die ?". “ Here!"

“I!" “So nigh?"

“Shall I therein find ease and pleasure ?" "Aye !"

Yea, sure !" “Nay, but hear

“But here!”
“But is't a thing which profit brings ?"

" It brings !" “ Jove calls thee hence, and his will brooks no stay.” “ To mind or body, or to both ?” O, stay !"

“To both !" “Know you from whom you fly, or whence p!'

“Will it my life on earth prolong P”. “Hence!

“O, long!" “ Make not so fast away.”

“Wilt make me vig'rous until death ?”. Away!"

“ Till death!" Early in the seventeenth century some

“Wilt bring me to eternal bliss?"

“ Yes !” echo verses were published in Italian, under the title of Echo in Versi pari : Cosa molto

“Then sweetest Temperance, I'll love thee.”.

“ I love thee ! bella e sententiosa. The construction is “I'll be a belly god no more.” rather singular. There are forty-nine

“ No more !"

“If all be true which thou dost tell, couplets, or pairs of lines, and the echo

They who fare sparingly fare well." rhymes with the last word or syllable of

“ Farewell!"

grace ?"


“ The queen!"

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During the mutual recriminations be- some real echoes with which we tween the Cavaliers and Roundheads, a familiar: comedy was acted at Cambridge, the savoar

“Echo, tell me while I wander of which is sufficiently denoted by such O'er this fairy plain to prove him, echo verses as the following:

If my shepherd still grows fonder,

Ought I in return to love him ?” "Now, Echo, on what's religion grounded ?"

“Love him, love him!" “ Roundhead !"

“If he loves as is the fashion, "Who its professors most considerable ?"

Should I churlishly forsake him; " Rabble !"

Or in pity to his passion, "How prove they themselves to be the godly P”

Fondly to my bosom take him ?"

Take him, take him!” " How stand they to the government civil?”.

Thy advice, then, I'll adhere to, “ Evil !”

Since in Cupid's chains I've led him,

And with Lubin shall not fear to " But to the king they say they are most loyal ?"

“ Lie all!"

Marry if you answer, ‘Wed him.'

"Wed him, wed him !" " Then God keep king and state from these same men!"

" Amen!"

Later in the century a rhymester brought A few years later, when the fortunes of satire and punning to his aid in an echo Charles the First had become dark and song, which certainly breathes but little of threatening, another royalist echo was put

the pastoral spirit : forth, similar in construction and in senti- “ If I address the Echo yonder, ment to the foregoing :

What will its answer be, I wonder ?”.

“I wonder !” “What wants thou, that thou art in this taking ?”

“A king!

“Oh, wondrous Echo, tell me, bless 'ee,

Am I for marriage or celibacy ?”. * What made him first remove hence his residing?"

Silly Bessy !"
Siding !"

“If then to win the maid I try, · Did any here deny him satisfaction ?”

Shall I find her a property ?” “ Faction !"

“ A proper tie!" * Tell me whereon the strength of faction lies ?"

“If neither being grave nor funny, “On lies!"

Will win this maid to matrimony?" “What didst thou when the king left his parliament ?”

Try money!" “ Lament!"

“If I should try to gain her heart, " What terms wouldst give to gain his company?”

Shall I go plain, or rather smart ?" “Any !"

“ Smart !" “What wouldst thou do if here thou mightst behold “She mayn't love dress, and I, again, then, him po

May come too smart, and she'll complain then." “ Hold him!”

“Come plain then!" "Wouldst thou save him with thy best endeavour?”

“Then if to marry me I tease her, “Ever!” “What will she say if that should please her?"

“Please, sir !" “But if he comes not, what becomes of London ?"

“ Undone !”

“When cross nor good words can appease her,

What if such naughty whims should seize her ?” In the time of the De Witts, when

" You'd see, sir!" politics ran high in Holland, there was a “When wed she'll change, for Love's no sticker, ! sarcastic and satirical echo song which dis

And love her husband less than liquor !"

" Then lick her!" i played much ability ; but the echoes are

"To leave me thus I can't compel her, not easily translatable into English. Some

Though every woman else excel her!” what after the time of those Dutchmen our

Sell her!" Samuel Butler wrote his Hudibras; in which, although regular echo verses do not

In 1807, a bookseller at Nuremberg, occur, there are bits of echo to be met with named Palm, published an echo song, in several passages; as for example :

terribly sarcastic upon the Emperor Napo

leon. Marshal Davoust, who held sway . Quoth he,“Oh whither, wicked Bruin, Art thou fled to my

in Germany at that time, made short work " Ruin !"

of the matter; he tried Palm by military “ Who would grudge to spend his blood in law, and had him shot. A translation of His honour's cause?” Quoth she,

“A pudding !"

it was composed; but, like most translaIn the reign of Queen Anne an echo tions, it fails to give the full spirit of the i song was published, the words of which original. Napoleon is supposed to be hold.

: are attributed to Addison.

It was of the ing a colloquy with Echo

"Alone, I am in this sequester d spot unheard !" | pastoral kind, in which lovers are conven

“ Unheard !" tionally supposed to be shepherds and shep- “S'death! who answers me? What being is there nigh?” berdesses; and the echo is double, like


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