Page images

vulsive cry, instantly expired. So-
rokin, the interpreter drew his sword
to oppose the Queen, and wounded
her severely on the shoulder; Hele-
na, the mother of Maria, being alarm-
ed by the noise, rushed at this
moment into the apartment, and
seeing the blood streaming from
her daughter's wound, clasped her
in her arms, with the eager action
of a parent protecting her child.
Four officers also immediately en-
tered, and in a moment the house
was full of Russian soldiers. The
Queen was dragged from the arms
of her mother, and hurried with
her children into a carriage, which
had been prepared to receive her.
A strong military escort accompanied
the carriage. Every where on the
road the Georgians gave proofs of
their attachment to the Queen, but

the soldiers permitted very few persons to come near her. It was wished to know what the Queen might say to any of the people, or what conversation might pass between her and her children. For this purpose, a Russian, who understood Georgian, was selected to conduct the carriage. This man, on his return to Tiflis, related many affecting anecdotes of the journey. Among the rest the fol lowing:-The young prince Gabriel, only six years old, said, "Mother, why did you kill that officer?" "For your honour, my dear," answered the Queen; to which, the child replied, "Mother, say that I did it, and then the Russians will not harm you."



HE ancient flutes were made of reeds, wood, and metal: they were of great importance in antiquity, and of different sorts, some of which were used in times of mirth, and others in times of mourning. The invention has been given, by poets, to Apollo, Mercury, and Pan. Among the ancients they were called fistula, and sometimes tibia-pipes. Borel says the word flute is derived from fluta, the Latin for a lamprey or small eel, taken in the Sicilian seas, having seven holes immediately below the gills on each side, the precise number of those in the front of the flute. Aristotle tells us, that the flute, after its first invention, was used by mean people and thought an ignoble instrument, unworthy of a freeman, till after the invasion and defeat of the Persians, whose ease, affluence, and luxury, soon rendered its use so common that it was a disgrace to a person of birth not to know how to play upon it. Epaminondas was an able performer on the flute. The Thebans were great performers on this instrument. It ap

On arriving in Russia, the Queen was shut up in a cloister, and thus ended the kingdom of Georgia.


pears that Alcibiades setting up for a fine gentleman, and taking the ut most care of his person, was soon disgusted with the flute, as Minerva herself had been before; for happening to see himself in a mirror while he was playing, he was so shocked at the distortion of his sweet countenance, that he broke his flute in a transport of passion, and threw it away, which brought the instrument into great disgrace among the young people of rank at Athens; however, this disgust did not extend to the sound of the flute itself, since we find by Plutarch, that the great performers upon it continued long after to be much followed and admired. Horace speaks of bands of female flute-players, some of whom existed in his time; they became so common in all private entertainments as well as at public feasts, obtruding their compa ny, &c. unasked, that their profession was regarded as infamous, and utter ly abolished. The most celebrated female flute-player of antiquity was Lamia. Her beauty, wit, and abilities in her profession, made her regarded as


a prodigy. As she was a great traveller, her reputation soon became very extensive; her first journey from Athens, the place of her birth, was into Egypt, whither she was drawn by the fame of the flute-players of that country. Her person and performance were not long unnoticed, at the court of Alexandria; however, in the conflicts between Ptolemy, Soter, and Demetrius, for the island of Cyprus, about 312 B. C., Ptolemy, being defeated in a sea engagement, his wives, domestics, and military stores fell into the hands of Demetrius. Plutarch says, the celebrated Lamia was among the female captives taken in this victory. She had been universally admired at first on account of her talents, for she was a wonderful performer on the flute; but afterwards her fortune became more splendid, by the charms of her person which procured her many admirers of great rank. The prince, whose captive she became, and who, though a successful warrior, was said to have vanquished as many hearts as cities, conceived so violent a passion for Lamia, that from a sovereign and a conqueror he was instantly transformed into a slave, though her beauty was more on the decline, and Demetrius, the handsomest prince of his time, was much younger than herself. At her instigation he conferred such extraordinary benefits upon the Athenians, that they rendered him divine honours, and as an acknowledgment of the influence which she had exercised in their favour, they dedicated a temple to her under the name of "Venus Lamia." Ismenias, the The ban, was one of the most celebrated performers on the flute of antiquity. Having been taken prisoner by Atheas, king of the Scythians, he perform ed on the flute before that rude monarch; but though his attendants were charmed so much that they applauded him with rapture, the king laughed

at their folly, and said that he preferred the neighing of his horse to the flute of this fine musician. He was sent ambassador into Persia, and Lucian says, that he gave three talents, or £581 5s. for a flute at Corinth. Dorien, the celebrated fluteplayer, was a great wit and a great glutton, and was often invited by Philip of Macedon, in order to enliven his parties of pleasure. Having lost a large shoe at a banquet, which he wore on account of his foot being swelled by the gout, "the only harm I wish the thief, (said he,) is, that my shoe may fit him." How great a demand there was for flutes in Athens, may be conceived from a circumstance mentioned by Plutarch, in his life of Isocrates. This orator, says he, was the son of Theodorus, a flute-maker, who acquired wealth sufficient by his employment, not only to educate his children in a liberal manner, but also to bear one of the heaviest public burdens to which an Athenian citizen was liable, that of furnishing a choir or chorus for his tribe or ward, at festivals and religious ceremonies. Each tribe furnished their distinct chorus; which consisted of a band of vocal and instrumental performers, and dancers, who were to be hired, maintained, and dressed during the festival: an expense considerable in itself, but much increased by emulation among the richer citizens, and the disgrace consequent to inferior exhibition. The fluctuations of trade. and public favour have rendered the business of boring flutes far less profitable at present than it was in the time of Theodorus. But then (says a modern writer on this subject) we have had an harpsichord maker in our own country (Kirkman) who died worth £100,000, and who was as able to maintain a choir as Theodorus, or any dean or chapter of a cathedral.


THIS HIS little book is evidently the production of a man of genius. The style is singularly neat, terse, concise and vigorous, far beyond the reach of an ordinary mind; the strain of sentiment is such as does honour to the author's heart; and the observation of human life, by which every page is characterized, speaks a bold, active, and philosophical intellect. As a medical treatise it is excellent-but its merit is as a moral dissertation on the nature, causes and effects of one of the most deplorable and pernicious vices that can degrade and afflict all the ongoings of social life.

It was not likely, that a work of so much spirit and originality should not very soon attract notice; and accordingly, we are pleased, but not at all surprised, to see that it has already reached a second, and a greatly extended and improved edition. It is perfectly free from all quackery and pretension; the writer does not belong to the solemn and stupid Gold-headed-cane School; he writes with much of the animation and vivida vis animi of the late incomparable John Bell; but the character of his style, of his sentiments, and of his opinions, is his own, and his little most entertaining, interesting, and instructive Treatise is stamped from beginning to end with the best of all qualities-originality-of itself enough to hide a multitude of defects, but which is here found allied with uniform sound sense, sagacity and discretion.


"Drunkenness," Dr. Macnish observes, is not like some other vices, peculiar to modern times. It is handed down to us from hoar antiquity; and if the records of the antediluvian era were more complete, we should probably find that it was not unknown to the father of the human race."

Let observation with extensive view survey mankind from China to Peru, and what one single small district of the habitable globe will be found, even on the Sabbath-day, perfectly sober? The possession of unclouded reason to the victims of sin and sorrow would seem to be felt as a curse. Therefore, they extract insanity from flowers and blossoms, bright with the blooms and fresh with the dews of heaven, and drink down their misery into dreamless sleep. True, as Mr. Macnish says, "that drunkenness has varied greatly at different times and among different nations;" but, perhaps, take one country with another, though the spirit of the age has varied, the quantum of the vice has been pretty much the same, drunkard has balanced drunkard, and earth herself continued to reel and stagger on her axis.

[blocks in formation]

The Anatomy of Drunkenness, by Robert Macnish, Member of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Glasgow, 1828.


opposite ones which accompany the succeeding stages of the fit. We know not any where a more vivid and breathing picture. Justice is done to the subject, both on its fairer and darker side, and Truth has guided the pen or pencil at every touch. No moral is drawn, but a moral is there, nevertheless, and amidst all the airy mirth so well described, it sounds like a small, chiming, melancholy knell, foreboding woe and destruction. We once saw a man under sentence of death, (he was to be, and was, executed next morning) under the influence of an enormous quantity of ardent spirits. He had got it smuggled into prison by his wife. He had swallowed about two bottles of rum that day, but though dismal, he was not drunk. Fear and horror kept him sober. His senses were in some measure dazed, but his soul was alive in its agony, and his groans were the ghastliest ever heard out of or in a condemned cell. Among all the confusion of the thoughts within him, one thought was ever uppermost; and he knew in all the dreadful distinctness of reality, always so different from a dream, that he was to be hanged next morning at eight o'clock, and his body given to dissection. He staggered up and down in his chains, and then, 'ever and anon, sat down on the edge of his iron bed, and stared on vacancy with blood-shot eyes, as if he saw the hangman or Satan. The liquor had lost its power over the "heart of the man oppressed with care," and all that it did seemed to be, to bring the gallows nearer to him in the gloom, -to dangle the rope nearer to his throat and eyes, and to show him, like a reality on the stone-floor, his own shell or coffin. His prayers were muttered angrily, like curses; no deluding hope of reprieve or respite rose from the rum fumes sickening his stomach and clouding his brain, no minister of religion, much needed as he was, would then have been welcome. There was an obscure and dim mistaking in his tortured spirit, of his sentence as the

mere judgment of men, instead of the doom of the Eternal, whose great law he had violated, he denied, demon-like, the righteousness of the fiat, "blood for blood ;" and in the blackness of his face you read wrath against wrath, that of a wicked worm against that of the Holy of Holies, wickedness struggling with conscience, and crime, fear-stricken and appalled, yet loath to give way to penitence, though preyed on by remorse, while all his body trembled and shook as at the noise of a devouring fire.

The shame, horror, penitence, and dreadful remorse, that men have felt for words said and deeds done in drink, prove that drink can inspire thoughts into men's hearts most alien from their nature, and drive them to the commission of acts, of which, as long as they were in their sober senses, no trial, no temptation, could ever have made them guilty, or even form to themselves a thought fleeting as a shadow. But they had put an enemy into their mouths to steal away their brains, and thence sometimes rape, robbery and murder, followed by swift retribution and lamentable doom.

Drunkard, stand forward, that we may have a look at you, and draw your picture. There he stands ! The mouth of the drunkard, you may observe, contracts a singularly sensitive appearance-seemingly red and rawish; and he is perpetually licking or smacking his lips, as if his palate were dry and adust. His is a thirst that water will not quench. He might as well drink air. His whole being burns for a dram. The whole world is contracted into a calker. He would sell his soul, in such extremity, were the black bottle denied him, for a gulp of Glenlivet. Not to save his soul from eternal fire, would he, or rather could he, if left alone with it, refrain from pulling out the plug, and sucking away at destruction. What a snout he turns up to the morning air, inflamed, pimpled, snubby, and snorty, and with a nob at the end on't, like one carved out

of a stick by the knife of a schoolboy-rough and hot to the very eye, -a nose which, rather than pull, you would submit even to be in some degree insulted. A perpetual cough harasses and exhausts him, and a perpetual expectoration. How his hand trembles! It is an effort even to sign his name; one of his sides is certainly not by any means as sound as the other; there has been a touch of palsy there; and the next hint will draw down his chin to his collar bone, and convert him, a month before dissolution, into a slavering idiot. There is no occupation, small or great, insignificant or important, to which he can turn, for any length of time, his hand, his heart, or his head. He cannot angle-for his fingers refuse to tie a knot, much more to busk a fly. The glimmer and the glow of the stream would make his brain dizzy-to wet his feet now would, he fears, be death. Yet he thinks

covey whirrs off, unharmed in a single feather-and poor Ponto, remembering better days, cannot conceal his melancholy, falls in at his master's heel, and will hunt no more. Out, as usual, comes the brandy bottle-he is still a good shot when his mouth is the mark -and having emptied the fatal flask, he staggers homewards, with the muzzle of his double-barrel frequently pointed to his ear, both being on full cock, and his brains not blown out only by a miracle. He tries to read the newspaper-just arrived-but cannot find his spectacles. Then, by way of va riety, he attempts a tune on the fiddle-but the bridge is broken, and her side cracked, and the bass-string snapped-and she is restored to her peg among the cobwebs. To conclude the day worthily and consistently, he squelches himself down among the reprobate crew, takes his turn at smutty jest and smuttier song,


ny blink of a showery day-and try the well-known pool in which he used to bathe in boyhood, with the long, matted, green, trailing waterplants depending on the slippery rocks, and the water-ouzel gliding from beneath the arch that hides her procreant cradle," and then sinking like a stone suddenly in the limpid stream. He sits down on the bank, and fumbling in his pouch for his pocket-book, brings out, instead, a pocket-pistol. Turning his fiery face towards the mild, blue, vernal sky, he pours the gurgling brandy down his throat-first one dose, and then another-till, in an hour, stupified and dazed, he sees not the silvery crimson-spotted trouts, shooting, and leaping, and tumbling, and plunging in deep and shallow. Or, if it be autumn or winter, he calls, perhaps, with a voice at once gruff and feeble, on old Ponto, and will take a pluff at the partridges. In former days, down they used to go, right and left, in potatoe or turnip-field, broomy brae or stubble-but now his sight is dim and wavering, and his touch trembles on the trigger. The

that he will go out-during that sun-falls back insensible, exposed to gross and indecent practical jokes from the vilest of the unhangedand finally is carried to bed on a hand-barrow, with hanging head and heels, and, with glazed eyes and lolling tongue, is tumbled upon the quilt-if ever to awake it is extremely doubtful ;-but if awake he do, it is to the same wretched round of brutal degradation--a career, of which the inevitable close is an unfriended deathbed and a pauper's grave. O hero! six feet high, and with a brawn once like Herculesin the prime of life, too-well born and well bred-once bearing with honour the king's commission; and on that glorious morn, now forgotten, or bitterly remembered, undaunted leader of the forlorn-hope that mounted the breach at Badajos-is that a death worthy of a man-a soldierand a Christian? A dram-drinker! Faugh! faugh! Look over-lean over that stile, where a pig lies wallowing in mire-and a voice, faint, and feeble, and far off, as if it came from some dim and remote world within your lost soul, will cry, that of the two beasts, that bristly one,

« PreviousContinue »