Page images

to the Duke of York or Prince of Wales (in spite of warning,) take them familiarly by the button like common acquaintance, ask how their father did, and express pleasure at hearing he was well, saying, "when he was gone we should never get such another." He once, when the old king was sitting to him for his bust, fairly stuck a pair of compasses into his nose, to measure the distance from the upper lip to the forehead, as if he had been measuring a block of marble. His late majesty laughed heartily at this, and was amused to find that there was a person in the world ignorant of that vast interval which separated him from every other man. Nollekens, with all his loyalty, hardly liked the man, and cared nothing about the king (which was one of those mixed modes, as Mr. Locke calls them, of which he had no more idea than if he had been one of the cream-coloured horses)-handled him like so much common clay, and had no other notion of the matter, but that it was his business to make the best bust of him he possibly could, and to set about it in the regular way. There was something in this plainness and simplicity that savoured perhaps of the hardness and dryness of his art, and of his own peculiar severity of manners. Nollekens' style was comparatively hard and dry. He had as much truth and character, but none of the polished graces or transparent softness of Chantrey. He had more of the rough, plain, downright honesty of his heart. It seemed to be his character. Mr. Northcote was once complimenting him on his acknowledged superiority-" Ay, you made the best busts of anybody!" I don't know about that," said the other, his eyes (though their orbs were quenched) smiling with a gleam of smothered delight, "I only know I always tried to make them as like as I could."


As Sir Walter Scott was riding (a few weeks ago) with a friend in the

neighbourhood of Abbotsford, he came to a field-gate, which an Irish beggar, who happened to be near, hastened to open for him. Sir Walter was desirous of rewarding this civility by the present of sixpence, but found that he had not so small a coin in his purse. "Here, my good fellow," said the baronet, “here is a shilling for you; but mind, you owe me sixpence." "God bless your honour!" exclaimed Pat; “may your honour live till I pay you!"

When the French landed at Bantry Bay, an Irish peasant, who was posted, with a musket, upon one of the cliffs, and had wandered a little out of his position, was accosted by an English officer with "What are you here for ?"""Faith, your honour," said Pat, with his accustomed grin of good humour," they tell me I'm here for a century."


Near Monte Rosa, in the district of Varallo in Lombardy, there is a small town called Alagna, containing about twelve hundred inhabitants. For four centuries there has not been one criminal prosecution or action at law; nay, not even a formal contract drawn up by a professional man. It is very rarely that an individual commits any grave offence, or is guilty of serious misconduct; but when such cases occur, the culpable person is compelled to fly from the place. On one occasion, the clergyman of the place was obliged to abscond for illbehaviour, and his absence depriving them of their pastor, one of the elders of the town performed the duty of the priest, and read the churchservice at the proper time. Paternal authority is here absolute, as in China or old Rome, and continues during life; fathers disposing of the whole of their property as they please, without written wills, the verbal declaration of the dying being invariably considered sufficient. Not long ago an inhabitant of Alagna died, leaving his property, worth about £4000, which is there a considerable sum, to individuals who

[ocr errors]

last?" Denon answered, that "with
care, and in a proper situation, it
might last, perhaps, five hundred
years." "And how long," said Na-
poleon, "will a statue last?" "Per-
"five thou-
haps," replied Denon,
sand years." "And this," returned
Napoleon, sharply, "this you call

were not his legal heirs. The person to whom, according to law, his wealth should have descended, shortly afterwards fell into company with a lawyer of the neighbouring city, who informed him that as the laws did not recognize the customs of Alagna, he might instantly recover the property of which he had been so unjustly deprived. At first the lawyer's offers of service were rejected; but at length the disinherited man demanded time for reflection. For three days he was observed to be plunged in meditation, and much disturbed; an important matter, as he remarked to his friends, pressing upon his mind. At the end of that time he went to the officious lawyer, and said "What you advise me to do has never been done before in our village, and unquestionably I shall not set the example of innovation."


This unfortunate undertaking has again been overflowed by the bursting in of the river; an accident which, following all that was said about "perfect security" after the former misfortune, ought not to have happened. But we fear this ingenious and really interesting scheme has been ill-managed, in spite of the talents of Mr. Brunel, and the perseverance and skill of his co-operators. The fact is, it has been far too much a thing of newspaper discussion. Instead of having every nerve and all attention directed to the work, there has been a distracting diversion of mind as to ways and means, and the courting of public opinion to favour the speculation. It is now, in consequence, a very bad job.


At Chantilly there is a crocodile so tame and well-disposed, that he is caressed with impunity by the keeper, who endeavours (although, as may easily be supposed, not often with success,) to induce visitors to follow his example.

ORIGINAL ANECDOTE OF BONAPARTE. Napoleon being in the gallery of the Louvre one day, attended by the Baron Denon, turned round suddenly from a fine picture, which he had viewed for some time in silence, and said to him—"That is a noble picture, Denon." "Immortal," was Denon's reply. "How long," inquired Napoleon, "will this picture


This extraordinary man, whose death was deplored by Lord Chesterfield as that of a great statesman, was considered in France merely as an eloquent dreamer. His high qualities are much better appreciated by his countrymen in the present day. So disgusted was Montesquieu with the place which he held in society during his life, that having understood from a person to whom he had confided the education of his son, that the boy evinced great aptitude of conception, and inclination to write, he exclaimed, in alarm, "What! he will be like myself, only an original, a man of letters, a worthless fellow !"


Donnelly, the Irish pugilist (remembered as Sir Daniel), when asked by a novice in his science what was the best way to learn to fight? replied, "Och, sir, there's no use in life in a man's learning to fight, unless natur gave him a bit of a taste for it."


The founder of the Sforza family, and father of Francesco, the first Duke of Milan, who died, according to Mr. Roscoe, about 1465, was a peasant, and following his labour, when he was invited by his companions to follow the army. He did not

draw lots whether he should go or not, but threw his spade into an oak, declaring, that if it fell to the ground he would continue his labours; but if it hung in the tree he would try his fortune as a soldier. Some bit of a branch intercepted its fall, and gave a father to a long line of princes, the most splendid sovereigns of Italy.


An Armenian jeweller, who had sold a quantity of counterfeit diamonds to the favourite wife of the Shah of Persia, was pursued by the officers of the palace, and overtaken, when the lady demanded an exemplary satisfaction. The Shah, after many endeavours, finding it impossible to propitiate the complainant, consented that the mele factor should be exposed, according to the custom of the country, in the arena for the combats of wild beasts. But, when all the court was collected to witness the spectacle of the execution, to the surprise of the poor wretch, who expected to be instantly devoured, instead of a lion, a lamb was let out from one of the dens, which forthwith walked up, and began to fawn upon him. The sultaness, indignant at this affront, flew to her husband to explain what had happened, and insisted that the master of the beasts, who had ordered this, deserved no better than to be eaten along with the false jeweller, for company. "Be merciful, fair Yasili," said the goodtempered prince; "the Armenian has been punished by the law of retaliation. He deceived you, and he has now himself been deceived; let him be quit, for this time, pour le peur."

appears of a yellow hue, and seems to resemble a small embodied flame. It is generally stationary; and when it moves, it wanders but very little from its primitive spot, sometimes mounting upward, and then descending to the earth. As it has frequented this spot from time immemorial, it is now rendered so familiar that it almost ceases to excite attention. It is somewhat remarkable, that although many attempts have been made to discover it in the place of its appearance, every effort has hitherto failed of success. On approaching the spot, it becomes invisible to the pursuers, even while it remains luminous to those who watched it at a distance. To trace its exact abode, a level has been taken during its appearance, by which the curious have been guided in their researches the ensuing day; but nothing has hitherto been discovered.


Few people are acquainted with the immense size and value of some logs of mahogany brought to England. The following may serve as an example. "The largest and finest log of mahogany ever imported into this country has been recently sold by auction at the docks in Liverpool. It was purchased by James Hodgson, Esq. for three hundred and seventyeight pounds, and afterwards sold by him for five hundred and twentyfive pounds, and if it open well, it is supposed to be worth one thousand pounds. If sawn into vineers it is computed that the cost of labour in the process will be seven hundred and fifty pounds. The weight at the King's beam is six tons thirteen hundred weight."


In the parish of St. Austle, Cornwall, there is a singular phenomenon; it he appearance of a light near the turnpike road at Hill Head, about three quarters of a mile west of the town. In the summer season it is rarely seen; but in the winter, particularly in the months of November and December, scarcely a dark night.


The Omnipotence of the Deity; passes in which it is not visible. It a Poem by Mr. R. Montgomery.


The Abbé De Lisle says, that the Arabs have one hundred and fifty words for a lion, and three hundred for a serpent!

NO. 2.]



BOSTON, APRIL 15, 1828.


THE HE Sabbath-day passed on as usual; its wonted calm, unbroken even by Josiah's eager anticipation of the morrow-for so early and so severely had Andrew inculcated the duty of a grave and solemn demeanour on the Lord's day, that the child had learnt to imitate his father's serious and mortified aspect, and his joyous laugh was rarely heard ringing through the house during those long twelve tedious hours; and, contrary to his usual vivacious habits, he was always anxious to go to bed very early on the Sabbath evening, and he had already been some hours in a sweet and profound sleep, when his father came to bed on that last night preceding the important Monday.

If ever prayers were breathed from the heart, such were those of Andrew Cleaves, when, by the pale light of a cloudless moon, he knelt down at that solemn hour, beside the pillow of his sleeping child, who "looked like an angel as he slept," the tender moonbeams playing like a glory round those young innocent temples. Yes, if ever prayer came direct from the heart, such was that of Andrew Cleaves at that solemn hour; yet never before were his whispered aspirations so broken, so faintly murmured, so devoid of all the graces of speech and metaphor. Over and over again his lips murmured-"Bless my child-bless him,

6 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.

[VOL. 9, N. s.

oh Lord!" and then the words died away, and the heart only spoke, for its eloquence was unutterable; yet he continued near an hour in that holy communion; and when at length he rose up from his knees, and bending over his child, bowed his head to imprint the accustomed kiss, large drops rolled down his rugged features, and fell on the soft glowing cheek of the little sleeper.

Andrew Cleaves laid himself down to rest that night, with such thoughts as might, "if heaven had willed it," have matured even then to fruits of blessedness. But his time was not come. The rock was stricken, but as yet the waters gushed not freely out.

Daylight brought with it other thoughts, and more worldly feelings; and Andrew Cleaves rose up himself again, stout of heart and firm of purpose, remembering that he was to appear among men; and scorning to betray, before his fellow creatures, any symptom of that tender weakness which he felt half humiliated at having yielded to, in the sight of his Creator.

* Continued from page 25.

He roused the boy up hastily and cheerily, and hurried old Jenny in her breakfast preparations, and in completing the packing up of Josiah's box, and equipping him for his departure, and the new scene he was about to enter on, in a suit of bran new clothes, made, however, after the

precise fashion of his first manly habiliments; and Andrew himself was less methodical and deliberate than usual in his own proceedings, finding something to do, or to seek for, which hurried him hither and thither, with a bustling restlessness very unlike his general clock-work movements.

He sat scarce five minutes at his breakfast, and had not consumed half his morning's portion of oatmeal porridge, when he started off to draw out the cart, and harnesss old Dobbin; and the box was locked and brought out and the boy rigged at all points, like a little hog in armour -and the horse and cart at the door --and all ready, though Andrew professed he had believed it later than it really was, by a full hour, and the sooner they were off the better-so cutting short, with peevish impatience, the blubbering adieu of poor Jenny-just as Josiah was beginning to sob out in concert-and saying "Up wi' ye, my man," he jerked him suddenly into the cart, and mounting himself, drove off at a rate that caused old Jenny to exclaim, "Lord save us, for certain master's bewitched!"-and greatly inconvenienced Dobbin, whose usual paces were every whit as sedate and deliberate as her master's.

It is not to be inferred, however, that he continued to urge on the venerable beast to those unnatural exertions throughout the whole five miles. Andrew was so far a humane man, that he was "merciful to his beast," and once out of sight of home, permitted her to fall into her old jog-trot, taking the opportunity, after clearing his throat with sundry hums and ha's, to hold forth very lengthily to his young companion, on the new course of life he was about to enter on-the new duties he would have to fulfil the zeal for learning-aptness, diligence, and perseverance, that would be expected from him-the care he was to take of his clothes, and his new Bible and Prayer-book, and the caution with which it would behove him to select intimates among his schoolfellows, many of whom

might be wild, riotous chaps, given to such wicked ways as Andrew trembled to think of.

The boy had listened to this edifying exhortation-which had held on through four interminable miles, for Andrew was always soothed and inspired by the sound of his own droning preachments-just as he had been wont to listen to the Rev. Mr. Leadbeater's hydra-headed sermons in silence indeed, but with most disconsolate yawnings and twitchings, and indescribable fidgetings-but when his father came to the head of Schoolfellows, his attention was instantly excited, and suddenly brightening up, and skipping over the prohibitory clauses of the discourse, he broke in on it with an inquiry of— whether the boys were like to be good hands at hoops and marbles?

An interruption so ill-timed and incongruous, would have drawn down a sharp rebuke on the heedless of fender, but just as it was breaking from Andrew's lips, a sudden turn of the road brought them to the top of the last hill overlooking the town of C, which now opened at a short distance in full view of the travellers.

There the father remembered he was to leave his boy-so the severe words died away upon his lips,-and the child looked, for the first time in his life, on the wonderful labyrinth of houses, churches, markets, and manufactories, that constitute a considerable county-town; and his amazement and delight broke forth with inexpressible vehemence.—“ Ay,— it's all very fine, my man!" said the father, shaking his head—“ A fine thing to look at, yon great city; and ye've seen nothing like it afore, poor innocent lamb; but God keep ye from the evil ways that are in it, and from the tents of the ungodly!" So groaned Andrew; but nevertheless he drove on with his precious charge towards the tents of ungodliness, for he had worldly and ambitious views for the boy, and they were not to be forwarded in the desert.

The road wound quite round the brow of the hill in a somewhat retro

« PreviousContinue »