The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, Issue 495, June 25, 1831, by Various
Title: The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, Issue 495, June 25, 1831
Release Date: August 4, 2004 [eBook #13113]
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION, VOL. 17, ISSUE 495, JUNE 25, 1831***
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LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
|Vol. XVII, No. 495
||SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 1831.
HERMITAGE AT FROGMORE.
Frogmore is one of the most delightful of the still retreats of Royalty. It was formerly the seat of the Hon. Mrs. Egerton, of whom it was purchased by Queen Charlotte, in 1792, who made considerable additions to the house and gardens. The grounds were laid out by Uvedale Price, Esq. a celebrated person in the annals of picturesque gardening. The ornamental improvements were made by the direction of the Princess Elizabeth, (now Landgravine of Hesse Homburg,) whose taste for rural quiet we noticed in connexion with an Engraving of Her Royal Highness' Cottage, adjoining Old Windsor churchyard. 1
Frogmore occupies part of a fertile valley, which divides the Little Park from Windsor Forest, and comprises about thirteen acres. Mr. Hakewill describes it as "diversified with great skill and taste, and a piece of water winds throughout it with a pleasing variety of turn and shape. The trees and shrubs, both native and exotic, which spread their shade and diffuse their fragrance, are disposed with the best effect; while buildings are so placed as to enliven and give character to the general scene. The Ruin was designed by Mr. James Wyatt, and being seated on the bank of the water, as well as in part in the wood, it presents, with its creeping ivy and fractured buttresses, a most pleasing object from various points of the garden. The Hermitage (see the Engraving) is a small circular thatched building, completely embowered in lofty trees, and was constructed from a drawing of the Princess Elizabeth. There is also a Gothic Temple, sacred to solitude, and a well-imagined and picturesque barn, which heighten the appropriate scenery. Too much cannot be said of the secluded beauty of this charming spot, and nothing further need be said of the taste and judgment of Major Price, to whom its arrangements have been entrusted."
The Hermitage contains a tablet spread with fruit, eggs, and bread, and a figure of a hermit reading the Scriptures; at the entrance are the following lines, written on the marriage of the Princess Royal:—
Ye whom variety delights,
Descend awhile from Windsor's heights,
And in this hovel deign to tread,
Quitting the castle for the shed;
Such were the muse's favourite haunts,
From care secluded and from wants.
What nature needs this but can give,
Could we as nature dictates live;
For see, on this plain board at noon
Are placed a platter and a spoon,
Which, though they mark no gorgeous treat,
Suggest 'tis reasonable to eat.
What though the sun's meridian light
Beams not on our hovel bright,
Though others need, we need him not,
Coolness and gloom befit a cot.
Our hours we count without the sun.
These sands proclaim them as they run,
Sands within a glass confined,
Glass which ribs of iron bind;
For Time, still partial to this glass,
Made it durable as brass,
That, placed secure upon a shelf,
None might crush it but himself.
Let us here the day prolong
With loyal and with nuptial song,
Such as, with duteous strains addrest,
May gratify each royal guest;
Thrice happy, should our rural toils
Be requited by their smiles.
There are other affectionate testimonials in the grounds. The Gothic ruin contains an apartment fitted up as an oratory, ornamented with a copy of the Descent from the Cross, modelled in chalk, after the celebrated painting by Rembrandt; busts of George III. and the Duke of Kent; a posthumous marble figure of an infant child of his present Majesty; and an alto-relievo representing an ascending spirit attended by a guardian angel with the inscription—
To the Memory
Her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte.
ANCIENT WAGES TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.
(For the Mirror.)
Chamberlayne, in his Angliæ Notitia, says, "Although the lords of parliament are to bear their own charges, because they represent there only themselves; yet all the commons, both lay and clergy, that is, Procuratores Cleri, are to have rationales expensus, (as the words of the writ are) that is, such allowance as the king considering the prices of all things, shall judge meet to impose upon the people to pay. In the 17th of Edward II. it was ten groats for knights, and five groats for burgesses; but not long after it was four shillings for all others, which in those days, as appears by the prices of all things, was a considerable sum, above ten times more than it is now, (1688) for not only then expenses were considered, though that was great by reason of the suitable attendance that then every parliament-man had, but also their pains, their loss of time, and necessary neglect of their own private affairs for the service of their country; and when the counties, cities, and boroughs paid so dear for their expenses, they were wont to take care to chuse such men as were best able, and most diligent in the speedy despatch of affairs; by which means, with some others, more business in those times was despatched in parliament in a week, than is now perhaps in ten; so that the protections for parliament-men and their servants from arrests were not then grievous, when scarce any parliament or sessions lasted so long as one of the four terms at Westminster.
"The aforementioned expenses duly paid, did cause all the petty decayed boroughs of England to become humble suitors to the king, that they might not be obliged to send burgesses to parliament; whereby it came to pass, that divers were unburgessed, as it was in particular granted to Chipping, or Market-Morriton, upon their petition; and then the number of the Commons House being scarce half so many as at present, then debates and bills were sooner expedited." page 156, 21st. edit.
Halsted, in his History of Kent, tells us, "The pay of the burgesses of Canterbury was fixed (anno 1411) at two shillings a-day for each, while such burgess was absent from his family attending his duty. In 1445 the wages were no more than twelve pence a-day; two years afterwards they were increased to sixteenpence, and in 1503 had again been raised to two shillings. In Queen Mary's reign, the corporation refused to continue this payment any longer, and the wages of the members were then levied by assessment on the inhabitants at large, and continued to be so raised till these kinds of payments were altogether discontinued."
THE WORD "EI."
(For the Mirror.)
This word, which was engraven on the temple of Apollo, at Delphi, has occasioned much controversy among the literati. The learned and admirable Plutarch tells us that it means "thou art" as if "thou art one." The Langhornes, in their life of this philosopher, 2 attack his opinion as inconsistent with "the whole tenour of the Heathen Mythology." It in to be observed, that the Greek word for priests is "[Greek: iereis]" (iereis). But I infer nothing from this; yet at the same time it is a remarkable circumstance. The objection of the Langhornes is frivolous; for the sun (Apollo) in most nations, was considered chief of the gods, and this inscription was placed to prove his superiority and unity.
It is a very remarkable circumstance, that when the Pythia refused to enter the temple, at the application of Alexander, "Philip's godlike son," and he attempting to force her in, she exclaimed—"[Greek: Anikaetos ei o pai]" (My son, you are invincible.) Now, probably, she had some other intention in using that word; but, however, that does not affect the argument. I cannot but consider that Plutarch is right.
A FAREWELL TO SPAIN.
(For the Mirror.)
Land of the myrtle and the vine,
The sunny citron-tree,
With heart upon the waves I give
My latest look to thee.
Thy glorious scenes of vale and hill
With joy I now resign,
And seek a more congenial land,
Where Freedom will be mine.
Farewell! thou hast the iron sway
Of bigots and of slaves,
But mine shall be a chainless heart
Upon the dark blue waves.
For thee our sires have fought and died,
For thee their blood have given,
When tyrants o'er the trampled field
Like thunder-clouds were driven.
And has the purple tide in vain,
From hill and vale been poured,
Or do the hopes of Freedom sleep
With mighty Mina's sword?
Oh! no—the trumpet-voice of war,
Shall proudly sound again,
And millions shall obey its call,
And break their chartered chain!
Till then, my native hearth and home
I'll joyfully resign;
Farewell! thou song-enchanted land
Of myrtle and of vine.
THE DEATH-BEDS OF GREAT MEN.
(For the Mirror.)
If there are any remarks which deserve to be recorded for the benefit of mankind, they are those which have been expressed on a dying bed, when, unfettered by prejudice or passion, Truth shines forth in her real colours. Sir John Hawkins has recorded of Dr. Johnson, that when suffering under that disease which ended in his dissolution, he addressed his friends in the following words:—"You see the state I am in, conflicting with bodily pain and mental distraction. While you are in health and strength, labour to do good, and avoid evil, if ever you wish to escape the distress that oppresses me."
When Lord Lyttleton was on his death-bed, his daughter, Lady Valentia, and her husband, came to see him. He gave them his solemn benediction, adding—"Be good, be virtuous, my lord; you must come to this."
The triumphant death of Addison will be remembered with feelings of pleasure by all. Having sent for the young Earl of Warwick, he affectionately pressed his hand, saying—"See in what peace a Christian can die!"
The father of William Penn was opposed to his son's religious principles; but finding that he acted with sincerity, was at last reconciled. When dying, he adjured him to do nothing contrary to his conscience—"So," said he, "you will keep peace within, which will be a comfort in the day of trouble."
Locke, the day before his death, addressed Lady Masham, who was sitting by his bedside, exhorting her to regard this world only as a state of preparation for a better. He added, that he had lived long enough, and expressed his gratitude to God for the happiness that had fallen to his lot.
Tillotson, when dying, thanked his Maker that he felt his conscience at ease, and that he had nothing further to do but to await the will of Heaven.
Sir Walter Raleigh behaved on the scaffold with the greatest composure. Having vindicated his conduct in an eloquent speech, he felt the edge of the axe, observing with a smile—"It is a sharp medicine, but a sure remedy, for all woes." Being asked which way he would lay himself on the block, he replied—"So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lies."
Latimer, when he beheld a fagot ready kindled laid at Ridley's feet, exclaimed—"Be of good cheer, master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle in England, as I hope, by God's grace, shall never be put out."
The author of Hervey's Meditations, when on his sick bed, observed that his time had been too much occupied in reading the historians, orators, and poets of ancient and modern times; and that were he to renew his studies, he would devote his attention to the Scriptures.
The last words which the eminent physician Haller addressed to his medical attendant expressed the calm serenity of his mind. "My friend," said he, laying his hand on his pulse, "the artery no longer beats."
M. De La Harpe, one of the first literary characters of the last century, who for many years laboured to spread the principles of the French philosophy, but afterwards became a most strenuous defender of Christianity, on the evening preceding his death was visited by a friend. He was listening to the Prayers for the Sick; as soon as they were concluded, he stretched forth his hand and said—"I am grateful to Divine mercy, for having left me sufficient recollection to feel how consoling these prayers are to the dying."
Cardinal Wolsey, when dying, by slow progress and short journeys, reached Leicester Abbey. He was received with the greatest respect. His only observation was, "Father Abbot, I am come to lay my bones among you." He died three days after, with, great composure and fortitude. He said, shortly before his death—"Had I but served my God as diligently as I have served the king, he would not have forsaken me in my grey hairs; but this is the just reward I must receive for my pains and study, in not regarding my service to God, but only to my prince."
Melancthon, a few days before his death, although extremely debilitated, delivered his usual lecture. At the termination of it, he said, impressively—"I am a dying man, and these are the three subjects for intercession with God, which I leave to my children and their little ones—that they may form part of his church, and worship him aright—that they may be one in him, and live in harmony with each other—and that they may be fellow-heirs of eternal life." The day before his death, he addressed some present—"God bestows talents on our