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happened on the 12th of February, 1798, terminated the series of Polish sovereigns:
"Hope for a season bade the world farewell, Aod Freedom sbriek'd as Kosciusko fell." Queen Elizabeth so highly prized the merit and abilities of Sir Philip Sydney, that she sent him ambassador to Vienna, and to several courts in Germany; and when the fame of his valour became so extensive that he was put in election for the crown of Poland, she refused to further his advancement, lest (says Baker) she should lose the brightest jewel of her crown. This Marcellus of the English nation was killed at the battle of .Zutphen, in 1585, while he was mounting the third horse, having before had two killed under him. P. T. W.
THE HOUR OP PHANTASY.
-* The atmosphere that circleth gifted minds
Is from a deep intensity derived.
An element of thought, where feelings shnpe
Themselves to fancies,—an electric world
Too exquisitely tooed for common life,
Which they of coarser metal cannot dream.*
R. Montgomery. There is an hour when Memory lends
To Thought her Intellectual part. When visions of departed friends
Restore their beauty to the heart; And like the sunset's crimson light
To fading scenes of Nature given, They make our meditations bright
With hopes inspired by heaven. The vivid glance of those blue eyes
Which haunted us with early love. Like stars that seem'd in cloudless skies
Transferr'd from earlh to shine above,— And voices whispering from the dead,
Or where the violets' lips enclose.
Their halo of repose.
When Memory's heart, depress'd with gloom, Laments upon the sculptured mound,
And dreams beside the visioned tomb; When voices from the dead arise,
Like music o'er the starlit sea, And holiest commune sanctifies
The Hour of Phantasy. Deal. G. R. C.
JWannerg & Customs of alt Nations.
APPLICANTS FOR THE FLITCH OF
(For the Mirror.) Aubry De Falstaff, son of Sir John Falstnff, Knight, with Dame Maude, his wife, were the first that demanded the bacon, he having bribed twain of his father's companions to swear falsely in his behoof, whereby he gained the flitch; hut he and his said wife falling immediately into a dispute how the bacon
should be dressed, it was, by order of the judges, taken from him, nnd hung up again in the Hall.
Alison, the wife of Stephen Freckle, brought her said husband along with her, and set forth the good conditions and behaviour of her consort, adding withal that she doubted not but he was ready to attest the like of her, his wife; whereupon he, the said Stephen, shaking his head, she turned short upon him, and gave him a box on the ear.
Philip de Waverland having laid his hand up the book, when the clause, "were I sole nnd she sole" was rehearsed, found a secret compunction rising in his mind, and stole it off again.
Richard de Loveless, who was a courtier, and a very well bred man, being observed to hesitate at the words "after our murriage," was thereupon desired to explain himself. He replied by talking very largely of his exact complaisance while he was a lover, and alleged that he had not in the least disobliged his wife for a year and a day before marriage, which he hoped was the same thing. (Rejected.)
Joceltne Jolly, Esq. making it appear, by unquestionable testimony, that he and his wife had preserved full and entire affection for the space of the first month, commonly called the Honey Moon, he had, in consideration thereof, one rasher bestowed upon him.
After this (says the record) many years passed over before any demandant appeared at Wichenovre Hall,— insomuch, that one would have thought that the whole country had turned Jews, so little was their affection to the flitch of bacon.
The next couple enrolled had like to have carried it, if one of the witnesses had not deposed, that dining on a Sunday with the demandant, whose wife had sat below the squire's lady at church, she, the said wife, dropped some exressions, as if she thought her husand deserved to be knighted, to which he returned a passionate "pish!" The judges taking the premises into consideration, declared the aforesaid behaviour to imply an unwarrantable ambition in the wife, and anger in the husband.
It is recorded as a sufficient disqualification of a certain wife, that, speaking of her husband, she said, " God forgive him."
It is likewise remarkable, that a couple were rejected upon the deposition of one of their neighbours, that the lady had once told her husband that it was her duty to obey; to which he replied,
"Oh, my dear, you are never in the wrong."
The violent passion of one lady for her lap-dog, the turning away of her old housemaid by another; a tavern bill torn by the wife, and a tailor's by the husband; a quarrel about the kissing crust, spoiling of dinners, and coming home late of nights, are so many several articles which occasioned the reprobation of some scores of demandants, whose names are recorded in the aforesaid register.
Without enumerating other particular persons, I shall content myself with observing that the sentence pronounced against one Gervase Poacher is, that he might have had bacon to his eggs, if he had not heretofore scolded his wife when they were over-boiled. And the deposition against Dorothy Doolittle runs in these words—That if she had so far usurped the dominion of the coal fire (the stirring whereof her husband claimed to himself) that by her good will she never would suffer the poker out of her hand.
I find but two couples in the first century that were successful. The first was a sea captain and his wife, who, since the day of their marriage, had not seen one another till the day of the claim; the second was an honest pair in the neighbourhood—the husband was a man of plain good sense and a peaceable temper, and the woman was dumb.
Thos. Hy. Prs.
THE BORROWING DAYS.
(For the Mirror.) Proverbs relating to the weather are of uncertain origin. The Glossary ex
Elains the Borrowing Days the three ist of March, and adds concerning the origin of this term, the following popular rhyme is often repeated :—
'' March borrow it fra Averill
The Country Almanack for 1676, says of April-
"No blushing blasts from March needs April
His own oft proves enow to breed us sorrow,
Yet if he weyr with us to sympathize,
His trickling tears will make us wipe our eyes."
In the British Apollo, the meaning of the old poetical saying is asked—
"March borrows of April
In Devonshire the three first days of March are called " blind days/' unlucky days, and upon them no farmer will sow his seed.
Dr. Jamison in his Dictionary of the Scottish Language, says "These days being generally stormy, our forefathers have endeavoured to account for this circumstance by pretending that March borrowed them from April, that he might extend his power so much longer. Those (he adds) who are much addicted to superstition, will neither borrow nor lend on any of these days. If one should propose to borrow of them they would consider it as an evidence that the person wished to employ the article borrowed, for the purposes of witchcraft against the lenders. Some of the vulgar imagine that these days received their designation from the conduct of the Israelites, in borrowing the property of the Egyptians. This extravagant idea must have originated partly from the name, and partly from the circumstance of these days nearly corresponding to the time when the Israelites left Egypt, which was on the fourteenth day of the month Mib or Nisan, including part of our March and April. I know not whether our Western Magi suppose that the inclemency of the borrowing days had any reference to the storm which proved so fatal to the Egyptians." J. R.
LITERARY NOTICES OF
(Continued from page 206.)
Such is Sanuto's brief narrative of the origin of this conspiracy; and we have nothing more certain to offer. It is not easy to say whence he obtained his intelligence. If such a conversation as that which he relates really did occur, it must have taken place without the presence of witnesses, and therefore 'could be disclosed only by one of the parties. It is far more likely that the chronicler is relating that which he supposed, than that which he knew; and, as it must be admitted that the interview with the admiral of the Arsenal occurred, and that, immediately after it, the doge was found linked with the daring band of which that officer was chief, there isno violation of probability in granting that some such conversation took place, and that the train was ignited by this collision of two angry spirits. Whether the plot was in any degree Organized beforehand, or arose at the moment, it is manifestly impossible for us to decide, without information which cannot now be obtained.
Bertucci Faliero, a nephew of the doge, and Filippo Calendaro, a seaman of great repute, were summoned to conference immediately. It was agreed to communicate the design to six other associates; and, during many nights successively, these plebeian assassins arranged with the doge, under the roof of his own palace, the massacre of the entire aristocracy, and the dissolution of the existing government. "It was concerted that sixteen or seventeen leaders should be stationed in various parts of the city, each being at the head of forty men, armed and prepared; but the followers were not to know their destination. On the appointed day, they were to make affrays amongst themselves here and there, in order that the duke might have a pretence for tolling the bells of San Marco, which are never rung but by the order of the duke; and at the sound of the bells, these sixteen or seventeen, with their followers, were to come to San Marco, through the streets which open upon the Piazza; and when the nobles and leading citizens should come to the Piazza to know the cause of the riot, then the conspirators were to cut them in pieces; and this work being finished, my Lord Marino Faliero the Duke was to be proclaimed Lord of Venice. Things having been thus settled, they agreed to fulfil their attempt on Wednesday, the 15th day of April, in the year 1355. So covertly did they plot that no one ever dreamed of their machinations."
As a previous step, in order to arouse popular feeling against the Great Council, it was determined to practise a singular stratagem. Parties of the conspirators paraded different quarters of the capital in the dead of night, and having stopped at the windows of some citizens of the middle and lower clesses, and there insulted the women of the family by scandalous and unseemly propositions, they retired with rude bursts of laughter, calling each other loudly by the names of the principal noblemen.
Perhaps the rapidity with which their design was framed, tended much to its concealment. Scarcely a little month had elapsed since its first projection, and now the following day was to de
stroy the constitution of Venice, to deluge her streets with patrician blood, and to pluck up all her ancient stocks from their very roots, without a suspicion of the approaching calamity havmg glanced across the intended victims.—i Either the Council of X could not yet have obtained its subsequent fearful and extraordinary ubiquity, or the conspirators must have exhibited a prudence and self-control rarely, if ever, paralleled by an equally large body of men, engaged in a similar attempt. To their minor agents, their ultimate design had not been revealed; and even in the end, the discovery arose not from treachery, nor from incaution, but from " a compunctious visiting." of one framed of stuff less stern than his associates, and who shrank from the .murder of a benefactor. The part played by Tresham in that yet more bloody conspiracy, which the Papists, in after days, framed against the three estates of England, was but-a repetition of that now enacted in Venice by Beltramo of Bergamo. Beltramo had been brought up in a noble family, to which he was closely attached, that of Nicolo Lioni, of San Stefano; and, anxious to preserve his patron's life, he went to him on the evening before the rising, and entreated him to remain at home on the morrow. The singular nature of the request excited surprise, which was increased to suspicion by the ambiguous answers returned to farther inquiries which it suggested. By degrees, every particular of the treason was revealed; and Lioni heard of the impending danger with terror, and of the hands by which it was threatened, with astonishment and slowly-accorded belief. Not a moment was to be lost; he secured Beltramo, therefore, and, having communicated with a few friends, they resolved upon assembling the heads of the different magistracies, and immediately seizing such ringleaders as had been denounced. These were taken, at their own houses, without resistance. Precautions were adopted against any tumultuous gathering of the mechanics of the Arsenal, and strict orders were issued to the keeper of the Campanile not on any account to toll the bells; . ■v.>
In the course to be pursued with the lesser malefactors, no difficulty was likely to arise: the rack and the gibbet were their legal portion. But for the doge, the law afforded no precedent; and, upon a crime which it had not entered into the mind of man to conceive-fas' with that nation which, having never contemplated parricide,, had neglected
to provide any punishment for it), no tribunal known to the constitution was competent to pass judgment. The* Council of X. demanded the assistance of a giunta of twenty nobles, who were to give advice, but not to ballot; and this body having been constituted, " they sent for my Lord Marino Faliero the Duke, and my Lord was then consorting in the palace with people of great estate, gentlemen, and other good men, none of whom knew yet how the fact stood."
The ringleaders were immediately hanged between the Red Columns on the Piazzetta—some singly, some in couples; and the two chiefs of them, Bertuccio Israello and Calendaro, with a cruel precaution not uncommon in Venice, were previously gagged. Nor was the process of the highest delinquent long protracted. He appears neither to have denied nor to have extenuated his guilt; and, " on Friday the 16th day of April, judgment was given in the Council of X. that my Lord Marino Faliero the Duke should have his head cut oft', and that the execution should be done on the landing-place of the stone staircase, the Giant's Stairs, where the doges take their oath when they first enter the palace. On the following day, the doors of the palace being shut, the duke had his head cut oft', about the hour of noon; and the cap of estate was taken from the duke's head before he came down the staircase. When the execution was over, it is said, that one of the chiefs of the Council of X. went to the columns of the palace against the Piazza, and, displaying the bloody sword, exclaimed, "Justice has fallen on the traitor!" and, the gates being then opened, the populace eagerly rushed in to see the doge who had been executed."
The body of Faliero was conveyed, by torchlight, in a gondola, and unattended by the customary ceremonies, to the church of San Giovanni and San Paolo; in the outer wall of which a stone coffin is still imbedded, with an illegible inscription, which once presented the words, Hie jacet Mart nits Feletro Dux. His lands and goods were confiscated to the state, with the exception of 2,000 ducats, of which he was permitted to dispose; and, yet further to transmit to posterity the memory of his enormous crime, his portrait was not admitted to range with those of his brother doges in the Hall of the Great Council. Iq the frame which it ought to occupy is suspended a black veil, inscribed with the words, Hie est locus Marini Feletro deeapitati pro criminibus.
The fate of Beltramo deserves a few words. He was amply rewarded for his opportune discovery, by a pension of a thousand ducats in perpetuity, the grant of a private residence which had belonged to Faliero, and inscription in the Golden Book. Dissatisfied, however, with this lavish payment for a very ambiguous virtue, he lost no occasion of taxing the nobles with neglect of his services, and of uttering loud calumnies against them, both secretly and in pubr lie. The government, wearied by his importunities and ingratitude, at length deprived him of his appointments, and sentenced him to ten years exile at Kagusa; but his restless and turbulent spirit soon prompted him to seek a spot less under the control of the signory, in which he might vent his railings afresh, and with impunity. It is probable that the long arm of the Council of X. arrested his design, for we are significantly informed that he perished on his way to Pannonia.
The volume is embellished with seven Plates, by Finden, from Drawings by Prout; and nine characteristic Woodcuts, chiefly from Titian. Considering the excellence of the originals, more pains might have been bestowed upon the latter; and Mr. Prout might surely have found different points of view from those he has so recently given in the Landscape Annual. The book altogether is a marvel of cheapness.
FAIRY FAVOURS. THE CITV OF THE FAIRIES.
(For the Mirror.)
Again, yet once again, during the days of my weary mortal pilgrimage, did the blessed vision of the veritable Fairy Land open upon my enchanted sight! Once more 1 found myself in that world of inexpressible beauty! The radiance and sweetness of delicious morning were around me; —balmy were the stealthy, odorous winds ;—and the fluttering verdure of that pleasant land glittered like countless emeralds, and swelled itself in the breeze, as if conscious of, and glorying in, its immortality! Beside me flowed a river—or rather, a broad, bright, lovely lake—slumbering as stilly in the morning light as those who are at peace with the world, and with Heaven. Romantic woods skirted the shores of this waveless water;—here trees, for which the language of man hath no name, drooped gracefully over the liquid crystal—as if, in enamoured admiration, gazing upon their richly-coloured, luxuriant, and feathery foliage, reflected in vivid freshness upon the bosom of that transcendently natural mirror ;—there, Copse-wood, equally foreign and lovely, closed all interstices—whilst fruits of tempting form and colour, and flowers of inimitable hues, flashed like gems in the unclouded sunlight. I bowed down my head for a draught of the cool, clear waters, and immediately upon tasting them, felt through my frame a pleasant, vivifying thrill;—I felt also as if I had at once thrown off the heavy trammels of mortality, with its wearying cares, its feverish hopes, and its overburdening sorrows. Light as air, fresh as morning, and joyful as the martyr at the gates of death, I gazed on the enchanting loveliness around me.
"Come 1" sighed a voice, low and mellifluous as that of the wind-harp, parleying with " the breath of the sweet south,"—"ravishing and radiant as is this spot, its bowery beauty must thou quit, for the splendour of the Golden City, the City of the Fairies! Thrice happy mortal! thither, even to our city, am I commissioned to conduct thee !— Come!''
So saying, the tiny essence, whose substance resembled a portion of lucent morning mist, wrought into the draperied and miniature image of humanity, and whose slight figure skimmed the pure, thin air, extended its delicate hand, and smiling encouragement, beckoned me onwards. I followed—rather instinctively, than by any act of the understanding, for the faculties of my ravished spirit were absorbed, as in a dream of heaven, by the ethereal loveliness of this transcendent land, by the soft, crystalline light, the glorious, romantic landscape, the vivid verdure, the celestial odours, and by the snatches of unearthly melody, which ever and anon, borne on the undulating wings of the breeze, came from afar upon my wildered senses, breathing ineffable felicity. Above all, my bosom was immersed in a flood of delicious feeling, by the holy repose, the unutterable peace of the Fairy Paradise; and my heart, surcharged with rapture, could find no vent for the overwhelming influences of gladness and devotion, because I remembered that to me was speech in this hallowed land forbidden!
"Behold!" cried the friendly Fay, after we had traversed for some time the flowery wilds, "yonder is the City of the Fairies!"
Long indeed hud my eyes been fixed
upon a great, clear light, gleaming through a considerable cluster of luxuriantly foliaged trees, beneath whose spreading branches flitted and reposed numerous aerial beings, resembling my beautiful guide. Love, joy, innocence, and everlasting peace were sensibly expressed in their angelic countenances; and sweet were the words, precious the benisons, wherewith they welcomed a mortal into the Grove of the Golden City I The glorious light of that city proceeded from the sun shining full upon the palaces of sapphire-coloured crystal, erected in all styles of the richest architecture, each symmetrical in itself, and perfect in design and execution.— Fairy fancy, in sooth, seem to have been exhausted in supplying models of temples, palaces, castles, porticoes, colonnades, triumphal arches, &c. &c.; for here was displayed every species of building of which Earth boasts for ornament and defence, in every order of every civilized nation on its bosom ;— whilst orders and edifices, for which exist no denominations among men, arose and spread themselves—highly adorned, and richly magnificent—in this singularly superb and beautiful city. Not upon the model of Thebes, of Babylon, of Macedon, of Rome, or of Salem, did I, in the excess of astonishment, gaze—not upon any one of the proud triumphs of Art, ancient or modern; but rather upon a wild, yet exceedingly lovely, combination of, and improvement on, the Beautiful of all! Gates were there none to this city, neither closing portals to the habitations thereof; for rapine and violence were in that delicious land unknown. Highly-ornamented apertures, in the fashion of porticoes and arcades, &c., stood ever open for the ingress and egress of the sociid denizens of this Elfin Eden; and the windows of the shining structures seemed, when the orb of day poured down his glorious beams upon them, each a sun, being formed of entire white crystals, brilliant and spotlessly pure as adamant! But the dazzling and overwhelming effulgence of the Golden City as fur surpasses the power of mortal speech to declare, as did it that of mortal eyes to endure. The ever-living wreathlets of odorous leaves and rainbow-coloured flowers, thickly clustering and climbing around column and pinnacle, and the shadowing trees, bending and waving with guardian nir over and amidst temple and palace, were no defence against this supernatural radiance; but as my dazzled eyes unwittingly closed upon the brilliant vision of the Golden City,