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Thou, massy stone! over v,hose heart art thou?
The lord who govern'd yonder giant place, And ruled a thousand vassals at his bow.
Alack! how narrow and how small a space Of what was human vanity and show
Serves for the maggot, when 'tis his to chase The greatest and the latest of his race.
One of Earth's dear ones, of a noble birth,
That but to smile was to awaken mirth,
The grave ill balances such living worth,
Yon grassy sod, that scarcely seems a grave,
Time leaves no stone, recording of the knave,
Fame says he was a bard—Fame did not save
»Tis strange to see how equally we die,
The lord, the lady of distinction high.
Sink into death alike and peacefully ,'
Though some may want the marble's honour'd site,
Tet earth holds all that earthliness did slight.
ANCIENT BOROUGH OF WEN-
This borough sent members to parliament in the 28th of Edward I. and again in the 1st and 2nd of Edward II.; after which the privilege was discontinued for above three hundred years. "The intermission, (says Britton,) was attended by the very remarkable circumstance of all recollection of the right of the borough having been lost, till about the period of the 21st of James I. when Mr. Hakeville, of Lincoln's Inn, discovered by a search among the ancient parliament writs in the Tower, that the boroughs of Amersham, Wendover, and Great Marlow, had all sent members in former times, and petitions were then preferred in the names of those places, that their ancient liberty or franchise might be restored. When the King * was informed of these petitions, he directed his solicitor, Sir Robert Heath, to oppose them with all might, declaring, that he was troubled with too great a number of burgesses already." The sovereign's opposition proved ineffectual, and the Commons decided in favour of the restoration of the privilege. Some particulars of this singular case may be lound in Willis's Notitia Parliatnentaria.
* James the First.
The celebrated John Hampden represented this borough in five parliaments.
P. T. W.
iWarmers & Customs of all Nations.
(For the Mirror.)
The Olympian Hippodrome, or horsecourse, was a space of ground of six hundred paces long, surrounded with a wall, near the city of Elis, and on the banks of the river Alpheus. It was uneven, and in some degree irregular, on account of the situation;— in one part was a hill of moderate height; and the circuit was adorned with temples, altars, and other embellishments. There was a very famous hippodrome at Constantinople, which was begun by Alexander Severus, and finished by Constantine. This circus, called by the Turks atmeican, is four hundred paces long, and above one hundred paces wide. At the entrance of the hippodrome there is a pyramidical obelisk of granite, in one piece, about fifty feet high, terminating m a point, and charged with hieroglyphics. The Greek and Latin inscriptions on its base show that it was erected by Theodosius. The machines that were employed to raise it are represented upon it in basso-relievo. We have some vestiges in England of the hippodromus, in which the ancient inhabitants of this country performed their races. The most remarkable is that near Stonehenge, which is a long tract of ground, about three hundred and fifty feet, or two hundred Druid cubits wide, and more than a mile and three quarters, or six thousand Druid cubits in length, enclosed quite round with a bank of earth, extending directly east and west. The goal and career are at the east end. The goal is a high bank of earth, raised with a slope inwards, on which the judges are supposed to have sat. The meta? are two tumuli, or small barrows, at the west end of the course. These hippodromes were called, in the language of the country, rhedagua; the racer, rhedagwr; and the carriage, rheda—from the British word rhedeg, to run.
One of these hippodromes, about half a mile to the southward of Leicester, retains evident traces of the old name, rhedagua in the corrupted one of Rawdikes. "There is another of these," says Dr. Stukely, "near Dorchester; and another on the banks of the river Lowther, near Penrith, in Cumberland;
THE BEGGAR WOMAN OF LOCARNO.
At the foot of the Alps, near Locarno, was an old castle, belonging to a marquess, the ruins of which are still visible to the traveller, as he comes from St. Gothard—a castle wilh lofty and roomy apartments, high towers, and narrow windows. In one of these rooms, an old sick woman was deposited upon some straw, which had been shaken down for her by the housekeeper of the marquess, who had found her begging before the gate. The marquess, who was accustomed to go into this room on his return from hunting, to lay aside his gun, ordered the poor wretch to get up immediately out of her corner, and begone.
The creature arose, but slipping with her crutch upon the smooth floor, she fell, and injured her back so much, that it was with great difficulty she got up, and, moving across the room as she had been desired, groaning and crying sudly, sank down behind the chimney.
Several years afterwards, when the circumstances of the marquess had been much reduced by war and the failure of his crops, a Florentine gentleman visited the castle, with the intention of purchasing it, in consequence of the beauty of the situation. The marquess, who was very anxious to have the bargain concluded, gave his wife directions to lodge the stranger in the same upper room in which the old woman had died, it having, in the meantime, been very handsomely fitted up; but, to their consternation, in the middle of the night, the stranger entered their room, pale and agitated, protesting loudly that the chnmber was haunted by some invisible being; for that he had heard something rise up in the corner, as if it had been lying among straw, move over the chamber with slow and tottering steps, and sink down, groaning and crying, near the chimney.
The marquess, terrified, though he scarcely knew why, endeavoured to put a fair face upon the matter, and to laugh off the fears of his visiter, telling him he would rise himself, and spend the rest of the night with him in his room; but the stranger begged that he would rather allow him to occupy a couch in the ad
joining room j and as soon as morning
in the corner; the straw rustled as before. At the sound of the first footfall, the dog awoke, roused itself, pricked up its ears, and growling and barking as if some person were advancing towards him, retreated in the direction of the chimney. At this eight, the marchioness rushed out of the room, her hair standing on end; and while the marquess seized his sword, exclaimed "Who is there }" and receiving no answer, thrust like a madman in all di' rections, .she hastily packed up a few articles of dress, and made the best of her way towards the town. Scarcely, however, had she proceeded a few steps, When she discovered that the castle was on fire. The marquess had, in his distraction, overturned the tapers, and the room was instantly in flames. Every effort was made to save the unhappy nobleman, but in vain: he perished m the utmost tortures, and his bones, as the traveller may be aware, still lie where they were collected by the neighbouring peasants—in the corner of the apartment from which he had expelled the beggar woman of Locarno.—Edinburgh Literary Journal and Gazette.
ftpfrft of SKscofcerg.
HYDROSTATICS AND PNEUMATICS.
(Cabinet Cyclopadia, vol. xvii.)
This volume is in every respect worthy of standing beside the luminous Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, by Mr. Herschel. It is just in the method that we wish to see all branches of science treated, and it is the only means of rendering such knowledge familiar; and this has only to be known to become popular. We understood this to be the aim of the Cabinet Cyclopadia at its outset, and the scientific volumes already published are an earnest of the Editor's zeal and success. The best method of illustrating this recommendation, is to seize from the volume a few familiar effects whose causes are imperfectly understood, and thus to show how closely the spread of science is identified with civilization and the common comforts of social life:—
Deceptive appearanee of fVaves. If we observe the waves continually approaching the shore, we must be convmced that this apparent motion is not one in which the water has any share: for were it so, the waters of the sea would soon be heaped upon the shores, and would inundate the adjacent coun
try; but so far from the waters partaking of the apparent motion of the waves in approaching the shore, this motion of the waves continues, even when the waters are retiring. If we obsttrve a flat strand, when the tide is ebbing, we shall still find the waves moving towards the shore.
Ornamental Fountain Clocks. It is the same cause (that which produces the deceptive appearance of a progressive motion in the waves of the sea) which makes a revolving corkscrew, held in a fixed position, seem to be advancing in that direction in which it would actually advance if the worm were passing through a cork. That point which is nearest to the eye, and which corresponds to the crest of the wave in the former example, continually occupies a different point of the worm, and continually advances towards its extremity.—This property has lately been prettily applied m ornamental clocks. A piece of glass, twisted so that its surface acquires a ridge in the form of a screw, is inserted in the mouth of some figure designed to represent a fountain. One end of the glass is attached to the axle of a wheel, which the clock-work keeps in a state of constant rotation, and the other end is concealed in a vessel, designed to represent a reservoir or basin. The continual rotation of the twisted glass produces the appearance of a progressive motion, as already explained, and a stream of water continually appears to flow from the fountain into the basin.
Facility of Swimming. The lighter the body is in relation to its magnitude, the more easily will it float, and a greater proportion of the head will remain above the surface. As the weight of the human body does not always bear the same proportion to its bulk, the skill of the swimmer is not always to be estimated by his success; some of the constituent parts of the human body are heavier, while others are lighter, bulk for bulk, than water. Those persons in whom the quantity of the latter bear a greater proportion to the former, will swim with a proportionate facility.
Common Mistake in Cooling JVine.
When ice is used to cool wine, it will be ineffectual if it be applied, as is frequently the case, only to the bottom of the bottle; in that case, the only part of the wine which will be cooled is that part nearest the bottom. As the application of ice to the top of the bottle establishes two currents, upwards and downwards, the liquid will undergo an effect in some degree similar to that which would be produced by shaking the bottle. If there be any deposit in the bottom whose weight, bulk for bulk, nearly equals that of the wine, such deposit will be mixed through the liquid as effectually as if it had been shaken. In such cases, therefore, the wine should be transferred into a clean bottle before it is cooled.
Why Cream collects on the surface of Milk.
There are numerous familiar effects which are manifestations of the principle now explained. When a vessel of milk is allowed to remain a certain time at rest, it is observed that a stratum of fluid will collect at the surface, differing in many qualities from that upon which it rests. This is called cream; and the property by which it ascends to the surface is its relative levity; it is composed of the lightest particles of the milk, which are in the first instance mixed generally in theuflnid; but which, when the liquid is allowed to rest, gradually arise through it, and settle at the surface.
Directions engraved upon the Common Weather Glasses absurd. The barometer has been called a weather glass. Rules are attempted to be established, by which, from the height of the mercury, the coming state of the weather may be predicted, and we accordingly find the words "Rain," " Fair," "Changeable," *' Frost," &c., engraved on the scale attached to common domestic barometers, as if, when the mercury stands at the height marked by these words, the weather is always subject to the vicissitudes expressed by them. These marks are, however, entitled to no attention; and it is only surprising to find their use continued in the present times, when knowledge is so widely diffused. They are, in fact, to be ranked scarcely above the vox stellarum, or astrological almanac.
Two barometers, one near the level of the River Thames, and the other on the heights of Hampstead, will differ by half an inch; the latter being always half an inch lower than the former. If the words, therefore, engraved upon the plates are to be relied on, similar changes of weather could never happen at these two situations. But what is even more absurd, such a scale would inform us that the weather at the foot of u high building, such as St. Paul's,
must always be difTerent from the weather at the top of it.
It is observed that the changes of weather are indicated, not by the actual height of the mercury, but by its change of height. One of the most general, though not absolutely invariable, rules is, that when the mercury is very low, and therefore the atmosphere very light, high winds and storms may be expected.
The following rules may generally be relied upon, at least to a certain extent:
1. Generally the rising of the mercury indicates the approach of fair weather; the falling of it shows the approach of foul weather.
2. In sultry weather the fall of the mercury indicates coming thunder. In winter, the rise of the mercury indicates frost. In frost, its fall indicates thaw; and its rise indicates snow.
3. Whatever change of weather suddenly follows a change in the barometer, may be expected to last but a short time. Thus, if fair weather follow immediately the rise of the mercury, there will be very little of it; and, in the same way if foul weather follow the fall of the mercury, it will last but a short time.
4. If fair weather continue for several days, during which the mercury continually falls, a long continuance of foul weather will probably ensue ; and again, if foul weather continue for several days, while the mercury continually rises, a long succession of fair weather will probably succeed.
6. A fluctuating and unsettled state in the mercurial column indicates change* able weather.
The domestic barometer would become a much more useful instrument, if, instead of the words usually engraved on the plate, n short list of the best es* tablished rules, such as the above, ac. companied it, which might be either engraved on the plate, or printed on a card. It would be right, however, to express the rules only with that degree of probability which observation of past phenomena has justified. There is no rule respecting these effects which will hold good with perfect certainty in every case.
This volume, we should add, is by Dr. Lardner, the editor of the Cyclopredia, and is a good model for his collaborateurs.
It is better to reflect ourselves, than to suffer others to reflect for us. A philosopher has a system j he views thmgs according to his theory; he is unavoidably partial; and, like Lucian's painter, he pamts his one-eyed princes in profile.
STATUE OF PET This superb work of modern art stands in one ot the finest squares of St. Petersburgh, and of Europe, according to Sir Robert Ker Porter. It was erected by command of the Empress Catherine, and, like all her projects, bears the stamp of greatness. The name of the artist is Falconet: "he was a Frenchman; but," adds Sir R. K. P. "this statue, for genius and exquisite execution, would have done honour to the best sculptors of any nation. A most sublime conception is displayed in the design. The allegory is finely imagined; and had he not sacrificed the result of the whole to the prominence of his group, the grand and u lid d effect of the statue and its pedestal striking at once upon the eye, would have been unequalled in the works of man. A mass of granite, of a size at present most immense, but formerly most astonishing, is the pedestal. A steep acclivity, like that of a rugged mountain, carries the eye to its summit, which looks down on the opposite side to a descent nearly perpendicular. The figure of the hero is on horseback, supposed to have attained the object of his ambition, by surmounting all the apparent impossibilities which so arduous an enterprise presented. The victorious animal is proudly rearing on the highest point of the rock, whilst his imperial master stretches forth his mighty arm, us the father and protector of his country. A serpent, in attempting to impede
ER THE GREAT, his course, is trampled on by the feet of the horse, and writhing in all the agonies of expiring nature. The Emperor is seated on the skin of a bear; and habited in a tunic, or sort of toga which forms the drapery behind. His left hand guides the reins; his right is advanced straight forward on the same side of the horse's neck. The head of the statue is crowned with a laurel wreath." It wag formed from a bust of Peter, modelled by a young French damsel. The contour of the face expresses the most powerful command, and exalted, boundless, expansion of thought. "The horse, says Sir Robert, is not to be surpassed. To all the beauties of the ancient form, it unites the easy grace of nature with a fire which pervades every line; and gives such a life to the statue, that as you gaze you expect to see it leap from the pinnacle into the air. The difficulty of keeping so great a mass of weighty metal in so volant an attitude, has been admirably overcome by the artist. The sweep of the tail, with the hinder parts of the horse, are interwoven with the curvatures of the expiring snake; and together compose a sufficient counterpoise to the figure and forepart of the animal."*
Our representation of this masterpiece of art is copied from a Russian medallion presented to our ingenious artist, Mr. W. H. Brooke, by M. Franciu.
* Travelling Sketches in Rnisia and Sweden. By Sir Robert Ker Porter, 4to.