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Dr. Forster is of
commences on the 10th of September. "It occupies ninety days. The mean temperature is 49.37°, or 11.29° below the summer: the medium of the day declines in this season from 58° to 40°. The. mean height of the barometer is 29.781 inches; being .090 inches below the mean of summer. The range increases rapidly during this season; the mean extent of it is 1.49 inches. The prevailing winds are the class SW., throughout the season. The evaporation is 6.444 inches, or a sixth part less than the proportion indicated by the temperature. The nn .in of De Luc's hygrometer is seventy-two degrees. The average rain is 7.441 inches: the proportion of rain increases, from the beginning to near the end of the season: this is the true rainy season with us ; and the earth, which had become dry to a considerable depth during the spring and summer, now receives again the moisture required fur springs, and for the more deeply rooted vegetables, in the following year.
"The fore part of this season is, nevertheless, if we regard only the sky, the most delightful part of the year, in our climate. When the decomposition of vapour, from the decline of the heat, is as yet but in commencement, or while the electricity remaining in the air continues to give buoyancy to the suspended particles, a delicious calm often prevails for many days in succession, amidst a perfect sunshine, mellowed by the vaporous air, and diffusing a rich golden tint, as the day declines, upon the landscape. At this period, chiefly, the stratus or falklond, the lowest and most singular of the modifications, comes forth in the evenings, to occupy the low plains and vallies, and shroud the earth in a veil of mist, until revisited by the sun. So perfectly does this inundation of suspended aqueous particles imitate real water, when viewed in the distance at break of day, that I have known the country people themselves deceived by its unexpected appearance."
Mr. Howard remarks that—" A phenomenon attends this state of the air, too remarkable to be passed over in silence. An immense swarm of small spiders take advantage of the moisture, to carry on their operations, in which they are so industrious, that the whole country is soon covered with the fruit of their labours, ia the form of a fine network,commonly called
gossamer. Tbey appear exceeding); active in the pursuit of the small insects, which the cold of the night now brings down; and commence this fishery about the time that the swallows give it up, and quit our shores. Their manner of locomotion is curious: half volant, half aeronaut, the little creature darts from the papilla: oo his rump a number of fine threads which float in the air. Mounted thus in the breeze, be glides off with a quick motion of the legs, which seem to serve the purpose of wings, for moving in any particular direction. As these spiders rise to a considerable height, in very fine weather, their tangled webs may be seen descending from the air in quick succession, like small flakes of cotton.'"
Autumnal Crocus. Crocus autuvtnolis. Dedicated to St. Pulcheria.
St*. Protus and Hyacinthus, A.d. Mr.
On the 11th of September, 1802, the following cause was decided by a jury in the sheriff's court.
Hurst v. Halford
The plaintiff was a nicknackitaria*, that is, a dealer in curiosities, such as Egyptian mummies, Indian implements of war, arrows dipped in the poison of the upas-tree, bows, antique shields, helmets, 8tc. He was described as possessing the skin of the cameleopard exhibited in the Roman amphitheatre, the head of the spear used by king Arthur, and the breech of the first cannon used at the siege of Constantinople; and, in short, of almost every rarity that the most ardent virtuoso would wish to possess.
The defendant was the executor of a widow lady of the name of Morgan, who, in the enjoyment of a considerable fortune, indulged her fancy, and amused herself in collecting objects of natural and artificial curiosity.
It was stated that this lady had been long in the habit of purchasing a variety of rare articles of the plaintiff: she had bought of him models of the temple of
Jerusalem and the Alexandrian library, a specimen of the type invented by Memnon, the Egyptian, and a genuine manuscript of the first play acted by Thespis and his company in a waggon; for all these she had in tier lifetime paid most liberally. It appeared also she had erected a mausoleum, in which her deceased husband was laid, and she projected the depositing her own remains, when death should overtake her, by the side of him. The plaintiff was employed in fitting it tip, and ornamenting it with a tessellated pavement; this was also paid for, and constituted no part of the present demand. This action was brought against the defendant to recover the sum of 401. for stuffing and embalming a bird of paradise, a fly-bird, and ourang-outang, an ichneumon, and B cassowary. The defendant did not deny that the plaintiff had a claim on the estate of the deceased, but he had let judgment go by default, and attempted merely to cut down the amount of the demand. The plaintiffs foreman, or assistant, proved that the work had been done by the direction of Mrs. Morgan, and that the charge was extremely reasonable. On the contrary, the defendant's solicitor contended that the charge was most extravagant; he stated, that the museum of the deceased virtuoso had been sold by public auction, and including the models of the temple of Jerusalem and the Alexandrian library, the antique type, Thespian manuscript, spearhead, and every thing else she had been all her life collecting, it had not netted more than 510/. As to the stuffed men- kies and birds, which constituted the foundation of the plaintiff's claim, they scarce had defrayed the expense of carrying them away; they were absolute rubbish. The plaintiff's attorney replied that his client's labour was not to be appreciated by what the objects of it produced at a common sale, attended, perhaps, by brokers, who were as ignorant as the stuffed animals they were purchasing.
The under-sheriff observed, that in matters of taste the intrinsic value of an article was not the proper medium of ascertaining the compensation due to the labour which produced it; a virtuoso frequently expended a large sum of money for what another man would kick out of his house as lumber. If Mrs. Morgan, who it was proved was a lady of fortune, wished to amuse the gloomy hours of her
St. Eaiuwide, Abbess, 7th Cent.
Guy of Anderlent, 11th Cent.
Albans, A. D.. 52$.
Glass-cutters At Newcastle.
On the 12th of September, 1823, the inhabitants of Newcastle and Gateshead were gratified with a spectacle which in that part was novel and peculiarly interesting, although in London it is common. It was a procession through the principal streets, of the workmen employed in several of the glass-houses, each bearing in his hand a specimen of the art, remarkable either for its curious construction, or its beauty and elegance. The morning was ushered in with the ringing of bells, and notice of the intended procession having been previously circulated, numbers of people crowded the streets. A little after twelve o'clock it moved forward along the Close, amid the cheers of the assembled multitude, the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells, and preceded by the band of the Tyne Hussars. It was composed of the workmen of the Northumberland, the South Shields, the Wear (Sunderland), the Durham and British (Gateshead), the Stourbridge (Gateshead), and the North Shields glass companies, arranged according to the seniority of their respective houses, and each distinguished by appropriate flags. The sky was clear, and the rays of the sun, falling upon the glittering utensils and symbols, imparted richness and grandeur to their appearance. The hat of almost every person in it was decorated with a glass feather, whilst a glass star sparkled on the breast, and a chain or collar of variegated glass hung round the neck; some wore sashes round the waist. Each man carried in his hand a staff, with a cross piece on the top, displaying ope or i
curious or beautiful specimens of art. These elevations afforded a sight of the' different vessels, consisting of a profusion of decanters, glasses, goblets, jugs, bowls, dishes, &c, the staple articles of the trade, in an endless variety of elegant shape, and of exquisite workmanship,with several other representations remarkable either for excellence of manufacture or for curious construction. Amongst these were two elegant bird-cages, containing birds, which sung at periods during the procession. A salute was fired several times from a fort mounted with glass cannon, to the astonishment of the spectators; a glass bugle which sounded the halts, and played several marches, was much admired for its sweetness and correctness of tone. Several elegant specimens of stained glass were exhibited; many of the men wore glass hats and carried glass swords. When the procession arrived at the mansion-house it halted, while a salute was fired from the glass cannon ; the procession then moved forward, passing along the bridge, through Gateshead, and then returned and paraded through the principal streets of Newcastle, to dinners provided at different inns
Mr. John Sykes, in the volume of "Local Records" published by him at Newcastle, from whence this account is taken, says, " that a procession of this kind is highly commendable, not as a mere unmeaning thow calculated for caricature, but as exhibiting to public view some of the finest efforts of human industry and genius."
Semilunar Passion Flower. Patsiflora peltata. Dedicated to St. Eamwide.
St. Enlogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, A. D. 608. St. Amatu*, Bp. A. D. 690. Another St. Amatut, or Ante, Abbot, A. D. 627. St. Mauritius, 5th Cent.
THE ORIGINAL CHARLES SURFACE.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Booh. Dear Sir,
Probably a biographical sketch of this eminent professor of the histrionic art, may prove acceptable to your interesting weekly sheet. Of the latter days of Mr.
Smith, I write from TY own recollection of him. It is a pleasant occupation to record the acts of these worthies of the legitimate drama—to notice the talents and acquirements of an actor so universally respected for the kindness of his disposition—the firmness of a mind gradually developing principles and conduct worthy the sympathy and respect of all— and whose ease and gracefulness of manner obtained for him the honourable distinction of "Gentleman Smith."
The subject of our memoir was born in London, in 1730. He was designed for the church, and in 1737 his father sent him to Eton, from whence he was removed to St. John's-college, Cambridge, in 1748. The vivacity and spirit which had distinguished young Smith while at Eton, here led him into some rash and impetuous irregularities. He was young —very young: unknown to the world, and too worldly in his pleasures. The force of evil example, so glaringly displayed within our colleges and grammarschools, was powerful—and Smith yielded to its power. One hasty act of imprudence and passion, frustrated his father's hopes, and determined the future pursuits of this tyro. Having one evening drunk too freely with some associates of kindred minds, and being pursued by the proctor, he had the imprudence to snap an unloaded pistol at him. For this offence he was doomed to a punishment to which he would not submit; and in order to avoid expulsion immediately quitted college. He now had the opportunity of gratifying his inclination for the stage, and without any deep reflection upon the step he was about to take, immediately upon his arrival in London, applied to Mr. Rich, then manager of Covent-garden theatre, and succeeded in obtaining an engagement. He made his first appearance in January, 1753, in the character of Theodoshu; on which occasion many of his college friends came up for the purpose of giving him their support. His second attempt was Polydore, in the "Orphan;" after which he appeared successively in Southampton, in the "Earl of Essex," and Dolabella, in "All for Love." Mr. Smith was obliged for some time to play subordinate parts ; but after Mr. Barry quitted the stage, he undertook several of the principal characters in which that great actor had appeared with such distinguished approbation. Mr. Smith's mode of acting had many peculiarities
which were considered as defects, but from his frequent appearance, the audience seemed to forget them, or to regard them as trifles undeserving notice, when viewed in connection with the many excellencies which he always displayed. This favourable disposition towards him was greatly increased by his upright and independent conduct in private life, which gained for him very general esteem. ■When Churchill published his "Rosciad," in 1761, the only notice he took of him in his satire, is comprised in the following couplet:—
"Smith the genteel, the airy, and the smart, Smith was just gone to school to say his part."
After being twenty-two years at Covent-garden, Garrick engaged him, in the winter of 1774, to perform at Drury-lane, where he remained till the close of his professional labours in 1788. Though Mr. Smith, for a considerable period, played the first parts in tragedy, nature seemed not to have qualified him for this branch of the histrionic art. His person was tall and well formed, but his features wanted flexibility, for the expression of the stronger and finer emotions of tragedy, and his voice had a monotony and harshness, which took much from the effect of his finer performances. The parts in this line in which he acquired most popularity were Richard the Third,' Hotspur, and Hastings.
But, now, I must speak of those powers in which Mr. Smith was unrivalled. His personation of Charles Surface, in the "School for Scandal," (of which he was the original representative,) has always been spoken of as his masterpiece, and, indeed, the highest praise and admiration were always awarded him for originality, boldness of conception, truth, freedom, ease, and gracefulness of action and manner. A sigh of tender regret to the recollection of so great a worthy has been uttered by the pleasant Elia, in his "Essay upon Old Actors," to which I refer every lover of the drama,—there he will discover what our favourites in the old school of acting were,—and what our modern professors ought now to be!
Mr. Smith's Kitely has been extolled as superior to that of Garrick. Archer and Oakly are two other parts, in which he acquired high reputation.
On the 9lh of March, 1788, after performing Macbeth, he delivered an epi
logue, in which he announced his intention to quit the stage at the close of the season, thinking it time to "resign the sprightly Charles to abler hands and younger heads." On the ninth of June following, he took his leave, after the performance of Charles Surface, in a short, but neat and elegant address: expressing his gratitude for the candour, indulgence, and generosity he had experienced, and his hope that the " patronage and protection the public had vouchsafed him on the stage, would be followed by some small esteem, when he was off." He performed but once afterwards, which was in the same part, in 1798, for the benefit of his old friend King. Mr. Smith was first married to the sister of the earl of Sandwich, the widow of Kelland Courtnay, Esq., she died in 1762. Soon afterwards he married Miss Newson, of Leiston, in Suffolk. Lord Chedworth bequeathed him a legacy of 200/. He died at Bury St. Edmunds, on the 13th of September, 1819, in the 89th year of his age.'
In my humble walk of life, when a boy at the free grammar-school of Bury St. Edmunds, I had, with my young "classical" companions, frequent opportunities of meeting this aged veteran of the drama. His appearance was always agreeable to us. He encouraged our playful gambols, and was well-pleased in giving us something to be pleased with. In his eightieth year he looked "most briskly juvenal." His person was then debonair, and his fine, brown, intelligent eye reflected all the mind could realize of the volition of Charles Surface. His dress was in perfect keeping with the vivacious disposition of the man. He always wore, when perambulating, a white hat, edged with green—blue coat—figured waistcoat—fustian-coloured breeches, and gaiters to correspond. Thus apparelled, he was, when the weather was favourable, to be met with in some one of the beautifully rural walks in the neighbourhood of the town, tripping on at a sharp, brisk pace, and twisting his thin gold-headed cane in his right hand. His politeness was proverbial; and the same ease and gracefulness of carriage—dignity of manner—and suavity of address—were features as conspicuous off, as when on, the stage. It was a lucky
* An Interesting notice of Mr. Smith will be found in a small and elegant little work, entitled "County Biography," &c, published by Longman and Co., accompanied by a good portrait of the subject of this article,
moment for us to meet him near our "tart" and " turnover" shop. He would anticipate our raspberry cravings, and remind us that he " was once a school-boy," and that the fagging system was only to be tolerated in the hopeful expectation of a plentiful reward in " sweets and "sugar-candy." He was one whom Shakspeare has painted—
"That liv'd. that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd with cheer."
Should this trifling sketch fall into the hands of any of my respected fellows, who were with me during my labours at the above-named school, I am confident they will contemplate this great man's memory with that regard which his rich pleasantries, and our personal knowledge of him, are calculated to inspire. He was an honourable man; and it was his honourable conduct which alone conducted him to an honourable distinction in the evening of his days. Unlike the many of his profession, whose talents blaze forth for a while, and then depart like a sunbeam, he retired into the quiet of domestic life—sought peace and solace—and found them. In a word," Gentleman Smith " was a respecter of virtue :—and he developed its precepts to the world in the incidents of his own life.
I am, dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
I LORAL DIRECTORY.
Officinal Crocus. Crocus Sativum. Dedicated to St. Eulogius.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, A. D. G29. St. Catharine of Genoa, A. U. 1510. St. Cormac, Bp. of Cashel, and king of Munster, A. D. 908.
Holy Rood. Holy Cross is in our almanacs and the church of England calendar on this day, whereon is celebrated a Romish catholic festival in honour of the holy cross, or, as our ancestors called it, the holy rood. From this denomination Holyrood-houte, Edinburgh, derives its name.
The rood was a carved or sculptured
groupe, consisting of a crucifix, or image of Christ on the cross, with, commonly, the virgin Mary on one side, and Jobs on the other; though for these were sometimes substituted the four evangelists, and frequently rows of saints were added on each side..
The rood was always placed in a gallery across the nave, at the entrance of the chancel or choir of the church, and this gallery was called the rood-loft, signifying the rood-gallery; the old meaning of the word loft being a high, or the highest, floor, or a room higher than anyother room. In the rood-loft the musicians were stationed, near the rood, to play during mass.
The holy roods or crosses being taken down at the time of the reformation, the rood-loft or gallery became the orgatr loft or singing gallery, as we see it in our churches at present: the ancient roodloft was usually supported by a crossbeam, richly carved with foliage, sometimes superbly gilt, with a screen of open tabernacle-work beneath.f
When the roods, and other images in churches were taken down throughout England, texts of scripture -were written on the walls of the churches instead. The first rood taken down in London was the rood belonging to St. Paul's cathedral, and then all the other roods were removed from the churches of the metropolis.J
The holy rood, at Boxley, in Kent, was called the Rood of Grace; its image, on the cross, miraculously moved its eyes, lips, and head, upon the approach of its marvelling votaries. The Boxley Rood was brought to London, and Hilsey, bishop of Rochester, within whose diocese it had performed wonders under the papacy, took it to pieces at St. Paul's cross, and showed the people the springs and wheels by which, at the will of the priests, it had been secretly put in motion. § The open detection and destruction of the gross imposture, reconciled many, who had been deceived, to the reformation.