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A Starlight Winter Night.
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains.—Beautiful!
I linger yet with Nature, for the night
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness,
I learn'd the language of another world.
I do remember me, that in my youth,
When I was wandering,—upon such a night
I stood within the Coloseum's wall,
'Midst the chief relics of almighty Home;
The trees which grew along the broken arches
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the rents of ruin: from afar
The watchdog bayed beyond the Tiber; and
More near from out the Caesars' palace came
The o«l's long cry, and, interruptedly,
Of distant sentinels the fitful song
Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
Appeared to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Within a bowshot—where the Caesars dwelt,
And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst
A grove which springs through levell'd battlements,
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths,
Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth ;—
But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands,
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection!
While Caesar's chambers, and the Augustan halls,
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.—
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon
All this, and cast a wide and tender light,
Which softened down the hoar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up,
As 'twere, anew, the gaps of centuries;
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not, till the place
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er
With silent worship.
Two-coloured Heath. Erica bicolor.
St. Philogonius, Bp. of Antioch, A. D. 322. St. Paul, of Latrus, or Latra, A. D. 956.
THE BATH SEASON.
Mr. Foster's letter, inserted on the 17th instant, occasions the seasonable recollection, that this is the time when, in fashionable language, " every body" goes to Bath.
According to fabulous history, the virtues of the hot springs at Bath, were discovered long before the christian era, by Bladud, a British prince, who having been driven from his father's house because he was leprous, was reduced like the prodigal son to keep swine. His pigs, says the story, had the same disease as himself; in their wanderings they came to this valley, and rolled in the mud where these waters stagnated; and healed them. Whereupon prince Bladud, attaining
"to the height of this great argument," tried the same remedy with the same success, and when he became king, built a city upon the spot—the famous city of
Beau Nash, the founder of the theatre at Bath, made laws to regulate when and where the company should assemble, and when they should separate; arranged the tactics of the dance; enacted the dress in which ladies should appear; and, if they ventured to disobey, whatever was their rank, turned them back. His strong sense and sarcastic humour, being supported by a prevailing sense of propriety, kept offenders of this sort in awe. It has been said that such a man in old times, would have been selected for the king's fool; he seems to have considered himself in that relation to the Bath visiters, and made use of the privilege the character allowed him. He lived on the follies of mankind, and cultivated them. He gambled, and his profits and his office required and enabled him to live expensively, sport a gay equipage, and keep a large retinue. Yet he became old and helpless, and lived to need that charity which he had never withheld from the needy, but which none extended to him. He died poor, neglected, and miserable; and the inhabitants of Bath rewarded his services and genius, in the usual manner; they erected a statue to the honour of the man whom they had suffered almost to starve.
His loss, to the assemblies was exemplified in a very remarkable manner. Two ladies of quality quarrelled in the ball-room. The company took part, some on one side, some on the other: Nash was gone, and his successor in office did not inherit his authority: the partizans as well as the combatants became outrageous, a real battle-royal took place, and caps, lappets, curls, cushions, diamond pins, and pearls, strewed the floor of those rooms, wherein during Nash's time order was supreme.
Stone Pine. Pinwi Pinea. Dedicated to St. Phiicgoniui.
St. Thomas, the Apostle. St. Edburge.
This apostle is" in the church of England calendar and almanacs. He is affirmed to have travelled and promulgated Christianity among the Parthians, Medes, Persians, and Carmenians, and to have been the apostle of the Indies; where he effected numerous conversions, and by his preaching raised the indignation of the Bramins, who instigated the people against him till they threw stones and darts at him, and ended his life by running him through the body with a lance.
It is said that the body of the apostle was carried to the city of Edessa. On the discovery of Malabar, by the Portuguese, they found there the Nestorian christians of St. Thomas, whom they treated as heretics, and held a council, which passed decrees for their purgation. Yet many of the Malabarians still maintain the Nestorian doctrines and ceremonies, and refuse to acknowledge the authority of the pope.
Ribadeneira pretends that on the eve of Christmas, in the church of St. Thomas at Malabar, a stone cross commences to shed blood as soon as the Jesuits begin to say mass, "and not before." He says, "The holy cross also begins, by little and little, to change its natural colour, which is white, turning into yellow, and afterwards into black, and from black into azure colour, until the sacrifice of the mass being ended, it returns to its natural colour: and that which augments both admiration and devotion is, that, as the holy cross changes its colours, it distils certain little drops of blood, and by little and little they grow thicker, until they fall in so great abundance that the clothes with which they wipe it are dyed with the same blood: and if any year this miracle fail, it is held as a certain sign of great calamity that is to come upon them, as experience has shown them." Perhaps it is further miraculous, that in a country where there is liberty of thought and speech, and a free press, no stone cross will do the like.
St. Thomas's Day. Going a goading on St. Thomas's day. formerly prevailed in England. Women begged money, and in return presented the
donors with sprigs of palm and branches of primroses* Mr. Ellis says, "this practice is still kept up in Kent, in the neighbourhood of Maidstone." Mr. Brand adds, "My servant B. Jelkes, who is from Warwickshire, informs me that there is a custom in that county for the poor on St. Thomas's day to go with a bag to beg corn of the farmers, which they call going a coming."
In London, on St. Thomas's day, wardmotes are held for the election of the inquest and common councilmen, and other officers, who are annually chosen for the service and tepresetitation of the respective wards.
It is a remarkable fact that the majority of the inhabitants, in many wards, are indifferent to these elections, and suffer their ample franchise to run to waste, like housewives who are careless of their serficeable water; hence important offices are frequently filled by persons either ignorant of the duties they should discharge, or indifferent to them, or unqualified to understand them.
The Ward Inquests. From "An Inquiry into the Nature and Duties of the Office of Inquest Jurymen," by Mr. Thomas Newell, of Cap- plegate Ward, published in 1825, it appears that the ward inquest should be elected on St. Thomas's day, before the common councilmen are elected, inasmuch as "the alderman is commanded by his precept from the lord mayor, to give all the articles of the precept in charge to the inquest; which they cannot take charge of unless they are elected first." It is now the common practice of wardmotes, to elect the inquest last. This has arisen, perhaps, from what may he called, in the ordinary sense of the word, the "political" importance usually attached to the election of the common councilmen, and by this means the inquest, though foremost in power, has been degraded in rank, and sunk into comparative insignificance. Withal it is to be observed, that the inquest, with the aldermen, are the returning officers of the election of the common councilmen; so that where the practice prevails of electing the inquest last, 1 inquests are in fact constituted too
late to take cognizance, as an inquest, of the election of the common codnril, and such inquests are consequently incompetent upon their oaths, as inquest men, to return the common councilmen, as hating been truly and duly elected.
It appears further, that another extraordinary inroad has been made in London, upon the right of the wardmote inquests to return the jurors to serve in the mayor's and sheriffs' courts of the city. By some by-law or order of the court or aldermen, that court claims to exercise this most important and ancient right rf the wardmote inquests ; and issues a precept to the alderman of each ward, requiring him to acquaint the inquest "that they are not hereafter to intermeddle or concern themselves in the making of the said returns." This mandate is said to be conformed to at this time by all the inquests; so that the court of aldermen seems to have obtained the inquests to surrender their right to nominate the juries in the city courts, without a struggle, If the proceedings of the court of aldermen were illegal, it is clear that tact alderman, in his own ward, illegally dispossessed each inquest of its right, and then, exercised their Tisurped power when they met together as a court of aidemen.
From the elections in each ward on this day, the citizens are all in a hurry, and there is'much discussion at the fe* remaining clubs and tavern parlours Ill the different parishes, concerning the q«lifications of the respective candidate*. All freemen, being householders, are totitled to vote.
Sparrowwort. Erica pattern* Dedicated to St. Thomas, Apostle.
* Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1794.
St. Ischyrion, A. D. 253. Sts. Cyril
Clark, the Miser of Duttdet. On the 22d of December, 1817. died, at Dundee, aged sixty-six, ThorjasCIsH. a labouring man, who, by dint of paramony and saving, had accumulates rw' perty to the amount of fiom SOOi. « 10007. before his death. There are perhaps few authenticated instances of «durance which this person did not
larily sabmit to, in order to gratify his ruling passion. He lived by himself, in a small garret, in a filthy lane, called Tyndal's VVynd. His diet consisted of a little oatmeal, stirred into hot water, which he begged from some one or other of the neighbours every morning, tb save the expense of fuel. For many years he had laboured under a painful disorder, but would not put himself under the care of a surgeon, fearful of the cost. Driven at last to desperation by the intenseness of his sufferings, about twelve months previous to his decease, he sent for Mr. Crichton, who found him lying, in the most inclement season of the year, barely covered by an old tattered blanket. The furniture of the apartment consisted of about a dozen pair of old shoes, some old tattered clothes, a plough-share, a wooden dish, and horn spoon, a pair of scales and weights, a tub for holding meal, and an old crazy chair. Clark's disorder having been ascertained to be stone in the bladder, he was told that a surgical operation would be necessary for his relief. This he expressed the utmost willingness to undergo; but when informed it would also be necessary to have him removed to a comfortable room, he, his heart died w ithin him, and he said he must continue as he was, until death relieved him. In vain was he told that every thing needful would be provided. He still persevered in his determination. Leaving a trifle with him to procure necessaries, Mr. Crichton descended from the garret, and made inquiry of the neighbours concerning this miserable object; from whom he received the account narrated. Possessed If this information he returned and rated the wretch for his miserable disposition; jut all that could be obtained, was a promise to procure some bed-clothes, and
0 allow the operation to be performed in c room belonging to one of the neightours, and immediately to be hoisted lack to his own roost. The first morntig after the operation he was found uarrelling and abusing the old woman •ft in charge of him, for her extravagance
1 making use of soap to wash the cloths fiat were occasionally taken from under im ; and he expressed great exultation hen she was given to understand that Jan was not absolutely necessary for the urpose. A dose of castor oil that had een prescribed for him, he would not low to be sent for; but in its place \ allowed a piece of soap, which, he said,
would equally answer the purpose, and at much less cost. The cure going on well, he was ordered some beef tea. The parting with threepence every morning to purchase half a pound of meat, was perfect torture, and recollecting a piece of old rusty bacon, which he had formerly picked up somewhere in his travels, he tried the expedient of converting part of it into beef tea, and drank it with seeming relish. Next morning, however, the old woman, alarmed for the consequences, insisted peremptorily for money to purchase fresh meat, at the same time acquainting him that a supply of coals was necessary. "The coals consumed already! Impossible! They should have served him for the winter! She must have carried off some of them! Threepence for meat and eighteen-pence for coals! It's ruination! She must pack off immediately! But before she goes she must account for the two shillings received on the day of the operation!" The poor woman being somewhat confused could not bring to her recollection the disposal of more than lg. lOrf. It was then perfectly plain she was robbing his room, and ruining him by her extravagance, and she must go to prison 1 The garret was filled with the neighbours, alarmed by his noisy vociferation; and nothing they could say having pacified him, they sent for Mr. Crichton, who thought it might be the wise plan to leave him alone, and let him manage and feed himself in his own way. By the help of a good constitution, he soon recovered his health, but never could forget the expenses he had been put to during his confinement. The failure also of some people holding money of his in their hands, tended much to embitter the remainder of his life: and he was often observed lamenting his misfortunes; frequently saying aloud, " all bankrupts should be hanged!" There would be no end to the detail of this miserable creature's miserable eccentricities. On a bitter cold day, he went into one of the neighbour's rooms to warm himself, before ascending to his comfortless loft. The next morning he was found almost stiff with cold, and unable to move—the bed clothes, which he had been made to provide himself with the year before, were lying folded up in a corner ; he had not the heart to use them. On Sunday he lost the use of his faculties; and on Monday he breathed his last. His only surviving sister, a poor old woman, living
somewhere in Strathmore, inherited his property.
Pellucid Heath. Erica pellucida. Dedicated to St. Cyril
St. Servulus, A. D. 590. Ten Martyr* of Crete. St. Victoria, A. D. 250.
A Trifling Mittake.
In December, 1822, the Morning Chronicle states the following whimsical circumstance to have taken place at the Black Swan inn, at York :—
An honest son of Neptune travelling northwards, having put up there for the night, desired the chambermaid to call him early the next morning, as he wished, to proceed on his journey by the coach; and added, "as I am a very sound sleeper, you will most likely be obliged to come in and shake me." Accordingly he left his door unfastened, and soon fell asleep. The next morning when he awoke, he found the sun was high, and the coach must have left him some hours behind. Vexation was his' first feeling, the next was that of vengeance against the faithless Molly. Accordingly he proceeded to inform himself of the time of day, that he might tax her accurately with her omission, which was aggravated, in his mind, by every additional hour that he had lost; but after groping for some time under his. pillow for his watch, it was not to be found 1 This effectually roused him, and he launched at once out of bed, but no sooner found himself on his feet, than he discovered that his' clothes had likewise vanished. It was now evident -to him that he had been robbed; however a little more rubbing of the eyes convinced him that he must have been also stolen himself, as the room, bed, and furniture, were all strange to him! Indeed, he was positive in his own mind, that he had never beheld them before. It was equally clear to him that he had goue to bed sober; so being completely puzzled. Jack sate himself down on the bed to " make a calculation," as he often had done at sea, in order to discover, if possible, in what precise part of the globe he just then happened to be, and how he came there, lie had read of the enchauted carpet, by which persons could be transported to the remotest parts of
the world in the twinkling of an eye; but he never had heard that these fairy tricks had been played at or near York, to which place he had now distinctly traced himself by his " log." His next thought was to" take an obtervatoin," by look, I out of the window, but he could observe nothing but tops of houses. This view, however, rejoiced his sight, for, thowk he, I am still in a civilized country; this place may be York, where, if my senses do not deceive me, I went to bed last night, at all events I shall have justice done at But the enigma still remained unaplained, and poor Jack had no clothes t> go in quest of a solution. At last he spied a bell-rope, and giving it a hearty to, leaped into bed again to wait the issue, come who might. It was no enchanter who answered this summons, bat ouli poor Molly. "So you are there,are you' Pray why did you not call me at seie o'clock, as I desired you V "I did, E, but you did not answer me." . "me why did you not come in and shake me' "I did come in, sir, but you were go« *' I tell you I have not been out of k. all night; you must have gone to it wrong room." "No, sir, I went to > 22, the room that I put you in as night; besides, there was your «t» under the pillow, your impression in* bed, and your clothes placed ready K putting on." "Then, where the dff» am I! and how came I here?" are a story higher, sir; just orer you o*1 room." Our hero was now satisfiedts* he had been rambling oter the Ix** in his sleep, and had mistaken a story a returning to his own room. He the1* collected that this was a trick towbjeM had been addicted when a boy, a"^ * devised that the fatigue of a long jo»TM9 had probably chiefly contributed to re*" his old habit. The whole affiur«» ** ■ accounted for, and Molly prorteW A fetch the clothes of the disenchant knight, resolving within herself n"" trust her own door open again, I*' should be entered accidentally by sleep-walking traveller.