[ocr errors]

case once more.

* * *

marvelled, and yet more when in their

Kebicw. presence the authors of the sacrilege were stricken blind.

Smith's Book for a Rainy Day. They only recovered their sight on ma

A work of considerable amusement and king a pilgrimage to St. John's, where the holy relic was found in its case.

untiring research, in which are described, Queen Ann, in the year 1506, sent for in clear and explicit language, the various the finger to Morlaix ; and the rector of antiquities of London, intermixed with

Its Plongasnon and the master of St. John well-drawn sketches of character. were in the act of bearing it thither on

variety is a decided recommendation, while their shoulders, when no sooner had they

its humour will admirably wile away & gotten into the churchyard, that the litter rainy day, or a few hours in a steam-boat. gave a loud creak. Meanwhile the relic To all this work has its attractions, but had vanished, and on the attendants re

more so to Londoners, because metropoliturning into the church, after much inter

tan life and London topography are more cession and prayer they discovered it in its especially treated. The following passages the finger would not come to her, pru- Oxford-street. The queen finding that must be doubly interesting to him who is

acquainted with the north of Holborn and dently resolved to wait upon it, and performed the latter part of her pilgrimage on

TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD IN 1773. foot. At the spot where she descended “ As few persons possess so retentive a from her litter, is the cross of Lann-Fes- memory as myself, I make no doubt that tour, on whose pedestal is the imprint of many will be pleased with my recollections her foot. It seems that the Maltese pre- of the state of Tottenham-court-road at tended to possess the identical forefinger; this time. The ground behind the and so warm was the dispute, that a learned north-west end of Russell-street was occudoctor of the Sorbonne was called upon to pied by a farm, belonging to two old maiden determine the matter, and he adjudicated sisters of the name of Capper. They wore in favour of the Bas-Bretons, and the Mal- riding-babits and men's hats; one rode an tese relic was a middle finger. The learned old grey mare, and it was her spiteful deand pious editor of the late edition of Le light to ride with a large pair of shears Grand, gives us to understand in a note after boys who were flying their kites, parthat

posely to cut their strings; the other sister's “ The relic is evidently the last joint of business was to seize the clothes of the lads a finger. It is black, thở nail clearly dis- who trespassed on their premises to bathe. tinguishable, and thé flesh dissicated. It From Capper's farm were several straggling is impossible to determine by the shape to houses; but the principal part of the ground what finger or to which hand it had be- to the King's Head, at the end of the road, longed, but it appears to be the point of a

was unbuilt upon. The Old King's Head fore or middle finger. It is enveloped in forms a side object in Hogarth's beautiful parchment, with a handwriting of the fif- and celebrated picture of * The March to teenth century

Finchley,' which may be seen with other " The fire of St. Jean,” says M. Souves- fine specimens of art in the Foundling Hostre, “is always lit, in the parish of St. Jean pital, for the charitable donation of one du Doigt, by an angel who descends from shilling. I shall now recommence on the the steeple; but the mechanism of this ma: left-hand side of the road, noticing that on chine is so rude, its apparel so visible, that the front of the first house, No. 1 in Oxfordthe peasants are not duped by it, and never street, near the second-door windows, is could bave been. The object has evidently the following inscription cut in stone, ever been to amuse the pilgrims by a scenic Oxford Street, 1725. Hanway street, betrepresentation, and in nowise to deceive ter known by the vulgar people under the them.”

name of Hanover Yard,' was at this time the resort of the highest fashion for mer.

cery and other articles of dress. The pubDeath of Herr Grabe.—This distinguish- lic-house, the sign of the Blue Posts,' at ed individual, celebrated as a politicalecono- the corner of Hanway-street, in Tottenhammist, died on his way home from Canton- court-road, was once kept by a man of to which city he had gone as a member of the name of Sturges, deep in the knowthe mission charged with the arrangement ledge of chess, upon which game he pubof commercial regulations between the lished a little work. From the Blue Posts, kingdom of Prussia and the celestial em- the houses were irregularly built to a large pire. Herr Grabe was only thirty-two space called Gresse's Gardens; thence to years of age; and the chair of political Windmill-street, strongly recommeaded economy, about to be created at the uni- by physicians for the salubrity of the air. versity of Königsberg, was destined for The premises occupied by the French him on his return.

charity children were held by the founders

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


of the Middlesex Hospital, which was

New London Magazine. established in 1755, where the patients re- The October number of this magazine is mained until the present building was interesting, nor is it void of talent. The erected in Charles-street. Colvill-court, paper, entitled “ The Bachelor's Encyclo parallel with Windmill-street, northward, poedia of Practical Economy” is told with was built in 1766; and Goodge-street, fur: humour, and bids fair to be a highly poputher on, was, I conjecture, erected much lar paper. The prefatory remarks would about the same time. Mr. Whitfield's induce any célebateur to seek eagerly a chapel was built in 1754, upon the site of perusal, as they promise to guard the unan immense pond, called the Little Sea. married man against the numerous dangers Beyond the chapel the four dwellings, that environ bachelorhood. The promise, then called • Paradise Row,' almost termi• too, is not without its performance, for in nated the ho:ises on that side. A turn- the first portion of the article several highly stile opened into Crab-tree Fields. They useful hints are thrown out, which, if obextended to the Adam and Eve public served, will add to the comforts of the man house, the original appearance of which who boasts about his hat covering his Hogarth has also introduced into his pic- family. • Leaves from the Nute Book of ture of The March to Finchley.' * a Coroner,” is a striking paper, and leaves The whole of the ground north from Cap- upon the mind the true yet painful imper's Farm, at the back of the British pression that, however joyful the day or Museum, su often mentioned as being fre- hour, let it be a Christmas or a New Year, quented by duellists, was in irregular —there are many whose hearts partake patches, many fields with turn-stiles. The not of the general joy--poor creatures who, pipes of the New River Company, were not from evil propensities, wander about propped up in several parts to the height forlorn, hungry, and shivering with cold, in of six and eight feet; so that persons a land of plenty. The subjoined is startwalked under them to gather water-cresses, ling: which grew in great abundance and per. fection, or to visit • The Brothers' Steps,' A PEEP AT THE MODERN COFFEE-HOUSES. well known to the Londoners.”

"Perhaps the most remarkable feature of STREET SPLENDOURS OF 1771. a London thuroughfare is visible in the “The gaiety during the merry month of coffee and reading-rooms scattered about May was to me most delightful: my feet, in every possible direction, and of every though I knew nothing of the positions, possible diversity of appearance. Like kept pace with those of the blooming milk- the tranquil intervals of a river when it maids, who danced round their garlands of glides over the level channels which intermassive plate, hired from the silversmiths vene between the turmoil and agitation of to the amount of several hundreds of its cataracts, the traffic of the vast metropounds, for the purpose of placing round polis has its dallying places in these pleaan obelisk, covered with silk fixed upon a sant regions of seclusion. Often is the chairman's horse. The most showy city wayfarer tempted, from the tumult of flowers of the season were arranged so as out-of-door existence, by some seductive to fill up the openings between the dishes, invitation to a dish of aromatic mocha, plates, butter-boats, cream-jugs, and tan- emblazoned in fat capitals and disposed kards. This obelisk was carried by two with much symmetry amidst a map of chairmen in gold-laced hats; six or more flourishes. Now, the more fastidious mulhandsome milkmaids in pink and blue titude is decoyed by an exterior of plate gowns, drawn through the pocket-holes, glass and fluted corinthians, or an interior for they had one on either side; yellow or of gigantic mirrors and or-molu decorascarlet petticoats, neatly quilted, high- tion; now, the more indifferent pedestrian heeled shoes, mob-caps, with Iappets of lace is attracted to the dingy breakfast house resting on their shoulders; nosegays in by its primitive benches and a ventilator their bosoms, and flat Woffington Whats, that reminds one of the Mexican repubcovered with ribands of every colour. Butlicans, who are always ready for a revoluwhat crowned the whole of the display tion at the slightest breath. In the former was a magnificent silver tea-urn which case, the gallant may fancy himself within surmounted the obelisk, the stand of the precincts of the Palais Royal while he which was profusely decorated with scarlet slumbers over the columns of the Charivari, tulips. A smart, slender fellow of a fid. or may see upon the gorgeous papering of dler, commonly wearing a sky-blue coat, the saloon an illustration of the poem he with his hat profusely covered with ribands, was reading over night, while, at the same attended; and the master of the group moment, he can render himself a very was accompanied by a constable to protect fashionable kind of vegetable blight, inasthe plate from too close a pressure of the much as killing time will constitute his crowd, when the maids danced before the claim to the title. In the latter instance, doors of his customers.”

the artizan may practise a very useful chapter in arithmetic by balancing accounts to one another by sympathy and frequent between a broiled rasher and an excellent intercourse, and a stranger was morally, appetite,-a problem which consists in a though not virtually, regarded as a guest; subtle description of multiplication, the the habitué of fashion and society carried 'product' of which is easily discovered by his country-cousin thither to introduce him the waiting-maid. One circumstance in to the wits and characters of his generaconnection with coffee-houses must strike tion; here, the principal literary personages the most superficial observer, namely, the of the age, the dramatist, the bard, the wonderful variety of their external cha" orator, the novelist, the painter, the historacter; some conspicuous from the absence rian, resorted as to their mental home, and of everything save a name, a scraper, and extracted at once a stimulus and a recom. a wire-blind; others, from their extraordi- pense for their capacities by this undisnary ostentation in the display of still more guised familiarity: Nor were their choicest extraordinary viands behind the window- repartees confined within the oak panelling panes-eggs, so spotted by blue-bottles of the coffee-house, since those delicate that you might imagine them the produc- fribbles and loungers by whom they were tion of some colossal blackbird; pies, so constantly surrounded speedily disseminasickly in the crust as to imply the fact of ted such jewels of conversation about the their having been merely sun-baked, and purlieus of St. James's and the Mall: insostrange little saucers of something, which much so, that Fielding hath been often you at first mistake for pickled currants, startled by receiving back as original from but which, on closer examination, prove to the coral lips of my lady Tinsel the idenbe poison-traps for the flies. Others appear tical jeu d'esprit which he called into exto be constructed for the direct purpose of istence only twenty minutes before, when playing facetious tricks with the customer seated on one of the green-baize chairs at -ducking him down two unexpected steps Hogarth's club. Could a gallery of poron his entrance, almost snapping his wrist traits be collected of these disciples of with the violent pulley of the door-way, or lord Chesterfield, Beau Nash, and Roche crashing his hat off, with a distressing rasp foucault, it might be not inaptly designated against his forehead, by coming into colli- a New Whispering Gallery. Society has, sion with the knob of the gas-burner. however, undergone a thorough transforScarcely a single street of any pretension mation; men have become too universal in in this enor rous city is without its atten. their speculations—both monetary and indant coffee-house: even in those eccentric tellectual-to rest satisfied with the random little passages which sprout from the larger arrows of the humourist; they are too amthoroughfares, and which frequently seem bitious of joining in the communion of as though they were the main road itself, sentiments to sit agape during an entire poking its head between the houses to have evening ready to swallow every stray wita peep at its own back-even up those re- ticism uttered by the more illustrious visimarkable nooks and crevices may be dis- tor, and retail it to their acquaintances. covered some astounding parlour, fraught Thoughts, though as plentiful, must be with all sorts of comfort, squeczed up in selected with as much caution and discrisome preposterous corner, yet blinking a mination as blackberries—the mere green roguish welcome withal from its chintz cur- crudities must be neglected as indigestible, tains. Debarred by custom from attracting and the over-ripe spurned in like manner observation, as of yore, by some emblematic from their exceeding antiquity. Such cirsign or symbol, these places of refreshment cumspection requires in this railroad era are compelled to satisfy themselves with more time and assiduity than can be demerely a local habitation and a name;' voted to such a matter by the majority of they respire an atmosphere peculiar to their citizens; the consequence, therefore, isclass, an atmosphere compounded of a gush the wit is himself necessitated to call and from a printing-office, the odorous ghost of collate his own brilliant reflections, and rea coffee-pot, bees’-wax, French varnish, and duce them to a vendible reality; he porbird's sand. These present a direct con. tions them out in parts or numbers, like a trast to their renowned predecessors. For. shilling pottle of mulberries; and thus, merly, the coffee-house re-echoed with from the marvellous increase of readers, laughter and bon-mots; the gentleman in and the singular diminution of listeners, the powdered scratch talked clean across authors have been driven to print their ex. the apartment to the gentleman in the full- uberant opinions, and hence the origin of bottomed wig, notwithstanding they had Periodical Literature. As in the primitive never encountered each other before that instance, we are indebted to the olden cofinterview; the proprietor appeared a gene. tee-houses for those inimitable anecdotes rous and hospitable host, who invited you which are still extant in such profusion reto partake of his refreshments for the be- lative to the Augustan age in England, so, evolence of the thing—and a considera. in like manner, are we mainly indebted to tion;' the customers were generally allied modern coffee-houses for those astonishing

outpourings of the press--the magazines, more significant of the present age than this the reviews, the serial romances, and the quality in our daily literature. A volume, prodigious bulk of newspapers ; which yet damp from the pressure of the type, is form, at once, the chronicle and the phe- elaborately dissected on the very evening nomenon of our own immediate times. after publication ; before the bandage is Through their medium at least, the doc- yet adjusted over a broken limb at the hostrines promulgated in those publications pital, the accident is detailed in every jourobtain the widest circulation, and fre- nal ; while the actress is still engaged in quently, amidst the tranquillity of these removing the rouge from her countenance, apartments, a mind is awakened to its des- a criticism on her performance is being tined impulse, as with a flash of electricity, set up' by the compositor ; the orator at at the beck of the wand of that invisible a public assembly, on resuming his seat, but potent and terrible magician, the Press; has the first portion of his address thrust that mighty engine, whose silent but indo- into his bands already printed, with the inmitable voice penetrates the uttermost timation ‘left speaking,' at its conclusion. limits of the globe, vivifying with its inex. These circumstances would have savoured orable eloquence the germs of integrity of black magic to our progenitors, but soand independence; at one moment brand- ciety has become habituated to their recuring some petty charlatan with its playful, rence, and no longer regards them as mirabut irksome scorn; at another, warning a culous. For our own part, however, we despot in some distant land of the epoch of can never enter a coffee house, and perceive his doom. Much, indeed, would our pre- the broad sheets of our newspapers, yet decessors marvel at the vigour, the copi- reeking after their passage through the laousness, the diffusion, and the inexhaus- byrinth of the printing machine, without an tible energies of this new creation. Sum- internal exclamation of Honour to the moned into being by man's instinctive Press !' Honour to the manes of Gutthirst for regeneration, the press is simul- tenberg !' After this somewhat protracted taneouslv sustained by, and sustaining, the digression-of which the subject-matter is liberty of intellect and action-it is at once a sufficient apology–we cannot but award the tyrant and the embodiment of republi- to the beverage consumed during the perucanism, the tyrant over individual domina- sal of the literary effusions alluded to, some tion, the fosterer of universal freedom, portion of those emollient sensations expeWith its emissaries ever on the alert, and rienced by the frequenter of the coffeescattered throughout the various territories house. Clearing the brain of all dulness or of the earth, stimulated to novel exertions apathy, stimulating the minute ramifications by an ever-present spirit of competition, of the nerves, and thus calling the imagiroused into new development by the cease- nation, as it were, into healthy action, the less alterations of society, the press, as a decoction of the Arabian berry demands monitor of the populace, is ever increasing some token of our gratitude. Alas! we in its influence and strengthening in its cannot illustrate thy excellent qualities as strength. But that such should be the Elia’ apostrophised the unctuous merits case cannot create astonishment, when it of mere sassafras; we cannot, without deis remembered that its vitals are the amass- terioration, attempt a catalogue of thy ment of many thousand minds, that it beauties, or even of thy subtle insinuations stands forth the representative of human upon the palate through the medium of intelligence, that it is the creature of the our senses, whether of sight, of touch, of logician, the analyst, the politician, and the taste, or of perfume. Enough for us, that, philosopher. Occasionally, without ques- like a cannibal, we can merely testify our tion, this being rebels against its own cre- affection with the most wanton barbarity, ator, as in the instance of America, where, by obtaining thee, first to roast, then to nourished in its malice by the moral turpi- grind, then to boil, then to devour. In tude of the social system, and given up to truth, coffee requires no celebration from the most licentious abandonment, it pol- us, since it has received such magnificent lutes the commonwealth by its baleful pre- honours from the hands of royalty itself ; sence, and rules it only as a very demon when the burgomasters of Amsterdam, dewould. There, a great nation is at length sirous of testifying their loyalty to Louis becoming conscious that, like another XIV in the most remarkable manner, desFrankenstein, it has warmed into existence patched to him, as the richest present at a creature of hideous aspect and of horri- their disposal, a beautiful specimen of this ble capacity-a monster which now consti- plant, then regarded as a prodigious rarity. tutes its greatest misery--une that, unless On a balmy evening in August, in the year annihilated, may ultimately prove its down- of grace 1714, the watermen upon the river fall. Within the coffee-houses, however, the Seine observed a grotesque-looking struccharacteristic which is most conspicuously ture conveyed with much caution and diffivisible in the newspapers is that of their culty from the cushions of a barge up the rapidity in giving information ; nothing is stairs of the quay, adjacent to the Tuile

ries, and then ensconced with considerable door-mat for winking at their wives and nicety upon a vehicle which stood there in sisters; if he entered a religions edifice, readiness for its reception. Several car- twitch ! twitch I went his eyelid, and the riages, emblazoned with armorial bearings, beadle pushed him out, before the entire and drawn by horses richly caparisoned, congregation, for indecorous behaviour; if were ranged along the neighbouring road; he dropped in at an auction-mart, twitch ! and from these vehicles descended the so- twitch! went his eyelid, and everything lemn and stately figures of some thirty was knocked down to him by the aucmembers of the Academy of Sciences. tioneer, and finally he was knocked down Throwing back their state cloaks, sump- himself for declaring he had'nt bid once. tuously powdered with silver fleurs-de-lis Andrew Meek at last discontinued drinking and edged with miniver, the erudite officials coffee; the affection in his eyelid departed, clustered round the package which had just and he continued to dance and visit public been landed, and one of them, M. de Jus- sales without molestation until the period sieu, the king's professor of botany, stepped of his decease. Notwithstanding these forward with a mincing gait, twirling his rather comical results of the coffee-nut as agate cane between his delicate fingers, a beverage, its average operation upon the and, producing a small key, unlocked the more susceptible portions of the constituouter enclosure of the box. The hinges tion is decidedly beneficial. By some inflew back, and disclosed, beneath a curious scrutable property, it acts 'simultaneously frame-work of glass, an exquisite little tree, as a burnisher to the reflective faculties some five feet in height, its slender boughs and a queller of the harsher passions—& drooping under the weight of its glossy circumstance that may appear rather anoleaves, the hue of which was of a brilliant malous, but which is founded upon absolute evergreen, while the verdure of the foliage experience. Ply an irascible person with was relieved by the whiteness of its jas- full-flavoured Mocha, and he not only submine-like blossoms and the cherry hue of sides into amiability, but actually becomes its red berries. Nothing but expressions of hilarious, forgetting even the grounds of amazement and admiration burst from the his annoyance as his lips approach the lips of the French sages at the sight of this grounds of the coffee. Indeed, our Araextraordinary novelty-a trumpery little bian berry may almost vie, in these excelcoffee-plant—when a young man, of skinny lent consequences, with the genial efficacy proportions, startled them with a violent of a newspaper, and that the latter is an outburst of laughter—the cause of their unrivalled kind of peace-maker, we regard extreme rapture appeared to him so extra- as a matter beyond dispute. As a testivagantly contemptible. M. de Jussieu cast mony of this, we refer to that traditional a supercilious glance at the youth, ordered anecdote of the two draymen who encounthe present from Amsterdam to be con- tered each other, team, cart, brewers' barveyed to the Royal Garden at Marly, bowed rels and all, in one of those narrow bywith a dainty grace to bis colleagues, and passages which intersect the outskirts of withdrew. Little did the inquisitive lookers- the City, and which admit only one vehion conjecture that the meagre youth who cle at a time. Of course, both of these reshuffled past, still smiling at such sedate doubtable bruisers refused to budge one fooleries, was afterwards to attach his name jot, and each demanded priority of progress permanently to that quay, that he was des- with quite a miniature dictionary of maletined by his writings to annul such shallow dictions But the upshot of the disturmockeries by his wit, and rouse a revolution bance is, that one gentleman, exhausted by his philosophy-little did they imagine with the quarrel, coolly stretches his burly he would become so celebrated as Voltaire. limbs along the shaft of his dray, and, Possibly, this courtly pomp in the reception drawing a copy of Bell's Life from his scarof a simple coffee-plant, confirmed that let night-cap, begins dipping into the news great free-thinker in his animosity against with much relish. What does his oppokingcraft. Howbeit, in the abstract, the nent do on this display of resignation ?berry of Mocha is of a soothing nature, and, Trounce him within an inch of his life ? with its pungent sweetness, softens down Nothing of the sort-he leans across bis the more bitter feelings of humanity; though wheeler with a polite bow, and observes, when taken in excess, it not only disorga- •Beg your pardon, sir, but I'll engage that nises the nervous system throughout, but is paper after you, if you please !" After productive of some ludicrous consequences, this authentic narrative, who shall deny amongst which it repeatedly causes that coffee-houses are not aids in the adtwitching of the upper eyelid. This pecu- vancement of civilisation? Fully confirmed liarity it was that brought such incessant in this last opinion, we derive vast satisfacmishaps upon our acquaintance, little An- tion from the prodigious patronage accorded drew Meek: if he visited a ball-room, to these inimitable establishments; and ofttwitch ! twitch ! went his eyelid, and the times, too, we amuse ourself by a calculagentlemen present kicked him over the tion of the nourishment consumed therein,


« VorigeDoorgaan »