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thing useful. If not the salt of the earth, they are its manure, without which it could not produce so abundantly.
The history of any private family, however humble, could it be fully related for five or six generations, would illustrate the state and progress of society better than could be done by the most elaborate historian.-The Doctor.
TITLES AND NAMES.
Our men of rank are not the only persons who go by different appellations in different parts of their lives. We all moult our names in the natural course of life.
Under the inspiration of Love, more bad poetry has been produced than by any or all other causes. Vanity, presumption, ambition, adulation, malice and folly, flatulent emptiness and ill-digested fulness, misdirected talent and misapplied devotion, wantonness and want, good motives, bad motives, and mixed motives, have given birth to verses, in such numberless numbers, that the great lake of oblivion in which they have sunk, must long ago have been filled up, if there had been any bottom to it. But, had it been so filled up, and a foundation thus laid, the quantity of love poems which have gone to the same place, would have made a pile there that would have been the eighth wonder of the world. It would have dwarfed the Pyramids.-The Doctor.
DIED, at an advanced age, Samuel Birch, Esq., formerly an alderman of London. He was the son of a celebrated pastrycook in the metropolis, where he was born, we believe, in the year 1757. He received a liberal education, and, at an early age, excelled in poetry. In 1781, he was elected into the Common Council, and, in 1807, Alderman of the ward of Candlewick; and in 1815, he was elected Lord Mayor. At his father's death, he succeeded to his business, as a cook and confectioner, in Cornhill: he excelled in his art, and his cuisine was unrivalled in the city of London: the late Dr. Kitchine immortalized his soups in print, and the grand civic entertainments of the last fifty years have presented successive evidences of Birch's skill in confectionary; his "court dinners," for the various companies, were perfection; and he is known to have provided the best of the Mansionhouse banquets. We have mentioned the Alderman's early taste for poetry; and
among his publications are, Thoughts on various subjects, and The Abbey of Ambresbury. He was likewise a liberal patron of the drama; and produced several mu sical entertainments, the most popular of which is The Adopted Child, a stock-piece to the present day. About a year since, Alderman Birch resigned his gown, and altogether retired from public life; his business in Cornhill being carried on to this day.
On the 9th instant, in his forty-eighth year, James Warde Prescott, Esq., of the Theatre Royal Covent Garden; a very meritorious and painstaking actor. He was born in 1792, and was the son of an officer of high rank in the British army, which account, when he first entered on the stage, he assumed the name of Warde. He received a liberal education, and his father obtained for him a commission, though he never reached a higher rank than that of a lieutenant of artillery. Early in life, he went upon the stage, in the provinces; but he did not appear in London until his twenty-sixth year, when he played Leon, in Rule a Wife and Have a Wife, at the Haymarket Theatre. He returned to the country, and, we believe, did not reappear in the metropolis until the year 1827, when he opened the season at Covent Garden Theatre, as Brutus, in Julius Cæsar. His performance was successful; and, for some time, he played the leading tragic parts at Covent Garden.
He remained at this theatre for several seasons, playing second only to the leading tragedians-Macready, Young, Kean, and C. Kemble. His best tragic performance was the part of Macbeth, which was considered, by some judges, to be the best since John Kemble and Young. His success in melodrama was more uniform; and he enacted, with singular felicity, the role of Napoleon, in the spectacle of that name, produced from the French, a few years since, at Covent Garden Theatre. If the mantle of the Emperor had not fallen upon our actor, the hat had; for he wore, during the performance, a hat that had formerly belonged to Napoleon. In this part, Mr. Warde evinced considerable genius, as well as artistical skill, and knowledge of effect; and the portraiture was pronounced excellent. În serious comedy, too, Mr. Warde had few rivals; though he acted to perfection that class of characters in which the villany of the part and the actor's success often cheats him of merited applause. "At one period, Mr. Warde received a weekly salary of seventeen pounds; and, while engaged in the metropolis, he was never paid less than eight guineas per week.”—(Observer.) Yet his life, since his appearance on the
stage, was one long struggle against pe-
ments extend rather than lessen the
On the 29th ultimo, at Viterbo, Lucien Buonaparte, Prince of Canino, at the age of sixty-six. Of this highly respected member of the Napoleon family, a memoir shall appear anon.
Foot Guards.-Of late, reading-rooms and a li-
The die, sweet woman's rosy mouth,
Or east, or west, or north, or south;
And climb Ambition's paths of flint;
Would make me master of his mint.
Fossil Trees.-A number of fossil trees have been discovered in cutting a new road to Norham-bridge, on the north side of the Tweed. The roots cannot be perfectly traced, but the branches are very distinct; the largest of the trunks are from five to six feet in diameter.
The Dandy belongs rather to the present and future, than to past time. The reigns of Queen Anne and of the two Georges could furnish no type of him; he was unknown to Addison, Fielding, Smollett, Hogarth. Sheridan was the first who described him, as Lord Foppington.-Bentley's Miscellany.
The Trigonometrical Survey of Ireland is now drawing to a close; and arrangements are in progress for beginning that of Scotland, during the progress of which the head-quarters of the surveyors will be at Edinburgh.
Cicero's Letters.-The temper, habits, and posi
tion of Cicero were natural, congenial to a good epistolary style; and his letters are, to our taste, among the very best of his works: they were, no doubt, carefully revised and polished for publication; and, probably, lost in that process something of their lighter merits; but they are still easy and graceful, and full of miscellaneous, yet interesting matter, which we should in vain look for elsewhere. -Quarterly Review.
At Turkish entertainments, the guests never become boisterous, excepting among the Christians, whose meals are generally accompanied with wine or rakee.
Progress of Temperance.-Nearly 500 whiskeyshops have been abandoned in Cork alone; and 1,500,000 members have already taken the pledge.Bentley's Miscellany.
Why is the Duke of Wellington like a pigeon pie?-Because he is known by his feets.
Penny Postage.-Why are the adhesive stamps like idle little boys? Because they want well lick
Mazes. In those few places where labyrinths at present exist in England, they are always great sources of amusement to the young people who are allowed to visit them. Every one who has been at Hampton Court will recollect the labyrinth there, which is open at all times to the world, and is the source of perpetual amusement to the public. There is also a very well-kept labyrinth at Chevening, the seat of Earl Stanhope, where the grounds have been laid out, by the present earl, chiefly in the ancient style, and in very correct and appropriate taste; and where, with an example worthy of imitation, they are at all times open to the public.-Loudon.
The Bullhead.-Pallas relates this fish to be used in Russia, by some, as a charm against fever; whilst others suspend it horizontally, carefully balanced by a single thread; and, thus poised, but allowed, at the same time, freedom of motion, they believe this fish possesses the property of indicating, by the direction of the head, the point of the compass from which the wind blows.
The Maigre. The two hard bones usually found just within the sides of the head in fishes, are larger in proportion in the maigre than in any other fish, and were supposed, the older writers say, to possess medicinal virtues. According to Belon, they were called Colic-stones, and were worn on the neck, mounted in gold, to secure the possessor against the colic: to be quite effectual, it was pretended that the wearer must have received them as a gift; if they had been purchased, they had neither preventive or curatic power.
Kenwood, the seat of the Earl of Mansfield, at Hampstead, is, beyond all question, the finest country residence in the suburbs of London, in point of natural beauty of the ground and wood, and in point, also, of the main features of art. The park may be said to consist of an amphitheatre of hills; the house being situated on one side, backed by natural oak wood, rising behind it, and looking across a valley, in which there is a piece of water, to other natural woods, also chiefly of oak, which clothe the opposite hills; and which, combined, give the name to the place; ken being derived from kern, the ancient British name for an acorn. In consequence of this natural disposition of the grounds, and of the woods, all exterior objects are excluded; and a stranger, walking round the park, would never discover that he was between Hampstead and Highgate, or even suppose that he was so near London. It is, indeed, difficult to imagine a more retired, or more romantic spot, and yet of such extent, so near a great metropolis.-Loudon,
LONDON: Published by GEORGE BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand. Printed by WHITEHEAD & Co. 76, Fleet Street, where all Communications for the Editor may be addressed.
A JOURNAL OF POPULAR INFORMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT.
CONDUCTED BY JOHN TIMBS, ELEVEN YEARS EDITOR OF "THE MIRROR."
EDINBURGH FIRE BALLOON. AIR balloons, the principle of which was known to Favorinus and the ancients, more than two thousand years since, as we are told, by Aulus Gellius, lib. x. c. xii., that Archytas, a scholar of Pythagoras, made a wooden pigeon, that could fly, by means of air enclosed within,- were again brought into notice by Stephen Montgolfier, by the accidental circumstance of the paper cover of a conical sugar-loaf, which he had flung into the fire, becoming inflated with smoke, and remaining suspended in the chimney; which thus impelled in the ingenious Frenchman the first thought of the fire balloon, designated, from his name, the Montgolfiére. Etienne Montgolfier, the original discoverer, never ascended; at least, so as to come before the public in the character of a practical aeronaut. Joseph Montgolfier, his elder brother, Pilatre de Rozier, and five others, ascended in the Grand Montgolfiere, at Lyons, Jan. 19, 1784; but the immense machine took fire, and the aerial voyagers descended without injury, in about fifteen minutes: any further attempts by the Montgolfiers, as practical aeronauts, are not recorded.
In Scotland, some interest appears to have been excited by the popular rage respecting balloons; and the earliest attempts emanated from a chemist, at Edinburgh, named Scott, who, on Friday, March 12, 1784,† let off, between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, from Heriot's Gardens, an air balloon, of about three feet and a half diameter; the colour, a light green. It took about six minutes and a half in ascending, before it disappeared altogether; and would have gone out of sight much sooner, had it not been for a black cloud, in the midst of which it appeared like a star, and was really taken for such, by some gentlemen at the Cross. The day was extremely favourable, the wind moderate, and at west a point north; so that the balloon went in the direction of east by south; and was taken up near Haddington, about twenty miles from Edinburgh. The crowd of spectators on the occasion was immense. On the 17th,
According to the information of M. de la Lande, editor of the Journal des Sçavans; but, according to others, by a rent, or burst, near the top of the balloon.
+ The celebrated Philip Astley, by a singular coincidence, on the same day, "launched an aerostatic globe [or balloon], in St. George's Fields, in presence of a greater number of spectators than were, perhaps, ever assembled together on any occasion." The writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, p. 228, who notices this fact, observes: "Many of the spectators will have reason to remember it; for a more ample harvest for the pickpockets never was presented. Some noblemen and gentlemen lost their watches, and many their purses. The balloon, launched about half-past one in the afternoon, was found at Feversham."
Mr. Scott let off another balloon, which rose more perpendicularly than the former, and continued in sight about thirty minutes. Several other balloons were started in the same month, from other places: one, launched from the Observatory of Aberdeen, went the distance of thirty-eight miles, in the space of half an
The fame of the Grand Montgolfière inspired another adventurer, in the person of Mr. James Tytler, a chemist, also, in Edinburgh, who superintended the construction of a balloon on the Montgolfier principle, and appears to have exhibited it as the EDINBURGH FIRE BALLOON : the price of admission was three shillings.* An Édinburgh journal, for August, 1784, records
"James Tytler, chemist, in Edinburgh, has been, for some time past, employed in Its the construction of a fire balloon. dimensions are about forty feet in height, and thirty in diameter. It was the intention of the projector to have ascended, with his balloon, about the beginning of this month, during the race-week; but things not being in that forwardness and the perfection he expected, he was obliged to postpone his aerial journey. On the morning of the 27th, however, he made a decisive experiment. About five o'clock, the balloon was inflated, and soon manifested a disposition to ascend. Mr. Tytler took his seat, and, with inexpressible satisfaction, felt himself raised, with great power, from the earth. The machine entangled itself among the branches of a tree, and by a rope belonging to the mast which raised it, so that its power of ascension was greatly weakened. However, when the obstacles were removed, it ascended, rapidly, to the height of three hundred and fifty feet, as measured by a line left hanging from the bottom of the basket. The morning was calm; and, as no furnace was taken up with it, the balloon, therefore, went but a small way; it soon descended to the earth, without any damage to the projector, who, in testimony of his security, returned, while in the air, the huzzas of the spectators; and, on his return, was overwhelmed with their congratulations."
In addition to this very circumstantial account, there is extant a letter from one of the spectators, dated on the day of this
In the very extensive collection of "tickets to places of public amusement," formed by Miss Banks, the sister of Sir Joseph Banks, and now deposited in the print-room of the British Museum, is a ticket of this exhibition, with the autograph of the exhibitor; and a manuscript memorandum on the card, that the balloon was "constructed by Mr. William Brodie." A portrait of the aeronaut, Tytler, is among the portraits etched by Andrew Kay, the quondam artistical-barber, at Edinburgh.
Edinburgh, August 27th, 1784. Mr. Tytler has made several improve ments upon his fire balloon. The reason of its failure, formerly, was its being made of porous linen, through which the air made its escape. To remedy this defect, Mr. T. has got it covered with a varnish, to retain the inflammable* air, after the balloon is filled.
Early this morning, this bold adventurer took his first aerial flight: the balloon being filled at Comely Garden, he seated himself in the basket, and the ropes being cut, he ascended very high, and descended quite gradually on the road to Restalrig, about half a mile from the place where he rose, to the great satisfaction of the spectators. Mr. Tytler went up without the furnace this morning; when that is added, he will be able to feed the balloon with inflammable air, and continue his aerial excursions as long as he chooses.
Mr. Tytler is now in high spirits, and, in his turn, laughs at those infidels who ridiculed his scheme as visionary and impracticable. Mr. Tytler is the first person in Great Britain who has navigated the air.
Mr. Tytler, in accordance with the concluding portion of the letter, is entitled, as Mr. Monck Mason correctly states, to the triple distinction of being the first native of Great Britain who achieved an aerial ascent; of having accomplished the first aerial voyage in these realms; and, with the exception of a recent experiment,† the only person, upon the principle of the original inventor, in which the agent of the ascension was atmospheric air rarified by the application of artificial heat; and, notwithstanding the unquestionable testimony afforded in the above-quoted papers, this event has been disallowed or overlooked by all who, previously to Mr. Mason, had professed to chronicle the progress of aerostation. It is pitiable to observe with what obstinacy the several
* As Mr. Monck Mason observes, the application, here, of the term inflammable, is, evidently, an error of the writer, arising from an ignorance of the real meaning of the word, and an incorrect association between the material and the cause of its production.
+ Mr. Sneath ascended in a balloon of his own construction, from Bleak-hill, near Mansfield, on the night of May 24, 1837, being the only instance on record, as Mr. Mason states, in which, with the exception of Mr. Tytler's from Edinburgh, such an expedient has succeeded in any part of the British dominions. After being in the air two hours, the balloon began to descend; and, at eleven, the grapnel took effect in a hedge, near the village of Spondon. Apprehensive of the escape of the balloon, should he quit it, and fear of allowing the fire to abate, lest, no longer able to support itself, the balloon might fall upon the furnace, and be consumed, he was compelled to continue in the car till half-past four on the following morning, when some workmen, passing by, came to his assistance, and relieved him from his dangerous situation.
writers upon the subject have perverted the admission of this ascent, and concur in ascribing to Lunardi the merit of having accomplished the first aerial voyage in this country; whereas he did not ascend till September 15th following. It may, probably, be urged, that Tytler's ascent was not attended with any of those astounding circumstances by which the exploits of the earlier aeronauts were generally signalized: neither was the distance run over, nor the rate at which it was accomplished, such as to entitle it to particular notice on the score of these attributes. To regulate the merits of an ascent according to such a scale, would, however, be most unjust; these are, in fact, matters wholly dependent on circumstances over which the individual can have no possible control; and many instances might be quoted of experiments, remarkable enough in other particulars, which, in these, might be considered as singularly deficient. Were such, in fact,
to be taken as the test of admission to the honours of aerostation, Pilatre de Rozier and Arlandes must relinquish the glory of the first aerial flight, whose utmost stretch did not exceed 5,000 toises; and the celebrated ascent of Joseph Montgolfier, in the Grand Montgolfière, at Lyons, must be erased from the list; as, in that, the distance accomplished was even inconsiderable to that achieved by the Edinburgh Fire Balloon. B.