Imágenes de páginas

this ignoble mongrel kind of mixture to a tea ; but, however dear in itself

, comparaguest ! Let the reader deeply consider the tively, it certainly is cheap. A quarter of a matter, and he will agree with me, that it is pound of tea, with the addition of a few solids, in the highest degree sinful. It is bad, sloppy will treat two or three small parties. Comtea that brings on nervousness ; this is the pare the price of the tea with the cost of foundation of those sickly influences fre- spirits or wine, for the same hospitable purquently felt, after drinking tea, so denoted. pose, and there will be a wide difference. My principal admiration for Dr. Johnson

In short, tea is altogether the most gentleis founded on his affection for tea. There is manly (or, if you will have it so, ladylike),

It something so amiable about this, that it accommodating thing in the world. makes one forget all his stern, uncompro it; while it is a blessing to thousands of every

offends nobody-not even those who dislike mising whims and tempers. Yes, I can easily picture the “ Colossus of English literature,

7, rank and fortune. sitting at a well-furnished tea-table, under the

A cup of tea is as convenient, too, as it is reverent shadow of his wig; and complacently refreshing; it is an admirable addition to a watching the golden stream of tea descending

casual invitation, and generally secures in a glittering curve from the tea-pot into your guest ; not that he comes precisely for his cup. The author of Rasselas—the grave

the sake of the tea, but because the mention and lofty-minded writer of the Idler and the of it stamps the matter with a little imRambler--the Socrates of Britain-descend- portance. Were it not for tea, the life of a ing from his intellectual height for awhile, tonous than it now is. He could not expect

bachelor would be ten times more monoand smiling with as much naïveté as a laun- his friends and acquaintances to sit in his dress, over a cup of tea!

The sound of approaching tea-things is al- chairs for six hours together, and favor him ways renovating to me; the rattle of the ble and drinkable to vary the scene. Now,

with their converse, without something eatatray—the homely jingle of the spoons tumb- if there were no tea to be obtained, someling about among the cups—the whole bustle

thing else must be substituted for it; but, of the tea-arrangement, is truly agreeable. We all remember Cowper's lines on this sub: probably, his income is too limited for such ject ; yet one circumstance escaped him—the receive his friends with. What is to be done

a display of decanters as he may wish to hollow, but cheering, bubbling of the water, in this dilemma? Why, he must debar himas it dashes from the “loud-hissing urn, into the tea-pot, to uncurl the leaves and self from meeting his friends! But, thanks extract their essence.

to a cup of tea ! the poorest among us may I am an enthusiastic lover of tea ; and for venture to invite a friend occasionally, and, many substantial reasons. Some of the hap; of his attachment without degrading the

by means of Souchong, improve the strength piest hours of my life have been experienced at the tea-table ; and now, when left fevered character of his own hospitality. and fretful from hours of changeful study, my Speaking of inviting a friend to drink tea heart leaps up at the well-known music of the with us-if the reader be as warm-hearted brittle ware. After the first cup of fragrant as I would have him to be, his memory will Souchong, the peevishness of study dies away; rouse at the mention of this, and recall the my heart gradually tranquillises, and I begin image of many a face, whose benevolent feato think that the world may boast of contain- tures have brightened round his winter fire, ing something good, while it can afford me while tea, toast, and conversation inspired a cup of good tea.

the hour with delight. One of my greatest The tea-hour is moreover, a congenial pleasures, is to meet with an old school-fellow time for reflection. While the faint fairy whom the hurly-burlies of life have separated, clouds of steam come swelling from the tea, and secure his company to drink a cup of tea and shed an imperceptible dew upon the face, with me. Previous to his arrival, I take a man very frequently repents of his faults care to have my apartment in neat order.

-provided there be no danger of his toast The writing desk is locked, all books are cooling during the time. And how many a laid aside, particular orders are given to the one, who sat down to tea with evil passions servant respecting the management of the brewing in his brain, has gradually become muffins, &c., &c. The hour for tea is fixed; ashamed of his purpose, and tapped them and then I turn myself to the fire-place, rest away with his spoon on the edge of his tea- my feet on the hobs (very ungenteel!), and

await with the most delightful anticipations A principal reason for the popularity of the arrival of my friend. Hark! that was tea beverage in this country, is its compara- his knock-I hear his well-known step on tive cheapness. Many a one can afford to the stair-case--he taps at the door – 'tis give a friend a good cup of tea, when a dinner he! and now for something like happiness. would create a terrible sensation in his purse. If the weather be stormy, so much the Some will object to" cheapness " applied to better. We are comfortably sheltered in a

сир !



warm room ;-let the sleet and the hail pepper ation; give the fire a powerful poke-and the window paries; let the sullen winds do your duty. With what a grateful smile bellow around the chimney-top, and the you survey the room, and mark the morning hissing flow of the street-drains come on our sunbeam skipping about the walls, and tinting

We are unchilled by the tempest !-a everything with its hue of gladness, while blazing fire is crackling merrily before us ; the hot crystal stream is prancing into your and the only wish we feel at present is—that tea-pot! How pleasant are the tuneless mureverybody were as happy as ourselves. murs of the street, after your long confinement

What delicious hours are these! One of to the mournful and monotonous silence of them is worth the mock and formal page- the sick chamber! How exquisite that stillantries of ten thousand balls and masquerade breathed prayer, exhaling from the very core nights. All the treasured recollections of of the soul-that prayer, whose fervency greener years ; all those kindly farcies which language could not translate-to the blessed Hash across the hearts of friends during their God of all health and wisdom, for your reabsence from each other, are now brought covery! forward, with unaffected truth. The soul un- But I won't detain you; I hear the sugar burdens itself of a load of fondness, and revels hissing itself away in the bosom of your in the sweet release. The tricks, the perils tea-cup; there is a rich and glossy brownof school-boy days, come in for their share of ness on the surface of your tea-enjoy it! discussion; the changes that have occurred since that wild time are next regarded; and here, alas! we are sure to find sad gaps.

SHROVE - TUESDAY, There are many honest sighs to be heaved at

'Tis merry in the hall, when beards wag all, the mention of some brave fellow, whose boy- And welcome merry Shrovetide. hood promised a manhood of glory; whose bright eyes have long been quenched by the damp of death. Still, there is a luxury even

If we have cause to lament the degenein this ; the melancholy we feel serves but to racy of some of the classes making up Engtemper the gladness of the hour, and hallow land's population, in manliness of character emotions of the mind. The subject

and physical strength, and to blush for the is, generally, concerning our mutual fortunes. silly foppery and affectation of others, who Each of us has met with some hard rubs in

but his way; nevertheless, we are still inclined

“Strut and stare, and a' that,” to hold out a friendly hand to the world, “perfumed like milliners," and talking like forgive its injuries, and forget everything but “waiting gentlewomen"- '-we have, at the same its benefits. And thus the evening glides on, time, no little cause for gratulation and pleaand the heart seems bathing in the delights surable reflection, in contrasting the present of friendship.--He that cannot relish such a pastimes and amusements of the" uneducated" night is a Goth.

many, with those of the times gone by. In In order to appreciate justly the delectable former days, they were wont to testify their charms of a cup of tea, we have only to re

devotion, and to assert their Christian prinmember the joy with which we return to it, ciples, by deeds of barbarism and blood. and taste it in the full perfection of its flavor, Christian festivals were the high days of after a wearisome illness. During our ma

“ Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood," lady, taste has been blunted by fever; and, principally, by the eternal and dismal ope- upon which clerics and laics appeared as if ration of turning the throat into a morning- sedulously bent on giving new vigor to the tunnel for the conveyance of thick beetle- worst passions of the human soul, and in gracolored draughts, and similar liquids, indus- tifying them even to satiety, regardless of triously supplied by our anxious apothecaries. the miseries which they spread around. Of course tea, with its genuine effects on the Upon Good Friday, when they celebrated the nerves of the tongue, is out of the question death of Him who did no violence," but who while we are in this state. At last, the health- breathed“ peace on earth and good-will to. tints begin to bud on the cheek; the wan eye wards men,” they wreaked their vengeance grows bright; the blood once more meanders upon some unhappy Jew, whom they way. unfevered through the veins, and the restored laid and stoned ; and upon Shrove Tuesday, patient finds himself seated at the breakfast when they were required to humble themtable with the freshness of health clothing his selves, by a confession of sin, that so they limbs. Now is the time for a cup of tea; might become partakers of their master's bring forth the tea-apparatus ! Let the urn sufferings and joy, they concluded their deonce more exhibit its august en-bon-point votions with the barbarous practice of “hen person ; spread forth the rolls in all their threshing," or the equally cruel “ sports” of crusty glory ; let the eggs lift up their milky "cock-fighting,” and “ throwing at the hen." brows; draw your chair to its accustomed situ- These barbarities have happily passed away,

[ocr errors]

E 2

[ocr errors]

and the harmless and child-loving practice of men (not the youngest in the village) meet eating pancakes is all that remains of " the together, and disguise themselves by putting wisdoin of our ancestora."

the front part of their caps behind, to which Tuesday, February 8th inst., will be the rags are suspended, and by blacking their day of which we speak ; and it may not be faces : thus arrayed, they proceed dancing unacceptable to some of our readers, if we and singing, to the domicile of the new housedevote a little space to its origin and former keeper. Having gained admittance, they celebration.

leap, jump, and dance about, and sing coupThe word shrove, by which this Tuesday is lets and songs adapted to the occasion, and distinguished in the calendar, is a corruption to the music of the epistle at grand mass. The of the old Saxon word shrive, and signifies con- inhabitants of the house are bound to regale fession ; this being the day upon which all the actresses in this burlesque scene; and, if the people were required by the Church to they refuse, the women make no scruple of confess their sins to their respective parish taking away what furniture they like; and priests. To ensure punctuality in their carrying it to the wine-house ( cabaret), it is attendance, the curfew-bell was tolled at an there deposited as a pledge for the entertainearly hour, and all servile work ceased. ment they may choose to order ; and the pro

In Catholic countries, where the Carnival prietor of it must pay the cabaretier his bill, is celebrated, this is the last day of that fes- before he is allowed to redeem his effects. -a period of dinners, balls, masquerades, cakes on this day is an English one, and ori

It is said that the custom of eating panand popular indulgence. On the nights of the Carnival, a general confusion takes place;

ginated, early in the fifteenth century, with masters are dressed as servants, valets as

one Simon Eyre, a Lord Mayor of London, masters, the military as mechanics, and work- who made a pancake-feast for all the apprenmen as soldiers; every one puts on a strange

tices in London ; and ordered that, upon dress, and plays the incognito under the ringing a bell in every parish, still called the favor of a mask; but the populace engross for the day. 'In Pasquier's ' Palinodia' (1634)

pancake bell, these youths should leave work the remainder of the fete, by carrying through it is merely said, that on this day every the streets an image called the Carnival or

stomach Shrove Tuesday ; and, feigning grief and

6. Till it can hold no more, uttering piercing cries, they throw it into the river.

Is fritter-filled, as well as heart can wish! We borrow, says Pasquier, many things

And every man and maide doe take their turn,

And toss their pancakes up for fear they burne; from the Pagans; as, instead of the ancient And all the kitchen doth with laughter sound, Bacchanalia, we have introduced the Car. To see the pancakes fall upon the ground.” nival, full of insolence and bad examples. The Bacchanalia were festivals which the But pancake-eating was not, as we have Greeks borrowed from the Egyptians, and already intimated, the only pastime in which were celebrated in honor of Bacchus, whom our forefathers indulged." Upon this day," they believed to be the same with Osiris. One says an old author, men ate and drank and of the most essential parts of the festival abandoned themselves to every kind of sporwas to appear covered with the skins of he- tive foolery, as if resolved to have their till goats, tigers, and other animals ; their faces of pleasure before they were to die.” Footbeing smeared with blood or wine-lees. A ball, and snow-ball--if the snow remained fine, handsome, well-fed youth was selected upon the ground—were amongst the sports to personate Bacchus, who was placed in a of the festival ; and the “city 'prentices," car; and to give an air of the marvellous to dear lads for a brawl , which they loved the the scene, the pretended tigers drew the car, better if it assumed the character of a serious while the he-goats and the kids gambolled riot-turned out about them under the form of satyrs and fawns.

" In Finsbury-fields ;-their brave intent Those who followed and accompanied the car To advise the king and parliament,” were called Bacchants and Bacchantes; that is, male and female mourners : last of all, ap- whenever they took it into their wise heads peared an old man, representing Silenus, that their advice was needed; and otherwise, riding on an ass, and distributing his jokes when the day was spent in any other way and gibes among the surrounding populace. that pleased their 'prenticeships. Thus the balls and masquerades of the French The shying at the hen was the worst "sport" may, perhaps, derive their origin from these indulged in. The poor bird was tied by its religious ceremonies of their ancestors. On leg to a stake; and he who first broke its leg, the last day of the Carnival, they celebrate by a large stick thrown from a certain disthe ceremony of the “ Femmes folles, or tance, was entitled to the prize. The schoolfoolish women; but this is the case only boy practice of shying at leaden cocks, is when any one has commenced housekeeping doubtless a harmless imitatiou of this brutal in the course of the year. The married wo- pastime. The cock-fighting of this season is

[ocr errors]


mentioned by Fitzstephens, who died at the our horror, we beheld the lovely maiden dislatter end of the twelfth century. He says :- playing our purse and handkerchief, which

“Yearly at shrove-tide, the boys of every she had contrived to abstract during our school bring fighting-cocks to their masters; momentary fit of compassion. We could not and all the fore-noon is spent at school, to see bear the sight of a number of unwashed these cocks fight together. After dinner, all ferocious-looking wretches, listening eagerly the youth of the city goeth to play at the to her account of our credulity; so we turned ball in the fields ; the scholars of every study rapidly down a bye-path ; and safe at home, have their balls ; the practisers also of all threw our affectionate wife into hysterics by the trades have each their ball in their hands. our description of the too interesting Gipsy The ancienter sort, the fathers, and the weal- girl.

MOTLEY. thy citizens, came on horseback, to see these youngsters contending at their sport, with whom, in a manner, they participate by mo- ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.* tion; stirring their own natural heat in the view of the active youth, with whose mirth Piping Bullfinches.-My Dear Mr. Editor, and liberty they seem to communicate The readers of our OWN JOURNAL will no doubt

Let us thank God, and the schoolmaster, like to hear, what they ought all to know; viz: that these brutalities have disappeared; and the manner in which these birds are taught the that we have nought of the old customs left, various airs, in the execution of which they show but the fritters and the pancakes.

so much excellence. They are not instructed here, We care not how often we are called upon April

. The month of June is the time for taking

but in Germany. They arrive in England about to pay our compliments to the two last.

the young ones, in a wild state, from the nest. They should be about eight days old when so

removed. They are then handed over to the care THE YOUNG GIPSY.

of one man only, who, by feeding and caressing them, becomes so much the object of their notice

as to be able to command and direct them, at his “SHALL I tell your fortune, good gentle. pleasure. They are attended to by him until they man?" said a sweet, musical voice, as we

are about two months old, at which age they first were gazing on a group of swarthy beings begin to whistle. They then go through a regular

nor is the strictest milibusily employed in preparing a Gipsy encamp- tary discipline more arduous to the sergeant, or ment.

more oppressive to the men, than are these exerWe turned, and beheld a young creature, cises to the bullfinch and his instructor. In slightly formed, with a complexion that might receiving the first rudiments of their musical vie with the lily: a winning smile irresistibly education, they are taught in "classes” of about aided her request, and we were prevailed on six in each. They are naturally "imitative.” to listen to her prognostics of the future-mar- The instrument by which they learn, is a barrelvelling how so fair a being could have aught organ of a single diapason. It plays nothing in communion with the rude group around beyond the air to be acquired by the birds. The her. Regarding us intently for a few seconds, pupils, before they make their first essay, are she sighed involuntarily, and pressed her kept very hungry. They are then placed in a hands over her eyelids, as if to control a is slowly played over to them. Hunger works

dark room—the organ in the centre—and the air sudden and unexpected emotion.

wonders, and most of these little imitators make “ Stranger,” said she, “ you are young, the most of Nature's gifts. Children cry, dogs and doubtless happy; pardon me if I seem howl, and asses bray, always louder and oftener intrusive, but I would not cast a shade on when they feel the ' vulture in their jaws." It a brighter lot than my own. You have a is just so with these vocalists. They make a wife that loves you dearly, is it not so ? You virtue of necessity. The moment they imitate need not answer me, I can see it in your the organ, at that inoment the light is admitted looks. You have a father,” she proceeded in into the room, and a morsel of food is given them. a faltering voice—"would that mine still sur

This is repeated so often-use is second naturevived to guide my steps in this world of woel sound of the organ is a sure presage of their being

and works upon them so mechanically, that the Alas! the poor Gipsy has little to expect on fed. When they have been thus drilled for about earth save contempt and abhorrence! Here her feelings overcame her, and she Lehrer, hands them over to the care of some

a month, their old feeder, called in Germany wept violently: we tried in vain to resist intelligent boy, kept for the purpose of playing the the infection, but every look at her sorrowful organ to their pupils. Each boy takes a bird, and features weakened our stoicism, and at last during these exercises, or rather rehearsals, they we fairly began to use our handkerchief. Pressing a gold piece into her hand, we turned

• Under this head, we shall contrive to give (by A away, anxious to conceal our emotions. peculiar mode of condensation) much and very valuable Ere we had proceeded far, a most unsenti- matter, on a multitude of interesting topics.

jects introduced will be inexbaustible, and constantly mental laugh caused us to look back; and to I varied.

The sub


are occasionally visited and always fed by their two of these birds. One is dead; but the sur. old teacher. His duty, now, is to check or en- vivor is equally attached as the other was. He courage them in their piping,” by various motions keeps guard over me, whilst I sleep ; and no perof the head and mouth, according to the degree son dare approach me unless he pleases. Even the of excellence they have attained in music. When doctor, if he chances to give me pain, " suffers" they repeat the same stave twice, he scowls and for it! When I leave the room, my drawers are blows upon them. When they perform correctly carefully watched ; and nothing is ever permitted he waves his head like a "Great Mogul," and to be removed from the table. When I have shows signs that he is pleased, These motions been moaning, from excessive pain, and any one the birds perfectly comprehend ; and by dint of has remained with me an undue time-woe be to perseverance on the part of the teacher, and them! My watchman bas flown at them by practise on theirs, they acquire the habit of piping way of a hint, and followed them to the door, that never leaves them till death. Now, as regards pecking all the way at their feet. For himself

, the teaching of these birds-imitative though they he cares nothing—he eats little indeed! All his be, it must be tiresome, indeed! It must be delight seems in watching my progress,

He remembered, that one false note renders a bird has his liberty in doors and out of doors; but he "faulty.” Herein the difficulty! Our English never attempts to leave the premises.-PATIENCE, bullfinches have no song. It is a mere twitter. | Devon. They are pretty birds, truly, and very affectionate, but cannot be named among song-birds. The Timidity and Ferocity combined.—The ready value of “German piping bullfinches," ranges insertion you have given, Mr. Editor, to my from one guinea, upwards. They must never be many little anecdotes of animals, induces me to purchased of people who deal in parrots, or indeed send you yet another curious fact. Some little any “noisy" birds. Bought at such places they time since, I had a puppy six months old. He are valueless, as you must be well aware.- was of a middle size; and would run and yelp EMMA T- (an old fancier,) Belgrave Square. at the sight of another dog, however small. Now

[We thank you, Madam, for this kind and there was a large and savage bull-dog, living two friendly communication, which we know to be very doors off, in the village of Twickenham. This correct in all its details. Our English bullfinch beast, from some unascertained cause, would is, as you say, not musical, but "very affection- seek every opportunity to worry my puppy, who

We shall have much to say in his praise, bore all patiently. One day however, a very wet when his turn comes round, in our series of day, the bull-dog rolled the puppy in the mud, " British Song and Cage Birds." The suggestion keeping him there until he was nearly smothered. in your note, about the nightingale and black- However, being hard pressed, and fearing for his cap, shall most assuredly be borne in mind. We life, the little fellow turned round and showed never can, never will, lose any opportunity of fight. His first sharp teeth were just grown. singing their praises. They will be here again With these, he seized his enemy by the side of in ten weeks! ]

the neck. In the struggle to retain his hold of so

powerful an adversary, the carotid artery was Rooks. I crave your advice, Mr. Editor, in a severed. Blood streamed out, and the bull-dog matter of difficulty. I am particularly fond of lay prostrate—He was dead! This did not rooks; and have been well pleased to find myself "satisfy" his conqueror, who forthwith turned a surrounded by them—my house being situate bitter enemy to all his race. No dog could pass near some large trees used by the rooks as a him without insult, or undeserved punishment. colony. Now, unfortunately, the nests of my He flew at them all ! nor would he accept chasfavorite birds have been robbed by idle boys. tisement from me, his master. One day he This has so disconcerted the rooks, that they attacked a little boy, who was upon the premises, have taken their departure. There are now no just as I returned home in my “jockey-boots" from Tests remaining in the trees; although the birds a long ride. I immediately struck him with my are still numerous in the neighborhood. Can you whip. He turned upon me at once, and furiously tell me, my dear Sir, how I can entice them bit through the double leather of my boot. back ?-FREDERICA.

Next day, my man said to me,—" Master! you [The removal of the nests from your trees, is will soon lose 'Bounce;' his name is up,' deeply to be regretted. Birds so disturbed sel- ever since he settled the bull-dog.' True words dom, if ever, take kindly to their original haunts. these! Within a week he was stolen. He disThere are no direct means to entice them back, appeared in the night, and I afterwards learnt unless you could have a quantity of artificial that his new prescribed duty was to be the guarnests placed in their old positions. This might, dian of a barge on the River Thames. His sire at a future time, induce some stragglers to re- was a retriever, between the setter and Newfoundconnoitre ; and if undisturbed, they might be pre- land ; his dam was a Blenheim spaniel. He vailed on to remain. It is worth an effort to re- had a twin brother, the bravest sporting dog I pair "the mistake" committed. A recurrence of ever knew. He would leap from a rock fifty or it, we need hardly say, would render all further more feet high into the water, to recover the attempts at a reconciliation fruitless.]

game his master had shot. I gave him to Mr,

Thomas, of Teddington.-VERAX. The Cockatoo.—This, Mr. Editor, is a charming species of bird ; and so affectionate! Pray More of the Blue-Cap."-Do not look grave mention this in our JOURNAL, for the sake of Mr. Editor, when I tell you I once had a bird, invalids, who can have no more faithful and fond who of his own free-will would "live in a cage.' associato in the time of sickness. I have had | You may say it is unnatural; and so it is--an

« AnteriorContinuar »