Imágenes de páginas
PDF
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic]

subjects, sufficiently beyond the intimacy of the populace to excite their curiosity. The showman commonly details so much concerning every thing in his grand exhibition, and so elevates each, as to interest his auditors to the height of desiring further particulars. The stories are printed separately in the shape of ballads or garlands, and “embellished with cuts;” by the sale of these to his auditors he obtains the reward of his oratory. The qualifications for a German showman are a manly person, sonorous voice, fluent delivery, and imposing manner. In dress he is like a sergeant-major, and in address like a person accustomed to command. He is accompanied in his speeches by a fiddler of vivacity or trick, to keep the people “in merry, pin.” This associate is generally an old humourist, with a false nose of strange form and large dimensions, or a huge pair of spectacles. Their united exertions are sure to gratify audiences more disposed to be pleased than to criticise. With them, the show is an affair of like or dislike to the eye, and beyond that the judgment is seldon a pealed to on the spot. If the outlides of the showman's stories are bold, and well expressed, they are sure to amuse; his E. narratives are in good demand; th exhibitors and auditors part satisfied with each other; and they frequently meet again. This is the lowest order of the continental street comedy. In England we have not anything like it, nor are we likely to have ; for, though strange sights almost cease to attract, yet the manager and musician to a rational exhibition of this sort, in the open air, clearly come within' the purview of recent acts of parliament, and would be consigned to the tread-mill. What recreation, however, can be more harmless if the subjects are harmless. “Death and the Lady,” the “Bloody Gardener's Cruelty,” and the numerous tribe of stories to which these garlands belong, continue to be pinned on lines against a few walls of the metropolis, but they cease to attract. The “common people,” as they are called, require a new species of street entertainment and a new literature: both might be easily supplied with infinite advantage to the public morals.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

An appearance at this time of the year, already noticed, appears to have surrised our countrymen in Lancashire.

ough there is no doubt that the authorities who communicate the intelligence believe it very remarkable, yet it is doubtful whether the occurrence may not be more frequent in that part of England than they have had the opportunity of remarking. Their account is to the following purport:—

On Sunday, October 1, 1826, a phenomenon of rare occurrence in the neighbourhood of Liverpool was observed in that vicinage, and for many miles distant, especially at Wigan. The fields and roads were covered with a light filmy substance, which by many F. was mistaken for cotton; although they might have been convinced of their error, as staple cotton does not exceed a few inches in length, while the filaments seen in such incredible quantities extended as many yards. In walking in the fields the shoes were completely covered with it, and its floating fibres came in contact with the face in all directions. Every tree, lamppost, or other projecting body had arrested a portion of it. It profusely descended at Wigan like a sleet, and in such quantities as to affect the appearance of the atmosphere. On examination it was found to contain small flies, some of which were so diminutive as to require a magnifying glass to render them perce tible. The substance so abundant in quantity was the gossamer of the garden, or field spider, often met with in the country in fine weather, and of which, according to Buffon, it would take 663,552 spiders to produce a single pound.”

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

* Liverpool Mercury. See. The Times, October 9.

SugaRED Toast.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

Westbury, September 10, 1826. Sir, I suspect that although you solicit the aid of correspondents in furnishing your excellent miscellany with accounts of iocal customs, you scarcely o to receive one which appertains to that important time, when mothers increase their care, and fathers receive the additional “tender juveniles” with joy or sorrow, “as it may happen " If you should give publicity to the following strange “feast,” (more honoured in the breach than in the observance,) I shall feel gratified, as it may not only lead to an elucidation of its meaning and origin, but will tend to convince your readers, that you will not despise their efforts at contribution, however humble. I am not a native of this part of the country, or, as theW. people sa here, I am not “one o' Westbury,” for I have resided till lately in and near London, where the manners customs, and habits, are a hundred years in advance of those of the western part of the kingdom; hence, many of the usages that obtain around us, which now excite my surprise, would have passed as a thing of course, had I been always among them. On the “confinement” of a lady, but I must, before I proceed, define a lady “of these parts,” by the unerring test of her husband's qualifications: if he can maintain his own, and her station in their little world, he is then “well to do,"— “a rich fellow enough, go to—a fellow that hath had losses, of which is more, a householder; one who hath two gowns to his back, and every thing handsome about him;"—one who recreates in his own gig ; keeps a “main” of company; patronises the tiny theatre; grows his own pines, and tries to coax his forced plants into the belief that the three dozen mould candles which he orders to be ... lighted in his hot-house every evening, are “shedding delicious light,” left by the “garish god of day,” for their especial benefit, during his nocturnal rambles 1" The wife of such a man, sir, I designate a lady, and when such a lady's accouchement takes place, her “dear five hundred friends” are admitted to see her the next day. In London, the scale of friendship is graduated woefully lower; for visiters

[ocr errors]

there, bear the pangs of absence from the interesting recluse a whole fortnight. You are, doubtless, anxious to come to the “pith and marrow” of this communication, and I will tantalize you no longer. In “these" parts of the country, it is the custom, when a lady shall have been “as well as can be expected,” for thirteen or fourteen days, for the husband to enjoy what is called “ the gentleman's party,” viz: all his friends, bachelor and Benedict, are invited to eat “sugared toast,” which, (as the cookerybooks always say,) “is thus prepared"— Rounds of bread are “baked,” (videlicit toasted,) each stratum spread thick with moist sugar, and piled up in a portly unch bowl, ready for action: “strong er,” (anglice, home-brewed ale,) is in the mean time heated, and poured boiling hot over the mound of bread; which is taken immediately to the expectant guests, who quickly come to the conclusion of the gothic “mess.” How they contrive to emancipate the toast from the scalding liquid, I never could, by any effort of ingenuity and research, decide to my own satisfaction. A goodly slice you know, sir, it would be entirely impracticable to achieve; for in half a minute from the time of the admission of the “hot beer,” the toast must be “all of a swam,” (as we elegantly say here,) and, resembling the contents of the witch's cauldron, “thick and slab.” Whether a soup ladle and soup plates are in requisition on the occasion, I am equally unable to ascertain; but on the final dismissal of this gentlemanly food, (for I by no means would insinuate that the congregation is limited to one act of devotion,) they magnanimously remunerate the “nurse,” by each putting money into the empty bowl, which is then conveyed to the priestess of their ignoble orgies! Of all the “mean and impotent conclusions” of a feast, defend me from that, which pays its “pic nic” pittance to an old crone, who is hired to attend the behests of the “lady,” but who by some strange mutation becomes the directress of the “gentleman's” revels, and the recipient of the payment from his guests, for “sugar'd toast !” Should this “custom,” be thought worthy of being admitted into the EveryDay Book, you will “tell” of somethin more than Herrick “dreamt of in his philosophy;” and the following, couplet might “blush to find its fame” among

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

A newspaper of this day in the year 1818, contains a paragraph which marks the discontent that prevailed in London, in consequence of a regulation adopted by the Bank of England at that time. “The new mode adopted by the Bank, of stamping the forged notes presented to them for payment, and returning them to the parties who may have received them, has at least the good effect of operating as a caution to others, not to receive notes without the greatest caution. It has, however, another effect often productive of public inconvenience; for such are the doubts now entertained as to the goodness of every note tendered in payment, that many will not give change at all; and the disposition to adhere to this practice seems every day to be getting more general. In almost every street in town, forged notes are seen posted on trades, men's windows, and not unfrequently this exhibition is accompanied with the words ‘Tradesmen! beware of changing notes.” The operation of stamping the forged

notes, was at first performed by the hand, but now so arduous has this labour become, that a machine is erected for the purpose, and it would seem from the never-ceasing quantity of such paper in circulation, that it will be necessary to erect a steam-engine, so that hundreds may undergo the operation at once.”

NATURA lists' cALFN DAR. Mean Temperature ... 51 - 32.

Ottober 19.

GARRICK. “Garrick was, and Kemble is no more.”

On this day in the year 1741, the “British Roscius,” as he is emphatically termed, made his first appearance as “a gentleman who never appeared on any stage.” A remarkable event, precursing the revival of the drama, by Garrick, and its perfection by Kemble, deserves notice as a memorial of what “has been:" particularly as we have arrived at a period when, in consequence of managers having been outmanaged, and the public tricked out of its senses, the drama seems to have fallen to rise no more

Leadenhall-street, October, 1826.

Sir-The following is a copy of the play-bill that announced the first appearance of Mr. Garrick. - I am, Sir, yours truly, - H. B. - October 19, 1741. GooDMAN’s Fields.

At the late Theatre in Goodman's Fields, this day will be performed a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music, divided into two parts. Tickets at Three, Two, and One Shilling.

Places for the boxes to be taken at the Fleece Tavern, near the Theatre.

N. B. Between the two parts of the Concert will be presented an Historical Play, called the Life and Death of

King Richalto The Third, containing the distresses of - King Henry VI. The artful acquisition of the Crown by

KING Richard,

• operer.

The murder of the young King Edward V. and his brother, in the Tower. The landing of the Earl of Richmond, And the death of King Richard in the memorable battle of Bosworth Field, being the last that was fought between the Houses of York and Lancaster. With many other true historical passages. The part of KING Richard by a Gentleman. (Who never appeared on any stage.) King Henry, by Mr. Giffard; Richmond, Mr. Marshall; Prince Edward, by Miss Hippisley; Duke of York, Miss Naylor; Duke of Buckingham, Mr. Peterson; Duke of Norfolk, Mr. Blades; Lord Stanley, Mr. Pagett; Oxford, Mr. Vaughan; Tressel, Mr. W. Giffard; Catesby, Mr. Marr; Ratcliff, Mr. Crofts; Blunt, Mr. Naylor; Tyrrell, Mr. Puttenham; Lord Mayor, Mr. Dunstall; The Queen, Mrs. Steel; Duchess of York, Mrs. Yates; And the part of Lady ANNE, By Mrs. G1FFARD. With Entertainments of Dancing By Mons. Fromet, Madam Duvall, and the two Masters and Miss Granier. To which will be added a Ballad Opera of one act, called The VIRGIN UNMAsk'D. The part of Lucy by Miss Hippisley. Both of which will be performed gratis by persons for their diverson. The Concert will begin exactly at six o'clock. NATURALISTS' cALENDAR. Mean Temperature . . . 51 10.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

himself in such a way, that his legs are inaccessible to his opponent, and waiting

... for the critical instant, when he can spring

In * his impatient adversary.” The account of the matches at the Eagle-tavern then proceeds in the following manner:— The contest between Abraham Cann and Warren, not only displayed this difference of style, but was attended with a degree of suspense between skill and strength, that rendered it extremely interesting.—The former, who is the son of a Devonshire farmer, has been backed against any man in England for 500l. His figure is of the finest athletic proportions, and his arm realizes the muscularity of ancient specimens: his force in it is surprising; his hold is like that of a vice, and with ease he can pinion the arms of the strongest adversary, if he once grips them, and keep them as close together, or as far asunder, as he chooses. He stands with his legs apart, his body quite

upright, looking down good humouredly

on his crouching opponent.—In this instance, his opponent Warren, a miner, was a man of superior size, and of amazing strength, not so well distributed however, throughout his frame; his arms and body being too lengthy in proportion to their bulk. His visage was harsh beyond measure, and he did not disdain to use a little craft with eye and hand, in order to distract his adversary's attention. But he had to deal with a man as collected as ever entered the ring. Cann put in his hand as quietly as if he were going to seize a shy horse, and at length eaught a slight hold between finger and thumb of Warren's sleeve. At this, Warren flung away with the impetuosity of a surprised horse. But it was in vain; there was no escape from Cann's pinch, so the miner seized his adversary in his turn, and at length both of them for. each other by the arm and breast of the jacket. In a trice Cann tripped his opponent with the toe in a most scientific but ineffectual manner, throwing him clean to the ground, but not on his back, as required. The second heat began similarly, Warren stooped more, so as to keep his legs out of Cann's reach, who punished him for it by several kicks below the knee, which must have told severely if his shoes had been on, according to his county's fashion. They shook each other rudely—strained knee to knee—forced each other's shoulders down, so as to overbalance the body

« AnteriorContinuar »