Imágenes de páginas

Steward Elect ; and taking the Garland off his own Head, puts it on the Steward Elect's Head, at which all the Company clap their Hands in token of Joy. hen the present Steward takes out the Steward elect, and Walks with him, hand in hand, (giving him the right Hand,) behind the three other Stewards, another round the Hall; and in the next round as aforesaid, the second Steward drinks to another with the same Ceremony as the first did; and so the third, and so the fourth. And then all walk one round more, hand in hand, about the Hall, that the Company may take Notice of the Stewards Elect; and so ends the Ceremony of the Day.

th Tototr of The CITY WALL.

This is a front view of a watch tower, or one of the barbicans, on the city wall, which was discovered near Ludgate-hill on the first of May, 1792. Below is a section of Ludgate-hill from a plan of London by Hollar, wherein this tower is described.

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

The following poetical Composition appeared in the Morning Herald of May 1, 1800; and it is reprinted at the very particular request of several persons, votaries of the Opera, Fashion, Wit, and Poetry, who were desirous that it should be preserved in a less perishable form than that of a Newspaper.

The occasion of The ARM-CHAIRs. being placed in the Pit at the Opera House was this. Before the opening of the Opera House this season, it was generally understood, that His MAJESTY had graciously signified to Lord Salisbury his eoncern, that any of the Subscribers should be deprived of their Boxes on the nights when His MAJESTY honoured the Theatre with his presence. This being communicated to Mr. Taylor, he observed that the Roy AL objection might easily be obviated, by detaching the last Row #. the Pit, on these occasions, for the reception of the Subscribers. This was done accordingly, and a Row of ARM-CHAIRs, with Locks and Keys to the bottoms of them, were placed there, which on every


other night were to be free for general accommodation. But about two months after, the Arm-Chairs were removed, and a long bench was substituted.

On this great event, the Editor has no Intercepted Letters to lay before the , public by authority, and therefore he has not applied to Mr. Canning for a Preface, nor for Notes to Mr. Gifford. There is no Egyptian Fast to be solemnized, nor Festival to be celebrated. He can assure them also, that neither the Mustapha Raschid Effendi and Mustapha Ressichi Effendi for the Grand Vizir; nor General Dessaix and Citizen Poussielgue for General Kleber, were Commissioners on signing this Convention. But THE EvacuATION of The ARM-ED CHAIRs was effected without bloodshed or loss on either side, by Lord GALLowAY and Mr. Bell, Commissioners on the part of the Amateurs and Conoscenti, and by Signor LoRENzo Da Ponte, Poet to the Opera House, and Mr. SolomoN, Leader of the Band, Commissioners on the part of General Taylor and the Dramatic Field Marshal The MARQUIs of SALISBURY. The Arm-ed Chairs were surrendered three days after the signing of the Capitulation, without the intervention of any gallant Knight" from Sweden or from Malta.

Thus far is from the preface, and after a few remarks and a “Scena” in Italian, the poem alluded to, and here reprinted verbatim, is introduced in the following manner :

March 19, 1800. THE ARGUMENT.

A month or two ago, Lord Galloway came to the Opera, and on the Pit-door near the Orchestra being opened, he perceived, to his confusion and astonishment, that a long Bench was substituted in the place of the Row of ARM-CHAIRs at the bottom of the Pit, the principal or central of which he had filled for so many nights with discernment and dignity, and to the general satisfaction of every person present. His Lordship

* This differs a little from The Argument prefixed to the Poem, but the impartial Historian of a future age will weigh the authorities on either side, and record the truth according to the evidence. The Editor,

conceiving, rather hastily, that this measure was intended as a personal slight to himself, retired disconcerted, without taking his sent ; and, as he is a votary of the Muses, penned the following Lamentation, which he sent to Lord Salisbury the next day, and recovered his wonted good humour, cheerfulness, and gayety.



WHAT 1–the proud honours of the chair
Must I no more, with Cecil (a), share 2–
Still be my soul serene
Wirtil, or virtue's but a name,
Brutus and Galloway exclaim,
And sighing quit the scene.

Too sure I heard a warning knell,
And told my Critic Brother Bell (b)
The fall of seats (c) and stocks;
Yet fondly sooth'd by Bolla's airs,
Thought TAYLon's bottom, and his chairs
Secure with keys and locks. (d)

But ah! how Fortune loves to joke:
Expell'd am I, who sung and spoke
As loud as at the Fair: (e)
While yearly, with six thousand pound,
The Commons ADDINGtoN have bound
Their Servant ro the Chair.

My purer taste, my classic eye,
Unzon'd Thalia could descry,
Who stepp'd beyond her place:

(a) “Our Midas sits Lord Chancellor of Plavs.” Dunciad. (b) Mr. Bell, an ingenious Gentleman, very conversant in the Stocks and Funds, Grand Amateur, and Connoisseur of the Iower Bench. (c) It is feared that the Noble Lord alludes to the value of seats in a certain House, after the Union. Editor. (d) The bottoms of these lamented Chairs were kept under lock and key. (e) i.e. As loud as the very Gipsies themselves on the Stage at the Fair. This is poetry, but no fiction. Editor.

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

(f) “Quel Saturno briccon ti guarda trino.” Gli Zingari in Fiera, A. l. (g) Contecta levi velatum pectus amictu, Et tereti strophio luctantes vincta papillas. Catullus. (h) Alluding to the fascinating Ballet of Paul et Virginie. BAcchus AND ARIADNE too are now constrained to appear in patch-work dresses. The Costume is lost, and the Graces mourn. Jacet semisepulta Venus. So says the D. of Q. and many others of the ton hold the same doctrine. If Propertius were Ballet Master he would cast the parts of the Hillisberg toujours gaie et intéressante, of the PARisor au geste animé et sublime, and of the LAborir à sourire dour et euchanteur, with exquisite and approptiate taste. Haec hederas legat in thyros, Haec carmina 7tertos Aptet, et Illa manu terat utraque rosam / (i) Lord William Gordon. (4) PERE Elise'E, Conoscente e Medico di camera al Serenissimo Duca. “Corpo dotato di Sanitá.” Gli Zingari in Fiera. (l) The painter of various exquisite scenes at the Opera House (ll) Les Chanteurs et les Danseurs, des deux Sexes, a Monsieur T. sitendre et si cruel; * Il faut que nous vivions.”—Reponse de Monsiur R. “Je n'en vois pas la mécessité.”

For this, in arbitrating state,
In presence of the wise and great,
I sung the Sovereign's air : (m)
Firm was my voice, for Taylor smil'd;
Nor deem'd I then, (too well beguil'd,)
How slippery was the Chair.

Nor G–rd—n's coarse and brawny Grace,
The last new Woman in the Place (n)
With more contempt could blast;
Not Marlb'rough's damp on Blandford's
To me could prove a heavier curse;
My fame, my glory past.

Fall’n though I am, I ne'er shall mourn,
Like the dark Peer on StoreR's urn, (m)
Reflecting on his seat 1
In vain that mean mysterious Sire
In embers would conceal the fire ;
While Honour's pulse can beat.

For me shall droop th’ Assyrian Queen, (o)
With softest train and tragic mien,
The SiddoNs in her art;
E’en Bolla (p) shall forget to please,
With sparkling eye and playful ease,
And Didelot shall start.

LE TABLEAU, Présenté à Monseigneur le Chambellan PoloNi us . “Chanteurs, Danseurs, assailants, assaillis, Battans, battus, dans ce grand chamaillis: Ciel, que de cris, et que de hurlemens ! PERE Elise'E reprit un peuses sens; Ilse tenoit les deux cotés de rire, Et reconnut que ce fatal empire De l'Opera, des Jeux, et du grand Ton, Etoit sans doute une oeuvre du Démon.” The Editor. (m) The Air of Midas in the Burletta, beginning thus: “I’m given to understand that you're all in a pother here, Disputing whether, &c.” (n). An expression used, with a curious felicity, by her Grace for “the Manufactured Iadies of Fashion” imported from Yorkshire and other Counties into Portland Place, &c. whose houses she condescended to enter. But once she was most unfortunately mistaken. Car Madame M–lls, ouvrant un large bec, (Ayant en un Palais changee sa chaumière, Son air de drap devint démarche fiere;) Disoit tout haut, que G–Rd—N parloit Grec, Iles Grands surpris admirent sa hauteur, Et les Petits l'appellent Dame d'honneur. LegoN a deur tranchans, tant à la Bourgeoisie, qu'à la Noblesse. THE EpitoR. (nn.) ANToNY Storer, Esq. formerly Member for Morpeth, (as some persous may possibly ...? a gentleman well known in the circles of fashion and polite literature, o) BANT1 la Sovrana. § Bolla la Vezzosa.

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

“And once so merrily hopp'd she 3' during which the first singer is obliged to drink a bumper, and should he be unable to empty his glass before the last line is sung, he must begin again until he succeeds. The difficulty consists in swallowing the liquor fast enough, many getting tipsy before they are able to accomplish it. This of course goes round the party, until the whole are either completely “knocked up,” save a few who from the capacity of their throats are so fortunate as to escape. Your inserting the above in the EveryDay Book will much oblige, Sir, &c. J. F. The preceding is from a valued correspondent, on whose veracity full reliance is placed by the editor; he will nevertheless be happy to hear that this usage is on the decline.

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

The language, indeed, has retained its

olden character, but of peculiar customs little is known. In Lysons’ “Magna Britannia,” the practices of rush-bearing, of hanging up white gloves and garlands of roses in the churches, at the funerals of young inaidens,—of foot-ball plays, now confined to Derby, and this well-dressing of Tissington are the sum total of those notices under the head of “Country Customs.” A correspondent communicated to the Every-Day Book in March, a custom existing near Tideswell; and I have seen it stated in a provincial paper, that a right is claimed in the Peak Forest of marrying after the fashion of Gretna Green, and that such a wedding actually took place not very long ago. Something more of this should be known. Tissington well-dressing is a festivity, which not only claims a high antiquity, but is one of the few country fetes which

are kept up with anything like the ancient spirit. It is one which is heartily loved and earnestly anticipated. One which draws the hearts of those who were brought up there, but whom fortune has cast into distant places, homewards with an irresistible charm. I have not had the pleasure of witnessing it, but I have had that of seeing the joy which sparkled in the eyes of the Tissingtonians as they talked of its approach, and of their projected attendance. Long before the time arrives, they have canvassed the neighbourhoods where they reside, for flowers to take with them : and these flowers, in all the instances which have come under my notice have been red daisies, and none else. If, however, John Edwards, in his poem, “The Tour of the Dove,” be correct, others must be used, and those wild flowers:—

“Still Dovedale yield thy flowers to deck the fountains
Of Tissington, upon its holyday;
The customs long preserved among the mountains .
Should not be lightly left to pass away. -
They have their moral; and we often may
Learn from them how our wise forefathers wrought,
When they upon the public mind would lay
Some weighty principle, some maxim brought -
Home to their hearts, the healthful product of deep thought.”

In a note he adds;–“The custom of decorating wells with flowers, and attending them with religious services and festive rejoicings on Holy Thursday, is not peculiar to Tissington. Many other wells have been committed to the patronage of the saints, and treated with reverence; some on account of the purity, and others for the medicinal virtues of their waters. St. Alkmund's well at Derby, is an instance of the former class, where the name has been continued long after the superstition which gave it has passed away. In the dark ages of popery, this veneration for holy wells was carried to an idolatrous excess, insomuch, that in the reigns of Edgar and Canute, it was found necessary to issue edicts prohibiting well-worship. But the principle of veneration for waters, if restricted within its proper bounds, is amiable : indeed, it seems to have been implanted in the breast of man in all ages. A fountain is the emblem of purity and benevolence. From the days when the patriarchs journeyed in the wilderness, down to the

present period—whether bursting from the arid sands of the African desert, or swelling out its genial waters amid the Greenland snows—its soft melody, its refreshing virtues, and its transparency, have ever been a subject of delight and interest to the human race. Who could have approached the Bethesda of the Jews with a callous heart 2 Who could have listened to the song of Israel with indifference, when her princes had digged the well, and her nobles and lawgiver stood around it !” Rhodes, who has traversed almost every part of the peak with indefatigable zeal, gives the following account in his “Peak Scenery.” “An ancient custom still prevails in the village of Tissington, to which indeed it appears to be confined, for I have not met with any thing of a similar description in any other part of Derbyshire. It is denominated well-flowering, and Holy Thursday is devoted to the rites and ceremonies of this elegant custom. This day is regarded as a festival; and all the wells in the place, five in num

« AnteriorContinuar »