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"I cannot imagine that its beauty in a good green house would be at all inferiour even to the myrtle itself. It seems to form the intermediate link, in the botanical chasm between the myrtle and the orange.
"It is curious, that plants of so extensive use as the coffee and tea trees (the coffee, perhaps, one of the greatest blessings, among those that are not really necessaries of life, that Providence has indulged to mankind, considering its beneficial qualities in use as well as its agreeable) should be among the most elegant of plants in foliage and blossom; and the coffee in fruit also. It is impossible not to rejoice that the present cheapness of coffee, though it is to be feared a short-lived cheapness, has made it, to a considerable degree, the beverage of the poor. It is strengthening, where tea is not; it is even nutritive, while tea certainly is not. Tea, however, moderately taken, and not too hot, may be regarded as not only innocent, but salutary. It is favourable to temperance and to tranquillity of mind. And perhaps, of all our daily repasts, it constitutes the most generally and unexceptionably agreeable, from which even reading is not excluded, and where conversation can be most itself."
Mr. Loft then remarks that the tea tree was first introduced into England by Mr. Ellis, about 1768. It was first treated as a stove plant; and its first flowering in this country was in the stove of the duke of Northumberland. He thinks the coffee tree may also, in time, be brought to endure the greenhouse without being confined to the stove.
AN ORIGINAL SONG BY BURNS.
To the Editor of the Universal Magazine.
POETA nascitur non fit. To no one can that maxim be with greater propriety applied than to Burns, the ever lamented Scottish bard. The nation, and the literary world in particular, are indebted to Dr. Currie of Liverpool, for a judicious selection of the works of that unfortunate son of genius; but there are many smaller pieces, the early effusions of his vigorous mind, which deserved to be drawn from their concealment; and, I am convinced that the following pathetick piece, would have obtained a prominent place in Dr. Currie's selection, had he ever experienced the pleasure of its perusal. It is one of those wild flowers which spring spontaneous in the soil of genius: and if a wanderer chance not to pass where it flourishes, it blooms unheeded, its sweets are unenjoyed, and it is left to waste its beauties on the desert air. During a visit to a gentleman in the neighbourhood of the country, where Burns first "warbled his wood notes wild,” I was anxious to obtain every information respecting that highly favoured but ill fated son of the muses. Amongst others the following anecdote was related to me. Burns being in company with some of his jovial companions, the conversation turned on the old song, to the tune of Hey tutti tait, to which Bruce led on his troops at the battle of Bannockburn, the words of which are as follows:
"I'm wearin awa John, I'm wearin awa John,
I'm wearin awa John, to the Land of the Leal.
There's a needle in the wa John, keep it to your sel John,
I'm wearin awa John, to the Land of the Leal.
You'll eat and drink to me John, you'll eat and drink to me Joha,
You'll eat and drink to me John, sugar sops and all.".
Burns, on a sudden, sunk into a deep musing, and taking a blank leaf from his pocket book he wrote the following: which for pathos and simplicity will not yield to any of his productions:
I'm wearin awa John, like snow weather, when it thaws John,
I'm wearin awa John, to the Land of the Leal.
There's nae hunger there, there's neither cauld nor care John,
Dry your glistening een John, my soul langs to be free John,
Ye've been baith leal and true John, your task is near done now Jolin,
Our bonny bairn's there John, she was baith gude and fair John,
Now fare ye well my ain John, the world's cares are vain John,
As the above has never yet been published in any collection of Burns's Poems, the perusal of it may perhaps gratify your numerous readers, and the insertion of it will oblige,
February 12th, 1809.
SKARLOTZ, THE BILLIARD PLAYER.
DURING the time the two emperours were at Erfurth, among the variety of singularities collected for the gratification of Alexander, there was introduced to his notice Peter Skarlotz, a person who was formerly a schoolmaster at Aix-la-Chapelle, and eminent for his knowledge of the mathematicks, which he taught there with considerable éclat, but whose incomparable adroitness at billiards suggested to him the wiser policy, in this age of dissipation, to relinquish science, and follow a more profitable pursuit. He therefore transferred the energies of his mind to the dexterity of his hands, and is, without doubt, the best billiard player in Europe Alexander, who himself plays exceedingly well, condescended to afford him an opportunity of manifesting his skill, by taking vast odds, but was beat every game. Skarlotz then displayed his astonishing powers, in going through a game of his own invention, with four balls, when he established his fame for ever, by the surprise and wonder he excited with mace and queue. To add still more to the fame of this singular phenomenon, both his arms are diminutively short. He received splendid tokens from both the emperours, of their approbation and astonishment, especially Alexander, together with commands to repair to Petersburgh.
The following anecdote of Rhodolph, emperour of Germany, and an old woman, is recorded in Coxe's History of the House of Austria.
Being at Mentz in 1288, he walked out early in the morning, dressed as usual in the plainest manner, and, as the weather was cold, entered a baker's shop to warm himself. The mistress, unacquainted with his person, pee
* We trust in the accuracy of our correspondent's information: and though the above has merit enough to have been written by Burns, yet we do not think it so decidedly characteristical as R. H.-Editor.
vishly exclaimed: "Soldiers ought not to come in poor women's houses.""Do not be angry, good woman," returned the king of the Romans, with great complacency, "I am an old soldier, who have spent all my fortune in the service of that rascal Rhodolph, and he suffers me to want, notwithstanding all his fine promises." "As you serve," rejoined the woman, "that fellow who has laid waste the whole earth, and devoured the poor, you have deservedly incurred all your misfortunes " She then virulently abused the king of the Romans, adding, with great bitterness, that she and all the bakers in the town, except two, were ruined by his means; and compelled him to depart, by throwing a pail of water on the fire, which filled the room with smoke and vapour.
Rhodolph, on sitting down to dinner, ordered his hostess to convey a boar's head and a bottle of wine, to her neighbour, the baker's wife, as a present from the old soldier who had warmed himself in the morning by her fire, and then related the anecdote with much humour. When thus apprised of her mistake, the woman was greatly terrified, and approaching the table, entreated forgiveness in the most suppliant manner. Rhodolph consented, on condition that she would repeat her abusive expressions; with which the woman faithfully complied, to the amusement and laughter of all who were present.
Professor Porson, of Cambridge, a short time before his death, being in a mixed company, among which were many eminent literary characters, and particularly a poet, who had a very high opinion of his own talents, the conversation turned on some of his productions, when, as usual, he began to extol their merits "I will tell you, sir," said the professor, "what I think of your poetical works: they will be read when Shakspeare's and Milton's are forgotten-[every eye was instantly fixed upon the professor] but not till then."
The late lord George Germain was not more distinguished for his abilities than for his amiable disposition. Of this his domesticks felt the comfort, living with him rather as humble friends than menial servants. His lordship one day entering his house in Pall-mall, observed a large basket of vegetables standing in the hall, and inquired of the porter to whom they belonged, and from whence they came.-Old John immediately replied: "They are our's, my lord, from our country house." "Very well," said the peer. At that instant a carriage stopped at the door, and lord George, turning round. asked what coach it was? "Our's," said honest John: “and are the children in it our's too?" said his lordship, laughing. tainly, my lord,” replied John, with the utmost gravity, and immediately ran to lift them out.
Barrow meeting lord Rochester at court, his lordship, by way of banter, thus accosted him: "Doctor, I am yours to my shoe tie." Barrow, seeing his aim, returned his salute obsequiously, with "My lord. I am yours to the ground." Rochester, improving his blow, quickly returned it with "Doctor, I am yours to the centre:" which was as smartly followed by Barrow, with My lord, I am yours to the antipodes.' Upon which, Rochester, scorning to be foiled by a musty old piece of divinity, as he used to call him, exclaimed: "Doctor, I am yours to the lowest pit of hell." On which Barrow, turning on his heel, answered: "There, my lord, I leave you."
His private character was that of a libertine, and he was extremely vain of his person and his talents. "The works of eminent geniuses (he would say) are few. They are those of Newton, Bacon, Leibnitz, Montesquieu, and my own He left an only son, who suffered under Robespierre in 1799. On the scaffold he said to the people: "Citizens, my name is Buffon."
Mr. Sheridan being informed that a certain dramatick writer never laughed at the performance of The School for Scandal, satirically exclaimed: "It is surely very ungrateful in him; for I never refused to laugh at his Tragedies."
A gentleman once observed to Dr Johnson, that there were fewer vagrant poor in Scotland than in England, and as a proof of it, said there was no instance of a beggar dying in the streets there" I believe you are very right there, sir," says Johnson; "but that does not arise from the want of vagrants, but the impossibility of starving a Scotchman."
WRITTEN BY WILLIAM CONGREVE,
[Never before published.]
FALSE tho' you've been to me and love,
So much your wonderous beauties move,
In hours of bliss we oft have met:
They could not always last; And though the present I regret,
I still am grateful for the past. But think not** tho' my breast
A generous flame has warmed, You e'er again can make me blest,
Or charm, as once you charmed. Who may your future favours own
May future change forgive, In love the first deceit alone
Is what you never can retrieve.
IMITATION OF MODERN POETRY,
NOT a breeze crisped the leaves of the bower,
Not a murmur was heard through the
While on tiptoe I listened around,
Every object now faded from sight,
O'er my fancy they beamed such a light,
As the form of a female I spied,
I resolved for a moment to hide.
Her desires were increased by delay.
Like an angel that fancy creates, When I rushed and exclaimed,-" My beloved!"
And it hoarsely replied: "Supper waits.”
Once more, ye muses, condescend to rhyme!
Nor have I prayed in vain: the muses
Upon their slave, and in a little time
For thirteen lines are done, my life upon it!
Now count, you'll find fourteen, and there's a sonnet.
THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN.
An elderly gentleman sat;
The wind it blew hard, it blew cold;
And he tried his lost hat to redeem.
While mourning his sorrowful fate;
Which swam away after his hat.
All wild and despairing he stood;
And then threw his stick in the flood.
He smote his sad breast in dismay;
PHILOSOPHICAL AND ECONOMICAL INTELLIGENCE.
MR. JOSEPH JEWEL has invented a new process of producing calomel that shall always be in the state of an impalpable powder. This is effected by a particular manipulation in the last sublimation of the calomel, which he describes as follows: "I take calomel or mercurius dulcis, broken into small pieces, and put it into an earthen crucible, of the form of a long bowl, so as to fill about one half of it. I place the crucible on its side in a furnace provided with an opening, through which the mouth of the crucible projects about an inch. I then join to the mouth of the crucible an earthenware receiver, having an opening at its side, to receive the open end of the crucible. The receiver is about half filled with water. I lute the joint with a mixture of sand and pipe clay. The receiver has a cover, that has a side continued upwards for containing water, with a chimney or tube in it to allow the escape of steam from the water below. I then apply a fire round the crucible sufficient to raise the calomel in vapours, and force it through the mouth of the crucible into the receiver; where, by the water while cold, or assisted by the steam when it becomes hot, it is instantly condensed into an impalpable powder, possessing all the qualities of calomel in its most perfect state. The calomel, when thus prepared, is purer, whiter, and more attenuated than that obtained by grinding. It is proper to wash the product over with water, before it is dried, to rid it of the coarser particles which may form about the mouth of the crucible.
Mr. Joseph Hume has published some observations on the use of sulphur as a vermifuge, and the proper way of applying it to vegetables. The method is extremely simple; for nothing more is required than to sprinkle sublimed sulphur, or what is commonly called flowers of brimstone, over the leaves of the tree or plant wherever the effects of worms or insects prevail. The sulphur may be tied up in a piece of muslin or linen, and with this, the leaves and young shoots should be dusted; or it may be thrown on by means of a puff, or a dredging box. This application is found not only to be effectual in destroying the whole tribe of worms and other insects which prey upon vegetables; but it is likewise ascertained to be congenial to the trees and plants on which it is sprinkled. Peach trees in particular, are remarkably improved by it.
Mr. James Scott, of Dublin, states, that he has found, by repeated experiments, that platina possesses, on account of its imperceptible expansion, a great superiority over other materials for making the pendulum spring of watches; but that arsenick must not be employed in consolidating it, as it would then be liable to expansion. When properly drawn it possesses self-sufficient elasticity for any extent of vibration.