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Varieties : Literary, Critical, and Historical.

[96

And now the old man had told a rational

FRENCH CURIOSITY. tale, had he found but the due favour to The Badauds of Paris yield not to finish it, and thus, sometimes that is the cockneys of London in staring, and causelessly accounted ignorance of the “making a sight" of every thing. A speaker, which is nothing but impatience few days ago the footman of Lady P***, in the auditors unwilling to attend to the who is in deep mourning, made his apend of the discourse."

pearance in the Palais Royal, little supposing that he himself should be, for the

moment, the greatest curiosity of the LUKE AND DAMIEN.

place; the great vulgar and the small From the Gentleman's Magazine.

flocked round him, watched every mo

tion, and wondered who he could be: at MR. URBAN,

Dec. 8. FROM Boswell's Life of Johnson it by bis “twoepaulettes" (shoulder-knots:)

least he was a colonel--this was evident appears that line 420 of Goldsmith's but of what nation ? his hat and his walk Poem of “ The Traveller," and the con- were English; but the French had never eluding 10 lines, except the following seen an English regiment dressed in couplet, were furnished by Dr. Johnson. black : in fact, John was a rara avis in “The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel, Terris no one could guess to what Luke's iron, crown, and Damien's bed of army he belonged, and none dured put steel."

the question to him, for such impertiOf Luke it is stated, that in the “ Res- nence might be deemed a gross insult publica Hungarica” there is an account to-perhaps a prince! As great cuof a desperate rebellion in 1514, headed riosity was excited, and ungratified; the by two brothers, Luke and George appearance of the illustrious stranger Zeck. When quelled, George, not Luke, was thus announced in the journals of was punished by his head being encir- the next day—“A young man, whom, cled with a red-hot iron crown."

from his face and his walk, we took for Damien was a fanatic, wbo in the an Englishman, attracted, the day beyear 1756 attempted to assassinate Louis fore yesterday, at the Palais Royal, the XV. and actually wounded him in the atiention of the multitude by the regupresence of his son and his guards. dressed in mourning, from head to foot;

larity (singularity) of his costume. When put to the torture, he declared it was not his intention to kill the King,

he wore two large epaulettes of black but only wound bim, that God might worsted, which, with the round shape of touch bis heart, and incline him to re

his hat, formed a burlesque contrast. store peace to his dominions, which had

Otherwise, far from having an air of embeen much agitated by the disputes be- barrassment, the young man appeared tween the Parliament and Clergy respect- proud of the curiosity of our idlers, and ing the Papal Bull Unigenitus, which shewed himself to them very complaiwas enforced by the King, in opposi- santly." —Journal de Paris, Sept. 15. tion to the Parliament and people, and by which the Jansenists were declared

STRIKING CONTRASTS, heretical.

The French display, on numerous ocAlthough the insanity of Damien was casions, the most striking contrasts of evident from his expressions, he was put splendour and wretchedness, of pride to a most cruel and lingering death by and meanness. In London, the openthe rack, which is figuratively called a ing of a shop will ruin the character of * bed of steel."

a whole street in the eye of fashion; in As possibly some of your Readers Paris it is different, the most splendid might not have been aware who the palaces are found in narrow, dark, and persons alluded to were, your insertion dirty streets, filled with shops of the of the above will much oblige, lowest order”; even in the good street of Your &c.

J. S. the Faubourg St. Honoré it is the same:

[ 98

SIR,

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Varieties : Literary, Critical, and Historical. for example, the address of the British it take up a dead fly, with which it was ambassador is" His excellency the returning to the nest ; but when it bad English ambassador, next door to the proceeded about half way up the path, it coppersmith, Rue Faubourg St. He was overtaken by another ant, which Doré, à Paris !”

seemed also to be returning, but which What would you think in England had not been so successful as that whose of a noble marquis calling, in a public motions I had been observing : a concoffee-room, for a cup of coffee, of the test instantly ensued, in which the one value of five pence, and very coolly emp- that had made the attack succeeded in tying the sugar-bason into his pocket! getting possession of the dead fly, which Yet this is done every day in Paris by it carried triompliantly to the nest, whilst all ranks; the argument is this--" what the other returned in search of something the waiter brings I have a right to use in else, ashamed to enter the nest with my coffee, and consequently I have a out contributing to the general stock. right to putit in my pocket.”—Mon. Mag. Upon examining the pest closer, I obser

ved several of the ants that appeared to

be wandering beyond the nest, a circuma NATURAL HISTORY.

stance which I had not before noticed. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. I followed them with my eye, and found

that there was another patli, formed by DURING a short stay last month at them amongst the loose stones and sand Malvern Wells, I observed in climbing of the hill; and, upon ascending a little one of the hills, a long bare place, which higher, I found it was as much thronged ran diagonally across a smooth grass with them as the path below. I traced walk, which had been made for the ac- them for about 250 or 300 yards, when, commodation of those who visited the to my great surprise, I discovered an imwells. This bare place or path was en- mense nest of about fourteen yards in tirely filled with ants, which were running circumference, in which I belield such backwards and forwards, apparently very myriads of these little creatures that my busy in search of food. The path seem- eyes were actually dazzled with looking ed to be nine or ten feet in length, and at them. The nest was composed of about two inches in breadth, and termi- small bits of dry grass, bark of trees, fern nated at the lower extremity in a bed of leaves, &c. all of them cut into lilile nettles and long grass ; and none of the shreds of about one quarter of an inch in ants deviated at all from the path till they length. The entrances into it were innureached this point, when they separated, merable, and thronged with the busy and went different ways. Those which tribe. Wishing to ascertain the depth returned with food in their mouths de- of the nest, I thrust my stick into it, and posited it in the nest, which was at the found that, for about a foot and a half, other end. I observed many of them it was composed of these dry leaves, &r.; returning from the nest with something and upon turning this up I saw all the in their mouths, which, upon closer in- young and food deposited amongst the spection, I found to be their young, small loose stones of which that part of which they were taking out, for the pur- the hill was composed. I did not dare pose, as I concluded, of exposing them to remain long near the nest, for I found to the air and sun. When they had myself entirely coyered from head to foot proceeded about one-third of the way in the space of two minutes. The next down the path, they deposited their morning I found the breach which I had charge upon the grass, and returned to made the night before completely repairthe nest, in all probability to fetch more ed, and also a dead mole, which I had of their young. I watched several of the thrown into the nest, entirely consumed. ants one by one from the nest, and found There were a great number of apithat they went an immense way in search hills made by the Formica rubra, or red of food. I kept my eye upon one in par- ant, all around this nest, some within ten ticular for some time, and at length saw or twelve feet; but the ants of both species

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Varieties : Literary, Critical, and Historical.

(100 seemed to keep quite distinct, and nev- waited the depredators. Soon after er to interfere with each other. I brought midnight a great movement near the several of the ants home with me; and, cask where the eggs were packed idupon examination, they appear to me to duced them cautiously to turn the lanbe the Formice kerculanea, or horse-ant, thorn. They beheld a vast number of of Linnæus ; but I do not eonceive they rats climbing up, and kept very still to are peculiar to that part of the country in observe the issue ; in a short time they which I saw them.

J. D. S. saw the party of rats return, each with Derby, Aug. 12, 1816.

an egg under his chia. Tbey next day

informed the surgeon ; he had the reAFFECTION OF THE PARTRIDGE. maining eggs taken from the cask, and Many anecdotes are related to prove placed in a smaller dish, supported by · the extraordinary affection which par- table, the feet of which receded so far, tridges have for their young; and I that the rats could not get up.

He atthink the following circumstances, which tended with the dark lanthorn, saw the came this year partly under my own ob. invaders ascend the barrel, and come servation, too interesting to remain un- away disappointed ; they prowled about known.

a few minutes before they discovered A countryman passing by some furze- the eggs. One of the men employed in ground with his dog, the dog canght a their removal had left a spar leaning to hen-partridge in her nest (which contain- the table; this was soon perceived by ed fourteen eggs); before the man could the rats, and some got up with alacrity. come to her assistance, the dog had The surgeon, by a stealthy movement, broken her thigh-bone, close to her body, took away the spar before the wbole and very much bruised her. The man, party effected a lodgment; but they however, took care to place the bird that had obtained possession, clinging near her nest; and, when he passed by together, made a pathway to the ground, it on the following day, he saw her sit- and their comrades passed over their ting on her eggs. Two days afterwards backs to the table; nor were they long the young covey was hatched, and ran till each retreated in the same way with away into an adjoining corn-field; but, an egg under his chin, which he would within a week, the poor old hen-par- have carried off had not the gentlemen tridge was found dead near her nest. interfered.-Mon. Mag. Jan. 1817. Wiveliscombe, Somerset. J. W.

A BLIND JOCKEY. [Mon. Mag.]

I saw in a late paper an account of

wonderful performances by a blind lady, In my second letter on the preser- Within ten miles of my residence, there vation of grain, I noticed the sagacity of lived many years a horse-jockey, quite rats; and perhaps some of your readers berest of sight since his second year, will be able to parallel the following when he had the small-pox. He knew authentic facts. In the year 1744, the the good properties or defects of a horse surgeon of a man of-war observed the by feeling all over his frame, and gave a eggs rapidly decreasing from the sick remarkable proof of acuteness, in discot. sea-store; and intimated to his mates, ering a fine horse was blind of one eye, that he suspected they took some un- a failing never suspected by his purchaser. warrantable liberties. The young The gentleman had bought the horse at gentlemen, conscious of innocence, were Edinburgh, and on his way home put highly affronted; but the eggs were up at the inn kept by William M'Gilgone, they alone had access where they vray's father. He desired the sightless lay, and they could only deny the charge. jockey to go out, and examine his recent One of them said to the other, it might bargain, extolling the handsome figure, be possible that the sailors had a false the mettle, and docility of the animal. key, and they ought to watch for their M'Gilvray returned in half an hour, detection. They provided themselves saying " the horse was all that could be with a dark lanthora, and, well armed, wished if he could see with both eyes."

SAGACITY OP RATS.

SINGULAR CUSTOM.

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Varieties : Literary, Critical, and Historical.

[102 “ How do you know he does not see ?" delightful to the general enquirer. This said the gentleman. “I have passed may be denominated, the light thrown my hand over and over that side of his by the works of accomplished travellers head (said he,) and his eye-lids never on the extensive compatibility of the Ainch, but on the other side they close human mind. How many terrors in instantly." The horse was found to the eye of imagination, nay, in the sober be really blind of one eye, and a blind contemplation of reason, vanish before man was the first to perceive the im- daily babit and experience. Who can perfection.-Ibid.

read of the hideous and slimy reptiles

which annoy even the domesticity of ALCIBIADES.

Ceylon and Guiana, without shuddering; Alcibiades, when a young man, had while, by the natives of these countries to struggle with a strong nervous terror they are little regarded ; and, as to evils on entering the assembly of the people, of another kind, we all know with what Socrates tried to encourage and animate apathy myriads endure the overwhelmhim: “You do not care much for that ing despotism of Asia. But possibly as cobler ?” said he, naming him. Alcib- strong a proof of the adaptation of mind jades agreed.--" Or that public crier ?” to circumstances as ever was recorded, resumed Socrates ; " or that tent-maker ?” may be gathered from the personal narThe son of Clineas assented.--"And is rative of Hunboldt ; it is contained in his not the whole Athenian people,” said account of the earthquakes at Cumana. Socrates, “made up of this sort of per “ As no record exists at Cumana, and sons ?

If you are indifferent about its archives, on account of the continual them singly, you may surely be indifferent devastation of the termites, or white about them in the mass." -Ibid. ants, which contain no document that goes

further than a hundred and fifty years ;

we are upacquainted with the precise The Scots had a custom (which began dates of its ancient earthquakes. We in the time of Ewen III.) that the king only know, that in times nearer our and his successors should sleep the first own, the year 1766 was the most fatal night with every woman whose husband to the colonists. On the 21st October, held lands immediately from the crown; in that year, the city of Cumana was and the lords and gentlemen with those entirely destroyed. The whole of the whose husbands were their tenants and houses were overturned in the space of bomagers. This was their knight's a few minutes, and the shocks were service tenure, and continued till the hourly repeated for fourteen months. days of Malcolm Conmor, who, at the During the years 1766 and 1767, the request of his wife Margaret (sister of inhabitants of Cumana encamped in the Edgar Etheling), abolished this law, streets, and they began to build their ordaining that the tenants, by way of houses, when the earthquakes took place commutation, should

pay unto their lords only once a month.” Again--"Traa mark in money, which is yet in force, dition states, that, in the earthquake of and is called Marchelu Muliere.--Ibid. 1766, as well as in another very remar

kable one in 1794, the shocks were only EARTHQUAKES IN SPANISH AMERICA.

horizontal variations; it was on the There is a nice gradation in the se- disastrous day of the 14th December, veral senses, in which an attention to 1797, that, for the first time at Cumana, the labours of scientific and capable the motion was felt by the raising up of travellers and voyagers is beneficial, the ground. More than four-fifths of An extended knowledge of physical the city were thus entirely destroyed; nature, is probably the first in impor- but, happily, the most violent shock' was tance,--of political and social properties preceded by a slight undulating motion ; and capabilities, the second. But there so that the greater part of the inhabitants n also a bird kind of instruction, which, could escape into the streets, and a small if inferior to the two former in primary number only of those perished, who had 109-equence, is, probably, still more assembled in the churches. It is a gen

103] Memoirs of the Right Honourable Richard Brinsley Sheridan. [104 erally received opinion at Camana, that recollection like the petty sufferings of the most destructive earthquakes are hourly experience. It is trite to obannounced by very feeble oscillations, serve, that extremes meet; bat possibly and by a bollow sound, which does not the operation of slight and overwhelmescape the observation of persons habit- ing calamity may in some degree rea mated to this kind of phenomenon. In semble. The first demand but little this fatal moment, the cries of Miseri- reflection; the second confound all cordia, it trembles! it trembles! are consideration : in either case the attention every where heard, and it is very rarely is more rapidly at liberty, and escapes that a false alarm is given by a native." that pause which is the origin of the

Once more.--" The earthquakes of profoundest impressions, and the most Cumana are connected with those of untwistable sssociations.-Ibid. the West-lodia islands, and it has even been suspected, that they have some

NEW BOSOM COMPANION. connexion with the volcanic phenomena While Mr. William Key, a day of the Cordilleras of the Andes. On labourer in Dalry, was engaged in the the 4th of November, 1797, the soil of repair of a road, a few miles from that the province of Quito underwent such village, on Friday Oct. 4, an adder crept a destructive commotion, that, notwith- into his jacket pocket, which he had laid standing the extreme feebleness of the dowa beside the gravel pit in which he population of that country, nearly forty was working; the pocket being slit, it lay thousand natives perished, buried under around the bottom of his jacket for three the ruins of their houses, swallowed up days unperceived, until Monday, he in the crevices, or drowned in lakes that found it stirring, when he threw off his were suddenly formed."

jacket, called his neighbours, and, to his Such are the facts which may be ac- great surprise, found it alive, and killed it. commodated to human apprehension, it measured 21 inches in length.-Lit. and whieh, when past, fade from the Pan. for Nov. 1816.

MEMOIRS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

Right Hox. RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN.

From the New Monthly Magazine.
Continued from p. 68.

of two thousand a year for seven years, IT T was naturally expected by the whịch was indignantly refused by the

friends on both sides, no less than by husband, who would not even suffer her the public, that Mrs. Sheridan would still to sing at a royal concert, which gare have continued her professional pursuits, great offence to many of the nobility, but though the circumstances of her hug- and to their Majesties." Yet at this time band were contracted within a very the new married couple could with diffilimited sphere, he resolutely resisted culty provide for their ordinary wants, every offer that was made on that sub- and Sheridan in after life has been heard ject. The last performance of Mrs. She- to say, that he and his lady were obliged ridan as a public singer, was for the be- to write for the booksellers to procure nefit of the musical meeting of the three the necessary supply for their daily dinchoirs at Worcester in the summer after per. The law was neglected, though be her marriage; but from that time she kept his name on the books of the Temceased to appear at the oratorios, in ple, and was admitted to commons in which her place was supplied by her sis- Hilary term in 1774, but never was calter, afterwards Mrs. Tickell. The pro- led to the bar. prietors of the Pantheon, then just erect On the 17th of January, 1775, his ed in Oxcord-street, made her a proposal comedy of the Rivals was performed at

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