Born: John Rennie, engineer, 1761, Prestonkirk, Haddingtonshire; Robert Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool, prime
minister of George IV., 1770; Rev. W. D. Conybeare, geologist, 1787, London.
Died: St. Willibald, 790, Aichstadt; Robert Bruce, King of Scots 1329, Cardross Castle, Dumbartonshire; John
Aubrey, antiquary, (bur.), 1697; Bishop John Sage, religions controversialist, 1711, Edinburgh; William Aikman, Scottish portrait-painter,
1731, London; Bishop William Warburton, 1779, Gloucester; Frederick William III, King of Prussia, 1840; Sir John Graham Dalyell, Bart.,
naturalist, antiquary, 1851, Edinburgh.
Feast Day: St. Paul, Bishop of Constantinople and martyr, 350. St. Colman, Bishop of Dromore, confessor,
about 610. St. Godeschalc, Prince of the Western Vandals, and his companions, martyrs, 1066. St. Robert, Abbot of Newminster, 1159. St.
Meriadec, Bishop of Vannes, confessor, 1302.
A much less familiar name to our generation is Warburton than Johnson; but, had any one in the last century
predicted such a freak of fame in the blaze of the Bishop's learning and rhetoric, he would certainly have been listened to with
incredulity. Johnson and Warburton were contemporaries; Warburton by eleven years was Johnson's senior, but their lives flowed together for
three score and ten, and five years alone divided the death of the great Bishop from the great Doctor. Strange to say, they only once met,
as Boswell records; namely, at the house of Mrs. French, in London, well known for her
elegant assemblies and bringing eminent characters together; and the interview proved mutually agreeable. On one occasion it was told the
Doctor that Warburton had said, 'I admire Johnson, but I cannot bear his style;' to which he replied, 'That is exactly my case as to him.'
William Warburton was born on the 24th December 1698, at Newark, where his father was town-clerk, and
died when William was in his eighth year. His mother had him educated for an attorney, and when he was twenty-one he commenced business in
Newark. Finding little to do, he threw up law and entered the church, and was fortunate enough to find a patron in Sir Robert Sutton, who,
after various favours, presented him to the living of Brant Broughton, in Nottingham-shire. There, in the quiet of the country, he
sedulously devoted himself to those literary pursuits, by which he raised himself to fame and fortune. In a visit to London, in 1726, he
identified himself with the party which hated Pope, and, considering what followed in after
years, was unfortunate enough to write a letter in which he said that Dryden borrowed for want of leisure and Pope for want of genius.
Twelve years afterwards, in 1739, the orthodoxy of Pope's Essay on Man having been attacked, Warburton published a series of letters in its
defence, which led to an introduction and a very intimate friendship between the divine and the poet. When Pope died in 1744, it was found
that he had left Warburton half his library and the copyrights of all his works, valued by Johnson at £4000. Pope's attachment to Warburton
had driven Boling-broke from his side, and after his death some sparring ensued between the old friend and the new, in the course of which
Bolingbroke ad-dressed Warburton in a pamphlet entitled A Familiar Epistle to the most Impudent Man Living. By Pope he was introduced
to Ralph Allen, of Prior Park, Bath—Fielding's Squire Allworthy—whose
niece he married in 1745, and through her inherited Allen's extensive property.
In the years intervening between these events Warburton had made even greater progress in an ecclesiastical sense.
In 1736, he published his celebrated defence of The Alliance between Church and State, and, in 1738, the first volume of his great work, The
Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated on the Principles of a Religious Deist, from the Omission of the Doctrine of a Future State of Rewards
and Punishments in the Jewish Dispensation. It had often been brought as a reproach against Moses that his code contained no reference to
heaven or hell, and theologians had ineffectually resisted it with a variety of apologies. Warburton, on the other hand, boldly allowing the
charge, went on to argue that therein lay an infallible proof of the divine mission of the Hebrew lawgiver, for, unless he had been
miraculously assisted, it was impossible that he could have dispensed with the armoury of hopes and terrors supplied by the doctrine of
immortality. As might be expected, a violent storm of controversy broke out over this novel and audacious defence. The large and varied
stores of learning with which he illustrated the course of his argument won the admiration of readers who cordially disliked his conclusion.
In allusion to Warburton's abundant and well applied reading, Johnson observed: 'His table is always full. He brings things from the north,
and the south, and from every quarter. In his Divine Legation you are always entertained. He carries you round and round, without carrying
you forward to the point; but then you have no wish to be carried forward.' Honours and promotion now flowed on Warburton, culminating, in
1759, in his elevation to the bishopric of Gloucester, which he held for twenty years, until his death in 1779.
A powerful and daring, if not unscrupulous reasoner, Warburton reaped the full measure of his fame in his own
generation. A brilliant intellect, whose highest effort was a paradox like the Divine Legation, may astonish for a season, but can never
command enduring regard. His lack of earnest faith in his opinions inevitably produced in his writings a shallowness of tone, causing the
discerning reader to query whether Warburton, had he chosen, might not have pleaded with equal effect on the other side. His antagonists,
who were many and respectable, he treated with a supercilious contempt, passable, perhaps, in a Dunciad, but inexcusable in a clergyman
dealing with clergymen. Warburton had never been trained to bridle his tongue when his anger was roused. What should we nowadays think of a
bishop saying, as he did of Wilkes in the House of Lords, that 'the blackest fiends in hell will not keep company with him when he arrives
REVOLUTION HOUSE, WHITTINGTON
On the 7th of June 1688, died Mr. John D'Arcy, one of a small group of eminent men who held a meeting at
Whittington, near Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, which was believed to be preparatory in an important degree to the Revolution. The house in
which the meeting took place, being a tavern under the sign of the Cock and Magpie, continued to be recognized for a century after as the
Revolution House; there was even a particular room in it which the people called the Plotters' Parlour. If one might believe the
traditionary report, it was here, in this Plotters' Parlour, in the Revolution House, on the moor near Chesterfield, that the great change
of 1688 was deliberated upon and arranged. For this reason, the esteemed antiquary, Mr. Pegge, wrote an account of the house, and had a
drawing of it published.
When the story is carefully sifted, we find that a meeting of some importance to the forthcoming Revolution did take
place here in the summer of 1688. The Earl of Dan-by (after the Revolution, Duke of Leeds), who had been minister to Charles II some years
before, but had since suffered a long imprisonment under Whig influence in the Tower, was now anxious to see some steps taken by which the
Protestant religion might be saved from King James II. He was disposed for this purpose to associate with his former enemies, the Whigs. It
was necessary, in the first place, that he should be reconciled to the leaders of that party. With this view it appears to have been that
he, in company with Mr. John D'Arcy, held a meeting in the public-house at Whittington with the Duke of' Devonshire.
The date of the meeting is not known, but it must have been some time before the 7th of June, when,
according to any authority we have on the subject, Mr. John D'Arcy died. At that time, most certainly, no definite design of bringing in the
Prince of Orange had been formed, excepting in one mind, that of Edward Russell; nor was it till after the birth of the Prince of Wales
(June 10, 1688), that overtures were made on the subject to various nobles, including Danby and Devonshire. The meeting of these two
grandees at Whittington was entirely preliminary—limited to the private explanations by which they were enabled soon after to associate in
the enterprise. In a narrative left by Danby himself, it is stated that the Duke of Devonshire afterwards came to Sir Henry Goodricke's
house in Yorkshire to meet him for a second time, and concert what they should each do when the prince should land. It was there agreed
that, on the landing of the Prince of Orange, the duke should take possession of Nottingham, while Danby seized upon York. The paper
inviting the prince over, signed by seven persons, Devonshire, Danby, Shrewsbury, Lumley, Compton (Bishop of London), Edward Russell, and
Henry Sidney, was sent away to Holland in the hands of Mr. Herbert, in an open boat, on the Friday after the acquittal of the seven
bishops—an event which took place on the 30th of June.
When it was subsequently known that the Duke of Devonshire and the Earl of Danby were among the chiefs who had
brought about the Revolution, the country people about Whittington could not but recall the mysterious private meeting which these two
nobles had held in the parlour of the village inn early in the preceding summer; and it was of course very natural for them, imperfectly
informed as they were, to suppose that the entire affair of the Revolution had then and there been concerted.
Even on the view of a more restricted connexion with the event, the house must be considered as an interesting one,
and its portraiture is here accordingly given. The Plotters' Parlour is in the centre of the range of buildings, immediately to the left of
a projecting piece of building seen conspicuously in the view.
There is another house which is supposed to
have been connected in a remarkable manner with the Revolution—Lady Place; an Elizabethan mansion situated on a beautiful bend of the
Thames, between Maidenhead and Henley. A crypt, of more ancient date than the house, is considered as the place where the secret meetings
were held of those who invited over the Prince of Orange, as is expressed on a mural tablet inserted in one of the walls. Here it is first
stated that the crypt is part of a Benedictine monastery founded at the time of the Norman Conquest; then the inscription proceeds: 'Be it
remembered that in this place, six hundred years afterwards, the Revolution of 1688 was begun. This house was then in the possession of the
family of Lord Lovelace, by whom private meetings of the nobility were assembled in the vault; and it is said that several consultations for
calling in the Prince of Orange were held in this recess; on which account this vault was visited by that powerful prince after he had
ascended the throne.'
All such traditionary stories, unsupported by evidence, must of course be treated with some degree of suspicion; yet
it has been thought worth while to give in this paper a print exhibiting the interior of the crypt, with the mural tablet containing the
In connexion with this period of our history, the reader will readily recall the striking chapter in which Lord
Macaulay recites the trial of the bishops, which occurred in the very month here under notice, and, as is well known, operated powerfully in
effecting the change of dynasty. The noble historian makes a good point of the zeal of the people of Cornwall in behalf of their
fellow-countryman, Trelawny, Bishop of Bristol, who was one of the seven. This dignitary was the son of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, of Trelawny,
in Cornwall, baronet, and his successor in the baronetcy. Mr. Davies Gilbert, in his Parochial History of Cornwall, says that the bishop
enjoyed high popularity in his native district, and an intense excitement arose there when his danger was known, insomuch that the prompt
acquittal of the bishops alone prevented the people from rising in arms. ' A song,' he adds, ' was made on the occasion, of which all the
exact words, except those of what may be called the burden, were lost; but the whole has recently been restored, modernized, and improved by
the Rev. Robert Stephen Hawker, of Whitstone, near Stratton.' The original song ' is said to have resounded in every house, in every
highway, and in every street.' The reader will probably be gratified to see the restored ballad, which the kindness of Mr. Hawker has
enabled us here to reproduce.
'A good sword and a trusty hand!
A merry heart and true!
King James's men shall understand
What Cornish lads can do!
And have they fix'd the where and when?
And shall Trelawny die?
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why!
Out spake their captain brave and bold;
A merry wight was he;
"If London Tower were Michael's Hold,
We'll set Trelawny free!
We'll cross the Tamar, land to land,
The Severn is no stay,
With one and all, and hand to hand,
And who shall bid us nay!
And when we come to London Wall,
A pleasant sight to view;
Come forth! come forth! ye cowards all,
Here's men as good as you!
Trelawny he's in keep and hold,
Trelawny he may die;
But here's twenty thousand Cornish bold
Will know the reason why!"'
It is worthy of notice that the opposition which Trelawny had presented to the arbitrary acts of King James did not
prevent his Majesty from afterwards advancing him to the see of Exeter, an event which happened just before the Revolution. By Queen Anne he
was afterwards translated to Winchester, in which see he died in 1721.
LONDON, ON THE 7th OF JUNE 1780
Was in the almost unchecked possession of a mob composed of the vilest of the populace, in consequence of a singular
series of circumstances. A movement for tolerance to the small minority of Catholics—resulting in an act (1778) for the removal of some of
their disabilities in England, and the introduction of a bill (1779) for a similar measure applicable to the mere handful of that class of
religionists in Scotland—had roused all the intolerant Protestant feeling in the country, and caused shameful riots in Edinburgh. A
so-called Protestant Association, headed by a half insane member of the House of Commons—Lord George Gordon, brother of the Duke of Gordon
—busied itself in the early part of 1780 to besiege the Houses of Parliament with petitions for the repeal of the one act and the prevention
of the other.
On the 2nd of June a prodigious Protestant meeting was held in St. George's Fields —on a spot since, with
curious retribution, occupied by a Catholic cathedral—and a ' monster petition,' as it would now be called, was carried in procession
through the principal streets of the city, to be laid before Parliament. Lord George had by this time, by his wild speeches, wrought up his
adherents to a pitch bordering on frenzy. In the lobbies of the Houses scenes of violence occurred, resembling very much those which were a
few years later exhibited at the doors of the French Convention, but without any serious consequences. The populace, however, had been
thoroughly roused, and the destruction of several houses belonging to foreign Catholics was effected that night. Two days after, a Sunday, a
Catholic chapel in Moorfields was sacked and burned, while the magistrates and military presented no effective resistance.
The consignment of a few of the rioters next day to Newgate roused the mob to a pitch of violence before unattained,
and from that time till Thursday afternoon one destructive riot prevailed. On the first evening, the houses of several eminent men well
affected to the Catholics and several Catholic chapels were destroyed. Next day, Tuesday, the 6th, there was scarcely a shop open in London.
The streets were filled with an uncontrolled mob. The Houses of Parliament assembled with difficulty, and dispersed in terror. The
middle-class inhabitants—a pacific and innocent set of people—went about in consternation, some removing their goods, some carrying away
their aged and sick relations. Blue ribbons were generally mounted, to give assurance of sound Protestantism, and it was a prevalent
movement to chalk up 'No POPERY,' in large letters on doors.
The "No Popery" Riots
In the evening, Newgate was attacked and set fire to, and 300 prisoners let loose. The house of Lord Mans-field, at
the north-east corner of Bloomsbury Square, was gutted and burnt, the justice and his lady barely making their escape by a back-door. The
house and distillery of a Mr. Langdale, a Catholic, at the top of Holborn Hill, were destroyed, and there the mob got wildly drunk with
spirits, which flowed along the streets like water. While they in many various places were throwing the household furniture of Catholics out
upon the street, and setting fire to it in great piles, or attacking and burning the various prisons of the metropolis, there were bands of
regular soldiery and militia looking on with arms in their hands, but paralysed from acting for want of authority from the magistrates. Mr.
Wheatley's famous picture, of which a copy is annexed, gives us a faint idea of' the scenes thus presented; but the shouts of the mob, the
cries of women, the ring of fore-hammers breaking open houses, the abandonment of a debased multitude lapping gin from the gutters, the many
scenes of particular rapine carried on by thieves and murderers, must be left to the imagination.
Thirty-six great conflagrations raged that night in London; only at the Bank was the populace repelled—only on
Blackfriars Bridge was there any firing on them by the military. Day broke upon the metropolis next day as upon a city suddenly taken
possession of by a hostile and barbarous army. It was only then, and by some courage on the part of the king, that steps were taken to meet
violence with appropriate measures. The troops were fully empowered to act, and in the course of Thursday they had everywhere beaten and
routed the rioters, of whom 210 were killed, and 218 ascertained to be wounded. Of those subsequently tried, 59 were found guilty, and of
these the number actually executed was twenty.
The leader of this strange outburst was thrown into the Tower, and tried for high treason; but a jury decided that
the case did not warrant such a charge, and he was acquitted. The best condemnation that could be administered to the zealots he had led was
the admission generally made of his insanity—followed up by the fact, some years later, of his wholly abandoning Christianity, and embracing
Judaism. It is remarkable that Lord George's family, all through the seventeenth century, were a constant trouble to the state from their
tenacity in the Catholic faith, and only in his father's generation had been converted to Protestantism, the agent in the case being a
duchess-mother, an Englishwoman, who was rewarded for the act with a pension of £1000 a-year. Through this Duchess of Gordon, however, Lord
George was great-grandson of the half-mad Charles Earl of Peterborough, and hence, probably, the maniacal conduct which cost London so much.
THE DUNMOW FLITCH OF BACON
Far back in the grey dimnesses of the middle ages, while as yet men were making crusades, and the English commons
had not a voice in the state, we see a joke arise among the flats of Essex. What makes it the more remarkable is, it arose in connexion with
a religious house—the priory of Dunmow—showing that the men who then devoted themselves to prayers could occasionally make play out of the
comicalities of human nature. The subject of the jest here was the notable liability of the married state to trivial janglements and
difficulties, not by any means detracting from its general approvableness as a mode of life for a pair of mutually suitable persons, but yet
something sufficiently tangible and real to vary what might otherwise be a too smooth surface of affairs, and, any how, a favourite subject
of comment, mirthful and sad, for bystanders, according to the feeling with which they might be inclined to view the misfortunes of their
How it should have occurred to a set of celibate monks to establish a perennial jest regarding matrimony we need not
inquire, for we should get no answer. It only appears that they did so. Taking it upon themselves to assume that perfect harmony between
married persons for any considerable length of time was a thing of the greatest rarity—so much. so as to be scarce possible—they ordered,
and made their order known, that if any pair could, after a twelvemonth of matrimony, come forward and make oath at Dunmow that, during the
whole time, they had never had a quarrel, never regretted their marriage, and, if again open to an engagement, would make exactly that they
had made, they should be rewarded with a flitch of bacon. It is dubiously said that the order originated with Robert Fitzwalter, a favourite
of King John, who revivified the Dunmow priory about the beginning of the thirteenth century; but we do not in truth see him in any way
concerned in the matter beyond his being a patron of the priory, and as we find the priors alone acting in it afterwards, it seems a more
reasonable belief that the joke from the first was theirs.
And that the joke was not altogether an ill-based one certainly appears on an e facie view of the history of the
custom, as far as it has been preserved, for between the time of King John and the Reformation—in which upwards of three centuries slid
away—there are shown but three instances of an application for the flitch by properly qualified parties. The first was made in 1445 by one
Richard Wright, of Badbury, in the county of Norfolk, a labouring man; his claim was allowed, and the flitch rendered to him. The second was
made in 1467 by one Stephen Samuel, of Ayston-parva, in Essex, a husbandman. Having made the proper oaths before Roger Bulcott, prior, in
presence of the convent and a number of neighbours, he, too, obtained the bacon. The third application on record came from Thomas he Fuller,
of Cogshall, in Essex, before John Tils, prior, in the presence of the convent and neighbours. This person also made good his claim, and
carried oft' a gammon of bacon. We cannot, however, suppose that there was no application before 1445. It is more reasonable to surmise that
the records of earlier applications have been lost. Of this, indeed, we may be said to have some evidence in the declaration of
Chaucer's Wife of Bath regarding one of her many husbands:
The bacon was not fet for [t]hem, I trow,
That some men have in Essex, at Dunmow.'
It seems very probable that the offer held out by the prior of Dunmow was not at all times equally prominent in the
attention of the public. Sometimes it would be forgotten, or nearly so, for a generation or two, and then, through some accidental
circumstances, it would be revived, and a qualified claimant would come forward. Such a lapse from memory may be presumed to have taken
place just before 1445, when a poet, bewailing the corruption of the times, declared that he could:
'______ Find no man now that will enquire
The perfect ways unto Dunmow,
For they repent them within a year,
And many within a week, I trow.'
But see the natural consequence of this public notice of the custom. Immediately comes honest Richard Wright, all
the way from Norfolk, to show that matrimonial harmony and happiness were not so wholly extinct in the land. He claimed the flitch, 'and had
his claim allowed.'
The priory of Dunmow was of course amongst the religious establishments suppressed by the Defender of the Faith. The
old religion of the place was gone; but the bacon was saved. To the honour of the secular proprietors be it said, they either held it as a
solemn engagement which they had inherited with the land, or they had the sense to appreciate and desire the continuance of the ancient
joke. Doubtless, the records of many applications during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are lost to us; but at length, in 1701, we
are apprized of one which seems to have been conducted and acted upon with all due state and ceremony.
'Be it remembered, that at this court, in full and open court, it is found and presented by the homage aforesaid,
that William Parsley, of Much Easton, in the county of Essex, butcher, and Jane his wife, have been married for the space of three years
last past, and upward; and it is likewise found, presented, and adjudged by the homage aforesaid, that the said William Parsley and Jane his
wife, by means of their quiet, peaceable, tender, and loving cohabitation for the space of time aforesaid (as appears by the said homage),
are fit and qualified persons to be admitted by the court to receive the ancient and accustomed oath, whereby to entitle themselves to have the bacon of Dunmow delivered unto them, according to the
custom of the Manor.
'Whereupon, at this court, in full and open court, came the said William Parsley, and Jane his wife, in their proper
persons, and humbly prayed they might be admitted to take the oath aforesaid. Whereupon the said Steward with the jury, suitors, and other
officers of the court, proceeded with the usual solemnity to the ancient and accustomed place for the administration of the oath, and
receiving the gammon aforesaid, (that is to say) the two great stones lying near the church door, within the said Manor, when the said
William Parsley and Jane his wife, kneeling down on the said two stones, the said Steward did administer unto them the above-mentioned oath,
in these words, or to the effect following, viz.
'You do swear by custom of confession,
That you ne'er made nuptial transgression;
Nor since you were married man and wife,
By household brawls or contentious strife,
Or otherwise, in bed or at board,
Offended each other in deed or in word:
Or in a twelvemonth's time and a day,
Repented not in any way;
Or since the church clerk said Amen,
Wished yourselves unmarried again,
But continue true and in desire
As when you joined hands in holy quire.'
'And immediately thereupon, the said William Parsley and Jane his wife claiming the said gammon of bacon, the court
pronounced the sentence for the same, in these words, or to the effect following:
Since to these conditions, without any fear,
Of your own accord you do freely swear,
A whole gammon of bacon you do receive,
And bear it away with love and good leave:
For this is the custom of Dunmow well known;
Tho' the pleasure be ours, the bacon's your own.'
'And accordingly a gammon of bacon was delivered unto the said William Parsley and Jane his wife, with the usual
solemnity. Examined per Thomas WHEELER, Steward.' At the same time Mr. Reynolds, Steward to Sir Charles Barrington of Hatfield, Broad Oaks,
received a second gammon.
Exactly half a century afterwards, John Shakeshaft, woolcomber, of Weathersfield, Essex, appeared with his wife at
the Court Baron, and, after satisfying a jury of six maidens and six bachelors, received the prize, and the lucky pair were duly chaired
through the town, attended by the Steward and other officers of the manor, the flitch being carried before them in triumph. The woolcomber
showed himself as shrewd a man as he was a good husband, realizing a considerable sum by selling slices of the well-won bacon among the five
thousand spectators of the show. A picture of the procession was painted by David Osborne [from an engraving of which our representation of
the scene is taken].
The bacon was again presented in 1763; but the name of the recipient has escaped record. After this the custom was
discountenanced by the lord of the manor, the swearing stones were removed from the churchyard, and the old oaken chair remained undisturbed
in the priory. One John Gilder and his wife claimed the flitch in 1772; but when he and his sympathizers arrived at the priory, they found
the gates fast; the expectant couple were compelled to go away empty-handed, and the Dunmow festival henceforth was consigned to the limbo
of extinct customs.
The Dummow Chair
In 1851 the lord of the manor was astonished by a worthy couple named Harrels demanding to be rewarded for their
matrimonial felicity—a demand to which he declined to accede. However, the good people were so disappointed, and their neighbours so
discontented thereat, that a compromise took place; the usual ceremony was dispensed with, but the candidates for the flitch received the
bacon, after taking the prescribed oath at a rural fete at Easton Park.
In 1855, Mr. Harrison Ainsworth determined to revive the old custom; the lord of the manor refused to allow the
ceremony to take place at Little Dunmow, and some of the clergy and gentry strenuously opposed its transference to Great Dunmow. On the 19th
of July, however, Mr. and Mrs. Barlow, of Chipping Ongar, and the Chevalier de Chatelain and his English wife, appeared before a mixed jury
of bachelors and spinsters in the town-hall of Dunmow. Mr. Ainsworth was judge, Mr. Robert Bell counsel for the claimants, Mr. Dudley
Costello conducting the examination in opposition. After two hours and a half questioning and deliberation, both couples were declared to
have fulfilled the necessary conditions, and the court, council, and claim-ants adjourned to the Windmill Field, where the oath was
administered in the presence of fully seven thousand people, and the flitches presented to the deserving quartett.
The whimsical custom of rewarding immaculate couples with a huge piece of bacon is not peculiar to Dunmow. For 100
years the abbots of St. Meleine, in Bretagne, bestowed a similar prize for connubial contentment, and a tenure binding the lord of the manor
of Whichenoure, in Staffordshire, to deliver a flitch of bacon to any husband ready to swear he had never repented becoming a Benedict, but
would, if free again, choose his wife above all other women, dates as far back as the reign of the third Edward, but no actual award of the
Whichenoure prize is recorded.
There appeared at the Egyptian Hall, in Piccadilly, on June 7, 1830, one of those queer musicians who get a living
by producing music (or what passes as such) in modes quite out of the usual character. This was Michael Boai, the chin performer. Strange as
it was, the music had its points of interest in a scientific or acoustic sense. When the cavity of the mouth is lessened by the voluntary
action of the muscles, it will resonate higher or more acute tones than when in its more expanded state. The tones themselves may be
produced in some other way; but the audible pitch may be varied in a remarkable degree by variations in the size and form of the interior of
the mouth. Every whistling school-boy knows this practically, without thinking about it; during his whistling the pitch of the note is
determined by the shape, not only of the lips, but of the interior of the mouth. Herr Von Joel earned his living for many years by what may
perhaps be termed high-class whistling, until the muscles of his mouth refused any longer to adapt themselves to this hard service.
Boys sometimes produce a kind of music through the small teeth of a comb covered with tissue-paper, by hreathing;
the differences of tone or pitch being produced by varying the shape of the mouth. The Jew's-harp is a really beautiful example of this
kind; the metal spring or vibrator produces only one note; the variations in the mouth' effect all the rest. Herr Eulenstein, an
accomplished performer on this instrument, destroyed all his teeth by too long a continuance in this practice. Some men can produce music
from a tobacco-pipe, by placing one cad between the teeth, varying the cavity of the mouth, and maintaining a series of slight percussions
upon the stem. This has even been done with a common walking-stick. Several years ago, there were four performers known as the Bohemian
minstrels or brothers, who attracted attention in London by their peculiar music) three sang in the ordinary way; the fourth, without
articulating any words, brought forth sounds of vast depth and power by a peculiar action of the muscles of the mouth; and to these sounds
were given a character like those of the strings of a contrabasso by the movements of the tongue.
Some time after-wards, a party of Tyrolese imitated, or attempted to imitate, the several instruments of an
orchestra, by the most extraordinary contortions of mouth and lips, and even by breathing violently through the nose; the scene was too
ridiculous to merit much notice, but it served to illustrate the matter under consideration. Picco, the blind Sardinian shepherd, who
produced the most rapid music, with variations of an elahorate kind, on a little whistle only two or three inches long, worked his mouth in
a remarkable way, to vary its capacity; insomuch that the musical instrument was quite as much his own mouth as the whistle. Michael Boai,
in his chin performances, depended in like manner on the rapid changes in the shape and size which he gave to the cavity of the mouth. The
absurd mode of striking the chin (something like that in which the flint and steel were formerly used in striking a light), caused the lips
to clap or slap together, and this produced the sound; but the pitch of the sound was made to vary according to the shape of the mouth. The
intonation was sufficiently accurate to permit of a guitar and violin accompaniment.
A BEE BATTLE
On the 7th of June 1827, occurred one of those battles of bees which naturalists have more than once had
opportunity of observing. Among the many other remarkable instincts—sentiments, we may almost call them—possessed by these insects, is a
sort of sense of property, right of location, or law of meum and tam. According to an account in the Carlisle Patriot, on the day in
question, at the village of Cargo, in Cumberland, a struggle took place between two swarms of bees. A day or two earlier, one of these
communities had swarmed in the usual way, and been safely hived. On the day of battle, a swarm of bees from some neighbouring hive was seen
to be flying over the garden in which the first-mentioned hive was situated. They instantly darted down upon the hive, and completely
covered it; in a little time they began to enter the hive, and poured into it in such numbers that it soon became completely filled. Then
commenced a terrible struggle. A loud humming noise was heard, and presently both armies of combatants rushed forth; the besiegers and the
besieged did not light within the beleaguered city, but in the open air. The battle raged with such fury, that the ground beneath was soon
covered with the wounded and slain; the wounded crawled about painfully, unable to rise and rejoin their fellow-warriors. Not until one
party was vanquished and driven away, did the sanguinary battle end. The victors then resumed possession of the hive. The local narrative
does not furnish the means for deciding the question; but it seems most probable that there were some rights of property in the case, and
that the interlopers were ejected.
SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT BEES IN SUFFOLK
It is unlucky that a stray swarm of bees should settle on your premises, unclaimed by their owner.
Going to my father's house one afternoon, I found the household in a state of excitement, as a stray swarm of bees
had settled on the pump. A hive had been procured, and the coachman and I hived them securely. After this had been done, I was saying that
they might think themselves fortunate in getting a hive of bees so cheap; but I found that this was not agreed to by all, for one man
employed about the premises looked very grave, and shook his head. On my asking him what was the matter, he told me in a solemn undertone
that he did not mean to say that there was anything in it, but people did say that if a stray swarm of bees came to a house, and were not
claimed by their owner, there would be a death in the family within the year; and it was evident that he believed in the omen. As it turned
out, there was a death in my house, though not in my father's, about seven months afterwards, and I have no doubt but that this was taken as
a fulfilment of the portent.
Bees will not thrive if you quarrel about them.
I was congratulating a parishioner on her bees looking so well, and at the same time expressing my surprise that her
next-door neighbour's hives, which had formerly been so prosperous, now seemed quite deserted. 'Ali!' she answered 'them bees couldn't du.'
'How was that?' I asked. 'Why,' she said, there was words about them, and bees 'll niver du if there's words about them.' This was a
superstition so favourable to peace and goodwill in families, that I could not find it in my heart to say a word against it.
It has been shewn in a contemporary publication, that it is customary in many parts of England, when a death takes
place, to go and formally impart the fact to the bees, to ask them to the funeral, and to fix a piece of crape upon their hives; thus
treating these insects as beings possessed of something like human intelligence, and therefore entitled to all the respect which one member
of a family pays to the rest. Not long before penning these notes, I met with an instance of this feeling about bees. A neighbour of mine
had bought a hive of bees at an auction of the goods of a farmer who had recently died. The bees seemed very sickly, and not likely to
thrive, when my neighbour's servant bethought him that they had never been put in mourning for their late master; on this he got a piece of
crape and tied it to a stick, which he fastened to the hive. After this the bees recovered, and when I saw them they were in a very
flourishing state—a result which was unhesitatingly attributed to their having been put into mourning.
C. W. J.
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