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PALACE OF CONSTANTIA IN INDIA, AND GENERAL MARTINE CONSTANTIA is a curiosity in its mains should be deposited viin it,
kind, perhaps as great as any in thus converting it into a tomb, which Lucnow : it was built by General alone would prevent any Mahometan Martine, a French gentleman in the from occupying it as a dwelling. service of the late Nawaub, and his It soon became necessary to obey predecessor Asoph u Dowlab.
these directions: the general valy Martine was a native of Lyons, and lived to see his future tomb completed; came to India as a private soldier, he breakfasted in it one day only l be where he served under Count Lally, lieve, and was never after able to enter and from his own activity and merit, it. He died, and lies embalmed in a advanced rapidly to a considerable vault which he had constructed: it is rank; but having been disgusted or said to contain specie. Lights are alarmed at certain threats which his continually kept burning there, and commander let fall in the course of a two statues representing grenadiers, negotiation entrusted by him to Mar. one at the head and one at the fout of tine once during the siege of Pondi- the tomb, lean with their cheeks recherry, he took the earliest opportuni- clining upon the buts of their reversed ty of making his escape and throwing muskets. himself on the protection of Sir Eyre Martine was possessed of a very acCoote, who, doubtless glad to obtain tive and enterprizing genius,and a strong the services and information of a man and liberal mind; if we are to credit who had been very confidentially em- report, he was far from narrow or ployed by his enemy, received him avaricious, although he accumulated with distinction, and soon procured immense wealth. He traded and him a commission in the English army, speculated in every possible way, but in which he rose rapidly to the rank with so much judgment and knowledge of captain; after which his brevet rank of his subject, that he seldom failed of was by special favour permitted to go success. He was perfect master of the on till he reached that of major-general. nature and rates of exchanges through
He accompanied Sir Eyre Coote to out the country, and united in large Lucnow, where he soon was estab- transactions of that description the lished in the service of Asoph u Dow. shroffs and moneyed men in various lah ; and being a very ingenious me- quarters. He was an excellent judge chanic, as well as an excellent survey- of jewels; and extraordinary stories or and general engineer, he made him- are related of the sagacity he displayed self so useful to that prince, that he in his dealings in this line, and the could do nothing without his assistance, great profits he acquired by them. and in a comparatively short time he There was nothing he failed of turning accumulated a prodigious fortune. to account; and he was wont himself Among the last of bis undertakings to declare, that were he turned adrift was the building of Constantia, which on the world without a shilling at the was a speculation (like most things he age of sixty, he would not despair of did) in the hope of effecting a sale of dying rich, if it pleased God to proit at a great profit to Saadut Allee. long his life to the usual age of man. The place perhaps did not, under Mar Neither the amount nor disposition tine's superintendence, cost above four of his wealth, I believe, is accurately lacs of rupees, but he demanded twelve known; the former was, however, as its price ; which was refused, and certainly very great, and the latter parthe old man was so indignant at what took a great deal of the eccentricity of he termed the meanness of the Na. the owner's character. About Olly waub, that he swore it never should be thousand pounds were left to his naan habitation for him, and gave directive city; and he directed that the tions that when he himself died, his re- house of Constantia should be kept
continually in repair, and that such Chinese mandarin, or a solemn brah
strangers as should arrive at Lucnow min. Yet the effect, though ludicrous, = BETRI unprovided with other quarters, should is not so offensive as might be sup
have the option of residing there for posed. Grandeur is indeed lost, but one month; or longer if not claimed by ainusement and interest remain. It is fresh arrivals. For this purpose, thir- after the rainy season that these groups ty thousand rupees annually are appro- cut an unhappy figure: the materials priated, and the expenditure of them of which they are composed not being was entrusted to a person of Portuguese of a description to support moisture, family in the King's service. Martine they become miserably injured ; legs, left one son, born of a Native woman, 'arms, and heads drop off, the paint is. to whom, though I never heard any washed away, and the whole assumes thing aniss suspected, his father, by a very curious appearance, until the some strange inconsistency, left but the annual repairs take place, after which paltry allowance of one hundred rupees the statues recover their lost limbs, a month.
and the mansion resumes its gay dress. Constantia is a vast pile, situated The ground-floor of this building is on the banks of the Ghoomtee, over- calculated for coolness; the apartments
looking a rich well-cultivated country, are lofty and spacious ; the floor is of ond, in 餐
and in an extensive enclosure, well marble ; the high vaulted roof is fretwooded with mango and other fruit. ted and adorned with cameo medaltrees. Upon the portico of entrance lions, of white upon a blue ground: the
may be seen the moito of the General, walls are adorned with gold and silver anderente
“ Patientia et Constantia," to the work, mingled with various colours, beri sot spirit of which he fully conformed in in a rich and fanciful though somewhat
his life. The building consists of a tawdry style. There seems no end to main body, and two wings rising in the succession of chambers, small and many stories of very fanciful archi- great, of every form, and as variously tecture to a great height, and diminish- fitted up, some with orchestras as foc ing gradually to a fantastic look-out, musicians, others with galleries all resembling, at a distance, the crown- round. The second story is less losty, like sterples of some old churches, but contains several apartments fitted upon which is erected a flag-staff. up with fireplaces or stoves for the The walls of the wings, and of each cold season, and more calculated for story in the main building, are balus- comfort; the major part is, however, traded, and surmounted with gigantic divided into a wonderful number of statues representing human beings and multiform chambers, communicating animals, in such multitudes that they with each other in extraordinary ways; appear to cover the whole upper part and all carved, fretted, and painted like of the building with a fringe of fila- those below. The third story is in gree work, and thus produce a sin- the same taste, but contains fewer gular effect. These statues, cast in rooms; and a succession of narrow clay, and painted, mimic almost every stair-cases and ladders lead first to the living thing to be found on earth. balconies and terraced rooss, and Among them may be discovered co- thence to the lotiy look-out above all. pies of the most celebrated statues of The whole building is calculated to antiquity, figures of men and women facilitate defence, and prevent surin the costumes of almost every coun- prises in case of attack in an insecure try, with birds and animals of all country, without carrying the appearsorts : and the arrangement of them ance of a formal fortification : it fireis at least as bizarre as the quantity is proof, not having a piece of wood used confounding. A Venus de Medicis, in its whole construction ; the roofs an Antinous, or a Mercury, may be are all vaulted, and the doors and winseen close to a Dutch dairy-maid dow shutters are of iron. There is churning butter, a burgomaster, or a no grand staircase; a defect both in Swiss peasant; or a French petit- appearance and convenience; but 'a maître, exchanging civilities with a vast additional means of security, for,
the only means of communicatiou grounds, considering the country, are between the stories being by narrow almost as singularly laid out. A large spiral staircases, a single man could garden in the old French taste, divided defend them against an army. Many into numerous alleys, bordered with of the passages from one apartment trees cut into various fantastic forms, to another have been made thus poor stretches behind it; while in front has and narrow upon the same principle; been excavated a large oval tank, in and there are multitudes of secret the centre of which rises a pillar of places for concealment, formed in the more than one hundred feet in height, thickness of the walls and in the cor- erected by direction and according to ners of the house. It is indeed a place the plan left by the late General Marquite unique in its kind, and the tine, which serves as his monument.
ON METROPOLITAN AUCTIONS.
AN auction is no new subject to des commodity from knowing when they
cant upon. Buyers of bargains make a bid. These people seldom bid were well ridiculed in the Spectator; viva voce : for they will contrive to and the eagerness of ladies (and gen- get between their opponent and the tlemen, too, for that matter), at a sale, auctioneer, keeping an eye upon each, wben anxious to possess themselves of taking care that the one towards the any article on which they had set auctioneer is not out of sight of the their hearts, even bidding upon them- other bidder; with this eye they wipk selves, has before now furnished wri- their bids most dexterously, while the ters for the public eye with the means opposing party will be looking about, of amusement for their readers. and wondering who is bidding against
Unquestionably there is considerable him;—others do the thing with a sipleasure to be derived from attending lent nod;-another sort get quite oot an auction, by a close observer, who of sight, behind the pulpit, and tog at goes there without the intention of the auctioneer's coat-tail at every bid, purchasing, and who moreover is reso- to the great danger of his skirts, each Jute enough not to be caught with a pull going for sixpence, a shilling, or great bargain. The quick, ready eye half-a-crown, as the case may be ;of the auctioneer; his wit, if he has any, and others again will get on one side and for which there is great scope, of the hammer-armed gentleman, and though some of the present race are poke some part of his body with the dull enough ;-the contrast in the be- end of a pencil, for the same purpose. haviour of his audience:- the cool and With these and with sundry other sorts and apparently indifferent manner of of " inexplicable dumb show," which the old attendants and good judges; is explicable enough to the auctiopeer, I --the precipitation of the young and have seen great quantities of goods inexperienced ;-the plots, counter- bought and sold: but there is still plots, and manæuvres of various par- another sort, who go even nearer the ties in the room to outwit each other wind than all these, and who, afier in bidding for and procuring what looking at the goods, will leave a list they are in want of;—the remarks of prices with the salesman or his and opinions, right or wrong, of the clerk, who will buy for them, and then talkative portion of the company; the declare the name, when the party is absolute sway of the auctioneer during not even in the room; but, in this the period of his exaltation,--are all case, they must be well able to trust fraught with much that is interesting the auctioneer, who would otherwise and entertaining.
run them up to the extent of their · I have often smiled to see the pretty price. little tricks of some of the thorough My last remark reminds me of a paced and well-known attendants at sad trick of very many auctioneerssales, to prevent dealers in the same that of running, as it is called. If they
see a person eager and, apparently read the advertisements in the papers; determined to possess any article, which is, that such advertisements are they will run upon them; that is, de- generally more flowery than others, clare higher biddings, without, in fact, though most of them are flowery having any—thus urging them on; enough ; and you are invariably told, and they will do the same, if any that you may have catalogues at the thing is likely to go at what they think place of sale, and at the auctioneer's ; too low a price. This, they would say, but where these auctioneers reside is was fair to their employers; but it is never stated. Whenever this is the hardly fair to the public. I have case, that sale is a rig, depend on it. many times seen an auctioneer caught When there is a genuine sale, in his own trap, in this running system, whether of furniture or other goods, being obliged to knock it down to his the dealers in the article, whatever it own surreptitious bid at last : he then may be, generally join together to pureither declares some fictitious name, chase, making, in fact, a sort of combior, pretending the buyer will not de- nation among themselves to keep the clare himself, puts up the lot again. prices down ; and this is, perbaps, the
This, and the system of rigging, only good reason that can be given in are the bane of sales, and are known defence of an auctioneer's running, as to be detested by the honourable mem- mentioned before. But it is not albers of the trade. To many this rig- ways that he is aware of the existence ging will want a little explanation : of the combination, for each of the It is when one man, or a set of men, parties will in turn bid for the lots; make up an entire sale, or part of one; but then he will never be opposed by for all sales nearly are, more or less, the rest of his associates: of course, mixed in this way: but in some it is by this means they frequently get articarried to a shameful length. The cles much cheaper than if they were goods, where there is a rig, whether in opposition to each other. It is furniture or otherwise, are generally technically called being in the cab: either damaged, or got up on purpose, and after the sale is over the whole in a shabby but showy way; and the party will retire to a tavern, and proowners of them, or their puffers (per- ceed to knock out-another technical sons sent to keep up the price), are term for putting up the lots again mingled with the company, watching among themselves, for they all mark and seeking whom they may devour; their catalogues ; and in this way many and, unfortunately, they are often re- a poor Jew and Gentile will get their spectable-looking persons, and have pound or two in a day without, in fact, even females amongst them; for, alas! really purchasing any thing. They females are their principal prey on are admitted into the cab by the large these occasions. If the lady seems buyers, upon the same principle that desirous of any lot, she is marked the Indians are said to worship the down as a sportsman marks his game; devil--that of fear; for these mea and one will insinuate that the ar- possess judgment, if not money, and ticle is cheap at such or such a price, would, therefore, if not admitted, while another will keep bidding upon make the others pay larger prices. the lady. They will sometimes even when the knock out or second sale is affect to be generous, and tell the dupe, over, the increase given upon the after having got a good price, that if whole of the lots are collected, cast she wants the lot, they will give it up up, and equally divided amongst the to her, and so forth. It is incalculable whole of the party. how much is done in this way, espe- · It is hardly worth mentioning the cially at the west end of the town, and mock auctions of glass, china, tea-cadprincipally in furniture, as could be dies, &c. which are held in shops ia avowed by numberless sufferers. One our most public streets; for almost caution I can give persons against every child is aware of the gross and these sham sales, if they happen to barefaced impositions praetised at these
60 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.
places, where the public is cheated out than these might be easily picked oat, of its money, and government of its ad infinitum, from the catalogue of
Eddes, Robins, and Machin. Many A very curious sort of sale, common of the attendants at these sales are the in the metropolis, is that of pawnbrok- children of Israel, who are dealers in ers' pledges, though even into these every thing, from the most costly other property is often introduced; watch or article of jewelry, to the very this sort of sale is principally curious lowest and most worthless description from the very odd mixture of articles of cast-off clothing; all of which, the in a lot, which having been pawned very best and the very worst, may be together to raise money, are obliged by seen at pledge sales. At these sales act of parliament to be sold together; the king's duty of five per cent. is paid take for instance the following lots by the buyer; and I have often thought from a catalogue which is laying by that the clerk's perquisites, at the end me :
of a large sale, arising froin the frac“A patch-work quilt, a coat, and two bibles.
tions of duty, nust be considerable. A pair of trousers, a set of fire-irons, and a pet
In winding up these desultory reticoat.
marks on auctions, &c. I can only say A pair of boots, a table-cloth, and a necklace. that whoever ventures into a sale-roon A shirt, a table-spoon, and an opera-glass.
should not only have money in their A silk scarf, and a drawing in a gilt frame. A Dutch clock, a rug, and two snuff-boxes."
pockets, but judgment in their heads,
or they must infallibly run a great risk And these are but a few strange mix- of being cheated either by others or tures; for much stranger medleys themselves.
THE LITERARY SOUVENIR, OR CABINET OF POETRY AND ROMANCE.
WITH NUMEROUS SPLENDID ENGRAVIXGS.
ERTAINLY England is the land thy of the mind, while the Fine Arts
for competition. The worst of were employed to render it pleasing schemes and the most ridiculous of fol- to the eye. "Original genius was calllies never want their votaries; and ed into effort where before nothing but when any thing good is started and the phases of the moon were noted; succeeds, it is no wonder that there a pretty tale usurped the place of a should soon be plenty of rivalry and senseless hieroglyphic, and a sweet emulation. Thus it has been with poem deposed the ancient Twelve Annuals, if we may so designate pub- Signs of the Zodiac with the bellman lications of the kind now before us. lines which told of their divine dominThe date is not very distant when a jon over the parts of the human body. few silly almanacks, Moore's, the Bel- The public was much gratified with fast, the Aberdeen, and such like the exchange of pleasure and rationalitrumpery, were all the productions ty for mummery and nonsense ; and which a coming year required or ob- the Forget me not' was as popular as tained. Neater Diaries, with blank it deserved to be. leaves for memoranda, were then spar The natural consequence of this ingly introduced : and these paved the popularity in a country abounding in way for a number of Pocket Books, capital and enterprize, was, that many with useful lists, &c. suited to the other works of the same character wants of persons in various ranks of should spring up and advance their life. And here improvement paused pretensions to a share of public favour. for a long time, till Mr. Ackerman We have already mentioned one, followed the example of the Continent, Friendship's Offering, in addition to and set the example to our island, of the Forget me not, for the ensuing combining graceful literature with the year; and we have now to notice in New Year's Gift, and rendering it wor- the forthcoming Literary Souvenir.'