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Street-music, like everything else, has made a step be unentertaining—we believe it may even be instrucforward during the last fifty years. The old-established tive--to give some account of this man, of whom we organ-tunes even are changed; the Hundredth Psalm, are told, that as he walked along the streets in his Auld Lang Syne, and Jim Crow, have given place to blue linen frock, and with his sack of small-coals on airs from operas, and even to Beethoven's waltzes; his back, the passers-by would say: "There goes the whilst the street-bands and separate itinerants per mous small-coal man, who is a lover of learning, a form, and often in creditable style, music of a very performer in music, and a companion of gentlemen.' good and even classical description. It would be Thomas Britton was born at Higham Ferrers, amusing to trace the history of street - music in Northamptonshire. He left his native place while a England from its earliest days to the present; but the boy, and bound himself apprentice to a small-coal man subject thus carried out would require more space in St John Baptist's Street. After he had served his than the pages of the Journal allow. There would be full time of seven years, liis master gave him a sum of the romances of real life to which we have already money not to set up business. Upon this, Tom went alluded; the famous fight of the fiddlers on the Welsh into Northamptonshire again, and after he had spent marches; the inn-music, waits, &c., of Elizabeth's and his money, he returned again to London, set up the the preceding reigns; and the itinerant musicians of small-coal trade (we are sorry for this breach of prothe Civil War, who were so numerous that the parlia- mise), and withal took a stable, and turned it into a ment made an ordinance declaring them vagrants. If house, which stood the next door to the little gate of no very great judges of the art, our ancestors were St John's of Jerusalem next Clerkenwell Green. Some nevertheless lovers of it: we allude of course to the time after he had settled here, he became acquainted great body of the nation, the people; for the practice with Dr Garenners, his near neighbour, by which of having music in taverns and inns is constantly means he became an excellent chemist; and perhaps alluded to in our old English writers. It was not he performed such things in that profession as had alone the courtier who might say: 'I am advised to never been done before, with little cost and charge, give her music o mornings; they say it will pene- by the help of a moving elaboratory, that was contrived trate.' The itinerant fiddler, according to Bishop Earle, and built by himself, which was much admired by all
made it his business to get the names of the worship of that faculty that happened to see it; insomuch that ful who slept at an inn, in order that he might salute a certain gentleman of Wales was so much taken with them by their names at their rising in the morning;' it, that he was at the expense of carrying him down and indeed at the greater inns, such as we should now into that country on purpose to build him such another, call hotels, there were musicians who appear to have which Tom performed to the gentleman's very great been in some sort retainers of the house. Fynes satisfaction; and for the same he received from him a Moryson has given a hint of this in his Itinerary, very handsome and generous gratuity. Besides his when describing the arrival of a gentleman at an inn: great skill in chemistry, he was as famous for his
While he eates, if he have company especially, he knowledge of the theory of music, in the practick shall be offred musicke, which he may freely take or part of which faculty he was likewise very considerrefuse; and if he be solitary, the musicians will give able. He was so much addicted to it, that he pricked him the good-day with music in the morning.'
with his own hand, very neatly and accurately, and left The last of these musicians who made it a regular behind him a valuable collection of music . . . . which custom to frequent taverns—'going abusking,' as it was sold upon his death for near a hundred pounds.' * was called-was Thomas Eccles, a brother of the It was his skill in music, however, not in chemistry, song-composer of Queen Anne's reign. The following which won for Britton the extraordinary place he account of him is given by one who heard this last of obtained in society, which he retained, also, without the inn-minstrels play in 1735 :
any change of station, habits, or occupation. The 'It was about the month of November that I, with stable, transformed into a house, as Hearne informs some friends, were met to spend the evening at a us, was very old, low built, and mean-fit habitation tavern in the city, when a man, in a mean but decent only for one of the humblest station ; yet there garh, was introduced to us by the waiter. Immediately assembled the wit, genius, and beauty of England, upon opening the door, I heard the twang of one of his and there were heard such strains as Her Majesty's strings from under his coat, which was accompanied Theatre have since scarcely surpassed. On the by the question: "Gentlemen, will you please to hear ground floor was a repository for coals ; over it a any music?” Our curiosity, and the modesty of the long, narrow room, so low, that a tall man could man's deportment, inclined us to say yes; and music but just stand upright in it. The stairs to this he gave us such as I had never heard before, nor shall room were on the outside of the house, and could again under the same circumstances. With as fine with difficulty be ascended. This chamber was the and delicate a hand as I ever heard, he played the scene of his concerts, begun with the assistance-not whole fifth and ninth solo of Corelli, two songs of pecuniary aid, for they were free of expense-of Sir Mr Handel—" Del minaccian,” in Otho, and " Spero Roger l'Estrange,, 'a very musical gentleman,” and si mio caro bene,” in Admetus. In short, his perform frequented by all the great geniuses of the age. Here, ance was such as would command the attention of the Dr Pepusch, or the great Handel, played the harpnicest car, and left us, his auditors, much at a loss to sichord; Bannister or Medler, the first violin ; Hughes, guess who he was. He made no secret of his name; a poet, Woolaston the painter, Shuttleworth, &c., on he said he was Thomas Eccles, the youngest of three other instruments. Matthew Dubourg was then but a brothers; and that Henry, the middle one, had been child; but his first solo played in public was performed his master, and was then in the service of the king of at Britton's concert, 'standing on a joint-stool ;' and France. We were very little disposed to credit the we are told the poor child was so awed at the splendid account he gave us of his brother's situation in France; assembly, that he was near falling to the ground. but the collection of solos that have been published by
In addition to his reputation as a musician, Britton him at Paris, puts it out of question.'
was known as an acute collector of rare old books Unhappily, the moral character of poor Thomas and manuscripts ; possessing, it may consequently be Eccles was far inferior to his artistic one. He was inferred, no small portion of literary taste. In these idle, and given to drink; he lodged near Temple Bar, pursuits, his familiar associates were the Earls of and was well known to the musicians of his time.
Oxford, Pembroke, Sunderland, Winchelsea, and the Contemporary with this itinerant musician lived the Duke of Devonshire. These noblemen were in the once celebrated small-coal man, Thomas Britton, who established the first concert in London. It may not Wygorniensis.
* From Hearne's Appendix to his Hemingi Chartularii Ecclesiæ
habit of meeting, at their leisure, at the shop of a followed to his grave, in Clerkenwell Churchyard, by bookseller called Christopher Bateman, at the corner a great concourse of people, who, to their honour, had of Ave Maria Lane, in Paternoster Row. As St Paul's learned to appreciate genius, honesty, and generosity, clock struck twelve, Britton, who had then finished his under the poor coalman's blue linen gown. morning rounds, would arrive there also, clad in his There is a picture of him in the Museum, painted by his blue frock; and pitching his sack of small-coal on the friend Woolaston, beneath which are the following lines : bulk of Mr Bateman's shop-window, would go in and
Though doomed to small-coal, yet to arts alliedjoin them; and after a conversation which generally
Rich without wealth, and famous without pride; lasted about an hour, they were wont to adjourn to the
Music's best patron, judge of books and men, Mourning Bush,* Aldersgate, where they dined, and
Beloved and honoured by Apollo's train. spent the remainder of the day.
In Greece or Rome, sure never did appear It was doubtless a happy thing for Britton that none
So bright a genius in so dark a sphere; of his noble friends made any attempt to remove him
More of the man had artfully been saved, from the station in which it had pleased God to place
Had Kneller painted and had Vertue graved. him. They gave him their sympathy, their esteem, their society; and left him the habits, the associations, It is greatly to be desired that a taste for music as the ease, and the independence of his own birth:
an good as that manifested by these sons of the people example which it would be ever wise to follow. The should spread abroad amongst them now; and this error since has been the supposing that such tastes appears likely to be the case from the improved style and so much cultivation render a man unfit for his of the street-music. Let every sweet strain that floats station-displace and uproot him, as it were, and impose upon the air hereafter, bring to us the hope and the on him a different way of living. The blunder began wish that this gentle taste may be, indeed, so stealing when good Queen Charlotte recompensed a witty upon the hearts of Englishmen, that it may work å novelist by imposing on her the duties and habits of a greater wonder than it did of yore, in the days of lady's-maid; and it has gone on ever since. Let us Amphion or Orpheus-that of overcoming the evil of learn from Thomas Britton that the arts may enlighten the gin-palace and the beer-shop, and make men meet the lowliest dwelling, and cheer the humblest lot, together, not for the purposes of debasing, but of without appearing ungraceful or out of place.
ennobling their nature. The circumstances of Britton's death were as remark- A few such concerts as Britton commenced-humble, able as those of his life. Amongst the usual performers unpretending, and elevating-would as much tend to at his wonderful concerts was a magistrate for Middle exalt the people as his tastes did to exalt himself. sex, called Justice Robe, a man fond of practical Let us trust that we may yet see the day of music jokes. At that period, the now well-known trick of amongst the million. ventriloquism had been little heard of-to Britton, it was probably quite unknown-Mr Robe had become
COB. acquainted with a blacksmith named Honeyman, who possessed this power, and was called, in consequence, There are few objects of a peaceful nature more the Talking Smith.
exquisite than the scattered villages of Devonshire, During the time that Dr Sacheverell was under cen- lying concealed amidst their pretty gardens, their fresh sure, and had a great resort of friends to his house, this pastures, and ruddy orchards, or crowning the bold fellow got himself admitted, pretending that he came upland, and infusing an air of life into the rich arable from a couple who wished to be married by the doctor and woodland scenery around. But the character and Dr Sacheverell, one of the stoutest and most athletic men then living, was so terrified by him during the appearance of the cottages themselves are for the most few minutes he was in the room, that he was found part little calculated, on a close inspection, to give almost in fits. Aware of these extraordinary powers of pleasure to any eye save that of the artist, who revels Honeyman, and probably, also, of the fact that poor in the broken and uncertain outline, and in the colours Britton possessed books on the Rosicrucian philosophy, of poverty and decay. Formed out of the earth on and had imbibed some fantasies on the subject of which they stand, their exterior is often untidy and spirits, &c., from them, Robe had the folly and wicked. dilapidated. The line of wall is seldom true. Daubed ness of trying the strength of the coalman's nerves. He invited him and Honeyman together to his house ; over at the first, perhaps, with a whitewash of lime, and during the evening, Honeyman, without moving or coated with a coarse plastering, damp, frost, and his lips, or seeming to speak, threw a voice into the total neglect have done their work.
The red, raw air, which announced that Britton had but a few days material stands uncovered in all the deformity of to live, bidding him at the same time fall on his knees nakedness, and the Cob, however dry and comfortable and say the Lord's Prayer, as the only means of may be the shelter it affords, has ceased, in the avoiding his doom. The poor terrified musician obeyed; went home, it has no expression.'
language of Mr Loudon, 'to have any beauty, because took to his bed, and never rose from it again. His was one of those finely strung natures which respond fatally
The etymology of cob has long puzzled the lexicog. to any stroke upon the imagination. He believed the raphers. Neither Jameson in the Scottish dictionary, warning as Mozart did the mysterious order for a
nor Lye in the Anglo-Saxon, nor Webster in the requium, and his fine organisation yielded to his American, has attempted to account for it. Johnson disordered fancy.
can only see in it a constituent in the composition of No more of those divine concerts in the poor coal- low terms. Nor do the Devonian philologists themman's hospitable dwelling, no more strange chemical selves throw any important light on its derivation. experiments or pleasant chats under the shelter of the Leaving cob, however, to laugh at the etymologists, Mourning Bush; the lying voice had been an uncon
we shall proceed to put our readers in possession of scious prophet—Tom Britton died, and was buried; the method of constructing it; and if Chapple has
struck out the most ingenious theory with regard to
the former, Mr Loudon has undoubtedly given us the * Our readers are probably aware that a bush was the old sign most workmanlike account of the latter. We shall, for a tavern. The owner of this tavern was so affected by the therefore, although ourselves to the manner bred,' do execution of King Charles I., that he put his bush into mourning, little more than abstract from his amusing pages such by painting it black; hence the house retained, for more than a contury, the name of the "Mourning Bush.'
hints as to the mode of preparing this most primitive
composition as may be most likely to interest, and, we introduced into Cornwall and Devon by the Phænicians, hope, instruct our readers.*
as it was introduced by them into all their other The cob-walls of the west of England are composed of colonies. Although these princely merchants carried earth and straw mixed up with water, like mortar, and the arts of building and carpentry to the greatest perwell beaten and trodden together. The earth nearest at fection, it is probable that these were only displayed, hand is generally used, the more loamy it is, the to any considerable extent, in the temples of their better is it adapted for the purpose. The walls, which deities, and the palaces of their kings and nobles. The are generally two feet thick, are raised upon a founda- Tyrian and Carthaginian watch-towers which bristled tion of stone-work; and the higher the stone-work is along the African and Iberian shores, we know from carried, the more secure is the cob from the moisture Sanchoniatho to have been built of a compound of of the ground. When the walls have been raised to a stubble and mud, kneaded together like dough, and certain height, they are allowed some weeks to settle dried in the sun; and so probably were the dwellings -the length of time of course depending on the state of the vast mass of the Phænician people. Ezekiel, of the atmosphere. The first layer or raise-to use who, of all the Hebrew writers, was the best acquainted the Devonian expression-never exceeds five feet, and with their customs, when speaking of breaking is sometimes restricted to three; the second is not through a wall, invariably makes use of a word which so high; while every succeeding one is diminished would be utterly inapplicable to one of stone or brick in height as the building advances. The solidity of cob- -'I digged through the wall with mine hand.' And walls depends so much on the process of making, that houses formed of the same material were common that if the latter be hurried, the former are sure in Palestine, is evident from the identical expression to be crippled, and to swerve from the perpendicular. of Ezekiel being twice used by our Saviour in the It is usual to pare down the sides of each successive sixth chapter of St Matthew: 'Lay yourselves up raise before another is added, the instrument used treasures, where thieves do not break through (literally, -which is called the cob-parer'-being like the dig through ') nor steal.' peel or shovel used by bakers for removing the bread In like manner, we find abundant traces of cob from the oven. As the work advances, the lintels having been known to the ancient Greeks, and used of the doors, windows, cupboards, or other recesses by them very much in the same way as it is now are bedded on cross-pieces, and put in. The walls, wrought in Devonshire. Thucydides, in describing, in however, are carried up solid, and the respective his second book, the works thrown up by the besiegers openings are not cut out until the work has well at the leaguer of Platæa, mentions the confining of the settled. In the process of building, the workmen use mud in layers of reed, just as it is confined at this day common pitchforks ; and while one is on the wall in Devon by what are there called spires—a species arranging and treading down the cob, another stands of rush which grows in great abundance in the neighbelow, and pitches it up to him. When the walls have bourhood of Topsham. Xenophon, too, in narrating reached their proper altitude, and have fairly settled the ingenious manner in which Agesipolis, king of down, the process of roofing commences. The rafters Sparta, took the city of Mantinea, states that he are fixed, and afterwards thatched with wheat-straw, dammed up the river which flowed round the town, or reed, as it is called in Devonshire, which consists of and, by thus softening the walls, caused them to fall the stiff, unbruised, unbroken stalks which have been in. The Mantineans, he adds, when they rebuilt carefully separated by the thrasher from the fodder- them, carried up the stone-foundation of the new cob straw, and bound up in large sheaves called nitches. (TA10w) many feet, in order to prevent a recurrence In the following spring, the walls are plastered very of the same stratagem. · These foundations smoothly with lime-and-hair mortar, and the plaster described by Colonel Leake, in his work on the Morea, covered with a coating of rough-cast, composed of fine as very perfect, and their intention as quite obvious. gravel, carefully screened and mixed with pure newly The masonry, which is complete as high as it extends, slaked lime and water, till the whole becomes of the is clearly too low to have formed of itself a defensive consistence of a semi-fluid. This coating is forcibly wall. thrown, or slap-dashed, as it is called, upon the wall In Egypt, cob was in familiar use at least as far with a large trowel, after which it is brushed over by back as the times of the Hyksoi, or shepherd-kings. the workman with the lime-liquid in the pail, which, This is evidenced by the task-work assigned to the like the sprinkling of comfits with frothed sugar, gives Jews by Pharaoh, as detailed in the fifth chapter of the last finishing-touch of beauty to the cob. A cob- Exodus: “There shall be no straw given, yet shall ye house of two stories takes about two years to build; deliver the tale of bricks.' What the use of straw and there are instances of houses so constructed as was,' says Bishop Patrick, 'in making bricks is far back as the reign of Elizabeth being found at this variously conjectured: some think it was mixed with day in a state of perfect preservation. In the words the clay to make the brick more solid '—this being, as of the Devonshire adage, all that cob wants to insure we have seen, the precise object for which straw is durability, 'is a good hat and a good pair of shoes.' used in cob. Josephus tells us that the task-work of
That cob should be so generally adopted in a the captive Jews in Egypt was the building of walls country abounding, as the west of England does, in and a pyramid; and many have supposed that the stone, marble, and granite, is undoubtedly owing to its pyramids of Dahshour, which are composed of suncheapness, the facility with which it is wrought, and dried bricks made of mud and cut straw, were the very the dry, healthy, and comfortable dwelling which it works which made the lives of the Israelites bitter forms. As regards cheapness, it will cost, speaking with hard bondage.' roughly, about a third of stone, and a fifth of brick Ascending to a still more remote antiquity, we find work; while, on the score of comfort, the thickness that the tower which the Cainite worshippers of fire and non-conducting properties of the walls preserve a erected to their idol Bel on the plains of Babylonia mean temperature within, as well during the heats of —where stone is comparatively rare, and wood, as summer as the frosts of winter. But the material is ill Heeren says, is still more scarce than stone-was adapted for barns and garden-walls ; it harbours vermin, faced with brickwork, cemented with slime, bitumen, and is apt to be undermined by rats and mice.
mud, or whatever the chemar was; the centre, accordThe antiquity of cob is much less doubtful than ing to the conjectures of Bryant and Rich, being its etymology. There can be no doubt that it was composed of earth. What this brickwork was
probably like, we learn from the latter author, who For the rest, we can only refer them to Mr Loudon's work, the describes the sun-burnt bricks of the Birs Nimroud Encyclopædia of Architecture, No. 839.
and the Mujalibbé as looking like thick clumsy sods
of earth, in which are seen broken reeds or chopped England thus misled, but foreigners get these absurd straw, used for the obvious purpose of binding them' notions into their heads, carry them home to their -a description which corresponds very closely with own countries, and represent our highest court in the the appearance of decayed weather-beaten cob. The realm as a monstrosity of iniquity! walls which surrounded the city were in like manner, There is also another class who rail against the as we learn from Herodotus, built of the earth exca- Court of Chancery, who wish all forms and modes of vated from the moat which encircled them-a state- procedure to be done away with, and would, no doubt, ment fully corroborated by Diodorus Siculus, who like justice to be administered after the manner of a gives the most particular account of them. The Turkish pacha; but this is, in England, we are glad original walls having perished, or, to adopt the strong to say, an impossibility. Forms are, to a certain expression of the historian, melted into air, they extent, actually necessary to prevent injustice being were rebuilt, probably by Nebuchadnezzar, partly of done by the law; for it the process of the law could burned and partly of unburned brick. In the fourth be used without knowledge, cost, or trouble, by any century, these renewed walls were just sufficient for one who might fancy himself wronged by another, the hunting preserves of the Persian king. They, too, then would it become an engine of tyranny and have entirely crumbled away,
oppression, and not of justice and equity. And, like the baseless fabric of a vision,
Let us hope that the Court of Chancery, which, by
reason of its reforms, has, from being the slowest, Left not a wreck behind.
become one of the speediest tribunals in the kingdom, We may not go further in our attempt to trace the may be regarded in its proper light, and become as antiquity of this favourite compound. Were we to popular as it has hitherto been unpopular. give the reins to conjecture, it might not be impossible to make out a strong circumstantial case for its probable existence in the antediluvian period. We
FOUR SEASONS. might dwell upon the facts that, until the days of
Parcus Deorum cultor, et infrequens, Tubal-Cain, the art of working metals was unknown,
Insanientis dum sapientiæ and that, therefore, the city which Cain built could
Consultus erro; nunc retrorsum not have been constructed of wood; that chemistry
Vela dare, atque iterare cursus
Cogor relictos.-HORACE. being yet unborn, it could not have been of stone, or brick and mortar; that mud was the most obvious WHEN Life was Spring our wants were small, material to a tiller of the earth; and that beyond the
The present hour the future scorningfingers and the feet, no assistance of tools was in this A stunning partner at a ball, case needed. But we refrain, content with being able
A place among her thoughts next morning; to say of cob, as Byron has said so splendidly of the
No fears had we that she could lose
The varied charms our fancy lent her,
Terpsichore was then our Muse,
And Mr Thomas Moore our Mentor.
Tine passed till, though our wants were few,
Hopes rose, but 'twas not hard to span 'em
An opera-box, paille gloves, a new It has been truly remarked, that the Court of Chancery
Rig out, or ten pounds more per annum; is an admirable illustration of the dog with the bad When deeper aspirations came, name.' The expression, like being in Chancery,' and
We called in aid-Imagination, others of a similar nature, are often used by people And drew on Fancy for our Fame, who wish to impress upon their hearers that which is
And for our Love-upon Flirtation. tedious, expensive, and almost endless. If property is “thrown into Chancery, to use a popular phrase,
Grown more sagacious, by and by, all hope of its ever being of any further benefit to the
The wants and hopes of Life advancing, parties interested in it, is abandoned. The Court of
We learned to spell Love with an i,
And dining took the pas of dancing; Chancery has won for itself an evil reputation which
We smiled at Fancy; pitied youth; still clings to it, although no longer deserved.
In Power began Life's aims to centre; The Court of Chancery has been thoroughly re
Demurred at Faith ; and doubted Truth; formed. The changes began in 1850; and in 1852 an
Till self became both Muse and Mentor. entire revolution was effected in its mode of procedure. The various times for taking the necessary proceedings
Another Season served to prove were considerably shortened, printed pleadings were
Our false appraisement of Life's treasure, substituted for written ones, and unnecessary offices,
We found in Trust, and Truth, and Love, such as those of the masters in Chancery, which had
The very corner-stones of Pleasure; long been causes of delay and expense to suitors, were
That youth of heart shewed age of head; abolished. In many cases, too, relief may now be had
That gaining was less sweet than giving; by a summary mode of procedure. Also fees are paid
That we might live, and yet be dead by stamps, and officers of the court are remunerated
To all the real joys of living. by salaries instead of fees, so that greater fees than Our drcams how shadowy and vain those prescribed by the orders of the court can no
We've found; and turn back truer liearted, longer be taken. Thus, and in a great many other With humbler quest to seck again particulars, which it is unnecessary here to detail, has
The simple Faith in which we started; the Court of Chancery been reformed and its procedure And deeper read in Wisdom's page, simplified, with a saving of time and cost to the suitor;
Know now how we have been beguiled, wlio 'd yet no one believes it. Works like Mr Dickens's Suppose the objects that engage Bleak House still continue to gain credence, although The hopes of youth-the aims of age written long ago, and before Chancery reform began;
Should find their end in second childhood. novelists and newspaper writers still speak of it as it
ALFRED Watts. was years ago; and because they do not know of, or cannot comprehend its vast changes and improve- Printed and Published by W. and R. CHAMVERS, 47 Paterments, will not admit that any have been made. This
noster Row, London, and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH. Also
sold by WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 23 Upper Sackville Street, DOPLIN, is most unfortunate; for not only are the people of and all Booksellers.
Science a ord 3 rt s.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.
SATURDAY, JULY 11, 1857.
in the simples 'gathered beneath the moon, or plucked THE VAGARIES OF PHYSIC.
at some witching-hour under the fiery trigons ?' How LORD Bacon assigned as a reason why the science of far have we wandered from the pastures of old father medicine had not advanced and kept pace with the thyme, lost our relish for "sauce-alone, or Jack-byother sciences, that 'physicians had reasoned in a the-hedge-side,' and discarded the safe companionship circle and not in a line. Dr Benjamin Rush compared of 'Gill-go-over-the-ground!' How have we, degenthe same science, as practised in his day, to “an erate, waged war in a crusade against 'Saracen's unroofed temple, cracked at the sides, and rotten at Confound,' and withheld from our gaping wounds the the foundation. An American writer, who runs a tilt gentle succour of Teutonic 'stab-wort!' How have against every nostrum not belonging to the vegetable we set up new idols for our worship, and, like true kingdom, hearing that Mr Wakley had recommended iconoclasts, broken down the mysterious image from all poisons sold in druggists' shops to be placed on the inner sanctuary, the holy of holies, of physic! high shelves, dryly observed, that 'in that case the In medical traditionary lore, this same icon, as all lower part of the establishment would generally be to searchers into by-gone authorities well know, was the let!' Seeing, then, in what bad odour the disciples of image or likeness of a particular disease, said to be Esculapius are held even by members of their own impressed on root, leaf, or flower, suggesting its specific fraternity, and how each generation, in its turn, virtue as a curative agent applied to the disease so kicks against the rusty curb of old father antic, the indicated. It was called the signature of the plant. law,' we feel almost disposed to place our medical man That prince of herbalists, Nicholas Culpeper, says: 'I under the conservative guardianship of that African wonder in my heart how the virtues of herbs came doctor whose mode of practice is shrewdly likened by first to be known, if not by their signatures.
' Now, as Sir John Forbes to that of the homeopathic school of thou art a true man, O Nicholas, confide to us wherein medicine: the sable physician's remedy was to write it is fitting to put a bound to our credulity: In sober his prescription on a board, and then, having carefully seriousness, if the signature' be all-powerful, may washed it off, to give his patient the water to drink! there not be also-in spite of the poet—something in Verily, from the days of Hippocrates downwards, so a name? May we not hope to 'put money in our many have been the odd conceits that have sprung, purse' by imbibing an infusion of 'money-wort or full-armed for mischief, from the prolific brains of the herb-twopence;' or tame a quarrelsome wife by means world's physicians, so many and so wonder-working of 'loose-strife or grass-polly ?' Might not ashenthe medicaments propounded, from the all-heal of keys' be applied with effect to a locked-jaw; or a Hercules' to ‘Parr's Life Pills,' that, leaving the graver habit of early rising induced under Morpheus—by side of the subject to take care of itself, and dealing an admixture of 'pot-herbs, boiled with an old cock !! only with its tickled surface,' it seems as if an amusing Have you a mote in your eye, O my brother! search volume might be written on the Vagaries of Physic. diligently for the pearl-trefoil;' it shall more benefit Omitting from our category those who have turned you than the four-leaved shamrock of fairy celebrity : diseases to commodity,' and in whom 'there is no more "it hath a white spot in the leaf like a pearl. It is' faith than stewed prunes,' it would be worth while to -as you might have divined under the moon, and trace the path of some one of those—and their name its icon shews that it is of a singular virtue against is legion-who, wise in their generation, liave yet been the pearl or pin and web in the eye.' Or, better still, led away by their own chosen and familiar will-o'-the- take 'herb-clary;' this, too, is ‘under the moon,' and wisp. How have plain earnest men sometimes plunged goes right to the mark. "The seed put into the eyes, headlong into quagmires through following the ignis clears them from motes. Wild clary is a gallant remedy, fatuus of some particular traditionary mysticism, till, to take one of the seeds and put it in the eye, and by the force of that very earnestness, they have suc- there let it remain till it drop out of itself (the pain ceeded in driving the grossness of the foppery into a will be nothing to speak on).' Thank you, Culpeperreceived belief, in spite of the teeth of all rhyme and Nicholas, we are obliged to you, but would fain be reason! How for centuries have our fathers before excused. The human animal is not, it would appear, us given to some old formula a full measure of the only "unfledged biped' beholden to the ancients : simple credence heaped up and brimming over; till the callow fowls of the air have a wonder-working we, in our later generation, are tempted to cry out elixir for destroyed vision in 'celandine or chelidonium, indignantly: 'Have we laid our brains in the sun and so called from a Greek word signifying swallow.' But dried them, that they want matter to prevent such mark our oracle's reservation : "They say, that if you gross o'er-reaching as this ?' Where now is our faith put out the eyes of young swallows when they are in