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and returns to the Giver of all breath, pure as he gave been settled by the hemispherical bells shewn in the it. Nor will He forget it when He counteth up his Great Exhibition. They had a thick rim, and when jewels.
struck with pieces of wood, gave out a tone deeper On earth too, for as much and as long as the happy than that of some of the Great Toms renowned in dead, to whom all things have long been made equal, belldom; but if you walked away to the end of the need remembering, such a life will not have been lived building, you could not hear it; nor was it then in vain.
audible, even if the blow was struck with a ham
mer. We thus see that depth of tone by no means Only the memory of the just
involves penetrating power. Where the sound is not Smells sweet, and blossoms in the dust.
required to travel to a great distance, as in ceme
teries, hemispherical bells have been introduced with SOMETHING ABOUT BELLS.
A curious fact with respect to this kind of bells BEFORE the great bell for the palace at Westminster is worth inentioning. If you take a tube, the diameter was cast, about the middle of last August, a commis- of which is half, and its length the same as the sion was sent to France, while the Paris Exposition diameter of the bell, and hold it near the rim of the was still open, to collect information 'respecting the bell, the sound given out is greatly increased, and most esteemed chimes in France and Belgium, and different qualities of tone may be produced by employ. whether there are in those countries makers acquainted ing tubes of ditferent sizes. But the penetrating power with the traditions of the art, or who have applied the of the sound is not increased ; a bell of the same discoveries of science to the improvement of bells, or weight and of the ordinary form is heard further off. to efficient substitutes for them. In answer to this The phenomenon is confined to the hemispherical bell, inquiry, the commissioners, Professor Wheatstone and for no increase of sound is obtained by applying a tube Sir Charles Barry, learned that no such efficient sub- to the pyramidal bell. "If I am to offer a guess at stitutes have been discovered, and that no improvement the reason of this,' says Mr Denison, it is that the was known on the established mode and materials upper part of the common bell, which is nearly a tube for casting them.
in shape, does really act as the sounding tube to the There were some, however, who thought otherwise, vibrations of the bell when struck.' and we were told that cast-steel bells were the things That the bells of former ages are generally better for the nineteenth century, till experiment proved than those of the present, will astonish if it does not their sound to be too harsh. The Institute of British mortify those who hold modern science to excel all Architects occupied three evenings of a session with that has preceded. The old founders had some papers and a discussion on the sonorous subject. Why method of treating their bells, which, if not entirely should we, with our advanced knowledge, adhere to the lost, is never practised. They had some law of old forms ?—why could we not set up large gongs, proportion between the inside and the outside. An or great metal basins, or huge tuning-forks, as in the illumination on a medieval manuscript represents a St Nicholas Church at Hamburg ? Mr C. H. Smith man grinding the inside of a bell; and it is a fact that shewed to the Institute that two cones of soft steel, a bell finished off in a lathe, quite smooth on both one being in a certain proportion larger and longer sides, gives a better note than one left in the rough. than the other, would, when united at their bases, and on this point, Mr C. Varley stated 'he had witnessed there supported horizontally, give out a prolonged the full effect on the occasion of Lord Macartney's musical sound on being struck on the centre of embassy to China, near the end of the last century, gravity of the whole mass. By varying the propor- when two splendid musical snuff-boxes were taken as tions of the cones, any accordant musical note could presents to the emperor ; they played five tunes each, be produced; and if one was made of bell-metal, and and opening the lid started one tune. It being desirthe other of steel, the effect was yet more musical. able to obtain the utmost perfection, the musical part,
Then, arguing from the gong, was it not a mistake and the tuning and fitting of the bells, were intrusted to make bells so heavy? Would it not be better to to his late uncle, Mr Samuel Varley; and though the hammer them into shape, as is the practice in making bells were smoothly cast, in that state they were like brass pans and caldrons. To say nothing of having bells in dampers, when compared with the musical a compacter metal, and with it a better tone, what a sound from the truly turned and polished bells. The saving there would be in expense. No unimportant inside being made quite true to the outside, caused the consideration this, seeing that the prime cost of the entire co-operation of the whole bell to produce the metal for the Westminster bell amounts to L.1700. sound.'
In the discussions which followed, all parts of the Mr Wheatstone says, touching this part of the quessubject came under notice: the casting of bells, the tion: ‘The very unsatisfactory result of the chimes best shape for them, how they should be hung, how constructed for the Royal Exchange, which have been rung, and other points interesting only to the initiated; twice recast, without any ultimate advantage, shews and a good deal was said that appears to be perfectly that no known bell-founder in England can be relied conclusive. Mr E. B. Denison, Q. C., shewed by direct on.' A fact by no means flattering; although it experiment that although a gong gives out an imposing appears that testimonials as to the very fine sound in a room, it cannot in reality be heard half so qualities of bells are as readily producible, as for the far off as the sound of a bell of half the weight. More- effects of Life Pills or Taffy's Elixir. Who that has over, the gong does not answer at once to the blow, as heard the carillon at Bruges, and other places on the bell does--a most essential requirement-neither the continent, will not regret our lack of skill in this does it melt off into a prolonged musical sound. The particular? Mr Denison says there are many much deep solemn tone of the coiled wire upon which bepraised bells which he would not buy at a penny American clocks strike is familiar to numbers of a pound, except for the purpose of selling again at persons: it might be taken for the great bell of a ninepence.' [Since this was written, the Big Ben of cathedral; but they may easily satisfy themselves that Westminster las given it a remarkable commentary an ordinary clock-bell will send its sound to a distance by cracking.] where the other is perfectly inaudible; and so of the However, not to throw too much discouragement steel cones.
on modern bell-founders, we cite another passage Seeing that a hemispherical bell answers so well from Mr Denison, which shews that our forefathers, for an indoor clock, would the same form not be the with all their knowledge, were sometimes at fault. best for church bells? This question appears to have l`Most Oxford men,' he observes, “ believe their Great
Tom is a very fine bell, just because it makes a much more goes to make up the proper effect of a loudish noise; and they have no idea, and cannot peal of bells than would be supposed. From the have any, whether it is either the quantity or quality earliest stage in the production of a bell, the same of noise which ought to come out of a bell of seven nicety is required. The metal is generally composed and a half tons. Whereas, I know that a good bell of four parts of copper to one of tin; and as metals, of half that weight would give a much louder, and while fluid, throw off vapours, and diminish in bulk as a much pleasanter sound, and that, in fact, the bell water does while boiling, the metal which melts most is about as bad as possible.' This Oxford Tom was easily must not be put into the furnace with the cast in 1680. The great bells of York and Montreal, other. It is sometimes desirable to melt the metals and the new Tom of Lincoln, though not quite so bad in different furnaces ; then especial pains have to be as it, are described as "all very far short of what they taken to insure proper cooling, so that the whole mass ought to be, and very inferior to the old Tom of shall be of one homogeneous texture. If cooled sudLincoln, which was cast in 1600, and was considered denly, the metal becomes stringy inside, and appears the finest large bell in England.'
to have twice as much tin in it as when cooled slowly. A fiddle improves by age and use; a piano does The smoother the bell is, the better; hence all mouldnot, neither does a bell. There is, perhaps, a slight ings, ornaments, and inscriptions on the outside, are improvement for the first few years, but afterwards so much taken from the goodness of the tone. The the quality deteriorates. Metal, we know, is altered addition of silver to the metal does not improve the by repeated and long-continued hammering. Thump sound, though it is thought that aluminum, being very a piece of iron, and you change the quality of its sonorous, inight be added with advantage. magnetism : the shock of the waves modifies the We conclude these loose remarks on bells with a magnetism of an iron ship; and some of the music few particulars of the weight of some of the most is knocked out of a bell by long-continued use of the famous bells of Europe. The great bell of Moscow, clapper. A peculiar effect is noticed in the bell of which was broken in 1737, weighs 193 tons; the bell at Cripplegate Church when it strikes twelve: the first the Kremlin, which fell down in 1855, weighs 63 tons ; two or three strokes are distinct and clear, then a the bell at Novgorod, 31 tons ; at Vienna, cast in discord begins, which accumulates with every stroke, 1711, 17 tons 14 cwt.; at Notre Dame, Paris, 12 tons until with the eleventh and twelfth a complete double 16 cwt. ; at York, cast 1845, 10 tons 15 cwt.; St sound is produced. Unsoundness in the metal may Peter's, Rome, 8 tons; at Exeter, cast 1675, 5 tons 11 have something to do with this; and a fault of this cwt.; St Paul's, London, cast 1709, 5 tons 4 cwt. sort, which is more often present than is commonly There is at Peking a bell which weighs 53 tons. supposed, is aggravated by age. Mr Varley once blew the two surfaces of a brass air-pump plate nearly half an inch apart, when in appearance it was perfectly
THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL'S REPORT ON 1855. sound. The clapper, as a rule, injures bells much The Registrar-general's report on 1855 has been lately more than the clock-hammer; it wears them thin in published. It is rather voluminous, from the variety certain places. They then crack, and become useless. of tabular statistics it contains, and is somewhat As a remedy for this, methods have been proposed - lengthened by the addition of an interesting letter and one has been patented for turning a bell from from Dr Farr on the causes of death in that year. " time to time on its point of suspension, so that the One hundred and fifty thousand marriages, 635,000 clapper may not play too long on any one part. births (exclusive of the still-born), and 425,000 deaths,
Bells should be hung so that their mouth will be were registered in 1855. just above the sill of the belfry windows. Tourists, It appears that early marriages among women have while walking round a foreign church, not unfrequently increased rapidly in the last few years, being most remark that they can look up into the bells from the frequent in Stafford, Durham, and Monmouth, the ground. The reason is obvious—that the sound should great coal-districts, and most rare in London, Middleall escape through the windows. In English belfries, sex, Devon, and North Wales. Early marriages the bells are sometimes hung so much below the among men have also increased; but, as might be windows, that great part of the sound is lost. Another expected, three-fourths of those who marry under age defect is, that the windows are made too small, and are females. In 1855, there were upwards of 3,000,000
too much choked with louvre-boards. The of married couples in England. Of these there were proper way is to have large windows with but two 900,000 in which only one of the couple could write, or three stone louvres, and a wire-netting to keep and 700,000 in which neither husband nor wife could out birds.
sign their names—a lamentable fact, deserving the Bell-ringing is often said to be injurious to the attention of that useful personage, the 'schoolmaster church tower : the oscillation is great, and the at home.' vibration of the masonry perceptible. But the old In 1855, one child was born to every thirty of the builders knew what they were about; they supported population, the ratio of births having slightly increased the timber framework to which the bells are hung on from 1838, when the proportion was only one to every corbels or brackets built into the wall, and left a clear thirty-three persons living. Births were most numerspace all round, whereby the effect of vibration was ous among the collieries. In Durham, there was one sensibly diminished. But it happens that the timber birth to every twenty-two of the population; while in frames become weak in course of years; and church- Westmoreland there was only one to every thirtywardens, to save the expense of proper repair, seek seven. Twenty-six boys were born for every twentyto strengthen the wood-work by driving wedges be- five girls; and of every sixteen children born, one was tween it and the wall. The consequence is, that illegitimate. The latter births were most frequent in the wall is forced outwards, and being loosened every Cumberland, Norfolk, and Westmoreland, where the time the bells are rung, it eventually cracks; and average was one to every eleven, and most rare in instances have occurred in which the tower fell, or Huntingdon and Monmouth, where the ratio was only was obliged to be pulled down and rebuilt. Sometimes one to twenty-three. new strengthening timbers have been fixed, and in The records of the last eighteen years shewed the such a way, that as the bells swung, the beams moved mortality to have been lowest in 1850, when there was to and fro as battering-rams against the walls. The one death out of every forty-eight persons living, and old way of placing the framework is thought to be the highest in 1849, the year of the cholera, when one in best, if not left at the mercy of ignorant interference. every forty died. In 1855, there was one death to
We learn from the foregoing particulars, that very every forty-five of the population, the mortality of
the year being below the average of the preceding ten harpoon) difficult. But the properties of the animal as years for ages under forty-five, and above it for all food are deserving of the greatest attention. We take the ages after fifty-five. The latter fact is mainly attri- following from the (Australian) Argus : ‘Its flesh is not butable to the severe cold in the earlier part of the only palatable and nutritious, but actually curative in a year, which was probably the cause of more than very high degree, and is particularly good for all forms 20,000 deaths.
of scrofula and other diseases arising from vitiated “The cessation of the epidemic of cholera,' says Dr condition of the blood. In its fresh state it is something Farr, and the diseases induced by the cold winter, like tender beef; and salted, it very nearly resembles bacon are the great facts of the year. ... The cold led -so nearly, indeed, that I unconsciously ate it at friend to an increase in the consumption of coal; people Cassim's for bacon, and was rather startled by his assurapproached nearer to the fire than in ordinary years, ance afterwards, that the morning's rasher consisted of the and the cold was thus the indirect cause of probably flesh of a "young un.” But the principal value of this , more than 400 deaths by burns alone.'
animal consists of the oil, which is extracted from it in Eight hundred and fifty infants died from want of large quantities. An intelligent medical man, in long practheir natural nourishment, and one mother died for tice in Brisbane, has found that this oil possesses all the every 213 children born. The deaths from poison virtues, and more than all of the celebrated cod-liver oil of were 380; in 1848, they were 467. This decrease is oil is almost entirely free from all unpleasant odour or
the pharmacopæia. When properly prepared, the dugong, partly attributable to the fact of arsenic being now favour, and the quantities which can be administered are, much less easily obtained. Upwards of 800 deaths therefore, very much greater than is the case with the 1 are ascribed to "alcoholism,' 1300 to hanging and cod-liver oil, without risk of offending the most delicate suffocation, and 2500 to drowning. Of those who stomach. With a little management, it could be obtained died, only one in fourteen had reached old age.
in large quantities, as each full-grown animal will yield The most fatal of all causes of death was consump- from eight to twelve gallons of the oil.? tion. To bronchitis and pneumonia, a fourth of the deaths is to be ascribed, and the same number is attributed to old age, convulsions, premature birth WE REAR NO WAR-DEFYING FLAG. and debility, scarlatina, and typhus. Thus half the
[This piece is from The Poetical Works of Robert Story (160g. mortality was owing to eight causes.
man), a volume of minor poetry, written throughout a course A comparison is made between the registration of more than thirty years, yet, from first to last, exhibiting a returns of France and England for the year 1853. curious equality in tone and merit. The most spirited are the The mortality of France, on the whole, exceeds that political poems, which, being of a high conservative tendency, of England and Wales; but among the middle-aged,
are remarkable as the productions of a peasant at a time of great
popular discontent.) death is much busier in England than in France. The French suffer severely in times of famine, having
We rear no war-defying flag, no poor-laws or other provision as an insurance
Though armed for battle still; against starvation. They fall rapidly, too, before the
The feeble, if he like, may brascholera, on account of a defective supply of water, and
The powerful never will. an abominable system of cess-pools. The deaths in
The flag we rear in every breeze, France exceeded the births by nearly 70,000. Some
Float where it may, or when, have attributed this to cholera and scarcity; but be
Waves forth a signal o'er the seas this as it may, it is an indisputable fact that the births
Of Peace, good-will to men!' in France are actually decreasing. To a population of 1000, there were, in 1854, thirty-four births in our
For arms, we waft across the waves country, while in France there were only twenty-six.
The fruits of every clime; An analysis of the relative numbers who did not sign
For death, the truth that cheers and saves: their names, but made their marks in the marriage
What mission more sublime ! registers, has been taken to shew the state of element
For flames, we send the lights afar ary education in the two countries. It appears from
Outflashed from press and pen; this, that among the men of the two countries the
And for the slogans used in war proportion is nearly the same-thirty-four in every hundred not signing their names; but among the
Cry—' Peace, good-will to men!' women it is different, for in France fifty-five in every
But, are there states who never cease hundred made their marks, while in England the
To hate or envy ours ? number was only forty-eight in every hundred.
And who esteem our wish for peace Nearly 177,000 persons emigrated in the year 1855.
As proof of waning powers ? Of these 63,000 were of English or Welsh origin; of
Let them but dare the trial! High whom 30,000 sailed for our Australian colonies, 28,000 for the United States, and only 5000 for our North
Shall wave our war-flag then, American possessions ; 25,000 of them were adult
And wo to those who change our cry males, 22,000 adult females, 1300 children under
Of Peace, good-will to men!' fourteen years of age, and 2000 infants.
We cannot conclude without drawing attention to NEW ROMANCE BY MAYNE REID. the fact, that “Ireland is the only civilised country which is without a system of registration of births, On the 2d of January 1858 will appear in this Journal deaths, and marriages.'
the commencement of
OCEOLA: This is the vulgar colonial naine of the dugong, or
A STORY OF THE SEMINOLE WAR. sea-cow of Australia, scientifically, the Halicore Australis.
BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID, It is described as something resembling at once the
AUTHOR OF THE 'WAR-TRAIL,' &c. whale, the porpoise, and the seal; and is found in the shallow waters on the coast of Moreton Bay, browsing
To be continued weekly till completed. upon the marine herbage that grows upon the flats. When full grown, it is ten or twelve feet long; it rises to
Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoste the surface to breathe, and suckles its young. Its sense WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 23 Upper Sackville Street
, DUBLIN, and all of hearing is very keen, which makes its capture (by the Booksellers.
THE YOUNG UX.
Science and Irts.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1857.
-she has a choice of garmentsTHE POETRY OF PUSS.
Pussy cat, mew, shall have no more milk, A clean-swept hearth, the soft wavering light from a
Until her best petticoat's mended with silk. blazing fire, dancing shadows on the walls, a soughing of wind in old trees without doors, a kettle singing
Then comes “The travelled Puss,' so elegantly trans.
We give the English on the hob, a cat purring softly on the hearthrug-lated in the Arundines Cami. form a picture of domestic comfort and repose, familiar,
and its Latin : probably, to every reader of this Journal. Of this truly Pussy cat, Pussy cat, where have you been ? English interior, the Cat is the crowning feature
I've been to London to see the queen." the living link between inanimate comforts and our
Pussy cat, Pussy cat, what did you there? reflecting selves.
I frightened a little mouse under the chair! We ourselves are always conscious of this fact, and In Latin thus: sensible of Pussy's beauty and slumberous grace, Dic ubi terrarum, dulcissima Felis, abires ? although, from some peculiarity in our constitution, we Augustæ in plateas, Reginam ut cernere possem. cannot bear a cat in the room. Poor puss! we were Et quid in Augusta tibi contigit, optima Felis ? born with one of those strange antipathies to cat-kin Attonitum feci murem sub sede latentem. which no effort of reason can overcome. We acknow
Amongst fairy legends, Pussy's poetical place is also ledge the picturesque effect of her presence, but we distinguished. She is the confidant and friend of the cannot abide her near proximity ; it induces a coldness miller’s desolate son, in the French tale which so well and sickness, unlike any other feeling. Nor are we matches with our Whittington legend; her inventive alone in this antipathy; we are acquainted with several and rather swindling ingenuity transforms him at persons who suffer from, and are conscious of a cat's length into a veritable Marquis de Carrabas, and presence, even when she herself is unseen.
We were unites him in marriage with the daughter of the someonce told by a scientific friend that the reason might what credulous and avaricious king. This tale can be be found in the great amount of electricity contained traced to an Italian origin; † and indeed Puss in Boots in its fur, manifested by the sparks proceeding from may be said to belong to European literature. the skin when rubbed in the dark.
There is another very amusing French fable-apropos Might not these occasional sensations, and the of instinctive nature-in which a prince falls in love known fact of the emission of visible sparks from a with his cat, and desires a benignant fairy to transform black cat's skin, have originated the demonology of her into a woman. The request is granted; but the these quadrupeds ?
palace happening to swarm with mice, the prince's Be that as it may, the cat has obtained a high slumbers are disturbed by his bride springing out of place in the imaginative literature of the people. Very bed to go a-mousing, which so disgusts him, that he early we meet with her there. It is she who is the sees her without regret restored to lier original shape. sole friend of the lonely ’prentice-boy in his wretched Very significant of a mésalliance. garret; she lies at his feet, as he sits by the wayside As the White Cat, Pussy charmed our childhood by listening to the weird chimes; and, finally, she wins a certain melancholy grace. There was something for him the wealth and state they prophesied. Pussy very touching in her hopeless love for the errant prince, and Sir Richard Whittington have gone down to reminding one of the exquisite lines in Shakspeare: posterity together.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself: Pussy has her place also in the nursery rhymes
The hind that would be mated with the lion known to us as "Gammer Gurton's,' those strange Must die for love. fantastic jingles, full of wit run mad, which have come down through the lapse of three centuries. In boasts of its cat-legend—not so pretty and domestic as
Scandinavia, as well as England, France, and Italy, them she is a very distinguished and elegant personage. the English, not so subtle as that of France and Italy, Her dress, her fashionable carelessness, her choice of but whimsically grotesque. As it is not so well known society, are all flatteringly described. Par exemple :
as Whittington, Puss in Boots, &c., we transcribe it. Pussy cat, mew! jumps over a coal;
There goes the story that an old Troll, or Dwarf, of
Bröndhöi, who had married a young wife, grew jealous she would not soil her delicate paws—a fact, for cats of her interest in a young Troll-the Trolls are the are scrupulously clean; And in her best petticoat burns a great hole
+ It is called in Italian Gagliuoso.
dwarfish hill- men of Scandinavia, good - natured, Hecate. I come, I come, I come, I come; sociable, and very ugly spirits-and vowed he would
With all the speed I may. take his rival's life. The disturbance his jealous lunes
Where's Stadlin? occasioned aniongst the little people, caused him to be Voices. Here. nicknamed Knurremurre-Anglicé, Rumble-grumble. Hecate. Where's Puckle ? The object of his malignity thought it expedient to
Voices. Here, leave the hills till his enemy's wrath and jealousy had
And Hoppo too, and Hellwain too: subsided; so, turning himself into a fine tortoise-shell
We lack but you, we lack but you;
Come away, tom-cat, he journeyed to the neighbouring town of
the count. Lyng, in Jutland, and established himself in the family
Hecate. I will but ’noint, and then I mount. of a poor, honest man named Plat.
[A spirit like a cat descends. Here he passed his days easily enough, being treated
Voices. There's one come down to fetch his dues; kindly by the family, who never dreamed that they
A kiss, a coll, a sip of blood;
And why thou stay'st so long, I muse, I muse, were entertaining, in Pussy's person, a Troll crossed in love; a fact which by no means affected his appe
Since th' air's so sweet and good.
Hecate. Oh, art thou come ? tite, as he devoured every day plenty of milk and
What news? what news ? good grout-a species of food like frumenty, made of
Cat. All goes still to our delight; shelled oats or barley.
Either come, or else Plat happened to return from work rather late one
Refuse, refuse. evening, and, as he entered the room, the cat was
Hecate. Now, I am furnished for the flight. sitting in his usual place, scraping meal-grout out of Firestone (Hecate's son). Hark! hark! (The cat sings a a pot, and licking the pot carefully.
brave treble in her own language.) Hearken, dame,' said Plat, as he came in at the
Hecate (going up). Now I go, now I fly, door, 'till I tell you what happened to me on the road.
Greymalkin, my sweet spirit, and I. Just as I was coming past Bröndhöi, there came out
Oh, what a dainty pleasure 'tis a Troll, and called to me, saying:
To ride in the air
When the moon shines fair,
And sing, and dance, and toy, and kiss !
Over woods, high rocks, and mountains ;
Over seas (our mistress' fountains);
Over steep towers and turrets
We fly by night, ’mongst troops of spirits.
No ring of bells to our ears sounds; The moment the cat heard these words, he tumbled
No howl of wolves, no yelp of hounds; the pot down on the floor, sprang out of the chair,
No, not the noise of waters' breach, and stood up on his hind-legs. Then, as he hurried
Or cannon's throat our height can reach. to the door, he cried out, to the amazement of the Cat. No ring of bells, &c. worthy couple: Knurremurre is dead! I may go home as fast as I please.' They followed him to Shakspeare's allusion to the same superstition. In
Few of our readers can be unacquainted with the door, and beheld him scampering up the Troll's the dark cavern where the witches wait Macbeth, the hill with wonderful eagerness. We are not aware of the result—that is, whether he wedded the widow or first sound that breaks the awful silence, is not; but this legend of the Troll turned cat is still
Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed; told in the lowly homes of Denmark.
an augury evidently of some important event ; A very similar tale is told in Ireland, the only probably like the pricking of the witches' thumbs on difference being that the personages in it are all cats in the
approach of Macbeth. pure good faith, and address the countryman as he
Sometimes the poor animal is supposed to suffer passes the village churchyard.
for the completion of the witches' incantations. Ben But it is time to turn from these pleasant and Jonson in his Masque of Queens, makes a witch sing playful pictures of Pussy to her darker and more thus : poetical one. Doubtless, her pretty, graceful move
I, from the jawes of a gardiner's bitch, ments, her love of domesticity, and her shrewdness,
Did snatch these bones, and then leapt the ditch; originated the fables of faëry, and the characteristics
Yet went I back to the house againe, ascribed to her in them. But the very subtilty
Killed the blacke cat, and here is the brain. which gave her a place next to Reynard the Fox in the literature of the middle ages, obtained for her But the fairy and demoniacal power of Pussy is now an unenviable position as regarded the superstitious only a remembrance or a myth. fears of the period. She is the attendant of the
Gray's Ode to a Favourite Cat contains soinething of witch; the malicious familiar who is supposed to the same allegorical, playful character as the fairy advise the mischiefs which those feared and detested tales anent her. Wordsworth restores her to nature unfortunates perpetrated. To be old, ugly, and to in her prettiest, and yet most ordinary appearance. have a black cat, was a dangerous thing in those Our readers may compare these two poems, with which twilight days. The fiend, eschewing his former choice we finish our talk of cats. of a serpent, was supposed to inhabit the feline form ;
ODE TO A FAVOURITE CAT. and the glittering eyes, so plainly to be seen in dark
Twas on a lofty vase's side, ness, the electricity of the fur, the arched back, and
Where China's gayest art had dyed the spitting of Pussy when offended, all tended to
The azure flowers that blow; confirm the superstitious awe attached to her. The Demurest of the tabby kind, very name given her, Greymalkin, modernised Grim
The pensive Selima reclined, alkin, was that of a fiend, though now we connect no
Gazed on the lake below. such notion with it. The dramatists of the day con
Her conscious tail her joy declared ; firmed this cruel slander, and have immortalised the
The fair round face, the snowy beard, superstition. Middleton, who preceded Shakspeare,
The velvet of her paws, has the following scene :
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw, and purred applause.