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water, and let out the solid matter it of the table. At the present time, dissolves; and these successive crops crabs, lobsters, and other shell-fish, of icicles soon form chinks and rents are, in this and other countries, conextending for many feet. Now, sidered as delicacies. oak is frequently contracted for in A Hymn to Shakspeare.--For some building ships, and mill-work, flood- years past, a society has existed gates, locks, and so forth, merely as called the “ Mulberry Club," comoak, and often, either through igno- posed principally of men of genius rance or fraud, the perishable timber connected with the fine arts, literais purveyed instead of the enduring ture, and the drama, who meet towood.

gether for the purpose of encouraging Italian Fig Tree. — Among the a sincere affection for the memory, time-worn ruins of the ancient castle and a fervent admiration for the at Reculver, in the island of Thanet, works, of the Bard of Avon. At which forms part of the county of the anniversary of his birth-day, and Kent, an ancient fig-tree stretches during the mulberry season, a fesforth its venerable arms to the tival is given by the club, at which breeze, and attracts the attention of times some of the members read the visitor, not more by the vene- compositions of their own, in honour rable aspect it presents, than by the of the immortal dramatist, which historical records with which it is are afterwards inserted, for the pur. connected. This tree, according to pose of publication, in a volume enthe traditions of the neighbourhood, titled the “ Mulberry Leaves," and claims Italy for the soil of its nati- are illustrated with original drawings vity, and Roman hands for those of by other members who may be arits first planters; its age, conse- tists. The " Hymn to Shakspeare" quently, cannot be less than from was read by the author to the society 1345 to 1888 years, the Romans on one of these occasions ; and alhaving first landed at Deal in the though possessing so little claim to summer of the 55th year before the their attention, was honoured with a birth of our Saviour, 1888 years ago, place among the contributions of and having finally quitted Britain in their distinguished members, and is the year of our Lord 488, or 1345 now produced before the public with years ago. Could this patriarchal their approval. tree but relate the various changes it The Hirlas Horn.—The drinkinghas seen, and the political, as well as horn used by the ancient Britons. physical, convulsions it has experi Owain Cyveiliawg, a prince of a enced, what an eventful history part of Powis, and a poet of consicould it furnish!

derable eminence, made it the subDiversity of Tastes. It would be ject of a poem. It was generally curious to trace the prejudices and formed of the buffalo horn, which preferences of mankind for different was of a blue colour, from whence sorts of food, and to observe, from its name, Hirlas, blue-horn, and was the facts discovered, how much in frequently ornamented with gold or fluence mental antipathies have over silver. our bodily feelings. The refreshing, and almost universally approved beverage, tea, when offered by some European travellers to the Turkish ladies, was rejected as insipid and valueless. We find, in some old English dramas, corvorants and soland geese reckoned among the dainties

LITERARY NOTICES.

Early in August will appear, William Jardine, Bart., will be pubTravels in the United States and lished on the first of August, and conCanada ;" containing some account tain the first volume of the “Natuof their Scientific Institutions, and ral History of Monkeys.” a few notices of the Geology and “ Cornelius Agrippa,” a Romance Mineralogy of those countries. By of the 16th Century. By R. Shelton J. Finch, Esq.; Cor. Mem. Nat. Mackenzie. The time is that of the Hist. Soc. Montreal, &c. &c. League of Cambray, when Venice

Nearly ready, in 2 vols. foolscap was threatened with destruction by 8vo. “On Man: his Motives, their the Pope Julius II. Louis XII. and Use, Operation, Opposition, and Emperor Maximilian II. Besides Results.” By William Bagshaw, these personages, Chevalier Bayard, Clerk, M. A., formerly of Brazen- Titian, &c. figure in the story. nose College, Oxford.

The Third and concluding Num“ Conrad Blessington,” a Tale, by ber of a “Collection of Doorways a Lady, is nearly ready, in 1 vol. from Ancient Buildings in Greece foolscap 8vo.

and Italy,” expressly measured and Shortly will appear, “ Tradition drawn for this work by Thomas Le ary Stories of Old Families, and Donaldson. There are in all 26 Legendary Illustrations of Family plates, accompanied by letterpress, History;" with Notes, Historical and which contains a new translation of Biographical. By Andrew Picken, a Chapter of Vitruvius on the subauthor of “The Dominie's Legacy.” ject, the original of which is derived 2 vols. post 8vo.

from a valuable MS. in the Library The Second Volume of the “ Na of the British Museum, 4to. turalist's Library,” edited by Sir

THE

MONTHLY REVIEW.

AUGUST, 1833.

Art. I.—Memoirs of the Court of King Charles the First,

By Lucy Aikin. In 2 vols. 8vo. Longman, Rees, & Co. 1833.

It is by no means improbable that the nature and objects of the present memoirs, as well as those of Miss Aikin's former historical works, should be misunderstood by a considerable portion of the public. Many, no doubt, must have made up their minds that such a book as the Memoirs of the Court of Charles the First, contained no matters of greater importance or interest than what may be derived from Miss Aikin's particular view of the life of King Charles, and the events of his time. But as the subjects themselves have been already abundantly treated by other and more experienced historians, a hasty judge might be very prone to say that nothing very new or very attractive could be expected to be found in these volumes. We are quite sure that we use no exaggeration when we recognize the probability of such an inference as we have just spoken of being frequently entertained with regard to such works as the present; but a reference to the pages themselves will soon dissipate all such unfavourable impressions, for, instead of confining herself to the beaten track of the political high road, Miss Aikin has directed her researches to the more interesting circumstances which belong to the private and domestic life of the principal hero, and she presents him, not as we have been accustomed to contemplate him, clothed in his royal robes, and wielding the sceptre of state, but retired from the public gaze, and as a man acting under the natural control either of his frailties or his virtues. These memoirs, then, of Miss Aikin's, are not to be described as a new and varied version of the transactions of Charles's reign, but they strictly deserve the title of being a most engaging picture of courtly life and inanners during the period to which they are devoted, and they serve to fill up that great blank in the historical chart which had been left by former historians. vol. II. (1833) so. iv.

2 h

Not much of interest can be excited by the early history of Charles, and it is not until we see him mounted on his father's throne that the record begins to assume any striking degree of importance. The state of society, manners, commerce, and literature, at the date of his accession, is made the theme of a highly curious and instructive description by Miss Aikin. By a concurrence of many auspicious circumstances during the reign of James the First, the kingdom became possessed of some new elements of national improvement. The union of the crowns of Scotland and England, and the protracted duration of peace, were productive of the highest advantages to the country, both directly and collaterally. The total abandonment of the principle of a foreign war which characterized the reign of James, drove the ardent spirits of the time into other and less criminal enterprizes, and then was it that the useful, though not always disinterested, race of British commercial adventurers carried up their victories to the utmost pitch. Voyages of discovery and intercourse with remote regions had indeed been already begun with success in the time of Elizabeth, when, according to the learned Hackluyt, the British nation had for the first time her banners floating in the Caspian Sea, had obtained important commercial privileges from the Emperor of Persia, had her agent in the stately porch of the Grand Seignor at Constantinople, had her consuls at Tripolis, in Syria, at Aleppo, Babylon, Balsara, and Goa. “What English ships," asks Hackluyt, still adverting to Elizabeth's time, “What English ships did heretofore ever anchor in the mighty river of Plate; pass and repass the unpassable, in former opinion, strait of Magellan ; range along the coast of Chili, Peru, and all the bankside of Nova Hispania, further than any Christian ever passed; traverse the mighty breadth of the South Sea; land upon the Luzones in despite of the enemy; enter into alliance, amity, and traffic, with the prince of the Moluccas and the isle of Java ; double the famous Cape of Bona Speranza; arrive at the isle of Santa Helena; and, last of all, return home most richly laden with the commodities of China; as the subjects of this now flourishing monarchy have done ?”

During the reign of James, the markets of the world were still more frequented by British ships, and the woollen goods of England were exchanged for the raw silk of Persia; whilst the jealousy of Portugal, then the great naval power, was in every part of the ocean excited in consequence of the energy and activity of our seamen. Now, too, was it that the attempts at colonization began to wear a promising aspect; for the unsuccessful results of the first of these efforts, though conducted by the ability and ingenuity of a Raleigh, were particularly calculated to damp the national ardour. Prosperous plantations began to rise up in various points of the northern coast of the great continent of America ; but during the whole period of James's reign the spirit of colonization was confined merely to private individuals, to those who emigrated either in the hope of

gain, or from a hatred of religious persecution; and the government went no farther in encouraging the practice than by conferring letters patent on the parties who chose the western world for their ultimate destiny. James, indeed, was most negligent of his own and the country's best interests, in abstaining from giving protection to the naval adventurers who braved the seas with so much fortitude, and so many promises of general benefit to the nation ; and it was from this blind forbearance that it followed that the Barbary pirates were able to come to our very shores, and after plundering our well-freighted vessels, carry off the officers and crew, either to massacre them on the spot or consign them to the condition of galley-slaves. In short, the credit of.the British navy had never in any period of our history been degraded to so humble a condition as during the reign of James the First, although the advantages of extended commercial intercourse still continued to manifest themselves in the progress of luxury of every sort amongst society in England. The king set the example of this extravagance, and it was usual for noblemen to spend nearly the whole of their incomes in mere show; in order to gratify the royal taste. Magnificent services of plate, court suits on the scale of the rich costume of the Duke of Buckingham, which, on one occasion, was valued at no less than 80,0001.; an affectation of elaborate and complicated cookery and confectionary, which led to the extensive consumption of the most precious spices from the east,—all these sources of expenditure were readily adopted by the courtiers, whilst the independent portion of the nobility remained in their castles, still keeping up the shadow of that feudal empire which gave all its splendour to the former condition of the barons of England. Foreign artists were generally patronized at this era, and in every mansion of which the possessor had the ambition to be a member of the ton, the interior was profusely ornamented with gilt carvings, with furniture of the most costly workmanship, with state beds of gold and silver tissue, embroidered velvet and silk damask fringed with gold, silk carpets from Persia, toilets covered with ornamental pieces of dressing plate, together with enormous cabinets delicately carved in ebony. The first collections of paintings began to be formed at this time, and the genius and taste of Inigo Jones, who had returned from Rome, having his mind fully charged with an admiration of all the beauty, purity, and grace of the Greek and Roman styles of architecture, had no small influence in keeping up the general spirit of extravagance.

By the indefatigable zeal and munificent expenditure of the Earl of Arundel, who was imitated in his splendid purposes by Buckingham, collections of the remains of ancient art were brought to England from every spot renowned in classic song: British ambassadors and consuls abroad became merely an organized body of collectors for their patrons at home, and specimens were sent to England from every Greek city where the national jealousy of the

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