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slay, on plea of justifiable homicide. His duties here are however more than commonly exhilarating; wherefore do these excellent citizens take pleasure in having the wet complexion of the winter day announced to them some hours before they rise to enjoy it? All tastes are doubtless respectable, and the Scotch we know are a matter-of-fact people, covetous of precise information on all topics, but why convey needless information to one's pillow, and throw a damp over one's spirits by anticipation ? does not every body in Glasgow know that yesterday was, and to-morrow will be a wet day? The watch-dog in the country bays and barks, or howls, by paroxysms ; but the detestable functionary in question comes with horrid punctuality to assert his impertinent vigilance, and compel you to join in it; and while, elsewhere, his unwelcome tramp is heard but once every hour, here, every half hour does he insist on depriving you of the best gift of heaven. · Yet do not suppose that the office of the Glasgow watchman is restrained to the observation of the single element of water : far from unfrequently you are indebted to him for the announcement of fire, no Proximus Ucalegon · forming the excuse. Fire in Nelson-street! and then a twist of the infernal crotalus or rattle, with which the demon of discord has furnished him ! Presently another rattle-snake regales you with fire in Nile-street! Fire in the Gallowgate! Fire in the Gorbals !-all, a league or two from your house, which is not on fire, and does not intend to be! In short, the whole * corps, catching the signal from one station to another, you have soon an uproar which could not well have been greater when Rome was sacked by Brennus and the Gauls !
That wherever fires are lighted, chimneys must be swept, is a proposition that appears to require no limitation; but there is a " time for all things,” except for sweeping chimneys in Glasgow : the singularly melancholy invitation of this child of misery is, I assert it, to be heard here at all hours, nor can you, for your own particular relief, curse him and have done with it; for I defy anybody to curse a chimney-sweeper from the bottom of his heart, though he wake him from his most blissful dreams!-no! not even when his lugubrious treble is conveyed to your ear through the damp and dreary fog of a November morning!-on such a morning is there anything more depressing than the wheezing cough of a consumptive chimney-sweeper? But I am forgetting the waites !--What shall we say or not say of the - waites 2 those agreeable missionaries happily let loose upon us only for a season ?--Are not all night noises, especially during winter nights, a frightful violence offered to nature? To have one's loyalty appealed to, at three o'clock in the morning by the “ National Anthem," would, in truth, (as the king is probably sound asleep,) require us to be “plus royalistes que le roi." This custom, it is much to be feared, is but a remnant of those popish abominations which, of all British subjects, the Scotch should be the least disposed to tolerate. Who would expect to find Christmas thus heralded among the descendants of the Covenanters ? That to the mere instinctive love of music is to be referred this patronage of a great nuisance, I confess myself disinclined to admit. In the first place I am rather à disbeliever in the subject of Scottish music at all, (a southern heretic may still incline to the opinion, that this divine art came to Holyrood with Mary, and expired on the harp of Rizzio :) at any rate, music is unwelcome in the hours of repose; and when the “ prima quies mortalibus ægris incipit," who would exchange it for the finest voluntary of the organ of Haarlem, or the cadences of Pasta herself? In some nations, an accumulated gaiety of constitution from climate, must, I admit, explode, and it breaks forth safely as well as naturally into musical utterance; but does the sun sink into the ocean too soon for our Venetian revels ? or do these inexorable perpetrators of uncouth sounds accomplish any one purpose, unless it be that, perhaps, of comforting the professors of divinity and church history, by the recollection, that when thus awakened in the night-watches, they have no litanies to sing and ño midnight masses to perform? We can endure the Piperari at Rome : We listen not merely without resentment to the shepherd minstrets of Calabria,
when in the wild and immémorially ancient strains of their native mountains, they announce the Advent along the moon-lit streets of the Campagna Felice. There, the genius loci invites and justifies a custom, which here, is an impertinent and preposterous anomaly. It is not many nights ago that these amiable peripatetics, hearing that I had just returned from London by the mail, judiciously proceeded to tune their instruments under my particular window, before proceeding to the concert itself: I think it required a full quarter of an hour before the instruments were of one mind : in another, I should have been out of mine. But should this happen again, I will pay them back their airs in kind with an air gun.
If midnight music be not a pleasure, it is a penalty-we all object to pay penalties unequally imposed; the thrice-blest, who enjoy companionship by night as well as by day, may, it is presumed, when thus restored to consciousness, console each other, and take sweet counsel together; while those unfortunates to whom Providence still permits the privilege, or appoints the dispensation, of lying, if it please them, diagonally in bed, must resort to all kinds of curvilinear figures, and in vain, for relief; that married people sleep sounder than others, they know very well; for me, not in possession of that heroic remedy, (on whatever principle it may operate,) I have tried all sorts of " poppy and mandragora" in vain, nor have I found the beautiful invocation of Sophocles in a single instance successful :
"Taxoduyas adans, trys d'adyowy,
ευαιων, ευαιων αναξ. · Seyen o'clock ! The sleep of exhausted sensibility, a poor substitute for that of nature, now lies heavy on the lids; but a blast is about to be blown, to which the trumpet of Alecto were a trifle, though its sounds pervaded central Italy and penetrated into the valley of the Nar!-Oh, if Saint Peter could but be induced to remove the pinch of his black finger and thumb from the shoulders of the fish to the throat of the vociferator ! One, two, threeten-twenty,--here they come ! Hark to that fellow's Irish trachea of no common calibre! I know it is not generally thought that Burking will be legalised during the first session of the reform parliament, but really an organ of that diameter neatly suspended in alcohol, would be an acquisition to any museum. There is no other chance of getting it; for I know, by long experience, that the people who make loud noises in the streets never die; the cries, and of course the criers, in the highways and byways of great cities are immortal ; the blind obviously live for ever; and the orbless man who sells boot-laces in Piccadilly may have carried on that branch of commerce during the Trojan war, when, as we may conjecture from a Homeric epithet or two, the article of leathern thongs was much in request. A finer arena for the discord in question could not be selected than Blythswood Square, of which the four sides repeat the various inflexions of unequal voice, with singularly fine effect! As, however, in this opera, the female performers are not the favourites, and have little chance with the males, let me then throw out a hint :-the municipal Authorities of Glasgow, were they men of any gallantry, should really furnish the weaker sex, or at any rate one or two of the prima donnas employed in this engaging commerce, with ship trumpets; the effect would be very grand. What! has a shoal of whales invaded the Clyde ?---what! all this explosion for haddocks only!-It begins, I said, at seven; it ends-no! it never ends. Some tons of the delicate fish in question have been assimilated and identified with the animal economy, while the immortal cry of “ Caller haddies" affords the assurance that there is still a considerable stock on hand. Ecoutez la method has occurred to me by which, as far at least as the male sex are concerned, the evil under discussion (if it be an evil, but perhaps some people like it) might be brought within some bounds of moderation. If his Lordship the Provost, and his Baillie confraternity, would but consent to educate the future heralds of the haddock mart in an Italian conservatorio-(and there are
many vessels in Clyde that trade to Leghorn)-the joint assistance of the music-master and another functionary would, in a few years, furnish the banks of the Clyde (though the Irish performers might object to the discipline) with excellent soprani.
Eight o'clock;-a lull to the storm ! at least to that storm; but imagine not that you shall even now enjoy tranquillity, and sleep one little hour in peace! -carpets are to be beaten. -Oh, that the loom in which that dust-retaining web is wrought had never been invented! The small battery of these accursed sharp-shooters now opens at either corner of the square; clatter, clatter, clatter, for a full quarter of an hour, without a moment's repose, by Shrewsbury clock! The interesting delegates who execute this order of domestic despotism, thick-legged, red-elbowed, loosely-zoned, sub-masculine figures -are perfect adepts; the rhythm is faultless; time is rigorously kept. You might wait for the dissipation of the cloud they raise, in the hope of beholding the Venus it might conceal; experience has taught me not to do so; and, with a certain quantity of cotton in my ears, and imperfectly articulated maledictions on my lips, I only wait for the slowly retiring step of the perspiring damsels with their folded carpets under their arms. I had almost forgotten to say, and it would have been an important omission, that the criers of Belfast Almanacks are among the vocal performers of this city. The months consist of the same number of days at Belfast as elsewhere; the predictions are as true; but the popularity of the Belfast Almanack consists in its being sold for a penny, and its not being fletri by a red stamp. Accidents and offences are here recommended to public sympathy or indignation by harmonies composed on the respective emergencies; a shipwreck in the Clyde employs and feeds a dozen very large mouths; the diffusion of any calamity through Glasgow is always a regular cantilena for two voices ; a murder keeps many wretches alive for another week, and the suspension of one man's respiration by the hangman, prodigiously accelerates that function in some of his blackguard survivors. The last noise that it occurs to me to mention, but it is not peculiar to Glasgow, is that of bells. I was going to say hang all bells! but that is precisely the reverse of my wish. This hateful instrument (that is when its calibre is beyond that of a sheep-bell or your Spanish muleteers') is of high antiquity. Would that the invention had perished with the inventor! Every established church has its gong- not always “ flat," though“ stale and unprofitable." He that hath heard, as I have heard, the unearthly voice of the muezzin from the minaret, may think, as I do, that tintinnubulury noise is not the happiest citation to the house of prayer. The pagan temples were frequented without any summons; people go to change and market without bells to call them; they find their way to the opera, or to the agreeable dinner party, without clocks or alarums. Bells in taverns are really useful, and accordingly, in Scotland, out of the great cities, you seldom find them; as to the church bells here, they sound as if they were muffled in wet blankets, and ringing a knell at the sun's funeral !
The ancilla genus is very scarce and indifferent in Glasgow. Your neat, succinct lady's maid, your comely nursery-maid of the Green Park, who hath learned to keep her eye on the little wretches she conducts, and yet can occasionally afford her ear to any conversation that may interest her,this sort of thing does not exist in Glasgow. As to the mere nudity of the lower extremities, for which the handmaidens of this city are conspicuous, were it without the reproach of nastiness, why as your taste and mine have been exercised a little on classical models, we are not likely to be offended : au contraire, while it recalls primeval manners, and puts you in mind of the Odyssey, it has, as I occasionally observe, certain agrémens. Shoes and stockings are monstrous inventions; and I should say, that the noiseless step of a well-turned naked foot on Brussels or Turkey carpet would be very agreeable, and a decided improvement in our domestic interior; a positive refinement ! It is pretty, too, (this foot,) on the turf or heather-very pretty! while it positively offends when trampling in mud, or lacerated by gravel.
Now, how do you like Glasgow? Are you satisfied that chez nous more than one sense is in more than one way assailed ? Shall I warn you from the fleshers, all blood and brains, like the cave of Polyphemus ? from the poulterers, where, while you are negociating for your solitary partridge, you may be surprised
- at the cry Of some strong turkey in its agony * ? from the confectioners, under the special patronage of Libitina, as I conjecture from the popular affiche in all of them, of funeral biscuits ? from the unscavengered street-crossings, which even voluntary alms would indemnify for cleansing ? from contact, if you can help it, with the descendants of the old Numidian family of Tacfarinas † (the bakers), who walk arm in arm, and contest the wall with you passim, but chiefly at the cross.
It is hard to quit an inexhaustible subject, but I must conclude ; and may, or may not, in my next, slightly perstringe the manners and anticheerful peculiarities of Glasgow. In a capacity for conversation, in acquaintance with its gentle laws, in indulgence for its latitudes, the people of this part of Scotland have made very inconsiderable progress; the playfulness of the social hour you had better not expect, and far better not undertake to promote: the matter-of-factists will put down as your sober opinion, and the guide of your conduct, the ETSU TTECOBYTU inspired by the festivity of the hour, the Lafitte before you, or the lady by your side. | The Sunday here is most sabbatically kept. They shut up the only promenade which in the opening spring possesses the least amenity, the Botanic Gardens, and prevent some scores of people from rejoicing among the most beautiful and consoling of the works of God, in order that the one or two attendants may go to church, that is, listen to mais que voulez-vous ? I dare say some of the ultras would prevent the seed from germinating, or the herb from bursting its vegetable bonds on Sunday, if it depended upon them. I once knew an old woman who shut up her cock together with his concubines-(she should first have separated them) every Sunday in a dark cellar, to perform penance, before she went to church. In this horrid place, every Sabbath brings a suspension of all that makes other dull places tolerable. Few walk ; none venture to mount a horse; the steam-vessel lies like a sleeping water-fowl on the beautiful Clyde; the poor mechanic cannot, if he would, ventilate his lungs, or refresh his wife and children on its pure waters ; pent up in his close or vennal, amidst the fomites of fever and dysentery, he must make the best of it. Othe horrors of a Scottish Sabbath in its cities! What penances will not men impose on their own consciences !--and the results ? Je n'en sais rien. But I know that the Christian exercise of voice commonly called scandal is not less practised here than elsewhere, and observe that the citizen of the Clyde pursues his diurnal interests with certainly not less intensity of purpose than other people. The same average quantity of solid virtue and social worth may, must exist here, as in other places, but I will say that
the virtue is somewhat less seductive, and the social disposition, perhaps in - the situation of the kernel of a very hard nut, which must first be broken,
and which all will not take the trouble to break. . On the whole, I own that I should not quite like to leave my bones under one of the huge cast-iron sAFES which you see placed over the tombs. These safes - are grilles of great solidity and large dimensions, which, on the first inspection, suggest a suitable accommodation for an extensive menagerie ; you seem to have a right to expect the muzzle of a lion or the formidable claw of a tiger to protrude from beneath. Adieu, then, till we meet in spring to enjoy our pleasant walk along the Boulevards. , I remain, dear Vernon, yours affectionately,
HENRY D'ARCY. - the bubbling cry Of some strong swimmer in his agony.-- Don Juan.
+ Tacfarinas.-Tacit. Annal.
" Il cantar, che nell ANIMA, si sente."-PETRARCH.
What traveller who has ever visited " Genoa la Superba" can forget the Strada Balbi, with its marble palaces, its bright frescos, and hanging orange groves ? Who can forget that clear blue sky, whose tints are reflected in the Mediterranean, and whose heat is tempered by the “ aria marina" which there so gratefully refreshes the southern atmosphere ? Bright and sunny as the picture is, still, like all others, it has its reverse; and some of the narrow lanes, which lie in the vicinity of this magnificent street, present, as if by way of contrast, scenes of dirt, desolation, and wretchedness, unequalled in any even of the Italian cities.
In one of these miserable byways, in 1810, the period at which our story commences, Nicolo Paganini, the violinist“ par excellence," whose name has since been borne upon the wings of Fame throughout all Europe, and who has been deemed, in the judgment of the musical world, unrivalled and supreme in the arcana of his art, dwelt in poverty, unnoticed and unknown. He was the inhabitant of one of the poorest shops in the “ vicolo," or narrow lane, and barely obtained enough by working as a musical instrument-maker to support himself and his aged mother, who for many years had been his sole companion. For some time past their circumstances had been gradually declining, and the little patrimony bequeathed to Paganini by his father had been dissipated and exhausted, so that the poor Genoese had been reduced from comparative independence to obtain his daily bread by his daily labour. This had not always been the case. The little shop of Paganini had at one time exhibited an appearance of comfort, and even wealth; he and his mother Brigitta had been decently clad; and as there were not many tradesmen in Genoa who followed the same occupation, he had obtained a tolerable livelihood. At that period he might regularly have been seen working cheerfully at the door of his little habitation, gaily humming some of the favourite airs of his native city, and repaying with interest the good-humoured jokes of the Genoese damsels, who often raised their veils in passing to gaze upon his thin, ungainly figure, and wild, spirit-like face. But all his bright prospects of independence had been clouded; and one unfortunate calamity seemed to doom him to continued melancholy and to hopeless poverty-he had become the victim of monomania; a devoted prey to one unchangeable idea, which haunted him night and day, and whose impulses he blindly followed, regardless of the privations he might suffer or give rise to. His poor mother, deeply afflicted at seeing him thus dissipate his substance, in vain entreated him not to reduce her to misery. Her supplications were disregarded, sometimes unheard, and her son continued to neglect his ordinary occupation; so that by degrees all his savings, his stock in trade, his furniture, and even his very clothes, were swallowed up in the expenses incurred by the futile experiments which his monomania induced him to make. It must, however, be confessed, that if there had been any chance of his attaining his object, Paganini had hit upon an excellent speculation. Having in his possession a violin of the celebrated