25 NOVEMBER 1843, Page 14


The noble mansions which arose along the Northern bank of the Thames, called "the Strand," were placed on the sites of despoiled episcopal residences and ecclesiastical grounds. One of the most conspicuous of these princely structures was the house built by the proud Somerset, which still retains the name of its founder. Devoted now to official and scientific offices, it once wit- nessed scenes more stirring than the ambitious drudgery of Commissioners and Professors, or the listless jests of idle clerks and porters. "In Elizabeth's time it was assigned at different periods for the reception of foreign Ambasadors. In Lord Burghley's 'Notes' of this reign, printed at the end of Marsden's State Papers,' is the following singular passage—' Feb. 1566-7. Cornelius de Is Noye, an alchemist, wrought in Somerset House, and abused many in promising to convert any metal into gold.' Anne, the consort of James the First, held her court here ; which, according to Arthur Wilson, 'was a con- tinued mascarado, where she and her ladies, like so many sea-nymphs or Nereids, appeared in various dresses, to the ravishment of the beholders.' Somerset House was afterwards the scene of the bickerings between Charles the First and his new-made wife's French domestics; which elicited from that King a brief and pithy note, often reprinted, to Steenie,' (the Duke of Buck- ingham,) directing him to despatch 'the beasts' to France without delay. Oliver Cromwell lay here in state; and here was laid the scene of the tragic romance of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey's murder."—Knight's London.

A correspondent in Ireland—the well-known Mr. George Ensor—adds an original anecdote of Louis Philippe, to those which he has lately seen in the Spectator, gleaned from the monthly periodicals. "Many years since, I was dining with Mr. Johnson, the bookseller in St. Paul's Churchyard. Dr. Kelly, the author of the Universal Cambist, who had a school in Finsbury Square, was asked by one of the party, how the Abecedarian

Society proceeded ? Very well,' said he. He / then told the following anecdote-4 1 went out of town yesterday, and called on the Duke of Orleans. The servant opened the door, and said his master was not at home. Imme- diately the Duke put his head over the balustrade, saying, Dr. Kelly, I am at home : I am shaving, and as soon as I get rid of this business, I shall go down and speak to you.' The Duke came down immediately. I told him I wished to have his name added to my list of subscribers. 'No one fitter than I,' he replied ; 'for I was myself a schoolmaster.' The remainder of the con- venation between the Duke and Dr. Kelly is immaterial."

Payments may be too prompt for the safety of the payer; as we learn from the Law Magazine. "Payment means payment in due course, and not by anticipation. Thus, payment of rent before the day on which it is due is a voluntary payment, and will accordingly sometimes entail on the tenant the liability of paying the whole, or (since 4th William IV. c. 22) part, over again to some other person ; e, g. a reversioner or remainderman, who by the death, &c. of the party to whom the money was paid, has become entitled to it before or at the time at which it became due. But though rent is not due till sunset of the day on which it is reserved, that being the point of time when by law it ought to be paid, and before which at the earliest no remedy can be taken against the lessee, still if on the morning of that day the tenant pays his rent to the lessor, who dies before noon, this payment, though voluntary as being made before sunset, is good against the heir and all but the Crown."

In the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal there is a "Report on a Route from Pekung Yeh in Ave, to Aeng in Arracan," comprising an account of the Kicaams, an aboriginal race of Ave, driven into the mountains by Tartar invaders, and now under the Burmese Government. Their religion is very peculiar, and eminently " practical " in its principle. "The tenets of the Kicaam faith are most simple ; they have no idea of the Supreme Being, nor have they any tradition respecting the Creation. They are the children of the mountains, and Nature alone has any claim on their feelings. In consonance with this idea, they consider that every thing which is useful to them, or con- duces to the luxuries of life, ought to be held in the greatest veneration. The principal object of their adoration is a thick bushy tree bearing a small berry, and called by them Sabri. • * * Their ideas of the difference between good and evil consist in supposing, that those who honour and respect their parents, take care of their children and cattle, and eat most meat, and drink spirits to the greatest excess, will be well provided for hereafter, and their souls transferred into the bodies of oxen or pigs ; whilst those whose sensual appe- tites are not so great, and who do not enjoy to the utmost all the good things of the earth which may be thrown in their way, are considered unworthy of a future reward, looked down upon and contemned."

Among the disclosures of the hieroglyphists few are more generally interest- ing than the insight which has been obtained into the nature of the an- cient Egyptian tongue,—not materially differing, perhaps, from what it was before the Deluge. "Like all primitive tongues," says Mr. George R. Glidden, in the Palmography of Ancient Egypt, "the Egyptian proceeded by imitation; or by giving a sound in imitation of the object or idea intended." Thus, the name of the

Ass was YL, from his bray;

Lion ifoOee, from his roar ; Cow E• he, from her low; Frog Croor, from his croak;

Cat Chase, from her mew ;

Pig RIM, from his grunt; Hoopoo Petepcp, from its peculiar cry; Arahice, ' Hedhed,' (like our Whip-poor.will.]

"Mr. Lane's exquisite translation of the Thousand and One Nights gives some beautiful instances, in Arabic, of the words attributed to the cries of birds ; as, the Umree Ileglizee,' or Arabian turtle-dove, in its sweet coo, repeats kereem ya Allah,' 0 most merciful God ! In ancient Coptic, the same

echoing principle is recognizable in verbs; thus— Semen, to sound;

Thophtheph, to spit; Owodjteedj, to masticate ; Toilet, to let water fall drop by drop. The same word is still used in Arabic.

Kradjkradj, to grind one's teeth; Rodiredj, to rub ; Omk, to swallow.

So that, in swallowing, all nations speak Coptic I " With some modification, the Italian orthapy has been chosen for reducing

the languages of remote countries to European writing, because that method is

fixed : but it only conquers one part of the difficulty—the variable pronun- ciation of other European languages; leaving in full force the greater difficulty, that many nations have sounds winch have no corresponding representations in European characters. Mr. Gliddon supplies an instance e converso. "Au English friend of mine, in the Levant, who is a profound Turkish scholar had two native Ottoman secretaries. Being desirous of testing the capabilities of the Turkish character for the rendering of an English phrase, he sent one of them out of his bureau one morning ; and dictating to the other the following line, desired him to write it in his national letters, so as to produce the English sound, as correctly as possible. The sentence was, Drag the swindling scoundrel to the pump.' The man wrote it, and having heard the sound, read it correctly in English. He was then sent out of the room ; and the other secretary, who had not heard the sound, was summoned, and desired to read it. This he did freely. ' Direk zee asevinedelink asekonederel tev zee pomep!' And this was the nearest approximation to the English that the Turkish al- phabet would admit of."

Under the anarchy which succeeded to the rule of the Romans in what once was their empire, a confusion worse than that of Babel prevailed. Con- quering invaders knew not the language of the conquered ; the conquered forgot their own ; provinces were divided into minute communities, each isolated from the rest by jealousy and fear. Composed of denizens of different races, yet separated from its nearest neighbours, every village had its peculiar com- bination of the general ingredients of language, each its peculiar corruptions. Even in the same village, different races would remain alien to each other; as in Fribourg in Switzerland. Parallel examples, though from different causes, may be found even in the Highlands of Scotland, in Ireland, and in Wales. One striking instance of the variety of dialects in the disrupted Roman empire, and the limited confines of each, is the fact that after Latin ceased to be the current language, it was used in the songs of the soldiery, because no other was intelligible out of a very small circle ; and very strange Latin it was that thus survived. The formation of stable governments, by amalgamating these severed districts and bringing them into communication, afforded opportunity for the formation of more general and more cultivated tongues; and the Ro- mance languages, compounded mainly of Latin and Teutonic, gradually emerged from the chaos; the first to do so being the now extinct Provencal. The original differences of local dialects are still in some degree to be traced; as in the distinct varieties of Tuscan spoken at Florence, Pies, Lucca, and Sienna. Sismoodi thus dates the rise of the several Romance languages of modern Europe—

The Provengal. at the Court of Boson. King of Arles 877 887 The Langue d'Oil, or d'Oui; or the Romance-Wallon or French; at that of William Longue-Epee, the son of Rollo. Duke of Normandy 917 943 The Castilian, in the reign of Ferdinand the Great 1,037 1,065 The Portuguese, under Henry, the founder of the Monarchy 1,095 1,112 The Italian, under Roger I. King of Sicily. 1,129 1,154

Monsieur de Boulay accompanied Monsieur *** in his embassy to Spain, at the time when Cervantes, who .died in 1618, was still alive. He told me that the Ambassador one day complimented Cervantes on the great reputation which he bad acquired beyond the mountains by his Don Quixote; and that Cervantes whispered to the Ambassador, "If it bad not been for the Inqui- sition, I would have made my book far more diverting."—Segrais.

Among the allegorical paintings in the King of Bavaria's magnificent palace at Munich, Charity is represented by St. Elizabeth, the Margravine of Thu- ringia. "The legend of this charming saint, one of the most popular in Ger- many, is but little known among us. She was the wife of a Margrave of Thu- ringia, who was a fierce avaricious man, while she herself was all made up of tenderness and melting pity. She lived with her husband in his castle on the Wartsburg, and was accustomed to go out every morning to distribute alms among the poor of the valley. Her husband, jealous and covetous, forbade her thus to exercise her bounty ; but as she regarded her duty to God and to the poor even as paramount to conjugal obedience, she secretly continued her charitable offices. Her husband encountered her one morning as she was leaving the castle with a covered basket containing meat, bread, and wine for a starving family. He demanded, angrily, what she had in her basket ? Eliza- beth, trembling, not for herself, but for her wretched proteges, replied with a faltering voice, that she had been gathering roses in the garden. The fierce chieftain, not believing her, snatched off the napkin, and Elizabeth fell on her knees. But, behold, a miracle had been operated in her favour! The basket was full of roses, fresh-gathered, and wet with de*."—Knight's London.

A naval surgeon, who used to prescribe salt water for his patients in all dis- orders, happened to be drowned one evening. Next day the captain, coming on board, inquired for the doctor, and was coolly told by a sailor that "he was drowned last night, in the medicine-chest."

Some dogs possess a singular knack of hunting out any thing that has re- cently been in the possession of their masters. There is one ludicrous anec- dote of this faculty, which we fear is too good to be true. A gentleman made a bet that a dog would identify a franc that he had thrown down upon the Boulevards in Paris. Before the dog had discovered the money, a passenger had picked it up. Presently the dog caught the scent, followed the stranger to his hotel, remained with him all day, and attended hint to bed, to the great de- light of his newly-constituted master, who was extremely flattered by his sud- den attachment. But the moment the gentleman pulled off his smallclothes, in the pocket of which he had placed the franc, the dog barked at the door, as if desirous to get out. The door was opened, the dog caught up the breeches, and rushed away to his rightful master. Shortly afterwards arrived, all desha- bille, the owner of the breeches, trembling for a purse of gold that lay in the same pocket with the important franc.—Quarterly Review.