« AnteriorContinuar »
December 8th. The ordinary meeting of the SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES was hetd this evening, W. R. Hamilton, Esq. V. P. in the chair. A communi. cation was read from A. J. Kempe, Esq. on the Roman remains found in London, accounting for their paucity, by the materials being used in other buildings, of which he instanced ecclesiastical buildings, and this opinion was supported, by the excavations recently made in Christ's Hospital. A paper was also read from W. W. Diamond, Esq. instancing an early mezzotinto engi aving, (which he exhibited) as tending to confirm some previous remarks of his, that the credit of the invention was due not to Prince Rupert-who is generally considered to have discovered this art by accident, but to Count Siegen.*
A lecture was this evening delivered at the ISLINGTON LITERARY and SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY, by Dr. Matthew Frewman, on the comparative physiology of respiration. Smoking was much deprecated, as impeding the formation of venous blood, as was also tight lacing. The library of this institution has been greatly enriched, by the publications of the record commission, for which, the society is indebted to the liberality of government.
December 10th. It being the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal ACADEMY OF ARTS, a general assembly of the Academicians was held at Somerset House, when the following distribution of premiums took place, viz:To Mr. Douglas Cowper, for the best copy made in the painting-school-the silver-medal, and the lectures of Professors Barry, (pie, and Fuseli.
To Mr. Ebenezer Butler Morris, for the next best copy made in the painting school—the silver medal.
'To Mr. John Waller, for the best drawing from the life—the silver medal.
To Mr. John Garring, for the best drawing of the principal front of Goldsmiths' Hall-the silver medal.
To Mr. Conway Weston Hart, for the best drawing from the antique—the silver medal.
To Mr. George Mitchels, for the best model from the antique—the silver medal. The general assembly then proceeded to elect officers for the ensuing year,
which was as follows :
SIR M. SHEE, President. Council.-New List-C. R. Cockerell, J. Mallord, W. Mallord, W. Turner, W. Hilton, W. Etty, Esquires. Old List-C. Stanfield, C. R. Leslie, H. W. Pickersgill, Esquíres, and Sir J. Chantry.
VISITORS IN THE LIFE ACADEMY.-New List-Abraham Cooper, J. Constable, C. L. Eastlake, G. Jones, J. M. W. Turner, Esquires.-old List E. H. Bailey, H. P. Briggs, W. Collins, and W. Mulready, Esquires.
VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL OF PAINTING.—New List-C. L. Easlette, H. Howard, J. Philips, C. Stanfield, Esquires. Old List-H. P. Briggs, w. Collins, E. Landseer, and C. R. Leslie, Esquires.
AUDITORS RE-ELECTED.-W. Mulready, J. M. W. Turner, and R. Westmacott, Esquires.
* We do not know when Mr. Diamond made his previous remarks,” but if he thinks himself entitled to the merit of the discovery, he must either bave made it many years ago, or know very little of the history of Calcogaaphy. Baron Heinehen, in his “ Idee Generale d'une Collection complete d'Estampes," published at Leipsic, so far back as 1771, remarks that “ he had seen a portrait in mezzotinto of the Landgravine Amelia Elizabeth, by Lieutenant-Culonel Ludivig Von Siegen (an officer in the service of the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, born in 1620), which bore the date of 1643.” There is another print by this artist of Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, which bears the same date; of this, only two impressions, we believe, exist, one of which is in the Royal Library at Paris. The print, by Prince Rupert, of the Executioner bearing the head of John the Baptist, is now before us; and we perceive that the date, occurring twice in the plate, is not 1630--as has been given by more than one writer, who bave considered a slight scratch at the back of the 5 in the date, of the lower portion of the plate, as part of the figure-but 1658, as plainly appears on the sword of the executioner. Thus Siegen, if not the only iuventor, must be the first by at least 15 years. We were astonished to hear that such a paper as Mr. Diamond's was read before the Learned Society of Antiquaries, POR WE HAD supposed that all the members had been acquainted with the circumstance he relates.-Ed. N. L. M.
THE SOUTHWARK LITERARY INSTITUTION, held a converzatione at their Rooms in Bridge-house place, Southwark, on Monday 12th ; wbich was respectably attended-Mr. Strathem read a paper on spontaneous combustion, and Mr. Merrion lectured on the statues of the Laocoon and Dying Gladiator. The evening was also enlivened by some excellent music.
December 13thSociety of Arts—The second “illustration" for the season, was held on Tuesday evening-Earl Stanhope, in the chair-when Mr. Ross concluded his lecture on the principles of Optics, as applicable to the construction of optical and astronomicainstruments.
A Society has been formed for the purpose of introducing into the waters of St. James' Park, some specimens of rare and beautiful aquatic birds. This Society under the title of the “St. James' ORNITHOLOGICAL ;" held their first Meeting, ou Tuesday 13th, at Stafford Row, Pimlico- when several members were elected, and many presents were reported.
December 14th-The LITERARY FUND Club, had their 2nd dinner for the season, this day, at the Freemason's Tavern-Amongst the company, we noticed Sir William Bentham, Mr. Crofton Croker, Mr. Bulton, Mr. Lover, “ Father Prout,” and Mr. Barrow-Several new Members were balloted for, amougst whom were Mr. Slacready, and Mr. Harrisson Ainsworth.
A society has been formed at Paris, on the plan of the London MECHANICS INSTITUTION. It was first suggested by the celebrated geometrician Mongeand the labour of teaching, is chiefly confined to the students of the Polytechuic school. Classes are organized to teach the principles of Mechanics, Optics, and all the branches of Natural Philosophy—as also, the Fine Arts, Grammar and Languages. The plan has been so far successful, that the Institution musters at the present time, upwards of 1500 Members.
A lecture was delivered this evening, at the ISLINGTON LITTERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION, by Dr. Truman, on the physiology of the voice, illustrated by numerous diagrams, which elicited the unanimous approbation of a full audience.
December 18th-The ordinary nieeting of the Royal Asiatic Society, was held on the afternoon of this day, Earl Munster, V. P. in the chair. A paper was read from Mr. Bruce, on the antiquity of the Armenian language; the object of the writer being to prove that it was spoken by Noah, and subsequently, by all the inhabitants of the earth, prior to the confusion of tongues. Ainongst other circumstances in favour of this opinion, the writer stated, that a native of Armenia, has less difficulty in learning any other language, than one of any other nation.
WESTERN LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION. The lectures at this Society, during the month, have been well attended. Mr. Cowper gave three on Engraving and Paper making, illustrated with many models and apparatus : in the course of which, he explained the process by which Mr. A. Collas, is enabled to produce his wonderfully deceptive fac-similes of coins aud medals. The working of this beautiful machine, and the lecturer's lucid description of it, elicited the warmest applause. We canjiot bestow the same praise ou the egotistical manner in which Mr. Pemberton informed the Members, that Shakespeare, was a good poet, and an excellent playwright. His animadversions of C. Kenible's personation of Hamlet, and the effect of strutting about in a short cloak, to show his conception of the time-feeling and pathos of this character, were perfectly ludicrous. After tittle-lattling on trifles until the evening was far advanced, he requested permission of his audience to recite the comic tale of the “Snuff-box- which he actually perpetrated.
J. FELLOWES, PRINTER, 36, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD.
New London Magazine.
THE GAMING HOUSES OF LONDON.
“ Sed mibi, fas visa loqui."
MY DEAR W.
In my last, I gave you an account of the accidental circumstance which led to my introduction to Pandemonium. From trifling causes sometimes spring important events ;-the mere occurrence of a shower which in ordinary result is productive only of slight inconvenience to the man of business, or of disappointment to the ennuied dandy, proved to me a matter of beneficial import, for it offered to my reading, a most interesting and instructive page in the great volume of character, that is rarely to be met with in the common walk of mundane inter
It has been sagely and eloquently laid down by a most talented and distinguished author of the day, that “experience is the only investment which never fails to repay us tenfold what it costs ;the maxim, beautiful as it is in expression, is not less remarkable for its truth-and is most applicable to the present subject-no man should trust himself within the doors of a gaming-house, who is not of the stoic school of philosophy-possessing sense and resolution to resist and controul all baneful excitement, or to confine his speculations to the mere barter for experience, thereby investing his capital in that most solid and profitable of all securities—under such determination and restraint, he would gain wisdom from the errors and vices of mankind, and prove the truth of the author's conception—but where is the man who shall affirm, and act up to the affirmation—“ mea virtute me involvo”--the weakness of human nature too often betrays the most virtuous into error-good resolutions are made when temptations are absent-trial alone proves their strength; and if there be one excitement more powerful than another in its influence on the human mind, it is that of gaming: from the earliest ages to the present hour, it has controlled the mightiest as well as the weakest intellects—it has bound the philosopher, the statesman, nay, even the divine, in its baneful infatuation, and what the Roman satirist has written of his
NO. II.VOL. I.
age, may with equal if not greater truth, be spoken of modern times--
“What age so large a crop of vices bore,
Board wages, or a footman's livery !”
add who appeared, by the profuse display of chains and rings, to have balf exhausted some jeweller's store. One of these individuals was more immediately engaged in dealing or turning up the cards, and the other, (the croupier), from time to time assisted in paying and drawing the different stakes, as chance decided in their favour or otherwise. Previously to my entrance to this extraordinary scene, I had received a hint from my friend, that it would be necessary to sport a trifle, by way of avoiding suspicion, that our visit was one of mere curiosity or design-I therefore took a seat at the party-coloured table, beside my mentor companion; the general invitation of “ Make
your game, gentlemen” was given, which was shortly followed by the announcement of “ The game is made,” signifiying that the time for making all bets or deposits on the then coming event had expired. This ceremony at an end, the dealer proceeded to turn the cards decisive of the coup, which done, the stakes were drawn or paid as good or ill fortune decreed. The like ceremony and process were repeated throughout the whole six packs of cards, which being exhausted, were thrown out on the table to be shuffled, and again made up for another deal.Three deals having been perfected, a new hand was substituted for this operation.-The whole scene was to me one of great novelty and interest, the countenances of many fully exhibited the success or failure of their expectations. Some were beaming with delight and satisfaction ; others wore the sullen gloom of disappointment and vexation-all were more or less excited-some unable to bear up against a succession of ill fortune, gave vent to their mortifications in curses both loud and deep, and by divers thumpings inflicted on the table ; others in equal wrath, snapped asunder the rakes, (formed of wood, and used by the players for drawing their money, when out of convenient reach of the arm), and threw the fragments with great violence to a distant part of the room without much apparent regard or concern for heads, lamps, or looking-glasses that might come within their line of direction. Strange and extraordinary as such conduct appeared to me, it did not work any movement amongst the company present, a circumstance I was unable to ascribe to any other cause, than that the frequency of such events had rendered them too familiar to be matter of wonder. After several coups had been decided, and money had fluctuated in most mercurial manner, the dealer called the number “31” and subsequently, “31 apres” upon which announcement, he and the croupier proceeded, with a degree of adroitness that would have put a bank-clerk hors de combat, to rake the whole of the money that was on the table into certain limits or prisons, formed by parrallel lines drawn across the upper end of each respective colour. On enquiry, I was informed that every event decisive of the game, depended on the cards turned, forming the nearest number to 31—the first line or row of cards as they are dealt, being always applicable to the black colour, and the under or bottom line to the red, but that this particular event of 31 being turned up for both colours, constituted the advantage of the banker, who, on such occasions, took the half of all the money risked on that event-this, I learnt, is calculated