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nihil nisi bonum,' and do its duty by the posthumous venom of this rancorous old pedagogue.

A loom has recently been made, at Lyons, for silk weaving, which has manv advantages. It is composed of five stages ; and the mechanism, which is simple, allows one man to weave five pieces at the same time. It has been examined by the Commissioners from the Academy of Lyons. The inventor is M. Lebrun, and the Academy intend to confer a gold medal on him. By this loom a saving will be made of four-fifths in the expense of labour.

The North Pole mania and Parrv humbug is, we are glad to see, upon the wane. If Messrs. Croker and Barrow send out any more expeditions for the gratification of their own idle curiosity, let the expenses be disbursed from their own enormous salaries. What possible good can arise from the mere knowledge of the fact that Captain Parry has discovered a northern passage, if that discovery can never be madeavailable to any useful purpose; and if Captain Parry, with every adventitious aid which the Admiralty has been able to afford him, has found it impossible to accomplish the object of his expedition, is it likely, if they do at length hit upon an

outlet that merchantmen can ever be expected to avail themselves of the discovery

without encountering great difficulties and dangers. It seems, however, that Mr.

Murray is about to publish another quarto on the subject, entitled an Appendix to Captain Parry's Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a North West Passage.

Sir Richard Phillips's knack of vamping up scissors-and-paste publications, and foisting them on the public by means of striking names, and the grossest system of puffing, is well known. It seems that the Godfathers to most of the Knight's recent vamps of this class are Messrs. Knight and Lacy, (still a Knight in the firm), hence the rubbish entitled Anecdotes of Westminster Hall; Anecdotes of Law; Anecdotes of Music; ltemarkable Trials; and a variety of publications of similar value; advertised in the provincial newspapers under the catching title of' Contemporary Literature.' The country gentlemen may be gulled by such announcements, but we question if they answer Sir Richard's purpose after all. Theplan, however, of advertising in such a manner as to make it appear that the puff is the spontaneous production of the newspaper editor cannot be a bad one, or rather we should say, an unsuccessful one, since Mr. Colburn (whose authority on all matters connected with puffing, is paramount), has adopted it. Some more of the kind of rubbish to which we have alluded, entitled the Reign of Terror, is, we perceive, announced for publication. Dr. Brickbat (as John Bull calls him) is, it would appear, busily employed in vamping for the Knight and his coadjutors.

Mr. Webb, of Providence, United States, has had occasion to observe that globules of water and air were by no means unfrequent in specimens of amethyst, which came under his eye. Many of them were highly interesting from the size of the globule or portion of liquid, the form of the cavity containing it, the exhibition of double refraction through the crystal which it afforded, &c. He remarks, that most of these specimens were found among such as had been rejected on account of being too pale for good cabinet specimens, and thinks it probable that good specimens are continually neglected for want of sufficient and close examination.

It is said that a new edition of Mr. Campbell's Selections from the British Poets is preparing for publication. We trust, if this be the case, that he will change some of his extracts, and correct the many errors with which the work abounds in its present state, We wish Mr. C. would publish his volume of criticism and biography and separate, for that portion of the book is really valuable, proceeding as it does from the pen of one of the first poets of the age. The selections we coni sider on the whole very unhappy.

A Life of Wolfe is announced 'uniform with Southey's Nelson,' but not by the same author, as the bookseller would fain have it appear. Mr. Southey has other fish to fry. He is preparing for the press Dialogues on Various Subjects, and a new volume of his admirable History of the Peninsular War is expected to appear almost immediately.

The Rev. H. H. Milman has a dramatic poem nearly ready for publication, entitled ' Anna Boleyn.' Report speaks of this poem as the chef d'eeum-e of its amiable and celebrated author.

The fourth volume of Mr. Stewart Rose's lively translation of Aristo is about to make its appearance. There can be no doubt but that this admirable version, judging from what we have seen of it, will supersede the wretched trash by Hoole, which has so long, tor want of something better, kept possession of the market. The very circumstance of Hoble's having chained down the airy spirit of Ariosto, to his corpse-like couplels, instead of adopting the suitable stanza of his original, ought to have damned his labours from the moment of their first publication. Sir John Harrington is to Ariosto what Fairfax is to Tasso, both as regards the measure of his verse and the quaintness of his style; but the comparison can be carried no further, for there is a great deal of genuine poetry in Fairfax, although

there is little or none in Sir John Mr. Hose has wisely adopted the ottava rima

in his translation of Ariosto; and Mr. Wiffen has with equal good taste employed the stanza of Spenser, in his version of Tasso. Both these works, but more especially the latter, reflect the highest credit upon the literature of the age.

The author of a sprightly little volume, entitled Warreniana, a Mr. Deacon, formerly editor of Gold and Northouses's London Magazine, is, we understand, about to publish a series of Tales, entitled November Nights.

There is now in the division of Hunsley Beacon, in Yorkshire, a folio edition of the Scriptures, in French, printed at Geneva in 1693; revised and compared with the Hebrew and Greek texts, by the pastors and professors of the Church of Geneva. It is in a state of the highest preservation. The preface is written by Calvin.

A Steam Vessel, on an entirely new principle, is now building at Bridport harbour. It is not to be propelled by paddle-wheels, but by the retrograde motion of short flaps, which work horizontally in the sides of the vessel, progressing at the rate of twenty-four foot in a second, on a parallel line with the water. When the flap, or rather fin, has finished its motion, it rises out of the water and repeats its operation, by rushing through a space of eighteen feet along the side of the vessel. Boilers are dispensed with, and the steam generated by forcing water into a double barrel, by the heat of which it is easily converted into steam, having all the advantage of the perpetual boiler without its incumbrance.

It is stated in a letter from Rome, that important discoveries of antiquities have been made at Tusculum. Not only has an ancient theatre been found, but the streets leading to it have been cleared. An aqueduct, a public fountain, baths, vases, a head of Jupiter, other marble ornaments, elegant paintings in fresco, and and other precious objects have been brought to light.

The most absurd nonsense seems to find translators at the present day. Tassoni's silly poem La Secchia Rapita; or the Rape of the Bucket, is we are told about to be translated by a Mr. Atkinson.

Mr. Pettigrew, librarian to the Duke of Sussex, announces for publication an Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of his Boyal Highness's Library, with Biographical Notices of the most eminent Printers, Editors, Engravers, &c It has

been often said that bibliomaniacs often collect such books as they have the least occasion for. This accounts, we suppose, for his Royal Highness's having nearly all the editions ever printed of the Bible.

Mrs. Shelley, the authoress of that monstrous literary abortion, Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus, is, we understand, about to produce another Raw-headand-bloody-bones, called 'The Last Man.' There is, we believe a novel alreadv published, entitled Omegarius, or the Last Man, a bantling of the Leadenhall press; a fact which might have spared Mr. Campbell the trouble of writing his long letter to the editor of the Edinburgh Review, on the subject of the originality of the conception of his Last Man.

Poor Mrs. Belzoni's subscription gets on very slowly. It is disgraceful to the national taste, that whilst a subscription of nearly five thousand pounds can be raisedin a few weeks for the family of a deceased actor of low comedy and farce, one thousand pounds cannot be collected for the widow of a man who has done so much for science as poor Belzoni. Mr. Brockeden the painter has, we hear, liberally presented Mrs. B. with the entire proceeds of the sale of his spirited portrait of M. Belzoni.

A charter, incorporating the Royal Society of Literature has passed the Great Seal.

The authors of the Rejected Addresses have announced a new work {not, we trust, a fresh gathering from the New Monthly,) for early publication.

THE

LITERARY MAGNET.

FEBRUARY, 182G.

THE MERRY WIVES OF MADRID,

A SPANISH STORY.

We will consent to act any villainy that may not sully tlie chariness of onr honesty.

Shakbsfeabk.

There are four festivals annually observed in Madrid, beside that of St. Anne, the patron Saint of the city; and though Easter in most Catholic countries is celebrated with greater pomp than any other period of rejoicing, in the Spanish capital, the preference is given to these select fast-days, which are variously entitled. The first is St. Bias, which falls on the third of February, the eve of Candlemas day. The second is St. Iago el Verde (or St. James the Green), which is celebrated on the first of May. To these succeeds the eve of St. Juan, commonly called Sotillo, from a little wood of that name at a short distance from the city, in which the populace amuse themselves the early part of the day with dancing and various athletic games. The fourth is dedicated to Nuestra Senora de los Angelos, (our Lady of the Angels); upon which occasion the inhabitants of Madrid resort in great numbers to a small chapel, erected upon the spot where St. Isidor was born,—about a mile from the town, across the great Bridge of Mancanares. After the eve of St. John, there is no holiday celebrated with so much pomp and rejoicing as that of St. Bias, whose church is situated on a plain to the north of Madrid, almost under the walls of the monastery of St. Jerome, and close to the renowned and miraculous shrine of Nuestra Senora de Atocha.

It is customary for the ladies of Madrid to repair to this promenade on the third of February, although the winter is then often in the height of its severity, for the purpose of hailing the return of the sun as he re' traces his progress to the northern tropic; and this practice is described in Spanish by the phrase 'Tomar El Sol,' taking the sun; a mode of expression more appropriate than it may appear to such as are not aware that the sun is almost as powerful in those latitudes upon the third of February, as it is in England during the finest day in May. From this rendezvous, there are few persons in the city who would care to absent themselves.

In the beginning of the reign of Phillip the third, there lived in Madrid three married ladies, as much distinguished for their beauty and accomplishments, as for their virtue and their undeviating propriety of conduct. The first of these ladies, whose name was Francesca, was the wife of the steward of a Grandee; and although her husband was perfectly independent of his employment, there were so many profitable perquisites attached to the superintendence of his master's affairs, that he was as unwilling to forego the pleasurable occupation in which he was engaged, as any truant schoolboy could be to take his leave of an orchard before he had plundered it of one-half of its produce. Night and day would he most gladly have passed in his employer's palace; indeed he breakfasted and dined there regularly; and only returned home like the industrious bee when he found himself cumbered with his earnings, and reminded by their weight of the necessity of depositing them in his hive or strong box. Fasts and holidays, which other men devoted to prayer and recreation, were consumed by Anselmo in the examination of accounts, and the recovery of old debts; or in ransacking musty deeds and superannuated parchments. In short Donna Francesca, enjoyed as little of her husband's society as if he'had been gathered to his ancestors, and only permitted, like other defunct worthies, to revisit the world after dark.

The second of our distinguished heroines, Senora Clara, was wedded to a person whom the people of Madrid were good humoured and charitable enough to call a painter; in much the same spirit of courtesy that an apothecary in the possession of a dozen gallipots, and 'a beggarly account of empty boxes,' is sometimes entitled a doctor. Our painter had been employed for more than a month in decorating (that is to say daubing) the high altar of St. Pedro's Monastery; and for what he wanted in skill he certainly made amends to the good Friars who employed him, by diligence; so that Donna Clara saw as little of her knight of the easel, as Francesca did of her indefatigable money-gatherer. It may, however, be proper to mention in this place that the situations of the two ladies, as it respected the relative loss they sustained by the absence of their husbands, were by no means similar; inasmuch as the painter was unquestionably one of the most drunken and debauched vagabonds in the whole city of Madrid, and took an especial care to spend all that he gained during the week in dissolute carousals on Sundays and holidays. On this account, therefore, his unfortunate wife was more to be pitied than Francesca. But the sufferings of neither of these Jadies bore any comparison with those of Donna Marina, who although she surpassed them both in personal charms, was tied to a very gouty, jealous, and exceedingly peevish old gentleman of sixtytwo; who having the whole of his time entirely upon his hands, contrived to occupy the greater part of it in tormenting his companion. This illassorted couple lived upon the rent of two houses in the neighbourhood, which were let out in lodgings, and this income, with a trifling addition, furnished by the needle of Marina, (who excelled in embroidering the robes of the grandees), supplied them with a very comfortable maintenance.

A friendly intimacy had subsisted between our ' Three Wives' from their earliest years ; and it so happened that their husbands were also upon terms of acquaintanceship and civility with each other. Francesca and Clara frequently exchanged visits, but the unfortunate Marina was seldom allowed to associate with her friends, unless her husband accompanied her; and as his presence was never very much coveted she had few opportunities of mixing in society. The husbands, to be sure, met sometimes at the theatre, the tennis-court, or when they were disposed to indulge in the game of arguella, (a game somewhat resembling English bowls), which was at that time extremely fashionable in Spain. On these occasions, as the wives did not, of course, accompany them, they had opportunities of associating with each other, and at such times Marina was accustomed to complain to her companions, with much bitterness, of the persecution she endured from her husband's ridiculous jealousy, which rendered him almost suspicious of the lace upon her cap because it touched her face, and of the wind that blew across the street in which a man was walking. Her two neighbours commiserated her unhappy fate, (without being able to afford her any consolation), and in the true spirit of friendship referred her to time and patience for relief.

At one of these meetings their husbands .happening to drop in, they all agreed to pass the evening in harmony together; and before they separated it was settled that they should make a party for the Thursday of the ensuing- week, (the feast of St. Bias) and that they should all assemble in the meadows near St. Jerome's monastery, and spend the day in merry-making. The king having signified his intention of repairing in procession to NuesUa Senora de Atocha, it was naturally expected that there would be a great crowd to witness the cavalcade; and it was therefore agreed that they should accompany the royal suite, and then take a pic-nic dinner in the fields. It was not however without much and earnest entreaty that Signor Agraz, the husband of Marina, could be prevailed on to allow his wife to be of the party, and he probably only at length consented, because, as he was inclined to go himself, he was unwilling to trust her to her own discretion at home.

The gala day arrived, and after dinner the 'Three Wives of Madrid' were extremely busy in discussing the splendour of the dresses of those who formed a part of the king's suite, whilst their husbands were amusing themselves with their favourite game of arguella in a neighbouring garden, when Marina chanced to observe something shining very bright in a pool of water at no great distance from the place where they were sitting. 'What can that be,' cried she, 'that sparkles there so brilliantly? 1 declare it quite dazzles me to look at it.'

Why,' rejoined the steward's wife, ' I should not be surprised if it were a diamond, for you know the ladies of the court are always walking here, and I dare say it is some jewel that one of them has dropped.'

During this colloquy, the painter's wife, who considered very properly that this was one of those cases in which one pair of hands is worth a dozen tongues, rushed from her seat in considerable haste, and having secured the prize, returned to her companions with a diamond ring of great value and beauty, A sharp contest immediately arose as to the comparative right of the three ladies to the possession of the jewel, which Ma^ rina claimed as her property by virtue of original discovery, Francesca was no less positive in asserting her title to the possession of it, on the ground of her having been the first who had been impressed with a conviction of its nature and value; whilst Clara, in addition to the merit of having soiled the fingers of her glove in redeeming it from the puddle, seemed to consider with the well-known maxim, that possession was nine' points of the law; and supported in her determination by this very forcible argument, refused to give up the prize which fortune had thus thrown in her way. Their controversy at last grew so violent, that it would certainly have attracted the notice of their husbands, if the painter's wife, who as the depository of the ring was by far the most temperate of the trio, had not interfered.

'Ladies,' said she, 'the matter can be adjusted no other way than by selling the diamond, and dividing the proceeds of its sale amongst us;

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