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Hark you, Platt,
| as a “very childish history." It treats of “ Swain Say to thy cat,
Tomling, a man no bigger than a thumb, who would be That Knurre-Murre is dead.
married to a woman three ells and three-quarters long." The tortoiseshell cat was lying on the great wicker The Danish title-page enumerates other of Tomling's chair, and eating his supper of bread and milk out of adventures, which are not found in the “ history of the red earthenware pipkin when the goodman came his marvellous acts of manhood," as preserved in in; but as soon as the message was delivered, he | England; the boldness of the swain in venturing on jumped upright and kicking the red earthenware a wife of “three ells and three-quarters" in length, pipkin and the rest of the bread and milk before is yet commemorated in the ancient rhyme, which him, he whisked through the cottage door, mewing, | begins, “I had a little husband no bigger than my “What! is Knurre-Murre dead! then I may go thumb." home again !"
According to popular tradition, Tom Thumb died
at Lincoln, which, it may be recollected, was one of THE ENCHANTED FROGS.
the five Danish towns of England; we do not, how. Tue tale of the frog-lover, given by Dr. Leyden, and ever, therefore intend to insist, that the story was popular in Scotland, is known in every part of Ger- handed down by the northern invaders. There was many, under the name of the “King of the Frogs," a little blue flag-stone in the pavement of the and is alluded to in several ancient German writers. minster, “ which was shown as Tom's monument," The rhythmical address of the aquatic lover, who is, and at which the country-folks never failed to marvel, of course, an enchanted prince, corresponds in the but during one of the repairs of that venerable buildtwo languages :-
ing, the flag-stone was displaced and lost, to the great Open the door, my hinny, my heart,
discomfiture of the wonder-hunters, Open the door, mine ane wee thing,
The prose bistory of Tom Thumb is manufactured And mind the words that you and I spak,
from the ballad ; and by the introduction of the Down in the meadow at the well-spring.
fairy queen at his birth, and certain poetical touches, These enchanted frogs have migrated from afar; which it yet exhibits, we are led to suppose that it is we trace them in a tale forming part of a series of a rifacciamento of an earlier and better original. stories, entitled “the Relations of Ssidi Kur," extant One of Tom's sports deserves note; it is when, in amongst the Calmuck Tartars. It appears, that the order to be revenged on his playmates, he "adventures which befell the wandering Chan," were
...... took in pleasant game originally written in Thibet. The tales of witchery
Black pots and glasses, which he hung learnt from the wonderful bird Ssidi, are singularly
Upon a bright sun-beam. wild and strange, and the scene of the romance
The other boys to do the same, is placed in the middle kingdoms of India. All
In pieces broke them quite, the magical machinery of the popular tales of
For which they were most soundly whipt,
At which he laughed outright. Europe is to be found in these tales, which have a genuine Tartar character; there are wishing-caps, The idea of this “ pleasant game” is borrowed from and flying-swords, and hobgoblins, and fairies in the monkish books of the middle ages. It is found abundance. Ssidi also tells a story of a benevolent not only in one of their early forgeries, but also in the Brahmin, who receives the grateful assistance of legend of St. Columbanus, who, as we are told, pera mouse, a bear, and a monkey, whom he had formed a similar miracle, by hanging his garment severally rescued from the hand of their tormen on a sun beam. tors. A fable founded on nearly the same plot THOMAS HICKATHRIFT, afterwards Sir Thomas is given in the Gesta Romanorum, though there is a Hickathrift, knight, is praised by Hearne as a “fawide difference in the details. Calila and Dimnahmous champion." The honest antiquary has identified furnishes others of the same class : but we consider this well-known knight with the far less celebrated it an extraordinary fact, that a fable precisely of Sir Frederick de Tylney, of Norfolk, the ancestor of the same import, is yet common amongst some of the Tylney family, who was killed at Acon, in Syria, the peasantry in Germany, where, as the Grimms in- in the reign of Richard Cour de Lion : “ Hycophrie, form us, it has been preserved by tradition, though or Hycothrift,” he observes, “ being probably a cor. they do not seem to be aware of its Tartar origin. It ruption of Frederick." This happy exertion of etymowill, however, be shown, that even Jack the Giant. logical acumen, is not wholly due to Hearne, who killer, is under some obligation to the fictions of only adopted a hint given by Mr. Philip Le the Calmucks.
Neve, whilome of the College of Arms; their conHearne, the antiquary, insisted that Tom Thumb, thejectures, however, accord but slightly with the trans. fairy knight, was “King Edgar's page." On balladition given by the accurate Spelman, in his Icenia. authority, we learn that“ Tom-a-lyn was a Scotsman From the most remote antiquity, the fables and born." Now Hearne and the ballad are, it seems, both achievements of Hickifric have been obstinately in the wrong; for Tom-a-lyn, otherwise Tamlane, is no credited by the inhabitants of the township of Tyl. other than Tom Thumb himself, who was originally ney. “ Hickifric" is venerated by them as the a dwarf, or dwergar, of Scandinavian descent, being assertor of the rights and liberties of their ancestors. the Thaumlin, that is, little Thumb, of the Northmen. The" monstrous giant" who guarded the marsh, was, Drayton, who introduces both these heroes in his in truth, no other than the tyrannical lord of the Nymphidia, seems to have suspected their identity. manor, who attempted to keep his copyholders out The German Daumerling, or little Thumb, is de of the common-field, called Tylney Smeeth; but who graded to the son of a tailor; he has not much in was driven away, with his retainers, by the prowess common with Tom Thumb the Great, except the mis- of Tom, armed with only his axle-tree and cartfortune to be swallowed by the dun cow, which took wheel. place in Germany just as it did in England. This is We have not room to detail the pranks which Tom a traditionary story of the Germans; but there is a performed, when his “natural strength, which exlittle book in the Danish language, analyzed by Proceeded twenty common men,” became manifest ; but fessor Nierup, of the university of Copenhagen, who they must be noticed as being correctly Scandinavian. censures it, and perhaps with some degree of justice, Similar were the achievements of the great northern champion Gretter, when he kept geese upon the i
MAN, common, as told in his Saga. Tom's youth evidently |
WITH REFERENCE TO HIS STRENGTH, HIS FOOD. retraces the tales of the prowess of the youthful
AND HIS CLOTHING, Siegfried, detailed in the Neflunga Saga, and in the Man, by an express arrangement of his Maker, has book of heroes. It appears from Hearne, that the apparently been constituted a native of temperate supposed axle-tree with the superincumbent wheel, climates a
climates, and only in these climates can his powers was represented on “Hycothrift's grave-stone, in be said to be completely developed. Within the Tylncy church-yard, in the shape of a cross." This
tropics, indeed, human existence is flourishing; for is the form in which all the Runic monuments repre- , there the immediate bounty of Providence affords to sent the celebrated hammer or thunderbolt of the
Man a copious and admirably-adapted nutriment. son of Odin, which, according to the vulgar fables, | Yet in the midst of that profusion, and without any shattered the skulls and scattered the brains of so adequate motive to call forth exertion, his reason too many luckless giants. How far this surmise may be
often languishes, while his animal tendencies predo. supported by Tom's skill and strength in throwing
| minate, and his life is spent in apathy and in sensual the hammer, we will not pretend to decide ; and if, gratifications. On the other hand, under the cheeron the other hand, any of our antiquarian readers
less sky of the frigid zone, imperfectly nourished by should think it right to withhold their assent to the
scanty and unsuitable food, the powers of his mind, proposition that Thor can be identified with Tom
like those of his body, are stunted, or are engaged Hickathrift, they may have the full benefit of our
solely in combating the rigours of his situation. But doubts. The common people have a happy faculty l in the temperate climates the evil consequences of of seeing whatever they choose to believe, and re- both these extremes are avoided
both these extremes are avoided, while the beneficial fusing to see the things in which they disbelieve; | influences of climate remain. Urged by the stimulus it may, therefore, be supposed, that the rude sculpture 1 of necessity, and, at the same time. having at his which the Tylneyites used to call the offensive and command the astonishing capability of nature, man defensive arms of their champion, was truly nothing
is, in temperate climates, surrounded by motives of more than a cross, of which the upper part is in
every kind, and his faculties thus attain their utmost scribed in a circle,-a figure often found on ancient developement. As familiar examples of the effect of sepulchres.
this expansion of the human reason, let us view Man under three aspects,-namely, with reference to his
strength, his food, and his clothing, inclusive of his THE HOLLY TREE.
habitation. O READER! hast thou ever stood to see
In the first place, with regard to his strength. The The holly tree?
strength of Man is not only that which is his own, The eye that contemplates it well perceives
almost infinitely magnified by ingenious mechanical Its glossy leaves,
devices of every kind, and of every degree, up to Ordered by an intelligence so wise As might confound the atheist's sophistries.
the stupendous agency of steam ; Man has, moreover,
subdued to his service many of the larger animals, Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen Wrinkled and keen;
while those he cannot so appropriate he destroys. No grazing cattle, through their prickly round,
As weapons, he wields every instrument offensive and Can reach to wound;
defensive, from the rude but effective club or arrow, But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
to the warlike engines to which he has applied the Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.
discovery of gunpowder. Whatever his wants reI love to view these things with curious eyes,
quire he obtains by tools, from the humble spade to And moralize :
that perfection of machinery, which almost rivals the And in this wisdom of the holly tree Can emblems see
operations of intelligence itself. Wherewith, perchance, to make a pleasant rhyme,
In the next place, view Man with reference to his One which may profit in the after-time,
food. What wonders has not his reason enabled him to Thus, though abroad, perchance, I might appear
achieve among the fellow inhabitants of his own temHarsh and austere ;
perate climate! In the vegetable kingdom, let us conTo those who on my leisure would intrude,
sider the astonishing mutations and increase of the Reserved and rude;
Cerealia, or corn-tribes; the transformation of the sour Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be,
and forbidding crab into the rich and fragrant apple; of Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.
the harsh and astringent sloe into the delicious plum; And should my youth, as youth is apt, I know,
of the coarse and bitter sea-side brassica into the Some harshness show, All vain asperities, I, day by day,
nutritious and grateful cauliflower ; all which changes, Would wear away ;
and numerous others of a like kind, have been effected Till the smooth temper of my age should be
by Man. Nor have the transformations which he Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.
has produced among animals, been less wonderful And, as, when all the summer trees are seen
than those among vegetables. All the numerous So bright and green,
varieties of cattle, of sheep, of horses, of dogs, of The holly leaves their fadeless hues display
poultry, and of all the other animals reared as food, Less bright than they ;
or for any purpose domesticated, have sprung from a But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
few wild and unattractive species, and have been What then so cheerful as the lolly tree?
made what they are, in a great degree, by his interSo serious should my youth appear among
vention. Moreover, the most useful of these varieties The thoughtless throng; So would I seem, amid the young and gay,
of animals have been transported by Man into every More grave than they ;
region of the globe to which he has himself been That in my age as cheerful I might be
able to penetrate. As the green winter of the holly tree.-SOUTHEY.
Lastly, in the clothing and habitations of Man,
the surpassing influence of his reason is equally Who would attempt to chain the wild buffalo with a garland
| conspicuous.. For covering his naked body a of flowers ? He is not more wise who would pacify the surface of considerable extent is necessary ; larger brutal and the proud by reason,
| indeed than is presented by any natural texture
unless, perhaps, by the skins of other animals, winking, her mind never palled, her nature, that at all times or by the leaves of some plants, which, therefore, in is weakness, has now gained a superhuman strength and the rudest states of society, usually constitute his
| magnanimity, herself forgotten, and her sex alone predomi
nant. - Literary Gems. only dress; but, by the art of weaving, he has been enabled to produce garments of any size, and from materials which would seem the least fitted for such
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TONGUE. conversion. Thus Man can not only clothe himself
An unrestrained volubility and wantonness of speech, in any manner, and according to the temperature of is the occasion of numberless evils and vexations in the climate in which he lives, but he can associate life. It begets resentment in him who is the subject with the articles of his dress every species of orna.
of it; sows the seed of strife and dissension amongst ment his fancy may dictate. His choice of materials
others; and inflames little disgusts and offences, for the construction of dwellings is not less extensive which, if let alone, would wear away of themselves : than that of his clothing. As climate, and other cir- it is often of as bad elfect upon the good name of cumstances, may require, he abides in an humble
others, as deep envy or malice : and, to say the least cabin or in the splendid palace, in the temporary hut
of it in this respect, it destroys and perverts a certain or in the enduring castle. formed to withstand alike equity, of the utmost importance to society to be the tempest of war and of the elements.
observed ; namely, that praise and dispraise, a good Such is Man,-and such are a few of those great | or bad character, should always be bestowed accordchanges in this world, which. under the guidance of ing to desert. The tongue used in such a licentious his reason, he has had the power to accomplish. And manner, is like a sword in the hand of a madman : what a splendid evidence of design, and of precon
it is employed at random ; it can scarce possibly do certed arrangement on the part of the Great Creator any good, and for the most part does a world of is thus exhibited, by viewing the inherent properties mischief; and implies not only great folly and a of matter, and its various conditions, with reference
trifling spirit, but great viciousness of mind, great to the works of Man! Had water, for instance, not
indifference to truth and falsity, and to the reputation, been constituted as it is, Man could never have
welfare, and good of others.--Bishop BUTLER. formed the steam-engine. Had not the productions of the temperate climates been formed with that So various is the appetite of animals, that there is scarcely capability for change by which they are so much any plant, which is not chosen by some, and left untouched distinguished, Man could never have so moulded
by others. The horse gives up the water-hemlock to the
goat. The cow gives up the long-leaved water-hemlock to them to his uses by altering their character. There
| the sheep. The goat gives up the monk's-hood to the horse, was no reason why such properties should have been &c. for that which certain animals grow fat upon, others communicated; there was even no reason why the abhor as poison. Hence, no plant is absolutely poisonous, objects in which these properties exist, should have but only respectively. Thus, the spurge, that is noxious to been created ; but they have been so created.and man, is a most wholesome nourishment to the caterpillar. what are we to infer? No one, surely, will now
That animals may not destroy themselves for the want of maintain, that the objects of nature possessing these
knowing this law, each of them is guarded by such a deli
cacy of taste and smell, that they can easily distinguish what properties have been the result of chance, or have is pernicious from what is wholesome; and when it happens been created without an end. They must, therefore, that different animals live upon the same plants, still one have been created with design; and, if with design, kind always leaves something for the other, as the mouths most obviously with design, having reference to the | of all are not equally adapted to lay hold of the grass ; by
which means there is sufficient food for all. To this may be being Man, not yet in existence.
referred an economical experiment well known to the Dutch, [Prout's Bridgewater Treatise.]
that when eight cows have been in a pasture, and can no longer get nourishment, two horses will do very well there for some days, and when nothing is left for the horses, four
sheep will live upon it.-BENJAMIN STILLINGFLEET. It has been often remarked, that in sickness there is no hand like a woman's hand, no heart like a woman's heart; and there is not. A man's breast may swell with unutter
ANCIENT YEW TREE, able sorrow, and apprehension may rend his mind; yet DESTROYED BY THE HURRICANE IN NOVEMBER, place him by the sick couch, and in the shadow rather than
1836. the light of the sad lamp that watches it; let him have to THERE are few obiects of nature presenting more count over the long, dull hours of night, and wait, alone and sleepless, the struggle of the gray dawn into the chamber of
real interest to the mind, or richer points of beauty suffering; let him be, appointed to this ministry even for to the eye, than a noble aged tree; and at times the sake of the brother of his heart, or the father of his these glories of the forest become associated, either being, and his grosser nature, even where it is most perfect, from intrinsic character or local situation, with our will tire ; his eye will close, and his spirit grow impatient of | best and purest feelings. the dreary task; and, though love and anxiety remain
The wonder and beauty of trees is, however, much undiminished, his mind will own to itself a creeping-in of irresistible selfishness, of which indeed he may be ashamed,
overlooked. We admire the vast superstructures and which he may struggle to reject, but which, despite ali which man may rear, and, when the temple or the his efforts, remains to characterize his nature, and prove, in | palace may be overthrown, we note and deplore their one instance, at least, his manly weakness.-But see a mo- fall ; but those stately sylvan structures which the ther, a sister, or a wife, in this place. The woman feels no Almighty architect has reared around our footsteps, weariness, and owns no recollection of self. In silence, and
and so lavishly adorned, are but little regarded, and in the depth of night, she dwells, not only passively, but so far as the qualified term may express our meaning, joyously.
their massive trunks fall to the ground, as unheeded Her ear acquires a blind man's instinct, as, from time to
| as the autumnal leaves from their boughs. time it catches the slightest stir, or whisper, or breath of the Circumstances sometimes rescue from this oblivion now-more-than-erer loved-one who lies under the hand of a sylvan hero of marked character, and the venerable human affliction. Her step, as in obedience to an impulse tree represented in the annexed engraving, has points or a signal, would not waken a mouse ; if she speaks, her of interest connected with it claiming this distinction. accents are a soft echo of natural harmony, most delicious
1 It is a celebrated Yew which has for ages adorned to the sick's man's car, conveying all that sound can convey of pity, comfort, and devotion : and thus, night after night,
the church-yard of Dibden, a parish in the purlieu of she tends him like a creature sent from a higher world, New Forest, Hampshire. During the severe gale on when all earthly watchfulness has failed-her eye never Tuesday, the 30th of November, 1836, the larger por
tion of its time-shivered trunk was uprooted, and fell | This venerable tree had, beyond the memory of to the ground; and an object whose picturesque any living person, become split down the centre of grandeur had long excited the admiration of strangers, the trunk, and being thus divided into two parts, it and had been associated with many a solemn feeling had latterly almost appeared like two distinct trees; of the rustic inhabitants, is now, like many of their the weight of the upper branches had gradually generations it has seen lowered to the grave, no widened the fissure, and at the time of its fall, the more seen. Its age is unknown, but evidently it had intervening space was at the base two feet, and at withstood the storms and tempests of many centuries, about two yards from the ground, five feet; but and, as one of the venerable fathers of the forest, persons now living, remember when, as children, the should not be allowed to pass away unnoticed. opening was not sufficiently wide to admit them to
In the interesting work of Gilpin, On Forest creep between the two portions of the trunk. A cirScenery, published in 1694, four extraordinary trees cumstance which strongly marks the great distance are recorded as particularly worthy of notice, within of time when this fissure took place, is presented in the district of the New Forest, and this now pros the singularly large stems of ivy which had grown trated Yew is one of them. It is thus mentioned : up against the interior portions of the trunk. One
Another tree worth pointing out in New Forest, is an of these ivy stems measures two feet in circumference immense Yew, which stands in the church-yard at Dibden at the base, and after ascending seven feet, this It is now, and probably has been during the course of the gigantic parasitic sends out fantastic limbs, which, last century, in the decline of life; but its hollow trunk
entwining around its antique supporter, had in many still supports three vast stems, and measures below them about thirty, feet in circumferance, a girth which, perhaps,
parts entirely overshadowed its decaying branches. no other Yew-tree in England can exhibit. Though its | It appears, however, that the support thus obtained age cannot be ascertained, we may easily suppose it has has been amply repaid, as upon the fall of the tree, been a living witness of the funerals of at least a dozen it was discovered, that the still vigorous roots of the generations of the inhabitants of the parish.
ivy had been the only stay that had prevented the But if thus claiming to be specially recorded overthrow of the Yew many years since, all the merely from its picturesque and ancient character, larger roots of the latter being quite decayed. the local situation which it occupied amidst the This tree measured at the base, taking the exterior hallowed precincts of the grave, invests it with high circle of the two divisions of the trunk, twenty-five additional interest. It stood casting its full and feet;; and at three yards from the ground, thirty sombre shadows over the scene of sorrow and decay, feet. Its height was forty-one feet, and some of its silently preaching lessons of comfort and immortal branches spread out to a wide extent. It has carried hope. Race after race might view, in this ever- to the ground with it many a tombstone reared living witness of the departure of their friends, a beneath its branches, it having been a favourite connecting link uniting together sire and son, froni selected spot. by-gone to long-coming generations and while
........ That yew-tree's shade, frailty and oblivion seemed marked upon all that. Where heaves the twf in many a monldering licap, transpired around it, the bright deep green of its | Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, undecaying foliage, admonished of a state where no i sus
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. death, no sorrow, can ever come.
LONDON: Published by JOIN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers.
RUINS OF MITFORD CASTLE. The village of Mitford is beautifully situated about indebted for most of the following particulars, says, two miles west of the town of Morpeth, in Northum- no mention of it occurs prior to the Conquest, though berland, on a sort of peninsula formed by the con- | he is inclined to think it probable that it existed very fluence of two streams, the Font and the Wansbeck. soon after that period, for its form and style are The ruins of the Castle occupy the summit of a lofty purely Norman, and the barony annexed to it paid natural eminence, which rises somewhat abruptly on cornage to the Castle of Newcastle, which was built the southern side of the latter river, at a point a little by William Rufus. With reference to the barony, he to the south-west of the village. The parish-church says, “Tradition holds her dim torch over it into times and vicarage, as also the remains of the old manor. prior to the Conquest: the steady rays of history do house of Mitford, are situate on the north-west side not begin to beam upon it until the reign of Henry of the Castle, on a plain which it overlooks; and the Second." nearly in the same direction, on the brow of a gentle The Castle and barony of Mitford continued in the acclivity that rises gradually from the opposite margin possession of the ancient family of Bertram, who of the Wansbeck, stands the handsome new mansion- held them immediately of the crown by military house of Mr. Mitford, the present proprietor of the tenure, till the reign of Henry the Third; when, in manor, and an honourable descendant of the noble the year 1264, the third Roger Bertram having joined family of Mitford, which is of great antiquity in the confederate barons who at that time opposed the Northumberland.
| reigning monarch under the auspices of Simon de Previous to the time of the Norman Conquest, Montfort, Earl of Leicester, he was taken prisoner at Mitford was a villa and lordship belonging to Sir the siege of Northampton, on the 3rd of April in John Mitford, from whose brother, a Matthew de that year, and his Castle of Mitford and all his Mitford, the present Mr. Mitford derives his descent. estates, a considerable part of which he had sold But shortly after that period it was given to Richard during the time of Montfort's rebellion, were seized Bertram, a person of noble Norman origin, and a and committed to the custody of William de Valence, follower of William the Conqueror into England, on Earl of Pembroke, the king's half-brother. It is his marriage with the only daughter and heiress of probable, however, they were soon afterwards restored the said Sir John Mitford, and subsequently created in consideration of a very heavy fine paid for his a barony in the reign of Henry the First.
pardon and ransom ; and that the price of his reThe precise period of the erection of the Castle demption consisted of a material portion of his estates, appears to be involved in much obscurity. Mr. which, in the year 1269, he conveyed to the Earl of Hodgson, to whose History of Northumberland I am | Pembroke, whose descendants we are informed con