Page images



[ocr errors]


BETINAL GREEN. This Pantomime is too tedious in its opening ;-It lingers too long at Hackney and Bethnal-green. At the commence. ment a set of topers-among which Grimaldi cuts a conspicuous figure,-sivg a stupid glee to“ the beautiful Bess, the daughter of the Blind Beggar, who is “a Knight Templar in disguise."--Queen Elizabeth next enters on a white horse, for the sake of crossing the stage, and throwing a red purse to the Beggar. One of her majesty's morrice dancers falls suddenly in love with this same “beautiful Bess.”—and much tenderness ensues. The topers attack the cottage to carry off Bess (not the queen)—the blind man, and the amo. rous inorrice dancer, and the dog, fight with laudable courage. The girl is at last carried away,—the topers seize the dog, and kill him at the foot of an oak ; when lo ! a sylph appears, who changes the tree into a temple, and Bess into Columbine, and the Morrice dancer into Harleqnin. The scene of the Park was laughable cnough; Lord Wellington stood before us on horseback, and close behind him was the Regent's bomb. Mr. I. King, who performed the Beggar, has a sweet voice, but its change is too evident, when it passes into the falsetto. It requires cultivation. Young Barnett sang very delightfully. The three Misses Dennett, however, were the charm of the evening ;-their dancing realizes all that can be fancied of grace and harmony. They are three young sylphs. Every thing that is pretty and light reminds us of them. It is impossible to look up at the three stars that form the belt of Orion, and not see the three Misses Dennett. They lurk about rosy places. They are perpetually dancing over the mind. Their forms Aoat about like music. They seem formed of three thoughts, picked from the most flowery parts of the Midsummer Night's Dream. The pantomime is worth seeing, if only for these three young girls.


Frederick the Great was extremely fond of making the im. mortality of the soul a topic of discourse, and generally ad

verted to it, when learned men, whose opinions and princi. ples he was inclined to sound, were presented to him. It was seldom, however, that he allowed any one to differ from him on that point, and it was still more dangerous for any one to attempt to support an opinion adverse to his own. He soon lost his patience, and always confounded his antagonist by some sudden sally, which was seldom couched in the most gentle terms. A Berlin academician was once advancing a chain of arguments in favour of the immortality of the soul, when Frederick suddenly interrupted him by exclaim. ing :-“What sir, you wish to be immortal? Pray what have you

done to deserve it?"

During the reign of Henry II. who was elected Emperor of Germany upon the death of Otto III. and swayed the imperial sceptre from 1004 to 1024, the German clergy, en riched and emboldened by the blind devotion of this bigoted priņce to their interests, began to assume an authority, even paramount to his own, over the temporal affairs of the empire ; insomuch so, that their friendship was as eagerly courted, as their displeasure was dreaded by every prince in Germany. An historian of the eleventh century relates of Meinwerk, Bishop of Paderborn, " that there was no meanness to which he did not descend, in order to enricli his diocese, and that, whenever the emperor refused to grant him what he demanded, he forcibly possessed himself of the ob, ject of his desires. The emperor, being once on a visit to him, Meinwerk caused all the ewes, big with young, that could be found on his cstatcs, to be killed, and a mantle made of the skins of the unborn lambs, with which he decked the emperor on his return from the bath. Henry, however, desired to have a better mantle ; upon which the bishop replied, “I have stripped my poor bishopric, its clergy, and its farmers who derived their livelihood from their sheep, in order to clothe thee: and God will chastise thee, if thou do not make good the loss.” The emperor smiled, and shortly , after bestowed on him the valuable estate of Stein,

Henry having once sent the bishop a costly vessel for his inspection, Meinwerk immediately caused it to be melted down and converted into a cup, which he conseerated on the altar.- When the emperor reproached him with the theft, Che answered, “I have been guilty of no theft, but have piously consecrated to the service of God, that which was dea dicated to feast thy avarice and pridc, and if thou darest to

take away this offering of my piety, thou wilt ensure thine own damnation.”

On another occasion, Meinwerk stole a costly robe out of the emperor's chamber, and answered Henry's reproaches by saying, “ It is fitter that this garment should be kept in the temple of God, than adorn thy mortal body : as for thy tbreats I despise them.”



[ocr errors]

Every one in the least acquainted with antiquity, knows thát Gladiators were persons who combated with others, or with wild beasts, for the entertainment of the people, and it appears that the Romans borrowed from the Asiatics, this cruel and detestable custom, which was no doubt substituted for the horrid practice of sacrificing captives, at the tombs of those who had fallen in war. Homer tells us, that Achilles sacrificed twelve young 'Trojans to the manes of Patroclus : and we read In Virgil, that the pious Æneas sent prisoners to Evander, to be sacrificed at the funeral pile of his son Pallas.

The Trojans imagined, that it was necessary to shed blood at the tombs of the dead, iu order to appease them, and so prevalent was this superstition amongst them, that even the women made incisions in their bodies with their own hands, and with their blood besprinkled the sepulchres of those who were dear to ibem.

When people became more civilized, and conceived a more just aversion to such horrid actions, they resolved, in order to avoid the imputation of cruelty, that slaves and prio soners of war devoted to death, according to their laws, should be made to fight one with another, and do their best to save their own lives, and to take away those of their ad., versaries. This establishment appeared to be less barbarous, because those who were the objects of it, might, by their dexterity and skill, avoid death, and in some respects could only blame themselves, if they did not avoid it. To this therefore, we may refer the origin of Gladiators.

The first exhibition of these unhappy wretches, given at Rome, was in the year 490, after its foundation, under the Consulship of Appius Claudius, and M. Fulvius. At first, such shews were allowed only at the obsequies of the Con

suls, and principal Magistrates of the Republic; but this practice was gradually extended to those of people of inferior rank; so that at length, several private persons ordered exhibitions of this kind in their latter wills, and we have in. stances of gladiators fighting even at the funerals of women.

When it was observed by the number of spectators, that the people took great pleasure in such entertainments, the gladiators were regularly taught to fight; they were carefully trained and exercised, and the profession of instructing them became an astonishing art, of which there brad never before been any example. Different kinds of arms, and different methods) of combating were invented for them. Some were made to fight in chariots, some on horseback, and others in troops ; some had no offensive arms, others were clad in complete armour, and some had only a buckler to protect their bodies; somé had a sword; a poignard, a cutlass, others fought with two poignards, or two cutlasses; some combated only in the morning, others in the afternoon; in short, they were distinguished by various names, according to their names end destination. First, the Secutores, whose 'were arms, and a kind of club, headed with lead. Secondly, the Thracians, who had a cutlass or scimitar, like the people of Thrace, from whom they bad their name. Thirdly, the Myrmillones, who were armed with a buckler and scythe, and wore the figure of a fish on their helmet. The Romans gave them the nick-name of Gauls. Fourthly, the Retiarii, who bore a trident in one hand, and a net in the other : they combated in a tunic, or jacket, and pursued a Myrmilto, crying out, “It is not thee, O Gaul, that I seek, but thy fish.” Non peto te Galle, sed piscem peto. Fifthly, the Hoplomachi, who were completely armed as their name indicates, which is derived from the Greek. Sixthly, the Provocatores, the adversaries of the Hoplomachi; these were armed in the same manner as the former. Seventhly, the Dimachæri, who fought with a poignard in each hand. Eighthly, the Essedarii, who always fought in chariots. 'Besides these, there were the Anabatæ, who fought on horseback, having their cyes blindfolded either with a bandage, or with the armour of the head, whistered the whole visage.

(To be Continued.)

The Amusing Chronicle is published at No. 6, Gilbert's Passage, Portugal Street, and served at the houses of the subscribers, in the same manner as newspapers and magazines.

G. Stobbs, Printer, Catherine Street, Strand.


a tuleekly Repository for


No. XVII.]

JANUARY 11, 1817.


Price only Four Pences


In reading the xxxvth chapter of Jeremiah, and meeting with the name Habaziniah as the chief of the house of the Rechabites, and reflecting on the commands given by Jonadab their father to his sons (which they had faithfully observed), and comparing them with the name, language, and customs of the Abyssinians, as mens tioned by Ludolf, Bruce, and others; and more particularly from obserying the evident analogy between the name of this son of Jonadab, and that of the country of Abyssinia; I was strongly impressed wish the idea, that the Abyssinians might be originally of this family, and that the house of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, who was never to want a man to stand before the Lord, might probably be found in Abyssinia at this day, I now trouble you with a few thoughts on this subject, and shall feel obliged by the opinion of any of your learned correspondents, and further information concerning it.

In the xxx vth ch. of Jeremiah, or in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, King of Judah, and of Jeremiah the Prophet, we read of his house as then existing ; and mention is made of the heads of three generations from him, namely of Jaazaniah, the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah ; and of the sons of the third, viz, of Jaaziniah, making the fourth generation, ver. 1, 2: and of these three chiefs of the house of their fathers, Habaziniah seems the first in descent from Jonadab, and to be the person to whom the commandments were given. He was therefore the head of the house of Jonadab, and having obeyed the commands of his father, he transmitted them to his posterity to be kept in like manner: and as these commands (which were accompanied with a proposed advantage from the observance of them) wery first given by Jonadab to his son Habaziniah, the latter became the beginning or head of all following generations, who should


« PreviousContinue »