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attorney-general, they gave him express orders to bring writs of scire facias against the charters or patents of the York-building's company, Lustring company, English copper, Welsh copper, and lead, and also against other charters or patents which had been, or should be made use of, or acted under, contrary to the intent or meaning of an act passed the last session of parliament, &c.
They likewise instructed the attorneygeneral to prosecute, with the utmost severity, all persons opening books for public subscriptions; or receiving money upon such subscriptions; or making or accepting transfers of, or shares upon, such subscriptions; of which they gave public notice in the Gazette, as "a farther caution to prevent the drawing of unwary persons, for the future, into practices contrary to law." This effectually frustrated the plans of plunder, exercised or contemplated at that period. How necessary so vigorous a resistance was must be obvious from this fact, that innumerable bubbles perished in embyro; besides an incredible number which could be named that were actually set in motion, and to support which the sums intended to be raised amounted to about 300,000,000l. The lowest advance of the shares in any of these speculations was above cent. per cent., most of them above 4001. per cent.; and some were raised to twenty times the price of the subscription. Taking these circumstances into account, the scandalous projects would have required seven hundred millions sterling, if such a sum could have been realized in the shape of capital. To such a height of madness had the public mind been excited, that even shares were eagerly coveted, and bargained for, in shameless schemes which were not worth the paper whereon their proposals were printed, at treble the price they nominally bore. From a list of only a part of those that the air of 'Changealley teemed with, the names of a few are here set forth :
For making glass-bottles.
JOINT STOCK COMPANIES OF 1825.
The large quantity of surplus capital and consequent low rate of interest during the last, and in the present, year,
to embark their
induce its possessors money in schemes for promoting general utility. One of the advantages resulting from a state of peace is the influx of wealth that pours forth the upon country for its improvement. Yet it behoves the prudent, and those of small means, to be circumspect in their outlays; to see with their own eyes, and not through the medium of others. The premiums that shares in projects may bear in the market, are not even a shadow of criterion whereon to found a judgment for investment. This is well known to every discreet man who has an odd hundred to put out; and he who cannot rely on his own discrimination for a right selection from among the various schemes that are proffered to his choice, will do well to act as if none of them existed, and place his cash where the principal will at least be safe, and the
This quently declared frustrated; and there
interest, though small, be certain.
Twenty-seven Miscellaneous Companies,
A London Brick Company,
A London Marine Bath Company,
A Metropolitan Water Company.
A South London Milk Company,
A correspondent in the "London Magazine" declares, that "if we named the several divisions of the year after the French revolutionary fashion, by the phenomena observable in them, we should, from our experience of January, 1825, call it Bubblose-it has been a month of most flagitious and flourishing knavery." He pleasantly assumes that Mr. Jeremiah Hop-the-twig, attorney at law, benevolently conceives the idea of directing "surplus capital" to the formation of "a joint stock company for the outfit of air-balloons, the purchase of herds of swine, and the other requisites for a flourishing lunar commerce; Capital One Million, divided into 10,000 shares of 1001. each." The method is then related of opening an account with a respectable banking-house, obtaining respectable directors, appointing his son-in-law the respectable secretary, the son of a respected director the respectable standing counsel, and the self-nomination of the respectable Mr. Jeremiah H. and Co. as the respectable solicitors. Afterwards come the means of raising the bubble, to the admiration of proper persons who pay a deposit of 51. per share; who, when the shares "look down," try to sell, but there are "no buyers," the "quotations are nominal;" a second instalment called for, the holders hesitate; "their shares are forfeited;" the speculation is conse
Undoubtedly, among these various schemes afloat, some will be productive of great benefit to the country; but it is seriously to be considered whether the estimation of some of them in a money view be not too high, and forced to an undue price by the arts of jobbing:
The Conversion of St. Paul. This is a festival in the calendar of the church of England, as well as in that of the Romish church.
St. Paul's Day.
On this day prognostications of the months were drawn for the whole year. If fair and clear, there was to be plenty; if cloudy or misty, much cattle would die; if rain or snow fell then it presaged a dearth; and if windy, there would be
If Saint Paul's Day be fair and clear.
Willsford's Nature's Secrets.
These prognostications are Englished from an ancient calendar: they have likewise been translated by Gay, who enjoins,
Let no such vulgar tales debase thy mind, Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind.
The latter lines are allusive to the popular superstitions, regarding these days, which were before remarked by bishop Hall, who observes of a person under such influences, that "St. Paule's day, and St. Swithine's, with the twelve, are his oracles, which he dares believe against the almanacke." It will be recollected that "the twelve" are twelve days of Christmastide, mentioned on a preceding day as believed by the ignorant to denote the weather throughout the year.
Concerning this day, Bourne says. "How it came to have this particular knack of foretelling the good or ill fortune of the following year is no easy matter to find out. The monks, who were undoubtedly
the first who made this wonderful observation, have taken care it should be handed down to posterity; but why, or for what reason, they have taken care to conceal. St. Paul did indeed labour more abundantly than all the apostles; but never that I heard in the science of astrology and why this day should therefore be a standing almanac to the world, ather than the day of any other saint,
will be pretty hard to find out." In an ancient Romish calendar, much used by Brand, the vigil of St. Paul is called "Dies Ægyptiacus;" and be confesses his ignorance of any reason for calling it an Egyptian-day." Mr. Fosbroke explains, from a passage in Ducange, that it was so called because there were two unlucky days in every month, and St. Paul's vigil was one of the two in January.
Dr. Forster notes, that the festival of the conversion of St. Paul has always been reckoned ominous of the future weather of the year, in various countries remote from each other.
According to Schenkius, cited by Brand, it was a custom in many parts of Germany, to drag the images of St. Paul and St. Urban to the river, if there was foul weather on their festival.
St. Paul's day being the first festival of an apostle in the year, it is an opportunity for alluding to the old, ancient, English custom, with sponsors, or visitors at christenings, of presenting spoons, called apostle-spoons, because the figures of the twelve apostles were chased, or carved on the tops of the handles. Brand cites several authors to testify of the practice. Persons who could afford it gave the set of twelve; others a smaller number, and a poor person offered the gift of one, with the figure of the saint after whom the child was named, or to whom the child was dedicated, or who was the patron saint of the good-natured donor.
Ben Jonson, in his Bartholomew Fair, has a character, saying, "And all this for the hope of a couple of apostle-spoons, and a cup to eat caudle in." In the Chaste Maid of Cheapside, by Middleton, "Gossip" inquires, "What has he given her?
What is it, Gossip?" Whereto the answer of another "Gossip" is, "A faire high-standing cup, and two great 'postieand Fletcher, likewise, in the Noble spoons one of them gilt." Beaumont
"I'll be a Gossip. Bewford, I have an odd apostle-spoon." The rarity and antiquity of apostlespoons render them of considerable value as curiosities. A complete set of twelve is represented in the sketch on the opposite page, from a set of the spoons themselves on the writer's table
The apostles on this set of spoons are somewhat worn, and the stems and bowls have been altered by the silversmith in conformity with the prevailing fashion of the present day; to the eye of the antiquary, therefore, they are not so interesting as they were before they underwent this partial modernization: yet in this state they are objects of regard. Their size in the print is exactly that of the spoons themselves, except that the stems are necessarily fore-shortened in the engraving to get them within the page. The stem of each spoon measures exactly three inches and a half in length from the foot of the apostle to the commencement of the bowl; the length of each bowl is two inches and nine-sixteenths of an inch; and the height of each apostle is one inch and one-sixteenth the entire length of each spoon is seven inches and one-eighth of an inch. They are of silver; the lightest, which is St. Peter, weighs 1 oz. 5 dwts. 9 gr. ; the heaviest is St. Bartholomew, and weighs 1 oz. 9 dwts. 4 gr.; their collective weight is 16 oz. 14 dwts. 16 gr. The hat, or flat covering, on the head of each figure, is usual to apostles-spoons, and was probably affixed to save the features from effacement. In a really fine state they
are very rare.
It seems from "the Gossips," a poem by Shipman, in 1666, that the usage of giving apostle-spoons' at christenings, was at that time on the decline:
"Formerly, when they us'd to troul, Gilt bowls of sack, they gave the bowl; Two spoons at least; an use ill kept ; "Tis well if now our own be left."
An anecdote is related of Shakspeare and Ben Jonson, which bears upon the usage: Shakspeare was godfather to one of Jonson's children, and, after the christening, being in deep study, Jonson cheeringly asked him, why he was so melancholy? "Ben," said he," I have been considering a great while what should be the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my godchild, and I have resolved it at last." "I prithee, what?" said Ben, "I' faith, Ben," answered Shakspeare, "I'll give him a dozen good latten spoons, and thou shalt translate them." The word latten, intended as a play upon latin, is the name for thin iron tinned, of which spoons, and similar small articles of household use, are sometimes made. Without being aware of the origin, it is still a custom with many persons, to present spoons at christ
BEARS AND BEES.
M. M. M. a traveller in Russia, communicates, through the Gentleman's Magazine of 1785, a remarkable method of cultivating bees, and preserving them from their housebreakers, the bears. The Russians of Borodskoe, on the banks of the river Ufa, deposit the hives within excavations that they form in the hardest, strongest, and loftiest trees of the forest, at about five-and-twenty or thirty feet high from the ground, and even higher, if the height of the trunk allows it. They hollow out the holes lengthways, with small narrow hatchets, and with chisels and gouges complete their work. The longitudinal aperture of the hive is stopped by a cover of two or more pieces exactly fitted to it, and pierced with small holes, to give ingress and egress to the bees. No means can be devised more ingenious or more convenient for climbing the highest and the smoothest trees than those practised by this people, for the construction and visitation of these hives. For this purpose they use nothing but a very sharp axe, a leathern strap, or a common rope. The man places himself against the trunk of the tree, and passes the cord round his body and round the tree, just leaving it sufficient play for casting it higher and higher, by jerks, towards the elevation he desires to attain, and there to place his body, bent as in a swing, his feet resting against the tree, and preserving the free use of his hands. This done, he takes his axe, and at about the height of his body makes the first notch or step in the tree; then he takes his rope, the two ends whereof he takes care to have tied very fast, and throws it towards the top of the trunk. Placed thus in his rope by the middle of his body, and resting