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regal splendour-a proud and happy-looking mother of three handsome healthy children!”
Sidi Cadua and the widow had each suffered great indignities and undergone severe punishment; even the bastinado having been her portion.
It was not many months after the massacre of Achmet when Mr. B. and his family were informed that
Many people had taken sanctuary under the British flag, and we indeed found the court filled with persons of all persuasions. The Aga has fled for protection to the barracks. We then ascended the terrace, and beheld those of the whole city covered by thousands of women; we could easily distinguish the houses inhabited by Jews, as the Jewesses were throwing themselves about in attitudes of the greatest despair, weeping and wringing their hands. After some time, we saw a flag similar to that of Tunis hoisted on the flag-staff of the palace. Soon afterwards, we heard the cannon fire, and immediately the green flag of Mecca replaced the red one over the palace, which announced that a new Dey had ascended the throne. It is said that Ali Pacha, who has only reigned since the seventh of November last, died this morning by poison, and that it is the Hogia dei Cavalli who succeeds him, by name also Ali. Mr. Blanckley and the other Consuls have all been to pay their respects to the new Dey; Mr. B., as usual, only offered to shake hands with him. And when the others tendered him the homage of kissing his hand, the new Dey would not permit them to do so; but followed the example which Mr. had set, hy merely shaking hands with them. From this, he appears to be as yet free from pride ; but the mania will no doubt soon attack him. Free from wisdom I pronounce him to be, or he would never have accepted of an office which, to a certainty, will shorten his days.
“ I understand that a cup of coffee, containing the powder of grouud diamonds, a most effectual poison, was offered to the late unfortunate Pacha, out of respect, as they said ; but he refused to drink it, saying that he did not choose to he accessory to his own death. He, therefore, politely declined the honour which the Turks intended him, preferring rather to be led out by the Chaousses, like a culprit, to the usual place of execution, where he was strangled. A distinction was, however, made in his case, as he was strangled at once, instead of undergoing the usual refinement of cruelty, in being twice revived by a glass of water, and only effectually executed the third time that the bowstring is applied.”
During the early part of the new Dey's power, we obtain an index to his taste for and estimation of philosophical pursuits, as well as notice of a name which stands high in the annals of modern science and of its recent discoveries :
“ The Swedish Consul came out with a Monsieur Arago, to introduce him to Mr. B., and to solicit my husband's aid and assistance in getting the latter away from this country with all his astronomical instruments; Mr. Arago had a British passport, on account of having been sent by the Institute of Paris to Yarmouth, to find the longitude. He went after
wards to Spain in the pursuit of some object connected with science, and was in that country when Ferdinand the VII. was decoyed into France ; in consequence of which, the Junta having ordered all Frenchmen to be banished from Spain, this clever young man took refuge in this country, the very moral antipodes to the encouragement of the arts and sciences.
“ Mr. B. went to town to solicit the Dey to allow Monsieur Arago to quit this country, and endeavoured to make him understand that his researches were for the benefit of mankind in general; and as a proof of the interest felt in his behalf by the English Government, he shewed him King George's seal on Mr. A.'s passport. But the Dey answered, that if he were of any other nation, he might listen to such arguments, but that no Frenchman should leave this kingdom; and that if he wished to find the longitude, &c., he might take his spyglass, and go up one of the mountains in this vicinity, which would answer his purpose quite as well as in any other part of the world. And thus terminated the audience with this enlightened prince."
The philosopher was at last permitted to leave Algiers and to find his way to a more hospitable region.
Mr. B. and family at length found themselves in the most awkward predicament, great offence having been taken by the Algerine Government on receiving the intelligence that one of his Britannic Majesty's war ships had carried off as prizes three Algerine merchantmen. It was very natural to expect, that, according to the barbarous policy and practice of the piratical power, the British representative would have to answer in person and estate for the injury. The proximity of an English frigate, however, allayed the fears which the rumoured threats of chains and death had raised. At last the Consul and his family bade farewell to the place, their fortunes carrying them elsewhere.
Mrs. Blanckley's Journal occupies about half of the volume, her daughter's interspersed and appended reminiscences filling the other portion, introducing anecdotes, explanations, and adding expansive sketches, and descriptions of a variety of matters and objects which impressed themselves upon her juvenile mind and fancy while a resident in the parts under consideration. We quote her two or three concluding paragraphs, with which we close the present article, that contain, instead of the horrors which no faithful and competent reminiscent could leave unnoticed and entirely untold, some pleasant recollections and tender regrets :
“At the season of the Bairam, which is one of feasting, immediately following the Ramadan, or Mahommedan feast, we were in the habit of receiving great presents of sweetmeats and delicate pastry confections, by the fair donors' hands, the wives of the principal officers of the Dey and of the elite of Algerine suciety. There were in every one of these seasonable cadeaux, two or three very pretty baskets, made of pastry, and containing coloured eggs. I wonder if any antiquary has ever traced the origin of this presentation of Paschal eggs, which thus continues to be a
cosmopolite custom ; at least I have remarked it as universal in all the countries of which I have been a denizen. At the time of the Jewish Passover, we were also presented with a great quantity of cakes of unleavened bread, from the most opulent Jewish families, many of whom were strangers to us even by name. These cakes were, in shape and taste, very like our common water biscuits, except that they were frosted over with sugar.
"All the music that can be extracted from the noise of an Algerine band, is most monotonous. I once possessed the written notes of two of their airs, but one of them I have unfortunately lost, and the original of the accompanying copy I preserve amongst my most valued relics of • the days of Auld Langsyne;' for many is the throb of kindness yet;' and unchanged is the love in my heart for its most amiable and accomplished writer, Miss E. D. now Mrs. D.,
-The generous friend sincere,
Whose voice still vibrates in my ear,'the last member of our onee numerous family circle, who yet lingers on the shores of Africa.
“ Now, having traced almost all my souvenirs of that country, -so celebrated in ancient annals, as the very nucleus of piracy,—so restless under the march of civilization,-and of yore so passive under its barbarian rulers :—And having said, to the best of my poor ability, my say of
all its birds of the air, and of all its fishes of the sea;' I will, ere 1 lay down my pen, express the wish that I may not have been altogether unsuccessful in interesting the indulgent portion of the reading world, while I have in the meantime beguiled many a passing hour in retracing those of a happy childhood ; and I would fain hope that the agrément I have experienced in the performance of my self-imposed task, may have been in some degree shared by (to express myself in old-fashioned parlance) my courteous and gentle reader,—to whom I will now say,
ART. VIJI.- A Treatise on Wood Engraving, Historical and Practical.
With Illustrations. By JOHN JACKSON. London: Knight. 1839. A few months back we explained generally the process of Woodengraving, and its distinctive character as compared with engraving upon copper or steel. In the Treatise before us this practical matter is described at length, and with minuteness, by one who is him. self a proficient in the art, to which all who wish to be correctly informed will do well to have recourse. The historical part of the work, however, shall agreeably occupy us for a little, which has had the assistance of Mr. Chatto.
It has not been ascertained when engraving upon wood was first practised. There is no doubt, however, of its use in certain shapes, long before it came to be en:ployed as a branch of the fine arts. Nothing indeed can be more readily conceived than that stamps for
various purposes would be made by means of lines and particular forms being cut upon the surface or flat end of a piece of such a common article as that of which we are speaking. What more feasible or natural, than that a person should think of carving out his name or its initials, and filling the hollow parts or smearing the elevations with some sort of colour, so as to leave a corresponding mark on some other surface ? Ingenuity would readily employ itself with the invention of devices in the way of ornament to be stamped on a separate substance. Stencilling too, that is, lines and figures cut out of a thin substance, so as to allow a brush or other neutral article, when charged with colour, to communicate through the interstices mentioned the same forms, may be supposed to have at an early period suggested itself. Accordingly there are ancient proofs of either one or other of these processes having taken place upon various substances. Branding also, by means of hot metallic figures, one would suppose would find uses even in very primitive times. But it is needless to waste conjectures in the absence of positive facts as to dates and particular operations, especially since we have no certain evidence of the process expressed in modern times by the term Wood-engraving having been practised before the year 1345 of the Christian era. It may be as well, however, to quote a passage which we find in the volume before us, to show how much uncertainty prevails on the subject, even after that date :
“Some writers," says the author, “have been of opinion that the art of wood-engraving was derived from the practice of the ancient calli. graphists and illuminators of manuscripts, who sometimes formed their large capital letters by means of a stencil or of a wooden stamp. That large capitals were formed in such a manner previous to the year 1400 there can be little doubt; and it has been supposed that stencils and stamps were used not only for the formation of capital letters, but also for the impression of a whole volume. Ihre, in a dissertation on the gospels of Ulphilas, which are supposed to be as old as the fifth century, has asserted that the silver letters of the text on a purple ground were impressed by means of heated iron stamps. This, however, is denied by the learned compilers of the Nouveau Traité de Diplomatique,' who had seen other volumes of a similar kind, the silver letters of which evidently appeared to have been formed with a pen. A modern Italian author, D. Vincenzo Requeno, has published a tract to prove that many supposed manuscripts from the tenth to the fourteenth century, instead of being written with a pen were actually impressed by means of stamps. It is, however, extremely probable that he is mistaken; for if his pretended discoveries were true, this art of stamping must have been very generally practised; and if so, it surely would have been mentioned by some contemporary writers. Signor Requeno's examination, I am inclined to suspect, has not been sufficiently precise ; for he seems to have been too willing to find what he sought. In almost every collection that he examined
a pair of fine compasses being the test which he employed, he discovered voluminous works on vellum, hitherto supposed to be manuscript, but which according to his measurement were certainly executed by means of a stamp:
“ It has been conjectured that the art of wood-engraving was employed on sacred subjects, such as the figures of saints and holy persons, before it was applied to the multiplication of those books of Satan,' playing-cards, It however seems not unlikely that it was first employed in the manufacture of cards; and that the monks, availing themselves of the same principle, shortly afterwards employed the art of wood-engraving for the purpose of circulating the figures of saints ; thus endeavouring to supply a remedy for the evil, and extracting from the serpent a cure for his bite. Wood-cuts of sacred subjects appear to have been known to the common people of Suabia, and the adjacent districts, by the name of Helgen or Helglein, a corruption of Heiligen saints ;-a word which in course of time they used to signify prints—estampes-generally. In France the same kind of cuts, probably stencil coloured, were called .dominos,'-the affinity of which name with the German Helgen is obvious. The word
domino' was subsequently used as a name for coloured or marbled paper generally, and the makers of such paper, as well as the engravers and colourers of wood-cuts, were called .dominotiers.'"
Even the country to which wood engraving as a pictorial art is indebted for its origin is not ascertained, although there are various reasons which have led to the belief that it was Germany, the parent of many of the most curious and useful inventions which have distinguished the progress of civilization. One thing admits of no doubt, that the earliest wood-cut known, and which bears the date of 1423 can be traced to a convent near Augsburg. It is now in the possession of Lord Spencer. The following is the account given of it in the present work :
“ The first person who published an account of this most interesting wood-cut was Heineken, who appears to have inspected a greater number of old wood-cuts and block-books than any other person, and whose unwearied perseverance in searching after, and general accuracy in describing such early specimens of the art of wood engraving, are beyond all praise. He observed it pasted on the inside of the right-hand cover of a manuscript volume in the library of the convent of Buxheim, near Mem. mingen in Suabia. The manuscript, entitled LAUS VIRGINIS, and finished in 1417, was left to the convent by Anna, canoness of Buchaw, who was living in 1427; but who probably died previous to 1435,"
A reduced copy of this very curious relic is given in the present work, as well as many other illustrations of the things described. The account proceeds thus,
“ The original affords a specimen of the combined talents of the Formschneider or wood-engraver, and the Briefmaler or card-colourer,