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From The Athenæum.

Cornish's Stranger's Guide through Birmingham; being an Account of all the Public Buildings, Religious, Educational, and Charitable Foundations, Literary and Scientific Institutions, and Manufactories. London and Birmingham, Cornish.

while the question itself was being settled. Not thus quiet were they at the period of the struggle between Parliament and people on one side, and the Crown and prerogative on the other. The nailers and other workmen struck in most vigorously for the Puritans;

and fifteen thousand sword-blades formed the contribution of the town to the Parliament arTHERE is said to be not less than a hundred my. Not a hammer was raised to furnish a and fifty different ways to spell the name of the single blade for the Royalist cause. The time town which we commonly call "Birmingham." had not yet come when two antagonists could France cannot boast many more ways whereby provide themselves with arms at Birmingham she cooks eggs. For the comfort and en- with equal facility. In the Civil War period couragement of "vulgar persons," we may the men of the town destroyed the royal carstate that "Brummagem" is, in all probability, riages, and scared the King from his coach at much nearer the original sound of the name than Aston Hall. The fiery Rupert, indeed, made that by which we now call it. Strange, too, as them pay dearly for their daring; but there it may seem, there is something grandly poeti- were bloody coxcombs on both sides; and one cal about this manufacturing town. It may be can hardly help smiling at finding the mechanic said to have been born of the Staffordshire warriors held captive by the prince, ransoming iron mines. The woody district offered fa- themselves at a shilling, eightpence, and even cilities for smelting the ore, and three-quarters twopence a-piece! of a century ago Hatton pointed to "a moun- When Charles the Second, in courtier phrase, tain of cinder," which had been growing for a got his own again, he became the unconscious thousand years by the side of an old-fashioned benefactor of Birmingham. The fashions he furnace. In former days, those who exercised brought with him from France gave an impevocations which required manual strength rank- tus to a variety of trades; and it was the coned above all practisers of gentle crafts. In this respect Birmingham is of highly noble descent. Her sons handled iron when smiths took precedency of "leeches." Slow but sure was the progress of the village of workers. The latter made nails "painfully." In our days nails are turned out by thousands of millions annually, and hooks and eyes are produced with such rapidity that they flow before the gaze of the spectator like an arrowy stream. Birmingham is not now what Burke styled it, the mere toyshop of Europe. It is that and something more; it provides for many of the wants and furnishes many of the luxuries connected with all ages, and were it not for Birmingham, neither dairy-maid nor duchess would be half so comfortably "cared for" as is now the case.

templation of this variety and its expansion which first conveyed to the mind of Prince Albert the idea of the Great Exhibition. The expansion, indeed, has been general. Till the commencement of last century there was only one church in Birmingham (St. Martin's),— now, there are not less than one hundred places of worship. The one street of Leland's days has grown into "a hundred miles of street." The quarter of a thousand of souls has multiplied into a quarter of a million; and of these fifty thousand dwell in courts,-the step above cellar buildings, of which there are none in Birmingham.

When we learn that there are about seven hundred schools, with something like thirty thousand children,-if not educated, at least partially instructed therein, we augur well for A proudly democratic town too has been the rising generation. But everything here this toiling and wealth-accumulating Birming- is on a large scale. We hear of estabham. In no locality has democratic wit been lishments that have from two to three hundred sharper. When other towns drove out the thousand dies employed in stamping; and handicraftsmen who had not taken up their though shoe strings first superseded buckles, freedom, Birmingham offered them a home, and boots have rendered their return_hopeand they returned a princely revenue for their less; and despite, moreover, that even Judges rent. The people were naturally a free and will not wear metal buttons-as they are: independent people, always more inclined to bound to do by the law which they adminiswield the hammer than the sword; but hand-ter-for the benefit of Birmingham, yet thouling that weapon with terrible effect, when sands are employed in producing ornaments their humor led them that way. In the bat- of the metal of which buckles were once tle of Evesham the stout Birmingham smiths made; and the button factories are still among followed the banner of their lord of the man- the largest in the place. In other things or, and fought on the side of the Barons and there has been astounding progress. The old liberty. In the Wars of the Roses they did rough imitation of Oriental toys has develnot meddle. It was a question between rival oped itself into a thousand articles of papierkings, and the lorimers quietly made their bits, mâché.

It is only a quarter of a century since steel The battle was fought on a Sunday, and yet pens were sold in Birmingham at 12s. the the result was not positively known in Lon dozen. With pens at such a price, authors don before the following Wednesday. By had need be like Philemon Holland, who wrote the wire manufactured at Birmingham, we many of his translations with one and the can now learn, in less time, the issue of a same pen, as he himself remarks in the homely couplet:

With one sole pen I writ this book, made of a gray goose quill;

A pen it was when it I took; and a pen I leave

contest fought three thousand miles from home. Such a change is suggestive of endless annotation. The Guide-book may be dry, but there is scarcely a line in it which, to a thinking reader, is not connected with some subject that excites wonder and admiration. How fatally to some, but how grandly profitaThe good Philemon was well known at Cov-ble to many, the battle of life has been fought entry and Birmingham, and by repute, far be- in this ever-stirring locality! How fiercely it yond it. He was the "Translator-General" is yet carried on, and how vast the general of his age, and an epigrammatist once wittily

it still.

wrote of him :

Holland, with his translations doth so fill us,
He will not let Suetonius be Tranquillus.

good that springs from the competition! How singular, too, seems the fact that in the names of the princes of labor, as we may call them, who have built up fortunes and less perishable renown in this locality, there is scarcely one that bears a Norman sound! Saxon and Celt But Philemon, in our present days, might have furnish the greater number, and Watt, Boulbeen prodigal in wasting pens of steel. What ton, Murdoch, and names of similar origin within our own recollection was sold at a shil- occur before we come to a solitary Baskerling each, may now be had at the rate of one ville,-which, after all, may not be Norman. shilling for a dozen dozen; and of these, one Before concluding, we may allude to another establishment alone at Birmingham manufac- incontrovertible fact, namely, that the Drama tures many hundred millions annually. But is among the institutions that have least flourthis is in a town where four hundred tons of coals are consumed daily, where engines are equalling the labor of a hundred thousand men, and where steam is rented by eager but poor tenants, who willingly pay for permission to bring a revolving shaft into connection with some steam-engine, in order to give motion to a range of lathes which must otherwise be worked by the manual (and less profitable) labor of turning the wheel.

ished in this city of labor. Again and again has the house of Thespis been converted into a chapel. The present theatre has seen a variety of fortune,-good, bad and indifferent. On its stage Eliston was sparkling, Bunn magniloquent, and Macready, on one occasion at least, astounded. It was when the actor whom he had enraged by over-drilling, determined to spoil the "point" which Mr. Macready desired to make, in Richard. "My Lord," duly said Great progress has been made since the the messenger," the Duke of Buckingham is time when Charles the First found shelter at taken,"-and," he hurriedly added, before RiAston Hall, previons to the battle of Edge chard could reply, "we have chopped off his Hill. A fact connected with that very bat- head!" This is the only humorous story we tle serves again to remind us of the progress know in connection with old " Bromwycham.' which has been made in another matter.

MR. ABBOTT LAWRENCE, the late diplomatic [historian. He discharged the duties of that post representative of the United States at the British with much credit. Impaired health at length Court, died at Boston on the 18th ult., aged six- obliged Mr. Lawrence to seek retirement; and ty-three. The deceased realized an ample for- when he was relieved of his duties, he sought tune by his mercantile enterprise, by which he that quietude in his native country which, after a obtained in America a high and influential posi- too short period, has terminated, much to the retion, having been twice elected for Boston to gret of an affectionate family and large circle of Congress. He contested, in 1848, the Vice-Pre- friends, in his death. As far as English society sidency with Mr. Fillmore, and lost his election is concerned, the memory of Mr. Lawrence will by only ten votes. Mr. Lawrence's influence be regarded with the warmest esteem. The citiwith the old Whig party, and his great wealth, zens of Boston have held a meeting in order to prompted the then existing Administration to determine on a fitting testimonial of their appreappoint him Minister Plenipotentiary to the ciation of his character and public services.British Court, in succession to Mr. Bancroft, the Examiner, 8th Sept.

From The Athenæum. John Skinner, who may be called "modern," The Modern Scottish Minstrel; or, the Songs inasmuch as he died since the century came of Scotland of the Past Half Century; with in, though he was born in the year 1721. Of Memoirs of the Poets, and Sketches and the many songs by this reverend singer which Specimens in English Verse of the most are here printed, the only one worth presercelebrated Modern Gaelic Bards. By vation is "Tullochgorum," because of the darCharles Rogers, LL.D. Vol. I. Edinburgh, ing rant of its rhythm, which makes it a Black.


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thoroughly musical lyric. In "John o' Badenyon" occur Arcadian stupidities concerning IT would be hardly possible to produce a Phillis," and allusions of the hour to " Johnny work like the one here commenced which Wilkes" and "Parson Horne." Skinner's should not contain new and amusing matter words to "Dumbarton Drums" and to "Tibtempting the reader to think, to compare,- bie Fowler" (the latter heroine moralized into notto tune up a stave;"--but the specimen « Lizzie Liberty," by way of political signifivolume before us does not make good the cance) sing heavily, and have neither pith nor promise of the Preface. There Dr. Rogers spirit to relieve the burden. The Rev. W. recommends himself in the old way, by referring to the "deficiencies of former collections" Cameron stands the second in Dr. Rogers's list. By him, we have but one song, and this as a plea for the necessity of a new one. The third he looked into all that exist? A certain stout" minstrel" is Anne Home, better known as is in no respect remarkable. little" Book of Scottish Song"- -now twelve the wife of John Hunter, the celebrated anayears old [Athen. No. 834]-is probably unknown to him:-albeit it contains many wellselected and unfamiliar lyrics, with careful biographical notices. Such praise cannot be given on the present occasion without qualifi


tomist; and famous for her Canzonets, that will last as long as music lasts, though they are not Scottish in dialect, subject, or metre. Surely it would have been worth our author's while to have recorded that it was Mrs. cation. We are not satisfied that the text of Hunter's words which were selected by Haydn Dr. Rogers is always correct; we are sure that his taste in selection is questionable. to set. Perhaps he does not know this; since Everybody familiar with the popular songs of we doubt whether he is even correct in his Ireland and Scotland must have observed the text of Mrs. Hunter's songs. In the canzonet tendency of the songsters to stumble into called "Recollection," the line to the music affectation and false sentiment when they meant to be most refined and deep in pathos. Burns himself could not always resist the temptation to clothe his thoughts in fustian,the word "sweet," printed for "fair" in Dr. did not always prove superior to the Dominie's Rogers's version, is more cacophonous, withdesire of resorting to classical allusions. He out being more poetical. sang sometimes of Chloris as well as of Coila: he could not hand his "bonnie Leslie" across "the border" without declaring that

She's gone, like Alexander, *


O days, too fair, too bright to last,

We have, by chance, entered on the chapter of Scottish poetesses and new readings of old songs; and, in pursuance of both subjects, we come naturally to the notice of Lady Anne Barnard, who might be called "Single-Song" To spread her conquests further. Lady Anne, like "Single-Speech" Hamilton Into our model collection of Scottish Songs in right of his solitary oration. Whether a the fewest possible number of specimens thus lyric of such high class as " Auld Robin Gray" specked and spoiled should be admitted. We was ever written by one who wrote so little besides is a topic for some new literary curido not hold it necessary to prove the peasant training of the sweetest of our northern singers osity fancier to handle. It is true that a by frequent recourse to such false and feeble quarto volume of verse," composed by herself illustrations. Why did Dr. Rogers print and by others of the noble house of Lindsay," among the songs by the author of The Siller is said to have been confided, by Lady Anne, Gun" a lyric like "The Troops were embarked," of which the second verse contains so astounding a specimen of namby-pamby as the following?

They parted from their dearest friends,
From all their heart-desires,

And Rosabel to Heaven commends

The man her soul admires!

to Sir Walter Scott, with a view to publication, and to have been "called in," by its author, after it was printed. "The copies of the work appear to have been destroyed," says Dr. Rogers. But it is hardly likely that so confirmed a bibliomaniac as Sir Walter Scott should not have retained one (to use Walpole's phrase concerning the copy of "Bonner's Ghost," printed on brown paper,) for his own "private eating;" and it was

The volume opens with a notice of the Rev. worth Dr. Rogers's while to have made a

diligent search in the Abbotsford Library for such a precious relic of "bonnie Ladie Anne." This he does not appear to have done. In Lady Anne Barnard's song, too, as in Mrs. Hunter's Canzonet, another line is spoilt by a new reading, which, we think, is spurious. The fourth line in the second verse of the second, or supplementary part of the ballad, is printed by Dr. Rogers as follows:

promoted to its present place in "Guy Mannering" when the romancer dramatized las, romance in aid of his friend Terry. Then seeing that the plays of Joanna Baillie are mentioned, it is strange that Dr. Rogers should have said no word concerning her drama on Hope, "The Beacon," an omission the less pardonable because it contains some of her best songs,-and because in one of her ingenious prefaces she declared that Hope

And she drooped like a snowdrop broke down by was on purpose, and not by chance, lyrically

the hail.

-Sir Walter Scott, availing himself of the same verse as a motto to one of the chapters in his "Pirate," gives "lily" for "snowdrop;" a word equally melancholy and twice as musical. Now, it is a well-known fact, once again stated here, that Lady Anne, when being pressed on the subject of the authorship fifty years after "Auld Robin Gray" was written, wrote

"to Sir Walter Scott, with whom she was acquainted, requesting him to inform his personal friend, the Author of Waverley,' that she was, indeed, the author. She inclosed a copy to Sir Walter, written in her own hand; and with her consent, in the course of the following year, he printed Auld Robin Gray' as a contribution to the Bannatyne Club."

and musically treated. Further, what has "The Maid of Llanwellyn"-a set of words written to a Welsh air by Miss Baillie-to do in a "Modern Scottish Minstrel ? "

Another Scottish songstress receives better treatment from Dr. Rogers than the gifted women from whom we have just parted; and seeing that her name is less amiliar to the English than that of Mrs. Hunter, or Lady Anne, or the dramatist of "the Passions," and that she furnishes the freshest pages in this book, we will loiter for a while in her company. We allude to Lady Nairn. She was the songster (long time anonymous) who wrote " Caller Herrin," "The Laird o' Cockpen," "The Land o' the Leal," "The Bonnie Brier Bush," " John Tod," and "The Women are a' gane wud,"-half-a-dozen songs bearing the stamp of character, originality, and varr The above remarks and inquiries are fur-ety. Without some such command over varither justified by our author's confession with ety there is no more possibility of being a regard to Alexander Wilson's "Auchtertool," great song-writer than of being a great actor. that he has ventured to omit three verses, and A single happy case of personal illustrationalter slightly the last line of the song. The a fortunate utterance of the sorrows that beset verbal changes on which we have animadvert- or the hopes that animate-do not substantiate ed may be other "venturings" of a like kind. a claim for their owner to rank among the Whether they be or not, it is by the admission artists in either branch of Art. The genuine of such new readings, without question, that lyrists (as distinguished from those who have lyrics become vitiated past correction. Thus, written a happy lyric by accident) are those in the notation of melodies, as we have often who can lyrically display remarked, a flat or a sharp introduced by an incorrect ear, or a voice ill pitched, or a careless transcriber, ends in becoming a part of the accepted version, to the damage of what is symmetrical, and to the confusion of all save such as value the specimen in proportion as it offers crudities for partisanship to defend or for ingenuity to explain away.

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,—

who can laugh aloud, or weep sorrowfully, as the theme demands,-true in their sympathies in proportion as they avoid venting their experiences. Lady Nairn was one of the old house of Oliphant,-born in 1776,-christened Leaving Mrs. Grant, of Carron, the author Carolina (after Carolus) out of regard to the of " Roy's Wife"-and that more famous Mrs. Jacobite prejudices of her ancestry, and, Grant-the Lady of Laggan-we are still when she was young, called "The Flower of among Scottish poetesses; and must still re- Strathearn," as a tribute to her own great per port on Dr. Rogers's book by offering addenda. sonal beauty. She began to write songs, we His notice of Joanna Baillie as a song writer are told, under the honest purpose of furnish is meagre and incomplete. Not a line reminds ing the peasantry with words less ribald and us that Sir Walter Scott withdrew an outlaw equivocal than some of those which distinguishchorus from "Rokeby," finding not only its ed the peddler's sheet, and were heard at the thoughts, but its verbal burden too, anticipated "ingle nook" when the ditty went round.— in one of "Sister Joanna's" spirited lyrics. Not a line informs readers to come that this self-same glee, "The Chough and Crow," was (probably by the Great Unknown's own hand)

"The occasion of an agricultural dinner in the neigborhood afforded her a fitting opportunity of making trial of her success in the good work

which she had begun. To the president of the Accordingly, I furnished her with a scale of meeting she sent anonymously her verses entitled about five or six charitable objects. The highest The Ploughman;' and the production being in the scale were those institutions which had publicly read, was received with warm approba- for their design the Christianizing of the people tion, and was speedily put to music. She was thus encouraged to proceed in her self-imposed task; and to this early period of her life may be ascribed some of her best lyrics. The Laird o' Cockpen' and 'The Land o' the Leal,' at the close of the century, were sung in every district of the kingdom."

at home; and I also mentioned to her, in connection with the Christianizing at home, what we were doing at the West Port; and there came to me from her, in the course of a day or two, no less a sum than 3007. She is now dead; she is now in her grave, and her works do follow her. When she gave me this noble benefaction, she laid me under strict injunctions of secrecy,

any person; but after she was dead, I begged of
claim it, because I thought that her example, so
her nearest heir that I might be allowed to pro-
worthy to be followed, might influence others in
imitating her; and I am happy to say that I am
now at liberty to state that it was Lady Nairn of

330., to purchase sites for schools, and a church;
and we have got a site in the very heart of the
locality, with a very considerable extent of
and a play-ground for the children, so that we
ground for a washing-green, a washing-house,
tion of our parochial economy."
are a good step in advance towards the comple-

This "Land o' the Leal" must be an ex-and, accordingly, I did not mention her name to ample hard of digestion to those pedants and transcendentalists who have chosen to claim for music a significance of interpretation so precise and unalterable that any use of its language save one must be wrong. The air treated as a slow song is delicious,-breathing Perthshire. It enabled us, at the expense of the very soul of pathos, with a tear in every note. Played as a quick-step, it inspired Burns with his fine war-song, "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled." To continue for a moment-and in proof that our remark can be illustrated beyond the local circle of Scottish minstrelsy-thus, too, did the frolicsome, freeand-easy" Groves of Blarney," with an unim--Such a woman as this is one of the figures portant condensation of accent, yield to Moore which will perpetually cheer the student of that pathetic melody which he so deliciously British belles lettres and the historian of British mated with words in his "Last Rose of Sum- society in the most private places to which his mer."-But let us return to Lady Nairn. She researches can lead him. Among modern seems to have been one of the women, not un- Scottish songs, we know of few better than common in England, who exercise their gifts Lady Nairn's. The following is by no means for the pure pleasure of exercising them, and her best; but we select it because it is less not with the slightest reference to publicity. familiar than others that we have menThe many songs which she contributed to the tioned:Scottish Minstrel were signed "B. B.," and were understood to have been written by a visionary Mrs. Bogan of Bogan; and it was only when Lady Nairn reached an advanced period of life and long after her words had been adopted by thousands of singers and ascribed to scores of authors, that the truth quietly crept out beyond the small circle of confidential friends." Lady Nairn was accomplished in other worlds of Art,—she was skilled, we are here told, "in the use of the pencil." She was bounteous, too, in more gifts than those of her talents:

"In an address delivered at Edinburgh, on the 29th of December, 1845, Dr. Chalmers, referring to the exertions which had been made for the supply of religious instruction in the district of the West Port of Edinburgh, made the following remarks regarding Lady Nairn, who was then recently deceased:-"Let me speak now as to the countenance we have received. I am now at liberty to mention a very noble benefaction which I received about a year ago. Inquiry was made at me by a lady, mentioning that she had a sum at her disposal, and that she wished to apply it to charitable purposes, and she wanted me to enumerate a list of charitable objects, in proportion to the estimate I had of their value.

Gude nicht, and joy be wi ye a'!
The best o' joys maun hae an end,

The best o' friends maun part, I trow;
The langest day will wear away,

And I maun bid fareweel to you.
The tear will tell when hearts are fu',
For words, gin they hae sense ava,
They're broken, faltering and few:

Gude nicht, and joy be wi' you a'!

Oh, we hae wandered far and wide,

O'er Scotia's lands o' frith and fell!
And mony a simple flower we've pu'd,
And twined it wi' the heather-bell.
We've ranged the dingle and the dell,
The cot-house and the baron's ha';
Now we maun tak a last farewell:

Gude nicht, and joy be wi' you a'!
My harp, fareweel! thy strains are past,
Of gleefu' mirth and heartfelt care;
The voice of song maun cease at last,
And minstrelsy itsel' decay.
But, oh! whar sorrow canna win,

Nor parting tears are shed ava,
May we meet neighbor, kith, and kin,
And joy for aye be wi' us a'!

After the notice of Lady Nairn, the longest

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