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the notice of all who have gardens, who, though they may them a pang,—that he never forgot his mother's pains and
by John Bell over his younger and more sensitive brother was
rather severe, as Charles himself afterwards occasionally THE LIFE AND DISCOVERIES OF SIR CHARLES gift which nature had early bestowed upon him, viz., a power
mentioned. During his pupilage Charles bad cultivated i BELL.*
of drawing, and a taste for the fine arts generally. David ALTHOUGH the nature and importance of the discoveries of Allan, the so-called Scottish Hogarth, detected this faculty Sir Charles Bell, in connexion with the nervous system, are in the boy, generously encouraged and taught him, and used now thoroughly known and appreciated by the profession to to call him his young brother-brush." John Bel, too, had a which he belonged, and though his well-known work on the similar taste, but did not choose to cultivate it. "On one occaAnatomy of Expression, and his Bridgewater treatise on the sion,” relates Sir Charles, “ I had drawn with great care a Hand, are familiar to and esteemed by not only artists, but Venus in the most graceful attitude that could be imagined, also the general literary and reading world, it is, perhaps, a when returning to my work, I found that, with a stroke of the little remarkable that, with the exception of ordinary obituary pencil, he (John) had given her the unbecoming support of & notices, encyclopædic biographies, and an article in the Quar. pole fised in the ground, on the side to which she unfortuterly Review for 1843, no memoir of the life of so distin. nately leaned too much. Such an ill-timed joke tends to guished a man has ever been published in Great Britain.
check the ardour and talent of a child." This little anecdote, M. Amedee Pichot, a literary physician, who, it appears, and its record many years after by one of the actors, speaks once had some slight acquaintance with our scientific country. volumes as to the character of the two brothers and their man, and now retains a strong regard for his claims as a dis. relations with each other. coverer, has recently expanded into a little volume a sketch
Discipline and ability, however, soon bore good fruit. which he some years since prepared from the article in the Charles rapidly rose from pupil to assistant, and from assistant Quarterly Review.
It is well known that both Sir Charles to an occasional substitute for his elder brother. Whilst yet and his elder brother John, the celebrated Edinburgh anato
a pupil, he published a Manual of Dissection, with plates mist and surgeon, left lengthened journals and correspondence, engraved from his own designs; and he afterwards prepared which, with personal reminiscences by surviving friends and the description of the nervous system which is published in his relatives, would afford materials for a complete biography of brother's Anatomy of the Human Body. He also executed both brothers. In the meantime, with M. Pichot for our very skilfully pathological models in wax, some of which are chief authority,-for he is defective on some points, and we still preserved in the museam of the College of Surgeons in cannot agree with him on others, we present the readers of Edinburgh. the REGISTER with some account of the life and works of
In 1799, Charles Bell was admitted to practice, and, in the one who, as the pioneer of certain discoveries in the func- Royal Hospital, was soon enabled to show his skill as an opetions of the nervous system, will have his name permanently rator, though in that capacity he was always inferior to his recorded in the annals of physiological research.
brother John. After some time, changes were introduced into The frugality of the Scotch, and the nobility of spirit dis. the management of the hospital, which excluded the two played by many amongst them, even of the humblest classes, brothers from its clinical practice and teaching. John, in a in submitting cheerfully to severe privations for the sake temper, shut up his private class of anatomy: Charles conof obtaining an education for themselves, or of giving one to tinued to lecture, but, dissatisfied with his progress, soon their children, are highly creditable national characteristics. resolved to seek in London a new and wider field for his exerThe father of Charles Bell, an Episcopalian minister at tions as a teacher and practitioner. This resolution cost soine Doun, in Monteath, whose salary was only twenty-five pounds pangs, since he already numbered, in Edinburgh, many warm a year, affords a fair example of a large class of which Scoto friends, not a few of whom were destined to become illustrious land may indeed be proud. On this and other very limited in literature, science, and art. Amongst them were Jeffrey, resources, the worthy minister had contrived to educate for Smith, Horner, and Brougham, the founders of the Edinburgh learned professions his three eldest sons, -Robert, who rose Review. To his brother George, too, the brother nearest to to great practice as a writer to the signet; John, the second, himself in age, he was tenderly attached; and it is related a man of bold and decided character, who gained a wide and that in the close communion of their youthful hearts, they lasting fame as a surgeon in Edinburgh, and must unques- enjoyed the mutual anticipation of each other's future suctionably be regarded as having been, in his own day, without cesses. Even thus early the one was engaged in preparing a rival as a practical surgeon; and George Joseph, the third, some book on the law, and the other meditating the outlines, who, gentle and generally beloved, was rewarded for his and preparing parts, of his interesting work on Anatomy for talents as an advocate with the Chair of Scottish Law in the the use of Painters. On the eve of Charles Bell's departuro University of Edinburgh. Charles, the youngest and most for London, Edinburgh, as now, was animated by a volunteer distinguished of this intellectual brotherhood, born in 1774, movement, in which Lord Hope, and Scott, Brougham, Playthe Benjamin of his parents' later years, was still young at fair, Brown, Grahame, Horner, Jeffrey, Gregory,
and others. his father's decease, so that his early education devolved upon marched and mancurred with the subject of this notice. his mother. The kindly-disposed of our readers will learn Bell arrived in London at the end of 1804. Thirty years with pleasure, -and the undutiful must pardon us if it causes of age, with limited means, being in part dependent on hi AXEDKE Picuot, M.D. London: Bentley, 1800, The Life and Labour of Sir Charles Bell, K.G.H, P.R.S.S, I. and E. By brother George, confident in his powers, but reserved or timid
and, perhaps, already impatient of the success of inferic men, he experienced at first the usual isolation of a stranger and then seems to have matured those views, and made those in the great metropolis. Professional jealousy was arrayed experiments, on the nerves, which have given him a lasting against him; some regarding him, with that narrow. position as a discoverer. Still, however, he hesitated to minded and coarse tendency to envy and detraction which appeal to the public judgment; for his pamphlet of 1811, even now sometimes requires to be checked, as a "meddling entitled An Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain, was Scotchman,” come to turn everybody out of his place. printed only for private distribution. It attracted at the But, after all, he had no great reason to complain, for time very little attention, and he began to think that his he speedily became intimate with Dr. Baillie, Sir Joseph genius was an “illusion.” Marriage, a determination to Banks, Mr. Lynn, Clive, Astley Cooper, and Abernethy; and realize a fortune, the up-hill work of raising his class (then a he also renewed his acquaintance with Henry Brougham, part of the Hunterian School of Medicine, in Windmill. then as now the true and warm friend of struggling talent. street) from the “fatal figuro" of three to ninety, his appointIn his leisure, too,-for at the end of his first year in London ment as one of the surgeons to the Middlesex Hospital, bis he bad mustered only three pupils in his class, and practice celebrated visit to the hospitals of Brussels and the field of was yet to come, he enjoyed the silent company of the great Waterloo, the fame procured for his picturesque journal and artists of former days, whose works he studied in both the letters, and his graphic sketches of gun-shot and other public and private galleries with which even then London injuries, and, lastly, an increase in his practice, are the chief abounded. Assisted doubtless by such visits and musings incidents which we have to note up to the year 1821, when amongst the relics of the illustrious dead, he prepared for the the reading of his Memoir on the Nerves before the Royal press the MS. of his work on the Anatomy of Expression, Society, and the publication of a series of illustrative papers which he had brought from Edinburgh, and completed the on the same subject by his brother-in-law, Mr. John Shaw, drawings for that work, the first edition of which was published at last excited the attention he had so long waited for. in 1806.
Roused to animation, he wrote, “I have made a greater disOn the first appearance of this now celebrated work, of covery than ever was made by any one man in anatomy, and which the second edition appeared in 1824, and a third in I have not yet done." But his discovery was, as we shall see, 1814, a year after the author's death, Jeffrey justly pro- rather a physiological than an anatomical addition to our nounced it superior to anything extant on the subject. Its knowledge. object was to show how the emotions and passions are For three thousand years the nervous system, like the ciexpressed by certain movements of the features, and by what culation of the blood, had been the subject of conjectures and mechanism of muscles, and under what guidance through surmises. From Hippocrates,-who confounded under the nerves, all this is accomplished; and it furthermore pointed out, one term "neura” all the white tissues, such as tendons and for the first time, that expressional acts are more or less asso- ligaments, as well as nervos,--down to Cavier and Bichet, no ciated with the movements of respiration. This interesting one had penetrated its mystery. Its complicated anatomy book, which carries our knowledge much beyond the writings was becoming more and more unravelled; but no one had of Lavater, Brisbane, and Le Brun, exhibits not only a pro- supplied a key by which it could be read. It was admitted found acquaintance with the then existing knowledge of that the brain was the organ of sensation and the controller anatomy and physiology, and a vast fund of original thought, of voluntary motion, the motor power itself having been, but an exquisite taste for art, and a fine moral and religious once for all, clearly shown by Haller to be resident in the sentiment. The illustrations, engraved from its author's own muscles. Galen had sagaciously explained the condition of drawings, were most admirablo; and in the work itself we partial paralysis, i.e. a loss of sensation or of motion in a trace the germs of that theory of special respiratory nerves and part, whilst the opposite faculty was entire, by saying that nervous centres, which, though not now admitted in the form there must be different nerves for the two fuuctions; and in which he announced it, has contributed to render his name our countryman, Dr. Willis, as well as Sumering and others, 50 widely known.
had classified certain nerves of the head as motor, because The merits of this work were but slowly acknowledged, they were distributed only to muscles, and others at sensory, and the author himself either had not the faculty or the good such as the olfactory, optic, and auditory nerves, which were fortane of winning support. Wilkie and a few others, in evidently concerned in the sensations of ll, sight, and their enthusinsm and delight, attended his lectures ; but hearing. But in the body generally the same nervous cords three times did he seek to occupy the anatomical chair of the appeared to serve the opposite functions of transmitting Royal Academy, and thrice was the appointment bestowed, sensations from the surface to the brain, and volitions from instead, on men who had not been guilty of proving either the brain to the muscles. This was the riddle to be solved. their genius, their learning, or their capacity.
The nerves of the neck, body, and limbs, arise on each side Charles Bell's ill-luck followed him even to his home, for, from the spinal cord, which is a prolongation from the brain, having taken a house in Leicester-street, now demolished to extending a good way down the spinal column. Each of make way for improvements in that neighbourhood, it turned these spinal nerves had long been shown to arise from the out to have been occupied by the “invisible girl,” an exhibi. spinal cord by two roots, which blend together at a little tion devised for the credulous of that day. Passagos existed distance into a common trunk, from which all their branches under the floors, noises were heard, sensations experienced, are given off. On the posterior root, as already shown by and the house, much to his vexation as a sober.minded man Monro in 1783, there is a small knot or ganglion of grey sensitive to all the proprieties, got the reputation of being nervous substance ;-otherwise the nerves are white. It haunted,-a notion that was easily maintained in the case of occurred to Charles Bell's mind that in their double roots premises used as a private anatomical school.
might lie the explanation of the double function of these During 1807, Bell was already pondering over the subject nerves. Again, from the base of the brain nine pairs of of the nervous system; drawing out careful descriptions of nerves, called cranial nerves, are given off; and the fifth of the brain, studying its internal masses and their comexions those it was known also arose by two roots, on one of which with the nerves, and recognising a sort of distinction to be there was likewise a grey ganglion. The different anatomical made between the sensory nerves, which he saw were con- connexions of the two roots of all these nerves, when they nected with one set of parts, and the nerves concerned in were deeply traced into the cord, or into the base of the voluntary motion, which were connected with another set of brain, strengthened Bell's original idea of their being ditparts of the nervous centres, establishing, as he then expressed ferent in office. In this state of mind he might well be said it, a sort of circulation in the nervous system. Already he to be" burning." At length ho resolved on an experiment felt, as he said, that he was "burning," or on the eve of a on a living animal (an ass). "On laying bare the roots of great discovery. Timid, or uncertain of himself, he sought the spinal nerves,” he says, “I found that I could cut across encouragement in the opinions of his friends, Jeffrey and the posterior fasciculus (or root), without convulsing the Playfair ; but having submitted his views to them, he allowed muscles of the back; but that on touching the anterior the subject to rest, and returned to his ordinary parsuits. fasciculus with the point of the knife the muscles of the back
In 1809 he went down to Haslar to aid in attending on the were immediately convulsed.” On the day on which he per. wounded from Corunna ; after which, he suffered in health, | formed that single experiment, we know not its date,-he laid the foundation of an imperishable fame. Henceforth, shown that the functions of the supposed distinct respiratory though some tried to do so, no man could rob him of his scien- system are not in any way peculiar, but form part of what tific glory. The conclusion at which he arrived was, that the are now termed the "reflux functions of the nervous system anterior was the motor root; and, as has been often remarked, generally. though he did not experimentally decide the question, he left Having thus fulfilled our object of tracing up the history of it as a matter of inference that the posterior or ganglionic Charles Bell
, in connexion with the discovery which will root was devoted to the other function of sensation. Pro- immortalize his name, we can only briefly allude to the rest ceeding next to the study of the cranial nerves, he experi, of his career. mented on the two roots of the fifth, and also on the facial He wrote an elegant Essay on Animal Mechanics, published part of the seventh, which arises by a single root destitute of by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,--the á ganglion ; and although, from some inexactness of his Commentary on Paley's Natural Theology, in conjunction knowledge as to the mode in which in the two roots of the with Lord Brougham,--and that most interesting and informer nerve are intermixed in its branches, his inferences structive of the Bridgewater treatises, the one On the Hand, were not perfectly correct, still he clearly established that in which he explained the beautiful ada ptations, not only of the functions of its two roots were similar to those of the two the upper limb in all vertebrate creatures, including Man, roots of the spinal nerves; and in regard to the single-rooted but many other correlated parts of their complicated organizanon-ganglionic facial nerve, he distinctly proved that it had a tion. purely motor function. Numerous cases of partial paralysis Of honours he henceforth had plenty. He was, in succesof the fifth and seventh nerves, analyzed and described by sion, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery to the Royal College Bell himself and by Mr. John Shaw, most admirably and of Surgeons in London, Professor of Physiology in the new luminously established the accuracy of his beautiful dis- London University, and, on his return to Scotland, chagrined covery.
by his want of pecuniary success in the south, Professor of The value of what he thus demonstrated can only be tho. Surgery in the University of Edinburgh. He was knighted roughly appreciated by those who are versed in the subsequent on the accession of William IV., and, when travelling in history of neurological research. It must here be stated France and Italy, in 1841,
,-a journey which served to enrich generally, however, that the value consists pot merely in the the last and posthumous edition of his Anatomy of Erpres. immediate and brilliant results arrived at, but in the fact that sion with many excellent and characteristic criticisms,—he in directing attention to the two roots, as parts analyzed by received a perfóct ovation from his brother anatomists and nature and open to separate experiment, it revealed a new physiologists, both at Paris, and at all the other great towns mode of investigation as to the functions of the nerves, and at which he stayed. of the nervous tracts with which they are connected; and of In 1842, after having just completed a course of lectures in this mode other physiologists, from that time to thè pre- Edinburgh, he died at a friend's house, near Worcester, when sent, have constantly availed themselves in perfecting and on his way to pay a visit to London. extending Bell's researches.
Sir Charles Beli lived and died a disappointed man. Aš It is, perhaps, remarkable that Bell did not push home his M. Pichot says, bis “Venuses ” in after life were corrected discovery by direct experiments on the sensibility of the by ruder bands than his brother John's. But we cannot, posterior root, or by other advances on the line he had like that biographer, class him with the martyø of science. marked out. But he disliked the torturing of animals; bis Honour, not profit, is her true reward; and Bell obtained the own mind, so long intent on what after all is but the opening former, though, mainly through want of worldly wisdom and chapter of the subject, was satisfied; and we think that in tact, he failed to realize the latter. Well, “ all of us cannot his exolamation about his discovery being “in anatomy,”-in do all things!" His life was pure and his actions unselfish. his anatomical inference that nerves owe their functions to the Devoted to that science which is supposed, but not always deep connexions of their roots, and not to any anatomical truly, to harden the feelings and materialize the soul, he differences in themselves,—and in his application of his dis remained to the end sensitive and devout. He never overcame coveries, mainly to a new mode of classifying the nerves into his repugnance to the repetition of experiments on living symmetrical nerves, or nerves with double roots, and super animals; he chose, indeed, rather to be satisfied with too few added nerves, or nerves with single roots, -we can perceive such experiments, and he declared, in every operation which a tendency in his mind to anatomical rather than to strictly he performed in his later years, that he still fest the same physiological research. Be this as it may, he left a rich nervous sense of responsibility, and the same dislike of inflict. harvest of knowledge in his own particular field to be ing pain as on the first occasion. Anatomy and physiology to reaped by a long list of distinguished successors, some of him were not merely sciences, they were insights into the whom are living amongst us. He had done enough for " any works of our common Maker; and although he knew and one man." He had pioneered a road through an hitherto keenly felt,—and often bitterly expressed the feeling,--that unexplored region of discovery; and Providence, it would his merits were not fully estimated in his own time, and that seem, does not intend that all the secrets of nature shall be such worldly success as he had pictured in early life had not unlocked by the “open sesame" of any one individual. attended his labours, yet he was at heart a kindly disposed
We must pass briefly over the floundering attempts of M. man, and was thoroughly imbued with Christian faith.
STREET LANGUAGE.* pretensions of the foreign sarant, and the bitter contests to which all this led ;-remarking, however, that to Bell's almost HOWEVER we may affect to close our eyes to the fact, all those culpable hesitation and delay in making generally known his of us who live in large cities live in an atmosphere of street valuable experiments, and his want of boldness in announcing language which few of us can understand. We are surthe legitimate inferences from them, those unworthy dis” rounded by people who converse in a strange tongue; and we putes were mainly due. From 1811, when he distributed find that many words and phrases are constantly coming up his private pamphlet, to 1821, when he read his memoir to from the kitchen and taking their places in our drawingthe Royal Society, was too long a period for any such dis. rooms with the choicest diction of the schools. Setting covery to be allowed to be neglected by its own author.
aside street tramps and vagabonds, who have certain hieroNeither can we find space to explain at length Charles glyphics which serve them as a secret medium of communi. Boll's very ingenious and interesting views as to the special cation with each other, thore are nearly one hundred thousand character of his so-called superadded or respiratory nerves, costermongers and street hawkers, in and about London and of the respiratory tracts of the nervous centres with alone, who are striving, day by day, to get an honest living, which they are connected; more especially since,-though he and who converse in & cant language which is known as hinsself dwelt greatly on them in his Anatomy Of Erpression; peculiar terms and idioms, the meaning of which can be
back slang." In their playful moments they indulge in and Abernethy, in his blunt way, expressed the general opinion of his contemporaries by writing," what stupid chaps we have all been not to think of this before,”-it has been | J.C. Hotten. Second Edition. 1860.
• Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words; with a Vegabondi Map. London :
partly guessed by the uninitiated, if not thoroughly under. are many more yet remaining to be searched out, explained, stood ; but in their business moments, when the price of a and arranged. cargo of fruit or the result of a day's hawking has to be con- Another genteel piece of street “chaff” is to ask a person veyed to a fellow-costermonger, they invariably make use of "how he is off for soap ?” when you are inquiring as to the their secret language, or back slang. The principle of con- amount of money he may have in his pocket. If the person struction in this language is very soon explained. With a spoken to is in no humour to be trifled with, he will tell the few unimportant exceptions, every word is pronounced back: inquirer to “ shut up;” but if he is communicative, and not wards; and man becomes "nam," and woman, “namow.” very well off in purse, he will say he is “out of coals.” There is another variation of secret street language, known When a street boy alludes to the policeman as a man who has as the rhyming slang, which is chiefly confined to street beg. "boned the goose,” he expresses his contempt for the whole gars and vagabonds. In this jargon, “split pea" stands for constabulary force, and uses an old English verb at the same tea," turtle doves” for a pair of gloves, and " sugar and time.
When, in modern street language, people speak of honey" for money. A certain amount of education, fancy, “making no bones” of a matter, or say a thing is "crack" and rhyming power may be observed in this branch of slang, when thoy mean that it is excellent, or speak of " cracking it which originated with that class of street beggars who up” when they talk of praising it, they are using nothing but sing ballads or deliver orations and last dying speeches in the old English words and phrases that were once fashionable and public thoroughfares, and who are known by the technical respectable, but which have now fallen into polite disuse. In names of chaunters and patterers. There is another kind of calling a cunning trick "an artful dodge," the street boys are slang, callod marowskying, under which, by a slight transpo. employing language that comes from the Anglo-Saxon; and sition of the initial letters of each word, a pint of stout when they say“ they have got a person's dander up," and mean becomes a "stint of pout," and a mutton chop a “chutton mop.” that they have annoyed him, they adopt an old English and This perversion of language originated with a class consi. not a modern American phrase. A "fabbergasted party" derably above the costermonger, but it has obtained no per- (or astonished person); “hold your gab” (be quiet); " you're manent footing where slang is popular.
doing it gingerly” (doing it carefully); "its clean gone;" “it The language of slang proper is of considerable antiquity. won't fadge" (it won't do); “make him buckle under;" It may be traced upwards through the Gipsies into the dim. “.
‘pepper him well;" "two of a kidney;" "a jolly lark;" mest regions of our history; and it is known in Germany, "bung it over" (give it over); "a pretty pickle;" ' a crusty Italy, France, Spain, Finland, and South Africa, as well as party” (an ill-tempered person), are all phrases that are now in England. Our literature can boast more than a hundred only popular in the streets, but which have once seen better recoguised books which treat of this subject; and in the days in old English palaces and mansions. description of England three centuries ago, prefixed to Hol. It must not be supposed that street chaff is the only modern linshed's Chronicle, the writer, speaking of beggars and conversational vehicle for the use of slang words and idioms, Gipsies, says, “ they have devised a language among them. There is a workman's slang, a shopkeeper's slang, and a selves which they name canting, but others pedlars' money and civic slang, embodying many technical terms that Frenche.”
are peculiar to certain trades and businesses. There is a We are indebted to the Gipsies, the Hindoos, and the Per. literary slang, a theatrical slang, a legal slang, and an univer. sians, for such familiar terms as “bosh," dadi,” or sity slang, almost as difficult to understand, by those who are "daddy;" "mul," to spoil; “pal," a brother; "rig," a per. uninitiated, as the back-slang of the costermonger or the chaff formanse;" mami," or mammy;" and "cheese," an article of the streets. There is a parliamentary slang, a military or thing.
slang, a dandy slang, and a fashionable slang, besides many There is a wonderful elasticity or figurative expressiveness other class slangs that are continually inserting words into about street slang, and what is called "street chaff,” irre. the recognised body of our language. What is slang in one spective of any antiquity or philological interest that may age becomes fashionable minted language in another, or else give them a value in the eyes of the learned. Any man who dies out of use altogether. Even names of persons are not has travelled about London with his ears open as well as his free from slangy twists in pronunciation; and Cowper (in eyes, must often have been amused with little word.combats fashionable life) becomes Cooper; Mr. Carew, Mr. Carey; between rival omnibus conductors, coalheavers, and luggage- Ponsonby, Punsunby; Eyre, Aire; Powell, Poel; Teague, waggon drivers, potboys and cabmen, or costermonges and Tighe; Cholmondeley, Chumley; Majoribanks, Marchbanks ; sharp errand boys.
St. John, Sinjon; and Derby, Darby. “Bill," an omnibus conductor will say, as he passes a rival In the slang of the workshop, workmen are called “ brother vehicle, "bow's your mother ?”
chips ;" they dine at "slap bang" shops, and are often paid “Go an' put your 'ed in a bag,” is the polite response. at “tommy shops.” Their salary is a screw," and when
“Hallo!” replies the first conductor, "go home an' tell they are discharged they "get the sack.” They call themyour mother to chain up ugly!”
selves “hands” and their labour "elbow grease;" and when “Does your mother know you're out ?” asks the second they leave work they “knock off.” conductor, his voice fast fading in the distance.
In the slang of the shop, an industrious man is a “pushing “She does,” shouts his tormentor, as loudly as his lungs tradesman;" a forced sale is an “awful” or an "alarming will allow him, “an' she's sold 'er mangle.”
sacrifice;” much business is called “a roaring trade;" credit This last remark has very littlo reference to the previous is called “tick;" a creditor is "taken in" or "let in ;” a conversation, but it is a move in advance ; and if the second tailor is known as a "sufferer;" and a failure is "bu'sting conductor had been within hearing, it would have taken a up” or “going to pot.” well-known reply completely out of his mouth.
In the money-market a “bear" is a speculator, in the “Sam," a cabman will say to a companion when his horse slang of the Stock Exchange, who “operates” for a fall; begins to show a falling off in appetite, “my old mare's orf and a “bull” is another speculator, who “operates” for & 'er feed."
rise in the funds. A stock-jobber who cannot pay his debts “Go on,” the other cabman will say, “ your mother's orf is called a "lame duck," and one hundred thousand pounds 'er feed;” which means that he prides himself upon know. sterling is known as a "plum.” Money itself has between ing the condition of the animal much better than its master one and two hundred slang words applied to it. Amongst does.
stiff” for bills of exchange, rags" for bank It will be seen from this that a good deal is made out of notes, and " brads, chips, dust, feathers, haddock, horsenails, allusions to each other's mothers, but it must not be supposed rhino, pewter, and needful,” for metal coin. Each coin has that street chaff is by any means limited to variations on this its long and particular list of slang equivalents, amongst the one phrase. Its vocabulary is rich in words and idioms, even most popular of which are, " fiddles" for a farthing, "brown" without including the overflowing dictionary of slang. With for halfpenny, “copper” for a penny, "deuce” for twopence, regard to this latter, the excellent little work compiled by “thrumg" for threepence, “ Joey” for a fourpenny-piece, Mr. Hotten has just added three thousand words in regular" kick” for a sixpence,“ bob" for a shilling, "half-a-bull”
Vr to this irregular excrescence of our language, and there for half-a-crown, a “ bull" or a "cart-wheel" for a five.
shilling piece," half a couter " for half a sovereign, and a Dargle, county of Wicklow, and devoted himself to the edu. “ quid" for a pound.
cation of his two sons. In the slang of the law a made-up balance-sheet is The condition of art in Ireland sixty years ago was not “cooked," a mortgaged property is “dipped,” a man who is very flourishing. Mr. Shee had reason in opposing the asked for payment is “dunned," a lawyer is a "limb of the desire of his son Martin to embrace the profession of a law," & counsel is a "mouthpiece," a bankruptcy is a painter. But it was before the days of Roman Catholic "smash,” and to take the benefit of the Insolvent Debtors' emancipation. There were few professions open to a member Act is to be " whitewashed.”
of that church, and young Martin accordingly, after some In military and university slang a vehicle is a " drag," a discussion, entered the school of design of a Mr. West, under dinner is a “spread” or a “feed," a friend is a “trump," a the control of the Royal Dublin Society. Old Mr. Shee died difficulty is a screw loose," a house is a “crib," a male in 1783, leaving his sons in very precarious circumstances. parent is a governor,” or the "relieving officer," and empty Martin was received into the house of an aunt, but one day, on wine-bottles are “ dead men,”-though they often tell tales. being cruelly reminded of his dependency, he determined
The slang of Parliament would fill a volume, and might thenceforward to support himself, took a very humble lodging, very properly comprise a great number of those phrases and earned his first ten-and-sixpence by painting the figures on which express the absurd and antiquated forms of the House. the face of a clock. He soon after acquired fame by some clever
From this it will be seen that slang is not by any means crayon portraits, life-size-a style then much in vogue,-and confined to what are called the lower orders of society. If moved to fashionable apartments in Dame-street, Dublin. thieving and tramping have their technical terms, so also has He now attracted considerable attention, and before he was every other exclusive calling, class, or profession. Many of seventeen was in full occupation. His oil paintings, which he the purely modern slang expressions, belonging strictly to first commenced about this time, brought him still more into the streets, may certainly claim to carry away the prize for notice, and he received a silver palette from the Dublin figurative poetry of expression. “ Canister-cap" for one of Society, in token of their approbation of his pictures. our modern hats is very happily descriptive of a detested In 1788 he arrived in London, and took lodgings in Southarticle of clothing. “Choker” is another instance of the ampton-street, Strand. He was armed with letters of introsame kind, which has obtained a world-wide acceptance as a duction, many of which proved as abortive as such letters recognised term for a cravat. “Chariot-buzzing” for pick usually are, and some were found among his papers at his ing pockets in an omnibus is another happy phrase, and death, sixty-two years afterwards, undelivered and unopened. " loblolly" for gruel seems to lie upon the tongue like that Soon after his arrival he writes :particularly solid liquid. “Leg it" is not a bad equivalent
“I have been to wait on Sir Joshua Reynolds, and was received, for run; and “swaddy " for a soldier is an excellent term, as I was taught to expect, with much politeness, but nothing when we consider the way in which he is bandaged under more. Indeed, from several questions he asked me, I am apt to the Horse Guards' clothing system.
imagine he had very little, if any, acquaintance with the General We might multiply instances of this kind, if we thought Cuninghame who gave me the note to him. He showed me a very proper, as the slang dictionary is rich in such materials for fine historical picture he has painted, -the Death of Cardinal
Beaufort, from the play of Henry VI. He is certainly altogether those who will search for them. Without professing any par- the best painter now living, and is considered as such here.” ticular sympathy with street tramps and thieves, it is well, perhaps, to consider whether some of these phrases cannot be
In another letter he makes mention of another artist :sifted from the mass of rubbish and vulgarity which surrounds “I have been introduced to Mr. Opie, who is in manners and them, and incorporated at once with the recognised body of appearance as great a clown and as stupid a looking fellow as our language.
ever I set my eyes on. Nothing but incontrovertible proof of the fact could force me to think him capable of anything above the
sphere of a journeyman carpenter, so little, in this instance, has LIFE OF SIR MARTIN ARCHER SHEE.* nature proportioned exterior grace to inward worth. He approved Poor Gilbert Stuart Newton declared that the election of a be glad to see me any time at all. I intend calling on him occa
of my copy, and told me, to use his own expression, that he would president of the Royal Academy would be determined by the sionally, for I know him to be a good painter, and, notwithstandtest of “who wore hair powder.” And certainly some such ing appearances are so much against him, he is, I am told, a most condition as this seems indispensable in the appointment of sensible and learned man.” such officers. Is it not required that the Speaker of the
With Edmund Burke, Shee was distantly connected by marHouse of Commons should be a tall man with an aquiline nose? riage, and he was fond and proud of relating the friendly Have not chancellors been nominated solely on the ground reception accorded him by the great master spirit.
"Never that they looked, wise ? Is it not always the biggest super. shall I forget the flood of eloquence which poured from his numerary who is entrusted with the raising of the stage lips, as, while holding my hand and pressing it with affecbanner? Do not the army and the volunteers ever dress tionate cordiality, he expatiated in glowing terms on the their ranks with the tallest and showiest of their men on the claims and glories of the art to which I was about to devote outside ? Deportment is a great power. For a president of myself, and sought to kindle my ardour by the prospects of painters it has always been felt that a gentleman was more fame and distinction that might be the reward of my exernecessary than a genius So the late Sir Martin Archer tions in the honourable career which lay before me.” Shee was president of the Royal Academy from 1830 to 1850, What was perhaps of greater importance to the young and wore hair-powder, and was very bland and suare, painter than these fine periods, was a second introduction, genial and gentlemanly, a pleasant speaker, painting por- through Burke, to Sir Joshua. The reception accorded on traits ; and at his death a very great artist, named Turner, this occasion was much more urbane and warm than before. was passed over, and a certain courtly Sir Charles Eastlake Shee was invited to breakfast, and to bring with him some succeeded to the office.
effort of his pencil for examination and discussion. Sir The late president was born in Dublin, on the 20th of Joshua quietly but decidedly applauded the work. He put December, 1769, of a family claiming descent from one of the away his ear-trumpet, -he seems to have made rather his. old royal houses of Ireland, -a not singular claim with an trionic play with that instrument, snatching it up and reIrish family. The father, George Shee, a merchant, was suming the look of doubt and appearance of deafness, when afflicted with blindness, brought on by injudicious cupping. a third person entered the room,-encouraged the young He married, notwithstanding his infirmity, a Miss Archer, of painter to persevere in his exertions, ending with a recomgreat personal attractions, and many years his junior. After mendation that he should at once obtain admission as a giving birth to four children, two only of whom survived student of the Royal Academy. To Shee, who fancied that infancy, Mrs. Shee died of consumption. The blind father he had quite done with the status pupillaris, this was a little then wound up his affairs, retired to a small cottage near galling, but he wisely followed the counsel of the oracle, and,
in 1790, was admitted as a student of the Academy. With a • The Life of Sir Martin Archer Shee, President of the Roxal Academy. P.R.8, companion in the Life School he commenced an acquaintance
By his Son, MARTIN ARCHER Surx, of the Middle Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Loudon : Longmans,
which ripened subsequently into great friendship. This was