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having had their hour of notoriety, are confounded and lost in the military crowd. The colonel sets his whole regiment in motion; and, mounted on a mettlesome charger, frisks, and fidgets, and capers, and plunges, in front, to the great entertainment of the multitude, and the great hazard of himself and his neighbours. Having displayed himself, his trappings, his horse, and his horsemanship, he at length arrives at the place of general rendezvous, blessed with the universal admiration of his country-women. I should, perhaps, mention a squadron of hardy veterans, most of whom have seen a deal of service during the nineteen or twenty years of their existence, and who, most gorgeously equipped in tight green jackets and breeches, trot, and amble, and gallop, and scamper, like little devils through every street, and nook, and corner, and poke-hole, of the city, to the great dread of all old people, and sage matrons with young children. This is truly sublime ! This is what I call making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Oh, my friend, on what a great scale is every thing in this country. It is in the style of the wandering Arabs of the desert El-Tih. Is a village to be attacked, or a hamlet to be plundered, the whole desert, for weeks before hand, is in a buz;—such marching and counter-marching, ere they can concentrate their ragged forces and the consequence is, that before they can bring their troops into action, the whole enterprize is blown.

The army being all happily collected on the battery, though, perhaps, two hours after the time appointed, it is now the turn of the bashaw with two tails to distinguish himself. Ambition, my friend, is implanted alike in every heart, it pervades each bosom, from the bashaw to the drummajor. This is a sage truism, and I trust, therefore, it will not be disputed. The bashaw, fired with that thirst for glory inseparable from the noble mind, is anxious to reap a full share of the laurels of the day, and bear off his portion of female plunder. The drums beat, the fifes whistle, the standards wave proudly in the air. The signal is given ! thunder roars the cannon !-away goes the bashaw, and away go the tails. The review finished, evolutions and military manoeuvres are generally dispensed with, for three excellent reasons ; first, because the army knows very little about them ; second, because, as the country has determined to remain always at peace, there is no necessity for them to know any thing about them; and, third, as it is growing late, the bashaw must despatch, or it will be too dark for him to get his quota of the plunder. He, of course, orders the whole army to march ; and now, my friend, now comes the tug of war,—now is the city completely sacked. Open fly the battery-gates, forth sallies the bashaw with his two tails, surrounded by a shouting body-guard of boys and negroes ! Then pour forth his legions, potent as the pismires of the deserts ! The customary salutations of the country commence; those tokens of joy and admiration which so much annoyed me on first landing : the air is darkened with old hats, shoes, and dead cats, they fly in showers like the arrows of the Parthians. The soldiers, no way disheartened, like the intrepid followers of Leonidas, march gallantly under their shade. On they push, splash-dash, mud or no mud. Down one lane, up another,-the martial music resounds through every street,—the fair ones throng to their windows,

-the soldiers look every way but straight forward. “ Carry arms !” cries the bashaw,-"tantara-ra-ra," brays the trumpet,—“ rub-a-dub," roars the drum,“ hurraw," shout the ragamuffins. The bashaw smiles with exultation,-every fag-rag feels himself a hero :—“None but the brave deserve the fair !” Head of the immortal Amrou, on what a great scale is every thing in this country.

Aye, but you will say, is not this unfair that the officers should share all the sports while the privates undergo all the fatigue ? Truly, my friend, I indulged the same idea, and pitied, from my heart, the poor fellows who had to drabble through the mud and the mire, toiling under ponderous cocked hats, which seemed as unwieldly and cumbrous as the shell which the snail lumbers along on his back. I soon found out, however, that they have their quantum of notoriety. As soon as the army is dismissed, the city swarms with little scouting parties, who fire off their guns at every corner, to the great delight of all the women and children in their vicinity; and woe unto any dog, or pig, or hog, that falls in the way of these magnanimous warriors ;—they are shewn no quarter. Every gentle swain repairs to pass the evening at the feet of his Dulcinea, to play “the soldier tired of war’s alarıns,” and to captivate her with the glare of his regimentals, excepting some ambitious heroes, who strut to the theatre, flame away in the front boxes, and hector every old apple-woman in the lobbies.

Such, my friend, is the gigantic genius of this nation, and its faculty of swelling up nothings into importance. Our bashaw of Tripoli will review his troops of some thousands, by an early hour in the morning. Here a review of six hundred men is made the mighty work of a day! With us a bashaw of two tails is never appointed to a command of less than ten thousand men; but here we behold every grade, from the bashaw down to the drum-major, in a force of less than one-tenth of the number. By the beard of Mahomet, but every thing here is indeed on a great scale !

ANTIQUITY OF RINGS.

Rings, says the acute and learned Whitaker, are derived to us from a custom, as universal as the love of ornament among the nations of the earth, and common to the Romans, the Gauls, and the Britons; while the mode of wearing them is wholly Roman among us at present, and has always been so since the Roman conquest. This we may collect from several circumstances, little in themselves, independent of each other, but uniting in one testimony. The Romans wore rings even so familiarly upon their thumbs, that, among many evidences of the bodily hugeness of the emperor Maximius the elder, his thumb is recorded to liave been so large as to bear upon it his queen's right hand bracelet for a ring. We correspondently find“ upon rebuilding the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, by King Henry III.” that “ the sepulchre of Sebert, king of the East Angles, was opened, and therein was found part of his royal robes, and his thumb ring, in which was set a ruby of great value.” We also know “an alderman's thumb-ringto have been an object familiar to the eyes of Shakspeare.* This practice continued among us long after the days of Shakspeare; an alderman's thumb-ring continued to be noticed for its singularity :

*" When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist; I could have crept into an alderman's thumb-ring.

Henry IV. part i, act 11.

as late as the middle of the seventeenth century.* But the Romans also placed the ring upon one of their fingers, the large statues in bronze of emperors and empresses at Portici, having each of them a ring upon the fourth finger; and Pliny informing us “ that the custom was originally to .wear it upon the finger next to the least,” as we see in the statues of Numa and Servius Tullius. The custom of the kings was thus revived by the emperors, and continued very late. But in the interval between the revived and the original custom, the ring was put by the Romans on the fore-finger, “ the very images of the gods," says Pliny, “ carrying it on the finger next the thumb,” and a Roman monument remaining, in which a man appears actually putting a ring upon the fore-finger of a woman in the act of marrying her. We accordingly use rings upon both these fingers at present. But we denominate the fourth particularly, just as the Romans and Saxons did, the ring-finger, as being that on which the ring is placed in marriages; while the native Britons, like the Gauls, wore the ring upon the middle-finger alone, the very finger which alone was excepted by the Romans; thus, in 1012, on removing the bones of Dunstan at Canterbury, by four men who had been the depositors of his body before, in what is called a mausoleum, and who now opened it; “ they found the bones more valuable than gold and topazes, the flesh having been consumed by length of time ; and recognized that ring put upon his finger when he was committed to the grave, which he himself is reported to have made in his tender years,” The bones were then transferred to Glastonbury, and one hundred and ninety-two years afterwards again found there; the explorers coming to “ a coffin of wood, bound firmly with iron at all the joints," opening this, seeing the bones within, “ with his ring upon a particular bone of his finger; and to take away all semblance of doubt, discovering his picture witbin the coffin, the letter S, with a glory on the right side of the coffin, the letter D, with a glory on the left.” The ring was put upon the finger of a bishop at his burial, because a bishop always wore a ring in his life; and because he wore it, as Queen Elizabeth wore one through life with the same reference to kingdom, in token of his marriage to his diocese.”

* An alderman's thumb-ring is mentioned by Brome in 1640 ; in the " Northern Lass,” 1632; and in “ Wit in a Constable,” 1640.

JOCULARITY UNSUCCESSFUL.

Mr. Editor, I am a lover of fun; but, unluckily, although my whole life has been a jest, yet many of my pranks have been attended with the most serious consequences.

In my younger days, happening to kill a favourite cat belonging to a superannuated aunt, and the old Tabby dying soon afterwards, I lost all chance of my legacy.

I once habited myself in a white sheet, merely by way of laughing at the terrors my ghost-like appearance would excite in a nervous neighbour; but the joke was carried so far, that I was happy to get off by paying a swinging bill to the apothecary.

A friend lending me his horse for a day, I kept it for a month, only to divert myself with his perplexity, and ran a very near chance of being tried for horse-stealing.

Thinking it would be the drollest thing on earth to set a whole family asleep, I lately administered a copious dose of laudanum to the good people where I lodge; but, being detected, I was soundly threshed by the males, and incessantly scolded by the females.

I am the best-tempered fellow alive; but am continually engaged in broils and disturbances; for I find that though many persons enjoy the recital of a joke, nobody likes to be made the subject of one; the consequence, therefore, of my unlucky propensity is, that I have jested away all my friends and acquaintances; for whenever I speak, I am suspected of romancing ; and wherever I attempt to visit, I am never admitted, lest I should turn the company into ridicule ; yet so deeply am I infected with the joking-mania, that it was but last night I hazarded my neck, in leaping out of the one pair of stairs window of a house, where I had concealed myself for the purpose of discovering if an old miser was afraid of thieves, instead of which he pursued me with a blunderbuss.

I have run in debt for the joke's sake, and been arrested in earnest-laughed at a man with the greatest good-humonir, and been knocked down with the greatest good-will.

In short, the age is a very dull age, and either does not understand, or make sufficient allowance for the brilliant eccentricities of

FRANK WHIMSEY.

Yours,

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