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352

THE ESSENCE OF ANECDOTE AND WIT.

Essence of anecdote and adlit. supposed it would end at last in not

dining " till to-morrow!" Argument for a week, Laughter for a montb, and a good Jest for ever.”-Shakspeare.

A HISSING HOT MISTAKE. JOSEPH II.

Mad. Linguet was an actress of the The Emperor Joseph II. of Austria, Italian theatre in Paris: her husband,

who was cashier to the theatre, emwhen travelling, having reached a stage before he was expected, found no horses ployed a párty to hiss every actress but

Madame Linguet, and to applaud her to prepared. The post-inaster, not recognising the emperor, begged the gentle. the skies; this went on famously for man to wait the return of his horses,

some time, till the secret was found out because they were all sent out to fetch by a sad mistake : Linguet, in his in

structions to the inen, said, 6 To-morbis friends and relations invited to the christening of a son, whith whom his

row night you must hiss the first actress wife had just presented him. Joseph

who appears, and applaud the secondoffered to stand godfather, and the post- the first, and applaud the second."

now, mind you make no inistake, hiss master thought the strange gentleman would be a inore eligible godfather than They obeyed orders; but, unfortunately his cousin, the farmer, . who was ex

for Madame Linguet, the play was pected. The ceremony commenced, the changed, and in the new piece she appriest required the name of the godfa. peared first, when she was completely ther. *Joseph !” said the stranger.

bissed, to the great amusement of all

the audience, Monsieur Linguet, to Josephi--and your family name?'.: Joseph is enough.”_" Joseph and be revenged, ran off

' with all the money nothing else ?" said the priest. — Well, of the theatre in his hands, and touk put Joseph the Second._"Well, Jo- refuge in the Temple, then an asylum seph II. but what is your condition, pro

where a person could not be arrested. fession, employ, or occupation ?"". Say,” replied the unkuown Joseph II.

LA FONTAINE. Emperor;. Here the priest and the

When one of his operas was per. assistants turned pale. The post-mas- formed at Paris, La Fontaine was found te: fell. at his feet; and the emperor sleeping in a coffee-room by one of his consoled them for their fright, by leave

friends, “ Bless me!" said he," "low ing proofs of his generosity, and a pro- happens it that you are not at the mise not to forget his godson.

Opera? They are performing your drama.”

“Ok! I did go," replied La SEEING NOT BELIEVING. Fontaine, . " and I staid through the

first act; but it was so tireome I could The Abbé Reynier was making a col- bear it no longer.” lection at the French Academy to defray, the funeral expences of one of their CORRESPONDENTS. members. A pistole was to be collected from each person : one of the academi

We have to request that all letters cians, who might have served as a type, should be post-paid, and addressed to or at least a copy, of Moliere's "Miser,' the Editor only. We are sorry to be slid his money into the abbé's hat with. obliged to 'return to the post-offee out his perceiving it: he therefore asked the piles of letters which every week him agaiu for his contribution; the miser

are sent to us not paid, we therefore protested he had already given. “I believe it, Sir,” said Reynier, “but I unanswered, and who are always com

apprise our Correspondents who remain did not see it.”—“I," said Mr. de plaining, that we have never seen their Fontenelle, saw without believing it.” Cominunications, and unless they follow

ibis rule now laid down, it is likely we SAM ROGERS,

never will see them. On being told it was the fashion to dine later and later every day, said, he

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London:-Printed for William Carlton Wright, 65, Paternoster Row,

and may be had of all Booksellers and Newsmen.

The Portfolio,

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Comprising
I. THE FLOWERS OF LITERATURE, I. Tie SPIRIT OF THE MAGAZINES,

III. THE WONDERS OF NATURE AND ART,
IV. THE ESSENCE OF ANECDOTE AND WIT. V. THE DOMESTIC GUID

VI. THE MECHANICS' ORACLE.

(28.

No.CVII. Cor. mor ) FURMING ALSO No. 124 of the HIVE.

LONDON, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1825.
CUSTOM HOUSE OF THE PORT OF

Jay LONDON,
ON nie

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Custom House of the Port of London ..

History of the building............
Method of Security

Détail of the Accident
Account of the first translation of Gulli-

ver's Travels into French, by the

Abbe Desfontaines
Daughter of Lord Byron ..............

Miseries of an Orthoepist..............
Sunday in Paris
- Sayings apd Doings ....

The Man with inany Friends......

Contents.
353 Chronology for the Year 1824 .......... 364
ib. Meeting the Same People.

385
351 Curious Coincidence of Artists' Names,
355
with their Subjects...

366 How to make a Leg of Multon last a Week

30S 356

Anecdote of Louis XIV................. ib. Henry IV. .......

ib. 857

The Compliment repaid .... ib. 358

a Remedy for Grief......... ib. 361

the Late Queen ......... ib. ib,

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the building was completed in 1817. By CUSTOM HOUSE OF THE PORT consulting Mr. David Laing's architecOF LONDON.

tural plans and descriptions of the New Including a History of the Building- Custom House of London, it appears

method of security-and a detail of that borings being taken about the site, the lale accident.

the ground was found to consist of a

stratum of gravel, which it was at first deHISTORY OF THE BUILDING.

signed to pile throughout the foundation. Thus handsome and commodious build-,

But this plan seems not to have been ing was erected eight years ago. The carried fully into effect-the piling befirst stone was laid Oct. 25, 1813; and `ing inore partial than was originally inVOL. IV.

z

354

CUSTOM-HOUSE OF THE PORT OF LONDON.

tended. On this partial piling, in a soil has opened at the end of the rafters, and by no means tenacious, ihe walls and shows a rent of half an inch in width, piers, footed on wood, were founded, for 30 or 40 feet in length, on this light and the fabric reared up. But not long parapet-wall on the roof. after it was finished, the floor of the In the eastern quarter of the cellar, long-room was perceived to settle, and two of the pillars have settled several continued to do so, until a few weeks feet; the pillars above, and dependent ago it was thought necessary to support on them, in the King's warehouse, this floor by shoring under the groins of have, of course, followed them in their the arches in the cellars: but this predescent, aud brought down the arches, caution did not answer the desired pur- along with that part of the floor of the pose, for part of the floor of the long long-room that has fallen in. The side room fell in, on the 26th of January, walls in the wings of the Custom which drew my attention to the spot, House (through which light is given and induced me to visit that building to the anti-rooms that look into the every day since.

By examining the wells), are all twisted a little or bulg. whole fabric with care and attention, I ed out, most likely from the less care perceive that the pillars in the cellars, that has been taken to found them than under the long-room, have all settled, to found the outer walls ; but these more or less. These pillars are, indeed, courts, or these well-walls, are in no so narrow at the base, that they seem danger at present, although the corribetter calculated to stamp themselves dors 'adjoining them are a little rent. into the earth, like a die into metal, than The north side of the building, and the to be supported by the materials under gable-end walls, show no infirmity but them. This depression of the pillars has what may have been original; nor does brought the weight of all the brick-work any other part of the building appear to of the arches of both the cellar, the have settled or given way in the least. King's warehouse, and the stone-floor The quay adjoining the river is also fair of the long-room, 190 feet by 60 feet, and firm. upon the surrounding walls. The partition walls on the East and West ends of

METHOD OF SECURITY. the long-room, being supported by the An artist of known talent states it other parts of the building, have stood practicable to repair and secure the the pressure; but the South wall having building as it now stands, without reno support, except its own weight, has moving either walls or flonrs; and to perceptibly bulged out, and not only accomplish this by undersetting the pilrent the arches next the South wall of lars with inverted arches, and by bra. both the cellars and King's warehouse, cing in the walls that are out of place, for a space of many feet, but it has also or liable to go out of place, by the drawn out with it (most likely by the tension of iron braces, to be passed connection of the iron stay crossing un- through and through the building. And der the long-room floor,) the opposite to this end I should urge that by '

no wall, and made a rent in the floor of the means the arches so firmly concentrated long passage, which is on the same line be taken down, for some of them, now in as the long-room floor. It has also rent, the act of being removed, I am perfor a number of yards, the corridors suaded are as secure as they can possiabove. These effects are not only, I be bly be made, and much more firm than lieve, entirely occasioned by the yielding they will be when replaced. of the piers and the pressure of the above I should suggest that, in the first named arches, but increased by the place, two new piers be built, firmly weakness of the girders of the whole of and securely founded on the site of the the roofing over the long-room. These two that have given way. Secondly, girders are by no means deficient in that the ground be trenched, longitudiquantity of timber, but the manner and nally, to the width of six feet, and to the method of cutting, framing, and tying to depth of the original foundation, in the the walls, does not give strength and line of the piers, the whole length of the support equal to the quantity of materials cellars under the King's warehouse. used. [See Laing's Architecture, p. 22 The bottom of the trench I would cover and 25, plates 27 and 28.] Hence the with strong terrace mortar and hard framing, or girders, of the domes, have burnt bricks, making insets on both expanded laterally, by the weight of sides, as this new foundation wall rises, timber, &c. above, so as to thrust out until its breadth be reduced to the diWard, by the lateral pressure, both the ameter of the pillars. On this wall I front wall and the upper part of the would found inverted arches, bringing back parapet-wall, the latter of which their feet upward against the cap-stones

DETAIL OF THE ACCIDENT.

CUSTOM HOUSE OF THE PORT OF LONDON. 385 of the pillars, building all the way with quently lose their pernicious and underterrace mortar, which will set as hard mining influence. as stone. The whole of the pillars being 'thus supported, longitudiually, the planking on which the original piers On the 26th of January the long are planted, if decayed, as report says

room at the Custom House gave way, to be the case, could then be removed, by which accident all business was susand the pillars' erected anew. The pended during the day, but we are whole could then be further supported happy to state that no lives were lost. by another series of inverted arches, The round table in the middle of the similar to the above, placed tranversely room entirely disappeared, which caused between each pillar, and crossing the a general consternation. former at right angles. The timber -The rooms contiguous to the one beneath the foundation of the outer which gave way shook tremendously, só walls, if found to be decayed, could much so that the persons who were in be then removed by little and little, and them imagined that the whole building its place filled up with stones or bricks, was coming down. Fortunately the covering a larger breadth of surface brokers who attend in the long room than before, for the walls to rest upon. had not arrived, or they would inevita

Thirdly, that the extreme walls of the bly have been precipitater with it, as sebuildings be braced together with iron veral of their desks fell with the floor. braces in the manner following :-) Immense crowds immediately collected, should make use of four or more straps and strong apprehensions were enteror braces of iron on the level of the tained for the safety of the remainder floor of the long-room, one at each 'ex of this magnificent building. The tremity, and two others or inore, equally greatest agitation and alarm prevailed spaced, between them. And contigu- in the neighbourhood during the day. ous to the walls, at each end of the room. It was reported that a man had lost his I would pass through and through the life, but we have every reason to believe building, like the former, from the back that is not the fact. Mr. Wilkinson, à to front, another strap or brace of iron clerk in the Warrant-office, had a narat the altitude of the floor vext above row escape ; he clung to his desk until the floor of the long-room; and four he was extricated froin his perilous sitother braces, of a similar kind, and in a uation. Mr. Smirke, the architect, was similar direction from north to south, in attendance immediately after the acthrough the building. I should place cident, and as soon as the Commissioners about the altitude of the lower part of arrived they constituted a Board, at the domes, one betwixt each dome, and which that gentleman attended. The one against the wall of the long-room, Secretary of the Customs was present, on the outward verges of the extreme and issued orders for the entrances to domes. These braces should all be be closed, and adopted measures for the inade of iron, so stout that they would security of the official docuinents of the not be liable to stretch, perhaps best of house. Strong parties of police were cast-iron, and they should all pass in attendance, to keep off the crowd quite through and through the building, and protect the property. horizontally, embracing the opposite We understand that the cause of the walls at the two fronts of the building, accident has arisen from there not being and could be drawn up to any pitch by sufficient caution used in framing the screws or lockings, so as not only to tie footing of the piers which receive the the extreme walls effectually together, ground arches in the King's Warehouse. but to bring the walls, now slightly The injury sustained is of so serious a distorted, into place again.

nature, that the business has been sús. Lastly, I would successively excavate pended in that part of the building, and the portions of earth that remained' un will take some time to repair; the exdisturbed amid the inverted 'archespense will be very great. down to the bed of those arches, and On the flooring giving way, the conwould fill up the space occupied thereby sternation became general, and each with: shingle, mixed with stone lime. person seized his books and securities, By this process, 'the penetration of the and conveyed them to the lobbies ad high tides, and action of land' springs, joining. Between three and four hun. said to percolate the earth on which the dred tons of stones, bricks, and rubbish, building is founded, (and if soit doubtless fell upon the top of the King's waremust, by loosening the ground, have house, which instantly gave way, and been chiefly instrumental in the damage the whole went through to the foundathat has been sustained,) would subse. tion of the building. In the King's

warehouse and the cellaring, from 40 to taking such measures as shall occasion 50 clerks and laborers' were employed, no further stoppage of the business than and so sudden and unexpected was the may be indispensably necessary; and fall of the flooring, &c. that they had until further orders, the Board directs scarcely time to escape; but the only the long room to be closed, giving acinjury sustained was by one of the labor. cess only to such officers and clerks as ers, who received a severe blow from a may be desirous of removing their books brick on the head; the force and weight and papers, (Signed) W. B. of the rubbish were so great, that two of the principal pillars in the east cellar were completely forced away from their position. The outer walls of the building ap

ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST TRANSLATION pear to be very firm, but the foundation

or GULLIVER'S TRAVELS INTO FRENCH, having given way some time since, pre

BY THE 'ABBE DESFONTAINES. parations had been made for securing it. “VOLTAIRE, who was at this time in An immense quantity of timber has late England, spread their fame among his ly been brought to the Custom-house correspondents in France, and recomWharf for that purpose, and in a few mended a translation. The Abbé Des. days the alterations were to have coin fontaines undertook the task, but with so menced. It is a fortunate circumstance many doubts, apprehensions, and apothat the accident occurred so early in logies, as make his introduction a curis the morning; for, had it happened in ous picture of the mind and opinions of the middle of the day, when the long a French man of letters. He admits, room is frequently crowded with inen of that he was conscious of offending abusiness, the loss of lives would, no gainst rules; and, while he modestly doubt, have been very great.

craves some mercy for the prodigious At the time of the accident there was fictions which he had undertaken to a number of workmen employed in the clothe in the French language, he cou. King's warehouse, just below that part fesses, that there were passages at of the long room, making repairs which which his pen escaped his hand, from were some time ago found necessary, actual horror and astonishment at the and, by the fortunate warning of a daring violation of all critical decorun; cracking above their heads, they had then he becomes alarined, lest some of but just time to escape, when the pon. Swift's political satire might be applied derous roof fell in, and left a chasm of to the Court of Versailles, and protests about one-third of the long room. The with much circumlocution, that it only arches lucki'y gave way in the centre, concerns the Toric and Wigts, as he is and left the sides firm, over which the pleased to term them, of the factious clerks' desks were placed, so as to leave kingdom of Britain. Lastiy, he assures them untouched, but withiri two feet of his readers, that not only has be changed the precipice. As soon as the Commis, many of the incidents, to accommodate sioners arrived, nearly one hundred men them to the French taste, but, moreover, were instantly set to work in shoring up they will not be annoyed, in his transla. the remaining arches.

tion, with the nautical details, and The pier in the cellars, underneath minute particulars, so offensive in the the King's warehouse, it is said, las original. Notwithstanding all this af. sunk nearly three feet. The King's fectation of superior taste and refinewarehouse contained no goods of value, ment, the French translation is very they having been removed when the re tolerable. It is true, the Abbé Desfonpairs were first thought necessary; for taines indemnified himself and the The same reason the cellars (the recep. French public, by writing a continuatacle for wet goods) were also empty. tion of the Travels, in a style, as way The following notice was posted upon easily be conceived, very different from the doors :

that of the original." At the Board, Jan. 26, 1825. “ In consequence of a part of the

DAUGHTER OF LORD BYRON. the floor, at the east end of the long The Greek Government has sentorer room, having given way this morning, two letters, addressed to the daughter the Board direct the Bench Officers to of Lord Byron, giving an account of her make such arrangements for the conduct father's death, and of the services he of the business, as under the circum had rendered Greece, and declaring that stances they may deem expedient, rely- Greece will consider her as its owu ing upon their zeal and intelligenc- for child.

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