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a Hundred Years Ago. [July, van and a waggon, they seem to seek greatly to be lamented that this protemporary resting places on soil which perty was not secured to the nation, and civilization has disdained to occupy. à noble walk continued from Regent's Before the Great Northern Railway Park to Hampstead Heath. Passing routed them, Battlebridge had a num- Chalk Farm on the east, let us see what ber of these tenants. A part of Lock's is doing in the fields near Kentish Town, Fields in Walworth also exhibits the through which was, a few years ago, so same phenomena. Sometimes the move. pleasant a stroll up to the Heath. It is able houses in which they live become positively distressing to behold such fixtures to the soil, and gradually ac- gigantic strides of bricks and mortar, quire a more stable foundation than but still more to perceive the reckless wheels. But there are reasons for avoid and miserable manner in which the ing this, as such dwellings are exempt ground is being laid out. Many ranges from rates. A whimsical illustration of of dwellings look as if they had been this fact occurred, but a few years ago, tumbled together by chance, or as if a in the vicinity of Dockhead. Here is a deliberate attempt at creating a very house built of wood, and on wheels. Its ugly and low district had been reingenious tenant has rendered it in ap- solved on. pearance a very comfortable lodging, Kentish Town is an old hamlet, but and the passing stranger would scarcely Camden Town, its neighbour, was bediscover its peculiar features. In an- gun in 1791, and is now of portentous swer to a summons from the parish dimensions, stretching out to shake authorities for rates, the occupant hands with Islington. The increase declared "his house was a 'wehikel,' in the last few years has been ima cart,” and to prove it, horses were mense, but in all this no ground has harnessed, and, amid a throng of ad. been set aside for public recreation, miring spectators, it was drawn down notwithstanding the enormous poputo the police office that the question lation who are interested in it, whilst might be settled. There was no gain- time goes on, and daily the chances saying a fact so palpable, it was a are passing away for any effective “wehikel" as the man asserted, and purpose. The space I have been conhe and his cart returned in triumph to sidering between Islington and Kil. its resting-place.
burn, which has been engulphed in the The Regent's Park, which occupies last century, excepting those parts apso large a space in the district under propriated to Regent's park, measures, consideration, is a great boon to the in a direct line, three miles and a half, metropolis. It has interposed a large and is rather over two in width, on gap between the increasing neighbour- the average. Thus, in this
space alone, hoods, and does its office as one of the we have nearly as much area as the great lungs to purify an atmosphere whole of London in 1766. The space tainted by the breath of so many thou- between the Edgware Road, Paddingsands. The addition of Primrose Hill ton, and Bayswater, comprising the was a good move in a good direction; district called Westbourn Grove, has but how much has been neglected been filled up quite recently, and subin this way, and how tardy has our sequently to the construction of the tergovernment been in providing those minus of the Great Western Railway. places for recreation, which are so emi. The fine ranges of mansions facing nently demanded by our social system. Hyde Park are for the most part Taking our stand' on Primrose Hill, recent, and the last remnant of the we have a glance at what is going on gardeners' grounds adjoining Baysnow in the extension of London. St. water will soon disappear altogether. John's Wood has become an immense There are similar extensions of the neighbourhood, with Portland Town metropolis throughout Kensington, contiguous to it, and we find it has Brompton, and Chelsea ; all these are now reached Kilburn on one side, and now in close union with each other, advanced within a few fields of Hamp- and all the fields in the neighbourhood stead. The grounds of Belsize House, of Pimlico, about King's Road and which lie immediately between Prim- down to the water-side, have been rose Hill and Hampstead, are now in swallowed up in the last twenty years. course of transformation, and will soon Belgravia, a low flat soil, by nature a be covered with residences : and it is marsh, but by fashion's caprice con
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verted into a chosen spot for the re- us to a fine piece of open ground adsidences of wealth and nobility, serves joining the Islington Cattle Market. I to unite in a compact mass the former regret to say this will soon be covered outlying hamlets before enumerated. with dwellings, and then this increasing The Five Fields," behind Bucking- neighbourhood will be as distant from ham Palace and Knightsbridge, was a walk into fields as any part of Lonan open space of considerable extent don in 1750. This supineness on the until the neighbourhood formed by part of the government, and perhaps Belgrave Square arose, and gradually of the people themselves, is the more closed up the whole space between the lamentable, as the district, I am now Palace and Brompton.
speaking of, has had around it many It is impossible in so superficial a pieces of land very suitable in position glance as space condemns me to, to for public purposes, although not sufconvey a very accurate or perfect idea ficient in size to be elevated to the of London's extension in every direc- dignity of a park. tion. On the Surrey side it has filled Further east the same story of ex. up all the vacant space between Kent tension must be told. The Tower Street and Newington and Walworth; Hamlets have closed up, and become for gardeners' grounds in my recol- compact; Spitalfields has long ceased lection lay between Kent Street and to have a green blade; and the time the New Kent Road. The latter had does not appear to be distant when the no dwellings at the time of our map, river Lee will be the eastern boundary and but few until within the last fifty of the metropolis. It is fortunate for years, and the Old Kent Road had but the inhabitants of this part of London, a very few scattered buildings here and for a still increasing neighbourand there. Now, all the intervening hood, that Victoria Park has been space (vacant in 1766) between Vaux- formed; but it is to be regretted that hall and Kennington, Kennington and it is not at a less distance from the heart Camberwell, up to the Old Kent Road, of the city. At another extreme of is occupied, and but a small interval London, Battersea, the same tardy separates Deptford from Rotherhithe. wisdom has appeared; Battersea Park
Returning again to the other side is an instalment of great value, but of the river, we find that in 1766, north nothing more. of the line of the City Road, Finsbury Before I close this very imperfect Fields, so long a favourite place of sketch, I will just glance at the position recreation to the citizens, made a com- of London a century ago and at the plete division between Islington, Hox- present time. In 1766 it contained ton, and Kingsland. Strange to say, but 8} square miles ; it now covers 40. whilst many more distant plots have long Should even the ratio of increase for ago been swallowed up, a large piece the last century continue during a of this a very few years since was un, similar period, London would cover touched, and yet is not wholly seized 200 square miles; but, as the real inon, although the gradual wasting of the crease has been during the last thirty brick-earth is fast preparing the soil years, should we take that ratio of infor its tenants. Here again we must crease, it is stupendous to contemplate regret, that no attempt was made to se- the gigantic bulk to which it may atcure a piece of land, so advantageously tain? What would our nervous ansituated between the densely-inhabited cestors who, 200 years since, endeadistricts of Clerkenwell, Hoxton, and voured by Act of Parliament to prevent Islington, for the purpose of public re- London's extension, and what would creation. It would have been near the Major Rennell say, to find a capital homes of many thousands who cannot already exceeding in population the afford either time, or money, for a trip amount he considered the ultimatum by railway into the regions of fresh of possibility in regard to adequate air and green fields, which are daily supplies of food ? becoming to the Londoner so distant Many other points of interest have and so difficult of access. But a walk occurred to me during this examinaof five minutes from the north end of tion, but I must leave their consideraBritannia Fields, for so the remaining tion for a future time. portion of this district is called, brings
J. G. WALLER.
JEROME CARDAN. The Life of Girolamo Cardano, of Milan, Physician. By Henry Morley. JEROME CARDAN was born in was without any fixed principle, save 1501, at Pavia. He was the illegiti- that of somehow becoming famous. mate son of a reprobate old scholar Altogether the young collegian was an and a young widow of Milan. Had it exceedingly clever, witty, unclean, and rested with the sire the son had never unpleasant scamp: been born. As it was, he received Whatever Cardan did, he addressed welcome from no one, save the pre
himself thereto with the perseverance vailing plague, which planted its car- and power of a Hercules. Learning buncles on his young nose, in the or libertinism, it was all one to Jerome, shape of a cross, and, it might almost he became steeped to the lips in both. seem, doomed him to live a life of Never perhaps was youth so dissolute plagues and crosses for three quarters yet so highly accomplished; never one of a century afterwards.
so careless of his person so refined of What Charles Lamb says of the mind, when he chose. He could pass poor generally may be applied to Je- from “ Tomith" to treatises on trirome individually,—he was not brought angles, from dice to dialectics, and up, but dragged up. He was left, dirty from dirty habits to divine meditaand deserted, to strangers, but when tions. The love of music too was death seemed to be laying his hand upon strong upon him, and his heart was him, when he had reached an age at not hardened, for when his barbarous which he might be of some use to his old father died, in 1584, Jerome placed wicked old sire, the latter took him to an epitaph over him, which, despite its himself, and made of him his footboy. pedantic language, showed the filial He was but seven years old at the affection of its author. time, and unbaptized. Hard work and The old geometrician left his family bad diet had nearly deprived his father but scantily provided for, but the of the service of the little page. The young scholar maintained a gay life father struck a bargain with St. Jerome, for a while on the means supplied to whereby, if the saint saved the child, him by his mother. He held profitless the child was to be called by the name offices, and the poor mother helped of the saint. The contract was duly him to hold them with honour. She fulfilled on either side.
conferred upon him respectability, by The child vegetated into a weak enabling him to give good dinners ; boy, but that boy evinced early signs and as for economy, Jerome despised of unusual intellect, and thereby he in the idea of saving, for astrology and some degree obtained a place in what his horoscope had foretold that he passed as the heart of his father. Un- could not live beyond the age of fortyeducated, save by himself (not always five, and vogue la galère was the device the worst of masters), and barely in of the scholar. At the same time he his teens, he wrote a treatise on the besieged the Almighty with prayers Earning of Immortality, and he com- for health, long life, and much enjoymenced another on the best method of ment, and, to make his chance for the winning at games of chance. The triple prize more secure, he opened a young Jerome was an inveterate gam- private account with St. Martin, and bler, and, when he developed into the promised that patron unlimited alleold Jerome, his love for gambling was giance, if he would only help him to not only as inveterate as ever, but he what he desired. St. Jerome must was the weak slave of even worse have been equally astonished and invices. He could neither confine him- dignant when he found his protege self to one work nor one vice; and giving all his custom in this line to a when, at nineteen, the yellow-haired rival establishment. boy went to the university, he was The stain on the birth of Cardan affected by external and internal dis- was obstructive to his career. orders, had several books, philosophical only with extreme difficulty that he or puerile, in course of completion, and was admitted Doctor of Medicine; and
a small practice, and much starvation, and pushed his way through opposing at Sacco, were jealously deemed as ills while he bore the blows of fortune almost too good for a sage with a bar uncomplainingly. He made a few sinister in his scutcheon. During the friends, courted them assiduously, but six or seven years of his residence at not servilely, obtained some small octhe little town just named, Cardan cupation returning, indeed, but a laid the foundation of the mixed repu- slender honorarium for the exercise of tation which attached to him during any of them, and wrote treatises his after-life; he performed one or two enough on various sciences to make cures in cases of difficulty, wrote vari. the fortune and reputation of half a ous medical treatises that were not hundred scholars. And at last one of varied with respect to merit, and de- his treatises was printed. It was that voted himself largely to gambling as “On the Bad Practice of Medicine in a resource whereby to live. When he Common Use,” and it gained for him had not his pen in hand the dice-box more shame than honour. The phywas there, and Cardan wore a dagger sicians could not refute him, but they on his thigh, and he was as rapid with could abuse both him and his treatise. the use thereof as he ever was with The people at large followed the lead that of his tongue. He was a strange given by the faculty, and Cardan was mixture of fierceness and affection, accounted of as being the very slave wisdom and weak judgment, know- of that crass ignorance he had atledge and ignorance; simple faith and tempted to expose. It has ever been abject savage superstition; and Mr. so. The old stagers, being idly disMorley very well says of him, that posed, are wrathful when they are re" where Cardan was thought mad by quired to unlearn gross errors, and his neighbours, we should think him they take their revenge by denouncing wise; and where his neighbours thought every new teacher as an ignoramus. him wise, we should think him mad." Jenner was called “ fool and knave'
This is, however, to be taken with by the entire body of medical gentleexception, as, for instance, when Car- men of his day, and when these were dan, unable to maintain himself be- compelled to follow Jenner they talked comingly, tempted fortune and took of his discovery as if the merit were unto himself for wife the young Lucia not his but theirs. dei Banderini, a dowerless girl, with Despite opposition, Cardan was enwhom he removed to Milan, in 1532. abled to set up a household, take his Famine alone gave them welcome mother into it, and engage a "famulus." there, and Jerome and his bride re- If he indulged much in dissipation, moved to the town of Gallareta, where he was also a gigantic worker. His every day he grew poorer, save in brain and his pen were never at rest, knowledge and superstition, played but he was not always happy in his away too even his wife's jewels and subjects. Fame descended slowly bed, and in nineteen months earned upon him for his scientific treatises ; forty crowns. The couple returned but when he brought his astrology to once more to Milan, the wife with a bear, by casting the nativity of Christ, little son on her bosom, and the strange and writing a biography of the Saviour triad took temporary shelter in the confirmatory of the horoscope, he was workhouse, a depth of degradation to spoken of 'as a daringly speculative which even Tasso was reduced once atheist. He was not far from being in his life, and at which the poet was seized by the Inquisition for this work; as little affected as the physician. but this was at a later period, and he
The latter, it must be confessed, was had already made his peace with the the nobler man of the two. He was Church by submitting all he had not content to live at the cost of written to her judgment. The judg. others, nor was it in his nature to be ment did not at all affect Cardan's ungrateful for service rendered. He convictions. He simply bowed, smiled, fought the battle of life in Milan like and was silent. a true-hearted soldier. He was often In the meantime Cardan maintained beaten down upon one knee, but with a terrible struggle for existence. The a stout heart and arm he held the College of Milan steadily refused to buckler of resolution above his head acknowledge him, and the few patients GENT. MAG. VOL. XLII.
he acquired barely enabled him to pen was occupied besides on many live. He was in that condition that other subjects, and that at one time; the birth of two children, a son and some were completed, some were never daughter, pressed upon him; and the seriously intended to be so; some death of his mother relieved him. Sad were illustrative of wisdom, some of condition of society when a newly- science, some of art, some of morals, born child meets with no welcome, and a tract or two were marked by and the departure of a parent is a such foolery as scholars could once matter for joy!
delight in who preferred to write nonIt was not till 1539 that the turn- sense rather than let their restless ing point in his fortune was fairly minds run to waste. The result of all reached. In that year was imprinted was an increase both of fame and, in his Practica Arithmetica, which gave some degree, of fortune, and he fully him lasting fame as an author; and in merited both, for never had the sun the same year, after twelve of applica- seen a man who laboured more assition and rebuff, he was enrolled among duously while he did labour, or who the members of the Milanese ollege could so easily, after his jubilant reof Physicians, " and acquired the legal laxations, put on again the burthen of right of practising for fees, or taking toil, and work on like a giant reoffice as a teacher in the university.” freshed. He bore all well, for the simIt was but reasonable that thereupon ple reason that he kept early hours, he addressed himself to the completion and enjoyed full rest. “ He liked to of an able work on consolation; after spend ten hours in bed, during eight much weariness and disappointment, of which he slept, if his health haphe had found for both the consolation pened to be pretty good. When he upon which he wrote. Yet, after all
, was wakeful, he was accustomed to get he earned, even now, less as a phy: up and walk round his bed, counting sician than as an almanack-maker and thousands, with the hope of making dabbler in astrology. He added some- himself sleepy. He took but little mething by his lectures, but he was un- dicine, being a doctor
The mefortunate enough to have friends will, dicinal remedies most used by him to ing to lend him money, and he still procure sleep were bears' grease, or frequented the gaming table, where he an ointment of poplar, applied ex, won, upon system, and occasionally ternally in seventeen places." "He loved plucked a pigeon. The funds, however, old fashions in dress; and as regards got very quickly spent. His com- diet he preferred heavy suppers to panionship was not always with scholars. light ones, and fish to meat. His His table was as often surrounded by dinner was the repast of an anchorite, singers ; and they who sang, drank and the supper was in fact a late deeply, and the house of a man who dinner. His beverage was wine and was imbued with solemn ideas of re- water, a half pint of each fairly comligion was but an unsanctified home. mingled. He was an uneasy sleeper, Amid the extravagance a third child was he was ever looking for omens when born, and Cardan thereupon buckled awake, and his slumbers were ophimself to sterner labour, and in 1544, pressed by fearful dreams; but he was, he was teaching the college youth of in his way, happy, until swift death Pavia, at an annual income of two took from him his Lucia, and then he hundred and forty gold crowns, which returned to Milan, where, to draw his sum was irrespective of what he might sorrowful thoughts from dwelling on be enabled to make by the practice of his bereavement, he wrote a laboured his profession as physician. Ill-em- encomium on gout and a panegyric of ployed as many of his urs had been, the Emperor Nero. he had nevertheless found leisure and Cardan might have found what the sufficient clearness of intellect to com- French call " distraction" in his sorpose his great work on Algebra. It row had he accepted an offer made was his masterpiece, and, like all him to become physician to Pope Paul chefs d'æuvre, it was attacked by the III. (Alexander Farnese), but, favoursciolists, and not spared by the sages; able as were the terms proposed, Carbut Cardan had an answer for all, and dan declined them; "the Pope," he he and his book were triumphant. His said, “is decrepit, he is but a crum•