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and meditate that performance so
truly heroic in all its progress, and
taking some theme of universal in
terest, replete with some noble and
magnanimous passion, let him paint
for immortality; not the immortality
of a fairy fiction, but of an epic, which
may instruct as well as please the
remotest generations, and
name and his nation with such glo-
ry, that, in ages to come, there may
arise a question whether the author
was called from the country, or the
country from the author. The name
of WALTER SCOTT has diverted me,
as by a charm, from the subject I
designed to touch upon, at the be-
ginning of this letter, and it is scarce-
ly, worth returning to it.
A. P.

For the Belfast Monthly Magazine.


"How rich the Peacock! what bright glo

ries run From plume to plume, and vary in the

the domains of majesty. The sap phire, emerald, and topaze, seem combined with the ruby in his ever varying plumage, and even amidst the vivid glow of tropical vegetation, the peacock shines conspicuous. Over all the Southern regions of Asia, from the spicy groves of Ceylon, to the cold mountainous lands of Thibet, this bird is found in a state of liberty, but it is said, no where of greater beauty and size, than on the banks of the Ganges, where, guarded by tigers and other tremendous animals, they enjoy the permanent attachment of their female, who after six tedious weeks of patient incubation, sees rise around her an active and almost independent family of five or six young, who from having their infant wings provided with quil feathers, accompany their mother to some elevated branch, where they rest secure, under the enfolding wings of their affectionate parent, who gives, and who receives, the most tender carresses, and not until that period when nature calls` to multiply their species, and give existence to other beings, is this ma ternal solicitude dissolved.


He proudly spreads them to the golden ray,
Gives all his colours, and adorns the day;
With conscious state the spacious round

And slowly moves amid the waving blaze."

If the Count de Buffon's theory could be applied to birds, that the life of an animal is only three or four times that of the period at which


Of all the feathered inhabitants of it arrived at a state of puberty, birds

the earth, the peacock has most peculiarly attracted the admiration of mankind. The Greek Mythologists thought him a worthy attendant on "Heaven's imperial Queen." And the great Solomon conceived it not beneath his dignity to admire this splendid bird, and while collect ing around him whatever could augment his glory, we find that he gave a particular order for procuring Peacocks along with other treasures of the East. Indeed few objects seem better calculated to convey an idea of princely grandeur, and decorate

should be much shorter lived, than experience shews. Swans have been known to live to 100 years; Geese to 70 or 80; and a Goldfinch to 20. The limitation of the Peacock's life should therefore not be according to this rule, but according to that general law which seems to govern the life of birds. Yet no Peacock has yet been known in this country to exceed that of ten or twelve years. And although, like many of the productions of warm countries, it reproduces in our cold climate, it is not yet so well naturalized, as not

to have its life in some degree shortened by the severity perhaps of the winters it is obliged to endure. At about a month old, the crest begins to appear, at half a year the neck of the young cock becomes blue, but it is not until the second year that the various coloured eyes enrich his then often expanded tail, and the cock endeavours to attract the attention of the female, with a full display of his beauty. Nature, which in her productions seems to spread beauty around, and to adorn with a lavish hand, has denied to the Peahen the brilliancy of her mate, guid ed by that unerring wisdom, which has fitted every animal for its mode of life, (which colours the timid hare like the winter-blasted fern, and the woodcock like the fallen leaf,) has coloured her in uniformity to the ground on which she is destined to pass so much of her time; and to this homely colouring she is in all likelihood indebted for her safety, from her quick-sighted enemies, while engaged in her maternal duties.

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ject to sore-feet, à disorder perhaps first generated by cold, and afterwards perpetuated from generation to generation. And as if, however, to prevent our pleasure in possession of this beautiful creature from being without alloy, some bad qualities lurk under this fair exterior; the Peafowl are the tyrants of the farm-yard, they follow with neverceasing persecution whatever fowl is their inferior in strength, and with those which are able to contend with them, they wage eternal war. The garden also, without strict attention to expel them on their first attempts at entrance, exhibits daily marks of their depredations.

In this country, even while young they are by no means tender, and when they are left to their mother's care, she feeds them with indefatigable attention, with flies and other insects-Linnæus says, that Pea fowl are poisoned by eating of the common elder, and it has been observed, that wherever that plant abounds, few young have ever been reared; when reared, they seem to bid defiance to the storm), and the severest wea ther of our climate, scarce ever forces them from thouse-top, a situation which they seem particularly to delight in, and from which, when the lightning flashes and the thunder rolls, they join their voices, seemingly wishing, like small song-birds, to contend for mastery, and by their. loud and repeated cries, to overpower their opponent. They are often sub

(Elian mentions, that "the Peacock was at Athens shown for a stated price to both men and women who were admitted to the spectacle, at the feasts of new moon. Considerable sums were thus collected, and many, through curiosity, came from Lacedaemon and Thessaly.""The date of this cannot be fixed, but it was after the return of Alexander from India. The conqueror was so much delighted with the rich plumage of the Peacocks, that he enacted severe penalties against Killing them ""After the Peacock was transplanted from Asia into Greece, it found its way into the south of Europe, and gradually was introduced into France, Germany, and Switzerland, and as far as Sweden."

At what period they were brought to Ireland, cannot now be determined. it is however probable that they were brought to Britain by the Romans, and from thence transferred to Ireland, but the hand which added this beautiful bird to our domestic animals, and his name, as his whose patient industry reclaimed the first barren waste, is concealed under the veil of time, leaving us only the power to imitate their deeds.


For the Belfast Monthly Magazine.

sequently the association and mutual contact of such variety of character, in the prosecution of any intellect

PROSPECTUS OF THE DUBLIN INSTITU ual object, must prove materially beneficial, inasmuch as the informa

TION, 1811.

WITHOUT alluding to any scientific or literary association already existing amongst us, to each of which society is indebted for the =extension of knowledge, and conse

quently for improvement in the best qualities of man, it is obviously an object worthy of the most respectable residents in this populous metropolis, not only to increase the facilities of promoting those valuable purposes, but by enlarging the opportunities of information, to multiply the probabilities of calling forth, and of fostering talents, which may hereafter adorn and enlighten our city and our nation.

Useful learning, or that wisdom which flows from the labours and the experience of ages, is not, and ought not to be confined to Academic groves, or to the walks of the learned of whatever profession; it renders even amusements elegant and improving, and it converts into a blessing that leisure which to the vacant mind too often proves a curse: in a more important point of view, it not only, assists to discover and combine the means of enlarging the wealth and power of a state, but it gives to agriculture multiplied and varied productions to manufactures the manifold use of the powers of nature to commerce the widest intercourse of man with man, indefinite interchange of benefits, and daily augmentation of the public stock; and, above all, it directs benevolence how best to relieve distress, to prevent vice, to promote virtue, and to diffuse happiness.

In a great city like this, men are engaged in almost every pursuit of cultivated society, whether contemplative, or active, or both: and con

tion, views, and modes of thinking

peculiar to each, tend to enlarge useful knowledge, to correct preju dice, and to establish truth.

And farther, the means of knowledge brought home to the bosoin of private families, and access to liberal instruction, made easy and frequent, may prove highly favourable to domestic happiness The ardour of youth, too often wasted in destructive dissipation, may thus be pre-occupied by a taste for improvement; and what is of equal moment, information, operative as well as pleasing, may be more generally acquired by those best associates of the domestic state, to whom the earliest and most important years of life are entrusted, on whose wisdom or folly so much of virtue and happiness depends, and by respectable exertions of some of whom true honour has been conferred on their sex, and lasting benefit on society.

Under these impressions, and to advance these views it has been proposed to establish an institution, in some convenient situation in the city of Dublin, which shall be supplied with a select and extensive library, and with the necessary apparatus for lectures, on the most generally useful subjects of science. It has also been proposed that the use of the books shall not be merely local, but they shall be delivered out, under terms and regulations, to determined upon hereafter; and that every mode shall be adopted to unite, from time to time, all the objects of which the institution may be found capable, in order to render it the most variously and most extensively beneficial.

That the entire property shall belong to the subscribers for two hun

dred shares of £50. each, of which, no individual shall hold more than four; but that the privileges of the institution may be communicated to such other persons, and on such terms as shall be determined here


That the shares shall be transferable under regulations to be determined hereafter.

That the intended establishment shall be called the DUBLIN INSTITU

TION; and that the entire manage ment shall be vested in a committee of twenty-one members, to be elected annually by and from among the proprietors, and to be appointed as soon as one hundred shares shall be subscribed for, in the manner hereafter to be determined.

The first hundred shares having been subscribed for, the undermentioned Committee have been appointed:

Edward Allen, esq. John Barrington, esq. Wm. Beilby, esq. James Cleghorn, M.D. Thomas Crosthwait, esq. Eccles Cuthbert, esq. Jeremiah D'Olier, esq. Richard Gamble, M.D. Arthur Guinnes, esq. Edward Houghton, esq. Joseph Hone, esq. Rev. Joseph Hutton. Wm. Johnson, L.L. D. Benjamin Kearney, esq. Thomas Parnell, esq. John Patten, esq. Archd. Redfoord, esq. Paulus E. Singer, esq. Joseph Singer, F.T.C.D. Rev. James Wilson, F.T.C.D. Thomas Wilson, esq.

The shares are now nearly filled, and a house is purchased for the use of the institution.

For the Belfast Monthly Magazine.


1569.-THE town-clerk to have two shillings and six pence Irish, for every freeman. 1574. That actions under thirty shillings shall pay only half cost.

1575. That the mayor may distrain any inhabitant for one shilling inhabitant's dwelling is not duly every time that the street before such swept.

1576, 4th April.-That every one admitted to the freedom, shall pay a dinner to the town, and if he were entered for a whole share, to pay beside 4.-if for one half, £2.-if for one fourth, £1.

--, 10th May. That all aldermen be cest accordingly, or else defranchised. That the fees of the sheriffs, town-clerk, and serjeant, shall be set down on record. That no freeman or foreigner be arrested in a freeman's house for debt or trespass, whether the door of the freeman be shut or open.

1593. That none shall be a free merchant to buy or sell any staple. wares, but the 20 merchants now elected, and all others must either serve three years with a merchant of the staple, or pay a fine to be admitted a stapler, under the stapleseal.

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1600, 19th January. That every alderman in bis respective ward shall have three able men provided with some convenient weapons, and have power in their saidwards to commit any offender, to look to the keeping of the streets clean. That no merchant take upon him to receive his share of any town's bargain, under colour to take it to his house, and afterwards sell it to any other free merchant's wife, servant, or factor,

upon penalty of loss of his freedom amongst the merchants of the trinity yield, and the goods so sold to be disposed of at the direction of the mavor and merchants.

1601, 6th July.-After the election of the mayor, he is the first year, mayor of the town, second year, mayor of the staple, third year, master of trinity yield and master of the company of merchants, and fourth year, treasurer of the town.


1606, 19th January.-The mayor's salary, the third part of his majesty's custom, and petty custom; the sheriffs, 20s. the piece; the town clerk, £; the two sergeants, 40s. the piece-all money of Ireland.

1624-That the third part of his majesty's customs should be taken from the mayor, and converted always to the town's use.


5th July. That every alderman bring in his plate, or pay to the town's use 20 nobles, sterling. That the sheriff's former salary, viz. 20 nobles, be resumed, and that the rest satisfied hereafter with the fines for bloodsheds and batteries, and that they shall not be troubled with collecting the town's revenue, but that there be a certain collector appointed.

That the

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town's clerk former salary be resumed likewise, and that he rest satisfied with his fees and perquisites, and that he be exempted from all levies and assess



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mayor, till he have first paid his fines and fees.

7th September.-That the breach of the town-walls near the west mill-pond, be now repaired at the town's charge, but that here after it be repaired at the charge of Roger Lyndon, his heirs.

1659, 24.h June.-That the mayors shall not receive above £30. per annum. That no mayor shall receive any of the town's revenue, but that it be committed to the care of some honest person or persons to be disbursed by orders of the mayor and major part of the bench and common council.

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That there be an account taken of the money for which the customs were sold-Confirms the act 1st June, 1640, agaiust the town's debtors, being elected mayor or sheriff.

That several bonds belonging to the town, and left in the custody of Sir William Sambidge, late recorder should be looked after.'

That the staple be enquired into. That all the members of the town, which are of ability, do lend the town some money to be employed in the recovering their just debts.

That the 1500 acres of commons unset be never disposed of.


That a survey be forthwith taken of every particular man's holding within our liberties, and account of the rent-roll and charge issuable by the town, and that after the town's present debts be paid, there shall be no further engagement than what the revenue shall from time to time be able to discharge at the year's end.

1677, 21st January. That the pavement in the town and suburbs be repaired by the several inhabitants before their respective hold. ings, the fine not to exceed 6s. 8d. each offence.

2. That all fines and amercements whatsover be deposited in the sheriff's

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