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was called for the purpose of granting the beetles some territory where they might increase and multiply without harm to the vineyards. It was unanimously resolved to offer them some waste land near the village of Claret, the inhabitants reserving their right to pass through to certain ochre mines, and also to use it as a place of refuge in war time, seeing that this place is a safe retreat in time of war, it being provided with springs, which will also benefit the said insects.' On these conditions they agreed to grant the territory to the beetles' en bon forme et vallable à perpetuité.

This offer was made in court July 24, but the case was adjourned to August 20, and then till September 3, owing to the passage of the Duke of Savoy's troops. On September 3 Antoine Filliol refused the offer for his clients, seeing that the place is sterile and produces nothing' (cum sit locus sterilis et nullius redditus), and demanded a verdict against the plaintiffs with costs. The opposing counsel replied that the spot abounded in trees and herbs, so experts were appointed to go and examine it, receiving three florins for their expenses. Here, unfortunately, the records have become a prey to time and injury, but there can be little doubt that the insects were duly excommunicated.

These curious proceedings may be explained in several ways. The object in some cases, more especially those of later date, was perhaps merely to soothe the minds of the ignorant. Just as the nurse beats the naughty chair' against which Tommy has knocked his head, so the Church cursed the wicked beetles or caterpillars which had devoured the harvests of her simpleminded children. Sometimes there may have been a wish to inculcate, as in the old 'morality plays,' lessons of justice and consideration even towards the weakest, and to teach the ignorant peasantry that while all wrong-doing should be punished, the punishment must be inflicted calmly and legally, not by lynch law or the wild justice of revenge. As Menabrea puts it, man was taught to say to the vilest insects : 'You are creatures of God; I respect you. The earth has been given to you as well as to me.

I am willing that you should live. But you harm me; you trespass upon my heritage ; you destroy my vineyard ; you devour my harvest ; you deprive me of the fruit of my labours. Peradventure I have deserved all this, for I am but a miserable sinner. In any case, might is not right. I will show you your VOL. III.-NO. 13, N.S.



errors, I will implore the divine mercy, I will give you a place where you may live, but if you still persist I will curse you.'

In most cases, however, it is clear that both clergy and people believed in the efficacy of anathemas and excommunications, and the reason for the delay and cautious observations of all the forms of justice was the doubt as to whether these insect plagues came from God or from the devil.

During the period of the 'witch mania,' these proceedings against animals assumed a more tragic form, and many an unfortunate woman was burnt alive on the accusation of having, by the aid of the devil, produced a plague of flies or caterpillars.

Nor are such proceedings confined to the Middle Ages. The minutes of the meeting of the municipal council of Thonon in Savoy on November 15, 1731, contain the following entry: 'Item a été délibéré que la ville se joindra aux paroisses de cette province qui voudront obtenir de Rome une excommunication contre les insectes, et que l'on contribuera aux frais au pro rata.'

Perhaps the last instance of a prosecution of animals is one extracted by M. Agnel from the Nova Floresta' of Manoel Bernardes. The Franciscan friars of the monastery of St. Antony in the Brazilian province of Piedade no Maranhão were much molested by ants, vast multitudes of which devoured their stores, destroyed their furniture, and rendered the very monastery insecure by their minings. All attempts to get rid of them were vain, till a worthy brother, 'moved, as we may believe, by divine inspiration, advised that they should resort to that spirit of humility which made their seraphic founder call all creatures his brethren, brother wolf," "sister swallow,' &c. Let them bring an action against their sisters the ants before the tribunal of Divine Providence, represented by the bishop. This was done accordingly, an advocate being appointed to represent the ants. The prosecuting counsel declared that his clients, in conformity with the rules of their order, lived on alms, which they collected with great difficulty, and that the ants (animals whose spirit is totally contrary to the Gospel, and who were therefore abhorred by St. Francis) did nothing but steal from them, and, worse than ordinary thieves, were even trying to ruin and destroy their home. He asked that they should be required to justify these doings, and, failing this, that pestilence and inundations should be invoked to exterminate them. The ants' advocate replied that, since God had given them life, they had a right to maintain



it by the instincts bestowed upon them; that they served God by giving men an example of prudence in both temporal and spiritual matters (Proverbs xxx. 25), of charity, peace, and concord, by the way in which they worked together, and of religion and piety, since, according to Pliny, they only among animals bury their dead. Moreover, they worked much harder than did the monks, for they often carried burdens larger than themselves. Man, indeed, might be the more honourable creature, but he had offended his Creator, in whose sight he was no better than an ant. Also, ants were the earlier inhabitants of the place, and might therefore justly complain of violent expulsion.

Finally, he declared that the earth and the fulness thereof belonged to God and not to the plaintiffs.

At length, after rejoinders and counter-rejoinders, the judge ordered the friars to appoint a suitable place in their neighbourhood for the ants, and charged the latter to retire thither at once under pain of excommunication. Thus, he declared, both parties might be satisfied without damage to either; for the brethren had come into that country in a spirit of obedience to sow the seed of the Gospel. This judgment was read aloud before all the ant-holes; whereupon, according to the monastic records of January 1713, 'behold a miracle which shows how the Supreme Being, of whom it is written "He playeth with his creatures," was satisfied with the judgment. Immediately myriads of the little animals were beheld marching hastily in long dense columns towards the place appointed for them, and the holy friars, relieved from their intolerable oppression, gave thanks to God for so admirable a manifestation of his power and his providence.'



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WAEN Lord Justice Tavender, after a long and honoured career in his profession, the other day departed this life, it was inevitable that a certain anecdote of his early youth should at once have the run of the newspapers.

It was said in the morning and repeated in the evening papers, that the late Tavender, L.J., when a boy enjoyed the peculiar distinction of being, constituting, and composing, to use appropriate legal terminology, in his single personality for a period of some six or seven days—a whole. Public School.' The absurdity of the story, as people emphasised it to one another, always took a little time to wane, and then the interlocutors would be found assuring each other with equal emphasis that it was nothing more than a really curious coincidence in which the undefined element of 'Fun’ was barely discoverable.

The now well-known and thriving educational establishment of Whigbury was, like so many other useful things, undreamt of till a certain date in the nineteenth century-to be more exact, in the 'forties;' and, when it was founded, had, like other new institutions, to begin life at the beginning.

If there indubitably was a period when the number of boys therein was only 150, only 100, only 20, why then, ratione ruentis acervi, as all those twenty would have known, there may very likely have been a time when that number was only one. Which ratiocination left but one scanty material for amusement-of which you might make what you could—the fact that that 'one' was Tavender.

Tavender himself made a good deal of it. There were, of course, preposterous stories circulated by him among the new boys as they came, which no one else ever believed—as that he himself had during the curious period referred to acted as headmaster by general consent of the staff, whom he had invited to dinner with him, in his own schoolhouse hall, and reduced to a state of shameful intoxication; that he had (in the exercise of his thus acquired authority) solemnly flogged several of the new arrivals merely for the fun of the thing' and 'to see how it felt' (a thing which, of course, there would be no opportunity of ascer


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taining in the ordinary humdrum stage of public school life); that again, in his character of the Whigbury Eleven, he had, assisted only by the school professional, played a two-day match against a very fair team of the M.C.C., and beaten them by an innings and 138 runs, &c.

But there was another story of more dreadful import, sedulously hashed up at the time, and now known to very few, which, as the reader has probably not heard it, I propose, after the manner of Mr. Barlow, to narrate.

But first a word about the peculiar character of its hero.

There are boys—perhaps not more than one or two in a generation—the brilliance of whose untutored genius illuminates the existence of those about them to an extent which almost turns the doll daily round of schoolboy life into a succession of pages from the 'Arabian Nights. The period of this particular kind of exuberance coincides, no doubt, with a maturish stage in the usual school career, a Middle or Upper 'Fifth,' let us say, to use the Whigbury classification, when work has ceased to be drudgery, the literary interests of the man are blossoming, but boyhood has not lost its barbaric freshness, and the academic responsibilities of Sixth Form do not yet darken the horizon.

If memory does not deceive me, and there was really better acting, better talking of the Homeric, unbowdlerised order), more intense social activity of the kind belonging to the 'stone' age), more forethought and consideration shown in the annoyance and deception of other people, more pointed and classical jesting, more piquant and 'inevitable' repartee to be witnessed or overheard then than at any later period of one's life, it is equally certain that that

Golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid oved most of its charm to one or two of those happy magicians whose companionship was a perpetual front seat at a spectacle of unflagging amusement. If this was my impression, how much more was it that of the actual intimates and contemporaries of Tavender, by common consent the prince of such magicians, the shady Saturn of a schoolboy's golden age! Of slight but wiry and robust figure, as I recall him in those later days, rather tall, with bright yellow hair and clear blue eyes, Tavender would have been described (by any casual elder who took him for a walk) as an attractive, clever, and witty boy. Certainly he was a brilliant

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