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family group yonder, waving their white handkerchiefs to their friends, all excitement and pleasure! doubtless it is their first trip on the heaving ocean.
A man roughly dressed has rolled himself round in the chains of the bowsprit, seemingly disposed for a nap; and parties of different kinds are passing to and fro on the deck of the steamer. The old lady in the shawl, has, I fear, a fidgetty disposition; three times has she made inquiry after the safety of her luggage, and she appears as dissatisfied as ever. If I read her aright, she had rather the best merchant ship that old England possesses should go to the bottom of the deep, than one of her own bandboxes.
Look at the young man aft there, with his pencil and paper in his hand! He tells his own tale most expressively; his eye and his attitude are eloquent, for he is as much excited as if he were going to Sydney. He is crossing to Dieppe for the first time, and will be back again the day after to-morrow, with an inexhaustible budget, detailing "perils at sea," the "dangers of the mighty ocean," "foreign sights," and the manners and customs of the people on continent!"
Having an inclination to ramble as far as Devil's Dyke, I must now quit the pier. Some
say that the Dyke was a Saxon camp, while others as stoutly maintain that it was formed by the Danes. Having no information of my own to settle the point, I shall content myself in regarding the high rampart as the work of unknown hands, executed at an unknown period; and in admiring, with a clear eye and a grateful heart, the romantic and beautiful prospect which I am told the place commands.
PLACES WHERE MARTYRS
AND this is Coventry, an ancient city, with which in the days of my youth I was somewhat familiar. The "Show Fair," and "Lady Godiva," and "Peeping Tom," all excited my childish wonderment; and, since then, at different periods of my life, have I visited the city. There are those among its inhabitants who have a place in my respect and affection.
I have been rambling round the suburbs, trying to make out ancient localities, and tracing the old brook on whose gurgling waters I have gazed by the hour when a child. Either they are altered, or I am; but it may be that there is some change in both of us. Memory reminds me of much that I now find not; and I see many objects of which I have no remembrance. Many years ago, a child in petticoats lost itself for some hours, in the neighbourhood of West Orchard; but can it be, that the ruddy face and
fair brow of that child ever belonged to him, who, with time-engraved forehead, and grey hairs on his head, is now noting down these remarks? Even so; such was the child then, and such now is Old Humphrey.
I am not about to describe Coventry. You know, perhaps, as well as I do, that it once was a place thronged with monks; and that the pageants, or dramatic mysteries performed here by the Grey Friars, became noted through the country. You know that the High Church is a beautiful specimen of architecture; that the place is famous for its manufactures of watches and ribands s; and that many of the houses appear ready to topple over, owing to the stories advancing streetward, the higher they ascend.
Coventry is one of the many places in which martyrs have suffered in the flames. Did you ever by any accident burn yourself? Did you ever drop melted sealing wax on your hands? or sear your fingers in letting off a fire-work? or has a spark from the fire struck you in the eye? If you know all, or even any of these disasters, it may help you to imagine the terrible torment, the unutterable agony, of being burned alive. How strange, how demon-like, it appears, that this this torment should have been inflicted on their fellow men, by those professing themselves
to be His followers who was "wounded for our transgressions," and "bruised for our iniquities!" Either ignorance the most gross, bigotry the most blind, cruelty the most bitter, or all blended together, must have reigned and revelled in their hearts.
What a catalogue of crimson crimes has Popery, with its unhallowed fingers, inscribed on human annals! What a mountainous mass of iniquity has it heaped upon the world! During the last few years only of queen Mary's reign, nearly three hundred persons were burned alive, on charges connected with the profession of their religion. Bishops, and divines, and gentlemen, and artificers, and husbandmen, and servants, and labourers, and wives and widows, and youths, and infants, promiscuously suffered.
I said that Coventry was one of the places where the martyr-fagot had been fired. Here Saunders kissed the stake and perished; and, at one time, seven persons suffered together in the flames, within a stone's cast of where I now stand. Hatches, Archer, Hawkins, Bond, Wrigsham, Landsdale, and a widow of the name of Smith, all perished in one fire, in the Little Park; and for what crime? Simply because they had taught their children and servants the Lord's prayer and the ten commandments. Po