Imágenes de páginas


[THE family of the Oldlights have been settled in England for many generations. They have always been a very dogmatical and somewhat prosy family-disputatious, but unreasoning-standing upon what they call facts, but by no means accurate in their use of them. They have been in the habit, for several centuries, of delivering the most absolute judgments upon all social questions, and many private ones. Abundant records have been preserved of these their "wise saws," which we shall endeavour to condense into a brief recapitulation of their dogmas upon special subjects at certain periods. The reader must imagine that the Mr. Oldlight of a particular generation is delivering his oracles to a Mr. Newlight of the same age, who timidly ventures to present an opposite set of opinions; or he may fancy that the old gentleman is talking to himself, having a text before him,* for the exercise of his controversial talent. It has been his custom, when he has thus matured his opinions, to give them all due publicity; and he has been pretty successful in having numerous followers at every epoch. Their faith in these judgments has been sometimes thought a blind allegiance. He owes this to his strength of will, if not of understanding. When -he has once fixed his text, he has always stuck by it through thick and thin, and this is one great cause of his long career of power and influence.]



We are all brethren.

[ocr errors]


"There is an inseparable affinity between Land and Trade." No doubt. Very We must support land and we must support trade. It will never do not to protect land; it will never do not to protect trade. They are Twins, and have always, and will ever, wax and wane together." Poor things; yes. "It cannot be ill with Trade, but Land will fall; nor ill with Land, but Trade will feel it." We must protect them both. Twins? no doubt. But like other twins, they may be apt each to want too large a share of their father's inheritance. They would cut each other's throats if we did not hold their hands. Look at brother Land, and see what he is after. He wants a free exportation of wool. He has almost ruined brother Trade with his free exportation. He has been exporting and exporting, till the Dutch have set up to make cloth for themselves; and so have the French. How could they make cloth if they did not get our wool? They have got no wool; and if we sell them no wool, they must buy our cloth, or go naked. We must set our own poor to work; we must use our native commodities to our best advantage; we must have no foreign realms combing and carding and weaving our fleece. And now we shall prosper when it is felony to export wool. There is as much wool run to foreign countries as was legally sold before the Act. Yes, yes; hanging is the only cure for that; we shall soon cure that. give a better price for our wool than the English clothiers. Do they? see if they shall plunder us after this fashion. Rob our poor people of their bread— the scoundrels. We'll soon put a stop to that. "They that can give the best price for a commodity shall never fail to have it by one means or another, notwithstanding the opposition of any laws, by sea or land; of such force, subtilty, and violence is the general course of trade." Who says that? Sir Josiah Child, is it? I hate your scribbling merchants. Give me good practical men. The landlords are at the

Is there ?

The Dutch

We shall

* This text, whether supposed to be written or spoken, we print in Italics.

bottom of all this mischief. They sell their wool to the factors, who carry it by night to Dover; and all for this filthy lucre of gain. Why can't they be content to sell their fleeces to our starving manufacturers, and not ruin their country? They are an ungrateful set! What a clamour have they been making about this wool trade; and quite forget what we have done for them about Irish cattle. We wouldn't let them be ruined by the fat beeves coming here to drive out our own neats that were cropping our pastures. This is what a just and wise ruler says to his people :- You of trade shall not be ruined by the land selling wool to foreigners;—there shall be no competition; you shall buy the wool at the lowest price. And then he turns round to the complaining grazier, and says,—the cloth-maker and his men shall not ruin you by buying meat cheap ;-no Irish cattle or Scotch sheep shall come here to lower your prices. What a blessing is a wise government, that takes care of our commerce and navigation, of our land and our liberties, and holds the balance with a steady hand to make all opposing interests happy and contented! The Irish and Scotch would take our broad-cloth in exchange for their beeves and sheep. Would they? I should like to catch them at that. Poor beggarly knaves, they want our money. They would rob us of our gold. We know better than expect that Highlanders without breeches will buy our broad-cloth. It would be better to let the land sell its wool at the dearest market? Pooh! I should like to know how you make that out. I should like to know if we are all to be ruined, and have no clothes to wear, for the sake of hungry squires and their clodpoles. What do they know about government? If they got a better price for their wool abroad, they would have more to spend upon manufactures at home. A pretty joke. If the cloth-makers, and the cloth-sellers, and all the people, could get their mutton and their beef cheaper by buying Irish cattle and Scotch sheep, they could afford to pay a better price for their wool, and wear more broad-cloths. A lie, sir. They would ruin each other, if they were left alone. We must encourage the woollen manufacture-the glòry of England; we must support those who give us bread and meat—the staff of life. I would support everybody against everybody else. What is government for, if not for that? If we were left to ourselves, we should ruin ourselves. We should grow no wool, and make no cloth, and the French and the Dutch would pour in their serges and their silks, and take away all our gold, and there would be an end of us. It might be well if nations were less restricted in their trade. You think so? A fine patriot, truly. For my part, I would take nothing from foreign countries that we can make or grow ourselves, at whatever low price they would sell us their goods; and I would compel them to buy everything that we grow and make, and which they cannot, therefore, make, at the highest price that our natural advantages could command. No wool sold, but all broad-cloth; no satins and taffetas bought from France, but all made from foreign raw silk, wound and twisted at home. This is the way for a nation to get rich and keep its gold. The end of trade is to exchange our superfluities for the superfluities of the stranger, and so have more conveniences of life at our command. A pack of stuff. The end of trade is to get all we can ourselves, and to keep the stranger from getting anything. There would be no trade at all if this maxim were universal. You are a fool.


[ocr errors]

[It is our intention, in an early number, to give some account of the writings of the late WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED. Many of the best productions of this extraordinary young man appeared in periodical works of which the Editor of Knight's Penny Magazine' was the proprietor and conductor.* He rejoices to learn that there is a probability of Mr. Praed's Poems being published in a collected shape; and he will gladly afford every facility towards the accomplishment of so laudable an intention, by interposing no technical objection connected with his interest in the Copy

right. In the meantime he may recommend this object, by presenting a few characteristic productions of Mr. Praed,-Enigmas,-simple enough as mere puzzles, but very unlike most puzzles in being imbued with a high poetical spirit.]



ALAS! for that forgotten day

When Chivalry was nourished,

When none but friars learned to pray
And beef and beauty flourished!
And fraud in kings was held accurst,
And falsehood sin was reckoned,
And mighty chargers bore my first,
And fat monks wore my second!

Oh, then I carried sword and shield,
And casque with flaunting feather,
And earned my spurs in battle field,
In winter and rough weather;
And polished many a sonnet up

To ladies' eyes and tresses,
And learned to drain my father's cup,
And loose my falcon's jesses:

But dim is now my grandeur's gleam;
The mongrel mob grows prouder;
And everything is done by steam,

And men are killed by powder;
And now I feel my swift decay,
And give unheeded orders,
And rot in paltry state away,
With sheriffs and recorders.

*Knight's Quarterly Magazine' (1823-4), 'The Brazen Head' (1826), 'The London Magazine' (1828)


AMIDST Some of the driest antiquarian reading we constantly turn up the most curious illustrations of past customs and manners. In the same way, in the liveliest fictions of the old dramatists and novelists we find distinct traces of by-gone things, which are not only amusing, but suggestive of useful thoughts. When we meet with such authentic records of what we were, the true question to ask is, Are we improved? It is our intention, without any formal examination of a particular subject, or any attempt even at chronological arrangement, to set down from time to time passages of this character. Some will be from common books, some from books not easily accessible; but we shall endeavour to select nothing that does not involve some interest beyond the fact of its referring to what is old and obsolete. We are no lovers of antique things simply because they are dusty and worm-eaten.


In the summer of 1754, Henry Fielding, the great author of "Tom Jones,' left England, never to return, having been ordered by physicians to Lisbon for recovery of his broken health. He has written a most graphic Journal of this voyage, full of striking pictures of our social condition ninety years ago. We first select the account of his embarkation at Rotherhithe ::

"To go on board the ship it was necessary first to go into a boat, a matter of no small difficulty, as I had no use of my limbs, and was to be carried by men who, though sufficiently strong for their burthen, were, like Archimedes, puzzled to find a steady footing. Of this, as few of my readers have not gone into wherries on the Thames, they will easily be able to form to themselves an idea. However, by the assistance of my friend Mr. Welch, whom I never think or speak of but with love and esteem, I conquered this difficulty, as I did afterwards that of ascending the ship, into which I was hoisted with more ease by a chair lifted with pulleys. I was soon seated in a great chair in the cabin, to refresh myself after a fatigue which had been more intolerable, in a quarter of a mile's passage from my coach to the ship, than I had before undergone in a landjourney of twelve miles, which I had travelled with the utmost expedition.

rows of sailors and watermen, few of whom failed of paying their compliments to me by all manner of insults and jests on my misery. No man who knew me will think I conceived any personal resentment at this behaviour; but it was a lively picture of that cruelty and inhumanity in the nature of men which I have often contemplated with concern, and which leads the mind into a train of very uncomfortable and melancholy thoughts. It may be said that this barbarous custom is peculiar to the English, and of them only to the lowest degree; that it is an excrescence of an uncontrolled licentiousness mistaken for liberty, and never shows itself in men who are polished and refined in such manner as human nature requires to produce that perfection of which it is susceptible, and to purge away that malevolence of disposition of which, at our birth, we partake in common with the savage creation."

It is some satisfaction to contrast Fielding, insulted in his misery by the lowest of the rabble, with Scott, under circumstances equally calculated to call forth the sympathy of man for man. The great author of Waverley was lying in hopeless illness at the St. James's Hotel, in Jermyn Street, in the summer of 1832. That the affliction of the most popular writer of his age should call forth every sentiment of respect from the high and the refined, was of course to be expected; but it is well to know that refinement had gone deeper into the native soil than those of Fielding's day might have thought probable. Mr. Lockhart, in his 'Life of Sir Walter Scott, writes, "Allan Cunningham mentions that, walking home late one night, he found several workingmen standing together at the corner of Jermyn Street, and one of them asked him, as if there was but one deathbed in London, [KNIGHT'S PENNY MAGAZINE.]

"This latter fatigue was, perhaps, somewhat heightened by an indignation which I could not prevent arising in my mind. I think, upon my entrance into the boat, I presented a spectacle of the highest horror. The total loss of limbs was apparent to all who saw me, and my face contained marks of a most diseased state, if not of death itself. In this condition I ran the gauntlope (so I think I may justly call it) through

No. 2.


'Do you know, Sir, if this is the street where he is lying?" "


THE last wills of our ancestors used invariably to begin, "In the name of God," &c. It was remarked as a novelty, that the will of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who died in 1744, had not the usual preface. In a very interesting book by the Rev. Sir John Cullum, 'the History and Antiquities of Hawsted,' published in 1784, we have the following remarks:-"The thanking the Almighty for the blessing of a sound understanding, when a man was about to perform one of the most serious acts of his life, was surely not an ill-timed gratitude. Not less proper seems to have been the commendation of the soul to those powers who were supposed to be the guardians and patrons of human happiness, when a deed was to be executed, which was to take effect immediately upon the separation of that soul from the body; an event of the utmost importance to man, and which generally was likely soon to take place. It seems as if we now thought that these were the effusions of an excessive devotion. Even a bishop [Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury] can now make his will without mentioning the name of God in it; while, by a strange perverseness, a treaty of peace between two belligerent powers, which they and all the world know is nothing but a rope of sand, begins, 'In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity."


In the pages of the agreeable local historian just cited, we find the following remarks on a subject which has excited a good deal of controversy in our immediate day :-"There are some pews for the principal inhabitants towards the east end [of Hawsted church] in the neighbourhood of the pulpit. The rest of the seats are probably coeval with the church, being regular benches, all alike, with a low backboard to each. Pews, that

so much deform our Protestant churches, were not common till the beginning of the last century; but, however uniform and undistinguished the ancient seats were, and however peculiarly improper subjects to excite any of the ungentle passions, they were very early the causes of contentions, which the synod of Exeter endeavoured to obviate, in 1287, by declaring, that all persons, except Loblemen and patrons, when they came

to church to say their prayers, might do it in what place they pleased. Early in the last century, there seem to have been some disputes about the seats in this church; for, from a decaying paper, some years ago in the church chest, it appeared, that Richard Pead, Reg'rar'us, directed an instrument to the churchwardens, charging and commanding them to place the inhabitants in such seats in the church as they should think proper, according to their estates, degrees, and callings; but their power was not to extend to seats belonging to houses of note and worship. Returns were to be made of those that were refractory: dated 1 December, 1623. Is there any strife or contention about seats in the church ?' is still an article of official inquiry."

THE LANDLORD'S SHEEP-FOLD. "When lords of manors granted parcels of lands to their dependents, they often reserved to themselves the exclusive privilege of having a sheep-fold; so that the little tenants could not fold their own sheep on their own lands, but were obliged to let them be folded with those of the lord, or pay a fine. This was enriching the lord's domains; but a most cruel impoverishment of the lands of his villains"-(Cullum's Hawsted.) Query. Which is the most cruel impoverishment of the lands of the tenant,— the lord's sheep-fold, or the lord's gamepreserve?


John Bale, Bishop of Ossory, who was nevertheless a furious enemy of the Roman Catholics, has the following curious picture of the detestable plunder of the monasteries by the headlong Reformers. This was written in 1549: "Covetousness was at that time so busy about private commodity, that public wealth in that most necessary, and of respect, was not anywhere regarded. A number of them, which purchased those superstitious mansions, reserved of those library books, some to serve their jakes, some to scour the candlesticks, and some to rub their boots; some they sold to the grocer and soap-seller; and some they sent over sea to the book-binders, not in small numbers, but, at times, whole ships full; yea, the universities of this realm are not at all clear in this detestable fact. But cursed is that belly which seeketh to be fed with so ungodly gains, and so deeply shameth his natural country. I know (says he) a merchantman (which shall at this time be

« AnteriorContinuar »