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veyance homeward ; and thus ended the stopped, and she never received it afterday's eventful history.
D. A. wards. Camberweil, April 1831.
The name of Oliver appears to have
been connected with the arts from the May 6.
time of James I., to whom John Oliver ISAAC AND Peter OLIVER.
was master-mason. His descendant, of Horace Walpole's mention of the sale of the same name, was one of the three coman historical miniature by Peter Oliver, in missioners for regulating the plan of build. May 1726, suggests this as an opportunity ing the city of London after the great fire to allude to the performances of Peter, and in 1666. Aubrey says, that he was the his distinguished father, Isaac Oliver. city surveyor, and that he became pos
Mr. Granger says, there never appeared sessed of a great part of the MS. designs in England, nor perhaps in the whole and sketches of Inigo Jones. This John world, a greater master in miniature than Oliver, who is presumed to have been son Isaac Oliver. He painted a few pieces of to James, a younger brother of Peter history, but generally portraits; which Oliver's, is also presumed to have been have so much truth and delicacy, as never the painter of the Saving of St. Peter from to have been equalled, but by the smaller prison, on a glass window, at Christworks of Holbein. He died in the reign of Church, Oxford, inscribed, “ J. Oliver, Charles I. Peter died in 1654. In por- aetat. suæ 84, anno 1700, pinxit deditque." traits he was comparable with his father. The finest specimen of his minute works, Granger adds, that the head of Peter sun-dials with flies, insects, and butterflies, Oliver's wife is supposed to be the most is (or was) in the parlour window of the capital of his works.
rectory house at Northill in Bedfordshire,
where he had been employed to make a The greater part of the collection of window of exquisitely finished blazoning pictures made by Charles I., among which for the chancel of the church. One of his were several of the Oliver's, being dis- best performances is a sun-dial, with the persed in the troubles, Charles II., who arms of archbishop Sheldon, and a view remembered and was desirous of recover- of the theatre at Oxford, now in Lambeih ing them, made many inquiries about them palace. after the restoration. Ai last he was tolil that Peter Oliver's widow was living at
h, m. Isleworth and had many of their works.
May 6.—Day breaks 1 49 The king went very privately and un
4 29 known to see them, and the widow showed
7 31 several finished and unfinished. Charles
10 11 asked if she would sell them; she replied Lesser stitchwort flowers. she had a mind the king should see them Rough crowsfoot flowers. first. He then discovered himself, on Lilacs are in flower. which she produced others which she sel- European globeflower is frequently in dom exhibited. The king desired her to
flower; though in some situations il blows set her price: she said she did not care to
a fortnight later. do that with his majesty, she would leave Field Sherrardia flowers generally. it to him ; but she promised to look over her husband's books, and let his majesty know what prices his father, the late king,
May 7. had paid. The king took away what he
MAY POLES AND PLAYS. liked, and sent a message to Mrs. Oliver with the option of £1000 or an annuity of A letter of this date in the time of the £300 for her life. She chose the annuity. Commonwealth is pointed out by a corSome years afterwards it happened that respondent, I. H. S., with this remark, Charles's mistresses had begged all or that, previously to the restoration, most most of these pictures, which Mrs. Oliver classes had adopted the maxim of the being told of, she said that if she thought vicar of Bray, and were making "right that the king would have given them merrie, on being, in a great measure, away to such--[sort of people]—he never freed from the restraint in which the pecushould have had them. This reached the liar doctrines of the rulers of the nation court, the poor woman's annuity was had for a long time held them."
[Copy.] “Newcastle, the 7th day of May, 1660. “Sir,- The country as well as the town abounds with vanities, now the reins of liberty and licentiousness are let loose. May-poles, and Plays, and Juglers, and ali things else now pass current; sin now appears with a brazen face. That wicked spirit amongst men, that formerly was curbed and restrained, doth now auda. ciously and impudently show itself with boasting and gloriation."*
(For the Year Book.] Whether the decorous spectacle described in the Year Book at pp. 25, 60, of royalty throwing dice at the Groom Porter's, is still exhibited I cannot say; but that the custom was observed so late as a century since is proved by the first number of the Gentleman's Magazine, which after describing various other ceremonies at Court on Twelfth Day, 1731, proceeds :-“At night, their Majesties play'd at hazard with the Nobility, for the benefit of the Groom Porter; and 'twas said the king won 600 guineas, the
que 360, the princess Amelia twenty, the princess Caroline ten, the earl of Portmore and duke of Grafton several thousands."
I cannot refrain from adding the paragraph which immediately succeeds, because, taken in connexion with the preceding, it describes a delightful mode of dispensing equally those “laws which were made for ev'ry degree"
“At night, Mr. Sharpless, hign constable of Holborn division, together with several of his petty constables, went to scarch a notorious gaming-house behind Grays Inn Walks, by virtue of a warrant under the hands and seals of the right honorable Lord Delawar, and eleven
other of Ilis Majesty's justices of the peace for the county of Middlesex; but the gamesters having previous notice they all fled, except the master of the house, who, being named in the warrant, was apprehended, examined, and bound in a recognizance of £200 penalty, pursuant to the old statute of 33 Henry VIII."
Certainly there is nothing more commendable than even-handed justice.
Some farther allusions to the practices at the Groom Porter's may be collected from old plays,
“ He will win you, By unresistible luck, within this fortnight, Enough to buy a barony. They will set him Upmost at the Groom Porter's, all the Christmas.”—Jonson's Alchemist, Act 3.
“Faith! ill company, and that common vice of the town, gaming, soon ran out my younger brother's fortune ; for, imagining, like some of the luckier gamesters, to improve my stock at the Groom Porter's, I ventured on and lost all.”— Mrs. Behn's Widow Ranter, Act 1.
“O happy man! I shall never need to sneak after a lord, to sing catches, to break jests, to eat and rook with him. I'll get me a pack of fox-dogs, hunt every day, and play at the Groom Porter's at night.”- Shadwell's True Widow, Act 3.
* Loud call to England, 1660, p. 24.
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king,
CHESSMEN DESIGNED BY FLAXMAN.
The annexed notice is by a gentleman of our countrymen who united poetry with who possesses a set of elegant chess- sculpture, executed for Messrs. Wedg-men, which he most obligingly lent, for wood, of Etruria, a series of models for a the purpose of drawings being made set of chessmen, which, for beauty of from such of the pieces as might be se- design, and variety of attitude, are unlected. Six engravings are executed, in- rivalled. It is to be regretted that, from cluding the king and queen above. the close of Messrs. Wedgewood's esta
blishment in London, no further informaFLAXMAN'S CHESSMEN.
tion relative to these specimens of elegant (For the Year Book.]
poltery can be obtained than that “the
moulds are still in existence.” In this country the game of chess is As you, Mr. Hone, have thought degenerally played with pieces either of signs from some of these “pieces" would wood or ivory, just sufficiently carved at form a pleasing embellishment to the the top to denole their different character Year Book, I will endeavour to give some and power, and with turned bases. In little description of them. many of our shops for articles of eastern The kings and queens are statues of luxury, sets of chessmen of elaborate about three inches and a-half, standing workmanship, and costly material, are on circular pedestals of three quarters of exhibited, 10 attract the notice of the an inch in height; the postures of the
passers by," while it is not generally black king and queen are very bold and known that the late distinguished sculptor, striking; but the expression of simpie John Flaxman, R. A., of whom it has dignity in the white king and queen (enbeen juslly said, that “ he was the first graved above) is particularly interesting.
The bishops are from one mould. Could whose style of dress reminded me of your readers see the cast, I think they Vandyk's picture of the earl of Arundel, would acknowledge that the figure could only that my visitor's garments did not apnot be surpassed. The spirit of religion pear to have been made with quite so and meekness has never been developed much care as that nobleman's are reprein a purer form; the countenance, the sented to have been. attitude, the fall of the drapery, are all I can hardly describe my sensations; inexpressibly beautiful.
but they were not those of fear. lookThe knights are likewise from the same ed upon a manly brow, illumined by a mould: the grouping of the man and clear blue eye, and, although the general horse is very graceful, and thc action expression of the face was as I have before highly spirited and characteristic. termed quaint, the smile that played over
The custles, also alike, represent a the features was highly characteristic of square Donjon keep,” with a single benevolence. Yet I was uneasy; for I lurret, or watch tower, at one angle of the felt myself in the presence of an unnattlements.
earthly being, and anxiously waited for The puwns, about two inches in height, him to communicate the object of his are figures of men at arms, bill-men and visit. bow-men, in various positions of offence “My name," said the unkvown, “is or defence : the attitude of a wounded not strange to you: I am Don Pietro warrior, and of another who is about to de Carrera ; and I have been so much hurl a large stone on his enemy, is very pleased with the patient attention which good.
you have bestowed upon that problem, Every figure in this set of chessmen is ihat, if you will listen to me, I will teach modelled with anatomical correctness, you a lesson on the game which you may and, in the movements of the game, they find of great service in your path through form very beautiful groups, and impart to
life.” it an additional interest.
I bowed, and, as stenography is one of R. R. the arts I have studied professionally, I in
stinctively took up the pen I had just
used. I was enabled to write every word A LESSON ON TUE GAME.
that fell from his lips. This circumstance (For the Year Book.]
now appears to me to be very extraordiA few evenings ago, my friend Jamie nary. The sounds he uttered were in a son called at my chambers to play a strange language-it must have been the game of chess. He has taste in the fine spirituality of his communication which arts, as well as skill in the game, and I went direct to my understanding. produced a set of Flaxman's chess-men, Carrera resumed -“ From the earliest by Wedgewood, which I deem it good for- age of civilized society, the game of chess tune to possess, and which I think must has been considered a study which would be the pieces alluded to in the Year amply repay the steady application and Book, p. 271.
serious reflection necessary to acquire its We had just concluded a game, and were perfect knowledge. In my day its proadmiring the beauty of the bishop, when fessors were sought after, and entertained a card was brought to my friend. “'Tis as the friends of the great, and the coinpafrom a country client,” said he, “I must nions of princes - those times are long attend to him.” “ You can see him in since past, and I cannot regret, that, with the next room," I replied, “ and in the the general diffusion of knowledge, this mean time I will endeavour to amuse my- game, which was once the science of the self with one of Carrera's situations few,' is now the never-failing source of Jamieson retired, and I was soon deep in rational enjoyment to the many. The the study of the sia teenth problem. With studious, the wise, the good, in every the assistance of pen and paper to note clime have considered it a noble recreamy moves, I was enabled to master it tion; following the example of the early without reference to the printed solution; masters of its mysteries, they have recordand; in expectation of my opponent's re- ed for the benefit of posterity the result of turn, I arranged the pieces on the board their practice; and the moralist has forme for a fresh game. Upon raising my eyes, ed from it many a pleasing and instrucI was surprised to find my fiiend's chair tive allegory. occupied by a very quaint looking person, “ The work before you contains my principles of the game of chess. I in- Ambition. The rule which gives the tended to have given in a concluding game to the party who deprives the opchapter some remarks on the application ponent's king of the power of motion of those principles to the game of life.- proves that the inventors of the game, un.
“ The Board may be considered the like the levellers of the present day, were field of life, chequered with good and evil, firm loyalists, and duly impressed with on which man is to play his game and be the divinity that doth hedge a king.'” rewarded according to his deserts.
I here felt a touch on my elbow, and “ The Pawns may be looked upon as my pen fell from my hand, “Confound it, representing those feelings which are first whai a blot !" I exclaimed; and, as I excited by circumstances, and form barriers spoke, I was surprised to see a cloud, to those stronger passions which I would from which issued a most delicious frarepresent by the superior pieces. Happy grance, pass over the face of Carrera. On is the man, who, by care and attention to its clearing away, I discovered the feahis pawns, maintains that barrier, behind tures of Jamieson.which he may grourely bring his pieces My friend laughed immoderately. “Why into play. But .n the game of life, as in Granville,” said he,“ when I returned, chess, the players are generally anxious your candle snuffs were of portentous for early distinction; and, to the impru- length; I trimmed them, and as you did not dence of suffering the passions to escape acknowledge the obligation, bui continued from their line of defence, most of the your writing, I quietly took a cigar; and difficulties and dangers that immediately have been enjoying, for this balf hour, the beset them may be traced.
sight of a man making hieroglyphics in “ The Castle, moving over the board in his sleep.”—“ Hieroglyphics do you term direct lines, represents that innate sense them," I replied, I will send theni to of justice pervading every human breast, friend Hone, and, should he deem them which, however attacked, when properly worthy of a page in his Year Book, I maintained, cannot be conquered. Strong hope they may not send any of his readers in its own might, it forms a bulwark of to sleep. defence at home, while it controls and pu
A. I nishes at a distance the errors of the au- March, 1831. versary. “ The Knight, eccentric in his move
WRITERS ON. Chess-PLAYERS AT TUE ments, but regulated by fixed principles
GAME-CHESSMEN. of action, pourtrays that feeling of honor which, deviating from the beaten course,
[For the Year Book.] seeks for adventures. He often proves a Much learning has been wasted, to very firm friend in the hour of need ; yet his little purpose, in tracing the origin of the roving propensity sometimes carries him game of chess : it has been referred by far from succor, and he falls a victim to some to the metteia, and by others to the his chivalrous nature.
alivdiov of the Greeks. Some have con. “ By the walk of the Bishops may be sidered it to bear a resemblance to the considered the religious feeling which is Latrunculus, some to the Alveus, of the continually crossed by the movements of Romans. Some, again, have believed il ordinary life: as they never leave the io be the invention of the Chinese, color of the square tney start from, they and some, of the Hindoos; but, after all, are typical of a firm faith.
the question remains in as much uncer“ Ambition may find a representative tainty as at first. It is clear, however, in the Queen; combining the power of the that the Greek and Roman games were castle and bishop, she roams over the games of chance: in chess chance has no field ; like the ambitious of the world, she part; and, in so far, the games, as played requires great support from the lower by the Chinese and Hindoos, from times pieces, and is frequently cut off when she “beyond which the memory of man reachventures too boldly to attack.
eth not," resemble that of the present “ The King, only moving one square at day; varying, as they both do, their simia time, while every direction is open to larity is sufficient to prove that, in essenhis choice, is highly characteristic of Pru- tials, they are the same, and, therefore, dence. He seldom moves unless forced, that the game, as played in Europe, shelters himself behind, and claims the whoever may have been the inventor, was succor of Justice, Honor, Religion and brought froin the east.