Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

T hough with fair speech and music ever new I The woods are vocal, and the waters too; t Sounds less presuming, but to Taney dear. Come indistinctly o'er the wakeful ear. The whirring beetle as it blindly heaves The scrambling black-thorn, or the sapling's leaves.

Or dash of pebbles in that brooklet's tide,
As the wren nestles in its grassy side.

Oh! could I lose the world, and, thus be-
guiled,

Pass all my days in some secluded wild!
For all it proffers seems, compared to this,
A thirsty desert, where no water is.

On reaching the church-yard, it was I not long before I descried the " narrow seat," shown to the right of the preceding cut

"Part shaded by cool leafy elms, and part
Offering a sunny resting-place to those
Who seek the house of worship, while the bells
Yet ricg with all their voices, or before
The last hath ceased its solitary knoll."*

I procured the key of the church, the interior of which manifests unusual neatI ness. It contains a chaste and appro

{jriate tablet to the memory of Dr. Home, late bishop of Norwich, whose "Commentar >n the Psalms will continue to be a companion to the closet, till the devotions of earth shall end in the hallelujahs of Heaven."

On the south side of the altar is a brass plate, with figures of a man, his wife, and seven children, thus inscribed:— "In God is all my trust. Here lyeth the body of Thomas Hcndley, csquier by degre. The yongest sone of Jervis Hrndley, of Corsworne in Cramkebrocke, Gcnt'man known to be, Who gave a house, and also land, the Fifteene for to paye, And to relieve the people pore of this parishe for aye

He died the day of from Him that Judas sold

A thousand five hundredth and ninety yere,

being eightie nine yeres ould. Protesting often before his death, when he his faith declared, That onlye by the death of Christ he hop d to be saved. (Query, spared !) Christ is oure only Savior." The rythm and metre of these verses are only equalled by those of " Mrs. Harris's" petition, 1699: —

• Wordsworth. — Shakespeare uses the word " knoll " in a similar sense in one of his sweetest passages.

"I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's

chamber because I was cold, And I had, in my purse, seven pounds four

shillings and six pence, besides farthings,

in money and gold." The hiatus in the fifth line the reader may fill up ad libitum, as the poetry will not suffer by the introduction or omission of a few syllables, the " first day of May," or the "twenty-second day of December," being equally eligible for that purpose.

One of the bells has the following inscription:

jrofjannes (Lthrtsti care tiignare pro
nobis orare.

There was formerly a religious house at Otham, founded by Ralph de Dene, the ground for which was given by Sir Robert de Thurnham, who afterwards went into Palestine with " Richard, who robbed the lion of his heart," where he signalized himself so much as to obtain this honorable mention in one of our old chroniclers:—

■liobrrt it Bfiomftant frith his faurfjion , '(Pan to crake maun a rroton, "But," says Weever, •' he was so busy in cracking the Saracins crownes that he tooke the Ie3se heede (I think) of his owne, for then and there he was slaine."

is. a.

mtObtV 28.

War.

October '28, 1467, Erasmus was born. "Poor in the world, but rich in genius; obscure in his birth and unpreferred at his death, but illustrious by his virtues; he became the self-appointed champion of man, a volunteer in the service of miserable mortals, an unbought advocate in the cause of those who could only repay him with their love and their prayers —the poor outcast, the abject slave of superstition or tyranny, and all the nameless numberless sons of want and woe, born only to suffer and to die," This estimate of him is from the preface to a translation by the late Rev. Dr. Vicessimus Knox, of Erasmus's "Antipolemus, or the Plea of Reason, Religion, and Humanity against War"

Erasmus was the uncompromising advocate for Peace; and it was in a similar character that Dr. Knox became his translator, and says, in an excellent preface to Erasmus* treatise, "The total

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The weather now cold enough for winter clothing and great coats.

©ctofirr 29.

City Companies. On the 29th of October, 1742 (being Lord Mayor's Day, old style) Robert Willimot, Esq., the new lord mayor of London, was with the usual solemnity sworn into that office at Westminster, for the year ensuing. On that occasion it was remarkable that notwithstanding the common notion that a lord mayor must be free of one of the twelve companies, his lordship broke through that custom, upon the advice of counsel that there was no law for it. His lordship was of the Cooper's company, and would have been translated to the Clothworker's, which is one of the twelve; but his admission to the Clothworker's being carried but by a small majority, and that company having at the same time refused him the use of their hall, he was resolved to give them no farther trouble. It is only necessary that the lord mayor for the time being should be free of one of the twelve companies, in case he should require to be president of the Irish Committee.* Besides the discharge of duties of great importance in their halls, the twelve companies there uphold those ancient festivities, for which they have acquired especial fame, and whence the members of their courts derive the deserved reputation of being acquainted with the "alderman's walk," in the art of carving.

* Maitlnnd.

Carving.

(For the Year Book.]

There is many a proverbial expression which passes current with the multitude for much less than its value; or, if it possess no deeper meaning than is vulgarly attached to it, deserves to rank among "the Popular Fallacies" which our Elia has so cleverly and quaintly exposed. Among the number is this one —" Help yourself and your friends will like you the better." This, they imagine, savours strongly of rough hospitality; it is perpetually bubbling from the lips of your "hearty good fellow;" it is the understood invitation to sociality and sottishness.

It is, in brief, as he fancies, as if he said, " Come, make yourself at home !- • don't sit there looking wretched and watching every one imploringly, till they ask you to try a bit more, or bothering all the company with your officious civilities, that they may take the hint and return the compliment."

But, in truth, the expression has nothing friendly about it; it is a reproof to idleness, rather than an exhortation to merriment. It was the production of that golden age of comfort and civilization, when every man carved for himself, and implies no more than this—" Help yourself, for, if you do not, nobody else will 1" It was a maxim worthy of those primeval ages of innocence and happiness, when the solitary host had not to carve for a whole host of consumers—when it was not his part only to " cut," and that of the others to "come again I"

It has been observed, most truly, that "We never feel so benevolent, as we do when we have dined!" but we cannot be expected to exhibit much philanthropy until we have arrived at that happy crisis. Never can human magnanimity be more severely tried, than in being required while his fat is condensing and his gravy congealing (" Grave exitium," as Apicius would have called it), to lend a helping hand to his neighbour!

It was the custom in the primitive ages (as it is to this day among unsophisticated nations," —those who have not yet learnt to sacrifice the comfortable institutions of their forefathers to the idols of fashion and innovation) for the guests to sit at the

* See Dr. Clarke's account of a Russian dinner.

table as their rank entitled them to precedence: the host leaded the board; a post then of profit as well as honor, for it was his privilege to cut off the tit-bits for himself! he then passed the dish to his next neighbour, who carved it according to his fancy, and pushed it down to the guest below him. In the lapse of ages, however, the impolicy of this practice became apparent; the joint—for where many dined together it must have been a iomt-concern !—soon cut so sorry a figure that the fastidious would be sorry to cut it, after it had been first mangled by the aristocracy above, then to be washed by the tears of famishing plebeians was contrary to all reason and religion.* But it was difficult, at first, to find a remedy for the evil: there was no gentleman patriotic enough to sacrifice both his food and his first choice (as the host does now) for the public benefit. In this dilemma, they were obliged to entrust the important office of cutting and distributing the meat to a servant (I should say a slave), to one whose impartiality was guaranteed by the impossibility of his enjoying what he carved.

At first, as it may be supposed, the duty was but clumsily performed; any servant would do for the occasion; perhaps the very cook that decorated the roasted peacock with gold leaf was often compelled to join the two professions, as they are now united, and be both " carver and gilder.' In time, however, it became a particular profession; the servant whose sole employment it was, in fact, was a menial anatomist; he was instructed by regular professors in the science of carving, and practised his art with pride and dexterity. The poet Juvenal f thus introduces him: "The carver, dancing round, each dish surveys

With flying knife; and, as his heart directs, with proper gesture every fowl dissects. 4 thing of so great moment to their taste That one false slip—had surely marr'd the feast."

The carver, who had arrived at such eminence in his profession, was, of course, to be met with only in the houses of the great; the same satirist, in a subsequent place, declares that in his humble abode no such proficient was to be found.

• This will both explain and justify the indignation of Alcxidcmus, at being placed at the bottom of the table, at "the banquet of the seven sages."—Plutarch.

f Satire the Stb

"No dexterous carvers have I got, "Such as by skilful Trypherus are taught; In whose famed schools the various forms appear

Of fishes, beasts, and all the fowls of the air ; And where, with blunted knife, his scholars learn

How to dissect, and the nice joint discern; While all the neighbourhood are with noise opprcss'd

From the harsh carving of his wooden feast.'"

The meaning of the last two lines is literally "and the supper of Elmwood sounds through the whole suburb." By this passage we are informed that, at the "schools for carving," the instructor produced wooden models of various victuals, carved out into pieces as the originals ought to be, and fastened together, as Rupert supposes, by threads or glue, which the pupil had to separate with a blunt instrument.

The accomplished carver had notmerely to anatomise the dainty before him, but to let his operations keep time to the music which played throughout the dinner. "The carver)- (says the lively chamberlain of Nero) lacerates the victuals, making such gesticulations to the concert, that you would think he was fighting Darius while the music was playing." We cannot now accurately discover what were the tunes played at entertainments, but we may reasonably conjecture that they were appropriate to the occasion; "The Roast Beef ofOU England,"undoubtedly, was onel

Annsus Seneca, who wasted his sympathy on those who had no cause for sorrow, lamenting the forlorn condition of Roman slaves, enumerates their several distressing ofnces.J "Another (says he) cuts up the precious poultry; twisting his skilful hand in appointed strokes, he divides the breasts and the backs into pieces. Unhappy he who lives but for this one purpose, that he may carve fat fowls with neatness I"

It is utterly impossible to trace the progress of the science through the stormy ages that succeeded the luxurious emperors of Rome. Rome perished ; and civilization died, like a Hindoo widow, upon its funeral pile 1 Carving, perhaps, fell with them; but it rose again a phoenix from the ashes (though my Cock

■ Satire the 11th.

t Petronius. } Epistle the 47th.

ney frier.ds perliaps may say carving has nothing to do with hashes) in renovated vigour! After the dark curtain of the middle ages was withdrawn from the stage of history, we find the office of carver no longer entrusted to the hands of slaves, but devolved upon the highest officer in the household of the knight and the nobleman—" the squire." For a description of this important situation I must refer my readers to the page of Mills,* or James.-f or Stebbing;J it is enough for ine to remind them that it was it post of high respectability, and responsibilty—one frequently filled by the very sons of the master of the establishment. Chaucer introduces us to the son of the knight, under the title of "the Squier," and thus describes him :—

Old But ton (an " Anatomist," too, in his way) complains that in the opinion of many men, a wife is a mere piece ol utility.. "She is fit to bear the office, go vern a family, to bring up children, to sit at board's end and curve.'

Shakspeare, who never suffered one touching trait of tenderness to escape him, also alludes to this interesting custom. Adriana, in her heart-rending remonstrance to the deceived and deceiving Antipholus, exclaims,

'* The time v» once, when thou unurged

wouldst vow That never words were music to thine ear, Sec. — That never meat sweet savoured to thy

I nless I spoke, looked, touched, or carved to thee. t

'* Curteis he was, lowly, and servnanie, And car/befor his fadt-r at the table." |)

"The Squier" is again described in two other places, in the same author, as performing a similar duty:

"Now stood the Lordcs squier atte bord. That car/ his u etc

and Damian, who is more familiar to the public in his more modern costume in Pope's January and May, "Carf helot his knight full many a day." f When the duty of carving had once reached this height of gentility, it had but One step more to reach the summit of its glory; when it h. id once become a post of honor, and its labours were considered those of affection and endearment, it of course was soon dignified by the performance of softer and fairer fingers; it soon became the pleasing office of the wife or daughter! it was theirs to execute the tender part of selecting a tender part for the happy eater. Thus did the interesting and unfortunate Lady Isabel.; fur we are told by the poet,

"Now when this lord he did come home.

For to ail down and cat,
He called for his daughter deare

To come and carve his meal."

* History of Chivalry, vol. 1. t Hist, of Chivalry. National Library J Hist, of Chivalry, Constable's Misceil-nv vol. I, 57.' || Introd. to Canterbury Tales. § Sompnour's Tale. 1 Merchant's Tale, The Lady Isabella Tragedy.—Pony's Relics, vol. 4'

What can be more tender! It was, we perceive, a fond and refined feeling, which occasioned the custom of the Abyssinians at dinner it when every gentleman sat between two ladies, who made up his food into convenient mnulhfuls, and stuffed it into his mouth for him. This story is now fully accredited as it deserves; and is no longer considered what is vulgarly called " a crum" (i. e. a fiction); affection, and not indolence, was the origin of 'the amiable institution.

When the office of carving was entrusted to the fair hands of the ladies, we may well conceive it would soon be brought to exquisite perfection as an accomplishment; and it was so. In the reign of our second Charles, it appears that there were regular academies for the instruction of novices in this genteel and useful science :—Cowley "falls into the wonder and complaint of Columella, how that it should come to pass," that there was no professor of agriculture, while "even vaulting, fencing, dancing, attiring, cookery, carving, and such like vanities, should all have public schools and masters.'°||

Instruction is by no means unnecessary, in an art requiring so much manual dexterity as carving; many an exalted genius could never attain to any decent expertness. Montaigne§ among his many imperfections, which he is so free to confess, candidly declares, " I cannot handsomely fold up a letter, nor could ever

* Anat. of Mi Lined, vol. 2.
♦ Comedy of Errors, act 2, S
t Bruce's Travels.
U Essay on Agriculture,
& "On Presumption."

make a pen, nor carve at lable worth a pin." It is not an acquirement to be despised, even by the illustrious in learning and literature; it was the war cry of the patriotic Spaniard that he would fight even "with the knife 1"—it is disgraceful for a gentleman to be unable to carve with the instrument with which he could kill.

The polished Chesterfield is very energetic in forcing the attention of his son to this art.0 However trifling (says he) some things may seem, they are no longer so, when about half the world thinks them otherwise. Carving, as it occurs at least once in every day, is not below our notice. We should use ourselves to carve adroitly and genteelly," he.

Skilful carving is not merely a sign of gentility, it is also a demonstration of ingenuity and acuteness, in adapting the parts and pieces to the tastes and tempers of the helped :—a leg for the gouty—a wing for the ponderous—seasoning for the inexperienced—a bit of the rare for the virtuoso—a merry-thought for the melancholy! and so forth. There is an amusing Hebrew tale of a Jerusalemite,f who had to perform "three clever things as a proof of his wisdom," to entitle him to claim his patrimony; two out of the three were his carving at dinner and at supper. In the first instance he had to distribute five chickens among the party, which he did by dividing one chicken between the trustee of his property and his wife; "another between the two daughters ; the third between the two sons; and the remaining two he took for his own share." He explains the reasons of this partition, by alleging it was done arithmetically. "Thou (says he to the master of the house), thy wife, and one chicken, made up the number three; thy two daughters and another chicken made up another three; thy two sons and a chicken made again three. To make up the last number I was compelled to take the remaining chickens to myself)—for two chickens and thy humble servant made again three." This ts something after the ingenious manner of the facetious carver in Joe Miller, who shared a pair of chickens between himself and his two friends, saying, "There is on* for you two and here's one for me too /"—The carving of the Hebrew at supper was still more subtle than at dinner; but, as I have al

t Principles of Politonras.
X Huiwill's Hebrew Tales, page 195.

ready been too prolix and particular, I must conclude my garrulity, for fear my exhausted readers should prove their skill in cavring, by cutting me and my memoranda for e> er!

Pbohetheus Percival Pipps.

h. m

October 29.—Day breaks . . 5 11
Sun rises ... 7 6
— sets ... 4 54
Twilight ends . 6 49

October 30.

October 30, 1485, King Henry VII. was crowned. The ceremonial was hurried over with less display than was customary and the usual procession at a coronation through the city. He had shortly before gratified the citizens with his presence on his return from the victory of Uosworth Field; when, upon approaching London he was met at Shoreditch by the mayor and his brethren, in scarlet, with other worshipful citizens clothed in violet; and with great pomp and triumph he rode through the city to the cathedral church of St. Paul, where he offered three standards; one with the image of St. George, another with a red fiery dragon beaten upon white and green sarcenet, and the thir I with a dun cow upon yellow tartern. After prayers and the singing of Te Deum, he departed to the bishop's palace, where he remained for some days.

In 1487, he was received with very similar ceremonies when he came to London to attend his queen's coronation. He was met by the citizens at Hornsey Park, and there knighted the lord mayor, Sir William Home. The queen, the countess of Richmond, the king's mother, and other ladies, were privately placed to behold the show in a house near St. Mary's Hospital without Bishopsgate. The livery companies lined the street; and at St. Paul's the king was received by the archbishop of Canterbury and other prelates. At his entrance into the cathedral he was censed with the great censers of St. Paul's by an angel who came out from the roof. After offering at the customary places within the church, he went to the bishop's palace to lodge.

The queen herself, accompanied by the Countess of Richmond and many lords and ladies, had previously arrived from

« ZurückWeiter »