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UR Biographia Britannica is very of late a successful whitewash from the antiquarian meagre of names bearing prefatory fervour of Mr. Tytler ; and the Life of Beau Nash has titles of distinction, conferred—not been written at some length, and with admirable skill, by kings, but by common tacit con- by one whose charm of composition could throw an sent: Fully sensible of this defi- interest around the commonest topic he took in hand, ciency, we have been making out of telling a story with scarcely any other art than that of
late, for our own amusement, a list arranging the materials in their natural order. of worthies deriving the patents of their honours from I allude to the Life of Beau Nash by no less emithe voice of the people. It is a scanty but curious nent a hand than that of Dr. Goldsmith. The Doctor catalogue—Venerable Bede, Old Parr, Beau Brummell, was a dandy in dress, in a fashion and in a manner Bloody Mary, and Beau Nash: Selden, in his “Titles peculiarly his own. His tailor's bills have been of Honour,” is silent on the subject of such popular printed by Mr. Prior for the edification of the curipeerages. No fees were paid upon their appropriation, —and his dress and appearance preserved to the so our learned antiquary overlooked a class of worthies life in the entertaining biography of Boswell. Goldwhose names are never mentioned without their attri- smith should have written the life of Nash in the halfbutes of distinction-an honour seldom awarded to the dress suit of ratteen he wore at Boswell's party ; " for proudest of our peers.
the life of a beau,” as he tells us, “if a beau could The fame of Venerable Bede survives most usefully write, would certainly serve to regale curiosity.” in his own history ; Old Parr seems still to live among Dr. Cheyne of Bath, was heard to declare, in one of us in the admirable impersonation of Mr. Farren; his humorous moods, that Beau Nash never had a Beau Brummell's remains have been intrusted to the father. The entry of Tom Hill's baptismal register editorial care of Captain Jesse; Bloody Mary has had was destroyed-so Theodore Hook affirmed-in the
Fire of London. Dr. Cheyne would say at times, that white aprons. “I have known him on a ball night,” Beau Nash never had the ordinary distinction of a says Goldsmith, “strip even the Duchess of QueensChristian name. The Duchess of Marlborough, one bury, and throw her apron at one of the hinder day rallying him in public company upon the ob- benches ; observing, that none but abigails appeared scurity of his birth, compared him to Gil Blas, who in white aprons. The good-natured Duchess was ashamed of his father. “No, madam,” replied laughed and acquiesced in his censure, remembering the beau, “I seldom mention my father in company; perhaps the lines in Pope :not because I have any reason to be ashamed of him, but because he has some reason to be ashamed of
“ If Queensbury to strip there's no compelling,
'Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen.” Beau Brummell was the son of a confectioner, in When the Princess Amelia applied to him for one Jermyn Street. His father never served up a daintier dance more, he refused, - his laws, he said, were the dish, a better kind of trifle, or a more delicate piece laws of the Medes and Persians, laws which altered of pastry, than the full conception of his illustrious not. son. Beau Nash's father was, says Goldsmith, a It was an easy matter to tear an apron from the partner in a glass-house ;-no inappropriate birth- waist of a lady, but a difficult undertaking to extract place for a beau. Mr. Martin's hero may have been a pair of boots from the unwilling feet of a country born, for what we know, with a pocket-mirror in his 'squire. Nash is said to have made the attempt, and hand; he made the world his glass-house, for where- in a full assembly—covering his failure with an arch soever he went, his sole contemplation was himself. air, and a polite inquiry, Why Mr. So and So had not
If Romulus founded Rome, Beau Nash was the founder brought his horse in?—“The beast was shod and so of Bath; for before the Beau existed, Bath was but a was his master." poor place. He first erected it into a province of But these insolent sayings were first said when Beau pleasure, and became, by universal consent, its legislator Nash had become the beau of three generations—when and ruler. Bath was his kingdom, and Tunbridge his his rudeness had grown proverbial, and men laughed colony. His name is inseparably allied with both like the Duchess of Queensbury, and let the dandy places. You may as well think of walking over the have his own way. They could not but bow to the field of Waterloo, and forgetting Wellington, as of decision of one whose picture was taken at full-length going to Bath, and forgetting Beau Nash. His fame within their ball-room, with Sir Isaac Newton and the and name pervade the place ;-- you quote Anstey, but poet Pope for the Beau's supporters. They acquiesced, you think and talk of Beau Nash. Such are the in- and let Lord Chesterfield tell why— fluences and effects of genius. Mr. Martin has drawn our Lycurgus of a beau con
“ Immortal Newton never spoke,
More truth than here you'll find; templating the graces of his person in a new mirror
Nor Pope himself e'er penn'd a joke, fresh from the glass-house of his father at Swansea.
More cruel on mankind. Jic has just concocted his noble code of laws for the regulation of the city-balls, and his thoughts are divided
The picture placed the busts between,
Gives satire all her strength ; between the consequence of his person and the civil
Wisdom and Wit are little seen, izing effects of his new edict. He has no idea of
But Folly at full length.” “ Folly at full length,” but bows and simpers while achieving an imaginary conquest, or sneers with a kind A statue of Beau Nash is appropriately placed in of proud satisfaction, as if foreseeing the way in which the Pump-Room at Bath—but he wants the busts. some rebel lady has been made amenable at last to the They should be replaced for the sake of the epigram. wise provisions of his law. “D-n her,” he is saying to himself, “Regulation 8 has done for her; what does it say ?—That the elder ladies and children be content with a second bench at the ball, as being past or not come to perfection :' 'fore Gad, I've settled her : —if she says much, I'll have a gardener in with a ladder-his bag of shreds, his nails and hammer, and I'll tack her up to the back benches as a confirmed old wall-flower.”
Our Beau was very rude at times-rude both in sentiment and language. The ladies, it is true, gave him a great deal of trouble, and it was long before he could bring them within his code of dancing discipline
POPE and ball-room order. As his power and influence increased, he became the little tyrant at Tunbridge, and
NASIL the overbearing despot at Bath. He waged a long and successful war against gentlemen in boots and ladies in
CARCELY a thou- lover of fine scenery), the pilgrim arrives at the foot of sand paces eastward a lofty and almost perpendicular rock, inaccessible upon of the gates of the three of its sides, and crowned by the ruins of an exlittle town of Guens, tensive and stately castle, the remains of the fortress famous for the lion of Lockenhaus, formerly a stronghold of the Nadasdy like defence of Tu- family, and now a possession of Prince Esterhazy. rissit against the great So perfectly is its outline preserved, that, even from a
Suleyman in 1532, is short distance, it has all the appearance of being situated a lovely valley, nestled beneath one of the habitable ; but it is in reality almost entirely deserted frontier mountains of the stupendous chain which di- from its state of utter dilapidation, affording shelter vides the province of Eisenberg from Austria. Rich only to a few labourers, who contrive to make its meadows, and stretches of corn-field and orchard, in questionable accommodation subservient to their own terspersed with clumps of forest trees, make the whole penury, and who prefer the sheltered nooks afforded valley seem like one vast garden; while the clear and by the angles of its substantial stone-work to the less sparkling stream of the Guens, which gives its name secure huts of mud or timber which would be their to the town, meanders in many a wavy line amid the alternative. dense vegetation, swelling onward in fantastic curves Even in this state of decay, however, the castle of through the pleasant greenery, catching the sunlight Lockenhaus is well worthy of a visit, for its extraorin its course, and brawling with every pebble in its dinary vaults cannot fail to arrest the attention of the shallow bed. Wild flowers enamel its banks, and traveller. One of these, which was formerly the water-fowl build their nests amid its sheltering sedges ; sepulchre of the Nadasdy family, is built of ponderous nor would any dream during the summer months, square stones, and vaulted in round arches boldly prowhen, in several spots a strong man may clear it at a portioned, which rest on columns of prodigious girth. bound, that gathering force and volume as the winter It is of considerable length, being, in fact, a subpours its icy breath over the valley, and fed by the terranean gallery, lighted only by one circular apertorrents which sweep down the neighbouring declivi ture, which was closed by a stone, after the manner of ties, it overflows its channel, and spreads ruin and de the tombs of the patriarchs as described in holy writ. struction over the surrounding country; whence it is A second, situated under the suite of rooms once apcalled by the peasantry of the province “the wicked propriated to the lord of the castle, and dug deep into Guens.
the solid rock, is divided into two distinct compartments, By following the course of this capricious stream by a long line of stunted pillars, upon which the for about a league (an easy and a pleasant task to the rounded arches descend low and heavily; and the
well, dug fifty fathoms, cep the right hand corner a
whole subterranean has been elaborately ornamented light which fell from the high mullioned window at with statues carved in wood, of which some fragments his back, and his long snowy beard descending to his still remain. This singular vault is gained through a girdle. His sword lay on a cushion by his side, togevast hall, lighted very imperfectly by two narrow ther with his spurs, and an illuminated missal, in that arched windows, having in
age beyond all price, and as the herald approached, he
the rock, and sur- rose, and made a courteous obeisance, after which he rounded by a blood-red stainlerin beaad schifed the pression of quiet attention. Far different, however,
resumed his seat, and assumed an attitude and excircle, whence
dreary Hall of Blood Fitly was it named for pure, and noble; and inno- Upon the
brow of some might be read, a stern and cent blood was indeed poured forth like water where proud defiance, while the features of others bore an that stain exists—shed at midnight when the world expression of anxiety which they sought in vain to without was hushed in sleep, and peace brooded over disguise under a semblance of impatient haughtiness. earth and sky, only to be scared away by the foul Thë herald, however, wasted no time in commenting deeds of men! Blood, of which the crimson trace either upon the dignity of the chief, or the passionate shall be found at Lockenhaus so long as one stone of demonstrations of the assembled Templars, but at the grim old pile shall be left upon another.
once opened his mission by exclaiming in a tone of In times long gone by, ere yet the Nadasdys them- rude defiance. selves were lords of the fortress, it was the property “ Ye well know, knights and nables
, wherefore I and one of the many strongholds of the Templars. In am here for ye have not now to learn the edict of calm retirement, and strict adherence to the rules of the Council of Vienna, by which your order has been their order, righting the wronged, sustaining the feeble, abolished : neither need I dilate upon the crimes and avenging the oppressed, the knights found a worthy which have been expiated by several of your brethren equivalent for the deprivation of the mere worldly by a death of fire. Ye are all alike guilty and yet, honours and ephemeral triumphs to which most of lest it should be that some one among
you may be able them were entitled by their high blood and exalted to exculpate himself from the heavy charges wherewith position, and they wore the red cross with proud ye all stand charged, the King of Hungary, sour lord humility, and passed their tranquil days amid the and mine, unwilling that the innocent should suffer, affection of their retainers, without one suspicion of the hath convoked a high court of justice, before which ye storm which was about to burst above their devoted will be free to offer such defence as ye can bring to heads. Deep as was their regret at the discontent and bear against your guilt-and I am here, armed with opposition which had manifested itself against them in the royal mandate, to summon you to the trial.” France, they never for a moment contemplated the A deep and indignant silence succeeded to this adpossibility of the frightful consequences which ensued; dress ; and every gaze was turned upon the venerable and it was consequently with a consternation for which chief who occupied the chair of state ; but for a molanguage has no words that they learnt the execution ment he did not answer the appeal, of their grand master, and the sentence of extermina- ever, a light burned in his eye which had been for tion which had been pronounced against their order by years extinguished ; and he fose slowly and proudly, the council of Vienna. Henceforward, none of them with all the firm grace and self-possession of unbowed ventured to leave the walls of the castle lest they manhood; and waving his arm haughtily in the direcshould lose their lives; and it having been a part of tion of the herald, he replied in a voice as firm, as their policy to keep the fortress at all times well pro- sonorous, and as fearless as his own. visioned in the event of any hostile demonstration, they “You say well, Sir Herald; we are indeed resigned themselves to their adverse fortune with what acquainted with the edict of extermination which hath patience they might, although not without à gloomy been fulminated against us. We are not ignorant of presentiment of future ill.
the martyrdom of some of our best and bravest-of The obedience of the count-king, Robert of Anjou, the sainted death of our holy and pious knight-comto the will of the pope, by whom the destruction of mander, the head and bulwark of our order. We need the Templars had been vowed, they could not for one no teaching to comprehend of what crime both they moment doubt, as he was indebted to the pontiff for and we are held to be guilty: nor do we, in the his crown and kingdom of Hungary; and thus it was consciousness of our innocence, fear to submit our with more misgiving than surprise that after the lapse lives or our actions to the cognizance of justice. We of a few months, the warder one day announced the cannot, however, forget that our brethren now in Heaapproach of a royal herald, who demanded admission
ven were illegally murdered : and the remembrance to the castle, and speech of the venerable knight who does not tend to induce us willingly to place ourselves held the keys of the fortress.
in the same ruthless hands, without a full assurance The gates were immediately opened, and the herald that, until our guilt be proved, we shall not be conushered into the great hall, where the Templars were demned to die the death of the felon and the traitor. ranged about their chief, who occupied a high-backed We therefore demand that the royal word be pledged chair on the dais, beneath a canopy bearing the in- for our safety, until we be pronounced death-worthy signia of the red cross, and flanked by half a dozen by the laws of our country; and without this surety, infidel banners. Nothing could be more venerable not one of these brave knights, my followers and than his appearance, as he sat there with a calm brow children, will set foot beyond the ramparts. To prove and a steady eye, like one beyond fear of king or to you that I speak not without assurance of this fact, kaiser, who owned no allegiance save to the head of I call upon each Templar who is minded to submit in his own order : his ample robes falling about him in this to my authority, and to redeem my word, to lay large folds; his bald head glistening like marble in the hand upon his sword.”
In an instant the gaunt thus
and resources. clangour of the smitten metal awoke the greedy echoes These were not long suffered to remain untried, for of the hall so startlingly, that the herald involuntarily ere a week passed by, the castle was beleaguered on all stepped back a pace, and half drew his own sword, ere sides by the royal troops, who commenced their offenhe remembered that the character in which he came sive operations like men certain of success; but the was sacred, and that his emotion was an insult to well-provisioned and equally well-prepared condition of those about him, and a deep shame to his own chivalfy. the garrison, rendered the capture of the fortress a The hot blood mounted to his brow, and he withdrew measure alike of difficulty and danger; for the Temhis fingers hurriedly from their clasp, as he exclaimed- plars were at once experienced and desperate. It was,
“ Your treason be on your own heads, knights and as they well knew, the last hazard of the die ; and warriors: I will do your bidding to the King, though they met the danger like men who felt that there was little do I deem that it will avail you in this strait;" no alternative save a death of honour in that unequal and as he ceased speaking, he turned to leave the resistance, or a life of ignominy in the event of failure. hall.
So bravely did they bear themselves in the emergency “ Bear him company to the gates, my brothers," that a disheartening doubt of ultimate success began to said the chief; “ and show him all courtesy; nor pervade the beleaguering soldiery; and the royalist suffer your vow of hospitality to the stranger and the general abated somewhat of the boastful insolence with wayfarer to fail you in this case, even although his which he had on his arrival affected to look upon the errand may have proved vain as well as offensive. vermin who had been hunted to their holes, only to be
He was obeyed; the herald strode forth after a driven thence, and run to death by his own troops, slight and abrupt salutation, and was followed by all and to comprehend, however slowly and reluctantly, present save the chief himself. Beside his stirrup that even caged as they were within four walls, and cut stood an attendant with a goblet of rich wine, which he off from all hope of external aid, the enemies whom he tendered in silence to the departing guest, who put it came there to crush were no contemptible and craven aside carelessly with his hand, and then walking to foes, to be scared by threats, or subdued by the vision of wards a fountain in the court-yard, filled his palm with a King's frown, turned on them in furtherance of his water and swallowed it hurriedly; after which he own ambition, and not called up by their own demerits. emptied a second handful upon the pavement, as if to Thus were things circumstanced when one vile intimate that he had accepted only that which was traitor, haunted by the ear of ultimate failure on the valueless from the brotherhood; and in the next in part of his companions, to whose fortunes he was stant he was in the saddle, and galloping under the bound by a solemn vow, made his escape from Lockengateway, followed by his two armed attendants. haus under cover of the darkness, and sped to the
A few days only had elapsed, when the same mes camp of the enemy. He was welcomed with the false senger re-appeared before the fortress of Lockenhaus, and hollow welcome of the renegade ; and, like Judas, but on this occasion he did not seek for entrance. The he sold his soul, not indeed for thirty pieces of silver, blast of his bugle summoned the whole body of the but for a yet meaner price—the safety of his own Templars to the ramparts, whence they heard them worthless life. He remained an hour in the tent of selves proclaimed as traitors and outlaws, who had by the general, where he was fed with praise and proopposition to the royal will, and a refusal to submit to mises, and encouraged by pledges too magnificent the authority of the tribunal convened to pass judg even to be redeemed ; and then, intoxicated with ment upon them, tacitly confessed their guilt, and wine and hope, he crawled back through the silent