ePub 版

In 1773

to Goldsmith, among others, to induce him to write and half a pound of sugar as an acknowledgment. in favour of the Administration. “I found him," “ 1769. Goldsmith fell in love with Mary Homeck, he said, “in a miserable set of chambers in the known as the “Jessamy Bride.' Unfortunately he Temple. I told him my authority; I told him obtained an advance of £500 for his 'Natural that I was empowered to pay most liberally for History,' and wholly expended it when only six his exertions; and—would you believe it !-he was chapters were written.” In 1771 he published so absurd as to say, 'I can earn as much as will his “History of England." It was in this year that supply my wants without writing for any party ; Reynolds, coming one day to Brick Court, perhaps the assistance you offer is therefore unnecessary about the portrait of Goldsmith he had painted to me.' And so I left him," added the Rev. Dr. the year before, found the mercurial poet kicking a Scott, indignantly, “in his garret.”

bundle, which contained a masquerade dress, about On the partial success of The Good-Natured the room, in disgust at his folly in wasting money in Man (January, 1768), Goldsmith, having cleared so foolish a way. In 1772, Mr. Forster mentions a £500, broke out like a successful gambler. He very characteristic story of Goldsmith's warmth of purchased a set of chambers (No. 2, up two heart. He one day found a poor Irish student pairs of stairs, in Brick Court) for £400, squan- (afterwards Dr. M'Veagh M'Donnell, a well-known dered the remaining £100, ran in debt to his physician) sitting and moping in despair on a tailor, and borrowed of Mr. Bolt, a man on the bench in the Temple Gardens. Goldsmith soon same floor. He purchased Wilton carpets, blue talked and laughed him into hope and spirits, merino curtains, chimney-glasses, book-cases, and then taking him off to his chambers, employed him card-tables, and, by the aid of Filby, enrobed him to translate some chapters of Buffon. in a suit of Tyrian bloom, satin grain, with darker She Stoops to Conquer made a great hit; but Noll blue silk breeches, price £8 2s. 7d., and he even was still writing at hack-work, and was deeper ventured at a more costly suit, lined with silk in debt than ever. In 1774, when Goldsmith was and ornamented with gilt buttons. Below him still grinding on at his hopeless drudge-work, as far lived that learned lawyer, Mr. Blackstone, then from the goal of fortune as ever, and even resolving poring over the fourth volume of his precious to abandon London life, with all its temptations, “Commentaries," and the noise and dancing over- Mr. Forster relates that Johnson, dining with the head nearly drove him mad, as it also did a Mr. poet, Reynolds, and some one else, silently reproved Children, who succeeded him. The cause of these the extravagance of so expensive a dinner by sendnoises Mr. John Forster relates in his delightful ing away the whole second course untouched. biography of the poet. An Irish merchant named In March, 1774, Goldsmith returned from EdgSeguin “ remembered dinners at which John- ware to his Temple chambers, which he was trying son, Percy, Bickerstaff, Kelly, "and a variety of to sell, suffering from a low nervous fever, partly authors of minor note,' were guests. They talked the result of vexation at his pecuniary embarrassof supper-parties with younger people, as well in ments. Mr. Hawes, an apothecary in the Strand the London chambers as in suburban lodgings; (and one of the first founders of the Humane preceded by blind-man's buff, forfeits, or games of Society), was called in; but Goldsmith insisted on cards; and where Goldsmith, festively entertaining taking James's fever-powders, a valuable medicine, them all, would make frugal supper for himself off but dangerous under the circumstances. This was on boiled milk. They related how he would sing all Friday, the 25th. He told the doctor then his mind kinds of Irish songs; with what special enjoyment was not at ease, and he died on Monday, April 4th, he gave the Scotch ballad of "Johnny Armstrong' in his forty-fifth year. His debts amounted to (his old nurse's favourite); how cheerfully he would over £2,000. "Was ever poet so trusted before ?" put the front of his wig behind, or contribute in writes Johnson to Boswell. The staircase of Brick any other way to the general amusement; and to Court was filled with poor outcasts, to whom Gold. what accompaniment of uncontrolled laughter he smith had been kind and charitable. His coffin was once danced a minuet with Mrs. Seguin.'" opened by Miss Horneck, that a lock might be cut

In 1768 appeared “The Deserted Village." It from his hair. Burke and Reynolds superintended was about this time that one of Goldy's Grub Street the funeral, Reynolds' nephew, Palmer, afterwards acquaintances called upon him, whilst he was Dean of Cashel, being chief mourner. Hugh conversing with Topham Beauclerk and General Kelly, who had so often lampooned the poet, was Oglethorpe; and the fellow, telling Goldsmith that present. At five o'clock on Saturday, the gth of he was sorry he could not pay the two guineas he April, Goldsmith was buried in the Temple churchowed him, offered him a quarter of a pound of tea , yard. In 1837, a slab of white marble, to the


The Temple.)



kindly poet's memory, was placed in the Temple it marked the site of Goldsmith's grave. The Church, and afterwards transferred to a recess of stone which has been placed in the yard, 'to mark the vestry chamber. Of the poet, Mr. Forster the spot' where the poet was buried, is not the says, “no memorial indicates the grave to the site of this tree. The tomb was erected in 1860, pilgrim or the stranger, nor is it possible any longer but the exact position of the grave has never been to identify the spot which received all that was discovered." The engraving on page 169 shows mortal of the delightful writer." The present site the spot as it appeared in the autumn of that year. is entirely conjectural; but it appears from the The old houses at the back were pulled down following note, communicated to us by T. C. Noble, soon after. the well-known City antiquary, that the real site Mr. Forster, alluding to Goldsmith's love for the was remembered as late as 1830. Mr. Noble rooks, the former denizens of the Temple Gardens, says:

says: "He saw the rookery (in the winter deserted, or " In 1842, after some consideration, the benchers guarded only by some five or six,‘like old soldiers of the Temple deciding that no more burials should in a garrison ') resume its activity and bustle in the take place in the churchyard; resolved to pave it spring; and he moralised, like a great reformer, over. For about fifteen years the burial-place of Dr. on the legal constitution established, the social Goldsmith continued in obscurity; for while some laws enforced, and the particular castigations en. would have it that the interment took place to dured for the good of the community, by those the east of the choir, others clung to an opinion, black-dressed and black-eyed chatterers. 'I have handed down by Mr. Broome, the gardener, who often amused myself,' Goldsmith remarks, with stated that when he commenced his duties, about observing their plans of policy from my window 1830, a Mr. Collett, sexton, a very old man, and a in the Temple, that looks upon a grove where penurious one, too, employed him to prune an they have made a colony, in the midst of the elder-tree which, he stated, he venerated, because city.'"


THE TEMPLE (continued).

Fountain Court and the Temple Fountain-Ruth Pinch-L. E. L.'s Poem-Fig-tree Court-The Inner Temple Library-Paper Buildings, The

Temple Gate-Guildford North and Jeffreys-Cowper, the Poet : his Melancholy and Attempted Suicide-A Tragedy in Tanfield CourtLord Mansfield—“Mr. Murray" and his Client-Lamb's Pictures of the Temple-The Sun-dials—Porson and his Eccentricities--Rules of the Temple-Coke and his Labours-Temple Riots-Scuffles with the Alsatians—Temple Dinners—"Calling" to the Bar – The Temple

Gardens-The Chrysanthemums—Sir Matthew Hale's Tree-Revenues of the Temple-Temple Celebrities. Lives there a man with soul so dead as to write charming love scenes? It was in Fountain Court, about the Temple without mentioning the little our readers will like to remember, that Ruth Pinch fountain in Fountain Court ?—that pet and play- |-gentle, loving Ruth—met her lover, by the merest thing of the Temple, that, like a little fairy, sings to accident of course. beguile the cares of men oppressed with legal “There was,” says Mr. Dickens, “a little plot duties. It used to look like a wagoner's silver between them that Tom should always come out whip—now a modern writer cruelly calls it “a pert of the Temple by one way, and that was past the squirt." In Queen Anne's time Hatton describes fountain. Coming through Fountain Court, he it as forcing its stream "to a vast and almost was just to glance down the steps leading into incredible altitude"—it is now only ten feet high, Garden Court, and to look once all round him; no higher than a giant lord chancellor. Then it and if Ruth had come to meet him, there he was fenced with palisades—now it is caged in iron; would see her—not sauntering, you understand (on then it stood in a square-now it is in a round. But account of the clerks), but coming briskly up, with it still sparkles and glitters, and sprinkles and play- the best little laugh upon her face that ever fully splashes the jaunty sparrows that come to played in opposition to the fountain and beat it all wash off the London dust in its variegated spray. to nothing. For, fifty to one, Tom had been It is quite careless now, however, of notice, for has looking for her in the wrong direction, and had it not been immortalised by the pen of Dickens, quite given her up, while she had been tripping who has made it the centre of one of his most towards him from the first, jingling that little reticule of hers (with all the keys in it) to attract sources. Next to the plane, that has the strange his wondering observation.

power of sloughing off its sooty bark, the fig seems “Whether there was life enough left in the the tree that best endures London's corrupted atmoslow vegetation of Fountain Court for the smoky sphere. Thomas Fairchild, a Hoxton gardener, shrubs to have any consciousness of the brightest who wrote in 1722 (quoted by Mr. Peter Cunningand purest-hearted little woman in the world, is ham), alludes to figs ripening well in the Rolls a question for gardeners and those who are learned Gardens, Chancery Lane, and to the tree thriving in in the loves of plants. But that it was a good close places about Bridewell. Who can say that thing for that same paved yard to have such a some Templar pilgrim did not bring from the delicate little figure flitting through it, that it banks of “ Abana or Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, passed like a smile from the grimy old houses and the first leafy inhabitant of inky and dusty Fig. the worn flagstones, and left them duller, darker, tree Court ? Lord Thurlow was living here in sterner than before, there is no sort of doubt. The 1758, the year he was called to the bar, and when, Temple fountain might have leaped up twenty it was said, he had not money enough even to hire feet to greet the spring of hopeful maidenhood a horse to attend the circuit. that in her person stole on, sparkling, through the The Inner Temple Library stands on the terrace dry and dusty channels of the law; the chirping facing the river. The Parliament Chambers and sparrows, bred in Temple chinks and crannies, Hall, in the Tudor style, were the work of Sidney might have held their peace to listen to imaginary Smirke, R.A., in 1835. The library, designed by skylarks as so fresh a little creature passed; the Mr. Abrahams, is 96 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 63 dingy boughs, unused to droop, otherwise than in feet high ; it has a hammer-beam roof. One of the their puny growth, might have bent down in a stained glass windows is blazoned with the arms of kindred gracefulness to shed their benedictions on the Templars. Below the library are chambers. her graceful head; old love-letters, shut up in iron The cost of the whole was about £13,000. The boxes in the neighbouring offices, and made of no north window is thought to too much resemble account among the heaps of family papers into the great window at Westminster Hall. which they had strayed, and of which in their Paper Buildings, a name more suitable for the degeneracy they formed a part, might have stirred offices of some City companies, were first built and fluttered with a moments recollection of their in the reign of James I., by a Mr. Edward Hayancient tenderness, as she went lightly by. Any- ward and others; and the learned Dugdale dething might have happened that did not happen, scribes them as eighty-eight feet long, twenty feet and never will, for the love of Ruth.

broad, and four storeys high. This Hayward was “Merrily the tiny fountain played, and merrily Selden's chamber-fellow, and to him Selden dedithe dimples sparkled on its sunny face. John cated his "Titles of Honour." Selden, according Westlock hurried after her. Softly the whispering to Aubrey, had chambers in these pleasant riverwater broke and fell, and roguishly the dimples side buildings, looking towards the gardens, and in twinkled as he stole upon her footsteps.

the uppermost storey he had a little gallery, to pace “Oh, foolish, panting, timid little heart! why did in and meditate. The Great Fire swept away she feign to be unconscious of his coming ? Selden's chambers, and their successors were de

“Merrily the fountain leaped and danced, and stroyed by the fire which broke out in Mr. Maule's merrily the smiling dimples twinkled and expanded chambers. Coming home at night from a dinnermore and more, until they broke into a laugh party, Maule, afterwards a judge, put a lighted against the basin's rim and vanished.”

candle under his bed by mistake. The stately new “L. E. L." (Miss Landon) has left a graceful buildings were designed by Mr. Sidney Smirke, poem on this much-petted fountain, which begins, A.R.A., in 1848. The red brick and stone har.

monise pleasantly. In 1878-9 Hare Court Build“ The fountain's low singing is heard on the wind,

ings were extended towards the river, to answer Like a melody, bringing sweet fancies to mind

to them. Some to grieve, some to gladden; around them they cast

The entrance to the Middle Temple from Fleet The hopes of the morrow, the dreams of the past. Street is a gatehouse of red brick pointed with Away in the distance is heard the vast sound

stone, and is the work of Wren. It was erected From the streets of the city that compass it round,

in 1684, after the Great Fire, and is in the style of Like the echo of fountains or ocean's deep call ; Yet that fountain's low singing is heard over all.'

Inigo Jones-"not inelegant," says Ralph. It pro

bably occupies the site of the gatehouse erected Fig-tree Court derived its name from obvious | by order of Wolsey, at the expense of his prisoner,

The Temple.)




Sir Amyas Paulet. The frightened man covered I set the door open, which reached to within a the front with the cardinal's hat and arms, hoping foot of the ceiling. By the help of a chair I could to appease Wolsey's anger by gratifying his pride. command the top of it, and the loop being large The Inner Temple gateway was built in the fifth enough to admit a large angle of the door, was year of James I.

easily fixed, so as not to slip off again. I pushed Elm Court was built in the sixth year of Charles I. away the chair with my feet, and hung at my whole Up one pair of stairs that successful courtier, length. While I hung there I distinctly heard a Guildford North, whom Jeffreys so tormented, voice say three times, 'Tis over !' Though I am commenced the practice that soon won him such sure of the fact, and was so at the time, yet it high honours. Elm Court was demolished in the did not at all alarm me or affect my resolution. I autumn of 1879.

hung so long that I lost all sense, all consciousIn 1752 the poet Cowper, on leaving a solicitor's ness of existence. office, had chambers in the Middle Temple, and “When I came to myself again I thought I in that solitude the horror of his future malady was in hell; the sound of my own dreadful groans began to darken over him. He gave up the was all that I heard, and a feeling like that proclassics, which had been his previous delight, and duced by a flash of lightning just beginning to read George Herbert's poems all day long. In seize upon me, passed over my whole body. In 1759, after his father's death, he purchased another a few seconds I found myself fallen on my face to set of rooms for £250, in an airy situation in the the floor. In about half a minute I recovered my Inner Temple. He belonged, at this time, to the feet, and reeling and struggling, stumbled into bed “Nonsense Club," of which Bonnell Thornton, again. Colman junior, and Lloyd were members. Thurlow “By the blessed providence of God, the garter also was his friend. In 1763 his despondency which had held me till the bitterness of temporal deepened into insanity. An approaching appoint- death was past broke just before eternal death had ment to the clerkship of the Journals of the House taken place upon me. The stagnation of the blood of Lords overwhelmed him with nervous fears. under one eye in a broad crimson spot, and a red Dreading to appear in public, he resolved to destroy circle round my neck, showed plainly that I had himself. He purchased laudanum, then threw it been on the brink of eternity. The latter, indeed, away. He packed up his portmanteau to go to might have been occasioned by the pressure of the France and enter a monastery. He went down to garter, but the former was certainly the effect of the Custom House Quay, to throw himself into the strangulation, for it was not attended with the river. He tried to stab himself. At last the poor sensation of a bruise, as it must have been had I fellow actually hung himself, and was only saved by in my fall received one in so tender a part; and I an accident. The following is his own relation :- rather think the circle round my neck was owing

“Not one hesitating thought now remained, but to the same cause, for the part was not excoriated, I fell greedily to the execution of my purpose. My nor at all in pain. garter was made of a broad piece of scarlet bind- “Soon after I got into bed I was surprised to ing, with a sliding buckle, being sewn together at hear a voice in the dining-room, where the laundress the ends. By the help of the buckle I formed a was lighting a fire. She had found the door unnoose, and fixed it about my neck, straining it so bolted, notwithstanding my design to fasten it, and tight that I hardly left a passage for my breath, or must have passed the bed-chamber door while I for the blood to circulate. The tongue of the was hanging on it, and yet never perceived me. buckle held it fast. At each corner of the bed She heard me fall, and presently came to ask me if was placed a wreath of carved work fastened by I was well, adding, she feared I had been in a fit. an iron pin, which passed up through the midst “I sent her to a friend, to whom I related the of it; the other part of the garter, which made a whole affair, and dispatched him to my kinsman loop, I slipped over one of them, and hung by it at the coffee-house. As soon as the latter arrived some seconds, drawing up my feet under me, that I pointed to the broken garter which lay in the they might not touch the floor ; but the iron bent, middle of the room, and apprised him also of the and the carved work slipped off, and the garter attempt I had been making. His words were, with it. I then fastened it to the frame of the My dear Mr. Cowper, you terrify me! To be tester, winding it round and tying it in a strong sure you cannot hold the office at this rate. Where knot. The frame broke short, and let me down is the deputation ?' I gave him the key of the again.

drawer where it was deposited, and his business “ The third effort was more likely to succeed. requiring his immediate attendance, he took it



away with him ; and thus ended all my connection Malcolm went to execution neatly dressed in a crape with the Parliament office."

gown, held up her head in the cart with an air, In February, 1732, Tanfield Court, a quiet, dull and seemed to be painted. A copy of her connook on the east side of the Temple, to the south session was sold for twenty guineas. Two days of that sombre Grecian temple where the Master before her execution she dressed in scarlet, and resides, was the scene of a very horrible crime. sat to Hogarth for a sketch, which Horace Walpole Sarah Malcolm, a laundress, aged twenty-two, bought for £5. The portrait represents a cruel, employed by a young barrister named Kerrol in thin-lipped woman, not uncomely, sitting at a table. the same court, gaining access to the rooms of The Duke of Roxburghe purchased a perfect iman old lady named Duncomb, whom she knew pression of this print, Mr. Timbs says, for £8 5s.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]

to have money, strangled her and an old servant, Its original price was sixpence. After her execution and cut the throat of a young girl, whose bed she the corpse was taken to an undertaker's on Snow had probably shared. Some of her blood-stained Hill, and there exhibited for money. Among the linen, and a silver tankard of Mrs. Duncomb, rest, a gentleman in deep mourning-perhaps stained with blood, were found by Mr. Kerrol her late master, Mr. Kerrol-stooped and kissed concealed in his chambers. Fifty-three pounds it, and gave the attendant half-a-crown. She was, of the money were discovered at Newgate hidden by special favour (for superiority even in wickedin the prisoner's hair. She confessed to a share in ness has its admirers), buried in St. Sepulchre's the robbery, but laid the murder to two lads with Churchyard, from which criminals had been exwhom she was acquainted. She was, however, cluded for a century and a half. The corpse of found guilty, and hung opposite Mitre Court, Fleet the murderess was disinterred, and her skeleton, Street. The crowd was so great that one woman in a glass case, is still to be seen at the Botanic crossed from near Serjeants' Inn to the other side Garden, Cambridge. of the way on the shoulders of the mob. Sarah Not many recorded crimes have taken place in

« 上一頁繼續 »