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the vestments and kirk gear should be sold, and out of the readiest to pay the said fifty pounds. In the volume commencing at 1561, one of the first ordinances of the council prescribes, "That a warm study be made for John Knox."

Another act ordains that four hundred* to be given to John Knox of yearly stipend, out of the readiest annualls, prebendaries, and chaplainries which perteined to monks, friers, and priests.

Prices of Wines and Vivres. The Book from 1496 to 1551.] Ordains the pint of French wine, claret, or whyte, to be sold at six pennies, and the ale at 20 pennies the gallon. The twopenny loaf appointed to weigh 10 ounces under pain of escheat.

Lighting the City.

Ordains ilk candlemaker, barber, apothecary, taverner, baxter, inkeeper, to have an bowett or lanthorn in the High Street; and for the closes the inhabitants to furnish candles night about, at the command of the baillie, under pain of an unlaw.

Weapon-schawing.

Book from 1551 to 1558. Ordains weapon-schawing to be upon the west end of the Burrow Muir, and ilk merchant and craftsman to be there weill bodin in feir of weir, with sufficient weapons. There is also an act relative to the queen's order for unlawing all persons that had not sufficient arms at the weapon-schawing, and declaring, that she would cause punish the magistrates who were negligent in uplifting the unlaws.

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Ordinances in time of the Plague. Book from 1561 to 1571.] Imprimis, ordained, That nae person be permitted to go to the Burrow Muir to visite the infected of the plague till eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and that ane officer who is alwayes to stand at the West Port goe along with them. Item, That there be cleansers chosen for cleansing houses and cloaths. Item, That there be several men appointed for burying of the dead. Item, That the cleansers and buryers of the dead have an gray gown, with St Andrew's

cross, white before and behind, together with an staff with a white cloath on the head thereof, that they may be known wherever they pass. Item, That there be twae close biers, with four feet covered with black, and an white cross with an bell at the head, hinging upon the side of the said bier, which shall make warning to the people. Item, That wher.soever any person falls sick in ane house, that the haill household be kept within doors till the baillies be acquainted, under the pain of death. Ítem, That the burial place be in the Greyfriers, seven foot deep. Item, That nae person be found selling woolen or linen cloath. Item, That nane of the infected persons geods be abstracted, under the pain of death. Item, Also as soon as any house is infected, that they immediately pass to the muir with their household, and incontinently the house be cleansed. Item, That the cleansers stay without town till they be sent for, and that an officer goe along with them and take notice that they have no communing with any person, nor interchange goods with them. Item, That nae cleansed person enter the town without the licence of a baillie, and be conveyed by an officer to a place appointed for them, under the pain of death; and that they come not forth of their houses while the space of twenty days, and in the mean time not to keep company with clean persons.

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Another act ordains the infected cloaths on the Burrow Muir to be cleansed; and every person within fifteen dayes to seek their own, otherwise the same will be sold for the use of the poor.

It seems that the unhappy wretches who were infected and banished from the city to the Burrow-muir were, as might have been expected, somewhat slow in obeying the severe statutes which were promulgated regarding them. This accounts for another act which we find soon after passed, ordaining irons and shakells to be taken to the Borough-muir, for shakelling and punishing of such as shall transgress among the infected folk.

These simple extracts give us a strong and horrid picture of the misery of the town during the plague. But as I am well aware that these

precious morsels of antiquarian lore may not prove quite so savoury and palatable to the taste of your readers as to that of Mr Oldbuck, we shall here close his common-place book for the present, and deposit it in the sanctum where it was originally found, the escrutoire of the venerable Bishop of Ross-the historian of Scotland, and the champion of Queen Mary. Howlett Hall, June 7, 1820.

art the wind blows, and whether or
not it has rained in the course of the
However, I am not an enemy
day.
to this kind of conversation, since a
scientific man sometimes
sensible
makes a remark at once highly in-
structive and tolerably amusing; but
still these are but gleams of intellec-
tual light that flash through the dense
fog of stupidity that seems to enve-
lope every creature's faculties previous
to dinner at another person's house.
Then the gentleman pulls out his
watch, and the lady enumerates who
is still to come, and conjectures the
causes of delay; of some because they
are always punctual, and of others be-
cause they are never so, and as every
new comer causes a new commotion,
there is no peace till all are arrived,
and then, indeed, an intimation from
the cook puts us all in a greater bustle
The gentleman of the
than ever.
house conducts the principal lady;
the principal gentleman, if an old
fashioned man, I am not so sure about
the new school, takes charge of the
lady of the house; a few elderly la-
dies of a certain rank are handed down
in correct order; three or four mas-
ters play beaux to three or four misses;
and those who, like your present cor-
respondent, are of no very decided
rank in society, generally shift for
themselves, and when arrived in the
room, drum upon the back of the
nearest chair, either until the master
or mistress of the feast assign them a
For my
place, or they find means to drop
quietly into one themselves.
own part, I prefer the latter, as an
unlucky arrangement may condemn
one to the side of the stupidest man
in the room, which is certain in some
constitutions to render the lady sulky
all the time of dinner.

DESCRIPTION OF A MODERN EDIN-
BURGH DINNER PARTY.

MR EDITOR,

As the Spectator has left off looking on, and the Tatler has given up talking; as the Guardian takes no more care, and the Rambler is no longer abroad; the Lounger gone to sleep, and the Mirror laid aside; not an idler or an Adventurer to pick up a stray vice or virtue, and put them in their proper places; the Connoisseur become blind, and even the World passed away in short, as there is no Censor for public morals and manners, and as public morals and manners take but sorry care of themselves, it would be a very acceptable deed of charity in you to leave now and then a corner of your Miscellany for complaints, and various other little amusing and interesting matters; and occasionally to give a few words of adinonition yourself upon those grievances that are pointed out to your attention.

And, in the first place, Mr Editor, I should esteem it as a particular favour, if you would take the present system of dinner parties under revisal and correction, as it stands la mentably in need of both; for what can be more stupid, to the female part of the company at least, unless they are great lovers of good eating and good wine? For example, we are invited to dinner at five o'clock; go tolerably near the hour; a general move among the male part of the already arrived guests, to give the newly arrived lady the best place; the newly arrived lady makes a few grimaces, and takes it. A few hums and haws; some faint attempts at conversation; you learn what in Edinburgh you are never in ignorance of, whether the courts are sitting or not; and are obligingly told from which

Well, Mr Editor, behold us seated; the blessing asked, and the grand attark made; the soup-ladle and the fish-slice are put upon active service, and for a short time comparative silence reigns. Why it is, I know not, but that so it is, I am positive, that as if by general consent, people say little while they are taking their soup. Whether this abstinence in one respect is essential to gratification in another, and that it is considered prudential to take off the keen edge of appetite with as little delay as possible, I shall not attempt to deterinine,-it may be merely a picce of good breed

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ing. The second course is different; the entertainment of the rest. The elder and married ladies frequently form little committees upon their domestic affairs, for.even the finest lady takes an interest in the abilities of her woman or her butler; you hear of the good or bad qualities of these distinguished personages; or you may be regaled from another quarter with anecdotes of Master Billy and Miss Nanny, and led into all the arcana of the nursery. The younger part of the company have recourse to the last party, or to anecdotes of their acquaintance; should you be amongst the number, you fare as well as you can upon the scanty mental repast, of which a share is open to you. Should you be a stranger, those who are a little older than yourself will deem it sufficient attention to say, "Were you at Smart's last ball? very select?" "Have you seen the regalia?" "Don't you admire the prospect from the Calton?" "Did you see Miss Clara Fisher? wonderful child!”

no sooner does that appear, than all tongues are let loose, and a variety of subjects are, if not discussed, at least tossed and bandied about, intermixed -with,-Shall I help you to a little of this? shall I help you to a little of that? &c. Then woe to the unlucky wight under whose dispensing care the boiled turkey is placed, and his equally unfortunate partner who has the superintendence of the tongue or ham, for them there is neither pause nor peace, but with these two exceptions, a sort of general conversation ensues, but which is soon put an end to, for after a few repetitions of, "Shall I have the honour of taking wine with you?"-Oh dear! Mr Editor, where is the language that can express the horrors of a wine discussion given con amore! Not more insufferable to Governor Tempest and Sir David Daw, was Emily's" drowsy, dreaming game of chess," than is to female ears this eternal, disgusting, never-ending, never-to-be-ended subject, when you hear of the flavour, and the body, and the richness and the raciness, and the delicacy and the energy, and the age and the youth, and the voyages and the no-voyages, and the numberless et ceteras concerning this or that sort of wine, continued not only through the remainder of dinner, but attached to the Sicilian, or the hermitage, or whatever you coax down your cheese with, and even intruding upon the dessert, where the fairest fruits of the earth are passed over in silence, bit and masticated, and swallowed without a passing compliment, even to the fruitful grape, from which all the subject of panegyric proceeds, and a dissertation upon claret crowns the whole! Should some gentleman, less an admirer of the gifts of Bacchus, endeavour to substitute those of Minerva, and introduce a conversation more worthy the men who so often meet around the social board in Edinburgh, his lead is probably followed, and instruction and delight succeed; but alas! for how short a time. The lady of the house rises from her seat, and the guests of her own sex accompany her to the drawing-room, and here, Mr Editor, the matter is but little mended; the ladies seem to consider this as the season of ease, when -no one is obliged to exert herself for

and then drop you: those who are a little younger imagine themselves exempt from all necessity of addressing you at all. Sipping your coffee may get over five minutes of this period, and tea may even be spun out to fifteen. After the latter has made its appearance, conjecture begins to be busy respecting the gentlemen, whose occasional bursts of merriment tantalize you by the intimation that they, at least, are enjoying themselves. At length stragglers from the main body appear; the company generally put themselves on the alert; by degrees the whole party are re-assembled; in these improved days no gentleman enters the drawing-room in an improper state. The "feast of reason and the flow of soul" begin to circulate, when some formal dowager gives the signal of departure; the current of conversation is checked; one drops off after another; carriages crowd the street, and chairs the hall, and home we go, to yawn and pull off our finery for the remainder of the evening.

All this, Mr Editor, is very melancholy, and quite unnecessary. Pray tell these good people that there is not the slightest reason in the world why they should be less agreeable for half an hour preceding dinner when they are abroad, than when they are at home; that although there are, no

doubt, women in the world who prefer folly to wisdom, yet the entertainment of these ladies may safely be left to those men who are capable of nothing better; that the majority of women really do enjoy the conversa tion of sensible men, and that, although few perhaps can take any share, many can make very respectable listeners. That discussions upon the merits of wine as effectually exclude the as algebra or metaphysics could do, and that, as it neither possesses the solid advantages of useful knowledge, or the gayer attractions of merely general topics, it would be infinitely better to reserve it for a bonne bouche to themselves after the ladies have withdrawn. And the ladies themselves might be admonished, that, notwithstanding good manners may prompt attention to their relations, yet, in fact, nobody cares much about any nursery or servants but their own; that to those who have neither children nor establishments, such details are inexpressibly tedious; that last night's ball is very uninteresting to those who were not there, and probably know none of the parties; and that without one shade of pedantry, or bas bleu-ism, (if I may be allowed such a term,) there can never be any loss in cultivated society, for general conversation on the literature of the day, music, the fine arts, nature, manners, and the thousand topics that start into being as it were of themselves, and are continually presenting subjectmatter for the exercise of reason, wit, ingenuity, and every other power, by which that very delightful one of pleasing in company can be accomplished.

E.

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that of Bedford the honour of an immediate descent from the sainted writer.

The materials from which the too scanty memoirs of this excellent person's life are compiled, appear to be drawn from sources no less authentic.

The amiable and elegant Editor has conferred a favour on the public, by thus embalming all that has been preserved of a mind it has long been accustomed to venerate. It will not be foreign to our purpose to introduce our observations on this work, by a quotation from the well written preface by which it is preceded.

"The biographers of those who have been distinguished in the active paths of life, who have directed the councils or fought the battles of nations, have, perhaps, an easier task than those who en gage to satisfy the curiosity sometimes excited by persons whose situation, circumstances, or sex, have confined them to private life. To the biographers of public characters, the pages of history, and the archives of the state, furnish many of the documents required; while those of private individuals have to collect every particular from accidental materials, from combining and comparing letters, and otherwise insignificant, papers, never intended to convey any part of the information sought in them.

"In this predicament is placed the author of the following pages. The veil which covered the unassuming virtues of Lady Russell in early life, naturally increases a desire, in intelligent minds, to become acquainted with her sentiments and situation before she was called to the exercise of the most difficult virtues, and the display of the most heroic courage.

"Few of her sex have been placed in such a distinguished situation. Still fewer, after having so conducted themselves, have, like her, shrunk from all public notice, and returned to the unobtrusive performance of accustomed duties, and the unostentatious consolations of accustomed piety.

REMARKS ON THE LATE PUBLISHED
LIFE AND LETTERS OF LADY R.
RUSSELL.

THESE letters come in no questionable form from the repositories of the Devonshire family, who share with

Some Account of the Life of Rachael Wriothesley Lady Russell, by the Editor of Madame Du Deffand's Letters; follow ed by a Series of Letters from Lady Russell to her Husband, William Lord Russell, from 1672 to 1682, &c. London,

1819.

"The incidents in the life of Lady Russell will be found so few, and her superior merits remain so much confined within the pale of private life and female duties, that, unlike most heroines, her character deserves to be held up yet more to the example than to the admiration of her country-women."

This passage is followed by some genealogical details, which would have little interest in a detached form, though their connection with general history, and very interesting biography, entitles them to a place in the narrative.

544

Lady Rachael was the daughter and co-heiress of that virtuous and loyal Earl of Southampton, whom all parties agree in praising. His death is thus noticed in the introduction.

The first specimen we have of her writing is in a letter addressed to her husband, not long after their happy union. It is to be observed, that her early education seems to have been much neglected. She was a child at the time of the Usurpation, and her father, involved in the fallen fortunes of his master, was too much engrossedand too frequently under a necessity of changing his residence, to attend much to the progress his chilShe, however, having, at a ren, more advanced period, the whole charge of her family devolved upon herself, soon conquered the effects of this deficiency, her style becoming clearer, and her orthography more correct, as she grew older. Our readers will perceive in this first letter the kind of defects now alluded to.

"I will not endeavour to tell you what I suffer by being parted from you, but beg of you that we may meet again (God permitting) as soon as may be. Things are here just as they were: no obstruction removed by my sister being able to resolve, but will, I guess, to-morrow: for yester day Sherwood wrote word the Duke, at farthest, would be at Dover as this morning, then he was to ask for the boat, and the report she then receives, which will be to-morrow, being Friday, will certainly make her determine; but, whatever that is, I desire you will allow me to come to coachman says you do, to be here on Monyou on Tuesday, unless you intend, as the day. Your father says you promised him to come again. I cannot acquaint you with my sister's resolves till the Saturday's post; so cannot have your's, whatever we must not stay for; so shall do, till the Wednesday after, which, by your pardon, that unless I see you on Monday, I am of opinion you will meet me at Stratton on shall have more of my mind; but the Tuesday or Wednesday. On Saturday you coachman says he is appointed to be at put off going to Dover. My Lady ShrewsBagshot on Monday. I do all I can to bury is returned from Dover without more company than she carried with her. Here was an alarm on Tuesday night by guns being heard; the cause was, seven of our ships, intending to go to join the Duke, found themselves just upon the Dutch fleet, upon which they retired; and the Dutch followed so close that the castle There is differshot upon the Dutch. ence in opinions about the fleets engag ing; they say still a few days must now

show it. Mrs Laton and her she friend, not your's, at least not your best, (I praise God,) were yesterday in every corner of your house, and without the house; she praised it, and seems to like it as well

6

"Lord Southampton died in 1667. His unfeeling master had for some time been desirous to snatch from his feeble hand the treasurer's staff which he still held, that he might place it with those to whom he might, with less shame, and less fear of remonstrance, confide the secrets of his political dishonour. The disgrace of Clarendon, which followed soon after the death of his friend, seems to have formed a melancholy era in the avowed venality and proAigacy in the court of Charles."

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Lady Rachael was born about the Her mother, who was of a year 1636. distinguished Hugonot family in France of the name of Ruvigny, died

while she was an infant. The mar

riages of the nobility in these days, especially in the case of heiresses, appear to have been managed in a manner that excluded choice. The family compact arranged the matter while the parties were under age, probably mere children. The marriage took place, and the husband was sent to travel, while his young bride was Of the exact growing up to woman. date of Lady Russell's marriage with Lord Vaughan, son to the Earl of Carberry, we have no account, but it seems to have been about 1653. We find her in 1655 living with him in Wales, and a letter, addressed to her that year, gives the impression of her being at that early period distinguished for wisdom and worth, and of her Lord's being rather indolent, the writer of the letter rallying him on habitual procrastination. In the year 1655 she became the mother of a shortlived infant, and very soon after a widow. In 1667 she was living with her only and much beloved sister, Lady Noel, and she was married to the second son of the Earl of Bedford in 1669, who appears to have paid his addresses to her for about three years before. She retained the title of Lady The match Vaughan for some years. was every way considered as very advantageous to Mr Russell, as he was then called, his elder brother, though hypochondriac, and quite retired from the world, still retaining the title; upon his death, Lord William succeeded, and his consort was afterwards known as Lady Russell.

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