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"For that part which he accomplished, Sir Peter Leycester possessed the qualifications of natural taste and ability, aided by suitable education, and a mind not only unoccupied by other pursuits, but actually debarred by the circumstances of the times from entering into such as were congenial to his station. The subject of the investigations lay immediately around him, and had been known to him from childhood: nearly all the families of the Hundred must have been his personal acquaintance, and some of the most important ones were his near kinsmen. The collections of Booth and other Cheshire antiquaries were ready formed for his basis, and the actual evidences of the several houses appear to have been at his command, in most instances without restriction. He had the acquaintance of the greatest of those illustrious Antiquaries, who seemed at that period to have been raised up, by a singular felicity, for preserving the memory of those monuments of antiquity which fanaticism was busily destroying: Dugdale was ready at all times with communications and advice; and Vernon, a local autiquary nearly equal in zeal and ability to Leycester himself, conducted his researches in the Tower and in the archives of the diocese of Lichfield.
"From advantages like these, a work of no ordinary merit should be expected, and such was the character of the work produced. A minuteness of detail was adopted which had then never been ef. fected, and it was accomplished with a general accuracy which has never been surpassed, and with a labour which they only who have traced his progressive collections can duly appreciate. In passing this merited eulogy, if it must in truth be allowed that neither the peculiar advantages of the Author, nor the length of time consumed upon the work, could exempt it altogether from clerical and typographical errors, nor from oversights of a more serious description, it is at the same time clear that neither ability nor labour were wanted to prevent the occurrence of such errors, and if Sir Peter Leycester failed in this point, it is only to be inferred therefrom that his undertaking was of a description in which it does not lie in human nature to insure perfection. His peculiar excellency appears to have been, that in the pursuit of his object, he uniformly resorted to original documents, and was never deterred from toiling through them, though of the most uninteresting and voluminous description; that he built bis accounts solely on what had been proved to him by regular evidence, despising the vague traditions which before
his time had rendered topography con GENT. MAG. May, 1820.
temptible; that he conveyed his information in a clear and unadorned narrative, unburthened by extraneous ornaments of diction, or by facts which might amuse the reader, but were foreign to his purpose; and that on every occasion he adhered religiously to what he believed to be the truth, however unwelcome it might be, or however its promulgation might jar with his comforts or his interest. Such were the merits which have elevated Sir Peter Leycester over every topographer that preceded him; his period of probation is long gone past,-as far as the limited nature of the subject and his manner of treating it allows, these merits still place him on a level with the best of his contemporaries and his successors, and as long as memory remains in England of the chivalrous honour, and long descended lines of the geutry of Cheshire, the name of LEYCESTER will be handed down to the respect of posterity with that of his country, indissolubly connected."
98. A Series of Letters, addressed to a Friend, upon the Roman Catholic Question. By Britannicus. pp. 88. Rivingtons.
ALTHOUGH so frequently discussed, the Roman Catholic Question must always be considered as one of momentous interest. Britannicus has
argued the question with the supporters of the claims upon their own data, and made use of their own weapons. After having clearly established the necessity of Tests, not only as securities for the Protestant Establishment, but as vitally essential for the preservation of Protestantism of all descriptions in this country, our Author proceeds to discuss the Roman Catholic Question as connected with the Revolution.
Having shown clearly that the Toleration established at the Revolution did not, and could not embrace any such claims as those now urged, Britannicus addresses some excellent observations to such of the present supporters of the Roman Catholic claims, as profess to adopt the Revolution as their political guide.
It has frequently struck us as very strange, how those who profess Whiggism can possibly support the pretensions of men to whom Whiggism must be peculiarly obuoxious. After having proved that the principles of the Roman Catholics have not undergone any material change, and that consequently no change in Legislation
has become necessary, Britannicus enters into an examination of the dogmas of Infallibility, General Councils, and the Papal Supremacy, each of which is treated of in a temperate, but firm and judicious manner.
Our Author next discusses the Question upon the ground of Expediency -his introductory remark upon this head we think all will admit:
"The term Expediency implies, that some strong and almost invincible necessity exists for the adoption of a measure, the propriety of which would otherwise be questionable. Hence it naturally follows, that, previous to such adoption being made, the utmost satisfaction should be afforded, not only that the measure, if carried into effect, would be attended with immediate and certain beneficial results, but also that immediate and certain evils would / arise from its not being adopted. How far the above reasoning is applicable to the case before us, I shall therefore proceed to consider, and for that purpose shall examine some of the principal arguments which have been adduced in favour of the concession of the Roman Catholic Claims, upon the plea of Expediency."
He then notices the arguments which have been drawn by the supporters of the Claims from the situations of foreign countries, and from the toleration granted to Roman Catholics by several Continental Powers, and proves that the local circumstances of such countries completely destroy any claim of precedent which might otherwise have been drawn for the adoption of the United Kingdom. The authorities of Sir William Blackstone and Mr. Pitt are then shown to be decidedly against any further concessions being grant. ed, and it is demonstrated that the names of those distinguished individuals have been rather unfairly cited in favour of the measure of additional concession. Our Author's remarks on these heads are so able and satis factory, that we wish our limits would permit us to give them at length.
In taking leave of these Letters, we cannot avoid recommending them to the perusal of our Readers. In a short space they contain the most extended view of the subject which has come under our notice. A spirit of candour pervades the whole series,
and it would be well indeed if this more generally accompanied controversial correspondence. We have heard it whispered, that the publick
THE powerful interest excited by the approaching Coronation, renders every particular connected with its ceremonial an object of anxious research-the scraps of information which the newspapers generally furnish, are sought for with avidity; and those among us who were eyewitnesses of the inauguration of our late lamented Monarch, proud of reviving the few traces that time has permitted memory to retain. But curiosity will not rest satisfied with such meagre details; the imagination is willing to be carried back, even on the wing of a ponderous foliv, to that scene of royal splendour which is so shortly to be repeated. But few, comparatively, can number in their catalogues the precious stores of antiquity. To supply this deficiency, is the object of the volume before us.
The Table of Claims usually preferred on this occasion is inserted at length, and exhibits a curious picture of antient service-for instance, at the Coronation of James II.
"The Lord Great Chamberlain of England claimed to carry the King his shirt and clothes the morning of the Coronation, and with the Lord Chamberlain to dress the King; 'to have forty yards of crimson velvet for a robe, also the King's bed and bedding, and furniture of his chamber where he lay the night before, with his wearing apparel and night-gown; also to serve the King with water before and after dinner, and to have the bason and
towels, and cup of assay."
These, it appears, were allowed, except the cup of assay; but, as chief officer of the ewry, he had two large
gilt chased basins, and one gilt chased ewer. He received the forty yards of velvet, and the rest of the fees were compounded for two hundred pounds. Many others of a similar character, and some of minor importance, are fully recorded, such as the claim of the Lord of the Manor of Bardolf, in Addington, Surrey, to find a man to make a mess of grout in the King's kitchen, and that the King's master cook might perform that service which was allowed, and the said Lord of the manor brought it up to the King's table. Also the claim of the churchwardens of St. Margaret's, Westminster, to bave the cloth (lying in the parish) whereon the King goes in procession, for the use of the poor. These claims are sustained by virtue of divers tenures of sundry manors, lands, and other hereditaments; as well as by antient customs and usages; and great importance is consequently attached to the fulfilment of such as can be properly substantiated; though many of them appear irreconcileable with modern ideas.
Coronations bear a character of novelty with the present generation; and, as few comparatively can witness the solemnities of the approaching one, we recommend this volume to the notice of our Readers; as, from the accuracy with which it has been compiled, and from the spirited style of its embellishments, a good idea may be acquired of the magnificent proceedings it treats of. The large paper copies of the Work, are a bonne bouche for the Bibliomaniac.
100. Lessons of Thrift; published for the general Benefit. By a Member of the Save-All Club. Large Svo. with Curicatures. Boys.
THIS is rather an odd book; and considering its preface, the rules of the pretended club, the approbations of the committee, the dignified names of the members, "the loose hints," the appendix, and the forms of lessons, which are no lessons, it must come from the pen of an Author full of eccentricities, versed in classical lore, replete with anecdotes, having no small propensity to satire, laughing at the manners of the present age, continually aiming at wit, and that sort of wit, which, as he says himself, page 207, "is seldom joined with judgment and taste;”
in a word, this book is evidently written by a veteran in literature, who, to a great experience in bookmaking, joins an itching of meddling with all sorts of knowledge, and treats of subjects, not to elucidate and improve, but to make a display of his universal knowledge. Having said thus much, instead of entering on a successive account of his pretended Lessons, we will call them Essays, and inform our Readers, that, if the Author has been successful in some, by aiming at the simplicity of the ever-celebrated Montaigne, he has failed in many, by filling up his pages with anecdotes, which every schoolboy has read in his Recueil Choisi, thereby making a salmagundi of new warmed-up materials, with dainties which would have been very accept able without the mixture.
As it would be unfair to bring an accusation without proofs, we refer our Readers to the anecdote, p. 189.
"An hospital of great public utility having exceeded its revenues in a season of national calamity, the treasurers and clerk were authorized by the trustees to request contributions. Among others, they went to the house of an old bachelor, and finding the door open they entered, when they heard him scolding his maidservant because she had thrown half a match into the fire, which he observed might have served another time as well as a whole one. What was to be expected from such a niggardly fellow? They were retiring, when he sternly called them back, and enquired their busines in his house. Upon an explanation he brightened up, and opening an iron box, let into the wall for the usual security against fires, he produced a bag, saying, It is a noble charity, and deserves every assistance. Here are two hundred guineas, and if necessity urges, call again. If I did not scold for trifles, I should not have this pleasure.' They were going to enlarge in thanks and compliments, when he gently thrust them out, and shut the door."
This was given, long ago, by Le Mercier, author of the "Tableau de Paris," and has been since copied in all school-books; that of the Turnip, and the story of Marshal Turenne ; and also that of the Stranger at Marseilles, and nearly all the anecdotes from page 193 to 200, are to be found in school-books. As to the caricature which exemplies that of the Turnip, we are sorry that a man of the bigh abilities of Cruikshanks,
should have lost any of his time, to represent such an insignificant anecdote.
That our Author is addicted to satire, will appear by the following extract page 210, on swindling.
"Amidst the surprising progress of the Arts and Sciences in this enlightened age of slaughter, rapine, and perfectibility (a thing as difficult as the word is long, like school-boy's honorificabilitudinitatibusque), the branch called swindling has not been efficient; and it is particularly necessary to caution the honest sons of thrift against an evil more general and more dangerous than common robbery. It is difficult to class this art or artifice in any modern Encyclopedia, arranged according to matter; for it may be placed under painting, as dealing in false colours; under statuary, as it strives to make a figure; under music, as it consists in flats and sharps, and trades chiefly in notes; under the catholic creed, as it loves transformation; under poetry, as the expressions are bold, the trasitions violent, and sublime, as the gallows; under chemistry, as it distils the wits and transmutes substances; under surgery, as it bleeds the patient; under medicine, as it administers a bitter pill to the sufferer; under politics, as it deals in pretences-"Halt! do you not see that jail there, where you may have a snug lodging gratis?" A fig for your jail. I am speaking of all politics and policies since the world began. But what is human existence except a choice of evils? These are necessary evils, and anarchy is the worst of all. Such is our very nature, that seldom did honesty and power shake hands except to part, as never to see each other more."
And to show his attempt at low wit, we have only to copy the two following pages 155, 156.
"Some philosophers have imagined that the qualities of the mind, and even national manners, are influenced by the nature of the food. In that case it might be of consequence to indicate the nutrition adapted to different professions and characters. Not being qualified to compose a system on this important subject, I shall content myself with a few hints.
"A young warrior should devour the Scottish dish called cock-aleeky, composed of game-cocks stewed with leeks. If on continental service, he may sometimes regale with the head of a wild boar, killed by himself.-N. B. The tusks are rather of difficult digestion.
"As a young physician will find that the surest road to practice is to please the ladies, which, for the sake of his cha
racter, can only be effected by agreeable manners and chit-chat, he may be welladvised to make his chief dish of tongues, particularly that of calf.-N. B. An ignorant cook will often add the brain, but it is wholly unnecessary.
"An itinerant preacher will find his advantage in conforming himself to brain of hare and addle-eggs. This simple food will be found to mortify the flesh, especially if the drink be brisk cider, which, by its effervescence, can hardly fail to inspire eloquence. For a little variety, be may sometimes indulge in a calf's lungs and liver, or in ox- palates, which strengthen the voice to a Stentorian firmness of tone.
"A merchant with his roasted turkey should not neglect the herbs called sage and speedwell. Mint is also very beneficial; and his credit may be much extended by the use of any acceptable draught, provided it be duly followed by a correspondent dose of Henry Hase's cordial.
"A statesman should beware of the dish called by the actors on a smaller theatre goose and apple-sauce. The fish called plaise will afford an excellent dinner, and of easy digestion, while gudgeons and mushrooms form a nice supper.-N. B. At bed-time he should use strong eyewaters, but caution all his friends against them, and recommend cordials.
"Pheasants, and occasionally young peacocks, may be recommended to a fine lady; though some of depraved taste will prefer beef-à-la-mode, especially that of the Swiss cantons. Some even eat parrot's brains, or a fricasee of butterflies. The most frivolous, who are almost the most proud (pride being only a veil to hide the conscious want of merit), may eat mushrooms, either stewed or pickled.
rishment in pike and eel. A stock-broker, "A lawyer will find a congruous nouin lame ducks. A daucing-master should not neglect the use of thyme and capers. A gamester should feast on pigeons.
"The bottoms of sun-flowers are as palatable as those of artichokes, and may be recommended to such senators as always regard the sun; weathercocks being rather hard of digestion, though not diffcult to catch it off their station. Stewed snails are also congruous, as by mere creeping and cringing they will ascend to great heights. Plaice is an excellent and most nourishing food, but is not always to be found in the market. Oysters, gaping on the rise of the tide, are also not amiss. A turn-coat should learn to boil his own lobsters, as the change of colour is delightful.
"A tragic author, if he have only bread and cheese, may add raw onions, as in paring them he will excite tears. A
comic writer, now at his ease, if he can by his wit or wits procure a capon or a fowl, should of course prefer the merrythought. N. B. The same kinds of food will also respectively agree with the two classes of actors.
An historian may indulge in carp, daube, and ale
While History, with her companion, ale,
· Dried pears, and all sorts of pickles and
"To succeed as a counsellor, it is necessary to be as impudent as a highwayman's horse; and a choice slice of the haunch of the animal is named as a rare secret, especially if killed with a blunderbuss, and the master hung in chains. For readiness and repartee, a salt herring, with mustard and vinegar, just before the cause comes on, with a large glass of genuine Irish usquebaugh, of the yellow or brazen colour. All sharp sauces of cayenne, verjuice, and other acrimonious ingredients, are of exquisite utility, and all curries especially that of shark.
"A young lord, destined to live at court, should chiefly feed ou calf's head and whipped cream, or gooseberry-fool, according to the season.
"A beau, young dog, or puppy, should learn to strut in Bond-street, or Pall-mall, without any dinner; a practice which will be found to increase his emptiness. He may also suck the brains of geese, mixed with calf's foot jelly, or, when married, that of hart's-horn. For variety, he may eat the thighs of black beetles, butterflies minced, or other light food. The little flowering plant, called London-pride, may also be used in its season.
"These hints will suffice, and the intelligent will extend them for the benefit of society and the perfectibility of man."
Having now mentioned the objectionable parts, we must recommend Lesson the 13th, or, The Dutch Merchant; and the 42d, On Repairs; we particularly point out these two, because they are true Lessons, and ought to go by that title; and we venture to say, that, if the whole book had been written on the same plan, it would have been one of the best modern books on economy. We also recommend the Essay on Economy of High Life, called Lesson XV.; and the 30th, where an account is given of Flammel's supposed extraordinary fortune; likewise the 32d Essay, on Hesiod, which shows a great deal of erudition; as well as the 41st, on Laughing and Wit; but we cannot
give the same approbation to the abuse of Rousseau and Voltaire, which the Author has evidently introduced in the 31st Essay, with a view to impress his Reader, that he is a reli gious man: we give him, however, credit for his principles, which are perfectly consonant with our Established Church; and we hesitate not to say, that his book may safely be entrusted to all classes of Readers, who cannot fail finding it both useful and entertaining.
101. A Brief History of Christ's Hospital, from its Foundation by King Edward the Sixth, to the present Time. With a List of the Governors. 12mo. pp. 92.
THIS entertaining little volume is the production of Mr. John Iliff' Wilson, a grateful Scholar of this Royal, matchless, and most extensively useful Foundation.
"The idea of publishing a separate 'History of Christ's Hospital' was first suggested by hearing an old School-fellow lament that, among all the accounts of national establishments and public buildings, nothing of a similar nature had been attempted; and that to ascertain any information, however trifling, it was necessary to refer to some History of London, or other voluminous work, where, after a tedious search, it generally appeared that the author did not enter into the subject with sufficient minuteness to give the information sought for; or that, if given, from not having been educated there, many errors had crept in, which none but those well acquainted with the Hospital could correct.
"To remedy this inconvenience, was the intention of the Writer of this book:how far he has succeeded, he leaves his old school-fellows and others connected with the Hospital to determine; upon their indulgence he confidently relies; as he would never have presumed to obtrude himself on the notice of the publick, had any gentleman undertaken the subject who was capable of doing it justice.
"The materials were principally furnished by the Report of the Education Committee of the House of Commons; and from the various Histories of London, which afforded the means of correcting some errors the authors had inadvertently fallen into; to which is added what local information a residence of five years and upwards afforded."
Every species of information that can reasonably be desired will be found in Mr. Wilson's History; and a very interesting article shall be extracted.