« PreviousContinue »
reserved for the politer Goths, guilt was manifest. This heroic Visgoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, gallantry in defence of the fair, &c. to introduce, cultivate, and I presume, occasioned that asestablish. I must confess that sociation of ideas (otherwise they have generally been con- seemingly unrelative to each sidered as barbarous nations; other) of the brave and the fair : and, to be sure, there are some for indeed in those days it behovcircumstances which seem to fa- ed a lady, who had the least revour that opinion. They made gard for her reputation, to choose open war upon learning, and a lover of uncommon activity, gave no quarter even to the mo- strength,
This numents of arts and sciences. notion, as I am well assured, But then it must be owned, on still prevails in many reputable the other hand, that upon these families about Covent-garden, ruins, they established the ho- where the brave in the kitchen, nourable and noble science of are always within call of the fair homicide ; dignified, exalted, and in the first or second floor. ascertained true honour-wor- By this summary method of shipped it as their deity-and proceeding, the quibbles, the desacrificed to it hecatombs of hu- lays, and the expence of the law, man victims.*
were avoided, and the troubleIn those happy days, honour, some shackles of the gospel that is, single combat, was the knocked off—honour ruling in great and unerring test of civil their stead. To prove the utility rights, moral actions, and sound and justice of this method, I candoctrines. It was sanctified by not help mentioning a very exthe church, and the churchmen traordinary duel between a man were occasionally allowed the of distinction and a dog, in 1371, honour and pleasure of it; for in presence of king Charles V. we read of many instances of of France. Both the relation and duels between men and priests. the print of this duel are to be Nay, it was without appeal, the found in father Montfaucon. infallible test of female chastity. A gentleman of the court was If a princess, or any lady of dis- supposed to have murdered anotinction, was suspected of a little ther, who had been missing for incontinency, some brave cham- some days. This suspicion arose pion, who was commonly privy from the mute testimony of the to, or perhaps the author of it, absent person's dog, a large Irish stood forth in her defence, and greyhound, who with uncommon asserted her innocence with the rage attacked this supposed mur. point of his sword or lance.' If derer wherever he met him. As by his activity, skill, strength, he was a gentleman, and a man and courage, he murdered the of very nice honour (though by accuser, the lady was spotless ; the way, he really had murdered but if her champion fell, her the man), he could not bear
* Addison tells us of a club composed of duellists : “ but," says he, “ it was of short continuance; most of its members being in a little time shot, transported, or banged,"
lying under so dishonourable a with a thin shoe was declared suspicion, and, therefore, applied more injurious to honour (though to the king for leave to justify not so painful to the part kickhis innocence by single combat ed), than a kick with a thick with the said dog. The king, shoe ; and, in short, a thousand being a great lover of justice, other discoveries of the like nagranted his suite, ordered lists to ture, equally beneficial to sobe made ready, appointed the ciety. time, and named the weapons. There is one reason, indeed, The gentleman was to have an which makes me suspect that a offensive club in his hand, the duel may not always be the indog a defensive tub to resort to fallible criterion of veracity, and occasionally The Irish grey- that is, that the combatants very hound willingly met this fair in- rarely meet upon equal terms. viter at the time and place ap- I beg leave to state a case, which pointed; for it has always been may, very probably, and not unobservable of that particular frequently happen, and which breed, that they have an uncom- yet is not provided for, nor even mon alacrity at single combat. mentioned in the institutes of They fought; the dog prevailed, honour. and almost killed the honourable A very lean, slender young gentleman, who had then the fellow, of great honour, weighhonour to confess his guilt, and ing, perhaps, not quite twelve of being hanged for it in a few stone, who has, from his youth,
taken lessons of homicide, has a When letters, arts, and sci- point of honour to discuss with ences revived in Europe, the an unwieldy, fat, middle-aged science of homicide was further gentleman, of nice honour, likecultivated and improved. Al- wise, weighing four and twenty most all possible cases of honour stone; and who, in his youth, were considered and
stated; may not possibly have had the thirty-two different sorts of lies same commendable application were distinguished, and the ade- to the noble science of homicide. quate satisfaction necessary for The lean gentleman sends a very each, was with great solidity and civil letter to the fat one, invitprecision ascertained. A kick ing him to come and be killed
* The assassin was the Chevalier Macaire; the assassinated was a gentleman, named Aubri de Montdidier. The latter, accompanied by his dog, was walking in the forest of Bondi, where Macaire attacked and murdered him, and buried his body under the foot of a tree. The dog remained weeping over his master several days, till, pressed with hunger, he returned to Paris, and went to the house of an intimate friend of his master. The singularity of his coming alone, his starved appearance, and extraordinary actions, excited the curiosity of the gentleman. The dog was no sooner fed, than he began to use every means of persuasion in his power for the gentleman to follow him. He pulled the skirt of his garment with his mouth, cried, gazed at him, and ran backward and forward to and from the door. The gentleman, at length, accompanied by some servants, followed him. He ran before them till he came to a certain tree in the forest, where he began scratching up the earth, and howling most pitieously; they immediately dug up the ground, and found the body of the murdered Aubri.
by him the next morning, in nion which you are pleased to Hyde park. Should the fat gen- express of, tleman accept this invitation, and Sir, waddle to the place appointed, Your very humble servant. he goes to inevitable slaughter. Now, upon this state of the case,
“ P.S. I believe it may not be might not the fat gentleman, amiss for us to communicate to consistent with the rules of ho- each other from time to time, nour, return the following an- our gradations of increase or deswer to the invitation of the lean crease, towards the desired meone?
dium ; in which, I presume, two or three pounds, more or less, on either side, ought not to be con
sidered." “I find by your letter that you do me the justice to believe that This, among many other cases I have the true notions of honour that I could mention, sufficiently that become a gentleman , and proves, not only the expediency, I hope I shall never give you but the necessity of restoring, reason to change your opinion. revising, and, perhaps, adding to As I entertain the same opinion the practice, rules, and statutes of you, I must suppose, that you of single combat, as it flourished will not desire that we should in the fifteenth and sixteenth meet upon very unequal terms, centuries. I grant that it would which
may be the case where we probably make the common law to meet to-morrow. At present, useless ; but little, trifling, and I unfortunately weigh twenty- private interests ought not to four stone, and I guess
stand in the way of great, public, do not exceed twelve. From and national advantages. this circumstance, singly, I am doubly the mark that you are ; but, besides this, you are active, and I am unwieldy. I, therefore, propose to you, that from this day forwards, we severally en- At Fahkin, the capital of Deledeavour by all possible means, carlia, the situation of the suryou to fatten, and I to waste, till prising mines of Sweden, a diswe can meet at the medium of covery was made which might eighteen stone.* I will lose no furnish food for the leading trait time on my part, being impatient of a modern novel, and yet, still to prove to you that I am not more strange, founded on a quite unworthy of the good opi- matter of fact.
* Equally honourable, though more eccentric, was the conduct of a corpulent Irish duellist, who having agreed to meet a very lean antagonist, whom he held in some contempt, asked on the field for a piece of chalk ; when, taking the diameter of his opponent's body, and marking the same dimension on his own, by two perpendicular lines, declared, that all the shots he might receive on the outer side of the lines should go for nothing !
In working to establish a new It happened (it is no great communication between two matter in what year) that eight shafts of a mine, the body of a tailors, having finished considerminer was discovered in a state able pieces of work, at a certain of perfect preservation, and im- person of quality's house (whose pregnated with vitriolic water. name authors have thought fit to It was quite soft, but hardened conceal), and received all the on being exposed to the air. No money due for the same. A one could identify the body; it Virago servant, maid of the was merely remembered, that house, observing them to be but the accident by which he had slender-built animals, and in been thus buried in the bosom their mathematical postures on of the earth had taken place their shop-board, appearing but fifty years before. All enquiries so many pieces of men, resolved about the name of the sufferer to encounter and pillage them had already ceased, when a de- on the road ; the better to comcrepid old woman, leaning on pass her design, she procured a crutches, slowly advanced to- terrible great black-pudding, wards the corps, and knew it to which (having way-laid them) be that of a young man,
to she presented at the breast of the whom she had been promised in foremost; they mistaking this 'marriage, half a century ago. prop of life for an instrument of She threw herself on the corpse, death, at least, for a blunderwhich had all the appearance of buss, readily yielded up their a bronze statue, bathed it with money ; but she, not contented tears, and fainted with joy, at with that, severely disciplined having once more beheld the ob- them with a cudgel she carried ject of her affections.
in the other hand, all which they It is easier to conceive than to bore with a philosophical resigtrace the singular contrast nation. Thus, eight not being afforded by that couple; the one
able to deal with one woman, by buried fifty years before, still re- consequence, could not make a taining the appearance of youth, man ; on which account a ninth while the other, weighed down
is added. It is the opinion of by age, evinced all the fervency our curious virtuosos, that this of youthful love.
want of courage ariseth from their immoderate eating of cucumbers, which too much refri
gerates their blood. However, Mr. Editor,
to their eternal honour be it
spoken, they have been often Observing in your last num- known to encounter a sort of ber, a query—“Whence did that canables, to whose assaults they saying arise, · Nine tailors make are often subjected, not fictitious, a man ??” I beg the favour of but real man-eaters, and that the insertion of the following, as with a lance, but two inches
long; nay, and although they go Yours, &c. armed no further than their mid
The SHIPWRECKED MARINERS. resolved to return to the country, -The follwing anecdote was re- and spend her days in a sea-port lated at an anniversary of the town, where she could feed her Merchant Seamen's Auxiliary melancholy by looking on that Bible Society :
ocean which had devoured her “There was living in the West child. Some time after she took of England a widow lady, who up her residence in this place, was left with a family of seven there came to her door a poor daughters and
The sailor, who asked relief, and daughters paid that respect to urged his plea by telling her he her which was due to the parent belonged to a vessel that was that gave them birth ; but the wrecked, and only himself and son proved disobedient and re- one more escaped on some brofractory. After using every ken fragments of the ship to a means that duty and affection desolate island. His tale incould devise, and all in vain, the terested her mind, and induced thoughtless youth left the house her to make further inquiry, of a fond parent, in hopes of when he told her he should never finding pleasure on board a ves- forget the time he spent on that sel. The poor widow's mind island, nor the words of his was perpetually agitated by the companion. She then asked the thoughts of her lost boy: every name of his fellow-sufferer, when breeze that blew increased the a name like that of her son was anxiety, and seemed to bear on mentioned. Begging of him to its bosom the sad tidings that her describe his person, it appeared boy was no more! Being often the very same.
“ But do you called to the metropolis, she not mistake ?" said the mother. would inquire of every master "No," replied the man ; and, to or mate she met with, whether convince you, I have his book in they could give her any
and will show it gence of her son.
On one occa- you." Judge of her surprise, sion she met with a captain, and when, on opening the cover of inquiring as usual of him if he a Bible, she discovered her son's knew such a person, describing name, written by herself! “Will her son, he very imprudently you part with that book ?” said said, “He knew a person of that she. « Not for the world !" description, but that he was at answered the sailor ; “as I closed the bottom of the sea ; and if all his dying eyes he gave it me, relike him were there it would be questing me to read its contents, a good thing.” The poor mother's telling me that he had found it heart was ready to break with his support in death, and enjoingrief from the violence of such a ed me with his last breath never shock, and it was some time be- to part with it. I was then a fore she could recover. Agony stranger to its worth; but, by preyed on her mind, and drank reading its solemn truths, I have up her spirits : at length she learned to know the Lord, and