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Sum. I cannot eat it.

Har. Can you not ? 'sblood I'll beat you till you have a stomach.

[Beats him. Sum. O hold, hold, good master serving-man; I will eat it.

Har. Be champing, be chewing, sir, or I'll chew you, you rogue. Tough wax is the purest of the honey.

Sum. The purest of the honey!-0, Lord, sir ! oh ! oh! [Eats.

Har. Feed, feed ; 'tis wholesome, rogue, wholesome. Cannot you like an honest sumner walk with the devil your brother, to fetch in your bailiff's rents, but you must come to a nobleman's house with process? If thy seal were as broad as the lead that covers Rochester church thou shouldst eat it.

Sum. O, I am almost choked, I am almost choked.

Har. Who's within there? will you shame my lord ? is there no beer in the house? Butler, I say

Enter Butler. But. Here, here.

Har. Give him beer, there ; tough old sheepskins be a dry meat.

[The Sumner drinks.l

I know not if the learned keeper of the treasury

* Ancient British Drama, vol. i. pp. 325, 326.

records of her majesty's exchequer has followed any ancient authority, when he thus tells how the abbot of Oseney received the bearer of an unwelcome writ from the lord chancellor, commanding him to become a member of parliament :-“No obstacle was offered ; and the abbot, receiving the parliamentary process with much respect, delivered it to his seneschal, telling him to take care that it was properly returned. The summoning officer was then shown into a ' parloir,' and kindly requested to take a meal previous to the resumption of his journey. The dish was brought up and placed before him. Well did he augur from the amplitude of the cover ;-but when the towering dome was removed, it displayed a mess far more novel than inviting,—the parchment writ fried in the wax of the great seal. Before he could recover from his surprise, the attendants disappeared, the door closed, and the key turned ; and, amidst the loud shouts of laughter from without, he heard the voice of the pitanciary declaring, that he should never taste a second course until he had done justice to the first, the dainty dish set before him on the table. And the threat was carried into effect without the slightest mitigation ; for of no other food did he partake, neither bite nor sup could he obtain, until after two whole days of solitude and abstinence, the cravings of hunger compelled the unlucky representative of Chancery to swallow both the affront and the process.”

"1

XL.

ALMACK'S.

David MALLET was not the only Scot who, by changing his name, sought to conceal his northern origin. A sturdy Celt from Galloway or Atholl called MacCaul, “ well known in the fashionable end of the town by keeping a famous subscriptionhouse in Pall Mall, nearly opposite the palace of St James's, by a slight transposition of his name, gave birth to Almack's,"2

XLI.

ORIGIN OF NEWSPAPERS.

MR CHALMERS claims for England the honour of producing the first printed newspaper. It appeared in the memorable year 1588, when the dreaded Armada of Spain hung on our shores like a thunder-cloud.

| Truths and Fictions of the Middle Ages. The Merchant and the Friar. By Sir Francis Palgrave, K. H.,

pp. 71, 72

2 Kerr's Memoirs of Smellie, vol. i. pp. 436, 437. Edinburgh, 1811.

8 Life of Ruddiman, p. 102-121. See also D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, p. 55-57, edit. 1838.

K

The earliest number now known to exist is dated 230 July 1588, and is entitled “ The English Mercurie, published by authority, imprinted at London by Christopher Barker, her Highnesses printer.” M. Lally-Tollendal has disputed this claim, and asserts for France the merit of anticipating all other countries by more than half a century in the publication of a political journal. There is preserved, he says, in the Bibliothèque du Roi at Paris, a small quarto bulletin of the Italian campaign of Louis XII. in 1509, printed in the Gothic or black letter, and beginning thus : “ Ce’st la tres noble et tres excellente victoire du roy nostre sire Loys douziesme de ce nom qu'il a heue moyennant l'ayde de Dieu sur les Venitiens."

"1

XLII.

PRESBYTERIAN PARITY. The name of Master Robert Bruce must be familiar to every reader of Scotish church history. The free manner in which he bearded King James is still occasionally held up to admiration by zealous Presbyterians ; and Episcopal writers have been equally busy to show the failings of one who was so great a thorn in the side of the hierarchy. The Jacobite historian of Edinburgh relates with infinite relish this anecdote of him. “1589, August 15, Robert Bruce, one of the four ministers of Edinburgh, threatening to leave the town (the reason, by what follows, may be easily guessed at), great endeavours were used to prevent his going, but none, it seems, so prevalent as that of the increase of his Stipend to one thousand Merks ;' which the good man was graciously pleased to accept, though it only amounted to one hundred and forty merks more than all the stipends of the other three ministers !”2

2 Biogr. Univ. t. xiii. p. 56.

XLIII.

RAMSAY'S GENTLE SHEPHERD.

The first draught of Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd is to be found in a pastoral of a single scene called Patie and Roger, which appears to have been written before the end of March 1720, five years previous to the publication of his drama in its present form. When he produced this first sketch he was contemplating a collected edition of his works; and a copy

66

1 In 1569 John Knox's stipend was Quheit, ij chalderis (at £26, 13s. 4d. the chalder), Beir vj chalderis (at £21, 6s. 8d. the chalder), Aittis iiij chalderis (at xx merkis the chalder), Money, 500 merkis.”–Register of Ministers, p. 2. Edinburgh, 1830.

? Maitland's Hist. of Edinburgh, pp. 45, 55, 274. Edinburgh, 1753.

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