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proportion, which I knew was not mine own. 'Tis the common symptom, on awaking, I judge my last night's condition from. A tolerable scattering on the floor I hail as being too probably my own ; and if the candlestick be not removed, I assoil myself. But this finical arrangement, this finding every thing in the morning in exact diametrical rectitude, torments me. Remote whispers suggest that I coached it home in triumph. Far be that from working pride in me, for I was unconscious of the locomotion. That a young Mentor accompanied a reprobate old Telemachus ! That, Trojan-like, he bore his charge upon his shoulders, while the wretched incubus, in glimmering sense, hiccuped drunken snatches of flying on the bat's wings after sunset ! An aged servitor is also hinted at, to make disgrace more complete; one to whom my ignominy may offer farther occasions of revolt (to which before he was too fondly inclining) from the true faith ; for, at sight of my helplessness, what more was needed to drive him to the advocacy of independency ?" 1
PROOF OF LEARNING. In the old romance of the Seven Sages of Rome, it
1 Letters of Charles Lamb, vol. ii. p. 298.
is related that these masters ascertained if their pupil was sufficiently learned by placing four leaves of ivy under each post of his bed. Unaware of what had been done, he betook himself to rest ; but in the morning when he awoke
66 The child looked here and there,
The sages were now fully satisfied :
« The masters then well understood
Through scarcity of paper, or the waywardness of the keepers, many strange notices have found their
· Weber's Metrical Romances, vol. iii. pp. 10, 11.
way into parochial registers, those barren abstracts of the annals of mortality,
where to be born and die
Of rich and poor makes all the history." An old record of funerals at Aberdeen gives a recipe for averting the pains to which weak brains are exposed by a debauch overnight, or as it is phrased,
Agains the heid aiking by to muckill drinking.” 1 Another legal record at the same place is enlivened by two fashionable
songs of the
1507. A private note-book is elsewhere preserved, where Scripture texts, memoranda of Puritan sermons, and the last words of dying Covenanters, are huddled up with such profane tunes as “If the Kirk would let me be,” “The Rantin’Laddie,”and “Green grow the rashes.”3 More useful but scarcely less impertinent entries
cur in English registers. At Richmond, in Yorkshire, it is written, “ Buried, Mr Matthew Hutchinson, Vicar of Gilling,—worth £50 a-year ;” and, “ Buried, Mrs Ursula Allen,-worth £600.” This superfluity is perhaps more to be commended than the slovenly style of the clerk of Lincoln's Inn Chapel: “ 1722. This day were married by Mr Holloway, I think, a couple whose names I could never learn, for he allowed them to carry away the licence.”4
1 Analecta Scotica, vol. i. p. 286. 2 Dauney's Ancient Scotish Melodies, p. 47. 3 Ibid. pp. 140, 141, 142. * Grimaldi's Origines Genealogicae, pp. 286, 287.
France furnishes still more amusing examples. The curate of Saint-André-des-Arts subjoins to the entry of a marriage on the 31st July 1589, the following amiable reflections : “ On the first day of August 1589, Henry de Valoys, sometime king of France, was in arms at Saint Cloud with his heretics and the King of Navarre and his abetters, laying siege to Paris, of which he had given the pillage to the robbers of all sects who accompanied him, having sworn the death of every person of condition within its walls, except heretics and their adherents, so that he might overthrow the Church of our Lord, and establish heresy in the heart of France. But by the just judgment of God, who would not suffer such a perverse tyrant and hypocrite to reign any longer, he was slain by a religious of the order of the Jacobins, called Friar Jacques Clément, which religious (may his soul rest in peace !) was instantly murdered by the attendants of the said Henry.” The same curate, on the 29th August 1574, records the baptism of two twin daughters, adding that “ they were born of the same womb.”
« On the 30th of June 1644,” writes the priest of La Villette, “ I said mass for the repose of the soul of François Caignet, who was my good friend, and made several gifts to my church.” Another curate of the same place expresses himself thus : “ Buried on the 21st December 1675, Jean Tessier, labourer, a mild and peaceable man, who on all occasions showed great deference and respect to his pastors.”
The rector of Saint-Paul, in January 1629, gratefully records the new-year gifts of his parishioners. The list may make a Welsh curate lick his lips : “ 11 bottles of wine, two of them white; 4 boxes of conserves ; 3 capons, one of them ready for the spit ; 3 pounds of wax-candles ; 2 very good cheeses ; 2 large pots of butter; 1 bottle of hippocras ; 1 fat rabbit; 1 smoked tongue; 1 cake; 1 cheese-cake; 1 dozen of towels ; 1 Spanish pistole; 3 crowns of gold.” The successor of this well-fed priest, in recording a burial, on the 29th October 1650, adds, “ M. de Saint-Paul commanded me to dine with him, and I got an excellent dinner. God grant him a long life !” The meal seems to have proved rather hard of digestion : to the entry of a funeral the next day is added the note, “ Je pris un lavement pour apaiser une colique.”l
ERUDITION OF THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM. A POPULAR compiler of statistics makes a remarkable apology for his minuteness. " I notice these events in order to induce the attention of the rising * Mem. de. S. R. des Antiq. de France, t. ix. p. 270-290.