« PreviousContinue »
But never yet, upon the stormy wave,
3 Cat-head, or beam, or davit has it none ;
Starboard nor larboard, gunwale, stem nor stern!
I have of late (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mìrth, foregone all customs of exercises, and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seems to mé a sterile promontory ; this most excel lent canopy, the aìr, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmamènt, this majestic roof; fretted with golden firè—why it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is màn! How noble in reason ! how infinite in faculties! in form and mov íny, how express and admirable ! in action, how like an · angél ; in apprehension, how like a God! the beauty of the wòrld! the paragon of animals! And yet, to mé, what is this quintessence of dust ? Man delights not me.--Shakspeare.
*The Bridgeport paper of March, 1823, said : " Arrived, schooner Fame, from Charleston, via New London. While at anchor in that harbor, during the rain storm on Thursday evening last, the Fame was run foul of by the wreck of the Methodist meeting-house from Norwich, which was carried away in the late freshet."
Passages selected from the Bible. 1 WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all
the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you. from the foundation of the world : For I was an hungered and ye gave me ineat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:I. 2 was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me:
I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall 3 he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels : For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer hiin, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did 4 it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And
these shall go away into everlasting punishment : but the righteous into life eternal.
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others : Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank thee, that I am not as other
men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this
publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that 5 I possess. And the publican standing afar ofl, would not
lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other : for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased ; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. . . .
And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way-side begging; and hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he 6 cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace : but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David have mercy on me. And Jesus stood and commanded him to be brought unto him; and when he was come near, he asked him, saying, What wilt thou that I shall.do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight : thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God : and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
1 Very soon after the first institution of Chivalry, every one became covetous of the distinction, and it naturally followed that the object of each boy's aspirations, the aim of every young man's ambition, was one day to be a knighi. Those, however, who had already received the order, were scrupulously careful to admit none within its fellow'shin who might disgrace the sword that dubbed them ; and knighthood gradually became as much the reward of a long and tedious education, as the bonnet of the doctor or the stole of the clerk. 2. Till they reached the age of seven years the youths, af
terwards destined to arins, were left to the care of the females of the household, who taught them the first principles of re
ligion and of Chivalry. They were, then, in general, sent from home, those fathers even, who possessed the means of conducting their education themselves, preferring to intrust it to some other noble knight who could be biased by no paternal tenderness to spare the young aspirant to Chivalry, any of those trials and hardships absolutely necessary to
prepare him for his after-career. a On entering the household of another knight, the first place
filled by the youths, then fresh from all the soft kindnesses of home, was that of page or varlet, which, though it implied every sort of attendance on the person of their new lord, was held as honorable, not degrading.
Here they still remained much among the women of the family, who undertook to complete their knowledge of their duty to God and their lady, instilling into their infant minds that refined and mystic idea of love, which was so peculiar a trait in the Chivalry of old. In the mean while, the rest 4 of their days were passed in the service of the lord, accom
panying him in his excursions, serving him at table, pouring out his drink; all of which offices being shared in by the children and young relations of the baron himself, were reckoned, as I have said, highly honorable, and formed the first step in the ascent to Chivalry.
At the same time infinite pains were bestowed upon the education of these pages. They were taught all sorts of gymnastic exercises which could strengthen the body; and, by continually mingling with the guests of the castle, re5 ceiving them on their arrival, offering them every sort of
service, and listening respectfully to the conversation of their elders, they acquired that peculiar grace of manner which, under the name of courtesy, formed a principal perfection in the character of the true knight.
At fourteen, the page was usually admitted to the higher grade of squire, and exchanged his short dagger for the manly sword This, however, was made a religious ceremony; and the weapon which he was in future to wear, was laid upon the altar, from whence it was taken by the 6 priests, and after several benedictions, was hung over the
shoulder of the new squire, with many a sage caution and instruction as to its use.
His exercises now became more robust than they had ever been before; and, if we are to believe the old biographer of the celebrated Boucicaut, they were far more fatigue ing than any man of the present age could endure. To spring upon horseback, armed at all pieces, without putting
a foot in the stirrup; to cast somersets in heavy armor for hy the purpose of strengthening the arms; to leap upon the
shoulders of a horseman from behind, without other hold than one hand laid upon his shoulder-such, and many others, were the daily exercises of the young noble, besides regular instruction in riding and managing his arms.
Many services which we should consider menial, were performed by the squires of the highest race about the persons of their lords. Nor was this confined to what might be considered military services; for we learn that they not
only held the stirrup for the lord to mount, and then followed, 8 carrying his helm, his lance, his shield, or his gauntlets ;
but they continued to serve him at table, to clean his armor, to dress his horses, and to fulfil a thousand other avocations, in which they were aided, it is true, by the common servants, but which they still had their share in accomplishing with their own hands.
The squires, of course, had osten more important duties to perform. It was for them to follow their lords to the batile-field ; and, while the knights, formed in a long line,
fought hand to hand against their equals, the squires remained 9 watching eagerly the conflict, and ready to drag their master from the mêlée,* to cover him if he fell, to supply him with fresh arms, and, in short, to lend him every aid ; without, however, presuming to take an active part against the adverse knights, with whose class it was forbidden a squire to engage.
These services in the field perfected the aspirant to Chivalry in the knowledge of his profession ; and the trials of skill which, on the day that preceded a tournament, were permitted to squires in the lists, gave him an opportunity of distinguishing himsell in the eyes of the people, and of 10 gaining a name among the heralds and chroniclers of knightly deeds.
If a noble 'squire had conducted himself well during the period of his service, it seldom occurred that his lord refused to bestow upon him the honor of knighthood at the age of twenty-one ; and sometimes, if he had been distinguished by any great or gallant feat, or by uniform talent and cour
* Pronounced MA-LA.