Born: John Calvin, theologian, 1509, Noyon, Picardy; John Ernest Garabe, religious controversialist, 1666, Konigsberg; Sir William Blackstone, writer on English law, 1723, Cheapside, London; Frederick Marryatt, novelist, 1792, London.
Died: Emperor Adrian, 138; Pope Benedict VII, 983; Pope Benedict VIII, 1024; Henry II of France, 1559; William, first Prince of Orange, assassinated at Delft, 1584; Louis Moreri (Historical and Critical Dictionary), 1680, Lyon; Francois Eudes de Mezerai, historian, 1683; Bishop Fell, 1686, Oxford; Dr. Alexander Monro, professor of anatomy, 1767, Edinburgh; David Rittenhouse, astronomer, 1796, Philadelphia, U. S.
Feast Day: The Seven Brothers, martyrs, 2nd century. Saints Rufina and Secunda, virgins and martyrs, 3rd century.
THE KORNAN BEIRAN
The Korban Beiram, or feast of sacrifices, is one of the greatest solemnities of the Mohammedan religion. On this day every family of the true believers offers a sheep to God, and the streets of their cities are filled with men carrying the destined victim on their backs. Among the Arabs the festival begins at the early hour of four A.M., when immense crowds collect at the residence of the nearest pacha or bey, awaiting his appearance in the court of the palace. The fanciful style of eastern costume renders the scene both original and picturesque. All the sheiks are arranged on one side: in the front stand the officers and ministers of the pacha. At five o'clock his highness, accompanied by the members of his family and his staff, makes his entree: cannon are fired, the peculiar bands of the East play airs suitable for this religious ceremony. The chief-captain of the hussars of the palace announces to the crowd, in a solemn voice, that the hour of sacrifice has arrived, and that his highness, after prayer, will be present at this important act. All then adjourn to the mosque, the body of imams or priests entering with the suite of the pacha. As soon as the sacrifice is over, the pacha re-enters the court, and seated on an elevated throne, all those of high rank have the privilege of kissing his hand; the inferiors slightly touch it with their lips. This occupies an hour, when all retire to take coffee; the captain thanking the crowd for their presence as a mark of attachment to their ruler.
DON PANTALEON SA
On the 10th of July 1653, Don Pantaleon Sa, a Portuguese nobleman, brother of the ambassador from that country to England, and a Knight of Malta, was beheaded on Tower Hill. The peculiar circumstances of Don Pantaleon's untimely fate, and a remarkable coincidence connected with the affair, render it not unworthy of our notice.
At that time there was, on the south side of the Strand, a kind of bazaar called the New Exchange; the buildings of the Adelphi now cover its site. It was opened in 1608 by James I, who named it 'Britain's Burse,' but in popular parlance it never received any other designation than the New Exchange. It consisted of four rows or walks-two on the ground-floor, and two upstairs, each being lined with small shops, where all kinds of fancy articles were sold. As a place to lounge in, to walk, and talk, and hear the news, as our American cousins say, the New Exchange succeeded to Paul's Walk; but, with this difference, Paul's Walk was only used by gentlemen; while the shops in the New Exchange being especially devoted to the sale of gloves, perfumes, fans, and other feminine necessities or luxuries, its walks were frequented by the gay and fashionable of both sexes. Many scenes in our old comedies are laid in this place; and most old libraries contain whity-brown pamphlets, entitled News from the New Exchange, or New News from the New Exchange; but as in most of these scurrility and indecency take the place of wit and humour, the less we say about them the better.
It happened that, in the November of 1652, Don Pantaleon was walking in the New Exchange, with some of his countrymen, when a quarrel arose between them and a young English gentleman of good family, named Gerrard. The cause of the quarrel, as is usual in such occurrences, was of a most trivial kind. Mr. Gerrard accused the Portuguese of speaking, in French, disparagingly of England; they, on the other hand, alleged that he rudely pushed between them, without any provocation. Whatever may have been the original cause, swords were drawn, and passes exchanged; but the good sense of a few unarmed Englishmen, who were present, stopped the fray, by separating the combatants, and hustling the Portuguese out of the Exchange, one of them with a cut cheek, leaving Gerrard slightly wounded in the shoulder. The next day, Don Pantaleon, with fifty well-armed followers, came to the Exchange, to take his revenge. Fortunately, few Englishmen were there at the time, but of these, four were severely wounded by the Portuguese, and a Mr. Greenway, while walking with his sister and a lady to whom he was betrothed, being mistaken for Gerrard, was killed by a pistol-shot through the head. A great and enraged crowd soon collected, before which the Portuguese retreated, taking shelter in their house of embassy.
Colonel Whaley, who commanded the horse-guard on duty, proceeded to disperse the crowd, and demand the criminals from the Portuguese ambassador. The latter insisted that, by the law of nations, his house was an inviolable sanctuary for all his countrymen; and begged that the circumstances should be at once made known to the Lord Protector. Cromwell sent a messenger, in reply, to state that if the criminals were not given up to the civil authorities, the soldiers would be withdrawn, and the mob left to do as they pleased in the matter. Under this threat, Don Pantaleon, three Portuguese, and 'an English boy,' were given up; they were confined in the guard-house for the night, and next day committed to Newgate. By the intercession of the Portuguese merchants, their trial was delayed till the 6th of July in the following year, when they were arraigned for the crime of murder.
At first, Don Pantaleon refused to plead, claiming the immunity of an ambassador; he holding a commission to act in that high capacity, in the event of his brother's death, or absence from England. On being told that, if he did not plead he would be submitted to the press, he pleaded not guilty. A mixed jury, of Englishmen and foreigners, brought in a verdict of guilty, and the five prisoners were sentenced to be hanged on the 8th. Every effort was made, by the Portuguese and other ambassadors, to save Don Pantaleon's life, but without avail. Either to supplications or threats, Cromwell made no other reply than, 'Blood has been shed, and justice must be satisfied.' The only mercy granted to Don Pantaleon was a respite of two days, from the 8th to the 10th, and a reprieve from the disgraceful death of hanging, Don Guimarez, the ambassador, having requested that he might be permitted to kill his brother with his own sword, rather than he should be hanged.
In the meantime, while Don Pantaleon was a prisoner in Newgate, awaiting his trial, Gerrard, with whom the unhappy quarrel had arisen, becoming concerned in a plot to assassinate Cromwell, was tried and condemned to be hanged also. And in his case, too, his gentle blood and profession of arms being taken into consideration, the punishment of hanging was changed to beheading. So, as Don Pantaleon, attended by a number of his brother's followers, was being conveyed in a mourning coach with six horses, from Newgate to the place of execution, Gerrard was expiating his crime on the same scaffold to which the other was hastening. It has been said that they met on the scaffold, but without truth, though Don Pantaleon suffered immediately after Gerrard. The three other Portuguese were pardoned, but the person described as the 'English boy,' was hanged at Tyburn on the same day. The inflexible conduct of Cromwell on this occasion, gave him great credit, even among his enemies in England, for his justice; while it impressed foreign nations with a salutary sense of his power; and the case has ever since been considered as a precedent in all questions respecting the privileges of ambassadors.
THE TWO COUNTESSES OF KELLIE
On this day, in the year 1781, Mr. Methven Erskine, a cadet of the Kellie family, married at Edinburgh Joanna, daughter of the deceased Adam Gordon, of Ardoch, in Aberdeenshire. A brother of the gentleman, named Thomas, had, ten years before, married Anne, another daughter of Mr. Gordon. These gentlemen were in the position of merchants, and there were at one time seventeen persons between them and the family titles; yet they lived to become, in succession, Earls of Kellie, being the last who enjoyed that peerage, separately from any other.
It was by a series of very singular circumstances, hitherto unnarrated, that these two marriages came about. The facts were thus related to the writer in 1845, by a lady then upwards of ninety years of age, who had had opportunities of becoming well acquainted with all the particulars.
At Ardoch Castle-which is situated upon a tall rock overlooking the sea-the proprietor, Mr. Gordon, was one evening, a little after the middle of the last century, alarmed by the firing of a gun, evidently from a vessel in distress near shore. A storm was raging, and he had every reason to fear that the vessel was about to be dashed against that iron-bound coast. Hastening down to the beach with lights and ropes, he and his servants looked in vain for the distressed vessel. Its fate was already accomplished, as the floating spars but too plainly shewed; but they looked in vain for any, dead or alive, who might have come from the wreck. At length they found a sort of crib which had been rudely cast ashore, containing, strange to say, a still live infant. The little creature, whose singular fate it had been to survive where so many stronger people perished, was carefully taken to the house and nursed. It proved to be a female child, evidently from its wrappings the offspring of persons of no mean condition, but with nothing about it to afford a trace as to who these were.
Mr. Gordon made some attempts to find the relatives of this foundling, but without effect. Hoping that she in time might be claimed, he caused her to be brought up along with his own daughters, and treated in all respects as one of them. The personal graces and amiable character of the child in time made him feel towards her as if she had actually stood in that relation to him. When she had attained to womanhood, a storm similar to that already spoken of occurred. An alarm-gun was fired, and Mr. Gordon, as was his wont, hurried down to the beach, but this time to receive a ship-wrecked party, whom he immediately conducted to his house, and treated with his characteristic kindness. Amongst them was one gentleman-passenger, whom he took into his own parlour, and entertained at supper. After a comfortable night spent in the castle, this stranger was surprised at breakfast by the entrance of a troop of blooming young ladies, the daughters of his host, as he understood, but one of whom attracted his attention in a special manner. 'Is this young lady your daughter too?' he inquired of Mr. Gordon. 'No,' replied his host; 'but she is as dear to me as if she were.' And he then related her story. The stranger listened with increasing emotion, and at the close of the narration, said he had reason to believe that the young lady was his own niece. He then related the circumstances of a sister's return from India, corresponding to the time of the shipwreck, and explained how it might happen that Mr. Gordon's inquiries for her relations had failed. 'She is now,' said he, an orphan; but, if I am not mistaken in my supposition, she is entitled to a handsome provision which her father bequeathed to her in the hope of her yet being found.'
Ere long, sufficient evidence was afforded to make it certain that the gentleman had really, by the strange accident of the shipwreck, found his long missing niece. It became necessary, of course, that she should pass under his care, and leave Ardoch-a bitter necessity to her, as it inferred a parting with so many friends dear to her. To mitigate the anguish of this separation, it was arranged that one of her so-called sisters, the Misses Gordon, should accompany her. Their destination was Gottenburg, where the uncle had long been settled as a merchant. Here closes all that was romantic in the history of the foundling, but there was to be a sequel of that nature in favour of Mr. Gordon's children. Amongst the Scotch merchants settled in the Swedish port, was Mr. Thomas Erskine, a younger son of a younger brother of Sir William Erskine of Cambo, in Fife, an offshoot of the family of the Earl of Kellie. To him was Miss Anne Gordon of Ardoch married in 1771. A younger brother, named Methven, who had pursued merchandise in Bengal, ten years later, married a sister of Miss Gordon, as has been stated. No one then dreamed that these gentlemen would ever come near to the peerage of their family; but in 1797 the baronet of Cambo became Earl of Kellie, and two years later, the title lighted on the shoulders of the husband of Anne Gordon. In short, these two daughters of Mr. Gordon of Ardoch, became, in succession, Countesses of Kellie in consequence of the incident of the shipwrecked foundling, whom their father's humanity had rescued from the waves, and for whom an owner had so unexpectedly been found.
DRESS OF A LADY OF FASHION IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
In a dramatic pastoral, entitled Rhoden, and Iris, first acted at Norwich in 1631, we find the following list of the dress, ornaments, and toilet requisites of a fashionable lady of the period.
Chains, coronets, pendants, bracelets, and earrings;
Pins, girdles, spangles, embroideries, and rings;
Shadows, rebatoes, ribbands, ruffs, cuffs, falls,
Scarfs, feathers, fans, masks, muffs, laces, calls,
Thin tiffanies, cobweb lawn, and farthingales,
Sweet falls, veils, wimples, glasses, crisping-pins,
Pots of ointment, combs, with poking sticks, and bodkins,
Coifs, gorgets, fringes, rolls, fillets, and hair-laces,
Silks, damasks, velvets, tinsels, cloth of gold,
Of tissues, with colours of a hundredfold.
But in her tires so new-fangled is she,
That which doth with her humour now agree,
To-morrow she dislikes. Now doth she swear
That a loose body is the neatest wear;
But, ere an hour be gone, she will protest,
A strait gown graces her proportion best;
Now calls she for a boisterous farthingale,
Then to her haunch she'll have her garments fall;
Now doth she praise a sleeve that 's long and wide,
Yet by and by that fashion cloth deride;
Sometimes, she applauds a pavement-sweeping train,
And presently dispraiseth it again;
Now she commends a shallow band so small,
That it may seem scarce any band at all;
But soon to a new fancy she cloth reel,
And calls for one as big as a coach-wheel.
She'll wear a flowing coronet to-day,
The symbol of her beauty's sad decay;
To-morrow, she a waving plume will try,
The emblem of all female levity,
Now in her hat, now in her hair is drest;
Now, of all fashions, she thinks change the best,
Nor in her weeds alone, is she so nice,
But rich perfumes she buys at any price;
Storax and spikenard, she burns in her chamber,
And daubs herself with civet, musk, and amber.
Waters she bath to make her face to shine,
Confections, eke, to clarify her skin;
Lip-salve and cloths of a rich scarlet dye
She bath, which to her cheeks she doth apply;
Ointment, wherewith she sprinkles o'er her face,
And lustrifies her beauty's dying grace.
CHILD SUCKLED BY A GOAT
Whether the old story of Romulus and Remus is a myth or a record of genuine fact, we shall never know: most probably the former; but incidents of the same nature are sufficiently vouched. The Swallow frigate was, in July 1812, engaged in a severe action with a French frigate near Majorca. One of the sailors, named Phelan, had his wife on board. In such circumstances, the woman is always expected to assist the surgeons in attending on the sick and wounded. The two ships being engaged yard-arm and yard-arm, the slaughter was great, and the cockpit became crowded with poor fellows in need of attention.
While engaged in her service of kindness, the woman heard that her husband was wounded on deck. She rushed up, and reached the spot in time to catch poor Phelan in her arms. They kissed and embraced; but next instant a cannon-ball took off the unfortunate woman's head. The husband gave one agonised look at his dead wife, and then expired. When the rage of the battle was over, the two bodies were sewed up in a hammock and consigned to the deep. The hapless wife had, only three weeks before, given birth to an infant. The child was thus left an orphan, with no woman near it, and none but rough-handed, though kind-hearted, tars to tend it. They all declared their willingness to be fathers to the little one; but a mother was still wanting. It happened, however, that one of the officers had a female Maltese goat on board. The child was put to the goat, and followed his natural instinct by sucking. The animal became so accustomed to this proceeding, that she would lie down voluntarily to suckle the infant. Goat's milk is known to be very nourishing; and little Tommy (as the sailors called him) prospered with this substitute for a natural parent.