Born: Bishop Duppa, 1598-9, Lewisham; Marcellus Malpighi, microscopic anatomist, 1628, Bologna; Professor Playfair (Natural Philosophy), Benvie, 1748; William Etty, R.A., painter, 1787, Boric; E. H. Baily, R.A., sculptor, 1788, Bristol.
Died: Heliogabalus (Emperor), beheaded, A.D. 222 Pope Benedict III, 858; Ladislaus III of Poland, 1333 Thomas Lord Seymour, of Sudley, beheaded, 1549 William Paulet, first Marquis of Winchester, 1572, Basing; Sir Hugh Myddleton, engineer (New River), 1636; Sir John Denham, poet, 1668; John, Earl of Bute, (prime minister, 1762-3,) South Audley-street, London, 1792; Benjamin West, painter, P.R.A., 1820 John VI, King of Portugal, 1826.
Feast Day: The Forty Martyrs of St. Sebaste, 320. St. Mackessog (or Kessog), Bishop in Scotland, 560. St. Droctovaeus, Abbot, about 580.
GOOD BISHOP DUPPA
As you ascend Richmond. Hill, by the roadside, near the Terrace, you see an old pile of red brick which testifies the benevolence of a good Bishop, who lived in troublous times, but ended his days in peace, one of his latest works being the erection and endowment of the above edifice. The following inscription is on a stone tablet, over the outer entrance:
'Votiva Tabula, I will pay my vows which I made to God in my trouble.'
It was founded by Dr. Brian Duppa, towards the close of his life. He had been chaplain to Charles I, and tutor to his children, the Prince of Wales and Duke of York. After the decapitation of his royal master, he retired to Richmond, where he led a solitary life until the Restoration; soon after which he was made Bishop of Winchester, and Lord almoner. He died at Richmond, in 1662; having been visited, when on his deathbed, by Charles II, a few hours only before he expired.
In the previous year the good bishop had founded the above almshouse, endowing it for ten poor women, unmarried, and of the age of fifty years and upwards; for whose support he settled the rentals of certain properties in the county. The almswomen are elected by the minister and vestry of Richmond; and are each allowed £1 monthly, and a further £1 at Midsummer and Christmas; together with a gown of substantial cloth, called Bishop's blue, every other year. They have each, also, a Christmas dinner of a barn-door fowl and a pound of bacon, secured to them by the lease of a farm at Shepperton.
REVERSES OF THE PAULETS
The first Marquis of Winchester was one of those members of the peerage who stand out as prominent persons in the national history, giving direction to public affairs, exercising vast influence, acquiring great accumulations of honours and wealth, and leaving families to dwindle behind them in splendid insignificance. Born about 1475, the son of a small Somersetshire gentleman, William Paulet or Powlett (for the name is spelt both ways) devoted himself to court life, and in time prospered so well that he became successively Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household to King Henry VIII.
Under the boy king who succeeded, he rose to be Lord Treasurer, the highest office in the state, being then over seventy years of age. Under the same reign he was ennobled, and finally made Marquis of Winchester. It has never been said that he possessed masterly abilities: he is only presented to us as a man of great policy and sagacity. When the death of the young king raised a dynastic difficulty, old Powlett saw that the popular sentiment would not ratify the pretensions of Lady Jane Grey, and, throwing himself into the opposite scale, he was the chief instrument in preserving the crown for Mary. Through that bloody reign, he continued to be Lord Treasurer.
When Elizabeth and Protestantism succeeded, he still contrived to keep his place. In fact, this astute old man maintained uninterrupted prosperity down to his death in 1571-2, when he was ninety-seven, enormously wealthy, and had upwards of a hundred descendants. It might well excite surprise that a statesman should have kept high place from Edward's reign, through Mary's, into Elizabeth's: and the question was one day put to him, how it was that he did so. He answered that 'he was born of the willow, not of the oak.' He seems to have been remarkable for pithy sayings. One is recorded-'That there was always the best justice when the court was absent from London.'
The old Marquis amused himself in his latter years by building a superb house at Basing, in Hants; it is said to have been more like a palace than a nobleman's mansion. But we hear no more of the cautious wisdom which founded the greatness of the family. We hear of the third marquis writing poetry and giving away large estates among four illegitimate sons; of the fourth impoverishing himself by a magnificent entertainment to Queen Elizabeth; and of the fifth taking the losing side in the Civil War. After all, the conduct of this last lord was not the least creditable part of the family history. On the breaking out of that great national strife, Lord Winchester fortified Basing House for the king, enclosing about fourteen acres within the exterior ramparts. A large garrison, well provisioned, enabled him not merely to defy a powerful besieging force, but to make upon it many deadly sallies. He wrote on every window of the house the words, Aisne: loyaute', which have since continued to be the motto of the family crest. He swore to maintain his position so long as a single stone of his mansion remained. It was not till after a siege of two years (October 1645), that the investing army succeeded in their object. The house, in which the captors found valuables amounting to £300,000, was burnt to the ground. The Marquis survived to 1674, and his loyal faith and courage were acknowledged in an epitaph by Dryden.
A curious particular in the subsequent history of the family is the marriage, by its representative Charles Duke of Bolton, of Lavinia Fenton, the actress, remarkable for having first performed Polly Peachum in the Beggar's Opera. To this subject we shall have occasion to make reference on a future occasion.
HONEYCOMBS IN TIMBER
Among the many interesting facts concerning bees which attract the attention not only of naturalists, but of other persons acquainted with country life, is the existence of honeycombs in timber. The little workers select their dwellings in accordance with instincts which are yet but little understood: penetrating through or into solid substances by means apparently very inadequate to the work to be done. M. Réaumur proposed the name of carpenter-bees to denote those which work in wood, to distinguish them from the mason-bees that work in stone, and the mining-bees that work underground. Mr. Rennie (Insect Architecture) says:
'We have frequently witnessed the operations of these ingenious little workers, who are particularly partial to posts, palings, and the wood-work of houses which has become soft by beginning to decay. Wood actually decayed, or affected by dry rot, they seem to reject as unfit for their purpose: but they make no objections to any hole previously drilled, provided it be not too large.'
It is always, so far as is known, a female bee that thus engages in carpentry. Mr. Rennie describes one which he saw actually at work:
'She chiseled a place in a piece of wood, for the nest, with her jaws; she gnawed the wood, little bits at a time, and flew away to deposit each separate fragment at a distance. When the hole was thus made, she set out on repeated journeys to bring pollen and clay: she visited every flower near at hand fitted to yield pollen, and brought home a load of it on her thighs: and alternated these journeys with others which resulted in bringing back little pellets of clay. After several days' labour, she had brought in pollen enough to serve as food for the future generation, and clay enough to close up the door of her dwelling.'
Several days afterwards, Mr. Rennie cut open the wooden post in which these operations had been going on. He found a nest of six cells:
'the wood formed the lateral walls, but the cells were separated one from another by clay partitions no thicker than cardboard. The wood was worked as smooth as if it had been chiseled by a joiner.'
Such instances are of repeated occurrence, more or less varied in detail. Thus, on the 10th of March 1858, some workmen employed by Mr. Brumfitt, of Preston, while sawing up a large solid log of baywood, twenty feet long by two feet square, discovered a cavity in it about eight feet long, containing a full-formed honeycomb. Many carpenter-bees dig perpendicular galleries of great depth in upright posts and palings. Reaumur describes a particular kind, called by him the violet carpenter-bee (on account of the beautiful colour of the wings), which usually selects an upright piece of wood, into which she bores obliquely for about an inch, and then, changing the direction, works perpendicularly for twelve or fifteen inches, and half an inch in breadth. She sometimes scoops out three or four such channels in one piece of wood. Each channel is then partitioned into cells about an inch in depth; the partitions being made in a singular way from the sawdust or rather gnawings of the wood.
The depositing of the eggs, the storing of them with pollen, and the building up of the partitions, proceed in regular order, thus. The bee first deposits an egg at the bottom of the excavation: then covers it with a thick layer of paste made of pollen and honey: and then makes over or upon this a wooden cover, by arranging concentric rings of little chips or gnawings, till she has formed a hard flooring about as thick as a crown-piece, exhibiting (from its mode of construction) concentric rings like those of a tree, and cemented by glue of her own making. She deposits en egg on this flooring or partition, then another layer of soft food for another of her children, and then builds another partition-and so on, for a series of perhaps ten or twelve in height. Few things are more wonderful in their way than this: for the little worker has no tools but two sharp teeth to help her; she bores a tunnel ten or twelve times her own length quite smooth at the side: and makes ten or twelve floors to her house by a beautiful kind of joinery. This labour occupies several weeks. The egg first deposited develops into a grub, a pupa, and a perfect bee earlier than the others: and the mother makes a side door out of the bottom cell for the elder children to work their way out when old enough; they can penetrate the partitions between the cells, but not the hard wood of a piece of timber.
THE BROWNIE BEE (A Cornish Croon)
Behold those wing'ed images!
Bound for their evening bowers:
They are the nation of the bees,
Born from the breath of flowers!
Strange people they! A mystic race,
In life and food and dwelling -place!
They first were seen on earth, 'tis said,
'When the rose breathes in spring:
Men thought her blushing bosom shed
These children of the wing:
But lo! their hosts went down the wind,
Filled with the thoughts of God's own mind!
They built them houses made with hands,
And there, alone, they dwell:
No man to this day understands
The mystery of their cell:
Your cunning sages cannot see
The deep foundations of the bee!
Low in the violet's breast of blue
For treasured food they sink:
They know the flowers that hold the dew
For their small race to drink:
They glide-King Solomon might gaze
With wonder on their awful ways!
And once-it is a grandame's tale,
Yet filled with secret lore
There dwelt within a woodland vale,
Fast by old Cornwall's shore,
An ancient woman, worn and bent,
Fallen Nature's mournful monument.
A home had they-the clustering race,
Beside her garden-wall:
All blossoms breathed around the place,
And sunbeams fain would fall:
The lily loved that combo, the best,
Of all the valleys of the west!
But so it was that on a day,
When summer built her bowers,
The waxen wanderers ceased to play
Around the cottage flowers:
No hum was heard: no wing would roam:
They dwelt within their cloistered home!
This lasted long-no tongue could tell
Their pastime or their toil!
What binds the soldier to his cell,
Who should divide the spoil?
It lasted long it fain would last,
Till Autumn rustled on the blast!
Then sternly went that woman old,
She sought the chancel floor:
And there, with purpose bad and bold,
Knelt down amid the poor:
She took, she hid, the blessed bread,
Which is, what Jesu master said!
She bare it to her distant home,
She laid it by the hive,
To lure the wanderers forth to roam,
That so her store might thrive:
'Twas a wild wish, a thought unblest,
Some cruel legend of the west!
But lo! at morning-tide, a sign!
For wondering eyes to trace;
They found, above that bread, a shrine
Reared by the harmless race:
They brought their walls from bud and flower,
They built bright roof and beamy tower!
Was it a dream? or did they hear
Float from those golden cells,
A sound, as of some psaltery near,
Or soft and silvery bells?
A low, sweet psalm, that grieved within,
In mournful memory of the sin!
Was it a dream? 'tis sweet no less,
Set not the vision free:
Long let the lingering legend bless,
The nation of the bee!
So shall they bear upon their wings,
A parable of sacred things!
So shall they teach, when men blaspheme,
Or sacrament or shrine,
That humbler things may fondly dream
Of mysteries divine
And holier hearts than his may beat
Beneath the bold blasphemer's feet!
Open air Preaching is sometimes heard from a great distance. It must of course depend much on the character of the speaker's voice, but also to a considerable extent on conditions of the surface and on the hygrometric state of the atmosphere. Mrs Oliphant, in her Life of the Rev. Edward Irving, states that he had been on some occasions clearly heard at the distance of half a mile. It has been alleged, however, that Black John Russell of Kilmarnock, celebrated by Burns in no gracious terms, was heard, though not perhaps intelligibly, at the distance of a full mile. It would appear that even this is not the utmost stretch of the phenomenon. A correspondent of Jameson's Journal, in 1828, states that, being at the west end of Dumferline, he overheard part of a sermon then delivering at a tent at Cairneyhill by Dr. Black: he did not miss a word, 'though the distance must be something about two miles:' the preacher has, perhaps, seldom been surpassed for distinct speaking and a clear voice: 'and the wind, which was steady and moderate, came in the direction of the sound.'