Born: Dr. Richard Busby, celebrated head-master of Westminster School, 1606, button, Lincolnshire; Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, statesman, and author of Letters to his Son, 1694, London; John Home, author of Douglas, 1722, Leith; Peter Simon Pallas, traveller, 1741, Berlin; Theodore Edward Hook, novelist, 1788, London.
Died: Mardonius, Persian commander, slain at Plataea, 479 B.C.; Virgil, epic poet, 19 B.C., Brundusium; John Biddle, 'father of English Unitarianism,' 1662, Moorfields, London; Francois Bernier, eastern traveller, 1688, Paris; Pope Clement XIV, 1774; Princess Augusta of England, 1840; Mrs. Sherwood, author of numerous works for children, 1851, Twickenham.
Feast Day: St. Maurice and his companions, martyrs, 286; St. Emmeran, bishop of Poitiers, and patron of Ratisbon, martyr, 653.
VIRGIL THE NECROMANCER
It is difficult to explain how the fame of the poet Virgil, in its passage through the opening period of the middle ages, became so extraordinarily enveloped in fable. Virgil, as we know, was born at Mantua, but he is said, among other places, to have studied at Naples; and it was with that city that, in the middle ages, the name of the poet was most intimately connected, and there, as early certainly as the twelfth century, numerous stories were told of his wonderful exploits. These, too, were believed by men of the highest rank in theology and science.
Our great scholar, Alexander Neckam, has collected some of them in his work, De Naturis Rerum, which was published in the latter part of that century; and when, at the beginning of the century following, another of our scholars, Gervase of Tilbury, visited Naples, he listened to similar stories which were told to him by his host, the Archdeacon Pinatellus. Virgil was said to have founded the city of Naples upon eggs, as a magical charm for its protection, and this was the legendary derivation of the name of one of its principal castles, the Castel del' Uovo. On one of the gateways of Naples he set up two brazen statues, one with a merry, the other with a sad and deformed countenance, so enchanted, that if any one entered the town by the side of the gateway on which the merry statue stood, he was certain to prosper in all his affairs; while entering by the other side, produced a contrary effect. On another gate he set up a brazen fly, which remained there eight years, during which period no flies could enter the city; he relieved Naples in a some-what similar manner from a plague of infectious leeches; he built baths, which cured all disorders; he surrounded his house and gardens with a stream of air, which served for a wall; he constructed a bridge of brass, which took him wherever he pleased. At length, in the fifteenth century, many of these marvellous stories were collected together, and formed into what was called a life of Virgil, which appears to have been first printed in France, but of which an English version was printed in England early in the sixteenth century. It is a curious production, full of very wild adventures, and curiously illustrates the state of intelligence in the middle ages.
After some very fabulous general history, the story tells us that Virgil was the son of a Campanian knight, who had married the daughter of a senator of Rome, and who was powerful and a great enemy to the emperor. Virgil's birth was painful, and was announced by an earthquake in Rome, and they gave him his name from the verb vigilo, to watch, 'for by cause that he was a great space of tyme watched so with men.' He was sent to school when a child, to Tolenten (probably meant for Toledo, where people were supposed to go to learn magic in the middle ages), and soon afterwards his father died, and his powerful kinsman dispossessed the widow and her child of their estates, while the emperor refused to give them redress. It was at this time that the event occurred by which Virgil became possessed of his supernatural powers, for, unlike other magicians, he obtained them without subjecting himself to any disagreeable terms.
An Virgilius was at scole at Tolenten, where he stodyed dyligently, for he was of great understandynge. Upon a tyme the scholers hadde lycence to goo to play and sporte them in the fyldes after the usaunce of the olde tyme; and there was also Virgilius therby also walkynge amouge the hilles all about. It fortuned he spyed a great hole in the syde of a great hyll, wherin he went so dope, that he culde not see no more lyght, and than he went a lytell ferther therin, and than he sawe son lyght agayne, and than wente he fourth streyghte: and within a lytyll wyle after he harde a voice that called, 'Virgilius, Virgilius!' and he loked aboute, and he colde nat see no bodye. Than Virgilius spake and asked, 'Who calleth me?' Than harde he the voyce agayne, but he sawe no body; then sayd he, 'Virgilins, see ye not that lytyll horde lyinge bysyde you there marked with that word?' Than answered Virgilius, 'I see that horde well enough.' The voyce sayde, 'Doo awaye that horde, and lette me oute theratte.' Than answered Virgilius to the voyce that was under the lytell horde, and sayd, 'Who art thou that talkest me so?' Than answered the devyll, 'I am a devyll conjured out of the body of a certeyne man, and banysshed here tyll the day of jugement, without that I be delyvered by the handes of man. Thus, Virgilius, I pray the delyver me out of this payn, and I shall shewe unto the many bokes of nygromancy, and howe thou shalt cum by it lyghtly and knowe the practyse therein, that no man in the scyence of negromancye shall pass the. And moreover I shall showe and enforme you, so that thou shalt have all thy desyre, whet-by methynke it is a great gyfte for so lytyll a doynge; for ye may also thus all your power frendys helpen, and make rythe your ennemyes unmyghty.' Thorowh that great promyse was Virgilius tempted; he badde the fyend showe the bokes to hym, that he myght have and occupy them at his wyll. And so the fyend chewed hym, and than Virgilius pulled open a horde, and there was a lytell hole, and therat wrange the devyll out lyke a yeel, and cam and stode byfore Virgilius lyke a bygge man; therof Virgilius was astonied and merveyled greatly therof, that so great a man myght come out at so lytell a hole. Than sayd Virgilius, 'Shulde ye well passe into the hole that ye cam out of?' 'Yes I shall well,' sayd the devyll. 'I holde the best plegge (gaze, wager) that I have ye shall not do it.' 'Well,' sayde the devyll, 'thereto I consented' And than the devyll wrange hymselfe into the lytell hole agen, and as he was therein, Virgilius kyvered the hole ageyn with the horde close, and so was the devyll begyled, and myght not there come out agen, but there abydeth shytte styli therin. Than called the devyll dredefully to Virgilius, and sayd, 'What have ye done?' Virgilius answered, 'Abyde there styll to your day apoynted.' And fro thensforth abydeth he there. And so Virgilius becam very connynge in the practyse of the blacke scyence.
Of the 'cunning' of Virgilins there can be no doubt after this example-at all events, he had evidently more wit than his antagonist. Some time after this, his mother became old and deaf, and she sent for her son home from the school, that he might take steps to recover his inheritance, and to take his rightful place as a senator of Rome; and her messenger proceeded to Tolenten, and:
whan he cam there, he founds Virgilius teching and lernynge the greattest lordes of the lands, and other landes also; for I ensure ye, he was a fayr and a wyse yonge man, and conynge in the scyence of negromancy above all men then lyvynge.' Though Virgilius had now, we are told, made himself immensely rich, and had little need to care for his rights at Rome, yet he obeyed his mother's call, went to Rome, and met with a rebuff from the emperor, which led to a war between them, in which the imperial power was defeated and set at nought by the 'negromancye' of the scholar.
The result was a reconciliation, and the restoration of Virgilius, who now became one of the principal men in the emperor's council, and he began to turn his eyes upon the fair ladies of Rome. The first of these to whom he made advances played him false, for, seeking only to mock him, she invited him to visit her one night in her chamber in a high tower, promising to let down a basket attached to a rope,a nd thus to draw him up. Virgilius came, was drawn half-way up the tower, and then the lady fastened the rope, and left him hanging there to be a spectacle to the populace all the next day. How Virgilius revenged himself is well known to all readers of the old popular literature, and can hardly be related here. Soon after this he took a wife and built himself a magnificent palace, which also possessed many wonders. The emperor now began to be troubled with rebellions in different parts of his empire, and he asked the counsel of Virgilius, who thereupon made in the Capitol a marvellous group of statues, one representing Rome, the others each allotted to a country or province, and each of these turned its back on the statue of Rome and rung a bell, when the province it represented was on the point of rebellion. Thus the emperor was informed of the revolt before it had time to get head, and the group in the Capitol received the name of Salvatio Romae-the safeguard of Rome. It was at length destroyed by an ingenious contrivance of the men of Carthage. The manner in which this was effected will perhaps be best told in the quaint language of' the original:
Than thought they in there mynde to sende iij. men out, and gave them great multytude of golde and sylver; and these iij. men take theyr leve of the lordes, and went towarde the cytie of Rome, and, when they were come to Rome, they reported themselfe sothesayers and trewe dremers. Upon a tyme wente these iij. men to a hyll that was within the cytie, and there they buryed a great potte of money very depe in the erthe, and when that was done and kyvered ageyne, they went to the brygge of Tyber, and let fall in a certayne place a great barell with golden pence; and when this was done, these thre men went to the seniatours of Rome, and sayd, 'Worshypfull lordes, we have this nyghte dremed, that within the fote of a hyll here within Rome, is a great pot with money; wyll ye, lordes, graunte to us, and we shall do the coste te seke thereafter?' And the lordes consented, and than they toke laberours, and delved the money out of the erthe. And when it was done, they went another tyme to the lordes, and sayde, 'Worshypful lordes, we have also dremed, that in a certayne place of Tyber lyeth a barell full of golden pence; if that you will graunte to us that we shall go seke it.' And the lordes of Rome, thynkynge no dyscepte (deceit), graunted to those sothesayers, and badde them do that they shulde do there best. And than they hyred shyppes and men, and went toward the place where it was; and when they were come, they sowght it in everye place thereabout, and at the laste founds the barelfull of golden pence, whereof they were glade; and than they gave to the lordes costely gyftes. And than to come to theyr purpose, they cam to the lordes ageyne, and sayde to them: 'Worshypfull lordes, we have dremed ageyne that under the foundacyon of Capitolium, there where Salvatio Rome standeth, be xij. barelles full of gold; and pleasyeth you, lordes, that you wold graunte us lycense, it shall be to your great avauntage.' And the lordes styrred with covytayse, graunted them, bycause ij. tymes afore they told trewe. Whereof they were glad, and gatte laberours, and began to dygge under the foundacyon of Salvatio Rome; and when they thought that they had dygged anoughe, they departed fro Rome, and the next Jaye folowynge fell that house downe, and all the worke that Virgilius had made, and so the lordes knewe that they were deseyved, and were sorowfull, and after that hade nat no fortune as they had afore tymes.
Virgilius also gratified the emperor by a contrivance to clear the streets of Rome of night-runners and evil-doers, and by making a wonderful lamp, which stood on a great pillar, and gave light at night to every street in Rome. He also built himself a wonderful orchard attached to his palace, and this brings us to another phase in his adventures.
In a new amour, Virgilius was more successful than on a former occasion. Having heard of the extraordinary beauty of the Soldan's daughter, he resolved to possess himself of her. For this purpose, he 'by his connynge,' built a bridge through the air, and over this passed to the Soldan's court, and gained the lady's love. After some perilous adventures, which we will pass over, he brought the princess home with him, and kept her in his wonderful orchard, for he 'was sore enamoured of that lady.'
After a time, he became desirous of finding a husband for the princess, and
thoughte in his mynde to founde in the myddes of the see, a fayer towne with great landes belongyng to it; and so he dyd by his connynge, and called it Napells, and the fundacyon of it was of egges; and in that towne of Napells, he made a tower with iiij. corners, and in the toppe, he set an apell upon a yron yarde, and no man culd pull away that apell without he brake it; thorowghe that yron set he a hotel, and on that hotel set he a egge; and he henge the apell by the stauke upon a cheyne, and so hangyth it styll. And whenne the egges styrreth, so shulde the towne of Napels quake, and whan the egge brake, then shulde the towne synke.
Such is the legendary origin of the town of Naples! It was no sooner completed, than Virgilius gave it as a dower to the Soldan's daughter, and married her to a certain lord of Spain. But the new town was so fair, that the emperor 'had a great fantasy' to it, and he secretly assembled a great army to take it by force. Virgilius, however, protected Naples against all his designs, and he fortified it, and, leaving all his other houses, he made it his sole residence. Above all, he loved scholars, and endowed there a large school, so richly, that every scholar, while he remained at school, had land allotted to him sufficient for his keep. Thus, under his care, it Leonine the greatest school of necromancy and magic in the world.
Virgilius was again reconciled to the emperor, and performed other marvellous things for his service. At length old age approached, but he was provided even against this. He had built for himself, outside Rome, a strong castle or palace, with only one entrance, which, was protected by images of men with iron flails, which, by his necromancy, he kept in continual motion, so that none but himself could approach the entrance without certain death. Here he came sometimes alone, to secure himself from the emperor's importunities. One day Virgilius took his most trusty servant with him into this palace, and when they were alone, he said to him:
My dere beloved frende, and he that I above all men truste, and knowe most of my secret;' and than led he the man into the seller, where he had made a fayer lampe at all seasons burnynge. And than sayd Virgilius to the man, 'Se you the barell that standeth here?' and he sayde, 'Ye there muste put me; fyrste, ye muste slee me, and hewe smalle to peces, and cut my head in iiij. peces, and salte the harde under in the bottum, and then the peces thereafter, and my hearte in the myddel, and then set the barell under the lampe that nyght and daye therein may droppe and leke; and ye shall ix. dayes longe, ones in the daye fyll the lampe, and fayle nat. And when this is all done, than shall I be renewed and made yonge ageyn, and lyve longe tyme and maney wynters mo, if that it fortune me nat to be taken of above and dye.' And when the man harde his master Virgil-ins speke thus, he was sore abasshed, and sayd, 'That wyll I never whyle I lyve, for in no manner wyl I slee you.' And then sayd Virgilins, 'Ye at this tyme must do it, for it shall he no grefe unto you.' And at the last Virgilius entreated his man so muche, that he consented to hym. And then toke the servant Virgilius, and slewe hym, and when he was thus slayn, he hewn hym in peces and salted hym in the barell, and cut his head in iiij. peces as his master bad hym, and than put the herte in the myddell, and salted them wele; and when all this was done, he hynge the lampe ryght over the barell, that it myght at all tymes droppe in thereto. And when he had done all this, he went out of the castell, and turned the vyces [screws-Virgilius had taught him the secret how to stop the movement of the flails, and set them agoing again], and then wente the coper men smyghtynge with theyr flayles so strongly upon the yron anveldes as they dyd afore, and there darste no man enter; and he came every daye to the castell, and fylled the lampe, as Virgilius had bad hym.
When Virgilius had disappeared from court seven days, the emperor became impatient, and sent for his confidential servant, whose answers were evasive, and made the emperor more resolute to solve the mystery. He therefore compelled the servant, by fear of death, to take him to the castle, and stop the flails, so that he might enter. And he and his courtiers wandered over Virgilius's palace, until he cane to the cellar in which he found the remains of the great necromancer salted in a barrel. In his first anger, he slew the faithful servant, by which Virgilius's instructions were lost and could no longer ho carried out.
And when all this was done, than sawe the emperoure and all his folke a naked cliylde iij. tymes rennynge aboute the barell, sayinge the wores, 'Cursed be the tyme that ye cam ever here I' and with those wordes vanyshed the chylde away, and was never sene ageyne. And thus abyd Virgilius in the barell dead.
Such is the legend of the necromancer Virgil, which, there can be no doubt, was the character given by the middle ages to the Roman poet. It is one of the most curious examples of the strange growth of medieval legend, and at the same time shows us the peculiar estimate which people in the darker ages formed of science and learning. At the same time, when we refer this to the darker ages, we must not forget that, in ages considered to be much more enlightened, the Romish Church took advantage of these superstitions and prejudices to persecute science and its followers.
THE PRINCESS AUGUSTA
This royal lady, second daughter of George III, combined great sweetness of nature with a propriety of behaviour which is not always accompanied by amiable qualities. There is an anecdote of her Royal Highness well worthy of permanent preservation.
During the latter part of the reign of George IV, when a certain lady held immense influence over him, the king one day asked the Princess Augusta to come and dine with him. Her Royal Highness asked if Lady - was to be there, and, on receiving a reply in the affirmative, begged to decline. The king pressed the matter very much, when the princess said: 'If you command my attendance as king, I will obey you; but if you ask me as a brother to come, nothing will induce me.' His majesty said no more.' It may further be noted of this good woman, that she was benevolent upon a moderate income, and died so poor as to require no will.
The children of the present day enjoy immense advantages over their fathers and grandfathers as regards the supply of instructive and entertaining works suited to their tastes and capacities. Foremost among the pioneers of the improved order of things, stand the names of Miss Edgeworth and Mrs. Sherwood. Aiming both at the same object, these two distinguished writers pursue, nevertheless, a very dissimilar path. Whilst the former occupies herself with the moral, and more especially the reasoning, faculty of human nature, to the almost entire exclusion of the religious element, the latter adopts invariably the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, or what are commonly termed evangelical views, as the only sound basis on which any system of lasting improvement can be founded.
The maiden name of Mrs. Sherwood was Butt, and she traced her descent from an ancestor who was said to have come over with William the Conqueror. Her family was certainly one of very old-standing in the midland counties. Her grandfather, Dr. Butt, resided in Lichfield, at a time when it was the centre of a brilliant literary coterie, including Miss Seward, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Dr. Darwin, and Mr. Day, besides being visited occasionally by Dr. Johnson and David Garrick from London. His son, George Butt, entered holy orders, and was presented to the rectory of Stanford, in Worcestershire, where his daughter, Mary Martha, the future authoress, was born in 1775. In her autobiography she has given a charming description of this place, where her girlhood's days were spent, and the remembrance of which we see vividly reproduced in her delightful pictures of English country-life in the Fairchild Fancily.
Though a sincere affection seems to have subsisted between her and her parents, yet the discipline at Stanford Rectory was, according to her own account, of rather the strictest sort. She was never allowed to sit in the presence of her parents, to come near the fire, or take part in any conversation, and, according to the preposterous discipline of those days, had an iron collar round her neck, to which a backboard was strapped, and thus accoutred, would have to stand the greater part of the day in the stocks, in which position, moreover, she was obliged to learn and repeat her lessons. Yet she says she was a happy child, and such a picture of fresh rosy health that her father used to call her Hygeia. She informs us that at a very early age she began to write stories and plays, but she had the misfortune, shared in by other geniuses, of being originally regarded as a dull child. Little of incident marks her life till after her father's death, which took place when she was about twenty years of age.
She then married her cousin, Captain Sherwood, of the 53rd Regiment, and accompanied him to India. Here, with the cooperation of Henry Martyn and Mr. Corrie, she exerted herself in the founding of schools for the Indian children, besides taking under her more especial care the children of the European soldiers, a labour of love in which she seems to have been eminently successful. Her husband entered cordially with her into all her pious and benevolent exertions. Many of her juvenile works, including the well-known Henry and his Bearer, which enjoyed such a diffusion as to be translated even into the Chinese and Cingalese languages, were composed in India.
Captain and Mrs. Sherwood, returning to England after a residence of many years, took up their abode in the neighbourhood of Worcester, and continued there till a short time before Captain Sherwood's death, when they removed to Twickenham, near London. In this place Mrs. Sherwood closed her long and useful life, amid the affectionate ministrations of her daughters, on 22nd September 1851. To the last she retained her cheerfulness, and up to within a year or two of her death, her vigour both of body and mind were almost unimpaired.
One distinguishing characteristic of Mrs. Sherwood's works is the freshness with which English rural manners and scenes are portrayed. Her descriptions are redolent throughout of violets and wild-roses, green shady lanes, and pleasant walks through woods and fields. Her children, too, are really children-not philosophers in jackets and pinafores, as the young people of Miss Edgeworth are apt to appear to us. Mrs. Sherwood must be admitted to possess the descriptive and dramatic, if not the imaginative faculty in a very high degree. Her style is the purest and simplest of English, and. the true Christian lady, as well as genial-hearted woman, display themselves unmistakably from beginning to end.
AN EPISODE FROM ZUTPHEN
The small army which Elizabeth sent in 1585 to aid the Protestant Netherlanders against their Spanish masters, contained other heroes besides Sir Philip Sidney. Of one of these-the Lord Willoughby-we find an interesting anecdote in the modern work, entitled Five Generations of a Loyal House; an anecdote, moreover, connected with that skirmish or battle of Zutphen in which Sidney received his mortal wound.
'On the 22nd of September 1586, an affray took place, in which Lord Willoughby pre-eminently distinguished himself by valour and conduct, and many others with him upheld the glory of the English name. Sir John Norreis and Sir William Stanley were that day reconciled; the former coming forward to say, 'Let us die together in her majesty's cause.' The enemy were desirous of throwing supplies into Zutphen, a place of which they entertained some doubt; and a convoy, accordingly, by the orders of the Prince of Parma, brought in a store, though an insufficient one, of provisions. A second, commanded by George Cressiac, an Albanois, was despatched for the same purpose, the morning being foggy.
Lord Willoughby, Lord Audley, Sir John Norreis, and Sir Philip Sidney, encountering the convoy in a fog, an engagement began. The Spaniards had the advantage of position, and had it in their power to discharge two or three volleys of shot upon the English, who, nevertheless, stood their ground. Lord Willoughby himself, with his lance in rest, met with the leader, George Cressiac, engaged with, and, after a short combat, unhorsed him. He fell into a ditch, crying aloud to his victor: 'I yield myself to you, for that you be a seemly knight,' who, satisfied with the submission, and having other matters in hand, threw himself into the thickest of the combat, while the captive was conducted to the tent of the general, Lord Leicester.
The engagement was hot, and cost the enemy many lives, but few of the English were missing. Willoughby was extremely forward in the combat; at one moment his basses, or mantle, was torn from him, but recaptured. When all was over, Captain Cressiac being still in his excellency's tent, refused to acknowledge himself prisoner to any but the knight to whom he had submitted on the field. There is something in this, and the like incidents of the period, which recall us very agreeably to recollections of earlier days of chivalry and romance. Cressiac added, that if he were to see again the knight to whom he had surrendered himself, in the armour he then wore, he should immediately recognise him, and that to him and him only would he yield. Accordingly, Lord Willoughby presenting himself before him, in complete armour, he immediately exclaimed: 'I yield to you!' and was adjudged to him as his prisoner.
'It was in this skirmish that the gallant and lamented Sir Philip Sidney, the boast of his age, and the hope of many admiring friends, received the fatal wound which cut short the thread of a brief but brilliant existence. During the whole day he had been one of the foremost in action, and once rushed to the assistance of his friend, Lord Willoughby, on observing him 'nearly surrounded by the enemy,' and in imminent peril: after seeing him in safety, he continued the combat with great spirit, until he received a shot in the thigh, as he was remounting a second horse, the first having been killed under him.
On. the 22nd of September, 1736, there died in the prison or Newgate, at the advanced ago of eighty-two, and after a lengthened confinement of forty years, John Bernardi, whose name, as Mr. Macaulay observes, has derived a melancholy celebrity from a punishment, so strangely prolonged, that it at length shocked a generation which could not remember his crime.
Bernardi was an Englishman, though, as his name implies, of Italian extraction; his father and grandfather having been agents for the republic of Genoa at the court of England. In early life, he had served in the Dutch army under the Prince of Orange, and subsequently in that of James II, during the war of the revolution; in the latter he attained the rank of major, and fought at the battle of the Boyne, and siege of Limerick. In 1696, on the discovery of the plot to assassinate William III, Bernardi was arrested on suspicion of being one of the conspirators, and committed to Newgate.
Eight persons were tried, condemned, and executed for their participation in the assassination-plot, as it was termed; but there not being sufficient evidence to ensure a conviction of Bernardi and five other suspected conspirators, the government, to avoid bringing them to a premature trial, and to afford time to procure condemnatory evidence, suspended the Habeas Corpus Act for nine months. At the expiration of that period, Bernardi and his fellow-prisoners applied to be either tried or admitted to bail, according to law; the judges adjourned the consideration of the case for a fortnight, thus affording time for the government to obtain an act of parliament, authorising the imprisonment of the unfortunate men for one year. At the expiration of the year, another act was passed authorising their confinement for another year; and at the end of the second year, a third act was passed authorising their confinement during his majesty's pleasure, parliament, evidently aware of the injustice of its proceedings, evasively throwing the responsibility upon the shoulders of King William.
There were no hopes now for the prisoners till the death of the king in 1702. When that event took place, they again demanded to be tried or admitted to hail; the answer was another act of parliament to confine them during the pleasure of Queen Anne. It happened to be the pleasure of this royal lady to release one of the prisoners, named Counter; so, at her death, there were but five to claim their right of trial or bail; but another act of parliament confined them during the pleasure of George I.
When George II succeeded to the throne, death having mercifully released two of the captives, named Meldrum and Chambers, there were only Bernardi and two fellow-sufferers to claim their legal rights. The counsel who moved their case in the court of King's Bench, stated that his clients had then been imprisoned without trial for thirty-one years; that they had been committed to Newgate, by a secretary of state's warrant, on suspicion of having been concerned in a conspiracy to assassinate King William; that they had never been brought before a magistrate; that there had not been the oath of even one witness sworn against them. It will scarcely be believed that the attorney-general, Sir Philip Yorke, afterwards Lord Hardwicke, opposed the miserable men's claim by a paltry technical quibble. He objected to the motion as irregular, the original commitment not having been produced, or proof given that the claimants were committed to Newgate in 1696. The judges overruled the objection, and there were hopes of justice being done at last; but another act of parliament condemned the unhappy men to imprisonment during the pleasure of George II.
The prisoners petitioned parliament, the king and the queen, recounting their sufferings, age, and infirmities, further observing that several, who had been taken in arms against the government in 1714, had been pardoned and liberated, while they, who had never been charged with any crime, were still rotting in a noisome dungeon. The petitions were in vain; death, more compassionate than crowned heads, released two more of the prisoners, Cassels and Blackburne, leaving Bernardi the solitary survivor; and it was not till 1736 that he died in Newgate, after a cruel and unjust, if not exactly illegal, confinement of forty years. He had one solace, however, in his long imprisonment. It appears that he married in 1712, and a writer of the day tells us that his wife,
by her good management and industry, contributed much to his support and comfort, and to the keeping of his heart from breaking under the worst of his hardships, difficulties, and distresses.
Ten children were the result of this marriage in Newgate, and of them we are told that:
in respect of charge and expense under his strait and narrow circumstances, and under his immurement or being buried alive, they were no small burden to him, yet he esteemed them great blessings.
A somewhat similar instance of suffering and injustice was perpetrated by the revolution government in Scotland. In 1690, an English gentleman, named Neville Payne, was arrested on suspicion of being implicated in the conspiracy to restore James II, commonly known as Montgomery's Plot. The Scotch privy-council, not, however, without instructions from London, put Payne to the torture, but though considered to be 'a cowardly fellow,' he did not make any disclosures. Severer means were employed to extract confession and the names of accomplices, the torture being applied to both thumbs and one leg, as severely as compatible with the preservation of life, but without success. Although there was nothing against the man, save mere suspicion, he was confined, with more or less severity, in various prisons in Scotland, for more than ten years, till at last the privy-council, apparently puzzled as to what they would do with the 'vain, talking fellow,' liberated him without bail or other security. From the Domestic Annals of Scotland, we learn that Payne was an inventor and projector of improvements in ship-building and river navigation; and in all probability he was the same Nevill Payne, who figures in the dramatic history of England, as the author of three clever plays.
GEORGE III, AN AUTHOR
The 22nd of September 1761 was the day of that often-described ceremony, the coronation of George III. It is scarcely at all known that this monarch was the author of at least one article, printed in a periodical publication. In the seventh volume of Young's Annals of Agriculture, there is a paper, giving an account of a farm, held by a Mr. Ducket, at Petersham, in. Surrey, and bearing the signature of Ralph Robinson. This paper, it is asserted on indubitable evidence, was written by George III.
Mr. Ducket was one of the first to apply machinery to agriculture, and as he was an able mechanician, as well as farmer, the paper was one of no small interest. Mr. Ducket's farm, which had thus the honour of a royal description, is now, or was lately, held by Dr. Ellis, the hydropathist.
During a part of his life, George III made careful notes on the various persons and circumstances that came more immediately under his observation; illustrating his notes with very apposite quotations from Shakspeare, and other authors. One of these note-books for 1778 happened to fall under the inspection of Mr. Willis, the well-known bookseller, who has recorded two instances of apt quotation by the king; both rather different from what might be expected. In allusion to Franklin, he quotes the following words from Julius Caesar:
O let us have him; for his silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds:
It shall be said his judgment rul'd our hands;
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.
Dr. Johnson does not fare so well in the king's estimation. In allusion to his name, the monarch thus quotes from Love's Labour's Lost:
'He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasms; such insociable and point-device companions; such rackers of orthography.'
George III. was accustomed to pay the minutest attention to details, and regulated everything in his own household and family. This habit is illustrated in a remarkable manner by the following arrangements, made by him for a journey to Portsmouth, and a note directing a change in his first plan, carefully copied from the original in his own handwriting. The king made few journeys, but this was on a memorable occasion, being to review the fleet, and present Lord Howe with a sword of honour, on his arrival at Portsmouth, after the glorious battle of the 1st of June.
During the time the king stayed at Portsmouth, he resided in the house of Sir Charles Saxton, commissioner of the dock-yard.
At the Commissioner's.
1. A bedchamber for the King and Queen. If with convenience, a small room for the Queen to dress; if not, can dress in the bedchamber.
2. A chamber for the Princess Royal and Princess Amelia.
3. A bedchamber for Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth.
4. A bedchamber for Princesses Mary and Sophia. Mrs. Clevely, Mrs. Sands, Miss Mackenthun, Mr.'s Turner, Mrs. Willis, and Miss Albert. Brown, Clark, Gisewell, Albert, Dureau, Robinson, Colesham, and Cox.
2 Footmen of the King.
1 Ditto of the Queen.
2 Hobby Grooms, & 12 Coach-horse servants.
Horses for three poet-coaches, five post-chaises, and two saddle-horses, on the Monday; on the Tuesday, for two post-coaches and six saddle-horse,.
Lady Caroline Waldegrave.
Lady Frances Howard.
Mr. G. Goldsworthy.
Mr. G. Gwynn.
Prince Ernest-one gentleman and three servants.
'Windsor, June 16, 1794.
Since I have seen -- this evening, it is settled that Princess Royal will not go to Portsmouth, consequently not Miss Mackenthun, and the two next princesses will take but one servant between them, consequently Mrs. Clevely, Mrs. Sands, Mrs. Willis, and Miss Albert will go in the post-coach, and one post-chaise will be wanting at every stage on Monday.'