Imatges de pÓgina

the remains of a park to which some of them lead. A gate at the end of the park at the entrance of the Royal Chase, now called "Alarm Gate," was the place probably where the horn was blown to call the keepers to their duty in attending their lord in his sports. There is also a venera. ble old wych-elm tree, on the Chase side of the "Alarm Gate," under which lord Arundel, the possessor of Tollard Royal, holds a court annually, on the first Monday in the month of September. A view of the mansion in its present state, is given in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for September



Mr. Strutt, the indefatigable historian of the "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England," says of Barley-break: "The excellency of this sport seems to have consisted in running well, but I know not its properties." Beyond this Mr. Strutt merely cites Dr. Johnson's quotation of two lines from sir Philip Sidney, as an authority for the word. Johnson, limited to a mere dictionary explanation, calls it " kind of rural play; a trial of swiftness."


Sidney, in his description of the rural courtship of Urania by Strephon, conveys a sufficient idea of "Barley-break." The shepherd seeks the society of his mistress wherever he thinks it likely to find her.

Nay ev'n unto her home he oft would go,

Where bold and hurtless many play he tries; Her parents liking well it should be so,

For simple goodness shined in his eyes: Then did he make her laugh in spite of woe So as good thoughts of him in all arise; While into none doubt of his love did sink, For not himself to be in love did think.

This "sad shepherd" held himself towards Urania according to the usual custom and manner of lovers in such cases.

For glad desire, his late embosom'd guest,

Yet but a babe, with milk of sight he nurst:
Desire the more he suckt, more sought the breast
Like dropsy-folk, still drink to be athirst;
Till one fair ev'n an hour ere sun did rest,
Who then in Lion's cave did enter first,
By neighbors pray'd, she went abroad thereby
At Barley-break her sweet swift foot to try.
Never the earth on his round shoulders bare
A maid train'd up from high or low degree,
That in her deings better could compare
Mirth with respect, few words with courtesie,
A careless comeliness with comely care,

Belf-guard with mildness, sport with majesty

Which made her yield to deck this shepherd's band:
And still, believe me, Strephon was at hand.
Then couples three be straight allotted there,
They of both ends the middle two do fly;
The two that in mid-place, Hell, called were,
Must strive with waiting foot, and watching eye,
To catch of them, and them to Hell to bear,

That they, as well as they, Hell may supply
Like some which seek to salve their blotted name
With other's blot, till all do taste of shame.

There you may see, soon as the middle two

Do coupled towards either couple make, They false and fearful do their hands undo, Brother his brother, friend doth his friend forsake, Heeding himself, cares not how fellow do,

But of a stranger mutual help doth take: As perjured cowards in adversity, With sight of fear, from friends to fremb'd+ doth fly,

The game being played out with divers adventurers

All to second Barley-break again are bent.

During the second game, Strephon was chased by Urania.

Strephon so chased did seem in milk to swim;

He ran, but ran with eye o'er shoulder cast, More marking her, than how himself did go, Like Numid's lions by the hunters chased, Though they do fly, yet backwardly do glow With proud aspect, disdaining greater haste : What rage in them, that love in him did show; But God gives them instinct the man to shun, And he by law of Barley-break must run.

Urania caught Strephon, and he was sent by the rules of the sport to the condemned place, with a shepherdess, named Nous, who affirmed

-it was no right, for his default,
Who would be caught, that she should go-
But so she must. And now the third assault
Of Barley-break.-

Strephon, in this third game, pursues Urania; Klaius, his rival suitor, suddenly interposed.

For with pretence from Strephon her to guard,
He met her full, but full of warefulness,
With in-bow'd bosom well for her prepared,
When Strephon cursing his own backwardness
Came to her back, and so, with double ward,
Imprison'd her, who both them did possess
As heart bound slaves.

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This game is mentioned by Burton, in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," as one of our rural sports, and by several of the poets, with more or less of description, though by none so fully as Sidney, in the first eclogue of the "Arcadia," from whence the preceding passages are taken.

The late Mr. Gifford, in a note on Massinger, chiefly from the "Arcadia," describes Barley-break thus: "It was played by six people, (three of each sex,) who were coupled by lot. A piece of ground was then chosen, and divided into three compartments, of which the middle one was called hell. It was the object of the couple condemned to this division to catch the others, who advanced from the two extremities; in which case a change of situation took place, and hell was filled by the couple who were excluded by preoccupation from the other places: in this catching, however, there was some difficulty, as, by the regulations of the game, the middle couple were not to separate before they had succeeded, while the others might break hands whenever they found themselves hard pressed. When all had been taken in turn, the last couple were said to be in hell, and the game ended."

Within memory, a game called Barleybreak has been played among stacks of corn, in Yorkshire, with some variation from the Scottish game mentioned presently. In Yorkshire, also, there was another form of it, more resembling that in the "Arcadia," which was played in open ground. The childish game of "Tag" seems derived from it. There was a 66 tig," or "tag," whose touch made a prisoner, in the Yorkshire game.

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though differently played. It is termed "Barla-breikis," or " Barley-bracks." Dr. Jamieson says it is generally played by young people, in a corn-yard about the stacks; and hence called Barla-bracks, "One stack is fixed as the dule or goal, and one person is appointed to catch the rest of the company, who run out from the dule. He does not leave it till they are all out of his sight. Then he sets out to catch them. Any one who is taken, cannot run out again with his former associates, being accounted a prisoner, but is obliged to assist his captor in pursuing the rest. When all are taken, the game is finished; and he who is first taken, is bound to act as catcher in the next game. This innocent sport seems to be almost entirely forgotten in the south of Scotland. It is also falling into desuetude in the north."*

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This shadow on the dial's face,

That steals, from day to day,
With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,
Moments, and months, and years away
This shadow, which in every clime,
Since light and motion first began,
Hath held its course sublime;
What is it?-Mortal man!
It is the scythe of Time.

-A shadow only to the eye.
It levels all beneath the sky.

Mr. Archdeacon Nares's Glossary.

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To the Editor.

A chairman late 's a chairman dead,

And to his grave, by chairman sped,
They wake him, as they march him through
The streets of Bath, to public view.

Bath. Sir, I beg leave to transmit for your use the following attempt at description of an old and singular custom, performed by the chairman of this my native city, which perhaps you are not altogether a stranger to, and which is still kept up among them as often as an opportunity permits for its performance. Its origin I have not been able to trace, but its authenticity you may rely on, as it is too often seen to be forgotten by your Bath readers. I have also accompanied it with the above imperfect sketch, as a further illustration of their manner of burying the "dead," alias, ex

posing a drunkard of their fraternity. The following is the manner in which the "ob sequies" to the intoxicated are performe

If a chairman, known to have beer "dead" drunk over night, does not ap pear on his station before ten o'clock or the succeeding morning, the "undertaker," Anglice, his partner, proceeds, with such a number of attendants as will suffice for the ceremony, to the house of the late unfor tunate. If he is found in bed, as is usually the case, from the effects of his sacrifice to the "jolly God," they pull him out of his nest, hardly permitting him to dress, and place him on the "bier," a chairmen's horse,-and, throwing a coat over him

which they designate a "pall," they perambulate the circuit of his station in the ollowing order :

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1. The sexton-a man tolling a small nand-bell.

2. Two mutes-each with a black stocking on a stick.

3. The torch bearer—a man carrying a lighted lantern.

4. The "corpse" borne on the "hearse," carried by two chairmen, covered with the aforesaid pall.

The procession is closed by the "mourners" following after, two and two; as many joining as choose, from the station to which the drunkard belongs.

After exposing him in this manner to the gaze of the admiring crowd that throng about, they proceed to the public-house he has been in the habit of using, where his "wake" is celebrated in joviality and mirth, with a gallon of ale at his expense. It often happens that each will contribute a trifle towards a further prolongation of the carousal, to entrap others into the same deadly snare; and the day is spent in baiting for the chances of the next morning, as none are exempt who are not at their post before the prescribed hour.

I am, &c.

W. G.

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He was probably a native of Devonshire, for there he spent the last years of his life; spent them, too, in some sort of consideration, for Mr. T. (a very respectable surgeon of Ashburton) loved to repeat to me, when I first grew into notice, that he had frequently hunted with his hounds.

My grandfather was on ill terms with him: I believe, not without sufficient reason, for he was extravagant and dissipated. My father never mentioned his name, but my mother would That he spent much, I know; but I am inclined sometimes tell me that he had ruined the family.

to think, that his undutiful conduct occasioned my great-grandfather to bequeath a considerable part of his property from him.

My father, I fear, revenged in some measure the cause of my great-grandfather. He was, as I have heard my mother say, 66 a very wild young man, who could be kept to nothing." He was sent to the grammar-school at Exeter; from which he made his escape, and entered on board a man of war. He was reclaimed from this situation by my grandfather, and left his school a second time, to wander in some vagabond society. He was now probably given up; for he was, on his return from this notable adventure, reduced to article himself to a plumber and glazier, with whom he ckily staid long enough to learn the business. I suppose his father was now dead, for he became possessed of two small estates, married my mother, (the daughter of a carpenter at Ashburton,) and thought himself rich enough to set up for himMolton. Why he chose to fix there, I never inself; which he did, with some credit, at South quired; but I learned from my mother, that after a residence of four or five years, he thoughtlessly engaged in a dangerous frolic, which drove him once more to sea: this was an attempt to excite a riot in a Methodist chapel; for which his companions were prosecuted, and he fled.

My father was a good seaman, and was soon made second in command in the Lyon, a large armed transport in the service of government while my mother (then with child of me) returned to her native place, Ashburton, where . was born, in April, 1756.

The matter is of no consequence-no, not even myself. From my family I derived nothing but a name which is more, perhaps, than I shall leave: but (t check the sneers of rude vulgarity) that family wa among the most ancient and respectable of this part o the country, and, not more than three generations fron the present, was counted among the wealthiest.— wrap!

He had gone with Bamfylde Moor Carew, then an old man.

Her maiden name was Elizabeth Cain. My father christian name was Edward.

The resources of my mother were very scanty. They arose from the rent of three or four small fields, which yet remained unsold. With these, nowever, she did what she could for me; and as soon as I was old enough to be trusted out of her sight, sent me to a schoolmistress of the name of Parret, from whom I learned in due time to read. I cannot boast much of my acquisitions at this school; they consisted merely of the contents of the "Child's Spelling Book:" but from my mother, who had stored up the literature of a country town, which, about half a century ago, amounted to little more than what was disseminated by itinerant ballad-singers, or rather, readers, I had acquired much curious knowledge of Catskin, and the Golden Bull, and the Bloody Gardener, and many other histories equally instructive and amusing.

My father returned from sea in 1764. He had been at the siege of the Havannah; and though he received more than a hundred pounds for prize money, and his wages were considerable; yet, as he had not acquired any strict habits of economy, he brought home but a trifling sum. The little property yet left was therefore turned into money; a trifle more was got by agreeing to renounce all future pretensions to an estate at Totness;* and with this my father set up a second time as a glazier and house painter. I was now about eight years old, and was put to the freeschool, (kept by Hugh Smerdon,) to learn to read, and write and cipher. Here I continued about three years, making a most wretched progress, when my father fell sick and died. He had not acquired wisdom from his misfortunes, but continued wasting his time in unprofitable pursuits, to the great detriment of his business. He loved drink for the sake of society, and to this he fell a martyr; dying of a decayed and ruined constitution before he was forty. The town's-people thought him a shrewd and sensible man, and regretted his death. As for me, I never greatly loved him; I had not grown up with him; and he was too prone to repulse my little advances to familiarity, with coldness, or anger. He had certainly some reason to be displeased with me, for I learned little at school, and nothing at home, although he would now and then attempt to give me some insight into his business. As impressions of any kind are not very strong at the age of eleven or twelve, I did not long feel his loss; nor was it a subject of much sorrow to me, that my mother was doubtful of her ability to continue me at school, though I had by this time acquired a love for reading.

I never knew in what circumstances my mother was left: most probably they were inadequate to her support, without some kind of exertion, especially as she was now burthened with a second child about six or eight months old. Unfortu

This consisted of several houses, which had been thoughtlessly suffered to fall into decay, and of which the rents had been so long unclaimed, that they could no: now he magverenless by an expensive litigation.

nately she determined to prosecute my father's business; for which purpose she engaged a couple of journeymen, who, finding her ignorant of every part of it, wasted her property, and embezzled her money. What the consequence of this double fraud would have been, there was no opportunity of knowing, as, in somewhat less than a twelvemonth, my poor mother followed my father to the grave. She was an excellent woman, bore my father's infirmities with patience and good humour, loved her children dearly, and died at last, exhausted with anxiety and grief more on their account than her own.

I was not quite thirteen when this happened, my little brother was hardly two; and we had not a relation nor a friend in the world. Every thing that was left, was seized by a person of the name of Carlile, for money advanced to my mother. It may be supposed that I could not dispute the justice of his claims; and as no one else interfered, he was suffered to do as he liked. My little brother was sent to the alms-house, whither his nurse followed him out of pure affection and I was taken to the house of the person I have just mentioned, who was also my godfather. Respect for the opinion of the town (which, whether correct or not, was, that he had amply repaid himself by the sale of my mother's effects) induced him to send me again to school, where I was more diligent than before, and more successful. I grew fond of arithmetic, and my master began to distinguish me; but these golden days were over in less than three months Carlile sickened at the expense; and, as the people were now indifferent to my fate, he looked round for an opportunity of ridding himself of a useless charge. He had previously attempted to engage me in the drudgery of husbandry. I drove the plough for one day to gratify him; but I left it with a firm resolution to do so no more, and in despite of his threats and promises, adhered to my determination. Ia this, I was guided no less by necessity than will. During my father's life, in attempting to clamber up a table, I had fallen backward, and drawn it after me its edge fell upon my breast, and I never recovered the effects of the blow; of which I was made extremely sensible on any extraordinary exertion. Ploughing, therefore, was out of the question, and, as I have already said, I utterly refused to follow it.

As I could write and cipher, (as the phrase is,) Carlile next thought of sending me to Newfoundland, to assist in a storehouse. For this purpose he negotiated with a Mr. Holdsworthy of Dartmouth, who agreed to fit me out. I left Ashburton with little expectation of seeing it again, and indeed with little care, and rode with my godfather to the dwelling of Mr. Holdsworthy. On seeing me, this great man observed with a look of pity and contempt, that I was "too small," and sent me away sufficiently mortified. I expected to be very ill received by my godfather, but he said nothing. He did not however choose to take me back himself, but sent me in the passage-boat to Totness, from

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