Imatges de pàgina

be taken in his sokenly, he ought to have his stocks and imprisonment in his soken; and he shall be brought from thence to the Gaildhall before the mayor, and there they shall provide him his judgment that ought to be given of him; but his judgment shall not be published till he come into the court of the said Robert, and in his liberty. And the judgment shall be such, that if he have deserved death by creason, he to be tied to a post in the Thames at a good wharf where boats are fastened, two ebbings and two flowings of the water. And if he be condemned for a common thief, he ought to be led to the Elms, and there suffer his judgment as other thieves. And so the said Robert and his heirs hath honour that he holdeth a great franchise within the city, that the mayor of the city and citizens are bound to do him of right, that is to say, that when the mayor will hold a great council heo ught to call the said Robert, and his heirs, to be with him in council of the city, and the said Robert ought to be sworn to be of council with the city against all people, saving the king and his heirs. And when the said Robert cometh to the hustings in the Guildhall of the city, the mayor, or his lieutenant, ought to rise against him, and set him down near unto him ; and so long as he is in the Guildhall, all the judgment ought to be given by his mouth."

If this scene exhibits the proud citizens maintaining in a splendour befitting their important position, the dignity of one of their chief officers, and showing forth their claims to respect from their wealth, power, and influence, the next shall display them in a vet brighter light, with stronger claims to our sympathies and affections—when, under the influence of feelings of charity and devotion, they took their weekly walk towards Houndsditch to relieve the distresses of their necessitous brethren.

“From Aldgate, north-west to Bishopsgate, lieth the ditch of the city called Houndesditch; for that, in old time, when the same lay open, much filth (conveyed forth of the city), especially dead dogs, were there laid or cast; wherefore of latter time a mud wall was made, inclosing the ditch, to keep out the laying of such filth as had been accustomed. Over against this mud wall, on the other side of the street, was a fair field, sometime belonging to the priory of the Trinity, and since by Sir Thomas Audley given to Magdalen College in Cambridge : this field (as all other about the city) was inclosed, reserving open passage thereinto for such as were disposed. Towards the street

* We subjoin the note upon this passage as a specimen of the manner in which the Editor of the edition from which we are quoting, has illustrated the various allusions to bygone manners and customs scattered throughout Stow's amusing narrative.

to Though the punishment of death by drowning has ceased to be inflicted in this country for so long a period, that it is not, we believe, even mentioned by Black stone in his Commentaries, it is equally certain not only that it obtained during the middle ages, but that instances of its infliction occurred on the continent during the last century. We, of course, do not allude to the Noyades of the French Revolution. Thus, in the Hanov. Mag. 1797, Nos. 11, 12, we read .— Jeban de Champin ravi et prist à force Jebanne de la Broce, pour lequel fait il a esté noge.' See further upon this subject, Grimm's Deutsche Rechts Alterthümer, pp. 696– 699. In a preceding note, p. 9, mention has been made of the drowning of a woman at London Bridge. Grimm, in his most learned and elaborate work, quotes an instance of a punishment precisely similar from Gregory of Tours."

were some small cottages, of two stories high, and little garden plots backward, for the poor bed-rid people, for in that street dwelt none other, built by some prior of the Holy Trinity, to whom that ground belonged.

In my youth, I remember, devout people, as well men as women of this city, were accustomed oftentimes, especially on Fridays, weekly to walk that way purposely there to bestow their charitable alms; every poor man or woman lying in their bed within their window, which was towards the street, open so low that every man might see them, a clean linen cloth lying in their window, and a pair of beads, to show that there lay a bed-rid body, unable but to pray only. This street was first paved in the year 1503."

We have designated our paper, “ London in the Good Old Times;" and we think all who read it will admit, that if instances of this charitable and kindly spirit were frequent in the Olden Times, they well deserved the eulogistic epithet by which we have distinguished them.

Readers, they were frequent. The chapter of Stow's Survey, entitled “ Honour of Citizens and Worthiness of Men in the same,exhibits a long list of charitable donations and bequests, conceived in a fine spirit of humanity, and carried into execution with a munificence befitting the natives of a city whose merchants have ever been as princes.

What many benevolent individuals of the present day are assiduously labouring for (a good work, in which they are happily seconded by the all-powerful influence of The Times), viz., the means of providing a supply of pure water for the use of the poor,—was, at the period of which we are writing, a subject of anxious interest to many worthy citizens, who applied a large portion of the goods, with which Providence had blessed them, in the erection of Conduits. One individual alone, Barnard Randolph, Common Serjeant of the City, gave, in the year 1583, no less a sum than nine hundred pounds towards the water conduits. Honoured be the memory of the man who contributed so munificently towards those useful public works, which must have been regarded as alike blessings to the humbler citizens, and ornaments to the city.

But our limits warn us to draw to a close our notice of the valuable little work, which has given the venerable Stow a never-ending claim to the gratitude of his fellow citizens. It has just been reprinted, at a price which is within the reach of all classes of the reading public. The present Editor has been content to leave the work as Stow wrote it, not endeavouring, as Munday and Strype have done, to bring the work down to their own time—a course which would not only have trebled, at least, the size and price of the volume, but destroyed its interest as a picture of London at the close of the sixteenth century. He has, however, illustrated and explained the many curious allusions to manners and customs, scattered throughout Stow's descriptions, and with a few specimens of the manner in which he has executed this part of his task, we must bring the present paper to a close.

Thus Stow states that John Godnay, who was mayor in 1427, in the year 1444 “ wedded the widow of Robert Large, late mayor, which widow had taken the mantle and ring, and the vow to live

chaste to God during the term of her life, for the breach whereof, the marriage done, they were troubled by the Church, and put to penance, both he and she;" which Mr. Thoms explains in the following note :

“ It was formerly a common custom for widows to make a vow to observe chastity in honour of their deceased husbands. The following translation of the ceremonial observed upon such an occasion, which is given by Fosbroke in his British Monachism, p. 510, will sufficiently explain Stow's allusion to the mantle and ring.

is 13th March, 1393, Lady Blanch, relict of Sir Nicholas de Styvecle, knight, alleging that she was a parishioner of John Lord Bishop of Ely, humbly supplicated the said bishop, that he would think worthy to accept her vow of chastity, and from consideration of regard confer upon her the mantle and ring, &c.; and afterwards the said Lady Blanch, in the chapel of the manor of Dodyngton, in the diocese of Ely, before the high altar, in the presence of the said reverend father, then and there solemnly celebrating mass, made solemnly her vows of chastity, as follows, in these words :

“'1, Blanch, heretofore wife to Sir Nicholas de Styvecle, knight, vow to God, and our holy Lady Saint Mary, and all saints, in presence of our Reverend Father in God, John, by the grace of God, Bishop of Ely, that I will be chaste from henceforth during my life.'

“And the said reverend father received her vow, and solemnly consecrated and put upon the said vowess the mantle and ring in the presence of, &c." “ One of the witnesses," adds Fosbroke, " is a notary public.”

Again, Stow speaks of a murderer claiming the privilege of sanctuary, and abjuring the king's land, which is thus explained by the editor :

“ This abjuring the king's land was an act of self-banishment, which any person claiming the privilege of sanctuary was called upon to put in force. Within the space of forty days he was to clothe himself in sackcloth, confess his crime before the coroner, solemnly abjure the realm, and taking a cross in his hand, repair to an appointed port, embark, and quit the country. If apprehended, or brought back on his way thither within forty days, he was entitled to plead his privilege of sanctuary, and to claim a free passage.

" The murderer mentioned in the text was obviously being conveyed by the constables to the port appointed for his embarkation, when he was visited by the summary justice of the friends and neighbours of the widow whom he had slain.”

Stow, treating of the sports and customs of the city, tells us that

“ In the week before Easter had ye great shows made for the fetching in of a twisted tree, or With, as they termed it, out of the woods into the king's house; and the like into every man's house of honour or worship.”

On which Mr. Thoms observes

“ Strange to say, this curious allusion to a very remarkable custom appears to have escaped the notice not only of Brand, but of his learned and accomplished editor, Sir Henry Ellis. The tree here alluded to was doubtless brought in as an emblem of authority, perhaps of judicial authority, since in the middle ages, courts of justice were

so frequently held under the shadow of some wide-spreading and wellknown tree, that under the linden' became a common mode of expressing the locality in which justice was administered. See Grimm's * Deutsche Rechts Altherthümer,' p. 796, and the fine old Dutch ballad, Het daghet uit den oosten,' in Hoffman's 'Horæ Belgicæ,' (pars II. · Hollandische Volkslieder,' p. 101.)

• "The maiden took her mantle,

And hastened on her way,
Where under the green linden

Her murdered lover lay.' “And which words, under the green linden,' are supposed by Hoffman to imply that the corpse of the murdered lover had already been borne to the place of judgment, in order that the customary declaration of murder might be duly pronounced over it by the judges."

This note is, we think, very satisfactory as far as it goes; but it might have been added, that Easter (still one of our law terms) was always one of the seasons specially appointed for the settlement of judicial matters-a fact which quite confirms the editor's opinion that the tree or with was, in the case in question, an emblem of authority.


SITIES.* In a former number we took notice briefly of the first portion of this work—its suggestive character has tempted us to take a somewhat more extended view of its design and execution ; we say suggestive, for its details, and more especially the spirit which appears to have dictated the researches of its author, offer ample fields for discussion and criticism, and it is with reluctance that we shall confine ourselves to the limits of a single paper, when questions of no small importance are at issue.

There are few things that strike us as more extraordinary in the history of literature and literary men than the strong line of demarcation which has existed between the students of Classical and the students of English Poetry; we here speak, of course, of the men of research, rather than of the mere dabblers in each department.t Deeply venerating genius, however, and wherever developed, we lament to see so much divided worship. We fear that beyond mere want of sympathy, there lurks in each of these parties a disposition to throw a slight upon the pursuits of the other. Besides being prejudiced in favour of that which it has cost him much labour to acquire, the scholar is often inclined to view his scholarship as a class distinction, and to rejoice in the exclusive nature of his knowledge, and as

* Illustrations of Æschylus and Sophocles, from the Greek, Latin and English Poets, by J. F. Boyes, M.A. 8vo. Vincent, Oxford.

of We heartily rejoice that Mr. Boyes has nade use of the labours of the Shakes. peare Society. Considering its high aim, and the number of its members, amongst whom are many of the most distinguished literati of our day, we are surprised at not seeing more University men on its list. There could scarcely be a stronger general confirmation of our remarks.

matters now stand he can scarcely avoid entertaining this feeling almost insensibly, however great his liberality may be. He is taught to value it as a badge, no less than for its intrinsic worth, though of the latter he may be fully aware, and, if we except the higher and mathematical sciences, he is disposed to look down upon, and consequently to neglect, those branches of knowledge for which the classics are not, more or less, a necessary qualification. Now, the wall behind which he thus ensconces himself, and which he views very rightly as containing within it much that is highly valuable, but absurdly, as serving for a barrier between the sacred and profane, is viewed, ab extra, in a very different light. The excluded are not aware of the microcosm of beauty which is contained within, how far the region out of their sight may extend, or with what graceful forms it may be peopled; they see in this barrier only that which limits and confines, and pity the distinction of a splendid restraint. Those only who are free of each territory, and who make use of their liberty, know how falsely each party estimates the condition of the other, and must admit that the ignorance of those within is the most culpable, because it is the most voluntary. With the scholar who has no admiration to spare for anything which is not hallowed by some classical admixture we have little sympathy. We should be inclined to put a volume of Burns into his hands, and so leave him, with little hope, believing him to be a made up, artificial man, who has, in all probability, in the first instance read what he has read on compulsion, and not from the love of it. From such specimens do the undiscerning too often draw inferences respecting scholarship itself, and the influence of collegiate training on English taste and poetic developement. There are others biassed against the classics as a groundwork for the education of taste, who have really a right to form an opinion on the subject, and if they have formed a false one, as in many instances we think they have, whilst it is accounted for, it ought also to be combated. Let us take up one or two of the topics which would probably be urged in argument against the University system, by men of no small pretensions to taste, and let us canvass their soundness. They have read, they will tell us, the equipoised lives of Newdigate after Newdigate, till they know to a nicety the epithet to which every substantive has a prescriptive right, till they can anticipate the second rhyme of every couplet, and the grand halo-prophetic close, without which no University prize poem is ever accounted perfect. They will ask us perhaps why the Professor's chair was allowed so long “ to swing silent in unascended majesty." Why the whole matter was allowed to lapse miserably into a mere theological squabble, and why the disputed seat has been filled at last by one of so little mark and likelihood. They will perhaps point to the gilt gingerbread gods and goddesses, which vain, pedantic, second rate court-rhymers, were fain to set up as the signs of the poetry stall in their fancy fairs, and will probably tell us that this was the effect of the classical infusion. They will moreover ask us, why most of the approved commentators upon our classical poets, have been as a body altogether undistinguished by poetical sensibility or power? Now in answer to the first of these complaints, we are inclined to deny in toto anything like the relation of cause and

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