Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

married the child-daughter of Charles the half blue velvet, embroidered with anteSixth of France, the crowd was so great lopes (the arms of the Bohun family), to welcome the young queen, that at having large flowers springing between London Bridge nine persons were crushed their horns. These trappings were after. to death in the crowd. The reign of wards utilised as copes for Westminster Richard the Second was indeed a memo- Abbey. rable one for London Bridge. The year Lydgate, that Suffolk monk who sucRichard the Second was deposed, Henry of ceeded Chaucer in the bede roll of English Lancaster laid rough hands on four knights, poets, wrote a poem (the authorship is not who had three years before smothered the undisputed) on this day's celebrations. old Duke of Gloucester, by the king, his “Hail London !” he makes the king exnephew's, commands. The murderers were claim at the first sight of the red roofs, dragged to Cheapside, and there had their “ Christ you keep from every care ;” and hands lopped off at a fishmonger's stall. the last verse of the quaint poem runs The heads were spiked over the gate of thus: London Bridge, and the bodies strung to- And at the drawbridge that is fast by

Two towers there were up'pight; gether on a gibbet. Nor did these heads

An antelope and a lion standing hym by, long remain unaccompanied, for in 1407

Above them Saint George our lady's knight. 1408, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumber- Benedictus they gan sing, land, was beheaded, and Lord Bardolf, one

Quis venit in nomine domini, Gode's knight.

Gracias Dei with you doth spring, of his adherents, who had joined in a Wot ye right well that thus it was northern insurrection, was quartered, and Gloria tibi Trinitas. the earl's head and a flitch of unfortunate Seven years after this rejoicing;day the Bardolf were set upon London Bridge. corpse of the young hero (only thirty

There was a great rejoicing on London four) was borne over the bridge on its Bridge when Henry the Fifth returned way from Vincennes to Westminster Abbey. with his long train of French captives from On a bier covered with red silk and beaten the red field of Agincourt, in November, gold lay a painted effigy of the king, robed 1415. The mayor of London, with all the and crowned, and holding sceptre, ball, aldermen and crafts in scarlet gowns and ) and cross. Six richly-harnessed horses red and white hoods, welcomed him back | drew the chariot, the hangings blazoned to his capital, and on the gate-tower stood a with the arms of Saint George, Normale and female giant, the former having the mandy, King Arthur, Saint Edward the keys of the city hanging from a staff, while Confessor, France, and France and Eng. trumpeters with horns and clarions sounded land, quarterly. A costly canopy was held welcome to the conqueror of the French. over the royal bier, and ten bishops in In front of the gate was written, “The their pontificals, with mitred abbots, priests, King's City of Justice.” On a column on and innumerable citizens, met the corpse, one side was an antelope, with a shield of and received it with due honour, the priests the royal arms hanging round his neck, and singing a dirge. Three hundred torchholding a sceptre, which he offered to the bearers, habited in white, surrounded the king, in his right foot. On the opposite bier ; after them came five thousand mouncolumn stood a lion rampant, with the ted men-at-arms in black armour, holding king's banner in his dexter claw. At the their spears reversed, and nobles followed foot of the bridge rose a painted tower, bearing pennons, banners, and bannerols, with an effigy of Saint George in complete while twelve captains preceded bearing armour in the midst under a tabernacle. the king's heraldic achievement. After The saint's head was crowned with laurel, the body followed all the servants of the interwoven with gems, and behind him household in black, James the First of spread a tapestry emblazoned with escut- Scotland as chief mourner, with the princes cheons. The turrets, embossed with the and lords of the royal blood clad in black, royal arms, were plumed with banners. while at the distance of two miles followed Across the tower spread two scrolls with Queen Katherine and her long train of the mottoes, “To God only be honour and ladies. glory,” and “The streams of the river Readers of Shakespeare will remember, make glad the city of God.” In the house in the first part of Henry the Sixth, how adjoining stood bright-faced children sing. he makes the serving-men of the Protector ing welcome to the king, and accompanied Gloucester wrangle with the retainers of by the melody of organs. The hero of the bishop of Cardinal Beaufort, till tawny Agincourt rode conspicuous above all on coat beats blue, and blue pommels tawny. a courser trapped with party colours, one- Brawls like this twice took place on London Bridge, when the proud and am- rode on in scarlet, followed by the City bitious cardinal assembled his archers at companies in blue gowns and red hoods. his Bankside palace, and attempted to Again Lydgate tuned his ready harp, and storm the bridge.

produced some certainly most unprophetic The dangers of shooting London Bridge verses, in which he called the savage Marwere exemplified as early as 1428 (in the garet “the dove that brought the branch same reign-Henry the Sixth). The barge of peace," of the Duke of Norfolk, starting from St.

Resembling your simpleness columbyne. Mary Overies, with many a gentleman,

In 1450, and the very month after Marsquire, and yeoman, about half-past four of the bell on a November afternoon, struck seized in Dover Roads, and his head

garet's favourite, De la Pole, had been (through bad steering) on a starling of brutally chopped off on the side of a boat, London Bridge, and sank. The duke and the great insurrection, under Jack Cade, two or three other gentlemen fortunately broke out in Kent. After routing a deleaped on the piles, and so were saved by tachment of the royal troops at Sevenoaks, ropes, cast down from the parapet above. Several Lollards' heads had already

Cade marched towards London, and the adorned the bridge, and in 1431 the skuil commons of Essex mustering threateningly adorned the bridge, and in 1431 the skull at Mile End, the City, after some debate, of a rough reformer, a weaver of Abing; admitted Cade over London Bridge. As don, who had threatened to make priests' the rebel passed over the echoing drawheads “as plentiful as sheeps' heads," was

bridge, he slashed in two the ropes that supspiked upon the battlements. The

very

ported it. Three days after, the citizens, next year the child - king, Henry the

irritated at his robberies, barred up the Sixth, who had been crowned at Notre bridge at night, and penned him close li Dame in 1431, entered London over this in his head-quarters at Southwark. The

bridge. Lydgate, like a true laureate, care- rebels then flew to arms—tried to force less who or what the new king might be, nibbed his ready pen, and was at it again bridge, and barning many of the houses

à passage, eventually winning the drawwith appropriate verse. At the drawbridge that stood in a close row upon it. Now there was a tower, he says, hung with silk

the battle raged by St. Magnus Corner, and arras, from which issued three em

now at the bridge foot, Southwark side, presses, Nature, Grace, and Fortune.

all the while the Tower guns thundering And at his coming, of excellent beauty,

on the swarming maddened men of Kent. Benign of port, most womanly of cheer, There issued out empresses three,

At nine the next morning, both sides, faint Their hair displayed, as Phæbus in his sphere, and weary, retired to their respective quarWith crownets of gold and stonès clear,

ters. Soon afterwards Cade's

army

melted At whose out-coming they gave such a light That the beholders were stonied in their sight.

away, and Cade, himself a fugitive, was With these empresses

slain in a Kentish garden where he had came fourteen

hid himself, and his grim defaced head was crowned maidens, with blue baldrics, who presented the king with gifts, and sang a he had himself but recently, in scorn and

placed on the very bridge gate on which roundel of welcome.

If old London Bridge had a fault, it triumph, placed the ghastly head of Lord

If old London Bridge had a fault, it Say, the murdered Treasurer of England. was, perhaps, its habit of occasionally Round Cade's head, when the king repartly falling down. This it did as early entered London, were placed the heads of as 1437, when the great stone gate and

eight of his captains.* tower on the Southwark end, with two arches, suddenly subsided into the Thames. London, in 1461, before his coronation, he

At the entry of Edward the Fourth into There was another gala day for the

passed over London Bridge, escorted by bridge in 1445, when the proud and im

the mayor and his fellows in scarlet, and petuous William de la Pole (afterwards Duke of Suffolk) brought over Margaret, clad in green.”

four hundred commoners, "well horsed and

In 1471, when Henry daughter of René (that weak, poetical monarch, immortalised in Anne of Geier- was prisoner in the Tower, the Bastard of stein), as a bride for the young king of piratical partisans, made a dash to plunder England, and the City welcomed her on London. While three thousand of his their river threshold. The Duke of Glou.'

men attacked Aldgate and Bishopsgate, cester, who had opposed the match, pre, the rest set fire to London Bridge, and ceded' her with five hundred men clad burnt thirteen houses. But the citizens, in his ducal livery, and with gilt badges on their arms, and the mayor and aldermen See ALLTIE YEAR Round, New Series, vol. iii. p. 181. led by Ralph Jocelyn, a brave draper, made liam of Orange made him the first Duke a gallant defence, drove off the filibusters, of Leeds. This Sir Edward Osborne, the and chased them to Blackwall. In 1481, antiquaries tell us, lived at his father-inanother house on the bridge fell down, law's house in Philpot-lane, and was buried drowning five of its inhabitants.

at St. Dennis, in Fenchurch-street. The The reign of Henry the Sixth brought Duke of Leeds still preserves, at Kiveton more terrible trophies to London Bridge, Castle, in Yorkshire, a fine portrait of for in 1496, Flamock, a lawyer, and Joseph, Osborne's right-worshipful master, clad in a farrier, of Bodmin, leaders of a great black furred gown, scarlet doublet and Cornish insurrection, contributed their sleeves, gold chain, and velvet bonnet. So, heads to this decorative object. But in many cases, the heraldic tree of our Henry the Seventh was not half such a noblest peers has been grafted on the mermower off of heads as that enormous chant's ink-stained deal desk. Turk, his son, Henry the Eighth, who, In Queen Mary's reign there was again what with the wives he grew tired of, and fighting on London Bridge. In the year what with the disbelievers in his ecclesias- 1554, when rash Sir Thomas Wyat led tical supremacy, kept the headsman's axe his four thousand Kentish men to London very fairly busy. First came the prior and to stop the impending Spanish marriage, several unfortunate Charterhouse monks, the rebel found the drawbridge cut away, and then the good old Bishop of Roches- the gates of London Bridge barred, and ter, John Fisher. The parboiled head of guns planted ready to receive him. Wyat the brave old man who would not bow and his men dugʻ a trench at the bridge the knee to Rimmon, was kept, so that foot, and laid two guns. The night before Queen Anne

Boleyn might enjoy the grate- Wyat retreated to Kingston to cross the ful sight. The face, for a fortnight, re- Thames there, seven of his arquebusiers mained so ruddy and life-like, and such fired at a boat from the Tower and killed a crowds collected to see the miracle, that waterman on board. The next morning the the king, in a rage, at last ordered the lieutenant of the Tower turning seven canhead to be thrown down into the river. non on the steeples of St. Olave and St. Mary The next month came the head of a far Overies, the people of Southwark begged greater and wiser man, Sir Thomas More. Wyat to withdraw, which he generously did. This sacred relic More's daughter, Margaret În Elizabeth's reign the bridge was reRoper, bribed a man to remove, and drop stored with great splendour. The City built into a boat in which she sat, and the head a new gate and tower three stories high was, long after, buried with her, under a at the Southwark end: a huge pile full of chapel adjoining St. Dunstan's, Canterbury. square Tudor windows, with a covered way

The year 1536, following these atrocious below. About the same time was also cruelties, was the date of one of the most reared that wonder of London, Nonesuch interesting and one of the most authentic House, a huge wooden pile four stories legends connected with old London Bridge. high, with cupolas and turrets at each In this year the nursemaid of Sir William corner, brought from Holland, and erected Hewet, a rich cloth-worker living on the with wooden pegs instead of nails. It bridge, playing with her master's little stood over the seventh and eighth arches, daughter ont of one of the projecting win on the north side of the drawbridge . dows, let the child fall into the river. Its There were carved wooden galleries outinstant death seemed certain, when Edward side the long lines of transom-casements, Osborne, a brave apprentice of Sir Wil- and the panels between were richly carved liam’s, leaped in and saved it. In due time and gilt. In the same reign Peter Moris, a the child so rescued grew into a blooming Dutchman, established a waterworks on the woman, and the belle of the bridge was north end of London Bridge, and, long becourted by many great courtiers, foremost fore this, corn mills had been erected at the among whom was the Earl of Shrewsbury. south end of the same over-taxed structure. But her father generously replied to all the The contemporaries of great Queen Bess saw amorous band,“ No, Osborne saved her, on the Traitor's Gate, among sheaves of and Osborne shall have her.” So Osborne hangman's trophies, the head of the Irish bore away the belle, and with her a large Earl of Desmond and eleven standards dowry, and in course of years Osborne plucked from the Spanish Armada. In the became lord mayor, and was knighted by next reign, after the Gunpowder Plot, Queen Elizabeth. The great grandson of Father Garnet's head was added to the the brave apprentice was raised to the horrible collection on the bridge. peerage by Charles the Second, and Wil. In 1632, forty-two houses on the north

side of the bridge were destroyed by a fire the work by removing one hundred and occasioned by a careless servant setting a eighty-two houses. The earlier bridges tub of hot ashes under a staircase, and the had been still further eastward, facing St. Great Fire of 1666 destroyed several houses Botolph's. During the excavations coins on the same side of the bridge. There were discovered of Augustus, Vespasian, are several old proverbs about London and later Roman emperors, besides NuremBridge still extant. Two of these—“If berg tokens and tradesmen’s tokens. There London Bridge had fewer eyes it would see were also dredged up brass rings, buckles, better,” and “London Bridge was made iron keys, silver spoons, a gilt dagger, an for wise men to go over, and fools to go iron spear-head, some carved stones, a under"-point to the danger of the old bronze lamp, with a head of Bacchus, and passage past the starlings. The old bridge a silver effigy of Harpocrates, the God of had now become terribly ruinous. Pennant Silence. This figure having attached to it describes the street as being dark, narrow, a large gold ring, and a chain of pure gold, and dangerous; the houses overhung the is supposed to have been a priest's amulet to road in such a terrific manner as almost to be worn at religious ceremonies. The bridge hide the arches. Arches of timber crossed cost five hundred and six thousand pounds. the street to keep the houses from falling The first stone was laid in June, 1825, by on each other. * Nothing but use,” says the Right Honourable John Garratt, Lord that agreeable writer, “could preserve the Mayor, the Duke of York being present. repose of the inmates, who soon grew deaf Among the celebrated persons who have to the noise of the falling waters, the resided on London Bridge may be menclamour of watermen, or the frequent tioned, among the most eminent, Hans shrieks of drowning wretches.". Most of Holbein, the great painter of Henry the the bridge houses were tenanted by pin or Eighth’s court; Peter Monamy, the marine needle makers, and economical ladies were painter, apprenticed to a sign-painter on the wont to drive from the St. James's end of bridge—he died in 1749; Jack Laguerre, the town to make cheap purchases. the humourist, singer, player, and scene

After being widened in the reigns of painter, son of the Laguerre satirised by James the Second and William, the chapel Pope; and Crispin Tucker, a waggish bookand all the houses on the bridge were re- seller and author, who was intimate with moved in 1757. During these repairs Pope and Swift, and who lived under the three pots of money of Elizabeth's time southern gate, in a rickety bow-windowed were found in the ruins. In 1758, a shop, where Hogarth, when young, and entemporary wooden bridge, built over the graving for old John Bowles, of the Black Thames while the repairs of the old bridge Horse, Cornhill, had once resided. were going on, was destroyed by fire, it One anecdote of the old bridge must not was supposed by some footman in passing be forgotten. Mr. Baldwin, haberdasher, dropping his link among the woodwork. living in the house over the chapel, was Messrs. Taylor and Dance, the repairers, ordered, when an old man of seventy-one, chopped the old bridge in two, and built a to go to Chislehurst for change of air. But new centre arch; but the join was so the invalid found he could not sleep in the insecure, that few persons would venture country for want of the roar and rush of over it. The celebrated Smeaton was called the tide under the old ruinous arches. In in, in 1761, and he advised the Corpo- 1798 the chapel was turned into a paper ration to buy back the stone of the old City warehouse. Within legal memory, says

the gates, pulled down and sold the year be- Morning Advertiser of that date, service fore, to strengthen the shaky starlings. has been performed there every Sabbath This was done, but proved a mere make- and saint's day.” shift, and in 1768 the starlings again became loose, and an incessant wail of fresh

A GIRL'S STORY. complaints perpetually arose. The repairs Yes, truly all my dream is o'er, and I have lived the were calculated at two thousand five hun- fairest part dred pounds yearly, and it was rather un

Of this world's life, yet evermore there bideth something

in my heart, feelingly computed that fifty watermen, That like a restless child doth cry, unsoothed by any bargemen, or seamen, valued at twenty lullaby. thousand pounds, were annually drowned so lonely were the years I'd spent, since long ago she in passing the dangerous bridge. In 1823, went from me, the City, in sheer desperation, resolved on My mother; ah! how different my life had been, a new bridge, one hundred feet westward Untaught, uncared for, and so young, alas ! what of the old, and in 1824 Mr. Rennie began wonder that I clung

To him? 'Twas just when passing spring and rosy But, wbat help? Who would care two

summer from the south, Beside the hedgerows blossoming kissed one another pence about a hesitating augury? Ang mouth to mouth,

man can say he “ thinks."

It seems to be Just in those perfect Eden hours, I saw him first among accepted, as best, to adopt a bold, sonorous the flowers.

ring in these pronouncements, calculated And then, in woodlands scarce half-lit by the white at once to confound the sceptical, and awe

radiance of the moon, We met; and 'neath some tree would sit, where, shaded into silence those more curious persons who from the glowing noon,

would pry' into the sources of the seer's We held sweet talk, or kept at will a musing silence, foreknowledge. sweeter still.

That not a few of these plungers into Or he, with low voice, oftentimes would read from some immortal book

futurity have brought up pearls, is undeQuaint, tender fancies, poet rhymes. The silver ripple niable. In a former article* we have

of the brook, The soft low breeze, the songs of birds made fitting and now, commencing with the remark

already given some specimens of these, music for the words. Oh, heart, it was no dream! E'en now 'tis present, and that no political inference whatever is in.

tended to be suggested in the examples The gold light flickering through the bough above my that may be given, we propose to place

head, his voice so clear; Upon my lips I feel his kiss, upon my hand the touch before the reader certain other examples of of his.

authentic prophecies, which, in the whirli

. Oh summer time of happiness! Oh words so beautiful gig of time, have to all appearance reached ard new!

their realisation, against all rational probaOh fond and lingering caress ! how could I deem you bility, viewed from the prophet's time, that

all untrue ? Oh dear, dear love, it seems so strange, so pitiful, that such would be the case. you could change.

We will have nothing to say, at present, Forgive him! do you bid me? Nay, but there is to the too prolific seers—men who had a

nothing to forgive; I love him still, did not I say? I needs must love him sort of flux of prophecy, and who, like Nos. while I live.

tradamus, whose vaticinations embraced This dear, sad memory, I think, will haunt me even to two thousand years, foresaw a confused

the brink of yonder land. But then no more! Oh quiet home, children of the future were born sound and

assemblage of things, among which some the weariest Lay down their burdens at thy door, and find in thee fair. The seer, in large practice, resembles eternal rest.

the fashionable physician, who, if he has Thank God no cloud of carth shall dim the beauty of our life with Him!

more patients than his brethren, un. doubtedly loses more. We will begin with

the bards of small but distinct utterance, SEERS AND OVER-SEERS. confident that what success has actually

attended their foreshadowings will be a The wholesome custom of, so to speak, sufficient excuse for reproducing the little checking man's current account with time, they as certainly did say. by summarising, at the close of every year, Germany is by no means deficient in the events that period has brought forth, seers. We will not dwell much upon presents other advantages beyond those of Joseph von Görres, whose death-bed prorefreshing the general memory, or aiding phecy, in January, 1848, was declared and the after historian. Affording the oppor- believed to have embodied the then undetunity of comparing what has actually hap- clared revolution in Poland, describing pened with what was confidently foretold, Hungary as one vast field of carnage, preit imposes a healthful check upon man's figuring the insurrection in Posen, the de arrogant judgment, and reminds him upon vastations committed by the Prussians in how minute a pivot the whole cycle of events suppressing it, and finally the downfall of may turn. If it be wise to call no man happy European monarchies. The last portion till he is dead, it is scarcely less prudent to was considered as realised by the events in be certain of nothing till it has come to Paris, following in the same year. pass. For, unless the eye of human pre- To the warning of events so near fulfil

. science were microscopic, as well as far- ment, it is impossible to accord the dignity seeing, the whole prophetic structure must, of prophecy, and we record it only in defeof necessity, be at heart unsound, and, at rence to the remarkable sensation created all events, of no higher value than the tes- by it in Germany at the time. timony of a discreet witness, who swears Jaspers, otherwise the “Westphalian “ to the best of bis judgment and belief.” Shepherd,” testified in 1830.

It is the common failing of our unaccredited seers to be rather too positive. See ALL THE YEAR ROUND, New Series, vol. iv. p. 139.

« AnteriorContinua »