Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

omission noted by a little dash above, which you may see there, so that the word is omnia, OMNIA VANITAS.' 'O,' said his friend, I comprehend the meaning of your motto, it relates to your edifice; and signifies, that if you have abridged your omnia, you have nevertheless left your VANITAS legible at full length." " (Priv. Corresp. of Franklin, I. 136.) Franklin, it will be observed, could tell a plain tale with a simplicity truly republican; but the concealed racy wit of "old Burleigh, the Treasurer," was either beyond his grasp, or had escaped from his memory.

NO. XXIX.-QUEEN ELIZABETH'S KINdred.

One begg'd of Queene Elizabeth, and pretended kindred and alliance, but there was no such relation. "Friend," says she, "grant it be so, do'st thinke I am bound to keepe all my kindred? Why that's the way to make me a beggar." L'Estrange, No. 124. Mr. Derham.

This reply, full of good, shrewd, common sense, will match very fairly with that of the nobleman, who being importuned for assistance by one who claimed relationship, and upon being pressed to prove it, alleged their mutual descent from Adam, gave him a penny, saying, “If all your relations do the same, you will be richer than I am!"

Queen Elizabeth had numerous maternal relations, and many of them among the inferior gentry (particularly in Norfolk), an inconvenience which arose from her father having selected for his second consort a subject of no very elevated extraction, whilst the blood of the Boleynes was widely diffused by the intermarriages of numerous junior branches. It is no doubt an historical truth, that the Queen chose to repress such claims of kindred; and so sparing was she of her honours at all times, that her cousin-german Lord Hunsdon was never advanced above the rank of a Baron, whilst his brother-in-law Sir Francis Knollys was not even a peer, but only a Knight of the Garter. King Charles the First made the son of the latter Earl of Banbury; and the grandson of the former Earl of Dover. Elizabeth made Sir Thomas Sackville, one of her second cousins, a Baron by the title of Lord Buckhurst; yet, though his talents as a statesman afterwards raised him to the high office of Lord Treasurer, upon the death of Burleigh, he could not obtain the dignity of Earl until the first year of James, when he was made Earl of Dorset.

NO. XXX.—LORD COOKE'S SHOP.

A plaine country fellow comming to the Temple for councell in some point of Law, enquir'd for my Lord Cooke's shoppe.

L'Estrange, No. 133. Thos. Bezome.

Somewhat analogous to this definition of the Temple in the reign of James, is that which was bestowed upon the King's Bench, when Abbot Lord Tenterden was the Lord Chief Justice, namely, "Abbot's Priory."

NO. XXXI.-A CUT-PURSE CUT.

A gentleman at a play sate by a fellow that he strongly suspected for a cutt-purse, and, for the probation of him, took occasion to drawe out his purse and put it up so carelessly, as it dangled downe (but his eye watcht it strictly with a glance), and he bent his discourse another way; which his suspected neighbour observing, upon his first faire opportunitie, exercised his craft, and having gott his booty beganne to remove away, which the gentleman noting, instantly drawes his knife, and whipps off one of his eares, and vow'd he would have something for his mony. The Cutt-purse beganne to sweare and stampe, and threaten. Nay, go to, Sirrah," sayes the other, "be quiete; I'le offer you faire, give me my purse againe, here's your eare, take it, and be gone.”

L'Estrange, No. 143. My Cosin John Spelman.

The cut-purses of James's time correspond with the pickpockets of the present day; and James's first act of arbitrary power (probably also his least unpopular one, for it was highly commended at the time), was his summary suspension of a cut-purse at Newark, on his first progress into England. One of the most celebrated of these confounders of "meum et tuum was Mary Frith, alias Moll Cut-purse, whose adventures form the subject of Middleton and Decker's play of the "Roaring Girl." Moll robbed General Fairfax on Hounslow Heath; and at her death in 1659, left twenty pounds by will for the conduits to run with wine when King Charles the Second returned. (See Collier's Old Plays, vi. 1.)

[ocr errors]

NO. XXXII.-A BORN JUSTICE.

There was one Mr. Guybon, a gentleman of very weake understanding, but yet in Commission, who having often publish't his folly upon the Bench, at last sayes a sly plaine fellow to another, "I pray, Sir, was not Mr. Guybon borne a Justice of Peace?" as, if his office had not descended upon him with his estate by right of inheritance, sure no man would ever have made him one.

L'Estrange, No. 145. My Father.

The Guybons are a well known Norfolk family, and the character given to the worthy justice is such as to render it not only unnecessary, but uncivil, to particularize him. Sir CAMD. SOC. 5.

D

Thomas Guybon, Knt. had by Agnes his second wife, daughter of Walter Baspole, of Norfolk, Gent. William Guybon, of Watlington, Gent. who married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Drury, Gent. of Fincham, and left a son and heir, Sir Thomas Guybon, Knt. lord of the manor of Thursford, who died in 1666, and was succeeded by his third and only surviving son Francis, afterwards a Knight. (See Blomefield's Norfolk, v. 223.)

NO. XXXIII.-A MAN OF METAL.

Sir Richard Bingham was a man eminent both for spiritt and martiall knowledge, but of a very small stature; and, understanding that a proper bigg-bon'd gentleman had traduc'd his little person, or Corpusculum, with the ignominious tearme of Dande-pratt: "Tell him from mee," says he, "that, when it comes to the tutch, he shall find there is as good silver in a Dande-pratt (which is a very small kind of coine) as in a brodd-fac't groate." L'Estrange, No. 154. My Mother.

This eminent commander, who has here anticipated Burns's idea: ?

"The rank is but the guinea's stamp,

A man's the gold for a' that."

was the second son of Thomas Bingham, Esq. of Bingham-Melcombe, in the county of Dorset, by Alice daughter of Thomas Croker, esq. the ancestor of the present Earl of Lucan and of Baron Clanmorris. He was one of the most celebrated Captains of the age in which he lived, being at the time of the Spanish Armada one of Queen Elizabeth's Military Counsel, and afterwards, for his valuable services in Ireland, constituted Marshall of that kingdom and General of Leinster.

Camden, in his Remains, p. 188 (1637), tells us : "King Henry the Seventh stamped a small coine called Dandy Prats ;" and the name Dandiprat is also commonly applied to any dwarf or little person; and Leake, in his "Historical Account of English Money," p. 270, speaking of the state of the coinage at the close of the reign of Elizabeth, says, "that besides the Queen's adulterate coin they had, First, broad-faced groats, coined originally for fourpence, but now worth eightpence,' &c. These broad-faced groats' are obviously those, on which the bluff visage' of Harry the Eighth appears in all its breadth.

[ocr errors]

NO. XXXIV.-MIGHT MAKES RIGHT.

Sir Arthur Heveningham being inform'd of some abuse of his liberties by a sawcy insolent fellow, he vow'd and threatned such a kind of punishment presently as was not very legall; whereupon a friend of

his prompted him of the danger of such unwarrantable proceeding, as the letter of the law would not beare. "Oh pox on 't!" sayes he, "in cases of this nature we must not be so nice and scrupulous; lett's doe something by law and something by presumption."

L'Estrange, No. 159. Unc. Ri. Catline.

Sir Arthur Heveningham of Heveningham, Knt. was the eldest son of Sir Anthony Heveningham, by Mary daughter of John Shelton.

NO. XXXV.-A SPECIAL ENTAIL.

The Lord Chief Justice Richardson went with Mr. Mewtis, the Clarke of the Councell, to see his fine house at Gunnoss-bury, which was furnish't with many pretty knacks and rarities. My Lord view'd all, and lik't well, but," Mr. Mewtis," sayes he, "if you and I agree upon the price, I must have all your fooleries and bables into the bargaine.” "Why, my Lord," sayes he, "for those I will not stand with you. They may e'ene be entail'd, if you please, upon you and your heires." L'Estrange, No. 160. Sir Rob. Bell.

Gunnersbury, in the parish of Ealing, co. Middlesex (in latter times the residence of the "old Princess Amelia," and now of the Baroness de Rothschild), appears to have frequently changed its occupiers; but Lysons does not mention among them either Mr. Meautys or Chief Justice Richardson.

Mr. Meautys lives in remembrance as the faithful Secretary of Lord Bacon, who adhered to him throughout his misfortunes; and, after his death, erected that monument in Saint Michael's Church, near Saint Alban's, which gives us the only image of the person of the great philosopher. Meautys (who had married Bacon's niece, and had succeeded him in the mansion at Gorhambury) himself lies unsculptured but not forgotten at his master's feet. The late Bishop Jebb, in a note to his edition of Burnet's Lives, p. 104, beautifully remarks: "Few and faint are the inscriptive characters which can now be traced of the modest Secretary's name; but it is deeply engraven on many a kind and congenial heart. He who now guides the pen, once visited the church of Saint Michael, within the precincts of Old Verulam. He trusts he did so with no irreverent emotion; and while he read the thrilling SIC SEDEBAT, he thought upon the faithful servant, who never viewed him so seated but with affectionate veneration." Mr. B. Montagu (Bacon's Works, vol. xvI. p. ccccxlix.) adds the result of some inquiries of his own respecting the grave of Meautys, made in 1829. One half of the simple inscription

HERE LIETH THE BODY OF Sr

THOMAS MEAWTYS, K'.

was then covered by a pew, and much of the other half was illegible. The pew has no doubt been removed, and the inscription repaired. A memorial so interesting ought never either to be defaced or hidden.

Some particulars of Sir Thomas Richardson will be found in the note to No. XCIII.

NO. XXXVI.-BOWLING IMPROVED.

My Lord Brookes us'd to be much resorted to by those of the preciser sort, who had got a powerful hand over him; yet they would allow him Christian libertie for his recreations: but being at bowles one day, in much company, and following his cast with much eagernesse, he cryed, "Rubbe, rubbe, rubbe, rubbe, rubbe." His chaplaine (a very strict mann) runns presently to him; and in the hearing of diverse, "O good my Lord, leave that to God-you must leave that to God!" sayes he. L'Estrange, No. 164. Mr. Russell.

The nobleman, whose chaplain thus improved, as it is called, the Game at Bowls, was Robert Lord Brooke, who was killed at the storming of Lichfield in 1643, and of whom the Puritans believed he was removed to Heaven, and the Royalists, however doubtful upon that point, that at least his death was a direct interposition of Providence.—(See Granger, ii. 144, ed. 1779.)

Strutt, in his Sports and Pastimes, book iii. c. vii. traces the game of bowls back to the thirteenth century and exhibits a view of three parties engaged in the pastime, from a beauful MS. Book of Players belonging to Mr. Douce. They are playing with a small bowl or jack, according to the modern practice.—(See p. 92 ; p. 267 of the 8vo edition.)

From a passage in Pepys's Diary, i. 289, in which he speaks of seeing "White Hall Garden and the Bowling Alley, where lords and ladies are now at bowles in fine condition," it will be seen that this game was played by both sexes, a fact which certainly has escaped Strutt's notice.

NO. XXXVII.-GREAT WITS JUMP.

Dr. Cougham was Dr. Franklin's pupill when he was of Christ's Colledge, and of intimate acquaintance with Mr. Power, whose note booke he stole one day out of his closett, and after preach't some of his sermons, which when it came to Power's eare, "Alas poore Asse," sayes he," he is faine to live upon my provander." At last Dr. Franklyn

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »