Queen Mary II of England, 1662.
Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Roman poet, 65, Rome;
Chevalier Bayard, killed, 1524; John, Count de Tilly,
military commander, 1632, Ingoldstadt; Dr. Robert
Plot, naturalist, topographer, 1696, Borden; G.
Farquhar, dramatist, 1707, London; Jean Jacques
Barthelemi, 1795, Paris; Thomas Duncan, Scottish
artist, 1845, Edinburgh; Samuel Maunder, author of
books of information, 1849, London; Sir Henry Bishop,
musical composer, 1855; James Montgomery, poet, 1854,
St. Maximus, martyr, 251. Saints James, Marian, and
others, martyrs in Numidia, 259. St. Sophia, virgin,
martyr, 3rd century. St. Erkonwald, bishop of London,
about 686. St. Adjutre, recluse, Vernon in Normandy,
1131. St. Catherine of Sienna, virgin, 1380.
The compatibility of high
warlike qualities with the gentlest nature is
strikingly shown in the case of Bayard, who at once
gave the hardest strokes in the battle and the
tournament, and was in society the most amiable of
men. Simple, modest, kindly, the delicate lover, the
sincere friend, the frank cavalier, pious, humane, and
liberal, nothing seems wanting to complete the
character of the Chevalier sans peur et sans
reproche. He ought to be the worship of all
soldiers, for no one has done more to exalt the
character of the profession.
The exploits of Bayard fill
the chronicles of his age, which embraces the whole
reign of Louis XII, and the nine first years of that
of Francis I. His end was characteristic. Engaged in
the unfortunate campaign of Bonnivet, in Northern
Italy, where the imperial army under the traitor De
Bourbon pressed hard upon the retreating French
troops, he was entreated to take the command and save
the army if possible. 'It is too late,' he said; 'but
my soul is God's, and my life is my country's.' Then
putting himself at the head of a body of men-at-arms,
he stayed the pressure of the enemy till struck in the
reins by a ball, which brought him off his horse. He
refused to retire, saying he never had shown his back
to an enemy. He was placed against a tree, with his
face to the advancing host. In the want of a cross, he
kissed his sword; in the absence of a priest, he
confessed to his maitred'hotel. He uttered
consolations to his friends and servants.
Bourbon came up, and expressed regret to see him in
such a condition, he said, 'Weep for yourself, sir.
For me, I have nothing to complain; I die in the
course of my duty to my country. You triumph in
betraying yours; but your successes are horrible, and
the end will be sad.' The enemy honoured the remains
of Bayard as much as his own countrymen could have
FARQUHAR THE DRAMATIST AT
This admirable comic writer
appears, in other respects, to have been wedded to
misfortune throughout his brief life. He was born at
Londonderry in 1678, and educated in the University of
Dublin. He appeared early at the Dublin theatre, made
no great figure as an actor, and accidentally wounding
a brother-comedian with a real sword, which he mistook
for a foil, he forsook the stage, being then only
seventeen years old.
He accompanied the actor Wilks to
London, and there attracted the notice of the Earl of
Orrery, who gave him a commission in his own regiment.
Wilks persuaded him to try his powers as a dramatist,
and his first comedy, Love and a Bottle,
produced in 1798, was very successful. In 1703, he
adapted Beaumont and Fletcher's Wildgoose Chase,
under the title of The Inconstant, which became
popular. Young Mirabel in this play was one of Charles
Kemble's most finished performances.
Farquhar was married to a lady
who deceived him as to her fortune; he fell into great
difficulties, and was obliged to sell his commission;
he sunk a victim to consumption and overexertion, and
died, in his thirtieth year, leaving two helpless
girls; one married 'a low tradesman,' the other
became a servant, and the mother died in poverty.
Our dramatist has laid the
scene of two of his best comedies at Lichfield. He
has drawn from his experience as a soldier the
incidents of his Recruiting Officer, produced
in 1706, and of his Beaux' Stratagem, written
during his last illness. One of his recruiting scenes
is a street at Lichfield, where Kite places one of his
raw recruits to watch the motion of St. Mary's clock,
and another the motion of St. Chad's. We all remember
in the Beaux' Stratagem the eloquent jollity of
Boniface upon his Lichfield 'Anno Domini 1706 ale.' 'The Dean's Walk' is the avenue described by Farquhar
as leading to the house of Lady Bountiful, and in
which Aimwell pretends to faint.
The following amusing anecdote
is also told of Farquhar at Lichfield. It was at the
top of Market-street, that hastily entering a barber's
shop, he desired to be shaved, which operation was
immediately performed by a little deformed man, the
supposed master of the shop. Dining the same day at
the table of Sir Theophilus Biddulph, Farquhar was
observed to look with particular earnestness at a
gentleman who sat opposite to him; and taking an
opportunity of following Sir Theophilus out of the
room, he demanded an explanation of his conduct, as he
deemed it an insult to be seated with such inferior
company. Sir Theophilus, amazed at the charge, assured
the captain the company were every one gentlemen, and
his own particular friends. This, however, would not
satisfy Farquhar; he was, he said, certain that the
little humpbacked man who sat opposite to him at
dinner was a barber, and had that very morning shaved
him. Unable to convince the captain of the contrary,
the baronet returned to the company, and stating the
strange assertion of Farquhar, the mystery was
elucidated, and the gentleman owned having, for
joke's sake, as no other person was in the shop,
performed the office of terror to the captain.
SIR HENRY R. BISHOP
'In every house where music,
more especially vocal music, is welcome, the name of
Bishop has long been, and must long remain, a
household word. Who has not been soothed by the sweet
melody of "Blow, gentle gales;" charmed by the
measures of "Lo! here the gentle lark;" enlivened by
the animated strains of " Foresters, sound the
cheerful horn;" touched by the sadder music of "The
winds whistle cold." Who has not been haunted by the
insinuating tones of "Tell me, my heart;" "Under the
greenwood tree;" or, "Where the wind blows," which
Rossini, the minstrel of the south, loved so well? Who
has not felt sympathy with
"As it fell upon a day,
In the merry month of May;"
admired that masterpiece of
glee and chorus, "The chough and crow;" or been moved
to jollity at some convivial feast by "Mynheer Van
Dunck," the most original and genial of comic glees?'—Contemporary
Contentions with the
quarter-staff take their place among the old
amusements of the people of England: rather rough for
the taste of the present day, yet innocent in
comparison with other sports of our forefathers. The
weapon, if it be worthy of such a term—perhaps we
should content ourselves with calling it
implement--was a tough piece of wood, of about eight
feet long, not of great weight, which the practitioner
grasped in the middle with one hand, while with the
other he kept a loose hold midway between the middle
and one end. An adept in the use of the staff might
be, to one less skilled, a formidable opponent.
Dryden speaks of the use of
the quarter-staff in a manner which would imply that
in his time, when not in use, the weapon was hung upon
the back, for he says
'His quarter-staff, which
he could ne'er forsake,
Hung half before and half behind his back.'
Bacon speaks of the use of
cudgels by the captains of the Roman armies; but it is
very questionable whether these cudgels partook of the
character of the quarter-staff. Most persons will
remember how often bouts at quarter-staff occur in the
ballads descriptive of the adventures of
and Little John. Thus, in the encounter of Robin with
the tanner, Arthur - as Bland:
'Then Robin he unbuckled
And laid down his bow so long;
He took up a staff of another oak graff,
That was both stiff and strong.
"But let me measure," said jolly Robin,
"Before we begin our fray;
For I'll not have mine to be longer than thine,
For that will be counted foul play."
"I pass not for length,"
bold Arthur replied,
"My staff is of oak so free;
Eight foot and a half it will knock down a calf,
And I hope it will knock down thee."
Then Robin could no longer
He gave him such a knock,
Quickly and soon the blood came down,
Before it was ten o'clock.
About and about and about they went,
Like two wild boars in a chase,
Striving to aim each other to maim,
Leg, arm, or any other place.
And knock for knock they
Which held for two hours and more;
That all the wood rang at every bang,
They plied their work so sore.'
In the last century games or
matches at cudgels were of frequent occurrence, and
public subscriptions were entered into for the purpose
of finding the necessary funds to provide prizes. We
have in our possession the original subscription list
for one of these cudgel matches, which was played for
on the 30th of April 1748, at Shrivenham, in the
county of Berks, the patrons on that occasion being
Lord Barrington, the Hons. Daniel and Samuel
Barrington, Witherington Morris, Esq., &c. The amount
to be distributed in prizes was a little over five
pounds. We find now-a-days pugilists engage in a much
more brutal and less scientific display for a far less
sum. The game appears to have almost gone out of use
in England, although we occasionally hear of its
introduction into some of our public schools.
WONDERS OF THE GLASTONBURY
Under the 30th April 1751,
Richard Gough enters in his diary:
Somerset, a man thirty years afflicted with an
asthma, dreamed that a person told him, if he drank of
such particular waters, near the Chain-gate, seven
Sunday mornings, he should be cured, which he
accordingly did and was well, and attested it on oath.
This being rumoured. abroad, it brought numbers of
people from all parts of the kingdom to drink of these
miraculous seaters for various distempers, and many
were healed, and great numbers received benefit.'
Five days after, Mr. Gough
"Twas computed 10,000 people were now at
Glastonbury, from different parts of the kingdom, to
drink the waters there for various distempers.'
Of course, a therapeutical
system of this kind could not last long. Southey
preserves to us in his Common-place Book a
curious example of the cases. A young man, witnessing
the performance of Hamlet at the Drury Lane
Theatre, was so frightened at sight of the ghost, that
a humour broke out upon him, which settled in the
king's evil. After all medicines had failed, he came
to these waters, and they effected a thorough cure.
Faith healed the ailment which fear had produced.
The last of April may be said
to have in it a tint of the coming May. The boys,
wisely provident of what was to be required to-morrow,
went out on this day to seek for trees from which they
might obtain their proper supplies of the May blossom.
Dryden remarks the vigil or eve of May day:
'Waked, as her custom was,
before the day,
To do th' observance clue to sprightly May,
For sprightly May commands our youth to keep
The vigils of her night, and breaks their rugged
EARLY HISTORY OF SILK
April 30th 1560. Sir
Gresham writes from Antwerp to Sir William Cecil,
Elizabeth's great minister, 'I have written into Spain
for silk hose both for you and my lady, your wife; to
whom it may please you I may be remembered.' These
silk hose, of black colour, were accordingly soon
after sent by Gresham to Cecil.
Hose were, up to the time of
Henry VIII, made out of ordinary cloth: the king's
own were formed of yard-wide taffeta. It was only by
chance that he might obtain a pair of silk hose from
Spain. His son Edward VI received as a present from
Sir Thomas Gresham—Stow speaks of it as a great
present—'a pair of long Spanish silk stockings.'
some years longer, silk stockings continued to be a
great rarity. 'In the second year of Queen Elizabeth,'
says Stow, 'her silk woman, Mistress Montague,
presented her Majesty with a pair of black knit silk
stockings for a new-year's gift; the which, after a
few days wearing, pleased her Highness so well that
she sent for Mistress Montague, and asked her where
she had them, and if she could help her to any more;
who answered, saying, "I made them very carefully, of
purpose only for your Majesty, and seeing these please
you so well, I will presently set more in hand." "Do
so," quoth the Queen, "for indeed I like silk
stockings so well, because they are pleasant, fine,
and delicate, that henceforth I will wear no more
cloth stockings." And from that time to her death the
Queen never wore cloth hose, but only silk stockings.'