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WAGER OF BATTEL. Judge Blackstone, after enumerating the other species of trial by ordeal, says: "The next which remains in force, though very rarely in use, owes its introduction among us to the princes of the Norman line; and that is the trial by battel, duel, or single combat." It will be in the recollection of most of our readers, that in the year 1818 a very lively interest was excited through the whole of England, in consequence of an appeal being made to the Court of King's Bench to award this trial.—Mary Ashford was found drowned in a pit in a field, and Thornton was committed to take his trial for the murder. The Grand Jury found a true bill; but after a long and patient trial, the Petty Jury returned a verdict of ' Not guilty.' The country were very much divided on the subject; much contradictory evidence was given on the trial, especially as to time and distance. It is said that Mr. Justice Holroyd, who tried the case, was satisfied with the verdict. The poor murdered girl's relation
of the bill is very short and pithy :—" Whereas appeals of murder, treason, felony, or other offences, and the manner of proceeding therein, have been found oppressive; and the Trial by Battel in any suit, is a mode of trial unfit to be used; and it is expedient that the same should be wholly abolished."
Pending this trial Mr. Kendall wrote a little work, the result of much research, on the subject.
This mode of trial was brought into England, among other Norman customs, by William the Conqueror. It was, like the rest, a presumptuous appeal to Providence, under an expectation that heaven would unquestionably give the victory to the innocent or injured party. The last trial by battel that was waged in the Court of Common Pleas, in Westminster, was in the 13th year of Queen Elizabeth, A.d. 1571, and was held in Tothill-Fields, Westminster. This trial by wager of battel was fought by not the parties themselves, in case of appeals of murder; but by champions chosen by them, in a writ of right. Nearly the same ceremonies were observed in each case. We must confine ourselves to the case of an appeal.
The person accused (of murder, for example) pleads 'Not guilty,' and throws down his glove, and declares he will defend the same by his body. The accuser (called the appellant, as the other was the appellee) takes up the glove, and replies, that he is ready to make good the appeal, body for body. Thereupon the accused, taking the book in his right hand, and in his left the right hand of his antagonist, swears thus: "Hear this, O man, whom I hold by the hand, who callest thyself John by the name of baptism, that I, who call myself Thomas by the name of baptism, did not feloniously murder thy father, William by name, nor am any way guilty of the said felony. So help me God and the Saints: and this I will defend against thee by my body, as this Court shall award." The appellant, observing the same form in act and deed, makes a similar oath, that his antagonist did murder his father, &c.
r'ac-simile of an Engraving of the time of Henry III. representing a Trial by Wager of Battle, with the names of the combatants, and a view of the gallows ott which tht vanquished party is hanging.
A piece of ground is then set out, of sixty feet
■ square, enclosed with lists, and on one side, a Court
preferred an appeal which involved a solemn tender j erected for the judges, and also a bar for the ser
of trial by a battle. It would be useless to dwell on the arguments used by the counsel on either side; the court decided in favour of the prisoner's claim to trial by wager of battle, and the challenge was formally given, by throwing down a glove upon the floor of the court; but the combat did not take place, and the prisoner escaped. In consequence of the revival of this barbarous practice on this occasion, a bill was brought into the House of Lords by Lord Tenterden, and was passed into a law, by which all proceedings of this kind were abolished altogether. The preamble
jeants-at-law. When the court sits, which ought to be at sun-rising, proclamation is made for the parties, who are introduced by two knights, and are dressed in a coat of armour, with red sandals, barelegged from the knee downwards, bareheaded, and with bare arms to the elbows. The weapons allowed them are only batons, or staves of an ell long, and a four-cornered leathern target. Next, an oath against sorcery and enchantment, is to be taken by both parties, in some such form as this :—" Hear this, ye justices, that I have this day neither eat, drank, nor have upon me neither bone, stone, ne grass, nor any enchantment, sorcery, or witchcraft, whereby the law of God may be abased, or the law of the devil exalted. So help me God." The battle is thus begun, and the combatants are bound to fight till the stars appear in the evening. If the accused be so far vanquished that he cannot or will not fight any longer, he shall be adjudged to be hanged immediately; and then, as well as if he be killed fighting, Providence is deemed to have determined in favour of the truth, and his blood shall be attainted. But if he kills the appellant, or can maintain the fight till the stars appear in the evening, he shall be acquitted. If the appellant becomes recreant, that is, yields, and pronounces the horrible word craven, he shall lose his station and rights as a free and lawful man, and become infamous, and never admitted on a jury, or as a witness in a cause.
Women, priests, infants, all above the age of sixty, the blind, the lame, peers of the realm; and by special charter, because fighting seems to be foreign to their education and employment, all citizens of London, were exempt from the trial by wager of battle.
By an act of Parliament we have seen that this superstitious, iniquitous, and impious procedure, has been wholly abolished in England. Would that the no less iniquitous and impious mode of deciding quarrels by duel, which the president Montesquieu has with much ingenuity deduced from this ordeal, were banished from our country, and from the whole civilized world for ever! The time will probably come when duelling will be regarded as an act only of refined barbarism—as decidedly contrary to the law of God, to the law of man, to our reason and our best feelings, as murder itself. T.
ON AN HOUIUGLASS.
Mark! the golden grains that pass
Brightly through this channel'd glass,
Measuring by their ceaseless fall,
Hearen's most precious gift to all!
Pauseless,—till its sand be done
See the shining current run,
Till, its inward treasure sbed,
(Lo! another hour has fled!)
Its task performed, its travail past,
like mortal man, it rests at last.
Yet let some band invert its frame,
And all its powers return the same—
For all the golden grains remain
To work their little hour again.
But who shall turn the glass for man,
Froni which the golden current ran,
Collect again the precious sand
Which Time has scattered with his band,
Bring back life's stream with vital power,
And bid it run another hour0
A thousand years of toil were vain
To gather up a single grain! J.m.
THE DEATHS-HEAD MOTH.
Ocr extensive cultivation of the potato, furnishes us annually with several specimens of that fine animal, the Death's-head Moth (acherontia atropos): and in some years I have had as many as eight brought me in the larva, or chrysalis state. Their changes are very uncertain. I have had the larva change to a chrysalis in July, and produce the moth in October; but generally the chrysalis remains unchanged till the ensuing summer. The larva:, or caterpillars, "strange ungainly beasts," as some of our peasantry call them, excite constant attention when seen, by their extraordinary size and uncommon mien, with horns and tail, being not unusually five inches in length, and as thick
as a finger. This creature was formerly considered as one of our rarest insects, and it was doubtful whether it were truly a native; but for the last twenty years, from the profuse cultivation of the potato, it has become not very uncommon. Many insects are now certainly found in England, which former collectors, indefatigable as they were, did not know that we possessed; while others again have been lost to us moderns. Some probably might be introduced with the numerous foreign plants recently imported, or this particular food may have tended to favour the increase of those already existing; but how such a creature as this could have been brought with any plant, is quite beyond comprehension. We may import continental varieties of potatoes, but the Death's-head Moth we have never observed to have any connexion with the potato itself, or inclination for it. As certain soils will produce plants by exposure to the sun's rays, or by aid of peculiar manners, when no pre-existent root or germ could reasonably be supposed to exist; so will peculiar and long intervening seasons give birth to insects from causes not to be divined. We may, however, conclude, that we are indebted to some unusual circumstance for the introduction of this sphynx,— and that its favourite food, the potato-plant, nourished it to the increase of its species.
Superstition has been particularly active in suggesting causes of alarm from the insect world; and, where man should have seen only beauty and wisdom, he has often found terror and dismay. The yellow and brown tailed moths, the death-watch, our snails, and many others, have all been the subjects of his fears; but the dread excited in England by the appearance, noises, or increase of insects, are petty apprehensions when compared with the horror that the presence of this acherontia occasions to some of the more fanciful and superstitious natives of northern Europe, who are full of the wildest notions. A letter is now before me from a correspondent, in German Poland, where this insect is a common creature, and so abounded in 1824, that my informer collected fifty of them in the potato-fields of his village, where they call them the "Death's-head Phantom," the "Wandering Death-bird," &c. The markings on its back represent to these fertile imaginations the head of a perfect skeleton, with the limb-bones crossed beneath; its cry becomes the voice of anguish—the moaning of a child—the signal of grief; it is regarded not as the creation of a benevolent Being, but the device of evil spirits—spirits, enemies to man—conceived and fabricated in the dark; and the very shining of its eyes is thought to represent the fiery element whence it is supposed to have proceeded. Flying into their apartments in the evening, it at times extinguishes the light, foretelling war, pestilence, hunger, death, to man and beast. We pity, rather than ridicule, these fears; their consequences being painful anxiety of mind and suffering of body. However, it seems these vain imaginations are flitting away before the light of reason and experience. In Germany, as in England, they were first observed on the jasmine, but now exclusively on the potato, though they will enter the beehives, to feed on the honey found in them. This insect has been thought to be peculiarly gifted in having a voice, and squeaking like a mouse, when handled or disturbed; but, in truth, no insect, that we know of, has the requisite organs to produce a genuine voice. They emit sounds by other means, probably all external. The grasshopper and the cricket race effect their well-known and often wearisome chirpings, by grating their spiny thighs against their rigid wings; and this acherontia atropos appears to produce the noise it at times makes, which reminds us of the spring call of the rail or corn-crake, by scratching its mandible, or the instrument that it perforates with, against its horny chest.—Journal of a Naturalist.
A SISTER'S LOVE
When o'er my dark and wayward soul
Chauncey Hare Townsend.
SIR WILLIAM JONES,
THE DISTINGUISHED ORIENTALIST.
The Life of Sir William Jones, by the enlightened Lord Teignmouth, is an intelligent, affectionate, and just piece of composition, producing a pleasing impression on the mind. It is the production of an intimate friend, a man of superior mind, and of kindred spirit. Sir William Jones must be the object of respectful veneration; at his numerous attainments all must wonder; with his amiable and fine spirit, all, whor can value what is lovely and excellent, must be delighted: and his diligence ought to induce unceasing emulation.
The portrait he has sketched of his mother, exhibits his own affectionate and filial disposition in a beautiful manner, and is quaintly, though strikingly, embodied. "She was virtuous, without blemish; generous, without extravagance j frugal, but not a niggard; cheerful, but not giddy; close, but not sullen; ingenious, but not conceited; spirited, but not passionate; of her company, cautious; in her friendship, trusty; to her parents dutiful; to her husband, ever faithful, loving, and obedient."
In his twelfth year, William, the son of this estimable woman, wrote out from recollection, the Tempest of Shakspeare—translated into verse several of the Epistles of Ovid, all the Pastorals of Virgil—and composed a dramatic piece. His knowledge was not only acute and extensive, but most extraordinary. He learned the Arabic characters, and studied the
Hebrew language with so much vigour and assiduity, that entire nights were often employed in close application. His preceptor, Dr. Sumner, acknowledged, that his pupil knew more Greek than himself. His sight was so impaired by study, that he was prohibited, from applying, for some period, to severe intellectual efforts. His name was long remembered at Harrow, where he received his early education, with that profound veneration, which his superior intellect and unrivalled learning commanded.
Sir William Jones was distinguished not only for his classical attainments, and for the beauty of his poetic compositions, but for the eloquence and power of his declamations, and the masterly manner in which he delivered his orations. At Oxford, his college tutors dispensed with his attendance on their lectures, alleging, that he could employ his time to greater advantage. He went through the Greek poets and historians with a pen in his hand, making remarks, and composing in imitation of his most admired authors.
His studies and researches as a lawyer were not confined to any one branch of jurisprudence, but embraced the whole in its widest extent. He compared the doctrines and principles of ancient lawgivers, with the later improvements effected in the science of law; collated the various codes of the different states of Europe; and collected professional knowledge wherever it could be acquired. Wbile his multiplied and important engagements required his daily attendance in Calcutta, his usual residence was situated on the banks of the Ganges, at the distance of five miles from the court. To this spot he returned every evening after sunset, and in the morning rose so early, as to reach his apartments in the city by walking, at the first appearance of the dawn.
This eminent man had studied eight languages critically, eight others less accurately; and had examined twelve more, less perfectly. His poetic taste was refined and elevated, and many of his translations and imitative pieces reflect on him great lustre. His veneration of Christianity was early and profound, and his admiration of the language and sentiments of the Holy Scriptures was ardent and unqualified.
He saw the light that beam'd around, and own'd
His last hours were peculiarly touching. His disorder was an inflammation of the liver. On the morning of his decease, his medical attendants called on Lord Teignmouth, and all repaired to the house of this distinguished scholar. He was lying on his bed, in a posture of meditation, and the only symptom of remaining life, was a slight motion at the heart, which, after a few moments, ceased, and he expired without a pang or a groan. The monumental honours paid to his memory, at Oxford and St. Paul's, were distinguished; but, as has been well remarked, "the whole earth is the sepulchre of illustrious men," and the contemplation of acquirements so extensive and splendid, of talent so uncommon, and of worth so exalted, will induce the esteem and admiration of every generation, even the most remote.
Sir William Jones was cut down early by the stroke of mortality, but his character and genius are embalmed in our hearts, and many a noble minded, richly endowed youth, will derive vigour and encouragement from his splendid excellences.
The formation and steady pursuit of some particular plan of life, has justly been considered as one of the most permanent sources of happiness.—Malthus.
Nature has sown in man the seeds of knowledge, but ther must be cultivated to produce fruit.—Lord Colungwood.
MANNERS OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. The following extract from the Journal of Elizabeth Woodville, before her marriage with Sir John Grey, is copied from an ancient manuscript in Drummond Castle; it gives a curious picture of the habits of the great in former times. After the death of Sir John Grey, she became, in 1465, the queen of Edward IV. On the accession of Henry VII, who had married her daughter, she was confined in the nunnery of Bermondsey, and died there, but was buried at Windsor.
"Monday, March 9. Rose at 4 o'clock, and helped Catherine to milk the cows; Rachel, the other dairymaid, having scolded her hand in so bad a manner the night before. Made a poultice for Rachel, and gave Robin a penny to get her something comfortable from the apothecary's.
"Six o'clock. The buttock of beef too much boiled, and the beer a little of the stalest. Memorandum: To talk to cook about the first fault, and to mend the second myself by tapping a fresh barrel directly.
"Seven o'clock. Went to walk with the lady, my mother, into the court-yard. Fed twenty-five men and women; chided Roger severely for expressing some ill will at attending us with broken meat.
"Eight o'clock. Went into the paddock behind the house with my maid Dorothy, caught Thump, the little pony, myself, and rode a matter of six miles without saddle or bridle.
"Ten o'clock. Went to dinner. John Grey, a comely youth, but what is that to me ? a virtuous maiden should be entirely under the direction of her parents. John ate but little; stole a great many tender looks at me, and said, "Women never could be handsome in his opinion, who were not good tempered." I hope my temper is not intolerable; nobody finds fault with it but Roger, and he is the most disorderly servingman in our family. John Grey likes white teeth j my teeth are of a pretty good colour I think; and my hair is as black as jet, though I say it; and John, if I mistake not, is of the same opinion.
"Eleven o'clock, Rose from table, the company all desirous of walking in the fields; John Grey would lift me over every stile, and twice he squeezed my hand with great vehemence. I cannot say I should have any objection to John Grey; he plays at prisonbars as well as any country gentleman, and he never misses church on Sundays.
"Three o'clock. Poor Farmer Robinson's house burnt down by an accidental fire. John Grey proposed a subscription for the benefit of the farmer, and gave no less than four pounds himself with this benevolent intent. Memorandum: Never saw him look so handsome as at that moment.
"Four o'clock. Went to prayers.
"Six o'clock. Fed the hogs and poultry.
"Seven o'clock. Supper on the table: delayed in consequence of Farmer Robinson's misfortune. Memorandum: The goose-pie too much baked, and the pork roasted to rags.
"Nine o'clock. The company fast asleep; these late hours very disagreeable. Said my prayers a second time, John Grey distracting my thoughts too much the first time. Fell asleep, and dreamed of John Grey"
USE OF BUTTER IN ENGLAND. Butter, as every one knows, is a fat substance, obtained from milk, or rather from cream, by the process of churning.
Butter is very extensively used in this and most other northern countries: that of England and Holland is reckoned the best. In London, the butter of Epping and Cambridge is in the highest repute: the
cows which produce the former, feed during summer in the shrubby pastures of Epping Forest; and the leaves of the trees, and numerous wild plants which there abound, are supposed to improve the flavour of the butter. It is brought to market in rolls from one to two feet long, weighing a pound each. The Cambridgeshire butter is produced from cows that feed one part of the year on chalky uplands, and the other on rich meadows or fens: it is made up into long rolls like Epping butter, and generally salted or cured before being brought to market; the London dealers, having washed it, and wrought the salt out of it, frequently sell it for Epping butter.
The butter of Suffolk and Yorkshire is often sold for that of Cambridgeshire, to which it is little inferior. Somersetshire butter is thought to equal that of Epping: it is brought to market in dishes containing half a pound each; out of which it is taken, washed, and put into different forms, by the dealers of Bath and Bristol. Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire butter is very good; it is made up in half pound packs or prints, packed up in square baskets, and sent to the London market by waggon. The butter of the mountains of Wales and Scotland, and the moors, commons, and heaths of England, is of excellent quality when it is properly managed; and though not equal in quantity, is superior to that produced by the richest meadows.
Considerable quantities of butter are made in Ireland, and it forms a prominent article in the exports of that country: it is inferior to that of England. Some of the best Irish butter brought to London, after being washed and repacked, is sold as Dorsetshire and Cambridge butter.
The salt butter of Holland is superior to that of every other country; large quantities of it are annually exported. It forms about three-fourths of all the foreign butter we import.
The production and consumption of butter in Great Britain is very great. The consumption in London may be averaged at about one] half pound per week for each individual, being at the rate of 26 lbs. a year; and supposing the population to amount to 1,450,000, the total annual consumption would be 37,700,0001bs., or 16,830 tons: but to this may be added 4,000 tons, for the butter required for the victualling of ships and other purposes, making the total consumption, in round numbers, 21,000 tons, or 47,040,0001bs., which at lOd. per lb. would be worth 1,960,0001.
The average produce per cow of the butter dairies is estimated by Mr. Marshall at I681bs. a year; so that, supposing we are nearly right in the above estimates, about 280,000 cows will be required to produce an adequate supply of butter for the London market.
But the consumption of butter in London has sometimes been estimated at 50,000 ton; which would require for its supply upwards of 666,000 cows!
Religion will always make the bitter waters of Marah wholesome and palatable, but we must not think it continually will turn water into wine, because it once did.— Wakburton.
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.—Lady M. W. Montagu.
Animals go rightly, according to the ends of their creation, when they are left to themselves; they follow their instinct and are safe: but it is otherwise with man; the ways of life are a labyrinth for him; his infancy does not stand more in need of a mother's care, than his moral and intellectual faculties require to be nursed and fostered: and when these are left to starve for want of nutriment, how infinitely more deplorable is his condition than that of the beasts who perish! —Southey.
Wheel carriages for pleasure are generally supposed to have first come into use in England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. But long before that time, carriages of some kind were used on state occasions, or for the conveyance of sick persons. Even in the time of the Saxons, a clumsy kind of car, upon four wheels, was employed to carry great personages: and Stow tells us, that during Wat Tyler's insurrection in 1380, Richard the Second "being threatened by the rebels of Kent, rode from the Tower of London to the Miles End; and with him his mother, because she was sick and weak, in a whirlicote," which is supposed to have been a sort of covered carriage. "Chariots covered, with Ladies therein," followed the litter in which Queen Catharine was carried to her coronation with Henry the Eighth. But Queen Elizabeth's is the first that is called a coach. In 1564, William Boonen, a Dutchman, became the Queen's coachman, and about this time coaches were brought into general use in England. In 1588 Queen Elizabeth went from Somerset House to Paul's Cross to hear return thanks on the destruction of the Spanish Armada, in a coach presented to her by Henry Earl of Arundel
Coach of 'he Queen's Attendants.
These coaches must have been clumsy uncomfortable machines. They had no springs; and the state of the streets and roads must have made travelling in them any thing but easy. But fashion soon brought them into such general use, that in 1607, Dekker complains that " the wife of every citizen must be jolted now." And in 1636, there were 6,000 of them kept in London and the neighbourhood.
At first they had only two horses, but afterwards the number was increased. In the reign of James the First, "the stout old Earl of Northumberland, when he was got loose, hearing that the great favourite Buckingham was drawn about with a coach and six horses, thought he might very well have eight in his coach, with which he rode through the City of London, to the vulgar talk and admiration."
In general, however, it was thought disgraceful in those times for the male sex to ride in coaches, "In
Sir Philip Sidney's days, so famous for men at armes, it was then," says Aubrey, "held as great a disgrace for a young gentleman to be seen riding in the streets in a coach, as it would now for such a one to be seen in the streets in a petticoat and waistcoat! so much is the fashion of the times altered."
Sir Walter Scott says, that it is a tradition in Scotland, that chaises or chariots were first introduced into that country in 1 745. Before that time, the nobility were accustomed to travel in vehicles somewhat resembling Noah's Ark, and the gentry on horseback; but in that memorable year, the Prince of Hesse appeared in a carriage of this description, "to the admiration of all Scotchmen, who regarded it as a coach cut in half.".
When we compare the clumsy things in which even our kings formerly rode, twith the convenient and elegant carriages of the present day, we cannot help admiring the progress which our workmen have made in this and every other branch of art, and hoping that their skill may always find that encouragement which it so well deserves.
[From a paper in the Archaologia, by J. H. Markland, Esq.]
Of Time's Continual Speed.—In all the actions which a man performs, some part of his life passes. We die while doing that for which alone our sliding life was granted. Nay, though we do nothing, time keeps his constant pace, and flies as fast in idleness as in employment. Whether we play or labour, or sleep, or dance, or study, the sun posts on, and the sand runs. An hour of vice is as long as an hour of virtue. But the difference between good and bad actions is infinite. Good actions, though they diminish our time here as well as bad actions, yet they lay up for us a happiness in eternity; and will recompense what they take away, by a plentiful return at last. When we trade with virtue, we do but buy pleasure with the expense of time. So it is not so much a consuming of time as an exchange. As a man sows his corn, he is content to want it awhile, that he may, at the harvest, receive it with advantage. But the bad deeds that we do here, not only rob us of much time, but also bespeak a torment for hereafter; and that, in such a life, that the greatest pleasure we could there be crowned with, would be the very act of dying. The one treasures up pleasure in everlasting life, the "other provides torture in a death eternal. Why should I wish to pass away this life ill, which, to those that are ill, is the best? If I must daily lessen it, it shall be by that, which shall joy me with a future income. Time is like to ship which never anchors: while I am on board, I had better do those things that may profit me at my landing, than practice such as shall cause my commitment when I come ashore. Whatsoever I do, I would think what will become of it when it is done. If good, I will go on to finish it; if bad, I will either leave off where I am, or not undertake it at all. Vice, like an unthrift, sells away the inheritance, while it is but in reversion: but virtue, husbanding all things well, is a purchaser.—Feltham.