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Even in the case of petty traitors, these arts have not been judged too mean to be practised; and unless my memory deceives me, John the Painter's conviction could not be made full and complete, till some pretended friends had cajoled and drawn him to convict himself.
All such arts, however, are not only mean, but base and wicked. A man who would preserve his integrity untainted, should not put himself into the attitude of a villain, no, not for a moment. The inward feelings soon accommodate themselves to the outward situation and garb; the artificial character soon becomes natural; and therefore I should dislike, a player, to act a had man but I would not, as an advocate, defend a bad cause.
A HIGHLAND STORY. Origin of the name of Benin GOROD, in Mull, a moun
tain with Basaltes Pillars, 200 feet in height; discovered by Mr. Raspe in the year 1789: and far superior to Staffa, the Giants' Causeway, or any other specimen of the kind hitherto known.
The name of this unequalled natural phenomenon arises from a story of a nature so peculiarly tragical, that it merits to be preserved. There are many traditions respecting it, but the following seems to be the most authentic.
A powerful chieftain, who was Lord of the island of Mull many years ago, was no less distinguished for the extent of his territories, where he lived in great feudal magnificence, than for a ferocity of temper which knew no bounds, and a spirit of avarice which he found no means of satisfying but by grievously oppressing his tenants and vassals, and seizing their property and estates.
He was particularly anxious to acquire the possessions of a neighbour, whose name was Gorod, on account of their extent and contiguity. But he had long abstained from any attempt of this kind, both as Gorod, though above fifty years of age, had remained unmarried, and, failing of him and his heirs, the estate reverted to the chieftain, and because his only son, who was reared, according to the custom of those times, in the family of a vassal, was then in his custody.
Gorod, however, contrary to the expectation of every one, married a young lady of great beauty and accomplishments, whom he had accidentally met with in one of the neighbouring islands; and the chieftan had reason to apprehend that the expectations with which he nad flattered himself of getting his vassal's estate, by a failure of his posterity, would be frustrated.
Impelled by lust and disappointment, he resolved to destroy the hopes and happiness of Gorod by seducing his wife, which he with difficulty effected, and at last carried her in triumph to his castle.
Gorod concealed his rage, whilst he inwardly vowed vengeance: and having contrived, in the course of a great hunting party, at which the chieftan and his son, Gorod and the lady, and all the principal people of the island assisted, to bring the whole company to the summit of a lofty mountain, be seized the youth, and, standing on the brink of a frightful precipice, he exclaimed “ This instant I plunge myself and this boy down the cliff, unless that infamous woman is put to death by the hands of her seducer.”
The chieftan, trembling for the safety of the only support of his family, and encouraged by the persuasions of his unhappy mistress, who presented her breast to the stroke, reluctantly obeyed.
Gorod then cried out “ I am revenged; but that tyrant must be punished.”-Then, springing with the une happy youth in his arms, they were dashed in pieces in an instant.
The place has ever since been known by the name of Benin Gorod, or the Hill of Gorod: and the prospect from its summit, particularly when the spectator revolves in idea the scene that was there exhibited, excites a degree of horror which it is impossible to describe,
KIRK LEAS IN YORKSHIRE, KIRK-LEA is built upon a rising ground above the spot where the old abbey stood. This abbey was en dowed by King John with five manors and various lands (the present estate). · The grant itself to the ancestors of this family is curious; comprising the designation of the manors and estate upon a piece of parchment not larger than a quarter of a sheet of paper, to which the
great seal of King John is annexed, nearly the size of the deed. It appears that Elizabeth de Stanton was prioress of this abbey, in King John's time; her tombstone is now extant in the old burial ground of the priory, and in clear distinct preservation. The inscription is thus expressed, in large letters of the old Anglo-Saxon character, near the edge:
« Here lyes Elizabeth de Stanton Prioress of this Abbey
She was aunt to Robin Hood (so called); which name was assumed by the Earl of Huntingdon. His conduct (according to the manner of those times, when the barons disputed the king's authority) having excited royal indige nation, he fled to Kirk-Leas, and sought the protection of his aunt in that abbey, where he lay concealed. Some time after he died there, and was buried on the side the castle hill in the Park. The figures of him and his three chief companions-Little John-Will Scarlet and Midge, the miller's son, dressed in the martial habits of that time, still form a beautiful ornament at one end of the hall at Kirk-Leas: the walls of which are enriched with the arms in relief of the various ancestors who succeeded each other.
Robin Hood's grave was discovered by Sir John Armytage, in the year 1755, as they were removing earth to form a new road near the castle hill in the present Park, being a part of the alteration he inade of the old grounds.
The tomb-stone was entire, with an epitaph on a long blue slab (nearly the size of that remarkable long one in the passage-cloister of Westminster-but his aunt's somewhat less than bis), describing his title, change of name,
great skill in archery. The river ealder, now famous for its navigation, runs with a fine stream down the valley bclow.
ROBIN Hood's EPITAPH.
OSSIAN. FIN-MAC-Coul is a personage, who with the other heroes of Ossian, was very familiar to the historians, and poets of Scotlend, during the age of Sir David Lyndsay, and during some centuries before. They were mentioned by Barber, in 1375; by Holland, in his Houlat, 1453 : by Bishop Douglas, in his Palice of Honour ; by the historians Boece, and Lesley; and even by Colvil, in his Whig's Supplication, 1681. From all those premises, it follows, that neither of the contending parties, about the genuineness of Ossian, are altogether right. The chronology of Hanmer, Macpherson, and their followers, is most egregiously erroneous. On the other hand, those who insist on the forgery of Ossian's Poems by Macpherson and on the recentness of Ossian, argue against facts, which cannot be contradicted. Gawin Douglas, in his Palice of Honour mentions
« Gret gow Mac Morne, and Fin-Mac-Coul, and how
Gow Mac Morne is Gaul, the son of Morni ; Gow being the Scoto-Saxon pronunciation of Gaul. If we follow the learned bishop to Ireland, we shall discover « the genealogy of Fin-Erin, or Fin-Mac Coyl." In the Rev. Doctor Hanmer's Chronicle, p. 24.
66 The Danes of the line of Fin-Erin, that came out of Denmarke, were these : David, the king's sonne, who had to his sonne borne, in Ireland, Dewre Dove, who had foure sonnes, Cowrry, Boyrkene, Fyagh, and Oghe; Boyrkene had a sonne called Garrenisio;
and Con-Caghmore was his sonne, Con had a sonne named Ferrelagh ; and he had a sonne called Irenmore; this Jrenmore had to his sonne Coylie-Negoe ; and he had a sonne called, Fin-Fa, aliąs Fin Mac Coyle; and he had a sonne called Oshen; and he had a sonne called Osker. This Oshen lived An. Dom. 432, in the dayes of St. Patrick, unto whom he made a relation of many things before going, and was by him baptized, being of the age of sevenscore years. “ Such is the egregious fable of Dr. Hanmer! There were no Danes, in that age: there were no Danish rovers, or sea-kings till almost four centuries had elapsed after this epoch: yet, is this passage curious, as it contains so many characters, who have become of late, so very famous, and familiar to us. It is true, indeed, that Ossian, and his heroes, are always connected with the Danes; the Danes of Ireland: but, the true epoch of the arrival of the Danish sea-kings, in that island, is the begining of the ninth century; as we know from Ware, and Usher: of consequence, in fair discussion, the story of Ossian, and his heroes, cannot back beyond the ninth century : neither can poems, which are chiefly founded on that story, be older than the events, which compose that story. But, we find, in fact, that several of the heroes of Ossian were mentioned by our historians, and poets, for centuries before Macphersou was born; and Ossian, and his heroes, are, to this day, interwoven into the topography of Scotland, and the traditions of the country.
Addressed to Lord Borringdon.
Sorrow. A young fellow has stolen my wife.
Reason. Young men are prone to that species of robbery. I am sorry to observe that in this age I have very little influence over the mind of the youth of both sexes ; I wish I may have some influence over your's at present, for I see you are very much affected. You must consider this matter. Was she young and handsome?
Reason. Two great temptations. You married her for her beauty?
Sorrow. I did,
Reason. You should have reflected, that the season of youth and beauty is short, and that both fly off together : the woman that won your affections, was sensible, no doubt, that she could win those of another; and soine of that frail sex are as ambitious of lovers after they have entered into the married state as before it. Was she fond of dress ?
Sorrow. Passionately; she would spend -hours together at her toilet.
Reason Every time she looked in her glass, she thought she saw the face of an angel in it, and perhaps she thought that an angel ought not to employ her time in domestic affairs. Was she fond of Romancesa
Sorrow. She would sit up all night reading them.