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the tail of a fish; and being desirous to obtain a better view, I inches in a convenient place, and stood close by, in vigilant expecgently raised the stone on its edge, and was rewarded by a very tation. My wishes were speedily gratified; in a short time the beautiful sight. The object first observed was the tail of a beauti- flattened gallery began at one end to be raised to its former conful salamander, whose sides were of a pale straw colour, flecked vexity, and the animal rapidly advanced. With a beating heart, I with circlets of the richest crimson. Its long lizard-like body thrust the knife-blade down by the side of the rising earth, and seemed to be semi-transparent, and its slender limbs appeared like quickly turned it over to one side, throwing my prize fairly into mere productions of the skin. Not far distant, and near where the sunshine. For an instant he seemed motionless from surprise, the upper end of the stone had been, lay crouched, as if asleep, one when I caught and imprisoned him in my hat. It would be vain of the most beautiful coloured frogs I had ever beheld. Its body for me to attempt a description of my pleasure in having thus was slender compared with most frogs, and its skin covered with succeeded, small as was my conquest. I was delighted with the stripes of bright reddish brown and grayish green, in such a beauty of my captive's fur; with the admirable adaptation of his manner as to recall the beautiful markings of the tiger's hide; and diggers or broad rose-tinted hands; the wonderful strength of his since the time alluded to, it has received the name of tigrina from forelimbs, and the peculiar suitableness of his head and neck to Leconte, its first scientific describer. How long I should have the kind of life the Author of Nature had designed him for. It been content to gaze at these beautiful animals, as they lay bask- was the shrew-mole, or scalops canadensis, whose history and ing in the living water, I know not, had not the intense heat made peculiarities of structure are minutely related in the first volume of me feel the necessity of seeking a shade. It was now past twelve Godman's American Natural History. All my researches never o'clock; I began to retrace my steps towards the city; and with-enabled me to discover a nest, female, or young one of this species. out any particular object, moved along the little galleries examined All I ever caught were males, though this most probably was a in the morning. I had advanced but a short distance, when I found mere accident. The breeding of the scalops is nearly all that is the last place where I had broken open the gallery was repaired. The wanting to render our knowledge of it complete. earth was perfectly fresh, and I had lost the chance of discovering the miner, while watching my new acquaintances in the stream. Hurrying onward, the same circumstances uniformly presented; the injuries were all efficiently repaired, and had evidently been very recently completed. Here was one point gained; it was ascertained that these galleries were still inhabited, and I hoped soon to become acquainted with the inmates. But at this time it appeared fruitless to delay longer, and I returned home, filled with anticipations of pleasure from the success of my future researches.
On the day following my first-related excursion, I started early in the morning, and was rewarded by one sight which could not otherwise have been obtained, well worth the sacrifice of an hour or two of sleep. There may be persons who will smile contemptuously at the idea of a man's being delighted with such trifles; nevertheless, we are not inclined to envy such as disesteem the pure gratification afforded by these simple and easily-accessible pleasures. As I crossed an open lot on my way to the lane, a succession of gossamer spider-webs, lightly suspended from various weeds and small shrubs, attracted my attention. The dew which had formed during the night was condensed upon this delicate lace in globules of most resplendent brilliance, whose clear lustre pleased while it dazzled the sight. In comparison with the immaculate purity of these dewdrops, which reflected and refracted the morning light in beautiful rays as the gossamer webs trembled in the breeze, how poor would appear the most invaluable diamonds that were ever obtained from Golconda or Brazil! How rich would any monarch be that could boast the possession of one such, as here glittered in thousands on every herb and spray! They are exhaled in an hour or two and lost, yet they are almost daily offered to the delighted contemplation of the real lover of Nature, who is ever happy to witness the beneficence of the great Creator, not less displayed in trivial circumstances than the most wonderful of his works.
This little animal has eyes, though they are not discoverable during its living condition, nor are they of any use to it aboveground. In running round a room (until it bad perfectly learned where all the obstacles stood), it would uniformly strike hard against them with its snout, and then turn. It appeared to me as singular that a creature which fed upon living earth-worms with all the greediness of a pig, would not destroy the larvæ or maggots of the flesh-fly. A shrew-mole lived for many weeks in my study, and made use of a gun-case, into which he squeezed himself, as a burrow. Frequently he would carry the meat he was fed with into his retreat; and as it was warm weather, the flies deposited their eggs in the same place. An offensive odour led me to discover this circumstance, and I found a number of large larvæ, over which the shrew-mole passed without paying them any attention; nor would he, when hungry, accept of such food, though nothing could exceed the eager haste with which he seized and munched earth-worms. Often when engaged in observing him thus employed, have I thought of the stories told me, when a boy, of the manner in which snakes were destroyed by swine; his voracity readily exciting a recollection of one of these animals, and the poor worms writhing and twining about his jaws answering for the snakes. It would be tedious were I to relate all my rambles undertaken with a view to gain a proper acquaintance with this creature, at all hours of the day, and late in the evening, before daylight, &c. &c.
Among other objects which served as an unfailing source of amusement, when resting from the fatigue of my walks, was the little inhabitant of the brook, called the gyrinus natator. These merry swimmers occupied every little sunny pool in the stream, apparently altogether engaged in sport. A circumstance connected with these insects gives them additional interest to a close observer; they are allied by their structure and nature to those nauseous vermin the cimices (or bed-bugs), all of which, whether No particular change was discoverable in the works of my little found infesting fruits or our dormitories, are distinguished by their miners, except that all the places which had been a second time disgusting odour. But their distant relatives, called by the boys broken down were again repaired, showing that the animal had the water-witches and apple-smellers, the gyrinus natator above passed between the times of my visit; and it may not be unin- alluded to, has a delightful smell, exactly similar to that of the teresting to observe how the repair was effected. It appeared, richest, mellowest apple. This peculiarly pleasant smell frequently when the animal arrived at the spot broken open or exposed to causes the idler many unavailing efforts to secure some of these the air, that it changed its direction sufficiently downwards to raise creatures, whose activity in water renders their pursuit very diffienough of earth from the lower surface to fill up the opening : cult, though by no means so much so as that of some of the longthis of course slightly altered the direction of the gallery at this legged water-spiders, whicb walk the waters dry-shod, and evade point, and though the earth thrown up was quite pulverulent, it the grasp with surprising ease and celerity. What purposes either was so nicely arched as to retain its place, and soon became con- of these races serve in the great economy of nature has not yet been solidated. Having broken open a gallery where the turf was very ascertained, and will scarcely be determined until our store of facts close and the soil tenacious, I was pleased to find the direction of is far more extensive than at present. Other and still more rethe chamber somewhat changed; on digging farther with my clasp-markable inhabitants of the brook, at the same time, came within knife, I found a very beautiful cell excavated in very tough clay, my notice, and afforded much gratification in the observation of deeper than the common level of the gallery and towards one side. their habits. This little lodging-room would probably have held a small melon, and was nicely arched all round. It was perfectly clear, and quite smooth as if much used; to examine it fully, I was obliged to open it completely. (The next day it was replaced by another placed a little farther to one side, exactly of the same kind; it was replaced a second time, but when broken up a third time it was left in ruins.) As twelve o'clock approached, my solicitude to discover the little miner increased to a considerable degree; previous observation led me to believe that about that time his presence was to be expected. I had trodden down the gallery for some
DEFINITION OF "A CHARACTER.”
By this is meant a mind cast in a peculiar mould, and unwilling either to be remodelled and recast, or to be ground down in the mill of fashion, and have its angles and its roughness taken off, so as to become one of the round, and smooth, and similar personages of the day, and indeed of all times and almost all nations. Such characters are further remarkable for ever bearing their peculiarities about with them, so as at all seasons, and on all subjects, to
display their deviations from unlikeness to other men. Such persons are of necessity extremely amusing: they are rare, and they are odd; they are also ever in keeping and consistency with themselves as they are different from others. Hence they acquire, besides entertaining us, a kind of claim to respect, because they are independent and self-possessed. But they are always more respected than they at all deserve. Not only are many of their peculiarities the result of indulgence approaching to affectation, so as to make them little more than a respectable kind of buffoons, enjoying the mirth excited at their own expense, but even that substratum of real originality which they have without any affectation, commands more respect than it is entitled to, because it wears the semblance of much more independence than belongs to it, and, while it savours of originality, is really only peculiar and strange. Lord Brougham.
ANCIENT SCOTTISH GAMES.
MR. TYTLER, the eminent historian of Scotland, in his work entitled "Lives of Scottish Worthies," gives a chapter of antiquarian illustrations, in which he describes some of the ancient games and amusements of Caledonia while yet
"Beneath a monarch's feet
Sat Legislation's sovereign powers,"
He has drawn his information from the pages of the manuscript Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, during the reign of the Fourth James, whose fondness for all sorts of games and revelry appears to have been perfectly preposterous, and frequently anything but refined. He is often content with much humbler sport than a tournament of knights and ladies gay. For instance, he is represented as giving eighteen shillings to "a wife at Bathgate bog that the king revit a rung fra,"—that is, wrested a stick from. We know nothing more about the masculine female here spoken of, except the simple fact mentioned. We suspect, however, that she was a cudgel-player or wrestler of considerable celebrity, which she had acquired by numerous triumphs over those of her own immediate sphere who had dared to enter the lists with her; and that she probably remained unconquered until majesty itself was pitted against her. This is mere conjecture; but we have no other way of accounting for the circumstance, and Mr. Tytler is silent on the subject. The hero of Flodden would not certainly take the field against an ordinary woman who was likely to fall an easy prey to his superior strength.-No such thing. She must have been an amazon of undoubted prowess, a reigning queen of the ring, the terror of Bathgate and all the neighbourhood. We will not pause to discuss whether the sport was kingly or not in those days; but only let us think for a moment of George the Fourth, when he was in Scotland, taking the field in front of Holyrood House against a stalwart fishwoman of Newhaven, and then and there wrestling with her for the possession of a cudgel. Let us think of all the splendour and nobility of the court on the one hand, and all the glory and chivalry of Newhaven on the other, each party cheering on its combatant-the yells of the ichthyologists, when haply a fortunate twist or wrench on the part of the female seemed to promise an issue of the struggle in her favour and then the triumphant shouts of the noble men and noble ladies, when the portly warrior at length succeeded in gaining possession of the stick, and flourished it round his head in all the excitement of victory.
Another favourite sport of James was the exhibition of his skill and strength in striking with the great sledge-hammer used by smiths in their forge. In the year 1506, Sir Anthony D'Arsy visited the Scottish court as ambassador from France, and much distinguished himself at the grand tournaments held at Stirling. But it appears he displayed his prowess with a much weightier and more unwieldy weapon than a lance. One of the entries for this year in the books of the high treasurer is, " Item, to the smith quhen the king and the French knycht strak at the steddye, 13 shillings." Less vulgar sports, such as archery, shooting at the buts, with the cross bow and culvering, playing at the golf and foot-ball, hunting, hawking, racing, and tournaments, were likewise practised. It thus appears that those amusements which were best calculated to develop and display manual strength and dexterity were most patronised, and appropriately so, in an age when hard blows were given and received. Chess-tables, dice, and cards were ikewise common, at least at court; and the king seems almost always to have played for money. The names of other games are mentioned in the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer; but what sort of amusements these were it is impossible to say, as the mean
ing and mode of playing have passed away. Solemnity and frolic, mortification and amusement, outbreakings of superstitious feeling and of reckless dissipation, were mixed together in the most grotesque manner in these days. Pilgrimage and pantomime are made to balance each other. The debt of guilt contracted at such exhibitions of mirth, madness, and absurdity, as the King of Bene, the Abbot of Unreason, the Queen of May, the Daft Queen of the Canongate, is liquidated by a profuse donation to the grey friars for additional prayers and masses. Or it is settled in a more homely manner by the king borrowing an angel or gold noble from his high-treasurer, and, after bending it, fixing the talisman to his beads. This, however, was not a peculiarity in James; it was characteristic of the age in which he flourished.
James's passion for music is well known; he himself played on the lute and the monochordis. When he took his progresses through his kingdom, he was generally welcomed at the gates of towns with songs sung by maidens; and wherever he went, he seems soon to have found out those who excelled in his favourite For instance, as regu
art, and could minister to the royal taste. larly as the king visits Dumfries, there is an entry of so much paid to “a little crukit-backit vicar," who sings before the king. In these journeys he was always accompanied by his organists, harpers, lutars, and Italian minstrels, who carried their instruments along with them: whether they travelled in a caravan, like the show-booth exhibitors of our own day, it is not possible now to ascertain. When the celebrated Papal embassy arrived at the Scottish court, bringing with it the splendid sword of justice which is still to be seen amongst the Scottish regalia, the king seems first to have given audience, not to the ambassador, but to his servant, who was noted for singing a good stave. An Eastern love of story-telling was also one of James's passions. He does not appear to have been particularly fastidious about the rank or quality of the persons who thus sold him the issue of their imagination or their memory. One entry in 1496, introduces to our notice " Wedderspoon the Foular, that tald tales, and brocht foulis to the king;" and also one Watschod, another viva-voce novelist of the times. On the 19th of April, 1497, the king is said to have been "listhening to twa filhilaris, who sung to him the ballad of Grey Steel;" and in March 1506, a poor man, wha tald tales to the Majesty of Scotland," received a reward of six shillings and eight pence. This appears to have been the very year of revelry. One of the items of expense for it is, " Payments to divers menstrales, schammourers, trumpeters, tambrownars, fithelaris, lutars, clarscharis, and pyparis, extending to eighty-nine persons, forty-one pounds, eleven shillings,"-a large sum in those days.
THE ALBIGENSES AND VALLENSES. THE question whether the doctrines of the Albigenses and Vallenses, who appeared in the South of France in the twelfth century, were identical with those of the Vaudois, the inhabitants of the Piedmontese valleys, who became conspicuous at the era of the Reformation, has frequently been agitated in the religious world, and has even very lately been made a subject of controversy; but such a discussion is by no means fitted to our columns. Our attention has, however, been drawn by a correspondent to the historical details of these singular people; and believing that a brief account of their rise and suppression, connected as it is with the institution of that awful instrument of oppression, the Inquisition, will not be unacceptable to the majority of our readers, we are induced to give it.
The constant efforts on the part of the popes to increase their temporal power frequently excited the opposition of kings and emperors; and as early as 1100, these disputes had lessened the reverence with which the pope, the father of the Church, had been regarded. Aggressions on political rights by the papal power led to doubts of its spiritual authority; and gradually a number of religious sects appeared in Germany, France, and Italy, who utterly denied the papal authority, and proposed to follow strictly the example of the apostles. These heresies, as they were termed, appear to have had their origin in Germany, and to have spread from thence. They were divided into a great number of sects, each differing in some degree from the others. It is now extremely difficult to distinguish accurately between them, since the accounts which we have of them are the reports of their enemies; and it is only by internal evidence, the detection of gross discrepancies, that we are enabled to draw near the truth. It would seem that
some of the German seceders were really infected with Manichæism, as it is termed, and practised impure rites and inculcated impure doctrines, which we deem it unnecessary here to repeat it is extremely probable that libertines and enthusiasts, one party deceiving, the other deceived, taking advantage of a time of moral excitement, may have advanced such doctrines; it is an historical fact that they were attempted to be fixed on all the heretical sects that appeared at the period we allude to; it is also an historical fact that the character of the French Albigenses and Vallenses, blackened as it was by the reports of their persecutors, has yet been redeemed by posterity, and their sole offence reduced to a denial of papal authority, and an attempt to establish the practice of Christianity upon the apostolic model. The heretics continued to increase; their doctrines were formally condemned by the synod of Tours in 1163, but without much effect. At length, in the year 1200, Innocent III., determined to extirpate all these abominations, gave ample commissions to different monks, whom he sent as emissaries to the various infected quarters, to preach the true faith, and excommunicate and banish offenders. Dominic, the future chief of the Inquisition, was the leader of the missionaries sent to Toulouse, the head-quarters of the Albigenses, so called from the district of Albigeois, a province in Languedoc. Both Albigenses and Vallenses, being good and peaceable citizens, had received every protection from the count of Toulouse, the lord of the territory in which they resided, who was suspected with some show of probability of entertaining their opinions, at least as far as opposition to papal dominion was concerned, and he for some time supported their cause; but when a formal excommunication was pronounced against him, he submit ted to the Church, into which he was again received, only on the most humiliating terms. "The manner of the reconciliation of the earl of Toulouse," says Limborch, "was, according to Bzovius, thus-The earl was brought before the gates of the church of St. Agdé in the town of that name. There were present more than twenty archbishops and bishops, who were met for this purpose. The earl swore upon the holy body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the relics of the saints, which were exposed with great reverence before the gates of the church and held by several prelates, that he would obey the commands of the Holy Roman Church. When he had thus bound himself by an oath, the legate ordered one of the sacred vestments to be thrown over his neck, and drawing him thereby, brought him into the church, and having scourged him with a whip, absolved him. Nor must it be omitted, that when the said earl was brought into the church, and received his absolution as he was scourging, he was so grievously torn by the stripes, that he could not go out by the same place by which he entered, but was forced to pass quite naked as he went through the lower gate of the church. He was also served in the same manner at the sepulchre of St. Peter the Martyr, at New Castres, whom the earl had caused to be slain."
This reconciliation, however, availed little to the unfortunate count; for during his obstinacy, a crusade had been preached against him and his heretic subjects, and a large army of zealous "cross-bearers," headed by Simon de Montfort, had invaded his territories, and having once been fleshed, were in no hurry to abandon their prey. In the year 1209 they overran the whole country. They utterly destroyed the town of Biterre, and when some of the troops hesitated to obey the orders, knowing that many of the inhabitants were good catholics, they were pressed on to the slaughter by Arnold, abbot of Citeaux, who exhorted them "to slay all, for the Lord knew which were his." Carcassonne next fell, and the inhabitants only saved their lives upon complying with the brutal and ignominious condition of marching out absolutely naked; a condition to which the countess Agnes herself was obliged to submit. This disgusting requisition was probably enforced in ridicule of the pretended obscenities of heretical practices, but it is in itself a terrible example of the barbarism of the period. De Montfort was, by the universal consent of his companions, declared governor of Carcassonne and all the conquered country, on whose inhabitants they exercised the most unsparing cruelties. Meantime Dominic, acting from the first under a papal commission for the suppression of heresy, continually pressed the necessity of a regular establishment for that purpose, and, after receiving additional powers from the archbishop of Toulouse, and subsequently from the pope, at last obtained his ends by the regular establishment of the Inquisition (first instituted at Toulouse), and confirmed by the authority of the Lateran Council in 1216.
mission to the Church, and offered to answer for the orthodoxy of his subjects; but he could obtain no better terms than a surrender of all his dominions into the hands of the Church, for the use of his son, then a minor, with a reservation of 400 marcs of silver per annum to himself, and her dower to his wife, who was acknowledged to be "a most christian lady."
Raymond retreated to Spain; but his son, a young man of spirit, collected a body of troops in Provence, and maintained the war against de Montfort, who at length was slain while engaged in besieging Toulouse. Raymond the father died in 1221; and after his death, his son, now count of Toulouse, succeeded in clearing his territories from the invaders, and banished the Inquisition. But a fresh set of enemies rose up against him. Amalric, the son of Simon de Montfort, appealed to the king of France, claiming the county of Toulouse as his inheritance, and the Church proclaimed a new crusade against the unfortunate Raymond. He defended himself well, but at length was blocked up in the city of Avignon, which was however so well supplied and garrisoned as to have held out against the force opposed to it, had not treachery been used. The pope's legate, who accompanied the king's army, requested, under pretence of arranging the dispute and preventing bloodshed, permission to enter the town, which was granted; but when the gates were opened to admit him, a body of troops, stationed for the purpose, rushed after him, and the besieging army gained possession of the city.
Raymond was admitted to surrender on conditions, but they were terribly severe. He was first to abjure heresy, and submit himself to the Church: To take the cross, and make war five years against the Saracens or other enemies of the Christian faith: To pay down 20,000 marcs of silver as a ransom. That as Toulouse was a gift of the Church, he was only to hold a life-interest in it, and that it should not descend to his male heirs, but to the heirs of his daughter Joan, married to Alphonso, brother of king Louis of France. And lastly, that he should give up to the king and the Church all the country beyond the bishopric of Toulouse to the east on both sides of the Rhone. "After this," says Limborch, "he surrendered himself at the Louvre to the king's guards, till his daughter and five of his best-fortified castles were delivered up to his messengers, and the walls of Toulouse entirely demolished. When all this was done, in the presence of two cardinals of the Church of Rome, our legate in France, and the other in England, he was led to the high altar in a linen garment and with naked feet, and absolved from the sentence of excommunication." Bernard, in his Chronicon of the Roman Pontiffs, relating this history, says, as Bzovius tells us, "How holy a sight it was to see so great a man, who for so long a while could resist so many and great nations, led naked in his shirt and trousers, and with naked feet, to the altar."
Count Raymond, thus humiliated, found himself obliged to join in the persecution of his heretic subjects, and we hear no more of them until the Reformation again stirred up the old leaven; but it is supposed that many sought refuge with the Piedmontese, among whom the primitive forms of Christianity are by some believed to have abided.
A very full account of the Albigenses and Vallenses, both as regards their doctrines and their history, is to be found in Limborch's History of the Inquisition, and in Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
THE FUR TRADE IN SIBERIA.
YAKUTSK is not an independent government, but belongs to that of Irkutsk; it has, however, a vice-governor and an independent chancery of its own, who regulate all its affairs, making a mere formal report. It contains, scattered over a wonderful extent of territory, about one hundred and eighty-five thousand inhabitants, composed of Russians, Yakuti, a few Tongousi and fewer Yukagires. Fifty thousand of the whole pay tribute, which is in furs, mostly sables. Those of Vittim and Olekma are considered the finest, blackest, and smallest to be met with, a pair reaching as high as three or four hundred roubles, or from fifteen to twenty pounds sterling. Each taxable individual pays one quarter of a sable, or, in general cases, each family one sable, which, if it cannot be procured, is compromised by the payment of thirty shillings, Raymond soon found himself in no situation to defend his reducing the tribute per head to seven shillings and sixpence, as territories against De Montfort. In this distress, he appealed to that of a Russian is ten shillings. Thus the Russian pays nomithe Lateran Council then sitting, represented his own sub-nally more, but actually less, than the aborigines; the former pay
padoushnie, the latter yasack-the former always money, the latter furs. The greatest part of the population subjected to the government of Yakutsk live on the banks of the Lena, and small streams running into it; no less than twenty thousand families certainly reside on them. The clear revenue derived is half a million of roubles, or twenty-five thousand pounds. The trade carried on by its numerous pedlars is very considerable, from the immense quantity of the skins of all sorts. Tobacco, tea, sugar, spirits, nankeens, cottons, kettles, knives, and the like, constitute the cargoes of the traders; for which they receive the skins of bears, wolves, sables, river otters, martins, foxes, lynxes, squirrels, and ermines, at very unfair prices. At Yakutsk, however, the value of them is well known :-bear-skins, twenty and twenty-five shillings; sables, from thirty to one hundred and fifty shillings; a sea-otter, from ten to thirty pounds; river ditto, thirty and forty shillings; a black fox, from five to twenty and even thirty pounds; red and grey fox, two and three pounds-fiery-red, fifteen shillings; the white or arctic fox, five or six shillings, and the blue fox, eight or ten shillings; squirrels and ermines, sixpence to one shilling; wolves, ten shillings to a guinea; while I have myself given seven guineas for a black wolf at Omsk: the martins which come from the coast of America are worth five or six shillings. These are the prices at Yakutsk, but they are purchased of the natives by the pedlars for goods enhanced one hundred and fifty per cent., and for one-half the price for which they sell at Yakutsk; returning, in most cases, a clear profit of two and three hundred per cent., besides that the traders live upon the poor aborigines during the traffic.-Cochrane's Pedestrian Journey.
DETERMINED DEFENCE OF A CONVOY. THE magnanimity which is the acknowledged characteristic of British seamen is well illustrated in the following anecdote, which we extract from "Aphorisms of Sir Philip Sidney, with Remarks by Miss Porter, author of Thaddeus of Warsaw.'" Opposed as we are on principle to war and bloodshed, we freely admit that man must do his duty under the circumstances in which he is placed by Providence; and we, therefore, give the following story as an illustration of the distinction between true courage and rash obstinacy.
"It was on the 5th of September, 1708, when, as the convoy of thirty-six sail of merchant-vessels from the Texel, this honest seaman was met, nearly at the mouth of the Thames, by Commodore Langeron; who was at the head of six galleys, on his way to burn Harwich. The Frenchman thought the ships a desirable prize, and, making all possible haste to ensure his good fortune, gave orders to have them invested by four of the galleys, while his galley, with that of the Chevalier Mauvilliers, should attack and master the frigate which protected them. The English captain having discovered the intentions of the enemy, directed the merchants to crowd sail for the Thames; and hoping to employ the galleys during this movement, he bore down upon them, as if he intended to begin the battle. An officer who was on board Langeron's vessel thus describes the scene:
"We were soon within cannon-shot, and accordingly the galley discharged her broadside. The frigate, silent as death, approached us without firing a gun. Our commodore smiled at this; for he mistook English resolution for cowardice: What!' cried he, 'is the frigate weary of bearing the British flag? and does she come to strike without a blow?' The triumph was premature. The vessels drew nearer, and were within musket-shot. The galley continued to pour in her broadside and small arms, whilst the frigate preserved the most dreadful stillness: she seemed resolved to reserve all her terrors for close engagement; but in a moment, as if suddenly struck with a panic, she tacked about and fled. Nothing was heard but boasting among our officers: We could at one blast sink an English man-of-war; and if the coward does not strike in two minutes, down he goes to the bottom!' All this time the frigate was in silence preparing the tragedy that was to ensue. Her flight was only a feint, and done with a view to entice us to board her in the stern. Our commodore, in such an apparently favourable conjuncture, ordered the galley to board, and bade the helmsman bury her peak in the frigate. The seamen and marines prepared, with their cutlasses and battleaxes, execute these commands; but the frigate, who saw our design, so axterously avoided our beak as to wheel round and place herself directly dangside of us. Now it was that the English captain's courage manifested. As he had foreseen
what would happen, he was ready with his grappling irons, and fixed us fast to his vessel. All in the galley were now as much exposed as on a raft; and the British artillery, charged with grape-shot, opened at once upon our heads. The masts were filled with sailors, who threw hand-grenades among us, like hail : not a gun was fired that did not make dreadful havoc; and our crew, terrified at so unexpected a carnage, no longer thinking of attacking, were even unable to make a defence. The officers stood motionless and pale, incapable of executing orders, which they had hardly presence of mind enough to understand; and those men who were neither killed nor wounded, lay flat on the deck to escape the bullets. The enemy perceiving our fright, to add to our dismay, boarded us with a party of desperate fellows. who, sword in hand, hewed down all that opposed them. Our commodore, seeing the fate of the ship hang on an instant, ordered a general assault from our whole crew. This made them retreat to their vessel, but not relax the infernal fire which they continued to pour amongst us.
"The other galleys, descrying our distress, quitted their intended prey, and hastening towards us, surrounded the frigate, and raked her deck from all quarters. Her men were no longer able to keep their station; this gave us courage, and we prepared to board her. Twenty-five grenadiers from each galley were sent on this service. They met with no opposition at first; but hardly were they assembled on the deck, before they once again received an English salute. The officers of the frigate, who were intrenched within the forecastle, fired upon the boarders incessantly, and the rest of the crew doing similar execution through the gratings, at last cleared the ship. Langeron scorned to be foiled, and ordered another detachment to the attack; it made the attempt, but met with the same success. Provoked with such repeated failures, our commodore determined that our hatchets should lay open her decks and make the crew prisoners of war.
"After much difficulty and bloodshed, these orders were executed, and the seamen obliged to surrender. The officers, who were yet in the forecastle, stood it out for some time longer; but superiority of numbers compelled them also to lay down their Thus were all the ship's company prisoners, except the window in the door, he fired upon us unremittingly, and declared, captain. He had taken refuge in the cabin; where, from a small when called upon to surrender, that he would spill the last drop of his blood before he would see the inside of a French prison. The English officers (who had by this time been conducted on board our galley, and who afterwards acknowledged that their testimony was part of their orders,) described their captain as a man quite fool-hardy; as one determined to blow the frigate into the air, rather than strike!' and painted his resolution in such colours as made even their conquerors tremble. The way to the powderroom led through the cabin; therefore, as he had the execution of his threat fully in his power, we expected every moment to see the ship blown up, our prize and our prisoner both escape our hands, and we, from being grappled to the vessel, suffer almost the same fate in the explosion. In this extremity, it was thought best to summon the captain in gentle terms, and to promise him the most respectful treatment if he would surrender. He only answered by firing as fast as possible.
"At length the last remedy was to be tried-to select a few resolute men, and to take him dead or alive. For this purpose, a serjeant and twelve grenadiers were sent, with bayonets fixed, to break open the cabin-door; and if he would not give up arms, to run him through the body. The captain was prepared for every species of assault, and before the serjeant, who was at the head of his detachment, could execute his commission, the besieged shot him dead; and threatening the grenadiers with the same fate if they persisted, he had the satisfaction to see them take to flight. Their terror was so complete, that they refused to renew the engagement, though led on by several of our officers; and the officers themselves recoiled at the entrance of the passage, and alleged as their excuse, that as they could advance but one at a time into the room, the English captain (whom they called the Devil) would kill them all, one after the other.
"The commodore, ashamed of this pusillanimity, was forced again to have recourse to persuasion. A deputation was sent to the closed door; and the captain, ceasing to fire, condescended to hear their message. He returned a short answer-' I shall now submit to my destiny; but as brave men should surrender only to the brave, bring your commander to me, for he alone amongst you has steadily stood his ground; and to him only will I resign my sword.'
"The commodore was as surprised as delighted with the unex
pecied success of this embassy. Everything being arranged, the door of the cabin was opened, and its dauntless defender appeared to us, in the person of a little, hump-backed, pale-faced man, altogether as deformed in body as he was perfect in mind. The Chevalier Langeron complimented him on his bravery, and added, that his present captivity was but the fortune of war, and that he should have no reason to regret being a prisoner.'
"I feel no regret,' replied the little captain; my charge was the fleet of merchant-men, and my duty called me to defend them, though at the expense of my vessel. I prolonged the engagement until I saw from my cabin-window that they were all safe within the mouth of the Thames; and to have held out longer would have been obstinacy, not courage. In what light my services may be represented to my countrymen, I know not, neither do I care. I might, perhaps, have had more honour of them, by saving her Majesty's ship by flight; but this consolation remains, that though I have lost it and my own liberty together, I have served England faithfully; and while I enrich the public, and rescue her wealth from the gripe of her enemies, I cannot consider myself unhappy. Your kind treatment of me may meet a return: my countrymen will pay my debt of gratitude; for the Power which now yields me to your hands may one day put you in theirs.' "The noble boldness with which he expressed himself charmed the commodore: he returned his sword to him with these words: Take, sir, a weapon which no man better deserves to wear! Forget that you are my prisoner, but ever remember that we are
EVEN in busy Term-time, unless something extraordinary is going on, Westminster Hall has a quiet, staid, unbustling kind of look, not out of keeping with its judicial associations and architectural character. A few idlers may be seen pacing up and down its spacious area; the doors leading into the different courts swing backwards and forwards as people pass out and in; barristers wigged and gowned cross the vision of the muser, as he gazes around, or lifts his eye to the noble roof of interlaced chestnut which spans the hall: but there is scarcely any noise, and no confusion. The stranger may be more startled by the echo of his own footsteps than by any other sound which reaches his ear; and as he admires the symmetry of an apartment 270 feet in length and 74 in breadth, while the roof is 90 feet from the pavement, he will be quite disposed to admit that the "local habitation" of ENGLISH LAW is worthy of the English name.
Westminster Hall was built originally by William Rufus ; but was completely re-edified by Richard II., and having been completed in 1398, the present building may be considered as nearly four centuries and a half old. If we could give eyes and ears to those old chestnut ribs which hang over us, what a long and varied story could they tell! Feastings of monarchs and nobles on coronation evenings; solemn trials for high treason, when the court was composed of the greatest of the land, and the prisoners wore illustrious names and titles; outpourings of eloquence, when impeached state criminals heard their deeds blazoned by fervid minds and tongues, and shrank from their own pictures; and also, alas! law sometimes attempting to trample on equity, and power setting its heel on justice. But these scenes were the holidays of Westminster Hall; its ordinary aspect was of a humbler and a more vulgar kind. Though now each court has its own retreat, and the Hall, divested of all ornament, is used as a promenade in ordinary, there was once a time, not very remote, when all that spacious area was encumbered with wooden divisions, or boxes; when each court sat here, openly to view; and when even traffic was permitted to enter, and booksellers, sempstresses, and glovers gave the place the aspect of a bazaar-the trade of law and the law of trade playing into each other's hands! Modern improvement has swept Westminster Hall; built shrines for each court; and driven traffic abroad :—the administration of law has now a decent-nay, a solemn and impressive exterior.
But let us pass from the open Hall into some one of the courts: * Law and Lawyers; or, Sketches and Illustrations of Legal History and Biography. In two Volumes.-London: Longman and Co. 840.
the doors leading into each are all arranged on one side; the wall on our right hand being pierced, to give admission to a building of very modern date, thrown up on the outside of the Hall, and attached to it. The King's (Queen's) Bench, the Common Pleas, the Exchequer, and the Chancery courts, are before us; we have only to choose which to enter. But how miserably small all of them are the lofty notions engendered by the lofty Hall shrink almost into nothing, as we all huddle together; we get too near the barristers' wigs, and can safely speculate on the stuff they are paltry-looking as they are; dignity was sacrificed to business. In made of! There was doubtless a reason for making the courts so order to get gradually used to the transition, we may go back again into the Hall, and ask how these different courts came to exist, and how it is, that as justice is "one and indivisible," so many different forms should have been contrived, in order to administer it to a justice-loving people.
than a certain observed uniformity of distance between all the The space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter being greater other planets, it was thrown out, as a suggestion, that there was possibly an undiscovered planet in the interval, just as it was supposed that a fifth continent remained to be discovered on our globe. A fifth solid continent was not discovered, but many islands, large and small, have been-forming a fifth quarter of the world. So, another large planet, fit to take rank between Mars and Jupiter, has not been discovered, but four small ones have been, all revolving in that portion of our solar system which analogy pointed to. But astronomers, somewhat annoyed by these petty globes, have hinted that they may be fragments of a larger world, which once revolved where they do now, and which was blown to pieces by some tremendous explosion. That which is guess in astronomy, may be said to be certainty in the history of our law. The four courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, have all sprung out of one-only they have gradually grown up, assumed separate jurisdictions, and proceeded by different forms, until at last modern legislation has nearly reunited them, by giving the three courts of common law nearly a uniformity of process. Greater matters than even our courts of law have sprung from one root. The Witenagemote, or meeting of the wise, which advised with our Anglo-Saxon kings on all that related to affairs of state and affairs of justice, became, it is said, under our first Anglo-Norman kings, the Great Council, where nobles alone shared with the king in the business of the rude legislation of the time. But as administering justice between man and man was too common and too heavy a business to be overtaken at the casual meetings of the council, or in the spare time of the king, the judicial business was delegated to certain officers of the royal household, who attended to it in the hall of the royal palace. Proceedings being written down as a memorial and a guide, and parties present being called upon to bear record or witness of the particular facts, the Aula Regis, where justice was administered in the name and on the behalf of the king, became a court of record. The business of the Aula Regis was of a threefold kind. The judges had to attend to the king's pleas, wherein, as head or master, he prosecuted on behalf of the state or the public; to common pleas, between subject and subject; and pleas of the exchequer, relating to the royal revenue. From this division of its business, the Aula Regis was dissolved into the three courts of common law; and when advancing civilisation, as well as war and turmoil, made it to be felt as an enormous grievance that the administration of justice should follow the movements of the king, the convenience of a fixed seat of justice led to the celebrated enactment of Magna Charta, that common pleas should no longer follow the king, but be held in some certain place. Gradually, therefore, the courts became stationary at Westminster Hall; and to supply the lack of justice in different parts of the kingdom, after royal progresses ceased, the practice was established of sending the judges on justice-dispensing tours, first at irregular and more distant intervals of time, and at last regularly in circuits.
The history of Westminster Hall may be termed the history of