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usually large, sometimes lofty, irregular in form, and, near the surface of the ground, sends forth an abundance of stout and variously-ramified roots. The cottage that enjoys the shade of one of these fair trees, is built, as before hinted, of dark-coloured bricks, which are neatly parted with white seams. A portion of the front wall recedes about a foot, to give variety, I suppose, to its appearance. The receding portion is partly occupied by the door, which at once answers the purpose of a window, as well as an aperture for the entrance and exit of its owners. The door-way is often furnished with a half-door, for the convenience of admitting the light. This half-door is surmounted ofttimes by a row of small balusters, so that the fair damsels can often get a peep at the strangers, without being visible. The roof is covered with rounded tiles, but without the appendage of a chimney. The absence of this tube is a distinguishing feature in a Chinese dwelling, and stands closely connected with another defect-the want of windows, to let in the light without admitting the cold. This defect is severely felt in cold weather, when the shivering inmates look like the very emblems of winter-time. The house is poorly furnished, if we except the ornamental niche and the wellordered table that stands before it. It is often neat, but not always clean; for Chinese ingenuity has contrived to separate these twin-fellows, and so to make a very frugal use of water. He stares at the European, who laves himself freely in the cleansing element, but seldom profits much by the example. A smart and sleek appearance is very common, but a skin that has undergone thorough purgation is seldom seen. The dirty complexion of the poor is the exciting cause of many ugly diseases, which has suggested to many travellers the idea of the miserable condition of this department of human society. But cleanliness would be a remedy for this apparent distress in nine instances out of ten. I have seen wretched creatures who were in want. A family of this description fled from us in the wildest consternation, amid the loud screams of the children, as we were once passing a group of houses. Their wretched state increased their fears. We told them not to fear any harm, and distributed some copper money amongst the children, to assuage their fears, and to relieve their distress at the same time. This trifling instance of kindness gave great satisfaction to the bystanders, who in China never fail to note and commend the feeling of a good action, however inconsiderable the result may be.
In China, one misses the spacious accommodation of a public road, and have nothing but narrow terraces to supply its place. The great man, who comes with a numerous train, is carried in a sedan, and is preceded by a long file of precursors, with a retinue that stretch far behind him. In the marching of an army, the want of roads must be felt; though in an island of which we shall speak in a subsequent paper, the terraces are wide enough to allow two persons to walk abreast. But this was not the case within the range of our rambles in the neighbourhood of Canton. As a contrast to the level places which are laid out for cultivation, we have the high hills in the back of the city, which are called the White-Cloud Mountains, from the sheets of vapour that at times hover over their summits. But we look in vain for any monument of art, if we except a small triumphal arch of granite, and the gardens of a gentleman, who has selected a spot here for the enjoyment of rural ease. We visited them once or twice, but they were not very remarkable for their productions. The gardener endeavours to secure a certain effect by the combination of various elements, but seldom aims at anything in a botanical spirit. One specimen, however, ought not to serve as a model for all the gardens in the country; for we have yet much to learn, when licence on the part of the natives, and humanity and science on ours, shall have introduced us to more distant fields of investigation.
While we kept beyond the reach of official persons, our walks were unrestrained, save by the mocks and threats of rude people, who might always be subdued by firmness and temper; but if we came near a station-house, the case was not so. As we were proceeding near one part of the city walls, which is high, and well
distinguished from the houses in the vicinity by the interposition of a broad valley, we were intercepted by a number of officers, who by the motion of their hands told us to go back. This we promised to do, but desired leave to take our own time about it. The men, seeing that we were reasonable people, invited us into their guard-house, which was exceedingly well provided with all sorts of weapons. After we had taken our seats, and had exchanged a few civil expressions, one of them explained the reason of his interference in the following terms :-"If," said he, "any harm is done by you, we shall have to suffer for it; and if any harm is done to you, we shall in like manner be called to account for it; we are obliged, therefore, to request that you will advance no farther in this direction." When we left, they sent a man with us, under show of protecting us from the intrusions of the mob, but really to see that we were fairly out of their jurisdiction. This is a specimen of every kind of opposition that is made to the foreigner in China. The common people are soon subdued, and the mandarin is overcome by one word of courtesy ; but every favour shown to a stranger endangers his own security. What sort of government must that be which teaches, nay compels, its subjects to violate the best feelings of our nature, and to wrong one whom they would fain treat with the most unbounded kindness? Confucius enjoined kindness to strangers, and the present authorities are so well aware of this, that they often profess their tenderness on this subject. This treatment was long anterior to the opium-traffic, and, therefore, can borrow no excuse from thence.
On our return from one of our walks, we fell in with what seemed to be a school for young ladies. They clustered around the door to gaze at the strangers, and regarded them with looks that did not correspond with the scoffs which sundry vagabonds were hurling at us at the time. I inferred that they were learners, from the freshness of their looks; for girls occupied in embroidery lose this from constant confinement, close attention, and a fixedness in one position. Young maidens in China employ themselves in needle-work, when their parents are poor; but when their circumstances are easy, they are allowed to enjoy much leisure for the sake of improving their beauty. The attire of the young damsels who honoured us with their kind notice was very neat and becoming; their hair was well adjusted, and trimmed with flowers, which accorded well with the youthfulness of the wearer. was once threading my way through one of the less-frequented streets, an old lady caught sight of me, and shuffled back to her house, to let the inmates know that a "fan-kwei" was coming past. Just as she raised the screen that hung before the door, to whisper the news, I came level with her, and repeating what I guessed she was telling, invited her young friends to make haste, and behold the "fan-kwei." The old lady was fixed in astonish. ment, but her daughters and nieces burst into a peal of most exhilarating laughter.
FLAXMAN AND HIS WIFE.
IN 1782, Flaxman hired a small studio in Wardour-street, collected a stock of choice models, set his sketches in good order, and took unto himself a wife-Ann Denman ; one whom he had loved, and who well deserved his affection. She was amiable and accomplished, had a taste for art and literature, was skilful in French and Italian, and, like her husband, had acquired some knowledge of the Greek; but what was better than all, she was an enthusiastic admirer of his genius-she cheered and encouraged him in his domestic economy, arranged his drawings, managed now and then moments of despondency, regulated modestly and prudently his his correspondence, and acted in all particulars so that it seemed as if the church, in performing a marriage, had accomplished a miracle, and blended them really into one flesh and blood. He had never doubted that in the company of her whom he loved he should be able to work with an intenser spirit; but of another president one day as he chanced to meet him, "I am told you are opinion was Sir Joshua Reynolds. "So, Flaxman," said the married; if so, sir, I tell you, you are ruined for an artist!
Flaxman went home, sat down beside his wife, took her hand, and said with a smile, "I am ruined for an artist."
For thirty years Flaxman had lived wedded; his health was generally good, his spirits were equal, and his wife, to whom his fame was happiness, had always been at his side. Her husband paid her the double respect due to affection and talent, and when any difficulty in composition occurred, he would say with a smile, "Ask Mrs. Flaxman-she is my dictionary." She maintained the simplicity and dignity of her husband, and refused all presents of paintings, or drawings, or books, unless some reciprocal interchange were made. It is almost needless to say, that Flaxman loved such a woman very tenderly. The hour of their separation approached; she fell ill, and died in the year 1820, and from the time of this bereavement something like a lethargy came over his spirit. His sister, a lady of taste and talent much like his own, and his wife's sister, were of his household; but she who had shared in all his joys and sorrows was gone, and nothing could comfort him. The Family Library: Lives of British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.
THE GRAND PRIOR OF MINORCĂ.
A VERITABLE GHOST STORY.
BY WASHINGTON IRVING.
"Keep my wits, Heavens! They say spirits appear To melancholy minds, and the graves open!" ABOUT the middle of the last century, while the knights of St. John of Jerusalem still maintained something of their ancient state and sway in the island of Malta, a tragical event took place there, which is the ground-work of the following narrative.
It may be as well to premise, that, at the time we are treating of, the order of St. John of Jerusalem, grown excessively wealthy, had degenerated from its originally devout and warlike character. Instead of being a hardy body of "monk-knights," sworn soldiers of the cross, fighting the Paynim in the Holy Land, or scouring the Mediterranean, and scourging the Barbary coasts with their galleys, or feeding the poor, and attending upon the sick at their hospitals, they led a life of luxury and libertinism, and were to be found in the most voluptuous courts of Europe. The order, in fact, had become a mode of providing for the needy branches of the Catholic aristocracy of Europe. "A commandery," we are told, was a splendid provision for a younger brother; and men of rank, however dissolute, provided they belonged to the highest aristocracy, became Knights of Malta, just as they did bishops, or colonels of regiments, or court chamberlains. After a brief residence at Malta, the knights passed the rest of their time in their own countries, or only made a visit now and then to the island. While there, having but little military duty to perform, they beguiled their idleness by paying attentions to the ladies.
About this time a French vessel arrived at Malta, bringing out a distinguished personage of the order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Commander de Foulquerre, who came to solicit the post of commander-in-chief of the galleys. He was descended from an old and warrior line of French nobility, his ancestors having long been seneschals of Poitou, and claiming descent from the first Counts of Angoulême.
The arrival of the commander caused a little uneasiness among the peaceably inclined; for he bore the character, in the island, of being fiery, arrogant, and quarrelsome. He had already been three times at Malta, and on each visit had signalised himself by some rash and deadly affray. As he was now thirty-five years of age, however, it was hoped that time might have taken off the fiery edge of his spirit, and that he might prove more quiet and sedate than formerly. The commander set up an establishment befitting his rank and pretensions; for he arrogated to himself an importance greater even than that of the grand master. His house immediately became the rallying-place of all the young French chevaliers. The chevaliers of other nations soon found the topics and tone of conversation at the commander's irksome and offensive, and gradually ceased to visit there. The commander remained the head of a national clique, who looked up to him as
their model. If he was not as boisterous and quarrelsome as formerly, he had become haughty and overbearing. He was fond of talking over his past affairs of punctilio and bloody duel. When walking the streets, he was generally attended by a ruffian train of young French cavaliers, who caught his own air of assumption and bravado. These he would conduct to the scenes of his deadly encounters, point out the very spot where each fatal lunge had been given, and dwell vain-gloriously on every particular. Among the Spanish cavaliers was one named Don Luis de Lima Vasconcellos. He was distantly related to the grand master, and had been enrolled at an early age among his pages, but had been rapidly promoted by him, until, at the age of twenty-six, he had been given the richest Spanish commandery in the order. He had, moreover, been fortunate with the fair, with one of whom-the most beautiful honorata of Malta-he had long maintained the most tender correspondence.
The character, rank, and connexions of Don Luis put him on a par with the imperious Commander de Foulquerre, and pointed him out as a leader and champion to his countrymen. The Spanish chevaliers repaired to him, therefore, in a body; represented all the grievances they had sustained, and the evils they apprehended, and urged him to use his influence with the commander and his adherents to put a stop to the growing abuses.
Don Luis was gratified by this mark of confidence and esteem on the part of his countrymen, and promised to have an interview with the Commander de Foulquerre on the subject. He resolved to conduct himself with the utmost caution and delicacy on the occasion; to represent to the commander the evil consequences which might result from the inconsiderate conduct of the young French chevaliers, and to entreat him to exert the great influence he so deservedly possessed over them, to restrain their excesses. Don Luis was aware, however, of the peril that attended any interview of the kind with this imperious and fractious man, and apprehended, however it might commence, that it would terminate in a duel. Still it was an affair of honour, in which Castilian dignity was concerned; beside, he had a lurking disgust at the overbearing manners of De Foulquerre, and perhaps had been somewhat offended by certain intrusive attentions which he had presumed to pay to the beautiful honorata.
It was now Holy Week-a time too sacred for worldly feuds and passions, especially in a community under the dominion of a religious order: it was agreed, therefore, that the dangerous interview in question should not take place until after the Easter holidays. It is probable, from subsequent circumstances, that the Commander de Foulquerre had some information of this arrangement among the Spanish chevaliers, and was determined to be beforehand, and to mortify the pride of their champion, who was thus preparing to read him a lecture. He chose Good Friday for his purpose. On this sacred day it is customary, in Catholic countries, to make a tour of all the churches, offering up prayers in each. In every Catholic church, as is well known, there is a vessel of holy water near the door. In this every one, on entering, dips his fingers, and makes therewith the sign of the cross on his forehead and breast. An office of gallantry, among the young Spaniards, is to stand near the door, dip their hands in the holy vessel, and extend them courteously and respectfully to any lady of their acquaintance who may enter, who thus receives the sacred water at second-hand, on the tips of her fingers, and proceeds to cross herself, with all due decorum. The Spaniards, who are the most jealous of lovers, are impatient when this piece of devotional gallantry is proffered to the object of their affections by any other hand: on Good Friday, therefore, when a lady makes a tour of the churches, it is the usage among them for the inamorato to follow her from church to church, so as to present her the holy water at the door of each; thus testifying his own devotion, and at the same time preventing the officious services of a rival.
On the day in question, Don Luis followed the beautiful honorata, to whom, as has already been observed, he had long been devoted. At the very first church she visited, the Commander de Foulquerre was stationed at the portal, with several of the young French chevaliers about him. Before Don Luis could offer her the holy water, he was anticipated by the commander, who thrust himself between them, and while he performed the gallant office to the lady, rudely turned his back upon her admirer, and trod upon his feet. The insult was enjoyed by the young Frenchmen who were present; it was too deep and grave to be forgiven by Spanish pride, and at once put an end to all Don Luis's plans of caution and forbearance. He repressed his passion for the moment, however, and waited until all the parties left the church; then accosting the commander with an air of coolness and unconcern, he
inquired after his health, and asked to what church he proposed making his second visit. "To the magisterial church of Saint John." Don Luis offered to conduct him thither by the shortest route; his offer was accepted, apparently without suspicion, and they proceeded together. After walking some distance, they entered a long, narrow lane, without door or window opening upon it, called the Strada Stretta," or narrow street. It was a street in which duels were tacitly permitted, or connived at, in Malta, and were suffered to pass as accidental encounters. Everywhere else they were prohibited. This restriction had been instituted to diminish the number of duels, formerly so frequent in Malta. As a farther precaution to render these encounters less fatal, it was an offence, punishable with death, for any one to enter this street armed with either poniard or pistol. It was a lonely, dismal street, just wide enough for two men to stand upon their guard, and cross their swords; few persons ever traversed it, unless with some sinister design; and on any preconcerted duello, the seconds posted themselves at each end, to stop all passengers, and prevent interruption.
In the present instance, the parties had scarce entered the street, when Don Luis drew his sword, and called upon the commander to defend himself.
De Foulquerre was evidently taken by surprise; he drew back, and attempted to expostulate; but Don Luis persisted in defying him to the combat.
After a second or two, he likewise drew his sword, but immediately lowered the point.
"Good Friday!" ejaculated he, shaking his head; "one word with you it is full six years since I have been in a confessional. I am shocked at the state of my conscience; but within three days-that is to say, on Monday next——
Don Luis would listen to nothing. Though naturally of a peaceable disposition, he had been stung to fury; and people of that character, when once incensed, are deaf to reason. He compelled the commander to put himself on his guard. The latter, though a man accustomed to brawl and battle, was singularly dismayed; terror was visible in all his features. He placed himself with his back to the wall, and the weapons were crossed. The contest was brief and fatal; at the very first thrust, the sword of Don Luis passed through the body of his antagonist. The commander staggered to the wall, and leaned against it.
"On Good Friday!" ejaculated he again, with a failing voice and despairing accents. "Heaven pardon you!" added he; "take my sword to Têtefoulques, and have a hundred masses performed in the chapel of the castle, for the repose of my soul!". With these words he expired.
The fury of Don Luis was at an end. He stood aghast, gazing at the bleeding body of the commander. He called to mind the prayer of the deceased for three days' respite, to make his peace with Heaven; he had refused it—had sent him to the grave, with all his sins upon his head! His conscience smote him to the core; he gathered up the sword of the commander, which he had been enjoined to take to Têtefoulques, and hurried from the fatal Strada Stretta.
The duel of course made a great noise in Malta, but had no injurious effect on the worldly fortunes of Don Luis. He made a full declaration of the whole matter before the proper authorities; the chapter of the order considered it one of those casual encounters of the Strada Stretta, which were mourned over, but tolerated; the public, by whom the late commander had been generally detested, declared that he had deserved his fate. It was but three days after the event that Don Luis was advanced to one of the highest dignities of the order, being invested by the grand master with the priorship of the kingdom of Minorca.
From that time forward, however, the whole character and conduct of Don Luis underwent a change. He became a prey to a dark melancholy, which nothing could assuage. The most austere piety, the severest penances, had no effect in allaying the horror which preyed upon his mind. He was absent for a long time from Malta-having gone, it was said, on remote pilgrimages; when he returned, he was more haggard than ever. There seemed something mysterious and inexplicable in the disorder of his mind. The following is the revelation made by himself of the terrible visions or chimeras by which he was haunted :
"When I had made my declaration before the chapter," said he, "and my provocations were publicly known, I had made my peace with man; but it was not so with God, nor with my confessor, nor with my own conscience. My act was doubly criminal, from the day on which it was committed, and from my refusal to a delay of three days, for the victim of my resentment to receive the
sacraments. His despairing ejaculation, Good Friday! Good Friday!' continually rang in my ears. Why did I not grant the respite?' cried I to myself; was it not enough to kill the body, but must I seek to kill the soul!' "On the night of the following Friday, I started suddenly from my sleep. An unaccountable horror was upon me. I looked wildly around; it seemed as if I were not in my apartment, nor in my bed, but in the fatal Strada Stretta, lying on the pavement. I again saw the commander leaning against the wall; I again heard his dying words: "Take my sword to Têtefoulques, and have a hundred masses performed in the chapel of the castle, for the repose of my soul!'
"On the following night I caused one of my servants to sleep in the same room with me. I saw and heard nothing, either on that night or any of the nights following, until the next Friday ; when I had again the same vision, with this difference, that my valet seemed to be lying at some distance from me on the pavement of the Strada Stretta. The vision continued to be repeated on every Friday night, the commander always appearing in the same manner, and uttering the same words-Take my sword to Têtefoulques, and have a hundred masses performed in the chapel of the castle, for the repose of my soul !'
"On questioning my servant on the subject, he stated that on these occasions he dreamed that he was lying in a very narrow street, but he neither saw nor heard anything of the commander.
"I knew nothing of this Têtefoulques, whither the defunct was so urgent I should carry his sword. I made inquiries, therefore, concerning it among the French chevaliers. They informed me that it was an old castle, situated about four leagues from Poitiers, in the midst of a forest. It had been built in old times, several centuries since, by Foulques Taillefer (or Fulke Hackiron), a redoubtable hard-fighting count of Angoulême, who gave it to an illegitimate son, afterward created grand seneschal of Poitou, which son became the progenitor of the Foulquerres of Têtefoulques, hereditary seneschals of Poitou. They further informed me that strange stories were told of this old castle, in the surrounding country, and that it contained many curious reliques; among these were the arms of Foulques Taillefer, together with all those of the warriors he had slain; and that it was an immemorial usage with the Foulquerres to have the weapons deposited there which they had wielded either in war or in single combat.
"This, then, was the reason of the dying injunction of the commander respecting his sword. I carried this weapon with me wherever I went, but still I neglected to comply with his request.
The visions still continued to harass me with undiminished horror. I repaired to Rome, where I confessed myself to the grand cardinal penitentiary, and informed him of the terrors with which I was haunted. He promised me absolution, after I should have performed certain acts of penance; the principal of which was, to execute the dying request of the commander, by carrying his sword to Têtefoulques, and having the hundred masses performed in the chapel of the castle for the repose of his soul.
"I set out for France as speedily as possible, and made no delay in my journey. On arriving at Poitiers, I found that the tidings of the death of the commander had reached there, but had caused no more affliction than among the people of Malta. Leaving my equipage in the town, I put on the garb of a pilgrim, and taking a guide, set out on foot to Têtefoulques: indeed, the roads in this part of the country were impracticable for carriages.
"I found the castle of Têtefoulques a grand but gloomy and dilapidated pile. All the gates were closed, and there reigned over the whole place an air of almost savage loneliness and desertion. I had understood that its only inhabitants were the concierge, or warder, and a kind of hermit who had charge of the chapel. After ringing for some time at the gate, I at length succeeded in bringing forth the warder, who bowed with reverence to my pilgrim's garb. I begged him to conduct me to the chapel, that being the end of my pilgrimage. We found the hermit there, chanting the funeral service; a dismal sound to one who came to perform a penance for the death of a member of the family. When he had ceased to chant, I informed him that I came to accomplish an obligation of conscience, and that I wished him to perform a hundred masses for the repose of the soul of the commander. He replied that, not being in orders, he was not authorised to perform mass, but that he would willingly undertake to see that my debt of conscience was discharged. I laid my offering on the altar, and would have placed the sword of the commander there likewise. 'Hold!' said the hermit, with a melancholy shake of the head, this is no place for so deadly a weapon, that
has so often been bathed in Christian blood. Take it to the armoury; you will find there trophies enough of like character; it is a place into which I never enter.'
"The warder here took up the theme abandoned by the peaceful man of God. He assured me that I would see in the armoury the swords of all the warrior race of Foulquerres, together with those of the enemies over whom they had triumphed. This, he observed, had been a usage kept up since the time of Mellusine, and of her husband, Geoffrey à la grande-dent, or Geoffrey with the great tooth.
"The warder retired, and I commenced my devotions. tinued at them earnestly, pausing from time to time to put wood upon the fire. I did not dare to look much around me, for I felt myself becoming a prey to fearful fancies. The pictures appeared to become animated; if I regarded one attentively for any length of time, it seemed to move the eyes and lips. Above all, the portraits of the grand seneschal and his lady, which hung on each side of the great chimney, the progenitors of the Foulquerres of Têtefoulques, regarded me, I thought, with angry and baleful eyes-I even fancied they exchanged significant glances with each other. Just then a terrible blast of wind shook all the casements, and, rushing through the hall, made a fearful rattling and clashing among the armour. To my startled fancy, it seemed something supernatural.
"I followed the gossiping warder to the armoury. It was a great dusty hall, hung round with Gothic-looking portraits of a stark line of warriors, each with his weapon and the weapons of those he had slain in battle hung beside his picture. The most conspicuous portrait was that of Foulques Taillefer (Fulke Hack- "At length I heard the bell of the hermit, and hastened to quit iron), count of Angoulême, and founder of the castle. He was the hall. Taking a solitary light which stood on the supper-table, represented at full length, armed cap-à-pie, and grasping a huge I descended the winding staircase; but, before I had reached the buckler, on which were emblazoned three lions passant. The vaulted passage leading to the statue of the blessed Jeanne of figure was so striking, that it seemed to start from the canvas: France, a blast of wind extinguished my taper. I hastily reand I observed beneath this picture a trophy composed of many mounted the stairs, to light it again at the chimney; but judge of weapons, proofs of the numerous triumphs of this hard-fighting old my feelings, when, on arriving at the entrance of the armoury, I cavalier. Beside the weapons connected with the portraits, there beheld the seneschal and his lady, who had descended from their were swords of all shapes, sizes, and centuries, hung round the frames, and seated themselves on each side of the fireplace! hall; with piles of armour placed as it were in effigy.
"On each side of an immense chimney were suspended the portraits of the first seneschal of Poitou (the illegitimate son of Foulques Taillefer), and his wife, Isabella de Lusignan-the progenitors of the grim race of Foulquerres that frowned around. They had the look of being perfect likenesses; and as I gazed on them, I fancied I could trace in their antiquated features some family resemblance to their unfortunate descendant whom I had slain! This was a dismal neighbourhood; yet the armoury was the only part of the castle that had a habitable air; so I asked the warder whether he could not make a fire, and give me something for supper there, and prepare me a bed in one corner.
"A fire and a supper you shall have, and that cheerfully, most worthy pilgrim,' said he; but as to a bed, I advise you to come and sleep in my chamber.'
"Why so?' inquired I; 'why shall I not sleep in this hall?' "I have my reasons. I will make a bed for you close to mine." "I made no objections; for I recollected that it was Friday, and I dreaded the return of my vision. He brought in billets of wood, kindled a fire in the great overhanging chimney, and then went forth to prepare my supper. I drew a heavy chair before the fire, and seating myself in it, gazed musingly round upon the portraits of the Foulquerres, and the antiquated armour and weapons, the mementos of many a bloody deed. As the day declined, the smoky draperies of the hall gradually became confounded with the dark ground of the paintings, and the lurid gleams from the chimney only enabled me to see visages staring at me from the gathering darkness. All this was dismal in the extreme, and somewhat appalling; perhaps it was the state of my conscience that rendered me peculiarly sensitive, and prone to fearful imaginings.
"At length the warder brought in my supper; it consisted of a dish of trout and some craw-fish, taken in the fosse of the castle. He procured also a bottle of wine, which he informed me was wine of Poitou. I requested him to invite the hermit to join me in my repast; but the holy man sent back word, that he allowed himself nothing but roots and herbs cooked with water. I took my meal, therefore, alone, but prolonged it as much as possible, and sought to cheer my drooping spirits by the wine of Poitou, which I found very tolerable.
"When supper was over, I prepared for my evening devotions. I have always been very punctual in reciting my breviary; it is the prescribed and bounden duty of all chevaliers of the religious orders, and, I can answer for it, is faithfully performed by those of Spain. I accordingly drew forth from my pocket a small missal and a rosary, and told the warden he need only designate to me the way to his chamber, where I could come and rejoin him, when I had finished my prayers.
"He accordingly pointed out a winding staircase, opening from the hall. 'You will descend this staircase,' said he, until you come to the fourth landing-place, where you enter a vaulted passage, terminated by an arcade, with a statue of the blessed Jeanne of France. You cannot help finding my room, the door of which I will leave open; it is the sixth door from the landing-place. I advise you not to remain in this hall after midnight. Before that hour, you will hear the hermit ring the bell in going the rounds of the corridors; do not linger here after that signal.'
Madam, my love,' said the seneschal, with great formality, and in antiquated phrase, 'what think you of the presumption of this Castilian, who comes to harbour himself and make wassail in this our castle, after having slain our descendant the commander, and that without granting him time for confession?' Truly, my lord,' answered the female spectre, with no less stateliness of manner, and with great asperity of tone-' truly, my lord, I opine that this Castilian did a grievous wrong in this encounter; and he should never be suffered to depart hence without your throwing him the gauntlet.' I paused to hear no more, but rushed again down stairs, to seek the chamber of the warder. It was impossible to find it in the darkness and in the perturbation of my mind. After an hour and a half of fruitless search, and mortal horror and anxieties, I endeavoured to persuade myself that the day was about to break, and listened impatiently for the crowing of the cock; for I thought, if I could hear his cheerful note, I should be reassured; catching, in the disordered state of my nerves, at the popular notion that ghosts never appear after the first crowing of the cock.
"At length I rallied myself, and endeavoured to shake off the vague terrors which haunted me. I tried to persuade myself that the two figures which I had seemed to see and hear, had existed only in my troubled imagination. I still had the end of a candle in my hand, and determined to make another effort to relight it, and find my way to bed; for I was ready to sink with fatigue. I accordingly sprang up the staircase, three steps at a time, stopped at the door of the armoury, and peeped cautiously in. The two Gothic figures were no longer in the chimney corners, but I. neglected to notice whether they had reascended to their frames. I entered, and made desperately for the fireplace; but scarce had I advanced three strides, when Messire Foulques Taillefer stood before me, in the centre of the hall, armed cap-à-pie, and standing in guard, with the point of his sword silently presented to me. I would have retreated to the staircase, but the door of it was occupied by the phantom figure of an esquire, who rudely flung a gauntlet in my face. Driven to fury, snatched down a sword from the wall; by chance it was that of the commander, which I had placed there. I rushed upon my fantastic adversary, and seemed to pierce him through and through; but at the same time I felt as if something pierced my heart, burning like a red-hot iron. My blood inundated the hall, and I fell senseless.
"When I recovered consciousness, it was broad day, and I found myself in a small chamber, attended by the warder and the hermit. The former told me that, on the previous night, he had awakened long after the midnight-hour, and perceiving that I had not come to his chamber, he had furnished himself with a vase of holy water, and set out to seek me. He found me stretched senseless on the pavement of the armoury, and bore me to his room. I spoke of my wound, and of the quantity of blood that I had lost. He shook his head, and knew nothing about it; and to my surprise, I found myself perfectly sound and unharmed. The wound and blood, therefore, had been all delusion. Neither the warder nor the hermit put any questions to me, but advised me to leave the castle as soon as possible. I lost no time in complying with their counsel, and felt my heart relieved from an oppressive weight as I left the gloomy and fate-bound battlements of Têtefoulques behind me.
"I arrived at Bayonne, on my way to Spain, on the following Friday. At midnight I was startled from my sleep, as I had formerly been; but it was no longer by the vision of the dying commander-it was old Foulques Taillefer who stood before me, armed cap-à-pie, and presenting the point of his sword. I made the sign of the cross, and the spectre vanished; but I received the same red-hot thrust in the heart which I had felt in the armoury, and I seemed to be bathed in blood. I would have called out, or would have arisen from my bed and gone in quest of succour, but I could neither speak nor stir. This agony endured until the crowing of the cock, when I fell asleep again; but the next day I was ill, and in a most pitiable state. I have continued to be harassed by the same vision every Friday night; no acts of penitence and devotion have been able to relieve me from it; and it is only a lingering hope in divine mercy that sustains me, and enables me to support so lamentable a visitation."
The grand prior of Minorca wasted gradually away under this constant remorse of conscience and this horrible incubus. He died some time after having revealed the preceding particulars of his case, evidently the victim of a diseased imagination.
THE TWELVE "GREAT" LIVERY COMPANIES OF
THE municipal government of the city of London is by virtue of the several charters granted by the crown, invested in the mayor, aldermen, and common council, who are elected by and from the various associations of trades, known as the city companies, in one of which it formerly was necessary to be enrolled to be free of the city. At one period none but "freemen" were permitted to carry on trade within the city limits. Traders have still to buy the freedom of the city (costing about fourteen pounds), though they need not now belong to a company. The Lord Mayor is chosen annually in the following manner:-On the 29th of September, the Livery" (select members of the various companies to whom the administration of their affairs is committed), in Guildhall or common assembly, choose two aldermen, who are presented to the court of lord mayor and aldermen, by whom one of the aldermen so chosen, and generally the senior, is declared lord mayor elect; and on the 9th of November he enters on his office. The aldermen are chosen for life by the free householders of the several wards, one for each ward; except Bridgeward Without, when the election is by the court of aldermen from among those who have passed the chair, commonly the senior; he is styled father of the city. The common council are chosen annually by the free householders in their several wards, the number for each ward being regulated by ancient custom; the body corporate having the power to extend the number.
Twelve of the "companies, termed "livery" companies, from the custom now abandoned of wearing a distinctive dress or livery," claim a precedence over the others, and as far as regards the management of the Irish estate belonging to the city, which we shall mention hereafter, possess a superior power. It has also been usual for the lord mayor to be chosen from one of these "great" companies. These chosen "twelve" are the mercers, grocers, drapers, fishmongers, goldsmith's, skinners, merchanttailors, haberdashers, salters, ironmongers, vintners, and clothworkers. The total number of companies and fellowships is at present, we believe 89; but of these the surgeons, parish-clerks, porters, and watermen, have not the privilege of making their members free of the city.
It may not be uninteresting to our readers, especially to our London readers, to receive a few particulars respecting the origin and constitution of these great commercial bodies in whom resides so much of the extensive power and influence, exercised by this wonderful city, which may perhaps be termed as justly as "old Rome," "The world's great mistress." In doing so, we must confess our obligations to a most curious and interesting book, written by Mr. Herbert, the librarian to the Corporation of London, evidently the result of much laborious and well-directed research, and illustrated by many particulars which could not have been obtained by any who did not enjoy the advantages peculiar to the author's
Long before the Norman conquest, London had become a city of very considerable commercial importance; and under the Saxon government had acquired peculiar privileges, since we find the
* The History of the twelve great Livery Companies of London, by William Herbert, Librarian to the Corporation of London. Published by the author, and to be had of him at the library, Guildhall, and by all the principal booksellers. 2 vols. 8vo., 1834 and 1837.
Conqueror, in the first year of his reign, granting a charter confirming all the rights, privileges, and customs, that had been possessed in the reign of Edward the Confessor. The chief magistrate was then termed bailiff, and the word mayor was never used until the tenth year of the reign of King John, when Henry Fitz Alwyn, the first mayor, was chosen. The title lord mayor is one rather of courtesy than right, and the time at which it was first adopted is uncertain. Maitland, the historian of London, after noticing a charter granted by Edward III., in the 28th year of his reign, permitting the city authorities to cause gold and silver maces to be carried before them, adds-" This great favour of having gold or silver maces carried before the chief magistrate of the city, was a privilege peculiar to London; for all other cities and towns in the kingdom were, by a royal precept, expressly commanded not to use maces of any other metal than copper. Our historians, as well as charters, being silent with respect to the time when the appellation of lord was added to that of mayor, I imagine that no time bids so fair for it as the present, when the chief magistrate of the city had the honour conferred upon him to have maces in all respects the same as royal carried before him."
It would be tedious to enumerate all the various charters granted to the city by succeeding sovereigns. Additional privileges were conferred, generally for services rendered to the crown, and sometimes, as was the case in three several instances in the reign of Edward the Fourth, in consideration of a sum of money. For instance, the city paid that monarch no less than 70007. for the right of appointing their own coroner, and receiving the deodands, &c., assessed in the execution of that office. King James I. granted a charter confirming all privileges already possessed by the corporation of the city, and conferring several others, and this may still be considered as the most perfect exposi tion of the civic rights, for although King Charles the Second forced a resignation of their charters from the city of London, as he did from all the other cities of the kingdom, yet these were all restored by act of parliament in the second year of William and Mary, which declared this surrender to be null and void. Mr. Herbert tells us, that "The livery companies of London derive their origin from the early associations termed gilds, and were either ecclesiastical or secular. Ecclesiastical gilds were for devotion and alms-deed: secular gilds were for trade and almsdeed." Both in ancient times were distinguished by various religious observances, and partook much of the nature of monastic institutions.
"Secular gilds appear to have included the entire aggregate of a town, and were at first named Gilda Mercatoria (merchant gilds); but afterwards, when the respective craftsmen, artisans, and dealers, obtained charters for managing their several callings, they were termed Gilda Mercatorium-merchants' gilds.
The name gild, guild, or geld, primarily meaning a payment, from the Saxon gildan, to pay, was variously applied in old times. It signified a tax or tribute, as, in Domesday Book, of the burgh of Totenais, it is said, did not geld but when Exeter gelded, and then it paid twelve pence for geld †.'
"It meant an amerciament, composition, or mulct, as did the word gildable, the liability to such gild or payment. It also signified an enfranchised district or soke, as in the case of the wards of London, which were anciently called gilds; and it moreover signified the free customs and privileges of a gild or soke; its most usual acceptation, however, in late days, was to denote an associated body or brotherhood, whether a town or a minor incorporation, because every member was gildar,' that is to pay something towards the charge and support of such body." These merchant gilds, or voluntary associations of traders for mutual support and protection, appear to have existed from a very early period; but although they obtained considerable importance, we have no evidence of their existence as bodies recognised by government until the time of Henry III., who "chartered the cappers and parish clerks, and made regulations respecting the guild of burillers. But little progress was made in mercantile affairs during the martial reign of Edward I.; and excepting the domestic trade guilds, all commerce nearly was in the hands of the steel-yard merchants. This is not to be wondered at, considering that the roads then were chiefly the old British track ways, favourable to depredation, and forming an effectual bar to internal communication."
The fishmongers and linen armourers (now merchant tailors) ElseAccording to "the Chronicle of London" in the British Museum. where it is said that the title was first given in the reign of Richard I. to the same Fitz Alwyn. John granted to the citizens the liberty to choose their own