« ElőzőTovább »
again that which I have destroyed; for the lips of my mouth are only left
But he will receive the calves of our lips, who is merciful beyond all belief. By this hope conceived, therefore I choose to offer this calf, to sacrifice this very small part of my body and life.
"" I confess, in the first place, my unthankfulness against the great God. I acknowledge myself unworthy of all favour and pity, but most worthy not only of human and temporal, but divine and eternal punishment; that I exceedingly offended against king Henry VIII., and especially against queen Catherine his wife, when I was the cause and author of the divorce. Which fault indeed was the seminary of all the evils and calamities of this realm. Hence so many slaughters of good men; hence the schism of the whole kingdom; hence heresies'; hence the destruction of so many souls and bodies sprang, that I can scarce comprehend with reason. But when these are so great beginnings of grief, I acknowledge I opened a great window to all heresies, whereof myself acted the chief doctor and leader; but first of all, which most vehemently torments my mind, that I affected the holy sacrament of the Eucharist with so many blasphemies and reproaches, denying Christ's body and blood to be truly and really contained under the species of bread and wine. By setting forth also books, I did impugn the truth with all my might. In this respect indeed not only worse than Saul and the thief, but the most wicked of all which the earth ever bore. Lord, I have sinned against heaven, and before Thee. Against heaven, as I am the cause it hath been deprived of so many saints, denying most impudently that heavenly benefit exhibited to us. And I have sinned against the earth, which so long hath miserably wanted this sacrament. Against men, whom I have called from this supersubstantial morsel ; - the slayer of so many men as have perished for want of food. I have defrauded the souls of the dead of this daily and most celebrious sacrifice.
““ And from all these things it is manifest, how greatly after Christ I have been injurious to his vicar, whom I have deprived of his power by books set forth. Wherefore I do most earnestly and ardently beseech the pope, that he, for the mercy of Christ, forgive me the things I have commited against him and the apostolical see. And I humbly beseech the mist serene sovereigns of England, Spain, &c. Philip and Mary, that by thir royal mercy they would pardon me. I ask and beseech the whole reilm, yea, the Universal Church, that they take pity of this wretched beng, to whom, besides a tongue, nothing is left, whereby to make amends forthe injuries and damages I have brought in. But especially, because aginst Thee only I have sinned, I beseech Thee, most merciful Father, wh desirest and commandest all to come to Thee, however wicked, vouchsaf to look upon me nearly, and under Thy hand, as Thou lookedst upon Mądalen and Peter; or certainly as Thou, looking upon the thief on the cros, didst vouchsafe by the promise of Thy grace and glory to comfort a feaiul and trembling mind; so, by Thy wonted and natural pity, turn the eye of Thy mercy to me, and vouchsafe me worthy to have that Word of Thie spoken to me, I am thy salvation; and in the day of death, To-day shai thou be with me in paradise.
6“ Per me THOMAS CRANMER. • “ Tritten this year of our Lord, 1555-6, the 18th day of March.”
vol. ii. pp. 480—484.
All these recantations appear to have been made by Cranmer, under the hope that they might contribute to save him from the death to which he had been sentenced. But they failed to produce the desired effect. It had all along been determined that he should suffer, and the 21st of March was now fixed on for that purpose. When he found that his recantations were not likely to avail him for the end which he had contemplated, he retracted them all; thus, to the last moment of his existence, persevering in that infirmity of purpose, which throws a deep shade over his character, indicating at once the depravity of his heart, and the unsoundness of his understanding.
While we lament, for the sake of Christianity, the atrocious cruelties to which the disputes about religion gave rise, in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward, and Mary, and while we allow every indulgence to the weaknesses from which, even under the most favourable circumstances of education and position in society, human nature is seldom altogether exempt; we own that we cannot but look with feelings of the most unfeigned compassion, upon the intellectual blindness of those sectarians who set up such a man as Cranmer-taking him even as he is pourtrayed by his most enthusiastic admirers--as an example of morality, an authority in matters of faith, and as a martyr, bearing witness by his blood to the truth of the doctrines which he inculcated! It is manifest from his conduct towards the close of his life, and indeed from the complexion of his entire career, that there was no principle which he would not have sacrificed, no proposition which he would not have retracted or adopted, in order to promote his interests. When the question was of his life, we have seen the facility with which, on six or seven different occasons, he repeated his allegiance to that church, which it had been the business of his whole episcopal reign to betray and to overthrow. Could he have escaped the horrors of the stake, he would have abandoned any truth, and signed any falsehood. A willing sacrifice to his own principles, whatever they were, he undoubtedly was not; to give him the title of a martyr is therefore a misappropriation of language, calculated only todeceive ignorance, and to flatter the prejudices of credulity.
Art. VI.—An Historical Inquiry into the Production and Consımp
tion of the Precious Metals. By William Jacob, Esq. F.R.S. in 2
vols. London: Murray. 1831. A THEME of more enduring curiosity, or present importance, rould hardly be chosen for illustration in our time, than the subject shich Mr. Jacob has here so elaborately pursued; and the publi has reason to congratulate itself that the task has been undertakn by the author from motives of taste and preference alone. Arearly predilection for such inquiries, aided by the encouragement vhich
Mr. Jacob received from the late Mr. Huskisson, have led to the preparation of the work before us. It exhibits all the traces of extended and unwearied industry; it combines an assemblage of most striking facts connected with the old and the modern civilized world ; and it suggests innumerable hints that will serve as valuable contributions to the important science of human nature.
Mr. Jacob commences by an inquiry into the sources of those extraordinary accumulations of gold and silver, which are stated to have been possessed by individuals in the early ages of the world. The historians of these times relate, that the founder of Nineveh had collected together large masses of gold and silver, -and that there were, in Babylon, statues of Jupiter, Juno, and Rhea, all in beaten gold. The statue of Jupiter was forty feet high, and weighed a thousand Babylonian talents : that of Rhea was of the same height-she sat on a throne of gold, and near her were couching three lions in gold, and again, near to them were two large serpents in silver. Juno's statue weighed eight hundred talents, besides which there was in the same temple an altar of gold, forty feet long, and fifteen broad, on which were placed two cups, and two censors, containing altogether no less than three hundred and thirty talents' weight of gold. Darius received once, as a tribute, three millions and a quarter sterling in gold. Xerxes took with him into the field as much money and other valuables as twelve hundred camels could carry. So great was the wealth of Creesus, that he could give a donation of about three millions sterling to the temple of Delhi, without being in the slightest degree straightened in his circumstances. Pytheus, a petty provincial king of Phrygia, acknowledged to Xerxes, when the latter visited him, that he had no more than about four millions (of our money) in his strong box at that moment. We must refer to Diodorus, Polybius, &c., for other samples of opulence, which are to be found in the history of the Persians and Syrians, and of Alexander and his successors. The Roman republic even was not exempt from the luxury of pecuniary accumulation. Crassus' fortune is rated at nearly two millions sterling : Seneca was worth two millions and a half: Lentulus, the augur, (so profitable is priestcraft at all times,) died possessed of a fortune of three millions and a quarter sterling. Augustus amassed by legacies alone nearly twenty-two millions sterling; and Tiberius left no less a sum than thirty-two millions and a quarter sterling, which Caligula made away with in twelve months, being about the average time in which our modern heirs apparent contrive to dispose of the wealth of their frugal predecessors. Cæsar, when he set out for Spain, owed above two millions sterling, but he brought back to the treasury a sum over four millions. Mark Anthony, who owed, when Cæsar was killed on the ides of March, upwards of three hundred thousand pounds, paid the whole of it before the kalends of April, leaving the public treasury minus more than five millions.
Mr. Jacob, having noticed the evidences which have been handed down to us, to prove the existence of an immense quantity of the
precious metals in ancient times, enters upon the investigation of the sources of this abundance, and he pretty clearly establishes that valuable mines were at this remote period worked in the east of Persia, India, Egypt, and Nubia, Southern Africa, Europe, Greece, and the Greek colonies. Italy furnished copper and lead-Great Britain exported abundance of her own tin before the Roman conquest. Illyria yielded gold-Spain furnished silver. Mr. Jacob next proceeds to consider the manner in which the treasures possessed by various persons in certain countries, without mines, came to be accumulated there, and this theme leads him into some interesting remarks on the first attempts at commercial intercourse between the societies of the Old World. He then dwells on the various quantities which had existed at different periods in ancient Greece and Rome, and attempts to explain the causes of these variations. The history of the use of metals, as instruments of exchange for the different articles of necessity or luxury, is pursued in considerable detail, and with copious illustrations by Mr. Jacob, from the earliest time, down to the period of what are called the middle ages, when the operations of mining, after a very long suspense, were resumed. This revival was produced principally by the discovery of America. The passion for exploring the bowels of the earth extended to nearly the whole of the European nations : but in the Austrian dominions it appeared to be particularly influential. In the little bishoprick of Saltzburg alone, more than a thousand leases of mines were taken during about twenty-four years. The spirit of enterprize seemed to be altogether centered in subterranean expeditions, and there was scarcely a territory in Europe where either monarchs, or companies, or speculative individuals, did not start a mining scheme. The extravagance into which this mania at last degenerated, cannot be better exemplified than by the following curious narration, which we take from Mr. Jacob.
• The war of the succession (in Spain) suspended all mining projects ; but in 1728, a new adventurer undertook the work of opening the mines of Guadalcanal. This was an English woman of rank-Lady Mary Herbert, daughter of the marquis of Powis. She had resided in Paris, had been connected with the celebrated Mississippi Law, and had thereby improved a natural talent and disposition for enterprizes of an extensive nature. This lady was received with attention in Spain, and a company which had been formed two years before accepted a proposal she made to drain the mines of Guadalcanal. The conditions were that she was to be paid two hundred thousand dollars, by instalments, as the work advanced, and to receive one half the profit of the mine.
Lady Mary departed from Madrid for Guadalcanal, to which miners and engineers had been sent from England at her expense, and at that of her relation Mr. Gage, who accompanied her, and of her father, the marquis. The instalments were paid regularly by the company, and the draining of the mines proceeded simultaneously, when disputes arose. The Spaniards insisted that the lady had agreed to clear away the mud, whilst she contended that she had only contracted to clear the mine of water. A law suit was instituted, and the payments of the company were suspended.
Her ladyship now prosecuted the work on her own account, and advanced to a depth in which the richest minerals were supposed to be: when she presented a judicial request that a portion of the ore should be taken up, and melted in the presence of the court, and its value ascertained and attested. A decree was issued appointing the examination. Ore of the weight of 40 lbs. was taken from one of the galleries, which produced 10 lbs. 13 oz. of
pure silver. This specimen, which was handed about in a very ostentatious manner, and shown to the king, who happened at that time to be at Seville, seemed to justify, beyond all doubt, the reputation of the mine for great riches. It was, however, asserted, that as all the agents employed by the lady were foreigners, imposition had been practised on the judges and officers of the court, on the Spanish agents, and on the numerous witnesses who were present at the examination.
During two years, whilst a suit thus occasioned was proceeding, the expense of keeping those galleries that had been drained, clear of water, was too great to be borne, and they became filled again. Lady Mary, however, at length, by her interest at Court, obtained a decree in her favour: the mines were adjudged to her and her heirs for a term of thirty years, on condition of her working them for two years at her own expense. She never, however, appeared afterwards in the business, though agents said to have been employed by her spared no pains to gain new adventurers to contribute to form a fund for prosecuting the work.
* Mr. Gage, the relation and partner of this lady, then obtained a grant of the mine from the crown in his own name, in 1736, and continued to work it during ten years: and though he procured some rich ores, which yielded considerable quantities of silver, it never equalled the expenditure—besides which, the plunder of the agents, after the death of Mr. Richard Westley, the chief of them, augmented the loss, and closed the whole operation.
• After that, Sir Thomas Sutton, created Count de Clouard, formed a company in Paris, and obtained a grant of the mines in 1768. After erecting hydraulic machines, and proceeding with the drainage seven years, they discovered that the vein was in another shaft than that on which they had been operating. This company, like the others, dissipated the capital with no other fruits than some curious mineralogical specimens, with which the cabinet of natural history of Madrid was enriched.'-— vol. i. pp.
Mr. Jacob sketches the early state and progress of metal-mining in England, and he seems to be of opinion that its slow and irregular improvement was occasioned by the usurpation on the part of the crown of a right to all mines, which was regularly acted on until the time of the Revolution, and then this assumed right was abolished, there being, however, reserved to the king a power to purchase, after raising, all ore made merchantable, at fixed prices.
With reference to the consumption of gold and silver, Mr. Jacob gives a very curious account of it, during the centuries that intervened from the conclusion of the Western empire, to the discovery of America. It appears that for a very long time after commerce had become generally known, it remained almost exclusively in the hands of the Jews. Every free man looked upon traffic as an unworthy employment, and the profession of arms the only one worthy to be embraced by him.' The fairs and markets which took