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drinking cups frequently occur. Many of these are the province of the archæologist; but they demand a
Engines of Torture, &c.
The introduction of the cross among the personal and was subjected to scarcely any other restraint than ornaments of the Saxons points to the remarkable the will of the despotic rulers of Rome during the later change effected by the introduction of Christianity. era of the Empire. Among the northern nations, howThe Roman missionary and the Roman monk succeeded ever, whose manners and early civilisation have been to the conquests of the Roman legions, and triumph- traced through the remote eras to which archæologists antly planted the cross where the imperial eagle had give the names of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Periods, only gained a temporary and disputed possession. the use of torture in judicial proceedings appears to Thenceforth the influence of the creed and of the eccle- have been unknown. This cannot be ascribed to any siastical polity of the Christian missionaries manifested superiority of the northern races in refinement or huitself in every phase of social life, and revolutionised manity when compared with the polished Greeks and the arts no less than the morals and manners of the Romans, The barbarous cruelties of the Sea-Kings Anglo-Saxons. One counteracting influence, however, especially are only to be equalled by the proceedings long continued to hold them in check. The Danish of the savages of Polynesia or North America. But and Norse rovers, who won to themselves the name of among the whole northern races, the Teutonic and feuthe Sea - Kings by the daring hardihood with which dal appeal to ordeal or battle, appear to have existed they steered across the ocean, and enriched themselves under some modified form, from the earliest times, as with spoils gathered along the whole northern and judicial tests, which were rendered infallible by their western coasts of Europe, made frequent descents on supernatural character. So long as this judicia Dei, or the eastern shores of England and Ireland. Many judgment of God, as it was termed, continued in use, relics of these barbarous invaders have been met with we have no evidence of torture being resorted to; and from time to time, contrasting with the more familiar among the Germans more especially, where the Teuproductions of native art and skill. Several long and tonic customs and influences were most strongly rooted, straight swords, with hilts altogether differing in form judicial torture appears to have been unknown till the and ornaments from those usually ascribed to the An. close of the fourteenth century. glo-Saxons or native Irish, are preserved in the Museum The engines employed in the infliction of torture of the Royal Irish Academy, and are regarded by most have been as various as the inventive ingenuity of man intelligent antiquaries as relics of these Norse invaders. is fertile in device. The monks, under the influence of
a misdirected zeal for the attainment of a holy life, Ancient Chessmen.
and securing a claim to heaven by their own good Another and very characteristic class of relics of the works, devised penances, mortifications, and austerities, Sea-Kings, is the dice and draughtsmen frequently which were directed only against themselves. In the found along with more warlike remains, and serving to thirteenth century we find the first traces of the use illustrate the love of gambling for which these wild of torture for inquisition of heresy introduced into Norsemen were notorious. They are exceedingly com- ecclesiastical law. While the Church exercised so benemon in Denmark, and have been frequently found in | ficial an influence in softening the barbarism of the Ireland, generally consisting of a conical-shaped bone, northern races, and ameliorating the condition of the with a hole in the bottom, designed, as is presumed, for people under the lawless tyranny of the feudal system, use on shipboard, to beguile the tedium of their long she appears as the introducer of this barbarous prac. sea-voyages, the hole being intended to fit on to a pin, tice at a period when civil institutions and equal laws so as to keep them from slipping with the motion of were rapidly displacing the ruder customs of feudal the vessel. Of the same class, though belonging to a supremacy. In the great struggle between the Pope~ later period, are the ancient chessmen, wrought of the Clement V.—and the Templars in 1310, inquisitors teeth of the walrus. Large sets of these have occa- were appointed to examine the knights charged with sionally been discovered, possessing great value from heresy. The Archbishop of York, one of the inquisitors
, the illustrations they afford of ancient costuine. The hesitated to make use of torture in the investigation; frequent occurrence of the bishop among these latter and in consequence of his doubts, Edward II. refused figures, fixes them as belonging to a period subsequent to permit its application to the accused. On learning to the introduction of Christianity. In the year 1831 of this interference, Clement wrote a letter of remona number of these ancient chessmen, beautifully carved strance to the king; and after considerable hesitation with a rich variety of ornaments, were discovered in he submitted, by advice of his council, and a precept the island of Lewis, buried fifteen feet under a bank of was issued to the sheriffs of London, who had the sand. They were purchased by the trustees of the accused in charge, to suffer the inquisitors to examine British Museum, and now form a part of that valuable them by torture.' From this it is obvious that until national collection. In the · Guide to Northern Ar- the fourteenth century torture was unknown in Eng, chæology,' published by the Society of Northern Anti- land, either as a royal prerogative or an instrument of quaries of Copenhagen, woodcuts are given of specimens judicial inquiry. Edward II., the wretched king who of sets of ancient chessmen found in Denmark; exactly thus first sanctioned the use of this terrible engine of similar in character to those so recently discovered in inquisition in England, himself perished by torture in the islands of Scotland.
1327, by the hands of two ruffians to whom his own The arts, the arms and implements, and the archi- queen, Isabella, the She-Wolf of France, had contecture of the mediæyal Christian era, all come within signed him for that purpose.
The iron cage was an instrument of torture in fre- nal instrument of capital punishment, by which many quent use by the cruel and superstitious Louis XI. of of the most eminent men in Scotland were beheaded, France. In this the wretched captive could neither is still preserved in the Museum of the Society of Antistand up nor lie down at full length, and yet some of quaries of Scotland, at Edinburgh. It consists of two the victims of the tyrant survived for years in this upright beams, with a groove in each, between which horrid durance. Somewhat analogous to this were the an iron axe, loaded with lead, is moved up and down irons frequently used by ecclesiastical inquisitors, and by means of a rope passing over a pulley at the top; which formed part of the missionary furniture of the a third beam projects behind, to which an iron trigger Spanish Armada, by means of which the sufferer was is attached. On this the rope was secured by a loop, bound with his neck, arms, and knees drawn together. and the executioner released it by a stroke of a mallet, It is a curious fact that this same dreadful posture of and let it fall by its own weight on the neck of the enforced constraint was resorted to by the pilgrim fathers criminal. Halifax in Yorkshire was the only place of New England as the readiest mode of judicial punish- in England where a similar instrument was ever used ; ment. The award to the earliest culprits of that set though the scenes of butchery frequently enacted on tlement is to be bound neck and heels together, and | Tower Hill and elsewhere, through the tremor or into be left in that state without any food for twenty-four efficiency of the executioner, prove that the guillotine hours. The culprits had been convicted of fighting a was a merciful improvement on the axe of the headsduel, and the verdict was put in force; but their suffer- man. In France, the improved instrument of its inings were so great, that they were released after having genious physician still remains in use for the execution borne only a portion of their appointed punishment. of criminals. It would be an excessive refinement of
The rack was the commonest engine of torture criticism to pronounce it a more barbarous engine of throughout Europe, both in ecclesiastical and civil in- death than the gallows and the halter, though its tervestigations. It is said to have been introduced into rible associations with the victims of the Reign of Terror the Tower of London by the Duke of Exeter in the might furnish a very sufficient reason for its disuse in reign of Henry VI., and thence obtained the name of the most polished nation of modern Europe. the Duke of Exeter's daughter. This device was improved upon for its horrible purpose in the reign of
AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES. Henry VIII., by Sir William Skevington, lieutenant of The antiquities of the New World occupy a place in the Tower; and it is by a popular corruption of his the investigations of the archæologist altogether apart name that the most dreadful engine of this kind ever from every other branch of his studies, though the very used in England obtained its familiar title of the Scaven- recent date of the discovery of the great continents of ger's Daughter. It was discovered by a committee of North and South America only renders more interestthe House of Commons, who had been appointed in ing whatever is calculated to throw light on their prethe year 1604 to investigate some parts of the Tower, vious history. America has its Stone Period as well as and especially the ancient dungeon of torture called Europe and Asia. Tumuli, the burial mounds of ancient • Little Ease. Besides the rack, a variety of instru- races, are found in many parts of North America, conments of torture were used in England, such as the taining spear-heads and adzes of flint and stone, and gag, thumbscrews, pincers, manacles, fetters, &c.; urns of rudely - baked clay, not greatly dissimilar to to which list may be added the mutilations and the those found in the barrows of Wiltshire or in Denpillory of the Star Chamber and High Commission mark and Brittany. This, however, can hardly be reCourt of the Stuarts.
garded as furnishing conclusive evidence of early inBoth in English and Scottish history many examples tercourse or a common origin, since it only exhibits occur of the use of torture, as a barbarous means of re- the relics of that primitive stage of society through venge either on a captive enemy or a great criminal; which the most civilised nations of antiquity appear to and some relics of this are still found in the punish- have passed. The Society of Northern Antiquaries of ment which the English law awards to the crime of high Copenhagen published in 1837 a work of great learning treason. In 1438 the murderers of James I. of Scot- and research, entitled 'Antiquitates Americanæ, deland were put to death at the Cross of Edinburgh with signed to furnish evidence of the discovery of the Amethe cruellest tortures that the ingenuity of a barbarous rican continent by the Norsemen several centuries before age could devise. The Earl of Athol, after having his the voyages of Columbus. In one of the communications flesh lacerated with pincers, and torn with heated irons, furnished to the antiquaries of Copenhagen by the was elevated on a high pillar in sight of the people, secretary of the Rhode Island Historical Society, it is and crowned in derision as the king of traitors with a remarked:- In the western parts of our country may red-hot iron crown. The use of torture in judicial still be seen numerous and extensive mounds, similar investigations was continued in Scotland long after it to the tumuli met with in Scandinavia, Tartary, and had been abandoned in England; and James II. ac- Russia; also the remains of fortifications that must quired peculiar infamy for the use he made of this have required for their construction a degree of industry, dreadful means of oppression against the Scottish Pres- labour, and skill, as well as an advancement in the byterians during his government of Scotland under arts, that never characterised any of the Indian tribes. Charles II. The instruments chiefly employed for this Various articles of pottery are found in them, with the purpose were the 'boots?—which consisted of an iron case method of manufacturing which they were entirely drawn over the leg, between which and the flesh wedges unacquainted. But, above all, many rocks inscribed were driven in with a hammer--and the thumbkins, with unknown characters, apparently of very ancient which were applied to the thumbs, and tightened by origin, have been discovered, scattered through diffescrews, sometimes till the bones were crushed under rent parts of the country, such as it was impossible so the merciless infliction.
to engrave without the aid of iron or other hard meAlong with the relics of a barbarous age just described, tallic instruments.' Of several of these rocks engravings the instruments anciently in use for capital punishment are given; and while some are in rude and unknown may be classed. The guillotine, which has acquired characters and hieroglyphics, others are unquestionably for its improver-Joseph Ignace Guillotin, a physician engraved in Runic characters, corresponding to the of France-an unenviable celebrity, was in use long be- ancient monuments of Northern Europe. fore, under other names, in Germany, Bohemia, Italy, It is in the southern parts of the North American England, and Scotland. In Germany it bore the cha- continent, however, that the most interesting evidences racteristic name of Falbiel, or the Falling Hatchet; in of ancient manners and the arts of civilisation are to Scotland it was known by the singular title of the be found. Allusion has already been made to the Maiden. Tradition assigns the introduction of this pyramids of Mexico ; but besides these, ruins of great instrument into Scotland to the Regent Morton, who extent and considerable variety of design still attest was one of its early victims; but it is proved to have the magnificence of the ancient kingdom of Montezuma. been in use some time before his regency. The origi- | Many of the older and more important monuments re
maining in Mexico are regarded as the work of a still It is worthy of notice, that among the sites of the earlier race than that which gave way before the fierce ancient temples and ruined cities of Mexico and Yusoldiers of Cortez-probably of the Toltecans—but the catan, tumuli occur of the same character as those inquiry is still involved in considerable obscurity, and which in other places of the world indicate to us the would require to be discussed at considerable length primitive habits of the human race, ere the arts of civi. with any hope of further elucidation,
lisation have modified this character into the manifold Much new interest has been conferred on the subject peculiarities of distinct nationalities. During the visit of Mexican antiquities by the publication of Stephens's of Mr Stephens and his companions to the village of • Incidents of Travel in Yucatan.' This enterprising Chemax, while travelling through Yucatan, the cura traveller, after exploring many new regions of Central informed them that at some leagues distant, nearer the America, had his attention drawn to Yucatan by ac- coast, were several mounds or tumuli
. The Indians counts he received of ancient ruins of great extent had been employed shortly before in digging and excawhich lay buried in the vast forests with which nearly vating in the neighbourhood of them for stones for the whole of that country is covered. On exploring building; and on chancing to dig into one of the tumuli, these his highest cxpectations were gratified. In the they uncovered three skeletons, all in a state of extreme narrative of his travels he gives an account of visits decay, which, according to the cura, were those of a man, made to forty-four ruined cities, many of them con- woman, and child. At the heads of the skeletons were taining extensive remains of temples and palaces still two large vases of terra cotta, with covers of the same covered with sculptures, and frequently adorned both material. In one of these was a large collection of with paintings and hieroglyphics. Mr Stephens's work Indian ornaments—beads, stones, and two carved shells
. possesses a further value from being adorned with The other vase was filled to the top with arrow-heads, numerous engravings of these gigantic memorials of an made of obsidian, most probably the work of the ancient race--engravings from which we reduce the ancient Mexicans, in whose country volcanic regions annexed illustration exhibiting the front and back of a abound. Besides these, Mr Stephens was struck by
being shown a penknife found in the same tumulus,
Speculation and ingenuity,' says he, 'may assign
covery of the knife--evidence of the tumulus being w
contemporaneous with the era of the Spanish invasion.
In the course of the preceding sketch, the reader can stone idol found at Copan. In their mode of structure hardly fail to be struck with the uniform characteristics or the details of their decoration, there is nothing which which are found to belong to the human race in the suggests any resemblance to the ancient monuments of primitive stages of society. In Egypt, on the banks of any people of the old world. They appear to have been the Euxine, along the shores of the Mediterranean, and the unaided creations of national genius among the an- throughout the whole northern regions of Europe, we cient Indian races; and Mr Stephens considers—notwith- discover evidences of a primitive state of society, through standing the degradation to which the Indian natives which the races occupying these different localities have of Yucatan have been reduced under the domination of passed to higher states of civilisation. In the new world their Spanish conquerors and priests—there is no reason the same tokens of this rudimentary stage of social life to doubt that they are the descendants of the builders meet us, alike in the forest regions of the Red Indian of Uxmal and Kabah, though no tradition has survived savage, and in the southern parts of the same great to connect them with so honourable an ancestry. A continent, where the Spaniards found cities and temples very large portion of the country lying between the that gave evidence of high civilisation and considerable Bay of Honduras and the Gulf of Mexico still remains progress in the useful and ornamental arts. Modern unexplored. Considerable parts of Central America, voyagers have found the natives of the South Sea and a great proportion of the southern continent, are Islands living in the state of society to which these equally unknown. Beyond the intricate forests that memorials of extinct races point. By such comparibound the known regions of Yucatan, or even within sons, therefore, archæological studies open up to us a their recesses, vaster and far more interesting ruins most interesting and instructive chapter in the history may lie buried, nor is it at all impossible that Indian of man. They disclose to us an era hitherto almost cities may still remain in the possession of their native unknown to the historian; and, enabling us to start occupants, and temples exist there where the ancient from a well-defined stage of life in the infancy of the idols of Mexico and Yucatan are still worshipped by social state, they lead us, by a satisfactory chain of races who only know of the existence of the white man evidence, to the period when complete and trustworthy by some vague and uncertain tradition, borne to them historic records render the investigations of the antiby a stray wanderer from the regions conquered by the quary and the inductions of the archæologist no longer early adventurers of Spain.
necessary for the discovery of truth.
RHETORIC AND BELLES LETTRES,
RHETORIC is a branch of knowledge and practice having | matter; but we can nevertheless consider, in general,
Belles Lettres, or Polite Literature, expresses a class every one of the terms has the simplicity that attaches
more intelligible than the names of abstractions. А
concrete object is a thing as it exists in nature, with all The following may be regarded as the leading varie- its parts and peculiarities such as a mountain, a river, a ties of address that come within the province of Rhe- metal; while an abstraction is some property of these artoric, as above defined :
tificially conceived apart from the rest--such as height, 1. The simple forms of establishing a common under- | density, velocity, liquidity, lustre, specific gravity. Now standing between man and man; the word of com- the gross object is usually more conceivable by the mind mand, the phraseology of direction, intreaty, question, than its separate properties; hence although this abstract answer, acquiescence, refusal, co-operation, resistance, mode of viewing things is essential to the thorough concurrence, opposition, and the like.
comprehension of the world, yet for popular composi2. The communication of thought, information, ideas, tion the terms of the other class are more suitable. and sentiments, or of the more permanent products of There is, however, the greatest possible difference in intellect which are comprehended under the terms the intelligibility of abstractions : while some are within knowledge and science.
the reach of the least cultivated minds, others, such as 3. Persuasion, or the means of inducing men to act the subtlest ideas of mathematics, chemistry, and phyas we wish, not by external compulsion, but through siology, presuppose a long course of laborious studies. their own dispositions and impulses.
Height, depth, strength, whiteness, virtue, are popular 4. The productions of poetic and literary art. abstractions; polarity, infinitesimal, ellipsoidal, express
5. The giving vent or expression to individual feel notions that can never enter into popular composition. ings, for the relief or gratification of the inward states 4. Of abstractions, some are fictitious and untrue of our being
to the nature of things, being the premature efforts of 6. The modes of cultivated address employed in the men to get at the secrets of nature; while others are refined intercourse of life.
sound and valid generalisations, and are therefore Before touching in detail upon these various heads, likely to coincide better with our experience. In geit may be convenient to discriminate and discuss neral, the ill-formed abstractions will be the most dif
ficult to comprehend. The epicycle orbs of the planets THE ATTRIBUTES OF STYLE IN GENERAL,
were less conceivable than the ellipses which are their The leading attributes of style that are of a Rhetori. accurate path. The imaginary element 'phlogiston' cal kind may be set forth under the following heads; gave a far less clear and simple idea than is now posit being assumed that grammatical and idiomatic pu- sessed of the action of burning. But, on the other rity and correctness have been previously secured by hand, shallow explanations of natural phenomena may the appropriate means :
be more conceivable than the true, Descartes's whir
pools of ether rendered the account of the heavenly Simplicity.
bodies more level to the popular understanding than By Simplicity we are to understand what is easily did Newton's centripetal and centrifugal forces. comprehended, or what is level to the ordinary capacity The progress of accurate thinking necessarily leads to
It is opposed not so much to the complex as a corresponding improvement in the simple and accuto the abstruse; and implies a mode of address that rate composition. does not require severe effort, or a special training for Simplicity of structure means such an arrangement of its comprehension. The possibility of being simple in terms in clauses, and of clauses in sentences, as renders this sense will of course depend much upon the subject the meaning comprehensible without severe attention No. 94.
or special study. When the clauses succeed one an- | be surpassed, it is a sustained peculiarity in the writings
can look across the millions of ages which have elapsed,
another and another succession of centuries; and at
This term is used here in a restricted sense, to express
the quality of touching the warm feelings, affections,
This quality must mainly depend upon making choice and associations-family, country, friends, and all the of such terms as by their sounds, or by the images force of sentiment that is wound up in the sociability associated with them, echo the powerful objects and of our nature. There are a certain number of the actions of nature or of human life. The effect of em- relationships of life founded upon natural tenderness, ploying, as illustrations, the mighty agencies of the and the terms expressing them naturally come to erthunder, of the ocean, the cataract, the wild beast, cite a certain glow of this feeling when they are proand the like, is known to every one.
perly used. Child, parent, fatherland, native country, Strength is likewise produced by the use of language are all terms suggesting tender emotion; and there are strongly suggestive of the circumstance and detail of an infinity of occurrences in life that involve this class actions and events, in place of their weak generalities. of phrases; and according as they are employed with Thus, when we speak of killing or taking away life, the skill and keeping, in any kind of composition or adeffect is very feeble; but when the specific act of vio- dress, the style is said to possess feeling. The addresses lence is alluded to, as“ The men whose daggers stabbed of the pulpit usually aim at this peculiarity, which Cæsar!' a far stronger impression is conveyed. serves both to gratify the hearers with warm emotion,
Apart from the choice of terms, the quality of strength and to act as a stimulus to a certain course of conduct. is brought out by peculiarities of structure and arrange- The closing words of the twenty-third Psalm are sin, ment. The placing of the forcible word of a sentence gularly replete with feeling: Surely goodness and in the position of natural emphasis adds to the effect- mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I as. Great is Diana of the Ephesians. The figure of in- shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.' terrogation has also a striking effect— Breathes there
It necessarily happens that the native terms of the a man?' and so forth.
English language, which were formed and fashioned by In general, brevity is a feature of strength; it is the native English heart, are more impressive than the hardly possible, by a diffuse verbosity, to give an ener- phraseology of foreign natures and remote climates, getic impression, whatever other beauties may be em- such as the Latin, Greek, and French portion of our bodied upon that kind of style.
language. But the cultivation of our schools and col. Milton is perhaps the greatest example of the quality leges has made foreign idioms, and the associations and of strength that the English language presents; for history of ancient and distant nations, as full of ten. although Shakspeare produces strokes that could hardlyderness and warmth to the educated classes as any of