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have been ever since, the favourite resort of the lovers of natural productions. Nay, without repeating what we said in a former number about the Mermaid in Cornhill, the Devil Tavern in Fleet-street, the Boar's Head in Eastcheap, and other town associations with Shakspeare, the reader who cannot get out of London on his birth-day, and who has the luck to be hard at work in Chancery-lane or the Borough, may be pretty certain that Shakspeare has admired the fields and the May flowers there; for the fields were close to the latter, perhaps came up to the very walls of the theatre; and the suburban-mansion and gardens of his friend Lord Southampton occupied the spot now called Southampton-buildings. It was really a country neighbourhood. The Old Bourne (Holborn) ran by, with a bridge over it : and Gray's Inn was an Academic bower in the fields.
The dinner does not much signify. The sparest or the most abundant will equally suit the various fortunes of the great poet; only it will be as well for those who can afford wine, to pledge Falstaff in a cup of“sherris sack,” which seems to have been a sort of sherry negus. After dinner Shakspeare's volumes will come well on the table; lying among the desert like laurels, where there is one, and supplying it where there is not. Instead of songs, the persons present may be called upon for scenes. But no stress need be laid on this proposition, if they do not like to read out loud. The pleasure of the day should be as much at liberty as possible; and if the company prefer conversation, it will not be very easy for them 'to touch upon any subjects which (Shakspeare shall not have touched upon also. If the enthusiasm is in high taste, the ladies should be crowned with violets, which (next to the roses of their lips) seem to have been his favourite flower. After tea should come singing and music, esspecially the songs which Arne set from his plays, and the ballad of " Thou softflowing Avon.” If an engraving or bust of him could occupy the principal place in the room, it would look like the “ present deity” of the occasion; and we have known a very pleasant effect produced by every body's bringing some quotation applicable to him from his works, and laying it before his image, to be read in the course of the evening
The Editor would have dilated on these matters, not so much to recommend what the enthusiasm of the moment will suggest, as to enjoy them with the reader, and have his company, were, imaginary meeting. But he is too unwell just now to write much, and should liave taken the liberty of compiling almost the whole of his present number, could he have denied himself the pleasure of saying a few words on so happy an occasion.
AN UNANSWERABLE REPLY.
For the reason mentioned in the preceding article, we copy the following account, instead of re-writing it. We can do so with the less scruple, inasmuch as the work from which it is taken, Sewell's History
of the Quakers, is little known to readers in general; and indeed the anecdote
may well speak for itself. The reader will smile, when we profess to be no Quakers ourselves. There is certainly nothing drabcoloured in our religion, especially during the month of May; but wherever sincerity and kindnes come together, there we bow our heads, and take part in the worship. Thomas Lurting, the hero (truly so called) of this story, was a Quaker, at a time when the sect was a positive, enthusiastic thing, referring to the first and best principles of Christianity; not a negation and a dress, satisfied with having all the
good things” of this world, not indeed under the rose, but under the beaver. And yet good negative points are something too, as sects go. It is not unrefreshing to meet with a religion, which has a respect for peace and quietness, and declines knocking us on the head.
Thomas Lurting was mate aboard a Quaker vessel, returning from Venice, in the time of Charles the Second. The vessel had been taken by pirates, and retaken by Lurting. But we retire to a distance, with our hats respectfully kept on, while the worthy Mr. Sewell speaks :
“ The second night after, the captain of the Turks, and one of his company, being gone to sleep in the cabin with the master, the mate persuaded one to lie in his cabin, and about an hour after another in another cabin; and at last it raining very much, he persuaded them all to lie down and sleep: and when they were all asleep, he coming to them, fairly got their arms into his possession. This being done,
Now we have the Turks at our command, no man shall hurt any of them, for if ye do, I will be against you : but this we will do, now they are under deck, we will keep them so,
for Majorca.” Now, having ordered some to keep the doors, they steered their course to Majorca, and they had such a strong gale, that in the morning they were near it. Then he ordered his
offered to come out, not to let above one or two at a time; and when one came out, expecting to have seen his own country, he was not a little astonished instead thereof to see Majorea. Then the mate said to his men, Be careful of the door, for when he goes in we shall see what they will do; but have a care not to spill blood.” The Turk being gone down, and telling his comrades what he had seen, and how they were going to Majorca, they, instead of rising, all fell a crying, for their courage was quite sunk; and they begged “ that they might not be sold.” This the mate promised them, and said, “They should not.” And when he had appeased them, he went into the cabin to the master, who knew nothing of what was done, and gave him an account of the sudden change, and how they had overcome the Turks. Which, when he understood, he told their captain, “ That the vessel was now uo more in their possession, but in his again ; and that they were going for Majorca.” ' At this unexpected news the captain wept, and desired the master not to sell him; which he promised he would not. Then they told him also, they would make a place to hide them in, that the Spaniards coming aboard should not find them. And so they did accordingly, at which the Turks were very glad. Being
he told his men,
come into the port of Majorca, the master, with four men, went ashore, and left the mate on board with ten Turks. The master having done his business, returned on board, not taking license, lest the Spaniards should come and see the Turks: but another English master, being an acquaintance, lying there also with his ship, came at night ou board ; and after some discourse, they told him what they had done, under promise of silence, lest the Spaniards should come and take away the Turks.
But he broke his promise, and would have had two or three of the Turks to have brought them to England. His design then being seen, his demand was denied; and seeing he could not prevail, he said to Pattison and his mate, 6. That they were fools, because they would not sell the Turks, which were each worth two or three hundred pieces of eight.” But they told him, “That if they would give many thousands, they should not have one, for they hoped to send them home again; and to sell nem,” the mate said, “ he would not have done for the whole island." The other master then coming ashore, told the Spaniards what he knew of this, who then threatened to take away the Turks. But Pattison and his mate having heard this, called out the Turks, and said to them, “ Ye must help us, or the Spaniards will take you from us.” To this the Turks, as one may easily guess, were very ready, and so they quickly got out to sea : and the English, to save the Turks, put themselves to the hazard of being overcome again; for they continued hovering several days, because they would not put into any port of Spain, for fear of losing the Turks, to whom they gave liberty for four or five days, until they made an attempt to rise; which the mate perceiving, he prevented, without hurting any of them, though he once laid hold of one. Yet generally he was so kind to tiem, that some of his men grumbled, and said, “ He had more care for the Turks than for them.” To which his answer was,
They were strangers, and therefore he must treat them well.” At length, after several occurrences, the mate told the master, 6. That he thought it best to go to the coasts of Barbary, because they were then like to miss their nen of war.” To this the master con. sented. However, to deceive the Turks, they sailed to and fro for several days; for in the day-time they were for going to Algiers, but when night came they steered the contrary way, and went back again, by which means they kept the Turks in ignorance, so as to be quiet.
“ But on the ninth day, being all upon deck, when none of the English were there but the master, his mate, and the man at the helm, they began to be so untoward and haughty, that it rose in the mate's mind, " What if they should lay hold on the master, and cast him overboard:” for they were ten lusty men, and he but a little man. This thought struck' him with terror ; but recollecting himself, he stamped with his foot, and the men coming up, one asked for the crow,
and another for the axe, to fall on the Turks; but the mate bade them, not to hurt the Turks, and said, “I will lay hold on their captain;" which he did : for having heard them threaten the master, he stepped forward, and laying hold of the captain, said he "must go down," which he did very quietly, and all the rest followed him.
Two days after, being come on the coast of Barbary, they were, according to what the Turks said, about fifty miles from Algiers, and six from ļand; and in the afternoon it fell calm. But how to set the Turks on shore was yet not resolved upon. The mate saw well enough, that he being the man who had begun this business, it would be his lot also to bring it to an end. He then acquainted the master that have
was willing to carry the Turks on shore; but how to do this safely, he as yet knew not certainly; for to give them the boat was too dangerous, for then they might get men and arms, and so come and retake the ship with its own boat; and to carry them on shore with two or three of the ship’s men, was also a great hazard, because the Turks were ten in number: and to put one half on shore was no less dangerous; for then they might raise the country, and so surprise the Efiglish when they came with the other half. In this great strait, the mate said to the master, “if he would let him have the boat and three men to go with him, he would venture to put the Turks on shore.” The master, relying perhaps on his mate's conduct, consented to the proposal, though not without some tears dropt on both sides. Yet the mate taking courage, said to the master, “I believe the Lord will preserve me, for I have nothing but good-will in repturing my
and I have not the least fear upon me; but trust that all will do well.” The master having consented, the mate called up the Turks, and going with two men and a boy in the boat, took in these ten Turks, all loose and unbound. Perhaps somebody will think this to be a very inconsiderate act of the mate, and that it would have been more prudent to have tied the Turks' hands, the rather because he had made the men promise, that they should do nothing to the Turks, until he said " he could do no more;" for then he gave them liberty to act for their lives so as they judged convenient. Now since he knew not how near he should bring the Turks ashore, and whether they should not have been necessitated to swim a little, it seemed not prudent to do any thing which might have exasperated them; for if it had fallen out so that they must have swam, then of necessity they must have been untied, which would have been dangerous. Yet the mate did not omit to be as careful as possible he could. For calling in the captain of the Turks, he placed him first in the boat's stern; then calling for another, he placed him in his lap, and one on each side, and two more in their laps, until he had placed them all, which he did to prevent a sudden rising He himself sat with a boat-hook in his hand on the bow of the boat, having next to him one of the ship-men, and two that rowed, having one a carpenter's adze, and the other a cooper's heading knife.
These were all the arms besides what belonged to the Turks which they had at their command. Thus the boat went off, and stood for the shore. But as they came near it, the men growing afraid, one of them cried out of a sudden, "Lord have mercy on us, there are Turks in the bushes on shore.” The Turks in the boat perceiving the English to be afraid, all rose at once. But the mate, who in this great strait continued to be hearty, shewed himself now to be a man of courage, and bid the men to “take up such arms as they had,
but do nothing with them until he gave them leave.” And then seeing that there were no men in the bushes, and thạt it was only an imagination, all fear was taken away from him, and his courage increasing, he thought with himself, it is better to strike a man, than to cleave a man's head, and turning the boat-hook in his hand, he struck the captain a smart blow, and bid him sit down, which he did instantly, and so did all the rest. After the boat was come so near the shore, that they could easily wade, the mate bid the Turks jump out, and so they did ; and because they said they were about four miles from a town, he then gave them some loaves, and other necessaries. They would fain have persuaded the English to go with them ashore to a town, promising to treat them with wine, and other good things; but though the mate trusted in Divine Providence, yet he was not so careless as freely to enter into an apparent danger, without being necessitated thereto: for though he had some thoughts that the Turks would not have done him any evil, yet it was too hazardous thus to have yielded to the mercy of those that lived there ; and therefore he very prudently rejected their invitation, well knowing that the Scripture saith, 66 Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” The Turks seeing they could not persuade him, took their leave with signs of great kindness, and so went on shore. The English then putting the boat closer in, threw them all their arms on shore, being unwilling to keep any thing of theirs. And when the Turks got up the hill, they waved their caps at the English, and so joyfully took their last farewell. And as soon as the boat came again on board, they had a fair wind, which they had not all the while the Turks were on board. Thus Thomas Lurting saved the ship and its men; which being thus wonderfully preserved, returned to England with a prosperous wind. Now be
news of this extraordinary case fore the vessel arrived at London, the ac was come thither, and when she was coming up the Thames, the King, with the Duke of York, and several Lords being at Greenwich, it was told him, there was a Quaker's ketch coming up the River that had been taken by the 'Turks, and redeemed themselves without fighting. The King hearing this, came with his barge to the ship's side, and holding the entering-rope in his hand, he understood from the mate's own mouth, how the thing had happened. But when he heard him say, how they had let the Turks go free, he said to the master, have done like a fool, for you might have had good gain for them:'' and to the mate he said, “ You should have brought the Turks to me.” But the mate answered, “ I thought it better for them to be in their own country.”