down his glove at once, so eager was he for the fray,-but the Herald distinctly said, "Wait till I have read the Challenge," and read it accordingly, the Champion husbanding his valour for a few minutes:

"If any person, of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay our Sovereign Lord King George the Fourth, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, son and next heir to our Sovereign Lord King George the Third, the last King deceased, to be right heir to the Imperial Crown of this United Kingdom, or that he ought not to enjoy the same, here is his Champion, who saith that he lieth, and is a false traitor; being ready in person to combat with him, and in this quarrel will adventure his life against him on what day soever he shall be appointed.”

At the conclusion of this "awful challenge," as a gentleman near me termed it: the Champion hurled down his gauntlet, which fell with a solemn clash upon the floor. It rang in most hearts! He then stuck his wrist against his steeled side, as though to show how indifferent he was to the consequence of his challenge. This certainly had a very pleasing and gallant effect. The Herald, in a few seconds, took up the glove, delivered it to the Squire, who kissed it, and handed it to the Champion. In the middle of the Hall the same ceremony was performed: and at the foot of the royal platform it was a third time gone through. The King then drank his health, and, methinks, with real pleasure, for the Champion had right gallantly conducted himself. His Majesty then sent the cup to him; and he, taking it, drank to the King, but in so low a tone, that I could only catch the meaning by the tumultuous shouts of the people. The noise seemed to awaken the courage of his horse; but he mastered his steed admirably. The ceremony of backing out of the Hall was then again performed, and successfully, with the exception of the Marquis of Anglesea's Arabian, whose doubts were not yet satisfied, and he was literally shown out by the pages.

In Hall's Account of the Coronation of Henry VIII. and Katharine of Arragon, there is a very quaint and interesting account of the challenge, which, as I think it will aptly illustrate this



part of my letter, and serve to amuse you, I shall take leave te copy:-

"The seconde course beyng served, in at the haule doore entered a Knyhte armed at al poyntes, his bases rich tissue embroudered, a great plume and a sumpteous of oistriche fethers on his helmet, sittyng on a great courser trapped in tissue and embroudered with tharmes of England and of Fraunce, and an herauld of armes before hym. And passying through the haule, presented hymself with humble reverence before the Kynge's Majestie, to whom Garter Kynge of heraulds cried and said with a loude voyce, Sir Knyhte, from whence come you, and what is your pretence? This Knyhtes name was Sir Robert Dimmoke, Champion to the Kynge by tenour of his enheritaunce, who answered the said Kynge of armes in effecte after this manner. Sir, the place that I came from is not materiall, nor the cause of my repaire hyther is not concernyng any matter of any place or countrey, but onely this. And therewithal commanded his herauld to make an 0 Yes: Then said the Knyhte to the Kynge of armes, Now shal ye hear the cause of my comynge and pretence. Then he commanded his own herauld by proclamacion to saye: If there be any persone, of what estate or degree soever he be that will saie or prove that King Henry the Eight is not the rightful inheritor and Kynge of this realm, I Sir Robert Dimmoke here his champion offre my glove, to fight in his querell with any persone to thutterance."

The champions appear to have been more familiar in the olden time, and to have discoursed more freely with those about them, -but perhaps the less that is said the better amongst fighting men; so I shall not differ with our present Sir Knight on account of his solemn taciturnity. The same old writer from whom I have given you the above description, speaks curiously of the pageants which were had to enliven the procession of Anne Boleyn from the Tower of Westminster. The Three Graces, he tells us, took their stand on Cornhill, and the Cardinal Virtues in Fleet-street

-a fountain of Helicon ran Rhenish wine; and the Conduit in Cheap, with a laudable courtesy, spouted claret. But I must not lose myself amongst books.

[ocr errors]

On the Champion retiring, the second course was served up as before: the Marquis's horse becoming more and more unmannerly. It was not amiss that his duties were over.

Certain services were now performed, which generally ended in a peer, or some other fortunate personage, carrying off a gold cup. The most interesting was the present of two falcons to his Majesty from the Duke of Athol.

The King's health was about this time drunk with great acclamations, and the national air of "God save the King" sung in a grand style. I think I never heard it sung better before.

The King, standing up, drank to his people; notice of which honour was communicated by the Duke of Norfolk; and very shortly afterwards (Non Nobis Domine having been sung, in which I heard the King take a part,) his Majesty retired amidst the joyous clamours of his people.

I now descended into the body of the Hall, which was thronged with splendour and beauty. Hock and champagne, and fruit and venison pasties, were passing and repassing; and the most brilliant ladies were snatching at all the good things of this world from officers and gentlemen waiters. I was not idle; for having asked for a glass of water, and being informed "You get no water, take the wine, Great Potentate." I fell seriously to work upon a cherry pie, the nearest dish, and followed this victory up with others of a more decisive nature. I forgot that I had been famished; and lifting a cup of burgundy to my lips, declared that the fatigue of the day had been nothing-a jest—a merriment-a thing to tell of to the children of 1896, or to write to kind friends in 1821. Before I quitted the banquet-room, I took the liberty of pocketing a sweetmeat dolphin, filched from the top of the Temple of Concord, which I shall long preserve amongst my scarce papers and curious coins, as a relic of the great Coronation Feast. Thus ended this splendid day.

I have detailed the particulars of the pageant as faithfully as possible; and I only hope that the length of my letter, and its tedious minuteness, will not weary you. I have purposely abstained from any political discussion about the exclusion of the Queen, or her Majesty's morning visit, because I only intended a description of the pageant, and I knew that you cared not to have a repeatedly

discussed subject discussed again. In the same manner I shall desist from sobering the conclusion of my letter with any solemn reflections on the events of the day,-you have the mind to reflect for yourself, if this Alexandrine of a letter will allow you the time. Do not fail to tell me how you all like the play,” and to what extent you have envied me. I think I see Mrs. struck calm- ' ly mad at the profusion of satin.

I am, &c.

July, 1821.

P. S. If you covet the dolphin, I will send it to you; but it is a curiosity you must keep from children. I wish I could pack you up a Knight of the Bath in all his glory; but I fear he would not bear the carriage.


ART. VIII. Eleanor Selby and the Spectre-Horseman of Soutra.

And she stretched forth her trembling hand,

Their mighty sides to stroak,

And ay she reached, and ay she stretched,
'Twas nothing all but smoak;

They were but mere delusive forms,
Of films and sulphry wind,

And every wave she gave her hand,
A gap was left behind.

James Hogg.

« A BRIGHT fire, a clean floor, and a pleasant company," is one of the proverbial wishes of domestic comfort among the wilds of Cumberland. The moorland residence of Randal Rode, exhibited the first and second portions of the primitive wish, and it required no very deep discernment to see that around the ample hearth we had materials for completing the proverb. In each face was reflected that singular mixture of gravity and humour, peculiar I apprehend to the people of the north. Before a large fire-which it is reckoned ominous ever to extinguish, lay half a dozen sheep dogs spreading out their white bosoms to the heat, and each placed opposite to the seat of its owner. The lord or rather portioner of Fremmet-ha himself lay apart on a large couch of oak antiquely carved, and ornamented like some of the massive furniture of the days

of the olden church, with beads, and crosses, and pastoral crooks. This settee was bedded deep with sheepskins-each retaining a fleece of long white wool. At each end lay a shepherd's dog-past its prime like its master, and like him enjoying a kind of half ruminating and drowsy leisure peculiar to old age. Three or four busy wheels, guided by as many maidens, manufactured wool into yarn for rugs, and mauds, and mantles. Three other maidens, with bared arms, prepared curds for cheese, and their hands rivalled in whiteness the curdled milk itself. Under the light of a large candlestick several youths pursued the amusement of the popular game of draughts. This piece of rude furniture ought not to escape particular description. It resembled an Etruscan candelbra, and was composed of a shaft, capable of being depressed or elevated by means of a notched groove, and sunk in a secure block of wood at the floor, terminated above, in a shallow cruse or plate, like a three cocked hat, in each corner of which stood a large candle, which rendered the spacious hall where we sat as light as day. On this scene of patriarchal happiness, looked my old companion Eleanor Selby contrasting, as she glanced her eye in succession o'er the tokens of shepherds' wealth in which the house abounded, the present day with the past-the times of the fleece, the shears, and the distaff, with those of broils and blood, and mutual inroad and invasion, when the name of Selby stood high in the chivalry of the north. One might observe in her changing looks the themes of rustic degradation and chivalrous glory on which she broodedand the present peaceful time suffered by the comparison-as the present always does in the contemplation of old age. The constant attention of young Maudline Rode, who ministered to the comfort of her ancient and wayward relative, seemed gradually to soothe and charm down the demon of proud ancestry who maintained rule in her breast; and after interchanging softer and softer looks of acknowledgment and kindness with her fair young kinswoman, she thus proceeded to relate some of the adventures she had witnessed in the time of her youth. These she poured out in a very singular manner-unconscious, apparently, at times of the presence of others-and often addressing herself to the individuals whom her narrative recalled to life, as if they stood life-like, and breathing before her.

« ElőzőTovább »