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sible provocations could afterward tempt him to a duel; and po wonder that one's conscience loathed that whereof he had surfeited. He refused all challenges with more honour than others accepted them; it being well known, that he would set his foot as far in the face of his enemy as any man alive.- Worthies. Art. Lincolnshire.
Decayed gentry.--"It happened in the reign of King James, when Henry, earl of Huntingdon, was lieutenant of Leicestershire, that a labourer's son in that county was pressed into the wars ; as I take it, to go over with Count Mansfield. The old man at Leicester requested his son might be discharged, as being the only staff of his age, who by his industry maintained him and his mother. The earl demanded his name, which the man for a long time was loath to tell ; (as suspecting it a fault for so poor a man to confess the truth ;) at last he told his name was Hastings. " Cousin Hastings,” said the earl, "we cannot all be top branches of the tree, though we all spring from the same root; your son, my kinsman, shall not be pressed.” So good was the meeting of modesty in a poor, with courtesy in an honourable person, and
I believe in both. And I have reason to believe, that some who justly own the surnames and blood of Bohuns, Mortimers, and Plantagenets, (though ignorant of their own extractions,) are hid in the heap of common people, where they find that under a thatched cottage which some of their ancestors could not enjoy in a leaded castle-contentment, with quiet and security.' -Worthies. Art. Of Shire-Reeves or Shiriffes.
Tenderness of conscience in a tradesmun. 26 Thomas Curson, born in Allhallows, Lombard-street, armorer, dwelt without Bishopsgate. It happened that a stage-player borrowed a rusty musket, which had lain long leger in his shop: now though his part were comical, he there with acted nnexpected tragedy, killing one of the standers-by, the gun casually going off on the stage, which he suspected not to be charged. Oh the difference of divers men in the tenderness of their consciences ! some are scarce touched with a wound, while others are wounded with a touch therein. This poor armorer was highly afflicted therewith, though done against his will, yea, without his knowledge, in his absence, by another, out of mere chance. Hereupon he resolved to give all his estate to pious uses : no sooner had he gotten a round sum, but presently he posted with it in his apron to the court of aldermen, and was in pain till by their direction he had settled it for the relief of poor in his own and other parishes, and disposed of some hundreds of pounds accordingly, as I am credibly informed by the then church wardens of the said par
ish. Thus, as he conceived himself casually (though at a great distance) to have occasioned the death of one, he was the immediate and direct cause of giving a comfortable living to many."
Burning of Wickliffe's body by order of the council of Constance.- -" Hitherto (A. D. 1428) the corpse of John Wickliffe had quietly slept in his grave about forty-one years after his death, till his body was reduced to bones, and his bones almost to dust. For though the earth in the chancel of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, where he was interred, hath not so quick a digestion with the earth of Aceldama, to consume flesh in twenty-four hours, yet such the appetite thereof, and all other English graves. to leave small reversions of a body after so many years.
But now such the spleen of the council of Constance, as they not only cursed his memory as dying an obstinate heretic, but ordered that his bones (with this charitable caution, if it may be discerned from the bodies of other faithful people) be taken out of the ground, and thrown far off from any Christian burial. In obedience hereunto, Richard Fleming, bishop of Lincoln, diocesan of Lutterworth, sent his officers (vultures with a quick sight scent at a dead carcass) to ungrave him. Accordingly, to Lutterworth they come. sumner, commissary, official, chancellor, proctors, doctors, and their servants, (so that the remnant of the body would not hold out a bone among so many hands,) take what was left out of the grave, and burni them to ashes, and cast them into Swift, a neighbouring brook running hard by. Thus this brook has conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, then into the main ocean ; and thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his doctine, which now is dispersed all the world over."*_Church History.
* The concluding period of this most lively narrative I will not call a con. ceit: it is one of the grandest conceptions I ever met with. One feels the ashes of Wickliffe gliding away out of the reach of the sumners, commissa. ries, officials, proctors, doctors, and all the puddering rout of executioners of the impotent rage of the baffled council : from Swift into Avon, from Avon into Severn, from Severn into the narrow seas, from the narrow seas into the main ocean, where they become the emblem of bis doctrine, "dispersed all the world over.” Hamlet's tracing the body of Cesar to the clay that stops a beer-barrel, is a no less curious pursuit of “ruined mortality;" but it is in an inverse ratio to this: it degrades and saddens us, for one part of our nature at least; but this expands the whole of our nature, and gives to the body a sort of ubiquity-a diffusion, as far as the actions of its partner can have reach or influence.
I have seen this passage smiled at, and set down as a quaint conceit of old Fuller. But what is not a conceit to those who read it in a temper different from that in which the writer composed it? The most pathetic parts of poetry to cold tempers seem and are nonsense, as divinity was to the Greeks foolishness. When Richard II., meditating on his own utter annihilation as to royalty, cries out
ON THE GENIUS AND CHARACTER OF HOGARTH;
SOME REMARKS ON A PASSAGE IN THE WRITINGS OF
THE LATE MR. BARRY.
One of the earliest and noblest enjoyments I had when a boy, was in the contemplation of those capital prints by Hogarth, the Harlot's and Rake's Progresses, which, along with some others, hung upon the walls of a great hall in an oldfashioned house in -shire, and seemed the solitary tenants (with myself) of that antiquated and life-deserted apartment.
Recollection of the manner in which those prints used to affect
me, has often made me wonder, when I have heard Hogarth described as a mere comic painter, as one of those whose chief ambition was to raise a laugh. To deny that there are throughout the prints which I have mentioned circum: tances introduced of a laughable tendency, would be to run counter to the common notions of mankind; but to suppose that in their ruling character they appeal chiefly to the risible faculty, and not first and foremost to the very heart of its best and most serious feelings, would be to mistake no less grossly their aim and purpose. A set of severer satires (for they are not so much comedies, which they have been likened to, as they are strong and masculine satires) less mingled with anything of mere fun were never written upon paper or graven upon copper. They resemble Juvenal, or the satiric touches in Timon of Athens,
I was pleased with the reply of a gentleman, who, being asked which book he esteemed most in his library, answered - Shakspeare :" being asked which he esteemed next best, replied — Hogarth.” His graphic representations are indeed books: they have the teeming, fruitful, suggestive meaning of words. Other pictures we look at-his prints we read.
pursuance of this parallel, I have sometimes entertained myself with comparing the Timon of Athens of Shakspeare (which I have just mentioned) and Hogarth's Rake's Progress together. The story, the moral in both is nearly the same. The wild course of riot and extravagance, ending in the one with driving the prodigal from the society of men into the solitude of the deserts, and in the other with conducting the rake through his several stages of dissipation into the still more complete desolations of the mad-house, in the play and in the picture are described with alınost equal force and nature. The levee of the rake, which fornis the subject of the second plate in the series, is almost a transcript of 'Timon's levee in the opening scene of that play. We find a dedicating poet, and other similar characters, in both.
“Oh that I were a mockery king of snow,
To melt before the sun of Bolingbruke," it we have been going on pace for pace with the passion before, this sudden conversion of a strong-felt metaphor into something to be actually realized in nature, like that of Jeremiah, "Oh! that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears," is strictly and strikingly natural; but come unprepared upon it, and it is a conceit: and so is a “head” turned into "wa
The concluding scene in the Rake's Progress is perhaps superior to the last scenes of Timon. If we seek for something of kindred excellence in poetry, it must be in the scenes of Lear's beginning madness, where the king, and the fool, and the Tom-oʻ-Bedlam conspire to produce such a medley of mirth checked by misery, and misery rebuked by mirth; where the society of those “strange bedfellows” which misfortunes have brought Lear acquainted with, so finely sets forth the destitute state of the monarch, while the lunatic bans of the one, and the disjointed sayings and wild but pregnant illusions of the other, so wonderfully sympathize with that confusion, which they seem to assist in the production of, in the senses of that "child-changed father.”
In the scene in Bedlam, which terminates the Rake's Progress, we find the same assortment of the ludicrous with the terrible. Here is desperate madness, the overturning of originally strong thinking faculties, at which we shudder, as we contemplate the duration and pressure of affliction which it must have asked to destroy such a building; and here is the gradual hurtless lapse into idiocy, of faculties, which, at their best of times, never having been strong, we look upon the consummation of their decay with no more of pity than is consistent with a smile. The mad tailor, the poor driveller that has gone out of his wits (and truly he appears to have had no great journey to go to get past their confines) for the love of Charming Betty Careless—these half-laughable, scarcepitiable objects take off from the horror which the principa) figure would of itself raise, at the same time that they assist the feeling of the scene by contributing to the general notior of its subject :
“ Madness, thou chaos of the brain,
What art, that pleasure giv'st, and pain ?
Vast labyrinths and mazes wild,
With rule disjointed, shapeless measure
Is it carrying the spirit of comparison to excess to remark, that in the poor, kneeling, weeping female who accompanies her seducer in his sad decay, there is something analogous to Kent, or Caius, as he delights rather to be called, in Lear -the noblest pattern of virtue which even Shakspeare has conceived—who follows his royal master in banishment, that had pronounced his banishment, and forgetful at once of his wrongs and dignities, taking on himself the disguise of a menial, retains his fidelity to the figure, his loyalty to the carcass, the shadow, the shell, and empty husk of Lear?
In the perusal of a book, or of a picture, much of the impression which we receive depends upon the habit of mind which we bring with us to such perusal. The same circum
one person laugh, which shall render another
very serious ; or in the same person the first impression may be corrected by after-thought. The misemployed incongruous characters at the Hurlot's Funeral, on a superficial inspection, provoke to laughter ; but when we have sacrificed the first emotion to levity, a very different frame of mind succeeds, or the painter has lost half his purpose. I never look at that wonderful assemblage of depraved beings, who, without a grain of reverence or pity in their perverted minds, are performing the sacred exteriors of duty to the relics of their departed partner in folly, but I am as much moved to sympathy from the very want of it in them, as I should be by the finest representation of a virtuous deathbed, surrounded by real mourners, pious children, weeping friends -perhaps more by the very contrast. What reflections does it not awake, of the dreadful heartless state in which the creature (a female too) must have lived, who in death wants the
accompaniment of one genuine tear. That wretch who is removing the lid of the coffin to gaze upon the a face which indicates a perfect negation of all goodness or womanhood-the hypocrite parson and his demure partnerall the fiendish group-to a thoughtful mind present a moral emblem more affecting than if the poor friendless carcass had been depicted as thrown out to the woods, where wolves had assisted at its obsequies, itself furnishing forth its own funeral banquet.
* Liner inscribed under the plate.