The Percy Anecdotes

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The Percy Anecdotes  (1820) 
Reuben Percy and Sholto Percy

ANECDOTES OF FIDELITY.[edit]

" All like the purchase ; few the price will pay ; And this makes friends such miracles below. A friend is worth all hazards we can run. <■ Poor is the friendless master of a world : A world in purchase for a friend, is gain.' "

YOUNG.

TO DIE RATHER THAN BETRAY.[edit]

Mariana, in his History of Spain, relates that a countryman having killed Lucius Piso, the governor of the kingdom, was subjected to torture, in order to extort from him a confession of his confederates. He endured the first day's torments with invincible courage ; but, mistrusting himself on the second, he slipped out of the hands of the executioner as he was going to the rack, and dashed his head with such violence against a stone wall, that he died immediately. How honourable thus to sacrifice life, rather than to be forced, through extremity of pain, to disclose that which he had sworn to conceal !

FAITHFUL NEGRESS.[edit]

In the dreadful earthquake which made such ravages in the Island of St. Domingo in the year 1770, a negress of Port-au-Prince found herself alone in the house of her master and mistress, with their youngest child, whom she nursed. The house shook to its foundation. Every one had taken flight; she alone could not escape, without leaving her infant charge in danger ; she flew to the chamber, where it lay in the most profound sleep ; at that moment the walls of the house fell in ; anxious only for the safety of her foster child, she threw herself over it, and serving as a sort of arch, saved it from destruction. The child was indeed saved ; but the unfortunate negress died soon after, the victim of her fidelity.

THE UNFORTUNATE GIAFAR.[edit]

The Caliph Haroun Alraschid was undoubtedly one of the greatest princes that ever reigned, and his temper was in general merciful and generous ; but one action of dreadful and unrelenting cruelty must ever remain an indelible stain upon his memory. Giafar, his vizir, of the noble family of Bermeki, was esteemed the most eloquent orator, the best writer, and the finest gentleman in the empire. The caliph delighted in his company, and made him a partner in all his amusements. The prince had at the same time an amiable sister, named Abassa, in whose conversation he took uncommon pleasure. The company of his favourites the caliph wished to enjoy together. But this the etiquette of Eastern courts denied, as nothing but an alliance with the royal family could give Giafar the privilege of entering the inner apartments. To remove this obstacle, Alraschid had recourse to a singular expedient. He gave Abassa to Giafar in marriage, but strictly enjoined him never to approach her but in his presence. Under this painful restraint they for some time lived. But nature at length proved too powerful for the caliph's commands. They deceived his vigilance, and Abassa became a mother. A female slave betrayed the secret, and Abassa was driven with ignominy from the royal palace, reduced to wander in the most wretched attire, and to beg charity of the meanest subject of her unrelenting brother. Giafar was beheaded. His family, his dependants, his domestics, were imprisoned, butchered, and proscribed ; and death was denounced against every person who dared to mention the family name. Yet such was the veneration in which the Bermecides had been held by all ranks, that absolute as the caliph was, his commands were here disregarded. An old man in particular, named Mondir, who during their prosperity had received from them many favours, went every day to the deserted dwelling of the unhappy Giafar ; where, from a movmd of ruins, he expatiated to thousands of grateful hearers on the virtues and beneficence of these illustrious men. The caliph in a rage at last ordered Mondir to be brought before him, and condemned him to instant death. The old man did not complain of the sentence ; he begged only to speak a few words before he died. The caliph consented. Mondir made no apology ; he promised no change of sentiments ; and he asked not for mercy. But he enlarged upon the benevolence of those unfortunate noblemen with such pathetic eloquence, that even the caliph was at length touched; and he not only pardoned the man, but gave him a golden plate, which was placed before him; on receiving this, Mondir prostrating himself before the caliph, " Behold," says he, " even in this, a new favour from the noble Bermecides."

FOUNDER OF THE FITZWILLIAM FAMILY.[edit]

The founder of the present noble family of Fitz- william, was Alderman of Bread Street in the year 1506. Before his death he forgave all his debtorsi and wrote upon the erased accounts of each, " Amore Dei remitto /" Cardinal Wolsey was the chief mean of this worthy citizen acquiring his large fortunes. After the disgrace of the Cardinal, Mr. Fitzwilliam very hospitably entertained him at Milton, Northamp- tonshire, one of the fine scats of the present Earl. Henry VIH. was so enraged at this, that he sent for Mr. Fitzwilliam to court, and said, " How, ha ! how comes it, ha! that you dare entertain a traitor?" Fitzwilliam modestly replied, "Please your highness, I did it not from disloyalty, but gratitude." The angry monarch here interrupted him by, •' How, ha !" (the usual exclamation of his rage.) Mr. Fitzwilliam, with the tear of gratitude in his eye, and the burst of loyalty in his i)osom, continued, " From gratitude, as he was my old master, and the means of my greatest fortunes." Impetuous Harry was so niucli pleased with the answer, that he shook him heartily by the hand, and said, " Such gratitude, ha 1 shall never want a master. Come into my service, worthy man, and teach my other scxvanis gratitude, for few of them have any." He then knighted him on the spot, and Mr. F. was immediately sworn in a privy councellor.


CHELONIDA.[edit]

Leonidas, King of Sparta, suspecting a conspiracy was formed against him, fled to the temple of Minerva for shelter ; upon which Cleombrutus, his son-in-law, seized on the reins of government. Leonidas being infonned of this, made his escape, and took with him his daughter, the wife of Cleombrutus, who chose rather to fiy with her father than reign with her hus- band. When Leonidas, a short time after, was re- stored to the throne, he advanced at the head of a band of soldiers to the temple, where Cleombrutus, upon this change of affairs, had fled for refuge. He there reproached him with great warmth for as- suming the regal power, in violation of the ties of affinity between them, and for expelling him from his own country in so ignominious a manner. Cleom- brutus testified his confusion by his silence. His wife, Chelonida, stood by with her two children at his feet. She had been equally unfortunate as a wife and a daughter ; but was equally faithful in both, and had always adhered to the unfortunate side. All who were present melted into tears at so moving a sight, and were struck with admiration at the virtue and tenderness of Chelonida, and the amiable force of conjugal love. The unfortunate princess, pointing to her mourning habit and dishevelled tresses, said.


8 PERCY ANECDOTES.

"Believe mc, O my father! this habit of woe that I now wear, this dejection which now sits upon my countenance, and these sorrows into which you see me sunk, are not the effects of that compassion I enter- tain for Cleombrutus; but the sad remains of my affliction for the calamities you sustained in your flight from Sparta. On what, alas ! shall I now resolve ? While you reign for the future in Sparta, and triumph over the enemies who opposed you, shall I continue to live in the desolate state to which you see me reduced ? Or is it my duty to array myself in robes of royalty and magnificence, when I behold the hus- band I received from you in the flower of my 3'outh, on the point of perishing by your dagger ? Should he be unable to disarm ^^our resentment, and move your soul to compassion by the tears of his wife and children, permit me to assure you that he will be punished with more severity for his imprudence, than was even intended by yourself, when he shall see a wife who is dear to him expiring at his feet ; for you are not to think that in my present condition I can ever consent to outlive him. How shall I appear among Spartan ladies, after my inability to inspire my husband with compassion for my father ; or to soften my father with pity for my husband ? What indeed shall I appear to them, but a daughter and a wife always afflicted and contemned by her nearest rela- tives?"

Chelonida, at the conclusion of these words, re- clined her cheek on that of Cleombrutus, while with her eyes, that spoke sorrow in her tears, she cast a languid look on those who were present. Leonidas, after a few moments' consultation with his friends,


FIDELITY. 9

ordered Cleombrutus to rise, and immediately to quit Sparta ; but earnestly importuned his daughter to continue there, and not forsake a father who gave her such a peculiar proof of tenderness, as to spare the forfeited life of her husband. His solicitations were however ineft'ectual ; and the moment Cleombrutus rose from his seat, Chelonida placed one of her children in his arms, and took the other in her own, and became a voluntary exile with her husband.

PANTHEA AND ABRADATAS.[edit]

In the memorable victory which Cyrus obtained over the Assyrians, Panthea, wife to Abradatas, King of the Susians, was made captive. Her husband was not in the battle, being employed at the time in nego- ciating an alliance betwixt the Assyrians and the King of Bactria. Cyrus calling to him Araspes, the com- panion of his 3'outh, committed Panthea to his care, with strict injunctions to behave towards her as he would to the wife of a brother. In a short time, how- ever, Panthea found that her charms had made such an impression on Araspes, as rendered it no longer safe to remain under his guardianship. She made the danger of her situation known to Cyrus, who imme- diately removed Araspes, and placed her in safer hands. Panthea, grateful for this conduct of the con- queror, and admiring his many excellent qualifica- tions, endeavoured to gain her husband Abradatas over to his side. She knew there was no cordiality between him and the King of Assyria, and that he wished nothing more earnestly than an opportunity to quit his semce. Abradatas was overcome by her


10 PERCY ANECDOTES.

solicitations, and went over to Cyrus with two tliousand horse. Panthea informed her husband of the virtuous and honourable conduct which Cyrus had himself ob- served, and made others observe, towards her. "What can I do, Panthea," said Abradatas, "to show my gratitude to Cyrus?" " What else," said she, "but to behave towards him as he has behaved towards you ?" On this, Abradatas going to Cyrus, and taking him by the hand, said, " O, Cyrus ! in return for the benefits you have bestowed upon us, I give myself to you an ally, a servant, and a friend."

From that time, Cyrus had no ally more attached to his interest than Abradatas. The morning of the day on which Cyrus overthrew Crcesus, Panthea brought to her husband, preparing him for battle, a golden helmet, bracelets for his wrists, a purple robe, and a crest of a violet colour. These things having been prepared without his knowledge, he said to her, "Plave you made me these, Panthea, by destroying your ornaments?" "No, surely," said she, " not by destroying what is the most valuable of them ; for you are my greatest ornament." Proceeding to put on the armour, tears trickled down her cheeks, though she endeavoured to restrain them. Abradatas, in this dress, appeared most beautiful and noble. Pantliea, after desiring all that were present to retire, spoke as follows : " O, Abradatas ! if ever there were a woman who regarded her husband more than her own soul, you know that I am she. And yet, though I stand thus affected toward you, I swear by our mutual friendship, that rather would 1 be put under ground with you, approving yourself a brave man, than live with you in disregard and shame. Wc both lie under


FIDELITY. 11

great obligations to Cyrus, for w hen I was a captive, and chosen for himself, he kept me for you, as if I was liis brother's wife." Abradatas, struck with admi- ration at her discourse, gently took her hand into his, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, made the following prayer: " O, great Jupiter! grant me to appear a husband worthy of Panthea, and a friend worthy of Cyrus." Having said this, he mounted his chariot and moved along. Panthea could not help following, till Abradatas seeing her, said, "Have courage, Panthea, the gods take care of the \artuous." And on this she was conducted to her tent. Although Abradatas in his chariot made a noble appearance, he attracted no eyes till Panthea was gone.

The victory that day was complete ; Cyrus routed his enemies, and got possession of their camp. Toward the evening, when the battle was over, Cyrus calling some of his servants, inquired whether any of them had seen Abradatas? But Abradatas was now no more ; he was slain in breaking in upon the Egyptians ; and Cyrus was informed, that Panthea had retired with the dead body to the bank of the river Pactolus ; that her servants were digging a grave for it; and that she herself was sitting on the ground with the head of her dead husband upon her knees.

Cyrus, hearing this, smote his breast, and hastened to Panthea. Seeing Abradatas lying dead, he shed tears, and said, "Alas, thou brave and faithful soul ! hast thou left us, and art thou no more?" At the same time he took him by the right hand, which came away, for it had been cut off in battle. The woman, smothering her grief, took the hand from Cyrus, kissed it, joinedit to thebody, and said, "The rest, Cyrus,


12 PERCY ANECDOTES.

is in the same condition. But why should you look upon this mangled body ? for you are not less aiFected than I am. Fool that I was ! frequently did 1 exhort him to show his friendship for you ; and 1 know he never thought of what he himself might suffer, but of what he should do to gain your favour. He died, therefore, without reproach ; and I, who urged him on, sit here alive." Cyrus, shedding tears, replied: " He has died, woman! but his death has been glorious, for he has vanquished his enemies. Honours shall be paid him suiting a conqueror. A lofty monu- ment shall be erected for him ; and all the sacrifices shall be made that are due to the memory of a brave man." Having said this, he went away, with great concern for the woman who had lost such a husband j sorrowing also for the man who had left such a wife behind him, never to see her more.

Panthea ordered her eunuchs to retire, " till such time," said she, " as I have lamented over my hus- band." She retained only one faithful female attend- ant ; and commanded that, when dead, she should be wrapped in the same mantle with her husband. The servant, after repeated remonstrances, finding her en- treaties unsuccessful, broke into a flood of tears^ Panthea, being provided with a sword, fell upon it and died. The maid-servant, setting up a most lamentable cry, covered the bodies as she had been directed. Cyrus, informed of this melancholy scene, hastened to the place, and poured forth a flood of unavailing lamentations over the hapless pair. Their funeral rites were performed in the most solemn manner j and a lofty mon\nnent (reeled, to preserve to future ages Ihis bright example of conjugal virtue and attachment.


==IDELITY TILL DEATH.

Among the persons who were accused of being accomplices with John of Swabia, in the assassination of the Emperor Albert, was the Baron Vonder Wart; though, according to the unanimous testimony of early and later historians, he had not taken any imme- diate part in the deed itself. He was bound alive to the wheel. His wife, Gertrude, did not forsake her xmhappy husband even in his last moments; and she describes those dreadful hours in a letter addressed to Margaret Freianstein, which is inserted in a work published at Haerlem in 1818, entitled, " Gertrude Vonder Wart, or Fidelity till Death ; a true History of the Fourteenth century ; by J. C. Appenzeller." The following is the letter of the most faithful of wives.

" I prayed under the scaffold on which my husband was fastened alive upon the wheel, and exhorted him to fortitude. I then arose, and with thick pieces of wood built myself a kind of steps, by means of which I could mount up to the wheel, laid myself upon his trembling limbs and head, and stroked the hair from his face, which the wind had blown all over it. * I beseech you, leave me ! Oh, 1 beseech you !' he ex- claimed continually. 'When day breaks, should you be found here, what will be your fate ? and what new misery will you bring upon me ? O God ! is it pos- sible that thou canst still increase my sufferings ?'

" ' I will die with you! tis for that I come, and no power shall force me from you,' said I, and spread out my arms over him, and implored God for my Rudolph's death.


14 PERCY ANECDOTES.

" The day broke slowly, when I saw many people in motion opposite us : I replaced the thick pieces of wood where 1 had found them. It was the guard, who had fled on my appearance, but had remained near the spot; and, as it seemed, caused a report to be made of what had past; for at day break all the people, men, women, and children, came flocking out. of the town.

" As more people approached, I saw also several women of my own acquaintance ; among them was the wife of the bailiff, Hugo von Winterthur ; I saluted her, and begged her intervention with her husband, that he might order the executioner to put an end to my husband's cruel sufferings.

" ' He dare not do any thing for me,' sighed Wart upon the wheel, again moving his head at this moment, and looking down upon me with his swollen eyes.

  • He dare not do any thing ; the queen pronounced

the sentence, and the bailiff must therefore obey ; otherwise, I had well deserved of him that he should do me this last kindness.'

" Some persons brought me bread and confectionery, and offered me wine to refresh me ; but I could take nothing; for the tears that were shed, and the pity that animated every heart, and was kindly expressed, was to me the most agreeable refreshment. As it grew lighter, the number of jicople increased ; I recognized also the sheriff, Steiner V^on Pfungen, with his two sons, Conrad and Datlikon : also a Madame Von Nefteu- back, who was praying for us.

" The executioner came also ; then Lamprccht, the confessor. The fust said, with a sigh, ' God have compassion on this unhappy man, and comfort his soul !'


FIDELITY. 15

The latter asked Rudolph if he would not yet confess? Wart, with a dreadful exertion of all his strength, re- peated the same words that he had called out to the queen, before the tribunal at Brugk (denying the charge). The priest was silent.

"All at once I heard a cry of 'Make way!' and a troop of horsemen approached with their vizors down.

" The executioner kneeled ; the confessor laid his hand upon his breast; the horsemen halted. Fathers and mothers held up their children in their arms, and the guard with their lances formed a circle, while the tallest of the knights raised himself in his stirrups, and said to the executioner, 'Whither are the crows flown, that he still keeps his eyes?' and this was Duke Leopold.

"My heart ceased to beat, when another knight with a scornful smile said, ' Let him writhe as long as he has feelmg ! but then people must be gone. Confounded wretches! this sighing and crying makes me mad! IVo pity must be shown here ; and she here, who so increases the howling, who is she? what does the woman want? away with her.'

" I now recognized the voice of the queen. It was Agnes, in the dress and armour of a knight. I remarked immediately that it was a woman's voice, and it is certain it was Agnes.

" ' It is Wart's wife,' I heard a third knight say. 'Last night when the sentence was executed, we took her with us to Kyburg. She escaped from us, and I must find her here then! We thought that in her despair she had leaped into the moat of the castle. We have been seeking her since this morning early. God! what faithful love! Let her alone; nothing can be done with her.'

c 2


16 PERCY ANECDOTES.

" I here recognized the mild-tempered Von Landen- berg. How well did he now speak for me ! I could have fallen at his feet.

<" Well, Gertrude,' cried a fourth to me, 'will you not take rational advice ? Do not kill yourself I Save yourself for the world ! you will not repent of it.'

" Who was this ! Margaret. I trembled ; it was she who wanted to persuade me at Brugk to leave the criminal Wart to his fate, and pass days of joy with her. Then 1 too could almost have exclaimed, * God ! this is too much ! cease ! '

" Agnes made a signal to an esquire to raise me up, and bring me away from the scaffold. He approached me, but I threw my arm round it, and implored my own and my husband's death ; but in vain ; two men dragged me away. I besought assistance from heaven : it was granted me.

" Von Landenberg (otherwise a faithful servant of Austria) once more ventured to speak for me. ' Cease to humble her; such fidelity is not found on earth j angels in heaven must rejoice at it; but it would be good if the people were driven away.'

" They let me loose again ; the horsemen departed ; tears flowed from Lamprecht's eyes ; he had acted strictly according to his duty, and executed the will of the queen; he could now listen to the voice of nature, and weep with me. ' I can hold out no longer, noble lady ! I am vanquished ; your name shall be mentioned with glory among the saints in heaven, for this world will forget it. Be faithful unto death, and God will give you the crown of life,' said he ; he gave me his hand and departed.

" Every one now left the place, except tlie exccu-


FIDELITY. 17

tioner and the guard ; evening came on, and at length silent night; a stormy wind arose, and its howling joined with the loud and unceasing prayers which I put up to the Almighty.

" One of the guard now brought me a cloak, to protect me from the wind, because it was night ; but I got upon the wheel, and spread it upon the naked and broken limbs of ray husband ; the wind whistled through his hair ; his lips were dry. I fetched some water in my shoe, which was a refreshment to us both. I know^ not, my dearest Margaritha, how it was possible for me to live through such heart-breaking and cruel hours. But I lay as if guarded and wonderfully strengthened by God, continually praying near the wheel on which my whole world reposed.

"As often as a sigh broke from the breast of my Rudolph it was a dagger in ray heart; but I consoled myself with the hope, that after a short time of suffer- ing, the eternal joys of Heaven would be my portion ; and this gave me courage to suffer; I knew too for whom I suffered, and this gave me strength in the combat, so that I endured to the very last moment.

" Though Wart had at first so earnestly begged me not to increase his agonies by my presence, yet he now thanked me as much for not having left him ; in my prayers to God he found consolation and refresh- ment, and it was a comfort to his soul when I prayed.

" How the last dreadful morning and noon were spent, permit me to pass over in silence, A few hours before evening, Rudolph moved his head for the last time; I raised rayself up to him. He murmured very faintly, but with smiling love upon his lips, these words : Gertmde, this is fidelity till death ! and expired.


18 PERCY ANECDOTES.

On my knees I thanked God for the grace wliich he

had given me, to remain faithful to the end."

AUGUSTUS AND CINNA.[edit]

The Emperor Augustus being informed of a conspiracy against his life, headed by Lucius Cinna, was at first moved by resentment to resolve upon the cruellest punishment. But reflecting afterwards that Cinna was a young man of an illustrious family, and nephew to the great Pompey, he broke out into bitter fits of passion. ""Why live I, if it be for the God of mercy that I should die ? Must there be no end of m}' cruelties? Is my life of so great a value, that oceans of blood must be shed to preserve it?" His wife Livia finding him in this perplexity, " Will you take a woman's counsel?" said she. "Imitate the physicians, who, when ordinary remedies fail, make trial of what are extraordinary. By severity you have prevailed nothing. Lepidus has followed Savi- dienus ; Murena, Lepidus ; Ccepio, Murena ; and Egnatius, Cocpio. Begin now, and try whether sweetness and clemency may not succeed. Cinna is detected. Forgive him ; he will never henceforth have the heart to hurt thee, and it will be an act of glory." Augustus was a man of sense ; and calling Cinna to a private conference, he spoke as follows : " Thou knowest, Cinna, that having joined my ene- mies, I gave thee thy life, restored thee all thy goods, and advanced thy fortune equally with the best of those who had always been my friends. The sacer- dotal office I conferred upon thee, after having denied it to others wlio had borne arms in my service. And


FIDELITY. 19

jet J after so many obligations, thou hast undertaken to murder me." Seeing Cinna astonished and silent with the consciousness of guilt, Augustus went on as follows : " Well, Cinna, go thy way ; I again give thee that life as a traitor, which I gave thee before as an enemy. Let friendship from this time forward commence betwixt us ; and let us make it appear whether thou hast received thy life, or I have given it, with the better faith." Some time after he pre- ferred Cinna to the consular dignit^^ complaining of him that he had not resolution to solicit it. Their friendship continued uninterrupted till the death of Cinna ; who, in token of his gratitude, appointed Augustus to be his sole heir. And it is remarkable that Augustus reaped the due reward of a clemency so generous and exemplary ; for from that time there never was the slightest conspiracy or attempt against him.

KING WILLIAM AND EARL GODOLPHIN.

After the revolution of 1668, letters were inter- cepted from the Earl of Godolphin to the dethroned king. This was a crime against the state, but not a crime to be ashamed of ; for the earl was at the same time a man of approved virtue. King William thought it wiser to make a friend of such a man, than to pursue him as an enemy, to destruction. He sent for the earl, and in a private conference produced to him his letters, commended his zeal for his former master, however blind it might be ; expresesd a warm desire to have the earl for his friend ; and at the same instant threw the letters into the fire, that the earl


20 PERCY ANECDOTES.

might be under no constraint. This act of magna- nimity gained Godolphin's heart, and his faithful services, ever after.

SINGULAR CAPITULATION.

Guelph, Duke of Bavaria, having made war on the Emperor Conrad III., that prince besieged liim in the castle of Weinsberg, where he defended him- self to the last extremity ; but was at last obliged to surrender at discretion. The emperor treated the person whom Guelph had sent to him to capitulate with great civility, and gave his word that the duke and his troops should be permitted to pass through the Imperial army unmolested. The duke's lady however suspected some fatal design against her hus- band was concealed under this appearance of cle- mency. She therefore wished to make a more certain engagement than that of mere words. She sent a gentleman to the emperor, to demand from him safe conduct not only for herself, but also for the other ladies and women that were in the castle ; that they might be suffered to pass unmolested, and be con- ducted to a place of security ; and that they should also be at liberty to take whatever they could carry with them. To this request the emperor readily con- sented.

The evacuation was made in the presence of the emperor and all his army ; and every one was asto- nished when they saw pass first the duchess, then countesses, baronesses, and other ladies of quality, whose Jiusbands had offended against the emperor, each with difficulty carrying her lord on her shoulders. <


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It had been supposed in the army, that when the duchess demanded this favour, it was only with a view, to save their gold, silver, and jewels, and no suspicion was entertained of their real intentions. The emperor was astonished at the sight, and could not help being touched with the tenderness and cou- rage of these ladies, who considered their husbands as their true treasure, which they esteemed more than gold or jewels. He commended their fidelity to their husbands, treated them with a splendid dinner, and came to a sincere accommodation with Guelph and his companions.

ROMAN SLAVES.

About the year of Rome, 638, the illustrious orator, M. Antonius, was upon the point of setting oat for the province of Asia, which he commanded, when he was informed of an accusation having been preferred against him ; and as there was a law to exempt those from prosecution who were absent in the service of their country, he might have easily evaded a trial. But conscious of his own innocence, he postponed his journey, and returned to Rome, to clear himself even from the suspicion of the charge brought against him. In the course of his trial, one circumstance rendered the defence of the accused very precarious. The prosecutors demanded that a slave, who they pre- tended could give most material evidence, should be delivered up to them in order to be examined. This slave was very young ; Antonius was therefore in extreme apprehensions, both for the weakness of his years, and the violence of the torture be must


22 PERCY ANECDOTES,

endure. But the slave exhorted his master to deliver him up without fear ; assuring hiin that his fidelity ^vas proof against die most cruel inflictions. He kept his word ; and whips, racks, and red-hot irons, could not shake his constancy, nor make hun breathe a word prejudicial to his master. Antonia was consequently acquitted, and set out for his province with honour.

When the Romans besieged Grumentum in Luca- nia, and the city was reduced to the last extremity, two slaves escaped into the camp of the besiegers. The place was soon afterwards taken by storm, and plundered. The two slaves then ran to the house of their mistress, whom they seized with a kind of vio- lence, and carried off. When they were asked who she was ? they answered, she was their mistress, and a most cruel mistress ; upon whom they were going to take revenge for all the barbarous treatment they had suffered from her. In this way they compelled her to quit the city, and conveyed her to a safe retreat, where they concealed her with great care ; and when the fury of the soldiers was abated, and tranquility was restored in the city, they brought her back to her house, and obeyed her as before. She gave them their liberty, which was the greatest reward in her power to bestow ; but certainly far short of the services they had rendered her.

On the victorious return of Marius to Rome, he filled all Italy with the effects of his fury and revenge. The highways and cities were filled with his guards, who pursued those that fled, so that very few escaped. The unfortunate found neither faithful friends nor


FIDELITY. 23

relatives, and almost every one was betrayed -who had sought shelter in the house of his supposed friend. The servants of Cornutus possesed more generous natures ; they concealed him in a safe place, and took a dead body, which they suspended by the neck to a beam, to induce the belief that it was their master who had hung himself, and showed him in that situ- ation, with a gold ring on his fingers, to the soldiers who sought him. They afterwards acted the whole ceremony of a funeral, without any one suspecting the truth ; and in the mean time Cornutus escaped into Gaul.


LUCILIUS.

At the battle of Philippi, when Brutus, after the rout of his army, was in hazard of falling into the hands of his enemies, his bosom friend Lucilius gave him an opportunity to escape, calling out, " I am Brutus ; lead me to Antony." Being conducted to Antony, he spoke with great resolution. " 1 have employed this artifice," said he, " that Brutus might not fall alive into the hands of his enemies. The gods will never permit that fortune shall triumph so far over virtue. In spite of fortune, Brutus will always be found, dead or alive, in a situation worthy of his courage." Antony, admiring the firmness of Lucilius, said to him, " You meant a greater recom- pense than it is in my power to bestow. I have been just now informed of the death of Brutus ; and as your fidelity to him is now at an end, I beg earnestly to be received in his place. Love me as you did him ; I wish no more." Lucilius engaged himself to Antony,


24 PERCY ANECDOTES.

and maintaining the same fidelity to him that he had done to Brutus, adhered to him when he was aban- doned by all the world.

AFFECTING RECOGNITION.

A few years ago, in working to establish a new communication between two shafts of a mine at Fahkin, the capital of Dalccarlia, the body of a miner was discovered in a perfect state of preservation, and impregnated with vitriolic water. It was quite soft, but hardened on being exposed to the air. No one could identify the body ; it was merely remembered that the accident by which he had thus been buried in the bosom of the earth, liad taken place above fifty years ago. All inquiries about the name of the suf. ferer had already ceased, when a decrepid old woman, supported on crutches, slowly advanced towards the corpse, and knew it to be that of a young man to whom she had been promised in marriage more than half a century ago. She threw herself on the corpse, which had all the appearance of a bronze statue, bathed it with her tears, and fainted with joy at once more beholding the object of her affections. It is easier to conceive than trace the singular contrast afforded by that couple ; the one buried above fifty years ago, still retaining the appearance of youth ; while the other, weighed down by age, evinced all the fervency of ^'outhful love.


FIDELITY. 26

DAMON AND PYTHIAS. Damon being condemned to death by Dionysius, Tyrant of Syracuse, obtained liberty to visit his wife and children, leaving his friend Pythias as a pledge for his return, on condition that, if he failed, Pythias should suffer in his stead. At the appointed time, Damon failed in appearing, and the tyrant had the curiosity to visit Pythias in prison. " What a fool you were," said he, " to rely on Damon's promise ! How could you imagine that he would sacrifice his life for you or for any man.^" " My lord," said Pythias, with a firm voice and noble aspect, " I would suffer a thousand deatl\s, rather than my friend should fail in any article of honour. He cannot fail. I am con- fident of his virtue, as I am of my own existence. But I beseech the gods to preserve his life. Oppose him, ye winds ! Disappoint his eagerness, and suffer him not to arrive until my death has saved a life of much greater consequence than mine, necessary to his lovely wife, to his little innocents, to his friends, to his country. Oh ! let me not die the cruellest of deaths in that of my Damon." Dion^'sius was confounded, and awed v/ith the magnanimit}^ of these sentiments. He wished to speak ; he hesitated ; he looked down, and retired in silence. The fatal day arrived. Pythias was brought forth, and with an air of satisfaction walked to the place of execution. He ascended the scaffold, and addressed the people. " My prayers are heard ; the gods are propitious ; the winds have been contrary. Damon could not conquer impossibilities; he will be here to-morrow, and my blood shall ransom

D


26 PERCY ANECDOTES.

that of ray friend." As he pronounced these words, a buzz arose ; a distant voice was heard ; the crowd caught the words, and " Stop, stop, executioner !" was repealed by every person. A man came at full speed. In the same instant he was off his horse, on the scaffold, and in the arms of Pythias. " You are safe," he cried, " you are safe, my friend. The gods be praised, you are safe." Pale and half speechless in the arms of his Damon, Pythias replied in broken accents : " Fatal haste ; cruel impatience ! What envious powers have wrought impossibilities against your friend ! but I will not be wholly disappointed. Since I cannot die to save you, I will die to accom- pany you." Dionysius heard and beheld with asto- nishment His eyes were opened ; his heart was touched ; and he could no longer resist the power of virtue. He descended from his throne, and ascended the scaffold. *' Live, live, ye incomparable pair. Ye have demonstrated the existence of virtue, and consequently of a God who rewards it. Live happy, live revered ; and as you have invited me by your examjjle, form mc by your precepts to participate worthily of a friendship so divine."

DEMETRIUS AND ANTIPHILUS.

Demetrius of Sunion was brought up from his infancy with Antiphilus, and travelled with him into Egypt. Demetrius went to see the antiquities of the country, while Antiphilus remained behind to study physic. During the absence of the former, one of the slaves of Antiphilus associated himself with some thieves to pillage the temple of Anubis,


FIDELITY. 27

where they stole the statue of the god, with other things, and concealed them under a bed in Anti- philus's house.

The thieves were taken as they were selling some part of the booty 3 and on being put to the torture, they impeached the slave who was first arrested, and then his master, at whose house part of the stolen goods were found. Antiphilus was cast into a dark dungeon, where, in the da^'^ time, his hands were fastened to a ring, and at night to a block. The heinousness of his supposed crime prevented any one from assisting him, as all were shocked at the idea of sacrilege. His two other slaves carried off every tiling that belonged to him, while he lay in prison, and he remained thus abandoned by all the world, and tormented by his jailor, who thought he was doing service to the gods in ill-treating him.

Demetrius, who knew nothing of the misfortunes of his friend until his arrival, no sooner was informed of the melancholj' news, than he hastily run to the prison, where they would not give him admittance, because the jailor had gone to rest, and the guards had taken their post. He was therefore obliged to wait till the next day, and even then it was with diffi- culty he found admittance, and had no less difficulty to recognize his friend. After having sought for him a long time, as we seek a man among the dead after the day of battle, he would not have found him, had he not called on him aloud by name. Anti- philus faintly answered the call ; Demetrius knew his voice, but could scarcely recognize his person, so much was it disfigured ; having turned his dishevelled hair from his forehead, which it covered, he was so D 2


28 PERCY ANECDOTES.

shocked at the sight that he fainted away. Antiphilus, overcome by his feelings, also fell into a swoon.

Demetrius first recovering, did what he could to restore his friend to his senses, and gave him his own cloak to supply the place of those wretched rags that only barely covered him. The greater part of his effects having been carried otf by the slaves of Antiphilus, he found himself now without resource ; and as he had neither credit nor money, having spent all he had with him in his tour, he engaged himself at the port to carry merchandize as a porter ; and after having worked all the morning, he took all he had earned to his friend, of which he gave one part to the jailor, and with the other he and his friend regaled themselves. At night, Demetrius was obliged to retire, and sleep at the door upon a little bed made of leaves and branches j for he was not suffered to sleep in the prison.

Thus they lived for some time ; till one of the prisoners dying with poison, as was supposed, no person was afterwards suffered to enter the prison. Demetrius, however, who could not think of quitting his friend, went, through despair, and im- peached himself as an accomplice in the sacrilege. He was accordingly sent to the same prison ; but it was with dilliculty he persuaded the jailor to admit him into the same dungeon with his friend. However, they endeavoured to soften their calamities by con- versation, and each seemed to take more care of the health of his companion than of his own.

In the mean time an accident hap|)ened, which restored them to liberty at a time wlien they had ao reason to expect it. One of the prisoners having


FIDELITY. 29

obtained a file, got off his irons, and after having killed the guard, fled with the rest of the prisoners. The two friends, however, remained in prison, choos- ing rather to die, than obtain their liberty by means worse than death. The governor of Egypt being informed of the circumstance, set both of them at liberty, after permitting them to prove their inno- cence ; but suprised at so much fidelity, he gave ten thousand drachms to Antiphilus, and double that sum to Demetrius, who retired to India, and left every thing to his friend.


IRISH SERVANT. A short time before the Irish rebellion of 1641 liad broken out. Captain Edgeworth, ancestor of the celebrated Maria Edgeworth, not aware of the imme- diate danger, left his wife and infant in the castle of Cranallagh, while he Avas summoned to a distance by some military dutj-. During his absence, the rebels rose, attacked the castle, set fire to it at night, and dragged the lady out, literally almost naked. She escaped from their hands, and hid herself under a furze bush, till they had dispersed. By what means she saved herself from the fury of the rebels, is not known ; she made her way to Dublin, thence to England, and to her father's house in Derbyshire. After the rebels had forced this lady out of the castle, and had set fire to it, they plundered it com- pletely ; but they were persuaded to extinguish the fire, from reverence for the picture of Jane Edgev/orth, whose portrait was painted on the wainscoat, with a cross hanging from her neck, and a rosary in her D 3


30 PERCY ANECDOTES,

hands. Being a catholic, and having founded a religious house, she was considered as a saint. The only son of Captain Edgeworth was then an infant, lying in his cradle. One of the rebels seized the child by the leg, and was in the act of swinging him round to dash his brains out against the corner of the castle wall, when an Irish servant, whose name was Bryan Ferral, of the lowest order, stopped his hand, claiming the right of killing the little heretic himself, and swearing that a sudden death would be too good for him ; that he would plunge him up to the throat in a bog-hole, and leave him for the crows to pick his eyes out. Snatching the child from his comrade, he ran off with it to a neighbouring bog, and thrust it into the mud ; but when the rebels had retired, this man, who had only pretended to join them, ran back to the bog for the boy, preserved his life, and contriving to hide him in a pannier under eggs and chickens, carried him actually through the midst of the rebel camp safely to Dublin.

A TRAITOR'S MONUMENT.

In the Great Hall of the General Council of Venice, there used to be seen the pictures of all the dukes of the republic, from the first to the last, with the ex- ception of one, instead of whose likeness there was a drawing of an empty chair, covered with a black veil. The individual excluded was Marino Faliero, who had conspired against the republic ; and the empty chair and veil were happily designed to be emblematic of that extinction and oblivion which ought so peculiarly to follow a want of iidclity in situations of public trust.


FIDELITY. 31


FAMILY OF THE CAVE.

Julius Sabiuus having engaged the interest of the Gauls, caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor of Rome ; but being defeated, he fled to his countr^^-house and set it on fire, in order to raise a report that he had perished. The scheme succeeded, for he \vas believed to have sutFered a voluntary death in the flames. But in the mean time, he lay concealed -with his treasures, ■which were immense, in a cave which he had caused to be dug in a solitary place, and which was known only to two of his freedmen, on whose fidelity he could depend. He might easily have withdrawn into Ger- many, but he could not prevail on himself to abandon his wife> whom he passionately loved. Sabinus, that no one might doubt of his death, did not for some time even undeceive his wife, who solemnized his obsequies with great pomp, bewailed him with many tears, and at last no longer able to bear the loss of a husband, for whom she had the sincerest aft'ectron, resolved not to outlive him, and began to abstain from food. This news alarmed Sabinus ; and therefore by means of Martialis, one of his freedmen, he informed her that he was still alive, and acquainted her w ith the place where he laid concealed, desiring her at the same time to suppress her joy, lest the secret might thence be betrayed. Empona heard the relation with rapture, and pretending business in the country, flew to her husband. The cave to her was then preferable to a palace, for there only she was happy. She w ent fre- quently to see him, and sometimes contrived to stay whole weeks unsuspected. Two children bom and


32 PERCY ANECDOTES.

brought. up in the cave, tended still more to endear this faithful pair to each other. When at Rome, Empona continued to bewail her husband as dead, and concealed the whole with singular fidelity and address. After Sabinus had passed nine years in this manner, he was at length discovered by some persons who narrowly watched his wife, upon her frequently absent- ing herself from her own house, and followed her to the cave without being discovered. Sabinus was im- mediately seized, and sent to Rome loaded with chains, together with his wife, w ho throwing herself at the Emperor's feet, and presenting to him her two tender infants, endeavoured with her tears and entreaties to move him to compassion. Vespasi .n, although it is related that he wept at so affecting a spectacle, con- denmed both Empona and her husband, and they were soon afterwards executed.


ROYAL GUARDIAN. Henry, King of Arragon and Sicily, left at his death his son John, a child of twenty-two months old, to succeed him, and entrusted the guardianship of him to his brother Ferdinand. It was impossible for any man to enjoy a fairer reputation than the individual to whom he coumiitted this precious charge. Wise and resolute in action, yet of mild and conciliating manners ; in honor and integrity above suspicion ; the eyes of the whole people v. ere turned upon him, as the man of all others best qualified to guide the helm of affairs. To be good and in power, affords however no ex- emption from the a])proaches of sycophancy : and Ferdinand, who had no other than a pure desire to


FIDELITY. 33

administer the government in the name and for the behalf of his infant nephew, was soon assailed with instigations to take upon himself the crown. To every hint of the kind he lent a deaf ear; and when some of the bolder of the nobles made the proposition openly to him, he reproved them with indignation, insisting on the light of his brother's son, which they were the more bound to respect, that he was yet too young to be able to defend it himself. The most solemn declarations of an upright man are seldom of much avail with men who judge of the integrity of others by their own susceptibility to temptation. Ferdinand's uniform re- probation in private of the scheme of supplanting his infant nephew, did not prevent a proposition being made to that purpose in a public assembly of the states. Paralus, Master of the Horse, in the name of a large party of the nobles, thus addressed him; *' WTiom, O Ferdinand ! is it your pleasure to have declared our king ?" Ferdinand, with a sharp look and tone, replied :

  • ' Whom but John, the son of my brother?" And on

this, he brought forth the young prince from under his robe, where he had kept him concealed, inconsequence of an intimation privatel^^ given him, that such a pro- position was to be made " Whom but John, the son of my brother ?" And lifting the boy upon his shoul- ders, he exclaimed, "Long live King John !" Com- manding the banners to be displayed, and placing the infant in the royal chair, he cast himself first to the ground before him, and all the nobles instantly followed his honourable example.


34 PERCY ANECDOTES.

HOW TO DESERVE FREEDOIM.

It was a custom with the Athenians, that a freed - man, convicted of ingratitude towards his liberator, should forfeit the freedom he had acquired. If ever there was a valid apology for slavery, it was this ; it was as much as to say, " We scorn to have one for a citizen, who makes so base a use of the power to do as he plcaseth ; nor can we ever be brought to believe, that an individual can be faithful to the commonwealth, who is so treacherous in his private relations. Be still a slave, since thou knowest not how to esteem thy freedom."

HINDOO FRIENDSHIPS.

Notwithstanding the counteracting influence of the various casts in India, among the Hindoos, formal en- gagements of fricndsliip, even between Bramhuns and Slioodrus, arc very common. When these agreements are made, the parties choose a name by which to call each other, as friend, companion, &c. ; they present to each, and sometimes to the families of each, suits of clothes, and make feasts to each other. Persons going to the temples of Jugunnat'hu, in Orissa, some- times make agreements to friendship there, and ratify them, by presenting to each of them the sacred food, the orts of Jugunnat'hu. When two females thus join in friendship, they call each other soi, a word wiiich signifies that they will each conseut to whatever the other ])ropos( s. These friendships, though often suddenly perfonued, spring from nmtual attachment.

Tiic attachment of tlie Hindoos to their Gooroos, or


FIDELITY. 35

preceptors, exhibits strong proofs of their fidelity. In the 3car 1804, a Bramhun of Calcutta, aged about sixty, was carried to the river side at the point of death, and while there, one of his disciples went to see him. The disciple asked his dying gooroo if there was any thing that he wished from him. The gooroo was unreasonable, and at his request obtained for his children five hundred thousand rupees, a pair of gold rings for his youngest son, and a piece of land near Calcutta for the eldest, worth twenty thousand rupees. The disciple again asked if there was any thing further he could do to please him ? The old fellow made apo- logies, but at length requested him to make a present of five thousand rupees towards the expences of the rites, for the repose of his soul. This was added. The next morning the gooroo died, and his wife was burnt with his bod}^ The disciple afterwards added another five thousand rupees towards defraying the funeral rites. The memory of this avaricious gooroo is execrated by all the Hindoos, while the faithful at- tachment of the disciple is held in the highest admira- tion.

EARL OF ESSEX. The brave but unfortunate Earl of Essex, when on his trial for high treason, complained that the letters produced against him were counterfeited ; and upon diligent inquiry into the matter, it did appear, that though not innocent of writing such letters, a bold and impudent cheat had been practised upon him. The Countess of Essex, fearing in the situation that her husband stood, that he might fall into trouble, put some letters which her ladyshi[) had received from


36 PERCY ANECDOTES.

him into a casket, and entrusted it to the care of a Dutch woman, named Rihoe, who was under every obligation in the world to be faithful to the lady. Rihoe hid them, as she thought, securely in her own house ; but by ill chance, her husband, John Daniel, found them, read them over, and observing that there ■was something in them that might incense Queen Eliza- beth, and endanger the earl, caused them to be trans- cribed by one who was expert in counterfeiting hands. He then went to the countess, and told her that unless her ladyship would give him a large sum of money, he would deliver the letters into the hands of her husband's enemies. The countess, who had a tender affection for her husband, immediately gave the man eleven hundred and seventy pounds ; and yet, large as the sura was, the villain gave her only the counter- feit letters, and kept the originals, in order to get another sum for them from the earl's enemies. The afiair coming to light, he was tried for the offence, found guilty, and deservedly condemned to perpetual imprisonment, to pay a fine of three thousand pounds (of which the countess was to have two thousand) and to stand two hours with his ears nailed to the pillory, with this inscrijjtion on his breast: "A wicked cheat, forger, and informer."

VICTIM OF A FIRST LOVE. Every one must recollect the tragical story of Yoiing Egan, tbc Irish patriot ; it was too touching to be soon forgotten. During the troubles in Ireland, he was tried, condemned, and executed on a charge of treason. Ilia fate made a deep impression on the public sympathy, lie was so young ; so intelligent.


FIDELITY. 37

SO generous ; so brave; so every tiling, that we are apt to like in a young man. His conduct under trial, too, was so lofty and intrepid. The noble indignation Avith which he repelled the charge of treason against bis country ; the eloquent vindication of liis name ; and his pathetic appeal to posterity in the hopeless hour of condemnation ; all these entered deeply into every generous bosom, and even his opponents lamented the stern policy that dictated his execution.

But there was one heart whose anguish it would be impossible to describe. In happier days and fairer fortunes, he had v/on the affections of a beautiful and interesting girl, the daughter of a late celebrated Irish barrister. She loved him with the disinterested fervour of a woman's first and early love. AVhen every worldly maxim arrayed itself against him; when blasted in fortune, and disgrace and danger darkened around his name, she loved him the more ardently for his very sufferings. Since his fate could awaken the sympathy even of his foes, what must have been the agony of her whose wh;.le soul was occupied by his image? Let those tell Avho have had the portals of the tomb suddenly closed between them and ths being they most loved on earth ; who have sat at its threshold, as one shut out in a cold and lonely world, whence all that was lovely and loving had departed.

To render her widowed situation more desolate, she had incurred her father's displeasure by her unfor- tunate attachment, and was an exile from the paternal roof. But could the sympathy and kind offices of friends have reached a spirit so shocked and driven in by horror, she would have experienced no want of consolation, for the Irish are a people of quick and

45863


38 PERCY ANECDOTES.

generous sensibilities. The most delicate and cherish- ing attentions were paid her by families of wealth and distinction. She was led into society, and they tried all kinds of occupation and amusement to dis- sipate her grief, and wean her from the tragical story of her love ; but it was all in vain ! There are some strokes of calamity that scath and scorch the soul; that penetrate to the vital seat of happiness, and blast it never again to put forth bud or blossom. She never objected to frequent the haunts of pleasure; but she was as much alone there as in the depths of solitude. She walked about in a sad reverie, apparently un- conscious of the world around her. She earned with her an inward woe that mocked at all the blandish- ments of friendship, and " li ceded not the song of the charmer— charm he ever so wisely."

The person, says the eloquent author of the Sketch Book, who told me her stores had seen her at a mas- querade. After strolling through the splendid rooms and giddy crowd, with an air of utter abstraction, she sat herself down on the steps of an orchestra, and looking about for some time with a vacant air, that showed her insensibility to the garish scene, she began, with the capriciousness of a sickly heart, to warble a little plaintive air. She had an exquisite voice ; but on this occasion it was so simple, so touching, it breathed forth such a soul of wretchedness, that she drew a crowd, mule and silent, around her, and melted every one into tears.

The story of one so true and tender, could not but excite great interest in a country remarkable for enthu- siasnx It conqjletely won the heart of a brave ollicer, who paid his addresses to her, and thought that one so true to the dead, could not but prove allectionale


FIDELITY. 39

to the living. She declined his atlcntions, for her thoughts were irrevocably engrossed by the memory of her former lover. He, however, persisted in his suit. He solicited not her tenderness, but her esteem. He was assisted by her conviction of his worth, and her sense of her own destitute and dependant situ- ation, for she was existing on the kindness of friends. In a word, he at length succeeded in gaining her hand, though with the solemn assurance that her heart was unalterably another's.

He took her with him to Sicily, hoping that a change of scene might wear out the remembrance of early woes. She was an amiable and exemplary wife, and made an effort to be a happy one ; but nothing could cure the silent and devouring melancholy that had entered into her very soul. She wasted away in a slow, but hopeless decline, and at last sunk into the grave, the victim of a broken heart.

It was on this lady, that Moore composed the fol- lowing beautiful lines :

She is far from the land where her 3^oung hero sleeps.

And lovers around her are sighing : But coldly she turns from their gaze, and weeps,

For her heart in his grave is lying.

She sings the wild song of her dear native plains,

Every note which he lov'd awaking ; Ah! little they think, who delight in her strains,

How the heart of the minstrel is breaking!

He had liv'd for his love — for his country he di-d. They were all that to life had entwin'd him ;

Nor soon shall the tears of his country be dried. Nor long will his love stay behind him !

E*2


40 PERCY ANECDOTES.

Oil ! make hier a grave where the sunbeams rest,

When they promise a glorious morrow ; They'll shine o'er her sleep, like a smile in the west.

From her own lov'd island of sorrow !

OLD AMBROSE.

Among the few individuals who accompanied James II. to France, when he was dethroned, was Madame de Varonne, a lady of good family, but of ruined fortune. She was compelled to part with all her servants successively, until she came to her footman, Ambrose, who had lived with her twenty years; and who, although of a sullen deportment, was a faithful and valuable servant. At length her resources would not peniiit her to retain even Ambrose, and she told him he must seek another place. "Another place!" exclaimed the astonished servant; "No! I will live and die in your service, let what will happen, and will never quit you." In vain was Ambrose told by his mistress, that she was totally ruined ; that she had sold every thing she had ; and that she had no other means of subsistence, than by seeking some em- ployment for herself. Ambrose vowed he would not quit his mistress; he brought her the scanty savings of twenty years, and engaged himself to a brazier for tenpence a day and his board. The money he brought every evening to his mistress, whom he thus supported for four years; at the end of which time, she received a pension from the French king, which enabled her to reward the fidelity of Ambrose.


FIDF.LITY. 41

CONCEALED TREASUrvE.

During tlie reign of terror in France, a lady of Marseilles, about to emigrate, wished before her de- parture to place a considerable property, in plate, linen, and other articles, in a place of safety. To bury property in cellars had become so common, that they were now among the first places that were searched on any suspicion of concealed treasures ; and to convey the things out of the house, even by small portions at a time, without being discovered, was not to be hoped for. The lady consulted with an old and faithful servant, who, during a great number of years that he had been in the family, had given such repeated proofs of his fidelity and attach- ment to it, that she placed unbounded confidence in him. He advised her to pack the things in trunks, and deposit them in a garret at one end of the house ; then to wall up the door into it, and new plaster the room adjoining, so as to leave no traces by which it could be discovered that it had any communication with another apartment. This advice was followed, and the plan executed without the privacy of any other person than the servant who walled up the door-way and plastered over the outer room ; and when all was finished, the lady departed, leaving the care of the house entirely to him.

Soon after her departure, the servant received a visit from the municipal officer, who came with a party of his myrmidons to search the house, as be- longing to an emigrant, and suspected of containing considerable property. They examined every room,

K o


42 PERCY ANECDOTES.

every closet, every place in the house, but nothing of any value was to be discovered : some large articles of furniture, which could not conveniently be dis- posed of, and which it was judged best to leave in order to save appearances, were the only things found. The officer said it was impossible the other things could be conveyed away, and threatened the servant with the utmost severity of justice if he did not confess wlicre they were concealed. He however constantly refused to give any information, and was carried before the commune. Here lie was again in- terrogated, and menaced even with the guillotine if he did not confess where his mistress's property was con- cealed ; but he still remained unshaken in hisresolution, and faithful to his trust; till at length the officers be- lieving it impossible, that if he really were in pos- session of the secret, he could retain it with the fear of death before his eyes, were persuaded that he was not in his mistress's confidence, and dismissed him. They obliged him however to quit the house, and a creature of their own was placed in it. Again and again it was searched, but to no purpose ; nor was the real truth ever suspected. But wlien the reign of the terrorists was closed by the fall of the leaders, the faithful servant, who beheld their downfall with exul- tation as his own triumph, on a representation of his case to the new magistracy, was replaced in tlic house of his mistress.


MOTHER OF THOMAS A BECKET.

Thomas a Beckct may Jiave inherited some portion of his romantic disjiosilion from his mother, whose


FIDELITY. 43

Story is a singular one. His father, Gilbert Becket, who was afterwards a flourishing citizen, was in his youth a soldier in the crusades ; and being taken prisoner, became slave to an Emir, or Saracen prince. By degrees he obtained the confidence of his master, and was admitted to his company, where he met a personage who became more attached to him. This was the Emir's daughter. Whether by her means or not, does not appear; but after some time he effected his escape. The lady with her loving heart followed him. She knew but two words of the English lan- guage — London and Gilbert; and by repeating the first, she obtained a passage in a vessel — arrived in England, and found her trusting way to the metro- polis. She then took to her other talisman, and went from street to street, pronouncing " Gilbert." A crowd collected about her wherever she went, asking of course a thousand questions, and to all she had but one answer, "Gilbert! Gilbert!" She found her faith in it sufliicient. Chance, or the determi- nation to go through every street, brought her at last to the one in which he who had won her heart in slavery was living in a prosperous condition. The crowd drew the family to the window; his servant recognized her, and Gilbert Becket took to his arms and his bridal bed his far-come princess, with her solitary fond word.

LADY CORNWALLIS.

When Lord Cornwallis was compelled to embark with his regiment for America, his lady, after using evcrj- means consistent with her respect for him to


44 PERCY ANECDOTES,

prevent his departure, literally fell a prey to licr attachment, and died as she had lived— -a striking example of female fidelity. In commemoration of the misery that rankled in her bosom, she ordered that on her death a slip of thorn should be planted on her left breast, which being done, it is said to have afterwards grown into a considerable tree. An inge- nious writer, in allusion to this circumstance, has the following lines, in which the lady is supposed to be addressing her husband :

" So heaven ordains, love must to duty yield, Britannia calls Cornwallis to the field ; Such sober sadness does my mind employ. As dwells within the neighbourhood of joy ! Yet go, m}' only life, where glory leads. Astonish Europe with thy warlike deeds ; When you return with crowns of laurel drest. You'll find a thorn deep rooted in my breast."


AFRICAN SLAVES. A planter of Virginia, who was owner of a consi- derable number of slaves, treated them with the utmost cruelty, whipping and torturing them for the slightest fault. One of the unfortunate victims of his cruelty, thinking any change preferable to slavery under such a barbarian, attempted to make his escape among the mountain Indians; but, unfortunately, was taken, and brought back to his master. Poor Arthur (so he was called) was immediately ordered to receive three hun- dred lashes, w hen stript, whicli were to be given hira by his fellow slaves, among whom happcTied to be a


FIDELITY. 45

new Negro, just brought from Africa, and who had been purchased by the planter the day before. This slave, the moment he saw the unhappy wretch destined to the lashes, flew to his arras, and embraced him with the greatest tenderness : the other returned his trans- ports, and nothing could be more moving than their mu- tual bemoaning each other's misfortunes. Their master was soon given to understand that they were country- men and intimate friends ; and that Arthur had formerly, in a battle with a neighbouring nation, saved his friend's life at the extreme hazard of his own. The new Negro, at the same time, threw himself at the planter's feet with tears, beseeching him, in the most moving manner, to spare his friend, or, at least, to suffer him to undergo the punishment in his room, protesting he would rather die ten thousand deaths, than lift his hand against him. But the wretch, looking on this as an alFront to the absolute power he pretended over him, ordered Arthur to be immediately tied to a tree, and his friend to give him the lashes ; telling him too, that for every lash not well laid on, he should himself receiv'e a score. The new Negro, amazed at a barba- rity so unbecoming a human creature, w ith a generous disdain refused to obey him, at the same time up- braiding him with his cruelty; upon which the planter turning all his rage on him, ordered him to be imme- diately stripped, and commanded Arthur, to whom he promised forgiveness, to give his countryman the lashes he had been destined to receive himself. This proposal too w^as received with scorn, each protesting he would rather suffer the most dreadful torture than injure his friend. This generous conflict, which must have raised the strongest feelings in a breast susceptible of pity.


46 PKRCY ANECDOTES,

did but the more inflame the monster, who now deter- mined they should both be made examples of; and to satiate his revenge, was resolved to whip them himself. He was just preparing to begin with Arthur, when the new Negro drew a knife from his pocket, stabbed the planter to the heart, and the following instant struck it to his own, rejoicing, with his last breath, that he had revenged his friend, and rid the world of such a monster.

FRIENDS OF GRACCHUS.

Caius Gracchus, who was the idol of the Roman people, having carried his regard for the plebeians so far as to draw on himself the resentment of the no- bility, an open rupture ensued. The Consul Opinius, who espoused the cause of the latter, seized a post which commanded the city. Gracchus and Fulvius, liis friends, with a confused multitude, took possession of Mount Aventine ; so that the two extremities of Rome, to the east and west, were like two camps. A battle ensued, in which the consul meeting with a more vigorous opposition than he expected, proclaimed an amnesty for all those who should lay down their arras ; and, at the same time, he set a price on the heads of Gracchus and Fulvius. The latter was taken and beheaded. Gracchus escaped ; and, passing through the centre of the city, got to the bridge Sublicius ; where his enemies, who pursued hiui closely, would have overtaken and seized him, if his friends Lucinius Crassus, and Pomponius, had not opposed their fury, and determined to save his life, even at the expense of their own. They defended the bridge


FIDELITY. 47

against all the consular troops, till Gracchus was out of reach ; but at length, being overpowered by numbers, and covered with wounds, they both expired on the bridge which they had so valiantly defended. In the meantime, Gracchus escaped to a sacred wood dedicated to the Furies, and there ordered a generous slave who had attended him to put an end to his life ; but being at this moment overtaken by his pursuers, the faithful slave embraced his master, and covered him with his own body, so that his enemies could not hurt him without first killing this attached menial ; after receiving many wounds, he breathed his last over Gracchus, who was instantly despatched.


TEMPTING OPPORTUNITY. A few years previous to the French revolution, a young lady, an orphan, of the age of seventeen, who was very rich, was married to a young man without fortune. They had lived in the most perfect happi- ness ; and it was with the utmost astonishment that their neighbours and friends heard of their intending, by mutual agreement, to take advantage of the new law of divorce by mutual consent ; but their surprise was still greater when, two or three da3's after, tliey saw them married to each other again. The reason was, that the young lady's guardians had only con- sented to the first union, upon the condition that the lady's whole fortune should be secured to her ; so that the husband could not engage in any beneficial use of the capital. The marriage was dissolved by the revolutionary law of divorce ; and the lady being


48 PERCY ANECDOTES.

made mistress of her fortune, by being of age, she proved her liberality and gratitude by making her hus- band master of her whole propert^^

PELOPIDAS.

Epaminondas and Pelopidas, remarkable for their inviolable friendship, accompanied each other to assist the Lacedemonians and Thebans in their war against tlie Arcadians ; and being posted in the Spartan wing, which was forced to give way, they resolved to prefer death to flight, and therefore opposed the enemy alone, until Pelopidas fell down among a crowd of the slain, covered with wounds. Epa- minondas perceived this ; and although he thought his friend had been killed, stepped before him, and with redoubled vigour defended his body and his armour, till he was also wounded in the body with a pike, and in the arm with a sword ; when Agesipolis, King of Sparta, came in with the other wing, and rescued from death these two celebrated friends.

RESENTING A BLOW.

An Englishman once on a hunting party, hastily struck a Peon, or East-India foot soldier, for having let loose at an improper time a greyhound. The Peon happened to be a Rajah-pout, which is the Iiighest tribe of Hindoo soldiers. On receiving the blow he started back, with an appearance of horror and amazement, and drew his poignard. But again composing himself, and looking stedfastly at his master, he said, " I am your servant, and have long


FIDELITY. 49

ate your rice." And having pronounced this, he plunged the dagger into his own bosom. In these few words, the poor man pathetically expressed, " The arm, that has been nourished by you, shall not take away your life ; but in sparing yours, I must give up ray own, as I cannot survive my dis- honour."

LADY HARRIET ACKLAND.

Lady Harriet Ackland accompanied her husband to Canada in the beginning of the year 1776. In the course of that campaign she traversed a vast space of country, in different extremities of the seasons, and with difficulties that an European traveller will not easily conceive, in order to attend her husband in a poor hut at Chamblee, upon his sick bed. In the opening of the campaign of 1777, she was restrained from offering herself to a share of the hazard expected before Ticonderago, by the positive injunction of her husband. The day after the conquest of that place he was badly wounded, and she crossed the lake Champlain to join him.

As soon as he recovered, Lady Harriet proceeded to follow his fortunes through the campaign. Major Ackland, her husband, commanded the British gre- nadiers, w ho formed the most advanced post of the array, which required them to be so much on the alert, that frequently no persons slept out of their clothes. In one of these situations a tent, in which the Major and lady Harriet slept, suddenly took fire. An orderly sergeant of grenadiers, with great hazard of suffocation, dragged out the first person he caught

F


50 PERCY ANECDOTES.

hold of; it proved to be the major. Fortunately, his lady at the same moment escaped under the canvass of the back part of the tent.

This accident neither altered the resolution nor the cheerfulness of Lady Harriet, Avho was in a hut during the whole of the action which followed, and close to the field of battle. In a subsequent encage- ment, Major Ackland was desperately wounded and taken prisoner. Lady Harriet sustained the shock with great fortitude, and determined to pass to the enemy's camp, and request General Gates's permission to attend her husband.

Having obtained permission of General Burgoyne, Lady Harriet, accompanied by the chaplain of the regiment, one female servant, and the major's valet- de-chambre, rowed down the river to meet the enemy. The night was far advanced before the boat reached the enemy's outposts, and the sentinel would not let it pass, nor even come on shore. In vain was the flagof truce offered, and the stale of this extraordinary passenger strongly represented. The guard, appre- hensive of treachery, and punctilious in obedience to his orders, threatened to fire into the boat if they of- fered to stir before daylight. Her anxiety and suffer- ings were thus protracted through seven or eight dark and cold hours; and her reflections on that first recep- tion, could not give her very encouraging ideas of the treatment she was afterwards to expect. But in the morning, as soon as her case was made known to General Gates, he received her with all the humanity and respect due to her rank and oxcmpkiry con- jugal virtue, and immediately restored her to her husband.


Fidelity. 61

THE PRETENDER.

After the battle of Culloden, a reward of thirty fhouband pounds was offered to any one who should discover or deliver up the young Pretender. He had then taken refuge with the Kennedys, two coni- nion thieves, who protected him with fidelity, robbed for his support, and often went in disguise to Inver- ness to buy provisions for hiru. A considerable time afterwards, one of these men, who had resisted the temptation of thirty thousand pounds for a breach of fidelity, was hanged for stealing a cow of the value of thirty shillings!

PROSELYTISM.

When one of the kings of France solicited M. Bougier, who was a protestant, to conform to the Roman Catholic religion, promising him, in return, a commission or a government ; " Sire," replied he,

  • ' if I could be persuaded to betray my God for a

marshal's staff, 1 might be induced to betray my king for a bribe of much less value."

COLUMBUS.

When Columbus, after having discovered the "Western hemisphere, was, by order of the King of Spain, brought home from America in chains ; the captain of the ship, who was intimately acquainted Avith his character, his knowledge, and his talents, offered to free him from his chains, and make his f2


62 PERCY ANECDOTES,

passage as agreeable as possible. Columbus rejected his friendly offer, saying. " Sir, I thank you ; but these chains are the rewards and honours for my services, from my king, whom I have served as faith- fully as my God ; and as such I will carry them with me to the grave."

DISMISSAL AND PROMOTION.

By a law of Persia, the monarch is authorised to go, whenever he pleases, to the harem of any of his subjects. Shall Abbas having been intoxicated at the house of one of his favourites, and attempting to go into the apartment of his wives, was stopped by the door-keeper, who bluntly told him, '* Not a man, sir, besides my master, shall enter here so long as I am porter." " What," said the king, " dost thou not know me ?" " Yes," answered the porter, " I know you are king of the men, but not of the women." Shah Abbas, pleased with the answer and the fidelity of the servant, retired to his palace. The favourite at whose house the adventure happened, as soon as he heard of it, went and fell at the feet of his sovereign, entreating that he would not impute to him the crime connnitted by his domestic ; and adding, " I have already turned him away from my service for his presumption." " I am glad of it," answered the king, " for then I will take him into mine for his fidelity."


FIDELITY. 63

MARCHIONESS OF TAVISTOCK. A short time previous to the death of the late Marchioness of Tavistock, and when she was pre- paring to go to Lisbon for the recovery of her health, a consultation of physicians was held at Bedford House ; and one of the gentlemen present requested, while he felt her pulse, that she would open her hand. Her frequent refusals occasioned him to take the liber- ty of gently forcing the fingers asunder ; when he perceived that she had kept her hand closed to conceal the miniature picture of the marquess. " O, madam !" observed the physician, " my prescriptions must be useless, if your ladyship is determined to keep before your eyes an object which, although deservedly dear to you, serves only to confirm the violence of your ill- ness." The marchioness replied, " I have kept the picture either in my bosom or my hand ever since the death of my lamented lord ; and thus I am de- termined to preserv^e it till I fortunately drop after him into the grave."

ROMAN CAPTIVES.

Ten Romans, who had been taken in the battle of Caunag, were sent by Hannibal to the senate, to propose an exchange of prisoners. Before they set out, each of them engaged by an oath to return to the camp of the Carthaginians, if the embassy should prove ineflectual. The senate rejected the offers of Hannibal, and nine of the prisoners honourably rendered themselves up to him ; but the tenth re- F 3


64 PERCY ANECDOTES,

fused to return, on pretence that he had already discharged himself of his oath. It seems that he went back to the camp of the Carthaginians soon after he quitted it, to fetch some necessaries which he had designedly left behind, that he might be able to plead his having complied literally with the terras of his engagement. But tlie senate disdained the deceit, and commanded the artful wretch to be sent bound to Hannibal.

CAPITULATION.

Sir Richard Herbert being sent by Edward the Fourth to reduce the rebels in North Wales, laid siege to Harlech Castle, in Merionethshire, a fortress so strong, that he despaired of taking it, but by blockade and famine. The captain of it offered to surrender, on condition that Sir Richard would do what he could to save his life. The condition was accepted, and Sir Richard brought the commander to the king, requesting his majesty to grant him a pardon, as the expectation of this favour had induced him to yield up an important castle, which he might have defended. Edward replied to Sir Richard, " That as he had no power by his commission to pardon any one, he might therefore after this representation to his sovereign, deliver him up to justice." Sir Richard replied, " He had not yet done the best he could for him ; and therefore most humbly desired his majesty to do one of two things ; either to put the governor again in the castle, where he had been, and command some other to take him out ; or if his majesty would not do that, to take his life for that of the captain,


FIDELITY. 55

that being the last proof he could give, that he had used his utmost endeavours to fulfil his promise." The king finding himself so strongly urged, pardoned the captain, but bestowed on Sir Richard no other reward for his services.

OCTAVIUS AND LEOBELLUS.

Octavius and Leobellus, tvpo young gentlemen of Lithuania, were bred together from their childhood, and were inseparable companions. As they grew up, this friendship became more conspicuous, and they were shown as a pattern of virtuous amity. While they were at the universit3% Octavius fell in love with Paulina, a 3^oung lady of great rank and fortune, and had a rival in the person of Gelasius, a young gentle- man who was the favourite of Paulina's parents, and was recommended to her as a suitable match. Gela- sius, finding that the heart of Paulina was engaged to Octavius, determined to rid himself of so powerful a rival. He set spies upon him, by whom he discovered that he often entertained Paulina at her window, when the rest of the family were in bed. Enraged at this, he took a friend with him, called Megasius, and a servant on whose courage and fidelity he could r^ly, and lay in ambush for Octavius ; who soon came to the house of Paulina, accompanied by his friend Leo- bellus. Having given the signal, Paulina came to the window, and Leobellus retired to some distance, to give them the opportunity of unbosoming themselves to each otlier.

Gelasius, enraged at the sight, ordered his servant to attack Leobellus, while he and Megasius set on


56 PERCY ANECDOTES.

Octavius. Leobellus having laid the servant dead at his feet, hastened to the assistance of his friend, who with his back to the w all maintained an unequal fight. Leobellus soon made Gelasius pay the price of his treachery, while IMegasius escaped.

Octavius was immediately taken prisoner by persons attracted to the spot, and conducted to goal. Leo- bellus, more fortunate, made his escape, and lay con- cealed, hoping to prove both his friend's innocence and his own ; but Octavius was tried in a few da3^s, and, on the single evidence of Megasius, condemned to death. The next day he was led to the scaffold, and the executioner was upon the point of doing his office, when Leobellus making way through the crowd, cried out to him to stay his hand, lest the innocent should suffer for the guilty. Mounting the scaffold, he with an undaunted countenance declared to the magis- trates who were present to witness the execution, that he alone was the author of the death of Gelasius and his servant, and entirely exculpated his friend, whom he released, since he was ready to satisfy the laws by laying down his life. The populace, touched with this generous action, began to cry, Pardon ! Pardon ! and to threaten the magistrates, if they proceeded in the execution. This compelled them to carry the two friends to tlie Town Hall, and to hear the cause again.

The Palatine of Wilna being informed of what had passed, would be present at the examination, and found the two friends generously contending which should die to save the other. The Palatine examined every circumstance, pardoned the two friends, and condemned Megasius to lose his head for his treachery


FIDELITY. 57

and perjury. Megasius ; however, escaped by the in- tercession of powerful friends.

ENGLISH GENERAL.

The Earl of Peterborough, in conjunction with the Prince of D'Armstadt, carried on the siege of Barce- lona in the early part of the last century. The governor offered to capitulate, and came to a parley with the Earl of Peterborough, at the gates of the city. The articles were not yet signed, when sud- denly loud shouts of huzzas were heard in the town. " You have perfidiously betrayed us," said the governor to the earl ; " for while we are capitulating with unsuspecting honour and sincerity, your English soldiers have entered the city by the ramparts, and are now committing rapine, murder, and every kind of violence." " You do injustice to the English," replied the general; " this treachery is chargeable only to the troops of D'Armstadt ; but permit me to enter the town with my soldiers, and 1 will instantly repress the outrage, and return to the gate to finish the capitulation."

The oflfer was made witli an air of truth and since- rity, and accepted with a generous confidence. Peter- borough hastened into the streets, where he found the Germans and Catalans pillaging the houses of the principal inhabitants. He drove them away, and obliged them to leave the bootj'^ which they were carrying oiF. After having quieted all disturbances, he rejoined the governor, and completed the capi- tulation without demanding any new or more advan- tageous terras. The Spaniards were astonished at


58 PERCY ANECDOTES.

the magnanimity of the English, whom they had

generally represented as faithless barbarians.


BROKEN VOWS.

A favourite dramatic piece, in the towns of the Genoese territory, is founded on the following tragic story.

A few years since there lived at Port Maurice, near Oneglia, two lovers, named Anna and Giuseppe, the children of widows in good circumstances, the former eighteen, and the latter tvv'cnty years of age. The parents had given their consent to their union, and the wedding day was soon to be fixed ; when during a short absence of Giuseppe, probably brought about by artful contrivances, an intriguing friend of the family prevailed on the mother of the bride to give her daughter to a more wealthy suitor. Anna, overcome by maternal importunity, did what she had not firmness enough to refuse to do, and promised to bestow her hand on a man for whom she had no affection. Grief however soon undermined her health ; and by way of amusement, she was sent into the mountains to the olive harvest. Her mother also went to see some relations in the country, and an elder sister only was left at home.

Anna, however, grew worse, and became at last so ill, that her friends, alarmed for her life, sent her back to her mother's house. Meanwhile, Giuseppe had re- turned, and the report of Anna's intended compulsory marriage soon reached lils ears. On the Sunday follow- ing he met her sister at mass, and with all the urgency of desj)air, he implored her to procure him a last


FIDELITY. 59

mtenlew with his beloved. The sister 3'ielded, and it was agreed that Giuseppe should find Anna in the garden in the evening by moonlight, while the only domestic guardian, an old sailor, was at the public house.

At the appointed time Giuseppe was in the garden, and there he found his Anna. Weak, melancholy, and silent, she went up to him with faultering steps ; but in vain he questioned her ; in vain he endeavoured to draw from her the acknowledgement that she still loved him ; not a word could he elicit ; mute, pale, and motionless, she stood like a statue before him. At length he was about to throw his arms tenderly around her, when Anna suddenly starting back, exclaimed in a tone which spoke a heart burning with agony, " No, no, Giuseppe, I am thine Anna no longer. But here mark thy re- venge !" and with these words she drew a dagger, which she had brought concealed, and before Giuseppe had time to interpose, plunged it deep into her bosom, ad- ding in faultering accents, " Oh, mother, mother ! Giu- seppe, my beloved Giuseppe !— farewell." The blow was almost immediately fatal ; she fell speechless to the ground. Giuseppe stood for a moment transfixed with horror ; then casting himself down by the side of the expiring victim, he plucked the fatal weapon from her bosom ; and while vainly endeavouring to stem the gushing torrent, gave utterance to his grief in loud but unavailing calls on her name. When at last too well assured of the fatal truth, that his Anna lay before him a lifeless corpse, he sprung up in a state of frenzy, and as if he had been the guilty author of the deed, hastily fled over the wall of the garden with the poignard in his hand.


60 PERCY ANECDOTES.

The sister, alarmed at Anna's protracted absence, went out into the garden, where her eyes met the awful spectacle of her sister laying weltering in her blood. Her screams brought out the old sailor, who had re- turned late, and with his assistance, the body was carried into the house.

The wretched Giuseppe, impelled by a savage frenzy, after strolling about all night, again scaled the wall of the garden, where he no longer found his Anna, but only her blood. While busily employed in wiping it up with his handkerchief, the mother, ignorant of what had happened, returned home early in the morn- ing, accompanied by the friend who was the cause of the catastrophe, and unlocking the gate, entered the garden. The frantic Giuseppe ran to meet her j and holding the bloody handkerchief close to her face, wildly cried, Conosci tu quel sangue? (Do you know that blood ?) The mother rushed with a fearful presentiment into the house, where the first object that met her view was the corpse of her murdered child. The maniac again fled to the caverns of the neighbouring mountains.

The corpse was decorated after the Italian fashion, crowned with a garland of myrtle, and deposited the night before the funeral in an open coffin in the church before the liigh altar. Here a person was placed to watch it by the light of consecrated tapers. About midnight Giuseppe suddenly forced his way into the church ; the affrighted watclunan ran off, but stopped at a distance to observe his motions, and beheld the unfortunate Giuseppe covering the remains of the de- parted with a thousand kisses and burning tears ; after which he despatched himself with the same poignard


FIDELITY. 61

which had carried the stroke of death to the heart of his Anna.

The unhappy mother went raving mad, and soon sunk into a premature grave. During her insanity, she would frequently exclaim in the awful words of Giuseppe, Conosci tu quel scmgue?

We have in this melancholy story another instance to add to the many on record of the danger of giving too implicit credence to circumstantial evidence. Had Giuseppe been seized flying from the scene of horror with the bleeding dagger in his hand, would not the universal inference have been thai Giuseppe was the as- sassin ? And but for the solemn assertions of Giuseppe to a friend before he followed the fate of his Anna, who knows but such would have been the character with which his name w ould have gone down to posterity ?

LORD AUDLEY AND HIS FOUR SQUIRES.[edit]

At the battle of Poitiers, Lord Audley led the van of the Black Prince's army, attended by four squires, who had promised not to fail him. They distinguish- ed themselves in the front of that bloody day, leaving such as they overcame to be made prisoners by others, and ever pressing forward where resistance was of- fered. Thus they fought in the chief of the battle, until Lord James Audley was severely wounded, and his breath failed him. At the last, when the battle was gained, the four faithful squires bore him out of the press, disarmed him, and staunched and dressed his wounds in the best manner they could. As the Black Prince called for the man to whom the victory was in some measure owing, Lord Audley was borne

G


C2 PERCY ANECDOTES.

before him in a litter ; when the prince, after having awarded to him the praise and renown above all others who fought on that day, bestowed on him five hundred marks of yearly revenue, to be assigned out of his heritage in England. Lord Audley accepted the gift with due demonstration of gratitude ; but no sooner was he brought to his lodging, than he called before him the four squires by whom he liad been so gal- lantly seconded, and the nobles of his lineage, and informed his kinsmen : *' Sirs, it hath pleased my lord, the prince, to bestow on me five hundred marks of heritage, of which I am unworthy, for I have done him but small service. Behold, sirs, these four squires, which have always served me truly, and especially this day ; the honour that I have is by their valour ; therefore I resign to them and their heirs for ever, in like manner as it was given to me, the noble gift which the prince hath assigned me." The lords beheld each other, and agreed it was a proof of great chivalry to bestow so royal a gift, and gladly under- took to bear witness to the transfer. When Edward heard these tidings, he sent for Lord Audley, and de- sired to know why he had bestowed on others the gift he had assigned him, and whether it had not been acceptable to him ? " Sir," said Lord Audley, •' these four squires have followed me well and truly in se- veral severe actions ; and at this battle they served me so well, that had they done nothing else, 1 had been bound to reward them. I am myself but a single man, but by aid of their united strength and valour, 1 was enabled to execute the vow which T had made, to give the onset, in the first battle in which the King of England or hi? sons jhoidd be present ; and had it


FIDELITY. 63

not been for them, I must have been left dead on tlie field. This is the reason 1 have transferred j^our highness's bounty, as to those by whom it was best deserved." The Black Prince not only approved of and confirmed Lord Audley's grant, but not to be outdone in generosity, conferred upon him a yearly revenue of six hundred marks more, for his own use. The names of the squires who thus distinguished themselves, and experienced such liberality at the hands of their leader, were Delves of Doddington, Button of Dutton, Fowlishurst of Crewe, and Hawko- stone of Wreynehill, all Cheshire families. This me- morable instance may suffice to show the extent of gratitude which the knights of old entertained for the faithful service of their squires.

A LAST FRIEND.

When Albert de la Scala was supplanted in the government of Padua, by JMarsilius de Carrara, and sent a prisoner to Venice, Nicoletto, his buffoon, demanded to be made a partaker in the fate of his master, and was the only person who accompanied him to his melancholy end. " A deep sentiment of attachment," says Sismondi, " thus discovered itself in one who had made a trade of foolish merriment, and sought his own independence in the laughter of others."


HOSTAGES.

In the year 1228, the infamously celebrated Eccelin de Romano, Lieutenant of the Emperor over the G 2


64 PERCY ANECDOTES.

Venetian States, and chief of the Gibelin party, had taken prisoner William, grandson of Tisso di Campo San Piero, while yet in his infancy, and had brought him up in his own court. This young man was his nephew ; and since the death of Tisso and James di Campo San Piero, the hatred of those lords against Eccelin seemed to be forgotten, and the tics of blood to resume their force. Nevertheless, in 1240, Eccelin caused the young William to be arrested, in order to be kept as a hostage. Four of the lords of Vado, his nearest relations, immediately ofi'ered themselves as securities for him. Eccelin, at their entreaty, set William at liberty, and the youth, without reflecting in his terror how he was compromishig the safety of his friends, fled to his castle of Trivoglio, which he forfeited. Eccelin then caused the four lords of Vado to be seized ; he shut them into the castle of Cornuta, and a few years afterwards ordered the doors of this fortress to be walled up. All day long his prisoners were heard with lamentable cries calling for bread ; and when after their death the prison gates were again opened, they were found nothing but bones covered with a black and shrivelled skin. William in the meanwhile, after maintaining himself for six years in independence, was terrified by the progress of Eccelin, and sought a reconciliation with him ; he delivered up to him his castles, and threw himself on his pro- tection, declaring that he wished, as he was his nephew, to be also his friend. But the first night, we are told, in which he found himself in the lyrant's power, his ima- gination pictured to him the forms of the lords of Vado, who with their cries of hunger, renewed the memory of their horrible deaths which he had too much forgotten.


FIDELITY. C5

and made him feel with the deepest terror to what a master he had given himself. It was not long before he felt it with cruel experience. In 1242, Eccelin commanded him to repudiate his wife, because she belonged to a family which he. had just proscribed ; and upon refusal, he was thrown into prison, and a year afterwards condemned to death ; all his goods were confiscated ; all his relations and friends loaded with irons, without distinction of age or sex.

LADY FANSHAWE.

The amiable wife of that most excellent and faithful servant of Charles the First, Sir Richard Fanshawe, in the Memoirs of her Life, which are dedicated to her son, gives the following beautiful picture of con- nubial affection and fidelit}'.

  • ' One day, in discourse. Lady tacitly com-

mended the knowledge of state affairs, and that some women were very happy in a good understanding thereof, as my Lady A., Lady S., Mrs. T., and divers others; and that for it nobody was at first more capable than myself. That in the night she knew there came a post from Paris to the queen, and that she would be extremely glad to hear what the queen commanded the king, in order to his affairs ; saying, that if I would ask my husband privately, he would tell me what he found in the packet, and I would tell her. I, that was young and innocent, and to that day never had in my mouth, * What news ?' began to think there was more in enquiring into business of public affairs than I thought of : and that being a fashionable thing, it would make me more beloved of


66 PERCY ANECDOTES,

in}'^ husband (if that had been possible) than I waS' After my husband returned home from council, after welcoming him (as my custom ever was), he went with his hand full of papers into his study for an hour or more. I followed him. He turned hastily, and said, * What wouldst thou have, my life ?' I told him I heard the prince had received a packet, and I guessed it that in his hand ; and I desired to know what was in it. He smiling replied, ' JNIy love, I will immediately come to thee ; pray thee go, for I am very busy.' When he came out of his closet, I resumed my suit ; he kissed me, and talked of other things. At supper, I would eat nothing. He (as usual) sat by me, and drank often to me, and was full of discourse to company that was at table. Going to bed, I asked him again, and said, I could not believe he loved me, if he refused to tell me all he knew ; but he said nothing, and stopped my mouth with kisses ; and soon went to bed. I cried, and he went to sleep. Next morning, very early, he called to rise ; but began to discourse w ith me first, to which I made no reply. He rose, came to the other side of the bed, and kissed me ; drew the curtain softly, and then went to court. W^hcn he came home to dinner, he presently came to me, as was usual ; and when I had him by the hand, I said, ' Thou dost not care to sec me troubled.' To which he, taking me in his arms, answered, ' My dearest soul, nothing upon earth can afflict me like that ; and when you asked me of my business, it was wholly out of my power to satiyfy thee ; for my life and fortune shall be thine and every thought of ray heart, in which the trust I am in may not be revealed ; but my honour is viine


FIDELITY. 67

own, which I cannot preserve, if I communicate the prince's affairs; and pray thee, with this answer rest satisfied.' So great was his reason and goodness, that upon consideration it made my folly appear so vile, that from that day until the day of his death, I never thought fit to ask him any business but what he com- municated to me freely, in order to his estate and family."

In a voyage from Galway to Malaga, the ship in which this lady and her husband were, was ap- proached by a Turkish galley, and the prospect of slavery stared them in the face. " This," says she, in her memoirs, " was sad for us passengers ; but my husband bid us be sure to keep in the cabin, and not appear, which would make the Turks think we were a man of war ; but if they saw women, they would take us for merchants, and board the vessel. He went upon deck, and took a gun, a bandalier, and a sword, ex- pecting the arrival of the Turkish man of war. The captain had locked me up in the cabin. I knocked and called to no purpose, until the cabin boy came and opened the door. I, all in tears, desired him to be so good as to give me his thrum cap and tarred coat, which he did, and I gave him half-a-crown ; and putting them on, and flinging away my night clothes, I crept up softly, and stood upon the deck by my husband's side, as free from sickness and fear, as, I confess, of discretion ; but it was the effect of the passion which I could never master. By this time the two vessels were engaged in parley, and so well satisfied with speech and sight of each other's force, that the Turk's man of war tacked about, and we continued our course. But when your father saw it convenient to retreat, looking


68 PERCY ANECDOTES.

upon me, lie blessed himself, and snatched me up in

his arms, saying, * Good God ! that love can make

this change !' and though he seemingly chid me, he

would laugh at it as often as he remembered that

voyage."

When Sir Richard Fanshawe was taken prisoner during the civil war, and was confined in a little room in Whitehall, the fidelity of his wife was no less re- markable. " During the time of his imprisonment," she says, " I failed not constantly, when the clock struck four in the morning, to go with a dark lanthom in my hand, all alone and on foot, from my lodgings in Chancery Lane, at my cousin Young's, to Whitehall, by the entry that went out of King's Street into the bowling green. There I would go under his window, and call him softly. He, excepting the first time, never failed to put out his head at the first call. Thus we talked together, and sometimes I was so wet with rain, that it went in at ray neck and out at my heels."

Through the active and unceasing entreaties of Lady Fanshawe, her husband was liberated ; and this happy pair, whose fidelity to their unfortunate sovereign and to each other was so exemplary, lived to witness the rostoration of Charles the Second.


FELLOW SOLDIERS.

At the siege of Capclla, in 1650, b^' the French, a Spaniard learnt that his friend had been thrown into the trench Dy a musket ball. He instantly fiew to his succour, but found him stretched on tlic ground and dead. He threw himself on the body of his friend, embraced him, pressed him for some time to


FIDELITY. 69

his palpitating breast, and overwhelmed with grief, he expired almost instantly. The archduke informed of this event, gave orders to bury in the same tomb those two friends, whom death itself could not separate. Their bodies were carried in great pomp to Avesnes, where a marble mausoleum was erected to their n)eraor3^ It was the monument which sensibility erected to friendship.

PETRARCH.

When death had robbed Petrarch of that Laura for whom he had vainly sighed through a long series of joyless years, his grief w as immeasurable. " I dare not think of my condition," says he, "much less can I speak of it." He passed several days without nourishment, abandoned to the most poignant sorrow. On a MS. of Virgil, the favourite author of Petrarch, he wrote the following lines : " Laura, illustrious by her own virtues, and long celebrated in my verses, appeared to my eyes for the first time the 6th of April, 1327, at Avignon, in the church of St. Clair, at the first hour of the day ; I was then in my youth. In the same city, on the same day, and at the same hour, in the year 1348, this luminary disappeared from our world. I was then at Verona, ignorant of my wretched situation. That chaste and beautiful body was buried the same day, after vespers, in the church of the Cordeliers ! her soul returned to its native heaven. To retrace the melancholy remem- brance of this great loss, I have with a pleasure mixed with bitterness written it in a book, to which I often refer. This loss convinces me, that there is no longer


70 PERCY ANECDOTES.

anything worthy of living for. Since the strongest cord of my life is broken, with the grace of God I shall easily renounce a world where my cares have been deceitful, and my hopes always perishing."


ETON BOYS.

Two boys, one of whom was Lord Baltimore, while at Eton school, went out shooting, and were detected in that unpardonable offence by one of the masters. He came up quickly enough to one of them to dis- cover his person ; the other, being more swift of foot, escaped unknown. The detected culprit was flogged pretty severely, and threatened with repetitions of the same discipline, if he did not discover his companion. This, however, he persisted in refusing, in spite of reiterated punishment. His companion, who was con- fined to his room at his boarding house by a sore throat, which he had got by leaping into a ditch to escape the detection of the master, on hearing with what severity his friend was treated on his account, went to school with his throat wrapt up, and nobly told the master that he was the boy who was out shooting with the youth, who with such magnanimous perseverance had refused to give up his name.


SCHOOL-BOY FRIENDSHIP. Earl Stanhope, Secretary of State to George the First, was educated at Eton school with one of the Scotch noblemen, who was afterwards condemned for participating in the rebclhon of 1715. The earl, while the Privy Council were deliberating upon signing tlie


FIDELITY. 71

warrant of execution of these unfortunate noblemen, requested the life of his school-fellow, v/hom he had never seen since they left Eton. His request was refused, till he threatened to give up his place if the council did not grant it. This menace procured him the life of his associate in early life, to whom he afterwards sent a handsome sum of money.


THE TRUCE OF VIRTUE.

An emperor of Japan had secretly put to death a meritorious officer, who had a very fine wife. Some days afterwards the prince visited the lady, and wished to compel her to live in the palace. " I ought to re- joice and esteem myself happy," said she, " that you have judged me worthy of your friendship. I re- ceive this favour as I ought ; but I venture to take the liberty of asking an interval of thirty days, to mourn the death of my husband. Permit me this ; and after the delay, I shall be able to assemble his parents, and to feast them in one of the towers of your castle." The emperor acceded to her prayers. The day of the feast arrived, and it was given with the greatest sumptuousness. The emperor drank to excess. The lady profited by the moment ; and saying she would take the air on one of the balconies of the tower, she, rather than dishonour the memory of her husband, precipitated herself from the top to the bottom.


72 PERCY ANECDOTES.

LEGACY OF EUDAMIDAS.

Eudamidas of Corinth, when on his death bed, felt regret at leaving his mother and his daughter exposed to the most cruel indigence. He was not however alarmed. He estimated the hearts of Arethus and of Charixinus, his faithful friends, by his own. In his dying moments he made his will. " I bequeath to Arethus, to maintain my mother, and to support her in her old age. To Charixinus, that he shall see my daughter married and give her all the portion that he is able ; and in case that one of the two shall die, I substitute in his place the one who shall survive." The two friends of the virtuous Eudamidas proved they were worthy of his friendship. Arethus gave the daughter of Eudamidas in marriage on the same day as his own ; and bestowed on her an equal marriage portion.


A FRIEND IN NEED. Henry IV. of France one day reproached the Count D'Aubigne, that he still retained his friendship forM. de la Tremouille, who was in disgrace, and banished the court. " Sire," said D'Aubign6, " M. do la Tremouille is sufficiently unfortunate ; since he has lost the favour of his master, I could not abandon him in the time when he has the most need of my friendship."


FIDELITY. 73


SEIZURE OF STANISLAUS.

Wlien, instigated by the courts of Vienna and Con- stantinople, the confederate Lords of Poland, in 1771, laid waste their country, a plot was laid for seizing on their amiable monarch, Stanislaus. His carriage was one day escorted from Villanow, where he had been dining, by four of his own attendants and twelve of the guards of Count Sobieski, a descendant of John Sobieski, King of Poland. The party had scarcely left Villanow, when the conspirators rushed out and surrounded the carriage, commanding the coachman to stop, and beating down the men with the butt ends of their muskets. Several shots were fired into the coach ; one passed through the hat of Count Sobieski, as he was getting out sword in hand, the better to repel the attack. A cut across the leg of the count soon laid him under the wheels ; and while he lay there, he heard the shot pouring into the coach like hail, and felt the villains stepping over his body to finish the murder of the king. It was then that Butzou, who was a private in the service of Count Sobieski, stood between his sovereign and the rebels. In an instant lie received several balls througli his limbs, and a thrust from a bayonet in his breast, which cast him weltering in his blood upon the count. By this time all the persons uho had formed the escort, were either wounded or disprrsed, and the king was dragged along the crowd through the suburbs of the city. The conspirators, however, soon quitted him from various causes, and he was left with only one person to watch him, whom he gained over n


74 PERCY ANECDOTES.

to his interest ; he then took shelter in the mill of

Mariemont, and the next day regained his palace.

To reward the wounds which the brave and faithful Butzou had received in the defence of his sovcreigu, Stanislaus, after his deliverance from the assassins, caused him to be brought into his room in a chair, shook hands with him, and after thanking him for his services, gave him his choice of an office about his majesty's person, or to hold what rank he pleased in the ami}'. Butzou, attached to Sobieski's family, under which all his ancestors had lived and fought, only begged of his sovereign that he might be per- mitted to remain with the Count Sobieski. He agreed to his request, and gave him the command of those troops aniong whom he was before only a private soldier.


PORTIA.

The wife of Brutus inherited all the greatness of soul which so eminently distinguished her father, Cato of Utica. Having observed that her husband ap- peared to be meditating some important enterprise, she was solicitous to share in his glory or in his failure, and to deserve his coniidence, she resolved not to ask it till she had made trial of her own fortitude. With this view, she inflicted a deej) wound in her hody, the pains of which, added to the loss of blood, brought on a dangerous malady. She carefully concealed for some time the cause of her illness ; till observing her Inisband overwhelmed wilh grief on her account, she seized the opportunity of addressing him. "As the daughter of Cato," she told him, " she had a claim to


riDELITY. 75

expect, not incrol}'^ the common couitesies and civilities of an ordinary wife, but to share in the thoughts and counsels, in the good and evil fortune of her husband ; and that whatever weakness might be imputed to her sex ; her birth, education, and honourable conijexions had strengthened her mind, and formed her to superior equalities. But though the daughter of Cato and the wife of Brutus, titles in Mhich she gloried, she would not have boasted of her fortitude, but after a trial that had proved her invincible to pain and inconvenience. Having thus spoken, she discovered to Brutus her wound, and the motives which had caused this volun- tary infliction.

Brutus, much affected and struck with admiration, raised his eyes to heaven, and implored the gods to assist his enterprise, that he might live to prove himself worthy a wife like Portia. He then imparted to her the project of freeing Rome, and restoring the republic by the death of Julius Cajsar.

The courage which had sustained the daughter of Cato under her own sufferings, deserted her in the danger of her husband. On the day appointed for the assassination of Caisar, Portia sunk under the agi- tation of her spirits, and was seized with a succession of fainting fits. The rumour of her extreme illness reached Brutus; but notwithstanding his knowledge of the cause, and the apprehensions he might natural'y entertain, he shrunk not from the purpose he had undertaken. Caesar fell a victim to a virtuous but ill- fortuned patriotism ; a combination of causes had con- spired to the downfall of the Roman people, which the death of many Csesars would not have been suffi- cient to counteract.

n 2


7G PERCY ANECDOTES.

Brutus, perceiving he had failed in his patriotic purpose, resolved to leave Italy. Passing by land through Lucania to Eleaby the sea side, he there took leave of hiswifej it being judged necessary that she should return to Rome. The daughter of Cato strug- gling with her feelings, assumed on this separation an appearance of firmness ; but a picture vihichhung on the wall, representing the parting of Hector and An- dromache, accidentally meeting her eyes, overcame her resolution. Gazing earnestly on the figure of Hector delivering the young Astyanax into the arms of his mother, slie melted into tenderness and tears. A friend of Brutus who was present on this occasion, repeated from Homer the address of the Trojan princess to her husband ;

" Be carcfai. Hector, for with thee, my all, My father, mother, brother, husband, fall." Brutus replied, smiling, " I must not answer Portia in the words of Hector to Andromache —

' Pvlind you your wheel, and to your maids give law ;'

for if the weakness of her fiame seconds not her mind in courage, in activity, in concern for the cause of freedom and for the welfare of her country, she is iu)t inferior to any of us."

When Portia was informed that her husband had fallen by his own hands, she determined not to survive him. Being watched by her friends, who sought to prevent her fatal purpose, she snatched burning coals from the fire, and held tlicm in her mouth till they pro- duced suffocation.


1 IDELSIV.


PAULINA.

Paulina, the wife of Seneca, bcing'detenniucd not to survive her husband, whom Nero had condemned to death, opened a vein in her arm, and would soon have bled to death, if the tyrant had not sent persons who compelled her to stop the blood. For the remainder of her life, her face wore an unusual paleness ; v>hich, says Tacitus, was a glorious testimony of her fidelity to her husband.


INSEPARABLE PAIR. A Duke of SaAoy, who made some pretensions to the City of Geneva, sought to gain it by surprise : he scaled the wails in the night ; but his success was not equal to his wishes. The alarm being given that a great number of the besiegers had mounted the walls, the citizens ran to arms, and repulsed their enemies, who were too weak to resist them. Those who fell into their hands, were led to an ignominious death. Among the number of the prisoners, was an officer who had particularly distinguished himself for his valour. The news of his misfortune being carried to liis wife, she fiev,- to the place where her husband was to perish, and demanded to embrace him for the last time. They refused her this favour ; and the officer was hung without her being permitted to approach him. She nevertheless followed the body of her husband to the place where it was exposed. She there seated herself by the melancholy spectacle, and remained without taking any nourishment, or suffering n 3


78 PERCY ANECDOTES.

her eyes to be abstracted for a moment from the ob- ject of her affection. Death, which she waited for with impatience, came at last, and closed her eyes while she was stretched over the dead body of her husband.


THE BRAVE CRILLON.

After the dreadful massacre at Paris, in the reign of Henry the Third of France, the Prince of Conde, who was prisoner on that occasion, contrived his escape by incans of tliree discontented courtiers. Fervaques, a man of quality and of acknowledged bravery, gave the king information of his flight, but was suspected of Laving delayed it until he was assured that Conde was out of reach. Henry in his wrath declared that the head of Fervaques should answer for his treachery, adding, that whoever gave notice to the traitor, should share his fate.

The brave Crillon saw the king's fury without surprise; but knowing hiui capable of destroying an innocent man, he trembled with horror when he heard lilm vow the death of Fervaques, who was his friend, and who he did not believe was capable of so mean an artifice. ]3istinguished by a magnanimity which rendered him incajiablc of fear, he resolved to save him ; and despising the danger of a discovery, the excessive delicacy of his friendship persuaded him that he ought to run all hazards to preserve the life of a man of honom-, and prevent the king from doing an act of injustice, which would render him still more odious to his subjects. Crillon hastened to his friend ; " M\ tiear Fervaques," said he, " the king, who is


FIDELITY. 79

persuaded that you have favoured tlie escape of Conde, has vowed your deatli. I do not ask you to confess whether his suspicions are just ; to justify mj'self for the step I am about to take, I believe you innocent ; fly this instant, and save your life from the king's rage."

"How sensible am I," replied Fervaques, "of tills heroic proof of your friendship ; I am resolved to fly, not from a sense of guilt, but to escape the fury of a king, who is so undeserving of the fidelity of his subjects, or the generous and inviolable at- tachment of the brave Crillon."

Fervaques instantly fled. Tl;e intelligence incensed the king extremely ; and he was for some moments uncertain on which of those who had heard him vov/ the death of Fervaques, to fix his suspicions ; but at length it fell on Crillon : his esteem for him, while it made him wish him innocent, added strength to those suspicions.

Henry was agitated with these emotions when Crillon appeared before him. " Fervaques," said the king, with a look of rage, " has escaped my vengeance ; and leaves me no other hopes of executing it, but upon him who has been the instrument of his escape. Do you know who the m.an is ?" "Yes, sire," replied Crillon. " Well, then, name him," said the king, with great warmth. " I will never," said Crillon, "be the accuser of any besides myself; but the fear of exposing the innocent to your majesty's resentment, obliges me to give up the guilty. Yes, sire, see before 30U the man you ought to punish ; one who would have considered himself as the assassin of Fervaques, had he concealed from him a secret on


80 PERCY ANECDOTES,

which his life depended ; mine is at your disposal ; but it is less dear to me than the honour of saving a friend, whose blood may one day again, as it has often been, shed in the service of your majesty."


THE LEGATEE.

An old bachelor in the north of France, alike famous for his avarice and his wealth, laboured under a misfortune not uncommon to the greedy rich, that of being shunned and hated by every body. He required from his domestics that their attention should be as much beyond, as their frugality was within, all bounds ; and the only recompense he gave them, con- sisted in flattering hopes of being well remembered at his death. In spite of liis large promises, however, he could never prevail on any person to remain more than a single season in his service ; and at length his wretched character, as a master, became so notorious, that he could not procure a servant on any terms, and saw himself, with all his wcaltli, reduced to perform the meanest offices for himself. In this emergency he fell upon a certain sly device, which he thought would be sure to counteract the odium under whicli he laboured, without obliging him to deviate in the least from his inveterate habits of saving and starving. lie sent for his attorney, and dictated to him a will, containing, among other bequests, the following: " I give and bequeath to the servant who shall close my eyes, fifteen hundred livres, and my domain of Varac." Nothing, as will be afterwards seen, was farther from the old man's intention, than tliat such a bequest should ever have eftect. The


FIDELITY. 81

report of his having made it, however, soon spread ; and, as cunningly anticipated, hundreds of persons hastened to offer their services. The fortunate can- didate was a stout Norman, in that middle period of life when the appetite for food is generally considered to be at its lowest — a man who protested roundly that he cared not what he ate or drank ; or, indeed, whether he ate or drank at all, so that he could only keep life in him. The miser exulted in having at last found a man after his own heart ; and installed him forthwith in the office of his servant of all work. Tlie trial was a severe one ; the penance of a Monk of La Trappe was nothing to it ; according to ge- neral opinion, the poor Norman must have expired of pure inanition, had tlie old miser lived six months longer than he did. The day of the master's death, was a day of joy and reviving to his servant ; but on tlie next, his hopes were like to have been all blasted by tlie appearance of the heirs at law. Although the inheritance was immense, they possessed so much of the spirit of their departed relative, that the}" grudged exceedingly to find the amount at all diminished by the few legacies which the will contained. The famished valet endeavoured to touch their feelings by a representation of the sufferings he had undergone — sufferings which years of comfort and good living would scarcely repair 3 but all to no purpose. One of the heirs called far a sight of the will ; and having read these words, " I give and bequeath to the servant who shall close my eyes, &c.," he exclaimed with barbarous exultation, " The donation is worth nothing !" " Why so ?" asked the servant trembling ;


82 PERCY ANECDOTES.

" Wli3% don't you know my uncle was blind of an

eye ? How then could you close his eyes V

Tlic unfortunate legatee, repulsed by this obser- vation, withdrew ; but on proceeding to take the advice of a lawyer, as to the validity of the bequest, he had the satisfaction to learn that there was every probability of its being sustained by the courts. A suit was accordingly instituted, and the judges unani- mously determined, that the intention of the testator was to be gathered from the ordinary and fair mean- ing of the words, and not from any quibbling con- struction ; that it would be unjust to the memory of the deceased, to suppose that in so solenman afl'airas his last will, he could mean by a verbal equivoque to commit such a fraud on the expectations of an honest and faithful domestic ; and, in short, that there could be no doubt, in reason or law, of his having designedly and actually bequeathed the fifteen hun- dred livres, and the domain of Varac, to his Norman servant. The heirs appealed to the parliament of Paris J but without success. The judgment was con- lirmed, and they were at last obliged t ; discharge the legacy. It is in ways like this that the laws often do miracles of good, by making even dead men do what thc}'^ never intended, and what is yet abundantly consistent with right and justice.


THE CONSTABLE DE BOURBON.

A singular and solemn instance of fidelity occurs in the conduct of that band of warriors, rapacious and profligate as they \^erc, wlio under the command


FIDELITY. 83

of the Constable de Bourbon had uith success as- saulted the walls of Rome. They had during his life adored him as the divinity of war, and had en- dured every hardship which cold, hunger, fatigue, and want of pay, united, could bring upon them, during their march through Italy to the gates of the capital of the Christian world. They had indeed murmured, but their murmurs were easily quelled, upon the general's representation that his own poverty and distress of every kind was fully equal to their's. To quote the words of one of the numerous songs that were made in his honour, and which are preserved by Brantome, when

" He said, ' Brother soldiers, I mean not to wrong you. But trust me, I'm poor as the poorest among you ;' "

every murmur was hushed, and devotion to their chief alone predominated. After his death, which happened in the moment of triumph, they retained their faithful regard for their departed general's re- mains ; and when, after being satiated with rapine and cruelty, they marched from Rome, they carried with them the body of Bourbon, and in the face of a supe- rior force, commanded by Lautrec, one of the most renowned captains of his age, conveyed it in safety to the strong fortress of Gaieta. After this, the soldiers built a beautiful monument over their leader, and leaving a garrison strong enough to maintain the castle, they marched forward to Naples, which they besieged.


84 PERCY ANECDOTES.


CEI\1ETERY OF PERE LA CHAISE.

Nothing can be more striking and affecting to the imagination, than the cemetery of Pere la Chaise at Paris. It is only sufficient to go there, to be con- vinced liow true the affection which the mothers, sons, and sisters, of France, have for each other. How simple, and yet how tender, the inscriptions upon the tombs ! There the sister goes to renew the tender recollection of her sister, and a son to place a garland over the grave of his mother. With the English, the dead are scarcely ever visited, and seldom remem- bered ; but it is not so with the French, who do not think it inconsistent to mix the kindest feelings to their relations with the sociability of a larger circle. The tombs and graves in the cemetery arc kept in the highest order and repair, and almost all of tliem arc planted with shrubs and fragrant flowers, mingled with the mournful cypress and yew : the acacia tree is also planted in great abundance, and the wild vine spreads its broad loaves and graceful clusters over many of the monuments. Several of the inscriptions are affecting from their brevity and simplicity. Upon the monument of a man in the prime of life, there is the following short sentence :

A la memoirc dc mon mcillour ami. C'etoii mon frere. On another :

Ci git P. N., son 6pouse perd en liii Ic plus tendre de ses amis, ct ses cnfans un raodele de verlu.


FIDELITY. 85

And upon one raised by the paienls to the memory of a child :

C'l git notre fils ch^ri. A little crown of artificial orange blossoms, half blown, was in a glass case at the end of the tablet,

The following are also among the inscriptions in this celebrated spot :

Le Malheur, I'Amour, La Reconnoissance, Au modele de toutes les vertus,

Delice, A son excellente Zephirine.


A ma Theodore.

Repose en paix, ma bien airaee. Celesle ! deraain nous reviendrons te voir.


Tu reposes, raon fils, el la mere Est dans la douleur !


A notre bon pere, Les fils reconnoissants


A peine cinq printemps vecut notre Paulino, C'etoit le gage heureux de I'liymen le plus doux. Chacun aimoit son air et sa grace enfantine — Ah ! de notre bonlieur le destin fut jaloux !

Many garlands of fresh and sweet flowers


86 PERCY ANECDOTES.

hung upon the graves, and every thing marks tht' existence of tender remembrance and regret ; it appears as if in this place alone tlie dead are never forgotten.


HONOURABLE CONVICTS.

At the time of the yellow fever at Philadelphia, in 1793, great difficulty was found in obtaining nurses and attendants for the sick at Bush-Hill Hospital. Recourse was had to the prison. The request was made, and the apparent danger stated to the convicts. As many offered as were wanted. They continued faithful till the dreadful scene was closed ; none of them making any demand for their services, till all were discharged.

One man committed for a burglary, who had seven years to serve, observed, when the request was made to him, that having offended society, he would be happy to render it some services for the injury ; and if they could only place confidence in him, he would go with cheerfulness. He went ; he never left it but once, and then by permission, to obtain some articles in the city. His conduct was so remarkable, as to engage the attention of the managers, who made him a deputy steward ; gave him the charge of the doors, to prevent improper persons from going into the hospital ; to preserve order in and about the house ; and to see that nothing can)c to, or went from it, im- properly. He was paid ; and after receiving an extra compensation, at liis discharge married one of the nurses.

Another man convicted of a robbcrv, was taken


i'lDI'LlTY. 87

out for the purpose of attending a horse and cart, to bring such provisions from the vicinity of the city, as were there deposited for the use of the poor, by those who were afraid to come in. He had the sole charge of the cart, and conveying the articles for the whole period. He had many years to serve, and might at any time have departed with the horse, cart, and provisions. Pie despised, however, such a breach of trust, and returned to the prison. He was soon after pardoned, with the thanks of the inspectors!

An equally striking instance of the good conduct of the prisoners during the sickness, happened among the women. When requested to give up their bed- steads for the use of the sick at tlie hospital, they cheerfully offered even their bedding, &c. When a similar request was made to the debtors, tliey all


THE LAST OF MARIUS. During the intestine divisions with which Home was agitated in the year of Rome 664, Caius Marius and Sylla were the great rivals for superior power. Fortune at this period favoured the latter, and Marius was obliged to fly from Rome. He pursued his voyage along the coast of Italy, and on passing by Terracina, lie desired the mariners to keep clear of that place, being apprehensive of falling into the hands of one Geminius, a leading man in that district. Overtaken by a storm, and Marius being indisposed, they deter- mined to make land, and with great difficulty got to Circaeum (Monte Circello), where they suffered much from want of provisions. The land was their enemy, I 2


88 PERCY ANECDOTES.

the sea was the same ; it was dangerous to cncovmter men ; it was dangerous also not to meet with them, because of their extreme want of provisions. In the evening they were cautioned to depart by some herds- men, who recognized Marius, and informed him that a body of horsemen were riding about in search of him. After wandering among the woods, and nearly famished, he moved down to the sea side, encouraging his attendants not to forsake him ; and they were at no great distance from the city of Minturnte, when they observed, at a considerable distance, a troop of horse coming towards theju ; and, at the same time, two barks appeared sailing near them ; upon which they ran down to the sea shore, plunged into the sea, and swam towards the ships, into one of which Marius was with difficulty lifted. The party of horse soon reached the coast, and called the ship's crew either to put ashore, or to throw Marius overboard. The masters of the vessels, after much entreaty and deliberation, agreed not to deliver up Marius ; upon which the soldiers rode otF in a great rage, and the sailors made for land. They cast anchor at the mouth of the river Liris, where it overflows and forms a marsh ; then advised Marius to refresh himself on shore till the wind became more favourable. But the crew never re-appeared, and the vessel sailed away, thinking it neither honour- able to deliver up Marius, nor safe to protect him.

Thus, deserted by all the world, he sat a good while on the shore in silent stupefaction ; at length re- covering himself, he rose, and walked disconsolate through a wild and marsliy country', till he reached an old man's cottage. Throwing himself at his feet, ho requested shelter, and an asylum from impending


FIDELITY. 89

danger. The cottager replied, " That his hut w ould be sufficient, if he sought only repose ; but if he was wan- dering to elude the search of his enemies, he would hide him in a place much safer and more retired." IMarius desiring him to do so, the old niaii took him into the fens to a place of secresy, and covered him with a quantity of reeds.

But these obliging precautions did not escape the vigilance of his pursuers, who threatened the cottager for having concealed an enemy of the Romans. JMarius being disturbed by a tumultuous noise from the cottage, and suspecting the cause, quitted his cavern, and having stripped himself, plunged into the marsh ; from whence his pursuers dragged him out, carried him to Mintumje, and delivered him up to the magistrates ; who, after some deliberation, finally decided that Marius should be put to death. No citizen would undertake this office ; a Gaul, or a Cimbrian, pro- ceeded, sv.ord in hand, to despatch his victim. The chamber in which Marius was confined, was gloomy, and a light, they say, glanced from the eye of Marius upon the face of the assassin ; while, at the same time, a solemn voice exclaimed, " Dost thou dare to kill Marius ?" Upon which the soldier threw down his sword and fled, crying, " I cannot kill Marius."

The people of Minturna? were struck with astonish- ment ; pity and remorse ensued. Should they put to death the preserver of Italy ? Was it not even a disgrace to them that they did not contribute to his relief? Let the exile go, said they, and await his destiny in some other region ! It is time we should deprecate the anger of the gods, for having refused the poornaked wanderer the common privileges of hcspita- i3


90 PERCY ANECDOTES,

lity ! Under the iuUuence of this enthusiasm, they immediately conducted him to the sea-coast. Yet, in the midst of tlieir expedition, an unforeseen delay was occasioned ; for the Sylva Maricce, or Marician Grove, was held so sacred, that nothing entering it was suf- fered to be removed ; and to go round it would be tedious. At last an old man of the company ex- claimed, " that no place, however religious, was in- accessible, if it could contribute to the safety of Marius:" upon which he took some of the baggage in his hand, and marched directly through the grove. His companions followed with the same alacrity ; and when Marius came to the sea-coast, he foimd a vessel in readiness to receive him.

After having been driven about by the violence of the winds to various islands, he at length landed at Carthage, whore he was immediately thus accosted by an ofiicer ; " Marius, the Praetor Sextilius forbids you to set foot in Africa." Marius on hearing this was struck dumb with grief and indignation. He uttered not a \vord for some time, but stood regarding the officer with a menacing aspect. At length, when he was asked " what answer he should carry back to the governor?" "Tell him," said the unfortunate man, with a deep sigh, " that thou hast seen the exiled Marius sitting upon the ruins of Carthage ;" thus in the happiest manner proposing the fate of that city, and his own, as w arnings to the Praetor.

HIGHLAND VASSALS.

About seventy years ago, a Lowland gentleman, who was proprietor of the estate of Kinsteary, set up


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in opposition to the Laird of Grant, as a candidate for representing the County of Inverness. The men of Strathspey, indignant that anj' Southron should pre- sume to compete with their chief, came in detached parties to the neighbourhood of Inverness, pretending to have lost a great number of cattle. Ten chosen scouts watched every movement of the adverse party, and seizing a favourable moment, one threw a plaid over Kinsteary's head, and the others hood-winked his companions in the same manner. The candidate for the county was detained among the hills until the Laird of Grant was returned for the county ; and several years elapsed before that chief was informed who the individuals were, who had made so bold an ellbrt to ensure his election.

BROTHERS IN BATTLE.

Immediately after the taking of Fort Napoleon, in Portugal, during the Peninsular war, a soldier of the 50th regiment was observed occasionally bending over the lifeless trunk of one of his comrades, and now and then wiping away the tears as they trickled down his furrowed cheek. An officer stepped up, and ventured to divert his attention by inquiring the name of the deceased. Till then he had imagined that he was pouring out his grief in secret ; for when spoken to, he looked abashed, and began to wipe away the tears from his eyes. On the question being repeated, he said, that the name of the deceased was Paddy Carey, and his own brother ; that he was the third of that family that had given up their lives for their country ; and that he was now left alone, to


92 PERCY ANECDOTES.

mourn the loss of those who had gone before hhn. He regretted much that circumstances prevented him from bestowing decent burial on the deceased ; and when he was left alone, the noble fellow began to dig a hole with his bayonet, to receive the mangled re- mains of his beloved relative.


CONSECRATED FRIENDSHIPS.

TheMorlacchi, inhabitants of the inland mountains of Dalmatia, are remarkable for their generosity and fidelit3\ Nothing but an absolute impossibility hin- ders a Morlach from being punctual and faithful to his promise. Friendship is lasting among the Mor- lacchi. The^ have even made it a kind of religious point, and tie the sacred knot at the foot of the altar. The Sclavonian ritual contains a particular benediction for the solemn union of two male or female friends in the presence of the congregation. The male friends thus united, arc called Pobratimi, and the female Posestreme, which mean half-brothers and half-sisters.

From these consecrated friendships among the Moriacchi, and other nations of the same origin, it should seem that the stvorn brothers arose ; a denomi- nation frequent enough among the common people of Italy, and in many parts of Europe. The difference between these and the Pobratimi of Morlacchia, con- sists not only in the want of the ritual ceremony, butin the design of the union itself. For among the Morlac- chi, tlie sole view is reciprocal service and advantage ; but such a brotherhood among the Italians is gene- rally commenced by bad men, to enable them the


FIDKLITY. 93

more to hurt and disturb society. The duties of the Pobratinii are, to assist each other in every case of need or danger, to revenge mutual wrongs, and sucli like. The enthusiasm is often carried so far as to risk, and even to lose, their life for the Pobratinii, although these savage friends are not celebrated like a Pylades. If discord happens to arise between t\vo friends, it is talked of over all the country as a scandalous novelty ; and there have been some examples of it of late years, to the great affliction of the old Morlacchi, who attribute the depravation of their countrymen to their intercourse with the Italians, by whom they have been so often duped, that the faith of an Italian and the faith of a dog are synonymous among the Morlacchi.

ORPHAN PROTECTOR.

M. S , a gentleman attached to the court of

France, lost a very intimate friend, who, in dying, left his debts, and two children of a tender age, quite unprovided for. His friend, who sun'ived, immedi- ately reduced his establishment and his equipage, and took apartments in the suburbs of Paris; whence he came every day to the palace, attended only by a footboy, and discharged the duties of his office. He was immediately suspected of avarice, or of bad conduct, and had to endure many calumnies. At length, at the end of two years, iM. S. mixed again in the busy world. He had accumulated the sum of twenty thousand livres, which he had laid out for the support and future fortune of the children of his friend.


94 PERCY AN lie DOTES.


EXCESS OF CONJUGAL AFFECTION.[edit]

The Gazette de France, of the 25th of i\Iaj, 1815, published the following extraordinary instance ofconnu- bial attachment. A person of the name of Duminil, who had formerly been keeper of an eating house at Versailles, and had retired to a small farm, which he cultivated for some time at Aufargis, near Rambouillet, lost in 1006 his wife, whom he tenderly loved, and ever after he daily visited the spot where her remains were deposited. On the 20th of May, 1815, Duminil took an affectionate leave of his friends, telling them that he was setting out on a long journe3% At night he dug up the remains of his wife, tilled the grave with wood, placed the bones upon it, fastened his feet with strong iron wire to a cramp which he had fixed in a wall contiguous to the grave, set fire to the faggots, and threw himself on the pile. His body was thus consumed with the remains of his wife. He had fixed in the wall a piece of freestone, upon which he had rudely traced this epitaph : " Here lies a man who en- joyed happiness for half a century! He mixed his ashes with those of his wife in eighteen hundred and fifteen." In a niche formed on one of the sides of the tomb, was deposited the portrait of his wife, with this inscription : " Augustine Duminil, to Mary Jane llafinet, his wife ; died April 20, 1806, aged 50. She was beautiful thirty-five years ; virtuous and amiable all her life ; no power can separate our ashes." To the external wall of the tomb was affixed a label written with a tremulous hand. " Do not pity me ; for this is a consunnuation which I have long and devoutly


IIDELITY. 95

wished ; an object which I was resolutely bent upon accomplishing. Do not blame nie. Do not despise me. Do not insult me. I make a present of my wife's picture to the commune. Written this twentieth of May, at two in the morning ; at the moment of precipitating myself on the flames, in order to join my wife. Duminil."


DOMESTIC LIFE AMONG THE INDIANS.

Among the man}' amiable traits which distinguish the character of the American Indians, that of con- jugal affection and fidelity is not the least remarkable. When a couple is newly married, the husband, without sa^'ing a single word upon the subject, takes consider- able pains to please his wife, and by repeated proofs of his skill and abilities in the art of hunting, to make her sensible that she can b? happy with him, and that she will never want while they live together. At break of day, he will be off with his gun, and often by breakfast time return home with a deer, turkey, or some other game. He endeavours to make it appear that it is in his power to bring provisions home when- ever he pleases ; and his wife, proud of having such a good hunter for her husband, does her utmost to serve and make herself agreeable to him. The more a man does for his wife's comfort, the more he is esteemed, particularly by the women, who will say, " This man surely loves his wife."

In the year 1762, (says Mr. Heckerwelder, in his interesting account of the American Indians,) 1 was witness to a remarkable instance of the disposition of Indians to indulge their v.'ives. There was a famine


96 PKRCY ANECDOTES,

in the land, and a sick Indian woman expressed a great desire for a mess of Indian corn. Her husband having heard that a trader at Lower Sandusky had a little, set off on horseback for that place, one hundred miles distant, and returned with as much corn as filled the crown of his hat, for which he gave his horse in ex- change, and came home on foot, bringing his saddle back with him.

It ver^? seldom happens that an Indian condescends to quarrel with his wife, or abuse her, though she has given him just cause. In such a case, the man, with- out replying or saying a single word, will take his gun and go into the woods, and remain there a week, or perhaps a fortnight, living on the meat he has killed, before he returns home again ; well knowing that he cannot inflict a greater punishment on his wife for her conduct to him, than by absenting himself for awhile; for she is not only kept in suspense, uncertain whether he will return again, but is soon reported as a bad and quarrelsome woman ; for as on those occasions a man does not tell his wife on what day or at what time he will be back again, which he never, when they are on good terms, neglects to do, she is at once put to shame by her neighbours, who soon suspecting something, do not fail to put such questions to her, as she either can- not, or is ashamed to answer. When he at lengtli does return, she endeavours to let him see by her attentions that she has repented, though neither speak to each other a single word on the subject of what has passed. And as his children, if he lias any, will, on his return, hang about him, and sooth him with their caresses, he is, on their account, ready to forgive, or at least to say nothing unpleasant to, their mother.


FIDELITY. 97

If these traits in the conduct of the " untutored Indian," in domestic life, put the manners of more civilized nations to the blush, how much more severe is the reproach to social life, contained in the following account.

In the 3^ear 1771, (says the author already quoted), while I was residing on the Big Beaver, 1 passed by the door of an Indian, who was a trader, and had con- sequently a quantity' of goods in his house. He was going with his wife to Pittsburgh, and they were shutting up the house, as no person remained in it during their abseice. This shutting up was nothing else than putting a large hominy pounding block, with a few sticks of wood, outside against the door, so as to keep it closed. As I was looking at this man with attention, while he was so employed, he addressed me in these words. " See, my friend, this is an Indian lock that I am putting to my door." 1 answered, " Well enough ; but I see you leave much property in the house ; are 3'ou not afraid that those articles will be stolen while you are gone ?" " Stolen ! by whom r" " Why, by Indians to be sure." " No, no," replied he, " no Indian would do such a thing; and unless a white man or white people should happen to come this way, I shall find all safe at ray return."

COMPANIONS IN SLAVERY. Two sailors, tlie one a Spaniard, and the other a Frenchman, were in slavery at Algiers ; the first was called Antonio ; his companion in bondage was named Roger. It so happened that they were employed at the same piece of labour. Friendship is the conso-


98 PERCY ANECDOTES,

lation of thu unfortunate ; and Antonio and Roger experienced all its sweets. They communicated to each other tlieir sorrows and their regrets ; they spoke together of their families, of their countries, and of the joy which they would feel at being restored to liberty. Each seemed to feel as if his hardships were the less because his friend sympathized in them ; it made them bear their chains with courage, and sustain with fortitude the fatigues to which they were condemned.

The work at which they laboured was the formation of a road over a high mountain. Antonio one day stopped, and resting on his spade, cast a longing look towards the sea. "My friend," said he to Roger, with a deep sigh, " all my wishes are at the end of that vast expanse. Why cannot I cross it with thee ? I think every moment that 1 see ray w ife and children stretching out their arms to me from the shore of Cadiz, or shedding tears for my death. The un- fortunate Spaniard was quite absorbed with this af- fecting fancy ; and every time that he returned to the mountain, his eyes wandered in melancholy sadness over the immense space which separated him from his native land. One day, he ran and embraced his comrade with transport. " A vessel ! a vessel ! my friend ; sec yonder ! Now, Roger, our hardships may be at an end ; let us escape together." " But how ?" inquired Roger. " The vessel," continued Antonio, " is but two leagues from the shore ; from the top of these rocks we can precipitate ourselves into the sea, and swim to the vessel, or perish in the attempt. Death is preferable to so cruel a servitude as this."

  • • If you can save yourself," replied Roger, " I will


IIDKLITY. 99

support with more resignation my unhappy lot ; you do not know, Antonio, how deav you are to me. The friendship which I feel for thee can only termi- nate with my life. I ask of thee only one favour. Seek out my father ; if grief for ray loss and old age have not already laid him in the tomb, tell him — " "What, Roger!" said Antonio, interrupting him, tenderly, '* do you imagine I can leave thee in irons? No never ! My days are thine ; we shall both escape or perish together." " But, Antonio, you know I cannot swim." " You can take hold of my belt ; your friendship will give me strength to sustain us both." " It is in vain, in vain, Antonio, to think of it. I should either lose my hold, ur drag thee with me to the bottom. I can never consent thus to expose the life of my friend to peril ; the very idea fills me with horror. Save thyself, Antonio, I con- jure thee; there is not a moment to lose. Adieu, adieu ; I embrace thee for the last time." At these words, he fell into the arms of Antonio. " You weep, Roger; it is not tears that are wanting, but courage. Resist no longer. If you delay a moment, we are lost ; the opportunity may never occur again. Either consent to be led by me, or I will dash my head against these rocks." Antonio would hear no more, but hurried Roger involuntarily along with him to the edge of the precipice, and leaped with him into the sea. Roger would even now have abandoned all hope of his own escape or preservation for the sake of his friend ; and it was with the utmost diffi- culty Antonio could prevail on him to hold by his belt. The Spaniard felt all the force of that sentiment of disinterestedness which actuated his friend, and K 2


100 PERCY ANECDOTES,

fearful lest he should give way to it, and quit his hold, he kept his eyes constantly fixed on him, while with a strong arm he pushed towards the vessel. No mother could have watched with a more anxious eye the step of a child in danger, than Antonio did every motion of his friend.

The persons on board the ship had observed the bold action of the two friends, and while occupied in conjectures as to the cause of it, a new object attracted their attention. They perceived a shallop hastily quitting the shore. It contained some of the soldiers who were placed as guard over the slaves, and who were now striving to overtake the fugitives. Roger first discerned the boat in pursuit, and per- ceiving the strength of Antonio beginning to fail, he called to him, " My dearest Antonio, we are pursued ; I only retard your course ; save thyself, and leave me to perish : farewell." With these words he de- tached himself from Antonio's belt, and instantly sunk to the bottom.

A new transport of friendship animated the noble Spaniard ; he plunged after his friend, and for a few minutes neither were to be seen.

The shallop, uncertain which course to steer, stopped, and in the meantime a boat was dispatched from the ship to reconnoitre. Antonio was soon per- ceived emerging with Roger firmly clasped under one arm, and with the other, endeavouring to make the best of his way to the boat. The sailors in the latter, touched with a generous compassion, rowed with all their might towards thorn, and got up just in time to save them. The strength of Antonio was exhausted ; lie was only able to breathe out, "Help, hrip my


FIDELITY. 101

friend ;"' and then fell over as if life had for ever left hira. Roger, who was in a senseless state when taken into the boat, on opening his eyes, and seeing Antonio extended by his side, with all the horrors of death im- printed on his countenance, was thrown into a paroxysm of grief. He clasped the apparently lifeless body in his arms ; he bathed it with his tears ; he uttered the most mournful ejaculations. " My friend, my pre- server ; it is I who am thy assassin. My dear Antonio, you hear me no more ; such is thy recompense for saving the life of your friend. Ah ! why do I stay beliind thee ? What is life to me now that I have lost thee ?" "With these words, he suddenly rose, and would have leaped again into the sea, had not the sailors withheld him. " Why," exclaimed Roger, bitterly; " why do you prevent ray d3nng ?" Then throwing himself again on the pale body of Antonio, " Yes," he added, " yes, my Antonio, I will follow^ thee. Pity ; oh ! have pity. In the name of God, allow rae to die."

Pleaven, who is doubtless touched with the fears of men when they ajre sincere, seemed to give a signal mark of its goodness in favour of so bright an example. Antonio at length heaved a deep sigh. Roger uttered a loud cry of joy. " He lives ! he lives!" The sailors assisted him in his tender assiduities to revive the vital spark in his friend ; and in a few minutes he had the inexpressible delight of catching the first awakening glance of Antonio, and of hearing these his first w ords : " Ah, Roger ! thank God I have saved you !"

The boat reached the vessel. The affecting tale of the tw o captives gained them the hearts of all on board. It was bound for IMalaga, and there it shortly after K 3


102 PF.RCY ANECDOTES,

landed them, full of gratitude to their preservers, knit if possible still closer than ever in the bonds of friendship, and only sorrowing, because in dilYerent countries they had to go in search of their kindred and their homes.


VICISSITUDES.

Barbula, who had been the experienced friend of Antony, and who had served him at the battle of Philippi, bought a person who had been proscribed, and who had disguised himself in the habit of a slave, in order to save his life. This pretended slave, to whom history has given the name of Marcus, acquitted liimself with so much discernment and probity, as plainly evinced he was something higher than a slave. Barbula wished to draw from him this secret, pro- mising him, that if he really was among the proscribed, he would use his interest to have his name erased from that fatal list. Marcus would make no confession, but followed his master to Rome. He was there recog- nized by one of the friends of Barbula, who, accord- ing to his promise, obtained by his credit with Agrippa a pardon for JNIarcus ; and in consequence he attached himself to that party.

]Many years afterwards the battle of Actium was fought, in which Marcus and Barbula were in opposite interests ; the first fought for Augustus, and the other for Antony. After the battle, the scene between Marcus and his friend was renewed, but in a different point of view. Barbula found no other means to avoid death, than by disguising himself as a slave. Marcus bought him, pretending not to know him,


FIDELITY. 103

and by means of the influence lie then had with Augustus, procured his pardon. These two friends were some lime after joint consuls at Rome.

LOVE-LORN ]MANL\C. A few miles from Florence, a lady of singular beauty and exquisite symmetry was found dead beneath a tree. She held fast in her lifeless hand the minature painting of a gentleman, and upon her breast was pendant a paper, inscribed with the fol- lowing words : " O ! you who have hearts suscep- tible of sympathy and compassion ! if ye find the remains of a woman who lost her reason for love, do not disdain to fulfil her desire, and perform the last sad office of affording her a coffin and a grave. Would you open her bosom, which in all the events and vicissitudes of chequered fortune remained chaste and pure, you will find therein a heart the victim of suffering and woe."


GOOD FAITH.

In the war between the Athenians and the Lacede- monians, Brasides, who commanded the latter, laid siege to the city of Amphipolis ; but before he pro- ceeded to hostilities, he was resolved to try what moderation and justice would produce. He solicited them to surrender without force, and to form an alliance with his nation ; and the more to induce them to it, he declared that he had taken an oath in the presence of the magistrates, to leave all those in the enjoyment of their liberties who would conclude an


104 PERCY ANECDOTES.

alliance wUh him ; and that he ought lobe considered as the most abandoned of men, should he employ oaths to ensnare their fidelity. " For a fraud," said he, "cloaked with a specious pretence, reflects greater dishonour on persons in high station, than open vio- lence ; because the latter is the effect of the power Avhich fortune has put into our liands, and the former is founded wholly on perfidy, which is the bane of society. Now I," continues he, " should do a great disservice to my country, besides dishonouring it eternally-, if, by procuring it some slight advantages, I should ruin the reputation it enjoys of being just and faithful to its promises, which renders it more powerful than all its forces united together, because it acquires it the esteem and confidence of other states." On such noble principles as these Brasides formed his conduct, and he was successful.


A RARE LEGATEE.

Cardinal Pole, and a Venetian gentleman named Alostio Priuli, attracted much notice at Rome for their conformity in maniiers, reciprocal affection, and delightful sympathy, which continued for a period of twenty-six years without interruption. The cardinal falling ill, and being told by his physicians that he would not recover, made his will, by which he made J*riuli his sole heir; but such was the generosity of the Venetian, that he distributed the whole of it among the English kindred of his friend, saying, " While my friend, the cardinal, lived, we strove who should render the greatest benefits to each other; but by dying, he has got the start of me in


riDELITY. 105

kindaess, in euabiiug nie to do so juuch good to his relations in Encrland."


FEMALE CAPTIVE.

The Portuguese makiug war on the Island of Ceylon, their general, Thomas de Susa, made many prisoners, among whom was a beautiful female Indian, who had just before promised to give her hand in marriage to a handsome youth of her own country. The lover, as soon as he heard of the unfortunate lot of his beloved mistress, hastened to throw himself at her feet ; when she received him with open arms. Their misfortunes not permitting them to live together in the enjoyment of freedom, he freely took upon him- self to divide with her the horrors of slavery.

Susa, who had a noble heart, susceptible of the tenderest feelings, was much affected at this scene. " It is enough," said he to the generous youth, " that love loads you with chains ; and may you wear them to the latest period of your life. Go, and live happy together ; you are from this moment free from my fetters." The two lovers threw themselves at his feet, and ever afterwards attached themselves to their generous deliverer, wishing to live under the laws of a nation which knew so nobly how to employ their victories.


FEUDAL SERVICES. Under the ancient feudal system, the essential prin- ciple of a fief was a mutual contract of support and lidelily. Whatever obligations were laid upon the


106 PERCY ANECDOTES,

vassal of service to his lord, corresponding duties of protection were ijjuposed by it on the lord towards his vassal. If these were transgressed on either side, the one forfeited his land, the other his seignority or rights over it. Nor were motives of interest left alone to operate in securing the feudal connexion. The asso- ciations, founded upon ancient custom and friendly attachment, the impulses of gratitude and honour, the dread of infamy, tlie sanctions of religion, were all employed to strengthen these ties, and to render them equally powerful with the relations of nature, and far more so than those of political society. It is a ques- tion agitated among the feudal lawyers, wiicther a vassal is bound to follow the standard of his lord against his own kindred ; it was one still more agitated, whether he must do so against the king. In the works of those who wrote when the feudal system was declining, or who were anxious to maintain the royal authority, this question is commonly decided in the negative. Littleton gives a form of homage with a reservation of the allegiance due to the sove- reign ; and the same prevailed in Normandy and some otlier countries. A law of Ficderic Barbarossa enjoins, that in every oath of fealty to an inferior lord, the vassal's duty to the emperor should be ex- pressly reserved. But it was not so during the height of the feudal system in France. The vassals of Henry II. and Richard I. never hesitated to adhere to them against the sovereign, nor do they appear to have incurred any blame on that account. Even so late as the age of St. Louis, it is laid down in his (establishments, that if justice is refused by the king to one of his vassals, lie nii"ht sununon his own tenants.


flDKLIIY. 107

under penally of forfeiting their fiefs, to a:;sibt him in obtaining redress by arms. The Count of Brittany, Pierre de Drcux, iiad practically asserted this feudal right, during the minority of St. Louis. In a public instrument he announced to the world, that having met with repealed injuries from the Regent, and denial of justice, he had let the king know that he no longer considered himself as his vassal, but renounced his homage, and defied him.

Upon investiture, the duties of the vassal com- menced. These duties were in their nature uncertain, and varied according as they were services of military tenure, or of an inferior description. It was a breach of faith to divulge the lord's counsel ; to conceal from him the machinations of others ; to injure his person or fortune ; or to violate the sanctity of his roof, and the honours of his family. In battle, he was bound to lend his horse to his lord when dismounted, and to adhere to his side while fighting ; and to go into captivity as a Iiostage for him when taken.

RUSSIAN GRENADIER.

In an affair which took place at Zurich, between the Russians and the French, a Russian grenadier seeing the officer who carried the colours of his regiment raortallj wounded, seized the colours, and wrapped them under his jacket round his body. Being wounded himself, he fell into the hands of the enemy, and was conducted with other prisoners to Lisle. He remained there six- teen months, and during night and day wore the colours next to his skin, without being betra3-ed by any of his comrades who knew of the fact. When General


108 PERCY ANECDOTES.

Sprengporten arrived at Lisle, the grenadier desired to speak toliiiH, and was introduced to his chamber, where he divested hiiuseh' of the colours he had so long pre- served, and presented them to the general. The Em- peror Paul, on being informed of this fine trait of military devotion, advanced the grenadier to the lank of ensign, in the same regiment whose colours he had so nobly preserved.


SWISS PdEIlCENARIES. The brave Pierre Siuppa, the Swiss general, having been deputed by the thirteen cantons to solicit from France the arrears of pay which had been owing for a long time to the Swiss oflicers, ]M. de Louvois, the war minister, who was present, said to the king, Louis XIV., " Sire, those Swiss are very importunate ; if your majesty had all the money thatyour royal predecessors have given to that people, it would form a road from Basil to Paris." *' That may be," observed Stuppa, with an air of firmness; " but at the same time, if your majesty had all the blood that the Swiss have shed in the service of France, it would form a river from Paris to Basil." The king was so struck with the observation, that he ordered M. de Louvois to pay the whole of (he mont'v, without tlir least deduc- tion or delay.


SPANISH ENTHUSIAST. A soldier of the 71st or Glasgow regiment, who has jniblished an uncommonly interesting journal of his adventures from 1806 to 1815, relates the following


FIDELITY. 109

incident wliich occurred to him when at Boho, in Spain.

" One afternoon I had walked into the church- yard ; and after having winded through it, I lay down in the shade of the wall, near a grave that appeared to have been lately made. While lying thus, I heard a sob. I looked towards the place whence it came, and perceived a beautiful female kneeling beside a grave, devoutly counting her rosary, her tears falling fast on the ground. I lay afraid to move, lest the noise might disturb her. She remained for some time absorbed in devotion ; then rose from her knees, and taking a small jar of hol^'^ water, sprinkled the grave, and retired undisturbed by me. I mentioned the circumstance to no one ; but day after day I was an unperceived witness of this scene. At length she saw me as she approached, and was retiring in haste. I came near her. Siie stood to let me pass. I said, ' My presence shall give you no uneasiness, adieu !' ' Stay,' she said ; * are you Don Galves' good sol- dier ?' I replied, * I live v/ith him.' — ' Stay, you can feel for me ; I have none to feel for nor advise me.' She looked to heaven, her eyes beaming resig- nation and liope, the tears dropping on her bosom. I stretched out my hand to her ; my eyes I believe were wet ; I did not speak. * None,' she said mournfully, ' can again have my hand ; I gave it to Francisco.' — ' 'Tis the hand of friendship,' — ' I can have no friend but death. You do not pray for the dead (being a protestant). You cannot praj' with me.' 1 said, * I will listen to 3'ours.' She then began her usual pra^xrs ; then rose, and sprinkled the ^rave with holy water. I inquired, 'Whose grave


110 PERCY ANECDOTES.

do you Avater?' — 'My mother's.' — 'How long has she been dead ?' — ' Five years.' — ' Five years ! have 3' ou done thus so long ?' — ' Alas ! no ; my mother had been released (from purgatory) ; but five weeks ago m^'^ mournful task again began ; 'tis for Francisco. Adieu!' She sobbed, and retired with a hurried step. I dare not embellish, lest this incident should not be credited ; but I feel this is a cold ac- count of what passed. I have not taken away, neither have I added a word that did not pass between us. From Galves, I learned that Francisco had fallen in a Guerilla party. Tt is the belief in Spain, that every drop of holy water sprinkled upon the grave, quenches a flame in purgatory."


"THE HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN."

In the year 1736, two smugglers, of the names of Wilson and Robertson, robbed the Collector of the Customs at Kirkaldy of a considerable sum of money, which was the property of government. They were both taken, brought to trial, and condemned to death. The fate of these men was universally pitied ; but Wilson, by an act of extraordinary resolution, gene- rosity, and fidelity, exalted the general sympathy to ardent admiration, and fixed it solely on himself. The two criminals under sentence of death were, according to custom, carried on a Sunday after their condemna- tion, to join the weekly public services of religion. Four soldiers of the town guard of Edinburgh were their conductors ; and they entered the church before the congregation had fully assembled, and before the rommencement of the service. The prisoners were


FIDELITY. Ill

entrusted ^vithout fetters to the custody of their guard. In these circumstances, the church door being open, and the persons who were present not unfavour- ably disposed towards the criminals, Wilson, by a sudden elfort of astonishing strength, grasped with each of his hands one of the attending soldiers, seized a third with his teeth, held them inextricably fast, and called to his comrade Robertson to run for his life. Robertson did run, and made his escape, Wilson, overjoyed in having delivered his friend, remained patiently behind to suifer for his crimes.

Such is the historical fact of which the "Mysterious Unknown" has made such admirable use in his romance of " The Heart of Mid-Lothian."


BELOVED MASTER.

Some English gentlemen visiting the Count of Toulouse's gallery, the servant in attendance said, "■ My lord is the best of masters ; but, alas I he grows very old, and I fear he can't last long. I would, with all my heart, give ten years out of my own life to prolong his if it could be done." Upon seeing the party affected to whom he made the declaration, he added, " That this was no great merit in him ; that must of his fellow-ser\'ants, he believed, would willingly do the same ; that the goodness of their master to them, and the greatness of tlieir affection for him, was so remarkable and so well known, that a friend of the count once said to him; " I don't know what it is you do to charm all the people about you j but though you have t^vo hundred servants, I believe there is scarcely any one of them that would not die

T. ?


112 PERCY ANECDOTES,

to save your life." " That may be," replied the count, " but I would rather lose two hundred lives, than that one of them should sutler on my account."


PRISON HOURS.

The celebrated Count Munich, who wa« prime minister of Russia in the reign of the Empress Anna Ivanowna, r. hd in that of her successor, Ivan, was condenmed to sulFcr death, but received a pardon on the scaftold, and instead of being beheaded, was banished into Siberia. The Countess Munich had the liberty of choosing either to accompany her husband into a wild and dreary region in the north of Asia, or to remain with her friends at St. Petersburgh. Without hesitation, she chose to follow her husband.

The commanding oflTicer of the fortress where the count was confined, Avas strictly enjoined to allow liim no more than the mere necessaries of life ; but fortunately for JVIunich, the officer had served under him in the Turkish war, and was a person of a generous and humane disposition. Moved by vene- ration for his general, whom he had seen performing so many gallant exploits, he did every thing in his power to soften the rigour of his exile ; and among other indulgences, allowed him the use of materials for writing, and to have some intercourse with the inhabitants of the countr}^ The countess found amusement, pleasure, and relief during many solitary years, in instructing the children of the neighbouring ])easants. Even the discharge of her duty to her imsband, and his allectionatc gratitude, could not ollujrwise have preserved her from |)ining. The count


FIDELITY. 113

employed himself in writing the memoirs of his life, and in drawing plans of sieges and fortifications.

But these alleviations of their captivity were in- terrupted. A Russian officer passing through the country, and staying some days at the fortress, ob- served the liberty enjoyed by Munich, and had the singular inhumanity, on his return to St. Petersburgh, to inform the empress of all he had seen. The dis- position wrhich led him to inform, led him also to exaggerate. He insinuated that the count was plot- ting mischief against the empress, or against the state, and that the plans and writings were not matter of mere amusement. Accodingly the friend of Munich was suddenly recalled, divested of his authority, and threatened with the punishment of treasonable dis- obedience. The count, in order to exculpate his benefactor, sent all the papers he possessed, those memoirs, and those plans, which were the objects of his affection and his solace, for many winters of dismal solitude ; he sent them with the utmost readi- ness to St. Petersburgh. This effort cost him a grievous pang. They were burnt. But they were an oblation offered on the altar of grateful friendship ; and he had the consolation of learning that they had been the means of preserving his friend from rigorous punishment.

On the accession of Peter the Third, the count was relieved from his captivity ; and after an exile of twenty -five years, was restored to his former honours.


114 PERCY ANECDOTES.


LYSIMACHUS.

Calistlieucs, who followed Alexander in his con- quests, was accused of treason to that prinoe, who condemned him to be shut up in an iron cage, and kept in the rear of the arm}'. Lysimachus, one of the captains of Alexander, and the faithful friend of Calisthencs, continued to visit him daily. The philo- sopher, after thanking him for his courageous attention, entreated him to discontinue his visits, which might endanger his safety. " Leave me," said he, " to sup- l)ort my own misfortunes, and do not again have the cruelty to add your's to them." Lysimachus would not however leave him, but declared that he would rather encounter the displeasure of his sovereign, than abandon his friend.


RELIEVING GUARD.

A young girl who had formed an attachment to a soldier in the garrison at Metz, in 1784, knowing that he was indisposed, and obliged to be on duty at midnight, during very inclement weather, went to see him, and finding him quite benumbed with cold, pressed him to^ go and warm himself at her house, whicli was not far distant, while she would remain in liis place. The soldier refused for some time, but at last yielded to her tender solicitations. The moment he was gone, she wraj)[)C(l herself in his great coat, and began to walk u (a militalre with the firelock on her shoulder. Unfortunately the round going by, the corporal asked her the order; which not being able to


FIDELITY. 115

answer, she was detected, and taken to the guard house. Her lover was immediately sent for, and being found almost dead, though before a good fire, he was revived by means of some cordial, and next morning sent to prison. He was afterwards tried, and pursuant to the strictness of military laws, con- demned ; but such intercession was made for him, that he was pardoned, and married to his faithful mistress.


ASSASSINATION OF JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND. The reign of James the First of Scotland, who may justly be considered among the greatest of the Scottish monarchs, was chiefly spent in reforming abuses, in curbing the authority of the great barons, and in recovering the royal estates out of the hands of usurpers. All these measures were taken with the approbation of the states, and seem to have been approved by the nation at large ; but they procured him many virulent enemies, and at length proved the cause of his murder. The perpetrators of the foul act were, the Earl of Athol ; Sir Robert Grahame, who was connected with the earl, and who was discontented on account of his losing his estate of Strathern, which had been re-annexed to the crown ; and Robert Stewart, grandson and heir to the Earl of Athol, and one of the king's domestics. The king had dismissed his array, without even reserving to himself a body guard, and was at supper in a Dominican convent in the neigh- bourhood of Perth. Grahame had for some time been at the head of a gang of outlaws, and is said to have brcugiit a party of tlicm in the dead of the niglit


116 PERCY ANECDOTES.

to Perth, where he posted them near the convent. WalterStraton, one of the king's cupbearers, left the chamber in which the king was at supper, to bring some wine ; but perceiving armed men standing in the passage, he gave the alarm, and was immediately killed. Catherine Douglas, one of the queen's maids of honour, ran to bolt the outer door of the chamber ; but she found the bar had been taken away by Robert Stewart, in order to facilitate the entrance of the murderers. Without hesitating a moment, this faith- ful lady thrust her arm into the staple ; but, alas ! what could the slender arm of a delicate woman avail against a numerous band of powerful ruffians ! They burst open the door, shattered in pieces the arm which generously strove to oppose their way, and rushed sword in hand upon the king. Patrick Dunbar, brother to the Earl of March, was killed in attempting to defend his sovereign ; and the queen received two wounds in vainly endeavouring to inter- pose betwixt her husband and the daggers of the assassins. James defended himself as long as he could ; but at last expired under the repeated strokes of his murderers, after having received twenty-eight wounds.


BASTILE INCIDENT. The Marquess de Pelleport, a short time before the French revolution, was thrown into the Eastile for writing a pamphlet against the Count de Vergcnncs and the Sieur de Noir, entitled, " Le Diable dans un Btnitier. — The Devil in a Iloly-Water pot. His aniiablc wife, who had hron left with four children


FIDELITY. 117

with a relation in Switzerland, no sooner l)eard of her Jiusband's captivity, than she flew to his assistance, and spent six months in fruitless solicitation for his liberty, when she saw herself left without resource, by the death of the relation who supported her. Thrown into despair at the thoughts of her husband in prison, and her children on the point of w anting bread, preferring death to begging it from a stranger's hand, and every day obliged to reject offers, which in a corrupt town but too frequently put virtue to the blush, she knew not which way to turn her eyes ; when M. de Launay persuaded her to solicit the Chevalier de Paulet for the admission of her sons into the Military Orphan School. The children were admittici, and Madame de Pelleport had a lodging provided for her near the school, where she might take care of her children.

For four years she employed herself in soliciting the liberty of her husband, and performing the duties of a mother to the youngest children of the school, when M. de Villedeuil came into the ministry ; and who, on the case of M. de Pelleport being re- presented to him, obtained from the king an order for his liberation.

The marquess soon after his liberation returned to Paris, where he arrived the day before the Bastile was taken, and had the misfortune to see M. de Launay put to death, and M. de Losme dragging to the place of execution. Struck with the sad spectacle, he recalled to mind the humanity of M. de Losme, who had ever studied to console the prisoners, and had frequently shown much concern for him. Listen- ing only to the voice of friendshiji, he flew to the


118 I'ERCY ANECDOTES.

unfortunate major, whom the enraged mob were dragging along with a fury that would have intimi- dated the stoutest heart, and catching him in his arms, cried out to them to desist: "You are going to sacrifice the worthiest man on earth ; five years was I a prisoner in the Bastile, and he was my only friend." These words roused de Losme ; and lifting up his eyes with the coolness of a spirit truly Roman, not to be expected in a man whom the mob were almost tearing to pieces, he said, " Young man, what are you doing ? Withdraw ; you will only sacrifice your own life, without saving mine." The Marquess de Pelleport perceiving the mob were deaf to his entreaties, exclaimed, " Begone ; I will defend him against you all." Forgetting that he was im- armed, he began to beat them oft' with his hands ; w hen he was attacked on all sides, wounded by some with sabres, by others with bayonets. He at length seized a musket, and did much execution with it, until it was torn from him, and he was on the point of perishing ; but by new exertions, he forced his way through the mob, and escaped to the Hotel de Ville, on the steps of which he fell senseless. He was, however, conveyed to a place of safety, and recovered from his wounds.


NEGRO HONOUR. A negro boy, of the name of Quashi, in one of the West Indian Islands, was brought up in the family with his master, as his playfellow, from his childhood. Being a lad of parts, he rose to be driver, or black overseer, under his master, at the time when the


FIDELITY. Hi)

plaiilalioii fell to him by succession. He retained for his master the tenderness that he had felt in childhood for his playmate, and the respect with which the relation of master inspired him, was softened by the affection which the remembrance of their boyish intimacy kept alive in his breast. He had no separate interest of his own ; and in his master's absence redoubled his diligence, that his affairs might receive no injury from it. In short, here was the most delicate, yet most strong and seeming in- dissoluble, tie, that would bind master and slave together.

Though the master had judgment to know when he was w^ell served,, and policy to reward good behaviour, he was inexorable when a fault was com- mitted ; and when tliere was but an apparent cause of suspicion, he was too apt to suffer prejudice to usurp the place of proof. Quashi could not excul- pate himself to his satisfaction for something done contrary to the discipline of the plantation, and was threatened with the ignominious punishment of the cart whip ; and he knew his master too well to doubt his keeping his promise.

There is nothing in which a negro prides himself so much as in escaping this degrading punishment, and preserving his skin unrazed by the whip ; and it is not uncommon for a sober good negro to stab himself mortally, because some boy-overseer has flogged him for what he reckoned a trifle, or from mere caprice, or because he has threatened him with a flogging when he thought he did not deserve it. Quashi dreaded this mortal wound to his honour, and withdrew, resolving to shelter h imself until he could procure some advocate


120 PERCY ANECDOTES,

to mediate between him and his master. He lurked among his master's negro huts ; and his fellow-slaves had too much honour to betray to their master the place of his retreat. Indeed it is hardly possible in any case to get one slave to inform against the other, so much more honour have they than Europeans of low condition.

The following day a feast was kept on account of bis master's nephew then coming of age ; amidst the good humour which is general on such an occasion, Quashi hoped to succeed in his application ; but before he could execute his design, and just as he was setting out to solicit a mediator, his master, while walking about his fields, fell in with him. Quashi on discovering him ran off, and the master pursued him. A stone tripped Quashi up just as his master reached out his hand to seize hiui. They fell to- gether, and wrestled for the mastery. At last, after a severe struggle, in which each was several times uppermost, Quashi got firmly seated on his master's breast ; now panting and out of breath, and with his weight and the use of one hand, he secured him motionless. He then drew out a sharp knife, and while the other lay in dreadful expectation, helpless, and shrinking into himself, he thus addressed him: " Master, I was bred up with you from a child ; I was your playmate when a boy ; I have loved you as myself; your interest has I een my study; I am in- nocent of the cause of your sus])icion ; had I been guilty, my attachment to you might have pleaded for me. Yet you liave condemned me to a punishment, of which I must ever have borne the disgraceful murks ; thus only can I avoid them." With these


FIDELITY. 121

words, he drt'vv the knife witli all his strength across his own throat, and fell down dead witliout a groau on the body of his master, bathing hira in his own blood.


ESCAPE OF CHARLES II.

After the fatal battle at Worcester, so decisive of the royal cause, King Charles the Second could only find his safety in flight and concealment. The Earl of Derby, who had previously experienced the fidelity of a peasant of the np.me of William Penderel, in concealing him at his house at Boscobel, recom- mended him to the monarch as the most likely person to afford him protection and assistance. William Penderel and his brother Richard were accordingly sent for to the house of the Earl of Derby, and the king confided to their care. Charles was advised to rub his hands on the back of the chimney, and begrime his face ; and having put on a coarse shirt, and Richard Penderel's green suit and leather doublet, he left the house just in time to escape a troop of horse, who came half an hour afterwards to search for him. Richard Penderel, who undertook to be the guide, carried the king into the obscurest part of an adjacent wood belonging to Boscobel, called Spring Coppice, about half a mile from White Ladies. The rain poured in torrents, and no tree was sufficient to shelter the king from it; on this Richard went to the house of a trusty neighbour, Francis Yates, who had married his sister, and borrowed a blanket, which he spread under a tree for the king to lay upon ; he also got Yates's wife to provide some victuals, and

M


122 PERCY ANECDOTES.

bring llieiii to the wood, at a place which he ap- pointed. She soon prepared a mess of milk and some butter and eggs, and brought them to his majesty in the wood ; who, surprised to see the woman, said cheerfully to her, " Good woman, can you be faithful to a distressed cavalier ?" " Yes, sir," she replied, " 1 will die rather than discover you."

"When it grew dark, his majesty resolved to quit his retreat, and to go into Wales, and to take Richard Penderel with hi in for his guide ; but before they began their journey, the king went to Richard's house at Hobbal Grange, where he completed his disguise. PL's name it was agreed should be Will Jones, and his arms a wood-bill. Thus equipped, and ac- companied by Penderel, the rustling of whose calves- skin small clothes he found his best guide in a dark night, they set forward, and arrived atMadeley about midnight, where they were sheltered ; but finding troops in the neighbourhood, and that all the bridges and passage-boats had been secured, the king saw the hopelessness of attemping to reach Wales, and there- fore he resolved to return to the wood of Boscobel. William Penderel had, how ever, a more convenient retreat in his house, in which the king was afterwards concealed. A reward was offered for the apprehension of the king, accompanied with dreadful denunciations against those who should conceal him ; but this did not shake the fidelity of the Penderels, who enter- tained their royal guest in the best manner they were able ; the king sometimes choosing to dress his own victuals.

After remaining at Boscobol some lime, the king


FIDELITY. 123

resolved to go to Mosely, where Lord Wiiraot then was. It was therefore resolved that the king should ride on Humphrey Penderel's horse, which was taken from the grass, and accoutred w ith a pitiful old saddle and a worse bridle. His majesty was attended by all the honest brothers, William, John, Rkhard, Hum- phrey, and George Pendcrel, and Francis Yates ; each of them took a bill, or pikestaff, on his back, and some of them were provided with pistols. Two marched before the king, and one on each side of his horse, and the remaining two kept behind ; all resolved, that in case they encountered a small party of troopers, they would show their valour as well as their fidelity, in protecting his majesty. The king, fatigued with riding, complained that the horse was

  • ' the heaviest dull jade he ever rode on ;" to which

Humphrey Penderel very happily replied, " My liege, can you blame the horse to go heavily, when he has the weight of three kingdoms upon his back r"

On reaching Mosely, where Lord Wilmot was concealed in the house of a Mr. Whitgreaves, the king received a change of linen. His dress at this time is thus described in an old tract, entitled " Boscobel," which gives a circumstantial narrative of his escape. " A leather doublet with pewter buttons ; a pair of old green breeches, and a jump coat (as the country call it) of the same green ; a pair of his own stockens, with the tops cut off, because embroydered, and a pair of stirrup stockens, which were lent him at Madely ; and a pair of old shoes, cut and slashed to give ease to his feet ; an old greasy hat without a lining ; a noggen shirt of the coarsest linen ; his face 31 i?


124 PERCY ANECDOTES.

and his liands made of a dark complexion, by the

help of the wahiut-tree leaves."

His majesty afterwards went to Bcntly, the house of Colonel Lane, and after remaining there a short time, rode behind Mrs. Lane to Bristol, where he was well received by several loyal subjects. He then went to Brighton, where he embarked, and arrived safe in France.

Richard Penderel lived twenty years after he had given this striking proof of his fidelity ; but he does not appear to have been sulTiciently rewarded. He was buried in the church-yard of St. Giles, London, where a plain tombstone was erected to his memory, with the following inscription :

" Here lieth the body of Richard Penderel, preserver and conductor of his Sacred Majesty, Charles IL of Great Britain, after his escape from Worcester fight, in the year 1651, who died Feb. 8, 1671.

Hold, passenger ! here's shrouded in this hearse,

Unparallel'd Pend'rel, thro' the universe ;

Like when the eastern star from Heaven gave light

To three lost kings, so he, in such dark night,

To Britain's monarch, lost by adverse war,

On eartli appcar'd a second eastern star;

A Pole a stern, in her rebellious main,

A pilot to her Royal Sovereign.

Now to triumph in Heaven's eternal sphere,

He's hence advanc'd for his just steerage here ;

Whilst Albion's Chronicle, with matchless fame.

Embalms the story of great Pend'rel's name."


FIDELITY. 125


GENEROUS SACRIFICE.

Some years ago a Parisian female of humble birth inspired a young gentleman of rank, an officer in the army, ■with so strong an affection for her, that his parents, fearing that he should disgrace his family by a disproportionate alliance, had him confined in the Bastile. The poor girl no sooner heard of his confinement, which she apprehended would last as long as the fears of his friends should continue, than she resolved to remove the principal obstacle to his liberty, by sacrificing herself. Accordingly, one evcnino- she drank the fatal cup, which was to put an end to her existence, and thus release her lover from prison. The following letter she entrusted to a friend, charging her not to deliver it to the father of the young gentle- man, until her body had been consigned to the grave.

"Sir, — Your son did love me ; I felt for him a mutual inclination ; you feared lest this growing passion should end in his disgrace ; and this motive you have deemed sufficient to justify your acting in a more barbarous manner than is perhaps consonant with the character of a parent. I should look upon myself more cruel than you, were I not to give that beloved man a proof that his happiness has constantly been the sole object of the Moman he loved. His confinement must be at an end as soon as you learn that I no longer exist. These are the last lines my hand shall ever trace ; and my friend is directed to present them to you, with an authentic certificate of my death. You have hastened that period : but


126 PERCY ANECDOTES.

I abstain from reproaches. Read tliis with as much coolness as 1 feel in writing it. Restore your son to freedom ; do it generously, and forbear embittering the gift, by acquainting him at what price I have purchased it ; the fatal tale will reach him but too soon ; he will then know how I have punished my- self for an attachment, which was to endure to this the last day of the unfortunate

ANTOINETTE."


" EST-IL POSSIBLE ?" Prince George of Denmark had been accustomed, upon every fresh instance of desertion from James II. to exclaim, Est-ii possible? When the forsaken monarch at length missed Prince George himself, he said to one of his attendants, " So Est-il possible is gone too!" King James says, in his memoirs of himself, " that he was more troubled with the unnaturalness of the action, than the want of his service ; for that the loss of a good trooper had been of greater conse- quence."

A ROYAL FATHER. Frederick the Great, when Prince Royal of Prussia, driven to despair by the cruel usage of his father, the Giant Fancier, determined to leave the country for a time ; and in concert with two officers of the names of Keith and Katt, had actually taken some steps for that purpose, wlien his design was discovered by some spies of the king. Young Frederick and Katt were put under arrest ; antl Keith was only saved by means


FIDELITY. 127

of an accidental discovery of the king's order, which aflforded him time to escape to the Hague. When Frederick was brought into the presence of his royal father, his majesty first attempted to strangle him with his own hands ; then drew his sword to run him through the body ; but at last, by the advice of his generals, committed him to a dungeon, that he might be arraigned in due form as a villain and a traitor. The king then returned to Berlin, entered the palace, black and foam- ing with passion, bawled out to the queen that her worthless son was killed at last ; and knocking down the Princess Wilhelmina with" his fist, desired her, as she relates, " to go and keep company with her rascally brother." He then got hold of his son's writing desk, broke it into pieces ; and seizing on all the papers in it, exclaimed with great glee " that he had got what would be sufficient to condemn the scoundrel Frederick, and the baggage Wilhelmina, to lose their heads." It is probable that had the original contents of the desk remained, he would not have been disappointed ; but shortly before, the queen and her daughter having got access to this important repository, had taken all the papers out of it, and replaced them by others which they fabricated of an innocent and rather advantageous character.

Katt was next brought up to be examined ; and on casting himself at the foot of the king, this amiable dispenser of justice abused him in the same kingly style he had done his son Frederick ; kicking and cursing poor Katt till he was covered with blood. Frederick was afterwards examined by a board of officers at Custrin. The result of these examinations was, that Frederick and Katt were tried for the crime


128 PERCY ANECDOTES.

of desertion before a court martial, composed of twelve officers, chosen by lot ; only two were for pardon, and these the only generals in the court; while all the rest, the subordinate promotion hunters, were base enough to minister to the savage madness of the king, by con- demning his son and Katt to be beheaded !

Tlie Princess Willielmina declares in her memoirs, that the king would have suffered this savage sentence to be executed, had not all the powers of Europe interceded in behalf of the prince, particularly the Emperor of Germany, and the States General, in con- sequence of whose representations he saved his son. Nothing, however, could appease his wrath against poor Katt. A scaftbld was erected immediately before the window of the cell in which the prince was con- fined ; and by the command of his majesty, the prince was held up by force at the window, while the exe- cutioner struck off the head of his faithful and un- fortunate adherent. The king was even yet unsatiated with vengeance ; he ordered a lady to whom the Prince Royal was attached, to be publicl}' whipped through . the streets of Berlin ; banished every person he could discover to have been intimate with him ; and when he could get nothing else to do, had the refugee Keith hanged up in effigy ! The annals of kings cannot perhaps produce another such example of madness and barbarity.


FRANCIS THE FIRST. The reign of this prince was that of gallantry and generosity ; but the more profound policy and persc- vrring talents of his rival, Charles V., throvv a shadr


FIDELITY. 129

over Ihn lustre of his name. Europe treated liim with a sort of contempt for his liberality towards Charles, when he requested of him permission to pass through Fiance, in his way to his Flemish dominions. It was vain that his courtiers endeavoured to prevail on Fnncis to break his promise with the emjieror, and to seize his person, till he had extorted from him certain concessions which Charles had flattered him with the hope of obtaining. " When faith," answered Francis nobly, " shall be banished from the world, it is in the hearts of kings that she ought to find an asylum."

Charles ill-repaid the generosity of his illustrious adversary, and tarnished, by his ingratitude and du- plicity towards him, all his laurels.


TRIBUTE TO A CONQUEROR.

In 1380, the celebrated Bertrand du Guesclin, Constable of France, surnamed the Flower of Chivalry, commanded the French army which laid siege to Chateau Neuf, or Castel de Randon. After some time, the two parties entered into negociation, and agreed, the one to cease offensive hostilities, and the other to surrender the place, if, on or before the 12th of July, the Enghsh did not bring succour sufficient to raise the siege.

The Constable fell ill during this suspension of arms ; and the physicians announced that there was no hope of his recovery. The news of this decision spread grief and consternation throughout the army. Generals, captains, soldiers, all felt dismayed at the idea of losing a father and a friend. The altars were night and day surrounded with people, who sent up


130 PERCY ANECDOTES.

their prayers for his preservation ; and astonishing to relate, even the besieged, when tXxey were informed of Du Gucsclin's situation, offered up public prayers to God for the recovery of an enemy, formidable to them undoubtedly, but so virtuous, so good, so ge- nerous, in victory, that even to surrender to him was esteemed an honour.

All prayers were in vain. Du Guesclin expired on the 13th of July, 1380.

The English not having received the succours within the time which they expected, the commandant of Castel de Randon was summoned by Marshal de Sancerre to surrender. The commandant replied, " It was not to you, sir, that I promised to surrender the place, but to the Constable. I gave my word to him, and I will keep it. I would have thought it a shame to open my gates to any other than Bertrand du Guesclin ; and it is just, dead as he is, that I should render to him what 1 owe him. But it is on his bier alone that I will place the keys of a place of which he is really the conqueror."

Marshal de Sancerre assented. The French army ranged itself in battle order, colours flying, and arms shouldered. The English marched out of the city with drums beating ; traversed the camp unmolested, and reached the house where the remains of the Constable lay in state, with the sword of Constable lying n-iked on the breast of the corpse.

The Englisli commandant and captains, on being introduced to the apartment of the deceased, fell on their knees, and ejaculated a prayer for the soul of the illustrious departed. The commandant then rising, and addressing himself to the corpse, said, " It is to


FIDELITY. 131

you, M. Constable, to you alone, that I surrender my place ; for it was your immortal soul alone which induced me to surrender to the French, after 1 had given mj'^ oath to the King of England to preserve it to the last drop of my blood." With tli se words, he placed the keys of the place at the feet of the corpse, and withdrew with his companions bathed in tears.

IRISH WIDOW.

The following notice appeared in the daily papers of October, 1788.

" Died lastweek in King Street, Oxmantown, alady of property, little above 30, who though in apparent bodily health, lias obstinately confined herself to her chamber ever since the death of her beluved husband, which occurred about six years since, and refused all sustenance but what was barely sufficient to support an existence evidently burthensome. Her chamber was hung round with portraits of her husband in dif- ferent attitudes, which she continually and alternately caressed with a fervour little short of worship ; and perpetually expressed aloud her wishes of being shortly with him, as if she conceived his image ani- mated, or susceptible of her devotions.

" Under circumstances wearing such strong marks of insanity, her reason in every other respect was perfectly strong ; her deportment mild ; and her be- nevolence to the poor and oppressed, cordial and unbounded ; which she testified in numerous instances. Her constitution at length ceding to the force of grief and rigid abstinence, yielded under the weakness


132 PERCY ANECDOTES,

of nature; and she died, after having refused all sustenance for five days, leaving the remainder of her property to distressed objects.

" Let this true but melancholy picture of hallowed attachment, serve to rescue widowhood from the taunt- ing sarcasms of Ephesian frailty."


A ROYAL REPENTANT.

The grief or compunctiun of Queen Elizabeth for the death of the Earl of Essex, with which she long maintained a severe struggle, was generally understood at the time to have broke forth in the end superior to control, and to have rapidly completed the overthrow of powers, which the advances of old age, and an accumulation of cares and anxieties, had already undermined. " Our queen," writes an English cor- respondent to a Scotch nobleman in the service of James, " is troubled with a rheum in her arm, wliich vexeth her very mucli, besides the grief she hath con- ceived for my Lord of Essex's death. She sleepeth not so much by day as she used ; neither taketh rest by night. Her delight is to sit in the dark, and some- times with shedding tears to bewail Essex."

A remarkable anecdote, just published in Osborn's Traditional Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth, and con- firmed by M. Maurier's Memoirs, where it is given on the authority of Sir Dudley Carleton, the English Ambassador in Holland, who related it to Prince Maurice, puts the fact of Elizabeth's deep repentance beyond all doubt. The Countess of Nottingham, who was a relation, but no friend, of the Earl of Essex, being on her death bed, entreated to sec the


FID"EL1TY. 133

queen, declaring that she had something to confess to her before she could die in peace. On her majesty's arrival, the countess produced a ring, uhich she said the Earl of Essex had sent to her after his condemna- tion, with an earnest request that she would deliver it to the queen as the token by which he implored her mercy ; but which, in obedience to her husband, to whom she had communicated the circumstance, she had hitherto withheld, for which she entreated the queen's forgiveness. On sight of the ring, Elizabeth instantly, recognized it as one which she had presented to her unhappy favourite on his departure for Cadiz, with the tender promise, that of whatever crimes his enemies might accuse him, or whatever offences he might commit, on his returning to her that pledge, she would either pardon him, or admit him at least to justify himself in her presence. Transported at once with grief and rage, on learning the barbarous infi- delity of which the earl had been the victim, and lierself the dupe, the queen shook in her bed the dying countess, and vehemently exclaiming, that God might forgive her, but she never could, flew out of the chamber.

Returning to her palace, she surrendered without resistance to the despair which seized her heart on this fatal and too late disclosure.

" Hence," says Miss Aikin, in her Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth, " her refusal of medicine, and almost of food ; hence her obstinate silence, inter- rupted only by sighs, groans, and broken hints of a deep sorrow, which she cared not to reveal ; hence her days and nights seated on the floor sleepless, her eyes fixed, and her finger pressed upon her mouth ;

N


134 VERCY ANECDOTES.

hence, in short, all those heart-rending symptoms of incurable and mortal anguish, which conducted lier in the space of twenty days to the lamentable ter- mination of a long life of power, prosperity, and glory-"

LADY RUSSEL. When the virtuous Lord Russel was brought to trial, he requested that notes might be taken of the evidence for liis use. The attorne^'-gcneral, in order to prevent him from getting the aid of counsel, told him he might use the hand of one of his servants in writing if he pleased. " 1 ask none," answered his lordship, " but that of the lady who sits by me." When the spec- tators, at these words, turned their eyes, and beheld the daughter of the virtuous Southampton rising up to assist her lord in this his utmost distress, a thrill of anguish ran through the assembly. Lady Rachel con- tinued to take notes during the whole of her husband's trial ; and when he was condemned, this amiable and accomplished lady tlirew herself at the feet of the king, to ask mercy for her husband and child. She pleaded with many tears the merits and loyalty of her father, as an atonement for those errors into which honest and virtuous, however mistaken, principles had seduced her husband. But her sujiplications were lost upon the heart of the royal profligate ; and the only condescension that could be obtained by the impor- tunity of friendship, was a mitigation of the ignoble part of the s-^ntence into that of beheading : " Merely," as he said, " to show Lord Rnsscl that he could still f xercise the royal prerogative."


FIDELITY. 135

On the night before Lord Russel's execution, as his wife was about to take leave of him, he took her by the hand, and said, " this flesh you now feel in a few lK)urs must be cold." At ten o'clock she left him. He kissed her four or five times, and she so governed her sorrow, as not to add by the sight of her distress to the pain of separation. Thus they parted ; not witii sobs and tears, but with a composed silence ; the wife wishing to spare the feelings of her husband, and the husband those of the wife, they both restrained the expression of a grief too great to be relieved by utterance.

When she was gone, Lord Russel said, " Now the bitterness of death is past." And he then ran out into a long discourse concerning her, saying how great a blessing she had been to him ; and what a misery it would have been to him, if she had not had that mag- nanimity of spirit joined to her tenderness, as never to have desired him to do a base thing to save his life.

VENETIAN HONOUR.

When the republic of Venice was in the height of its splendour, one of the many spies whom the jealous system of that government kept in constant occupa- tion, ran to the State Inquisitor, with information that a nobleman of the name of Foscarini had connexions with the French ambassador, and went privately to his house every night at a certain hour. The State In- quisitor could not believe that a man for whom he had an intimate personal, friendship, and on whose honour he had the strongest reliance, could be guilty of such treason to the republic. He set another spy to watch N 2


136 PERCY ANECDOTES

Foscarini's motions, who brought back the same in- telligence as the first, adding the description of Fosca- rini's disguise. Still unwilling to proceed without the most undeniable proof against his friend, the Inquisitor put on a mask, and went himself to reconnoitre. His eyes confirmed the report of his informants ; and a regard to his duty rising paramount to all private feelings, he sent publicly for Foscarini the next morning.

Nothing but a resolute denial of the crime could be extorted from the firm-minded citizen, who, sensible at the same time of the weight of proof against him, prepared for tliat punishment he knew to be inevitable, and submitted to the fate which his friend was obliged to inflict, no less than imprisonment in a dungeon for life.

The people, with whom Foscarini was a great favou- rite, lamented his fate, but their lamentations were vain. The magistrate who condemned him, never recovered the shock ; but Foscarini was heard of no more, till an old lady died fort^' years after in Paris ; who, in her last confession, revealed that when she resided at Ve- nice, as companion to the French ambassador's lady, she was visited by a nobleman of Venice, whose name she never knew. Thus was Foscarini lost, dying a martyr to love and tenderness for female reputation.

DEATH OF CONDORCET.

In the summer of 1794, M. Suard and his wife resided at a country house which they possessed at Fontenai, near Paris. " We had spent a few days in Paris," says Madame Suard, who details the follow-


FIDELITY. 137

ing narrative, " and on our return were informed that a man of strange appearance, in pantaloons, with a shabby cap and long beard, had called twice at Fon- tenai, and was extremely disappointed at our absence. Next morning, our maid servant entered niy room in great alarm. 'Madam,' she exclaimed, • a hideous fellow with a prodigious beard has just called, and I liave conducted him to M. Suard.' I immediately suspected that it might be some proscribed person in quest of an asylum and protection, but took good care to conceal this conjecture from the maid, who was a revolutionist. On the other hand, I laughed at her fear of the stranger's long beard, and said, he was no doubt a messenger sent on some errand by one of our acquaintance. She left the room, and pre- sently M. Suard entered, and hastil}'^ desired me to give him the keys of the meat safe and the wine, and some snufF. • Good God ! what is the matter, my dear ?' said I, handing him what he asked for. ' You shall know all,' replied he as hastily' as before,

  • but stay here, you must not come up stairs.' Such

a prohibition was quite new to me, and he imme- diately added, ' You will remain below, won't you ?'

  • Certainly I will,' — replied I, thoroughly convinced

of his kind intentions. Two hours elapsed before I again saw jM. Suard. I had meanwhile risen, and as my room had two w-indows, one of which looked towards the door of the court yard, 1 observed a man going away, and though I could only see his back, still his gait and figure excited my profound pity. He was feeling, without turning round, in both his coat pockets for something that he could not find. When he was gone, M. Suard came and informed me,

X 3


138 PERCY ANr.CDOTlLS.

that it %vas our old intimate friend, M. de Condorcet. How heartily did I rejoice that I had not been the first who saw him. An involuntary exclamation of horrorwould have escaped mc at his altered condition ; it would have betrayed him, and plunged me into inexpressible distress. Apprehensive lest, as a pro- scribed person, he should bring trouble or even danger upon a generous wife, who had afforded him an asylum, and wished to detain him, he had quitted her in spite of her entreaties. The man who was once, by all who knew him, distinguished by the epithet of the good, the kind, and who had moved in the highest circles, had for three days endured hunger and thirst, and had no other bed than the quarrries by the side of the road to Fontenai ; there he had been wounded by the falling of a stone upon his leg, and without passport he durst not show himself any where except at our house. His situation could not but move mc to the bottom of my heart ; and all that had for some time past alienated us from each other, (the revolution,) was instantly forgotten. The unparal- leled friendship alone which for sixteen years had embellished my life, and had surpassed almost every idea that I. could form of this circumstance, was now present to my remembrance.

" M. Suard had furnished him with a plentiful meal, and a supply of snulF, which had lately become indis[)ensablc to him. He had also given him some linen for his wounded leg, and a Horace to amuse him during the day ; and had appointed him to call again at our house at dusk in the evening.

•' He had asked ]\J. Suard whether he could afford hiuj an asylum. M. Suard replied, that he would


FIDELITY. 139

cheerfully sacrifice his own life for him, but that he could not dispose of mine ; he would speak to me, though he was sure that my sentiments would corre- spond with his. Cordorcet answered, * That I am perfectly convinced of.' — ' But,' observed M. Suard,

  • we live in a very bad commune ; and if you were

to remain here, you would yourself be exposed to the greatest danger, for we have but one maid servant, and we cannot depend upon her ; still I hope, without risk, to be able to lodge you one night. I shall now go immediately to Paris, to see some of our old friends, and, if possible to procure a passport for you. Return at eight o'clock this evening, when the maid shall be out of the way ; we will find you ac- commodation for the night ; and then, provided with a passport, you will be able to go where you think proper.'

" M. Suard walked to Paris, and returned much fatigued, but in high spirits, because Cabanis the phy- sician had procured him a passport. My joy was equal to his. We gave our scrvajit permission to go out till ten o'clock, and fastened the door of the stair- case leading to our apartments, so that there was no other way to them, but through the garden.

" Condorcet was acquainted with this arrangement ; it was intended that he should sleep on the sofa in tlie hall, whither provisions, linen, snulF, and whatever else he could want, were carried. I told M. Suard, that as there was danger, (for the municipal officers might appear, and then we should all three have been lost,) I would share it, and see the poor fugitive also ; certain that my sincere pity would give hiui pleasure. M. Suard assented ; but we waited fur him in vain


140 PERCY ANECDOTES.

until ten o'clock. On our paying a visit the next day to a neighbour, we leariicd that a person who had been found dead that morning in the prison of Bourg la Reine, was supposed to be M. Condorcet. On the preceding da}^ a stranger had entered the public house at Clamart, near Fontenai, and asked for eggs ; shortly afterwards, some municipal officers arrived, and being struck by his dress, they enquired who he was? whither he was going ? and insisted on the production of his papers. As his answers betrayed embarrassment, and he had no passport to exhibit, they declared that they would take him to Bourg la Reine ; but being unable to walk, he was conve^'ed there in a cart, and found dead the next morning in the prison. Thus perished the amiable Condorcet, who possessed the most rare combination of the most exalted virtues."

CONSCIENTIOUS COURIER.

By a singular regulation, the government couriers in Austria are ordered wlioii they are cliarged with de- spatches sealed with only one seal, to go at a walking pace ; if with two seals, to trot ; and if with three, to gallop. A courier bearing a despatcli with three seals passing lately through a garrison town, was requested by the commandant to lake a despatch to the next town, to winch he willingly agreed ; but perceiving Avhen he received it that it had but one seal, he refused to take charge of it, saying, " that the regulations ordered him to walk his horse with such a despatch ; and as he had another with which he was ordered to gallop, he co\ild not possibly take them both."


FIDELITY. 141

DESERTION.

Frederick the Great, in surveying one evening some of the advanced posts of his camp, discovered a soldier endeavouring to pass the sentinel. His majesty stopped him, and insisted on knowing where he was going. " To tell you the truth," answered the sol- dier, " your majesty has been so worsted in all your attempts, that I was going to desert." " Were you ?" answered the monarch. " Remain here but one week longer, and if fortune does not mend in that time, I'll desert with you too."

TRAITOR'S REWARD.

When Graveston, who betra3'ed the Spaniards at Bergen op Zoom to Queen Elizabeth, came to England to give to her majesty an account of his success, and to claim his reward, the queen gave him a thousand crowns, but said to him at the same time, " Get you home, that I may know where to send when I want a thorough-paced villain."

WAKING SENTINEL. One night the Emperor Joseph II. of Germany determined on visiting his guards, to ascertain their fidelity, and what dependence might be placed on their vigilance. Finding them all asleep, at least in appearance, he returned to his chamber for some money which he had reserved for a different purpose, contained in as many purses as there were soldiers on duty, twelve in number. These he visited once


142 PERCY ANECDOTES,

more, and placed under the arm of each, one of those purses, in every one of which were an hundred pieces of gold. One of the soldiers who was not asleep, although he feigned to be so, took particular notice of the emperor, and at his departure, examined the purse which had been put under his arm ; and finding that it contained an hundred pieces of gold, supposed each of his companions had as much, of which he might, without difficulty, take possession before they awoke. This he immediately put in practice, by genll3' easing them of their valuable burden.

The emperor, who had no doubt that all the soldiers were asleep when he visited them, and that they must be overjoyed on awaking, at discovering their good fortune, caused them to be called together early in the morning, and asked of them successively what they had dreamed the preceding night, and whether the success was answerable to the vision, imagining that each would say he had fomid a purse under his arm with an hundred pieces of gold. But not a word of the matter did he hear from the first eleven that he examined, until he came to the twelfth, the watchful sentinel, who, making a profound bow to the king, said, " Sire, I fancied at night, that a person who very much resembled your majesty, visited us one aft^r the other ; and finding us all asleep, relumed to his chamber, but soon caujc back with a dozen purses, which he attached severally to the arm of each of us, and then withdrew. After- wards, sire, it was evident, unless my dream deceives me, that when that venerable and generous person had retired, I began to examine the contents of the


FIDELITY. 143

purse under my own arm ; and finding in it an hun- dred pieces of gold, I supposed each of my com- panions had as many, when I was seized with a sudden zeal to put them all together, saying to myself that, for the many cogent reasons wliich then occurred to me, it would be well to do so ; and so I did, which pleased me exceedingly on awaking. This, sire, is the whole -of my dream. I hope your majesty approves of my devotion, which, I assure you, is very sincere and affectionate."

The emperor learning from this ingenious harangue that the soldier was not one of those who slept ; and that notwithstanding he had feigned being in the same condition with his companions, he was the only one on his duty, permitted him alone to enjoy the reward, saying, " Yes; I approve of your de- cision ; the prize is 3'ours alone, for you only were awake. As for the rest, it is sufficient for them to know, that each had a hundred pieces of gold, which he lost by being asleep. Hence they will learn, that riches are not acquired by slumber ; or if by some lucky accident the}' fall to the share of the slothful, they take flight as suddenly and as unforeseen as tJiey came,"

ALEXANDER AND HEPHESTION.

Alexander the Great appears not more glorious from his victories, than amiable for his friendship. Hephestion was the constant companion of .his plea- sures, and dear to him through the sweetness of his nature; they were nearly of the same age, but Hephestion was the more handsome. When Sysi-


144 PERCY ANECDOTES.

ganibis, the captive mother of Darius, entered Alex- ander's tent, she threw herself at Hephestion's feet ; he modestly retired, and the empress felt abaslied at her mistake. The generous conqueror said, " You have not erred, madam, for he too is Alexander."


SUFFERING MOTHER. The Emperor Joseph II., accompanied by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in making a visit to the hospitals at an unexpected time, as was his custom, perceived a little door in a dark corner, which he ordered to be opened ; but he was obeyed with so much reluctance, that it excited his curiosity. Upon going in, he descended into a kind of dungeon, where he found a female, rather young, and handsome, covered with rags, and laid upon straw. The mo- narch was much surprised and affected at the sight ; and upon interrogating the unfortunate person, she answered with a noble air, which neither her mis- fortunes nor her sufferings could deprive her of, " Sire, I am a woman of family, and have the honour to be your subject. I have long suffered shame and misery in this place, without deserving that double punishment. When I was twenty years of age, I

liad the misfortune to please the Baron dc B ;

his love was not honourable; he only sought to gratify liis imlawful j)assion. But I would not hear of his addresses, without his marrying me, which he did, and I brought him three children, to whose fortunes I am a stranger. Before I was placed here, I heard he was in Moravia, where lie has married another wife ;


FIDELITY. 145

but I would not complain. This new lady, uneasy and suspicious, persuaded hira to sacrifice me ; and I was seized one night, and confined here, where I have been for several years. 1 see your majesty designs to take my cause to heart, and will strike ofl^" my fetters ; but, sire, I have three sons, and if the shame of my husband should be made public, it will reflect upon them ; let me therefore beseech you to spare him for their sakes ; and if I may request one more favour, deign to insure me an asylum in some convent, that I may again press to my bosom those children whom I have suckled."

The Emperor willingly granted the lady her re- quest, but punished her husband severely for his want of fidelity to the marriage vow. He caused the children to be found, and took them under his own care. The second w ife cf the baron was punished with perpetual imprisonment, himself exiled, and all his estates forfeited to his children.


RARE CONSTANCY.

In Everard's Letters, published in Italian in 1776, he gives the following interesting account of an ad- venture which he met with in the quicksilver mines of Idria.

" After passing," he says, " through several parts of the Alps, and having visited Germany, I thought I could not well return home without visiting the quicksilver mines at Idria, and seeing those dreadful subterranean caverns, where thousands are condemned to reside, shut out from all hopes of ever seeing the cheerful light of the sun, and obliged to toil out a o


146 PERCY ANECDOTES.

miserable life under the whips of imperious task masters.

" Such wretches as the inmates of this place my eyes never yet beheld. The blackness of their visages only serves to cover a horrid paleness, caused by the noxious qualities of the mineral they are employed in procuring. As they in general consist of male- factors condemned for life to this task, they are fed at the public expense ; but they seldom consume much provisions, as they lose their appetites in a short time, and commonly in about two years ex- pire from a total contraction of all the joints of the body.

" In this horrid mansion I walked after ray guide for some time, pondering on the strange tyranny and avarice of mankind, when I was startled by a voice behind me, calling me by my name, and inquiring after my health with the most cordial affection. I turned, and saw a creature all black and hideous, who approached me, and with a most piteous accent ex- claimed, ' Ah ! Mr. Everard, don't you know me ?* Gracious Heavens ! what was my surprise, when, through the veil of his wretchedness, I discovered the features of my old and dear friend. Count Alberti. You must remember him one of the gayest, most agreeable persons at the court of Vienna ; at once the paragon of the men, and the favourite of the fair sex. I have often heard you repeat his name, as one of the few that did honour to the present age ; as possessed of generosity and pity in the highest degree ; as one who made no other use of fortune, but to alleviate the distress of his fellow creatures.' Immediately oil recognizing him, I flew to him with affection j and


FIDELITY. 147

after a tear of condolence, asked him how he came there ? To this he replied, that having fought a duel with a general of the Austrian infantry against the emperor's command, and having left him for dead, he was obliged to fly into one of the forests of Istria, where he was first taken prisoner, and afterwards sheltered by some banditti, who had long infested that quarter. With these he had lived for nine months, till by a close investiture of the place in which they were concealed, and a very obstinate resistance, in which the greater part of them were killed, he was taken and carried to Vienna, in order to be broke alive upon the wheel. On arriving at the capital, however, he was soon recognized, and through the intercession of friends, his punishment of the rack was changed into that of perpetual imprisonment and labour in the mines of Idria.

" As Alberti was giving me this account, a young woman came up to him, who I at once saw to be bom for better fortune. The dreadful situation of the place was not able to destroy her beauty ; and even in this scene of wretchedness, she seemed to have charms to grace the most brilliant assembly. This lady was , in fact, daughter to one of the first families in Germany; and having tried every means to procure her lover's pardon, without effect, was at last resolved to share his miseries, as she could not relieve them. With him she accordingly descended into these mansions, whence few of the living return ; and with him she is contented to live ; with him to toil ; forgetting the gaieties of life, despising the splendours of opulence, and contented with the con- sciousness of her own constancy." o2


148 PERCY ANECDOTES.

Such constancy could not go unrewarded. In a letter written nine days after, Mr. Everard relates that he was " the spectator of the most affecting scene he had ever yet beheld. A person came post from Vienna, to the little village near the mouth of the greater shaft. He was soon after followed b^^ a second, and by a third. Their first inquiry was after the unfortunate count, and I happening to overhear it, gave the best information I could. Two of these were the brother and cousin of the lady ; the third was an intimate friend and fellow soldier of the count ; they came with his pardon, which had been procured by the general with whom the duel had been fought, and who was perfectly recovered from his wounds* 1 led them with all the expedition of joy down to his dreary abode ; presented to him his friends, and informed him of the happy change in his circum- stances. It would be impossible to describe the joy that brightened upon his grief- worn countenance ; nor were the young lady's emotions less vivid at seeing her friends, and hearing of her husband's freedom. Some hours were employed in mending the appearance of this faithful couple ; nor could I without a tear behold him taking leave of the former wretched companions of his toil. We soon emerged from the mine, and Alberti and his wife once more revisited the light of the sun.

"The Emj)ress has again taken hiiu into favour; his fortune and rank are restored ; and he, with his fair partner, now have the pleasing satisfaction of enjoying happiness with double relish, as they once knew what it was to be miserable."


FIDELITY. Hi)

HAPLESS UNION.

A young lady having met with opposition from her friends in an attachment which she had conceived for Captain Charles Ross, she followed him in men's clothes to America, during the revolutionary war ; and after such a search and fatigue, as scarcely any of her sex could have undergone, she found him in the woods lying for dead, with a poisoned wound received in a skirmish with the Indians. Having acquired some knowledge of surger^^ she saved his life hy sucking his wound, and nursing him for the space of six weeks ; during which time, she remained unknown to him, having dyed her skin with lime and bark. The captain recovering, they removed into Philadel- phia ; where, as soon as she had found a clergyman to unite them for ever, she appeared as herself, and the priest accompanying her, she was immediately married to the man for whom she had made such sacrifices, and whose life she had preserved. They lived for four years in a fondness that could only be interrupted by her declining health ; the fatigue she had undergone, and the poison not being properly expelled which she had imbibed from the wound, un- dermining her constitution. The knowledge of this circumstance, and the piercing regret of having been the occasion, affected Captain Ross so much, that he died of a broken heart at John's Town, in America. His faithful partner lived to return to England ; but she died in consequence of her grief and affection in the following year, at the age of twenty-six years !


150 PERCY ANECDOTES.


PUBLIC TREASURER. The unfortunate Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, anxious to discharge some private debts to the amount of 1,500,000 livres, sent one morning to M. Necker, and requested that he would assist her with that sum, and charge it to the public accounts. M. Necker felt equally impressed with a regard for the honour of his royal mistress, and the fidelity which he owed his sovereign ; he told the queen that the money should be instantly procured, although it should neither come from, nor be placed to, the state. Accordingly, in less than an hour, the money was advanced to her majesty out of his own private estate. The queen understanding this, was so struck with the generosity of the action, that she laid the whole of the affair before the king ; who immediately sent for M. Necker, and complimenting him on his integrity and nobleness of heart, directed him at the same time to reimburse himself out of the public treasury.

HONOURABLE KEEBERS.

The melancholy fate of Mary, Queen of Scots, which forms such an indelible stain on the memory of her rival, Queen Elizabeth, has been in vain attempted to be justified, it admits not even of jjalliation. It is established by the most indubitable evidence, that long before thoseevents occurred, which were made the pretext for her trial and condenwiation, she had been doomed to destruction ; and it was only after an attempt to carry her oH' by private means, had failed.


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that recourse was had to the mockery of a public pro- cess. The honour of English knighthood stood be- tween Elizabeth and the gratification of her revenge ; and ultimately compelled her to take upon herself the infamy of a deed which she could find no one base enough to spare her the necessity of committing.

In a letter which is extant, though not given by Dr. Robertson, addressed by Sir Francis Walsingham, and countersigned by Secretary Davidson, to Sir Amyas Pawlett, who was joint keeper with Sir D. Drury of the royal prisoner, the worth3' counsellors state, that from expressions which had fallen from their royal mistress, they had learnt her surprise, that they (the two keepers) " had not in all this time, of themselves, without other provocation, found out some way to shorten the life of the queen, considering the great peril she was hourly subject unto, so long as the said queen shall live ;" and " kno^^ing too, as they did, her indisposition to shed blood, especially one of that sex and quality, and so near to her in blood as the said queen is !" An earnest injunction is added in a postscript to this letter, to make a heretic of it; i. e. to commit it to the flames, as a thing not quite fitting to go down to after times.

The answer of Sir Amyas Pawlett to this base proposition, is extremely honourable to his character. The severity Avith which, in a few touching words, it reproaches the perfidy of his sovereign, leaves nothing to be added by posterity.

"to sir FRANCIS WALSIXGHA3I. " SIR,

"Your letter of yesterday coming to iny hands this present day, at five in the afternoon, I would not fail, according to your direction, to return my answer


152 PERCY ANECDOTES,

with all possible speed, which I shall deliver unto you with great grief and bitterness of mind, in that I am sn unhappy to have lyven to see this unhappy day, in the which I am required by direction from my most gracious sovereign to do an act tohich God and the lawforbidde. My good livings and life are at her majesty's disposi- tion, and I am ready so to lose them this next mor- row, if it shall so please her, acknowledging that I hold them as of her meer and most gracious favour j and do not desire to enjoy them, but with her righte- ous good living ; but God forbid that I should make so foul a shipwreck of my conscience, or leave so foul a blotte to my poor posteritie, to shed blood without law or warrant. Trusting that her majesty of her ac- customed clemency, and tlie rather, by your good me- diation, will take this my dutiful answer in good part, as proceeding from one who will never be inferior to any Christian subject living, in duty, honour, love, and obedience towards his sovereign. And thus I commit you to the mercy of the Almighty.

" Your most assured poor friends,

A. PAWLETT. D. DRURY,"

" From Fotheringay,

the 2nd of February, 1586."

" Your letter coming in the plural number, seems to be meant as well to Sir D. Drury as to myself; and yet because he is not named in it, neither the letter directed unto him, he forbeareth to make any particular answer, but subscribeth in heart to my opinion."


FIDELITY. 153


CRUELTY AND RETRIBUTION.

The military talents of Shah Abbas the Great, So phi of Persia, to which were added many civil virtues, were stained by the most inhuman cruelties ever perpetrated. His eldest son, a youth of the brightest promise, was poisoned by his command ; and Sesi, his second son, met, if possible, with a still more cruel fate. He was as well the darling of the people, as the favourite of his father ; and he strove to merit all his tenderness. The cruelty of Abbas becoming intolerable to the grandees, written intima- tions were thrown into Sesi's apartment, that he might if he pleased immediately mount the throne of Persia. Sesi, in the loyalty of his heart, discovered the whole t. his father ; but the discover}'^, though attended with the warmest protestations of duty and obedience, instead of endearing him to the tyrant, proved his ruin. Abbas was struck with horror at the idea, that he had a son about him who had it in his power to dethrone him. His apprehensions deprived him of his rest J and he at last determined to put Sesi to death. He proposed to one Circhuki to undertake the execution ; but he declined it w ith horror. Another person, called Babut, however undertook it ; and, attended by some of his slaves, he stabbed the inno- cent prince dead, as he was returning from a bath, followed by a single page.

It was soon known by whose command this inhu- man murder had been perpetrated ; and it was with difficulty the people were prevented from pulling Abbas out of his palace. Nothing could have appeased them,


154 PERCY ANECDOTES,

but the excessive grief he discovered. It was so great, that he suffered the prince's mother, in her rage, to pull him by the hair and beat him with her fists. In short, his grief and mourning for what he had done, were almost equal to his cruelty in the commission of the deed ; and ever after he wore the dress of one of his lowest subjects : for when Herbert the traveller afterwards saw him, though he was giving an audience to the English ambassador, he was dressed in a coat of plain red calico, quilted with cotton. But he gave far more dreadful proofs of his grief, than fasting and mourning. He invited all the Khans who had either caused a suspicion, or encouraged a jealousy of his son, to a banquet, where he ordered poison to be ad- ministered to them ; and he saw them all expire before he left the room ! He forced Babut at last, whose bloody services he had rewarded with the government of the principality of Kaswin, to cut off with his own hand the head of his son, whom he tenderly loved, and to throw it at his feet. Observing Babut on this oc- casion oppressed with grief, " Think, Babut," said he, " what I must have felt, when you brought me the news of my son's death. Begone, and comfort th^' self with one reflection, that tliy son and mine are no more ; and that in this respect thou art on a footing with thy sovereign."

FORTY-SECOND HIGHLANDERS.

During the American war, the Oxford transport from the Clyde, with one hundred men of the 42nd Highland regiment, was taken by an American privateer. Se- veral of the eoldiers, as well as of the crew, were taken


FIDELITY. 155

into the privateer, and some of the privateer's crew turned over to carry the transport into Philadelphia. When they thought themselves out of the reach of the privateer, the carpenter and boatswain of the Oxford rose on the privateer's crew, beat them, and took the helm, and steered off for Norfolk, thinking to run the vessel and soldiers under Lord Dunraore's protection. On their arrival off Hampton road, they made a signal for a pilot ; w hen one came oiF, to whom they offered twenty guineas to carry them where Lord Dunmore lay. He undertook the charge ; but being a revolu- tionist, he carried them under a small fort which the American forces had raised, where they were obliged to anchor, and were all taken prisoners and sent to Fort Pitt.

The Highlanders were afterwards carried to Wil- liamsburg in Virginia, where every artifice was used to prevail on them to enlist ; but notwithstanding the most flattering promises of being all made officers, not one of these brave fellows would enter into the pro- vincial service. They declared that rather than betray their king and country, they would suffer imprisonment for any length of time. They were offered land if they would quit the army, and settle in the country ; but this tliey refused with equal disdain, declaring they would possess nothing of the kind till they had deserved it by their valour in supporting the just authority of their king ; whose health they could not be restrained from drinking, though in the midst of their enemies. They were afterwards separated into small parties, and the most tempting offers made to them, but their fidelity could not be shaken.


]5G PERCY ANECDOTES.


RACINE AND HIS FAMILY.

The celebrated French poet, Racine, having one day just returned from Versailles, where he had been on a visit, was waited upon by a gentleman with an invi- tation to dine at the Hotel de Conde. " I cannot possibly have the honour to go there," said the poet, " it is a week since I have been w ith my w ife and children ; they are overjoyed to see me again, and have provided a fine carp, so that I must dine with those dear relatives." " But my good sir," replied the gentleman, " several of the most distinguished characters in the kingdom expect your company, and will be very glad to see you." On this Racine brought out the carp, and showed it to his visitor, saying, " Here, sir, is our little meal; then say, having pro- vided such a treat for me, what apology could I make for not dining with my poor children? Neither they nor my wife could have any pleasure in eating a bit of it without me ; then pray be so obliging as to mention my excuse to the Prince of Conde and my other illustrious friends." The gentleman did so ; and not only His Serene Highness, but all the com- pany present, professed themselves infinitely more charmed with this proof of the poet's faithful ten- derness as a husband and a father, than they possibly could have been with his delightful conversation.


FIDELITY. 157


SPANISH HONOUR.[edit]

The gallant and high-minded spirit of the Spanish narion showed itself very strongly on the occasion of the disgraceful contrast exhibited by the conduct of their sovereign, Charles V., towards his illustrious captive, Francis I., and towards the traitor Charles, Duke of Bourbon, for traitor he really was, notwith- standing all the provocations which he received from Francis. The emperor having requested the Marquess de Villena to allow B jurbon to inhabit his palace while he stayed at Toledo, the noble Castilian con- sented ; but added, that the emperor must not be sur- prised, if, the moment the Constable departed, he should burn to the ground a house, which having been polluted by the presence of a traitor, became an unfit habitation for a man of honour !

The Marquess de Villena spoke on this occasion the sense of the nation, who expressed their detesta- tion freely of the conduct of the emperor towards his noble prisoner.

LORD MACARTNEY.

When Lord Macartney was the Governor and Pre- sident of Fort St. George in India, he received such repeated irritations and encroachments upon his pre- rogative from the supreme council of Bengal, while Mr. Hastings sat in the chair of the Presidency, that he fiequently solicited his recal. Lord Macartney had no mercenary motives, and he had too much in- dependence to become the tool of those who had . In


158 PERCY ANECDOTES,

a letter to Mr. Hastings, in 1782, speaking of his Indian appointment, he says, " I accepted it on the most lionourable ground ; I have invariably maintained it ; and I can say to the whole world, which I now do to you upon the honour of a gentleman, that from my arrival in India to this hour, I have never accepted for my own benefit a single pagoda, a diamond, or even a shawl, but restricted myself most scrupulously to the receipt of salary alone, and to the rigid obser- vance of all my covenants — so help me God !" Lord Macartney remained in India more than three years after this time, when he returned to England, with hands untainted. He had found an exhausted trea- sury ; but by a faithful administration of the reve- nues, he had amassed in that treasury at the time of his departure, no less than three hundred and twenty- one thousand star pagodas, being a larger amount than was ever delivered over by any former Governor of Fort St. George to his successor. A great part of this sum consisted of such presents and fees for presen- tations to appointments, as it had been usual for go- vernors to take for their private emoluments.

DRAWING ON A FRIEND.

Voiture having one day lost all his money at the gaming table, found himself much in want of two hundred pistoles. He wrote in consequence to the Abbe Costar, his faithful friend, as follows : " 1 lost yesterday the whole of my money, and two hundred pistoles besides, which I have promised to pay this day. If you have the sum, do not peglect to send it (o ijac ; and if you have it not, borrow it : in some


FIDELITY. 159

way or other do tliis for me, and take care that you do not complain of the fine opportunity i afford you of gratifying rae. For the love I bear you, I should grieve if I thought you felt any hesitation in serving rae ; or that to enable me to avoid the misfortune that awaits me, you would not sell all that you possess. You see friendship is imperious, and I take much pleasure in using this freedom with you ; and I well know, that if I had a greater favour to ask, you would not refuse it me. I have given my promise that the bearer will bring your money. Adieu."

In answer to this letter, Costar replied, " I have extreme pleasure in being able to render the little service that you desire of me. I never thought that I should have so much pleasure for two hundred pis- toles. After having this proof, I give you ray word of honour, that I have had all my life a httle fund al- ways ready on the occasion when you might require it. Do me then, boldly, the pleasure of serving you ; and you will never feel so much pleasure in commanding me, as 1 shall in obeying you. Nevertheless, humble as I am, I should revolt if you obliged me to take a promise from you."


" MELANCHOLY POINT." A young officer in the array having married a lady in England, was ordered a short time afterwards to proceed to India with his regiment, while the lady's relations, or the gentleman's own circumstances, would not, at the time, permit her accompanying him. They were therefore forced to separate, and he proceeded to Bengal. A correspondence was carried on between r 2


160 PERCY ANECDOTES,

them for some years ; and at length he pc rsuadcd her to imdertake a voyage to India, which she accordingly did, and arrived safe at Sangur Roads. He was at this time stationed in the fort ; and on the very daj' of her arrival in the river, was seized with a fever of the country, which terminated his existence, before his wife, and a fine child, the pledge of their mutual affection, could reach the place where he lay ! On her coming into the fort, and beholding her husband's corpse, she fell into a state of insensibility, w hich was succeeded by that of melancholy, and in six weeks she followed her husband to the grave ! During the period of her decline, she used to go out every day, and sit some hours on the neck of land on which the fort is situated, weeping over her child : lience it ac- quired, and still retains, the name of " jMelanchoIy Point."


POINT OF HONOUR.

A part}'^ of Russian officers, who had been taken at Lansberg, were marching to Prague on parole, but under the charge of some French officers ; a corps of Russian marauders surprised them, and after some violence, the Russian soldiers were indiscriminately proceeding to despatch the French, when the Russian officers interfered, and endeavoured to explain, that as these French were but an amicable escort to them, who had given their parole, their lives must not only be preserved, but that honour obliged the Russian officers to refuse the opportunity of release, and bound them to proceed as prisoners of war, until regularly exchanged. The marauder captain stepped forward.


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" Will you," addressing himself to the Russian officers, " join and command us, and conduct us to our country ? If so, we are bound to obey you ; but with the annexed condition, that you do not interfere with our intention of putting to death the French who are in your company." " No, we cannot," was the answer ; and arguments were urged to justify the pro- priety of their decision. The marauders then as- sembled as a court martial, and after some deliberation the captain again advanced, and delivered its san- guinary decree. " The French for their atrocious conduct to Russian prisoners on every occasion have merited death. Execute the sentence." Obedience was immediate, and the victims were successively shot.

This lawless assassination completed, silence was again ordered, and the leader resumed his harangue ; " Now, degenerate Russians, receive yonr reward ; you, forgetting that you were born so, that your country has a prescriptive right to your allegiance, and that you have voluntarily renewed it to your sovereign, have entered into new engagements with their most hated enemies ; and you have dared to advance in your defence, that your word must be binding in their service, when you violate the oatli you have sworn against them. You are therefore our worst enemies, more unnatural, more wicked, than those we have slain, and you have less claim upon our mercy. We have unanimously doomed you to death, and instant death awaits you."

The signal was immediate, and fourteen officers were thus massacred for a persevering faithfulness, of which histor}' does not record a more affecting and


W2 PERCY ANECDOTES.

honourable trait. The fifteenth (Colonel Arsinoef, of the imperial guards) was supposed dead, the ball having entered just above the throat. He was stripped, and the body abandoned on the frozen snow. Towards night, after several hours torpor, sense returned, and whilst he was contemplating the horror of the past and present scene, identified, not only b}-- his own condition, but still more painfully by the surrounding corpses of his mangled friends, aud momentarily becoming more terrific from the apprehension of a horrible death, he perceived a light, towards which he staggered with joyous expec- tation ; but when he approached the hut, a clamour of voices alarmed his attention. He listened, and recognized the carousing murderers ; he withdrew from imminent destruction, to a fate, as he then supposed, not less certain, but less rude and revolt- ing. He had still strength to gain the borders of a no very distant wood, where he passed the night, without any covering on his body, or any application to his open wounds.

The glow of a latent hope, perhaps, preserved ani- mation; his fortune did not abandon him; his ex- traordinary protection was continued ; and as the day broke, he perceived a passing peasant girl, who gave him some uiilk, finally sheltered him, and obtained surgical relief. He recovered and went to Petersburg. The emperor ordered him to pass the regiments in review, that he might designate the offenders. He declined to do so, observing, that "he thought it un- advisable to seek an occasion for correcting such a notion of indefeasible allegiance ; that it was better to bury in oblivion a catastrophe that could not be


FiDELlTV. 163

nlleviatcd, than, by an exemplary punishment, hazard the introduction of a refined polity and manuers, which, by denationalizing the Russian, would prepare him for foreign conquest; that Russia was menaced by an enemy who could only triumph by the introduc- tion of new theories, generating new habits ; and although he had suffered from an effort of more liberal philanthropy and respect for the laws of war, he would not, at such a moment, be accessary to inno- vations whicli removed some of the most impregnable barriers to the designs of France."


GENTOO PALANQUIN BOYS. Sir John Malcolm, in his evidence given to the House of Commons, on the affairs of India, states, that he has known innumerable instances of honour among the natives, particularly the military tribes, which would in England be considered more fit for the page of romance than of history. '* There is," he ob- serves, " a large class of menials, such as Gentoo Palanquin boys, at Madras, who amount to twenty or thirty thousand, a great proportion of whom are employed by the English government, or the individuals serving it, who, as a body, are remarkable for their industry and fidelit3% During a period of nearly thirty years, I cannot call to mind one instance being proved of theft, in any one of this class of men, whose average wages are from three to eight rupees a mouth, or from seven shillings and sixpence to one pound. I remember hearing of one instance of extraordinary fidelity, where an officer died at the distance of nearly three hundred miles from the


164 PERCY ANECDOTES.

settlement of Fort St. George, with a sum of between two and three thousand pounds in his palanquin. These honest men, alarmed at even suspicion attaching to them, salted him, brought him three hundred miles to Madras, and lodged him in the town major's office, with all the money sealed in bags."

REFUGEE NOBLY PROTECTED.

Wilfrid, Bishop of the Northumbrians, having ren- dered himself disagreeable to Egfrid, his sovereign, and Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, the king resolved to have him deposed ; and the archbishop soon found a plausible pretext for the purpose. No sooner was Wilfrid acquainted with their design, than he immediately prepared to lay his complaints before his holiness. Sailing with a fair wind, he landed at Friezland, where he was honourably received by Adalgisc, king of that country. During his stay, Adalgise received letters from Thierry, King of the Franks, and Ebroin, Mayor of the Palace, offering him a prodigious sum of money, if he would deliver up Wilfrid to them alive, or send them his head. Adalgise, shocked at the ofl'er, ordered the letters to be read at a public entertainment ; after which, he tore them in pieces, and threw them into the fire, before the face of the messengers, bidding them tell their master, that lie wished every person who violated his faith, or betrayed his friend, might be reduced to ashes in the same manner.


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EXTRAORDINARY COMPACT.

The story is well known of two Platonic philoso- phers, who promised one another, that whoever died first, should pay a visit to his surviving companion. This story being read by the celebrated Dr. Pitcairn, of Edinburgh, and his friend Mr. Lindsey, together ; thpy, being then both very young, entered into a similar engagement. Soon after. Dr. Pitcairn, at his father's house in Fife, dreamed one morning that Lindsey, who was then at Paris, came to him, and told him he was not dead, as was commonly reported, but still alive, and lived in a very agreeable place, to which he could not j^et carry him. In the course of the post, news came of Lindsey's death, which hap- pened very suddenly on the morning of the dream. Dr. Pitcairn often related this extraordinary circum- stance, and always with much emotion. He wrote a poem. Ad Lindesium, in which there is the following beautiful allusion to it :

" Lyndesi ! Stygias jamdudum vecte per undas Stagnaque Cocyti non adeunda mihi ; Excute paulisper Lethoei vincula somni Ut periant animum carmina nostra tuum Te nobis, te rcdde tuis, promissa daturus Gaudia ; sed proavo sis comitante redux : Nam que novos viros mutataque regna videbis Passaque Teutonicas Sceptra Britanna manus."

The author, as the reader will perceive, makes here allusion to the revolution of 1688, which had just been accomplished. He then proceeds to exclaim


1G6 PERCY ANECDOTES.

against the principles and practices wliich produced this Teutonic violence upon the British sceptre, and concludes with a wish, that Lindsey might bring Rhadamanthus, with him, to punish them.

Unus abest scelerum vindex Rhadamanthus ;

Dii faciant reditus sit comes ille tui amice.

It is scarcely necessary to observe how much keener an edge is given to the satire on the revolution, by making it an additional reason for his friend's keeping his promise to return him a visit after his death.

CARDINAL XIMENES.

The most upright, and one of the most amiable mi- nisters that ever lived, was Cardinal Ximenes, Regent of Spain during part of the minority of Charles V. He is perhaps the only minister of whom it can be said, that he did not advance a single member of his family to any post of honour or dignity. He be- haved with much kindness towards his relatives, but left them in the peaceful enjoyment of their humble stations. Having on one occasion paid a visit to his native village, a female relative being ashamed of appearing before him in her homely dress, was hastily retiring, but was stopped by Ximenes, who bade her continue her employment (baking of bread). " This dress," said he, '■ and this employment suit you well: attend to your household affairs, and be sure you do not allow your bread to burn." The disinterested- ness of the cardinal was the more remarkable, that his authority as Regent was almost unlimited. Wealth, honours, and power, were all at his connnand ; but in


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no instance had his private interests the smallest influence in their distribution. His large revenues were all expended in public acts of munificence, or in relieving the suffering poor. As a statesman, he was penetrating, profound, and decisive ; like Riche- lieu, vast and magnificent in all his plans ; but pos- sessed of what Richelieu could never boast, magna- nimity and integrity. During the twenty months of his regency, he neither founded nor elevated a family, but he raised the Spanish monarchy to a degree of power and splendour which it had never known before. How melancholy is it to reflect on the reward which awaited such invaluable services ! On the arrival of Charles in Spain from his Flemish dominions, where he had been constantly resident from his infancy, the enemies of the cardinal used every possible eftort to prevent a meeting between them. Xiraenes, when on his way to join the king, fell sick at Bos Equillos ; but wrote to Charles, earnestly soliciting an inter\'iew. Under the plea of multiplicity of business, Charles delayed from time to time complying with his request. Ximenes, whose high spirit had, during a long life of eighty years, been proof against all the attacks of fortune, sunk under this unexpected neglect. The receipt of a letter from Charles, coldly expressing his approbation of his fidelity, and containing a formal dismissal from the important office he had so ably filled, under the pretence that it was time he should now think of retiring from the fatigues of a public station, was more than the great soul of Ximenes could bear. He perused the cruel epistle, and in the short period of a few hours expired.


1C8 PERCY ANECDOTES.

CONQUEST OF SPAIN BY THE MOORS.

When the Moors under Mousa invaded Spain, Roderick, " the last of the Goths," raised an army of ninety thousand men to repel the invaders ; and had they been as faithful as numerous, Mousa would have had cause to repent his bold attempt. The two armies met on the banks of the Guadalete, near the town of Xeres. For three successive days the contest continued, and the Christians appeared during the whole time to have the advantage. The Moors sunk under the pressure of multitudes, and sixteen thousand of them had already bit the dust, when Mousa thus addressed the survivors : " My friends, the enemy is before you, the sea is behind you, whither would you fly ? Follow your general. I am resolved either to lose my life, or trample on the prostrate King of the Romans." The fourth day's battle decided the fate of Spain. Two chiefs, who held important posts in the army ; and Orpas, Archbishop of Toledo, basely deserted the royal standard, and joined that of the crescent. The degenerate Roderick, who was reclining on a car of ivory, on observing their defection, quitted his conspicuous situation ; and mounting the fleetest of his liorses, fled, and was never heard oif more ! His horse and trappings were fovuid on the banks of thcGuadahpiiver, but the body was never discovered.

VIRTUE OF NO COLOUR.

A New Eugland sloop, trading to Guinea in the year 17i)ti, left the second mate, William Murray, sick


FIDELITY. 169

on shore, and sailed without him. Murray was at the house of a negro, named Cudjoe, with whom he had contracted an acquaintance during their trade. He recovered, and the sloop being gone, he con- tinued with his black friend, till some other oppor- tunity should offer of his getting home. In the mean time a Dutcli ship came into the road, and some of the negroes coming on board her, were treach- erously seized, and carried off as slaves. Their rela- tions and friends, transported with sudden rage, ran to the house of Cudjoe, to take revenge by killing Murray ; Cudjoe stopped them at the door, and demanded what they wanted ? " The white men, said they, " have carried away our brothers and sons, and we will kill all white men. Give us the white man you have in your house, for we will kill him." " Nay," said Cudjoe, " the white men that carried away your relations, are bad men, kill them when you can take them ; but this white man is a good man, and you must not kill him." " But he is a white man," they cried, " and the white men are all bad ; we will kill them all." " Nay," says he, " you must not kill a man that has done no harm, only for being white. This man is my friend ; ray house is his jjost ; I am his soldier, and must fight for him ; you must kill me before you can kill him. What good man will ever come again under my roof, if I let my floor be stained with a good man's blood ?"

The negroes seeing his resolution, and being con- vinced that they were wrong, went away ashamed ; and afterwards declared that they were glad they had not killed the innocent man, for their God v> ould have been very angry.

u ■


170 PERCY ANECDOTES.

A MAN OF OTHER TIMES.

After the Carthaginians had defeated the Roman army, and taken the illustrious Regulus prisoner, they met with such a series of misfortunes as induced them to think of putting an end to so destructive a war, by a speedy peace. With this view they began to soften the rigour of Regulus's confinement ; and endeavoured to engage him to go to Rome with their ambassadors, and to use his interest to bring about a peace upon moderate terms, or at least an exchange of prisoners. Regulus consented, and embarked for Rome, after having bound himself by a solemn oath to return to his chains if the negociation did not succeed. The Carthaginian ship arrived safe in Italy ; but when Regulus came to the gates of the city, he refused to enter them. " My misfortunes," said he, " have made me a slave to the Carthaginians ; I am no longer a Roman citizen." The senate always gave audience to foreigners without the gates. Marcia, the wife of Regulus, went out to meet hiu), and presented to him his two children ; but he only casting a wild look on them, fixed his eyes on the ground, as if he thought himself unworthy of the embraces of his wife, and the caresses of his children. When the senators assembled in the suburbs, he was introduced with the Cartha- ginian ambassadors, and together with them made the two proposals with which he was charged. " Con- script fathers!" said he, " being now a slave to the Carthaginians, I am come to treat with you con- cerning a peace, and an exchange of prisoners." Having uttered these words, he prepared to withdraw


FIDELITY. 171

and follow the ambassadors, who were not allowed to be present at the deliberations and disputes of the conscript fathers. In vain the senate pressed him to stay, and give his opinion as an old senator and consul ; he refused to continue in the assembly until the ambassadors ordered him ; and then ihe illus- trious slave took his seat among the fathers, but con- tinued silent, with his eyes fixed upon the ground, while the more ancient senators spoke. When it came to Regulus's turn to deliver his opinion, he thus addressed the senators : " Conscript fathers ! though I am a slave at Carthage, yet I am free at Rome ; and will therefore declare my sentiments with freedom. Romans, it is not for your interest either to grant the Carthaginians a peace, or to make an exchange of prisoners with them. Carthage is extremely ex- hausted ; and the only reason why she sues for peace is, because she is not in a condition to continue the war. You have been vanquished but once, and that by my fault ; a fault which Metellus has repaired by a signal victory. But the Cartha- ginians have been so often overcome, that they have not courage to look Rome in the face. Your allies continue peaceable, and serv^e you with zeal ; but your enemy's troops consist only of mercenaries, who have no other tie than that of interest, and will soon quit them, as Carthage is already destitute of money. No, Romans, a peace with Carthage does not, cannot, suit your interests ; I therefore advise you to pursue the war with increased vigour. As for the exchange of prisoners, you have among the Carthaginian cap- tives several officers of distinction, who are young, and may one day command the armies of your Q 2


172 PERCY ANECDOTES,

enemy ; but as for me, I am advanced in years, and my misfortunes have made me useless. Besides, what can you expect from soldiers who have been vanquished and made slaves ? Such men, like timorous deer that have escaped the toils of the hunter, will ever be on the alarm, and ready to fl}^"

The senate, greatly affected with his fidelity, his magnanimity, and contempt of life, would willingly have preserved him, and continued the war in Africa. Some were of opinion, that in Rome he was not obliged to keep an oath which had been extorted from him in an enemy's country. The Pontifex Maximus himself being consulted in the case, declared thatKe- gulus might continue at Rome without being guilty of perjury. But the noble captive, highly oifendcd at this decision, as if his honour and courage were called in question, declared to the senate, who trembled to hear him speak, that he well knew what torments were reserved for him at Carthage ; but that he had so much the true spirit of a Roman, as to dread less the tortures of a cruel rack, than the shame of a dishonourable action. " It is my duty," said he, " to return to Carthage ; let the gods take care of the rest." This generous intrepidity made the senate still more desirous of savhig such a hero. Every means was resorted to, both by the senate and the people, to induce him to stay ; but he would not even sec his wife, nor suflcr his children to take their leave of him, lest the tics of affection should triumph over his fidelity to his oafh.

Amidst the lamentations and tears of the whole city, Regulus embarked with the Carthaginian ambas- sadors, to return to the place of his slavery, with as


FIDELITY. 173

serene and cheerful a countenance, as if he had been going to a country seat for his diversion. The Cartha- ginians were so enraged against him, that they invented new torments to satisfy their revenge. First, they cut off his eyelids, keeping him for a while in a dark dungeon, and then bringing him out, and exposing him to the sun at noon day. After this, they shut him up in a kind of chest, stuck with nails, having their points inwards, so that he could neither sit nor lean, without great torment ; and there they suffered him to die with hunger, anguish, and want of sleep.

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP. Two male negroes in one of the West India Islands, nearly of the same age, and eminent among their fellows in slavery for gracefulness of figure, strength, agility, and dexterity, were also distinguished for their mutual friendship, and for their common attachment to a young female negro, who was generally esteemed the most beautiful of her complexion in the whole island. The young female appeared to be equally pleased with both her lovers ; and was willing to accept either of them for a husband, provided they could agree between themselves which of them should yield to the pretensions of the other. But here lay the difficulty ; for while neither would treacherously supplant, neither of them was willing to yield to, his friend. Tlie two youths therefore long suffered the severest affliction, while their hearts were torn between love and friendship. At length, when they were no longer able to endure the agony of such a contest, being still unable to repress their passion for their Q 3


174 PERCY ANECDOTES,

lovely country woman, and incapable of violating the laws of friendship, on a certain day they both, in company vvith the object of their ill-fated love, retired into a wood adjoining to the scene of their labours. There, after fondly embracing the maid, calling her by a thousand endearing names, and lamenting their own unhappy fate, they stabbed a knife into her breast ; which, M hile still reeking with her blood, was by each of them in his turn plunged into his own. Her cries reached the people who were at work in the next field ; some of them hastening to the spot, found her expiring, and the youths already dead beside her.

Had the elevated souls of these negro youths been refined and enlightened by culture and education in the principles of morality and true religion, it may reasonably be supposed that their friendship would have triumphed over their love, without prompting them to the rash and desperate deed which they com- mitted.

DR. MEAD.

In 1722, Bishop Atterbury'splot for the restoration of the Stuart family, was the grand topic which occu- pied public attention ; and when a motion was nia^e against the prelate in tlie House of Commons, Dr. Freind, member for the Borough of Launceston, was one of tlie warmest advocates in his favour. As the circumstances of the times had given the ministry a pretext for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, se- veral persons of consequence were committed to prison, and among others Dr. F., charged on suspicion of high treason. After a confinement in the tower from March 15, 1723, to June 21 of the same year, liCAvas admitted


FIDELITY. 175

to bail. His sureties were the celebrated Dr. JNIead, and three others of his professional brethren.

The mode in which his liberation was procured, was very remarkable, and does inlinite honour to the me- mory of Dr. Mead. Being called to attend Sir Robert Walpole in sickness, the doctor refused to undertake the cure, unless his friend Dr. Freind was set at liberty. Nor was this all. At the time of his arrest, Dr. F. was in the most extensive and first rate practice ; a large part of it fell into the hands of IMead ; but disdaining to take advantage of the arbitrary act of power by which Freind was separated from the world, he made over to him, on his release, five thou- sand guineas, being the full amount of all the fees he had received from Dr. F.'s patients.


BAILLIE OF JERVISWOOD. When Fletcher of Salton was in Holland, he and Mr. Baillie of Jerviswood were the only persons whom the Earl of Argyle consulted concerning the designs then in agitation ; and on their return to England, they were the only two men who were entrusted so far, as to be admitted to the secrets of Lord Russel's council of six. Mr, Fletcher managed his part of the negociation with so much address, that admi- nistration could find no pretext for seizing him ; nor could they fix upon him those charges on which Mr. Baillie was condemned : to whose honour it should ever be remembered, that although offered a pardon on condition of his accusing his friend, he persisted in resisting the proposal with indignation.


17G PERCY ANECDOTES.


THE FLITCH OF BACON.

Sir Philip de Sonierville, ancestor of the present Lord Soraerville, who lived in the reign of Edward III., held the manor of Whichnour, in the County of Stafford, of the Earl of Lancaster, then Lord of the Honour of Tutbury, by a very singular tenure. It was on condition "of keeping a flitch of bacon hanging at all times a year, except in Lent, that it might be delivered to any man or woman who should come and demand it, and at the same time swear that he or she had been married a year and a day, without repenting ; and if they were single and to be married again, the demandant would take the same party again, before any other in the universe."

The person claiming the bacon was to demand it of the bailiff, who would appoint a day for the neces- sary ceremonial. The man was to bring two of his neighbours with him, and the bailiff took two of the freeholders. The bacon was to be taken down to the hall door, and upon one half of it was to be laid a quarter of wheat, and on the other a quarter of rye. The man was then to kneel, and hold his right hand upon a book, which was laid on the bacon and corn, and then take the following oath :

"Here ye, Sir Philip Somervyle, Lord of Which- nour, mayntayncr and giver of this baconne, that I A., syth 1 wedded B. my wife, and syth I had her in my keepying and at my wylle, by a ycre and a dayc after our marriage, I would not have changed for none other, farer ne fowler, richer ne pourer, ne for none other descended of gretter lynage, sleeping


FIDELITY, 177

ne waking at noo tjnie. And if tlie said B. were sole, and I sole, I would take her to be my wife, before all the wymen of the worlde, of what condy. tions soever they may be, good er evyl, as help me God and his se^mtys, and this flesh and all fleshes."

The two neighbours are then to make oath that they " trust verily he hath said truly." The bacon was then given to him, and if he was a freeman, he had half a quarter of wheat and a cheese ; and if he was a villein, he had half a quarter of rj-^e, but no cheese.

This custom closely resembles that at Dunmow in Essex, of delivering a gammon of bacon to any mar- ried couple who will take a prescribed oath. This custom is supposed by some writers to have originated in the Saxon or Norman times. Others attribute its institution to the Fitzwalters. The earliest delivery of the bacon on record, occurred in the 23rd of Henry VI., when Richard Wright, o'f Bradbourg, in Norfolk, having been duly sworn before the Prior and Convent, had a flitch of bacon delivered to him, agreeable to the tenure. In the Chartulary of the Priory, now in the British JMuseura, three persons are recorded to have received the bacon, previous to the suppression of religious houses. Since that period, the bacon has been also three times delivered, the ceremonies being performed at a court baron for the manor, held by the steward. The last persons who received it were John Shakeshanks, woolcomber, and Anne, his wife, of Wethersfield, who established tlieir right on the 20th of June, 1751.

The ceremonial originally established for the oc- casion, consisted in the claimants kneeling on two sharp pointed stones, and there, after solemn chaunting


178 PERCY ANECDOTES.

and other rites, performed by the convent, taking the following oath :

You shall swear by custom of confession,

That you ne'er made nuptial transgression ;

Nor, since you were married man and wife.

By household brawls, or contentious strife,

Or otherwise at bed or board.

Offended each other in deed or in word.

Or since the parish clerk said. Amen,

"Wished yourselves unmarried again.

Or in a twelvemonth and a day,

Repented in thought any way,

But continued true in thought and desire.

As when you joined hands in holy quire.

If to these conditions without all fear.

Of your own accord you will freely svvear,

A whole gammon of bacon you shall receive.

And bear it hence with love and good leave :

P'or this is our custom at Dunmow well known,

Tho' the pleasure be ours, the bacon's your own.

ANECDOTES OF PASTIME.[edit]

Pastime passing excellent,


If husbanded with Modesty."

SHAKESPEARE.


DANCING.

Dancing, which may be considered as the most uni- versal of all pastimes, was at first, and indeed during some thousand years, a religious ceremony. The most ancient dance of which we have any particular account, is that of the Jews, established by the Levitical law, to be exhibited at their solemn feasts. After the passage of the Red Sea, we are told, " Sumpsit Maria prophetissa, soror Aaron tympanum in manu sua egressaque," Sec. On this occasion there were two distinct bands, one of men, and the other of women.

The daughters of Shiloh were danciug in the vine- yards when they were caught by the young men of the tribe of "Benjamin, who were advised by the elders of Israel to take that opportunity of supplying


4 PERCY ANECDOTES.

themselves with wives. The dancing of David is often quoted, and it is the opinion of some commen- tators, that every psalm had a separate and distinct dance belonging to it. " In utroque Psalmo nomine cliori intelligi posse cum certo instrumento, homines ad sonuiB ipsius tripudiantes."

In the temples of Jerusalem, Samaria, and Alex- andria, a stage was erected in one part, called the choir, for these exercises ; the name of which has been preserved in our churches ; and the custom, too, till within a few centuries.

Cardinal Ximenesrev4ved the practice of Musarabic masses in the cathedral at Toledo, when the people danced both in the choir and the nave, with the greatest decorum and devotion. Le Pere Menetrier, a Jesuit, relates the same thing of some churches in France, in 1682. So that the sect of Dancing Methodists at Pliiladelphia, of which such alarming accounts have been given, seem rather to have abused than invented the custom.

Tlie Egyptians had their solemn dances as well as the Jews ; the principal was their astronomical dance, of wliich the sacrilegious dance round the golden calf, was an imitation. From the Jews and Egyptians, these sacred dances passed into Greece, where the astronomic dance was adapted to the llieatre, with chorus, strophe, anti-strophe, epode, &c. The Greeks had, likewise, the following dances : the dance of the Curcfes, or Corybantes, from the Cretans, and which was anterior to Juj)iter, as it is supposed to have saved his life when an infant; the dance of satyrs, invented by Bacchus ; the Mcmphy tic dance, invented by Pyrrhus; the rustic dance, invented by Panj


PASTIME. 5

and the hall dance, invented, according to Pliilostratus, by Comus ; according to Diodorus, by Terpsichore ; the Hormus, a Lacedemonian dance, which required to be taught at a very early age ; and the dance of innocence, which was performed by young women. The last was also a Spartan dance, and though so simple, was the cause of the double indignity offered to Helen, of the Trojan war, and all the subsequent calamities, -^schylus and Lucian mention a Spartan dance, which was accompanied by singing.

Many of these dances are still retamed in Greecej but the most curious and interesting of them all, is the nuptial dance, which Mr. Dodwell, in his tour, de- scribes as having seen at Athens, on the marriage of Albanian Christians. When the bride, who was dressed in the gayest attire, had arrived from the country, and approached the house of the bride- groom, she was encircled by all the principal females, who assembled before the door, and while they danced around her, welcomed her arrival with a degree of elegance which not only captivated the imagination, but interested the affections. They sung at the same time the nuptial songs.

From Greece, these dances, with various modifi- cations, found their way across the Adriatic. Rome adopted her manners and her arts, which were after- wards dispersed over the rest of Europe. The great Scipio Africanus amused himself with dancing, " Not," says Seneca, " those effemmate dances which announce voluptuousness and corruption of manners, but those manly animated dances in use among their ancestors, which even their enemies might witness without abating their respect."

B 3


PERCY ANECDOTtS.

Dancing has always been a favourite amusement in England. So far back as the twelfth century', the damsels of London spent the evenings on holidays in dancing before their masters' doors. Stowe laments the abolition of this " open pastime," which he re- membered to have seen practised in his youth ; and considered it not only as innocent in itself, but also as a preventive to worse deeds " within doors," which he feared would follow the suppression.

Dancing was constantly put in practice among the nobility upon days of festivity, and was counte- nanced by the example of the court. After the coro- nation dinner of Richard the Second, the king, the prelates, the nobles, the knights, and the rest of the company, spent the remainder of the day in dancing in Westminster Hall to the music of the minstrels. Several of our monarchs are praised for their skill in dancing, and none more so than our Henry the Eighth.


CHESS.

Notwithstanding the many conjectures which have been hazarded, the origin of the game of chess is unknown ; though it is certain that it is of very remote antiquity, and more than probable that it first made its appearance in Asia. John de Vigney wrote a work which he called " The Moralization of Chess," in \.hich he assures us that the game was invented by a philosoplicr named Xerxes, in the reign of Evil Merodach, King of Babylon, and was made known to that monarch in order to engage his attention and correct his manners. " There are tliree reasons," says De Vigney, " which induced the philosopher to institute this new pastime : the first, to reclaim a


PASTIME. 7

wicked king ; the second, to prevent idleness ; the third, practically to demonstrate the nature and neces- sity of nobleness." He then adds, " The game of chess passed from Chaldea into Greece, and thence diftused itself all over Europe." The Arabians and Saracens, who are said to be admirable pla^^ers at chess, have new modelled the story of De Vigne3', and adapted it to their own country, changing the name of the philosopher from Xerxes to Sisa.

Though it is not known when the game of chess was first brought into this country, yet there is good reason to suppose it was well known here at least a cen- tury before the Conquest, and that it was then a favour- ite pastime with persons of the highest rank. Mr. Singer thinks that the game was unknown in Europe previous to the Crusades, and that it did not reach us before ihe twelfth centur}'.

The game is one of extraordinary complication and difficulty. It has been generally practised by the greatest warriors and generals ; and some have even supposed that it was necessary for a military man to be a perfect master of it. The interest which it excites, is such as usually to engross the attention of those who engage in it, to the exclusion of all other objects, even of the most pressing moment. We read that Tamelane, who was a great chess-player, was engaged in a gam.e during the very time of the decisive battle with Bajazet, the Turkish emperor, who was defeated and taken prisoner. It is also related of Al Arain, the Khalif of Bagdad, that he was engaged at chess with his freedman Kuthar, at the time when Al JMamun's forces were carrying on the »iege of that city with so much vigour, that it was on


8 PERCY ANECDOTES,

the point of being carried by assault. Dr. Hyde quotes an Arabic history of the Saracens, in which the khalif is said to have cried out when warned of his danger, " Let me alone, for I see checkmate against Kuthar !"

Daniel relates, that Prince Henry, the youngest son of the Conqueror, afterwards Henry the First, who, with his brother Robert, went to the court of the French king, after dinner won so much money of Louis, the king's eldest son, at chess, that he lost his temper, reproached him with the base birth of his father, and threw the chess men in Iiis face. Henry took up the chess board, and struck Louis with such force, that he drew blood, and would have killed him, but for the interference of his brother Robert, who got him away.

We are told that Charles the First was at chess when news was brought of the final intention of the Scots to sell him to the English ; but so little was he discomposed by this alarming intelligence, that he continued his game with the utmost composure ; so that no person could have known that the letter he received had given him information of any thing re- markable.

King John was playing at chess when the deputies from Rouen came to acquaint him that their city was besieged by Philip Augustus ; but he would not hear them until he had finished his game.

The following remarkable anecdote we have from Dr. Robertson, in his History of Charles V. John Frederic, Elector of Saxony, having been taken prisoner by Charles, was condemned to death. The decree was intimated to him while at chess with


PASTIME, 9

Ernest of Brunswick, his fellow prisoner. After a short pause, and making some reflections on the irre- gularity and injustice of the emperor's proceedings, he turned to his antagonist, whom he challenged to finish the game. He pla^'cd with his usual ingenuity and attention ; and having beat Ernest, expressed all the satisfaction that is commonly felt on gaining such victories. He was not, however, put to death, but set at liberty after five 3'ears' confinement.

In the Chronicle of the Moorish kings of Granada, we find it related, that in 1396, Mehemed Balba seized upon the crown in prejudice of his elder brother, and passed his life in one continued round of disasters. His wars with Castile were invariably unsuccessful ; and his death was occasioned by a poisoned vest. Finding his case desperate, he de- spatched an officer to the fort of Salobrena, to put bis brother Juzaf to death, lest that prince's adherents should form any obstacle to his son's succession. The alcayde found the prince playing at chess with an alfaqui or priest. Juzaf begged hard for two hours respite, which was denied him ; at last, with great reluctance, the officer permitted him to finish the game ; but before it was finished, a messenger arrived with the news of the death of Mehemed, and the unanimous election of Juzaf to the crown.

We have a curious anecdote of Ferrand, Count of Flanders, who having been accustomed to amuse himself at chess with his wife, and being constantly beaten by her, a mutual hatred took place ; which came to such a height, that when the Count was taken prisoner at the battle of Bovines, she suffered him to remain a long time in prison, though she could easily have procured his release.


10 PERCY ANECDOTES.


PICE.

There is not perhaps any species of amusement more ancient tlian placing at dice; since it was one of the most early pastimes in use among the Grecians, and is said to have been invented by Palamedes, the son of Nauplius, King of Euboea. Others, agreeing as to the time tliat dice were invented, attribute it to a Greek soldier named Alea ; but Herodotus assigns the invention of both dice and chess to the Lydians, a people of Asia; in which part of the world it is most probable they originated, at some very remote and uncertain period.

No game has been more universally prevalent, and generally speaking, none more pernicious jn its con- sequences. The ancient Germans, even in their state of barbarism, indulged the propensity for gambling with dice, almost to a degree of madness. Tacitus assures us, that they not only would hazard all their wealth, but even stake their liberty, upon the turn of the dice ; and he who lost, submitted to servitude, though younger and stronger than his antagonist, and patiently permitted himself to be bound, and sold in the market. The Saxons, the Danes, and the Normans, were all of them greatly addicted to the same infa- tuatmg pastime.

Dice playing was a fashionable diversion in the reign of Henry the Eighth. Hall, speaking of this monarch, sa^s, "The king about this season was much given to play at tennis and at the dice, which appetite certain crafty persons about him perceiving, brought in Frenchmen and Lombards to make wagers with him, and so he lost nmch money ; but when he


PASTIME. 11

perceived their craft, he eschewed their company, and let them go."


CARDS.

It has been asserted, that cards, as well as dice, were invented by the Lydians, during the afflictiou of a famine in the reign of Atys ; but among all the games mentioned by the ancient Greek and Romaia writers, there is not one which can with good foundation be supposed to designate cards ; we may therefore safely conclude, that they were unknown to them.

St. Cyprian has been quoted as making mention of cards, and asserting that they formerly contained the images of Pagan idols, which the Christians trans- formed into the modem figures ; but there is nothing in his works to bear out the assertion.

Count de Gebelin has attempted to prove, that a kind of cards were in use among the Egyptians in the seventh century before our present era, the figures of which he supposed to have been transmitted from age to age, and have reached us. It would, however, be an extraordinary circumstance, that cards should have existed in Egypt at so early a period, and yet that the Greeks and Romans should not have brought them to Europe, nor the Carthaginian armies have introduced them into Spain and Italy ; and still more, that this should only have been effected by the Arabians, who did not reach Egypt before the seventh century after Christ, about the year 635,

It has been generally supposed, that playing cards were first made for the amusement of Charles the Sixth of France, in 1392, at which time he was


12 I'EKCY ANECDOTES.

afflicted with mental derangement ; it has, however, been proved, that cards were known in France half a century before that time.

The striking analogies and strong resemblances between the games of chess and cards in their first simple form, are strong proofs of their both being of eastern origin ; and it is most probable, that the game of cards, like the game of chess, travelled from India to the Arabians, and traversing the north of Asia and Africa, thus reached Europe. When they were first introduced into England, seems uncertain 3 there is a probability that they were known here soon after the second Crusade, at the latter end of the thirteenth century ; but there is no positive evidence of their use here until the middle of the fifteenth.


ROMAN CHARIOTEERS.

Both horse and chariot races, but especially the latter, were favourite diversions among the Romans ; and in order that they might enjoy them at their ease, there was an enclosed course immediately adjoining the city, called the Circus, although, in point of fact, its form was oval. It was rather more than a mile in circumference ; was surrounded with seats in the form of an amphitheatre, with three tiers of galleries ; and was calculated to contain 150,000, or, as some sup- pose, more than 250,000 spectators. In the centre there was a wall twelve feet in breadth and four in height, round which the race was performed ; and at one end there stood a triumphal arch, through which the successful charioteer drove, amid the plaudits of the assembly. The horses were restrained by a chain


PASTIME. 13

across the course, until the signal was given for starting. The race was generally either decided in one lieat or live, or sometimes seven times round the course, which was a distance of four English miles. Four chariots usually started together, the drivers of which were distinguished by dresses of different colours, each of which had its partizans, who betted largely on their favourite ; for it was neither the cha- rioteer nor his horses that interested them, but the colour which they adopted ; and so far was this carried, that the people were actually divided into parties, who espoused the pretensions of the diiFerent liveries with such warmth, that all Rome was at one time agitated with the disputes of the Green and Red factions.

The chariots, as they are usually called, were nothing more than uncovered two-wheeled cars, high and circular in front, and open behind. They were usually drawn by three or four horses abreast, which the driver guided in a standing position, with the reins round his body. This practice caused many accidents, for the course being narrow, the turnings sharp and frequent, and both crossing and jostling allowed, the carriages were often overturned.


BLIND MAN'S BUFF.

In ancient Rome, a custom was observed on the manumission of slaves, precisely similar to one of the ceremonies of the game of blind man's buff ; and the coincidence coupled with the analogy between the condition of the slave, and the supposed one of the person bound in the game, leads to the conclusion


14 PERCY ANECDOTES,

that this sport is of Roman origin. On the manu- mission of a slave, the master or lictor turning him round in a circle, and giving him a blow on the check, let him go, signifying that he was thenceforward free. Persius alludes to this custom in one of his Satires, where, to adopt tlie English version of Owen, he says,

" See there that Dama ! view a worthless slave, Of knavish muleteers the veriest knave ! Let but his master one small turn bestow. Plain Daraa straight shall Marcus Dama grow."


ROMAN ARCHERS.

Archery was practised among the Romans entirely as a pastime, and not in war. The Romans in the field disdained the bow as tedious and nncertain. Inflamed with the hopes of signalizing himself by acts of personal bravery, the Roman stood with im- patience while the enemy was beyond his grasp. But although the legions of the Roman state were unaccustomed to the use of the bow, archery was cultivated by many private individuals. The Circus was often the scene where feats of this kind were exhibited ; and even emperors themselves were the actors. Domitian and Commodus have been parti- cularly celebrated for their matchless excellence in the use of the bow.

It is reported of Domitian, that he would often place boys in the Circus at some distance from him, and as they Iicld out their hands and separated their fingers, he would shoot an arrow between them, without the slightest injury to this manual target.


PASTIME. 15

■ The feats recorded of Coramodus are more nume- rous, and he appears to have been one of the most expert arcliers mentioned in history. It is said by Herodian, that his hand was unerring both with the javelin and the bow, and that the most experienced Parthian archers yielded to his skill. He would kill all kinds cf animals in the amphitheatre, by way of exercise, and to show the steadiness of his aim. Stags, lions, panthers, and all kinds of beasts, fell without number by his hand ; nor was a second arrow necessary, for every wound proved mortal. He would hit an animal in any part he wished, with the greatest accuracy. A panther was sometimes let loose in the Circus, where a criminal was placed ; and just as the animal was going to seize the culprit, he would send an arrow so opportunely, that the man should escape unhurt. A hundred lions have been introduced at the same time in the arena, and with a hundred shafts he would lay them lifeless.

It is also said, that Commodus caused arrows to be made with heads curved in a semicircular figure, and with these he would cut off the neck of an ostrich running at full speed. This feat is the most difficult (may we not add incredible?) of thewhole, the ostrich being extremely swift of foot, and having a very small neck.


PERSIAN ARCHERS.

From the accounts we have of the Persians, they

appear to be astonishingly expert in the use of the

bow, and may be placed in the first rank of archers.

Chardin says, they shoot with so much accuracy, that


16 PERCY ANECDOTES.

they will drive an arrow into the same hole many times successively ; and Mr. Tavemier, who was present at a review of the Persian cavalry in 1654, fully confirms the assertion of Chardin. His account of the exhibition is very curious. The king, accom- panied by his principal officers, stood on a portal to one of the royal gardens, whence they viewed the most expert and best looking of the troops, who were ordered to ride singly before the place where the king was stationed. The horsemen rode full speed, and as they passed, each man shot an arrow into a turf butt, prepared for the occasion. When the review closed, the person whose arrow stood nearest the centre, was promised an increase of pay.

There was one horseman, who, riding in his turn, when he came before the portal, stopped his horse and walked over the plain, contrary to the orders of the general. When he came opposite the butt, he refused to shoot his arrow, and only raised his arms in the attitude of drawing the bow. The king, en- raged to see his discipline so grossly disregarded, ordered his weapons and horse to be immediately taken from him ; but one of the generals pleaded his cause, and assured his majesty that lie was one of the best soldiers in the army, and had fully proved his skill and courage in the sieges of Erivan and Candahar. The king then commanded the horse and arms to be restored to the cavalier, and he was ordered to tdke his turn in the review. He accordingly advanced, crying out, " Where would the king have me to shoot?" " At the target, where the other horsemen have shot ;" said one of the generals. The soldier with a smile, said, " Must I then direct my arrows


PASTIME. 17

against a turf ? I would rather point them at the enemies of my country ; against whom I would sooner discharge three quivers, than a single arrow at this turf." He then drew two arrows, and taking one in his mouth, placed the other in his bow, when darting his liorse vigorously across the plain till he had passed the butt, iu the Parthian attitude of shooting behind him, drove an arrow into the centre of the target. Turning about suddenly, he in the same manner shot his second arrow precisely into the hole whence his first arrow had been drawn !


MOCK FIGHT OF THE BRIDGE OF PISA.

A mock fight occasionally exhibited on the bridge of Pisa, is the only remaining vestige of those martial games so famous among the Greeks and Romans. The amusement consists in a battle fought by nine hundred and sixty combatants ; who, clothed in coats of mail, and armed with wooden clubs, dispute for three quarters of an hour the passage of the bridge. The strongest combatants possess themselves of the field of battle ; and when stratagem can be employed with success, it is resorted to, but to fight in earnest is forbidden. This mock encounter, however, fre- quently costs lives, and is therefore seldom permitted, though one of the most attractive exhibitions in Italy.

Some authors state this pastime to have been insti- tuted by Pelops, son of Tantalus, King of Phrygia ; others think it was established by Nero ; while there are some who attribute it to the year 1005, when it was celebrated in honour of the defeat of Muselto, c S


18 PERCY ANECDOTES.

King of Sardinia, which happened that year upon a bridge of Pisa.

Whoever may have instituted this custom, it is entered into with great spirit by the Pisans. When a man stands candidate for the honour of being a combatant, he is encased in armour, and then beat for half an hour with wooden clubs. Should he hap- pen to flinch or cry out during this ceremony, he is rejected ; but if he bears it without a murmur, he is chosen a candidate.


DIVERSIONS OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

The favourite diversions of the middle ages in the intervals of war, were those of hunting and hawking. A knight seldom stirred from his house without a falcon on his wrist, or a greyhound that followed him. Thus Harold and his attendants are represented in the famous Bayeux tapestry ; and in the monuments of those who died any where but on the field of battle, it is usual to find a greyhound lying at their feet, or a bird upon their wrists. Nor are the tombs of ladies without their falcon ; for this diversion being of less danger and fatigue than the chase, was shared bj the softer sex.

Edward the Third took so much delight in hunting, that even at the time he was engaged in war with France, and resident in that country, he had with him in his army sixty couple of stag hounds, and as many hare hounds, and every day he amused himself with hunting or hawking. It also appears, that many of the nobles in the English army liad their hounds and their hawks, as well as the king ; and Froissart assures


PASTIME. \9

tis, that Gaston, Earl of Foix, a foreign nobleman contempoi-arj with King Edward, kept upwards of six hundred dogs in his castle for the purpose . of hunting.

It was impossible to repress the eagerness with which the clergy, especiallj' after the barbarians were tempted bj rich bishoprics to take upon thera the sacred func- tions, rushed into these secular amusements. Pro- hibitions of councils, however frequently repeated, produced little effect. In some instances a particular monastery obtained a dispensation. Thus, that of St. Denis, in 774, represented to Charlemagne, that the flesh of hunted animals was salutary for sick monks, and that their skins would serve to bind the books in the library. Reasons equally cogent, it may be pre- sumed, could not be wanting in every other case. As the bishops and abbots were perfectly feudal lords, and often did not scruple to lead their vassals into the field, it was not to be expected that they should debar themselves from an innocent pastime. Some of thera indeed are recorded for their skill in it. Walter, Bishop of Rochester, who lived in the tenth century, was an excellent hunter, and so fond of the sport, that at the age of eighty, he made hunting his sole em- ployment, to the neglect of the duties of his office. And in the succeeding century, an abbot of Leicester surpassed all the sportsmen of his time in the art of hare hunting.

When these dignitaries were travelling from place to place upon affairs of business, they usually had both hounds and hawks in their train. Alexander III. by a letter to the clergy of Berkshire, dispenses with their keeping the archdeacon in dogs and hawks


20 PERCY ANECDOTES.

during his visitation. This season gave jovial eccle- siastics an opportunity of extending their sports to different counties. An Archbishop of York, in 1321, seems to have carried a train of two hundred persons, who were maintained at the expense of the abbeys on his road, and to have hunted with a pack of hounds from parish to parish. The third council of Lateran had prohibited this amusement on such journies, and restricted bishops to a train of forty or fifty horses. Fitzstephen assures us, that Thomas Becket being sent as ambassador from Henry the Second to the court of France, assumed the state of a secular potentate, and took Avith him dogs and hawks of various kinds, such as were used by kings and princes.

The ladies often accompanied the gentlemen in hunting parties; upon these occasions it was usual to draw the game into a small compass by means of inclosures, and temporary stands were made for them to be spectators of the sport, though in many instances they joined in it, and shot at the animals as they passed by them >\ith their arrows.

The ladies had also hunting parties by themselves ; on which occasions the female Nirarods dispensed with the method of riding best suited to the modesty of the sex.

Queen Elizabeth was extremely fond of the chase, and very frequently amused herself witli following the hounds. " Her majesty," says a courtier writing to Sir Robert Sidney, " is well, and excellently dis- posed to hunting, for every second day she is on horseback, and continues the sport long."

Fitzstephen describing the sports of the citizens of


PASTIME. 21

London in his time, says, "Every Friday in Lent, a company of young men come into the field on horse- back, attended and conducted by the best horsemen ; then march forth the sons of the citizens and other young men with disarmed lances and shields, and there they practise feats of war. Many courtiers likewise, when the king is near the spot, and attendants upon noblemen, do repair to these exercises ; and while the hope of victory does inflame their minds, they show by good proof how serviceable tbey would be in martial affairs."

The lower classes in this age of masculine manners, made every amusement where strength was exerted matter of instruction and improvement. In the vacant intervals of industry and labour, commonly called the holidays, indolence and inactivity, which at this day mark this portion of time, were found only in those whose lives were distempered with age or in- firmity. The view which Fitzstephen gives us of their manners, is animated. " In Easter holidays," says he, " they fight battles upon the water. A shield is hung upon a pole, fixed in the middle of the stream. A boat is prepared without oars, to be borne along by the violence of the water ; and in the fore part thereof standeth a young man ready to give charge upon the shield with his lance. If so be that he break his lance against the shield, and doth not fall, he is thought to have performed a worthy deed. If without breaking his lance, he runs strongly against the shield, down he falleth into the water, for the boat is violently forced with the tide ; but on each side of the shield ride two boats furnished with young men, who recover hira who falleth soon as they may. In the holidays, all


22 PERC\ ANECDOTES,

the summer, the youths are exercised in leaping, dancing, shooting, wrestling, casting the stone, and practising their shields j and the maidens trip with their timbrels and dance as long as they can well see. In winter, every holiday before dinner, the boars pre- pared for brawn, are set to fight, or else bulls or bears are baited."


HAWKING.

The origin of hawking, or flying of hawks, cannot be traced to an earlier period than the middle of the fourth century. Julius Firmicus, who lived about that time, is the first author that mentions it ; but Peacham, in his " Complete Gentleman," states that hawking was first invented by Frederic Barbarossa when he besieged Rome. The period of its in- troduction into England is uncertain, but it is known to have been practised in the eighth century ; and in the succeeding one this sport was so highly esteemed by the Anglo-Saxon nobility, that the training and flying of hawks became one of the essentials in the education of a young man of rank. Alfred the Great is celebrated for his early proficiency in hawking, and is even said to have written a treatise on the subject, though no such work is extant.

Hawking is often mentioned in the capitularies of the eighth and ninth centuries. The Grand Falconer of France was an officer of great eminence ; his annual salary was four thousand fiorins, and he was attended b^' fifty gentlemen, with fifty assistants. He was allowed to keep three hundred hawks, and he licensed every vendor of hawks, and received a tax


PASTIME. 23

upon every bird sold in that kingdom, and even within the verge of the court.

Edward the Third, when he invaded France, had with him thirty falconers on horseback, \vho had charge of his hawks ; and every day he indulged either in the sport of hunting or hawking.

Hawking was performed on horseback or on foot, as occasion required. On horseback when in the fields and open country, and on foot when in the woods and coverts. In following the hawk on foot, it was usual for the sportsmen to have a stout pole with him to assist him in leaping over little rivulets and ditches, which might otherwise prevent his progress. Henry the Eighth, while pursuing his hawk on foot at Hitchin in Hertfordshire, attempted with the as- sistance of his pole to jump over a ditch that was half filled with muddy water ; the pole broke, and the king fell into the mud, where he would probably have been suffocated, had not one of his footmen leaped into the ditch and rescued him from his perilous situation. It was a custom for ladies not only to accompany gentlemen in this sport, but also to practise it themselves ; and they are even said to have excelled the men in the knowledge and exercise of the art of falconry.

Under the Norman Government, no persons but such as were of the higest rank, were permitted to keep hawks, until the Forest Charter was exacted from King John, by which the privilege was given to every freeman to have airies of hawks, sparrow-hawks, falcons, eagles, and herons, in his own woods. Several restrictive laws have however since been made relative to hawking, many of which are extremely


24 PERCY ANECDOTES.

capricious. Other laws have been made for their pro-- lection ; as one in the reign of Henry the Seventh, by which it was enacted, that if any person was con- victed of taking or destroying the eggs of a falcon, he should suffer iniprisonracnt for one year and a day, and be liable to a fine at the king's pleasure.

Hawks have been sold at very extravagant prices. At the commencement of the seventeenth century, a gos-hawk and a tassel-hawk were sold for one hundred marks ; and in the reign of James the First, Sir Thomas Morison is said to have given a thousand pounds for a cast, that is, a pair, of hawks.

The practice of hawking declined from the moment the musket was introduced in field sports, as it pointed out a mere ready and certain method of procuring game. The diversion it is probable would now have been extinct in this country, but for the celebrated Colonel Thornton, who has preserved, and sometimes exercised, this ancient pastime. In his " SportingTour to the Highlands," he gives an account of his having practised the sport there, to the great surprise and gratification of the people, who were unacquainted with it. " We rode," says he, " and the falconer attended with a cast and a half of hawks. I had long resisted the solicitations of Mr. D. to fly a hawk whenever we happened to mark in a poult near us, which was frequently the case. At length one came so near, that 1 could not deny him this breach of the law in a country which requires none. 1 consented. Determined to follow up the bird, a tercel was unhooded, and took a very handsome place, and killed his bird at the first flight. Having once broken the law, grown bolder in iniquity, as is


PASTIME. 2a

usually the case, we stuck at nothing, and had a very pleasant day's sport indeed ; for the hawks were ^vell broke in to ptarraigants, and flew well. We killed twenty-two birds, and had a most incomparable flight at a snipe, one of the best 1 ever saw, for full sixteen minutes. The falcon flew delightfully, but the snipe got into a small juniper bush near us, her only resource. I ordered the tercel to be leached down, and I took the other falcon, meaning at any rate that they should succeed with this snipe. When flushing it, I flew my falcon from the hood [a cap with which their liead is covered] ; the other was in a very good place, and on the falconer's head. A dreadful well main- tained flight they had, and many good buckles in the air. At length they brought her like a shot from the clouds, into the small juniper bush she had saved her- self in before, and close to which we were standing. Pluto [one of the pointers] soon stood it, and so closely, that I fortunately took it alive ; and throwing out a moor-poult to each falconer as a reward, and preventing by these means the two hawks from fighting for the snipe and carrying it away, we fed them up, delighted beyond measure at this noble flight. We minuted them very accurately both times when they took to the air, and the last flight was eleven minutes ; during which time, moderately speaking, they could not fly less than nine miles, besides an infinite number of buckles or turns."


TENNIS. Amongst the Romans, tennis was one of their most active amusements, not merely as a pastime for youth.


26 PERCY ANECDOTES.

but as the relaxation of tlie gravest, as well as the most distinguished, men. Suetonius, in his Life of Augustus, mentions it as one of the diversions of that prince. Valerius Maximus relates, that the cele- brated Jurist ScTBTola was in the habit of amusing himself with it after the fatigues of the forum ; and Plutarch observes, that the very day on which Cato of Utica lost his election to the dignity of Consul, he went as usual to the tennis court, although such days were usually passed in mourning by the unsuc- cessful candidates and their friends. Mjecenas is also mentioned as attached to this diversion. Pliny the younger also alludes to it with evident satisfac- tion ; and indeed it was so much in fashion, that few country houses were without a court attached to them for that purpose ; and in the city, the public courts were numerous. But the game does not appear to have been played, like modem tennis, with a raquet, but with the hand, which was furnished with a gaunt- Jet. The rules of the game were also different.


FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER. St. Foix, in his Essais Historiqnes sur Paris, men- tions a young woman of the name of Margot, who resided there, and pla^'ed at hand-tennis with the palm, and also with the back, of her hand, better than any other man ; and what is most surprising, is, that at that time the game was played with the naked hand, or at least with a double glove.


PASTIME. 27

THE FIRST OF MAY. " Hail! sacred thou to sacred joy.

To mirth and wine, sweet First of May I To sports, which no grave cares alloy.

The sprightly dance, the festive play."

BUCHANAN.

The first of May was dedicated by the Romans to one of the most pleasing and splendid festal rites. The houses were decked with garlands of flowers, and the day was devoted to pleasure ; the principal inhabitants going to Ostia, a pleasant town about six- teen miles from the capitol,in order to spend the time in greater festivity.

Some are of opinion, that the customs formerly ob- served in England on the first of ISIay, have rather been borrowed from our Gothic ancestors than from the Romans ; whether this may have been the case or not, they were certainly observed with equal spint. Shakespeare says, that it was impossible to make the people sleep on May morning ; and this eagerness

" To do observance to a morn of May," was not confined to any particular rank in society, but royal and noble personages, as well as the vulgar, went out a " Maying" early in the morning of the first of May. Chaucer says, on that day " fourth goeth all the court, both most and lest, to fetche the flouris fresh, and braunch and blome ;" and Stowe states, that " in the moneth of May, the citizens of London of ail estates, in every parish, or sometime two or three parishes adjoining together, had their several May- ings, and did fetch in may-poles, with divers war- 1) 2


^8 PERCY ANECDOTES,

like shows, with good archers, morris-dancers, and other devices for pastime all fhe day long ; and to- wards the evening they had stage plays, and bonfires in the streets."

King Henry the Eighth and Queen Katharine par- took of this diversion, and rode a Maying from Greenwich to the high ground at Shooter's Hill, ac- companied with many lords and ladies. Here the3'^ were received by a company of 200 tall yeomen all clothed in green, with green hoods and bows and ar- rows. One of them personating Robin Hood, as captain of the band, requested the king and all his company to stay and see his men shoot ; to which his majesty agreeing, Robin Hood whistled, and all the two hundred discharged their arrows at once, which they repeated on his whistling again. Their arrows had something placed in the heads of them which made them whistle as they flew, and altogether made a loud and uncommon noise. The gentleman who assumed the character of Robin Hood, then de- sired the kini: and queen, with their retinue, to enter the green wood, where, in arbours made with boughs intermixed with flowers, they were plentifully served with venison and wine by Robin Hood and his men.

About two years after this, an event happened which turned this day of rejoicing into one of sor- row, and led for a time to ttie entire suppression in London of the May games The citizens taking of- fence at the encouragement granted to foreigners, a priest named Bell was persuaded, to preach against them at the Spital church, and in a xery inflaming sermon, he invited tlie people to oppose the settlement of all strangers among tliem. Suddenly a rumour


PASTIME. 29

arose that on May day all the foreigners in London would be assassinated, and many of them sought their safety in flight. The circumstance coming to the knowledge of the king and council. Cardinal Wolsey sent for the Lord Mayor and several of the city council, and exhorted them in strong terms to use measures for the preservation of the peace. A court of common council was accordingly assembled at Guildhall, the evening before May day, in which it was resolved to order every man to shut up his doors, and keep his servants at home during the day. The order was communicated by each alderman to the inhabitants of his ward ; but when May morning came, it was found to have met with only a partial observance. As one of the aldermen was passing up Cheapside, he observed two young men at play, and many others looking at them: he seized the youths, in order to send them to the Compter, but they were soon rescued, and the cry raised of " Pren- tices ! Prentices ! Clubs! Clubs!" A great crowd instantly assembled ; the mayor and sheriffs made proclamation for their dispersion in the king's name, but to no purpose ; instead of obeying it, they broke open the houses of a number of foreigners, particu- larly Frenchmen, and continued plundering them till three next morning. As the multitude began then to scatter to their homes, the mayor and his attendants picked up about 400 of the stragglers, and committed them to the several prisons. While the riot lasted, the lieutenant of the tower fired several large pieces of ordnance into the city, but it is said without do- ing much mischief.

On the 4th of May a special commission was D 3


oO PERCY ANECDOTES.

opened at Guildliall, for the trial of the prisoners ; and to protect the proceeding from any interference on the part of the populace, the Duke of Norfolk brought into the cit^' a bod^' of 1300 men. On the 5th, thirteen persons were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered ; and on the 7th, several more were condemned to suffer the same fate. For the execution of the criminals, ten gibbets were erected in different parts of the city, and raised upon wheels, in order that they might be moved from street to street, and from door to door, the better to impress the whole population with the salutary terrors of the law. The dread day of punishment arrived ; one man was executed at Cheapside, and the rest were about to be turned off, when, to the great joy of many a weeping family, and of the populace at large, a respite arrived from his majesty, and the criminals were remanded to prison.

It was now resolved that the lord mayor, recorder, and aldermen, should wait upon the king, and solicit his forgiveness for the city. They went accordingly to his palace at Greenwich, all clothed in deep mourn- ing, but were allowed to wait a long time at the privy chamber door before his majesty would deign to give them audience. At last, the king, attended by a number of his nobles, came forth ; the city depu- tation fell immediately upon their knees, and the re- corder, in tlie name of the rest, begged in the most humble and submissive terms that his highness would forgive them for the unfortunate events of May day, and would have compassion on the offenders, whom lie represented " as a small number of light persons." Henry, in great anger, demanded why they had not


PASTIME. 31

attempted to fight with the otFenders, since tliey were such " a small number of light persons ?" No answer being given, his majesty proceeded to observe that they must have winked at the disorder, and that nothing could atone for their negligence ; saying which, he turned on his heel, and left the prostrate citizens in a state of inexpressible mortification.

A trial of pride still severer awaited the corpora- tiori. The king and court seemed resolved to make them undergo the most abject humiliation before re- storing them to favour. On the 22nd of May, the king held a court at Westminster Hall ; he sat at the upper end under a cloth of state, surrounded by a great many nobles, knights, and gentlemen. Car- dinal Wolsey announced to his majesty, that the lord mayor, aldermen, and common council of the city of London, were in wailing, and desired to lay them- selves at his majesty's feet. The deputation were then introduced by the lower end of the hall, and as they advanced, presented a truly melancholy spec- tacle. The chief magistrate and other dignitaries of the city were clothed in mourning gowns ; they were followed by the whole of the prisoners, amount- ing to about four hundred, stripped to their shirts, bound together with cords,and with halters round their necks ; and to add to the wretchedness of the latter part of the scene, eleven women were beheld among the number of the condemned. The whole falling on their knees, the recorder repeated the supplication which the corporation had before submitted to his ma- jesty. Cardinal Wolsey made answer in the name of the king. After severely rebuking the lord mayor, aldermen, and commonalty, for their neglect of duty,


32 PERCY ANECDOTES,

he told the prisoners, that for their offences against the laws of the realm, and against his majesty's crown and dignit3r, they richly merited death. At this, they all set up a cry of " Mercy, gracious lord, mercy I" The king seemed moved ; the nobles in- terceded ; and at last yielding to the sentiment of compassion which the spectacle before him was so deeply calculated to excite, Henry pronounced aloud his forgiveness of the city, and the pardon of the criminals ; who being immediately released from their bonds, threw up their halters in the air, crying, " God save the king !"

After this disgraceful affair, the May games fell for a time into disrepute ; but as time deprived the recollection of it of its bitterness, they were gradually revived, till in the reign of James the First, there was scarcely a village in the kingdom but had its appro- priate games and dances on May day.

In 1664, the long parliament issued an ordinance against May-poles, and they were all taken down. At the restoration, they were permitted to be erected again ; but the Puritans had by that time shorn the May game of its principal gloiies.

Strutt has given a very pleasing and accurate de- scription of the May games and morris-dance of Robin Hood, as they were in the fifteenth and six- teenth centuries.

Eight masqueraders in the most grotesque dresses, consisting of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Little John, the Fool, Tom the Piper, the Hobby- horse, and the Dragon, with from two to ten morris- dancers, or, in lieu of them, the same number of Robin Hood's men, in coats, hoods, and hose of green.


PASTIMR. 33

"vrith a painted pole in the centre, represented the most complete establishment of the May game.

In the front of the pavilion, a large square was staked out, and fenced with ropes, to prevent the crowd from pressing upon the performers, and interrupting the diversion : there were also two bars at the bottom of the inclosure, through which the actors might pass and repass, as occasion required.

Six young men first entered the square, clothed in jerkins of leather, with axes upon their shoulders like woodmen, and their heads bound with large garlands of ivy leaves intertwined with sprigs of hawthorn. Then followed six 3"0ung maidens of the village, dressed in blue kirtles, with garlands of primroses on their heads, leading a fine sleek cow, decorated with ribbons of various colours interspersed with flowers, and the horns of the animal were tij)ped with gold. These were succeeded b^' six foresters, equipped in green tunics, with hoods and hose of the same colour; each of them carried a bugle-horn attached to a bald- rick of silk ; which he sounded as he passed the bar; rier. After them, came Peter Lanaret, tlie baron's chief falconer, who personified Robin Hood : he was attired in a bright grass-green tunic, fringed with gold ; his hood and his hose were parti-coloured, blue and white ; he had a large garland of rose-buds on his head, a bow bent in his hand, a sheaf of arrows at his girdle, and a bugle horn depending from a baldrick of light blue tarantine, embroidered with silver ; he had also a sword and a dagger, the hilts of both being richly embossed with gold.

Fabian, a page, as Little John, walked at bis right


34 PERCY ANECDOTES,

hand ; and Cecil Cellerman, the butler, as Will. Stukelj^ at his left. These, with ten others of the jolly outlaw's attendants who followed, were habited in green garments, bearing their bows bent in their hands, and their arrows in their girdles. Then came two maidens, in orange-coloured kirtles with white courtpies, strewing flowers j followed immediately by the maid Marian, elegantly habited in a watchet- coloured tunic reaching to the ground ; over which she wore a white linen rochet with loose sleeves, fringed with silver, and very neatly plaited ; her girdle was of silver baudekin, fastened with a double bow on the left side ; her long flaxen hair was divided into many ringlets, and flowed upon her shoulders ; the top part of her head was covered with a net-work cawl of gold, upon which was placed a garland of silver, ornamented with blue violets. She was sup- ported by two bride maidens, in sky-coloured rochets girt with crimson girdles, wearing garlands upon their heads of blue and white violets. After them, came four other females in green courtpies, and gar- lands of violets and cowslips: then Sampson, the smith, as Friar Tuck, carrying a huge quarter-staff on his shoulder ; and Morris, the molctaker, who repre- sented Much, the miller's son, having a long pole with an inflated bladder attached to one end : and after them the May-pole, drawn by eight fine oxen, deco- rated with scarfs, ribbons, and flowers of divers co- lours J and the tips of their horns were embellished with gold. The rear was closed by the Hobby- horse and the Dragon.

When the May-pole was drawn into the square, the foresters sounded their horns, and the populace


PASTlMfi. 35

expressed tbeir pleasure by shouting incessantly until it reached the place assigned for its elevation ; and during the time the ground was preparing for its re- ception, the barriers of the bottom of the inclosure were opened for the villagers to approach, and adoru it with ribbons, garlands, and flowers, as their inclina- tion prompted them.

The pole being sufficiently burdened with finery, the square was cleared from such as had no part to perform in the pageant ; and then it was elevated amidst the reiterated acclamations of the spectators. The woodmen and the milk maidens danced around it according to the rustic fashion; the measure was played by Peretto Cheveritte, the baron's chief min- strel, on the bagpipes, accompanied with the pipe and tambour, performed by one of his associates. When the dance was finished, Gregory, the jester, who undertook to play the hobby-horse, came forward with his appropriate equipment, and, frisking up and down the square without restriction, imitated the galloping, curvetting, ambling, trotting, and other paces of a horse, to the infinite satisfaction of the lower classes of the spectators. He was followed by Peter Parker, the baron's ranger, who personated a dragon, hissing, yelling, and shaking his wings with wonderful ingenuity ; and to complete the mirth, Morris, in the character of Much, having small bells attached to his knees and elbows, capered here and there, between the two monsters, in the form of a dance ; and as often as he came near to the sides of the inclosure, he cast slily a handful of meal into the faces of the gaping rustics, or rapped them about their heads with the bladder tied at the end of his


36 I'ERCY ANECDOTES.

pole. In the mean time, Sampson, representing Friar Tuck, walked with much gravity around the square, and occasionally let fall his heavy staff upon the toes of such of tlie crowd as he thought were ap- proaching more forward than they ought to do ; and if the sufferers cried out from the sense of pain, he addressed them in a solemn tone of voice, advising them to count their beads, say a paternoster or two, and to beware of purgatory. These vagaries were highly palatable to the populace, who announced their delight by repeated plaudits, and loud bursts of laughter ; for this reason they were continued for a considerable length of time ; but Gregory, beginning at last to faulter in his paces, ordered the dragon to fall back ; the well-nurtured beast, being out of breath, readily obeyed, and their two companions followed their example; which concluded this part of the pastime.

The archers then set up a target at the lower part of the green, and made trial of their skill in a regular succession. Robin Hood and Will. Stukely excelled their comrades ; and both of them lodged an arrow in the centre circle of gold, so near to each other, that the difference could not readily be decided, which occasioned them to shoot again ; when Robin struck the gold a second time, and Stukely's arrow was affixed upon the edge of it. Robin was there- fore adjudged the conqueror ; and the prize of honour, a garland of laurel embellished with variegated ribbons, was put upon his head ; and to Stukely was given a garland of ivy, because he was the second best per- former in that contest.

The pageant was finished with the archery ; and


PASTIME. 37

the procession began to move awa^, to make room for the villagers, who afterwards assembled in the square, and amused themselves by dancing round the May pole, in promiscuous companies, according to tlie ancient custom.

Strutt mentions another custom observed on this day, which was kept up even in his time ; that of the milk maids dressing themselves very gaily, and bor- rowing abundance of silver plate, whereof they made a pyramid, which they adorned with ribbons and flo\vers, and carried it upon their heads, instead of their common pails. They were accompanied by some of their fellow milk maids, and with a bagpipe or fiddle, they went from door to door, and danced before the houses of their customers.

All the ancient May day customs are entirely in disuse in London ; but in some parts of the North of England the first of May is still a festival, and some of the honours of the May game are still retained.


THE CITY COMMON-HUNT.

The citizens of London were formerly permitted to hunt and hawk in certain districts ; and one of the clauses in the royal charter granted to them by Henry the First, says, that they " may have chases, and hunt as well and as fully as their ancestors have had; that is to say, in the Chiltre, in Middlesex, and Surrey." Fitzstephen, who wrote in the reign of Henry the Second, says, that the Londoners delight themselves with hawks and hounds, for they have the liberty of hunting in Middlesex, Hertfordshire, all Chilton, and


38 PERCY ANECDOTES.

in Kent, to the waters of Grey, wliicli extends the limits far beyond the words of the charter. These exercises were not much followed by the citizens at the close of the sixteenth century, " Not," says Stowe, " for want of taste for the amusement, but for want of leisure to pursue it." Strype, however, so late as the reign of George the First, mentions among the modern amusements of the Londoners, " Riding on horseback, and hunting with my lord mayor's hounds, when the common hunt goes out."

This common hunt of the citizens, the only relic of which is in the Easter hunt at Epping, is thus ridi- culed in an old ballad in D'Urfcy's " Pills to Purge Melancholy," called the London Cust07nsi which shews that of old, as now, cockney sporting was not held in the highest estimation.

Next once a year into Essex they go ;

To see them pass along, O 'tis a most pretty shew ;

Through Cheapside and Fenchurch-street, and so to Aldgate pump.

Each man with 's spurs in horse's sides, and his back- sword 'cross his rump.

My lord he takes a staff in hand, to beat the bushes o'er; I must confess it was a work he ne'er had done before : A creature bounceth from a bush, which made them

all to laugh; My lord, he cried, a hare ! a hare! but it proved an

Essea- calf.

And when they had done their sport, they came to

London, where they dwell, Their faces all so torn and scratch'd, their wives

scarce knew them well ;


PASTIME. 39

For 'twas a very great tnercy so many 'scap'd alive, For of twenty saddles carried out, they brought again but five.


LONDON ARCHERS.

Among the variety of pastimes used by the citizens of London in ancient times, none seems to have been so much in favour as archer^', and the fields extending from the city walls to Islington and Hoxton were kept in common for that purpose. In 1365, King Edward the Third commanded the Sheriffs of London to make proclamation, that " every one of the said cit3', strong in body, at leisure times or holidays, should use in their recreations bows and arrows, or pellets, or bolts, and learn and exercise the art of shooting ; forbidding all and singular in our behalf, that they do not after any manner apply themselves to the throwing of stones, hand ball, foot ball, bandy ball, lambuck, or cock fighting, nor such other like vain plays, which have no profit in them."

In the reign of Henry VUI., the fields in the neighbourhood of Loudon had become so enclosed with hedges and ditches, that the citizens could neither shoot, nor even walk in them. This so grieved the Londoners, that in the sixth year of that kuig's reign, " A great number of the city," says Hall, " assembled themselves in a morning, and a turner, in a fool's coat, came crying through the city, shovels and spades '. shovels and spades! So many of the people followed, that it was wonder to behold ; and within a short space, all the hedges about the city were cast down,


40 PERCY ANECDOTES.

and the ditches filled up, and every thing made plain, such was the diligence of these workmen."

On the 17th of September, 1583, the London archers, to the number of three thousand, each with a long bow and four arrows, marched to a place near Shoreditch, called Hogsden fields, where a tent was pitched for the chief citizens. The exercise lasted two days ; and on the evening of the second day, the victors were led off the field, mounted on Jiorses, and attended by two hundred persons, each witli a lighted torch in his hand.

On the 21st of INIarch, 1661, four hundred archers inarched with flying colours to Hyde Park, where several of the archers with cross bows shot near twenty score yards ; and some of them hit the mark at that very great distance. There were likewise three showers of whistling arrows, and so splendid was the appearance, and the exercise so pleasing, that three regiments of foot laid down their arms, to join the spectators.

In the year 1675, three hundred and fifty archers, most richly habited, assembled in Moorfields, to com- pliment Sir Robert Viner, then lord mayor ; and on the 26th of May following, the London archers, to the number of a thousand, liad afield day in the presence of tlie king, the Dukes of York and Monmouth, and most of the nobility. Tlie London archers after- wards merged into the Artillery Company, who enjoy many of their privileges. About forty years ago, an attempt was made to revive the London archers, but it met with little encouragement.


PASTIME. 41

DUKE OF SHORED ITCH.[edit]

In a splendid shooting match at Windsor, before Henry the Eighth, when the exercise was nearly over, his majesty observing one of his guard, named Barlow, preparing to shoot, said to him, " beat them all, and thou shalt be Duke of Archers." Barlow drew his bow, executed the king's command, and received the promised reward ; being created Duke of Shoreditch, that being the place of his residence. Several others of the most expert marksmen were honoured with titles, as Earl of Pancridge, Marquess of Cierkenwell, &c. taken from the villages wljere they resided. The title of Duke of Shoreditch, descended for several generations with the captainship of the Loudon archers.


NUBIAN DRAUGHTS.

A favourite pastime of the negro Arabs in Nubia, and which is also known among the Arabs of Upper Egyjtt, is the Syredje, a kind uf draughts. It is played upon sandy ground, on which they trace with the fingers, chequers of forty-nine squares. The pieces with which they play, are on one side round balls of camel's dung picked up in the street, and on the other tliose of goats. It is an intricate game, and requires great attention ; the object is to take all the antagonist's pieces, but the rules are very ditlerent fcomthose of the Polish draughts. The people (says M. Burckhardt) are uncommonly fond of this game, two persons seldom sitting down together, without imme- E o


42 PERCY ANECDOTES.

diately beginning to draw squares in the sand. The Mek himself will play with the lowest slave, if the latter is reputed a good player. If a bystander assists one of the party with his advice, it gives no oiFence to the other ; sometimes they play for a gourd of Bouza, but not usually.


DESPERATE FOX CHASE.

"A chosen few alone the sport enjoy, Nor sink beneath the drooping toil."

SOMKRVILLE.

On the 4th of December, 1809, Colonel Eyres' fox hounds had a remarkable run of an hour and fifty minutes, during which time, they traversed twenty- eight miles of tlie f^iirest portion of tliC district of Lower Ormond, in Ireland. " 1 was on the earth," ?;iys line of the party, in a spirited narrative of the (!>.>'< bpoit, " a little after eight; it was rising groimd, and as tlie dawn broke, it was cheering to behold the fox hunters faitiifully approaching from distant direc- tions, and as they all closed to the point of destination, the pack, ' in all its beauty's pride,' appeared on the brow of the hill.


  • O what a charming scene !


When all around was gay ; men, horses, dogs. And in each cheerful countenance was seen. Fresh blooming health and never-fading joy.'

" The taking his drag from the earth, was brilliant beyond common fortune. Like a train, which runs oft" in a blaze, they hardly touched it, till they were


PASTIME. 43

out of sight. Madman, that unerring fintler, pro- claimed the joyful tidings ; each fox-hound gave credit to the welcome information, and they went away in a crash ; it was a perfect tumult in Mr. Neustad's garden; there Reynard was found, and he ■went olF at his brush.

' Where are your disappointments, wrongs, vexations,

sickness, cares ? All, all are fled, and, with the panting winds, lag far

behind.'

" In skirting a small covert, in the first mile, we divided on a fresh fox ; it was a moment of import- ance, nothing but prompt, vigorous, and general exer- tion, could repair the misfortune ; it was decisive, and he now faced the commons of Carney. Broad and deep was the bound's drain, but what can stop fox hunters ? The line had been maintained by five couple of hounds ; they crossed the road, and finding them- selves on the extensive sod of the common, they began to go ' the pace.' A scene now presented itself, which nothing but a fox-hunter could appreciate, for its beauty was not discernable to the common and inexperienced eye. At this period the chase became a complete split. The hounds, which had changed, and had now, from dilFerent directions, gained the commons, could not venture to run in on the five couple without decidedly losing ground, and to main- tain it, instinct directed them to run on credit, and, flanking the five couple, the whole pack formed a chain of upwards of 200 yards in breast across the commons ; but as the chase varied through the hollows and windings of tliis beautiful surface, the hounds


44 PERCY ANECDOTES.

on the wings in turn took up the line, and main- tained their stations as others had done; so well was this pack raatclied. Here vve crossed walls that \m common occasions would have been serious ob- stacles. The second huntsman, on a young horse, following Lord Rossraore, called out, ' What's at the other side, my lord ?' ' 1 am, thank God,' was the answer. In disappearing from the commons of Carney, the pack was hunting so greedily, that you'd think every dog was hitting. Like an arrow, he now passed along by Carrig-a-gown, for the woods of Peterfield, in the teeth of the most desperate storm I ever witnessed, of rain, hail, and wind ! Distress was now evident in the field, for notwithstanding the violence of the gale, ' the pace' was still main- tained, and as the fox hounds approached the covert, I thought they had got wings. This was the most desperate part of the chase — to choose a leap, was to be thrown out — the rain beat violently — with diffi- culty we could liold our bridles ; the boughs gave way to the storm, the light infantry were flying at him, and the crash was dreadful. The earths in the neigh- bourhood of Peterfield were open, but Reynard scorned the advantage, and gallantly broke amain ; he now made for the river Shannon.

' Where will the chase lead us bewildered ?'

"Some object afterwards changed his direction, and away with him to Claprior. He crossed the great drain of the lough, and here we left young Burton Perse sticking (who had come 'all the way from Gall- a-way,' lo enjoy a regular cold bath) he went down


PASTIME. 45

tail foremost, and no 'blame to him.' There was no time for ceremony ; but Tony, who knew the depth of the bath well, took his leave of him, roaring out, 'I'll never sec your sweet face again.' 'By G — ,' saj's the colonel, * you were never more mistaken ; I never saw him more regularly at home in my life ; he's used to this, man !' and truth requires me to state, that he joined us again, and before and after the bath, he rode a capital pace. And many was the mile we had still to go, for Reynard seemed little to re- gard us, and holding his head straight, he crossed like lightning by the old castle of Arcrony, famous in the annals of hunting, and all over its beautiful grounds, and over the great bound's drain into Coolagh- goran again ; for poor Reynard had cast a forlorn look towards home at last. There was now a dis- position to give him his life ; but what could we do ? Old Winner was at his brush — his majesty's guards could not have saved him !

"In running in, Messrs. Fitzgibbon and H. West- enra took a most sporting leap. A gentleman of jockey weight, but who rode well through the chase, wishing no doubt to show us the length of his neck, ' craned at it,' swore it was the ugliest place in Europe, and that a flock of sheep might be regularly hid in it. There was a very numerous field at finding. George Jackson rode, as usual, with the hounds ; as did Lord Rossmore, Colonel Eyre, Messrs. Fitzgibbon, Henry Westenra, Richard Faulkner, and Burton Perse.

" Thus ended the most desperate fox-chase ever recorded ; desperate from its length, desperate from the pace kept up, and desperate from the storm that raged for nearly the last hour, and in the very teeth


46 PERCY ANECDOTES.

of which Reynard ran ; with the exception of one

short check, the chase was maintained with fury

throughout.

" There have been longer chases, but no fox was ever killed in such stile j \t was a view halloo for the last two miles."


FOX HUNTING ENTHUSIASM.

In a fox chase in Ireland, by the Boyne hounds, in 1810, Reynard being severely pressed, " mounted the high and craggy rocks which overhung the ocean, and gallantly plunged into the waves beneath ; the 1)ounds caught the view, and rushed after him ; the sportsmen now approached, enveloped in smoke, their horses covered with foam ; never was there seen more determined and desperate riding; they moved like a whirlwind ; the enthusiasm of hunting had reached its highest pitch ; a noble struggle for precedency commenced to save the fox. Lynch, the huntsman who first arrived, dashed from the precipice into the sea; like an electric shock, the impulse seized the Imntcrs as* they came up ; quick — quick they fol- lowed his example." The fox was rescued, and every sportsman safely gained the shore. Thus ended a shar]) chase of eighteen miles, which was run in a hour and eighteen minutes.

STAG HUNTING ON THE LAKE OF KILLARNEY.

Nothing, to a true sportsman, can equal the spirit and elevating joy of a stag hunt on the lake of Kil-


PASTIME. ^7

larney. This may appear a sort of Hiberaicism, but it is, in truth, plain English ; for it is positively a hunt upon the water ; the gentlemen who join the sport, being generally in boats on the lake from the begin- ning to the end of the chase.

The stag is roused by hounds and by people on foot, from the woods that skirt the lake, where it runs wild, like the deer of the American forests. Horses are here made no use of, for they would be of no service. The shores of the lake are composed of immense mountains, rising abruptly from the water, and covered with thick woods. The stag rarely attempts to ascend these heights ; and when driven from its sylvan covert, flies almost invariably to the lake. The plan therefore for a person to enjoy the diversion best, and with less fatigue, is in a boat on the water. Here the cry of the hounds, the harmony of the horns resounding from the hills on every side, the shouts of joy along the valleys and from the sides of the mountains, which are usually lined with the peasantry of the country, who sally forth in great numbers, and go through infinite labour to partake and assist at the diversions, re-echoing from hill to hill, from rock to rock, inspire as lively a pleasure as the imagination can conceive to arise from the chase.

The stag at last exhausted by the hot pursuit, wearied with the constant difficulty of making way with his lofty antlers through the woods that every way oppose his flight — with the terrifying cry of his open-mouthed pursuers at his heels, and alraostwithin sight ; in the few critical moments which he now has to consult for his safety, he looks towards the lake as bis only asylum, preferring drowning to being torn in


48 PERCY AlvECDOTES.

pieces hy his merciless enemies. Once more lie looks upwards, but the hills are insurmountable ; and the woods, so lately his favourite friends, now refuse him shelter ; and as if in league with his inveterate foes, every way deny him a passage. A. moment longer he stops ; looks back ; sees his destruction inevitable ; the blood-hounds are at his heels; he hears yelling with redoubled fury at the sight of their destined victim. The choice must be instantly made ; with tears of desperation he plunges into the lake. But, alas ! his fate is fixed ; his thread cut asunder ; he escapes but for a few minutes from one merciless enemy, to fall into the hands of another equally un- compassionate and relentless. His antlers are his ruin — the shouting boatmen surround the unhappy swimmer in his way to the nearest island ; they halter him; drag him into their boat, and then land with him in triumph. He dies an undeserved death. His spirit flies into the devil's punch bowl (a very deep part of the lake,) his flesh goes into a pasty, and thus ends our stag hunt.

A LONG RUN.

The most remarkable instance of the undeviating perseverance of a fox hound on record, occurred in Scotland in 1808, near Dunkeld. On the 8th of June, a fox and a hound were seen on the high road proceeding at a slow trotting pace A countryman very easily caught the fox by running, and both the fox and the dog were taken to a gentleman's house in the neighbourhood, where the fox died. It was afterwards ascertained that the hound belonged to the


PASTIME. 49

Duke of Gordon, and that the fox was started on the morning of the king's birth day, on the top of the hills called Monaliadh, which separates Badenoch from Fort Augustus. From this it appeared that the chase lasted four days, and that the distance travelled from the place where the fox was unkenneled, to the spot were it was caught, without making any allow- ance for doubles or crosses, and as the crow flies, exceeded seventy miles.

CROSSING THE LINE.

"When the decreasing degrees of latitude announce an Indiaraan's approach to the equator, it is amusing to remark the satisfaction with which all the crew, (those only excepted who have not crossed it before), prepare for the celebrated naval pastime of Neptune's welcome. Should it be night when the imaginary line is passed, Neptune only hails the ship at the moment ; that is to say, a person, generally the boat- swain, habited to represent Neptune, pretends to rise from the sea, and calling through a trumpet, de- sires to know what ship it is that dares to intrude upon his dominions ? The officer of the watch imme- diately answers through another trumpet, that it is the good ship , which having many of his visit- ors on board (who are, however, sadly in want of shaving), entreats a favourable voyage. The reply returned is, that his majesty will visit the ship early in the morning. Accordingly he arrives in a trium- phal car supported by his attendants. It draws up before the cuddy door, when his majesty having de- livered a speech to the ladies, signifying his will that


60 PERCY ANJiCDOTES.

they shall be excused the operation of shaving, he retires, and the ceremony for the initiation of the male strangers commences. All who have not crossed the line before, are compelled to remain below till called for, when condncted by two of Neptune's at- tendants, (or as they are termed, constables) with a handkerchief tied across your eyes, you are led by these people to his serene majesty ; who after enquir- ing whence you come ? for what purpose you are proceeding to India? and a few other equally trivial questions, desires his barber to do his duty. Being accordingly seated on a board, placed across a large tub full of water, Mr. Strap suddenly besmears your mouth and chin with a quantum, sufficit of tar ; and then pretends to shave it off with a piece of an iron hoop, notched as a saw. The rough operation being finished, the board on which you sit is dexterously slipped from under you, and you are plunged head and heels into the tub, from which having emerged as well as you can, the handkerchief is taken from your eyes, and you are saluted on all sides with tubs of water by those who have crossed before, and who enjoying the fun, are mostly stationed on the poop for the express purpose. The ducking is continued until you seize a tub, and pelt again in your own de- fence. Thus ends this absurd and ridiculous cere- mony, which, without the intervention of the captain, no passenger to India, should he not have previously crossed the line, can possibly avoid.


PASTIME. 51


ELEPHANT CATCHING.

In February, 1819, about three thousand persons were assembled in a place of rendezvous on the skirts of a jungle in India, in order to catch elephants. The haunts of several having been ascertained, a line of circumvallation was formed by the people, who were provided with fire arms, tom-toms, 6cc. The line ex- tended for several miles, each end reached a chain of hills, the passes through which had been previously stopped and guarded by parties of matchlock men. The object of this line was to drive the elephants to- wards a particular narrow place surrounded with steep hills, and in which there was abundance of food and water for several days. This, however, was not an easy task, as the elephants frequently attempted to force the lines, and get off to the eastward ; but the line gradually closed on them, and after halting every night, and keeping up large fires, after ten days labour, they succeeded in driving them into the preserve, where they were surrounded, and kept in for several daj^s. In the meantime, at the debouche of this pass, several hundred people were busily em- ployed digging a deep ditch, enclosing about a quar- ter of a mile of ground, leaving only the space of a few yards as an entrance untouched. On the outside of the ditch, a matting of branches was placed to give it a formidable and impassable appearance; and green bushes were placed at the entrance to give it as much as possible the appearance of a jungle. When all this was completed, the people were removed from p 2


52 PERCY ANECDOTES,

that place, and those at tlie other end commenced firing, shouting, and making as much noise as possible with drums and horns, which so intimidated the elephants, that they made the best of their way to the opposite end ; and the people following close, with the assist- ance of a few rockets, drove them straight into the enclosure, where the remaining part was dug away and the ditch completed. People were imme- diately posted round the outside of the ditch, armed with long spears and matchlocks, to repel any at- tempt the elephants might make to cross it.

Next da^' eight tame elephants were introduced into the enclosure ; the Mahouts couched close on their necks covered with dark cloths. The object of the tame ones was to separate one of the wild ones from the herd and mob him. When this was accom- plished, four Kut Mahouts, whose profession is to catch elephants, crept between the legs of the tame ones, and having fastened strong ropes to the legs of the wild fellow, secured him to the nearest tree. Tlie Kut Mahouts then retired towards the ditch, and the tame elephants leaving the captive to his struggles, went after others.

In this way twenty-three elephants were captured in six days, without the parties engaged meeting with the slightest accident, to the great amusement of the spectators, who perched on trees overhanging the enclosure, witnessed the sport without sharing in the danger. The sagacity of the tame elephants ; the address and courage of the Mahouts in approaching the wild ones ; the anxious moments which passed from the cast of the first rope until the last band was tied ; the rage of the aninmls upon finding themselves


PASTIME. 53

entrapped, and their astonishing exertions to get free, alForded altogether a scene of no ordinary' novelty and interest.


TIGER FIGHT.

In India, tiger fights are by no means unfrequent. A square of fifty feet is fenced ofl' with bamboo lat- tice work, several feet high, in order to prevent tlie animal from leaping among the people, which has sometimes taken place. The tiger is placed in a cage on one side of the square, and an immense crowd of spectators usually assemble outside the fence, impatiently waiting for the fight. Upon a given signal, the tiger is driven into the area by fire- works. In a combat of this sort described by a recent traveller, a buffalo was first let in against the tiger; both animals appeared equally reluctant to engage, and watched each other most attentively. The tiger was again compelled to move by the fire- works, and the buffalo advanced two or three steps, on which the tiger again crouched. A dog was next thrown in, but the tiger seemed unwilling to attack even him. An elephant was next sent into the square, when the tiger retreating, uttered a cry of terror, and in despair he attempted to leap over the fence, but failed. The elephant approaching by direction of his rider, attempted to throw himself on his knees upon the tiger, but he avoided this danger. The elephant in his turn became alarmed, and no exertion of his rider could induce him to repeat the attack ; but ad- F 3


54 PERCY ANECDOTES.

vancing to the gate, he soon made a passage through it, to the terror of the spectators. The poor tiger, however, lay panting on the ground, without attempt- ing to profit by the opportunity to escape. A second elephant was now turned in, but he proved as unsuc- cessful as the former one. The tiger at length facing his adversary, sprung upon his forehead, where he hung for some seconds, till the elephant collecting all his might, with one violent jerk dashed him to the ground, where he lay unable to rise. The conqueror was satisfied with his victory, and turning quickly round, he rushed towards the fence with his tusks lifted up, and raised the whole frame work, together with some persons who had climbed upon it. A scene of terror and confusion no.vv followed not to be described ; the elephant, however, made his way through without injuring any person, and the tiger was too much exhausted to follow him.


GRAND INDIAN HUNTING PARTY.

The following interesting account of a grand plea- sure excursion in the year 1793, by the Nawab Usuf- ad-Dowlah of Lucknow, is from the pen of an English officer who attended his Excellency. The sports of the field were never perhaps pursued on a scale of greater magnificence.

" We left Lucknow on the 4th of October, and directed our course towards Baraech ; our kafcla, or party, consisted of about 40,000 men and 20,000 beasts ; composed of 10,000 soldiers, 100 cavalry, and nearly 150 pieces of cannon ; 1500 elephants, 3000 carts or hackeries, and an innumerable train


PASTIME. 56

of camels, horses, and bullocks ; great numbers of rutts or covered carriages for women, drawn by oxen, which were filled with the Nawab's ladies ; many large and small boats carried on carts drawn by fifty, forty, and thirty oxen each ; tigers, leopards, and hawks ; fighting cocks, fighting quails, and night- ingales ; pigeons, dancing women and boys ; singers, players, buffoons, and mountebanks. In short, his Excellency had every thing, every object, which could please or surprise, attract admiration, fire with wonder, or convulse with laughter. About 500 coolies or porters were employed to carry his shootmg apparatus, guns, powder, shot, &;c. ; he had above one thousand double barrelled guns, the finest that Manton and Nock could make, single barrels, pistols, swords, and spears, innu- merable.

" Religion constrained him to stop some days at Baraech, to pay homage at the tomb of a celebrated saint named Salar Gazee. From Baraech we pro- ceeded towards Naupara, a small town in the first range of mountains commonly called the Common Hills, which extended from the eastern extremity of Bootan to Hurdwar, and divide Hindostan from Tibet and Nepal. Game of all sorts was destroyed every morning and evening, without number or distinction. His Excellency is one of the best marksmen I ever saw; it would be strange if he were not, as one day with another he fires above one hundred shots at every species of birds and animals. The first tiger we saw and killed was in the mountains ; we went to attack him about noon ; he was in a nan'ow valley, which the Nawab surrounded with about two hundred elephants ; we heard him growl honibly in a thick


56 PERCY ANECDOTES.

bush in the middle of the valley ; being accustomed to the sport, and very eager, I pushed in my elephant ; the fierce beast charged me instantly ; the elephant, a timid animal, turned tail, and deprived me of the opportunity to fire. I ventured again, attended by two or three other elepliants ; the tiger made a spring, and nearly reached the back of one of the elephants, on which were three or four men ; the elephant shook liiraself so forcibly, as to throw these men off his back ; they tumbled into the bush ; I gave thera up for lost, but was agreeably surprised to see thera creep out unhurt. His Excellency was all this time on a rising ground near the thicket, looking on calmly, and beckoning on me to drive the tiger towards him. I made another attempt, and with more success ; he darted out towards me on my approach, roaring furiously, and lashing his sides with his tail ; I luckily got a shot, and hit him ; he retreated into the bush, but ten or twelve elephants just tben pushing forward, alarmed the tiger, and obliged him to run out towards the Nawab, who instantly gave him a warm reception; and with the assistance of some of his Omras or lords, laid the tiger sprawling on his side. A loud shout of wha! wha ! proclaimed the victory.

" On elephants, there is no danger in encountering these savage beasts. I have been at the killing of above thirty tigers, and seldom saw any one hurt.

" The next sport we had of any magnitude, was the attack on a wild elephant, which we met a few days after the battle with the tiger. We espied him on a large plain overgrown with grass ; the Nawab eager for such diversions, immediately formed a semi-circle


PASTIME. 57

with four hundred elephants, who were directed to advance and encircle hira. When we got within three hundred yards of the wild elephant, he looked amazed, but not frightened ; two large viust elephants (ele phants in high rut, when they are usually bold and savage) were ordered to advance against him. When they approached witliin twenty yards, he charged them j the shock was dreadful ; however, the wild one con- quered, and drove the must elephants before him. As he passed us, the Nawab ordered some of the strongest female elephants with thick ropes to go along side of him, and endeavour to entangle him with nooses and running knots ; the attempt was vain, as he snapped every rope, and none of the tame elephants could stop his progress. The Nawab perceiving it impossible to catch him, ordered his death, and immediately a volley of above a hundred shots were fired. Many of the balls hit hira, but he seemed unconcerned, and moved on towards the mountains. We kept up an incessant fire for nearly half an hour ; the Nawab and most of his Omras used rifles which carried two or three ounce balls, but tliey made very little impression ; the balls just entered theskin, and lodged there. I went up repeatedly, being mounted on a female elephant, within ten yards of the wild one, and fired my rifle at his head ; the blood gushed out, but the skull was invul- nerable. Some of the Khandahar horse galloped up to the wild elephant, and made cuts at hira with their sabres ; he charged the horsemen, wounded some, and killed others. Being now much exhausted with the loss of blood, having received above three thousand shots, and raany strokes of the sabre, he slackened his pace, quite calm and serene, as if determined to


68 PERCY ANECDOTES.

meet his approaching end. I could not at this time refrain from pit^'ing so noble an animal. The horse- men seeing him weak and slow, dismounted, and with their swords began a furious attack on the tendons of his hind legs ; they were soon cut ; unable to proceed, he staggered, and fell without a groan. The hatchet- raen now advanced, and commenced an attack on his large ivory tusks, whilst the horsemen and soldiers with barbarous insult began a cruel assault to try the sharpness of their swords, display the strength of their arm, and show their invincible courage. The siglit was very affecting ; he still breathed, and breathed without a groan; he rolled his eyes with anguish on the surrounding crowd, and making a last effort to rise, expired with a sigh. The Nawab re- turned to his tents, as much flushed with vanity and exultation as Achilles, and the remainder of the day, and many a day after, were dedicated to repeated narrations of this victory, which was ornamented and magnified by all the combined powers of ingenious flattery and unbounded exaggeration.

Sootli'd with the sound, the prince grew vain ;

Fought all his battles o'er again ; And thrice he routed all his foes ; and thrice he slew

the slain.

"From the mountains, wedirectcd our course towards Buckra Jeal, where we arrived on the 4th of Decem- ber. Buckra Jeal is a large lake, about three rniles in circumference at its most contracted size in Ihe dry season, and about thirty miles in its extensive period the rainy season; surrounded by thick and high grass at the foot of the Gorraekpoor hills ; the


PASTIME. 59

jungle or wild wbich entwines the lake, is full of wild elephants, rhinoceroses, deer, and every species of aerial game. This was the place destined for the grand hunt, which we were daily taught to expect with pleasing anxiety by the florid descriptions of his Excellency. On the fifth of December, early in the morning, we were summoned to the sylvan war. A line of 1200 elephants was drawn up on the north of the lake facing to the east ; and we proceeded rapidly through the high grass, with minds glowing with the expectation of the grand sport we should meet. Lay down your pipes, ye country squires, who boast in such pompous language the destruction of a poor Reynard or puss ; and say in what terms you could convey an idea of the scene I saw, and now en- deavour to describe ! When we had arrived at the eastern extremity of the lake, we perceived a large flock of wild elephants feeding and gamboling at the foot of the mountains; I counted above 170. At this moment Mr. Conway, a gentleman in the Nawab's service, fell off" his elephant, owing to the animal's stepping his fore foot into a concealed hole ; Mr. Conway was much bruised, pale, and almost senseless ; the Nawab stopped to put him into a palankeen, and sent him back to the encampment. This gave the wild elephants time to gaze on our dreadful front, and recover from their amazement ; many of them scam- pered off towards the hills. The Nawab divided our line of 1200 elephants into four bodies, and sent them in pursuit of the wild ones, which they w ere to take or destroy. 1 kept with the division attached to the Nawab. The scene which ensued it is impossible to describe. The confusion, tumult, noise, firing,


GO PERCY ANECDOTES.

shrieking, and roaring of 1200 tame elephants, attacking and attacked by 170 wild ones, all * iu terrible disorder tossed,' formed a dreadful melange, which cannot be imagined by the most luxuriant fancj^. There were above 10,000 shots fired from all quarters, and considering the confusion, I am surprised the scene was not more bloody on our side. About twenty men were killed and wounded, and near half a dozen horses. Many of our tame elephants, which were must, and brought to oppose the wild ones, were knocked down, bruised, pierced, and made to fly. The largest elephant we killed, was above ten feet high, (few taller are ever found) and would have sold for twenty thousand rupees if he had been caught. The four divisions caught at length twenty-one ele- phants, which we led to our encampment in high triumph. Their worth might be estimated at about 50,000 rupees ; but amusement, and not gain, was our object.

" From Buckra Jeal we came to Faizabad, where we reposed for three weeks, to recover from the great fatigue we had undergone ; after a gay scene of every species of oriental amusement and festive dissipation, we returned to Lucknow, having killed in our ex- cursion eight tigers and six elephants ; taken twenty- one elephants captive ; and destroyed other sorts of game to an amount which defies enumeration."


WRESTLING.

The art of wrestling, which made a considerable figure in the Olympic Games, and in the ages of chi- valry, was accounted one of the accomplishments


PASTIME. Cl

which a hero ought to possess, is now chiefly confined to the lower classes of society. The citizens of Lon- don, who formerly took the lead in manly sports, are said to have been expert in wrestling ; and annually upon St. James's day, they made a public trial of their skill. In the sixth year of the reign of Henry the Third, they held their anniversary meeting for this purpose near the hospital of St. Matilda, St. Giles in the Fields, where they were met by the inhabi- tants of the city and suburbs of Westminster, and a ram was appointed for the prize, which was cus- tomary in those days, as we learn from Chaucer. The Londoners were victorious, having greatly excelled their antagonists, which produced a challenge from the conquered party to renew the contest upon the Lammas day following, at Westminster. The citizens of London readily accepted the challenge, and met them at the time appointed ; but in the midst of the diversion, the Bailiff of Westminster and his associates took occasion to quarrel with the Londoners •, a battle ensued, and many of the latter were severely wounded in making their retreat to the city. This unjustifiable quarrel of the bailiff gave rise to a more serious tu- mult, and it was several days before peace could be restored,

Stowe relates, that it was the custom formerly aboat the feast of St. Bartholomew, for the lord mayor, al- dermen, and sheriffs to repair to Clerkenwell, where a large tent was placed, and several days were spent in the pastime of wrestling ; " where the officers of the city, namely, the sheriffs, Serjeants, and yeomen, and others of the city, were challengers of all men in the suburbs, to wrestle for games appointed j and on


62 PERCY ANECDOTES,

other days, before the said mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs in finsbury-field, to shoot the standard broad arrow and flight, for games."

SKATING.

Although the ancients excelled in most athletic sports, yet skating seems to have been unknown to them. It is not known when it made its appearance in England, but it is most probable, that as at present exercised, it was brought from the Low Countries, where it is said to have originated, and is much prac- tised by all ranks of both sexes. The editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica tell us, that Edinburgh has produced more instances of elegant skaters than per- haps any other country whatever ; those, however, who have witnessed the rapidity and the dexterous evolutions of the London skaters, will be somewhat unwilling to yield the palm to Edinburgh. " I have seen," says Strutt, " when the Serpentine River, in Hyde Park, was frozen over, four gentlemen there dance, if I may be allowed the expression, a double minuet in skates, with as much ease, and, I tliink, .with more elegance, than in a ball-room ; others again by turning and winding with great adroitness, have readily in succession described upon the ice, the form of all the letters in the alphabet." It is this very adroitness, however, which forms the exception to the London style of skating ; it wants that bold sweep which is an essential requisite of gracefulness in this agreeable recreation. The Edinburgh editors allow that the English arc " remarkable for their feats of agility," and ascribe their deficiency in grace partly


PASTIME. 63

to the construction of their skates. " They are too much curved, it is said, in the surface wliich embraces the ice, consequently tliey invohnitarily bring the users of them round on the outside upon a quick and small circle ; whereas the skater by using skates less curved, has the command of his stroke, and can en- large or diminish the circle, according to his own wish and desire.

In America, as well as in Holland, skating is chiefly practised as an expeditious mode of travelling, when the rivers, canals, and lakes, are frozen up during winter, and celerity is there the great point aimed at. The expedition with which journeys may be made in this way, is extraordinary. A late Boston Gazette says, " Four young gentlemen belonging to Boston, travelled on skates a distance of nine miles in twenty- seven minutes, being at the rate of twenty miles in an hour. Let any one in the world beat this if they can /" The challenge was made with good reason ; but great as was the feat, it was, if not surpassed, at least fully equalled, by a subsequent achievement of an English skater, who performed a mile in less than three minutes. The English performance was for a match of one hundred guineas. The skater was a countryman of the name of Githani, living in the neighbourhood of the Cambridgeshire fens. He started a few seconds before the time, and came up to the scratch at the moment appointed, and per- formed the distance in seven seconds within the three minutes.

Such speed is marvellous even when compared with that of the first race horses. The Beacon course at Newmarket, is four miles round, and is rarely pei- 2


64 PERCY ANECDOTES,

formed in less than seven minutes, fifteen or t^venty se- conds. Tlie Flying Childers, indeed, for a considerable wager, being pvit to his utmost speed from the moment of starting, accomplished it in five minutes and seven- teen seconds ; a rate of speed more than double that of the swiftest skating ever known.

UNIVERSITY EXERCISES.

By the original constitution, or laws and customs of the university of St. Andrews, provision was made, as in the education of youth among the an- cients, for certain gymnastic exercises. At the time when the university was founded, though the date of this was subsequent to the invention, and the inci- pient use of gunpowder, the great weapon of war among the Lowland Scots, as well as the English, was the bow and arrow; and archery was made an indis- pensable article of education in Scotland from the days of James I. This accomplished and wise prince inade an act, forbidding the favourite diversion of foot ball, and substituting in its place that of shooting with bows and arrows. Every boy, when he came to the age of tliirteen, was obliged at stated times to practise archery at certain bowmarks. It was, accord- ingly, among the statutes of both the Colleges, St. Leonard and St. Salvator,thatan annual prize of a silver arrow should be given out of the public funds to the best marksman, on a competition in archery. In a little dell formed by some knolls, now about half a mile from the town, but formerly almost contiguous to a street now in ruins, butts were erected, and from time to time repaired. Seats were cut or carved in


PASTIME. 65

the green-swani, on either side of the del I, opposite to the space between the butts, and rose, in dillerent rows, above one another, like the benches in a theatre. In this natural amphitheatre, the university and town of St. Andrews, gentlemen and ladies, high and low, witnessed the annual contest among the archers, for the prize of the silver arrow, in the last week of the month of March. The jouth who en- tered the lists, were trained for the contest by shooting as often as they had leisure and inclination before hand. When the day arrived for the trial, they ap- peared generally from the number of five or six to eight or ten, equipped in the ancient Scottish dress ; but their vests, which were short, like those of tlie Highland regiments and light infantry, of different colours, according to the livery of their respective families, white, red, green, yellow, &c. These knights were attended, each with his armour-bearer, carrying a quiver full of arrows. It will easily be imagined, that it was not among the poorer class of students, that candidates appeared for the prize of the silver arrow. In fact, though a silver arrow, and that a pretty massive one, was actually given to the victor, for more than two centuries, as the arrows so acquired, to this day testify, yet it afterwards be- came customary, among other refinements in the pro- gress of the human mind, for the victors, (not, we may presume, without the approbation, at least, of the regents, or masters, who had the management of the college funds,) instead of receiving a silver arrow, to affix a silver ball to what came to be called thi: arrow, with their name, coat of arms, and the date of the year when the prize was obtained. Ail the other G S


66 PERCY ANECDOTES,

rival archers accompanied the victor to his lodgings ; where, together with as many of his friends as he chose to invite, they were entertained with a cold collation. In a procession through the principal streets in the town, or rather the principal parts of these streets, in their way from the butts to the apartments of the victor, passing the houses of the principals, professors, and others, gentlemen or la- dies, to whom they were desirous of shewing a mark of respect, they let fly vollies of arrows ; as soldiers of our times, on certain occasions, stand to their arras, or give a feu de joie. The day of shooting for the arrow was, of course, a great holiday.

The candidates for the honours of archery, assem- bled about ten o'clock, at the dwelling house of the rector of the university, who, with the other pro- fessors, marched before them to the butts ; the maces of the university, and the silver arrow, and as many of the appended silver balls as could be conveniently carried by one man, going before them. A new ball was hooked to a silver chain, attached to the arrow by the victor, in the course of what remained of the session. This custom is now entirelv abolished.


RAM HUNTING AT ETON COLLEGE.

The celebrated antiquary, the Rev. JNIr. Cole, in one of his MSS. which he bequeathed to the British Museum, gives the following account of a singular sport at Eton College, about the middle of the last century. " When I was at Eton College," he says, " tliere was a custom at election time, about the beginning of August, to hunt a ram from the college


PASTIME. 67

play fields, as fa? as he would run, sometimes to Windsor Park ■wall, over the bridge, the boj^s having a ram bludgeon, or stick knotted by ivy having grown about it j numbers of which are sold from the neighbouring woods ; with these they used to knock the ram down. The late Duke of Cumberland honoured one of these huntings with his presence. The ram was afterwards made into a pasty, and served ■up in the hall in the feastings of election week, pro- bably more venison than mutton put into it. What gave occasion to this singular custom, I never heard ; but a practice somewhat similar is still preserved at Orleans, where the Lord of the IManor of Bapaume presents a ram to the Dean of the Collegiate ChurcJi of St. Peter en Ponct, on the eve of the Ascension." Mr. Cole gives as his authority the following extract from Voyages Liturgiques de France, par le Sieur Moleon. " Le Seigneur de Bapaume de la paroisse d' Ouvrouer des Champs est oblige de presenter, et presente encore, au Doyen de St. Pierre en Ponct tous les ans la veille de 1' Ascension, pendant le Magnificat de Vepres, uu belier suranne vetu de sa laine, ayant les cornes dorees, ausquelles doivent etre attachez deux ecussons aux Armes de St. Pierre, et une bourse pendue au cou, dans laquelle il doit y avoir cinq sols Parisis. 11 est presente, non dans I'Eglise, mais dans le cloitre au cote gauche de 1' Eglise."


GREAT EXPLOITS.

In France the game was formerly so plentiful, that according to Mr. Young, there was in the open fields about Mongeron, upon an average, a covey of birds


68 PERCY ANf.CDOTES.

in every two acres, besides favourite spots, in wliicji they niucli more abounded. On the last day which the unfortunate Louis XVI. enjoyed in the field, he himself shot 572 head of game, in eight hours.

The feats of a royal party from Vienna, in the Bohemian territories, in 1753, which continued twenty days, is a curious record of slaughtered game ; it gives the names of the twenty -three sportsmen and sportswomen, and gives the list of game killed by each, commencing with stags, roebucks, boars, foxes, &c. The emperor himself had the greatest number of shots, namely, 9794, of which 978 were in one day. Her Imperial Highness the Princess Charlotte was in the field every day, on one of which she fired 889 times. The total number of shots was 116,231, and the game killed, 47,950.

In the year 1758, the Emperor Francis 1. had a grand shooting party on the estates of the Prince Colleredo, in Bohemia, which lasted eighteen days. The party consisted of three princesses and twenty noblemen, besides the emperor and prince. They killed, after firing 116,200 shots, 1710 stags ; 3216 fawns and deer; 932 foxes ; 13,243 hares; 29,545 parlridges ; 9409 pheasants ; 746 larks ; 1353 quails; 1967 woodcocks; 513 wild turkeys ; 117 wild fowl, and various other birds.

At a hunting match given by the Prince Esterhazy, tlie Regent of Hungary, on signing the treaty of peace with France, in a single day's sport, there were killed 160 deer ; 100 wild boars; 300 hares; and eighty foxes.

The king of Naples, in a sporting journey to Vienna, in 1793, llirough Austria, Bohemia, &c..


PASTIME. G9

killed five bears; 1820 boars; 1960 deer; 114 does ; 1625 roebucks ; 1121 rabbits; thirteen wolves ; seventeen badgers ; 16,354 hares; and 354 foxes: the sporting monarch had also the pleasure of doing a little in the bird way, by killing upon the same expedition 15,350 pheasants, and 12,335 partridges.

As shots in the field at game, Mr. Jenkins, near Petworth ; and Cottinghara, who was formerly game keeper to Lord Rous, were the best of their day. The former has killed twenty brace of partridges in a day, at forty shots, without selecting the shots, but taking them fairly as they happened ; and in four days shooting has never missed. The latter (says Mr.Daniel, in his excellent work, the " Rural Sports") I was out with, when he killed in two days, forty-three successive shots (many of them in covert) at par- tridge, pheasant, woodcock, and hare ; and his style of shooting when open, and he could give time, was most regularly deliberate.

In 1810, John Lacy, Esq. of Wimbome Minster, shot in one day thirty brace of partridges, ten brace of hares, and twelve couple of rabbits. His day's sport was from sun rise to four o'clock.

Lord Kingston made a considerable bet that he would shoot forty brace of partridges, on the 1st of September, on his manor at Heydon. His lordship shot forty- one brace and a half before sun set.

In 1811, Mr. S. Clark, of Worlingham in SulTolk, engaged for a bet of fifty guineas to kill and bag forty-seven shots out of fifty. He killed the first forty-eight, missed the forty-ninth; killed the fiftieth, and continued shooting, until he killed the ten fol- lowing, making sixty shots, with the loss of only one bird.


70 PERCY ANECDOTES.

His Grace the Duke of Rutland is very fond of field sports, and is deemed an admirable shot. One day in October, 1815, this nobleman, when shooting at Chevelcy Park, killed not fewer than a hundred and twenty-five head of game, in the course of five hours. These were forty-one partridges 5 nineteen pheasants ; forty-three hares ; and twenty-two rabbits.


INNOCENT SPORTSMEN.

In the sporting season of 1784, on the day before one of the annual parties at Clumber broke up, two sets of sportsmen went out, each consisting of three persons, and a bet was laid which should kill most game. Lord Lincoln, General Philips, and Captain Lascelles, were the one party ; and their antagonists were the Rev. Mr. Lascelles, Mr. Cotton, and Lieu- tenant-Colonel Strickland. It was calculated that, on an average, each man of the six got sixty shots. The winning triumvirate killed — three birds !

In 1806, four gentlemen of Camberwell undertook for a wager of five guineas a side, to shoot at twelve pigeons, and great bets were depending ; but to the great amusement of the persons assembled to witness the determination of the wager, not one of the com- petitors brought down a single bird !


PIGEON SHOOTING.

As a mode of deciding the skill of the candidates, pigeon shooting is perhaps the least objectionable, since every shooter has an equal chance as to the


PASriME. 71

distance whence the bird is sprung ; but it certainly is not the species of shooting that a sportsman will try or fancy as an amusement; besides, the mind that thinks at ail, must feel a repugnance at the idea of first confining, and then wantonly shooting, hundreds of domestic birds.

In pigeon shooting, the most extraordinary per- formance was by Tupor, the game keeper of Sir H. Mildmay, wiio, for a considerable wager, shot six pigeons out of ten, with a common ball. He after- wards, to decide abet, hit a cricket ball, with common shot, twelve times successively, betwixt the wickets, bowled by Harris, one of .the sharpest bowlers in the Hambiedon Club. He is also said to have killed swallows with a single ball.

Mr. Elliot, at Rudgwick in Sussex, undertook to kill fifty pigeons at fifty shots ; the match was decided near Petworth, at Tillington, and notwithstanding the wind was high, lie killed forty -five. It was al- lowed that he hit every bird, and that he would have won his wager, but for the above circumstance. He had but one gun, the touch-hole of which was fairly melted.

In 1809, Mr. King, a celebrated pigeon shot, undertook, for fifty guineas, to kill eighteen birds from a trap at twenty-one yards distance from the gun, which he performed with a bird to spare.

Mr. Keene of Hammersmith, killed twenty pigeons in twenty-one shots, from a trap, at the regular distance of twenty-one yards ; and in March, 1811, he, in a match against Mr. Elliot, killed the same number, beating his antagonist by one.

In Wiltshke, during the same year, Captain Hicks


72 PERCY ANECDOTES,

shot against the game keeper of Mr. Maurice, at fifteen pigeons, turned off at twenty-one yards dis- tance. They both killed every shot, and in shooting off the ties, the former missed his sixth bird, and lost the match, which was for two hundred guineas.

MARKSMEN.

Montaigne relates, that " an oflfer was made to an excellent archer, condemned to die, that his life should be saved, if he would shew some proof of his art ; but he refused to try, fearing lest his agitation should make him shoot wide, and .that instead of preserving his life, he should lose the reputation he had got of being a good marksman."

Of the precision with which the Americans manage the rifle. Priest, in his Travels in America, gives the following account, which it must be confessed partakes of the marvellous. He says, " during the late war, in 1775, a company of riflemen, formed from the Backwoodsmen of Virginia, was quartered at Lan- caster, in New England, for some time. Two of tliem alternately held a board only nine inches square, between his knees, while his comrade fired a ball through it, from a distance of one hundred paces I the board is still preserved ; and I am assured by several who were present, that it was performed with- out any manner of deception."

In October, 1812, James Westwick, the keeper of Sir Henry Vane Tempest, being in the gun-room at Wynyard, Durham, a hare was observed from the window, at a considerable distance, which, by the particular desire of Sir Henry, the keeper shot


PAsriMii. 73

at, and killed with a ball, at a distance of one hun- dred and fifty-five yards.

AN ELEPHANT HUNT.

In the year 1818, two elephants of uncommon size made their appearance within a few hundred yards of the British cantonments near Haza- rabang in India, the inhabitants of which were in the greatest alarm. The commanding ofiicer of the Ramghur battalion immediately took measures for their destruction, which he thus details in a letter to the magistrates of the division : " I lost no time in despatching all the public and private ele- phants at tlie station in pursuit of them ; and at day- break of the 25th was informed, that their very supe- rior size, and apparent fierceness, had rendered all attempts for their seizure unavailable, and that the most experienced driver was dangerously wounded, the elephant on w hich he rode ha\ing been struck to the ground by one of the wild ones, which, with its companion, had afterwards retreated to a sugar plan- tation, adjoining the village of Jusipoor. I imme- diately ordered out the guns of this place ; but very desirous, in the first instance, to try every means of catching them, 1 assembled the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, with the assistance of Rajah Ragnaut Sing, and caused two deep pits to be prepared on the edge of the sugar cane plantation, in which our elephants and people, with the utmost difficulty, con- trived to retain these animals daring the day. When the pits were reported ready, we repaired to the spot, and they were with much difficulty driven into them ;


74 PERCY ANECDOTES.

but unfortunately, one of the pits did not prove suffi- ciently deep, and the elephant that escaped from it (in the presence of many witnesses) assisted his com- panion out with his trunk ; both were, however, brought back with much trouble to the sugar cane plantation, and no particular instance of vice or fierce- ness having appeared in the course of the day, I was anxious to make another trial to catcli them. The pioneers, therefore, set to work to deepen the old, and prepare new holes, against daybreak, when 1 proposed making the final attempts At four o'clock of the morning yesterday, however, they burst through all my guards, and making for a village three miles dis- tant, entered with so much rapidity, that the horsemen "who galloped in front of them, had not time to apprise the inhabitants of their danger ; and I regret to say, that one man was torn limb from limb, a child trodden to death, and two women wounded. Their destruction was now become absolutely necessary, and as they appeared to show no inclination to quit the village, we gained time to bring up the four-pounders, from wliich they soon received round shot, and abun- dance of grape each. The largest .of the two was soon brought to the ground by a round shot in the head, but after remaining there a quarter of an hour, apparently lifeless, he got up as vigorous as ever, and the desperation of both exceeded all description ; they made repeated charges nearly within one hundred yards of tlic guns, and liad it not been for the uncommon steadiness and bravery of the artillery men (who more than once turned ihein olF by shot in the head when within a few yards of them), many casualties must i»ave happened.


PASTIME. 76

    • We were now obliged to desist for want of

ammunition and shot ; and before a fresh supply could be obtained, the elephants quitted the village, and though streaming with blood from one hundred wounds, proceeded with a rapidity of which before I had no idea, to Hazarabang. They were at length brought up by the horsemen, and our elephants, when ■within a very short space of a crowder (bazar), and ultimately, after many^ renewals of the most formi- dable attacks on the guns, they gave up the contest with their lives. Nineteen four pound shot have already been taken out of their bodies, and I imagine that eighteen more will be found. I have been thus particular, both because I think the transaction worthy of being recorded, and also from a hope that you will concur with me in the propriety of an application to goveniment, for a compensation for the damage suffered by the owners of the villages of Jusipoor and Ored, from the destruction of much grain, &c. I am of opinion, the animals must have escaped from Hydrabad, or some part of the Deccan, for I have never heard of, or seen, animals of this size in this part of India."


JUBILEE WEDDING.

In the year 1733, when Christian IV. King of Denmark, and his consort, Sophia Magdalena, visited their Norwegian dominions, they took up their resi- dence in the house of Colonel Colbiornson in Frede- rickshald. The colonel, for the diversion of his illustrious guests, exhibited before them what is called a Jubilee Wedding. There were four couples married, II 2


76 PERCY ANECDOTES.

all rustic people, invited from the adjacent country, and out of these, there was none under a hundred years old ; so that all their ages put together, made upwards of eight hundred years ! Their names were Ole Tor- veson Sologsteen, who lived eight years afterwards, and his wife Kelje ten years ; Jem Oer, who lived six years after, and his wife Ingen, who lived seven

years ; Ole Besoleen and his wife N ; and Ilans

Folasken, who lived ten years after, and brought wiih him Joram Gallen, who was not his wife, but being a hundred years old, he borrowed her for this cere- mony J she also lived ten years afterwards.

These eight married people made themselves ex- tremely merry at this public wedding; and the women, according to the custom of the country on bridal occa>- sions, danced with green wreaths upon their heads. At their departure, each couple received from their majesties a handsome present to carry home.

COURSING.

The amusement of coursing is of great antiquity, and is treated of by Arrian, who lived in the year 150. It was first practised by the Gauls, the most luxurious and opulent of whom used to send out good hare- finders early in the morning, who returning to their employers with an account of their success, they mounted their horses, and took their greyhounds to course them, but never ran more than a brace at a time- Coursing has been always a favourite sport with the English, and many British sovereigns have indulged in it.

The high spirit and courage of the greyhound, has


PASTIME. , 77

frequently shown itself in extraordinary exertions. In November, 1792, Lord Egreniont's gamekeeper was leading a brace of greyhounds coupled together; a hare crossed the road, and the dogs instantly broke from their conductor and gave chase, fastened as thev were to each other. When the have was turned, she had a manifest advantage, and embarrassed the dogs to change their direction ; notwithstanding this, she was at length killed, after a course of between three and four miles. In October, 1796, a similar occur- rence took place in Scotland, where a brace of grey- hounds coupled, coursed a hare a mile, and killed her.

The uncommon ardour and velocity of greyhounds, have often occasioned their destruction. An in- stance of this occurred many years ago to a famous dog belonging to the Rev. Mr. Corseillis, who chanced to be wind-bound at Dover. A hare in the neigh- bourhood had beat all her pursuers, when this dog was tried against her. He was so superior in speed, and pressed her so closely, that she run for the cliff as her only chance of escaping ; but the greyhound threw at and caught her at the brink, and svent with the hare in his mouth to the bottom of the precipice, where they were both literally dashed to pieces.

In December, 1794, a company of gentlemen were coursing at Finchingfield in Essex ; a hare was started, and a brace of greyhounds in turning her, ran against each other, and were both killed on the spot.

In 1797, a brace of greyhounds belonging to Mr. N. Tourd, coursed a hare over the edge of a chalk- n 3


8 PERCY ANECDOTES,

pit at Offham, Sussex, when both hare and clogs were found dead at the bottom.


EXTRAORDINARY CHASE.

Many years since, a stag was Imnted from Whin- fieid Park, in the county of Westmoreland, until by fatigue or accident, the whole pack was thrown out, except two fox-hounds bred by Lord Thanet, who continued the chase during the greatest part of the day. The stag returned to the park whence he had been driven, and as his last effort, leaped the wall, and died as soon as he had accomplished it. One of the hounds ran to the wall, but being unable to get over it, laid down, and almost instantly expired. The other hound w as found dead about half a mile from the park. The length of this chase is uncertain ;' but as they were seen at Red-kirk near Annan, Scotland, distant by the post road about forty-six miles, it is conjectured that the circuitous course the}' took, could not make the distance run less than one hundred and twenty miles !

LEAPING FOR LIFE.

In tlie New Forest, is a celebrated spot called the deer leap, where a stag was once shot. In the agony of deatli, collecting all his strength, he gave a bound wiiith so surprised those that saw it, that it is com- memorated by two posts at each extremity of the leap, the distance between being rather more than eighteen yards.


i


I' AS TIME.


SIR ROBERT WALPOLE.

Sir Robert Walpole was from his youth fond of fields ports, and retained his attachment to theni, until prevented by the infirmities of age from their further enjoyment. Upon receiving a packet of letters, he usually opened that from his game keeper first, and in the portraits painted of him, he preferred being dra,wn in his sporting dress.


PROFESSOR SAUNDERSON.

The celebrated professor of mathematics at Cam- bridge, Nicholas Saunderson, though quite blind, was so fascinated with the chase, that he continued to hunt until a very advanced period of his life. His horse was accustomed to follow that of his servant ; the delight of Saunderson was extreme, when he heard the cry of the hounds and the huntsmen, and he used to express his raptures with all the eagerness of those who possessed their sight. •


SIR MATTHEW HALE.

That distinguished lawyer. Sir Matthew Hale, \^hen young, delighted much in company ; and being strong and robust, he was a great master of all those exercises that required much strength. He also learned to fence, and became so expert in the use of his weapons, that he worsted many of the professors of the art. One of his masters told him he could


80 PERCY ANECDOTES,

teach him no more, for he was now better at his own trade than himself. This Mr. Hale looked on as flat- tery : so to make the master discover himself, he pro- mised him the liouse he lived in, for he was his tenant, if he could hit him a blow on the head ; and bade h'^m do his best, for he would be as good as bis word- After a little engagement, his master being really su- perior to him, made a palpable hit on the head. Mr* Hale performed his promise; he gave him the house freely ; and was not unwilling at that rate to learn so early to distinguish flattery from plain and simple truth.


SPANISH BULL FIGHTS.

Bull fights were formerly reduced to a science in Spain, and there is a book written on the subject, by one of the torreadors. The arenas in which the fights were exhibited, was a kind of circus, with seats round it, placed one above the other. The enter- tainment began by the parade of the piccadores (lancers) dupssed in the full Spanish costume, and the chulos, those who fought on foot, round the arena. After a short time, an alguaizil, in a black robe and large wig, made his appearance, and asking the go- vernor, or corridor, when the combat should begin, gave the appointed signal, and then made a hasty retreat. The door of the shed which contained the bull was then opened, and the noble animal appeared. Stunned by the noisy exclamations of the spectators, and instantly attacked by the lancers with their long lances, he rushed boldly to the, combat. If it liap- pened, as was frequently the case, that a horse should


PASTIME. 85

first become his prey, the danger of his rider was averted by the men on foot, who, shaking various coloured stuffs before the bull, attracted his attention, and dexterously avoided the danger whicli it was now their turn to brave. The lancers, after tormenting the poor animal for some time, left him to those ou foot, who required all their agility to escape his rage, which was considerably augmented, by their plunging into his neck, by two and two, a kind of arrow, ornamented with various coloured papers. This bar- barous sport having been continued for some time, the spectators gave the word of command for bis release, by calling the torreador, who alone approached the now exhausted, but still undaunted, animal. The torreador held in one hand a kind of banner, Avhicli he shook before him ; in the other, a sword ; and while this single combat continued, the voices of the spectators gradually subsided into a suspensive and awful calm. The decisive blow being given, shouts of applause celebrated the triumphs of the torreador over a noble and (until provoked) inoffensive animal. In some instances, however, the most skilful torreadors have fallen victims to the rage of the buii. 'Iliree mules, ornamented with bells and streamers, were then brought in, and being fastened to the horns of the prostrate bull, dragged him from the scene of blood, to make room for another devoted victim.

Although bull fights were formally abolished by Charles IV., yet they are still retained in many parts of Spain. A British officer, who served in the war of the Peninsula, thus describes a bull fight, which he witnessed in the square of Truxillo.

A few minutes after seven o'clock in the evening,


82 PERCY ANECDOTES.

five, Spaniards, who were to fight the bulls, appeared in the square, each provided with a brown cloak in the left hand, and a pike in the right. These having taken their posts, one of the bulls was turned out, who, on making his debut, looked furiously wild, while the air rung with the acclamations of a delighted populace. The honest bull had no idea that such a reception awaited him, as, in all his former perambu- lations, no one had deigned to notice him. He gazed on the passing scene with wonder. In a few minutes he became quite furious. Perceiving an opening under one of the waggons at the lower part of the square, he darted towards it, in hopes of obtaining liis liberty. The waggon was crowded with men and women, who, at the animal's approach, were precipitated in curious and truly laughable attitudes, from their exalted station, to the same level with the object of their fears. For a time, every eye was turned to the scene of confusion, anxiously waiting the result of the grand charge of the courageous animal. At this momentous crisis, so big with the fate of many, the Spanish heroes advanced to meet their antagonist, and with savage bellowing, stopped hira short in his victorious career. To one of his tormentors he turned with death-like fury ; and on his head seemed determined to wreak his utmost vengeance. The object of his liatred he pursued with such speed, that every one thought the life of the Spaniard would be for- feited to his temerity. But well the wily Don knew that the bull could be deceived ; and, to show us that such was the fact, he permitted the mad animal to get so close, as to make an attempt to toss him on his horns. Thus situated, the Spaniard had recourse


PASTIME. 83

to his cloak, which he threw at the head of the bull, who fancying the man in his power, stopped, and tossed it in the air. The other four were not idle during this rencontre between their friend and the bull. Having come to his assistance, one of them inflicted a wound in the hip of the poor brute, and made the best of his way to a place of safety, hotly pursued by his enemy, till stopped by the cloak of the fugitive, and the pikes of the others, as before. In this manner the fight continued, till the creature was completely exhausted, unable to shake his head, or raise a foot. In this state he was removed, to make room for a second, who afforded no sport whatever.

The eagerness of the Spaniards to witness this sanguinary amusement, may be judged of from the circumstance, that the produce of the seats will some- times produce upwards of 120,000 rials in the course of a single day j the profits on which are singularly enough applied to support the public hospitals in Madrid.

In Portugal, where bull fights are not unfrequent, the principal cavalier, or hero of this barbarous sport, rashes between the horns of the bull ; an act that requires considerable agility, great presence of mind, and an uncommon share of muscular strength. In this posture he is carried about the ring by the en- raged animal, amidst the shouts of the audience, until the rest of the combatants rescue him, by over- throwing the bull, which becomes their property.


84 PERCY ANECDOTCS.


COCK FIGHTING.

It is not known when the barbarous pastime of cock fighting was introduced into England ; but it is sup- posed to have been brought hither by the Romans. The bird was here before the time of Caesar's arrival; but no notice of his fighting occurs earlier than the time of William Fitzstephen, wlio wrote the life of Archbishop Becket sometime in the reign of Henry II., and describes. the cocking as a sport of school-bojs on Shrove Tuesday. From this time at least the diversion was a popular one in England. It conti- nued to be followed, tliough disapproved, and even prohibited by the 39th of Edward III., and by several subsequent statutes. The law on the subject proved quite inoperative, and sovereigns themselves were found to countenance its violation. The cock pit at Whitehall, as every one knows, was erected by a crowned liead, for the more magnificent celebration of the pastime ; which has hence by some been called a royal diversion.

With the Greeks, who are said to have originated the game, it was at first partly a religious, and partly a political institution ; designed to create in the minds of their youth the bcginnbigs of martial pride and love of glory ; but with the English, it has never been any thing else than a common pastime, as des- titute of usefulness as it is of humanity.

The reproach incurred by the use of this pastime in England, is greatly aggravated by two sorts of fighting, which are known no where else in the world, called the battle royal, and the Welch main; neithei


PASTIME. 85

in China, nor in Persia, nor in Malacca, nor among tlie savage tribes of America. In tlie battle royal an unlimited number of fowls are pitted, and Avlien they have slaughtered one another for the diversion of the otherwise generous and humane EngUsiimen, the s<ingle surviving bird is to be esteemed the victor, and carries away the prize. The Welch main consists, we will suppose, of sixteen pair of cocks ; of these, the sixteen conquerors are pitted a second time ; the eight conquerors are then pitted the third time ; the four conquerors, the fourth time ; and lastly, the two conquerors of these are pitted the fifth time; so that (incredible barbarity !) thirty-one cocks are sure to be cruelly murdered, for the sport and pleasure of men, who would regard it as an high alVroiit to be ac- cused of want of either feeling or morality. But let the feeling and morality of such persons be appre- ciated by the following shocking circumstance recorded as authentic in the Obituary of the Gentleman's Magazine, for April, 1789. "Died, April 4, at Tottenham, John Ardesoif, Esq., a young man of large fortune, and in the splendour of his carriages and horses, rivalled by few country gei»tlemen. His table was that of hospitality, where it. may be said he sacrificed too much to conviviality ; but if he had his foibles, he had his merits also, that far outweighed them. Mr. Ardesoif was very fond of cock fighting, and had a favourite cock, upon which he had won many profitable matches. The last bet he laid upon liis cock, he lost ; which so enraged hira, that iie had the bird tied to a spit, and roasted alive before a large fire. The screams of the miserable animal were so affecting, that some gentlemen who were I


86 PERCY ANECDOTES.

present, attempted to interfere ; wJiich so enraged Mr. Ardesoif, that he seked the poker, and with the most furious vehemence, declared that he would kill the first man who interposed ; but in the midst of his passionate assertions, he fell down dead upon the spot. Such, we are assured, were the circumstances which attended the death of this great pillar of humanity !"

The massacre of Shrove Tuesday is now, we are happy to say, in a declining state, and in a few years, it is to be hoped, will be wholly abandoned ; but the cock pit still continues a reproach to the humanity of Englishmen, and to their religion, one of the purest, tenderest, and most compassionate, ever professed by a people.


PHILIDOR.

Andre Danican Philidor, a native of Dreux, near Paris, is allowed to have been the most skilful chess player of whom there is any record. He first learned the rudiments of the game when he was only six years of age, and one of the children belonging to the Chapel Royal at Versailles. In after life, he became so enamoured of it, as to abandon his profes- sion of a musician, for that of a chess player. He first distinguished himself at Paris, when only eighteen years of age, in playing two games at the same time, without seeing the boards ; and beating two anta- gonists, to either of whom he, though a first rate player, could only give the advantage of a knight, when he played with them singly, and saw the board. In the middle of one of these games a false move was


PASTIME. 87

designedly made, which, after a great number of moves, he discovered, and placed the piece where it ought to have been at first.

Forty years after this, he played two different times in London, three games at once. The first time was in May, 1783, "at the Chess Club in St. James' Street. His opponents were Count Bruhl, Mr. Bowdler, and Mr. Maseres ; the two first allowed to be the best players in London. Although he played with all these gentlemen at the sanae time, and never saw the board, yet he defeated Count Bruhl in an hour and twenty minutes, and Mr. Maseres in two hours ; Mr. Bowdler reduced his game to a drawn battle in an hour and three quarters. The other match was with Count Bruhl, Mr. Jennings, and Mr. (now Lord) Erskine, to the last of whom he gave a pawn and the move. The Count made a drawn game, and both the other gentlemen lost.

The best players with whom Pbilidor ever coped, were his master, M. de Legalle in Paris, and Sir Abraham Janssen in England, who was able to vna one game out of four of him even playing.


PLAYING FOR A BENEFICE.

The Chancellor of France, d'Aguesseau, was very fond of chess, and used to play for half a crown a game, with the best player of his time, M. Legalle. The latter once proposed deep play to the chancellor, which he explained to be a living at Yincennes, that he wished to procure for an Abbe of his acquaintance. The chancellor immediately took the move, and in pushing his pawn, said, ' va VAbbe.' M.de Legalle


88 PERCY ANECDOriiS.

soon got the advantage, but did not choose to win the game ; which the chancellor told him should not, however, prejudice his friend, and he according! v gave him the benefice-


HORSE RACING.

The amusement of horse racing was practised i)i England in very early times ; indeed there is some reason to believe that it was among the pastimes of the Anglo Saxons, as Hugh Capet sent several ruimhig horses as a present to Edelswitha, the sister of Athelstan. Fitzstephen mentions horse racing as a favourite diversion with the citizens of London ; and as a proof that in the middle ages there were certain seasons of the year when the nobility indulged them- selves in this sport, we are told in the metrical romance of " Sir Bevis of Southampton," that at Whitsuntide the knights

" A cours let they make on a daye, Steedcs and palfraye for to assaye. Which horse that best may ren."

In the reign of Elizabeth, race horses were prized on account of their breed ; and the sport was carried to such an excess, as to injure the fortunes of many of the nobdity. Private matches, in which the gen- tlemen were their own jockies, were then very common. In the reign of James the First, public races were established in many paits of the kingdom ; and it appears that the discipline and modes of preparing the horses upon such occasions, were much the same as are practised in the j)resent day. In the latter


PASTIME. SO

part of the reign of Charles the First, races were held in Hyde Park, and at Newmarket. After the resto- ration, horse racing was revived and much encouraged by Charles the Second, who frequently honoured the pastime with his presence ; and when he resided at Windsor, appointed races at Datchet Mead, for his own amusement. Newmarket, however, soon became the principal place, where the king entered horses, and ran them in his own name, and established a house for his better accommodation.

In the horse races in Italy, the horses run without riders ; and to urge them on, little balls with sharp points in them are hung to their sides, which, when the horse is employed in the race, act like spurs ; they have also pieces of tinfoil fastened on their hinder parts, which, as the animals run, make a loud rustling noise, and frighten them forward. A gun is fired when they first start, that preparations may be made to receive them at the other end ; when they have run half way, another gun is fired, and a third when they arrive at the goal. To ascertain without dispute which horse wins the race, a thread is stretched across the winning post, dipped in red lead, which the victor breaking, it leaves a red mark on his chest, and this mark is decisive. To guard the course, a great number of soldiers under arms, are ranged on each side from one end of it to the other.

In Persia, horse racing has always been deemed an amusement worthy of the particular patronage of the king ; and there are annual races, not only in the Capitol, but in all the principal cities of the kingdom. The distance they have to run, is according to the age of the horses ; but it is seldom less than seven miles, I 3


90 I'EllCY ANECDOTES.

or more than twenty-one. The object of these races is not so much to try the speed, as the strength, of the horses, and to discover those that can be depended on for long and rapid marches. The horses are always rode by boys, between the ages of twelve and fourteen. Mares never run at the races in Persia, nor are tliey used in that country for military purposes.


TRIFLING.

The puerility of the Javanese in matters of amuse- ment, is remarkable. They do not disdain to be amused by a battle between two warlike crickets, nor hesitate to bet considerable sums on the result. The little animals are excited to the combat by the titilla- tion of a blade of grass applied to their noses.

The Javanese will risk their monc}' on the strength and hardness of a particular nut, called the harairi ; and much skill, patience, and dexterity are consumed in the selection and the strife. At other times, the combat which is to decide the fortune of the parties, is between two paper kites ; the object in this strife being the fall of the adversary's kite by the destruction of its string. In a favourable day, fifty or sixty of these will be seen hovering over a Javanese city.


A DUCKING AT DUCK SHOOTING.

The mud-land plains on the coast of Hampshire, abound with wild ducks, which often tempt the fowlers to run great dangers. In order to prevent their sinking in the mud, they tie to their feet flat pieces of v.'ood, with which they traverse more safely. A


PASTIME. 91

fowler thus equipped, and traversing the plain with great eagerness, suddenly found that the waters, which had rushed out with uncommon rapidity, owing to some peculiar circumstance of tide and current, had made an alarming progress around him. Incumbered as his feet were, he could not much exert himself; and to whatever part he ran, he found himself com- pletely surrounded by the tide. In this dangerous situation, he retired to that part of the plain which seemed the highest, from its being yet uncovered by water ; and striking the barrel of his gun (which for the purpose of shooting wild fowl was very long) deep into the mad, he determined to hold fast by it, as a support, as well as a security against the waves, and thus to await the ebbing of the tide. In the mean- time, the water making a rapid advance, had now reached him. It covered the ground on which he stood ; it rippled over his feet, it gained his knees, his waist; button after button disappeared, till at length it advanced over his very shoulders. With a palpitating heart he gave himself up for lost. Still, however, he held fast by his anchor. His eye was eagerly in search of some boat, which might accident- ally take its course that way, but none appeared. A solitary head floating over the water, and that some- times covered by a wave, was no object to be descried from the shore, at the distance of half a league ; nor could ha utter any sounds of distress that could be heard so far. While he was thus reconciling himself to sudden destruction, his attention was called to a new object; he thought he saw the uppermost button of his coat beginning to appear. No mariner floating on a wreck, could behold a cape at sea with greater transport than he did this button ; but the fluctuation


92 PERCY ANECDOTES. of the water was such, and the return of the tide so slow, that it was some time before he durst venture to assure himself that the button was fairly above the level of the flood. At length, howeve~, a second button appearing at intervals, his joy gave him spirits and resolution to support his situation four or five hours longer, till the water had fully retired, and he could walk. home.

WHEEL RUNNING. Lord March, afterwards Duke of Queensberry, of sporting celebrity, having observed the uncommon speed with which a coach- maker's journeyman was able to run with a wheel on the pavement, thought it a good subject for a wager. A waiter in Betty's fruit shop, in St. James's Street, was famous for running, and Lord March laid a bet that a coach-maker's journeyman should run with the wheel of his lordship's carriage, faster than the waiter. The wager was ac- cepted ; but before the time of decision. Lord March discovered that the wheel with which the man was to run, was much lower than that to which he had been accustomed, and he was well assured that he could not run so well with a small wheel as with a large one. The dilemma was mentioned to Sir Francis Blake Delaval, who procured planks sufficient to cover a path on the course, which, by being laid on blocks, raised the nave of the low wheel to the height of that to which the journeyman had been accustomed. The jockey club allowed the expedient, and Lord March won the wager.

In 1B17, Blumscll, a painter, for a wager of forty guineas, run a coach wheel the distance of thirty miles, in six minutes less than six hours.


PASTIME. 93


THE SHROPSHIRE HILLS.

Sir John Hill, and three of his sons, (including Lord Hill) in a fox chase in 1818, whicli lasted two hours, pursued the fox into the town of Whitchurch. In the Green End he was met by several persons, who drove him back over the Town Pool Meadow, whence he took refuge in the garden of John Knight, Esq. Here the hounds met with a check, and the sportsmen not being able to get into the garden, were obliged to ride up the White Lion Yard, through the town into Doddington. Sly Reynard was, however, soon driven from his hiding place by the huntsmen, and he took into the garden of Miss E. Langford, and finding the back door of the house open, entered the hall, ran up stairs, and got into a cupboard, whither he vvas pur- sued by the dogs and taken. The consternation of Miss L. who is an elderly maiden lady, may be more easily conceived than described, in having a fox and a whole pack of hounds in her house, and about fifty red coats assailing the house without, headed by the gallant Lord Hill.

CUNNING OF THE FOX.

At the Golden Bear Inn, Reading, a young fox had a few years since been taught to go into the wheel and turn the jack. After he had thus officiated for some time, he escaped, and regained his native woods. Here he met the fate common to his species ; he was pursued by the hounds, and in his flight ran through the town of Reading, reached the Inn, and springing


94 PERCY ANECDOTES,

over the half door of the kitchen, jumped into the wheel and resumed his occupation, in the very place where he had been brought up, by which means he saved his life.


TALLY HO!

The notes of hounds have a powerful influence on any horse that has been accustomed to follow the chase. An instance of this occurred in 1807, when the Liverpool mail was changing horses at the inn at Monk's Heath, between Congleton and Newcastle under Line. The horses which had performed the stage were taken off and separated, when Sir Peter Warburton's fox hounds were heard in full cry. The horses immediately started after them, with their har- ness on, and followed the chase until the last. One of them, a blood mare, kept the track with the whipper in, and gallantly followed him for about two hours, over every leap he took, until Reynard ran to earth in a neighbouring plantation. These spirited horses were led back to the inn at Monk's Heath, and performed their stage back to Congleton, on the same evening.


SALMON HUNTING.

A fisherman of the name of Graham, who resides at Whitehaven, possesses singular skill in what is called salmon hunting. When the tide recedes, what fish are left in the shallows, are discovered by the agitation of the water, and this man, with a tliree pointed barbed spear, fixed to a shaft fifteen feet long.


PASTIME. 95

plunges into the pools at a trot, up to the belly of his liorse. He then makes ready his spear, and when he overtakes the salmon, strikes it with almost unerring aim ; that done, by a turn of the iiand he raises the salmon to the surface, wheels his horse towards the shore, and runs the fish on dry land without dis- mounting. He lias, by this means, killed from forty to fifty fish in a day. His father, who is said to have been the first person tliat ever made salmon killing an equestrian pastime, was living in 1811 ; and though then ninety-eight years of age, was so active and dexterous, that armed with his trident, and on horse- back, he could strike and bring out of the water a salmon of considerable weighk


PLAYING CHESS BLINDFOLDED.

Numerous instances are on record, of persons playing at chess blindfolded, and of others who would play two, three, or four games at a time. In the year 1266, there was a Saracen named Buzecca, who came to Florence, and played, at one time, on three chess boards, with the most skilful masters in Florence, playing at two by the memory, and with the third by sight. He won two games, and the third was drawn.

Salvio, who wrote a treatise on the game of chess, Zerone, Mediano and Buy Lopez of Spain, Man- grolino of Florence, and Paoli Boi of Syracuse, could all play successfully without seeing the board.

Sacchieri of Turin, Keysler informs us, could play at chess with three difterent persons at the same time, even without seeing any one of the chess boards.


98 PERCY ANECDOTES.

He required no more than that his substitute should tell hira what piece his antagonist liad moved ; and Sacchieri could direct what step was to be taken on his side, holding at the same time conversation with the company present. If any dispute arose about the place where any piece should be, he could tell every move that had been made, not only by himself, but by his antagonist, from the beginning of the game ; and in this manner incontestibly decide the proper place of the piece.


OMAI.

Oraai, the native of Otaheite, learnt to play at chess while in London, and became a considerable proficient in tlie game, in which he once defeated Mr. Baretti; a circumstance only to be noticed on account of its having been the cause of breaking off an ac- quaintance between that gentleman and Dr. Johnson, which had existed for upwards of thirty years. The doctor used frequently to rally Mr. Baretti on the sub- ject, and sometimes unmercifully. " At length," says Mr. Baretti, " he pushed his banter on at such a rate,, that he chafed me, and made me so angry, that not being able to put a stop to it, I snatched up my liat and stick, and quitted hira in a mostcholeric mood." Wiien the doctor heard how much he had offended his friend, lie invited him again to his house ; but Mr. Baretti was then in the country, and before he rc~ turned to town, the doctor was dead.


PAsTiwu:. 97


FAIR PLAY.


A fox beiug hard run in the neighbourhood of Imber, in Wiltshire, took shelter under the covering of a well, and by the endeavours used to extricate iiimfrom thence, he was precipitated to the bottom, a depth of one hundred feet. The bucket was let down ; Rey- nard laid hold of it, and was drawn up some part of the way, when he again fell. The bucket was then let down a second time, when he secured his situation in it, and was drawn up safe. He was afterwards turned off, and fairly beat the hounds.


REPUTATION.

Seneca relates of one Canius Julius, that he was playing at chess when the Centurion who led a troop of condemned men to death, commanded him also to join them. Having scarcely finished his game, he counted his men, and said to the person with whom he played, " Beware, when I am dead, that thou beliest me not, and say thou hast won the game." Then bowing to the Centurion, he said, '* Bear me witness that I have the advantage by one."

CHESS ON A GREAT SCALE.

Don John of Austria had a room in his palace, in which there was a chequered pavement of black and white marble. Upon this, living men, in varied cos- tumes, moved under his direetipns, according to the laws of chess.


98 PERCY ANECDOTES.

It is also related of a Duke of Weimar, that he had squares of black and white marble, on which he played at chess with real soldiers.


TEST OF TEMPER.

Olaus Magnus, who lived in the middle of the sixteenth century, informs us, that in his time it was " a custom among the most illustrious Goths and Swedes, when they would honestly marry their daugh- ters, to prove the disposition of the suitors that came to them, and to know their passions especially, by playing with them at tables or chess. For at these games, their anger, love, peevishness, covetousness, dullness, idleness, and many more mad pranks, pas- sions, and motives of their mir>ds, and the forces and properties of their fortunes, are used to be seen ; as whether the wooer be rudely disposed, that he will indiscreetly rejoice and suddenly triumph when he wins ; or whether, when he is wronged, he can patiently endure it, and wisely put it off."


FOX HOUNDS. In 1795, a pack of fox liounds after running a fox near an hour in Cambridgeshire, found a brace of fresh foxes. The hounds divided ; six couple and a half went away with one of them, and killed it at Weathersfield. One couple of dogs pursued the other, and killed him at Thurlow Park gate. Fifteen couple and a half stuck to tbe hunted fox, and killed him at the bottom of Gogmagog Hills, after a chase of one hour and three (piarters without a check, in


PASTIME. 99

which time they were supposed to have run near thirty miles.

In 1796, the Duke of Northumberland's pack ran a fox into a very large furze cover near Alnwick, called Bunker's Hill, where he was lost in an earth which no person knew of. On the hounds retuming to the kennel, two couple and a half of the best were missing. Next day several men went in search of them to all the earths and crags for twenty miles round, but no tidings could be gained. The cover Avhere the fox Avas lost was then searched, and the earth discovered. In digging about two yards deep, one hound was found ; several yards further, three more fast together in the ground ; and two yards deeper, the fifth hound was dug up. They were all dead.


LEAPING TREASON.

King William the Third was passionately fond of the chase, and made it a point never to be outdone in any leap, however perilous. A Mr. Cherry, who was devoted to the exiled family, took advantage of this to plan the most pardonable design which was ever formed against a king's life. He regularly joined the royal hounds, put himself foremost, and took the most desperate leaps, in the hope that "William might break his neck in following him. One day, however, he accomplished one so imminently danger- ous, that the king, when he came to the spot, shook his head, and drew back. It is said that Mr. Cherry at length broke his own neck, and thereby relieved the king from further hazard. K 2


100 PERCY ANECDOTES.


FEATS OF AGILITY AND LEGERDEMAIiS; .

The natives of China and Hindostan must be allowed to surpass all the rest of the world in feats of agility and legerdemain. The English public have of late years had an opportunity of viitnessing ex- bibitions by Jugglers from both countries; but sur- prising as some of their performances were, they are far surpassed by what is every day to be seen in India.

Two men will throw spears at each other, at about fifteen feet distant, as forcibly as they can ; one will ward olFhis adversary's dart by another, which he carries upright in both hands, and the other receive his oppo- nent's javelin every throw, under one of his arms. Four persons will hold slightly a linen cloth, stretched out ; a man will run over it so lightly, as not to force it out of the holder's hands.

Two sabres being placed parallel upon the ground, with their edges upwards, a man will run once over their edges so slightly as not to cut himself. The same man will step over upon the point of a sword fixed upright, and then jump through a barrel, held horizontally, about five feet liigh.

A sword and four daggers are placed upon the ground, the edges and points upwards, no further distance from each other than will admit of a man's head ; a man then fixes a scyraitar upright, sits down behind it, and, at a bound, tlirows himself over the scy mitar, pitches his liead exactly in the space betwee n the daggers, and turns over clear of them.

A common rope is stretched upon two pair of crossed spars, about twenty feet distant, and four-


PASTIME. 101

teen feet from the ground. A man piies six water- pots upon his head, and thus accoutred, ascends the rope by means of the spars, or of a sloping cord on the outside of them ; the rope is not quite tight, but left with a slack of about three feet ; he then, with a balance pole in his hand, walks backward and forward, and swings the rope to its extent without letting a single pot fall.

Five earthen-pots are placed above each other on a man's head. A young girl mounts upon the upper- most, and the man then dances about with the pots and girl thus balanced,

A man will take a small brass pan, and twirl it round upon the end of a short pointed stick, then toss it high in the air, catch it again in any part upon the point of the stick, still continuing to twirl it round ; he will then tie another stick to the first, and a third to the second, each tie forming a kind of circular hinge ; then rest the bottom stick upon his nose or chin, each stick moving round upon its joint, and the pan still twirling round upon its centre, on the top of all, the whole keeping in equilibrium.

A cap with a broad stiff rim is fitted to a man's head, to which is tied about twenty strings, terminated each by small nooses. In his left hand he holds a small basket, or brass pan, containing twenty eggs ; then turning round, with a quick but regular motion, (as the Turkish dervises are represented to do in re- ligious rites) he fastens, successively, with his right hand, an egg into each of the nooses, still turning round. When they are all fastened, he accelerates his rotation, till the eggs circulate swiftly as the flyer of a jack. After this, he rather slackens his mo-


102 PERCY ANECDOTES.

tion, unties the eggs one by one, returns them into the basket, and stops ; the strings measure from three to four feet ; and are of unequal lengths, lest the eggs should accidentally clash.

A man will place upon his head two pieces of wood, like double-headed shot, each a foot in length, one over the other ; upon the highest piece he adds a brass dish ; upon the disli four wooden pillars, each about five inches in hciglit ; upon the pillars a small plank ; upon the plank stands a girl upright. With all this apparatus in due balance, he will dance three or four times round the room.

Another will place a straw on his nose in the open air, balance it first there, and then on a very little bit of stick in his mouth, removing it several times from one place to the other.

In tumbling, the Indians do not excel so much as in other feats; but at an exhibition some time ago at Calcutta, there was an old fellow, who though past his grand climacteric, deemed it expedient, after springing over an enormous elephant, and then over five camels abreast, to apologize for his inability, lamenting, with a sigh, that there was a time when, in the presence of Nadir Shah, he could vault indeed ; but now, alas ! age and infirmity (having since broken a leg and an arm), had nearly incapacitated him.

STEEPLE CHASES.[edit]

At the Malton races in 1801, a match was run betwixt two hunters, which should arrive at a given point in the shortest time. They went the distance (four miles) in less than fifteen minutes, and took one


PASTIME. 103

hundred leaps in their Avay, as they crossed the country. Mr. Teasdale was the winner ; Mr. Darley the loser, on whom the odds were at starting.

A match of this kind which created much amuse- ment, took place in April, 1814, between Messrs. Rcynoldson, Harbinger, and Duckett, three celebrated fox hunters, for a sweepstakes of fifty guineas each. The ground selected was from Storford in Hertford- shire, to Coleshill, a distance of twenty-one miles, through a woody country, with other obstacles of rivulets, enclosures, &c. The sportsmen kept pace with each other the first four miles, when they separated on their different routes, to avoid a rivulet. Mr. Harbinger arrived at Coleshill first, having performed the distance, after many daring leaps, in one hour and nineteen minutes. Mr. Duckett ran the winner closely, and was within three minutes of him ; and Mr. Reynoldson, who was supposed to be the best mounted, broke down at a leap.


THE DUKE OF QUEENSBERRY.

One of the most celebrated sporting characters of the last age, was the Duke of Queensberry. He fre- quently rode his horses himself, and was generally successful in the race. The duke did not however confine his love of pastime to ordinary horse racing, but executed scliemes of expedition till then con- sidered impracticable. He once bet a considerable wager that he would convey a letter fifty miles with- in an hour, without the aid of horses, carrier pigeons, (Sec. ; and this he effected by having it enclosed in a cricket ball, which twenty-four expert cricketers trans-


104 PERCY ANECDOTES.

ferred to each other; by which means the ball

passed more than fifty miles within the given time.

The duke (then Earl of March) made a bet with Count OTafe, that he would cause a carriage with four horses to be drawn a distance of nineteen miles in sixty minutes. As much depended on the lightness of the machine, Lord March caused an ingenious coach-maker to construct a vehicle for the purpose, in which he exhausted all the resources of his art to diminish the weight and friction as much as possible, and silk is said to have been used for the harness in- stead of leather. Four blood horses of approved speed were trained for some time, and two grooms of small weight and approved skill provided to manage them. The course at Newmarket was fixed for de- ciding this singular match, which took place on the 29th of August, 1750. The novelty of the project attracted an immense concourse of people, and bets to the amount of many thousands of pounds were depending. The postilions mounted, and the carriage constructed partly of wood and of whalebone, was hurried along with unrivalled velocity, and darted within the appointed time to the winning post.


GAMING FOR MONEY. In the reign of Richard the First, an edict was issued concerning gaming, by which no person in the arniy was permitted to play at any sort of game for money, except knights and also clergymen, who in one whole day and night should not each lose more than twenty shillings, on pain of forfeiting one hundred shillings to the archbishop of the army. The two


PASTIME. 105

kings might play for what they pleased ; but their attendants not for more than twenty ifhillings, other- wise they M ere to be whipped naked through the array for three days.


LION HUNT.

In a lion hunt at Baroda in the East Indies in 1816, a small party of the gentlemen of the residency, ac- companied by ten sepoys, after killing a lioness, went in search of her companion. After some time, the animal was traced by his footsteps to one of the high hedges which intersected a garden within a mile of the town. The party approached within eight yards, when two gentlemen and two sepoys fired ; the animal then moved off to the other side of the hedge, and ten minutes after he was discovered lying under another hedge, groaning with rage and pain. Some pieces were instantly discharged, which ex- asperating him, he rushed out, and nobly charged his assailants, his tail being curled over his back. In his advance, he was saluted, with great coolness, with several balls from all the gentlemen, and a few sepoys of the party who had come up ; and though within a few yards of the object of his attack, he suddenly turned olF and sprung upon a sepoy detached to the right, with whom he grappled, and afterwards by the violence of the exertion fell to the ground beyond him. At this moment the party .gallantly, and for the humane purpose of saving a fellow creature, rushed forward, and with bayonets and swords put an end to the monster. The sepoy was wounded in Lhe Jeft shoulder, but not dangerously.


106 PERCY ANECDOTES.


MONSTROUS PIKE.

Colonel Thornton, when on his sporting tour to the Highlands, caught a pike of most extraordinary di- mensions in Loch Alva, an account of which he re- lates with all the spirit of a true sportsman. After failing in one attempt to take this rare fish, " On the second trip," says he, " I saw a very large fish come at me, and collecting my line, I felt 1 had him fairly hooked ; but I feared he had run himself tight round some root, his weight seemed so dead ; we roused up therefore to the spot, where he soon convinced me he w^as at liberty, by running me so far into the lake, that I had not one more inch of line to give him. The servants foreseeing the consequences of my si- tuation, rowed with great expedition towards the fish, which now rose about seventy yards from us, an ab- solute wonder ! I relied on my tackle, which I knew was in every respect excellent, as I had in con- sequence of the large pike killed the day before, put on hooks and gimp, adjusted with great care ; a pre- caution which would have been thought superfluous in London, as it certainly was for most lakes, though here barely equal to my fish. After playing him for some time, I gave the rod to Captain Waller, that he might have the honour of landing, for 1 thought him quite exhausted ; when, to our surprise, we were again constrained to follow the monster nearly across this great lake, having the wind too much against us. The whole party were now in high blood, and the delightful Ville de Paris (one of the colonel's boats) quite unmanageable ; frequently he flew out of the


PASTIME. 107

v.'ater to such a height, that though I knew the un- common strength of my tackle, I dreaded losing such an extraordinary fish, and the anxiety of our little crew was equal to mine. After about an hour and a quarter's play, however, we might safely at- tempt to land him ; which was done in the following manner. Newmarket, a lad so called from the place of his nativity, who had now come to assist, I ordered with another servant to strip, and wade in as far as possible, which they readily did. In the meantime I took the landing net, while Captain Waller judiciously ascending the hill above, drew him gently towards us. He approached tlie shore very quietly, and we thought him quite safe ; when seeing himself sur- rounded by his enemies, he in an instant made a last desperate effort, shot into the deep again, and in the exertion threw one of the men on his back. His immense size was now very apparent ; we proceeded with all due caution, and being once more drawn towards land, I tried to get his head into the net, upon effecting which the servants were ordered to seize his tail, and slide him on shore. I took all imaginable pains to accomplish this, but in vain, and began to think myself strangely awkward, when at length, having got his snout in, I discovered that the hoop of the net, though adapted to a very large pike, would admit no more than that part. He was however com- pletely spent, and in a few moments we landed him, a perfect monster. He was stabbed by my direction in the spinal marrow, with a large knife, which ap- peared to be the most humane manner of killing him, and I then ordered all the signals with the sky scrapers to be hoisted 3 and the whoop re-echoed through the


108 PERCY ANECDOTES.

whole range of the Grampians. On opening the jaws to endeavour to take the hooks from hira, which were both fast in his gorges, so dreadful a forest of teeth, or tushes, I think I never beheld. His measurement, accurately taken, was hve feet four inches from his eye to fork. The weight of this fish, judged by the bones we had with us, which only weigh twenty-nine pounds, made us, according to our best opinions, estimate him at between forty -seven and forty-eight pounds'."


A BRAVJE CHALLENGER.

In the beginning of the last century, a female resided at Wanstead, who annually attracted notice by the following advertisement. ** This is to give notice to all ray honoured masters and ladies, and the rest of ray loving friends, that my Lady Butter- field gives a challenge to ride a horse, to leap a horse, or run on foot, or hollo, with any Avoman in England seven years younger, but not a day older, because I won't tmder-value myself, being now seventy- four years of age. My feast will be the last Wednesday of this month, April, when there will be good enter- tainment for that day, and all the year after, in Wanstead in Essex."


STORY TELLING.

One of the most favourite amusements of the Lazzaroni of Naples, is to listen to public readers, of whom (says Mr. GalifFe in his Italy) there were ge- nerally two or three on the mole ; and it is really a curious tiling to see an audience of individuals covered


PASTIME. 109

with dirty rags, listeniug lo poetry \vitli the same at- tention as the Greeks might have paid to Homer. They sit on the ground, or on the wail, or on thi; logs of wood that are occasionally deposited on the mole, while the readers stand in the middle of the throng, or rather at one extremity of it, with a small vacant space before them, as thek stage or arena. The readers take care to oblige the nonpaying amateurs to yield up their places to those from whom they have reason to expect contributions. Such preferences in a public place, where, in strictness, all rights are equal, would not be tolerated in many of the capitals of Europe; but a strong and lively sense of equity- pervades the whole of this class at Naples, to such a degree, that I never saw either disturbance or discon- tent occasioned by these interferences. The ragged listeners who were thus arbitrarily displaced for per- sons who did not even thank them for it, rose from their seats with perfect coolness and equanimity, and sought other places in more distant parts of the circle. I was frequently induced to stop at these groups to examine the features, attitude, and expression of the individuals who composed them ; but I could never bear to listen above a few minutes to the reader ; who stops at every line in poetry, and at every comma in prose, to explain by his gestures, or by other words, the sense of what he has just recited. But his ill- timed emphasis and ridiculous grimaces, which made his exhibition intolerable to my taste, formed, perhaps, an essential part of the entertainment of his native audience ; for as the books which I heard read, were always written in pure Tuscan Italian, it is probable that, without the grimaces and interpret a lions of the r.


110 PERCY ANECDOTES.

reader, few of his hearers would understand his meaning. I also was surprised to find that the readings were usually in some romance of chivalry, a style of subject which does not seem to have many points in unison with their feelings ; and I was the more asto- nished at this, because there is abundance of pretty poetry, and of very entertaining fairy tales, in the Neapolitan dialect. Howbeit, " Sentir storie" h so favourite an amusement, that it always attracts a crowd on the mole, even when contending with the rivalship of an exhibition of puppets. At one time, there were no fewer than six spectacles for the mob, ex- hibiting there every day ; a reader of poetry, a de- claimer in prose, a singer, a tooth-drawer, and moun- tebank ; a pulcinello with a |dog, and puppets that performed plays. Each of these was very nume- rously attended.


RIDING PERPENDICULAR.

A curious and hazardous performance took place at Dover in 1812, for a trifling wager, by a gentleman of the neighbourhood. There is a shaft excavated in Dover, from Snargate-strcet to the heights, comprising one hundred and forty steps, nearly perpendicular, and much resembling those in the Monument of London ; the gentleman's servant first led his master's horse up the steps of the shaft, and to the astonish- ment of cvcr^ person who followed him, he then led the animal to the bottom ; after this, the gentleman gallantly mounted, and arrived safe at the top of the shaft, in nearly a trot, by which he won the wager.


PASTIME. Ill


PROTESTANT FRANK.

Colonel Edgeworth, who raised a regiment for King William the Third, and was called Protestant Frank, was much addicted to gambling. One night, after losing all the money he could command, he staked his wife's diamond car-rings, and went into an adjoining room where she was sitting in company, to ask her to lend them to him. She took them from her ears, and gave them to him, saying, that she knew for what purpose they were wanted, but he was welcome to them. They were played for ; Colonel Edgeworth won upon this last stake, and gained back all he had lost that night. In the warmth of his gratitude to his wife, he at her desire took a solemn oath, that he would never more play at any game with cards or dice. Some time afterwards he was found in a hay yard with a friend, drawing straws out of the hay rick, and betting upon which should prove the longest. As might be expected, he lived in alternate extra- vagance and distress, sometimes with a coach and four, but much oftener in want of half a crown.


SQUIRREL HUNT.

In 1820, a squirrel hunt took place at Lima, in the county of Ontario, North America, which lasted forty days and a half. There were forty persons en a side, and on the game being counted, it amounted to thirteen thousand four Imndrcd and seventy-two black squirrels.


112 PERCY ANECDOTES,


INDIAN WAR DANCE.

The war dances of the American Indians have nothing engaging in them, their object being to strike terror in the beholders. They are dressed and painted, or rather bedaubed with paint, in a manner suitable to the occasion. They hold the murderous weapon in their hand, and imitate, in their dance, all the warlike attitudes, motions, and actions, which are usual in an engagement with the enemy, and strive to excel each other by their terrific looks and gestures. They ge- nerally perform round a painted post set up for that purpose, in a large room or place enclosed or sur- rounded with posts, and roofed with the bark of trees; sometimes also this dance is executed in the open air. There every man presents liimself in warrior's array, contemptuously looking upon the painted post, as if it was the enemy whom he is about to engage; as he passes by it, he strikes, stabs, grasps, pretends to scalp, to cut, to run through ; in short, endeavours to shew what he could do to a real enemy, if he had him in his power.


UNKENNELING A BEAR.

In January, 18 1 8, a party of hunters from Warwick, in the state of New York, af(er a search of eight days, discovered a large bear taking shelter in a fissure or cave in a declivity of the rocks of Warwick mountains, about forty feet deep. Attempts were first made to get him out by smoaking, &c. but with- out cficct. Dogs were then sent into Ihe hole, but


PASTIME. 113

they eitlier retreated at his terrific aspect^ or were destroyed by his grasp. At length the huutsinen find- ing all attempts to frighten hira froro his retreat fruit- less, blew up the rock over the hole, and came within about sixteen feet of the bear. These continued operations made him fierce and terrible. After the hole blown through the rock was suthciently large to admit the body of a man, one John Ward crept into it, placed lighted candles fixed upon the end of a pole towards the bear, and with a musket shot at him, but without effect. He descended the second time, and shot him in the fore legs ; the bear at each fire advanced towards the mouth of the hole, but Ward was not to be intimidated ; he descended again^ and shot the ferocious beast in one eye. Ward was now drawn out, the bear fiercely following him ; he instantly seized a rifle from the hands of another huntsman, and discharged the contents into the head of the animal, which proved fatal. He measured six feet from the nose to the end of the tail, and weighed three hundred and thirteen pounds.


ASTONISHING A TIGER!

A good mode of astonishing a tiger (say s Mr.M'Leod , in his account of Dahomy) was practised with suc- cess during ray stay there. A loaded musket w% firmly fixed in a horizontal position, about the height of his head, to a couple of stakes driven into the ground; and the piece being cocked, a string from the trigger, first leading a little towards the butt, and then turning through a small ring forward, was at- tached to a shoulder of mutton stuck on the muzzle I. 3


114 PERCY ANECDOTES,

of the musket, tlie act of dragging off whicli drew the trigger, and the piece loaded with two balls, dis- charged itself into the plunderer's mouth, killing him on the spot.

CRICKET.

Of all tlie popular pastimes to which the ball has given origin, (and they are numerous^ the game of cricket is the most pleasant and manly exercise. It is a game of very recent date, and its appellation cannot be traced beyond the commencement of the eighteenth century.

The Persians had a similar game, but performed on horseback, called chugan, which was a favourite recreation of kings and chiefs, and was originally considered as almost peculiar to illustrious person- ages, though it afterwards became universally prac- tised throughout Persia. Chardin describes it as one of tlie popular amusements, admitting thirty or forty persons, formed into two parties, to engage at once. The object of those who played, was to drive a ball made of light wood, through the goal, by means of sticks, having semicircular or straight transverse heads; while the contending parties, governed by cer- tain prescribed laws, and striking only when at full gallop, endeavoured to bear olF the ball. Of this game there were several kinds.

Degraded into a pedestrian exercise, and under various denominations, this game seems to have been widely ditl'used tliroughout Juirope, and we may per- haps trace it in the cricket of England; the golf or gouglj of Scotland, and the hurling matches of Ireland.


PASTIME. 115

Pietro della Valle discovered it in the Florentine calcio; and the original name chugan, appears but slightly disguised in the chicane of Languedoc, where the game is pla^'ed as in Persia, with a wooden ball and a club, headed like a mallet or hammer. A similar game, in which women as well as men partake, is a favourite amusement in Chili, and is there called la chuca. The game often lasts a whole evening, and sometimes is forced to be put off to another day.

Of late years cricket has become in England exceed- ingly fashionable, being much patronized by the nobi- lity and gentlemen of fortune, who frequently join in the diversion. In the cricket ground at INIarylebone, called Lord's Ground, there are frequently ma^-^hes, which are played by gentlemen of the first farai. )s in the kingdom ; and there is not perhaps a county that has not several cricket clubs.


PARAGUAY AMUSEMENTS.

When the Jesuits first laid the foundation of that gigantic power which they afterwards established in Paraguay, they took equal care to employ and amuse the people. The natural aptitude of the Indians for music was encouraged, and their strong propensity for dancing indulged, by making it a part of all their religious ceremonies. Boys and youths were the performers ; the grown men and all the females as- sisted only as spectators, apart from each other ; the great square was the place, and the rector and his coadjutor were seated in the church-porch, to preside. The performances were dramatic figure dances, for


116 PERCY ANECDOTES,

which the Catholic mytholog}' furnished subjects in abundance. Sometimes they were in honour of the Virgin, whose flags and laurels vvcre then brought forth; each of the dancers bore a letter of her name upon a shield, and in the evolutions of the dance the whole were brought together, and displayed in their just order; at intervals they stopt before her image, and bowed their heads to the ground. Sometimes they represented a battle between the Christians and Moors, always to the proper discomfiture of the mis- believers. The three kings of the east formed the subject of another pageant; the Nativity, of another ; but that which, perhaps, gave most delight, was the battle between Michael and the dragon, with all his imps. These stories were sometimes represented iu the form of autos, or sacred plays, (like the mysteries of the ancient drama) in which no female actors were admitted ; the dresses and decorations were public pro- perty, and deposited among the public stores, under the rector's care. The Jesuits, who incorporated men of all descriptions in their admirably-formed society, had, at one time, a famous dancing master in Para- guay, by name, Joseph Cardiel; who, whether he had formerly practised the art as a professor, or was only an amateur, took so much delight in it, that he taught the Indians no fewer than seventy diiflferent dances, all, as we are assured, strictly decorous. Sometimes the two acts of music and dancing were combined, as in ancient Greece, and the performers, witli different bands of hand instruments, danced in accordance to their own playing.


PASTIME. 117


MR. EL WES.


The miser, John Ehves, Esq., wlio would starve himself to save sixpence, was a man who frequently hazarded large sums at the gaming table. Few men, according to his own acknowledgment, had played deeper than himself, or with more varied success. He once played two days and a night without inter- mission ; and the room being a small one, the party were nearly up to their knees in cards. He lost some thousands at that sitting ; and the Duke of ISorthum- berland was of the party, who would never quit a table where any hope of winning remained.

If ]Mr. Elwes had received all he won, he would have been the richer for his gaming propensities ; but many sums were never liquidated, and thus he became a great loser by play. The theory which he professed, " that it was impossible to ask a gentleman for money," he perfectly confirmed by his practice; and he never violated this feeling to the last hour uf his life.

It is curious to remark, how at this period of his life he contrived to mingle small attempts at saving, with objects of the most unbounded dissipation. After sitting up a whole iiight at play for thousands, with the most fashionable and juofligate men of the time, amid splendid rooms, gilt sofas, wax lights, and ■waiters attendant on liis call, he would walk out about four in the morning, not toward home, but into Smiih- field, to meet his own cattle, which were coming to market from Tbaydon-liall, a farm of his in Essex I


118 PERCY ANECDOTES.

There would this same man, forgetful of the scenes he had just left, stand, in the cold or rain, haggling with a carcass hutcher for a shilli7ig !

Mr. Elwes made frequent excursions to Newmarket, but he never engaged on the turf. On one of these visits. Lord Abingdon, who was slightly known to Mr. Elwes, had made a match for seven thousand guineas, which it was supposed he would be obliged to forfeit, from an inability to produce the sum, though the odds were greatly in his favour. Mr. Elwes, unsolicited, made him an offer of the money, which he accepted, and won the engagement. The generosity of this act no one will deny ; but it was the fate of Mr. Elwes to combine some great actions with a meanness so extraordinary, that he no longer ap- peared the same person ; and he who hazarded seven thousand pounds in the morning, fasted all day, and went happily to bed with the reflection that he had saved half a crown !


CLERICAL DANCING. Louis XII. of France held a grand court at Milan, in 1501, where the balls are said to have been magni- ficent. Two Cardinals, Cardinal de Narbonne and Cardinal de St. Lcverin, footed it there with the rest of the courtiers. Cardinal Pallavino relates, that the fathers, doctors, bishops, and other church dignitaries, assembled at the Council of Trent, rested for a wliile in 1;)62 from their theological polemics, and delibe- rated on the important proposition of giving a ball to riiilij) U. King of Spain. The project, after mature discussion, was adopted, the ball was appointed, all


PASTIME. 119

the ladies of the city were invited, and the Spanish

bigot, together with all the fathers of the council, danced on the occasion.

RIDING AND DRIVING.

In 1810, Mr. Western of Moorfields, undertook to drive his horse, Scorpion, one hundred miles in twelve successive hours, and which he accomplished twenty- eight minutes and a half before the time. The same distance was done in eleven hours and a half, by a black mare, the property of Mr. Hunt of Colchester, who was precluded the use of the whip; which, how- ever, the noble animal never required.

In December, 1819, Mr. Milton engaged that he would ride from London to Stamford, a distance of ninety miles, in five hours. He started at eight o'clock in the morning, amidst a violent shower of rain; and in the course of the first hour went twenty-three miles. When he was about forty miles from town, he was disappointed in not finding a horse, and was obliged to continue for some miles longer on the one he then rode. He, however, accomplished his task, and arrived at Stamford twenty-five minutes past twelve o'clock, thus winning his wager by thirty-five minutes.

In 1811, Mr. Seward undertook for a wager of five hundred guineas, to drive four-in-hand fifteen miles in fifty minutes. At six o'clock in the morning he started from Hyde-park corner, to the fifteenth milestone near Staines. He performed the distance in fifty-three minutes and twenty seconds, and lost the match.


120 PERCY ANECDOTES.

In the sunuuer of 1809, a mare belonging to Mr. Wilson, tlie liveryman, performed a task unprece- dented in the sporting calendar. The owner of the mare backed her for a wager of 200 guineas, to go fifty miles in three hours and a half, this being at the rate of nearly fifteen miles an hour. The animal went off in high condition on the Woodford Road, and went above fifteen miles within an hour at a steady trot, and continued to do the same in the next two hours : the difficulty in the performance was to execute the last five miles in the half hour, which was nevertheless done in four minutes less than the given time ; betting was seven to four and two to one against the mare.

Miss Pond, who has been frequently spoken of as riding a thousand miles in a thousand hours at New- market in 1758, did it under circumstances far from difficult. She was a relative of the publisher of the sporting calendar, in Oxendon Street, and she was bucked by the Duke of Queensberry, then Lord IMarch. She was allowed to do the thousand miles on as many horses as she chose, without regarding time, and sh<' did the match in twenty-eight days, and two thirds of the time on one favourite liorse. The lady took her rest regularly at night, and rode in the day-time forty or fifty miles.


PEDESTRIANISM.

Notwithstanding the predominant rage for j)cd es- trianisn), and its boasted achievements, it is to be doubted, whether in lliis respect we excel the ancients, or whelher with all the skill of modern training and jireparation, savage nations are not yet our superiors


PASTIME. I2l

It is related of Phillippides, who was sent from Athens to Sparta, that in two days he ran one liun- dred and fifty Roman miles. Our fifth Plarry, and two of his lords, could take any doe in a large forest by fairly running it down ; and Harold, the son of Canute the Second, is said to have been so swift, that few horses were able to gallop faster. He could run a hare to death, from which circumstance he was sur- named, Harefoot.

At Ispahan, couriers go pne hundred and thirty miles, in ten or twelve hours. The American Indians who hunt the Orignal, pursue those animals, though as fleet as stags, till they tire and catch them ; and it is asserted, that these men perform journeys of five or six thousand miles in six weeks or two months.

To turn to England and modern times.— In the beginning of last century, Lesvis Whitehead, of Brara- hara in Yorkshire, ran four miles in nineteen minutes, which was at the rate of somewhat more than twelve miles an hour. He was then tv/enty-nine years old, and lived to be one hundred. In June, 1777, Joseph Headly, of Riccal, near York, ran five miles in twenty-one minutes. In 1803, John Todd, a Scots- man, ran a mile on the Uxbridge road in four minutes and ten seconds. In October, 1811, Mr. Rivington, a farmer near Dorchester, walked five hundred and sixty miles in seven days, which was at the rate of eighty miles per day. But the most remarkable pe- destrian feat on record, is that of one Glanville, a na- tive of Shropshire, who, in 1806, walked one hundred and twenty-two miles on the Bath road in twenty- nine hours and three quarters.


122 PERCY ANECDOTES.


THE BARCLAY MATCH.

On the first of June, 1809, Captain Barclay, of sporting celebrity, and who holds the first rank among the pedestrians of the present day, started at Newmarket Heath, to walk one thousand miles in one thousand successive hours, at the rate of a mile in each and every hour- During a great part of the time he was performing this feat, the weather was very rainy, but he felt no inconvenience from it. "When he had come near the close of his labours, the captain suffered much from spasmodic aflfections of his legs, so that he could not walk a mile in less than twenty minutes; he, however, eat and drank well, and bets still continued in his favour.

On the twelfth of July, Captain Barclay finished this arduous undertaking,'amidstan immense crowd of spectators, who had been attracted to the spot. A professional gentleman who had attended on him during the whole of the time, was confident tliat he could have lield out a week or two longer. The bets on tliis match are supposed to have amounted to ^100,000, of which the captain himself had ^'16,000 depending on it.

Many attempts have been made to accomplish a similar task to that of Captain Barclay, and more than one pedestrian is said to have effected it. Un- less, however, sufficient money were depending to make it the interest of several persons to watch most vigilantly the whole period, it may be doubted whether the pedestrian would adhere so strictly to the


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task as it requires. Among those who are said to liave done the Barclay match, is Thomas Standen, of Salehurst, nearSilvcrhill Barracks, who in July, 1811, for a trifling wager, finished the arduous task he had undertaken, of walking eleven hundred miles in as many successive hours, going one mile only in each hour. Standen was then nearly sixty years of age.

SWIFTNESS OF THE HARE. In coursing, many opportunities have occurred of observing the extraordinary velocity of the hare, but none more remarkable than the following. In March, 1812, a hare was started near Foynton, in Cheshire, which three greyhounds ran fifteen minutes and fifty-five seconds, before she was killed. The distance run in that short period, it is supposed, was six miles.


HUNTING IN CYPRUS.

A modern traveller gives the following account of sporting in the Island of Cyprus. " In this place,'* says he," I had the pleasure of seeing a Cyprian hunt- ing or coursing match, and that at which I was pre- sent, was none of the least brilliant, as it was the governor's. Having arrived at a spacious plain in- terspersed with clumps of mulberry trees, some ruins and thick bushes, the sportsmen began to form a ring, in order to enclose the game. The barrier consisted of guards on horseback, with dogs placed in the intervals. The ladies of the greatest distinction in Nicozia, with a multitude of other people, stood nr 2


124 I'EllCY ANECDOTES,

upon a little hill, which I ascended also. The governor and his suite were posted in ditferent parts of the plain, and as soon as the appointed moment arrived, the hunt was opened with the sound of musical instru- ments ; part of the dogs were then let loose, which ranging through the bushes and underwood, sprung a great number of rails, partridges, and woodcocks. l"he governor began the sport by bringing down one of these birds ; liis suite followed his example, and the winged tribe, into whatever quarter they flew, were sure of meeting with instant death, I was struck with the tranquillity of the stationary dogs, for not- withstanding the instinct by which they were spurred on, not one of them quitted his post ; but the rest ran about in pursuit of the game. The scene was now changed, a hare started up from a bush, the dogs pursued, and while the former made a thousand turnings in order to escape, she every where found an opponent ; she, however, often defeated the grey- hounds, and I admired in such cases the sagacity' of these animals, who disdaining the assistance of those that were young and inexperienced, waited until some of the curu)ing old ones opened the way for them ; and then the whole plain was in motion. When the poor animal was just ready to become a prey to its enemy, the governor rushed forward, and throwing a slick which he held in liis hand before the grey- hounds, they all stopped, and not one of them ven- tured to pass this signal. One of the swift grey- liounds being then let loose, pursued the hare, and liaving come up with it, carried it back, and jumping upon the neck of the governor's horse, placed it befcre him."


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STAG AND TIGER FIGHT.

The sporting Duke of Cumberland, when at Ascot races one year, promoted a combat which humanity bids us condemn ; it was between a stag and a hunting tiger. The result was, however, far different from what might have been expected. On a lawn by the road side near Ascot, a space was fenced in with very strong toiling, fifteen feet high, into which an old slag was turned, and shortly after the tiger was led in blind folded, by two blacks who had the care of him. The moment his eyes were uncovered, and that he saw the deer, he crouched down on his belly, and creeping like a house-cat at a mouse, watched an op- portunit}' of safely seizing his prey. The stag, how- ever, warily turned as he turned, and this strange antagonist still found himself opposed by his formi- dable antlers. In vain the tiger attempted to turn his flanks, the stag had too much generalship ; and this cautious warfare lasted until it became tedious, when his royal highness inquired, if by irritating the tiger, the catastrophe of the combat could be hastened ? He was told it might be dangerous, but it was done ; the keepers went to the tiger, and did as they were ordered, when immediately, instead of attacking the deer, with a furious bound he cleared the toiling that enclosed him. The confusion among the affrighted multitude may be conceived ; every one imagined himself the destined victim to the rage of the tiger ; but he, regardless of their fears, crossed the road, and rushed into the opposite wood. It happened that a herd of fallow deer were feeding not far from the M 3


126 PLKCY ANECDOTES,

scene of action, and on the liaunch of one of them he instantly fastened, and brought it to the ground. His keepers, to whom he was perfectly familiarized, for some time hesitated to go near liim. At length they ventured, and not being able to get him to quit the deer, they cut its throat, separated the haunch he had seized, which lie never left from his hold a moment, covered his eyes, and led him away with the haunch in his mouth.


RHINOCEROS HUNTING.

The following extract of a letter from the north- east frontier of British India, gives a good account of a day passed in hunting the rhinoceros, during the late Nepal war. " On a late occasion, our huntsmen, Avhom we liave dispersed in all directions, brought us information of a herd of seven or eight rhinoceroses having taken Hp their abode near Hurdeen. We despatched our elephants, seven in number, and shooting apparatus, &c. without delay, and followed ours('lves on horseback. On reaching the spot, wc found that either side of the lake, for about one hun- dred yards, was clothed with gloriousjungle for every animal of the savage kind. Rattan, wild rose bushes, and the reeds interwoven, formed a cover of nearly ten feet high. This, then, wc began forthwith to beat, each of our party, four in number, having an elephant with howdahs, the other three elephants carrying pads, and a few servants only. We had seventeen guns, most of them double barrelled, and five of the latter kind four ounce rifles. Soon after wc entered the jungle, the piping of the elephants and the frej'h


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prints of the rhinoceroses' feet, proved that the hunts- men were not mistaken ; and, indeed, in less than an hour, we started two young ones, about the size of a full grown Nilghau, and not unlike that animal in colour. The first fire killed one, and wounded the other severely, which, notwithstanding, went oflf at a smart elk trot, and howling in a most hideous manner. The sound was infinitely greater, but the tone re- minded me of such music as I had often heard on the sod at wakes and funerals. The old ones soon collected around us by the cries, and three males, of monstrous size and frightful appearance, charged our line with daring impetuosity. Two of our elephants giving way, received the charge on their hinder parts, and were instantly upset ; those that stood fronting the charge, were not knocked down, but staggered several yards hy the shock. Unfortunately, mine was the only howdah elephant that gave way, and you may believe my situation was by no means laugh- able. The elephant often attempted to rise ; but so •often did the rhinoceros lay him flat again, and at length with such force, that I was thrown several yards into the lake, in a state of utter stupefaction, but luckily falling on some willows, they supported and saved me from drowning. I was not sorry, on re- covering, to find myself out of the howdah, for while in it, destruction appeared inevitable, either by the horn of the furious enemy, the rolling over of the elephant, or what was as likely as any, by my com- panion's shot, who despairing of my escape, fired many times. Their balls struck the monster's body in several places, without producing any evident effect, though from the four ouncer before mentioned.


128 PERCY ANECDOTES.

At last a lucky shot knocked a large flake from liia horn, and caused a pleasing change in his conduct ; for he walked Spanish directly afterwards, tearing through the thickets with astonishing force, at a beau- tiful Mahratta canter. We traced his footsteps for some miles, when being convinced that he had taken to the forest, we returned to look for the others, deter- mined to search again for him on a future day. On our way back, we found the young one that we had wounded in the morning, dead. 'Twas now past one, p. w. and we had nearly given up all hopes of finding the others. However, on rounding the north end of tlie lake, we roused them again, and after a chase of more than three hours, killed two, a male and a female. They were not so bold now as we expected to fmd them, and seemed to have lost their courage with their leader, to whom they were very inferior in size; but still their dimensions astonished us not a little. The largest was above six feet in height, and stronger in proportion than any elephant I ever saw. No elephants but males of known courage ought to be employed in this desperate chase."


AQUATIC TOURNAMENT.

The fete of St. Louis is always celebrated with peculiar splendour at Lyons, and among the amuse- ments there is a curious aquatic tournament by the jouteurs, who exhibit in boats on the river. Mrs. Baillie, who witnessed this pastime in 1818, thus de- scribes it : " The dress of the combatants, among whom were several young boys of eight and five years old, was very handsome and fanciful, entirely


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coraposed of white linen, ornamented witli knots of dark blue riband. They bad white kid leather shoes tied with the same colours, caps richly ornamented with gold, and furnished with gold tassels. In their hands they carried blue and gold oars, and long poles, and upon their breasts a wooden sort of shield or breast plate, divided into square compartments, and strapped firmly on like armour, or that peculiar orna- ment the ephod, worn by the ancient Jewish High Priests. Against this they pushed with the poles as hard as possible, endeavouring to jostle and overturn their opponents. The vanquished falling into the water, save themselves by swimming, while the victors carry off the prize."


GERMAN FREE SHOOTING.

The Germans have a national pastime called Scheiben Schiessen, shooting at a mark, or Frey Schiessen, free shooting, which most generally takes place about the months of June or July, and is at- tended with much carousing. The people collect in bodies, and march in military and triumphant array, to some particular spot at a distance from the town or village ; and every man who chooses to buy the privilege with a florin, lays his rifle on a rest, fixed for that purpose, and shoots at a mark. The mark is sometimes a fixed target, and sometimes an object \\liich is made to move quickly past a small opening. Should the marksman hit the mark, he has a due share of honour ; and he who is so skilful as to drive his ball through the centre, receives the wooden image itself as the reward of his skill. This is then


130 PERCY ANECDOTES.

nailed up over his door, or placed at some conspicuous part of his mansion, and is very often its brightest and only ornament. It remains there year after year, till more similar trophies are sometimes added, and the front of the house becomes covered with the memo- rials of village war.

Frey Schiessen was introduced in the year 1450, soon after gunpowder came into general use, in order to learn how to shoot steadily at men. It was first practised in the north of Germany, by the citizens of Brunswick, who in all matters of discipline, and in the formation of troops, are said to have set the princes of that period a good example. Before then, similar practices with other arms appear to have been com- mon ; but then, for the first time, shooting with muskets was introduced amongst the people. It has now, however, degenerated into a mere amusement, which, though very national, is permitted only once a year. The Germans display in it, as in other things, their great characteristic of shunning bodily exertion. When we compare it with cricket, or golf, or boxing, or any of the manly pastimes of our country youth, we laugh at that revelry which accompanies it, which was originally intended to congratulate the victor, or soothe him after his toils. It is now a sort of satur- nalia, when those who have been sober and sparing all the year, indulge in licentiousness. It is to the Germans what Greenwich fair is to the citizens of London, or tlic fete of St. Cloud to the Parisians. Every body must partake of its festivities. Those who never go abroad through the rest of the year, go to this feast. The pennies which poverty can save, arc hoarded for an excess ; and those whose profligacy


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has spared nothing, pawn their furniture, their clothes, or their ornaments, that they may say, like their neighbours, " I too was at the feast ; I swilled in the same room with the berivon ; and I destroyed a certain portion of viands better than ordinary, and I was filled both with joy and with meat."

Every village has its own Schiessen ; but in Hanover it is said to be exhibited in the greatest perfection. A recent traveller in Germany thus de- scribes it : "It was the 19th of July, in the morning, that the citizens of the new town of Hanover, in an appropriate costume, with music and flags, marched in gay procession from the town to Herrenhausen, a palace of the sovereign about one mile and a half distant ; booths were erected, and a proper place made for the shooting. The orangery was cleared out ; one end of it was fitted up as a ball room, and the other as a tavern ; the fountains of the royal gardens were made to play ; and great importance was given to the whole, by one of the cabinet ministers, who is the chief of all that relates to the royal domains, taking the direction on himself. For this attention, however, the citizens, with their music, go at the end of the three days during which the shooting lasts, in solemn procession, to return him their thanks, and * bring him a vivat.* Even this amusement is under the direction of the govern- ment.

" I visited Herrenhausen on each day the shooting lasted, and partook of the feasting and revelry. The gay ball room in the orange house was for the dancers of a better condition ; and sundry other places were fitted up for the poorer citizens and peasants to hop


132 PERCY ANECDOTES.

and whirl in at a cheaper rate. Refreshments of all kinds were abundant, and there was a great deal of guzzling. People of all distinctions go, and carry their families with them. I saw a judge smoking his segar, and swallowing the wing of a fowl ; the master of the liorse drinking punch; the secretary to the consistoriura enjoying a pasty with his wife ; nobles, gentlemen, tradesmen, musicians, were all mixed together; and there were no distinctions recognized or preserved."

SOUTH AMERICAN DANCES.

The dance of the South American Indians is not only amusing, but scientific, and would create wonder and applause in any part of Europe. The leader of the dance is styled their chief, or Indian king, to whom the others pay implicit obedience. The chief and twelve Indian lads, from twelve to fifteen years of age, are dressed in the costume of the country, namely, a short petticoat tied round the waist, and decorated with various coloured featliers, compose the whole of the body dress; the petticoat extends almost to the knees, and is very tastefully ornamented ; round the head, a coronet of coloured paper, deco- rated with plumes of feathers, is displayed, and the long twisted black hair gives a finished appearance to the whole. The chief alone wears a mantle, adorned with pieces of scarlet cloth, gracefully thrown over liis shoulders; and with a sort of sceptre in his hand, commands the whole. He wears a large coronet on his head. The boys arc all armed with bows and arrows, and liaving formed themselves into two lines.


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their king walks down the middle, and seals himself in the chair of state. He is supposed to personate Montezuma, who on receiving a letter from Cortez, demanding the unconditional surrender of his person and treasures, is so irritated, as to cause him to tear the letter in pieces before his body guard, and having imparted to them its contents, demands of them if they are willing to die in their Inca's defence ? Their answer is an instantaneous prostration of themselves at the feet of their monarch, in token of their firm resolution to defend him to the last extremity, and to die in his cause. They then on a sudden arise, and having strung their bows, show their readiness for immediate battle. The piece then concludes, and dancing recommences. The pole dance in general closes the diversion of the afternoon ; a dance so called from the use of a pole, about ten feet high, and four or five inches in circumference. At the head is a round ball or truck, immediately under which are fastened twelve differently coloured, or variously striped, pieces of French tape, about half an inch broad, and about twelve feet each piece in length. The pole being kept perpendicularly supported, each Indian lays hold of a line of tape, which is drawn to its full length, the whole forming a large circle around the pole, one regularly covering his companion in front. At a signal from the chief, the music strikes up a favourite tune, and the circle becomes in motion, half of the performers facing to the right about ; on the second signal, each steps off, and meeting the others, |hey pass on in succession, right and left, and so continue until the twelve lines of tape are entwined in chequered order from the top to the bottom of


134 PEKCY ANECDOTES.

the pole ; and so regular is the appearance, that it would be difficult to find a mistake. A lialt for the moment takes place, and the same process is again renewed to unwind the tape, which is as regularly completed as before, by inverting the dance, and leading from left to right. It is not only graceful, but the movements of the whole are in step and time to various cadences which the instrument, usually a violin, produces.


PATAGONIAN SLINGING.

The natives of Patagonia are singularly expert in the use of the sling, which consists of two round stones, each weighing above a pound, covered with leather, and fastened to the two ends of a string, about eight feet long. When they want to use it, one stone is left in the hand, and the other whirled round the head, until it is supposed to have acquired sufficient force, and then it is discharged at the object. The Patagonians are so expert in the manage- ment of this double-headed shot, that they will hit a mark the size of a shilling with both the stones, at the distance of fifteen yards. It is not their custom to strike either the guanico or the ostrich with them in the chase ; but they discharge them so that the cord comes against the legs of the ostrich, or two of the legs of the guanico, and is twisted round them by the force and swing of the balls, so that the anirnal being unable to run, becomes an easy prey to the hunter.


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BOXING.

The Romans, from whom so many of our popular customs and amusements have been derived, enume- rated boxing among their athletic sports. Whether tlie Romans were as expert as the pugilists of the present day, we have no means of ascertaining ; but it is certain that the professors of the art were trained with equal regularity, and there can be little doubt of their prowess.

When boxing took a serious turn, it became a contest of much greater danger than the pugilistic battles of the present time. The combatants wore gloves loaded with metal, and the issue of the combat was often fatal to one or both of tliem. In Dryden's Virgil there is the following allusion to this mode of fighting.

■ " He threw

Two ponderous gauntlets down in open view. Gauntlets which Eryx wont in fight to wield. And sheath his hands within the listed field. With fear and wonder seiz'd, the crowd beholds The gloves of death, with seven distinguish'd folds Of tough bull hides ; the space within is spread With iron, or with heavy loads of lead."

Boxing is still, under diiFerent forms, common to all Tuscany ; but is reduced to least perfection in the capital. There, if a man in a contest finds himself over matched, he usually shouts for assistance, and by the aid of the first comer, turns the table upon his antagonist. The latter again finds his abettors, and


13G PliRCY ANECDOTES.

the combat thickens, till a whole street is filled with combatants.

At Sienna, boxing puts on a more scientific form. In this city are regular academies for pugilistic exer- cise ; there is a code for the regulation of boxing matches ; a certain time for recovery is accorded to the person knocked down ; and, in short, the strife assumes all the distinguishing features of a courteous combat.

In Vicenza and Florence, people contend, as at Sienna, with the unarmed fists ; but at Pisa and Leghorn, tliey clench a cylindrical piece of stick, which projects at each end of the doubled fist, and inflicts a cruel wound when it strikes obliquely'.

Boxing has of late years become a favourite amuse- ment in England, and is even dignified with the name of a science by its professors. It was in the early part of the last century that Figg opened an academy, known by the name of Figg's Amphitheatre, where he taught the use of the small and back sword, cud- gelling, and pugilism. To Figg succeeded Broughton, who has been called the father of the English school of boxing. From that time, to the present day, pugilism has gained ground in England, and scarcely a week passes without recording some set battle, revolting to human nature, and degrading to a country which boasts of its civilization and refine- ment. The advocates of pugilism (for it has its advocates and admirers, even among the nobility) say that it tends to keep up the national spirit; but it will hardly be contended, that our ancestors, who fought at Cressy, Agincourt, Blenheim, and Minden, were inferior in spirit to the Britons of the nineteenth


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century. A more plausible apology for boxing is made by Dr. Bardsley of JNlancliester, who, in a " Dissertation on the Use and Abuses of popular Sports and Exercises," says, " It is a singular, though striking fact, that in those parts of the kingdom of England where the generous and manly system of pugilism is least practised, and where, fortlie most part, all personal disputes are decided by the exer- tion of savage strength and ferocity, a fondness for barbarous and bloody sports is found to prevail. In some parts of Lancashire, bull-baiting and raan-slay ing are common practices. The knowledge of pugilism as an art is, in these places, neither understood nor practised. There is no established rule of honour to save the weak from the strong, but every man's life is at the mercy of his successful antagonist. The object of each combatant in these disgraceful contests, is to throw each other prostrate on the ground, and then with hands and feet, teeth and nails, to intiict at random every possible degree of injury and torment. This is not an exaggerated statement of the barbarism still prevailing in many parts of this kingdom."


NEW YEAR'S DAY IN PERSIA.

On the first day of the new year, the governors of the provinces make their presents to the King of Persia, at Teheran, which are succeeded by various sorts of games and pastimes. M. Tancoigne, who was at Teheran in 1808, thus describes them : First came men running on stilts of more than twenty feet high ; others performing feats of strength and ba- lancing, turnuig on the slack rope, or carrying on N 3


138 PERCY ANECDOTES.

their heads a pile of earthen pots, surmounted with a vase of flowers; then dancing, and combats of rams, which were excited against each other.

These exercises were followed by rope dancing, performed by two young children. The rope was of hair, and consequently less flexible than a hempen one ; being strained on two trestles of more than forty feet in height, it ascended almost imperceptibly as high as the top of the king's kiosk. After having made several gambols with the assistance of their poles, on the part of the rope which was horizontal, one of the two dancers, ten years old at most, mounted as high as the terrace which crowns the pavilion, and then descended backwards from a height of more than eighty feet. We remarked with pleasure, that several men placed beneath the cord, followed all the movements of the child, ready to receive him in a large blanket, if his foot liad happened to have slipped. We did not suppose the Persians were capable of such an attention, espe- cially in the king's presence. These dancers are called in Persian, djanbaz, meaning one who plays or risks his soul. Tills expression, contemptuous in itself, intimates that games of this kind are discou- raged by religion ; and is nearly synonymous with that of excommunication, with which our actors were once complimented. . ' .

Naked men, armed with maces, and wrestlers, appeared afterwards before the king. The first re- sembled savages ; they ' struck their clubs together, without injuring each other. It was not so with the second, their combats having something hideous and re- volting. The coniineror, tliat is to say, he who succeeded


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in throwing his adversary on his back, went to the foot of the kiosk, to receive a piece of money which the king threw down to him. Fire works of a splendid description succeeded ; and the next day was appro- priated to horse racing.


STAG HUNTING IN HUNGARY.

On the 24th of September, 1818, at ten o'clock in the morning, Prince Paul Esterhazy, attended by a numerous party of friends, quitted Eiscnstadt, (a magnificent residence of his father, about thirty miles distant from Vienna), to enjoy a stag-hunt, a diversion altogether novel in Hungary'. At eleven, they arrived in the centre of a beautiful plain in front of the castle, where they found the fox-hounds of Lord Stewart, three stalls, or carriages, containing stags, and a numerous assemblage of sportsmen. The prince and his party immediately mounted, and preparations commenced for turning off a stag, while every heart beat high with anxious expectation. At this moment, the Princess, attended by several ladies in barouches, drove up to witness the novel but beautiful scene. The morning, " with breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom," was heavenly. The signal given, the carriage was opened, and the stag stepped forth in all his native majesty ; looking round with a mix- ture of surprise and contempt, he bounded off in high style. , When viewed at the distance of about two miles, the hounds were cast off; after a little dashing, they stooped, and challenged in good form. " Hark forward, hark forward, tantivy !" was the cry; the crash became general, and, after one checkless


140 FEUCV ANECDOTES.

burst of forty minutes, the gallant hounds pulled down their game. The prince. Lord Stewart, Mr. Fitzroy, Mr. Bloomfield, Prince Wenzel-Lichtenstein, Count Schonfield, Count Esterhazy, the huntsman, and a ninth sportsman, w ere in at the death. Having blooded the hounds, the party returned to the plain. Fresh horses were in attendance, but no change was made, except by Lord Stewart. It was now one o'clock, when the Ober Forst-Meister (or head gamekeeper) again opened a stall, and produced a stag much superior to the first. After eight mhiutes law, the hounds were cast oiF. They went at a rattling pace for five miles, when the stag was headed at Nellap ; the check was momentary ; he took away through the fine galloping country, and after a noble burst of fifty minutes, he entered the extensive vineyard of Margarthen. The hounds were immediately drawn off, to prevent injury to the vines, and he was driven through by the peasants, trotting before them in most majestic style. This check was amply compensated (at least to some) by a scene truly interesting. Groups of beautiful Hungarian maids were reaping the rich harvest of Bacchus —

Their coats were kilt, and did sac sweetly shaw Their bare white legs, that whiter were than snaw ; Their cockernonics snooded up fu' sleek, Their hassel locks hung waving on the cheek.

While regaling on the grateful juice, we heard a halloo from the opposite side of the vineyard ; " hark forward !" was the cry ; the stag now faced the fine plain of Margarthen, over which we went at great speed. On approaching a gentle but long declivity,


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we descried the grassy lake of Sultz, ^vhich the stag had taken, and was now nearly half-way across the distance from one shore to the other, being rather better than an English mile. The hounds immediately took the water ; their noble master, Lord Stewart, Prince Esterhazy, Mr. Fitzroy, and Mr. Bloomfield, Mr. Weatherley, and two English grooms belonging to the prince, dashed in along with them. AVill, the huntsman, and Jack the whippcr in, both Englishmen (recorded with regret), bolted with the Hungarians. The scene was now certainly unparalleled in the annals of European sporting. A stag swimming across a mighty lake ; a pack of hounds, in full cr3', swimming by the sides of the horses, encouraged by their daring riders. The effort was desperate, but irresistible ; the very water appeared to give a tacit consent to the attempt j it was placid, and perfectly motionless, save a gentle undulation, caused by thousands of wild ducks, who seemed to sit in judgment upon the rashness of the sportsmen. From the centre of the lake the latter beheld the noble stag reach the shore, at a moment when an insurance at Lloyd's v.'ould have been very high against their doing so ; happily, in a quarter of an hour more, their gallant steeds brought them safe to land, attended by their mute pack of hounds, which had no wind left for music. After a pause of a few minutes, to collect the hounds and breathe their horses, the^^ challenged at the very edge of the lake, and ran, in a direct line, for a mile and a half, to the summit of a strong ascent, into a small walnut cover, where the dashers were joined by their long-lost companions, who had more prudently preferred galloping on dry land, to swim-


142 PERCY ANECDOTES.

niing in a lake. Here the stag turned back, and bent his course down the mountains, towards the lake again ; it was now difiicult to determine, whether tlie efFort made bj the hounds or horsemen, to prevent his gaining the lake, was the greatest. A second swimming appeared to be desired by neither ; he made a desperate effort to gain the lake ; did so, but it was only to die ; eight of the leading hounds pulled him down, about twelve yards from the shore ; most piteously he brayed.

Poor stag, the dogs thy haunches gore.

The tears run down thy face, The huntsman's pleasure is no more.

His joys were in the chase.

Thus ended a chase of fourteen miles by land, and one by Avater, that would not have disgraced a pack of the best appointed stag-hounds in Europe. All the horses in the field were English, except one, which was rode by a Lieutenant-General of Cavalry, and which proved very deficient in speed for the business of the day. The sportsmen returned highly delighted with their day's sport, to the princely mansion of Eisenstadt, where they partook of a magnificent bancjuet, to refresh them after their fatigues.

KING CRISPIN.

Crispin and Crispianus, two brothers, the sons of a king, according to the legend, were Christian apostles, who, in 303, came to Prance from Italy to preach the doctrine of Christianity. Having rendered themselves obnoxious, however, to the ruling powers, they were


PASTIME. 143

not allowed to preach, and were constrained to gain a livelihood by shoemaking. Crispin married his master's daughter, and is regarded as the king or patron saint of the shoemakers. King Crispin's day falls on the 14th day of October, 0. S. and according to the old proverb.

On the 14th of October Was ne'er a Sutor sober.

This anniversary is frequently celebrated in Scotland with a degree of pomp and magnificence unknown to the subject of King Crispin in other parts of the world. The following account of the festival of this de- scription which took place a few years ago, will amuse the reader.

In the morning, his Majesty King Crispin, with the whole of his officers of state, attendants, &c. tliat is, persons representing them, assembled in the chapel royal of Stirling Castle, and the company being there, properly marshalled according to the most approved rules of heraldry, marched through the streets of Stirling in the following order.

Three men in front, with broadswords drawn.

The champion on horseback, armed and supported by

two aides-de-camp, also on horseback, with

broadswords drawn.

The head colonel with silver-hilted sword drawn,

sash and gorget.

Stand of colours.

Ensign with sash, gorget, and silver-hilted sword,

supported by two captains with silver-hilted swords

drawn.


144 PERCY ANECDOTES.

A military band of music.

Lord mayor supported by two aldermen and colours.

The ushers with green batons, two and two, hats oft'.

The KING, in his royal robes, with a large green baton,

supported by bis right and left hand secretaiies,

their hats oft', his train borne by his pages.

Prime minister, hat oft".

Fifteen lords with stars on their left breasts, hats off",

three and three.

Two captains with silver-hilted swords, drawn.

The corporation colours borne by two ensigns,

supported by two captains with silver-hilted swords,

drawn.

Commons, two and two.

Two stand of colours borne by two ensigns, supported

by two lieutenants with silver-hilted swords, drawn.

fifes and drums.

Two captains with silver-hilted swords, drawn.

The Indian Prince in hisrobes, armed with battle-axe,

and bow and arrows, supported by his two secretaries

in character, also armed, and all on horseback.

Two captains with silver-hilted swords, drawn.

Lieutenant-colonel with sash and gorget, silver-hilted

sword, drawn (or pike).

Two captains Avith silver-hilted swords, drawn.

Three broadswordmen.

Two majors on horseback.

As the procession advanced through the town, they were greeted by the cheers of an immense number of spectators, and every window displayed beauty and smiling approbation. At five o'clock, his majesty in council entertained his loyal subjects with a sumptuous dinner at the principal hotel. After


PASTIME. 145

the cloth was removed, ** His majesty's well beloved cousin, King George the Third," and various other toasts appropriate to the occasion, were drank.

The king's secretary then read, by desire of his majesty, the following speech :

"Gentlemen and loyal subjects — It is with the great- est pleasure imaginable, that I have to communicate to you, how much I feel myself gratified in the manner in which you have conducted yourselves this day. It has been such as I wished, and I am happy to say, I have not been in the smallest degree disappointed.

" Gentlemen — It is upwards of half a century since a procession was performed here, and those who attended that procession, for the most part are now no more. This may probably be the case with us, before another shall take place. I therefore hope, gentlemen, that your conduct during the remainder of this evening, will be such as I have reason to expect from what is past, so that the memorable events of this day may be transmitted to posterity, and there be found worthy of imitation.

"Gentlemen — Be assured, that your happiness at all times, will be to me a source of the greatest pleasure. Please to accept of my highest esteem and respect.

"king CRISPIN."

The assembly now rose, and adjourned to the ball room, where the merry dance on the light fantastic toe, displayed the taste, elegance, and envied beauty of King Crispin's empire.

Nothing could excel the politeness of conduct and


146 PERCY ANECDOTES.

demeanour, with which both dinner and ball were conducted ; doing honour to themselves, and the country they inhabit.

King Crispin's day, though not often, nor every where observed with such splendour as on the pre- ceding occasion, is always a day sacred to pastime among the fraternity of shoemakers and coblers. A striking instance of this is related to have occurred at Brussels, during the reign of Charles the Fifth. That sagacious sovereign, in order to know the senti- ments of his meanest subjects respecting his adminis- tration, was often in the practice of going about in disguise, and mixing in familiar conversation with whatever society he chanced to meet. One night he went to the house of a cobler, on pretence of wanting his boot mended. It happened to be King Crispin's holiday, and instead of finding the cobler inclined for work, he was in the lieight of jollity among some other sons of the trade. The emperor acquainted him with what he wanted, and oft'ered a handsome gratuity. " What, friend, "says the fellow, " do you know no better, than to ask any of our craft to work on King Crispin's day ? were it Charles the Fifth himself, I would not do a stitch for him now ; but if you will come in and drink King Crispin, do, and welcon)e,wc are as merry as the emperor can be." The sovereign accepted his oiFer ; but while he was contemplating their rude pleasure, instead of joining in it, the jovial host thus accosted him: " What, I suppose you are some courtier, politician, or other, by that thinking phiz; nay, by your long nose, you may be a relation of the emperor's, but be you who or what you may, you arc heartily welcome ; drink about.


PASTIME. 147

here's Charles the Fifth's health." " Then you love Charles the Fifth ?" replied the emperor. " Love him !" says the son of Crispin, " aye, aye, I love his long noseship well enough, but I should love him much more, would he but tax us a little less ; but what have we to do with politics? round be the glass, and merry be our hearts."

After a short stay, the emperor took leave, and thanked the cobler for his hospitable reception. " That," cried he, "you are welcome to ; but I would not have dishonoured St. Crispin, to work for the emperor."

The cobler was sent for next morning to court. Imagine his surprise, when he found his late guest was his sovereign ; he was in a terrible fright, lest the joke on his nose should be punished with death ; the emperor thanked him for his hospi- tality, and, as a reward for it, bade him ask for what he desired, and take the whole night to consider of it. The next day he appeared, and requested, that for the future, the ccblers of Flanders might bear for their arras, a boot with the emperor's crown upon it. That request was granted ; and so moderate was his ambi- tion, that the emperor bade him make another request. " If," says he, " then I am to have my utmost wishes, command, that for the future, the company of cohlers shall take place of the company of shoemakers." It was accordingly so ordained ; and to this day, there is to be seen a chapel in Brussels, adorned with a boot and an imperial crown on it; and in all proces- sions, the company of coblers take place of the com- pany of shoemakers.


o 2


148 PERCY ANECDOTES.


JAVANESE DANCING.[edit]

No nation ever carried a love of dancing to such an excess as the Javanese. There is scarcely an occa- sion, whether serious or comic, in which they do not cut the most extraordinary capers. If a warrior throws out a defiance to his enemy, it is done in a dance, in which he brandishes his spear and kris, pronouncing an emphatic challenge. If a native of the same country runs a muck, ten to one but he braves death in a dancing posture. When they swear eternal hatred to their enemies, or fidelity to their friends, the solemnity is accompanied by a dance, in which a great deal of vivacity is displayed. All orders executed in the presence of a Javanese raonarcli, on public occasions, are accompanied by a dance. When a message is to be conveyed to the royal ear, the messenger advances with a solemn dance, and retreats in the same way. The ambas- sadors from one native prince in Java to another, follow the same course when coming into, and retiring from, the presence of the sovereign to whom they are deputed.

Previous to the introduction of the Mahomedan religion, it appears to have been the custom in all the oriental islands, for the men of rank, at their public festivities, when heated with wine, to dance. Upon such occasions, the exhibition appears to have been a kind of war dance. The dancer drew his kris, and went through all the evolutions of a mock-figlit. At present the practice is most common among the Java- nese, with every chief of whom, dancing, far from being


PASTIME. 149

considered scandalous, as among the people of Western India, is held to be a necessary accomplish- ment. Respectable ^^omen, however, never join in it, and with that sex, dancing is confined to those whose profession it is. In the most crowded circle of strangers, a Javanese chief will exhibit in the mazes of the dance with an ordinary dancing girl. The dance, at such times, is nothing more than the slow and solemn pacing exhibited on other occasions.

The professed dancers differ little but in inferiority of skill, from the common dancing girls of Hindostan. The music to which the dancing is performed, is indeed generally incomparably better than that of Western India, although the vocal part of it is equally harsh and dissonant. Now and then a single voice of great tenderness and melody may be found ; but whenever an effort is made at raising it for the accom- modation of an audience, it becomes harsh and un- musical. The songs sung on such occasions, are often nothing more than unpremeditated etlusions; but among the Javanese, there are some national ballads that might bear a comparison with the boasted odes of the Persian minstrels.


THE CHARMED WARRIORS.

When the Cossacks were at Dresden in 1813, one of them chanced to hear a young lady of a respect- able family playing on the pianoforte, and singing. As if enchanted, he followed the melodious sounds, pursued his way up stairs, from room to room, and after traversing several apartments, discovered the o 3


150 PERCY ANECDOTES,

right one. He entered, and stood listening behind the lonely musician, who, half dead with fear, on perceiving the figure of her martial visitor in a mirror, would naturally have run away. He detained her, and in unintelligible language, with friendly gestures, begged for a da capo; and without ceremony, fetched his comrades out of the street. The music soon relaxed the joints of the bearded warriors, and in a few moments they struck up a charming Cossack dance, in the best room in the house. The tremblhig girl was obliged to summon up all her courage and strength, that her fingers might not refuse to perform their office in this critical juncture. She returned sincere thanks to heaven when the dance was o-er, and was not a little surprised, when one of ,de delighted performers, with the most cordial gestures, laid a piece of gold on the pianoforte. It was to no purpose that the young lady refused it ; the donors retired, leaving behind them the piece of money, which the fair owner will doubtless preserve with care, as a memorial of the lovers of dancing and music from the deserts of Asia.


BRITISH ARCHERS.

There are several societies of archers in England, the chief of which are the woodmen of Arden and the ToxopholUes ; but the Scottish Royal Company of Archers is the most remarkable of the kind now existing.

The ancient records of the Royal Company of Archers liaving been destroyed by fire about the beginning of the last century, no authentic traces of


PASTIME. 151

the institution of this society now remain. It has been said, however, that it owes its origin to the com- missioners appointed in the reign of James I. of Scotland, for enforcing the exercise of archery in the different counties. These commissioners having picked out some of the most dexterous archers from among the better sort of people, formed them into a compan}^ and upon perilous occasions the honourable post was assigned to them of defending the king's person as body guards. This rank of the king's principal body guards, the Royal Company still claim within six miles of the metropolis of Scotland.

It is certain that, in 1677, this company was re- cognized by an act of the Scottish privy council, under the title of "His Majestie's Company of Archers;" and by the same act, a piece of plate, of the value of of'SO sterling, was ordered to be given to be shot for by them at their annual parades, called weapon shaicings, and to be called the king's prize. But in consequence of their avowed attachment to the royal family of Stuart, the revolution under King William nearly put a period to their existence. The royal prize was withheld, and their parades discontinued. Upon the accession of Queen Anne, however, the leaders of the Scottish Jacobites restored the society, that under the pretence of exercising the ancient art of arcliery, tliey might have an oppor- tunity of holding public meetings and processions under authority of law. Accordingly, as a society of archers, with the celebrated Sir George M'Kenzie, then Lord Tarbat, and secretary of state, and afterwards Earl of Cromarty, as their captain general, they obtained from Queen Anne in the year 1703, a


152 PERCY ANECDOTES.

charter under the great seal, erecting them into a royal company, reviving the laws in favour of archery, authorizing them to admit members, and appoint their commanding officers, and to meet and go forth under their officers conduct in military form, in manner of weapon shawing, as often as they should think con- venient. The first time they displayed any military parade was in 1714, amidst the critical state of public affairs during Queen Anne's last illness. On the 14th of June, the Earl of Cromarty, their captain general, although then upwards of eighty years of age, and the Earl of Wemyss, as their lieutenant general, marched at the head of about fifty noblemen and gentlemen, clothed in uniform, equipped in military array, and distinguished by their proper standards, from the Parliament Square to the Palace of Holyrood House, thence to Leith, where they shot for the silver arrow given by the city of Edinburgh, and returned in similar parade, having received from the different guards which they passed, the same military salu- tations or honours that are paid to any body of the king's forces. Next year the Earl of Cromarty being dead, the Earl of Wemyss headed a procession, in which above a hundred of the nobility and gentry assisted.

After the rebellion in 1715, the archers discon- tinued their public parade for some years, but after- wards resumed it. They were justly regarded with jealousy by government, as attached to the unfortu- nate family of Stuart ; nobody being for many years admitted into their society that was not supposed to entertain this sentiment. The unhappy differences upon this subject having subsided, the Royal Company


PASTIME. 153

once more revived during the late reign. His majesty, George III. as a mark of his royal patronage and approbation, renewed the royal prize, which was first shot for upon the 28th of July, 1788, by a numerous and respectable meeting, and was won by James Gray, Esq., writer in Edinburgh.

After this, the woodmen of Arden and the Toxo- pholites admitted the members of the Royal Com- pany to the freedom of their societies, and reciprocal diplomas were in return granted by the Royal Com- pany; so that these three principal societies of archers in Britain are united into one.

Besides the royal prize already mentioned, the company shoot annually for four other prizes ; a silver arrow from the town of Musselburgh, another from the town of Peebles, a third from the city of Edinburgh, and a silver punch-bowl of about the value of ^bO, made of Scottish silver, at the ex- pense of the company. All these prizes are shot for, at what is termed rovers, the marks being placed at a distance of one hundred and eighty-five yards.

In addition to all these, there is another prize annually contended for at butt or point blank distance, called the Goose. According to the ancient manner of shooting for this prize, a living goose was built in a turf butt, having the head only exposed to view ; and the archer who first hit the goose's head, was entitled to the goose as his reward. But this custom, on account of its barbarity, has been long ago laid aside ; and in place of the goose's head, a mark of about an inch diameter is fixed upon each butt ; and the archer who first bits this mark, is csptain of the butt shooters for a year.


154 PERCY ANECDOTES.

The Royal Company now consists of above one thousand members, among whom are most of the Scottish nobility of the first distinction. The uniform of the Royal Company of archers is tartan lined with white, and trimmed with green and white fringes, a ■white sash with green tassels, and a blue bonnet, with a St. Andrew's cross and feathers. The company have two standards. The first of these bears on one side Mars and Cupid encircled in a wreath of thistles, with this motto, " In peace and war ;" on the other a yew tree, with two men dressed and equipped as archers, encircled as the former ; motto, Dat gloria vires. The other standard displays on one side a lion rampant gules on a field, or encircled with a wreath ; on the top, a thistle and crown ; motto, Nemo me impune lacessit. On the reverse, St. Andrew on the cross on a field argent ; at the top, a crown ; motto, Dulce pro patria periculum.

GREAT COURSING MATCH.

In February, 1798, a brace of greyhounds, the property of James Courtall, Esq. of Carlisle, coursed a hare from the Swift, near that city, and killed her at Clenraell, seven miles distant. Both greyhounds were so exhausted, that unless the aid of some me- dical men, who were upon the spot, had been imme- diately given, they would have died ; and it was with difiiculty they were recovered. Upwards of two hundred gentlemen were present, and more money was supposed to be laid than on any similar occasion ; at starting, it was even betting, the hare against the dogs. The hare, which had been often coursed, and


PASTIME. 155

always beat her pursuers easily, was allowed two hundred yards law.


DUPLICITY PUNISHED.

A party of gentlemen had assembled at a country mansion, to pass the evening at cards ; but the stakes, according to the custom of the host, being limited, the game became rather flat, when one of the com- pany, a Mr. L., said laughingly, " Come, gentlemen, this is confoundedly dull work. Suppose we set our wits to contrive something livelier ?" The proposition met with general assent, and various novel subjects for wagering were suggested. The original proposer at last exclaimed, " Gentlemen, I have hit it ; you all know the chequered floor of Squire Rigby's great hall ; let each throw ten guineas into a hat, and he who guesses nearest the exact number of pieces in the floor, shall take all." The idea pleased, and the stakes were immediately deposited. While the com- pany vi-ere proceeding with their guessing, a valet, who had overheard the wager, entered, and presented his master, Mr. W., with a letter, which he said had just been left for him. The letter contained these few- words :

" Master^ — 'I saw Mr. L. counting the chequers at Squire Rigby's. The exact number is three hundred and seventy-nine."

Mr. W. said nothing, but put the letter in his pocket, and waited till his turn for guessing came round. Mr. L., the honest proposer of the wager, apprehensive that if he fixed upon the exact number, it might lead to suspicion, thought it would look


150 PERCY ANECDOTES.

better, and be quite as secure, to choose that next to it ; he accordingly called out three hundred and seventy-eight. Mr. W., who followed, relying on the secret, pronounced the actual number, three hundred and seventy-nine. The astonishment and chagrin of Mr. L. may be easily conceived ; it was not without some difficulty he managed to conceal it from the observation of the company. A messenger was dis- patched to Rigby Hall, which was at no great distance, to ascertain how the fact stood ; and on his return, three hundred and seventy-nine was declared to be the winning number. Mr. W. of course pocketed the handful of guineas. Next morning, however, he sent to each gentleman of the party his ten guineas, enclosed in a note, explaining the whole matter, and to Mr. L. an intimation in these terms :

    • Mr. W., the winner of the wager made last night

about Rigby Hall, has returned to each of the gentle- men who were parties to it the amount of his stake. Mr. L.'s ten guineas he has given to be distributed among the poor of liie parish. If Mr. L. desires an explanation of this proceeding, he shall have it."

It is scarcely necessary to say, that no explanation was required or demanded. Conscious of his guilt, Mr. L. submitted in silence to the disgrace which it entailed.


LAMMAS FESTIVAL.

In an unenclosed corn country, unless the soil is

remarkably fertile, a part of the fields must be left in

grass, for the pasturage of horses, cattle, or sheep ;

and as all these must be guarded by herds while


PASTIMIi. 157

grazing, it will necessarily happen, that in these cir- cumstances a great number of boys and young lads will be employed during the summer months in tending the beasts. About half a century ago, this was generally the case with the greatest part of the county of Edinburgh. These herds, as is natural for young persons who have much idle time on their hands, devised many kinds of pastime, with which they occasionally diverted themselves ; but none was more remarkable than the celebration of the Lammas festival.

All the herds within a certain district, towards the beginning of summer associated themselves into bands, sometimes to the number of a hundred or more. Each of these communities agreed to build a tower in some conspicuous place, near the centre of their district, which was to serve as the place of their ren- dezvous on Lammas day. This tower was usually built of sods ; for the most part square, about four feet in diameter at the bottom, and tapering to a point at the top, which was seldom above seven or eight feet from the ground. In building it, a hole was left in the centre for admitting a flag staff, on which they displayed their colours on the great day of the festival.

This tower was usually begun to be built about a month before Lammas, and was carried up slowly by successive additions from time to time, being seldom entirely completed till a few days before Lammas, though it was always thought that those who com- pleted their's soonest, and kept it standing the longest time before Lammas, behaved in the most gallant manner, and acquired the most honour by their conduct. p


158 PERCY ANECDOTES.

From the moment the foundation of the tower was laid, it became an object of care and attention to the whole community, for it was reckoned a disgrace to suffer it to be defaced, so that they resisted with all their power any attempts that should be made to de- molish it, either by force or fraud ; and as the honour that was acquired by the demolition of a tower, if effected by those belonging to another, was in propor- tion to the disgrace of suffering it to be demolished, each party endeavoured to circumvent the other as much as possible, and laid plans to steal upon the other tower unperceived, in the night time, and level it with the ground. Great was the honour that such a suc- cessful exploit conveyed to the undertakers ; and though the tower was easily rebuilt, and soon put in its former state, yet the news was quickly spread by the successful adventurers, through the whole district, wiiich filled it with shouts of joy and exultation, while their unfortunate neighbours were covered with shame. To ward off this disgrace, a constant nightly guard was kept at each tower, which was made stronger and stronger as the tower advanced, so that frequent nightly skirmishes ensued at these attacks, but were seldom of much consequence, as the assailants seldom came in force to make an attack in this way, but raerelj' to succeed by surprise ; as soon, therefore, as they saw they were discovered, they made off in the best manner they could.

To give tiic alarm on these and on other occasions, every person was armed with a footing horn, that is, a horn perforated in the small end, through which wind can be forcibly blown from the mouth, so as to occa- sion a loud sound ; and as every one wished to acquire as great dexterity as possible in the use of this instru-


PASTIME. 159

ment, they practised upon it during the summer, while keeping their beasts ; and towards Lammas thej were so incessantly employed at this business, answering to, and vying with, each other, that the whole country rang continually with the sounds ; and it must no doubt have appeared to be a very harsh and unaccountable noise to strangers passing by.

As the great day of Lammas approached, each community chose one from among themselves for their captain ; and they prepared a stand of colours to be ready to be then displayed. For this purpose, they usually borrowed a fine table napkin of the largest size, from some of the farmers' wives within the district; and, to ornament it, they also borrowed ribbons from those who would lend them, which they tacked upon the napkin in such fashion as best suited their fancy. Every thing being thus prepared, they inarched forth early in the morning on Lammas day, dressed in their best apparel, each armed with a stout cudgel, and repairing to their tower, there displayed their colours in triumph, blowing horns, and making merry in the best manner they could. About nine o'clock they sat down upon the green, and each taking from his pocket bread and cheese, or other provisions, they made a hearty breakfast, drinking pure water from a well, which they always took care should be near the scene of their banquet.

In the meantime, scouts were sent out towards every quarter, to bring them notice if any hostile party approached ; for it frequently happened on that day, that the herds of one district went to attack those of another district, and to bring them under p 2


160 PERCY ANECDOTES.

subjection to them by main force. If news was brought that a hostile party approached, the horns sounded to arms. They were immediately put into tlie best order they could devise, the stoutest and boldest in front, and those of inferior prowess behind. Seldom did they wait the approach of the enemy, but usually went forth to meet them with a bold countenance, the captain of each party carrying the colours and leading the van. When they met, they mutually desired each other to lower their colours in sign of subjection ; and if there appeared to be a great disproportion in the strength of the parties, the weakest usually submitted to this ceremony without much difficulty, thinking their honour was saved by the evident disproportion of the match. But if they were nearly equal in strength, none of them would yield, and the rivalry ended in blows, sometimes in bloodshed. A battle of this kind once occurred, in which four were actually killed, and many wounded. Dr. Anderson, the ingenious editor of the Bee, was once witness to a meeting of this sort, where he sup- poses there were more than a hundred on each side, who were so nearly equal, that neither of them would yield. When upon the point of engaging, a farmer, a stout active young man, who dreaded the conse- quences, came galloping up to them, and going between the two parties, with great difficulty, by threats and entreaties, got them to desist till he should speak coolly to them. He at last got the matter compromised one way or other, so as to end the strife without blows. When they had remained at their tower till about mid-day, if no opponent appeared, or if they them- selves had no intentitm of making an attack, they


PASTIME. IGl

then took down their colours, and inarched with horns sounding towards the most considerable village in their district, where the lasses, and all the people, came out to meet them, and partake of their diver- sions. Boundaries were immediately appointed, and a proclamation made that all who intended to compete in the race, should appear. A bonnet ornamented with ribbons was displaved upon a pole, as the prize of the victor ; and sometimes five or six started for it, and ran with as great eagerness as if they had been to gain a kingdom. The prize of the second race was a pair of garters ; and the third, a knife ; they then amused themselves for some time with such rural sports as suited their tastes, and dispersed quietly to their respective homes before sun set.

When two parties met, and one of them yielded to the other, they marched together some time in two separate bodies, the subjected body behind the other, and then they parted good friends, each performing their races at their own appointed place. Next day, after the ceremony was over, the ribbons and napkin that formed the colours, were carefully returned to their respective owners. The tower was no longer a matter of consequence, and the country returned to its usual state of tranquillity.

The Lammas festival no longer ranks among the amusements of the Scottish Lowlands ; but Lammas towers (many of these being built of stone) are still to be met with in different parts ; and the name will probably remain loug after the pastime with which it was connected, is forgotten.


p 3


S62 PERCY ANECDOTES.

CROW SHOOTING IN ITALY.

A recent traveller gives the following remarkable account of crow shooting in Italy. " Being called up (says the author) early in the morning, a few days after Christmas, we proceeded with two servants about a mile from the city of Milan, and entered a large meadow covered with hoar frost, when my friends conducted me to a cottage, a little on one side of the meadow, where v/e found five or six peasants, with a good fire, and several fowling pieces, and abundance of ammunition in readiness. Being told that every thing was not prepared, we drank coiFee till the peasants, who had left us about an hour, returned, and informed us that we might proceed as soon as we pleased. We, however, advanced no further than the porch of the house, where, as we waited some time without the appearance of any crows, I was ques- tioning myself what this farce would end in, when we first saw about fifty of thera flying at a considerable height, but directly towards us. I was eager to fire at tliem, but my friend checked ray ardour ; stay, said he, they will descend presently, and approach so near to us, that we may shoot thera without trouble. And soon after, to my utter astonishment, I observed thera stop their course all at once, take several circuits round the meadow, and afterwards descend a few at a time upon the ground upon which we were waiting for their appearance. Not knowing the secret, my curiosity still increased, especially as I observed that the whole of them not only descended, but'tliat they seemed to' have stationed themselves, as it were, in


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various parts of the field. But this was not all ; for, upon a closer inspection, 1 found their heads were absolutely fixed upon the ground, from whence, after a struggle of some duration, I saw them successively rising, and apparently with a white cap upon their heads, and which I soon perceived to be made of strong cartridge paper. It was now that this comedy com- menced, and began to take a tragical turn ; for the crows, to liberate themselves, putting themselves in a number of laughable attitudes, brought forward the peasants, who, clapping their hands, and setting up a loud cry, tlie motion of the crows became the most confused imaginable ; flight, if such an awkward movement deserves the name, was in all directions, often striking against each other, and that with such force, as frequently brought them to the ground. It should be observed, that the noise of their talons scratching upon the thick paper caps that enclosed their heads, had no small effect ; till in the end, taking to our fire arms, we were employed near an hour in shooting them ; at the termination of which, I was informed by my friends, that holes being purposely dug in the ground, and filled with papers of a conical form, and the narrow extremities of the latter con- taining each a piece of raw meat, it was the smell of the flesh that brought the crows to the spot. It is further to be observed, that the inside of this paper cap was so copiously larded with birdlime, attached so much the closer by the pressure of the crow's heads after the meat, that it was impossible for them to disengage themselves."


164 PERCY ANECDOTES.


CORONATION FEA.T.

At the coronation of Queen Mary, 1553, amongst other pageants and shows which were exhibited in the City of London, as the queen passed from the Tower to Westminster, was the following singular feat, which is thus described by Holinshed : " Then there was one Peter, a Dutchman, that stood on the wethercocke of St. Paule's steeple, holding a streamer in his hand of five yards long, and waving thereof, stood sometimes on the one foot, and sliooke the other, and then kneeled on his knees, to the great marvell of all people. He had made two scaffolds under him, one above the crosse, liaving torches and streamers set on it, and another over the ball of the crosse, likewise set with streamers and torciies, which could not burne, the wind was so great. The said Peter had of'ltj. 13s. given liim by the citie, for his costes and paines, and for all his stuffe."


DANCING BEFORE A KING. The following is an extract from an authentic MS. relative to the private expences of Edward 11. " Item, The 11th day of March, paid to James St. Albans, the king's painter, who danced before the king on a table, and made him laugh heartily, being a gift by the king's own hands, in aid of him, his wife, and children, ^1. Is.


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SHOOTING FOR THE "SILLER GUN."

The same policy which led James I. of Scotland to encourage the practice of archery, by instituting annual prizes to be shot for with the bow and arrow, induced a less sagacious prince, James VI. to pro- mote skill in the use of fire arms, by presenting to the corporations of one or two of the Scottish boroughs, a miniature gun in silver, the temporary possession of which as a trophy, was ordered to be given to the best shot among them. Dumfries and Kirkcudbright are, it is believed, the only towns which still possess royal gifts of this description, and where the ceremony of " shooting for the siller gun," is yet at times observed. In the former place, the gun continues to be shot for once in every five years ; but in the latter, it is now forty years since any com- petition took place.

The incidents attending a festival of this descrip- tion, are very happily described in a Scottish poem of great humour, by Mr. John Mayne, entitled, " The Siller Gun." It was written on one of the contests for this royal prize at Dumfries, on the 4th of June, 1777.

" Atween the last, and this occasion, ' Lang, unco lang, seemed the vacation ; To him wha wooes sweet recreation,

In Nature's prime ; And him wha likes a day's potation, At ony time I


1C6 PERCY ANECDOTES.

    • The lift was clear, the morn serene,

The sun just glinting o'er the scene, When James M'Noe began again

To beat to arms 1

Rousing the heart o' man and wean

Wi war's alarms.


" Frae far and near, the country lads (Their joes a hint them on their yads) Flocked in to see the show in squads.

And what was dafter ; Their pawky mothers, and their dads, Came trotting after.

" And mony a beau and belle were there. Doited wi' dozing on a chair, For, lest they'd sleeping spoil their hair.

Or miss the sight, The gowks, like bairns before a fair, Sat up a' night.

" Wi hats as black as cny raven. Fresh as the rose, Iheir beards new shaven; And a' their Sunday's deeding having,

Sae trim and gay ; Forth came our trades, some ora saving.

To wair that day."


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" Their steps to martial airs agreeing, And a' the seven trades colours fleeing, Bent for the Craigs, O ! weel worth seeing,

The^f hied awa; Their baujd convener proud o' being

Thechief o'er a'!"

The " Craigs" are a very romantic range of rocks, in the vicinity of Dumfries. The corporations are privileged to shoot for the siller gun at the King- holme, which is part of the common land belonging to tlie town, and washed by the waters of the Nith ; but " the Craigs" are always preferred as being better adapted for the purpose.

At the conclusion of the sport, the procession moves homeward in the same order in which it set out ; but with the victor marching in front, and the sil'er gun tied to his hat with blue ribbons :

" In Willie's hat wi' ribbons bound. The gunny was wi' laurel crown'd."

Although the siller gun is adjudged as a prize to the best marksman, and worn by him as a trophy in his hat for the day, it is only nominally his pro- perty ; being invariably relinquished at the end of the festivity for some honorary equivalent, and till another jubilee, deposited in the strong box of the corporation.

THE DUKE OF GRAFTON. The late Duke of Grafton, when hunting, was thrown into a ditch. At this moment a young curate


168 PERCY ANECDOTES,

called out, " Lie still, my lord ;" and leaping over him, pursued his sport. Such an apparent want of feeling might have been supposed to offend his Grace ; but on the contrary, lie knew the enthusiastic ardour which the chase excites, and on being helped out by his attendant, enquired the name of the curate, saying,

    • He shall have the first good living that falls to my

disposal for his sportsmanlike courage ; but had he stopped to have taken care of me, I would never have thought of noticing him."

THE SCORPION. The Algerines frequently amuse themselves by a curious kind of warfare, which is created by shutting up a scorpion and a rat together in a close cage, when a terrible contest ensues, which has been sometimes known to continue for above an hour. It generally ends by the death of the scorpion first, and that of the rat in violent convulsions soon after. It is also a favourite diversion with the Moors, to surround a scorpion with a circle of straw, to which fire is applied. After making several attempts to pass the flames, it turns on itself, and thus becomes its own executioner.

BOAR HUNTING. When the Duke of Wellington was with the army of occupation in France, he frequently enjoyed the sports of the chase. On one occasion his hounds dis- covered an enormous boar in the forest of Wallincourt, which they vigorously pursued through the forest of Ardipart, when he look to the plain, and before he


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could reach another road was brought to bay. The animal now become ferocious, destroyed all the dogs that approached him. One of the duke's aides-de- camp plunged his spear into the side of the boar, but this only rendered him still more savage; when his Grace seeing more of his dogs destroyed, rode up, and parrying the efforts of the boar to wound his horse, raised his spear, and gave hira the coup-de- grace. Of the numerous field of sportsmen that com- menced the chase, only five "besides his Grace were in at the death.

HUNTING THE BEAR.

Among the North American Indians, hunting the bear is a matter of the first importance. A principal warrior gives a general invitation to all the hunters, who having selected their spot, proceed towards it in a direct line, driving before them and encircling all the beasts they can find in their way, searching every hollow tree, and every place, where a bear might retreat. As soon as a bear is killed, a hunter puts into his mouth a lighted pipe of tobacco, and blowing into it, fills the throat with the smoke, conjuring the spirit of the animal not to resent what they are going to do to its body, nor to render their future chases unsuccessful. As the beast makes no reply, they cut out the string of the tongue, and throw it into the fire. If it crackles and runs in, which it is almost sure to do, they consider it as a good omen ; if not, they consider that the spirit of the beast is not appeased, and that the chase of the next year will be unfortunate. The hunters return home with great pride, for to kill a bear is one of their greatest triumphs.


170 PERCY ANECDOTES.

SPANISH FOX CHASE.

During the Peninsular war in 1813, tlie fox-hounds of General Sir Rowland Hill, unkennelled a fox in the neighbourhood of Corja, in Spain. The run was severe for the space of thirty minutes, when the fox, being sharply pressed by the leading hounds, leaped down a precipice of sixty yards perpendicular; seven couple of the hounds immediately dashed after him, six couple of which were killed on the spot ! the remainder of the pack (twenty-two couple) would have shared the same fate, had not the most forward riders, among whom were Sir R. Hill, Col. Delancey, and Col. Rooke, arrived in time to flog them offj which they did with difficulty, being scarcely able to restrain their impetuosity. The fox was found in the bottom dead, and covered with the bodies of the hounds. The Marquess of Alamada, a Spanish nobleman of that part of the country, narrowly escaped being precipitated over the clilF, being mounted on a sj)irited horse, which at the moment he could not manage.

thp: biters bit.

A few years ago, a ludicrous circumstance took place at one of the billiard rooms at Rarasgatc. A Clodpole made his appearance, dressed like a wealthy rustic, using such awkward expressions, and broad provincial terms, interspersed with such strokes of apparci»tly vnitutored wit, as provoked his polished hearers into repeated bursts of laughter. The men of .science were anxious to bet with him ; but he de- clined, " until he saw how the land laid." However,


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he agreed to plaj^ a few games for as many sliillings. He lost his money and his patience. His antagonist then allowed him to win. He exulted-— became warm; when he lost again; and under the influence of his feelings, proceeded, until ^£20 were gone. He then declined playing for a less sura than ^50 ; to which his adversary, with ajrparent reluctance, ac- ceded. The countryman pla^'ed, and won ! they played again, and again, for the same sum. In short, what with winning fifties from oiie, and betting with all, the macers were all (as the fashionable term has it) cleaned out. Now, after the company had enjoyed themselves for upwards of an hour at tlie expense of the Joskin, as they called him, he, all of a sudden, threw off his disguised rusticity, joined in the general conversation in the language of a man of the world, and discovered himself in his real character.


THE GOLF.

The golf is an amusement said to be peculiar to Scotland. Here it is very ancient. By a statute of James II. in 1547, it is prohibited, that it may not interfere with the weapon shawings, that is, with the military exercise of archery. It is commonly played on rugged ground covered with bents, or short grass, upon the sea shore, called in Scotland, Links. The game is usually played by parties of one or two on each side. Each person provides himself with balls and a set of clubs. The ball is extremely liard, and about the size of a tennis ball. The club with which the ball is usually struck, is slender and elastic, crooked at the head, which is faced with horn and Q 2


172 PERCY ANECDOTES.

loaded with lead, to render it heavy. A set of clubs consists of five ia number ; a play club, a scraper, a spoon, an iron headed club, and a short club called a putter. The second, third, and fourth of these are adapted for removing the ball from the various incon- venient situations into which it may come in the course of the game. The putter is used where a short stroke is intended. The golf is played thus: small holes are made in the ground at the distance of about a quarter of a mile from each other, and in such a direction as to encompass the whole field. The game is won by the party that lodges his ball in the diflfer- ent holes in succession with the fewest strokes. The art of the game consists, fir'it, at the outset from each hole, of striking the ball to a great distance, and in a proper direction, so that it may rest upon smooth ground ; and secondly, which is of the greatest impor- tance, when near the hole, of so proportioning the force and direction of the stroke, or puttiiig, as it is called, that the ball may with few strokes be driven into the hole. The game is played at Leith Links, and upon a piece of ground south from Edinburgh, which receives the appellation of Briintsjield Links.

There is a company of golfers who play annually for a silver club, originally given them by the town council of Edinburgh in 1744. This game affords an nctive, but not a violent, exercise in the open air, and is therefore not unsuitable to the sedentary habits of the citizens of a large town.

When James tlic Second, while Duke of York, kept a court at the palace of Holyrood House, he was fre- quently seen in a party at Golf on the links of Leith, v,\{h some of the nobility and gentry. Mr.


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Tytler of Woodhouselee, says, that he remembers in his youth to have often conversed witli an old man, named Andrew Dickson, a golf club maker, who said that, when a boy, he used to carry the duke's golf clubs, and to run before him and announce where the balls fell.

Charles I. is said to have been also very fond of the exercise of the golf. He was engaged in a party at golf on the links of Leith, when a letter was deli- vered into his hands, which gave him the first account of the insurrection in Ireland. On reading it, he suddenly called for his coach, and leaning on one of his attendants, and in great agitation, drove to the palace of Holyrood House, from whence next day he set out for London.


BEAR BAITING.

This is one of the favourite sports of our ancestors, now sunk into almost utter disuse. Bear baiting was anciently a royal pastime. Sir Thomas Pope enter- tained Queen Mary and the Princess Elizabetli at Hatfield, with an exhibition of bear baiting, with which, we are told, their highnesses were well content. It was a favourite amusement with Queen Eliza- beth, with which, among other things, she was enter- tained in the "princely pleasures of Kenilworth." There is a grant of this queen to Sir Saunders Dun- combe, dated October 11, 1561, " for the sole practice and profit of the fighting and combating of wild and domestic beasts, within the realm of England, for the space of fourteen years ;" and so much did England's maiden queen esteem the refined pleasure of bear


174 PERCY ANECDOTES.

baiting, that there is an order of the privy council, dated July, 1591, prohibiting any plays from being publicly exhibited on Thursdays, because on that day bear baiting, and similar pastimes, had been usually practised, as it was complained, that the reciting of plays was a " great hurt and destruction of the game of bear baiting, and like pastimes, which are main- tained for her majesty's pleasure."

The office of chief master of the bears, was for- merly held under the crown, Avith a salary of one shilling and four pence per day. Whenever the king chose to entertain himself or his visitors with this sport, it was the duty of the master to provide bears and dogs, and to superintend the baiting ; and he was invested with unlimited authority to issue com- missions, and to send his officers into every county of England, who were empowered to seize and carry away any bears, bulls, or dogs, that they thought fit for his majesty's service.


THE AFGHAUNS.

The Afghauns of Caubul have perhaps as great a variety of amusements as any nation in the world. Every European field sport is practised by them ; nor are races uncommon, particularly at weddings. Most of their domestic games appear childish, and can scarcely be reconciled to their long beards and grave behaviour. Marbles are played by grown up men througliout the whole of the Afghaun country, and in Persia. Another game, very generally played, is called hhogsye by the Dooraunces : and cahiddee by the Tanjcks. A man takes his left foot in his


PASTIME. 175

right hand, and hops about on one leg, endeavouring to overturn his adversary, who advances in the same way. This pastime is played by several persons on a side, and to a stranger appears very complicated. Quoits, played with circular flat stones; and hunt the slipper, played with a cap, are also very common ; as are wrestling, and other trials of strength and skill.

Combats of quails, cocks, dogs, rams, and even camels, are much admired. Camels sometimes figlit with so much fury, that the spectators are obliged to stand out of the way, as the defeated camel generallj^ runs off at his utmost speed, and is often pursued by the victor to a distance from the field of battle. All these games are played for some stake ; sometimes for money, but much more frequently for a dinner.

The gymnastic exercises of the Afghaunsare nume- rous. In one of them, the performer places himself on his hands and toes, with his arms stiff, and his body horizontal at a distance from the ground. He then throws his body forward, and at the same time bends his arms, so that his chest almost sweeps the ground. When his body is as far thrown forward as possible, he draws it back to the utmost, straightens his arms, and is prepared to repeat the motion. A person unused to this exercise, could not perform it ten times without intermission ; but such is the strength it confers, that an English officer who prac- tised it, was able to go through it six hundred times without stopping, and that twice a day.

Another exercise is whirling a heavy club round the head, in a way that requires the exertion of the whole body. It is either done with an immense club held in both hands, or with one smaller club in each.


17G PERCY ANECDOTES.

A third exercise is to draw a very strong bow, which has a heavy iron chain instead of a ring. There are many other exercises intended to strengthen the whole, or particular parts of the body, and which contribute much to that muscular strength which the Afghauns so decidedly possess.


THE DUKE OF HAMILTON.

The late Duke of Hamilton was a keen sportsman, and in all the manly exercises had few equals. His Grace was partial to pugilism, and was also one of the best cricketers of his day. There was a mark in Lord's old cricket ground, Marylebone, which was called the duke's stroke; it was of an unusual length, mea- suring from the wicket to where the ball fell, one hundred and thirty-two yards, a greater distance than a ball was almost ever struck, except by his Grace.

Another of the duke's amusements which he practised to get an appetite for breakfast, was to take a wherry at Westminster Bridge, and to give a waterman a guinea to row against him to Chelsea, where should the waterman arrive first (which was seldom the case), he had an additional reward for his dexterity.


THE EARL OF DARLINGTON.

The nobleman to whom these Anecdotes are inscribed, is what is technically called, "a keen sportsman," and devotes no inconsiderable share of a princely fortune to those rural sports which have in all ages numbered among their most ardent devotees,


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the British nobility. Fox hunting is the favourite diversion of the Earl of Darlington, and his hounds are allowed to be of the first breed of any in the kingdom. His lordship is not only a principal of the chosen few who

"Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath

Their pleasing toils ;"

but he follows the maxim of the Orpheus of the Chase, Soiiierville, by first letting

" The kennel be the huntsman's care."

The hounds of the Earl of Darlington are always either fed by his own hands, or under his personal superintendence, and he regularly hunts the pack himself. During the hunting season, his lordship is always to be found in the midst of horses, dogs, and sportsmen, and he only quits them for the duties of the senator. In the north of England, where there is a strong enthusiasm for the pleasures of the chase, the Earl of Darlington is almost idolized, since wherever he appears, no one knows better than his lordship how

' " To rein the steed

Swift stretching o'er the plain, to cheer the pack, Opening in consorts of harmonious joy."

In whatever part of the country the Earl of Dar- lington may be hunting with his own hounds, when the chase is over, and before he sits down to dinner, he enters in a journal kept for the purpose, the inci- dents of the day's sport. This diary, which is called " Sporting Occurrences," is printed at the end of every season, and distributed among the private


178


PERCY ANECDOTES.


friends, or rather the fellow sportsmen, of his lord- ship. The " Sporting Occurrences" are preceded by a statement of the places w here, and the times when, the hounds have thrown off, with a list of the pre- serves and covers where foxes have been found. Under each day, the place where his lordship bunted, with the course and duration of the chase, are stated, with any particular incidents that have attended its progress. Several other minor circumstances are also noticed, as what horses of his lordship were rode by himself and some of his frends. These diaries, a very limited number of which are printed, are much valued by the favoured few who are honoured with such a mark of his lordsliip's friend- ship ; and there is not, perhaps, a gentleman in pos- session of a copy of the " Sporting Occurrences" of the Earl of Darlington, that would exchange it for the far-famed Valdarfer Decameron.