vol II date / index
St. Apollonius, A.D. 186. St. Galdin, Abp. 1176. St. Laserian, or Molaisre, Bp. of Leighlin, A.D. 638.
1689. The infamous judge Jefferies died in the tower, whither he had been committed by the lords of the council, after he had been taken in the disguise of a common sailor for the purpose of leaving England. He was born at Acton, near Wrexham, in Denbighshire, and being raised to the bench, polluted its sanctity by perversions of the law. His habits and language were vulgar and disgusting. John Evelyn says, "I went this day to a wedding of one Mrs. Castle, to whom I had some obligation; and it was to her fifth husband, a lieutenant-colonel of the city. She was the daughter of one Bruton, a broom-man, by his wife, who sold kitchen-stuff in Kent-street, whom God so blessed, that the father became very rich, and was a very honest man; and this daughter was a jolly, friendly woman. There were at the wedding the lord mayor, the sheriff, several aldermen, and persons of quality; above all sir George Jefferies, newly made lord chief justice of England, who, with Mr Justice Withings, danced with the bride, and were exceeding merry! These great men spent the rest of the afternoon, till eleven at night, in drinking healths, taking tobacco, and talking much beneath the gravity of judges that had but a day or two before condemned Mr. Algernon Sidney, who was executed the 7th of Dec. 1683, on Tower-hill, on the single witness of that monster of a man, lord Howard of Escrick, and some sheets of paper taken in Mr. Sidney's study, pretended to be written by him, but not fully proved." James II. found Jefferies a fit instrument for his arbitrary purposes. After the defeat of the duke of Monmouth in the west, he employed the most sanguinary miscreants, and Jefferies among the rest, to wreak his vengeance on the deluded people. Bishop Burnet says, that Jefferies's behaviour was brutally disgusting, beyond any thing that was ever heard of in a civilized nation; "he was perpetually either drunk or in a rage, liker a fury than the zeal of a judge." He required the prisoners to plead guilty, on pretence of showing them favour; but he afterwards showed them no mercy, hanging many immediately. He hanged in several places about six hundred persons. The king had a daily account of Jefferies' proceedings, which he took pleasure to relate in the drawing-room to foreign ministers, and at his table he called it Jefferies's campaign. Upon Jefferies' return, he created him a peer of England, by the title of earl of Flint. During these "bloody assizes," the lady Lisle, a noble woman of exemplary character, whose husband had been murdered by the Stuart party, was tried for entertaining two gentlemen of the duke of Monmouth's army; and though the jury twice brought her in not guilty, Jefferies sent them out again and again, until, upon his threatening to attaint them of treason, they pronounced her guilty. Jefferies, before he tried this lady, got the king to promise that he would not pardon her, and the only favour she obtained was the change of her sentence from burning to beheading. Mrs. Gaunt, a widow, near Wapping, who was a Baptist, and spent her time in acts of charity, was tried on a charge of having hid one Burton, who, hearing that the king had said that he would sooner pardon rebels than those who harboured them, accused his benefactress of having saved his life. She was burned at the stake. The excellent William Penn, the Quaker, saw her die, and related the manner of her death to Burnet. She laid the straw about her for her burning speedily, and behaved herself so heroically, that all melted into tears. Six men were hanged at Tyburn, on the like charge, without trial. At length, the bloody and barbarous executions were so numerous, that they spread horror throughout the nation. England was an acaldema: the country, for sixty miles together, from Bristol to Exeter, had a new and terrible sort of sign-posts or gibbets, bearing the heads and limbs of its butchered inhabitants. Every soul was sunk in anguish and terror, sighing by day and by night for deliverance, but shut out of all hope, till the arrival of the prince of Orange, on whom the two houses of parliament bestowed the crown. Jefferies had attained under James II. to the high office of lord chancellor.
1794. Died Charles Pratt, earl Camden, born in 1713. As chief justice of the common pleas, he was distinguished for having discharged the celebrated John Wilkes from the tower. By that decision, general warrants were pronounced illegal; and for so great a service to his country, lord Camden received the approbation of his fellow citizens; they conferred on him the freedom of their cities, and placed his picture in their corporation-halls. He was equally distinguished for opposing the opinion of prerogative lawyers in matters of libel. At his death he was lord president of the council. firm of purpose, and mild in manners, he was a wise and amiable man. It is pleasantly related of him, that while chief justice, being upon a visit to lord Dacre, at Alveley, in Essex, he walked out with a gentleman, a very absent man, to a hill, at no great distance from the house, upon the top of which stood the stocks of the village. The chief justice sat down upon them; and after a while, having a mind to know what the punishment was, he asked his companion to open them and put him in[.] This being done, his friend took a book from his pocket, sauntered on, and so completely forgot the judge and his situation, that he returned to lord Dacre's. In the mean time, the chief justice being tired of the stocks, tried in vain to release himself. Seeing a countryman pass by, he endeavoured to move him to let him out, but obtained nothing by his motion. "No, no, old gentleman," said the countryman, "you was not set there for nothing;" and left him, until he was released by a servant of the house despatched in quest of him. Some time after he presided at a trial in which charge was brought against a magistrate for false imprisonment, and for setting in the stocks. The counsel for the magistrate, in his reply, made light of the whole charge, and more especially setting in the stocks, which he said every body knew was no punishment at all. The chief justice rose, and leaning over the bench, said, in a half-whisper, "Brother, have you ever been in the stocks?" "Really, my lord, never." — "Then I have," said the judge, "and I assure you, brother, it is no such trifle as you represent."
1802. Dr. Erasmus Darwin died. He was born at Newark in Nottinghamshire, in 1732, and attained to eminence as a physician and a botanist. His decease was sudden. Riding in his carriage, he found himself mortally seized, pulled the check-string, and desired his servant to help him to a cottage by the road-side. On entering, they found a woman within, whom the doctor addressed thus, "Did you ever see a man die?" — "No, sir." — "Then now you may." The terrifed woman ran out at the door, and in a few minutes Darwin was no more. He strenuously opposed the use of ardent spirits, from conviction that they induced dreadful maladies, especially gout, dropsy, and insanity; hence his patients were never freed from his importunities, and the few who courage to persevere benefited by his advice.
THE MAID SERVANT.
Holidays being looked forward to with unmixed delight by all whose opportunities of enjoying them are dependent upon others, a sketch of character at such a season may amuse those whose inclination is not sufficiently strong to study the original, and just enough to feel pleasure in looking at the picture. The outline and finishing of that which is here exhibited prove it the production of a master hand.
"The maid servant must be considered as young, or else she has married the butcher, the butler, or her cousin, or has otherwise settled into a character distinct from her original one, so as to become what is properly called the domestic. The maid servant, in her apparel, is either slovenly or fine by turns, and dirty always; or she is at all times snug and neat, and dressed according to her station. In the latter case, her ordinary dress is black stockings, a stuff gown, a cap, and neck-handkerchief pinned corner-wise behind. If you want a pin, she just feels about her, and has always one to give you. On Sundays and holidays, and perhaps of afternoons, she changes her black stockings for white, puts on a gown of a better texture and fine pattern, sets her cap and her curls jauntily, and lays aside the neck-handkerchief for a high body, which, by the way, is not half so pretty. There is something very warm and latent in the handkerchief,—something easy, vital, and genial. A woman in a high-bodied gown, made to fit her like a case, is by no means more modest, and is much less tempting. She looks like a figure at the head of a ship. We could almost see her chucked out of doors into a cart with as little remorse as a couple of sugar-loaves. The tucker is much better, as well as the handkerchief; and is to the other, what the young lady is to the servant. The one always reminds us of the Sparkler in the 'Guardian;' the other of Fanny in 'Joseph Andrews.' But to return:—The general furniture of her ordinary room, the kitchen, is not so much her own as her master's and mistress's, and need not be described; but in a drawer of the dresser of the table, in company with a duster and a pair of snuffers, may be found some of her property, such as a brass thimble, a pair of scissars, a thread-case, a piece of wax candle much wrinkled with the thread, an odd volume of 'Pamela,' and perhaps a sixpenny play, such as 'George Barnwell,' or Mrs. Behn's 'Oroonoko.' There is a piece of looking-glass also in the window. The rest of her furniture is in the garret, where you may find a good looking-glass on the table; and in the window a Bible, a comb, and a piece of soap. Here stands also, under stout lock and key, the mighty mystery—the box,—containing among other things her clothes, two or three song-books, consisting of nineteen for the penny; sundry tragedies at a half-penny the sheet: the 'Whole Nature of Dreams laid open,' together with the 'Fortune-teller,' and the 'Account of the Ghost of Mrs. Veal;' 'the story of the beautiful Zoa who was cast away on a desert island, showing how,' &c.: some half-crowns in a purse, including pieces of country money, with the good countess of Coventry on one of them riding-naked on the horse; a silver penny wrapped up in cotton by itself; a crooked sixpence, given her before she came to town, and the giver of which has either forgotten her or been forgotten by her, she is not sure which; two little enamel boxes, with looking-glass in the lids, one of them a fairing, the other 'a trifle from Margate;' and lastly, various letters, square and ragged, and directed in all sorts of spelling, chiefly with little letters for capitals. One of them written by a girl who went to a day school with her, is directed 'miss.'— In her manners, the maid servant sometimes imitates her young mistress; she puts her hair in papers, cultivates a shape, and occasionally contrives to be out of spirits. But her own character and condition overcome all sophistications of this sort; her shape, fortified by the mop and scrubbing-brush, will make its way; and exercise keeps her healthy and cheerful. From the same cause her temper is good; though she gets into little heats when a stranger is over saucy, or when she is told not to go so heavily down stairs, or when some unthinking person goes up her wet stairs with dirty shoes—or when she is called away often from dinner; neither does she much like to be seen scrubbing the street-door-steps of a morning; and sometimes she catches herself saying, 'drat that butcher,' but immediately adds, 'God forgive me.' The tradesmen indeed, with their compliments and arch looks, seldom give her cause to complain. The milkman bespeaks her good humour for the day with— 'Come, pretty maids.' Then follow the butcher, the baker, the oilman, &c. all with their several smirks and little loiterings; and when she goes to the shops herself, it is for her the grocer pulls down his string from its roller with more than ordinary whirl, and tosses, as it were, his parcel into a tie,—for her, the cheesemonger weighs his butter with half a glance, cherishes it round about with his patties, and dabs the little piece on it to make up, with a graceful jerk. Thus pass the mornings between working, and singing, and giggling, and grumbling, and being flattered. If she takes any pleasure unconnected with her office before the afternoon, it is when she runs up the area-steps, or to the door to hear and purchase a new song, or to see a troop of soldiers go by; or when she happens to thrust her head out of a chamber window at the same time with a servant at the next house, with a dialogue infallibly ensues, stimulated by the imaginary obstacles between. If the maid-servant is wise, the best part of her work is done by dinner time; and nothing else is necessary to give perfect zest to the meal. She tells us what she thinks of it, when she calls it 'a bit o' dinner.' There is the same sort of eloquence in her other phrase, 'a cup o' tea;' but the old ones, and the washerwomen, beat her at that. After tea in great houses, she goes with the other servants to hot cockles, or What-are-my-thoughts like, and tells Mr. John to 'have done then;' or if there is a ball given that night they throw open all the doors, and make use of the music upstairs to dance by. In smaller houses, she receives the visit of her aforesaid cousin; and sits down alone, or with a fellow maid servant, to work; talks of her young master, or mistress, Mr. Ivins (Evans): or else she calls to mind her own friends in the country, where she thinks the cows and 'all that' beautiful, now she is away. Meanwhile, if she is lazy, she snuffs the candle with her scissars; or if she has eaten more heartily than usual, she sighs double the usual number of times, and thinks that tender hearts were born to be unhappy. Such being the maid-servant's life in doors, she scorns, when abroad, to be any thing but a creature of sheer enjoyment. The maid-servant, the sailor, and the schoolboy, are the three beings that enjoy a holiday beyond all the rest of the world: and all for the same reason,—because their inexperience, peculiarity of life, and habit of being with persons or circumstances or thoughts above them, give them all, in their way, a cast of the romantic. The most active of money-getters is a vegetable compared with them. The maid-servant when she first goes to Vauxhall, thinks she is in heaven. A theatre is all pleasure to her, whatever is going forward, whether the play, or the music, or the waiting which makes others impatient, or the munching of apples and gingerbread nuts, which she and her party commence almost as soon as they have seated themselves. She prefers tragedy to comedy, because it is grander, and less like what she meets with in general; and because she thinks it more in earnest also, especially in the love scenes. Her favourite play is 'Alexander the Great, or the Rival Queens.' Another great delight is in going a shopping. She loves to look at the patterns in the window, and the fine things labelled with those corpulent numerals of 'only 7s.'— "only 6s. 6d." She has also, unless born and bred in London, been to see my lord mayor, the fine people coming out of court, and the 'beasties' in the tower; and at all events she has been to Astley's and the Circus, from which she comes away equally smitten with the rider, and sore with laughing at the clown. But it is difficult to say what pleasure she enjoys most. One of the completest of all is the fair, where she walks through an endless round of noise, and toys, and gallant apprentices, and wonders. Here she is invited in by courteous, well dressed people as if she were the mistress. Here also is the conjurer's booth, where the operator himself, a most stately and genteel person all in white, calls her 'ma'am;' and says to John by her side, in spite of his laced hat, 'Be good enough, sir, to hand the card to the lady.' Ah! may her cousin turn out as true as he says he is; or may she get home soon enough, and smiling enough, to be as happy again next time."
Musk Narcisse. Narcissus moschatus.
Dedicated to St. Apollonius.