Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

mistaken for it ; this is the species of vanity with which I have at present to do; its origin is in pride, a mal-appreciation of possessed good, or an exultation in fancied excellence ; pride may indeed exist without this kind of vanity, but vanity can have no being apart from pride ; pride is the rotten trunk, vanity the vile excresence that deforms its surface ; pride exists in the mind as a principle, vanity is its most disgusting mode of operation ; pride exults in the consciousness of real or supposed merit, vanity courts the plaudits of others ; pride contemns what vanity seeks ; as a decayed trunk clings to the earth with its strong roots, regardless of the morning sun-beam, to which the fungus spreads its unseemly bosom; thc forin which vanity most frequently assumes is egotism; this may be considered an infallible criterion by which to judge between pride and vanity ; the purely proud man (if such an expression be allowable) cannot be guilty of this odious weakness; none but the vain can be so imbecile as to suppose that he is as deeply interesting a subject of conversation to others, as of his own meditations. Pitiful is the plight of him who is doomed to listen to the egotistical raptures of a man intoxicated with copious draughts of self-complacency, while he fully exhibits the excellencies of his character; the exquisite feelings of his heart, the justness of his thoughts, the wisdom of his plans, the utility of his labours, the purity of his motives, the vastness of his intellect, in short his unequivocal claim to supreme, if not exclusive admiration.

Pride often assumes such a lovely and magnanimous appearance, that we almost wish we could divest it of its gailt, and clothe it in virtue's garb. But vanity, under no possible modification, can be borne with patience or without disgust; much less can it ever be recommended to our esteem. Pride may perhaps be considered the most dangerous affection of the two, because its seat in the soul is more established than that of vanity; the contempt to which a vain man exposes himself is far more likely to cure him of that odious disease, than are the troubles into which pride precipitates its votaries to eradicate the deep-wrought evil from the breast.

Having too much pride, Mr. Editor, any longer to weary you with the detailed results of my cogitations, and too little vanity to suppose that your patience is not nearly exhausted,

I remain yours, &c.

[ocr errors]

w

COLLECTIONS AND RECOLLECTIONS.

Porgandonar cordados

Anglo-Saxon Slavery. IT is well known that a large portion of the Anglo-Saxon population was in a state of slavery. This unfortunate class of men, who were called theow and esne, are frequently mentioned in our ancient laws and charters, and are exhibited in the servile condition of being another's property without any political existence or social consideration.

corn.

“They were bought and sold with land, and were conveyed in the grants of it promiscuously with the cattle and other property upon it. Thus in an enumeration of property on an estate, it is said there were a hundred sheep, fifty-five swine, two men, and five yoked oxen. At another time we find some land given up without injury to any thing belonging to it, whether med, cattle, or food. So one bought land for thirty pounds, and gave seven pounds more for all the things on it, as men, stock, and

- In the Anglo-Saxon wills these wretched beings are given away precisely as we now dispose of our plate, our furniture, or our money. An archbishop bequeaths some land to an abbey, with ten oxen and two men. Ælfhelm bequeaths his chief mansion at Gyratingthorpe, with all the property that stood thereon, both provision and men. Wynfleda, in her will, gives to her daughter the land at Ebbelesburn, and those men, the property, and all that thereon be; afterwards she gives to Eadmær as much property and as many men as to him had been bequeathed before at Hafene.

• Their servile state was attended with all the horrors of slavery, descending on the posterity of the subjected individuals. A duke in Mercia added to a donation “ six men, who formerly belonged to the royal vil“la in Berhtanwellan, with all their offspring and their family, that they

may always belong to the land of the aforesaid church in perpetual inheri"tance.' To this gift is added the names of the slaves.

6. These are the spames of those men that are in this writing, with their offspring, and “ their family that come from them in perpetual heritage: Alhmund, Ti“dulf, Tidheh, Lul, Lull, Eadwulf.'' That whole families were in a state of slavery. appears most satisfactorily from the instruments of manumission which remain to us. In them we find a man, his wife, and their offspring, frequently redeemed together; and in Wynfleda's will the wives and daughters of some slaves she names are directed to be emancipated. Ethelstan, after stating that he freed Eadelm, because he had become king, adds, " and I give to the children the same benefit as I give to the father."

Arabian Morality. In a mosque on the Island of Hinzuan, or Johanna, were four inscriptions to the following effect :-“ That the world was given us for our own edification, not for the purpose of raising sumptuous bnildings ; life, for the discharge of moral and religious duties, not for pleasurable indulgences ; wealth, to be liberally bestowed, not avariciously hoarded; and learning, to produce good actions, pot empty disputes.

Ancient Surgery Some degree of chirurgical and medical knowledge was considered, during the middle ages, as a very necessary female accomplishment; and while the occupations and amusements of the men naturally led to bruises and broken bones, it was likely that the ladies would acquire sufficient experience by the casualties that occurred in their own families. It accordingly appears from the Romances that many women of high birth were consulted in preference to the most learned professors, and it is probable

F

VOL. II.

that their attentive and compassionate solicitude may have frequently proved more efficacious than the nostrums of the faculty, even when assisted by the magical power of amulets, or the more orthodox energy of holy water. The ma le professors in medicine during these ages were either ecclesiastics, Greeks, or Jews, These last, These last, if they were not very

skilsul, were singularly confident, since they consented to exercise their art under the most discouraging restrictions. By the laws of Jerusalem, promulgated by Godfrey of Bouillon, it is provided, that if any physician shall fail to cure a slave (these were infidel prisoners) he shall be condemned to pay for the said slave, or to substitute another in his place : if a christian die under his hands, his goods shall be confiscated, and he shall be hanged, having been first whipped, and conducted to the gallows with an urinal in his hand, as a warning to others.' (Targiona Viaggi per la Toscana, vol. ii.)

The Jews usually studied in the Arabian universities in Spain, where it was supposed that magick was openly taught; and for this reasou were universally suspected and persecuted. One circumstance in their mode of practice appears wise: they employed their attention only on particular parts of medicine, and styled themselves • physicians for the cure of wounds,' physicians for the cure of fractures,' &c. &c.

Superstition. On the summit of Almiral-Cliff, a group of rocks on a high hill, near Harrogate, are several basins hollowed in a stone, one of which is fourteen inches deep, and two feet four inches in diameter. It is the opinion of Mr. Borlase, in his History of Cornwall, that the Druids made choice of situations like this for the celebration of their religious rites, and he believes the basins were formed to receive the water which came from the clouds, as the purest of all fluids, and used by them for the purpose of lustration and purification, Into these basins the country-people thereabouts frequently drop a pin, to which ceremony they certainly annex the idea of propitiation, as they confess their inotive is to obtain “ good fortune.” The Druidical rites and ceremonies in Britain were (according to Tacitus) abolished in the time of Neru; yet, such is the amazing power of superstition, that we still find some shadowy traces of them remain there, and in many other places, after a period of near two thousand years.

Tartary-Ancient Scythia. The following beautiful outline of this vast tract of country will be found in the writings of the learned Sir Wm. Jones :--" Conceive a line drawn from the mouth of the Oby to that of the Dneiper, and bringing it back eastward across the Euxine, so as to include the peninsula of Krim, extend it along the foot of Caucasus, by the rivers Cur and Aras, to the Caspian Lake, froin the opposite shore of which follow the course of the Jaihan, and the chain of Caucasean hills, as far as those of Iinaus ; whence continue the line beyond the Chinese wall to the White Mountain and the country of Yetso; skirting the borders of Persia, India, Chipa, Corea, but including part of Russia, with all the districts which lie between the Glacial Sea and that of Japan. M. de Guigaes, whose great work on the Hans abounds inore in solid learning than in rhetorical ornaments, pre

sen's us, however, with a magnificent image of this wide region ; describing it as a stupendous edifice, the beams aud pillars of which are many ranges of lofty hills, and the dome one prodigious mountain, to which the Chinese give the epithet of Celestial, with a considerable namber of broad rivers flowing down its sides. If the mansion be so amazingly sublime, the land around it is proportionably extended, but more wonderfully diversified; for some parts of it are encrusted with ice, others parched with iniamed air, and covered with a kind of lava: here we meet with im. mense tracks of sandy deserts, and forests almost impenetrable; there, with gardens, groves, and meadows, perfumed with musk, watered by numberless rivulets, and abounding in fruits and flowers; and, from east to West, lie many considerable provinces, which appear as valleys in compa? rison of the hills towering above them, but in truth are the flat summits of the highest mountains in the world, or at least the highest in Asia. Near one fourth in latitude of this extraordinary region is in the same charming climate with Greece, Italy, and Provence; and avotiier fourth in that of England, Germany, and the northern parts of France; but the Hyperborean countries can have few beauties to recommend them, at least in the present state of the earth's temperature. To the south, on the frontiers of Iran, are the beautiful vales of Soghd, with the celebrated cities of Samarkanıl and Bokhara ; on those of Tibet are the territories of Cashagar, Khotem, Chegil, and Khata, all famed for perfuines, and for the beauty of their inhabitants; and on those of Chinalies the country of Chin, anciently a powerful kingdom ; which name, like that of Khata, has in, modern times been given to the whole Chinese empire, where such an appellation would be thought an insult, We must not omit the fine territory of Tancat, which was known to the Greeks by the pame of Serica, and considered by them as the farthest eastern extremity of the habitable globe.”

Villain. It is well known that the word villain, which at present is applied to a vicious character, originally signified nothing more than a country servant. In the feudal times, the culture of the lands was executed by three sorts of persons. The first were the small allodial proprietors, who were freemen, though they sometimes voluntarily became the vassals of their more opulent neighbours, whose power was necessary for their protection. The other two classes were the sorfs and the villains, both of which were slaves.

The serfs were in the lowest state of slavery. They did not enjoy, like the Africans in our colonies, the privilege of marrying whom they pleased, or of transmittiog their little property to their children or friends. All the fruits of their labour belonged to the master whose land they killed, and by whom they were fed and clothed. Their only recompense was a bare permission to exist. The villains were less miserable. Their situation seems to have resembled that of Russian peasants at this day. They were, like the serfs, attached to the soil; and were transferred with it by purchase: but they only paid a fixed rent to the landlord, and had a right to dispose of any surplus that might arise from their industry,

FURTHER REMARKS ON THE BEVERLEY BULL-BAIT.

-pomor-> *$**-co-fondos

To the Editors of the Northern Star. YOU and the majority of your readers undoubtedly have not the means of readily ascertaining the truth of a statement which appeared in your number, for November; and which you were pleased to term an explanation of the account of the late Bull-bait at Beverley, as related in your number for November last; a little attention devoted to this production may therefore not be deemed improperly bestowed. Having enquired into the circumstances detailed in that calumniating paragraph* commented on by the author of the explanation, I am enabled to assure you the whole are literally true:- The spirits of tarpentine and aqua-fortis were purchased at the shop of Mr. R. Kensington of this place, druggisi, and applied whilst the animal, a fine gentle beast, in high condition, was passing through the market-place, surrounded by hundreds of his tormentors : and on his return from the place of exhibition, fire was not applied to impel him forward till every other mode of torture, as excessive heating, forcing sticks violently up his nostrils,t &c. had, from his extremely exa hausted state, completely failed; this the inhabitants of the street through which he passed can testify. Since that event I have conversed with several of the admirers of Bull-baiting who were then present, most of whom endeavoured to excuse or palliate the proceedings on that occasion, principally on the ground that the specific acts of cruelty were contrary to the wish of the greater part of the spectators, and that the application of the aqua-fortis, &c. had not the effect anticipated; but none had the effrontery to deny them altogether. The deeds recorded, though perpetrated in the depths of a crowd, interested by their feelings or otherwise in the promotion of Bull-baiting, were not performed so secretly but that ample testimony of them remains. The charity of bestowing the meat upon such of the constituents of the honourable member or their friends as choose to accept it, will easily be appreciated by all who are in the least acquainted with electioneering affairs ; that gentleman's claim to benevolence rests, I hope, upon a more stavle foundation ; but even if distributed from the most disinterested motives, they would be a poor excuse for the encouragement of the previous barbarity.

With respect to the antiquity of the custom, I perfectly agree with B. S.; but were all customs continued because of their antiquity, what should we now be? It was the custom for the chief magistrate of this borough annually, on his being sworn into office, to give a bull for the purpose of being baited, commonly in front of his residence. The gentleman who

* In speaking of that paragraph, I confine myself entirely to the part on the Ball. bait--- with or to which the remainder has no connection or reference, except having appeared in, and been copied from the same paper.

This piece of ingenuity in tormenting, was related to me by one of the brother-assistants, but who exclaimed against the mode.

« AnteriorContinuar »