Изображения страниц

siasm.-Of the Greek loan we will not permit ourselves to speak in detail; a more infamous, disgraceful proceeding never came before the public. It is curious to find that some of those wbo were concerned in it, still make long speeches, and pretend to patriotism, and a kind concern for the nation's purse!

T. B.

THE CROSS OF THE SOUTH. Perhaps there is no circumstance which more forcibly reminds an European traveller, when in the southern hemisphere, that he is at an immense distance from his native country, than the extraordinary alteration which he finds in the appearance of the heavens, as surveyed upon a starlight night. Above him, are constellations of unparalleled beauty and brilliancy; but they are not those which he has beeu accustomed to contemplate. He can no longer observe the bright and glittering groups, which every country of the north designates by some familiar name, the stars which may be termed their own; they have all passed away, and in their stead are others perhaps more bright and more brilliant, but not those with which the eye of an European has been familiar, and therefore not so welcome to his sight. I remember, during the course of my voyage, when I first crossed the Equator, I used nightly to watch the stars which from my own home I had been accustomed to survey; I considered them as friends—I had learnt to designate them in my childhood, and those friends I had left behind could even then observe them as well as myself. I looked upon them as links, which in a manner connected me with home. They gradually sank near to the horizon night by night I saw them less and less, until at length I looked for them in vain. They had disappeared, and then not only the air, but even the firmament of heaven convinced me, that an immense distance separated me from the country of my birth. The southern celestial hemisphere is extremely dissimilar to the northern, not only in the grouping of the stars, but in its whole character. With us there is scarcely a portion of the firmament that is not studded thickly with stars, but in the southern bemisphere, there are large tracts or spaces of extreme blackness, in which no star appears. These black, unlighted spaces give a very peculiar and novel appearance to the brilliant constellations, whose effect is aided by the darkness. Amongst the southern constellations, no one is more beautiful than that called the Cross of the South, known to all the readers of St. Pierre's Paul and Virginia. When I first saw it, we were in about latitude 13; the weather had been cloudy for several pights, but just before sunset, the sky brightened, and the full beauty of the firmament was visible all night. When the Cross is first seen, it is strongly inverted, but it gradually rises in the firmament, until it becomes quite erect. Two stars of extreme brilliancy form the top and bottom of the Cross, and these having the same right ascension, the Cross is vertical when it passes the meridian; so that the time of night may always be told by noticing whether it inclines or not. The natives of the south frequently refer to it for this purpose, and amongst the Catholics, its holy form renders it an object of peculiar veneration. Most of our crew had seen it in former voyages, and it was a curious, and by no means unpleasant, sight to witness the joy with which they hailed its re-appearance, as if it were indeed an old friend. One man who had been bred a Catholic, immediately fell upon his knees, and muttered an ejaculation, at the same time devoutly crossing himself; and several others imitated his example, not indeed from religion, but rather it appeared to me as if their stubborn hearts were overcome by the solemn stillness and beauty of the scene around them, and the pure feeling which such sights and such a recognition were calculated to inspire.



Oh! spurn not the heart that I gave thee,

Nor think it is worthless and vain ;
That heart still would perish to save thee,

Though cast to the bleak world again.
I felt thy young heart wildly beating,

And thought it could beat but for me;
That vision was lovely--yet fleeting,

As all that is lovely must be.

I dreamt not thy vows were deceiving,

Nor false the pure light of thine eyes ;
My soul was still firm in believing,

And treasur'd thy tenderest sighs.
Oh! who, when thy spell was around him

(By each fonder incident blest)
Could think it was destin'd to wound him,
Aud plant this despair in his breast.

Then, spurn not the heart that I gave thee,

Nor deem it unworthy thy love;
That heart still would perish to save thee;

(Too firm, too devoted, to rove)
And thou, who in youth's sunny hour

First taught it, each feeling of bliss
Receive, at the shrine of thy power,

The pledge of the soul-breathing kiss.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

IS HE MARRIED? A SKETCH. “ WHAT?” I exclaimed, stirring the fire to make a blaze, for I had not ordered candles, “ Is it possible? With Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thomson's compliments---Charles Thomson married ! married ! poor fellow!" I hastily obtained a candle, opened the packet, and found in it a piece of bridal cake with a few words, written in a small female hand, informing me that " Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thomson" would be ready to receive visitors on a certain day. I was perfectly astonished. Charles Thomson married! I should sooner have expected a snow at Midsummer. Married ! we were upon terms of the greatest intimacy; we have dined together, day by day, for several years past; and yet I never even suspected that he was in love. When I last saw him he told me that he was about to visit Tunbridge Wells on business. And then to whom is he married ? Every body knows Charles Thomson ; he is to be seen in every book-shop and at every bookstall and book-auction in London. His days are spent in public libraries, and his nights, for the most part, in his study. For himself he is the meekest, mildest, most unobtrusive and modest fellow in existence, he never can speak to a woman without blushing; and as for wooing, pshaw ! the thing is impossible! He must have courted by deputy, and have been married by proxy. I could not understand it; and when I went out of doors the annoyance was still greater. I was continually met by such questions as "pray, who is Mrs. Charles Thomson?" "Who would have thought Charles Thomson would have married? I never was so astonished as when I heard of it: who is she?" “ I don't know." "Nonsense ! impossible !” “It is true," said I surlily, and walked on.

Time, however, passed away as it was wont to do, and the period approached at which the happy couple were expected to return to town. But a few mornings before that day arrived I was astonished by the usual sudden and abrupt entrance of my old friend Charles into my parlor. “ X.," said he, “how d'you do ? I paused a moment regarding my old friend, whose looks were full of trouble and anxiety, and then kindly inquired “ My dear Charles how are you, how---" I hesitated, I would have enquired “ how is Mrs. Thomson," but the words would not come forth, and I closed the sentence with “ when did you return to town ?"

“ Only last night; what an unlucky affair this is."

“Ah!” said I, “I was dismally surprised to hear of it. How came you to be led into it?" .

" Oh, Lord, I don't know; we are all of us overtaken at times, and I really thought I was doing a kindness."

“A kindness!" echoed I, " yes, but at a very serious expense. Why did'nt you talk to me about it?”

“Oh! I had a sort of presentiment that I should repent it, and I thought you would only laugh at me. But what can I do?”.

" What can you do! Why, I suppose, you have already done every thing that can be done ; there is no getting out of it now."

“ I am afraid not, but I must change my mode of living.”

“Ah, that you must; you must give up your old literary pursuits, and attend closely to your profession, and all our comfortable dinners at —

“Ah, those are all at an end."
“ But did you get no money at all ?” enquired I.
“ Not a sixpence," was the answer, “it was purely a matter of accommodation."
“ An accommodation! why, zounds man ! how could you be such a fool?”

“ Oh! I was taken by surprise at an evil moment. But, 'egad it will be a lesson to me. I suppose I must sell Harbour Court!

“ Nay, I hope it's not so bad as that.-.".
“ Indeed, but it is; where think you am I to get 5001. ?”
"*5001.! Why, what are you thinking about ?.

“ Thinking about," replied Charles, “ why about Sillery's bills," producing at the same time a newspaper with the announcement of his bankruptcy..." What else should I think about ?"

“ Ha! ha! ha!” cried I, laughing at the equivoque, “and I have been talking about your marriage."

“ Marriage ! nonsense! what could put that into your head ?”

“ My dear fellow !" exclaimed I ; " satisfy me that you are not married, and I will make you easy about Sillery's bills. His bankruptcy has been superseded, and I have money in my hands to pay your acceptances."

I then produced my bride cake and its envelope---all turned out to be a hoax---We still have our old literary dinners, and Charles Thomson is not married.

[ocr errors]



“The Lord Chancellor is a greate personage, of eminent place, the office and jurisdiction manifold, and of great antiquitie; the office being in esse in the time of King Edmund and Edward the Confessor, which was before the Conqueror, as may be proved."

LANSDOWN MS. No. 163, p. 159.

In the opinion of some persons, amongst whom Sir Edward Coke may be mentioned", the word Chancellor, or Cancellarius, is derived “a cancellando," from cancelling the King's letters patent when granted contrary to law, which is the highest point of the Chancellor's jurisdiction. Others have conjectured that it is derived from Cancelli, or the bars formerly placed cross-wise before the Judges, in order to keep back the people who crowded around him when seated to administer justice. Lambard † endeavours to reconcile these derivations, or rather to compress them into one, and says, with a good deal of ingenuity, "our French word Chancellier is fetched from Latin Cancellarius, and that from Cancello, and all these framed out of the Greek, which signifies properly to make lattises, grates, or crossbars, to enclose anything withal, and metaphorically to bound and contain anything within certain bars and limits. And out of these two significations, two principal parts of his office do issue. For after the similitude of those cross-bars or lattises, he is said to cancel, deface, or make void a record, because his vacat thereof is done by drawing certain cross-lines, lattise-wise, with his pen over it, whereby it is so inclosed and shut up, that from thenceforth no exemplification thereof may be given abroad. And likewise in his Court of Equity, he doth (when the case requireth) so cancel and shut up the rigour of the general law, that it shall not break forth to the hurt of some singular case and person.” We shall not endeavour to decide between these rival etymologies, but content ourselves with remarking, that the Chancellor was not possessed of the equitable jurisdiction referred to in the latter part of the above extract from Lambard, until many centuries after the introduction of the title into this country, and therefore his title cannot have been derived from any supposed exercise of that restraining power.

Amongst the Anglo-Saxons, the duties of the Chancellor appear to have been-to make known to the King the petitions of supplicants, and communicate to them his answers; and also, to write and supervise all charters, writs, and other written documents that received the King's sanction. Such an officer constitutes a sort of medium between the prince and the people, and is absolutely necessary in every government not purely patriarchal. Accordingly, traces of it may be found from the earliest periods of our history; and, as might # 4 Inst. 88.

+ Archeion, 46. M

VOL. 1.

be expected at a time when all learning was engrossed by the clergy, it was usually filled by some priest in attendance upon the King. Perhaps, at first, ņo particular priest was appointed ; but as the increase of population, and the gradual advance towards civilization, occasioned business to increase, it was found expedient to appoint some one priest who might be always ready to perform the duties of the office. Even then the present title was not adopted, for we can trace the existence of the office some time before we find any mention of a Chancellor. In 605, A. D., Ethelbert, King of Kent, founded the church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Canterbury; and the charter which evidencés its , endowment, is witnessed amongst others by Augemundus, who is styled, “ Referendarius*." Selden has conjectured that this word“ Referendarius,” is of the same import as “Chancellor;" and some probability is given to this opinion by the language of another charter of the same King Ethelbert, which he states he had directed to be committed to writing by Augemundus, the priest, and to this latter charter “ Augemundus, Referendarius,” is also a witnesst. The duties of the Referendarius in the Court of the Eastern Empire, were similar to those which were afterwards exercised by the Chancellor with us I.

The above two are the only instances we have found of the employment of the title “ Referendarius,” but the office can be clearly traced. Many of the charters in the eighth century, and in the beginning of the ninth, are witnessed by some “ Presbyter," or “ Scriba domini regis," who declares that the instrument was written by him at the King's instances. These shew the existence of the Chancellorship under other names; (as far as our lack of information will permit us to judge) and some argument that they do so, may be drawn from the fact, that from the time when we first hear of the Chancellor, the appellations ~ Presbyter," “ Scriba,” &c, are not to be found.

The first mention of a Chancellor in this country that we have found, is in Matthew Paris, who speaks of the preferment to a Bishopric of Unwona, Chancellor of Offa, King of the Mercians|l; the time of this occurrence is not very precisely marked, but it must have been about the commencement of the ninth century. The authenticity of this instance may perhaps be rather doubtful, but we have the better authority of Ingulphuse for stating Turketulus to have been Chancellor to Edward the Elder, who began his reign A.D. 901. Wolsinus was Chancellor to Athelstan; and Matthew Paris reports that Alfricus, eleventh Abbot of St. Albans, was at one time Chan-cellor to Ethelred the Unready, who commenced his reign A.D.978**. · We learn also, that the same King Ethelred divided the office of

Chancellor between the Abbots of Ely, of St. Augustine in Canterbury, · and of Glastonbury, who were to exercise it by turns for four months

• Dugdale Monas. p. 23. Dug. Off. Chanc.
+ Dugdale Monas. p. 24.

1 Ducange você Referend. & Spelman você Cancel.

|| Mat. Paris vità Offæ. sec. 22. 1 Gale, 36.

** Vitæ St. Albani Abbat. p. 43.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »