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(certainly not derived from Scotland) of his catering for the luxurious Abbeys, is so invaluably corroborative, that we care not though he had carried the fish in a creel. We have, then, not only found the John or James “foisted into” the Merchiston certificate, but we have ascertained some of his dealings, the name of his wife, and the very spot of his interment at Swyre. Nor must we omit to record his charity, (it may be that of his son,) which extended beyond the circle of Swyre. In the Hundred of Goderthorn, and tything of Adelyngton, there stood the Hospital of St Mary Magdalene, for lepers, suppressed in 1553. It appears from the records that James Napier of Swyre, yeoman, gave by will, sans date, five shillings yearly to the use of the poor in this hospital for ever; if the annuity be unpaid on the day of St John the Evangelist, they or their deputy to distrain on his lands at Baglake. Yes, says the author of the Tracts, but in the year 1625 the distinguished families of Tintinhull, Middlemarchall, Puncknoll, &c. had all become ashamed of the fishman of Swyre, and as the Turkey merchant—the novus homo of Luton-hoo whose descent was unknown, and who did not even know who his own father and mother were—was getting a pedigree to himself from Scotland under the auspices of James VI., they conceived the idea of being included in the same patent of gentility; Sir Archibald Napier was a courtier and a creature of that monarch, so he fathered them all ; and this “lacteal relationship,” (for there was much of the milk of human kindness in it,) probably was the cause of his own subsequent elevation to the peerage; and thus it was that these supposed Scoto-English Napiers foisted the Lennox arms upon their tombs at Mintern-Magna. What, then, does our learned antiquary make of the fact, that these Napiers carried the Lennox arms half a
century before the date of Sir Archibald's certificate ?—■ but let us stroll among the Hundreds and Liberties again.
Adjoining to the free-school of Dorchester is, or was some years ago, a handsome alms-house for ten poor men; before it a neat piazza, in it a small chapel, and over the door in Roman capitals,
Underneath is the Lennox shield of Napier, and this inscription, " Built to the honour of God, by Sir Robert Napper, Knt. 1615." This was the chief baron of Ireland, who died in September of that same year, and his Lennox shield is also placed, matrimonially with that of both his wives, in the church at Mintern-Magna.
In the Hundred of Uggescomb there is the church of St Mary, whose walls are crowded with the armsof Merchiston of various dates. In the south aisle, under which is a vault, may be seen a mural monument of freestone. On the top the Lennox shield of Napier, crest a pyramid, on its point a globe, and under it, cut in stone, and in Latin, " William Napier, Esq. formerly patron of this church." It also appears by another Latin inscription cut on the stone, that " the said William Napier presented William Carter, clergyman, to this rectory 26th June 1597." On the same monument there is a brass plate containing the hie jacet of this William, An. Dom. 16.. and recording, that he had travelled several years in foreign lands, and married Anne Shelton, daughter of William Shelton, Esq. of Onger Park in Essex. Upon this plate, too, is the Lennox shield of Napier, with a lapwing for crest, under which is a man in armour kneeling at a desk with a book.
One other proof may be afforded. It appears that this cadency had some connection with the county of Devonshire at a very early period, for in the " Alphabet of Arms" compiled from the most authentic authorities by Joseph Edmondson, Mowbray herald extraordinary, I find recorded, " Naper, Devonshire, argent a saltier engrailed betwixt four cinquefoils gules; crest a demi-antelope erased or, attired ar. August 1st 1577."
To have been favoured by the learned author of the Tracts with more accurate antiquities than the Memoirs of Merchiston afford, would have been a boon thankfully received,—to have been substantially refuted by him, an honour duly appreciated. But the contemptuous controversy of a desultory Tract, which strives to discredit a laborious work without aiding it, deserves neither thanks nor praise. The learned antiquary's aim almost appears to have been to leave no excuse to the author for having compiled the Memoirs of Merchiston. He virtually says,—the antiquities are naught, founded on fabrications or imagination,—the conspicuous men, of Napier's day were immoral hypocrites, and his own character has been partially eulogized,—his very portrait was not worthy of being engraved, nor his genius of illustration; for Mr Riddell is enamoured of a dictum of Scaliger's,—"Prceclarum ingenium nonpotest esse magnus mathematicus"—" which," says he, " may apply to Napier with due force, for his pursuits were limited, and chiefly confined to the department which this great authority pointedly undervalues ; indeed, it is thought by some that mathematics contract the mind, and unfit it for other pursuits."* Having thus severely pronounced upon our venerable philosopher in the morale, he concludes by insulting him in the physique. Alluding to
* Tracts, p. 113, et infra.
the family resemblance between the portraits of Merchiston and Dr Richard, he says " like is an ill mark, and the learned gentleman well knows that it is no evidence in law ; indeed, all the philosophers and wizards at the time, judging from their starched and owlish visages, as exemplified in pictures where the same costume and attitude are observed, bore a wonderful likeness to each other."
We cannot cope with Mr Riddell in irony and sarcasm ; but why is he so severe throughout upon us and our Coryphaeus? If the critics of this splenetic world were always to obtain credit, genealogists would fare no better than mathematicians, and antiquaries be as severely pictured as philosophers and wizards. It was the elegantly malicious author of the Memoirs of Grammont, who, when characterizing that strange person M. de Senantes, said of him that he was "fort en genealogie comme sont tous les sots qui ont de la memoire"—a foolish saying, like Scaliger's; and for a spiteful picture, of that delightful and sacred character an antiquary, take that drawn by the little vicious Queen Ann's man:
But who is he in closet closely pent,
One parting blow has the author of the Tracts at the poor biographer himself, whose antiquities he has so severely handled. He controverts, butfails to disprove, that Sir John Menteith was head of the house of Rusky; he says, "due praise must be awarded the author of the Memoirs for his manly and spirited vindication of Sir John Menteith;" and the praise he gives is this,—" the motive, therefore, for the defence of Menteith that has
inspired the learned author of the Memoirs, being, alas ! of an elusory kind, is somewhat akin to the veneration of the knight of La Mancha for his mistress,—or, to use a grander simile, like the fabric of a vision that leaveth not a wreck behind.”
But who would not be proud to resemble thegallant and high-souled Don, and would not be likened to him rather than to one Signor Bachelor Samson Carrasco, who went out toreclaim that memorable enthusiast, and was himself laid prostrate. But the Bachelor was more successful in his second crusade, and so may Mr Riddell be in a rejoinder. In the meantime, (to follow out his own illustration,) he of the Memoirs is, by right of conquest, entitled to dictate a penance to him of the Tracts. For a whole twelvemonth he shall go no more forth a picking pedigrees—or disenchanting genealogies—or rescuing charters in distress; but, putting off his antiquarian armour, and clothing himself in the humble habit of a repentant peerage writer, he shall perform a pilgrimage to Oxford, and there, at the shrine of the picture of the warlock, shall thrice proclaim in a loud voice to the assembled clerks and monks of Oxford, “The Inventor of Logarithms and Dr Richard Napier were brother's sons.”