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Divine glory, and angels or the enlightened spirits of we may pore for long ages in vain without seizing the the just may decipher the full meanings; but to us it is truth behind. a mystery.
Such are a few of the hidden wonders in plants which But, if the arrangements of vegetable tissues are sur-compel us to feel that in leaves, branches, roots, tissue prising, their composition is no less wonderful. Consider spirals and seeds, the All Wise is ever working with a for a moment the variety of materials which form a power, the full displays of which no eye of man has plant. That the substances which enter into the bulk seen, though enough is evident to nourish the spirit of of a mountain, and form huge chains of Alpine steeps, adoration, and prompt a ceaseless Te Deum of the should also contribute to the existence of a rose, and he at.
W. D. form part of a tulip, does not appear at first a probability. Crystalline bodies of exceeding minuteness are
FRANK FAIRLEGH; found to exist in the cells of vegetables, and these are formed of what is called oxalate and phosphate of lime.
OR, OLD COMPANIONS IN NEW SCENES.' The former consists of lime mixed with oxalic acid, and the latter is a compound of phosphoric acid and lime, which form the substance called bone, in animals. Here,
CHAP. VI. then, we have another of those points of union which so
THE RIDDLE BAFFLES ME! often startle us when beholding the workings of the material universe; animals and vegetables, with all their
The post next morning brought a letter from Mr. diversities, possess—one in the bones, the other in the Vernon, to say, that, as he found the business on which crystalline cells—a common substance. We also find he was engaged must necessitate his crossing to starch, alum, sugar, the elements of flint and potass, in Boulogne, he feared there was no chance of his being various parts of flowers and shrubs. Thus the simplest able to return under a week, but that, if it should be inplant may be regarded as an epitome of the world itself
, convenient for Mrs. Coleman to keep Miss Saville so as it contains within its leaves and branches the long at Elm Lodge, he should wish her to go back to elements which compose, in their accumulated masses, Barstone, where, if she was in any difficulty, she could the crust of the earth.
Another singular circumstance in botanical history easily apply to her late hostess for advice and assistance. is the astonishing difference in vegetable nature, which On being brought clearly (though I fear the word is a slight variety in some element of the plant frequently scarcely applicable to the good lady's state of mind at produces. Thus if we take 1000 parts of purest crys, any time) to understand the position of affairs, Mrs. tallized sugar, we find it to consist of 560 of water and Coleman would by no means hear of Miss Saville's de440 of carbon. Now it will be admitted that starch and parture; but, on the contrary, made her promise to sugar are two very distinct substances, yet how clear is prolong her stay till her guardian should return, however the resemblance in their constituent elements. Twelve long it might be before that happy event should take parts of water added, and twelve of carbon subtracted, place, which, as Freddy observed, involved the remarkwill suffice to produce sugar instead of starch, whilst able fact, that if Mr. Vernon should be drowned in twelve parts of carbon added, and twelve of water sub- crossing the British channel, she (his mother) would tracted, produce starch instead of sugar. What is the have put her foot in it. The same post brought Freddy cause which gives to a few atoms of water and carbon a summons from his father, desiring him, the moment such power? Here again we find the mysteries of the he returned from Bury with the papers, to proceed to universe rising up, and refusing to answer our queries. town immediately. There was nothing left for him, No science with which we are at present acquainted therefore, but to deposit himself upon the roof of the enables us to detect the hidden might which regulates next coach, blue bag in hand, which he accordingly did, the progression of vegetable life, and draws an undis- after having spent the intervening time in reviling all tinguishable line between the most diverse substances. lawyers, clients, deeds, settlements, in fact, every indiTurn from this subject and consider for a moment one vidual thing connected with the profession, excepting peculiarity in the roots of plants, the tendency to fees. descend. What so constantly draws the root in a direc- “Clara and I are going for a long walk, Mr. Fairlegh, tion opposite to the stem? Silent must all the schools and we shall be glad of your escort, if you have no objecof philosophy remain while such an inquiry is echoed. tion to accompany us, and it is not too far for you," said If we are willing to amuse ourselves with words, it is Mrs. Coleman, (who evidently considered me in the last doubtless easy to say that “the root descends in search stage of a decline,) trotting into the breakfast room, of food into the earth.” But what causes such a descent? where I was lounging, book in hand, over the fire, wonis again the perplexing question, which must compel dering what possible pretext I could invent for joining the observer of phenomena to confess that something the ladies. strangely mysterious is at work somewhere, and we see "I shall be only too happy," answered I, "and I think it not. Again, what a subject for long trains of specu- I can contrive to walk as far as you can, Mrs. Coleman." lation does the vitality of seeds suggest. The principle “Oh! I don't know that," was the reply, “I am a of life exists in one of these little cells for three thousand capital walker, I assure you. I remember a young man, years, and then comes forward with its merry green, to quite as young as you, and a good deal stouter, who look upon the world, and mark the changes which have could not walk nearly as far as I can; to be sure," she passed over its fields since the days of the Pharaohs. added as she left the room, “ he had a wooden leg, poor It is not the mere seed which has been preserved, as in fellow !" a kind of vegetable mummy, but the life has remained I soon received a summons to start with the ladies, through so many ages, waiting for the moment when a whom I found awaiting my arrival on the terrace walk revelation of its energies should be possible. There is at the back of the house, comfortably wrapped up in nothing like this in animal existence, and it is as if one shawls and furs, for, although a bright sun was shining, of the mummies in the British Museum should be the day was cold and frosty. revived by the warmth of summer and the noises of the “You must allow me to carry that for you,” said I, surrounding world, and utter its old language, learned laying violent hands on a large basket, between which in Thebes or Memphis, in the ears of the modern and a muff Mrs. Coleman was in vain attempting to Londoner. Something like this has been witnessed in effect an amicable arrangement. vegetable history, when seeds taken from embalmed “Oh, dear! I'm sure you'll never be able to carry it subjects have been sown, and spring up as bravely as --it's so dreadfully heavy," was the reply. their kindred had done on the banks of the Nile in the days of Joseph. Here again is a mystery over which
(1) Continued from p. 166.
“ Nous verrons,” answered I, swinging it on my fore-| though she paused at the threshold to offer a parting finger, in order to demonstrate its lightness.
suggestion as to the advisability, moral and physical, * Take care,--you musn't do so!” exclaimed Mrs. of dividing the wretched Johnny's share of plumColeman, in a tone of extreme alarm; "you'll upset all pudding between his brothers and sisters, and adminismy beautiful senna tea, and it will get amongst the slices tering a double portion of black draught by way of of Christmas plum-pudding, and the flannel that I'm compensation, an arrangement which elicited from going to take for poor Mrs. Muddles's children; do you that ctimized chil a howl of mingled orror and know poor Mrs. Muddles, Clara, my dear?"
defiance. Miss Saville replied in the negative, and Mrs. Cole- We had proceeded about a mile on our return, when man continued.
Mrs. Coleman, who was a step or two in advance, trod "Ah! poor thing! she's a very hard-working, re- on a slide some boys had made, and would have fallen spectable, excellent young woman; she has been mar- had I not thrown my arm round her just in time to ried four years, and has got six children,-no! let me prevent it. see,-it's six years, and four children,—that's it,- My dear madam,” exclaimed I, “ you were as nearly though I never can remember whether it's most pigs as possible down; I hope you have not hurt yourself.” or children she has,-four pigs did I say ?—but it "No, my dear-I mean-Mr. Fairlegh ; no! I hope doesn't much signify, for the youngest is a boy, and I have not, except my ankle ; 'I gave that a twist they're all very dirty, and have never been taught to somehow, and it hurts me dreadfully; but I daresay I read, because she takes in washing, and has put a great shall be able to go on in a minute.” deal too much starch into my night-cap this week-only The good lady's hopes, however, were not destined in her husband drinks-so I musn't say much about it, this instance to be fulfilled, for, on attempting to propoor thing, for we all have our failings, you know." ceed, the pain increased to such an extent, that she was
With such like rambling discourse did worthy Mrs. forced, after limping a few steps, to seat herself on a Coleman beguile the way, until at length, after a walk stone by the way-side, and it became evident that she of some two miles and a half
, we arrived at the cottage must have sprained her ankle severely, and would be of that much-enduring laundress, the highly respectable utterly unable to walk home. In this dilemma, it was Mrs. Muddles, where in due form we were introduced not easy to discover what was the best thing to be done to the mixed race of children and pigs, between which --no vehicle could be procured nearer than Hiliingclearer heads than that of Mrs. Coleman might have ford, from which place we were at least two miles been at a loss to distinguish ; for, if the pigs did not distant, and I by no means approved of leaving my exactly resemble children, the children most assuredly companions in their present helpless state, during the looked like pigs. Here we seemed likely to remain for space of time which must necessarily elapse ere I could some time, as there was much business to be got through go and return. Mrs. Coleman, who, although suffering by the two matrons. First, Mrs. Coleman's basket from considerable pain, bore it with the greatest equawas unpacked, during which process that lady delivered nimity and good nature, seeming to think much more a long harangue, setting forth the rival merits of of the inconvenience she was likely to occasion us plum-pudding and black draught, and ingeniously than of her own discomforts, had just hit upon some establishing a connexion between them, which has ren brilliant, but totally impracticable project, when our dered the foriner nearly as distasteful to me as the cars were guddened by the sound of wheels, and in latter ever since. Thence glancing slightly at the over- another moment, a little pony-chaise, drawn by a fat, starched night-cap, and delicately referring to the anti-comfortable-looking pony, came in sight, proceeding tea-total propensities of the laundress's sposo, she con- | in the direction of Hillingford. As soon as the driver, trived so thoroughly to confuse and interlace the a stout, rosy-faced gentleman, who proved to be the various topics of her discourse, as to render it an open family apothecary, perceived our party, he pulled up, question, whether the male Muddles had not got tipsy and, when he became aware of what had occurred, put on black draught, in consequence of the plum-pudding an end to our difficulties by offering Mrs. Coleman the having over-starched the night-cap; moreover, she dis- unoccupied seat in his chaise. tinctly called the latter article “poor fellow!” twice. “Sorry I can't accommodate you, also, Miss Saville," In reply to this, Mrs. Muddles, the skin of whose hands he continued, raising his hat; “ but you see it's rather was crimped up into patterns like sea-weed, from the close packing as it is; if I were but a little more like amphibious nature of her employment, and whose the medical practitioner who administered a sleeping general appearance was, from the same cause, moist and draught to Master Romeo, now, we might contrive to spongy, expressed much gratitude for the contents of carry three. the basket, made a pathetic apology to the night-cap, “I really prefer walking such a cold day as this, tried to ignore the imbibing propensity of her better thank you, Mr. Pillaway,” answered Miss Saville. half; but, when pressed home upon the point, declared, "Mind you take proper care of poor Clara, Mr. Fairthat when he was not performing the Circe-like opera- legh,” said Mrs. Coleman," and don't let her sprain tion of “making a beast of his-self,” he was one of the her ankle, or do any thing foolish, and don't you stay most virtuousest of men ; and finally wound up by a out too long yourself and catch cold, or I don't know minute medical detail of Johnny's chilblain, accom- what Mrs. Fairlegh will say, and your pretty sister, panied by a slight retrospective sketch of Mary Anne's too,—what a fat pony, Mr. Pillaway; you don't give last whitlow. How much longer the conversation him much physic, I should think,-good bye, my dears, might have continued, it is impossible to say, for it was good bye, --remember the boiled beef.” evident that neither of the speakers had by any means As she spoke, the fat pony, admonished by the whip, exhausted her budget, had not Johnny, the unfortunate described a circle with its tail, frisked with the agility proprietor of the chilblain above mentioned, scen fit of a playful elephant, and then set off at a better pace to precipitate himself, head-foremost, into a washing than from his adipose appearance I had deemed him tub of nearly scalding water, whence his mamma, with capable of. great presence of mind and much professional dex- * With all her oddity, what an unselfish, kind-hearted, terity, extricated him, wrung him out, and set him on excellent little person Mrs. Coleman is !” observed I, as the mangle to dry, where he remained sobbing, from a the pony-chaise disappeared at an angle of the road. vague sense of humid misery, till a more convenient "Oh I think her charming,” replied my companion
warmly, “ she is so very good-natured.” This little incident reminded Mrs. Coleman that the “She is something beyond that,” returned I ; boiled beef, preparing for our luncheon and the ser- good nature is a quality I rate very low; a person may vant's dinner, would inevitably be overdone, and in- be good-natured, yet thoroughly selfish, for nine times duced her to take a hurried farewell of Mrs. Muddles, 1 out of ten it is easier and more agreeable to say 'yes'
than ‘no ;' but there is such an entire forgetfulness of rather, by increasing the sense of his own misery, add to self apparent in all Mrs. Coleman's attempts to make his agony of spirit?" those around her happy and comfortable, that despite “I can conceive such a case possible,” replied I;"but her eccentricities, I am beginning to conceive quite a you would make us out all famme-stricken wretches at respect for the little woman."
this rate : you cannot surely imagine every one to be You are a close observer of character, it seems, Mr. unhappy ?" Fairleyh," remarked my companion.
“ There are, no doubt, different degrees of unhappi“ [ scarcely see how any thinking person can avoid ness," returned Miss Saville; "yet I can hardly conceive being so," returned I ; " there is no study that appears | any position in life so free from cares, as to be proto me to possess a more deep and varied interest." nounced positively happy; but I know my ideas on this
You make mistakes, though, sometimes,” replied subject are peculiar, and I am not very desirous of Miss Saville, glancing quickly at me with her beautiful making a convert of you, Mr. Fairlegh; the world will eyes.
do that soon enough, I fear," she added with a sigh. “ You refer to my hasty judgment of last night,” said “ I cannot believe it,” replied I, warmly; "true, at I, colouring slightly.
times we must all feel sorrow; it is one of the conditions “ The mournful words of your song led me to con- of our mortal lot, and we must bear it with what resigclude that in one instance, high spirits might not be a nation we may, knowing, that if we but make a fitting sure indication of a light heart; and yet I would fain use of it, it is certain to work for our highest good; but, høpe," added I, in a half-questioning tone, " that you if you would have me look upon this world as a vale of merely sought to inculcate a general principle ?''
forgetting all its glorious opportunities for raising “ Is not that a very unusual species of heath to find our fallen nature to something so bright and noble, as growing in this country?” was the rejoinder.
to be even here but little lower than the angels, you * Really, I am no botanist,” returned I, rather crossly, must pardon me if I never can agree with you."
I for I felt that I had received a rebuit, and was not at all There was a moment's pause, when my companion sure that I might not have deserved it.
resumed. Nay, but I will have you attend; you did not even “ You talk of opportunities of doing good, as being look towards the place where it is growing," replied likely to increa-e our stock of happiness; and, no doubt, Miss Saville, with a half-imperious, halt-imploring you are right; but imagine a situation, in which you glance, which it was impossible to resist.
are unable to take advantage of these opportunities “ Is that the plant you mean?" asked I, pointing to when they arise, in which you are not a free agent, a tuft of heath on the top of a steep bank by the roadside. your will fettered and controlled on every point, so that
On receiving a reply in the affirmative, I continued; you are alike powerless to perform the good that you " then I will render you all the assistance in my power, desire, and to avoid the evil you both hate and fear, could by enabling you to judge for yourself.” So saying, I you be happy in such a situation, think you ?" scrambled up the bank, at the imminent risk of my You describe a case which is, or ought to be, imposneck; and after bursting the button-holes of my straps, sible," replied I ; " when I say ought to be, I mean that and tearing my coat in two places with a bramble, I suc in these days, I hope and believe, it is impossible for ceeded in gathering the heath.
any one to be forced to do wrong, unless, from a natural Elated by my success, and feeling every nerve braced weakness and facility of disposition, and from a want of and invigorated by the frosty air, I bounded down the moral courage, their resistance is so feeble, that those slope with such velocity, that, on reaching the bottom, who seek to compel them to evil, are induced to redouble I was unable to check my speed, and only avoided run their efforts, when a little firmness and decision clearly ning against Miss Saville, by nearly throwing myself shown, and steadily adhered to, would have produced a down backwards.
very different result.” “ I beg your pardon,” exclaimed I; “I hope I have “Oh! that I could think so !" exclaimed Mirs Saville not alarmed you by my abominable awkwardness; but ardently: she paused for a minute, as if in thought, and really the bank was so steep, that it was impossible to then resumed in a low mournful voice, “ but you do not stop sooner.”
know-,you cannot tell; besides, it is useless to struggle Nay, it is I who ought to apologize for having led against destiny: there are people fated from childhood you to undertake such a dangerous expedition,” replied to grief and misfortune--alone in this cold world-you she, taking the heath which I had gathered, with a smile have a sister ?" she inquired, abruptly. wliich quite repaid me for my exertions.
“ Yes," replied I; * I have as good a little sister as “ I do not know what could have possessed me to run ever man was fortunate enough to possess—how glad I down the bank in that insane manner,” returned I ; “I should be to introduce her to you." suppose it is this fine frosty morning which makes me “ And you love each other ?" feel so light and happy.”
“ Indeed we do, truly and sincerely.” “ Happy!” repeated my companion incredulously, “And you are a man, one of the lords of the creation," and in a half absent manner, as though she were rather she continued, with a slight degree of sarcasm in her thinking aloud than addressing me.
tone. “ Well, Mr. Fairleyh, I can believe that you may “ Yes," replied I, surprised ; “ and why should I not ?" | be happy sometimes." “ Is any one happy?" was the rejoinder.
“ And what am I to conjecture about you ?" inquired Very many people, I hope," said I; "you do not I, fixing my eyes upon her expressive features. doubt it, surely.”
What you please," returned she, turning away with “ I well might,” she answered with a sigh.
a very becoming blush--"or rather,” she added, “ do “ On such a lovely day as this, with the bright clear not waste your time in forming any conjectures what. sky above us, and the hoar-frost sparkling like diamonds ever on such an uninteresting subject.” in the glorious sunshine, how can one avoid feeling “I am more easily interested than you imagine,” rehappy?” asked I.
plied I, with a smile; “ besides, you know, I am fond of ** It is very beautiful,” she replied, after gazing studying character.” around for a moment ; " and yet can you not imagine The riddle is not worth reading,” answered Miss a state of mind in which this fair scene, with all its Saville. varied charms, may impress one with a feeling of bitter- Nevertheless, I shall not be contented till I have ness rather than ot pleasure, by the contrast it affords to found it out; I shall guess it before long, depend upon the darkness and weariness of soul within? Place some it," returned 1. famine-stricken wretch beneath the roof of a giided An incredulous shake of the head was her only reply, palace, think you the sight of its magnificence would and we continued conversing on different subjects, till give him any sensation of pleasure? Would it not we reached Elm Lodge.
THE RISE AND DECLINE OF CHIVALRY IN ouyrent la messe, chacun seigneur entre ses gens et ENGLAND.
son logis, et se communièrent et confessèrent
plusieurs." PART II.
Again: "En ce jour se levèrent les Anglois moult “ The knights are dust,
matin ; et s'appareillèrent pour aller devant Caen. And their good swords are rust :
Puis ouit le Roy messe devant soleil levant; et après Their souls are with the saints, we trust.”
monta à cheval," &c.
Froissart's Chronicle abounds in similar instances. When shorn of all pomp and external decoration, But perhaps the most engaging characteristic of wben performed hastily, and in the battle field, the in- chivalry, as it was also its most pervading feature, was vestment of a knight had ever some accompanying cir- its generosity ; or what we might perhaps, in modern cumstances calculated to work upon the best feelings of phrase, describe as the perfect tone of gentlemanly feel. the mind; and one of these circumstances inseparable ing which it almost invariably displayed. To this aia from the ceremony was, that the honour was thought Lord Digby trust, judging others by his own standard, worthless, unless conferred by one of approved valour when he was taken prisoner in disguise at Hull, and and conduct. After the battle of Marignan, Francis !. confided his real name and dignity to the rebel govi rnor, of France chose to receive knighthood from the hands Sir John Hotham, who, not insensible to the chivalrous of the Cheralier Bayard alone. Le roy voulut grande trust reposed in him by his lofty visitor, connived at ment honnorer, car il prein: l'ordre de chevalerie de his escape. By this feeling was King Louis VII. of sa main. Il avoit bien raison, car de meilleur ne l'eust France actuated when he refused to give up Bucket sceu prendre."
to the messengers of Henry II. • Tell your king," said Stern must have been the mould of him whose every he, “it is the hercditary privilege of my crown to profeeling of chivalry was not aroused within him on re- tect the unfortunate." ceiving this honourable investment thus amidst the These beautiful results characterized the whole age of dying and the dead. There are instances on record, chivalry; but they had their origin in an infinitely where a dying man has exerted every energy of his more ennobling cause than any conventional mode of frame to m'ister strength to confer knighthood on his manners-eren in that Christian charity which befaithful esquire or page, as the dearest boon he could lieveth, hopeth, and endureth all things. The religion bequeath to him; and, on the contrary, it is well of those days was doubtless imbued with superstition known that, after the termination of the strife at, and bigotry, but it was heartfelt, sincere, and inAgincourt, Henry V knighted some brave Welsh jluencing, nevertheless. How influencing let one exsoldiers even as they lay expiring. This may appear ; ample suflice here. When Louis IX. was kept in an outrageous outburst of the chivalrous spirit, and we hard durance by the sultan, and threatened by the are far from contending that its manifestations were at niost horrible tortures, the infidel monarch was suddenly all times rigidly governed by reason. We read in the assassinated by one of his own followers, who hastened romances of the time, that, after the death of the re- i to the French 'king, informing him of the deed. Louis nowned knight and warrior Lancelot du Lac, the right was tran-fixed with horror, and, on the demand of the arm of the corpse was used in conferring the knightly Mussulman to be knighted by him, peremptorily reaccolade on a youth of high lineage and promise, Ysaie. fused, though the sword of the ruflian was at his breast We do not of course refer to the tradition as worthy of to compel his acquiescence. “ When you become a the slightest credence in itself; but, as these romances i Christian," said the undaunted monarch, “ I will knight were undoubtedly pictures, though exargerated ones, you.” We are told that, subdued by the calm uninoved of the manners of the times, we have adduced the anec- d gnity of the king's manner, the murderer rushed dote as correlative proof of our remark, that the honour from the chamber. of the accolade itself was enhanced by the high knightly To illustrate further our meaning as to the generosity character of the arm by which it was conferred. There which the code of chivalry was intended to inculcate, can be nobody who has not heard of the renown of Sir and which was in fact a practical illustration of the Lancelot of the Lake.
divine precept, “Do unto others as ye would they The ceremonies of the degradation of a knight who should do unto you,” take the following examples from had forfeited his claims to that estate were even more many which lie before us. solemn than those of his inauguration. The formal In the time of Peter, king of Arragon, when the degradation was, however, seldom resorted to except in Spanish admiral, Roger de Luria, a Templar, arrived at the extremest cases, as there were many modes in which the port of Malta, where was the fleei of Marseilles, an unworthy cavalier might, as the modern phrase having taken the provincials by surprise, some of his goes, be voted to Coventry, and be sufficiently punished men cried out, “ Now fall on.” God forbid," said he, without resorting to the extreme of public degradation. “that I should attack them while they sleep ; let the Some of the circumstances of this complete degradation trumpet sound, and I shall wait till they are ready. were the depriving him of his armour, which was Men shall not be able to say that I attacked sleeping taken from him piece by piece on a public scaffold, and | men." broken and trampled under foot; --the proclaiming When the Duke de Montmorenci was wounded at the hiin a rebel, a traitor, and a faith breaker;-the pour bridge of the Fresquel in 1632, he was within a few yards ing hot water over him, as if to wash away all trace of of his own party, who would have enabled him to escape, the sacred character of knight, with which he had been when suddenly his horse fell to the ground The officers of invested ;- the reading a penitential psalm over him ;- the arıny opposed to him pretended not to see him, that and in some places the ceremony was so extreme as to his friends might have time to rescue him. place him in a coffin, and read the service for the dead After the battle of Poictiers, the English and Gascon over him.
knights questioned their prisoners, upon their honour, It is recorded of the wild Normans, that they spent as to what ransom they could pay without inconvenience, the night before the battle of Hastings in fasting and and they trusted implicitly to the statement made. prayer; and one feels it difficult to reconcile this cir- Take a domestic instance. In 1439 the Duc de cumstance with the accounts of their indifference to Bourbon, on his return from an eight years' imprison. other religious ceremonies as compared with the Saxons. ment in London, gave an entertainment to his retainers But, as chivalry progressed to its lustre, frequent prayer and vassals, on which occasion his agent presented him was always a habit of the knight, and especially before an immense book, containing a list of the defalcations combat. On one occasion, when the French and of all his vassals during his absence. The noble-hearted English armies were going to engage, “ quand vint le man did not even open it, but, throwing it into the Vendredy au matin, les deux osis s'appareillèrent et l flames of the fire which burnt in the middle of the hall,
he turned with a severe look to the over-zealous agent, , tude—that potentate being always represented in the and asked if he had not a corresponding book of the Apocalypse under the similitude of a dragon. The acservices of his faithful tenants.
count of his killing the dragon, and delivering the Instances might be multiplied ad infinitum, but the princess, is not found in any of the early manuscripts of foregoing are sufficient to illustrate our meaning as to his life, but first occurs in a manuscript in the Ambrothe prevailing tone of chivalry; opposing examples can sian Library at Milan, written later than the age of the certainly be cited, but they are the exceptions to the Crusades. The story had been brought from Palestine. rule. The perfection of the chivalric character was in Apocryphal as, we fear, we must allow it to be, perhaps fact exactly what we should now picture that of a highly there are yet some of our readers who will be pleased to born, highly bred, Christian gentleman. The circum- renew their acquaintance with this treasured legend of stances of tilt and tournament, of horse and armour, their childhood. Our account is abbreviated from were mere excrescences—the foam of the billow, the aunciente & ryghte noble Historye.” bloom of the peach, the decorative misletoe of the life- Immediately on his entrance into public life, St. George giving oak; the ornament, not the substance; the shell, travelled from the city of Coventry into the territories not the kernel; the mere gorgeous and attractive rind of Egypt, “which countrey as then was greatly annoyed of the wholesome and nourishing fruit.
with a dangerous dragon; but, before he had journeyed The high and palmy days of chivalry in England fully within the distance of a mile, the silent night apwere undoubtedly those of Edward III. It had then proached, and solitary stilnesse took possession of all reached its highest point of refinement, and since that living things. At last he espied an old poore hermitage, time it has gradually declined ; or, when a chivalrous wherein he purposed to rest his horse, and to take some “ demonstration” has been made, it had more of the repast after his weary journey, till the sunne had reoutward semblance than the inward strength. But, at newed his morning's light, that hee might fall to his the time of which we speak, the whole nation was im- travell againe : but, entring the cottage, he found an bued with the chivalric sentiment; so much so, that aged hermit overworn with yeeres, and almost consumed even the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs-listen, with griefe, with whom in this manner he began to ye degenerate turtle-lovers !--gave tournaments under confer:their own auspices. Some of the court names of that “ • Father,' said he, 'for so you seem by your gravity, day, Manny, Chandos, Audley, the Black Prince's co- may a traveller for this night crave entertainment within mates, will live for ever; and so high was the universal your cottage, not only for himselfe but his horse: or is estimation of this chivalric king, that his court was there some city neare at hand, whereto I may take my regarded as the “very judgment-seat of honour.” He journey without danger?'” even projected the establishment of a Round Table on The old man, starting at the sudden approach of St. the model of Arthur's, and invited and courted in the George, in reply to him recounted a sorrowful history. most flattering manner chivalrous knights from France, He told him that the country had for twenty-four years Germany, and Spain; and numbers came, to whom been desolated by a terrible dragon, to whom every Queen Philippa, with three hundred noble English day was offered the body of a true virgin, whom he ladies in her train, all habited in a rich and similar devoured. There was now but one left in all Egypt, the costume, did the hospitalities of the bower and the ball. king's only daughter, who was the following day to be But Philip of Valois, foreseeing the ill effeets to him- given up to the monster, unless redeemed by some brave self of this institution, set up a similar one, and thus knight, who should have her hand and the crown of destroyed the (probably intended) effect of Edward's. Egypt as the guerdon of his valour. It was on the failure of this scheme that the English "After this the noble knight, like a bold adventurous king projected and effected another, which, thus origi. champior, entered the valley where the dragon had his nating in romantic feeling, exists at this day as the residence, who no sooner had a sight of him, but hee highest honour to which an English nobleman can gave such a terrible yell, as though it had thundered. aspire. We allude to the “ Order of the Garter,” which The bignesse of the dragon was fearful to behold, for Edward now instituted, associating twenty-five of betwixt his shoulders and his taile were fifty foot in disthe most noble and valiant of his peers in a Brother- tance, his scales glistered as bright as silver, but were hood in honour of God, of the Virgin Mary, of St. far harder than brass ; his belly of the colour of gold, George the Martyr, and of St. Edward the Confessor. but bigger than a tun. Thus weltered he from his
The idea of a blue garter as a badge of honour and hideous den, and so fiercely assailed the sturdy champion brotherhood was not new. Richard I. associated him with his venomous wings, that at the first encounter he self in a sort of brotherhood with twenty-four knights, had almost felled him to the ground; but the knight, who pledged themselves to scale the walls of Acre; and nimbly recovering himself, gave the dragon such a that they might quickly be known to each other in the thrust with his spear, that it shivered into a thousand heat of the mêlée, each bound a strip of blue leather pieces. Whereat the furious dragon so fiercely smote round his left leg.
him with his venomous tail, that down fell man and St. George, a brave and nobly born soldier, who un horse, in which fall two of St. George's ribs were sore dauntedly remonstrated with Dioclesian on his persecu- bruised : but, yet stepping backward, it was his chance tion of the Christians, and suffered martyrdom in con- to leap under an orange tree, which tree has such presequence, had ever been considered as especially the cious virtue, that no venomous worme durst come within patron of military men, partly perhaps in consequence the compass of the branches, nor within seven foot of his profession, and partly, very probably, because the thereof; where this valiant knight rested himself until Christian warrior, Constantine, instituted an Order in he had recovered his former strength : the fruit of the his honour. His fame was always great in the East, tree being of such an excellent virtue, that whosoever and it is said that he appeared to the Christian army in tasted thereof should presently be cured of all manner the Holy War before the battle of Antioch. How he of diseases and infirmities whatsoever. So it was the came first to be considered as the patron saint of Eng. noble champion's good and happy fortune a little to land seems uncertain. It might be that the English recover through the virtue of the tree, and to espy an brought a strong impression of his fame from the East; orange which a little before had dropped down, whereor it may be, that his especial appearance to Richard I. with he so refreshed himself, that he was in a short time -a recorded fact-before his own expedition against as sound as when he began the encounter. Then kneeled the Saracens, may have caused the royal hero to pay hee downe, and made his divine supplication to heaven, high honour to the martyr.
that God would send him (for his deare Sonne's sake) The saint is generally represented on horseback, tilt- such strength and agility of body, as to slay the furious ing at a dragon, emblematical, learned clerks tell us, and terrible monster : which being done, with a bold of his conquering the devil by faith and Christian forti- ) and courageous heart he smote the dragon under the