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could not afford a larger.
ostentation,-for those who have secretaries, and are to be approached like gods in a temple. The Archbishop of Toledo, no doubt, wrote his homilies in a room ninety feet long. The Marquis Marialva must have been approached by Gil Blas through whole ranks of glittering authors, standing at due distance. But Ariosto, whose mind could fly out of its nest over all nature, wrote over the house he built, “parra, sedapta mihi"—small, but suited to me. However, it is to be observed, that he He was a Duodemarian, in that respect, like ourselves. We do not know how our ideas of a study might expand with our walls. Montaigne, who was Montaigne “of that ilk” and lord of a great chateau, had a study “sixteen paces in diameter, with three noble and free prospects.” He
of my study,” says he, “is round, and has no more flat (bare) wall, than what is taken up by my table and my chairs; so that the remaining parts of the circle present me with a view of all my books at once, set upon five degrees of shelves round about me.” (Cotton's Montaigne, b. 3, ch. 3.)
A great prospect we hold to be a very disputable advantage, upon the same reasoning as before; but we like to have some green boughs about our windows, and to fancy ourselves as much as possible in the country, when we are not there. Milton expressed a wish with regard to his study, extremely suitable to our present purpose. He would have the lamp in it seen; thus letting others into a share of his enjoyments, by the imagination of them.
And let my lamp at midnight hour
There is a fine passionate burst of enthusiasm on the subject of a study, in Fletcher's play of the Elder Brother, Act 1, Scene 2:
Sordid and dunghill minds, composed of earth,
Acontius was a youth of the island of Cea (now Zia), who at the sacrifices in honour of Diana fell in love with the beautiful virgin, Cydippe. Unfortunately she was so much above him in rank, that he had no hope of obtaining her hand in the usual way; but the wit of a lover helped him to an expedient. There was a law in Cea, that any oath, pronounced in the temple of Diana, was irrevocably binding. Acontius got an apple, and writing some words upon it, pitched it into Cydippe's bosom.
The words were these :
MA THN APTEMIN AKONTIn TAMOTMAI. By Dian, I will marry Acontius. Or as a poet has written them :
Juro tibi sanctae per mystica sacra Dianae,
Cydippe read, and married herself—It is said that she was repeatedly on the eve of being married to another person ; but her imagination, in the shape of the Goddess, as often threw her into a fever; and the lover, whose ardour and ingenuity had made an impression upon her, was made happy. Aristaenetus in his Epistles calls the apple kvěčviov Aft\ov, a Cretan apple, which is supposed to mean a quince ; or as others think, an orange, or a citron. But the apple was, is, and must be, a true, unsophisticated apple. Nothing else would have suited. “The apples, methought,” says Sir Philip Sydney of his heroine in the Arcadia, “fell down from the trees to do homage to the apples of her breast.” The idea seems to have originated with Theocritus (Idyl. 27, v. 50, edit. Valckenaer), from whom it was copied by the Italian writers. It makes a lovely figure in one of the most famous passages of Ariosto, where he describes the beauty of Alcina (Orlando Furioso, canto 7, st. 14)— Bianca neve e il bel collo, e 'I petto latte: Il collo è tondo, il petto colmo e largo: Due pome acerbe, epur d'avorio fatte, Vengono e van come onda al primo margo, Quando piacevole aura il mar combatte.
Her bosom is like milk, her neck like snow; A rounded neck; a bosom, where you see Two crisp young ivory apples come and go, Like waves that on the shore beat tenderly, When a sweet air is ruffling to and fro.
And after him, Tasso, in his fine ode on the Golden Age :
Allor tra fiori e linfe
This is the lady who, under the title of Countess of Coventry, used to make such a figure in our childhood upon some old pocketpieces of that city. We hope she is in request there still ; otherwise the inhabitants deserve to be sent from Coventry. That city was famous in saintly legends for the visit of the eleven thousand virgins, – an “incredible number,” quoth Selden. But the eleven thousand virgins have vanished with their credibility, and a noble-hearted woman of flesh and blood is Coventry's true immortality.
The story of Godiva is not a fiction, as many suppose it. At least it is to be found in Matthew of Westminster, and is not of a nature to have been a mere invention. Her name, and that of her husband, Leofric, are mentioned in an old charter recorded by another early historian. That the story is omitted by Hume and others, argues little against it ; for the latter are accustomed to confound the most interesting anecdotes of times and manners with something below the dignity of history (a very absurd mistake); and Hume, of whose philosophy better things might have been expected, is notoriously less philosophical in his history than in any other of his works. A certain coldness of temperament, not unmixed with aristocratical pride, or at least with a great aversion from everything like vulgar credulity, rendered his scepticism so extreme, that it became a sort of superstition in turn, and blinded him to the claims of every species of enthusiasm, civil as well as religious. Milton, with his poetical eyesight, saw better, when he meditated the history of his native country. We do not remember whether he relates the present story, but we remember well, that at the beginning of his fragment on that subject, he says he shall relate doubtful stories as well as authentic ones, for the benefit of those, if no
others, who will know how to make use of them, namely, the poets.” We have faith, however, in the story ourselves. It has innate evidence enough for us, to give full weight to that of the old annalist. Imagination can invent a good deal ; affection more: but affection can sometimes do things, such as the tenderest imagination is not in the habit of inventing ; and this piece of noble-heartedness we believe to have been one of them. Leofric, Earl of Leicester, was the lord of a large feudal territory in the middle of England, of which Coventry formed a part. He lived in the time of Edward the Confessor; and was so eminently a feudal lord, that the hereditary greatness of his dominion appears to have been singular even at that time, and to have lasted with an uninterrupted succession from Ethelbald to the Conquest,--a period of more than three hundred years. He was a great and useful opponent of the famous Earl Godwin. Whether it was owing to Leofric or not, does not appear, but Coventry was subject to a very oppressive tollage, by which it would seem that the feudal despot enjoyed the greater part of the profit of all marketable commodities. The progress of knowledge has shown us how abominable, and even how unhappy for all parties, is an injustice of this description; yet it gives one an extraordinary idea of the mind in those times, to see it capable of piercing through the clouds of custom, of ignorance, and even of self-interest, and petitioning the petty tyrant to ferego such a privilege. This mind was Godiva's. The other sex, always more slow to admit reason through the medium of feeling, were then occupied to the full in their warlike habits. It was reserved for a woman to anticipate ages of liberal opinion, and to surpass them in the daring virtue of setting a principle above a custom. Godiva entreated her lord to give up his fancied right; but in vain. At last, wishing to put an end to her importunities, he told her, either in a spirit of bitter jesting, or with a playful raillery that could not be bitter with so sweet an earnestness, that he would give up his tax, provided she rode through the city of Coventry, naked. She took him at his word. One may imagine the astonishment of a fierce unlettered chieftain, not untinged with chivalry, at hearing a woman, and that too of the greatest delicacy and rank, maintaining seriously her intention of acting in a manner contrary to all that was supposed fitting for her sex, and at the same time forcing upon him a sense of the very beauty of her conduct by its principled excess. It is probable, that as he could not prevail upon her to give up her design, he had sworn some religious oath when he made his promise: but be this as it may, he took every possible precaution to secure her modesty from hurt. The people of Coventry were ordered to keep within doors, to close up all their windows and outlets, and not to give a glance into the streets upon pain of death. The day came; and Coventry, it may be imagined, was silent as death. The lady went out at the palace door, was set on horseback, and at the same time divested of her wrapping garment, as if she had been going into a bath ; then taking the fillet from her head, she let down her long and lovely tresses, which poured around her body like a veil; and so, with only her white legs remaining
* When Dr. Johnson, among his other impatient accusations of our great republican, charged him with telling unwarrantable stories in his history, he must have overlooked this announcement; and yet, if we recollect, it is but in the second page of the fragment. So hasty, and blind, and liable to be put to shame, is prejudice.
conspicuous, took her gentle way through the
streets." What scene can be more touching to the imagination—beauty, modesty, feminine softness, a daring sympathy; an extravagance, producing by the nobleness of its object and the strange gentleness of its means, the grave and profound effect of the most reverend custom. We may suppose the scene taking place in the warm noon ; the doors all shut, the windows closed ; the Earl and his court serious and wondering; the other inhabitants, many of them gushing with grateful tears, and
all reverently listening to hear the footsteps
of the horse; and lastly, the lady herself, with a downcast but not a shamefaced eye, looking towards the earth through her flowing locks, and riding through the dumb and deserted streets, like an angelic spirit. It was an honourable superstition in that part of the country, that a man who ventured to look at the fair saviour of his native town, was said to have been struck blind. But the vulgar use to which this superstition has been turned by some writers of late times, is not so honourable. The whole story is as unvulgar and as sweetly serious, as can be conceived. Drayton has not made so much of this subject as might have been expected; yet what he says is said well and earnestly :
Coventry at length From her small mean regard, recovered state and strength; By Leofric her lord, yet in base bondnge held, The people from her marts by tollage were expelled; Whose duchess which desired this tribute to release, Their freedom often begged. The duke, to make her cease, Told her, that if she would his loss so far enforce, His will was, she should ride stark naked upon a horse By daylight through the street: which certainly he thought In her heroic breast so deeply would have wrought, That in her former suit she would have left to deal. But that most princely dame, as one devoured with zeal, Went on, and by that mean the city clearly freed.
* “Nuda,” says Matthew of Westminster, “equum ascendens, crines capitis et tricas dissolvens, corpus suum totum. praeter crura candidissima, inde velavit.” See Selden's Notes to the Polyolbion of Drayton : Song 13. It ls Selden from whom we learn, that Leofric was Earl of
. VI.-PLEASANT MEMORIES CONNECTED WITH WARIOUS PARTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
ONE of the best secrets of enjoyment is the art of cultivating pleasant associations. It is an art, that of necessity increases with the stock of our knowledge; and though in acquiring our knowledge we must encounter disagreeable associations also, yet if we secure a reasonable quantity of health by the way, these will be far less in number than the agreeable ones: for unless the circumstances which gave rise to the associations press upon us, it is only from want of health that the power of throwing off these burdensome images becomes suspended.
And the beauty of this art is, that it does not insist upon pleasant materials to work on. Nor indeed does health. Health will give us a vague sense of delight, in the midst of objects that would teaze and oppress us during sickness. But healthy association peoples this vague sense with agreeable images. It will comfort us, even when a painful sympathy with the distresses of others becomes a part of the very health of our minds. For instance, we can never go through St. Giles's, but the sense of the extravagant inequalities in human condition presses more forcibly upon us; and yet some pleasant images are at hand, even there, to refresh it. They do not displace the others, so as to injure the sense of public duty which they excite ; they only serve to keep our spirits fresh for their task, and hinder them from running into desperation or hopelessness. In St. Giles's church lie Chapman, the earliest and best translator of Homer; and Andrew Marvell, the wit and patriot, whose poverty Charles the Second could not bribe. We are as sure to think of these two men, and of all the good and pleasure they have done to the world, as of the less happy objects about us. The steeple of the church itself, too, is a handsome one ; and there is a flock of pigeons in that neighbourhood, which we have stood with great pleasure to see careering about it of a fine afternoon, when a western wind had swept back the smoke towards the city, and showed the white of the stone steeple piercing up into a blue sky. So much for St. Giles's, whose very name is a nuisance with some. It is dangerous to speak disrespectfully of old districts. Who would suppose that the Borough was the most classical ground in the metropolis : And yet it is undoubtedly so. The Globe theatre was there, of which Shakspeare himself was a proprietor, and for which he wrote some of his plays. Globe-lane, in which it stood, is still extant, we believe, under that name. It is probable
Leicester, and the other particulars of him mentioned above. The Earl was buried at Coventry, his Countess most probably in the same tomb.
that he lived near it : it is certain that he must have been much there. It is also certain, that on the Borough side of the river, then and still called the Bank-side, in the same lodging, having the same wardrobe, and some say, with other participations more remarkable, lived Beaumont and Fletcher. In the Borough also, at St. Saviour's, lie Fletcher and Massinger, in one grave; in the same church, under a monument and effigy, lies Chaucer's contemporary, Gower; and from an inn in the Borough, the existence of which is still boasted, and the site pointed out by a picture and inscription, Chaucer sets out his pilgrims and himself on their famous road to Canterbury. To return over the water, who would expect anything poetical from East Smithfield Yet there was born the most poetical even of poets, Spenser. Pope was born within the sound of Bow-bell, in a street no less antipoetical than Lombard-street. Gray was born in Cornhill ; and Milton in Bread-street, Cheapside. The presence of the same great poet and patriot has given happy memories to many parts of the metropolis. He lived in St. Bride's Church-yard, Fleet-street; in Aldersgate-street, in Jewin-street, in Barbican, in Bartholomew-close; in Holborn, looking back to Lincoln’s-inn-Fields; in IIolborn, near Red Lion-square; in Scotland-yard ; in a house looking to St. James's Park, now belonging to an eminent writer on legislation,” and lately occupied by a celebrated critic and metaphysician; + and he died in the Artillery-walk, Bunhill-fields; and was buried in St. Giles's, Cripplegate. Ben Jonson, who was born in “Hartshornelane, near Charing-cross,” was at one time “master” of a theatre in Barbican. He appears also to have visited a tavern called the Sun and Moon, in Aldersgate-street; and is known to have frequented, with Beaumont and others, the famous one called the Mermaid, which was in Cornhill. Beaumont, writing to him from the country, in an epistle full of jovial wit, says, The sun, which doth the greatest comfort bring To absent friends, because the self-same thing They know they see, however absent, is Here our best haymaker: forgive me this:
For three days past,--wit, that might warrant be
The other celebrated resort of the great wits of that time, was the Devil tavern, in Fleet-street, close to Temple-bar. Ben Jonson lived also in Bartholomew-close, where Milton afterwards lived. It is in the passage from the cloisters of Christ's Hospital into St. Bartholomew's. Aubrey gives it as a common opinion, that at the time when Jonson's fatherin-law made him help him in his business of bricklayer, he worked with his own hands upon the Lincoln’s-inn garden wall, which looks towards Chancery-lane, and which seems old enough to have some of his illustrious brick and mortar remaining.
Under the cloisters in Christ's Hospital (which stands in the heart of the city unknown to most persons, like a house kept invisible for young and learned eyes)" lie buried a multitude of persons of all ranks; for it was once a monastery of Grey Friars. Among them is John of Bourbon, one of the prisoners taken at the battle of Agincourt. IIere also lies Thomas Burdett, ancestor of the present Sir Francis, who was put to death in the reign of Edward the Fourth, for wishing the horns of a favourite white stag which the king had killed, in the body of the person who advised him to do it. And here too (a sufficing contrast) lies Isabella, wife of Edward the Second,+
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
Her “mate's" heart was buried with her, and placed upon her bosom a thing that looks like the fantastic incoherence of a dream. It is well we did not know of her presence when at school; otherwise, after reading one of Shakspeare's tragedies, we should have run twice as fast round the cloisters at night-time as we used. Camden, “the nourrice of antiquitie,” received part of his education in this school; and here also, not to mention a variety of others, known in the literary world, were bred two of the best and most deep-spirited writers of the present day,+ whose visits to the cloisters we well remember. In a palace on the site of Hatton-Garden, died John of Gaunt. Brook-house, at the corner of the street of that name in Holborn, was the residence of the celebrated Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, the “friend of Sir Philip Sidney.” In the same street, died, by a voluntary death of poison, that extraordinary person, Thomas Chatterton,
It is our country style:—In this warm shine
+ + + x +
Methinks the little wit I had, is lost,
* Mr. Bentham. 1 Mr. Hazlitt.
The sleepless boy, who perished in his pride.
* It has since been unveiled, by an opening in Newgate
street. # Coleridge and Lamb.
He was buried in the grave-yard of the workhouse in Shoe-lane;—a circumstance, at which one can hardly help feeling a movement of indignation. Yet what could beadles and parish officers know about such a being No more than Horace Walpole. In Gray's-inn lived, and in Gray’s-inn garden meditated, Lord Bacon. In Southampton-row, Holborn, Cowper was fellow-clerk to an attorney with the future Lord Chancellor Thurlow. At one of the Fleet-street corners of Chancery-lane, Cowley, we believe, was born. In Salisbury-court, Fleet-street, was the house of Thomas Sackville, first Earl of Dorset, the precursor of Spenser, and one of the authors of the first regular English tragedy. On the demolition of this house, part of the ground was occupied by the celebrated theatre built after the Restoration, at which Betterton performed, and of which Sir William Davenant was manager. Lastly, here was the house and printing-office of Richardson. In Boltcourt, not far distant, lived Dr. Johnson, who resided also some time in the Temple. A list of his numerous other residences is to be found in Boswell." Congreve died in Surrey-street, in the Strand, at his own house. At the corner of Beaufort-buildings, was Lilly's, the perfumer, at whose house the Tatler was published. In Maiden-lane, Covent-garden, Voltaire lodged while in London, at the sign of the White Peruke. Tavistock-street was then, we believe, the Bond-street of the fashionable world; as Bow-street was before. The change of Bowstreet from fashion to the police, with the theatre still in attendance, reminds one of the spirit of the Beggar's opera. Button's Coffeehouse, the resort of the wits of Queen Anne's time, was in Russell-street, near where the Hummums now stand; and in the same street, at the south-west corner of Bow-street, was the tavern where Dryden held regal possession of the arm-chair. The whole of Covent-garden is classic ground, from its association with the dramatic and other wits of the times of Dryden and Pope. Butler lived, perhaps died, in Rose-street, and was buried in Covent-garden churchyard; where Peter Pindar the other day followed him. In Leicester-square, on the site of Miss Linwood's exhibition and other houses, was the town-mansion of the Sydneys, Earls of Leicester, the family of Sir Philip and Algernon Sydney. In the same square lived Sir Joshua Reynolds and Hogarth. Dryden lived and died in Gerrard-street, in a house which looked backwards into the garden of Leicester-house. Newton lived in St. Martin's-street, on the south side of the square. Steele lived in Bury-street, St. James's : he furnishes an illustrious precedent for the loungers in St. James's-street, where a scandal
monger of those times delighted to detect Isaac Bickerstaff in the person of Captain Steele, idling before, the coffee-houses, and jerking his leg and stick alternately against the pavement. We have mentioned the birth of Ben Jonson near Charing-cross. Spenser died at an inn, where he put up on his arrival from Ireland, in King-street, Westminster, the same which runs at the back of Parliamentstreet to the Abbey. Sir Thomas More lived at Chelsea. Addison lived and died in Hollandhouse, Kensington, now the residence of the accomplished nobleman who takes his title from it. In Brook-street, Grosvenor-square, lived Handel; and in Bentinck-street, Manchester-square, Gibbon. We have omitted to mention that De Foe kept a hosier's shop in Cornhill ; and that on the site of the present Southampton-buildings, Chancery-lane, stood the mansion of the Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, one of whom was the celebrated friend of Shakspeare. But what have we not omitted also : No less an illustrious head than the Boar's, in Eastcheap, the Boar's-head tavern, the scene of Falstaff's revels. We believe the place is still marked out by the sign.” But who knows not Eastcheap and the Boar's-head Have we not all been there, time out of mind And is it not a more real as well as notorious thing to us than the London tavern, or the Crown and Anchor, or the Hummums, or White's, or What's-his-name's, or any other of your contemporary and fleeting taps ?
But a line or two, a single sentence in an author of former times, will often give a value to the commonest object. us a sense of its duration, but we seem to be looking at it in company with its old observer; and we are reminded, at the same time, of all that was agreeable in him. We never saw, for instance, the gilt ball at the top of the College of Physicians,t without thinking of that pleasant mention of it in Garth's Dispensary, and of all the wit and generosity of that amiable man :
Not far from that most celebrated place t,
Gay, in describing the inconvenience of the late narrow part of the Strand, by St. Clement's, took away a portion of its unpleasantness to the next generation, by associating his memory with the objects in it. We did not miss without regret even the “combs” that hung “dangling
* The Temple must have had many eminent inmates. Among them it is believed was Chaucer, who is also said, upon the strongth of an old record, to have been fined two *hillings for beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet-street. ,
* It has lately disappeared, in the alterations occasioned
by the new London Bridge.
It not only gives