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SIR-I see Mr. Hundy has been writing to you about our Welch tour, and as I expect he will have something to say respecting myself before he has done, I should like to be beforehand with him, by letting you and your readers know what I went through in that horrible country. It is all very well for Mr. H. who delights in every thing that is out of the way, to describe matters as he has but I dislike out of the way things, and always did; and the only tiffs he and I ever have are upon this very subject, for as he cannot make me agree with him, and I cannot make him agree with me, whenever he begins to be romantic, we are sure to disagree.
The truth is, I think it all nonsense; for what can you make of great high hills, but great high hills? And if there are two or three hundred of these great high hills all jumbled together one on top of t' other, still, you can only say there a great many great high hills. So with trees, and rivers, and frightful black rocks, which look as if they were going to tumble over one; why water is but water, after all; and trees are no such uncommon things in the country; though one would sometimes think, to hear Mr. H. that he never saw a river or an oak in his life. I have no patience, I confess, with such affectation. I was with him that very day when we were both caught in a soaking rain, and was wet through to the skin before we could get shelter. And then, too, his fine account of the fogs in Wales, as if they were not like English or any other fogs. I only know I could see no difference; for I could not see through any of them, and they give dreadful sore throats if they get into one's mouth. They are not quite so yellow or so stinking as a London fog perhaps; but that does not make them any the more romantic, in my opinion.
I was not at all inclined to go into Wales, I had many reasons for disliking the journey. But I am not ashamed to confess that my principal objection was on account of my bunions. I am terribly plagued with bunions,
having one on each foot, and a small one besides, just under the bend of my great left toe. And then, my breathing is but indifferent, for I come of a corpulent family; every thing I eat and drink, be it ever such a little, turning to fat. The consequence is, my growth (upwards) has been stinted ever since I was sixteen, when I stopped all at once, and took to being stout.— It is natural, therefore, I should have an antipathy to walking, particularly up and down mountains, or along roads where, if you don't keep your eyes upon the ground, you are sure to stumble over great big stones, or slip into dirty ditches. I don't mean to say anything against Welch turnpike roads; they are as good as need be; but Mr. H. always went scrambling along picturesque paths which had been made higgledy-piggledy of themselves; and they, I must say, are as bad as need be.
I'll just give you a specimen or two of what I used to go through, and leave you to judge whether I complained without cause.
There would come a fine day, and Mr. H. proposed a walk. Well, we went out, though I knew as sure as could be what would follow. We had scarcely got half a mile perhaps, when we came to some dirty lane, down which he had never been, or some steep hill, up which he had never climbed. In the former case, it was, "I wonder where this leads to ?"-in the latter, "I wonder what prospect there is from the top of that hill?" If it was the lane we went down, I was frightened to death at the frogs that came hopping out of the ditches on each side; or I got up to my ancles in water stepping across what he called crystal mountain streams, which made puddles ten times as big as the London gutters after the heaviest shower of rain that ever fell. Perhaps the lane was a mile long, and was watered with two or three of these crystal streams; and when we got to the end of it, we found only a dirty farm yard, or an acre of bog by the side of a river: so we had to go back again through all the crystal streams.
If it was the hill we climbed, to see the prospect from the top, matters were still worse. I didn't wear short petticoats like the Welch women; so I was forced to hold them up, or else they were sure to trip me up. When I began to pant and blow (which I soon did) he told me it was because I did'nt know how to walk up a hill; and that I should take very short steps, and put my foot flat down, to prevent the calves of my legs from aching.ˆ Í tried that one day, and before I had gone three yards, down I came flat: so ever after, I always dug my toes into the hill, and put up with the throbbing of my poor calves. What there was to see when we got to the top, I never could find out, except that we saw a great way, and there was nothing in that that I could see; while the wind used to blow and bluster at such a rate that very often I was forced to hold my bonnet so close over my face that I could'nt see anything. But coming down, was ten times worse than going up; and I am sure it was God's mercy I did not break my neck a dozen times by rolling from the top to the bottom. I always slipped about; and either twisted my foot, or bruised my leg, or scratched the skin off some part or other.
One day, as we were descending a great mountain called Craig something, (I never could remember the Welch names,) I had a deuce of a tumble. I'll tell you how it was I had hold of Mr. Hundy's arm, and the path being only wide enough for one, he walked in it himself, leaving me to pick my steps among the sharp pointed bits of rocks that stuck out in every direction. While I was doing so, and expecting every moment to catch my foot in one of them, he told me to look at the beautiful effect of the setting sun. For my part I don't care about such sights; but if I did'nt pretend to be romantic when he was,he either got into a pet or turned sulky; so I exclaimed "Beautiful!"-The word was no sooner out of my mouth than down I came, with one foot jammed between two big stones, and the other, (I don't know how) under Mr. Hundy's, who had got on his "hill shoes," as he called a pair of clodhoppers as thick as a ploughman's, and stuck round with nails. I thought I should have fainted with the pain.
“How can you be so careless?" said he-" you very nearly pushed me off the edge."
"Careless!" I replied-" it is you who are careless; you always serve me this way."
"What do you mean ?-did I make you fall, you simpleton ?"
"Yes you did, Mr. H. (and I could'nt help crying)-—“ you take the only path there is, poke me up on the slanting side of the hill, and make me look at the setting sun when I don't know where I am going."
"Pooh! you talk nonsense!"
"It isn't nonsense, for you know you do:-just see where you leave me to walk: I'd defy a cat to get along without falling."
"Well-there's enough-if you want more room, you must walk alone— for these narrow paths are not intended for persons to walk arm-in-arm, as in a meadow."
All the rest of the way we never spoke a word to each other-and in this manner we very often finished our romantic excursions.
Another time, he took me to walk on the sea shore, and I was not sorry; for though the day was raw and boisterous, I knew there was no fear of tumbling about. But here again his ridiculous fondness for the sublime and beautiful caused me a very unpleasant accident. Nothing would satisfy him but he must go close to the waves, to watch how they broke upon the sands, or flowed back over the loose pebbles with a noise which he said resembled the roaring of a multitude. There was roaring enough; and every now and then the wind blew the spray into my face; but I could discover nothing like a mob in it; and if there had been, I can't say I think it would have been anything to admire. I was afraid of being ducked or soused all over, when the waves came shooting along the beach as if they were skyrockets going off.
"There's nothing to fear," said Mr. H. " for it is only the ninth wave that rushes in with such impetuous fury."
I thought he knew all about it of course, so I contented myself with counting them, walking quite close, and surprised to find that neither the first, second, third, nor fourth, wave came near me. Just then, I stooped down to pick up a lovely white stone that lay glittering in the sun, and before I could either pick up the stone or get out of the way, a monster of a wave, that would have covered the Dane John, shot past me-and there I was-up to my knees nearly, and a pair of new shoes filled with sea water: so I went squash, squash, all the way home. When I complained and said I should catch my death of cold, Mr. H. only laughed, and said "it was very well known to philosophers, that sea water never gave cold." He even half scolded me because I didn't look behind when I was looking before; though he had just told me that it was only the ninth wave that played these tricks. But I must conclude, for my paper is almost finished. I have just room, I think, to tell you how I served Mr. H. himself one evening, as we were sauntering through a field of barley, which was as high as our middles. I was sure no great harm could come of it, and I longed to see how he would like what I was forced to endure. The field ran sloping down the side of a little hill, and we were walking along the top of it. I watched a good opportunity, and pretending to slip myself, jostled Mr. H. off the path. I own I was frightened a bit, at first, thinking the place might be steeper than I had imagined; for I could'nt see where he was gone to. However, I soon saw him about half-way down, rising up among the barley, looking as cross as possible, because he had lost his hat and stick in the fall. I did not mind. knew he could easily find them again; and as I perceived he was not hurt, but only vexed, I enjoyed to my very heart this little bit of tit for tat. I dare say he won't be pleased at my mentioning it; but as he knows I did do it on purpose, I shall not care for anything else. Sir, your obedient servant,
BY WHAT RIGHT DO BISHOPS SIT IN PARLIAMENT?
It is so likely this revolutionary question will be again and again agitated in the Reformed House of Commons, and, by the mere force of repeated errors, work mischief every time it is agitated, that a brief consideration of the right by which Spiritual Peers are summoned to Parliament may possibly help to check the spreading of the mischief. We are aware, that the reform bill has given us a description of legislators who, not being remarkable for their respect for any rights, except their own, (regarding as such, whatever they have the inclination to propose, or the power to do,) will be little disposed to view their case as any the worse, because it may happen to be shewn, that it depends for success upon a direct violation of the rights of others. But it is not, therefore, the less necessary to place the truth in a clear and convincing light. On the contrary, the necessity is so much the greater, and for this reason, that by enlightening the general mass of the community, out of which the constituencies are formed, we take the surest means for defeating candidates, who come forward upon pretensions which have no chance except in the ignorance of those to whom they are addressed. The question we have undertaken to answer, involves in it this consideration,-whether the Bishops are a fundamental and essential part of Parliament ?—a consideration which may be satisfactorily disposed of in two ways —the one, de jure-the other, de facto; the former argument being founded upon that original right which is vested in the Bishops; the latter, upon the constant exercise and continued practice of that right, by and through which, it has been enjoyed in all time past.
In the very cradle of the British monarchy, nearly a thousand years ago, we find our proofs of the antiquity of the first point. In the laws of King Athelstan there is a chapter, (ii.) entitled de officio episcopi et quid pertinet ad officium ejus: i. e. touching the office of a Bishop, and that which belongs to it. In this chapter it is expressly declared, Episcopo jure pertinet omnem rectitudinem promovere, dei scilicet et seculi, &c. et convenit ut per consilium et testimonium ejus omne legis scitum, et burgi mensura, et omne pondus sit secundem dictionem ejus institutum; i. e.-it belongs of right to the Bishop to promote justice in matters which concern both the Church and State, and unto him it appertains that by his counsel and award, all laws, and weights, and measures, be ordained throughout the kingdom.
There is, also, the old Record, (Modus tenendi Parliamentum,) the manner of holding Parliaments, in which it is affirmed, (we need not continue to encumber our text with the original Latin,) that "all the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and other prelates of the Church, who hold their lands either by an Earl's fee, or a Baron's fee, were to be summoned and come to Parliament, by virtue of their tenure." Then, there are the Cartularies of Henry I, recognised in full Parliament at Clarendon, under Henry II, which declare that "archbishops, bishops, and all other ecclesiastical persons who hold in capite of the King, are to have and hold their lands in Barony, and that they ought, as Barons, to be present in all judgments with the other Barons in the Court of Parliament, until the very sentence of death or mutilation (which was very common in those times,) was to be pronounced." When such sentence was about to be passed, they used to withdraw; not because of any supposed incapacity to be in them by the law of England, but because of a restraint laid upon them by the canons of the Church of Rome.
In the great charter of John, we have the form of summoning Parliaments set forth at large, from which it is evident the Bishops were of right called to attend it, and that they were summoned by particular letters, the same as Earls and Barons, or either of them. A form of this summons is extant, and may be seen in Selden's Titles of Honor. By Magna Charta it
is declared, that " the Church of England shall be free, and shall enjoy all her whole rights and liberties inviolable ;" and we have seen, that at the time of granting this charter, it was a known right and liberty of the Church, that all Bishops, and many of the greater clergy, (possibly too, the inferior clergy,) should have their votes in Parliament.
Nor are there wanting instances wherein this right was formally asserted, in periods antecedent to the reign of Charles I, when, as we know, it was violently and unjustly abrogated. We have, for example, the solemn protest of John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury in the time of Edward III, who being in disfavor with that King, and denied entrance to the House of Peers, challenged his place and suffrage there, as the first peer of the realm, and one that ought to have the first voice in Parliament, by virtue of his see; and it appears, that he did not make this claim either as matter of favor or of custom, but as a power and privilege to which he was entitled, as Archbishop of Canterbury. There is also, on record, the protest of all the Bishops, in the reign of Richard II, (at which time William Courtenay was Archbishop of Canterbury,) who having to withdraw, at the pronouncing of sentence of death upon some guilty lords, first appointed their procurators, to supply their places, and then made their protest, to preserve their rights.The exact words of this protest may be seen in the life of Courtenay.
Let us now inquire whether this right, thus granted from the earliest times, and confirmed by numerous charters, and acts of Parliament, was ever suffered to lapse, or become lost by desuetude; whether the possession of it, de jure, was ever destroyed, de facto, by non-exercise. And here, we shall be able to deduce our proofs, from the first preaching of the gospel in this country, down to the present day, with the exception occasioned by the abolition of episcopacy during the civil wars. We shall find, indeed, that Christianity in this nation, and the Bishops' votes in Parliament, are of equal antiquity.
Spelman, (In Concil,) says, that no sooner had King Ethelbert received the gospel, but the clergy and laity were summoned to the "general council -the council or assembly of the wise men of the realm, (sometimes called Mycell Synoth, and sometimes Wittenegemote,) anno 605. Ethelbertus Rex in fide corroboratus Catholici, &c., or, as he gives it," Ethelbert being confirmed in the faith in the year 605, (which was but nine years after his conversion,) together with Bertha his Queen, their son Thalbald, the reverend Archbishop Augustine, and all the rest of the nobility, did solemnize the feast of Christ's nativity in the city of Canterbury, and did there cause to be assembled on the 9th of January, the Common Council of his Kingdom, as well the clergy, as the lay subjects, by whose consent and approbation, he caused the monastery, by him built, to be dedicated to the honor of God Almighty, by the hand of Augustine."-Egbert caused the Bishops and Peers of the highest rank, to be convened at London, pro consilio capiendo adversus Danicos Pyratas, to advise upon some course against the Danish pirates who infested the sea coast of England. In the year 855, Ethelwolph called a Parliament or Council at Ringbury, pro negotiis regni, † to treat of the affairs of the Kingdom; and the acts of this Parliament are ratified and subscribed by the Bishops, Abbots, and other great men of the realm. The same monarch, in a Parliament or Assembly of his States at Winchester, in the same year, (855,) cum consilio episcoporum et principium,‡ by the advice and counsel of the Bishops and Nobility, confirmed unto the clergy the tenth part of all men's goods; and ordered that the tythe so confirmed unto them should be free, ab omnibus secularibus servitutibus, from all secular services and impositions.
We might cite from the succeeding reigns of Ina, Edrid, Edgar, Canute, and Edward the Confessor, similar evidence of the fact, that the Bishops were
* Charta Whitlagii mercyorum Regis ap. Ingulph.
Charta Bertult. mer. Regis ap. Ingulph.
Ingulph Croyland Hist.