Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

can look a Mussulman in the face | preter, drew me out of the scrape. not only without terror, but even He listened attentively to the comwith boldness, are infinitely less va- ments of the spectators, and heard luable in my eyes, than those trem- one of them exclaim, " He speaks bling slaves, that each invasion of Arabic! he speaks Arabic!" These the Greek towns brings in such words, which my trusty Abdul whisabundance into our markets. pered to me, were a ray of light. I

These Christians tire me to death | instantly recovered, my composure, with the innumerable 'forms which and listened very attentively, and they oblige me to go through, and with an air of the greatest interest, the long and tiresome harangues that to his harangue. When it was ended, all the officers of the state, from the instead of turning as usual to Abdul, vizir down to the cadi, make to me. I addressed the cadi myself in the A singular adventure occurred to dialect of those tribes of Atlas among me the other day with one of their whom thou hast heard me say I passcadis, to whom, in compliance with ed a part of my infancy. Let me do their customs, I was obliged to pre- him justice; his presence of mind sent myself. He received me in pub- equalled my own. He listened to me lic, and with as much ceremony as not only without being disconcerted, the grand vizir himself could have but with an air of the most profound affected; and addressed me with great gravity; and no sooner had I congravity in a language which, as my cluded, than he hastened to explain ear is now accustomed to that of this to the spectators what he had said, country, I perceived immediately was and what I had replied. A cry of not French. But what it was I could admiration burst from the assembly; not guess. Never were my ears saluted every body crowded round him, eawith sounds so barbarous; it appear- ger to congratulate him upon the ed rather the dialect of savages than vast extent of his learning. He rethe language of a civilized people. ceived their compliments with the air Casting my eyes upon my interpret- of a man whom praise oppresses; er, from whom I expected the trans- but in the midst of this affected molation of it, what was my surprise, desty, I saw his eyes sparkle with what my vexation, when he regarded pleasure. To what mean artifices me with an air of confusion, and does vanity prompt these Christians! made me comprehend by an expres- | But I should tire thee and myself sive gesture, that he understood no were I to descant longer on their abmore of it than I did! Judge of my surdities. Thanks be to our holy embarrassment and chagrin: know-prophet, I shall soon find myself reing the vanity of these Christians, it leased from them for ever, and rewas inexpressibly painful to me to stored to thee, my dear Hassan, and declare to this one, that I did not un- | to the fifteen hundred beauties whom derstand a single word of a discourse the wise laws of Mahomet have perto which it was evident he attached mitted to soften the cares of thy the highest importance, and which || friend, he appeared so proud of delivering.

Sidy MAHMOUD. The sagacity of Abdul, my inter

235

BRITISH AND IRISHI MINSTRELS. In early times the Irish bards || about the table shewing pastime, were invested with wealth, honours, and at length came up to the king's and influence. They wore a robe of table, and laid before him a letter, the same colour with that used by and forthwith turning her horse, sakings, were exempted from taxes and luted every one, and departed: when plunder, and were billeted on the the letter was read, it was found to country from All-Hallow-tide to May; contain animadversions on the king. while every chief bard had thirty of The doorkeepers being threatened inferior note under his orders, and for admitting her, replied, that it every second-rate bard fifteen. was not the custom of the king's pa· John of Salisbury, in the 12th | lace to deny admission to minstrels, century, says, that the great aristo- | especially on such high solemnities crats of his day imitated Nero in | and feast-days." their outrageous love of fiddling; In Froissart too we may plainly see that" they prostituted their favour what necessary appendages to greathy bestowing it on minstrels and buf- ness the minstrels were esteemed, foons; and that, by a certain foolish and upon what familiar terms they and shameful munificence, they ex lived with their masters. When the pended immense sums of money on four Irish kings who had submittedl their frivolous exhibitions."_" The themselves to Richard II. sat at tacourts of princés," says another co- ble, " on the first dish being served, temporary writer, “ are filled with they made their minstrels and princrowds of minstrels, who extort from cipal servants sit beside them, and them gold, silver, horses, and vest- || eat froin their plates, and drink from ments, by their flattering songs. 1 their cups.” The knight appointed have known some princes who have hy Richard to attend them having bestowed on these minstrels of the objected to this custom, on another devil, at the very first word, the most day " ordered the tables to be laid curious garments, beautifully embroi- out and covered, so that the kings dered with flowers and pictures, which sat at an upper table, the minstrels had cost them twenty or thirty marks at a middle one, and the servants of silver, and which they had not | lower still. The royal guests looked worn above seven days,"

at each other, and refused to eat, According to Stowe, the minstrel saying, that he deprived them of their had still a ready admission into the good old custom in which they had presence of kings in the 14th centu- | been brought up." . ry. Speaking of the celebration of However, as early as the reign of the feast of Pentecost at Westmin- || Edward II. a public edict, issued in ster, he says, “ In the great hall, 1315, stated, “ That many indolent when sitting royally at the table, persons, under the colour of min. with his peers about him, there en- strels, introduced themselves into the tered a woman adorned like a min- residences of the wealthy, where strel, sitting on a great horse, trapped they had both meat and drink, but as minstrels then used, who rode were not contented without the ad

Vol. VI, No. XXXIV.

dition of large gifts from the house. Sir William Temple says, " The hold;" whereupon it was ordered, great men of the Irish septs, among “that no person should resort to the the many officers of their family, houses of prelates, earls, or barons, which continued always in the same to eat or drink, who was not a pro-races, had not only a physician, a fessed minstrel, nor more than three huntsman, a smith, and such like, or four minstrels of honour at most but a poet and a tale-teller. The in one day, except they came by in- first recorded and sung the actions vitation from the lord of the house. of their ancestors, and entertainThat no professed minstrel should | ed the company at feasts; the lat

go to the house of any person below ter amused them with tales when · the dignity of a baron, unless he was they were melancholy and could not

invited by the master, and in that sleep; and a very gallant gentleman case should be contented with meat of the north of Ireland has told me, and drink, and such rewarı as the of his own experience, that in his housekeeper willingly offered, with wolf-huntings there, when he used out presuming to ask for any thing." | to be abroad in the mountains three

It seems too that about this period or four days together; and lay very the minstrels had sunk into a kind of ill a-nights, so as he could not well upper servants, or fatterers of the sleep, they would bring him one of great. The nobility, as well as mon- these tale-tellers, that, when he lay archs, retained bands of minstrels down, would begin a story of a king in their service; these resided in the or a giant, a dwarf and a damsel, families of their employers, attended | and such rambling stuff, and continue them in their journeys, and, besides it all night long in such an even tone, receiving hoard, clothing, and wages, || that you heard it going on whenever were permitted to perform in rich you awaked; and he believed nothing monasteries, and in the castles of other any physicians give" could have so barons, from which they derived ad-good and so innocent effect to make ditional emolument. They wore their men sleep in any pains or distempers lord's livery, and sometimes shaved of body or mind." . the crowns of their heads like monks. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth,

When war and hunting formed however, civilization had so far adalmost the exclusive occupations of vanced, that the music which had the great, when their surplus reve- || led away the great lords of antiquity, nues could only be expended in sup- no longer availed to delude the huporting idle retainers, and no better || man understanding, or to prevent it means could be devised for passing from animadverting on the pernicious the long winter evenings than drunk- effects produced by those who cultienness and gambling, it may readily vated the tuneful art. Spenser, in his be conceived how welcome these " View of the State of Ireland," says, itinerant musicians must have been " There is amongst the Irish à cer. in baronial halls, and how it must tain kind of people called bardes, have flattered the pride of our noble which are to them instead of poets, ancestors to listen to the eulogy of whose profession is to set forth the their own achievements, and the praises or dispraises of men in their length of their own pedigrees. poems or rithmes; the which are had

MEMOIR OF THE LATE MRS. ELIZABETH COBBOLD.

237

in so high regard and estimation made infamous to all men; for their amongst them, that none dare dis verses are sung at all feasts and meetplease them, for fear to run reproachings by persons who receive great through their mouths, and to be rewards for the same.”

and in conjunto super

MEMOIR OF THE LATE MRS. ELIZABETH COBBOLD OF

IPSWICH.

(Concluded from p. 159.) IN 1812, Mrs. Cobbold, consult- 1 couraging remarks, but by stimulating with several benevolent ladies on | ing their exertions, and gaining their the best mode of relieving a species | co-operation, she rendered her own of distress at that time very preva- | talents and abilities more effective lent in the cottages of the indigent, I and more conducive to the interests namely, a want of necessary apparel and welfare of their mutual object. for their new-born offspring, suggest- || At the annual meetings of the subed the establishment of a Society scribers to the Infant Charity, the for Clothing the Infant Poor. Un- Moot-Hall of Ipswich displayed a der her direction a sketch of the plan most interesting spectacle. There was drawn up, subscriptions were so the ladies of the town and neighlicited, the public became interested, bourbood assembled, while their exand the society was instituted, which, cellent and able president on these aided by her actire exertions and occasions never failed to encourage powerful eloquence, has been the and incite their benevolence by an means of affording, during the last energetic and appropriate address. twelve years, neat and warm clothing Mrs. Cobbold, in conjunction with a to more than two thousand poor in- committee of ladies, also superinfants. It is a very just remark, that tended and largely contributed to ..when females begin to act in a pub- that emporium of female taste and lic capacity, the greatest care and beneficence, the Charitable Bazaar circumspection are necessary; for, for the Works of Industry and Fanhowever good their intention, the cy; the yearly produce of which has world is too apt to be sarcastic and hitherto been applied to such benecensorious, and to cast aspersions on volent purposes as appeared to her the most laudable undertakings. On and to the committee most deserving such occasions, of what value is an of support. able and willing guide to direct the In 1815, Mrs. Cobbold publishod efforts of the timid, and by judicious an “Ode on the Victory of Wateradvice to preserve them from even loo,” which she dedicated to his prethe appearance of error! Such a sent Majesty, then Prince Regent; a guide was the subject of this me- poem of very considerable merit, the moir. Her presence during the trans- || profits arising from which were given actions of this society gave confi- in aid of the Waterloo subscription. dence to all who assembled round || In addition to the publications alher. She not only conciliated them ready named, Mrs. Cobbald was a by her suavity of manners and en,"correspondent in, and frequent contributor to, a variety of periodical paired, to the great grief of her faand scientific works, more particu- mily, and the deep regret of all her larly those which related to her fa- friends, proved fatal. After lingering vourite study, natural history. To one week in a state of insensibility, that ingenious artist and eminent na- this excellent woman, on the 17th of turalist, Mr. Sowerby, she communi- | that month, breathed her last. cated much valuable information for If the character of a woman is to his elaborate publication on mineral be estimated by her conduct in the conchology, and forwarded many in- faithful discharge of the great and teresting specimens of fossil shells, essential duties of social and domeswhich are there severally recorded, tic life, few will rank higher, or deand one of which, a small gibbose serve more honourable mention, than variety of the nucula, as a compli Mrs. Cobbold. The female heart, ment to her knowledge and research, when devoted to conjugal affection, bears her name. In tab. clxxx. fig. 2. is sometimes observed to be compait is depicted, and in p. 177 thus de- || ratively cold to other claims; but scribed: Nucula Cobboldiæ. Spec. thai of Mrs. Cobbold formed an exChar. Transversely obovate, convex; ception to this remark, for she possurface marked with zig-zag furrows, sessed a warmth and kindliness of diverging over the sides; edge en manner particularly calculated for intire.” And in the succeeding page spiring and requiting friendship. Mr. Sowerby further remarks: “Be- Conscious of her own extraordinary ing desirous of commemorating Mrs. | abilities, and aware of her great powCobbold, whose copious collection, ers of attraction, she sought and obobtained with great industry, in com- tained applause; but although she pany with severalof the junior branch-loved admiration much, she valued es of her family, whom she delighted friendship more. A solid judgment to inspire with a love for the works enabled her to conceive and act with of nature, from the crag-pits of her a proinptness and decision that formown estate, evinces a degree of taste ed a striking trait in her character. and zeal seldom met with, I have Ever ready to meet and repel any named this rare and withal elegant improper attack on those measures, shell after her.” With Sir James which, after due consideration, either Smith, the learned President of the her friends or herself had adopted, Linnean Society, she frequently cor- she was a formidable antagonist, and responded; and for his scientific work, of course a valuable partisan. From the “ Flora Anglica,” she favoured her natural frankness and ingenuoushim with the habitats of many plants, | néss of disposition, she frequently the natives of this county.

laid herself open to the censure of In the month of July 1824, Mrs. those who prided themselves upon Cobbold was attacked by an alarm- that disqualifying sort of hypocrisy ing illness, from the effects of which which commonly passes for modesty; she appeared to have recovered: a and to the casual observer she might return, however, of the same com- therefore sometimes have appeared plaint in the October following, on a vain and egotistic. But " vanity, constitution already so seriously im- egotism, and a sense of their own

Society, she resident of nes which

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »