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his antagonist, presented what he distinguishes as his “master-piece," composed of secretary and Roman hand four ways varied, and offering the defendant to let pass all his previous advantages if he could better this specimen of caligraphy! The challenger was silent !
At this moment some of the judges perceiving that the decision must go in favour of Bales, in consideration of the youth of the challenger, lest he might be disgraced to the world, requested the other judges not to pass judgment in public. Bales assures us, that he in vain remonstrated; for by these means the winning of the golden pen might not be so famously spread as otherwise it would have been. To Bales the prize was awarded. But our history has a more interesting close ; the subtle Machiavelism of the first challenger!
When the great trial had closed, and BALES, carrying off the golden pen, exultingly had it painted and set up for his sign, the baffled challenger went about reporting that he had won the golden pen, but that the defendant had obtained the same by “ plots and shifts, and other base and cunning practices.” Bales vindicated his claim, and offered to show the world his “masterpiece” which had acquired it. JOHNSON issued an " Appeal to all impartial Pen-men,” which he spread in great numbers through the city for ten days, a libel against the judges and the victorious defendant ! He declared that there had been a subtle combination with one of the judges concerning the place of trial ; which he expected to have been before “pen-men,” but not before a multitude like a stage-play, and shouts and tumults, with which the challenger had hitherto been unacquainted. The judges were intended to be twelve; but of the five, four were the challenger's friends, honest gentlemen, but unskilled in judging of most hands; and he offered again forty pounds to be allowed in six months to equal BALE's master-piece. And he closes his “appeal” by declaring that Bales had lost in several parts of the trial, neither did the judges deny that Bales possessed himself of the golden pen by a trick ! Before judgment was awarded, alleging the sickness of his wife to be extreme, he desired she might have a sight of the golden pen to comfort her! The ancient gentleman who was the holder, taking the defendant's word, allowed the golden pen to be
earried to the sick wife ; and Bales immediately pawned it, and afterwards, to make sure work, sold it at a great loss, so that when the judges met for their definitive sentence, nor pen nor penny-worth was to be had! The judges being ashamed of their own conduct, were compelled to give such a verdict as suited the occasion:
Bales rejoins: he publishes to the universe the day and the hour when the judges brought the golden pen to his house, and while he checks the insolence of this Bobadil, to show himself no re: creant, assumes the golden pen for his sign.
Such is the shortest history I could contrive of this chivalry of the pen; something mysteriously clouds over the fate of the defendant ; BALES's history, like Cæsar's, is but an ex-parte evidence. Who can tell whether he has not slurred over his defeats, and only dwelt on his victories ?
There is a strange phrase connected with the art of the caligrapher, which I think may be found in most, if not in all modern languages, to write like an angel! Ladies have been frequently compared with angels; they are beautiful as angels, and sing and dance like angels; but, however intelligible these are, we do not so easily connect penmanship with the other celestial accomplishments. This fanciful phrase, however, has a very human origin. Among those learned Greeks who emigrated to Italy, and afterwards into France, in the reign of Francis I. was one ANGELO Vergecio, whose beautiful caligraphy excited the admiration of the learned. The French monarch had a Greek fount cast, modelled by his writing. The learned Henry Stephens, who, like our Porson for correctness and delicacy, was one of the most elegant writers of Greek, had learnt the practice from our Angelo. His name became synonymous for beautiful writing, and gave birth to the vulgar proverb or familiar phrase, to write like an angel !
THE ITALIAN HISTORIANS.
It is remarkable that the country, which has long lost its political independence, may be considered as the true parent of modern history. The greater part of their historians have abstained from the applause-of their contemporaries, while they have not the leas elaborately composed their posthumous folios, consecrated solely to truth and posterity! The true principles of national glory are opened by the grandeur of the minds of these assertors of political freedom. It was their indignant spirit, seeking to console its injuries by confiding them to their secret manuscripts, which raised
up this singular phenomenon in the literary world.
Of the various causes which produced such a lofty race of patriots, one is prominent. The proud recollections of their Roman fathers often troubled the dreams of the sons.
rival republics, and the petty despotic principalities, which had started up from some great families, who at first came forward as the protectors of the people from their exterior enemies or their in