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his ruined towns. To perpetuate the late victory, the name of the Bourg was changed to that of Citta Vittoriosa, or the Victorious City. The Fort St. Elmo was to be extended and a new town founded upon Mount Sceberras, and to carry on these works upon a magnificent scale, the Christian world was successfully appealed to for funds, and engineers and artificers were invited from every part of Italy, to carry out the plans of the grand-master, who laid, on the 28th of March, 1566, the first stone of the new city. Upon this stone was an inscription in the Latin language, to the effect that the grand-master, La Valette, taking into consideration the perilous siege which had lately terminated, had determined to build a town on Mount Sceberras, the better to check any future descents of the barbarians. The new city was named, by universal consent, the city of La Valette; to which the epithet “Umilissima,” or the most humble, was added as indicative of the humility of the order. For nearly two years the grand-master spent almost the whole of his time with the masons and artificers on Mount Sceberras, and upon a scarcity of money occurring, had the boldness to issue a brass coinage of nominal value on which was inscribed, “non aes, sed fides,” that is, not money, but credit. The punctuality however with which this spurious currency was withdrawn, as often as remittances arrived from Europe, never allowed public confidence to give way. In 1568 John de la Valette died from the effects of a coup-de-soleil, and was succeeded in the grand-mastership by Peter de Monte. In 1571, the new city was so far finished as to be made the seat of government, and in the same year, the order of St. John took part in the memorable sea-fight off Lepanto in Greece, “the first great action,” says Cervantes, the author of Don Quirote, “in which the naval supremacy of the Ottoman empire was successfully disputed by Christian arms.” Passing over a period of thirty years, we come to the accession of Alof de Vignacourt, of whom we give a copy of a full length portrait taken by Caravaggio, the celebrated Italian painter. Alof de Vignacourt was a man of great talent, and enjoyed a long and brilliant reign, during which he completed the greatest public work that man could raise at Malta. We have stated in our introduction that there are few springs and no streams upon the island; the climate at the same time is one of the hottest on earth, either within or without the tropics, at least this is the opinion of sailors from whatever part of the globe they visit it; water, then, in this burning climate is the first essential of animal existence, and of this there was no general supply except that afforded by the rainy season. Choosing the largest spring in the southern part of the island where these are most abundant, Vignacourt raised upon arches an aqueduct, nine and a half English miles in length, in order to carry water into the city of Valetta. He erected public fountains and connected these, both with the aqueduct itself, and with subterranean cisterns, in which the natives until to-day preserve the rains of winter, which, when dry, could now be fed by the artificial supply. He has quenched the thirst of man and beast from that time until now; and honour to the name of Vignacourt, far above those whose names are written in the blood they spilt? The same grand-master also added to the defences of the island, by erecting strong works at the different harbours, as well as upon the little island of Cumino. His reign, however, was not one of unbroken peace, for not only were his knights engaged in frequent contests with the Turks at sea, but the latter sent sixty galleys against Malta, in 1615, and landed 5000 men with the intention of carrying off the inhabitants into slavery ; but the Maltese, having had timely notice of their approach, retreated with their property into various strongholds, and the Ottomans, unable to attempt a siege, had to re-embark without capturing a single man. This insecurity of the open country might have led us to suppose that the welfare of the lower classes of the Maltese was but ill looked after by the order, had not the popula: tion, which is, within a certain limit, a test of the physical condition of a people, rapidly increased since the great siege. When the Turks raised the famous siege, and left the island in 1565, the population of Malta did not greatly exceed 10,000, but in ió32, after a period of sixty-seven years, it amounted to upwards of 51,000 souls, exclusive of the members of the order, and familiars of the inquisition, who had settled there. In 1636 Paul Lascaris Castelard was elected grand-master, and founded a library in 1650, for the benefit however of the knights only, but which is now in existence as the property of the present government of the island. The same person bought, about the same time, the West India Islands, named St. Christopher, St.
Bartholomew, St. Martin, and St. Croix, for the fee simple of 5000l. sterling, which included all the plantations, slaves, and stores, and debts, and the annalist says the same was a most unprofitable speculation for the order. Twelve years afterwards these islands were sold to some French merchants, and a little more than a century from the date of these transactions English proprietors were to be found in the same islands, who, from one year's revenue of a single plantation, could have paid the whole purchase-money which the Maltese knights had given for them. The grand-master Redin, who died in 1660, erected a chain of watch towers, for the defence of the coast, and Nicholas Cotoner, anticipating an attack from the Turks, invited an eminent Italian engineer, named Walperga, to visit the island, and under his superintendence, an enclosure called the Cotonera was added to the fortifications. It is an immense work, little short of three miles long, and consists of nine bastions and two demi-bastions, connecting the Isle de la Sangle with the Bourg, or Citta Vittoriosa, and embracing all the heights which commanded the ancient defences of both places. The area within was sufficiently extensive to contain the whole population of the island, with their cattle and effects. The grand-master was blamed for the magnitude of the work, as beyond the means of the order, but he boldly commenced in 1670, and carried it on unremittingly for a period of ten years, when the treasury was exhausted, All thirty years elapsed before any further measures were adopted for its completion. La Floriana, which Lascaris built to defend Valetta, was enlarged by Cotoner; and a new fort, called Ricasoli, was erected on the headland which commands the entrance of the Grand Port. At the same time, a lazzaretto was built on what was then an islet in Port Musceit, but which has since been changed by art into a peninsula. As we have spoken freely of the dark morality of the order of St. John, we are only the more relieved by the contrast of an occasional brighter spot. , Sanguinary con flicts in Greece against the Turks, in which the order had been allies of the Venetians, had been so fatal to the Christians about the year 1690, that a large portion of the male population of the Maltese islands had been swept off, and mostly widows only, and orphans, remained to suffer the miseries of destitution. Through the instrumentality of the grand-master, Adrian de Viguacourt, a kinsman of Alof de Vignacourt, a fund was raised for the support of the sufferers, “an incident,” says the historian, “more honourable to his memory than if he had died the victor of an hundred fights.” Malta, too, was violently shaken by an earthquake on January 11th, 1693, which continued for three days, and laid several buildings in ruins, and the same shocks extended to Sicily with greater violence, and the town of Augusta was almost wholly destroyed, but no sooner was this disaster known at Malta than a squadron was despatched with supplies to the houseless inhabitants.
8. DECLINE OF THE KNIGHTS.
For near a century the Maltese navy had been on the decline, and the grand-master, Perillos, who succeeded Adrian de Vignacourt in 1697, built a squadron of decked war-ships, of a much larger size than the galleys, and erected various useful public works, as monuments of his tranquil and honourable reign. A few years after this, Manuel de Villena built a considerable fort on the islet in Port Musceit, which was called Fort Manuel, after the founder, and added a series of magnificent works to the landward defences of the new city, completing the Floriana, which was commenced by Lascaris and enlarged by Cotoner. The good effects of these precautions were soon obvious, for a Turkish fleet of ten ships, which appeared off the port, was so intimidated by the impregnable aspect of the, whole island, that, after firing a few guns, its commander held it prudent to retire. In 1736, we find that Emanuel Pinto de Fonseca succeeded to the grand-mastership, and it is recorded that the merciful tenor of his reign rendered him a blessing to all his subjects, even to the Mohammedan slaves, which, at that time, amounted to about four thousand. By far the greater portion of these enjoyed perfect liberty, as confidential do: mestics in the households of the knights; but an incident occurred which encouraged them to throw off the yoke of slavery, although, in this case, it was a merciful bondage. It happened that a Turkish galley was brought into Malta by the Christian slaves who had manned her, who had risen upon their Moslem officers while at sea, and subverted their authority. Among the Turks thus captured was the pasha of Rhodes, a man of eminence; and the grand-master, anxious to propitiate the French, who were allies of the sultan of Constantinople, immediately gave up this distinguished prisoner to the French minister at Malta, who iodged him in a palace, made him a princely allowance, and surrounded him with Turkish slaves. Among these slaves was a negro, the very man whose treachery had sold the pasha into the hands of the Christians while at sea. This wretch, conceiving that he was ill rewarded for his treason, formed the daring project of subverting the government of the knights, and of rendering the Sultan for ever his debtor, by putting him in possession of Malta. The pasha eagerly agreed to promote the scheme; the Turkish slaves were soon involved in the conspiracy; a fleet from Barbary, aware of the project, was to appear off the harbour on the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, which was held at Citta Notabile, in the interior of the island, and at the hour of the mid-day siesta, those who remained in the city of Valetta were to be massacred. A slave, who held a confidential situation near the grand-master's person, was instructed to enter Pinto's chamber at the hour when the intense heat overpowers all ranks alike with sleep, and decapitate him, and then instantly to exhibit the bleeding head in the grand balcony of the palace, as a signal for the slaves of the other knights to follow his example. All these arrangements were carried on in so secret a manner that no Christian on the island had even a suspicion of their existence; but just before the appointed day, in a moment of passion, aggravated by the effects of wine and opium, the negro quarrelled with a young Persian, a soldier in the grand-master's guard, who was in his confidence, and attempted to stab him; but the youth escaped, and, either through fear or vengeance, at once divulged the formidable conspiracy. . The pasha, being under the protection of France, escaped punishment; but about a hundred of those implicated in the plan suffered death. Some were burned alive, some were broken on the wheel, and others were torn to pieces by four galleys rowing different ways.
The struggle between the Christian and the Turk had dwindled into insignificant and piratical contests. The only warlike exploit of Pinto's reign was to bombard several piratical ports, but to small purpose; and, from this date, the cruising of a few privateers constituted the naval demonstration of the knights. “The galleys,” says Sonnini, “were armed, or rather embarrassed, with an incredible number of hands; the general alone had 800 men on board. They were superbly ornamented; gold blazed on the numerous basso-relievos and sculptures on the stern; enormous sails, striped with blue and white, carried on their middle a great cross of Malta, painted red. Their elegant flags floated majestically. In a word, everything concurred, when they were under sail, to render it a magnificent spectacle; but their construction was little adapted either for fighting or for standing foul weather. The order kept them up rather as an image of its ancient splendour, than for their utility. It was one of those ancient institutions which had once served to render the brotherhood illustrious; but now only attested its selfishness and decay. The caravans, or cruises of the galleys, were now nothing but parties of pleasure to and from the delicious havens of Sicily; the defence of those superb ramparts, the monuments of the glory of the order, was confided to foreign and mercenary soldiers; and that social energy, which had made one of the greatest empires of the universe to tremble, was now no longer exemplified, except in the sparks of courage struck from a few individuals.”
We must not omit perhaps the last worthy action these galleys performed. In the year 1783 a frightful earthquake ravaged, Sicily and the southern part of Italy, and in particular the towns of Messina and Reggio; and those inhabitants that escaped alive were exposed, without food or shelter, in the open country. The Maltese galleys were laid up in ordinary at the time intelligence of this disaster reached the island; but they were made ready for sea, notwithstanding, in a single night, and instantly set sail for the scene of desolation, carrying with them medicines, beds, and tents for the relief of the sufferers.
KNIGHT OF MALTA.
Alof DE vic NAcount, 52ND GRAND-MASTER of THE KNIGHTs or st. John.
HADDON HALL, DERBYSHIRE.
IN No. 493 of the Saturday Magazine we introduced a copy of one of the beautiful plates, forming part of NAsh's Mansions of England in the Olden Time. On the present occasion we shall give a brief account of one of the most remarkable baronial residences in England, viz., Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, the representation of which is copied, by permission, from Mr. Nash's work. This house is considered to be “the most perfect of the ancient baronial mansions remaining; and is certainly better calculated than any other to convey an idea of the large establishment and extensive hospitality of the old English baron.” Haddon Hall is situated about eight miles from Matlock, in Derbyshire, in a vale of the river Wye, called the vale of Haddon, and is usually approached either from Matlock or from Bakewell. The towers of Haddon become visible at about two miles from the latter place, and are seen reflected in a small sheet of water lying beneath. On approaching the house it is seen to consist of parts erected at very different periods; but the most contradictory opinions are expressed by different authors respecting the period at which the oldest part of it was erected. Gilpin has reeorded his opinion that the old tower which surmounts the gateway, that once formed the principal entrance into Haddon, had its origin anterior to the conquest. Mr. Rhodes considers that there is no testimony, either written or otherwise, that any portion of it was erected many years before the reign of King Stephen; while Lysons says that the chapel and hall are the most ancient parts, having been built by Sir Richard Vernon, who died in the year 1452. Before speaking of the mansion itself, it may be well to give a brief sketch of the history of the various changes which have occurred in the proprietor. ship. In Doomsday Book Haddon is set down as a berewick in the manor of Bakewell, and as belonging to the king; but it was soon after constituted into a manor, and became the property of the Avenells. The heiresses of this family married into the families of the Vernons and Bassetts, in the reign of Richard the First. By means of intermarriages, the entire manor of Haddon became vested in one possessor, Sir Richard Vernon, in the reign of Henry the Sixth. Sir Richard filled the office of speaker of the parliament, which was held at Leicester in the fourth year of Henry the Sixth's reign: the king afterwards made him treasurer of Calais. Sir Richard died in 1452, and was succeeded by his son, who was afterwards appointed to the office of constable of England, The next possessor, Sir Henry Vernon, was governor and treasurer to Prince Arthur, the eldest son of Henry the Seventh, There is a tradition, that the prince frequently lived with Sir Henry at Haddon Hall, where there was an apartment called the prince's chamber. Sir George Vernon, the son of the baronet just spoken of, lived at Haddon in such magnificent style, and was so distinguished for his hospitality, that he acquired the name of King of the Peak. (The Peak is a mountain of that name, forming one of the most remarkable objects in that part of Derbyshire near which Haddon is situated.) On the death of Sir George, as he had no male heir, his immense estates, which comprised no less than thirty manors, descended to his two daughters, Margaret and Dorothy; the former of whom was married to Sir Thomas Stanley, Knt., second son of the Earl of Derby, and the latter to Sir John Manners, second son to the first Earl of Rutland, of the house of Manners. Some of the estates fell to Sir Thomas Stanley; and others, including Haddon, to Sir John Manners; this occurred in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
The heirs and descendants of Sir John Mammers continued to reside at Haddon Hall, from the time of Queen Elizabeth till the beginning of the last century. One of these descendants, the Earl of Rutland, was created Duke of Rutland during the reign of Queen Anne, and he maintained one hundred and forty servants at Haddon: the mansion was kept open, in the true style of old English hospitality, during twelve days after Christmas. But soon after this the Duke of Rutland removed his residence from Haddon to the still more princely mansion of Belvoir Castle, Rutlandshire; and since that time Haddon has not been used as a regular residence; but it has been an occasional scene of mirth and hospitality. At the conclusion of the American war, the whole mansion was devoted to a hospitable entertainment, in which two hundred couples danced in the long gallery. Haddon Hall has been known and celebrated by many of our historians. Fuller, speaking of it, says: —“The north part of Derbyshire, called the Peak, is poor above and rich beneath the ground, yet are there some exceptions therein: witness the fair pastures nigh Haddon, belonging to the Duke of Rutland, so incredibly battling of cattle, that one proffered to . it with shillings in order to purchase it, which because to be set sideways, not edgeways, were refused." In describing the appearance of Haddon, we must bear in mind that it was not a castle, but a residence. It was one of the chief of those which have been called castellated houses; that is, mansions adorned with turrets and battlements, but utterly incapable of defence, except against a rude mob, armed with clubs and staves, on whom the gates might be shut ; and their internal arrangements were such, that the baron was enable to entertain a host of retainers. Haddon consists of several apartments and offices erected at different periods round two quadrangular courts. Both of these courts are embattled, and surrounded with many turrets, and projecting bows, and they have a communication with one another by a passage. On entering the building through the entrance from Bakewell, the visitor finds himself in the lower court, which is attained by an awkward flight of steps. On crossing this court to the passage connecting it with the other court, the main entrance to the building is reached, and here is situated the Great Hall, always a place of importance in our old baronial mansions. At the upper end of the hall is the raised platform, or dais, which in these old apartments was the place of honour for the more distinguished guests. The upper part of two sides of the hall is occupied by a gallery, where the bards and minstrels of Haddon were wont to enliven the festivities held in the hall. The hall appears to be the only room in the mansion capable of dining such large numbers of persons as were in the habit of assembling in such a mansion as this, and it is probable that it was the general dining apartment. On entering the porch of the mansion, the screen which separates the hall from the passage is on the right hand; and on the left are four large door-ways, with high pointed arches. These door-ways Mr. King supposed to have led, in ancient times, to the apartments or offices of the butler, the clerk of the kitchen, the cellarer, and the steward of the household. The first of these door-ways, which, at the time Mr. King wrote, still retained its ancient strong oak door, had a little wicket in the middle, just large enough to put plates or trenchers in and out; and from this circumstance, combined with the room containing a vast old oak chest, with divisions for bread, a large old cupboard for cheese, and a number of
shelves for butter, Mr. King supposes this room to have been the butler's station. There seems additional evidence of this, because there is a passage, down steps, from this apartment to a large vaulted room, arched with stone and supported by pillars: there is a low benching of stone-work round the walls, calculated to hold beer-casks; and a stone drain, running along beneath and in front of it, seems to have been intended to carry off the drainings. Near this room, which seems to have been a beer-cellar, are brewhouses, and bake-houses, where are remains of the places once occupied by large coppers, coolers, and ovens; and near these again are store-rooms for corn and malt, with a separate entrance from the exterior of the building. These rooms, viz., the butler's apartment, the beer-cellar, the brew-house, bake-house, and store-rooms, seemed to have formed one distinct suite of offices, under the care of one person. The next pointed archway, in the entrance passage, is the entrance to a long narrow passage, leading with a continued descent, to the great kitchen, and having, midway, a half-door, or hatch, with a broad shelf on the top of it: on this shelf the dishes of provisions were placed by the cook's assistants, and taken by the servants-in-waiting on the persons dining in the hall. In the kitchen are still remaining two vast fire places, with irons for a very large number of spits. There are likewise stoves; double ranges of dressers; large chopping-blocks; and a massive wooden table, with a surface hollowed out so as to form kneading-troughs for pastry; and in the floor are some large rings, by which stones were lifted up which covered the entrances to the drains. In connexion with the kitchen are numerous apartments which probably served as larders, &c., and which appear to have been in communication only with the kitchen. The third pointed archway in the entrance passage opens merely into one very small vaulted room, unconnected with any other: this, from its position and appearance, seems to have been the wine-cellar; a supposition which is not inconsistent with the smallness of its size, for wine was used more as a cordial than as a regular accompaniment of the dinner-table, at the time when Haddon was in its glory. The fourth arched entrance of which we have spoken leads to the bottom of a deep staircase, quite distinct from the grand staircase of the house. This staircase conducts to a number of small apartments on the upper floor, which, from their number and situation, seem to have been appropriated to numerous guests and their retainers. The sleeping apartments for the common servants seem to have been in various other parts of the house. We have said that these four arched entrances to the servants' offices are separated from the great hall by a screen. This screen is ornamented with ancient carved work, and presents a striking feature in the old hall. On the right of the entrance into the hall there is an immense fire-place, large enough to roast an unjointed ox, had such a thing been required; and a number of old portraits, greatly injured by time, are hung amongst the other trophies that adorn the hall. On the wainscoat of the wall is seen an iron fastening of peculiar construction, large enough to admit the wrist of a man's hand: this is said to have been placed there for the purpose of punishing trivial offences; and also served to enforce the laws and regulations adopted amongst the servants of this establishment. “The man who refused duly to take his horn of ale, or neglected to perform the duties of his office, had his hand locked to the wainscoat, somewhat higher than his head, by this iron fastening, when cold water was poured down the sleeve of his doublet
THE character of this month sensibly reminds us of the decline of the year. The weather is in general clear and serene, but the days are considerably shortened, and the morning and evening air has all the chilliness of autumn. The sun shines with a mellow lustre, still imparting summer's heat during the middle of the day. The change which has taken place in the appearance of the country tells us plainly that the youth of the year is gone, and that even its full maturity and strength are passing away. The fields lately covered with wavy corn, or enlivened by the busy labours of those engaged in its ingathering, are now deserted and bare, and the harvest moon, (as the planet is at this season called on account of its bright and lengthened radiance,) sheds its beams on our land, when, with the exception of the northern counties, the harvest is in most cases fully gathered in. The meadows, divested long since of their second crop of grass, are still looking fresh and beautiful, and afford pasturage to the numerous cattle now freely admitted to graze in them. The hedges have lost nearly all their beauty: few and solitary are the blossoms that adorn them, and even these are pale and wan, compared with the earlier productions of the year. The “scarlet hip, and stony haw," have not yet attained their full colouring, and therefore do not materially enliven the dull green of the branches on which they hang. The bending and rustling boughs of the hazel thicket often remind us that the season of nutting has arrived, and the young hands are as busily employed as ever in that favourite occupation. The settled state of the weather usual during this month makes it a favourite season for country excursions. The silent recesses of woods and forests. are invaded by groups of merry visitants, who find abundant pleasure in threading the tangled and intricate paths, and then in assembling beneath the wide-spread canopy of some aged oak, and partaking of the rural repast, made doubly refreshing by the rambles of the morning and the healthful tone of spirits and appetite thus acquired. But it is not on such occasions, or when surrounded by a laughing throng of young and happy persons, that we have leisure to take in the full majesty and richness of the scene presented by some of our still remaining forests. There is an awful grandeur in their dark recesses, a sublimity about their lofty canopies and massy pillars, and an impressive stillness throughout their seemingly immeasurable extent, which deeply affect and solemnize the mind, and with which the voice of
merriment seems little consonant. 525–2