« PreviousContinue »
Laud's own remark upon this occasion | siastical character, and sometimes inmay be copied; it needs no comment. fringed upon the laws of the country. After entering the appointment which was The House of Commons now would have made on a Sunday, he adds: “No church- abolished this instrument of arbitrary man had it since Henry the Seventh's rule, but the utmost accomplished at that time; and now, if the church will not time, was to keep it under some sort of hold up themselves, under God, I can restraint. do no more.
The most important impost levied by Nor was this the only clerical appoint- royal authority, was that called shipment to a high temporal office. Arch- money, which was the especial cause that bishop Spottiswood was made lord chan- placed Charles in collision with some of cellor of Scotland. Whatever may have the most able and virtuous of his subbeen Laud's design, his proceedings cer- jects. A naval force being required to tainly showed not only zeal without carry into effect a secret treaty between knowledge, but also they tended to de- England and Spain, Noy, the attorneystroy the object he sought to obtain. The general, who, on being appointed to that people could not but feel that “coming office, had deserted the popular party, events cast their shadows before :” and discovered that, on special emergencies, there was very much that recalled to writs had sometimes been directed to the mind the days of popery, while the iron sea-ports and maritime counties, directhand of despotic power exercised by the ing them to supply the crown with some church of Rome, and the sufferings of ships. Similar writs were now issued, and their martyred forefathers, were still the demand extended to the inland counfresh in the remembrance of the nation. ties. An unusual sum of 200,0001. was Time had not effaced these recollections, thus collected, and it was applied to the nor could they hear with indifference the purpose designed; but it involved the contemptuous reflections frequently cast principle of allowing the monarch to deon the English reformers by the ruling cide alone as to the extent of national ecclesiastics. From Laud's own corre- danger, and to provide at his sole pleaspondence with Strafford, it appears that sure the relief he thought needful. А he firmly resolved to pursue an unyield decision in its favour was obtained from ing course, believing that he should there- the judges. Hence lord Strafford argued by establish those principles which he that as it was lawful for the king to imconsidered of vital importance. He pose a tax to equip the navy, it must be thought severity must eventually succeed, equally so to raise money for an army, and adopted as his resolution, thorough which might be employed for aggression and thorough,” expressing his belief that as well as for defence, adding, "This dea a little more severity would cure “the cision of the judges will, therefore, make itch for libellings.” But his rigour only the king absolute at home, and formidable increased the number of his enemies. abroad. Added to the sufferers for conscience' sake, The collision between the crown and were many who were punished for irregu- the subject in the case of ship-money, was lar and vicious conduct; for it is certainly brought on in 1637, by the refusal of to his credit that he spared no offenders John Hampden, a landowner in Buckingfor their rank, but all these were ready to hamshire, and a friend of the late Sir act against him, and the cause he identi- John Eliot, to pay the sum of 201.: this fied with himself. The court of high payment being required, he desired to commission was that which chiefly car- have its legality determined. The quesried on these prosecutions. This was a tion was solemnly argued eleven days, kind of national bishop's court, with larger and precedents as early as the days of the powers than those of the dioceses, em- Saxons were referred to. The leading bracing the questions of religion and mo- argument against the impost, was the rerality which had belonged to the jurisdic- peated declarations of statutes, and in the tion of the clergy in the middle ages. All recent petitions of right, that no free man the provincial bishops' courts could ap- should be taxed without his own consent; peal to this superior tribunal, which was that is, no subject should be required to created at the commencement of the first pay taxes without the authority of parliaparliament under Elizabeth. As the com- ment. At length the decision was given; missioners were selected in nearly equal seven judges were in favour of the crown, numbers from the clergy and laity, their including Finch, the chief justice, who discussions were not always of an eccle- had been speaker in the last parliament. Only two, Crook and Hatton, spoke deci- , arbitrary views had already been shown sively against the claim of the crown; when ruling the English counties in the two decided against it in the case before north. A parliament was summoned at them, but on minor grounds; and one Dublin, every care being taken to secure judge sent his opinion against it, written the majority; and then Wentworth anfrom his sick chamber. The public at- nounced that some of the promised contention was fixed on this discussion, which cessions should be granted, but that others plainly involved the question, whether the pressed so hard upon the royal prerogagovernment should continue a limited tives, that the king could not allow them. monarchy, or become absolute: in former The most material proceeding placed a times, this question had been between the large portion of the landed property of king and the nobles; it was nowbet ween Ireland at the disposal of the king, by the crown and the people.
setting aside the rights of the present The partizans of the court rejoiced in possessors by legal measures, so as to this decision as a victory, but it was in compel the rightful owners to hold their fact a defeat; the arguments on which estates by the sufferance of the crown. In the judges had decided were publicly some instances, juries were fined, and inknown and duly appreciated. Thus every timidated to give their verdicts according step in the course pursued by the king's to the directions of the lord deputy. This advisers, even if successful for the mo- displeased the laity, while both the clergy ment, nly strengthened the opposition and laity were obliged to submit to new accumulating against them. But so blind laws or canons, doing away the independwere they to the probable consequences, ence of the Irish church. These points that lord Wentworth wrote to Charles being carried, Strafford wrote : "Now I that it was the greatest service the law- can say that the king is as absolute here, as yers had done the crown in his times. any prince in the whole world can be.” Some of the judges defended the at- He believed that he should best support torney general, who openly declared that these measures by continuing the parliathe king of England was “an absolute ment; but the king ordered him to dismonarch.”
solve it, stating that his experience of In Ireland also arbitrary measures were parliaments showed “ that they were of pursued. At the commencement of the the nature of cats; they grow rusty with war with Spain, the king feared an inva- age.” Wentworth then proceeded with sion of Ireland by the Spaniards, and some arbitrary measures affecting the raised an army for the defence of that security of the landed estates, and would island. To provide for these troops was have seized a large portion of Condifficult, but support was promised by naught to be disposed of by the crown. some of the chief landed proprietors upon His temper was violent, and his whole certain conditions, a part of which only conduct rendered him very unpopurelated to the security of landed pro- lar; he even caused lord Mountnorris perty, but some of them were considered to be sentenced to death by a court by archbishop Usher, and other Protest- martial for a casual expression. The ant prelates, as promoting popery. The unpopularity of the lord deputy induced king consented on receiving 120,000l. ; him to visit England in 1636, when but he found it advisable to evade the he defended his proceedings before the performance of his engagement, which, council, received the royal sanction, and of course, excited much discontent; the returned to his government, where a natives and the Romish party having in general conspiracy among the Papists was several respects acted upon their expect already secretly organized. ations, without waiting for any legal permission. They had even occupied some of the churches, and restored the performance of the mass. To enforce the royal
THE WILLOW.-No. II. authority, viscount Wentworth, afterwards earl of Strafford, was appointed lord The arrangement of plants belonging deputy in 1633. He proceeded upon the to the genus Salix is attended with many principle, that Ireland was a conquered perplexing difficulties, and, notwithstandcountry, to be dealt with at the pleasure ing increased attention given to the subof the English monarch; he went thither, ject of late years, is as yet scarcely desupported by Laud, and resolved to carry fined. This is by no means surprising, out the claims advanced by Charles. His when consider the extraordinary
number of species included within it, and green, makes excellent fue. It is this the still more numerous varieties con- species of which, in the north of Europe, tinually discovered. Ray, the earliest the leaves and young shoots are dried as botanist who entered on the subject, enu- winter fodder for the cattle; the inner merated ten species growing in the neigh- bark even, in seasons of scarcity, is bourhood of Cambridge ; Linneus, in ground, and, when mixed with oatmeal, 1753, described thirty-one species; and made into bread. This is the tree so Wildenow, forty years after, one hun- generally found beside the brooks and dred and sixteen species. Sir J. E. Smith, streams or marshy pools, as to have bein 1819, enumerated one hundred and come almost identified, in every mind, forty-one species, which have been further with such scenes. From the general increased by recent discoveries to two custom of lopping the shoots as they hundred and fifty-four. Loudon describes spring forth, a white willow is rarely seen at length one hundred and seventy, which in perfection. The very practice which he arranges in twenty-four groups, ac- enhances its utility, by multiplying its cording to their general appearance; valuable supply of strong straight poles besides these, he mentions fifty others for stakes, handles, etc., greatly diminwhich have been introduced into Eng- ishes its picturesque appearance. Yet land, though not assimilated to any of even a pollarded willow has its beauties : his groups. Here, then, we have a tangi- the rugged curving trunk; the knobbed ble proof of the infinite wisdom to design, summit, whence shoots of every size and and
power to achieve, which we acknow- length diverge; the small quivering leaf, ledge as attributes of the God of nature. glistening in the sunbeam like a veil We speak of the willow, and, perhaps, of silver tissue, present an appearance, scarcely allow it a place among " the which, taken in the whole, no lover of trees of the wood,” forgetful or ignorant nature can pass unheeded. that within this undervalued family are Salix Russelliana, so named in honour numbered upwards of two hundred plants, of the duke of Bedford, who first brought all agreeing in every important particu- it into notice, frequently grows from lar, and yet each so various as to be dis- eighty to ninety feet high, and is one of tinguished from every other. How does the most valuable trees of the species. the utmost stretch of the boasted mind Mr. Lowe, in his survey of Nottinghamof man sink into insignificance, and the shire, observes, that in eight years from creature appear as nothing, while the the time of planting, the poles will yield Creator is exalted as wonderful in coun- a net profit of 2141. per acre. The bark sel, and excellent in working."
of this tree is superior to that of the oak It would far exceed the limits of our for tanning, and has been used successpresent paper merely to enumerate these fully, as a substitute for cinchona, in varied species ; yet to give the reader as agues, as we have already stated. The enlarged a view as possible of the scarce famous tree at Lichfield, known as Dr. bounded field of interest suggested by our Johnson's willow, was of this species. subject, we purpose to specify the appear- Though incorrectly stated to have been ance and distinct properties of the princi- planted by his father, it was, to use his pal native species.
own expression, “the delight of his Salix alba, the white, or Huntingdon early and waning life," and on every willow, derives its name from the whitish visit to his native place, he always reappearance of the leaves, which are paired to it. In 1781, he requested a covered on both sides with short silky physician of the town to measure it, obhairs. It is found in all parts of Europe serving it was the largest tree of the and the north of Asia, and is one of the kind he had ever seen, and therefore largest trees of the species, growing from wished its size to be recorded. The cirfifty to sixty feet high, even in inferior cumference of the trunk, at the ground, soils. In a favourable situation it often was then fifteen feet nine inches; and exceeds seventy feet. The timber it yields below the spot where it divided into fifis very white and smooth, and is used for teen large branches (at twelve feet and most of the domestic purposes which a-half from the ground) thirteen feet. have been alluded to. The bark, which The tree was forty-nine feet in height, is thick, and full of cracks, is used and overshadowed an extent of ground both in medicine and for tanning; the containing nearly four thousand square charcoal is prized in the manufacture of feet. Till 1810 it continued to increase gunpowder; and the wood, even when in size, and then measured twenty-one
feet in girth at the ground. That year it S. diminalis, the common osier, is also was severely injured by a storm, and from of vigorous growth. The leaves are long that time rapidly decayed. An acci- and narrow, of a blueish green, covered dental fire, in 1825, nearly consumed its below with a white hoary down. This is venerable relics; but it stood till April the species most extensively cultivated, 29, 1829, when it was blown down by its long and flexible shoots being pecua violent storm, and its remains were liarly adapted for hoops, hampers, crate converted into snuff boxes, and other work, and coarse baskets. For the finer small articles. The owner of the ground sorts of basket work, the sorts most preon which it had stood regretted much ferred are S. Forbyana, S. rubra, S. trithe fall of so interesting a memorial of andria, and S. vitellina. These all are his celebrated townsman, and recollect- distinguished for the long tough rods they ing that a few months before a large send forth after every repeated cutting. branch blown off had been used for pea They are generally planted by the side sticks, examined these, and discovered of rivers and streams, or on small islands that one had taken root. This, with some called osier holts. The Thames and the ceremony, was removed to the site of its Cam are especially noted for these, and illustrious progenitor; it flourished, and the extensive fenny districts of Huntingis now twenty feet high.
donshire and Cambridgeshire yield an Salix fragilis, the crack willow, in abundant supply. The shoots are genermany respects much resembles the last ally cut in the autumn, after the fall of named species. The cut in Visitor for July, the leaf; they are tied up in bundles, page 258, delineates its general appear- termed bolts, and if intended to be peeled ance. The name originates in the extreme before using, are set upright, on their brittleness of its branches, which, in the thick ends, in standing water, for some spring especially, will break from the months. These, when sold to the baskettrunk at the slightest blow. The timber maker, are measured by a band called of this tree is said, by many, to be su- an ell, (three feet nine inches.) A bolt perior to that of S. alba.
measuring an ell will fetch in the disS. caprea, the round-leaved, or goat- tricts where they are grown, 1s. 6d. a sallow, is said to be so called from goats bundle, but much more in the neighbourbrowsing eagerly on the early blowing hood of London. For the finer sorts of catkins. The leaves of this are rounder work, the rods are then peeled; a simple and more crowded than in any other operation, generally performed by old species. In some parts of the country men and women, by means of two iron these golden-tufted blossoms are gathered rods, united at one end, like a pair of and worn, or put up in churches on the tongs. The hinged end, which is sharpSunday before Easter. The branches ened for the purpose, is thrust into the are ornamented with spring flowers, and ground, to hold the instrument firm ; the denominated palms. Such, when branches peeler then draws the osier through it, of the true oriental palm could not be till the bark is stripped off. Peeled rods procured, were, and still are in Roman not only keep better, but fetch a higher Catholic countries, carried in solemn pro- price than those unpeeled—from 5s. to 78. cession on that day. It is easy to trace a bolt in the neighbourhood of London. the origin of this custom to the public The simple art of basket-making, entry of the Saviour into the city of Jeru- formerly known to every countryman, is salem. The “people that were come to now, in England, almost exclusively conthe feast, when they heard that Jesus was fined to those who follow it as a trade. coming to Jerusalem, took branches of The different sorts of hampers, baskets, palm trees, and went forth to meet him, etc., are of course each constructed in a and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King different way, though the principle and of Israel that cometh in the name of the routine in all is the same. The article is Lord,” John xii. 12, 13.
begun in the centre of the bottom of the From Olivet's sequestered seats,
basket, bending the main ribs upward, What sounds of transport spread !
and wattling or twisting finer rods round What concourse moves through Salem's streets, To Zion's holy head!
and between these. Simple as the proBehold Him there, in lowliest guise,
cess appears, and trivial as the manufac
ture and the article produced may be reTriumphal shouts before him rise, And shouts reply behind :
garded, yet in how many ways do these And “Strike," they cry, “ your loudest string;
osier or willow rods, promote our comfort He comes! Hosanna to our King."
Were we by any
The Saviour of mankind !
That Rome would claim me for her own."
accident deprived of the utensils thus included in it, to ashes.” Blessed be the
scribes the chestnut, the willow, and the
reed, as the dowries of a vineyard; and and Martial thus personifies one of them: Pliny observes, “The willow furnishes
“ From Britain's painted sons I came, long props for supporting the vine, the And basket is my barbarous name;
bark may be employed for tying up the But now I am so modish grown,
shoots, and the young shoots are em
ployed in basket making.” From his Basket-work, or wattling, was in those account, the species most used appear to ancient times of no little consequence to have been s. alba, S. vitellina, and S. these uncivilized nations furnished with viminalis. materials of defence, and skill to use
The weeping willow (S. Babylonica) is them. For want of proper tools to fell
a native of the east, and though but of trees, boats of wicker work covered with comparatively recent introduction into skins, were used for many ages, in differ- England, is one of the most picturesque ent parts of Europe. The coracles, or
and universally cultivated species. It is portable fishing boats now used on the said that it was first brought to England, Severn, are vestiges of these ancient Brit- about 1730, by an Aleppo merchant; ish barks.
though the generally received account The bending willow into barks they twine,
ascribes its introduction to accident, and Then line the work with spoils of slaughtered attributes its naturalization to the poet Such are the floats Venetian fishers know,
Pope. He, happening to be present Where in dull marshes stands the settling Po;
when a basket was received from Turkey On such to neighbouring Gaul, allured by gain, or the Levant, observed some of the The bolder Britons cross the swelling main.
twigs fastened round it appeared as if
they might vegetate, and requested them, But truth compels us to allude to a observing at the same time, "Perhaps yet further purpose to which our fore- they may produce something that we fathers applied the osier twigs their have not in England.” One of these, marshes afforded. They discharged no which he planted in the garden of his trifling part in the barbarous rites of villa at Twickenham, took root, grew, druidical worship. Cesar tells us that it and, in a few years, became a flourishing was an article of their creed that nothing tree, said to be the parent of all now in but the life of man could atone for the life our island. This tree was cut down, in of man.
Hence, on solemn occasions, the beginning of the present century, by “they formed a huge colossal figure of the then possessor of the premises, to a man, of osier twigs, and having filled avoid the constant and annoying intruit with human beings, and surrounded sions of visitors. it with hay and other combustible ma- The weeping willows planted to mark terials, they set fire to the pile, and re- the spot where the body of Napoleon, duced it, with all the miserable creatures the mighty conqueror, the scourge of his