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QUEEN ELIZABETH + HER PROGRESSES AND PUBLIC PROCESSIONS.
No. I. INTRODUCTION.
It was remarked in the last century by Bishop Percy, that the splendour and magnificence of Elizabeth's reign are nowhere more strongly painted than in the little diaries which have eome down to us of some of her Progresses, or Summer excursions to the houses of her nobility. It may be added with equal truth, that nowhere do we meet with more interesting and instructive illustrations of the manners and taste of that age—an age which, for many reasons, has always been particularly attractive to Englishmen. The same learned and accomplished prelate likewise observed that a more acceptable present could not be given to the world than a republication of a select number of the most interesting accounts, such as those relating to the entertainments which the Earl of Leicester gave the Queen at Kenilworth Castle in 1575, or to that which the Earl of Hertford gave her Majesty at Elvetham, in 1591. Several years have now elapsed since the desideratum then pointed out in our litera...ture, was more than supplied by the able research and indefatigable industry of Mr. Nichols, who published, in three quarto volumes, all the accounts which he could collect from original contemporary manuscripts, or from scarce pamphlets, &c., concerning the progresses, public processions, and other ceremonials which occurred in the reign of this celebrated queen. Valuable, however, as were the labours of Mr. Nichols, his work is rather a book of reference, or collection of authentic records and documents, than a narrative digested from the materials which he had amassed; its character, therefore, no less than its bulk, renders it not very well fitted to the general reader. Under these circumstances, we deem that we shall be offering an acceptable present, in the phrase of Bishop Percy, to our readers, in furnishing ...them with a series of papers, descriptive of the progresses of Queen Elizabeth, her public processions, and such other similar matters as tend to illustrate the taste and manners which prevailed in our country during her reign. The practice of making progresses in different parts of her kingdom, is a striking feature in the plan of popularity which- Elizabeth seems to have followed from the beginning of her reign. The spirit of the times encouraged those splendid recreations, when the habits and amusements of the great possessed so different a character from that which they have in more modern times. To show the impression which these progresses made upon the people generally we shall first quote the words of a contemporary poet, who was one of Elizabeth's gentlemen pensioners, we mean Puttenham, whose Arte of English Poesie has secured the transmission of his name to our days. In one of his poems in praise of the Queen, he thus addresses her:Thou that hesydes forreyme affayres Canst tend to make yerely repayres, By Sommer progresse and by sporte, To shire and towne, citye and porte, To view and compasse all thye lande, And take the bills with thine own hande Of clowne and earle, of knight and swayne, Who list to thee for right complayne, And therin dost such justice yeelde, As in thy sexe folke see but seelde; And thus to do arte less afrayde, With houshold trayne, a syllye mayde, Than thyme anncestours one of tenne I'urst do with troopes of armed men.
In the Character of Queen Elizabeth, by Edward
Bohun, a writer of the seventeenth century, the scheme of her progresses is thus explained:— In the Summer she for the most part lived in the countrey; and she took her royal progresses into the several counties of England, and she would amuse herself with considering and commending the pleasantness and goodness of her country, and the greatness and variety of the fruits England produced: she would also admire the wisdom and goodness of God in diversifying the face of the earth, by the mixture of fields, meadows, pastures, and woods; and she would, as occasion offered, hunt too. In all this she was intent upon that which was her main business, the government of her people, the management of her family and of her revenues, and the observing the state and condition, the carriage and designs, of the neighbour states and princes. Which way soever she went, she was sure to draw upon her the eyes of her people: innumerable crowds of them met her in all places with loud hearty acclamations, with countenances full of joy, and hearts equally filled with love and admiration: and this ever attended her in publick and in private: for what sight in this world can possibly please mortals like that of a just, beneficent, and kind prince So that those places were accounted the most happy, in which, for the goodness of the air or the pleasantness of the fields, she was pleased to stay the longest. He them proceeds to describe her extreme affability and condescension during these journeys, and the effect thereof upon her people:— In her progress she was the most easy to be approached; private persons and magistrates, men and women, country people and children, came joyfully, and without any fear, to wait upon her and see her. Her ears were then open to the complaints of the asilicted, and of those that had been any way injured. She would not suffer the meanest of her I.P. to be shut out from the places where she resided, ut the greatest and the least were then in a manner levelled. She took with her own hand, and read with the greatest goodness, the petitions of the meanest rusticks: and she would frequently assure them that she would take a particular care of their affairs, and she would ever be as good as her word. She, by her royal authority, protected those that were injured and oppressed: she punished the fraudulent, false, perfidious, and wicked. In all this variety of affairs she was able to keep her temper, and appear with an equal and uninterrupted serenity and humanity to all that came nigh her; she was never seen angry with the most unseasonable or uncourtly approach: she was never offended with the most impudent and importunate petitioner. There was no commotion to be seen in her mind; no reproaches, no reprehensions came from her. Nor was there anything in the whole course of her reign that more won the hearts of the people than this her wonderful facility, condescension, and the strange sweetness and pleasantness with which she entertained all that came to her. Thus, for the most part, she spent her Summer. When Queen Mary died, on the 17th of November, 1558, Elizabeth was at Hatfield. On the 23rd of November, she made a magnificent progress from thence to the Charter-house in London; which was the prelude to her passage through the city from the Tower to Westminster, on the 13th of January following, the day before her coronation. In the Summer of 1559, she made an excursion from Greenwich to Dartford and Cobham, and afterwards to Eltham, Nonsuch, and Hampton Court. In 1560, she went in progress to Winchester and Basing. In the third year of her reign, 1561, she began her progress through Essex, Suffolk, and Hertfordshire; and on her return, she passed from Hertford Castle through Enfield, Islington, and over St. Giles in the Fields (which did not then belie its name,) to St. James. In 1563, she received the congratulations of the Eton scholars at Windsor Castle, and in the next year, those of the University of Cambridge at King's College. In 1564 likewise, she went into Huntingdonshire and Leicestershire; in 1565, to Coventry, and the year following to Oxford, in compliment to Dudley, Earl of Leicester, then Chancellor of that University; and to Burghley, on a visit to her Treasurer, the great Cecil. In 1567,
she was in Berkshire, Surrey, and Hampshire; in 1568, in Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, and Northamptonshire ; in 1569, in Surrey and Hampshire. In 1570, Elizabeth went into the city again, to honour Sir Thomas Gresham on the occasion of his building the Royal Exchange; she was likewise entertained by him in 1573, at his mansion at Mayfield in Sussex; and some time between 1577 and 1579 at his house at Osterley mear London. In 1571, she visited Hunsdon House, which had formerly been her nursery, and which she gave to her first cousin, Henry Cary, whom she had created Baron Hunsdon. On Mayday, 1572, she was entertained at Greenwich, with many warlike feats, by the citizens of London; the coming of the French ambassadors in the same year, was the occasion of great festivities, and after their departure, the Queen proceeded on a progress into Essex, Kent, Herts, Bedfordshire, to Kenilworth, Warwick, Reading, Windsor, and Hampton Court; at which last place, about the end of September, she fell ill of the small-pox. In 1573, she passed through a part of Surrey and Sussex, and honoured many places in Kent with her presence. She visited Archbishop Parker at Croydon; and seems to have intended paying him another visit in 1574; in which year also, she was amused at Bristol with the regular siege of a fort; was entertained by the Earl of Pembroke at Wilton, and visited the city of New Sarum. In 1575, the Queen made a progress through the counties of Northampton, Oxford, and Worcester; and it was during this progress, that she was so magnificently entertained for nineteen days by the Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth". In 1577, she was again in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, and spent three days at Sir Nicholas Bacon's mansion at Gorhambury. In 1578, she went over Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire; and received the compliments of the University of Cambridge on her way, at Audley Inn. In 1579, she again visited Essex and Suffolk. In 1581, she received ten commissioners from the King of France concerning her marriage with the Duke of Anjou; and in their honour, a “Triumph” was performed with great solemnity. From 1581 to 1588, the Queen appears to have remained quiet at Westminster; her amusements consisting of shows and tiltings on the reception of foreign princes and ambassadors. In the latter year, which is memorable for the projected invasion of her kingdom by the Spaniards, and the defeat of their grand Armada, Elizabeth paid her celebrated visit to her army at Tilbury Fort. In 1591 we find her recommencing her progresses over Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire, and being entertained at Cowdry, Southampton, and Elvetham; and the next year at Bisham, Sudley and Ricott, with all the fantastic pomp which characterized the age. In 1592, likewise, she paid a second visit to Oxford, in compliment to Lord Burleigh, who was then Chancellor of that University. In 1594, the students of Gray's Inn entertained her with a masque; and next year the Earl of Essex celebrated the anniversary of her accession with a “device.” In 1599, she went again over part of Berkshire. In 1600, she honoured the wedding of Lord Herbert with her presence, in Black Fryers, and was there entertained with dancing and a masque at the Lord Cobham's, and even “dawnced f" herself, though in her
sixty-eighth year. In 1600, also, and the following year, she made progresses into Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Berks; and in 1602, she made short visits from the capital into Middlesex and Kent. In the year 1603, she closed her reign and life. The Puritans in Elizabeth's time, condemned much of the gaiety and splendour of the court, but the queen was exhorted from the poetical press, not to regard their objections. The poet and gentleman pensioner, George Puttenham, in a poem, or rather collection of poems, styled Partheniades, which he devoted as a new year's gift to the Queen in 1579, has some lines written for the purpose of maintaining “agaynste the Puritantes,” that “amonge men many thinges be allowed of necessitye, many for ornament, which cannot be misliked nor well spared, without blemishe to the cyvile life;” and that “all auncyent courtly usages, devised as well for the publique intertaynments, as for other private solaces and disportes,” are “not scandalously evill or vicious.” The muse Calliope, addressing the Queen, recounts a list of calamities which must result from adopting the Qbnoxious principles: Deny honoure to dignity And triumphe to just victorie Pull puissance from soverayntie And credit from authoritee From holy-dayes and fro weddinges Minstrells and feasts and robes and ringes Take fro kinges courtes intertaynments; From ladyes riche habillimentes:
And then indignantly exclaims—
Princesse! yt ys as if one take away
The chances of success in this contest, were naturally with the poets. The innovating spirit of the Puritans rendered them very unacceptable to the Queen ; and the manner in which they put forward their demands, was not at all calculated to ensure their success. Camden thus describes the “Insolency of the Puritans,” in the year 1588, in which year, he tells us, that England was “pestered with schism.”
Certainly, (he says,) never did contumacious impudency and contumelious malapertness against ecclesiastical ma gistrates, show itself more bold and insolent. For when the Queen (who was always the same) would not give ear to innovatours in religion who designed (as she thought) to cut in sunder the very sinews of her ecclesiastical government and her royal prerogative at once, some of those men who were great admirers of the discipline of the church of Geneva, thought there was no better way to be taken for establishing the same in England, than by inveighing and railing against the English hierarchy, and stirring up the people to a dislike and hatred of the bishops and prelacy. These men, therefore, set forth scandalous books against both the church government and the prelates, the titles whereof were, Martin Marre-Prelate, Mineralts, Diotrephes, a Demonstration of Discipline, &c. In these libels they belched forth most virulent calumnies and opprobrious taunts and reproaches in such a scurrilous manner, that the authors might seem to have been rather scullions out of the kitchen than pious and godly men. Yet were the authors thereof (forsooth) Penry and Udal, ministers of the word, and Job Throckmorton, a learned man and of a facetious and gybing tongue. Their favourers and upholders were Richard Knightley, and Wigston, Knights, men otherwise good, grave, and sober, but drawn in by certain ministers, who aimed at some private respects of their own, for which the said knights had smarted by a heavy fine laid upon them in the Star-Chamber, had not the Archbishop of Canterbury, (such was his mildness and good nature,) with much adoe requested and obtained a remission thereof from the queen.
But if the Queen had been disposed to abolish
what the Puritans disliked, she had not the power to
do so. She did not, as Mr. Sharon Turner remarks,
like Charles the Second, make the manners of her 354–2
court. She found them as they were; poets reprimanded them, but the nobility were too formidable, and her crown too precarious from their cabals, to allow her to alter their state or enjoyments. She had no choice but to join the festivities they expected and required. It was the general taste, as well as his own, and not peculiarly the queen's inclination, that Leicester sought to gratify by his magnificent festivities at Kenilworth. It has been oftentimes objected to these progresses that they were calculated only to impoverish her wealthy subjects under colour of honouring them,that, in fact, they were an instrument of oppression in the hands of the Queen. With reference to the poorer classes of the people, it is allowed that she seemed on all occasions willing to spare them; but for those of better rank and fortune, it is said that she had no consideration, but that, on the contrary, she contrived in many ways to pillage and distress them. It was the tameness of that time, (says a speaker in one of Bishop Hurd's Dialogues,) to submit to every imposition of the sovereign. She had only to command her gentry on any service she thought fit, and they durst not decline it. How many of her wealthiest and best subjects did she impoverish by these means, (though under colour you may be sure of her high favour); and sometimes by her very visits 1 An old writer, in a Description of England, speaking of the variety of the Queen's houses, checks himself with saying, But what shall I need to take upon me to repeat all, and tell what houses the Queen's Majesty hath, sith all is hirs? And when it pleaseth hir in the Summer season to recreate hirself abroad and view the state of the countrie, and hear the complaints of her unjust officers or substitutes, every nobleman's house is hir palace where she continueth during pleasure, and till she returne againe to some of hir owne; in which she remaineth as long as pleaseth hir. The historian Carte, expressing the opinion that “Queen Elizabeth made it her business to depress the nobility,” and that “even her appearing favours ministered to this purpose,” adds,Whether she stayed a time with any of them in her progress, (as she did A.D. 1601, for a fortnight together, with the Marquis of Winchester at Basing, or only took a dinner,) they paid very dear for the honour of the visit; and whatever exorbitant expence she put them to, she did not think herself well entertained unless they made her a rich present at parting. Thus, dining on December 6th, not four months before her death, at Sir Robert Cecil’s, he made her, when she went away, according to the custom, presents to the value of two thousand crowns. Her ministers might, perhaps, be able to support such an expense; but by impoverishing the nobility, who were generally discontented at their usage, it sunk their credit so low that it was impossible for any of them to get a number of followers, were they never so inclined to make a disturbance. In Sir Henry Ellis's Original Letters illustrative of English History, are a few epistles illustrative of the feelings of some of Queen Elizabeth's subjects, when they heard that her Majesty had vouchsafed to honour them with a visit during her Progresses; and the editor remarks, that it will be readily gathered from those letters, how inconvenient to many these Progresses must have been. Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Lord Keeper, in a letter to Lord Burghley, concerning the Queen's contemplated visit to him at Gorham. bury, in 1572, rejoiced much that her Majesty intended to do him so great an honour, but owned himself quite a novice in receiving royalty. The Earl of Bedford, writing to Lord Burghley in the same year, announces his intention of preparing for her Majesty's coming to Woburn, “which shall be done,” he says, “in the best and most hartiest manner that 1.can;" but he trusts, at the same time, that the
Lord Treasurer “will have in remembraunce to provide and helpe that her Ma" tarieng be not above two nights and a daye,” hinting, indeed, that he has made preparation for no longer time. “Archbishop Parker,” says Sir Henry Ellis, “was one of the few who seemed thoroughly pleased at one of these intended visits. A thought struck him to make it subservient to the promotion of the protestant religion.” This visit, which we shall describe on a future occasion, was paid to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1573, and in his letter to the Lord Treasurer, he says, It would much rejoyce and stablishe the people here in this religion, to see her Highness that Sondaye (being the first Sonday of the moneth, when others also customablie may receive) as a godlie devoute prince, in her chiefe and metropolituall churche, openly to receive the communyon. which by her favour I would minister unto her. Plurima sunt magnifica et utilia; sed hoc unum est necessarium. [Many things are magnificent and useful; but this one is necessary.] I presume not to prescribe this to her Highnes, but as her trustie chapleyn shewe my judgement. Strype tells us that a rumour of the small-pox and measles being at Canterbury, caused some stop of the Queen, and made the archbishop stay some of his carriages. “For as in fifteen years it should rejoice him, as he told the lord treasurer, to see her Majesty at his house at Canterbury, the cost whereof he weight not; so he would be loth to have her person put in fear or danger.” In the year 1577, Lord Buckhurst, who expected to receive her Majesty at Lewes, was so forestalled in respect of provisions, by other noblemen in Sussex and the adjoining counties, that he was obliged to send for a supply from Flanders. He thus writes to the Earl of Sussex:— My wo good lord, besech your lordship to pardon me yf thus I shall becom troblesome unto you, to know some certenty of the Progres yf it may possibly be. The time of provision is so short, and the desire I have to do all thinges in such sort as appertaineth, so great, as I can not but thus im portune your lordship to procure her H. to grow to some resolucion, both of the time when her Ma. will be at Lewis, and how long her H. will tary theare. For having alredy sent in to Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, for provision, ; assure your lordship I find alredy all places possest by my lord of Arundell, my lord Mountague, and others. So as of fors I am to send in to Flaunders, which I wold spedely do yf the time of her Ma. coming and tarians with me were certain. I besech your lordship, therefore, yf it may be, let me know by your Lo. favourable means somewhat whereunto to trust, for if her H. shall not presently determin, I se not how possibly we may or can perform that towardes her Ma. which is du and convenient. When Mr. (afterwards Sir) Michael Hickes, Lord Burghley's secretary, was married, in 1597, the Queen hinted that she would honour him. Hickes wrote to a friend at court to ask the Lord Chamberlain what preparation he should make ; and his friend told the Lord Chamberlain that it troubled Hickes, “ that he had noe convenient place to entertainé sum of her Ma" necessary servants.” The Lord Chamberlaine's reply is thus communicated to Hickes by his friend :His answeare was, that you weare unwise to be at aine such charge: but onelie to leave the howse to the Quene: and wished that theare might be presented to her Maue from your wief, sum fine wastcoate, or fine ruffe, or like thinge, which he said would be acceptablie taken as if it weare of great price.
Sir Henry Ellis notices it as a fact not generally known, that much as these visits sometimes put the Queen's subjects to expense, “the cost of them to the public treasury was also a matter of deep concern.”
Among the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum, is “an Estimate of increase of Chardgies in the time of Progresse, which should not be if her Majestie remeynid at her Standing Howses within xx. myles of London; collected out of the Creditors of the last Progresse, Anno, xv? Reginae Elizabeth,” A.D. 1573. It is altered and corrected in Lord Burghley's hand. The increase of charges caused by the Progress, appears to have amounted in the whole to 1034l. 0s. 6d. Lord Burghley, it is probable, (says Sir Henry Ellis,) would have been personally glad, if the Progresses could have been altogether dispensed with. The Queen's visits to him were extremely frequent. His Lordship's treatmen of the Queen's suite when she went to Theobalds, seems not to have been generally acceptable to the visiters. In more than one letter we find the writers vexed when they learned they were to go there. Yet, although the Queen's visits might have put her nobles to considerable expense and inconvenience, the inference is not necessarily to be drawn that those visits were unacceptable, and that the parties to whom they were paid, thought the honour of receiving them an insufficient compensation for the cost and annoyance which they occasioned. Are we sure, as Mr. Nichols asks, that Leicester thought he paid too high a price for the gratification of his ambition,-or that the Earl of Hertford regretted the expense of regaling her Majesty at Elvetham, to regain her long forfeited favour; or that Sir Robert Cecil thought much of the great entertainments he gave her at Theobalds, when she conferred the honour of knighthood on him in 1591, and it was expected that he would have been advanced to the secretaryship. Cecil, indeed, glories how much Theobalds was increased by occasion of her Majesty's often coming; “whom to please,” says he, “I never would omit to strain myself to more charges than building it.” The strong desire of Elizabeth's subjects to please her in her progresses, was never more strikingly shown than on the occasion of a visit which she paid to Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange, at the mansion which he had built at Osterley, in Middlesex. Her Majesty happened to find fault with the court of the house, observing that it was too great, and that it would appear more handsome if divided with a wall in the middle. What doth Sir Thomas, but in the night time send for workmen to London, (money commands all things,) who so speedily and silently apply their business, that the next morning discovered the court double, which the night had left single before. It is questionable whether the Queen next day was more contented with the conformity to her fancy, or more pleased with the surprise and sudden performance thereof. Her courtiers amused themselves with sundry witticisms upon the transformation; some observing that it was no wonder he could so soon change a building who had been able to build a Change; while others, reflecting on some well known differences in the knight's family, remarked that a house was easier divided than united. The visits which Elizabeth paid to Cecil were frequent. She was twelve times at Theobalds, which stood at a very convenient distance from London. Each visit cost Cecil two or three thousand pounds— a large sum in those days; the Queen staying with him “at his lordship's charge,” sometimes three weeks or a month, or six weeks together. Sometimes she had strangers or embassadors come to her thither, where she has been seen in as great royalty and served as bountifully and magnificently as at any othertime or place, all at his lordship's expense, with rich shows, pleasant devices, and all manner of sports that could be devised, to the great delight of her Majesty and her whole train, with great thanks from all who partook of it, and as great commendations from all that heard of it abroad. His lordship's extraordinary charge in entertaining of the
Queen, was greater to him than to any of her subjects. But his love to his sovereign, and joy to entertain her and her train, was so great, as he thought no trouble, care, or cost, too much, but all too little, so it were bountifully performed to her Majesty's recreation, and the contentment of her train. It appears, moreover, that although Elizabeth was fond of magnificence and show, and wished to be royally entertained, she, nevertheless, “misliked superfluous expense” in her progresses. Puttenham, in his Arte of English Poesie, after laying down a number of rules to regulate the carriage of courtiers to their sovereigns, observing that, in playing with a prince, it is decent to let him sometimes win of purpose, “to keepe him pleasant,” and never to refuse his gift, “for that is undutifull; nor to forgive him his losses, for that is arrogant, nor to give him great gifts, for that is either insolence or follie, nor to feast him with excessive charge, for that is both vaine and envious,” adds— And therefore the wise prince, King Henry the Seventh, her Majesty's grandfather, yf his chaunce had been to lye at any of his subjects' houses, or to passe moe meales then one, he that would take upon him to defray the charge of his dyet, or of his officers and houshold, he would be marvelously offended with it, saying—What private subject dare undertake a Prince's charge, or looke into the secret of his expense ? Her Majestie hath bene knowne oftentimes to mislike the superfluous expense of her subjects bestowed upon her in times of her progresses. Much of the manners of the times may be learned from these Progresses. They give us (says Mr. Nichols) a view into the interior of the noble families, display their state in housekeeping, and other articles, and set before our eyes their magnificent mansions, long since gone to decay, or supplanted by others of the succeeding age. Houses that lodged the Queen of England and her Court, are now scarcely fit for farms, or levelled with the ground or rebuilt. Such were the seat of the Compton family at Mockings: of the Sadleirs at Standon; of the great Burleigh at Theobalds; of the Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth; of the Bishop of Ely at Somersham; Sir Thomas Cook's at Giddyhall; Sir Thomas Mildmay's at Moulsham; Lord Rich's at Leighs; Sir Thomas Waldgrave's at Smallbridge; Mr. Tuke's at Layer Marney. The royal palaces are almost all gone. Our illustration is copied from a very celebrated engraving by Vertue—one of his “Historic Prints,” which he copied, in 1737, from the original picture in the possession of the Earl of Oxford, at Coleshill in Warwickshire. It had then been in the hands of that family for fifty or sixty years; but no account of it had been handed down, except that it was painted in memory of Queen Elizabeth's visit to a young married couple. Who the parties thus honoured were, and when or where the visit was made,-were points wholly unexplained. Vertue himself, after much consideration, came to the conclusion that it represented a visit to Henry Cary, Lord Hunsdon, at Hunsdon House in Hertfordshire, where she is known to have been in September, 1571 ; and that it was the work of Mare Gerrards of Bruges, painter to Queen Elizabeth. But the appropriation of the scene to Hunsdon House, has been controverted in the British Topography as having every probability against it. The queen is seated in a canopy-chair of state, carried by six gentlemen; several knights of the garter with their collars are walking before the queen, and many favourite ladies following in the train. Her yeomen of the guard follow, and the band of gentlemen pensioners line the way. I have some reasons to think (says Vertue) that amongst the ladies that follow the Queen, the foremost in white may be the Lady Hunsdon; on her right hand, Lord Hunsdon's sister, Lady Katherine, who was wife to Admiral Howard, and next behind, in a dark grave habit, Lady Mary Boleyn, mother of Lord Hunsdon: all the ladies are richly adorned with jewels, &c., to grace the solemnity of this procession.
THE HUMAN HEART. s.
HAD man been a mere animal machine, destitute of reason, he would have been the most defenceless creature on earth. The elephant possesses an instrument by which he can grasp his enemy, and an enormous weight by which he can trample him to death. The bear is endowed with a degree of muscular strength, by which he can compress the human figure with as much facility as we break a nutshell. The lion and the tiger can spring upon their prey, and fix it by their claws to the earth until they satiate their hunger. But the infant, what a helpless being it is, and remains, long after it first sees the light ! The idiot who never enjoyed reason; the melancholy maniac who has been deprived of it: how pitiably weak and dependent are they, compared with the rhinoceros or the eagle ! Nevertheless, it has been given to man to subdue all the tribes of animated nature to his use, and he has fulfilled his destiny in that respect by means of his hand, the most perfect physical instrument with which we are acquainted. Not all the skill of man has yet been able to imitate the hand in its formation and functions, or to suggest an improvement in one of its joints or muscles. Galen's enthusiastic and eloquent description of it, which the reader will find translated in Dr. Kidd's volume, though unrivalled in ancient or modern literature, scarcely does justice to the flexibility, delicacy, and strength of this admirable instrument. But it is, after all, nothing more than an instrument; it would have been, comparatively, powerless, had it not been moved to action by the rational faculty of which it is the immediate servant. Yet, although it is by means of the hand that we operate upon external matter, we cannot perceive, as Sir Charles Bell justly remarks, any relation between that instrument and the mind. The hand is not more distinct from the rose which it is about to pluck, than the mind is from this organ of its volition. Indeed, we must all feel that the pulse which beats at the wrist, has nothing whatever to do with our will. We may use the hand for our purposes, but its machinery, its vitality, do not in any way depend upon our dictates. The action of the heart, the circulation of the blood, are carried on by laws to which the mind is no party. Had it been otherwise, a single act of omission in ordering the requisite functions on our part, might bring life to a premature termination. The fracture of a small filament in the admirable tracery of nervous cords which unites many organs in sympathy, would produce spasm, suffocation, and death. Thus, then, we have two principles of vitality in us, one, that of the mind,the other, that of the frame in which it is enveloped ; each perfectly distinct, and manifestly the work of a Superior Intelligence, who has given us a control over the operations of both, but has taught us the secret of immortality, in the laws which disclose their separate existence. The planets move round the sun by his attraction; the blood circulates through our frame by no relation to the mind. The planets and the sun itself shall perish ; the blood shall cease to circulate, and the fairest fabric of mortality shall moulder in the dust ; but the mind lives independently of matter, as matter does of mind, and can no more be affected, as to its vital essence, by the destruction of the body, than Sirius would be by the extinction of our entire solar system. Not only are the vital functions of the body independent of our will, but each of our organs has been endowed, without any consent or previous knowledge on our part, with powers admirably suited to its purpose; powers which are not the result of life either of
the mind or the body, but of special legislation, founded on premeditated design, and accomplishing an adaptation of means to end, wonderful for their perfection. Thus the heart, to which the lover appeals as the seat of his ardent feelings, as the most sensible organ of his system, may be rudely pressed by the hand without conveying to him the sensation that it has been touched. Harvey's celebrated experiment puts this fact beyond a doubt.
It happened that a youth of the noble family of Montgomerie had his interior exposed in an extraordinary manner, in consequence of an abscess in the side of the chest, which was caused by a fall. The youth was introduced to the presence of Charles the First, and Harvey, putting one hand through the aperture, grasped the heart, and so held it for some time, without the young man being at all conscious that any new object was in contact with it. Other observations have since confirmed this discovery, and the heart is now universally declared by medical men to be insensible ! Nevertheless, we all well know that the heart is affected not only by the emotions of the mind, but by every change that takes place in the condition of the body. Here, then, is a complete proof of design. The heart insensible to touch, which, from its internal position, it was never intended to experience, is yet sensibly alive to every variation in the circulation of the blood, and sympathizes in the strictest manner with the powers of the constitution. There is nothing, however, in the mere principle of life, still less in the physical texture of the heart, to give it insensibility to touch, and sensibility to feeling of the most active and refined description. As life is animation added to the body when formed, so this peculiar susceptibility of the heart is an endowment added to the organ by Him who made it.—Quarterly Review.
The StomAch.—“I firmly believe that almost every malady of the human frame is, either by high-ways or byways, connected with the stomach. The woes of ever other member are founded on your belly timber; and must own, I never see a fashionable physician mysteriously consulting the pulse of his patient, but I feel a desire to exclaim, Why not tell the poor gentleman at once, “Sir, you have eaten too much; you've drunk too much, and you have not taken exercise enough ' ' The human frame was not created imperfect. It is we ourselves who have made it so. There exists no donkey in creation so overladen as our stomachs.”—Bubbles }. Nassau.
How frail and inconsistent is men! How different does he think and act even for himself, in different circumstances ! How strangely does the same passion of pride seek for gratification from contrary causes, from pursuing ideal good, and from giving up that which is attainable and real One moment he strains at a gnat, and applauds himself for sagacity, in the next he does not suspect himself of credulity when he swallows a camel.-PARR.
LoNGEvity.—In the third volume of Mr. Sharon Turner's Sacred History of the World, is the following passage: “The salubrity of England, either from its climate, its manners, or its intellectual cultivation, to the more advanced periods of social life, is indicated by the fact that, in 1834, it was calculated that there were then seventy peers in the House of Lords, who were between seventy and eighty years of age, or a sixth part of the 426 of whom the House, including the bishops, consists. Eleven of these were noticed as octogenarians, or still older. These eleven peers were thus represented:— Lord Wodehouse .......... 93 Lord Lynedoch. . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Lord Stowell . . . . . . . . . . 89 Lord Eldon . . . . Lord Scarsdale .... Lord Carrington .......... To these might have been added the Bishop of Norwich, the Earl of Egremont, and Lord Rolle, the two former of whom have paid the debt of nature: the last is still living.
Lord St. Helens . Earl Fortescue .. Earl of Ranfurley Earl Powis . . . . Lord Middleton.