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do't and carry double.” “I ken my ain business best," says Dykes. “ If ye gar me gie ye a look, 'twill gie ye the creepin's while ye live; so git ye doun, Tom;" and with that the dobby lifts its neaf, and Tom saw there was a red light round horse and man, like the glow of a peat fire. And says Tom, “In the name o God, ye'll let me pass;" and with the word the gooast draws itsel doun, all a-creaked, like a man wi' a sudden pain; and Tom Ettles took to his heels more deed than alive.'
They had approached their heads, and the story had sunk to that mysterious murmur that thrills the listener, when in the brief silence that followed they heard a low odd laugh near the door.
In that direction each lady looked aghast, and saw Feltram sitting straight up in the bed, with the white bandage in his hand, and as it seemed, for one foot was below the coverlet, near the floor, about to glide forth.
Mrs. Bligh, uttering a hideous shriek, clutched Mrs. Wale, and Mrs. Wale, with a scream as dreadful, gripped Mrs. Bligh ; and quite forgetting their somewhat formal politeness, they reeled and tugged, wrestling towards the window, each struggling to place her companion between her and the dobby,' and both uniting in a direful peal of yells.
This was the uproar which had startled Sir Bale from his dream, and was now startling the servants from theirs.
THE KNIGHTS TEMPLARS
HAVING already introduced my readers to some points of hidden interest connected with the bygone history of the buildings and streets that surround us at every turn as we walk from Whitehall to Somerset House, I would ask them to stroll with me a little farther eastward, and to call back again into life the old forms that once inhabited the institutions and monasteries of ancient London, the old deeds that have lent such a halo to their memory, and the old associations that still linger around the buried ruins of their once lordly and proud palaces.
The number of names that even now remain to remind us of these once - famous fraternities will astonish most of our readers. The Temple, Whitefriars, Blackfriars, Charterhouse, St. Katherine's, Greyfriars (now Christ's Hospital), St. Bartholomew's, Austin Friars, Covent Garden (properly Convent Garden), and many others, were all of them in ages gone by religious foundations, whose mighty influence and widespread power have affected to no little extent the history of our country. Besides these, there are the City guilds, as numerous and some of them as old as the brotherhoods we have already alluded to. The Goldsmiths, incorporated in 1327; the Mercers, the first of the twelve great City companies; the Merchant Tailors, founded 1466; the Fishmongers, established by Edward III.; the Salters, the Skinners, the Vintners, the Clothworkers, the last of the twelve great companies; and many others whose history is now but little known and still less cared for, but which have nevertheless had much to do with the liberty and prosperity we at present enjoy.
It is not now my intention to dwell upon the antecedents of each individual fraternity, but simply to recall the important incidents in the history of one of the greatest of their number, the Order of Knights Templars, whose origin is almost coeval with the Conquest. But before we enter the ancient abode of the Knights Templars, let us consider for a moment the past history of the gateway that bears their name—Temple Bar. Built in the
Built in the year 1670 by Sir Christopher Wren, in the place of a wooden structure that formerly stood here, it possesses reminiscences worthy of recollection, although comparatively of recent date. Here, on those rare occasions when royalty visits the City, the gates are closed in order that a curious and old custom may be performed with becoming dignity. The royal procession having arrived at the gate, the entrance to the civic domain, the herald sounds a trumpet, and knocks thrice
the closed doors, which are immediately thrown open, and the Lord Mayor for the time being makes over his sword of state to the royal sovereign, who is graciously pleased to return it. Such is the custom even to the present day, and such it has been for many centuries. When the Spanish Armada was driven from our shores, and good Queen Bess proceeded to St. Paul's to give thanks for so great a deliverance, the same ceremony was enacted. And Cromwell, some years later, when he and his Parliament dined in the City in state, allowed the old custom to be carried out, with this difference—the sword was delivered up to the speaker instead of to the king. Queen Anne, after Marlborough had humbled France at Oudenarde, Blenheim, Malplaquet, and Ramillies, went through the same ceremony, when she too went to return thanks at St. Paul's.
In the dirt-begrimed niches, two on either side of the archway, are statues representing Queen Elizabeth, James I., Charles I., and Charles II. And on the gate above, in more recent times, were put up ornaments of another description. Here, for the edification of his majesty's liege subjects, the mangled remains of Thomas Armstrong, one of the Rye-house-plot conspirators, were displayed. And here, too, might be seen, a little later, dangling in the wind, the quarters of Sir John Friend and Sir William Perkins, who attempted the life of William III. The last mementos of this kind appeared in the year 1745, when the heads of several of the unfortunate followers of the so-called Pretender were placed upon the Bar, a grim and unedifying spectacle one would fancy for businessmen. But people in those days thought otherwise ; for Walpole, in a letter to Montague, says, “I have been this morning to the Tower and passed under the new heads at Temple Bar, where people make a trade of letting spying-glasses at a halfpenny a look.' It was here too that old Johnson, a true Jacobite at heart, stood with Goldsmith, and, pointing to the heads that still disfigured the gateway, exclaimed with some hidden humour, Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis !!'
And now we are standing within the precincts of the Temple, the site where stood, so many years ago, the Preceptory of the Knights Templars. How different the association that attaches to the word • Templar' in the present day to that left on our minds when we contemplate the history and derivation of the name! Now, when we read of the Temple or speak of the Templars, we picture to ourselves leading counsel learned in the law, with fusty wigs and silk gowns, eating their dinners in the old hall, or browbeating witnesses at Guildhall or Westminster, and briefless barristers sitting in dirt-begrimed chambers, waiting with anxious ear for the knock of their first client. Such is the Templar of the nineteenth century. But the Templars of history, the Templars of former days, who appear to us dim and indistinct through the mists of centuries, are
mighty heroes who cleaved their way through Turkish legions and infidel hordes in defence of a beloved and consecrated prize, the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem ; men who sacrificed everything, even life itself, to the one absorbing idea—the exaltation of the cross. The latter association, no doubt, is as much coloured by time as the former is made ridiculous by familiarity. But still it will be interesting to trace the history of the Temple through all its varied changes, and to place before our eyes in truth and verity the doings of that ancient order, that has by its exploits given such a romance to chivalry and shed such a halo of glory round the city of the great king. Centuries have passed since the founder of the order first realised his pious ideas and consecrated himself to an unknown and untried task. Centuries have passed of war and tumult, of social change and political convulsion, yet the name of Knight Templar is still familiar to our ears, the memory of Ascalon and Acre is still living and green. Time, the destroyer of most things, has failed to obliterate from our minds the mighty deeds of these once pious and self-denying soldiers of the Church. Would that she could obliterate altogether from the pages of history the ignominious fall and cruel end of their less worthy descendants.
We have two different accounts of the foundation of this order. According to one it was founded by Baldwin II., king of Jerusalem, with the concurrence of Pope Paschal II., in the year 1117. According to the other, the fraternity was instituted by two crusaders, Hugh de Paganis and Godfrey de St. Omer. Whichever account is the true one, and no doubt both may lay claim to some portion of truth, it is certain that at first the brotherhood consisted of only seven members, although afterwards it swelled into a mighty band, that included within its circle the first nobility and the bravest warriors in Christendom. The origin of the name Templar is explained to us by an heraldic manuscript now extant in the British Museum. It says they were called Templars .for that they were placed in a house adjourning or near to the Temple of Jerusalem by vow and profession to bear and wage war against the pagans and infidels, and keep from spoil and profanation the sacred sepulchre of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' They appear to have been lodged within the enclosure of the Temple on Mount Moriah, amidst that magnificent assemblage of buildings partly erected by the Christian emperor Justinian in the sixth century, and partly by the Mussulman caliph Omar in the seventh. They began their career in all humility and self-denial, calling themselves 'poor fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ;' subsisting on alms, and allowing themselves only one horse between two knights. How little these poor soldiers of the cross imagined when living thus in such humility that in after years their descendants would ruffle it amongst the proudest and gayest in all the courts of Europe, and become possessors of 16,000 manors !
Three great objects the founders had in view when they first called together their small band of followers. They were to protect the pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, to entertain them and defend them when there, and to shield the sepulchre of Christ from all violation. In order to retain such valuable allies, King Baldwin granted them many privileges, and allotted them land for their maintenance.
For a certain time they appear to have been restricted as to their number, but at the Council of Troyes this restriction was taken off. By this council, which was held in the year 1228, the order was confirmed, and was subjected to the discipline drawn up by St. Bernard, and a white habit was assigned them by Pope Honorius II. From this time their wealth, power, and influence began to increase and grow rapidly. Pope Eugenius III. allowed them the privilege of wearing red crosses on their cloaks as a mark of distinction. Spenser's Red-cross Knight, in his Faerie Queene, was evidently intended as a representation of a Knight Templar :
*And on his breast a bloodie cross he bore,
But of his cheere did seem too solemne sad,
Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.' They not only increased their numbers from units to hundreds at Jerusalem, but branches of their confraternity settled and spread all over Christendom.
A century before this, in 1118, the order first settled in London, not here where we are now standing on the banks of the Thames, but near Oldbourne as it was then called, our present Holborn, on the site of the present Southampton Buildings. Here, more than a century ago, when the ground was dug up, were discovered the remains of the original Temple Church, built in a circular form like the church the knights reared afterwards on their new site, and which still remains as the entrance chapel to the present Temple Church. Ten years after their settlement in London, Hugh de Paganis, the founder of the order, visited England with four fellow knights, in order to recruit his small band of followers, and to create throughout Christendom an interest in his new society. He returned to Jerusalem with three hundred companions who had devoted themselves to the defence of the cross. Before he left this country he placed a Templar, designated the Prior of the Temple, at the head of the order in London, with supreme power over all the preceptories throughout the kingdom. From this time for half-a-century onward, the Knights of the Temple nobly carried out the glorious purpose