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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 17, NO. 479.] SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 1831. [PRICE 2d.



* * * * *




[Illustration: ANCIENT PALACE OF HOLYROOD, AT EDINBURGH.]




ANCIENT PALACE OF HOLYROOD, AT EDINBURGH.


Here is another of the resting-places of fallen royalty; and a happy
haven has it proved to many a crowned head; a retreat where the plain
reproof of flattery -

How can you say to me, - I am a king?

would sound with melancholy sadness and truth.

The reader of "the age and body of the time" need not be told that the
tenancy of Holyrood by the Ex-King of France has suggested its present
introduction, although the Engraving represents the Palace about the
year 1640. The structure, in connexion with the Chapel,[1] is thus
described in Chambers's _Picture of Scotland_, vol. ii. p. 61.

The Chapel and Palace of Holyrood are situated at the extremity of the
suburb called the Cannongate. The ordinary phrase "the Abbey," still
popularly applied to both buildings, indicates that the former is the
more ancient of the two. Like so many other religious establishments,
it owns David I. for its founder. Erected in the twelfth century, and
magnificently endowed by that monarch, it continued for about four
centuries to flourish as an abbey, and to be, at least during the
latter part of that time, the residence of the sovereign. In the year
1528, James V. added a palace to the conventual buildings. During the
subsequent reign of Mary, this was the principal seat of the court; and
so it continued in a great measure to be, till the departure of King
James VI. for England. Previously to this period, the Abbey and Palace
had suffered from fire, and they have since undergone such revolutions,
that, as in the celebrated case of Sir John Cutler's stockings, which,
in the course of darning, changed nearly their whole substance, it is
now scarcely possible to distinguish what is really ancient from the
modern additions.

As they at present stand, the Palace is a handsome edifice, built in
the form of a quadrangle, with a front flanked by double towers, while
the Abbey is reduced from its originally extensive dimensions to the
mere ruin of the chapel, one corner of which adjoins to a posterior
angle of the Palace. Of the palatial structure, the north-west towers
alone are old. The walls were certainly erected in the time of James V.
They contain the apartments in which Queen Mary resided, and where her
minion, Rizzio, fell a sacrifice to the revenge of her brutal husband.
A certain portion of the furniture is of the time, and a still smaller
portion is said to be the handiwork of that princess. The remaining
parts of the structure were erected in the time of Charles II. and have
at no time been occupied by any royal personages, other than the Duke of
York, Prince Charles Stuart, the Duke of Cumberland, the King of France,
(in 1795-9,) and King George IV. in 1822. In the northern side of the
quadrangle is a gallery one hundred and fifty feet in length, filled
with the portraits of nearly as many imaginary Scottish kings. The south
side contains a suite of state apartments, fitted up for the use of the
last-mentioned monarch. These various departments of the Palace, as well
as the Chapel, are shown to strangers, for a gratuity, by the servants
of the Duke of Hamilton, who is hereditary keeper of the Palace. It may
be mentioned, before dismissing this subject, that the precincts of
these interesting edifices were formerly a sanctuary of criminals, and
can yet afford refuge to insolvent debtors.

From the time of the departure of George the Fourth from Edinburgh, in
1822, Holyrood Palace remained without any distinguished inhabitant
until last year, when Charles the Tenth, and his suite, took up their
abode within its walls. In the same year too, died George IV.

[1] A view of the Chapel, from the Diorama, in the Regent's Park,
with ample descriptive details, will be found in vol. v. of
_The Mirror._


* * * * *


THE LAST SOUNDS OF BATTLE.

(For the _Mirror_.)


Hark! on yonder blood-trod hill,
The sound of battle lingers still, -
But faint it comes, for every blow
Is feebled with the touch of woe:
Their limbs are weary, and forget
They stand upon the battle plain, -
But still their spirit flashes yet,
And dimly lights their souls again!
Like revellers, flush'd with dead'ning wine,
Measuring the dance with sluggish tread,
Their spirits for an instant shine,
Ashamed to show their pow'r hath fled.
Bat hark! e'en that faint sound hath died,
And sad and solemn up the vale
The silence steals, and far and wide
It tells of death the dreadful tale.


J.M.W.

* * * * *




RETROSPECTIVE GLEANINGS.

* * * * *


ANCIENT TOPOGRAPHY OF HOLBORN.

(For the _Mirror_.)


The name of Holborn is derived from an ancient village, built upon the
bank of the rivulet, or _bourne_, of the same name. - Stowe says,
"_Oldborne_, or _Hilborne_, was the water, breaking out about
the place where now the Barres doe stand; and it ranne downe the whole
street to _Oldborne Bridge_, and into the river of the _Wels_,
or _Turne-mill Brooke_. This _Boorne_ was long since stopped
up at the head, and other places, where the same hath broken out; but
yet till this day, the said street is there called high, _Oldborne_
hill, and both sides thereof, (together with all the grounds adjoining,
that lye betwixt it and the River of Thames,) remaine full of springs,
so that water is there found at hand, and hard to be stopped in every
house."

"Oldborne Conduit, which stood by Oldborne Crosse, was first builded
1498. Thomasin, widow to John Percival, maior, gave to the second making
thereof twenty markes; Richard Shore, ten pounds; Thomas Knesworth, and
others also, did give towards it. - But of late, a new conduit was there
builded, in place of the old, namely, in the yeere 1577; by William
Lambe, sometime a gentleman of the chappell to King Henry the Eighth,
and afterwards a citizen and clothworker of London, which amounted to
the sum of 1,500_l_.

"Scroops' Inne,[2] sometime Sergeant's Inne, was situate against the
church of St. Andrew, in Oldborne, in the city of London, with two
gardens.

"On the High-streete of Oldborne (says Stowe) have ye many fair houses
builded, and lodgings for gentlemen, innes for travellers, and such
like, up almost (for it lacketh but little) to St. Giles's in the
Fields."

Gerard, the famous herbalist, lived in Holborn, and had there a large
botanic garden. Holborn was then in the outskirts of the town on that
side. Richard the Third asked the Bishop of Ely to send for some of the
good strawberries which he heard the bishop had in his garden in
Holborn.

"In 1417, Lower Holborn (says Brayley) one of the great inlets to the
city, was first paved, it being then described as a highway, so deep and
miry, that many perils and hazards were thereby occasioned; and the
King, at his own expense, is recorded to have employed two vessels,
each of twenty tons burthen, for bringing stones for that purpose.

"In 1534 an act was passed for paving with stone the street between
Holborn Bridge and Holborn Bars, at the west end thereof, and also the
streets of Southwark; and every person was made liable to maintain the
pavement before his door, under the forfeiture of sixpence to the king
for every square yard."

On the south side of Holborn Hill was St. Andrew's Church, of
considerable antiquity; but rebuilt in a plain, neat manner. Here was
buried Thomas Wriothesley, lord chancellor in the latter part of the
life of Henry the Eighth: a fiery zealot, who (says Pennant) not content
with seeing the amiable Anne Askew put to the torture, for no other
crime than difference of faith, flung off his gown, degraded the
chancellor into the bureau, and with his own hands gave force to the
rack.

"Furnival's Inn was one of the hosteries belonging to Lincoln's Inn, in
old times the town abode of the Lords of Furnivals.

"Thaive's Inn was another, old as the time of Edward the Third. It took
its name from John Tavye.

"Staples Inn; so called from its having been a staple in which the
wool-merchants were used to assemble.

"Barnard's Inn, originally Mackworth's Inn, having been given by the
executors of John Mackworth, dean of Lincoln, to the dean and chapter of
Lincoln, on condition that they should find a pious priest to perform
divine service in the cathedral of Lincoln - in which John Mackworth lies
interred.

"Hatton Garden was the town house and gardens of the Lord Hatton, founded
by Sir Christopher Hatton, lord-keeper in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
The place he built his house on was the orchard and garden belonging to
Ely House.

"Brook House was the residence of Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke.

"Southampton Buildings, built on the site of Southampton House, the
mansion of the Wriothesleys, earls of Southampton. When Lord Russel
passed by this house, on his way to execution, he felt a momentary
bitterness of death, in recollecting the happy moments of the place. He
looked (says Pennant) towards Southampton House, the tear started into
his eye, but he instantly wiped it away.

"Gray's Inn is a place of great antiquity: it was originally the
residence of the Lord Grays, from the year 1315, when John, the son of
Reginold de Grey, resided here, till the latter end of the reign of Henry
the Seventh, when it was sold, by Edmund Lord Grey, of Wilton, to Hugh
Dennys, Esq., by the name of Portpole; and in eight years afterwards it
was disposed of to the prior and convent of Shene, who again, disposed
of it to the students of the law; not but that they were seated here
much earlier, it appearing that they had leased a residence here from
the Lord Grays, as early as the reign of Edward the Third. Chancery Lane
gapes on the opposite side, to receive the numberless _malheureuses_
who plunge unwarily on the rocks and shelves with which it abounds."

P.T.W.

[2] From Lord Scroops, of Bolton.


* * * * *


ANCIENT SLAVERY IN ENGLAND.

(For the _Mirror_.)

"O Freedom! first delight of human kind."

DRYDEN.


Sharon Turner, in his interesting "History of the Anglo-Saxons," says,
"It was then (during the reign of Pope Gregory I.) the practice of
Europe to make use of slaves, and to buy and sell them; and this traffic
was carried on, even in the western capital of the Christian Church.
Passing through the market at Rome, the white skins, the flowing locks,
and beautiful countenances of some youths who were standing there for
sale, interested Gregory's sensibility. To his inquiries from what
country they had been brought, the answer was, from Britain, whose
inhabitants were all of that fair complexion. Were they Pagans or
Christians? was his next question: a proof not only of his ignorance of
the state of England, but also, that up to that time it had occupied no
part of his attention; but thus brought as it were to a personal
knowledge of it by these few representatives of its inhabitants, he
exclaimed, on hearing that they were still idolaters, with a deep sigh,
'What a pity that such a beauteous frontispiece should possess a mind so
void of internal grace.' The name of their nation being mentioned to be
Angles, his ear caught the verbal coincidence - the benevolent wish for
their improvement darted into his mind, and he expressed his own
feelings, and excited those of his auditors, by remarking - 'It suits
them well: they have angel faces, and ought to be the co-heirs of the
angels in heaven.'

"The different classes of society among the Anglo-Saxons were such as
belonged to birth, office, or property, and such as were occupied by
a freeman, a freedman, or one of the servile description. It is to be
lamented in the review of these different classes, that a large proportion
of the Anglo-Saxon population was in a state of abject slavery: they
were bought and sold with land, and were conveyed in the grants of it
promiscuously with the cattle and other property upon it; and in the
Anglo-Saxon wills, these wretched beings were given away precisely as
we now dispose of our plate, our furniture, or our money. At length the
custom of manumission, and the diffusion of Christianity, ameliorated
the condition of the Anglo-Saxon slaves. Sometimes individuals, from
benevolence, gave their slaves their freedom - sometimes piety procured
a manumission. But the most interesting kind of emancipation appears in
those writings which announce to us, that the slaves had purchased their
own liberty, or that of their family. The Anglo-Saxon laws recognised
the liberation of slaves, and placed them under legal protection. The
liberal feelings of our ancestors to their enslaved domestics are not
only evidenced in the frequent manumissions, but also in the generous
gifts which they appear to have made them. The grants of lands from
masters to their servants were very common; gilds, or social
confederations, were established. The tradesmen of the Anglo-Saxons
were, for the most part, men in a servile state; but, by degrees, the
manumission of slaves increased the number of the independent part of
the lower orders."

When the statute 1st. Edward VI. c. 3. was made, which ordained, that
all idle vagabonds should be made _slaves_, and fed upon bread,
water or small drink, and refuse of meat; should wear a ring round their
necks, arms, or legs; and should be compelled, by beating, chaining, or
otherwise, to perform the work assigned them, were it ever so vile; - the
spirit of the nation could not brook this condition, even in the most
abandoned rogues; and therefore this statute was repealed in two years
afterwards, 3rd and 4th of Edward VI. c. 16.

P.T.W.

* * * * *


FINSBURY.

(For the _Mirror_.)


Fitzstephen, in his Description of London, 1282, gives the following
account of skating in Moor, or Finsbury Fields, which may afford
amusement to the inquisitive reader: -

"When that vast lake which waters the walls of the city towards the north
is hard frozen, the youths, in great numbers, go to divert themselves on
the ice - some, taking a small run for an increment of velocity, place
their feet at a proper distance, and are carried sideways a great
way; others will make a large cake of ice, and seating one of their
companions upon it, they take hold of one's hands, and draw him along,
when it happens that moving swiftly on so slippery a plane, they all
fall headlong; others there are who are still more expert in these
amusements on the ice - they place certain bones (the leg-bones of
animals) under the soles of their feet, by tying them round their
ankles, and then taking a pole, shod with iron, with their hands they
push themselves forward by striking it against the ice, and are carried
on with a velocity equal to the flight of a bird, or a bolt discharged
from a cross-bow."

This tract affords the earliest description of London; and Dr. Pegge, in
his preface to said Description, says, "I conceive we may challenge any
nation in Europe to produce an account of its capital, or any other of
its great cities, at so remote a period as the 12th century."

J.R.

* * * * *




THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.

* * * * *


MOUNT ST. MICHAEL.


No. 65 of _Constable's Miscellany_, just published, consists of
_A Journal of a Residence in Normandy_, by J.A. St. John, Esq. This
volume falls in opportunely enough for the further description of Mount
St. Michael, engraved in No. 477 of _The Mirror_.


Breakfasting in haste, I procured a horse and a guide, and set out for
the mount, no less celebrated for its historical importance, than for
the peculiarity of its position. As soon as I had emerged from the
streets of Avranches, I saw before me a vast bay, now entirely deserted
by the tide, and consisting partly of sand, partly of slime, intersected
by the waters of several rivers, and covered, during spring tides, at
high water. - Two promontories, the one bluff and rocky, the other sandy
and low, project, one on either hand, into the sea; and in the open
space between these two points are two small islands, from around which
the sea ebbs at low water: one of them is a desert rock, called the
Tombelaine, and the other the Mont St. Michel.[3] The space thus covered
and deserted alternately by the sea is about eight square leagues, and
is here called the Grève.

The Mont St. Michel, which is about the same height as the Great Pyramid
of Egypt, and now stood, as that does, upon a vast plain of sand, which
is here, however, skirted in its whole length by the sea, has a very
striking and extraordinary aspect. It appeared, as the water was so
close behind it, to rise out of the sea, upon the intense and dazzling
blue of which its grey rocks and towers were relieved in a sharp and
startling manner; and, as I descended lower and lower on the hill-side,
and drew near the beach, its pinnacles seemed to increase in height, and
the picturesque effect was improved.

At length I emerged from the shady road upon the naked beach, and saw
the ferry-boat and the Charon that were to convey me and my charger over
the first river. My Avranches guide here quitted me; but I had been told
that the ferryman himself usually supplied his place in piloting
strangers across the quicksands, which, owing to the shifting of the
course of the rivers, are in constant change, and of the most dangerous
character. Horses and their riders, venturing to select their own path
over the sands, have been swallowed up together, and vessels, stranded
here in a tempest, have in a short time sunk and disappeared entirely.
The depth of what may perhaps be termed the unsolid soil, is hitherto
unknown, though various attempts have been made to ascertain it. In one
instance, a small mast, forty feet high, was fixed up in the sands, with
a piece of granite of considerable weight upon the top of it; but mast,
granite, and all, rapidly disappeared, leaving no trace behind. It is
across several leagues of a beach of this nature that one has to
approach the Mont St. Michel.

The scene which now presented itself was singular and beautiful. On the
right the land, running out boldly into the sea, offered, with its rich
verdure, a striking contrast to the pale yellow sands beneath. In front,
the sea, blue, calm, waveless, and studded in the distance with a few
white sails, glittering in the sun, ran in a straight line along the
yellow plain, which was, moreover, intersected in various directions by
numerous small rivers, whose shining waters looked like molten silver.
To add to the effect of the landscape, silence the most absolute brooded
over it, except when the scream of a seamew, wheeling about drowsily in
the sunny air, broke upon the ear. The mount itself, with its ancient
monastic towers, rearing their grey pinnacles towards heaven, in the
midst of stillness and solitude, appeared to be formed by nature to be
the abode of peace, and a soft and religious melancholy.

For some time I rode on musing, gazing delightedly at the scene, and
recalling to mind the historical events which had taken place on those
shores, and rendered them famous. The cannon of England had thundered on
every side, and her banners had waved triumphantly from the towers
before me. My reflections, however, were soon called off from these
towering topics, being interrupted by the loud laugh of a party of
soldiers and wagoners, who were regaling themselves with fresh air at
the gate of the fortress.

Dismounting here, I entered the small town which clusters round the foot
of the mount within the wall; and whatever romance might have taken
lodging in my imagination, was quickly put to flight by the stink, and
filth, and misery, which forced themselves upon my attention. I never
beheld a more odious den. Leaving my horse and guide at a cabaret, I
ascended the only street in the place, which winding about the foot of
the mountain, leads directly to the castle. Toiling up this abominable
street, and several long and very steep flights of steps, I at length
reached the door, where, having rung, and waited for some time, I was
admitted by a saucy gendarme, who demanded my business and my passport
in the most insolent tone imaginable. I delivered up my passport; and
while the rascal went to show it to the man in office - governor,
sub-governor, or some creature of that sort - had to stand in the dismal
passage, among a score or two of soldiers. In general, however, French
soldiers are remarkably polite, and these, with the exception of the
above individual, were so also. Even he, when he returned, had changed
his tone; for, having learned from his superior that I was an
Englishman, he came, with cap in hand, to conduct me round the building.

The first apartment, after the chapel, which is small, and by no means
striking, into which I was led, was the ancient refectory, where there
were some hundreds of criminals, condemned for several years to close
imprisonment, or the galleys, weaving calico. I never in my life saw so
many demoniacal faces together.

The apartment in which these miscreants were assembled, was a hall about
one hundred feet long, by thirty-five or forty in breadth, and was adorned
with two rows of massy, antique pillars, resembling those which we find
in Gothic churches. From hence we proceeded to the subterranean chapel,
where are seen those prodigious columns upon which the weight of the
whole building reposes. The scanty light, which glimmers among these
enormous shafts, is just sufficient to discover their magnitude to the
eye, and to enable one to find his way among them. Having crossed this
chapel, we entered the quadrangular court, around which the cloisters,
supported by small, graceful pillars, of the most delicate workmanship,
extend. Here the monks used to walk in bad weather, contriving the next
day's dinner, or imagining excuses for detaining some of the many pretty
female pilgrims who resorted, under various pretences, to this celebrated
monastery. At present, it affords shelter to the veterans and gendarmes
who keep guard over the prisoners below.

From various portions of the monastery, we obtain admirable views of sea
and shore; but the most superb coup-d'oeil is from a tall slender tower,
which shoots up above almost every other portion of the building. Hence
are seen the hills and coasts of Brittany, the sea, the sandy plain
stretching inland, with the rivers meandering through it, and the long
sweep of shore which encompasses the Grève, with Avranches, and its
groves and gardens, in the back ground. Close at hand, and almost
beneath one's feet, as it were, is the barren rock called the
Tombelaine, which, though somewhat larger than the Mont St. Michel, is
not inhabited. Even this rock, however, was formerly fortified by the
English; and several remains of the old towers are still found among the
thorns and briers with which it is at present overrun. Several fanciful
derivations of the word Tombelaine are given by antiquaries, some
imagining it to have been formed of the words _Tumba Beleni_, or
_Tumba Helenae_; and in support of the latter etymology, the
following legend is told: - Helen, daughter of Hoël, King of Brittany,
was taken away, by fraud or violence, from her father's court, by a
certain Spaniard, who, having conducted her to this island, and
compelled her to submit to his desires, seems to have deserted her
there. The princess, overwhelmed with misfortune, pined away and died,
and was buried by her nurse, who had accompanied her from Brittany.

At the Mont St. Michel was preserved, until lately, the enormous wooden
cage in which state prisoners were sometimes confined under the old
regime.

The most unfortunate of the poor wretches who inhabited this cage was
Dubourg, a Dutch editor of a newspaper. This man having, in the exercise
of his duty, written something which offended the majesty of Louis XIV.,


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