Imágenes de páginas

obtained a prebend in the cathedral of Sarum, and other church preferment, and being a man of ready wit, was favoured by king James I., who made him one of his chaplains. In 1618, he took a journey to France, of which he wrote an amusing narrative. In 1627, his majesty gave him the deanery of Cbristchurch; in 1629, he was raised to the bishopric of Oxford, and in 1632, translated to that of Norwich. He died in 1635. The poems of bishop Corbet are lively and amusing compositions, such as might have been expected from a ma i of learning and genius, possessed of a superabundance of constitutional hilarity. The latter quality appears to have drawn him into some excesses, not altogether consistent with the gravity of his profession. After he was a doctor of divinity, being at a tavern in Abingdon, a ballad-singer came into the house, complaining that he could not dispose of his stock; the doctor, in a frolic, took off his gown, and assuming the ballad-singer's leather jacket, went out into the street, and drew around him a crowd of admiring purchasers. Perhaps he thought he could divest himself of his sacerdotal character with his habit; for it seems he shut himself up in his well-stored cellar, with his chaplain, Dr. Lushington, and taking off his gown, exclaimed:" There goes the doctor;" then throwing down bis episcopal hood, " there goes the bishop''—after which the night was devoted to Bacchus. Riding out one day with a Dr. Stubbins, who was extremely fat, the coach was overturned, and both fell into a ditch. The bishop, in giving an account of the accident, observed, that Dr. Stubbins was up to the elbows in mud, and he was up to the elbows in Stubbins. Bishop Corbet was not distinguished as a divine; his sentiments however were liberal, and he inclined to the Arminian party, which then began to prevail in the church of England.*

In the bishop's lines "to his son on his birth-day," there is something of the feeling in the wise man's supplication, " Give me neither poverty nor riches."

Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 43 . 72.

retained in the church of England calendar and almanacs, are related under the day in last year's volume.

i^obember 11.

St. Martin. The customs of this festival, which is

* Gtncral Biographical Dictionary, '*-'". vol. I.

Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 44 ' 40.

$,ob*mb*r 12.

Admiral Vernon's Birth-dat. To the mention of the pageant " a Chancery-lane end," in honour of admira*. Vernon on this day, in the year 1740,* may be added some ingenious verses commemorative of Vernon's exploits. They were written in the same year by John Price, a land-waiter in the port of Poole, and are preserved in Mr. Raw's "Suffolk Garland," with the following introduction :—

Admiral Vernon's Answer To AdMiral Hosier's Ghost.

In Dr. Percy's " Reliques of Ancient Poetry," vol. ii. p. 376. is an admirable ballad, intituled "Hosier's Ghost," being an address to admiral Vernon, in PortoBello harbour, by Mr. Glover, the author of Leonidas. The case of Hosier was briefly this:—

In April, 1726, he was sent with a strong fleet to the Spanish West Indies, to block up the galleons in the ports of that country; but being restricted by his orders from obeying the dictates of his courage, he lay inactive on that station, until he became the jest of the Spaniards. He afterwards removed to Carthagena, and continued cruizing in those seas, till fai the greater part of his crews perished by the diseases of that unhealthy climate. This brave man, seeing his officers and men thus daily swept away, his ships exposed to inevitable destruction, and himself made the sport of the enemy, is said to have died of a broken heart. The ballad concludes—

'* O'er these wives, for ever mourning,
Shall we roam, depriv'd of rest,
If to Britain's shores returning,
You neglect my just request:

After this proud foe subduing,

When your patriot friends you see,

Think on vengeance for my ruin,
And for Englaud—sham'd in me."

In 1739, vice-admiral Vernon was appointed commander-in-chief of a squadron

> In vol. i. col. \Ct.

then fitting out for destroying the settlements of the Spaniards in the West Indies; and, weighing anchor from Spithead on the 23d of July, arrived in sight of PortoBello, with six ships only, under his command, on the 20th of November following. The next day he commenced the attack of that town; when, after a most furious engagement on both sides, it was taken on the 22d, together with a considerable number of cannon, mortars, and ammunition, and also two Spanish ships of war. He then blew up the fortifications, and evacuated the place for want of land forces sufficient to retain it; but first distributed ten thousand dollars, which had been sent to Porto-Bello for paying the Spanish troops, among the forces for their bravery. The two houses of parliament joined in an address of congratulation upon this success of his majesty's arms; and the nation, in general, was wonderfully elated by an exploit, which was certainly magnified much above its intrinsic merit.

Hosier! with indignant sorrow,

I have heard thy mournful tale
And, if licav'u permit, to-morrow

Hence our warlike fleet shall sail.
O'er those hostile waves, wide roaming,

We will urge our bold design,
With the blood of thousands foaming,

For our country's wrongs and thine.

On that day, wheu each brave fellow,

Who now triumphs here with me,
Storm'd and plunder'd Porto-Bello,

All my thoughts were full of thee.
Thy disast'rous fate alarm'd me;

Fierce thy image glar'd on high,
And with gen'rous ardour warm'd me,

To revenge thy fall, or die.

From their lofty ships descending,

Thro' the flood, in firm array,
To the destin'd city bending.

My lov'd sailors work'd their way.
Strait the foe, with horror trembling,

Quits in haste his batter'd walls;
And in accents, unassembling,

As he flies, for mercy calls.

Carthagena, tow'ring wonder 1

At the daring deed dismay'd,
Shall ere long by Britain's thunder,

Smoking in the dust be laid.
Thou, and these pale spectres sweeping.

Restless, o'er this wat ry round,
Whose wan cheeks are stain'd with weeping,

Pleas'd shall listen to the sound.

Still remerab'ring thy sad story,

To thy injur'd ghost I swear,
By my hopes of future glory,

War shall be my coafant care:

And I ne'er will cease pursuing

Spain's proud sons from sea to sea.

With just vengeance for thy ruin,
And for England sham'd in thee.

As we are to-day on a naval topic, it seems fitting to introduce a popular usage among sailors, in the words of captain Edward Hall, R. N., who communicated the particulars to Dr. Forster, on the 30th of October, 1823.

Crossing The Line.

The following is an account of the custom of shaving at the tub by Neptune, as practised on board vessels crossing the Equator, Tropics, and Europa Point. The origin of it is supposed to be very ancient, and it is commonly followed on board foreign, as well as British ships. Europa Point at Gibraltar being one of the places, it may have arisen at the time when that was considered the western boundary of Terra Firma.

On the departure of a vessel from England by either of the aforesaid routes, much ingenuity is exerted by the old seamen and their confederates to discover the uninitiated, and it is seldom that any escape detection. A few days previous to arriving at the scene of action, much mystery and reserve is observed among the ship's company: they are then secretly collecting stale soapsuds, water, &c., arranging the dramatis persons, and preparing material. At this time, also, the novices, who are aware of what is going forward, send their forfeits to the captain of the forecastle, who acts as Neptune's deputy; the forfeit is either a bottle of rum, or a dollar: and I never knew it refused, except from a conk's mate who had acted negligently, and from a steward's mate who was inclined to trick the people when serving provisions.

On board of a man-of-war it is generally performed on a grand scale. I have witnessed it several times, but the best executed was on board a ship of the line of which I was lieutenant, bound to the West Indies. On crossing the Tropic, a voice, as if at a distance, and from the surface of the water, cried "Ho, the ship ahoy! 1 shall come on board:" this was from a person slung over the bows, near the water, speaking through his hands. Presently two men of large stature came over the bows; they had hideous masks on: one personated Neptune—he was nak^d

to his middle, crowned with the head of a huge wet swab, the ends of which reached to his loins to represent Bowing locks; a piece of tarpaulin, vandyked, encircled the head of the swab and his brows as a diadem; his right hand wielded a boarding, pike manufactured into a trident, and his body was marked with red ochre to represent fish scales: the other personated Amphitrite, having locks also formed of swabs, a petticoat of the same material, with a girdle of red bunten; and in her hands a comb and looking-glass. They were followed by about twenty fellows, also naked to their middle, with red ochre scales as Tritons. They were received on the forecastle with much respect by the old sailors, who had provided the carriage of an eighteen-pounder as a car, which their majesties ascended, and were drawn aft along the gangway to the quarter-deck by the Tritons; when Neptune, addressing the captain, said he was happy to see him again that way, that he believed there were some Johnny Raws on board that had not paid their dues, and who he intended to initiate into the salt water mysteries. The captain answered, he was happy to see him, but requested he would make no more confusion than was necessary. They then descended on the main deck, and were joined by all the old bands, and about twenty barbers, who submitted their razors, brushes, and suds to inspection; the first were made from old iron hoops jagged, the second from tar brushes, and the shaving suds from tar, grease, and something from the pigsty; they had also boxes of tropical pills procured from the sheep pen. Large tubs full of stale suds, with a movable

board across each, were ranged around mpumps and engine, and plenty of buck** filled with water. Thus prepared, they divided themselves into gangs of a doe. each, dashed off in different direction* and soon returned with their subject* the proceedings with each unlucky wiWn were as follows:—Being seated on a board across a tub of water, his eyes were quickly bandaged, his face lathered with the delightful composition; then a coupk of scrapes on each side of the chin, followed by a question asked, or some pretended compassionate inquiry made re get his mouth open, into which the barber either dashed the shaving-brush, or a pill which was the signal for slipping the board from under the poor devil, who was then left to flounder his way out ot the tub, and perhaps half drowned in attempling to recover his feet, by buckets of water being dashed over him from all quarters; being thus thoroughly drenched and initiated, I have often observed spirited fellows join their former persecutors in the remainder of their work. After an hour or two spent in this rough fun, which all seem to enjoy, Neptune disappears somewhere in the hold to unrobe the decks are washed and dried, and those that have undergone the shaving business, oil or grease their chins and whiskers to get rid of the tar. This custom does not accord with the usual discipline of a manof-war; but, as the old seamen look on it as their privilege, and it is only about an hour's relaxation, I have never heard of any captain refusing them his permission. £rH ,

* Perennial Calendar.

A Sea-piece—In Three Sonuets
SceneBridlington Quay.
At night-fall, walking on the cliff-crowned shore
When sea and sky were in each other lost,
Dark ships were scudding through the wild uproar,
Whosewrecks ere morn must strew the dreary coast;
I mark'd one well-moor'd vessel tempest-tost;
Ssils reefd, helm lash'd, a dreadful siege she bore,
He decks by billow after billow cross'd,
Whi e every moment she might be no more,
Yet firmly anchor'd on the nether sand,
Like a chain'd lion ramping at his foes,
Forward and rearward still she plunged and rose
Till broke her cable;—then she fled to land,
With all the waves in chase, throes following throw •
Sh- shaped,-she struck,—she struck upon the sand.

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The morn was beautiful, the storm gone by;
Three days had pass'd; I saw the peaceful main,
One molten mirror, one illumined plane,
Clear as the blue, sublime, o'er-arching sky.
On shore that lonely vessel caught mine eye;
Her bow was sea-ward, all equipt her train,
Yet to the sun she spread her wings in vain,
Like a maim'd eagle, impotent to fly,
There fix'd as if for ever to abide:
Far down the beach had roll'd the low neap-tide,
Whose mingling murmur faintly lull'd the ear,
"Is this," methought, " is this the doom of pride,
Check'd in the outset of thy proud career,
Ingloriously to rot by piecemeal here'"

Spring-tides return'd, and fortune smiled; the bay
Received the rushing ocean to its breast;
While waves on waves innumerable press,
Seem'd, with the prancing of their proud array,
Sea-horses, flash'u with foam, and sporting spray:
Their power and thunder broke that vessel's rest;
Slowly, with new-expanding life possest,
To her own element she glid away;
There, buoyant, bounding like the polar whale,
That takes his pastime, every joyful sail
Was to the freedom of the world unfurl'd,
While right and left the parting surges curl'd.
—Go, gallant bark, with such a tide and gale,
111 pledge thee to a voyage round the world!


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The "Bridewell Boys," And Bar-

On the 13th of November, 1755, at a
court of the governors of Bridewell hos-
pital, a memorable report was made from
the committee, who inquired into the
behaviour of the boys at Bartholomew and
Southwark fairs, when some of them
were severely corrected and continued,
and others, after their punishment, were
ordered to be stripped of the hospital
clothing and discharged.*

The " bridewell-boys" were, within recollection, a body of youths distinguished by a particular dress, and turbulence of manners. They infested the streets to the terror of the peaceable, and being

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allowed the privilege of going to tires, did more mischief by their audacity and perverseness, than they did good by working the Bridewell engine. These disorders occasioned them to be deprived of their distinguishing costume, and put under proper arts'-masters, with ability to teach them useful trades, and authority to controul and regulate their conduct. The bridewell boys at this time are never heard of in any commotion, and may now, therefore, be regarded as peaceable and industrious lads.

Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 42 - 85

^.oimnber 14.

A Trifling Mistake.

The " Carbonari," a political association in the Italian states, occasioned considerable disturbance to the continental governments, who interfered to supprcs* an order of persons that kept them in continual alarm: "His Holiness" especially desired their suppression

An article from Rome, dated the 14th of November, 1820, says, "Bishop Benvenuti, vice-legate at Macerata, having received orders from the holy father to lave all the Carbonari in that city arrested and sent to Rome, under a good escort, proceeded forthwith to execute the order. In consequence he had all the colliers by trade {Charbonniers de profeteion) which he could find within his reach —men, women, and children, arrested, and sent manacled to Rome, where they were closely imprisoned. The tribunal having at length proceeded to examine them, and being convinced that these Carbonari had been colliers ever since they were born, acquitted them, and sent them to their homes. Bishop Benvenuti was deprived of his employment."*


Mean Temperature ... 43 ' 25.

^obember 15.


To the Editor of the Every-Day Booh.

October 20, 1826.

Dear Sir,—In your last week's number of the Every-Day Booh, your correspondent *, *, P. gives a short account of Blackford, the backsword-player, and also mentions one of his descendants who signalized himself at the " Hungerford revel" about two years since. In the year 1820, I visited the latter revel; perhaps a description may be acceptable to you, and.amusing to your readers.

I think it may be generally allowed that Wiltshire, and the western counties, keep up their primitive customs more than any counties. This is greatly to the credit of the inhabitants; for these usages tend to promote cheerful intercourse and friendly feeling among the residents in the different villages, who on such, occasions assemble together In Wiltshire I have rematked various customs, particularly at Christmas, which I have never seen or heard of in any other place. If these customs were witnessed by a stranger, I am sure he must fancy the good old days of yore, where every sea

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son brought its particular custom, which was always strictly adhered to.

Wiltshire consists of beautiful and extensive downs, and rich meadow and pasture lands, which support some of the finest dairies and farms that can be met with in the kingdom. The natives are a very strong and hardy set of men, and are particularly fond of robust sports; thenchief and favourite amusement is backswording, or singlestick, for which they are as greatly celebrated as the inhabitants of the adjoining counties, Somersetshire and Gloucestershire.

At this gfame there are several rules observed. They play with a large round stick, which must be three feet long, with a basket prefixed to one end as a guard for the hand. The combatants throw off their hats and upper garments, with the exception of the shirt, and have the left hand tied to the side, so that they cannot defend themselves with that hand. They brandish the stick over the head, guarding off the adversary's blows, and striking him whenever an opportunity occurs. Great skill is often used in the defence. I have seen two men play for upwards of half an hour without once hitting each other. The blood must flow an inch from some part of the head, before either party is declared victor.

Blackford, the backsword player, was a butcher residing at Swindon; he died a few years ago. His "successor" is a blacksmith at Lyddington, named Morris Pope, who is considered the best player of the day, and generally carries off the prizes at the Hungerford revel, which he always attends. This revel is attended by all the best players in Wiltshire and Somersetshire, between whom the contest lies. To commence the fray, twenty very excellent players are selected from each county; the contest lasts a considerable time, and is always severe, but the Wiltshire men are generally conquerors. Their principal characteristics are skill, strength, and courage—this is generally allowed by all who are acquainted with them.

But Hungerford revel is not a scene of contention alone, it consists of all kinds of rustic sports, which afford capital fun to the spectators. They may be laid out thus—

1st. GirU running for " smocks,'' &c, which is a well-known amusement at country fairs.

2d. Climbing the greasy poll for a

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