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THE BARBER'S BOY OF CANTERBURY.
On the 7th October, 1762, a child was born in he had none of that precocious talent which proCanterbury. In the old city, on that day, proba- mises to render perseverance unnecessary, and bly more than one child may have been brought ends frequently with a promise unfulfilled. This into existence; but this birth occurred in the scholar appears to have been unusually dull, and barber's house, at the eorner of the street, opposite even to have cxcited some apprehension in his the western gate of the cathedral. The business teacher, that he would not honour her professional was carried on at that time by John Abbott, and labours. John Abbot, his father, felt the dignity although barbers were then in greater request of his calling, for he had the hair of some cathethan they are likely to be hereafter, if the beard. dral authorities in his keeping, and we had better cultivating propensity increases, we can yet believe remember that many of our worthy ancestors, at that care was, like industry, necessary to keep, in that period, paid more attention to their hair than this family, their earnings and expenditure together. to their heads. Ecclesiastical dignitaries were Their youngest boy grew up, as in every similar not even thoroughly weaned from the pride and case, without all the attention required by more vavities of the world, displayed in curls, and exfortunate children—yet a silver spoon was in his bibited in powder. The father feared, therefore, mouth from his infancy. He had been allowed, that his youngest son wanted talent for the trade; first to creep, and next to walk and wander round and would require some profession of less importthe cathedral, and through the precincts of his ance; where mind would not be so requisite as native city. Like other boys of his class he had muscle. Still
, he persevered in taking the boy learned to struggle with the world at a very early with him in his "morning rounds” to the houses period of his life. It is wonderful how one half of those customers who could pay for his visits ; of mankind ever get out of infancy; for although and thus some hope existed that the necessary one half perish before they clear its years, it is genius might be struck out of the dull lad, and he still wonderful by what means the half of those might evince that intelligence which in diverse children, who grow into men and women, ever forms had characterised the profession from those came to that stage. They are exposed to accidents times when it included partly the medical and the innumerable, and yet they acquire soon a tact in surgical sciences. The expectation does not appear avoiding them, that seems instinctive. They are to have been gratified, and a change occurred in clothed indifferently often ; and rain or sunshine the boy's prospects. makes very little change in their engagements. Henry VIII, was a bluff villain. No doubt ex. They go weary and wet to bed on rainy even- ists of that statement; and yet he did many good ings," and rise to be wet and weary as soon
deeds. Amongst others he founded the King's as possible the next morning. Their food is School in connection with the Canterbury Catheoften carelessly prepared, rather than insufficient dral. Charles Abbot was sent to that school. He of quantity; but a hundred years ago—and we are was indebted for his eminence in after life to the nearly a hundred years from the birth of this per- care and discrimination of Dr. Beauvoir, who was son-matters of that importont nature were man. then the teacher. That gentleman saw farther aged worse than at the present day. Their games into the mind of the dull and silent boy, than his are severe labour, and they go through in that father had penetrated. He encouraged the young way, during a week, an immense amount of work. lad by the means at the disposal of a clever They become sick, and they get convalescent teacher, and his pupil became soon known for his again, without much attention being given to their classical attainments. The school was celebrated maladies. A headache is nothing to them-nor at that period, and attended by the sons of the indeed
other illness, unless they are prostrated gentlemen around Canterbury. One of Charles by great danger. The number of deaths under Abbot's schoolfellows was Sir Egerton Brydges-five years of age is easily explained by those who of course, not a baronet at that time. Abbot was understand the position of three-fourths of the dux in the class, and Brydges second for several families composing our population. Many cir- years. The friendship which then commenced becumstances in their position might be improved — tween the boys, in circumstances so dissimilar, unand many sanatory and social reforms have oc- like many school friendshlps, continued to the curred in a century; but our barber's boy be close of their lives. When in his fourteenth year, longed to a struggling and worthy class-who young Abbot became a candidate for the appointstrive to make the best of everything—and to ment of a singing boy in the Cathedral. He would lea the world, if possible, and as respects their have been successful, from what Lord Campbell families, somewhat better than they found it. says, "for his father's popularity among the Charles Abbot was sent early to school. It was a members of the Chapter being so great; but dame's school ; but many of our first men in objections were made to him, from the huskiness mental strength have learned their letters at a of his voice," and another candidate was predame's school. The boy was a dull scholar--and ferred.
His fame and fortune were saved by a bad | the age of seventeen. He was then captain of the school, voice. At the time the defeat was felt severely and it was necessary that some course should be determined by the candidate. Even in years long subsequent upon by which he was to earn his bread. His father proto this disaster, he confessed the successful cho trade in which he had been instructed from his infancy, and rister was the only person he ever envied. The for which his capacity could do longer be questioned. This musical disaster did not prevent him from pursu not only horrified Dr. Beauvoir, but caused a shoek to the ing his classical stadies. He wrote Latin verses whole Chapter, and to all the more cultivated inhabitants of at that period of his life, which were circulated Canterbury, who had heard of the fame of their
young among the clergymen of the neighbourhood by be sent to the University. A sum sufficient for bis outfit was
townsman, and a general wish was entertained that he might Dr. Beauvoir, who believed fervently in the classi- immediately collected in a manner calculated to prevent his cal and imaginative genius of his favourite papil; feelings being hurt by hearing of the assistance thas renwho seems to have enjoyed the favour of his dered to him; and the trustees of his school unanimously teacher, partly from the difficulties which he was conferred upon him a small exhibition in their gift which
happened to be then vacant; but this was not sufficient for compelled to meet and to surmount.
his maintenance while he remained an undergraduate, and a The elder Abbot, after his son had reached his delicacy existed about the supply being raised by an annual seventeenth year, determined to make him a good subscription of individuals. For some days there was s barber and hairdresser. Genius sufficient to dress danger of a plan so creditable to Canterbury being entirely the wigs of the clergy and dignitaries of Canter- defeated, and the indenture binding the future Chief Justice bury, must have been elicited by the young man, and delivered, when the trustees of the school came to a
to the ignoble occupation of shaving being signed, sealed, whose Latin verses made quite a stir among the vote, that they had power to increase the exhibition from classical coteries of that, city; and whom Dr. the funds of the school and they did prospectively rise it Beauvoir was willing to match in the production for three years to a som which, with rigid economy, might of Latin poetry against any scholar at Westminster, enable the object of their bounty to keep soul and body Winchester, or Eton. The failure to gain a place by taking pupils, or some other expedient, it was hoped that
together till he should obtain his Bachelor's degree ; then, in the Cathedral choir had vexed the father who, he might be able to provide for himself. even after a life spent in a classical region, was The bounty of individnals was carefully concealed from unable to place scholarship against voice, and sup. him, but at a subsequent period of his life, when he had pose that the former was more valuable than the been placed as a Judge on the Bench, he showed he well latter. And, indeed, Mr. Abbot was right, or
knew the obligations under which he lay to the trustees. society is in our age wrong; for it would be attending a meeting of that body of which he had been
elected a member, among the Agenda there was " to con. difficult for the most learned man of our day to sider the application from an exhibitioner of the school, now make that out of his studies that may be produced at Oxford, for an increase to his allowance.” The secretary by a very good voice.
declared, that after a diligent search for precedents, only one Young Abbot's friends at the school, and those conld be found, which occurred many years before. That to whom his fame had reached, rescued him from mediately supplied the required sum from his own private
student was myself," said the learned Judge, and he im. the paternal business on which, with all the resig parse. nation of a dutiful son, he would have entered.
When it was anuounced to him that he was to be sent to Lord Campbell, in his lives of the Chief Justices the University he was much pleased, without being elated; of England, * describes this passage in his life, with for while he escaped the drudgery and degradation of more elegance than some others that were more
trade, not considered so equitable as that of a grocer, from interesting, except for the simple fact that this condition, he foresaw that there might be much mortifica
which Lord Eldon had shrunk when in a very destitate was his Rubicon, and Dr. Beauvoir, the tempter tion in store for him, and that although all knowledge was that bade him pass to honour and renown. We to be within his reach, he might ere long find it difficult to quote the passage from the volumes of the present provide for the day passing over him. He had likerise Chief Justice, but we may say that no dread of serious misgivings as to how he should appear as a gentle allusions to his origin, appears in any part of
man among gentlemen. Hitherto he had only been noticed
As the barber's son, and in the pressure of business on the Charles Abbot's life. He was above any dread of Saturday night, when he carried home any article to a that kind, and above eqnally the vulgar parade of customer, he was well pleased to receive by way of gratuity his own achievements. He had no reason to be a shilling, or even a smaller coin. Not entering as a ser. ashamed of his parentage, for his family were
vitor, he was now to sit at table, and to associate on a
footing of equality, with the sous of the prime nobility of creditable and deserving persons in that position England. While struggling forward in life he used to dread which they occupied. He had no great reason to any allusion to such topics, but in his latter days he reall fear the task of associating upon a footing of freely talk of his first journey from Canterbury to Oxford, oquality "with the sons of the prime nobility of and the suddenness of his transition into a new state of England.” He had done that for some time at
existance. He was, on this occasion, accompanied by a school , and he was now a young man, seventeen prebondary of the Cathedral
, who was a corpus man, and
who acted the part of a father to him. years of age, whose correspondence with Sir Edward Brydges, given on the following page,
At Oxford, Mr. Abbot succeeded at once in proves that they were then upon terms of the most obtaining a vacant scholarship. He was only intimate friendship :
second in a contest for the prize of the Latin Tho crisis of the young mau's sate occurred as he reached poetry---the point wherein he expected to have
achieved success. The failure did not, however, * Vol. III. London : Murray.
damp his ardour. He applied his mind zealously
to classical learning, and in 1785 he took his married not early in his actual but in his legal degree.
life, or twelvemonth before his call at the bar. During his collegiate career he increased his It is not easy to see how he succeeded with the means by fees as a private teacher, and he was lady, but we believe that he must have put the successful in this work, which was to himself question in verse, and enclosed the verses in an enextremely agreeable. In 1787 he became a velope. He managed differently with the lady's student of law, but that is so particularly in Lord father, to whom he exhibited, not his rent roll
, for Campbell's department, that we borrow his lan- he had none, but the fee-simple of his mind, even guage :
in his inferior position; and the gentleman was Being thus reassured, on the 16th November, 1787, he quite delighted with the one thousand pounds vas admitted a student of the Middle Temple, and he soon
annually, and thus this difficulty was overcome. after hired a small set of chambers in Brick-court. By Mr. Abbott lived very happily with his wife; and Judge Baller's advice, to gain the knowledge of writs and some of his best English poetry, for even when a practice, for which in ancient times some years were spent at judge he wrote verses, were addressed to the an Inn in Chancery, he submitted to the drudgery of attend.
lady. ing several months in the office of Messrs. Sandys and Co., eminent attorneys in Craig's Court, where he not only learned
On one occasion when attending the Canterbury from them the difference between a Latitat, a Capias, and a Cathedral with a brother judge, he pointed out Quo Minas, but gained the good will of the members of the the successful candidate for the place in the chair, firm and their clerks, and laid the gronndwork of the reputation for industry and civility which finally made him Chief this man was the only person whom he had ever
which he endeavoured to gain; remarking that Justice.
His next step was to become the pupil of George Wood, envied. Upon another, when on a circuit to that the Great master of Special Pleadings, who had initiated in city he was accompanied by his son, he pointed this art the most eminent lawyers of that generation. Re. out to him the house where he was born, and bade solved to carry away a good pennyworth for the hundred him always remember that his grandfather shaved gainea fee which he paid, he here worked night for two-pence. But we have forgotten, while reand day; he seemed intuitively to catch an accurate knowledge of all the most absolute mysteries of the ferring to him as a judge, that we bave not DOCTRINA PLACITANDI, and he was supposed more
mentioned the occasion of his accession to that rapidly to have qualified himself to practise then than any dignity. man before or since. The great model of perfection in this line, in giving an account of his status pupillaris under the although he made a fortune as a junior counsel
His history as a barrister is not interesting, eminent special pleader, Tom Tewkesbury, says:“ Three years I sat his smoky room in,
and in a stuff gown. He was elevated to the Pens, paper, ink, and pounce consumin'."
bench in 1816, in the Court of Common Pleas; Bat at the end of one year, Abbot was told that he could and early in 1819 he reached the summit of his gain nothing more by quill-driving under an instructor. fame as Chief Justice of England. Unfortunately
With characteristic prudence he resolved to practise as a he was also elevated to the Peerage where his special pleader below the bar, till he had established such a Tory principles were evinced with extreme violence connexion among the attornies as should render his call during the discussions before the Reform Bill
. no longer hazardous, citing Mr. Law's splendid success from following the same course. He accordingly opened shop,
It is singular that many and honest men who have hired a little urchin of a clerk at ten shillings a week, and
been elevated from the lower classes of society, let it be understood by Messrs. Sandys and all his friends, have exhibited this detestation of popular rights. that he was now ready to draw Declarations, Pleas, Publi- Did they deem the aristocratic policy necessary to cations, and Demurrers with the utmost despatch, and upon vindicate their claim to consideration ? The suppothe most reasonable terms. Clients came in greater numbers than he had hoped for, and no client that once entered
sition would scarcely consist with the sincere his chambers ever forsook him. He was soon, and continued
opinion which all who knew Lord Tenderden to be, famons, for “the ever open door, for quick attention formed of his honesty. whenever despatch was particularly requested, for neat plead- He parted from his political friends on political ings, and for safe opinions.”
questions, and like Lord Eldon, who once ran a Mr. Abbot continued in this plodding course great risk of passing through life as a grocer, he of industry until he had amassed a business that was found among the faithless faithful to extreme yielded him £1,000 yearly, and then in 1795 he Toryism to the end. There is no doubt that the went to the bar, with a high character for solid Reform Bill broke his heart, or at least accelerated law, and a low one, which he never improved for that illness which he cheered in writing as his jury practice. He never rose higher at the bar solace to the end of life-copies of Latin verses. than a Junior Counsel, and he did not seek any Lord Campbell has preserved some of his Latin superior position. He shrunk from a leadership, poems. They are extremely elegant. But, aland on the few occasions when he was compelled, though he was happy in his clsssics, in his family, much against his will, to address a Jury, he failed and his friends, he sunk under disease, accompainvariably. His natural diffidence and modesty nied by strong political excitement, in 1832. opposed bis progress at the bar, for his knowledge Our purpose in noticing the life of the last of law was extensive, and his judgment was very Chief Justice in Lord Campbell's biography was to correct. This nervous feeling which prevented draw the attention of students, who may not be bis success in one department of business, did not endowed with many friends or great riches, to the interfere with his progress in another. He had ! simple facts in the history of Lord Tenterden,
% R %
who, by great application, willout brilliant genius, advancements, began the world as a barber's boy without many friends, without flattering the great, in Canterbury, and died the Lord Chief Justice of or changing his principles, or frequently soliciting England.
A CANTICLE FOR CANNING:
THE MOAN OF THE MAUDLIN-MERCIYUL. 'Twas wrong to harm your brethren black the butchers of | And sure those most misguided men—whose deeds fill many Cawnpore, friends,
a letter Although they dabbled brutal hands in British blood before, By England should have pitied been— because they don't friends;
know better! 'Twas wrong to slay misguided men--for they were all your
Before we slew them wickedly, we should have offered brothers;
truce there, Although, by some mistake, they slew your children, wives,
Ere on that Delhi garrison we let our soldiers loose there; and mothers.
If, ere our mind we had made up, to slaughter them like
vermin, Ere that, you should have talked to them--addressed their
Before their walls had Canning come-and preached a little better feeling, And shown how wrong was butchery, rape, mutiny, and stealing ;
Oh! sure am I, had this been done—their cannons had Instead of ropes —"love's silken cords”-you'd proved a
ceased playing-wiser plan in
They'd grounded arms; in Delhi's town no longer they'd Adopting the sweet sympathy of Sepoy-loving Canning.
They would have rushed into his arms---each black, repentant 'Twas wrong to call them traitors base-you should have
sinuer ; had a scrutiny
And Nana Sahib had been asked by Havelock to dinner! Into the many causes of that very foolish mutiny;
Instead of which, you stormed their town, and spilt their And then have pardoned every man who gave the charge
precious gore then, denial ;
And served them little better than they served your wires Although he might have cat your throats—the next day
before then; after trial!
And so I sigh on hearing this, in pity quite fraternal : My friends, it is a fearful thing to blow our Sepoy brothers
"Oh! mercy is a heavenly thing, but justice is-infernal !" Into as many pieces as they cut your wives and mothers ; And though ourselves are Christians staunch-we own we And yet, methinks, had I e'er seen the slaughter of my feel some shame in
motier, Thus wounding every prejudice of a poor, benighted Brahmin. My sister fair dishonoured-murdered babe-or bleeding
brotherReflect awhile - apart from hate, and all such carnal I might have felt what England feels—and honest trath to vanity,
tell-I We oft acquit our murderers here, upon the plea—"in. Had done all our brave soldiers did within the walls of sanity,"
W. B. B. S.
RAMSGATE AND ITS ENVIRONS.
The wanderers of summer and autumn have gene. | Harrowgate, and all their other temptations, from rally resumed their comfortable manner of life at the Dee to the Tyne, are lest desolate. A family home ; sea-bathing quarters are lonely; and it is bent on economising money might subsist for house curious to notice how easily people live without rent, at the lowest possible terms, in numerous some peculiar waters that were absolutely indis- cottages of several villages on the South shore of pensable to existence three months since. The the Frith, or the North. The owners of that citizens of Glasgow, who can afford what they call description of property have reached the winter of a stock of health, have laid it in for five months. their discontent, and will have to pass through it; They are the most assiduous and diligent travellers in forgetfulness, perhaps, that it is the winter for health in these islands, and are seldom at home which makes their summer. We are conscious, from April to October—the first of the former and therefore, that nobody particularly wants to know the last day of the latter month inclusive.
the best of watering places within a circle of one The central towns of England have deserted to two, three, or four hundred miles--or that if we "the northern Brighton," of which we have read could tell then, there is any probability whaterer flattering accounts, and seen alluring engravings, of their remembering the information until it for years now past, in railway carriages ; and even could be available. That is not, therefore, our
purpose, but a conviction that mankind should be of Hasted,* Margate remained, till a few years acquainted with their own country, in preference before 1799, “ a poor inconsiderable fishing village, to the lands on the Rhine or the Rhone ; and built for the most part in the valley adjoining the that a person who has never seen the Mourne harbour." What then could Ramsgate have been in mountains, being either Celt or Saxon, need not these years, Mr. Knight? Why, certainly, a busy travel to the Alps ; nor climb Lebanon, until he port, in which the Government were constructing has looked at the three Seas from the top of Ben a vast naval harbour of refuge, at a cost of an MacDhui, which he never will do in the flesh-if almost fabulous number of hundreds of thousand therein he is rather corpulent-over fifteen stones pounds. We do not propose, however, to place and fifteen years of age; a conviction of that any reliance on Mr. Kuighi, for he says:-"At kind carried us into the old county of Kent. an early period it (Margate) ranked among the
There is not any good reason for calling it old, Ciuque Ports, though only as a member subordiin particular All our counties are nearly of an nate to Dover.” That was published in 1853, age. There are no mountains visible in it, but ard it would lead a careless reader to suppose that only a few hills. It is classical, however. The Margate no longer ranked among the Cinque Romans landed within its boundaries, and there Ports, and was no more subject to Dover; whereas must have been a good deal of fighting on the it has only escaped in this present year, we subject of Kent at that time. Other aggressors believe, from under the authority and wing of followed them, and altogether the men of Kent Dover, which, curiously enough, is further rewere in the fore-front of the battle for some ages. moved from Margate than any other of the Ciuque Then it is full of old, quaint-looking towns and Ports; and we give the rival of our own subject villages, with more thoroughly English character credit for the spirit necessary to escape from this istics than the midland or northern counties. The thraldom into a constitution of its own. Thc people, we presume, are less contaminated Saxons management of all these Cinque Forts is anomathan those of many other counties, although rail. lous. Ramsgate is dealt with as a suburb of ways and cheap travelling are gradually bringing Sandwich. The municipality of the latter town us to an equality of characteristics. We shall all appoint their deputy, and he governs Ramsgate, be pretty much the same by-and-bye. Farther, really in a very respectable manner, we have no however, Kent has the oldest churches in abso: doubt but be is still a servant of Sandwich, a small lute service and use in England as witnesses town with a third or a fourth of the population of its respectability; and next it is a strongly con- contained in its subordinate. servative county; full of hop grounds; and it is The Cinque Ports, are in some way, not very inrefreshing to see a population who are staunch to telligible to any person whom we ever met ; under anything at present, even if it be something as the control of their warder. The late Duke of absurd as the conservation of politics or the de. Wellington, held the appointment for many years, struction of good land in the growth of hops, at and rather liked it, liked Walmer-castle, and occaa time when land, like everything else, should be sionally rode round the towns.
We have no used for some good purpose.
doubt that he clearly comprehended his duties in * So we got down into Kent, for no better ob- the case, and discharged them. The Marquis of ject than to look over its old towns, and by some Dalhousie, now governs them with all luis Indian blunder consequent upon our abhorrence of chrono- experience ; aud except for the absence at Malta, logy; extending farther back than 1832, the date by sickness, of that noble statesman, we should of that unhappy measure--the Reform Bill, of have expected the annexation of Canterbury or course—unhappy in the oddity of pleasing nobody Chatham, long ere now to his government, accorsince its commencement in business, except those ding to his Eastern practice. Everything that any who were displeased with it before we managed one wants to know concerning the Cinque Ports, to be set down in the only town that is said to be may surely be found in a Parliamentary blue new and young in the county; not that it is book. quite in the way of travellers, for it is farther The name of the town is supposed to be corfrom the great centres of civilisation, and so on rupted in the course of two thousand years from than any of the other Kentish towns- - so far as we Romsgate; for we are assured by some antiquaries know anything of them.
that when Thanet was an island, the breach in its Ramsgate runs a race with Margate for the cliff at this point, was the only accessible entrance Metropolitan dignity of the Isle of Thanet ; and for the Roman galleys, and we might add slaves; in spite of guide-books and the other accessories that they adopted it ; and thus the port became of bathing and watering places, which seem to known as Ramsgate ; or the Roman’s.gate ; but now favour Margate, its rival has the superiority in and long ago, Rome and the Romans have been population, in position, and in trade. Margate, corrupted into Ram, and Rams-"gate" remaining we are told, in Knight's “ Handbook to the South- as before; and thus is the name explained. We east Coasts of England," " was a place of some are always so thankful to have any reasonable exnote when Ramsgate as yet was not, or was only planation of the name given to a towu, and to be a fishing village of the narrowest dimensions," and yet the writer acknowledges that, on the authority
* Hasted's History of Kent.