Page images
PDF
EPUB

about the memorable events of this metropolitan fortress. Royal and noble prisoners, solitary confinement, secret murders, tortures, and various other modes of inflicting misery, are prominent features in its annals; contrasted with which we see festivities of all kinds, tournaments, games, and revelry, mixed up in the scene. One of our monarchs was a sort of Wombwell in beastly sports, for the royal lions and dogs were placed in one den together, to worry and murder each other, as kingly pastime.

“ James the First not only made additions to the collection of animals in the Tower, but also frequently resorted to that menagerie, both to amuse himself with the beasts, and to witness the barbarous sport of baiting the lions with dogs. It is particularly recorded by Howes, 1633-4, whilst the king was lodging in the Tower, he was told of the lions ;' and after some inquiries, and in order to try the courage of the English mastiff, he caused Edward Alleyn, now sworne the prince's man, and master of the Beare Garden, to fetch secretly three of the fiercest dogs in the garden.' When the dogs were brought, “The king, queene, and prince, with four or five lords, went to the Lions' Tonre, and caused the lustiest lion to be separated from his mate, and put into the lion's den one dog alone, who presently flew to the face of the lion; but the lion suddenly shook him off, and graspt him first by the neck, drawing the dog up staires and downe staires. The king now perceiving the lion greatly excede the dog in strength, but nothing in noble heart and courage, caused another dog to be put into the denne, who proved as hot and lusty as his fellow, and tooke the lion by the face; but the lion began to deale with him as with the former: whereupon the king commanded the third dog to be put in, before the second dog was spoiled; which third dog, more fierce and fell than eyther of the former, and in despyte eyther of clawes or strength, tooke the lion by the lip; but the lion so tore the dog by the eyes, head, and face, that he lost his hold, and then the lion tooke the dog's necke in his mouth, drawing him up and downe as he did the former; but being wearied, could not bite so deadly as at the first. Now, whilest the last dog was thus hand to hand with the lion in the upper roome, the other two dogs were fighting together in the lower roome; whereupon the king caused the lion to be driven downe, thinking the lion would have parted them; but when he saw he must needs come by them, he leaped clean over them both; and contrary to the kinge's expectation, the lion fled into an inward den, and would not by any meanes endure the presence of the dogs, albeit, the last dog pursued eagerly, but could not find the way to the lyon. You shall understand the two last dogs, whilest the lion held them both under his pawes, did bite the lion by the belly, whereat the lion roared so extreamely that the earthe shooke withall, and the next lion rampt and roared as if he would have made rescue.'

"In the same work are the following particulars respecting the menagerie, and of a second visit made by King James to the lions'

den, in June, 1605:- In the spring of this yeare the kinge builded a wall, and filled up with : earth all that part of the mote or ditch about the west side of the lion's den, and appoynted a drawing partition to be made towards the south part thereof, the one part thereof to serve for the breeding lionesse, when she shall have whelps, and the other part thereof for a walke for other lions. The kinge caused also three trap doores to bee made in the wall of the lyon's den, for the lyons to goe into their walke at the pleasure of the keeper; which wałke shall be maintayned and kept for especiall place to baight the lyons with dogges, beares, bulles, bores, &c.Munday, June 3, in the afternoone, his majestie, being accompanied with the Duke of Lenox, the Earles of Worcester, Pembroke, Southampton, Suffolke, Devonshire, Salisbury, and Montgomery, and Lord Heskin, captayne of his highnesse guarde, with many knights and gentlemen of name, came to the Lyon's Tower, and for that time was placed over the platform of the lyons, because as yet the two galleries were not builded, the one of them for the king and great lords, and the other for speciall personages. The kinge being placed as aforesayde, commaunded Master Ralph Gyll, keeper of the lyons, that his servants should put forth into the walke the male and female breeders, but the lyons woulde not goe out by any ordinary meanes that could be used, neither would they come neere the trap doore until they were forced ont with burning linkes; and when they were come downe into the walke, they were both amazed, and stood looking about them, and gazing into the ayre; then was there two racks of mutton thrown unto them, which they did presently eate; then was there a lusty live oocke cast unto them, which they presently killed and sucked his blood; then was there another live cocke cast unto them, which they killed, but sucked not his blood. After that the kinge caused a live lambe to be easily let down unto them by a rope; and being come to the ground, the lambe lay upon his knees, and both the lyons stoode in their for: mer places, and only behelde the lambe; but presently the lambe rose up and went unto the lyons, who very gently looked upon him and smelled on him, without signe of any further hurt; then the lambe war very softly drawn up again, in as good plight as hee was let downe. Then they caused those lyons to be put into their denne, and another male lyon only to be put forth, and two lusty mastiffes, at a by doore, to be let in to him; and they flew fiercely upon him, and perceiving the lyon's necke to be so defended with hayre they could not hurt him, sought onely to bite him by the face, and did so; then was there a third dogge let in, as fierce as the fiercest one of them, a brended dogge; he tooke the lyon by the face, and turned him upon his backe; but the lyon spoyled them all: the best dogge died the next day,'

“ Another combat was exhibited on the 230 June, 1609, when King James and all his family, with divers noblemen, and many others, assembled in the Tower, ‘to see a trial of the lyon's single valour against a great fierce beare who had killed a child that was

2 e

VOL. II. NO. X.

negligently left in the beare-house ; yet neither “the great lion,' which was first “put forth,' nor divers other lyons,' nor the two young lustie lions, which were bred in that yard, and were now grown great,' could be induced to fight, but all . sought the next way into their dennes, as soon as they espied the trap-doores open.' A stone-horse, however, which had been turned into the same yard, would have been worried to death by six dogs, had not the King commanded the bear-wards to rescue him. About a fortnight afterwards, the bear was baited to death upon a stage, by the king's order; "and' unto the mother of the murthered child was given twenty pounds out of the money which the people gave to see the bear kil'd.'

“On the 20th of April, 1610, Prince Henry, with his cousin Frederic Ulric, son of the Duke of Brunswick, accompanied by several noblemen and other persons, came privately to the Tower, and caused the great lion to be put into the yard, and four doggs as a course to be set upon him. These were choice dogs, and flew al at the lion's head; whereat the lion became enraged, and furiously bit divers dogges by the head and throat, holding their heads and necks in his mouth, as a cat doth hould a rat; al which notwithstanding, many of them would not let go their hold until they were utterly spoiled. After divers courses, and spoyle of divers doggs, and great likelihood of spoyle of more, the bearewards set a lustie dogge upon the mouth of the lion which last dogge sizing the lion's tongue, puled it out of his mouth, and held it so

that the lion neither bitte him nor any other; whereupon it was generally imagined that these doggs would instantly spoyle the lion, he being now out of breath, and bar'd from biting.' The “young lusty lyon, and lyones, which had been welped in the menagerie, were now put out together, to see if they would rescue the third; but they would not, but fearfully gazed upon the doggs, and were at last chased into their den. Álĩ the doggs except one were then taken from the lion, who having fought long, and his tongue torn, lay staring and panting a pretie while, so as all the behoulders thought he had been utterly spoiled and spent; but upon a sodaine, he gazed upon that dog which remained; and as soon as he had spoiled him, espying the trap-doore open, ran hastilie into his den: and whilest he was hot he would never offer to lie downe, but walked to and fro.”

MY FATHER'S NAME.

(On hearing it unei pectedly and honourably mentioned ut a Public Meeting.)

My Father's name---my Father's name-how hallowed and how dear!
That sound- it fell like melody upon my list’ning ear!
What though a stranger spoke his praise---so exquisite it came,
At once I lov'd him as a friend-it was my father's name!

There was a fullness of the heart, a glist'ning of the eye.
A sudden Aushing of the cheek-I cannot tell ye why!
I probed not then the mighty throb that shook my trembling frame-
I only knew, I only felt—it was my father's name!
And cloudless will I keep that name, while God my life shall spare ;
It never yet confess'd a blot-nor stain shall enter there :
In woe or weal, unsullied still ly shadow or by shame,
Proudly my heart shall beat to tell——“it is my father's name !"
And when at length they lay me down within the peaceful grave,
And He, the mighty Lord of all, shall claim the breath He gave,
Let but one line above my tomb, one sculptur'd line proclaim--

He found it spotless, and unstain'd is still his father's name.'

[ocr errors]

W.

LETTERS HOME.

No. III. My dear Bob, Your surmises respecting the state of society, at the Antipodes, are as far from reality as they well can be. á Old English hospitality,” “ cordial sociality," and the “glad welcome of a newlyarrived countryman,”-bah! my dear fellow, " there's none on't here,”-no, not a fraction. You may recollect, perhaps, that in my first favoured epistle to you, I then remarked, that the old miser's pithy maxim, touching the getting of money, was the governing stimulus here ; and let me ask a young gentleman of your peculiar penetration, how all or any of the virtues, you have been pleased to award to us, can be in the slightest degree compatible with motives so mercenary? Although delighting in the habits of a Hermit, myself, I have had many and abundant opportunities of looking abroad amongst my fellows, and of observing closely and familiarly their “ manners and customs;” and I now, in confidence impart to you the result of my observation.

As in every small Colony, our community is directed into two principal parties,

the officers, attached to the Government, including the military,--and the general commercial and agricultural community; and this division is most decidedly marked by the existence of a party-spirit so virulent as to form of itself almost a distinct party. The first class, to which the terms of Aristocracy and Pure Merino have been somewhat ironically applied, is exclusive and especially select-considering any association with the other a matter of contamination, and maintaining its purity with particular fastidiousness. Of course, I do not include in this description, the Head of the Government, whose strict attention to his official duties, and, what is more to the purpose, whose good

SO

sense and inclination place him far above any participation in encouragement of such folly. On the only gala days, which occur in the course of the year, and which are, I think, limited to the anniversaries of the King and Queen's birth days, respectable Colonists, whether connected with the Governinent or not, are invited to the festivities at Government-house, with the exception, of course, of those gentlemen, who are most violently opposed to the present local administration, to whom, as might be supposed, invitations are not extended.

But we are not, by any means, a gay people, still less are we a social one.

I know not the reason, but the blighting effects of a cheerless suspicion seem to suspend arrd damp the exercise of those glad and social feelings, which are at once the chasm and support of society-its “decus et tulamen.An exclusive attention to business, absorbs the faculties of every personi; and as to ciety” using the term, as we use it in England, there is none here, none, that is worthy of the name. One cause of this deficiency, for a deficiency it is, in the national comforts of existence, is the prevalence of a spirit of scandal and detraction perfectly frightful. I have seen a good deal of small “ country towns at home," and our own dear native village of in Gloucestershire, where you and I, Bob, have spent so many happy days, is, I think you will admit, one of the most censorious places under the canopy of Heaven: but it will be no comparison with the capital of Tasmania. Here the propagation of scandal is excited by motives much more lofty and stimulating, and, consequently much more unworthy than the mere love of the vice: it is part of an unworthy system of sycophancy, which all good men deprecated. Its wretched panders imagine, with what reason I know not, that, by deprecating and destroying (for they will go any lengths) the characters of others, they not only substantiate their own, but will get rewarded for their iniquity. I know of several instances, where this disreputable practice has been adopted, with a zeal and an energy perfectly astounding. And how easy is it here to raise a clamour against the immorality of any man, and to establish a charge of vice and licentiousness against even the most virtuous ! The "world" is ever ready-ever willing to receive with greedy ears, and most swift alacrity, any reports which will tend to depreciate a man's morality, because there is an irrepressible feeling of pleasure and exultation in the discovery, that there are people in existence, as bad and as wicked as ourselves : and where an unfavourable impression is once found, it requires the patience of Job, and the labour of a Hercules to remove it.

Another great source of the limitation of society here, is the peculiar character of the Colony, as a Penal Settlement. Several persons, who came out either to this place or to Sydney, originally as Crown prisoners, have become free, and amassed considerable property: 'but, I need not tell you, that they are as perfectly excluded from, what little society there is, as if they were still in

« PreviousContinue »