« PreviousContinue »
not so much to carry their burdens as to be carried by them. Placing the bodies in the boat, they floated with great celerity against the current of the river, and, without the assistance of either rudder or oars, presently arrived at their own cottage; near to which, with equal secresy and joy, they interred the bodies of the deceased martyrs.
In Soissons, there are many churches and religious places dedicated to these saints. There is a tradition of their interment in England.
Sr. Crispin's Day.-Crispin stands marked in our almanacs for remembrance, on the 25th of October, though his brother, Crispianus or Crispinian, appears to have an equal claim: to that respect. Their history is only imperfectly known, and affords nothing particularly interesting beyond the preceding notice. In an old romance, a prince of the name of Crispin is represented as having exercised the profession of a shoemaker; and thence is supposed to be derived the expression of the “gentle craft," as applied to that art :
“Our shoes were sewed with merry notes,
And by our mirth expelled all moan;
The Gentle Craft is fittest then
The immortal Shakspere has given a speech to enry the Fifth, before the battle of Agincourt, that will mark the anniversary of St. Crispin to the latest posterity :
.: This day is called — the feast of Crispian:
CORDWAINERS' Hall is a modern structure, situated in Distaff lane, London. It is a plain, but very neat and substantial brick building, with a stone front, and a sculpture of the cordwainers' arms, on a shield, in the pediment, supported on each side by the cornucopia, or horn of plenty. Over the centre window is a bass-relief of Clotho, one of the parcæ or fates, spinning the thread of life.
The hall is entered by two side-wings, by an ascent of a few steps. On the right and left are rooms for counting-houses, and other offices for the use of the clerks and different persons belonging to the company
The ballroom, 60 feet by 30, is a neat, commodious room, but without ornaments, except merely the royal arms, the city arms, and the arms of the company.
Over the entrance is a music gallery or orchestra, underneath which are some extremely neat representations of musical instruments.
The court-room, 30 feet by 15, is a very neat room, the walls hung with various plans of estates belonging to the company. Over the fireplace is a beautiful engraved view of the hall, drawn by Mr. Michael Meredith. The view is taken from the southwest angle, and gives a correct view, in perspective, of the west entrance, as well as of the
front. Opposite this picture, at the other end of the room, is another view of the hall, an entire front view, showing both the wings. This was drawn by Mr. Robinson, of Lothbury, surveyor to the company. Over this room is the smokingroom, a perfectly plain, but clean and neat apartment. Opposite to this is the dining-room, at the east end of which is a capital picture, by Sir William Beechy, of William Williams, Esq., who, after being three times elected master of the company, died on the 5th of November, 1809, aged eighty-seven. The portrait is very large, and painted in Beechy's best style. The frame is superbly gilt and ornamented. It is surmounted by Mr. Williams's own arms. At the other end of this room, are the arms of the company, richly emblazoned. Under this, in a niche, is a massy sepulchred urn, of white marble, on a base of the same material, bearing the following inscription :
* This tablet is dedicated to the memory of Mr. John Carne, many years a valuable member of this company, in testimony of the many virtues which adorned his character, particularly that spirit of benevolence and charity so manifestly displayed in his last will, dated the 12th of August, 1782, by which he gave, in trust, to the master, wardens, and stewards of this company for ever, £37,200 three per cent. government annuities, the interest arising therefrom he bequeathed to this company, and also subject to certain annuities, amounting to £145, to be by them annually distributed in £5 each, to clergymen's widows. Mr. Carne died the 13th of May, 1796, aged seventy-eight years, and was buried in the church of St. Mary-le-bow, London. Mr. Carne, during several years prior to his death, gave £300 for the same purposes as those mentioned on the tablet."
On one side of this room is a neat music gallery. There are, besides, several other minor apartments, and beneath, a most excellent kitchen, with all sorts of culinary apparatus.
INCORPORATED SHOEMAKERS.—When and where the shoemakers first began to form themselves into societies, and to observe the festival of their saint, does not appear; it is natural enough to suppose that the celebrity of Crispin and Crispianus, would confer on the day and place an honor, which they who wrought at the same occupation would wish to record and celebrate; at Soissons, therefore, it is probable that a trade, which had been selected and distinguished by saints and martyrs, would be also distinguished by some principles of recognition by