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keepe them theire, that in time they grow continuate to the upper part of the trunk of the body, and so seeme to have no necks or heads. And againe, some other of them thinking that the shape of the head is very decent, if it bee long and erect after the fashion of a sugar-loafe, doe frame some other to that forme by such wooden instruments, as they have for that purpose, and by binding and swathing them, doe keep them so afterwards. And that this is the custome of these people, and that there is no other matter in it, Petrus de Cieça, (k) who travelled almost all over Peru, and is a grave and sober writer, in his description of those countries doth report."
(a) John Aubrey (the friend of Milton, Hobbes, and Toland, the coadjutor of Bishop Tanner and of Anthony Wood, in those laborious illustrations of the monastical and collegiate history of our country which have immortalized their names), one of the founders of the Royal Society, and as laborious an antiquary as England has produced, was, in some respects, the weakest of men, and as credulous as the most credulous old woman that ever lived. Of this he was silly enough to leave abundant proofs upon record, in the publication of what he calls • A Collection of Hermetic Philosophy,' which made its appearance in 1696, under the following title, sufficiently indicative of the superstitious nature of its contents: “ Miscellanies, viz. Ist day, Fatality. 2. Local fatality. 3. Ostenta (or Portents). 4. Omens. 5. Dreams. 6. Apparitions. 7. Voices. 8. Impulses. 9. Knockings. 10. Blows invisible. 11. Prophecies. 12. Marvels. 13. Magick. 14. Transportation in the air. 15. Vision in a beryl or glass. 16. Converse with angels and spirits. 17. Corps candles in Wales. 18. Oracles. 19. Extasie. 20. Glances of love and envy. 21. Second-sighted persons. Collected by J. Aubrey, Esq." A second edition of this work was printed in 1721, with large additions, to the 58th page of which we refer our readers for the wondrous narrative regarding Archbishop Abbot.
The history of Aubrey's life was as melancholy as his credulity was contemptible. Descended from an ancient family in Wiltshire (where he was born at Eastern Piers in 1626 or 6) and inheriting from his father, in that county, the three adjacent ones, and in Surrey, considerable landed property, successive law-suits and other misfortunes (to which it is to be feared the faults of extravagance and carelessness are justly to be added) compelled him to dispose of all his estates, and to be dependent on the bounty of his friends. Of these Lady Long, of Draycot-house, in Wiltshire, (an ancestor of the Misses Long, who have unhappily been dragged but too much into public view by the Wellesley cause,) was so generous as to give him an apartment in her house, and to take upon herself the charge of seeing him provided for till his death, which happened suddenly on his way home from Oxford about the year 1700, for such was the obscurity of his latter days, that the precise date of this event is unknown. He appears not to have left any family, though he had taken to wife one Joan Somner, of whom no more is known than the information contained in his own minutes of his life, that to her “ on November 1, 1661, he made his first addresses in an ill hour,” an event against which his skill in day fatatily ought surely to have guarded so laborious an Hermetic philosopher. But he seems also to have been equally out in his reckoning upon another branch of the occult science on which he wrote ; for the study of “ glances of love and envy” would have prevented his forming so intimate a friendship as he did with the learned, but crabbed and waspish historian of Oxford, who, on quarrelling with Aubrey, on account, it would seem, of his having unintentionally misled his brother antiquary, brands him in his wrath, with more strength than courtesy, and more truth than gratitude (for Anthony had made great use of his collections), as “a shiftless person, roving and maggotie headed, and sometimes little better than crazed.” He adds also, that he " was a pretender to antiquities," and " being exceedingly credulous, he would stuff his many letters sent to A. W. with folleries and misinformations, which sometimes would guide him into the paths of error.”—(Life of Anthony Wood, prefixed to Bliss's edition of the Athenæ Oxonienses, I. p. ix.)
(b) This was afterwards called the New Exchange, and stood near Durham Yard in the Strand, the spot on which the Adelphi has since been erected.
(c) The marriage of the Emperor Charles the Fifth with Isabella, eldest daughter of Emanuel the Great, king of Portugal, was the ground of the successful claim of his son, Philip the second, to the crown of that kingdom. That marriage was, however, so far from being a forced one, that both the parties to it, as well as the nations to which they belonged, were extremely anxious for the connexion it was the means of forming. Nor was Portugal the dowry of the princess forming that connexion, but nine hundred thousand crowns, an unusual sum to give in those days, and given but to shew the satisfaction of the Portuguese at an union very felicitous to Isabella herself, as she always lived in harmony with her husband, and was on all occasions treated by him with great attention and regard. True it is, indeed, that the first of Philip's own marriages was with Mary, a princess of Portugal, who died within two years after his union, in giving birth to Don Carlos, whose cruel fate must be fresh in the memory of every reader. This marriage very probably might have been forced, as neither husband nor wife was more than sixteen years of age when policy, more perhaps than affection, united them.
The archbishop is, however, clearly in an error in assigning Portugal to be as a dowry, for she is not even mentioned in the claim set up some time after her death by her husband, in right of his mother, to the crown of that kingdom.
(d) The Azores, at this time frequently called the Terceras, from the name of one of the principal of the cluster of the islands composing them.
(e) Prussia was for a long time in possession of the knights of the Teutonic order, who there, in the thirteenth and following centuries, resisted, with considerable success, the advances of the Sclavonic and other Gothic tribes towards the south of Europe. Whilst they possessed the country, the grand master of the order was, under the Poles, its chief governor; but in 1618, John Sigismund, Margrave and Elector of Brandenburgh, became the first independent Duke of Prussia, and remained so until 1640, four years after this work was printed.
(f) Is not this ancient name of Prussia, and of the article of commerce by which we first knew it, a more probable derivati on of our adjective spruce, originally applied almost exclusively to dress, than any hinted at in the following unsatisfactory article of Johnson's Dictionary
“Spruce adj. [Skinner derives this word from preux, French ; but he proposes it with hesitation ; Junius thinks it comes from sprout; Casaubon trifles yet more contemptibly. I know not whence to deduce it, except from pruce. In ancient times we find furniture of pruce, a thing costly and elegant, and thence probably came spruce] nice; trim; neat without elegance. It was anciently used of things with a serious meaning; it is now used only of persons and with levity.”
It is needless to quote the examples given by the lexicographer, as they are taken from writers, the earliest of whom (Dr. Donne) was cotemporary with Archbishop Abbot, dying indeed but two years before him.
(9) Pedro Cieça de Leon, a native of Seville, where he was born in the commencement of the sixteenth century, embarked, at the age of thirty, for the New World, where he was one of the companions in arms of Pizarro, in the conquest of Peru, where he spent seventeen years of an active life. Whilst there, he very laudably occupied a considerable portion of his time between the years 1541 and 1550, in compiling an account of the newly-discovered country in which he was so long resident. Of that account, however, one part only has been published, under the title of Parte Primera de la Chronica del Peru.' It was not until 1709 that the labours of Cieça appeared in English. This translation was made by John Stevens, and published in quarto. In the account to which our author refers (p. 65), the animal is called “ Chuca,” the name given to it by Cieça, (chap. 25, p. 63, edit. Steebsii,) whom, as far as the name is concerned, the Archbishop has misquoted, though in other respects his reference to the historian or rather the geographer of Peru is substantially correct.
This extract is made, principally with a view to shew how cautious we ought to be, in rejecting as fabulous everything that is new and strange. The existence of the animal, a description of which is correctly given, though evidently disbelieved by the Archbishop, credulous as he was, (for his marginal note calls it " a strange story,”) has been completely established by the researches of subsequent travellers and naturalists; and the bag of the Opossum, and Kangaroo, the sheltering in it of their young, and their running off with them in the extraordinary place of security provided for them by nature, is a fact in Zoology as well attested as that a lion has a mane, or an elephant a trunk. Even Buffon (though learnedly and very elaborately exposing the error of other writers with respect to this singular animal, or rather class of animals) has given a very inaccurate description of it, confounding the Opossum of Virginia, and Kangaroo of New Holland ; but giving for the former a figure unlike either, though between both. Those in the second volume of Pennant's History of Quadrupeds (pp. 18-29, plates lxiii, lxiv,) are accurate.
(h) This is the marginal note of the author. It may, however, very allowably be doubted, whether the story itself, or his explanation of it, be the stranger part of this extract.
(i) The following are no doubt the passages in Mandeville alluded to hy the Archbishop. “In Etheope ben many dyverse folk, and Etheope is clept Cusis. In that contry ben folk, that han but o foot: and thei gou so fast, that it is marvaylle: and the foot is so large, that it schadewethe all the body azen (again) the sunne, whanne thei will lye and reste hem.”
“ And in another ye ben folk, that han grateres and longe, that hanzen (hang) down to theire knees.' (The Voiage of Sir John Maundeville, Knt., which treateth of the way to Hierusalem; and of the Marvajlles of Inde, with other Iilands and Countryes. Now published entire from an original MS. in the Cotton Library, octavo, London, 1725, pp. 188-9, 244-5.)
These travels contain many still more wonderful wonders, but it is due to their relator to remark, that he is only guilty of the credulity of his times in gathering them, as matters of history, from Pliny, Strabo, and other ancient, and some nameless legendary writers.
Sir John Mandeville was born at St. Albans, in Hertfordshire, in the beginning of the fourteenth century, of a family which is said to have come into England with the Conqueror. Leaving his native country, as he tells us himself, on Michaelmas day, 1322, a proficient according to Leland, by whom he is called Magnovillanus, alias Mandeville, (De Scriptoribus Britannicis, 3667,) in theology, natural philosophy and physic, and visiting Egypt, Turkey, Persia, and other eastern countries, he carried arms under the Sultan and the Cham of Tartary for some time with such reputation, as to have been offered by the former an Egyptian princess in marriage, an honour which he declined. Returning home, after an absence of thirty-four years, scarcely anybody knew him, as he had long been reputed dead. Thus forgotten by, or having outlived his friends, and thoroughly disgusted with the vices of his countrymen, especially of the clergy, he retired to Liege, where he either assumed the name, or passed by the nickname of Joannes ad Barbam, and dying there on the 17th of November, 1371, was buried in the Abbey of the order of the Gulielmites. His townsmen, however, have claimed the honour of giving a restingplace to his bones in their venerable abbey; and as no tombstone justifies this assumption, they attempted at once to account for its loss, and to supply its place, by a precious morsel of Sternholdian doggrel, which Weever calls “ a rare piece of poetry.”
In the prologue to his travels, Sir John Mandeville informs us, that he had himself translated his account of them from Latin, in which it was written, into French, and from French into English. It was first printed, in its original form, in the very infancy of the typographical art, namely in 1483, at Zwoll. The first English edition appears to have been printed in London in 1598, in quarto, black letter, and ornamented with several rude, but curious wood-cuts, which were as rudely re-engraved, with some few alterations, for another black-letter edition, reprinted in the same size in 1684. The best edition, though unornamented, is, however, that from which our quotations have been made, which was printed in octavo, in 1725, from a manuscript in the Cottonian library, then about three hundred years old, collated with seven other manuscripts, some of them as old as the author's time, five of which (two French, two English, and one Latin) were in the King's Library, and one, Latin, in the Cottonian. Four old printed editions, one of them published in Italian, octavo, in 1537, at Venice, (where an Aldine edition appeared in the same size in 1543,) were also resorted to for this very careful collation. A Spanish translation, printed in folio, at Valencia, in 1540, contains, amongst several curious wood-cuts, one as a title-page, exhibiting the figure of a man with four eyes, another with only one, in the centre of his forehead, a third with the head of a dog, and a woman covered with the hairy skin of a beast-monstrosities which this author describes as the ordinary appearances of certain people in distant parts of the earth, though he professes not to have seen, but only to have read of them.
(k) The words of Cieça, as translated by Stevens, are, Another Province lies above this vale of Cali, to the northward, bordering to that of Anzerma, the natives whereof are called Chancos, a people so large, that they look like giants, broad back'd, strong, very long visag'd, and broad headed; for in this province, in that of Quinboya, and other parts of India, as I shall observe hereafter, they shape the child's head, when first it is born, as they please, so that some have no nape of the neck, others the forehead sunk, and very long; which they do with little boards when they are just born, and afterwards with ligatures.” p. 69.
THE HUSBAND'S COMPLAINT.
“ Will she thy linen wash and hosen darn?”