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This doctrine, however, of clerical competency in a wicked priest who is living in mortal sin, which attributes to him the power of remitting sins and dispensing the gifts of the Spirit of God, is, the Author remarks, too convenient and too valuable to the clergy to be renounced, and his judgement is, we apprehend, a very correct one, that it seems to be the very last which they will be disposed to relinquish.
The third general council of Lateran enacted, that persons committing the crime, propter quam tra dei quinque civitates igne consumpsit, should, if clerical, be ejected from the priesthood, or do penance in a monastery. This was in the true spirit of that abomivable tyranny which assumed to be the Church'of Christ. Cruel and ferocious beyond all comparison with other despots, it punished with the fiercest and most unrelenting malice, men of holy lives who taught a doctrine which they had learned from the word of God, but which it was seen had the tendency to bring its pretensions under examination, while it touched with a light band the most detestable crimes in its mipisters who were willingly bearing its yoke. Huss, and ten thousand others, must burn for heresy, for opinions which were not agreeable to the corrupt and corrupting devotees of Rome, while exclusion from office, or retirement in a monastery, sufficed for the worst of the ungodly! This is a sure mark of a depraved and despotic church, when crimes are lightly rated, while dissent is pronounced most dangerous, and its abettors the greater offenders; and it is one which admits of no mistake in its application to the Church of Rome,-that mother of har. “ lots and abominations of the earth;" a character of Popery found in the Christian Scriptures, which is most amply confirmed by the details and arguments of these Letters. How much of the wickedness and sufferings of the world has been produced by men whose professions imported that they were the servants of righteousness, and the instruments of good to mankind !
A valuable appendix is added to these Letters, in which the Adthor treats on the meaning of the scriptural words, presbyter and church, and the subjects of heresy and infallibility. The word church is never used in the New Testament to denote the faithful of one province or kingdom, as is stated at p. 314.
Art. IX. The Stranger's Guide to the City of New York: con
prising a Description of Public Buildings, Dwelling-Houses, in. cluding Population, Streets, Markets, Public. Amusements, the Bay, Harbour, Docks, Slips, Forts, and Fortifications:~with an account of the Literary, Philosophical, Medical, Law, Religious, and Benevolent Institutions, Commercial Establishments, Manufactures, &c. To which is prefixed, an Historical Sketch, General Description, Plan and Extent of the City. With an Appendix of Miscellaneous Information. By Edmund M. Blunt, of New York,
18mo. Price 4s. London, 1818. WI
E noticed in a former volume*, the American edition of
Dr. Mease's “ Picture of Philadelphia.” This neat little work, which supplies us with a minute and not unentertaining account of its aspiring rival, has been more fortunate in obtaining a London publisher; and the increased interest which has been excited in trans-atlantic topography, will probably procure for it a ready sale.
The principal street of New York, Broadway, is repeatedly referred to by Mr. Fearon, as the boast of its citizens, who, unable to hear for a moment of Philadelphia or Boston in comparison with their city, would exclaim, Remember Broad• way, Mr. Fearon.' This fine street, we are inforined, runs
in a straight line from the Battery, through the centre of the city, to its extremity in Bloomingdale road, and measures three miles in length, and about 80 feet in width.'
The following note, which occurs in the account of the streets of New York, will serve to verify the remark quoted in an article in our last Number, that American theory is a little in advance of American practice.
" We could have wished to have avoided censure of every kinds but when public health is endangered, it would have been criminal to have remained silent. We believe that there is not a more complete set of laws in the Union for the promotion of cleanliness than those enacted by the corporation of this city; yet it is remarked on all hands, that the streets of New York are the dirtiest in the United States. To us there appears one radical cause of this, and that is, the number of swine which are allowed to go constantly at large. We are aware that there is a prohibitory law in existence respecting these animals, but it is seen that they roam abroad at pleasure,
one considering it his business to interfere with them. We also know that the existing regulations as to the removal of filth could not be better written than they are. Still, so long as immense numbers of swine are allowed to traversé the streets, so long will the inhabitants think themselves justified in throwing out their garbage to them for food; and so long will the streets of New York remain proverbial for their filth. The evil will never be cured, until Scavengers are appointed by the Corporation, to clear the streets of all nuisances. This is a subject which calls loudly for the interference of the Board of Health.'
* Eclectic Review, N. S. Vol; II. p. 302.
Art. X. Curialia Miscellanea, or Anecdotes of Old Times ; Regal,
Noble, Gentilitial, and Miscellaneous : including authentic Anecdotes of the Royal Household, and the Manners and Customs of the Court, at an Early Period of the English History. By Samuel Pegge, Esq. F.S.A. Author of the “ Curialia' and of “ Anecdotes “ of the English Language.” 8vo. pp. 351. (Portrait.) Price 12s. London. 1818. THIS posthumous volume concludes the series of historical
works relative to the Royal Household, for which the Court in general, and the public in particular, are under so great and lasting obligations to Mr. Pegge and his venerable Editor. Three portions of the Curialia were published in the Author's lifetime; Parts IV. and V. were published in 1806, by Mr. Nichols, whose hope and intention it was to proceed with the subsequent portions; but alas! a part of the original MS. remaining in his hands, together with nearly all the printed copies of the Curialia, were doomed to feed the flames of a most disastrous conflagration in 1808; an event which much as it might benefit the fortunate possessors of surviving copies of works thereby rendered of precious rareness, was a fatal circumstance for posterity. Several numbers of the Gentleman's Magazine were, we believe, entirely destroyed, and as above stated, å manuscript portion of Mr. Pegge's Curiuliu! To judge of the irreparable nature of the loss last mentioned, our readers must calculate the probability, that the same peculiar and instinctive fondness for the specific sort of investigations, the same opportunities for pursuing them, the same motives of ingenuous gratitude, and the same talents for research, should again meet in some member of the Antiquarian body, ambitious of repairing the deficiency it has left in our historical literature, and of rivalling the fame of Mr. Pegge.
The whole work, had Mr. Pegge lived to complete his great design, was to have been entitled “ Hospitium Regis ; or, “ History of the Royal Household, and the several officers “ thereof, principally in the departments of the Lord Steward, “ the Lord Chamberlain, the Master of the Horse, and the “ Groom of the Stole. Collected and digested by Samuel
Pegge, Esq. F.S.A.” Into these investigations he was led, as he himself informps us, ' from a natural and kind of instinctive
curiosity, and a desire of knowing what was the ancient state of the Court, to wbich,' he adds, I have the honour, by 'the favour of his Grace, William the late Duke of Devon
shire, to compose a part.' How far 'was His Majesty from being aware, when he appointed bis Grace Lord Chamberlain, that upon that royal appointment, depended the elevation of a gentleman to the station of one of the grooms of His Majesty's Privy Chamber, and Esquire of the King's Household, who was
to become, in consequence of a fortunate accident giving that direction to his talents, the investigator of the domestic anuals of the Court, the historian of the Royal Household !
• The volume now submitted to the candour of the reader, is formed from the wreck of the original materials. The arranging of the several detached articles, and the revisal of them through the press, have afforded the Editor some amusement.'
And so, we frankly confess, the perusal has to us; and the good-natured reader, much as he may be disposed to smile at the nature of these antiquarian researches, and lightly as he may estimate the sum total of their result, will neither refuse his praise to the Author's industry, nor grudge the half bour which will suflice to put him in possession of the patient labour of years. We shall at least bave no difficulty in filling up a few pages with matter for his entertainment.
MIr. Pegge, in his Introductory Section, passes a panegyric upon the Royal Household to which he had the honour to belong, whicii does credit to his feelings, though it is soinewhat equivocally expressed.
• When we speak of the superior magnificence of our own Court, we may add, that no other makes so liberal appointments to its of ficers, could we know the Establishments of the rest.”
He goes on to state, that in France, in Poland, and at the Court of Turin, court-salaries are, or at least were, when he began to compile his Curialia, scarcely worth the baving; and he adds, upon Dr. Burney's authority, that 'the Emperor of
Germany has one very singular prerogative, very inconvenient to the inhabitants of Vienna, that of taking to himself the first floor of every bouse in the city (a few privileged places excepted; for the use of the officers of his court and army.' Most inconvenient indeed! and so would our most loyal citizens deem it, were the Prince Regent to claim the first floor of every house in Waterloo-place for instance, for the accommodation of his establishment. But we had no doubt before that, as Mr. Pegge represents, Great Britain is the best country in the world, and its court, if not the most magnificent, the most liberal in its appointments, and the most splendid in its retinue of pensioners, of any royal household in Christendom.
We were rather disappointed at finding that Mr. Pegge commences his researches so low down as the Conquest. But the household of king Alfred is not altogether passed over, so far as its economy is to be learned from Ingulphus. He, it seeins, divided his attendants into three classes, who were appointed to wait by turns, monthly. This threefold shift of all domestic
officers, each of which were severally under the command of a mujor-domo, was adopted, as Sir John Spelman informs us in his life of Alfred, in imitation of the royal wisdom of Solomon in preparing timber at Lebanon for the Temple.
• I should conjecture,' adds Sir John, that the King, for his more honourable attendance, took this course in point of royalty and state, there being (as it then stood with the state) very few men of quality fit to stand before a king, who by their fortunes or dependency, were not otherwise engaged; neither was there, in those times, any great assurance to be had of any man, unless he were one of such condition, whose service, when the King was fain to use one month in the quarter, it was necessary for the common-wealth that he should remit them, the other two months unto their own occasions.'
In ibis more of attendance, Alfred's household resembled the Gentlemen Pensioners of later times.
The rapacious Norman, although by the greatness of the ancient Crown-estate to which he acceded, and the feudal profits to which he was entitled, he was already one of the richest mo.
narchs in Europe,' omitted no opportunity of extorting money from his subjects. · Pro more suo, extorsit multum pecuniæ suis
subditis ubicunque haberet aliquem pretextum, sive jure sive
aliter,' says the Saxon Chronicle. But then, adds Mr. Pegge, ' he supported the dignity of the crown with a decent mayni
ficence. In the reign of his successor, we first meet with mention of a Gentleman of the Bed-Chamber. The Cubicularius was, Mr. Pegge thinks, an inferior oflicer of the BedChamber, founding his opinion upon the disrespectful and uncourtly language with which he is spoken of by William of Malmsbury. In these times, however, there were " but few placemen.'
* The Court was chiefly composed of Ecclesiastics, Barons, Knights, and other Military Gentlemen, led by the hopes of preferment or promotion : and Lord Lyttleton says, William was always liberal to his soldiers and to the church.' • Most of the offices now in being, seem to have been added from time to time, as luxury and refined ne. cessity required, and in conformity to the pride and ostentatious spirit of the Prince who erected them.?
William Rufus was a fine dasbing sort of a sovereign.' In the magnificence of bis court and buildings, he greatly exceeded
any king of that age.' He soon dissipated the immense treasures bequeathed by iis father, and not only alienated the Crown lands, but proceeded to seize on the holy property of the Church.
• He kept the see of Canterbury vacant four years, that he might take the profits to his own use ; nay, he did the same by the Bishoprick of Lincoln, and all others that became void in his reign; and at the time of his death, he had in his hands the sees of Canterbury, Winchester, Salisbury, twelve rich abbeys, besides many other benefices of less consideration : so little regard has ever been paid to things sacred by arbitrary kings !'