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His extortion and rapacity, indeed, knew no bounds of honour or decency, and had he lived inuch longer, his expenses must have undone him. Even if his temper,' says our Author, lad • pot been despotic, bis necessities would have maue bim a ty
In all these exactions, Ranulph, Bishop of Durbam, acted as his prime minister and father confessor; as abandoned a fellow as Rome ever bred.
The Royal Household did not fail to share in the plunder and to emulate the profligacy of the sovereign. The effeminacy and vice which disgraced the Court of Williain Rufus, are strongly depicted by William of Malmsbury. The grievance, not withstanding the severe edicts of his successor, was far from being redressed in the next reign. In llenry's progresses, the royal attendants plundered every thing that came in their way, so
that the country was laid waste wherever the king travelled,' and the chastity of women was abused without restraint. The country people, when they heard of the king's approach, had no resource but to leave their houses and betake themselves to the woods. In this reign, we meet with the offices of Camerarius, or High Treasurer, Dispensatores (Gentlemen of the Buttery) Cubicularii, before mentioned, and Pincernæ or Butlers.
In the former part of Stephen's reign, the magnificence of his Court exceeded that of his predecessors.
• He held his court at Easter, in the first year of his reign, at London, which was the most splendid, in every respect, that had yet been seen in England. “Quâ nunquam fuerat splendidior in Anglid mul. titudine, magnitudine, auro, argento, gemmis, vestibus, omnimoda dapsilitate.” [Henry of Huntingdon].'
But the commotions of the reign soon put a stop to the meetings of the Court, and defaced the royal magnificence.
The succeeding reign exhibits some attempts at praise-worthy retrenchments. Henry's own table was frugal, and his diet plain, and in his dress, he affected the utmost simplicity. He lived on terms of familiar intimacy with bis Courtiers, and appears to have been a jocular, good-humouredi sort of a personage; but liow in other respects his Court fared, does not appear
The reign of Richard I. was wbolly occupied with the Crusade. In the eleventh year of the fourth Henry, ' a certain portion of • the customs in the several ports, of subsidies in several ports, of the issues of the Ilamper (now the Hanaper] and of the • profers [sic] of escheators and sheriffs, were, by the King's • letters patent, set apart for the expenses of the Household.' 'The Liber Niger Domús Regis Angliæ (Edward IV.), preserved in the British Museum, presents to us a long list of officers forining, in the year 1478, his Majesty's household. Mr. Pegge has given us some amusing extracts from this ancient
record, in which the qualifications, dues, and prerogatives of the several functionaries, are minutely specified. Among these, honourable mention is made of a Barber for the King's most
high and dread person. The • Squires of Household seem to have been persons of no small consequence in the royal establishment. They were to be forty in number, ' or more if it please • the King, by the advice of bis High Council; to be chosen
men of their profession, worship, and wisdom; also to be of 'sundry shires, by whom it may be known the disposition of the
countries. Twenty of them were to be in continual attendance upon the King's Person, 'in riding and going at all times,
and to help serve his table from the Surveying Board, and from • other places, as the Assewar will assign.'
• When any of them is present in Court, he is allowed for daily wages, in the checque roll, seven pence halfpenny, and clothing winter and summer; or else forty shillings. It hath ever been in special charge to Squires in this Court, to wear the King's Livery customably, for the more glory, and in worship of this honourable Household : and every of them to have in to this Court an honest servant; and sufficient livery in the towns or countries for their horses, and other servants, by the herberger. These Squires of Household, of old, be accustomed, winter and summer, in afternoons and in evenings, to draw to Lord's chambers within Court, there to keep honest compavy, after their cunning, in talking of chronicles of kings, and of Other policies, or in piping or harping, songings, or other acts marriables ; to help to occupy the Court, and accompany strangers, till the time require of departing.'
Besides thirteen minstrels,' whereof one is Verger,' there was "A Wayte that nightly from Michaelmas till Shere-Thursday (Maundy Thursday) pipeth the watch within this Court four times, and in summer nights three times.--So much for the royal household of King Edward, with whom our history abruptly terminates.
Among the miscellaneous articles which compose the rest of the volume, there is an amusing dissertation, “On the Virtues “ of the Royal Touch." Mr. Pegge rather goes out of his way, however, when in proof that the Tudors laid claim to the gift of Healing, he brings in Edward the Sixth, as interceding with the Almighty for the life of bis tutor, Sir John Cheke, and expressing his confidence that God had heard his prayers, and granted his request. This striking anecdote is recorded by Fuller. That Cheke 'survived to disgrace the Protestant religion hy his 'revolt,' is a painful reflection, but one wholly irrelevant, except as it may serve to shew the wisdom of abstaining in our prayers to Heaven from the language of unconditional desire, in reference to the lives of the most valuable and beloved individuals.
The piety of the young King would not have permitted him
to countenance the gross delusion of the Royal Touch. The piety of Charles the First, however, was of a different character, and this, together with his “jealousy of every prerogative right, • Divine and human,' could not fuil, according to our Author, to lead bim to exercise this preternatural endowment, of the success of which, in hundreds of instances, bis Serjeant Surgeon, Richard Wiseman, declared himself to have been an eyewitness! Accordingly, three royal proclamations were successively issued, in the years 1621, 1626, and 1628, by which were regulated the manner and the time that persons were to be admitted to the Royal Touch. A piece of gold given to the patient, was,
A in general, indispensable in order to the cure, but when King Charles was a prisoner at Hampton Court, having perhaps, says Mr. Pegge, no gold to spare, he in several instances used silver, which answered the purpose quite as well, except where the patient wanted faith. Some of the blood of the Blessed
Martyr,' preserved on a piece of linen, was found to have the same effect as the Touch, or his prayers, when he was living.'
Cromwell was not a legitimate monarch; he had no claim, therefore, to this prerogative of royalty. The inconvenience which the nation suffered on this account, during the interregnum, was, however, as much as possible, repaired by Charles II., who, in January 1683, issued a proclamation, which was ordered to be published in every parish throughout the kingdom, duly setting forth His Majesty's gracious and pious disposition and willingness to relieve the distresses and necessities of his good subjects, in the way that by the grace and blessing of God, the King and Queens of this realın had for many ages had the happiness to do; as also his own individual good success in the specific matter of the sacred touch; and proceeding to regulate the time and manner of application. A frontispiece to a curious old work by John Browne, Sworn Chirurgeon in ordinary to the King's most excellent majesty: represents Charles 11. on the throne, surrounded by bis court, touching for the Evil.
"" The King gives freely," says Mr. Browne, “not calling the Angels to witness, nor sinking so low as others do, to perform the same by black Art, or Inchantment. He does it with a pure heart, in the presence of the Almighty, who knows all things, without superstition, curing all that approach his Royal Touch. And this I may frankly presume to aver, that never any of his predecessors have exercised it more, or more willingly or freely, whose wonderful effects, and certainty of cure, we must and shall ever acknowledge."
From accounts kept by officers of the Chapel Royal, it appears that in the twenty-three years from 1660 to 1682 inclusive, upwards 92,107 persons were touched for the Evil by his vacred majesty. Two hundred persons were touched by Queen Anne on, the 30th of March, 1714, among whom was Dr. Johnson. This was the last royal performance of the kind in this kingdom. The House of Hanover wisely declined this part of the prerogative in favour of the exiled Stuarts. Louis XVIth kept up the farce in France so late as 1775.
In an Appendix are given at length,“ The Ceremonies for the “ Healing of them that he diseased with the King's Evil, as " they were practised in the time of King Henry VII." " Pub
lished by command of King Charles II; and printed by • Henry Hills, Printer to the King's most excellent irrajesty for his Household and Chapel, 1686.' As nearly the whole service is in Latin, we must not tantalize our plain English readers with an extract from this curious relic of superstition, An English service is added from a folio Prayer-book, printed in 1710, much to the same effect, except, that as in the case of the remission of sins by the Priest, a saving clause is inserted, to the intent that the subjects of the performance may not attribute to the administrator the inherent power of an efficient. The Rubrick directs, that at the Healing,' after the Gospel (Mark xvi, 14, &c.) and the Pater noster,
• Then shall the infirm persons, one by one, be presented to the Queen upon their knees; and, as every one is presented, and while the Queen is laying her hands upon them and putting the gold about their necks, the chaplain that officiates, turning himself to her Majesty, shall say these words following: God give a blessing to this work; and grant that these sick persons, on whom the Queen lays her hands, may recover, through Jesus Christ our Lord.'
It is observable, however, that no thanksgiving is offered, after the performance, similar to that which announces, in the office for Infant Baptism, the ex opere operatum regeneration,
Appendix No. III. contains the equally curious Ceremonies of Blessing Cramp Rings on Good Friday, used by the Ca*tholic Kings of England.
Such is the nature of Mr. Pegge's researches, and who shall say that the time which they occupied was unwisely or uselessly employed?. No one but an antiquary, indeed, is competent fully to enter into the zest and pleasure attending such pursuits, a pleasure, however, connected with principles deeply seated in our nature. Whosoever has at dusk trod the chambers and explored the closets of a house that had been long tenantless, the scattered fragments of furniture, or armour, or dust-enshrined papers, that met his eye, testifying of the long since dead, who once felt and acted there ; whosoever has invaded the mysteries of some subterranean cavern, and borne away with complacency, a mere flint or pebble as a memorial of his adventure; whosoever has felt the appropriate glow of elevation at taking his momentary seat in the chair of kings, or has been Vol. XI. N. S.
conscious of gazing with interest on some antique article of dress, some buckle, or ruff, or slipper of the good old time; or finally, whosoever, has experienced the charm which Time, by his glamour, can impart even to a file of old newspapers, will not be disposed to put a contemptuous estimate on labours which have served to recover from oblivion even such memorials of the past as these. Flow many interesting historical details have been irrecoverably lost, for want of some Pegge to hang them on!
Art. XI. Asiatic Researches ; or, Transactions of the Society insti.
tuted in Bengal for inquiring into the History and Antiquities, the Arts, Sciences, and Literature of Asia. Volume the Twelfth. 8vo,
18s. London, 1818. THE researches of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, have put
us into possesion of a great variety of valuable details concerning the antiquities, literature, and sciences of the East. The matter which they have contained, bas not, indeed, always been of general interest, nor very specific or satisfactory in its information ; and a severer judgement in the choice of materials, would have both lessened the bulk, and increased the worth of this somewhat too copious collection. We are, however, less disposed to cavil at defects, perhaps, under all the ciroumstances, unavoidable, than to acknowledge our obligation to a society, whose labours and whose liberal communications have conveyed to us a mass of knowlodge, which, but for them, would have been lost to European acquisition. The present volume contains, we think, a more unbroken series of important papers than most of the preceding portions; but since a minute analysis of its contents would occupy a much larger allotment of space than we can conveniently assign to it, we shall advert, somewhat cursorily, to one part of its contents, while we give a somewhat more extended description of those papers which seem to be of a less restricted interest.
The first and eighth articles consist of distinct statements of the further operations carried on by Major Lambton, for the purpose of correcting and fixing the geography of Hindustan. The earliest intimation of the Major's plans, occurred, as we find on reference, in tlie seventh volume of the Society's Transactions, which contains an account of the method proposed, and partially pursued, for the extension of a trigonometrical survey across ihe peninsula of India. At that time, however, he was but icu perfectly furnished with the necessary instruments, and bis communication is mainly occupied with preliminary explanations and calculations, including a tahle comprising the particuJars of the deteruination of a Base lipe near Bangalore. In the succeeding volume of the Researcbes, appeared a paper of greater length and more satisfactory results, containing a series of