« PreviousContinue »
prison, and three years a drudge to Hernando de Soria; to so high a sum did the inventory of his sufferings amount.
So much of his patience. Now see “ the end which the Lord made with him.” Whilst enslaved to the afore. said Hernando, he was sent to sea in a Flemish, which was afterwards taken by an English ship, called the Galeon Dudley; and so was he safely landed at Portsmouth, December the second, 15907; and I believe. lived not long after.”
REV. JAMES BENSON, RECTOR OF CROYLAND IN LINCOLNSHIRE, 1730 to 1761. The following curious particulars respecting this extra. ordinary character, were sent anonymously, to Mr. Gough, and given in a note at p. 136 *, of “ the Appendix to his History of Croyland." This book is in the hands of very few people, the anecdotes (I think), are interesting to all; with this view I have transcribed them, and they are very much at the service of the Enquirer.
R. W. Peterbro’ Nov. 4, 1811.
“ There was a very extraordinary, and a very respectable character, who was rector of Croyland about twenty years ago, and well worth recording; his name was Benson. I fancy he was born blind, or at least had always a very imperfect vision; I think he told me he was educated at Wadham College; he appeared to be a good scholar, a man of excellent sense, modest, very agreeable and entertaining in company; and of irreproachable morals and conduct. He went through all ibe church service, even the first lessons, without the least hesitation; he had indeed a little boy in the desk with him to put him in, should he accidentally
+ If Job left England in 1568, and returned in 1590, how could he be twenty-three years a prisoner? being absent from England altogether only twenty-two years. Editor.
be out, but I never heard that he was so. He officiated twice for the clergyman where I lived, and where he was upon a visit. The first tinie I was confined to my bed and could not attend bim, but heard great astonishment expressed at the elegance of his performance. When he came again, I took the liberty of asking him to officiate, that I might have the pleasure of hearing him. “Sir,” says he, “ it is as necessary for me to have my sermons written, as it is for those gentlemen who can see; but if it be possible, as the weather is fine, I will oblige you, and I will let your rector know to-inorrow.” This conversation was on the Friday; on the Saturday morning he got up at five o'clock, and walked with his little servant till breakfast, when he sent up word, that he would take the duty upon him. A better discourse, in language or matter, I never heard, nor did I ever hear the prayers uttered in a more edifying or engaging manner. After church, I took his little servant, a boy of about fourteen, in private, and asked him, “whether his master's sermon was new?” “ Perfectly so, sir,” said he; “I write all my master's discourses out for him, but this I never wrote, nor did he ever think of it tillafter he left you.” “Your master told me,” says I, “ that when he wants to refer to a passage in the Greek Testament, he has taught you to read Greek so well as to understand it from your reading." “Oh sir, so he tells me, but I don't understand a word of it.” -6
Pray do let me hear how you do it,” says I, and gave him a Greek Testament. The boy took it, and read it so intelligibly, that I perfectly understood the meaning of the writer. Mr. Benson had lamented to me, as one of his greatest hardships, his inability to keep a good servant. He could not afford, he said, to give much wages, as his living was very small, not £80 a year, and he maintained his predecessor's widow and daughter; so that,” says the worthy man, soon as I have taught one of my parishioners to read well, and made him tolerably master of my method, he must leave me, to seek a more advantageous employment, and I have all the labour of instruction to go over again.”
This journey in the event proved fatal to the poor
gentleman ; he was going to visit a relation at Hamstead, and mounted upon a fine grey mare, which had carried him safely, he was boasting, many years, and which upon his journey he had been offered twenty guineas for ; “ but, sir,” adds he, “ a kingdom would hardly pay me the value of her.” Upon his return back, about a month after, I saw him uneasy and dejected; for, alas, his mare was no more! she had been turned to grass with other horses, who had broke her leg, and made it necessary to dispatch her. He had another horse given him, it was true, but nothing like his old favourite. Some short time after, I heard this horse had started with him, flung him, and that his death was almost immediately the consequence of his fall.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ENQUIRER.
The following description of a subterranean spring, which discharges itself into the Larian lake, and the subsequent ingenious reasoning thereon, are contained in a letter from Pliny to Licinius; and, by your permission, are here submitted to the perusal of the readers of the Enquirer, in the hope that they will favour the public with their opinions, as to which is the most probable of Pliny's suppositions, or, what are the causes that produce the "regular" and surprising effects related by him.
PLINY TO LICINIUS,
“I have brought you, as a present out of the country, a query
which well deserves the consideration of your extensive erudition. There is a spring which rises in a neighbouring mountain, and running among the rocks, is received into a little banquetting-room, whence, after being detained a short time, it falls into the Larian Jake. The nature of this spring is extremely surprising; it ebbs and flows regularly three times a day. This increase and decrease are plainly visible, and very entertaining to observe. You sit down by the side of the fountain; and whilst you are taking a repast and drinking its water, which is extremely cool, you see it gradually rise and fall. If you place a ring, or any thing else at the bottom when it is dry, the stream reaches it by degrees till it is entirely covered, and then again gently retires from it; and this you may see it do for three times successively. Shall we say, that some secret current of air stops and opens the fountain-head, as it advances to and recedes from it; as we see in bottles, and other vessels of that nature, where there is not a free and open passage, though you turn their necks downwards, yet, the outward air obstructing the vent, they discharge their contents as it were by starts ? Or, may it not be accounted for upon the same principle, as the flux and reflux of the sea? Or, as those rivers which discharge themselves into the sea, meeting with contrary winds, and the swell of the ocean, are forced back in their channels; so may there not be something that checks this fountain, for a time, in its progress? Or, is there rather a certain reservoir, that contains these waters in the bowels of the earth, which, while it is recruiting its discharges, the stream flows more slowly and in Tess quantity, but, when it has collected its due measure, it runs again in its usual strength and fulness? Or, lastly, is there not I know not what kind of subterraneous poize, that throws up the water when the fountain is dry, and repels it when it is full? You, who are so well qualified for the enquiry, will examine the reasons of this wonderful appearance ; it will be sufficient for me, if I have given you a clear description. Farewell.”
ANTIQUARIAN QUERIES. If the readers of the Enquirer will explain the follow. ing passages, from different writers on ancient subjects, they will oblige
After the fire which destroyed the greater part of Croyland Abbey in 1091, Gough says, in his History of that place, p. 37, the monks supplied the loss of their bells and tower by two skillets (skelettas), given them
by Fergus a brazier at Boston. Query, What are we to understand by a skillet ?
In the enumeration of different trades and callings, as practised by our forefathers in England, we meet with the word " loreiner.” Pray what trade was designated by this name?
In King Henry the Sixth's * instructions for building the King's College in Cambridge, he orders that in the east ende of the same shall be a window of nine dayes, and betwixt every butterace a window of five dayes.” What kind of windows were these?
In Howe's Chronicle, p. 431, it is said, “the Duke of Clarence after hee had offered his own masse penie, in the Tower of London, he made his ende in a vessell of malmsey." What are we to understand by the masse-penie?
In a old book relating to the building of the steeple of the church at Louth, in Lincolnshire, between the year 1500 and 1518, are the following curious entries.
Robert Boston, for the Holy Ghost appear-
0 2 " Robert Boston for Holy Ghost..
02 “ Richard Boston for said Holy Ghost, as appears afore ....
0 20 How are these entries to be understood ?
SOLUTIONS AND REPLIES
TO QUERIES PROPOSED IN THE PRECEDING NUMBER.
QUERY 20. Miss Mary Ward, Burstwick, (aged 14 years), observes, that" a pronoun is defined by grammarians, to be a word used instead of a noun, to avoid repeating the same noun too frequently in a sentence : and as the pronoun is properly made to consist of three persons, viz. first, the person speaking; 'second, the
* We shall gladly present our readers with the whole of this curious document, as promised by our correspondent; in a succeed ing number of the Enquirer. Editor.