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should be as safe there as the serpent. The latter replied, that he had a hole in the ground where he concealed himself from men; that they would not eat him, for if he only showed his head, they were afraid and ran away; whereas, the shark had no place on the land in which he could be safe. He, therefore, compelled him to return to the sea, telling him, at the same time, that men would catch him there with their hooks, if he did not take care. The chiefs muster all their men, at particular seasons of the year, the great muster being made after the potatoe harvest. The ground from which the potatoes have been lately dug, is cleared of the stems and weeds, and then levelled. Here they all assemble, men, women, and children. The men are drawn up in ranks, five, six, or seven deep, according to the direction of the chief.
f One of the principal officers, or rangateedas, muster them, not by
calling over their names, but by
passing in front of their ranks, and telling their numbers, when he places a rangateeda at the head of every hundred men. The women and children, like those of the Israelites of old, are never mustered. After this census, their holidays begin, when they spend several days and nights in feasting, dancing, and performing their religious ceremonies. The chiefs never join in the amusements, but only look on, and give directions. The common mode of salutation between two persons is, to bring their noses into contact with each other; and Duaterra declared, that when he left New Zealand, so many came to see him previous to embarkation, his nose was sore with rubbing against the noses of his friends. '
THERE is now living in the gardens belonging to the bishop's palace, at Peterborough, a land tortoise, which is ascertained to have been there 200 years and upwards. The upper shell is about 12 or 14 inches long, and about nine broad, the neck has all the appearance of extreme old age: the sight of one of its eyes is gone, the other seems bright and lively. The inside of the mouth, as well as the tongue, is a full pink colour; it has no teeth, but masticates with its gums, which are of a bony substance; the legs and feet are covered, like the head, with scales, and are so strong, that it will walk, or rather crawl, with a considerable weight on its back, and geemingly with ease. In the early
part of summer, it in general feeds upon lettuces; and when the fruit becomes ripe, it crawls under the gooseberry bushes, and picks off what is on the lower branches, and the fruit it cannot reach is amply supplied by the frequent company and the gardeners, from whose hands it receives, with great gentleness, what is given it. Towards michaelmas, and sometimes earlier, it buries itself in the earth, where it remains till the following spring. In a few days after it hath made its annual descent, by finding the depth with a stick, a tolerably accurate judgment can be formed of the mildness or severity of the ensuing winter. This extraordinary animal is about twenty pounds in weight,
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
§IR, IN making a tour in June, 1809, I passed through the wretched town of Woodstock, and of course went with my family to view the contrast afforded by the adjoining palace of Blenheim. After paying the fines which are imposed at two or three passes on travellers for attempting to gratify their curiosity in viewing this national edifice, we reached the flight of steps leading into the great hall; but were told by our conductor, that Louis XVIII. the exile king of France, was then viewing Blenheim; and, finding that we might join his party by missing two or three rooms which he had seen, we gladly embraced the offer, and joined the party of his most christian majesty. Entering suddenly by a side door, in a party of six or eight, his majesty appeared to take alarm, and retreated for a moment through an open door into another room; but observing that we bore the open visages of Englishmen, he instantl returned, and surveyed us wit much complacency. He was accompanied by the duke de Grammont, and two or three other French noblemen, whose names I knew not; but many powerful associations gave the groupe a strong interest with Ime. I could not but marvel at thus meeting with a king of France, a grand grand-son of Louis XIV. in the very palace which had been erected by the parliament of England, as a trophy to the general who had so often, in the field, humbled the pride of that ambitious Bourbon, The incident too was rendered more curious from the circumstance, that all the walls of Blenheim are covered with graphick representations of the triumphs of the duke of Marlborough, and to view these exaggerafed represcntations was a voluntary
penance which the exiled monarch had imposed on himself. The ciceroni performing this delicate task, was, however, the ordinary show-man, dressed out in the tawdry livery of his office, flippantly sporting his Mounsheers, his tossicated Bacchuses, his Lewises, and other John-Bullisms; and vaunting about the thousands of the Mounsheers that were killed, taken prisoners, &c. &c. in every battle ! In vain did I take him aside, and apprize him that the decencies of hospitality, and the quality and intelligence of his visiters, rendered fewer explanations necessary. “I likes it,” said he, “I likes to tell him the truth;” winking his eye at the same instant, and smiling with excessive gratification. When he came to the battle of Malplaquet, he entered into a flourishing rhodomontade about the vast superiority of the French, their total rout, &c. &c. when Louis, a little piqued, exclaimed: “Yes, it was a very bloody battle !” “Ah,” said the fellow, “ twenty thousand of the Mounsheers were killed on the spot!” His majesty appeared to have a very correct taste in matters of art, dwelt with pleasure on the fine Carlo Dolcis, the Rubenses, &c. &c. and, evidently as a compliment to my party, praised some faded groupes of sir Joshua Reynolds, representing some matter-of-fact figures in the uncouth costume of the year 1770. His conduct and observations, made in pretty good English, evinced an active intelligence on historical and other subjects. He spoke with evident reserve; but I hope he was satisfied that some of the English of the party felt a strong desire to show him every possible respect, and were much affected by the vulgar spirit of the ciceroni. At the tomb, in the chapel, this fellow was more than commonly boisterous in his descriptions of the allegories of victory, of prostrate nations, &c. &c. exhibited by the sculptor. But I lost all patience, when, on departing, I saw him hold out his hand to the royal party, and receive a fee of a guinea . On this subject I remonstrated with him again, but was told, “he did not get a royal customer every day, and instead of not paying at all, he thought they ought to pay better than other people.” The profile of Louis XVIII. is exactly that of the unhappy Louis XVI. and I do not doubt but his whole contour is very like that of his brother. He is very fat; and waddles or rolls ungracefully in his walk. He has a piercing black eye, and takes a great deal of snuff, his face and clothes being discoloured by it. Habitual good temper appears to be the prevailing quality of his mind, and he bears no outward sign of anxiety to recover the fortunes of his family. If he is not too easy, and too likely to be misled by favourites, I should think him the very man under whom a people might live happy under their laws, without disturbance from his ill humour or ambition. In short, Louis XVIII. carries in his appearance so much of the wellfed citizen, or easy country gentleman, that one of my sons, a little boy of seven years of age, who had been used to see pictures of kings with crowns on their heads, and generally dressed in armour, could with difficulty be persuaded that that gentleman was a king; and he sometimes amuses us by stalking or waddling across the room, and exclaim
We afterwards met with his majesty at Oxford, where he recognised us, and we left that city at the same instant, his majesty for Gosfield, and I, with my family, for London. On our route, I amused myself in projecting a plan for his restoration, which, for the sake of the peace of Europe, I conceived, and still conceive, may be effected, by his publickly announcing to the French people 1. A general amnesty. 2. Property to remain as it is, or as a life interest in the occupier; and in disputable cases, to be referable to arbitration. 3. Military, and other promotions and preferments, to be respected so far as regards rank and pay. 4. A solemn pledge to be made to establish a constitution, in spirit like that of England, and to govern according to laws made by a free legislature. 5. The limits of France to be the great rivers and chains of mountains. 6. Equitable indemnities to families who have lost their estates or preferments. 7. Toleration in matters of religion. 8. General risings to take place on fixed days. Perhaps, however, such an extinction of prejudices is expecting too much of human nature; and Louis and his courtiers may probably prefer exile, the spirit of revenge, and the hopes of arbitrary power, to a kingdom, with forgiveness of injuries, and concessions of civil liberty to the people.
FROM THE MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
“Essai Historique sur Henri Saint John, &c.”—A Historical Essay relative to Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke. Imported by J. De Boffe, French bookseller, Nas
sau street, Soho.
IN a former article we gave an account of the lettres, historiques, politiques, philosophiques, &c. of this celebrated man. We seize the present opportunity to complete our labours, by means of a life of one of the most extraordinary men that England has ever produced. The family of St. John, or more properly speaking, St. Jean, was of great antiquity in the dutchy of Normandy. One of its members occupied an employment of trust and consequence in the army of the conqueror, and distinguished himself greatly during the battle of Hastings, which was fought on the 14th of October, 1066, and in consequence of the events of that day, William I. was placed on the throne of England. Lands were bestowed by the victor on all his followers; and St. John received such a portion, as is supposed, to have enabled him to make good his pretensions to the heiress of the family of Portt, which was one of the most affluent, we are told, then existing in Iongland.— Their descendants formed still more illustrious alliances; for the mother of one of them, was also that of Henry VII. who claimed the crown in virtue of his mother, Margueritte de Beaufort, daughter of John de Somerset, of the house of Lancaster. This princess was daughter, by a second marriage, of another Margaret, who, in consequence of the former one, had two sons, who formed two separate branches, the St. Johns ef Bletsoe, and Tregoze. Walter St. John, the grandfather of the viscount, and descended from the latter of these, sat as knight of
the shire for the county of Wilts, during the reigns of Charles II. James II. and William III. He died at Battersea, near London, July 3, 1708, at the age of eighty seven, and was a man of considerable talents. His son Henry, who also possessed the reputation of abilities, espoused lady Mary, daughter of Robert Rich, earl of Warwick. They had several children, the eldest of whom, and the subject of the pre- . sent memoir, was born” 1672, and called Henry, after his father. Young St. John was at first educated under the eyes of his parents, who afterwards sent him to Eton and Oxford, in succession. He distinguished himself while there, we are told, by great sagacity in point of understanding, as well as by the astonishing facility with which he learned every thing. His memory was prodigious.
On his entrance into the world, he rendered himself remarkable by his handsome person; a certain noble and graceful aspect; an extraordinary fund of knowledge, together with an agreeable mixture of wit and learning. He also displayed an intimate acquaintance with the best Greek and Roman authors, and could quote them in such a manner as not to savour of pedantry. Yet notwithstanding all these advantages, his family was greatly alarmed by his ardent temperament and love of the fair sex.
But his attachment to his pleasures never stifled in him the love of literature, and a certain passion for publick affairs. In the midst of
• “on ignore même en Angleterre, le date precise de la naissance du lord Bo
his follies, he was ever ready to exclaim with Horace:
Solve senes centcm, mature, sanus equum
re Peccet ad extremum ridendus, et ilia ducat. Ep. i. v. 8 and 9.
In the years 1698 and 1699, Mr. St. John travelled on the continent, with the view of completing his education; and in the course of his journey visited both France and Italy. During his youth, he formed an acquaintance with all the wits of his time, particularly Dryden; and we are assured that he not only esteemed this great poet, but when William III. deprived him of his pension, he assisted him with his purse and credit, and never ceased to give him the most convincing proofs of his attachment. Pope, Swift, and other celebrated men of letters, were afterwards numbered among his friends. In the beginning of the year 1700, the relations of Mr. St. John prevailed on him to marry Miss Frances Winchescomb, a rich heiress, and he was nearly at the same time nominated representative for Wotton Basset, in Wiltshire, in which quality he sat during the fifth parliament of William III. At this period of his life he condemned the treaty for the partition of the Spanish monarchy. On the accession of queen Anne, the subject of this memoir began to distinguish himself by his eloquence. Nature had conferred on him many of the properties of a great orator, and as the queen was sensible of his parts she courted his attachment. As a proof of the high degree of favour then enjoyed by him, he was one of the persons of quality selected soon after by her majesty, to accompany her to Bath. He now joined that party which was so well known by the appellation of the tories, the principles of which, if not correspondent to his character, were at least favourable
to his views; and accordingly, als though both his father and grandfather had been whigs, he acted in direct opposition to their system of government. In 1704, he was nominated a member of the administration, and became intimately connected with the duke of Marlborough, the first general of his age, who was then at the head of the British armies. “Descended from a noble family, but without being illustrious, and at the same time destitute of fortune, the latter had now attained the highest eminence which an individual could aspire to. A friendship between him and St. John had been originally formed at the little court of Anne, while princess of Denmark, and it is not at all unlikely that the credit of Churchill and his wife, contributed greatly to make him a minister. It may be said of Marlborough that he had become a great warriour from instinct alone; for he had never either studied his art, or read any of the celebrated treatises on it. Most assuredly he had never perused Xenophon, and perhaps never looked into the narrative of any modern war; but, during his youth, he had served under Turenne, and was distinguished by his notice.” On the disgrace of this great man, Bolingbroke, if he did not take part against his friend, at least sided with the court, and became secretary of state for foreign affairs during the administration of the celebrated Harley, earl of Oxford. On this oc. casion, he had not only the management of continental business, and of all the negotiations for peace, but also of the house of commons, of which his oratory, and still more, his influence, had rendered him the oracle. He also was enabled, by means of Mrs. Mastam, to keep up his intercourse, and increase his favour, with the queen; but a mutual jealousy already subsisted between him and the first lord of the treasury, which it was never in the power of