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tion as at this place. See it described at length in our volume for 1815, p. 48, and pp. 4-7 of this volume.
7.-PERPETUA. Perpetua, a noble lady of Carthage, only 22 years of age, suffered martyrdom in 203, by order of Minutius Firmianus, under the persecution of the Emperor Severus.
7.-ASH WEDNESDAY. Formerly Lent began on the Sunday after Quinquagesima, i. e. our first Sunday in Lent, and ended at Easter, containing in all 42 days; and subtracting the six Sundays which are not fasts, there remained only 36 fasting days, the tenth part of 360, the number of days in the antient year, then considered as a tythe of the year consecrated to God's service. To these 36 fasting-days, however, of the Old-Lent, Gregory added four days more, to render it equal to the time of our Saviour's fasting, causing it to begin on Ash Wednesday, three days after Quinquagesima; and thus it has remained ever since. Lent is not of apostolic institution, nor was it known in the earlier ages of the Christian church. "
At Venice, Lent, a season of peace and penitence, is interrupted by a very odd popular festival, the origin of which seems lost. It is thus described by Mr. Rose': - A small stage, with a covering, is erected in the most spacious campo of the parishes which celebrate the festival. Upon this appears the effigy of an old woman, and seated before her are two men, one habited as a notary, the other as a sort of military jack-pudding with a drawn sabre. These two eat and drink and dispute about her fate, one being apparently the advocate, and the other the accuser of the dame. This insists upon her being burnt; and that declares she shall be saved. An appeal is at length made to the people, who unanimously condemn her to the flames. At length, after
· Letters from the North of Italy, vol. ii, p. 173.
some accessory games, such as running in sacks, swarming up a greased pole for fowls, flasks of wine, &c. lashed to the top, the figure is set fire to, amidst a volley of squibs, and burnt much as Guy Fawkes is with us.
*9. 1648.-LORD CAPEL BEHEADED. He was taken by Fairfax at the siege of Colchester by the Parliament army, and though he was, with the other officers, assured of fair quarter as a . prisoner of war,' the paramount jurisdiction of the Parliament thought proper to annul this promise in respect to him; and he was accordingly impeached and brought to trial, when, refusing to acknowledge the authority of the court, he was condemned to die, and suffered the pain of his sentence on the above day. 'Lord Capel (says Clarendon) was a man in whom the malice of his enemies could discover very few faults, and whom his friends could not wish. better accomplished. He was possessed of a noble fortune, and lived in great plenty, so that no man was more happy in his domestic concerns; yet the King's honour was no sooner violated, than he threw all those blessings behind him, and frankly engaged his person and his fortune to all enterprises of the greatest hazard and danger, and continued to the end without making one false step. In a word, he was a man, that whoever shall, after him, deserve well of the English nation, he can never think himself undervalued, when he shall hear, that his courage, virtue, and fidelity, are laid in the balance with, and compared to, that of Lord Capel.'- (See also *28 August, 1648.)
*10. 1774.-SIR W. BROWNE DIED, ÆT. 82,
A physician of the last century, and a man of a most singular and whimsical cast of mind. His will is not the least remarkable of bis multifarious compositions, and may be said to be written in Greek, Latin, and English. Among other strange · items, he says in it, 'On my coffin, when in the
grave, I desire may be deposited in its leather case, or coffin, my pocket Elzevir Horace, Comes Viæ Vitæque dulcis et utilis, worn out with and by me.' From many of the legacies, however, and particularly from his mode of introducing them, we perceive the kindness and benevolence of his heart, which, in the circle of his more immediate friends, probably atoned for his many oddities. With the periodical critics he was long an object of ridicule, and conquered them only by writing faster than they had patience to read. Unsuccessful, however, as he was himself, he determined that better writers should not want encouragement, and therefore, by his will, directed three gold medals, of five guineas each, to be given yearly to three undergraduates of Cambridge on the commencement-day :-- the first to him who writes the best Greek Ode in imitation of Sappho; the second for the best Ode in imitation of Horace; the third for the best Greek and Latin Epigrams, the former after the manner of Anthologia, the latter after the model of Martial. These have been adjudged since 1775. In epigrammatic writing he was himself possessed of considerable terseness and point; witness that which the very critics pronounced to be a good one:
The king to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
For whigs admit no force but argument. We consider the following, however, by an Oxonian, which is said to have given rise to Sir William's, to surpass it:
The king, observing with judicions eyes,
*11. 1651.-TORTURE IN FRANCE. · The application of the torture to criminals, as once used in France, is thus described by an eyewitness: I went to the Châtelet or Prison, where a malefactor was to have the question or torture given to him, he refusing to confess the robbery with which he was charg'd, which was thus: they first bound his wrist with a strong rope or small cable, and one end of it to an iron ring made fast to ye wall about 4 foote from ye floore, and then his feete with another cable, fastned about 5 foot farther than his uttmost length to another ring on the floore of the roome: thus suspended and yet lying but aslant, they slid an horse of wood under the rope wch bound his feete, which so exceedingly stiffned it, as sever'd the fellow's joynts in miserable sort, drawing him out at length in an extraordinary manner, he having onely a paire of linnen drawers on his naked body: then they questioned him of a robbery (the Lieutenant Criminal being present, and a clearke that wrote), which not confessing, they put an higher horse under the rope, to increase the torture and extension. In this agonie, confessing nothing, the Executioner with a horne (just such as they drench horses with) struck the end of it into his mouth, and poured the quantity of two bouketts of water down his throat and over him, which so prodigiously swelled him, as would have pittied and affrighted any one to see it; for all this, he denied all that was charged to him. They then let him downe, and carried him before a warme fire to bring him to himselfe, being now to all appearance dead wh paine. What became of him I know not; but the gent. whom he robbed constantly averr'd him to be the man, and the fellow's suspitious pale lookes, before he knew he shold be rack’d, betraied some guilt: The Lieutenant was also of yt opinion, and told us at first sight (for he was a leane, dry, black young
rosseng with all des underings whicepres
man) he would conquer the torture; and so it seemes they could not hang him, but did use in such cases, where the evidence is very presumptive, to send them to the gallies, which is as bad as death.
? There was another Malefactor to succeede, but the spectacle was so uncomfortable, that I was not able to stay the sight of another. It represented yet to me the intollerable sufferings which our Blessed Saviour must needes undergo when his body was hanging with all its weight upon the nails on the crosse.'—Evelyn's Memoirs, vol. i, pp. 250-251; see, also, respecting the galley slaves in the Remarkable Days, October 7.
i 12.-SAINT GREGORY. Saint Gregory, surnamed the Great, was born about the year 540. Gadianus, his father, enjoyed the dignity of a senator, and was very wealthy. Our saint, in ħis youth, applied himself to the study of grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy; and afterwards to the civil law, and the canons of the church, in which he was -well skilled. He was consecrated Pope about the year 590, and died in 604. Before his advancement to the see, Gregory projected the conversion of the English nation, but did not accomplish his wishes until he had assumed the papal chair.
14.-EMBER WEEK. There are four Ember Weeks in the year, namely, after the first Sunday in Lent, after the feast of Pentecost, after the 14th of September, and after the 13th of December. It is enjoined by a canon of the church, `that Deacons and Ministers be ordained, or made, but only on the Sundays immediately following these Ember feasts.'-(Nelson.)
*14. 1685.—MARY EVELYN DIBD. The following beautifully drawn portrait of Evelyn's daughter (allowing for the partiality of a parent) exhibits so much simplicity, that we cannot hesitate to subscribe to its fidelity in most points; and as