« السابقةمتابعة »
king in council by writs called brevia clausa,
ETIQUETTE, POLITENESS, AND from being closed with wax, and impressed with the great seal of England. This mode of creating 59797 } GOOD BREEDING. barons has been long discontinued, and the only writs now issued are those to the eldest sons of dukes, marquises, and earls, in their fathers' baronies; but such writs do not create additional honours.
MODES OP ADDRESS IN WRITING AND
HAVING been favoured with numerous inquiries, and seen much perplexity manifested from not knowing how to address in writing men of superior stations, we shall enter somewhat largely on prescribed forms of superscription. We have also thought it. desirable to present our readers with a somewhat enlarged sketch of the origin of different orders among nobility: the subject is closely connected, not only with the social history of our country, but with observances of etiquette.
The nobility of England are a privileged order, like those of other countries, and of all ages, since the time of Duke Timnah, and Duke Alvah, and Duke Jetheth, who, with their brethren, were Dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession.* Personally, however, their immunities are very unimportant, and conduce rather to the pomp than the power of the possessor. In their legislative capacity, the peers of England form one of the estates of the realm, -namely, the one that is intermediate between the crown and the people; in their judicial they constitute the highest tribunal and court of last appeal. Their functions, both legislative and judicial, pertain to them exclusively, and are exercised without liability to be called in question. The coronet, or inferior crown, which they are allowed to wear, equally with the purple and ermine which enwraps them on state occasions, are ensigns of rank; but they are merely ensigns. The proudest noble cannot transgress, with impunity, the laws of the land; in no one instance may he invade the rights of the humblest cottager; neither can the master of broad lands, and the descendant of an illustrious race, exercise in matters of moment authority which his neigh bour dares not assume. Thus, then, as Burke has justly observed, the aristocracy of the British empire, like its many other excellent institutions, exists but as a link in the great chain, which connects all classes of the community-a link more polished, perhaps, than any of the others, but hardly more powerful.
The first order of nobility introduced after the Norman conquest, was that of
As Barons by tenure gave way to Barons by writ, so the latter are superseded by
BARONS BY LETTERS PATENT.
The king, in olden times, used to invest a newly created baron in open Parliament; and so late as the time of King James I., that monarch, in person, solemnly enrobed each peer in scarlet, with a furred hood; but in the same year it was determined to discontinue these ceremonies in future, the delivery of letters patent being deemed suflicient.
Barons, when addressed officially by the crown, are styled," Right trusty and well-beloved." Letters sent to them, by private persons, must bear a superscription as follows:-"To the Right Honourable."
This order, instituted by King James I., 1611, is said to have been suggested by the minor barons, so called, to distinguish them from the great barons, though both barons by tenure; the one retaining their territorial possessions, the others having alienated them. The title is, however, of very ancient standing, both in England and France, and was used in the former for banneret, when it was meant to designate a knightbanneret, who had the privilege of sitting in parliament. When this hereditary order was instituted, or revived-for we read concerning knights going forth in quest of adventures as far back as the feudal times-it happened that a rebellion raged in the northern province of Ireland, and it was therefore deemed expedient that each newly created baronet should, after the example of the ancient knights, who rendered due service to the king, pay into the exchequer a suin of money adequate to the maintenance of thirty soldiers for three years, at eight-pence per day; this sum, increased by fees, amounted to nearly twelve thousand pounds. It was required further, that the candidate should be a gentleman by birth, and in possession of a clear estate of one thousand per annum.
plied to the sheriff of a county, but was not used as a designation of nobility before the reign of Henry VI. A viscount is uniformly created by patent, and descends from father to son, unless especially provided against. The honour was originally conferred as an advancement to barons; but afterwards created frequently with the barony; and, in modern times, it has been conferred on private gentlemen, as a reward for distinguished services. Thus, for example, Viscount Sidmouth, Viscount Leinster, Viscount Goderich, Viscount Exmouth, &c.
Viscounts are addressed by the Crown as "Our right trusty and well-beloved Cousins."
Letters to them bear the superscription the Right Honourable Viscount A. or B." The sons and daughters are simply Honourable."
The dignity of Earl, which existed in this country previous to the time of William the Conqueror, was originally annexed to a particular piece of land, and comprised three descriptions of earldoms. First-pertaining to an entire county, in which case the county became palatine, or the possessor of royal privileges. Secondly-derived only from a county, but without the privilege of holding high courts, and offices of justice, and without any possessions; and with revenues arising solely from participating in profits derived from the pleas of the county court. Thirdly-a kind of earldom constituted by a grant of land from the Crown. The titles in each are often taken, not only from towns or counties, but from private estates, or villages, and family surnames. When officially addressed by the Crown, Earls are termed "Our right trusty and right well beloved Cousin."
This mode of address was first adopted by Henry IV. The king being either by his wife, his mother, or his sisters, actually related, or allied to every earl in the kingdom, constantly acknowledged that connexion in all his letters, and other public acts; from whence, according to Black stone, the usage has descended to his successors on the British throne, though the same reason does not exist.
An Earl, on some special occasions, bears also the title of "Puissant Prince."
When addressed by letter, as follows-"To the Right Honourable the Earl of The eldest sons of Earls are Lords; the sisters also have the title of Ladies.
A Marquis, (marchio,) is the next degree of nobility. His office, formerly, was to guard the frontiers and limits of the kingdom, which was called the marches, from the Teutonic word marche, a limit; as in particular were the marches of Wales and Scotland, before those countries were annexed to Britain. The persons who guarded the frontiers were called Lords Marches, or Marquises; their authority was abolished by statute in the time of Henry VIII. as no longer necessary. Ruins on the border-lands still attest the power and extent of those strongholds, where lords of the marches presided in nearly regal splendour. Such is Ludlow Castle, on the borders of Wales, amid scenes of sylvan beauty, where Milton wrote his "Comus," and among
whose fields and woods he laid the scene of that inimitable poem.
The first English Marquisate was conferred by King Richard II., in 1386, upon Robert de Vere, afterwards created Duke of Ireland; the second creation occurs in the same reign; after which, the dignity remained dormant till the reign of Edward VI., but thenceforward it became a regular and common grade of nobility.
His official address is "Our right trusty and entirely beloved Cousin." He also bears the title, on some occasions, of "Puissant Prince."
His sons are Right Honourables, and Lords; his daughters Right Honourables, and Ladies.
The style of a Marquis is "Most Honourable." If addressed by letter, the direction should be as follows:-"To the Most Honourable the Marquis
The Dukedom, the most elevated dignity in the British peerage, was first introduced by Edward III., who created his eldest son, Edward the Black Prince, (so called on account of his sable armour,) Duke of Cornwall, and subsequently Prince of Wales; when the dukedom merged in the principality, and has ever since been vested in the heir-apparent to the throne, who, at his birth, becomes Duke of Cornwall.
A Duke is officially addressed by the Crown, "Our right trusty and right entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor." He is also entitled, upon some occasions, "Puissant Prince."
All letters to him are thus superscribed:-"To His Grace the Duke of or "To the Most Noble the Duke of His sons are Right Honourables, and Lords; his daughters Right Honourable, and Ladies. Thus, in addressing them by letter-" To the Right Honourable Lord A. or B." The sons of a royal Duke are, however, styled Princes.
In writing to a Duke or Marquis, it is usual to distinguish him from nobility of minor rank by using the words, "My Lord Duke," or My Lord Marquis." In writing to an Earl, a Viscount, or a Baron, you simply say "My Lord." In like manner, an Archbishop, who takes precedence of a Duke, and is "His Grace," is addressed by letter in no other form than simply "My Lord." You give him, and a Duke, the title of "Grace" at the termination of the letter, when you say, "I remain, my Lord, your Grace's most obedient, &c." To all others, the Marquis included, you simply say, "Your Lordship's most obedient," &c.
And yet, notwithstanding such high sounding titles are addressed to different orders of nobility, and as if the simple word "Sir" was after all the highest title of respect, the term "Sire," which is precisely the same word as "Sir," or " Sieur," in its original meaning, exclusively belongs to the King. He stands alone at the apex of society, and hence to him is assigned, as by right, an appellation signifying lord, or master.
The addition of Squire, after a surname, for merly belonged solely to a man of considerable landed property, next in rank to a knight; to an attendant on some noble warrior; or to one who had a place at court. Since the days of Shakspeare, who thus applied the word Squire, it has been very generally appropriated, and is now given as a term of courtesy, to every one who holds a respectable position in society.
The word "Gentleman," on the contrary, is more restricted; it pertains to persons of good and honourable birth. In reference to which, and the great changes that take place in society, are the verses of an old song, which we quote from memory:
"The king can make a belted knight,
According to rules established in the Herald's Office, a person is entitled to the rank of gentleman, whatever may be his condition, or however dispossessed of broad lands and ancestral homes, who can show a coat of arms for five generations.
Archbishops have the ducal title of "Grace," and take precedence of all dukes, next to those of royal birth. The Archbishop of Canterbury ranks as first peer of the realm, and the Archbishop of York as third, coming immediately after the Lord Chancellor. His Grace of Canterbury styles himself by divine providence;" while the Archbishop of York, and the Bishops, adopt the term "permission" instead of "providence."
Bishops are styled "Lords," and "Right Reverend Fathers in God."
The wives of ecclesiastics are not designated by the titles of their husbands.
scription of an important letter; and much mental pondering with regard to the best method of obtaining information, without compromising the inquirer, will, we trust and hope, be spared, by M. R. the subject of our present paper.
"There are no pleasant sounds at even-tide,
The fields, their haunts. No hum of working bees,
With the mouse and sparrow we have, however, no immediate concern; but the spider (Aranea) meets us at almost every step, associated with leafless hedges, and bright evergreens, and morning frost-work, when every twig glitters in the wandering sun-beams, and even the coarsest herbage, with ferns, and reeds, and mosses, seem as if suddenly embellished with icy feathers, while here and there dark shining daphne-laurels and hollies are gemmed and hedged with frozen particles reflecting the colours of the rainbow. Among these, innumerable spiders, as if proud to display their skill, spin and interlace their glittering webs.
"Reverend," belongs to all clergymen under the rank of Archdeacon. The archdeacon is addressed as "The Venerable the Archdeacon A-. The Dean as-"The very Reverend the Dean of " The Bishop as "The right Reverend the Bishop of―." The Archbishop as "The most Reverend the Archbishop of.” But the archbishop being equal in rank to a duke, his letters are addressed as follows:-"To his Grace the Archbishop of Y. or Z."
"Worship" is a title that belongs to magistrates and municipal corporations. The corporation of London is "right" worshipful," others are only "worshipful." "Your Worship," is a term addressed to a magistrate sitting in judgment; even a justice of the peace is entitled to this form of address, when engaged in official duties.
The superscription of letters sent to ladies, follows the same rule as that which serves for gentlemen, merely changing the pronoun from him to her, thus-"To her Grace the Duchess of B." The wife of a baronet or knight is styled "Lady." A lady who derives the title of "Honourable" by descent, as the daughter of an earl or viscount, if marrying a private gentleman, is always addressed by her Christian name; thus-"The Honourable Charlotte de Courcy." Whereas, the wife of a gentleman who bears the title of "Honourable" by virtue of birth, or some official situation, is addressed as-"The Honourable Mrs. C." In writing to the Queen, the form of address runs thus:-" Madam, may it please your Majesty;" the superscription on the letter being uniformly-"To your Majesty." It is presumed that her Majesty listens to the request of the peti tioner; she is therefore feigned to be present, and being present, is addressed with the pronoun you. To write otherwise is an utter breach of etiquette. Many a weary step, and the turning over of many leaves in some "Court Guide," or incomplete "System of Etiquette;" even the going forth to seek for direction concerning the super-1
The effect is beautiful; and it is very amusing to observe a spider when thus employed. He first throws out a thread, which becomes attached, by its adhesive quality, to some near bough, or leaf, tuft of moss, or stone, but more frequently to iron railings, and evergreens. He then turns round, recedes to a distance, attaches another floating thread to some other part, and darts away, doub ling and redoubling, and forming the most pleasing and fantastic fabrics, spinning a thread at every movement through the holes of his bag, by an operation similar to the drawing of wire.
The machinery itself, by which this process is effected, is equally simple and efficient. Two bags, or reservoirs, are placed within the spider; they are filled with gum, or a diluted kind of glue, and when drawn out are at least ten inches in length, though the animal himself is very diminutive. When, therefore, the spider inclines to form his web, he has all needful appliances within reach; his will, acting on the glue, or gun, causes it to exude from the reservoirs, and to pass through two outlets that communicate with the bags, and are perforated with small holes, like a nutmeg-grater; hairs, or threads, of almost inperceptible fineness, are thus formed, and these, when joined, compose the spider's web. The se cretion of them is an act too subtile for our discernment, except as we perceive it by the produce;
and here we may remark, how wonderfully one
Surely a lesson of some worth is taught by these beauteously decorated webs! Consider them, young men and maidens; when passing by, they will teach you, that many of this world's pleasures are like the spider's frost-bespangled nets, spread forth to catch the heedless and unwary.
Equally worthy of remark is the thread of the gossamer spider (Aranea obtextrix), which may be seen floating in the air, extending in the country from hedge to hedge, or across a brook, or road of four or five yards width; in cities, often within gardens, or on open spaces (if such remain), amid thickly clustering houses. The little fairy that forms the thread has no wings wherewith to fly from place to place, nor yet muscles whereby to spring or dart to any considerable distance; but the Creator of the universe, who sustains the planets in their courses, enables the feeble creature to form a path in the atmosphere. Though heavier than the ambient fluid, the thread, which serves as a kind of balloon, is specifically lighter; and the soaring spider which, if left to himself, must fall to the ground, rises to a considerable and is borne hither and thither on the wings of zephyrs. This is a very peculiar provision, gratifying too, for surely it is pleasant to watch the gentle winning movements of innumerable gossamers, each appended to a thread, and floating at ease beneath a cloudless sky, sustained by an extraneous power, and traversing regions which seem forbidden to their nature.
Men have sought, by every possible means, to accomplish the same purpose, and hence the making of balloons. They have found out, by repeated failures, a manageable substance lighter than the air, and the application of this discovery was effected by the construction of a body capable of bearing up, along with its own weight, some heavier appended substance. Balloons, therefore, may be seen speeding above our heads; but, however buoyant, and capable of holding many persons in the car attached to them, the will of those who thus navigate the fields of air cannot act upon them with a degree of certainty equal to that with which the gossamer spider propels his thread.
Spiders find a home wherever it pleases them to congregate, yet nowhere more agreeably to themselves than within the huge telescopes that once found a place in the old observatory of Greenwich, but are now far distant. Within those cool and dark interiors, not unfrequently at least twenty-five feet long, the spinning brotherhood found ample scope for their labours; and do what they would, the astronomers could not altogether banish them. "Spin they would," as a descriptive writer, when speaking of the planetwatchers of Greenwich, has well observed, "and in spite of dusting and cleaning, and spider killing, spin they did; and, at length, the savans got more instruments and less patience, and the spiders were left in quiet possession." This has been pleasantly spoken of as an instance of poetic justice. "It is but fair that spiders should, at times, have the best of astronomers, for astronomers rob spiders for the completion of their choicest instruments. No fabric of human construction is fine enough to strain across the eyepiece of an important telescope, and opticians preserve a particular race of spiders that their webs may be taken for that purpose." Individual threads are strained athwart the best instruments at Greenwich and elsewhere; and he who watches for an expected planet, previously stretches across the eye-piece of his telescope seven lines of spider's web, dividing the field of view; and when the star has passed over each cobweb line, the observer notes down the hour, and minute, nay, even