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To this courtly message, Commemoroonah returned this talk :
· Brothers ! Chinquolinga, my grandfather, whose girdle was always hung with the scalps of Chippewas, received from William Penn, the white sachem, an amulet, which enables us to draw fire immediately from the great day-star. With this the Tuscaroras are accustomed to light their pipes. (A belt of wampum.)
“Our young men are expert at the tomahawk; our squaws are ingenious at roasting prisoners; and the arm of Commemoroonah has not lost its vigour. (Three belts of wampum.)
“ In the succeeding moon, the scouts of Tuscarora gave notice of the approach of Alpequot; Commemoroonah prepared an ambuscade; a battle was fought; and the bones of the Chippewas now lie bleaching on the plains of Muskingum."
HIGH PRICE OF BOOKS.
The first legislative enactment that was made for the encouragement of learning, was in the reign of Richard III. when books were exempted from the restrictions imposed on the importers of every other species of merchandize. Printing was at this time unknown in England. King Henry VI. at his own expense, brought over several printers and their presses into this country, and from that time the art of printing began to be practised here. In the year 1553, it was so well understood, that Henry VIII. deemed it expedient to repeal the act of Richard ; and, accordingly, the 25 Henry VIII. c. 15. was passed, which, while it protected the native printers, prevented them from imposing on the rest of his subjects. This act was entitled “ An Act for Printers and Binders of Books :" the fourth and last section is as follows :
“ Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any of the said printers or sellers of printed books, inhabiting within this realm, at any time hereafter happen in such wise to inhance or increase the prices of any such printed books, in sale or binding, at too high and unreasonable prices, in such wise as complaint be made thereof unto the king's highness, or unto the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, or any of the chief justices of the one bench or of the other; that the same lord chancellor, lord treasurer, and two chief justices, or two or any of them, shall have power and authority to enquire thereof, as well by the oaths of twelve honest and discreet persons as otherwise by due examination by their discretions. And after the same inhancing and increasing of the said prices of the said books and binding shall be so found by the said twelve men, or otherwise by examination of the said lord chancellor, lord treasurer, and justices, or two of them; and then the same lord chancellor, lord treasurer, and justices at the least, from time to time, shall have power and authority to reform and redress such inhancing of the prices of printed books from time to time by their discretions, and to limit prices as well of the books as for the binding of them; and over that the offender or offenders thereof being convict by the examination of the same lord chancellor, lord treasurer, and justices, or two of them, or otherwise, shall lose and forfeit for every book by them sold, whereof the price shall be inhanced for the book or binding thereof, three shillings four-pence; the one half thereof shall be to the king's highness, and the other half to the parties grieved, that will complain upon the same in manner and form before rehearsed."
A similar act was passed in the 8 Anne, cap. 19, § 4; but enforcing a penalty of five pounds for every book sold by the printer or bookseller at a higher price than the justices, &c. should fix it. This latter act was repealed by the 12 Geo. II. cap. 36, $ 3; but that of Henry VIII. above quoted, remains in force, for it has never been repealed by any express law, and it would be ridiculous to contend that the act of Anne, enacting a higher penalty, has virtually repealed that of Henry, which it never mentions.
If any doubt existed on this subject, we think Ruffhead would decide it: those gentlemen who are acquainted with his works well know, that such acts as have been repealed are invariably so noticed in the margin: such a note is affixed to the act of Anne, and a reference to the statute which repealed it; but not so to that of Henry VIII. which still remains the law of the land.
MISERIES OF ROYALTY. The following elegant and affecting letter was handed about in MS. in Paris, at the time of the event to which it alludes, and was confidently said to have been written by the princess Louisa, (younger daughter of Louis XV.) to the dauphiness, upon the marriage of the latter.
My dear Niece,
Be not surprised at the receipt of this letter or the subject of it. To congratulate you in the most tender manner, upon your approaching nuptials with that amiable youth, the dauphin, was the original design of this epistle ; but I found, whilst
my heart dictated felicitation to you, to me it intimated the most poignant sorrow.
When I reflect on the many happy years that await you, united in those indissoluble bonds of felicity, with a prince, whose transcendant virtues, and personal accomplishments, place him, as well by birth as merit, in the most exalted point of view, and render him at once the admiration of the women and the envy of the men; and then compare the reverse of my fortune-doomed to celibacy, though my heart has long made its choice, and fixed its immovable affection on him who is truly worthy of it. What a cruel reflection! what a dreadful perspective! deprived even of hope, or the probability of even surmounting the prejudices of custom, annexed to my lamentably elevated situation.
How very unfortunate is my lot-born a princess, to be miserable! Oh! that fate had decreed me the most humble station !—at least, one far beneath my present! I might then have been happy, too happy, with the worthiest of men (for it is in vain to conceal my passion), the marquis Turbilly : but I am for ever debarred his sight! forbid evermore to think of him! Why were weak mortals born with passions, if they are not to be gratified? Why, from the weakest of the human species, is the most heroic fortitude to be exacted? Man, lawless man, in every department of life, may rove without controul through all the labyrinths of love; in them it is considered, if not meritorious, the slightest crime.
But, wherefore should I lament? There is a road still left me; the cloister alone can afford relief! Thither will I fly; there shall my future days be spent in praying for your welfare, and in religious contemplation; forgetting I am a woman, my soul will soar to heaven and to futurity.
Not all the charms of grandeur—the allurements of the most polished and brilliant court in Europe-neither the solicitations of relations, nor the interpositions of friends, can make me swerve from a resolution I have taken, to leave a world that can afford me no happiness, deprived of the only object capable of communicating it. Farewell, most lovely princess,
* The princess Louisa adhered to her resolution, and retired to a convent, where she spent the remainder of her days.
(Written in Bermuda.)
No! ne'er did the wave in its element steep
An island of lovelier charms;
Like Hebe in Hercules' arms.
The tint of your bowers is balm to the eye,
Their melody balm to the ear;
And the snow-spirit never comes here.
The down from his wings is as white, as the pearl
Thy lips for their cabinet stole, And it falls on the green earth, as melting, my girl,
As a murmur of thine on the soul.
Then Ay to the clime where he pillows the death,
As he cradles the birth, of the year; right are your bowers and balmy your breath,
But the snow-spirit never comes here.
How sweet to behold him, when borne on the gale,
And brightening the bosom of morn, He flings, like the priest of Diana, a veil
O'er the brow of each virginal thorn.
But think not the veil he so chillingly casts,
Is the veil of a vestal severe : No, no !
you will see what a moment it lasts, Should the snow-spirit ever come here.
Then fly to his region, lay open his zone,
And he'll weep all his brilliancy dim, To think that a bosom as white as his own,
Should not melt in the day-beam like him.
Oh! lovely the print of those delicate feet,
On his luminous path will appear ;
But the snow-spirit cannot come here.
THE PERSIAN LETTERS. In the Persian Letters, by lord Lyttleton, as originally published, the imaginary Persian writes to his friend at Ispahan an account of his introduction to the house of lords, and, after giving a general description of its appearance and character, he proceeds to state, that, in a certain part of it, there was a considerable body of personages distinct in figure from the other nobles, being peculiarly habited in robes of white and black, who, (adds the Persian) “ from such observations as I am qualified to make, appear to have no kind of business there.” It is, however, a remarkable circumstance, that this passage has been omitted in the several editions of the Persian Letters, which were published after the noble author's reverend brother had been elected to a seat on the episcopal bench.
THE ROBBERS OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
It appears from a letter of Lupus, abbot of Ferrières, in the ninth century, that the highways were then so much infested by banditti, that it became necessary for travellers to form themselves into companies, or caravans, that they might be safe from the assaults of robbers. The numerous regulations published by Charles the Bold, in the same century, discover the frequency of these disorders; and such acts of violence were become so common, that by many they were hardly considered as criminal; and for this reason, the inferior judges, called centenarii, were required to take oath that they would neither commit any robbery themselves, nor protect such as
were guilty of that crime. The historians of the ninth and tenth centuries give pathetic descriptions of their outrages. They became so frequent and audacious, that the authority of the civil magistrate was unable to repress them. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction was called in to aid it. Councils were held with great solemnity; the bodies of the saints were brought thither, and, in presence of their sacred relics, anathemas were denounced against robbers and other violators of the public peace. One of these forms of excommunication, issued in the year 988, is still preserved, and is remarkable for the eloquence with which it is composed.