Page images
PDF
EPUB

But we need not search the records of other countries for anecdotes of cruelty. Alas! England has been guilty in too many instances; we will only, however, select one: Alexander Leighton, a doctor of divinity, by desire of some of his friends, had written and published a book entitled “Zion's Plea against Prelacy.” It contained some warm, imprudent invectives against the prelates, and the conduct of those in power. Soon after the publication of the work, without an information upon oath, or legal proof who was the author, Leighton, as he was coming from church, was arrested by two high commissioned pursuivants : they dragged him to the house of Laud, where he was kept till seven in the evening without food. Laud returned at this time, in great pomp and state, with Corbet, bishop of Oxford. He demanded to be heard. The haughty Laud did not deign to see him, but sent him to Newgate: he was clapped into irons, and confined in an uninhabited apartment; where, notwithstanding the weather was cold, and the snow and rain beat in, there was no convenient place to make a fire. From Tuesday night to Thursday noon he was unsupplied with food, and in this wretched dwelling was kept fifteen weeks, without any friend, not even his wife, being suffered to come near him. His own house was, in the mean time, rifled by the officers of the high commissioned court, his wife and children treated by these ruffians with great barbarity, himself denied a copy of the commitment, and the sheriffs of London refused to bail him at his wife's petition. At the end of fifteen weeks he was served with a subpæna. Heath, the Attorney General, on an assurance that he should come off well, extorted a confession from him that he was the author of the book : an information was immediately lodged against him in the Star Chamber, by Heath. He confessed the writing of the book, but with no such intention as the information suggested. He pleaded that his aim was to remonstrate against certain grievances in church and state under which the people suffered, to the end that parliament might take them into consideration, and give such redress as might be for the honor of the king, the quiet of the people, and the peace of the church. This answer not being admitted as satisfactory, the following cruel sentence was by this tyrannical court pronounced against him, though sick and absent, viz:

"That he should pay a fine of ten thousand pounds to his majesty's use; and in respect that the defendant had heretofore

It was

entered into the ministry, and the court of Star Chamber did not use to inflict any corporeal or ignominious punishment upon any person so long as they continued in orders, the court referred him to the high commission, there to be degraded of his ministry ; that done, for farther punishment and example to others, the delinquent to be brought to the pillory at Westminster, (the court sitting,) and there whipped; after his whipping, to be set in the pillory for some convenient space; to have one of his ears cut off, his nose slit, and to be branded in the face with S. S., for a sower of sedition ; then to be carried to the prison of the Fleet, and at some convenient time afterwards to be carried to the pillory, at Cheapside, upon a market day, to be there likewise whipped, then set in the pillory, have his other ear cut off; and then be carried back to the prison of the Fleet, there to remain during life, unless his majesty be graciously pleased to pardon him."

Such was the sentence ; which, when it was pronounced, that inhuman wretch, Bishop Laud, pulled off his cap, and gave God thanks for it.

This sentence was given at the end of Trinity term. not till Michaelmas term following after the degradation that it was put into execution.

Cruelty to Animals. As cruelty should not be shown towards the human species, neither should it be indulged towards the animal tribes,

“I ever thought,” says Judge Hale, “that there is a certain degree of justice due from man to the creatures, as from man to man; and that an excessive use of the creatures' labor is an injustice for which he must account. I have therefore always esteemed it as a part of my duty, and it has always been my practice, to be merciful to iny beasts; and upon the same account I have declined any cruelty to any of God's creatures, and as much as I could prevented it in others as a tyranny. I have abhorred those sports that consist in torturing them; and if any noxious creatures must be destroyed, or creatures for food must be taken, it ha been my practice to do it in a manner that

may

be with the least torture or cruelty ; ever remembering, that though God has given us dominion over his creatures, yet it is under a law of justice, prudence, and mod. eration, otherwise we should become tyrants and not lords over

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

God's creatures ; and therefore those things of this nature which others have practised as recreations, I have avoided as sins."

The following circumstance, it is said, occurred at Abo, in Finland. A dog, who had been run over by a carriage, crawled to the door of a tanner in that town: the man's son, a boy of fifteen years of age, first stoned, and then poured a vessel of boiling water upon the miserable animal. This act of diabolical cruelty was witnessed by one of the magistrates, who thought such barbarity deserved to be publicly noticed. He therefore informed the other magistrates, who unanimously agreed in condemning the boy to this punishment. He was imprisoned till the following market day; then, in the presence of all the people, he was conducted to the place of execution by an officer of justice, who read to him his sentence: “Inhuman young man, because you did not assist an animal who implored your assistance by its cries, and who derives being from the same God who

gave you life ; because you added to the torture of the agonizing beast, and murdered it, the council of this city have sentenced you to wear on your breast the name you deserve, and to receive fifty stripes.” He then hung a black board round his neck, with this inscription,

“A savage and inhuman young man;" and, after inflicting upon him twenty-five stripes, he proceeded, “ Inhuman young man, you have now felt a very small degree of the pain with which you tortured a helpless animal in its hour of death. As you wish for mercy from that God who created all that live, learn humanity for the future." He then executed the remainder of the sentence. There is no doubt but cruelties often exercised may

become so customary, as to render the heart insensible. “I was once (says a writer) passing through Moorfields with a young lady aged about nine or ten years, born and educated in Portugal, but in the Protestant faith ; and, observing a large concourse of people assembled around a pile of faggots on fire, I expressed a curiosity to know the cause. She very composedly answered,

I

suppose that it is nothing more than that they are going to burn a Jew. Fortunately it was no other than roasting an ox on some joyful occasion. What rendered this singularity the more striking, was the natural mildness and compassion of the young person's disposition.”

LESSON XLVI.

FASHIONS.

1. Mrs. Toole has for some time reigned unrivaled in the fashionable world and had the supreme direction of caps bonnets feathers flowers and tinsel she has dressed and undressed our ladies just as she pleased now loading them with velvet and wadding now turning them adrist on the world to run shivering through the streets with scarcely a covering to their backs and now obliging them to drag a long train at their heels like the tail of a paper kitea her despotic sway however threatens to be limited.

2. A dangerous rival has sprung up in the person of Madam Bouchard, an intrepid little woman, fresh from the head quarters of fashion and folly, and who has burst lik a second Buonaparte upon the fashionable world.

Mrs. Toole, notwithstanding, seems determined to dispute her ground bravely for the honor of old England. The ladies have begun to arrange themselves under the banner of one or other of these heroines of the needle, and every thing portends open war.

3. Madame Bouchard marches gallantly to the field, flourishing a flaming red robe for a standard, " flouting the skies ;" and Mrs. Toole, no ways dismayed, sallies out under cover of artificial flowers, like Malcom's host. Both parties possess great merit, and both deserve the victory. Mrs. Toole charges

the highest, but Madame Bouchard makes the lowest courtesy. Madame Bouchard is a little, short lady-nor is there any hope of her growing larger; but then she is perfectly genteel, and so is Mrs. Toole.

4. Mrs. Toole lives in Broadway, and Madam Bouchard in Courtland street; but Madame atones for the inferiority of her stand, by making two courtesies to Mrs. Toole's one, and talking French like an angel. Mrs. Toole is the best looking, but Madame Bouchard wears a most bewitching little scrubby wig. Mrs. Toole is the tallest, but Madame Bouchard has the longest nose.

5. Mrs. 'Toole is fond of roast beef, but Madame is loyal in her adherence to onions ; in short, so equally are the merits of

[ocr errors]

* This piece is a fine example of wit.

2

the two ladies balanced, that there is no judging which will “ kick the beam.” It, however, seems to be the prevailing opinion, that Madame Bouchard will carry the day, because she wears a wig, has a long nose, talks French, loves onions, and does not charge above ten times as much for a thing as it is worth. Under the direction of these high-priestesses of the beau-monde, the following is the fashionable morning dress for walking :

6. If the weather be very cold, a thin muslin gown or frock is most advisable, because it agrees with the season, being perfectly cool. The neck, arms, and particularly the elbows, bare, in order that they may be agreeably painted and mottled by Mr. John Frost, nose-painter-general, of the color of Castile soap.

Shoes of kid, the thinnest that can possibly be procured-as they tend to promote colds, and make a lady look interesting, (i. e. grizzly.)

7. Picnic silk stockings, with lace clocks-flesh-colored are most fashionable, as they have the appearance of bare legsnudity being all the rage. The stockings carelessly bespattered with mud, to agree with the gown, which should be bordered about three inches deep with the most fashionably colored mud that can be found : the ladies permitted to hold up their trains, after they have swept two or three streets, in order to show—the clocks of their stockings. The shawl, scarlet, crimson, flame, orange, salmon, or any other combustible or brimstone color, thrown over one shoulder, like an Indian blanket, with one end dragging on the ground.a

8. N. B.b_If the ladies have not a red shawl at hand, a red petticoat, turned topsy-turvy over the shoulders, would do just as well. This is called being dressed a-la-drabble.a

When the ladies do not go abroad of a morning, the usual chimney-corner dress is a dotted, spotted, striped, or cross-barred gown—a yellowish, whitish, smokish, dirty-oolored shawl, and the hair curiously ornamented with little bits of newspapers, or pieces of a letter from a dear friend. This is called the “ Cinderella dress."a

9. The recipe for a full dress is as follows:

Take of spider.net, crape, satin, gymp, catgut, gauze, whale, bone, lace, bobbin, ribands, and artificial flowers, as much as will rig out the congregation of a village church ; to these add as many spangles, beads, and gewgaws as would be sufficient

« PreviousContinue »