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profession. All who had the good fortune to have inherited the name of King were entitled to this privilege, it being considered that such a designation was alone sufficient to prove the loyalty of the candidate.
Another club, that arose about the same time, was called the Club of Ugly Faces. It was instituted originally at Cambridge, and held its first dinner in Clare Hall, which at the outset it was feared would not be large enough to contain so numerous a body as would be fairly entitled to claim admission. The result, however, disappointed these very reasonable calculations. Few of those invited would allow that they had any right or title to a seat in the ugly assembly; and a very amusing account is given in the Spectator of the excuses put in and pleaded by the various recusants. How the powers of the club proceeded with them is not said, the want of a president having brought the whole affair at a still-stand. A chaplain had indeed been provided in the person of a merry fellow of King's College, commonly called Crab from his sour look, but no one was found who would admit himself duly qualified for the presidentship by superior ugliness. The affair, it is said, came to the ears of the merry monarch, then at Newcastle, and the whole chimed in so well with his humour, that he sent them a royal message, stating that " he could not be there himself, but he would send them
a brace of bucks."
Even this was a deviation, and a very material one, from the original designs of clubs, as they appeared in the time of Shakspeare and Ben Jonson. Men's minds had been forcibly turned to politics by late events, and if this disposition to "trade and traffic with affairs of state" had seemed to sleep awhile in the commencement of Charles's reign, when every thing else was forgotten in the momentary sense of joy, it was soon to wake again with more activity than ever. Goaded by the arts of the profligate Earl of Shaftesbury, the people were well nigh mad with terror; the spectre of a popish church was incessantly present to their imaginations, and three parts of London went to bed, fully expecting, with the Irishman, to wake the next morning and find their throats cut. But it was necessary to the ends of the party that this ferment should be kept up in all its vigour; if once the nation was allowed time to cool and recover from its alarm, their power, and perhaps even their safety, would be brought into serious compromise, and hence arose the institution The King's Head Club, the first club in which politics were substituted for wit, learning, and companionship. There is a curious and not uninteresting account of this society in Roger North's "Examen" and, as it would, perhaps, rather lose than gain by being translated into any other language, we shall give the passage in his own oldfashioned style:
"We had a more visible administration, mediate as it were, between his Lordship and the greater or lesser vulgar, who were to be the immediate tools. And this was the club, called originally the King's Head Club. The gentlemen of that worthy society held their evening sessions continually at the King's Head Tavern, over against the Inner Temple gate. But upon occasion of the signal of a green ribbon, agreed to be worn in their hats in the days of street engagements, like the coats of arms of valliant knights of old, whereby all the warriors of the society might be distinguished, and not mistake friends for enemies, they were called also the Green Ribbon Club. Their seat was in a sort of carfour (carrefour) at Chancery Lane end, a centre of business and company most proper for such anglers of fools. The house was double balconied in the front, as may yet be seen, for the clubsters to issue forth in fresco with hats and no peruques, pipes in their mouths, merry faces, and dilated throats, for vocal encouragement of the canaglia below, at bonfires, on usual and unusual occasions. They admitted all
strangers that were confidingly introduced, for it was a main end of their institution to make proselytes, especially of the raw, estated youth, newly come to town. This copious society were to the faction in and about London a sort of executive power, and by correspondence all over England. The resolves of the more retired councils and ministry of the faction were brought in here, and orally insinuated to the company, whether it were lies, defamations, commendations, projects, &c., and so, like water diffused, spread all over the town, whereby that which was digested at the club over night, was like nourishment at every assembly, male and female, the next day. And thus the younglings tasted of political administration, and took themselves for notable counsellors.
"The conversation and ordinary discourse of the club was chiefly upon the subject of braveur in defending the cause of liberty and property; and what every true Protestant and Englishman ought to venture and do, rather than be overrun with popery and slavery. There was much recommendation of silk armour, and the prudence of being provided with it against the time that Protestants were to be massacred. And accordingly there was abundance of those silken back, breast, and potts, made and sold, that were pretended to be pistolproof, in which any man dressed up, was as safe as in a house, for it was impossible any one would go to strike him for laughing, so ridiculous was the figure, as they say, of hogs in armour,-an image of derision insensible, but to the view as I have had it. This was an armour of defence; but our sparks were not altogether so tame to carry their provision no farther, for truly they intended to be assailants upon fair occasion! and had for that end recommended also to them a certain pocket-weapon, which for its design and efficacy had the honour to be called a Protestant flail. It was for street and crowd work, and the engine, lying perdu in a coat pocket, might readily sally out to execution, and so by clearing a great hall, or piazza, or so, carry an election by a choice way of poling, called knocking down. The handle represented a farrier's blood-stick, and the fall was joined to the end by a strong nervous ligature, that in its swing fell just short of the hand, and was made of lignum vitæ, or rather, as the poet termed it,
This satirical description is in all likelihood somewhat overcharged, but it presents a striking picture of the club in question, and of the times in which it existed. Cruikshanks, unrivalled as he is in his own art, never placed the follies of his day in a more ludicrous light, even with the advantage of presenting to the eye what is here only suggested to the imagination
Yet dull indeed must be the fancy that on reading this lively narrative does not picture to itself the meeting of the Club in all its reality. The grotesque fear of the weak and timid, showing itself in Protestant flails and silk head-pieces, the bravado of the natural boaster, the busy gossip, and eager hunting after alarm of others, and the sardonic faces of Shaftesbury and his intimates, who had set the whole machine in motion, and who were laughing in their sleeves at their more simple associates-all is present to the mind's eye in this description. The extract, too, is curious in another respect; it shows the ground whereon Sir Walter Scott had beeu poaching, in his Peveril of the Peak, and the matchless dexterity with which he assimilated to his own text the collectanea of his multifarious reading.
To be continued.]
THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF CLEVELAND, by John Walker Ord, F.G.S.L., Author of " England,” “ The Bard," "Rural Sketches," &c. London. Simpkin and Marshall.
THE "County Histories" form a branch of literature peculiar to our own country. Continental writers have, indeed, published surveys of kingdoms and provinces, and described particular cities and places, but their efforts, chiefly directed to historical or biographical disquisitions, have never been employed in the production of works similar to those, of which almost all our English counties can boast. Among the ancients, we look, in vain, for anything of the kind: yet, how inestimably valuable would now be a descriptive account of a Roman province, bringing to light the domestic incidents of the time, recalling the ancient customs, and affording occasional glimpses of the manners of the nighty rulers of the universe!
A county history, to deserve a place by the side of Dugdale's Warwickshire, Surtees' Durhain, Ormerod's Cheshire, Baker's Northamptonshire, or Hunter's Doncaster, requires in its compilation the combination of great mental capacity, with untiring energy, indefatigable research, and continuous application. It should detail, with the most rigid accuracy, the general and local history of the shire; describe every manor and estate, with the proprietors in succession; include genealogical memoirs (supported by references of undoubted authority) of the various families of note, with biographical sketches of the eminent men the district has nurtured or produced; and, in a word, form a perfect record of the county, its history, its genealogy, its topography, and its antiquities.
One of the ablest and most distinguished of existing antiquaries, the Rev. Joseph Hunter, to whose history of South Yorkshire we have already alluded, read at the recent meeting of the Archæological Institute, an "Essay on Topography," which gave so eloquent and masterly a view of the subject that we cannot refrain from extracting the following passage, exactly in accordance with our feelings :
"The philosopher may smile at the minuteness of the objects which are made of importance in the books of the topographer. But it is in fact in the minuteness of their details that their value consists. It is because the topographer has preserved his millions of facts and observations that his writings are valued. And if, looking upon his little selected region with the eye of the geographer and yet through a glass microscopically, on finding objects naturally magnified, since there is nothing greater near at hand with which to compare them, he speaks of some little heath or common which still exhibits the pristine condition of that portion of the island, or draws attention to some little Tempe beautiful as delivered by the hand of Nature and made beautiful by the hand of Taste-or if he find a few books or paintings which some curious person has collected and deposited there, and dwell upon them as if they were a Vatican library or a Florentine gallery,if he find a church with some little architectural pretensions, and describe it with affectionate minuteness, as another would one of the great cathedrals of the empire-or a piece of middle-age sculpture of which he feels the beauty, and seeks
to make others sensible of it-I cannot think him uselessly employed, or that that can be a true philosophy which shall deride taste and enthusiasm such as this. And if, in the spirit of minute research in which he acts, he set before us every remain, however inconsiderable, that opens to us any insight into the manners or characters of the early inhabitants of this island, or of the persons who induced a new population on the ruins of another-be it only a little fragment of masonry, or a little remain of an half-obliterated trackway, or a mound of earth raised by unknown hands and for some unknown purpose,-or if he find buried in the earth all that remains among us of some primeval inhabitant,—there is at leastsomething which strikes pleasingly on the imagination: and if, as churches are the topographer's especial delight, he preserves from future accident the records inscribed on stone, or brass, or marble, he is perpetuating evidence of which an amount scarcely conceivable has been suffered to perish.-I say nothing here of that noble branch of topographical study, the remains of the Romans while they held their sovereignty in Britain;-which are gathered up by him with more especial care."
The first labourer in the field of topographical research, was the indefatigable Leland, and he commenced his arduous task at a most critical period, when our antiquities were on the point of being involved in the ruins of the monasteries. His Itinerary" may, with truth, be deemed the foundation stone of English Topography. He was succeeded by one, who "restored antiquity to Britain, and Britain to antiquity"—the great and learned Camden, and after him came Dugdale, Dodsworth, Erdeswick, Burton, and Plott. The earliest of our county histories is Sir William Dugdale's Warwickshire, a perfect pattern for all similar works with it, may well range the splendid histories of Cheshire, Durham, South Yorkshire, and Northampton, which have appeared within the last thirty years; and at no great distance, Manning and Bray's Surrey, Hutchin's Dorsetshire, Clutterbuck's Herts, Shaw's Staffordshire, Morant's Essex, and Lipscombe's Bucks. Singular enough, some of our most important counties, such as Yorkshire, Devon and Shropshire, have no complete histories, but it is to be hoped that this reflection on the liberality of the resident gentry may soon cease to exist. Who will venture to assert that these topographical records of our land do not lend a useful light to enquirers in almost every branch of our national literature, or that in the list of those who have cultivated this department of study, names may not be found, which deserve a high and honourable place among our most distinguished authors.
The Vale of Cleveland, which Mr. Ord has chosen for his subject, has been already explored, and its history written, by the Rev. John Graves; but that gentleman's publication, though meritorious, did not do sufficient justice to a locality, which, as Mr. Ord truly remarks, abounds "in monuments of antiquity, in abbeys, priories, hermitages, and cells; in castles, fortifications and encampments; in remains of former grandeur, and relics of great and illustrious families." The work before us, one of far more pretension and far higher merit, is written in a spirited, attractive style, displays considerable research and, were it not for the want of care displayed in the deduction of the pedigrees, might claim no inferior position in topographical literature. The general and ecclesiastical history is extremely interesting, and the chapter on the antiquities of the district evinces learning and discrimination. That which follows refers to the introduction of Christianity into England, and should be altogether omitted, or dictated by a different spirit. It is re
markable for nothing but its extreme bigotry, and its unjustifiable and ntolerant attack on the religious opinions of the Church of Rome.
The fifth chapter gives a description of Gisborough Priory, "a famous monument of ancient piety," and the remainder of the volume contains the local history of the thirty parishes which Cleveland comprises. The portion that pleases us most is that devoted to Skelton-an obscure and insignificant village "which will for ever stand renowned, not only in the history of Cleveland, but in that of the empire and of the world, as the birth-place of a lofty and illustrious line of nobles, and the ancient cradle and the nursery of warriors, princes, and kings.”
"From this little nook of Cleveland," says Mr. Ord, "sprang mighty Monarchs, Queens, High Chancellors, Arch-Bishops, Earls, Barons, Ambassadors and Knights, and above all one brilliant and immortal name, ROBERT BRUCE, the Scottish Patriot, who, when liberty lay vanquished and prostrate in the dust, and the genius of national freedom had fled from her native hills, proudly stood forth its atest and noblest champion, and in defiance of England's proudest chivalry, achieved for Scotland glorious independence, and for himself imperishable fame."
Mr. Ord then proceeds with the memoir of the Bruces Lords of Skelton, until their final extinction at the death of Peter de Bruce, A.D. 1271. Their old baronial fortress of Skelton Castle passed with the eldest co-heir to the family of Fauconberg, and is now possessed by that of Wharton, of which the pedigree is given; the great grandfather of the present proprietor was the well known and eccentric John Hall Stevenson, of whom Mr. Ord adds the following sketch.
"Mr. Hall Stevenson, the author of many poetic pieces, was the son of Colonel George Hall, by a daughter of Lord W. Manners. The father of this gentleman purchased Skelton of Lawson Trotter, Esq, and married Catherine Trotter, eldest daughter of John Trotter, Esq., of Skelton Castle. Our author was born in 1718, married Ann, daughter of Ambrose Stevenson, Esq., of Manor House, in the parish of Lanchester, county Durham, and died in 1785. He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he became first acquainted with the celebrated Lawrence Sterne, (the Tristram of his poems), who frequently afterwards visited Skelton Castle. The festive meetings of these joyous companions, Sterne, Zachary Moore, Panty Lascelles, and the rest'-brought back the good old times to 'Crazy Castle.' When a man keeps an hospitable table, there are people enough who can smell out his roast meat: he need not send into the highways and hedges for people to eat it. A late proprietor of this beautiful castle (the grandest building I ever saw) was of this generous class. He kept a full spread board, and wore down the steps of his cellar. His open heart filled his dining-room with choice company; one of which was, the celebrated divine Lawrence Sterne, of facetious memory.' Being wits, scholars, and men of the polite world, these Noeles Ambrosiana' partook of Attic grace and Roman vivacity, sentiment and humour, pathos and ridicule; whilst the drollery of Aristophanes, the Bacchic glow of Anacreon, the festive hilarity of Horace, united to throw over the evening years of a declining literature, something of the glorious light and gorgeous hues of the palmy zenith of Greece and Rome.
"Hall Stevenson was himself an author of no mean attainments. His works appeared in three vols. 1795, printed for J. Debrett, the enterprising bibliopole of Piccadilly. They comprise, Fables for grown Gentlemen,' Lyric Epistles,' 'Pastoral Cordial,' 'Pastoral Puke,' 'Macaroni Fables,' Lyric Consolations,' 'Moral Tales,' 'Crazy Tales,' &c. These poems possess considerable harmony of versification, much facility of expression, a high degree of imagination and exuberance of fancy; disfigured in some parts by coarse licentious buffoonery, a quaint exaggerated style, and a prodigal indulgence in ludicrous and fantastic delineation. The criticism in this author, which is appended to his works, may on the whole, be accepted as a fair and just criterion.