E-text prepared by J. Paul Morrison
* This 15th edition of A MUSEUM FOR YOUNG GENTLEMEN AND LADIES was published ca. 1799.
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* One major point of confusion should be mentioned: In the section on the Seven Wonders of the World, what is usually described as the Lighthouse of Pharos appears to have been merged with the so-called Egyptian Labyrinth (described by Herodotus)—see the title and the description in the text. In the next section (the Pyramids of Egypt), there is a reference to a black marble head on the third pyramid—perhaps this represents some confusion with the Sphynx.
A MUSEUM FOR YOUNG GENTLEMEN AND LADIES OR A Private Tutor FOR LITTLE MASTERS AND MISSES. Containing a Variety of useful Subjects; AND, IN PARTICULAR,
I. Directions for Reading with V. Table of Weights and Elegance and Propriety. Measures.
II. The ancient and present State of VI. The Seven Wonders of Great Britain; with a compendious the World. history of England.
III. An Account of the Solar System. VII. Prospect and Description of the burning Mountains.
IV. Historical and Geographical VIII. Dying Words and Behaviour Description of the several of great Men, when just Countries in the World; with the quitting the Stage of Manners, Customs and Habits of the Life; with many useful People. Particulars, all in a plain familiar way for Youth of both Sexes.
With Letters, Tales and Fables, for amusement and Instruction. ILLUSTRATED WITH CUTS. THE FIFTEENTH EDITION, WITH CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONS AND ALTERATIONS.
Printed for DARTON and HARVEY, Gracechurch-street, CROSBY and LETTERMAN, Stationers-Court, and E. NEWBERY, St. Paul's Church-yard; and B.C. COLLINS, Salisbury.
[Price One Shilling.]
I AM very much concerned when I see young gentlemen of fortune and quality so wholly set upon pleasure and diversions, that they neglect all those improvements in wisdom and knowledge which may make them easy to themselves and useful to the world. The greatest part of our British youth lose their figure, and grow out of fashion, by that time they are five and twenty. As soon as the natural gaiety and amiableness of the young man wears off, they have nothing left to recommend them, but lie by the rest of their lives among the lumber and refuse of the species. It sometimes happens, indeed, that for want of applying themselves in due time to the pursuit of knowledge, they take up a book in their declining years, and grow very hopeful scholars by the time they are threescore. I must therefore earnestly press my readers, who are in the flower of their youth, to labour at those accomplishments which may set off their persons when their bloom is gone, and to lay in timely provisions for manhood and old age. In short, I would advise the youth of fifteen to be dressing up every day the man of fifty, or to consider how to make himself venerable at threescore.
Young men, who are naturally ambitious, would do well to observe how the greatest men of antiquity made it their ambition to excel all their contemporaries in knowledge. Julius Csar and Alexander, the most celebrated instances of human greatness, took a particular care to distinguish themselves by their skill in the arts and sciences. We have still extant several remains of the former, which justify the character given of him by the learned men of his own age. As for the latter, it is a known saying of his, that he was more obliged to Aristotle, who had instructed him, than to Philip, who had given him life and empire. There is a letter of his recorded by Plutarch and Aulus Gellius, which he wrote to Aristotle upon hearing that he had published those lectures he had given him in private. This letter was written in the following words, at a time when he was in the height of his Persian conquest:
ALEXANDER to ARISTOTLE, greeting.
"You have not done well to publish your books of select knowledge; for what is there now, in which I can surpass others, if those things which I have been instructed in are communicated to every body? For my own part, I declare to you, I would rather excel others in knowledge than in power."
We see by this letter, that the love of conquest was but a second ambition in Alexander's soul. Knowledge is indeed that, which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another. It furnishes one half of the human soul. It makes life pleasant to us, fills the mind with entertaining views, and administers to it a perpetual series of gratifications. It gives ease to solitude, and gracefulness to retirement. It fills a public station with suitable abilities, and adds a lustre to those who are in possession of them.
Learning, by which I mean all useful knowledge, whether speculative or practical, is in popular and mixt governments the natural source of wealth and honour. If we look into most of the reigns from the conquest, we shall find that the favourites of each reign have been those who have raised themselves. The greatest men are generally the growth of that particular age in which they flourish. A superior capacity for business, and a more extensive knowledge, are the steps by which a new man often mounts to favour, and outshines the rest of his contemporaries. But when men are actually born to titles, it is almost impossible that they should fail of receiving additional greatness, if they take care to accomplish themselves for it.
The story of Solomon's choice does not only instruct us in that point of history, but furnishes out a very fine moral to us, namely, that he who applies his heart to wisdom, does, at the same time, take the most proper method for gaining long life, riches, and reputation, which are very often not only the reward, but the effects of wisdom.
MUSEUM FOR YOUNG GENTLEMEN AND LADIES.
NOTES AND POINTS
USED IN Writing and Printing.
Before I begin to lay down rules for reading, it will be necessary to take notice of the several points or marks used in printing or writing, for resting or stopping the voice, which are four in number, called
1. The Comma (,) 3. Colon (:) 2. Semicolon (;) 4. Period (.)
These points are to give a proper time for breathing when you read, and to prevent confusion of sense in joining words together in a sentence. The Comma stops the reader's voice till he can tell one, and divides the lesser parts of a sentence. The Semicolon divides the greater parts of a sentence, and requires the reader to pause while he can count two. The Colon is used where the sense is complete, and not the sentence, and rests the voice of the reader till he can count three. The Period is put when the sentence is ended, and requires a pause while he can tell four.
But we must here remark, that the Colon and Semicolon are frequently used promiscuously, especially in our bibles.
There are two other points, which may be called marks of affection; the one of which is termed an Interrogation, which signifies a question being asked, and expressed thus (?); the other called an Admiration or Exclamation, and marked thus (!). These two points require a pause as long as a period.
We have twelve other marks to be met with in reading, namely,
1. Apostrophe (') 7. Section (Sec. ) 2. Hyphen (-) 8. Ellipsis (—) 3. Parenthesis ( ) 9. Index ( [index] ) [hand pointing rightwards] 4. Brackets [ ] 10. Asterisk (*) 5. Paragraph ( ) 11. Obelisk (dagger) 6. Quotation (") 12. Caret (^)
Apostrophe is set over a word where some letter is wanting, as in lov'd. Hyphen joins syllables and words together, as in pan-cake. Parenthesis includes something not necessary to the sense, as, I know that in me (that is in my flesh) liveth, &c. Brackets include a word or words mentioned as a matter of discourse, as, The little word [man] makes a great noise, &c. They are also used to enclose a cited sentence, or what is to be explained, and sometimes the explanation itself. Brackets and Parenthesis are often used for each other without distinction. Paragraph is chiefly used in the bible, and denotes the beginning of a new subject. Quotation is used to distinguish what is taken from an author in his own words. Section shews the division of a chapter. Ellipsis is used when part of a word or sentence is omitted, as p ce. Index denotes some remarkable passage. Asterisk refers to some note in the margin, or remarks at the bottom of the page; and when many stand together, thus ***, they imply that something is wanting, or not fit to be read, in the author. The Obelisk or Dagger, and also parallel lines marked thus ( ), refer to something in the margin. The Caret, marked thus (^), is made use of in writing, when any line or word is left out, and wrote over where it is to come in, as thus,
had A certain man two sons: ^
Here the word had was left out, wrote over, and marked by the Caret where to come in.
It may also in this place be proper to mention the crooked lines or Braces, which couple two or three words or lines together that tend to the same thing; for instance,
/ a long The vowel a has Sound a broad /
This is often used in poetry, where three lines have the same rhyme.
The other marks relate to single words, as Dialysis or Diaeresis, placed over vowels to shew they must be pronounced in distinct syllables, as Raphael. The Circumflex is set over a vowel to carry a long sound, as Euphrates. An Accent is marked thus (a), to shew where the emphasis must be placed, as neglect; or to shew that the consonant following must be pronounced double, as homage. To these may be added the long (-) and short (breve) marks, which denote the quantity of syllables, as water.
RULES FOR READING.
When you have gained a perfect knowledge of the sounds of the letters, never guess at a word on sight, lest you get a habit of reading falsely. Pronounce every word distinctly. Let the tone of your voice be the same in reading as in speaking. Never read in a hurry, lest you learn to stammer. Read no louder than to be heard by those about you. Observe to make your pauses regular, and make not any where the sense will admit of none. Suit your voice to the subject. Be attentive to those who read well, and remember to imitate their pronunciation. Read often before good judges, and thank them for correcting you. Consider well the place of emphasis, and pronounce it accordingly: For the stress of voice is the same with regard to sentences as in words. The emphasis or force of voice is for the most part laid upon the accented syllable; but if there is a particular opposition between two words in a sentence, one whereof differs from the other in parts, the accent must be removed from its place: for instance, The sun shines upon the just and upon the unjust. Here the emphasis is laid upon the first syllable in unjust, because it is opposed to just in the same sentence, without which opposition it would lie in its proper place, that is, on the last syllable, as we must not imitate the unjust practices of others.
The general rule for knowing which is the emphatical word in a sentence, is, to consider the design of the whole; for particular directions cannot be easily given, excepting only where words evidently oppose one another in a sentence, and those are always emphatical. So frequently is the word that asks a question, as, who, what, when, &c. but not always. Nor must the emphasis be always laid upon the same words in the same sentence, but varied according to the principal meaning of the speaker. Thus, suppose I enquire, Did my father walk abroad yesterday? If I lay the emphasis on the word father, it is evident I want to know whether it was he, or somebody else. If I lay it upon walk, the person I speak to will know, that I want to be informed whether he went on foot or rode on horseback. If I put the emphasis upon yesterday, it denotes, that I am satisfied that my father went abroad, and on foot, though I want to be informed whether it was yesterday, or some time before.
RULES TO READ VERSE.
There are two ways of writing on a subject, namely, in prose and verse. Prose is the common way of writing, without being confined to a certain number of syllables, or having the trouble of disposing of the words in any particular form. Verse requires words to be ranged so, as the accents may naturally fall on particular syllables, and make a sort of harmony to the ear: This is termed metre or measure, to which rhyme is generally added, that is, to make two or more verses, near to each other, and with the same sound; but this practice is not absolutely necessary; for that which has no rhyme is called blank verse.
In metre the words must be so disposed, as that the accent may fall on every second, fourth, and sixth syllable, and also on the eighth, tenth, and twelfth, if the lines run to that length. The following verse of ten syllables may serve for an example:
The monarch spoke, and strait a murmur rose.
But English poetry allows of frequent variations from this rule, especially in the first and second syllables in the line, as in the verse which rhymes with the former, where the accent is laid upon the first syllable.
Loud as the surges, when the tempest blows.
But there are two sorts of metre, which vary from this rule; one of which is when the verse contains but seven syllables, and the accent lies upon the first, third, fifth, and seventh, as below:
Could we, which we never can, Stretch our lives beyond their span; Beauty like a shadow flies, And our youth before us dies.
The other sort has a hasty sound, and requires an accent upon every third syllable; as,
'Tis the voice of the sluggard, I hear him complain, You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber again.
You must always observe to pronounce a verse as you do prose, giving each word and syllable its natural accent, with these two restrictions: First, If there is no point at the end of the line, make a short pause before you begin the next. Secondly, If any word in a line has two sounds, give it that which agrees best with the rhyme and metre; for example the word glittering must sometimes be pronounced as of three syllables, and sometimes glitt'ring, as of two.
The USE of CAPITALS, and the different LETTERS used in PRINTING.
The names of the letters made use of in printed books are distinguished thus: The round, full, and upright, are called Roman; the long, leaning, narrow letters are called Italic; and the ancient black character is called English. You have a specimen as follows, viz.
The Old English is seldom used but in acts of parliament, proclamations, &c. The Roman is chiefly in vogue for books and pamphlets, intermixed with Italic, to distinguish proper names, chapters, arguments, words in any foreign language, texts of scripture, citations from authors, speeches or sayings of any person, emphatical words, and whatever is strongly significant.
The use of capitals, or great letters, is to begin every name of the Supreme Being, as God, Lord, Almighty, Father, Son, &c. All proper names of men and things, titles of distinction, as King, Duke, Lord, Knight, &c. must also begin with a capital. So ought every book, chapter, verse, paragraph, and sentence after a period. A saying, or quotation from any author, should begin with a capital; as ought every line in a poem. I and O, when they stand single, must always be capitals; any words, particularly names or substantives, may begin with a capital; but the common way of beginning every substantive with a capital is not commendable, and is now much disused.
Capitals are likewise often used for ornament, as in the title of books; and also to express numbers, and abbreviations.
A CONCISE ACCOUNT OF ANCIENT BRITAIN. CHAP. I.
ENGLAND and Scotland, though but one island, are two kingdoms, viz. the kingdom of England and the kingdom of Scotland; which two kingdoms being united, were in the reign of James I. called Great-Britain. The shape of it is triangular, as thus [triangle], and 'tis surrounded by the seas. Its utmost extent or length is 812 miles, its breadth is 320, and its circumference 1836; and it is reckoned one of the finest islands in Europe. The whole island was anciently called Albion, which seems to have been softened from Alpion; because the word alp, in some of the original western languages, generally signifies very high lands, or hills; as this isle appears to those who approach it from the Continent. It was likewise called Olbion, which in the Greek signifies happy; but of those times there is no certainty in history, more than that it had the denomination, and was very little known by the rest of the world.
The people that first lived in this island, according to the best historians, were the Gauls, and afterwards the Britons. These Britons were tall, well made, and yellow haired, and lived frequently a hundred and twenty years, owing to their sobriety and temperance, and the wholesomeness of the air. The use of clothes was scarce known among them. Some of them that inhabited the southern parts covered their nakedness with the skins of wild beasts carelessly thrown over them, not so much to defend themselves against the cold as to avoid giving offence to strangers that came to traffic among them. By way of ornament they used to cut the shape of flowers, and trees, and animals, on their skin, and afterwards painted it of a sky colour, with the juice of woad, that never wore out. They lived in woods, in huts covered with skins, boughs, or turfs. Their towns and villages were a confused parcel of huts, placed at a little distance from each other, without any order or distinction of streets. They were generally in the middle of a wood, defended with ramparts, or mounds of earth thrown up. Ten or a dozen of them, friends and brothers, lived together, and had their wives in common. Their food was milk and flesh got by hunting, their woods and plains being well stocked with game. Fish and tame fowls, which they kept for pleasure, they were forbid by their religion to eat.
The chief commerce was with the the Phoenician merchants, who, after the discovery of the island, exported every year great quantities of tin, with which they drove a very gainful trade with distant nations.
In this situation were the Ancient Britons when Julius Caesar, the first Emperor of Rome, and a great conqueror, formed a design of invading their island, which the Britons hearing of, they endeavoured to divert him from his purpose by sending ambassadors with offers of obedience to him, which he refused, and in the 55th year before the coming of our Saviour upon earth, he embarked in Gaul (that is France) a great many soldiers on board eighty ships.
At his arrival on the coast of Britain he saw the hills and cliffs that ran out into the sea covered with troops, that could easily prevent his landing, on which he sailed two leagues farther to a plain and open shore, which the Britons perceiving sent their chariots and horse that way, whilst the rest of their army advanced to support them. The largeness of Caesar's vessels hindered them from coming near the shore, so that the Roman soldiers saw themselves under a necessity of leaping into the sea, armed as they were, in order to attack their enemies, who stood ready to receive them on the dry ground. Caesar perceiving that his soldiers did not exert their usual bravery, ordered some small ships to get as near the shore as possible, which they did, and with their slings, engines, and arrows so pelted the Britons, that their courage began to abate. But the Romans were unwilling to throw themselves into the water, till one of the standard-bearers leaped in first with his colours in his hand, crying out aloud, Follow me, fellow soldiers, unless you will betray the Roman Eagle into the hands of the enemy. For my part I am resolved to discharge my duty to Caesar and the Commonwealth. Whereupon all the soldiers followed him, and began to fight. But their resolution was not able to compel the Britons to give ground; nay, it was feared they would have been repelled, had not Caesar caused armed boats to supply them with recruits, which made the enemy fall back a little. The Romans improving this advantage advanced, and getting firm footing on land, pressed the Britons so vigorously that they put them to the rout. The Britons, astonished at the Roman valour, and fearing a more obstinate resistance would but expose them to greater mischiefs, sent to sue for peace and offer hostages, which Caesar accepted, and a peace was concluded four days after their landing. Thus having given an account of Ancient Britain, and Caesar's invasion, we shall proceed to the History of England, and the several Kings by whom it has been governed.
A COMPENDIOUS HISTORY OF ENGLAND. CHAP. II.
AS England was long governed by Kings who were natives of the country, so it may not be improper to distinguish that tract of time by the name of the British Period. Those Kings were afterwards subdued by the Romans, and the time that warlike people retained their conquest we shall call the Roman Period. When the Saxons brought this country under their subjection, we shall denominate the time of their sway the Saxon Period. Lastly, when the Danes invaded England, and conquered it, we shall term the series of years they possessed it the Danish Period.
This country was originally called Albion; but one Brutus, a Grecian hero, having landed here about 1100 years before Christ, changed the ancient name to Britannia; from which time, to the arrival of Julius Caesar here, there had reigned sixty-nine Kings, all natives of England.
In respect to the Roman Period we may observe, that Julius Caesar first landed in Britain from Gallia, and made it tributary to the Romans; but soon after the birth of Christ the Emperor Claudius brought this country entirely under his subjection, and the Emperor Adrian built the long wall between England and Scotland.
In the beginning of the second century the Christian religion was planted in England; and in the fifth century the Britons, finding themselves overpowered by the Scots, called over the Saxons to their assistance, who were so charmed with the country that they determined to continue here, and subdue it.
The most remarkable occurrences in the Saxon Period are, that such of them who embarked for England had been particularly distinguished by the name of Angles, and from them the name of Britannia was changed to that of Anglia. The Saxons also divided the country among themselves into seven kingdoms, known by the name of the Saxon Heptarchy, viz. 1. Kent, 2. Essex, 3. Sussex, 4. Wessex, 5. East Anglia, 6. Mercia, 7. Northumberland. But at length Wessex over-powering the rest, formed them all into one monarchy.
One of those West-Saxon Kings, called Ina, made many good laws, some of which are still extant: he also was the first that granted Peter's pence to the Pope.
In regard to the Danish Period we shall only remark, that the Danes had for a long time acted as pirates or sea robbers upon the English coasts, and made several incursions into the country, when their King Canute possessed himself of the crown of England; however their government did not continue long.
Canute reigned eighteen years, and left three sons, Harold, Canute, and Sueno; to the first he gave England, to the second Denmark, and to the third Norway.
Harold reigned five years, and was succeeded by his half-brother Hardi-Canute, who died two years after, and with him ended the tyrannical government of the Danes in England.
THE INTERMEDIATE HISTORY OF ENGLAND. CHAP. III.
WE shall divide this part of our history into four periods; 1. The Kings of the Norman Line; 2. Those of the House of Anjou; 3. Of the House of Lancaster; 4. Of the House of York.
The NORMAN KINGS.
WILLIAM I. sirnamed [sic] the Conqueror, gained a signal victory over King Harold, by which means he procured the crown of England. This Prince was the son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by one of his mistresses called Harlotte, from whom some think the word harlot is derived; however, as this amour seems odd, we shall entertain the reader with an account of it. The Duke riding one day to take the air passed by a company of country girls, who were dancing, and was so taken with the graceful carriage of one of them, named Harlotte, a skinner's daughter, that he prevailed on her to cohabit with him, and she was ten months after delivered of William, who, having reigned 21 years, died at Rouen, in September, 1087.
WILLIAM II. sirnamed Rufus, succeeded his father; he built Westminster-hall, rebuilt London-bridge, and made a new wall round the Tower of London. In his time the sea overflowed a great part of the estate belonging to Earl Goodwin, in Kent, which is at this day called the Goodwin Sands. The King was killed accidentally by an arrow in the New Forest, and left no issue. He reigned fourteen years, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.
HENRY I. youngest son of William the Conqueror, succeeded his brother William II. in 1100. He reduced Normandy, and made his son Duke thereof. This Prince died in Normandy of a surfeit, by eating lampreys after hunting, having reigned 35 years.
STEPHEN, sirnamed of Blois, succeeded his uncle Henry I. in 1135; but being continually harassed by the Scotch and Welsh, and having reigned 19 years in an uninterrupted series of troubles, he died at Dover in 1154, and was buried in the Abbey at Feversham, which he had erected for the burial place of himself and family.
HENRY II. son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Earl of Anjou, succeeded Stephen in 1154. In him the Norman and Saxon blood was united, and with him began the race of the Plantagenets, which ended with Richard III. In this King's reign Thomas a Becket, son to a tradesman in London, being made Lord High Chancellor, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, affected on all occasions to oppose and to be independent of the court. The King hearing of his misbehaviour, complained that he had not one to revenge him on a wretched priest for the many insults he had put upon him. Hereupon four of his domestics, in hopes to gain favour, set out immediately for Canterbury, and beat out Thomas's brains with clubs, as he was saying vespers in his own cathedral, in so cruel a manner, that the altar was covered with blood. King Henry subdued Ireland, and died there in 1189, in the 34th year of his reign.
RICHARD I. succeeded his father Henry II. and was no sooner crowned than he took upon him the cross, and went with Philip, King of France, to the Holy Land in 1192. On his return he was detained by the Emperor Henry VI. and was obliged to pay 100,000 marks for his ransom. In a war which succeeded between England and France, Richard fought personally in the field, and gained a complete victory over the enemy, but was afterwards shot by an arrow at the siege of the Castle of Chalus, and died of the wound April 6, 1199.
JOHN, the fourth son of Henry II. took possession of the crown on Richard's decease, though his nephew Arthur of Bretagne, son of his elder brother Geoffrey Plantagenet, had an undoubted title to it.
His encroachments on the privileges of his people called forth the opposition of the spirited and potent Barons of that day: John was reduced to great straits; and Pope Innocent III. with the usual policy of the Holy Fathers, sided with John's disaffected subjects, and fulminated the thunders of the church against him, till he had brought him to his own terms: the King surrendered his crown at the feet of the Pope's Legate, who returned it to him on his acknowledging that he held it as the vassal of the Holy See, and binding himself and successors to pay an annual tribute thereto. The Barons and their cause were to be sacrificed to the Pope's interest, and the Legate commanded them to lay down their arms; they were however bold enough to make head against this powerful league, and by their steady opposition to the King, and their moderate demands when their efforts were crowned with success, immortalized their names: John was obliged to sign out two famous charters—the first called Magna Charta, or the Charter of Liberties; the second the Charter of Forests; which two charters have since been the foundation of the liberties of this nation. Some time after, having thrown himself into a fever by eating peaches, he died at Newark October 28, 1216.
HENRY III. succeeded his father John in 1216, being but nine years old. He reigned 56 years, during the greatest part of which he was embroiled in a civil war. He founded the house of converts, and an hospital, in Oxford, and died at St. Edmundsbury in 1272.
EDWARD I. though in the Holy Land when his father died, yet succeeded him, and proved a warlike and successful Prince. He made France fear him, and forced the King of Scotland to pay him homage. He created his eldest son Prince of Wales, which title has been enjoyed by the eldest son of all the Kings of England ever since.
In his last moments he exhorted his son to continue the war with Scotland, and added, "Let my bones be carried before you, for I am sure the rebels will never dare to stand the sight of them." He died of a bloody flux at Burgh on the sands [sic], a small town in Cumberland, July 7, 1337, having reigned 34 years, and lived 68.
EDWARD II. succeeded his father, but proved an unfortunate Prince, being hated by his nobles, and slighted by the commons: he was first debauched by Gaveston his favourite, and afterwards by the two Spencers, father and son, whose oppressions he countenanced to the hazard of his crown. But the Barons taking up arms against the King, Gaveston was beheaded, the two Spencers hanged, and he himself forced to to resign the crown to Prince Edward his son. Soon after which he was barbarously murdered at Berkeley Castle, by means of Mortimer, the Queen's favourite. He reigned twenty years, and was buried at Gloucester.
EDWARD III. who succeeded his father on his resignation, claimed the crown of France, and backed his claim by embarking a powerful army for that country, where he made rapid conquests: the Scots favouring the French, invaded Cumberland, but were defeated by Edward's Queen Philippa, who took David Bruce, their King, prisoner. Edward's eldest son, sirnamed the Black Prince, gained two surprizing [sic] victories, one at Cressi, the other at Poitiers, in which he took King John, with his youngest son Philip, prisoners. Thus England had the glory to make two Kings prisoners in one year. This reign is also memorable for the institution of the most noble Order of the Garter, and for the title of Duke of Cornwall being first conferred upon the Black Prince, and continued as a birthright to the Prince Royal of England.
In this reign lived John Wickliff, who strenuously opposed the errors of the Romish Church. Peter's Pence were now also denied to the church of Rome; and the manufacture of cloth was first brought into England.
Edward the Black Prince died in 1336, and his untimely end hastened that of his father, who died soon after at Shene, in Surry, having reigned thirty years, and was buried at Westminster.
RICHARD II. son to Edward the Black Prince, succeeded his grandfather; but he had neither his wisdom nor good fortune. He was born at Bourdeaux in France: his conduct in England made his reign very uneasy to his subjects, and at last deprived him of his crown. He raised a tax of 5d. per head, which caused an insurrection by the influence of Wat Tyler, who being stabbed by William Walworth, Mayor of London, the storm was quelled. The smothering of the Duke of Gloucester, and the unjust seizure of the Duke of Lancaster's effects, with an intent to banish his son, were the two circumstances which completed the King's ruin.
For after this tyranny and cruelty, being forced to resign the crown, he was confined in Pomfret Castle, in Yorkshire, where being barbarously murdered, he was buried at Langley, having reigned twenty-two years. In his time lived Chaucer, the famous poet.
The House of Lancaster, called the RED ROSE.
HENRY IV. who succeeded his cousin Richard on his resignation in 1399, was the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who was fourth son of Edward III. In his turbulent reign, which lasted thirteen years and a half, we find little remarkable, except the act then passed for burning the Lollards or Wickliffites, who separated from the church of Rome.
HENRY V. succeeded his father, and, though a loose Prince in his youth, proved a wise, virtuous and magnificent King. He banished all his lewd companions from court, and claimed the English title to the crown of France in so heroic and effectual a manner, that with 14,000 men he beat the French at Agincourt, though 140,000 strong. Hereupon Queen Katherine prevailed upon her husband Charles VI. then King of France, to disinherit the Dauphin, and to give Katherine his daughter to Henry, so that he was declared heir to the crown of France, and regent during the King's life, which measures were ratified and confirmed by the states of that kingdom, though he did not live to sit on the throne. He reigned but ten years, died at Vincennes, a royal palace near Paris, and was buried at Westminster, in 1422, in the 39th year of his age.
HENRY VI. when only eight years old, succeeded his father, but was no less unfortunate at home than abroad; and though he was crowned at Paris King of France, in the year 1423, yet he lost all that his predecessors had acquired in that kingdom, Calais only excepted. The crown of England was disputed between him and the house of York; which occasioned such civil wars in England as made her bleed for 84 years, when all the Princes of York and Lancaster were either killed in battle or beheaded. The French laying hold of this favourable opportunity, shook off the English yoke, and recovering their liberty in five years, placed the young Dauphin upon the throne, who was then Charles VII. The crown of England was now settled by Parliament upon the House of York and their heirs, after the death of King Henry, whose heirs were excluded for ever. This Prince passed through various changes of life, and was at last stabbed to the heart by Richard Duke of Gloucester, who had before murdered Edward, the only son of this unfortunate King.
The House of York, called the WHITE ROSE.
EDWARD IV. who had dispossessed Henry VI. in 1460, was the first King of the line of York, and nobly maintained his right to the crown by mere dint of arms; till at last subduing the party which opposed him, he was crowned at Westminster June 28, 1461. In this King's reign the ART OF PRINTING was first brought into England. At this time also the King of Spain was presented with some Cotswold sheep, from whose breed, 'tis said, came the fine Spanish wool, to the prejudice of England. Edward reigned 22 years, and was buried at Windsor in 1483.
EDWARD V. eldest son of Edward IV. succeeded his father when only twelve years old; but his bloody uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester, caused both him and his brother to be smothered in their beds in the Tower of London, in the second month of his reign, and before his coronation.
RICHARD III. having dispatched his two nephews, succeeded to the crown, and was the last King of the House of York. He was an usurper, and his cruelty had incensed the Duke of Buckingham, his favourite, to such a degree, that he contrived his ruin, and offered the crown to Henry Earl of Richmond, the only surviving Prince of the House of Lancaster, then at the court of France, on condition that he would marry Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV. in order to unite the Houses of York and Lancaster — Richard being informed of the affair, ordered the Duke to be instantly beheaded without a trial. However, this did not discourage Henry, who had accepted the offer. He came over with a small force, and landed in Wales, where he was born, his army increasing as he advanced. At length having collected a body of 5000 men, he attacked King Richard in Bosworth field, in Leicestershire, in 1485. Richard fought bravely till he was killed in the engagement, which made way for Henry to the crown of England.
THE MODERN HISTORY OF ENGLAND. CHAP. IV.
We shall divide this branch of English history into four periods, namely: 1. The Kings of the House of Tudor. 2. The Kings of the Stuart family. 3. King William of the House of Orange, and Queen Anne. 4. The Kings of the House of Hanover.
The House of TUDOR.
HENRY VII. succeeded Richard III. in 1485: he obtained the crown by force of arms, tho' he pretended a tight to it by birth; being of the House of Lancaster. The name of his father was Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond; and he married Elizabeth, the daughter of King Edward IV. by which marriage the Houses of York and Lancaster were united. This Prince had great sagacity, but was very cruel and unjust. Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, and the last Prince of the House of York, was beheaded by him for attempting his escape, after being imprisoned from nine years old; for which cruel act Henry's name will be hated for ever. As he grew old, he grew covetous, and to increase his treasure, he caused all penal laws to be put in execution. His chief instruments herein were Empsom and Dudley, who afterwards paid dear for their extortion. He built the chapel at Westminster which is at this day called Henry the Seventh's. The 48 gentlemen of the privy chamber, and the band of gentlemen pensioners, were first settled in his reign. He died at the palace of Richmond, which he built, and left in ready money to his successor 1,800,000l. having reigned 24 years.
HENRY VIII. born at Greenwich, in 1491, the only surviving son of Henry VII. came to the crown in the 18th year of his age, and in 1509. He reigned for some years with great applause; but being vitiated by Cardinal Woolsey, luxury and cruelty obscured his virtues, and stained his former glory. He had six wives, of whom he divorced two, and caused two to be publicly beheaded. In his reign began the reformation; and the King was by act of parliament, declared supreme head of the church of England. Before he fell off from the Pope, he wrote a book against Luther. On this account Pope Leo honoured him with the title of defender of the faith; which the parliament made hereditary to all succeeding Kings of England. His government was more arbitrary and severe than that of any of his predecessors since William the Conqueror. He reigned about 38 years, died Jan. 28, 1547, and was buried in Windsor chapel.
EDWARD VI. only son of Henry VIII. succeeded his father at ten years old; and in the six years during which he reigned, he, by the indefatigable zeal of Archbishop Cranmer, made a great progress in the reformation. This good Prince founded our two famous hospitals, called Christchurch and St. Thomas, one in the city of London, the other in the suburbs. This reign is memorable for the discovery of the north-east passage to Archangel, made by Richard Chalinour, till then unknown, and since become the common passage from Asia into Europe. Edward reigned but six years, and was buried at Westminster.
MARY, eldest daughter of Henry VIII. by his first wife, succeeded her half brother Edward VI. She restored the Roman Catholic Bishops, and commenced a hot persecution against the protestants; in which Archbishop Cranmer, and six other Bishops, were burnt alive. In her reign, Calais was taken by the French, after it had been in our possession 200 years; and the same year, which was 1558, she died of grief for the loss of that city. With her life ended a reign, begun, continued, finished in blood, and happy in nothing but its short duration. She was buried at Westminster.
ELIZABETH, daughter of Henry VIII. by Anna Bullen, his second wife, succeeded her half-sister Mary. She proved an excellent Queen, the glory of her sex, and admiration of the age she lived in. She was crowned at Westminster, Jan. 15, 1558. In her time the protestant religion was again restored. She humbled the pride of Spain, both in Europe and America. Memorable is the year 1588, for the Spanish invasion attempted by King Philip, with his invincible armada; the greatest part of which was destroyed by the English fireships and a providential storm. The very names of our chief commanders, Howard, Norris, Essex, Drake, and Raleigh, struck a terror in her enemies. They took and burnt several places in Spain, particularly Cadiz and the Groyne; intercepted their plate fleets, and reduced that haughty monarch so low, that he has never since recovered it. This Queen quelled the two rebellions of O'Neal and Tir-Owen in Ireland. She protected the new republic of Holland, and the protestants of France. She commanded the ocean, which spread her fame around the globe, and made her name respected every where. With much reluctance she signed the dead warrant [sic] for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, charged with high treason. She grieved much for the death of the Earl of Essex, whose fall was owing to her favour, and survived him only two years. In her reign the two English inquisitions were erected, I mean the Star-Chamber, and the High Commission Court, which grew oppressive, and the judges so arbitrary, that they were suppressed by an act of Charles I. She had a peculiar taste for learning, which flourished in her reign. She spoke five or six different languages, translated several books from the Greek and French, and took great pleasure in the study of mathematics, geography, and history. She died in 1603, in the 45th year of her reign, and the 70th year of her age, leaving her kinsman James VI. of Scotland, her successor.
The STUART FAMILY.
JAMES I. of England, arrived at London May 7, 1603, and the feast of St. James following was fixed for his coronation. In 1604, Nov. 5, the powder plot was discovered, the memory whereof has been hitherto religiously observed. Among the remarkable things of this reign, may be reckoned the two visits his Majesty received from Christian IV. King of Denmark, whose sister Ann was King James's consort: the creation of a new order called Baronets, next to a Baron, and made hereditary: the fall of Lord Chancellor Bacon, and of Sir Walter Raleigh, at the instigation of the Spanish Ambassador: the office of the master of the ceremonies was first established. As to the character of this Prince, it must be confessed, that he was too much of a scholar, and too little of the soldier. Though he was brought up in the Scotch presbytery, he thought episcopacy so necessary for the support of his crown, that he often used to say, No Bishop, No King. He died at Theobalds, March 27, 1625, in the 23rd year of his reign, and 59th year of his age. Thus ended a peaceable but inglorious, a plentiful but luxurious reign, to make room for another more turbulent and tragical.
CHARLES I. the only son of King James, succeeded next: he was born at Dumferling, in Scotland, 1600, and crowned at Westminster, 1625. His crown may be called a crown of thorns, as his reign ended in blood. He married Henrietta, daughter to Henry IV. King of France, who was bigotted to the catholic religion, and gained the ascendancy over him. His wonderful compliance with the Queen caused him to act in many respects contrary to the laws of the kingdom, and his unbounded favour to the Duke of Buckingham, incensed the people to that degree, that this favourite was afterwards stabbed by Felton, merely for the public good. These, and such like weaknesses, made him continually at variance with the parliament, which at last broke out into a civil war. Several battles were fought between the royalists and republicans or rumps. The King was taken prisoner by the Scots, who sold him to the parliament for 200,000l. Hereupon the parliament erected a high court of justice, and gave them power to try the King; and though the generality of the people were against such arbitrary proceedings, yet they arraigned him of high-treason. The King maintained his dignity, and refusing to acknowledge the authority of these pretended judges, had sentence of death passed upon him, and was accordingly beheaded on a scaffold erected for that purpose, before the palace, Jan. 30, 1648. In this reign two great ministers, viz. Archbishop Laud, and the Earl of Strafford, were beheaded.
CROMWELL, one of the most considerable members of the high court who condemned King Charles, was now sent to subdue Ireland. After which he marched against the Scots, who had taken up arms in favour of the late King. The Dutch also, who had sent a fleet to assist the King, having met with many losses and disappointments, sued for peace, which Cromwell sold them at an exorbitant price. Now Cromwell was made Lord Protector to the British dominions, and acted with the same authority as if he had been King. He was a terror both to France and Spain, and died Sept. 3, 1658. His son indeed succeeded to that high station, which his father filled with universal applause; but having neither an equal share of ambition, nor a head turned for government, modestly resigned to the right heir CHARLES II. son of Charles I. succeeded his father, but was kept from the crown above eleven years, during which time England was reduced to a commonwealth. The King was at the Hague when his father was beheaded. But on his yielding to some conditions imposed on him by the kirk of Scotland, he was received by the Scots, and being crowned at Scoon, they sent an army with him into England to recover that kingdom; which being totally defeated at Worcester, he wandered about for six weeks, and made his escape to France, then to Spain, but without any hopes of restoration, till the death of Oliver Cromwell: when a free parliament, having met in April 1660, voted the return of King Charles II. as lawful heir to the crown. The power of the Rump Parliament, by the conduct and courage of General Monk, had been on the decline for some time, and the King's interest greatly increased, especially in the city of London, where he was proclaimed May 8. He landed at Dover, and made a most magnificent entry, May 29, 1660, being his birthday; and the 23d [sic] of April following, being St. George's day, he was crowned at Westminster with great state and solemnity. Among the remarkable things of this reign, we may reckon the parting with Dunkirk to France for a paltry sum; the blowing up Tangier in the Streights, after immense sums had been expended to repair and keep it; the shutting up the Exchequer when full of loans, to the ruin of numerous families; the two Dutch wars, which ended with no advantage on either side, but served only to promote the French interest; the great plague with which this nation was visited during the first Dutch war; the fire of London that happened soon after; and the Popish plot, for which many suffered death. On the 2d of Feb. 1684, the King fell sick of an apoplexy; he died four days after, in the 37th year of his reign, and was privately buried at Westminster.
JAMES II. succeeded his brother Charles, but proved very unfortunate to himself and his people, on account of his zeal for the Romish religion. He invaded the rights of the universities, and made Magdalen College in Oxford a prey to his violence. He sent seven bishops as criminals to the tower, who upon trial were honourably acquitted. Father Peters, a Jesuit, and several Popish Lords, sat in the Privy Council, and some Popish Judges on the bench. The Pope sent a Nuncio from Rome, who was suffered to make his public entry in defiance of our constitution. These barefaced practices made the Protestant party think it high time to check the growth of popery. Hereupon the Prince of Orange was requested to vindicate his consort's right, and that of the three nations. In the beginning of this reign the Duke of Monmouth was proclaimed King in the West, in opposition to King James; but his party being defeated, he was beheaded July 15, 1685. Judge Jeffries was afterwards sent by the King to try those who had assisted the Duke, of whom he hanged no less than 600, glorying in his cruelty, and affirming, that he had hanged more than all the Judges since William the Conqueror. The Chevalier St. George was born July 10, 1688, two days after the bishops were imprisoned. The Prince of Orange landed at Torbay Nov. 5, and King James abdicated the crown, and went over to France, Dec. 23. Hereupon an interregnum ensued till the 13th of February, 1688-9, when William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, were offered the Crown, and accepted it.
The House of ORANGE.
WILLIAM III. and MARY II. succeeded James II. upon the vote of the Convention. The day after their arrival in London, which was Feb. 13, 1688-9, they were seated under a canopy of state in the Banqueting-house, and both Houses of Convocation waited upon them, proffering them the crown in the names of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, assembled at Westminster: Accordingly they were proclaimed King and Queen of Great-Britain the following day, and solemnly crowned at the Abbey on the 21st of April. Several plots were formed against the King, but all of them proved abortive. He carried out a war with France, and with King James's party in Ireland, for nine years successively, till at last France was obliged to acknowledge him lawful King of Great-Britain, in the peace of Ryswic, 1697. He died March 8, 1701, aged 51, after he had survived his consort Mary Stuart, daughter to James II. five years, who died Dec. 21, 1696, and whose funeral was performed with great elegance and solemnity. July 2, 1700, William Duke of Gloucester, the only surviving issue of Princess Anne of Denmark, departed this life at Windsor, aged twelve years. And King James died at St. Germains in Sept. 1721.
ANNE, second daughter to James II. succeeded King William, whose death was joy to France, but a great misfortune to England. Anne was born Feb. 6, 1664, and married George Prince of Denmark, who was High Admiral of England, and a happy assistant to her in steering the ship of state. She was crowned Queen of Great-Britain April 23, 1702. On the 4th of May following war was proclaimed at London, Vienna, and the Hague, against France and Spain. The success of this war is worthy admiration [sic], and almost incredible. The conquest of the Spanish Guelderland, the Electorate of Cologn [sic], and the Bishopric of Liege; the prodigious victory over the French and Bavarians at Blenheim, under the surprising conduct of the Duke of Marlborough; the retaking of Landau; the conquering all the estates of the Duke of Bavaria in Germany; the forcing the French and Bavarians out of their lines in Brabant, which was deemed a thing impracticable; the battle of Ramillies; the victory at Oudenard; the taking of Lisle and Tournay; the defeat of the French army at Blarenies; the reducing of Mons, &c. &c. are such events as will render her Majesty's reign famous to all posterity. If we look towards Spain, how bold and successful was our attempt upon Vigo, where we took and destroyed their whole plate fleet, both men of war and others, to the amount of 38 sail, of which not one escaped: Did we not also take Gibraltar with a small force in one morning, and keep possession of it against the joint strength of France and Spain? Barcelona likewise being taken by the English and Dutch, under the conduct of the Earl of Peterborough, was soon after besieged by King Philip with a great army, which was soon forced to a shameful retreat into France. Hereupon Catalonia, Arragon, Valencia, and other provinces, submitted to Charles III. by the influence of her Majesty's arms. Who could have expected the dismal turn of the affairs of France and Italy, which happened in 1707, by the powerful interest of England? A numerous army of French and Spaniards were destroyed before the walls of Turin, by the Duke of Savoy and Prince Eugene. Thus Piedmont was abandoned, the Mantuan, the Milanese, the Modenese, Parmasan, and Montferrat, yielded up. This Queen also brought about the strict union between England and Scotland, after sundry fruitless attempts of the same kind for a century past. In short, the successes of her reign justly denominate her one of the most triumphant Monarchs of former ages, and her piety and virtue will ever be acknowledged by the British nation. The four last years of Queen Anne's reign were attended with much perplexity, which was owing to her Ministers, who prevailed upon her to consent to the peace of Utrecht; and, 'tis said, her death was occasioned by her ill conduct, which she laid too much to heart. She died Aug. 1, 1714; and in her the succession of the Stuart line ended.
The House of HANOVER.
GEORGE I. who was heir-apparent to the crown of Great-Britain on the death of Queen Anne, and which had been confirmed to him some years before by various Acts of Parliament, and by a special article in the peace of Utrecht, was born 1666, and proclaimed King the very day Queen Anne expired. He landed at Greenwich Sept. 18, 1714, and was crowned Oct. 20. A thorough change in the ministry was made on his accession, wherein he distinguished his friends from his enemies. Among the latter the chief were the Duke of Ormond, the Earl of Oxford, and the Viscount Bolingbroke, who were deemed to be firmly attached to the interest of the Pretender. In 1715 a plot was supposed to be brooding in the West, where several gentlemen were suspected of having a design to bring in the Pretender, and to place him on the throne of his ancestors. He had already been proclaimed King of Scotland, by the Earl of Mar, against whom the Duke of Argyle marched. On the 13th of November they came to a decisive battle near Dumblain, where the rebels were defeated, and put to flight. At the same time a body of 5000 rebels assembled at Preston in Lancashire, headed by the Earl of Derwentwater, of whom General Wills, who commanded some of his Majesty's troops on the borders of Scotland, being informed, he marched directly against them, and obliged them to surrender prisoners of war. They were afterwards sent up to London, and many of the ringleaders tried and condemned. Among these were the Earls of Derwentwater and Kenmure, who were beheaded on Tower-Hill; several others were executed at Tyburn, and the remainder pardoned. Some other conspiracies were formed against the King's person; but, by timely discovery, prevented from being carried into execution. Aug. 2, 1718, the quadruple alliance was signed between their Imperial, Christian, and Britannic Majesties; and the Spanish fleet was destroyed in the Mediterranean by the English. In 1720 Spain acceded to the quadruple alliance, and a fleet was sent into the Baltic in favour of Sweden. This year was also remarkable for the South-Sea scheme, by which many families were deluded and entirely ruined; and the government was obliged to interpose, to prevent the ill consequences of the people's despair. On enquiry into the affair it appeared, that besides stock-jobbers and directors some persons of distinction were concerned in it. This fatal stroke to the British trade was in some measure remedied by the assiento contract, concluded at Madrid in 1722. In the same year, the funeral of the Duke of Marlborough, who, since the accession of King George, had been restored to the honours he so justly deserved, was solemnized with great pomp. In 1723, a conspiracy for raising an insurrection was discovered; hereupon the Duke of Norfolk, Lord North and Grey, the Bishop of Rochester, and Counsellor Layer, were taken into custody; after a long trial the Bishop was banished, and Layer was hanged. In 1724, the Ostend East-India Company was established. In 1725 the Hanover treaty was agreed to, between France, Great-Britain, and Prussia. June 11, 1727, George I. died at Osnaburgh, in the very chamber where he was born, in the 67th year of his age, and the 13th year of his reign.
GEORGE II. was proclaimed as soon as as the news of his father's death came to London, and his coronation was solemnized in October following. The new Parliament met on the 2d of January, and chose for their Speaker Arthur Onslow, Esq. and loyal and affectionate addresses were presented to the King by both houses. The land forces were fixed at 22,950 men, and the number of seamen at 15,000. An enquiry was made into the state of the public gaols, and from this it appeared that great cruelties and oppressions had been exercised on the prisoners, particularly on Sir William Rich, Baronet, who was found in the fleet prison loaded with irons, by order of the Warden. For these and the like barbarities, Thomas Bambridge, the Warden, and several of his accomplices, were committed to Newgate. In May, 1729, his Majesty declared his intentions of visiting his German dominions, and leaving the Queen as Regent. His design in going to Germany was to compromise some differences that had lately arisen between the Regency of Hanover and the King of Prussia; and about this time the Duke of Mecklenburgh was deposed by the Emperor, for his cruelty, tyranny, and oppression. By the fall of Emperors and Kings it is that we learn the Omnipotence of the Almighty, whose arm strengthens and supports the crown of the righteous and takes away the kingdom from unjust Princes. About this time great licentiousness prevailed among all ranks of people, particularly among those of the lower class, who indulged themselves in every kind of wickedness; and among other methods of injuring their fellow subjects, circulated incendiary letters, demanding sums of money of certain individuals, on pain of reducing their houses to ashes; this species of villainy had never been known before in England. In the course of the summer seven Indian Chiefs were brought over to England. In 1731 a duel was fought in the Green Park, between Sir William Pulteney and Lord Hervey, on account of a remarkable political pamphlet. Lord Hervey was wounded, and narrowly escaped with his life. The Latin tongue was abolished in all law proceedings, which were ordered for the future to be in English. Rich. Norton, Esq. of Southwick, in Hampshire, left his estate of 600l. per annum, and a personal estate of 60,000l. to be disposed of in charitable uses by the Parliament. One Smith, a book-binder, and his wife, being reduced to extreme poverty, hanged themselves at the same time, and by common consent, after having made away with their only child.
On the 27th of April, 1736, his Royal Highness Frederic, Prince of Wales, espoused Augusta, sister to the Duke of Saxe Gotha. In the course of this year a remarkable riot happened at Edinburgh, occasioned by the execution of one Wilson, a smuggler. Porteus, captain of the city guard, a man of a brutal disposition, and abandoned morals, being provoked by the insults of the mob, commanded his soldiers to fire upon the crowd, by which precipitate orders several innocent persons were killed; Porteus was tried and condemned to die, but obtained a reprieve from the Queen, who was then Regent. The mob, however, were [sic] determined to execute the sentence; they accordingly rose in a tumultuous manner, forced open the prison doors, dragged forth Porteus, and hanged him on a dyer's pole; after which they quietly dispersed. On the 24th of May, 1738, the Princess of Wales was delivered of a Prince, who was christened by the name of George, now our most gracious Sovereign. One Buchanan, a sailor, who had been condemned for murder, was cut down from the gallows by his companions, who actually brought him to life, and carried him off in triumph.
War was declared in form against Spain, at London and Westminster, Oct. 23, 1739. The same year Admiral Vernon destroyed Porto Bello, and the March following demolished Fort Chagre. In 1740 there was a severe and lasting frost, which extended all over Europe, and occasioned a fair to be kept on the River Thames. In 1741 Admiral Vernon, with a strong fleet, joined with General Wentworth, who had a considerable number of forces under his command, made an unsuccessful attempt on Carthagena [sic]; the greater part of the land forces being either killed or cut off by an epidemical distemper. In 1742, Captain Middleton made a fruitless attempt to discover the North West passage into the South Seas. The year following the battle of Dettingen was fought. There was also this year a bloody engagement before Toulon, between the English fleet and that of the French and Spaniards; when that brave commander Captain Cornwall was killed in the Marlborough, after a most resolute and surprising resistance. Commodore Anson returned to England, having made a voyage round the globe; and war was mutually declared between England and France.
In 1745 the battle of Fontenoy was fought, in which the French had the advantage, which was followed by the taking of Tournay. A rebellion broke out in Scotland; the rebels defeated Sir John Cope, at Preston Pans, came forward into England, took Carlisle, and marched to Derby, from whence they were obliged to make a precipitate retreat, being closely pursued by the Duke of Cumberland, who retook Carlisle. When the rebels were returned into Scotland, they defeated the King's forces under General Hawley, near Falkirk, and laid siege to Stirling, but raised it on the Duke's approach. This year Cape-Breton was taken by Admiral Warren. In 1746 the memorable battle of Culloden, in Scotland, was fought, wherein the rebels were totally destroyed: The Earls of Balmerino and Kilmarnock, with Mr. Ratcliff, brother to the late Earl of Derwentwater, were taken prisoners, and beheaded on Tower-Hill; as was Lord Lovat in the year following. Now also the French took all Dutch Flanders, and there was a battle between them and part of the allied army, after which the latter retreated under the cannon of Maestricht. Admirals Anson and Warren, after a hot engagement, took several French men of war in the Mediterranean, among which was the ship in which their Admiral sailed. In 1748 a Congress was held at Aix-la-Chapelle for a general pacification, and the articles of peace therein agreed to were signed in April. A Bill was passed for the encouragement of the British herring fishery; and a proclamation issued for inciting disbanded soldiers and sailors to settle in Nova Scotia. Mr. Pelham now lowered the interest of money in the funds, first to three and a half per cent. afterwards to three. The importation of iron from America was allowed; and the African trade laid open.
In the year 1752, the French spirited up the Indians against our colonies of Nova Scotia, and built a chain of forts on the back of our American settlements. This occasioned a new war, carried on with great cruelty in those parts. Monckton drove the French from their encroachments in Nova Scotia; and General Johnson gave them a defeat; but Braddock, through his own rashness, was defeated and slain. The English took many ships from the enemy, without declaring war.
In 1756, the Hessians and Hanoverians were brought over, to the number of ten thousand. Presently after Minorca was taken by the French; and Admiral Byng was shot at Portsmouth for not having relieved it. On the 17th of May, war was declared in form, and the King entered into a treaty with the Empress of Russia for the security of Hanover; and afterwards into an alliance with Prussia. This was followed by an unnatural [sic] treaty between France and the Queen of Hungary, to which the Empress of Russia acceded. And a war was kindled by the intrigues of France between Prussia and Sweden; while the Elector of Saxony favoured the Austrians. The King of Prussia therefore entered Saxony, and obliged the Saxon troops at Pirna to surrender prisoners of war. He invaded Bohemia, defeated the Austrian General, and gained another victory near Prague. But attacking the Austrians at a disadvantage near Kolin, he was defeated, and obliged to raise the siege of Prague. The French now passed the Weser, and drove the Hanoverians before them. They made a stand however at Hastenbeck, under the Duke of Cumberland, where they were attacked, and forced to retreat towards Stade, and laid down their arms in consequence of the treaty of Closterseven.
In the East-Indies we were also successful; for, by Colonel Clive's vigilance and courage, the province of Arcot was cleared of the enemy, the French general taken prisoner, and the favourite Nabob, whom we supported, was reinstated in his government. But some months after, the Viceroy of Bengal declared against the English, and took Calcutta by assault. Here one hundred and forty-six persons were crowded into a narrow prison, called the Black-Hole, where they were suffocated for want of air, only twenty-three surviving; several of whom died by putrid fevers, after they were set free.
The Dutch at Batavia now dispatched seven armed ships to Bengal, having eleven hundred land forces, with orders strongly to fortify their settlement at Chincura, and secure the salt-petre trade to themselves. But the ships were all taken by three English East-India ships, which were in the river, and their troops were totally defeated at land by Colonel Ford.
Colonel Coote also took the city of Wandewash, reduced the fortress of Carangoly, and defeated Lally. This was followed by the surrender of the city of Arcot. Pondicherry now sustained a siege in turn, and the French therein were reduced to feed on dogs and cats. Eight crowns were given for the flesh of a dog. At length the English took possession of the place. And this conquest terminated the power of France in India.
Mr. Pitt was at the head of the English Ministry, when Louisbourg in Cape Breton was besieged by General Amherst, and surrendered by capitulation. The French lost a fine navy in the harbour. Fort Du Quesne also was taken. But the operations against Crown Point and Ticonderoga miscarried.
The year 1759 was remarkable for the conquest of Canada. The French deserted Crown Point and Ticonderoga, which were possessed by General Amherst. Sir William Johnson defeated them, and became master of the Fort of Niagara. And the Admirals Saunders, Holmes, and Durel, sailed for Quebec, attended by a land army, under General Wolfe. In the battle which ensued, both Wolfe and Montcalm, the chief commanders on each side, were slain, and Quebec surrendered. In 1760 the French forces endeavoured to recover Quebec, but the place was relieved by an English fleet under Lord Colvill. Montreal submitted to General Amherst, and that extensive country fell totally under the power of Great Britain; a larger territory than ever was subject to the Roman empire. The prodigious march of Amherst, on this occasion, can be compared only to that of Jenghiz Can, or Tamerlane, who over-ran all Asia with their Tartars.
In Europe the operations of war were astonishing, and the great efforts of the King of Prussia secured his safety beyond all human expectation. Almost the whole power of the Continent was united against him. The King of Great Britain, his only ally, seemed inclined to forsake him. In this terrible situation he relied on his natural subjects, and still adhered to his fortitude. Yet he expostulated warmly, and his expostulations at last succeeded.
The French forces, and those of the Imperialists, had made a successful campaign in the summer; yet seemed determined that the rigour of the winter should not interrupt their proceedings. In the depth of it, they laid siege to Leipsic, and were confident of carrying that important city. This greatly alarmed his Prussian Majesty. He contrived his measures so artfully, as to appear before the place when he was least expected. Vanquished as he was, the terror of his arms raised the siege. The French army, though greatly superior in number, rose and retreated with precipitation.
His Prussian Majesty, not satisfied with having raised the siege of Leipsic, followed the French army, whose fears, he imagined, would befriend him. He came up with them near a little village, called Rosbach. An action came on, and he obtained one of the most signal victories recorded in history. Had not the night saved them, their whole army had been devoted to destruction.
In another part of the empire the Austrians were again victorious, and took the Prince of Bevern, the King of Prussia's Generalissimo, prisoner. The King himself, in the depth of winter, made a march of two hundred miles, and engaged the enemy in the neighbourhood of Breslau, the capital of Silesia. He was much inferior in strength, but his forces were disposed with such admirable judgment [sic], that he gained a compleat [sic] victory, in which he took fifteen thousand prisoners. Breslau itself, after the battle, surrendered to the Conqueror, tho' it had a garrison of ten thousand men. These successes disheartened his enemies, and raised the spirit of his friends.
The magnanimous King of Prussia now began to fight with his enemies upon more equal terms. He attacked them every where, was attended for the most part with remarkable success, and rarely met with any considerable disadvantage. He carried on the campaign throughout the winter, escaped many dangers, was exhausted by no fatigues, nor terrified by any numbers.
England is so happily situated, that she has little need to concern herself with the disturbances on the Continent. Yet the people in general at this time seemed in a disposition to encourage and assist the German subjects of their King.
At the meeting of the Parliament, the reasonableness of engaging in a war upon the Continent was taken into consideration, and admitted. Liberal supplies were granted, to enable the army, now collected in the King's Hanoverian dominions, to act with vigour, in conjunction with the King of Prussia. Supplies were also granted to his Prussian Majesty.
A spirit of enterprise now seemed to animate all ranks of people. A body of British forces was sent into Germany, under the command of the Duke of Marlborough, to assist Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick and the Hanoverians; and who afterwards behaved with great bravery. The English fleet in the mean time invaded France, and burnt the French shipping at St. Malo's. It then moved towards Cherburgh, but was obliged by the weather to return home.
On the 1st of August, 1758, the fleet under Commodore Howe, with the transports, again set sail for Cherburgh. They landed with little opposition from the French, and entered the town. Immense sums had been there laid out upon the fortifications, and the harbour was one of the strongest in Europe. The work of all this labour and expence [sic] was now totally destroyed by the English, who found more difficulty in demolishing than in conquering the place. All the ships in the harbour were burnt, and a contribution raised upon the town.
On the 16th of August, the British fleet and army having remained in France unmolested for ten days, set sail for Cherburgh, and carried off all the brass cannon and mortars taken there.
The English troops landed again in the Bay of St. Lunar, in the neighbourhood of St. Malo, but found it impracticable to make any impression upon the place. While the troops were ashore the Commodore found himself obliged, from the danger of the coast, to move up to the Bay of St. Cas, about three leagues to the westward; while the army marched over land to the same place, where they all embarked, except the last division, consisting of the grenadiers of the army, and the first regiment of guards. These were attacked by the Duke d'Aiguillon, Governor of Brittany, at the head of twelve battalions, and six squadrons of regulars, besides two regiments of militia, against whom, though they made a most gallant resistance, about six hundred of them were killed, and four hundred taken prisoners, not being able to reach the boats.
The English had already made themselves masters of Senegal and Goree, in Africa; and though they had now lost Minorca, yet they remained victorious in the Mediterranean, and continued to ruin the French marine.
Towards the end of the year, a squadron of nine ships of the line, with sixty transports, containing six regiments of foot, was fitting out for the conquest of Martinico. But tho' a conquest of that island was judged, after a slight attempt, to be impracticable, they achieved the more important reduction of Guadaloupe.
On the 28th of July, the Hereditary Prince was detached with six thousand men to cut off the enemy's communication with Paderborn. And on the 29th, Prince Ferdinand advanced from his camp on the Weser, leaving a body of troops under Wangenheim, on the borders of that river.
The next day was fought the battle of Minden, as glorious to the English, as those of Cressy and Agincourt had been to their ancestors. The centre of the French was entirely composed of horse, who attacked six English regiments, supported by two battalions of Hanoverian guards. These sustained the whole shock of the battle, and, to the amazement of the German General himself, obtained a compleat victory. The French lost seven thousand men, and the English twelve hundred.
The French were greatly disappointed in their views by sea this year. Thurot, a marine freebooter, with three ships and a considerable body of land forces, landed in Ireland, and alarmed the people of Carrickfergus. Putting to sea again, he was met by three British frigates, of a force inferior to his own, and after a severe encounter he was killed, and his ships led in triumph by the English commanders to the Isle of Man.
A grand fleet was intended to invade England, under Marshal Conflans and the Duke d'Aiguillon; but this fleet was ruined by Admiral Hawke on the 20th of November.
In the year 1760, Lord George Sackville was tried by a court-martial for his conduct in the battle of Minden, and declared incapable of serving his Majesty for the future in any military capacity whatever; he was however afterwards raised to the highest civil employments, being secretary of state to George III. and having a considerable share in those unfortunate councils, which severed for ever thirteen provinces from the crown of England. On the 5th of May, Lawrence Shirley, Earl Ferrers, was hanged at Tyburn for the murder of Mr. Johnson, his steward. On the 25th of October, between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, died King George II. in the 77th year of his age, and the 34th of his reign. He had risen at his usual hour, called his page, drunk his chocolate, and inquired about the wind, as if anxious for the arrival of foreign mails; soon after which he fell speechless on the ground, and being laid on his bed, expired in a few minutes.
GEORGE III. grandson of George II. and eldest son of the late Frederick Prince of Wales, succeeded to the throne, and was proclaimed King on the day after the death of his grand father. He was married on the 8th of September, 1761, to his Queen, Charlotte, Princess of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, and they were solemnly crowned together on the 22d of the same month.
The war was still carried on betwixt France and England, in Germany, when Augsburgh was pitched upon by both parties as a proper place to negociate [sic] a peace in; and, with respect to the disputes in America, Mr. Bussey was named by the French Court to repair to London, as Mr. Stanley was by the English to treat at Paris. The former of these offers a memorial to the British minister, importing that the King of Spain apprehended a new war, unless the British court would make satisfaction to Spain for ships taken under Spanish colours; permit the claim of Spain to a share in the Newfoundland fishery; and destroy the English fortifications in the bay of Honduras. This put an end to the negociation.
The French and Spanish courts now entered into a Family Compact, in which the two Sicilies were included; the most extraordinary treaty which this age can produce; it being a consolidation of the rights and interests of the two crowns and their subjects in all respects, but those relating to the Spanish American commerce.
Mr. Pitt, the British minster, gained intelligence of the family compact, and made strong remonstrances at the council-board for an immediate declaration of war against Spain, which were not relished. On this Mr. Pitt resigned.
The flota arrived in the bay of Cadiz, and the Spaniards resolved on a war with England.
January 2, 1762, his Britannic Majesty's proclamation of war against Spain was published in London. And the King of Spain proclaimed war against England on the 16th of the same month.
The French and Spaniards insisted upon the King of Portugal's taking part in the war against England. He declined the invitation, and vindicated his alliance with England.
The Spanish army marched towards the frontiers of Portugal, and all commerce between the two kingdoms was prohibited. And war was declared by the King of Spain against that kingdom on the 15th of June.
Many English officers repaired to the assistance of the King of Portugal, and were followed by large supplies of troops, artillery, arms, provisions, and money.
A small army of English and Portuguese take the field. Count La Lippe is sent over to command them. Brigadier Burgoyne surprizes [sic] Valenca d'Alcantara in Spain, and destroys one of their best regiments there. A sejeant [sic] and six men only engage a Spanish subaltern with twenty-five dragoons, unbroken, kill six of their men, and bring in the rest prisoners, with every horse of the party. Soon after Brigadier Burgoyne and Colonel Lee surprize the Spanish camp at Villa Vehla; and the Spaniards are obliged to leave Portugal, and to make winter quarters in their own country. On the 12th of August, his Royal Highness George Augustus-Frederick, Prince of Wales, was born.
The English take Martinico and Granada from the French, and the city of Havannah, in the island of Cuba, from the Spaniards. This induces both powers to think of peace, for which a negociation was set on foot; and the negociators on all sides having adjusted the points in dispute between Great Britain and Portugal on the one side, and France and Spain on the other, a definitive treaty was signed at Paris on the 10th of Feb. 1763; by which peace was once more restored to Europe.
By this glorious war, England acquired the large and extensive province of Canada, East and West Florida, in America, together with several large and valuable islands in the West Indies; among which is the island of Granada, one of the most extensive and important colonies belonging to the empire. This island, which produces pine-apples, oranges, citrons, and all the most delicious tropical fruits, is beautifully interspersed with an infinite variety of rivers, which, with the warmth and salubrity of the climate, render it the most pleasing situation between the tropics; it is the residence of a number of rich planters and merchants, who have acquired large fortunes therein, and live in the greatest splendour and hospitality. It is not improperly called the Princess of the isles of the Western world.
From the year 1763 to 1774, England felt all the blessings of peace; agriculture and commerce were improved and extended; the polite arts, such as painting and sculpture, were patronized by his Majesty, and a royal academy instituted for the purpose, in the year 1768. We might call this the Augustine age; and Great-Britain promised to its posterity universal empire. But the colonies of North America revolted from their allegiance to Great-Britain in the year 1775, and formed a congress, under the title The Congress of the Thirteen United Provinces, which assumed all the powers of government; in the following year it declared the States of America independent of the crown and parliament of Great-Britain. The government of France assisted them against the forces of this nation both by sea and land; and Spain also declared war against this country, as a diversion to its arms in favour of America. Holland also became a party in the cause, to humble a nation which had arrived to such a pitch of greatness; and the general struggle at last terminated in the peace of 1783, in which the government of Great-Britain acknowledged the Americans to be independent; in consequence, the provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia only remain to us, of all our immense possessions on the continent of America.
This country, in the year 1787, began to arm in favour of the Prince Stadtholder of the Seven United Provinces, who had been driven from his palace by a French party; but that business was terminated by their submission to the Duke of Brunswick, who entered Holland, and restored the former government. The Spaniards dispossessing our settlers at Nootka Sound, in 1790, was made the pretext for equipping a formidable armament; and though the difference with the Spaniards was speedily settled by negociation [sic], the jealousy entertained of the French Anarchists occasioned our Government to keep the country in armed preparation; till the indignation universally excited by the decapitation of the unfortunate French King, and the invasion of Holland by the armies of the French Republic, caused us to enter into that war, whose wide-extended fluence has deluged the continent of Europe with blood, tumbled the papal throne in ruins, dethroned the Kings of Naples and Sardinia, the former of whom is however yet struggling for his rights, annihilated the ancient Republics of Venice, Genoa, &c. &c. extinguished the authority of the House of Orange in Holland, endangered the very existence of the House of Austria and the Germanic Empire, and by the invasion of the Egypt and Syria, has even alarmed the Sultan of the Turks for the safety of his capital, whilst the hardy bands of Russia have been called forth into action both to defend her former inveterate foes, and to wrest the classic ground of Italy from the gripe [sic] of the modern Vandals, the French! Yet amid all this carnage, the horrors of the war, if we except the enormous expenditure attending it, have scarcely been felt in this country; two attempts of invasion by the enemy have been frustrated; the captured fleets of France, Spain, and Holland, have been triumphantly brought into our harbours; our own Colonies and distant settlements have been secured, many of the most important of those of the enemy have been taken; and the India Company has established its power, by the complete conquest of the kingdom of Mysore, Tippoo Sultaun having fallen in defending hispalace at Seringapatam. But it is a remarkable feature in this war, that after so sanguinary a contest for seven years, Peace appears, at the close of the year 1799, more distant than it did at its commencement.
THE HISTORY OF THE PRESENT STATE OF ENGLAND.
SOUTH-BRITAIN, that is, properly speaking, ENGLAND and WALES, is situate in the Atlantic Ocean, between two degrees east, and six degrees odd minutes western longitude, and between 49 degrees 55 minutes, and 55 degrees 55 minutes north latitude; and being of a triangular figure, is bounded by Scotland on the north; the German sea, which separates it from Germany and the Netherlands, on the east; by the English Channel, which divides it from France, on the south; and by St. George's Channel, which separates it from Ireland, on the west. It is 525 statute miles in length on its west side, 345 on its east side, and 340 on its south side, nearly in straight lines; and about 100 only across the north.
Its Air.] Is much warmer here than in the Netherlands and Germany, tho' under the same parallel; and, unless in the fens and marshy grounds, it is for the most part very healthy.
There are very few mountains; the highest hills, however, are in Wales, and in the west and north of England. The rest of the country consists of moderate hills and vallies [sic], woodlands, pasture and meadow grounds; extensive corn fields, and plains which feed numberless flocks of sheep, horses, and other cattle. Though the largest oxen, horses, and sheep, are to be met with in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire; yet the finest breed of horses for running and hunting are produced in Yorkshire. And besides there are a great number of royal forests, chaces, and parks, which afford plenty of deer and other game.
Its Soil.] Is either clay, or gravel, or sand; the clays produce excellent wheat and beans; the gravel and sand, rye, barley, peas, and oats; and of late years the light lands have been improved, and rendered as valuable as the clays, by sowing them with turnips, clover, saintfoin, &c. but more particularly in wet years; a wet season, however, by no means agrees with the clay. In such years, for the most part, there is a great scarcity of wheat; but then, to compensate for that deficiency, there is a plenty of pasture and other grain.
Its Trees.] The timber that grows in England is oak, ash, elm, beech, and hornbeam. The walnut-tree is particularly used in cabinets, and other curiosities of the like nature. But besides these, there are a great number of other trees, which, though they do not fall, indeed, under the denomination of timber, serve for shade, ornament, and inferior uses.
In Kent there are extensive orchards, the trees whereof produce abundance of cherries. In Devonshire and Herefordshire likewise are vast quantities of apple-trees, the produce whereof makes far better cider than any other county whatever can boast of.
Its Plantations.] In Kent, as well as Worcestershire, Surrey, &c. are large plantations of hops; and in divers other counties, of flax and hemp.
In Essex and Cambridgeshire are large plantations of saffron; and in Bedfordshire there are large fields of woad or wad, for the use of dyers.
Its Rivers.] Its principal rivers are, 1. The Thames, 2. The Medway. 3. The Trent. And, 4. The Severn.
The Thames, on which the two cities of London and Oxford stand, runs generally from west to east. This river is navigable for ships as high as London, which is one of the largest ports in the world. The Medway unites with the Thames near its mouth, and receives the largest men of war as high as Chatham; where, if we except our own arsenals at Portsmouth and Plymouth, are the finest docks, yards, and magazines of naval stores, in Europe.
The Trent runs from the south-west to the north-east across England, and divides it into north and south. When united with other streams near its mouth, it is called the Humber, which discharges itself into the German ocean.
The Severn rises from North Wales, and, running for the most part south, falls into the Irish sea. On this river stand the two cities of Worcester and Gloucester.
Its Contents.] In England and Wales there are 52 counties, 2 archbishoprics, 24 bishoprics, 2 universities, 29 cities, upwards of 800 towns, and near 10,000 parishes; in which are about seven millions of people.
There are scarce any manufactures in Europe which are not brought to great perfection in England.
Its Constitution.] England is a limited monarchy; the power of making and altering laws, and raising taxes, being lodged in the King, Lords, and Commons.
Its Administration of Justice.] This is the business of the courts in Westminster-hall, viz. the Court of Chancery, the Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer; the courts of the respective corporations, the sheriffs, and other inferior courts; the last resort, in all civil cases, being to the House of Peers.
Its Ecclesiastical Government.] Is in the archbishops and bishops, who administer justice in their respective courts by their chancellors, officials, archdeacons, and other officers.
Of the Convocation.] Whenever a parliament is called, the King always convokes a national synod of the clergy, to consider of the state of the church.
The clergy of the province of Canterbury, of the generality, assemble in St. Paul's cathedral, in London, and from thence adjourn to the chapter-house, or Westminster.
In this province there are two houses, the upper and the lower; the former consists of 22 bishops, of whom the archbishop is president; the latter consists of all the deans, archdeacons, the proctors of every chapter, and two proctors for the clergy of each diocese; in all 166.
The archbishop of York may hold a convocation of his clergy at the same time; but neither the one nor the other has been suffered to enter upon business for many years, though they are always regularly summoned to meet with every parliament, being looked upon as an essential part of the constitution.
Of the Parliament.] Every parliament is summoned by the King's writs to meet forty-eight days before they assemble. A writ is directed to every particular lord, spiritual and temporal, commanding him to appear at a certain time and place, to treat and advise of certain weighty affairs relating both to church and state. Writs also are sent to the sheriff of every county to summon those who have a right to vote for representatives, to elect two knights for each county, two citizens for each city, and one or two burgesses for each borough.
Every candidate for a county ought to be possessed of an estate of 600l. per annum; and every candidate for a city, or corporation, of 300l. per annum.
The Lord Chancellor, or keeper for the time being, is always Speaker in the House of Peers; but the Commons elect their Speaker, who must be approved by the King.
No Roman Catholic can sit in either house; nor any member vote till he has taken the oaths to the government.
The ancient STATE of ENGLAND.
Having thus given our young readers a transient idea of the present state of South-Britain; we shall now proceed to give a succinct account of the ancient state of England, which, in regard to its constitution, was originally a monarchy, under the primitive Britons; after that, a province, subordinate to the Romans; then an heptarchical government under the Saxons; then again a kingdom in subjection to the Danes; next after them, under the power and dominion of the Normans; but at present, (after all the before-mentioned revolutions,) a monarchy again under the English; of all which we shall treat, as briefly as possible, in their proper order.
The whole island was anciently called Albion, which seems to have been softened from the word Alpion; because the word Alp, in some of the original western languages, generally signifies high lands, or hills, as this isle appears to those who approach it from the Continent. It was likewise called Olbion, which, in the Greek language, signifies happy; but of those times there is no certainty in history, more than that it had the denomination, and was very little known by the rest of the world.
As the name of Britain, however, excepting that of Albion, or Olbion, just before mentioned, has been liable to as many derivations as the origin of the Britons; we shall content ourselves (for brevity's sake) with the following extract from Camden, who has given (in our humble opinion at least) the best and most natural derivation of the term.
"The ancient Britons (says he) painted their naked bodies and small shields with woad of an azure-blue colour, which by them was called Brith; on this account the inhabitants received the common appellation from the strangers who came into the island to traffic from the coasts of Gaul, or Germany; to which the Greeks, by adding the word tania, or country, formed the word Britannia, or the country of the painted men, and the Romans afterwards called it Britannia."
Here it may be observed, that the Romans were extremely fond of giving their own terminations to many uncivilized countries, and of forming easy and pleasant sounds out of the harshest and most offensive, to such elegant tongues and ears as their own.
Their government, like that of the ancient Gauls, consisted of several small nations, under divers petty Princes, apparently the original governments of the world, deduced from the natural force and right of paternal dominion; such were the hords [sic] among the Goths, the clans in Scotland, and the septs in Ireland: but whether these small British principalities descended by succession, or were elected according to merit, is uncertain.
Their language and customs were, for the most part, the same with those of the Gauls before the Roman conquests in that province; but they were entirely governed in their religion and laws by their Druids, Bards, and Eubates.
Their Druids were held in such high veneration by the people, that their authority was almost absolute. No public affairs were transacted without their approbation; nor could any malefactor (though his crimes were ever so heinous) be put to death without their consent.
Their Bardi, or Bards, were priests of an inferior order of their Druids; their principal business being to celebrate the praises of their heroes in verses and songs, which were set to music and sung to their harps.
Their Eubates were a third sort of priests, who applied themselves to the study of philosophy.
Each order of these priests led very simple and innocent lives, and resided either in woods, caverns, or hollow trees. Their food consisted of acorns, berries, or other mast; and their drink was nothing but water. By this abstemious course of life, however, they procured an universal esteem, not only for their superior knowledge, but their generous contempt of all those enjoyments of life which all others so highly valued, and so industriously pursued.
The most remarkable TENETS of their DRUIDS.
1. Every thing derives its origin from heaven. 2. Great care is to be taken in the education of children. 3. Souls are immortal. 4. The souls of men after death go into other bodies. 5. If ever the world should happen to be destroyed, it will be either by fire or water. 6. All commerce with strangers should be prohibited. 7. He who comes last to the Assembly of the states ought to be punished with death. 8. Children should be brought up apart from their parents, till they are fourteen years of age. 9. There is another world; and they who kill themselves to accompany their friends thither will live with them there. 10. All masters of families are kings in their own houses; and have a power of life and death over their wives, children, and slaves.