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He left considerable property to the College there, on condition that his bust should be placed in the quadrangle, and his great work printed under the care of the Academical Senatus. The bust was placed accordingly, and is, or lately was, to be seen in a niche over the inner doorway. The History was also printed, it is said, but never published. However, curious visitors have always been allowed a peep into it, and a few choice morsels are current. This is one stave of the lamentation of Jonah :
Lord! what a doleful place is this!
There's neither coal nor candle;
And greasy guts do handle.
Speaking of Zackariah Boyd, Granger says (vol. ii. p. 379) :
His translation of the Scripture, in such uncouth verse as to amount to burlesque, has been often quoted, and the just fame of a benefactor to learning has been obscured by that cloud of miserable rhymes. Candor will smile at the foible, but applaud the man.
Macure, in his account of Glasgow, p. 223, informs us he lived in the reign of Charles I.
In 1686 a pamphlet was published in London, entitled A most Delectable Sweet Perfumed Nosegay for God's Saints to Smell at. About the year 1649, there was published a work entitled A Pair of Bellows to blow off the Dust cast upon John Fry; and another, called The Snuffers of Divine Love. Cromwell's time was particularly famous for title-pages. The author of a work on charity entitled his book, Hooks and Eyes for Believers' Breeches. Another, who professed a wish to exalt poor human nature, calls his labors High-heeled Shoes for Dwarfs in Holiness. And another, Crumbs of Comfort for the Chickens of the Covenant. A Quaker, whose outward man the powers that were thought proper to imprison, published A Sigh of Sorrow
for the Sinners of Zion, breathed out of a Hole in the Wall of an Earthly Vessel, known among Men by the Name of Samuel Fish. About the same time there was also published, The Spiritual Mustard Pot, to make the Soul Sneeze with Devotion; Salvation's Vantage-ground, or a Louping Sand for Heavy Believers. Another, A Shot aimed at the Devil's Head-quarters, through the Tube of the Cannon of the Covenant. This is an author who speaks plain language, which the most illiterate reprobate cannot fail to understand. Another, A Reaping-hook, well tempered, for the Stubborn Ears of the coming Crop ; or, Biscuit Baked in the Oven of Charity, carefully conserved for the Chickens of the Church, the Sparrows of the Spirit, and the sweet Swallows of Salvation. To another we have the following copious description of its contents :
Seven Sobs of a Sorrowful Soul for Sin, or the Seven Penitential Psalms of the Princely Prophet David; whereunto are also added, William Humius's Handful of Honeysuckles, and divers Godly and Pithy Ditties now newly augmented.
Another work has the following quaint title :
The Christian Sodality: or, Catholic Hive of Bees, sucking the Honey of the Churches' Prayer from the Blossomes of the Word of God, blowne out of Epistles and Gospels of the Divine Service throughout the yeare. Collected by the Puny Bee of all the Hive, not worthy to be named otherwise than by these Elements of his Nome, F. P. Printed in the Yeare of our Lord, 1652.
OMISSION OF “DEI GRATIA."
Ruding, in his Annals of the Coinage, iv. 9, furnishes a precedent for the omission of the words DEI GRATIA from the coinage, in the case of the Irish half-pence and farthings coined at the Tower in 1736-7. And he supplies, also, a precedent for the dissatisfaction with which their omission from the new florin has been received, in the shape of two epigrams written at that time, for which he is indebted (as what writer upon any point of English literature and history is not) to Sylvanus Urban. The first (from the Gentleman's Magazine for June, 1837) is as fol
No Christian kings that I can find,
However match'd or odd,
Without the grace of God.
By this acknowledgment they show
The mighty King of Kings,
From whom their grandeur springs.
Come, then, Urania, aid my pen,
The latent cause assign,-
But GEORGE, 'tis plain, 's divine.
The following Shakspearian note is from a periodical now defunct:
It appears from an old MS. in the British Museum, that amongst canoniers serving in Normandy in 1436, were “ Wm. Pistail-—-R. Bardolf."" Query : Were these common English names, or did these identical canoniers transmit a traditional fame, good or bad, to the time of Shakspeare, in song or story?
Mr. Collier (Life prefixed to the edit. of Shakspeare, p. 139) was the first to notice that Bardolph, Fluellen, and Awdrey, were names of persons living at Stratford in the lifetime of the poet; and Mr. Halliwell (Life of Shakspeare, pp. 126–7) has carried the subject still further, and shown that the names of ten characters in the plays are also found in the early records of that town. Poins was, I believe, a common Welsh name.
FIELD OF FORTY FOOTSTEPS.
Mr. Cunningham, in his Handbook of London, has given no account of a piece of ground of which a strange story is recorded by Southey, in his Common-Place Book (Second Series, p. 21). After quoting a letter received from a friend, recommending him
"take a view of those wonderful marks of the Lord's hatred to duelling, called the ' Brother's Steps,'” and giving him the description of the locality, Mr. Southey gives an account of his own visit to the spot (a field supposed to bear ineffaceable marks of the footsteps of two brothers, who fought a fatal duel about a love affair) in these words :
We sought for nearly half an hour in vain. We could find no steps at all, within a quarter of a mile, no nor half a mile, of Montague House. We were almost out of hope, when an honest man who was at work directed us to the next ground adjoining to a pond. There we found what we sought, about three quarters of a mile north of Montague House, and about five hundred yards east of Tottenham Court Road. The steps answer Mr. Walsh's description. They are of the size of a large human foot, about three inches deep, and lie nearly from northeast to southwest. We counted only seventy-six, but we were not exact in counting. The place where one or both brothers are supposed to have fallen, is still bare of grass. The labourer also showed us the bank where (the tradition is) the wretched woman sat to see the combat.
Mr. Southey then goes on to speak of his full confidence in the tradition of their indestructibility, even after ploughing up, and of the conclusions to be drawn from the circumstance.
The fields behind Montague House were, from about the year 1680, until towards the end of the last century, the scenes of robbery, murder, and every species of depravity and wickedness of which the heart can think. They appear to have been originally called the Long Fields, and afterwards (about Strype's time) the Southampton Fields. These fields remained waste and useless, with the exception of some nursery grounds near the New Road to the north, and a piece of ground enclosed for the Toxopholite Society, towards the northwest, near the back of Gower Street. The remainder was the resort of depraved wretches, whose amusements consisted chiefly in fighting pitched battles, and other disorderly sports, especially on the Sabbath day. Such was their state in 1800.
Tradition had given to the superstitious at that period a legendary story of the period of the Duke of Monmouth's Rebellion, of two brothers who fought in this field so ferociously as to destroy each other; since which, their footsteps, formed from the vengeful struggle, were said to remain, with the indentations produced by their advancing and receding; nor could any grass or vegetable ever be produced where these forty footsteps were thus displayed. This extraordinary arena was said to be at the extreme termination of the northeast end of Upper Montague Street; and, profiting by the fiction, Miss Porter and her sister produced an ingenious romance thereon, entitled, Coming Out, or the Forty Footsteps. The Messrs. Mayhew also, some twenty years back, brought out, at the Tottenham Street Theatre, an excellent melo-drama piece, founded upon the same story, entitled The Field of Forty Footsteps.
The latest account of these footsteps, previous to their being built over, with which I am acquainted, is the following, extracted from one of Joseph Moser's Common-place Books :
June 16, 1800.-Went into the fields at the back of Montague House, and there saw, for the last time, the forty footsteps ; the building materials are there ready to cover them from the sight of man. I counted more than forty, but they might be the footprints of the workmen.
This extract is valuable, as it establishes the period of the final demolition of the footsteps, and also confirms the legend that forty was the original number.