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selected to carry coals to the kitchens, halls, &c. To this smutty regiment, who attended the progresses, and rode in the carts with the pots and kettles, the people, in derision, gave the name of the black guards.

This is no doubt correct: and hence the expression of Beaumont and Fletcher, in the Elder Brother, that

from the black guard
To the grim Sir in office, there are few
Hold other tenets :

meaning from the lowest domestic to the highest functionary of a household. This, too, explains the force of the allusion, in Jardine's Criminal Trials, to the apartments of Euston House being “far unmeet for her Highness, but fitter for the Black Guard”--that is, for the scullions and lowest servants of an establishment. Swift employs the word in this sense when he says, in the extract quoted by Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary in illustration of the meaning of blackguard

Let a black-guard boy be always about the house to send on your errands, and go

to market for you on rainy days. Burton likewise affords an instance of a similar use of the word :

The same author, Cardan, in his Hyperchen, out of the doctrine of the Stoicks, will have some of these genii (for so he calls them), to be desirous of men's company, very affable and familiar with them, as dogs are ; others again, to abhor as serpents, and care not for them. The same, belike, Trithemius calls igneos et sublunares, qui nunquam demergunt ad inferiora, aut vix ullum habent in terris commercium: generally they far excel men in worth, as a man the meanest worm; though some there are inferiour to those of their own rank in worth, as the black guard in a princes court, and to men again, as some degenerate, base, rational creatures are excelled of brute beasts.- Anat. of Mel., Part I. sec. 2, Mom. 1, Subs. 2.

It will thus be seen, that of the authors quoted, no one makes use of the term black guard in an opprobrious sense, such as attaches to the more modern word " blackguard ; ” and that they all wrote within the first fifty years of the seventeenth century. It must therefore be subsequent not only to that date, but to the reign of Queen Anne, that we are to look for its general acceptance in its present contumelious sense.

Within the last two centuries, a number of words of honest origin have passed into an opprobrious sense; for example, the oppressed tenants of Ireland are spoken of by Spenser and Sir John Davies as "villains.In our version of the Scriptures, , “cunning” implies merely skill in music and in art. Shakspeare employs the word "vagabondas often to express pity as reproach ; and it will be found, that as a knave, prior to the reign of Elizabeth, meant merely a serving man, so a blackguard was the name for a pot-boy or scullion in the reign of Queen Anne. The transition into its more modern meaning took place at a later period, on the importation of a foreign word, to which, being already interchangeable in sound, it speedily became assimilated in sense.

The following document is in the Lord Steward's offices. The name blackguard in it is applied to the number of masterless boys hanging about the verge of the Court and other public places, palaces, coal-cellars, and palace stables; ready with links to light coaches and chairs, and conduct, and rob people on foot, through the dark streets of London ; nay, to follow the Court in its progresses to Windsor and Newmarket. Pope's "link-boys vile” are the black-guard boys of the following Proclamation.

At the Board of Green Cloth,

in Windsor Castle,

this 7th day of May, 1683. WHEREAS of late a sort of vicious, idle, and masterless boyes and rogues, commonly called the Black-guard, with divers other lewd and loose fellowes, vagabonds, vagrants, and wandering men and women, do usually haunt and follow the Court, to the great dishonour of the same, and as Wee are informed have been the occasion of the late dismall fires that happened in the towns of Windsor and Newmarket, and have, and frequently do commit divers other misdemeanonrs and disorders in such places where they resort, to the prejudice of His Majesty's subjects, for the prevention of which evills and misdemeanours

hereafter, Wee do hereby strictly charge and command all those so called the Black-guard as aforesaid, with all other loose, idle, masterless men, boyes, rogues, and wanderers, who have intruded themselves into His Majesty's Court or stables, that within the space of twenty-four houres next after the publishing of this order, they depart, upon pain of imprisonment, and such other punishments as by law are to be inflicted on them.

(Signed) ORMOND.

STE. Fox.

The following lines by Charles, Earl of Dorset and Middlesex (the writer of the famous old song, “ To all you ladies now at land”), are an instance of the application of this term to the turbulent link-boys, against whom the proclamation was directed. Their date is probably a short time before that of the proclamation:

Belinda’s sparkling wit and eyes,

United cast so fierce a light,
As quickly flashes, quickly dies;

Wounds not the heart, but burns the sight.
Love is all gentleness, Love is all joy :

Sweet are his looks, and soft his pace:
Her Cupid is a black-guard boy,

That runs his link full in your face. In a curious old pamphlet of twenty-three pages, entitled Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business answerd Paragraph by Paragraph, by a Committee of Women-Servants and Footmen, London, printed by T. Read for the author, and sold by the booksellers. of London, and ... price one penny (without date), the following passage occurs :

The next great Abuse among us is, that under the Notion of cleaning our Shoes, above ten Thousand Wicked, Idle, Pilfering Vagrants are permitted to stroll about our City and Suburbs. These are called the Black-Guard, who Black your Honour's Shoos, and incorporate themselves under the Title of the Worshipful Company of Japanners. But the Subject is so low that it becomes disagreeable even to myself; give me leave therefore to propose a Way to clear the streets of those Vermin, and to substitute as many honest and industrious persons in their stead, who are now starving for want of bread, while these execrable villains live (though in Rags and Nastiness) yet in Plenty and Luxury.

Asnswer). The next Abuse you see is, Black your shoes, your Honour, and the Japanners stick in his Stomach. We shall not take upon us to answer for these pitiful Scrubs, but in his own words; the Subject is so low, that it becomes disagreeable even to us, as it does even to himself, and he may clear the Streets of these Vermin in what Manner he pleases if the Law will give him leave, for we are in no want of them; we are better provided for already in that respect by our Masters and their Sons.


SONNET (QUERY, BY MILTON). In a Collection of Recente and Witty Pieces by several eminente hands, London, printed by W. S. for Simon Waterfou, 1628, p. 109, is the following sonnet, far the best thing in the book :


In that great maze of books I sighed and said,
It is a grave-yard, and each tome a tombe;
Shrouded in hempen rags, behold the dead,
Coffined and ranged in crypts of dismal gloom,
Food for the worm and redolent of mold,
Traced with brief epitaph in tarnished gold-
Ah, golden lettered hope !-ah, dolorous doom !
Yet mid the common death, where all is cold,
And mildewed pride in desolation dwells,
A few great immortalities of old
Stand brightly forth-not tombes but living shrines,
Where from high sainte or martyr virtue wells,
Which on the living yet work miracles,
Spreading a relic wealth richer than golden mines.

J. M. 1627. Attached to it, it will be seen, are the initials J. M. and the date 1627. Is it possible that this may be an early and neglected sonnet of Milton ?


An analysis of the "divers pamphlets published against the Book of Common Prayer" would make a very curious volume. Take a passage from the Anatomy of the Service Book, for instance:

The cruellest of the American Savages, called the Mohaukes, though they fattened their captive Christians to the slaugliters, yet they eat them up at once; but the Service-book and savages eat up the servants of God by piecemeal: keeping them alive (if it may be called a life) ut sentiant se mori, that they may be the more sensible of their dying.-p. 56.

Sir Walter Scott quotes a curious tract in Woodstock, entitled Vindication of the Book of Common Prayer against the contumelious slanders of the Fanatic Party terming it" Porridge." The author of this singular and rare tract (says Sir W.) indulges in the allegorical style, till he fairly hunts down the allegory. The learned divine chases his metaphor at a very cold scent, through a pamphlet of six mortal quarto pages.

The following are some titles of books written on the Porridge controversy :

Messe of Pottage, very well seasoned and crumbed with Bread of Life, and easie to be digested, against the contumelious Slanderers of the Divine Service. A Pottage, set forth by Gyles Calfine. London, 1642, 4to.

Answer to lame Giles Calfine's Messe of Pottage, proving that the Service Booke is no better than Pottage, in comparison of divers Weeds which are chopt into it to poyson the taste of the Children of Grace, by the Advice of the Whore of Babylon's Instruments and Cooks. London, 1642, 4to.

Answer, in Defence of a Messe of Pottage well seasoned and crumb'd, against the last, which falsely says the Common Prayers are unlawfull, and no better than the Pope's Porrage. London, 1642, 4to.

Fresh Bit of Mutton for those fleshly-minded Cannibals that cannot endure Pottage ; or, a Defence of Giles Calfine's Messe of Pottage, against the idle yet insolent exceptions of his monstrous Adversary. London, 1642, 4to.

Another curious-titled book is George Lightbodie's -
Against the Apple of the Left Eye of Antichrist; or The Masse-Booke of

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