« PredošláPokračovať »
When Bulstrode Whitelock was at the court of Queen Christina of Sweden, as ambassador from Cromwell, he waited on her on May-day, to invite her to “take the air, and some little collation he had provided as her humble servant.” She came with her ladies; and “both in supper-time and afterwards,” being “full of pleasantness and gaiety of spirits, among other frolics, commanded him to teach her ladies the English mode of salutation, which, after some pretty defences, their lips obeyed, and Whitelock most readily."
The custom of salutation by kissing appears to have prevailed in Scotland about 1637. It is incidentally noticed in the following extract from Memoirs of the Life of James Mitchell, of Dykes, in the Parish of Ardrossan (Ayrshire) written by Him. self, Glasgow, 1759, p. 85; a rare tract of 111 pages :
The next business (as I spake of before) was the Lord's goodness and providence towards me, in that particular, with Mr. Alexander Dunlop, our minister, when he fell first into his reveries and distractions of groundless jealousy of his wife with sundry gentlemen, and of me in special. First, I have to bless God on my part he had not so much as a presumption (save his own fancies) of my misbehaviour in any sort; for as I shall be accountable to that great God, before whose tribunal I must stand and give an account at that great day, I was not only free of all actual villany with that gentlewoman his wife, but also of all scandalous misbehaviour either in private or public: yea, further, as I shall be saved at that great day, I did not so much as kiss her mouth in courtesy (so far as my knowledge and memory serves me) seven years before his jealousy brake forth : this was the ground of no small peace to my mind *** and last of all, the Lord brought me cleanly off the pursuit, and since he and I has keeped general fashions of common civility to this day, 12 December, 1637. I pray God may open his eyes and give him a sight of his weakness and insufficiency both one way and other. Now praise, honour, glory, and dominion be to God only wise (for this and all other his providences and favours unto me) now and ever--Amen. I subscribe with my hand the truth of this.
In a curious work containing much information on the fashions of the time, entitled “The Ladies' Dictionary ; being a General Entertainment for the Fair Sex. London, printed for John Dunton, at the Raven in the Poultry, 1694," the “ Author N. H.," article “ Kissing,” thus remarks :
But kissing and drinking both are now grown (it seems) to be a greater custom amongst us than in those dayes with the Romans. Nor am I so austere to forbid the use of either, both which, though the one in surfeits, the other in adulteries may be abused by the vicious; yet contrarily at customary meetings and laudable banquets, they by the nobly disposed, and such whose hearts are fixt upon honour, may be used with much modesty and continence.
This extract would prove that the custom continued down to some years in the reign of William and Mary. The following is told in the Retrospective Review, 2d Series, vol. ii. p. 240 :
The proud and pompous Constable of Castile, on his visit to the Englislı Court soon after the accession of James I., was right well pleased to bestow a kiss on Anne of Denmark's lovely maids of honour, “according to the custom of the country, and any neglect of which is taken as an affront.”
In Hone's Year Book, col. 1087, this custom is also noticed by a correspondent as follows:
Another specimen of our ancient manners is seen in the French embrace. The gentleman, and others of the male sex, lay hands on the shoulders, and touch the side of each other's cheek; but on being introduced to a lady, they say to her father, brother, or friend, Permettez-moi, and salute each of her
And was not this custom in England in Elizabeth's reign? Let us read one of the epistles of the learned Erasmus, which being translated, is in part as follows:
Although, Faustus, if you knew the advantages of Britain, truly you would hasten thither with wings to your feet; and, if your gout would not permit, you would wish you possessed the heart [sic] of Dædalus. For, just to touch on one thing out of many here, there are lasses with heavenly faces; kind, obliging, and you would far prefer them to all your Muses. There is, besides, a practice never to be sufficiently commended. If you go to any place, you are received with a kiss by all; if you depart on a journey, you are dismissed with a kiss ; you return, lcisses are exchanged. They come to visit you, a kiss the first thing; they leave you, you kiss them all round. Do they meet you any where, kisses in abundance. Lastly, wherever you move, there is nothing but kisses. And if you, Faustus, had but once tasted them! how soft they are-how fragrant ! on my honour you would wish not to reside here for ten years only, but for life.
"HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.'
Coleridge, in quoting this saying, attributes it to Baxter. Boswell, in his Life of Johnson (sub 15th April, 1775), says that Johnson, in allusion to the unhappy failure of pious resolves, said to an acquaintance, “Sir, hell is paved with good intentions." Upon which Malone adds a note :
This is a proverbial saying “Hell,” says Herbert, “ is full of good meanings and wishings.”-Jacula Prudentum, p. 11, ed. 1631." But he does not say where else the proverbial saying is to be found. The last editor, Croker, adds :
Johnson's phrase has become so proverbial, that it may seem rather late to ask what it means—why “paved ? ” perhaps as making the road easy, facilis descensus Averni.
Sir Walter Scott, in a letter to Miss Joanna Baillie, dated October 12, 1825 (Lockhart's Life of Sir W. S., vol. vi. p. 82), says:
I well intended to have written from Ireland, but alas! as somo stern old divine says, “Hell is paved with good intentions." There was such a whirl of laking, and boating, and wondering, and shouting, and laughing, and carousing— [He alludes to his visiting among the Westmoreland and Cumberland lakes on his way home, especially] so much to be seen, and so little time to see it; so much to be heard, and only two ears to listen to twenty voices, that upon the whole I grew desperate, and give up all thoughts of doing what was right and proper on post-days, and so all my epistolary good intentions are gone to Macadamise, I suppose, “ the burning marle” of the infernal regions.
How easily a showy absurdity is substituted for a serious truth, and taken for granted to be the right sense. Without having been there, we may venture to affirm that “Hell is not paved with good intentions, such things being all lost or dropt on the way by travellers who reach “that bourne;" for, where “hope never comes,” “good intentions
good intentions” cannot exist any more than they can be formed, since to fulfil them were impossible. The authentic and emphatical figure in the saying is, " The road to hell is paved with good intentions;" and it was uttered by the "stern old divine," whoever he might be, as a warning not to let “good intentions” miscarry for want of being realized at the time and upon the spot. The moral, moreover, is manifestly this, that people may be going to hell with " the best intentions in the world," substituting all the while well-meaning for welldoing
THE NAME OF BACON.
It has been suggested that the word bacon had the obsolete signification of " dried wood.” Old Richard Verstegan, famous for Saxon lore and archæological research, explains it thus :
Bacon, of the Beechen tree, anciently called Bucon; and, whoreas swinesflesh is now called by the name of Bacon, it grew only at tho first unto such as were fatted with Bucon or beechmast.-Chap. ix. p. 299.
There is one agreeable feature in this explanation, viz., that it professes somewhat naturally to account for the mysterious relation between the flesh of the unclean animal, and the name of a very ancient and honorable family. But its chief value is to be found in the singular authentication of it in Collins's Baronetage. In the very ample and particular account there given of the pedigree of the Premier Baronet, it will be seen that the first man who assumed the surname of Bacon, was one William (temp. Rich. I.), a great grandson of the Grimbaldus, who came over with the Conqueror and settled in Norfolk. Of course there was some reason for his taking that name; and though Collins makes no comment on it, he does in fact unconsciously supply that reason (elucidated by Verstegan), by happily noting of this sole individual, that he bore for his arms,“ argent, a beech-tree proper!” The family name, Bacon, then, undoubtedly signifies “of the beechen tree,” and is therefore of the same class with many others such as ash, beech, &c., latinized in ancient records by De Fraxino, De Fago, &c.
A modern motto of the Somersetshire Bacons has an ingenious rebus
PROBA-CONSCIENTIA; the capitals, thus placed, giving it the double reading, Proba conscientia, and Pro Bacon Scientia.
I do not know by whom or when the above couplet was first imputed to Pope. The following extracts will show how a story grows, and the parasites which, under unwholesome cultivation, adhere to it. The restoration of Shakspeare's text, and the performance of Shylock as a serious part, are told as usual.
In the dumb action of the trial scene he was amazingly descriptive, and through the whole displayed such unequalled merit, as justly entitled him to that very comprehensive, though concise, compliment paid to him by Mr. Pope, who sat in the stage-box on the third night of the reproduction, and who emphatically exclaimed :
“This is the Jew
Life of Macklin, by J. T. Kirkman, vol i. p. 264 : London,
1799, 2 vols. 8vo.
The book is ill-written, and no authorities are cited.