Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


but his relations were so powerful, intention of offence, in the heat of
that the victor was obliged to fly his dispute and altercation. I shall not
country. He was tried and con- inlift upon the hardship of a worthy
demned in his absence; his goods man's being obliged to devote him-
were confiscated; his wife broke herself to death, because it is his misfor.
heart; his children were reduced to tune to be insulted by a brute, a bully,
beggary; and he himself is now starv- a drunkard, or a nadman; neither
ing in exile. In England, we bave will I enlarge upon this side of the
not yet adopted all the implacability absurdity, which, indeed, amounts
of the punctilio. A gentleman may to a contradiction in terms ; I mean
be insulted even with a blow, and fur- the dilemma to which a gentleman in
vive, after having once hazarded his the army, is reduced, when he re-
life against the aggressor. The laws ceives an affront; it

. he does not
of honour in our country do not oblige challenge and fight his ant gonilt, he
him, either to slay the person from is broke with infamy by a court-
whom he received the injury, or even martial; if he fights and kills him,
to fight to the last drop of his blood. he is tried by the civil power, con-
One finds no examples of duels among victed of murder, and, if the royal
the Romans, who were certainly as mercy does not interpole, he is in-
brave, and as delicate in their notions fallibly hanged: all this, exclusive
of honour, as the French. Cornelius of the risk of his own life in the duel,
Nepos tells us, that a famous Athenian and his conscience being burchened
general, having a difpute with his with the blood of a man, whom per-
colleague, who was of Sparta, a man haps he has facrificed to a false
of a fiery disposition, this lait listed puncilio, even contrary to his owa
up his cane to itrike him. Had this judgment. I will make bold to pro.
happened to a French petit maitre, pole a remedy for this g gantic evil,
death must have ensued; but mark which ieems to gain ground every day ;.
what followed. The Athenian, far let a court be intituted for taking
from resenting the outrage, in what cognizance of all breaches of honour,
is now called a gentleman-like man- with power to punish by fine, pillory,
ner, said, “Do, Itrike if you please, sentence of infamy, outlawry, and
but hear me.' He never dreained of exile, by virtue of an act of parlia-
cutting the Lacedemonian's throat; ment made for this purpose; and all
but bore with his paflionate temper persons insulted, Iball have recourse
as the infirmity of a friend, who had to this tribunal: let every man who
a thousand good qualitico to overba- seeks personal reparation with sword,
lance that defect.

pistol, or other instrument of death, be
I need not expatiate upon the folly declared infamous, and banished the
and mischief which are countenanced, kingdom : let every man, convicted
and promoted by the modern practice of having used a sword or piltol, or
of duelling. I need not give exam- other mortal weapon, against another,
ples of friends who have murdered either in duelor rencounter, occafioned
each other, in obedience to this fa- by any previous quarrel, be lubject to
vage cultom, even while their hearts the fame penalties : if any man is
were melting with mutual tenderness; killed in a duel, let his body be hanged
nor will I particularize the instances, upon a public gibbet, for a certain
which I myself know, of whole fami- time, and then given to the furgeons :
lies ruined, of women and children let his antagonist be hanged as a
made widows and orphans, of parents murderer, and diffected also; and iome
deprived of only fons, and of valuable mark of infamy be set on the me-
lives lost to the community, by duels, mory of both. I apprehend such re-
which had been produced by one un- gulations would put a stop to the
guarded expreflion, u:tered without practice of duelling, which nothing


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

but the fear of infamy can support : of Shrewsbury, and publishing hier for I am persuaded, that no being, fame, took all opportunities of procapable of reflection, would prosecute voking the earl to fingle combat, the trade of asiastination at the risque hoping he should have an aly conof his own life, if this hazard was at quett, his lordship being a puny little the same time reinforced by the cer- creature, quiet, inoffentive, and every tain prospect of infamy and ruin. way unfit for such personal conteits. Every person of sentiment would in He ridiculed him on all occasions, and that case allow, that an officer, who, at lait declared in public company, in a duel, robs a deserving woman of that there was no glory in cuckolding her husband, a number of children of Shrewsbury, who had not spirit to retheir father, a family of its fupport, fent the injury. This was an infult and the community of a fellow citi- which could not be overlooked. The zen, has as little merit to plead from earl sent him a challenge; and they exposing his own person, as a high- agreed to fight, at Barn-elms, in wayman, or housebreaker, who every pretence of two geütlemen, whom day risques his life to rob or plunder they chose for their feconds. All the that which is not of half the import- four engaged at the same time: the ance to society. I think it was from firit thruit was fatal to the earl of the Buccaneers of America, that the Shrewsbury; and his friend killed the English have learned to abolith one duke's second at the fame instant. solecism in the practice of duelling : Buckingham, elated with his exploit, those adventurers decided their per- set out immediately for the earl's seat fonal quarrels with pistols ; and this at Cliefden, where he lay with his improvement has been adopted in wife, after having boasted of the murGreat Britain with good success ; der of her husband, whole blood he though in France, and other parts of thewed her upon his sword, as a trothe continent, it is looked upon as a pliy of his prowess. But this very proof of their barbarity. It is, how. duke of Buckingham was little better ever, the only circumstance of duel- than a poltroon at bottom. When ling, which favours of common sense, the gallant earl of Offory challenged as it puts all mankind upon a level, him to fight in Chelsea fields, he croiled the old with the young, the weak with the water to Battersea, where he prethe strong, the unwieldy with the tended to wait for his lordship, and nimble, and the man who knows not then complained to the house of lords, how to hold a sword, with the spa- that Oliory had given him the rendezdassin, who has practised fencing from vous, and did not keep his appointthe cradle. What glory is there in a ment. He knew the house would in. man's vanquishing an adversary over terpore in the quarrel, and he was whom he has a manifest advantage? not disappointed. Their lordships To abide the issue of a combat in this obliged them both to give their word case, does not even require that mo. of honour, that their quarrel should derate share of resolution which na- have no other consequence. ture has indulged to her common chil There is, I am persuaded, much dren. Accordingly, we have feen cowardice at the bottom of modern many initances of a coward's provok. duels ; but yet the question recurs, ing a man of honour to batile. In • How can an officer of the army or the reign of our second Charles, when navy refuse a challenge?' An attempt duels Hourished in all their absurdity, tu discuss this point will form che and the seconds fought while their subject of my next letter. principals were engaged, Villiers,

I am, fir, yours, duke of Buckingham, not content with having debauched the countess


[ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

An Account of DoveBRIDGE, in Derbyshire : With a beautiful Per

fpective Viezu of DOVEBRIDGE HALL, the Seat of the Right Honourable Sir Henry Cavendish, Baronet.

Ovebridge, Doveridge, or Du- Henry Cavendish, baronet, à privy

written, is a village of Derbyshire, the Irish parliament, who is supposed, delightfully situated on the banks of by Mr. Filkington, to be descended the river Dove, in the hundred of from an illegitimate branch of the faAppletree, about halfway between mily of Cavendish duke of DevonSudbury and Urtoxeter. At the time · fhire. The situation of this seat is of the Norman survey, there was here excellent: it tands upon a rising a church, with a priest. The I ving ground, and commands a view of the is a vicarage. The church is dedi- town of Utroxeter in Staffordshire, of cated to St. Cuthbert, and was given the river Dove, the rich pastures by Henry, earl Ferrers, to the priory which extend along its banks, and of of Tutbury in Staffordshire. The a range of distant hills on the opposite duke of Devonshire is the patron : its side of the valley. The house is movalue in the king's books is 121. 2s. Id. dern and handsome. The foundations and the yearly tenths are 1l. 45. 2 d. of it were laid on the 6th of July

Dovebridge was held, at the time 1769. of the Norman conqueft, by Edwine, In this parish also, in the liberty of the ninth and last earl of Mercia. But Eaton Dovedale, is Eaton Hall, which this nobleman having been betrayed was the relidence of fir Thomas Miland flain, it was given to the foresaid ward, knight, chief justice of Chester, Henry earl Ferrers, whose wife Berta, who entertained king Charles the first. according to the superstition of that This houfo is now in ruins. Over age, had founded the priory of Tet- the door is placed the following inbury, and endowed it with the lands scription : • V. T. placet Deo fic of considerable value in Dovebridge. omnia fiunt, anno Domini 1576, When this religious house was dif- Junii 12. solved in the time of Edward the fixth, The river Dove, on which this these lands were granted to fir Wil. village is ficuated, is dillinguished by liam Cavendish, knight.

a great variety of the moi beautiful In the year 1695, the number of scenery; particularly, by Dove Dale, the inhabitants of Dovebridge amounts which is justly celebrated for its wild ed to five hundred and fix, as appears and fantastic appearance, and is fituated from a poll-tax book. But, in the about three miles from A'nborne, and year 1783, this parish contained one one from the road leading thence to hundred and forty-five separate dwell. Buxton. The files of this valley are, ings, and feven hundred and ofty in- almost in every part, steep and craggy; habitants. Of this number were three However, there is a tolerably good hundred and seven heads of families, defcent into it, near a high hil, called fifty two men servants, and forty-five Thorpe-cloud. When the traveller women servants; one hundred and arrives at the bottom, he finds himfifty-fix male, and one hundred and self inclosed in a very narrow and fixty-nine female children, and eleven deep dale. Raising his eye up, he boarders : fo that population has in- ohferves, on the right hand, many creased here two hundred and forry- craggy rocks, placed one above anofour persons in the space of eighty- this to a vast heisht, and on the lefi, eight years.

a teep and almost perpendicular alIn this parish is Dovebridge Hall, cent, 'finely covered with wood and the seat of the right honourable fir herbage.



« AnteriorContinuar »