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author little known out of France, Pierre Mathieu, who had the impudence to write an eulogium of Louis XI., says of this monarch, “ that justice put her sword more frequently than her balance into his hand, which he made many of the nobles severely feel, whose trial was generally preceded by their execution.” This, notwithstanding Pierre Mathieu's admiration for his royal master, sounds more like an epigram upon him than any thing else. Some authors have set down as a trait of profound policy, Louis's familiarizing himself with the people, visiting obscure citizens, enquiring into their family affairs, sitting at their tables and partaking of their humble fare, and in turn permitting them to appear at his own royal banquets. As he wished to lessen the influence of the nobles, it was good policy, as they suppose, on his part, to make himself beloved by the people and give them consideration. But it is probable that there was more of fancy and whim than of policy in these familiarities; and that, being naturally affable, inquisitive, and anxious to discover the truth, he had adopted an equal condescension towards every class of his subjects. If he had been so desirous of securing the good will and affection of the middling and lower classes, he would not have caused to be thrown into the Seine, bound in pairs, several citizens of Paris, whom he suspected of a correspondence with his enemies. He would have treated with less barbarity the unfortunate inhabitants of the towns and cities that he conquered. The most striking peculiarity of his character is, perhaps, the ascendancy which he allowed some of those in menial situations about his person to acquire over him. Some of these so captivated his confidence, that he intrusted them with several most important missions and affairs of state. But still more extraordinary and altogether odious was the degrading familiarity which existed between him and his

prevot, the atrocious Tristan the Hermit, a wretch who took a ferocious delight in executing the cruel orders of his master. This horrid being he called his gossip. With the exception of the barbarian Czar Peter I. of Russia, the history of modern times offers no other example of a prince who took a pleasure in witnessing with his own eyes the executions he had ordered, and who afterwards amicably pressed the hand of the executioner, still dripping with the blood of his victims. Louis may be more easily pardoned for having conferred the title of Count de Meulan upon his barber Olivier le Dain, who served him faithfully and proved himself a brave captain. But unfortunately, this valiant barber had a spice of the villain in him, like most of those who enjoyed the favour or confidence of Louis: he was hanged in the following reign for having, during the time of his power and credit, caused to be strangled, the husband of a lady, whose life he had promised to spare as the price of the wife's submission to his desires. This trait proves him to have been a worthy favourite of such a despot. It is difficult to imagine how Jaques Coittier, his physician, contrived to inspire Louis with so wholesome a fear of him ; he obtained from him any thing and every thing he wished; he spoke to him with arrogance, and even insolence, without bringing down upon himself the wrath of the tyrant. He often said to him, “I know that you will serve me some fine morning as you have served so many others, but I swear to you that you shall live but eight days after.” By this extravagant threat he worked upon Louis's credulity and fears.

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It was owing to the same causes that he spared the life of an astrologer, whom he had doomed to death, but, wishing to prove the fallacy of his art, he asked him if he could foretell the period of his own death, to which the wily juggler replied with apparent sang froid, that it would take place exactly three days before that of his majesty. The King's dread of his physician will appear the less surprising, if we recollect in what continual fear of death the monarchs of that day were; when their distrust and dread of treachery were such, that at their interviews they were separated from each other by strong bars of wood or iron, through the intervals of which they passed their hands. It was thus, that Edward of England and Louis met at Pequigny. “On the middle of the bridge,” says Comines, was erected a strong palisading of wood, similar to that of which the cages of lions are made, and the distances between the bars were only large enough to allow an arm to pass through.” In like manner it was with a strong grating between them that Louis and the Constable of France met to treat of their differences. Louis and his brother monarchs knew too well the danger of putting confidence in each other's honour. It was for having blindly confided in the word of the Duke of Burgundy, that Louis found himself a prisoner in the chateau of Peronne, and was obliged, as the price of his liberty, to assist the duke in exterminating the revolted inhabitants of Liege.

Louis, however, seemed to have had as little regard to his word as the Duke of Burgundy: he judged of others by himself, and in that age he was not often mistaken in so doing.

A favourite expression of his was," he that knows not how to dissemble, knows not how to reign.” If this be true, few kings knew better how to reign than he, It was only when he swore upon the true cross of St. Lo, that he considered himself bound;

;-as for all other oaths, he held himself dispensed from observing them, unless when it was his interest to do so.

Louis is the first of the French monarchs, who took the title of “ Most Christian," though there is scarcely one of the number who had less of the spirit of Christianity, but, as a compensation, no one could be a more scrupulous observer of devotional practices and the dues of the church. In 1481, he visited for seven days successively the tomb of Saint Martin, and gave an offering, each time, of thirty-one golden crowns : this was his usual donation when he visited a church, or heard mass, in company with the Queen. On Assumption day, he gave three times as many golden crowns as he was years old ; and during the last years of his life, he was so profuse of donations to the churches, that the greater part of his domains passed into the hands of the clergy.

Notwithstanding his tyranny and superstition, France was near being indebted to him for a general code of laws, and a unity of weights and measures, of which he had conceived the idea. But these wise and useful intentions did not receive their execution till the revolution at the close of the last century. The posts for the conveyance of letters, which he established for his own personal service, have become a general advantage. It was Louis also, who first introduced Swiss stipendiaries to serve as his life-guards, as if Frenchmen were not the fittest guardians of the throne and monarch of France.

D, S.

HARP OF ZION.-NO. II.

The Song of Deborah.
On the wing of the whirlwind Jehovah hath past,
And the turrets of Harosheth shook to the blast,
And the mountains of Edom were crumbled to dust,
As the lightnings of wrath on their proud foreheads burst !
The Canaanite came like the grasshopper down-
Like the grasshopper now that the tempest hath strewn-
And the pride and the pomp of his battle array
Hath past like the chafl' in the tempest away!
Oh proudly the war-horse was pawing the plain
And proud was the boast of the warrior-train !
But the red-star in Heaven hath wither'd their force,
And Kishon hath swept them away in his course!
And his bride look'd forth from her latticed tower,
When the soft dew was sinking on tree and on flower;
And she thought as the gust of the night-wind swept by,
'Twas Sisera's chariot in triumph drew nigh.
And she watch'd till the last dim star of the night
Had faded away in the morning light-

Why tarry his chariot-wheels thus?” she cried,
O haste with thy spoils to the arms of thy bride !"
But far from his bridal bower away,
In the tent of the stranger proud Sisera lay“
With the dust for his couch-and the worm at his side,
All headless he lies—he hath Death for his bride!

W.C.

BISHOP BLAISE, THE ASH-WADDLER.

STROLLING one morning in the Spring of 18— through a village in the north of merry Devon, I observed young Isaac Wall (better known by the name of Bishop Blaise,) the roving ash-waddler, in hot argu-ment with his worship the Justice. Isaac was mounted on a fine athletic ass, garnished on all sides with tinker's tools and bags of wooulashes. On the beast's withers crouched a young otter snarling at the Justice as he flourished his staff at the waddler; who, with the end of a long, brown, polished, and rudely-carved pastoral crook, restrained his little amphibious friend from attacking his worship. He occasionally took the mitre from his head, and shook it in the Justice's face; and ever and anon shed a cloud of dust from his patched clerical gown on his worship’s garments. These were quite in the old fashionquaint, bizarre, imposing, and affected. The style is now perhaps rooted out from its few strong holds even in the heart of Devon. He wore a blue coat, bedecked with silver coins, cuffed and collared with rich crimson velvet. His vest was a long-flapped flowery brocade -a cravat of fine muslin, with a running pink border, encircled his neck. His nether garments were greasy buckskins and yarn stockings of the old card pattern, wherein kings, queens, and knaves shouldered each other, ace shouldered deuce, diamond flamed cheek by jowl with spade, and every card in the pack flaunted 'twixt ankle and knee-band.

“ How dare you,

His worship was about fifty years of age, fat and unlettered: one who loved the ways of old, and had not been a score of miles from his secluded domains (as he often boasted) above thrice in his life. When I approached, he was loud in interrogatories. Sirrah ?" quoth he, “How dare you travel the county in that guise, , with a pedlar's pack on your back too, when the maggot for illicit dealing bites? How dare you keep an alehouse by Exmoor yonder without a licence? What warranty hold you? Where's your conscience ?"

“ Shut up your worshipful head,” replied Blaise, drawing himself proudly up, and exhibiting a large woolcomb as he spoke. " A man's conscience must have a broad pair of shoulders in these days; and many do that without authority which I do by statute. Talk to such men of conscience. I am a woolcomber's son, Sir! Who does not remember Sampson Wall, my father ? Did he not parade in proper trappings as Blaise the good Bishop's representative, for nine successive years? He died, Sir, while officiating in the old rite, with his friends and the fellow-craftsmen who honoured him as their chief around him, in an open street of his native town—a woolcomber to the last, with this mitre on his head, this comb in his left and this crook in his right hand, and these robes flowing about him, as the proxy of the trade's patron saint. I have worn them ever since; and while a rag of them hangs to its neighbour I'll not cast them off, for the good old man's sake, who impoverished himself to school such a truant, wandering, ungrateful, tinker-loving rogue of a fellow as I was. I am a woolcomber's son, Sir, and therefore, thanks to Billy Pitt's Act, can carry on any art, trade, or mystery whatsoever, and wheresoever, without let or hindrance from any dweller in the land, beyond the University precincts. I bite my nail at your worship. You have been wooing and hankering after Jacob Shapcot's daughter Ally these three years; but, mark me, to spite your worship much and please myself a little, I 'll set about a lusty courtship to her at once, and if I do not ferk you out of all likelihood of ringing the beauty, why mandamus me!"-"Pooh! pooh !" pettishly ejaculated the Justice, while Blaise struck heels into his "palfrey's” sides, and went off at a strong gallop through the village.

About a year after, I met with the waddler again, and inquired if he had succeeded in his wooing. “ Sir!" said he, " it was a whole month before I was cheered with a single glance of my lady goodluck : thus it happened. It's a custom with us here in Devon to cure a broken lip by stealing unperceived behind the door at new-moon-tide, and then and there with closed eyes devoutly singing certain old rhymes, which

you shall hear anon, 'twixt the intervals of bussing. Sweet Ally had bitten her lips so fiercely at my warm courtship one evening, that when I came to see her the next night, my damsel's mouth was sore and rough. The young moon had just then broken up from her soft cloudy pillow, so that I suspected what the lass was bent on by her attempting so often to creep to the doorway unseen. I marred her project thrice by a roguish glance, and, having a pleasant quiddit in my pate, suddenly bade the hearth-group good night. But deuce a step stepped I across the threshold. Ally bad darkened the doorway for her own purposes, and I taking advantage of the cunningly contrived murkiness, slipped into the nook unperceived, instead of passing

out. Anon comes my lass, with lid kissing lid, stealthily and lightly as fawn going to brook, when somewhat scared by the low patches of cloud, that swiftly scudding 'twixt sun and glade, checquer her verdant path. My cheek was lowered to the height of her mouth, and dextrously did I contrive on her approaching, directed only by her warm, short, fluttered breathings, to be saluted—thrice saluted by the comely lass. Wall! Wall! I love thee! And may thy virtue now cure me !' sang she, and the words floated to my pleased ear, soft, low, and indistinct, as the gentle talk of a dreaming birdlet. She bussed again, and then chaunted loudly and triumphantly

• Wall! Wall! I've kissed thee, Wall !
Wall! Wall! I've wooed thee, Wall !

And none have seen my love to Wall ! Say you so, darling ? cried I, suddenly clasping her up in my arms, and kissing her warmly,– Say you so, bird, to Wall's face ?' And I danced out into view with her as I spoke ; while Ally shrieked, her mammy frowned, and her stout brothers crowded about us, dancing, gibing, and frightening the caged blackbird's head from beneath his wing, by their peals of jollity. Now, Ally, lass,' continued I, as the roar abated, ' you said last night, that you would be wooed willingly by Blaise, if ever you gave his sooty cheek a salute. Henceforth, Í am a free suitor! But come, folks, who says a clear floor for a fall?' • I'll vell any o' my buoys upo' the lime-ash that do zay noa ?' cried old Shapcot, shaking his stick. This was enough. One of the youths immediately doffed woollens, and slipped into his corded jacket, and shin-facers. Our shoes were then rigidly inspected by the old man, who was chosen tryer,' and neither nail being found in the bottoms nor tinplate inserted atween the soles, we tippled a cup of cider to each other's health, shook hands, and maneuvred for a grab. In two minutes I felled the youngster by a twist of the wrist and toe-touch. While gratulations were showered upon me for this feat, I cast my eye round, and in the winding of the staircase, detected Ally peeping over her sister's shoulder at the sport.

She drew back the moment she encountered my glance, but little Admonition boldly kept her place. I had another of the sturdy youngsters down in a twinkling ; but Michael, the nestletripe of the sons, baffled me long. I threw him once on his side, again on two joints; and had almost brought him to another half-fall, which would have won me the bout, when the fellow slipped aside, and wiped off one from his score, by turning my own strength so cleverly in his favour, as to tilt me on the hip. I was up and at it again with a hot brow and a beating heart in a moment. He was a stiff one, and the time we had agreed upon for fair collar and elbow play, passed off in striving, and wheedling, and tempting, and kicking; still he was on his legs. I marvelled! Ally's eye was again upon me. I saw it not, but felt it, or fancied I felt it, on my flaming cheek. Anon, in came Mike for a grip at my belly-band, or a kidney-hug. But I was 'ware of him, and whipping out my gam, clutched him by shoulder and brisket. He went over, flying horse-fashion in a trice. Well! upon this, forth totters old Shapcot himself, from his elbow-chair, to play

The dusty protectors which he drew from a dark nook by the chimney-side were of rough bark; for he cleaved to the fashions

2 L

me out.

VOL. VIII. NO. XXXVI.

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