Page images
PDF
EPUB

Halle of John Halle has this beautiful peculiarity, that the quadrangular compartments, or parallelograms, formed by the intersection of the principals, or main timbers, with the *purlins, are covered in, the one half of each with a semi-circular, and scolloped, panelling, the other with plaster. The alternation of the dark panel and the lighter-coloured plaster in this, thus varied, roof delights the eye of the spectator to a degree, that cannot be conceived. In addition to these circumstances, the Author must remark, that much more is known of the owner of the one hall than of the other. Little is known, comparatively, of Sir John Crosby. The reader will be gratified at receiving the intelligence of many curious incidents of the life of John Halle.

To return to the progress of this work, and the apparent delay of its publication. In October, 1834, for the purpose of fixing a wavering, and fearful, inclination of writing a book, (and thus fulfilling what has been deemed by the facetious Sterne to be one of the cardinal duties of life,t) the Author publicly announced his work as in preparation, before he had written a line thereof. In January, 1835, he printed his first half-sheet, and his volume, up to the present time, December, 1836, has thus weekly progressed, since it was his constant care to keep

• The side-pieces, on which the rafters rest.
+ Posthumous Works.

с

[ocr errors]

his manuscript somewhat in advance. His book has employed, and amused, the hours of leisure, which have intervened amidst many other public and private engagements; and, as it is, also, the result of some labour, and investigation, he takes the liberty to explain, rather than to apologise for, its non-appearance at an earlier period. In its style, and diction, he has sought not the meretricious ornaments of language, neither have the graces of elocution flowed from his pen-he knows them not-and all, that he has aimed at, has been to amuse his reader, and in plain, and intelligible, speech-to tell him the tale of the olden time.

Let not then the, generally-deemed, ominous letters of F.A.S., appended to the name of the Author in the title-page, scare any one from the perusal of this book through the fear of encountering dry, and learned, disquisitions on things, and times, long since past. All is not gold, that glitters is a proverb handed down to us from the wisdom of our ancestors, and-most true it is. The Author has no claim to recondite knowledge-he is not deeply imbued in the mysteries of the past ages-in fact-he is the least of all antiquaries—not meet to be called an antiquary–he has sought not to unravel the ignotum per ignotius, but to amuse rather than to instruct; and, on all occasions, as he possesses neither the learning of the Sage, nor the gravity of the Philosopher, he has felt the truth of, and

to gay,

humbly endeavoured to exemplify, the adage promulgated by one,* who well knew mankind -dulce est desipere in loco,- but, although the Author be occasionally jocose, at other times he is serious, and sentimental—and, ever and anon, he takes the liberty to censure the follies of the passing age-he disports himself in the variety of style—he wanders “ from grave

from lively to severe”—and thus he trusts, that he suits his work to the inclinations of all men.

The Author must now remark, that the invitation to the Halle of John Halle is specially given to the general reader-that it is not extended to the Man of Learning—nor—to the Critic; yet, if these should, perchaunce, knock at the portal, the laws of hospitality will not permit him to deny admittance-let them enter -and sit down with his invited guests—and he entreats them to be content with the lowly fare set before them.

When he first entered on this work it was his intention to have compressed the whole into one volume; but, from the many subjects, which pressed on his attention, he found it necessary to extend it to a second.

Under this circumstance his work naturally divided itself. This first volume is restricted, more particularly, to the history of the worthy John Halle--the Hero of the Tale. In it, the reader will become acquainted with the station of life, in which he moved-with his armorial honours-with his merchant's mark, and with his memorable deeds-nay-John Halle himself will make his bow accoutred in the elegant costume of his day-thus shall he be introduced to him, and he may become his intimate acquaintance.

* Horace.

The Author feels, that it may be alleged, that, in various parts of his work, he has strayed too much into devious subjects. If this be ob. jected to him, he begs leave to say, that, in wandering at any time from the side of his Hero, it has only been with the hope of gathering the flowers, and fruits, which were scattered around his path, and therewith to regale, and refresh, his reader. For his notes he has claimed, and exercised, the right of making more distant excursions in the chase of knowledge, and of truth.

In treating of the days of John Halle the Author has written about and about him; but he now feels it to be due to his reader to acquaint him with the intended contents of his second volume. Here, then, he will take him into the Halle itself of this affluente marchant-this worthie burgesse of the faire Citie of Salisburie, and there he will point out, and descant on, the

peculiarities of its architecture-he will show to him its splendid, and unique, roof, and its richlystoried windows-he will explain to him the heraldic insignia--the arms, and the cognizances, with which they are ornamented, -he will tell him of the many illustrious parties, who claim these brilliant honours, and-he will also disclose various particulars relative to the other members of the family of John Halle. Many other subjects will, of course, arise up in this intended volume, which will call for the exertions of the Author's pen, but which it is unnecessary for him now to particularise; and, at its close, (as in the present instance,) he will illustrate it with such notes, as he may deem necessary, and interesting.

With reference to his notes, the Author desires to say a few words. As, in the progress of his volume, various subjects of enquiry, some of them novel, and curious, in themselves, arose to his notice, he marked them, as he proceeded, with numerical references; and, last of all, he wrote the correspondent notes, which, he confesses, in many instances, assume the appearance of disquisitions. For these lengthy, and anomalous, notes his judgment, mayhap, may be impugned, but he takes shelter under the example of an author far greater than himself -whom he follows, sed à longo intervallothat of Robertson in his excellent histories of Charles, the Fifth, &c.

The reader may, possibly, expect some explanation relative to the motto of the frontis. piece. This motto “ Hoc Opus, Ilic Labor est" is in the well-known words of Virgil, who (as

« PreviousContinue »