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earls, barons, knights, ladies, and damsels of the Kingdom of England. The festivities were on a grand and noble scale, with much feasting and tourneying for fifteen days. Many Knights from Flanders, Hainault, and Brabant, crossed the sea, in order to be present on the occasion; but from France there came none."
A much more interesting subject of inquiry relative to the Order of the Garter than that of the date of its foundation, is to ascertain its origin and the reasons for selecting its well known title, ensign, and motto. Excepting conjectures, it appears however that nothing can be added to what has long been the popular and romantic story concerning these matters. We quote Mr. Beltz's recapitulation
of it :
"Of the principle which governed the nomination of the first knightscompanions, we know as little as of the form in which the election was conducted. The fame of Sir Reginald Cobham, Sir Walter Manny, the Earls of Northampton, Hereford, and Suffolk, had been established by their exploits, long before the institution of the Order; and would have amply justified their admission amongst the Founders, if military merit had been the sole qualification. Those distinguished captains of the age were elected subsequently upon vacancies created by the deaths of persons of less apparent pretensions. Is it, therefore, an improbable conjecture (more especially considering the youth of several of the primary knights, and the small celebrity of others), that the distinction was, in the first instance, bestowed upon those who had excelled at the jousts which shortly preceded the foundation? Whether, at some ball, pending the festivities with which the evenings after those chivalrous exercises were concluded, the incident related by Polydor Vergil, and which is said to have given occasion for the adoption of THE GARTER as the name and the symbol of the Order actually occurred, is at this day not capable of proof. That author was, as far as we have discovered, the first who asserted (possibly upon a vague hint of Belvaleti, that the foundation had been in honour of the female sex), that the garter of the queen, or of some lady of the court, falling off casually whilst she danced, the monarch had taken it from the ground, and, observing the smiles of the courtiers at what might have been considered an act of gallantry, had exclaimed 'HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE;' adding, that the garter should soon be held in such high estimation, that they would account themselves happy if permitted to wear it. The object of the king's attention on this occasion has been imagined by Speed, Baker, and Camden, (upon the sole authority, as it would seem, of Polydor Vergil,) to have been a Countess of Salisbury; and the learned Selden, following in the same dubious track, conjectured that the lady was Joan Plantagenet, the fair maid of Kent, whom he designates Countess of Kent and Salisbury,' without adverting to the facts, that she did not succeed to the former of those earldoms until after the death of her brother, John Earl of Kent, 1351, and that she never had any legal interest in the latter. The supposed connexion of a Countess of Salisbury with the institution of the Order, had undoubtedly its foundation in Froissart's romantic episode of the passion conceived by King Edward
for the wife of William Montacute Earl of Salisbury. The lively chronicler, who deemed the fame of a knight without amours to be far from complete, appears to have credited with avidity any rumour, which may have been in circulation, of the attachment of the monarch for the lady in question. Its probability has been denied chiefly upon the ground of her advanced age at the time when Edward is stated to have declared himself her admirer. A consideration, however, of the dates may go far to remove such an impression; and, although Froissart has as usual mistaken names and localities, he is borne out by evidence in regard to parts of his narrative."
The following are some of the versions and supposed circumstances concerning the origin of the Order, and the choice of its remarkable badge:
"In the preface to 'Liber Niger,' compiled in the reign of Henry VIII., the following event is presumed to have been in the recollection of the royal Founder when he selected a garter for the symbol of his Order :-It is there alleged (but upon what ancient authority, if any, the researches of Selden had not discovered) that King Richard I., whilst his forces were employed against Cyprus and Acre, had, through the mediation, as he imagined, of St. George, been inspired with fresh courage and the means of animating his fatigued soldiery, by the device to tie about the legs of a chosen number of knights a leathern thong or garter; in order that, being thereby reminded of the honour of their enterprise, they might be encouraged to new efforts for victory. To this supposed occurrence the adoption of the Garter, as the ensign of the Order, was ascribed by John Taylor, Master of the Rolls, in his address to Francis I., King of France, at his investiture with the ensigns in 1527; which affords additional proof, if any were wanting, of the uncertainty prevalent at that period on the subject. Edward is, by other authors, presumed to have adopted this idea of his predecessor, by giving his own garter for the signal of a battle in which he proved victorious; and to have fixed on a garter as the symbol of the Order in memory of the victory. Du Chesne supposes the battle in question to have been that of Cressy; but without any authority for the conjecture. Amidst such various speculations, and in the absence of positive evidence upon the point, we shall adopt an opinion which has been formed by other writers, that the Garter may have been intended as an emblem of the tie or union of warlike qualities to be employed in the assertion of the Founder's claim to the French crown; and the motto as a retort of shame and defiance upon him who should think ill of the enterprise, or of those whom the King had chosen to be the instruments of its accomplishment. The taste of that age for allegorical conceits, impresses, and devices, may reasonably warrant such a conclusion."
Hence it will be seen that the ample room left for conjecture relative to the cause and history of the institution, its motto and badge, has been occupied fully and curiously enough. For our part we should be unwilling to disturb the popular belief on the subject, seeing that it supposes manners characteristic of the fourteenth VOL. III. (1841.) No. II.
century, and satisfactory to the romantic notions of all succeeding
We shall now only copy out a version of Sir John Falstaff's behaviour at Patay, being one of the documents which enrich and illustrate our author's summary history of the Order of the Garter:
"The stain which, from his asserted flight at the battle of Patay in 1429, attached to the otherwise unblemished military reputation of Sir John Fastolf, was deep in proportion to the height of his previous renown; It has never been doubted that Shakspeare had in recollection the exaggerated reports, both written and traditionary, of this incident, when, with a slight variation of the name of the gallant knight, he attributed cowardice as a prominent vice to one of the most ably-drawn and consistent characters of his drama. A contemporary historian has, however, placed the conduct of our knight of the Garter, on the occasion in question, in a point of view less unfavourable to his memory: Jean Waurin, seign. de Forester, who, having been directed by the regent duke of Bedford to join the retinue of Fastolf, and who served near his person in the battle, may be considered as an unexceptionable witness of the demeanour of his illustrious principal on that memorable day. In his circumstantial history of the eventful period, he relates that the English being besieged in Beaugency, Talbot found means to enter the town with 40 lances and 200 archers; and, having alighted at his hotel, Sir John Fastolf, with Sir Thomas Rempston and others, went to welcome him. After dinner they held a council of war, at which Fastolf, whom he describes as a most valiant and wise knight, expressed his opinion that, considering the present strength of the enemy, and the depressed state of the English from the losses sustained before Orleans, Gergeaux, and other places, they should allow the inhabitants of Beaugency to make the best terms they could with the French, and that the troops of the regent should await the reinforcement which he had promised to send, before they courted another conflict. This advice was not agreeable to his auditors, and especially to Talbot, who declared that, should even his numbers be limited to his own personal retinue, he was determined to make a sally from the gates, and rely upon the succour of God and St. George for the result. Fastolf again reminded the council that, if fortune should prove adverse, all the French conquests, achieved with so much labour by the late king, would infallibly be placed in extreme jeopardy; but, finding his remonstrances unheeded, he prepared for the conflict, and ordered the army to march out of the town, and to take the direct road to the neighbouring town of Meun. The French, composed of about 6,000 men, under the command of the Maid of Orleans, the duke of Alençon, the bastard of Orleans, the marshal de la Fayette, La Hire, Pothon, and other captains, observing the approach of the English, formed, in order of battle, upon a small eminence. The English having also disposed themselves in battle array, sent two heralds to challenge the enemy to descend from their position; but were answered that, it being late, they might take their rest until the morrow. Whereupon the English proceeded to Meun for the night, and the French entered Beaugency. In the morning battle was joined on the field of Patay; the English were overpowered by numbers, and fled;
and Fastolf, in the hearing of Waurin, the relator, was urged to save himself as the day was entirely lost. He, however, desired at all hazards to renew the conflict, declaring his resolution to abide the issue in whatever manner it might please God to order it, saying, that he preferred death or capture to a disgraceful flight and the abandonment of his remaining retinue. But having ascertained that Talbot was a prisoner and all his people slain, and that 2,000 of the English had fallen and 200 been made prisoners, he took the road towards Estampes, and Waurin adds et moy je le suivis.' On the day following the battle, continues the historian, news reached the Duke of Bedford at Paris of the defeat of his army, the capture of Talbot, and the flight of Fastolf, who was arrived at Corbeil. From thence, in a few days, he repaired to the regent at Paris, by whom he was sharply reprimanded and deprived of the Order of the Garter which he wore. The Duke having, however, afterwards received a report of the remonstrances made by our Knight to his companions in the council, and other reasonable and approved excuses, the Garter was, 'par sentence de proces,' restored to him; upon which account much dispute arose between him and the Lord Talbot, after the release of the latter from prison.—Chron. d'Angleterre, par Waurin, MS. No. 6,748, in the royal library at Paris, vol. v. chap. XII.—XIV.”
Mr. Beltz gives a very full list of Knights and Ladies who have been members of the Order; the latter sex, however, have long ceased to grace the Society. But the number of the Knights has been increased twice; first in 1768, and again in 1805. We think it only necessary to mention further, that Queen Anne wore the George pendant from a riband about the neck, the Garter on her left arm, and the star upon her breast. Queen Victoria wears the riband as the Knights do, over the left shoulder.
ART. IV. A Comprehensive History of the Iron Trade throughout the World. By SCRIVENOR, Blaenavon. London: Smith and Elder.
MR. Scrivenor's History of the Iron Trade commences with the earliest records, that is, with the Bible, and comes down to the present period. Accordingly, we have from him such particulars as are known of the ancient nations as regards the use of this metal, and their manner of producing it. After this, he gives us a history of the mining of the ore, and the manufacturing of the article, in Britain, down to 1830; this country unquestionably deserving pre-eminent notice relative to this trade, just as it does in respect of that where cotton is the staple. Then comes an account of the iron trade, as it has been developed in other countries in modern times,-in France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, America, &c.,-the sketch extending to Asia as well as Europe. The British trade again, as is its due, concludes the history; the period by far the most remarkable
in its progress at home or abroad, being that which has elapsed with us since 1830. An Appendix contains Tables, Public Documents, and a variety of statistical facts bearing upon the subject.
The design of the work is systematic as well as comprehensive. But the execution is not equal to the design, or to the scope of the subject. That scope, we think, would lead most readers to expect many particulars concerning the purposes to which iron is subjected, as well as accounts of the various methods of mining and of smelting which have been in use. Yet Mr. Scrivenor almost exclusively confines himself to the latter branch of the subject, if we except what he has to communicate about the amounts of duce, and the sort of wholesale demand for it in certain departments. Even his descriptions and his facts, where he has to deal with the actual, often appear to us to want the completeness, the point, and the species of enthusiasm or eloquence which a familiar and living knowledge, especially when that knowledge is combined with practical and professional interest, frequently lend to books, although they have merely to treat of what is mechanical. Reading with the view of connecting and condensing what has been told by many competent authorities, and what may have to be sought for in scattered fragments, seldom enables a writer to produce a welldigested and well-balanced work. The parts, at least, are likely to be out of proportion, and some of those essential to the subject are probably altogether overlooked; while the style in which the whole is communicated will want vitality and verisimilitude. Even casual personal observation will not make up the deficiency; nor isolated inquiries, however earnest.
Mr. Scrivenor's Comprehensive History, it is probable, will suggest some such remarks as we have now offered. Still, it is impossible, with any show of justice, to refuse to him the credit due to sedulous reading preparatory to his performance, and to an anxiety to acquit himself in a manner that will be useful as well as agreeable and interesting. Were it nothing but the manifest modesty of our author, his work would merit notice. But when it is understood that the book contains and combines more on its subject than is to be met with in any other, and many facts not readily accessible, it will be held to be worthy of general acceptance. The popular, as well as the scientific and professional reader, or the statist and the economist, will consult it with advantage, and with an expanding conception of the natural riches of England-of the skill, the enterprize, and the might of the people of this country.
The uninformed reader, or even he who thinks of what is enormously great in the aggregate, who has never traced the growth of that greatness, and never viewed in detail its various parts, will be utterly astounded with the particulars which Mr. Scrivenor communicates.