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and was consequently little regarded in the f... the common drudge: this did not much de humbled. I did not, however, quite resign : Hugh Smerdon, and therefore secretly pro interval of leisure.

These intervals were not very frequent; found out, they were rendered still less so. at first; but at length I discovered that 1 the situation to which I aspired.

I possessed at this time but one books given me by a young woman, who had as a treasure; but it was a treasure 1 well acquainted with simple equatio master's son had purchased 'Fenni wanted; but he carefully concealed i for stumbling upon his hiding-place. successively, and, before he suspect pletely mastered it. I could now far into the science.

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it into my almanack, "Richard Plantagenet was buried the 22nd day of "anno ut supra. Ex Registro de Eastwell, sub anno, 1550." This is all ter mentions of him; so that we cannot say, whether he was buried in the churchyard; nor is there now any other memorial of him except the in the family, and some little marks where his house stood. The story my me was this:

Sir Thomas Moyle built that house (Eastwell Place), he observed his chief ver, whenever he left off work, retired with a book. Sir Thomas had curiosity w what book the man read, but was some time before he could discover it, he utting the book up if any one came towards him. However, at last Sir surprised him, and snatched the book from him, and, looking into it, found Latin. Hereupon he examined him, and, finding he pretty well understood guage, inquired how he came by his learning: hereupon, the man told him, had been a good master to him, he would venture to trust him with a secret never before revealed to any one. He then informed him, that he was ed with a Latin school-master, without knowing who his parents were, till he iteen or sixteen years old; only a gentleman (who took occasion to acquaint he was no relation of his) came once a quarter, and paid for his board, and took to see that he wanted nothing. And one day this gentleman took him, and ed him to a fine great house, where he passed through several stately rooms, e of which he left him, bidding him stay there.

men a man, finely dressed, with a star and garter, came to him, asked him e questions, talked kindly to him, and gave him some money. Then the foretioned gentleman returned, and conducted him back to his school. some time after, the same gentleman came to him again, with a horse and proper coutrements, and told him he must take a journey with him into the country. ey went into Leicestershire, and came to Bosworth field; and he was carried to ing Richard III.'s tent. The king embraced him, and told him he was his son, But child," says he, "to morrow I must fight for my crown. And, assure yourself, I lose that I will lose my life too: but I hope to preserve both. Do you stand such a place (directing him to a particular place), where you may see the battle, out of danger. And when I have gained the victory come to me; I will then own you to be mine, and take care of you. But, if I should be so unfortunate as to lose the battle, then shift as well as you can, and take care to let nobody know that I am your father; for no mercy will be showed to any one so nearly related to me." Then the king gave him a purse of gold, and dismissed him.

But,

He followed the king's directions; and, when he saw the battle was lost, and the king killed, he hasted to London, sold his horse and fine clothes, and, the better to conceal himself from all suspicion of being son to a king, and that he might have means to live by his honest labour, he put himself apprentice to a bricklayer. having a competent skill in the Latin tongue, he was unwilling to lose it; and having an inclination also to reading, and no delight in the conversation of those he was obliged to work with, he generally spent all the time he had to spare in reading by himself.

Sir Thomas said, "You are now old, and almost past your labour; I will give you the running of my kitchen as long as you live." He answered, "Sir, you have a numerous family; I have been used to live retired; give me leave to build a house of one room for myself, in such a field, and there, with your good leave, I will live and die." Sir Thomas granted his request; he built his house, and there continued to his death.

I suppose (though my lord did not mention it) that he went to eat in the family, and then retired to his hut. My lord said, that there was no park at that time; but,

:

On examining into the nature of my literary attainments, he found them absolutely nothing he heard, however, with equal surprise and pleasure, that, amidst the grossest ignorance of books, I had made a very considerable progress in the mathe matics. He engaged me to enter into the details of this affair; and, when he learned that I had made it in circumstances of peculiar discouragement, he became more warmly interested in my favour, as he now saw a possibility of serving me.

The plan that occurred to him was naturally that which had so often suggested itself to me. There were indeed several obstacles to be overcome: I had eighteen months yet to serve; my handwriting was bad, and my language very incorrect; but nothing could slacken the zeal of this excellent man; he procured a few of my poor attempts at rhyme, dispersed them amongst his friends and acquaintance, and, when my name was become somewhat familiar to them, set on foot a subscription for my relief. I still preserve the original paper; its title was not very magnificent, though it exceeded the most sanguine wishes of my heart; it ran thus, “A subscription for purchasing the remainder of the time of William Gifford, and for enabling him to improve himself in writing and English grammar.” Few contributed more than five shillings, and none went beyond ten-and-sixpence: enough, however, was collected to free me from my apprenticeship, and to maintain me for a few months, during which I assiduously attended the Rev. Thomas Smerdon.

At the expiration of this period, it was found that my progress (for I will speak the truth in modesty) had been more considerable than my patrons expected: I had also written in the interim several little pieces of poetry, less rugged, I suppose, than my former ones, and certainly with fewer anomalies of language. My preceptor, too, spoke favourably of me; and my benefactor, who was now become my father and my friend, had little difficulty in persuading my patrons to renew their donations, and to continue me at school for another year. Such liberality was not lost upon me; I grew anxious to make the best return in my power, and I redoubled my diligence. Now that I am sunk into indolence, I look back with some degree of scepticism to the exertions of that period.

In two years and two months from the day of my emancipation, I was pronounced by Mr. Smerdon fit for the University. The plan of opening a writing-school had been abandoned almost from the first; and Mr. Cookesley looked round for some one who had interest enough to procure me some little office at Oxford. This person, who was soon found, was Thomas Taylor, Esq., of Denbury, a gentleman to whom I had already been indebted for much liberal and friendly support. He procured me the place of Bib. Lect. at Exeter College; and this, with such occasional assistance from the country as Mr. Cookesley undertook to provide, was thought sufficient to enable me to live, at least till I had taken a degree.

51. THE STORY OF RICHARD PLANTAGENET.

·

[There is an old tradition that Richard III. had a natural son, whom he caused to be carefully educated, and to whom he discovered himself on the night before the battle which lost him his life and his crown. The story was first made known in a letter, printed in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa,' from Dr. Thomas Brett to Dr. William Warren, which letter was written in 1733.]

* * * * Now for the story of Richard Plantagenet. In the year 1720 (I have forgot the particular day, only remember it was about Michaelmas) I waited on the late Lord Heneage, Earl of Winchelsea, at Eastwell-house, and found him sitting with the register of the parish of Eastwell lying open before him. He told me, that he had been looking there to see who of his own family were mentioned in it. But, says he, I have a curiosity here to show you, and then showed me, and I immediately

transcribed it into my almanack, "Richard Plantagenet was buried the 22nd day of December, anno ut supra. Ex Registro de Eastwell, sub anno, 1550." This is all the register mentions of him; so that we cannot say, whether he was buried in the church or churchyard; nor is there now any other memorial of him except the tradition in the family, and some little marks where his house stood. The story my lord told me was this:

When Sir Thomas Moyle built that house (Eastwell Place), he observed his chief bricklayer, whenever he left off work, retired with a book. Sir Thomas had curiosity to know what book the man read, but was some time before he could discover it, he still putting the book up if any one came towards him. However, at last Sir Thomas surprised him, and snatched the book from him, and, looking into it, found it to be Latin. Hereupon he examined him, and, finding he pretty well understood that language, inquired how he came by his learning: hereupon, the man told him, as he had been a good master to him, he would venture to trust him with a secret he had never before revealed to any one. He then informed him, that he was boarded with a Latin school-master, without knowing who his parents were, till he was fifteen or sixteen years old; only a gentleman (who took occasion to acquaint him he was no relation of his) came once a quarter, and paid for his board, and took care to see that he wanted nothing. And one day this gentleman took him, and carried him to a fine great house, where he passed through several stately rooms, in one of which he left him, bidding him stay there.

Then a man, finely dressed, with a star and garter, came to him, asked him some questions, talked kindly to him, and gave him some money. Then the forementioned gentleman returned, and conducted him back to his school.

Some time after, the same gentleman came to him again, with a horse and proper accoutrements, and told him he must take a journey with him into the country. They went into Leicestershire, and came to Bosworth field; and he was carried to King Richard III.'s tent. The king embraced him, and told him he was his son, "But child," says he, "to morrow I must fight for my crown. And, assure yourself, if I lose that I will lose my life too: but I hope to preserve both. Do you stand in such a place (directing him to a particular place), where you may see the battle, out of danger. And when I have gained the victory come to me; I will then own you to be mine, and take care of you. But, if I should be so unfortunate as to lose the battle, then shift as well as you can, and take care to let nobody know that I am your father; for no mercy will be showed to any one so nearly related to me." Then the king gave him a purse of gold, and dismissed him.

He followed the king's directions; and, when he saw the battle was lost, and the king killed, he hasted to London, sold his horse and fine clothes, and, the better to conceal himself from all suspicion of being son to a king, and that he might have means to live by his honest labour, he put himself apprentice to a bricklayer. But, having a competent skill in the Latin tongue, he was unwilling to lose it; and having an inclination also to reading, and no delight in the conversation of those he was obliged to work with, he generally spent all the time he had to spare in reading by himself,

Sir Thomas said, "You are now old, and almost past your labour; I will give you the running of my kitchen as long as you live." He answered, "Sir, you have a numerous family; I have been used to live retired; give me leave to build a house of one room for myself, in such a field, and there, with your good leave, I will live and die." Sir Thomas granted his request; he built his house, and there continued to his death.

I suppose (though my lord did not mention it) that he went to eat in the family, and then retired to his hut. My lord said, that there was no park at that time; but,

when the park was made, that house was taken into it, and continued standing till his (my lord's) father pulled it down. "But," said my lord, "I would as soon have pulled down this house;" meaning Eastwell Place.

I have been computing the age of this Richard Plantagenet when he died, and find it to be about 81. For Richard III. was killed August 23, 1485, which subtracted from 1550, there remains 65, to which add 16 (for the age of Richard Plantagenet at that time), and it makes 81. But, though he lived to that age, he could scarcely enjoy his retirement in his little house above two or three years, or a little more. For I find by Philpot, that Sir Thomas Moyle did not purchase the estate of Eastwell till about the year 1543 or 4. We may, therefore, reasonably suppose that, upon his building a new house on his purchase, he could not come to live in it till 1546, but that his workmen were continued to build the walls about his gardens, and other conveniences off from the house. And till he came to live in the house he could not well have an opportunity of observing how Richard Plantagenet retired with his book. So that it was probably towards the latter end of the year 1546 when Richard and Sir Thomas had the fore-mentioned dialogue together. Consequently, Richard could not build his house, and have it dry enough for him to live in till the year 1547. So that he must be 77 or 78 years of age before he had his writ of ease.

52.-THE OLD AND YOUNG COURTIER.

ANONYMOUS.

[THE whole of the sixteenth century was marked by important changes of every kind— political, religious, and social. The wars with France, and the internal contests of the Roses were over, and the energy of the nation was directed to new objects. Trade and commerce were extended; fresh sources of wealth were developed; and new classes of society sprung up into importance, whose riches enabled them to outvie the old landed gentry, but who had few of their hereditary tastes and habits. Hence the innovation of old customs, and the decay of ancient manners, to which the gentry themselves were compelled to conform. The following song, which is printed in the 'Percy Reliques,' from an ancient black-letter copy in the 'Pepys Collection,' is a lament over the changes which had taken place in the early part of the seventeenth century, as compared with the days of Queen Elizabeth.]

An old song made by an aged old pate,

Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had a great estate,

That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate,

And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate;

Like an old courtier of the queen's,

And the queen's old courtier.

With an old lady, whose anger one word assuages,

That every quarter paid their old servants their wages,

And never knew what belong'd to coachmen, footmen, nor pages,

But kept twenty old fellows with blue coats and badges;

Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old study fill'd full of learned old books,

With an old reverend chaplain, you might know him by his looks;
With an old buttery hatch, worn quite off the hooks,

And an old kitchen that maintain'd half-a-dozen old cooks;

Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old hall hung about with pikes, guns, and bows,

With old swords, and bucklers, that had borne many shrewd pwsS,
And an old frieze coat to cover his worship's trunk hose;

And a cup of old sherry to comfort his copper nose;

Like an old courtier, &c.

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