Page images

and injustice; we shall ultimately enlist My second appeal is to the farmer; the farmer as a law-preserver, instead to whom I desire to point out, that it is of a law-breaker; and, in the end, we vastly for his interest to enforce the game may hope to have fine autumnal shoot- laws, even if he care nothing about ing throughout the land, instead of see shooting himself. ing all the species of game utterly ex The fondness for field-sports has interminated.

creased much of late, and the quantity I have two more observations to make of game diminished so greatly, that if under this head, with which I shall in any section of the country, where close this somewhat, I fear, over long game of any kind abounds, two or three paper.

owners of adjoining farms would comThe first is addressed to those gen. bine to preserve their game strictly, altlemen, who procured the passage, and lowing no person to shoot it at any seawere engaged in the framing of the law son, and rigorously prosecuting for every as it now stands. Their object was, trespass, and every breach of the gamedoubtless, to extend the utmost possible · laws, they could readily let the exclupreservation to the quail, fearing his ex sive privilege of shooting, over every tinction, during the deep snows of win- thousand acres so preserved, for two or ter, by trapping and the gun.

three hundred dollars a season, or per. Now the fact is, that the quail is in haps even a larger sum. far less danger of extinction than the Advertisements in the “Spirit of the woodcock.

Times," or other papers of large circuFarmers, seeing the quail bred and lation, offering the right of sporting wintered on their land, accustomed to upon such tracts of land so preserved, see them daily feeding on their stubbles, would be readily taken up by compaand during severe storms taking shelter nies of two or three gentlemen, supposin their barn-yards, regard them in some ing that due reliance could be placed on sort as poultry; do to a certain degree the strict protection of the game, against protect them; and frequently forbid the all

interlopers. pursuit of them, while they offer no ob There is no doubt, therefore, but, in jection to the hunting of the migratory good game countries, every farmer ownand swamp-haunting woodcock. ing two hundred acres of land can, by The woodcock, moreover

, is much combining with his neighbors to enforce more easily killed, particularly during the game laws, realize his fifty dollars, the absurd and barbarous summer shoot- and from that to a hundred a year, ing; and, lastly, it is a matter of fact without the expense of a dollar, or half that, while for fifty miles round all our an hour's trouble. large cities, and even our considerable I know, myself, at least fifty gentlevillages, the woodcock has become al- men, who would gladly combine in most extinct within the last ten years, parties, of three, four, and upwards, to the quantity of quail has very slightly hire the privilege of exclusive shooting declined, if at all, during the same on good tracts of sporting ground. I period.

would, myself, willingly enter into such Deep snows and severe weather may combinations; and, should any farmers thin them for a time, but one or two think this suggestion worthy of notice, prosperous seasons bring them about would gladly assist them in negotiating again, and the stock is as numerous as such arrangements.

I have no hesitation in saying, that With regard to the woodcock, on the for certain tracts of land, such as porcontrary, I know fifty swamps myself, tions of the drowned lands in Orange wherein, ten years ago, it was an easy County, New-York : the Big Piece on thing to kili twenty birds in a morning, the Passaic river; the Long Meadow, in which there has not been a solitary and Little Piece in the same vicinity; cock seen fo the last six or seven sea the Chatham meadows in New Jersey;

the quail grounds near Sparta, in the There is no fear, therefore, of injur- same state ; and the like, if resolutely ing the quail, by extending the open preserved by the joint owners, many season for shooting, while certain anni- thousand dollars annually could be realihilation must fall on the woodcock if zed, merely for the exclusive right of summer-shooting be not instantly abo- shooting over them. lished.

The Cedars, February, 1846.





“You will here read the true story of that much injured, ridiculed man, James Nagler ; what dreadful sufferings, with wbat patience he endured, even to the boring of the tongue with hot irons, without a murmur ; and with what strength of mind, when the delusion he had fallen into, which they stigmatized as blasphemy, had given place to clearer thoughts, he could murmur his error in a sirain of the beautifullest humility.”—Essays of Elia.

“ Would that Carlyle could now try asts undertook to bring about the Milhis hand at the English Revolution !" lennium, by associating together, cultiwas my exclamation, on laying down vating the earth, and dibbling beans" the last volume of his remarkable “ His- for the New-Jerusalem market, is retory of the French Revolution,” with its garded by our author as the “ germ of brilliant and startling word-pictures still Quakerism;" and furnishes an occasion flashing before my vision. To some for sneering at “my poor friend Dryextent this wish has been realized in as-dust, lamentably tearing his hair over the “ Letters and Speeches of Oliver the intolerance of that old time to QuaCromwell.” Yet I confess that the kerism and such like." perusal of these volumes has disappoint The readers of this (with all its faults) ed me. Instead of giving himself free powerfully written Biography, cannot scope, as in the French Revolution, and fail to have been impressed with the intransferring to his canvass all the wild tensely graphic description (Part I., and ludicrous, the terrible and beautiful vol. II., pages 184, 185,) of the entry phases of that moral phenomenon; he of the poor fanatic, James Nayler, and has concentrated all his artistic skill his forlorn and droggled companions, upon a single figure,—whom he seems into Bristol. Sadly ludicrons is it; afto have regarded as the embodiment fecting us like the actual sight of tragic and hero of the great event. All else insanity enacting its involuntary comein his canvass is subordinated to the dy, and making us smile through our grim image of the collossal Puritan. tears. Intent upon presenting him as the fitting In another portion of the work, a object of that “ Hero-Worship,” which brief account is given of the trial and in its blind aılmiration and adoration of sentence of Nayler, also in the seriomere abstract Power, seems to us at comic view; and the poor man is distimes a species of Devil-Worship; he missed with the simple internation, that dwarfs, casts into the shadow, nay, after his punishment he "repented, and in some instances, caricatures and dis- confessed himself mad.” It was no torts the figures which surround him. part of the author's business, I am well To excuse Cromwell in his usurpation, aware, to waste time and words upon the Henry Vane, one of these exalted and history of such a man as Nayler; he noble characters, upon whose features was of no importance to him, otherwise the lights held by historical friends or than as one of the disturbing influences foes detect no blemish, is dismissed with in the government of the Lord Proteca sneer, and an utterly unfounded im- tor. But to my mind the story of James putation of dishonesty. To reconcile, in Nayler has always been one of interest ; some degree, the glaring discrepancy and, in the belief that it will prove so to between the declarations of Cromwell, others, who, like Charles Lamb, can in behalf of freedom of conscience, and appreciate the beautiful humility of a that mean and cruel persecution of the forgiven spirit, I have been at some Quakers, carried on under his sanction pains to collect and embody the facts and authority, the generally harmless of it. fanaticism of a few individuals. bearing James Nayler was born in the parish that name, is gravely urged. Nay, the of Ardesley, in Yorkshire, in 1616. His fact, that some weak-brained enthusi- father was a substantial farmer, of good VOL. XVIII.NO. XCIII.


repute and competent estate ; and he, ed : he became sick from anxiety of in consequence, received a good educa- mind, and his recovery, for a time, was tion. At the age of twenty-two he exceedingly doubtful. On his restoramarried and removed to Wakefield pa- tion to bodily health, he obeyed what rish, which has since been made classic he regarded as a clear inclination ground by the pen of Goldsmith. Here, , of duty, and went forth a preacher of an honest, Govi-fearing farmer, he tilled the doctrines he had embraced. The his soil, and alternated between cattle- independent minister of the society to markets and independent conventicles. which he had formerly belonged sent In 1641, he obeyed the summons of after him the story, that he was the vic"my Lord Fairfax” and his Parliament, tim of sorcery; thăt George Fox carried and joined a troop of horse composed of with him bottle, out of which he made sturdy independents, doing such signal people drink ; and that the draught had service against “thie man of Belial, the power to change a Presbyterian or Charles Stuart," that he was promoted Independent into a Quaker at once: to the rank of quarter-master, in which that in short, the Arch-Quaker, Fox, was capacity he served under General Lam- a wizard, and could be seen at the same bert, in his Scottish campaign. Dis- moment of time riding on the same abled at length by sickness, he was ho- black horse, in two places widely sepanorably dismissed from the service, and rated! He had scarcely commenced returned to his family in 1649.

his exhortations, before the mob, excited For three or four years he continued by such stories, assailed him. In the to attend the meetings of the Indepen- early summer of the year we hear of dents, as a zealous and devout member. him in Appleby jail. On his release he But it so fell out, that in the winter of fell in company with George Fox. At 1651, George Fox, who had just been Walney island he was furiously assaultreleased from a cruel imprisonnent, in ed, and beaten with clubs and stones : Darby jail, felt a call to set his face to the poor priest-led fishermen being fully wards Yorkshire. - Sotravelling," says persuaded that they were dealing with a Fox, in his journal, “ through the conn wizard. The spirit of the man, under tries, to several places, preaching Re- these circumstances, may be seen in the pentance and the Word of Life, I came following extract from a letter to his into the parts about Wakefield, where friends, dated at "Killett, in Lancashire, James Nayler lived." The worn and the 30th of 8th month, 1652.” weary soldier, covered with the scars of outward battle, received, as he be “Dear friends! Dwell in patience, and lieved, in the cause of God and his peo- wait upon the Lord who will do His own ple, against Anti-Christ and oppres- work. Look not at man who is in tho work, sion, welcomed with thankfulness the nor al man opposing it; but rest in the veteran of another warfare; who, in

will of the Lord that so ye inay be furnishconflict with * Principalities and Pow. what ye shall be called unto, that your end

ed with patience, both to do and to suffer ers, and spiritual wickedness in high in all things may be His praise. Meet places,” had made his name a familiar osten together; take heed of what exalteth one in any English hamlet. • Ile and itself above its brother; but keep low, and Thomas Goodyear," says Fox, “ came serve one another in love." to me, and were both convinced and received the truth." He soon after join Laboring thus, interrupted only by ed the Society of Friends. In the persecution, stripes and imprisonment, spring of the next year he was in his he finally came to London and spoke field following his plough, and medi- with great power and eloquence in the tating, as he was wont, on the great meeting of Friends in that city. Here, questions of life and duty, when he seem he for the first time found himself sured to hear a voice bidding him go out rounded by admiring and sympathising from his kindred and his father's house, friends. He saw, and rejoiced in the with an assurance that the Lord would fruits of his ministry. Profane and be with him, while laboring in Ilis ser drunken cavaliers, intolerant Presbyvice. Deeply impressed, he left his ters, and blind Papists, owned the employment, and, returning to his house, truths which he uttered, and counted made immediate preparations for a jour- themselves as his disciples. Women, too. ney. But hesitation and doubt follow- in their deep trustfulness, and adıniring

Let us

reverence, sat at the feet of the elo- claring that “ Christ was in prison," quent stranger. Devout believers in and on being admitted to see him knelt the doctrine of the inward light and down and kissed his feet, exclaiming, manifestation of God in the heart of

Thy name shall be no more called man, these latter, at length, thought James Nayier, but Jesus!" they saw such unmistakable evidences pity him and them. They, full of grateof the true life in James Nayler, that ful and extravagant affection for the they felt constrained to declare that man whose voice had called them away Christ was, in an especial manner, from worldly vanities, to what they rewithin him, and to call upon all to re- garded as eternal realities, whose hand cognize in reverent adoration this new they imagined had for them swung incarnation of the Divine and Heaven- back the pearl gates of the celestial ly. The wild enthusiasm of his disci- city, and flooded their atmosphere with ples had its effect on the teacher. light from heaven: he, receiving their Weak in body, worn with sickness, homage, (not as offered to a poor weak, fastings, stripes and prison-penance, and sinful Yorkshire trooper, but rather to naturally credulous and imaginative, is the hidden man of the heart, the “Christ it strange that in some measure he within” him,) with that self-deceiving yielded to this miserable delusion? humility which is but another name for Let those who would harshly judge spiritual pride. Mournful, yet natural: him, or ascribe his fall to the peculiar such as is still in greater or less degree doctrines of this sect, think of Luther, manifested between the Catholic enthu. engaged in personal combat with the siast and her confessor ; such as the devil, or conversing with him on points careful observer may at times take note of theology in his bed-chamber, or of of in our Protestant revivals and campBunyan at actual fisticuffs with the ad- meetings. versary; or of Fleetwood, and Vane How Nayler was released from Exeand Harrison millenium-mad, and mak ter jail does not appear, but the next ing preparations for an earthly reign of we hear of him, is at Bristol, in the fall King Jesus. It was an age of intense of the year. His entrance into that religious excitement. Fanaticism had city shows the progress which he and become epidemic. Cromwell swayed his followers had made in the interval. his parliaments by "revelations”, and Let us look at Carlyle's description of Scripture phrases in the painted cham- it. * A procession of eight personsber--stout generals and sea-captains one, a man on horseback riding single, exterminated the Irish, and swept the others men and women partly riding Dutch navies from the ocean, with old double, partly on foot in the muddiest Jewish war-cries, and hymns of Debe- highway in the wellest weather; singrah and Miriam; country justices charg- ing, all but the single rider, at whose ed juries in Hebraisms, and cited the bridle walk and splash two women : laws of Palestine oftener than those of Hosannah ! Holy, holy ! Lord God of England. Poor Nayler found himself Sabaoth !” and other things, " in a buzin the very midst of this seething and zing tone,” which the impartiz! hearer confused moral Maelstrom. He strug- could not make out. The single rider gled against it for a time; but human is a raw-boned male figure “ with lank nature was weak; he became, to use hair reaching below his cheeks," hat his own words, “ bewildered and dark, drawn close over his brows, "nose risened," and the floods went over him. ing slightly in the middle," of abstruse

Leaving London with some of his down look," and large dangerous jaws more zealous foliowers, not without so- strictly closed : he sings not; sits there lemn admonition and rebuke from Fran- covered, and is sung to by the others, cis Hewgill and Edward Burrough, bare. Amid pouring deluges and mud who at that period were regarled as knee-deep,

" so that the rain ran in at the most eminent and gifted the So- their necks and vented it at their hose ciety's ministers, he bent his steps to and breeches :" a spectacle to the West wards Exeter. Here, in consequence of England and posterity! Singing as of the extravagance of his language and above; answering no question except that of his disciples, he was arrested in song. From Bedminster to Ratcliffand thrown into prison. Several infa- gate, along the streets to the High Cross tuated women, surrounded the jail, de- of Bristol : at the High Cross they are

laid hold of by the authorities: turn out atrocity of Nayler's blasphemy, and in to be James Nayler and Company." arging its severe punishment. Here

Truly, a more pitiful example of and there among both classes were men “ hero worship" is not well to be con- disposed to leniency; and more than ceived of. Instead of taking the ra one earnest plea was made for merciful tional view of it, however, and merci- dealing with a man, whose reason was fully shutting up the actors in a mad- evidently unsettled; and who was, therehouse, the authorities of that day con fore, a fitting object of compassion ; ceiving it to be a stupendous blasphemy, whose crime, if it could indeed be called and themselves God's avengers in the one, was evidently the result of a cloudmatter, sent Nayler under strong guard ed intellect, and not of wilful intuition up to London, to be examined before the of evil. On the other hand, many parliament. After long and tedious were in favor of putting him to death examinations and cross-questionings, and as a sort of peace-offering to the clergy, still more tedious debates, some portion who, as a matter of course, were greatof which, not uninstructive to the reader, ly scandalized by Nayler's blasphemy, may still be found in “ Burton's Diary." and still more by the refusal of his sect The following horrible resolution was to pay tithes, or recognize their Divine agreed upon:


Nayler was called into the parlia“That James Nayler be set in the pillo- ment-house to receive his sentence. "I ry, with his head in the pillory in the Pa. do not know mine offence,” he said lace Yard, Westminster, during the space of

mildly. “ You shall know it," said Sir two hours on Thursday next; and be whip

Thomas Widdington, “by your senped by the hangman through the streets, from Westminsier to the Old Exchange,

tence." When the sentence was read, and there, likewise, be set in the pillory, he attempted to speak, but was silenced. with his head in the pillory for the space “ I pray God," said Nayler, " that He of two hours, between eleven and one, on may not lay this to your charge." Saturday next, in each place wearing a The next day, the 18th of the Twelfth paper containing a description of his crimes; Month, he stood in the pillory two and that at the Old Exchange his tongue be hours, in the chill winter air, and was bored through with a hot iron, and that he then stripped and scourged by the hangbe there stigmatized on the forehead with the letter ·B'; and that he be afterwards

man at the tail of a cart through the

streets. sent to Bristol to be conveyed into and

Three hundred and ten stripes through the said city on horseback with were inflicted; his back and arms were his face backward, and there, also, publicly horribly cut and mangled, and his feet whipped the next market day after he crushed and bruised by the feet of comes thither; that from thence he be horses treading on him in the crowd. committed to prison in Bridewell, London, He bore all with uncomplaining paand there restrained from the society of all tience; but was so far exhausted by people, and there to labor hard until he his sufferings, that it was found necesshall be released by parliament; and during that time be debarred the use of pen,

sary to postpone the execution of the iuk and paper; and have no relief except

residue of the sentence for one week. what he earns by his daily labor."

The terrible severity of his sentence,

and his meek endurance of it, had in Such, neither more nor less, was, in the mean time powerfully affected the opinion of parliament, required on many of the humane and generous of their part to appease the Divine ven all classes in the city; and a petition geance. The sentence was pronounced for the remission of the remaining part on the 17th of the Twelfth Month ; the of the penalty was numerously signed entire time of the parliament for the and presented to parliament. A debate two months previous having been occu ensued upon it, but its prayer was repied with the case. The Presbyte- jected. Application was then made to rians in that body were ready enough Cromwell

, who addressed a letter to to make the most of an offence commit- the Speaker of the house, inquiring into ted by one who had been an Indepen- the affair, protesting an "abhorrence dent; the Independents, to escape the and detestation of giving or occasioning stigma of extenuating the crimes of one the least countenance to such opinions of their quondam brethren, vied with and practices” as were imputed to Naytheir antagonists in shrieking over the ler, “yet, we being entrusted in the

« PreviousContinue »