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subjects naturally born within the same, have, enjoy, and inherit.” And, by a subsequent section of the same act, two members were to be returned to parliament for the county of Monmouth, and one for each of the shires in Wales, besides one burgess to be elected by every burgh, being a shire town, except the shire town of the county of Monmouth; and, finally, a commission was directed to be issued, " to such persons as to his highness shall seem convenient,” to inquire into the laws, usages, and customs of Wales, and to certify the same to the king, in council. This latter provision seems to have been made in contemplation of an event, which, by the introduction of the English laws, and an impartial administration of justice throughout the principality, tended effectually to the total extirpation of the “ lewd and detestable malefacts,” which were daily perpetrated,“ to the high displeasure of God, inquietation of the king's well-disposed subjects, and disturbance of the public weal.” The event here alluded to, was the enacting of the statute of the 34th and 35th of the same reign,--a statute, which Mr. Barrington characterizes as containing a “most complete code of regulations for the administration of justice, framed with such precision and accuracy, that no one clause of it hath ever occasioned a doubt, or required explanation.” By this edict, also, the counties of Radnor, Brecknock, Montgomery, and Denbigh, were added to Wales, and that of Monmouth to England. Wales now consisted of twelve shires, eight having been made by Edward, at the Conquest. Many years, however, elapsed before the
Welsh reaped the full advantage of these judicious measures. They were, at first, most obstinately averse to the adoption of the milder manners of their conquerors : but the abolition of the severe laws, enacted against them in former reigns, led them to think more favourably upon the English, and eventually, by associating more amicably with them, to adopt their manners and imitate their customs. The page of the historian, and the traditions of the country, are now the only proof of their vindictive enmity towards the English, and nearly all the traces of their fierce hostility are wiped away from the face of the earth. But, although this long-cherished animosity was at length annihilated, the Welsh continued in a state of considerable rudeness and simplicity for some time after they had been admitted to an equal participation in the laws and privileges of the English; and it was not till within these last sixty or seventy years that they began to imitate the more polished manners of their neighbours. If we may credit a reverend, though an anonymous, writer, we must form what many will term, a very lowly idea of Wales and her inhabitants, even so late as the middle of the last century. The following passage is transcribed from a rare
tract, printed in 1769, the author of which has evinced no little zeal and ingenuity in endeavouring to prove the illegality and evil tendency of presenting to Welsh benefices incumbents totally ignorant of the language of their parishioners. “The greater part of Wales,” writes this author, “ by its situation and distance from the metropolis, is almost entirely excluded from the benefits of commerce. The product of the country is the chief, and almost the only, support of the natives: what remains, after supplying the home consumption, is exported. The money they receive in exchange for these commodities, serves them for the purposes of hospitality, not luxury. As money
is not otherwise valuable than as it is the means of acquiring the necessaries and conveniences of life, they know no other use for it.* If accumulations of gold and silver be the only criterion of wealth—then are they poor; if plenty isthen are they rich. Happy in finding an asylum among those impregnable fortresses, built by nature, which were formerly their security against the power, and since against the luxury of the English; environed on all sides by these, they enjoy tranquillity without indolence, liberty without licentiousness, and plenty without luxury. Thus, they experience a happiness unknown in better cultivated and more refined countries a happiness which opulence can never purchase !"
This, exaggeration as it may appear, affords, we have no doubt, a tolerably correct view of the condition of the Welsh at the period in question. Even now, they are, for the most part (we speak more particularly of the peasants in the secluded districts of North Wales), a rude and unpolished people; but their contumacious turbulence is softened down and trans
* The following curious Letter, "from, Sir Roger Mostyn, of Moştyn in Flintshire, to his neighbour, Pyers Pennant, Esq. of Bychton, affords a striking proof of the value of money in Wales, in the seventeenth century.
"Mostyn, 1674. “ DEAR Pers.--I hope you will excuse me for asking for the £4 you owe me for the pair of oxen; but I want the money to make up £20, to send my son to Oxford next week.
“I am, Dear Pyers, your's, &c.
“ ROGER Mostyn. "Postscriptum-How does your head this morning ? mine aches confoundedly.
At this time, money was so scarce, that four pounds was the price of a pair of oxen; and the Baronet of Mostyn (one of the richest individuals in North Wales) was contented with sending his heir apparent to the University with £20 in his pocket!
formed into kind, but rugged, courtesy. Nor have they forgotten the martial deeds and valiant exploits of their contentious forefathers, and the narration of their feuds and forays still serves to while away the winter's evening in the peasant's cottage.
Such themes inspire the Cambrian shepherd's tale,
Still to the surly strain of martial deeds,
Art. IV.-Augerü Gislenii Busbequü, Omnia quæ extant. Lug.
Butavorum, ex officina Elzeveriana. 1633. “ The Travels of Busbequius consist of four Epistles, and contain the narrative of his two embassies from Ferdinand, King of the Romans, and afterwards emperor, to the Ottoman Porte, (November, 1554November, 1562.) In the first, he describes his journey from Vienna to Amasia : the second includes the events and observations of a seven years' residence, or rather imprisonment, at Constantinople. It was his duty, and his amusement, to study the characters of Soliman II., and his ministers, the policy of the government, the discipline of the camp, and the virtues and vices of the most formidable enemies of Christendom. The tragic adventures of Mustapha and Bajazet are told with the spirit and dignity of an historian. His ears, or those of his interpreters, were always open to the reports of foreign countries; of Crim Tartary, Mingrelia, and Carthage. We are indebted to his curiosity, for the first copy of the marbles of Ancyra, and the most ancient MS. of Dioscorides; and he viewed, with the eyes of a naturalist, the numerous collection of animals that enlivened his solitude. Busbequius is my old and familiar acquaintance; a frequent companion in my post-chaise. His language is eloquent, his manner is lively, his remarks are judicious."- (Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works : vol. v., page 580.)
This is high praise, from a competent judge; one who is
by no means disposed to be very liberal or rash in his commendation : and we have no doubt, after our readers have perused the selections we shall make from Busbequius, that they will not deem the praise undeserved or extravagant. Before, however, we commence these selections, it may be proper and interesting to prefix a short notice of our author: this we shall draw partly from his letters, and partly from the life that accompanies this edition of his works.
Busbequius was born at Comines, in Flanders, the birthplace and property of Philip Comines, and the village from which that historian derived his surname. His family name was Gislenius, and he took the additional appellation of Busbequius from the town of which his father was burgomaster. His ancestors were of an ancient and noble race; and his father must have been a man of considerable property, from the excellent education he gave
He was sent to the universities of Louvain, Paris, Bologna, and Padua; and his natural talents and acquirements at those places seem, early in life, to have fitted him for confidential and political employments, for, on the death of his father, he accompanied the special ambassador sent by Ferdinand to London, to congratulate Philip and Mary on their marriage. Soon after his return to his native country, he was solicited, by Ferdinand, to go on an embassy to Soliman II. Before, however, Ferdinand entrusted him with this difficult and important mission, he had well tried his sagacity and his prudence, in various state affairs. Maximilian, also, the son of Ferdinand, reposed equal confidence in his political judgment and experience, and gave a still more flattering and unequivocal proof of his high estimation of his personal character
, by entrusting to him the superintendance of the morals of his sons, the Archdukes of Austria.
Gibbon has well characterized Soliman II., as one of the most formidable enemies of Christendom. The island of Rhodes, after a long and desperate resistance, fell before him : the conquest of the greatest part of Hungary, Moldavia, and Wallachia, opened to him access to Germany : active and indefatigable, knowing equally well how to gain victories, and to improve them, he had no sooner gained possession of Buda, than he pushed on to Vienna, and laid siege to this city. In his attempt to reduce it, however, he failed. It was to this monarch that Busbequius was sent, and he conducted his embassy with so much talent and address, that he obtained from Soliman a truce for eight years,
On his ultimate return from Constantinople, Busbequius was solicited to conduct Isabella of Austria, to Paris, where she was married to Charles IX., king of France: he was, afterwards, appointed ambassador at this court, by the emperor. During
his residence in this character, he corresponded directly with his master. Having reached the age of seventy, he solicited,and obtained, leave of absence, to visit his native country and friends. On his journey through Normandy, he was seized and ill-treated by some soldiers : for this outrage, he appears to have received no adequate apology or redress. In consequence either of the bodily harm he received, or of the outrage preying upon his mind, or of both combined, he, soon afterwards, fell ill of a complaint which caused his death in 1592.
Beside the four Epistles, containing the narrative of his two embassies to the Ottoman Porte, this volume comprises observations on the best mode of carrying on war against the Turks: all these were printed at the Plantin press, and, afterwards, at Munich. The letters he wrote to his sovereign, during his embassy to Paris, were first published in the Elzevir edition now before us. This is one of the most beautiful and correct specimens of this celebrated press we ever witnessed. Besides the letters from Turkey and Paris, and the observations, Busbequius wrote a treatise on true nobility, which is supposed to be lost. Besides the first copy of the marbles of Ancyra, for which we are indebted to him, he copied a great many other Greek and Latin inscriptions: these he gave to Lipsius, with whom he lived on terms of the greatest intimacy : and, by Lipsius, they were inserted in the collections of Smetius and Gruter. He, also, obtained several other Greek and Latin MSS., besides the most ancient MS. of Dioscorides, particularly specified by Gibbon.
In making our selections from Busbequius, we shall be solely guided by a regard to variety of subject and interest. We shall, therefore, entirely pass by the observations on the best mode of carrying on the war against the Turks, as totally inapplicable to the present relative situation of the Porte and the bordering European powers ; merely remarking, that they are highly creditable to the penetration and soundness of Busbequius's mind. We shall, also, pass by the letters he wrote from Paris, as being, almost exclusively, confined to the political events of the day. And, even from the four epistles, containing the narrative of his two embassies to the Ottoman Porte, we shall be very sparing in our selections of those parts that are of a political or temporary nature. After setting aside all these portions of the present very small volume, more interesting and curious matter will still remain, than we can condense into this article.
At Gran, (Strigonium,) in Hungary, which Soliman II. had reduced in 1543, he first had an opportunity of seeing Turkish soldiers. He was suddenly surrounded by 150 of them; a striking spectacle, he observes, to a person unused to such a