« EdellinenJatka »
old knight was violated. His castle at Caister did not contain his college as he desired, and so far from monks and almsmen perpetually praying for his soul in his own castle, a portion of his possessions passed away to augment the endowments of a college of which he had never heard, in a univer
a sity which, in all probability, he had never seen.
The stranger, and even the resident, in Oxford, as he passes over the bridge which spans the Cherwell, and gazes at the beautiful tower of Magdalen College thinks, perhaps, of Waynflete and his munificence, but he little dreams that those sculptured stones and that splendid pile arose out of the savings of that vindictive and usurious knight.
A little before this compromise was made, the Pastons had been at last put in possession of Caister by another compromise with the Duke of Norfolk, backed, no doubt, by Sir John Paston's influence at court. For himself, though he was not so stern as either his father or his grandfather, he was rather a provoking character, provoking no less to his stout old mother than to the reader. Always on the lookout for an heiress, and yet never married, owning rich manors, and yet always out at elbows; now threatening to sell land or cut down wood, to the indignation of his mother, who threatened to disinherit him of Mauteby if he did so; now pawning plate, and now borrowing money; he spent his life in rather a disreputable way, not even taking the pains to erect a monument to his father at Bromholm, as he had undertaken to do, and for which his mother had largely contributed, so that it seems to have been unfinished at his death. His conduct was no doubt a great grief to his mother, who survived him. His brother, the other John, who married Margery Brews in 1477, was a much more respectable character. He it was who first of the Pastons really enjoyed the estates of the family. Almost all the disputes about them were over before he came into possession, and besides, as he grew older, the times became more settled and property more secure. When the politic Henry of Richmond overthrew the line of the White Rose, a sterner rule was established in England, where now no great nobles were allowed to swagger about the country with hundreds and thousands of retainers at their back to invade other men's manors and destroy their houses. The times were gone when the Earl of Warwick could appear in London with six hundred men behind him all clad in his livery, or when he feasted them with numbers of oxen roasted whole, and all the taverns near Warwick Inn behind St. Paul's were ull of his meat, for every man might carry away what he chose from his table. Many of the great lords on either side had perished either by the sword or the axe, and on those that were left the jealous eye of Henry VII. kept strict watch. The reign of brute force in England was over, and the king was now to be absolute lord of all.
By such a state of things none profited so much as that lesser nobility which, like the Pastons, were growing up on the ruins of the old houses. Sir John Paston seems to have proved himself a capable man, for we find him in 1500 ordered to attend on Catharine of Aragou on her arrival in England. In 1503 he died, as appears from a letter of Archbishop Warham to his son and successor William. This William followed the example of his great-grandfather, and took to the law. Though he did not rise to the Bench he was a man of influence, and one of his daughters was married to Thomas Manners, the first Earl of Rutland, so that the blood of the Pastons runs in the veins of one of our dukes. William had two sons, one Erasmus, who died before his father, and Clement, who was the most illustrious of all the race. Born at Paston Hall near the sea, he had an early love of ships, and going into Henry VIII.'s navy became a great commander. After routing the French fleet he took their admiral, Baron de Blankard, prisoner and kept him at Caister till he paid a ransom of 7,000 crowns, besides giving up plate and jewels. Of this victory a trophy remained among the Paston plate, for Clement bequeathed to his nephew William who succeeded him his • standing bowl called the “Baron St. Blankhard.” Besides these exploits he served on land, being present with the Protector Somerset at Pinkie, and in Mary's reign he was the man to whom Sir Thomas Wyat surrendered. His latter years were spent in building a magnificent mansion at Oxnead. He lived to a great age, dying at the close of Elizabeth's reign, who called him her father, as the Protector Somerset had called him his soldier,' and Henry VIII. his champion.' Dying childless, he was succeeded by a nephew William. In James I.'s time the head of the house became a baronet, and in that of Charles II. he was raised to the peerage in the person of Sir Robert Paston, who was created first Viscount, and afterwards Earl of Yarmouth, probably in return for his boldness in 1664, in proposing in the House of Commons a grant of 2,500,0001. for the Dutch War. He was a man of taste and learning, and impoverished himself by entertaining the King and Queen and the Duke of York at Oxnead. His life, though one of pleasure, was not unattended by danger, for on August 9, 1676, he was waylaid by a band of ruffians who shot four bullets into his coach, one of which entered his body. The wound, however, was not mortal, and he survived the attempt at assassination six years. His son William married Lady Charlotte Boyle, one of the natural daughters of King Charles, of whom we read in the most interesting correspondence between Prideaux and Ellis recently published by the Camden Society. This great alliance led him into extravagance, and he was soon in difficulties. His father's library and collections were sold, the noble house at Oxnead fell to ruin, and on his death was pulled down and the materials sold to satisfy his creditors. With him the line of the Pastons came to an end, for the second earl had survived all his male issue, and the title became extinct. As for this correspondence, which still exists to perpetuate the memory of these Pastons, and through them that of the old knight who had bequeathed his manors to them that his soul might be prayed for, it passed with the ruin of the family through several hands till it fell into those of Fenn, who rendered a great service to literature and history in rescuing them from destruction. Thanks to him, and after him to Mr. Gairdner, they remain a mine of wealth for all who care to see what our ancestors were in the fifteenth century. It is a mine which we have only touched
a in this notice; but we are sure that anyone who works in it steadily will find himself the possessor of a treasure of information such as he little dreamt of.
ART. VI.-1. New Lands within the Arctic Circle. Nar
rative of the Discoveries of the Austrian Ship · Tegetthoff' in the Years 1872–74. By Julius PAYER, one of the Commanders of the Expedition. Translated from the German, with the Author's approbation. 2 vols. 8vo. London:
1876. 2. The Official Report of the Recent Arctic Expedition. By
Captain NARES, R.N., Commander of the Expedition. 8vo.
London: 1876. The unexpected return of the English ships fitted out but
twenty months ago for Arctic exploration has given rise to so much discussion as to the dangers and difficulties of Arctic navigation and Arctic travel, that it cannot but appear a most fortunate coincidence which has put before us, at almost the same time, the very interesting volumes in which Lieutenant Payer, of the Austrian army, has related the Arctic experiences
of the Austro-Hungarian expedition of 1872–74. It is such a short time since the return of the men of this expedition, and since we were able, by reference to the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and to Dr. Petermann's · Mit
theilungen,' to give some account of the actual work which had been performed, and of the additions which had been made to geographical knowledge,* that the main features of the voyage will, we may hope, be still fresh in the memories of our readers. The more detailed narrative now before us permits us to complete that account by a closer examination into the circumstances and details of this remarkable adventure, the record of which stands, in many respects, alone amidst the stories of Arctic discovery, and may, even at the present time, temper our maritime pride, and force from us the admission that our sailors have no exclusive right in those qualities which
deserve, if not win, success. This work is now brought before the English public with peculiar advantages. We had occasion, some short time ago, to peruse it in German, and we confess that the diffuse clumsiness of the style and the multitude of irrelevant details, addressed to readers of small experience of nautical matters, caused us to do scant justice to the real merit of its contents. But the English translator has surmounted and removed these defects. He appears to have in great measure re-written the book, which now presents a singularly vivid picture of a marvellous expedition. The English publisher has likewise done his part; and for beauty of typography and of illustration these volumes are as perfect as anything which the press in this country has produced.
The · Tegetthoff,' a steamer of 220 tons and 100 horse-power, specially built and equipped at Bremerhaven, sailed from Tromsö on July 13, 1872, under the cominand of Lieutenant Weyprecht, of the Austrian navy. Her crew consisted of twenty-four men, all told, officers and seamen, including two Tyrolese jägers-Haller and Klotz—who, as accustomed to icework on the glaciers of their native mountains, were expected to render, and did, in point of fact, render, good service on the ice of the far North : in addition to these were eight dogs, whose exploits, whose strength, whose courage, whose playful tricks, whose tragic end, render them no mean persons in the narrative.
Twelve days brought them to the ice in latitude 74° N.,
• Edinburgh Review, No. 288, pp. 460-466.
much farther south than the experience which the two commanders had gained in the preceding year had led them to expect; and it was not without tedious detentions and some difficulty that they reached the coast of Novaya Zemlya, and anchored at the Barentz Isles on August 13.
The state of the ice, and the delays to which it subjected them, boded no good for the future; their passage had been made amongst enormous ice-fields, across diminutive ice-holes, and through narrow lanes ; mists and snow-storms and bitter cold alternated with the most glorious blue skies, with comparatively genial warmth and great solar heat, the measure of which, the black-bulb thermometer, stood occasionally as high as 113° F. But this brilliant sun, which, as it sank at midnight to the edge of the horizon, and tinted the icebergs and ice, or the distant rocks and glaciers of Novaya Zemlya, with a rosy light, whose beauty made them almost forget the desolation by which they were surrounded—a beauty of which perhaps Rasmussen's wonderful picture, · The Discovery of Greenland,' or Morris's gorgeous verse, may convey some idea.
- the glorious sun rose up, And the heavens glowed above him like the bowl of Baldur's cup, And a golden man was he waxen; as the heart of the sun he seemed, While over the feet of the mountains like blood the new light streamed.'
Sigurd, p. 132. This powerful sun, whose noontide heat caused magnificent cascades to precipitate themselves down the sides of the icebergs, or with a noise as of thunder tore off Titanic masses, which, as they plunged into the sea, raised huge volumes of foam, and startled the seabirds from their peaceful confidence into wild flight and terrified screams--this glowing, burning, blistering sun brought no escape from the ice-fields amongst which they were entangled, or by which they were held fast; and their rescue came at length from a heavy swell which broke up the ice, and was accompanied by rain and a soft temperature of 41° F.
When they arrived in the open coast-water of Novaya Zemlya they found that Count Wilczek, the generous patron of the expedition, had out-sailed them. With the intention of establishing a depôt of provisions for them at Cape Nassau, he had left Tromsö some days after the · Tegetthoff,' in a fishing smack, the • Isbjörn,' the same in which Lieutenants Wey precht and Payer had made their reconnaissance in the previous year; and the fact that an imperfectly-equipped, weakly-manned sailing-vessel had thus gained on the steamer specially fitted out for the work in which she had been engaged, seems to point