Abbildungen der Seite

man, ruined because he could not take the vaths. With such wonderful facility did he assume every character, that he often deceived those who knew him best, and were most positive of his not being able to impose upon them. Coming one day 10 Mr. Portman's, al Brinson, in the character of a rat-catcher, with a hair- cap on his head, a buff, girdle about his waist,

and a tame rat in a little box by his side, he boldly marched up to the house in this disguise, though his person was known to all the family; and meeting in the court with the Rev. Mg Bryant, and several other gentlemen, whom he well knew, asked if their honours had any rats to kill. Mr. Portman replied by asking whom he said he had never seen before.

him if he knew his business, and he answering : in the affirmative, was sent in to get his dinner, with a promise that after he had dined they would make a trial of his abilities. Dinner being over, he was called into a parlour among a large company of gentlemen and ladies. “ Well, Mr. Rat-catcher, (said Mr. Portman) can you destroy my rats without hurting my dogs"_" Yes, (replied Carew) I shall lay my composition where even the rats, cannot climb to reach it.”-“ And what couptryman are you :"-" A Devonshire man,"m". And what's your name?”-Carew, perceiving by some smiles and whispers that he was known, replied by telling the letters of which his name was composed. This occasioned some mirth, and Mr. Pleydell, of Milbourn, who was one of the company, expressed some satisfaction at seeing the celebrated Bamfylde Moore Carew,


« Indeed you have seen me before, (replied Carew) and you gave me a suit of clothes.”—Mr. Pleydell was surprised, and requested to know the particulars. Carew asked him, “ If he did not remember his being met by a poor wretch, with a stocking round his head insiead of a cap, and an old woman's ragged mantle on his shoulders, without stockings or shoes, who told him that he was a poor unfortunate man, cast away near the Canaries, and taken up with eight others by a Frenchman the rest of the crew, sixteen in number, being drowned; and that after having asked him some questions, he gave him a guinea and a suit of clothes?”—This, Mr. Pleydell acknowledged; and Mr. Carew replied, “ he was the identical rat-catcher, who now stands before you.” Carew had a method of enticing away people's dogs, for which he was twice transported from Exeter to North America, but returned before the ships that carried him out. On one of these occasions, he escaped from Virginia through the woods, and swam across the Delaware upon a horse, with only a handkerchief for a bridle. He was a man of strong memory and genteel address, and could assume the manners of the gentleman with as much ease as any other character. On the death of Clause Patch, the king of the mendicants, the fraternity to which Carew belonged elected him their king, and he remained faithful to them to the last. He died about 1770, aged 77 years.



CASLON (WILLIAM), a celebrated letter

founder, was born in 1692, in that part of the town of Hales Owen which is situated in Shropshire. Though he justly merited the character of being the first in his profession, he was not brought up to that ingenious employment, having served a regular apprenticeship to an engraver of ornaments on gun-barrels, which business he afterwards carried on on his own account, in Vine-street, near the Minories; but he did not solely confine his ingenuity to that particular branch, but also employed himself in making tools for the bookbinders; and the letters which he cut for this purpose gave such satisfaction to Mr. Bowyer, the printer, that he encouraged Mr. Caslon to turn his attention to cutting types, and said he would assist him in the undertaking. Caslon had never till that time seen any part of the business, and therefore requested a single day to consider the mat -* ter. After mature deliberation respecting his capability of succeeding in such an attempt, he informed Mr. Bowyer that he believed he should be able to give satisfaction to him and to the world in that department. Upon this an. swer, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Bettenhain, and Mr, Watts, lent him 500l. to begin the undertaking, and he applied himself to it with equal assiduity and success. In a short time his types were superior to those of other founders, and instead of importing from Holland, as had been customary, his types were sent abroad. His first foundery was in Helmet-row, near Old.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

street, but in 1735 he removed to Chiswellstreet, Moorfields, where in process of time he carried on a more extensive business, in his line, than had ever been known in this or any other

country. He grew opulent in a course of • years, and was appointed a justice of the peace

for the county of Middlesex, in which office he

died, January 23, 1766. CATHERINE ALEXIAVNA, consort of the 1 Czar Peter the Great, and aftewards his such

cessor in the empire of Russia, was the daugh

ter of indigent parents in Livonia, whom she !.. lost in her youth, and then became a servant to

the clergyman of the village; on whose death

she set out for Marienburgh, and in 1701 mar* ried a Swedish dragoon in that fortress; but, : before the evening of the wedding-day, the

place was besieged by the Russians, and the bridegroom killed. The victor, general Bauer, enamoured of the beauty of the young widow, engaged her as his mistress. She aiterwards obtained a situation in the family of prince Menzkoff, who was also captivated with her charms, and retained her in his suite. Here it was that she attracted the attention of the Czar, when she was in the 17th year of her age, and became his mistress. He was so fascinated with her beauty, that, on the 29th of May, 1711, he married her privately in Poland ; and on the 20th of February, 1712, publicly solemnized the marriage at Petersburgli, and presented her with the diadem and sceptre. She is supposed, however, not to have been faithful to his bed ; and it is certain, that the em


peror put a Frenchman to death from a jealousy of his being her lover. At his death he left her his throne, and she was proclaimed sove. reign empress of all the Russias, in 1725. Though short, her reign was glorious; for she carried into execution the great designs which had been projected, though left unfinished by her husband. She died the 17th of

May, 1727, aged 38 years. CATHERINE II. empress of Russia, a woman

of extraordinary talents, was the daughter of Christian Augustus, of Anhalt-Zerbst, in Up per Saxony. She was born May 2, 1729, and in 1745, became the wife of the grand duke of Holstein-Gottorp, afterwards Peter III. The grand duke ascended the throne in 1762, by the name of Peter III. His conduct at the beginning of his reign did not seem to be very reprehensible, and he thought himself secure in the affections of his family and subjects. Herein he was much mistaken; for his wife disliked him, both on account of his personal and intellectual qualities; and while he was preparing to go to Holstein, she was meditating a plan to wrest the sceptre from his hands, and enjoy the imperial throne without a partner. Her success in this grand enterprise exceeded her expectations. By her order, the emperor was arrested, and having renounced the crown, was committed to the castle of Robscha; after which his life was of very short duration. This supposed death was followed by that ofprince Ivan, grand nephew of Peter the great, who had been confined in a dungeon eighteen years, and consequently could be little more


« ZurückWeiter »