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THE completion of a fourth volume of our miscellany, affords us another opportunity of speaking of its several claims to public favour. The "OLIO " now contains nearly one hundred and twenty TALES and ROMANCES, of which more than one-third are original, and would, alone, if printed in ordinary sized type, fill at least six modern octavo volumes! Besides these, in themselves a rich fund of amusement, the " OLIO " contains a number of original miscellaneous papers, upon every interesting subject, together with a multitude of extracts from rare and expensive books, a large collection of ANECDOTES, and a DIARY and CHRONOLOGY, the usefulness of which must be obvious to every person.
The excellence of our ENGRAVINGS, executed from original designs, renders any comment unnecessary, but we may venture to assert that no periodical work possesses illustrations so able, and so characterestic.
We cannot conclude our remarks without thanking our numerous correspondents for the assist. ance which they have rendered us. To several of them
we are much indebted, and we cannot, perhaps, better shew our sense of the value of their communications, than by expressing a hope that we may continue to receive their support during our future labours. Nor must we omit to thank such of our friends whose contributions have not obtained the wished-for place in our columns, while we trust that our decisions will be considered as the result of a candid and impartial investigation of their merits.
Having thus pointed out the several attrac
tions of the present volume, and discharged our debt of gratitude to its supporters, we have only to add that our efforts for the future shall be redoubled, and that nothing shall be wanting on our part to render the "OLIO" worthy of that patronage which has hitherto been extended towards it.
ORDEAL BY BATTLE.
A LEGEND OF WALLBROOK.
Sir Launcelot.-O, shame to knighthoode ! Can a belted knighte become
A stabber i' th' darke ?
Thy swerde is sullied by foule murder's staine,
Shall do that same for me.-OLD PLAY.
PERHAPS no spot in the metropolis of England has undergone so many transformations as that in the neighbourhood of the far-famed London Stone. DowGate has long vanished, with its fellows; the rapid Wall-brook has for many centuries been covered over, and London Stone, that object of never-ending dispute and conjecture among the learned and curious, has crept into the wall of the church of St. Swithin. Where, I pray you, are those magnificent churches of which the old city historian, Stowe, VOL. IV.
See page 8.
speaks with such allowable pride?Where is the splendid palace which once stood in this neighbourhood?-not forgetting the stronghold, Tower Royal, at no great distance, and of which nothing now remains but the name. They are gone like those who raised and inhabited them, and only he who delights in dwelling on things long gone by, can trace out their various scites.
In the reign of Richard the First, Wallbrook was not, as it is now, hidden from view. It was then a rapid stream which passed over the scite of the present street, and rushing down Dowgate Hill, flowed through Dow-Gate, and emptied itself into the Thames.
It was on the evening preceding the day on which he of the Lion Heart entered London in triumph, after his return from captivity in Austria, long after the vesper-bell had rung, that two ruffianly looking men were standing under the shade of a penthouse on the banks of this stream, engaged in earnest conversation. Their gait and air were those of retainers, or armed vassals. Their jerkins were of coarse green serge, over which they
wore jacks or actons of tough bull's hide, at that time the only defensive armour for the body worn by the common soldiers, their legs were bare from the middle of the thigh nearly to the ankle, and their feet were covered in short buskins of leather. Their arms consisted of a sword and long knife, or dudgeon dagger, and they carried with them bucklers of a diminutive size, studded with nails, and ornamented at the edges with a sort of fringe or hair.
"The fiend rive this tardy knight !" exclaimed one of the worthies, stamping with impatience, "by St. Erkenwald, we shall be disturbed by the city watch, an' he come not soon.
"Wist, Leof," replied his comrade, "keep a guard on thy tongue, or if ye must talk, let it be in a somewhat gentler tone, or we may have a greeting from some of the citizens windows, perhaps from old Bouvrie yonder, who is a shrewd hand at the cross bow, and bears us Saxons no good will, as you know."
"I fear not his shafts," replied Leof, with an oath, " and I will take care that he shall not show his skill much
longer, my dagger and his costard shall be acquainted ere many days be past."
"You must swear that to-morrow," said the other," for you may not go home scathless to-night: he whom we have to do with is a proper man-at-arms, and carries a sharp sword and a heavy; thou wilt find him no child's play, by my halidame !"
Tut, I fear it not," replied Leof, my hand is steady, and"
As he spoke a figure was observed advancing cautiously towards them, under the shadow of the houses, and in a few minutes a man, clad in complete armour, but enveloped in a large dark mantle, stood before them. His height and size far exceeded that of ordinary men, and his step was calm and dignified. The sword pommal of silver, and the richly chased dagger, the massy chain of gold around his neck, and the gilt spurs which clanked on his heels, shewed that he was a knight, while the deep scar on his forehead indicated that he had performed some service in the field.
"Well, my trusty fellows," said he,