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fancy that even a mathematician could not be utterly insensible to the interest which attaches to the remains of a man of genius. But on inquiring farther, I found I was in a curious error. “ Napier's bones,” says he, “ or Napier's rods, are a contrivance for expediting the performance of multiplication and division.” “Oh s* exclaimed I, “I remember all about them now—ten thousand curses on his memory ! but I did not know who invented them. They used rods at school which expedited the performance of multiplication and division, to say nothing of the conjugation of verbs both active and passive. But they were not made of bone in my time.” My friend again assured me I was wrong, and showed me some little knick-knacks with which, sure enough, he did a question in multiplication quicker than I could have done, even when used to say, “You, sir, if you don't do that sum quickly, I’ll show you up.” On seeing this, I really could not help fancying that Sir Walter must have heard mathematicians talk of Napier's bones, till he imagined they swore by them, when, in fact, they only worked by them. This is the cream of my friend's observations. He added that he was, for the subject, pleased with Sir Walter upon the whole; but that his propositions not being always perfectly consecutive, the thread of the reasoning was sometimes lost. “I cannot,” said he, “always see how the enunciations at the head of the proposition apply; nor, owing to the absence of Q. E. D. where it is that the conclusion first appears.” I told him that novels always ended with marriage, not with Q. E. D., which he says can prove nothing but that the end of woe is the begin
ning of mischief. I suspect he is a woman-hater; now I am not, and I like the young ladies in novels particularly: they are so foolish when folly will help out the story, and so wise when it is necessary they should be wise, and so handsome all the time, that I declare the Juliets and Fannys, and “such pretty names,” as Dr. Watts says, have divided my “ parcel of heart,” as Mr. Pickle sen, says, among them. Now, women out of novels are sometimes foolish when they should be wise, and wise when they should be foolish; they have their bad-looking days too. But I should not complain; for all allow they have always (at least before they learned Latin and algebra) behaved with great complaisance to Your obedient servant, April 1, 1836. PETER SIMPLETON.
XII. PICTURES OF THE MANNERS OF GERMANY DURING THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.
THE description of the carnival of Constance during the time the celebrated council was held there, affords a curious instance of the invincible passion for amusement. As long as it lasted, the orders of the council and magistracy were forgotten; the Pope was no longer thought of, and laymen and clergy were busied in diversions. The council itself seemed likely to bring on curious scenes: no ecclesiastical assembly ever debated more important interests; the repose of Christendom, the liberty of conscience, were subjects of discussion, and the question was to bring liberty as well as order into the church. The highest personages were present: the Emperor represented the wishes of Christendom for the extinction of schism. John Huss and Jerome of Prague defended their cause, which was destined to triumph, and their lives, which they were unable to save. A song of the time, supposed to be chanted by a monk, is a good sample of the popular opinion concerning the persons who then governed the
This is not greatly more reverent than the popular
adage of Protestant Geneva.
From the time when this song was sung in the streets, —that is, from the death of John Huss at the council of Constance, in 1415,-to the day when Luther burned the Pope's bull at Wittemburg in 1520, only a century had elapsed.
XIII. EXCOMMUNICATION OF HENRY IV, EMPEROR OF GERMANY, BY HILDEBRAND, STYLED GREGORY WII.
HILDEBRAND, a man of bold and vast genius, equally zealous for religion, and for the rights which he considered inherent in the patrimony of St. Peter, was besieged by Henry in the Tower of Crescentius, anciently the mausoleum of Adrian, now named the Castle of St. Angelo. Fearing he should be abandoned by his nobles, and dreading to fall into the hands of his enemies, he demanded assistance from the bold Robert Guiscard, who had just made himself master of Durazzo, on the coast of Illyria. This Robert Guiscard was one of those bold Norman knights, who, with a handful of heroes like himself, had conquered Apulia and Calabria from the Greeks, driven the Arabs out of Sicily, and taken Epirus and Illyria from Alexis, Emperor of Constantinople. Strengthened by this new alliance, which brought Hildebrand out of his embarrassed position, the Pope hastened to hold a council at Rome, and at the same time deputed the Cardinals of Ostia and Palestrina to assemble in Germany a council, which should adopt the same regulations that were proposed in the council of Rome.
Henry came as far as Nuremburg to meet the legates. What was his surprise when he learned that he was excommunicated, and that the delegates of the Pope could have no interview with him until he had received absolution. He had recourse to arms; but, abandoned by his
40 EXCOMMUNICATION OF THE EMPEROR HENRY IV.
troops, he was compelled by his revolted subjects to go and solicit his pardon of the sovereign pontiff. What a triumph for the son of the carpenter of Ivano! The most powerful monarch of Europe, forced to traverse the Alps in the depth of winter with his wife, one of his children, and a few faithful friends, approaches as a suppliant the steep rocks whose sides are washed by the little river Lienza, and whose summit is crowned by the formidable fortress of Canossa, which, enclosed by a triple wall, is perched like an eagle's nest on the brink of precipices. In this fortress one of those extraordinary scenes took place, which would appear absolutely incredible, if the writings of the principal personage, the works of contemporary authors, and the frescos of the Vatican had not retraced all its details to us. It was on the 24th January 1077, the anniversary of the day on which the council of Worms had deposed this very Pope Gregory VII. by the means of Henry IV. During one of those rigorous winters which sometimes afflict the beautiful regions of Italy, Henry stood outside the gate of the first inclosure of the fortress, waiting the effect of the kind mediation of his godfather, the venerable Hugh, Abbot of Cluny, whom he had begged to intercede with Gregory in his favour. The gate opens, he is allowed to enter alone; he passes the fosse, and the gate is shut again in the face of the persons of his suite. He is then informed, that, before he can obtain his pardon, he must take off all marks of royalty; remain barefooted on snow and ice, covered with a coarse woollen garment. The night came on, and notwithstanding the humble prayers of Henry, the second gate still remained closed,