than by your excellent publication.
Sarah, widow of Sir Vincent Corbet, Bart., was created (23rd October, 1679) Viscountess Corbet, of Linchlade, co. Bucks, for her natural life; and in the patent the preamble runs,—that his Majesty Charles II.,
"Having taken into his royal consideration the great worth and merits of the trusty and well-beloved Sarah Lady Corbet, together with the faithful services of the late Sir Vincent Corbet, grants," &c.
This evidently explains but little of the real reason both of the grant and its limitation. Lady Corbet had, besides four daughters, two sons then living: both in turns succeeded to the baronetcy. If the peerage were a reward for the services of the late Sir Vincent (those services, indeed, consisting in his having been completely routed by Sir Will Brereton at Nantwich, and afterwards with six troops of horse taken by surprise at Drayton, followed eventually by fine and sequestration),—if, I say, for these services, nineteen years after the Restoration, and certainly three after Sir Vincent's own death, the peerage were bestowed on his widow, then why was it limited for her life? Why was the unusual course taken of actually excluding the succession of the issue, who naturally should have been the recipients of the honour? We may conclude, therefore, the motive was personal favour, "the great worth and merits" of Lady Corbet in fact, as the patent first asserts; but then the Query arises what these were. Tradition says Lady Corbet was a beauty and a favourite (the term may be understood) at a profligate court, and the peerage was the reward; but I cannot discover that this is more than tradition, and have never found any corroborative authority even among the many scandalous histories of the time, and I am most desirous to know if any such evidence can be given.
It may be as well to add that in 1679 Lady Corbet was sixty-six years of age; but we may presume she still had attractions (unless these were only her rank) from the fact that two months later she remarried Sir Charles Lee of Billesley.
THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON A MARÉCHAL DE FRANCE.
The Revue Britannique, in its Number for November, 1852, under the head of "Nouvelles des Sciences," gives an account of the Duke of Wellington's funeral, and enumerates the titles of the illustrious deceased, as proclaimed on the occasion by Garter King-at-Arms. The writer marks in Italics those of Duc de Brunoy en France, Maréchal de France, and Chevalier du Saint-Esprit, and then appends these remarks:
"Que le titre de Duc de Brunoy ait été donné réellement par Louis XVIII. à Lord Wellington, c'est croyable. Le roi pouvait créer ce duché en sa faveur, sans blesser aucune susceptibilité militaire. Mais que ce prince politique ait pu nommer Maréchal de France un général étranger, auquel il préférait donner le cordon du Saint-Esprit, plutôt que la simple croix de la Légion-d'Honneur, qu'on cherche en vain dans la liste des Ordres dont Lord Wellington fut décoré, c'est plus difficile à croire, à moins que cette nomination n'ait eu lieu avec des reserves et des conditions de secret, qui auraient fort peu satisfait celui qu'on supposait, sans doute, ambitieux d'un pareil honneur, puisque on le lui offrait. Le nombre des Maréchaux fut limité et non augmenté sous la Restoration. Louis XVIII. crea une Maréchale, il est vrai;—Si Lord Wellington fut nommé Maréchal, ce titre, restreint à une qualification honorifique, comme celle de la veuve de Moreau, ne put jamais lui conférer aucun rang dans l'armée Française. Je somme ici le roi d'armes Jarretière de vouloir bien produire le diplôme du noble duc."
No man ever stood less in need of foreign orders than the Duke of Wellington; and no man ever
had so many of them conferred upon him. As he was the last to assume a title that did not belong to him, so he would have been the first to repudiate any such pretension, if put forward by others on his behalf. Allow me therefore to ask, Would it be inconsistent with what is due to the memory of the great Duke, or with our sense of national honour, to undertake the task of clearing up the doubts thus thrown out respecting his claim to the title of Maréchal de France? I believe these doubts have been repeated in other French journals, and that no reply has yet been made to them by the English press.
Prophecy in Hoveden.—I should be extremely obliged if any one of your numerous readers would give me the following information. In the account given by Hoveden (p. 678. of the Frankfort edition of Sir H. Savile's Scriptores post Bedam) of the proceedings during the stay of Richard I. at Messina, that author says:
"Then was fulfilled the prophecy which was found written in ancient characters on tablets of stone, near a vill of the King of England, which is called 'Here,' and which King Henry gave to William Fitz-Stephen. Here the said William built a new house on a pinnacle, on which he placed the figure of a stag, which is supposed to have been done that the said prophecy might be fulfilled, which was to the following effect:
'Whan thu seches in Here hert yreret.
Than sulen Engles in three be ydeled.
That han sal into Yrland altolate waie,
That other into Puille mid prude bi seue,
The thridde into Airhahen herd alle wreken drechegen.'"
This is evidently full of typographical errors, and may be more correctly set forth in the English edition of 1596, which I have not at hand. I therefore wish for information on these points:
1. What is the correct version of this prophecy, and where may it be found?
2. What place is meant by "Here?"
I need hardly say that I have no difficulty as to the first two lines: "When you see a hart reared (erected) in Here, then shall England be divided into three parts."
A Skating Problem.—The motto of your paper is, "When found, make a note of it." Here then is one for you.
In several of my skating excursions I have observed, and noted it to others, that ice of just sufficient strength to bear any one in skates standing upon it, will instantly break if tried by the same person without having skates on. I don't know if any of your readers have made the same discovery: if so, can they explain the cause? If, on the contrary, any are incredulous enough to doubt the fact, I would recommend them to test the truth of my statement by a personal trial, before they pass a hasty judgment of the subject.
"Rap and rend for."—In Dryden's Prologue to The Disappointment, or the Mother in Fashion, we find these lines: