Page images
PDF
EPUB

Gray's Odes, and various other works. From his own press also appeared, in 1758, the first edition of his Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors. This was followed by a collection of Fugitive Pieces, and, in 1761, by his Anecdotes of Painting in England (2 vols., 4to.), compiled from the papers of the artist George Vertue. Two more volumes were afterwards added; and the whole forms a valuable collection. In 1764, his friendship for general Conway drew from him a pamphlet on the dismissal of that officer from the army, on account of the vote which he gave on general warrants. In 1765, appeared his romantic fiction of the Castle of Otranto, the prolific parent of the Radcliffe romance, and a vast variety of similar fictions. Being at Paris in 1765, he composed a French letter to Rousseau, in the name of the king of Prussia, by way of exposing the vanity and self-consequence of that singular character, who acted on the occasion with his usual extravagance. Walpole was, however, scarcely excusable for this attack upon the morbid sensibility of a man who had given him no provocation; but his correspondence with Hume supplies a very extraordinary specimen of his aristocratical contempt for authors by profession. In 1767, he declined being again chosen to sit in parliament; soon after which appeared his Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III. It is an acute and ingenious performance, but failed in convincing the public; and the brief, but conclusive investigation of it by Gibbon, in his miscellaneous works, has probably disposed of the question for ever. Mr. Walpole forgot his dignity so much in regard to this performance, as to expunge his name from the list of members of the antiquarian society, because two papers were read before them controverting part of his evidence. In 1768, he printed his Mysterious Mother-a very powerfully written tragedy, on a disagreeable subject, and one which altogether precludes it from the stage. About this time occurred the transaction with the unhappy Chatterton (q. v.), which subjected him to so much censure; but his fault, on this occasion, appears to have been mainly his general apathy towards literary men. He visited Paris in 1771 and 1775, and became much distinguished in the circle of the celebrated madame du Deffand, who particularly admired him. The principal incident of his advanced years was his accession to the earldom of Orford, by the death of his nephew-an

elevation which gave him more trouble than satisfaction, and which made no alteration in his mode of living or literary pursuits. His death, which was hastened by a hereditary gout, that had reduced him to a cripple, took place in March, 1797, in his seventy-ninth year. He bequeathed to Robert Berry, esquire, and his two daughters, all his printed and manuscript works, of which a collective edition was published in 1798 (5 vols., 4to.). The most valuable addition to what had formerly appeared consisted in his letters to a great variety of correspondents, written with great ease and vivacity, but occasionally exhibiting affectation and effort. He is certainly, however, one of the most lively and witty of letter-writers, but too frequently deemed his letters a grace and a favor accorded to his literary correspondents, which superseded the necessi ty of any thing more substantial. His Memoirs of the last ten Years of the Reign of George II (2 vols., 4to., 1822) are of the highest value for the domestic history of that period. In 1825, appeared his Letters to the Earl of Hereford, forming the ninth volume of a quarto edition of his works. See, also, the Walpoliana (2 vols., 18mo), and the Reminiscences of Horace Walpole (1826). His plan of life was formed upon a selfish principle of self-enjoyment. As an author, he ranks respectably among general writers.

WALPURGA, WALBURGA, or WALPURGIS; a saint, born in England, sister of St. Willibald, first bishop of Eichstädt, in Germany, and niece of St. Boniface, the apostle of the Germans. She went, like her uncle and brother, to Germany as a missionary, and became, about the middle of the eighth century, abbess of a convent at Heidenheim, in Franconia. She must have been a learned woman, as she was considered the author of a Latin description of the Travels of St. Willibald. After her death (776 or 778), she received the honors of a saint, was believed to work many miracles, and chapels in honor of her were built in many places. From the circumstance that in German almanacs the name Walpurgis has been accidentally placed, sometimes alone, sometimes together with the names of the apostles Philip and James, against the first of May, the night previous to the first day of May, so famous, in German legends, for the assembling of the witches, has been called Walpurgis night. The first of May is an important day for the German cultivator: many contracts are made at this time; the labors of the field

assume new activity, &c. It is not strange that, on so important a day, the devil and the witches were supposed to be more active than usual, and to assemble in a particular place to organize the work of evil. This superstition, however, may have had its origin in the ancient German mythology. Hence straw was burned in many places, on the Walpurgis-night, with a view of dispersing the malignant beings-a custom still preserved in some places. The chief convocation of the witches was considered to take place on the Brocken. Many customs connected with the first of May, in Germany, originated in this superstition.

WALRUS (trichecus rosmarus); a marine quadruped, resembling the seals in the structure of the feet, but differing in the teeth and digestive system. It is large and unwieldy, sometimes attaining the weight of 2000 pounds, and inhabits unfrequented coasts in the arctic seas. The head is oval, short, small, and flat in front: the flat portion of the face is set with very strong bristles, which are pellucid, about a span in length, and twisted; the orifices of the ears are very small, but the sense of smelling appears to be exceed ingly acute; the incisors are four in the upper jaw, but the two middle ones are shed as the animal advances in age; the upper canines are large, elephant-like tusks, directed downwards; the feet are very short, and the toes are connected by a membrane, and armed with strong nails; the tail is short. Formerly, vast herds of these animals frequented the shores of the islands between Northern Asia and America, Davis's straits and Hudson's bay, in lat. 62°, and even as far south as the Magdalen islands, in the gulf of St. Lawrence, between lat. 47° and 48°; but, at present, the walrus is no where numerous, except on the icy shores of Spitzbergen and the remotest northern coasts of America. Voyages were once made to procure its tusks and oil, and it is said that 1200 or 1500 individuals have been sometimes killed at once out of a herd. The walrus is slow and clumsy while on land, but quick and active in the water. It often comes on shore, and the female brings forth her young there in the spring. It is fearless and inoffensive, unless disturbed, and strongly attached to its mate and young, but becomes fierce and formidable when attacked, especially if the young are present. furiously endeavoring to sink the boats by rising and hooking its tusks over their sides; and frequently, the violence of its blows is sufficient to

stave the planks of small boats. Its principal food, it is said, consists of shell-fish. The tusks grow to the length of ten or twenty inches, or sometimes even three feet, weighing from five to ten pounds. They are worked like ivory, but turn yellow in a shorter time. The skin is about an inch in thickness, and is used for a variety of purposes.

WALSALL; a market town and parish of England, in the county of Stafford, 116 miles from London; population, 15,066. By the reform act of 1832, Walsall was constituted a borough, returning one member to parliament.

WALSINGHAM, Thomas of, an English chronicler of the fifteenth century, was a Benedictine monk of the abbey of St. Alban's, where he held the office of precentor; and he also styles himself royal historiographer. His works are, Historia Brevis, containing the annals of England, from the end of Henry III's reign, form ing a continuation to the history of Mat thew Paris; and Hypodigma Neustria, giving an account of the occurrences in Normandy, from the time of Rollo to the sixth year of Henry V. These pieces were published by archbishop Parker (London, 1574, folio).

WALSINGHAM, sir Francis, an English statesman, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, descended of an ancient family, was a native of Chiselhurst in Kent. Ile was educated at King's college, Cambridge, and, at an carly age, travelled on the continent, and acquired a knowledge of the languages, manners and policy of foreign nations. His first employment was that of ambassador to the court of France, whence he returned in 1573, and, being appointed one of the principal secretaries of state, and a member of the privy council, received the honor of knighthood. In the important situation which he filled, he rendered great services to his sovereign, and contributed, by his policy, to the stability of her government. The means which he adopted, however, for the attainment of his purposes, were not of the most honorable description. Lloyd, in his State Worthies, says, "Sir F. Walsingham outdid the Jesuits in their own bow, and over-reached them in their equivocation and mental reservation; never settling a lie, but warily drawing out and discovering the truth. Few letters escaped his hands, whose contents he could read and not touch the seals. He had the wonderful art of weaving plots, in which busy people were so entangled that they could

never escape, but were sometimes spared upon submission; at others, hanged for example. He would cherish a plot for years together, admitting the conspirators to his own and the queen's presence familiarly, but dogging them out watchfully." Such was the policy of this statesman, who is stated to have maintained fifty-three agents and eighteen spies in foreign courts. In 1581, he went on a second embassy to France, to treat of a marriage between Elizabeth and the duke of Anjou; and, in 1583, he was sent to the court of James VI of Scotland, whence he is said to have brought back a higher opinion of the abilities of the future sovereign of Britain than the event justified. He acted a very important, but by no means honorable part, in the detection of Babington's plot against the life of the queen, in 1586, and in the subsequent proceedings against Mary, queen of Scots. His death took place in April, 1590, in the ninetieth year of his age; and his remains were interred privately, by night, in St. Paul's church, apprehensions being entertained that his corpse might be arrested on account of his debts. An account of his negotiations and his despatches from France appeared under the title of the Complete Ambassador (1655, folio); and a work called Arcana Aulica has been ascribed to him, but its authenticity is questionable.

two tons of goods are daily bleached, calendered and packed. There are two schools supported by the proprietors of the factories, at which instruction is regularly provided without charge.

WALTHER OF THE VOGELWEIDE, one of the most eminent old German lyric poets of the class of Minnesingers (q. v.), was descended from a noble, but not wealthy family, whose castle, Vogelweide, is supposed to have been situated in Upper Thurgau. Walther resided at the court of Frederic, the eldest son of Leopold VI, duke of Austria and Stiria. Frederic took the cross in 1195, departed for Palestine in 1197, and died the ensuing year, on the crusade. Walther seems to have left the court of Vienna immediately after the loss of his royal patron. After the murder of Philip of Suabia, in 1208, he set out on his wanderings. At the court of Philip Augustus, king of France, he seems to have met with a kind reception; but he remained longest at the splendid court of the landgrave of Thuringia, who had always around him a circle of poets, and instituted that celebrated poetic contest, the war on the Wartburg (1207), in which Walther took part. Walther shows himself, in his political poems, a warm defender of the imperial power and honor, against the encroachments of the clergy and their head in Rome. Some time after the WALTHAM; a post-town in Middlesex arrival of Frederic II in Germany, we county, Massachusetts, on the north side find Walther again at the court of Vienna, of Charles river, which separates it from where he was kindly treated by Leopold Newton; ten miles west of Boston, thir- VII. After Leopold's death, in 1230, ty-four east by north from Worcester, Walther seems to have left the court of 426 miles from Washington: population, Vienna, of the decline of which he comin 1820, 1677; in 1830, 1859. It is a plains; and of the further events of his pleasant town, and contains two Congre- life, we only know that he was engaged gational meeting-houses, and three cot- in a crusade, probably the one undertakton manufactories, which are among the en by the emperor Frederic II, to Palesmost extensive and best conducted estab- tine, in 1227. The year in which Walther lishments of the kind in this country. died is as uncertain as that of his birth; They belong to a company of gentlemen he must have lived, however, till after residing principally in Boston. The 1230. The latter years of his life were capital stock amounts to $600,000, three devoted to a pious contemplation of the fourths of which are vested in mill privi- world, of death, and eternity. His poems, leges on Charles river, land, houses, three all of them lyric, may be found in the brick manufactories, and machinery, manuscript collections of the Minnesingcomprising 8064 spindles and 231 looms. ers. (q. v.) Lachmann has published These works employ about 400 persons, them according to the original text (Berprincipally females, and from 60 to 80 lin, 1827). Akland has given an account men in making machinery. The quan- of the life and character of this poet tity of cotton annually used amounts to under the title Walther von der Vogelweide, about 700,000 pounds, and the cloth made etc. (Stuttgart, 1822). to 2,000,000 yards. These works were commenced in 1814; the whole completed in 1821. There are also bleaching works, carried by steam, at which 6

VOL. XIII.

WALTON, Isaak, an ingenious and amusing writer, was born at Stafford, in August, 1593. He was probably of low parentage, for he settled in London as a

semster or milliner and linen-draper, and kept a shop in Fleet street. About 1632, he married the sister of bishop Ken, and, in the beginning of the civil wars, he removed from the metropolis. His death took place at Winchester, in 1683. He was the editor of several publications, and gained considerable celebrity by a treatise entitled the Complete Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, which has passed through numerous editions; and his Biographical Memoirs of bishop Sanderson, Hooker, sir II. Wotton, George Herbert, and doctor Donne, which have attained an equal share of popularity. Though possessed of much general information, Walton made no pretensions to learning; and the charm of his writings depends on the air of verisimilitude and unaffected benevolence which they exhibit. Some short pieces of poetry are interspersed in his works, which evince much taste and feeling.

WALTON, Brian; a learned divine and critic, born about 1600, and educated at Cambridge, where he took the degree of master of arts, in 1623. Removing to London, he obtained a rectory in 1626, and, ten years after, was instituted to the rectory of St. Giles's in the fields. In 1639, he commenced doctor of divinity, In the civil wars, he favored the royal cause, and was consequently obliged to take shelter at Oxford. There he formed the scheme of a Polyglot Bible, to which he owes his literary reputation. This work was completed and published in six volumes, folio, in 1657, under the following title: Biblia Sacra Polyglotta complectentia (textus originales) Hebraicum, cum Pentateucho Samaritano, Chaldaicum, Græcum (versionumque antiquarum), Samaritana, Grace LXX Interpp., Chaldaica, Syriaca, Arabica, Ethiopica, Persica, Vulg. Lat. quicquid comparari poterat : cum Textuum et Versionum Orientalium Translationibus Latinis. Doctor Walton had several assistants in his laborious undertaking, of whom the principal was doctor Edmund Castell. On the restoration of Charles II, to whom he presented his Bible, with a new dedication (the original one to Oliver Cromwell having been cancelled), he was made one of the royal chaplains; and, in 1660, he was raised to the bishopric of Chester. His death took place in London, 1661.

WALTON, George, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Frederic county, Virginia, about the year 1740. He possessed an eager desire of

knowledge, and devoted to its acquisition all the moments he could spare from his early occupation as an apprentice to a carpenter. At the expiration of his termn of service, he removed to Georgia, where he applied himself to the study of the law, and, in 1774, was admitted to the bar. Among the patriots who assembled at the "liberty pole," at Tondee's tavern, Savannah, to devise measures of resistance to the encroachments of England, he appeared, and took a prominent part. In January, 1775, he was chosen a meniber of a committee appointed to prepare a petition to the king; and, in February, 1776, he was elected one of the Georgia delegation to the national congress, and continued a member of that body, with little intermission, until 1781. In December, 1778, he was appointed colonel in the militia, and received a wound in the thigh, during the defence of Savannah. He was made prisoner, but exchanged in September, 1779. He was twice chosen governor of the state, once a senator of the U. States, and, at four different periods, a judge of the superior courts, which last office he held fifteen years, until his death, Feb. 2, 1804. His powers were strong, and his temperament ardent.

or

8

WALTZ (German Walzer, literally roller); a national German dance, commou, however, among other nations of the continent, as Spain, &c., and of late introduced into England and the U. States. A waltz ought to be danced with much grace and precision; and the first note of each bar (the music being always written in time) should be distinct, and longer than the two others. It is a mistake to suppose that the waltz music is always gay. The waltz of the north of Germany was grave and slow, whilst that of the south, particularly of Vienna, is gay, and may degenerate into a bacchanalian swiftness. The quick, gay waltz is the most common at present. Several waltz tunes are now often united, to prevent monotony. One of the most important rules for waltzing well, yet often neglected by foreigners, is, that both the dancers should stand parallel, and directly opposite each other.

WAMPUM (from wampi or wompi, signifying, in the Massachusetts Indian language, white, the color of the shells most frequent in wampum belts); shells, or strings of shells, used, by the American Indians, as money. These, when united, form a broad belt, which is worn as an ornament or girdle. It is sometimes called wam

[blocks in formation]

WANDERING; a technical term with German mechanics, to denote their custom of travelling into foreign countries after finishing their apprenticeship. Formerly, they were bound by law, in all German states, to travel in this way, otherwise they could not make their masterpieces; that is, those specimens of their skill, by which they proved to the corporation that they were fit to become masters, and which they are still bound to exhibit in several parts of Germany where corporations exist. Whether this habit of wandering arose from the universal disposition of the Germans for travelling into foreign countries, which scatters German mechanics all over the world, or from the unsettled habits of many classes in the middle ages, as the knights, the vacantivi (see School, vol. xi, p. 251), or the frequent campaigns of the Germans in Italy, where the servants of the noblemen learned many arts not known in Germany, we cannot here discuss. In summer, mechanics may always be seen on the roads in Germany, carrying knapsacks and sometimes a few tools. They receive dinner and lodging, or money, from the corporation in each place, or from the master-workmen, if there are only a few in a place. Many peculiarities and absurdities are connected with this receiving of presents. Instead of a passport, they carry "wanderingbooks," so called, which must be kept in good order, and shown to the police of the places through which they pass.

WANKER, Ferdinand Geminian, doctor of theology, professor of moral philosophy in the university of Freiburg, was born in 1758, in Freiburg, in the Brisgau, was made professor of morals in 1788, and elected archbishop, but died in 1824, before the papal confirmation arrived from Rome. His works would prove instructive to many Catholics who believe that they abandon their faith if they give up certain things which are inconsistent with the present state of intelligence, or with the testimony of history. Among his works are the following:-On Reason and Revelation, with a View to the Moral Wants of Mankind (Vienna, 1802, 2d ed., Freiburg); On the Matrimonial Tie, considered with Respect to Natural Law and Pure Morality (1810); and System of Christian Morals.

WAPATOO ISLAND; an island of North America, formed by the junction of the

Multnomah with the Columbia, twenty miles long and ten broad. Its numerous ponds abound with the common arrowhead (sagittaria sagittifolia), to the root of which is attached a bulb, growing in the mud. This bulb, to which the Indians give the name of wapatoo, is the great article of food, and almost the staple article of commerce on the Columbia. It is never out of season, so that, at all times of the year, the valley is frequented by the neighboring Indians, who come to gather it. It is collected chiefly by the women, who take a light canoe in a pond where the water is as high as the breast, and, by means of their toes, separate the root from the bulb, which, on being freed from the mud, rises immediately to the surface of the water, and is thrown into the canoe. This plant is found through the whole extent of the Columbia valley, but does not grow farther eastward.

WAPPING; a village and parish of England, in Middlesex, on the north bank of the Thames, one of the out-parishes of London, on the east side of the city, inhabited chiefly by persons employed in trade, connected with the shipping of the port of London; population, 5889. Here are the London docks, St. Catharine's docks, &c., and the stupendous warehouses belong to the custom-house, &c. (See Docks, and London.)

WAR, in general; a state of hostility and violence between individuals, or, in a more common sense, between sovereign nations, who, having no superior power to which to appeal for the decision of their disputes, have recourse to force and arms. In contradistinction to international or public war, civil war designates a similar state of violence existing between different portions or members of the same nation. International wars are generally distinguished into offensive wars, or wars of attack, and defensive wars, or wars of defence. The party which carries on what is called an offensive war is not, however, by any means, always the original author of the hostile measures, since the seeming assailant is often forced into his position by the violation of his rights, or the menacing posture of the other party. It is well known that both belligerents aim to acquire the credit of acting on the defensive, partly to conciliate public opinion, which, though often mistakenly, commonly pronounces a defensive war justifiable, and condenins an offensive war; and sometimes, also, to secure the assistance of foreign powers, which has been guarantied, by treaty, to

« PreviousContinue »