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never will be seen again. The horizon
becomes dotted with black specksthese specks
are shipsthese ships are the fleet of Charles
of Anjou, King of Sicily, laden with arms and
men and munitions of Avar for the Crusaders.
The hills and plains around Tunis are swarming
with the Moorish hosts; but in the camp
of the Crusaders there is a dead silence; the
only figures to be seen are wasted, emaciated,
death-stricken soldiers slowly and painfully
dragging themselves to the tent of their
expiring king. Within that tent, towards
the third hour of the afternoon, Saint Louis
giving one sigh says, clearly and distinctly,
these words, "Lord, I shall go into thine
house and enter into thy temple!" and

So ran my reverie of the Last Crusader.
He was a Christian and a King worthy of
better times and better deeds. Long the old
knights and gentlemen who followed him
were proud to say that they had been
crusading with SAINT Louis; "and I have had
made," writes the honest Sire de Joinville,
"an altar in honour of God and of
'Monseigneur Saint Loys.'"


THOSE among us who are sufficiently in the
sunshine of fortune to possess golden luxuries
whether in the forms of plates or dish-
covers, candlesticks or candelabra, racing cups
or presentation plates, watch-cases or watch-
chains, ear-rings or finger ringsare not fully
aware of the solicitude with which Her
Majesty's Parliament supervises the gold; to see
that it is of the right quality; to seenot,
perhaps, that all that glitters shall be gold
but that all which is called gold shall have
some sort of claim to that designation.

It is of old standing, this supervising authority
over the goldsmiths. So long back as the
reign of Edward the First, an Act was passed
to settle this matter: to determine which,
between two kinds of jewellery, shall be
deemed the real Simon Pure. No article of
gold or silver was to be made with a baser
alloy than those named in the Act; and none
should pass into the market until its quality
had been assayed, and a leopard's head stamped
upon it. The wardens of the Goldsmiths'
Company were empowered to go from shop to
shop among the goldsmiths, to ascertain that
the gold employed was of the right "touch,"
or alloy. Then, Henry the Sixth's parliament
enacted, among things relating to silver, that
all silver articles should be at least as fine as
"sterling;" that every workman or maker
should stamp his mark on every article; and
that every maker's private mark should be
made known to the Goldsmiths' Company.
Several early charters gave to this powerful
Company a general control over the gold
and silver trade; the wardens were constituted
judges of the standards of the precious
metals; and they were empowered to search
out and destroy all specimens of "deceitful
work"—that is, work made of gold or silver
below the standard. It was towards the
close of the fifteenth century that they were
entrusted with the privilege of stamping
manufactured goods. In the time of Elizabeth
a statute declared the well-known "twenty-
two carats" fine to be the standard quality
which all gold manufactures must reach;
that is, an alloy of twenty-two parts of gold
to two of silver; while the standard for silver
was to be eleven ounces two pennyweights of
fine silver in twelve ounces, the rest being
copper. The wardens had no bed of roses, it
would seem; for an Act passed in 1665
recited, "that the wardens of the said
Company, in punishing defaults in the said trade,
had been at great charges, and at the peril of
their bodies as well as at the loss of their
goods; so that the wardens then late, on
account of the menaces and assaults from the
workers, could not put into execution the
authorities given to them by former charters."
The Kings, and Queens, and Parliaments
laboured hard to ensure the goodness of the
precious wares; for in 1738 a new statute
strengthened the provisions of all the old
ones, especially as to the standards for gold and
silver. There was, however, an exemption in
favour of jewellers using gold in certain of the
trinkets made by them: the gold might in
such cases be lower than the standard. All
the goods, when found to be of the proper
standard, were to be stamped with the initials
of the worker, the arms of the Company, and
a distinct variable letter to denote the year;
but in mercy to the fragile structure of the
tender family of pencil-cases, tweezer-cases,
necklace beads, rings, buttons, thimbles, filagree
work, toothpicks, chains, and such-like
they were exempted from the rude visitations
of the stamping process.

The Government made use of the Company
as a means of insuring the payment of a duty
imposed (in 1719) on plate; this duty was
sixpence per ounce. The Company kept a
sharp eye on the makers, and the Excise
on the Company; and assay-papers and
receipts were planned with all due formality.
The Company were of course not expected to
do their work for nothing; they were to
receive tenpence for assaying and stamping a
gold watch-case, fivepence for a gold buckle,
fifteen-pence for a gold snuff-box, haif-a-crown
for any piece of gold plate under thirty
ounces, and so on. There is a curious use
of the word diet in the Act just named; it
being enacted that, from every piece of silver
plate, weighing above four pounds troy, sent
to be assayed and stamped, the wardens are
empowered to take out or detain a diet not
exceeding ten grains per pound.

Thus did Parliament, reign after reign,
throw its protective shield over these luxuries.
The Goldsmiths' Company had at first control
over all the kingdom; but similar guilds were
afterwards established at Exeter, Bristol,

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