Imatges de pàgina

Ore tawny sands and shelves
Trip it, yee dapper elves!
Dance by the fountaine brim,
Nymphes, deckt with daisies trim.”

“ Sol has quencht his glowing beame
In the coole Atlanticke streame:
Now there shines no tell-tale sun
Hymen's rites are to be done :
Now Love's revells 'gin to keepe,
What have you to do with sleepe?
You have sweeter sweets to prove,
Lovely Venus wakes, and Love,
Goddesse of nocturnall sport,
Alwaies keep thy jocond court, &c.”

“ Euphrosyne,
Right goddesse of free mirth, come lead with thee
The frolick mountaine nymph, faire Liberty,
Attended on by youthful lollity.”

“ Hence, hence, fond Mirth; hence vain deluding joyes,
Glee and Alacritie, you be but toyes :
Goe, gilded elves, love's idle traine possesse
With tickle fancies, thick and numberlesse :
Sorrow the subject of my song shall be,

My harpe shall chant my heart's anxietie.” Vol. vi. P. 402. The work is properly finished with a glossarial index of words, phrases, customs, and persons, explained and mentioned in the notes.

In tracing the language and expressions of Milton to earlier writers, we think the various commentators have exhibited more learning than judgement. The following examples, taken from the volume before us, will explain and justify the charge.

i- a darksome house of mortal clay.] So, in The Scourge of Villanie, 1598. b. iii. sat. viii. of the soul leaving the body: “ Leauing his smoakie house of mortall clay."

by the sun's team untrod,] Perhaps from Shakspeare's “ heavenly-harness'd team," Hen. IV. act ii. sc. iv. which Randolph imitates, Poems, 2d edit. 1640, p. 74.

-- " the sunne, Where he unharness'd, and where's teame begunne." • Sylvester has the sun's tyer-less tecm," Du Bart. 1621, p. 84. Again, “ The sun turns back his teem,p. 226. In Kyd's Cor. nelia, 1595, we find Night's “ slow-pac'd team ;' and, in Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, Night's “ lazy team." Vol. vi. P. 5.

justify the les, taked more

"_ belmed] So, in Par, Lost, b. vi. 840.

- “ o'er helms and helmed heads he rode." • Drayton has “ helmed head.” Polyolb. s. viii. vol. ii. p. 800.

WARTON. • Chaucer has helmed, Tr. and Cr. ii. 593.

“ By Mars the god, that helmed is of stele.” Vol. vi. P. 12.

And Peace shall lull him in her flowery lap;] So in Harrington's Ariosto, c. xlv. 1.

“ Who long were lul'd on high in Fortune's lap.• And in William Smith's Chloris, 1596.

“ Whom Fortune never dandled in her lap.· And in Spenser's Teares of the Muses, Terpsich. st. i.

« Whoso hath in the lap of soft delight

Been long time luld." • We have the flowery lap of some irriguous valley," Par. Lost, b. iv. 254. WARTON. See also Mir. for Magistrates, 1610, p. 327.

“ Whilst Fortune false doth lull them in her lap." • And in Certaine Selected Odes of Horace by John Ashmore, 4to. 1621, p. 17.

“ In Fortune's lap, who then, but I,

By Venus luld-asleep did lie?" Vol. vi. P.79. Repeated instances of this kind occur in the work. But Milton, who had the mines of language at command, did not employ himself in raking up the rubbish of old metal. To Sylvester in particular he is supposed to be indebted. Doubtless hé had profited by that writer's contortions and his wanton abuse of language, as the wise physician learns to cure from the quack who administers poison : but to suppose that for every peculiar word, for every double epithet, for every striking phrase, Milton is indebted to some predecessor—this surely is miserable trifling! As well might the fame of Raphaël be divided with his oil and colour dealer; as well might the flavour of the melon be attributed to the stable-refuse on which it was raised. We do not particularly apply this censure to Mr. Todd; it is more applicable to the rest of the firm.' It might perhaps have been better if the imitations from various authors, instead of being noted as they occur, had been separately arranged: the reading of the poet would then have been more distinctly understood. Mr. Todd's edition, on the whole, is ably executed: it is a valuable and elaborate work, which must find its place in every gentleman's library.

ART. VI.-The Beauties of England and Wales; or, Delineations,

topographical, historical, and descriptive, of each County. Embellished with Engravings. By John Britton and Edward Wed

lake Breyley. Vol. I. 8vo. 135. Boards. Vernor and Hood. * 1801.

WE have already recommended to the public Mr. Britton's Beauties of Wiltshire ; and the present work rivals the former in the merit of its engravings and the pleasing tenor of its style. The intention of our authors is to form a regular Britannia, or description of the chief objects in each county, alphabetically digested. The volume before us contains Bedfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire. · The subscribers to this work are respectfully informed, that the ardent desire of the editors to render the Introduction as complete as possible, and the time and extensive reading necessary to the full investigation and arrangement of the numerous and complex subjects. it involves, have induced them to protract its publication till a more distant period. This delay, the expediency of which cannot be questioned even by those who consider the nature and extent of their design with but partial attention, will afford leisure for that review of British, Roman, and Şaxon history, which the editors imagine, will not only proye interesting from the variety of objects it includes, but will also elucidate the origin of many of the important national regulations, which have stamped a character on this island, given stability to its laws, and extension to its commerce. P. i.

Besides a vignette of Donnington castle, and Leighton Beaudesert cross as a frontispiece, the volume contains the following engravings: 1. Ely cathedral ; 2. Dunstable priory; 3. Windsor; 4. Windsor castle; 5. Buckingham; 6. Eton; 7. Stowe; 8. Downton castle ; 9. Hampton court; 10.. Church of St. Mary Ottery ; 11. Badminton ; 12. Chepstow. . We need not much enlarge on the descriptions, which are principally derived from Camden’s Britannia and other authorities, and of course already familiar in a great degree to our readers, though here conveyed in a new and agreeable form. In Bedfordshire, the history of Woburn is one of the most interesting articles; and we shall extract the account of the pit which supplies that valuable substance called fuller's-earth, the exportation of which is rigorously prohibited. This we the rather select, as we observe that foreign mineralogists, in describing this substance, call it terre de Hampshire; while it is not found in that county, to the best of our information, but prius cipally in the neighbourhood of Woburn in Bedfordshire, of Reading in Berkshire, and of Reygate in Surrey, at which last place have lately been discovered crystals of yellow barytes, like amber, interspersed in the fuller's-earth.

The fuller-earth pits (or rather pit, for there is only one at present) in the vicinity of Woburn, are, according to the invariable assertions of preceding topographers, situated in Bedfordshire : but this is a mistake; the pits are certainly in Buckinghamshire, in the parish of Wavendon, or Wandon, as it is generally called. They are two miles north of Woburn, and about one furlong on the western side of the Northampton road, which, in this part, forms the boundary between the two counties for upwards of a mile. The more ancient pit, it is true, is in the county of Bedford, in the parish of Aspley, which adjoins to that of Wandon : but this has been disused for upwards of a century. It has large trees growing in it; and is become a secure and comfortable residence for the cunning fox, whose sagacity has taught him that he may live here unmolested and free from danger.

As the pit so immediately borders on this county, and as the curious reader, judging from the practice of former writers, will undoubtedly refer to the neighbourhood of Woburn, then desirous of acquiring information on this subject, we trust that we shall not be charged with any impropriety of arrangement if the particulars we have been enabled to obtain concerning the invaluable substance under consideration are inserted in this place. The surface of the earth may be divided with artificial limits; but the interior strata, in this instance, is unquestionably continued in both counties,

British cloth is chiefly indebted to the cleansing qualities of this celebrated earth, for its great superiority over that manufactured by other nations. In no other country is it found so free from foreign admixture ; for this reason, as well as its importance in the woollen trade, several severe laws have been made, at different periods, since the reign of Charles the Second, to prevent its exportation. Nor are these acts of the British legislature without precedent. History informs us, that the fulling business was an object of Roman atten. tion, and that laws were expressly made by that nation to regulate the employment.

• This earth is truly a marl, commonly of a greyish ash-coloured brown; yet it greatly varies, and is found of different shades, from the very pale, to the dusky, or almost black ; but always with a tinge of the yellowish green. The pit at Wavendon consists of two tunnels ; one with a ladder for the convenience of the labourers; the other to raise the earth up. The descent is very disagreeable, and the inside of the pit very damp. The wood-work on the top and sides of the excavated angles is continually wet, and almost covered with boletus lacrymans (dryrot boletus.) The strata are disposed in the following order.

From the surface to the depth of six or seven feet are several layers of sand, all of a reddish colour, but of different tints. Beneath is a thin stratum of sand-stone, and under this the fuller's-earth. The upper stratum is about a foot thick ; but being generally impure, or mixed with sand, it is thrown aside, and the rest is taken up for use. The earth is disposed in layers (commonly about eighteen inches between one horizontal fissure and another) continued to the depth of eight or ten feet. Between the centrical layers is a thin stratum of matter, of less than an inch, which in taste, colour, and external appearance, bears a striking resemblance to terra Japonica. Beneath the whole is a bed of rough white free-stone, about two feet thick: this is seldom dug through; when it is, more strata are discovered. The depth of the pit varies, it being from twenty to thirty feet below the surface.

• Though fuller's-earth is of the most material service in cleansing cloth, and imbibing the tar, grease, tallow, &c. which, from the operation of many causes, is often mixed with the wool, yet the present price is scarcely sufficient to defray the expenses of raising it ; being only ten shillings a ton, and the quantity sold not amounting to more than thirty tons annually. The labourers are occasionally employed, to the number of five, six, or seven, in proportion as the earth is wanted. The pit belongs to the duke of Bedford ; and, as we understand, by a recent purchase. Its situation is nearly opposite to that in the parish of Aspley, which is also on the duke's estate. About twenty years since there was a pit in use on the estate of colonel Moore; but this has been levelled, and the field is now in pasturage. The earth lay about four feet from the surface.

• The few authors who have written on the topography of this county are unanimous in ascribing a petrifying quality to a small spring said to be in the parish just mentioned ; and not only the water, but the surrounding earth alco, is reported to partake of the same property. Camden informs us, that those who belonged to the monastery showed “ a wooden ladder, which, after lying some time in the earth, was dug up all stone.The risible absurdity of this sentence can only be exceeded by the folly of Michael Drayton, poet-laureat to James the First, who inserted the following lines on this subject in his Polyolbion. ..

* The brook which on her bank doth boast that earth alone.
Which, noted of this isle, converteth wood to stone,
That little Aspley's earth we anciently instile,

'Mongst sụndry other things, a wonder of our isle." • This wonder of the poet, like many more extraordinary circumstances, hath had its nine days of admiration payed by the gaping multitude. -The story has now grown into general discredit ; and we are informed, from the most unquestionable authority, that there is no such spring in the parish : yet we have heard of some bits of the petrified wood, said to have been obtained here, which appeared handsome when polished ; and also, that a pair of buttons has been made of it. But we have said enough on a baseless subject, and, as the stream is wanting whose qualities could alone give the tale credibility, shall dismiss it with the common motto, Ex nihilo, nihil fit.' P. 39.

The catalogues of paintings are rather too long, and the biographical accounts, particularly those of foreigners, are extraneous to the nature of the work. When the author asserts, p. 59, that the forms of all ancient vases are supposed to have been taken from the calyx of the lotus, a celebrated water-plant well known in Upper Asia,' he shows the danger of advancing beyond a man's depth. There is no such country as Upper

« AnteriorContinua »