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here made concerning the word Crouch-back, applied to Edmund, as has been done when it is used of Richard III. viz.; that it does not indicate any deformity of person, but is nothing more than Cross-back, alluding to the cross which crusaders bore on the back of their garments: but this has been long and generally known.
Description of Reliefs on a Font at Thorp-Salvin, Yorkshire. By Mr. Holden, with an illustration by Mr. Douce. This is said to be an object which has attracted the notice of several antiquaries but Mr. D. observes that he has not heard of any one who has ventured on an explanation. The first compartment in the sculpture very clearly represents the immersion of a child: but what is signified by the man with a sickle under his girdle tying up sheaves of corn, or by another riding over a bridge with a smoking censer, &c. is not easily determined; perhaps there is nothing more in it than the sculptor's fancy. The font appears to be of Saxon original, and very antient.
A short account is given, by Benjamin Incledon, Esq. of a charity at Pilton in Devonshire, distinguished by the name of St. Margaret's Hospital, formerly appropriated to the reception of lepers.-Its writings are said to be well preserved, and its benefactions numerous. After having had various possessors since the revolution, who, to their honour, it is observed, kept it on a charitable footing, it is now become part of the poor lands of the parish. The common seal, made of tin or some such metal, has an inscription perfectly legible on its face, but not so on the impression.
The same gentleman writes Observations on certain Ornaments of Female Dress: a purse, a pincushion, and a pair of knives,' presented to him by an old lady. The purse and pincushion are of purple velvet embroidered with gold: the handle of one of the knives is of amber, the other of coloured glass; all suspended together at the girdle; the date 1610 occurs on the handles. From some old plays, it appears that knives were formerly part of the accoutrements of a bride; and the practice of wearing knives and purses was pretty general among European women at the end of the sixteenth century; wedding knives were presented among other articles of a domestic nature. Knives found their way from Italy to England about the time above mentioned, (1610,) but forks not till a considerable time afterward, though said to have been known in Italy some years before. The remainder of this volume must be considered in another article.
[To be continued.]
ART. XI. Observations relative chiefly to the Natural History, Pic turesque Scenery, and Antiquities, of the Western Counties of England, made in the Years 1794 and 1796. Illustrated by a Mineralogical Map, and Sixteen Views in Aquatinta by Alken. By William George Maton, M. A. Fellow of the Linnean Society. 8vo. 2 Vols. PP. 336 and 216. 11. 16s. Boards. Robson, &c.
HERE are scarcely any readers, perhaps, who are not gratified by works of the nature of that which is now before us, when they are the result of taste, of science, or, above all, of accurate and impartial examination. To the inhabitants of any district so described, a general view of its beauties or peculiarities, which may have escaped former observation, must be rendered at once interesting and useful: while those who rationally employ their time in visiting the curiosities of our own country, whatever be the particular pursuit, will owe and acknowlege no common obligation to tourists who have preceded them with fidelity and judgment; or will re-trace with satisfaction the subjects of their own investigation. The county-historian, limited in his plan, and frequently either dull or diffuse in the execution of it, must be contented to be occasionally consulted rather than perused :-but, in the tour, a greater variety presents itself; new objects attract notice as we advance; the matter, though sometimes desultory, can scarcely be tiresome, if conveyed by the vehicle of an easy diction; and it may become engaging by the apt arrangement of anecdote, scientific hints, and elegant description.
Mr. Maton observes, in his preface, that
There is certainly no portion of the kingdom, of equal extent, that exhibits such a diversity of interesting objects as the western. For the study of mineralogy, in particular, and the mining art, this district possesses superior advantages. Cornwall, a county of quite A primeval aspect in regard to the stratification of substances, contains an inexhaustible store of metal in its bowels. The bold mountains of Dartmoor and Mendip also are not without their metallic treasures, and here too nature appears in her rudest and wildest form,
immunis rastroque intacta nec ullis Saucia vomeribus."
Of sublime as well as decorated scenery the most striking specimens will be found; with respect to the former, some parts of Cornwall and North Devon cannot be exceeded in our island, and, as to the latter, the southern coast of Devonshire and many spots in Somersetshire are perhaps unrivalled.-The stupendous remains of ancient architecture,-of structures erected in the earliest ages; the extensive military works; and the more modern relics of monastic grandeur scattered on all sides must be in the highest degree interesting REV. Nov. 1797
to the antiquary, and cannot but awaken the feelings and meditations of the man of general taste.'
The journey commences in Dorsetshire; and after having passed Wareham and Corfe Castle, we arrive at Lullworth, the seat of Mr. Weld. For a very curious biographical account (too long for transcription) of Mr. G. Hussey, an eminent artist whose works are found in Mr. Weld's collection, we refer the reader to p. 35. He ascertained likenesses of the human countenance, after he had sketched them, by a musical scale. Of a new establishment in England, we have the following view:
Within Mr. Weld's grounds, there is an house appropriated by him to the accommodation of some emigrant Monks of La Trappe, who wear their proper habits, and practise undisturbed all the rigid duties prescribed by the founder of their order. The situation of the monastery cannot fail to foster that religious enthusiasm under the influence of which alone so singular an institution can continue to gain or preserve votaries. A fine vale in front of it affords an uninterrupted prospect along the quiet banks of the Frome to Poole-harbour, and through a most beautiful opening, formed by a sudden sinking of the hills which bound the view to the south, the main sea displays itself, either in the serenity of a calm, or the awful horrors of a tempest. The woods of the park screen and close in on the monastery to the north.
The monastic order of La Trappe is of French origin, and one of the most austere and self-denying of all the institutions of this nature. One strong instance of their unsocial and unnatural discipline is the profound silence which is enjoined them, and which is never broken, unless on very extraordinary occasions, and with the leave of the superior of the convent. They shun the sight of women, and in their diet are so abstemious, that they live solely on vegetables, never tasting flesh, fish, or wine. Their employment, in the intervals between their religious rites, is generally the cultivation of a garden, or any other manual labour.
The founder of this order is said to have been a French nobleman, whose name was Bouthillier de Rance, a man of pleasure and dissipation, which were suddenly converted into the deepest devotion and melancholy by the following circumstance: His affairs had ob liged him to absent himself for some time from a lady with whom he had lived in the most intimate and tender connections. On his return to Paris, he contrived a plan in order to surprise her agreeably, and to satisfy his impatient desire of seeing her, by going without ceremony or previous notice to her apartment. She lay stretched out an inanimate corpse, disfigured beyond conception by the smallpox, and the surgeon was about to separate the head from the body, because the coffin had been made too short! He was a few minutes
* Since my visit to Lullworth Castle, I have been informed that the society now reside in a house built solely for their reception, near Warbarrow cliff.'
motionless with horror, and then retired abruptly from the world to a convent, in which he passed the remainder of his days in the greatest self-mortification and devotion*. The lively and sensible Lady Mary Wortley Montagu makes the following remarks, after visiting one of these societies established between Fierenzuola and Florence:-" Į cannot well form a notion," (says her Ladyship,)" of that spiritual and extatic joy that is mixed with sighs, groans, hunger, and thirst, and the other complicated miseries of monastic discipline. It is a strange way of going to work for happiness, to excite an enmity between soul and body, which nature and providence have designed to live together in an union and friendship, and which we cannot separate like man and wife when they happen to disagree."
Leaving Exeter, but slightly noticed, we have a specimen of the author s scientific acquirements:
The village of UPTON-PYNE is about three miles and an half north from Exeter. In the lanes leading to it we observed an unfrequent variety of Hieracium umbellatum, described by Haller as "H. foliis pene ovatis, vix dentatis, caule humili pene unifloro †.
The manganese mine is not far from the village, the soil surrounding which is a deep red viscid clay, and in this the ore is dug. The deepest part of the mine seemed to be about twenty feet. There is no occasion for a shaft §, as the ore diminishes so much in richness in proportion to its depth, that it is worked only in an ho rizontal direction. We observed that the ore was in nodules of various dimensions, and generally crystallized in the inside. It is very productive, at least what is dug at the upper part of the pit, and was used in the glass-houses formerly established at Exeter, but it is now sent chiefly to London. The manufactory at Bristol undersold that of Exeter.-Judging by the colour of manganese, and the martial earth with which its surface is often covered, several mineralogists have supposed it to be a meagre ore of iron, but from the experiments of Bergman, Gahn, and others, and from its appearing to possess properties common to no other metallic substance, it should certainly be considered as a peculiar semi-metal. It is remarkable, however, that many, even of the first chemists, have never succeeded in the reduction of it. The black oxyde, (generally called black magnesia,) is used in glass-houses to take away the yellow, green, or blue tinge from glass intended to be of a clear white. Too large a proportion of it gives a violet colour."
The right of sinking mines, and the whole process of extracting the ore, the mechanism used, and the customs of the miners, are minutely and satisfactorily detailed. Particles of
*See Lady M. W. Montagu's Letters, vol. 3, p. 126.
Stirp. Indig. Helvet. p. 15.
It is improperly called a mine, for, the top being open, it is merely a pit.
By a shaft is meant a chimney-like perforation leading to the bottom of a mine; it is seldom much larger than to admit a person.'
gold are found near Lestwythiel in Cornwall, the purity of which is nearly the same as that of Wicklow; affording about twenty-one parts out of twenty-four. The largest piece ever found in Cornwall was that which belonged to Mr. Lemon, grandfather of Sir William Lemon; it weighed fifteen pennyweights and sixteen grains. We have likewise the subjoined historical remarks:
From observing the pits, (called in Cornwall coffens,) I imagine the ancient miners must have opened the ground to obtain tin in the same manner as we do stone-quarries. Whether the Phenicians, or Greeks, who traded to Cornwall, interested themselves in the dig ging of mines it is not easy to determine, but there can be no doubt that the Romans did, and that the Britons were much instructed in the mining art by that people.-The produce of the Cornish mines has been very variable. In the time of King John they yielded but a trifling emolument, the right of working being then wholly in the sovereign as Earl of Cornwall, and Jews farmed them for an hundred marks. When Richard, King of the Romans, had the earldom, the tin-mines became extremely rich, and the Spanish ones being stopped by the Moors, and none discovered in Germany, the Malabar coast, or the Spanish West-Indies, Cornwall supplied all Europe. The Jews being banished from the kingdom in the reign of Edward I. they were again neglected, until a charter was obtained from Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, son of Richard, King of the Romans. This charter seems to have been the first that traced out a sort of regular constitution for the stannaries, and by it very considerable privileges and immunities became the inheritance of the Cornish tinners, who were now stimulated by a spirit of speculation to commence numerous adventures. The mines henceforward became more and more productive, and of late have yielded a profit from one hundred and eighty thousand pounds to two hundred thousand pounds per annum, though in the last century, it appears by Carew's Survey, forty thousand pounds were the utmost annual produce. The Prince of Wales, as Duke of Cornwall, receives about ten thousand pounds yearly as his duty; and the bounders or proprietors of the soil are supposed to gain about one sixth at a medium clear, or about thirty thousand pounds.'
The only silver mine in this county is HUEL-MEXICO, situated to the left of the road leading from St. Agnes to St. Michael, and not far from the sea, the sand of which covers all the adjacent country. The rocks on the coast, quite from St. Ives, seem to consist chiefly of killas, which, with nodules of quartz, is the prevailing substance in the mine.-Luna cornea, or horn silver ore, has been found here, though in very small quantities, and consequently specimens of it yield a high price*. A good deal of silver, however, has been procured from Huel Mexico; some masses of the ore, we were informed, have produced as much as half their weight of it.
It is of a yellowish-green colour, and is found in small specks consisting of minute cubic crystale.'