« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
ROYAL MILITARY CHRONICLE. .
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR ROWLAND HILL.
THE family to which General Hill belongs, has been long sealed in Shropshire. It is not too much to say, that it has been immemorially distinguished for benevolence and virtue. It has exhibited, for a long succession of years, the pearls or fruits of hereditary example, and a good domestic education. By means of such example, and such education, each successive head of the family has transmitted his own virtue and piety to his children; and the latter, in their own turn, have conveyed the same solid patrimony to their own descendants. Such is the value of FAMILY HABITS, OF Piety AND VIRTUE. Their effect extends beyond the individual. They form families and households to virtue; and secure the piety of generations yet unborn. That I may speak distinctly upon a subject of so much importance, I conceive it necessary to add, that by the term family habits, I am here speaking particularly of family worship, a more effectual means of forming the morals and minds of children and servants, and let me add, of procuring the Divine blessing upon yourself and family, than the whole mob of fancia ful methods recommended in the modern systems of education. There was no person in Holy Writ, for example, who experienced a greater portion of the Divine blessing than Abraham, who was not only blessed in his own person, but through a long descending, and we may add, interminable posterity. And the same Scripture seems to give a strong reason for this, where it thus sums up his character. " And Abraham and his household served the Lord, and the blessing of the Lord was upon them.”
As I have this subject very much at heart, i. e. the improvement of the Jeligious habits of the army, let me be permitted to put this question to some most respectable and excellent officers-Your families are admirably forming under your own eyes, but whence is it that this family worship is not a part of your scheme? You are unaccustomed, perhaps, to read out to an assembly, however small. Let one of your children, then, read, till you get the habit, which you will acquire in three mornings. But probably it interferes too much with the business or employments of the day. It need VOL. IV. NO. 21
Almoir of Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill.
not, however, thus intersere. In my father's family, (for I thank God I had this advantage) it was thus managed : As soon as he came into the breakfast room the heil was rung for the servants and children, and a short form, not more than ten or twelve minutes, was then read by him, bimself kneeling at the breakfast table, and the servants with their backs turned to him at the chairs; and in the same manner after supper, immediately before retiring at night. On Sunday morning, previously to attendance at church, the children had to learn by memory, the collect of the day; and that we might understand the circumstance and occasion of the epistle and gospel, we read the explanation of it in a book which ought to be in every family, Nelson's Feasts and Fasts. On Sunday evening, one of my brothers or myself read out a chapter of Prideaux's Connections, a most learned and useful work, connecting sacred and prophane history, and confirming and illastrating the one by the other. After supper (I am thus minute, because I am holding forwards an example for imitation) the servants were called in as usual, and the usual prayers said, after which, on this day only (Sunday) a sermon of Tillotson was read out to them. Such was the course of duty in which I was myself educated; and the result of it (I hope I do not speak presumptuously) is that secure and confirmed mind which can tranquilly look around the world, and see nothing that it so much desires as the Divine favour, and which, in the confidence of procuring that favour, can see absolutely nothing that it fears. To return, however, to our memoir
One of the ancestors of General Hill, Sir Rowland Hill, Mercer, was Lord Mayor of London, in the year 1550, and is mentioned by Leland, the learned antiquary. “There is,” says Leland, “a new bridge of stone made on Terne by a merchant of London, called Rowland Hill, a little above the confluence of the Severn and Terne.” And Camden adds, “The old bridge of Alcham was erected in the reign of King Edward VI. at the sole expense of Rowland Hill, merchant, formerly Lord Mayor of London, whose extraordinary munificence and liberality were displayed in many public works in different parts of the kingdom, and particularly in this his native covuly. For, besides founding a free grammar school at Drayton, and allotting sufficient stipends for the maintenance of the same, he annually clothed three hundred poor people. He also contributed mosi lie berally to the repairing Stoke church, and built two stone bridges, viz. this at Atcham, and one at Terne, and two others of timber at his own cost and charge during his life time."
In this Sir Rowland Hill the family was divided into two branches, one of which, according to a brief memoir, from which we are writing, was represented by the late Noel Hill, Esq. of Attingham or Atcham, who was for many years one of the knights of the shire. This gentleman, about the year 1782, built a most beautiful seat at Terne, to which he has given the name of Attingham. In 1784, Mr. Hill was created Baron Berwick, of Memoir of Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill.
Altingham, in which title he was succeeded by his son, the present Lord Berwick.
Sir Rowland Hill, the grandfather of General Hill, was of the other branch of the family; he is mentioned as a most worthy and honourable gentleman in all the relations of his public and private life. He contributed very liberally to the comforts and conveniences of his neighbourhood, and built and founded, we believe, some public works at Shrewsbury and in its vicinity. Of these the most conspicuous and most useful is the English bridge, as it is termed, in contradistincticn to the Welsh ; respecting which we find the following notice, viz.
“On Thursday, July 27, 1769, Sir Rowland Hill, Bart. laid the first stone of the new bridge here, with this inscription, erected under the direc tion of Mr. John Gwynn :
ANNO CHRISTI, MDCCLXIX,
GEORG, III. REGIS, IX.
PRIMUM LAPIDEM POSUIT
ROLANDUS HILL, BARONETTUS,
SUMPTU SUO PROPRIO
Sir Rowland Hill, at his death, left three sons, namely, Sir Richard Hill, Bart. who was, for several years, one of the representatives of the county of Salop, and who died at his beautiful seat at Hawkestone*, November 28, 1808, in the 76th year of his age.
• Hawkestone, ten miles from Shrewsbury, has been justly termed "An Elysian resie dence.” It was, at a most enormous expense, formied out of a sandy waste; but has been embellished with so much taste, that the particular features that'adorn it can scarcely receive justice from the most animated and vivid description :
" Here hills and dales, the woodlands and the plain,
“ Here art and nature seem to strive again:” The family mansion stands in a grove of oaks, it is a large brick building, with spacious wings. The style of its architecture is rather grand then elegaut, a style that in dicates, in its sumptuous solidity, liberality and benevolence. The park ranges in its front, and the adjacent village abounds with monuments of the taste and munificence of Sir Richard Hillz upon the hospitality of whose hall, he was once in parliament com plimented by the late Mr. Pitt.
(To be continued.) VOL. IV. NO. 21.
Narratire of a Journey in South America,
JOURNEY IN THE INTERIOR OF SOUTH AMERICA,
IN NOVEMBER 1810.
BEING in La Guayra, the seaport of the provinee of Caracas, in the month of November 1810, I resolved to employ the occasion to obtain a' knowledge of the interior of the country; and to that end I formed the resolution of making a journey upwards; I resolved, moreover, to make it on foot, a circumstance not very usual in these tropical climates," but which I preferred, as affording me a more accurate survey both of the scenery and manners. Accordingly I left La Guayra some time about the middle of November 1810, and proceeded, attended only by a guide, for Macuta. For about a mile the road continues along the shore until we reach Macuta, a neat and pleasant village, also close upon the sea, where most of the richer inhabitants of La Guayra have houses. Here the mountains recede a little from the shore, and leave a small opening, certainly better adapted for the situation of the port than the spot which has been chosen for it. I have little doubt that Macuta will one day surpass. La Guayra in size, as it now does in neatness and regularity.
Having passed through Macuta, the road turns to the left, and we immediately begin to ascend. The soil is at first a deep clay, or a rich mould, and so continues to a considerable height; the road is therefore paved in many parts, without which it would, in rainy weather, be wholly impassable. In the steepest parts it ascends by zigzags; but sometimes it is so narrow, that iwn loaded mules cannot pass each other; and the banks are high and steep on each side.
We continue constantly to ascend. From clay, the road changes in many parts to ragged rock. At the height of about a thousand feet, we begin to breathe already a lighter and cooler air : and, turning back, enjoy the view of Macula and the coast Leneath our feet. We see the white breakers along the shore, and hear their noise, which now sounds like a hollow murmur among the woods which begin to crown the steeps. Opposite to us is a high and steep hill, covered with vegetation, and all the deep hollow between is dark with trees. Here and there spots are cleared away, plantations are formed, and the experienced eye can distinguish the various hues of the fields of coffee, sugar, or maize. We pass also from time to time two or three miserable huts, where the muleteers are accustomed to stop and refresh themselves. In this manner we continue to ascend, the mountains still rising steep before us, till we arrive at a draw-bridge over a deep cut made across the narrow ridge upon which we have been ade vancing. On each side are deep valleys, clothed with tall trees and thick
Narrative of a Journey in South America. underwood, through which there is no path. This point is defended by two or three guns and a few soldiers, and forms the first military obstacle to the march of an enemy. In its present state it is by no means formidable, but a very little care might render it so. Having passed this, the steepness increases, so that the mules, and even the foot traveller, can only proceed by crossing obliquely from side to side ; and even that is attended with difficulty after rain or heavy dues, on account of the smooth round stones with which the road is paved. But the great and enlivening change experienced in the state of the atmosphere removes all difficulties. Never within the tro. pics had I before breathed so pure and so cool an air. Instead of the stifling heat of the coast, where the slightest exertion was attended with profuse perspiration, I walked fast for joy, and thought myself in England. It was four o'clock in the afternoon when I left La Guayra, and it was now become dark when I reached La Venta, or the inn, a poor house, but well known upon the road, as being about half way between Caracas and the Port. It is situated at the height of about 3600 English feet above the level of the sea, at which elevation the heat is never oppressive. Here, having supped, and drank large draughts of delicious cold water, I repaired to sleep, unmolested by heat or musquitoes. Being still warm with my walk and my supper, I cared little that the frame on which I lay down was upprovided with a single article of covering ; but, about midnight I awoke, shivering with cold, and astonished at a sensation so unexpected. At three o'clock, being a fine moonlight morning, we resumed our journey, having still a considerable distance to ascend, although the worst of the road was now past. In an hour we had passed the highest point of the road, and proceeded along an uneven ridge of two or three miles before beginning to descend towards the valley of Caracas. On the summit of the highest hill above the road is a fart, which completes the military defences on the side of La Guayra. This fort is only visible from certain points somewhat distant, as we wind close round the base of the hill on which it stands, without seeing any vestiges of it. When we had passed the ridge, and were descending towards Caracas, the day began to dawn. Never had I seen a more interesting prospect. A valley, upwards of twenty miles in length, inclosed by lofty mountains, unfolded itself by degrees to my eyes. A small river, which ran through the whole length of it was marked by a line of mist along the bottom of the valley; while the large white clouds, which here and there lingered on the sides of the hilis, began to be tinged with the first beams of light. 'Beneath my feet was the town of Caracas, although only iis church towers were visible, rising above the light mist in which it lay buried. Presently the bells began to chime, and I heard all their changes distinctly, although following the windings of the road I had still four miles to descend, whilst in a straight line the distance did not appear more than one. At the foot of the hill is a gate, where a guard and officers are stationed, to examine the permits for merchandize, and sometimes the pass