« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
down a green lane out of the road character. Alas! the ivy that I refrom Tewkesbury to Worcester, was membered to have seen formerly crossing the fields to the town of Up- running up the walls, overhanging ton on Severn, situated on the very the great window, penetrating the brink of the river. The victorious fractures, and encroaching on the genius of Cromwell directed him to roof within, had been cut down by force Upton Bridge, that he might sacrilegious hands. Ivy with me proceed along the southern bank, holds the same situation in architecand, preventing the profligate Charles tural old age that grey hair does in from escaping him, add another tro- that of man, and I cannot bear to phy to his fame in “ Worcester's see either cut away, no, nor even Laureate Wreath.” It was the after- clipped. Clustering about the tracery noon of a cool cloudy day; a slight of Gothic work, and circling the mulmist hung over the distant objects lions in fantastic wreaths of green, it in the landscape, and a melancholy sometimes looks like a garland of stillness, common in such a state of laurel round a death's head, speakthe atmosphere, pervaded every thing ing inore forcibly of mortality and as if nature was in universal repose. decay by contrast. This was now I crossed the Severn, and leaving the all gone, for the church had been relittle church of Upton on my left, paired, which was indeed necessary walked towards the Malvern Hills, -it had also been beautified, which that are such beautiful objects from was unnecessary and absurd. Parish the bridge, and, combined with the officials, particularly those who deal view in the foreground; where the in brick and whitewash, are genemajestic Severn rolls along without a rally absolute at such times. Here ripple, present a picture rarely ex- the roof had been whitened, and the ceeded in richness and beauty. The windows patched, till they were like deep purple colour of the Malvern Joseph's coat of many colours. When Hills formed the back ground to a I was last there, the wind, entering vale several miles broad, filled with through broken panes, moaned along meadows, orchards, gardens, and the aisles with sounds that seemed corn fields, well wooded, and having to be unearthly. Antiquity and desomewhat of the character of an Ita- cay are the sources of delicious feellian landscape, rather than of one in ing, and the food of genius; for man our own island. The abruptness with is himself a ruin, and his sympathy is which these hills « look out,” as with desolation, because he feels Leigh Hunt would say, and the clear- forcibly his intimate connexion with ness of the atmosphere around their it. Continuing my walk up the hill, ensummits, give them a character very joying the prospect that seemed to exdifferent from that of our hills in ge- tend itself more and more every step, neral. By an ascending and varying innumerable reflections on past times road, therefore never tedious, I reach- crossed my mind. When viewing a ed the fine old church of Great Mal- fine landscape, or any grand natural vern, a favorite resort of Henry VII. object, our ideas are rarely of the who must have possessed a taste present, never of the future, but highly refined for the time in which almost always of the past; to this he lived, as the architecture of the we are insensibly led by things that church testifies, which is similar to seem to have little immediate alliother Gothic buildings erected by ance with it. Our meditations on him. Like his own chapel at West- viewing a romantic scene we never minster, it is of very superior work- saw before are not prospective, but manship, airy and lofty. I drew near are fixed upon departed time ; so it with that feeling of delight which dear to us is age and antiquity, or so is generally experienced at the view unconsciously sensible are we that of similar erections, venerable, light the shadows of the past are all we in architecture, grand in size, grey can call our own property. As long with age, and imposing from situa- as I can trace back, my family had tion. Its mutilated windows, which lived near these hills; whence my had contained much painted glass, father was the first wanderer forty its pointed arches, and the dark years ago. It was not surprising shade of the hill that enveloped it, therefore that fancy attempted to call added to its naturally impressive up the shadowy forms of those who had toiled, taken pleasure, feasted, The eye darted rapidly from obfasted, and then slept the sleep of ject to object, for it could repose long death on the plain below me~I on no single thing. Here the vale of wished to see them pass like the race Evesham, that tract “ flowing with of Banquo before my eyes. I thought milk and honey," melted away into of the revolutions time had effected the grey hues of distance. There in their costumes, and the variety of the orchards of Hereford, infinite in appearances the smiling plain must tints of green, and brown, and purhave assumed at different periods. ple, loaded with the fruitage of the Now covered with primeval woods, year, were scattered on a surface that, now a scene of war, now a waste was full of gentle undulations or heath or common over which the swelling hills, through the valleys of hunter was toiling, and the speckled which flashed the light of many a hound sweeping away the early dew sparkling stream. Farms and dwelin the chace—what would I not have lings dotted the picture every where, given to see my progenitors thus and the rich harvest enamelled the marshalled before me, living and ground, as yet untouched by the breathing as I lived and breathed !- sickle. Towering in the distance, the but of this enough.
dark mountains of Monmouth, Rada Ascending higher, and leaving the nor, and Brecknock, among which sequestered village of Great Malvern the well known Black Mountain in below, I arrived at one of the three the latter county was most conspia medicinal springs for which the hills cuous, formed a fine Alpine distance. have been long celebrated. The The Clee hills in Shropshire, and the water flows gently out of the earth, Wrekin, that social hill of the Saloand is protected by a building. The pians, remembered in their flowing elevation of the spot and rarity of bowls wherever they quaff them, rose the air produce a most exhilarating over Ludlow's classic castle, a place effect on the frame, and the pellucid rendered immortal in sweetest song. water, equal to that of the fount of There Comus waved his magic wand, Blandusia, and worthy of its bard, and Sabrina and her water-nymphs, seemed to me like a medicine that with their “printless feet," and their must cure “ all sadness but despair." “chaste palms moist and cold," after I then mounted to the highest point dispensing their spells hastened to of the Worcestershire beacon, as it the bowers of Amphitrite. Afar, is called, a very steep ascent over scarcely distinguishable from the turf and stunted heath, and soon blue serene of the sky, might be disfound myself thirteen hundred feet cerned the sea in the Bristol channel. above the level of the Severn, enjoy- This part of the view possessed a ing one of the most commanding and certain wildness and ruggedness of magnificent prospects I had ever be- character, and was more varied and held. How shall I attempt a de- picturesque than on the other, or scription of the scene that opened a- Worcestershire side ; the latter was a round me from the summit! On one chaste picture in soft tranquillity, all side lay the whole county of Here- was placid and beautiful,--the former ford, and a variety of objects in no was grander. One was like the beauless than eleven other counties might tiful statue of Venus, all love and be seen around. Rich meads, fertile beauty, and smiles ; the other stern plains, woods, mountains, orchards, and awful as the Minerva of the Pargardens, villages, towns, cities, a thenon. Associations of high interest noble river, all that nature and nature were called up by a variety of spots and art combined can do, lay like a within the reach of the eye on the rich carpet at my feet, woven in a side of Worcestershire, prodigal as it thousand hues, on a surface of great seemed in the wealth of soil, extendfreshness and beauty, smiling and gor. ing over an immense field of view, geous, in plenitude of the most lux- and studded with cities, towns, and uriant vegetation. It seemed indeed villages. The Severn, owing to its to be an elevation
high banks, was but little seen though -From whose top
it wound its way through the whole The hemisphere of earth, in clearest ken, extent of the landscape. Worcester, Stretch'd out to the amplest reach of pros- with its cathedral, and the ashes of the pect lay.
most worthless of kings, John Sanse terre ; Gloucester, proud of eccles, masses of men from such a spot, they siastical buildings, à dull and tame all seem to be so in unity; the various but neat city; Tewkesbury, with its habits, features, and dispositions, fine old church and blood-stained which distinguish individuals, being associations with the house of Lan- lost in the view of the whole. To caster, whose last hope expired there me all extensive views are dissipatin blood; peaceful Upton ; Pershore; ing to the thoughts; the variety of near the Shakspeare Avon; and Chels objects prevents the mind from retenham, with its saline springs, were tiring within itself; the eye wanders each distinguishable, together with from tower to tower, and from hill to nearly a hundred churches. The hill, with a buoyancy of spirit fatal eye might there very truly be said to to deep reflection or study, but fawander
vourable to mirthfulness. Milton in
L'Allegro assembles a great variety O'er hill and dale, Forest, and field, and food, temples and of natural images, in fact, almost all
the prominent objects seen in an extowers, Cut shorter many a league.
tensive landscape, and brings them
before the reader in rapid succession, The Cotswold hills arose in the together with the “hum of men,” and distance, so renowned for their sports “pomp, and feast, and revelry,” exin Shakspeare's time, and also the tinguishing thought by the crowd of Bredon, on which there are ancient objects seen at once, and disposing the encampments. Near the Clee hills, soul to light-heartedness by the Hagley-park was plainly discernible, boundless field of sight over which once the seat of the elegant Lord Lit. the eye ranges. In Il Penseroso, on tleton, close by which are the neg- the contrary, the mind rests on a lected, but still beautiful Leasowes of simple object at a time, favourable Shenstone. Yet more to the right, to reflection; the song of the nightlay Stratford-on-Avon, connected ingale, the “ wandering moon,” the with a never dying name, and the « far off curfew," the “ glowing Edgehills, where the first battle be- embers” of an expiring fire, “ secret tween Charles and the Parliament shades," and prospects confined to took place. Most of the distant oh- “ glimmering bowers and glades," jects were enveloped in a grey mist; are objects all occupying comparativebut in the middle ground, the snatches ly limited space. We should therefore of strong light, here and there broken dance on the summit of the mountain, by clumps and masses of dark green and study in the bounded valley. foliage, covered the whole with innu- Mountain scenery is, after all, that merable bright patches, producing a which most impresses the mind with charming effect, which it would have the greatness of the works of the puzzled a Claude or a Turner to re- Creator, and the most virtuous part present in perfection. The fore- of mankind have been dwellers aground was the bare summit of the mong the hills, as well as the most hill, thinly covered with stunted turf, hardy and brave. Let a picturesque and here and there the naked granite hill be covered with turf or heath, it broke out in huge masses, contrasting is an object that speaks to the heart; well with the highly wrought cul- we are delighted to climb its ridges, tivation in the remoter parts of the and gaze on its huge convexities, that
want not the aid of foliage or cultiThe lofty solitude on which I stood vation to attract us, because they seemed to impart to me a feeling of have what is superior to beauty, superiority as I gazed below on the grandeur and sublimity. An iminhabitants of the plain, diminished mense plain undecorated with trees to the smallest specks by the long and herbage is always gazed upon drawn perspective. We grasp my- with fatigue, but the summit of the riads of men from such elevations mountain crowned with granite, and like the population of an ant-hill, and lifting its uadorned crest to the imagine ourselves Brobdingnagians, clouds, or perhaps above them, speaks compared with the bustling insects to us in a majesty and glory derived toiling in their petty pursuits be- from its severe boldness of outline, as neath. It would appear to require well as magnitude of parts. Who but little effort of mind to direct can gaze upon a vast hill without
awe? As Burke justly observes, Me befel for to sleep, for weariness of wan. “ there is something so overruling in dering: whatever inspires us with awe in all And in a laund as I lay, leaned I and things which belong ever so remotely
slept to terror, that nothing else can stand He dreams that he beholds a magniin their presence." Hills are the ficent tower which is the fortress of great features of creation, its pride truth, &c. Thus Malvern was noand glory, whether rising like the ticed in verse before the days of Alps or Andes, and impressing the righte merrie" Chaucer. It must beholder with a sublime terror, or therefore be henceforth the British pleasing him by a less mighty magni- Parnassus; its springs must be ficence of aspect like Malvern, or those of our Helicon, and Tempé sweetly charming him in the lesser could not have exceeded in fertility eminences of our island, having sum- the rich vale of the Severn at its feet, mits crowned with cultivation and the poetical Sabrina of Milton and plenty
Spenser: Malvern was the spot first im
The Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death, mortalized by the pen of the earliest British poet.
It was the birth- It is astonishing that the summer place of the British muse, and well flies of the metropolis have not made worthy of being so; the scene of Malvern a
resort. the "'Visions of William concern- Fashion, however, is governed by ing Piers Plowman,” of which Lang- caprice, and the dullness of a sandy lande is the reputed author, and plain, the sterility of Brighton, which are supposed to have been (though indeed the latter has the written about the year 1352. John ocean to redeem its execrable land Malvern, a benedictine monk, has barrenness) the beautiful sameness also been supposed the inditer of of Cheltenham, or the wastes of this curious poem.
A wise man Bagshot, are of equal excellence in called William falls asleep among the her eyes. Only a few persons of bushes
taste visit Malvern in the season, In a summer season, when softe was the beauties, render it superior to any
though its springs, air, and natural sun, I shope into shrubs, as I shepherd were ;
place of public summer resort in the In habit as a hermit unholy of works
kingdom. For one I shall never forThat went forth in the world wonders to get the “ blue steeps of Malvern,” as hear,
Dyer terms them, and if there be a And saw many cells, and selcouthe things; spot to which I wish above all others As on a May morning, on Malvern hills to “ steal from the world,” it is there.
A SKETCH FROM NATURE.
Yon green hedge made me startle, for just now
ADDITIONS TO LORD ORFORD'S ROYAL AND NOBLE AUTHORS.
CHARLES TALBOT, DUKE OF SHREW SBURY,
Was born on the twenty-fourth of of Duke of Shrewsbury, in 1694, July, 1660, and had the high honour being then principal secretary of of being god-son to King Charles II. state; and, as a proof of his politibeing the first child to whom his cal virtue, King William is reported majesty became god-father after his to have said of him, that “the Duke restoration. The most remarkable of Shrewsbury was the only man of passage in the life of this nobleman whom the Whigs and Tories both was his abjuring the religion of his spoke well.” ancestors, which he did upon the In 1700 his Grace found his health fullest conviction of the errors of the so much impaired, as to render a Roman Catholic faith, and of the pu- journey into Italy absolutely necesa rity of the Protestant religion. His sary, and he repaired to Rome; upon Lordship’s conversion was occasioned which it was industriously reported by his becoming acquainted with Dr., that his distemper was only feigned, afterwards Archbishop, Tillotson, to and that the real object of his jourwhom, upon the discovery of the ney was to reconcile himself to the Popish plot, he was accustomed to Romish church; a rumour entirely carry the opinions and defences of without foundation. the Catholic priests in favour of their On this subject we are able to procreed, and in retum receive Tillot- duce an original letter, which, as we son's replies; which, in the end, ef- believe it has never been made use fectually reconciled him to the Church of, may be considered as a great of England. This was in 1679, and curiosity. It is replete with good sufficiently proves that his Lordship’s sense and good principles, and fully conversion was the effect of convic- acquits the Duke of any thing like tion alone, since Popery was at that dissimulation or inconsistency. The time beginning to prevail, in conse- superscription has been lost, so that quence of the countenance it received the person to whom it was addressed at court.
cannot be ascertained, but we susAfter filling a variety of state em- pect it was William Talbot, then ployments with equal credit and abi- Bishop of Oxford, afterwards of lity, he was advanced to the dignity Salisbury and Durham.
Rome, 27 Sept. 1704. N. 8. My Lord, It is some time that I am indebted to your lordship for the favor of a letter : but having nothing to write but ill newes of my health, I was a weary of that subject. I am now, praised be God, much better, and in two or three months design for Venice, and so by little and little to get home against the spring, being willing when I return into England to have the summer before me, hoping by that means better to accustome my self to the change of the climate than if I arriv'd before the winter. I must desire you will give your self the trouble once again of distributing a little charity for me, as formerly. By this post I have directed Arden to pay one hundred pounds to your lordship's order.
In the letters of some of my friends, I have observed it hinted, as if my so long residence in this place had caused a jealousy, that I was better inclined to the Popish religion than I formerly was. After what I had done for the opinion I profess, and against that I left, I hoped I had been less lyable to that suspicion than any man alive. However, in my conduct and discourse, I have constantly here endeavoured to convince every body of my steddyness. I never go to any of the churches, unless it be sometimes for a moment, to look at a picture. In case I have been accidentally pre