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For the Monthly Magazine.
inhabitants from the miseries of poverty walks in BERKSHIRE. By MR. JAMES and degradation. If so, a propitiatory
SORBIS BREWER. No. IV.-Contain- offering has seldom been inade with less ma Visit to the untient Vindonum success. d'the Romans.
While the Roman empire continued (Concluded from vol. 29, page 527.) to derive strength from a simplicity and would be trite to expatiate on the purity of internal arrangement, Vinda
sensations with which the traveller num maintained its consequence, and approaches the desolate site, and moul- was deemed one of the chief provincial dering outlines, of a once populous, gay, cities constructed and inhabited by the and formidable city. On this occasion, masters of the world. But the Romans, perhaps, most men are subject to the though so enterprising and military a saine course of ideas, and are agitated by people, were unable to exist in their Bria similar feelings of regret, despondency, tish provinces without the support of the and wonder. Through latyrinths of parent country. They made a faint wundland and ill-beaten roads, now fa- effort to establish in Vindonum au miliar ouły to the bird, though once tra. independent authority, but the endea. versed by tlırongs of the polished con- vour was futile, and the “ barbarous querors of England, and their depend. Britons” took a triumphant possession ants, I trod, with increasing ardor, and of the city, so strongly fortified and so believed the object of our expedition yet long tenanted by their invaders. The distant, when iny companion suddenly Bricons terined their new acquisition arrested my progress, by exclaiming, Caer Segnnt (the city of the Segontians) "We are there !" It was even so. Oni and this was the spot selected for the this rough rail, where scarce a dozen inauguration of the chivalrous and feet tread during the whole of a sum. mighty king Arthur.
But the prosperity mer's day, and amid these wild and of the city while uuder British dominion tangled brancbes, which almost forbid was short-lived.
A fresh horde of santhe trarellei's approach, we were close shinary visitors - under the banners of beside the potent, the august city, from Sasony, poured on the afflicted islanders, #bich Constantiu's issued his edicts to a and Caer Segont was one of the first trembling and subdued people.
strony-holds against which they directed Silchester (which is really in the their arıns. While defended by those county of Hauts, though immediately who laid the foundation, the walls of on the confines of Berkshire) is supposed Vindonum proved impregnable. Bus to have been the Vindonuin of the the aboriginal Britons (fond as are their Romans. The recurrence of a suppo., descendants of the boast of freedom) sition on this subjeci must appear sur
lo bare been born for slavery. prising when we consider the former Useless were the mighty towers and extent of the city, but such is the effect embattled gateways of the Romans. of ages on a mere record of stone and The Saxons prevailed; and, as a token moriar, that the original appellation is, of their victory, they razed the city to in fact, conjectural, though the mast ir- the ground, dismantled its fortifications, genious and industrious antiquaries con- and tried to level entirely the massive cur in believing the lloman Vindonum walls formed hy Constantius; but eveis to have occupied this site.
the destruction of these was too severe, a Following the lead of this probable task for their industry and patience, conjecture, we find that the city was altiranyh the Romans were equally exe built by Constantius, son of Constantine posed to danger and interruption when the Great, and that the founder sowed ibey heaped together the ponderous cirn on the intended ground-plist of liis quarry of materials, and embattled the Cilp;' with a view of shielding the future ouilines of the city. Since the ravages
of the Sixons, all bints at population What a strange propensity mankind
have abandoned the devoted spot; and possess to enlarge on the particulars of a Story as it passes through their hands! the shepherd and his dog, or the casual Modern writers on the subject of this antient stranger, leil thither by curiosity and city, assert that the emperor Constantius Kattered grain completely round the traces
of corn on the ground whereon the city was of the walls, as an omen of their perpetuity. built.” Seldom have three grains of seed But Ninnius, on whose authority the anec.
produced such an abundant crop as these, die slely rests, says, in explicit language, when assisted by the manure of a nodern the Constantiu: merely " soned three grains annotator's ingenuity.
pity, possess uncontested power over the a deep ditch, or fosse, a great part of districts once defended with streams of which is now 6lled with the ruins of the Roman and of British blood.
walls. Beyond the citch I have described the first view of the structed the external vallum, which may majestic fragments of Vindonam still be easily traced, and which is, in bursting on the traveller while he many places, fifteen or sixteen feet high. threads the mazes of obscure and em. On the western side of the walls is an bowered lanes. The prospect is truly embankment, thrown up in a semi-circuimpressive and surprising. We see a lar forin, with a ditch beyond it. This wall, in some places still nearly twenty bank is of a considerable height, and feet high, and through the whole boun- was evidently constructed for the defence dary of the city twenty-four feet in of the city. thickness, half-veiled by towering oaks On the north-east, at some small diswhich have taken róvt even in the firm tance from the city wall, are the remains cement of the ponderous wall itself. of an amphitheatre, which are now used The slow process of vegetation, which as a yard for the cattle of a neighbouring has tinted the stone with green, and farmer! created a little forest in the place once A street, thirty feet in width, extends occupied by battlements and coping, from each gate to the opposite entrance, is very nearly the whole alteration that and the traces of various subordinate has been effected since the hour in which passages are still to be observed towards the Saxons ravaged the city, and reduced the approach of harvest in dry seasons, the pride of its fortified barrier to a mere when the corn (probably from the monument of the instability of local circumstance of the pavement of the grandeur.
streets still remaining entire, on wbich The Romans were judiciously attached lie heaped the materials of the houses (as the situation of antient Rome might razed by the Saxons) tails, and the exasufice to prove,) to an elevated site for miner may clearly ascertain the width and their most important cities. In atten- direction of each smaller avenue once tion to this habitual predilection, Vindo- trodden by the Roman inhabitants. num was placed on the apex of a cluster From the very retired character of of hills, whose suiınits appear to have the neighbourhood, the walls have been rendered artificially level for the escaped with singular good fortune accommodation of the military settlers. from all other dilapidations than such The city was built in the form of a slow hints at fragility as are the ineviia. parallelograrn 2600 by 2000 feet, and ble consequences of a lengthened age. was entirely surrounded by a wall of the The whole of the remains appear now in thickness mentioned above, and of a the same state as when visited by very, considerable height, though its Camden. That most industrious anti. precise degree of elevation cannot now quary mentions an aperture or passage, be ascertained. Four gateways opened underneath the southern wall, through to the city, the situations of which are which he could scarcely pass, in consestill distinctly marked, and show that quence of the heaps of rubbish which the entrances were placed exactly at the incumbered the former private avenue four cardinal points. The foundation of of the garrison. This passage (called the walls consists of regular layers of Onion's hole) presents exactly the same large flat stones, and the walls are com- aspect at the present day. Indeed, it posed of rubble-stone, flints, and pebbles, would almost appear that the various held together by a bed of strong cement. generations of the moderns have conThe stones and flints are not arranged curred in treating these ruins with tenwith any uniformity of method, but are derness and respect; for, between two variously placed in the cement, at differ- and three hundred years back, a church ent parts of the wall.
and farnı-house (both mentioned by Still, for an indeterminate distance, a Camden as recent erections) were consimilarity of arrangement appears to
Structed near the eastern entrance. have been preserved, as if certain spe- These are both remaining, and I found cilied proportions of the structure had them to be composed of brick. Now, been allotted to the task of a particular as such immense quantities of useful band of artificers, and each band had materials were contained close at hand, its peculiar plan of workmanship. in the fragments of the Roman walls, it
The exient of the wall is nearly two seems difficult to discover any other moEnglish miles, and round the whole was tive for the founder of these buildings 1
preferring the use of brick, which must one written at the time of the giants in have been procured at much trouble and the Greek language. EX PERC, than a respectful regard for the It is also a current opinion, that the mencholy, yet august; memorials of a city was impervious to all modes of Esime and interesting period.
assault, 'except the danger of conflagraBut if on the one band, it would ap- tion; and that brands, accordingly, were pear that the relics have been treat d fastened to birds, who settled on the with forbearance, it is most certain that city, and spread a flame throughout its on the other, they have not been invesê buildings. A very credulous antiquary tigated with due zeal and perseverance. might almost believe that this latter Canden mentions an inscription found circumstance has some connexion with here, which was conveyed to London, traditionary fact, and that the strength and placed in the garden of lord Burs of the out-works had really repelled every Leigh. And since the time of Camden, endeavor of the Saxons, until they cast the foundation of a large structure supó torches over the walls, and added the posed to have been a temple, was dis. horrors of conflagration to the fury of their covered near the middle of the city, external attack. within a spacious square, formed partly The modern name of Vindonum (Sila by the intersection of the two principal chester,) Camden supposes to signify streets. Roman coins are continually “the great city.”. But it appears, from thrown to the surface, by the least curs later critics, that the word Sil or Sel, was sory deviation of the plough, and found understood to mean a hill, or elevation, by the peasants, who ierin them in allu. It would, therefore, seem more likely sion to a fancied giant) Onion's pennies. that the compound term Silchester, was But all these assurances of the soil intended to express “the high city," or within the walls containing a vast hoard“ the city on the hill;” a form of desiga of antiquarian treasures, are insufficient nation supported, as we have seen, hy to stimulate the proprietor of the spot to the local circumstances of antient Vina an activity of research; and he is con- donum. tented to let the ground (about 100 acres) to a farmer, possessed of very
For the Monthly Magazine. little more feeling than the clod over
JOURNAL of a WINTER TOUR through which he drives his horses.*
several of the midLAND COUNTIES of Recollecting the great value which the
ENGLAND, performed in 1810. Romans placed on water, and how very (Concluded from p. 546, vol. 29.) scrupulous they were as to the purity RODE the following morning, the and salubrious qualities of that nsed at weather being fine, although the their cables, I searched, with some in- ground was yet covered with snow, from terest, into the character of the rivulets Rippon to Hack-fall, a distance of seven on tire confines of Vindonum, and found miles. The many minute and poetical that the city liad, in fact, been supplied descriptions which have been given of hy a spring of most inviting delicacy, this celebrated pleasure-ground, would which still pours its clear and bubuling have induced me to omit mentioning torrent into the incumbered fosse.
it altogether, had I not happened to visit Respeciing so vast (and to them in- it under a novel and not uninteresting comprehensible) a ruin, it may be sup- aspect. The feathered tribes had all led posed that the natives entertain fabulous to warmer climates; the little temple's and extravagant opinions. They, in
were shut up and deserted; there were deed, suppose that the city was inhabi
no traces of pleasure-parties; and in ted during its prosperity by giants: many places the trees were stript of all and a persun, who thought himself more their honors. Bit the water-lälls were iutelligent than his neighbours, informed swelled by the snows; many tirs covered me that these giants were of Hebrew the sides of the mountains; and the origin, and that there was no history whole wore an air of solitude far from extant which mentioned the city, except displeasi!.. The tops of the laurels, and
that shaded the walks, • At the door of the farm house, a horse
hore a thick outward coating of snow; block is constructed of a portion of the shaft of a Roman column, on the top of but there was no appearance of winter which is placed the mutilated fragment of a
underneath: und ihe clusters of red here capital. Both of these were discovered near
ries, which hung from their branches all that central square which is supposed to have capped with crystal, recalled to my mind been the site of a temple.
the lines of our bard:
66 For MONTHLY Mag, No. 202,
For every shrub, and every blade of graus, nosa might have been just as suitable. And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in The whole is wretched. I would not give
glass; In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns for five hundred such trumpery produce
the crag, a mile below Knaresborough, shew, While through the ice the crimson berries
tions. I must mention in justice, that glow ;
the liale bronze figure of the Venus of The thick-sprung reeds which watery marshet Medicis, placed in the banqueting-house, yield,
is the most elegant imitation of that cele. Seemed polished lances in a hostile field;
brated statue. I have ever The stag in linpid currents, with surprise,
arrive at a real beauty-the venerable Glazed over, in the freezing æther shine ; ruin of Fountaine's Abbey. This is The frighted birds the rattling branches unquestionably the finest ruin in Eng. shun,
land. It stands in a sequestered valley, Which wave and glitter in the distant sun."
near to which a modest river steals along A general idea of Hack-fall, which has between woods and rocks. Nothing has been said to combine the beauties of fallen to ruin in Fountaine's Abbey, Matlock and the Leasowes, may be ob- excepting the roof and some of the wina tained, by conceiving a rivulet falling in dows. The chancel, the choir, the cascades down a narrow dell, betwixt cloisters, the dormitory, the kitchen, the two steep hills richly covered with wood, refectory, the chapter-house, and the and interspersed with temples and ruins. charnel-house, are all nearly entire; and From the top of one of these eininences in some places the plaister remains on may be seen a wide view of the North Rid- the walls, painted so as to resemble large ing of Yorkshire, bounded by distant bills, red stones nicely joined together.
Hack-fall lies about four or five miles Fountaine's Abbey is a Gothic building: from the beautiful seat of its proprietor, it was formerly enriched with ample Studleigh Park, which I entered at the revenues; and the Percy family, many of northern gate, close to the house. After whom are here buried, were considered riding about half a mile through a lawn, as its chief benefactors. It was founded I descended to a fine sheet of water, in 1132 by Thurstan, archbishop of on the borders of which, even winter York; and an inscription over one of the wore the look of spring. Studleigh Park gates mentions its baving been finished is certainly highly cultivated; nature in the year 1202, seventy years from its has done much, and art-more, in contri- foundation: the length of the aisle is buting towards its beauty. There are three hundred and sixty feet, and the fine sloping hills covered with wood, and cloister garden is entire. interspersed with temples; banqueting- Riding on frou Fountaine's Abbey, I houses, cold baths, and seats planted to passed through Ripley and Lower Harcatch noble prospects : and below are rowgate; and stopping all night at a small emooth lakes, and imitations of the best inn four miles beyond the latter place, remains of ancient sculpture. Never. arrived next morning in Leeds. theless, I cannot help differing from all After resting some days, I again took travellers, by decidedly condenining the horse, and travelled through Wakefield, taste of it to be vile. Here all is art, which I have described in a former tour and no nature; the principal sheet of to Barnsley, a wretched ugly little town, water is divided into three compart- where I got a bad breakfast. Sandal ments, resemoling a moon, and a cres- Castle lies in the way within a mile of cent on each side of it. In the exact Wakefield, well known to be celebrated centre of these are dripping figures of for a famous battle between the White Galen, Esculapius, and Niobe: cor- and Red Roses. From Barnsley, I responding figures are placed opposite proceeded to Wentworth Castle, where to the half-moons on the banks the I was led tbrough the picture gallery, Dying Gladiator, and the Wrestlers; while though in a great burry, by the house. this abominable piece of Dogget-work, is keeper, who had more important busi. supplied with water from a broad ribbon ness in hand the making of jellies and of a cascade not belter than a mill-dam. blamanges. Wentworth Castle is a Opposite, on the other side, is a temple fainily seat of the Stafford family, and of Piety, containing of all things in the stands nobly on the suinmit of a hill world, a bust of Nero :-a bust of Spi- covered with old trees. The grounds
are finely laid out: but alas! this was not his chin, might have been well calculated the time of year for perceiving their for the part of Don Ferolos Whiskeranbeauties. The gallery contains some dos. The music was that to which a bear of the best paintings both of old and would dance: and what little wit there modern masters. One in particular was, seemned not ill fitted for a company struck me in going along : Swindlers which might be supposed would witness drawing out a Card. There are many such a spectacle. One man sung a song beautiful Views, in Switzerland. Here betwixt the play and the farce, in the too is to be seen a fine portrait of the character of a cake-seller : each verse celebrated lord Stafford on borseback; ended with the genteel burthen of—"All and another picture representing three 'my eye and Betty Martin.” One, and one kings, all said to be of the Stafford only, of the stanzas remains in my memory; fairily. Visitors are also shewn a room: “ The ladies they like bride-cake, called Queen Anne's room, where there is a table and mirror-fraine, both of solid if they say they don't like the men,
And of this I'm sure and sartain, silver. Regretting that the opportunity of
It's all my eye and Betty Martin !" remaining in the gallery was so extremely
The next morning I arose before light, short, I pushed on to Wentworth House,
and reached Worksop to
breakfast. the noble palace of earl Fitzwilliam, and At the end of the town, which is quite arrived in time to get a good view of the uninteresting, a lodge indicates the paintings. These are
inost valuable, entrance to Worksop Manor, a seat of being the elite of all the best masters. the Norfolk family. It is a much nore The chief of them are as follows : Jason magnificent mansion than the ridiculous killing the Dragon, by Salvator Rosa; piece of mock-antique Arundel Castle Cupid Sleeping, by Guido; a Magdalen,
in its repaired state, to which the pres by Titian; Bacchus, by sir Joshua Rey sent duke gives the preference as a resinolds;
Madona and Child, by Raphael : dence. The front is three hundred feet there are likewise several good pictures in length, not quite so noble as that of hy Ostade, Teniers, and Domenichino. Wentworth House. In the centre is a In other apartments are portraits of portico of six columns of the Corinthian Charles I. and his,queen Henrietta; of order, surmounted by a pediment which archbishop Laud; and of the celebrated is crowned with statues. The park is lord Stafford dictating to his Secretary. about eight miles in circumference. In a large ball-room there are bronze
Within, the furniture, portraits, and figures of the Apollo Belvidere; the other decorations, are all in the old style: Venus de Medicis; the Antinous; and a hangings and beds of crimson damask, Contemplating Philosopher, and two and of sky-blue velvet; the history of Dying Gladiators. Over the hall door Joseph in tapestry of Brussels, and richa are suspended a surprisingly broad pair Indian scenery in that of the Gobelins. of elk's horns, brought from lord Fitz- There is a fine allegorical fresco painting william's Irish estates. Within this of the Arts and Sciences, in a gallery, by noble mansion it will give every visitor Le Breuger; a beautiful portrait of a pleasure to see an elegant and comforta- duchess of Milan: many fine paintings, ble chapel: as well to hear that prayers are chiefly, by Vandyke; the chief of which performed here every evening, when the is Cain slaying Abel: and in a word, family are at home. The chief object of all the blood of all the lIowards, preserved Attention in the grounds, is an elegant in the veins of the proprietors of its diffemausoleum to the memory of the rent portions, who 'frown along the marquis of Rockingham. The inscrip- deserted galleries, some in armour, some tion is good, but too long: an inscription, in whiskers; and those of a still later like an epitaph, should be of such date, in their large wigs, and square shoes. dimensions as that he who runs may residence of the duke of Portland, stands
Welbeck, my next object, a seat and read.
By the time I entered Rotherham it about five miles from Worksop Manor. was quite dark; so that I had just time It is a poor shabby old place; but within, to take a hasty dinner, and fill up my the seat of elegance and hospitality. i day's pleasure by going to the play. A
was received most courteously by a strolling party were performing some housekeeper, who regretted her inability wretched piece, by desire of the Tickbill to conduct me through the house, the volunteers. The chief character, by the family, being at home, and all the rooms two brushes which ran from his ears to occupied, My curiosity was conse