Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][graphic]

at Westminster; St. George's Chapel at Windsor; Wrexham Church, Denbighshire; and the Chapel on the bridge at Wakefield, Yorkshire, are all of this character. Many small country churches are built in this style; and, their size not admitting of much ornament, they are distinguished from buildings of a later date, by mouldings running round their arches, and generally by a square head over the blunt pointed arch of the door. A peculiar ornament of this style is a flower of four leaves, called, from the family reigning at that period, the Tudor flower. Below is the entrance to St. Erasmus' Chapel, in Wesminster Abbey.

[Door-icay of St. Mary's, Lincoln.]

About the year 1300, the architecture became more ornamental, and from this circumstance received the name of the Decorated English style, which is considered the most beautiful for ecclesiastical buildings. The windows of this style are very easily distinguished. they are large and wide, and are divided into several lights by mullions, which are upright or perpendicular narrow columns, branching out at the top into tracery of various forms, such as trefoils, circles, and other figures. York Cathedral affords a fine specimen of this sort of architecture, and there is a beautiful window of the same style in the south transept of Chichester Cathedral. The west front of that of Exeter is another specimen, and the door-way of Lincoln Cathedral is in this style.

[graphic]

[Doorway of Lincoln Cathedral.]

The change from the Decorated to the Florid or Perpendicular Style was very gradual. Ornament after ornament was added, till simplicity disappeared beneath the extravagant additions; and about the year 1380, the architecture became so overloaded and flowery, that it obtained the title of Florida. This, by some persons, is called the Perpendicular Style, because the lines of division run in upright or perpendicular lines from top to bottom, which is not the case in any other style. King's College Chapel, Cambridge, begun in the reign of Henry VI., though not finished till some time after; Gloucester Cathedral; Henry VIL's Chapel

[graphic][merged small]

From 1380, and during the reign of Henry VIII, architecture became less pure in style, though, in some cases very elaborate in its ornaments. An intermixture of styles was introduced, and hence the appellation of the Debased style, the character of the architecture being inferior to that of former ages, and yearly becoming less worthy of admiration. Italian architecture was mingled with the different orders of English, and the latter were almost entirely lost sight of before the reign of Charles I. Of what is called the Debased style there are many specimens in the Colleges both of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as in many country Churches, built about the same period.

There are many other characteristics by which a building of one period may be distinguished from that of another, even by a very casual observer; but in a hasty glance, the traveller will hardly, perhaps, have time to cast his eye upon more than one particular part of the structure. The arches of doors and windows are prominent objects, and are readily seized upon by the eye.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE ON GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION, APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

To the natural historian no subject is more interesting than the still life memoirs of the vegetable world. He finds no retrospects more pleasing than those which relate to woodland scenes; no task more grateful than a contemplation of those vast ' inheritors of the earth,' which adorn and beautify our groves and lawns. Among forest annals, no tree affords so many fond, so many grand memorials as the oak; no object is more sublime than this stately plant; and yet, as Pontey truly says, 'even our mushrooms are tended with a nurse's care, while the oak, the pride of our woods, the chief material of our navy, and consequently the bulwark of our country, is (too often) left to thrive or rot by chance unheeded, if not forgotten.' So great, indeed, has been this apathy, so extraordinary the perverseness, which has prevailed on this subject, that the destruction of our forests has actually been regarded as a matter for exultation. In one of the returns from Suffolk to the Commissioners of Land Revenue, it is stated, that ' timber is decreased in the woods and hedge-rows, as it ought to be;' and in some of our agricultural reports, oak is disparagingly mentioned as 'the weed of the country.' Happy is it for us who love to roam in woodland scenery, that ' on thousands of acres' the oak has been looked upon as the mere weed of the country: for it is owing principally to this, that many fragments of our ancient woods have been suffered to escape the ravages of improvement. The reckless system of extermination which has been pursued from age to age has indeed so grievously thinned our forest lands, that of many celebrated woods scarcely any thing but the name exists. And so great has been the havoc committed among our largest and noblest trees, that Vol. I.

the wood-wards now consider oaks of three feet in diameter as first rates, and regard those that exceed four feet as monsters in size. Yet, notwithstanding all this rage for destruction; notwithstanding the fearful devastations which the last two centuries have witnessed, few civilized countries possess so many 'chieftain wonder trees' as our own. Perhaps no landscape feature is more missed by Englishmen abroad, especially when travelling through France, than those noble living monuments of past time, which like the woody patriarch here engraved, have given beauty to the land, and shelter to its inhabitants for many generations. This may probably be owing to the prejudice against the use of coal as fuel, which prevails so extensively abroad, and which leads to the condemnation of trees for firewood, when their caverned trunks no longer fear the axe nor dread being converted into timber.

But Time hastens to destroy even what man would spare; and within our own recollection, and the lifetime of our fathers, many of the most aged and venerable trees, such as the Nannau, the Magdalen, the Fairlop, and others, have fallen beneath his scythe; and more wait but the 'little sickle of a moment' to cut them from the roll of things that are. Of some already gone we have preserved memorial sketches; and of others that are going, we propose transferring their figures to our pages: and we likewise design to accompany this series of our most celebrated trees with short historical accounts, such as can be collected either from written documents or oral traditions.

This is a point, however, on which there is in general much obscurity attendant. Seldom until extraordinary for age or size, do forest trees excite particular

•i

attention; and how minute soever may be the notice of their decline, decay, and death, no chronicles are found of their early life. Of some, however, extensive memorials can be framed, but of these hereafter. Little is known of the Great Salcey Oak, whose portrait we give above.

Major Rooke observes, it was perhaps the inland situation of the little forest of Salcey, ten miles from Northampton, that caused some of its majestic oaks to escape the axe, until age had secured them from the claims of the dock-yard; and of these the Great Salcey Oak is the most remarkable. Its circumference at bottom, where there are no projecting spurs, is forty-six feet ten inches; at one yard from the ground, thirty-nine feet ten inches; at two yards high, thirtyfive feet nine inches; and at three yards, thirty-five feet: its circumference within the hollow of the trunk, near the ground, is twenty nine feet j at one yard from the bottom, twenty-four feet seven inches; at two yards high, eighteen feet six inches ; and at three yards from the ground, the circumference is sixteen feet two inches. Major Rooke figures this living cavern with an arched entrance on either side, closed with gates, thus forming an enclosure, in which cattle might be penned: and adds, 'From observations that have been made by naturalists on the longevity of the oak, there is reason to suppose that this tree is at least one thousand five hundred years old.'

Other oaks of this kind, though less remarkable for their size, are common in many parts of the country, and known as 'Bull Oaks' from these animals taking shelter within them, which when they are of smaller dimensions, they 'effect not by going in and turning round, but by retreating backwards into the cavity till the head alone projects at the aperture.' Mr. South describes one standing in the middle of a pasture and bearing the most venerable marks of antiquity, which gives a name compounded of itself and its situation to the farm on which it grows, viz. Oak-ley Farm; the hollow of this tree was long the favourite retreat of a bull. Twenty people, old and young, have crowded intp it at the same time. A calf being shut up there for convenience, its dam, a two-year-old heifer constantly went in to suckle it, and left sufficient room within the trunk for milking her. It is supposed, adds he, to be near a thousand years old; the body is nothing but a shell, covered with burly protuberances; the upper part of the shaft is hollow like a chimney. It has been mutilated of all its limbs; but from their stumps arise a number of small branches, forming a bushy head, so remarkable for fertility, that in years of plenty it has produced two sacks of acorns in a season. It measures in the middle round the burls twenty-nine feet three inches, and is therefore little more than half the size of the noble Salcey Patriarch. Circumference round the stumps of the old arms thirty-one feet six inches, and in the smallest part between two and three feet from the ground, it is twenty-six feet in girth.

In the Bath Society's papers we find given the dimensions of another very grand Bull-oak, in Wedgenock park, Warwickshire; which measures at three feet from the ground, eleven yards one foot in circumference; at one foot above the ground, thirteen yards one foot; six feet from the ground, twelve yards one foot; broadest side, seven yards five inches; close to the g tound, eighteen yards, one foot, seven inches; height of the trunk, only about four yards one foot. The inside quite decayed; and when the writer saw it, a cow and a sheep had sheltered themselves within it. The head was very round and flourishing.

Martyn mentions Fisher's oak, about seventeen miles from London, as a tree of enormous bulk, the

trunk alone remaining of above four fathoms in com-
pass. When King James made a progress that way,
a schoolmaster of the neighbourhood and all his
scholars dressed in oaken garlands, came out of this
tree in great numbers, and entertained the king with
an oration. They have a tradition at Tunbridge that
thirteen men on horseback were once sheltered within it.
Than a tree, a grander child earth hears not.
What are the hoasted monuments of man,
Imperial column, or triumphal arch,
To forests of immcasurcable extent,
Which Time confirms, which centuries waste not?
Oaks gather strength for ages,, and when at last
They wane, so beauteous in decrepitude,
So grand in weakness. E'en in their decay
So venerable! 'twere sacrilege t'escape
The consecrating touch of Time. Time saw
The blossom on the parent bough. Time watch'd
The acorn loosen from the spray. Time pass'd
While springing from its swaddling shell, yon Oak,
The cloud-crown'd monarch of our woods, by thorns
Environ'd, 'scaped the raven's bill, the tooth
Of goat and deer, the school-boy's knife, and sprang
A royal hero from his nurse's arms.
Time gave it seasons, and Time gave it years,
Ages bestow'd and centuries grudg'd not:
Time knew the sapling when gay summer's breath
Shook to the roots the infant oak, which after
Tempests moved not. Time hollowed in its trunk
A tomb for centuries; and buried there
The epochs of the rise and fall of states,
The fading generations of the world,
The memory of man.—Anuenitates Quernea.

TRAVELLING IN SPAIN.

[From The Mhambra, by Washington Irving.J

Many are apt to picture Spain to their imagination as a soft southern region, decked out with all the luxuriant charms of voluptuous Italy. On the contrary, though there are exceptions in some of the maritime provinces, yet, for the greater part, it is a stern melancholy country, with rugged mountains, and long sweeping plains, destitute of trees, and indescribably silent and lonesome, partaking of the savage and solitary character of Africa. What adds to this silence and loneliness is the absence of singing birds, a natural consequence of the want of groves and hedges. The vulture and the eagle are seen wheeling about the mountain cliffs, and soaring over the plains, and groups of shy bustards stalk about the heaths; but the myriads of smaller birds, which animate the whole face of other countries, are met with in but few prov i nccs in Spain, and in those chiefly among the orchards and gardens which surround the habitations of man.

In the interior provinces the traveller occasionally traverses great tracts, cultivated with grain as far as the eye can reach, waving at times with verdure, at other times naked and sun-burnt, but he looks round in vain for the hand that has tilled the soil. At length he perceives some village on a steep hill, or rugged crag with mouldering battlements and ruined watch-tower; a strong hold, in olden times, against civil war or moorish inroad; for the custom among the peasantry of congregating together for mutual protection, is still kept up in most parts of Spain, in consequence of the maraudings of roving freebooters.

But though a great part of Spain is deficient in the garniture of groves and forests, and the softer charms of ornamental cultivation, yet its scenery has something of a high and lofty character to compensate the want. It partakes something of the attributes of its people; and I think that I better understand the proud, hardy, frugal and abstemious Spaniard, his manly defiance of hardships, and contempt of effeminate indulgences, since I have seen the country he inhabits.

There is something, too, in the sternly simple features of the Spanish landscape, that impresses on the soul a feeling of sublimity. The immense plains of the Castiles and of La Mancha, extending as far as the eye can reach, derive an interest from their very nakedness aud immensity, and have something of the solemn grandeur of the ocean. In ranging over these boundless wastes the eye catches sight here and there of a straggling herd of cattle attended by a lonely herdsman, motionless as a statue, with his long slender pike tapering up like a lance into the air; or beholds a long train of mules slowly moving along the waste like a train of camels in the desert; or a single herdsman, armed with a blunderbuss and stiletto, and prowling over the plain. Thus the country, the habits, the very looks of the people, have something of the Arabian charater. The general insecurity of the country is evinced in the universal use of weapons. The herdsman in the field, the shepherd in the plain, has his musket and knife. The wealthy villager rarely ventures to the market town without his trabuco, (Spanish gun) and perhaps a servant on foot with a blunderbuss on his shoulder; and the most petty journey is undertaken with the preparation of a warlike enterprise.

The dangers of the road produce also a mode of travelling resembling, on a diminutive scale, the caravans of the east. The arrieros, or carriers, congrer gate in convoys, and set off in large and well armed trains on appointed days; while additional travellers swell their numbers and contribute to their strength. In this primitive way is the commerce of the country carried on. The muleteer is the general medium of traffic, and the legitimate traverser of the land, crossing the peninsula from the Pyrenees and the Asturias to the Alpuxarras, the Serrania de Ronda, and even to the gates of Gibraltar. He lives frugally and hardily: his alforjas, of coarse cloth, hold his scanty stock of provisions; a leathern bottle, hanging at his saddlebow, contains wine and water, for a supply across barren mountains and thirsty plains. A mule-cloth, spread upon the ground, is his bed at night, and his pack-saddle is his pillow. His low but clean-limbed and sinewy form betoken strength; his complexion is dark and sun-burnt; his eye resolute, but quiet in its expression, except when kindled by sudden emotion; his demeanour is frank, manly, and courteous, and he never passes you without a grave salutation: "Dios guarde a usted!" "Va usted con Dios, Caballero!" "God guard you!" "God be with you, Cavalier!"

As these men have often their whole fortune at stake upon the burthen of their mules, they have their weapons at hand, slung to their saddles, and ready to be snatched. out for desperate defence. But their united numbers render them secure against petty bands of marauders, and the solitary bandolero, armed to the teeth, and mounted on his Andalusian steed, hovers about them, like a pirate about a merchant convoy, without daring to make an assault.

The Spanish muleteer has an inexhaustible stock of songs and ballads, with which to beguile his incessant wayfaring. The airs are rude and simple, consisting of but few inflections. These he chaunts forth with a loud voice, and long, drawling cadence, seated sideways on his mule, who seems to listen with infinite gravity, and to keep time, with his paces, to the tune. The couplets thus chaunted, are often old traditional romances about the Moors, or some legend of a saint, or some love ditty j or, what is still more frequent, some ballad about a bold contrabandista, or hardy bandolero, for the smuggler and the robber are poetical heroes among the common people of Spain. Often the song of the muleteer is composed at the instant, and relates to some local scene, or some incident of

the journey. This talent of singing and improvising is frequent in Spain, and it is said to have been inherited from the Moors. There is something wildly pleasing in listening to these ditties, among the rude and lonely scenes that they illustrate; accompanied, as they are, by the occasional jingle of the mule-bell.

It has a most picturesque effect also to meet a train of muleteers in some mountain pass. First you hear the bells of the leading mules, breaking with their simple melody the stillness of the airy height; or, perhaps, the voice of the muleteer admonishing some tardy or wandering animal, or chaunting, at the full stretch of his lungs, some traditionary ballad. At length you see the mules slowly winding along the cragged defile, sometimes descending precipitous cliffs, so as to present themselves in full relief against the sky j sometimes toiling up the deep arid chasms below you. As they approach you descry their gay decorations of worsted tufts, tassels, and saddle-cloths, while, as they pass by, the ever-ready trabuco slung behind the packs and saddles, gives a hint of the insecurity of the road.

What is true knowledge?—Is it with keen eye
Of lucre's sons to thread the mazy way?
Is it of civic rights, and royal sway,

And wealth political, the depths to try?

Is it to delve the earth, or soar the sky;
To marshal nature's tribes in just array;
To mix, and analyse, and mete, and weigh

Her elements, and all her powers descry?

These things, who will may know them, if to know
Breed not vain-glory: but o'er all to scan

God, in his works and word shewn forth below;
Creation's wonders; and Redemption's plan;

Whence came we; what to do; and whither go:
This is true knowledge, and " the whole of man."

D.C.

It is the prerogative of Genius to confer a measure of itself upon inferior intelligences. In reading the works of Milton, Bacon, and Newton, thoughts greater than the growth of our own minds are transplanted into them; and feelings more profound, sublime, or comprehensive, are insinuated amidst our ordinary train; while in the eloquence with which they are clothed, we learn a new language, worthy of the new ideas created in us. Of how much pure and exalted enjoyment is he ignorant, who never entertained, as angels, the bright emanations of loftier intellects than his own? By habitual communion with superior spirits, we not only are enabled to think their thoughts, speak their dialect, feel their emotions, but our own thoughts are refined, our scanty language is enriched, our common feelings are elevated; and though we may never attain their standard, yet, by keeping company with them, we shall rise above our own ; as trees, growing in the society of a forest, are said to draw each other up into shapely and stately proportion, while field and hedge-row stragglers, exposed to all weathers, never reach their full stature, luxuriance or beauty.— James Montgomery.

Humming Birds.—Some idea may be formed of the advances which have been made in zoological pursuits of late years, (especially since the immense continent of the New World has been opened to European research) by the following fact. Goldsmith, in his Animated Nature, speaking of the humming bird, says: "Of this charming little animal there are six or seven varieties, from the size of a small wren, down to that of an humble bee." There are at this moment in the possession of the eminent nurseryman, Mr. Loddiges of Hackney, no less than one hundred and seventy distinct species of this "charming little animal."

[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][merged small]

We are indebted for the materials of this article, and for the engraving by which it is illustrated, to CapTain Mundy's work just published by Mr. Murray, entitled Pen and Pencil Sketches of India.—The gallant author opens his preface with a quotation from a British sage, who has pronounced, that "every man who will take the trouble of describing in simple language the scenes of which he has been a spectator, can afford an instructing and amusing narrative." Captain Mundy has most completely verified this observation; for, by reciting, in the simple terms of a travelling journal, merely what he saw and what he did, in the course of his journey, he has produced two delightful volumes: nor must we omit to speak, in terms of admiration, of the spirited etchings by Landseer, from the author's own sketches, with which these volumes are liberally illustrated.

From the very commencement, it is evident that Capt. Mundy has, in at least an average degree, an Englishman's attachment to field-sports, to scenes of which the plates arc principally devoted; and his descriptions of the gigantic huntings of the East, where the elephant is the courser, and the tiger or lion the prey, are given with a vivid pen, and all the raciness of a real amateur.

From amongst numerous descriptions of Tiger Hunts, we select the following, as giving the most detailed account of that dangerous and adventurous sport.

"At four, P.m. (so late an hour that few of us expected any sport) Lord Combermere and nine others ot our party, mounted elephants, and taking twenty pad elephants to beat the covert, and carry the guides and the game, proceeded towards the swamp pointed out as the lurking-place of the buffalo-devouring monsters.

"The jungle was in no places very high, there being but few trees, and a fine thick covert of grass and rushes. Every thing was favourable for the sport. Few of us, however, expecting to find a tiger, another man and myself dismounted from our elephants, to get a shot at a florikan, a bird of the bustard tribe, which wc killed. It afterwards proved that there were

two tigers within an hundred paces of the spot where we were walking. We beat for half an hour steadily in line, and I was just beginning to yawn in despair, when my elephant suddenly raised his trunk, and trumpeted several times, which my Mahout (elephant driver) informed me was a sure sign that there was a tiger somewhere ' between the wind and our nobility.' The formidable line of thirty elephants, therefore, brought up their left shoulders, and beat slowly on to windward.

"We had gone about three hundred yards in this direction, and had entered a swampy part of the jungle, when suddenly the long wished for ' Tallyho!' saluted our ears, and a shot from Capt. M. confirmed the sporting eureka! The tiger answered the shot with a loud roar, and boldly charged the line of elephants. Then occurred the most ridiculous but most provoking scene possible. Every elephant except Lord Combermere's, (which was a known staunch one) turned tail, in spite of all the blows and imprecations heartily bestowed upon them by the mahouts. One, less expeditious in his retreat than the others, was overtaken by the tiger, and severely torn in the hind leg; while another, even more alarmed, we could distinguish flying over the plain, till he quite sunk below the horizon. The tiger, in the meanwhile, advanced to attack his lordship's elephant, but, being wounded in the loins by Capt. M.'s shot, failed in his spring, and shrunk back among the rushes. My elephant was one of the first of the run-aways to return to action; and when I ran up alongside of Lord Combermere, (whose heroic animal had stood like a rock) he was quite hors du combat, having fired all his broadside. I handed him a gun, and we poured a volley of four barrels upon the tiger, who attempting again to charge, fell from weakness. Several shots more were expended upon him before he dropped dead; upon which we gave a good hearty 'whoo! whoop!" and stowed him upon a pad elephant. As Lord Combermere had for some minutes alone sustained the attack of the tiger a three-quarters grown male, the spolia opima were duly awarded to him

"Having loaded and re-formed line, we again, ad

« AnteriorContinuar »