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UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION, APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
KING CHARLES THE FIRST, BY LE SCEUR
In viewing the improvements which have been so extensively and judiciously made in various parts of London, it is difficult for even those most conversant with the former streets and houses, to assign to them their respective sites: to say, here was the narrow part of the strand, where Exeter Change used to stand; there you went up a court, at the end of which appeared a glimpse of the superb church of St. Martin: in this spot stood the old Golden Cross; and still further on, Carlton House exhibited its grand front.
What shall we say then, when we look into the ancient histories and maps of this great metropolis? When we read of a fox-hunt in the parish of St. Giles' *; find a meadow, named the Seven Acres, where Long Acre now stands; Covent, or Convent, Garden, consisting of fields, hedges, and thatched houses; and meet with a hermitage close to the village of Charing, at present the busy, and often crowded Charing Cross. It was here that Edward the First built a beautiful wooden cross, in honour of his beloved Queen Eleanor; this was afterwards removed for one of stone, which was destroyed during the time of the Reformation.
On the same spot stands the splendid bronze statue of King Charles the First, which, since the additional opening lately made in the neighbourhood, is seen to uncommon advantage. It was cast in 1633, by Le Sceur, for the great Earl of Arundel, but was not erected (in its present state) till the year 1678, when it was placed on the pedestal, the latter being the work of Grinlin Gibbons. The Parliament, in the time of Cromwell, had ordered this statue to be sold and broken to pieces; but John Rivers, the brazier, who purchased it, having more taste, or more loyalty than his masters, buried it uninjured, and showed them some fragments of brass in token of his obedience. An amusing anecdote is told respecting this brazier: for the purpose, most likely, of better concealment, he cast a great number of knife-handles, &c, which he sold as if made of the broken statue; they were bought with great eagerness by the Royalists, through affection for their monarch, and by the commonwealth party as a mark of triumph over the murdered sovereign.
Charles is admirably represented, the size of life, in armour, his head uncovered, and looking towards Whitehall. The figure of the horse is extremely spirited, but has been thought by many too large and unwieldy. A common error prevails, which reflects on the accuracy of the artist, that this horse is without a saddle-girth, but, on a close inspection, one may certainly be discovered. On the 14th of April, 1810, the sword, buckles, and straps, fell from this statue. The pedestal is seventeen feet high, ornamented, and enclosed within a rail of iron-work. On the 29th of May, the anniversary of the restoration of Charles the Second, this statue is generally seen covered with boughs of oak.
The National Statues of kings, and of distinguished public characters, which are open to the view of every passing traveller in London, are worthy of more notice, generally speaking, than they receive. Some possess great interest from the histories connected with the originals, others from the excellent workmanship which they exhibit, and many on both these accounts.
Having furnished the above notice of Le Soeur's
• See Saturday Magazine, vol. i., p. 149.
Charles the First, we propose that it should form the first of a series ; intending to introduce into our columns the monumental figures of succeeding Kings of England, and of other famous persons, who, during life, or after their death, have been esteemed worthy of such a memorial.
ON THE LOSS OF RELATIONS AND FRIENDS. Our friends were given us by God, who can raise up others; and their being taken away, one after another, is an awful admonition to us to prepare for our own approaching death, and to stand ready to relinquish every worldly possession and enjoyment, when that period shall arrive.
But merely to bear with patient resignation the loss of friends, is not the whole of the fruit wThich our faith and trust in God ought to produce. We should " give thanks to God for every thing," even for that most afflictive dispensation of his Providence, the death of relations and friends, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us." We ought, with Ambrose, rather to rejoice that we had such a father or mother, such a husband or wife, such a son, daughter, or friend, than complain that we have lost them; for the one was the free gift of God, the other the debt of nature. His granting us such a blessing was a gracious act of his bounty; His withdrawing it is but recalling His own. Ought we not, therefore, to praise Him for his goodness, and for the comfort that we experienced whilst we enjoyed the blessing he vouchsafed us ?— Shepherd.
There are many teachers who profess to show the nearest way to excellence; and many expedients have been invented by which the toil of study might be saved. But let no man be seduced to idleness by specious promises. Excellence is never granted to man, but as the reward of labour. It argues, indeed, no small strength of mind, to persevere in habits of industry, without the pleasure of perceiving those advances; which, like the hand of a clock, whilst they make hourly approaches to their point, yet proceed so slowly as to escape observation.
There is one precept, however, in which I shall only be opposed by the vain, the ignorant, and the idle. I am not afraid that I shall repeat 1' too often. You must have no dependence on your own genets. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency. Nothing is denied to well-directed labour; nothing is to be obtained without it. Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The difference between prejudices and other opinions doth not consist in this, that the former are false, and the latter true; but in this, that the former are taken upon trust, and the latter acquired by reasoning. He who hath been taught to believe the immortality of the soul, may be as right in his notion as he who hath reasoned himself into that opinion. It will then by no means follow, that because this or that notion is a prejudice, it is therefore false. The not distinguishing between prejudices and errors is a prevailing oversight. Berkeley.
Plato entertained some of his friends at dinner, and had in the chamber a couch neatly and costly furnished. Diogenes came in, and got upon the couch, and trampled it, saying, "I trample upon the pride of Plato." Plato mildly answered, "But with greater pride." Lord Bacon.
Of the gradual abatement of kindness between friends, the beginning is often scarcely discernible by themselves; and the process is continued by petty provocations and incivilities, sometimes peevishly returned, and sometimes contemptuously neglected, which would escape all attention but that of pride, and drop from any memory but that of resentment. Dr. Johnson.
What Wisdom more, what better Life, than pleaseth God
to send, What Worldly goods, what longer use, than pleaseth God
to lend? What better Tare, than pure content, agreeing with thy
wealth, What better Guest, than trusty Friend, in sickness and in
health? What better Bed than conscience good, to pass the night
with sleep, Wliat better Work than daily care, from sin thyself to
keep? What better Thought than think on God, and daily him
to serve, What better Gift than to the poor, that ready be to starve? What greater praise of God and man, than Mercy for to
shew, What merciless* shall mercy find, that mercy shews to
few? What worse Despair, than loath to die, for fear to go to hell, What greater Faith, than Trust in God, through Christ
Uj Heaven to dwell.
* i. e. What merciless man.
THE RUINS OF FOUNTAINS ABBEY, YORKSHIRE. This magnificent abbey, the remains of which form an interesting and beautiful ruin, the most perfect, perhaps, of the kind in England, was originally founded for monks of the Cistercian order 5 the Cistercian being a branch of the Benedictine, which was the most ancient of all the monastic orders.
The history of the foundation of Fountains abbey is curious. It appears that the Cistercian abbey of Rieval, in Yorkshire, attracted great attention, from the sanctity of its inmates, when some monks of the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary's, at York, became desirous of adopting the same rules, and of withdrawing from their convent; a measure strongly opposed by Galfridus, their abbot, as implying a reflection on his government. After appealing to Thurstan, Archbishop of York, and experiencing considerable annoyance from the abbot, who laid his complaint before the king, the monks at length (in the year 1132), had Certain lands assigned to them by the Archbishop, about three miles west of Ripon, for the purpose of erecting a monastery. This spot, which is said to have been fitter for the habitation of wild beasts than of human beings, was called Skell Dale, from a rivulet of that name which ran through it. It lay between two steep hills, a most romantic situation, surrounded with rocks and woods, and had never been cultivated. Having chosen Richard, the prior of St. Mary's, for their abbot, they retired to this wilderness in the depth of winter, without any house to cover them, or certainty of provision to subsist on. In the midst of the vale stood a large elm, on which they placed a thatch of straw; under this they are said to have "slept, ate, and prayed, the archbishop for some time supplying them with bread, and the stream with drink." Some cleared a small spot for a garden; others formed a humble shed, to serve as a chapel; but it is supposed that they shortly quitted the shelter of the elm for that of seven yew-trees, growing on the south side of the spot where the aobey now stands. These were all very lately, and, probably, still are, in existence, except the largest, which was blown down about the middle of the last century; they are of extraordinary size, the trunk of one being upwards of twenty-six feet in circumference at the height of three feet from the ground: we may hence infer their great age, and the proba
bility, according to the common tradition, of their having served the purpose of a shelter for the monks.
Their first winter being over, and the Cistercian discipline being established among them, the monks found their number increase, and with it their privations; being reduced to the necessity of eating the leaves of trees and wild herbs, boiled with a little salt; yet they neither despaired, nor withheld their charity. It is recorded, that, one day, v/hen the store for all the monks was only two loaves and a half, a stranger requested a morsel of bread, when the abbot ordered one of the loaves to be given to him, saying, "God would provide for them;" a hope soon realized by the unexpected arrival of a cart-load of bread, sent them as a present from Eustace Fitz-John, owner of the neighbouring castle of Knaresborough.* For a few years they suffered severe hardships, and were on the point of leaving the place, when Hugh, Dean of York, desired that, after his death, his body and all his wealth should be carried to the abbey of Fountains. This important addition to their resources was soon followed by the assignment of the whole property of Serlo and Tosti, two canons of York. Benefactions then poured in from other quarters; the abbey was endowed with various privileges by kings and popes, and greatly increased, both in the extent of its possessions and the number of its monks.
In 1140, it was consumed by fire, but was begun to be restored in 1204, when the foundations of the church were laid; and in less than forty years from that time, the fabric, of which the present are the re-; mains, was completed, John De Cancia being abbot. Such was the reputation for sanctity in which the' monks of this abbey were held, that it. frequently received large donations from the great northern barons, who were ambitious of obtaining the space of a few feet within its walls as a receptacle for their bones. Among these, were some members of the ancient and noble family of Percy; particularly Lord Richard de Percy, who had distinguished himself in the barons' wars, in the reign of King John, and was appointed one of the twenty guardians to see the Great Charter duly observed. He was buried in Fotintains abbey; as well as his great nephew, Lord Henry de Percy, one of the principal commanders under King Edward the First, in his wars in Scotland. The Percy family were considered the hereditary patrons and benefactors of the abbey, and were often applied to for protection and assistance in any matter of difficulty. From the small beginning described above, this establishment became exceedingly rich in land, plate, and cattle, and when visited in 1537, previously to the dissolution of the religious houses, was found to be one of the most opulent in the county. At that time, great complaint was made against Thirske, the thirty-seventh abbot, for misconduct; and he was afterwards executed at Tyburn, in company with some other persons concerned in an insurrection in Yorkshire.
The site of this abbey, with a large portion of its estates, was sold by Henry the Eighth to Sir Richard Gresham; after which they passed through various hands, till purchased by William Aislabie, Esq., of Studley Royal, who annexed the above ruins to his pleasure-grounds. The Studley estate, including Fountains abbey, devolved, in 1808, to his descendant, Miss Laurence, who is now the owner of this splendid property.
The length of the church is 351 feet; that of the transept 186 feet; the great tower at the north end of the transept is 166 feet high, and 24 feet square. Near the pavement of the altar lies a stone coffin, in which it is said that Lord Henry de Percy was buried, in 1315; and in a chapel to the left is a broken stone figure, in full armour, supposed to represent one of the earls of Mowbray. The tombstones of the two abbots who built the present structure remain, the inscriptions on them being legible.
No depredation appears to have been wantonly committed on this venerable pile; and time has spared many traces of its former beauty and extent. In addition to the church, the admirer of antiquity still enjoys a view of the chapter-house (over which was formerly the library and scriptorium, or writingroom); the refectory, or dining-room, on one side of which is the reading-gallery, where the Scriptures were read to the monks during meals ; the cloisters, a vast extent of 300 feet long and 42 broad; near to one end of which is a stone basin, 6 feet in diameter; the dormitory, over the cloisters, and of the same dimensions; the kitchen, with its two spacious and arched fire-places, each about fifteen feet wide; the cloister-garden, 120 feet square, planted with shrubs and evergreens. Besides the large ruins here described, there are found in various parts, among the trees and shrubs, fragments of the appendages to this celebrated monastery.
It is not known with certainty why this abbey received the name of Fountains. Two reasons have, however, been assigned: the first is, that the celebrated founder of the Cistercian order, St. Bernard, having been born at Fountaines, in Burgundy, it was so called in honour of him. But the late Dr. Whitaker, an excellent authority, in his History of Craven, discovers another, and a very ingenious derivation: Skcll, the rivulet which flows near it, signifies a foun
tain; and he states that the first name by which this house was known, was the abbey of Skeldale. The monks, who wrote in Latin, termed it De Fontilus, or of Fountains; and the latter title was preserved.
THE MICROSCOPE. No. II. Polypi. The different species of sponge, which the Microscope has discovered to be the habitations of Polypi, are very interesting objects; when viewed with an instrument of a moderate power, they present to the eye a curious mass of net-work, which once formed the cells of the Polypus. If the power is increased, the remains of the little tenants may sometimes be detected. These consist of a small bony or chalky axis, like a needle, which, when the animal was living, formed the centre of its body.
There is a small species of sponge found frequently among seaweeds on the English coast, from its appearance called "Crumbof-bread sponge," which, when placed under the magnifier, seems to be almost entirely composed of bunches of little needles, lying across each other like
net-work, B is a magnified representation of the small piece of this species seen at A. When dry, the little needles, or spicules, are so extremely fine and sharp, as to cause a most irritating itching, if unluckily they should get between the fingers of the observer. The animal of the Corallines *, which are found so abundantly on every coast, attached to stones and other substances, belong to the same class, and the houses they construct are excellent objects for the microscope.
The annexed cuts are representations of five different species, engraved of the natural size, and accompanied by a portion considerably magnified.
In figures 3, 4, and 5, the Polypi themselves are seen, with their feelers put forth in search of prey.
Fig. 3. Sertulariapumila, Great tooth-coralline.
4. polyzonias, Sea-tamarisk.
5. ——— hatecyna, Herring-bone coralline.
6. antennina, Lobster's-horn coralline.
7. Lendigera, Kit coralline.
represents a magnified view of the Hydra or brown Hydra,
Fig. 8 brunnea,
another species of Polypus, which is not uncommon in fresh water in the months of July and August. The cut shows the manner in which the young are produced. These Polypi have been the subjects of many curious experiments, which show the surprising tenacity of life in the lower orders of animals. They have been cut across, divided lengthwise, and even turned inside out, and yet each portion has not only continued living, but has become a perfect animal.
Sea-weed and other substances, which have been left for some time undisturbed, are frequently found covered with a chalky incrustation, which appears to the naked eye like net-work, but, if placed
• The corallines appear to the naked eye, from their branching form, and from being fixed at the base to some other substance, more like vegetable than animal productions, and for along time were known by the name of Zoophytes, that is, animal plants, and were considered as the link between animal and vegetable life.
Fig. 9. Flustra foliacea, Broad-leaved hornwrack.
10. pihsa, Prickly hornwrack.
11. Chalky axis or centre of a coralline very common on
the English coast.
12. The great tooth-coralline,covered with minute shells.
13. The pitcher hornwrack, a native of the Red Sea.
14. Animal of a polypus very highly magnified.
The red coral of commerce, of which beads and necklaces are made, is formed by an animal of the class Polypi; but instead of this stony deposit becoming a dwelling-place, in which its ingenious architect retreats for safety from outward injury, it merely answers the purpose of R strong support, surrounded by a thin fleshy substance, in which a numerous tribe of minute Polypi form their fragile dwellings.
In contemplating the slight and diminutive forms of this curious portion of the animal kingdom, we are apt to consider them as acting some very subordinate part; but the geologist can inform us, that the united and constant efforts of these specks of animation have been productive of gigantic effects. A great portion of the South Sea Islands have their foundations formed of coral reefs; that is, immense masses of different species of corals and corallines, in which, in the first instance, sea-weeds and other substances became entangled; as these rotted, a vegetable mould was produced; the sea-birds frequented them, and brought different kinds of seed from other places, whose growth and decay still continued to add to the soil, till at length it became of