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town there can be no doubt, but it does not amount, that is the preponderance of females over males in the we think, to that existing in many other places. When city. By the census of 1841, this excess was no less we consider all these favourable circumstances, then we than 8,546! So that Bath is the last place in the can only account for the public health not being still world for a managing mother with a large family of more favourable than it is, by an insuflicient system of daughters to come to. What a pity it is that so many drainage, and by the very bad plan of allowing the of them should public scwers to empty themselves into the almost
“Wither on the virgin thorn,” stagnant river. A remedy to the evil can scarcely be looked for, we suppose, until some well-devised plan when at Adelaide and other Australian cities, they are of collecting the refuse of towns and applying it to so impatient for wives that young men come off in agricultural purposes has been arrived at. One
very boats when emigrant ships arrive on purpose to secure singular fact is elicited by the population returns, and them!
Ê XE T E R,
AND THE SOUTH-EASTERN COAST OF DEVONSHIRE.
Whilst we have made pretty wide excursions in search verify the passage, nor add the weight that his name of whatever is beautiful or impressive in town or would doubtless give : but country--whatever might interest the lover of Nature,
“ Well fare his heart that book that wrote," the curious in antiquity, or the inquirer into commercial or manufacturing greatness or prosperity ;- say we. He has said a big word in honour of Devon, wandering to the extremest north, and south, and east and deserves all praise from Devonians and Devonian of England, and extending our researches even into writers therefore : but when he said it had he not Scotland and Wales, the distant west has been almost forgotten the drizzle,-sempiternal, ubiquitous, closewholly neglected by us. Neither Cornwall nor Devon- wrapping, penetrative “Devonshire drizzle ?'' shire, though both counties are full of attractions, has We fear he had; for in truth that drizzle is a great contributed a leaf to our Sketch-book.
damper of one's enthusiasm for a Devonshire winter. We propose now to make some amends for our past It is very well to say, as the natives do, that the drizzle inattention to the charms of Devonia.
is almost always succeeded by sunshine ; but the visitor “ “And is it thus," interrupts some impatient reader, almost always finds that the sunshine is where he is " that you follow the rule you propounded only a
not, and the drizzle where he is : that the drizzle month or two back, when you quoted old Burton to thicker and more piercing than a Cumberland, or even the effect that writings, as well as dishes, ought to be a Scotch mist, and as hard to see through as a city fog, seasonable? Is this the season to go rambling, like - is all around him, wrapping him as in hydropathic Dr. Syntax, in search of the picturesque-for I pre- blankets, and drawing a sort of duffle-gray curtain sume Devonia's charms are chiefly of that order ?” before the scenery. However, let us button our coats
Good reader, you are a townsman, (fair reader, we about us, and start on our journey; we shall find do not suppose you would ask such a question,) or opportunity hereafter to discuss more at leisure both you would not imagine that beautiful Nature is not the comforts and discomforts of the cliinate. charming in every season. But we are not going to lead any one on an unseasonable journey.
EXETER. about to visit several picturesque and several beautiful spots ; but, as you will find, we are going to do so at But before we proceed to the coast we must visit the the very properest time. We intend to lead you on a capital of Devon and of the west. Exeter is built upon tour of inspection through the winter watering-places the summit and sides of a hill, which rises pretty of the southern coast of Devon : and if you think a steeply from the left bank of the river Exe. Thoinas visit to them at this time of the year unseasonable, Fuller thus describes the Exeter of his day: “It is why, we say it with all respect--you know very little of a circular (and therefore most capable) form, sited of the subject of this present paper; and there is con- on the top of a bill, having an easy ascent on every sequently so much the more need that you should side thereunto. This conduceth much to the cleanness attentively peruse it. Such desirable places are these of this city; Nature being the chief scavenger thereof, Devonshire coast towns for a winter visit-or residence, so that the rain that falleth there falleth thence by the if you can afford it--that not only ought Englishmen declivity of the place. The houses stand sideways to flock to them (as they very prudently do); but backward into their yards, and only endways frontItalians themselves would find their advantage in ward, with their gables towards the street. The city, coming hither every winter, where, at the worst, that therefore, is greater in content than appearance, being keen season seems to be “ merely a languid spring,” bigger than it presenteth itself to passengers through and
the same.” This was written about the middle of the “The chilling blasts forget their freezing power."
seventeenth century, and though the city has altered
a good deal since then, it yet, in the middle of the "From November to February,” says a writer on nineteenth, retains sufficient traces of its former feathe climate of Italy, "I would recommend an Italian tures to authenticate the portrait of careful Thomas. to repair to one of the Devonshire watering-places, if It is no longer of a circular form, yet it will be readily he could possess himself of Fortunatus' cap, to remove seen to have (as Dr. Johnson says of the Highland huts) the difficulties of the journey :” and he proceeds to “ some tendency to circularity.” The native topograset forth the superiority of our coast towns. The quo- phers still dwell with complacency on the cleanliness tation is made at second hand (a practice we always of their city, promoted, as they say, by its declivitous reprobate and seldom indulge in); and as the author's situation. They speak too daintily to call dame Nature name is not given by our authority, we can neither their chief scavenger; and the stranger whose senses
are annoyed by the unsavoury odours and uncleanly but of the volume — and perhaps half-a-dozen more
Exeter is an ancient city: whether it be as ancient the barren and unfruitful soil can scarcely produce inas some who have written concerning it opine, we will different oats, and frequently only the empty husk not take upon us to affirm or deny. That it existed without the grain [Devonshire farmers manage to get before Rome was founded may or may not be the fact. a very different sort of crop from the vicinity of the If, indeed, it was a city some time before the mighty city in these days], yet owing to the magnificence of King Brute laid the first stone of Troynovantum, the city, the opulence of its inhabitants, and the con(which, the reader may remember, was afterwards stant resort of strangers, every kind of merchandize is named Caer Lud, in honour of its second founder the here so abundant that nothing is wanting which can renowned Lud-Hudibras, and is now known as Lon- conduce to human comfort. Many noble traces of him don)-as that event happened some two centuries and are to be seen in that city, as well as in the neighboura half before Romulus saw the twelve vultures fly over ing district.” Malmesbury wrote early in the twelfth the Palatine hill, it is pretty clear that Exeter is of far century, and probably described the Exeter of his own greater antiquity than Rome; and of antiquity at least day: it might very fairly describe the Exeter of ours. as respectable. For historians place the story of Romu- It is a favourite notion of the local antiquaries, that lus in the class of legends, as well as that of Brute; there are still, as when Malmesbury wrote, some, we need not, therefore, complain if the early history of though not many, traces of Athelstan to be seen in Exeter range in the same category, or wonder if its their city. If the city flourished under the protection origin be for ever lost in the darkness of oblivion. of Athelstan, it was less fortunate under his successors.
Coming, then, to authentic history, we find that More than once it was plundered by the Danes ; but Exeter was a British city, and was known as Caer-wisc. prosperity returned to it, its prosperity being probably In the two great Roman Itineraries it is called Isca a good deal advanced by its being made the seat of an Dumnoniorum; it was the chief town of the Dumnonii, episcopal see in the place of Crediton, by Edward the or people of Devonshire and Cornwall. By the Saxons Confessor. it was called Exanceaster, whence the present name is Exeter was one of the great towns that refused to derived with less alteration than usually happens in the submit to the Norman Conqueror. William did not lapse of so many centuries. In the 'Domesday Sur- direct his steps to the west of England till the year vey’ it is written Exonia. The name is derived from after the battle of Hastings; when he had effectually its position-Caer-wisc is the City on the Wisc. The secured the quiet of the metropolitan and southern Romans called the river the Isca ; from which the counties. The mother of Harold had fled to Exeter Saxon form Exa is evidently only an adaptation to with all the wealth she could secure, and her followers Saxon organs of speech : ceaster is the usual Saxon and the citizens vowed to resist to the last. They corruption of the Latin castra.
renewed and added to the fortifications; increased the Having so sufficiently described its site, illustrated strength of the garrison ; hired the seamen, who were its origin, and accounted for its name, it is imperative with their ships in the port, to assist in the defence of upon us to glance at its history—and only glance; the city : and endeavoured to rouse the country around for to tell it at length, and as it ought to be told—that to resist the march of the Conqueror. When William is, to relate its regal, military, corporate, and ecclesi- summoned the city to surrender, they replied to him astical story ; the changes it has witnessed, the sieges by a coarse action, which the crafty king, who sought it has suffered, and the deeds, worthy and unworthy, all along to give a colouring of religion to his enterthat have been performed within it and without it; the prize, declared was an affront to the Deity which he glory it has gained and the wrongs it has endured ; and would avenge ; and when a portion of the walls fell all the fortunes and misfortunes of city and citizens, down (probably owing to the running of a mine) he would take up the remainder, not alone of this paper, called on his army to observe the hand of the Almighty.