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Environs of Bristol described.

449 In these woods, nearly opposite Clifton, particularly ferruginous, they approach, are the remains of a Roman castra stativa; in colour, towards the topaz ;--and in which, according to the mode of defence one fpecimen, which is carefully preserved and attack in those days, must have been in the cabinet of a virtuoso, at Bristol, remarkably strong. Behind, it is defended the crystals are of a ruby colour :--- this is by the river, and natural inaccessibility of owing to minerallized gold; a considerable the rock, on which it stands ;--on one quantity of which, in a virgin itate, is hand is a valley, whole fides are steep and obtervable, scattered over the bed of the lofty ;-on the other, the ground is also crystals. disadvantageously hilly; lo that it could 'The botanilt will find in these parts, be assaulted only in front. Here we find, almost every species of moss and lichen; the Romans had raised a triple fortifica. together with a great assemblage of plants : tion, The two exterior ramparts are among which, is that delicate one, called aggera, or mounds of earth thrown out of geranium fanguineum ;--. found native in the ditches ;-the third is by much the no other part of the kingdom*. This plant largest, and seems to have been the chief is distinguishable by a weak branciiy italk, defence of the station. This, as appears about a foot high'; ornamented with difrom the present ruins, muit have been a vided leaves of five trifid lobes, having red wall of considerable height and thickness. or purple flowers, rising from the side of the

The mortar, by which the stones are branches---one upon each foot ftalk. cemented together, is formed without any Some varieties of this plant have variegated mixture of land for it is perfectly white, flowers, and deep jagged leaves. and even now, nearly as hard as the stone About five miles from Bristol, on the it envelopes; though it has been exposed road to Wales, is the unfortunate cavern for fixteen hundred years at least, to the called Pen-park-hole; where a clergyman decompounding effect of wind and weather. fome years ago lost his life. This subter

All the rocks here are formed of exqui. raneous place was first attempted to be exfite lime-Itone, and supply from an inex- plored in the year 1669, by one Captain haustible fund, every want of the neigh- Sturmy. In the course of his researches, bouring cultivator and builder. The he law, or thought he law, the loci genius, workmen, who dig them, descend over the or ghost of the place. Not liking his precipices, by means of ropes, but, with companion, or thinking perhaps his

pretheir best precautions, sometimes meet with fence any longer would be an intrusion, accidents-as they hang suspended at their he made signals to be withdrawn ; leava “perilous toil,” sensibility often turns hering to fome future adventurer the honour head aside, and shudders for their safety. of finding out its dimensions. Of this To walk much on the side of the river be- unpleasant rencounter he is supposed to neath, however inviting the appearance, have died; as he survived it but a fortis not adviseable, as great portions of night. rock are frequently dislodged, and scat- In the year 1682, another captain, tered in all directions. Masses of stone, named Collins, resolved, in spite of the on these occasions, larger than any among ghostly inhabitant, to complete what his our druidical remains, are sometimes seen predecessor had began. He found the whirled from an eminence of seventy or depth of the cavern to be fifty-nine, its eighty yards.

length seventy-one, and its breadth, fortyBoth the fofilist and botanist may find five yards. At the bottom is a lake of ample amusement in a ramble about St. water, which is supposed to ebb and flow; Vincent's; but they should beware of its but according to what stated times is noć numberless smooth and tempting paths known.

This dreadful cave has many as a false step may precipitate the careless apertures above, and as they are partly adventurerer down one hundred yards of hidden by the surrounding bushes; persons, perpendicular descent : which was the cale as they come near it, Thould take care some years ago, with a Scotch nobleman. how they tread :--- into this Avernian

The petrefactions found here, are chietly receptacle, it may be truly faid, facilis American fern, various kinds of bivalves defcensus. and belemnites. The rock crystals, also,

About two miles on one side of Penare the hardest and brightest that this Park is a confpicuous place, called Blazecountry produces ; and for that reason Castle. It is situated on an eminence in are called Bristol diamonds. Some, in the midst of a wood, above which it their colour, resemble amethysts on ac- towers to a great height, and commands count of the manganese which enters into an extensive prospect every way. This fbeir crystallization ;-where the bed is

It is found in North Wales.-Edit. MONTHLY MAG. No. XLVỊ,



3 M

building, though a fanciful appendage to be discovered in this ancient capital of the pleasure-grounds of a private gentle. the Silures. man,


yet in size very considerable, and, But I turn from the ruins of antiquiat a distance, makes a formidable ap- ty to visit again the beauties of nature. pearance. The estate, thus defended by About ten miles from Bristol, in an opthe castle, and a train of artillery, be- posite direction to the last mentioned longs to a Quaker!

place, is Brockley-Coomb. This is a At Kings-Weston, one mile from the deep, rocky, vale, running transversely last mentioned place, is a superb house, into the side of an immense hill, and belonging to Lord de CLIFFORD, built forming the coolest, and most fequeftered by Sir John Vanburg. This is a striking summer's retreat imaginable. The trees monument of the architect's taste ; which here are of the largeit growth, and proSir Joshua Reynolds, has rescued in fo miscuously scattered as they are by the honourable a manner from the temporary capricious but graceful hand of nature, discredit into which certain wits, at the they mix with the rude scenery around beginning of the present century, had a considerable portion of the beautiful. brought it by their false and malicious About the sides of this valley are seen criticisms. In this building, parts, which masses of rock, jutting out above the in general architects wish to hide, are stateliest trees; yet suitaining others of made peculiarly ornamental ; for the equal growth above : so that the travel. chimneys rising boldly from the centreler, who visits this place, as he winds of the house, form a square arcade at top, along, is apprehensive every moment and give to the whole a light and pleaf- for his safety; and the more fo, on ing appearance.

Few noblemen's seats account of the numberless and perpecontain so valuable a collection of origi. tually augmenting ruins which 'ftrew nal paintings : they are chiefly selected his path. On the front of a neat cot. from the Italian, Venetian, and Flemish lage, in this valley, is the following inschools. The house, with the park and scription : gardens, laid out in the first ftile of ele

Somnus agreftium gance, may be seen every day in the Lenis virorum non humiles domos week.

Fastidit, umbrosamque ripam, About fifteen miles from Bristol is Non Zephyris agitata Tempe. Pearcefield, lituated on the banks of the Agitated by Zephyr, or Boreas, he must Wye, and esteemed one of the most have pretty good nerves who could sleep charming and romantic spots in the king- pleasantly in such a situation as this. dom. It is generally visited by strangers, Cheddar, a place ten miles distant from who come to the neighbouring parts ; Brockley, and eighteen from Bristol, can but is to be seen only twice in the week, boast, perhaps, of one of the finest pieces on Thursday and Saturday,

of rock scenery in the kingdom. It conCaer-Went, three miles beyond the fifts in a winding vale, about a mile and New-passage, and about thirteen from a half long, of no very considerable Bristol, is a place well deserving the no- breadth, but whole fides, in many places, tice of the antiquary; where are to be are one hundred and thirty yards in perfeen the remains of the ancient city of pendicular height. A fragment, ftandVenta. This was built by the Romans, ing by itself in one part, deserves notice: whose military works are still discover- it is an immense lamina, about twenty able scattered about the modern village, yards high, as many broad, and three or which stands on its feite. About twenty four thick. In the schism that took place years ago, as the vicar of the parish was at the formation of the valley, this pordigging a well in his garden, he lit upon tion of rock seems to have stood neuter a Mosaic pavement, in high perfection. between both parties, independently rootThe arrangement of the itones, which ed to its original bed. were about three quarters of an inch At one end of these rocks are fituated square, and variously diversified in co- a nuinber of cottages, inhabited by aged lour, was full of elegance; and thew to persons who partly live by shewing a what a degree thole old warriors united fubterraneous passage. It is—but I will the refinements of art with the labours of not describe what-it is a charity to see:

If a little of the mania explora- tome things are intrinsically valuable; toria, which actuated the French at Hers and others for the difficulty whereby they culaneum, were to seize some of our fober are attained; the fight of this passage countrymen, there is little doubt, but has the latter description of worth. many valuable remains of antiquity might A communication is said to exist be




1799.] Remarks on the principal Italian Poets.

451 tween these tocks and the famous fiab- hope you will think so too, that its reterranean cavern, called Wookey-Hole; cital was not altogether foreign to the about fix miles off. The discovery was purpose of such a miscellaneous epistle as made by means of a lady's lap-dog, who this. I now return back to finish my embarked, more out of necessity than rout. choice, on the stream that runs through . From Wookey to Wells is three miles; this latter place, and effected a terranau- at this last place the cathedral will be tic expedition, in the course of a few found a fine specimen of early Norman hours, as far as Cheddar.

architecture. Wookey-Hole is a great curiosity of Half way between Wells and Bristol, its kind, and has been the subject of fre. is the village of Chew-Magna ; in the quent description. Fancy has almost ex- neighbourhood of which is seen a venerhausted her stores in finding out resem- able temple of our Druidical ancestors, blances between an old witch, with her in high perfection. The stones form a household conveniences about her, and circle, but are not so large as those in the accidental formation of the surround- some other places of a similar kind. On ing rock :-bacon, cheese, grid-irons, breaking them, they appear red in the itools, tables, and even a train of cats, infide; and, as there is no quarry near, have not been over-looked. Nature, which yields a similar stone, they are supwhen she made this cavity, certainly posed to be a composition. No continuseems to have been in sportive mood; ation of stones, imitating the finuous but not altogether fo plastic as fome ad bendings of the snake, is discoverable mirers of this place would wish to repre- here branching off from the circle ; as is sent.

the case at Aubery, in Wiltshire, deI said there was a communication :- scribed by Dr. STUKELEY. Possibly as it is so handy, I could with your the temple at Chew-Magna differed as readers would fancy themselves conveyed much from the latter, as a paltry parishthrough it back again to Cheddar. The church of modern days does from York paffage is dark, and incommodiously Cathedral. narrow; but they will soon arrive at At the top of Dundry-Hill, between their journey's end. Day-light, you per- the last mentioned place and Bristol, is a ceive, already appears ;-and now they small quarry by the road fide, where exare fasely landed, under the lofty clifts ceilent little specimens of the cornu-ainwhich they before so lately visited, I beg monis and echini are found : at Keynfthey will look up; and contemplate the ham, between Bath and Bristol, they are Itupendous height of these clifts, while I of a larger size, and in greater aburdproceed with my narration.

ance. The country-people here call them About ten years ago, a gentleman snake-stones, and wonder they never find walking beneath these clifts, heard the them with leads on! cry of hounds above, and presently after, As I do not recollect any thing elle saw the object of their pursuit, (which very curious in this neighbourhood, was a fox) coming with a bold leap over

I conclude, Sir, &c. the highest clift. For about fifty yards, June 4, '1799.


A. B (which is something less than half way) he descended steadily, with his tail ex- To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. panded like a parasol. Here, unfortu- SIR, hätely pre die loft bish balance and frihed I was latelyn muche statified wifcean his expedition to the ground in rather a account given in one of your miscel. confused and disorderly manner. He was lanies of modern Italian literature. The far, however, from being disconcerted ; catalogue fhewed, that the nature of the for, having alighted, and suspecting his principal works it enumerated was such new acquaintance at the bottom to have as renders them capable of being transno better intentions towards him than fused, by translating them into the English the dogs above, he endeavoured to escape language, with little diminution of their a second time ; but all in vain :-he ran spirit. "And Italy does not, like France, only twenty yards, and resigned himself pour forth works of such importance, as at last to his fate.

to make it unpleasant and inconvenient to This fact in natural history being ra- wait for a translation. As I had spent. ther curious, and attested by a respect- much time and labour in acquiring the able person, who was eye-witness of it, Italian, I naturally recurred, as a justifiand who still lives at the place where it cation of myfelf, to those celebrated names, happened, I thought, Mr, Editor, and whole works are supposed incapable of


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translation ; and where, if any where, a ta:re, I think, in some of his letters), toreigner is to meet his reward. But, on pourra entrer dans les bibliotheques des retracing in my mind the impression which curieux, mais il ne sera jamais lu ;" for thele performances had left, I began to the obselete phraseology, the inverted idi. doubt, whether the comparative lustre, om, and obscure style of Dante, deter which the old poets of Italy enjoyed, by most foreigners from reading him in the rising in an age of darknels, was not me- original; and I have never yet heard of tamorpholed into positive splendour, by any, that have thought it worth while the grateful homage we are inclined to to io do him" into English verse. But he pay to the first fources of light, as eastern remains a poet, as I laid, by prescription ; fuperftition hows to the rising fun, but every one allowing the title, without walks almost without acknowledgment in knowing any thing of the claim ; or, his

meridian effulgence. From these re- perhaps, because they knew nothing of the flections I arose with undiminished respect claim. The plan of his work was, unfor these day-stars of literature ; but with doubtedly, extraordinary ; but, with the a full conviction that we had suffered our plan, all' eccentricity ends :-The execuenthusiasm to obscure our judgment; and, tion is totally without interest ; and what because these poets were the first in the order is still more singular, almost without noof time, proclaimed them,alto, the first in the velty. He pastes, indeed, the flaming scale of excellence. This, in my opinio bounds of space and time ; but he plunges has been peculiarly the case with the Italian into no new creation of his own that may poets. We have permitted them to retain, dictate a new and loftier language to his by courtesy and prefcription, a. precedence tongue.--It is mere earthly matter, in to which they have no longer any real mere earthly words.--The author is the title. But, by this fictitious rank, many " little hero of his tale :" and the hero's are induced to waste much labour and only adventure is that of being the traveller time in seeking the honour of their ac- and spectator, without ever forming a part quaintance ; which, like the titles confer- of what passes, or serving at all to connect red by depoled sovereigns, will be found the parts that do pass under his observaneither' to enrich nor dignify. With a tion, except as being the endless relator of view to save some of your readers from them : and they are as distinct from each this disappointment, I will, with your other, as he from them.-In hell, indeed, permislion, sketch a general criticism of he frequently meets with an acquaintance, the works of the principal poets of Italy. who generally proves to have been his And when I have done this, it will fuffi- enemy in some of the petty factions of ciently appear why I pals over the minor Florence, or in some of the still more petty works of the same poets, and fill more, factions, of some of the still more petty the minor poets of the same language. ftates of Italy; and who, to a modern reaWhen we have discussed the characters of der, are as uninteresting and insignificant Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, and the more re- as John Doe and Richard Roe, those imspectable, though less hoary, names of mortal heroes in the squabbles of WestTallo and Metastasio, we shall have exa- minster. In the Inferno, however, there mined the principal claims of the Italian is, at least, some variety of folly. We are poetrytothe attentionof Europe. “DANTE carried on from torment to torment:-and comes forward ;--forward let him come : children who have been taught to find

- bring with him airs from heaven, or their amusement in seeing a fly spin round blatts from hell.” For the subject of his upon a needle, might find, perhaps, in the « Commedia Divina" is no less than an Inferno of Dante, a recreation for their account of his travels through heaven, hell, riper years. It is singular, that, in the and purgatory.-After what I have said, continued contemplation of such a subject, it would be superfluous again to adduce as the place of eternal punishment for fo the causes, which have given celebrity to great a part of the human race, he should the early writers of Italy. I need only not once be elevated into grandeur of deobserve, that Dante owes more of his fame scription, or sublimity of tentiment : una to such causes, and less to his own merit, less you will confer the titles of grandeur than

any of those I have mentioned. To and sublimity, on the idea of lazy fouls do justice, however, to the taste of the pre- being bitten to all eternity by fleas, and fent age (though perhaps at the expence heretical fouls being stifled and funk to of its fincerity), we must confess, that all elernity in a bog of ordure. The pro. what we hear of Dante now, is more the priety or impropriety, the heterodoxy, or echo of former fame, than the sound of orthodoxy, of Dante's opinions I leave to prefent praise." Le Dante (says Vole Father G. Berti Agostiniano, who has


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1799.] Remarks on the principal Italian Poets

453 poft patiently discussed it: but without A “gentle reader" might suppose, as entrenching on his province it may be an apology for Dante, that he conceived, said, a modern Christian would find but in palling from hell to purgatory, and from little pleasure in seeing the choiceft fpirits thence to paradise, his subjects grew graof antiquity,~the patriots, the lages of dually more pleasing in themselves; and, four thousand years, that preceded the confequently, his exertions to render them birth of Chrift, all languishing in an so became gradually less necessary: for, in eternal limbo, or adiaphorous existence, truth, nothing but the torments of his that is susceptible of neither pain nor plea- hell could provide us with a relish for the Sure.

insipidity of his heaven, or teach us to I cannot pursue him through all the su- participate the pretty amusements of his perftitious frivolity of this part of his 6th heaven, where the spirits of the blefied work, or all the polemical disquisitions find their happiness in arranging them. that form fo large a portion of iís fuc- selves, by companies, into letters of the al. ceeding divisions : for, as soon as we step phabet, and forming, together, sentences out of the bounds of hell, we bid adien to of wisdom, and axioms of morality. all that can amuse even the molt puerile They lung, and wheeling, light, and imaginations. Of “ Il Purgatorio, et il made themselves, in their relpective forms, Paradiso," the local ideas are very vague, a D, now an I, and now an L.*". and the intellectual, if possible, ftill more The attention of thele fainted fages, insipid. In the Purgatorio I recollect but however, is not wholly engrossed by this one passage that arose to such animation, profound practical philosophy, in which even of ridicule, as to provoke a laugh. they are at once authors, types, and comIn describing one of the inhabitants of positors. In the fifth heaven, they do not this region, he says, " To those who can, disdain to bend their attention on earthly in the face of every man, read the word affairs. Cantos 15, 16, 17, are almost exomo, the m would, in this man's, have clutively occupied by a very reverend per. been very diftin&t*.”-Cant. xxiii. v. 30. sonage, called Cocciguida :--and, as we

Now, who,-after puzzling himself over see his name announced in the argument of this notable distich, and after consulting three successive cantos, we begin to hope the learned and laborious commentaries of for some perinunent interest, to which we the accurate Volpi, the tedious Venturi, have been hitherto total strangers. We the pious Father Berti, and the pompous liften with tolerable patience to the whole Filippo Rosa Morando Academico Filar- detail of his family in all its generations; monico, and finding, at lait, thac the author and waiting to hear what celebrated fage means to describe a lean face, and to say, or here of history he will prove, he cona as some can read the word omo in a man's cludes, by declaring himself no less than face, by the help of supposing each eye an the great great grandfather of Dante!--O, the nose the middle itroke of the m, and « tritavo"--and like the Made of Anchifes the twu temporal bones, the hides of the is seized, too, with prophetic fpirit; and fame letter, he is sure, that in the face he foretels the foundation of an empire! is describing, the m, at leal, would be No.-The banishment of Dante from Flo. very conspicuous ;-who, I say, on disco- rence. Thele cantos are nearly all the vering this to be the meaning, would not relief we find from a continual difquifi{poil the legibility of his face by a laugh ? tion on the old exploded doctrines of, In justice, however, let me say, that this theology, and ancient metaphysics; as very diftich is preceded by one of those indeed might be expected from this enfew traces of poetical spirit that is to be gaging description of heaven by one of found in Dante :-" The hollow of his the hoping ipirits in purgatory :-"Oh, eye (says he), appeared as a ring without if thou haft the noble privilege of bes its gemt."

ing admitted to that monafery, where The 8th canto of this part, opens in a Christ is the abbot, oh, fay to him, in manner that Gray has not thought unwor- my name, one single pater nofterf.”—In thy of imitation, in beginning his elegy: his own tenets, he seems to have been a "The pilgrim hears from far the vefper bell, luccessful rival of Athanafius himself That seems to mourn the now expiring day f."

witness the following address to the Virgin « Chi nel viso degli nomini legge omo

Mary, that opens the last canto of his Bene avria quivi connosciuto l'emme."

* " Volitando cantavan e facenfi +“ Parea l'occhiaje annella senza gemma." Or D, or 1, or L, in sue figure," &c. &c. I"-ode squilla di lontano .

cant. xviii. v. 76. Che paja'l giorno pianger che & muore.". + « On se tu hai," &c. c. xxvi. V. 127.


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