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Nor cross the sea, nor o'er the land I came,
My open path was through the yielding sky.

I am conscious that all these are only the trifles of literature; but they are agreeable trifles, and afford no contemptible exercise for ingenuity; while other things, equally trifling, only exercise industry. One of the most distinguished among modern literary societies was the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, the original object of which was to invent devices and suitable inscriptions for commemorating the glories of the reign of Louis XIV. The purpose was adulatory, but the institution gave birth to many ingenious ideas. That the discovery and application of mottoes is no trivial task may be inferred from the paltry quibbles that disgrace the arms of many of our nobility, and which may, indeed, prove the antiquity of their families, but indicate the taste of a barbarous age. I am not fond of suggesting new places, or I would propose that some ingenious scholar should be appointed molle-master to the Herald's college. The many parvenus who would wish to wear their blushing honours with every graceful decoration, might provide a competent salary for such an office.



By a Gentleman of Literary Eminence-continued.*

From Shrewsbury our road led us through an open country to Dorrington and Longnor-park, almost at the base of a widely-extended range of mountains, the three larger of which are called Lowry, Long Mount, and Caer-Karadoc. At their feet is spread an ample and variegated tissue of landscape, where verdure and foliage are exuberant

to excess.

The camp of the dauntless Caractacus was entrenched upon the topmost summit of the last-mentioned mountain, and may be still traced by a vallation and huge fragments of rock. It was at a fortunate point of time that we came immediately under them, for the sun was setting, and the mellow beams fell beautifully on the whole. stupendous mass. At mid-day, vastness, unbroken by accidents of light and shade, is their only character; but in the evening every projection was relieved and heightened by glowing tints, and the leading idea of barrenness was suppressed, as the shifting rays produced the richest variety of colouring.

From Church-Stretton we advanced through a mountainous tract of many nameless hills, conical and differing in appearance only from their magnitude. The road is serpentine and the valley deep. The

* This part connects with p. 420, No. 17.


moon rising behind the highest hill, faintly tipped its edge with a pale silver hue, which made the increasing darkness more visible. We were then in Haywood Forest, the well-known scene of the Masque of Comus, which is said to have been formed upon the following incident. Soon after the Earl of Bridgewater, Milton's first patron, was appointed Lord President of Wales, and had entered upon his official residence at Ludlow castle, his children, Lord Brackley, Mr. Thomas Egerton, and the Lady Alice, were benighted in this forest, and the latter even lost for some time;

as their way

Lay through the perplexed paths of this dread wood,
The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Threats the forlorn and wandering passenger.

Comus, 1. 36.

Milton well knew how such an incident might be improved by a mind replete with classical imagery, and well versed in the study of the best models of the Greek drama or Italian romance. In his introduction of the magician Comus and his attendants, he may be indebted to the Circe of Homer or the Armida of Tasso, nor is the happy adaptation of these fables to so simple a circumstance his least praise.

It now became so dark that the moon shewed us only the strong rising dew which involved every object, and spread like the ocean over the whole country, which becomes more open as we approach Ludlow, so that we passed by with regret Onebury, Bromfield, and Oakley park. The twilight, which had at first thrown a mild tint over this rich tract, had now veiled it in obscurity, and imagination could only picture beauties which reality had more happily supplied. Crossing the river Team, we entered the old town-gate at the midnight hour.

There are few of our ancient walled towns remaining which convey any idea of what they once were. The first and most complete specimen of the fortifications of the middle centuries. I observed at Juliers, in Flanders. An accident contributed to heighten their effect. Arriving some hours after sun-set, the gate was closed and the bridge drawn up; admittance was gained by the sound of bugle horns, with which the foreign postilions are usually furnished. The shrill sounds re-echoed by the arches and other coincidences, characterised a scene so often described in chivalrous story. Ludlow, like Shrewsbury, is situate on a hill, with a declivity on every side. It is a spacious and well-built town, having an air of great cheerfulness. The castle rises from the point of a headland, and its foundations are engrafted in a bare grey rock. The north front consists of square towers, with high connecting walls, which are embattled with deep interstices, and the old foss inclosing it is now formed into walks which extend almost a mile. A bare and precipitate ridge runs parallel on the western side, and is beautifully crowned with wood, above a chasm through which


the broad and shallow river Team pursues its course. By no circumstance is the general beauty of this scene more assisted than by the weir or cascade, and the fine old bridge at its termination, from whence we looked over that scope of country which the preceding night had prevented us from inspecting, and we learned that Lord Clive's, at Oakley park, would have well merited our attention.

Having walked round the moat, we entered the base court, contain ing several acres. On the right hand of the gateway are the ruins of barracks, in constant use when this castle was the palace of the Lords Presidents of Wales. The Keep is a vast square tower, very lofty, ivy-mantled to the top; the adjoining entrance has been rebuilt in a more modern style, over the portal of which is a niche, carved with the armorial bearings of queen Elizabeth and Sir Henry Sydney. This inscription is subjoined:


"The 23 Yeare of the reigne of Queen Elizabeth and the fifteenth yeare of the residence cōplet of Sir H. Sydney, Knight of the most noble order of the Garter, 1581."

For the querulous beginning of it the Sydney papers will readily account. Sir Henry had been nurtured in courts, and entrusted with the government of Ireland, in the rigid administration of which he found many successful enemies. He was therefore willing to retire to this place, and to superintend the education of his son, Sir Philip Sydney, the short-lived Marcellus of that day. Immediately opposite to the entrance is the great hall, very spacious, and lighted by many lancet windows. It is now without roof or floor, so totally dilapidated is that splendid stage upon which Comus was first exhibited, scenes upon which chivalry exhausted her choicest stores both of invention and wealth, and where hospitality and magnificence blazed for many ages in succession, without diminution or decay.

On the left hand is a circular building, with a window and doorcase of early Norman, having internally a well-finished series of small niches: there is a beautiful arch still open, but the part with which it formed a communication is destroyed. This was the chapel, the repository of its illustrious masters after death, and of their armorial trophies. The inner court is surrounded by many buildings, in which the usual appendages to a castle are still to be discovered. The kitchen, oven, well, and dungeon are strictly correspondent with Gothic imagery, as equally necessary to unbounded hospitality and to barbarous punishment. At a small distance the effect of the whole is truly grand, and in some points of view the towers are richly clustered with the largest in the midst. The whole circuit may be investigated from the walks, richly overshaded by the trees which have grown up since the dismantling of the castle. Few instances convey to the mind a more pleasing meiancholy than the contemplation of ancient splendour, the memory of which is past. Of the early his


tory of this important fortress much may be gathered from the old chroniclers, who noticed every castle in England which was at that time the scene of important events.

As the chief of many manors contiguous to the marches of Wales it was granted by the Conqueror to Roger de Montgomeri; and here King Stephen contended for sovereignty with the Empress Maud. Simon de Montfort, the stout Earl of Leicester, was proud to obtain it; here the excluded Duke of York signed his feigned allegiance to his weak competitor Henry VI. and from hence the ill-fated sons of his successor were summoned to London.

Me seemeth good that with some little train,

Forthwith from Ludlow our young prince be fetched
Hither to London, to be crowned our king.

Rich. III. A. 2. S. 3.

Says the Duke of Buckingham in the faithful detail Shakespeare has adopted of the transactions of those times. Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII. died here prematurely in 1502, and is entombed at Worcester.

In the turbulent reign of Charles I. this castle was in a state of perfect repair and defence, for it was considered as one of his nineteen palaces, and the furniture sold by an order of parliament. Though still annexed to the crown and leased out, no care had been taken to prevent its falling a prey to petty rapacity. Among the older inhabitants some may be found who remember the roof of the hall and other apartments, and the destruction of several towers which had been undermined, that the roads might be mended with their materials. We condemn, without scruple, the barbarism of the Turks, who burn the marble of the Grecian temples into lime, not reflecting that the remains of Gothic castles, the pride of our antiquity, are frequently as unworthily applied.

For many years this venerable castle was the refuge of the outcasts from the borough, who maintained themselves by the sale of the plunder, without fear or controul; and if it be at present secured from such devastation, it is still too much neglected.


Leland notices the parish church as being superior to any in this part of the country; it is, indeed, of complete form and contemporary erection. The pure architecture prevalent in the fourteenth century, and practised by the immortal Wykeham, in the nave at Winchester and at New College, Oxford, is here displayed in a very perfect speciThe arches in particular under the tower are finely proportioned. It will grieve the lover of the elaborate monumental sculpture, so prevalent in the last century but one, to see the mutilation which the highly-finished effigies in white marble of Judge Bridgeman and his lady have undergone. These recumbent figures are in a style of execution superior to that of Nicholas Stone, who does not particularise this work in his catalogue preserved by Vertue, and given by Mr. Walpole. From the very minute resemblance to portraits from


Vandyck, it may be presumed that they were finished, as those mentioned in the cathedral at Gloucester, by the ingenious Francesco Fanelli, who was much employed in England during the reign of Charles the first. (To be continued.)



To the Editor of the Athenæum.

IF the following Observations on Italian Typography, from Boni's Letters, should be adapted to the plan of your learned miscellany, they are at your service.

Genoa was not among the last of the cities of Upper Italy that introduced the noble art of printing, nor is she the least celebrated in the branch of typography. Matthew the Moravian, and Michael of Monaco, appear to have been the first to establish a printing press at the close of the year 1473. This is the title and signature of the only book known that bears their names:

NICOLAI DE AVSмO Supplementum summæ quæ Pisanella vocatur. At the end we read,

Bonorum omnium largitore volente Deo expletum feliciter Janue X. Kal. Julii millesimo quadringenteo L. I. I. quarto (1474) per Maltheum Morauum de Olmuntz et Michaelem de Monacho Socium ejus.

This book is very scarce. The author was Fra. Niccolò, of Osimo, He is said to have compiled it in a convent near Milan, and finished it on the 28th of Sept. 1444. Among other works by him the following is worthy of note.

Quadriga Spiritualis in uulgari-impressa per Magistrum Phedericum de comitibus de Verona in civitate Esii anno 1475, sexto Kl's Novembris, in 4to.

In the library of the cathedral of Bergamo is a small work, which is probably the first essay of Genoese typography. This is the title and description of a calendar for that city in 1474:


The first pages contain an account of Easter, the lunations and fesfivals in the seventh we read an oration which Dante sung every hour, as follows:

Io credo in Dio: e in uita elerna spero:

In Santo Spirto; e in Jesu di Maria:

Si com la chiesa scrive: e câlà i uero:
O Padre nostro chi in cieli stia:
Sanctificato il tuo sãto nome:
Rendiamo gratia di quel che tu fia.


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