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Os neighbouring cypress, or more fable yew,
Her silver globes, light as the foamy furs
That the wind severs from the broken wave.
Althea, with the purple eye—the broom,
Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloy'd
Her blossoms and luxuriance, above all
The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets,
The deep dark green of whose unvamisiVd leas
Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more
The bright prosusion of her fcatter'd stars.
These have been, and THESEyW/ be in their day;
And all this unisorm uncolour'd scene
Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
Andflush into Variety again I
EXCURSION INTO THE WEST OF ENGLA ND,
DURING THE MONTH OF JULY, 1799.
FOUR BETTERS TO A FRIEND.
BY THE REV. JOHN EVANS, A. M.
AGREEABLE to my promise, I hasten to give you an account of the remaining portion of my tour, and hope you will not sind this my last epistle, whollydestitute of entertainment and instruction.
The day I left Taunton I rose at an early hour, and being favoured with the horse of a friend, made a short excursion into the country. It was a most beautiful, morning; the sun steadily mounting to reach his meridian height, flung his rays with a moderate intensenese
over the surrounding landscape. Nature presented herself to me in a mest endearing aspect, and almost every object I beheld, impressed me with senfations of delight. Indeed the charms of a sine morning are indescribable:
For who the melodies of Morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain's side,
The lowing herd, the shepherd's simple bell,
The pipe of early (hepherd dim descried,
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide,
The clamorous horn, along the cliffs above,
The hollow murmur of the ocean tide,
The hum of bees and linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove!
The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark,
Crown'd with her pail, the tripping milkmaid sings,
The whistling ploughman stalks a-sield, and hark 1
Down the rough flope the ponderous waggon rings,
Through rustling corn the hare astonilh'd springs;
Slow rolls the village clock the dreary hour,
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings,
Deep mourns the turtle in sequester d bower,
And thrill lark carols clear from her serial tour.
The purport of this excursion was to pay a friendly visit to a venerable widow, who resided at a village within a sew miles of Taunton, the situation of which was peculiarly retired and impressive. Her only son had, a sew months ago, emigrated to America; being induced, by a flattering prospect of independence, to quit his native country. She shewed me the letter which she had lately received from him, containing the pleasing information of his fase arrival at New York. The latter part of the letter glowed with the tenderest emanations of duty and affection; aiming, especially, to impress on the mind of his aged parent this consolatory truth, that though the wide Atlantic rolled waves between them, yet, in the course of every twenty-four hours, the Same Sun sheds his kindly rays on their different habitations 1 This simple
illustration illustration, dictated by the warmth of his silial seelings, did honour to his heart. But alas! he is now no more! The melancholy intelligence has been since received of the decease of this excellent young man, on the iz& of August last, at Philadelphia. He was cut off in three days by the yellow sever, that scourge of the Western Continent. From this disorder at New York, he had actually sled, and was on his way to join a friend in Kentucky, after whose society, to use his own forcible expressions, "his soul hungered and thirsted." Well did Mr. Burke exclaim, on an occasion of sudden mortality—" What shadows are we, and what shadows are we pursuing!" The virtues of George Wiche will not be forgotten among the circle of his friends, by whom his modest and unassuming worth was justly appreciated. Be this paragraph facred to his memory!
Upon my return to Taunton, the stage coach was soon ready, and my friend and I set off for Wells. We regretted the shortness of our stay in this pleafant town, but we remained long enough to witness their affectionate hospitality.
In two hours we arrived at Bridgewater, a seaport, not far from the Bristol Channel, whence a spring-tide flows twenty-two seet at the key, and comes in with so much turbulence, that it is called a raging boar by the inhabitants.
Its church has a lofty spire, from which there must be an extensive prospect of the surrounding country. Hither the Duke of Monmouth, together with Lord Grey, and other of his ofsicers, ascended to view the situation of the King's troops on the very day before the fatal battle of Sedgemoor. Thus used the unhappy Trojans, from the walls of Troy, to survey the Grecian forces, by whom they were afterwards deseated and overthrown. The iron bridge which is to be seen here, and which is similar to that in Colebrooke Dale, is a real curiosity. In 1714 the Duke of Chandos built a street in this town, with a range of convenient ware
'houses. houses. The town suffered severely in the civil wars, and at last surrendered to the artsul and overpowering Cromwell. In 1685 the Duke of Monmouth lodged in its castle, was proclaimed King there, and even touched many persons for the king's evil. It is impossible not to smile at this useless superstition. Even the great Dr. Johnson was, in his childhood, touched for it by Queen Anne, though he could not boast of its healing efficacy. All that he used to fay about it was, that he was the last upon whom the good Queen tried the experiment, and that he just remembered his being introduced to an old lady in a black fattin hood, sinely dressed and bespangled with jewels 1 Bridgewatcr carries on a trade of some extent with Bristol, Wales, and Cornwall. It had also a foreign trade, chiefly to Portugal and Newfoundland.
In its river Parret, near its confluence with the Tone, is the small island of Alhslney, whither the immortal Alfred fled from the Danes, and where happened the merry incident of tbe herdsman and his wise, who employed the monarch in baking a cake 1 This little story is wrought by Mrs. Barbauld, in her Evenings at Home, into a pleasing drama, well calculated to entertain and delight the youthsul imagination. Alfred afterwards made the herdsman Bi-hop of Winchester, and built a monastery here, the foundations of which were discovered 1674. Among other subterraneous remains of this building, were found the bases of church pillars, consisting of wrought free-stone, with coloured tiles, and other things of the fame kind; and soon afterwards near this island, was found a sort of medal or picture of St. Cuthbert, with a Saxon inscription, which imported that it was made by order of King Alfred. It appears by its form to have hung by a string, and it is conjectured that the King wore it either as an amulet, or in veneration of St. Cuthbert, who is faid to have appeared to him in his troubles, and assured him of the victories which he afterwards obtained.
A little beyond Bridgewater, to the right of the road which leads to Wells, lies the village of Sedgemoor, near which the Duke of Monmouth, and his adherents, were completely routed. The battle was fought July 6, 1685. The following interesting particulars are worthy of being preserved.
"The approach of the King's forces, under the command of the Earl of Feverlham, was sirst discovered by Mr. William Sparke, a farmer of Chedzoy, who was at that time on the tower, and by the assistance of a glass faw them coming down Sedgemoor. One Richard Godfrey, of the fame parilh, was immediately dispatched to Weston Zoyland, to take a nearer observation, who, having informed himself of their strength, and the order of their encampment, ran to Bridgewater to apprize the Duke. A consultation being held, it was determined to affault the royal camp in the dead of the night. Accordingly on Sunday, July the 5th, a little before midnight, the Duke's party marched out of Bridgewater, taking Godfrey with them for a guide, who conducted them through a private lane at Bradney (known at this day by the name of War Lane,) and passing under Peasy-farm, brought them, at length, into North Moor, directly in the rear of the King's army. Unluckily for the Duke, at this juncture, a pistol was sired by some person unknown, which alarming the enemy, they soon put themselves in a posture to receive the attack.
"The action began on Monday morning, between one and two of the clock, and continued near an hour and a half. Sixteen only of the King's soldiers were killed (as appears from a memorandum, entered at the time, in the parilh register at Weston) sive of whom were buried in Weston Church, and eleven in Weston church.yard. Above one hundred were wounded, and among them Louis Chevalier de Misiere, a French gentleman, who died of his wounds, and lies buried in the church of Middlezoy. On the part of the Duke three hundred were