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this marvellous tree is only a particular deviation from the common standard of its species. Thus does Science, by her divine influence, put to flight the dreams of superstition.
A sew miles onward, we came to the small, but neat city of Wells, which, together with Bath, forms a joint bishopric. It is situated at the bottom of the Mendip Hills, and derives its name from the great number of springs that are in and about it. The cathedral is a sine piece of architecture; the front of this gothic structure, which has been built upwards of 500 years, is much admired for its imagery and carved stone work. It has also a most curioufly painted window. The palace of the bilhop, fortisied with walls and a moat, is reckoned the handsomest in the kingdom. Here the pious Bishop Ken and his lady were killed in their bed, by the palace falling in during the great storm of 1703, which did immense damage in different parts of the country. The city abounds with public charities.
- Not far from Wells, on the south side of the Mendip Hills, is a remarkable cave, known by the name of Okely Hole. The entrance to this cave is parallel to the horizon, at the bottom of a rock 180 seet high, and over the rock is a steep mountain, the top of which is thought to be a mile above the bottom of the rock. At the entrance into the cave, there is a deep descent of 50 or 60 feet ; the cave itself is about z00 seet in length, in some parts 50 or Co broad, and the greatest height is 50 seet, though, in some places, the roof is not above four or sive seet from the bottom. There are several partial divisions of it, which the imaginations of some people have distinguilhed into a kitchen, a hall, a dancing room, a cellar, and other apartments. Water, of a petrifying quality, constantly drops from the roof, and forming a variety of stony sigures, fancy has improved them into resemblances of old women, dogs, bells, organs, and other things. The echo of any noise within this cavern is so strong, that a large stone dropped ped on the rocky bottom of the cave, sounds with a noise as loud as the report of a cannon. At the extremity of the cave there issues a stream of water sussicient to drive a mill, a-nd passing with rapidity and noise the whole lengch of the cavern, it bursts out through the rock near the entrance into the valley.
We now took a post chaise, and crossed the country to Frame. We faw S/iefiton Mallet on the right, a clothing town, for which it is peculiarly sitted by the rivulets with which it is surrounded. We also passed by the little retired village of Nanny, where, a dismantled castle, of some extent, tdls the fad tale of former times. Ruins indeed, of every kind, form an awsul spectacle, and to a mind disposed to moralize, suggest many melancholy reflections. The evening sun (hone strongly on these battered towers, and reminded me of that tremendous dissolution in which all terrestial things shall be sinally involved. It is not unworthy of observation, that a celebrated semale author, speaking of infanity, pronounces the most terrisic of ruins to be that of the human foul. "What," fays she, "is the view of the fallen column, the mouldering arch, of the most exquisite workmanship, when compared with the living memento of the fragility, the instability, and the wild luxuriancy of noxiou; passions! Enthusiasm turned adrist, like some rich stream overflowing its banks, rushes forward with destructive velocity, inspiring a sublime concentration of thought. Thele are the ravages over which humanity must ever mournsully ponder with a degree of anguish, not excited by crumbling marble or cankering brass, unfaithsul to the trust of monumental fame- It is not over the decaying productions of the mind, embodied with the happiest art, we grieve molt bitterly. The view of what has been done by man, produces a melancholy yet aggrandizing scene of what remains to be atclreved by human in_ tellect; but a mental convulsion, which like the devas_ tation of an earthquake, throws all the elements Of
thoughj. thought and imagination into consusion, makes contemplation giddy, and .we searsully a(k on what ground we ourselves stand."
We reached Frome, a large manufacturing town, whose streets are marked by great irregularities. The clothing business is carried on to a vast extent, and about sifty years ago 11 supplied all England with'wire cards for carding wool. Here is no more than one church, with a ring of six good bells; but several meeting houses, two of which, the Presbyterian and Baptist, are built of freestone, and are deemed as handsome and as spacious as any meeting houses in England. In the former lie the remains of the ingenious Mrs. Rowe au. thor of Letters fropi the Dead to the Living her writings are still much read and admired.
We next set osf for IVarminster, a little populous town, which formerly enjoyed great privileges. It is now principally famous for its corn and malt, carrying on in each of these articles the greatest trade of any town in the West of England.
In travelling this road,, a curious phenomenon is seen at (ome distance, being in the county of Berkshire. This is the rude sigure of a White Horse, which takes up near an acre of ground, on the side of a green hill whose soil is formed of chalk. A horse is known to' have been the Saxon standard, and some have supposed that this sigure was made by Hengist, one of the Saxon Kings. But Mr. Wise, the author of a letter on this subject to Dr. Mead, published 1738, brings several arguments to shew that it was made by the' order of Alfred, in the reign of his brother Ethelred, as a mo. nument of his victory over the Danes, in 871 near Ashen or Ashbury Park, at present one of the (eats of Lord Craven, and at a little distance from the hill Others have supposed it to have been partly the eftlct of accident, and partly the work of shepherds, who observing a rude tigure, somewhat resembling a horse as there are m the veins of wood and sio6Jle mmj
sigures Sgures that resemble trees, caves, and other objects, reduced it by degrees to a more regular sigure. But, however this be, it has been the custom immemorial, for the neighbouring peafants to assemble on a certain day, about Midsummer, and clear away the weeds from this -white horse, and trim the edges to preserve its colour and shape: after which the evening is spent in mirth and sestivity.
We now posted forwards to Salisbury Plains, those immense downs, where the stranger, without a guide, would be soon bewildered. We drove to the spot where stands Stonehenge, the most wondersul curiosity in the kingdom. Here quitting the carriage, we gazed for some time at the immense pile with silent astonishment. Whence these vast stones were brought hither? what could have been the mode of conveyance? and to what purposes the structure was originally appropriated, are queries not easily resolved. Every effect must have an adequate cause—hence the great learning and ingenuity employed by learned men on the subject.
The following./??/^ C/stonehenge affords a just idea of it:
•' This celebrated piece of antiquityhasbeen, for many ages, and still is, the admiration of those who view it. Various conjectures have been formed, as to the authors, and the use of it; however, as Dr. Stukely has examined it with greater accuracy than others, his account is therefore to be more relied on. Inigo Jones surveyed it many years before the Doctor, and drew up a handsome account of it, making it a Roman temple of the Tuscan order. We (hall give an abstract of both, beginning with Jones's and leave it with the reader to judge for himself.
Within a trench, about thirty-feet broad, and on a rising ground, are placed huge stones in three circles, one within another, in the figure of a crown. From the plain it has three entrances, the most considerable lving north-cast; on each of which were raised, on the 'outside side cf the trench, two stones gate-wise; parallel whereunto, on the inside, were two others of less proportion. The outward circle is about an hundred seet diameter; the stones of it very large; four yards in height, two in breadth, and one in thickness. Two yards and a half within this circle, is a range of lesser stones. Three yards surther is the principal part of the work, called the cell, of an irregular sigure, made up of two rows of stones; the upright ones in height are twenty seet, in breadth two yards, and in thickness one yard. These are coupled at top by large transom stones, like architraves, which are seven seet long, and about three and a half thick. Within this was also another range of lesser pyramidal stones, of about six seet in height; and in the inmost part of the cell, Mr. Jones observed a stone lying towards the east, four seet broad and, sixteen long, supposed to be the altar-stone.
When Dr. Stukely came to view Stonehenge, he could not sind the number of stones mentioned by others. This may be true; for many people are silly enough to look on the stones as factitious, and often break off large pieces to prove it: this, and the industry of country-people in carrying them away for building, has greatly diminished their number: notwithstanding all the injuries Stonehenge has received, the Doctor beheld it with rapture; the greatness of the contour, the dark parts of the ponderous imposts over one's head, the chasms of (ky between the jambs of the cell, the odd construction of the whole, and the magnitude of every part, strike you, fays he, into an extatic reverie, which none can describe, and they only can be lensible of, that seel it. He thus determines the measure used in this work. Take a staff ten seet four inches and three quarters long, divide it into six equal parts, these are palms, the original measure. The tounder's intention was to form a circle, whose diameter was to be sixty cubits. Accordingly each stone was to be four cubits broad, and each interval two