Page images
PDF
EPUB

as flattering, as those of the noblest daughters of the land.

'* Look on me, ye thoughtless fair ones, who wasonce bright as the orient sun, pure as the floweret that blows in the sequestered vale, and chearful as the songsters in the grove—look on her, and leam to be wise!"

Here Amelia paused; and Henry, whose attention had been too strongly arrested by her words, to permit him to observe her posture, now raised her from the floor. No sentiment but pity triumphed in our breasts; and our forgiveness was accompanied with all those soothing expressions which the most delicate compassion could devise. We entreated her to compose her agitated spirits, and proposed afterwards to hear tire whole of her affecting story. But, alas! she had told us too much already, not to endanger oar future peace. For while we were forming a thousand little plans for her accommodation, and proposing many expedients to reinstate her in her former walk of life, we perceived a sudden change in Maria's complexion.

The black gulph of destruction, which Amelia had displayed, as yawning to receive her beloved Henry, and the miraculous escape which he had made, operated so powerfully on my daughter's imagination, that she fainted a second time. From this Amelia soon recovered her, but she had scarcely opened her eyes, when another relapse succeeded, and another, each of longer duration than the former, and attended with still more distressing circumstances. At length, by the aid of powerful restoratives, which, for some time, were incessantly applied, she was again brought to life, but in such an alarming situation, as excluded every ray of hope. What with the violent irritation of her nerves, the general discomposed state of her frame, and the languid condition of her mind, she awoke in a strong nervous fever; which, in a few hours, was attended with delirium, and every death-like symptom.

In vain did Henry and Amelia use every effort to counteract the effects of the distemper. Prayers and tears were poured forth, but they were unavailing. Unremitted attention, and the aid of medicine we employed, but they proved ineffectual; lor nought could porcure even a temporary relief, or mitigate for one shcrt hour the fury of the raging disease.

On this occasion, poor Amelia, indeed, well atoned for her past failings; and gave signal proofs of her sincere repentance. Neither day not night, did she leave Maria's bedside; but, with more than maternal care, watched over her, till fatigue and sorrow had exhausted both the vigour of her body and the powers of her mind. . As for Henry, he was incapable of any other thought but Maria—but let us not mock his woe by a faint description.

la this hopeless state she continued for several days; sometimes calling upon the name of her beloved father, sometimes of her dear Henry, and imploring heaven to rescue them from danger; for both ideas seemed alternately to agitate her breast. Often would she incoherently, and in a muttering accent, recount the happy scenes of her former days; then breaking short, as if we had been already dead, in a wild, but exquisitively plaintive tone, would she lament our unhappy fate.

[ocr errors]

AN EXCURSION

THROUGH THE COUNTY OF KENT,

Made at different times, but concluded in the month of July, 1801, in Three Letters to a Pupil.

By JOHN EVANS, A. M. Master Of A Seminary For A Limited Number

OF PUPILS, Pullin's-rovt, ISLINOTGS.

. 0 famous Kent!

What county hath this Isle that can compare with

thee!

That hath within thyself as much as thoti canst wish, Nor any thing cloth want that any where is good.

DRAYTON.

Letter 3d.
MY WORTHY YOUNG FRIEND,

HAVING in my last letter conducted you into the ancient town of Dover—an account of this place now calls for our attention. Its situation, extent, and history, offer many particulars to the inquisitive mind. We cannot fail of being gratified by enquiries relative to a spot frequently mentioned in the annals of our country.

Dover, at the distance of 72 miles from London, is placed in a romantic situation. Entering it from Canterbury you pass through a valley of some length, in which stands the pleasant village of Buckland. The hilts, on each side, have an interesting aspect—and being market-day, I met the good country folks jogging along this sequesT tered dale, encircled by the fruits of their indus-\ try. The entrance into the town has an antique' appearance. The castle, on the left, frowns from] on high, and the opposite hill boldly facing the' ocean, has the town stretched at its base, in an envied security. Thus circumstanced, my emotions were of a singular kind. Nor was my love of novelty, the less gratified by the recollection that I was now approaching one of the principal extremities of the Island of Great Britain.

The town is about a mile in length, is large, but scattered, containing 9,000 inhabitants. Snargatestreet is so confined by hills that it has a terrific appearance; but length of ages has shewn that the inhabitants are in perfect safety. Dover has a market on Wednesday and Saturday, together with a fair in November, which lasts three market-days. The town has the privilege of trying all offences committed within its liberties and jurisdiction. St. Mary the Virgin, and St. James the Apostle, are the two parishes—the former being by far of the greatest extent. The church of St. Mary is a handsome structure, consisting of three aisles, and enriched with monuments. The organ is reckoned a capital instrument; and in the tower is a good peal of eight hells. The Rev. John Lyon is the present incumbent, to whose ingenious account of Dover, this narrative stands much indebted. The Rev. Wm. Tournay, the incumbent of St. James's, is also a gentleman of learning and piety.

It is remarkable, that the election both of Mayor and of the two Members of Parliament is held in St. Mary's church, to the violation of all decency. Surely this acknowledged impropriety ought to find a speedy remedy. There were formerly more churches in Dover, the remains of one, indeed, at this day, constitute a dwelling-house inhabited by Mr. William Ashdown, who has, with a very commendable zeal, published several pieces for the elucidation of the Holy Scriptures. The Dissenters in this town are numerous and respectable. The places of worship belonging to the General Baptists aud the Calvinists, stand quite near each other i but difference of opinion, among persons who worship so close together, is not suffered to attempt the harmony of their devotions. To liw one another, is the first and purest precept of Christianity. The General Baptist Society had for its pastor, about a century ago, the famous Mr. Samuel Taverntr, who had been governor of Deal castle. But relinquishing the pursuits of worldly honours, he boldly avowed the profession.of his religion; suffered nobly for conscience sake, and to) the last discharged the duties of the ministerial office with admirable fidelity. May its present worthy pastor (my friend of Barson), continue to make him the model of his imitation!

The pier and harbour of Dover are capacious, and have, at different times, proved very expensive. Ships of four or five hundred tons may enter with safety. The advantages of the harbour have been frequently felt by vessels in distress passing through the channel. The Dover seamen deserve high praise for their humanity on these melancholy occasions. Of the public buildings in Dover, the following require mention — the yictualling-qffice was anciently the hospital of the Maison Dieu. It is the only place of the kind between Portsmouth, and Sheerness; hence all ships belonging to the navy, and lying in the Downs, receive their provisions. The Town-Hall stands in the market-place; where the concerns of the town are usually transacted; here are some good portraits, together with a fine print, representing the embarkation of King Henry the Eighth at Dover, May jt, 15x0, preparatory to his interview with Francis the First, of famous memory. The theatre, in Snargate-streel, answers also the purpose of assembly-rooms. The dpollo» and the Albion Libraries, both contain an ample collection of books, and the London papers art ra ken in for the use of subscribers.

« PreviousContinue »