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the advantages and profit derivable from commercial navigation, was strikingly shown in numerous instances. If, at any time, when bound on a foreign voyage, they observed a stranger in company with them, and found him endeavouring to pursue the same track, they immediately altered their intended course, using every possible means to avoid him, and to prevent him from following them; it is even asserted that they often purposely risked the loss of their vessels and their own lives, rather than afford the inhabitants of any other country than their own the smallest opportunity of breaking into their monopoly, or holding any share whatever in the commerce of the world. So fearful were they of rivalship, and so pertinaciously bent were they on keeping everything to themselves, that to add to the natural dangers of the seas, and to increase such discouragement as might prevent other nations from exposing themselves to it, they became pirates, and declared themselves at war, by turns, with every country in the then known world; whenever they met with vessels to which they thought themselves superior in force, and consequently able to overcome. Terrific accounts of the dangers of foreign navigation were propagated among the lively, but credulous, people of the Morea, who not only received these stories with facility, but added embellishments of their own to that which had already been ungraciously imposed upon them. The Greeks, too, possessing an open and communicative spirit, promulgated these accounts in their various writings; and with all the skill which proficiency in literature could effect. From the Phoenicians, therefore, for evident reasons, nothing to the purpose could be learned. The Romans, by destroying all their records and vestiges of ancient glory, hoped that nothing would be learned from the Carthaginians. What little knowledge, dimmed by the length of its passage, people had of the East, came to them by commercial transactions. They heard that the precious commodities of the East were obtained under circumstances of peculiar difficulty and peril. So hideous and alarming were the objects to be encountered, after escaping the dangers of the sea, that the task of purveying the desired luxuries was gladly relinquished to those who chose to undergo such danger. The golden sands of India swarmed thickly with ants, as big as foxes; and wonderful caution and expedition was necessary in gathering up the precious dust, loading it on camels, and getting off, before swarms of these monstrous insects should environ and destroy both men and beasts. Cinnamon, Herodotus tells us, was brought from the country of Bacchus, that is, India. It was carried into Arabia by certain birds to form their nests with, which were built on dangerous and inaccessible places. The Arabs would strew large pieces of flesh below their nests, which the birds descending would carry off to their young. The nests would break down with the weight, and an opportunity of gathering up the cinnamon was afforded. Cassia was found on the borders of a lake by persons covered over with hides and skins, to save themselves from the assaults of enormous bats, which occupied the neighbouring trees. The real truth seems to have been since made out; that these celebrated spices, which the Egyptians sought after, and which the Hebrews used in the composition of the holy anointing oil of the tabernacle and of the other sacred things, were brought from the coasts of Malabar, the islands of Ceylon and Sumatra, and other eastern regions, by Arabian merchants, from the earliest times; that the Arabs, in fact, engrossed the East Indian commerce, until the discovery of the monsoons, and navigation had so far advanced, as to enable the Greeks to steer off from the shores of Arabia. For many ages these Arabians were met by the Phoenicians, whose place was afterwards usurped by the Greeks. Whether frankincense came originally from the land of Arabia, or from the mountains of India, as some say, winged serpents were its jealous guardians. We are also told of trees bearing wool for fruit, by which is meant the cotton-trees. It would be tedious to dwell upon the stories of Sirens, who seduced and changed the hardy mariners into beasts; of one-eyed Cyclops, to whom the human kind were but as insects, and who cut the tallest trees of the forest for their walking-sticks; people with the heads of horses; the pigmies and cranes; confounded perhaps with the monkeys; the horned birds; the Phoenix; the Sphynx,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, * + + *
Gorgons, and hydras, and chimeras dire.—Milton.
All such, then, are mere inventions, which arise, as the foregoing pages will show, from fear and misapprehension; in proportion to the ignorance of the mariner, or from his interested and selfish motives.
THE MONSOONS: A KNOWLEDGE OF THE EARTH INCREASED BY NAVIGATION.
The first great matural relief, given to ancient navigation, was the discovery of the trade-winds which prevail in the Indian Ocean. These winds, from the dependence which may be placed upon them, and from their consequent value to navigation, are called trade-winds, and extend about thirty degrees on each side of the Equator. These winds, however, maintain their regularity only in the open ocean. Where land breaks the continuity of the liquid surface, great changes are produced; but the most remarkable effects exist in the Indian Ocean. The third degree of south latitude is a boundary between distinct winds; from that boundary northward to the continent of Hindostan, a north-east wind blows from October to April, and a southwest from April to October; while from the same boundary to the tenth degree of south latitude, a north-west wind blows from October to April, and a south-east from April to October. These winds are called monsoons. The term monsoon, or, according to the Persian, monsum, implies seasons; and is so used in the Malayan, moossin, and other dialects of the East. The breaking up of the monsoons, or periodical changes in the direction of these winds, divides the Indian year into two seasons. The monsoons on the eastern side of the globe, originate with the tradewinds, of which they are a species, produced by the diversity of continent and islands, seas and gulfs, in this part of the world. These periodical currents of winds, if noticed by the Arabians, were not made to serve their maritime trade, until the keener enterprise of the West, in the person of Hippalus, about 50 A.D., first ventured to steer off from the A. and Persian shores, and to be impelled eastward in the direction of the wind. A voyage which had consumed years, now took up but as many months, by a conformity, on the part of the mariner, with this invariable law of nature. The means of profit and information were now less monopolized, and the West became better acquainted with the inhabitants and produce of the East. he navigation to the Indies was continued, when the Romans became 'masters of Egypt, by sailing down the Arabian Gulf, and from thence to the mouth of the river Indus, along the southern coasts of Arabia and Persia. But, under the Emperor Claudius, this route was so far changed, that after emerging from the Arabian Gulf, they cut across the Indian Ocean directly to the mouth of the Indus, by noticing, and taking advantage of, the time when the south-west trade-wind blew. The trade was carried on with India thus:–The goods that were intended for the Indian markets, were embarked at Alexandria, and carried up the Nile, a distance of about three hundred miles, to Coptus. From the latter place, the merchandise was carried on camels' backs to Berenice, a distance of two hundred and sixty miles. Berenice is on the shore of the Red Sea, and there the goods were warehoused, until the proper season for sailing; when they steered for the opposite coast of Arabia, and took on board frankincense, and other Arabian commodities, giving arms, knives, vessels, &c., in return. They now proceeded on their voyage to India; whence, having disposed of their articles of merchandise, and got gold, spices, drugs, &c., in return, they pursued their voyage back to Alexandria, where they usually arrived about December or January. The Indian commodities were conveyed from Berenice to Alexandria in the way before described; and a fleet sailed annually from the latter place to Rome, conveying the treasures of the East. When the Constantinopolitan empire was formed, by the division of the Roman empire into two parts, their maritime and commercial arrangements were very extensive. One fleet, called the fleet of Alexandria, was destined to bring to the capital the produce of India, as conveyed to the Red Sea. Another fleet was that of Seleucia, on the river Orontes, by which an intercourse was kept up with Persia, and higher Asia. A third fleet was stationed in the Euxine,
or Black Sea, by which intercourse could be kept up with
the nations of Eastern Europe, while at the same time a check could be given to the ravages of the uncivilized tribes of Scythia.
Various opinions were held by the ancients respecting the form and surface of the earth. The followers of Thales believed the earth to be a sphere; this was about 600 years B. c. The successors of Thales got into the notion that it was of a cylindrical form: some gave it the shape of a drum; others of a cube. Many believed it to be a high mountain, with an infinitely extended base, and that the stars moved round and round its summit; but Heraclides, the disciple of Aristotle, who lived about 335 B. c., actually taught that the earth had the figure of a ship. Some Indian sects are said to hold similar opinions. Anaximander, the disciple of Thales, was the first who represented the earth by maps and spheres. With the improvement of navigation, advanced the knowledge of the earth; both, however, being still imperfectly understood —witness, Strabo's comparison of the Spanish peninsula to “a hide spread out." The ancients knew that a great boundary to the West was formed by the Atlantic Ocean; but the confines of the earth towards the East they supposed were illimitable. Hence the distance on the earth's surface, measured from W. to E. they termed Longitude, or measurement in length, which they supposed infinitely greater than the measurement in breadth N. and S., which they termed Latitude. The knowledge of this began to be made practically useful for fixing the positions of places, hitherto often doubtful, on the earth's surface, by Ptolemy, in the middle of the second century of the Christian era. But this, the most celebrated geographer of antiquity, only approximates towards correctness. The Mediterranean Sea he makes 20° too long; the breadth of the Caspian Sea he makes to exceed the length; and the mouth of the Ganges is placed 46° out of its place. wonder that the maps of the ancients should be incorrect, when, not yet possessing the magnetic needle, their sailin bore no reference to the heavens, and their maps were i. from road-books or itineraries, wherein marching distances were set down by the guides of an army; or from a sort of log-book, wherein was inserted the distance the ship had sailed, as calculated from point to point. But it surprises us at learning that the two former errors, mentioned above, were not corrected in modern maps until the first half of the last century. To a nation which has an insular position, or good command of the sea, a naval force (which Themistocles, nearly 500 years B. c., understood the oracle to mean, when it advised the Athenians to defend themselves with wooden walls,) has been found, even from the earliest ages, to be the surest glory and defence. The influence of a state so fortunate has always been most widely and efficiently felt; and-its power, whether for good or evil, has always been proportionally increased. Before concluding, we should observe that it was customary, in ancient times to give an appellation to a vessel, according to the place from whence it started, or according to the purpose to which it was intended to be applied. Thus, Phaselus, a small yacht, pinnace, or pleasure-vessel, was named, in all probability, from Phaselis, a town in Pamphylia, belonging to the Cilicians, where such boats were much in use:—Cydarus, a vessel peculiar to a river in Thrace, of the same name:—Parones, which were small vessels built on the Parian Islands, in the AEgean Sea, the inhabitants of which were much accustomed to use those vessels:—Myoparones, nearly of the same description with those last mentioned, and acquiring their title from the same cause, with the addition of the term Myon, a city in Epirus, where the use of them was much adopted. Cicero states that the name Cybea was applied to a large vessel built for the purposes of merchandise, and so called from the word “cibus,” which is the Latin for meat or food. The term Gaulus, was applied to vessels nearly round, somewhat resembling the present jolly-boat, which term was probably derived from the same Latin word, which signifies a milkpail :—the term Corbitae was applied to such vessels as Caesar saw when he invaded Britain,_which we have already seen (p. 34) were made of wicker-work,+the word “corbis” signifying a wicker-basket:—Caudicae, was a term applied to rafts, and was derived from “caudex,” the stump or body of a tree:—Hippagines, from hippos, a horse, was applied to vessels employed for the transportation of cavalry or horses:—Pontones, from which is derived the word pontoons,—was the term applied to such vessels as were adapted to the passage of rivers. Many others might be enumerated. The naval art had advanced no further when the Gothic
Nor can we
This was a large building, composed of fine white marble, one hundred and thirty-five feet high, on the top of which fires were constantly maintained, for the direction of ships upon the coast. The expense of this tower was about : hundred Alexandrian talents, or about 330,000l. English. The Isle of Pharos was in the bay of Alexandria, about seven furlongs from the continent, and was joined thereto by a causeway. The tower was accounted one of the seven wonders of the world. The architect, Sostratus, was ordered to inscribe om it, “King Ptolemy, to the gods, the saviours, for the benefit of sailors:" but, wishing to claim all the glory, he engraved his own name on the solid marble, which he covered with cement, on which he formed Ptolemy's inscription. When the cement had decayed by time, Ptolemy's name disappeared, and the following inscription then became visible;—“Sostratus, the Cnidian, son of Dexiphanes, to the gods, the saviours, for the benefit of sailors.” Dexiphanes, was he who made the causeway mentioned above. This light-house is alluded to in our last paper, see page 40.
THE WATCH TOWER of Puianos.
LONDON: JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, west STRAND.
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THE ruins of Caister Castle, in Norfolk, offer much that is interesting, both intrinsically and historically, to the notice of the antiquarian;–intrinsically, as being the remains of one of the earliest brick build. ings in the kingdom ; and historically, as being founded by the celebrated Sir John Fastolf, as having been an object of contention between various of the highest families in the county, and as being associated with many of the principal events, as well as personages, in the annals of our country. It is situated about three miles to the north of Great Yarmouth, and about a mile from the coast. As early as 1363, we obtain notice of the manor of Caister being in the possession of the Fastolf family; but the first mention of erecting any residence appears in the reign of Henry the Fifth, who granted Sir John Fastolf a license “to build it as strong as Wol. XII.
himself could devise,” and appointed it as a fortification to the town of Great Yarmouth. The castle, or “hall,” as it is termed by contemporary writers, enclosed a court, in form a rectangled parallelogram, whose north and south sides were longer than the east and west. At the north-west corner is the tower of which we annex an illustration. The grand entrance was over a drawbridge on the west side. And here it will be as well to introduce Sir John Fastolf to the reader under his real character; since he it is, who in exchange for his own fair celebrity, is indebted to Shakspeare for a notoriety, which clings, with more tenacity than justice, to his name. This hero was born at Yarmouth about, or shortly before, 1380, and, his father dying early, he became, according to the custom of the times, the ward of a nobleman and was trained up in the o of the - 3
Duke of Norfolk, whose splendid and numerous retinue appears to have been the polite school of all the squirearchy around. About 1405-6 he appears in Ireland with Thomas of Lancaster, second son to Henry the Fourth, afterwards Duke of Clarence, and then lord-lieutenant of that country. Two years afterwards he married, in Ireland, Milicentia, daughter of Sir Robert Tibelot, and widow of Sir Stephen Scroope, with whom he received a large fortune; and shortly after, obtaining posts of considerable trust in Gascomy, he went thither to reside. Here he remained, engaged in all the commotions, civil and military, which mark this period, when England was endeavouring to establish her claims to the possession of France. In 1415 we find him, in conjunction with the Duke of Dorset, intrusted with the government of Harfleur, and subsequently present with Henry the Fifth at the battle of Agincourt, on which occasion he especially distinguished himself. After the death of this young monarch he continued to be promoted to posts of higher importance and honour, and to distinguish himself by such services of bravery and danger, as, in 1425, procured him the order of the Garter. In 1428 he gained great honour at the memorable battle of the Herrings, in which, at the head of 2500 Englishmen, he totally routed 4000, or, as some of the French historians admit, 9000 of the French, and succeeded in conducting a convoy of provisions, (consisting chiefly of herrings,) in triumph to the English camp before Orléans. The character of this brave warrior, however, here suffers a partial eclipse, for we find him sharing in the universal panic which infected the English forces, before the mysterious power of the Maid of Orléans. But with returning fortune his name resumed its lustre ; and after a period of active service, he concluded his career with a succession of diplomatic and civil employments. In 1435 the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, dying, gave a manifest proof of the esteem in which he had held Sir John, by leaving him one of his executors. In 1436 for the space of four years he appears settled in the government of Normandy; after which, in 1440, he finally returned to his native land, and abode in his different estates, but principally in his hall of Caister, where he lived in great splendour and hospitality. He died in 1459, full of years and worth, and was buried in a chapel, erected by himself, in St. Bennett's Abbey, Norfolk, the ruins of which yet remain. He had been twice married, but left no children. The greater portion of his immense fortune was bequeathed to charitable purposes, in which the universities of Oxford and Cambridge largely shared, and especially Magdalen College, Cambridge. Much has been said to prove Shakspeare's injustice in his character of Sir John Falstaff, as represented in his Henry the Fourth and Fifth, &c.; but herein the same charge of injustice may extend to the critics themselves: for, setting aside the inaccuracy of name, and anachronism of date, it by no means appears that in the person of the unwieldy buffoon, who amuses us equally with his jests and cowardice, Shakspeare ever intended to depict the great and good Sir John Fastolf, celebrated alike in field and council, feared by his enemies, and beloved by his friends. A version more agreeable to probability and history is, that the character of Falstaff was originally written and acted under the name of Sir John Oldcastle, but, imagining it might give offence to the Oldcastle family (then living), Queen Elizabeth ordered our bard to substitute another name. Nor need it be supposed that this buffoon motoriety was more applicable to the real identity of Sir John Old
castle, with whom, except in point of age, it no better agreed. And now, having endeavoured to justify the chiracter of this hero of olden time, we must also clear the history of his castle of Caister, from some errors which attach to it. One of them consists in a fallacious idea entertained by some writers, that the castie of Caister was built as a ransom by the Duke d'Alençon, taken prisoner by Sir John, at the battle of Agincourt, a supposition which is refuted by a letter from Sir John, dated from Caister Hall, 1456, wherein he sues for the money due to him for the said ransom. Another error respects a supposed similarity between the castle of Falaise, in Normandy, the birth-place of William the Conqueror, and that of Caister; the latter being said to built on the exact model of the former; but this is easily refuted by those who have visited both, and enough remains of each to prove that no such correspondence ever existed. The only analogy between them consists in a solid tower, and other apartments, having been added to Falaise about the period of the erection of Caister, by the famous Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, contemporary, and companion in arms, with our Sir John Fastolf. Much light has been thrown on the history of this castle, and the families connected with it, by The Paston Letters edited by Sir John Fen; a collection of the most valuable private correspondence during the eventful period included between the reigns of Henry the Fourth and Henry the Seventh. From this correspondence we find Sir John living in great splendour, keeping up a large body of retainers, engaged in active charity, and in plans for testamentary benefactions, but nevertheless adding yearly to his estates, and administering, and exacting justice in a manner which shows the stern old disciplinarian, as well as the kind friend and master. These were the prosperous days of old Caister; for Sir John's death, while it enriched many excellent public institutions, and diffused much private comfort, gave rise to that usual average of evil, which, four hundred years ago, accompanied the best intentions and deeds, much the same as it does at the present day. 1 is ample estates were chiefly vested in charitable endowments, while that of Caister was left to his cousin, John Paston, Esq., on condition of his maintaining with the profits therefrom, a “college,” or rather chapel for seven priests, and seven poor men, a foundation which the knight had laboured to obtain during his life-time, and which it appears the Pastons succeeded in establishing, though not till after the lapse of many years, and innumerable difficulties in obtaining the necessary grant. To detail and elucidate the various plots, open and secret, to dispossess the Pastons of their rightful inheritance—how kings and commons played into one another's hands, and used or abused the law as their interests required, and how all this occurred at a time when the kingdom was torn with civil wars, and the faction of York and Lancaster alternately ascendant, is no easy task. The Duke of Norfolk, then a prince of almost unlimited power, and chiefly resident at his castle of Framlingham, in Suffolk, had, it appears, for some time kept a longing eye upon the fair estate of Caister, and shortly before Sir John Fastolf's death, we find Agnes Paston, widow of Sir William Paston, judge, thus writing to John Pastom her son, It is said in this country, that my lord of Norfolk saith, Sir John Fastolf hath given him Caister, and that he will have it plainly. This same John Paston, therefore, a man it appears universally respected, inherited with Caister, a weight
and succession of cares, which left him no rest to mind or body. His affectionate wife writes to him, And, at the reverence of God, sloth not your matters now, but make an end to them; either purvey you to make or mar them in haste, for this is too horrible a cost and trouble that ye have and have had, for to endure any while; and it is great heaviness to your friends, and great joy and comfort to your enemies. My lord of Norwich (the Bishop of Norwich,) said to me, that he would not abide the sorrow and trouble that you have abiden, to win all Sir John Fastolf's goods —God be your speed. Through the machinations of powerful enemies John Paston was soon thrown into the Fleet, and though soon liberated, he died, worn out with care, after seven years of precarious possession. Caister then descended to his son, Sir John Paston, a soldier and knight, and quite a gallant of his time, who was principally stationed at Calais, but who, however, set great store by his estate at Caister. About this time, 1468, Thomas Howys openly and unwarrantably proffered to sell the estates of Caister to the Duke of Norfolk, making, on that occasion, most insulting mention of a “pretended bargain, by which John Paston, in his lifetime, thought to have secured all my Master Fastolf's land in Norfolk and Suffolk.” Fortified by this nominal and illegal purchase, the duke soon resorted to opener means. At the same time Fastolf of Longshawe, a relation of the late knight's, threatened largely to attack the place, though it does not appear that he ever proceeded to such extremities; and a report went abroad, that Richard, the infamous Duke of Gloucester, also intended possessing himself of Caister. At length, in 1469, the duke threw off all disguise, and openly summoned “John Paston, with his fellowship," to quit Caister at fifteen days' notice. Caister was meanwhile occupied by John Paston the younger, a brother, though of the same name, to Sir John Paston, then at Calais, and he, determined to defend the place, thus writes to his brother;And how that my demeaning shall be it is too late to send to you for advice, wherefore, if I do well I ask no thank, and if I do ill, I pray you lay the default on over little wit: but I purpose to use the first point of hawking, to hold fast if I may. And hold fast he certainly did, with his little garrison of twenty-eight against a regular siege of 3000 troops, headed by Sir John Heveningham, and joined by many persons of distinction. Whilst the utmost was thus doing to defend the place from within, Sir John Paston was equally indefatigable without. We find him immediately proceeding to lay the matter before the king's council then at York, and moving in his behalf such personages as the Duke of Clarence, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Earl of Essex, &c. Meanwhile the siege commenced. Whatever the decision of the king's council might be, it would seem that my Lord of Norfolk had no great respect for it, and the siege continuing, we are presented with some interesting letters from Margaret Paston to her son, Sir John, written with all a woman's and mother's anxiety, wherein she gives him report of the death of his friends, the danger and hardships of the survivors, the destruction of the place, and the increasing virulence of the duke. Urged by these and other considerations, and by the delays of his powerful friends, Sir John desires Writtill to ascertain the precise state of the besieged, and though equally anxious to preserve his patrimony, to keep or yield it accordingly. The matter winds up in a short letter from John Paston the
younger, headed, “ Caister yielded,” acquainting his
brother with the bravery of his servants, and of the urgent necessity which compelled them to the deliver
ance of the place, saying, “We were sore lack of victuals and gunpowder; men's hearts, lack of surety of rescue, were driven thereto to take appointment.” The siege of Caister lasted about three weeks, and was concluded at the end of September, 1469. In disputes of this kind, it seems that with the cause of contention, all animosity also ceased ; for, after clearing off a few troublesome accounts still remaining between them, we find John Paston the younger resuming service with the Duke of Norfolk, in whose household he had been reared. The Pastons continued suing in vain for justice through various channels, and spending their substance in the necessary bribes accompanying such applications, when a catastrophe occurred which turned the scale in their favour. This was no less than the awfully sudden death of the Duke of Norfolk, in January 1475, then a young man of thirtyfour years of age. He left an only daughter, the Lady Anne, sole heiress of his immense possessions, who, in 1477, was married to Richard Duke of York, second son of King Edward the Fourth, she being at that time five years, and he, three years of age, on which occasion he was created Duke of Norfolk. The little duchess, however, died, we believe, before the innocent prince, her nominal husband, who was murdered with his brother in the Tower, 1483. After which, the estates and title of Norfolk came to Sir John Howard, whose mother was aunt to the late duke, and with the Howards it has ever since remained, being a period of eleven generations. This infantine marriage seems not to have produced the unfavourable result which the Pastons prognosticated, for in June, 1476, Sir John writes, “Blessed be God, I have Caister at my will ; God hold it better than it has done before ;” on the back of which letter is written, “Caister is gotten agayn,” and in the July following, King Edward granted him a warrant under his own hand and privy seal, to take possession of all lands belonging to his late father, &c. Shortly after this, considerable damage was done to the castle by a girl setting fire to it in making a bed. Sir John dying unmarried in 1479, all the Paston property descended to the same John Paston the younger, who retired to the halls of Caister which he had so valiantly defended. In 1485, he was High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk; in 1487 was knighted, and made knight banneret at the battle of Stoke, by Henry the Seventh, and died in 1503. Caister continued the chief and favourite seat of the Pastons, till Clement Paston, grandson of the lastnamed, and a great naval commander, built a magnificent hall at Oxnead, in Norfolk, whereupon the residence of Caister gradually fell into decay. The Paston family continued to increase in wealth and importance, intermarried with the first families in the county and kingdom, were created baronets in 1641, and Earls of Yarmouth and Barons Paston in 1679. With the second of that title, who died in 1732, this noble family became extinct in the male