Графични страници
PDF файл

whole fcene before me might be likened to the repre.
fentation of a camera obscura, where the reflected ima.
ges of objects are exhibited with neatness and accuracy.
In our wanderings onward, we stooped down and
plucked many. a ripe whortle-berry from amidst the
prickly furze which covered the ground, and the ga-
thering of which affords to many poor persons the means
of maintenance. We at length came to the brow of the
hill, and stopping at the beacon, we, for some time, fur.
veyed with aitonilhment the divine profpect which burft
upon us from every quarter of the horizon ! Nor could
it be pronounced altogether unlike the eminence whither
Adam was led by the archangel Michael, to fhew him
what lay hid in the dark womb of futurity : .

A hill,
Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
The hemisphere of earth, in clearest ken,

Stretch'd out to th' amplest reach of prospect lay, Be fore us, was stretched the wide extended ocean, where, could our vision have been sufficiently invigorated, we should have fpied the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, and Alderncy, together with the opposite coaits of France. On the left lay Sidmouth, whose venerable tower alone was visible to us, and beyond projected the Portland Ine, reminding me of the unfortunate Halfe. well East Indiaman, whose fate is fresh in every mind. Behind, was seen a fine extent of country, from the centre of which the smoke of Exeter ascended thus enabling me to ascertain the spot in which the western metropolis was fituated. Beneath us was a beautiful wood, whose embrowned appearance imparted peculiar folemnity, and it fecmed, indeed, fitted for our Druidi. cal ancestors, who were enthusiastically attached to these sylvan recesses. On the right, at-che extremity of our prospect, TORBAY presented itself; and we could plainly descry the little rock by which its en. trance is particularly characterised,

This charming group of objects, which from this eminence filled the eye and exhilarated the heart, I was unwilling to relinquish ; it was the finest fight that I had ever beheld, combining the sublime and beautiful in perfection ! Descending from this point, therefore, with lingering step, I stole many a farewell look, feeling, in a degree, the reproach suggested in the words of the poet

01 how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of charms, which nature to her vot’ry yields !
I he warbling woodland, the resounding shore,
The pomp of groves and garniture of fields !
All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
And all that echoes to the song of Even !
All that the mountain's shelt'ring bosom (hields,
And all the dread magnificence of heav'n,

O! how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiv'n? The view of TORBAY naturally called up to my miod the glorious revolution of 1688; for there the hero WILLIAM, with his followers, landed November the 5th, a day ever to be revered in the annals of Bririth history! The arrival of our illustrious deliverer chased away the shades of popery and arbitrary power, which were at that period thickening fast around the inhabitants of this highly favoured island. James was a brutal bigot, and had juftly forfeited the love and elteem of his subjects. But this great event is fully de. tailed in all our histories. With its critical commence. ment, its pacific progress, and its happy termination, you are well acquainted. The many valuable improvements introduced at that time into the British conftitution, rendered it the object of admiration to the sur, rounding nations. Indeed the emendations which it then received, cannot be sufficien:ly estimated; and the memory of those individuals who hazarded their lives and fortunes in that grand patriotic undertaking, stands Endeared to posterity,


Hail, sacred polity, by freedom rear'd!
Hail, sacred freedom, when by law restrain'd!
Without you, what were man? a groveling herd,
In darkness, wretchedness, and want enchain’d.
Sublim'd by you, the Greek and Roman reign'd
In arts unrival'd: 0! to latest days
In ALBION, may your influence, unprofan'd,
To god-like worth the gen'rous bofom raise,

And prompt the sage's lore and fire the poet's lays ! There were several curious medals devised to per petuate this stupendous descent. The most expressive that I have seen is the following. On one side is a bust of the Prince, with this infcription, William III. by the grace of God, Prince of Orance, Stadtholder of Orange and Wifi Friesland; and, about the edges, Non rapit Imperium is, fed tua Recepit-HE DOES NOT SEIZE YOUR EMPIRE BUT Receives it. On the reverse is a fleet, and the Prince on horseback, drawing up his, landed troops. You have also, in the back ground, a female prostrate upon the earth, holding a sword in one hand and a pair of scales in the other, hereby thewing that justice was oppressed and trampled upon in Eng. land. A hero advancing towards her, relieves her whilst above you read theie words, terras Astrea revifit,


History informs us, that WILLIAM embarked ar 3 Helvoetfiuys, in Holland, on the first of November, ..., 1688, the trumpets founding, the hautboys playing, the soldiers and feamen shouting; and a crowd of fpeéta. tors on the shore, breathing forth their good wishes af ter him. The usual signal being given, the feet, com manded by Admiral Herbert, weighed anchor with all poffible diligence, being divided into three squadrons, on board of which were about 14,000 troops, of divers nations : the red Aag was for the English and Scotch commanded by Major General Mackay ; the white for his Highness's guards and Brandenburghers, under the

command att command of Count Solms; and the blue for the Dutch and French, under the Count of Nassau. On the 3d of November, being got within the North Foreland, and the wind favourable at east, they made all the sail they could, steering a channel course. The Prince, who led the van, tacked about to see the rear well come up, and, having called a council of war between Dover and Calais, he ordered that his own standard fhould be set up, and that the fleet should close up in a body; his Highdess, with three men of war to attend him, one at some distance before the ship he was in, and one on each side of him, sailed forwards before the fleet. Next failed the transports, victuallers, and tenders, with their decks covered with officers and foldiers ; and the main body of the men of war brought up the rear, ready to receive the enemy, if, as it was expected, they had attempted to disturb their passage. On the 4th of November, being Sunday, and the auspicious birth-day of the Prince, moft people were of opinion that he would land either in the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, or somewhere in that quarter. But herein they were mistaken, for they continued failing onwards ; passing by Dartmouth, the weather grew hazy, so that they overshot TORBAY, where the Prince designed to land. The weather, how. ever, ciearing up about nine, and the wind almost mira. culously changing to the W. S. W. this gave them enwance into the Bay, for as soon as they were got in, and when it had executed its commission, it returned again to che fame quarter, it was before they wanted it, The people of Devon thire having discovered the feet, hocked to the shore, not to oppose the Prince's landing, but to welcome their deliverer with loud acclamations !

An anecdote was told me, relative to the landing of William, by a gentleman with whom I had the pleasure of dining in the neighbourhood of Sidmouth. It is banded down in the family from his ancestors, who took an active part on this grand occalion. A Mr. Jolin

Duke, Duke, of Otterton, a man of considerable wealth and influence in that part of the country, joined the hero, on his arrival at Torbay. Being introduced into his presence, William immediately asked him to favour him with his name; he replied, with a timid heftation, John-Duke of Otterton. The Prince expressed his surprize, and taking out a list of the nobility from his pocket, which he had been led to suppose was correct, he looked over it, and then declared that no such Duke was to be found there! The gentleman, however, foon obviated the difficulty, by repeating his name with an accelerated pronunciation, John Duke-of Otterton. Every embarrassment being thus removed, William smiled at the mistake, and embraced him with joy.

At present TORBAY is a famous rendezvous for our feets, and its little village Brixham (where it is said the very fone on which WILLIAM first stepped a shore is still preserved) can boast of many vessels which trade in its fishery.

You will not, my good friend, censure me for this digression. Could I have contemplated, though at some distance, this famous spor, without such feelings, you might have juftly accused me of a want of sensibility. An indifference to the momentous events of our own hiftory, particularly, events in which the weliare and happiness of our fellow creatures were deeply involved, is not enjoined upon us either by the dictates of reason or by the injunctions of revelation. “To abstract the mind from all local emotion,says the great Dr. Johnfon, “ would be impoflible if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish if it were possible. Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future, predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and my friends be such frigid; philosophy, as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom,


« ПредишнаНапред »