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such places. In general I may observe, that the country was not so pretty as in some other parts I have seen, and that occasionally it presented scenes of barrenness. Two spots, however, seem worthy of some little commemoration. One is the ancient town of Evesham ; the other, the famous Malvern Hill, where every picturesque tourist makes a point of being enraptured.

I'll not be out of fashion.

Evesham is derived, by the monkish antiquaries, from one Eaves, swineherd to the Bishop of Worcester. As bishops in those days were nearly all of them saints, which I am sorry to say is not the case at present, I presume their swineherds were men of some consequence, by their giving names to towns. This part of England, between Oxford and Worcester, seems to have been the paradise of monks. At Abingdon they had a rich and stately monastery, whose revenue, in an age when money was probably twenty times more valuable than at present, amounted to about two thousand sterling a year. At Evesham they were lords of twenty-two towns and manors. No wonder such a church abounded in saints ! The principal reason for detaining you a little at Evesham is connected, however, with a different matter. It was here, that the famous Simon Mountford, Earl of Liecester, the champion of the English Barons, and the great asserter of Magna Charta, after having been virtually lord of England and its paltry king, fought his last fight, was defeated and slain. Like many other asserters of popular and aristocratic rights, in monarchies, his character has come down to us covered with imputations of ingratitude, perfidy, and ambition. But we should be cautious how we receive the relations of characters and events from the pens of historians, who wrote while the descendants of the king, whom Mountford opposed, occupied the throne of England. If historians can ever be said to be impartial, it is only when the events they record, and the characters they discuss, are so distant or obscure, that they are just as likely to err through ignorance, as their predecessors were through prejudice. There is something, at all events, about the renown of this Simon Mountford, which made an impression on me early in life ; and as he took the popular side, at least the only popular side there was at that time, I do not, for my part, exactly see, why he is not as good a martyr as Charles the First. This Evesham is, at present, a decayed borough, which sends members to Parliament, and assists in the composition of that mighty mass of corruption.

Not far from hence, I passed the site of another fat rookery of monks, who in ancient times revelled in the spoils of a score of manors and towns. The name of this place is Pershore, and from hence to Worcester is one of the pleasantest rides in the whole country. This last is one of the most lively, agreeable, not to say beautiful, cities I have ever seen out of our own couutry. Though one of the most ancient in England, it displays nothing, or almost nothing, of that gloomy aspect of decay, which may be observed in every other old city I have visited ; where the houses look old, the people look old, and the very air we breathe seems to come out of old cellars and mildewed cloisters. I never get among these reliques of past changes, without my imagination soon becoming tinged with gloom and superstition; there is certainly something in the very style of a Gothic building that is calculated to nourish such impressions, and a ghost, a miracle, or a murder, is like a fish out of water, unless connected with this species of architecture; it was the cause, as well as the effect, of the superstitious character of those times in which it flourished.

But there is little of this about this charming city, where the girls trip along as if they were going a maying, and the men actually look as if they had something to do; it lies close by the side of the Severn, which being the largest river in England, is of course entitled to be described in the superlative. Accordingly the poets call it the s majestic," " the magnificent," " the Father of Rivers,” &c. while tourists never mention it without some epithet indicative of prodigious magnitude. This prodigious river is crossed here by a bridge of five arches; it rises in Plinlimmon, in Montgomeryshire, and falls into the Bristol Channel, after an “ endlces course of one hundred and thirty miles!"

As I shall have occasion, in the course of my tours, to remark the frequent recurrence of this species of the bathos, in describing scenes of nature, permit me to make a few observations once for all. Every man, in speaking of whatever is great in his estimation, refers to some standard of comparison, formed from the result of his own individual experience. The greatest he has seen, is, to his imagination, the greatest in the world. Hence the English tourist calls his rivers, his mountains, and his lakes the greatest, the highest, and the most beautiful, because he knows of no other. When one of the picturesque tourists comes to the mighty Severn, he is in raptures; when he beholds the lake of Bala, the largest in Wales, he calls it "this immense body of water," although, as I am an authentic traveller, it is but four miles long and one broad! But,“ body o’me,“ when he mounts to the summit of Snowdoun, which is of the "prodigious height” of three thousand six hundred feet, he is unalterably convinced that he can overlook the tops of the Andes, and that the whole world lies directly under his nose. The painters of the picturesque also practise this species of imposition upon foreigners, especially us Americans, by heightening, as it is called, the effect of their pieces; that is to say, by making the water-falls higher, the rocks more rugged, and the hills more perpendicular.

When I came to view the originals of those coloured landscapes, which abound to such a degree in our parlours and printshops at home, I did not know them. It is inconceivable, brother, how they are exaggerated in every

feature of beauty and sublimity. Far be it from me to flout these people for not having larger rivers, higher mountains, finer wa. terfalls, and broader lakes. They cannot help it. All I wish is to put you on your guard against the superlative style in which they speak of things, to which, in our country, we should apply some diminutive epithet. Our standard of greatness is different from theirs. Our Mississippi and Missouri are alone called "mighty streams," because they course their thousands of miles, and roll a tri. bute to the sea greater than that of all the rivers of Britain combined. Our Lake Superior, with its hundred rivers, is alone named in the language of the superlative degree, because you could empty all the lakes of Britain into its bosom, as a drop in the bucket, without raising its surface the breadth of a hair. Some of our hills too, as the white hills of New Hampshire, are twice as high as the "mighty Snowdoun, yet they are only called bills. This habit of speaking in the superlative has also crept into their modes of estimating their exploits, the beauties of their landscapes, the excellence of their literature, and, above all, the talents of their great men. In just the same degree that they exaggerate the dimensions of natural objects to the imagination, by their inflated epithets, do they exaggerate the talents and qualifications of their great men.

But I shall reserve this part of the subject for a future occasion, when I contemplate instituting some little comparison between our great living characters, and those now at the top of the “mighty Snowdonian summit” of glory here. At present, I must not forget this boundless” city of Worcester, and its “magnificent” river.

It is spread, as I before stated, along the Severn, which is really a pretty little river, or rather, as we should call it at home, a creek. They go so far as to say, that Worcester owes its foundation to Constantine Chlorus. It was burnt by Hardicanute the Dane; set fire to by Roger de Montgomery ; afterwards burnt by accident; again burnt in the wars of king Stephen and Maud ; in the time of Henry the Second it again underwent the same fate. From out of all these burnings Worcester rose a gay, a beautiful city ; the seat of the graces in this part of England, and the townresidence, in winter, of many of the country gentry of these parts, who prefer it to the noise, smoke, and corruption of London. It is just large enough for all the real purposes of social enjoyment, containing, I should imagine, between fífteen and eighteen thousand persons. From these is formed one of the most agreeable, polite, and intelligent circles to be found any where; equal in polish, and superior in real politeness to the London Beau Monde, which is, in fact, a fantastic assemblage of coxcombs and coquettes, with now and then a fashionable poet or chymist to give it a literary or scientific air.

After all, however, as to mere outward neatness and beauty, as to that air of competency and plenty, which communicates such a charm to every thing around, I have, in no part of the world, seen any thing to compare with the aspect of our ciVol. I.


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