Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

1831.] Works of Eustace and Lady Morgan on Italy. 485 was mainly attributable, it may be most strenuously, by a variety of ilthought, to the benighting influences lustrations, and the use of argument of the doctrines propagated from the which sometimes however is any thing Vatican; and the anti-Christian ex- but conclusive, to prove to the reader amples (with some bright exceptionsthat this thesis is built upon a close it is true) which were held forth by and accurate observation of Italy, as the supreme pontiffs.

she is. Mr. Eustace's rhetoric is "The history of the Roman pontiffs powerful, occasionally, but it may be that lived in the 9th century,” says thought he altogether fails when he Dr. Mosheim, " is a history of so speaks of the public spirit, pamany monsters, and not of men, and triotism," and magnanimity”. of exhibits a horrible series of the most the modern Italian states, -as (Venice flagitious, tremendous, and compli- perhaps excepted) the history of those cated crimes; as all writers, even those states will assuredly testify that they of the Romish communion, unani- have in modern times fallen far below mously acknowledge.” The debasing several other European states, in each tenets taught by her priests may be of these particulars. In this " Dis. thought to have been instrumental, in sertation” he declares that, were a more than a slight degree, in pro. leader of great abilities to place himducing that supine and pusillanimous self at the head of Italy, he would character, which at length distinguishes find all the materials of greatness Italy, in our own day, so far as re- ready for his use.” The historical regards valour, discipline, and constancy. cords of the modern Italian states, and

Amongst the most prominent of the their wars with foreign powers, cermodern speculators on the subject of tainly disprove this assertion, The Italy, ranks Eustace, author of the truth is, the sons of Italy are, in “ Classical Tour.” An enthusiastic point of character, of a different con, admirer of the policy and magnanimity texture from what they were about of the ancient Romans, surveying with the times here mentioned. With every astonishment, as all must, the stu- allowance for the splendid talents, and pendous remains of their ancient gran- the thinking both on subjects of art deur, he yet perhaps is disposed to and literature which has distinguished place the character and features of modern Italy, they have indubitably Modern Italy higher in the scale of evolved a very different standard of moral and mental excellence, than the bravery and of patriotism from that accounts which may be drawn from which prevailed in the old Republic most other quarters, will warrant. during the period of the rising grandeur But it is impossible to trace the pages of Rome, as Tacitus calls it—for that, of Eustace-eminent among other tra- of course, is the period to which all vellers, without feeling a spark of that point who speak of Roman superiority, flame which seems to kindle in his The architectural grandeur of Rome own breast, at the recital of the archi

appears to have attained its high emia tectural splendours of the “ancient nence and maturity after the enslave, city.” The heart swells with a ge- ment of its inhabitants. Its skill in nerous and gratulatory emotion while the arts rose as its liberties sunk, their contemplating the elevation of thought, inventive faculty an expansion of the purity and grandeur of design, their ingenuity in the varied works of which inspired a race of beings to the imagination and genius, trod upon the achievement of works whose consum- heels of their freedom. mate skill and astounding magnifi- On the subject of Italy, our intelli. cence have few or no parallels in the gent countrywoman, Lady Morgan, degenerate days of modern times. – has also written a work. Whatever But Eustace, doubtless, proceeds in rank her Ladyship may hold in her the teeth of every other recorded au- country's literature, it may be said of thority, when, in his last chapter, he her book, so far as it relates to the endeavours to establish a position, as historical state of Italy, that it aims at it should seem, peculiar to himself, that species of fine writing which con. that the modern Italians, taken in sists of sweeping metaphors and bold every sense in which a people can be generalizing positions. In common considered, dispute the palm of rival- with some other writers, she takes ship with their ancestors. In his for granted that the modern Italian conclusive “ Dissertation,” he labours Republics of Milan, Florence, Pisa,


Italy and the Italians.

[June, Genoa, and Venice, as they partook of domestic hearths and altars. Until the same form of government, wearing the beginning of the thirteenth centhe word Libertas traced in golden tury, however, “ Florence,” says Percharacters on their frontlet, so they cival, “ was governed by Consuls and were composed of the same materials a Senate of popular choice; but she as the old Roman Republic, animated then fell, like other cities, into the by the same mind, imbued with the fashion of entrusting her government same virtue, prompted by the same to foreign podestas.' The early estapublic zeal, and the magnanimous blishment and rise of the five beforespirit of the same stern patriotism. mentioned famous Republics, was This is by no means the case. The auspicious to the cause of liberty in history of these Republics (taken ge- Italy and Europe ; but, as Lady Mornerally) is far from warranting any gan justly observes, “ their existence such assumption. Isolated instances was a solecism in the reigning system of high and splendid character form, of Europe, and their example dangerous perhaps, exceptions in the annals of to its permanency.”. Florentine and Milanese warfare, while The existence of liberty in Italy," the long line of Venetian story often says Lady Morgan, in the fitful metaapproximates, in more than a distant phors of her style, was like the naresemblance, the energy and decision tural day of her brilliant climate; it of the ancient Roman councils.

rose in bursts of splendour, and sunk The fact of the occupation of Italy in sudden and unprepared darkness." during the middle ages, and down to “ Italy,” she adds, “ her republics the epoch of our own times, by the invaded, environed, overwhelmed by troops of Austria and Spain (to say the successive armies of Europe, to nothing of the military interference of the last gasp of her independence, exother claimants), is a sort of stigma hibited the results of her free instituin the history of Italian Republics, tions; and, like the dying gladiator of which, while it proves that the fair her capitol, was sublime even in the soils of Italy have always been an ob- last pang of dissolution. From the ject of cupidity to the other powers of walls of Milan to the sanctuary of Europe, looks with rather a malign the Vatican, the loveliest country of aspect upon the hypothesis which Europe was desolated by acts of speaks of the liberty of her sons. Al

savage atrocity and brutal violation, though it must be acknowledged that from which, even at this distance of instances of bravery and good conduct time, humanity shudders and recoils.” have not only been known to distin- A summary of a few of the leading guish their armies in the field, but to characteristics of the Italian Republics fire the resolutions of the Senate with may now serve to substantiate what zeal in the public cause, upon the in- we have advanced, that the moderns vasion of a common enemy,—yet these had materially fallen from the great occasional displays seemed more the and noble lineaments of character sudden bursts of a patriotism which which had once animated the ancient still retained a sense of glorious an- Republic. The history of all the cestry, than the uniform impulse of a transactions of the Italian States durpeople free from choice, and brave ing the middle ages, do not assuredly from a sort of energizing principle. prove that from her soils alone emaForeign podestas, as every one knows, nated the wisdom which was to direct were placed in her cities, and were Europe. The rise and progress in regarded by all the citizens as the riches, arts, and commercial grandeur common and supreme arbiters of their of the five celebrated Republics of differences. This measure, in the po- modern Italy, doubtless comprised licy of Austria, doubtless had the within the period of their annals effect of perpetuating the submission many illustrious deeds ; and in the of her territorial possessions in Italy, enterprise, activity, and greatness of Claiming, by right of conquest, what view which occasionally distinguished all saw they had not the shadow of them, they stood forth prominently to pretension to by any other right, the the admiration of all their continental princes of the Imperial House showed neighbours. But there were periods, a subtle insight into the art of govern- and those not unfrequent (especially ing, by insinuating the badge of in the Milanese and Florentine domislavery under the precincts of their nions), when neither their domestic

Topographical notices of Ruerdean.

487 or their foreign policy betrayed much have come to my knowledge subse. of wisdom, but was rather marked by quently to my publication. laxness and incapacity. The eternal

Yours, &c. T. D. FOSBROKE. factions of the Guelphs (or, as Percival writes it, the Guelfs,) and Ghibe- Dr. Meyrick objects to Sir Robert lins which for two centuries afflicted Atkyns's definition of Ruerdean by the cities of Milan and Florence, and

River Dean because it adjoins the their dependencies, with all the cala- Wye, and thinks that it was origimities of rancorous though petty war- nally Rhiwyr-din, “a fortress on the fare, was doubtless inauspicious of side of a hill;" of which there are rethat prosperity and unity which the maining earth-works and a small piece free aspect of their constituted govern.

of wall, and groins, round, not ogee, ment, and other advantages, certainly and such as we ascribe to centuries promised. But that the citizens of preceding the fourteenth. I am inso many noble and populous cities, in- clined to Dr. Meyrick's opinion for the habiting soils which rung with the following reasons : deeds of ancestral glory,—with all the RUARDYN, or Rewardyne, is menadvantages which unity and a concen- tioned as the original orthography in tration of every thing which a super

several ancient records, quoted in my abundance of immense wealth threw History of Gloucestershire, vol. ii. pp. into their hands,-should, instead of 150, 154. In contiguity are Michelstrengthening themselves against the Dean, Little Dean, and Deep-dean (in common invader, on the other hand, Walford). There is, too, reason to exhaust themselves in the bitter ani- think, from the old records, that ori. mosities of party spite, proves cer- ginally Dene was the generic term for tainly not that they were animated by all these vills; and Michel-Dean is courage and noble bearing, but rather still familiarly called Dean by the inby a malignant and degenerate spirit habitants. Ábbenhall, Michel-Dean, of jealousy.

and Little Dean, were but one vill in If, indeed, all the Italian Republics the times of Edward the First and Sewere perpetually distinguished by the cond. At neither of these places was magnanimity which writers there a castle, and Abbenhall, which seem inclined to ascribe to them, adjoins Ruerdean on the west, was so history, in the accumulated experience named from the Abbot of Flaxley of nations, affords us sufficient rea- having lands and a mansion there, sons for thinking that they would A close roll of the 7 Edw. II.* says, oftener have united for the defence of that All the lands in the forest their own common liberties. Forgranted under the old castle of Dean to though Eustace distinctly states him- be assarted were then confirmed to the self of opinion that “ their private Abbot and monks of Flaxley. This cabals and party feuds were from age abbey was founded by Roger, son of to age the unhappy cause which pre- Milo Earl of Hereford, in 1140, and in vented their thus uniting ;” still that the confirmation-charters of Henry such cause should have continued to the Secondt, it is said, that the above exist, proved that the high-minded Roger gave to the abbey the whole patriotism of their ancestors had no land under the old castle of Dean to be longer an existence.

assarted. Now, St. Briavel's could Melksham,

E. P. not be the old castle of Dean, for it (To be concluded in our Supplement.)

was only erected by the father of the founder of Flaxley. William de Alba

Mara, 40 Hen. III, held two carucates Mr. URBAN,

June 10.

in the manor of Ruardyn, by a quitMY neighbour Dr. Meyrick having

rent to the crown, and attending the

summons of the constable of St. Briacalled upon me, in your last Magazine vel's-castle. Among his heirs was a (May, 1831, p. 403) to furnish some

William, son of William de Hatesway further explanations concerning the

(whose estate is still called Hathaparochial chapelry of Ruerdean, I herewith forward such matters as are not included in my own or the other * Fosbroke's Gloucestershire, i. 86. histories of Gloucestershire, and which + Dugd. Monast. i, 884, old edit.



[ocr errors]

Topographical notices of Ruerdean.

ways). Now, Hathways, according to latter fashion chiefly commenced in
an inquisition of the 4 Rich. II. lies the reign of Henry the Third, and,
both in St. Briavel's and Ruerdean ; in according to Sir William Dugdale in
another of 11 Edw. IV. in Ruerdean his Warwickshire, spires were pur-
only. From these records I am in- posely annexed to churches in woody
clined to think that the old castle of countries, that they might be land-
Dean was this of Ruerdean, but that marks, and such this spire remains to
after the erection of that of St. Bria- the present day. That arches were
vel's, the services were transferred. It made anew in the wall of this old
appears to have been a small square church of St. George, seems to be
strong-hold, like a Norman keep, with shown by a round thirteenth-century
a barbican. Several of the stones moulding, resting upon a corbel,
were removed for mending roads in placed in the wall sideways, as having
memory of man; but I suspect that been worked up. Under the white-
the chief dilapidation took place when wash are perceptible inscriptions in
the manor house, not far off, was the stiff black-letter gothic of the fif-
built, apparently, by the architecture, teenth and sixteenth centuries; and
in the beginning of the sixteenth cen- I once saw the ostrich feathers of the
tury. All that now remains of wall is Prince of Wales amidst the remains
a scrap about a yard or two in length, of old fresco paintings, so mutilated
which belonged to the vault of a cel- as to be undistinguishable.
lar; but it does not seem to have be- The church is only a parochial cha-
longed to a round arch, and does not pelry of Walford, of which the festi-
resemble the thick square Norman val-day is the first Sunday after New
groins. I presume, therefore, that it Michaelmas (of course St. Michael was
was inhabited in the thirteenth cen- the patron-saint), and that of Ruerdean
tury, for that is the date of the chief the Sunday after Old Michaelmas. The
parts of the church. I also think, rectory of both parishes belongs to the
from earlier work in the latter, that precentorate of Hereford; the vica-
both the castle and church underwent rial tythes to myself, as incumbent.
great alterations about that era. I heard from my predecessor that there

As to the church, the figure of St. are no ancient documents respecting George engraved in the Magazine (p. either church in the registry of Here404) certainly belongs to a style of ar- ford. It is possible that the endowchitecture older than any other part of ment of Ruerdean was a gift of one of the church, the pillars, arches, mould- the family of Milo Earl of Hereford ; ings, and windows, bearing manifest but not Walford, which was parcel of tokens of the successive styles of the the manor of Ross Foriegn, and bethirteenth and fourteenth centuries. longed to the Bishops of that See. As this figure of St. George forms an We find that, in the wars of Charles inner door-way, and is approached the First, the republicans had a garrithrough an ancient porch with a son at Ruerdean, to check the Welsh pointed arch, above which is the bust royalists from advancing to Gloucester of a female (called St. Cyr) it has by way of Monmouth.* Weston unbeen presumed that a later church der Penyard had another castle, which was erected on the remains of an older in earlier times might have commandone, to which the figure of St. George ed the road to Gloucester. These adappertained. I have been of opinion, jacent castles of Penyard, Godrich, by the way, that these figures of St. Wilton, Ruerdean, and another, as George had an allusion to the cru- presumed, at Bicknor, seem to have sades, and that the dragon may have had the same object, that of controltypified the Mahometan religion. The ing Welsh incursions. old church had, according to presump

The manor was vested, in the time tion, no aisle, and one side of it forms of Henry the Third, in William de the wall of the present aisle; the other Alba Mara, who possibly made the wall being thrown down, and replaced alterations in the old castle and church by a row of pointed arch pillars, that before alluded to. the church might be enlarged by the

T. D. F. addition of a new nave, communicating with a tower and spire. The i* Corbet's Milit. Govern, of Gloucester.

« AnteriorContinuar »