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REVIEW.-HISTORY OF LANCASHIRE.
NAY, leave me, dark sceptic, I care not to hear
of that extensive patronage with which this work has been already honoured.
Lancashire is rich in subjects, not only for the pencil, but for the delineations of the historian. More than most other counties, its early history is blended with that of the nation. In numerous places we discover monuments of long-subsided commotions, mark the spots where intrenchments and fortifications formerly stood, and, in the desolated enclosures, frequently stumble over Roman urns.
It is to the Roman and the Saxon times, that the early parts of this history chiefly carry back our views, adverting to the incursions of the northern invaders, the arrival
I was happy before, in the long-cherish'd thought, of William from Normandy, and the effects
That I nourished the creed which a Saviour had
But the words which thou speakest would make me
Both my hope from above, and my comfort below.
REVIEW.-The History of the County Palatine of Lancaster. By Edward
The Biographical Department by W. R. Whatton, F.S.A. Quarto, Parts I. II. III. IV. Fisher, Son, and Jackson, London, 1831. WHOEVER opens any one of these parts, must be convinced, on the most cursory glance, that this is a work of no ordinary character. The paper is of a superior quality, the type is bold, fair, and clear, and wood engravings appear in various pages, to illustrate the subjects described; so that an aspect of elegance every where meets the eye.
The plates, of which each part contains either two or three, are beautiful specimens of the graphic art. In the selection of subjects, much taste and judgment have been displayed, and the superb manner in which they are finished, prove that no expense has been spared, to render them deserving
which followed his entire conquest of the British nation. Connected with these leading topics, many of a subordinate character appear, which, though diminutive in themselves, have been found important in their consequences, especially in relation to this history, of which they have furnished some of the primitive and most fertile seeds.
Rich in his resources on these and similar subjects, the author has brought before his readers a valuable repast, which at once excites the appetite and gratifies the taste. Among these, some Roman remains are remarkably interesting, but none more so than that of an ancient helmet, of which a beautiful engraving is given in Part III. This piece of antiquity, which is of bronze, and is decorated with numerous warlike emblems in miniature, was found in a field at Ribchester, near Manchester, in 1796, by a young man named Walton. It was lying in a hollow, about nine feet below the surface of the ground, near the bed of a river, and it is now in the possession of Charles Townley, Esq., of Townley Hall. The description of this curious piece of antiquity furnishes some very interesting paragraphs in these pages.
On the death of Severus, his devoted army raised three large hills in the place where his funeral rites were performed, in the vicinity of the city of York, which elevations bear the name of Severus's Hills, and are still very prominent. These funeral rites and monumental piles were followed by his deification; and with its ceremonies and process, which the author thus describes, we must for the present take our leave of him, and his valuable work.
"The manner of making a god,' as described by Herodian in the case of Severus, is extraor
dinary, and will yield more amusement to the
reader than the object of deification could afford historian, has a mixture of festivity and pomp. benefit to his disciples. The ceremony,' says the The corpse is buried, like other emperors, in a
sumptuous manner. But they make an effigy [of wax] as like the deceased as possible, and place it in the porch of the palace, upon a large and lofty bed of ivory, covered with cloth of gold. This image is of a pale complexion, and lies at full Round the bed on each length like a sick person.
side, sit for the greatest part of the day, on the left hand, the whole senate in black habits; on the right, ladies whose husbands or parents are persons of distinction. None of these latter wear any gold or bracelets, but thin white habits, like mourners. This they do for seven days together, the physicians coming every day to the bed to visit the sick person, whom they report to grow worse and worse. At last, when they think he is dead, the noblest and choicest youths of equestrian and senatorian rank take up the bed on their shoulders, and carry it along the Sacred Way into the Old Forum, where the Roman magistrates usually resign their authority. On both sides are built steps like stairs, on which are placed, on one hand, a band of boys of the noblest and patrician families; on the other, of noble women, singing hymns in honour of the deceased, and dirges set to solemn and mournful measures. This being ended, they take up the bed again, and carry it out of the city into the Campus Martius. In the widest part of this field is raised a kind of scaffold of a square form, and equilateral, built of nothing but vast quantities of wood in form of a house. The bed being placed in the second story, they throw over it heaps of spices and perfumes of all kinds, fruits, herbs, and all sorts of aromatic juices. For there is no nation, city, or individual, of any rank or eminence, who do not vie with each other in making these last presents to the memory of the emperor. After a and great heap of spices has been piled up, every part of the building filled, the grand procession on horseback is made by the whole equestrian order round the structure, in certain orders, and returns in Pyrrhic measure and time. Chariots also are driven round in like order, by persons dressed in purple, and representing all the Roman generals and emperors. This being ended, the successor to the empire takes a torch, and puts it to the building. All the rest immediately set fire to it, and instantly the whole, being filled with dry combustibles and perfumes, is in a strong blaze. Presently, from the highest and least story, as from a pinnacle, an eagle is let loose, and, towering up into the air with the flame, is supposed to convey the emperor's soul to heaven. From thenceforth the emperor is worshipped among the rest of the gods."-p. 18.
On the important truth contained in this observation, the whole volume is one continued commentary; and every instance which the author adduces, furnishes its quota of evidence to establish the authenticity of the sacred volume. We give two passages as specimens, and recommend the volume to supply the rest.
JOB, i. 19.-There came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house. -On the 25th, at four o'clock in the afternoon, we set out from the villages of Nuba, intending to arrive at Basboch, where is the ferry over the Nile; but we had scarcely advanced two miles into the plain, when we were enclosed in a violent whirlwind, or what at sea would be called a water-spout. The plain was red earth, which had been plentifully moistened by a shower in the night-time. The unfortunate camel that had been taken by Cohala seemed to be nearly in the centre of its vortex; it was lifted and thrown at a considerable distance, and several of its ribs broken; although, as far as I could guess, I was not near the centre, it whirled me off my feet, and threw me down on my face, so as to make my nose gush out with blood: two of the servants, likewise, had the same fate. It plastered us all over with mud, almost as smoothly as could have been done with a trowel. It took away my sense and breathing for an instant; and my mouth and nose were full of mud when I recovered. I guess the sphere of its action to be about two hundred feet. It demolished one half of a small hut, as if it had been cut through with a knife; and dispersed the materials all over the plain, leaving the other half standing. Bruce's Travels, vol. iv. p. 422. See also Park's Travels in Africa, p. 135.-Oriental Customs, p. 455.
PSALM, xlii. 7.-Water-spouts.-Those which I had the opportunity of seeing, seemed to be so many cylinders of water falling down from the clouds, though, by the reflection, it may be, of those descending columns, or from the actual dropping of the water contained in them, they would sometimes appear, especially at a distance, to be sucked up from the sea. Shaw's Travels, p. 333.
But notwithstanding this description, there is good reason to think that, in some of those meteors called water-spouts, a great tube or pipe is formed of the matter of the whirling clouds, which sumehow or other draws up, or appears, even when seen near, to draw up the sea water. See Jones's Physiological Disquisitions, p. 595.
observe the rather uncommon phenomenon of seve
On the 26th February, in lat. 22 deg. 26 min., long. 60 deg. 19 min., we were called on deck, to ral water-spouts, that were slowly moving before Previous to the time when they presented themselves, the weather had been calm and cloudy, with frequent squalls from different, and even opposite, quarters. From the circumstances attending their origin, continuance, and termination, I am inclined to consider them as derivable from electric causes, similar to those of the whirlwind on shore, so observed during the
REVIEW.-Oriental Customs, applied to the Illustration of the Sacred Scriptures. By Samuel Burder, M. A. 493. Longman, London, 1831. THE public are not strangers to Burder's Oriental Customs. The volumes in which they originally appeared, are so well known, and so highly esteemed, as to have procured of lull or calm, which intervene between the land
for the author a degree of reputation which no writer could receive with indifference.
If the customs of Eastern nations had been as fluctuating and unstable as our own, many passages in the sacred volume would have been involved in darkness, that are now rendered luminous and entertaining by an appeal to existing manners and indisputable facts. Mr Burder has justly observed in his preface," that the peculiar phraseology which occurs in many parts of the holy scriptures can be correctly understood only through the medium of Eastern science."
and sea breezes in India, and perhaps not stronger in effect. The columnar, or ribbon-like appearance, I suppose to be produced by thick mist or aqueous vapour, which could not, by its fall, occasion any damage to a vessel, save that which such a body itself might occasion, by deranging the current of the electric fluid. The formation of the spout appears to commence thus: A convexity, or small spot of projection downwards, is observed in the cloud, of the same apparent density with its thickest part; and on a spot in the sea, nearly under it, a bubbling motion is seen, accompanied with mist. The spot below is darkest in the centre, and at the water's edge, and does not appear, in any case, to rise more
than ten or twelve feet above the level of the sea, If the horizon beyond the cloud be clear and in where it diminishes in density, and appears as mist. light, the spout itself appears dark, but not more so
"The Lancashire Witches," are most pub
Yet even these have been chiefly received in general terms; it has therefore been Mr. Roby's business to trace out the real or supposed facts on which they are founded, and to give consistency to a narration which many know only by name.
In this attempt he has been remarkably successful. He has contrived to infuse into his stories a considerable share of interest, which can hardly fail to command the attention of his readers, while furnishing them with amusement that carelessness alone can render unprofitable.
We have seen many tales from the German, many of Scottish origin, and a still greater number of Irish extraction, but have no recollection of any that we should prefer to those before us. For although the German may have more romance, the Scotch more of personal prowess, and the Irish more of humour, the mixture of these ingredients, in these traditions of Lancashire, appears better suited to an English palate. They includ enough of the marvellous to excite astonishment, and to forbid belief, but they rarely diverge to extremes which compel us to drop the narrative with disgust.
REVIEW.-Tales of a Physician. W. H. Harrison. 8vo. pp. 262. Jennings, London. 1831.
WE are informed in the title-page, that this is the second series; but of what the first consisted we do not know, as they never fell into our hands. We feel, however, fully assured, that if they were equal to the present, they were very interesting; and, most probably, the public, viewing them in the same light, encouraged the author to venture on these before us, which bear the following names: "Cousin Tomkins the Tailor;" ;""The Life of an Author;" Remorse;" ""The Sexton's Daughter "The Old Maid;""The Preacher Soldier's Bride;" "The Mortgagee."
These Tales bear no resemblance to one another; each is original in its own way, is enlivened with incidents, and displays great power of invention, felicity of combination, and perspicuity of expression. The language is always sprightly, and sometimes elegant, but vivacity never degenerates into levity, nor becomes disfigured by coarseness and vulgarity.
We should, however, be exceedingly sorry if, amidst these minor excellences, we had been compelled to throw out even an insinuation against the moral tendency of these tales. Happily this is not the case.
REVIEW.-LANCASHIRE.-TALES OF A PHYSICIAN.
than the impending cloud; but should the horizon beyond it be dark, the column assumes the colour
of smoke, and shows itself comparatively lighter licly known among the common people.
than the distance.
At the moment of its approximation to the agitated water below, the spout is nearly straight, but it soon becomes bent like a bow, in the direction of the wind, yielding to its action; yet its general colour or density does not appear deeper or greater than that of the thickest part of the cloud to which it adheres. This phenomenon terminates by the separation of the pillar, which divides as if broken off, the lower part diffusing itself wider and wider, and gradually subsiding. It is also observable, that the spout does not remain stationary, but proceeds as if uniting the extent of the cloud, to which it is attached, with the surface of the sea, sometimes to a considerable distance. After the disappearance of the spout, there is very frequently a fall of rain from the cloud." Johnson's Journey from India to England, in 1817, p. 6.-Oriental Customs, &c. p. 459.
REVIEW.-Traditions of Lancashire. By J. Roby, M.R.S.L. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 338, 330. Longman. London. 1829.
LEGENDARY tales are in general very interesting; and they would frequently be more so, if they did not commit such violent outrage on common sense. Approaching somewhat nearer to truth and reason, are those events and occurrences which live
in tradition, and pass on from generation to generation, blending fact with fable in such a manner, that it is difficult to say where the former ends and where the latter begins.
Most counties have their traditionary tales, and if Lancashire is more fertile in this species of wild memorial than others, one reason may be found in the prevalence of popery, which all must admit is favourable to the growth of wonder and superstition. The unenlightened mind revels in the marvellous, and frequently the incredibility of a tale becomes an incentive to belief. But even among those who view these wandering records in their proper light, few will be found who would wish them to be consigned to oblivion. They are frequently founded on some historical fact, which time has left behind him in his flight, and tend to preserve the manners and customs of a distant ancestry, when walking under those clouds of ignorance which have been dissipated by the learning and science of modern times.
The traditionary tales which Mr. Roby has collected together in these volumes, though wholly distinct from each other, are not short and broken fragments. Each tale has its proper commencement, progress, and catastrophe. The parts all adhere together, and the reader proceeds with pleasure through the details, and half forgets whether what he is perusing be true or false.
The tales are twenty in number; among which "The Eagle and the Child," and 2D. SERIES, NO. 8.-VOL. I.
Their aim is virtuous, and the vicissitude of incident which we are called to witness, leads to catastrophes that are in general grateful to our feelings, if not correspondent with our expectations.
Cousin Tomkins the Tailor teaches an admirable lesson to titled extravagance in high life, and it may be perused with advantage by many who would blush to be thought related to a man of thimbles and needles. The good lady, while in affluence, had many friends; but when she and her husband were dead, and every thing was to be sold to satisfy the demands of the creditors, not one could be found among them to afford shelter to a helpless female orphan, their only child. In this distress, Cousin Tomkins the Tailor makes his appearance, and, though an outcast with the parents, provides for the child, and by insuring his life, leaves her an ample fortune.
The Old Maid is not introduced as a subject for ridicule, but to shew in what manner an amiable and virtuous young female had been abandoned by a villain, when he found the loss of her fortune had changed the aspect of her pecuniary circumstances. Yet, with truly Christian feelings, she afterwards saved him from the gallows, and furnished him with the means of procuring an honest livelihood.
The Mortgagee is full of incident and interest. It is the rescue of innocence from the fangs of titled depravity, and the ultimate triumph of virtue over the villanies that designed its ruin. We cannot, however, find either time or room further to analyze this tale, or to state any particulars of the others. All are strictly moral, and therefore useful, in their character and tendency. To youthful readers they can hardly fail to furnish amusement; and where this is received, there is little probability that the instruction will be wholly lost.
REVIEW.-The Life and Diary of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, of Stirling, Father of the Secession Church. By Donald Frazer. 12mo. pp. 543. Hamilton, London, 1831.
THE peculiar circumstances in which Mr. Erskine was placed, as the leader of a Secession band, have conspired equally with his talents, zeal, and piety, to immortalize his name. It is not intended by this remark to insinuate, that he was deficient in either of the above qualities; but many perhaps have possessed them in an equal degree, whose names have been but little known
beyond the immediate circle of their labours and usefulness.
It was, however, the lot of this celebrated minister to be engaged in services which have rendered his name familiar to multitudes, and the same causes will also transmit it to posterity.
In the early part of this volume, some account of Mr. Erskine's ancestors appears. This is followed by a memoir of himself. The subsequent chapters contain extracts from his Diary; the difficulties he was compelled to encounter, arising from various sources; and finally, a summary of his
In looking back on his progenitors, we find that Mr. Erskine descended from a pious stock; and from this fact we are led to expect in him a mind early impressed with the importance of religious truth, and a life devoted to the duties of his professsion. Nor are we in either of these respects disappointed. His life and diary record the vivid and powerful influence of divine grace on his soul, by which he was led, through all the troubles that assailed him, and the arduous conflicts in which he was engaged, to put his trust and confidence in the ever blessed God. It is a diary of experience, of holy communion, of spiritual intercourse with the Father of the spirits of all flesh, a sitting in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. In every expression there is a sacred unction, a fervent breathing of the soul to God, an influx from above of pure enjoyment, which only holy spirits know.
To men of the world, who are strangers to the religion of the heart, this diary will have the appearance of enthusiasm and visionary reverie, and by all such it will be treated with contempt. But there are others who, having been taught of God, will know how to estimate its value, and to profit by the lessons which example teaches. To all such it will appear as an important addition to the stock of spiritual biography already on their shelves; and many, on perusing its pages, will be stimulated to seek that elevation of piety which Mr. Erskine attained, and which enabled him to rejoice in the God of his salvation with a joy unspeakable and full of glory.
REVIEW.-Fourteen Sermons, on various Subjects, chiefly by celebrated Divines of the Sixteenth Century. 12mo. pp. 408. Holdsworth. London. 1831.
OLD sermons are frequently like old coin, the metal is pure, but the image, date, and lettering, have an obsolete appearance. To
REVIEW.-SUNDAY SCHOOL MEMORIALS.
those who delight in what is tinctured with
To the sermons in this volume, the pre-
The subjects of these discourses are chiefly of an experimental and practical nature, supported by the authority of scripture, and enforced by solid argument, derived from the same sacred source. The necessity of the atonement, and of the continued influence of the Holy Spirit, their authors keep constantly in view, and the light, life, and love, which genuine religion imparts, are held forth in a cheering and animating manner. These sermons display much vigour of mind, great range of thought, and fervour of piety; and, amidst that peculiar phraseology which we might call quaint, we perceive an originality of combination in the ideas, and an innate energy of expression, which cannot fail to command our admiration.
By whom these discourses have been collected and printed does not appear. The address to the reader is dated Southampton, 1831; but beyond this, nothing respecting the editor is suffered to transpire. For this concealment, however, the following note, facing the title page, furnishes a satisfactory
"A thousand copies of this volume have been printed, and presented to the committees of several charitable societies, with a twofold object in view; namely, that the admirable sentiments contained in these discourses, may be made more generally known, and that the funds of the institutions referred to, may be increased, for the furtherance of their philanthropic designs."
The price of this volume is in perfect accordance with the above act of benevolence. It is sold in boards at four shillings, which fully demonstrates that pecuniary advantage formed no portion of the compiler's calculation; and very extensive must be the sale, to reimburse the expense of the edition. His object appears to be, to do good to the souls of men. To accomplish
this, the sermons he has selected are admirably adapted. To us the compiler is wholly unknown, and is likely to remain so; for,
"Who builds to God a temple, not to fame,
Will ne'er inscribe the marble with his name."
REVIEW.-Sunday School Memorials, 12mo. pp. 252. Hurst, Chance, and Co. London. 1831.
LONG and formal dissertations on almost any subject become tedious, and tiresome to the reader; hence they are frequently put by for the present, and, perhaps, never more resumed. These remarks cannot apply to the volume under inspection, it being almost entirely made up of narrative, which the author has contrived to render very interesting.
The scene of these memorials is Manchester; and the Sunday-school in which the individuals were instructed whose biography is recorded, is under the fostering care of the established church. A luminous preface furnishes all the information that can be wanted, as to the institution, government, finances, instruction, process of teaching, and number of pupils. From these latter, Mr. Braidley, whose name is connected with the preface, though it does not appear in the title-page, has selected ten individuals, chiefly females. Of these he has given some interesting memorials, as to their religious experience, and progress in the divine life; and has concluded each biographical sketch with some serious reflections, some suitable admonitions, or some solemn inquiries, addressed to the reader.
Even by persons totally unacquainted with the subjects of these memoirs, they cannot be perused with indifference; but in the town, the school, and the neighbourhood, where all were known, these simple records must operate with a double force. Of some few the narratives are rendered peculiarly interesting, by the local circumstances with which they are associated. That of Mary Sadler, and that of Catherine Prescott, are both of this description. The former was trampled to death, in a place of worship, in consequence of a report prevailing that the gallery was giving way; and the latter did not learn to read until she was upwards of a hundred years, when she attended the Sunday school with her great-grandchildren for this purpose. She died at the supposed advanced age of of one hundred and fourteen years.
But in these and the other memorials, the knowledge of salvation to which each individual was brought, imparts to this book an