Изображения страниц
[ocr errors]

welfare and happiness of mankind. It is with pleasure I witnessed the humanity of the jailor towards the unfortunate prisoners, in general; he sympathised with their diftreffts, and seemed to do every thing in his power which Inight ameliorate their sad condition. The goal itself is a large modern building, pleasantly fituated, and, apparently, well adapted to the melancholy purposes to which its apartments are appropriated. It is built upon the plan of the late Mr. Howard, whose intention it was, that punishment fhould effect the reformation of the criminal. Indeed this can be the only rational object of suffering, for savages alone can delight in wanton cruelty.

The difsenters in this city are numerous and respect. able, and have enjoyed the labours of Mr. Pierce and Mr. Micaijah Towgood, two of their most eminent advocates and ornaments. The former flourished there about the beginning of this century, and was a man of found learning, irreproachable manners, and fterling integrity. The latter was justly entitled to an appellation often bestowed upon him-the Apostle of the Weft;

for in him an enlightened zeal and an ardent charity were happily united. I saw his venerable portrait at the house of his amiable fucceffor ; his features, were expressive of the virtues by which his soul was animated. It was painted by Opie, whose professional merits are generally and defervedly acknowledged.

In Exeter the cathedral is almost the only object of curiosity. It was 400 years in building, yet exhibits an astonishing uniformity :

- The pious work
Of names once fam’d, now dubious, or forgot,

And buried ’midit the wreck of things which were !
It is vaulted throughout, is 390 feet long and 74 broad;
it has a ring of bells reckoned the largest in England,
as is also its organ, the greatest pipe of which is fifteen
inches in diameter. The dean and chapter have the



houses round the cathedral, which form a circus, called the clofe, because it is separated from the city by walls and gates. At the deanery King WILLIAM llept, ia his way from Torbay to London; the bishop, however, ran off to King James, and was, for his loyalty, made Archbishop of York. In several parts of the cathedral we saw monuments of great antiquity; that of Judge Doddridge particularly attracted my attention. He was the ancestor of the pious and learned Dr. Philip Doddridge ; and Job Orton declares, that it is hard to say whether he were the better artist, philosopher, die vine, common or civil lawyer. His epitaph inscribed upon his tomb is expressive :

Learning adieu ! for Doddridge is gone To fix his earthly to a heavenly throne; Rich urn of learned dust ! scarce can be found More worth enshrined in lix foot of ground ! A curious incident happened to this upright judge, on one of his circuits, and is recorded in the Harlean Miscellany. Judge Doddridge, at Huntingdon aflizes, 1619, had, it seems, reproved the Sheriff for having returned persons on the jury who were not of sufficient respectability. The Sheriff, however, took care, against the next Aflizes, to present the following singular lift, at which the Judge liniled, at the same time applauding his ingenious industry.

Mamilian King of Tortand,
Henry Prince of Godmanchester,
George Duảe of Someríham,
William Marquis of Stukely,
Edward Earl of Hartford,
Robert Lord of Warsley,
Richard Baron of Bythorpe,
Edmund Knight of St. Neots,
Peter Esquire of Easton,
George Gentleman of Spaldock,
Robert Yeoman of Barham,


Stephen Pope of Weston,
Humphrey Cardinal of Kimbolton,
William Bishop of Bugden,
John Archdeacon of Paxton.
John Abbot of Stukely,
Richard Friar of Ellington,
Henry Monk of Stukely,
Edward Priest of Graffham,

Richard Deacon of Catsworth. We afcended the principal tower of the cathedral, from the summit of which we were presented with a beautiful prospect of Exeter, and the adjacent country. The circuitous windings of the river Ex, added to the variety of the scene, whilst Topsham, a bustling feaport, fituated upon its banks, yields many advantages to the active and commercial part of the community.

A curious clock is to be seen in the cathedral, the face which exhibits the Prolemaic system; which represents the earth in the centre, and the planers revolving round it in regular succeffion. It has an odd appearance, but conveys an idea to the intelligent spectator, of that arrangement of the planetary system, which was once admitted to be the true system of astronomy. The painted window in this metropotitan church, erected about thirty years ago, should not pass unnoticed, for it is reckoned one of the finest in the kingdom. It exhibits the twelve aposles at whole length, surrounded with the armorial bearings of the principal families of the county. It has been remarked that Peter, looking down over his left shoulder, seems to frown horribly upon the spiritual court * The Bishop's throne also is an exquisite

* Let not this remark be deemed illiberal; for Dr. Johnfon himself, speaking of his tragedy Irene, observed to a friend, that if his heroine had not suffered enough by the evils which had befallen her; he could fill fill up the measure of her calamities, by putting her into the Siiritual Court at Litchfield!


piece piece of workmanship, and so curioully framed, that neither screw, nail, or peg, were employed in its construction. Upon the approach of Oliver Cromwell to besiege the city, it was taken to pieces by the clergy, sacredly preserved, and re-instated at the Restoration. The library likewise contains a good collection of antient divinity; and the compartment of it, added by the late Dr. Ross, Bishop of the diocese, seemed particularly well chosen; he was, indeed, a prelate of confiderable learning and distinguished liberality.

This cathedral impreffed me with peculiar sensations of folemnity. To use the beautiful language of Con. greve in his Mourning Bride :

How reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble head,
To bear aloft its arch'd and pond'rous roof,
By its own weight made fedfast and immoveable;
Looking tranquillity! It strikes an awe
And terror on my aching sight; the tombs
And monumental caves of death look cold,
And shoot a thrilling to my trembling heart.
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice:
Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear

Thy voice-ny own affrights me with its very echoes! Exeter, taken altogether, is well worth the traveller's attention. It has one fpacious street, called the ForeStreet, of considerable length, and conveys to the eye of the stranger an idea of great respectability. The city anciently had a mint; and fo late as the reign of King William, filver was coined here, diftinguished by the letter E. placed under the King's but. About one mile and a half without the east gate of Exeter, is the parish of Heavy Tree, fo called from the gallows erected there for malefactors, and near it is a burial place for them, purchased in the reign of Ed. ward the Sixth, by the widow of Mr. Tucker, Sheriff of Exeter, who also left money to procure them frouds in which the poor wretches, have frequently been executed. They now, however, make their exit over the front door of the prison, by a drop, fimilar to that before Newgate. This city is said to have suffered grievously by the resentment of Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, who, to revenge the disappointment of fome fish from the market, by wiers choaked up the river below Exeter, which before brought up ships to the city walls, so as entirely to obstruct the navigation of it. The injury, however, has by means of an artificial channel been, in a great measure, remedied. Such was the trade of this city in ferges, druggets, kerseys, and other woollen goods, that it was computed at fix hundred thousand pounds per annum. Vait quantities of thefe articles used to be shipped off for Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland, and Germany.

Exeter is remarkable for three things; that it has for its motto Semiper fidelis, ALWAYS FAITHFUL-that of its twenty churches in the city and suburbs, thirteen of them were in the time of Oliver Cromwell, exposed to sale by the common cryer ; and that it has given birth to Sir Thomas Bodley, the founder of the famous Bodlean Library, at Oxford. Nor thould we omit to mention the hospital for the sick and lame poor, both for the city and county. It was founded by Dr. Alured Clark, Dean of Exeter, and the first stone was laid the 27th August, 1741, by him, accompanied by the Bilhop and a great number of the neighbouring clergy, who were subscribers, besides fome thousands of joyful spec. tators.

Such institutions are honourable to humanity, For charitable efforts to relieve human misery, this jlland has long been famous; and may Britain continue for ever thus to be distinguished among the nations of the earth!

Quitting Exeter, I reached Honiton, at the distance of fifteen miles, a pleasant town, being one long street, in which are to be found many good houses. In the midst of it, however, stands a row of wretched and tottering


2 3

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »