Imágenes de páginas

being better known. The caravans which have traversed | The most western, the plateau of Iran or Persia, is not so these desolate regions from the remotest antiquity, being elevated or extensive, no where exceeding 4000 feet, and constantly exposed to their destructive violence. All not comprehending more than 1,700,000 square miles. In travellers who have crossed these plains, have described length, the two together extend about 5500 miles from west the precursors and the appearance of the storm in similar to east, and vary in breadth from 700 to 2000 miles. terms: a more death-like stillness in the air, a lurid light, Unfortunately, little is at present known of the natural and those optical phenomena mentioned in p. 36, announce history and productions of this country. The climate, from the approach, and the coming clouds of sand are seen in the great elevation, is very cold, yet a vegetation adorns the horizon. If the direction of the wind brings them many parts of it, and the wild horses, in large droves, towards the caravan, and sufficient time is not allowed for pasture on the more fertile portions. That it was once the escape, the riders, dismounting from their camels and horses, abode of numerous and civilized nations, appears from the throw themselves flat on their faces, closing the mouth and remains of temples and sepulchres found on some of the eyes to keep out the suffocating particles, and the vapour mountains. The present Mongolian population are wanwhich carries them. The camels instinctively bury their dering tribes, professing the religion of the Dalai-Lama, noses in the sand for the same purpose, while the horse, and keeping immense flocks of horses, camels, cattle, unless inured to it by experience, and trained to take the sheep, and goats, and therefore, plentifully provided with same precaution, suffers fearfully, if not fatally. When all the necessaries of life, and, indeed, raised far above the danger is passed, and the bewildered fainting traveller many other nations in their habits and customs. rises from his constrained position, he often finds all The desert of Kobi resembles that of Africa, consisting the known landmarks swept away, which were to guide of a mass of barren sand, incapable of cultivation, and him on his path, his associates dead from fatigue, heat, or nearly destitute of water from the absence of vegetation. suffocation, or if he escapes these calamities, his provisions, his clothes, his stock, are usually much injured, if not destroyed by the sand, which is so subtile and penetrating, The tribes who overran the Roman empire, and came as to enter every package, however closely secured and from the East, the Huns, Avars, and Alani, are supposed guarded. We have endeavoured to convey an idea of the to have emigrated from this Table-Land of Asia ; and some appearance of a sand-storm and its effects, in the engraving of the Gothic tribes, as they are called, came from a more at the beginning of this paper.

limited plain of Europe, Jutland, and Denmark, which, THE TABLE LAND OF CENTRAL ASIA.

though now peopled, yet preserves some of its natural

characters, and is marked out by extensive heaths, which BETWEEN the thirtieth and fiftieth parallels of latitude still present an obstacle to all cultivation. Why these un from the Caspian Sea to Lake Baikal, and from the sources inviting districts should have been so apparently over of the Indus to the wall of China, is an immense Table- peopled that emigration was rendered necessary, when the Land, parts of which are the highest spots, not being mere rest of the known world was comparatively under-populated, peaks of mountains, on the globe. Generally it consists of an is a inystery in history which there is no means of fully assemblage of naked mountains, enormous rocks, and vast explaining: it may be partly accounted for by the plains, the principal of which latter is the Desert of Kobi, peculiar nature of the physical geography of this central or Shamo. These table-lands form two distinct tracts, region, which presents facilities of communication, and differing in extent and elevation: the most eastern, com- varieties of soil and climate, favourable to the spread of prising the plateau of Thibet, and the great desert of Kobi population. Its present comparative solitude is due to or Gobi, rises from 4 to upwards of 10,000 feet above the moral causes, to which we bave not space to do more than level of the sea, and contains about 7,000,000 square miles. / allude.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, Wut STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


the first settlements in Egypt were made by Misraim, nience of their ships. The Romans transported from grandson of Ham, 160 years after the flood.

Egypt to Rome obelisks formed out of a single stone, of Probably most of the early migrations of mankind were a length and size so enormous, that it is questionable made by land; for not only the ocean, but even a channel, whether they could have been put on board any modern or frith, of any considerable extent, would, in the infancy of ship whatever. This fact shows that the Roman ships society, be invested with enough of terror to deter the must have been large and strong, and that a considerable unpractised wanderer from trying so dangerous a path to degree of skill must have been exhibited in their condiscovery. The colony that Misraim led to Egypt, probably struction. The following account of one of the ancient preferred to cross the isthmus of Suez, rather than tempt ships is given by Athenæus. the dangers, fearful indeed to them, of the Mediterranean " It had forty ranks of oars, was four hundred and and Red Seas.

twenty-seven English feet in length and fifty-seven in We may, however, safely conclude, that the inventive breadth, and nearly eighty feet in perpendicular height genius of man did not rest very long without attempting to from the taffrel to the keel. It was furnished with four find some way to surmount the obstacles to human inter- rudders, or steering-oars, forty-five feet in length, and the course and the settlement of the world, interposed by rivers longest of the oars by which it was impelled, were in and arms of the sea, and the still more formidable ones length equal to the extreme breadth of the vessel. The presented by the ocean itself. Doubtless, traditions, and crew consisted of upwards of 4000 rowers, and at least 3000 probably some remains of knowledge relative to Noah and other persons employed in the different occupations conthe ark, continued long to exist among his descendants. nected with navigating so immense a fabric." These would suggest the practicability of forming structures The earliest mode of conducting commerce was doubtwhich would form a safe means of conveyance across rivers

less by caravans, which as appears from Scripture were and arms of the sea, as the ark had over the waters by known as early as the days of Joseph, and the merchants which the world was covered.

to whom he was sold probably belonged to a caravan. The first attempts at ship-building and navigation The earliest commerce with India, of which we have any after the Deluge, were probably the construction of rafts authentic account, was carried on in this way by the merand canoes, and the guiding of them, with more or chants of Arabia and Egypt. less skill, over the rivers that impeded the huntsman

The Mediterranean and Red Seas were the scene of the in his pursuit of the chase, or the channels and arms first commerce carried on by water. This would naturally of the sea that interrupted the communication between be the case, as those seas border on the countries where the the occupants of opposite shores. Under these circum- human race was first planted, countries in former days disstances it would soon be found that the water, instead tinguished for the richness and variety of their productions. of impeding the intercourse of men with one another, The first people of whose maritime commerce we have furnished far better means and far greater facilities for any authentic and distinct account, are the Egyptians. carrying on that intercourse, than the land. Hence | They are said, soon after the estabishment of their monmaritime intercourse between comparatively distant cities archy, to have opened a commerce with the western coast on the same coast would arise, and the commodities of one of India, though of the extent of this commerce we know would be exchanged for those of the other.

The conve

but little. It appears, however, that its flourishing period nience of water as a means of transporting these com- was short, for pursuits of this kind were by no means conmodities would become more and more obvious, as their genial to the spirit of that proud and self-sufficient people, commercial operations became more extensive, and this who regarded themselves as superior to all other nations, would excite increased attention to the arts of ship-building and their country as superior to all other countries and navigation. In the course of the voyages thus made, Thus considering themselves the first of men, they new discoveries would from time to time occur, and these looked down with contempt on other

and were would stimulate the spirit of enterprise to more active disposed to stand at a haughty and repulsive distance efforts, and give it a higher tone. In this way we may from them. Sea-faring men were regarded by them safely conclude, that the foundation was laid for the advance with a feeling bordering on contempt. Their manners ment of commerce, and for the many splendid discoveries, and institutions differed widely from those of other nations. which have attended and rewarded the enterprise of sub- Possessing a character, and cherishing a spirit, so entirely sequent ages.

the reverse of that which commerce is calculated to form Like all other arts the arts of ship-building and navigation and to foster, it is not strange that they soon retired from were at first very imperfect. Naval operations which, the theatre of commercial enterprise, and left it to be in subsequent ages, would have been considered as un occupied by a people possessing more of that free and worthy of mention, were, in the earlier ages of antiquity, social spirit which commerce requires. regarded with such wonder that the conducters of them were deified, and the names of the ships themselves The miseries of indolence are known only to those who transferred to the constellations of heaven. With many have no regular pursuit ; nothing in view, however eager, of the great principles and operations in navigation, or arduous; nothing by which time may be shortened by which are now considered as the very elements on which occupation, and occupation rendered easy by habit.that science is founded, the ancients were wholly unac- Bishop Mant. quainted. The property of the magnet, by which it attracts iron, was known to them, but that more important To endeavour to gain the perfect happiness promised in property, by, which it points to the poles, had entirely the next world, is the surest way to gain the greatest hapescaped their observation. They had no other means of piness this present world can bestow.--LA HARPE. regulating their course than the sun and stars. Their navigation of course was uncertain and timid. They Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, seldom ventured far from land, but crept along the coast use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly. exposed to all the dangers and retarded by all the obstruc

-BACON. tions incident to a course so circuitous and so liable to interruption. A voyage which would now scarcely require The lands and houses, the goods and chattels, which the weeks, then required months for its completion. Even on parent bequeaths to his child in the hour of death, are the calm waters of the Mediterranean they ventured to scattered, and consumed, and swallowed up, by the rudo sail only in summer, and few indeed were the hardy spirits assault of time; but the imperishable inheritance of a that did not shrink back as they thought of encountering sound, religious education, is a treasure, which, throughout the wild waves of the Atlantic. 'Winter laid an embargo the fiercest changes and storms of life, bears the richest on all their maritime operations. To put to sea at that and surest of fruits. season would have been deemed the height of rashness.

The art of ship-building appears to have made much The world is much mistaken in the value of a septre or more rapid progress than that of navigation. The account

a crown; we gaze upon its brightress, and get its of the commerce of Tyre, given in the twenty-seventh brittleness; we look upon its glory, and forge;fs frailty; chapter of Ezekiel, affords strong evidence that the Tyrians had made no small advances in this art, and it is But if pall those gay things which we fedly fancy to

we respect its colour, and take 40 notice its weight! reasonable to conclude that the naval and commercial ourselves, are really to be found in greatrale yet still be operations in which the Tyrians and other ancient nations pays too dear, that pawns his heaven for be that buys were engaged, would stimulate them to devise. various a short bliss, gives not wwenty, or an ho means of increasing the strength, and speed, and conve- chase, but af mercy prevent not), eter78.

dred years' pur


[ocr errors]
[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

AMONGST the many noble examples of the archi- | narrative which they give must be looked upon as
tectural skill of our forefathers, which yet remain in fabulous*.
this country, there are few which possess a higher The Conisborough estate subsequently passed from
claim upon our interest than the majestic Castle of the family of Warren to Richard, Earl of Cambridge,
Conisborough, which, after a lapse of nearly one who assumed the name of Richard of Conisborough,
thousand years, still uprears its head; a visible relic in consequence, it is said, of the castle having been
of another time; a connecting link between the past his birth-place. After his death it passed into the
and the present. If even the most insignificant hands of his grandson, King Edward the Fourth,
memorial of former ages affords materials for and remained in the possession of the crown for
thought to a reflecting mind, how much more should more than two centuries, when it was given by James
a ruin like that of Conisborough, which has by many the Second to Lord Dover. It afterwards became
been considered the most important of the few the property of the family of its present possessor,
remaining strong-holds of our Saxon ancestors yet to the Duke of Leeds.
be found in this country, engage the attention of the The historical records of Conisborough Castle are
lover of history and antiquities. Of late years, unusually scanty and imperfect, and the period when
however, Conisborough has acquired an interest of a it fell to decay, like that of its origin, can only be
new, and it may be safely affirmed a lasting character, guessed at. The plan of the structure, which must
from its being chosen by Sir Walter Scott for one once have been of considerable extent and importance,
of he principal scenes of his romance of Ivanhoe. is irregular, though rather inclining in form to an

origin of this Castle is unknown. Tradition oval. The entire strong-hold, which crowns the

a very remote antiquity, whilst several summit of an elevation, was surrounded by an
modern ancquaries seem disposed to attribute the extensive fosse or ditch, still in many places forty
foundation of
first Eal of ñ

he present structure to William, the feet deep, but now destitute of water, and full of

irren, to whom the surrounding
estate was granted William the Conqueror. It is, being defeated in this neighbourhood by the British Commander

According to these writers, " Hengist, the first Saxon invader,
however, it isputable, that a strong-hold of some

Aurelius Ambrosius, in the year 487, was obliged to take refuge in sort existed here during the times of the Saxons. thills as the ear the entrance to the castle is a tumulus, which is said

this castle, and hazarding a second engagement, was killed below its Geoffrey of pnmouth, and some of our old his to a cover the body of this chief ; but Turner, the eminent historian zve carried bank its origin to a period are her opinion that he never, at any time, ponotated into the

of the Anglo Saxons, as well as other writers of high authority, con invasion « Britain, but the northern counties at all


[ocr errors]

torians, indeed,
preceding the $

lofty oaks and elms: on the northern side, however, five or six feet in diameter and height;" its mouth is where the entrance was placed, the fosse is com- two feet square, and is on a level with a passage, pletely filled with rubbish.

which seems to have run round the tower. The wall Before the invention of artillery, the castle must is here ten and a half feet thick, so that it dimihave been almost impregnable, but in later times, in nishes eighteen inches at every floor. The height of consequence of the superior height of the neighbour- the three rooms we have described is 52 feet, and ing eminence on which the village of Conisborough the total height of the buttresses 86 feet, but they is situated, it must have been greatly reduced in have formerly been of loftier elevation. consequence, to which we may attribute its ultimate The village of Conisborough is of very high antidesertion. The remains, as far as they can be traced, quity; by the Britons it was called Caer Conan, and extend about 700 feet in circumference; but the by the Saxons Cyning, or Conan Burgh, both signichief object of interest is the magnificent tower; the fying a royal town; it must once have been a place subject of our engraving; in describing which we of some importance, as it is handed down that it was shall avail ourselves of the substance of a very the seat of a civil jurisdiction, which comprised curious paper which appeared in the Gentleman's twenty-eight towns. Magazine for the year 1801,

This picturesque village stands, as we have already

stated, on a lofty elevation, about six miles to the This noble round tower is strengthened by six massive south-west of Doncaster, overlooking a rich and square buttresses, running from the base to the summit at wooded country, through which the river Don equal distances. Eighteen feet from the ground, both the tower and buttresses expand, sloping gradually to the meanders with a life-like effect. The church, which width of four feet, in order to give greater strength to the is dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient and remarkbase The tower is situated at the south-eastern extremity able structure, exhibiting the several characteristics of the castle, two-thirds of it being within the walls, which of the Norman, the early English, and the later or rest against it. The other face forms of itself the outward decorated styles of architecture; so that it has eviwall, and here the entrance, which is twenty-four feet frondently been built at different periods. The monuthe ground, and ascended to by a flight of thirty-two steps, is situated. On a level with this door is a floor,

ments are not destitute of interest, and a singular on which we enter through the wall, which is here fifteen stone, carved with hieroglyphics, has frequently feet thick, and at each buttress twenty-three feet. It is an excited the attention of the antiquary. The following undivided apartment, twenty-two feet in diameter, of account of a feast in the olden time, is framed and circular form, as is the whole interior of the structure. hung up in a room at an inn in this village; it The wall is quite plain, and wholly destitute of any exhibits a curious example of the change which has aperture for ligbt except the entrance.

In the centre of the floor is a round hole, resembling the taken place in the value of money. mouth of a well, which, however, forms the only entrance

The expenses of Sir Ralph de Beeston and Sir into a lower apartment, or dungeon, from whence, accord- Gunon de Baldriston of Conisborough, on Monday, ing to tradition, there was a subterraneous passage from the morrow of the exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the castle. Ascending by a flight of twenty-five stone the fourteenth year of King Edward the Second, stairs from the entrance-passage, lighted by two loop-holes, A.D. 1321. we reach the level of another apartment, but the floor has entirely fallen away. The fire-place, which is deserving of

Im bread, bot

xviij d. 1 6 minute attention, is surrounded by a triple pillar on each Im 4 gallons of wine, bot

.!! $.

2 0 side, with carved capitals supporting a chimney-piece Im 12 gallons of ale, bot in Doncaster,

xviij d. twelve feet long, now partly ornamented with ivy. Oppo

Im 16 gallons of ale, bot in Conisborough, xvj d. 14 site, is a large arched window, ascended to by three bold

Im shambles meat, bot

1] s•

2 0 Im 8 fowls, bot

1 0 steps. The only other objects in this room are a closet, Im 2

bot and a niche and trough in the wall, which is here 134 feet

viij d.

Im eggs, bot thick. An ascent of thirty-four steps leads to the next Im 2 lbs. of candles, bot room, which has also a fire-place. Few persons ascend

Im a woman's wages in fetching the ale,

0 1 further than this, as the upper room is exceedingly difficult

Im provender for the horses, bot

xv d.

1 3 and dangerous of access, being only to be reached by In the neighbourhood of Conisborough may be venturing along a narrow ledge scarcely nine inches broad. discovered several traces of a Roman road.

On at last gaining an entrance, (says the writer,) the certain antiquity of the chamber, and the idea that here, perhaps, our warlike ancestors had offered up their prayers, or buckled on their armour, or taken their repose, filled us with a pleasing awe and veneration, that was heightened to superstition by a charming sound like that of an Eolian

TIME speeds away-away-away: harp, which we both distinctly heard at several intervals,

Another hour-another dayunable to conjecture how it was occasioned.

Another month-another yearThis beautiful room is of hexagonal proportion, and the

Drop from us like the leaflets sear; ceiling is composed of a series of arches" decorated in the

Drop like the life-blood from our hearts; Gothic manner." It is very imperfectly lighted, there

The rose-bloom from the cheek departs, being only one large loop-hole or aperture in the wall, six

The tresses from the temples fall, feet in height, which diminishes in width from six feet on

The eye grows dim and strange to all. the outer wall of the tower, to thirty inches in the inner.

Time speeds away-away-away, The ceiling and other parts of this interesting chamber

Like torrent in a stormy day; have been richly ornamented with carved-work, which is

He undermines the stately tower, now much defaced; but the room is sufficiently perfect to

Uproots the tree, and snaps the flower; afford a vivid idea of the state of the castle in the olden

And sweeps from our distracted breast time.

The friends that loved the friends what blepi

And leaves us weeping on the shre, Our antiquaries next ascended by a flight of

To which they can return no pure. twenty-five stone-stairs to the summit of the tower,

Time speeds away-away-away: which commands a prospect of exceeding richness

No eagle through the ski-s of day, and beauty, over field and flood. The buttresses, as

No wind along the hill, can fice depicted in our Illustration, rise several feet higher

So swiftly or so smoth as he. than the walls ; in one of them appear steps; three

Like fiery steed-rom stage to şbe,

He bears us or from youth to as others each contain a large arched alcove, whilst in

Then plunge in the fearful se. a fifth is " a broad place exactly resembling an oven,

Of fathopless Eternity.--,ox





[ocr errors]


jij d. ob.



« AnteriorContinuar »