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CHARMOUTH. both by Hurdis and Warton; the lines of the latter, of which I was now reminded, you probably recollect:
Behold the transports of yon festive scene,
My friend informed me that Charmouth contains in its cliffs an inexhaustible magazine of petrifactions. Nature here seems to have deposited some of her choicest treasures. Perhaps the cornua ammonis, nautilus, and belemnite, are found here in as great perfection as in any part of the kingdom. In fact, there are few cabinets which are not indebted for beautiful specimens of the above-mentioned fossils, to this, village. Nor
27 must we forget that dog-tooth spars, of the highest beauty, elegant specimens of petrified wood, the vertebræ and other bones of marine animals, are also here found. Gentlemen's carriages, when they stop here, are frequently beset by the poor, who collect these things on the beach, and offer them to sale. Among these, the person commonly known by the epithet of Captain Curious, is distinguished. Indeed he makes it his profession, and on inquiring for him, virtuosi are shewn to his cottage, where an assortment of these articles is kept for the accommodation of his customers.
Here you will permit me to recommend an admirable work, entitled, Organic Remains of a former World, by J. Parkinson, the Second Volume of which has been recently published. The account of fossils given by the author is truly curious, and well worthy attention. The numerous plates are exact copies of nature, and coloured with exquisite delicacy.
Lyme lies close by the sea-side, seated in a cavity between two rocky hills, on the river Lyme, which runs through it, and whence its name is derived. The road to it, from the village of Charmouth, forms a tremendous': declivity. Being dark, it felt as if we were driving down into the bottom of the ocean! It is sometimes denominated Lyme Regis, or King's Lyme, probably from its having been annexed to the crown in the Feiga of Edward the First. Here are some fine
. DUKE OF MONMOUTH. houses built of free-stone, and covered with blue slate. This place is frequented in the bathing season, having machines and other accommodations for company. Houses for the genteeler classes have been raised on the side of the hill, whence the eye is exhilarated with a prospect of the ocean ! Lodgings for strangers also are to be procured in this elevated situation, and it is said with a tolerable degree of cheapness. In general these places of resort are exorbitant in their charges, so that persons in the middle rank of life, should they visit the sea-side, either for health or pleasure, need study economy. Lyme is also praised for the good hours kept by the company who visit it; and early
rising has always been deemed conducive to health - and spirits. It is, however, a practice unknown in the fashionable world.
Lyme is a good harbour, and the merchants lade and unlade their goods at a place called the Cobb, a massy building, consisting of a firm stone wall running out into the sea, and in a curvilinear direction. That part of the town nearest the ocean, lies so low, that at spring-tides the cellars are overflown to the height of ten or twelve feet. The custom-house stands upon pillars, and has the corn market underneath it.
It was at Lyme that the unfortunate James Duke of Monmouth landed, in June, 1685, with about eighty men; his numbers, however, soon increased; he marched to Axminster and Taunton, but giving battle to the King's troops at
29 Sedgemoor, near Bridgewater, he was defeated, and soon afterwards beheaded. I shall enter more fully into this business in my account of Taunton, and in the mean time refer the reader to Charles James Fox's incomparable Historical Work, where the character and fate of the Duke of Monmouth are sketched with equal truth and ability. His adherents were pursued with unrelenting cruelty, and several were executed at this place, with circumstances of aggravated severity. In particular, twelve persons were hung at one time, among whom were Colonel Holmes, Dr. Temple, and Samuel Robins, whose cases were peculiar. Holmes was an old and gallant officer, who had served under Cromwell with distinguished reputation. He accompanied the Duke to Holland, by whom he was made Major-general. In the action of Philip's Norton, one of his arms was shot to pieces, so that it hung only by the flesh; in consequence of this, being soon tàken, he was stripped by the soldiers, and carried before a justice of peace, who humanely cloathed him. His shattered arm being an incumbrance to him, he, waiting in the kitchen for his worship, laid it on the dresser, and cut it off himself with the cook-maid's knife! He was hanged on the spot where he landed with the Duke, and met his fate with manly fortitude and resignation. · Dr. Temple was a native of Nottingham, who going to Holland for experience in his profession, met with the Duke, who engaged him as his phy
CURIOUS INCIDENT. sician and surgeon. He knew nothing of the Duke's intention of invading England, till they had been some time at sea: yet, notwithstanding this exculpatory fact, no interest could save him. Samuel Robins was a fisherman of Charmouth, who went on board the Duke's ship to dispose of his fish, and was of course compelled to pilot him into Lyme. He would, however, have been pardoned, had it not been proved in court that a book, entitled, The Solemn League and Covenant, was found in his house.
It is observed by a Mr. Pitts, who was a spectator of the execution of these twelve unfortunate persons, that they were to have been drawn to the place of execution on a sledge; but no cart horses, nor even coach horses, could be made to draw it, so that they were obliged to go on foot. This circumstance was remarked at the time, and considered by many as a kind of miracle! It undoubtedly had something extraordinary in it; but every little circumstance is easily convertible into an omen by minds inclinable to superstition.
Had the Duke of Monmouth proved success. ful in his expedition, Lyme would no doubt have been held in the same degree of veneration with which Torbay is contemplated by the friends of civil and religious liberty. The fortune of War is proverbial, and success sanctions almost every thing in the eye of the world.
We left Lyme, encircled by the shades of the evening, and, passing through Culliton, a snug