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PATRIOTIC REFLECTIONS. mind from all local emotion," says the great Dr. Johnson, “ would be impossible if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish if it were possible. Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses; whatever makes the past, the present, or the future, predominant over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and my friends be such frigid philosophy, as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plains of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona !”
After a fortnight's stay in this part of Devonshire, I with regret bid my friend the Rev. Mr. B- , and his family, an adieu ; for they reminded me of the group delineated by Thomson, who are said to have been blessed with
An elegant sufficiency, content,
I remain, dear Sir,
: Yours, &c.
See an interesting Excursion from Sidmouth to Chester, in the Summer of 1803, by the Rev. Edmund Butcher, also two volumes of Sermons for Families,-by the same Author, which are admirably adapted to promote moral and religious improve.. ment. No serious family should be without them.
EXETER ; ITS ANTIQUITY ; ITS CASTLE; EXECUTION OF PEN
RUDDOCK ; ASSIZES; TRIAL OP PRISONERS, AND THEIR CONVICTION ; CATHEDRAL; ANECDOTE OF BURNET; MONUMENT OP JUDGE DODDRIDGE; SINGULAR JURY ; CURIOUS CLOCK ; PAINTED WINDOW; DISSENTERS; ANECDOTES OF EXETER; DESCRIPTION OP HONITON ; ITS CHURCH AND CHURCA-YARD; A QUAKER'S MEETING ; SPECIMENS OP NATURAL HISTORY.
IN my last letter a sketch was attempted of the rural beauties of Sidmouth and its vicinity. Scenery so distant from the metropolis, and of course so little known to the generality of our countrymen, boasts some degree of noveltya Happy should I think myself had I been successful in its description. But Exeter, justly pronounced the metropolis of the west of England; and Honiton, pleasingly situated, must now engage our attention. The town and the country possess their respective charms; nor should the advantages of either be fastidiously rejected.
Exeter is an ancient city, and its name is a contraction of Excester, which signifies a Castle on the Ex. Athelstan, one of the West Saxon kings, first gave it the name of Exeter; having, before that period, been called Monckton, from the great number of monasteries with which it abounded. The Castle of Rougemont, in this city, is supposed to have been built by the West Saxon kings, and to have been the place of their residence. It
ASSIZES. lies on an eminence, whence opens a prospect towards the English Channel, about ten miles to the south. The ancient part of the building is decayed; but on this spot, in a convenient hall of modern erection, are held both the assizes and quarter-sessions. In the centre of the court by which it is surrounded, was beheaded Henry Penruddock, Esq. in the time of Oliver Cromwell, for having attempted to raise an insurrection in behalf of the exiled monarch Charles the Second. It is remarkable that this gentleman (who was a native of Cornwall) had, at the head of two hundred horse, entered Salisbury, March 11, 1675, at the time of the assizes, without opposition. Rapin informs us, that even the Judges and Sheriff being seized on the occasion, were in danger of being hanged, for their refusal to proclaim the King ; who, notwithstanding, was proclaimed ! But not being joined by a sufficient number of loyalists, they were soon routed, and an end put to the insurrection. In cases of this kind, a trifle turns the scale-- had there been sufficient energy and spirit on the occasion, with the most important consequences might it have been attended. The State-trials contain some particulars relative to this business, which shew, that even Cromwell was fearful of popular commotions, and punished this trivial rising of the people with the utmost severity. It is rather singular that this event is unnoticed by Hume in his History of England. :
The assizes were held at Exeter during my stay there before Sir Nash Grose and Sir Archibald
ASSIZES. Macdonald. I attended both courts, which were crowded. At the criminal bar I saw three men tried for stealing stores from his Majesty's dockyard at Plymouth. They were found guilty, after a trial of some hours. I conversed with them immediately after their conviction, and found them affected with their situation. They seemed unapprised of the enormity of the crime they had committed, and, consequently, were unapprehensive of the serious consequences which followed. It is to be regretted, that better means were not devised for the promulgation of our criminal laws, in every parish throughout the kingdom. The principal crimes, with their punishments, ought to be inscribed upon a tablet, in legible characters, and so placed that it might excite universal attention. To prevent, rather than to punish crimes, should be the object of a wise policy; nor will the humane mind ever suffer itself to be indifferent to the happiness of mankind. It is with pleasure, however, I witnessed the humanity of the jailor towards the unfortunate prisoners, in general; he sympathized with their distresses, and seemed to do every thing in his power which might ameliorate their sad condition. The gaol itself is a large modern building, 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 should effect the reformation of the criminal. Indeed this can be the only rational
CATHEDRAL. object of suffering, for savages alone delight in cruelty.
In Exeter the Cathedral is almost the only object of curiosity. It was 400 years in building, yet exhibits an astonishing uniformity: it is vaulted throughout, 390 feet long and 74 broad; it has a peal of bells reckoned the largest in all England, as is also its organ, the great pipe of which is fifteen inches in diameter. The dean and chapter occupy the houses round the cathedral, which form a circus, called the close, because it is separated from the city by walls and gates. At the deanery King WILLIAM slept, in his way from Torbay to London; the Bishop, (Dr. Lamplugh) however, ran off to King James, and was, for his loyalty, made Archbishop of York. The Sunday after the Prince of Orange had reached Exeter, Dr. Burnet mounting the pulpit in the cathedral, to read the Declaration, all the canons and part of the congregation left the church ! On the other hand, few offered their services, not but that the people were inclined to the undertaking. It was the recollection of the severities practised against the adherents of the Duke of Monmouth, (which shall be particularly noticed in my next letter) that deterred them from engaging in the enterprize. In short, the prince remained nine days at Exeter, without being joined by any person of distinction. It is even said, that in a council of war held in this city, he suffered it to be proposed to him that he should re-embark for Holland ! On the tenth