« НазадПродовжити »
mise which was held forward in the original Prospectus, is now satisfactorily fulfilled, with an exception of the INTRoduction.
The publication of The BEAUTies of ENGLAND AND WAles, in a series of detached parts, has rendered unavoidable a vast number of allusions to the state of the country in preceding times; and to the manners and endowments of the inhabitants, and the prevailing laws, institutions, and arts at different periods of history. To have elucidated these on every occurrence would have led to innumerable repetitions; and entirely to omit all elucidation would leave the Work much less complete and satisfactory than the Proprietors were desirous it should ultimately remain in the hands of their Subscribers. Necessity, therefore, has combined with inclination in throwing together, as Introductory matter, whatever is of general application. This very desirable part of the undertaking is now in an advanced stage of preparation, and will speedily be published in a volume, containing about twenty-four sheets of letter-press.
In conclusion, the Proprietors wish respectfully to observe, that upwards of Fifty Thousand Pounds have been expended on this Work, and their chance of remuneration entirely depends on Subscribers completing their sets, unless they have recourse to a plan which has been often suggested to them,--that of dividing the remaining copies of the Work, and selling them in separate Counties. But they would reluctantly adopt such a measure, as it must prevent very numerous persons, who have subscribed to the publication in different stages, from procuring at any period such Volumes, or Numbers, as may be wanting to render their sets complete. They consequently request, on the principle of mutual accommodation, that such Subscribers as are deficient in arts of the Work, and are desirous of supplying that deficiency,
ois. pleased to do so with as little delay as may be conve
corner of St. Paul's, July 1, 1816.
WNGLAND and Wales comprehend such parts of the island of "A Great Britain, as are south of the Cheviot Hills, and an arbitrary line drawn from Solway Firth to the river Tweed. These districts are finely diversified in character; and partake, in the Cambrian, or western division, of the mountainous rude grandeur of the tracts to the north of the line of boundary. In other directions they are rich in a graceful succession of hill and vale; the former being in partial instances only too steep for cultivation, and the lowlands almost invariably fertile, or capable of responding to the efforts of the Agriculturalist. England is famed for an abundance of wood, distributed in ornamental proportions; and numerous rivers afford great facilities of inland navigation, whilst their diffusive and winding courses are favourable to the picturesque adornment of the country. Although, the metals deemed precious are rarely found in England or Wales, those which are useful to the real wants of man are discovered in salutary plenty; and have, from the earliest recorded period, formed a source of moral energy to the Briton, by propelling him to exertions of industry, and by leading him to habits of Commercial interchange. . . But, however estimable may be the natural capacities of a country, its real beauties are to be sought in the progress of mind amongst its inhabitants. The source of opulence is but the B auxiliary
auxiliary of intellect.–In the following brief review of circumstances generally connected with the topography of South Britain and Cambria, I shall make it my pleasing task to direct, at every possible opportunity, the attention of the reader to such events as appear to illustrate the Data of national advancement in morals, science, or taste; convinced that a majestic ruin, or
modern uninjured work of art, depends for leading interest on a
knowledge of the spirit which induced the erection of the decaying structure, or which preserves the existing fabric. The island of Great Britain, of which England and Wales constitute the predominating parts, extends from fifty to fifty-eight and a half degrees of north latitude; and is, consequently, about 500 geographical miles in length. Its greatest breadth is found between the Land's End, Cornwall, and the North Foreland, in Kent; and is, in this direction, 320 geographical miles. In British miles the length is computed at 580, and the extreme
breadth at 370.
This is the most considerable island of Europe, and approaches, in general outline, towards the form of a triangle. The circuit of the three sides, allowing for the devious character of the coast, is, by a free estimate, supposed to be about 1800 miles.
England, including Wales, is situated between 50° and 56° north latitude. The greatest length from south to north is about 400 miles; and the extent in square miles is computed at 49,450.* England is bounded on the east by the German ocean; on the south by the English Channel; on the west by St. George’s Channel; and is divided from Scotland, on the north, by the river Tweed, the Cheviot Hills, and that artificial line before noticed, which proceeds from the Cheviot Hills to the south
west, and meets the Firth of Solway.
This island was originally termed Albion; a name which ap. . pears
* This statement of the extent and contents of Great Britain, is chiefly
founded on Pinkerton's Modern Geography, collated with other authori
pears to have been an usual Celtic term for heights or eminences, and is reasonably thought to have been bestowed on it by the Gauls of the opposite shore, from a contemplation of the tall cliffs which rise to the view of those who inhabit the coast in the neighbourhood of Calais.” & The name of BRIt Ain was substituted for the original mode of designation at a very early period, and probably soon after the first settlement of inhabitants in the island. The conjectures of antiquaries concerning the etymology of this term are extremely numerous.—Camden, with the diffidence usual"to a man of true genius, when he feels that probable surmise is all that can be offered, submits it as possible that the first syllable, or radical part of the appellation, alludes to the custom of the inhabitants painting their bodies in various colours and devices. But it is not by any means clear that the word Brit, or Brith properly implies painted in the Celtic. Bochart, having recourse to the Greek name of this island, is willing to derive it from Baratanac; which, in the Phoenician tongue, signifies a land of Tin. I pass unnoticed the surmises of various minor writers, and state the opinions of Borlase + and Whitaker, f as those which appear most ingenious, while they partake least of fancy. On ... viewing the usual character of the whole range of primary local appellations, it may be rationally believed, with Dr. Borlase, that the word Brit, or Brith, signifies some circumstance relating to natural situation, rather than to any thing so variable as custom or manner. The idea of the disjunction of this country from Gaul would be necessarily a prevailing feature in the consideration of those who resided on the Continent, and of those who - B 2 - boldly
* Wide Hist. of Manchester, Vol. I. p. 10. octavo edit. (to which edition of Mr. Whitaker's work, I, likewise, refer on every subsequent occasion, ""less the contrary be noticed;) and Genuine Hist, of the Britons asserted, p. 91. et seq. **
* Wide Antiquities of Cornwall, Chap. 1.
# Hist, of Manchester, Vol. I. p. 10–12; and Genuine Hist, of the Britons asserted, p. 29–32, 71–74, 91–93, 95—10s,
boldly quitted its security and first colonized the shores of Albion. Hence, an etymon expressive of the circumstance of separation may be sought for with propriety; and such a mode of explaining the term is readily found. According to Whitaker, the appellation of Britain was first applied to the inhabitants rather than to the region; and the radical part of the term is derived from a Celtic word, primarily denoting separation and division. The same intelligent writer observes that the original word appears to have been equally pronounced Brict, Brit, and Brioth; Breact, Breac, and Brig; and is still retained in the Welsh Brith, and the Irish Breact, any thing divided or striped. “Britis enlarged into Brit-on, or Britan, in the plural, and Brit-an-ec in the relative adjective; and so forms the appellation Brit-on-es, Brit-an-i, and Brit-anic-i; as Brig, in the plural, is altered into Brig-an, and Brig-ant, and forms the denomination Brig-ant-es.” x . This argument as to the derivation of the second name by which our island was distinguished, is not offered to the reader of these pages as probably conclusive, but as one that is quite problematical. Still, it appears the more plausible amongst the great variety of conjectures.— It must be added that the appellation of Britain was not anciently peculiar to the island primarily denominated Albion, but was common to many of the smaller neighbouring isles; and it may be remarked that several writers,
foreign and native, notice it as a felicitous circumstance that the
parent-island retains to the existing day the name by which it was known in the first period of its credible history, while almost every other country has lost its early appellation.
The comparatively modern term of England, by which the south part of Britain is now distinguished, is derived from the - Angles, a people ascribed to different parts of the north of Ger. thany, but who, at the era of the Saxon invasion, were resident . x <. x th
• * Hist, of Manchester, p. 14.