Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


out, and decorated with numerous statues of saints

in canopied niches. It is crowned at the angles WREXHAM is a considerable town of Denbigh- | with light openwork turrets, adding much to the sbire, situated at the junction of the Shrewsbury, richness of its character. From its massiveness Welshpool, and Chester roads, and consequently and elevation, this tower forms a conspicuous oba place of much traffic. It is the centre of the ject in the landscape, from whatever point of view mining and manufacturing districts of the eastern it is beheld. part of the county of Denbigh, and hence is some- This church has a remarkably fine carved roof. times called the metropolis of North Wales. No The altar-piece is worked in stone by a Chester particular trade or manufacture is carried on in artist; and the east window is filled with modern the town itself, though the parish, which is ex- painted glass. tensive, being 12 miles long, abounds in mineral There are here some interesting monuments. wealth, and important works have been established in the chancel is an altar-tomb, on which is a rein various parts of it. The markets of Wrexham cumbent figure of Dr. Bellot, bishop of Bangor are well attended ; and the Welsh language is and of Chester, who died in 1596. But that generally heard among the country people who which will chiefly attract the attention of the frequent them. A handsome market-hall, it may visitor is one by Ronbilliac, representing a young be added, was built a few years ago ; and cheese female rising fresh and beautiful from the sepulfairs have been established.

chre, and inspiring an idea of that awful hour Wrexham unites with three other places, Den- when the dry bones shall live and the grave shall bigh, Holt, and Ruthin, in returning a represen- give forth its tenants—some with incorruptible tative to the imperial parliament.

bodies, vigorous for happy immortality ; others, The church, wbich is dedicated to St. Giles, is alas! fitted for destruction. This monument is to a spacious and noble gothic structure, deservedly the memory of Mrs. Mary Myddleton, of Chirk considered one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings castle. There are others by the same sculptor, to in the principality. The friable red sandstone, commemorate other members of the same family. bowever, of the neighbourhood was used in its In the neighbourhood of Wrexham, about one erection; and, in consequence, the sharpness of the mile distant, is Acton park, the birth-place of the sculpture bas been lost, and the church looks as notorious judge Jeffries, who prostituted his great if in a crumbling condition. It appears to have legal talents to the maintenance of fdespotic been built at the latter end of the fifteenth cen- power, and perished in the overthrow of the tury: the tower, which is its principal boast, was Stuart dynasty. finished, according to a date upon it, in 1506. The population of Wrexham at the census of

The exterior of Wrexham church is elaborately 1841 was 12,921 ; but this did not include cerembellished with sculpture. The lofty tower con- tain hamlets and 'dependencies, which contained sists of several successive stages, panelled through- 3,500 persons more.





cliff; but quivering, glistening, changing to the

eye of the beholder. The effect of this tremulousBY MARY ROBERTS.

ness on foreground objects imparts a deep feeling

of the beautiful, whether manifested in the sparkle October hath its own deep solemn beauty;

of running waters, in the early dew on herbage, With sound of wind and rushing streans, once scant

or the quivering of reeds when shaken by the From heat in past months, when the air was hot;

wind. It has nought to do with motion, though Now bursting forth, and leaping with full life, Widening and deepening; while, on either side,

impressed on moving things, whether of waters Old trees and saplings group in sylvan beauty,

running swistly, or such plants as rustle in the Rich with the deep and glowing hues of autumn.

breeze. It is an effect, or rather optical illusion, M. R.

sought for in vain throughout all other months, and

seeming to endue as with a soft, unearthly, gentle OCTOBER is the poet's month: its freshness and motion, every natural object, however stable. In health-inspiring feeling has ever been accounted the early spring and summer, when the loveliness favourable to poetic inspiration. The painter's of the one, and the matron beauty of the other, too; for hues of autumn are gently stealing on: are obvious in all their gracefulness and richness, all trees forego their greenness; and where, but a the landscape hath its own deep glory, and refew days past, the woods presented that dark, quires nought beside. It is otherwise in autumn : dense green of summer, into which the tints of decay has begun its work; but that process is so spring had insensibly deepened, a change becomes softened and embellished, such exquisite mingling perceptible : the winds and night dews impress an of hues are obvious in woodland scenery, such a exquisite variety of hues, varying and mingling, bright and tremulous light is shed abroad, and yet widely differing, and presenting every grada- such magnificent masses of rolling clouds, and tion, from deep brown to the brightest orpiment. such gorgeous sunsets fling their shadows Who can look over the glorious landscape, with bright hues on the meek and matron face of out experiencing somewhat of that flowing forth nature, that he who looks upon them may of thankfulness, that joyous consciousness of ex- readily forego the consciousness that all this is istence, which seems as the spirit's memory of an but a prelude to the falling of the leaf, and the unfallen state ?

drawing in of winter. Few among the most striking characteristics of

Beautiful, too, are shadows in this month-not October are found on level and open counc peculiar it may be, for their effect is obvious tries. Noble groups of ancestral trees, and wood- throughout the year, yet marked with a deeper lands sweeping in their pride over hill and dale, character. Observe the grassy slope of some present, on the contrary, all the richness and ful- gentle declivity, with groups of trees, and here ness of autumnal scenery, such especially as the and there those noble, wide-spreading, umbrageous finely-timbered and billy parts of Gloucestershire, elms, which are the pride of an English landwhere some old wood has waved perchance for scapé. How dark, and well-defined, and stationary ages, at one period filling the vale country, at an- are their shadows on the sward ; but suddenly, other crossing a wide common, and climbing, by when the wind is high, and clouds move rapidly, aid of huge stones, the rugged side of a conti- a different modification becomes obvious; not guous acclivity ; till, having gained the highest well defined, nor fixed for a while, but hurrying, elevation, that old wood looks down over stubble- evanescent, vanishing, se-appearing, and seeming fields and wastes skirted with underwood, where to chequer the grassy slope with light and shade. the leaves of the wild cherry assume a scarlet hue, These are cloud shadows, flung from embodied those of the marsh elder a beautiful red, or rather vapours, Aloating through the heavens. Who may pink, and the birch and chesnut that golden tint trace their progress, or describe the shadowing which is often mellowed by the lingering green- and the brightening which they alternate in passness of the ash.

ing? I have watched them in the early mornings This change of colour, which impart so much of May and June, when groups of deer came of richness and variety to an autumnal landscape, forth from their shelter for the night, and sheep is occasioned by the oxygen of the atmosphere, began to browze on the damp and sparkling berbwhen acting on leaves from which the vital prin- age; when the voice of one bird, and then anciple has been gradually withdrawn. And most other, was heard from out the adjacent coppices, and curious is the fact that the colour extracted by squirrels bounded from bough to bough; but never dyers from different woods accords with their do they possess such fulness of beauty as when dissimilar tints. The sawdust of the common October clouds and sunshine contend for mastery, British oak (quercus robur) is the chief indi- and shadows, now called into being, and again as genous substance used in dying fustian, whilst suddenly vanishing, chequer the varied landOthers of the tribe yield a liver, fawn, or sanguine scape. colour, in accordance with their change of leaf; Flowers still linger in the hedges, and the thus also the hickory, and that species of foreign lover of nature rejoices in them, though somewhat quercus which affords quercitron bark, impart a with a sad and sober feeling, because the time of brilliant yellow dye, and are everywhere distin- | their departing is at hand. The bugloss and guished for the vividness of their tints.

small stitchwort, the gentian and white behen, And then that tremulous effect, which is pro- the pansy, hawkweed, and black nonsuch vary duced by the oblique direction of the sunbeams, how their dissimilar localities. The mallow and the indescribably beautiful! lighting them with a feverfew are seen on hedge-banks and heaps of vividness peculiar to this month; yet not station- rubbish. They look pleasant to the passer-by, ary, as the hues of evcuing on mountain-tops, though little of poetry or history is associated forming, so to speak, a oneness with each jutting with their names: flowers are they of every-day's acquaintance, yet calling up no images of bygone “Now wear thou this, she solemn said, times, por pleasant memories of spring-tide hours,

And placed the holly on my head:

Its polished leaves and berries red did rustling play; when young feet went forth by stream side and

And, like a passing thought, she fled in light away." in meadow paths, or through the good green wood to gather posies. And yet, as I have often The holly is all-important to small birds which had occasion to observe, each plant hath its own remain stationary through the winter: it affords use and history; and those of the stitch wort and a ready shelter, and yields abundance of red bermarsh gentian, the mouse-ear hawkweed, and red- ries: it serves, too, as a screen to innumerable crane's-bill, are well deserving of brief notice. The grasses and flowers, that might otherwise perish, first (stellaria holostia) is particularly attractive or be destroyed by sheep and cattle ; and many a to a small yellow underwinged moth, which is timid quadruped creeps beneath the branches, often seen hovering among the flowers: the second when pursued by its enemies. This friendly ever(gentiana pneumonanthe) was

was named after green is a vegetable citadel, bristling with sharp Gentios, a kivg of Illyria, who, if we rightly points; and every leaf is so well guarded that neiunderstand Dioscorides and Pliny, first discovered ther the wild cat nor weasel can molest such birds its virtues as an antidote, and of which the galo as take shelter in the upper portions of the tree. lant Powers, as wrote old Gerard, “ be in their But, though the under branches are covered with braverie, by spring side, or in marshy places, prickly leaves, those leaves become smooth toabout the end of August, and of so beautiful a

wards the top. Birds, therefore, nestle securely colour that it passeth the very bluwe itselfe.” among them during the wintry months, or build Next in order among these wayside lingerers is their nests in spring. the mouse-ear hawkweed (hieracinm pilosella), O, reader! hast thou ever stood to see growing with her sisters, in dry meadows, sheep

The holly-tree? walks, and pastures, on rocks and ruins, and

The eye that contemplates it well perceives wherever winds may visit, or a wandering sun

Its glossy leaves

Ordered by an intelligence so wise, beam find its way; contributing to the horo- As might confound the atheist's sophistries. logium Floræ, or botanical clock, as originally de

Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen, scribed by Linnæus, and since exhibited in the

Wrinkled and green: Garden of Plants, at Paris, and often noting to No grazing cattle through their prickly round the weary labourer his time for leaving work.

Can reach to wound; And, lastly, the red crane’s-bill (geranium san

But, as they grow where nothing is to fear,

Smooth and unarmed the pointed leaves appear. guineum), with its relatives of wood and field, is found in the most dissimilar localities, growing at Observe, too, the ivy (hedera helix), that one time in the fissures of old ruins, at another on climbing and glossy, evergreen, which classic stony banks, by fountains, and in marshy places; poets sung, and blended with the rose, in festibat, in all and each, the bright red of its deeply- vals; mantling many a ruin and neglected wall, indented leaves, changed, like those of forest trees, covering the cottage chimney and stunted pollard, by oxygen, renders this small plant an object of pe- and often giving to an aged tree, sapless and culiar beauty. Thus is the lover of natural without leaves, the luxuriance of its own rich verscenery indebted to the oxygen of the atmosphere dure, offering in each a shelter to wayfaring birds, for the beauty of an autumnal walk or landscape. and presenting its tiny cups, filled with juice, to The humble crane's-bill confesses its secret power in many of the insect tribes. Butterflies, too, are the change of leaf, equally with the forest there, late visitants, which might otherwise have brotherhood of trees; these, as already noticed, to wander far in quest of food. I have often present an exquisite variety of mingling hues, seen crowds of large flies rise with an angry hum, with the exception of the northern, or smooth if disturbed in their feast, and, after buzzing leaved wych-elm (ulmus montana), that widely- round the bush, settle again when all was quiet. spreading tree, than which no other of indigenous The delicate white cabbage-butterfly (papilio growth suffers so severely from the stealing on of brassice) is one of the ivy's frequent guests, and shortening days and early frosts. Others mani- presents' a pleasing contrast to the admiralfest a change from the action of oxygen, when butterfly (vanissa atalanta), with its richly-tinted their vital energy declines; but then their splen- pinions: the peacock-butterfly (io vanissa) hastens dour is rather augmented than decreased. Not so also to the ready banquet, with its wings now the tree of which we speak: its leaves curl up, opened, and again closed, as the sun breaks forth become suddenly brown, and flutter from their or retires behind a cloud. Other purposes, in the sprays. Every passing wind sends down a tor- economy of nature, are also assigned to the ivy. rent of untimely leaves, till its skeleton-looking When clinging round large trees, in high and branches are seen waving amid the gorgeous windy, places, it often acts as a protection from foliage of the woods.

the cold and wet; and, though injurious to young And yet this atmospheric agency, which pro- timber, rather by its mechanical pressure than the duces such an admirable effect, is powerless as re- extraction of nutriment, it operates as a preservgards the ivy and the holly, with evergreens inative to trees of full growth; and some of the general. And why is this?' Because, whether largest and soundest have been entwined with its standing singly or in groups, they afford a wel- branches for many years. Persons who are uncome shelter to small birds, when woods are leaf- acquainted with its natural history would proless, and the winds and storms of winter are scribe the ivy. This obtrusive plant, say they, abroad. The holly especially, that classic shrub insinuates its fibres into the bark of trees, which Burns immortalized in those unrivalled and consequently destroys them. But the case is lines, wherein the genius of Scotland thus ad- otherwise : the fibres are too short to occasion indressed her favoured son when driving the plough: jury: they serve chiefly as claspers to support the

« AnteriorContinuar »