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IRON.* Great the necessity hereof; some nations having lived in the ignorance of gold and silver, scarce any without the use of iron. Indeed we read not of it in making the Tabernacle (though from no mention no use thereof therein cannot infallibly be inferred), which being but a slight and portable building, brass might supply the want thereof. But in the Temple, which was a firmer fabric, we find “ Iron for the things of Iron,"+ and a hundred thousand talentst of that metal employed therein.
Great the quantity of iron made in this county; whereof much used therein, and more exported thence into other parts of the land, and beyond the seas. But whether or no the private profit thereby will at long-running countervail the public loss in the destruction of woods, I am as unwilling to discuss as unable to decide. Only let me add the ensuing complaint, wherein the timber-trees of this county deplore their condition, in my opinion richly worth the reader's perusal:
“ Jove's oak, the warlike ash, veined elm, the softer beech
Short hazel, maple plain, light asp, the bending wych,
And we poor woful Woods to ruin lastly sold.” But it is to be hoped that a way may be found out, to charke sea-coal in such manner as to render it useful for the making of iron.
All things are not found out in one age, as reserved for future discovery; and that perchance may be easy for the next, which seems impossible to this generation.
Talc (in Latin talchum) is a cheap kind of mineral, which this county plentifully affords, though not so fine as what is fetched from Venice. It is white and transparent like crystal, full of streaks or veins, which prettily scatter themselves. Being calcined and variously prepared, it maketh a curious whitewash, which some justify lawful, because clearing not changing complexion. It is a great astringent, yet used but little in physic. Surely Nature would not have made it such a hypocrite, to hang out so fair a sign, except some guest of quality were lodged therein ; I mean, it would not appear so beautiful to the eye, except some concealed worth were couched therein ; inclining me to believe that the virtue thereof is not yet fully discovered.
Sussex has for some time ceased to be the county from which iron is principaily obtained.-ED. † i Chronicles, xxix. 2. I Ibidem, xxix. 7.
WHEAT-EARS. Wheat-ears is a bird peculiar to this county, hardly found out of it. It is so called, because fattest when wheat is ripe, whereon it feeds; being no bigger than a lark, which it equalleth in the fineness of the flesh, far exceedeth in the fatness thereof. The worst is, that being only seasonable in the heat of summer, and naturally larded with lumps of fat, it is soon subject to corrupt, so that (though abounding within forty miles) London poulterers have no mind to meddle with them, which no care in carriage can keep from putrefaction. That palateman shall pass in silence, who, being seriously demanded his judgment concerning the abilities of a great lord, concluded him a man of very weak parts, “ because once he saw him, at a great feast, feed on chickens when there were wheat-ears on the table.”
I will add no more in praise of this bird, for fear some female reader may fall in longing for it, and unhappily be disappointed of her desire.
CARPS. It is a stately fish, but not long naturalized in England ;* and of all fresh-water fishes (the eel only excepted) lives longest out of his proper element. They breed (which most other fishes do not) several months in one year ; though in cold ponds they take no comfort to increase. A learned writert observeth, they live but ten years; though others assign them a far longer life.
They are the better for their age and bignessi (a rule which holds not in other fishes); and their tongues by ancient Roman palate-men were counted most delicious meat; though, to speak properly, they have either no tongues in their mouths, or all their mouths are tongues, as filled with a carneous substance, whilst their teeth are found in their throats. There is a kind of frog which is a professed foe unto them; insomuch, that of hundred
pond, not five of them have been found therein a year after. And though some may say perchance two-legged frogs stole them away, yet the strict care of their owners in watching them disproved all suspicion thereof.
Now as this county is eminent for both sea and river fish, namely an Arundel mullet, a Chichester lobster, a Shelsey cockle, and an Amerly trout; so Sussex aboundeth with more carps than any other of this nation. And though not so great as Jovius reporteth to be found in the Lurian lake in
carps put into
. See hereafter, under the MEMORABLE Persons in this County.
Gesnar and Janus Dubranius.
Italy, weighing more than fifty pounds,* yet those generally of great and goodly proportion. I need not add, that physicians account the galls of carps, as also a stone in their heads, to be medicinable; only I will observe that, because Jews will not eat caviare made of sturgeon (because coming from a fish wanting scales, and therefore forbidden in the Levitical lawt); therefore the Italians make greater profit of the spawn of carps, whereof they make a red caviare, well pleasing the Jews both in palate and conscience.
All I will add of carps is this, that Ramus himself doth not so much redound in dichotomies as they do ; seeing no one bone is to be found in their body, which is not forked or divided into two parts at the end thereof.
It is almost incredible how many are made of the iron in this county. Count Gondomer well knew their goodness, when of king James he so often begged the boon to transport them.
A monk of Mentz (some three hundred years since) is generally reputed the first founder of them. Surely ingenuity may seem transposed, and to have crossed her hands, when about the same time a soldier found out printing; and it is questionable which of the two inventions hath done more good, or more harm. As for guns, it cannot be denied, that though most behold them as instruments of cruelty; partly, because subjecting valour to chance; partly, because guns give no quarter (which the sword sometimes doth); yet it will appear that, since their invention, victory hath not stood so long a neuter, and hath been determined with the loss of fewer lives. Yet do I not believe what soldiers commonly say, “ that he was cursed in his mother's belly, who is killed with a cannon,” seeing many prime persons have been slain thereby.
Such as desire to know the 'pedigree and progress of great guns in England may be pleased to take notice, 1. Anno 1535, John Oaven was the first Englishman, who in England cast brass ordnance, cannons, culverings, &c. 2. Peter Baud,ß a Frenchman, in the first of king Edward the Sixth, was the first who in England cast iron ordnance, falcons, falconers, minions, &c. 3. Thomas Johnson, covenant-servant to Peter aforesaid, succeeded and exceeded his master, casting them clearer and better. He died about 1600.
Some observe, that God hath so equally divided the advan
Mr. Pennant notices, from Jovius, that they were sometimes taken in the Lacus Lurius, of two hundred pounds weight, but of his own knowledge could speak of none that exceeded twenty. Others are reported to have been taken in the Dneister, that were five feet in length.-ED.
+ Leviticus xi. 12. Stow's Annals, p. 572. § Idem, p. 584,
tage of weapons between us and Spain, that their steel makes the best swords, our iron the most useful ordnance.
Plenty hereof is made in this county, though not so fine as what Tyre affordeth, fetched from the river Belus and the Cendevian lake; nor so pure as is wrought at Chiosa nigh Venice, whereof the most refined falls but one degree short of crystal ; but the coarse glasses here serve well enough for the common sort, for vessels to drink in. The workmen in this mystery are much increased since 1557, as may appear by what I read in an author writing that very year :*
“ As for glass-makers they be scant in this land,
Yet one there is as I do understand,
At Chiddingsfold he works of his occupation." These brittle commodities are subject to breaking upon any casualty; and hereupon I must transmit a passage to posterity, which I received from an author beyond exceptions.
A nobleman, who shall be nameless, living not many miles from Cambridge (and highly in favour with the earl of Leicester) begged of queen Elisabeth all the plate of that university, as useful for scholars, and more for state than service, for superAuity than necessity. The queen granted his suit, upon condition to find glasses for the scholars. The lord considering this might amount to more than his barony would maintain (except he could compass the Venetian artist, who, as they say, could make "vitra sine vitio fragilitatis pellucida ; yea, could consolidate glass to make it malleable) let his petition, which was as charitable as discreet, sink in silence.
By the way be it observed, that though coarse glass-making was, in this county, of great antiquity, yet “ the first making of Venice glasses in England began at the Crotchet Friars in London, about the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth, by one Jacob Venaline, an Italian.”+
THE BUILDINGS. CHICHESTER Cathedral is a fine fabric, built (after it had been twice consumed with fire) by bishop Seffride (the second of the name) about the year 1193. Country folk are in their tradition, that the master-workman built Salisbury, and his man the church of Chichester; and if so, “ sequitur Dominum non passibus æquis.” But proportion of time confuteth the conceit, seeing Seffride flourished under king John,
and bishop Poor (the founder of Salisbury) lived much later under king Henry the Third.
Now though Seffride bestowed the cloth and making
church, bishop Sherborne gave the trimming and best lace thereto in the reign of king Henry the Seventh. I am sorry I can follow the allegory so far, being informed that now it is not only seam-ript, but torn in the whole cloth, having lately a great part thereof fallen down to the ground.
ARUNDEL Castle is of great esteem, the rather because a local earldom is cemented to the walls thereof. Some will have it so named from Arundel, the horse of Beavoice the champion. I confess it is not without precedent in antiquity, for places to take names from horses, meeting with the promontory Bucephalus in Peloponnesus,* where some report the horse of Alexander buried; and Bellonius will have it for the same cause called Cavalla at this day. But this castle was so called long before that imaginary horse was foaled, who cannot be fancied elder than his master Beavoice, flourishing after the Conquest, long before which Arundel was so called from the river Arund running hard by it.
PETWORTH, the house of the earls of Northumberland, is most famous for a stately stable, the best of any subject's in Christendom. Comparisons must move in their own spheres, and princes only are meet to measure with princes. Tell me not therefore of the duke of Saxony's stable at Dresden, wherein are a hundred twenty and eight horses of service (with a magazine out of which he can arm thirty thousand horse and foot at a day's warning), that elector being the most potent prince in the empire. But is not the proportion fair, that Petworth stable affordeth standing in state for three-score horse with all necessary accommodations?
WONDERS. Expect not here I should insert what William of Newbury writeth (to be recounted rather amongst the untruths than wonders), viz. “ That in this county, not far from Battle abbey, in the place where so great a slaughter of the Englishmen was made, after any shower, presently sweateth forth very fresh blood out of the earth, as if the evidence thereof did plainly declare the voice of blood there shed, and crieth still from the earth unto the Lord.”
This is as true, as thatin white chalky countries (about Baldock in Hertfordshire) after rain run rivulets of milk; neither being any thing else than the water discoloured, according to the complexion of the earth thereabouts.
PROVERBS. “ He is none of the Hastings."] This proverb, though extended all over England, is properly reduceable to this county as originated there; for there is a a haven town named Hastings therein, which some erroneously
• Mela, Pausanias, Ptolemy, Pliny.