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THE Editors of the Northern Star, anxious to avail themselves of every improvement in their work of which their original plan is susceptible, have resolved, in compliance with the suggestions of many jadicions contributors, to make some alterations in that department which is dedicated to the analytical review of new publications. In their fature numbers the articles of review will not be restricted by any particular plan, but their pages will be open to any communications of this nature which they may consider to give a fair and candid description of any literary or scientific work of recent publication, although the earliest attention will be given to works published in Yorkshire or by Yorkshiremen.
At the same time they beg leave to inform their Mathematical Correspondents, that no question can be allowed to appear, anless it has been accompanied by a correct solution.
Mr. Bigland's paper,--Examination of the common Prejudice in favour of the Ancients,--W.'s paper on the Sabterranean Forest on Hatfield Chace,--and K. on a singular Phenomenon of the San and Moon, shall have an early insertion.
VECCHIA on Novel-reading,-TEMPUS,--Charade by Juvenis, –J. A.'s Rebas,-Chimney-Boy's Soliloquy,,Verses to Laura on leaving England,-F. R. S.'s polite note,-My Garden, lines by J. W.-LEO's Sonnet,- Paper from a Bone-Setter on the Suppression of Quackery,- The Nettle, a poetical fable,–Lysis on Pendulums, and numerous solutions to the mathematical questions proposed in our last number, have been received.
We have also received a beautiful original drawing of an ancient mansion, at HighSanderland, near Halifax, for which we are indebted to the kindness of a friend, whose continued favours we are exceedingly anxious to secure.
We doubt the fact on which the query of COLINA is founded.
THE ruins of Kirkstall Abbey are situated about three miles from Leeds : and, if retirement is favourable to devotion ; if simple yet beautiful scenery has a tendency to tranquilize the mind, and elevate its views to Him who is the source and perfection of beauty, perhaps, it is impossible to make choice of a more appropriate situation for the erection of a temple than that which these ruins occupy.
The building of this abbey was begun A.D. 1152,* in the 17th year of the reign of Stephen,t and finished in thirty years, under the superintendance of Alexander, abbot of the monastery of Mount St. Mary, Barnoldswick, which was converted into a grange on the removal of the brethren to Kirkstall. The piety of this abbot is somewhat suspicious ; but his taste, ability, and perseverance are abundantly manifested in the choice of this situation, the structure of the abbey, and his successful management of affairs relating to it, during the space of thirty-five years.
Hageth, the successor of Alexander, though he revived the strictness and austerity, and of consequence, the spiritual repute of his brethren, was for some time, neither a dexterous, nor a prudent manager of their temporal affairs. The former part of his administration was unsuccessful, the lat. ter, however, was more prosperous. And, though want of success exposed the abbot to the censures of his brethren, yet prosperity appears to have done him honour, for after being abbot of Kirkstall upwards of eight years, he was removed to the inore important charge of Fountains' Abbey, where he died.
Lambert, the third abbot of Kirkstall, attended still less to temporal matters than his predecessor. During his presidency, the abbey was converted into a grange; and, in retaliation for an unprovoked injury, which the abbot had done to the inhabitants, it was burnt, and the lay-brethren
. About 200 yards to the north-west of the Abbey, is a stone in the wall of a gateWay, with this inscription,“ Vesper's Gate, A. D. 1152."
† This abbey enjoyed the favour of Stephen, wbo was a great friend of their order. (Thirty-two monasteries for them, were established during his reign of 18 years and 10 months.) Henry II. confirmed its privileges. Henry III. took it into his immediate protection, and Edward I. recommended the descendant of its founder, Henry, Earl of Lincoln, to pay its debts. Edward III. and Richard II. also were its friends.
who managed it were slain. Lambert would doubtless have arenged this outrage, had he not been appeased by the most humiliating submission on the part of the offenders, and by the promise of a sum of money for the damage they had done. He interceded with Robert de Lacy for them, and obtained their pardon. Lambert died soon after he had rebuilt the grange.
“ Turgesius," the next abbot, according to one of his contemporaries,
was a severe chastiser of his own body, and all the motions of the flesh ; ever clad in hair-cloth, and always repeating to himself, “ they who are clad in soft raiment are in kings' houses.' He abstained from wine and animal food; his dress was invariably a tunic and a cowl. He shed abun. dance of tears when he officiated at ihe altar; and in ordinary conversation scarcely refrained from weeping. After nine years' presidency, he retired to Fountaios' Abbey, where he died.
Helias, the successor of Turgesios, having been accustomed to business, soon regulated their affairs. How long he lived after his election, or whether he resigned his office, is uncertain.
Little is recorded of the abbots who succeeded Helias, and still less that is worthy of preservation. Two letters, however, the first by Hugh de Grimston, the 15th abbot of Kirkstall, and the second by John de Birdsall, his successor, have been deservedly rescued from oblivion. The former of these epistles appears to be the production of an artful and intrigu. ing priest, the latter, the genuine effusion of one possessing a simple and honest heart.*
• LETTER I. Brother Hugh, called Abbot of Kirkstall, to his beloved in Christ, the Convent
of the same bouse, bealth and blessing in the bond of peace. “ Our distresses at the last general chapter with respect to Simon being ended, we set out for Gascony on an uncertain errand, and with a bitter and heavy heart, as our beloved brother and son John de Birdsall, will inform you. But after many hindrances, and with great difficulty, both from the unexpected length of the journey, and the extreme poverty of Burgundy, which we traversed through thickets rather than highways, we met with
the King in the remotest part of Gascony. On the way we were afflicted with a quartan fever, which reduced us so low that we de paired of life ; bat blessed be the beavenly Physician, nothing more than a trifling remnant of thecomplaint now bangs about us.
“ Here we found our patron, the Earl of Lincoln, with other great men of the court, attending upon the King, and to him we explained fully, and to the best of our ability, the distresses of the house. He was touched with pity at the representation, and promised us all the information and assistance in his power [Here follow several details, which are not intelligible.)
“And that the treasurer and barons of the exchequer aforesaid, may faithfully execute these writs, we have letters of recommendation addressed to them from all the earls, bishops, barons, and other counsellors of the King, attending upon him at this place. But because the King was not inclined to interfere with the debt due to the Cardinal, or to Tockles, the Jew, or with the wool, althongh we had many intercessors with him; yet by the grace of God obtained through the mediatiou of your prayers, and by the mediocrity of our own understanding, reflecting that if either of these debts remained undischarged, it would be productive of great inconvenience to the house, we hit at length upon a remedy which is likely to be effectual.
" For having shewn to the Earl and his council an extent of our lands in Blackburn.
The monks of Kirkstall were of the Cistercian order, founded originally in a province of Burgundy, in the year 1098, and brought into England in 1128. Their first house was at Waverley, in Sarrey, and at the dissolation of monasteries throughout England, there were eighty-five of this order in the kingdom. Their churches were dedicated to the Blessed
shire, besides Estwysell, and another of our lands in Rounday, Shadwell, and Seacroft, it appeared that the above-mentioned lands and tenements, with the addition of £4 wbich for several years last past we have received out of the exchequer of Pontefract, deduct-' ing every thing which in reason ought to be deducted, would amount 10 £41. 78. 9d. yearly. Now this revenue might be sold for £413.7s.6d. What need of more words? Let there be no buying or sale of these premises but a dexterons exchange, so that instead of this £41. 78. 98. deducting uncertain and untried improvements, the possibility of which we are not convinced of, we shall receive yearly out of the exchequer at Pontefract twenty-four marks for ever, with this excellent condition annexed, that the said Earl, in order to discharge the debt due to the Cardinal and the Jew, engages for the pay. ment of 350 marks, under the penalty of repairing whatever damage may accrue to us by any irregularity in the payment.
“ Bat wbat it was that touched the Abbot of Fountains with compassion; by what reasons he was overcome, and how induced to give up a great deal for a little, it would not be pradent to trust to paper. And that we might not be deceived in any of the premises, we have been careful to enrol in Chancery the obligations we have received for påyment of the above sums, and the contract in like manner. Both these, moreover, are ratified by the King's confirmation, which is in our hands.
“ And now, brethren, from what has gone before, ye may, in some measure, under.' stand what trouble we have undergone. If therefore we have done well, think of a recompense ; if otherwise, or that we have been luke.warm in your concern, spare our infirmity.
“ But we require you, that ye labour day and night to the utmost of your ability, that every thing belonging to you, excepting the crops upon the ground, which cannot be removed without being destroyed, may be entirely taken awảy before the Earl's messenger, whom we purposely detain here with his horse and groom, shall arrive to take livery and seizin of the lands.
" And whatever is incapable of being removed, abandon peaceably, because the said Earl by his letters, directed to Sir R. de Salem, which he will receive by the bearer of these, hath required him to purchase at a fair price, whatever you are inclined to sell, within his bailiwick, and to afford you every other accommodation consistent with the livery of the lands.
“ It will not be prudent to shew these letters to any one ; but, until you have all safe, keep your own counsel secret from every one out of the bosom of the chapter.
« And because we desire to be informed of what has happened since our departure, before we make any new contract, which might possibly interfere with your preseut circumstances, we require you, on sight and hearing hereof, to inform us of your situation by the swiftest messenger you have. Send some money too bythe same band, how. ever you come by it, even though it be taken from the sacred oblation, that we may at least be able to purchase necessaries while we are labouring in your vineyard. In this we earuestly entreat you not to fail, for in truth we were never so destitute before. Farewell, my beloved ! Peace be with you. . Amen."
« From Castle REGINALD,
To his Reverend Brethren, the Prior and Convent of the Monastery of Kirkstall,
John, styled Abbot of the same, wishes health and grace, and that they may labour more earnestly after the things which concern religious peace
and charity. “ Beloved, we have written this letter in haste from Canterbury, knowing that an
Virgin.* They were depomipated White Monks, from a white robe, in the form of a cassock, which was a part of their ordinary dress.
The rules of the Cistercian order were remarkably severe and rigido “ Its professors were debarred the uge, not only of animal food, but even of fish, milk, and cheese. The hours of the day were devoted to labour and prayer, and were seldom enlivened by conversation, as silence was en. joined during the performance of all their exercises. At the hour of mid
account of the success of our journey will be pleasing to yon. In the first place, our dear brother who was present, will inform you that on the morrow of St. Lawrence we were met by letters from the King, in a very threatening style ; that we were apprized of robbers who laid wait for us in the woods, under a rock; and that we were bound under the penalty of forfeiting all our goods, to abide the King's pleasure. However, having been at length dismissed from his presence with honour, we proceeded on our way, and notwithstanding the delay in London, arrived at Canterbury on Monday evening, ourselves, our servants and horses being all well. We are not without hope tberefore, that our feeble beginnings will be followed by better fortune. On Wednesday morning, the wind blowing fair, we put the horses on board a ship
“For the time to come we commend yon, dear brethren, to God, and our bodily safety to your prayers ! But especially pray for the salvation of our souls, for we are not greatly sollicitous if this earthly part of us be delivered into the hand of the wicked one, so that the spirit be saved in the day of the Lord, which we hope for through the assistance of your intercessions : yet we should wish, if it be the will of God, to be committed to the earth by your hands, wherever you shall dispose.
“ But know assuredly that if we return, whoever shall have been most humble in conversation, and active in business during our absence, shall receive an ample measure of grace, and recompense from God, and shall every bour be more affectionately regarded by us.
« We entreat and enjoin brother R. Rekisley to prepare himself for the duty of preach. ing on the nativity of our Lord, unless we return in the mean time, that so great a fes. tival may not pass without a sermon, a thing which never get happened, and, by the grace of God never shall.
“ We wrote unto certain persons, abstain from every appearance of evil and avoid it beforehand, whatever is or can be pretended in its behalf. God shall give you the know. ledge of these things.
"We adjure you, brethren, by the bowels of mercy in Jesus Christ, that if ye hear of our departure, ye will pray for us faithfully, remembering the labours and distresses which we endured in the beginning of our creation, and of which ye are reaping the fruits in peace.
“ Ye know, dearly beloved, that worldly occupations such as we have been long entangled in for your sakes, are not without danger to the soul. But we derive great hope from your compassion, seeing that we aim at no earthly advantage, nor consume the revenues of the monastery without cause. “ Salute our dear friends, .
* and especially our dearest companion, to whom we would have some one interpret this letter: when he bears it he will scarcely be able to refrain from tears, which he shed abundantly at our parting.
“ We commend our poor mother to your compassion. Salute one another with an holy kiss.
The salatation of me, John, your minister, such as I am, who am studying to do every thing in my power for your advantage and honour. “ We commend you again and again to God and the Blessed Virgin."
“ Written at CANTERURY with many tears.” + The official seal of Kirkstall Abbey, is a figure of the Virgin and Child surrounded with this motto : T quid PATE una Valet,& an engraving of which is given io WHITAKER's History of Craven,