« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
SURREY hath Middlesex (divided by the Thames) on the north; Kent on the east ; Sussex on the south ; Hants and Berk-shire on the west. It may be allowed to be a square (besides its angular expatiation in the south-west) of two-and-twenty miles; and is not improperly compared to a cinnamon tree, whose bark is far better than the body thereof; for the skirts and borders bounding this shire are rich and fruitful, whilst the ground in the inward parts thereof is very hungry and barren, though, by reason of the clear air and clean ways, full of many genteel habitations.
FULLER'S EARTH. The most and best of this kind in England (not to say Europe) is digged up nigh Ryegate in this county. It is worth four-pence a bushel at the pit, sixteen-pence at the wharf in London, three shillings at Newbury, and westward twice as dear. Double the use thereof in making cloth, to scour out stains, and to thicken it, or (to use the tradesman's term) to bring it to proof. Though the transporting thereof be by law forbidden, yet private profit so prepondereth the public, that ships ballasted therewith are sent over into Holland, where they have such magazines of this earth, that they are ready (on their own rates) to furnish us herewith, if there should be any occasion.
And now we are mentioning of earth, near Non-such is a vein of potter's earth, much commended in its kind, of which crucibles are made for the melting of gold, and many other necessary utensils.
WALL-NUTS. As in this county, and in Cash-Haulton especially, there be excellent trouts : so are there plenty of the best wall-nuts in the same place, as if nature had observed the rule of physic, Post pisces nuces.
Some difficulty there is in cracking the name thereof; why wall-nuts, having no affinity with the wall, whose substantial trees need to borrow nothing thence for their support. Nor are they so called because walled with shells, which is common to all other nuts. The truth is, qual or wall in the old Dutch signifieth strange or exotic (whence Welsh, that is foreigners); these nuts being no natives of England or Europe, and probably first fetched from Persia, because called nux Persique in the French tongue.
Surely, some precious worth is in the kernels thereof (though charged to be somewhat obstructive, and stopping of the stomach), because provident nature hath wrapped them in so many coverts; a thick green one (falling off when ripe), a hard yellowish and a bitter blackish one. As for the timber of the wall-nut tree, it may be termed an English Shittim-wood for the fineness, smoothness, and durableness thereof; whereof the best tables, with stocks of guns, and other manufactures are made.
The best which England affords groweth about Dorking* in this county, yet short in goodness of what is imported out of Turkey. Though the smell and shade thereof be accounted unwholesome; not only pretty toys for children, but useful tools for men, and especially mathematical instruments, are made thereof. But it is generally used for combs, as also by such as grave pictures and arms in wood, as better because harder than pear-tree for that purpose. For mine own part, let me speak it with thankfulness to two good lords and patrons, it hath not cost me so much in wood and timber of all kinds, for the last ten years, as for box for one twelvemonth.
I mean not such which is only for pleasure (whereof Surrey hath more than a share with other shires) to feast the sight and smell with flowers and walks, whilst the rest of the body is famished, but such as is for profit, which some seventy years since was first brought into this county, before which time great deficiency thereof in England.
For we fetched most of our cherries from Flanders, apples from France; and hardly had a mess of rath-ripe pease but from Holland, which were dainties for ladies, they came so far, and cost so dear. Since gardening hath crept out of Holland to Sandwich in Kent, and thence into this county, where though they have given six pounds an acre and upward, they have made their rent, lived comfortably, and set many people on work.
Oh, the incredible profit by digging of ground! For though it is confessed that the plough beats the spade out of distance for speed (almost as much as the press beats the pen); yet what the spade wants in the quantity of the ground it manureth, it recompenseth with the plenty of the fruit it yieldeth; that
* Boxhill, near Dorking, is still famous for its box-trees, which were originally planted there by Thomas Howard earl of Arundel. -Ed.
which is set multiplying a hundred-fold more than what is sown.
It is incredible how many poor people in London live thereon, so that in some seasons gardens feed more poor people than the field. It may be hoped that, in process of time, aniseeds, cumminseeds, caraway-seeds (yea, rice itself), with other garden ware now brought from beyond the seas, may hereafter grow in our land, enough for its use, especially if some ingenious gentlemen would encourage the industrious gardeners by letting ground on reasonable rates unto them.
TAPESTRY. Pass we from Gardening, a kind of tapestry in earth, to Tapestry, a kind of gardening in cloth. The making here of was either unknown or unused in England, till about the end of the reign of king James, when he gave two thousand po'ınds to Sir Francis Crane, to build therewith a house at Morec'ark for that purpose.
Here they only imitated old patterns, until they had procured one Francis Klein, a German, to be their designer.
This Francis Klein was born at Rostock, but bred in the court of the king of Denmark at Copenhagen. To improve his skill he tråvelled into Italy, and lived at Venice, and became first known unto Sir Henry Wootton, who was the English lieger there. Indeed there is a stiff contest betwixt the Dutch and Italians, which should exceed in this mystery; and therefore Klein endeavoured to unite their perfections. After his return to Denmark, he was invited thence into England by prince Charles, a virtuoso, judicious in all liberal mechanical arts, which proceeded on due proportion. And though Klein chanced to come over in his absence (being then in Spain), yet king James gave order for his entertainment, allowing him liberal accommodations; and sent him back to the king of Denmark with a letter, which, for the form thereof, I conceive not unworthy to be inserted, transcribing it with my own hand, as followeth, out of a copy compared with the original :
“Jacobus, Dei gratiâ Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Rex, Fidei Defensor, Serenissimo Principi ac Domino Domino Christiano Quarto, eâdem gratiâ Daniæ, Norvegiæ, Vandalorum, et Gothorum regi, duci Slesuici, Holsatiæ, Stormariæ, et Ditmarsiæ, comiti in Oldenburg et Delmenhorsh, fratri, compatri, consanguineo, et affini nostro charissimo, salutem et felicitatem, serenissimus princeps frater, compater, consanguineus, et affinis charissimus.
“ Cùm Franciscus Klein, Pictor, qui literas nostras fert, in animo habere indicâsset (si Vestrâ modo Serenitate volente id fieret) filio nostro principi Walliæ operam suam locare, accepi
mus benevolè id á Vestra Serenitate fuisse concessum, datâ non solum illi quamprimum videretur discedendi veniâ, verùm etiam sumptibus erogatis ad iter, quo nomine est quòd Vestræ Serenitati gratias agamus. Et nos quidem certiores facti de illius in Britanniam jam adventu, quanquam absente filio nostro, satis illi interim de rebus omnibus prospeximus. Nunc verò negotiorum causâ in Daniam reversurus, tenetur ex pacto quamprimùm id commodè poterit ad nos revenire. Quòd ut ei per Vestram Serenitatem facere liceat peramanter rogamus. Vestra interea omnia, fortunas, valetudinem, imperium Deo commendantes Optimo Maximo. “ Datum è Regiâ nostrå Albaulâ, die Julii 8, anno 1623. “ Serenitatis Vestræ frater amantissimus
“ JACOBUS Rex."
I perceive that princes, when writing to princes, subscribe their names; and generally superscribe them to subjects. But the king of Denmark detained him all that summer (none willingly part with a jewel) to perfect a piece which he had begun for him before. This ended, then over he comes, and settled with his family in London, where he received a gratuity of an hundred pounds per annum, well paid him, until the beginning of our civil wars.
And now fervet opus of tapestry at Moreclark, his designing being the soul, as the working is the body,
of that mystery.
BUILDINGS. There are two most beautiful palaces in this county, both built by kings. First, Richmond, by king Henry the Seventh, most pleasantly seated on the Thames ; à building much beholding to Mr. Speed's representing it in his map of this county. Otherwise (being now plucked down) the form and fashion thereof had for the future been forgotten.
None-such, the other, built by king Henry the Eighth, whereof our English antiquary* hath given such large commendations. Indeed, what Sebastianus Cerlius, most skilful in building, spake of the Pantheon at Rome, may be applied to this pile, that it is “ ultimum exemplar consummatæ architec
But grant it a non-such for building (on which account this and Windsor castle are only taken notice of in the description of Sebastian Braune); yet, in point of clean and neat situation, it hath some-such, not to say some above-such. Witness Wimbleton in this county, a daring structure, built by Sir Thomas Cecil in eighty-eight, when the Spaniards invaded, and (blessed be God !) were conquered by our nation.
• Camden, in the Description of Surrey.
EPSOM WATERS-THE WONDERS.
EBSHAM.* They were found on this occasion some two-and-forty years since (which falleth out to be 1618). One Henry Wicker, in a dry summer and great want of water for cattle, discovered, in the concave of a horse or neat's footing, some water standing. His suspicion that it was the stale of some beast was quickly confuted by the clearness thereof. With his pad-staff he did dig a square hole about it, and so departed.
Returning the next day, with some difficulty he recovered the same place (as not sufficiently particularized to his memory in so wide a common); and found the hole he had made, filled and running over with most clear water. Yet cattle (though tempted with thirst) would not drink thereof, as having a mineral taste therein,
It is resolved that it runneth through some veins of alum, and at first was only used outwardly for the healing of sores. Indeed simple wounds have been soundly and suddenly cured therewith, which is imputed to the abstersiveness of this water, keeping a wound clean, till the balsam of nature doth recover it. Since it hath been inwardly taken, and (if the inhabitants may be believed) diseases have here met with their cure, though they came from contrary causes. Their convenient distance from London addeth to the reputation of these waters; and no wonder if citizens coming thither, from the worst of smokes into the best of airs, find in themselves a perfective alteration.
THE WONDERS. There is a river in this county, which, at a place called The Swallow, sinketh into the earth, and surgeth again some two miles off, nigh Letherhead; so that it runneth (not in an entire stream, but) as it can find and force its own passage the interjacent distance under the earth. I listen not to the country people telling it was experimented by a goose, which was put in, and came out again with life (though without feathers); but hearken seriously to those who judiciously impute the subsidency of the earth in the interstice aforesaid to some underground hollowness made by that water in the passage thereof. This river is more properly termed Mole, than that in Spain is on the like occasion called Anas, that is a duck or drake. For moles (as our Surrey river) work under ground, whilst ducks (which Anas doth not) dive under water; so that the river Alpheus may more properly be entitled Anas, if it be true, what is reported thereof, that, springing in Peloponnesus, it runneth under the sea, and riseth up again in Sicily.t Nor may we forget a vault (wherein the finest sand I ever * Now called Epsom.-Ed.
† Virgil, Æneid i. 3.