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Such now the emulation betwixt these owners to undersell one another, that the commodity is fallen to thirteen pound
Great the use hereof in physic and surgery, as a grand astringent. Besides, much thereof is daily employed by clothiers, glovers, dyers, &c.; so that some will maintain, that another thing in England, as white and far sweeter than alum, may of the two be better spared, with less loss to the commonwealth.
I am credibly informed that, within a few miles of Pontefract, no less than twenty thousand pounds worth of this coarse commodity is yearly made, and vended in the vicinage. It is a great fertilizer of ground, if judiciously disposed of. Indeed the laying of lime on light and sandy ground (like the giving hot cordials to persons in high fevers, enough to drive them into a frenzy) will soon burn out the heart thereof; which bestowed on cold and chill ground brings it to a fruitful consistency, and, prudently ordered, it will for a long time retain the
These are men's wings, wherewith they make such speed. A generous creature a horse is, sensible in some sort of honour, made most handsome by (that which deforms man most) pride. The kings of Israel were not forbidden (as some may mistake) the having, but the multiplying of them ;* chiefly because they were a foreign, yea, an Egyptian commodity, and God would cut off from his children all occasion of commerce with that country, which was the staple-place of idolatry.
Our English horses have a mediocrity of all necessary good properties in them; as neither so slight as the Barb, nor so slovenly as the Flemish, nor so fiery as the Hungarian, nor so airy as the Spanish gennets (especially if, as reported, they be conceived of the wind), nor so earthly as those in the Low Countries, and generally all the German horse. For stature and strength, they are of a middle size, and are both seemly and serviceable in a good proportion. And, whilst the seller praiseth them too much, the buyer too little, the indifferent stander-by will give them this due commendation.
It is confessed that our English horse never performed any eminent and signal service beyond the seas, in comparison of the achievements of their infantry. Partly, because our horses, sent over many together in ships, beat and heat themselves, and are not for sudden use in the field after their transportation; so that some time of rest must be allowed them for their recovery: partly because the genius of the English hath always more inclined them to the foot service, as pure and proper manhood indeed without any
• Deut. xvii. 16.
mixture; whilst in a victory on horse-back, the credit thereof ought in equity to be divided betwixt the man and his horse.
Yorkshire doth breed the best race of English horses, whose keeping commonly in steep and stony ground bringeth them to firmness of footing and hardness of hoof; whereas a stud of horses bred in foggy fenny ground and soft rotten morasses (delicacy mars both man and beast) have often a fen in their feet, being soft, and soon subject to be foundered. Well may Philip be so common a name amongst the gentry of this county, who are generally so delighted in horsemanship. I have done with this subject, when I have mentioned the monition of David, "An horse is but a vain thing to serve a man; "* though it is no vain thing to slay a man, by many casualties; such need we have, whether waking or sleeping, whether walking or riding, to put ourselves by prayer into divine protection.
As for clothing, so vigorously followed in this county, we refer it to our FAREWELL in this our description; and here insist on
These are the teeth of old men, and useful to those of all ages; for, though some think themselves scarce gentlemen with knives, as good as they conceive themselves scarce men without them, so necessary they are on all occasions. The most of these for common use of country people are made in this county; whereof the bluntest, with a sharp stomach, will serve to cut meat if before them. Sheffield, a remarkable market, is the staple town for this commodity, and so hath been these three hundred years; witness Chaucer, speaking of the accoutrements of the miller,
"A Sheffield whitel bare he in his hose."†
One may justly wonder how a knife may be sold for one penny, three trades anciently distinct concurring thereunto, bladers, haft-makers, and sheath-makers, all since united into the corporation of Cutlers. Nor must we forget, that though plain knifemaking was very ancient in this county, yet Thomas Matthews on Fleet-bridge,t London, was the first Englishman who (quinto Elizabethæ) made fine knives,§ and procured a prohibition, that no more ships-lading of hafts should be brought from beyond the seas.
A pin passeth for that which is next to nothing, or (if you will) is the terminus à quo from which something doth begin,
• Psal. xxxiii. 17.
† Folio 15.
The river Fleet was then navigable to Holborn bridge.-ED.
and proceed from a pin to a pound, &c. However it is considerable both as hurtful and useful; hurtful, if advantageously placed it may prove as mortal as a poignard, the life of the greatest man lying at the mercy of the meanest thing; useful, not only to fasten our ornaments, but fill up the chinks betwixt our clothes, lest wind and weather should shoot through them.
Many and very good of these are made in this county; a commodity not to be slighted, since the very dust that falls from them is found profitable. We commonly say that it is not beneath a proper person to stoop to take up a pin, until he be worth ten thousand pounds, according to the thrifty rule in Latin, Qui negligit minima nunquam ditescet. Such who admire that so many millions of pins, made, sold, used, and lost in England, should vanish away invisible, may rather wonder how so many that wear them (being no more than pins in the hands of their Maker) do decay, die, and slip down in the dust, in silence and obscurity. I will add, that the world is well altered with England as to this commodity, now exporting so much of them into foreign parts; whereas formerly "strangers have sold pins in this land to the value of threescore thousand pounds a year.*
About a mile and a half from Knaresborough westward, in a moorish boggy ground, ariseth a spring of a vitrioline taste and odour. It was discovered by one Master Slingsby about the year 1620, and is conceived to run parallel with the Spa waters in Germany.
Not far off is a sulphur well, which hath also the qualities of saltness and bitterness: the stench whereof though offensive (patients may hold their nose, and take wholesome physic) is recompensed by the virtues thereof; insomuch (as my authort saith) "it heateth and quickeneth the stomach, bowels, liver, spleen, blood, veins, nerves, and indeed the whole body; insomuch that it consumes crudities, rectifieth all cold distempers in all parts of the body, causeth a good digestion, cureth the dropsy, spleen, scurvy, green sickness, gout." And here it is high time to hold still; for, if this last be true, let that disease, which formerly was called dedecus medicine, be hereafter termed decus fontis Knaresburgensis.
In the same parish, over against the castle (the river Nid running betwixt), ariseth a spring, which runneth a little way in an entire stream, till dammed at the brow of the descent with ragged rocks, it is divided into several trickling branches, whereof some drop, some stream down, partly over, partly through a jetting rock, this is called the Petrifying Well (how gramma
Stow's Chronicle, p. 1038.
† John French, doctor of physic, in his Yorkshire Spa, p. 113.
tically I will not engage), because it converteth spongy substances into stone, or crusteth them over round about.*
We must not forget Saint Mungus's Well, which some have slighted as an ineffectual superstitious relic of Popery, whilst others maintain it hath regained its reputation, and is of sovereign virtue. Some will have the name thereof mistaken for Saint Magnus, which in my opinion was rather so called from Saint Mungo (Kentigernus in Latin), a Scottish saint, and much honoured in these northern parts. I believe no place in England can shew four springs, so near in situation, so distant in operation.
Such as desire to know more of the nature and use of these springs; of the time, manner, and quantity, wherein the waters are to be taken; and how the patient is to be dieted for his greater advantage; may inform themselves by perusing two small treatises, one set forth anno 1626, by Edmund Dean, doctor of physic, living in York, called "Spadsacrena Anglica ;" the other, written some six years since by John French, doctor of physic, and is very satisfactory on that subject.
The Church of Beverley is much commended for a fine fabric; and I shall have a more proper occasion to speak hereafter of the collegiate church in Ripon.
But, amongst ancient civil structures, we must not forget
It is seated in the confluence of Derwent and Ouse. In what plight it is now I know not; but hear how Leland commendeth it in his Itinerary through this county. It is built of square stone, which some say was brought out of France; it hath four fair towers, one at each corner, and a gatehouse (wherein are chambers five stories high), which maketh the fifth. In Leland's time it looked as new built, though then one hundred years old, as being erected by the lord Percy earl of Winchester in the reign of king Richard the Second. Without the walls (but within the moat) gardens done opere topiario. In a word, he termeth it one of the properest buildings north of Trent.
But that which most affected him was a study, in an eight square tower, called Paradise, furnished with curious and convenient desks, loaden with variety of choice books; but, as Noah's flood is generally believed of learned men to have discomposed the Paradise in Eden, so I shrewdly suspect that the deluge of time hath much impaired, if not wholly defaced, so beautiful a building, then belonging to the earl of Northumberland.
Amongst many fine and fair houses now extant in this county,
See what I have formerly written of WONDERS in Northamptonshire.-F.
we hear the highest commendation of Maulton, late the house of the lord Euers.
"From Hell, Hull, and Halifax,
This is part of the beggar's and vagrant's litany. three frightful things unto them, it is to be feared that they least fear the first, conceiting it the furthest from them. Hull is terrible unto them, as a town of good government, where vagrants meet with punitive charity, and 'tis to be feared are oftener corrected than amended. Halifax is formidable unto them for the law thereof, whereby thieves taken avroooow, in the very act of stealing cloth, are instantly beheaded with an engine, without any further legal proceedings.
"A Scarborough warning,"]
That is, none at all, but a sudden surprise, when a mischief is felt before it be suspected. This proverb is but of 104 years standing, taking its original from Thomas Stafford, who, in the reign of queen Mary, anno 1557, with a small company, seized on Scarborough castle (utterly destitute of provision for resistance) before the towns-men had the least notice of his approach. However, within six days, by the industry of the earl of Westmoreland, he was taken, brought to London, and beheaded; so that since the proverb accepteth a secondary (but no genuine) sense; and a "Scarborough warning" may be a caveat to any, how he undertaketh a treacherous design. But, if any conceive this proverb of more ancient original, fetching it from the custom of Scarborough castle in former times, with which it was not a word and a blow, but a blow before and without a word; as using to shoot ships which passed by and struck not sail, and so warning and harming them both together; I can retain mine own, without opposing their opinion.
"As true steel as Ripon rowels."]
It is said of trusty persons, men of metal, faithful in their employments. Spurs are a principal part of knightly hatchments; yea, a poet observes,†
"The lands that over Ouse to Berwick forth do bear, Have for their blazon had the snaffle, spur, and spear." Indeed, the best spurs of England are made at Ripon, a famous town in this county, whose rowels may be enforced to strike through a shilling, and will break sooner than bow. However, the horses in this county are generally so good, they prevent the spurs, or answer unto them, a good sign of thrifty metal for continuance.
"A Yorkshire way-bit."]
That is an overplus not accounted in the reckoning, which
* Others conceive it only to relate to the dangerous haven thereof.-F. Godwin, in his Annals of Queen Mary.
Drayton, in his Polyolbion, Song II. p. 71.