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fetched, their value would be advanced. They are not those unions, pearls so called, because thrifty Nature only affordeth them by one and one ;* seeing that not only twins, but bunches and clusters of these are found together.
Were this rock of raw diamonds removed into the East Indies, and placed where the beams of the sun might sufficiently concoct them; probably in some hundreds of years they would be ripened into an orient perfection. All I will add is this : a lady in the reign of queen Elizabeth would have as patiently digested the lie, as the wearing of false stones or pendants of counterfeit pearl, so common in our age; and I could wish it were the worst piece of hypocrisy in fashion.
I behold Bristol as the staple place thereof, where alone it was anciently made ; for though there be a place in London, nigh Cheapside, called Sopers-lane, it was never so named from that commodity made therein (as some have supposed), but from Alen le Soper, the long since owner thereof. Yea, it is not above a hurdred and fifty years, by the confession of the chronicler of that city, since the first soap was boiled in London;t before which time the land was generally supplied with Castile from Spain, and Gray-soap from Bristol. Yea, after that London meddled with the making thereof, Bristol soap (notwithstanding the portage) was found much the cheaper. I
Great is the necessity thereof: seeing, without soap, our bodies would be no better than dirt, before they are turned into dust: men, whilst living, become noisome to themselves and others. Nor less its antiquity : for although our modern soap, made of pot-ashes and other ingredients, was unknown to the ancients, yet had they si årádoyov, something which effectually supplied the place thereof, making their woollen clear, their linen cloth cleanly. Christ is compared by the prophet to Fuller's soap, in Hebrew borith, which word Arias Montanus, in his Interlineary Bible, retaineth untranslated; but, in his comment (following the example of St. Hierom) on the place, rendereth it herba Fullonum, expounding it to be saponaria, in English soapworth. Indeed, both Dodoneus and Gerardus write thereof, “This plant hath no use in physic.” Yet, seeing Nature made nothing in vain, soapworth cannot justly be charged as useless, because purging (though not the body) the clothes of a man, and conducing much to the neatness thereof.
*“Uniones, quia nulli duo simul reperientur." Pliny's Natural History, lib. ix. cap. 35.
† Stow's Survey, p. 265. # Idem, in his first Table, verbo Sope. $ Malachi iii. 2.
BUILDINGS --MEDICINAL WATERS, &c.
THE BUILDINGS. Ratcliffe Church in this city clearly carrieth away the credit from all parish churches in England. It was founded by Cannings (first a merchant, who afterwards became a priest); and most stately the ascent thereunto by many stairs, which at last plentifully recompenseth their pains who climb them up, with the magnificent structure both without and within.
If any demand the cause why this church was not rather made the see of a bishop than St. Augustin's in this city, much inferior thereunto; such may receive this reason thereof: that this (though an entire stately structure) was not conveniently accommodated like St. Augustin's (formerly a great monastery) with public buildings about it, for the palace of a bishop, and the reception of the dean and chapter. However, as the town of Hague in Holland would never be walled about, as accounting it more credit to be the biggest of villages in Europe, than but a lesser city; so Ratcliffe church esteemeth it a greater grace to lead the van of all parochial,* than to follow in the rear after many cathedral churches in England.
MEDICINAL WATERS. St. Vincent's Well, lying west of the city, under St. Vincent's Rock, and hard by the river, is sovereign for sores and sicknesses, to be washed in, or drunk of, to be either outwardly or inwardly applied. Undoubtedly the water thereof runneth through some mineral of iron, as appeareth by the rusty ferruginous taste thereof, which it retaineth though boiled never so much. Experience proveth that beer brewed thereof is wholesome against the spleen; and Dr. Samuel Ward, afflicted with that malady, and living in Sidney College, was prescribed the constant drinking thereof, though it was costly to bring it through the Severn and narrow seas to Lynn, and thence by the river to Cambridge. But men in pain must not grudge to send far to purchase their ease, and thank God if they can so procure it.
PROVERBS. “Bristol milk.”]
Though as many elephants are fed as cows grased within the walls of this city, yet great plenty of this metaphorical milk, whereby xeres or sherry sack is intended. Some will have it called milk, because (whereas nurses give new-born babes in some places pap, in others water and sugar) such wine is the first moisture given infants in this city. It is also the entertainment of course, which the courteous Bristolians present to all strangers, when first visiting their city.
• Yet some have informed me that it only is a chapel-of-ease to the motherchurch of Bedminster.-F.
MARTYRS. The moderation of John Holyman, bishop of this city, is much to be commended; who, in the reign of queen Mary, did not persecute any in his diocese. And yet we find Richard Sharpe, Thomas Benion, and Thomas Hale, martyred in this city, whose blood the inquisitor thereof will visit on the account of Dalbye,* the cruel chancellor of this diocese.
PRELATES. RALPH of BRISTOL, born in this city, was bred (as I have cause to conceive) in the neighbouring convent of Glastonbury. Going over into Ireland, first he became treasurer of St. Patrick's in Dublin; then Episcopus Darensis, bishop of Kildare. He wrote the life of Lawrence archbishop of Dublin; and granted (saith my authort) certain indulgences to the abbey of Glastonbury in England, probably in testimony of his gratitude for his education therein. He died anno Domini 1232.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
Tobias MATTHEW, D.D. was born in this city ;' bred first in St. John's, then in Christ Church in Oxford ; and, by many mediate preferments, became bishop of Durham, and at last York. But it will be safest for my pen now to fast (for fear of a surfeit) which formerly feasted so freely on the character of this worthy prelate, $ who died 1628.
No city in England (London alone excepted) hath, in so short a time, bred more brave and bold seamen, advantaged for western voyages by its situation. They have not only been merchants, but adventurers, possessed with a public spirit for the general good; aiming not so much to return wealthier, as wiser; not always to enrich themselves, as inform posterity by their discoveries. Of these, some have been but merely casual, when going to fish for cod, they have found a country, or some eminent bay, river, or haven of importance, unknown before. Others were intentional, wherein they have sown experiments, with great pains, cost, and danger, that ensuing ages may freely reap benefit thereof.
Amongst these seamen we must not forget,
Hugh Eliot, a merchant of this city, who was, in his age, the prime pilot of our nation. He first (with the assistance of Mr.
* Fox's Martyrology, p. 2052. † Sir James Ware, in Episcopis Darensibus. I Sir John Harrington, in his continuation of Bishop Godwin. § “ In my Church History,” book xi. p. 133.
Thorn his fellow-citizen) found out Newfoundland, anno 1527.* This may be called Old-found-land, as senior, in the cognizance of the English, to Virginia and all our other plantations.
Had this discovery been as fortunate in public encouragement as private industry, probably before this time we had enjoyed the kernel of those countries whose shell only we now possess. It is to me unknown when Eliot deceased.
WRITERS. Thomas NOR'ron was born in this city; and, if any doubt thereof, let them but consult the initial syllables in the six first, and the first line in the seventh chapter of his Ordinal, which put together compose,
“ Thomas Norton of Briseto
A parfet master you may him trow." Thus his modesty embraced a middle way betwixt concealing and revealing his name; proper for so great a professor in chemistry as he was, that his very name must from his book be mysteriously extracted.
He was scarcely twenty-eight years of age,t when in forty days (believe him, for he saith so of himselff) he learned the perfection of chymistry, taught, as it seems, by Mr. George Ripley. But what saith the poet ?
“Non minor est virtus, quam quærere, parta tueri.” The spite is, he complaineth, that a merchant's wife of Bristol stole from him the elixir of life. Some suspect her to have been the wife of William Cannings (of whom before), contemporary with Norton, who started up to so great and sudden wealth, the clearest evidence of their conjecture.||
The admirers of this art are justly impatient to hear this their great patron traduced by the pen of J. Pits and others, by whom he is termed Nugarum opifex in frivolâ scientia ; and that he undid himself, and all his friends who trusted him with their money, living and dying very poor about the year 1477.
John SPINE.-I had concluded him born at Spine in Berkshire nigh Newbury but for these dissuasives. 1. He lived lately under Richard the Third, when the clergy began to leave off their local sirnames, and, in conformity to the laity, to be called from their fathers. 2. My author** peremptorily saith he was born in this city. I suspect the name to be Latinised Spineus by Pits, and that in plain English he was called Thorn, an ancient name, I assure you, in this city. However, he was a Carmelite, and a doctor of divinity in Oxford, leaving some books of his making to posterity. He died and was buried in Oxford, anno Domini 1484.
• Hacluit's English Voyages, vol. III. p. 10. + In his Ordinal, p. 88.
Ibid. p. 34, linea 33.
** Ibid. p. 673.
John of MilverTox.-Having lost the fore I must play an after game, rather than wholly omit such a man of remark. The matter is not much, if he, who was lost in Somersetshire (where indeed he was born, at Milverton) be found in Bristol, where he first fixed himself a friar Carmelite.* Hence he went to Oxford, Paris, and at last had his abode in London.
He was Provincial-general of his Order through England, Scotland, and Ireland; so that his jurisdiction was larger than king Edward the Fourth's, under whom he flourished. He was a great anti-Wicliffist, and champion of his order both by his writing and preaching. He laboured to make all believe that Christ himself was a Carmelite (professor of wilful poverty ;) and his high commending of the poverty of friars tacitly condemned the pomp of the prelates. Hereupon the bishop of London (being his diocesan) cast him into the gaol, from whom he appealed to Paul the Second; and, coming to Rome, he was for three years kept close in the prison of St. Angelo. It made his durance the more easy, having the company of Platina the famous papal biographist, the nib of whose pen had been too long in writing dangerous truth. At last he procured his cause to be referred to seven cardinals, who ordered his enlargement.
Returning home into England, he lived in London in good repute. I find him nominated bishop of St. David's ;I but how he came to miss it, is to me unknown. Perchance he would not bite the bait; but whether because too fat to cloy the stomach of his mortified soul, or too lean to please the appetite of his concealed covetousness, no man can decide. He died, and was buried in London, 1486.
William GROCINE was born in this city,g and bred in Winchester school; where he, when a youth, became a most excellent poet. Take one instance of many. A pleasant maid (probably his mistress, however she must be so understood) in a love frolic pelted him with a snow-ball, whereon he extempore|| made this Latin tetrastic :
Me nive candenli petiit mea Julia : rebar
Igne carere nivem, nir tamen ignis erat.
Non nive, non glacie, sed potes igne pari. I
Who would suppose it ? fire was in that snow.
• Pits, Ætat. 14, num. 885.
+ Bale, Cent. viii. num. 44. Bale and Pits, ut prius. $ New College Register, anno 1467. li Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. ix. num. 5, and Pits, in anno 1520.
These verses are printed among Petronius's Fragments, being a farrago of many verses later than that ancient author.-F.