Page images
PDF
EPUB
[subsumed][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

(BEING THE SIXTEENTH OF A NEW SERIES.)

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

PRINTED BY JOHN NICHOLS AND SON, 25, PARLIAMENT-STREET;

WHERE LETTERS ARE PARTICULARLY REQUESTED TO BE SEXT, POST-PAID; AND SOLD BY JOHN HARRIS AND SON (SUCCESSORS TO MRS. NEWBERY), AT THE CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHI YARD, LUDGATE STREET ;

AND BY PERTHES AND BESSER, HAMBURGH.

STONEHENGE.

(OXFORD PRIZE-SUBJECT FOR 1823*.)

NO gorgeous dome, whose summits proudly shroud
Their towering grandeur in the mists of cloud
Nor wreck of Genius, splendid in decay,
A Nation's boast, invites the annual lay;
But rear'd in days of yore, ere Science smild,
Lonely, amid the bleak and cheerless wild
Yon roofless Structure of gigantic Stone,
Cemented by its pond'rous mass alone;
Where halts the pilgrim, breathless, and amaz'd,
At the huge heap, by barbarous hands uprais'd,
Or shuddering hears upon the midnight plain,
Sounds, like the voice of Spirits that complain.

No longer vibrate to the Zephyr's sigh
The massive rock, once nicely pois'd on high ;
Yet o'er the pile, for countless ages past,
With sparing wing has sped the wintry blast,
While the proudl monument which Taste design'd,
Has bow'd to Time, nor left a name behind.

What, tho' no rescued records guard the fame,
Or the rude history of these Stones proclaim,
Still Fancy traces back the rugged fane
To the rude Cuthite, or the martial Dane;
Or feigns, that 'neath its turf the mystic Ring
Protects the ashes of some honour'd King;
Or there the Roman on his altår laid
His holy offering, and his worship paid;
Or that at Merlin's voice, by sorcery made,
Uprose the vast, stupendous Colonnade.

Vain dreams! those aged Trilithons reveal
The rough, unsculptur'd work of Druid zeal :
Happy around erst frown'd the shadowy wood;
And 'mid the leafy gloom the Temple stood;
Emblem of times, with darkest ignorance blind;
Nor less an emblem of man's dreary mind,
Ere Superstition's empire past away,
And on the Briton beam'd a purer day:
Secluded here, and wean'd from worldly thought,
His secret lore the reverend Druid taught:
Here with his harp inspir’d the youthful soul,
And mark'd thro' space the heavenly wonders roll.
On that rude marble, now with stones o'erspread,
How oft the human sacrifice has bled,
Or ʼmid the flames that wrapt the crowded cage,
Blaz'd to appease his God's impending rage!

Such were thine altars, Albion ! stain'd with gore,
Ere Cæsar fix'd his eagles on thy shore ;
Such, ere th' imperial mandate fiercely drove
The dreaded Druid from his hallow'd grove,
And Mona yielded from her forest shades
The vanquish'd Band to Rome's avenging blades !

* See Mr. Salmon's Poem, which gained the Prize, in p. 549.

PREFACE.

IN the Preface to our last Volume we had occasion to express our satisfaction that our great National resources were not only entire, and in every respect unimpaired, but that all of them were existing in a condition which promised effectual relief to the difficulties of Trade and Agriculture. During the last six months the progress of all these sources of our National wealth has very greatly exceeded our expec, tation. The four great channels of our riches are-pur AGRICULTURE, our MANUFACTURES, our COMMERCE, and that INTERNAL TRADE, which, like one of our general canals, receiving the contributions of all the branches, circulates and conveys them through every division of the community--thus affording to the vast majority of society the wages of labour, and to the more opulent classes, enlarged means of consuming and enjoying the produce.

To commence, then, with our AGRICULTURE. In January last, the average price of wheat, as given in the Gazette, was thirty-nine shillings. On Saturday, June 22, the average price of wheat, by the official document, was sixty-two shillings. Here, therefore, in one article, is a rise of thirty-five per cent. Such are the present prospects of Agriculture, that Sir Thomas Lethbridge withdrew his motion for an inquiry into the causes of Agricultural distress, and expressed his satisfaction at the present condition of the Landlord and Farmer.-Within the same period, there has occurred a like favourable progress in the great MoneY MARKET. In February the price of three per cent. stock was seventy-two pounds. The price of the same stock was, on June 30, a considerable fraction above eighty: -- In MANUFACTURES, another division of our National resources, there is the same ground of congratulation ; though our limits will not permit us to go through the detail of the accounts, and more particularly to follow the official report of our colonial and minor exports. Under the head of ComMĒRCE, the main subject for observation is, that the amount of our tonnage very nearly corresponds with the highest amount during the war; or, in other words, that its diminution, in consequence of the resumption of trade by the Continental Nations, answers in no degree to the general apprehension, which, not only our merchants, but almost every one who has reflected upon this subject, very reasonably entertained. Our Liverpool Correspondent informs us, as a proof of the increasing prosperity of that “ Western Capital,” that the amount of last year's Dock Rates, audited to the of June, “had exceeded that of any preceding one, the tonnage of vessels having produced 61,4221. 12s. 4d.; and the dues on Merchandise 62,945). 16s. Id., forming a total of 124,3681. 8s. 5d. In 1818-19, which was the previous most produc

the amount was in round rumbers 118,000l. and in 1821–22, 110,0001." -Our INTERIOR Trade is equally gratifying to every patriotic feeling. One of the greatest criterions of the prosperity of this branch of our general dealing is the astonishing and unforeseen facility with which cash payments have been resumed, and the

prosperous and secure condition of almost all our Banks in town and country. Another criterion is in the vast increase of vessels employed in the coasting trade. A third proof is in the prosperity of our Canals, and the high prices of their shares. A fourth is, in the activity of building. A fifth is, in the full employment of all labouring hands in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, &c.

Not

tive year,

« PreviousContinue »