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and the only difference arising from circumstances is a difference of expense,-a great increase at the outset, in some cases, no doubt ; but everywhere, in the end, an immense saving in cleaning, repairing, and animal power. Those parts of the Holyhead road, which have been formed in this way by Mr. Telford under the parliamentary commission, require little or no cleaning, and stand for years without any repair. This is evidence; and there can be no question, that if the roads about London were constructed on a similar principle, they would be equally good. There falls as much rain, we take it, in the valley of the Severn, as in the valley of the Thames ; and most likely a pebble has the same tendency to wallow in the mire in North Wales, as at South Mims or at London Colney.

Some roads that have been bottomed with Lias limestone, have been thereby most substantially improved; but that is expensive from the length of carriage; and in consequence of the irregularity of the masses, it works unequally into the stratum, instead of pressing it down as one body. Squared stone would be, though the best foundation, too expensive, and therefore the great object is to find a substance which shall answer as a substitute, and of which the greater part of the materials shall be found at or near the spot. A substance of this kind is now under trial on a portion of the Highgate Archway road; and from the composition and form of the substance, as well as from the complete drainage and other improvements introduced by the inventor, Mr. John Mc Neill, under the inspection and with the approbation of Sir Henry Parnell, and the rest of the parliamentary commissioners, its chance of success (if it be not a certainty) is very great.

This substance is an artificial pudding-stone, or breccia, made of clean pebbles, united by cement, and formed into regular blocks about double the size of a brick. For the reception of these blocks (which occupy about eighteen feet in the centre of the road) the bottom is prepared by a drain at each side, with feather drains extending to the centre, at short distances from each other; and those drains, which are formed of sough tiles, or clean stones, according to circumstances, are brought up to the bottom of the pavement, and carried as far down as is necessary for keeping the upper part of the sub-soil dry. Over that sub-soil clean sand or gravel is laid to the depth of a few inches; then the blocks of artificial stone are placed in regular rows across the road, their upper edges being bevelled so as to form little drains between the rows; and over them the broken stone is laid to the depth of five or six inches. The shoulders of the road outside the pavement are made of hard materials, cross drains being opened through them for communication with the water-courses in the fields ; while similar drains through the footpaths carry the surface water off the road. In this way the drainage is complete; and though the artificial stone be made with great ease and rapidity, it hardens instantly, and acquires such a consistency as to give it little chance of breaking, shielded as it is from the inmediate collision of wheels by the broken stone over it. Even at present it costs but little ; because the pebbles are found near the spot, and the quantity of cement required is very small.

If the use of it shall come up to the expectation, and we can see no August, 1828.

D

reason why it should not, it will become one of the most valuable in. ventions connected with the making of roads in places where stone cannot be obtained in large masses without a great expense of land carriage. The commissioners could not have selected a spot where it would have been subjected more severely to the test than where the experiment is making; for the road there, although one of recent construction, was the very worst between London and possibly John o'Groat's house ; and it defied all the road-making talent to render it

any better.

The inventor of the artificial stone has secured it by patent, in connexion, we believe, with the firm of Messrs. Francis, White, and Francis, of Nine Elms; and they are to style roads, constructed in the way that we have mentioned, “ Appian roads," as distinguished from those that consist only of small stones, water, and mud.

MORNINGS AMONG THE COBWEBS,

OR

EXTRACTS FROM, AND REPRINTS OF, CURIOUS AND LONG-FORGOTTEN PUBLICATIONS, WITH

BIOGRAPHICAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE PREFACES AND Notes.

No. II.

ARCHBISHOP ABBOT'S GEOGRAPHY. Besides being an eloquent preacher, a profound theologian, a zealous polemic, a patriotic politician, and an active philanthropist, Archbishop Abbot was, what few of our readers will suspect him to have been, one of the earliest, and, at the time he wrote, the best of our systematic geographers; the precursor of the Walkers and the Brookeses of Gazetteer notoriety.

Of the birth of this exemplary prelate a most marvellous story is related by the credulous and superstitious Aubrey (a). Whilst his mother (the wife of a poor cloth-worker of Guildford, who had suffered from his adherence to the Protestant faith during the reign of Mary) was pregnant of him, she dreamt, we are told, that if she could eat a jack, or pike, the child she went with would prove a son, and rise to great preferment. This singular dream met (they would wish us to believe) with as singular an accomplishment; for shortly after it had disturbed her midnight rest, in taking a pail of water out of the river Wey, which ran by her house, she accidentally drew up a very fine jack, and thus had an opportunity of at once satisfying her own longing appetite by eating all, or nearly all, the fish, and of securing, on such easy terms, the aggrandisement of her child. This odd prophecy, and its odd fulfilment, soon came, it is said, to the ears of some persons of distinction in the neighbourhood, who made the object of it their special care, standing sponsors for him at the baptismal font, and affording more substantial proofs of their regard, by maintaining him both at school and the university.

Such is the marvellous part of the archbishop's history. The real is too well known to need more than a brief recapitulation of its leading events. From the school of his native town he was removed to Baliol College, Oxford, where he greatly distinguished himself. He was then successively Master of University College, Vice Chancellor of Oxford, Dean of Winchester, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and Archbishop of Canterbury. In the discharge of his duties as a prelate, he was most exemplary; preaching, with great regularity, sermons, which, for that age, were very forcible and eloquent, and on all occasions supporting what he conceived to be the rights, doctrines, and discipline of the church, of which he was metropolitan, with dignified firmness. A proof of this was afforded by his forbidding the king's declaration for permitting sports and pastimes on Sundays to be read in the church of Croydon, where he happened accidentally to be on the day of its promulgation. He appears, however, to have been fond of an amusement rather inconsistent, perhaps, with the gravity of his character and the sanctity of his office, and his indulgence in it was the cause of an accident which embittered the latter years of his existence. Hunting in the park of Lord Zouch, on the 14th of July, 1621, he let fly a barbed arrow from a cross-bow at a deer; but, instead of the animal, unhappily hit one of his lordship's keepers, who bled to death from his wound an hour after its infliction. Four bishops were at this very juncture waiting for consecration at his hands; but, refusing to receive it from even an involuntary homicide, though the king had granted him a pardon and dispensation assoiling him from all irregularity, scandal, and infamy, on account of his misfortune, his office was, on this occasion, discharged by four of his suffragans. The accident and its consequences gave rise to much controversy; but the archbishop himself deeply regretted it, and, as a proof of that regret, during the remaining twelve years of his life always observed a monthly fast on the day of the week on which he met with the misfortume, and settled an annuity of twenty pounds upon the keeper's widow, which soon procured her another husband.

He had been the principal means of introducing Villiers, afterwards the celebrated Duke of Buckingham, to court, and of pushing his interests there. The reward he met with was suspension and disgrace, in consequence of his manly and patriotic refusal to license a

mon of Dr. Sipthorp's, in justification of the king's right to raise money without authority of parliament. Both the favourite and his master had, however, an old grudge against the archbishop for vigorously opposing the projected union of the latter with a Spanish princess. Though the necessity of calling a parliament compelled Charles the First to restore him to the full exercise of his authority, he was never in any great favour at court again; his politics, for he was decidedly opposed to the arbitrary power of the crown, and the Calvinistic tendency of his theological sentiments, rendering him alike obnoxious there, especially to Laud the rising favourite, who hated him also on account of some old college grievances. Dying at the archiepiscopal palace at Croydon, on the 4th of August, 1633, he was buried, by his own request, in the chapel of our Lady, in the church of his native town of Guildford, where a splendid marble monument

was soon afterwards erected over his grave. To the place of his birth he was a great benefactor, especially by the foundation of an amply endowed hospital. He published several tracts, nearly all of them theological, polemical, or political, with the exception of that from which we now proceed to give some extracts, illustrative either of the singular changes which have taken place since it was written, or of the state of geographical knowledge in its right-reverend author's days.

The title of that book is, ' A Brief Description of the whole World. Wherein is particularly described all the monarchies, empires, and kingdoms of the same, with their Academies. As also their several titles and situations thereunto adjoining. Written by the Most Reverend Father in God, George, late Archbishop of Canterbury. London, printed by T. H., for Will Sheares, and are to be sold at the sign of the (6) Harrow in Brittains Baise, 1636.' It is a mall volume of three hundred and fifty-five pages, in what we should nsow call 18mo. We proceed to our extracts :

STATE OF SPAIN IN 1634. “Not only this great and large countrey, heretofore divided into so many kingdomes, is now under one absolute king, but that king is also lord of many other territories : as namely, of the kingdome of Naples in Italy, and the Dutchy of Millaine, of the isles of Sicily, Sardinia, Majorque, Minorque, Evika, in the mid-land sea ; of the ilands of the Canaries in the Atlantique, besides divers strong towns and goodly havens in Barbary, within and without the straits. On the back side of Africk, he commands much on the Frontiery, besides the islands adjoyning to the mayne Land. In the Western Indies he has Mexico, Peru, Brasil, large territories, with the islands of the South, and the North Sea. And Philip the second getting Portugall as a dowry to that first marriage, (c) got also all the dependance of that crown in Africke, the East Indies, and the Atlantique Sea, the towns of Barbary and the East Indies willingly submitting themselves unto him, but the Terceras (d) he wonne by force at the first and second expedition; so if we consider the huge tract of ground that is under this king's dominion, we will say that the empiry of the king of Spain is in that respect the largest that now is, or ever was in the world.”

INSIGNIFICANCE OF PRUSSIA IN THE BEGINNING OF THE 17th CENTURY.

“ In Europe, on the east and north corner of Germany, lyeth a country called Prussia, in Latine most times Borussia, in English Pruthen, or Spruce, of whom little is famous, saving that they were governed by one, in a kinde of order of religion, whom they call the Grand Master; (e) and that they are a means to keep the Moscovite and the Turke from some other parts of Christendome.

“ This countrey is now growne to be a Dukedome, and the Duke thereof doth admit traffique with our English, who going beyond the Hants townes, do touch upon this countrey; and amongst other things doe bring from thence a kind of leather, which was wont to be used in jirkins, and called by the name of spruce-leather-jirkins." (f)

pp. 69, 70,

WONDERFUL TREES. “The trees of America, but especially of Brasilia, being so huge, that it is reported of them, that severall families have lived in severall armes of one tree, to such a number as are in some petty village, or parish in Christendome." RECEPTION OF THE FIRST ACCOUNTS OF THE OPPOSSUM, OR

KANGAROO. “ AMONGST other creatures which are very famous in this Peru, there is a little beast called Cincia, which is no bigger than a Fox, the tayle whereof is long, the feet short, and the head very like a Fox, which hath a bagge hanging under her belly, whereunto she doth use to put her young, when she seeth them in danger of any hunter or passenger.

"That Petrus de Cieça (g) of whom mention was made before, telleth that himself saw one of them which had no lesse than seven young ones lying about her, but as soone as she perceived that a man was coming neire unto her, she presently got them into her bagge, and ranne away with such incredible swiftnesse as one would not have imagined."-pp. 326, 327.

:

ANTHROPOPHAGI AND MEN WHOSE HEADS DO GROW BENEATH THEIR

SHOULDERS.

A Strange Storie. (h) “Our men that travelled to Guiana, amongst other things most memorable, did report, and in writing delivered to the world, that neire unto Guiana, and not far from those places where themselves were, there were men without heads; which seemed to maintaine the opinion to be true, which in old time was conceived by the historians and philosophers, that there were Acephali, whose eyes were in their breasts, and the rest of their face there also situated : and this our English travellers have reported to be so ordinarily and confidently mentioned unto them in those parts where they were, that no sober man should any way doubt of the truth thereof.

“Now because it may appeare that the matter is but fabulous, in respect of the truth of God's creating of them, and that the opinion of such strange shapes and monsters as were said to be in old time, that is, men with heads like dogs, some with eares downe to their ankles, others with one huge foot alone, whereupon they did hop from place to place, was not worthy to be credited, although Sir John Mandevill of late age fondly hath seemed to give credit and authority thereunto (i) yea, and long since, he who took upon him the name of Saint Augustine, on writing that counterfeit book Ad Fratres in Eremo: It is fit the certainty of the matter concerning these in Peru should be known; and that is that in Quinbaice, and some other parts of Peru, the men are born as in other places, and yet by devices which they have, after the birth of children, when their bones and gristles and other parts are yet tender, and fit to be fashioned, they doe crush downe the heads of the children into the breasts and shoulders, and soe with frames of wood, and other such devices,

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