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be a favourite character with this memorialift, who certainly difplays an intimate acquaintance with many nice hiftorical points; though few, we imagine, will follow him through all his narrations and difquifitions, which are however little enlivened by the beauties of compofition. An appendix of charters, deeds, and other legal papers, concludes this first part of the introductory volume.

The first part of the second voJume, containing an account of Framland Hundred, is a fpecimen of what is to confiitute the proper matter of the work. Every townfhip in the hundred is feparately treated in an alphabetical order. The author's general method is to give the name, fituation, and contents of the diftrict; then to trace all the owners of the manor and the landed property of the place, from the earlieft records, down to the present time with this are in troduced genealogies of all the principal families, as well as anecdotes, biographical and literary, of all extraordinary perfons connected, by birth or otherwife, with the township. Ecclefiaftical matter comes next, fuch as notices of all religious and charitable foundations, account of the churchliving, its nature and value, patrons, and incumbents; monumental infcriptions, extracts from the parish regifter, population, and bills of mortality at different periods, &c. Very few details of natural hiftory or economical matter are to be found; and, indeed, little occurs for the amufement of a common reader, except the biographical relations, fome of which are curious. The prefent volume, comprising Belvoir caftle and Sta

pleford, has a minute account of the noble families of Rutland and Harborough, the latter of which is peculiarly rich in genealogical illuftrations, decorated with many fine engravings. Other diftin guifhed families, and not a few men of letters and divines of note, are recorded in the course of the work. We fhall present our reader with the tranfcript of one article, as a neat model of topographical defcription, unattended with antiquities. It is an account of the natural hiftory of the parish of Little Dalby, communicated by profeflor Martyn.

This lordship is remarkably hil ly, being thrown about in fmall fwellings in fuch a manner, that in the greater part of it, it is diffi cult to find a piece of flat ground. The largest portion of it is an an cient enclofure; and none of the inhabitants know when it took place. I thought at first to have difcovered the date of it from the age of the trees in the hedge rows; but none of them which I have had an opportunity of examining are more than about 120 years old; but if the enclosure went no further back than this, we fhould have learnt the date of it from tradition. I then searched the parith regifter, to find whether any depopulation had taken place fince the time of Elizabeth; but could find none, and therefore concluded that the enclosure was at leaft as early as her reign. That there has been a depopulation I conclude, not only from the natural confequence of enclofing, but from the foundations of buildings which are difcovered in the clofes near the church.

The whole lordship is in pafture, M m 2 except

except here and there a fmall piece which the landlords permit the tenants to break up occafionally, when it becomes very moffy; but then this is laid down again ufually at the end of three or four years. There are no woods; but there are fome fmall plantations of oak, afh, and elm of no very long date. There is abundance of afh in the hedge rows, and scarcely any other tree. The foil is a strong clay; there is no wafte ground in the lordfhip; but it is not cultivated, in my opinion, to the reft advantage. They depend chiefly on their dairies; they breed, however, very fine theep, famous for the whitenefs of their fleeces, which weigh from feven to nine pounds: they breed alfo fine horned cattle; but the lordship, in general, is not good feeding ground.


rich, because they mix among the new milk as much cream as it will bear. It requires much care and attendance; and, being in great request, it fetches 10d. a pound on the fpot, and is. in the London market.

There is no flone, gravel, or fand, in this lordship, except a listle fand ftone on the fide of Burrow-hills: it is moftly a strong blue clay; and in fome parts of it is a good brick earth. There is only one fpring, and that a chalybeate; it lies high, in a close belonging to the vicar, known by the name of the fpring clofe; it runs over a great part of the year, and difcharges itfelf into the valley, where the village lies. Nobody ever attempted to fink for a well in this parish, till, in the winter of 1777 and 1778, Edward Wigley Hartop, Efq. dug and fucceeded. He penetrated through a bed of stiff blue clay; and at the depth of 66 feet the water gufhed in, when, I apprehend, the workmen were coming to the limestone rock, by their having thrown out fome fragments of blue ftone. To the depth of 10 feet were frequent nodules of chalk; at that depth the clay was full of fmall felenites. At 30 feet deep the clay was found to be full of pectens, and other thells very perfect, but extremely tender. Nodules of ludus helmontii were interfperfed; ammonites of different fpecies in great quantities, gryphites, and other fhells; and plates of a clear foliaceous mica, resembling Mufcovy glafs. I am inform-. ed that the water did not prove good, and that little or no use is made of this well.

This lordship is remarkable for having first made the best cheese perhaps in the world, commonly known by the name of Stilton cheefe, from its having been originally bought up, and made known, by Cooper Thornhill, the landlord of the Bell inn at Stilton. It began to be made here by Mrs. Orton, about the year 1730, in fmall quantities; for at firft it was fuppofed that it could only be made from the milk of the cows which fed in one clofe, now called Orton's clofe; but this was afterwards found to be an error. In 1756 it was made only by three perfons, and that in fmall quantities; but it is now made, not only from one, but from a most every clofe in this parish, and in many of the neighbouring ones. It is well known that this fort of cheese is made in the fhape, and of the fize, of a I have not found any natural collar of brawn. It is extremely productions, either animal, vege


table, or foffil, but what are common in other places. There is neither wood nor wafte ground in the parish; and we know, that where man has completely fubdued the foil to his own ufe, he permits nothing to feed or profper, but what is ferviceable to his private intereft.

The air here is dry and healthy; fogs are not frequent, and clear off early when they happen. The inhabitants are happy, and many of them live to a good old age.

"Their fuel here is pitcoal, which they have chiefly brought from Derbyshire and fome from lord Middleton's coal-pits near Nottingham. The carriage being heavy, and the roads bad, it ufed to coft them 15d. or 16d. per hundred weight: but, fince the navigation has been completed to Loughborough, they get it for 10d. or 11d. per hundred.

'No great road leads through the parith; but the turnpike road from Oakham to Melton paffes within a mile by Leefthorp, and they come upon it in going to Melton, at about the fame diftance before they come to Burton.

There is not any river that runs through the parish, or comes near it; and only one inconfiderable brook, which is fometimes dry. This joins another, more confiderable, that comes from Somerby by Leefthorp, and both, proceeding jointly by Burton Lazars, fall into the river Eye, between Brentingby and Melton.

There is no papift in this parish, nor one diflenter of any denomination.

The parochial feaft follows St. James; to whom the church is dedicated.

There have been no perambulations time immemorial.


'The rent of the whole parish is 14221. 5s.

The number of houfes is 2:; families 22; and inhabitants 123; three teams kept.

'The land tax at 4s. raises 1641. 145. zd.

Labourers have is. 2d. per day in fummer, and is. in the winter; in harvest 1s. 6d. and their victuals. Land lets at 15s. an acre.

The nett expence of the poor in 1776 was 271. 16s.

Medium of three years, 17831785, 451. 8s. 4d.'

Thefe volumes are illuftrated by a very liberal provifion of engravings, in which a view is given of every individual parith-church, as well as of feats, monuments, antiquities, and other remarkable objects. An appendix to the fecond volume contains a number of deeds, charters and other papers relative to each hundred; which addition will doubtlefs be repeated in the future volumes.

Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Abbate Metaftafis. In which are incorporated Tranflations of his principal Lecters. By Charles Burney, Muf. D. F. R. S. 840. 3 Vols. 1796.

THE name of Metaftafio has long been affociated in every European metropolis with the exquifite pleafures of the noble, the opulent, and the polifhed. The euphony of his lines and the fitness of his fentiments have been impreffed on our recollection, in concert with the most vivid and brilliant difplays of all the arts of delight. Melodies of the most fafcinating compofers, affifted by punctual orcheftras,

cheffras, by fingers the most compating and fimooth toned, have Concurred in winging the shafts of his fong to our inmott fenfibility. The painter's magnificent perfpectives, the dazzling pageants of the decorator, the easy floating motions of groupes of graceful dancers, and all the magic glories of realized mythology, have mingled at the theatre their influence with that of the poet, and have attitted in firing up within us that luxurious irritation and tumult of feeling, which form the higheft fcope of the artist and the pureft enjoyment of the connoiffeur. Stript, however, of all these circumftances of effect, Metaftatio has acquired a reputation for genius and abilities, which the philofopher who perufes his writings in the clofet will not, probably, hesitate to ratify. Yet how often does it happen that, removed from within the glare of theatric illumination, the god of the operahoufe has withered into an ordinary man; and that the liquid language of the fkies had lent an oracular folemnity to fimple thoughts, or a bewitching harmony to ingnificant infipidities? Be this, however, as it may, and even fuppofing that the literary character of Metatiafio himself thould be fated to fuffer depreciation by time and revolutions in tafte; thould his dramatic writings even become a mere fchool-book for the learner of Italian-yet he has refided fo much at courts, and has been the darling of fo many artifts, that his life can never be an object of indifference to thofe whofe gentle eye preferably fixes on thofe places and periods, in which the pleafures of man have been the chief occupation of his rulers; and in which

factions have confined their blood. leis ftruggles to the establishment of a theory of mufic, and have never extended their profcriptions beyond the condemnation of a tragedy.

To the inherent fashion of the fubject of these volumes, is fuperadded the ftronger recommendation which they derive from the celebrity of the author. The hif torian of mufic is accustomed to convene and to fatisfy an elegant audience; and, whether be touches the harp or the monochord, he difplays a mafterly hand. His materials have been induftriously collected at Vienna and in Italy, and comprehend, befides the wellknown biographies of Retzer and of Chriftini, many works of inferior note, as well as the pofthumous edition of the poet's letters. The bulk of this publication confifts indeed of a tranflation of those letters, connected by the requifite interftices of narrative; all which form a very amusing whole.

Metaftafio was born at Rome in 1698, where his father had fettled as a confectioner. At school he difplayed early talents as an improvijatore, and before eleven years of age could fing extemporaneous veries. Gravina, the civilian, known by having written tragedies on the Greek model, heard, admired, and adopted the young bard; to whom he gave a literary education, getting him admitted to the bar, and to deacon's orders, that civil and ecclefiaftical preferment might be alike open to him. When 22 years of age, Metaftalio vifited Naples, having inherited the property of Gravina, and attached himself as cicifbeo to the female finger Romanina. He there wrote an opera, which fucceeded, and

and from this time he applied wholly to theatric poetry. In 1729 he was invited to Vienna as the Imperial Laureate, and continued to furnish fuch dramas as his patron befpoke, until his death in 1782.

Dr. Burney well obferves that it is poffible for a man of learning, ftudy, and natural acumen, to be a good critic on the works of others without genius for producing original works himfelf, fimilar to thofe which he is able to cenfure. The opinion of Metaftafio, there fore, may have its weight even when he criticifes the great operawriters of antiquity: for the modern opera is the only faithful imitation of the antient tragedy. From his practice it appears, however, that he entertained one fundamental error in theory, and had not difcovered that, in the opera, the means of imitation being peculiar ly apparent, the diftrefs fhould be more harrafling and the crimes more atrocious, in order to excite an equal degree of tragic emotion with thefe reprefentations which approach more nearly to real and common life. We had felected

fome paffages in order to give, an idea of the fpirit of his criticism: but, finding them too long for our infertion, we must refer our readers to the 3d vol. in which they occur, p. 356-379.

Let it not be a reproach to our eftimable biographer, that he has defcribed, with the voluminous gravity of history, a groupe of poets, fingers, actors, and muticians. It is well that a work of this kind fhould make its

Printed by J. Crowder, Warwick-Square.

appearance. We are scarcely accustomed as yet to align, in human ftory, a place to each propor tioned to the extent of his influence on human happiness. The crowned and the titled have their peculiarities immortalized, although they may have never added to the enjoyments of a nation ten evenings of glowing delight. The amuters of our leifure, the artifts of our pleafures, may jufly be ranked among the benefactors of fociety. Let it belong, then, to the muse of fan e to elevate monuments (ver their remains, and to ftrew flowers on their grave, in token of our grateful remembrance!


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