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and a half, while the ferry of Aust, or the Old

passage, four or five miles higher up the Severn, is only two miles across; but this advantage is considered to be overbalanced by the more commodious landing at the for

Both these concerns, being monopolies, are, like all other monopolies, hostile to the interest of the publick; for there being no competition for preference between the boatmen, they are extremely rude in their manners, indifferent to the accommodation of the publick, and by no means unpractised in various arts of extortion. But these exclusive privileges have existed from time immemorial. The title of the New Passage arose from its renewal in the year 1718, after an abolition in consequence of the following remarkable incident.

Charles the First, being pursued by a strong party

of his enemies through Share Newton, got into a boat at the Black rock (the New passage), and was ferried to the opposite shore, His pursuers, to the number of sixty, with drawn swords compelled other boatmen belonging to the passage to ferry them after him; but these, being in the king's interest, landed them on a reef of rocks in the Severn called the


English stones, near the Gloucestershire coast, to which they were instructed to ford : indeed, the strait was fordable at low water; but, the tide flowing in very rapidly, they were all drowned in the attempt, and the king for that time escaped. Cromwell, informed of the transaction, abolished the ferry; nor was it renewed, until after a long chancery-suit between an ancestor of the

present proprietor, Mr. Lewis, of St. Pierre, and the guardians of his Grace the Duke of Beaufort, proprietor of Aust ferry.

A walk of a mile, on the shore westward of New Passage inn, led us to SUDBROOK ENCAMPMENT, crowning the brow of an eminence which rises in an abrupt cliff from Caldecot level, This work, consisting of three ramparts and two ditches, forms a semicircle, whose chord is the sea cliff; but it is evident, that part of the eminence has mouldered away; and most probable, that the figure of the fortification was once circular. Harris conjectures it to be of Roman origin, and intended for the defence of the port of Venta Silurum (Caerwent). Eastward of the encampment is SUDBROOK Chapel, a small Gothic ruin, which was formerly attached



to a mansion of Norman foundation. No traces appear even of the site of this structure, which has in all likelihood been swept away by the encroachment of the sea : but several piles of hewn stones near the ramparts are probably its relics,

We had another pleasant walk of about a mile from the New passage across the fields to ST. PIERRE, an ancient residence of the Lewis family, descended from Cadivor the great. This mansion exhibits rather an incongruous mixture, in which the modern refinements of sąsh-windows, &c. are forced upon a Gothic structure upwards of four hundred

an embattled gateway, flanked with pentagonal towers, is still more ancient, and is recorded as having belonged to the feudal castle that occupied the site of the present building

Nearly opposite this spot, the great estuary of the Bristol channel, contracting in width, takes the name of the Severn. The appellation of this river arises from the story of a British princess. Geoffry of Monmouth relates, that she was the daughter of Locrino king of Britain, by Elstridis, one of the three virgins of matchless charms whom he took


years old :


after he had defeated Humber king of the Huns, to whom they belonged. Locrine had divorced his former queen Guendolin in her favour. On his death, Guendolin asa. sumed the government, pursued Elstridis and her daughter Sabra with unrelenting cruelty, and caused them to be drowned in the river, which with some alteration took the name of this innocent victim. Our poets have made a beautiful use of this story: Milton, in his description of rivers, speaks of

“ The Severn swift, guilty of maiden blood;" but in the Mask of Comus he enters fully into her sad story: There is a gentle nymph not far from hence, “ That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream: r Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure ; " Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine, That had the scepter from his father Brute. “She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit w Of her enraged stepdame Guendolin, “ Commended her fair innocence to the flood, That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course. "The water-nymphs that in the bottom play'd " Held

up their pearled wrists and took her in, Bearing her strait to aged Nereus' hall;

Who, piteous of her woes, rear'd her lank head, And gave her to his daughters to imbathe “ In nectar d lavers strow'd with asphodil, And through the porch and inlet of each sense


Dropt in ambrosial oils till she reviv'd, " And underwent a quick immortal change, Made Goddess of the river."

Crossing the grounds of St. Pierre, and passing Pool Nieyrick, a brook falling into the Severn, we turned to the right in search of MATHERN PALACE, formerly a scat of the bishops of Landaff. This building, situated in a gentle hilly country pleasingly diversified with wood and pasturage, in its present appearance conveys but a very faint idea of the splendour and good cheer' that no doubt reigned there when it was the seat of the episcopacy. The structure surrounds a quadrangular court, and was raised by different bishops ; the north and north-east parts, comprising the tower, porch, &c. are supposed to have been erected by John de la Zouch, who was consecrated anno 1408. Miles Salley, who came to the see in 1504, built the chapel, hall, and other apartments. Some specimens of dilapidated grandeur appear in the east window; and until lately the entrance was through a lofty ornamented porch; but this is now destroyed, and the building only occupied as a farm-house. In the north side of the chancel of Mathern church, a


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