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the Rev. J. Dixon, Rector of Houghton in Northamptonshire, and Rich. Stonhewer, esq. Auditor of the Excise), should either jointly or severally revise the same ; and that, after such careful revision, such Manuscript and other unpublished Works should be selected, which any three, or a majority of them, including the same Win. Burgh, esq. shall think proper for publication. And my will further is, that these then posthumous pieces shall be printed, together with my Writings already printed with my name, in one complete edition; and also, that the said Win. Burgh, esq. shall attend to the correct printing of the same. And respecting this complete edition of my Works, my will is, that my executor hereafter mentioned (Rev. C. Alderson) shall sell and dispose of the same to some reputable bookseller or booksellers, and the property in them which will legally devolve to him at my decease; and the net sum which he shall receive for the same (after all his expences are deducted) shall be given by him, as a voluntary donation, to the York County Infirmary." The papers were placed in Dr. Burgh's possession soon after Mr. Mason's death, in 1797, and there remained till his decease, in Dec. 1808, but without any progress being made by him towards their selection and arrangement for the press; a circumstance more to be regretted, as, from his abilities, sound judgment, and correct opinions, we had reason to expect, not only a more complete edition of the Author's Works, but likewise some account of his Life, written in such a manner as might have given an acceptable addition to that most useful and engaging species of writing, Professional and Literary. Biography.
At this time Mr. Alderson and Mr. Dixon, who were the only surviving trustees, being from extreme ill health incapable of taking any very active part in the publication, consulted with several persons whose judgment they respected; and in 1811 reprinted the Works of Mr. Mason already published, with some few additions from the papers in their possession.
As these papers are not jet destroyed, and as several valuable letters are preserved by many of hi friends, there is no reason to give up the hope of having his wishes complied with, and of publishing a work which might answer his charitable purposes, at the same time that they
extended the fame and character ef the Author. /
In a letter to one of his friends be certainly expressed a wish that his correspondence should not.be published; but it may be worth while to consider what weight an accidental expression in a familiar letter might have against his general opinion, as acknowledged by his friends, and illustrated by his Life of Gray, who was an Author at least as fastidious as Mason, and of whose credit he was equally careful. Neither was any iq* junction of the sort mentioned to Dr. Burgh, in whose judgment be fully relied, and to which he entirely resigned his character. Ebob.
IT appears from various Volumes of your Magazine, that the Literary World has for many years endeavoured to discover the Author of Junius'* Letters; and many suppositions have been published on the subject of inquiry. Has not Sir William Temple somewhere written, "We see a little, conjecture much; and so jump on to a conclusion?" A recent publication, bearing the title of " The Author of Junius's Letters identified," inclines me to communicate what follows.
The late Dowager Lady of a Nobleman who had been elevated from the Bar to the Peerage, in a conversation with an intimate friend of hers, said, that, after Lord ——'s death, at their house in town, on some shelves, concealed within a wainscot, were found many copies, in sheets, of Junius's Letters; and with them several billets from the King, in his own band-writing —all of them desiring Lord to be with him; his
Majesty naming the time of each interview with the utmost exactness—even to the minute." H. C. M.
S. B. says, "It is a fact well-ascertained, that the great Duke of MarlboRough received part, at least, of bis education at St. Paul's School; but the time of his admission, and continuance there, is uncertain, the records of the School having been destroyed in the fire of 1666. Whatever in any degree contributed to form the mind of such a man, he observes, cannot but be interesting to the publick j and hethereforesolicits information from any Correspondent who may have it in his power, respecting that or any other circumstance of tbe Duke's early life."
Mr. Urban, Birmingham, JunelH.
THAT the Birth-places of eminent men in early time» have often been involved in uncertainty, must be observed by every Reader of the Historic page. The same difficulty occurs, at a comparatively modern period, with regard to the birlh-place of John Knox; some Writers asserting that he was born at.Huddiugl.in, N. B.; aod others at a village a few miles from it, named Gifford.
The House of which 1 now send a sketch (Plate I.) is situate in Giffordgate, Haddington (a kind of suburb to that town), and shewn by the in-, habitants as the dwelling* where, according to tradition, that celebrated Reformer firjst drew breath: and the union of both names (Gifford and Haddington) niqy possibly account for the confusion, prevailing amongst his biographers.— The last of that class (Dr. M'Crie) is however inclined to give a preference to the village of Gifford; though, at the same time, he candidly refers his Readers to the opinions of his predecessors, pro and con, in Appendix A. to the first volume of his Memoirs. M. R.
Mr. Urban, March 23.
THE following Epitaph, written by the late William Shenstone* esq. of IheLeasowes, near Halesowen, in the county of Salop, is extracted from a tombstone in the church-yard of that place- I know not whether it has ever been noticed by any of your Correspondents! if not, I shall be pleased, as well as many other of your Readers, to see it recorded in your Magazine.
The young lady lo whom it applies was highly esteemed by the Writer of her>Epitaph. She met her death by a fall from her horse, on a ride between Halesowen and Dudley, although the Epitaph bas not any allusion to that fact. , I.
"Here lyeth interred the body of Ann, the loving and beloved daughter of Samuel and Mary Powell of this town: she departed this life on the 29th of July 1744, in the 20th year of her age;
Here—here she lies a budding rose
Blasted before its bloom,
Beyond that flower's perfume.
To those who for her death are griev'd,
This consolation's given,
To bloom more bright in Heaven.
Mr. Urban, Sussex, Feb. 27.
AS many of the pages of your Magazine have lately been occupied with amusing and interesting accounts of Tours made through the Northern Departments of France and the Netherlands, permit me, who have during the last Autumn made a journey through the same district, to add by way of Appendix, a few agricultural observations, which I really think may be useful and beneficial to my own country.—The generaf cultivation in those countries, of three articles of which we know nothing as matters of husbandry, must forcibly strike every itinerant—I allude tolhePoppy; Tobacco; and the Haricot or French Bean.—The first of these is cultivated on a very large scale, not with a view to any soporifle or narcotic qualities which the plant may contain, and which reside in the capsule or seed-vessel alone, and in no other part in the smallest degree, but on account of the sweet and pleasant oil which abounds in the seed. The Poppy was first introduced into France, from Germany about the year 1808, in consequence of the injuries, amounting almost to a general destruction, received by the olive-trees in the Southern Provinces from the severity of the preceding winter. The first planters having been amply recompensed for their expences and labour by the price at which the Poppy oil was sold, others were induced to follow their example; insomuch that, nest to wheat, the Poppy in certain extensive districts is the most general article of agricultural pursiiit.
The flavour of this oil is so sweet and delicate, that it is frequently substituted for that of the olive; and I have been credibly informed that the nature, qualities, taste, and flavour, of these two oils are sosimilar, and so much resemble each other, that this substitution is scarcely considered to be fraud in commerce.—It is extracted by iron cylinders,which crush the seed, aod which are put into action bv small windmills, of which, in the immediate mediate -vicinity of Lille only there are more (ban two hundred. The pulp, or residuum, is made into oilcake for the fattening of cattle, which is for that purpose of a very superior quality, and the haulme, which is more substantial than straw, is used by the bakers for heating their ovens. The capsule is sometimes sold to the chemists, and from them a decoction is made similar to what is too frequently made by the cottagers of this country under the name of sleeping water.
1 am aware that true opium is an exudation of, or rather an extraction from, the seed-vessel of the Poppy in its green and unripe state; but it has been suggested that the ingenuity of modern chemists might render these dried capsules serviceable for medicinal purposes in a degree beyond what modem practice has yet attained to. As the soil of the bog marshes of England is very similar to that of Flanders, and as we have large tracts of upland equally rich and fertile with the Poppy-grounds of France, it is very desirable that the experiment should be here made of the agricultural tillage of this plant, and there can be but little doubt of the successful result, since no peculiar art, dexterity, or ingenuity appear to be requisite. The varieties of the Poppy are infinite; but the Pink kind, called Oeillel (the French word for the Pink) only is sowed in the field. A person might easily convince himself of the oiliness, and ofthe delicacy of the flavour, by emptying a capsule of its seed into his hand, and then putting it into his mouth; the taste he would in the first instance find very much like to that of the filbert. —If this letter should attract the notice of the Agriculturists, as 1 very much wish that it may, and if I should perceive that there is an inclination for the culture of this valuable grain in this country*, I would give farther information as to the management, the harvesting, and the commerce of it, on a future occasion; which I now only abstain from, from a reluctance to the overfilling unnecessarily of your pages.
Large quantities of Tobacco are grown in France and Flanders. In the Agricultural Report of the Cora
* It is largely cultivated in Leicestershire. See vol.LXXXVI. ii. p. 535.
mittee of the House of Commons made last Session, the objections to thegrowth of Tobacco in this country were stated to be, the climate, and the Royal revenue. To the first it may be answered, that as this plant will grow in every part of Europe, in Russia even, if the soil be rich, there can be little doubt but that it would thrive equally well in England. It was in consequence of the successful cultivation of it on a large scale in our Sister Kingdom, that the prohibitory law of this country was extended to Scotland. This, however, ought to be merely the affair of the Farmer, and not of the Legislator. Nothing will long be cultivated Unless it be productive of an adequate advantage. The restrictions on Tobacco were originally imposed with a view to the benefit of our North AmericanColonies—they claimed to have a monopoly of our supply of this luxury. Any right of this kind, however, has long since ceased; and it would be highly absurd to throw away odr favours, fraught with loss and injury to ourselves, on a Nation, which is at the best a doubtful friend, and occasionally a mischievous enemy. The objection with regard to the revenue might be easily removed, since there would be no more difficulty in the application of the laws of Excise to the Tobacco-field than to the Hop-garden. And it may be added, that in every country in Europe in which this plant is cultivated, the articles manufactured therefrom are subject to rigid taxation; and that, in fact) the monopoly of it is a precious branch of the Royal prerogative, and is vested, together with Salt, solely in the Monarch. There appears to be indeed a degree of injustice, a sort of invasion of the natural rights of roan, to inhibit the cultivation of any article which bis soil is capable of producing, provided the growth of it be not injurious to the State or the Publick—and I trust that a sufficient answer has been given with regard to the possibility of injury to the Revenue.
As to the Haricot, it may beobscrved, that it constitutes a material article of the husbandry of France.— The Dwarf French-bean is iu very general cultivation ; and it is trusted as a Winter vegetable, in the same manner as we rely ou our Potatoes,