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SOUTH COAST OF ENGLAND.
DEVON AND CORNWALL.
Lovely Devonia, land of flowers and songs,
Thy fields of matchless verdure ?" Each portion of the southern coast of England has its peculiar charm: Kent, historical associations ; Sussex, its shaggy weald, smooth downs, and gay haunts of fashion ; Hampshire, its ports, forests, and ancient churches ; Dorset, broad downs, sandy heaths, and cliffs full of interest to the geologist; Cornwall, its mines and rugged grandeur ; but Devon, called by the Britons “The Hills and Mines," and by the Welsh “ Land of deep Valleys,” may claim, as regards both land and sea, to be the Italy and Mediterranean of the north ; while here pastoral valleys are not sunburnt, and the waves, chequered with the shadows of clouds, present no monotonous spectacle. Fruitful vale and verdant hill approach the water's edge ; the rich dewy green of the scenery rivals that of the Emerald Isle ; and the climate is soft, luxurious, enervating; and yet the song of the nightingale was never heard here in its woods and copses. It possesses a beauty that cannot be beheld elsewhere, and, therefore, strikes the visitor with a hidden pleasure, elevating as it enriches the mind with a new idea of nature's excellency.
The great and little bustard were found in Devonshire, and at Kingsbridge the Cirl-bunting has been shot, and in July, 1840, the squacco.
The county of Devon, in the time of Henry I., gave the title of earl to the family of de Redvers ; the title in 1334 passed into the line of the Courtenays. August 7, 1618, William Cavendish was created Earl of Devonshire ; and May 12, 1694, his descendant was raised to the rank of a duke.
"The gentlemen of Devon,” said Queen Elizabeth, “are all born courtiers, with a becoming confidence."
The first watering-place on the coast of Devon is
the title of baron to Sir John Colborne (Dec. 14, 1839). The village lies between the Culverhole Point on the east, and Beer-head on the west; it boasts a Danish encampment (the Honey (König's) ditches). In the time of Queen Elizabeth, the villagers were foiled in their intention of turning the course of the river Axe, clearing away the pebbly bar, and constructing a cob-pier. At White-Cliff the old folks averred that during a long summer-day, while the sun was darkened, King Athelstane waged battle with the Danes, fighting wearily from Brunedune to Axminster, where he buried five fallen kings, six thousand foemen, and his own martial bishop of Sherborne. At SOUTHDOWN the queen's wedding-robe of lace was made. In the cliffs eastward of the Axe the chalk occupies the upper portion, the centre is composed of green-sand, and the lower part of lias ; westward, the chalk dips rapidly in that direction, and lies frequently in
shattered masses along the shore. It contains Pentacrinites, caput-Medusæ, briareus, subangularis, basaltiformis, terebratulæ, and pecten. The valley of the Sid and Coly is composed of red marl, as is the lower part of the vale of the Ax. Seaton is eight miles from Lyme Regis, and six from Axminster. The little mouths or bays of Branscombe and Weston along the coast westward, with steep lofty headlands, like natural towers, are very striking. Here the labourer is seen frequently with his team ploughing on the very edge of a cliff, shaggy with hanging plants or trailing ivy, whilst against its tall crimson or parti-coloured sides flicker quick moving grey or white spots—the wings of the sea-birds. To the west, 1} mile, is BERE, with a picturesque glen and rippling stream flecked with beads of foam, and scattering its tiny spray like the fringes of a silvery scarf; while the decrepit cottages and a rugged beach with picturesque boats, present interesting objects to the artist's eye. Once notorious for Jack Ratterbury, the Rob Roy of the West, and other locally historic smugglers-expert and daring men, who when overtaken by a storm would lash together their contraband tubs, and form a raft round their open boatsBere is now as quiet as it is quaint. In 1770, Mr. Luttrell mentioned in the House of Commons, as a circumstance without parallel in the memory of man, that owing to the rigours of the press-gang on this coast, Exeter had not been supplied with fish for upwards of a fortnight.
At the distance of 21 miles eastward we reach AxMOUTH, which is situated near Hawksdown Hill, an eminence with the remains of a Roman camp. The church has a Norman doorway; and on the wall may be seen a copper bolt, inserted in 1837 by order of the surveyors employed to determine the relative levels of the English and Bristol channels. Telford proposed, in 1825, to connect them by a ship canal, to be made from Bere Road, in Seaton Bay, to Bridgewater Bay. The Vinca Minor is found here. The other places of interest in the neighbourhood are COLYTON (the Town on the river Coly) with a fine cruciform church, Perpendicular; having a stone