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justly dear to housewives for its unrivalled salt, and yet dearer to the lovers of good living for its equally unrivalled soles. If we may be allowed to have an opinion on the subject, we would recommend Southwold, as the only place in which the true flavour of that delicate fish can be obtained. We state this as a fact. The philosophy of it is not intelligible to us, but such is the fact. It is most undeniable that particular localities develope certain substances better than others. Dorking rejoices in its fowls. Norfolk in its turkeys. Stilton in its cheese. Burton-on-Trent in its ales; and, in the same manner, Southwold in its soles. Far from us be all murmuring and repining on this head, let us thankfully record the fact, and repair to the chosen spots thus peculiarly blessed.
In common with the rest of the towns on this coast, Southwold has seen better days. A writer in the Harleian Miscellany-Tobias Gentleman, to wit-says, that “Southwold, of a sea-coast town, is the most beneficial unto his Majesty of all the towns in England, by reason all their trade is unto Iceland for lings;" but it is now remarkable for little more than being one of the most retired, picturesque bathing places, washed by the German ocean. A place where, gentle reader, you can wander at your own sweet will, and can get your cheeks fanned by breezes you may fain seek in London. Its common will give you glimpses of deep, luxuriant foliage, such as Gainsborough, -a name Suffolk yet reveres—alone could paint. The town has, however, its historical associations. Most of our readers have seen the well-known picture of “Solebay Fight," at Greenwich Hospital. Southwold overlooks the bay in which that fight was won. Here, on the morning of the 28th of May, 1672, De Ruyter, with his fleet of Dutchmen, sailed right against those wooden walls which have guarded old England in many a fierce danger, in days gone by, and found to his cost, how invincible was British valour. James, Duke of York,—not then the drivelling idiot who lost his kingdom for a mass, and died a beggar, in the pay of France; but James, manly and high-spirited, with a prince's pride and a sailor's heart, —won a victory that, for many a long day, was a favourite theme with all honest Englishmen, but especially, we doubt not, with the true and stout men who, on that May-morning-alarmed by the roar of cannon, as it boomed along the blue waters of that generally-peaceful bay-stood on the cliffs of Southwold, wishing that the fog that intercepted their view would clear off, and that they might welcome as victors their brothers on the sea. The details of that fight, however, are matters of history, and we will not dwell upon them. They are and ought to be well known. The following choice' and 'merry song,' as the
writer terms it, on the duke's late glorious success over the Dutch, in Southwold,' is, however, not so; and we reprint it from the work of Dr. Wake, to whose valuable compilation we have been indebted for much of our subject matter :
“One day as I was sitting still
And looking on the ocean,
To see that brave commotion.
Their number or their tonnage,
From Walberswych to Dunwich.
Although their hulls were lighter ;
To buffet with De Ruyter.
The show was rare and sightly :
The Duke had beat them tightly.
Since Philip's grand armada.
To quell the Dutch bravado.
To windward or to leeward,
And here's the house of Stuart."
With those loyal, patriotic, and to the Suffolk dames whose daughters are still worthy of the compliment, gallant effusions, we take our leave of Southwold.
A walk of a mile brings us to one solitary farmhouse, known as Easton Bavent. In days of yore this was the most eastern extremity of the kingdom - it was the extensio of Ptolemy, and famed for its fishing-trade. It can now boast but a little shore, and a few corn fields of but barren soil. Its streets and houses, like the men who walked in them, are gone; the wear of waters for centuries has swept almost the whole of it away. Lowestoft, about twelve miles further on, is now the eastern extremity of the kingdom. Easton Bavent has not been able to preserve even that small claim to notice.
Two miles further on, we come to another place where decay has been ruthlessly at work. Covehithe, alias North Hales, known to literary men as the birth-place of John Bale, Bishop of Ossory, in Ireland. In the history of the drama, Bale takes a distinguished rank. He was one of those by whom the drama was gradually evolved, and all to whom the drama is a source of instruction and intellectual delight, must remember his name with respect. Mr. Craik, in his “Sketches of Literature and Learning in England,” says, “Of what may be called at least the transition from the moral play to the history, we have an example in Bale's lately recovered drama of 'Kynge Johin,' written, in all probability, some years before the middle of the sixteenth century; in which, while many of the characters are still allegorical abstractions, others are real personages; King John himself, Pope Innocent, Cardinal Pandulphus, Stephen Langton, and other historical figures, moving about in odd intermixture with such mere notional spectres as the Widowed Britannia, Civil Order, Treason, Verity, and Sedition. The play is accordingly described by Mr. Collier, the editor, as occupying an intermediate place between moralities and historical plays, and it is, he adds, the only known existing specimen of that species of composition of so early a date.” Bale was born on the 21st of November, 1495; his career was as follows. At the age of twelve, he entered the monastery of White Friars, in Norwich. Thence he went to Jesus College, Cambridge. In consequence, however, of the zeal with which he exposed the errors of popery, that society expelled him ; and, had it not been for the timely interference of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and favourite of Henry viii., a worse lot would have befallen him. On the death of that nobleman, Bale proceeded to Germany, where he appears to have been well received and hospitably entertained, by Luther and Melancthon. The accession of Edward vi. spread sunshine over the persecuted reformers. They emerged
into court favour. With the rest, Bale returned to England, and was promoted. In Mary's reign persecution again commenced, and Bale fled to Frankfort. He returned at the commencement of Elizabeth's glorious reign, and was made prebend of Canterbury, at which place he died, and was buried, at the age of sixty-three. His play, to which we have already referred as interesting in its bearing on our national drama, has been recently published by the Camden Society, under the able superintendence of Mr. Collier.
But Covehithe has yet much that a lover of the beautiful will rejoice to see. We mean the ruins, covered with ivy and venerable in their decay, of what must have been, at one time, a most magnificent religious edifice, and the grandeur and beauty of which now, to be rightly admired, must be seen. No description can adequately represent them.
Davy, in his “Architectural Antiquities,” thus describes them: “These splendid ruins attest the former wealth and populousness of a place which now ranks amongst the poorest and meanest parishes in the county. All the ancient part of this once stately pile is now in complete decay. But Divine service is performed in a small edifice, erected within the nave of the old one, though it does not occupy one half of it. This, as appears from an inscription on a stone in the north wall, was completed in the year 1672. The three grand arches at the east still retain their position, though much mutilated, and, for magnitude and form, may vie with the noblest specimens of the kind in the county. The tower, which appears of a more ancient date than the rest of the ruined fabric, still remains as a land-mark for travellers.” The material employed is brick and white flint, chequered in a manner that must have had and still has, a pleasing appearance. Miss Agnes Strickland, who resides at Reydon Hall, not many miles distant, has thus sung the melancholy fate of Covehithe :
Covehithe mild eve has cast
With dark destroying sway.
And rent the arches tall,
The western sunbeams fall.
In wild profusion there,
To crown the oriel fair.
“ The choir is hushed and silent now,
The organ's thrilling sigh;
The linnet's lullaby.
The grass-grown aisle all green and lone,
No musing footsteps tread;
The mantling brambles spread.
“ Tradition's voice forgets to tell
Whose ashes sleep below,
And bid the story flow.”
Covehithe, deserted as it must have been then, was, however, visited by Cromwell's commissioners. Dowsing, who committed fierce onslaught on harmless pictures and peacefully disposed images, thus relates his visit to Cochie or Covehithe: “ We brake down two hundred pictures—one pope, with divers cardinals-a picture of God the Father, among others which I remember not. There was four steps, with a vault underneath. But the two first might be levelled, which we gave order to the churchmen to do. There was many inscriptions to Jesus, in capital letters, on the roof of the church, and cherubims, with crosses on their breasts, and a cross in the chancel-all which, with divers pictures in the windows, which we could not reach, neither would they help us to raise the ladders—all which we left them a warrant to do in fourteen days."
But we must hasten a few miles further. Lowestoft, famedand justly—for its herrings, terminates our travels. Its hard sands, and its direct railway communication with London, and Cambridge, and Norwich, make it extremely popular with seabathers. Under the fostering care of Mr. Peto, it promises to be a town of some note. It can also boast its men not unknown to fame; chief among them stands Nash, the satirist. Mr. Craik, a writer of no mean rank, describes him as the most brilliant pamphleteer of this (the Elizabethan) age. “the author of one slight dramatic piece, mostly in blank verse, but partly in prose, and having
also some lyrical poetry interspersed, called 'Summers' Last Will and Testament, which was exhibited before Queen Elizabeth, at Norwich, in 1592; and he also assisted Marlow in his tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage,' which, although not printed till 1594, is supposed to have been written before 1590. But his satire was of a higher order than his dramatic talent. There never was, perhaps,