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and general trading concerns, to be wanting in the very distinctive importance of foreign and export relations. Though a walled city, entered by frowning gates, and though dignified by the presence of a Castle, the associations it touches within us are not military : for the walls have been long made subservient to mere municipal convenience, or the pleasures of the promenade; and the Castle interests not, from external appearance, either as a specimen of modern fortification, or from its remnants of the feudal fortress, having been entirely re-constructed in the last century, in the very superb of styles admissible by its present purpose, that of a county prison. Indeed, York, in our day, with its magnificent gaol, and county-hall; its grand and elegant assembly-rooms; its theatre, racecourse, assizes, fairs, and all their attendant bustle and gaiety; is the mere county-town upon an extended scale with the exception of a single object, the Cathedral, or, as it is more popularly called, the Minster.
This, this is the grand feature of York, in whose observation we learn to forget what the city is, and revolve in our minds the ancient days, in which so sublime and vast a pile arose from its foundations, to exalt our reverence for that pure faith to whose service it is at length dedicated, and connect religion with the place in which it stands, when contemplated by every successive generation. Let us recur to those ancient days; and while “ the glory of York," in the mind's eye, if not to the actual vision, stands before us, let us descant on those times, in which the ravages of war, and the furies of fanaticism, subjected the city and its cathedral alike to a series of tremendously afflictive visitations.
Eboracum, or Roman York, an important and flourishing colony, and the residence of the Dur Britanniarum, (or principal military commander,) under the imperial government, would appear to have been destroyed to its foundations, in the contests of the Britons and the Picts, prior to the establishment of the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, of which it was the capital. For though churches, it cannot be doubted, had arisen here under the reigns of the christian emperors who succeeded Constantine, yet on the conversion of the Saxons, no place for the celebration of divine worship could be found, until Edward, the Northumbrian king, caused an humble structure of wood to be erected for that purpose. Upon the death of Edward, at the battle of Hatfield, near Doncaster, York was taken, ravaged, and itself and newly-erected sacred edifice almost annihilated by Penda, king of Mercia, and Cadwallon, king of Wales; and indeed, in all the wars, that incessantly convulsed the kingdom of Northumbria, this city was scarcely less frequently the prize, than the devoted prey, of the conquerors. Yet, early in the ninth century, York had not only retrieved its former honours—was not only flourishing in commerce and in wealth-but had become the Athens of that dark age for learned celebrity; and its cathedral, indebted for its restoration to Archbishop Wilfrid,) had received the most glorious of ornaments in the library placed in it by the prelate Egbert; a library, which William of Malmsbury called “the noblest repository and cabinet of arts and sciences in the whole world.” Nay, Alcuin, the famed instructor of Charlemagne, in one of his letters to that prince, requests that scholars might be sent from France to copy some of these books; “ that the garden of letters might not be shut up in York, but that some of its fruits might be placed in the paradise of Tours."* By a sort of miracle, this famous library, (and the cathedral, it may be presumed, with it) escaped the destroying hands of the Danes, when, in the year 867, under their chiefs Inguar and Hubba, they laid the