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except here and there a small piece which the landlords permit the tenants to break up occasionally, when it becomes very mossy; but then this is laid down again usually at the end of three or four years. There are no woods; but there are some small plantations of oak, ash, and elm of no very long date. There is abundance of ash in the hedge-rows, and scarcely any other tree. The soil is a strong clay; there is no waste ground in the lordship; but it is not cultivated, in my opinion, to the best advantage. They depend chiefly on their dairies; they breed, however, very fine sheep, famous for the white ness of their fleeces, which weigh from seven to nine pounds; they breed also fine horned cattle; but the lordship, in general, is not good feeding ground.
This lordship is remarkable for having first made the best cheese perhaps in the world, commonly known by the name of Sulton cheese, from its having been origi. mally bought up, and made known, by Cooper Thornhill, the landlord of the Bell inn at Stilton. It began to be made here by Mrs. Orton, about the year 1790, in small quantities; for at first it was sup. posed that it could only be made from the milk of the cows which fed in one close, now called Orton's close; but this was afterwards found to be an error. In 17,6 it was made only by three persons, and that in small quantities; but it is now made, not only from one, but from almost every close in this parish, and in many of the neigh. bouring ones. It is well known that this sort of cheese is made in the shape, and of the size, of a collar of brawn. It is extremely
rich, because they mix among the new milk as much cream as it will bear. It requires much care and attendance; and, being in great request, it fetches rod. a pound on the spot, and is. in the London market.
There is no stone, gravel, or sand, in this lordship, except a lit. tle sand-stane on the side of Bur row-hills: it is mostly a strong blue clay; and in some parts of it is a good brick-earth. There is only one spring, and that a chalybeate; it lies high, in a close belonging to the vicar, known by the name of the Spring-close; it runs over a great part of the year, and discharges itself into the valley, where the village lis. Nobody ever attempted to sink for a well in this parish, till, in the winter of 1777 and 1778, Edward Wigley Hartop, Esq. dug and succeeded. He pe. netrated through a bed of stiff blue clay; and at the depth of 66 feet the water gu hed in, when, I ap. prehend, the workmen were com. ing to the limestone rock, by their having thrown out some fragments of blue stone. To the depth of 10 feet were frequent nodules of chuk; at that depth the clay was full of small selenites. At 30 feet deep the clay was found to be full of peftens, and other shells very perfect, but extremely tender. No. dules of Indus bimontii were interspersed; ammonites of different species in great quantities, gry. phites, and other shells; and platesof a clear foliaceous mica, resem. bling Muscovy glass. I am inform ed that the water did not prove good, and that little or no use is made of this well.
I have not found any natural productions, either, animal, veges
able, or fossil, but what are com on in other places. There is either wood nor waste ground in he parish; and we know, that where man has completely subdued he soil to his own use, he permits nothing to feed or prosper, but what is serviceable to his private interest.
The air here is dry and healthy; fogs are not frequent, and clear off early when they happen. The in. habitants are happy, and many of them live to a good old age.
Their fuel here is pitcoal, which they have chiefly brought from Derbyshire and some from lord Middleton's coal-pits near Nottingham. The carriage being heavy, and the roads bad, it used to cost them 15d. or 16d. per hundred weight but, since the navigation has been completed to Loughborough, they get it for 10d. or 1 d. per hundred.
'No great road leads through the parish; but the turnpike road from Oakham to Melton passes within a mile by Lecsthorp, and they come upon it in going to Melton, at about the same distance before they come to Burton.
There is not any river that runs through the parish, or comes near it; and only one inconsiderable brook, which is sometimes dry. This joins another, more conside. rabie, that comes from Somerby by Leesthorp, and both, proceeding jointly by Burton Lazars, fall into the river Eye, between Brentingby and Melton,
There is no papist in this parish, nor one dissenter of any de
'The rent of the whole parish is 14221. 56.
The number of houses is 21; families 22; and inhabitants 123; three teams kept.
The land-tax at 45. raises 1641. 14s. 2d.
Labourers have is. 2d. per day in summer, and is. in the winter; in harvest is. 6d. and their victuals. Land lets at 15s. an acre.
The nett expence of the poor 1776 was 271. 16s.
Medium of three years, 1783— 1785, 451. Ss. 4d."
These volumes are illustrated by a very liberal provision of engrav ings, in which a view is given of every individual parish.church, as well as of seats, monuments, antiquities, and other remarkable objects. An appendix to the se cond volume contains a number of deeds, charters, and other papers relative to each hundred; which addition will doubtless be repeated in the future volumes.
Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Abbate Metastatio. In which are incorporated Translations of his principal Letters. By Charles Burney, Mus. D. F. R. S. 8vo. 3 Vols. 1796.
THE name of Metastasio has long been associated in every European m tropolis with the exquisite pleasures of the noble, the opulent, and the polished. The eu phony of his lines and the fitness of his sentiments have been impress-ed on our recollection, in concert with the most vivid and brilliant displays of all the arts of delight. Melodies of the most fascinating composers, assisted by punctual orM m 3 chestras,
chestras, by singers the most compassing and smooth toned, have concurred in winging the shafts of his song to our inmost sensibility. The painter's magnificent perspectives, the dazzling pageants of the decorator, the easy floating mot ons groups of graceful dancers, and all the magic glories of realized mythology, have mingled at the theatre Their influence with that of the poet, and have assisted in stirring up within us that luxurious irritation and tumult of feeling, which form the highest scope of the artist and the purest enjoyment of the connoisseur. Stript, however, of all these circumstances of effect, Metastasio has acquired a reputation for genius and abilities, which the philosopher who peruses his writings in the closet will not probably, hesitate to ratify. Yet how often does it happen that, removed from within the glare of theatric illumination, the god of the operahouse has withered into an ordinary man; and that the liquid lan guage of the skies had lent an oracular solemnity to simple thoughts, or a bewitching harmony to insignificant insipidities? Be this, however, as it may, and even supposing that the literary character of Metastasio himself should be fated to suffer depreciation by time and revolutions in taste; should his dramatic writings even become a mere school-book for the learner of Italian; yet he has resided so much at courts, and has been the dariing of so many artists, that his life can never be an object of in. difference to those whose gentie eye preferably fixes on those places and periods, in which the pleasures of man have been the chief cccupation of his rulers; and in which
factions have confined their blood. less struggles to the establishment of a theory of music, and have never extended their proscriptions beyond the condemnation et a tragedy.
To the inherent fashion of the subject of these volumes, is super. added the stronger recommendation which they derive from the celebrity of the author. The historian of music is accustomed to convene and to satisfy an elegant audience; and, whether he touches the harp or the monochord, he displays a masterly hand. His ma. terials have been industriously col、 lefted at Vienna and in Italy, and comprehend, besides the wellknown biographies of Retzer and of Christini, many works of infe. rior note, as well as the posthumous edition of the poet's letters. The bulk of this publication consists indeed of a translation of those letters, connected by the requisite interstices of narrative; all which form a very amusing while.
Metastasio was born at Rome in 1698, where his father had settled as a confectioner. At school he displayed early talents as an im. provisoire, and before eleven years of age could sing extemporaneous verses. Gravina, the civilian, known by having written tragedies on the Greek model, heard, admir. ed, and adopted the young bard; to whom he gave a literary educa tion, getting him admitted to the bar, and to deacon's orders, that civil and ecclesiastical preferment might be alke open to him, When 22 years of age, Metastasio visited Naples, having inherited the property of Gravina, and attached himself as cicisbeo to the female singer Romanina. He there wrote an opera, which succeeded,
and from this time he applied wholly to theatric poetry. In 1729 he was invited to Vienna as the Im. perial Laureate, and continued to furnish such dramas as his patron bespoke, until his death in 1782.
Dr. Burney well observes, that it is possible for a man of learning, study, and natural acumen, to be a good critic on the works of others, without genius for producing original works himself, similar to those which he is able to censure. The opinion of Metastasio, there. fore, may have its weight even when he criticises the great operawriters of antiquity: for the modern opera is the only faithful imitation of the ancient tragedy. From his practice it appears, however, that he entertained one fundamental error in theory, and had not discovered that, in the opera, the means of imitation being peculiar ly apparent, the distress should be more harassing, and the crimes more atrocious, in order to excite an equal degree of tragic emotion with these representations which approach more nearly to real and common life. We had selected
some passages in order to give an idea of the spirit of his criticism: but, finding them too long for our insertion, we must refer our readers to the 3d vol. in which they occur, p. 356-379.
Let it not be a reproach to our estimable biographer, that he has described, with the voluminous gravity of history, a groupe of poets, singers, actors, and musicians. It is well that a work of this kind should make its appearance. We are scarcely accustomed as yet to assign, in hu man story, a place to each propor. tioned to the extent of his influence on human happiness. The crowned and the titled have their peculiari. ties immortalized, although they may have never added to the enjoyments of a nation ten evenings of glowing delight. The amusers of our leisure, the artists of our plea. sures, may justly be ranked among the benefactors of society. Let it belong, then, to the muse of fame to elevate monuments over their remains, and to strew flowers on their grave, in token of our grate. ful remembrance!