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TORR ABBEY. — CAP OF LIBERTY.
In the Harleian Tracts there is a short, but rather curious account preserved of the sensation produced at the Abbey on the 5th of November, 1688, after the prince of Orange had entered the bay with his fleet, on their passage to Brixham, where he landed :—
"The prince commanded captain M to search the lady
"Cary's house, at Torr Abbey, for arms and horses. The lady "entertaining them civilly, said her husband was gone to Ply"mouth: they brought from thence some horses, and a few "arms, but gave no further disturbance to the lady or her
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Throughout this embarrassing interview, the lady Cary ap•; pears to, have conducted herself with great temper, dignity and resolution, whilst, on the .otter, Kauri. the chaplain of that day, whose opinions were not very favourable to the revolution, unlike his present amiable and enlightened successor *, left his lady in the midst of her perplexities, and fled. . ;, ,
In the Abbey, I was much pleased with an interesting, though not very ornamental trophy of the glorious victory of Aboukir. The truckle heads of the masts of the Aquilon, a french ship of the line, which struck to the brave captain Lewis, in that ever memorable battle, were covered with the bonnet rouge; one of these caps of liberty, surmounted with the british flag, has been committed to the care of the family, by that heroic commander, and now constitutes a temporary ornament of their diningroom.
* Rev. John Halford.
Here ANECDOTE OP ENGLISH PREJUDICES. — FIRE SHIPS.
Here we laid in provision for our little voyage, without, however, feeling the same apprehension, which agitated the mind of a fair damsel, in the service of a lady of rank who formerly resided in my neighbourhood, who, preparing to attend her mistress to the Continent, and having heard from the jolly historians of the kitchen, that the food in France was chiefly supplied by the croaking inhabitants of the green and standing pool, contrived, very carefully, to carry over a piece of homebred pork, concealed in her workbag.
Early in the morning after we set sail, we passed through the Needles, which saved us a very considerable circuitous 6ail round the southern side of the Isle of Wight, a passage which the late admiral Macbride first successfully attempted, for vessels of war, in a ship of the line.
The vessel, in which we sailed, was a fireship; a costly instrument of destruction, which has never been applied during the recent war, and only once, and that unsuccessfully, during the preceding one. We had several of them in commission, although they are confessedly of little utility in these times, and from the immense stores of combustibles with which they are charged, threaten only peril to the commander and his crew.
We soon after dropped anchor, and proceeded to Portsmouth, in search of a packet for Havre-de-Grace. In the street,' our trunks were seized by the customhouse officers, whilst conveying to the inn, but after presenting our keys, and requesting immediate search and restoration, they were returned to us without further annoyance. Finding that the masters ef
B 2 the 4 SOUTHAMPTON RIVER. NETLEY ABBEY.
Chap. the french packets were undetermined when they should sail, *' we resolved upon immediately leaving this celebrated seaport, arid proceeding by. water to Southampton, distant about twentyfour miles; where, after a very unpleasant passage, from its blowing with considerable violence soon after we-.left ;Ports•moutli, we arrived,. in a little wherry, about twelve o'clock at night, at the Vine inn, which is very conveniently situated for passengers by the. packets. / ,' .!. j ,'
It will not;be required of me, to attempt a minute descriprficttrofithe Southampton riyer, at a time when I expected, with
;some reason, as I afterwards understood, to sink to the bottom of it. An observation very natural to persons in our situation occurred to me all the way, viz. that the shores seemed to be too far distant from each other, and that had there been less water, the scenery would have been more delightful ; an observation which, however, the next day confirmed, when it * presented the safe and tranquil appearance of a mirror.
,v Finding that the packet for France was not likely to sail immediately, we hired a boat, and proceeded down the river, to view the beautiful ruins of Netley Abbey, in the great court of which we dined, under the shade of aged limes, and amidst the flappings of its feathered and restless tenantry.
.«'. As I am no great admirer of tedious details, I shall not attempt an antiquarian history of this delightful spot. I shall
-leave; it to tmore circumstantial travellers, to enumerate the genealogies of the worthies,.who occupied it at various eras, and to relate, like a monumental entablature, when, where, and how they lived and died; it will be sufficient ta- observe,