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of Seefeld too, was derived, dried out in 1807. There is also a legend of the site having been originally pointed out by a flight of birds similar to that I have given concerning S. Georgenberg.
The road then falls more gently than on the Zirl side, but rugged and wild in its surroundings, to Scharnitz, near which you meet the bluegreen gushing waters of the Isar. Scharnitz has borne the brunt of many a terrible contest in the character of out-post of Tirolean defences; it was a fortress from the time of the Romans. It was one of the points strengthened by Klaudia de' Medici, who built the ‘Porta Klaudia' to command the pass.
Good service it did on more than one occasion ; but it succumbed in the inroad of French and Bavarians combined, in 1805. It was garrisoned at that time by a small company of regular troops, under an English officer in the Austrian service named Swinburne, whose gallant resistance was cordially celebrated by the people; he was overwhelmed, however, by superior numbers and appliances, and by Marshal Ney's orders the fort was so completely destroyed, that scarce a trace of it is now to be found.
It is the border town against Bavaria, and is consequently enlivened by a customs office and a few uniforms, but it is a poor place. I was surprised to be accosted and asked for alms by a decent-looking woman whom I had seen kneeling in the church shortly before, as this sort of thing is not common in Tirol. She told me the place had suffered sadly by the railway; for before, it was the post-station for all the traffic between Munich and Innsbruck and Italy. The industries of the place were not many or lucrative; the surrounding forests supply some employment to woodmen; and what she called Dirstenöhl, which seems to be dialectic for Steinöhl or petroleum, is obtained from the bituminous soil in the neighbourhood ; it is obtained by a kind of distillation, a laborious process. The work lasted from S. Vitus' Day to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin; that was now past, and her husband, who was employed in it, had nothing to do; she had an old father to support, and a sick child: then she went on to speak of the devotion she had just been reciting in the church to obtain help, and evidently looked upon her meeting with me as an answer to it. It seemed to consist in saying three times, a petition which I wrote down at her dictation as follows:-'Gott grüsse dich Maria! ich grüsse dich drei und dreizig Tausand Mal; 0 Maria ich grüsse dich wie der Erzengel Gabriel dich gegrüsset hat. Es erfreuet dich in deinen Herzen dass der Erzengel Gabriel den himmlischen Gruss zu dir gebracht hat. Ave Maria, &c.' She said she had never used that devotion and failed to obtain her request. I learnt that the origin she ascribed to it was this: A poor girl, a cow-herd of Dorf, some miles over the Bavarian frontier, who was very devout to the Blessed Virgin, had been in the habit while tending her herds of saying the rosary three times every day in a little Madonna chapel near her grazing-ground. But one summer there came a great hcat, which burnt up all the grass, and the cattle wandered hither and thither seeking their scanty food, so that it was all she could do to run after and keep watch over them. The good girl was
now much distressed in mind; for the tenour of her life had been so even before, that when she made her vow to say the three rosaries, it had never occurred to her such a contingency might happen. But she knew also that neither must she neglect her supervision of the cattle committed to her charge. While praying then to Heaven for light to direct her in this difficulty, the simple girl thought she saw a vision of our Lady, bidding her be of good heart, and she would teach her a prayer to say instead, which would not take so long as the rosary, and would please her as well, and that she should teach it also to others who might be overwhelmed with work like herself; this was the petition I have quoted above. But the maid was too humble to speak of having received so great a favour, and lived and died without saying anything about it. When she came to die, however, her soul could find no rest, for her commission was unfulfilled ; and whenever anyone passed alone by the wayside chapel where she had been wont to pray, he was sure to see her knceling there. At last a pious neighbour, who knew how good she had been, summoned courage to ask her how it was that she was dealt with thus. Then the good girl told him what had befallen her long ago on that spot, and bid him fulfil the part she had neglected, adding, ‘But tell them also not to think the mere saying the words is enough; they must pray with faith and dependence on God, and also strive to keep themselves from sin.'
(To be continued.)
A BURIED CHAPTER OF ENGLISH HISTORY.
Most people know that a great part of the wealth of this great country consists in the treasures—the iron, coal, &c.—which lie buried under ground; but few comparatively know how many records of her former history lie under ground also, waiting to be brought to light by the spade or the ploughshare-records of those strong men, Romans, Danes, and Saxons, who have by turn given this country laws and civilization, and helped to form the characters of Englishmen. It is of the earliest of these, the Romans, that I am going now to speak.
It is true that I had heard of Chester, and Uriconium, and Cirencester, and learnt to associate their names with this mighty conquering race; but never till this summer had I seen anything with my own eyes of the traces that they had left behind them.
I thought, in common with many others perhaps, that these traces might be clearly made out by the antiquary, but must be simply taken on trust by an ignorant observer ; but what I did see filled me with such wonder and interest that I think others may like to accompany me to the diggings,' as the people about call the place, and hear a simple statement of what is to be seen there.
It can be only a very simple account that I can give, knowing nothing of the subject; but from what we heard on the spot, it seems probable that a thoroughly scientific account will soon be published, for which this short history of mine may be some preparation.
* The diggings' then, where these traces of the old Romans have been till lately buried, are in a lovely glade of the Chedworth woods, (Lord Eldon's property,) lying among the Cotswold Hills, about two and a half miles from the desolate little town of North Leach. This part of the country was that most strongly occupied by the Romans. The great Foss Road ran within one mile and a half, connecting at this point the stations of Stow-on-the-Wold and Cirencester or Corinium.
At this latter place, a town some suppose even before its Roman occupation, three of the great military roads, which then intersected the country, crossed one another—the Foss Way, the Ikenild Way, and the Irmin Street—and every part of Gloucestershire was full of encampments.
It gives us a grand idea of those old Romans when we traverse these roads, constructed by them eighteen hundred years ago, and still used, little altered except by the hand of time, as the thoroughfares of the country through which they pass. The panting traveller as he toils up from the Foss Bridge, either towards Corinium or Stow, may well reflect how undauntedly they made for the desired point without a thought of difficulty.
Here, perhaps, in the spot which I am going to describe, lived towards the year Anno Domini 50 or 60, the Roman Governor of the Province of the Dobuni, enjoying the privacy and quiet of a refined home, which everything about it bespeaks, without fear of being disturbed by the natives; since Norbury Camp was within a mile or two, and the great Foss Way within easy access, on which Roman soldiers were continually passing.
IIere, doubtless, news came to him of the great events that were stirring in the world, tidings of that Man, so lowly and so suffering, whose short life had been brought to so cruel an end, yet who achieved a victory over Sin and Death, greater than Roman arms had ever won : tidings, too, of that rebellious city, Jerusalem, whose fate (foretold, remember, by Prophecy) had been so terrible; and perhaps, if he was a man of action, his mind had chafed at being set down in an unknown province of a small colony, when he might have been sharing in the glory and triumphs of Titus.
I find by an old History of Gloucestershire, published at Cirencester in 1779, that Roman remains were even then known of in this district of
Chedworth. The writer gives the following account of them, and I think they must be the same as those we saw :
• About the year 1760, a person sinking a ditch discovered a Roman bath, at Listercombe Bottom, in this parish. It was supported by pillars of brick, round and square alternately, of about nine or ten inches diameter; and the floor was also of brick. All the bricks were marked ARVIRI in Roman capitals, about two inches long. There was a spring, and a cistern to receive the water, and many other things in the bath, which the person destroyed, and could give but little account of. He used most of the bricks in building an
Luckily for us, this worthy person did not continue his researches, but left them to be continued one hundred years later by a more scientific investigator.
For several years it has been supposed that there must be extensive remains of Roman buildings at this spot, from the fact that the rabbits were continually bringing to the surface small square blocks of stone or cement, about one-third of a cubic inch in size, which learned men knew to be pieces of Roman mosaic. The keepers also were constantly losing their ferrets for weeks or altogether. Doubtless, among the old foundations, there was a perfect labyrinth.
About five years ago, I believe, an uncle of the present Lord Eldon, a man of happily far greater antiquarian taste and zeal than the person' mentioned by Samuel Rudder, began to excavate, and carried on his researches diligently from time to time. And of these excavations-now, I believe, completed—I will try and give you a short account.
They can hardly be called ruins, for though the ceilings and roofs are gone, the foundations and some of the floors, and two or three feet in height of the walls, remain in very great preservation.
The rooms are built round three sides of a square, in the middle of which, perhaps, a fountain once stood; but which now contains a neat cottage for the custodian, one end of which is fitted up as a museum, in which every article found on the premises is carefully preserved.
I should describe the house as what, in modern parlance, we should cali single, opening into a passage which ran round three sides of the square. The low outer wall of this has been coped afresh with the stone tiles of the country, after the pattern of a small part that was found in its original state. Two of the rooms, which lie at the top of the square, facing, I think, nearly south, and which must have formed the principal part of the dwelling, have been roofed over, so as to preserve them from the effects of the weather. In one of these are two square mosaic pavements, in excellent preservation, which look as if they could have been used at pleasure either as one good sized room, or been divided by a curtain into two smaller ones.
Each square is perfect in itself. One divided into a great number of compartments, representing different figures, the four largest being emblems of the four seasons—at least so we were told; but it required some degree of poetic fancy to accept the figure of Summer, with its lack of drapery, as any personification of that season among the Cotswolds. I have seen in some old book that the Roman generals carried these small squares, for making their tessellated pavements, about with them : and it is probable enough; for they seemed to like to surround themselves with articles of taste and luxury.
The second square was of a much simpler design than the other, though still very rich in colouring and patterns; some of which reminded one of the patterns of our own oil-cloths, which must have been copied from similar Roman pavements. These old designs are not, as we shall see, the only things that we have copied from the Romans.
Passing out of these rooms, and by others which were no doubt the living and sleeping rooms of the family, we entered another building, which covers the remains of a fine Roman bath. In the middle of this has been left, with great discernment, the roots of an immense willow. It tells a touching story of the centuries that have passed since the flames first laid low this homestead ; for it is believed that such was its fate, from the marks of fire left upon the walls, and on many of the articles found amongst its ruins.
Did the natives, roused by some overbearing act, come suddenly upon the household, firing their home? or was it only the common story of a flue getting overheated and causing the mischief? Such might well be the case, for evidently these exiles from the sunny south had done their best to guard themselves from the rigorous climate of Britain.
At one end of this apartment, which contains what we should call a Turkish bath,' is a small but very perfect tessellated pavement, of a simple pattern, covering the hot-air part, the floor being supported like the one mentioned in Rudder's book, on piers of brick placed at intervals of about a foot and a half, so as to allow the hot air to circulate freely. The floors of all the rooms were supported in the same way, and round the bath and every other room in the building run fluetiles, built into the walls, with openings at intervals. This is no matter of conjecture; the whole heating apparatus through the building seems in such good order, that one could readily believe that, with a few trifling repairs, it would still act perfectly.
The fue-tiles, described in the Cirencester museum, are nineteen inches in length, seven in breadth, and five and a half in thickness, and I should judge these to be about the same size. There was a plunging bath at the other end of the building, and the place outside evident where the fires were lighted, and the water was laid on from a stone basin at a little distance. This basin was supplied from a spring in the hill-side above, which was one of the last things discovered; but the channel and the basin have both been cleared, and the water still flows clear and bright, supplying the daily wants of the custodian's family, as it did those of that Roman household some eighteen hundred years ago.