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BATTLE OF NASEBY.
189 of Langdale, overbore the force of the royalists, and by his prudence improved that advantage which he had gained by his valour. Having pursued the enemy about a quarter of a mile, and detached some troops to prevent their rallying, he turned back on the King's infantry, and threw them into the utmost confusion. One regiment alone preserved its order unbroken, though twice desperately assailed by Fairfax; and that general, excited by so steady a resistance, ordered Doyley, the captain of his life-guard, to give them a third charge in front, while he himself attacked them in the rear. The regiment was broken; Fairfax, with his own hands, killed an ensign, and having seized the colours, gave them to a soldier to keep for him. The soldier afterwards boasting that he had won this trophy, was reproved by Doyley, who had seen the action. Let him retain that honour, said Fairfax, I have to-day acquired enough beside! Prince Rupert, sensible too late of his error, left the fruitless attack on the enemy's artillery, and joined the King, whose infantry was now totally discomfited. Charles exhorted this body of cavalry not to despair, and cried aloud to them, One charge more, and we recover the day ! But the disadvantages under which they laboured were too evident, and they could by no means be induced to renew the combat. Charles was obliged to quit the field, and leave the victory to the enemy. The slain, on the side of Parliament, exceeded those on the side of the King: they lost 1000 men, he not above 800. But Fairfax made
WICKLIFFE, THE REFORMER. 500 officers prisoners, and 4000 private men, took all the King's artillery and ammunition, and totally dissipated his infantry, so that scarce any victory could be more complete than that which he obtained.”
The Field of Naseby retains no marks of the fight at present, except a few holes, where it is said the men and horses were buried. In one of the rooms, in an inn near the spot, used to be a series of pictures, representing the manquvres of both armies on that perilous day! They served to impress the mind of the traveller with the particulars of that memorable transaction. .
A little further up, just within the borders of Leicestershire, also, stands Lutterworth, a small town with a large handsome church, of which JOHN WICKLIFFE, the noted reformer, was Rector, and here he peacefully died in spite of the machinations of popery. His pulpit still exists, whence he honestly inveighed against the errors of the times, and instructed his hearers in the rudiments of a purer Christianity. Mr. Throsby, in his History of Leicestershire, gives a plate of what remains of this chair of verity, a relic which even Protestants dare hold in veneration. Wickliffe has been pronounced the morning star of the REFORMATION! .
We reached Leicester by noon, where I with regret parted with my female fellow-traveller, whose conversation and politeness contributed to enliven this part of my journey.
Leicester is a town of antiquity, and flourished
191 even in the time of the Romans. Many Roman antiquities have been found here, particularly about a century ago, when coins and statues were dug up, after having laid in the bosom of the earth for ages! One of their catacombs or buryingplaces was discovered here, built of brick and ragstones, with niches where the urns had been deposited; but in what age it was erected is not known, though probably soon after they settled in Britain; because when Christianity became the established religion of the empire, the practice of burning dead bodies was abolished. The remains of this antique repository have a singular appearance, and are now known by the name of Old Jewry Wall. This town underwent revolutions in the different stages of our history. It was stormed and taken by Charles the First, the 31st of May, 1645; but he did not keep it long, for being defeated at the battle of Naseby, already described, General Fairfax retook it for the parliament. . At present Leicester is in a flourishing state, by reason of the manufactory of stockings, which is carried on to a large extent. The houses are well built, but with no regularity. Some mud walls at the entrance of the town ought to be levelled with the ground. It has six parishes, though only five churches. There are several dissenting places of worship, which are well attended. The presbyterian meeting is large and commodious: over this society presided for upwards of fifty years the late venerable Hugh W- n, with an unremitting
LEICESTER. zeal and activity. The general baptist place of worship is also neat and agreeable: it was erected a few years ago-the pulpit was designed by Mr. Ludlam, the mathematician, and is a transcript of St. Mary's at Oxford. Under the hospitable roof of a worthy friend I was gratified by the contemplation of several pieces of mechanism which he shewed me. They reminded me of a painting to be seen at Versailles, containing two hundred little figures, in the act of enjoying the various pleasures of rural sports, which are separated from the back ground of the picture, and are set in motion by springs, admirably imitating all the movements natural to their different occupations:- a fisherman throws in his line and draws up a little fish; a regular chase is displayed, and a nuptial procession appears, in which some little figures, riding in tiny carriages, nod to the spectators ! Such displays of humour and ingenuity cannot fail of commanding our admiration.
To preach a Charity Sermon at Leicester was the purport of my journey, though I was called both to Quorndon, near Loughborough, and to Nottingham, on similar services. Indeed SCHOOLS for the instruction of poor children are the only sure means of regenerating our land. From such institutions valuable consequences must accrue to the next generation. In the mean time, we must not expect that any thing short of such measures can counteract the pernicious effects of vice, which threaten to deluge our country. Indeed, kings may issue their proclamations, lawgivers may
193 enact their statutes, judges may ascend their tribunals, prisons may be crowded with culprits, lands may be sought out in the remotest parts of the earth for banishment, nay, gibbets may be erected in every part of our island, and bodies hung thereon till the air become pestilential; yet, after all, the efforts of legislative skill will prove ineffectual, provided the religious education of the poor be neglected: They shall die without instruction, and in the greatness of their folly shall they go. astray! In the Sacred Writings we read of a tree whose virtues sweetened and purified the waters of Marah-the tree of knowledge has a similar efficacy on the human heart, that capacious fountain out of which flow the issues of life! So true are the words of Shakespear :
Ignorance is the curse of God,
Leicester has two gaols near each other, the one for the town and the other for the county; a spacious market-place, a handsome infirmary, a beautiful assembly-room, and pleasant walks in its vicinity. On my return from one of these walks, in company with some agreeable ladies, I entered the town by a part of it called Newark, which contains many excellent houses, and whose situation has charms to recommend it. It may be styled the West End of the Town. .
Four objects at Leicester attracted my attention.
First, a tomb-stone with a singular epitaph in the church of St. Martin. The substance of it is,