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WREXHAM is a considerable town of Denbighshire, situated at the junction of the Shrewsbury, Welshpool, and Chester roads, and consequently a place of much traffic. It is the centre of the mining and manufacturing districts of the eastern part of the county of Denbigh, and hence is sometimes called the metropolis of North Wales. No particular trade or manufacture is carried on in the town itself, though the parish, which is extensive, being 12 miles long, abounds in mineral wealth, and important works have been established in various parts of it. The markets of Wrexham are well attended; and the Welsh language is generally heard among the country people who frequent them. A handsome market-hall, it may be added, was built a few years ago; and cheese fairs have been established.

Wrexham unites with three other places, Denbigh, Holt, and Ruthin, in returning a representative to the imperial parliament.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Giles, is a spacious and noble gothic structure, deservedly considered one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in the principality. The friable red sandstone, however, of the neighbourhood was used in its erection; and, in consequence, the sharpness of the sculpture has been lost, and the church looks as if in a crumbling condition. It appears to have been built at the latter end of the fifteenth century: the tower, which is its principal boast, was finished, according to a date upon it, in 1506.

The exterior of Wrexham church is elaborately embellished with sculpture. The lofty tower consists of several successive stages, panelled through


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out, and decorated with numerous statues of saints in canopied niches. It is crowned at the angles with light openwork turrets, adding much to the richness of its character. From its massiveness and elevation, this tower forms a conspicuous object in the landscape, from whatever point of view it is beheld.

This church has a remarkably fine carved roof. The altar-piece is worked in stone by a Chester artist; and the east window is filled with modern painted glass.

There are here some interesting monuments. In the chancel is an altar-tomb, on which is a recumbent figure of Dr. Bellot, bishop of Bangor and of Chester, who died in 1596. But that which will chiefly attract the attention of the visitor is one by Ronbilliac, representing a young female rising fresh and beautiful from the sepulchre, and inspiring an idea of that awful hour when the dry bones shall live and the grave shall give forth its tenants-some with incorruptible bodies, vigorous for happy immortality; others, alas! fitted for destruction. This monument is to the memory of Mrs. Mary Myddleton, of Chirk castle. There are others by the same sculptor, to commemorate other members of the same family.

In the neighbourhood of Wrexham, about one mile distant, is Acton park, the birth-place of the notorious judge Jeffries, who prostituted his great legal talents to the maintenance of [despotic power, and perished in the overthrow of the Stuart dynasty.

The population of Wrexham at the census of 1841 was 12,921; but this did not include certain hamlets and dependencies, which contained 3,500 persons more.


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OCTOBER is the poet's month: its freshness and health-inspiring feeling has ever been accounted favourable to poetic inspiration. The painter's too; for hues of autumn are gently stealing on: all trees forego their greenness; and where, but a few days past, the woods presented that dark, dense green of summer, into which the tints of spring had insensibly deepened, a change becomes perceptible: the winds and night dews impress an exquisite variety of hues, varying and mingling, yet widely differing, and presenting every gradation, from deep brown to the brightest orpiment. Who can look over the glorious landscape, with out experiencing somewhat of that flowing forth of thankfulness, that joyous consciousness of existence, which seems as the spirit's memory of an unfallen state?

Few among the most striking characteristics of October are found on level and open countries. Noble groups of ancestral trees, and woodlands sweeping in their pride over hill and dale, present, on the contrary, all the richness and fulness of autumnal scenery, such especially as the finely-timbered and hilly parts of Gloucestershire, where some old wood has waved perchance for ages, at one period filling the vale country, at another crossing a wide common, and climbing, by aid of huge stones, the rugged side of a contiguous acclivity; till, having gained the highest elevation, that old wood looks down over stubblefields and wastes skirted with underwood, where the leaves of the wild cherry assume a scarlet hue, those of the marsh elder a beautiful red, or rather pink, and the birch and chesnut that golden tint which is often mellowed by the lingering greenness of the ash.

This change of colour, which impart so much of richness and variety to an autumnal landscape, is occasioned by the oxygen of the atmosphere, when acting on leaves from which the vital principle has been gradually withdrawn. And most curious is the fact that the colour extracted by dyers from different woods accords with their dissimilar tints. The sawdust of the common British oak (quercus robur) is the chief indigenous substance used in dying fustian, whilst others of the tribe yield a liver, fawn, or sanguine colour, in accordance with their change of leaf; thus also the hickory, and that species of foreign quercus which affords quercitron bark, impart a brilliant yellow dye, and are everywhere distinguished for the vividness of their tints.

And then that tremulous effect, which is produced by the oblique direction of the sunbeams, how indescribably beautiful! lighting them with a vividness peculiar to this month; yet not stationary, as the hues of evcaing on mountain-tops, forming, so to speak, a oneness with each jutting

cliff; but quivering, glistening, changing to the eye of the beholder. The effect of this tremulousness on foreground objects imparts a deep feeling of the beautiful, whether manifested in the sparkle of running waters, in the early dew on herbage, or the quivering of reeds when shaken by the wind. It has nought to do with motion, though impressed on moving things, whether of waters running swiftly, or such plants as rustle in the breeze. It is an effect, or rather optical illusion, sought for in vain throughout all other months, and seeming to endue as with a soft, unearthly, gentle motion, every natural object, however stable. In the early spring and summer, when the loveliness of the one, and the matron beauty of the other, are obvious in all their gracefulness and richness, the landscape hath its own deep glory, and requires nought beside. It is otherwise in autumn: decay has begun its work; but that process is so softened and embellished, such exquisite mingling of hues are obvious in woodland scenery, such a bright and tremulous light is shed abroad, and such magnificent masses of rolling clouds, and such gorgeous sunsets fling their shadows or bright hues on the meek and matron face of nature, that he who looks upon them may readily forego the consciousness that all this is but a prelude to the falling of the leaf, and the drawing in of winter.

Beautiful, too, are shadows in this month-not peculiar it may be, for their effect is obvious throughout the year, yet marked with a deeper character. Observe the grassy slope of some gentle declivity, with groups of trees, and here and there those noble, wide-spreading, umbrageous elms, which are the pride of an English landscape. How dark, and well-defined, and stationary are their shadows on the sward; but suddenly, when the wind is high, and clouds move rapidly, a different modification becomes obvious; not well defined, nor fixed for a while, but hurrying, evanescent, vanishing, re-appearing, and seeming to chequer the grassy slope with light and shade. These are cloud shadows, flung from embodied vapours, floating through the heavens. Who may trace their progress, or describe the shadowing and the brightening which they alternate in passing? I have watched them in the early mornings of May and June, when groups of deer came forth from their shelter for the night, and sheep began to browze on the damp and sparkling herbage; when the voice of one bird, and then another, was heard from out the adjacent coppices, and squirrels bounded from bough to bough; but never do they possess such fulness of beauty as when October clouds and sunshine contend for mastery, and shadows, now called into being, and again as suddenly vanishing, chequer the varied landscape.

Flowers still linger in the hedges, and the lover of nature rejoices in them, though somewhat with a sad and sober feeling, because the time of their departing is at hand. The bugloss and small stitchwort, the gentian and white behen, the pansy, hawkweed, and black nonsuch vary their dissimilar localities. The mallow and the feverfew are seen on hedge-banks and heaps of rubbish. They look pleasant to the passer-by, though little of poetry or history is associated with their names: flowers are they of every-day's

"Now wear thou this, she solemn said,
And placed the holly on my head:

Its polished leaves and berries red did rustling play; And, like a passing thought, she fled in light away." The holly is all-important to small birds which remain stationary through the winter: it affords a ready shelter, and yields abundance of red berries: it serves, too, as a screen to innumerable grasses and flowers, that might otherwise perish, or be destroyed by sheep and cattle; and many a timid quadruped creeps beneath the branches, when pursued by its enemies. This friendly evergreen is a vegetable citadel, bristling with sharp points; and every leaf is so well guarded that nei

ther the wild cat nor weasel can molest such birds

as take shelter in the upper portions of the tree.
But, though the under branches are covered with
prickly leaves, those leaves become smooth to-
wards the top. Birds, therefore, nestle securely
among them during the wintry months, or build
their nests in spring.

O, reader! hast thou ever stood to see
The holly-tree?

The eye that contemplates it well perceives
Its glossy leaves

Ordered by an intelligence so wise,

As might confound the atheist's sophistries.
Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen,
Wrinkled and green:

No grazing cattle through their prickly round
Čan reach to wound;

acquaintance, yet calling up no images of bygone times, nor pleasant memories of spring-tide hours, when young feet went forth by stream side and in meadow paths, or through the good green wood to gather posies. And yet, as I have often had occasion to observe, each plant hath its own use and history; and those of the stitchwort and marsh gentian, the mouse-ear hawkweed, and redcrane's-bill, are well deserving of brief notice. The first (stellaria holostia) is particularly attractive to a small yellow underwinged moth, which is often seen hovering among the flowers: the second (gentiana pneumonanthe) was named after Gentius, a king of Illyria, who, if we rightly understand Dioscorides and Pliny, first discovered its virtues as an antidote, and of which the gallant flowers, as wrote old Gerard, "be in their braverie, by spring side, or in marshy places, about the end of August, and of so beautiful a colour that it passeth the very bluwe itselfe." Next in order among these wayside lingerers is the mouse-ear hawkweed (hieracium pilosella), growing with her sisters, in dry meadows, sheepwalks, and pastures, on rocks and ruins, and wherever winds may visit, or a wandering sunbeam find its way; contributing to the horologium Floræ, or botanical clock, as originally described by Linnæus, and since exhibited in the Garden of Plants, at Paris, and often noting to the weary labourer his time for leaving work. And, lastly, the red crane's-bill (geranium sanBut, as they grow where nothing is to fear, Smooth and unarmed the pointed leaves appear. guineum), with its relatives of wood and field, is found in the most dissimilar localities, growing at Observe, too, the ivy (hedera helix), that one time in the fissures of old ruins, at another on climbing and glossy evergreen, which classic stony banks, by fountains, and in marshy places; poets sung, and blended with the rose, in festibut, in all and each, the bright red of its deeply-vals; mantling many a ruin and neglected wall, indented leaves, changed, like those of forest trees, covering the cottage chimney and stunted pollard, by oxygen, renders this small plant an object of pe- and often giving to an aged tree, sapless and culiar beauty. Thus is the lover of natural without leaves, the luxuriance of its own rich verscenery indebted to the oxygen of the atmosphere dure, offering in each a shelter to wayfaring birds, for the beauty of an autumnal walk or landscape. and presenting its tiny cups, filled with juice, to The humble crane's-bill confesses its secret power in many of the insect tribes. Butterflies, too, are the change of leaf, equally with the forest there, late visitants, which might otherwise have brotherhood of trees; these, as already noticed, to wander far in quest of food. I have often present an exquisite variety of mingling hues, seen crowds of large flies rise with an angry hum, with the exception of the northern, or smooth- if disturbed in their feast, and, after buzzing leaved wych-elm (ulmus montana), that widely-round the bush, settle again when all was quiet. spreading tree, than which no other of indigenous The delicate white cabbage-butterfly (papilio growth suffers so severely from the stealing on of brassica) is one of the ivy's frequent guests, and shortening days and early frosts. Others mani-presents a pleasing contrast to the admiralfest a change from the action of oxygen, when butterfly (vanissa atalanta), with its richly-tinted their vital energy declines; but then their splen-pinions: the peacock-butterfly (io vanissa) hastens dour is rather augmented than decreased. Not so also to the ready banquet, with its wings now the tree of which we speak its leaves curl up, opened, and again closed, as the sun breaks forth become suddenly brown, and flutter from their or retires behind a cloud. Other purposes, in the sprays. Every passing wind sends down a tor- economy of nature, are also assigned to the ivy. rent of untimely leaves, till its skeleton-looking When clinging round large trees, in high and branches are seen waving amid the gorgeous windy places, it often acts as a protection from foliage of the woods. the cold and wet; and, though injurious to young timber, rather by its mechanical pressure than the extraction of nutriment, it operates as a preservative to trees of full growth; and some of the largest and soundest have been entwined with its branches for many years. Persons who are unacquainted with its natural history would proscribe the ivy. This obtrusive plant, say they, insinuates its fibres into the bark of trees, and consequently destroys them. But the case is otherwise the fibres are too short to occasion injury: they serve chiefly as claspers to support the

And yet this atmospheric agency, which produces such an admirable effect, is powerless as regards the ivy and the holly, with evergreens in general. And why is this? Because, whether standing singly or in groups, they afford a welcome shelter to small birds, when woods are leafless, and the winds and storms of winter are abroad. The holly especially, that classic shrub which Burns immortalized in those unrivalled lines, wherein the genius of Scotland thus addressed her favoured son when driving the plough:

plant in its upward course; and, when injury does occur, it results mainly from the mass of foliage being injuriously compressing and luxuriant. Others, again, assert that the same plant is inimical to old buildings, forcing an entrance through cracks which time has made in the walls, and thus hastening their decay. But here, again, the assertion is unfounded. The ivy is often the last friend of fallen greatness, flinging its ample branches over the rents of ruins, upholding the tottering walls, and giving a beautiful effect to desolate and herbless masses. Its cheerful and interlacing foliage keeps off the winds of winter; and many a simple flower, cradled beneath its shelter, peeps forth from out some fissure. Thus sheltered, the wall-flower and forget-me-not, the valerian and wild harebell, with such as vegetate in arid places, take root, and smile amid the desolation of all beside. Birds, too, allured by the branches of the ivy, find both food and shelter; and their wild melody breaks upon the stillness of many a deserted ruin, where the voice of man and the minstrel's strain has ceased for ages. The dark green ivy, therefore, answers a threefold purpose; and who may justly depreciate this hospitable plant? Its small cup-shaped flowers hold forth abundance of sweet juice, ever full, and flowing over at the time of their expanding; and butterflies and insects sip from them, till their brief day of life is past. Birds too, that have fluttered upon leafless twigs, and are ready to perish, find within the branches a secure retreat during the storms of winter.

Others of the vegetable tribes perfect their berries at this season. The spindle tree (euonymus Europaeus), that singular and beautiful shrub, common in Dorsetshire and Devonshire, but somewhat rare in other parts of England, furnishing, according to Linnæus, the best charcoal for the limner, and keys for organs, on account of its hardness, reveals a double row of bright vermillion seeds. Hips and haws glitter in the hedges, with the deep red and black berries of the common and dwarf elder, or dane-wort (sambucus ebulus and nigra), of which the first derives its name from sambuca, an ancient musical instrument-the same, most probably, as the Italian pipe, sampogna, usually made from this plant. Of dwarfish growth, and found often among rubbish and ruined foundations of old buildings, somewhat of sadness is associated with the dane-wort; while on the contrary, the common elder is pleasingly connected with the remembrance of homesteads in the country, shading not unfrequently the gable ends of old farmhouses, where their white and scented blossoms droop gracefully over the dark pool, tenanted by ducks and geese, and the favourite resort of cows in sultry weather. The elder has, likewise, a variety of multifarious uses, as the farmer and his wife know full well. The leaves are valued by the former for driving mice from granaries, and nioles from their usual haunts; and the latter prepares from the ripe berries a specific for colds and hoarseness, and that grateful beverage in which her good man often rejoices when returning to his home, wet, and wearied with the labours of the day. The gathering of elder-berries is somewhat of a festival in autumn, and a season of much gladness in the farmer's family. Women

and young children go forth with large baskets to collect them, and joyfully bring back the produce of their labours. The branches also have their use; and the pith, on account of its exceeding lightness, is valued for making fairy-looking toys, and electric purposes. The entomologist regards the elder with no small interest, because it harbours several of the insect tribes. The apis sambuci and phalana sambucaria are found upon the branches: the orange-shaped caterpillar nestles also "where flowering elders crowd." This creature burrows beneath the roots, when the period of its metamorphosis is arrived; and, having become a chrysalis, it remains dormant through the winter, till the month of June, when the flowers of its favourite tree begin to open, at which time it emerges in the form of the gigantic moth (sphinx atropos), tête de mort, with a black head, and large eyes, and its sable-tinted thorax accurately representing a death's-head. The frequent habitat of the common elder is varied also with the graceful and richly-berried festoons of the black briony, or ladies'-seal (tamus communis). Affording the only native specimen of a truly aromatic plant, and admired for its elegance of growth, the briony was used in ancient times for decorating churches on high festival-days; and the custom still lingers in some remote parts of England: it offers also an interesting instance of that restriction to certain latitudes, which is obvious in the vegetable kingdom. On the northern banks of the river Wear, above Sunderland, this handsome creeper terminates its long range, from the vicinity of Algiers. Thus is the calceolaria tribe restricted to the southern hemisphere, and the heath to the old world.

October is the month wherein the singular and evanescent family of fungi form conspicuous ornaments in woods and hedges. Few, if any, among the natural production of this or other months, may surpass them in variety and beauty, or in soft and varying tints, when lights and shades alternate on their fragile discs. Among these, the hawthorn-scented agaric (agaricus fragrans) smells, as its name implies, like a hawthorn in blossom; and its scent is so strong that it may be perceived at a considerable distance. The snowy peziza (P. caliciformis), small as a hempseed, white as snow, and thinner than the finest silk paper, is seen on old wood, and imbedded among the moss that grows on trunks of apple trees; while the blood-red peziza beautifully encrusts the stems of decayed branches, and gleams like a cornelian in woods and boggy places.

Who does not remember the puff-ball (lycopodium fornicatum), or the bounding joy with which in childhood he has jumped upon this plant, and caused the sudden explosion of its contents? Several of the species yield brown or black powders fit for the immediate use of limners: others present a singular and fanciful appearance, resembling globes supported upon four arched rays. The lycoperdon carpobolus, or projectile puff-ball, growing on sand-banks near Norwich and Bungay, is noticed by Dr. Greville, as unquestionably one of the most curiously-constructed of the species. This plant is provided with an elastic spring, by means of which the contents of the ball is projected with inconceivable rapidity to the distance of several inches; and hence the

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