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CHAPTER XVIII.

s Time is lost, which never will renew;While we, too far the pleasing path pursue, Surveying nature with too pice a view.”

DRYDEN

I ROSE at an early hour, and entered the venerable gateway, at the southern side of

LAUNCESTON CASTLE.

The southern gateway, and a good length of wall to the west, is still standing in sufficient, perfection, to give some idea of the original strength and extent of this ancient fortress. Having viewed some fragments

of the castle itself, I reached the base of a conical rock, whereon stands the noble Keep; which, thus majestically elevated, dominates the capital of Cornubia; and adorns, by its picturesque and grand appearance, the beauties of nature in the vicinal scene.

I ascended by a narrow, circuitous, and perilous path; beneath which, at the northern side, was an almost perpendicular steep, of awful profundity. Having gained the summit of the hill, I entered

THE KEEP.

I scrambled up, through the wall, where once was an intermural staircase, now covered with fragments; and stood on the very summit of this lofty ruin of venerable antiquity. This castle appears to have been in ruins in the reign of Edward III; although it was of importance during the commotions in subsequent reigns. The tower, though denuded of its battlements,

and not so high as it originally stood, rises forty-feet above the hill on which it stands; the eight of which is sixty-feet above the site of the castle; and I judge, from local observations, that the latter is one hundred feet above the level of circumjacent localities,-in which case, the summit of the Keep, from which perilous position I viewed the beautiful scenery of Cornwall and Devon, is 200 feet high. The diameter of the Keep inside, is eighteen feet; its wall is nine feet: the entrance is six feet high, and four wide. The first outer wall, which surrounds the tower, is twelve feet thick. The stone work is rude; and the layers are cemented with mortar and large pebbles. Launceston castle is considered to be a fortress of great antiquity; and, though much incertitude exists, as to the date of its erection; it is agreed, by historians, that it was standing anterior to the Norman conquest: a belief rendered very rational, from the fact of many bloody battles having been fought there, between the ancient Britons and the Saxons. The northern and southern gateways are perfect, and are mantled with ivy. At the western side of the site of the castle, the outer wall has been levelled with the ground; and over the foundation is a wide gravel path, which makes a delightful promenade, from which you have a commanding view of a beautiful country, and look over St. Thomas (which is called Newport) and St. Stephen. The open space, which is laid out in grass, comprises an acre of ground; upon which, as well as the terrace, the publicare at liberty to walk. Launceston church is a large and handsome building, with a lofty tower; and stands on the highest part of the town : between the tower and the body of the church (which is all one building) is the military council; a part of the edifice devoted to certain meetings and business. Launceston is about 214 miles from London: and contains many substantial and handsome houses --fit residences for men of rank and opulence. The town is on a hill; and the principal streets are on a descent. The population, is, including Newport and St. Stephen, 4000. Passing through an ancient gate, at the western outlet, which shewed that the town was once fortified and is very ancient, I proceeded on my route eastwards; enjoying, as I approached them, a noble view of the high hills of Devon. When a mile and a half east of Launceston, you reach the Tamur, a small, river, which flows between Cornwall and Devon. Here is a sightly bridge, of three arches; the centre made of iron, the outer arches of stone: it is about 120 feet long.

On this bridge I stood, and viewed the town of Launceston, rising on a hill, and the church turret above the houses: and, standing above all, in towering magnificence, the venerable Keep of the ancient castle. The country is open; and the Tamur, which, runs southward, through a romantic valley, is adorned, on the western bank, with rich wood; while to the east lie the hills of Devon, rising in unmeasured majesty and

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