With considerable difficulty we have deciphered the legend thus:—The first letter B has evidently been a mistake of the engraver, who meant it for a P, the similarity of the sounds of the two letters being very likely to lead him into such an error. With this slight alteration, we have only to add the letter O to the first line, and we shall have “PRO.” It requires little acuteness to discover that the second word, if complete, would be “PATRIA;” and the letters BR, the two lowest of the inscription, only want the addition of the letters IT to make “BRIT.” or “BRITANNIARUM.” The legend would then run, “PRO PATRIA BRITANNIARUM,” which there is good reason to suppose was the inscription on the cellar seal of Alfred the Great, though some presumptuous and common-minded persons have asserted that the legend, if perfect, would read, “BRETT’S PATENT BRANDY.” Every antiquarian has, however, indignantly refused to admit such a degrading supposition.
3. “A perfect brick, and two broken tiles.” The first of these articles is in a high state of preservation, and from the circumstance of portions of mortar being found adhering to it, it is supposed that it formed part of the old London Wall. We examined the fragments of the tiles carefully, but found no inscription or other data, by which to ascertain their probable antiquity: the tiles, in short, are buried in mystery.
4. “A fossil flat-iron.” This antediluvian relic was found imbedded in a Sandy deposite opposite Surrey-street, near high-water mark.
5. “An ancient leather buskin,” supposed to have belonged to one of the Saxon kings. This singular covering for the foot reaches no higher than the ancle, and is laced up the front with a leathern thong, like a modern highlow, to which it bears a very decided resemblance.
6. “A skeleton of some unknown animal.” Antiquarians cannot agree to what genus this animal belonged; ignorant people imagine it to have been a cat.
7. “A piece of broken porcelain.” This is an undoubted relic of Roman manufacture, and appears to have formed part of a plate. The blue “willow pattern” painted on it shows the antiquity of that popular design.
There are several other extremely rare and curious antiquities to be seen in this collection, which we have not space to notice at present, but shall take an early opportunity of returning to the valuable discoveries made by the indefatigable Mr. Bunks.
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A NEW CONJURING COMPANY.
A report of so extraordinary a nature has just reached us, that we hasten to be the first, as usual, to lay the outlines of it before our readers, with the same early authenticity that has characterised all our other communications. Mr. Yates is at present in Paris, arranging matters with Louis Philippe and his family, to appear at the Adelphi during the ensuing season!!