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839
SHENSTONE—SHEPPEY

was extended beyond Su-chow, and the Kia-yu gate, “the door of the empire, ” was built. During the reign of Hia-wu Ti of the Han dynasty, Chinese colonies and high roads lined with fortified cities were established along this route, and though at times the government have lost possession of the line beyond the Great Wall, it has always succeeded in re-establishing its supremacy over it. Occupying a position, then, at the confluence of the roads which connect north-eastern China with its western and south-western portions, Si-gan Fu is a city of great commercial importance. It has few manufactures, but does an extensive trade principally in the importation of silk from Cheh-kiang and Sze-ch'uen, tea from Hu-peh and Hu-nan, and sugar from Sze-ch'uen, and in the exportation of these and other articles (such as skins and furs) to Kan-suh, Russia and Central Asia. Shen-si is purely an agricultural province. Its principal products are cotton, wheat and opium-the anti-opium decrees of 1906 had little effect on the province up to 1910-and these it exchanges with the neighbouring provinces for coal, iron, salt, &c. Kao-liang, pulse, millet, maize, groundnut, barley, beans, pease, lucerne, and rape seed are also grown. The Wei basin being a loess region is unfit for rice, but for the same reason it produces fine crops of the kinds mentioned at a minimum expenditure of labour. The Shen-si opium is much valued-by smokers and ranked next to the Shan-si drug, which was second only to that produced in Kan-suh. Coal abounds in the northern part of the province, but owing to difficulty of transit it is not worked to any great extent. The winters are cold, but short, and though fruit trees abound and are most productive, no evergreen trees or shrubs are to be met with within the province. Shen-si is specially noted for the varnish tree. Wolves are numerous in the mountains; the heron, ibis, wild goose and snipe in the valley of the Wei.

See M. Broomhall, The Chinese Empire (London, 1907), pp. 198-2o8; L. Richard, Comprehensive Geography of the Chinese Empire (Shanghai, 1908), pp. 39-46, and the authorities there cited.


SHENSTONE, WILIJIAM (1714-1763), English poet, son of Thomas Shenstone and Anne, daughter of William Penn of Harborough Hall, Hagley, was born at the Leasowes, a property in the parish of Halesowen, now in Worcestershire, but then included in the county of Shropshire. At school he began a lifelong friendship with Richard ]ago, and at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1732, he made another firm friend in Richard- Graves, the author of The Spiritual Quixote. He took no degree, but, while still at Oxford, he published for private circulation Poems on various occasions, written for the entertainment of the author (1737). This edition, containing the first draft of “The Schoolmistress, ” Shenstone tried hard to suppress, but in 1742 he published anonymously a revised form of The Schoolmistress, a Poem in imitation of Spenser .... The original was Sarah Lloyd, teacher of the village school where Shenstone received his first education. Isaac D'Israeli pointed out that it should not be classed, as it was by Robert Dodsley, as a moral poem, but that it was intended as burlesque, to which Shenstone appended in the first instance a “ ludicrous index.” In 1741 he published The Judgment of Hercules. He inherited the Leasowes estate, and retired there in 1745 to undertake what proved the chief work of his life, the beautifying of his property. He embarked on elaborate schemes of landscape gardening which gave the Leasowes a wide celebrity, but sadly impoverished the owner. Shenstone was not a contented recluse. He desired constant admiration of his gardens, and he never ceased to lament his lack of fame as a poet.

Shenstone's poems of nature were written in praise of her most artificial aspects, but the emotions they express were obviously genuine. His Schoolmistress was admired by Goldsmith, with whom Shenstone had much in common, and his “ Elegies" written at various times and to some extent biographical in character won the praise of Robert Burns who, in the preface to Poems, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786), called him “ that celebrated poet whose divine elegies do honour to our language, our nation and our species." The best example of purely technical skill in his, works is perhaps his success in the management of the anapestic trimeter in his “ Pastoral Ballad in Four Parts ” (written in 1743), but first printed in Dodsley's Collection of Poems (vol. iv., 1755). Shenstone died unmarried on the 11th of February 1763.

His works were first published by his friend Robert Dodsley (3 vols., 1764-1769). The second volume contains Dodsley's description of the Leasowes. The last, consisting of correspondence with Graves, Iago and others, appeared after Dods1ey's death. Other letters of Shenstone's are included in Select Letters (ed. Thomas Hill 1778). The letters of Lady Luxborough (née Henrietta St John) to Shenstone were printed by T. Dodsley in 1775; much additional correspondence is preserved in the British Museum-letters to Lady Luxborough (Add. MS. 28958), Dodsley's letters to Shenstone (Add. MS. 28959), and correspondence between Shenstone and Bishop Percy from 1757 to 1763-the last being of especial interest. To Shenstone was du e the original suggestion of Percy's Reliques, a service which would alone entitle him to a place among the precursors of the romantic movement in English literature. See also Richard Graves, Recollections of some particulars in the Life of the Late William Shenstone (1788); H. Sydney Grazebrook, The Family of Shenstone the Poet (1890); Lennox Morison, “ Shenstone, ” in the Gentleman's Magazine (vol. 289, 1900, pp. 196-205): A. Chalmers, English Poets (1810, vol. xiii.), with “ Life " by Samuel Johnson; his Poetical Works (Edinburgh, I8{§ 4)» with “ Life " by G. Gilhllan; T. D'Israeli, “ The Domestic Life o a Poet-»-Shenstone vindicated, ” in Curiosities of Literature; and “ Burns and Shenstone, ” in Furth in Field (1894), by “ Hugh Haliburton ” (J L. Robertson).


SHEPPARD, JOHN [Jack] (1702-1724), English criminal, was born at Stepney, near London, in December 1702. His father, who, like his grandfather and great-grandfather, was a carpenter, died the following year, and Jack Sheppard was brought up in the Bishopsgate workhouse. One of his father's old employers apprenticed him to the family trade, but young Sheppard fell into bad company at a neighbouring Drury Lane tavern. Here he met Elizabeth Lyon, known as “ Edgeworth Bess, ” a woman of loose character with whom he lived, and to gratify whose tastes he committed many of his crimes. At the end of 1723 he was arrested as a runaway apprentice, and thenceforward, he says, “ I fell to robbing almost every one that stood in my way, ” Toseph Blake, known as “ Blueskin, ” being a frequent confederate. In the first six months of 1724 he twice escaped from gaol, and towards the end of that period he was responsible for an almost daily robbery in or near London. Eventually, however, his independent attitude provoked the bitter enmity of Jonathan Wild, who procured his capture at the end of July. Sheppard was tried at the Old Bailey and condemned to death, but, largely thanks to “ Edgeworth Bess, ” he managed to escape from the condemned cell, and was soon back in his old haunts. In September he was rearrested and imprisoned in the strongest part of Newgate, being actually chained to the floor of his cell, but by a combination of strength and skill he escaped through the chimney to the roof of the prison, whence he lowered himself into the adjoining house. After a few days' concealment he was rash enough to reappear in the Drury Lane quarter. He was captured, hopelessly drunk, in a Clare Market tavern and re imprisoned, his cell being now watched night and day. On the 16th of November 1724 he was hanged at Tyburn. He was then not quite twenty-two. Sheppard has been made the unworthy hero of much romance, of which Harrison Ainsworth's novel, ] ack Sheppard (1839), is the most notable instance. In truth he was merely a vulgar scoundrel, who did not hesitate to rob his only real friend. See A Narrative of all the Robberies, Escapes, éfc., of John Sheppard, attributed to Daniel Defoe (London, 1724)i Newgate Calendar, ed. Knapp and Baldwin; Griffiths, Chronicles Z Newgate; British Journal (August, October 1724); Weekly Journal (ugust, September, November 1724); Celebrated Trials.


SHEPPEY, an island off the Kentish coast of England, included in the north-eastern parliamentary division of Kent. It is the largest of the several low islands which- are separated from the mainland by the ramifying creeks about the mouth of the river Medway. The strait isolating Sheppey is called the Swale; it is about 3 m. broad at its eastern end, but narrows to some-300 yds. at the west, where it is crossed on a bridge by at branch of the South-Eastern & Chatham railway, and by a road. There was formerly a ferry here, as there are at two other points. Sheppey is low-lying, with one small elevation slightly exceeding 200 ft. near the north coast, which presents slight cliffs towards the shallow sea. These are frequently encroached upon by the sea, while the fiat shore on the south is protected by embankments. Sheppey is IO% m. in extreme length from E. to W., while the greatest bread this about 5 rn. ' On the south, narrow branches of the Swale, formerly wider, divide the isles of Harty and Elmley from the mainvisland, of which, however, they now practically form part. Sheppey is for the most part treeless but very fertile.