SEEING EUROPE WITH FAMOUS AUTHORS
Selected And Edited With Introductions, Etc.
By Francis W. Halsey
_Editor of "Great Epochs in American History" Associate Editor of "The Worlds Famous Orations and of The Best of the World's Classics" etc._
In Ten Volumes
Vol. I Great Britain And Ireland
A two-fold purpose has been kept in view during the preparation of these volumes--on the one-hand, to refresh the memories and, if possible, to enlarge the knowledge, of readers who have already visited Europe; on the other, to provide something in the nature of a substitute for those who have not yet done so, and to inspire them with new and stronger ambitions to make the trip.
Readers of the first class will perhaps find matter here which is new to them--at least some of it; and in any case should not regret an opportunity again to see standard descriptions of world-famed scenes and historic monuments. Of the other class, it may be said that, in any profitable trip to Europe, an indispensable thing is to go there possest of a large stock of historical knowledge, not to say with some distinct understanding of the profound significance to our American civilization, past, present, and future, of the things to be seen there. As has so often been said, one finds in Europe what one takes there--that is, we recognize there exactly those things which we have learned to understand at home. Without an equipment of this kind, the trip will mean little more than a sea-voyage, good or bad, a few rides on railroads somewhat different from our own, meals and beds in hotels not quite like ours, and opportunities to shop in places where a few real novelties may be found if one searches for them long enough.
No sooner has an American tourist found himself on board a ship, bound for Europe, than he is conscious of a social system quite unlike the one in which he was born and reared. On French ships he may well think himself already in France. The manners of sailors, no less than those of officers, proclaim it, the furniture proclaims it, and so do woodwork, wall decorations, the dinner gong (which seems to have come out of a chateau in old Touraine), and the free wine at every meal. The same is quite as true of ships bound for English and German ports; on these are splendid order, sober taste, efficiency in servants, and calls for dinner that start reminiscences of hunting horns.
The order and system impress one everywhere on these ships. Things are all in their proper place, employees are at their proper posts, doing their work, or alert to do it when the need comes. Here the utmost quiet prevails. Each part of the great organization is so well adjusted to other parts, that the system operates noiselessly, without confusion, and with never a failure of cooperation at any point. So long as the voyage lasts, impressions of a perfected system drive themselves into one's consciousness.
After one goes ashore, and as long as he remains in Europe, that well ordered state will impress, delight and comfort him. Possibly he will contrast it with his own country's more hurried, less firmly controlled ways, but once he reflects on causes, he will perceive that the ways of Europe are products of a civilization long since settled, and already ancient, while the hurried and more thoughtless methods at home are concomitants of a civilization still too young, too ambitious, and too successful to bear the curbs and restraints which make good manners and good order possible among all classes. It is from fine examples in these social matters, no less than from visits to historic places, that the observing and thoughtful tourist derives benefit from a European tour.
The literature of travel in Europe makes in itself a considerable library. Those who have contributed to it are, in literary quality, of many kinds and various degrees of excellence. It is not now so true as it once was that our best writers write for the benefit of tourists. If they do, it is to compile guide-books and describe automobile trips. In any search for adequate descriptions of scenes and places, we can not long depend on present-day writers, but must hark back to those of the last century. There we shall find Washington Irving's pen busily at work for us, and the pens of others, who make up a noble company. The writings of these are still fresh and they fit our purposes as no others do.
Fortunately for us, the things in Europe that really count for the cultivated traveler do not change with the passing of years or centuries. The experience which Goethe had in visiting the crater of Vesuvius in 1787 is just about such as an American from Kansas City, or Cripple Creek, would have in 1914. In the old Papal Palace of Avignon, Dickens, seventy years ago, saw essentially the same things that a keen-eyed American tourist of today would see. When Irving, more than a century ago, made his famous pilgrimage to Westminster Abbey, he saw about everything that a pilgrim from Oklahoma would see today.
It is believed that these volumes, alike in their form and contents, present a mass of selected literature such as has not been before offered to readers at one time and in one place.
FRANCIS W. HALSEY.
INTRODUCTION TO VOLS. I AND II
Great Britain and Ireland
The tourist who has embarked for the British Isles lands usually at Liverpool, Fishguard, or Plymouth, whence a special steamer-train takes him in a few hours to London. In landing at Plymouth, he has passed, outside the harbor, Eddystone, most famous of lighthouses, and has seen waters in which Drake overthrew the Armada of Philip II.
Once the tourist leaves the ship he is conscious of a new environment. Aboard the tender (if there be one) he will feel this, in the custom house formalities, when riding on the steamer-train, on stepping to the station platform at his destination, when riding in the tidy taxicab, at the door and in the office of his hotel, in his well-ordered bedroom, and at his initial meal. First of all, he will appreciate the tranquility, the unobtrusiveness, the complete efficiency, with which service is rendered him by those employed to render it.
When Lord Nelson, before beginning the battle of Trafalgar, said to his officers and sailors that England expected "every man to do his duty," the remark was merely one of friendly encouragement and sympathy, rather than of stern discipline, because every man on board that fleet of ships already expected to do his duty. Life in England is a school in which doing one's duty becomes a fundamental condition of staying "in the game." Not alone sailors and soldiers know this, and adjust their lives to it, but all classes of public and domestic servants--indeed, all men are subject to it, whether servants or barristers, lawmakers or kings.
Emerging from his hotel for a walk in the street, the tourist, even tho his visit be not the first, will note the ancient look of things. Here are buildings that have survived for two, or even five, hundred years, and yet they are still found fit for the purposes to which they are put. Few buildings are tall, the "skyscraper" being undiscoverable. On great and crowded thoroughfares one may find buildings in plenty that have only two, or at most three, stories, and their windows small, with panes of glass scarcely more than eight by ten. The great wall mass and dome of St. Paul's, the roof and towers of Westminster Abbey, unlike the lone spire of old Trinity in New York, still rise above all the buildings around them as far as the eye can reach, just about as they did in the days of Sir Christopher Wren.
Leaving a great thoroughfare for a side street, a stone's throw may bring one to a friend's office, in one of those little squares so common in the older parts of London. How ancient all things here may seem to him, the very street doorway an antiquity, and so the fireplace within, the hinges and handles of the doors. From some upper rear window he may look out on an extension roof of solid lead, that has survived, sound and good, after the storms of several generations, and beyond may look into an ancient burial ground, or down upon the grass-plots and ample walks around a church (perchance the Temple Church), and again may see below him the tomb of Oliver Goldsmith.
In America we look for antiquities to Boston, with her Long Wharf, or Faneuil Hall; to New York, with her Fraunccs Tavern and Van Cortlandt Manor House; to Jamestown with her lone, crumbling church tower; to the Pacific coast with her Franciscan mission houses; to St. Augustine with her Spanish gates; but all these are young and blushing things compared with the historic places of the British Isles. None of them, save one, is of greater age than a century and a half. Even the exception (St. Augustine) is a child in arms compared with Westminster Hall, the Tower of London, St. Martin's of Canterbury, the ruined abbey of Glastonbury, the remains of churches on the island of Iona, or the oldest ruins found in Ireland.
What to an American is ancient history, to an Englishman is an affair of scarcely more than yesterday. As Goldwin Smith has said, the Revolution of 1776 is to an American what the Norman conquest is to an Englishman--the event on which to found a claim of ancestral distinction. More than seven hundred years divide these two events. With the Revolution, our history as a nation began; before that we were a group of colonies, each a part of the British Empire. We fought single-handed with Indians, it is true, and we cooperated with the mother country in wresting the continent from the French, but all this history, in a technical sense, is English history rather than the history of the United States.
Our Revolution occurred in the reign of the Third George; back of it runs a line of other Hanoverian kings, of Stuart kings, of Tudor kings, of Plantagenet kings, of Norman kings, of Saxon kings, of Roman governors, of Briton kings and queens, of Scottish tribal heads and kings, of ancient Irish kings. Long before Caesar landed in Kent, inhabitants of England had erected forts, constructed war chariots, and reared temples of worship, of which a notable example still survives on Salisbury Plain. So had the Picts and Scots of Caledonia reared strongholds and used war chariots, and so had Celts erected temples of worship in Ireland, and Phoenicians had mined tin in Cornwall. When Cavaliers were founding a commonwealth at Jamestown and the Puritans one on Massachusetts Bay, the British Isles were six hundred years away from the Norman conquest, the Reformation of the English church had been effected, Chaucer had written his "Tales," Bacon his "Essays," and Shakespeare all but a few of his "Plays."
Of the many races to whom belong these storied annals--Briton, Pict, Scot, Saxon, Dane, Celt, Norman--we of America, whose ancestral lines run back to those islands, are the far-descended children, heirs actual. Our history, as a civilized people, began not in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, not at Jamestown, not at Plymouth Rock, but there in the northeastern Atlantic, in lands now acknowledging the sway of the Parliament of Westminster, and where, as with us, the speech of all is English. Not alone do we share that speech with them, but that matchless literature, also English, and more than that, racial customs, laws and manners, of which many are as old as the Norman conquest, while others, for aught we know, are survivals from an age when human sacrifices were made around the monoliths of Stonehenge.
It is not in lands such as these that any real American can ever feel himself a stranger. There lies for so many of us the ancestral home--in that "land of just and of old renown," that "royal throne of kings," that "precious stone set in the silver sea," that "dear, dear land, dear for her reputation through the world."
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND--PART ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION AND INTRODUCTION TO VOLS. I AND II--By the Editor
A GENERAL SKETCH--By Goldwin Smith WESTMINSTER ABBEY--By Washington Irving THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT--By Nathaniel Hawthorne ST. PAUL'S--By Augustus J.C. Hare THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND THE CRYSTAL PALACE--By H.A. Taine THE TEMPLE'S GALLERY OF GHOSTS PROM DICKENS--By J.R.G. Hassard THE TEMPLE CHURCH--By Augustus J.C. Hare LAMBETH CHURCH AND PALACE--By Augustus J.C. Hare DICKENS'S LIMEHOUSE HOLE--By J.E.G. Hassard WHITEHALL--By Augustus J. C. Hare THE TOWER--By W. Hepworth Dixon ST. JAMES'S PALACE--By Augustus J. C. Hare LITERARY SHRINES OF LONDON--By William Winter
II--CATHEDRALS AND ABBEYS
CANTERBURY--By the Editor OLD YORK--By William Winter YORK AND LINCOLN COMPARED--By Edward A. Freeman DURHAM--By Nathaniel Hawthorne ELY--By James M. Hoppin SALISBURY--By Nathaniel Hawthorne EXETER--By Anna Bowman Dodd LICHFIELD--By Nathaniel Hawthorne WINCHESTER--By William Howitt WELLS--By James M, Hoppin BURY ST. EDMUNDS--By H. Claiborne Dixon GLASTONBURY--By H. Claiborne Dixon TINTERN--By H. Claiborne Dixon
III--CASTLES AND STATELY HOMES
LIVING IN GREAT HOUSES--By Richard Grant White WINDSOR--By Harriet Beecher Stowe BLENHEIM--By the Duke of Marlborough WARWICK--By Harriet Beecher Stowe KENILWORTH--By Sir Walter Scott ALNWICK--By William Howitt HAMPTON COURT--By William Howitt CHATSWORTH AND HADDON HALL--By Elihu Burritt EATON HALL--By Nathaniel Hawthorne HOLLAND HOUSE--By William Howitt ARUNDEL--By Anna Bowman Dodd PENSHURST--By William Howitt
IV--ENGLISH LITERARY SHRINES
STRATFORD-ON-AVON--By Washington Irving NEWSTEAD ABBEY--By Nathaniel Hawthorne HUCKNALL-TORKARD CHURCH (Byron's Grave)--By William Winter DR. JOHNSON'S BIRTHPLACE--By Nathaniel Hawthorne
_(English Literary Shrines continued in Vol. II)_
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
FRONTISPIECE TRAFALGAR SQUARE, LONDON
PRECEDING PAGE I WESTMINSTER ABBEY RIVER FRONT OF THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL INTERIOR OF ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL CHAPEL OF EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, WESTMINSTER ABBEY THE TOWER OF LONDON CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL TINTERN ABBEY DRYEURGH ABBEY WINDSOR CASTLE
FOLLOWING PAGE 95 THE ALBERT MEMORIAL CHAPEL, WINDSOR THE THRONE ROOM, WINDSOR CASTLE POETS' CORNER, WESTMINSTER ABBEY THE GREAT HALL AT PENSHURST THE ENTRANCE HALL OF BLENHEIM PALACE GUY'S TOWER AND THE CLOCK TOWER, WARWICK CASTLE WARWICK CASTLE THE BEAUCHAMP CHAPEL, WARWICK THE RUINS OF KENILWORTH CASTLE CHATSWORTH ALNWICK CASTLE HOLLAND HOUSE EATON HALL
A GENERAL SKETCH [Footnote: From articles written for the Toronto "Week." Afterward (1888) issued by The Macmillan Company in the volume entitled "The Trip to England."]
BY GOLDWIN SMITH
The huge city perhaps never imprest the imagination more than when approaching it by night on the top of a coach you saw its numberless lights flaring, as Tennyson says, "like a dreary dawn." The most impressive approach is now by the river through the infinitude of docks, quays, and shipping. London is not a city, but a province of brick and stone. Hardly even from the top of St. Paul's or of the Monument can anything like a view of the city as a whole be obtained.
It is indispensable, however, to make one or the other of these ascents when a clear day can be found, not so much because the view is fine, as because you will get a sensation of vastness and multitude not easily to be forgotten. There is, or was not long ago, a point on the ridge which connects Hampstead with Highgate from which, as you looked over London to the Surrey Hills beyond, the modern Babylon presented something like the aspect of a city. The ancient Babylon may have vied with London in circumference, but the greater part of its area was occupied by open spaces; the modern Babylon is a dense mass of humanity....
The Empire and the commercial relations of England draw representatives of trading committees or subject races from all parts of the globe, and the faces and costumes of the Hindu, the Parsee, the Lascar and the ubiquitous Chinaman mingle in the motley crowd with the merchants of Europe and America. The streets of London are, in this respect, to the modern what the great Palace of Tyre must have been to the ancient world. But pile Carthage on Tyre, Venice on Carthage, Amsterdam on Venice, and you will not make the equal, or anything near the equal, of London.
Here is the great mart of the world, to which the best and richest products are brought from every land and clime, so that if you have put money in your purse you may command every object of utility or fancy which grows or is made anywhere without going beyond the circuit of the great cosmopolitan city. Parisian, German, Russian, Hindu, Japanese, Chinese industry is as much at your service here, if you have the all-compelling talisman in your pocket, as in Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Benares, Yokohama, or Peking. That London is the great distributing center of the world is shown by the fleets of the carrying trade of which the countless masts rise along her wharves and in her docks. She is also the bank of the world. But we are reminded of the vicissitudes of commerce and the precarious tenure by which its empire is held when we consider that the bank of the world in the middle of the last century was Amsterdam.
The first and perhaps the greatest marvel of London is the commissariat. How can the five millions be regularly supplied with food, and everything needful to life, even with such things as milk and those kinds of fruits which can hardly be left beyond a day? Here again we see reason for excepting to the sweeping jeremiads of cynicism, and concluding that tho there may be fraud and scamping in the industrial world, genuine production, faithful service, disciplined energy, and skill in organization, can not wholly have departed from the earth. London is not only well fed, but well supplied with water and well drained. Vast and densely peopled as it is, it is a healthy city. Yet the limit of practical extension seems to be nearly reached. It becomes a question how the increasing multitude shall be supplied not only with food and water, but with air.
The East of London, which is the old city, is, as all know, the business quarter. Let the worshiper of Mammon when he sets foot in Lombard Street adore his divinity, of all whose temples this is the richest and the most famous. Note the throng incessantly threading those narrow and tortuous streets. Nowhere are the faces so eager or the steps so hurried, except perhaps in the business quarter of New York. Commerce has still its center here; but the old social and civic life of the city has fled. What once were the dwellings of the merchants of London are now vast collections of offices. The merchants dwell in the mansions of the West End, their clerks in villas and boxes without number, to which when their offices close they are taken by the suburban railways. On Sunday a more than Sabbath stillness reigns in those streets, while in the churches, the monuments of Wren's architectural genius which in Wren's day were so crowded, the clergyman sleepily performs the service to a congregation which you may count upon your fingers.
It is worth while to visit the city on a Sunday. Here and there, in a back street, may still be seen what was once the mansion of a merchant prince, ample and stately, with the rooms which in former days displayed the pride of commercial wealth and resounded with the festivities of the olden time; now the sound of the pen alone is heard. These and other relics of former days are fast disappearing before the march of improvement, which is driving straight new streets through the antique labyrinth. Some of the old thoroughfares as well as the old names remain. There is Cheapside, along which, through the changeful ages, so varied a procession of history has swept. There is Fleet Street, close to which, in Bolt Court, Johnson lived, and which he preferred, or affected to prefer, to the finest scenes of nature. Temple Bar, once grimly garnished with the heads of traitors, has been numbered with the things of the past, after furnishing Mr. Bright, by the manner in which the omnibuses were jammed in it, with a vivid simile for a legislative deadlock....
Society has migrated to the Westward, leaving far behind the ancient abodes of aristocracy, the Strand, where once stood a long line of patrician dwellings, Great Queen Street, where Shaftesbury's house may still be seen; Lincoln's Inn Fields, where, in the time of George II, the Duke of Newcastle held his levee of office-seekers, and Russell Square, now reduced to a sort of dowager gentility. Hereditary mansions, too ancient and magnificent to be deserted, such as Norfolk House, Spencer House and Lansdowne House, stayed the westward course of aristocracy at St. James's Square and Street, Piccadilly, and Mayfair; but the general tide of fashion has swept far beyond.
In that vast realm of wealth and leisure, the West End of London, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, neither the ear with hearing. There is not, nor has there ever been, anything like it in the world. Notes of admiration might be accumulated to any extent without aiding the impression. In every direction the visitor may walk till he is weary through streets and squares of houses, all evidently the abodes of wealth, some of them veritable palaces. The parks are thronged, the streets are blocked with handsome equipages, filled with the rich and gay. Shops blaze with costly wares, and abound with everything that can minister to luxury.
On a fine bright day of May or early June, and days of May or early June are often as bright in London as anywhere, the Park is probably the greatest display of wealth and of the pride of wealth in the world. The contrast with the slums of the East End, no doubt, is striking, and we can not wonder if the soul of the East End is sometimes filled with bitterness at the sight. A social Jeremiah might be moved to holy wrath by the glittering scene. The seer, however, might be reminded that not all the owners of those carriages are the children of idleness, living by the sweat of another man's brow; many of them are professional men or chiefs of industry, working as hard with their brains as any mechanic works with his hands, and indispensable ministers of the highest civilization. The number and splendor of the equipages are thought to have been somewhat diminished of late by the reduction of rents.
The architecture of the West End of London is for the most part drearily monotonous; its forms have too plainly been determined by the builder, not by the artist, tho since the restoration of art, varieties of style have been introduced, and individual beauty has been more cultivated. It is the boundless expanse of opulence, street after street, square after square, that most impresses the beholder, and makes him wonder from what miraculous horn of plenty such a tide of riches can have been poured.
A beautiful city London can not be called. In beauty it is no match for Paris. The smoke, which not only blackens but corrodes, is fatal to the architecture as well as to the atmosphere. Moreover, the fine buildings, which if brought together would form a magnificent assemblage, are scattered over the immense city, and some of them are ruined by their surroundings. There is a fine group at Westminster, and the view from the steps under the Duke of York's column across St. James's Park is beautiful. But even at Westminster meanness jostles splendor, and the picture is marred by Mr. Hankey's huge tower of Babel rising near. London has had no edile like Haussmann.
The Embankment on the one side of the Thames is noble in itself, but you look across from it at the hideous and dirty wharves of Southwark. Nothing is more charming than a fine water street; and this water street might be very fine were it not marred by the projection of a huge railway shed. The new Courts of Law, a magnificent, tho it is said inconvenient, pile, instead of being placed on the Embankment or in some large open space, are choked up and lost in rookeries. London, we must repeat, has had no edile. Perhaps the finest view is that from a steamboat on the river, embracing the Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Temple, with St. Paul's rising above the whole.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY [Footnote: From "The Sketch Book." Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
BY WASHINGTON IRVING
On one of those sober and rather melancholy days in the latter part of Autumn, when the shadows of morning and evening almost mingle together and throw a gloom over the decline of the year, I passed several hours in rambling about Westminster Abbey. I spent some time in Poet's Corner, which occupies an end of one of the transepts or cross aisles of the abbey. The monuments are generally simple; for the lives of literary men afford no striking themes for the sculptor. Shakespeare and Addison have statues erected to their memories; but the greater part have busts, medallions, and sometimes mere inscriptions. Notwithstanding the simplicity of these memorials, I have always observed that the visitors to the abbey remained longest about them. A kinder and fonder feeling takes the place of that cold curiosity or vague admiration with which they gaze on the splendid monuments of the great and heroic. They linger about these as about the tombs of friends and companions; for indeed there is something of companionship between the author and the reader. Other men are known to posterity only through the medium of history, which is continually growing faint and obscure; but the intercourse between the author and his fellow men is ever new, active and immediate.
From Poet's Corner I continued my stroll toward that part of the abbey which contains the sepulchers of the kings. I wandered among what once were chapels, but which are now occupied by the tombs and monuments of the great. At every turn I met with some illustrious name; or the cognizance of some powerful house renowned in history. As the eye darts into these dusky chambers of death, it catches glimpses of quaint effigies; some kneeling in niches, as if in devotion; others stretched upon the tombs, with hands piously prest together; warriors in armor, as if reposing after battle; prelates with croziers and miters; and nobles in robes and coronets, lying, as it were, in state. In glancing over this scene, so strangely populous, yet where every form is so still and silent, it seems almost as if we were treading a mansion of that fabled city where everything had been suddenly transmuted into stone.
In the opposite transept to Poet's Corner stands a monument which is among the most renowned achievements of modern art, but which to me appears horrible rather than sublime. It is the tomb of Mrs. Nightingale, by Roubillac. The bottom of the monument is represented as throwing open its marble doors, and a sheeted skeleton is starting forth. The shroud is falling from its fleshless frame as he launches his dart at his victim. She is sinking into her affrighted husband's arms, who strives, with vain and frantic effort, to avert the blow. The whole is executed with terrible truth and spirit; we almost fancy we hear the gibbering yell of triumph bursting from the distended jaws of the specter. But why should we thus seek to clothe death with unnecessary terrors, and to spread horrors round the tombs of those we love? The grave should be surrounded by everything that might inspire tenderness and veneration for the dead; or that might win the living to virtue. It is the place, not of disgust and dismay, but of sorrow and meditation.
I continued in this way to move from tomb to tomb, and from chapel to chapel. The day was gradually wearing away; the distant tread of loiterers about the abbey grew less and less frequent; the sweet-tongued bell was summoning to evening prayers; and I saw at a distance the choristers, in their white surplices, crossing the aisle and entering the choir. I stood before the entrance to Henry the Seventh's chapel. A flight of steps lead up to it, through a deep and gloomy but magnificent arch. Great gates of brass, richly and delicately wrought, turn heavily upon their hinges, as if proudly reluctant to admit the feet of common mortals into this most gorgeous of sepulchers.
On entering, the eye is astonished by the pomp of architecture and the elaborate beauty of sculptured detail. The very walls are wrought into universal ornament, incrusted with tracery and scooped into niches, crowded with statues of saints and martyrs. Stone seems, by the cunning labor of the chisel, to have been robbed of its weight and density, suspended aloft, as if by magic, and the fretted roof achieved with the wonderful minuteness and airy security of a cobweb.
Along the sides of the chapel are the lofty stalls of the Knights of the Bath, richly carved of oak, tho with the grotesque decorations of Gothic architecture. On the pinnacles of the stalls are affixt the helmets and crests of the knights, with their scarfs and swords; and above them are suspended their banners, emblazoned with armorial bearings, and contrasting the splendor of gold and purple and crimson with the cold gray fretwork of the roof. In the midst of this grand mausoleum stands the sepulcher of its founder--his effigy, with that of his queen, extended on a sumptuous tomb, and the whole surrounded by a superbly wrought brazen railing....
When I read the names inscribed on the banners, they were those of men scattered far and wide about the world, some tossing upon distant seas; some under arms in distant lands; some mingling in the busy intrigues of courts and cabinets; all seeking to deserve one more distinction in this mansion of shadowy honors; the melancholy reward of a monument.
Two small aisles on each side of this chapel present a touching instance of the equality of the grave; which brings down the oppressor to a level with the opprest, and mingles the dust of the bitterest enemies together. In one is the sepulcher of the haughty Elizabeth; in the other is that of her victim, the lovely and unfortunate Mary. Not an hour in the day but some ejaculation of pity is uttered over the fate of the latter, mingled with indignation at her oppressor. The walls of Elizabeth's sepulcher continually echo with sighs of sympathy heaved at the grave of her rival.
A peculiar melancholy reigns over the aisle where Mary lies buried. The light struggles dimly through windows darkened by dust. The greater part of the place is in deep shadow, and the walls are stained and tinted by time and weather. A marble figure of Mary is stretched upon the tomb, round which is an iron railing, much corroded, bearing her national emblem--the thistle. I was weary with wandering, and sat down to rest myself at the monument, revolving in my mind the chequered and disastrous story of poor Mary....
Suddenly the notes of the deep-laboring organ burst upon the ear, falling with doubled and redoubled intensity, and rolling, as it were, huge billows of sound. How well do their volume and grandeur accord with this mighty building! With what pomp do they swell through its vast vaults, and breathe their awful harmony through these caves of death, and make the silent sepulcher vocal! And now they rise in triumph and acclamation, heaving higher and higher their accordant notes, and piling sound on sound. And now they pause, and the soft voices of the choir break out into sweet gushes of melody; they soar aloft, and warble along the roof, and seem to play about these lofty vaults like the pure airs of heaven. Again the pealing organ heaves its thrilling thunders, compressing air into music, and rolling it forth upon the soul. What long-drawn cadences! What solemn, sweeping concords! It grows more and more dense and powerful--it fills the vast pile, and seems to jar the very walls--the ear is stunned--the senses are overwhelmed. And now it is winding up in full jubilee--it is rising from the earth to heaven--the very soul seems rapt away and floated upward on this swelling tide of harmony!...
I rose and prepared to leave the abbey. As I descended the flight of steps which lead into the body of the building, my eye was caught by the shrine of Edward the Confessor, and I ascended the small staircase that conducts to it, to take from thence a general survey of this wilderness of tombs. The shrine is elevated upon a kind of platform, and close around it are the sepulchers of various kings and queens. From this eminence the eye looks down between pillars and funeral trophies to the chapels and chambers below, crowded with tombs; where warriors, prelates, courtiers and statesmen lie moldering in their "beds of darkness." Close by me stood the great chair of coronation, rudely carved of oak, in the barbarous taste of a remote and Gothic age. The scene seemed almost as if contrived, with theatrical artifice, to produce an effect upon the beholder. Here was a type of the beginning and the end of human pomp and power; here it was literally but a step from the throne to the sepulcher. Would not one think that these incongruous mementos had been gathered together as a lesson to living greatness, to show it, even in the moment of its proudest exaltation, the neglect and dishonor to which it must soon arrive; how soon that crown which encircles its brow must pass away, and it must lie down in the dust and disgraces of the tomb, and be trampled upon by the feet of the meanest of the multitude?...
The last beams of day were now faintly streaming through the painted windows in the high vaults above me; the lower parts of the abbey were already wrapt in the obscurity of twilight. The chapels and aisles grew darker and darker. The effigies of the kings faded into shadows; the marble figures of the monuments assumed strange shapes in the uncertain light; the evening breeze crept through the aisles like the cold breath of the grave; and even the distant footfall of a verger, traversing the Poet's Corner, had something strange and dreary in its sound. I slowly retraced my morning's walk, and as I passed out at the portal of the cloisters the door, closing with a jarring noise behind me, filled the whole building with echoes.
I endeavored to form some arrangement in my mind of the objects I had been contemplating, but found they were already fallen into indistinctness and confusion. Names, inscriptions, trophies, had all become confounded in my recollection, tho I had scarcely taken my foot from off the threshold. What, thought I, is this vast assemblage of sepulchers but a treasury of humiliation; a huge pile of reiterated homilies on the emptiness of renown and the certainty of oblivion! It is, indeed, the empire of death; his great shadowy palace, where he sits in state, mocking at the relics of human glory, and spreading dust and forgetfulness on the monuments of princes. How idle a boast, after all, is the immortality of a name! Time is ever silently turning over his pages; we are too much engrossed by the story of the present, to think of the characters and anecdotes that gave interest to the past; and each age is a volume thrown aside to be speedily forgotten. The idol of to-day pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of to-morrow.
"Our fathers," says Sir Thomas Browne, "find their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors." History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription molders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand; and their epitaphs, but characters written in the dust? What is the security of a tomb, or the perpetuity of an embalmment? The remains of Alexander the Great have been scattered to the wind, and his empty sarcophagus is now the mere curiosity of a museum. "The Egyptian mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth; Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsams." [Footnote: Sir Thomas Browne.]
What, then, is to insure this pile which now towers above me from sharing the fate of mightier mausoleums? The time must come when its gilded vaults, which now spring so loftily, shall lie in rubbish beneath the feet; when, instead of the sound of melody and praise, the wind shall whistle through the broken arches, and the owl hoot from the shattered tower--when the garish sunbeam shall break into these gloomy mansions of death, and the ivy twine round the fallen column; and the foxglove hang its blossoms about the nameless urn, as if in mockery of the dead. Thus the man passes away; his name perishes from record and recollection; his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument becomes a ruin.
THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870-1898.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
A little before twelve, we took a cab, and went to the two Houses of Parliament--the most immense building, methinks, that ever was built; and not yet finished, tho it has now been occupied for years. Its exterior lies hugely along the ground, and its great unfinished tower is still climbing toward the sky; but the result (unless it be the river-front, which I have not yet seen) seems not very impressive. The interior is much more successful. Nothing can be more magnificent and gravely gorgeous than the Chamber of Peers--a large oblong hall, paneled with oak, elaborately carved, to the height of perhaps twenty feet. Then the balustrade of the gallery runs around the hall, and above the gallery are six arched windows on each side, richly painted with historic subjects. The roof is ornamented and gilded, and everywhere throughout there is embellishment of color and carving on the broadest scale, and, at the same time, most minute and elaborate; statues of full size in niches aloft; small heads of kings, no bigger than a doll; and the oak is carved in all parts of the paneling as faithfully as they used to do it in Henry VII.'s time--as faithfully and with as good workmanship, but with nothing like the variety and invention which I saw in the dining-room of Smithell's Hall. There the artist wrought with his heart and head; but much of this work, I suppose, was done by machinery.
It is a most noble and splendid apartment, and, tho so fine, there is not a touch of finery; it glistens and glows with even a somber magnificence, owing to the deep, rich hues and the dim light, bedimmed with rich colors by coming through the painted windows. In arched recesses, that serve as frames, at each end of the hall, there are three pictures by modern artists from English history; and tho it was not possible to see them well as pictures, they adorned and enriched the walls marvelously as architectural embellishments. The Peers' seats are four rows of long sofas on each side, covered with red morocco; comfortable seats enough, but not adapted to any other than a decorously exact position. The woolsack is between these two divisions of sofas, in the middle passage of the floor--a great square seat, covered with scarlet, and with a scarlet cushion set up perpendicularly for the Chancellor to lean against. In front of the woolsack there is another still larger ottoman, on which he might lie at full length--for what purpose intended, I know not. I should take the woolsack to be not a very comfortable seat, tho I suppose it was originally designed to be the most comfortable one that could be contrived.
The throne is the first object you see on entering the hall, being close to the door; a chair of antique form, with a high, peaked back, and a square canopy above, the whole richly carved and quite covered with burnished gilding, besides being adorned with rows of rock crystals--which seemed to me of rather questionable taste....
We next, after long contemplating this rich hall, proceeded through passages and corridores to a great central room, very beautiful, which seems to be used for purposes of refreshment, and for electric telegraphs; tho I should not suppose this could be its primitive and ultimate design. Thence we went into the House of Commons, which is larger than the Chamber of Peers, and much less richly ornamented, tho it would have appeared splendid had it come first in order. The Speaker's chair, if I remember rightly, is loftier and statelier than the throne itself. Both in this hall and in that of the Lords we were at first surprized by the narrow limits within which the great ideas of the Lords and Commons of England are physically realized; they would seem to require a vaster space. When we hear of members rising on opposite sides of the House, we think of them but as dimly discernible to their opponents, and uplifting their voices, so as to be heard afar; whereas they sit closely enough to feel each other's spheres, to note all expression of face, and to give the debate the character of a conversation. In this view a debate seems a much more earnest and real thing than as we read it in a newspaper. Think of the debaters meeting each other's eyes, their faces flushing, their looks interpreting their words, their speech growing into eloquence, without losing the genuineness of talk! Yet, in fact, the Chamber of Peers is ninety feet long and half as broad and high, and the Chamber of Commons is still larger.
ST. PAUL'S [Footnote: From "Walks in London."]
BY AUGUSTUS J.C. HARE
It will be admitted that, tho in general effect there is nothing in the same style of architecture which exceeds the exterior of St. Paul's, it has not a single detail deserving of attention, except the Phenix over the south portico, which was executed by Cibber, and commemorates the curious fact narrated in the "Parentalia," that the very first stone which Sir Christopher Wren directed a mason to bring from the rubbish of the old church to serve as a mark for the center of the dome in his plans was inscribed with the single word _Resurgam_--I shall rise again. The other ornaments and statues are chiefly by Bird, a most inferior sculptor. Those who find greater faults must, however, remember that St. Paul's, as it now stands, is not according to the first design of Wren, the rejection of which cost him bitter tears. Even in his after work he met with so many rubs and ruffles, and was so insufficiently paid, that the Duchess of Marlborough, said, in allusion to his scaffold labors, "He is dragged up and down in a basket two or three times in a week for an insignificant £200 a year."...
The interior of St. Paul's is not without a grandeur of its own, but in detail it is bare, cold, and uninteresting, tho Wren intended to have lined the dome with mosaics, and to have placed a grand baldacchino in the choir. Tho a comparison with St. Peter's inevitably forces itself upon those who are familiar with the great Roman basilica, there can scarcely be a greater contrast than between the two buildings. There, all is blazing with precious marbles; here, there is no color except from the poor glass of the eastern windows, or where a tattered banner waves above a hero's monument. In the blue depths of the misty dome the London fog loves to linger, and hides the remains of some feeble frescoes by Thornhill, Hogarth's father-in-law. In St. Paul's, as in St. Peter's, the statues on the monuments destroy the natural proportion of the arches by their monstrous size, but they have seldom any beauty or grace to excuse them. The week-day services are thinly attended, and, from the nave, it seems as if the knot of worshipers near the choir were lost in the immensity, and the peals of the organ and the voices of the choristers were vibrating through an arcaded solitude....
The most interesting portion of the church is the Crypt, where, at the eastern extremity, are gathered nearly all the remains of the tombs which were saved from the old St. Paul's. Here repose the head and half the body of Sir Nicholas Bacon (1579), Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in the reign of Elizabeth, and father of Francis, Lord Bacon. Other fragments represent William Cokain, 1626; William Hewit, 1597; and John Wolley and his wife, 1595. There are tablets to "Sir Simon Baskerville the rich," physician to James I. and Charles I., 1641; and to Brian, Bishop of Chester, 1661. The tomb of John Martin, bookseller, and his wife, 1680, was probably the first monument erected in the crypt of new St. Paul's....
In the Crypt, not far from the old St. Paul's tombs, the revered Dean Milman, the great historian of the church (best known, perhaps, by his "History of the Jews," his "History of Latin Christianity," and his contributions to "Heber's Hymns"), is now buried under a simple tomb ornamented with a raised cross. In a recess on the south is the slab of Sir Christopher Wren, and near him, in other chapels, Robert Mylne, the architect of old Blackfriars Bridge, and John Rennie, the architect of Waterloo Bridge. Beneath the pavement lies Sir Joshua Reynolds (1742), who had an almost royal funeral in St. Paul's, dukes and marquises contending for the honor of being his pallbearers. Around him are buried his disciples and followers--Lawrence (1830), Barry (1806), Opie (1807), West (1820), Fuseli (1825); but the most remarkable grave is that of William Maillord Turner, whose dying request was that he might be buried as near as possible to Sir Joshua.
Where the heavy pillars and arches gather thick beneath the dome, in spite of his memorable words at the battle of the Nile--"Victory or Westminster Abbey"--is the grave of Lord Nelson. Followed to the grave by the seven sons of his sovereign, he was buried here in 1806, when Dean Milman, who was present, "heard, or seemed to hear, the low wail of the sailors who encircled the remains of their admiral." They tore to pieces the largest of the flags of the "Victory," which waved above his grave; the rest were buried with his coffin.
The sarcophagus of Nelson was designed and executed for Cardinal Wolsey by the famous Torregiano, and was intended to contain the body of Henry VIII. in the tomb-house at Windsor. It encloses the coffin made from the mast of the ship "L'Orient," which was presented to Nelson after the battle of the Nile by Ben Hallowell, captain of the "Swiftsure," that, when he was tired of life, he might "be buried in one of his own trophies." On either side of Nelson repose the minor heroes of Trafalgar, Collingwood (1810) and Lord Northesk; Picton also lies near him, but outside the surrounding arches.
A second huge sarcophagus of porphyry resting on lions is the tomb where Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, was laid in 1852, in the presence of 15,000 spectators, Dean Milman, who had been present at Nelson's funeral, then reading the services. Beyond the tomb of Nelson, in a ghastly ghost-befitting chamber hung with the velvet which surrounded his lying in state at Chelsea, and on which, by the flickering torchlight, we see emblazoned the many Orders presented to him by foreign sovereigns, is the funeral car of Wellington, modeled and constructed in six weeks, at an expense of £13,000, from guns taken in his campaigns.
In the southwest pier of the dome a staircase ascends by 616 steps to the highest point of the cathedral. No feeble person should attempt the fatigue, and, except to architects, the undertaking is scarcely worth while. An easy ascent leads to the immense passages of the triforium, in which, opening from the gallery above the south aisle, is the Library, founded by Bishop Compton, who crowned William and Mary, Archbishop Seeker refusing to do so. It contains the bishop's portrait and some carving by Gibbons.
At the corner of the gallery, on the left, a very narrow stair leads to the Clock, of enormous size, with a pendulum 16 feet long, constructed by Langley Bradley in 1708. Ever since, the oaken seats behind it have been occupied by a changing crowd, waiting with anxious curiosity to see the hammer strike its bell, and tremulously hoping to tremble at the vibration.
Returning, another long ascent leads to the Whispering Gallery, below the windows of the cupola, where visitors are requested to sit down upon a matted seat that they may be shown how a low whisper uttered against the wall can be distinctly heard from the other side of the dome. Hence we reach the Stone Gallery, outside the base of the dome, whence we may ascend to the Golden Gallery at its summit. This last ascent is interesting, as being between the outer and inner domes, and showing how completely different in construction one is from the other. The view from the gallery is vast, but generally, beyond a certain distance, it is shrouded in smoke. Sometimes, one stands aloft in a clear atmosphere, while beneath the fog rolls like a sea, through which the steeples and towers are just visible "like the masts of stranded vessels." Hence one may study the anatomy of the fifty-four towers which Wren was obliged to build after the Fire in a space of time which would only have properly sufficed for the construction of four. The same characteristics, more and more painfully diluted, but always slightly varied, occur in each. Bow Church, St. Magnus, St. Bride, and St. Vedast are the best.
The Great Bell of St. Paul's (of 1716), which hangs in the south tower, bears the inscription, "Richard Phelps made me, 1716." It only tolls on the deaths and funerals of the royal family, of Bishops of London, Deans of St. Paul's, and Lord Mayors who die in their mayoralty.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND THE CRYSTAL PALACE [Footnote: From "Notes on England." By arrangement with the publishers, Henry Holt & Co.]
BY HIPPOLYTE ADOLPHE TAINE
I have letters of introduction and a ticket of admission to the British Museum. About the Grecian marbles, the original Italian drawings, about the National Gallery, the Hampton Court galleries, the pictures at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and the private collections, I shall say nothing. Still, what marvels and what historical tokens are all these things, five or six specimens of high civilization manifested in a perfect art, all differing greatly from that which I now examine, and so well adapted for bringing into relief the good and the evil. To do that would fill a volume by itself.
The Museum library contains six hundred thousand volumes; the reading-room is vast, circular in form, and covered with a cupola, so that no one is far from the central office, and no one has the light in his eyes. All the lower stage of shelves is filled with works of reference--dictionaries, collections of biographies, classics of all sorts--which can be consulted on the spot, and are excellently arranged. Moreover, a small plan placed on each table indicates where they are placed and the order in which they stand.
Each seat is isolated; there is nothing in front but the woodwork of the desk, so that no one is annoyed by the presence of his neighbor. The seats and the tables are covered with leather, and are very clean; there are two pens to each desk, the one being steel, the other a quill pen; there is also a small stand at the side, upon which a second volume, or the volume from which the extracts are being copied may be placed. To procure a book, the title is written on a form, which is handed to the central office. The attendant brings the book to you himself, and does so without delay. I have made trial of this, even in the case of works seldom asked for. The holder of the book is responsible till he has received back the form filled up when he applied for it. For ladies a place is reserved, which is a delicate piece of attention.
What a contrast if we compare this with our great library at the Louvre, with its long room, with half of the readers dazzled by the light in their eyes, the readers being packed together at a common table, the titles of the books being called out in loud tones, the long time spent in waiting at the central office. The French Library has been reformed according to the English model, yet without being rendered as convenient. Nevertheless, ours is the more liberally conducted; its doors are opened to all comers. Here one must be a "respecable" person; no one is admitted unless vouched for by two householders. This is said to be enough; as it is, those gain admission who are worse than shabby--men in working clothes, and some without shoes--they have been introduced by clergymen. The grant for buying new books is seven or eight times larger than ours. When shall we learn to spend our money in a sensible way?
In other matters they are not so successful, such as the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, for instance, which formed the building for the Great Exhibition, and which is now a sort of museum of curiosities. It is gigantic, like London itself, and like so many things in London, but how can I portray the gigantic? All the ordinary sensations produced by size are intensified several times here. It is two miles in circumference and has three stories of prodigious height; it would easily hold five or six buildings like our Palace of Industry, and it is of glass; it consists, first, of an immense rectangular structure rising toward the center in a semicircle like a hothouse, and flanked by two Chinese towers; then, on either side, long buildings descend at right angles, enclosing the garden with its fountains, statues, summer houses, strips of turf, groups of large trees, exotic plants, and beds of flowers. The acres of glass sparkle in the sunlight; at the horizon an undulating line of green eminences is bathed in the luminous vapor which softens all colors and spreads an expression of tender beauty over an entire landscape.
Always the same English method of decoration--on the one side a park and natural embellishments, which it must be granted, are beautiful and adapted to the climate; on the other, the building, which is a monstrous jumble, wanting in style, and bearing witness not to taste, but to English power. The interior consists of a museum of antiquities, composed of plaster facsimiles of all the Grecian and Roman statues scattered over Europe; of a museum of the Middle Ages; of a Revival museum; of an Egyptian museum; of a Nineveh museum; of an Indian museum; of a reproduction of a Pompeiian house; of a reproduction of the Alhambra. The ornaments of the Alhambra have been molded, and these molds are preserved in an adjoining room as proofs of authenticity. In order to omit nothing, copies have been made of the most notable Italian paintings, and these are daubs worthy of a country fair.
There is a huge tropical hothouse, wherein are fountains, swimming turtles, large aquatic plants in flower, the Sphinx and Egyptian statues sixty feet high, specimens of colossal or rare trees, among others the bark of a Sequoia California 450 feet in height and measuring 116 feet in circumference. The bark is arranged and fastened to an inner framework in such a manner as to give an idea of the tree itself. There is a circular concert room, with tiers of benches as in a Colosseum. Lastly, in the gardens are to be seen life-size reproductions of antediluvian monsters, megatheriums, dinotheriums, and others. In these gardens Blondin does his tricks at the height of a hundred feet.
I pass over half the things; but does not this conglomeration of odds and ends carry back one's thoughts to the Rome of Caesar and the Antonines? At that period also pleasure-palaces were erected for the sovereign people; circuses, theaters, baths wherein were collected statues, paintings, animals, musicians, acrobats, all the treasures and all the oddities of the world; pantheons of opulence and curiosity; genuine bazaars where the liking for what was novel, heterogeneous, and fantastic ousted the feeling of appreciation for simple beauty.
In truth, Rome enriched herself with these things by conquest, England by industry. Thus it is that at Rome the paintings, the statues, were stolen originals, and the monsters, whether rhinoceroses or lions, were perfectly alive and tore human beings to pieces; whereas here the statues are made of plaster and the monsters of goldbeater's skin. The spectacle is one of second class, but of the same kind. A Greek would not have regarded it with satisfaction; he would have considered it appropriate to powerful barbarians, who, trying to become refined, had utterly failed.
THE TEMPLE'S GALLERY OF GHOSTS FROM DICKENS [Footnote: From "A Pickwickian Pilgrimage." The persons mentioned in Mr. Hassard's Pilgrimage to the Temple and its neighborhood will be recognized as characters In the novels of Charles Dickens. By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1881.]
BY JOHN R.G. HASSARD
The Temple is crowded with the ghosts of fiction. Here were the neglected chambers, lumbered with heaps and parcels of books, where Tom Pinch was set to work by Mr. Fips, and where old Martin Chuzzlewit revealed himself in due time and knocked Mr. Pecksniff into a corner. Here Mr. Mortimer Lightwood's dismal office-boy leaned out of a dismal window overlooking the dismal churchyard; and here Mortimer and Eugene were visited by Mr. Boffin offering a large reward for the conviction of the murderer of John Harmon; by that honest water-side character, Rogue Riderhood, anxious to earn "a pot o' money" in the sweat of his brow by swearing away the life of Gaffer Hexam; by Bradley Headstone and Charley Hexam; by "Mr. Dolls," negotiating for "three-penn'orths of rum."
It was in Garden Court of The Temple, in the house nearest the river, that Pip, holding his lamp over the stairs one stormy night, saw the returned convict climbing up to his rooms to disclose the mystery of his Great Expectations. Close by the gateway from The Temple into Fleet Street, and adjoining the site of Temple Bar, is Child's ancient banking house, the original of Tellson's Bank in a "Tale of Two Cities." The demolition of Temple Bar made necessary some alterations in the bank, too; and when I was last there the front of the old building which so long defied time and change was boarded up.
Chancery Lane, opposite The Temple, running from Fleet Street to Holborn--a distance only a little greater than that between the Fifth and Sixth Avenues in New York--is the principal pathway through the "perplexed and troublous valley of the shadow of the law." At either end of it there are fresh green spots; but the lane itself is wholly given up to legal dust and darkness. Facing it, on the farther side of Holborn, in a position corresponding with that of The Temple at the Fleet Street extremity, is Gray's Inn, especially attractive to me on account of the long grassy enclosure within its innermost court, so smooth and bright and well-kept that I always stopt to gaze longingly at it through the railed barrier which shuts strangers out--as if here were a tennis lawn reserved for the exclusive vise of frisky barristers.
At No. 2 Holborn Court, in Gray's Inn, David Copperfield, on his return from abroad near the end of the story, found the rooms of that rising young lawyer, Mr. Thomas Traddles. There was a great scuttling and scampering when David knocked at the door; for Traddles was at that moment playing puss-in-the-corner with Sophy and "the girls." Thavies' Inn, on the other side of Holborn, a little farther east, is no longer enclosed; it is only a little fragment of shabby street which starts, with mouth wide open, to run out of Holborn Circus, and stops short, after a few reds, without having got anywhere. The faded houses look as if they belonged to East Broadway; and in one of them lived Mrs. Jellyby....
The buildings within the large enclosure of Lincoln's Inn are a strange mixture of aged dulness and new splendor; but the old houses and the old court-rooms seem to be without exception dark, stuffy, and inconvenient. Here were the chambers of Kenge and Carboy, and the dirty and disorderly offices of Sergeant Snubbin, counsel for the defendant in the suit of Bardell against Pickwick. Here the Lord Chancellor sat, in the heart of the fog, to hear the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce.
At the back of the Inn, in the shabby-genteel square called Lincoln's Inn Fields, Mr. Tulkinghorn was murdered in his rusty apartment. The story of "Bleak House" revolves about Lincoln's Inn. The whole neighborhood has an air of mystery and a scent like a stationer's shop. Always I found Mr. Guppy there, with a necktie much too smart for the rest of his clothes, and a bundle of documents tied with red tape. Jobling and young Smallweed sometimes stopt to talk with him. The doors of the crowded court-rooms opened now and then, and gentlemen in gowns and horsehair wigs came out to speak with clients who waited under the arches....
The climax of "Bleak House" is the pursuit of Lady Dedlock, and the finding of the fugitive, cold and dead, with one arm around a rail of the dark little graveyard where they buried the law-copyist, "Nemo," and where poor Jo, the crossing-sweeper, came at night and swept the stones as his last tribute to the friend who "was very good" to him. There are three striking descriptions of this place in the novel. "A hemmed-in churchyard, pestiferous and obscene--a beastly scrap of ground which a Turk would reject as a savage abomination, and a Kafir would shudder at. With houses looking on, on every side, save where a reeking little tunnel of a court gives access to the iron gate--with every villainy of life in action close on death, and every poisonous element of death in action close on life; here they lower our dear brother down a foot or two; here sow him in corruption to be raised in corruption; an avenging ghost at many a sick-bedside; a shameful testimony to future ages how civilization and barbarism walked this boastful island together."
The exact situation of the graveyard is not defined in the novel; but it was evidently near Lincoln's Inn, and Mr. Winter told us, in one of his delightful London letters, that it was also near Drury Lane. So strangely hidden away is it among close and dirty houses that it was only after three long searches through all the courts thereabouts that I found the "reeking little tunnel," and twice I passed the entrance without observing it. Opening out of Drury Lane, at the back and side of the theater, is a network of narrow, flagged passages built up with tall houses. There are rag and waste-paper shops in this retreat, two or three dreadful little greengrocers' stalls, a pawnbroker's, a surprizing number of cobblers, and in the core of the place, where the alley widens into the semblance of a dwarfed court, a nest of dealers in theatrical finery, dancing-shoes, pasteboard rounds of beef and cutlets, stage armor, and second-hand play-books. Between Marquis Court on the one hand, Russell Court on the other, and a miserable alley called Cross Court which connects them, is what appears at first sight to be a solid block of tenements. The graveyard is in the very heart of this populous block. The door of one of the houses stood open, and through a barred staircase window at the back of the entry I caught a glimpse of a patch of grass--a sight so strange in this part of London that I went around to the other side of the block to examine further.
There I found the "reeking little tunnel." It is merely a stone-paved passage about four feet wide through the ground floor of a tenement. House doors open into it. A lamp hangs over the entrance. A rusty iron gate closes it at the farther end. Here is the "pestiferous and obscene churchyard," completely hemmed in by the habitations of the living. Few of the graves are marked, and most of the tombstones remaining are set up on end against the walls of the houses. Perhaps a church stood there once, but there is none now. The burials are no longer permitted in this hideous spot, the people of the block, when they shut their doors at night, shut the dead in with them. The dishonoring of the old graves goes on briskly. Inside the gate lay various rubbish--a woman's boot, a broken coal scuttle, the foot of a tin candlestick, fragments of paper, sticks, bones, straw--unmentionable abominations; and over the dismal scene a reeking, smoke-laden fog spread darkness and moisture.
THE TEMPLE CHURCH [Footnote: From "Walks in London."]
BY AUGUSTUS J.C. HARE
By Inner Temple Lane we reach the only existing relic of the residence of the Knights Templars in these courts, their magnificent Temple Church (St Mary's), which fortunately just escaped the Great Fire in which most of the Inner Temple perished. The church was restored in 1839-42 at an expense of £70,000, but it has been ill-done, and with great disregard of the historic memorials it contained.
It is entered by a grand Norman arch under the western porch, which will remind those who have traveled in France of the glorious door of Loches. This opens upon the Round Church of 1185 (fifty-eight feet in diameter), built in recollection of the Round Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the only four remaining round churches in England; the others being at Cambridge, Northampton, and Maplestead in Essex. Hence, between graceful groups of Purbeck marble columns, we look into the later church of 1240; these two churches, built only at a distance of fifty-five years from each other, forming one of the most interesting examples we possess of the transition from Norman to Early English architecture. The Round Church is surrounded by an arcade of narrow Early English arches, separated by a series of heads, which are chiefly restorations. On the pavement lie two groups of restored effigies of "associates" of the Temple (not Knights Templars), carved in freestone, being probably the "eight images of armed knights" mentioned by Stow in 1598....
Against the wall, behind the Marshalls, is the effigy of Robert Ros, Governor of Carlisle in the reign of John. He was one of the great Magna Charta barons, and married the daughter of a king of Scotland, but he was not a Templar, for he wears flowing hair, which is forbidden by the rites of the Order; at the close of his life, however, he took the Templars' habit as an associate, and was buried here in 1227. On the opposite side is a Purbeck marble sarcophagus, said to be that of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, but her effigy is at Fontevrault, where the monastic annals prove that she took the veil after the murder of Prince Arthur. Henry II. left five hundred marks by his will for his burial in the Temple Church, but was also buried at Fontevrault. Gough considers that the tomb here may be that of William Plantagenet, fifth son of Henry III., who died in infancy, and (according to Weaver) was buried in the Temple in 1256.
A staircase in the walls leads to the triforium of the Round Church, which is now filled with the tombs, foolishly removed from the chancel beneath. Worthy of especial notice is the colored kneeling effigy of Martin, Recorder of London, and Reader of the Middle Temple, 1615. Near this is the effigy--also colored and under a canopy--of Edmund Plowden, the famous jurist, of whom Lord Ellenborough said that "better authority could not be cited"; and referring to whom Fuller quaintly remarks: "How excellent a medley is made, when honesty and ability meet in a man of his profession!" There is also a monument to James Howell (1594-1666), whose entertaining letters, chiefly written from the Fleet, give many curious particulars relating to the reigns of James I. and Charles I.... The church (eight-two feet long, fifty-eight wide, thirty-seven high), begun in 1185 and finished in 1240, is one of our most beautiful existing specimens of Early English Pointed architecture: "the roof springing, as it were, in a harmonious and accordant fountain, out of the clustered pillars that support its pinioned arches; and these pillars, immense as they are, polished like so many gems." [Footnote: Hawthorne.] In the ornaments of the ceiling the banner of the Templars is frequently repeated--black and white, "because," says Fawyne, "the Templars showed themselves wholly white and fair toward the Christians, but black and terrible to them that were miscreants." The letters "Beausean" are for "Beauseant," their war cry.
In a dark hole to the left of the altar is the white marble monument of John Selden, 1654, called by Milton "the chief of learned men reputed in this land." The endless stream of volumes which he poured forth were filled with research and discrimination. Of these, his work "On the Law of Nature and of Nations" is described by Hallam as among the greatest achievements in erudition that any English writer has performed, but he is perhaps best known by his "Table Talk," of which Coleridge says, "There is more weighty bullion sense in this book than I ever found in the same number of pages of any uninspired writer."...
On the right of the choir, near a handsome marble piscina, is the effigy of a bishop, usually shown as that of Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, by whom the church was consecrated, but he left England in a fury, after Henry II. refused to perform his vow of joining the Crusades in person, to atone for the murder of Becket. The figure more probably represents Silverston de Eversdon, Bishop of Carlisle, 1255. In the vestry are monuments to Lords Eldon and Stowell, and that of Lord Thurlow (1806) by Rossi.
The organ, by Father Smydt or Smith, is famous from the long competition it underwent with one by Harris. Both were temporarily erected in the church. Blow and Purcell were employed to perform on that of Smith; Battista Draghi, organist to Queen Catherine, on that of Harris. Immense audiences came to listen, but tho the contest lasted a year they could arrive at no decision. Finally, it was left to Judge Jefferies of the Inner Temple, who was a great musician, and who chose that of Smith.
LAMBETH--CHURCH AND PALACE [Footnote: From "Walks in London."]
BY AUGUSTUS J.C. HARE
The Church of St. Mary, Lambeth, was formerly one of the most interesting churches in London, being, next to Canterbury Cathedral, the great burial place of its archbishops, but falling under the ruthless hand of "restorers" it was rebuilt (except its tower of 1377) in 1851-52 by Hardwick, and its interest has been totally destroyed, its monuments huddled away anywhere, for the most part close under the roof, where their inscriptions are of course wholly illegible!...
Almost the only interesting feature retained in this cruelly abused building is the figure of a pedler with his pack and dog (on the third window of the north aisle) who left "Pedlar's Acre" to the parish, on condition of his figure being always preserved on one of the church windows. The figure was existing here as early as 1608.
In the churchyard, at the east end of the church, is an altar tomb, with the angles sculptured like trees, spreading over a strange confusion of obelisks, pyramids, crocodiles, shells, etc., and, at one end, a hydra. It is the monument of John Tradescant (1638) and his son, two of the earliest British naturalists. The elder was so enthusiastic a botanist that he joined an expedition against Algerine corsairs on purpose to get a new apricot from the African coast, which was thenceforth known as "the Algier Apricot." His quaint medley of curiosities, known in his own time as "Tradeskin's Ark," was afterward incorporated with the Ashmolean Museum....
"Lambeth, envy of each band and gown," has been for more than 700 years the residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, tho the site of the present palace was only obtained by Archbishop Baldwin in 1197, when he exchanged some lands in Kent for it with Glanville, Bishop of Rochester, to whose see it had been granted by the Countess Goda, sister of the Confessor. The former proprietorship of the Bishops of Rochester is still commemorated in Rochester Row, Lambeth, on the site of a house which was retained when the exchange was made, for their use when they came to attend Parliament. The Palace is full of beauty in itself and intensely interesting from its associations. It is approached by a noble Gateway of red brick with stone dressings, built by Cardinal Moreton in 1490. It is here that the poor of Lambeth have received "the Archbishops' Dole" for hundreds of years. In ancient times a farthing loaf was given twice a week to 4,000 people.
Adjoining the Porter's Lodge is a room evidently once used as a prison. On passing the gate we are in the outer court, at the end of which rises the picturesque Lollards' Tower, built by Archbishop Chicheley, 1434-45; on the right is the Hall. A second gateway leads to the inner court, containing the modern (Tudor) palace, built by Archbishop Howley (1828-48), who spent the whole of his private fortune upon it rather than let Blore the architect be ruined by exceeding his contract to the amount of £30,000. On the left, between the buttresses of the hall, are the descendants of some famous fig trees planted by Cardinal Pole.
The Hall was built by Archbishop Juxon in the reign of Charles II., on the site of the hall built by Archbishop Boniface (1244), which was pulled down by Scot and Hardyng, the regicides, who purchased the palace when it was sold under the Commonwealth. Juxon's arms and the date 1663 are over the door leading to the palace. The stained window opposite contains the arms of many of the archbishops, and a portrait of Archbishop Chicheley. Archbishop Bancroft, whose arms appear at the east end, turned the hall into a Library, and the collection of books which it contains has been enlarged by his successors, especially by Archbishop Seeker, whose arms appear at the west end, and who bequeathed his library to Lambeth. Upon the death of Laud, the books were saved from dispersion through being claimed by the University of Cambridge, under the will of Bancroft, which provided that they should go to the University if alienated from the see; they were restored by Cambridge to Archbishop Sheldon. The library contains a number of valuable MSS., the greatest treasure being a copy of Lord Rivers's translation of the "Diets and Sayings of the Philosophers," with an illumination of the Earl presenting Caxton on his knees to Edward IV. Beside the King stand Elizabeth Woodville and her eldest son, and this, the only known portrait of Edward V., is engraved by Vertue in his Kings of England.
A glass case contains: The Four Gospels in Irish, a volume which belonged to King Athelstan, and was given by him to the city of Canterbury; a copy of the Koran written by Sultan Allaruddeen Siljuky in the fifteenth century, taken in the Library of Tippoo Saib at Seringapatam; the Lumley Chronicle of St. Alban's Abbey; Queen Elizabeth's Prayer-Book, with illuminations from Holbein's Dance of Death destroyed in Old St. Paul's; an illuminated copy of the Apocalypse, of the thirteenth century; the Mazarine Testament, fifteenth century; and the rosary of Cardinal Pole.
A staircase lined with portraits of the Walpole family, leads from the Library to the Guard Room, now the Dining-Hall. It is surrounded by an interesting series of portraits of the archbishops from the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Through the paneled room, called Cranmer's Parlor, we enter the Chapel, which stands upon a Crypt supposed to belong to the manor-house built by Archbishop Herbert Fitzwalter, about 1190. Its pillars have been buried nearly up to their capitals, to prevent the rising of the river tides within its wall. The chapel itself, tho greatly modernized, is older than any other part of the palace, having been built by Archbishop Boniface, 1244-70. Its lancet windows were found by Laud--"shameful to look at, all diversely patched like a poor beggar's coat," and he filled them with stained glass, which he proved that he collected from ancient existing fragments, tho his insertion of "Popish images and pictures made by their like in a mass book" was one of the articles in the impeachment against him. The glass collected by Laud was entirely smashed by the Puritans: the present windows were put in by Archbishop Howley. In this chapel most of the archbishops have been consecrated since the time of Boniface....
Here Archbishop Parker erected his tomb in his lifetime "by the spot where he used to pray," and here he was buried, but his tomb was broken up, with every insult that could be shown, by Scot, one of the Puritan possessors of Lambeth, while the other, Hardyng, not to be outdone, exhumed the Archbishop's body, sold its leaden coffin, and buried it in a dunghill. His remains were found by Sir William Dugdale at the Restoration, and honorably reinterred in front of the altar, with the epitaph, "Corpus Matthaei Archiepiscopi tandem hic quiescit." His tomb, in the ante-chapel, was re-erected by Archbishop Sancroft, but the brass inscription which encircled it is gone.
The screen, erected by Laud, was suffered to survive the Commonwealth. At the west end of the chapel, high on the wall, projects a Gothic confessional, erected by Archbishop Chicheley. It was formerly approached by seven steps. The beautiful western door of the chapel opens into the curious Post Room, which takes its name from the central wooden pillar, supposed to have been used as a whipping-post for the Lollards. The ornamented flat ceiling which we see here is extremely rare. The door at the northeast corner, by which the Lollards were brought in, was walled up, about 1874.
Hence we ascend the Lollard's [Footnote: The name Lollard was used as a term of reproach for the followers of Wyclif. Formerly derived from Peter Lollard, a Waldensian pastor of the thirteenth century, more recently from the Middle Dutch "lollen," to hum.] Tower, built by Chicheley--the lower story of which is now given up by the Archbishop for the use of Bishops who have no fixt residence in London. The winding staircase, of rude slabs of unplaned oak, on which the bark in many cases remains, is of Chicheley's time. In a room at the top is a trap-door, through which as the tide rose prisoners, secretly condemned, could be let down unseen into the river. Hard by is the famous Lollard's Prison (13 feet long, 12 broad, 8 high), boarded all over walls, ceiling, and floor. The rough-hewn boards bear many fragments of inscriptions which show that others besides Lollards were immured here. Some of them, especially his motto "Nosce te ipsum," are attributed to Cranmer. The most legible inscription is "IHS cyppe me out of all al compane. Amen." Other boards bear the notches cut by prisoners to mark the lapse of time. The eight rings remain to which the prisoners were secured: one feels that his companions must have envied the one by the window. Above some of the rings the boards are burned with the hot-iron used in torture. The door has a wooden lock, and is fastened by the wooden pegs which preceded the use of nails; it is a relic of Archbishop Sudbury's palace facing the river, which was pulled down by Chicheley. From the roof of the chapel there is a noble view up the river, with the quaint tourelle of the Lollard's Tower in the foreground.
The gardens of Lambeth are vast and delightful. Their terrace is called "Clarendon's Walk" from a conference which there took place between Laud and the Earl of Clarendon. The "summer-house of exquisite workmanship," built by Cranmer, has disappeared. A picturesque view may be obtained of Cranmer's Tower, with the Chapel and the Lollard's Tower behind it.
DICKENS'S LIMEHOUSE HOLE [Footnote A: From "A Pickwickian Pilgrimage." The persons mentioned in Mr. Hassard's account of Limehouse Hole will be recognized as characters in the novels of Charles Dickens. By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1881.]
BY JOHN R.G. HASSARD
I took a steamboat one day at Westminster Bridge, and after a voyage of 40 minutes or so landed near Limehouse Hole, and followed the river streets both east and west. It was easy enough to trace the course of Mortimer Lightwood and Eugene Wrayburn, as they walked under the guidance of Riderhood through the stormy night from their rooms in The Temple, four miles away, past the Tower and the London Docks, and down by the slippery water's edge to Limehouse Hole, when they went to cause Gaffer Hexam's arrest, and found him drowned, tied to his own boat. The strictly commercial aspect of the Docks--the London Docks above and the West India Docks below--shades off by slight degrees into the black misery of the hole. The warehouses are succeeded by boat-builders' sheds; by private wharves, where ships, all hidden, as to their hulls, behind walls and close fences, thrust unexpected bowsprits over the narrow roadway; by lime-yards; by the shops of marine store-dealers and purveyors to all the wants and follies of seamen; and then by a variety of strange establishments which it would be hard to classify.
Close by a yard piled up with crates and barrels of second-hand bottles, was a large brick warehouse devoted to the purchase and sale of broken glass. A wagon loaded with that commodity stood before the door, and men with scoop-shovels were transferring the glass into barrels. An enclosure of one or two acres, in an out-of-the-way street, might have been the original of the dust-yard that contained Boffin's Bower, except that Boffin's Bower was several miles distant, on the northern outskirt of London. A string of carts, full of miscellaneous street and house rubbish, all called here by the general name of "dust," were waiting their turn to discharge. There was a mountain of this refuse at the end of the yard; and a party of laborers, more or less impeded by two very active black hogs, were sifting and sorting it. Other mounds, formed from the sittings of the first, were visible at the sides. There were huge accumulations of broken crockery and of scraps of tin and other metal, and of bones. There was a quantity of stable-manure and old straw, and a heap, as large as a two-story cottage, of old hoops stript from casks and packing-cases. I never understood, until I looked into this yard, how there could have been so much value in the dust-mounds at Boffin's Bower.
Gradually the streets became narrower, wetter, dirtier, and poorer. Hideous little alleys led down to the water's edge where the high tide splashed over the stone steps. I turned into several of them, and I always found two or three muddy men lounging at the bottom; often a foul and furtive boat crept across the field of view. The character of the shops became more and more difficult to define. Here a window displayed a heap of sailor's thimbles and pack-thread; there another set forth an array of trumpery glass vases or a basket of stale fruit, pretexts, perhaps, for the disguise of a "leaving shop," or unlicensed pawnbroker's establishment, out of which I expected to see Miss Pleasant Riderhood come forth, twisting up her back hair as she came. At a place where the houses ceased, and an open space left free a prospect of the black and bad-smelling river, there was an old factory, disused and ruined, like the ancient mill in which Gaffer Hexam made his home, and Lizzie told the fortunes of her brother in the hollow by the fire.
I turned down a muddy alley, where 12 or 15 placards headed "Body Found," were pasted against the wall. They were printed forms, filled in with a pen. Mr. Forster tells us in his life of Dickens that it was the sight of bills of this sort which gave the first suggestion of "Our Mutual Friend." At the end of the alley was a neat brick police-station; stairs led to the water, and several trim boats were moored there. Within the station I could see an officer quietly busy at his desk, as if he had been sitting there ever since Dickens described "the Night Inspector, with a pen and ink ruler, posting up his books in a whitewashed office as studiously as if he were in a monastery on the top of a mountain, and no howling fury of a drunken woman were banging herself against a cell-door in the back yard at his elbow." A handsome young fellow in uniform, who looked like a cross between a sailor and a constable, came out and asked very civilly if he could be of use to me. "Do you know," said I, "where the station was that Dickens describes in 'Our Mutual Friend'?"
"Oh, yes, sir! this is the very spot. It was the old building that stood just here: this is a new one, but it has been put up in the same place."
"Mr. Dickens often went out with your men in the boat, didn't he?"
"Yes, sir, many a night in the old times."
"Do you know the tavern which is described in the same book by the name of The Six Jolly Fellowship Porters?"
"No, sir, I don't know it; at least not by that name. It may have been pulled down, for a lot of warehouses have been built along here, and the place is very much changed; or it may be one of those below."
Of course, I chose to think that it must be "one of those below." I kept on a little farther, by the crooked river lanes, where public houses were as plentiful as if the entire population suffered from a raging and inextinguishable thirst for beer. The sign-boards displayed a preference for the plural which seems not to have escaped the observation of the novelist. If I did not see The Six Porters, I came across The Three Mariners, The Three Cups, The Three Suns, The Three Tuns, The Three Foxes, and the Two Brewers; and in the last I hope that I found the original of the tavern so often mentioned in the story.
I had first noticed it from the steamboat--"a narrow, lop-sided wooden jumble of corpulent windows heaped one upon another as you might heap as many toppling oranges, with a crazy wooden veranda impending over the water,"--a tavern of dropsical appearance, which had not a straight floor in its whole constitution, and hardly a straight line. I got at the entrance on the land side after a search among puzzling alleys, and there I found still stronger reminders of "Our Mutual Friend." Stuck against the wall was an array of old and new hand-bills, headed, "Drowned," and offering rewards for the recovery of bodies. The value set upon dead persons in Limehouse Hole is not excessive: the customary recompense for finding them seems to be ten shillings, and in only one instance did the price reach the dazzling amount of one pound.
By the side of the house is an approach to the river: most of the buildings near are old and irregular, and at low tide a great deal of the shore must be exposed. Going upon the slippery stones, beside which lay a few idle and rickety boats, I found the expected range of windows with "red curtains matching the noses of the regular customers." I looked in at the door. A long passage opened a vista of pleasant bar-parlor, or whatever it may have been, on the river-side; and, perhaps, I should have seen Miss Abbey Potterson if I had gone to the end. Several water-side characters were drinking beer at the lead-covered counter, waited upon by a sharp young woman, who seems to have replaced Bob Gliddery. Instead of the little room called "Cozy," where the Police Inspector drank burned sherry with Lightwood and Wrayburn, there was an apartment labelled "The Club." A party of "regular customers," all evidently connected with water (or mud), sat around a table: beyond question they were Tootle, and Mullins, and Bob Glamour, and Captain Joey; and at ten o'clock Miss Abbey would issue from the bar-parlor, and send them home. If The Jolly Fellowship Porters is still extant, this must be it.
WHITEHALL [Footnote: From "Walks in London."]
BY AUGUSTUS J.C. HARE
The present Banqueting-House of Whitehall was begun by Inigo Jones, and completed in 1622, forming only the central portion of one wing in his immense design for a new palace, which, if completed, would have been the finest in the world. The masonry is by a master-mason, Nicholas Stone, several of whose works we have seen in other parts of London. "Little did James think that he was raising a pile from which his son was to step from the throne to a scaffold." The plan of Inigo Jones would have covered 24 acres, and one may best judge of its intended size by comparison with other buildings. Hampton Court covers 8 acres; St. James's Palace, 4 acres; Buckingham Palace, 2-1/2 acres. It would have been as large as Versailles, and larger than the Louvre. Inigo Jones received only 8s. 4d. a day while he was employed at Whitehall, and £46 per annum for house-rent. The huge palace always remained unfinished.
Whitehall attained its greatest splendor in the reign of Charles I. The mask of Comus was one of the plays acted here before the king; but Charles was so afraid of the pictures in the Banqueting-House being injured by the number of wax lights which were used, that he built for the purpose a boarded room called the "King's Masking-House," afterward destroyed by the Parliament. The gallery toward Privy Garden was used for the king's collection of pictures, afterward either sold or burned. The Banqueting-House was the scene of hospitalities almost boundless.
The different accounts of Charles I.'s execution introduce us to several names of the rooms in the old palace. We are able to follow him through the whole of the last scenes of the 30th of January, 1648. When he arrived, having walked from St. James's, "the King went up the stairs leading to the Long Gallery" of Henry VIII, and so to the west side of the palace. In the "Horn Chamber" he was given up to the officers who held the warrant for his execution. Then he passed on to the "Cabinet Chamber," looking upon Privy Garden. Here, the scaffold not being ready, he prayed and conversed with Bishop Juxon, ate some bread, and drank some claret. Several of the Puritan clergy knocked at the door and offered to pray with him, but he said that they had prayed against him too often for him to wish to pray with them in his last moments. Meanwhile, in a small distant room, Cromwell was signing the order to the executioner, and workmen were employed in breaking a passage through the west wall of the Banqueting House, that the warrant for the execution might be carried out which ordained it to be held "in the open street before Whitehall."....
Almost from the time of Charles's execution Cromwell occupied rooms in the Cockpit, where the Treasury is now, but soon after he was installed "Lord Protector of the Commonwealth" (December 16, 1653), he took up his abode in the royal apartments, with his "Lady Protectress" and his family. Cromwell's puritanical tastes did not make him averse to the luxury he found there, and, when Evelyn visited Whitehall after a long interval in 1656, he found it "very glorious and well furnished." But the Protectress could not give up her habits of nimble housewifery, and "employed a surveyor to make her some little labyrinths and trap-stairs, by which she might, at all times, unseen, pass to and fro, and come unawares upon her servants, and keep them vigilant in their places and honest in the discharge thereof." With Cromwell in Whitehall lived Milton, as his Latin Secretary. Here the Protector's daughters, Mrs. Rich and Mrs. Claypole, were married, and here Oliver Cromwell died (September 3, 1658) while a great storm was raging which tore up the finest elms in the Park, and hurled them to the ground, beneath the northern windows of the palace.
In the words of Hume, Cromwell upon his deathbed "assumed more the character of a mediator, interceding for his people, than that of a criminal, whose atrocious violation of social duty had, from every tribunal, human and divine, merited the severest vengeance." Having inquired of Godwin, the divine who attended him, whether a person who had once been in a state of grace could afterward be damned, and being assured it was impossible, he said, "Then I am safe, for I am sure that I was once in a state of grace." Richard Cromwell continued to reside in Whitehall till his resignation of the Protectorate.
On his birthday, the 29th of May, 1660, Charles II returned to Whitehall. The vast labyrinthine chambers of the palace were soon filled to overflowing by his crowded court. The queen's rooms were facing the river to the east of the Water Gate. Prince Rupert had rooms in the Stone Gallery, which ran along the south side of Privy Gardens, beyond the main buildings of the palace, and beneath him were the apartments of the king's mistresses, Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine, afterward Duchess of Cleveland, and Louise de Querouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth. The rooms of the latter, who first came to England with Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, to entice Charles II into an alliance with Louis XIV., and whose "childish, simple, baby-face" is described by Evelyn, were three times rebuilt to please her, having "ten times the richness and glory" of the queen's. Nell Gwynne did not live in the palace, tho she was one of Queen Catherine's Maids of Honor!
Charles died in Whitehall on February 6, 1684. With his successor the character of the palace changed. James II, who continued to make it his principal residence, established a Roman Catholic chapel there.
It was from Whitehall that Queen Mary Beatrice made her escape on the night of December 9, 1688. The adventure was confided to the Count de Lauzun and his friend M. de St. Victor, a gentleman of Avignon. The queen on that terrible evening entreated vainly to be allowed to remain and share the perils of her husband; he assured her that it was absolutely necessary that she should precede him, and that he would follow her in twenty-four hours. The king and queen went to bed as usual to avoid suspicion, but rose soon after, when the queen put on a disguise provided by St. Victor. The royal pair then descended to the rooms of Madame de Labadie, where they found Lauzun, with the infant Prince James and his two nurses. The king, turning-to Lauzun, said, "I confide my queen and my son to your care: all must be hazarded to convey them with the utmost speed to France." Lauzun then gave his hand to the queen to lead her away, and, followed by the two nurses with the child, they crossed the Great Gallery, and descended by a back staircase and a postern gate to Privy Gardens. At the garden gate a coach was waiting, the queen entered with Lauzun, the nurses, and her child, who slept the whole time, St. Victor mounted by the coachman, and they drove to the "Horse Ferry" at Westminster, where a boat was waiting in which they crossed to Lambeth.
On the 11th the Dutch troops had entered London, and James, having commanded the gallant Lord Craven, who was prepared to defend the palace to the utmost, to draw off the guard which he commanded, escaped himself in a boat from the water-entrance of the palace at three o'clock in the morning. At Feversham his flight was arrested, and he returned amid bonfires, bell-ringing, and every symptom of joy from the fickle populace. Once more he slept in Whitehall, but in the middle of the night was aroused by order of his son-in-law, and hurried forcibly down the river to Rochester, whence, on December 23, he escaped to France. On the 25th of November the Princess Anne had declared against her unfortunate father, by absconding at night by a back staircase from her lodgings in the Cockpit, as the northwestern angle of the palace was called, which looked on St. James's Park. Compton, Bishop of London, was waiting for her with a hackney coach, and she fled to his house in Aldersgate Street. Mary II arrived in the middle of February, and "came into Whitehall, jolly as to a wedding, seeming quite transported with joy."
But the glories of Whitehall were now over. William III., occupied with his buildings at Hampton Court and Kensington, never cared to live there, and Mary doubtless stayed there as little as possible, feeling opprest by the recollections of her youth spent there with an indulgent father whom she had cruelly wronged, and a stepmother whom she had once loved with sisterly as well as filial affection, and from whom she had parted with passionate grief on her marriage, only nine years before. The Stone Gallery and the late apartments of the royal mistresses in Whitehall were burned down in 1691, and the whole edifice was almost totally destroyed by fire through the negligence of a Dutch maidservant in 1697.
The principal remaining fragment of the palace is the Banqueting-House of Inigo Jones, from which Charles I. passed to execution. Built in the dawn of the style of Wren, it is one of the most grandiose examples of that style, and is perfect alike in symmetry and proportion. That it has no entrance apparent at first sight is due to the fact that it was only intended as a portion of a larger building. In the same way we must remember that the appearance of two stories externally, while the whole is one room, is due to the Banqueting-House being only one of four intended blocks, of which one was to be a chapel surrounded by galleries, and the other two divided into two tiers of apartments. The Banqueting-House was turned into a ehapel by George I., but has never been consecrated, and the aspect of a hall is retained by the ugly false red curtains which surround the interior of the building. It is called the Chapel Royal of Whitehall, is served by the chaplains of the sovereign, and is one of the dreariest places of worship in London. The ceiling is still decorated with canvas pictures by Rubens (1635) representing the apotheosis of James I. The painter received £3,000 for these works. The walls were to have been painted by Vandyke with the History of the Order of the Garter. "What," says Walpole, "had the Banqueting-House been if completed?" Over the entrance is a bronze bust of James I. attributed to Le Soeur.
THE TOWER [Footnote: From "Her Majesty's Tower."]
BY W. HEPWORTH DIXON
Half-a-mile below London Bridge, on ground which was once a bluff, commanding the Thames from St. Saviour's Creek to St. Olave's Wharf, stands the Tower; a mass of ramparts, walls, and gates, the most ancient and most poetic pile in Europe.... The Tower has an attraction for us akin to that of the house in which we were born, the school in which we were trained. Go where we may, that grim old edifice on the Pool goes with us; a part of all we know, and of all we are. Put seas between us and the Thames, this Tower will cling to us, like a thing of life. It colors Shakespeare's page. It casts a momentary gloom over Bacon's story. Many of our books were written in its vaults; the Duke of Orleans's "Poesies," Raleigh's "Historie of the World," Eliot's "Monarchy of Man," and Penn's "No Cross, No Crown."
Even as to length of days, the Tower has no rival among places and prisons, its origin, like that of the Iliad, that of the Sphinx, that of the Newton Stone, being lost in the nebulous ages, long before our definite history took shape. Old writers date it from the days of Caesar; a legend taken up by Shakespeare and the poets in favor of which the name of Caesar's tower remains in popular use to this very day. A Roman wall can even yet be traced near some parts of the ditch. The Tower is mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle in a way not incompatible with the fact of a Saxon stronghold having stood upon this spot. The buildings as we have them now in block and plan were commenced by William the Conqueror; and the series of apartments in Caesar's tower--hall, gallery, council-chamber, chapel--were built in the early Norman reigns, and used as a royal residence by all our Norman kings. What can Europe show to compare against such a tale?
Set against the Tower of London--with its 800 years of historic life, its 1,900 prisons of traditional fame--all other palaces and prisons appear like things of an hour. The oldest bit of palace in Europe, that of the west front of the Burg in Vienna, is of the time of Henry the Third. The Kremlin in Moscow, the Doge's Palazzo in Venice, are of the fourteenth century. The Seraglio in Stamboul was built by Mohammed the Second. The oldest part of the Vatican was commenced by Borgia, whose name it bears. The old Louvre was commenced in the reign of Henry the Eighth; the Tuilleries in that of Elizabeth. In the time of our civil war Versailles was yet a swamp. Sans Souci and the Escurial belong to the eighteenth century. The Serail of Jerusalem is a Turkish edifice. The palaces of Athens, of Cairo, of Teheran, are all of modern date.
Neither can the prisons which remain in fact as well as in history and drama--with the one exception of St. Angelo in Rome--compare with the Tower. The Bastile is gone; the Bargello has become a museum; the Piombi are removed from the Doge's roof. Vincennes, Spandau, Spilberg, Magdeburg, are all modern in comparison with a jail from which Ralph Flambard escaped so long ago in the year 1100, the date of the First Crusade.
Standing on Tower Hill, looking down on the dark lines of wall--picking out keep and turret, bastion and ballium, chapel and belfry--the jewel-house, armory, the mounts, the casemates, the open leads, the Bye-ward-gate, the Belfry, the Bloody tower--the whole edifice seems alive with story--the story of a nation's highest splendor, its deepest misery, and its darkest shame. The soil beneath your feet is richer in blood than many a great battle-field; for out upon this sod has been poured, from generation to generation, a stream of the noblest life in our land.
Should you have come to this spot alone, in the early days when the Tower is noisy with martial doings, you may haply catch in the hum which rises from the ditch and issues from the wall below you--broken by roll of drum, by blast of bugle, by tramp of soldiers--some echoes, as it were, of a far-off time, some hints of a Mayday revel, of a state execution, of a royal entry. You may catch some sound which recalls the thrum of a queen's virginal, the cry of a victim on the rack, the laughter of a bridal feast. For all these sights and sounds--the dance of love and the dance of death--are part of that gay and tragic memory which clings around the Tower.
From the reign of Stephen down to that of Henry of Richmond, Caesar's tower (the great Norman keep, now called the White Tower), was a main part of the royal palace; and for that large interval of time the story of the White Tower is in some part that of our English society as well as of our English kings. Here were kept the royal wardrobe and the royal jewels; and hither came with their goody wares the tiremen, the goldsmiths, the chasers and embroiderers, from Flanders, Italy, and Almaigne. Close by were the Mint, the lion's den, the old archery-grounds, the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Queen's gardens, the royal banqueting-hall, so that art and trade, science and manners, literature and law, sport and politics, find themselves equally at home.
Two great architects designed the main parts of the Tower: Gundulf the Weeper and Henry the Builder; one a poor Norman monk, the other a great English king.
Gundulf, a Benedictine friar, had, for that age, seen a great deal of the world; for he had not only lived in Rouen and Caen, but had traveled in the East. Familiar with the glories of Saracenic art, no less than with the Norman simplicities of Bec, St. Ouen, and St. Etienne, a pupil of Lanfranc, a friend of Anselm, he had been employed in the monastery of Bec to marshal with the eye of an artist all the pictorial ceremonies of his church. But he was chiefly known in that convent as a weeper. No monk at Bec could cry so often and so much as Gundulf. He could weep with those who wept, nay, he could weep with those who sported, for his tears welled forth from what seemed to be an unfailing source.
As the price of his exile from Bec, Gundulf received the crozier of Rochester, in which city he rebuilt the cathedral and perhaps designed the castle, since the great keep on the Medway has a sister's likeness to the great keep on the Thames. His works in London were the White Tower, the first St. Peter's Church, and the old barbican, afterward known as the Hall Tower, and now used as the Jewel House.
The cost of these works was great; the discontent caused by them was sore. Ralph, Bishop of Durham, the able and rapacious minister who had to raise the money, was hated and reviled by the Commons with peculiar bitterness of heart and phrase. He was called Flambard, or Firebrand. He was represented as a devouring lion. Still the great edifice grew up, and Gundulf, who lived to the age of fourscore, saw his great keep completed from basement to battlement.
Henry the Third, a prince of epical fancies as Corffe, Conway, Beaumaris and many other fine poems in stone attest, not only spent much of his money in adding to its beauty and strength, ... but was his own chief clerk of the works. The Water Gate, the embanked wharf, the Cradle Tower, the Lantern, which he made his bedroom and private closet, the Galleyman Tower, and the first wall appear to have been his gifts. But the prince who did so much for Westminster Abbey, not content with giving stone and piles to the home in which he dwelt, enriched the chambers with frescoes and sculptures, the chapels with carving and glass, making St. John's Chapel in the White Tower splendid with saints, St. Peter's Church on the Tower Green musical with bells. In the Hall Tower, from which a passage led through the Great Hall into the King's bedroom in the Lantern, he built a tiny chapel for his private use--a chapel which served for the devotions of his successors until Henry the Sixth was stabbed to death before the cross. Sparing neither skill nor gold to make the great fortress worthy of his art, he sent to Purbeck for marble and to Caen for stone. The dabs of lime, the spawls of flint, the layers of brick which deface the walls and towers in too many places are of either earlier or later times. The marble shafts, the noble groins, the delicate traceries, are Henry's work. Traitor's Gate was built by him. In short, nearly all that is purest in art is traceable to his reign.
Edward the First may be added, at a distance, to the list of builders. In his reign the original Church of St. Peter's fell into ruin; the wrecks were carted away, and the present edifice was built. The bill of costs for clearing the ground is still extant in Fetter Lane. Twelve men, who were paid twopence a day wages, were employed on the work for twenty days. The cost of pulling down the old chapel was forty-six shillings and eight pence; that of digging foundations for the new chapel forty shillings. That chapel has suffered from wardens and lieutenants; yet the shell is of very fine Norman work.
From the days of Henry the builder down to those of Henry of Richmond the Tower, as the strongest place in the south of England, was by turns the magnificent home and the miserable jail of all our princes. Here Richard the Second held his court and gave up his crown. Here Henry the Sixth was murdered. Here the Duke of Clarence was drowned in wine. Here King Edward and the Duke of York was slain by command of Richard. Here Margaret of Salisbury suffered her tragic fate.
Henry of Richmond kept his royal state in the Tower, receiving his ambassadors, counting his angels, making presents to his bride, Elizabeth of York. Among other gifts to that lady on her nuptial day was a Royal Book of verse, composed by a prisoner in the keep.
ST. JAMES'S PALACE [Footnote: From "Walks in London."]
BY AUGUSTUS J.C. HARE
The picturesque old brick gateway of St. James's Palace still looks up St. James's Street, one of the most precious relics of the past in London, and enshrining the memory of a greater succession of historical events than any other domestic building in England, Windsor Castle not excepted. The site of the palace was occupied, even before the Conquest, by a hospital dedicated to St. James, for "fourteen maidens that were leprous." Henry VIII. obtained it by exchange, pensioned off the sisters, and converted the hospital into "a fair mansion and park," in the same year in which he was married to Anne Boleyn, who was commemorated here with him in love-knots, now almost obliterated, upon the side doors of the gateway, and in the letters "H.A." on the chimney-piece of the presence-chamber or tapestry room. Holbein is sometimes said to have been the king's architect here, as he was at Whitehall. Henry can seldom have lived here, but hither his daughter, Mary I., retired, after her husband Philip left England for Spain, and here she died, November 17, 1558.
James I., in 1610, settled St. James's on his eldest son, Prince Henry, who kept his court here for two years with great magnificence, having a salaried household of no less than two hundred and ninety-seven persons. Here he died in his nineteenth year, November 6, 1612. Upon his death, St. James's was given to his brother Charles, who frequently resided here after his accession to the throne, and here Henrietta Maria gave birth to Charles II., James II., and the Princess Elizabeth. In 1638 the palace was given as a refuge to the queen's mother, Marie de Medici, who lived here for three years, with a pension of £3,000 a month! Hither Charles I. was brought from Windsor as the prisoner of the Parliament, his usual attendants, with one exception, being debarred access to him, and being replaced by common soldiers, who sat smoking and drinking even in the royal bedchamber, never allowing him a moment's privacy, and hence he was taken in a sedan chair to his trial at Whitehall.
On the following day the king was led away from St. James's to the scaffold. His faithful friends, Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, the Duke of Hamilton, and Lord Capel were afterward imprisoned in the palace and suffered like their master.
Charles II., who was born at St. James's (May 29, 1630), resided at Whitehall, giving up the palace to his brother, the Duke of York (also born here, October 25, 1633), but reserving apartments for his mistress, the Duchess of Mazarin, who at one time resided there with a pension of £4,000 a year. Here Mary II. was born, April 30, 1662; and here she was married to William of Orange, at eleven at night, November 4, 1677. Here for many years the Duke and Duchess of York secluded themselves with their children, in mourning and sorrow, on the anniversary of his father's murder. Here also Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, died, March 31, 1671, asking, "What is truth?" of Blandford, Bishop of Worcester, who came to visit her.
In St. James's Palace also, James's second wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to her fifth child, Prince James Edward ("the Old Pretender") on June 10, 1688.
It was to St. James's that William III. came on his first arrival in England, and he frequently resided there afterward, dining in public, with the Duke of Schomberg seated at his right hand and a number of Dutch guests, but on no occasion was any English gentleman invited. In the latter part of William's reign the palace was given up to the Princess Anne, who had been born there February 6, 1665, and married there to Prince George of Denmark July 28, 1683. She was residing here when Bishop Burnet brought her the news of William's death and her own accession.
George I., on his arrival in England, came at once to St. James's. "This is a strange country," he remarked afterward; "the first morning after my arrival at St. James's I looked out of the window, and saw a park with walks, and a canal, which they told me were mine. The next day Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of my park, sent me a fine brace of carp out of my canal; and I was told I must give five guineas to Lord Chetwynd's servant for bringing me my own carp, out of my own canal, in my own park."
The Duchess of Kendal, the king's mistress, had rooms in the palace, and, toward the close of his reign, George I. assigned apartments there on the ground floor to a fresh favorite, Miss Anne Brett. When the king left for Hanover, Miss Brett had a door opened from her rooms to the royal gardens, which the king's granddaughter, Princess Anne, who was residing in the palace, indignantly ordered to be walled up. Miss Brett had it opened a second time, and the quarrel was at its height when the news of the king's death put an end to the power of his mistress. With the accession of George II. the Countesses of Yarmouth and Suffolk took possession of the apartments of the Duchess of Kendal. As Prince of Wales, George II. had resided in the palace till a smoldering quarrel with his father came to a crisis over the christening of one of the royal children, and the next day he was put under arrest, and ordered to leave St. James's with his family the same evening. Wilhelmina Caroline of Anspach, the beloved queen of George II., died in the palace, November 20, 1737, after an agonizing illness, endured with the utmost fortitude and consideration for all around her.
Of the daughters of George II. and Queen Caroline, Anne, the eldest, was married at St. James's to the Prince of Orange, November, 1733, urged to the alliance by her desire for power, and answering to her parents, when they reminded her of the hideous and ungainly appearance of the bridegroom, "I would marry him, even if he were a baboon!" The marriage, however, was a happy one, and a pleasant contrast to that of her younger sister Mary, the king's fourth daughter, who was married here to the brutal Frederick of Hesse Cassel, June 14, 1771. The third daughter, Caroline, died at St. James's, December 28, 1757, after a long seclusion consequent upon the death of John, Lord Harvey, to whom she was passionately attached.
George I. and George II. used, on certain days to play at Hazard at the grooms' postern at St. James's, and the name "Hells," as applied to modern gaming-houses is derived from that given to the gloomy room used by the royal gamblers.
The northern part of the palace, beyond the gateway (inhabited in the reign of Victoria by the Duchess of Cambridge), was built for the marriage of Frederick Prince of Wales.
The State Apartments (which those who frequent levees and drawing-rooms have abundant opportunities of surveying) are handsome, and contain a number of good royal portraits.
The Chapel Royal, on the right on entering the "Color Court," has a carved and painted ceiling of 1540. Madame d'Arblay describes the pertinacity of George III. in attending service here in bitter November weather, when the queen and court at length left the king, his chaplain, and equerry "to freeze it out together."...
When Queen Caroline (wife of George II.) asked Mr. Whiston what fault people had to find with her conduct, he replied that the fault they most complained of was her habit of talking in chapel. She promised amendment, but proceeding to ask what other faults were objected to her, he replied, "When your Majesty has amended this I'll tell you of the next."
It was in this chapel that the colors taken from James II. at the Battle of the Boyne were hung up by his daughter Mary, an unnatural exhibition of triumph which shocked the Londoners. Besides that of Queen Anne, a number of royal marriages have been solemnized here; those of the daughters of George II., of Frederick Prince of Wales to Augusta of Saxe Cobourg, of George IV. to Caroline of Brunswick, and of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert.
The Garden at the back of St. James's Palace has a private entrance to the Park. It was as he was alighting from his carriage here, August 2, 1786, that George III. was attacked with a knife by the insane Margaret Nicholson. "The bystanders were proceeding to wreak summary vengeance on the (would-be) assassin, when the King generously interfered in her behalf. 'The poor creature,' he exclaimed, 'is mad: do not hurt her; she has not hurt me.' He then stept forward and showed himself to the populace, assuring them that he was safe and uninjured."
LITERARY SHRINES OF LONDON [Footnote: From "Shakespeare's England." By arrangement with the publishers, Moffat, Yard & Co. Copyright by William Winter, 1878-1910.]
BY WILLIAM WINTER
The mind that can reverence historic associations needs no explanation of the charm that such associations possess. There are streets and houses in London which, for pilgrims of this class, are haunted with memories and hallowed with an imperishable light that not even the dreary commonness of everyday life can quench or dim. Almost every great author in English literature has here left some personal trace, some relic that brings you at once into his living presence. In the time of Shakespeare,--of whom it should be noted that, wherever found, he is found in elegant neighborhoods,--Aldersgate was a secluded, peaceful quarter of the town, and there the poet had his residence, convenient to the theater in Blackfriars, in which he owned a share. It is said that he dwelt at No. 134 Aldersgate Street (the house was long ago demolished), and in that region, amid all the din of traffic and all the discordant adjuncts of a new age, those who love him are in his company. Milton was born in a court adjacent to Bread Street, Cheapside, and the explorer comes upon him as a resident in St. Bride's churchyard,--where the poet Lovelace was buried,--and at No. 19 York Street, Westminster, in later times occupied by Jeremy Bentham and by William Hazlitt. When secretary to Cromwell he lived in Scotland Yard, now the headquarters of the London police. His last home was in Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields, but the visitor to that spot finds it covered by the Artillery barracks. Walking through King Street, Westminster, you will not forget the great poet Edmund Spenser, who, a victim to barbarity, died there, in destitution and grief. Ben Jonson's terse record of that calamity says: "The Irish having robbed Spenser's goods and burnt his house and a little child new-born, he and his wife escaped, and after he died, for lack of bread, in King Street." Ben Jonson is closely associated with places that can still be seen. He passed his boyhood near Charing Cross--having been born in Hartshorn Lane, now Northumberland Street; he attended the parish school of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields; and persons who roam about Lincoln's Inn will call to mind that he helped to build it--a trowel in one hand and a volume of Horace in the other. His residence, in his day of fame, was outside the Temple Bar, but all that neighborhood is new.
The Mermaid,--which Jonson frequented, in companionship with Shakespeare, Fletcher, Herrick, Chapman, and Donne,--was in Bread Street, but no trace of it remains, and a banking house stands now on the site of the old Devil Tavern, in Fleet Street, a room in which, called "The Apollo," was the trysting place of the club of which he was the founder. The famous inscription, "O, rare Ben Jonson!" is three times cut in the Abbey; once in Poets' Corner and twice in the north aisle, where he was buried,--a little slab in the pavement marking his grave. Dryden once dwelt in a quaint, narrow house, in Fetter Lane,--the street in which Dean Swift has placed the home of "Gulliver," and where the famous Doomsday Book was kept,--but, later, he removed to a liner dwelling, in Gerrard Street, Soho, which was the scene of his death. (The house in Fetter Lane was torn down in 1891.) Edmund Burke's house, also in Gerrard Street, is a beer-shop, but the memory of the great orator hallows the abode, and an inscription upon it proudly announces that here he lived. Dr. Johnson's house, in Gough Square, bears (or bore) a mural tablet, and standing at its time-worn threshold, the visitor needed no effort of fancy to picture that uncouth figure shambling through the crooked lanes that afford access to this queer, somber, melancholy retreat. In that house he wrote the first dictionary of the English language and the characteristic, memorable letter to Lord Chesterfield. The historical antiquarian society that has marked many of the literary shrines of London has rendered a signal service. The custom of marking the houses that are associated with renowned names is, obviously, a good one, because it provides instruction, and also because it tends to vitalize, in the general mind, a sense of the value of honorable repute: it ought, therefore, to be everywhere adopted and followed. A house associated with Sir Joshua Reynolds and a house associated with Hogaith, both in Leicester Square, and houses associated with Benjamin Franklin and Peter the Great, in Craven Street; Sheridan, in Savile Row; Campbell, in Duke Street; Carrick, in the Adelphi Terrace; Mrs. Siddons, in Baker Street, and Michael Faraday, in Blandford Street, are only a few of the notable places which have been thus designated. More of such commemorative work remains to be done, and, doubtless, will be accomplished. The traveler would like to know in which of the houses in Buckingham Street Coleridge lodged, while he was translating "Wallenstein"; which house in Bloomsbury Square was the residence of Akenside, when he wrote "The Pleasures of Imagination," and of Croly, when he wrote "Salathiel"; or where it was that Gray lived, when he established his residence in Russel Square, in order to be one of the first (as he continued to be one of the most constant) students at the then newly opened British Museum (1759).... These records, and such as these, may seem trivialities, but Nature has denied an unfailing source of innocent pleasure to the person who can feel no interest in them. For my part, when rambling in Fleet Street it is a special delight to remember even so little an incident as that recorded of the author of the "Elegy"--that he once saw there his contemptuous critic, Dr. Johnson, shambling along the sidewalk, and murmured to a companion, "Here comes Ursa Major." For true lovers of literature "Ursus Major" walks oftener in Fleet Street to-day than any living man.
A good leading thread of literary research might be profitably followed by the student who should trace the footsteps of all the poets, dead and gone, that have held, in England, the office of laureate. John Kay was laureate in the reign of King Edward the Fourth; Andrew Bernard in that of King Henry the Seventh; John Skelton in that of King Henry the Eighth, and Edmund Spenser in that of Queen Elizabeth. Since then the succession has included the names of Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, Sir William Devenant, John Dryden, Thomas Shadwell, Nahum Tate, Nicholas Rowe, Lawrence Eusden, Colley Cibber, William Whitehead, Thomas Warton, Henry James Pye, Robert Southey, William Wordsworth, and Alfred Tennyson. Most of those bards were intimately associated with London, and several of them are buried in the Abbey. It is, indeed, because so many storied names are written upon gravestones that the explorer of the old churches of London finds in them so rich a harvest of instructive association and elevating thought. Few persons visit them, and you are likely to find yourself comparatively alone, in rambles of this kind. I went one morning into St. Martin's,--once "in-the-fields," now at the busy center of the city,--and found there only a pew-opener, preparing for the service, and an organist, practising music. It is a beautiful structure, with graceful spire and with columns of weather-beaten, gray stone, curiously stained with streaks of black, and it is almost as famous for theatrical names as St. Paul's, Covent Garden, or St. George's, Bloomsbury, or St. Clement Danes. There, in a vault beneath the church, was buried the bewitching, generous Nell Gwynn; there is the grave of James Smith, joint author with his brother Horace,--who was buried at Tunbridge Wells,--of "The Rejected Addresses"; there rests Richard Yates, the original "Sir Oliver Surface"; and there were laid the ashes of the romantic Mrs. Centlivre, and of George Farquhar, whom neither youth, genius, patient labor, nor sterling achievement could save from a life of misfortune and an untimely, piteous death. A cheerier association of this church is with the poet Thomas Moore, who was there married. At St. Giles's-in-the-Fields are the graves of George Chapman, who translated Homer; Andrew Marvel, who wrote such lovely lyrics; Rich, the manager, who brought out "The Beggar's Opera," and James Shirley, the fine dramatist and poet, whose immortal couplet has often been murmured in such solemn haunts as these:
Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
Shirley was one of the most fertile, accomplished, admirable, and admired of writers, during the greater part of his life (1596-1666), and the study of his writing amply rewards the diligence of the student. His plays, about forty in number, of which "The Traitor" is deemed the best tragedy and "The Lady of Pleasure" the best comedy, comprehend a wide variety of subject and exhibit refinement, deep feeling, and sustained fluency of graceful expression. His name is associated with St. Albans, where he dwelt as a school-teacher, and, in London, with Gray's Inn, where at one time he resided.
CATHEDRALS AND ABBEYS
CANTERBURY [Footnote: From "Two Months Abroad." Printed privately. (1878.)]
BY THE EDITOR
An Anglo-Saxon man may get down to first principles in Canterbury. He reaches the dividing point in England between the old faith of Pagans and the new religion of Jesus the Christ. The founder of the new gospel had been dead five hundred years when England accepted Him, and acceptance came only after the Saxon King Ethelbert had married Bertha, daughter of a Frankish prince. Here in Canterbury Ethelbert held his court. Bertha, like her father, was a Christian. After her marriage, Bertha herself for some years held Christian services here alone in little St. Martin's Church, but Ethelbert still loved his idols; indeed, for many years, he continued to worship Odin and Thor. St. Patrick had been in Ireland a full century before this.
Bertha as a Christian stood almost alone in Saxon England, but her persistence at last so wrought upon Ethelbert that he wrote a letter to Pope Gregory the Great, asking that a missionary be sent to England. This was in the sixth century. St. Augustine and forty monks were dispatched by Gregory to the English shore. To-day I have seen the church where this great missionary preached. It still contains the font from which he baptized his many English converts. In this church King Ethelbert himself embraced Christianity, and so it was that the union of Church and State was here effected. Canterbury then became the mother of the Church of England--a title she has retained through all succeeding years.
Few towns in England can interest an educated man more. Its foundation dates from years before the Christian era--how long before no man knows. It is rich in history, secular as well as ecclesiastical. The Black Prince, beloved and admired as few princes ever were, had a strong attachment for it, and here lies buried. Opposite his tomb sleeps Henry IV, the king who dethroned Richard II, son of this same Black Prince. Thomas à Becket, and those marvelous pilgrimages that followed his murder for three hundred years, have given it lasting renown. The "father of English poetry" has still further immortalized it in his "Tales." Indeed, there are few towns possessing so many claims on the attention of the churchman, the antiquarian, and the man of letters.
One of the densest fogs I ever knew settled upon the ancient town the morning after my arrival. It was impossible to see clearly across streets. This fog increased the gloom which long ago came over these ancient monuments and seemed to add something unreal to the air of solemn greatness that appeared in every street and corner. Chance threw me into Mercury Lane. Here at once was historic ground. On a corner of the lane stands the very old inn that is mentioned by Chaucer as the resort of the pilgrims whose deeds he has celebrated. It is now used by a linen-draper. The original vaulted cellars and overhanging upper stories still remain.
Pressing onward, I soon reached a Gothic gateway, handsomely carved, but sadly old and decayed. It led into the grass-covered cathedral yard. Through the thick fog could now be distinguished some of the lofty outlines of the majestic cathedral. Its central tower, which is among the best specimens of the pointed style in England, could be seen faintly as it rose ponderously into the clouded air. No picture, no figures, no mere letter, can place before the reader's mind this enormous edifice. Its total length is 520 feet--Westminster Abbey is more than 100 feet less. As we enter, the immensity of it grows. It is a beautiful theory that these great Gothic churches, as outgrowths of the spirit of Christianity, in their largeness and in the forms of their windows and aisles, were meant to represent the universality and lofty ideals of the Christian faith. Pagans worshiped largely in family temples which none but the rich could build. The new faith opened its temples to all men, and it built churches large enough for all classes and conditions to enter and find room.
Two styles of architecture are shown in the interior of Canterbury, Norman and Early Gothic. In the former style are the transept, choir and Becket chapel, each with its noble series of lofty columns and arches. Beneath the choir and chapel is a crypt, also Norman and the oldest part of the cathedral, some of it undoubtedly dating from St. Augustine's time. He is known to have built a church soon after his arrival upon ground formerly occupied by Christians in the Roman army, and this is believed to be its site. The crypt, in a splendid state of preservation, extends under the entire Norman portion of the building.
When the Gothic style came into vogue, succeeding the Norman, the remainder of the present edifice was added. Either part--Norman or Gothic--would in itself make a large church. One will meet few grander naves anywhere than this Gothic nave in Canterbury, formed of white stone and wonderfully symmetrical in all its outlines. A screen, richly wrought, divides the Norman from the Gothic part. Two flights of stone steps lead from one to the other. It will not be easy to forget the impression made that dark December morning when I entered the little doorway of this cathedral and first walked down its long, gray, lofty nave to this flight of steps. The chanting in the choir of the morning service which echoed throughout the vast edifice gave profound solemnity to a scene that can never pass from recollection.
When the service had closed, an intelligent verger acted as my guide. New chapels and aisles seemed to open in all directions. Before we had completed the circuit, it seemed as if we were going through another Westminster Abbey. In one cornear is the "Warrior's Chapel," crowded with the tombs of knights whose effigies, in full armor, lie recumbent on elaborate bases. Henry IV. and his second queen lie in the Becket Chapel under an elegant canopy, between two immense Norman pillars. On the other side, between two other pillars, lies the Black Prince, with recumbent statue in full armor. Suspended above the canopy are his coat of mail and the helmet and shield he wore at Cressy.
In the center of this chapel, and between these two monuments, formerly stood Thomas à Becket's famous shrine. The chapel was added to the cathedral for the express purpose of receiving his remains. At the height of the pilgrimages, about 100,000 people are said to have visited it every year. The steps that lead to it show how they were deeply worn by pilgrims, who ascended in pairs on their knees. Where stood the shrine the pavement has also been worn deeply down to the shape of the human knee by pilgrims while in prayer. Each pilgrim brought an offering, and nothing less than gold was accepted. Not alone the common people, but princes, kings and great church dignitaries from foreign lands came with gifts. Erasmus was here in 1510 and wrote of the Becket shrine that it "shone and glittered with the rarest and most precious jewels of an extraordinary largeness, some larger than the egg of a goose."
The brilliant duration of these pilgrimages came finally to a sudden end. During the Reformation, Henry VIII. seized and demolished the shrine. The treasure, filling two large chests, and which eight men could with difficulty carry, was seized, and on the adjoining pavement the bones of the saint were burned. Not a single relic of Becket now remains in Canterbury. With no ordinary feeling does one stand amid the scene of this most interesting and curious chapter in church history. Not far from the shrine is the place where the murder of Becket was committed. You are shown the actual stone that was stained with his blood. A piece of this stone, about four inches square, was cut out of the pavement at the time of the murder and sent to Rome, where it is still preserved. Among many interesting tombs not already referred to are those of the great St. Dunstan; of Admiral Rooke, the hero of Gibraltar; of Stephen Langton (immortal with Magna Charta), and of Archbishop Pole, of Mary Tudor's time, who died the same day as that queen, and thus made clear Elizabeth's path to a restoration of Protestantism.
After the cathedral, the most interesting place in Canterbury is St. Martin's Church. With few exceptions--including, perhaps, a very early and well-preserved church in Ravenna--it is doubted if an older Christian church now remains in Europe. There certainly is none that can claim more interest for Englishmen and for descendants of Englishmen in the New World. St. Martin's is somewhat removed from the town, where it stands alone on a sloping knoll, and is very simple in form. The tower that rises over the doorway is built of plain Roman brick and broken flint stones, and has occasionally a piece of drest stone on corners. The tower is square and rises about ten feet above the roof. Almost any mason could have built this church. A luxuriant growth of ivy covers nearly all its parts. Rude in outline and finish are all its parts, ivy has added to St. Martin's the only beauty it could possibly claim.
The interior bears heavier marks of age than do the walls outside. The chancel has walls built almost entirely of Roman brick, and the nave is without columns. The old font--certainly one of the first constructed in England--stands in the chancel. It was probably from this font that King Ethelbert was baptized. Both chronicle and tradition say good Bertha was buried here. A recess in the wall of the chancel contains an old stone coffin, which is believed to contain the dust of England's first Christian queen. Standing within this ancient structure, one feels that he has reached the source for Anglo-Saxon people of this modern faith, Christianity, and the civilization it has given to the world. A new race of pilgrims, as numerous as those who went to Becket's shrine, might well find as worthy an object of their gifts and their journeys in this ivy-mantled relic of ancient days.
OLD YORK [Footnote: From "Gray Days and Gold." By arrangement with the publishers, Moffat, Yard & Co. Copyright by William Winter, 1890.]
BY WILLIAM WINTER
The pilgrim to York stands in the center of the largest shire in England, and is surrounded by castles and monasteries, now mostly in ruins, but teeming with those associations of history and literature that are the glory of this delightful land. From the summit of the great central tower of the cathedral, which is reached by 237 steps, I gazed, one morning, over the vale of York and beheld one of the loveliest spectacles that ever blest the eyes of man. The wind was fierce, the sun brilliant, and the vanquished storm-clouds were streaming away before the northern blast. Far beneath lay the red-roofed city, its devious lanes and its many great churches,--crumbling relics of ancient ecclesiastical power,--distinctly visible. Through the plain, and far away toward the south and east, ran the silver thread of the Ouse, while all around, as far as the eye could see, stretched forth a smiling landscape of green meadow and cultivated field; here a patch of woodland, and there a silver gleam of wave; here a manor house nestled amid stately trees, and there an ivy-covered fragment of ruined masonry; and everywhere the green lines of the flowering hedge....
In the city that lies at your feet stood once the potent Constantine, to be proclaimed Emperor, A.D. 306, and to be vested with the imperial purple of Rome. In the original York Minster (the present is the fourth church that has been erected upon this site) was buried that valiant soldier, "old Siward," whom "gracious England" lent to the Scottish cause, under Malcolm and Macduff, when time at length was ripe for the ruin of Glamis and Cawdor. Close by is the field of Stamford, where Harold defeated the Norwegians with terrible slaughter, only nine days before he was himself defeated, and slain, at Hastings. Southward, following the line of the Ouse, you look down upon the ruins of Clifford's Tower, built by King William the Conqueror in 1068, and destroyed by the explosion of its powder magazine in 1684. Not far away is the battlefield of Towton. King Henry the Sixth and Queen Margaret were waiting in York for news of the event of that fatal battle,--which, in its effect, made them exiles, and bore to supremacy the rightful standard of the White Rose. In this church King Edward the Fourth was crowned, 1464, and King Richard the Third was proclaimed king and had his second coronation.
Southward you can see the open space called the Pavement, connecting with Parliament Street, and the red brick church of St. Crux. In the Pavement the Earl of Northumberland was beheaded for treason against Queen Elizabeth, in 1572, and in St. Crux, one of Wren's churches, his remains lie buried, beneath a dark blue slab which is shown to visitors. A few miles away, but easily within reach of your vision, is the field of Marston Moor, where the impetuous Prince Rupert imperiled and well-nigh lost the cause of King Charles the First in 1644; and as you look toward that fatal spot you almost hear, in the chamber of your fancy, the paeans of thanksgiving for the victory, that were uttered in the church beneath. Cromwell, then a subordinate officer in the Parliamentary army, was one of the worshipers. Of the fifteen kings, from William of Normandy to Henry of Windsor, whose sculptured effigies appear upon the chancel screen in York Minster, there is scarcely one who has not worshiped in this cathedral....
There it stands, symbolizing, as no other object on earth can ever do, except one of its own great kindred, the promise of immortal life to man and man's pathetic faith in that promise. Dark and lonely it comes back upon my vision, but during all hours of its daily and nightly life sentient, eloquent, vital, participating in all the thought, conduct, and experience of those who dwell around it....
York is the loftiest of all the English cathedrals, and the third in length,--both St. Alban's and Winchester being longer. The present structure is 600 years old, and more than 200 years were occupied in the building of it. They show you, in the crypt, some fine remains of the Norman church that preceded it on the same site, together with traces of the still older Saxon church that preceded the Norman. The first one was of wood, and was totally destroyed. The Saxon remains are a fragment of stone staircase and a piece of wall built in the ancient herring-bone fashion. The Norman remains are four clustered columns, embellished in the zig-zag style. There is not much of commemorative statuary at York, and what there is of it was placed chiefly in the chancel.
YORK AND LINCOLN COMPARED [Footnote: From "English Towns and Districts."]
BY EDWARD A. FREEMAN
The towers of Lincoln, simply as towers, are immeasurably finer than those of York; but the front of York, as a front, far surpasses the front of Lincoln.
As for the general outline, there can be no doubt as to the vast superiority of Lincoln. Lincoln has sacrificed a great deal to the enormous pitch of its roofs, but it has its reward in the distant view of the outside. The outline of York is spoiled by the incongruity between the low roofs of the nave and choir and the high roofs of the transepts. The dumpiness of the central tower of York--which is, in truth, the original Norman tower cased--can not be wholly made a matter of blame to the original builders. For it is clear that some finish, whether a crown like those at Newcastle and Edinburgh or any other, was intended. Still the proportion which is solemn in Romanesque becomes squat in perpendicular, and, if York has never received its last finish, Lincoln has lost the last finish which it received. Surely no one who is not locally sworn to the honor of York can doubt about preferring the noble central tower of Lincoln, soaring still, even tho shorn of its spire. The eastern transept, again, is far more skilfully managed at Lincoln than at York. It may well be doubted whether such a transept is really an improvement; but if it is to be there at all, it is certainly better to make it the bold and important feature which it is at Lincoln, than to leave it, as it is at York, half afraid, as it were, to proclaim its own existence.
Coming to the east end, we again find, as at the west, Lincoln throwing away great advantages by a perverse piece of sham. The east window of Lincoln is the very noblest specimen of the pure and bold tracery of its own date. But it is crusht, as it were, by the huge gable window above it--big enough to be the east window of a large church--and the aisles, whose east windows are as good on their smaller scale as the great window, are absurdly finished with sham gables, destroying the real and natural outline of the whole composition. At York we have no gables at all; the vast east window, with its many flimsy mullions, is wonderful rather than beautiful; still the east end of York is real, and so far it surpasses that of Lincoln.
On entering either of these noble churches, the great fault to be found is the lack of apparent height. To some extent this is due to a cause common to both. We are convinced that both churches are too long. The eastern part of Lincoln--the angels' choir--is in itself one of the loveliest of human works; the proportion of the side elevations and the beauty of the details are both simply perfect. But its addition has spoiled the minster as a whole. The vast length at one unbroken height gives to the eastern view of the inside the effect of looking through a tube, and the magnificent east window, when seen from the western part of the choir, is utterly dwarfed. And the same arrangement is open to the further objection that it does not fall in with the ecclestiastical arrangements of the building....
In the nave of York, looking eastward or westward, it is hard indeed to believe that we are in a church only a few feet lower than Westminster or Saint Ouens. The height is utterly lost, partly through the enormous width, partly through the low and crushing shape of the vaulting-arch. The vault, it must be remembered, is an imitation of an imitation, a modern copy of a wooden roof made to imitate stone. This imitation of stone construction in wood runs through the greater part of the church; it comes out specially in the transepts, where a not very successful attempt is made to bring the gable windows within the vault--the very opposite to the vast space lost in the roofs at Lincoln. Yet with all this, many noble views may be got in York nave and transepts, provided only the beholder takes care never to look due east or west. The western view is still further injured by the treatment of the west window--in itself an admirable piece of tracery--which fits into nothing, and seems cut through the wall at an arbitrary point. But the nave elevation, taken bay by bay, is admirable. Looking across out of the aisle--the true way to judge--the real height at last comes out, and we are reminded of some of the most stately minsters of France....
DURHAM [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870 and 1898.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
Durham Cathedral has one advantage over the others I have seen, there being no organ-screen, nor any sort of partition between the choir and nave; so that we saw its entire length, nearly 500 feet, in one vista. The pillars of the nave are immensely thick, but hardly of proportionate height, and they support the round Norman arch; nor is there, as far as I remember, a single pointed arch in the cathedral. The effect is to give the edifice an air of heavy grandeur. It seems to have been built before the best style of church architecture had established itself; so that it weighs upon the soul, instead of helping it to aspire. First, there are these round arches, supported by gigantic columns; then, immediately above, another row of round arches, behind which is the usual gallery that runs, as it were, in the thickness of the wall, around the nave of the cathedral; then, above all, another row of round arches, enclosing the windows of the clerestory.
The great pillars are ornamented in various ways--some with a great spiral groove running from bottom to top; others with two spirals, ascending in different directions, so as to cross over one another; some are fluted or channeled straight up and down; some are wrought with chevrons, like those on the sleeve of a police inspector. There are zigzag cuttings and carvings, which I do not know how to name scientifically, round the arches of the doors and windows; but nothing that seems to have flowered out spontaneously, as natural incidents of a grand and beautiful design. In the nave, between the columns of the side aisles, I saw one or two monuments....
I left my seat, and after strolling up and down the aisle a few times sallied forth into the churchyard. On the cathedral door there is a curious old knocker, in the form of a monstrous face, which was placed there, centuries ago, for the benefit of fugitives from justice, who used to be entitled to sanctuary here. The exterior of the cathedral, being huge, is therefore grand; it has a great central tower, and two at the western end; and reposes in vast and heavy length, without the multitude of niches, and crumbling statues, and richness of detail, that make the towers and fronts of some cathedrals so endlessly interesting. One piece of sculpture I remember--a carving of a cow, a milkmaid, and a monk, in reference to the legend that the site of the cathedral was, in some way, determined by a woman bidding her cow go home to Dunholme. Cadmus was guided to the site of his destined city in some such way as this.
It was a very beautiful day, and tho the shadow of the cathedral fell on this side, yet, it being about noontide, it did not cover the churchyard entirely, but left many of the graves in sunshine. There were not a great many monuments, and these were chiefly horizontal slabs, some of which looked aged, but on closer inspection proved to be mostly of the present century. I observed an old stone figure, however, half worn away, which seemed to have something like a bishop's miter on its head, and may perhaps have lain in the proudest chapel of the cathedral before occupying its present bed among the grass. About fifteen paces from the central tower, and within its shadow, I found a weather-worn slab of marble, seven or eight feet long, the inscription on which interested me somewhat. It was to the memory of Robert Dodsley, the bookseller, Johnson's acquaintance, who, as his tombstone rather superciliously avers, had made a much better figure as an author than "could have been expected in his rank of life." But, after all, it is inevitable that a man's tombstone should look down on him, or, at all events, comport itself toward him "de haut en bas." I love to find the graves of men connected with literature. They interest me more, even tho of no great eminence, than those of persons far more illustrious in other walks of life. I know not whether this is because I happen to be one of the literary kindred, or because all men feel themselves akin, and on terms of intimacy, with those whom they know, or might have known, in books. I rather believe that the latter is the case.
We went around the edifice, and, passing into the close, penetrated through an arched passage into the crypt, which, methought, was in a better style of architecture than the nave and choir.... Thence we went into the cloisters, which are entire, but not particularly interesting. Indeed, this cathedral has not taken hold of my affections, except in one aspect, when it was exceedingly grand and beautiful.
ELY [Footnote: From "Old England: Its Scenery, Art, and People." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]
BY JAMES M. HOPPIN
I was attracted around by the way of Ely, to see the cathedral there, instead of taking the Huntingdon route more directly to Cambridge. This was quite a loss, for Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon. Hinchinbroke House, the property of his family, now belongs to the Earl of Sandwich.
But Ely Cathedral was not to be lost. It is frozen history as well as "frozen music." I value these old structures because such wealth of English history is embodied in them; their human interest, after all, is greater than their artistic. Ely is said to be derived from "willow," or a kind of willow or ozier island, upon which the abbey and town were built in the midst of marshes. Among these impenetrable marshes Hereward the Saxon retreated; and here, too, we have that bit of genuine antique poetry which from its simplicity must have described a true scene; and we catch a glimpse of that pleasing and soothing picture, amid those rude and bloody days, of King Canute and his knights resting for a moment upon their toiling oars to hear the vesper song of the monks.
The foundation of the cathedral was laid in 1083, and it was finished in 1534. In printed lists of its bishops, as in those of other English cathedral churches, I have noticed that they are given in their chronological succession, right on, the bishops of the Reformed Church being linked upon the Roman Catholic bishops. The bishopric of Ely was partially carved out of the bishopric of Lincoln, and comprizes Cambridge in its jurisdiction. It has, therefore, had all the riches, influence, taste, and learning of the University to bear upon the restoration of its noble old cathedral; and of all the old churches of England this one exhibits indications of the greatest modern care and thought bestowed upon it. It glows with new stained-glass windows, splendid marbles, exquisite sculptures, and bronze work. Its western tower, 266 feet in height, turreted spires, central octagon tower, flying buttresses, unequaled length of 517 feet, and its vast, irregular bulk soaring above the insignificant little town at its foot, make it a most commanding object seen from the flat plain.
What is called the octagon, which has taken the place of the central tower that had fallen, is quite an original feature of the church. Eight arches, rising from eight ponderous piers, form a windowed tower, or lantern, which lets in a flood of light upon the otherwise gloomy interior. Above the keystone of each arch is the carved figure of a saint. The new brasses of the choir are wonderfully elaborate. The bronze scroll and vine work of the gates and lamps, for grace and Oriental luxuriance of fancy, for their arabesque and flower designs, might fitly have belonged to King Solomon's Temple of old. The modern woodwork of the choir compares also well with the ancient woodwork carving. Gold stars on azure ground, and all vivid coloring and gilding, are freely used. The new "reredos," or altar screen, is one marvelous crystallization of sculptures. The ancient Purbeck marble pillars have been scraped and re-polished, and form a fine contrast to the white marbles on which they are set. If, indeed, one wishes to see what modern enthusiasm, art, and lavish wealth can do for the restoration and adorning of one of these old temples, he must go to Ely Cathedral.
SALISBURY [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870 and 1898.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
I do not remember any cathedral with so fine a site as this, rising up out of the center of a beautiful green, extensive enough to show its full proportions, relieved and insulated from all other patchwork and impertinence of rusty edifices. It is of gray stone, and looks as perfect as when just finished, and with the perfection, too, that could not have come in less than six centuries of venerableness, with a view to which these edifices seem to have been built. A new cathedral would lack the last touch to its beauty and grandeur. It needs to be mellowed and ripened, like some pictures; altho I suppose this awfulness of antiquity was supplied, in the minds of the generation that built cathedrals, by the sanctity which they attributed to them.
Salisbury Cathedral is far more beautiful than that of York, the exterior of which was really disagreeable to my eye; but this mighty spire and these multitudinous gray pinnacles and towers ascend toward heaven with a kind of natural beauty, not as if man had contrived them. They might be fancied to have grown up, just as the spires of a tuft of grass do, at the same time that they have a law of propriety and regularity among themselves. The tall spire is of such admirable proportion that it does not seem gigantic; and, indeed, the effect of the whole edifice is of beauty rather than weight and massiveness. Perhaps the bright, balmy sunshine in which we saw it contributed to give it a tender glory, and to soften a little its majesty.
When we went in, we heard the organ, the forenoon service being near conclusion. If I had never seen the interior of York Cathedral, I should have been quite satisfied, no doubt, with the spaciousness of this nave and these side aisles, and the height of their arches, and the girth of these pillars; but with that recollection in my mind they fell a little short of grandeur. The interior is seen to disadvantage, and in a way the builder never meant it to be seen; because there is little or no painted glass, nor any such mystery as it makes, but only a colorless, common daylight, revealing everything without remorse. There is a general light hue, moreover, like that of whitewash, over the whole of the roof and walls of the interior, pillar, monuments, and all; whereas, originally, every pillar was polished, and the ceiling was ornamented in brilliant colors, and the light came, many-hued, through the windows, on all this elaborate beauty, in lieu of which there is nothing now but space.
Between the pillars that separate the nave from the side aisles there are ancient tombs, most of which have recumbent statues on them. One of these is Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, son of Fair Rosamond, in chain mail; and there are many other warriors and bishops, and one cross-legged Crusader, and on one tombstone a recumbent skeleton, which I have likewise seen in two or three other cathedrals. The pavement of the aisles and nave is laid in great part with flat tombstones, the inscriptions on which are half obliterated, and on the walls, especially in the transepts, there are tablets, among which I saw one to the poet Bowles, who was a canon of the cathedral....
Between the nave and the choir, as usual, there is a screen that half destroys the majesty of the building, by abridging the spectator of the long vista which he might otherwise have of the whole interior at a glance. We peeped through the barrier, and saw some elaborate monuments in the chancel beyond; but the doors of the screen are kept locked, so that the vergers may raise a revenue by showing strangers through the richest part of the cathedral. By and by one of these vergers came through the screen with a gentleman and lady whom he was taking around, and we joined ourselves to the party. He showed us into the cloisters, which had long been neglected and ruinous, until the time of Bishop Dennison, the last prelate, who has been but a few years dead. This bishop has repaired and restored the cloisters in faithful adherence to the original plan; and they now form a most delightful walk about a pleasant and verdant enclosure, in the center of which sleeps good Bishop Dennison, with a wife on either side of him, all three beneath broad flat stones.
Most cloisters are darksome and grim; but these have a broad paved walk beneath the vista of arches, and are light, airy, and cheerful; and from one corner you can get the best possible view of the whole height and beautiful proportion of the cathedral spire. On one side of this cloistered walk seems to be the length of the nave of the cathedral. There is a square of four such sides; and of places for meditation, grave, yet not too somber, it seemed to me one of the best. While we stayed there, a jackdaw was walking to and fro across the grassy enclosure, and haunting around the good bishop's grave. He was clad in black, and looked like a feathered ecclesiastic; but I know not whether it were Bishop Dennison's ghost or that of some old monk.
On one side of the cloisters, and contiguous to the main body of the cathedral, stands the chapterhouse. Bishop Dennison had it much at heart to repair this part of the holy edifice; and, if I mistake not, did begin the work; for it had been long ruinous, and in Cromwell's time his dragoons stationed their horses there. Little progress, however, had been made in the repairs when the bishop died; and it was decided to restore the building in his honor, and by way of monument to him. The repairs are now nearly completed; and the interior of this chapter-house gave me the first idea, anywise adequate, of the splendor of these Gothic church edifices. The roof is sustained by one great central pillar of polished marble--small pillars clustered about a great central column, which rises to the ceiling, and there gushes out with various beauty, that overflows all the walls; as if the fluid idea had sprung out of that fountain, and grown solid in what we see. The pavement is elaborately ornamented; the ceiling is to be brilliantly gilded and painted, as it was of yore, and the tracery and sculptures around the walls are to be faithfully renewed from what remains of the original patterns.
EXETER [Footnote: From "Cathedral Days." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Little, Brown & Co. Copyright, 1887.]
BY ANNA BOWMAN DODD
A very obvious part of the charm of Exeter Cathedral lies in the fact that it has to be sought for. It is so well and dexterously concealed from view, as one passes along High Street, that one might be some days in town without so much as suspecting that one of the finest cathedrals in England was a near neighbor. It was almost by chance, I remember, that as we turned into a long, quaint alley-way, filled up with little, low shops, we caught a glimpse of a green plot of grass and some trees in the distance. Our guiding instinct divined these to be the cathedral close....
To analyze the beauties of Exeter is only to add another note to one's joy in them, their quality and rarity being of such an order as to warrant one's cooler admiration. The front is as unique in design as it is architecturally beautiful. There is that rarest of features in English cathedrals--an elaborately sculptured screen, thoroughly honest in construction. In originality of conception this front is perhaps unrivalled, at least on English soil; there are three receding stories, so admirably proportioned as to produce a beautiful effect in perspective. The glory of the great west window is further enhanced by the graduated arcades which have the appearance of receding behind it. Above the west window rises a second and smaller triangular window in the gabled roof.
Thus the triangular motif is sustained throughout, from the three low doorways in the screen up to the far-distant roof. This complete and harmonious front is nobly enriched by the splendid note of contrast in the two transeptal Norman towers, whose massive structural elegance and elaborateness of detail lend an extraordinary breadth and solidity to the edifice.
The grandeur which distinguishes the exterior is only a fitting preparation for the solemnity and splendor of the interior. Passing beneath the thickly massed sculptures of the low portals, the effect of the vastness of the nave is striking in its immensity. Curiously enough, in this instance, this effect of immensity is not due to an unbroken stretch of nave-aisles or to a lengthy procession of pier-arches, but to the magnificent sweep of the unencumbered vaulting in the roof. An organ screen intercepts the line of vision at the entrance to the choir. This, however, is the sole obstruction which the eye encounters. Above, the great roof, with its unbroken 300 feet of interlacing lines, rises like some mighty forest, its airy loftiness giving to the entire interior a certain open-air atmosphere of breadth and vastness....
What most deeply concerned us was the desire to secure an uninterrupted session of contemplative enjoyment. We had lost our hearts to the beauty of the cathedral, and cared little or nothing for a clever dissecting of its parts. We came again and again; and it was the glory of the cathedral as a whole--its expressive, noble character, its breadth and grandeur, the poetry of its dusky aisles, and the play of the rich shadows about its massive columns--that charmed and enchained us. It was one of the few English cathedrals, we said to each other, that possess the Old-World continental charm, the charm of perpetual entertainment, and whose beauty has just the right quality of richness and completeness to evoke an intense and personal sympathy; for in all the greatest triumphs of art there is something supremely human.
LICHFIELD [Footnote: From "Our Old Home." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
I know not what rank the Cathedral of Lichfield holds among its sister edifices in England, as a piece of magnificent architecture. Except that of Chester (the grim and simple nave of which stands yet unrivaled in my memory), and one or two small ones in North Wales, hardly worthy of the name of cathedrals, it was the first that I had seen. To my uninstructed vision, it seemed the object best worth gazing at in the whole world; and now, after beholding a great many more, I remember it with less prodigal admiration only because others are as magnificent as itself. The traces remaining in my memory represent it as airy rather than massive. A multitude of beautiful shapes appeared to be comprehended within its single outline; it was a kind of kaleidoscopic mystery, so rich a variety of aspects did it assume from each altered point of view, through the presentation of a different face, and the rearrangement of its peaks and pinnacles and the three battlemented towers, with the spires that shot heavenward from all three, but one loftier than its fellows.
Thus it imprest you, at every change, as a newly created structure of the passing moment, in which yet you lovingly recognized the half-vanished structure of the instant before, and felt, moreover, a joyful faith in the indestructible existence of all this cloudlike vicissitude. A Gothic cathedral is surely the most wonderful work which mortal man has yet achieved, so vast, so intricate, and so profoundly simple, with such strange, delightful recesses in its grand figure, so difficult to comprehend within one idea, and yet all so consonant that it ultimately draws the beholder and his universe into its harmony. It is the only thing in the world that is vast enough and rich enough.
Inside of the minster there is a long and lofty nave, transepts of the same height, and side-aisles and chapels, dim nooks of holiness, where in Catholic times the lamps were continually burning before the richly decorated shrines of saints. In the audacity of my ignorance, as I humbly acknowledge it to have been, I criticized this great interior as too much broken into compartments, and shorn of half its rightful impressiveness by the interposition of a screen betwixt the nave and chancel. It did not spread itself in breadth, but ascended to the roof in lofty narrowness.
A great deal of white marble decorates the old stonework of the aisles, in the shape of altars, obelisks, sarcophagi, and busts. Most of these memorials are commemorative of people locally distinguished, especially the deans and canons of the cathedral, with their relatives and families; and I found but two monuments of personages whom I had ever heard of--one being Gilbert Walmesley, and the other Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a literary acquaintance of my boyhood. It was really pleasant to meet her there; for after a friend has lain in the grave far into the second century, she would be unreasonable to require any melancholy emotions in a chance interview at her tombstone. It adds a rich charm to sacred edifices, this time-honored custom of burial in churches, after a few years, at least, when the mortal remains have turned to dust beneath the pavement, and the quaint devices and inscriptions still speak to you above....
A large space in the immediate neighborhood of the cathedral is called the Close, and comprises beautifully kept lawns and a shadowy walk, bordered by the dwellings of the ecclesiastical dignitaries of the diocese. All this row of episcopal, canonical, and clerical residences has an air of the deepest quiet, repose, and well-protected, tho not inaccessible seclusion. They seemed capable of including everything that a saint could desire, and a great many more things than most of us sinners generally succeed in acquiring. Their most marked feature is a dignified comfort, looking as if no disturbance or vulgar intrusiveness could ever cross their thresholds, encroach upon their ornamented lawns, or straggle into the beautiful gardens that surround them with flower-beds and rich clumps of shrubbery. The episcopal palace is a stately mansion of stone, built somewhat in the Italian style, and bearing on its front the figures of 1687, as the date of its erection. A large edifice of brick, which, if I remember, stood next to the palace, I took to be the residence of the second dignitary of the cathedral; and in that case it must have been the youthful home of Addison, whose father was Dean of Lichfield. I tried to fancy his figure on the delightful walk that extends in front of those priestly abodes, from which and the interior lawns it is separated by an open-work iron fence, lined with rich old shrubbery, and overarched by a minster-aisle of venerable trees.
WINCHESTER [Footnote: From "Visits to Remarkable Places."]
BY WILLIAM HOWITT
On entering the cathedral enclosure on its north side from High Street, you are at once struck with the venerable majesty and antique beauty of the fine old pile before you, and with the sacred quietude of the enclosure itself. In the heart of this tranquil city it has yet a deeper tranquillity of its own. Its numerous tombs and headstones, scattered over its greensward, and its lofty avenues of limetrees, seem to give you a peaceful welcome to the Christian fame and resting-place of so many generations. If you enter at the central passage, you tread at once on the eastern foundations of the Conqueror's palace, and pass close to the spot on which formerly rose the western towers of Alfred's Newan Mynstre, and where lay his remains, after having been removed from the old mynstre, till Hyde Abbey was built.
It is impossible to walk over this ground, now so peaceful, without calling to mind what scenes of havoc and blood, of triumph and ecclesiastical pomp, it has witnessed--the butchery of the persecution of Diocletian, when the Christians fell here by thousands; the repeated massacres and conflagrations of the Danes; the crowning of Saxon and of English kings; the proud processions of kings and queens, nobles, mitered prelates, friars, and monks, to offer thanksgivings for victory, or penance for sins, from age to age; and, finally, the stern visitation of the Reformers and the Cromwellian troopers.
The venerable minster itself bears on its aspect the testimonies of its own antiquity. The short and massy tower in the center, the work of Bishop Walkelin, the cousin of the Conqueror, has the very look of that distant age, and, to eyes accustomed to the lofty and rich towers of some of our cathedrals, has an air of meanness. Many people tell you that it never was finished; but besides that there is no more reason that the tower should remain unfinished through so many centuries than any other part of the building, we know that it was the character of the time, of which the tower of the Norman church of St. Cross affords another instance just at hand. In fact, the spire was then unknown.
Having arrived at the west front, we can not avoid pausing to survey the beauty of its workmanship--that of the great William of Wykeham; its great central doorway, with its two smaller side-doors; the fretted gallery over it, where the bishop in his pontificals was wont to stand and bless the people, or absolve them from the censures of the church; its noble window, rich with perpendicular tracery; its two slender lantern turrets; its crowning tabernacle, with its statue of the builder; and its pinnacled side aisles.
I must confess that of all the cathedrals which I have entered, none gave me such a sensation of surprize and pleasure. The loftiness, the space, the vast length of the whole unbroken roof above, I believe not exceeded by any other in England; the two rows of lofty clustered pillars; the branching aisles, with their again branching and crossing tracery; the long line of the vaulted roof, embossed with armorial escutcheons and religious devices of gorgeous coloring; the richly painted windows; and, below, the carved chantries and mural monuments, seen amid the tempered light; and the sober yet delicate hue of the Portland stone, with which the whole noble fabric is lined, produce a tout ensemble of sublime loveliness which is not easily to be rivaled....
But we have made the circuit of the church without beholding the choir, and we must not quit its precincts without entering there. Ascending the flight of steps which lead to it, we front that elegant screen with which modern good taste has replaced the screen of Inigo Jones, who, blind to all the beauty of the Gothic architecture, not only placed here a Grecian screen, but also affixt a Grecian bishop's throne to the beautiful Gothic canopy-work of the choir. In the niches of this screen are two bronze statues of James I and Charles I.
We are now on the spot of the ancient rood-loft, where formerly stood the great rood, or crucifix, with the attendant figures of the Virgin and St. John, of vast size and value, being of silver, which were bequeathed to the minster by the notorious Archbishop Stigand, before the Conquest. As we enter the choir through the door in the screen, we are struck with the great beauty of the place. Around us rises the rich dark woodwork of the stalls, contrasting well with the pale delicacy of the walls above.
Overhead is seen to swell the fine vault of the roof, with its rich tracery, and its central line, and orbs at the junction of its timbers, embossed with bold armorial shields of the houses of Tudor, Lancaster, and Castile, as united in John of Gaunt and Beaufort, with those of various episcopal sees, and stretching on to the splendid east window in that direction, emblazoned with "the several implements of our Savior's Passion--the cross, crown of thorns, nails, hammer, pillar, scourges, reed, sponge, lance, sword, with the ear of Malchus upon it, lantern, ladder, cock, and dice; also the faces of Pilate and his wife, of the Jewish high priest, with a great many others, too numerous to be described, but worthy of notice for the ingenuity of design," and the richness of their tints. They are, indeed, emblazoned in the most gorgeous colors--scarlet, blue and gold; and, to a fanciful eye, may resemble, many of them, huge sacred beetles of lordly shapes and hues.
On each side rise up, into the very roof, the tall pointed windows glowing with figures of saints, prophets, and apostles, who seem to be ranged on either hand, in audience of the divine persons in the great east window--the Savior and the Virgin, with apostles and other saints. But what is the most striking to the eye and mind of the spectator is to behold, on the floor of the sanctuary before him, a plain beveled stone of dark marble--the tomb of William Rufus; and arranged on the top of the beautiful stone partitions on each side of the sanctuary, dividing it from the aisles, are six mortuary chests, three on a side, containing the bones of many of the most eminent Saxon princes. The bones which, from the repeated rebuildings and alterings of the cathedral, must have been in danger of being disturbed, and the places of their burial rendered obscure, or lost altogether, Bishop de Blois, in the twelfth century, collected and placed in coffins of lead over the Holy Hole. At the rebuilding of the choir, as it was necessary again to remove them, Bishop Fox had them deposited in these chests, and placed in this situation. The chests are carved, gilt, and surmounted with crowns, with the names and epitaphs, in Latin verse and black letter, inscribed upon them.
But if we had quitted Winchester Cathedral without paying a visit to the grave of one of the best and most cheerful-hearted old men who lie in it, we should have committed a great fault. No, we stood on the stone in the floor of Prior Silkstede's chapel in the old Norman south transept, which is inscribed with the name of Izaak Walton. There lies that prince of fishermen, who, when Milner wrote his history of this city, was so little thought of that he is not once mentioned in the whole huge quarto!
WELLS [Footnote: From "Old England: Its Scenery, Art and People." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]
BY JAMES M. HOPPIN
The city of Wells, which we now visit, has a romantic situation on the southern slope of the Mendip Hills, twenty miles equi-distant from Bath, Bistol, and Bridgewater. It takes its name from the ancient well dedicated to St. Andrew, which rises within the Episcopal grounds, and runs through the city down the sides of the principal streets in clear, sparkling' streams.
There is no place which, taken altogether, preserves a more antique air of tranquil seclusion than Wells. In the precincts of Chester Cathedral, and at many other points in England, there broods the same antique calm, but here the whole place is pervaded by this reposeful spirit of the past; and this culminates in the neighborhood of St. Andrew's Cathedral, the bishop's palace, the old moat, the conventual buildings, and the three venerable gates, or "eyes," as they are called, of the cathedral yard. The moat about the bishop's palace, overhung by a thick curtain of aged elms mingled with ivy, growing like a warrior's crest upon the high-turreted interior walls, and reflected in deep shadows in the smooth, dark mirror of the water, has a thoroughly feudal look, which is heightened by the drawbridge over the moat, and the frowning castellated gateway. How strange the state of society when a Christian bishop lived in such jealously armed seclusion, behind moated walls and embattled towers! What a commentary, this very name of "the close"! One of these old bishops was himself a famous fighting character, who, at the age of sixty-four, commanded the king's artillery at the battle of Sedgmoor....
The Cathedral of St. Andrew was built upon the site of a still more ancient church founded by Ina, king of the West Saxons in 704. It also goes back to a remote antiquity, for its choir and nave were rebuilt in the middle of the twelfth century. The central tower, which is the noblest and most finished part of the structure, is of the early English style to the roof; the upper part is of the Decorated, with a mixture of the early Perpendicular styles. It has an elegant appearance from its rich pinnacles, and is of a softened and gray tint. Beginning to show signs of sinking, it was raised in the fourteenth century, and was strengthened by the introduction beneath it of inverted buttressing-arches, which give to the interior a strange effect. These arches, architecturally considered, are undoubtedly blemishes, but they are on such a vast scale, and so bold in their forms, and yet so simple, that they do not take away from the plain grandeur of the interior. They are quite Oriental or Saracenic. The top of the eastern window is seen bright and glowing over the lower part of the upper arch. The west front, 235 feet in length, has two square towers, with a central screen terminated by minarets, and is divided into distinct compartments of eight projecting buttresses; all of these projections and recessed parts are covered with rich sculpture and statuary, of which there are 153 figures of life-size, and more than 450 smaller figures....
The other most striking features of Wells Cathedral are the Chapter House and the Ladye Chapel. The first of these, on the rear of the church, is an otagonal structure with pinnacled buttresses at each angle. It is approached from the interior by a worn staircase of 20 steps of noble architectural design. Among the grotesque carvings that line the staircase, I remember in particular one queer old figure with a staff, or rather crutch, thrust in a dragon's mouth, supporting a column. While thus holding up the cathedral with its head and hand above, and choking a writhing dragon beneath, he looks smiling and unconcerned, as if it were an everyday affair with him, as indeed it is. The whole church abounds in these old sculptures, little demoniac figures with big heads, faces with enormous fish mouths, old men with packs on their backs, and angels with huge armfuls of flowers. They seem to let one into the interior chambers of fancy, the imaginative workings of the human mind in the middle ages....
Wells Cathedral, on the whole, is distinguished for a dignified but rich simplicity, arising from its plain large surfaces, mingled and edged here and there with fine-cut and elegant ornamentation. The court and buildings of the Wells Theological College have a thoroughly quaint, old-fashioned look, quiet, rigid, and medieval; as if the students reared there could not but be Churchmen of the "Brother Ignatius" stamp, gentlemen, scholars, and--priests. I can not leave Wells without speaking of the two splendid "cedars of Lebanon" standing in the environs of the church. They are not very tall, but they sweep the ground majestically, and grow in a series of broad, heavy masses of foliage, gracefully undulating in their outline.
BURY ST. EDMUNDS [Footnote: From "The Abbeys of Great Britain."]
BY H. CLAIBORNE DIXON
The history of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, altho veiled in much legendary and mythical lore, tells, nevertheless, in its actual history of the progress of civilization and of the enlightenment of the human mind. Sigberet, King of the East Angles, is said to have founded the first monastery at Beodericsworth (a town known to the Romans, ancient Britains, Saxons, and Danes), and to have subsequently laid aside his royal dignity by joining the brotherhood which he had established. Following his example of religious devotion, Edmund, last King of the Angles, sacrificed not only his crown but his life in defense of the Christian faith, for he was beheaded by the Danes at Eglesdene in 870....
His head was cast into a forest, and, as the story goes, was miraculously discovered and found to be guarded by a wolf. It was then buried with the body at the village of Hoxne, where it remained until 903. In this year, "the precious, undefiled, uncorrupted body of the glorious king and martyr" was translated to the care of the secular priests at Beodericsworth, since when the town has been called St. Edmundsbury, in memory of the sainted monarch. Other wonderful traditions are associated with the shrine of St. Edmund. Sweyn, the violent Danish king, coming in hot pursuit of a woman who had claimed sanctuary, was miraculously killed by an imaginary spear which came out of the shrine when he was about to seize the woman who was clinging to its side. Bishop Herfastus, too, was struck blind, when on a visit to the abbot, in the attempt to establish his new see in the monastical demesne, and afterward miraculously healed. For centuries the highest in the land brought gifts and laid them before the venerated shrine.
Canute was the actual founder of the monastery proper, for in the eleventh century he brought over Benedictine monks from Hulm, granting them a charter and many benefactions. The monastery yearly became more prosperous, and, with the exception of Glastonbury, exceeded in magnificence and privileges all other ecclestiastical establishments in the country. In the height of its glory it must have been a most beautiful and dignified structure. Leland writes:
"A monastery more noble, whether one considers the endowments, largeness, or unparalleled magnificence, the sun never saw. One might think the monastery alone a city: it has three grand gates for entrances, some whereof are brass, many towers, high walls, and a church than which nothing can be more magnificent."
The immense minster, with its lofty western and central towers, rose above the monastic buildings, which were enclosed by a wall. To the north was a great cloister, with the various conventual offices, to the southwest lay the cemetery and church of St. Mary, while immediately before the west front of the church stood the Norman tower leading to St. James's Church.
Sufficient is left of the reverend walls to convey some idea of the former vastness of the abbey and its attendant buildings. Of the minster itself little remains--some arches of the west front, now converted into private houses, and the bases of the piers which supported the central tower. The site of St. Edmunds' Chapel--the part of the building which contained the famous and much-visited shrine--is at the east end of the church. Besides these relics of the minster, there still exists the Norman tower--built during the time of Abbot Anselm, and formerly known as the principal entrance to the cemetery of St. Edmund, and latterly as the "Churchgate" and bell tower of St. James's Church--the abbot's bridge (Decorated) of three arches; portions of the walls, and the abbey gateway....
First among the abbots of Bury stands the name of Samson, "the wolf who raged among the monks." Many of the brothers had become entangled with Jewish money-lenders in the twelfth century, and Abbot Samson, while protecting the Jews at the time of the massacre, discharged all the debts of his house, established many new rules, and set a godly and strenuous example to his followers. Later, in 1205, the chief barons met at Bury in opposition to King John, and swore at the second meeting, four years later, in the presence of the king and Archbishop Langton, to stand by their cause till the king should be induced to sign the Great Charter, and to establish those liberties which we still enjoy.
GLASTONBURY [Footnote: From "The Abbeys of Great Britain."]
BY H. CLAIBORNE DIXON
Tho once surrounded by fenland, the Abbey of Glastonbury--a veritable treasure-house of legendary lore--stands now amid orchards and level pasture lands engirt by the river Bure. The majestic Tor overshadows this spot, where, undoubtedly, the first British Christian settlement was established. The name of the new builder of the first early church can never be ascertained, so that in want of more substantial evidence the old legend of St. Joseph of Arimathaea must be accepted, however slight its claims to historical authority. Certain it is that Christianity was introduced into this land on the island of Yniswytryn, or "Isle of Glass" (so called on account of its crystal streams), in the very early centuries.
According to the Arthurian legends, St. Philip, Lazarus, Martha, Mary and Joseph of Arimathaea, having been banished by their countrymen, journeyed to Marseilles, from whence Joseph, with twelve companions and holy women, was sent by St. Philip to Britain. They landed on the southwest coast and made their way to Glastonbury, then Avalon (and so named in allusion to its apple orchards), and by means of preaching and many miraculous deeds persuaded the people to adopt Christianity. Gaining the good will of King Arviragus, they built a church of wattle and twigs on the ground given to them by their royal patron. The Benedictine, with its later developments in Norman times of Augustine and Cluniac orders, was the first religious order introduced into this country. It was instituted in Italy early in the sixth century by St. Benedict of Nursia. Many monasteries established before the Conquest came under its sway, and were, centuries later, after the Dissolution, converted into cathedral churches.
A sharp distinction should be drawn between the monasteries established previous to the Conquest and those subsequently founded by the Cistercian and other orders. The former were national houses--in every way belonging to the English people and untouched by Papal influence; while the latter, which were under the immediate control of the Bishop of Rome, were essentially of foreign foundation....
King Ina, persuaded by St. Aldhelm, rebuilt and reendowed the abbey in the eighth century, renounced his royal state, and lived as an ordinary civilian, being induced to do so by extraordinary devices on the part of his wife Ethelburgh. On one occasion, after King Ina had given a great feast to his barons, he and his queen left the castle and proceeded to another of the royal residences. Before leaving, Ethelburgh had commanded the servants to strip the castle of all its valuables, furniture, etc., and to fill it with rubbish, and to put a litter of pigs in the king's bed. A short distance on their journey, Ethelburgh persuaded the king to return, and, showing him over the desecrated palace, exhorted him to consider the utter worthlessness of all earthly splendor and the advisability of joining her on a pilgrimage to Rome. Imprest by her words, Ina acted as she advised, and later endowed a school in Rome in which Anglo-Saxon children might become acquainted with the customs of foreign countries. Ina and Ethelburgh spent the remainder of their days in privacy in the Holy City.
The famous Dunstau, one of the greatest of ecclesiastical statesmen, was born in Glastonbury, and, after proving his many marvelous capabilities and aptitude for learning, was made abbot of the Benedictine house in his native town in the reign of Edmund the Magnificent. Many strange stories are told of him--the most fantastic, perhaps, being that of his interview with the natural enemy of man, the Devil himself, during which the reverend man became either so irritated or terrified that he was provoked to seize the nose of his ghostly visitor with a pair of red-hot pincers....
The fame belonging to this noble foundation exceeded that of any other great building in England. An old writer tells us, "Kings and queens, not only of the West Saxons, but of other kingdoms; several archbishops and bishops; many dukes; and the nobility of both sexes thought themselves happy in increasing the revenues of this venerable house, to ensure themselves a place of burial therein." The story of the burial of St. Joseph of Arimathaea at Glastonbury, to us a mere shadowy legend, was accepted as a fact in the early English ages, and that it figured in the mind of these worthies as endowing Glastonbury with extraordinary sanctity is beyond doubt.
At the time of the Dissolution no corruption whatever was revealed at Glastonbury, nor any blame recorded against its management. It was still doing splendid work, having daily services and extending its educational influence for miles around. There was but scanty comfort for its inmates, who rested on a straw mattress and bolster on their narrow bedstead in a bare cell, and whose food, duties and discipline were marked by an austere simplicity. Nor were they idle, these monks of Glastonbury--some taught in the abbey school, others toiled in the orchards, and the beauty of the stained glass, designed within the abbey walls, found fame far and wide.
Richard Whiting was Abbot of Glastonbury when, in 1539, Henry VIII. ordered inquiries to be made into the condition and property of the abbey. Altho he recognized the monarch as supreme head of the church, he respected the Glastonbury traditions and met the "visitors" in a spirit of passive resistance. With the object of preserving them from desecration, the abbot had concealed some of the communion vessels, and for this offense the venerable man was tried and condemned to death. His head, white with the touch of eighty years, was fixt upon the abbey gate, and the rest of his body quartered and sent to Bath, Wells, Bridgwater, and Ilchester. The abbey building--one of the most perfect examples of architecture in the land--served as a stone quarry, much of the material being used to make a road over the fenland from Glastonbury to Wells. The revenue at the time of the Dissolution was over £3,000, a big income in those days.
TINTERN [Footnote: From "The Abbeys of Great Britain."]
BY H. CLAIBORNE DIXON
More than one great artist has immortalized the secluded vale, where, on a bend of the Wye and surrounded by wooded hills, the ruins of Tintern Abbey stand. The somber-looking heights, which close in to the east and west, create the atmosphere of loneliness and separation from the world so sought after by the Cistercian monks, who doubtless found inspiration in the grandeur of the surrounding mountains and in the peacefulness of the sweet valley below. Tho the church of the Early English abbey is roofless and the central tower gone, the noble structure, with its many graceful arches, seems to attest to the spirit of religious fervor and devotion so intimately associated with the history of its gray and lichen-covered walls.
The finest part of the ruins is undoubtedly the church, which, with the exception of the roof and the north piers of the nave, still stands complete. It has a nave of six bays with aisles, a choir of four bays with aisles, the transepts with eastern aisles having two chapels. A transverse Galilee stood formerly beyond the western entrance. In the north transept are remains of the dormitory stairs, and on this side the cloisters, too, were situated. The aumbry, parlor, sacristy, chapterhouse, slype to the infirmary, day-stairs to dormitory and undercroft were on the east side of the cloisters; the postern and river gate, over which was the abbot's lodge on the north side, and also the buttery, refectory, and kitchen. The delicacy of design and execution to be seen in the ruins is unrivaled in the kingdom--the tracery of the windows being particularly fine. The ruined church possesses the grace and lightness of architecture peculiar to the twelfth century, and is, even in its decay, of truly sublime and grand proportions. Time has been unable to obliterate the skilful work of our forefathers, for the Early English transition arches, the delicate molding, and the exquisite stone tracery in the windows still delight the eye. The history of Tintern is almost a hidden page in the chronicles of time. On the surrender of Raglan Castle to the Cromwellian troops by the Marquis of Worcester, the castle was razed to the ground, and with it were lost the abbey records, which had been taken from Tintern when the abbey was granted to the Marquis's ancestor by Henry VIII. It is known, however, that the first foundation on the site was in the hands of a cousin of William the Conqueror, Richard Bienfaite by name. He founded the abbey in 1131, and was succeeded by his nephew, Gilbert "Strongbow." His granddaughter Isabel married the then Earl of Pembroke, and her daughter, marrying Hugh Bigod, brought the estates to the ducal house of Norfolk.
CASTLES AND STATELY HOMES
LIVING IN GREAT HOUSES [Footnote: From "England Without and Within." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1881.]
BY RICHARD GRANT WHITE
Now I will tell you a little--it can be but a little--about life in the "great houses," as they are called here. When you are asked to come to one, a train is suggested, and you are told that a carriage will be at the station to meet you. Somehow the footman manages to find you out. At ---- which is a little station at which few people get out, I had hardly left the train when a very respectable-looking person, not a footman, stept up to me and said, "Lord ----'s carriage is waiting for you, sir." The carriage and the footman and coachman were, of course, on the other side of the building. My drive from the station to ---- took quite as long a time as it took me to come down by rail from London, altho we went at a grand trot. The country was beautiful, stretching off on both sides in broad fields and meadows, darkened in lines by hedges, and in spots by clumps of trees. The roads were very narrow--they seemed rather like lanes--and this effect was increased by the high walls and hedges on either side. Two carriages had hardly room to pass in some places, with careful driving. Being in Lord ----'s well-known carriage, I was quite in state, and the country folk, most of them, bowed to me as I went on; and of course I followed the apostolic injunction, and condescended unto men of low estate.
And, by the way, yesterday afternoon (for a day has passed since I began this letter, and I am now at ----) Lady ---- drove me through their park and off to ----, the dowager Lady ----'s jointure house, and I had the honor of acknowledging for her all the numerous bobs and ducks she received from the tenants and their children. So, you see, I shall be in good training when I come into my estate. When and where I entered the park, either here or at ----, I could not exactly make out. There were gates and gates, and the private grounds seemed to shade off gradually into the public. I know that the park extended far beyond the lodge. The house at ---- is very ugly. It was built by Inigo Jones, and, never handsome, was altogether spoiled by tasteless alterations in the last century. The ugliness of English country houses built at that time is quite inexpressible.
I ought to have said that the ----s are in mourning;... and it was very kind of them to invite me. I was met at the door by a dignified personage in black, who asked me if I would go up to Lady ----'s room. She welcomed me warmly, said that Lord ---- had been called away for a few hours, and offered me tea from a tiny table at her side. And, by the way, you are usually asked to come at a time which brings you to five-o'clock tea. This gives you an opportunity to rub off the rough edge of strangeness, before you dress for dinner. Lady ----'s own room was large and hung with tapestry, and yet it was cosy and homelike. The hall is large and square, and the walls are covered with old arms. The staircase is good, but not so grand as others that I have seen; that at ----, for instance, where there was an oriel window on the first landing. This one has no landing; it is of polished oak, but is carpeted.
Lady ---- is a very attractive and elegant woman, sensible, sensitive, and with a soft, gentle way of speech and action, which is all the more charming, as she is tall. Her tea was good. She talked well, and we got on together very satisfactorily. Presently a nurse brought in her two little daughters. I thought she must have approved of her savage Yankee guest; for she encouraged them to come to me and sit upon my knees; and all mothers are shy about that. Soon in popped Lord ----, and gave me the heartiest welcome that I have received since I have been in England. He has altered somewhat since he was in New York; is grown a little stouter, and a very little graver, but is just the same frank, simple fellow as when you saw him. About seven o'clock I was asked if I would like to go up to my room. He went with me,--an attention which I found general; and "directly he had left me," according to the phrase here, a very fine-mannered person, in a dress coat and a white tie, appeared, and asked me for my keys.
I apprehended the situation at once, and submitted to his ministrations. He did everything for me except actually to wash my face and hands and put on my clothes. He laid everything that I could need, opened and laid out my dressing-case, and actually turned my stocking's. Dinner at eight. I take in Lady ----. Butler, a very solemn personage, but not stout nor red-faced. I have seen no stout, red-faced butler since I have been in England. Dining room large and handsome. Some good portraits. Gas in globes at the walls; candles on the table. Dinner very good, of course. Menu written in pencil on a porcelain card, with the formula in gilt and a coronet. Indeed, the very cans that came up to my bedroom with hot water were marked with coronet and cipher. I was inclined to scoff at this, at first, as ostentatious; but after all, as the things were to be marked, how could it be done better?
After dinner, a very pleasant chat in the drawing-room until about eleven o'clock, when Lord ---- sent Lady ---- to bed. She shakes hands on bidding me good-night, and asks if half-past nine o'clock is too early for breakfast for me. I was tempted to say that it was, and to ask if it couldn't be postponed till ten; but I didn't. The drawing-room, by the way, altho it was handsome and cheerful, was far inferior in its show to a thousand that might be found in New York, many of which, too, are quite equal to it in comfort and in tasteful adornment. Lord ---- and I sit up awhile and chat about old times and the shooting on Long Island, and when I go to my room I find that, altho I am to stay but two days, my trunk has been unpacked and all my clothes put into the wardrobe and the drawers, and most carefully arranged, as if I were going to stay a month. My morning dress has been taken away.
In the morning the same servant comes, opens my window, draws my bed curtain, prepares my bath, turns my stockings, and in fact does everything but actually bathe and dress me, and all with a very pleasant and cheerful attentiveness. At a quarter past nine the gong rings for prayers. These are generally read by the master of the household in the dining-room, with the breakfast table laid; but here in a morning-room. After breakfast you are left very much to yourself. Business and household affairs are looked after by your host and hostess; and you go where you please and do what you like.
On Sunday I of course went to church with the family: a charming old church; tower of the time of Edward III.; some fine old monuments. We merely walked through the park a distance of about the width of Washington Square, passed through a little door in the park wall, and there was the church just opposite. It was Harvest Thanksgiving day, a festival recently introduced in England, in imitation of that which has come down to us from our Puritan forefathers. There was a special service; and the church was very prettily drest with oats, flowers, grass, and grapes, the last being substituted for hops, as it was too late for them. The offerings were for the Bulgarians; for everything now in England is tinged with the hue of "Turkish horrors."
After service Lord ---- took me to the chantry, where the tombs of the family are. It was to show me a famous statue, that of a Lady ---- and her baby, at the birth of which she died, it dying soon, too. The statue is very beautiful, and is the most purely and sweetly pathetic work in sculpture that I ever saw. It had a special interest for me because I remembered reading about it in my boyhood; but I had forgotten the name of the subject, and I had no thought of finding it here in a little country church.
WINDSOR [Footnote: From "Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands."]
BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
About eleven o'clock we found ourselves going up the old stone steps to the castle. It was the last day of a fair which had been holden in this part of the country, and crowds of the common people were flocking to the castle, men, women, and children pattering up the stairs before and after us.
We went first through the state apartments. The principal thing that interested me was the ball room, which was a perfect gallery of Vandyke's paintings. Here was certainly an opportunity to know what Vandyke is. I should call him a true court painter--a master of splendid conventionalities, whose portraits of kings are the most powerful arguments for the divine right I know of.
The queen's audience chamber is hung with tapestry representing scenes from the book of Esther. This tapestry made a very great impression upon me. A knowledge of the difficulties to be overcome in the material part of painting is undoubtedly an unsuspected element of much of the pleasure we derive from it; and for this reason, probably, this tapestry appeared to us better than paintings executed with equal spirit in oils. We admired it exceedingly, entirely careless what critics might think of us if they knew it....
From the state rooms we were taken to the top of the Round Tower, where we gained a magnificent view of the Park of Windsor, with its regal avenue, miles in length, of ancient oaks; its sweeps of greensward; clumps of trees; its old Herne oak, of classic memory; in short, all that constitutes the idea of a perfect English landscape. The English tree is shorter and stouter than ours; its foliage dense and deep, lying with a full, rounding outline against the sky. Everything here conveys the idea of concentrated vitality, but without that rank luxuriance seen in our American growth. Having unfortunately exhausted the English language on the subject of grass, I will not repeat any ecstasies upon that topic.
After descending from the tower we filed off to the proper quarter, to show our orders for the private rooms. The state apartments, which we had been looking at, are open at all times, but the private apartments can only be seen in the queen's absence, and by special permission, which had been procured for us on this occasion by the kindness of the Duchess of Sutherland.
One of the first objects that attracted my attention when entering the vestibule was a baby's wicker wagon, standing in one corner; it was much such a carriage as all mothers are familiar with; such as figures largely in the history of almost every family. It had neat curtains and cushions of green merino, and was not royal, only maternal. I mused over the little thing with a good deal of interest....
In the family breakfast room we saw some fine Gobelin tapestry, representing the classical story of Meleager. In one of the rooms, on a pedestal, stood a gigantic china vase, a present from the Emperor of Russia, and in the state rooms before we had seen a large malachite vase from the same donor. The toning of this room, with regard to color, was like that of the room I described in Stafford House--the carpet of green ground, with the same little leaf upon it, the walls, chairs, and sofas covered with green damask.
The whole air of these rooms was very charming, suggestive of refined taste and domestic habits. The idea of home, which pervades everything in England, from the cottage to the palace, was as much suggested here as in any apartments I have seen. The walls of the different rooms were decorated with portraits of the members of the royal family, and those of other European princes.
After this we went thro the kitchen department--saw the silver and gold plate of the table; among the latter were some designs which I thought particularly graceful. To conclude all, we went through the stables. The men who showed them told us that several of the queen's favorite horses were taken to Osborne; but there were many beautiful creatures left, which I regarded with great complacency. The stables and stalls were perfectly clean, and neatly kept; and one, in short, derives from the whole view of the economies of Windsor that satisfaction which results from seeing a thing thoroughly done in the best conceivable manner.
BLENHEIM [Footnote: From "Famous Homes of Great Britain and Their Stories." A.H. Malan, Editor. By arrangement with the publishers, G.P. Putnam's Sons. Copyright, 1899.]
BY THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.
The architecture of the house itself clearly indicates the taste and training of its builder. Vanbrugh shared the enthusiasm of the day for classical work, as understood and developed, whether well or ill, by the Italians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; but with characteristic disregard of law, he thought to combine classical severity with the fancifulness natural in a northerner and a playwright. Thus, while the general scheme of the south front, for instance, is distinctly severe, the massive towers at its ends are surmounted by fantastic masses of open stone-work, most quaintly finished off with arrangements of cannon-balls and coronets. Throughout he repeatedly made use of classical members with strange disregard to their structural intention. Silvester, the French artist employed to make designs for the decoration of the salon, sniffed contemptuously at Vanbrugh's Gothic tendencies. "I can not approve of that double line of niches. It suggests the façade of a Gothic church." And then with savage delight he announced his discovery that much of the design was merely an unintelligent imitation of the Palazzo Farnese at Florence.
Certainly, in spite of Vanbrugh's attempt to achieve at once dignity and lightness, the probable impression made by the building on the casual observer is, that it is ponderous without being stately, and irregular without being tasteful. But the final feeling of any one whose fate it is to study it at leisure will assuredly be one of respect, even of enthusiasm, for the ability of Vanbrugh. It takes time to realize the boldness of the general design and the solidity of the masonry. In many parts there are about as many feet of solid stone as a modern architect would put inches of lath and plaster. The negative qualities of integrity and thoroughness are rare enough in work of the present day, now that the architect has delegated to the contractor the execution of his design.
The interior proportions of the rooms are generally admirable, and so perfectly was the work carried out that it is possible to look through the keyholes of ten doors, and see daylight at the end, over three hundred feet off. It is noticeable, further, that the whole was designed by a single man, there being no subsequent additions, as there are, for instance, at Chatsworth and Wentworth. Vanbrugh is responsible for good and bad qualities alike. One would imagine a priori that he had everything in his favor--unlimited money and a free hand. Far from this being the case, the stupendous work was accomplished under difficulties greater than any long-suffering architect ever had to contend with.
The beginning of the building was most auspicious. In 1705, the year after Blenheim, Queen Anne, in accordance with an address of the Commons, granted Marlborough the royal estate of which Woodstock was the center, with moneys to build a suitable house. The nation was anxious to show its gratitude to the General under whom English troops had won their first considerable victory on foreign soil since Agincourt; the Queen was for doing all in her power for her dear Mrs. Freeman; Marlborough saw in the scheme a dignified and legitimate method of perpetuating his fame; and so Vanbrugh was commissioned to build a house which should be worthy of all three. The work was at once begun on the existing scale. Difficulties sprang up when the Duchess began to lose, by her abuse of it, the power which she had always possessed over the Queen; when, too, it was seen that the architect's estimate bore no sort of relation to the actual cost. Vanbrugh was often in the greatest straits for money, and wrote piteously to the Duchess and the Lord Treasurer Godolphin without the slightest effect. Things naturally grew worse when both the Duke and Duchess were dismissed from all their posts, in 1711; and at last, in 1721, the disputes culminated in a lawsuit successfully brought against the Duke by the workmen for arrears of pay, the defendant's contention being that the Treasury was liable for the whole expense. The Duchess vented her displeasure on the unfortunate architect, whom she never credited with doing anything right. She carefully kept his letters, and made spiteful endorsements on them for the benefit of her counsel at the trial.
While Sarah was perpetually involving herself in quarrels with her architect, the Duke was indirectly furthering the progress of the building by a succession of victories abroad. Without taking an active part, he was yet much interested in the house, always looking forward to the time when he should live there in peace with his wife. When on a campaign he wrote to her nearly every other day, and in almost every letter there is a personal touch, showing his ever-present love for her, his keen anxiety to keep her love, and to win her approval of everything he did.
The main interest of Marlborough's later life centered in Blenheim. The Duchess had done the lion's share of the work of superintendence; it remained for him to arrange the many works of art he had bought and had been given during the war. There still exists an account of the prices he paid for tapestries made in Brussels, most of which are now on the walls of the house. Over the south front was placed a bust of Louis XIV., a trophy taken from the gates of Tournay....
Changes of fashion and of taste have left their mark on Blenheim; and, as the old oaks recall the joyousness of the Middle Ages, and the elms and cedars have a certain air of eighteenth-century stateliness, so perhaps the orchids, with their exotic delicacy, may be held typical of the decadent present. From the house many treasures, once part of its adornment, are now missed; and while books, pictures, and gems have disappeared, modern ideas of comfort have suggested the insertion of electric lights and telephones. To regret the treasures of the past is a commonplace; it would seem fitter to make the best of the advantages of the present.
WARWICK [Footnote: From "Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands."]
BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
When we came fairly into the courtyard of Warwick Castle, a scene of magnificent beauty opened before us. I can not describe it minutely. The principal features are the battlements, towers, and turrets of the old feudal castle, encompassed by grounds on which has been expended all that princely art of landscape gardening for which England is famous--leafy thickets, magnificent trees, openings, and vistas of verdure, and wide sweeps of grass, short, thick, and vividly green, as the velvet moss we sometimes see growing on rocks in New England. Grass is an art and a science in England--it is an institution. The pains that are taken in sowing, tending, cutting, clipping, rolling, and otherwise nursing and coaxing it, being seconded by the misty breath and often falling tears of the climate, produce results which must be seen to be appreciated....
Here, under the shade of lofty cedars, has sprung and fallen an hereditary line of princes. One can not but feel, in looking on these majestic trees, with the battlements, turrets, and towers of the old castle everywhere surrounding him, and the magnificent parks and lawns opening through dreamy vistas of trees into what seems immeasurable distance, the force of the soliloquy which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of the dying old king-maker, as he lies ebreathing out his soul in the dust and blood of the battlefield....
I have described the grounds first, but, in fact, we did not look at them first, but went into the house where we saw not only all the state rooms, but, through the kindness of the noble proprietor, many of those which are not commonly exhibited; a bewildering display of magnificent apartments, pictures, gems, vases, arms and armor, antiques, all, in short, that the wealth of a princely and powerful family had for centuries been accumulating.
The great hall of the castle is sixty-two feet in length and forty in breadth, ornamented with a richly carved Gothic roof, in which figures largely the family cognizance of the bear and ragged staff. There is a succession of shields, on which are emblazoned the quarterings of successive Earls of Warwick. The sides of the wall are ornamented with lances, corselets, shields, helmets, and complete suits of armor, regularly arranged as in an armory.
Here we saw the helmet of Cromwell, a most venerable relic. Before the great, cavernous fireplace was piled up on a sled a quantity of yew-tree wood. The rude simplicity of thus arranging it on the polished floor of this magnificent apartment struck me as quite singular. I suppose it is a continuation of some ancient custom.
Opening from this apartment on either side are suites of rooms, the whole series being three hundred and thirty-three feet in length. These rooms are all hung with pictures, and studded with antiques and curiosities of immense value. There is, first, the red drawing-room, and then the cedar drawing-room, then the gilt drawing-room, the state bedroom, the boudoir, etc., etc., hung with pictures by Vandyke, Rubens, Guido, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Paul Veronese, any one of which would require days of study.
I walked to one of the windows of these lordly apartments, and while the company were examining buhl cabinets, and all other deliciousness of the place, I looked down the old gray walls into the amber waters of the Avon, which flows at their base, and thought that the most beautiful of all was without. There is a tiny fall that crosses the river just above here, whose waters turn the wheels of an old mossy mill, where for centuries the family grain has been ground. The river winds away through the beautiful parks and undulating foliage, its soft, grassy banks dotted here and there with sheep and cattle, and you catch farewell gleams and glitters of it as it loses itself among the trees.
Gray moss, wallflowers, ivy, and grass were growing here and there out of crevices in the castle walls, as I looked down, sometimes trailing their rippling tendrils in the river. This vegetative propensity of walls is one of the chief graces of these old buildings.
In the state bedroom were a bed and furnishings of rich crimson velvet, once belonging to Queen Anne, and presented by George III. to the Warwick family. The walls are hung with Brussels tapestry, representing the gardens of Versailles as they were at the time. The chimney-piece, which is sculptured of verde antique and white marble, supports two black marble vases on its mantel. Over the mantel-piece is a full-length portrait of Queen Anne, in a rich brocade dress, wearing the collar and jewels of the garter, bearing in one hand a scepter, and in the other a globe. There are two splendid buhl cabinets in the room, and a table of costly stone from Italy; it is mounted on a richly carved and gilt stand.
The boudoir, which adjoins, is hung with pea-green satin and velvet. In this room is one of the most authentic portraits of Henry VIII., by Holbein, in which that selfish, brutal, unfeeling tyrant is veritably set forth, with all the gold and gems which, in his day, blinded mankind; his fat, white hands were beautifully painted....
After having examined all the upper stories, we went down into the vaults underneath--vaults once grim and hoary, terrible to captives and feudal enemies, now devoted to no purpose more grim than that of coal cellars and wine vaults. In Oliver's time, a regiment was quartered there; they are extensive enough, apparently, for an army.
The kitchen and its adjuncts are of magnificent dimensions, and indicate an ancient amplitude in the way of provision for good cheer worthy an ancient house; and what struck me as a still better feature was a library of sound, sensible, historical, and religious works for the servants.
We went into the beer vaults, where a man drew beer into a long black jack, such as Scott describes. It is a tankard, made of black leather, I should think half a yard deep. He drew the beer from a large hogshead, and offered us some in a glass. It looked very clear, but, on tasting, I found it so exceedingly bitter that it struck me there would be small virtue for me in abstinence.
KENILWORTH [Footnote: From Scott's "Kenilworth." Kenilworth is now the most stately ruined castle in England. Its destruction dates from the Civil War, when it was dismantled by soldiers under Cromwell. Then it was allowed to decay. Scott describes it as it was in Queen Elizabeth's time.]
BY SIR WALTER SCOTT
The outer wall of this splendid and gigantic structure enclosed seven acres, a part of which was occupied by extensive stables, and by a pleasure garden, with its trim arbors and parterres, and the rest formed the large base-court, or outer-yard, of the noble castle. The lordly structure itself, which rose near the center of this spacious enclosure, was composed of a huge pile of magnificent castellated buildings, apparently of different ages, surrounding an inner court, and bearing in the names attached to each portion of the magnificent mass, and in the armorial bearings which were there blazoned, the emblems of mighty chiefs who had long passed away, and whose history, could ambition have lent ear to it, might have read a lesson to the haughty favorite, who had now acquired and was augmenting the fair domain. A large and massive keep, which formed the citadel of the castle, was of uncertain tho great antiquity. It bore the name of Cæsar, perhaps from its resemblance to that in the Tower of London so called.
Some antiquaries ascribe its foundation to the time of Kenelph, from whom the castle had its name, a Saxon King of Mercia, and others to an early era after the Norman Conquest. On the exterior walls frowned the escutcheon of the Clintons, by whom they were founded in the reign of Henry I., and of the yet more redoubted Simon de Montfort, by whom, during the Barons' wars, Kenilworth was long held out against Henry III. Here Mortimer, Earl of March, famous alike for his rise and his fall, had once gaily revelled in Kenilworth, while his dethroned sovereign, Edward II. languished in its dungeons. Old John of Gaunt, "time-honored Lancaster," had widely extended the castle, erecting that noble and massive pile which yet bears the name of Lancaster's buildings: and Leicester himself had outdone the former possessors, princely and powerful as they were, by erecting another immense structure, which now lies crusht under its own ruins, the monument of its owner's ambition. The external wall of this royal castle was, on the south and west sides, adorned and defended by a lake partly artificial, across which Leicester had constructed a stately bridge, that Elizabeth might enter the castle by a path hitherto untrodden, instead of the usual entrance to the northward, over which he had erected a gate-house, or barbican, which still exists, and is equal in extent, and superior in architecture, to the baronial castle of many a northern chief.
Beyond the lake lay an extensive chase, full of red-deer, fallow-deer, roes, and every species of game, and abounding with lofty trees, from among which the extended front and massive towers of the castle were seen to rise in majesty and beauty. We can not but add that of this lordly palace, where princes feasted and heroes fought, now in the bloody earnest of storm and siege, and now in the games of chivalry, where beauty dealt the prize which valor won, all is now desolate. The bed of the lake is but a rushy swamp and the massive ruins of the castle only serve to show what their splendor once was, and to impress on the musing visitor the transitory value of human possessions, and the happiness of those who enjoy a humble lot in virtuous contentment.
ALNWICK [Footnote: From "Visits to Remarkable Places."]
BY WILLIAM HOWITT
A visit to Alnwick is like going back into the old feudal times. The town still retains the moderate dimensions and the quiet air of one that has grown up under the protection of the castle, and of the great family of the castle. Other towns, that arose under the same circumstances, have caught the impulse of modern commerce and manufacture, and have grown into huge, bustling, and noisy cities, in which the old fortified walls and the old castle have either vanished, or have been swallowed up, and stand, as if in superannuated wonder, amid a race and a wilderness of buildings, with which they have nothing in common. When, however, you enter Alnwick, you still feel that you are entering a feudal place. It is as the abode of the Percys has presented itself to your imagination. It is still, quaint, gray, and old-worldish....
In fact, the whole situation is fine, without being highly romantic, and worthy of its superb old fabric. In the castle itself, without and within, I never saw one on English ground that more delighted me; because it more completely came up to the beau ideal of the feudal baronial mansion, and especially of that of the Percys, the great chieftains of the British Border--the heroes of Otterburn and Chevy Chase.
Nothing can be more striking than the effect at first entering within the walls from the town; when, through a dark gloomy gateway of considerable length and depth, the eye suddenly emerges into one of the most splendid scenes that can be imagined; and is presented at once with the great body of the inner castle, surrounded with fair semi-circular towers, finely swelling to the eye, and gaily adorned with pinnacles, battlements, etc. The impression is still further strengthened by the successive entrances into the second and third courts, through great massy towers, till you are landed in the inner court, in the very center of this great citadel.
An idea may be formed of the scale of this brave castle, when we state that it includes, within its outer walls, about five acres of ground; and that its walls are flanked with sixteen towers, which now afford a complete set of offices to the castle, and many of them retain not only their ancient names, but also their original uses.
The castle courts, except the center one, are beautifully carpeted with green turf, which gives them a very pleasant aspect. In the center of the second court is a lion with his paw on a ball, a copy of one of the lions of St. Mark at Venice....
The inner court is square, with the corners taken off; and on the wall opposite to the entrance are medallion portraits of the first Duke and Duchess. Near the gateway appear the old wheels and axle which worked the great well, over which is the figure of a pilgrim blessing the waters. Within the gateway you enter an octagon tower, where the old dungeon still remains in the floor, covered with its iron grate. It is eleven feet deep, by nine feet eight inches and a half square at the bottom. In the court are two other dungeons, now or formerly used for a force-pump to throw water up to the top of the castle; and one now not used at all--which could all be so closed down as to exclude the prisoners from both sound and light....
Having wandered thus around this noble pile, it is time to enter it. Of the interior, however, I shall not say much more than that it is at once a fitting modern residence for a nobleman of the high rank and ancient descent of the proprietor, and in admirable keeping with its exterior. The rooms are fitted up with light Gothic tracery on the walls, very chaste and elegant; and the colors are so delicate and subdued, that you are not offended with that feeling of over-fineness that is felt at Raby.
You ascend by a noble staircase, surrounded with armorial escutcheons instead of a cornice, to a suite of very spacious and handsome rooms, of which the principal are the saloon, dining-room, breakfast-room, library, and chapel. The ceilings are finely worked into compartments with escutcheons and pendants. The walls of the saloon are covered with crimson silk, sprigged with yellow flowers; those of the dining-room, with pale buff, and white moldings, rich tracery and elegant compartmented ceiling. In the center of some of the arches you see the crescent, the crest of the Percys.
On the whole, it is a noble and highly satisfactory mansion; but still it is when you get without again that you feel the real antiquity and proud dignity of the place. The fame of the Percy and the Douglas seems to be whispered by every wind that plays around those old towers.
HAMPTON COURT [Footnote: From "Visits to Remarkable Places."]
BY WILLIAM HOWITT
To the visitors of cultivated taste and historic knowledge, Hampton Court abounds with subjects of reflective interest of the highest order. It is true, that, compared with some of our palaces, it can lay no claims to antiquity; but from the days of Henry VIII. to those of George III., there are few of them that have witnessed more singular or momentous events.
Overbearing despot as Wolsey [who built it] was, there is something magnificent in the sweep of his ambition, and irresistibly interesting in the greatness of his fall. He was the last of those haughty prelates in the good old Catholic times who rose up from the dust of insignificance into the most lordly and overgrown magnificence; outdoing monarchs in the number of their servants, and in the pomp of their state. Equaling the great Cardinals who have figured on the Continent, Ximenes, Richelieu, Mazarin, and De Retz, in political ability and personal ambition, he exceeded all in the wealth which he unhesitatingly seized, and the princely splendor in which he lived.
When we enter, therefore, the gates of Hampton Court, and are struck with the magnificent extent of the erection, which at that time not only, according to Rapin, "was a stately palace, and outshined all the king's houses," but was one of the most splendid structures in Europe, we can not help figuring to ourselves the proud Cardinal surveying its progress, and musing over the wonders of that career which had brought him, if not from the humble estate of the son of a butcher, yet from an origin of no great condition, or it could not have remained dubious to this period--the wealthiest man in Europe, the most potent in political influence, and the ardent aspirant to the Popedom itself....
It was only at Hampton Court that his vast train of servants and attendants, with the nobility and ambassadors who flocked about him, could be fully entertained. These, as we learn from his gentleman-usher, Cavendish, were little short of a thousand persons; for there were upon his "cheine roll" eight hundred persons belonging to his household, independent of suitors, who were all entertained in the hall. In this hall he had daily spread three tables. At the head of the first presided a priest, a steward; at that of the second a knight, as treasurer; and at the third his comptroller, who was an esquire.... Besides these, there was always a doctor, a confessor, two almoners, three marshals, three ushers of the hall, and groom. The furnishing of these tables required a proportionate kitchen; and here were two clerks, a clerk-comptroller, and surveyor of the dressers; a clerk of the spicery; two cooks, with laborers and children for assistants: turnspits a dozen; four scullery-men; two yeomen of the pastry, and two paste-layers. In his own kitchen was his master-cook, daily drest in velvet or satin, and wearing a gold chain. Under him were two other cooks and their six laborers; in the larder a yeoman and groom; in the scullery a yeoman and two grooms; in the ewry two yeomen and two grooms; in the buttery the same; in the cellar three yeomen and three pages; in the chandlery and the wafery, each two yeomen; in the wardrobe the master of the wardrobe and twenty assistants; in the laundry, yeoman, groom, thirteen pages, two yeoman-purveyors and groom-purveyor; in the bake-house, two yeomen and two grooms; in the wood-yard one yeoman and groom; in the barn a yeoman; at the gate two yeomen and two grooms; a yeoman of his barge; the master of his horse; a clerk and groom of the stables; the farrier; the yeoman of the stirrup; a maltster; and sixteen grooms, each keeping four horses.
There were the dean and sub-dean of his chapel; the repeater of the choir; the gospeler, the epistler, or the singing priest; the master of the singers, with his men and children. In the vestry were a yeoman and two grooms. In the procession were commonly seen forty priests, all in rich copes and other vestments of white satin, or scarlet, or crimson. The altar was covered with massy plate, and blazed with jewels and precious stones. But if such were his general establishment, not less was the array of those who attended on his person. In his privy chamber he had his chief chamberlain, vice-chamberlain, and two gentlemen-ushers. Six gentlemen-waiters and twelve yeomen; and at their head nine or ten lords to attend on him, each with their two or three servants, and some more, to wait on them, the Earl of Derby having five. Three gentlemen-cupbearers, gentlemen-carvers, and servers to the amount of forty in the great and the privy chamber; six gentlemen-ushers and eight grooms. Attending on his table were twelve doctors and chaplains, clerk of the closet, two clerks of the signet, four counsellors learned in the law, and two secretaries.
He had his riding-clerk; clerk of the crown; clerk of the hamper and chaffer; clerk of the cheque for the chaplains; clerk for the yeomen of the chamber; and "fourteen footmen garnished with rich running-coates, whensoever he had any journey;" besides these, a herald-at-arms, sergeant-at-arms, a physician, an apothecary, four minstrels, a keeper of the tents, an armorer; an instructor of his wards in chancery; "an instructor of his wardrop of roabes;" a keeper of his chamber; a surveyor of York, and clerk of the green cloth....
I am afraid the story of Henry VIII. coming to see this splendid palace on its first being built, and saying in a jealous surprize, "My Lord Cardinal, is this a dwelling for a subject?" and the courtly Cardinal replying, "My gracious liege, it is not intended for a subject; it is meant only for the greatest and most bounteous king in Christendom," is too good to be true; for altho Wolsey did give up this favorite palace to his royal master, it was long afterward, and only on the palpable outbreak of his displeasure, as a most persuasive peace-offering; an offering which, tho especially acceptable, failed nevertheless to ensure lasting peace. The sun of the great Cardinal was already in its decline....
Henry VIII. used to keep his court here frequently in great state, and here he used to celebrate Christmas in all its ancient festivity. Here he lost his third wife, Jane Seymour, a few days after the birth of his son Edward VI., and felt or affected much grief on that account, perhaps because he had not had the pleasure of cutting off her head. Here he married his sixth wife, Lady Catherine Parr, widow of Neville, Lord Latimer, and sister of the Marquis of Northampton. This lady, who had the hardihood to marry this royal Bluebeard, after he had divorced two wives and chopped off the heads of two others, narrowly escaped the fate she so rashly hazarded. The very warrant for her committal to the Tower, whence she was only to be brought forth to be burned at the stake for heresy, was signed, and on the point of execution, when she accidentally became aware of it, and managed to soothe the ferocious tyrant by the most artful submission to his conceit of his theological learning, and by rubbing his ulcerated leg.
Here, as we have said, Edward VI. was born; and three days after he was baptized in the king's chapel in the palace in great state--Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, and the Duke of Norfolk, being god-fathers. Hampton Court was appropriated by the guardians of Edward as his residence, and he was residing here when the council rose against the authority of the Protector Somerset, and was removed by him hence to Windsor Castle, lest the council should obtain possession of his person. Here Bloody Mary, and her husband, Philip of Spain, passed their honeymoon in great retirement; and here--when they were desirous of effacing from the mind of their sister, the Princess Elizabeth, the recollection of her imprisonment at Woodstock, and the vain attempts of their arch-rascal priest Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Winchester, to coerce her into popery, or to convict her of heresy, and probably bring her to the flaming stake--they invited her to spend some time with them, and set on foot banquets, maskings, and all sorts of revelries.
Here they kept Christmas with her as royally as the father, Henry VIII., had kept it in his day; Elizabeth being seated at the royal table with their majesties, next the cloth of state, and, at the removal of the dishes, served with a perfumed napkin and plate of confect by the Lord Paget. Here, too, during her stay, they gave a grand tournament, wherein two hundred spears were broken by contending knights. Here Elizabeth also, when she was become the potent queen instead of the jealously-watched sister, continued occasionally to assemble her brilliant court, and to hold merry Christmas, as Mary, Edward, and her father had done before. Here also the especial festivals of the Christmases of 1572 and 1593 were kept by her....
The entrance to the portion of the palace built by Wolsey is by a sort of outer court of great extent, the gates of which have their pillars surmounted by a large lion and unicorn as supporters of the crown royal, and each of the side gates by a military trophy. Along the left side of the area are barracks and such offices; the greater part of the right side is open toward the river, and there stand nine as lofty and noble elms, in a row, as perhaps any part of England can match. Two gateways are before you; the one to the left leading to the kitchen-court, the center one to the first quadrangle. This chief gateway has been restored, in excellent keeping with the old building, and has a noble aspect as you approach it, being flanked with octagon towers, pierced with a fine pointed arch, over which are cut, in rich relief, the royal arms, and above them projects a large and handsome bay-window, framed of stone.
You now enter by a Gothic archway the first of the courts of Wolsey remaining. These two are said to have been the meanest then in the palace. There were originally five; the three finest of which were pulled down to make way for William III.'s great square mass of brickwork. The writers who saw it in its glory, describe it in entireness as the most splendid palace in Europe. Grotius says, "other palaces are residences of kings, but this is of the gods." Hentzner, who saw it in Elizabeth's time, speaks of it with astonishment, and says, "the rooms being very numerous, are adorned with tapestry of gold, silver, and velvet, in some of which were woven history pieces; in other Turkish and Armenian dresses, all extremely natural. In one chamber are several excessively rich tapestries, which are hung up when the queen gives audience to foreign ambassadors. All the walls of the palace shine with gold and silver. Here is likewise a certain cabinet called Paradise, where, besides that every thing glitters so with silver, gold, and jewels, as to dazzle one's eyes, there is a musical instrument made all of glass except the strings."
It was, indeed, a Dutch taste which leveled all these stately buildings to the ground, to erect the great square mass which replaced them. A glorious view, if old drawings are to be believed, must all that vast and picturesque variety of towers, battlements, tall mullioned windows, cupolas and pinnacles, have made, as they stood under the clear heaven glittering in the sun....
The hall, the chapel, the withdrawing-room, are all splendid specimens of Gothic grandeur, and possess many historic associations. In the hall, Surrey wrote on a pane of glass some of his verses to Géraldine; and there, too, it is said, the play of Henry VIII., exhibiting the fall of Wolsey in the very creation of his former glory, was once acted, Shakespeare himself being one of the performers!
CHATSWORTH AND HADDON HALL [Footnote: From "A Walk From London to John O'Groats."]
BY ELIHU BURRITT
It was a pleasure quite equal to my anticipation to visit Chatsworth for the first time, after a sojourn in England, off and on, for sixteen years. It is the lion number three, according to the American ranking of the historical edifices and localities of England. Stratford-upon-Avon, Westminster Abbey and Chatsworth are the three representative celebrities which our travelers think they must visit if they would see the life of England's ages from the best standpoints. And this is the order in which they rank them. Chatsworth and Haddon Hall should be seen the same day if possible; so that you may carry the impression of the one fresh and active into the other. They are the two most representative buildings in the kingdom. Haddon is old English feudalism edificed. It represents the rough grandeur, hospitality, wassail and rude romance of the English nobility five hundred years ago. It was all in its glory about the time when Thomas-à-Becket, the Magnificent, used to entertain great companies of belted knights of the realm in a manner that exceeded regal munificence in those days--even directing fresh straw to be laid for them on his ample mansion floor, that they might not soil the bravery of their dresses when they bunked down for the night. The building is brimful of the character and history of that period. Indeed, there are no two milestones of English history so near together, and yet measuring such a space of the nation's life and mariners between them, as this hall and that of Chatsworth.
It was built, of course, in the bow and arrow times, when the sun had to use the same missiles in shooting its barbed rays into the narrow apertures of old castles--or the stone coffins of fear-hunted knights and ladies, as they might be called. What a monument this to the dispositions and habits of the world, outside and inside of that early time! Here is the porter's or warder's lodge just inside the huge gate. To think of a living being with a human soul in him burrowing in such a place!--a big, black sarcophagus without a lid to it, set deep in the solid wall. Then there is the chapel. Compare it with that of Chatsworth, and you may count almost on your fingers the centuries that have intervened between them. It was new-roofed soon after the discovery of America, and, perhaps, done up to some show of decency and comfort. But how small and rude the pulpit and pews--looking like rough-boarded potato-bins! Here is the great banquet-hall, full to overflowing with the tracks and cross-tracks of that wild, strange life of old. There is a fire-place for you, and the mark in the chimney-back of five hundred Christmas logs. Doubtless this great stone pavement of a floor was carpeted with straw at banquets, after the illustrious Becket's pattern.
Here is a memento of the feast hanging up at the top of the kitchenward door--a pair of roughly-forged, rusty handcuffs amalgamated into one pair of jaws, like a muskrat trap. What was the use of that thing, conductor? "That sir, they put the 'ands in of them as shirked and didn't drink up all the wine as was poured into their cups, and there they made them stand on tiptoe up against that door, sir, before all the company, sir, until they was ashamed of theirselves." Descend into the kitchen, all scarred with the tremendous cookery of ages. Here they roasted bullocks whole, and just back in that dark vault with a slit or two in it for the light, they killed and drest them. There are relics of the shambles, and here is the great form on which they cut them up into manageable pieces. It would do you good, you Young America, to see that form, and the cross-gashes of the meat ax in it. It is the half of a gigantic English oak, which was growing in Julius Caesar's time, sawed through lengthwise, making a top surface several feet wide, black and smooth as ebony. Some of the bark still clings to the under side. The dancing-hall is the great room of the building. All that the taste, art and wealth of that day could do, was done to make it a splendid apartment, and it would pass muster still as a comfortable and respectable salon. As we pass out, you may decipher the short prayer cut in the wasting stone over a side portal, "God Save the Vernons." I hope this prayer has been favorably answered; for history records much virtue in the family, mingled with some romantic escapades, which have contributed, I believe, to the entertainment of many novel readers.
Just what Haddon Hall is to the baronial life and society of England five hundred years ago, is Chatsworth to the full stature of modern civilization and aristocratic wealth, taste and position. Of this it is probably the best measure and representative in the kingdom; and as such it possesses a special value and interest to the world at large. Were it not for here and there such an establishment, we should lack way-marks in the progress of the arts, sciences and tastes of advancing civilization.
EATON HALL [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By permission of, and by arrangement with, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870 and 1898.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
The Church of St. John is outside of the city walls of Chester. Entering the East gate, we walked awhile under the Rows, bought our tickets for Eaton Hall and its gardens, and likewise some playthings for the children; for this old city of Chester seems to me to possess an unusual number of toy-shops. Finally we took a cab, and drove to the Hall, about four miles distant, nearly the whole of the way lying through the wooded Park. There are many sorts of trees, making up a wilderness, which looked not unlike the woods of our own Concord, only less wild. The English oak is not a handsome tree, being short and sturdy, with a round, thick mass of foliage, lying all within its own bounds. It was a showery day. Had there been any sunshine, there might doubtless have been many beautiful effects of light and shadow in these woods. We saw one or two herds of deer, quietly feeding, a hundred yards or so distant. They appeared to be somewhat wilder than cattle, but, I think, not much wilder than sheep. Their ancestors have probably been in a half-domesticated state, receiving food at the hands of man, in winter, for centuries. There is a kind of poetry in this, quite as much as if they were really wild deer, such as their forefathers were, when Hugh Lupus used to hunt them.
Our miserable cab drew up at the steps of Eaton Hall, and, ascending under the portico, the door swung silently open, and we were received very civilly by two old men--one, a tall footman in livery; the other, of higher grade, in plain clothes. The entrance-hall is very spacious, and the floor is tessellated or somehow inlaid with marble. There was statuary in marble on the floor, and in niches stood several figures in antique armor, of various dates; some with lances, and others with battle-axes and swords. There was a two-handed sword, as much as six feet long; but not nearly so ponderous as I have supposed this kind of weapon to be, from reading of it. I could easily have brandished it.
The plainly drest old man now led us into a long corridor, which goes, I think, the whole length of the house, about five hundred feet, arched all the way, and lengthened interminably by a looking-glass at the end, in which I saw our own party approaching like a party of strangers. But I have so often seen this effect produced in dry-goods stores and elsewhere, that I was not much imprest. There were family portraits and other pictures, and likewise pieces of statuary, along this arched corridor; and it communicated with a chapel with a scriptural altar-piece, copied from Rubens, and a picture of St. Michael and the Dragon, and two, or perhaps three, richly painted windows. Everything here is entirely new and fresh, this part having been repaired, and never yet inhabited by the family. This brand-newness makes it much less effective than if it had been lived in; and I felt pretty much as if I were strolling through any other renewed house. After all, the utmost force of man can do positively very little toward making grand things or beautiful things. The imagination can do so much more, merely on shutting one's eyes, that the actual effect seems meager; so that a new house, unassociated with the past, is exceedingly unsatisfactory, especially when you have heard that the wealth and skill of man has here done its best. Besides, the rooms, as we saw them, did not look by any means their best, the carpets not being down, and the furniture being covered with protective envelops. However, rooms can not be seen to advantage by daylight; it being altogether essential to the effect, that they should be illuminated by artificial light, which takes them somewhat out of the region of bare reality. Nevertheless, there was undoubtedly great splendor--for the details of which I refer to the guide-book. Among the family portraits, there was one of a lady famous for her beautiful hand; and she was holding it up to notice in the funniest way--and very beautiful it certainly was. The private apartments of the family were not shown us. I should think it impossible for the owner of this house to imbue it with his personality to such a degree as to feel it to be his home. It must be like a small lobster in a shell much too large for him.
After seeing what was to be seen of the rooms, we visited the gardens, in which are noble conservatories and hot-houses, containing all manner of rare and beautiful flowers, and tropical fruits. I noticed some large pines, looking as if they were really made of gold. The gardener (under-gardener I suppose he was) who showed this part of the spectacle was very intelligent as well as kindly, and seemed to take an interest in his business. He gave S---- a purple everlasting flower, which will endure a great many years, as a memento of our visit to Eaton Hall. Finally, we took a view of the front of the edifice, which is very fine, and much more satisfactory than the interior--and returned to Chester.
HOLLAND HOUSE [Footnote: From "Homes and Haunts of the Most Eminent British Poets."]
BY WILLIAM HOWITT
Of Holland House, the last residence of Addison, it would require a long article to give a fitting idea. This fine old mansion is full of historic associations. It takes its name from Henry Rich, earl of Holland, whose portrait is in Bilton. It was built by his father-in-law, Sir Walter Cope, in 1607, and affords a very good specimen of the architecture of that period. The general form is that of a half H. The projection in the center, forming: at once porch and tower, and the two wings supported on pillars, give great decision of effect to it. The stone quoins worked with a sort of arabesque figure, remind one of the style of some portions of Heidelberg Castle, which is what is called on the Continent roccoco. Here it is deemed Elizabethan; but the plain buildings attached on each side to the main body of the house, with their shingled and steep-roofed towers, have a very picturesque and Bohemian look. Altogether, it is a charming old pile, and the interior corresponds beautifully with the exterior. There is a fine entrance-hall, a library behind it, and another library extending the whole length of one of the wings and the house upstairs, one hundred and five feet in length. The drawing-room over the entrance-hall, called the Gilt Room, extends from front to back of the house, and commands views of the gardens both way; those to the back are very beautiful.
In the house are, of course, many interesting and valuable works of art; a great portion of them memorials of the distinguished men who have been accustomed to resort thither. In one room is a portrait of Charles James Fox, as a child, in a light blue dress, and with a close, reddish, woolen cap on his head, under which show lace edges. The artist is unknown, but is supposed to be French. The countenance is full of life and intelligence, and the "child" in it is, most remarkably, "the father of the man." The likeness is wonderful. You can imagine how, by time and circumstance, that child's countenance expanded into what it became in maturity. There is also a portrait of Addison, which belonged to his daughter. It represents him as much younger than any other that I have seen. In the Gilt Room are marble busts of George IV. and William IV. On the staircase is a bust of Lord Holland, father of the second earl and of Charles Fox, by Nollekens. This bust, which is massy, and full of power and expression, is said to have brought Nollekens into his great repute. The likeness to that of Charles Fox is very striking. By the same artist there are also the busts of Charles Fox, the late Lord Holland, and the present earl. That of Frere, by Chantry, is very spirited. There are also, here, portraits of Lord Lansdowne, Lord John Russell, and family portraits. There is also a large and very curious painting of a fair, by Callot, and an Italian print of it.
In the library, downstairs, are portraits of Charles James Fox--a very fine one; of the late Lord Holland; of Talleyrand, by Ary Scheffer, perhaps the best in existence, and the only one which he said that he ever sat for; of Sir Samuel Romilly; Sir James Mackintosh; Lord Erskine, by Sir Thomas Lawrence; Tierney; Francis Horner, by Raeburn, so like Sir Walter Scott, by the same artist, that I at first supposed it to be him; Lord Macartney, by Phillips; Frere, by Shea; Mone, Lord Thanet; Archibald Hamilton; late Lord Darnley; late Lord King, when young, by Hoppner; and a very sweet, foreign fancy portrait of the present Lady Holland. We miss, however, from this haunt of genius, the portraits of Byron, Brougham, Crabbe, Blanco White, Hallam, Rogers, Lord Jeffrey, and others. In the left wing is placed the colossal model of the statue of Charles Fox, which stands in Bloomsbury Square.
In the gardens are various memorials of distinguished men. Among several very fine cedars, perhaps the finest is said to have been planted by Charles Fox. In the quaint old garden is an alcove, in which are the following lines, placed there by the late earl:
"Here Rogers sat--and here for ever dwell With me, those pleasures which he sang so well."
Beneath these are framed and glazed a copy of verses in honor of the same poet, by Mr. Luttrell. There is also in the same garden, and opposite this alcove, a bronze bust of Napoleon, on a granite pillar, with a Greek inscription from the Odyssey, admirably applying the situation of Ulysses to that of Napoleon at St. Helena: "In a far-distant isle he remains under the harsh surveillance of base men."
The fine avenue leading down from the house to the Kensington road is remarkable for having often been the walking and talking place of Cromwell and General Lambert. Lambert then occupied Holland House; and Cromwell, who lived next door, when he came to converse with him on state affairs, had to speak very loud to him, because he was deaf. To avoid being overheard, they used to walk in this avenue.
The traditions regarding Addison here are very slight. They are, simply, that he used to walk, when composing his "Spectators," in the long library, then a picture gallery, with a bottle of wine at each end, which he visited as he alternately arrived at them; and that the room in which he died, tho not positively known, is supposed to be the present dining-room, being then the state bed-room. The young Earl of Warwick, to whom he there address the emphatic words, "See in what peace a Christian can die!" died also, himself, in 1721, but two years afterward. The estate then devolved to Lord Kensington, descended from Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, who sold it, about 1762, to the Right Honorable Henry Fox, afterward Lord Holland. Here the early days of the great statesman, Charles James, were passed.
ARUNDEL [Footnote: From "Cathedral Days." By permission of, and by arrangement with, the publishers, Little, Brown & Co. Copyright, 1887.]
BY ANNA BOWMAN DODD
Such a vast architectural mass as Arundel Castle, implanted in Saxon, Roman, and feudal military necessities, strikes its roots deep and wide. The town appeared, in comparison, to be but an accidental projection on the hillside. The walls grow out of the town as the trunks of a great tree shoot forth from the ground--of a different growth, but an integral part of it.
Topographically, Arundel has only a few features, yet they are fine enough to form a rich ensemble. There is the castle, huge, splendid, impressive, set like a great gray pearl on the crown of the hill. On one side spreads the town; on the other, the tall trees of the castle park begirt its towers and battlements. At the foot of the hill runs the river--a beautiful sinuous stream, which curves its course between the Down hillsides out through the plains to the sea. Whatever may have been the fate of the town in former times, held perhaps at a distance far below in the valley, during troublous times when the castle must be free for the more serious work of assault or defense, it no longer lies at the foot of its great protector. In friendly confidence it seems to sit, if not within its arms, at least beside its knee....
There is no escaping the conclusion that a duke, when one is confronted with his castle, does seem an awfully real being. The castle was a great Catholic stronghold, the Dukes of Norfolk being among the few great families which have remained faithful, since the Conquest, to the See of Rome. The present Duke of Norfolk, by reason of the fervor of his piety, his untiring zeal and magnificent generosity, is recognized as the head of the Catholic party in England. To learn that he was at present on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and that such was his yearly custom, seemed to shorten distance for us. It made the old--its beliefs, its superstitions, its unquestioning ardor of faith--strangely new. It invested the castle, which appealed to our consciousness as something remote and alien, with the reality of its relation to medieval life and manners.
The little cathedral which crowns the hill--the most prominent object for miles about, after the castle--is the gift of the present Duke. It is a pretty structure, pointed Gothic in style, consciously reproduced with all the aids of flying buttresses, niches, pinnacles, and arches. It was doubtless a splendid gift. Perhaps in the twenty-first century, when the weather has done its architectural work on the exterior, and when the interior has been finely dimmed with burned incense, when stained glass and sculptured effigies of saints have been donated by future dukes, it will be a very imposing edifice indeed.
But all the beauty of ecclesiastical picturesqueness lies across the way. Hidden behind the lovely beech-arched gateway rests the old parochial church. In spite of restoration the age of six centuries is written unmistakably on the massive square bell-tower, the thirteenth-century traceries, and the rich old glass. It is guarded by a high wall from the adjoining castle-walls, as if the castle still feared there were something dangerously infectious in the mere propinquity of such heresies.
It has had its turn at the sieges that have beset the castle. From the old tower there came a rattling hail when Waller's artillery flashed forth its fire upon the Royalist garrison in the castle. The old bells that peal out the Sunday chimes seem to retain something of the jubilant spirit of that martial time. There was a brisk military vigor in their clanging, suggestive of command rather than of entreaty, as if they were more at home when summoning fighters than worshipers.
All is peace now. The old church sits in the midst of its graves, like an old patriarch surrounded by the dead whom he has survived....
In looking up at the castle from the river, as a foreground, one has a lovely breastwork of trees, the castle resting on the crown of the hill like some splendid jewel. Its grayness makes its strong, bold outlines appear the more distinct against the melting background of the faint blue and white English sky and the shifting sky scenery....
The earliest Saxon who built his stronghold where the castle now stands must have had an eye for situation, pictorially considered, as well as that keen martial foresight which told him that the warrior who commanded the first hill from the sea, with that bastion of natural fortifications behind him, the Downs, had the God of battle already ranged on his side. The God of battle has been called on, in times past, to preside over a number of military engagements which have come off on this now peaceful hillside.
There have been few stirring events in English history in which Arundel Castle has not had its share. As Norman barons, the Earls of Arundel could not do less than the other barons of their time, and so quarreled with their king. When the Magna Charta was going about to gain signers, these feudal Arundel gentlemen figured in the bill, so to speak. The fine Baron's Hall, which commemorates this memorable signing, in the castle yonder, was built in honor of those remote but far-sighted ancestors. The Englishman, of course, has neither the vanity of the Frenchman nor the pride of the Spaniard. But for a modest people, it is astonishing what a number of monuments are built to tell the rest of the world how free England is.
The other events which have in turn destroyed or rent the castle--its siege and surrender to Henry I., the second siege by King Stephen, and later the struggle of the Cavaliers and Roundheads for its possession, during the absence abroad of the then reigning Earl--have been recorded with less boastful emphasis. The recent restorations, rebuildings, and enlargements have obliterated all traces of these rude shocks. It has since risen a hundred times more beautiful from its ruins. It is due to these modern renovations that the castle presents such a superb appearance. It has the air of careful preservation which distinguishes some of the great royal residences--such as Windsor, for instance, to which it has often been compared; its finish and completeness suggests the modern chisel. It is this aspect of completeness, as well as the unity of its fine architectural features, which makes such a great castle as this so impressive. As a feudal stronghold it can hardly fail to appeal to the imagination. As the modern palatial home of an English nobleman, it appeals to something more virile--to the sense that behind the medieval walls the life of its occupants is still representative, is still deep and national in importance and significance. Pictorially, there is nothing--unless it be a great cathedral, which brings up quite a different order of impressions and sensations--that gives to the landscape such pictorial effect as a castle.
PENSHURST [Footnote: From "Visits to Remarkable Places."]
BY WILLIAM HOWITT
England, among her titled families, can point to none more illustrious than that of Sidney. It is a name which carries with it the attestation of its genuine nobility. Others are of older standing in the realm. It is not one of those to be found on the roll of Battle Abbey. The first who bore it in England is said to have come hither in the reign of Henry III. There are others, too, which have mounted much higher in the scale of mere rank; but it may be safely said that there is none of a truer dignity, nor more endeared to the spirits of Englishmen.
Of this distinguished line, the most illustrious and popular was unquestionably Sir Philip. The universal admiration that he won from his contemporaries is one of the most curious circumstances of the history of those times. The generous and affectionate enthusiasm with which he inspired both his own countrymen and foreigners, has, perhaps, no parallel....
The first view which I got of the old house of Penshurst, called formerly both Penshurst Place and Penshurst Castle, was as I descended the hill opposite to it. Its gray walls and turrets, and high-peaked and red roofs rising in the midst of them; and the new buildings of fresh stone, mingled with the ancient fabric, presented a very striking and venerable aspect.
It stands in the midst of a wide valley, on a pleasant elevation; its woods and park stretching away beyond, northward; and the picturesque church, parsonage, and other houses of the village, grouping in front. From whichever side you view the house, it strikes you as a fitting abode of the noble Sidneys. Valleys run out on every side from the main one in which it stands; and the hills, which are everywhere at some distance, wind about in a very pleasant and picturesque manner, covered with mingled woods and fields, and hop-grounds.
The house now presents two principal fronts. The one facing westward, formerly looked into a court, called the President's Court, because the greater part of it was built by Sir Henry Sidney, the father of Sir Philip, and Lord President of the Council established in the Marches of Wales. The court is now thrown open, and converted into a lawn surrounded by a sunk fence, and overlooking a quiet valley of perhaps a mile in length, terminated by woody hills of great rural beauty.
This front, as well as the northern one, is of great length. It is of several dates and styles of architecture. The façade is of two stories, and battlemented. The center division, which is of recent erection, has large windows of triple arches, with armorial shields between the upper and lower stories. The south end of the façade is of an ancient date, with smaller mullioned windows; the northern portion with windows of a similar character to those in the center, but less and plainer. Over this façade shows itself the tall gable of the ancient banqueting-hall which stands in the inner court. At each end of this façade projects a wing, with its various towers of various bulk and height; some square, of stone, others octagon, of brick, with a great diversity of tall, worked chimneys, which, with steep roofs, and the mixture of brick-work and stone-work all through the front, give a mottled, but yet very venerable aspect to it.
The north and principal front, facing up the park, has been restored by its noble possessor, and presents a battlemented range of stone buildings of various projections, towers, turrets, and turreted chimneys, which, when the windows are put in, which is not yet fully done, will have few superiors among the castellated mansions of England....
In the center of the inner court stands the old banqueting-hall, a tall gabled building with high red roof, surmounted with the ruins of a cupola, erected upon it by Mr. Perry, who married the heiress of the family, but who does not seem to have brought much taste into it. On the point of each gable is an old stone figure--the one a tortoise, the other a lion couchant--and upon the back of each of these old figures, so completely accordant with the building itself, which exhibits under its eaves and at the corners of its windows numbers of those grotesque corbels which distinguish our buildings of an early date, both domestic and ecclesiastical, good Mr. Perry clapped a huge leaden vase which had probably crowned aforetime the pillars of a gateway, or the roof of a garden-house....
The south side of the house has all the irregularity of an old castle, consisting of various towers, projections, buttresses, and gables. Some of the windows show tracery of a superior order, and others have huge common sashes, introduced by the tasteful Mr. Perry aforesaid. The court on this side is surrounded by battlemented walls, and has a massy square gatehouse leading into the old garden, or pleasaunce, which sloped away down toward the Medway, but is now merely a grassy lawn, with the remains of one fine terrace running along its western side....
The old banqueting-hall is a noble specimen of the baronial hall of the reign of Edward III., when both house and table exhibited the rudeness of a martial age, and both gentle and simple revelled together, parted only by the salt. The floor is of brick. The raised platform, or dais, at the west-end, advances sixteen feet into the room. The width of the hall is about forty feet, and the length of it about fifty-four feet. On each side are tall Gothic windows, much of the tracery of which has been some time knocked out, and the openings plastered up. At the east end is a fine large window, with two smaller ones above it; but the large window is, for the most part, hidden by the front of the music gallery.
In the center of the floor an octagon space is marked out with a rim of stone, and within this space stands a massy old dog, or brand-iron, about a yard and a half wide, and the two upright ends three feet six inches high, having on their outer sides, near the top, the double broad arrow of the Sidney arms. The smoke from the fire, which was laid on this jolly dog, ascended and passed out through the center of the roof, which is high, and of framed oak, and was adorned at the spring of the huge groined spars with grotesque projecting carved figures, or corbels, which are now taken down, being considered in danger of falling, and are laid in the music gallery.
ENGLISH LITERARY SHRINES
STRATFORD-ON-AVON [Footnote: From "The Sketch Book." Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
BY WASHINGTON IRVING
Thou soft flowing Avon, by thy silver stream Of things more than mortal sweet Shakespeare would dream; The fairies by moonlight dance round his green bed, For hallowed the turf is which pillowed his head.
I had come to Stratford on a poetical pilgrimage. My first visit was to the house where Shakespeare was born, and where, according to tradition, he was brought up to his father's craft of wool-combing. It is a small, mean-looking edifice of wood and plaster, a true nestling-place of genius, which seems to delight in hatching its offspring in by-corners. The walls of its squalid chambers are covered with names and inscriptions in every language, by pilgrims of all nations, ranks, and conditions, from the prince to the peasant; and present a striking instance of the spontaneous and universal homage of mankind to the great poet of nature.
The house is shown by a garrulous old lady, in a frosty red face, lighted up by a cold blue anxious eye, and garnished with artificial locks of flaxen hair, curling from under an exceedingly dirty cap. She was peculiarly assiduous in exhibiting the relics with which this, like all other celebrated shrines, abounds. There was the shattered stock of the very matchlock with which Shakespeare shot the deer, on his poaching exploits. There, too, was his tobacco-box; which proves that he was a rival smoker of Sir Walter Raleigh; the sword also with which he played Hamlet; and the identical lantern with which Friar Laurence discovered Romeo and Juliet at the tomb! There was an ample supply also of Shakespeare's mulberry-tree, which seems to have as extraordinary powers of self-multiplication as the wood of the true cross; of which there is enough extant to build a ship of the line.
The most favorite object of curiosity, however, is Shakespeare's chair. It stands in the chimney-nook of a small gloomy chamber, just behind what was his father's shop. Here he may many a time have sat when a boy, watching the slowly-revolving spit, with all the longing of an urchin; or, of an evening, listening to the crones and gossips of Stratford, dealing forth churchyard tales and legendary anecdotes of the troublesome times in England. In this chair it is the custom of everyone who visits the house to sit: whether this be done with the hope of imbibing any of the inspiration of the bard, I am at a loss to say; I merely mention the fact; and mine hostess privately assured me that, tho built of solid oak, such was the fervent zeal of devotees, that the chair had to be new-bottomed at least once in three years. From the birthplace of Shakespeare a few paces brought me to his grave.... We approached the church through the avenue of limes, and entered by a Gothic porch, highly ornamented with carved doors of massive oak. The interior is spacious, and the architecture and embellishments superior to those of most country churches. There are several ancient monuments of nobility and gentry, over some of which hang funeral escutcheons, and banners dropping piecemeal from the walls. The tomb of Shakespeare is in the chancel. The place is solemn and sepulchral. Tall elms wave before the pointed windows, and the Avon, which runs at a short distance from the walls, keeps up a low perpetual murmur. A flat stone marks the spot where the bard is buried. There are four lines inscribed on it, said to have been written by himself, and which have in them something extremely awful. If they are indeed his own, they show that solicitude about the quiet of the grave which seems natural to fine sensibilities and thoughtful minds:
"Good friend, for Jesus' sake, forbeare To dig the dust inclosèd here. Blessed be he that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones."
The inscription on the tombstone has not been without its effect. It has prevented the removal of his remains from the bosom of his native place to Westminster Abbey, which was at one time contemplated. A few years since also, as some laborers were digging to make an adjoining vault, the earth caved in, so as to leave a vacant space almost like an arch, through which one might have reached into his grave. No one, however, presumed to meddle with the remains so awfully guarded by a malediction; and lest any of the idle or the curious, or any collector of relics, should be tempted to commit depredations, the old sexton kept watch over the place for two days, until the vault was finished, and the aperture closed again. He told me that he had made bold to look in at the hole, but could see neither coffin nor bones; nothing but dust. It was something, I thought, to have seen the dust of Shakespeare.
I had now visited the usual objects of a pilgrim's devotion, but I had a desire to see the old family seat of the Lucy's at Charlecot, and to ramble through the park where Shakespeare, in company with some of the roisterers of Stratford, committed his youthful offense of deer-stealing. The old mansion of Charlecot and its surrounding park still remain in the possession of the Lucy family, and are peculiarly interesting from being connected with this whimsical but eventful circumstance in the scanty history of the bard. As the house stood at little more than three miles' distance from Stratford, I resolved to pay it a pedestrian visit, that I might stroll leisurely through some of those scenes from which Shakespeare must have derived his earliest ideas of rural imagery.
My route for a part of the way lay in sight of the Avon, which made a variety of the most fanciful doublings and windings through a wide and fertile valley; sometimes glittering from among willows, which fringed its borders; sometimes disappearing among groves, or beneath green banks; and sometimes rambling out into full view, and making an azure sweep around a slope of meadow land. This beautiful bosom of country is called the Vale of the Red Horse. A distant line of undulating blue hills seems to be its boundary, while all the soft intervening landscape lies in a manner enchained in the silver links of the Avon.
After pursuing the road for about three miles, I turned off into a foot-path, which led along the borders of fields and under hedgerows to a private gate of the park; there was a stile, however, for the benefit of the pedestrian; there being a public right of way through the grounds. I delight in these hospitable estates, in which everyone has a kind of property--at least as far as the foot-path is concerned. I now found myself among noble avenues of oaks and elms, whose vast size bespoke the growth of centuries. The wind sounded solemnly among their branches, and the rooks cawed from their hereditary nests in the tree tops. The eye ranged through a long lessening vista, with nothing to interrupt the view but a distant statue, and a vagrant deer stalking like a shadow across the opening.
I had now come in sight of the house. It is a large building of brick, with stone quoins, and is in the Gothic style of Queen Elizabeth's day, having been built in the first year of her reign. The exterior remains very nearly in its original state, and may be considered a fair specimen of the residence of a wealthy country gentleman of those days. A great gateway opens from the park into a kind of courtyard in front of the house, ornamented with a grass-plot, shrubs, and flower-beds. The gateway is in imitation of the ancient barbican; being a kind of outpost and flanked by towers; tho evidently for mere ornament, instead of defense. The front of the house is completely in the old style; with stone shafted casements, a great bow-window of heavy stone work, and a portal with armorial bearings over it, carved in stone. At each corner of the building is an octagon tower, surmounted by a gilt ball and weathercock.
The Avon, which winds through the park, makes a bend just at the foot of a gently sloping bank, which sweeps down from the rear of the house. Large herds of deer were feeding or reposing upon its borders; and swans were sailing majestically upon its bosom.
After prowling about for some time, I at length found my way to a lateral portal, which was the every-day entrance to the mansion. I was courteously received by a worthy old housekeeper, who, with the civility and communicativeness of her order, showed me the interior of the house. The greater part has undergone alterations, and been adapted to modern tastes and modes of living; there is a fine old oaken staircase; and the great hall, that noble feature in an ancient manor-house, still retains much of the appearance it must have had in the days of Shakespeare. The ceiling is arched and lofty; and at one end is a gallery, in which stands an organ. The weapons and trophies of the chase, which formerly adorned the hall of a country gentleman, have made way for family portraits. There is a wide hospitable fire-place, calculated for an ample old-fashioned wood fire, formerly the rallying place of winter festivity. On the opposite side of the hall is the huge Gothic bow-window, with stone shafts, which looks out upon the court-yard. Here are emblazoned in stained glass the armorial bearings of the Lucy family for many generations, some being dated in 1558....
I regretted to find that the ancient furniture of the hall had disappeared; for I had hoped to meet with the stately elbow-chair of carved oak, in which the country Squire of former days was wont to sway the scepter of empire over his rural domains; and in which might be presumed the redoubted Sir Thomas sat enthroned in awful state, when the recreant Shakespeare was brought before him. As I like to deck out pictures for my entertainment, I pleased myself with the idea that this very hall had been the scene of the unlucky bard's examination on the morning after his captivity in the lodge. I fancied to myself the rural potentate, surrounded by his body-guard of butler, pages, and the blue-coated serving-men with their badges; while the luckless culprit was brought in, forlorn and chapfallen, in the custody of game-keepers, huntsmen, and whippers-in, and followed by a rabble rout of country clowns. I fancied bright faces of curious housemaids peeping from the half-opened doors; while from the gallery the fair daughters of the Knight leaned gracefully forward, eying the youthful prisoner with that pity "that dwells in womanhood." Who would have thought that this poor varlet, thus trembling before the brief authority of a country Squire, and the sport of rustic boors, was soon to become the delight of princes; the theme of all tongues and ages; the dictator to the human mind; and was to confer immortality on his oppressor by a caricature and a lampoon!
I now bade a reluctant farewell to the old hall. My mind had become so completely possest by the imaginary scenes and characters connected with it, that I seemed to be actually living among them. Everything brought them as it were before my eyes; and as the door of the dining-room opened, I almost expected to hear the feeble voice of Master Silence quavering forth his favorite ditty:
"Tis merry in hall, when beards wag all, And welcome merry Shrove-tide!"
On returning to my inn, I could not but reflect on the singular gift of my poet; to be able thus to spread the magic of his mind over the very face of nature; to give to things and places a charm and character not their own, and to turn this "working-day world" into a perfect fairy land. He is indeed the true enchanter, whose spell operates, not upon the senses, but upon the imagination and the heart. Under the wizard influence of Shakespeare I had been walking all day in complete delusion. I had surveyed the landscape through the prism of poetry, which tinged every object with the hues of the rainbow. I had been surrounded with fancied beings; with mere airy nothings, conjured up by poetic power; yet which, to me, had all the charm of reality. I had heard Jacques soliloquize beneath his oak; had beheld the fair Rosalind and her companion adventuring through the woodlands; and, above all, had been once more present in spirit with fat Jack Falstaff, and his contemporaries, from the august Justice Shallow down to the gentle Master Slender, and the sweet Anne Page.
NEWSTEAD ABBEY [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By permission of, and by arrangement with, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870-1898.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
Our drive to Newstead lay through what was once a portion of Sherwood Forest, tho all of it, I believe, has now become private property, and is converted into fertile fields, except where the owners of estates have set out plantations.... The post-boy calls the distance ten miles from Nottingham. He also averred that it was forbidden to drive visitors within the gates; so we left the fly at the inn, and set out to walk from the entrance to the house. There is no porter's lodge; and the grounds, in this outlying region, had not the appearance of being very primly kept, but were well wooded with evergreens, and much overgrown with ferns, serving for cover for hares, which scampered in and out of their hiding-places. The road went winding gently along, and, at the distance of nearly a mile, brought us to a second gate, through which we likewise passed, and walked onward a good way farther, seeing much wood, but as yet nothing of the Abbey.
At last, through the trees, we caught a glimpse of its battlements, and saw, too, the gleam of water, and then appeared the Abbey's venerable front. It comprises the western wall of the church, which is all that remains of that fabric, a great, central window, entirely empty, without tracery or mullions; the ivy clambering up on the inside of the wall, and hanging over in front. The front of the inhabited part of the house extends along on a line with this church wall, rather low, with battlements along its top, and all in good keeping with the ruinous remnant. We met a servant, who replied civilly to our inquiries about the mode of gaining admittance, and bade us ring a bell at the corner of the principal porch. We rang accordingly, and were forthwith admitted into a low, vaulted basement, ponderously wrought with intersecting arches, dark and rather chilly, just like what I remember to have seen at Battle Abbey; and, after waiting here a little while, a respectable elderly gentlewoman appeared, of whom we requested to be shown round the Abbey. She courteously acceded, first presenting us to a book, in which to inscribe our names.
I suppose ten thousand people, three-fourths of them Americans, have written descriptions of Newstead Abbey; and none of them, so far as I have read, give any true idea of the place; neither will my description, if I write one. In fact, I forget very much that I saw, and especially in what order the objects came. In the basement was Byron's bath--a dark and cold and cellar-like hole, which it must have required good courage to plunge into; in this region, too, or near it, was the chapel, which Colonel Wildman has decorously fitted up, and where service is now regularly performed, but which was used as a dogs' kennel in Byron's time.
After seeing this, we were led to Byron's own bed-chamber, which remains just as when he slept in it--the furniture and all the other arrangements being religiously preserved. It was in the plainest possible style, homely, indeed, and almost mean--an ordinary paper-hanging, and everything so commonplace that it was only the deep embrasure of the window that made it look unlike a bed-chamber in a middling-class lodging-house. It would have seemed difficult, beforehand, to fit up a room in that picturesque old edifice so that it should be utterly void of picturesqueness; but it was effected in this apartment, and I suppose it is a specimen of the way in which old mansions used to be robbed of their antique character, and adapted to modern tastes, before medieval antiquities came into fashion. Some prints of the Cambridge colleges, and other pictures indicating Byron's predilections at the time, and which he himself had hung there, were on the walls. This, the housekeeper told us, had been the Abbot's chamber, in the monastic time. Adjoining it is the haunted room, where the ghostly monk whom Byron introduces into "Don Juan," is said to have his lurking-place. It is fitted up in the same style as Byron's, and used to be occupied by his valet or page. No doubt, in his lordship's day, these were the only comfortable bedrooms in the Abbey; and by the housekeeper's account of what Colonel Wildman has done, it is to be inferred that the place must have been in a most wild, shaggy, tumble-down condition, inside and out, when he bought it.
It is very different now. After showing us these two apartments of Byron and his servant, the housekeeper led us from one to another and another magnificent chamber, fitted up in antique style, with oak paneling, and heavily carved bedsteads, of Queen Elizabeth's time, or of the Stuarts, hung with rich tapestry curtains of similar date, and with beautiful old cabinets of carved wood, sculptured in relief, or tortoise-shell and ivory. The very pictures and realities, these rooms were, of stately comfort; and they were called by the names of kings--King Edward's, King Charles II.'s, King Henry VII.'s, chamber; and they were hung with beautiful pictures, many of them portraits of these kings. The chimney-pieces were carved and emblazoned; and all, so far as I could judge, was in perfect keeping, so that if a prince or noble of three centuries ago were to come to lodge at Newstead Abbey, he would hardly know that he had strayed out of his own century. And yet he might have known by some token, for there are volumes of poetry and light literature on the tables in these royal bed-chambers, and in that of Henry VII. I saw "The House of the Seven Gables," and "The Scarlet Letter," in Routledge's edition.
Certainly the house is admirably fitted up; and there must have been something very excellent and comprehensive in the domestic arrangements of the monks, since they adapt themselves so well to a state of society entirely different from that in which they originated. The library is a very comfortable room, and provocative of studious ideas, tho lounging and luxurious. It is long, and rather low, furnished with soft couches, and, on the whole, tho a man might dream of study, I think he would be most likely to read nothing but novels there. I know not what the room was in monkish times, but it was waste and ruinous in Lord Byron's. Here, I think, the housekeeper unlocked a beautiful cabinet, and took out the famous skull which Lord Byron transformed into a drinking-goblet. It has a silver rim and stand, but still the ugly skull is bare and evident, and the naked inner bone receives the wine.
There was much more to see in the house than I had any previous notion of; but except the two chambers already noticed, nothing remained the least as Byron left it. Yes, another place there was--his own small dining-room, with a table of moderate size, where, no doubt, the skull-goblet has often gone its rounds. Colonel Wildman's dining-room was once Byron's shooting-gallery, and the original refectory of the monks. It is now magnificently arranged, with a vaulted roof, a music-gallery at one end, suits of armor and weapons on the walls, and mailed arms extended, holding candelabras.
We parted with the housekeeper, and I with a good many shillings, at the door by which we entered; and our next business was to see the private grounds and gardens. A little boy attended us through the first part of our progress, but soon appeared the veritable gardener--a shrewd and sensible old man, who has been very many years on the place. There was nothing of special interest as concerning Byron until we entered the original old monkish garden, which is still laid out in the same fashion as the monks left it, with a large oblong piece of water in the center, and terraced banks rising at two or three different stages with perfect regularity around it; so that the sheet of water looks like the plate of an immense looking-glass, of which the terraces form the frame. It seems as if, were there any giant large enough, he might raise up this mirror and set it on end.
In the monks' garden, there is a marble statue of Pan, which the gardener told us, was brought by the "Wicked Lord" (great-uncle of Byron) from Italy, and was supposed by the country people to represent the devil, and to be the object of his worship--a natural idea enough, in view of his horns and cloven feet and tail, tho this indicates at all events, a very jolly devil. There is also a female statue, beautiful from the waist upward, but shaggy and cloven-footed below, and holding a little cloven-footed child by the hand. This, the old gardener assured us was Pandora, wife of the above-mentioned Pan, with her son. Not far from this spot, we came to the tree on which Byron carved his own name and that of his sister Augusta. It is a tree of twin stems,--a birch-tree, I think--growing up side by side. One of the stems still lives and flourished, but that on which he carved the two names is quite dead, as if there had been something fatal in the inscription that has made it for ever famous. The names are still very legible, altho the letters had been closed up by the growth of the bark before the tree died. They must have been deeply cut at first.
There are old yew-trees of unknown antiquity in this garden, and many other interesting things; and among them may be reckoned a fountain of very pure water, called the "Holly Well," of which we drank. There are several fountains, besides the large mirror in the center of the garden; and these are mostly inhabited by carp, the genuine descendants of those which peopled the fishponds in the days of the monks. Coming in front of the Abbey, the gardener showed us the oak that Byron planted, now a vigorous young tree; and the monument which he erected to his Newfoundland dog, and which is larger than most Christians get, being composed of a marble, altar-shaped tomb, surrounded by a circular area of steps, as much as twenty feet in diameter. The gardener said, however, that Byron intended this, not merely as the burial-place of his dog, but for himself, too, and his sister.
HUCKNALL-TORKARD CHURCH [Footnote: From "Gray Days and Gold." By permission of, and by arrangement with, the publishers, Moffat, Yard & Co. Copyright by William Winter, 1890-1911.]
BY WILLIAM WINTER
It was near the close of a fragrant, golden summer day when, having driven from Nottingham, I alighted in the market-place of the little town of Hucknall-Torkard, on a pilgrimage to the grave of Byron. The town is modern and commonplace in appearance,--a straggling collection of low brick dwellings, mostly occupied by colliers. On that day it appeared at its worst; for the widest part of its main street was filled with stalls, benches, wagons, and canvas-covered structures for the display of vegetables and other commodities, which were thus offered for sale, and it was thronged with rough, noisy, dirty persons, intent on barter and traffic, and not indisposed to boisterous pranks and mirth, as they pushed and jostled each other among the crowded booths. This main street terminates at the wall of the graveyard in which stands the little gray church wherein Byron was buried. There is an iron gate in the center of the wall, and in order to reach this it was necessary to thread the mazes of the marketplace, and to push aside the canvas flaps of a pedler's stall which had been placed close against it. Next to the churchyard wall is a little cottage, with a bit of garden, devoted, at that time, to potatoes; and there, while waiting for the sexton, I talked with an aged man, who said that he remembered, as an eye-witness, the funeral of Byron. He stated his age and said that his name was William Callandyne. Pointing to the church, he indicated the place of the Byron vault. "I was the last man," he said, "that went down into it before he was buried there. I was a young fellow then, and curious to see what was going on. The place was full of skulls and bones. I wish you could see my son; he's a clever lad, only he ought to have more of the _suaviter in modo_." Thus, with the garrulity of wandering age, he prattled on, but his mind was clear and his memory tenacious and positive. There is a good prospect from the region of Hucknall-Torkard Church, and pointing into the distance, when his mind had been brought back to the subject of Byron, my aged interlocutor described, with minute specification of road and lane,--seeming to assume that the names and the turnings were familiar to me,--the course of the funeral train from Nottingham to the church. "There were eleven carriages," he said. "They didn't go to the Abbey" (meaning Newstead), "but came directly here. There were many people to look at them. I remember all about it, and I'm an old man--eighty-two. You're an Italian, I should say," he added. By this time the sexton had come and unlocked the gate, and parting from Mr. Callandyne we presently made our way into the Church of St. James, locking the churchyard gate to exclude rough and possibly mischievous followers. A strange and sad contrast, I thought, between this coarse, turbulent place, by a malign destiny ordained for the grave of Byron, and that peaceful, lovely, majestic church and precinct at Stratford-upon-Avon which enshrine the dust of Shakespeare....
The sexton of the Church of St. James and the parish clerk of Hucknall-Torkard was Mr. John Brown, and a man of sympathetic intelligence, kind heart, and interesting character I found him to be,--large, dark, stalwart, but gentle alike in manner and feeling, and considerate of his visitor. The pilgrim to the literary shrines of England does not always find the neighboring inhabitants either sympathetic with his reverence or conscious of especial sanctity or interest appertaining to the relics which they possess; but honest, manly John Brown of Hucknall-Torkard understood both the hallowing charm of the place and the sentiment, not to say the profound emotion, of the traveler who now beheld for the first time the tomb of Byron. The church has been considerably altered since Byron was buried in it, 1824, yet it retains its fundamental structure and its ancient peculiarities. The tower, a fine specimen of Norman architecture, dark, ragged, and grim, gives indication of great age. It is of a kind often met with in ancient English towns; you can see its brothers at York, Shrewsbury, Canterbury, Worcester, Warwick, and in many places sprinkled over the northern heights of London; but amid its tame surroundings in this little colliery settlement it looms with a peculiar frowning majesty, a certain bleak loneliness, both unique and impressive. The edifice is of the customary crucial form,--a low stone structure, having a peaked roof, which is supported by four great pillars on each side of the center aisle. The ceiling, which is made of heavy timbers, forms almost a true arch above the nave. There are four large windows on each side of the nave, and two on each side of the chancel, which is beneath a roof somewhat lower than that of the main building. Under the pavement of the chancel, and back of the altar rail,--at which it was my privilege to kneel while gazing upon this sacred spot,--is the grave of Byron.... Nothing is written on the stone that covers his sepulcher except the simple name of BYRON with the dates of his birth and death, in brass letters, surrounded by a wreath of leaves in brass, the gift of the King of Greece; and never did a name seem more stately or a place more hallowed. The dust of the poet reposes between that of his mother on his right hand, and that of his Ada,--"sole daughter of my house and heart,"--on his left. The mother died on August 1, 1811; the daughter, who had by marriage become the Countess of Lovelace, in 1852. "I buried her with my own hands," said the sexton, John Brown, when, after a little time, he rejoined me at the altar-rail. "I told them exactly where he was laid when they wanted to put that brass on the stone; I remembered it well, for I lowered the coffin of the Countess of Lovelace into this vault, and laid her by her father's side." And when presently we went into the vestry, he produced the Register of Burials and displayed the record of that interment in the following words: "1852. Died at 69 Cumberland Pl. London. Buried December 3. Aged thirty-six.--Curtis Jackson." The Byrons were a short-lived race. The poet himself had just turned thirty-six; his mother was only forty-six when she passed away. This name of Curtis Jackson in the register was that of the rector or curate then incumbent but now departed....
A book has been kept for many years, at the church of Hucknall-Torkard, in which visitors desiring to do so, can write their names. The first book provided for this purpose was an album given to the church by the poet, Sir John Bowling, and in that there was a record of visitations during the years from 1825 to 1834.... The catalog of pilgrims to the grave of Byron during the last eighty years is not a long one. The votaries of that poet are far less numerous than those of Shakespeare. Custom has made the visit to Stratford "a property of easiness," and Shakespeare is a safe no less than a rightful object of worship. The visit to Hucknall-Torkard is neither as easy nor as agreeable. Torkard is neither as easy nor as agreeable.... On the capital of a column near Byron's tomb I saw two moldering wreaths of laurel, which had hung there for several years; one brought by the Bishop of Norwich, the other by the American poet Joaquin Miller. It was good to see them, and especially to see them beside the tablet of white marble which was placed on that church wall to commemorate the poet, and to be her witness in death, by his loving and beloved sister Augusta Mary Leigh,--a name that is the synonym of noble fidelity, a name that cruel detraction and hideous calumny have done their worst to tarnish. That tablet names him "The Author of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," and if the conviction of thoughtful men and women throughout the world can be accepted as an authority, no name in the long annals of English literature is more certain of immortality than the name of Byron. His reputation can afford the absence of all memorial to him in Westminster Abbey,--can endure it, perhaps, better than the English nation can,--and it can endure the neglect and censure of the precinct of Nottingham. That city rejoices in many interesting associations, but all that really hallows it for the stranger is its association with the name of Byron. The stranger will look in vain, however, for any adequate sign of his former connection with that place. It is difficult even to find prints or photographs of the Byron shrine, in the shops of Nottingham. [Footnote: Since this paper was written the buildings that flanked the front wall of Hucknall-Torkard churchyard have been removed, the street in front of it has been widened, and the church has been "restored" and considerably altered.--Author's note to the Editor.]
DR. JOHNSON'S BIRTHPLACE [Footnote: From "Our Old Home." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]
BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
Seeking for Dr. Johnson's birthplace, I found it in St. Mary's Square (Lichfield), which is not so much a square as the mere widening of a street. The house is tall and thin, of three stories, with a square front and a roof rising steep and high. On a side-view, the building looks as if it had been cut in two in the midst, there being no slope of the roof on that side. A ladder slanted against the wall, and a painter was giving a livelier hue to the plaster. In a corner-room of the basement, where old Michael Johnson may be supposed to have sold books, is now what we should call a dry-goods store, or, according to the English phrase, a mercer's and haberdasher's shop.
The house has a private entrance on a cross-street, the door being accessible by several much worn stone-steps, which are bordered by an iron balustrade. I set my foot on the steps and laid my hand on the balustrade, where Johnson's hand and foot must many a time have been, and ascending to the door, I knocked once, and again, and again, and got no admittance. Going round to the shop-entrance, I tried to open it, but found it as fast bolted as the gate of Paradise. It is mortifying to be so balked in one's little enthusiasms; but looking round in quest of somebody to make inquiries of, I was a good deal consoled by the sight of Dr. Johnson himself, who happened, just at that moment, to be sitting at his ease nearly in the middle of St. Mary's Square, with his face turned toward his father's house.
Of course, it being almost fourscore years since the doctor laid aside his weary bulk of flesh, together with the ponderous melancholy that had so long weighed him down--the intelligent reader will at once comprehend that he was marble in his substance, and seated in a marble chair, on an elevated stone-pedestal. In short, it was a statue, sculptured by Lucas, and placed here in 1838, at the expense of Dr. Law, the reverend chancellor of the Diocese.
The figure is colossal (tho perhaps not much more so than the mountainous doctor himself) and looks down upon the spectator from its pedestal of ten or twelve feet high, with a broad and heavy benignity of aspect, very like in feature to Sir Joshua Reynold's portrait of Johnson, but calmer and sweeter in expression. Several big books are piled up beneath his chair, and, if I mistake not, he holds a volume in his hand, thus blinking forth at the world out of his learned abstraction, owl-like, yet benevolent at heart. The statue is immensely massive, a vast ponderosity of stone, not finely spiritualized, nor indeed, fully humanized, but rather resembling a great stone-boulder than a man. You must look with the eyes of faith and sympathy, or possibly, you might lose the human being altogether, and find only a big stone within your mental grasp. On the pedestal are three bas-reliefs. In the first, Johnson is represented as hardly more than a baby, bestriding an old man's shoulders, resting his chin on the bald head which he embraces with his little arms, and listening earnestly to the high-church eloquence of Dr. Sacheverell. In the second tablet, he is seen riding to school on the shoulders of two of his comrades, while another boy supports him in the rear.
The third bas-relief possesses, to my mind, a great deal of pathos, to which my appreciative faculty is probably the more alive, because I have always been profoundly imprest by the incident here commemorated, and long ago tried to tell it for the behoof of childish readers. It shows Johnson in the market-place of Uttoxeter, doing penance for an act of disobedience to his father, committed, fifty years before. He stands bare-headed, a venerable figure, and a countenance extremely sad and wo-begone, with the wind and rain driving hard against him, and thus helping to suggest to the spectator the gloom of his inward state. Some market-people and children gaze awe-stricken into his face, and an aged man and woman, with clapsed and uplifted hands, seem to be praying for him. These latter personages (whose introduction by the artist is none the less effective, because, in queer proximity, there are some commodities of market-day in the shape of living ducks and dead poultry,) I interpreted to represent the spirits of Johnson's father and mother, lending what aid they could to lighten his half-century's burden of remorse.
I had never heard of the above-described piece of sculpture before; it appears to have no reputation as a work of art, nor am I at all positive that it deserves any. For me, however, it did as much as sculpture could under the circumstances, even if the artist of the Libyan Sibyl had wrought it, by reviving my interest in the sturdy old Englishman, and particularly by freshening my perception of a wonderful beauty and pathetic tenderness in the incident of the penance.
The next day I left Lichfield for Uttoxeter, on one of the few purely sentimental pilgrimages that I ever undertook, to see the very spot where Johnson had stood. Boswell, I think, speaks of the town (its name is pronounced Yuteox'eter) as being about nine miles off from Lichfield, but the county-map would indicate a greater distance; and by rail, passing from one line to another, it is as much as eighteen miles. I have always had an idea of old Michael Johnson sending his literay merchandise by carrier's wagon, journeying to Uttoxeter afoot on market-day morning, selling "books" through the busy hours, and returning to Lichfield at night. This could not possibly have been the case.
Arriving at the Uttoxeter station, the first objects that I saw, with a green field or two between them and me, were the tower and gray steeple of a church, rising among red-tiled roofs and a few scattered trees. A very short walk takes you from the station up into the town. It had been my previous impression that the market-place of Uttoxeter lay immediately round about the church; and, if I remember the narrative aright, Johnson, or Boswell in his behalf, describes his father's book-stall as standing in the market-place close beside the sacred edifice.
It is impossible for me to say what changes may have occurred in the topography of the town, during almost a century and a half since Michael Johnson retired from business, and ninety years, at least, since his son's penance was performed. But the church has now merely a street of ordinary width passing around it, while the market-place, tho near at hand, neither forms a part of it nor is really contiguous, nor would its throng and bustle be apt to overflow their boundaries and surge against the churchyard and the old gray tower. Nevertheless, a walk of a minute or two brings a person from the center of the market-place to the church-door; and Michael Johnson might very conveniently have located his stall and laid out his literary ware in the corner at the tower's base; better there, indeed, than in the busy center of an agricultural market. But the picturesque arrangement and full impressiveness of the story absolutely require that Johnson shall not have done his penance in a corner, ever so little retired, but shall have been the very nucleus of the crowd--the midmost man of the market-place--a central image of Memory and Remorse, contrasting with and overpowering the petty materialism around him. He himself, having the force to throw vitality and truth into what persons differently constituted might reckon a mere external ceremony, and an absurd one, would not have failed to see this necessity. I am resolved, therefore, that the true site of Dr. Johnson's penance was in the middle of the market-place.
How strange and stupid it is that tradition should not have marked and kept in mind the very place! How shameful (nothing less than that) that there should be no local memorial of this incident, as beautiful and touching a passage as can be cited out of any human life! No inscription of it, almost as sacred as a verse of Scripture on the wall of the church! No statue of the venerable and illustrious penitent in the market-place to throw a wholesome awe over its earthliness, its frauds and petty wrongs of which the benumbed fingers of conscience can make no record, its selfish competition of each man with his brother or his neighbor, its traffic of soul-substance for a little worldly gain! Such a statue, if the piety of the people did not raise it, might almost have been expected to grow up out of the pavement of its own accord on the spot that had been watered by the rain that dript from Johnson's garments, mingled with his remorseful tears.