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the spacious and lofty kitchen, still standing, and well supplied with long oaken tables.
On the left hand of the entrance, and opposite the smoking-room, was the chapel, a room of state, much affected by the old manorial lords, who seem to have disdained attending the parochial church. The last sacred office performed in it was the christening of the author of this compilation, in July 1733. Through this was a door into the drawing-room or largest parlour, which, with the chapel, occupied the other half of the south front. Adjoining to the parlour was a large gloomy hall, at one end of which was a screen of brown wainscot, in which was a door that led to the buttery, &c. These formed the west side of the square.
Beneath these apartments, and those on the south side, were the cellars, well vaulted with brick. The north side was occupied by the kitchen, and at the back of it was a drawbridge. These were the apartments on the ground floor, which was raised twelve feet above the surface of the moat. Over the gateway, chapel, and largest parlour were the royal apartments, which were approached by a staircase out of the hall. On this staircase, against the wall, stood some painted boards, representing various domestic servants : I have one of them, a very pretty well-painted female, said to be for å housekeeper. I know not whether this fancy be as old as the house; the portrait I have is certainly, from the dress, not more than a century old. Several bed-chambers, of common proportions, occupied the chief part of the rest of the first story. Among the rooms on that floor was one called the still-room, an apartment where the ladies of old much amused themselves in distilling waters and cordials, as well for the use of themselves, and of their poor neighbours, as for several purposes of cookery. In this room stood a death's head; no improper emblem of the effects of the operations carried on within it.
Contiguous to one of the bedchambers was a wainscoted closet, about seven feet square; the panels painted with various sentences, emblems, and mottoes. It was called the painted closet; at first probably designed for an oratory, and, from one of the sentences, for the use of a lady. The dresses of the figures are of the age of James I. This closet was therefore fitted up for the last Lady Drury, and, perhaps, under her direction. The paintings are well executed, and now put up in a small apartment at Hardwick House.
The windows, in general, were spacious, but high above the floors.
In still earlier times they were very narrow as well as high, that they might be more difficult marks for the arrows of an enemy; and that, if the arrows did enter, they might pass over the heads of those that were sitting. After this precaution was needless, the windows, though enlarged, continued to be made high, even till modern days.' The beauty of landscape, so much studied now, was then but little or not at all regarded ; and high windows, when opened, ventilated the apartments better than low ones, and when shut, the air they admitted was less felt.
The walls of the house were chiefly built of timber and plaster. The plaster in the front was thickly stuck with fragments of glass, which made a brilliant appearance when the sun shone, and even by moonlight. Much of it still remains, and appears to be but little injured by two centuries; perhaps will survive the boasted stucco of modern artists. I wish I could give the receipt for this excellent composition; I can only say, it contains plenty of hair, and was made of coarse sand, abounding with stones almost as big as horse beans. And in some of the old walls round the house, where the bricks have crumbled away, the layers of mortar continue sound, and support themselves by their own compactness.
The art was not lost even in the last century; for some plaster on an outhouse, which bears the date 1661, still remains perfectly firm.
This house was no bad specimen of the skill of former artists in . erecting what should last. Part has been taken down, not from decay, but because it was become useless. What is left promises to stand many years. The mode of its construction contributed to its durability; for the tiles projected considerably over the first story, and that over the ground floor; so that the walls and sills were scarcely ever wetted.
In the year 1685 this house paid taxes for thirty-four fire hearths ; two shillings each hearth.
The banks of the moat were planted with yews and variegated hollies ; and, at a little distance, surrounded by a terrace that commanded a fine woodland prospect. Here were orchards and gardens in abundance, and a bowling-yard, as it was called, which always used to be esteemed a necessary appendage of a gentleman's seat.
This place was well furnished with fish-ponds. There is near it a series of five large ones, on the gentle declivity of a hill, running into one another; the upper one being fed with a perennial spring.
There is another similar series of small ones that served as stews. These must have been made at a very heavy expense; but they were necessary when fish made so considerable a part of our diet as it did before the Reformation, and when bad roads made sea fish not so easily procured as at present.
There was also a rabbit warren in the park, a spot that would have borne good wheat. But it was, like a pigeon-house, a constant appendage to a manorial dwelling. Eighth of James I., a stable near the coney warren was let with the dairy farm; and even in the next year we hear of the warrener's lodge.
One principal reason of the number of warrens formerly was the great use our ancestors made of fur in their clothing. “I judge warrens of coneys,” says Harrison, “ to be almost innumerable, and daily like to encrease, by reason that the black skins of those beasts are thought to countervail the prices of their naked carcasses.” The latter were worth 24d. a piece, and the former 6d. 17 Henry VIII.
125.—THE HISTORY OF A PHILOSOPHIC VAGABOND.
GOLDSMITH. [The name of OLIVER GOLDSMITH is, by most persons who are familiar with his writings, pronounced with a sort of affectionate warmth, not unmingled with pity. We know that he wanted strength of purpose, that he was a creature of impulse, that his vanity was altogether childish—but we do not love him the less for these failings. He stands in singular contrast with the one other great literary name of his generation, Samuel Johnson; and, if truth be told, we have an irrepressible sympathy for Johnson's butt, “ who wrote like an angel
, and talked like poor Poll,” which we cannot altogether feel for the literary dictator whom Boswell has immortalized. We should like to have some record of how “poor Poll" did talk, more full and less prejudiced than the testimony of the wondering Scot, whose only notion of conversation was discussion, discussion, discussion. We have no such record; but we have “The Vicar of Wakefield,' • The Citizen of the World,' “She Stoops to Conquer,' • Retaliation, and who then shall dare to think that Oliver Goldsmith could be prosy? We give the following extract from The Vicar of Wakefield, because it is generally thought to contain an outline of some passages of Goldsmith's own chequered life. He was born in 1728, in the county of Longford, Ireland, being the fifth of seven children of a poor clergyman; was educated at Trinity College, Dublin ; studied physic at Leyden ; led a wandering life for some time; and came to London, a literary adventurer, about 1756. Much of his employment was taskwork; but in all he did there are to be found the traces of a facile genius. He died in 1774, at the early age of forty-five.]
The first misfortune of my life, which you all know, was great; but, though it distressed, it could not sink me. No person ever had a better knack at hoping than I. The less kind I found Fortune at one time, the more I expected from her another; and being now at the bottom of her wheel, every new revolution might lift, but could not depress me. I proceeded, therefore, towards London in a fine morning, no way uneasy about to-morrow, but cheerful as the birds that carolled by the road, and comforted myself with reflecting that London was the mart where abilities of every kind were sure of meeting distinction and reward.
Upon my arrival in town, sir, my first care was to deliver your letter of recommendation to our cousin, who was himself in little better circumstances than I. My first scheme, you know, sir, was to be usher at an academy, and I asked his advice on the affair. Our cousin received the proposal with a true sardonic grin. Ay, cried he, this is indeed a very pretty career that has been chalked out for you. I have been an usher at a boarding school myself; and may I die by an anodyne necklace, but I had rather be an under-turnkey in Newgate. I was up early and late; I was browbeat by the master, hated for my ugly face by the mistress, worried by the boys within, and never permitted to stir out to meet civility abroad- But are you sure you are fit for a school? Let me examine you a little. Have you been bred apprentice to the business? No. Then you won't do for a school.
you dress the boys' hair? No. Then you won't do for a school. Have you had the small-pox ? No. Then you won't do for a school. Can you lie three in a bed ? No. Then
will never do for a school. Have you got a good stomach ? Yes. Then you will by no means do for a school. No, sir, if you are for a genteel, easy profession, bind yourself seven years as an apprentice to turn a cutler's wheel; but avoid a school by any means.
Yet come, continued he, I see you are a lad of spirit and some learning, what do you
think of commencing author, like me? You have read in books, no doubt, of men of genius starving at the trade; at present I'll show you forty very dull fellows about town that live by it in opulence. All honest jog-trot men, who go on smoothly and dully, and write history and politics, and are praised-men, sir, who, had they been bred cobblers, would all their lives have only mended shoes, but never made them.
Finding that there was no great degree of gentility affixed to the character of an usher, I resolved to accept his proposal, and, having the highest respect for literature, hailed the antiqua mater of Grubstreet with reverence. I thought it my glory to pursue a track which Dryden and Otway trod before me. I considered the goddess of this region as the parent of excellence; and, however an intercourse with the world might give us good sense, the poverty she entailed I supposed to be the nurse of genius. Big with these reflections, I sat down, and, finding that the best things remained to be said on the wrong side, I resolved to write a book that should be wholly new. I therefore dressed up three paradoxes with ingenuity. They were false, indeed, but they were new. The jewels of truth have been so often imported by others, that nothing was left for me to import, but some splendid things that, at a distance, looked every bit as well. Witness, you powers, what fancied importance sat perched upon my quill while I was writing! The whole learned world, I made no doubt, would rise to oppose my systems; but then I was prepared to oppose the whole learned world. Like the porcupine I sat self-collected, with a quill pointed against every opposer.
The learned world said nothing to my paradoxes—nothing at all. Every man of them was employed in praising his friends and himself, or condemning his enemies ; and unfortunately, as I had neither, I suffered the cruellest mortification, neglect.
As I was meditating one day in a coffee-house on the fate of my paradoxes, a little man, happening to enter the room, placed himself in the box before me, and after some preliminary discourse, finding me to be a scholar, drew out a bundle of proposals, begging me to subscribe to a new edition he was going to give to the world of Propertius, withi notes. This demand necessarily produced a reply that I had no money; and that concession led him to inquire into the nature of my expectations. Finding that my expectations were just as great as my