Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

bust of Shakspeare. The sexton showed us an old parchment book, in which we read the record of the birth of William Shakspeare, April 23, 1564; of his baptism, April 26, 1564; and of his death, April 23, 1616. This unpretending building, called the Church of the Holy Trinity, dates back to the eleventh century. We passed, without entering, the Red Horse Hotel, celebrated as the house where Washington Irving put up when he was here.

Warwick Castle, the residence of the Earl of Warwick, is a noble structure and is kept in good repair. The rooms shown to visitors are filled with a great variety of rare and curious things, including costly inlaid tables, one of which is valued at $ 50,000; weapons of various descriptions - a gun-barreled revolver made two hundred years before Colt ever thought of such a thing; a valuable collection of paintings, etc. We saw in the porter's lodge some of the most wonderful things which belonged to Guy, the giant Earl of Warwick, (tenth century,) who measured eight feet, eleven inches from head to foot, and whose breast-plate weighs fifty pounds, his shield thirty pounds, and his two-handed sword, five feet, five inches long, twenty pounds. His tilting spear, halberd, chain coat-of-mail, cane, and horse's armor are likewise preserved here; also, his porridgepot, or punch-bowl, made of bell metal, said to hold one hundred and two gallons. Here, too, are cannon balls which were fired at the Castle by Cromwell. We have a fine photograph of this old Castle as we viewed it from a bridge over the Avon, which runs at the base of the rock on which the Castle is built.

On the 11th we took the train, five miles, to Kenilworth, and walked along the country road, enjoying the scenery, to Kenilworth Castle, about one mile

and a half beyond. The ruins of this famous old Castle are scattered over an extent of an eighth of a mile or more, and the only part inhabitable is what is called the Gate House, a building one or two hundred feet square with four towers. Here the keeper resides with his family. The detached portions are every where covered with ivy. Originally there was “a pool, containing one hundred and eleven acres, well stocked with fish," and its waters could be let into the moat, sections of which still exist, around the Castle. The Park, in which this pool or lake was located, but which was drained in the time of Cromwell, contained a large extent of territory with forests well stocked with deer and other game.

It was in this Castle that the Earl of Leicester, in 1575, entertained Queen Elizabeth and her Court seventeen days at a cost of $85,000, a pretty large sum in that period.

On the morning of the 12th we left Leamington for London, stopping over one train to visit the Colleges of Oxford, of which there are nineteen in all, called collectively, the University of Oxford. From our carriage our guide informed us of the names of the various Colleges, all the buildings of which look very dingy. In one of them, specially noted on that account, Cromwell kept his horses. In the Bodleian Library we were greatly interested in several very ancient books and manuscripts shown to us. This Library is said to contain 240,000 volumes; and there is also a picture Gallery here, where we saw what is considered one of Van Dyck's oldest and best pictures. In the Museum, among other interesting relics, we saw the lantern carried by Guy Fawkes when he undertook to blow up the British Parliament buildings.

Leaving behind Oxford and its history of a thousand years, at 5 P. M. we are in still more ancient London- a world immediately before us.

CHAPTER IX.

JUNE 16.— After enjoying for a few days the elegant hospitalities of an English family whose urgent invitation to make them a visit we found it hard to decline, we are settled down in a private boarding house on Queen's Road, in Bayswater West, near the Royal Oak, and two minutes' walk from Kensington Park. We are likewise within one minute's walk of a station of the Metropolitan Underground Railway, by which we can go to almost any part of the city and return for from four pence to nine pence the single passage; or we can take an omnibus either from Kensington Garden or Royal Oak for about the same price.

Our first day in London being Sunday, we immediately turned our steps to that great center of attraction, Westminster Abbey, where we attended service. On that occasion, and during subsequent visits, we have for hours been deeply absorbed in wandering through this wilderness of tombs, busts, statues, and other monuments of the distinguished dead. We were first drawn to the Poet's Corner, and at once to the slab over Charles Dickens' grave, upon which lay a cross of faded flowers. Above stand the busts of Macaulay, Thackeray, and others, the statues of Shakspeare, Addison, Thomas Campbell, and Thomson, and close by, the statues, busts,

[graphic][merged small]

or other monuments of Garrick, Goldsmith, Gay, Southey, Prior, Milton, Chaucer, Dryden, Beaumont, Gray, Spenser, Samuel Johnson, Sheridan, Cowley,' Ben Jonson, and many others.

In one of the principal aisles we stood over the new-made grave of Dr. Livingstone, indicated by a marble slab in the floor, bearing his name and date of death; and on this slab some friendly hand had placed a wreath of flowers. In another part of the church is a monumental bust of Sir John Franklin, with appropriate inscriptions - the affectionate tri

bute of Lady Franklin, recently deceased. We transcribed from this monument the following: “O) ye frost and cold, O ye ice and snow, Bless ye the Lord: praise Him and magnify His name forever. Not here: the white North has thy bones; and thou, heroic-sailor soul, Art passing on thy happier voyage now toward no earthly pole.”'

On the wall opposite is a monumental slab to Isaac Watts.

The inscription on the base of Addison's statue is as follows:

“Whoever thou art, venerate the memory of Joseph Addison, in whom Christian faith, virtue, and good morals found a continual patron; whose genius was shown in verse, and every exquisite kind of writing; who gave to posterity the best examples of pure language, and the best rules for living well, which remain, and ever will remain sacred; whose weight of argument was tempered with wit, and accurate judgment with politeness, so that he encouraged the good and reformed the improvident, tamed the wicked, and in some degree made them in love with virtue. Ile was born in the year 1672, and his fortune being increased gradually, arrived at length to public honors. Died in the forty-eighth year of his age, the honor and delight of the British nation.”

This epitaph on Addison, written by Thomas Tickle, is inscribed on the marble slab which marks the spot where he was buried:

“Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty rest,

Since their foundation, came a nobler guest;
Nor e'er was to the bowers of bliss conveyed
A fairer spirit, or more welcome shade.
Oh, gone forever! take this long adieu,

And sleep in peace next thy lov’d Montegue.” Next to Addison's is the grave of Charles Montegue, the first Lord Halifax, who lived in the reigns of William III. and George I.

The statue of Shakspeare is very graceful, and the likeness bears a strong resemblance to his portrait in his old house at Stratford-on-Avon. In the left hand

« ÎnapoiContinuați »