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O'Connell-Thoughts in the 'Abbey.'
distinguished for his eloquence; yet according to my
humble opinion, neither of these great guns will compare with our Dr. H- as pulpit orators. But there is some. thing impressive in the church service in such a place as this venerable abbey. Here you may sit within a few steps of the spot where sleep the mortal remains of the royal Edwards, Henrys, Richards, of old; the knights of chivalry repose at your feet; from the valiant deeds of the Black Prince, the bloody career of the monster Gloucester, the mad pranks of Falstaff's dearly beloved Hal,' the brilliant court of Elizabeth, and the woes of the unfortunate Mary Stuart, your thoughts turn, on a glance at other tablets, to the lofty strains of him who sung of
'Things invisible to mortal sight,'
and to the splendid creations of the Bard of Avon; the epitaphs of the time-honored Chaucer; O Rare Ben Jonson;' and the whole host of poets, statesmen, and philosophers-stars of the first magnitude in English literaturemeet your eye on every side; and while you are so forcibly reminded that
'The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave;'
the rich, full notes of the organ, softened by the voices of the juvenile choir, are echoed through the lofty and venerable arches, as they chant in harmonious chorus:
'Glory be to God on high !-on earth peace, and good will toward men!' Windsor Castle, July 11.-At the White Horse Cellar,'
Piccadilly, I perched myself on a Windsor coach, and off we rattled by Apsley-House, Hyde-Park, and Kensington Gardens, our coachee skillfully threading his way between the innumerable omnibuses and other vehicles which ply between the modern Babel and the hundred-and-one villages in its environs. We passed through Kensington, Kingsbridge, Hounslow, Brentford, Hammersmith, Kew, Turnham Green, and a series of gardens between. The castle is first seen from the road, crowning an elevation about three miles distant, on the left, and, even so far off, it makes a display, truly imposing and picturesque. The coach made a short turn through the town of Eton, where is the celebrated school, or college, in which noblemen are proud to have been educated; and with a glance at its curious Gothic chapel, we crossed a bridge over the Thames, and were at once in the respectable old town of Windsor, where there are no doubt as many 'merry wives' as in the days of Shakspeare and sweet Anne Page. There are several approaches to the castle, the chief one being from the Great Park; but the public are admitted only on the side of the town, through the two 'outer walls,' each of which are well flanked with towers of stone. The castle itself covers as much space as a small village, and a novice is somewhat puzzled in its labyrinths of arches, donjons, inner and outer walls, towers, and gateways. It is indeed a magnificent and kingly structure, or rather assemblage of structures, for the various parts have been built at widely different periods, and in every variety of form; but the whole seems most happily combined in one vast edifice,
Windsor Castle and Park.
in which the strength, grandeur, and castellated style of the old baronial strong holds, is as remarkable, as the elegance, splendor, and comfort of a modern palace. It is well described by Von Raumer, in his letters. His majesty, it appeared, had not been advised of my visit, and had gone to take his dejeuner at Kew; but I found that a couple of his representatives, in the shape of shilling-pieces, would introduce me at once into the state apartments; and I can conscientiously give my full approval of the audiencechambers, the throne-room, ball-room, and St. George's Hall, as being magnificent, in the highest degree. This part of the castle has been recently renovated and modernized, at great expense. All the rooms are adorned with fine paintings and tapestries, of which latter, the 'History of Esther' series is particularly beautiful. At the Hampton Court Palace I saw the duplicate original of those tapestries of Raphael, which we had in New-York. From the terraces of the castle, you have a thoroughly English landscape; green meadows, winding streams, and gentle elevations. St. George's Chapel, adjoining the castle, is considered a gem of Gothic architecture. It contains the twenty-four stalls of the knights of the garter, with their banners suspended above; and I noticed also, a beautiful monument to the late Princess Charlotte. In the park, adjoining the castle, I looked for Hearne's oak, and sure enough, there was the tree where tradition says Falstaff was enticed and pinched by the fairies; and near it is the foot-path to Dachet Mead, where they ducked him in the buck-basket.
The approach to the castle from the great park, and the sweet little lake called Virginia Water, is through a noble avenue, extending three miles in a perfectly straight and level line, and shaded by rows of state ly elms. One of the best views of the castle is from the hill, at the avenue, I have made up my mind, that Windsor and Warwick cannot be equalled, 'in their way,' as Mr. Cooper says, in all Europe.
end of this
On the way back, there was an amusing dispute on the top of the coach between a tory, a moderate reformer, and a fiery radical. I was astonished to observe the freedom and boldness with which they settled the affairs of the nation, and railed at each other's party, or individuals composing it. John Bull certainly allows his children some liberties—those of speech, the press, and conscience -(though perhaps scarcely the last,) and a stranger can gain more insight into the character and opinions of the people, in a mixed company, like that of a stage-coach, than from all the books in the museum.
* The University of Oxford, which has existed since the year 886, comprises no less than nineteen different colleges, each distinct and independent, with a president and faculty; but united in a sort of federal compact, and governed by a Chancellor, and Vice-Chancellor, the latter being the acting and responsible officer. The Duke of Wellington, as you well know, at present fills the Chancellor's chair. The college buildings are nearly all of the Tudor style of architecture, and most of them, indeed, were erected in the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII.,
Oxford University, etc.
and of Elizabeth; and they bear now a stately and venerable aspect. They are in the quadrangular form, covering two or three acres, with a large area in the centre. Several of them front on High-street, which is considered one of the most imposing in Europe.
I had no letters to Oxford; and my reception by Mr. and Mrs. T-, with only a self-introduction, gave me a most favorable impression of English hospitality. They invited me to their house with the cordiality of old friends; and with the most unassuming kindness, which will not soon be forgotten, took pains to show me the many interesting sights of this beautiful town. On Sunday I attended their church, which boasts no little antiquity, having been founded by Alfred the Great, in the eighth century. Its style of architecture is of course Anglo-Saxon."
In the afternoon, I went with Mr. T― to the beautiful chapel of Magdalen college, to hear the chanting, which is performed by a choir of boys, in the most perfect and touching manner. It was the sweetest, most expressive, and most appropriate church music I had ever heard. The effect can scarcely be imagined by one who has only heard the Episcopal chants in our churches. In this chapel is a painting by Carlo Dolci, valued at eleven thousand guineas! Addison was educated at Magdalen College; and his favorite walk, on the banks of the Isis, is yet called 'Addison's Walk.' Gibbon, whose stately style is so strongly in contrast with the classic ease and purity of the 'Spectator,' took his degree here, also. The crack' college, in size, wealth, the extent of its library, and gallery