« PoprzedniaDalej »
idea, as we apply it to things insignificant in comparison. And what is more, they looked comfortable ; a bright coal fire in each room, with ottomans, and every modern elegance. Not to tire you with a catalogue, I will barely allude to the valuable paintings—this by Rubens, that by Vandyck; tables, curiously inlaid with brass, and others of variegated marbles, beautifully polished ; an antique head of Minerva, truly exquisite in finish; Queen Anne's bed ;' tapestries ; and sundry other luxurious articles which adorn these stately halls. I was shown all the rooms, save that at the moment occupied by the earl's family ; i. e., all in the inhabited part of the castle, which is only one fourth of the whole. The views from these apartments are extremely pretty. The Avon meanders through the grove, one hundred feet below the castle : and
“ Birds on the branches are singing,
While echo repeats their lay:
Before taking leave, I was escorted (by special favor) to the armory, a long hall, and about six feet wide, actually cut out of the thickness of the castle walls ! Here they had ancient armor of all sorts Roman swords, helmets, spears, bows, and coats of mail.
You are aware that this is much the finest of the old English baronical castles—the most perfect and complete in all its parts, and the only one now remaining entire. It is the very beau ideal of strength, durability, and the pic. turesque, in huippy unison. Its walls have been standing eight liundred years, and they look capable of existing as
Ruins of Kenilworth.
much longer, and of defying the world with impunity. But now, the visiter, instead of being welcomed at the ponderous portals by warriors bold, is received by a pretty blue-eyed damsel, who will
“Bow him through donjon-keep and hall
For three and sixpence sterling." And I departed, musing on ages past, when after a pleag. ant ride of an hour from Warwick, I was set down amidst a swarm of juvenile sellers of guide-books, at the entrance to the Ruins of KENILWORTI. Here was a castle, once as extensive and impregnable as the one I had just visited : but now the massive walls are fast falling to decay, and the sheep are grazing in peace and quiet where all the mag. nificence of the Elizabethan age had been concentrated. A good-natured old man, who makes a business of show. ing the place, admitted me by the same portal through which passed England's virgin queen, when she came to honor the princely entertainments of her favorite Leicester, The ruins are extremely picturesque in their present state, and show that the castle was of prodigious extent. I climbed
up • Cæsar's tower,' and looked down on the sites of the presence chamber' and the little lake and floating island, where the water-nymphs' had their aquatic sports to amuse the haughty, sensible, and capricious queen. The place is now a meadow for pasturing cows. And I peeped into the dungeons of Mervyn's tower, “where,' said the old man, they put the bad folks, and they couldn't get out,' which seemed quite probable. What a pity, said I, that the walls of the castle should have been so battered
down. • Yes,' said my ancient guide, you may thank old Cromwell for that.' These walls encompassing an area of seven acres, were . so spacious and faire that two or three persons could walk together upon most places thereof.' But as Shakspeare says
"The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Well, after seeing so much I am going, the same day, to the house of him whose name and works will live long af. ter these mighty castles shall have crumbled to the dust. Yes, like all dutiful travellers, I of course added my name to the list of illustrious pilgrims in the album at Stratfordon-Avon. The birth-place and the tomb of Shakspeare ! Who would go to England and pass them by without a visit? What a host of grandissimos, besides the multitude of humbler gentry, have deigned to worship at this intellectual shrine ! or, in other words, to follow the old cice. rone up those narrow back stairs to the lowly apartment where the Bard of Nature was cradled, and there to scribble their names on the rude walls, or in the goodly quarto. There I saw the autographs of · William Henry, Duke of Clarence,' Walter Scott,' Countess Guicciolli, Cole. ridge,' • Charles Lamb,' with scores of similar names, and in army of them from the United States. I copied some
* Description published in 1539.
of, the many inscriptions in the • Ollapod' of an album, which you may like to have :
"Of mighty Shakspeare's birth, the room we see,
That where he died, in vain to find, we try;
JAMES H. HACKETT.".
'The esteemed and lamented Carter:
"Think not, Britannia, all the tears are thines.
And fondly linger round the poet's tomb." '1825. Nov. 18.
N. H. CARTER,
H, J. ECKFORD. Not being wise above what is written, I shall spare. you, a rhapsody of my own on the occasion. To tell the truth, as ill-luck would have it, I could not get up a fit of enthusiasm. I was not inspired even by the impressive little sign which is poked out over the door, and tells the heed. less urchin of Stratford, as well as the eager pilgrim from foreign climes, that
" The immortal SHAKSPEARE
Was born in this house."
And then to be bowed up stairs and down,
“For only sixpence sterling !"
'Twas cheap, to be sure ; but there was something droll in the idea. Of course, I spent half a crown beside, for seeing the tomb in the church, which, by-the-way, is a fine old edifice of its kind ; and mine host has also shown me, gratis, the mulberry tree in his garden, which was planted by the great bard himself. They are going to have a
grand jubilee' here shortly; and an oration is to be delivered by somebody whose name I have forgotten; but as he styles himself the 'American Tragedian, you will know, I suppose, to whom this title belongs.
Amusements—Paintings-Music--Princess Vicloria--The King
and Queen--Noted Singers-Literary Residences-- The Tower --House of Commons.
London in May.-The fashionable season is now in its prime. Parliament is sitting, and every body is in town. How strangely they arrange, or rather disarrange, the order of nature here in England ! Come to town in May, for the winter season, and go into the country in December, to spend Christmas! Yes, if you wish to see London in all its glory, come here in the blooming month of May. The
queen of cities then puts on her gayest attire, and all her thousand attractions and amusements are ready to draw on your purse. First, if you like paintings, there is the Royal Academy exhibition in Somerset House, which, by.