صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Burleigh to see the palaces of my great-uncleministers, having seen them before. Bugden. palace surprises one prettily in a little village; and the remains of Newark-castle seated pleasantly, began to open a vein of historic

I had only transient and distant views of lord Tyrconnel's at Belton, and of Belvoir. The borders of Huntingdonshire have churches instead of milestones—but the richness and extent of Yorkshire quite charmed me. -Oh! what quarries for working in Gothic! This place is one of the very few that I really like : the situation, woods, views, and the improvements are perfect in their kinds : nobody has a truer taste than lord Strafford. The house is a pompous front screening an old house : it was built by the last lord on a design of the Prussian architect Bott, who is mentioned in the King's Memoires de Brandenburg, and is not ugly : the one pair of stairs is entirely engrossed by a gallery of 180 feet, on the plan of that in the Colonna-palace at Rome: it has nothing but four modern statues, and some bad portraits ; but, on my proposal, is going to have books at each end. The hall is pretty, but low; the drawing-room handsome: there wants a good eating-room, and staircase; but I have formed a design for both, and I believe they will be executed - That my plans should be obeyed when yours are not! I shall bring you a ground plot for a Gothic building, which I have proposed that you should draw

memory

for a little wood, but in the manner of an ancient market-cross. Without doors all is pleasing : there is a beautiful (artificial) river with a fine semicircular wood overlooking it, and the temple of Trivoli placed happily on a rising towards the end. There are obelisks, columns, and other buildings, and above all, a handsome castle, in the true style, on a rude mountain, with a court and towers: in the castle-yard, a statue of the late lord who built it. Without the park is a lake on each side, buried in noble woods. — Now contrast all this, and you may have some idea of lord Rockingham's. Imagine a most extensive and most beautiful modern front erected before the great lord Strafford's old house, and this front almost blocked

up

with hills, and every thing unfinished round it, nay within it. The great apartment, which is magnificent, is untouched : the chimney-pieces lie in boxes unopened. The park is traversed by a common road between two high hedges — not from necessity - Oh! no; this lord loves nothing but horses, and the enclosures for them take place of every thing. The bowlinggreen behind the house contains no less than four obelisks, and looks like a Brobdingnag nine-pinalley: on a hill near, you would think you saw the York-buildings water-works invited into the country. There are temples in corn-fields; and in the little wood, a window-frame mounted on a bunch of laurel, and intended for an hermitage.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In the inhabited part of the house, the chimneypieces are like tombs; and on that in the library is the figure of this lord's grandfather in a nightgown of plaster and gold. Amidst all this litter and bad taste, I adored the fine Vandyck of lord Strafford and his secretary, and could not help reverencing his bed-chamber. With all his faults and arbitrary behaviour one must worship his spirit and eloquence : where one esteems but a single royalist, one need not fear being too partial. When I visited his tomb in the church (which is remarkably neat and pretty, and enriched with monuments) I was provoked to find a little mural cabinet, with his figure three feet high kneeling. Instead of a stern bust (and his head would furnish a nobler than Bernini's Brutus) one is peevish to see a plaything that might have been bought at Chenevix's. There is a tender inscription to the second lord Strafford's wife, written by himself— but his genius was fitter to coo over his wife's memory, than to sacrifice to his father's. Well!

you

have had enough of magnificence; you shall repose in a desert. — Old Wortley Montague lives on the very spot where the dragon of Wantley did - only I believe the latter was much better lodged-You never saw such a wretched hovel, lean, unpainted, and half its nakedness barely shaded with harateen stretched till it cracks. -Here the miser hoards health and money, his only two objects: he has chronicles in behalf of the air, and battens on Tokay, his single indulgence, as he has heard it is particularly salutary. But the savageness of the scene would charm your Alpine taste: it is tumbled with fragments of mountains, that look ready laid for building the world. One scrambles over a huge terrass, on which mountain ashes and various trees spring out of the very rocks; and at the brow is the den, but not spacious enough for such an inmate. However, I am persuaded it furnished Pope with this line, so exactly it answers to the picture :

On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes.

I wanted to ask if Pope had not visited lady Mary Wortley here during their intimacy—but could one put that question to Avidien himself? There remains an ancient odd inscription here, which has such a whimsical mixture of devotion and romanticness that I must transcribe it:

Preye for the soul of sir Thomas Wortley, knight of the body to the kings Edward IV. Richard III. Henry VII. Henry VIII. whose faults God

pardon. He caused a lodge to be built on this crag in the midst of Wharncliff (the old orthography) to hear the harts bell, in the year of our Lord 1510. It was a chase, and what he meant to hear was the noise of the stags.

During my residence here I have made two little excursions; and I assure you it requires re

solution; the roads are insufferable: they mend them-I should call it spoil them- with large pieces of stone. At Pomfret I saw the remains of that memorable castle “where Rivers, Vaughan, and Grey lay shorter by the head;" and on which Gray says,

And thou, proud boy, from Pomfret's walls shalt send,
A groan, and envy oft thy happy grandsire's end!

The ruins are vanishing, but well situated; there is a large demolished church, and a pretty markethouse. We crossed a Gothic bridge of eight arches at Ferrybridge, where there is a pretty view, and went to a large old house of lord Huntingdon's at Ledstone, which has nothing remark, able but a lofty terrace, a whole-length portrait of his grandfather in tapestry, and the having belonged to the great lord Strafford. We saw that monument of part of poor sir John * * *'s extravagance, his house and garden, which he left orders to make without once looking at either plan. The house is a bastard Gothic, but of not near the extent I had heard. We lay at Leeds, a dingy large town; and through very bad black roads, (for the whole country is a colliery, or a quarry,) we went to Kirkstall-abbey, where are vast Saxon ruins, in a most picturesque situation, on the banks of a river that falls in a cascade among rich meadows, hills, and woods ; it belongs

« السابقةمتابعة »