صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

books, which Mr. Richardson informed Charles began to be collected by Archbishop Bancroft, in the year 1610, since which they had been greatly increased by his successors; that by the suggestion of Mr. Seldon they were deposited at Cambridge, during the Civil War, where they remained till the Restoration, and now amounted to 25,000 volumes.

In the apartment they were also shown the shell of a tortoise, to which a label is affixed, importing that it was put into the garden by Archbishop Laud, in the year 1633, and lived until 1753, a space of 120 years ; when it was killed by the negligence of the gardener.

The library of manuscripts next attracted Charles's notice; which his father informed him were very curious, and to the number of 11,000.

On viewing the Lollards”Tower, Charles threw a hasty glance around, and taking his father's arm, said, “ Sir, I have seen enough here: my heart sinks on the reflection of the pangs that have been suf

fered within these walls ; thank God there is no persecution of that nature

now !"

“ We will, if you please, adjourn to the church," said Mr. Richardson, addressing the servant.

The man obeyed, and led the way to the church, which is at a very small distance from the palace ; Mr. Richardson making his son observe, that it was built in the Gothic architecture of Edward the Fourth's time.

On their entrance, a painting of a man with a dog, on one of the windows, struck Charles, who asked his father the subject.

Mr. Richardson replied, “ Tradition, Charles, informs us, that a piece of ground near Westminster-bridge, containing one acre and nineteen roods, named Pedlar's Acre, was left to this parish by a pedlar, upon condition that his picture, and that of his dog, should be perpetually preserved on painted glass on one of the windows of the church, which the parishioners have carefully performed. The time of this gift was in 1504, when the ground was let at 2s. 8d. per annum ; but in the year 1762, it was let on lease at 100l. per year, and a fine of 800l. ; and is now estimated to be worth 2501. yearly.”

“ What an ainazing advance in the price of land !” said Charles ; " but could any reason be given for the pedlar's ridiculous request ?”

“ None, I believe, certain : but the reason alleged is, that as the pedlar, who was very poor, was passing the before-mentioned piece of ground, he could by no means get his dog away, who kept scratching a particular spot of earth until he attracted his master's notice : who going back to examine the cause, and pressing with his stick, found something hard, which, on a nearer inspection, proveda pot of gold. With part of this money pur. chased the land, and settled in the parish; to which he bequeathed it on the conditions aforesaid.-In this church, Charles,” continued Mr. Richardson, "you will find little to attract your attention ; several,

he

[ocr errors]

indeed, of the later Primates are buried here, but without any remarkable monument to distinguish them; you will therefore make your observations, and we will adjourn to the yard.”

Charles's examinations concluded, his father made a present to the servant, and they entered the churchyard alone, where the monument of the Tradescants was soon noticed by Charles, and of whom his father gave

him the following account. 6. The elder Tradescant was the first person that ever formed a cabinet of curiosities in this kingdom. Both father and son were great travellers, and, from their discoveries, introduced multitudes of plants and flowers into our gardens unknown before. Nor were their studies confined to the vegetable kingdom, for their collection of medals, coins, and other antiquities appear to have been very valuable ; and to collect the whole, they must have undergone great difficulties; the father, particularly, is said to have visited Russia, most parts of Europe,

Turkey, Greece, many of the Eastern countries, Egypt, and Barbary. By virtue of a deed of gift from Mr. Tradescant the younger, the whole of these curiosities came into the possession of Mr. Ashmole, who removed them to Oxford, where they are carefully preserved. - This monument was, as you see, erected in 1662, by the wife of the younger : and ornamented by emblematic devices, denoting the extent of their travels, and their attention to natural history. Time had greatly injured it; but in the year 1773, the parish, to their great honour, repaired it, and caused to be engraven on the stone the inscription originally designed.”

“ If it would not be intruding on your goodness, Sir,” said Charles, 16 I would transcribe the inscription to show Mary, who, I am grieved, has not been with us this morning."

“I will wait willingly; but have you a pencil and paper ?”

Charles answering in the affirmative, Mr. Richardson walked at a small dis

« السابقةمتابعة »