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Windsor Castle, you know, is rich with the accumulated associations of ages, having been begun by Henry III., and enlarged and enriched, from time to time, down to George IV., who put it in complete order. It stands on an eminence just above the little town of Windsor, which, built of brick and stone, is compact and clean, as is every thing English, individual and congregate. It is said to be the best specimen of castellated architecture in England. Certainly it is very beautiful; and the most beautiful thing about it, is the view from the terrace, which it would be little better than impertinent to describe in any other words than Gray's, in his invocation to those who stand on the terrace:
“And ye, that from the stately brow
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
His silver winding way" — But such a mead! such turf! such shade! “Father Thames” might be compared to an old king winding his way through his court: the very sheep that were lying on the grass under the majestic trees in the “ home park," looked like princes of the blood. The most thought-awakening object in the view, is undoubtedly the Gothic pile of Eton College, with its spires and antique towers.
We spent some hours in going through the magnificent apartments of the palace, looking at the pictures, the Gobelin tapestry, &c. The quaint, curious banqueting-room of the knights of the garter, with their insignia, pleased me best.
We had enough of the enjoying spirit of children to be delighted, and felt much in the humour of the honest man who said to Prince Esterhazy, when he was blazing in diamonds, “ Thank you for your diamonds.” “Why do you thank me?” naturally asked the prince. “You have the trouble of keeping them, and I the pleasure of looking at them.” Wise and happy man! He solved a puzzling problem. In truth, the monarch has not the pleasure of property in Wind'sor Castle, that almost every American citizen has in the roof
that shelters him. “I congratulate your majesty on the pçe session of so beautiful a palace,” said some foreign prince to whom Victoria was showing it. “It is not mine, but the country's,” she replied. And so it is, and all within it. She may not give away a picture, or even a footstool.
We went into St. George's Chapel, which is included in the pile of buildings. We saw there the beautiful effect produced by the sun shining through the painted windows, through all the colours of the rainbow, on the white marble pillars and pavement. The royal family are buried in the vaults of this chapel. There is an elaborate monument, in wretched taste, in one corner, to the Princess Charlotte. We trod on a tablet in the pavement, which told us that, beneath it, were lying the remains of Henry VIII. and Jane Seymour ! It is such memorials as these that we are continually meeting, which, as honest uncle Stephen says, “ give one feelings.”
Lady B. had said to me in a note, “If you attend service in St. George's Chapel, observe the waving of the banners to the music. It seems like a strange sympathy with the tones of the organ, before one reflects on the cause.” We did attend the service, and realized the poetic idea. The banner of every knight of the garter, from the beginning of the institution, is hung in the choir.
This was the third time we had been present, since we came to England, at worship in the temples into which art has breathed its soul. First in Winchester Cathedral, then at Westminster Abbey, and now at this old royal chapel. The daily service appointed by the Church was performing with the careless and heartless air of prescription. The clergyman and clerk hurried sing-songing through the form of prayers, that, perfect as they are, will only rise on the soul's wings.
I felt the Puritan struggling at my heart, and could have broken out with Mause's fervour, if not her eloquence. I thought of our summer Sunday service in dear J- 's“ long parlour.” Not a vacant place was there. The door open into the garden, the children strewed round the door-step, their young faces touched with an expression of devotion and love, such as glows in the faces of the cherubs of the old pictures; and for vaulted roof, columns, and storied glass, we had the blue sky, the everlasting hills, and lights and shadows playing over them, — all suggestive of devotion, and in harmony with the pure and simple doctrine our friend Dr. Follen taught us. To me, there was more true worship in those allembracing words, “ Our Father!” as he uttered them, than in all the task-prayers I have heard in these mighty cathedrals. Here it is the temple that is greatest. Your mind is preoccupied, filled with the outward world. The monuments of past ages, and the memorials of indiviqual greatness, are before you. Your existence is amplified; your sympathies are carried far back; the “ inexorable past” does give up its dead. Wherever your eye falls, you see the work of a power new to you, — the creative power of art. You see forms of beauty which never entered into your “ forge of thought.” You are filled with new and delightful emotions; but they spring from new impressions of the genius of man, of his destiny and history. —No; these cathedrals are not like the arches of our forests, — the temples for inevitable worship; but they are the fitting places for the apotheosis of genius.
EXERCISE CVII. LIGHT CONVERSATION WITH A HEAVY MAN. Anon.
“ CHARLOTTE, my dear, there is a ring at the hall bell,” said Mrs. Shawford, the morning after a ball. “Who can it be?” -“Perhaps the Sydenhams — no! it is Henry Waring.” –“What shall we do? He is so very heavy, and is always calling.”
The servant announced Mr. Henry Waring.
“ How do you do?” inquired Mrs. Shawford; “I hope Mrs. Waring and Eliza are quite well.”
“Quite well, I thank you."
“I hope they are not fatigued. It was so very kind of Mrs. Waring to stay so late. Eliza looked exceedingly well : I think she has quite recovered.”
“Pray, is it true, Mr. Henry Waring,” inquired Charlotte, “ that Dewhurst Hall is taken ?”
“I don't know.”
“ Yes." -- (A pause.) “ Beautiful weather,” remarked Mr. Henry. Waring.
“Very fine, indeed,” agreed Mrs. Shawford “When do your family go to town?”
“ Next week.”
“I hope we shall induce papa to take us soon,” said Charlotte; “ I want to hear Paganini.”
“The Dean ages, I think,” observed Mrs. Shawford, with a sigh.
“I think he does."
“I suppose William Rushton will soon return," observed Miss Charlotte Shawford.
“I suppose he will,” replied Mr. Henry Waring. — (Pause the third.)
“Pray, is there any talk of Donnington balls this year?" “I don't know.” “They were very pleasant." “Yes, very." — (Pause the fourth.)
“ Have you heard any thing of your cousin ?” inquired Mrs. Shawford.
“ Believe they had a letter, the other day.”
“Will you take some luncheon, Mr. Waring? — It is in the dining-room." —
“ Thank you, - I have lunched.”
“No, thank you. Good morning, Mrs. Shawford : Good morning, Miss Shawford.”
“Good morning. Pray remember us most kindly at home.” “Yes, — Good morning;” — and he retired.
“Very heavy man is Mr. Henry Waring," observed Mrs. Shawford. -"Shocking!” said Charlotte.
Unbar thy gates to me!
To set Fernando free.
A pilgrim to remain,
The noblest knight of Spain.” “Fond Christian youth,” the captain said,
“Thy suit is soon denied ; Fernando loves a Moorish maid,
And will with us abide.
The turban he hath ta’en;
The noblest knight of Spain."
A cold and deadly dye;
And anger in his eye; —
Fell down of golden grain : -
The boldest knight of Spain ! “Go look on Lugo's gory field,
Go look on Tayo's tide!
That all your host defied ?
Granada's sultan slain,
The boldest knight of Spain.”
The lordly paynim said, “Granada's sultan was my sire,
Who fell by Lara's blade;