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windy weather the public are not allowed to approach the walls, lest the fall of some tall gable or lofty window should prove fatal to the visitors; and the owner, to avoid a calamity of this kind, caused a tower on the south side, and some other fragments, to be demolished. One of the handsome bay windows near the hall is on the eve of falling; indeed, several mullions have already given way, and a few wooden props once placed by a considerate labourer residing on the spot, to sustain the tottering and delicate frame, are lying uselessly at its base. This is the system adhered to at Cowdray ; a fragment that exhibits dangerous decay is pulled down to save its falling at an unlucky moment, and (what is of equal consideration) to save the few pounds which would secure it in its place : and let those who view with admiration, not unalloyed by painful sensations, these grand and still extensive ruins, remember that for their gratification they are indebted to the durability of the masonry, and (though to the liberality of free admission) not to the care of the
The traces of tasteless alterations which must have concealed much of the internal antiquity, without enlarging the interest of Cowdray, will only perish with its walls. I purposely avoided any interference with the description of the original rooms, but I will now notice these deformities. The height of the Hall was divided by a floor, and its length by a partition. The lower part was a dark cellar, but the porch opening to a broad passage remained the chief entrance; and the principal upper room was furnished with a carved stone chimney piece, the frame of which has not been entirely destroyed. On the east side of the house, all the upper windows were altered and enlarged, and their heavy cornices proclaim the coarse and graceless style of William the Third ; and though the fabric of the Chapel remained uninjured, its inside walls were polluted with panels of plaster, and whole length figures in raised work, contemptibly executed, and of the same material. At the same period, and in a similar incongruous style, the external windows of the north hexagonal tower, were altered, and in consequence the walls so much weakened, that the fire, and forty years of neglect, have caused injuries which must shortly end in the dilapidation of a structure not yet divested even of a battlement. The tower gateway also sustained a corresponding alteration in both its faces, and the same result seems likely to follow, though at a more distant period. A few other innovations might be noticed, but the principal are here mentioned, and suffice to show the injury they have inflicted on the ancient walls. Some prominent deformities might not have escaped the exterior, but these have perished. The surviving walls abound in beauties, and it is perhaps on these excellent specimens of architecture we chiefly found our regret for the imperfect state of the fabric, and for losses which may not have greatly impaired the beauty and grandeur of the whole.
It now remains to take some notice of the subordinate offices which were built on the demolition of the fore court-the situation, strange as it may seem to modern notions of convenience and elegance, for the stables, kennels, lodges, and other appendages of a considerable mansion. This alteration was one of the number made in the seventeenth century, and the new court is on the south side of the house. It is narrow, open towards the west, and entirely inclosed on the south and east sides, the latter joined, or having been joined, to the kitchen tower. These offices are built wholly of brick, are low, and have a lofty roof; and their style, if indeed they partake of any, sets at defiance the rules of good taste, and disgraces the mansion to which they belong.
Again crossing the quadrangle, we notice the remains of a circular fountain before the great gateway; and in the park, scarcely an hundred yards beyond the north side of the house, a low octagonal building of 24 feet diameter. It has a conical roof, a plain parapet, several windows of different sizes, and three doorways; it has for many years been used to shelter valuable plants during the winter, but it is difficult to conjecture for what purpose it was anciently designed. It consists of two stories of moderate height. A wooden pillar in the centre, with a capital and base of stone, supports the floor, which was approached by two doors on the summits of stone steps, seven feet broad, situated on either hand of the chief entrance to the room below. The whole building is very neatly finished, but it is open to injury. Cattle seek shelter within its walls, and the upper part serves the purposes of a barn,
AN ARCHITECTURAL ANTIQUARY.
MEMORIALS OF LITERARY CHARACTERS.-No. I. It is our intention to assemble under this head, from time to time, original Letters, unknown Anecdotes, and other relics of persons distinguished in the annals of Literature; and 'we invite our Correspondents to contribute to the collection.
DEBARCATION OF THE CORPSE OF LORD BYRON. The circumstances related in the following letter, addressed to the late H. Smedley, esq. by a gentleman in an important magisterial office, were witnessed by very few; but the description, which was written on the very day of their occurrence, when the impression was fresh on the writer's mind, will be interesting to all.
“I know that you are curious in such matters, and I therefore send you an account of the melancholy sight which I have seen to day. As I was proceeding down the river this morning, I saw at about 5 minutes a. M. a brig lying at the London Dock Buoy. She was about 250 tons burthen, in mourning (black with a broad blue streak), and carried at the main, half mast high, a broad pendant, or more strictly speaking a silk banner of dark blue or purple charged with a Baron's coronet proper. Her ensign was hoisted in the same mournful way. Her name the 'Florida, of London.' On my return (about ten minutes or a quarter past four P. M.) I saw one of Searle's barges lying alongside, a tackle was lowered from the main yard, and a coffin wrapped in black cloth came over the larboard side of the brig nearly amidships and was received by some attendants in the barge. That coffin contained the body of Lord Byron. Th
ew straggling boats about the ship, and after I had seen the remains which lately contained the most towering spirit in Europe placed in the barge, and had directed my people to preserve order and decency in the event of a crowd of boats following it, I departed. When I left the brig she was just swinging with the flood tide, and I afterwards learned that the barge proceeded up the river entirely alone. Some of my people followed it to London Bridge ; but when my galleymen returned after landing me at the Temple, they met the barge quite unattended just below Blackfriars Bridge.
“A leaden coffin was brought to the brig in the course of the morning, and my people who were on duty smelled a strong scent of spirits, arising as they suppose from the people in the brig starting the vessel which contained the body, and pouring the contents overboard. One of my men saw some staves and hoops put into the boat, and these I conjecture to have formed the cask in which the body was preserved. Great care seemed to be taken that no one but the proper attendants should come on board ; on the starboard side was chalked • No admittance.' The quarter deck was shrouded from view by a main sail, and the stern ports were not above a quarter raised. I suppose the friends of the deceased had issued orders for the greatest privacy to be observed ; but I could not help feeling that there was an air of desertion about the scene which added to the melancholy of it. On my return to the office this evening I saw the brig working into the London Docks; the banner was gone, and her ensign streamed gaily from the Peak.”
"Monday evening, 5th July, 1824."
DUELS AND MARRIAGE OF SHERIDAN. Mr. Moore, in his Life of Sheridan, has treated pretty largely of his duel, or rather duels, with Mathews; but probably he did not see the following extract of a Letter from Bath, in the Public Advertiser, of July 1, 1772.
“Young Sheridan and Capt. Mathews of this town, who lately had a renconter in a tavern in London, upon account of the Maid of Bath, Miss Linley, have had another this morning upon Kingsdown, about four miles hence. Sheridan is much wounded, whether mortally or not is yet unknown. Both their swords breaking upon the first lunge, they threw each other down, and with the broken pieces hacked at each other rolling upon the ground, the seconds standing by quiet spectators. Mathews is but little, if at all wounded, and is since gone off.”
The next passage is from the same paper for Nov. 19 following :
“Mr. Sheridan, jun". who last summer fought a duel with Captain Mathews about the Maid of Bath, is entirely recovered of his wounds, but has lost the use of his right arm from receiving a shot between the bones at the joint.”
The following particulars of the marriage seem wholly to have escaped Mr. Moore's research.
Tuesday (13 April) was married at Marylebone Church, by the Rev. Dr. Booth, the celebrated Miss Linley to Mr. Sheridan; after the ceremony, they set out with her family and friends, and dined at the Star and Garter on Richmond Hill; in the evening they had a ball, after which the family and friends returned to town, and left the young couple at a gentleman's house at Mitcham to consummate their nuptials.”—Morning Chronicle, April 16, 1773.
The old readers of the Gentleman's Magazine will scarcely require to be referred to the interesting autobiography of Miss Linley which was first published in the number for October 1825.
LETTERS FROM MISS HANNAH MORE TO THE REV. R. POLWHELE,
Oct. 10, 1777. When you did me the favour of writing to me in the Spring, I was on the point of setting out for London, from whence I have been returned but a very short time. I would not answer your letter, till I had had the satisfaction of perusing the Poems you gave me reason to expect I should soon see.
I now beg leave to return you my thanks for the entertainment they have afforded me. There is an agreeable vein of imagination running through them, the numbers are in general smooth; and I particularly congratulate you on your success in imitative harmony. This last is a great beauty in skilful hands; but it requires much management, and a peculiar nicety of ear not to let it be too frequent, or appear too mechanical ; by the former it loses its effect, and by the latter its gracefulness.
The truly poetical Mr. Gray is, I will venture to pronounce, your favourite, and you cannot labour upon a finer model ; but, exquisite as he is for the grandeur and sublimity of his images, the richness of his fancy, and the melody of his versification, he is frequently obscure, sometimes unintelligible, a fault blameable in any writer, but in a poet unpardonable. In a poem, every thing should be easy, natural, and perspicuous. Intricacy in books of abstruser literature, is to be expected and forgiven, because the subjects may be so difficult that no familiarity of style can produce a perfect apprehension to a common reader; whereas poetry, whose end is to please as well as to inform, should, without losing any thing of its beautiful and becoming elevation, be stripped of every thing that would obscure its clearness and hide its perspicuity.
I am, Sir, your most obedient and obliged humble Servant,
London, Feb. 7, 1778. I hope you will excuse my not having answered your letter sooner ; nothing but the hurrying and tumultuous way of life I have been engaged in could excuse me in my own opinion; and this apology I hope will also vindicate me
When I received your manuscripts at Bristol, I was very ill, which, joined to
the preparations for my journey, so entirely engrossed me that I had little leisure for writing. I desired your sister however to assure you that I had read your Poems with great pleasure, and begged her to acquaint you with my approbation of them. I thought them very ingenious and poetical.
Very little has appeared this winter in the literary, and hardly anything in the poetical world ; for I do not honour with the dignified appellation of poetry, those scandalous productions which start up every day, and which are eagerly bought and read, only because they are scandalous ; they die away with the temporary circumstances which gave birth to them, and are no more remembered.
I am much obliged for your compliment on my Tragedy;* its success has exceeded my most sanguine hopes ; it is acted to night the seventeenth time. I remain, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.
H. MORE. III.
Bristol, Nov. 3, 1785. I beg your pardon for not sooner acknowledging the favour of your
Letter. A life full of engagements of various kinds must plead my apology. I heartily wish you success in your arduous undertaking. I wish my name would be the smallest advantage to your list; but, such as it is, it is much at your service. I will pay my subscription to Mr. Browne.
You will be sorry to hear that the Milkwomant for whom I raised 5001. has turned out the wickedest and most ungrateful of the human species ; but I have the comfort of knowing that her wants, which were very pressing, were relieved. My Sisters desire their compliments; mine if you please to Miss Polwhele. I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, H. MORE.
LETTERS OF WILLIAM PENN.
The following Letters, the copies of which are in the possession of our Publisher Mr. Pickering, it is believed have never been printed before. They were written by the Founder of Pennsylvania, only two years after the first plantation of that rapidly formed and very successful Colony. The Earl of Sunderland, to whom the first is addressed, was the Secretary of State, having been restored to that post Jan. 31, 1682-3, a circumstance to which William Penn alludes in the early part of his letter. My Noble Friend,
Philadelphia, 28. 5mo July, 1683. It is an unhappiness incident to great men, to be troubled with the respects of the small folks their kindness obleidges; however, I had rather need an excuse, then be wanting of gratitude to my noble Benefactors, of which the Lord Sunderland was one of the first, in the business of my American country; and tho' I have nothing to returne but humble thanks and good wishes for all his generous favours, yet they have engaged me in a most firm resolution to embrace all occasions by which I may express my sense of them, and grati. tude to him. And being thus obleidg'd to interest myselfe in his success and prosperity, I must take leave to congratulate the happy restoration of the King's grace and favour, in which without flattery I take the freedom to say I think he has done right to the Lord Sunderland's abilitys, and his own business ; for ever since he yielded me the advantage of his acquaintance in France (a time of twenty years standing, or running rather), I have said many times to many people, I remember not to have mett a young nobleman promising a sharper and clearer judgment, and of closer and better sense ; and pardon me if I wish that this occasion may give thee time to prove it yet more abundantly to the world.
Percy. + Mrs. Anne Yearsley, author of a volume of Poems. She died May 7, 1808. Gent. Mag, VOL. I.
I was a little elevated with the hopes of a free discourse and censure upon my American enterprise, when it pleas'd thee to give me to beleive I might meet thee some evening at Col. Henry Sidney's ;* but some greater affaire diverting, rob'd me of the advantage I had reason to promess myselfe from so correct a conversation. But tho' I mist that expression of thy favour, lett me not want the effects of it: I am now in a station, where my own weakness, or my neighbours' envy, may happen to hurt my honest interest, and the good work I have in my eye : please to take me and my poor feeble concerns into thy protection, and give us thy smiles and countenance, and I will venture to say that, by the help of God, and such noble Freinds, I will show a Province in 7 years equal to her neighbours of 40 years planting.
I have lay'd out the Province into Countys. Six are begun to be seated ; they lye on the Great River, and are planted about 6 miles back. The town platt is a mile long, and two deep,- has a navigable river on each side, the least as broad as the Thames at Woolwych, from 3 to 8 fathom water ; there is built about 80 houses, and I have settled at least three hundred farmes contiguous to it. We have had with passengers 23 ships, and trading 40, great and small, since the last summer,—not amiss for one year. The country is in soyle good, aire screen (as in Languedock), and sweet from the cedar, pine, and sassefrax, with a wild mertile, that all send forth a most fragrant smell, which every brees carrys with it to the inhabitants where it goes. Cyprus, chesnutt, cedar, black walnutt, poppler (the largest in the world), oake of six sorts, white, red, black, Spanish, chesnutt, and swampe, are the timber of these parts. Ash there is also, but not so frequently. Here is a hickery nut tree, mighty large, and more tough then our ash, the finest white and flameing fire I have ever seen.
I have had better venison, bigger, more tender, and as fatt as in England; turkys of the wood I had of 40 and 50 pound weight; fish in abundance, especially of shad and rock, which are here an excellent fish; pearch and trout, but no salmon hereaways yet as I hear of; but oysters, that are monstrous for bigness, tho there be a lesser sort. Here are of fruits divers wild, the peach, grape, and plum, and that of divers sorts. We have also in the woods flowers, that for colour, largeness, and beuty excell; 1 intend a collection of the most valluable of which this place affords for Astrope the next season. For the people, they are savage to us; in their persons and furniture all that is rude, but they have great shape, strength, agility; and in councel, for they (tho in a kind of community among themselves) observe property and government, grave, speak seldom, inter spaces of silence, short, elegant, fervent. The old sitt in a half moon upon the ground, the middle aged in a like figure at a little distance behind them, and the young fry in the same manner behind them ; none speak but the aged, they having consulted the rest before; thus, in selling me their land, they ordered themselves ; t I must say that, their obscurity consider’d, wanting tradition, example, and instruction, they are an extraordinary people. Had not the Dutch, Sweeds, and English, learn'd them drunkenness (in which condition they kill or burn one another), they had been very tractable, but rum is so dear to them, that for 6 penny worth of rum, one may buy that fur from them that five shillings in any other commodity shall not purchase ; yet many of the old men, and some of the young people, will not touch with such spirits ; and because in those fitts they mischief both themselves and our folks too, I have forbid to sell them any.
Pardon, my noble friend, this length (longer too in my scrawling hand then in it selfe); I thought it my duty to give an account of the place to one whos favour had helpt to make it myn, and who was pleas'd more then once to dis. course the settlement of it.
* The younger brother of the Earl of Leicester, and of the celebrated Col. Algernon Sydney, who suffered death at the close of this very year. Henry was himself created a Peer after the Revolution, by the title of Earl of Romney.
+ This description may suggest to an artist a design arranged very differently from the well-known picture by Benjamin West, and one which will be recommended by greater historical accuracy, founded on the best possible authority.