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“ likely to inspire pity in weak minds, and, “ in consequence, the most distressed. For "* example, Mary: God hath given you a “ proper shape and pleasing person, unless “ you disfigure them hereafter by folly and “ affectation : but should any misfortune “ happen to deprive you of these advan“ tages, do you think I could love you « less ? Surely not. I should, on the “ contrary, consider, that every niark of “ tenderness I could shew you was neces“sary to enable you to bear your misfor.
tune." « My dear papa, forgive me! I am « ashamed of what I said, and, in future, “ will endeavour not to think of person.”
“ I hope you will keep that resolution, “ my dear girl ; for nothing can be more " weak or unpardonable than to be taken “ with mere external accomplishments. “ But I must for the present bid you fare“ well, for I have business that cannot be “ neglected."
CH A P.
CHAP. XVIII. .
A Ramble to Westminster Abbey:--When first
The duties of the morning fulfilled, Mr.. Richardson and his children prepared for one of their usual excursions, which Charles entreated might be to Westminster-abbey. The carriage was accordingly. ordered. thither.
“ My dear children,” said he, “ you “.. must not expect from me a descriptive
· relation of all the great personages who «. lie interred in the abbey; for as there “ are numberless accurate accounts to be “ obtained, I shall simply confine myself: as to an historical sketch of the first erec“ tion of the building, and inform you ;' 23
« what crowned heads rest there. Sebert, « the first of that name, and first Christian " king of the East Saxons; Harold, the “ bastard son of Canutus the Dane, king “ of England; king Edward, called the “ Confessor, and Edith his queen ; Maud, “ queen to king Henry the First; king “ Henry the Third; king Edward the “ First and Eleanor his queen; king Ed. “ ward the Third and his queen Philipa ; “ king Richard the Second and Anne his “ queen; king Henry the Fifth and Cathe“ rine his queen; Anne, wife to king Richard “ the Third ; king Henry the Seventh and “ Elizabeth his queen; king Edward the “ Sixth; Anne of Cleves, fourth wife to “ king Henry the Eighth ; queen Mary ; “ queen Elizabeth, king James the First " and Anne his queen; king Charles the “ Second; king William and queen Mary; “ queen Anne; king George the Second " and Caroline his queen. These, I be« lieve, are all the crowned heads that or are interred there : but there are num. “ berless persons of the first dis“ tinction, and others who have signa
“ lized themselves, in the annals of “ their country, by bravery, genius, or “ praise-worthy actions, Adjoining the “ abbey was the ancient palace of our kings, 6 from the time of Edward the Confessor “ to that of Henry the Eighth, when it “ was consumed by fire. Many parts of e this ancient palace are still to be seen, " though converted to other uses. The « commons of England hold their assem. " blies where was once St. Stephen's chas. "s pel, built by the king of that name, but o afterwards rebuilt, and made a collegiate " church by king Edward the Third : but 6 on its surrender to Edward the Sixth, it: “ was applied to its present use. West«C minster-hall, which I shall shew you, and “ whose entrance is from New Palace-yard, " is accounted the largest apartment in - Europe that is not supported by pillars. 56 Its length is cwo hundred and seventy 5 feet, the breadth seventy-four : its height " adds to its solemnity; and is of timber 56 curiously constructed." ;
This discourse brought them to the abbey, when Mr. Richardson walked
round with them to survey it on the outside.
“ The spot on which this building is as erected," said he," was once called “ Thorney Island, from its being over“* run with thorns and briars, and likewise « insulated by a branch from the Thames. « The church is said to have been founded « about the year 610, by Serbert, king of “ the Saxons, on the ruins of the Temple “ of Apollo, and dedicated to St. Peter. " This church was burnt by the Danes, but ** restored by king Edgar, who placed in it “ twelve monks of the Benedictine order, " though with very small revenues. Edward " the Confessor rebuilt both the church " and abbey. He began the work in the " year 1049, and finished it 1066, endow« ing it with the utmost munificence.
" Whether from the building falling to « decay, or otherwise, I know nor, but " Henry the third caused the Saxon pile to:
be pulled down, and the whole rebuilt in : • its present magnificent state. In the < year 1245, he began this work, but did