« AnteriorContinuar »
Our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey,
ROUD and magnificent as was once this exP tensive and splendid pile of building, the last
vestiges of that once joyous abode of princes, the prison of kings, and the scene where many transactions connected with the history of England, had their rise, progress, and consummation, are now fast approaching that
awful termination so finely described by our immortal Bard. The recent demolition has laid open ruins that may be viewed with great interest by the antiquarian as well as the curious observer, before closing the view for ever by consiguing to oblivion in a very sbort period every remnant of this truly venerable edi. fice. The Church, with its beautiful ceiling and remarkable monuments, is at present exempted from the general destruction of the Palace though how long the hand of improvement will permit its sacred and inouldering walls to retain its antique appearance it is hard to say.
The first mention we find of this celebrated building is NO. V.
in Stow's Survey, who states it to have been built in 1245, by Peter, Earl of Savoy, from whom its first title was de rived, uncle to Eleanor, wife of Henry the Third. By Peter it was conferred upon the fraternity of Mountjoy, of whom it was purchased by the above Queen for her son Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.
About the year 1328, Henry, earl of Lancaster rebuilt it, with such magnificence, that it was considered the first structurein the kingdom, the sum expended upon it being no less than 52,000 marks.
In 1381, is was destroyed, with all its sumptuous and elegant furniture, by Wat Tyler, and his rebel followers; from an aversion to John duke of Lancaster, its then possessor. After thisthe scite devolved to the crown; Henry the VII. began to rebuild it, and to endow it as an hospital in 1509, for the entertainment and reception of one hundred distressed person, but he dying before the completiou, his son Henry VIII. granted the Manor of Savoy to Richard, bishop of Winchester, and others, his father's executors: and also by a charter, 1513, constituted them a body, to consist of a master, five under chaplains, and four regulars, in honour of Jesus Christ, his mother, and saint John the Baptist.
The succeeding monarch Edward the VI. suppressed it and endowed the hospitals of saint Thomas and Bridewell with its furniture and revenues; after his decease, queen Mary again converted it into an hospital; and on the ac. cession of queen Elizabeth it was again suppressed, and its revenues appropriated to uses designed by Edward VI.
This devoted building seems, however, to have suffered such frequent damage and curtailment, that it is difficult to determine which have conduced most to its progressive destruction-the ravages of fire, the fury of popular tumult, or the hand of improvement; one singular transition effected by the latter, is that of the ancient huge bani. quetting hall into a cabaret, or place of entertainment for casual visitors. It is a fact, that on the very scite of that splendid hall are erected the dry arches of Waterloo Bridge, one of the largest and most lofty of which is de. signated by the title of the " Blue Anchor,” up the lofty walls of which the smoke ascends, and rolling along the roof, finds an egress through a large aperture in front, strongly reminding the spectator of the ancient structure from which, before the introduction of chimnies, the smoke also found its egress as in this gloomy, but not unsocial cavern,
In 1822, while the workmen were clearing away the rubbish, a wall fell, and three of the unfortunate men were killed on the spot. Within the last few years, the spirit of speculation and enterprise has almost rased these splendid vestiges, and sixty private houses have been erected ou the site. The remainder is made use of as barracks for lodging the king's guards and recruits; for deserters and other offenders; and a chapel for the German and French protestants: but amidst the innumerable attractions of a splendid city, the crumbling ruins of a palace are likely to be in a great measure unnoticed, or are left to those few who delight in the studies of antiquarian Jore. The fate of palaces, in this respect, is observable: and their decline and fall furnish mankind with so many miniature representations of the nothingness of earthly splendor.
POPULAR DIVERSIONS AT VIENNA. The most exact and least suspicious description that can be given of these diversions, will be literally to transJate a band-bill, such as was distributed through the streets every Sunday and festival:
'This day, by imperial licence, at five o'clock, will begin the following diversions :
A wild hungarian ox, in full size, (that is, with fire under his tail, and crackers fastened to his ears and horns, and to other parts of his body) will be set upon by logs.
A wild boar will, in the same manner, be baited by dogs. A great bear will, immediately after, be torn by dogs. A wolf will be hunted by dogs of the feetest kind. A very furious and enraged wild bull, from Hungary, will be attacked by fierce and hungry dogs.
A fresh bear will be attacked by hounds ; next
Will appear a fierce wild boar, just caught, which will pow be baited for the first time, by dogs defended with iron arniour.
A beautiful African tyger. This will be changed for a boar. A fresh and fierce Hungarian ox.
A furious and hungry bear, which has had no food for eight days, will attack a young wild bull, and eat him
alive upon the spot; and if he is unable to complete the business, a wolf will be ready to help him.'
" These barbarous spectacles, says Dr. Burney, in his Travels are usually attended by two or three thousand people, among whom are a great number of ladies!'
THE LAST DAY. BY MR. BECKFORD.
• Dies iræ, dies illa.' HARK! heard ye not that deep, appalling sound? Tremble--for lo the vexed, th'affrighted grouud Heaves strong in dread convulsion-streams of fire Burst from the vengeful sky-a voice of ire Proclaims. Ye guilty, wait your final doom: No more the silent refuge of the tomb (reigns,Shall screen your crimes, your frailties. Conscience Earth needs no other sceptre:-what remains Beyond her fated limits, dare not tell ;Eternal Justice! Judgment!-Heaven!—Hell!"
Thou holy heroine!
Thou suffered serene!
Twas Hored's sacred spark !
Joanne! thou Maid of Arc!
Her awful virgin eyes:
To waft thee to the skics.
I see thou dost not bow then
No curses come from thee;
Whom thou didst oft set free.
And thine ungenerous foes
When high thy while plume rose.
Awake! 'tis virgin's shame.
Of them that feared her name.
Prays calmly in their view. “God pardon these rude soldiers; Those hard-eyed stern beholders;
They know not what they do. “ Lord Jesu, for thy sake, I kiss, 1 kiss, the stake;
Receive my soul in pity."
O’er all the guilty city.
The banner, not the sword.
But for its Saviour, Lord.
Where martyr blood hath been;
That land of curse and sin!