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in length; the staff is very plain, but the pommel is ornamented with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. The fleurs-de-lis with which this sceptre was
originally adorned have been replaced by
Her Majesty's SPIRITUAJ. SCEPTRE,
The Queen's Ivory Sceptre was made for Maria d'Este, consort of James II. It is mounted in gold, and terminated by a golden cross, bearing a dove of white
onyx. The ampulla is an antique vessel of pure gold, used for containing the holy oil at coronations. It resembles an eagle with expanded wings, and is finely chased : the head screws off at the middle of the neck for pouring in the oil; and the neck being hollow to the beak the latter serves as a spout, through which the consecrated oil is poured into The ANOINTING SPOON,
QUEEN'S CORONATION BRACELETS. which is also of pure gold: it has four pearls in the broadest part of the handle, and the bowl of the spoon is finely chased within and without; by its extreme thinness, it appears to be ancient.
The ARMILLÆ, or Bracelets, are of solid fine 'gold, chased, \\ inch in breadth, edged with rows of pearls. They open by a hinge, and are enamelled with the rose, fleur-de-lis, and harp.
The Imperial Orb, or Mound, is an emblem of sovereignty, said to have been derived from Imperial Rome, and to have been first adorned with the cross by Constantine, on his conversion to Christianity. It first appears among the Royal insignia of England on the coins of Edward the Confessor. This orb is a ball of gold, 6 inches in diameter, encompassed with a band of
gold, set with emeralds, rubies, and scEPrRE. pearls. On the top is a remarkably
fine amethyst, nearly 1£ inch high, which serves as the foot or pedestal of a rich cross of gold, 32 inches high, encrusted with diamonds; having in the centre, on one side, a sapphire, and an emerald on the other ; four large pearls at the angles of the cross, a large pearl at the end of each limb, and three at the base ; the height of the orb and cross being 11 inches.
The Queen's Orb is of smaller dimensions than the preceding, but of similar materials and fashion.
The Salt-cellars are of singular form and rich workmanship. The most noticeable is—the Golden Salt-cellar of State, which is of pure gold, richly adorned with jewels, and grotesque figures in chased work. Its form is castellated : and the receptacles for the salt are formed by the removal of the tops of the turrets.
In the same chamber with the Crowns, Sceptres, and other Regalia used in the ceremonial of the Coronation, is a very interesting collection of plate, formerly used at Coronation festivals ; together with fonts, &c. Amongst these are
The Queen's Baptismal Font, which is of silver, gilt, tastefully chased,
QUEEN'S BAPTISMAL FONT. and surmounted by two figures emblematical of the baptismal rite: this font was formerly used at the christening of the Royal family; but a new font of more picturesque design, has lately been manufactured for her Majesty.
There are, besides, in the collection, a large Silver Wine Fountain, presented by the corporation of Plymouth to Charles II. ; two massive Coronation Tankards, of gold; a Banqueting Dish, and other dishes and spoons of gold, used at Coronation festivals; besides a beautifullywrought service of Sacramental Plate, employed at the Coronation, and used also in the Chapel of St. Peter in the Tower.
WHAT IS TIME?
the fair, the gay, to weave it well!"
Which beautify or desolate the ground;
ask'd my Bible, and methinks it said:
Rev. J. MARSDEN.
SIMPLICITY IN WRITING.
INE writing, according to Mr. Addison, consists of sentiments which are natural without being obvious. There cannot be a juster and more concise definition of fine writing.
Sentiments which are merely natural affect not the mind with any pleasure,
and seem not worthy to engage our attention. The pleasantries of a waterman, the observations of a peasant, the ribaldry of a porter or hackney-coachman; all these are natural and disagreeable. What an insipid comedy should we make of the chit-chit of the tea-table, copied faithfully and at full length! Nothing can please persons of taste but nature drawn with all her graces and ornament—la belle nature; or, if we copy
low life, the strokes must be strong and remarkable, and must convey a lively image to the mind. The absurd naivete of Sancho Panza is represented in such inimitable colours by Cervantes, that it entertains as much as the picture of the most magnanimous hero or softest lover.
The case is the same with orators, philosophers, critics, or any author who speaks in his own person without introducing other speakers or actors. If his language be not elegant, his observations uncommon, his sense strong and masculine, he will in vain boast his nature and simplicity. He may be correct, but he never will be agreeable. 'Tis the unhappiness of such authors that they are never blamed nor censured. The good fortune of a book and that of a man are not the same. The secret deceiving path of life, which Horace talks of—fallentis semita vita—may be the happiest lot of the one, but is the greatest misfortune that the other can possibly fall into.
On the other hand, productions which are merely surprising, without being natural, can never give any lasting entertainment to the mind. To draw chimaras is not, properly speaking, to copy or imitate. The justness of the representation is lost, and the mind is displeased to find a picture which bears no resemblance to any original. Nor are such excessive refinements more agreeable in the epistolary or philosophic style, than in the epic or tragic. Too much ornament is a fault in every kind of production. Uncommon expressions, strong flashes of wit, pointed similes, and epigrammatic turns, especially when laid too thick, are a disfigurement rather than any embellishment of discourse. As the eye, in surveying a Gothic building, is distracted by the multiplicity of ornaments, and loses the whole by its minute attention to the parts ; so the mind, in perusing a work overstocked with wit, is fatigued and disgusted with the constant endeavour to shine and surprise. This is the case where a writer overabounds in wit, even though that wit should be just and agreeable. But it commonly happens to such writers, that they seek for their favourite ornaments even where the subject affords them not; and by that means have twenty insipid conceits for one thought that is really beautiful.
There is no subject in critical learning more copious than this of the