Immagini della pagina
[ocr errors]


again to warn us of his intention, and putting spurs to I thought the mare might attempt to cross it; but is his horse, faces him boldly at it; the horse perceives the Fanny safe? Where is she ?" danger, and will refuse the leap.--No! pressed by the “She is here," replied I, turning towards the place rider, he will take it yet--now he springs-it is certain where she still knelt, her face hidden in her hands. destruction. A crash !-a fall! they are down ! No; "She is here to thank you for having saved her life.” he has lifted his horse with the rein—they are ap- “Why, Fanny, was it you who were supporting my parently uninjured. Rose Alba, startled by the sudden head ? how very kind of you! What! crying ?” he conapparition, slackens her pace-the stranger, taking tinued, gently attempting to withdraw her hands; “nay, advantage of the delay, dashes forward, seizes the rein, nay, we must not have you cry.”. and succeeds in stopping her; as he does so, I ap- “She was naturally a good deal frightened by the proached near enough to recognise his features. marc's running away,” replied I, as Fanny still appeared

Unlooked for happiness ! Fanny is saved, and Harry too much overcome to speak for herself: " and then she Oaklands is her preserver !

was silly enough to fancy, when you fainted, that you My first act on joining them was to spring from my were actually dead, I believe; but I can assure you that horse and lift Fanny out of the saddle. “Are you she is not ungrateful.” really unhurt, my own darling ?" exclaimed I ;“ can you 'No, indeed,” murmured Fanny, in a voice scarcely stand without assistance ?"

audible from emotion. “Oh yes !" she replied, " it was only the fright-that "Why it was no very great feat after all,” rejoined dreadful river-but-" and raising her eyes timidly, Harry. “On such a jumper as the Cid, and coming she advanced a step towards Oaklands.

down on soft marshy ground too, I would not mind the “ But you would fain thank Harry for saving you.--| leap any day; besides, do you think I could remain My dear Harry," continued I, taking his hand, and quietly there and see Fanny drowned before my eyes ; pressing it warmly, “if you only knew the agony of if it had been a precipice, I would have gone over it. mind I have suffered on her account, you would be While he spoke, Harry had regained his feet; and, after able to form some slight idea of the amount of gratitude walking up and down for a minute or so, and giving I feel towards you for having rescued her. I shudder himself a shake, to see if he was all right, he declared to think what might have been the end had you not so that he felt quite strong again, and able to ride home, providentially interposed—but you do not listen to me And so, having concocted a leading-rein for Rose Alba, --you turn as pale as ashes—are you ill ?”

one end of which I kept in my own possession, we re“ It is nothing-a little faint, or so," was his reply, mounted our horses, and reached Heathfield without in a voice so weak as to be scarcely audible; and as he further misadventure. spoke, his head dropped heavily on his shoulder, and he would have fallen from his horse had not I caught him in my arms and supported him.

Giving the horses into the custody of a farming lad, who had seen the leap, and run up, fearing some acci

THE NYMPH OF THE FOUNTAIN. dent had occurred, I lifted Oaklands from his horse, and laying him on the turf by the road-side, supported his head against my knee, while I endeavoured to loosen his neckcloth. Neither its removal, however, Maud now thought that all her trials were over, and nor the unfastening his shirt-collar, appeared to revive for a time her happiness was perfect. Her husband him in the slightest degree, and being quite unaccus, became daily more attached to her, and she every day tomed to seizures of this nature, I began to feel a good deal frightened about him. I suppose my face in some

saw more reason to value his love. In every thing they degree betrayed my thoughts, as Fanny, after glancing acted together—their amusements, their duties, their at me for a moment, exclaimed, wringing her hands in charities, their prayers: and Maud felt few pleasures so the excess of her grief and alarm, “Oh ! he is dead-he great as that of being able not only to go among the is dead--and it is I who have killed him!". Then, poor again, but to give, with a liberal hand, and a judgflinging herself on her knees by his side, and taking his hand between both her own, she continued, oh, ment improved by all she had herself experienced of the Harry, look up-speak to mé - only one word ;-he lot of the poor. Count Henry never checked her in does not hear me,he will never speak again ! Oh! he this,-he loved her the more for her goodness; and time is dead !-he is dead ! and it is I who have murdered passed rapidly away. Her only sorrow was caused by him-I, who would gladly bave died for him, as he has the death of Dame Gottfried, whom she tenderly cared died for me." As she said this, her voice failed her, for during her illness, and really regretted. At length and, completely overcome by the idea that she had been Maud found that she was soon to become a mother, and the cause of Harry's death, she buried her face in her the count's joy was very great. On hearing this news hands, and wept bitterly.

At this moment it occurred to me that water might the old countess proposed a reconciliation, which Maud possibly revive him, and rousing Fanny from the readily accepted, and persuaded her husband to agree passion of grief into which she had fallen, I made her to. As a proof of her good will, the dowager offered to take my place in supporting Oaklands' head, and run- come and stay with Maud during her confinement, and ning to the stream, which was not above fifty yards though this was by no means pleasant to her (for the from the spot, filled my hat with water, sprinkled his Lady Hildegard was excessively haughty and exacting), face and brow with it, and had the satisfaction of seeing Maud saw that her husband wished it, and immediately him gradually revive under the application. As consciousness returned, he gazed around with a

consented. bewildered look, and passing his hand across his fore- The count's anxiety for her welfare, as the time aphead, inquired, “What is all this? where am 1! Ah! proached, endeared him more and more to his wife, and Frank, have I been ill ?"

she looked forward with delight to the happiness she “You fainted from over-exertion, Harry,” replied I, should feel in putting his first-born child into his arms. “ but all will be well now.”

" From over-exertion ?” he repeated, slowly, as if But just the day before her illness he was unexpectedly striving to recall what had passed ;'“ stay, yes, I remem- summoned to attend a great mecting of the nobles of ber, I took a foolish leap; why did I do it?"

the country, and forced to leave her, for the first time To stop Fanny's mare." “Yes, to be sure, the water was out at the brook, and

(1) Concluded from p. 351.

since their marriage, at the very moment when he most This time she had the satisfaction of seeing her wished to watch over her. The day after his departure | husband's delight in welcoming a daughter, but very Maud had a son, a fine healthy child : her happiness soon after the child's birth, a messenger came, in all was damped only by knowing her husband's anxiety for haste, to inform him that a troop of marauders had beher, and by reflecting that several days must elapse sieged a castle of his, at a considerable distance, and before he could return. She sent him a messenger to that he must not lose a moment in leading his soldiers announce the good news, and, for the first two days, her to the assistance of the garrison. Most unwillingly he recovery went on well. But as she was sleeping the took leave of his wife, promising to return without delay; second night, Countess Hildegard, who had given her but four or five days at least must pass before he could opium, to ensure her not waking, took the child gently hope to be with her again. Poor Maud felt her heart from her arms, carried him, unseen by all except the sink, with a foreboding of evil, as he quitted the room. nurse, on whom she knew she could depend, to a window She clasped her little girl in her arms, and promised in the anti-room, and threw him into the river, which herself that she would not lose sight of her till the flowed under the castle walls. She had pretended count's return. She resisted sleep as long as she could, reconciliation only to have the power of injuring Maud, but at length it overpowered her, the more completely whom she could not forgive, and she thought nothing because the Countess Hildegard had again administered would so cool Count Henry's love as the loss of his a sleeping potion. But Maud had folded her arms round much-wished-for child; especially as she hoped to throw the baby so closely that the wicked woman found much suspicion on Maud herself.

difficulty in removing it. However, she succeeded, and The agony and terror of the poor young countess on again threw the poor infant into the river. Before awaking and missing her child may be imagined. It Maud awoke the count bad returned, quite unexpectedly: nearly cost her her life ; and when her husband returned, he had found the whole a false alarm, and could not full of joy, and eager to embrace her and his little son, even trace the messenger who had brought the news, he found her in the delirium of fever, and almost at the though the man had for some distance accompanied the brink of the grave. He made every possible inquiry reinforcement; how or when he had left them no one and examination into the fate of his child, but in vain; was sure. When Count Henry reached his castle all was at no trace could be found. The nurse asserted that she peace, no attack had been thought of-no express sent had laid it quietly in its mother's arms, had seen the to him! He put his troops under the command of a countess asleep, and had dropped asleep herself, being relation to lead thein home at leisure, while he himself tired with the previous night's watching. This was mounted a fresh horse, and, accompanied only by his false, for she was the creature of the dowager countess, esquire and page, returned home with the utmost speed, and knew perfectly well what had been done; but she full of foreboding, from the trick evidently employed to had a special enmity against poor Maud, because her secure his absence. father had been ruined, years before, by the exactions A sad welcome awaited him. Maud was roused by of the old baron, who seized him as he was travelling the noise of his entrance—and instantly missed her near his castle, and not only plundered him of all his child. Her shrieks and tears were heart-rending : but goods, but made him pay a heavy ransom before he again every effort to ascertain its fate was fruitlessset him free. This nurse and the old countess tried no one was in the secret but Countess Hildegard and the to insinuate that Maud might know more of the nurse, who pretended the utmost attachment to her disappearance of the child than any one else, but young lady, and protested she could not at all imagine nothing would persuade Count Henry of this. His love how the child had disappeared, as she had never and watchfulness contributed much to poor Maud's left the bed-side. It was altogether inexplicable, and recovery, but it was long before she was restored to the count might have been shaken in his high opinion health and spirits. She endeavoured to check her grief, of Maud, if he had not himself seen her surprise and that she might not add to her husband's sorrow, but it agony on weking, and felt convinced that it was real. was not till she had hopes of being once more a mother He smothered his own bitter grief that he might soothe that she felt at all as she had done in the first year of hers--and again, by his tenderness and care, rescued her marriage. She had sought for her musk-ball, as her from the grave she was almost sinking into. soon as she was able to move about, after her illness- Time passed on, and they had settled into nearly but in vain; she could not remember where she had their former way of life, except that they mixed less in put it, when her husband's dislike to the smell made society, and gave still more of their time to prayer and her give up wearing it: all she could recollect was that charity. Maud's spirits were broken a good deal, though it was in a secret drawer of some cabinet, but she tried she tried to be cheerful in her husband's presence. The all, again and again, without success. She bitterly re- Countess Hildegard bad remained in the castle, saying gretted having neglected, for any motive, her god she could not leave them in their sorrow; and though mother's advice of carrying it always about her, but it Maud could not like one whose habits were so different was too late, the fairy gift seemed finally lost.

from her own, she was a good deal deceived by the old Nearly two years had passed away after the loss of lady's show of sympathy, and was glad to please her her child before her second confinement approached. husband, who evidently wished for the dowager's preShe and her husband had resumed their former habits, sence, as a proof that, proud and at feud as she was and, but for the heavy sorrow they had both undergone, known to be, she was won over by the excellence of the Maud's life would have been as happy as in the begin wife he had chosen. At length Maud was, for the third ning of her marriage, for the count's affection was un- time, to be a mother; and, with trembling hope, she diminished, and his attention to her, if possible, fonder trusted that this child, at least, might be spared to her, than before. The Countess Hildegard again offered to by extreme watchfulness. But, just as the time apcome to her, and Maud ventured to express her wish to proached, the count was summoned to attend a council be alone with her husband, but he urged her to accept of the empire, held to decide upon measures of great his stepmother's offer, for he thought it right to have importance to its internal peace and outward defence. as many as possible of his family in the castle, that He at first sent an excuse, but the summons was Maud might never be alone one moment. He did not peremptorily repeated, and his friends represented to forget Countess Hildegard's bints of suspicion, which him that a noble of his rank could not hold back without Maud had never known, for he would not pain her by seriously impeding the proceedings : so he most unwill. such an idea ; and he imagined that nothing would so ingly set out. Maud would gladly have gone with dissipate any remnant of them she might still entertain, him, for she felt a kind of presentiment that her only as beholding Maud's strong attachment to her child safety was at his side, but it was impossible for her then He promised his wife that he would, himself, watch over to undertake such a journey; so, with heavy hearts, they her, and she yielded to his wish.


The count had some hopes that the business might right to search if the box of bones and ashes were under be finished more quickly than was supposed, or at least the bed, as, if it should not be there, one part, at least of that he might be allowed to return home for a short the nurse's dreadful story was false, and I might venture time, under promise of rejoining the emperor if neces- to disbelieve the rest. But alas ! the box was there, and sary, for he was determined to do his utmost to be full, as nurse had said, of fragments of bones and of with his wife during the first days after the baby's ashes! I could doubt no more. I silenced the witch's birth, that he might endeavour to protect it from the cries and protestations, by calling in the rest of the mysterious danger which had robbed them of their two household, and showing them what I had discovered, eldest. In this, however, he was disappointed : it was and I had her carried down to the dungeon, where she not for some days after he learned that he had another has since remained, with bread and water for her food. son that he was enabled to set out for home, and then I would not have her put to death, however much she his stay was to be but short. He travelled as speedily might deserve it, till you should return; though many as possible, but the black flag waved over his castle as have thought me imprudent in this, as her spell, which he approached, and his step-mother met him in the has hitherto so blinded you, might still have power. great hall to announce that the child was indeed dead, But I wonder you did not meet the messenger I debut that she had discovered the destroyer! The poor spatched at once to tell you all that had occurred." count's grief, great as it was, only made him the more The count had sat, during this recital, with his face eager to learn who had caused such bitter sufferings. buried in his hands : as the Countess Hildegard ended, But when the old countess said, “ It is no other than he commanded himself and ordered the nurse to be Maud herself, whose well-feigned anguish and present for. He had a shade of hope that her story might tended virtues have so long imposed upon you, though yet be false, from the almost incredible circumstance my suspicions were never entirely lulled,” he sank of her not having interfered to save the life of the child. into a chair, and, burying his face in his hands, he But no questioning could shake her evidence; she could not restrain' his tears. Instantly rousing himself, alleged her excessive terror as the excuse, and in only however, he demanded the proofs.

repeating the story she turned so pale, and trembled so, Countess Hildegard replied that, pretending extreme that it was plain she had not a spark of courage. Then fear for the child, Maud had long watched it, without the count demanded to hear some of those who had allowing herself to close her eyes, but at last, finding seen the box drawn from under the bed, and found them herself overpowered with sleep, she had made the nurse all satisfied of the truth of the whole, and most eager bring her a thick gold chain, which the count had lately that the three-fold murder-for who could now doubt given her, and had twined it several times round her that all were Maud's own work ?-should be avenged by own neck and the child's body, and had then appeared the death of her who had committed them. The bones to drop asleep, saying she was sure no one could remove and ashes had been buried, Countess Hildegard said, the infant without waking her. That the nurse had with the honours due to the remains of a member of remained by the bedside, but soon fell asleep also ; and the family. to a degree she could not understand, as she was used “She must die !" said the count, at length. “I will to night watching. But after events made her suspect not see her again-1 could not bear it—and perhaps that some sleeping draught must have been put into the her beauty, and seeming innocence, and the rememale she had taken at supper, of which, fortunately, she brance of past days, when I so loved her, might sway had drank but little. That she was gradually beginning me even yet, though her guilt is manifest. But I cannot to doze, in spite of her utmost efforts, when she per have her tortured, nor shall her death be public: let her ceived Maud move, and in a cautious way, which induced be smothered in a hot bath.” her to feign sleep, remembering the suspicions Countess Accordingly poor Maud was lifted from the dungeon Hildegard had expressed on the death of the first child. pallet, where she lay almost dead of grief and exhausBut she watched from under her eyelids : and Maud rose tion. She had struggled against her sufferings, and from the bed, with a strength that astonished the nurse, prayed to live till her husband's return, trusting that took a pair of large scissors, with which she cut the he would discover and assert her innocence ; for it is links of the chain that bound the child to her, and, needless to say that the whole story of the murder was with a sharp bodkin, she pierced the infant to the arranged between the Countess Hildegard and the heart! The nurse was so paralyzed with horror, and nurse; that, in truth, the chain had been cut by them with fear of the consequences to herself if her watching while Maud slept the heavy sleep of exhaustion, from were discovered, that she dared not move till the crime her long watching, combined with the effect of opium : was complete; and then she thought it best to ascertain and the baby thrown into the river, from the same what could be Maud's object,—what she would do further: window whence the two former ones had been cast. so she continued in apparent sleep, and saw the child's The dowager had resolved not to trust, this time, to the body carried to the fire, and burnt; the bones and ashes mere disappearance of the infant; she prepared all her were then placed in a box, which the wicked Maud drew proofs; had a box of the bones and ashes of a kid from under her bed ; all, except a small pinch, which placed under the bed, and took care that the most creshe mingled with a little water, and drank, first pro- dible persons in the castle, and those most warmly nouncing some words over it, which convinced the nurse attached to Maud, should be present at the discovery. that it was done as a charm to secure her husband's One can hardly wonder that they were deceived, for the affection. Maud then laid down again in bed, carefully belief in charms and spells was common in those arranging the chain so that it should appear to have days; nor has it, even now, by any means disappeared, been cut as she slept, in order to remove the infant even in England ; and the ashes of an unbaptized without waking her. The nurse waited till she was infant were supposed to have particular power, above quite sure that the sleep the countess immediately fell all, in obtaining or preserving love ; -the very purpose into was real, and then stole from the room, pale and to which the old countess attributed Maud's crime. trembling, to tell her tale of horror to Countess Hilde- When the soldiers entered the dungeon, and informed gard. “I rushed to the room, followed by several | Maud that the count had returned, and had sentenced domestics," she continued, “woke the infamous creature, her to death, she would hardly believe that he had who was really asleep, notwithstanding her abominable condemned her unheard ; but she was, of course, unable crime, and charged her with it. She burst into shrieks to resist, and she let herself be carried to the fatal and exclamations, such as you heard when the second bath, resigning herself to die, and praying for the was missed, held up the links of the severed chain to forgiveness, not only of ber beloved husband, but of prove how carefully she had guarded her infant, and those who had led him into such injustice. She was protested her innocence in terms that almost shook placed in the bath, and the door was fastened. At iny belief in the nurse's evidence. But I thought it first the heat was pleasant to her benumbed limbs; but




[ocr errors]

soon it grew unbearable, and she screamed with agony | river which flowed under the castle walls, and that she
-- the more bitter to bear, from its seeming a fresh had received and taken care of each of the children,
cruelty on her husband's part. But he had meant that but could not come to Maud's help, till she should be
she should be suffocated, and it was by the Countess summoned by the third wish. She had known of the
Hildegard's contrivance that the heat was first so ap- treachery of Countess Hildegard and the nurse; and
plied as to cause the most intense pain, without de- she now explained its entire details, not forgetting the
stroying life. Just as poor Maud was gathering her forged message which had drawn the count from home
strength to rush against the door, hoping she might at the time of his daughter's birth. It was a trick of
burst it open, and at least force them to put her to an the malicious old countess, who knew that it would be
casier death, she perceived, in a corner of the little impossible for her to execute her plans if he were with
bath-room, which was not the one she habitually used, his wife. Public events had spared her the trouble on
an old cabinet, which she knew used to stand in her the two other occasions, or she would not have failed
bed-room. How it had got there she could not con- to contrive his absence, so bent was she on the destruc-
ceive, nor how long it might have been there; but the tion of Maud, the daughter of her feudal enemy,--the
recollection suddenly struck her, that this was the very girl without fortune, and of scarcely equal birth, - who
place where she had put her musk-ball, when her hus- had prevented her step-son from forming the splendid
band's fancy made her lock it up. She burst the secret alliance she had planned for him.
drawer open, and seized the ball, which her strong pull When the Nymph of the Fountain had finished speak-
at once brought to view ;-it seemed to have been ing, the count, whose attention to her narrative had not
buried under other things in her former searches, for been lessened by the fond caresses he bestowed on
the drawer was full, and she felt almost sure she had his recovered wife and children, begged she would ac-
looked in it before. However, she rapidly unscrewed company them into the great hall of the castle, where he
it, repeating the words which had before saved her summoned all his household, and informed them of the

discovery he had made,-of the complete vindication “Behind me night, before me day;

of their much-loved lady, and of his determination to That none observe my secret way :"

punish the false and cruel authors of so much misery. and immediately she was surrounded by the cooling Maud earnestly implored him to pause; but it was not vapour she so well remembered, and found the door without much difficulty that she prevailed with him to be opened at her touch. She walked, quite unseen, to her satisfied with confining his wicked step-mother and her bed-room, which was wholly empty, and throwing a accomplice, in a strong and solitary castle, for life. large cloak around her, she seated herself, for she could They did not very long survive the exposure of their hardly stand, from weakness and anxiety. She then guilt. completely unscrewed the ball, rejoicing that her third

The next care of Maud and her husband was to have wish still remained, and wished that her innocence their children solemnly baptized, for all had been taken might be proved to her husband, and their children away before this ceremony had been performed, as the restored, if they yet lived, or, if not, that the authors return of their absent father had been so quickly hoped of such dreadful misery might be discovered.

for in each case. The christening was a magnificent As she ended her wish, a window, which looked festival, to which the whole neighbourhood flocked, towards the river, opened, and her godmother entered, rich and poor : the rich to mark their respect for the carrying the baby in her arms, and followed by the two count and countess, and the poor to share in the elder ones.

With an affectionate kiss she greeted | liberal alms which were distributed ; and all alike to Maud ; told her that her trials were now ended; that congratulate and sympathize in the happiness of those by her fairy power she restored her to health and who were esteemed and loved by all ranks. The Nymph strength; and that, as soon as she was dressed, she of the Fountain, to whom Mand owed so much, then would guide her to her husband, to whom the existence took leave of her for ever, saying she would no longer of the children would sufficiently prove her innocence, need her protection, as she could foresee for both her and before whom only the authors of the conspiracy and her husband a long and prosperous life, which should be pointed out.

should fully compensate both for the heavy trials they Maud's toilette was very quick, as may be imagined ; had endured so patiently and so well. and the Nymph of the Fountain led her to the castle They did survive accordingly, to see a numerous and chapel, stiil unseen by any. There Maud found her lovely family grow up around them, who distinguished husband, alone, and in an agony of grief, prostrate themselves much in after life, and were as remarkable before the altar. She knelt a moment, to return her for their piety and charity, as for the courage and noble heartfelt thanks to heaven for her wonderful deliver- | bearing which graced their high birth. ance, and to beg help to pardon the enemies whose wicked plots had been defeated, and were now to be unravelled ; and then she went towards the count, and called him by name. He started up at hearing the voice of her he had so deeply loved, and whom he thought COUNTRY SKETCHES.-No. V. already dead by his own necessary command; for on him, as on other feudal lords, devolved the administration of justice in his own domains. But when he To give a foreigner some idea of the fertile richness beheld her in perfect health, and with all their long- of England, no better spot could be selected to which to mourned children round her, his astonishment was un- take him than one of the very beautiful parks of the utterable, and he thought, for a moment, she must be a nobility. He would there witness a combination of spirit returned from the other world. But the Nymph natural beauties, such as no other country in the known of the Fountain signed to them to follow her, and as world can supply in anything like the same perfection. soon as they had left the chapel, she told the count that Trees whose growth has been coeval with the lapse of she was the godmother his excellent wife had so often centuries, copses of brushwood and young plantations, spoken of, and related to him the entire plot. She wearing the most vigorous and healthy aspect--wide said that the queen of the Naiads had forced her to sheets of water, adorned by swans of graceful shape-a abstain from seeing her charge, just about the time greensward redolent of thyme, and musical in its sumwhen Maud's misfortunes began, partly to punish her mer freshness with the voices of the grasshopper and for leaving neglected some of her duties in her exces- wandering bee--now swelling into a gentle ascent, now sive care of Maud's education, and partly to try if that lapsing into a forest dell, where that most aristocratic education had been really good; that it was only since of animals, the agile and timid deer, lies couching in their marriage she had been allowed to inhabit the l the feathery fern. Anon, an avenue of limes, some half



mile ong, leading to the hall or mansion of the noble for its endurance are greater and more trying. In a owner; these, with occasional glimpses, neither few nor dressing-room is a portrait, by the same artist, of Lord far between, of cottage roof and village spire, mingling John Russell : it is admirably executed, and is a most with the vast and extensive prospect of arable and faithful resemblance. There are also a set of miniatures meadow land—these, ay, all these, would arrest his of the Russell family, by Bone, which are replete with attention and excite his admiration. And these scenes interest, and which form the chief ornament of the state of beauty are by no means rare ; they occur throughout drawing-room. The saloon contains a fine Sir Joshua, the several counties into which this island is divided. being a portrait of the present duke's grandmother, the Although a kind of individuality serves to define them, Marchioness of Tavistock, habited in her costume as yet each, in its way, possesses great and varied attrac- bridesmaid to Queen Charlotte. Among the works of tions. The little town of Woburn, in Bedfordshire, the old masters, “ Our Saviour appearing to Mary Magthan which one more pleasantly situated does not gladden dalen,” by Annibale Caracci, is remarkable for the force the eye of a traveller in any part of England, boasts the of expression conveyed in the features of the astonished close contiguity of a demesne of vast extent, and full of Mary. In such subjects this artist stands unrivalled. those marked characteristics which we have been de- In an apartment, called the Venetian drawing-room, scribing. The entrance from the park is through a there are no less than twenty-four views in Venice, by plantation of evergreens, bounded on either side by Canaletti. The Gran-Canale is especially fine; and a two fine sheets of water. The firs and laurels are of view of the Rialto, as lifelike as painter's brush can great size, and form a pleasing contrast to the more make it. It is a great peculiarity in Canaletti's picopen park, with its noble oaks and elms dotted here and tures, that the outline of the buildings is so carefully there. After emerging from the grove, which winter preserved; and the sea has, so to speak, such a Venetian and summer has the same green aspect, the road winds look that the desolate yet noble city is presented to up a hill, and passes through a double avenue of trees. the imagination in a moinent. Venice, as it was and The abbey is soon in view. The park is a very exten- as it is-what a contrast !-how mournful !-how striksive one, and has been stated to be twelve miles in its ing! To turn from one of these representations of it to circuit. It contains some hundred head of deer, who another, and so to view the whole series, is to be in form themselves into groups around the old trees, as Venice for the time, and associate with its Doges, its though they were gifted with the art of pleasing, and Council of Ten, its merchant-princes;-yet, all are gone ! availed themselves of every opportunity of showing all past ! mere actors in the pageantry of an era never their elegant forms to the greatest advantage.

more to be revived. In a secluded situation is a summerhouse and grounds, The picture gallery is very long, and on its walls are called the Thornery, which has a very pleasing and hung a series of portraits of aristocracy and of royalty, romantic effect when approached without previous from a very early period down to Fowler's picture of notice. A fountain, flowers, shrubs, ornamental walks, our present most gracious Queen. Of these, attention doors of stained glass, handsome marble and stone orna- may be specially directed to Sir Antonio More's paintments, form part of the attractions of this pretty place; ing of Queen Mary and her husband Philip of Spain. every way a suitable retirement for a duchess.

There is a great deal of character in their faces, and The principal entrance to the park is on the road Mary is drawn in an attitude which is indicative of that from Hockcliffe, to Woburn, through gilden iron gates, high command and absolute free will which ever dicwhich lead to the west front of the abbey. The edifice is tated the deeds of “ Mary the Quene," as she almost quadrangular, and presents the appearance of a truly invariably signed herself. There is a portrait, by Zuccomfortable and aristocratic home, without boasting any chero, of Sir Nicholas Bacon, and one, by Cornelius great architectural pretensions. The pediment of the Jansen, of Sir Joceline Percy, one of the sons of Henry western front has upon it the arms of the family, with Earl of Northumberland, both most ably executed ; and their motto, "Che sarà sarà,” and beneath are four there is a relic of Horace Walpole's miscellaneous colcolumns of the Ionic order.

lection of curiosities,--a picture of the Duke and The abbey was founded in 1145. by Hugh Bolebeck, and Duchess of Suffolk, Charles Brandon and Mary of belonged to the order of Cistercians. The manor of Me. France, sister of Henry VIII. It attracted great dineham was given to them by the founder, and the grant notice at the celebrated sale at Strawberry Hill, and was confirmed both by King John and King Henry II. has found a new home at Woburn. The head of Lord Property in Suaneburn and Mursele was bestowed William Russell, by Riley, has a pendant beneath it of upon them by one Hugh Maleth. But, without follow- some interest to the historian, being the speech made ing out the fortunes of the monks at Woburn, or de. by him before the unjust and fatal termination of bis tailing what became of the order when Henry VIII. well-spent life. It would be wearisome to enumerate suppressed all institutions of a like kind, it may be in half the contents of this gallery ; or to attempt to name teresting to remember, that the royal Elizabeth visited the many pictorial arms scattered about in various i; in one of her progresses; and that Charles I. con parts of the mansion. The sculpture-gallery abounds cealed himself within its precincts during the civil war. in treasures of old Grecian and Roman art, which well It would be an endless task to enter into a description deserve most minute investigation. Here are collected of the great treasures of art which are here collected. medallions in marble of the Roman Emperors, antique In a ramble through the rooms, the eye is attracted by vases, cinerary urns, busts, and a variety of fragments some fine specimens of the old masters, and by some of every kind of decorated sculpture. There is a beautifulexamples of the modern English school. Chevy very fine alto-relievo, by Thorwaldsen, on the subject Chase," by Landseer, finds in every lover of field-sports of Achilles, Briseis, and the Heralds. Sir Richard an attentive and observant gazer. The figures of Earl Westmacott shines to great advantage in 'his exquisite Percy, and the deer at bay, are particularly worthy of Psyche, which is the perfection of modern sculpture. inspection. In the same room with this is Hayter's The classical outline of the features is admirably given, picture of the “Trial of Lord William Russell.”. This and the softness and delicacy of the figure are most painting, so well known from the engraving of it by remarkable. The busts of Lords Grey, Holland, and Bromley, is very interesting. The artist has been most others, by Nollekens, are placed in conspicuous situahappy in giving to the different individuals composing tions in a part of the building appropriated for their the tableau a defined and well-marked character, all reception, and called the Temple of Liberty. their own. The light thrown on the devoted wife of There is an inscription on an architrave in the portico Lord Russell is most skilfully managed; and the ex- of what is termed the Temple of the Graces which is pressive face, with the body bent forward, speaks to the from the well-known pen of a living poet; one whose spectator most forcibly of a woman's high-soulcd heroic cultivation and encouragement of every branch of the courage, showing itself the more strongly as the calls fine arts deserves to be held in high commendation, and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« IndietroContinua »