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DR. WOLLASTON, in a paper published in the Philoso-
phical Transactions (1807), relates some interesting
observations he made on the progressive changes of
these rings, and which satisfactorily explain their origin.
He observed that some species of fungi were always to
be found at the exterior margin of the dark ring of grass,
if examined at the proper season. The position of the
fungi led him to believe, that progressive increase from
a central point was the probable mode of formation of
the ring; and he thought it likely that the soil which
had once contributed to the support of fungi, might be
so exhausted as to be incapable of producing a second
crop. The defect of nutriment on one side would occa-
sion the new roots to extend themselves solely in the
opposite direction, and would cause the circle of fungi
continually to proceed, by annual enlargement, from the
centre outwards. The luxuriance of the grass follows
as a natural consequence, as the soil of an interior circle
is enriched by the decayed roots of the fungi of the
succeeding year's growth. During the growth of fungi,
they so entirely absorb all nutriment from the soil be-
neath, that the herbage is often for a while destroyed,
and a ring appears, bare of grass, surrounding the dark
ring; but, after the fungi have ceased to appear, the
soil where they had grown becomes darker, and the
grass soon vegetates again with peculiar vigour. Dr.
Wollaston had many opportunities of remarking that,
when two circles interfere with each other's progress,
they do not cross each other, but are invariably oblite-
rated between the points of contact.
The exhaustion
occasioned by each obstructs the progress of the other,
and both are starved; a circumstance which affords a
strong confirmation of the above theory.


THE old chroniclers, who were almost all monks, have
left us ample records of the foundation of monasteries,
events at least as important in their eyes as the greatest
political changes. Orderic Vital speaks in turns, and in
the same tone, of the invasion of England by William,
the conquests in Italy by the Normans, and of the
foundation or renown of the monastery of St. Evroul.
Monasteries were established in various modes. Some-
times a man would retire alone into a desert, and by the
sanctity of his life, or, according to the cotemporary
legends, the submission of the powers of nature to his
commands, would attract around him a crowd of admi-
ring followers, converting what was an uncultivated spot
into a thriving community.
Many monasteries
arose in consequence of the repentance of sinners, or
the devotion of the great. In bestowing a portion of
their wealth upon cenobites, who passed day and night
in prayer, the rich and powerful of those ages believed
they were hastening the passage of their relatives
through the pains of purgatory, and purchasing for
Others were
themselves the treasures of heaven.
established by colonies of monks, sent from already
existing religious communities. Thus, St. Bernard
founded in Europe one hundred and sixty houses of his
order, and the Abbey of Cluny possessed fifteen thou-
sand and seventy-four supplemental establishments. In
this way, some religious orders had monasteries spread
over entire Christendom, and as these followed the same
rules, practised the same austerities, and obeyed the same
chief, they often formed a religious confederacy, sur-
passing in riches and importance both powerful nobles
and flourishing cities.

The ecclesiastical historians have minutely detailed the life led within the monasteries; the division of the day between labour, meditation, and prayer; the long ecstasies of an ascetic devotion, and the prodigies effected by penitence. Others have repeated what was even in those ages reported of the disorders which reigned in the cloisters, and of the corruption of their

inhabitants. We wish to draw attention to other features..

Every monastery possessed certain privileges and the liberty of electing its superior, and in this election it admitted of no interference of any authority, either ecclesiastical or civil. Allegiance to the Pope alone was admitted by some abbeys, while others supported with impatience the jurisdiction of the bishops. Every monastery had its patron saint, who became, as it were, the lord of the community, under whose banner all their spiritual warfare and defence of temporal interests were

THE man who forgets the wonders and mercies of the Lord, is without any excuse; for we are continually surrounded with objects which may serve to bring the power and good-carried on. Many of the wealthy of the laity sought ness of God strikingly to mind. The light, how beautiful, the prayers of the inhabitants of the cloisters, even and wonderful, and necessary to our well-being! The sun entering upon a kind of half-brotherhood, and after and moon and all the heavenly bodies, how glorious in their passing their lives in serving the interests of the monasconstant order! The mild and fruitful shower, what a tery, determined upon spending the evening of their token of the loving-kindness of our Creator! while the days clothed in its habiliments, and obtaining sepulture raging storm proclaims His terrible might! Every day let among their brothers in solitude. We can hardly our mind and heart be open to such truths, and we shall never fail to behold the glory of Jehovah in his works. picture to ourselves the spirit of emulation which Let us only think of the thousands and millions of living animated the monks in augmenting the domains and creatures in the air, upon the earth, and in the waters, all renown of their order. History furnishes us with many instructed how to make or where to seek their dwellings; examples of cenobites committing injustice towards their and all provided for, in due season, by their Maker's never- families, and ruining their relations, in order to enrich failing bounty, and all preserved by that ever-watchful the monasteries. Every house had its archives of Providence, without whose knowledge and permission "not charters and contracts, proving the titles and rights of a sparrow falleth to the ground." Every one of these its property, and amid the great zeal which prevailed for created objects, whether with or without life, may be said, in its own way, to celebrate the Creator's glory, rejoicing extending the conventual possessions, it is to be feared in His goodness, though unknown, and answering the purthat these were sometimes founded upon irregular donaof His will. And shall man, the head of all,―man, poses tions and apocryphal documents. A general chapter, blessed with reason,-man, taught by his Maker,-shall he held in 1157, pronounced certain penalties against perbe found wanting in praise, and gratitude, and love? For- sons detected in falsifying charters and seals. bid it, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh."-SLADE.


CHICK WEED is an excellent barometer. When the flower expands fully, we are not to expect rain for several hours; should it continue in that state no rain will disturb the summer's day. When it half conceals its miniature flower, the day is generally showery; but, if it entirely shuts up, or veils the white flower with its green mantle, let the traveller take the hint and put on his great coat. The different species of trefoil always contract their leaves at the approach of a storm; so certainly does this take place, that these plants have acquired the name of the husbandman's barometer. The tulip, and several of the compound yellow flowers, also close before rain. There is besides a species of wood-sorrel, which doubles its leaves before storms and tempests. The bauhinia, or mountain ebony, cassia, and sensitive plants, observe the same habit.-Philosophy in Sport.

The monks being, according to the opinion of the times, the depositories for the benefit of the poor, and

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the service of God, every attempt to revoke a donation, or contest a privilege, was pronounced a high sacrilege. Every monastery considered itself as the Church and holy family of Christ, and hence defended with enthusiasm the rights it had acquired, and which time had consecrated.

The power and riches of the monasteries did not arise solely from their domains and seignorial privileges; most of them possessed the bones of some apostle, or some martyr, which produced them abundant offerings, and were their means of protection in the hour of danger. From the ninth century, the inhabitants of the cloisters, when they were aggrieved by the injustice or usurpation of powerful neighbours, placed the relics of the saints they possessed upon the earth, or among the thorns, and left them there, until their invaded or menaced sanctuary was liberated from all fear. When robbers or the enemy threatened their abode, the relics were borne for security to the nearest town, all the monks walking in procession, and imploring in their mournful canticles the mercy of God. From the earliest period of the pilgrimages to the East, holy relics were the object of research, and from that time there was no church or monastery but had its shrine, which became its treasure. The bones of saints, it was pretended, cured the sick, converted sinners, and obtained the mercy of heaven for all who visited them; while no pilgrim ever worshipped at the altar, upon which were deposited the mortal remains of a martyr, without leaving a testimony of his feeling. When the Crusades commenced, a vast number of relics were brought from the East, which were deposited in the monasteries, as secure asyla. While the warriors were pillaging the cities of the infidels and heretics, the monks were engaged with a booty, which they regarded as far more precious, and more worthy of the victories gained in the name of Christ.

Frequently they transported their relics from city to city, or from village to village, in order to increase the number of offerings. These translations, resulting rather from avarice than piety, were often attended by various iniquitous deceptions upon the credulity of the vulgar. From the commencement of the twelfth century the Abbé Guibert exclaimed against this custom of carrying about the remains of the saints, "preventing the blessed ones," he says, "enjoying their fitting repose in an immoveable tomb."

A circumstance which added to the power of the religious communities was, that, however rich a monastery might become, each inhabitant of the cloister remained poor. Frequently all the most sumptuous arts were had recourse to in the construction of a monastery, a palace might be the result, but still the monk would only occupy his narrow cell within its walls; and although popes or prelates might be feasted therein on the richest luxuries, yet his diet would still consist of bread and a few herbs. The vow of poverty was deemed that of all others of which the observance should be held the most sacred; and thus Guibert tells us of a monk, to whose body the rites of sepulture were denied, because he had concealed a few pence about his person. "This belongs to me," was an expression never uttered in a monastery: all love of distinction or glory also must be effectually prohibited to him, who forsakes his very name to assume that of some holy man.

Amid all this personal abnegation, the monastery increased in power. While each monk valued himself as nothing, or as so much dust in the world, there was not a monastery but possessed the pride of the eternal city, and believed that its endurance would be measured only by ages. Among the crowd of solitaries, but one man was remarkable, and that man was the abbot the monks themselves had elected. Independent himself, he received the most implicit submission from the brotherhood; his commands were obeyed as


religious duty. If by chance he found any portion of the community refractory, he shook the dust from his feet, pronounced a malediction upon the perverted flock, and sought an asylum in another monastery. His malediction and especially his absence, which was looked upon as an abandonment of heaven, almost always speedily restored obedience, and procured a reconciliation.

This supreme power was not, however, arbitrary in its exercise, but submitted to acknowledged regulations. The minutest actions of the cenobites were directed by traditions and customs; and the manner of repairing to the chapter or refectory, their attendance at prayers, and the cutting of their hair and beard, were equally prescribed to them; so, too, were there laws for their conversation and their silence, their vestments and their demeanour. The monastic code, in fact, embodied everything, even to the mortifications and penances, and the innocent recreations of the cloister.

In a monastery there were various offices to be fulfilled, and the division of labour was as well regulated within its walls, as among the inhabitants of an industrious city. To some were committed the temporal interests of the monastery; these superintended the harvest or the vintage, or collected the tributes and dues from the vassals. To one would be committed the charge of the wine, and to another the provision and equal division of the repasts. There were attendants upon the infirmary to whom the care of the sick was consigned, while visitors exercised a surveillance upon the monastery night and day. Every monastery had its gardeners, its wood-cutters, its fishermen, cooks, and bakers, &c. There were officers, who received pilgrims and travellers, and others who distributed to the poor from day to day the donations of the charitable. The services the monks rendered to agriculture and literature are well known. The chroniclers inform us that those who understood reading and psalmody were honoured in the cloisters. The monks who transcribed manuscripts were supposed to be performing an act agreeable in the sight of God; each letter traced upon the parchment was supposed instrumental in effacing a fault. The most celebrated monasteries possessed both a library and a school, in which the doctrines of the faith were defended, and the memory of past events preserved. The cenobites wielded at the same time the empire of religion, riches, and knowledge, and thus the deserts enlightened the cities, and ruled the opinions of the age. Nothing shows better the influence of the Church and the spirit of the times than to observe, on the one hand, powerful nobles inclosed in their strong fortresses, and, on the other, these solitaries inhabiting cloisters, which were scarcely closed at all, and defended only by the force of opinion. The peace which prevailed in their vicinity, attracted a numerous population around the religious communities. Many villages and even cities trace their origin to the vicinity of a monastery, of which, indeed, they often bear the name. Frequently princes and nobles requested on their death-beds that their ashes might repose in the church of the monastery, in order that prayers might be repeated night and day near their tombs. From a very ancient custom, the mortal spoils of powerful monarchs were consigned to the keeping of monks.

Although the same spirit which produced the Crusades had formerly contributed to people the deserts with monks, yet, we do not know in what degree the monasteries, in their turn, contributed to the progress of the holy wars. The deserts, which by the labour of the monks, had become fertile places, were by no means exempted from the tribute imposed for the pay and maintenance of the Christian armies. A great number of monks, in spite of the prohibition of Pope Urban, abandoned their monasteries to follow the banners of the first crusade. In the other expeditions, the cenobites, in

imitation of Peter the Hermit and St. Bernard, exhorted the faithful to take up the cross; but only those among them who could procure money sufficient for so distant a voyage, accompanied the enterprises. It seems to have been believed that a monk served God as well in the cloister as by repairing to the Holy Land, and indeed those who went to settle there were often treated with severity by the cotemporary historians. The Abbé of Clairvaux, whose preaching had sent so many Christians to seek their death in Asia, forbad any of his disciples to cross the seas, and there is reason to believe he did this from his dread of the state of morals in the East.

Towards the termination of the Crusades, the greater part of the monasteries began to lose their reputation and renown. Like political states, they arose by their virtue, and fell by their corruption. Many of these asylums of piety became the hotbeds of vice, and the abandonment of discipline was followed by the neglect of learning. Finally the Church found in these cenobites followers less ardent, and to Rome they proved a less devoted militia than heretofore. New religious orders arose, which were encouraged at once by the respect of the pious and the favour of the pontiffs. Foremost in the rank of these was that of the Brothers of Mercy or of the Trinity, which originated after the Third Crusade, and whose object was the ransoming and release of Christian captives. These venerable men sought afar off all those who bemoaned their fate in the prisons of the infidel; and, true followers of the faith, and lovers of liberty, they never permitted themselves repose, until they had succeeded in rending asunder the chains of the wretched captive. It was during the Sixth Crusade that the two orders of Minor Friars and Preaching Friars arose, who, according to the Abbé d'Usberg, renewed the youthfulness of the Church. The monastic life was now necessarily changed in all particulars. It was no longer considered right that monks should acquire domains and build sumptuous edifices; the former peaceable and contemplative life must be abandoned for one to be passed amid apostolic labours. The silence of solitude was no longer in request, but the almost miraculous powers of discourse employed, by which the voices of these new apostles of Christ proclaimed the doctrines of his religion in the midst of towns and cities. The disciples of St. Francis and St. Dominic, devoting themselves to the spread of education, founded a great number of colleges; and many from among their body, as St. Thomas d'Aquinas, and St. Bonaventura, filled with distinction the professorships of scholastic philosophy. We will not follow them in their contests with the established clergy, who frequently manifested themselves jealous of their credit and influence, nor through their religious warfare, in which charity was not always uppermost in their preachings. We like better to follow their pious track under the burning sun of Africa, in the north of Asia, and in the most remote places of the East. While the Moors still ravaged Spain, and the Tartars shook the thrones of the most powerful monarchs, and menaced all Christendom, humble priests visited the inhabitants of the Niger, traversed the vast deserts of Tartary, penetrated to the Yellow Sea; and, as peaceful conquerors, armed but with the Gospel, they extended the empire of Christ, and planted the standard of his cross in the extremities of the known world. The Christian colonies which they planted among pagan nations, or savage tribes, have endured for a much longer space of time, than those establishments which were founded by the Crusaders. J. C.

SHAME is a feeling of profanation. Friendship, love, and piety ought to be handled with a sort of mysterious secrecy; they ought to be spoken of only in the rare moments of perfect confidence, to be mutually understood in silence. Many things are too delicate to be thought-many more to be spoken.-NOVALIS.

'Union is Strength."

YE guardians of Old England!
Ye bulwarks of the seas;
Whose union-jack is floating now
In triumph on the breeze;
Ye noble mariners who sail
In glory o'er the tide,
Whose iron arms are true and strong,
Your country's boast and pride;
We wish ye health, ye mariners,
And may ye never be
Without a compass or a helm,

To guide you o'er the sea.
May happiness attend your way,
Along the boundless main,
And wealth and honour bring you back
Unto your land again.

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A CONFIDENT PICKPOCKET. CHARLES THE SECOND loved what may be called fun as much as the youngest of his courtiers. On one of his birthdays, an impudent rascal of a pickpocket had obtained admission to the drawing-room, in the garb of a gentleman. He had succeeded in extracting a gold snuff-box from a nobleman's pocket, and was quietly transferring it to his own, when, looking up, he suddenly caught the King's eye, and discovered that he had been perceived by his Majesty. The fellow, aware, in all probability, of the King's character, had the impudence to put his finger to his nose, and winked knowingly at Charles to hold his tongue. Shortly afterwards, the King was much amused by perceiving the nobleman feeling one pocket after another in search of his treasure. At last he could resist no longer; and looking escaped,) he called out to the injured person, "You need about him, (probably to make certain that the thief had not, my Lord, give yourself any more trouble about it; your box is gone, and I own myself an accomplice. I could not help it, I was made a confidant."-JESSE.


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THE rudiments of this extensive stronghold seem to have been erected by William Peverel, on whom to manor of Bolsover was conferred by William the Conqueror. The castle was built on the western brow of a range of limestone rocks, at a great elevation, and has long served as a land-mark for the surrounding country. It was held, in conjunction with the Peak Castle*, under the same constable or governor. In 1153 the castle and manor were forfeited to the Crown, and in the reign of Richard the First Bolsover was bestowed upon John, earl of Mortaigne, afterwards king of England. In the reign of John, the castle was seized by the disaffected barons, who retained it until 1215, when it was retaken for the King, by William Ferrers, earl of Derby, who, as an acknowledgment for this service, was appointed governor. In the seventeenth year of the reign of John, the castle was fortified against the insurgent barons, and the King appointed Gerard de Furnival to make it his family residence, for the better preservation of the peace of the neighbouring districts.

During several succeeding reigns the castellans were frequently changed; the manor and castle reverting to the Crown on the death or attainder of the occupant. In * Described in Saturday Magazine, Vol. XXV., p. 41, VOL. XXV.


9TH, 1844.


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the reign of Henry the Eighth, the castles of Bolsover and Hareston were granted to Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk; but they reverted to the crown on the attainder O his son, the second duke. In the fifth of Edward the Sixth, a lease of Bolsover Castle, for fifty years, was granted to Sir John Byron. and two years afterwards the fee-farm was granted to George Talbot, knight, Lord Talbot; and in 1608, George Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, and others, granted a lease of the manor for one thousand years, to Sir Charles Cavendish, knight, for a rent of 10%. per annum; and five years after, the same earl sold the manor to Sir Charles, who immediately commenced the erection of the castellated mansion at the north end. The son of Sir Charles, who was so greatly distinguished for his loyalty during the reign of Charles the First, entertained that monarch three times at Bolsover Castle. The expense of the first reception was calculated at 40007, of the second nearly 15,000. At this entertainment the Queen was present. Lord Clarendon refers to the first entertainment as "such an excess of feasting as had scarce ever been known in England before, and would be still thought very prodigious if the same noble person had not, within a year or two afterwards, made the King and Queen a more 793

stupendous entertainment, which, (God be thanked,) | though possibly it might too much whet the appetite of others to excess, no man after those days imitated."

The magnificent host of these entertainments is distinguished in the history of the Civil Wars, as the Earl and Marquess of Newcastle; at the Restoration he was created Duke of Newcastle The Duchess, in her memoirs of her illustrious consort says, that the King liked the first entertainment so well that "a year after his return out of Scotland, he was pleased to send my lord word, that her majesty the Queen was resolved to make a progress into the northern parts, desiring him to prepare the like entertainment for her majesty, as he had formerly done for him; which my lord did, and endeavoured for it with all possible care and industry, sparing nothing that might add splendour to the feast, which both their majesties were pleased to honour with their presence. Ben Jonson he employed in fitting up such scenes and speeches as he could best devise, and sent for all the gentry of the county to come and wait on their majesties; and, in short, did all that ever he could to render it great, and worthy of their royal acceptance."

The entertainments provided by Ben Jonson were a series of masques: the first was entitled Love's Welcome in which the object was merely to introduce, in a kind of anti-masque, a course of quintain, performed by the gentlemen of the county, neighbours to the earl, in the guise of rustics, in which much awkwardness was affected, and much real dexterity probably shown. The entertainment, which is for the most part quaint and ludicrous, concludes with an eulogium on Charles, of which the following is a sample:

such a king

As men would wish, that knew not how to hope His like, but seeing him! A prince, that's law Unto himself; is good for goodness' sake, And so becomes the rule unto his subjects! That studies not to seem or to show great, But be:-not drest for other's eyes and ears, With visions and false rumours, but makes fame Wait on his actions, and thence speak his name. The masque performed before the King and Queen in the following year (30th July 1634), was also called Love's Welcome. It commences with a piece sung "by two tenors and a bass," while the King and Queen sat at banquet. After the banquet their majesties were .entertained with dialogues and dances of mechanics, in which Ben Jonson vents his spleen against Inigo Jones, the architect, whom he introduces under the appellation of Colonel Vitruvius. A second banquet was then set down before the King and Queen "from the clouds by two loves, Eros and Anteros: one as the King's, the other as the Queen's, differenced by their garlands only: his of white and red roses, the other of lilies interwoven, gold, silver, purple, &c., with a bough of palm in his hand cleft a little at the top; they were both armed and winged; with bows, and quivers, cassocks, breeches, buskins, gloves, and perukes alike. They stood silent awhile, wondering at one another, till at last the lesser of them (Eros) began to speak." Their conversation, which is fantastical and metaphysical, is in rhyme, and is interrupted by Philalethes, who tells them, that should they swear to these refined reasons and proportions of the affections, they "would hardly get credit above a fable, here, in the edge of Derbyshire, the region of all." The same character concludes the masque, with a complimentary address to their majesties in prose.

During the Civil Wars, the Earl of Newcastle was commander-in-chief of the King's forces in the northern and midland districts, and Bolsover Castle was garrisoned for the King; but it was captured by the parliamentary forces and sold. It was about to be demolished, but Sir Charles Cavendish, younger brother of the Earl of Newcastle, found means to re-purchase it of the parliamentarians, at an advanced price, and thus prevented its total demolition.

In the year 1691, at the death of Henry, the second

duke of Newcastle, without issue, the estates devolved to his sister and co-heiress, Margaret; this lady married John Holles, earl of Clare, who, in 1694, was created Duke of Newcastle. Their only daughter Henrietta, married Edward Harley, earl of Oxford, whose sole heiress, Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, brought the manor or barony of Bolsover, to William, duke of Portland, the grandfather of the present noble duke.

The ancient Norman structure, erected by William Peverel, has entirely disappeared, and it is supposed that the present structure, a square building of brown stone, occupies its site. This building, erected at different periods, is of considerable extent. The oldest part of the present structure (which is now occupied) was erected by the command of Sir Charles Cavendish, about 1613. The interior of this portion of Bolsover Castle exhibits a curious specimen of the domestic arrangements and accommodations of the age when it was built. The rooms are small, and the walls are wainscotted, and fancifully inlaid and painted. The ceilings of the best apartments are carved and gilt, and the floors are generally of plaster.

The present appearance of Bolsover Castle is singular. Mr. Glover, in his County History of Derby, quotes from The Topographer a description from which the following account has been slightly abridged.

Some large gates being passed, the visitor soon enters upon the noble terrace, raised high by art as well as by nature, that forms the western side, and overlooking a fruitful valley, commands the park and seat of Sutton, and a rich circle of country. Along this terrace stands the range of building, now reduced to a shell, built by the Duke of Newcastle. Further on is the house built by his father. A broad flight of steps leads to the entrance, on each side of which are porter's lodges. Having passed these we enter into a high inclosed paved court, where a regular front presents itself in the form somewhat of the letter E; viz., two small wings, and a lesser in the centre in the latter is the porch, and over the door is a kneeling figure of an Hercules, who supports on his shoulders a heavy balcony; two lions sculptured in stone stand by his side; above are the arms of Cavendish and a coronet; and through it a passage leads to the hall, which is not large, but perfectly consonant with the building, being supported in the centre by two pillars, from whence, and from brackets in the side of the wall issue the ramifications of the ribbed roof. The hall is adorned with some old portraits, of no great value, and in the different compartments are painted the labours of Hercules.

Passing through an ante-room we arrive at the diningroom, or as it was formerly called, "the Pillar Parlour,' from the circumstance of a circular column of stone in the centre of the room, which supports the ceiling. Round this pillar is the dining table; the walls are wainscotted, and richly ornamented with many oldfashioned devices, partly gilt, in the manner of James the First's time. Emblematical representations of the five senses occupy various compartments round the upper part of the room. The windows, which are made to correspond with the interior decorations, command extensive views; the chimney-piece of this room is very gaudy and expensive: a remark that applies to nearly every room in the house. The staircase is of stone, and leads to a very fine room called the Star-Chamber, rich in all the ornaments of the day, carved and gilt, with painted wainscot, a deep cornice adorned with arms, a rich chimney-piece, fine old furniture, and numerous windows, from whence are magnificent prospects; the walls are decorated with portraits of the twelve Roman emperors. The bed-chambers, &c., are numerous. A long and narrow flight of steps leads to the roof, from whence the view is nearly boundless.

At the head of the first staircase a door opens to the garden wall, which is so broad as to allow three or four

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