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gradually grew wilder in my thoughts. Now in a triumphal car, I hastened on as a conqueror,

"On daring deeds ybent, and feats of high emprise." Then imagination gave me wings, and I was cleaving the air as with the pinions of an eagle; and after that, when yet more excited by increased speed, taking a wider range, I sped my way through space, borne onward by the whirlwind.

But rapidly as we move, in our real or imaginary career, time moves on more swiftly with us all.

"Time speeds away-away-away:
No eagle through the skies of day,
No wind along the hills, can flee
So swiftly or so smooth as he.

"Like fiery steed, from stage to stage,
He bears us on from youth to age;
Then plunges in the fearful sea
Of fathomless eternity."

I have passed through Eton, thronged with the scholars that are educated at the college; and, leaving the castle to be visited on my return, have thus far pursued my course. And where am I now? Even standing on the brink of Virginia Water. There is a freshness in the air, as there always is in spring, when the sun

shines after a shower. The feathered songsters are warbling their wildest notes; the shrub, the bush, and the tree, are clothed with the freshest leaves; and the face of the lake, ruffled by the breeze, is giving back the sunbeam from ten thousand glittering waves.


Nor is the turfy margin of Virginia Water unpeopled. A few of my fellow beings, drawn here, like myself, partly by the lovely weather, and partly by the fame of this delightful spot, are slowly rambling onwards. Yonder is one, with a substantial frame and look of energy, gazing on the water, yearning for a boat, a fishing rod, a line, and a well-baited hook. Already has his fancied float dipped beneath the sparkling waters, and, now, the shiny scales of his finny captive are gladdening his delighted eyes. little in advance, is a gentlemanly figure, with a lady resting on his arm, whose cheerful, healthy, happy appearance, is in keeping with the goodly scene around her. To the left, yonder, is one leaning on his stick, whose slender frame, and somewhat attenuated features, bespeak the invalid. I look upon him with interest. It is evident that he is not what he was. May health yet glow in his cheek, vigour gird his loins, and happiness dwell in his heart! Behind, far, far behind, are lingering a younger pair, one of


either sex, engrossed in each other's converse. I caught a glance as I passed them, and there was much that I liked in their faces. Again they have made a stand on the very brink of the water. May they never be less happy than they

are now!

Rambling leisurely round the lake, with a bright yellow furze bud in my bosom, and a grateful heart beating beneath it, I breathe the balmy air, gaze on the vessels and the swans in the lake, and on the summer pavilion or fishing temple of George IV., with its pointed roof and grotesque ornaments, admiring the budding bushes, and the bright green leaves that tip the more sober foliage of the trees. I have visited the cascade, the cave, and the Palmyra-like ruins; the latter are now but a stone's cast from my feet. The scene is lovely, but the broken and disfigured sculpture, here and there, tells me that the place has been visited by the lawless. What an unenviable mind must he possess, who can find pleasure in mutilating a marble statue!

A humble bee is buzzing around me, too happy to keep his joy to himself. Yonder, flutters a butterfly of no common kind; and a new-laid egg must surely have cleared the rejoicing throat of the cuckoo that is now loudly exulting on the opposite side of the lake.

Many things have arrested my attention in the Great Park; but, at this moment, I am entranced by the view which has suddenly burst upon me. It is not the equestrian statue of George III., nor the Long Walk alone, extending, as it does, three miles, with its noble avenue of trees; but the sunny brightness, the wide expanse, and the proud embattled towers of Windsor Castle, crowning the distant height, replete with majesty. There are several open carriages around me, in which company are standing, spell-bound by the scene, giving utterance to their emotions in wild ejaculations of surprise and pleasure.

While gazing on the goodly pile before me, and listening to the military band that is pouring forth its warlike music at a distance, what dreams of my boyhood, what mingled recollections of the reading of my youthful days, are crowding on my memory! Castles, and feudal courts, and floating banners; dungeons deep, and vaulted gateways; ponderous portcullis, jousts, and tournaments. The days of chivalry are returned to my excited imagination; and valorous knights, and noble dames, and toil-worn pilgrims, and minstrels with harps and chains of gold, are strangely blended. The festival is held in the great hall, and there are gathered

princes, nobles, knights, and peerless dames; and the Christmas log is flaring on the hearth, reddening the very roof above; and the boar's head smokes upon the board; and the aged fingers of the hoary harper are flying o'er the resounding wires, as he chants the heroic ballad of other times.

In days of yore, the gladsome day was spent
In joust, and tournament, and courtly glee;
Then, earthly roofs re-echoed with the peal
Of midnight revelry and festal mirth.

Oh what a glorious time was that to live in,
When knights were faithful, ladies true and fair;
When pageantry and pleasure, hand in hand
With innocence, danced through the circling hours;
Where grief, and pain, and guilt were never known;
And all was loyalty, and life, and love!
But was it so ? Too closely question not
The fairy dreams of gay romantic youth!
He that from records of the past would draw
A portrait fair of frail humanity,

Must be content, with hurried glance, to pass
O'er blotted pages of distress and grief,
And many a painful paragraph of crime.
Men were, of olden time, as they are now,
The slaves of passion, pride, and follies vain.

I am now approaching the Castle, wearing, as it does, on its turretted brow, the impress of majesty, regality, strength, and power; and looking down from its commanding station on a

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