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dozen surrounding counties. Soldiers are sitting or standing in groups, visitors are walking up the Castle hill, and I am about to enter the gateway of Henry VIII. The largest of the three wards of the castle is the lower ward, and this includes the following towers-Winchester tower, Store tower, Wardrobe tower, Salisbury tower, Garter tower, Julius Cesar's tower, and Belfry tower.
I have no time to enter into historic details. That Edward the Confessor gave the site of the town and castle to the abbey of St. Peter, at Westminster; that William the Conqueror built here a fortress; and that the castle was, at different times, altered, enlarged, rebuilt, and beautified, by different monarchs-these things are matters of history. Here Henry 11. held a parliament, and king John took refuge when at enmity with his barons; and here Charles I. resided as a monarch, and afterwards was detained as a prisoner. William the Conqueror, Henry 1., Edward 111. and IV., Henry VII. and VIII., Charles I. and II., George III. and Iv., and William IV., are the kings who have had the most to do with the alterations, enlargements, and improvements of the castle.
I have glanced at the dwellings of the poor (now military) knights; walked through the
great and the inner cloisters, and paced to and fro the quadrangle and the terrace. The famous terrace attached to the seraglio of the grand seigniors at Constantinople, which looks on the sea, is not equal to this in extent and beauty. I have accompanied a group of visitors through the apartments of state, and am now making my notes in the open air.
The paintings, the carvings and gildings, the furniture, the hangings, and the ornaments. of the state apartments, bewilder the visitor by their gorgeousness and beauty. They are so far above the ornaments and furniture of common habitations, as to excite astonishment and admiration. The rich crimson silk damask hangings of the Vandyck room and queen's drawing room, with the stucco ceilings, graceful panels, richly emblazoned shields, wreaths of flowers, richly etched with gold, together with the arms of England and Saxe Meiningen, surmounted with the royal crown, are of the most imposing description; and, while gazing upon them, I feel that I am indeed in a palace.
The large mirrors, with massive silver frames, and the richly chased silver tables in the queen's closet; the star of St. George, initials, shields, .arms, and palm branches of the king's closet; the beautiful ceilings and splendid decorations of
the king's council room and drawing room, together with the valuable paintings that enrich the walls, excite emotions that the pen of the author cannot make legible on paper. Though in a sober mood, my brain is somewhat giddy. I need not be told that palaces, though blazing with magnificence, are perishable things; and that monarchs and princes are but men. know it well; but pomp and prodigality affect us strangely; and we marvel at that which, did we possess it, we might not enjoy. I would these grey hairs of mine harmonize with pomp and revelry!
Wherever pomp and power are sent,
The state of the ante-room, the vestibule, and the throne room, with their painted and embellished ceilings; their exquisite carvings, polished oak wainscotings, star and garter insignia, richly embossed medallions of gold and silver, and superb decorations, extort from me, as I pace them, ejaculations of surprise. Nor are the Waterloo chamber, the ball room, and St. George's hall, the latter two hundred feet long, a whit behind them in interest and influence.
The Waterloo chamber furnishes another instance of the strange vicissitudes that occur to human beings. Here William IV. gave his dinners commemorative of the great battle of Waterloo, and in the same chamber his breathless body lay in state. There is a party gazing around with admiration, but the guide hurries them on rather impatiently.
The most arresting objects in the guard room are a part of the fore-mast of the Victory, perforated by a ball; a gothic bronze chandelier; busts of Nelson, and the dukes of Marlborough and Wellington; a beautiful piece of ordnance, taken from Tippoo Saib; and a splendid silver shield, inlaid with gold, presented by Francis of France to Henry VIII., on the Field of the Cloth of Gold: these, with the groined ceiling, with its massy mouldings, resting on corbels supported by grotesque heads and richly-flowered bosses, here and there, afford an interest in every direction; while the piles of ancient armour, and whole length figures, armed from head to heel, with lance in hand, call up, perhaps, a yet deeper interest in the spectator's mind. The grand vestibule; the grand staircase, with its statue of George IV.; the queen's presence chamber and audience chamber, enriched as the two latter are with painted ceilings, and beautiful speci
mens of the Gobelin tapestry; have made me
Among the many paintings that adorn the state apartments, by Vandyck, Zuccarelli, Holbein, Claude Lorraine, Rembrandt, Teniers, Rubens, Parmegiano, Carlo Dolci, Matsys, Guido, Poussin, Dominichino, West, Lawrence, Wilkie, Shee, and twenty other celebrated painters, two are usually regarded with more than common interest: that of Charles I. on horseback, said to be valued at ten thousand pounds; and that of the Misers, by Matsys. This latter picture is the performance of a Dutch blacksmith, who, understanding that his master had declared that no one but a painter should wed his daughter, set to work at once, and prosecuted his studies with such determined perseverance, that he, at last, produced this splendid painting; thus, at the same time, winning his master's daughter for a wife, and establishing his reputation as an eminent painter. But I must hurry on to mount the summit of the round tower, and gaze on the enchanting view that it commands.
Beautiful! beautiful! The parks, the trees, the river, and the wide-spread prospect, all are beautiful! Bedford, Bucks, Berks, Essex,