“Within this pleasing retirement, allured by the music of the nightingale, which warbled in soft unison to the melody of his soul, in unaffected cheerfulness, and genial, though simple elegance, lived James Thomson. Sensibly alive to all the beauties of nature, he painted their images, as they rose in review, and poured the whole profusion of them into his inimitable Seasons. Warmed with intense devotion to the Sovereign of the universe, its flame glowing through all his compositions; animated with unbounded benevolence, with the tenderest social sensibility, he never gave one moment's pain to any of his fellow creatures, except by his death, which happened at this place on the 22d of August, 1748.”

Reluctantly I withdrew from this interesting scene, and pursued the foot path, which Thomson always travelled to Kèw.

We arrived at the Botanical Garden, but, too late to be admitted to see it, and, indeed I was not displeased at the disappointment, for I did not wish to turn my mind to any other subject, and, therefore, stepping into a coach, we returned immediately to London.


Christ's Hospital—A preacher there-Great number of boys edu

cated on charity-Lord Nelson-A crowd always at his heelsHis appearance.


August 25.-In company with an American I went to the church belonging to Christ's Hospital, Newgate-street, where we heard a preacher who seemed to be a man of warm piety and of respectable talents. The final judgment was his theme, and with much earnestness and feeling, he urged the importance of realizing the truth of the scripture representations on this most important subject.

This church presented a very interesting spectacle. There were present about six hundred boys, from the age of six to that of sixteen, who are educated on the foundation of this charitable institution. Besides these, there are three or four hundred more, principally females, who are at school at Hertford, so that at least one thousand children are dependent upon this charity. The boys whom we saw at church were all dressed in that peculiar unisorm which I mentioned at Manchester, and which appears to be common in English charitable institutions of ancient date. It consists of a jacket of coarse blue cloth, buttoned close around the neck and body, and descending to the feet in a kind of skirt or petticoat, which is buckled around the waist with a leather belt. These boys formed a very interesting spectacle; they were all provided with service books, and sung to the organ, which was a very fine one, loud and deep-toned, and yet soft and clear. After service we walked into the buildings where the boys receive their instruction and have their accommodations. The buildings are very ancient and need repair. The dining-hall is extensive, and is adorned with two large pictures, one of which represents Edward VI. granting a charter to the institution; the other was so remote that we could not distinguish its subject through the iron grating which separated us from them.


August 26.- As I was standing in a shop in the Strand, this morning, I had the satisfaction, which I had long wished for, of seeing Lord Nelson. He was walking through the streets, on the opposite side, in company with his chaplain, and, as usual, followed by a crowd. This is a distinction which great men are obliged to share in common with all wonderful exhibitions ;-a dancing bear would immediately attract a throng in the streets of London, and this great admiral can do no more in the same circumstances. If it be a gratification, while it is new, it must soon become extremely troublesome. Lord Nelson cannot appear in the streets without immediately collecting a retinue, which augments as he proceeds, and when he enters a shop, the door is thronged till he comes out, when the air rings with huzzas, and the dark cloud of the populace again moves on, and hangs upon his skirts.

He is a great favourite with all descriptions of people; the nation are wonderfully proud of him, and, although his late unwearied pursuit of the French and Spanish squadrons has proved fruitless, the enthusiastic admiration in which he has long been held, does not seem to be in the least diminished,

My view of him was in profile. His features are sharp and his skin is now very much burnt, from his having been long at sea; he has the balancing gait of a sailor; his person


spare and of about the middle height, or rather more, and mutilated by the loss of an arm and an eye, besides many other injuries of less magnitude.

It was certainly a rational source of satisfaction to behold the first naval character of the age, a man whom his

[ocr errors]

contemporaries admire and posterity will applaud. His very name is at this moment, under providence, a palladium to this islanıl, and no hostile fleet can meet him without dreading the event of the interview.

I have been for some time, contemplating a tour to' Bath, Bristol, and the mines of Cornwall, and having procured from the alien-office, my permission to travel into the interior of the country, I have been busied for a few days past, in making every other preparatory arrangement of my concerns, and to-morrow I intend to commence my journey in company with our countryman, Mr, T


with me as far as Bristol.

[ocr errors]



Windsor--Long famous in history--The palacem-Tlie round

tower-Paintings Furniture-The terrace-Beauty of the scenery-Eton College-Dr. Herschell's great telescope and residence.

August 26.--The day was fine, and at two o'clock, P. M. taking our seats on the roof of the coach, that we might enjoy the best view of the country, we proceeded to Windsor, and arrived at six in the evening.

Windsor is a considerable town, situated on a declivity, sloping to the Thames. It has been famous from remote antiquity, and even in the time of the Saxons was a prinWilliam the conqueror built a castle here, and

cipal pass.

from that period, it has been, more or less, a residence of the kings of England.

" Thy forests, Windsor, and thy green retreats,
At once the monarch's and the muse's seats,"

have been sung by poets, and celebrated by historians ; and the place is now rendered brilliant and famous, by its being the residence of the present king and royal family of England.

As no person is admitted into the royal palaces with an umbrella or a cane,* we left ours at the inn, and proceeded to Windsor Castle. This palace is very magnificent, and worthy to be the residence of royalty. Its principal parts remain as they were in the reign of Edward III. He was born here, and from his affection for his native place, rebuilt the whole, and greatly adorned the several struciures. Still farther additions were made to their beauty and convenience, by Charles II. and his present majesty has done much to improve and embellish this magnificent castle.

The palace forms a hollow square, and stands on the summit of a high hill, which slopes beautifully to the Thames, on one side, and to the fields on the other. Contiguous to the palace is a chapel, which is a splendid specimen of Gothic architecture. In it Henry VI. Edward IV. Henry VIII. his Queen Jane Seymour, and Charles I. are interred.

The round tower is the most conspicuous of the war

[ocr errors]

* This apparently whimsical prohibition is founded on good sense, for, if the visitors in such places have any thing in their hands with which they can deface the pictures by pointing qut the parts which please them, they will almost invariably do it.


« VorigeDoorgaan »