Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume I. - Great Britain and Ireland
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Even as to length of days, the Tower has no rival among places and prisons, its origin, like that of the Iliad, that of the Sphinx, that of the Newton Stone, being lost in the nebulous ages, long before our definite history took shape. Old writers date it from the days of Caesar; a legend taken up by Shakespeare and the poets in favor of which the name of Caesar's tower remains in popular use to this very day. A Roman wall can even yet be traced near some parts of the ditch. The Tower is mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle in a way not incompatible with the fact of a Saxon stronghold having stood upon this spot. The buildings as we have them now in block and plan were commenced by William the Conqueror; and the series of apartments in Caesar's tower—hall, gallery, council-chamber, chapel—were built in the early Norman reigns, and used as a royal residence by all our Norman kings. What can Europe show to compare against such a tale?

Set against the Tower of London—with its 800 years of historic life, its 1,900 prisons of traditional fame—all other palaces and prisons appear like things of an hour. The oldest bit of palace in Europe, that of the west front of the Burg in Vienna, is of the time of Henry the Third. The Kremlin in Moscow, the Doge's Palazzo in Venice, are of the fourteenth century. The Seraglio in Stamboul was built by Mohammed the Second. The oldest part of the Vatican was commenced by Borgia, whose name it bears. The old Louvre was commenced in the reign of Henry the Eighth; the Tuilleries in that of Elizabeth. In the time of our civil war Versailles was yet a swamp. Sans Souci and the Escurial belong to the eighteenth century. The Serail of Jerusalem is a Turkish edifice. The palaces of Athens, of Cairo, of Teheran, are all of modern date.

Neither can the prisons which remain in fact as well as in history and drama—with the one exception of St. Angelo in Rome—compare with the Tower. The Bastile is gone; the Bargello has become a museum; the Piombi are removed from the Doge's roof. Vincennes, Spandau, Spilberg, Magdeburg, are all modern in comparison with a jail from which Ralph Flambard escaped so long ago in the year 1100, the date of the First Crusade.

Standing on Tower Hill, looking down on the dark lines of wall—picking out keep and turret, bastion and ballium, chapel and belfry—the jewel-house, armory, the mounts, the casemates, the open leads, the Bye-ward-gate, the Belfry, the Bloody tower—the whole edifice seems alive with story—the story of a nation's highest splendor, its deepest misery, and its darkest shame. The soil beneath your feet is richer in blood than many a great battle-field; for out upon this sod has been poured, from generation to generation, a stream of the noblest life in our land.

Should you have come to this spot alone, in the early days when the Tower is noisy with martial doings, you may haply catch in the hum which rises from the ditch and issues from the wall below you—broken by roll of drum, by blast of bugle, by tramp of soldiers—some echoes, as it were, of a far-off time, some hints of a Mayday revel, of a state execution, of a royal entry. You may catch some sound which recalls the thrum of a queen's virginal, the cry of a victim on the rack, the laughter of a bridal feast. For all these sights and sounds—the dance of love and the dance of death—are part of that gay and tragic memory which clings around the Tower.

From the reign of Stephen down to that of Henry of Richmond, Caesar's tower (the great Norman keep, now called the White Tower), was a main part of the royal palace; and for that large interval of time the story of the White Tower is in some part that of our English society as well as of our English kings. Here were kept the royal wardrobe and the royal jewels; and hither came with their goody wares the tiremen, the goldsmiths, the chasers and embroiderers, from Flanders, Italy, and Almaigne. Close by were the Mint, the lion's den, the old archery-grounds, the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Queen's gardens, the royal banqueting-hall, so that art and trade, science and manners, literature and law, sport and politics, find themselves equally at home.

Two great architects designed the main parts of the Tower: Gundulf the Weeper and Henry the Builder; one a poor Norman monk, the other a great English king.

Gundulf, a Benedictine friar, had, for that age, seen a great deal of the world; for he had not only lived in Rouen and Caen, but had traveled in the East. Familiar with the glories of Saracenic art, no less than with the Norman simplicities of Bec, St. Ouen, and St. Etienne, a pupil of Lanfranc, a friend of Anselm, he had been employed in the monastery of Bec to marshal with the eye of an artist all the pictorial ceremonies of his church. But he was chiefly known in that convent as a weeper. No monk at Bec could cry so often and so much as Gundulf. He could weep with those who wept, nay, he could weep with those who sported, for his tears welled forth from what seemed to be an unfailing source.

As the price of his exile from Bec, Gundulf received the crozier of Rochester, in which city he rebuilt the cathedral and perhaps designed the castle, since the great keep on the Medway has a sister's likeness to the great keep on the Thames. His works in London were the White Tower, the first St. Peter's Church, and the old barbican, afterward known as the Hall Tower, and now used as the Jewel House.

The cost of these works was great; the discontent caused by them was sore. Ralph, Bishop of Durham, the able and rapacious minister who had to raise the money, was hated and reviled by the Commons with peculiar bitterness of heart and phrase. He was called Flambard, or Firebrand. He was represented as a devouring lion. Still the great edifice grew up, and Gundulf, who lived to the age of fourscore, saw his great keep completed from basement to battlement.

Henry the Third, a prince of epical fancies as Corffe, Conway, Beaumaris and many other fine poems in stone attest, not only spent much of his money in adding to its beauty and strength, ... but was his own chief clerk of the works. The Water Gate, the embanked wharf, the Cradle Tower, the Lantern, which he made his bedroom and private closet, the Galleyman Tower, and the first wall appear to have been his gifts. But the prince who did so much for Westminster Abbey, not content with giving stone and piles to the home in which he dwelt, enriched the chambers with frescoes and sculptures, the chapels with carving and glass, making St. John's Chapel in the White Tower splendid with saints, St. Peter's Church on the Tower Green musical with bells. In the Hall Tower, from which a passage led through the Great Hall into the King's bedroom in the Lantern, he built a tiny chapel for his private use—a chapel which served for the devotions of his successors until Henry the Sixth was stabbed to death before the cross. Sparing neither skill nor gold to make the great fortress worthy of his art, he sent to Purbeck for marble and to Caen for stone. The dabs of lime, the spawls of flint, the layers of brick which deface the walls and towers in too many places are of either earlier or later times. The marble shafts, the noble groins, the delicate traceries, are Henry's work. Traitor's Gate was built by him. In short, nearly all that is purest in art is traceable to his reign.

Edward the First may be added, at a distance, to the list of builders. In his reign the original Church of St. Peter's fell into ruin; the wrecks were carted away, and the present edifice was built. The bill of costs for clearing the ground is still extant in Fetter Lane. Twelve men, who were paid twopence a day wages, were employed on the work for twenty days. The cost of pulling down the old chapel was forty-six shillings and eight pence; that of digging foundations for the new chapel forty shillings. That chapel has suffered from wardens and lieutenants; yet the shell is of very fine Norman work.

From the days of Henry the builder down to those of Henry of Richmond the Tower, as the strongest place in the south of England, was by turns the magnificent home and the miserable jail of all our princes. Here Richard the Second held his court and gave up his crown. Here Henry the Sixth was murdered. Here the Duke of Clarence was drowned in wine. Here King Edward and the Duke of York was slain by command of Richard. Here Margaret of Salisbury suffered her tragic fate.

Henry of Richmond kept his royal state in the Tower, receiving his ambassadors, counting his angels, making presents to his bride, Elizabeth of York. Among other gifts to that lady on her nuptial day was a Royal Book of verse, composed by a prisoner in the keep.

ST. JAMES'S PALACE [Footnote: From "Walks in London."]


The picturesque old brick gateway of St. James's Palace still looks up St. James's Street, one of the most precious relics of the past in London, and enshrining the memory of a greater succession of historical events than any other domestic building in England, Windsor Castle not excepted. The site of the palace was occupied, even before the Conquest, by a hospital dedicated to St. James, for "fourteen maidens that were leprous." Henry VIII. obtained it by exchange, pensioned off the sisters, and converted the hospital into "a fair mansion and park," in the same year in which he was married to Anne Boleyn, who was commemorated here with him in love-knots, now almost obliterated, upon the side doors of the gateway, and in the letters "H.A." on the chimney-piece of the presence-chamber or tapestry room. Holbein is sometimes said to have been the king's architect here, as he was at Whitehall. Henry can seldom have lived here, but hither his daughter, Mary I., retired, after her husband Philip left England for Spain, and here she died, November 17, 1558.

James I., in 1610, settled St. James's on his eldest son, Prince Henry, who kept his court here for two years with great magnificence, having a salaried household of no less than two hundred and ninety-seven persons. Here he died in his nineteenth year, November 6, 1612. Upon his death, St. James's was given to his brother Charles, who frequently resided here after his accession to the throne, and here Henrietta Maria gave birth to Charles II., James II., and the Princess Elizabeth. In 1638 the palace was given as a refuge to the queen's mother, Marie de Medici, who lived here for three years, with a pension of L3,000 a month! Hither Charles I. was brought from Windsor as the prisoner of the Parliament, his usual attendants, with one exception, being debarred access to him, and being replaced by common soldiers, who sat smoking and drinking even in the royal bedchamber, never allowing him a moment's privacy, and hence he was taken in a sedan chair to his trial at Whitehall.

On the following day the king was led away from St. James's to the scaffold. His faithful friends, Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, the Duke of Hamilton, and Lord Capel were afterward imprisoned in the palace and suffered like their master.

Charles II., who was born at St. James's (May 29, 1630), resided at Whitehall, giving up the palace to his brother, the Duke of York (also born here, October 25, 1633), but reserving apartments for his mistress, the Duchess of Mazarin, who at one time resided there with a pension of L4,000 a year. Here Mary II. was born, April 30, 1662; and here she was married to William of Orange, at eleven at night, November 4, 1677. Here for many years the Duke and Duchess of York secluded themselves with their children, in mourning and sorrow, on the anniversary of his father's murder. Here also Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, died, March 31, 1671, asking, "What is truth?" of Blandford, Bishop of Worcester, who came to visit her.

In St. James's Palace also, James's second wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to her fifth child, Prince James Edward ("the Old Pretender") on June 10, 1688.

It was to St. James's that William III. came on his first arrival in England, and he frequently resided there afterward, dining in public, with the Duke of Schomberg seated at his right hand and a number of Dutch guests, but on no occasion was any English gentleman invited. In the latter part of William's reign the palace was given up to the Princess Anne, who had been born there February 6, 1665, and married there to Prince George of Denmark July 28, 1683. She was residing here when Bishop Burnet brought her the news of William's death and her own accession.

George I., on his arrival in England, came at once to St. James's. "This is a strange country," he remarked afterward; "the first morning after my arrival at St. James's I looked out of the window, and saw a park with walks, and a canal, which they told me were mine. The next day Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of my park, sent me a fine brace of carp out of my canal; and I was told I must give five guineas to Lord Chetwynd's servant for bringing me my own carp, out of my own canal, in my own park."

The Duchess of Kendal, the king's mistress, had rooms in the palace, and, toward the close of his reign, George I. assigned apartments there on the ground floor to a fresh favorite, Miss Anne Brett. When the king left for Hanover, Miss Brett had a door opened from her rooms to the royal gardens, which the king's granddaughter, Princess Anne, who was residing in the palace, indignantly ordered to be walled up. Miss Brett had it opened a second time, and the quarrel was at its height when the news of the king's death put an end to the power of his mistress. With the accession of George II. the Countesses of Yarmouth and Suffolk took possession of the apartments of the Duchess of Kendal. As Prince of Wales, George II. had resided in the palace till a smoldering quarrel with his father came to a crisis over the christening of one of the royal children, and the next day he was put under arrest, and ordered to leave St. James's with his family the same evening. Wilhelmina Caroline of Anspach, the beloved queen of George II., died in the palace, November 20, 1737, after an agonizing illness, endured with the utmost fortitude and consideration for all around her.

Of the daughters of George II. and Queen Caroline, Anne, the eldest, was married at St. James's to the Prince of Orange, November, 1733, urged to the alliance by her desire for power, and answering to her parents, when they reminded her of the hideous and ungainly appearance of the bridegroom, "I would marry him, even if he were a baboon!" The marriage, however, was a happy one, and a pleasant contrast to that of her younger sister Mary, the king's fourth daughter, who was married here to the brutal Frederick of Hesse Cassel, June 14, 1771. The third daughter, Caroline, died at St. James's, December 28, 1757, after a long seclusion consequent upon the death of John, Lord Harvey, to whom she was passionately attached.

George I. and George II. used, on certain days to play at Hazard at the grooms' postern at St. James's, and the name "Hells," as applied to modern gaming-houses is derived from that given to the gloomy room used by the royal gamblers.

The northern part of the palace, beyond the gateway (inhabited in the reign of Victoria by the Duchess of Cambridge), was built for the marriage of Frederick Prince of Wales.

The State Apartments (which those who frequent levees and drawing-rooms have abundant opportunities of surveying) are handsome, and contain a number of good royal portraits.

The Chapel Royal, on the right on entering the "Color Court," has a carved and painted ceiling of 1540. Madame d'Arblay describes the pertinacity of George III. in attending service here in bitter November weather, when the queen and court at length left the king, his chaplain, and equerry "to freeze it out together."...

When Queen Caroline (wife of George II.) asked Mr. Whiston what fault people had to find with her conduct, he replied that the fault they most complained of was her habit of talking in chapel. She promised amendment, but proceeding to ask what other faults were objected to her, he replied, "When your Majesty has amended this I'll tell you of the next."

It was in this chapel that the colors taken from James II. at the Battle of the Boyne were hung up by his daughter Mary, an unnatural exhibition of triumph which shocked the Londoners. Besides that of Queen Anne, a number of royal marriages have been solemnized here; those of the daughters of George II., of Frederick Prince of Wales to Augusta of Saxe Cobourg, of George IV. to Caroline of Brunswick, and of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert.

The Garden at the back of St. James's Palace has a private entrance to the Park. It was as he was alighting from his carriage here, August 2, 1786, that George III. was attacked with a knife by the insane Margaret Nicholson. "The bystanders were proceeding to wreak summary vengeance on the (would-be) assassin, when the King generously interfered in her behalf. 'The poor creature,' he exclaimed, 'is mad: do not hurt her; she has not hurt me.' He then stept forward and showed himself to the populace, assuring them that he was safe and uninjured."

LITERARY SHRINES OF LONDON [Footnote: From "Shakespeare's England." By arrangement with the publishers, Moffat, Yard & Co. Copyright by William Winter, 1878-1910.]


The mind that can reverence historic associations needs no explanation of the charm that such associations possess. There are streets and houses in London which, for pilgrims of this class, are haunted with memories and hallowed with an imperishable light that not even the dreary commonness of everyday life can quench or dim. Almost every great author in English literature has here left some personal trace, some relic that brings you at once into his living presence. In the time of Shakespeare,—of whom it should be noted that, wherever found, he is found in elegant neighborhoods,—Aldersgate was a secluded, peaceful quarter of the town, and there the poet had his residence, convenient to the theater in Blackfriars, in which he owned a share. It is said that he dwelt at No. 134 Aldersgate Street (the house was long ago demolished), and in that region, amid all the din of traffic and all the discordant adjuncts of a new age, those who love him are in his company. Milton was born in a court adjacent to Bread Street, Cheapside, and the explorer comes upon him as a resident in St. Bride's churchyard,—where the poet Lovelace was buried,—and at No. 19 York Street, Westminster, in later times occupied by Jeremy Bentham and by William Hazlitt. When secretary to Cromwell he lived in Scotland Yard, now the headquarters of the London police. His last home was in Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields, but the visitor to that spot finds it covered by the Artillery barracks. Walking through King Street, Westminster, you will not forget the great poet Edmund Spenser, who, a victim to barbarity, died there, in destitution and grief. Ben Jonson's terse record of that calamity says: "The Irish having robbed Spenser's goods and burnt his house and a little child new-born, he and his wife escaped, and after he died, for lack of bread, in King Street." Ben Jonson is closely associated with places that can still be seen. He passed his boyhood near Charing Cross—having been born in Hartshorn Lane, now Northumberland Street; he attended the parish school of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields; and persons who roam about Lincoln's Inn will call to mind that he helped to build it—a trowel in one hand and a volume of Horace in the other. His residence, in his day of fame, was outside the Temple Bar, but all that neighborhood is new.

The Mermaid,—which Jonson frequented, in companionship with Shakespeare, Fletcher, Herrick, Chapman, and Donne,—was in Bread Street, but no trace of it remains, and a banking house stands now on the site of the old Devil Tavern, in Fleet Street, a room in which, called "The Apollo," was the trysting place of the club of which he was the founder. The famous inscription, "O, rare Ben Jonson!" is three times cut in the Abbey; once in Poets' Corner and twice in the north aisle, where he was buried,—a little slab in the pavement marking his grave. Dryden once dwelt in a quaint, narrow house, in Fetter Lane,—the street in which Dean Swift has placed the home of "Gulliver," and where the famous Doomsday Book was kept,—but, later, he removed to a liner dwelling, in Gerrard Street, Soho, which was the scene of his death. (The house in Fetter Lane was torn down in 1891.) Edmund Burke's house, also in Gerrard Street, is a beer-shop, but the memory of the great orator hallows the abode, and an inscription upon it proudly announces that here he lived. Dr. Johnson's house, in Gough Square, bears (or bore) a mural tablet, and standing at its time-worn threshold, the visitor needed no effort of fancy to picture that uncouth figure shambling through the crooked lanes that afford access to this queer, somber, melancholy retreat. In that house he wrote the first dictionary of the English language and the characteristic, memorable letter to Lord Chesterfield. The historical antiquarian society that has marked many of the literary shrines of London has rendered a signal service. The custom of marking the houses that are associated with renowned names is, obviously, a good one, because it provides instruction, and also because it tends to vitalize, in the general mind, a sense of the value of honorable repute: it ought, therefore, to be everywhere adopted and followed. A house associated with Sir Joshua Reynolds and a house associated with Hogaith, both in Leicester Square, and houses associated with Benjamin Franklin and Peter the Great, in Craven Street; Sheridan, in Savile Row; Campbell, in Duke Street; Carrick, in the Adelphi Terrace; Mrs. Siddons, in Baker Street, and Michael Faraday, in Blandford Street, are only a few of the notable places which have been thus designated. More of such commemorative work remains to be done, and, doubtless, will be accomplished. The traveler would like to know in which of the houses in Buckingham Street Coleridge lodged, while he was translating "Wallenstein"; which house in Bloomsbury Square was the residence of Akenside, when he wrote "The Pleasures of Imagination," and of Croly, when he wrote "Salathiel"; or where it was that Gray lived, when he established his residence in Russel Square, in order to be one of the first (as he continued to be one of the most constant) students at the then newly opened British Museum (1759).... These records, and such as these, may seem trivialities, but Nature has denied an unfailing source of innocent pleasure to the person who can feel no interest in them. For my part, when rambling in Fleet Street it is a special delight to remember even so little an incident as that recorded of the author of the "Elegy"—that he once saw there his contemptuous critic, Dr. Johnson, shambling along the sidewalk, and murmured to a companion, "Here comes Ursa Major." For true lovers of literature "Ursus Major" walks oftener in Fleet Street to-day than any living man.

A good leading thread of literary research might be profitably followed by the student who should trace the footsteps of all the poets, dead and gone, that have held, in England, the office of laureate. John Kay was laureate in the reign of King Edward the Fourth; Andrew Bernard in that of King Henry the Seventh; John Skelton in that of King Henry the Eighth, and Edmund Spenser in that of Queen Elizabeth. Since then the succession has included the names of Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, Sir William Devenant, John Dryden, Thomas Shadwell, Nahum Tate, Nicholas Rowe, Lawrence Eusden, Colley Cibber, William Whitehead, Thomas Warton, Henry James Pye, Robert Southey, William Wordsworth, and Alfred Tennyson. Most of those bards were intimately associated with London, and several of them are buried in the Abbey. It is, indeed, because so many storied names are written upon gravestones that the explorer of the old churches of London finds in them so rich a harvest of instructive association and elevating thought. Few persons visit them, and you are likely to find yourself comparatively alone, in rambles of this kind. I went one morning into St. Martin's,—once "in-the-fields," now at the busy center of the city,—and found there only a pew-opener, preparing for the service, and an organist, practising music. It is a beautiful structure, with graceful spire and with columns of weather-beaten, gray stone, curiously stained with streaks of black, and it is almost as famous for theatrical names as St. Paul's, Covent Garden, or St. George's, Bloomsbury, or St. Clement Danes. There, in a vault beneath the church, was buried the bewitching, generous Nell Gwynn; there is the grave of James Smith, joint author with his brother Horace,—who was buried at Tunbridge Wells,—of "The Rejected Addresses"; there rests Richard Yates, the original "Sir Oliver Surface"; and there were laid the ashes of the romantic Mrs. Centlivre, and of George Farquhar, whom neither youth, genius, patient labor, nor sterling achievement could save from a life of misfortune and an untimely, piteous death. A cheerier association of this church is with the poet Thomas Moore, who was there married. At St. Giles's-in-the-Fields are the graves of George Chapman, who translated Homer; Andrew Marvel, who wrote such lovely lyrics; Rich, the manager, who brought out "The Beggar's Opera," and James Shirley, the fine dramatist and poet, whose immortal couplet has often been murmured in such solemn haunts as these:

Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.

Shirley was one of the most fertile, accomplished, admirable, and admired of writers, during the greater part of his life (1596-1666), and the study of his writing amply rewards the diligence of the student. His plays, about forty in number, of which "The Traitor" is deemed the best tragedy and "The Lady of Pleasure" the best comedy, comprehend a wide variety of subject and exhibit refinement, deep feeling, and sustained fluency of graceful expression. His name is associated with St. Albans, where he dwelt as a school-teacher, and, in London, with Gray's Inn, where at one time he resided.



CANTERBURY [Footnote: From "Two Months Abroad." Printed privately. (1878.)]


An Anglo-Saxon man may get down to first principles in Canterbury. He reaches the dividing point in England between the old faith of Pagans and the new religion of Jesus the Christ. The founder of the new gospel had been dead five hundred years when England accepted Him, and acceptance came only after the Saxon King Ethelbert had married Bertha, daughter of a Frankish prince. Here in Canterbury Ethelbert held his court. Bertha, like her father, was a Christian. After her marriage, Bertha herself for some years held Christian services here alone in little St. Martin's Church, but Ethelbert still loved his idols; indeed, for many years, he continued to worship Odin and Thor. St. Patrick had been in Ireland a full century before this.

Bertha as a Christian stood almost alone in Saxon England, but her persistence at last so wrought upon Ethelbert that he wrote a letter to Pope Gregory the Great, asking that a missionary be sent to England. This was in the sixth century. St. Augustine and forty monks were dispatched by Gregory to the English shore. To-day I have seen the church where this great missionary preached. It still contains the font from which he baptized his many English converts. In this church King Ethelbert himself embraced Christianity, and so it was that the union of Church and State was here effected. Canterbury then became the mother of the Church of England—a title she has retained through all succeeding years.

Few towns in England can interest an educated man more. Its foundation dates from years before the Christian era—how long before no man knows. It is rich in history, secular as well as ecclesiastical. The Black Prince, beloved and admired as few princes ever were, had a strong attachment for it, and here lies buried. Opposite his tomb sleeps Henry IV, the king who dethroned Richard II, son of this same Black Prince. Thomas a Becket, and those marvelous pilgrimages that followed his murder for three hundred years, have given it lasting renown. The "father of English poetry" has still further immortalized it in his "Tales." Indeed, there are few towns possessing so many claims on the attention of the churchman, the antiquarian, and the man of letters.

One of the densest fogs I ever knew settled upon the ancient town the morning after my arrival. It was impossible to see clearly across streets. This fog increased the gloom which long ago came over these ancient monuments and seemed to add something unreal to the air of solemn greatness that appeared in every street and corner. Chance threw me into Mercury Lane. Here at once was historic ground. On a corner of the lane stands the very old inn that is mentioned by Chaucer as the resort of the pilgrims whose deeds he has celebrated. It is now used by a linen-draper. The original vaulted cellars and overhanging upper stories still remain.

Pressing onward, I soon reached a Gothic gateway, handsomely carved, but sadly old and decayed. It led into the grass-covered cathedral yard. Through the thick fog could now be distinguished some of the lofty outlines of the majestic cathedral. Its central tower, which is among the best specimens of the pointed style in England, could be seen faintly as it rose ponderously into the clouded air. No picture, no figures, no mere letter, can place before the reader's mind this enormous edifice. Its total length is 520 feet—Westminster Abbey is more than 100 feet less. As we enter, the immensity of it grows. It is a beautiful theory that these great Gothic churches, as outgrowths of the spirit of Christianity, in their largeness and in the forms of their windows and aisles, were meant to represent the universality and lofty ideals of the Christian faith. Pagans worshiped largely in family temples which none but the rich could build. The new faith opened its temples to all men, and it built churches large enough for all classes and conditions to enter and find room.

Two styles of architecture are shown in the interior of Canterbury, Norman and Early Gothic. In the former style are the transept, choir and Becket chapel, each with its noble series of lofty columns and arches. Beneath the choir and chapel is a crypt, also Norman and the oldest part of the cathedral, some of it undoubtedly dating from St. Augustine's time. He is known to have built a church soon after his arrival upon ground formerly occupied by Christians in the Roman army, and this is believed to be its site. The crypt, in a splendid state of preservation, extends under the entire Norman portion of the building.

When the Gothic style came into vogue, succeeding the Norman, the remainder of the present edifice was added. Either part—Norman or Gothic—would in itself make a large church. One will meet few grander naves anywhere than this Gothic nave in Canterbury, formed of white stone and wonderfully symmetrical in all its outlines. A screen, richly wrought, divides the Norman from the Gothic part. Two flights of stone steps lead from one to the other. It will not be easy to forget the impression made that dark December morning when I entered the little doorway of this cathedral and first walked down its long, gray, lofty nave to this flight of steps. The chanting in the choir of the morning service which echoed throughout the vast edifice gave profound solemnity to a scene that can never pass from recollection.

When the service had closed, an intelligent verger acted as my guide. New chapels and aisles seemed to open in all directions. Before we had completed the circuit, it seemed as if we were going through another Westminster Abbey. In one cornear is the "Warrior's Chapel," crowded with the tombs of knights whose effigies, in full armor, lie recumbent on elaborate bases. Henry IV. and his second queen lie in the Becket Chapel under an elegant canopy, between two immense Norman pillars. On the other side, between two other pillars, lies the Black Prince, with recumbent statue in full armor. Suspended above the canopy are his coat of mail and the helmet and shield he wore at Cressy.

In the center of this chapel, and between these two monuments, formerly stood Thomas a Becket's famous shrine. The chapel was added to the cathedral for the express purpose of receiving his remains. At the height of the pilgrimages, about 100,000 people are said to have visited it every year. The steps that lead to it show how they were deeply worn by pilgrims, who ascended in pairs on their knees. Where stood the shrine the pavement has also been worn deeply down to the shape of the human knee by pilgrims while in prayer. Each pilgrim brought an offering, and nothing less than gold was accepted. Not alone the common people, but princes, kings and great church dignitaries from foreign lands came with gifts. Erasmus was here in 1510 and wrote of the Becket shrine that it "shone and glittered with the rarest and most precious jewels of an extraordinary largeness, some larger than the egg of a goose."

The brilliant duration of these pilgrimages came finally to a sudden end. During the Reformation, Henry VIII. seized and demolished the shrine. The treasure, filling two large chests, and which eight men could with difficulty carry, was seized, and on the adjoining pavement the bones of the saint were burned. Not a single relic of Becket now remains in Canterbury. With no ordinary feeling does one stand amid the scene of this most interesting and curious chapter in church history. Not far from the shrine is the place where the murder of Becket was committed. You are shown the actual stone that was stained with his blood. A piece of this stone, about four inches square, was cut out of the pavement at the time of the murder and sent to Rome, where it is still preserved. Among many interesting tombs not already referred to are those of the great St. Dunstan; of Admiral Rooke, the hero of Gibraltar; of Stephen Langton (immortal with Magna Charta), and of Archbishop Pole, of Mary Tudor's time, who died the same day as that queen, and thus made clear Elizabeth's path to a restoration of Protestantism.

After the cathedral, the most interesting place in Canterbury is St. Martin's Church. With few exceptions—including, perhaps, a very early and well-preserved church in Ravenna—it is doubted if an older Christian church now remains in Europe. There certainly is none that can claim more interest for Englishmen and for descendants of Englishmen in the New World. St. Martin's is somewhat removed from the town, where it stands alone on a sloping knoll, and is very simple in form. The tower that rises over the doorway is built of plain Roman brick and broken flint stones, and has occasionally a piece of drest stone on corners. The tower is square and rises about ten feet above the roof. Almost any mason could have built this church. A luxuriant growth of ivy covers nearly all its parts. Rude in outline and finish are all its parts, ivy has added to St. Martin's the only beauty it could possibly claim.

The interior bears heavier marks of age than do the walls outside. The chancel has walls built almost entirely of Roman brick, and the nave is without columns. The old font—certainly one of the first constructed in England—stands in the chancel. It was probably from this font that King Ethelbert was baptized. Both chronicle and tradition say good Bertha was buried here. A recess in the wall of the chancel contains an old stone coffin, which is believed to contain the dust of England's first Christian queen. Standing within this ancient structure, one feels that he has reached the source for Anglo-Saxon people of this modern faith, Christianity, and the civilization it has given to the world. A new race of pilgrims, as numerous as those who went to Becket's shrine, might well find as worthy an object of their gifts and their journeys in this ivy-mantled relic of ancient days.

OLD YORK [Footnote: From "Gray Days and Gold." By arrangement with the publishers, Moffat, Yard & Co. Copyright by William Winter, 1890.]


The pilgrim to York stands in the center of the largest shire in England, and is surrounded by castles and monasteries, now mostly in ruins, but teeming with those associations of history and literature that are the glory of this delightful land. From the summit of the great central tower of the cathedral, which is reached by 237 steps, I gazed, one morning, over the vale of York and beheld one of the loveliest spectacles that ever blest the eyes of man. The wind was fierce, the sun brilliant, and the vanquished storm-clouds were streaming away before the northern blast. Far beneath lay the red-roofed city, its devious lanes and its many great churches,—crumbling relics of ancient ecclesiastical power,—distinctly visible. Through the plain, and far away toward the south and east, ran the silver thread of the Ouse, while all around, as far as the eye could see, stretched forth a smiling landscape of green meadow and cultivated field; here a patch of woodland, and there a silver gleam of wave; here a manor house nestled amid stately trees, and there an ivy-covered fragment of ruined masonry; and everywhere the green lines of the flowering hedge....

In the city that lies at your feet stood once the potent Constantine, to be proclaimed Emperor, A.D. 306, and to be vested with the imperial purple of Rome. In the original York Minster (the present is the fourth church that has been erected upon this site) was buried that valiant soldier, "old Siward," whom "gracious England" lent to the Scottish cause, under Malcolm and Macduff, when time at length was ripe for the ruin of Glamis and Cawdor. Close by is the field of Stamford, where Harold defeated the Norwegians with terrible slaughter, only nine days before he was himself defeated, and slain, at Hastings. Southward, following the line of the Ouse, you look down upon the ruins of Clifford's Tower, built by King William the Conqueror in 1068, and destroyed by the explosion of its powder magazine in 1684. Not far away is the battlefield of Towton. King Henry the Sixth and Queen Margaret were waiting in York for news of the event of that fatal battle,—which, in its effect, made them exiles, and bore to supremacy the rightful standard of the White Rose. In this church King Edward the Fourth was crowned, 1464, and King Richard the Third was proclaimed king and had his second coronation.

Southward you can see the open space called the Pavement, connecting with Parliament Street, and the red brick church of St. Crux. In the Pavement the Earl of Northumberland was beheaded for treason against Queen Elizabeth, in 1572, and in St. Crux, one of Wren's churches, his remains lie buried, beneath a dark blue slab which is shown to visitors. A few miles away, but easily within reach of your vision, is the field of Marston Moor, where the impetuous Prince Rupert imperiled and well-nigh lost the cause of King Charles the First in 1644; and as you look toward that fatal spot you almost hear, in the chamber of your fancy, the paeans of thanksgiving for the victory, that were uttered in the church beneath. Cromwell, then a subordinate officer in the Parliamentary army, was one of the worshipers. Of the fifteen kings, from William of Normandy to Henry of Windsor, whose sculptured effigies appear upon the chancel screen in York Minster, there is scarcely one who has not worshiped in this cathedral....

There it stands, symbolizing, as no other object on earth can ever do, except one of its own great kindred, the promise of immortal life to man and man's pathetic faith in that promise. Dark and lonely it comes back upon my vision, but during all hours of its daily and nightly life sentient, eloquent, vital, participating in all the thought, conduct, and experience of those who dwell around it....

York is the loftiest of all the English cathedrals, and the third in length,—both St. Alban's and Winchester being longer. The present structure is 600 years old, and more than 200 years were occupied in the building of it. They show you, in the crypt, some fine remains of the Norman church that preceded it on the same site, together with traces of the still older Saxon church that preceded the Norman. The first one was of wood, and was totally destroyed. The Saxon remains are a fragment of stone staircase and a piece of wall built in the ancient herring-bone fashion. The Norman remains are four clustered columns, embellished in the zig-zag style. There is not much of commemorative statuary at York, and what there is of it was placed chiefly in the chancel.

YORK AND LINCOLN COMPARED [Footnote: From "English Towns and Districts."]


The towers of Lincoln, simply as towers, are immeasurably finer than those of York; but the front of York, as a front, far surpasses the front of Lincoln.

As for the general outline, there can be no doubt as to the vast superiority of Lincoln. Lincoln has sacrificed a great deal to the enormous pitch of its roofs, but it has its reward in the distant view of the outside. The outline of York is spoiled by the incongruity between the low roofs of the nave and choir and the high roofs of the transepts. The dumpiness of the central tower of York—which is, in truth, the original Norman tower cased—can not be wholly made a matter of blame to the original builders. For it is clear that some finish, whether a crown like those at Newcastle and Edinburgh or any other, was intended. Still the proportion which is solemn in Romanesque becomes squat in perpendicular, and, if York has never received its last finish, Lincoln has lost the last finish which it received. Surely no one who is not locally sworn to the honor of York can doubt about preferring the noble central tower of Lincoln, soaring still, even tho shorn of its spire. The eastern transept, again, is far more skilfully managed at Lincoln than at York. It may well be doubted whether such a transept is really an improvement; but if it is to be there at all, it is certainly better to make it the bold and important feature which it is at Lincoln, than to leave it, as it is at York, half afraid, as it were, to proclaim its own existence.

Coming to the east end, we again find, as at the west, Lincoln throwing away great advantages by a perverse piece of sham. The east window of Lincoln is the very noblest specimen of the pure and bold tracery of its own date. But it is crusht, as it were, by the huge gable window above it—big enough to be the east window of a large church—and the aisles, whose east windows are as good on their smaller scale as the great window, are absurdly finished with sham gables, destroying the real and natural outline of the whole composition. At York we have no gables at all; the vast east window, with its many flimsy mullions, is wonderful rather than beautiful; still the east end of York is real, and so far it surpasses that of Lincoln.

On entering either of these noble churches, the great fault to be found is the lack of apparent height. To some extent this is due to a cause common to both. We are convinced that both churches are too long. The eastern part of Lincoln—the angels' choir—is in itself one of the loveliest of human works; the proportion of the side elevations and the beauty of the details are both simply perfect. But its addition has spoiled the minster as a whole. The vast length at one unbroken height gives to the eastern view of the inside the effect of looking through a tube, and the magnificent east window, when seen from the western part of the choir, is utterly dwarfed. And the same arrangement is open to the further objection that it does not fall in with the ecclestiastical arrangements of the building....

In the nave of York, looking eastward or westward, it is hard indeed to believe that we are in a church only a few feet lower than Westminster or Saint Ouens. The height is utterly lost, partly through the enormous width, partly through the low and crushing shape of the vaulting-arch. The vault, it must be remembered, is an imitation of an imitation, a modern copy of a wooden roof made to imitate stone. This imitation of stone construction in wood runs through the greater part of the church; it comes out specially in the transepts, where a not very successful attempt is made to bring the gable windows within the vault—the very opposite to the vast space lost in the roofs at Lincoln. Yet with all this, many noble views may be got in York nave and transepts, provided only the beholder takes care never to look due east or west. The western view is still further injured by the treatment of the west window—in itself an admirable piece of tracery—which fits into nothing, and seems cut through the wall at an arbitrary point. But the nave elevation, taken bay by bay, is admirable. Looking across out of the aisle—the true way to judge—the real height at last comes out, and we are reminded of some of the most stately minsters of France....

DURHAM [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870 and 1898.]


Durham Cathedral has one advantage over the others I have seen, there being no organ-screen, nor any sort of partition between the choir and nave; so that we saw its entire length, nearly 500 feet, in one vista. The pillars of the nave are immensely thick, but hardly of proportionate height, and they support the round Norman arch; nor is there, as far as I remember, a single pointed arch in the cathedral. The effect is to give the edifice an air of heavy grandeur. It seems to have been built before the best style of church architecture had established itself; so that it weighs upon the soul, instead of helping it to aspire. First, there are these round arches, supported by gigantic columns; then, immediately above, another row of round arches, behind which is the usual gallery that runs, as it were, in the thickness of the wall, around the nave of the cathedral; then, above all, another row of round arches, enclosing the windows of the clerestory.

The great pillars are ornamented in various ways—some with a great spiral groove running from bottom to top; others with two spirals, ascending in different directions, so as to cross over one another; some are fluted or channeled straight up and down; some are wrought with chevrons, like those on the sleeve of a police inspector. There are zigzag cuttings and carvings, which I do not know how to name scientifically, round the arches of the doors and windows; but nothing that seems to have flowered out spontaneously, as natural incidents of a grand and beautiful design. In the nave, between the columns of the side aisles, I saw one or two monuments....

I left my seat, and after strolling up and down the aisle a few times sallied forth into the churchyard. On the cathedral door there is a curious old knocker, in the form of a monstrous face, which was placed there, centuries ago, for the benefit of fugitives from justice, who used to be entitled to sanctuary here. The exterior of the cathedral, being huge, is therefore grand; it has a great central tower, and two at the western end; and reposes in vast and heavy length, without the multitude of niches, and crumbling statues, and richness of detail, that make the towers and fronts of some cathedrals so endlessly interesting. One piece of sculpture I remember—a carving of a cow, a milkmaid, and a monk, in reference to the legend that the site of the cathedral was, in some way, determined by a woman bidding her cow go home to Dunholme. Cadmus was guided to the site of his destined city in some such way as this.

It was a very beautiful day, and tho the shadow of the cathedral fell on this side, yet, it being about noontide, it did not cover the churchyard entirely, but left many of the graves in sunshine. There were not a great many monuments, and these were chiefly horizontal slabs, some of which looked aged, but on closer inspection proved to be mostly of the present century. I observed an old stone figure, however, half worn away, which seemed to have something like a bishop's miter on its head, and may perhaps have lain in the proudest chapel of the cathedral before occupying its present bed among the grass. About fifteen paces from the central tower, and within its shadow, I found a weather-worn slab of marble, seven or eight feet long, the inscription on which interested me somewhat. It was to the memory of Robert Dodsley, the bookseller, Johnson's acquaintance, who, as his tombstone rather superciliously avers, had made a much better figure as an author than "could have been expected in his rank of life." But, after all, it is inevitable that a man's tombstone should look down on him, or, at all events, comport itself toward him "de haut en bas." I love to find the graves of men connected with literature. They interest me more, even tho of no great eminence, than those of persons far more illustrious in other walks of life. I know not whether this is because I happen to be one of the literary kindred, or because all men feel themselves akin, and on terms of intimacy, with those whom they know, or might have known, in books. I rather believe that the latter is the case.

We went around the edifice, and, passing into the close, penetrated through an arched passage into the crypt, which, methought, was in a better style of architecture than the nave and choir.... Thence we went into the cloisters, which are entire, but not particularly interesting. Indeed, this cathedral has not taken hold of my affections, except in one aspect, when it was exceedingly grand and beautiful.

ELY [Footnote: From "Old England: Its Scenery, Art, and People." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]


I was attracted around by the way of Ely, to see the cathedral there, instead of taking the Huntingdon route more directly to Cambridge. This was quite a loss, for Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon. Hinchinbroke House, the property of his family, now belongs to the Earl of Sandwich.

But Ely Cathedral was not to be lost. It is frozen history as well as "frozen music." I value these old structures because such wealth of English history is embodied in them; their human interest, after all, is greater than their artistic. Ely is said to be derived from "willow," or a kind of willow or ozier island, upon which the abbey and town were built in the midst of marshes. Among these impenetrable marshes Hereward the Saxon retreated; and here, too, we have that bit of genuine antique poetry which from its simplicity must have described a true scene; and we catch a glimpse of that pleasing and soothing picture, amid those rude and bloody days, of King Canute and his knights resting for a moment upon their toiling oars to hear the vesper song of the monks.

The foundation of the cathedral was laid in 1083, and it was finished in 1534. In printed lists of its bishops, as in those of other English cathedral churches, I have noticed that they are given in their chronological succession, right on, the bishops of the Reformed Church being linked upon the Roman Catholic bishops. The bishopric of Ely was partially carved out of the bishopric of Lincoln, and comprizes Cambridge in its jurisdiction. It has, therefore, had all the riches, influence, taste, and learning of the University to bear upon the restoration of its noble old cathedral; and of all the old churches of England this one exhibits indications of the greatest modern care and thought bestowed upon it. It glows with new stained-glass windows, splendid marbles, exquisite sculptures, and bronze work. Its western tower, 266 feet in height, turreted spires, central octagon tower, flying buttresses, unequaled length of 517 feet, and its vast, irregular bulk soaring above the insignificant little town at its foot, make it a most commanding object seen from the flat plain.

What is called the octagon, which has taken the place of the central tower that had fallen, is quite an original feature of the church. Eight arches, rising from eight ponderous piers, form a windowed tower, or lantern, which lets in a flood of light upon the otherwise gloomy interior. Above the keystone of each arch is the carved figure of a saint. The new brasses of the choir are wonderfully elaborate. The bronze scroll and vine work of the gates and lamps, for grace and Oriental luxuriance of fancy, for their arabesque and flower designs, might fitly have belonged to King Solomon's Temple of old. The modern woodwork of the choir compares also well with the ancient woodwork carving. Gold stars on azure ground, and all vivid coloring and gilding, are freely used. The new "reredos," or altar screen, is one marvelous crystallization of sculptures. The ancient Purbeck marble pillars have been scraped and re-polished, and form a fine contrast to the white marbles on which they are set. If, indeed, one wishes to see what modern enthusiasm, art, and lavish wealth can do for the restoration and adorning of one of these old temples, he must go to Ely Cathedral.

SALISBURY [Footnote: From "English Note Books." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1870 and 1898.]


I do not remember any cathedral with so fine a site as this, rising up out of the center of a beautiful green, extensive enough to show its full proportions, relieved and insulated from all other patchwork and impertinence of rusty edifices. It is of gray stone, and looks as perfect as when just finished, and with the perfection, too, that could not have come in less than six centuries of venerableness, with a view to which these edifices seem to have been built. A new cathedral would lack the last touch to its beauty and grandeur. It needs to be mellowed and ripened, like some pictures; altho I suppose this awfulness of antiquity was supplied, in the minds of the generation that built cathedrals, by the sanctity which they attributed to them.

Salisbury Cathedral is far more beautiful than that of York, the exterior of which was really disagreeable to my eye; but this mighty spire and these multitudinous gray pinnacles and towers ascend toward heaven with a kind of natural beauty, not as if man had contrived them. They might be fancied to have grown up, just as the spires of a tuft of grass do, at the same time that they have a law of propriety and regularity among themselves. The tall spire is of such admirable proportion that it does not seem gigantic; and, indeed, the effect of the whole edifice is of beauty rather than weight and massiveness. Perhaps the bright, balmy sunshine in which we saw it contributed to give it a tender glory, and to soften a little its majesty.

When we went in, we heard the organ, the forenoon service being near conclusion. If I had never seen the interior of York Cathedral, I should have been quite satisfied, no doubt, with the spaciousness of this nave and these side aisles, and the height of their arches, and the girth of these pillars; but with that recollection in my mind they fell a little short of grandeur. The interior is seen to disadvantage, and in a way the builder never meant it to be seen; because there is little or no painted glass, nor any such mystery as it makes, but only a colorless, common daylight, revealing everything without remorse. There is a general light hue, moreover, like that of whitewash, over the whole of the roof and walls of the interior, pillar, monuments, and all; whereas, originally, every pillar was polished, and the ceiling was ornamented in brilliant colors, and the light came, many-hued, through the windows, on all this elaborate beauty, in lieu of which there is nothing now but space.

Between the pillars that separate the nave from the side aisles there are ancient tombs, most of which have recumbent statues on them. One of these is Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, son of Fair Rosamond, in chain mail; and there are many other warriors and bishops, and one cross-legged Crusader, and on one tombstone a recumbent skeleton, which I have likewise seen in two or three other cathedrals. The pavement of the aisles and nave is laid in great part with flat tombstones, the inscriptions on which are half obliterated, and on the walls, especially in the transepts, there are tablets, among which I saw one to the poet Bowles, who was a canon of the cathedral....

Between the nave and the choir, as usual, there is a screen that half destroys the majesty of the building, by abridging the spectator of the long vista which he might otherwise have of the whole interior at a glance. We peeped through the barrier, and saw some elaborate monuments in the chancel beyond; but the doors of the screen are kept locked, so that the vergers may raise a revenue by showing strangers through the richest part of the cathedral. By and by one of these vergers came through the screen with a gentleman and lady whom he was taking around, and we joined ourselves to the party. He showed us into the cloisters, which had long been neglected and ruinous, until the time of Bishop Dennison, the last prelate, who has been but a few years dead. This bishop has repaired and restored the cloisters in faithful adherence to the original plan; and they now form a most delightful walk about a pleasant and verdant enclosure, in the center of which sleeps good Bishop Dennison, with a wife on either side of him, all three beneath broad flat stones.

Most cloisters are darksome and grim; but these have a broad paved walk beneath the vista of arches, and are light, airy, and cheerful; and from one corner you can get the best possible view of the whole height and beautiful proportion of the cathedral spire. On one side of this cloistered walk seems to be the length of the nave of the cathedral. There is a square of four such sides; and of places for meditation, grave, yet not too somber, it seemed to me one of the best. While we stayed there, a jackdaw was walking to and fro across the grassy enclosure, and haunting around the good bishop's grave. He was clad in black, and looked like a feathered ecclesiastic; but I know not whether it were Bishop Dennison's ghost or that of some old monk.

On one side of the cloisters, and contiguous to the main body of the cathedral, stands the chapterhouse. Bishop Dennison had it much at heart to repair this part of the holy edifice; and, if I mistake not, did begin the work; for it had been long ruinous, and in Cromwell's time his dragoons stationed their horses there. Little progress, however, had been made in the repairs when the bishop died; and it was decided to restore the building in his honor, and by way of monument to him. The repairs are now nearly completed; and the interior of this chapter-house gave me the first idea, anywise adequate, of the splendor of these Gothic church edifices. The roof is sustained by one great central pillar of polished marble—small pillars clustered about a great central column, which rises to the ceiling, and there gushes out with various beauty, that overflows all the walls; as if the fluid idea had sprung out of that fountain, and grown solid in what we see. The pavement is elaborately ornamented; the ceiling is to be brilliantly gilded and painted, as it was of yore, and the tracery and sculptures around the walls are to be faithfully renewed from what remains of the original patterns.

EXETER [Footnote: From "Cathedral Days." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Little, Brown & Co. Copyright, 1887.]


A very obvious part of the charm of Exeter Cathedral lies in the fact that it has to be sought for. It is so well and dexterously concealed from view, as one passes along High Street, that one might be some days in town without so much as suspecting that one of the finest cathedrals in England was a near neighbor. It was almost by chance, I remember, that as we turned into a long, quaint alley-way, filled up with little, low shops, we caught a glimpse of a green plot of grass and some trees in the distance. Our guiding instinct divined these to be the cathedral close....

To analyze the beauties of Exeter is only to add another note to one's joy in them, their quality and rarity being of such an order as to warrant one's cooler admiration. The front is as unique in design as it is architecturally beautiful. There is that rarest of features in English cathedrals—an elaborately sculptured screen, thoroughly honest in construction. In originality of conception this front is perhaps unrivalled, at least on English soil; there are three receding stories, so admirably proportioned as to produce a beautiful effect in perspective. The glory of the great west window is further enhanced by the graduated arcades which have the appearance of receding behind it. Above the west window rises a second and smaller triangular window in the gabled roof.

Thus the triangular motif is sustained throughout, from the three low doorways in the screen up to the far-distant roof. This complete and harmonious front is nobly enriched by the splendid note of contrast in the two transeptal Norman towers, whose massive structural elegance and elaborateness of detail lend an extraordinary breadth and solidity to the edifice.

The grandeur which distinguishes the exterior is only a fitting preparation for the solemnity and splendor of the interior. Passing beneath the thickly massed sculptures of the low portals, the effect of the vastness of the nave is striking in its immensity. Curiously enough, in this instance, this effect of immensity is not due to an unbroken stretch of nave-aisles or to a lengthy procession of pier-arches, but to the magnificent sweep of the unencumbered vaulting in the roof. An organ screen intercepts the line of vision at the entrance to the choir. This, however, is the sole obstruction which the eye encounters. Above, the great roof, with its unbroken 300 feet of interlacing lines, rises like some mighty forest, its airy loftiness giving to the entire interior a certain open-air atmosphere of breadth and vastness....

What most deeply concerned us was the desire to secure an uninterrupted session of contemplative enjoyment. We had lost our hearts to the beauty of the cathedral, and cared little or nothing for a clever dissecting of its parts. We came again and again; and it was the glory of the cathedral as a whole—its expressive, noble character, its breadth and grandeur, the poetry of its dusky aisles, and the play of the rich shadows about its massive columns—that charmed and enchained us. It was one of the few English cathedrals, we said to each other, that possess the Old-World continental charm, the charm of perpetual entertainment, and whose beauty has just the right quality of richness and completeness to evoke an intense and personal sympathy; for in all the greatest triumphs of art there is something supremely human.

LICHFIELD [Footnote: From "Our Old Home." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]


I know not what rank the Cathedral of Lichfield holds among its sister edifices in England, as a piece of magnificent architecture. Except that of Chester (the grim and simple nave of which stands yet unrivaled in my memory), and one or two small ones in North Wales, hardly worthy of the name of cathedrals, it was the first that I had seen. To my uninstructed vision, it seemed the object best worth gazing at in the whole world; and now, after beholding a great many more, I remember it with less prodigal admiration only because others are as magnificent as itself. The traces remaining in my memory represent it as airy rather than massive. A multitude of beautiful shapes appeared to be comprehended within its single outline; it was a kind of kaleidoscopic mystery, so rich a variety of aspects did it assume from each altered point of view, through the presentation of a different face, and the rearrangement of its peaks and pinnacles and the three battlemented towers, with the spires that shot heavenward from all three, but one loftier than its fellows.

Thus it imprest you, at every change, as a newly created structure of the passing moment, in which yet you lovingly recognized the half-vanished structure of the instant before, and felt, moreover, a joyful faith in the indestructible existence of all this cloudlike vicissitude. A Gothic cathedral is surely the most wonderful work which mortal man has yet achieved, so vast, so intricate, and so profoundly simple, with such strange, delightful recesses in its grand figure, so difficult to comprehend within one idea, and yet all so consonant that it ultimately draws the beholder and his universe into its harmony. It is the only thing in the world that is vast enough and rich enough.

Inside of the minster there is a long and lofty nave, transepts of the same height, and side-aisles and chapels, dim nooks of holiness, where in Catholic times the lamps were continually burning before the richly decorated shrines of saints. In the audacity of my ignorance, as I humbly acknowledge it to have been, I criticized this great interior as too much broken into compartments, and shorn of half its rightful impressiveness by the interposition of a screen betwixt the nave and chancel. It did not spread itself in breadth, but ascended to the roof in lofty narrowness.

A great deal of white marble decorates the old stonework of the aisles, in the shape of altars, obelisks, sarcophagi, and busts. Most of these memorials are commemorative of people locally distinguished, especially the deans and canons of the cathedral, with their relatives and families; and I found but two monuments of personages whom I had ever heard of—one being Gilbert Walmesley, and the other Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a literary acquaintance of my boyhood. It was really pleasant to meet her there; for after a friend has lain in the grave far into the second century, she would be unreasonable to require any melancholy emotions in a chance interview at her tombstone. It adds a rich charm to sacred edifices, this time-honored custom of burial in churches, after a few years, at least, when the mortal remains have turned to dust beneath the pavement, and the quaint devices and inscriptions still speak to you above....

A large space in the immediate neighborhood of the cathedral is called the Close, and comprises beautifully kept lawns and a shadowy walk, bordered by the dwellings of the ecclesiastical dignitaries of the diocese. All this row of episcopal, canonical, and clerical residences has an air of the deepest quiet, repose, and well-protected, tho not inaccessible seclusion. They seemed capable of including everything that a saint could desire, and a great many more things than most of us sinners generally succeed in acquiring. Their most marked feature is a dignified comfort, looking as if no disturbance or vulgar intrusiveness could ever cross their thresholds, encroach upon their ornamented lawns, or straggle into the beautiful gardens that surround them with flower-beds and rich clumps of shrubbery. The episcopal palace is a stately mansion of stone, built somewhat in the Italian style, and bearing on its front the figures of 1687, as the date of its erection. A large edifice of brick, which, if I remember, stood next to the palace, I took to be the residence of the second dignitary of the cathedral; and in that case it must have been the youthful home of Addison, whose father was Dean of Lichfield. I tried to fancy his figure on the delightful walk that extends in front of those priestly abodes, from which and the interior lawns it is separated by an open-work iron fence, lined with rich old shrubbery, and overarched by a minster-aisle of venerable trees.

WINCHESTER [Footnote: From "Visits to Remarkable Places."]


On entering the cathedral enclosure on its north side from High Street, you are at once struck with the venerable majesty and antique beauty of the fine old pile before you, and with the sacred quietude of the enclosure itself. In the heart of this tranquil city it has yet a deeper tranquillity of its own. Its numerous tombs and headstones, scattered over its greensward, and its lofty avenues of limetrees, seem to give you a peaceful welcome to the Christian fame and resting-place of so many generations. If you enter at the central passage, you tread at once on the eastern foundations of the Conqueror's palace, and pass close to the spot on which formerly rose the western towers of Alfred's Newan Mynstre, and where lay his remains, after having been removed from the old mynstre, till Hyde Abbey was built.

It is impossible to walk over this ground, now so peaceful, without calling to mind what scenes of havoc and blood, of triumph and ecclesiastical pomp, it has witnessed—the butchery of the persecution of Diocletian, when the Christians fell here by thousands; the repeated massacres and conflagrations of the Danes; the crowning of Saxon and of English kings; the proud processions of kings and queens, nobles, mitered prelates, friars, and monks, to offer thanksgivings for victory, or penance for sins, from age to age; and, finally, the stern visitation of the Reformers and the Cromwellian troopers.

The venerable minster itself bears on its aspect the testimonies of its own antiquity. The short and massy tower in the center, the work of Bishop Walkelin, the cousin of the Conqueror, has the very look of that distant age, and, to eyes accustomed to the lofty and rich towers of some of our cathedrals, has an air of meanness. Many people tell you that it never was finished; but besides that there is no more reason that the tower should remain unfinished through so many centuries than any other part of the building, we know that it was the character of the time, of which the tower of the Norman church of St. Cross affords another instance just at hand. In fact, the spire was then unknown.

Having arrived at the west front, we can not avoid pausing to survey the beauty of its workmanship—that of the great William of Wykeham; its great central doorway, with its two smaller side-doors; the fretted gallery over it, where the bishop in his pontificals was wont to stand and bless the people, or absolve them from the censures of the church; its noble window, rich with perpendicular tracery; its two slender lantern turrets; its crowning tabernacle, with its statue of the builder; and its pinnacled side aisles.

I must confess that of all the cathedrals which I have entered, none gave me such a sensation of surprize and pleasure. The loftiness, the space, the vast length of the whole unbroken roof above, I believe not exceeded by any other in England; the two rows of lofty clustered pillars; the branching aisles, with their again branching and crossing tracery; the long line of the vaulted roof, embossed with armorial escutcheons and religious devices of gorgeous coloring; the richly painted windows; and, below, the carved chantries and mural monuments, seen amid the tempered light; and the sober yet delicate hue of the Portland stone, with which the whole noble fabric is lined, produce a tout ensemble of sublime loveliness which is not easily to be rivaled....

But we have made the circuit of the church without beholding the choir, and we must not quit its precincts without entering there. Ascending the flight of steps which lead to it, we front that elegant screen with which modern good taste has replaced the screen of Inigo Jones, who, blind to all the beauty of the Gothic architecture, not only placed here a Grecian screen, but also affixt a Grecian bishop's throne to the beautiful Gothic canopy-work of the choir. In the niches of this screen are two bronze statues of James I and Charles I.

We are now on the spot of the ancient rood-loft, where formerly stood the great rood, or crucifix, with the attendant figures of the Virgin and St. John, of vast size and value, being of silver, which were bequeathed to the minster by the notorious Archbishop Stigand, before the Conquest. As we enter the choir through the door in the screen, we are struck with the great beauty of the place. Around us rises the rich dark woodwork of the stalls, contrasting well with the pale delicacy of the walls above.

Overhead is seen to swell the fine vault of the roof, with its rich tracery, and its central line, and orbs at the junction of its timbers, embossed with bold armorial shields of the houses of Tudor, Lancaster, and Castile, as united in John of Gaunt and Beaufort, with those of various episcopal sees, and stretching on to the splendid east window in that direction, emblazoned with "the several implements of our Savior's Passion—the cross, crown of thorns, nails, hammer, pillar, scourges, reed, sponge, lance, sword, with the ear of Malchus upon it, lantern, ladder, cock, and dice; also the faces of Pilate and his wife, of the Jewish high priest, with a great many others, too numerous to be described, but worthy of notice for the ingenuity of design," and the richness of their tints. They are, indeed, emblazoned in the most gorgeous colors—scarlet, blue and gold; and, to a fanciful eye, may resemble, many of them, huge sacred beetles of lordly shapes and hues.

On each side rise up, into the very roof, the tall pointed windows glowing with figures of saints, prophets, and apostles, who seem to be ranged on either hand, in audience of the divine persons in the great east window—the Savior and the Virgin, with apostles and other saints. But what is the most striking to the eye and mind of the spectator is to behold, on the floor of the sanctuary before him, a plain beveled stone of dark marble—the tomb of William Rufus; and arranged on the top of the beautiful stone partitions on each side of the sanctuary, dividing it from the aisles, are six mortuary chests, three on a side, containing the bones of many of the most eminent Saxon princes. The bones which, from the repeated rebuildings and alterings of the cathedral, must have been in danger of being disturbed, and the places of their burial rendered obscure, or lost altogether, Bishop de Blois, in the twelfth century, collected and placed in coffins of lead over the Holy Hole. At the rebuilding of the choir, as it was necessary again to remove them, Bishop Fox had them deposited in these chests, and placed in this situation. The chests are carved, gilt, and surmounted with crowns, with the names and epitaphs, in Latin verse and black letter, inscribed upon them.

But if we had quitted Winchester Cathedral without paying a visit to the grave of one of the best and most cheerful-hearted old men who lie in it, we should have committed a great fault. No, we stood on the stone in the floor of Prior Silkstede's chapel in the old Norman south transept, which is inscribed with the name of Izaak Walton. There lies that prince of fishermen, who, when Milner wrote his history of this city, was so little thought of that he is not once mentioned in the whole huge quarto!

WELLS [Footnote: From "Old England: Its Scenery, Art and People." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]


The city of Wells, which we now visit, has a romantic situation on the southern slope of the Mendip Hills, twenty miles equi-distant from Bath, Bistol, and Bridgewater. It takes its name from the ancient well dedicated to St. Andrew, which rises within the Episcopal grounds, and runs through the city down the sides of the principal streets in clear, sparkling' streams.

There is no place which, taken altogether, preserves a more antique air of tranquil seclusion than Wells. In the precincts of Chester Cathedral, and at many other points in England, there broods the same antique calm, but here the whole place is pervaded by this reposeful spirit of the past; and this culminates in the neighborhood of St. Andrew's Cathedral, the bishop's palace, the old moat, the conventual buildings, and the three venerable gates, or "eyes," as they are called, of the cathedral yard. The moat about the bishop's palace, overhung by a thick curtain of aged elms mingled with ivy, growing like a warrior's crest upon the high-turreted interior walls, and reflected in deep shadows in the smooth, dark mirror of the water, has a thoroughly feudal look, which is heightened by the drawbridge over the moat, and the frowning castellated gateway. How strange the state of society when a Christian bishop lived in such jealously armed seclusion, behind moated walls and embattled towers! What a commentary, this very name of "the close"! One of these old bishops was himself a famous fighting character, who, at the age of sixty-four, commanded the king's artillery at the battle of Sedgmoor....

The Cathedral of St. Andrew was built upon the site of a still more ancient church founded by Ina, king of the West Saxons in 704. It also goes back to a remote antiquity, for its choir and nave were rebuilt in the middle of the twelfth century. The central tower, which is the noblest and most finished part of the structure, is of the early English style to the roof; the upper part is of the Decorated, with a mixture of the early Perpendicular styles. It has an elegant appearance from its rich pinnacles, and is of a softened and gray tint. Beginning to show signs of sinking, it was raised in the fourteenth century, and was strengthened by the introduction beneath it of inverted buttressing-arches, which give to the interior a strange effect. These arches, architecturally considered, are undoubtedly blemishes, but they are on such a vast scale, and so bold in their forms, and yet so simple, that they do not take away from the plain grandeur of the interior. They are quite Oriental or Saracenic. The top of the eastern window is seen bright and glowing over the lower part of the upper arch. The west front, 235 feet in length, has two square towers, with a central screen terminated by minarets, and is divided into distinct compartments of eight projecting buttresses; all of these projections and recessed parts are covered with rich sculpture and statuary, of which there are 153 figures of life-size, and more than 450 smaller figures....

The other most striking features of Wells Cathedral are the Chapter House and the Ladye Chapel. The first of these, on the rear of the church, is an otagonal structure with pinnacled buttresses at each angle. It is approached from the interior by a worn staircase of 20 steps of noble architectural design. Among the grotesque carvings that line the staircase, I remember in particular one queer old figure with a staff, or rather crutch, thrust in a dragon's mouth, supporting a column. While thus holding up the cathedral with its head and hand above, and choking a writhing dragon beneath, he looks smiling and unconcerned, as if it were an everyday affair with him, as indeed it is. The whole church abounds in these old sculptures, little demoniac figures with big heads, faces with enormous fish mouths, old men with packs on their backs, and angels with huge armfuls of flowers. They seem to let one into the interior chambers of fancy, the imaginative workings of the human mind in the middle ages....

Wells Cathedral, on the whole, is distinguished for a dignified but rich simplicity, arising from its plain large surfaces, mingled and edged here and there with fine-cut and elegant ornamentation. The court and buildings of the Wells Theological College have a thoroughly quaint, old-fashioned look, quiet, rigid, and medieval; as if the students reared there could not but be Churchmen of the "Brother Ignatius" stamp, gentlemen, scholars, and—priests. I can not leave Wells without speaking of the two splendid "cedars of Lebanon" standing in the environs of the church. They are not very tall, but they sweep the ground majestically, and grow in a series of broad, heavy masses of foliage, gracefully undulating in their outline.

BURY ST. EDMUNDS [Footnote: From "The Abbeys of Great Britain."]


The history of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, altho veiled in much legendary and mythical lore, tells, nevertheless, in its actual history of the progress of civilization and of the enlightenment of the human mind. Sigberet, King of the East Angles, is said to have founded the first monastery at Beodericsworth (a town known to the Romans, ancient Britains, Saxons, and Danes), and to have subsequently laid aside his royal dignity by joining the brotherhood which he had established. Following his example of religious devotion, Edmund, last King of the Angles, sacrificed not only his crown but his life in defense of the Christian faith, for he was beheaded by the Danes at Eglesdene in 870....

His head was cast into a forest, and, as the story goes, was miraculously discovered and found to be guarded by a wolf. It was then buried with the body at the village of Hoxne, where it remained until 903. In this year, "the precious, undefiled, uncorrupted body of the glorious king and martyr" was translated to the care of the secular priests at Beodericsworth, since when the town has been called St. Edmundsbury, in memory of the sainted monarch. Other wonderful traditions are associated with the shrine of St. Edmund. Sweyn, the violent Danish king, coming in hot pursuit of a woman who had claimed sanctuary, was miraculously killed by an imaginary spear which came out of the shrine when he was about to seize the woman who was clinging to its side. Bishop Herfastus, too, was struck blind, when on a visit to the abbot, in the attempt to establish his new see in the monastical demesne, and afterward miraculously healed. For centuries the highest in the land brought gifts and laid them before the venerated shrine.

Canute was the actual founder of the monastery proper, for in the eleventh century he brought over Benedictine monks from Hulm, granting them a charter and many benefactions. The monastery yearly became more prosperous, and, with the exception of Glastonbury, exceeded in magnificence and privileges all other ecclestiastical establishments in the country. In the height of its glory it must have been a most beautiful and dignified structure. Leland writes:

"A monastery more noble, whether one considers the endowments, largeness, or unparalleled magnificence, the sun never saw. One might think the monastery alone a city: it has three grand gates for entrances, some whereof are brass, many towers, high walls, and a church than which nothing can be more magnificent."

The immense minster, with its lofty western and central towers, rose above the monastic buildings, which were enclosed by a wall. To the north was a great cloister, with the various conventual offices, to the southwest lay the cemetery and church of St. Mary, while immediately before the west front of the church stood the Norman tower leading to St. James's Church.

Sufficient is left of the reverend walls to convey some idea of the former vastness of the abbey and its attendant buildings. Of the minster itself little remains—some arches of the west front, now converted into private houses, and the bases of the piers which supported the central tower. The site of St. Edmunds' Chapel—the part of the building which contained the famous and much-visited shrine—is at the east end of the church. Besides these relics of the minster, there still exists the Norman tower—built during the time of Abbot Anselm, and formerly known as the principal entrance to the cemetery of St. Edmund, and latterly as the "Churchgate" and bell tower of St. James's Church—the abbot's bridge (Decorated) of three arches; portions of the walls, and the abbey gateway....

First among the abbots of Bury stands the name of Samson, "the wolf who raged among the monks." Many of the brothers had become entangled with Jewish money-lenders in the twelfth century, and Abbot Samson, while protecting the Jews at the time of the massacre, discharged all the debts of his house, established many new rules, and set a godly and strenuous example to his followers. Later, in 1205, the chief barons met at Bury in opposition to King John, and swore at the second meeting, four years later, in the presence of the king and Archbishop Langton, to stand by their cause till the king should be induced to sign the Great Charter, and to establish those liberties which we still enjoy.

GLASTONBURY [Footnote: From "The Abbeys of Great Britain."]


Tho once surrounded by fenland, the Abbey of Glastonbury—a veritable treasure-house of legendary lore—stands now amid orchards and level pasture lands engirt by the river Bure. The majestic Tor overshadows this spot, where, undoubtedly, the first British Christian settlement was established. The name of the new builder of the first early church can never be ascertained, so that in want of more substantial evidence the old legend of St. Joseph of Arimathaea must be accepted, however slight its claims to historical authority. Certain it is that Christianity was introduced into this land on the island of Yniswytryn, or "Isle of Glass" (so called on account of its crystal streams), in the very early centuries.

According to the Arthurian legends, St. Philip, Lazarus, Martha, Mary and Joseph of Arimathaea, having been banished by their countrymen, journeyed to Marseilles, from whence Joseph, with twelve companions and holy women, was sent by St. Philip to Britain. They landed on the southwest coast and made their way to Glastonbury, then Avalon (and so named in allusion to its apple orchards), and by means of preaching and many miraculous deeds persuaded the people to adopt Christianity. Gaining the good will of King Arviragus, they built a church of wattle and twigs on the ground given to them by their royal patron. The Benedictine, with its later developments in Norman times of Augustine and Cluniac orders, was the first religious order introduced into this country. It was instituted in Italy early in the sixth century by St. Benedict of Nursia. Many monasteries established before the Conquest came under its sway, and were, centuries later, after the Dissolution, converted into cathedral churches.

A sharp distinction should be drawn between the monasteries established previous to the Conquest and those subsequently founded by the Cistercian and other orders. The former were national houses—in every way belonging to the English people and untouched by Papal influence; while the latter, which were under the immediate control of the Bishop of Rome, were essentially of foreign foundation....

King Ina, persuaded by St. Aldhelm, rebuilt and reendowed the abbey in the eighth century, renounced his royal state, and lived as an ordinary civilian, being induced to do so by extraordinary devices on the part of his wife Ethelburgh. On one occasion, after King Ina had given a great feast to his barons, he and his queen left the castle and proceeded to another of the royal residences. Before leaving, Ethelburgh had commanded the servants to strip the castle of all its valuables, furniture, etc., and to fill it with rubbish, and to put a litter of pigs in the king's bed. A short distance on their journey, Ethelburgh persuaded the king to return, and, showing him over the desecrated palace, exhorted him to consider the utter worthlessness of all earthly splendor and the advisability of joining her on a pilgrimage to Rome. Imprest by her words, Ina acted as she advised, and later endowed a school in Rome in which Anglo-Saxon children might become acquainted with the customs of foreign countries. Ina and Ethelburgh spent the remainder of their days in privacy in the Holy City.

The famous Dunstau, one of the greatest of ecclesiastical statesmen, was born in Glastonbury, and, after proving his many marvelous capabilities and aptitude for learning, was made abbot of the Benedictine house in his native town in the reign of Edmund the Magnificent. Many strange stories are told of him—the most fantastic, perhaps, being that of his interview with the natural enemy of man, the Devil himself, during which the reverend man became either so irritated or terrified that he was provoked to seize the nose of his ghostly visitor with a pair of red-hot pincers....

The fame belonging to this noble foundation exceeded that of any other great building in England. An old writer tells us, "Kings and queens, not only of the West Saxons, but of other kingdoms; several archbishops and bishops; many dukes; and the nobility of both sexes thought themselves happy in increasing the revenues of this venerable house, to ensure themselves a place of burial therein." The story of the burial of St. Joseph of Arimathaea at Glastonbury, to us a mere shadowy legend, was accepted as a fact in the early English ages, and that it figured in the mind of these worthies as endowing Glastonbury with extraordinary sanctity is beyond doubt.

At the time of the Dissolution no corruption whatever was revealed at Glastonbury, nor any blame recorded against its management. It was still doing splendid work, having daily services and extending its educational influence for miles around. There was but scanty comfort for its inmates, who rested on a straw mattress and bolster on their narrow bedstead in a bare cell, and whose food, duties and discipline were marked by an austere simplicity. Nor were they idle, these monks of Glastonbury—some taught in the abbey school, others toiled in the orchards, and the beauty of the stained glass, designed within the abbey walls, found fame far and wide.

Richard Whiting was Abbot of Glastonbury when, in 1539, Henry VIII. ordered inquiries to be made into the condition and property of the abbey. Altho he recognized the monarch as supreme head of the church, he respected the Glastonbury traditions and met the "visitors" in a spirit of passive resistance. With the object of preserving them from desecration, the abbot had concealed some of the communion vessels, and for this offense the venerable man was tried and condemned to death. His head, white with the touch of eighty years, was fixt upon the abbey gate, and the rest of his body quartered and sent to Bath, Wells, Bridgwater, and Ilchester. The abbey building—one of the most perfect examples of architecture in the land—served as a stone quarry, much of the material being used to make a road over the fenland from Glastonbury to Wells. The revenue at the time of the Dissolution was over L3,000, a big income in those days.

TINTERN [Footnote: From "The Abbeys of Great Britain."]


More than one great artist has immortalized the secluded vale, where, on a bend of the Wye and surrounded by wooded hills, the ruins of Tintern Abbey stand. The somber-looking heights, which close in to the east and west, create the atmosphere of loneliness and separation from the world so sought after by the Cistercian monks, who doubtless found inspiration in the grandeur of the surrounding mountains and in the peacefulness of the sweet valley below. Tho the church of the Early English abbey is roofless and the central tower gone, the noble structure, with its many graceful arches, seems to attest to the spirit of religious fervor and devotion so intimately associated with the history of its gray and lichen-covered walls.

The finest part of the ruins is undoubtedly the church, which, with the exception of the roof and the north piers of the nave, still stands complete. It has a nave of six bays with aisles, a choir of four bays with aisles, the transepts with eastern aisles having two chapels. A transverse Galilee stood formerly beyond the western entrance. In the north transept are remains of the dormitory stairs, and on this side the cloisters, too, were situated. The aumbry, parlor, sacristy, chapterhouse, slype to the infirmary, day-stairs to dormitory and undercroft were on the east side of the cloisters; the postern and river gate, over which was the abbot's lodge on the north side, and also the buttery, refectory, and kitchen. The delicacy of design and execution to be seen in the ruins is unrivaled in the kingdom—the tracery of the windows being particularly fine. The ruined church possesses the grace and lightness of architecture peculiar to the twelfth century, and is, even in its decay, of truly sublime and grand proportions. Time has been unable to obliterate the skilful work of our forefathers, for the Early English transition arches, the delicate molding, and the exquisite stone tracery in the windows still delight the eye. The history of Tintern is almost a hidden page in the chronicles of time. On the surrender of Raglan Castle to the Cromwellian troops by the Marquis of Worcester, the castle was razed to the ground, and with it were lost the abbey records, which had been taken from Tintern when the abbey was granted to the Marquis's ancestor by Henry VIII. It is known, however, that the first foundation on the site was in the hands of a cousin of William the Conqueror, Richard Bienfaite by name. He founded the abbey in 1131, and was succeeded by his nephew, Gilbert "Strongbow." His granddaughter Isabel married the then Earl of Pembroke, and her daughter, marrying Hugh Bigod, brought the estates to the ducal house of Norfolk.



LIVING IN GREAT HOUSES [Footnote: From "England Without and Within." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1881.]

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