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Up the Thames by Edward C. Bruce

1875

WINDSOR CASTLE, FROM ETON.

WINDSOR CASTLE, FROM ETON.

Let our demonstration to-day be on the monarchical citadel of England, the core and nucleus of her kingly associations, her architectural eikon basiliké, Windsor. To reach the famous castle it will not do to lounge along the river. We must cut loose from the suburbs of the suburbs, and launch into a more extended flight. Our destination is nearly an hour distant by rail; and though it does not take us altogether out of sight of the city, it leads us among real farms and genuine villages, tilled and inhabited as they have been since the Plantagenets, instead of market-gardens and villas.

We go to Paddington and try the Great Western, the parent of the broad gauges with no very numerous family, Erie being one of its unfortunate children. That six-foot infant is not up to the horizontal stature of its seven-foot progenitor, but has still sixteen inches too many to fare well in the contest with its little, active, and above all numerous, foes of the four-feet-eight-and-a-half-inch "persuasion." The English and the American giants can sympathize with each other. Both have drained the bitter cup that is tendered by a strong majority to a weak minority. Neither the American nor the British constitution, with their whole admirable array of checks and balances, has shielded them from this evil. In the battle of the gauges both have gone to the wall, and will stay there until they can muster strength enough to reel over into the ranks of their enemies.

This relative debility is, at the same time, more apparent to the stockholders than to their customers. The superstructure and "plant" of the Erie has lately stood interested inspection from abroad with great credit, and that of the Great Western is unexceptionable. The vote of travelers may be safely allotted to the broad gauge. They have more elbow room. The carriages attain the requisite width without unpleasantly, not to say dangerously, overhanging the centre of gravity; and, other things equal, the movement is steadier. Nor is the financial aspect of the question apt to impress gloomily the tourist as he enters the Paddington station and looks around at its blaze of polychrome and richness of decoration generally. As the coach doors are slammed upon you, the guard steps into his "van," the vast drivers, taller than your head plus the regulation stove-pipe, slowly begin their whirl, and you roll majestically forth through a long file of liveried servants of the company, drawn up or in action on the platform, the sensation of patronizing a poverty-stricken corporation is by no means likely to harass you. You cease to realize that the Napoleon of engineers, Monsieur Brunel, made a disastrous mistake in the design of this splendid highway, and that, as some will have it, it was his Moscow. His error, if one there was, existed only in the selection of the width of track. Whatever the demerits of the design in that one particular, the execution is in all above praise. The road was his pet. Once finished, it was his delight, as with the breeder of a fine horse, to mount it and try its mettle. Over and again would he occupy the footboard between London and Bristol, and rejoice as a strong man in running his race at close to seventy miles an hour. He and Stephenson were capital types of the Gaul and Briton, striving side by side on the same field, as it will be good for the world that they should ever do.

MORTON CHURCH.

MORTON CHURCH.

Combats of another character—in fact, of two other characters—recur to our reflections as we find that we have shuffled off the coil of bricks and mortar and are rattling across Wormwood Scrubs. More fortunate than some who have been there before us, we have no call to alight. Calls to this ancient field of glory, whether symbolized by the gentlemanly pistol or the plebeian fist, have ceased to be in vogue. Dueling and boxing are both frowned down effectually, one by public opinion and the other by the police. It is only of late years that they finally succumbed to those twin discouragers; but it seems altogether improbable that the ordeal by combat in either shape will again come to the surface in a land where tilting-spear and quarter-staff were of old so rife. In France chivalry still asserts, in a feeble way, the privilege of winking and holding out its iron, and refuses to be comforted with a suit for damages.

Southall, a station or two beyond, suggests sport of a less lethal character, being an ancient meeting-place for the queen's stag-hounds. John Leach may have collected here some of his studies of Cockney equestrianism. The sportsmen so dear to his pencil furnished him wealth of opportunities on their annual concourse at the cart's tail. The unloading of the animal, his gathering himself up for a leisurely canter across country, the various styles and degrees of horsemanship among his lumbering followers, and the business-like replacing of the quarry in his vehicle, to be hauled away for another day's sport, served as the most complete travesty imaginable of the chase. It has the compensation of placing a number of worthy men in the saddle at least once in the year and compelling them to do some rough riding. The English have always made it their boast that they are more at home on horseback than any other European nation, and they claim to have derived much military advantage from it. Lever's novels would lose many of their best situations but for this national accomplishment and the astounding development it reaches in his hands.

MILTON'S PEAR TREE.

MILTON'S PEAR TREE.

To the left lies the fine park of Osterley, once the seat of the greatest of London's merchant princes, Sir Thomas Gresham. An improvement proposed by Queen Bess, on a visit to Gresham in 1578, does not speak highly for her taste in design. She remarked that in her opinion the court in front of the house would look better split up by a wall. Her host dutifully acceded to the idea, and surprised Her Majesty next morning by pointing out the wall which he had erected during the night, sending to London for masons and material for the purpose. The conceit was a more ponderous one than that of Raleigh's cloak—bricks and mortar versus velvet.

A greater than Gresham succeeded, after the death of his widow, to the occupancy of Osterley—Chief-justice Coke. His compliment to Elizabeth on the occasion of a similar visit to the same house took the more available and acceptable shape of ten or twelve hundred pounds sterling in jewelry. She had more than a woman's weakness for finery, and Coke operated upon it very successfully. His gems outlasted Gresham's wall, which has long since disappeared with the court it disfigured. In place of both stands a goodly Ionic portico, through which one may pass to a staircase that bears a representation by Rubens of the apotheosis of Mr. Motley's hero, William the Silent. The gallery offers a collection of other old pictures. Should we, however, take time for even a short stop in this vicinity, it would probably be for the credit of saying that we walked over Hounslow Heath intact in purse and person. The gentlemen of the road live only in the classic pages of Ainsworth, Reynolds and, if we may include Sam Weller in such worshipful company, that bard of "the bold Turpin." Another class of highwaymen had long before them been also attracted by the fine manoeuvring facilities of the heath, beginning with the army of the Cæsars and ending with that of James II. Jonathan Wild and his merry men were saints to Kirke and his lambs.

Hurrying on, we skirt one of Pope's outlying manors, in his time the seat of his friend Bathurst and the haunt of Addison, Prior, Congreve and Gay, and leave southward, toward the Thames, Horton, the cradle of Milton. A marble in its ivy-grown church is inscribed to the memory of his mother, ob. 1637. At Horton were composed, or inspired, Lycidas, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus and others of his nominally minor but really sweetest and most enjoyable poems. In this retirement the Muse paid him her earliest visits, before he had thrown himself away on politics or Canaanitish mythology. Peeping in upon his handsome young face in its golden setting of blonde curls,

Through the sweetbrier or the vine,

Or the twisted eglantine,

she wooed him to better work than reporting the debates of the archangels or calling the roll of Tophet. Had he confined himself to this tenderer field, the world would have been the gainer. He might not have "made the word Miltonic mean sublime," but we can spare a little of the sublime to get some more of the beautiful.

To reach Milton, however, we have run off of the track badly. His Eden is no station on the Great Western. We shall balance this southward divergence with a corresponding one to the north from Slough, the last station ere reaching Windsor. We may give a go-by for the moment to the halls of kings, do homage to him who treated them similarly, and point, in preference, to where,

in many a mouldering heap,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

They show Gray's tomb in Stoke Pogis church, and his house, West End Cottage, half a mile distant. The ingredients of his Elegy—actually the greatest, but in his judgment among the least, of his few works—exist all around. "The rugged elm," "the ivy-mantled tower," and "the yew tree's shade," the most specific among the simple "properties" of his little spectacle, are common to so many places that there are several competitors for the honor of having furnished them. The cocks, ploughmen, herds and owls cannot, of course, at this late day be identified. Gray could not have done it himself. He drew from general memory, in his closet, and not bit by bit on his thumb-nail from chance-met objects as he went along. Had his conception and rendering of the theme been due to the direct impression upon his mind of its several aspects and constituents, he would have more thoroughly appreciated his work. He could not understand its popularity, any more than Campbell could that of Ye Mariners of England, which he pronounced "d——d drum-and-trumpet verses." Gray used to say, "with a good deal of acrimony," that the Elegy "owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and the public would have received it as well had it been written entirely in prose." Had it been written in prose or in the inventory style of poetry, it would have been forgotten long ago, like so much else of that kind.

GRAY.

GRAY.

Not far hence is Beaconsfield, which gave a home to Burke and a title to the wife of Disraeli, the nearest approach to a peerage that the haughty Israelite, soured by a life of struggle against peers and their prejudices, would deign to accept. We know it will be objected to this remark that Disraeli is, and has been for most of his career, associated with Toryism. But that was part of his game. A man of culture, thought and fastidious taste, he would, had he been of the sangre azul, have been the steadiest and sincerest of Conservatives. Privilege would have been his gospel. As it is, it has only been his weapon, to use in fighting for himself. "The time will come when you shall listen to me," were his words when he was first coughed down. The time has come. The most cynical of premiers, he governs England, and he scorns to take a place among those who ruled her before him.

Extending our divergence farther west toward "Cliefden's proud alcove, the bower of wanton Shrewsbury and love," we find ourselves in a luxuriant rolling country, rural and slumberous. Cookham parish, which we should traverse, claims quite loudly American kinship on the strength of its including an estate once the property of Henry Washington, who is alleged, without sufficient ground, to have been a relative of the general. But we are within the purlieus of Windsor. The round tower has been looking down upon us these many miles, and we cannot but yield to its magnetism.

BEACONSFIELD CHURCH.

BEACONSFIELD CHURCH.

Eton, on the north bank, opposite Windsor, and really a continuous town with that which nestles close to the castle walls, is on our way from Slough. The red-brick buildings of the school, forming a fine foil to the lighter-colored and more elegantly designed chapel, are on our left, the principal front looking over a garden toward the river and Windsor Home Park beyond. We become aware of a populace of boys, the file-closers of England's nineteenth century worthies, and her coming veterans of the twentieth. We may contemplatively view them in that light, but it has little place in their reflections. Their ruddy faces and somewhat cumbrous forms belong to the animal period of life that links together boyhood, colthood and calfhood. Education of the physique, consisting chiefly in the indulgence and employment of it in the mere demonstration of its superabundant vitality, is a large part of the curriculum at English schools. The playground and the study-room form no unequal alliance. Rigid as, in some respects, the discipline proper of the school may be, it does not compare with the severity of that maintained by the older boys over the younger ones. The code of the lesser, and almost independent, republic of the dormitory and the green is as clear in its terms as that of the unlimited monarchy of the school-room, and more potent in shaping the character. The lads train themselves for the battle of the world, with some help from the masters. It is a sound system on the whole, if based, to appearance, rather too much on the principle of the weaker to the wall. The tendency of the weaker inevitably is to the wall, and if he is to contend against it effectively, it will be by finding out his weakness and being made to feel it at the earliest possible moment.

TOMB OF BURKE.

TOMB OF BURKE. 

Not on land only, but on the river, whereinto it so gradually blends, does lush young England dissipate. Cricket and football order into violent action both pairs of extremities, while the upper pair and the organs of the thorax labor profitably at the oar. The Thames, in its three bends from Senly Hall, the Benny Havens of Eton, down to Datchet Mead, where Falstaff overflowed the buck-basket, belongs to the boys. In this space it is split into an archipelago of aits. In and out of the gleaming paths and avenues of silvery water that wind between them glide the little boats. The young Britons take to the element like young ducks. Many a "tall admiral" has commenced his "march over the mountain wave" among these water-lilies and hedges of osier.

Shall we leave the boys at play, and, renewing our youth, go ourselves to school? Entering the great gate of the western of the two quadrangles, we are welcomed by a bronze statue of the founder of the institution, Henry VI. He endowed it in 1440. The first organization comprised "a provost, four clerks, ten priests, six choristers, twenty-five poor grammar-scholars, and twenty-five poor infirm men to pray for the king." The prayers of these invalids were sorely needed by the unhappy scion of Lancaster, but did him little good in a temporal sense. The provost is always rector of the parish. Laymen are non-eligible. Thus it happens that the list does not include two names which would have illuminated it more than those of any of the incumbents—Boyle the philosopher, "father of chemistry and brother of the earl of Cork," and Waller the poet. The modern establishment consists of a provost, vice-provost, six fellows, a master, under-master, assistants, seventy foundation scholars, seven lay clerks and ten choristers, with a cortege of "inferior officers and servants"—a tolerably full staff. The pay-students, as they would be termed in this country, numbering usually five to six hundred, do not live in the college precincts, but at boarding-houses in the town, whence their designation of oppidans, the seventy gowns-men only having dormitories in the college. The roll of the alumni contains such names as the first earl of Chatham, Harley, earl of Oxford, Bolingbroke, Fox, Gray, Canning, Wellington and Hallam. That is enough to say for Eton. The beauties of the chapel, the treasures of the library and the other shows of the place become trivial by the side of the record.

HEDSOR AND COOKHAM CHURCHES.

HEDSOR AND COOKHAM CHURCHES.

Over the "fifteen-arch" bridge, which has but three or four arches, we pass to the town of Windsor, which crouches, on the river-side, close up to the embattled walls of the castle—so closely that the very irregular pile of buildings included in the latter cannot at first glance be well distinguished from the town. High over all swells the round tower to a height above the water of two hundred and twenty feet—no excessive altitude, if we deduct the eminence on which it stands, yet enough, in this level country, to give it a prospect of a score or two of miles in all directions. The Conqueror fell in love with the situation at first sight, and gave a stolen monastery in exchange for it. The home so won has provided a shelter—at times very imperfect, indeed—to British sovereigns for eight centuries. From the modest erection of William it has been steadily growing—with the growth of the empire, we were near saying, but its chief enlargements occurred before the empire entered upon the expansion of the past three centuries. It is more closely associated with Edward III. than with any other of the ancient line. He was born at Windsor, and almost entirely rebuilt it, William of Wykeham being superintending architect, with "a fee of one shilling a day whilst at Windsor, and two shillings when he went elsewhere on the duties of his office," three shillings a week being the pay of his clerk. It becomes at once obvious that the margin for "rings" was but slender in those days. The labor question gave not the least trouble. The law of supply and demand was not consulted. "Three hundred and sixty workmen were impressed, to be employed on the building at the king's wages; some of whom having clandestinely left Windsor and engaged in other employments to greater advantage, writs were issued prohibiting all persons from employing them on pain of forfeiting all their goods and chattels." In presence of so simple and effective a definition of the rights of the workingman, strikes sink into nothingness. And Magna Charta had been signed a hundred and fifty years before! That document, however, in honor of which the free and enlightened Briton of to-day is wont to elevate his hat and his voice, was only in the name and on behalf of the barons. The English people derived under it neither name, place nor right. English liberty is only incidental, a foundling of untraced parentage, a filius nullius. True, its growth was indirectly fostered by aught that checked the power of the monarch, and the nobles builded more wisely than they knew or intended when they brought Lackland to book, or to parchment, at Runnymede, not far down the river and close to the edge of the royal park. The memorable plain is still a meadow, kept ever green and inviolate of the plough. A pleasant row it is for the Eton youngsters to this spot. On Magna Charta island, opposite, they may take their rest and their lunch, and refresh their minds as well with the memories of the place. The task of reform is by no means complete. There is room and call for further concessions in favor of the masses. These embryo statesmen have work blocked out for them in the future, and this is a good place for them to adjust to it the focus of their bright young optics.

ETON COLLEGE AND CHAPEL.

ETON COLLEGE AND CHAPEL.

The monarchical idea is certainly predominant in our present surroundings. The Thames flows from the castle and the school under two handsome erections named the Victoria and Albert bridges; and when, turning our back upon Staines, just below Runnymede, with its boundary-stone marking the limit of the jurisdiction of plebeian London's fierce democracy, and inscribed "God preserve the City of London, 1280," we strike west into the Great Park, we soon come plump on George III, a great deal larger than life. The "best farmer that ever brushed dew from lawn" is clad in antique costume with toga and buskins. Bestriding a stout horse, without stirrups and with no bridle to speak of, the old gentleman looks calmly into the distance while his steed is in the act of stepping over a perpendicular precipice. This preposterous effort of the glyptic art has the one merit of serving as a finger-board. The old king points us to his palace, three miles off, at the end of the famous Long Walk. He did not himself care to live at the castle, but liked to make his home at an obscure lodge in the park, the same from which, on his first attack of insanity, he set out in charge of two of his household on that melancholy ride to the retreat of Kew, more convenient in those days for medical attendance from London, and to which he returned a few months later restored for the time. Shortly after his recovery he undertook to throw up one of the windows of the lodge, but found it nailed down. He asked the cause, and was told, with inconsiderate bluntness, that it had been done during his illness to prevent his doing himself an injury. The perfect calmness and silence with which he received this explanation was a sufficient evidence of his recovery.

ETON COLLEGE, FROM NORTH TERRACE, WINDSOR. ETON COLLEGE, FROM NORTH TERRACE, WINDSOR.

Bidding the old man a final farewell, we accept the direction of his brazen hand and take up the line of march, wherein all traveling America has preceded us, to the point wherefrom we glanced off so suddenly in obedience to the summons of Magna Charta. On either hand, as we thread the Long Walk, open glades that serve as so many emerald-paved courts to the monarchs of the grove, some of them older than the whole Norman dynasty, with Saxon summers recorded in their hearts. One of them, thirty-eight feet round, is called after the Conqueror. Among these we shall not find the most noted of Windsor trees. It was in the Home Park, on the farther or northern side of the castle, that the fairies were used to perform their

—dance of custom round about the oak

Of Herne the hunter.

Whether the genuine oak was cut down at the close of the last century, or was preserved, carefully fenced in and labeled, in an utterly leafless and shattered state, to our generation, is a moot point. Certain it is that the most ardent Shakespearean must abandon the hope of securing for a bookmark to his Merry Wives of Windsor one of the leaves that rustled, while "Windsor bell struck twelve," over the head of fat Jack. He has the satisfaction, however, of looking up at the identical bell-tower of the sixteenth century, and may make tryst with his imagination to await its midnight chime. Then he may cross the graceful iron bridge—modern enough, unhappily—to Datchet, and ascertain by actual experiment whether the temperature of the Thames has changed since the dumping into it of Falstaff, "hissing hot."

STAINES CHURCH.

STAINES CHURCH.

Back at the castle, we must "do" it, after the set fashion. Reminders meet us at the threshold that it is in form a real place of defence, contemplative of wars and rumors of wars, and not a mere dwelling by any means in original design. A roadway, crooked and raked by frowning embrasures, leads up from the peaceful town to the particularly inhospitable-looking twin towers of Henry VIII.'s gateway, in their turn commanded by the round tower on the right, in full panoply of artificial scarp and ditch. Sentinels in the scarlet livery that has flamed on so many battlefields of all the islands and continents assist in proving that things did not always go so easy with majesty as they do now. But two centuries and more have elapsed since there happened any justification for this frown of stone, steel and feathers; Rupert's futile demonstration on it in 1642 having been Windsor's last taste of war, its sternest office after that having been the safe-keeping of Charles I., who here spent his "sorrowful and last Christmas." Once inside the gate, visions of peace recur. The eye first falls on the most beautiful of all the assembled structures, St. George's Chapel. It, with the royal tomb house, the deanery and Winchester tower, occupies the left or north side of the lower or western ward. In the rear of the chapel of St. George are quartered in cozy cloisters the canons of the college of that ilk—not great guns in any sense, but old ecclesiastical artillery spiked after a more or less noisy youth and laid up in varnished black for the rest of their days. Watch and ward over these modern equipments is kept by Julius Cæsar's tower, as one of the most ancient erections is of course called. Still farther to our left as we enter are the quarters of sundry other antiquated warriors, the Military Knights of Windsor. These are a few favored veterans, mostly decayed officers of the army and navy, who owe this shelter to royal favor and an endowment. The Ivy tower, west of the entrance, is followed in eastward succession by those of the gateway, Salisbury, Garter and Bell towers.

NORMAN GATE AND ROUND TOWER, WINDSOR. NORMAN GATE AND ROUND TOWER, WINDSOR.

The fine exterior of St. George's is more than matched by the carving and blazonry of the interior. The groined roof bears the devices of half a dozen early kings, beginning with Edward the Confessor. Along the choir stretch the stalls of the sovereign and knights-companions of the order of the Garter, each hung with banner, mantle, sword and helmet. Better than these is the hammered steel tomb of Edward IV., by Quentin Matsys, the Flemish blacksmith. In the vaults beneath rest the victim of Edward, Henry VI., Henry VIII., Jane Seymour and Charles I. The account of the appearance of Charles' remains when his tomb was examined in 1813 by Sir Henry Halford, accompanied by several of the royal family, is worth quoting. "The complexion of the face was dark and discolored. The forehead and temples had lost little or nothing of their muscular substance. The cartilage of the nose was gone; but the left eye, in the moment of first exposure, was open and full, though it vanished almost immediately, and the pointed beard so characteristic of the reign of King Charles was perfect. The shape of the face was a long oval; many of the teeth remained; and the left ear, in consequence of the interposition of some unctuous matter between it and the cere-cloth, was found entire. The hair was thick at the back part of the head, and in appearance nearly black. A portion of it, which has since been cleaned and dried, is of a beautiful dark-brown color. That of the beard was a reddish-brown. On the back part of the head it was not more than an inch in length, and had probably been cut so short for the convenience of the executioner, or perhaps by the piety of friends after death in order to furnish memorials of the unhappy king. On holding up the head to determine the place of separation from the body, the muscles of the neck had evidently contracted themselves considerably, and the fourth cervical vertebra was found to be cut through its substance transversely, leaving the face of the divided portions perfectly smooth and even—an appearance which could have been produced only by a heavy blow inflicted with a very sharp instrument, and which furnished the last proof wanting to identify Charles I."

HERNE'S OAK.

HERNE'S OAK.

A highly-edifying spectacle this must have been to the prince regent and his brother Cumberland. The certainties of the past and the possibilities of the future were calculated to be highly suggestive. A French sovereign had but a few years before shared the fate of Charles, and a cloud of other kings were drifting about Europe with no very flattering prospect of coming soon to anchor. Napoleon was showing his banded foes a good double front in Germany and Spain. His dethronement and the restoration of the Bourbons were not as yet contemplated. The Spanish succession was whittled down to a girl—that is, by Salic law, to nothing at all. The Hanoverian was in a similar condition, or worse, none of the old sons of the crazy old king having any legitimate children. The prince regent himself was highly unpopular with the mass of his people; and the classes that formed his principal support were more so, by reason of the arrogance and exactions of the landed interest, the high price of grain and other heavy financial burdens consequent on the war, the arbitrary prosecutions and imprisonment of leaders of the people, and the irregularities of his private life.

But these sinister omens proved illusory. Leigh Hunt, Wraxall and the rest made but ineffectual martyrs; the Bourbons straggled back into France and Spain, with such results as we see; George IV. weathered, by no merit of his own, a fresh series of storms at home; the clouds that lowered upon his house were made glorious summer by the advent of a fat little lady in 1819—the fat old lady of 1875; and we step from the tomb of Charles in St. George's Chapel to that where George and William slumber undisturbed in the tomb-house, elaborately decorated by Wolsey. Wolsey's fixtures were sold by the thrifty patriots of Cromwell's Parliament, and bought in by the republican governor of the castle as "old brass." George was able, too, to add another story to the stature of the round tower or keep that marks the middle ward of the castle and looks down, on the rare occasion of a sufficiently clear atmosphere, on prosperous and no longer disloyal London. This same keep has quite a list of royal prisoners; John of France and David II. and James I. of Scotland enjoyed a prolonged view of its interior; so did the young earl of Surrey, a brother-poet, a century removed, of James.

Leaving behind us the atmosphere of shackles and dungeons, we emerge, through the upper ward and the additions of Queen Bess, upon the ample terrace, where nothing bounds us but the horizon. Together, the north, east and south terraces measure some two thousand feet. The first looks upon Eton, the lesser park of some five hundred acres which fills a bend of the Thames and the country beyond for many miles. The eastern platform, lying between the queen's private apartments and an exquisite private garden, is not always free to visitors. The south terrace presents to the eye the Great Park of thirty-eight hundred acres, extending six miles, with a width of from half a mile to two miles. The equestrian statue at the end of the Long Walk is a conspicuous object. The prevailing mass of rolling woods is broken by scattered buildings, glades and avenues, which take from it monotony and give it life. Near the south end is an artificial pond called Virginia Water, edged with causeless arches and ruins that never were anything but ruins, Chinese temples and idle toys of various other kinds, terrestrial and aquatic. The ancient trees, beeches and elms, of enormous size, and often projected individually, are worth studying near or from a distance. The elevation is not so great as to bring out low-lying objects much removed. We see the summits of hills, each having its name, as St. Leonard's, Cooper's, Highstanding, etc., and glimpses of the river and of some country-seats. St. Anne's Hill was the home of Fox; at St. Leonard's dwelt the father of his rival and rival of his father, and at Binfield, Pope, of whom it is so hard to conceive as having ever been young, "lisped in numbers, for the numbers came," natural descriptions, ethical reflections, vers de societé and all, for around him here there was food for them all. To descend from Pope in point of both time and romance, the view includes the scenes of Prince Albert's agricultural experiments. Quite successful many of them were. He was a thoroughly practical man—a circumstance which carried him by several routes across ploughed fields and through well-built streets, straight to the hearts of the English people. His memory is more warmly cherished, and impressed upon the stranger by more monuments, than that of any other of the German strain. It might have been less so had he succeeded in the efforts he is now known to have made soon after his marriage to attain a higher nominal rank. He possessed, through the alliance of Leopold and Stockmar and the devotion of Victoria, kingly power without the name and the responsibility, and with that he became content. He used it cautiously and well when he employed it at all. His position was a trying one, but he steered well through its difficulties, and died as generally trusted as he was at first universally watched. The love-match of 1840 was every way a success.

EAST FRONT, WINDSOR CASTLE.

EAST FRONT, WINDSOR CASTLE.

Another figure, more rugged and less majestic, but not less respectable, will be associated with Victoria in the memories, if not the history proper, of her reign. This is John Brown, the canny and impassive Scot, content, like the Rohans, to be neither prince nor king, and, prouder than they, satisfied honestly to discharge the office of a flunkey without the very smallest trace of the flunkey spirit. He too has lived down envy and all uncharitableness. Contemptuous and serene amid the hootings of the mob and the squibs of the newspapers, he carries, as he has done for years, Her Majesty's shawl and capacious India-rubbers, attends her tramps through the Highlands and the Home Park, engineers her special trains and looks after her personal comfort even to the extent of ordering her to wear "mair claes" in a Scotch mist. The queen has embalmed him in her books, and he will rank among the heroes of royal authors as his namesake and countryman the Cameronian, by favor of very similar moral qualities, does with those of more democratic proclivities.

QUEEN ELIZABETH'S BUILDING, WINDSOR.

QUEEN ELIZABETH'S BUILDING, WINDSOR.

We cannot apply literally to the view from Windsor Thackeray's lines on "the castle towers of Bareacres:"

I stood upon the donjon keep and viewed the country o'er;

I saw the lands of Bareacres for fifty miles or more.

EARL OF SURREY.

EARL OF SURREY.

We scan what was once embraced in Windsor Forest, where the Norman laid his broad palm on a space a hundred and twenty miles round, and, like the lion in the fable of the hunting-party, informed his subjects that that was his share. The domain dwindled, as did other royal appurtenances. Yet in 1807 the circuit was as much as seventy-seven miles. In 1789 it embraced sixty thousand acres. The process of contraction has since been accelerated, and but little remains outside of the Great and Little Parks. Several villages of little note stand upon it. Of these Wokingham has the distinction of an ancient hostelry yclept the Rose; and the celebrity of the Rose is a beautiful daughter of the landlord of a century and a half ago. This lady missed her proper fame by the blunder of a merry party of poets who one evening encircled the mahogany of her papa. It was as "fast" a festivity as such names as Gay and Swift could make it. Their combined efforts resulted in the burlesque of Molly Mog. These two and some others contributed each a verse in honor of the fair waiter. But they mistook her name, and the crown fell upon the less charming brow of her sister, whose cognomen was depraved from Mary into Molly. Wiclif's Oak is pointed out as a corner of the old forest, a long way east of the park. Under its still spreading branches that forerunner of Luther is said to have preached. Messrs. Moody and Sankey should have sought inspiration under its shade.

In the vast assemblage of the arboreal commonwealth that carpets the landscape the centuries are represented one with another. It is a leafy parliament that has never been dissolved or prorogued. One hoary member is coeval with the Confessor. Another sheltered William Rufus, tired from the chase. Under another gathered recruits bound with Coeur de Lion for the Holy Land. Against the bole of this was set up a practicing butt for the clothyard shafts that won Agincourt, and beneath that bivouacked the pickets of Cromwell. As we look down upon their topmost leaves there floats, high above our own level, "darkly painted on the crimson sky," a member, not so old, of another commonwealth quite as ancient that has flourished among their branches from time immemorial. There flaps the solitary heron to the evening tryst of his tribe. Where is the hawk? Will he not rise from some fair wrist among the gay troop we see cantering across yonder glade? Only the addition of that little gray speck circling into the blue is needed to round off our illusion. But it comes not. In place of it comes a spirt of steam from the railway viaduct, and the whistle of an engine. Froissart is five hundred years dead again, and we turn to Bradshaw.

WINDSOR CASTLE, FROM BISHOPSGATE.

WINDSOR CASTLE, FROM BISHOPSGATE.

Yet we have a "view of an interior" to contemplate before facing the lower Thames. And first, as the day is fading, we seek the dimmest part. We dive into the crypt of the bell-tower, or the curfew-tower, that used to send far and wide to many a Saxon cottage the hateful warning that told of servitude. How old the base of this tower is nobody seems to know, nor how far back it has served as a prison. The oldest initials of state prisoners inscribed on its cells date to 1600. The walls are twelve feet thick, and must have begotten a pleasant feeling of perfect security in the breasts of the involuntary inhabitants. They did not know of a device contrived for the security of their jailers, which has but recently been discovered. This is a subterranean and subaqueous passage, alleged to lead under the river to Burnham Abbey, three miles off. The visitor will not be disposed to verify this statement or to stay long in the comparatively airy crypt. Damp as the British climate may be above ground, it is more so below. We emerge to the fine range of state apartments above, and submit to the rule of guide and guide-book.

LOCK AT WINDSOR.

LOCK AT WINDSOR.

St. George's Hall, the Waterloo gallery, the council-chamber and the Vandyck room are the most attractive, all of them for the historical portraits they contain, and the first, besides, for its merit as an example of a Gothic interior and its associations with the order of the Garter, the knights of which society are installed in it. The specialty of the Waterloo room is the series of portraits of the leaders, civil and military, English and continental, of the last and successful league against Napoleon. They are nearly all by Lawrence, and of course admirable in their delineation of character. In that essential of a good portrait none of the English school have excelled Lawrence. We may rely upon the truth to Nature of each of the heads before us; for air and expression accord with what history tells us of the individuals, its verdict eked out and assisted by instructive minutiæ of lineament and meaning detected, in the "off-guard" of private intercourse, by the eye of a great painter and a lifelong student of physiognomy. We glance from the rugged Blucher to the wily Metternich, and from the philosophic Humboldt to the semi-savage Platoff. The dandies George IV. and Alexander are here, but Brummel is left out. The gem of the collection is Pius VII., Lawrence's masterpiece, widely familiar by engravings. Raphael's Julius II. seems to have been in the artist's mind, but that work is not improved on, unless in so far as the critical eye of our day may delight in the more intricate tricks of chiaroscuro and effect to which Lawrence has recourse. "Brunswick's fated chieftain" will interest the votaries of Childe Harold. Could he have looked forward to 1870, he would perhaps have chosen a different side at Waterloo, as his father might at Jena, and elected to figure in oils at Versailles rather than at Windsor. Incomparably more destructive to the small German princes have been the Hohenzollerns than the Bonapartes.

THE THAMES EMBANKMENT.

THE THAMES EMBANKMENT.

We forget these nineteenth-century people in the council-chamber, wherein reign Guido, Rembrandt, Claude, and even Da Vinci. If Leonardo really executed all the canvases ascribed to him in English collections, the common impressions of his habits of painting but little, and not often finishing that, do him great injustice. Martin Luther is here, by Holbein, and the countess of Desmond, the merry old lady

Who lived to the age of twice threescore and ten,

And died of a fall from a cherry tree then,

is embalmed in the bloom of one hundred and twenty and the gloom of Rembrandt. The two dozen pictures in this room form nearly as odd an association as any like number of portraits could do. Guercino's Sibyl figures with a cottage interior by Teniers, and Lely's Prince Rupert looks down with lordly scorn on Jonah pitched into the sea by the combined efforts of the two Poussins. The link between Berghem's cows and Del Sarto's Holy Family was doubtless supplied to the minds of the hanging committee by recollections of the manger. Our thrifty Pennsylvanian, West, is assigned the vestibule. Five of his "ten-acre" pictures illustrate the wars of Edward III. and the Black Prince. The king's closet and the queen's closet are filled mostly by the Flemings. Vandyck's room finally finishes the list. It has, besides a portrait of himself and several more of the first Charles and his family in every pose, some such queer, or worse than queer, commoners as Tom Killigrew and Sir Kenelm Digby and Venetia his hopeful spouse, so dear to novelists of a certain school.

ELMS NEAR THE HERONRY.

ELMS NEAR THE HERONRY.

Vast sums have been expended on the renovation and improvement of the castle during the past half century. With Victoria it has been more popular as a residence than with any of her predecessors since the fourteenth century. What, however, with its greater practical proximity to London, due to railways, and what with the queen's liking for solitude since the death of her consort, the more secluded homes of Osborne and Balmoral have measurably superseded it in her affections. Five hundred miles of distance to the Dee preclude the possibility of the dumping on her, by means of excursion trains, of loyal cockneydom. She is as thoroughly protected from that inundation in the Isle of Wight, the average Londoner having a fixed horror of sea-sickness. The running down, by her private steamer, of a few more inquisitive yachts in the Solent would be a hazardous experiment, if temporarily effective in keeping home invaders at bay. Holding as her right and left bowers those two sanctuaries at the opposite ends of her island realm, she can play a strong hand in the way of personal independence, and cease to feel that hers is a monarchy limited by the rights of the masses. It is well for the country that she should be left as far as possible to consult her own comfort, ease and health at least as freely as the humblest of her subjects. The continuance of her life is certainly a political desideratum. It largely aids in maintaining a wholesome balance between conservatism and reform. So long as she lives there will be no masculine will to exaggerate the former or obstruct the latter, as notably happened under George III. and William IV. Her personal bearing is also in her favor. Her popularity, temporarily obscured a few years ago, is becoming as great as ever. It has never been weakened by any misstep in politics, and so long as that can be said will be exposed to no serious danger.

We are far from being at the end of the upper Thames. Oxford, were there no other namable place, is beyond us. But we have explored the denser portion—the nucleus of the nebula of historic stars that stretches into the western sky as seen from the metropolis. We lay aside our little lorgnette. It has shown us as much as we can map in these pages, and that we have endeavored to do with at least the merit of accuracy.