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general, Fairfax, whose daughter married George Villiers, the second duke, and thus re-conveyed it into the Buckingham family. By this nobleman the estate was sold for building purposes, and the streets bearing his title were shortly afterwards built.
Northumberland House, the last remaining representative of the old palatial character of the Strand, stands on the site of an hospital or chapel of St. Mary, founded in the reign of Henry III. by William, Earl of Pembroke, on a piece of ground which he had given to the priory of Rouncivalle in Navarre. In the reign of Henry V, the hospital was suppressed, as belonging to an alien monastery, with all the other houses of that kind in the kingdom; but was again restored by Edward IV., to be finally dissolved at the Reformation. About the beginning of the seventeenth century the site passed into the possession of Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, son of the poet Surrey, who erected a splendid mansion, and died here in 1614. Descending then to the Earl of Suffolk, the name was changed from Northampton to Suffolk House, and again to the present title, Northumberland House, on the marriage of the daughter of the second Earl of Suffolk with Algernon Percy, tenth Earl of Northumberland, in 1642. The edifice originally consisted of three sides of a spacious quadrangle, the fourth, facing the Thames, being open. Jansen is said to have been the architect, but the front is supposed to be froin the designs of Christmas, who rebuilt Aldersgate in the same reign. A fourth side was added by Earl Algernon from the designs of Inigo Jones. Lastly, towards the close of the eighteenth century, two new wings were attached to the garden front, and all but the central division, including the gateway (the work of Christmas), of the front next the Strand was rebuilt. The existing edifice is in every way worthy of the representative character we have mentioned, as well as of the ancient family to which it belongs. Immediately behind that long front, with its conspicuous lion, the badge of the Percies, extends a spacious court-yard surrounded by the buildings before referred to. From the prihcipal entrance, a magnificent staircase, lighted by a beautiful lantern, leads to the principal apartments; the stairs and landings of white marble finely contrasting with the rich carpets which partially cover them, and with the gilt bronzed balusters and chandeliers. The mansion is rich in works of art. In the dining-room is Titian's celebrated picture of the Cornaro family, one of the painter's masterpieces ; a Sebastian Bound, by Guercino; a small Adoration of the Shepherds, by Giacomo Bassano; a Fox and Deer Hunt by Synders; a Holy Family by Jordaens; and a picture containing three portraits by Vandyke. This brief enumeration may give some idea of the artistical wealth of Northumberland House. In the long and lofty gallery, a most splendidly ornamented place, are copies of several great pictures by Raphael, Annibale Carracci, and Guido Reni, of more than ordinary excellence. The drawing-room is richly decorated with arabesques and paintings intermingled. A suite of three apartments, used for the reception of evening parties, are distinguished by the solid magnificence of their decorations. In one of them are vases of the finest Florentine inosaic, imitating plants, bunches of fruit, birds, animals, &c., in the most happy manner. From the windows are seen the beautiful gardens extending down to the Thames, forming a noble background to the picture. The memories of Northumberland
House deserve a few concluding words. It was here that in 1660 General Monk, and many other of the principal nobility and gentry who agreed in his views, met by invitation of Earl Algernon to concert measures for the restoration of Charles; and in all probability it was here also that Goldsmith, when waiting upon the Earl of Northumberland, at the latter's own request, mistook the Earl's gentleman for the Earl, and only discovered his error after the delivery of a carefully prepared address. The poet's mortification was so great, that he immediately left the house, and gave up whatever hopes he had founded on so promising an invitation.
Few words spoken among men have, or have ever had, so much significancy for the imagination as the word LONDON. Rarely has a single name been so full of meaning to so many minds, or been gifted with the power of awakening so many various trains of reflection. Perhaps the first thought that is apt to be called
up by the name is of the height of modern civilization and splendour—the newest of all that is new on earth, the busiest, hottest activity of the social elements now in action among living human beings; but the next direction in which it sets the meditative faculty a-spinning is the opposite of all this—away back to the old buried world—to the social life that was, and is no longer-to the dream and the mystery of the far past, which seems to every one of us like the previous part of a journey we have ourselves travelled—a scene we have known in some former state of existence, and yet so wholly different from the reality around us that we can with difficulty conceive the strange drama to have been played on
this same globe, or by beings having like passions with ourselves. The dead who have been dust for it may be twenty centuries were then what we are now, the animating soul of the scene, the diversified crowd filling it with life and motion and all the struggle and turmoil of humanity. The imagination has scarcely a more affecting or arresting picture than this, in which life and death, the present and the past, the evanescent and the enduring, meet together, as it were, in a war embrace. Or if the former era to which we turn be comparatively recent, it is still the same; still the scene in which the men of that other time moved about remains, at the least the sure and firm-set earth on which they trode, and the everlasting heaven over it, but the men themselves are passed away for ever. Probably in this case even the works of their hands, for the most part, are yet all around us—the monuments which they reared, the streets which they paved and walked upon, the houses which they built and dwelt in, while they who once possessed them are all vanished. If any one of us were to come upon a great city, like that in the Arabian tale, not in ruins or decay, but presenting all the appearances of recent occupancy, yet with its streets silent and every house untenanted, how should we be excited and thrilled by so touching a sight! Yet is not every old town even such a spectacle? Full as it may be of inhabitants, its streets and dwellings are as completely deserted by those who once filled them as those of the absolutely depopulated city in the tale. We have but to forget the new generation that has taken their place, and the impressive picture is before us of a solitude amid standing temples and towers, and furnished tenements, as perfect as that of Pompeii itself.
London is probably the oldest great city now existing on this side the Alps. Its existence, as a capital, reaches back, even like that of Rome itself, to the days of what we call the ancient world, as if it were literally another world divided by some mighty gulf from ours, or as if the beings that then inhabited the earth were of another species; and over the whole of this extended space its history carries back the eye of contemplation in one continuous line of view, dimmer indeed in some places than in others, but nowhere absolutely broken, so that we behold as it were following each other in long procession, and combined into one many-coloured multitude, all the successive races and generations that have kept up the ferment of social existence on this spot of earth, from the half-wild Britons and the Roman colonists, passing away in the extreme distance, to the Popes and the Swifts, the Addisons and the Steeles, who are still individually and distinctly visible, and the Burkes and the Johnsons, whose very voices we seem to hear as they move about almost under our eyes.
· Not rude nor barren are the winding ways
Of hoar antiquity, but strewn with flowers," one has said who was himself both an antiquary and a poet; and doubtless there is at least in some departments of antiquarianism no want of excitement and gratification for the poetical temperament. No mere history or description revives the past, and makes it again present to us, so vividly as the sight of the actual spot to which the history relates; however this is to be explained, all have felt it who have ever looked upon a celebrated old building or ruin, or even found themselves on ground that has been illustrated by any great event, though nothing but the name remains to recall what once was. The very air seems to preserve something
of the life of those who once breathed it, even if nothing of their handiwork be there; every natural sight and sound has to our fancies caught a portion of their spirit; or, what is equally good and more strictly true, these natural features and elemental influences, surviving the flight of hundreds or, it may be, thousands of years, were actually part of the being of the men of that by-gone time, had contributed to make them what they were, had nourished and formed their moral and intellectual nature, were among the things that supplied ideas and pictures to their imaginations, passions and affections to their hearts. Even thus, as still the blue Ægean tumbles among its sunny isles, did the Ocean, from childhood to blind old age, paint itself to the mind of Homer; even as at this day “the mountains look on Marathon, and Marathon looks on the sea,” did that scenery send down its melancholy grandeur into the eyes and the souls of Miltiades and his little host encamped there three-and-twenty centuries ago. The works of men's hands, again, that have long outlasted their authors and the generations once familiar with them, are alınost equally interesting whether they remain uninjured or have fallen into decay and ruin,—whether they surprise us by bringing the past back in all its entireness, or perplex us with the strange changes that the lapse of time has wrought. A great city, in particular, if it be of ancient foundation, will always furnish matter of this latter kind in abundance; and perhaps there is no richer storehouse of such metamorphoses than our own London, which, as the capital of the kingdom since the foundation of the monarchy, has been illustrated by so many famous events and has served as the head-quarters of most of the remarkable dramatis persone of the national history, while it has also, from the pre-eminent opulence and commercial activity of which it has long been the centre, been subjected to perhaps as frequent and extensive renovation of all kinds as any other town, at least in modern Europe, that has any pretensions to be compared with it in point of extent. Forests as ancient as the creation rooted out-lakes and marshes drained-streams that originally diffused their water in permanent inundations bridled and taught to flow within artificial embankments-natural heights levelled and hollows filled up-here a passage partially excavated through the soil, there a channel covered over and concealed-fields and farms, where once was to be seen only the corn growing or the cattle browzing, converted into streets and squares, and resounding with the swarm of men ;-and then, again, among the streets and buildings themselves, the sites of old renown obliterated and almost passed away from remembrance, the public. monuments of other times to be found by the curious searcher only in their foundations under the earth, the palaces of kings and nobles become the workshops of mechanical industry or the warehouses of trade, the former high places of business or recreation abandoned to neglect and silence;—these mementos and visions of mutability, and such as these, disclose themselves in London to the inquiring and contemplative spirit at every turn. It is all over an exhibition of what Spenser has called
" the ever-whirling wheel
Of Change, the which all mortal things doth sway.” Among the earliest investigators of the antiquities of London, or of the class of inquirers and writers properly entitled to be called London Antiquaries, to some notices of the most remarkable of whom the present paper will be devoted,