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the surrounding offices, have a perfect conformity. The first feeling on entering here is of admiration. There is not a line or an ornament that is not consistent and in harmony with the rest of the building; and the bold buttresses of the hall, the rich windows, the superlatively light and beautiful tower of the Chapel, with the entrance gateway, are the most elegant assemblage of gothic ornaments, without break or offence from modern incongruities, that I ever witnessed.

Hence we pass, either into the Chapel, or by a flight of stone steps into the Hall. The Chapel is now undergoing extensive repairs, and the general effect is lost by the necessary scaffolding; but when this is cleared away, it must be singularly imposing. The windows are all, or nearly all, filled with stained glass, which, like the statues, are wanting in most other Gothic buildings -- its proportions are more than commonly grand-the roof is at an unusual elevation, and the groining of the roof is rich and bold without being oppressed or encumbered with ornament.

The Refectory, or College Hall, as it is called, is a handsome lofty room open to the rafters, which are ornamented in consequence. Here are many things worth observation, as illustrative of the manners of our ancestors, and now to be met with in few but collegiate places. Just before we enter, are three impenetrable old oak doors, with an outer half-door and ledge on the top; these are the hatches from which the tables are served, and so often mentioned by the old writers. Maria alludes to it in her jest on Sir Andrew's dry palm, “ bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink.” Immediately on entering there is a large covered basket fixed in the flooring to receive the broken victuals, a portion of which, if not the whole, are regularly sent to the poor prisoners in the gaol. These are customs that bear evidence of the considerate humanity of our ancestors, and it is to be regretted that our age hath let such practices die away—“Did our charity," says Lady Frugal, in her bitter revilings of Luke,“ redeem thee out of prison,

When the Sheriff's basket, and his broken meat,

Were your festival exceedings." In advancing farther into the room, it will be observed that the flooring at the upper end is raised some inches. This is, no doubt, the dais, about which commentators have often written, and which is mentioned in the description of the feast in Cedric's Hall in Ivanhoe.

Proceeding on from the Chapel Hall, we enter the cloisters, which are also open to the roofing, and much inferior to what I had expected. In the area of these is a very elegant little chapel in the highest preservation, originally built and endowed for a charity, where masses were to be performed for the dead. Its revenues, however, are gone, and it is now well filled with books, and converted into a library, where is preserved, a curious record of patience and folly, the genealogical table of Wykeham, uninterruptedly brought down from Adam. Of all things it requires most time to judge correctly of a library-mine was very limited :-it bears no proportion in magnitude, nor should I think in worth to Eton ; yet there were many choice and some valuable works in it.

The School-room fortunately forms no part of this pile of building, but is concealed behind it. The strange perversity of the age in which

it was built, seems to have defied all circumstance ; for what else can account for the introduction here of any other order but Gothic ? In itself it is finely proportioned, and every way noble. Over thc entrance is a metal statue of the founder, presented by old Cibber, which, to make the whole consistently ridiculous, has been painted and gilt. Another of the absurdities is a monstrous representation of what is called a Trusty Servant, shewn in a small room adjoining the college hall. The humour of the thing, if it have any, is in giving reality to what were considered the moral excellences of such a character-in fact, such a pictorial representation as Mad Tom has given a poetical one, " hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey." Of course the worthy represented here is the reverse of all this, and the qualities and excellences which are presumed to be common to both beasts, for such a servant would deserve no better mention, are represented by the four-footed ones--thus the trusty servant is not dainty in his diet, therefore the figure has the snout of a hog instead of the “human face divine," the feet of a deer, the ears of an ass, and is altogether a monstrous and most ridiculous compound. The figure has evidently been repainted ; and this is acknowledged, but the design and colouring of the original have always, it is said, been strictly followed. I much question this. It is habited in the regular “ blue coat” of the servants of the sixteenth century; but it is probably as old as that; for early in the seventeenth, when most of the peculiarities of dress were fast wearing out, this was giving way. "I may well call 'em companions," says Lucie, in Middleton's comedy of A Trick to Catch the Old One, “ for since blue coats have been turned into cloaks, we can scarce know the man from the master."

Having been delighted beyond measure with my visit here, I stretched out to St. Cross, which I have before mentioned as visible in the distance. I could not hope for any equal gratification; yet St. Cross can Jisappoint no one, come after it what will, or be the visitor's imagination what it may. The walk to it is through some luxuriant meadows, on the banks of the Itchin, and at the foot of St. Catherine's-hill ; and the whole surrounding neighbourhood is full of recollections. A Roman encampment is yet distinctly visible on the hill itself, which is the summer play-ground of the boys at the College, and the fabled scene of their dulce domum, which, though all may have heard, none know the full force of but a Wykehamist. Unless you have made one in a St. Catherine's pilgrimage, and joined in the chorus there, or have learnt it while yet a child, with something of mysterious reverence, in the immediate neighbourhood, you are shut out from its deep feeling for ever. The song, however, it will be admitted by all, is beautiful it is a triumphant burst of exultation at the approach of holidays, with a passionate anticipation of home, its welcome and its joys. The real age and author are unknown. The occasion, as I heard many years ago, when the song was to me a sealed book, for I could scarcely articulate its language, from one who found equal difficulties from the infirmities of age, but who connected with it some of the pleasantest recollections of an innocent life, is told in a few words.-An only son, whose father died while he was yet an infant, had been brought up hy his mother with more than usual tenderness, but, while he was at school here, she too died. At the approach of the holidays he received a notice from his guardians that he must spend them at the College. The sudden change the loneliness of his situation—the universal blank that the world presented to him, took a strong hold on his ardent imagination. As the holidays approached, the gloom seemed to thicken: the holidays came, and he was alone :-he used then to visit this hill,

“ Without acquaintance of more sweet companions

Than the old inmates to his love-his thoughts," and sit there, in contemplative melancholy, whole hours together home, home, the memory of it was for ever present: he feasted on the joys he had known, and in some moment of agonising remembrance he wrote this song ;-but before his companions returned he had died of a broken heart. It was sorrow feeding itself joyously on the passion that must destroy her. It is in the same spirit that Constance dwells with such fearful minuteness on all that was most lovely in young Arthur

“For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,

To him that did but yesterday suspire,

There was not such a gracious creature born.
K.Phil. You are as fond of grief as of your child.
Cons. Grief fills the room up of my absent child,

Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form ;

Then, have I reason to be fond of grief."
The story is possibly a fable, but it is worth remembering.

St. Cross, which we now approach through lines of "ledge-row elms," is situated in a rich bottom, at the foot of this hill, with the rapid Itchin running between them. It is difficult to know how best to describe this place, or to do it justice. At the same time that it bears evidence to the influence and extraordinary wealth possessed by the Romish church, its very existence is one of ten thousand proofs, that its influence was often exerted, and its wealth often directed, to good. If it accumulated vast riches, it supported extensive charities; it endowed hospitals, it founded colleges, it relieved the sick, the poor, the helpless, and the friendess, all over the kingdom ;-it was a channel through which men's charities were dispensed, and not a sink that engulphed them. If it remind us of the celibacy of its clergy, yet is it an evidence that a churchman without a needy family of his own, may provide for many and through many generations :-if of the indolence of its cloisters, yet of their quiet and seclusion-of a poor dwelling for learning and literature to be at rest in. In brief, if it remind us of its errors, so does it of those virtues from which its errors sprang.

S:, Cross is a noble institution! It does honour to human nature. A man will think the better of himself that hath eaten of its hospitality as I have done, and every stranger may do. The world hath forgotten what charity means,-it knows not how to give,-- it is all vile, paltry, self-flattery, --it is “ the picture in little :"--we throw half-pence to a beggar as we give a kick to a dog, to rid us of an annoyance;-We do not stoop to raise up the fallen, but bend towards them ;--we are eaten up with orders and degrees, and know nothing of the simple dignity of human nature. The universal stamp of fellowship and

brotherhood is left out of the new coinage. The Romish religion taught us better by humbling itself; it was lip-honour, if you please, but it was honour. A churchman was then noble above all nobility; yet had the church its Carmelites, and mendicant friars, its brothers of St. Dominic and St. Augustine, and by its constitution the proudest of its dignitaries must, on occasion, perform the meanest offices, especially to the poor. When a man was worn out with age, or sunk with poverty and misfortune, they did not put a brand of shame on his foreheadthey did not put a bell round his neck, nor send him to a workhouse, or to break stones upon the road, but to "the Alms-house of Noble Poverty”—Domus elemosynaria nobilis paupertatis, &c. as this place was named by Beaufort. The very words have honour in them! Poverty was then no shame. We hold the same doctrine, but our conduct gives the lie to it. It is now a shame! a corroding, cankerous shame, that eats the heart! It is the very worst offence in the whole calendar:-“ veray poverte,” that is poverty of spirit, "is sinne properly," says the Wife of Bath ;--we make no distinctions; the age is not critical in such matters ; it is not only an offence, but offence without apology, for it hath not one way to bribe opinion.

“ There is not,” says the historian of Winchester, “ within the island any remnant of ancient piety and charity of the same kind, which has been so little changed in its institution and appearance as this, The lofty tower, with the grated door and porter's lodge beneath it, the retired ambulatory, the separate cells, the common refectory, the venerable church, the black flowing dress and the silver cross worn by the members, the conventual appellation of brother, with which they salute each other; in short, the silence, the order, and the neatness, that here reign, serve to recall the idea of a monastery to those who have seen one, and will give no imperfect idea of such an establishment to those who have not bad that advantage.” This is a very admirable description, and yet weak and imperfect, when I remember the full and unmixed feeling of delight and astonishment with which I first entered the place itself. I had “ bid good-morrow" to the sun that morning, and been stirring before the plough was in the furrow. I had wandered over the dewy fields, watching the trout in the river, and beguiled onwards by the fresh beauties of the scene, and the joyous songs of birds, that came floating " upon the wings of silence ;" and had thus passed some hours in quiet indolence, when, directing my course, with the instinct of appetite, to the village, I turned suddenly and entered St; Cross. The first gateway and the outer court were passed in a humour between curiosity and indifference, when the whole burst upon me with the suddenness and indistinctness of a vision. It seemed unreal—it was a picture of imagination, that had left nothing imperfect. The picturesque and beautiful cells of the brothers on the one side—the ambulatory on the other—the church, such a church ! before me—the archway and tower beneath which I stood—the noble refectory with its arched staircase, overrun with the finest creeper I had ever seen, in its most luxuriant foliage, when its leaves were just embrowned with Autumn—such a scene may be imagined, but cannot be described. But the brothers, in their long black robes, and the silver cross on their breast, where could an Englishman's imagination have found them? The sun was shining as strong as it ever does in September, directly on

the front of the brothers' cells, and in a seat before one of them, was a venerable grey-headed old man, taking his frugal meal, attended on, with all the patience of virtue, by a young and beautiful girl, whose service seemed to anticipate his wants-be was little short of a hundred years old, as I afterwards learnt. From the hall-door others of the brethren were passing with their daily allowance; and, pacing backwards and forwards, under the shelter of the cells, and in the warm sunshine, quite unconscious that she was observed, was a lady reading, who paused as every brother passed, as if to make an affectionate inquiry, and receive his blessing—this was the chaplain's daughter. It was the most bewildering scene I had ever witnessed. I stood for some minutes in silent admiration, with something of painful astonishment, and was not sorry to see a brother approaching the gateway, with two large "jacks" of beer, and doles of bread;—this was the porter, or

Rather one that smiles, and still invites

All that pass by ;and his burthen was for indiscriminate distribution to wayfaring travellers. Whoever shall think this picture overwrought, let him visit St. Cross as I did, not with a throng of companions in mid-day, but alone, and before the dew is off; and let him then tell how infinitely short I have fallen of his own feeling.

The entire buildings of this place, the whole establishnient indeed, are grand and imposing. In the few charitable endowments of the last century, there is too much of calculation--we seem to do good grudgingly-it may be right, but let us admit there is something noble in the magnificent disregard of our ancestors. Here is a church worthy such an institution-not a hall, not an overgrown room, but a church that could receive half a dozen country parishes. Every place has its ornament, and more ornament than was wanting, if we calculate by the square and rule. Why a double-arched entrance? Why two towers ? Why an ambulatory? Why a portico to the refectory? Why such a church? Or why a church at all when the refectory would serve its purpose? Because it was “ the Alms-house of Noble Poverty."

This charity, after all, is but a remnant of what it once was. originally founded by King Stephen's brother, and subsequently enlarged by Cardinal Beaufort. It was at first "to provide thirteen poor men, who were otherwise unable to maintain themselves, with every necessary. They were required to reside in the house, and they were allowed each of them daily a loaf of good wheat bread, of three pounds four ounces weight, and a gallon and a half of good small beer. They had also a pottage called mortrel, made of milk and wastelbred, a dish of flesh or fish, as the day should require, and a pittance for their dinner, likewise one dish for their supper. Besides these thirteen resident poor men, the foundation required that one hundred others, the most indigent that could be found in the city, but of good characters, should be provided every day with a loaf of bread, three quarts of small beer, and two messes for their dinner, in a hall appointed for this purpose, called, from this circumstance, Hundred-mennes hall; and as this was a very ample allowance, they were permitted to carry home with them whatever they did not consume on the spot. There was also a foundation for a master, with the salary of from seven to eight

It was

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