Page images
PDF
EPUB

accident made her better known to her royal spouse, and caused a perfect reconciliation.

• The king had made a voyage into Finland, and sent an express with letters to the royal family, to let them know of his Tafe arrival. As the express had orders to return as soon as poffible, they would all write to the king by the return of the messenger; and the young duchess of Sudermania having finifhed her letter, she went to the queen to tell her that the courier grew impatient at waiting, as no one else dared to interrupt her majesty while she was writing. The queen had just finifhed, and was going to give her letter to her Danish gentlewoman to write it fair, as the ever used to do with all her letters; but the duchess snatched it up and ran away with it, saying the king Mould owe great obligation to her, for, baying, by her means, a letter written by the queen's own hand, She sealed it up with her own letter, and seat it away. The king who had never seen the queen’s hand writing before was surprifed and highly charmed with the contents. There was a delicacy of sentiment and a gentlenefs in the expressions he had never found before in her letrers. He read it aloud to some of his favourites, with great satisfaction; and after having finished. he asked thein, with a fort of triumph, what they thought of the letter?" From the tender concern the queen expresses for my health and welfare,” faid be, " I dould almost have the vanity to believe that the loved me.” A young gentleman' present had the boldness to ask if his majesty had never knowu that before? The king Startled at the question, and answered, with a serious look, that he had so many proofs to the contrary, that he pever could perfuade himself the bad for him any real affection. The gentle.. man answered, that if his majelty would permit him to reply, he dared to assert that all such ideas were falacions, and put forth by persons who had an interest in creating divisions in the royal family, and upon the king's asking him how he could be fo certain of the truth of his affertion, he frankly owned that he was upon terms of the greatest intimacy with a lady who had a good share in the queen's confidence, and it was by that means he came by his knowledge of her majesty's sentiments; and that it now depended upon the king to assure himself of their reality whenever he pleased. The king having a great opinion of the character of the gentleman, was almost persuaded ; and in consequence he wrote a letter to the queen, full of the warmeft expressions of esteem and friendship, assuring her, he should think himself happy if, at his return, he might be convinced of the reality of the sentiments expressed in her letter ; in the - mean time he begged the favour of having another letter written by her own hand, that he might experience again the pleasure which the former had given him. The queen agreeably surprised at so unexpected a change, answered according to the dictates of her heart; and when the king was expected home, the prepared a splendid feast for his return, and received him

[ocr errors]

with that modest tenderness fo flattering to it's object. That very evening they came to an explanation, and were convinced of their former mistake on each other's sentiments : the king conducted the queen to her apartments, and for a long time ato ter he had no other bed chamber than hers. The Danisli gentlewoman being convicted of having altered the queen's letters, was dismissed from her fervice, and fent out of the kingdom; the young gentleman who had undertaken the queen's defence was rewarded by many rich presents from her majesty : and the king, as well upon that confideration as in respect to his merit, has fince raised his fortune in an eminent degree.' . It appears that the queen-dowager was far from being fatiffied at the reconciliation of her fon and his confort; and that, to the end of her life, the secretly abetred the calumnies which were propagated of the latter, by those who were enemies to the domestic tranquillity of the royal pair.

We are informed that the prince-royal of Sweden is generally allowed to be one of the most promising youths of his age. When only seven years old, he could maintain a conversation with senators, foreigu ambassadors, and others persons who visited the court; and he has been twice examined in the presence of the deputies of the four orders, with as much satisfaction to them as encouragement to himself.

The character of the duke of Sudermania, and the duke of Oftrogothia, brothers to the king, are afterwards delineated; with a variety of political and biographical anecdotes relative to the affairs of the nation, and to perfons of eminence at the Swedish court. The work, however, abounds, in many parts, with frivolous detail; but it is calculated to afford amusement, and seems to give a faithful account of the present situation of the court of Sweden.

An Hiftorical Account of the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Green

wich. 1789. 4to. 125. Boards. Nicol. THE Royal Hospital at Greenwich is not lcss conspicuous

for the grandeur of the fabric, than for the benevolent and laudable purposes which gave rise to its foundation. But such an institution, considered only in a political view, may justly be regarded as an object of great importance to the public; efpecially to a nation whose fafety as well as greatness de. pends chiefly on the cultivation of her maritime power. If

class of men be entitled to an ample retribation from the state, it is certainly those who have spent the vigour of their life amidst fatigues and dangers, and either exhausted their strength, or incurred perpetual infirmity, in the Service of their country. It may appear surprising, that an afylum for superannuated and disabled seamen Thould not have

therefore any

been established at least as early as that for aged and infirm foldiers; but the inftitution of Chelsea Hospital preceded the Hospital at Greenwich by several years; and it appears that the latter owed its origin more to the humanity and compassion of a pious princess, than either to the sentiments of national intereit, or of public generosity and justice. The sovereign who has the glory of this noble institution, was queen Mary, the consort of William the Third. The rev. Mr. Cooke and Mr. Maule, chaplains of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, and who are the authors of the present narrative, have submitted to the public a copy of the original grant, from king William and queen Mary, of king Charles the Second's palace at Eaft. Greenwich, and the ground annexed to it, for the use of an. hospital for the relief of seamen, their widows and children; with a copy likewise of king William's commission for the pur. pose, in the year 1695.

The rcv, authors, after tracing the progress of this royal edifice, from its foundation to the year 1778, proceed to give a description of it in its present state.

Greenwich Hospital is situated about five miles from Londonbridge, on the southern bank of the Thames. It is elevated on a terrace about 865 feet in length towards the river, and confifts of four distinct piles of building, distinguished by the names of King Charles's, Queen Ann's, King William's, and Queen Mary's. The interval between the two most northern buildings, viz. King Charles's and Queen Ann's, forms the grand square, which is about 273 feet wide. Of the four diftinct buildings before mentioned, each of which is quadrangular, the authors give the following description :

• The first, called king Charles's building, is on the west side of the great square; the eastern part of which was the residence of Charles the Second, and was erected by Mr. Webb, after a design of that celebrated architect, Inigo Jones; it is of Poriland itone, and rusticated. In the middle is a tetrastyle portico of the Corinthian order, crowned with its proper entablature, and a pediment. At each end is a pavilion formed by tour corresponding pilasters of the same order with their entablature, and surmounted by an atiic order with a balluftrade.

• In the tympanum of the pediment is a piece of sculpture contitting of two figures, the one, representing Fortitude, the other, Dominion of the Sea.

• The north front, which is towards the river, presents the appearance of two similar pavilions, each having its proper pediment supported by a range of the fame Corinthian columns before mentioned, and their entablature. Over the portal, which joins these two pavilions, is an ornament of festoons and flowers. In the tympanum of the eastern pediment which was

part part of the palace, is a piece of fculpture representing the figures of Mars and Fame, and, in the frize, is the following infcrip. tion :

• Carolus IT Rex

A REG XVI

• The south front of this building corresponds with that of the North, except the sculptures and inscription. The west front consists of a brick building, called the bass.building. In the middle it has a pediment with carving, in the tympanum, confisting of the national arms supported by two genii, with marine trophies and other ornaments. The carving of the pediment is allowed to be well executed in alto relievo; it is 30 feet in length, and 7 feet 7 inches in height. On the other fide of the square towards the east, is queen Ann's building, having its north, west, and south fronts nearly liinilar to king Charles's latt described; but the sculptures in the pediments, as well as in the western pediment of the north front of the last mentioned building still remain unfinished.

• To the southward of these are the other piles of building, with a Doric colonade adjoining to each. That to the west is called king William's, and that to the east queen Mary's.

• King William's building contains the great hal', vestibule, and dome, defigned and erected by Sir Christopher Wren. The tambour of the dome is formed by a circle of columns duplicated, of the composite order, with four projecting groups of columns at the quoins. The attic above is a circle without breaks covered with the dome, and terminated with a turret.

• The west front of this building is of brick, and was finished by Sir John Vanburgh, who was furveyor of the hospital. In the middle is a tetraltyle frontispiece of the doric order, the columns of which are nearly fix feet in diameter, and propor. tionally high, with an entablature and trygliphs over them, all of Portland stone. At each end of this front is a pavilion crowned with a circular pediment, and in that at the north end is a piece of sculpture consisting of groups of marine trophies, and four large heads embossed representing the four winds; with a sea lion and unicorn.

• The north and fouth fronts of this building are of stone; the windows of which are decorated with architraves and impofts rusticated, and the walls crowned with cornices. On the cat stands queen Mary's building, in which is the chapel, as before mentioned, with its vestibule; and a cupola correfpond. ing to the other. These two buildings were named in honour of royal founders, and were intended to have been alike; but in the latter, however, more regard has been paid to conve. nience than to ornament, and the whole front of it is of Portland stone and in a plain style.

• The colonades adjoining to these buildings are 115 feet asunder, and are composed of upwards of 300 duplicated Doric colums and pilasters of Portland ftone, 20 feet high, with an en. Vol. LXIX. Marcb, 1790.

z

tablature

tablature and balluftrade. Each of them is 347 feet long, having a return pavilion at the end 70 feet long.

• The east and west entrances of the hopital are formed by two ruiticated piers, with iron gates, having the porters lodges adjoining. On the rutic piers of the west entrance are placed iwo large stone globes, each six feet in diameter, one cælestial, the other terroftrial.

• On the former are inlaid with copper, in a very curious manner, twenty four meridians, the equinofrial, ecliptic, iropics, and polar circles; and a great number of stars of the first, fecond, and third magnitude, are represented according to their relative positions. On the latter, the principal circles are inlaid in the same manner, with the parallels of latitude to every ten degrees in each hemispherc; the outline of the land and lea is alto described, with the track of lord Anson's voyage round the earth in his majesty's ship Centurion. The globes are placed in an oblique polition, agreeable to the latitude of the place in which they, fand, and were delineated by Mr. Richard Oliver, formerly mathematical mafier at the academy at Greenwich.'

It appears, that in the different wards of this extensive fabric, commodious apartments are provided for the governor and principal officers, and wards are properly fitted up for the penfioners and nurses; who, with the officers families, inferior of. ficers and servants, resident within the walls, amount to nearIy 2500 persons.

The authors next give an account of the revenue of the hofpital, consisting of various grants and donations, public and private, which have been applied to the purposes of the institution, since the time of its commencement; concluding with an account of the various sources whence the whole revenue of the hospital is at present derived. These are stated to be as follows:

11t, Sixpence per man per month for all seamen and marines belonging to his majeity's thips, including those in ordinary.

• 2d, Ditto for all teamen employed in the merchants service.

• 3d, The duties arising from the North and South foreland lighthouses.

4th, The ha'f-pay of several of the officers of the hospital who are entitled therero.

'5th, The wages, with the value of provisions and other allowances, of the two chaplains of Woolwich and Deptford dock. yards.

.6th, The rents and profits of the Derwentwater estates, ineludiny lead mines.

ıh, The rents of the market at Greenwich, and of the houses there and in London. • $th, Interest of money invested in the public funds.

gth, Fines for fishing in the river Thames with unla wful TIeis, and other offences.

joth,

« PreviousContinue »