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“ The thoughtless world to Majesty may bow,

Exalt the brave, and idolise success ;
But more to innocence their virtue owe
Than power or genius e'er conspired to bless.

Hark, how the sacred calm that breathes around
Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease,
In still small accents whispering from the ground
A grateful earnest of eternal peace.

There scattered oft, the earliest of the year,
By bands unseen are showers of violets found,
The redbreast loves to build and warble there,
And little footsteps lightly print the ground.”

When you have done this-cease, if you will, to admire, but do not attempt to criticise. Nothing on earth is more offensive than impotent criticism, cavilling without finding fault, harping upon demerits it does not name, and repudiating defects it cannot show : it is enough for Gray, or any man, that, if he has not done that which is impossible, he has done that which is rare; that if he has not attained, he has approached perfection.

And here, having devoted so much time to this classic spot, which we would take the liberty of reminding such of our readers as rush, for the sake of classical associations, to foreign shores, lies within less than an hour's journey from London, we may as well waste a word or two on the pretensions put forward by other country churchyards to the distinction of having suggested the “Elegy."

Elegy.” Of these, Grantchester, near Cambridge, and Upton, hard by Windsor, assert their pretensions with greatest confidence, and others have been named, but with more modesty.

The truth is, that Gray, a solitary and melancholy man, may have drawn the images in his Elegy from various sources; but there can be no reasonable doubt that Stoke, his parish church, his favourite haunt, his residence during the vacation, was the place where, often lingering, he modulated the strains that will render his name immortal. It is true that the tower of Upton church is more strictly an ivy-mantled tower than that of Stoke; but at Stoke we have "the rugged elms, the yew-trees' shade;" and when we reflect that the Elegy, long laid aside, was resumed upon the death of the poet's aunt, who is buried in the churchyard, we cannot help thinking that this place is more immediately associated with the labours of the poet than any other. This assertion of the undoubted right of Stoke to be considered the churchyard in which the Elegy was written is of no great consequence, farther than that the faith in the genuineness of our classical associations should be preserved, if possible, without the stain of scepticism.

The existing memorials connecting the time of Gray with our own time, , are first, the remaining portion of the old manor house, immortalized in the “Long Story."

In Britain's isle, no matter where,
An ancient pile of building stands,
The Huntingdons and Hattons there
Employed the power of fairy hands
To raise the ceiling's fretted height,
Each pannel in achievements clothing.
Rich windows that exclude the light,
And passages that lead to nothing.

West-end Cottage, about half a mile from the church, is the place in which Gray resided. It has been much altered and improved since his time, being now a place of some pretension to elegance. A walnut-tree and a summer-house, or grotto, to which allusion is made in one of the poet's letters, yet remain.

From Stoke we take our way to BEACONSFIELD, a small market-town in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, about twenty-three miles from London. The classical tourist will find much food for meditation in a visit to this place, the haunt of two men greatly, yet differently, distinguished in the annals of the political and literary history of England. Need we more than mention the names of Waller, the poet, and Burke, “the greatest of political philosophers.”

The limits of our work do not permit a detailed memoir of the lives of those distinguished men, and all that we can do is to borrow from their biographers such particulars as connect them with Beaconsfield, making its neighbourhood classic ground.

'Upon the remains of a fortune,” says Dr. Johnson, “which the danger of his life had very much diminished, Waller lived at Hall Barn, a house built by himself, very near to Beaconsfield, where his mother resided.

“His mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her, used to reproach him; he, in return, would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt; but finding, in time, that she acted for the king, as well as talked, he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her own house.

“ Toward the decline of life he bought a small house with a little land, at Coleshill; and said, “He should be glad to die, like the stag, where he was roused.' This, however, did not happen. When he was at Beaconsfield, he found his legs grow tumid: he went to Windsor, where Sir Charles Scarborough then attended the king, and requested him, both as a friend and a physician, to tell him what that swelling meant. “Sir,' answered Scarborough, your blood will run no longer.' Waller repeated some lines of Virgil, and went home to die."

His death took place on the 21st of October, and beneath a walnut-tree of far-spreading shade his remains were deposited. An oblong tomb, from whose centre rises a pyramid, marks the spot. On the monument are laudatory inscriptions in Latin from the pen of Rymer.

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The demesne of Hall Barn, together with much of the property formerly enjoyed by Waller, has lately come into the possession, by purchase, of Sir Gore Ouseley, sometime British Ambassador to the Court of Persia.

The particulars connected with Burke, as an inhabitant here, we have derived from the Memoirs of that great statesman, by the Reverend Dr. Croly and Mr. Prior.

The first-named gentleman, in his “Memoirs of the Political Life and Writings of Burke,” furnishes us with some interesting particulars of the estate of Gregories. “The fate of the Rockingham ministry had displaced Burke ; and with his delicacy of taking office, under the slightest presumption of a change of principle, it for some time secluded him from public


service. But in this interval he was neither idle nor unhappy. In general society he was still one of the leaders of all that was intellectual. His almost boundless information, his well-regulated wit, and his fine and peculiar mastery of all that was polished or pointed in the English language, gave him a superiority in conversation which was rendered still more pleasing by the uniform kindness, simplicity, and good-humour of his manner. In his domestic life he was fortunate. His wife was an estimable woman, strongly attached to him, and proud of his fame. His two brothers were amiable and intelligent men, united with him in close friendship, and whom he hoped yet to advance to fortune.

“He had purchased, with his paternal property, and by a sum raised on mortgage, which Lord Rockingham advanced, a house with some land in the neighbourhood of Beaconsfield. There he farmed, read, and wrote. In London, from which his house was but twenty-four miles distant, he mingled with the highest circles of active life, enjoyed all the concentrated animation and ability of the accomplished and opulent: and in Parliament continually indulged his genius, and enlarged his fame by an eloquence, which, in its peculiar spirit, has never found a superior.

“It has been remarked, as a characteristic of all eminent minds, that whatever pursuit they adopt, they adopt it with peculiar vigour. Burke, at all times attached to a country life, was a farmer in the intervals of his labours as a statesman ; and he gave himself up to his crops with a diligence that would have done credit to a man who had never strayed beyond the farmyard. In one of his letters to an Irish friend, about 1771, he thus mentions his successes at the plough tail :

—We have had the most rainy and stormy season that has been ever known. I have got my wheat into the ground better than some others; that is, about four-and-twenty acres. I proposed having about ten more, but, considering the season, this is tolerable.' He then proceeds to a detail of his exploits in the production of bacon ; inquires to what weight hogs are capable of being fed in Ireland, and anticipates victory in giving the weight of his own; discusses the market prices of things, and explains a new project of sowing peas, which is to save a fallow, and of course make a handsome return to the projector.”

The estate of Gregories, a name superseded by that of Butler's Court given to it by Mr. Burke, has become the property of the Du Pre family, of Wilton Park, in this neighbourhood. The mansion, comprising a centre


united to wings by corridors, had been let to a clergyman for the purpose

of a school, and was accidentally burned down, on the 23rd of April, 1813, only a year after the death of the widow of Edmund Burke.

Of the character of this great man among his neighbours in his occasional retirement here, all his biographers speak in highly favourable terms. Mr. Prior states, that “with the poor in his neighbourhood he was generally a favourite, having the address to converse much with them, visit their cottages, overlook or regulate their pastimes as well as their labours, without losing anything of bis dignity. Harvest-home was always celebrated at Butler's Court with abundant hospitality, the family mingling in the gaiety and sports of the time without reserve, and vying in their attentions to their humble guests."

The particulars of his last moments cannot be read without deep interest.

“I have been at Bath these four months to no purpose, and am, therefore, to be removed to my own house at Beaconsfield to-morrow, to be nearer to a habitation more permanent, humbly and fearfully hoping that my

better part may find a better mansion.”

He was anxious to die at home, and breathe his last surrounded by the objects and recollections endeared to him through life. To some one, who probably remonstrated with him on taking so long a journey in his condition, he answered, “It is at least so far on the way to the tomb, and I may as well travel it alive as dead."

The public grief for the death of this eminent person was expressed in the strongest language of regret and admiration. His funeral, which took place on the 15th of July, in Beaconsfield church, where he was laid, by his own directions, in the same grave with his son and brother, was attended by a crowd of individuals of distinction. The pall was borne by Lord Minto, Lord Sidmouth (speaker), To The Same grave credere the Duke of Portland, Lord Fitzwilliam, the Duke of Devonshire, the Marquis of Thomond, Mr. Wyndham, and Lord Loughborough (lord-chancellor). Mr. Fox honourably proposed that the burial should take place in Westminster Abbey. The will, however, had declared otherwise.

The arrangement of his property was brief. He gave the whole in fee

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