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idea realised of a royal residence worthy the Sovereign of a great and powerful nation. This view has been noticed by a popular writer, who that it is such a prospect as “every one who has the slightest taste for the picturesque should neither die nor go abroad without seeing."
Near the London road, on the opposite side, but hidden from our view by a high wall, is
FROGMORE, now the residence of H. R. H. the Duchess of Kent, which was from a very early period part of the royal demesne, and, as such, was disposed of by authority of the Parliament, together with other of the crown lands. The mansion was formerly in the occupation of George Fitzroy, Duke of Northumberland, one of the natural sons of King Charles the Second, whose widow, the Duchess Dowager, died there at a very advanced age. After his release from imprisonment in the Round Tower, Marshal Bellisle resided here, and was succeeded by Sir Edward Walpole. In the time of Queen Charlotte, the house and grounds were much improved, and Frogmore became a favourite retreat of Her Majesty.
The grounds contain about thirteen acres, laid out with the most refined taste.
" A DOUT, ABOUT!
When we have dissipated a delightful day in hurrying through the halls of venerable Eton, pacing the terraces and wandering over the state apartments of Windsor Castle, feasting our eyes with the magnificent expanse of view from the summit of the Round Tower; when we have been whirled rapidly over the leading drives of the Great Park, and having fared sumptuously at one of the Inns, devote the evening to the artificial prettinesses of Virginia Water, we retire to rest, after a day of pleasurable fatigue, exulting in the activity that has enabled us to go over so much ground, and to behold so many objects of interest, in so little time.
In this excursive and time-economising spirit do thousands upon thousands of our countrymen visit a spot, historically, classically, by gifts of nature and treasures of art, the most interesting in England, and full to overflowing with materials for thinking; yet, fully to enjoy all that Windsor has to offer to the mind as well as to the eye, we must pay our visit leisurely, collecting, ere we set out upon our journey, as many as possible of the time-honoured associations of the unforgotten past.
We are thus prepared, not only to enjoy all that this delightful retreat affords of gratification to the sight, but to superadd that more exquisite pleasure derivable from reflections, of which our sight is merely suggestive.
The pleasures of sight-seeing are but pleasures of sense; the massive beauty of battlemented towers soon satisfies our eyes; there is a cold, courtly formality in the gilded halls of palaces ; tiresome is the monotony of successive ball-rooms, presence chambers, ante-chambers, guard chambers, grand staircases, and the long array of empty rooms of state: if these only made the attractions of a place like Windsor, these attractions, to the intellectual, would be soon exhausted: wearied with the reiteration of
marbles, tapestries, mirrors, gilded walls, and ceilings glowing from the pencil of the artist, we might be tempted, after all, to exclaim with the poet of Windsor Forest, “ I seldom see a noble building, or any great piece of magnificence and pomp, but I think how little is all this to satisfy the ambition, or to fill the idea, of an immortal soul !”
But when to this mere magnificence of Royal residences, which is at Windsor Castle the chief object of attention to the great majority of visitors, we superadd all that the noble pile has to boast of in historical associations of great and lasting interest; when we regard it as not only “the monarch's but the muse's seat,” and survey, from its proudly eminent towers, a country much loved of the never-dying poets of our land, and hardly more indebted to Nature than to her favourite children, the children of song; when
when we recall, through the mists of time-pomp, and pageantry, and cavalcade, of the day and the night, of life and death, that have been witnessed within these walls, centuries of thought crowd at once upon us; outward shows forgotten, we revel in the luxury of recollection, and are transported beyond ourselves and our time.
These recollections we shall pause at some interval of leisure to recall : at present we must introduce the impatient reader to the object of his journey; curiosity is a hunger, which must be appeased before the mind is in a condition to digest history or tradition.
The tourist, whether he may have rambled with us the pleasant route we have been describing, or whether, as is most probable, he may have adopted
the usual course of proceeding through the town of Windsor, will find himself at length entering the gateway, called Henry the Eighth's, beneath whose ample arch he catches a glimpse of that exquisitely beautiful structure St. George's Chapel.
The Lower Ward of the castle, which we are first to explore, contains the following objects of interest :-to the north St. George's Chapel, the Royal, formerly called Wolsey's Tomb-house, the Deanery, and Winchester Tower. To the rear of St. George's Chapel are the great Cloisters, where reside the Canons of the College of St. George; the Lesser, or Horse Shoe Cloisters, where inhabit the Minor Canons and other officers of the College, and Julius Cæsar's Tower, one of the few remaining portions of the older structure, picturesquely perched upon the verge of the cliff overhanging the town. On the south and west sides of the ward are the houses assigned to the Military Knights, formerly called Poor Knights, of Windsor. The principal towers in this ward, in addition to that already mentioned, are the Ivy, or Stone Tower, the twin-towers of Henry the Eighth's gateway, Salisbury Tower, Garter Tower, and Bell Tower, between east and west, in the order in which we have enumerated them.
St. George's Chapel, pre-eminent among the buildings of the Lower Ward, not merely in architectural beauty, but in historical association, demands our first attention.
The Chapel of St. George was erected by Edward the Third, on the site of a smaller structure built by Henry the First, and dedicated to Edward the Confessor. This structure having become much dilapidated, was considerably enlarged and beautified by Edward the Fourth, and having undergone considerable alterations and improvements in subsequent reigns, especially in that of Henry the Seventh, may now be regarded as one of the most elegant and complete specimens of the florid Gothic in the kingdom. A screen and organ gallery divide the interior into two parts, the body of the chapel and the Choir. We admire the workmanship of the groined roof, enriched with different devices, among which may be observed the arms of Edward the Confessor, Edward the Third, Edward the Black Prince, Henry the Sixth, Edward the Fourth, and Henry the Seventh, intermingled with heraldic insignia, beautifully emblazoned. In the choir, on either side, are arranged the stalls of the Sovereign and Knights Companions of the Order of the Garter. High over the stalls depend the banners, and beneath these are the mantle, sword, and helmet of the respective knights; the carvings of the stalls display a profusion of labour ; on the pedestals is a series of delineations of the history of the Redeemer from his nativity to his ascension; and on the front of the stalls at the west end of the choir, the actions of St. George are displayed. The Sovereign's stall is on the right as we enter the choir, and that of the Prince on the left. At the back of each stall is affixed a brass plate bearing the titles and arms of the knights who have occupied them in succession. Underneath the Queen's closet, on the north side of the choir, is the tomb of Edward the Fourth, a beautiful work of art, in hammered steel, executed by Quintin Matsys, the blacksmith of Antwerp.
In 1789, the workmen employed in repairing the chapel perceived a small aperture in the vault where Edward the Fourth was interred. On being opened, the skeleton of that monarch was found enclosed in a leaden and wooden coffin ; the head was inclined to the north side, without any appearance of cere-cloth or wrapper, rings or other insignia. The skeleton was found immersed in a glutinous fluid, of a strong saline taste.
When the discovery was communicated, the neighbouring inhabitants pressed with such eagerness to obtain a view and some relic of the remains, that the skeleton of the prince, which upwards of three centuries had failed to reduce to its native dust, had not the coffin been closed, would have been frittered away in almost as many hours.
The body of the mild and inoffensive Henry the Sixth, after his murder in the Tower, was conveyed to Chertsey monastery, but afterwards removed to the chapel :
“ Let softest strains ill-fated Henry mourn,
And palms eternal flourish round his urn.
The popular opinion that miracles were wrought through the intercession of this unhappy king, was long prevalent.
In a vault in the choir, near the eleventh stall, on the Sovereign's side, lie the remains of Henry the Eighth, of his Queen, Jane Seymour, and of Charles the First.