Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

gave great assistance on this occasion; yet in the confusion, besides what the fire destroyed, several of the royal pictures, and many other valuables, were either lost or stolen.

In the reign of George the First, the Banquettinghouse was converted into a chapel, and that monarch first granted a stipend of £30 yearly to twelve clergymen, six from each University, who officiate a month each, in due succession. It is now appropriated to the use of the Guards, and several of the Eagles and trophies taken from the French at Waterloo, during the war with Buonaparte, have been placed near the altar. Here, also, on every Maunday Thursday, the King's eleemosynary bonnty is distributed to poor and aged men and women.

In the annexed print, taken from the Parade within St. James's Park, are shewn the buildings of Whitehall, as they appeared about the year 1720, as well as the Horse Guards and Admiralty. Of the Gate-houses there delineated, the one with the dome-capped turrets stood at the north end of King-street, and was pulled down in 1723, in order to improve the road to the Parliament House. The other, called the Cockpit Gate, supposed to have been designed by Holbein, and which had been long used as the State Paper Office, was removed in 1750, to widen the street. It was built of stone, mingled with squared flints, and ornamented with busts in terra cotta, three of which, considered to be those of the Henries VII. and VIII., and Bishop Fisher, are now at a mansion called Hatfield Priory, near Witham, in Essex.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

WESTMINSTER ABBEY.-MONUMENT OF LADY

NIGHTINGALE.

This monument, the work of Roubiliac, and the last which he ever executed, except that of the great musician Handel, stands on the east side of St. Michael's Chapel, which originally formed a part of the North transept. Though generally called the Monument of Lady Nightingale, who was the daughter of Washington, Earl Ferrers, it records also the memory of her husband, Joseph Gascoigne Nightingale, Esq., and was erected in 1761, pursuant to the will of their son, Washington George Nightingale, Esq.: Lady Nightingale died in August, 1734, aged twenty-seven, and her husband, in July, 1752, aged fifty-six.

The sentiments excited by this production, which ranks with the choicest specimens of sculpture, either of ancient or modern times, are fraught with associations of the deepest interest. It principally consists of three figures, in statuary marble; namely, a group of Lady Nightingale and her Husband, and a personification of the ideal • grim monster,' Death. The latter is represented as a complete skeleton, in shroud-like habiliments, bursting hideous from his darksome cavern, (which forms the base of the monument,) and raising his fatal dart to pierce the bosom of the lady, who appears sinking to the grave in the final stage of sickness and debility. With mingled horror and dismay, her husband, rushing forward, extends his right arm to repel the threatening shaft; whilst, with his

VOL. 1,

left, he fondly clasps to his breast the dying female, whose languid helplessness, and utter destitution of strength, beautifully contrasts with the attitude and muscular exertion of her affectionate partner, thus vainly endeavouring to protect her from Death's unerring aim. Admitting the propriety of the design, in giving a visible presence to the grisly King of Terrors, the expression and pathos displayed in this composition are of the very highest character. The impatience of Death to secure bis prey is forcibly marked by the distorted attitude in which he rushes from his sepulchral cave at the base of the tomb, and grasps his destructive dart; yet the truth and correctness of the anatomy, and the vast animation which the Sculptor's talents has bestowed on this wonderful arrangement of • unhearsed' bones, cannot be too highly praised: the difficult task of giving stability to such a figure is accomplished by the judicious cast and disposition of the drapery. Every sympathetic feeling of the mind and heart is awakened by the contemplation of this extraordinary performance; and a throb of real anguish fills the breast, on viewing the alarmed countenance of the afflicted husband, thus striving, ineffectually, to shield his beloved wife from the blow which consigns her an early victim to the gloomy mansions of the dead. It is almost impossible to speak of such a masterly work without a degree of admiration bordering on enthusiasm; yet, even the language of enthusiasm itself would hardly be too energetic to do justice to its merits. The genius that could conceive, and the

« ForrigeFortsæt »