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their sanctuaries, and haunted me; the stupendous piles of ancient architecture, still in preservation, had passed before me; the mansions of the great seemed remarkable only by comparison one with another; gilded halls, statuary, paintings, state apartments and state furniture, in all their variety of beauty, grandeur, and costliness, had lost the air of nov. elty, though not altogether the charm of interest; the exquisite combinations of nature and art, to make a little spot of earth too good for use, too perfect to be enjoyed, had claimed and received my enrapt attentions; herds of deer had become as flocks of sheep; and the waters of Harrowgate as the waters of Avon or Genesee river (both of which are indeed exactly alike)—when I left Harrowgate, a beautiful and salubrious retreat, to call at Fountain's Abbeynot that I had supposed any thing of the kind was yet left to awaken in my bosom other and newer feelings of complacency and delight in that which is old; nor that I had imagined that Studley Park remained to throw all other parks I had seen into the shade, and make them in comparison to be despised—but because, being in the neighbourhood, it was suitable to see it.
I love to be taken by surprise in matters of this kind. And therefore, generally, I never read a guide-book to be guided. If I have it in my pocket, I am careful not to know too much about it. It is often quite as well to take these things as they are afloat in common story. I had heard of Studley Park, and of Fountain's Abbey. Who has not? But nobody ever told me that they were so worthy of attention.
I am also exceedingly jealous of walking society, when I visit these Elysian fields and these monuments of the rev. erend dead. I am afraid they will profane the place. Indeed, I never knew it otherwise. And therefore, when I can, I choose to go alone. I do not object to a professional guide, who has been disciplined to propriety and duty, and whom I can command either to speak or keep silence, as may suit my feelings. I had almost said, a man must be devout in such a place. He must at least indulge in sentiments which border upon religious awe. He communes with the dead. He consults spirits who have been for generations and for centuries tenants of the invisible world. He asks them what they thought, what they felt, and what were their schemes? He sees before him the proofs of their aspirations after immortality. He admires their industry, and wonders at their skill. He sees the stamp of their minds graven on the imperishable granite, and angel forms hewn out of the rock, bearing the scroll of the date of their creation. The Babel of their ambition rises high, and holds converse with the fleeting clouds from generation to generation. And to be disturbed by common chatter in the midst
of such solemn scenes, and such imposing grandeur, is not simply unsentimental, but it is profane-it is shocking.
In approaching this ancient ruin, the visiter, leaving the beautiful town of Ripon behind him, and passing the little village of Studley, finds himself plunged into the spacious grounds, laid open to the range of deer, sheep, and cattleshaded in all directions with the most stately oak, chestnut, beech, and various other forest trees. Having passed the mansion and its gardens, standing upon elevated ground on the right, he descends to the margin of a small lake, fed by a cascade, and open to his eye at the farther extremity; which is in the line of the boundary that separates the pleasure-grounds from the pastoral fields. It would be mockery to attempt a description of a four miles' walk, after passing the lodge at the head of this lake, every rod of which presents something to arrest the footstep, to amaze, or delight, or enrapture the soul. First we plunge under the deep shade of the fir and other evergreens; next we walk by the shorn and impenetrable hedge of the thickly-set yew-tree; next a lofty laurel-bank, sweeping far and rising high, and over its top, peering upon us, the banquetinghouse; now we look through an aperture, shorn out from the thicket, down upon a cluster of green islets, made by artificial divisions and serpentine courses of the stream, and here and there planted upon them select and elegant specimens of statuary; yonder is the temple of filial piety, erected in honour of the Grecian daughter who nourished her father, doomed to starvation, by the milk of her own breast; and there is the dying gladiator, who, though dying so long, is dying still. As we pass along and wend our path, ascending and descending, and crossing the stream over a rustic bridge-not knowing that we have crossed it—with everchanging prospect peeping now and then through the shorn avenues-we have an octagon tower and temple of Fame, and various other edifices passing before us—the same things presenting themselves again and again from different posi. tions, under other aspects. Now we find ourselves in a subterranean passage, buried from the light of day, and then opening again on a new world. The tops of the trees, in several places, are shorn in long ranges, to open on our view some distant and beautiful object. By-and-by, coming to a Gothic screen, a door is suddenly opened on the brow of a lofty eminence—and down through the vale, over a lake, a cascade, and meadow lawn, the long looked-for object, the romantic reality of Fountain's Abbey, in its best and most perfect form, bursts upon the eye. And there it is—and there, in that soft and holy retreat, with its fulldrawn sides and lofty tower, planted in nature's garden, overhung and wrapped in forest-hills-let that awful relic of centuries agone rest for ever and aye.
Then, having drunk deeply of the vision from that eminence, go and take possession-walk up and down its long aisles, open to the vault of heaven, but walled still to the clouds. Tread upon the tesselated pavement, the very original ground of the altar, laved by the drenchings of every shower. Look up to the lofty and majestic tower, still standing in all its parts. Walk round again and again, and look up again, till, if possible, you are satisfied. But that can hardly be. Survey and note the numerous adjacent structures in their various apartments-many of which are found in perfection even now—and all of which at this day cover two acres of ground. And then consider, that these are only so small a fraction of that stupendous pile which originally covered twelve acres !
“ Here awful arches made a noonday night,
And sheds a browner horror on the woods." Fountain's Abbey was built in the 12th century, and is reckoned one of the finest and most perfect ruins of the kind in England.
FOUR BRITISH STATESMEN. Earl Grey-Lord Brougham—Daniel O'Connell—and Thomas Babbington
EARL Grey has closed his political career; but English history will support his name, and posterity remember his services with everlasting gratitude. It may be true, that there have lived greater men; certainly there have been more brilliant. In the file of English ministers since the Revolution, he has not perhaps a rival in the highest qualities of a statesman. “If there be one,” says a British authority, “it was probably Lord Somers; but it may be doubted if he was equal to Lord Grey in eloquence and outward accomplishments. Walpole had great sagacity and business talent; but his maxims were gross, and his character wanted elevation as well as virtue. Chatham's arrogance rendered it impossible for any man possessing self-respect to act with him. North was merely a courtier and a man of expedients. William Pitt was inoculated with his father's arrogance, and like him he was deficient in acquired knowledge. Fox, with his wonderful gifts of head and heart, always leaves an impression on the mind of a person ill qualified for business; Liverpool was a poor Sir Plausible; Castlereagh had not one notable quality, except a ruffianly hardihood; Canning, with superior talents, had a large dash of the charlatan; and Peel's tactical skill and logical dexterity are sullied by craftiness, and his political life is not in harmony with itself. Of Peel, most assuredly it cannot be said, as of Earl Grey, that whatever he utters has the dignity of truth and the stamp of honour.?” This is rather a short way of disposing of these eminent men, it must be confessed ; and seems to partake of the spirit of party.
Lord Grey was born in 1764, and educated at Cambridge. In 1785 he was returned to Parliament for his native county, Northumberland.' Mr. Pitt was then in the zenith of his power, obtained by the sacrifice of early principles on the altar of ambition and apostacy, Liberal opinions were then a drawback in a young aspirant to a political station. But Mr. Grey honourably attached himself to the principles and party of Mr. Fox. The terrific evils of the French Revolution did not cool his love of liberty, or scare him from his confidence in the cause of freedom. He passed the ordeal of that severe and memorable trial, and was distinguished in the small, but chosen band of patriotic Whigs. He joined Mr. Fox in the powerful advocacy of Parliamentary Reform, and was a member of the notable association of the “Friends of the People.” In the spring of 1792, Mr. Grey was selected by this society to introduce a motion in the Commons for a reform in the representation, by public resolutions signed, on the unanimous order of a public meeting, by Mr. Lambton, the father of Lord Durham. On the presentation of the petition and reform scheme of the society, Mr. Grey, on the 6th of May, 1793, moved “ for the appointment of a committee to take the petition into consideration, and report such mode and remedy as should appear to them proper." He was ably and eloquently seconded by Mr. Erskine, and after
two days' debate the motion was lost by a majority of 241– - forty-one members only supporting it out of 282,
What a change of public sentiment on this question in forty years; or rather what a different House of Commons ! The Reformed House of Commons under Earl Grey's administration stood thus: Reformers, 464; Anti-Reformers, 185; majority, 280!—dividing the doubtful equally. .
On the 26th of May, 1797, Mr. Grey again moved “for leave to bring in a bill to reform the representation of the people in the House of Commons.” On the division there appeared--ays, 93; noes, 258; majority, 165. A manisest increase in favour of Reform.
On April 25th, 1803, he again moved, “ that it be an instruction to the committee to consider his majesty's most gracious message respecting the union of Great Britain and Ireland, to take into their consideration the most effectual means of securing the independence of Parliament.” This motion was rejected on a division of 34 to 176.
In 1806 he joined the Coalition administration, as first Lord of the Admiralty, and succeeded, on the death of Mr. Fox, to the Secretaryship of Foreign Affairs. In 1807 he succeeded to the peerage of his father. His political consistency and judgment, as a senator, during the administrations of the Duke of Portland, Lord Sidmouth, Mr. Percival, Lord Liverpool, Mr. Canning, Lord Goderich, and the Duke of Wellington, have never been questioned by the friends of liberty. Throughout the whole of this memorable period of British history, Lord Grey was the never-failing advocate of popular interests. His steady and enlightened support of Catholic emancipation-his known refusal of office without the concession of that critical question-his opposition to the Tory crusades against the liberties of Europe his protests against the profligate expenditures of Mr. Pitt and his successors—his opposition to the fraudulent alterations in the currency in 1797, and to the subsequent robberies of both creditors and debtors-greatly distinguished him among his political contemporaries.
So much for the history of that period of Earl Grey's life, which, in the providence of God, constituted the school of his training for that high destiny which he has fulfilled. Those who sympathize with the principles which he so early imbibed, and with the plans of improving society, in its highest and most influential departments, which have employed his powers, and to which he devoted himself through a long life, with such rare consistency, and with a final triumph so signal and complete, can hardly fail to be impressed, if they believe in Providence, that he was raised up for the notable work which he, more than any other individual, was the instrument of accomplishing. Earl Grey has occupied the point of an epoch, not in English history only, but in the history of Europe-of the world; and his hand established it. Having done his work, he has “descended, not fallen,"* from the summit of his power, with a dignity that sheds lustre on his name, and will secure for him the respect not only of the present generation, but of all that are to come.
It does not now require to be said that the British nation · had recently arrived at a crisis in their history, which demanded no ordinary qualifications and no ordinary powers to guide them, under Providence, safely through. Every
* These were his own words at the Edinburgh dinner given in honour of him.