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thedral, during the worship of a Sunday afternoon, with instruments and apparatus for striking up a fire. The doors being closed upon him, he went to work at his leisure, selected his own hour of the night, and succeeded but too well in firing the Minster. It would seem impossible, at first sight, to burn such a building. That part of the cathedral, however, which is called the choir, and which is the common place of worship, is a heavy screen of wood (oak), connected with the seats, desks, orchestra, and organ. Even though this should be burnt down, it might ordinarily be expected that the fire would then stop-inasmuch as it is so isolated from the rest of the building. But it seems it did not stop. By the incendiary's own confession, he collected books and cushions, and piled them up in the bishop's throne, or cathedra, as being the more proper place to commence his destruction of the kingdom of antichrist. Hav. ing seen the fire in good and certain progress, he broke through one of the north windows of the transept, let himself down, and escaped. The fire advanced slowly, burning all night, and was not discovered till at a late hour the next morning, when a part of the roof having fallen in, the smoke was seen rising and clouding over the Minster, and the melancholy event was too mạnifest. The choir, the organ, and nearly the whole of the building east of the transept and within the walls, had become a heap of ruins. The transept and the nave remained uninjured-except that parts of them were badly smoked. The massive columns were extensively dissolved, and large chips and fragments of them tumbled down by the effect of heat, and by the concussions of the falling roof. Some of the most valuable and most interesting of the monuments, erected in honour of the ancient dead, were broken and crumbled in the common ruin. The lead, which supported the small panes of those vast and painted windows, executed in such exquisite and inimitable perfection, melted away, and dissolved irrecoverably the fair and fantastic vision. The altar and the throne (throne of the Archiepiscopal See) were literally burnt to the ground—all that was consumable--and the rest was covered with ashes, and defaced by the fallen ruins.
This immense mischief, however, is principally repaired, and the glory of the latter house is likely to be greater than the glory of the former, except that the marks of its antiquity in these portions are necessarily lost, and many of the most beautiful and venerable monuments are buried in irrecoverable ruin. The new organ is said to be the greatest in the world. It was in use in 1832, and by this time is probably finished. I saw pipes setting up there which seemed large enough, when the muttering thunders should roll through them, to shake the foundations of the earth. Taking this building all in all, regarding its history and its architectural beauties and magnificence, looking at its minute as well as its grander features, within and without, by close inspection and in distant prospect, it is altogether a most imposing and most wonderful structure. The farther the spectator recedes on the plain, or rises on the distant hills, the greater it appears. It is 526 feet long, and the cross or transept is 222 feet. The elevation of the central or lantern tower, which was intended as a mere basis of a structure never yet executed, is 200 feet. Its measurement across, being square, is 65 feet. The great east window is 75 feet high and 32 broad. The chapter-house holds a like relation to the main building, as a lobster's claw to his body. The northern aspect, and the two northern towers, are remarkable for the multiplication (almost innumerable) and the perfection of the carved work, and all manner of historical, legendary, heathenish, and monstrous imagery, which is thrown upon the surface, set in the niches, run in the tracery, and made to stick out at all points and angles ;-and one of the best things is, that the hand of time has worn off some of the ugliest features of these monstrous shapes—they seem so incongruously adjoined to what was set up for the house of God. It is a noble and an awful front, however.
York is entirely surrounded by a wall, which is now being repaired. There is also in the city a famous ancient tower (Clifford's), at this time enclosed by the walls of a new and formidable castle, built for a prison.
The ruins of St. Mary's Abbey are the purest of the kind, and make a most advantageous show, from the manner and circumstances under which they are preserved. A range of beautiful elms has grown up on the exterior of these walls, which throw over their pendent branches, so that the slightest breeze waves them along the wall and across the lancetarched windows, presenting an ever-moving scene-a continuously dancing image before the eye, of a most peculiar and romantic character.
SALISBURY CATHEDRAL Is distinguished for its lofty spire, 410 feet; for the purity and uniformity of its architecture, external and internal; and for the warped condition of the columns of masonry which support the tower and spire, under the amazing weight that rests upon them. That columns of wood, being fibrous, should bend and spring by a superincumbent pressure, would not be strange; but that masonry should do so, and yet not fall, is certainly remarkable. It is frightful to stand at the feet of these columns, to think of the weight resting upon them, and then look up and observe each of them bending ready to be crushed. The only reason why it is presumed they will remain, is because they have already endured for ages under the same appearances. An
extra fixture has been thrown in for protection, interposing a monstrous blemish in the perspective of the transept. Aside from this, the pure Gothic of the entire edifice constitutes one of the rarest beauties of the kind in the British Isles. It was built in the thirteenth century—the spire having been since added, the top of which inclines 22 inches from a perpendicular line, in consequence of the warping of its supports. An old man, between seventy and eighty, has been accustomed to ascend once in a twelvemonth for many years to oil the weather-vane. He gets out at a window a few feet below the top, scrambles like a squirrel by some iron network at the giddy elevation of four hundred feet, performs his office, and descends with all the self-possession of a sailor.
ISLE OF WIGHT.
In company with a friend from London to whom I am indebted for much hospitality, and many acts of friendship not to be forgotten, and who was one of my first, most constant, and best friends while I was in England - I went, in 1832, to the Isle of Wight, to tread upon that beautiful gem of the ocean. The whole coast of England may be said to be lined with steam-vessels. It is hardly possible to get out of sight of them on any of the waters which begird those isles. The principal ports of the Isle of Wight, Ryde on the east, Cowes on the north, and Yarmouth on the west, are constantly alive with these smoking and dashing engines, connecting the island with the nearer and more remote ports on the mainland. Portsmouth, Ryde, Cowes, and Southampton, make a circle, which are visited by a constant succession of steamboats almost every hour in the day, carrying and dropping passengers, as they run to and from this inviting retreat. In summer and autumn it is a most animating scene, the island being one of the great re. sorts for health and pleasure.
We ran down Southampton Bay in a pretty style, gazing with delight on the shores, villas, gardens, and the mansions of noblemen, as they successively opened upon us and re. ceded in their turn to give place to other interesting objects of the moving panorama; and then dashed across the sound into the safe, commodious, and beautiful harbour of Cowes, which is near midway the island on the north side, furnishing a most secure haven for shipping. The town is a fine object, running up from the shore to the elevated grounds, and losing itself among the rich and waving foliage
of the trees. The harbour divides it into nearly equal portions, and gradually contracts into the little river of Medina, which admits small vessels five miles to Newport, the capital of the island, with a population of 6,000. Between Newport and Cowes is a town of barracks, sufficient to accommodate a small army, but vacant of course in these times of peace.
Carisbrook Castle, standing on an eminence one mile west of Newport, is an old and interesting ruin; was the prison-house of Charles I. ; from the lofty walls of which is surveyed one of the most enchanting landscape visions which the eye ever beheld. The Isle of Wight, 20 miles long and 10 broad, with a coast of 60, is a garden of the highest cultivation, and rolled up into the most irregular and fantastic undulations of easy and gentle slopes, presenting the softest and richest views from every quarter. The keep of Carisbrook Castle is one of the most advantageous positions to enjoy them. There is a remarkable well in this castle, 300 feet deep, worked through a solid rock, 90 feet of which is filled with the purest water from the spring which was found at the bottom. Of course the measurement from the top to the surface of the water is 210 feet. The governor's house and the old chapel are kept in tolerable repair, although religious service has ceased in the sanctuary for fifty years, except for the sole purpose of swearing the Mayor of Newport into office. I might add, that the tilting arena in the castle is now used as an archery by the nobility and gentry visiting the island. This ancient custom is getting to be the fashionable amusement in England, in which male and female unite for the trial and perfection of their skill. For those who have nothing to do but to kill time, it is perhaps one of the most innocent and healthful exercises. I cannot imagine, however, that the bow and arrow are likely to supersede powder and shot, either for the sports of the chase or the more grave encounters of the field of battle. More likely, perhaps, that steam will supplant both. As yet, Perkins's steam-gun remains daily a thing of exhibition for the curious in the British National Gallery of Practical Science, West Strand, London.
I had not imagined, in passing over the delightful vales, and crossing the easy hills of the Isle of Wight, that there remained so sublime and awful a termination of the scene as the lofty and frowning cliffs which bound the southern shore, which say to the bold advances of the mountain-wave“ Hitherto shalt thou come and no farther,” and which are the terror of the tempest-tossed mariner, as well as the eternal barrier of the ocean. These are indeed à majestic scene, and show the mighty hand of their Maker. They are fit to look upon the boundless expanse of the mighty waters which Sie before them, and come dashing their waves and wasting their energies at the base of this unshaken wall. And yet it is not altogether unshaken. A soft foundation has yielded to the wear of ages, and these stupendous, craggy, and lowering cliffs have again and again bowed themselves, and spread along this shore the shapeless ruins of their fall, as sublime in their aspects as the lofty walls they have left behind them. It happened that my companion and myself walked over one of these slides one evening, which came down in 1799, and brought more than a hundred acres of the beautiful land from above; and as we laboured along over the crude ruins and shapeless masses, we were ignorant of the event which had occasioned them. Notwithstanding it is more than thirty years since, the apparent freshness of the violence struck us with amazement, and made us absolutely fearful lest it should prove that the gaping fissures over which we were compelled to stride, and the abrupt juttings of earth and rock which interrupted our march, were the work of that very hour, and the next moment we should feel the chaos heaving and rolling under our feet. We hastened onward, and ruin faced us still, and thickened in our prospect! “What is this! What is this !” we involuntarily and simultaneously exclaimed.
Our amazement did not cease till we had returned to our lodgings, and were made acquainted with the secret. For nine miles in uninterrupted succession east, the under cliff, as it is called, is all made by the same cause, but so old as to be beyond the memory of man; and small farms, romantic villas, and the tasteful mansions of the rich, are planted all along these shapeless ruins, housed from the northern blasts by the overhanging cliffs, lifted up midway from the sea towards those upper regions, exposed to the genial influences of the sun when it shines in its mildness, and to the peltings of the ocean storm when it beats upon the shore. At one time there is repose, at another the terrible howlings of the tempest. Here it may be said-man has built his nest among the rocks, worked the wreck of nature's convulsions into beautiful and enchanting disorder, and dressed these deformities in living verdure.
The cliffs on the southern shore of the Isle of Wight range from three to six hundred feet in elevation, the highest parts of them being about seven hundred feet. The occupancy and cultivation of the under cliff, which is generally about half the height of the upper one, and composed of its ruins, constitute a singular beauty, and demonstrate what may be effected by the hand of man, not only for the gratification of his taste, but for profit, as many of these grounds make excellent and productive farms and gardens. They are in some parts a quarter of a mile wide, and in one place there is the village and parish of St. Lawrence-the church being a great singularity, twenty feet by twelve in