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been wrapped in wool like an unfledged bird, and must not act or eat like those who had been duly prepared for existence. I had heard these things a thousand times; but my aunts died, I was sent to school and college, lived like the rest of the world, and forgot the weakness of my constitution till it was too late to repair it. Nevertheless, by the assistance of Dr. Kitchener's invaluable Jessons, I hope to drag on a few more years of precarious life.”
Mr. B. was so eloquent on his own complaints, that I suffered him to give me a full account of them all, and encouraged him to proceed by assuming an interest in the subject. No lover could be more delighted when permitted to descant on the charms of his mistress—no soldier when asked to describe the Battle of Waterloo-than was my unhappy friend while rioting among fever, ague and palsy, and eulogizing bark and calomel. He seemed to forget his ailments while he described them, and talking of medicine appeared as efficacious as taking it. Such conversation, however, could be endured no longer than one evening : I took my leave early on the following day, and left Mr. B. to idleness, hypochondriasis, and “ Peptic Preccpts.'
SONNETS FROM PETRARCH.
" Uno spirto celeste—un vivo sole
Fu quel ch'i' vidi.
Her lips their bloom, her cheeks their healthful glow;
I watch'd each varying tint with silent woe,
Not seen nor heard—beneath a cypress bough
I saw her in her garden bending low,
Her pale mute lips, her soft blue watery eyes
(She seem'd too fair to linger long below)
“ Fiera stella (se 'l cielo ha forza in noi
Quant' alcun crede) fu sotto che io nacqui.
From clime to clime predestined still to roam,
False fires !—that feebly light the watery gloom,
And smile in scorn when others shake with fear-
A SUMMER'S DAY AT OXFORD.* In inviting the reader to place the arm of his imagination within mine, and join me in completing our stroll through Oxford, I must remind him that he has nothing better to expect than simple unadorned descriptions (as like as I can make them) of inanimate objects. I think a work like ours should not be too witty, gay, and agreeable; but should occasionally put forth articles which its readers may safely pass over if they choose, assigning to themselves as a reason for so doing, that they are “only" about so and so. Now the present paper is modestly intended to be one of these desiderata. It will contain no wise reflections that it would be unwise not to reflect on—no important facts indispensable to be known—no pithy saying that will be read and remembered—no piquant anecdotes that one must be acquainted with. In this respect my article will have a manifest advantage over many others that from time to time enrich this miscellany. The reader may do as he pleases about it—which is always pleasant. A Poem by or an Essay by-, leaves us no choice. We must read them; and what is more arbitrary still, we must admire them. Now the present paper is not one of this peremptory kind ; on the contrary, it claims the singular merit of being adapted to all classes of readers,—those who do choose to read it, and those who do not: and I hope the worthy proprietors of the New Monthly Magazine have given it credit accordingly!
Of what remains to fill up the rest of the day, and complete our hasty view of a few of the architectural and natural beauties of Oxford, I shall choose the splendid collection of buildings forming and adjoining to Radcliffe Square-Christ Church, with its noble avenue of elms, and the sweet and romantic walk round its meadow—and lastly, the evening scene on the Isis. Once more, then, after having partaken of a light repast at our pleasant inn, let us sally forth into the High Street, and passing up on the left by the side of St. Mary's Church, we shall find ourselves in a square open space, the four sides of which are formed by the back of St. Mary's, the front of Brazen-Nose College, one side of the principal quadrangle of All-Souls, and a portion of that venerable and impressive building called the Schools; and in the centre of this space, detached from any other erection, stands the stately dome of the Radcliffe Library. In order to convey some idea of the unrivalled architectural wealth collected together on this spot, and its immediate vicinity, I will add, that, on passing through the quadrangle of the Schools, you arrive in view of three more of the richest and most characteristic buildings belonging to the University,—-viz. the Theatre for examinations, conferring degrees, &c. -- the Clarendon Printinghouse, and the Ashmolean Museum. That these buildings may be something more to the reader than a collection of mere names, I shall endeavour to convey a slight notion of the character of each ; from which it will be seen, that they are as rich in contrast and variety, as they are in every other species of architectural attraction. For pure and delicate beauty, unquestionably, the most conspicuous object in this collection is the back elevation of St. Mary's Church, which forms the southern side of Radcliffe Square. It is a perfectly regular erection, consisting of a rich pointed portal, flanked by three pointed windows
* Concluded from page 326.
to correspond on each side, and surmounted by that lovely spire, of which I have spoken before, and which produces so exquisite an effect in all the distant views of the city. The lower series of windows in this front are surmounted by four smaller ones arched in a different manner, and a parapet enriched at intervals by those singular knotted pinnacles which so greatly enhance the general effect of buildings of this kind. Harmonious sweetness is the character of this matchless work of its kind. It seems to breathe forth into the surrounding space an air of deep quiet-of imperturbable peace. For perfect beauty, I do not scruple to place it above any other religious temple I have ever seen. Some of the Continental cathedrals may have been equal to it when in their perfect state ; but I doubt if they were not all on too large a scale to admit of their possessing that peculiar sweetness of expression which belongs to this lovely object.—That portion of All-Souls which forms the eastern side of Radcliffe Square consists of the screen, gateway, and cupola, which I described in my account of the quadrangle of that magnificent college. Immediately behind this screen rises the singularly beautiful double tower, which I also described. The western side of the square is formed by the front of Brazen-Nose,-a building not claiming very particular attention; though its plainness and sobriety of character are well adapted to contrast with the riches that surround it. The remaining, or norih, side of the square is occupied by an elevation forming one side of the quadrangle of the Schools. This is a building which, from its bare, and almost barbarous simplicity of character, excites a peculiar interest, in connexion with the venerable associations that belong to it, and in contrast with the rich and almost fantastical variety of ornament by which it is surrounded. Its perfectly flat and unornamented walls, rising immediately out of the earth like the side of a cliff looking to the sea,—its plain square windows, as if cut out of its face—and its low simple parapet, directly perpendicular with the line at which the walls rise out of the earth-all this, dark and grey with age, yet firm and unimpaired as if of yesterday, produces a striking and impressive effect. — The Radcliffe Library--which rises in the midst of these buildings, and gives to them, as well as receives from them, a look of grandeur and richness-consists of an elevation which may be regarded as comprising, externally, three compartments; namely, the substructure, which is of rustic work, and of a double octagon form, containing eight open portals, all of which lead to one open vestibule; above this rises the circular hall or chamber containing the library, the outer elevation of which is extremely elegant and well imagined consisting of couples of Corinthian pillars connecting windows and niches alternately, and supporting a graceful entablature surmounted by an open balustrade ;-finally, within the balustrade rises the grave and commanding dome, which is finished by a turret and cupola of appropriate character and dimensions. One would think that all these structures, grouped together in a space not exceeding that of one of our ordinary squares, presented an assemblage of architectural grandeur and beauty sufficiently imposing. But as if to defy all competition or comparison between similar assemblages elsewhere, there are, added to the group I have just described, three other buildings, each totally different from any of the above-mentioned, and from each other, and each appropriate to its object, and excellent in its kind. These are the Theatre, the Clarendon Printing-house, and the Ashmolean Museum. My space
will not allow me to describe these admirable buildings with any minuteness; but an idea of their character and general effect in the picture may be gained by mentioning, that the Theatre is raised on the model, or at least its external elevation is an imitation, of those of the ancients, though of course on a very small scale, and I believe it is the only modern building of its kind;--the Clarendon Printing-house is also a perfectly classical erection, consisting of an elegant Doric portico connecting two uniform wings, and surmounted, at the corners of each pediment, of which there are four, one over each front, by statues of the Muses ;—the Ashmolean Museum is an elegant modern structure, extremely correct and tasteful in its proportions as well as ornaments, and though of a character different from all the other objects in this group, yet admirably consorting with the whole of them.
We must now abruptly quit this magnificent portion of the city, and repose our senses (almost satiated with the contemplation of architectural grandeur-perhaps on account of its possessing the one fault of not being sufficiently, or rather not at all, blended with the beauties of Nature) among the sweet yet cheerful stillness of Christ Church meadows. To this end let us proceed to the western extremity of the High Street, and turning on the left down St. Aldate's Street, we shall presently find ourselves before the most magnificent structure as well as endowment in Oxford. We cannot stay to admire its nobly simple front, or the gorgeous mosque-like towers of its gateway ; for we must, if we would do it with proper effect, no longer delay to contrast, as well as combine, the contemplations arising from the scene we have just left, with those which are sure to be suggested by that we are seeking. Passing silently, therefore, through the great quadrangle of Christ's, and the somewhat lumbering, un-uniform, and much too modern: one called Peckwater, and continuing our course to the little meadow in front of vine-covered and ivy-bound Merton, we shall speedily enter “a Temple not made with hands”—“ a pillared shade high overarched” - the effect of which, it must be confessed, sinks the works of us mortals into insignificance, and at the same time · lifts our thoughts to a height which their own unassisted power can scarcely enable them to reach. See!-We stand within the Elm Grove of Christ Church-the grandest of Cathedrals! Between its massy pillars the descending sun darts its slant rays, and the innumerable company of leaves above and about us cast their green and quivering shadows on the natural pavement below. The breeze, perfumed with sweet incense from the field-flowers around, chaunts forth its evening hymn; at intervals pealing along the fretted roof, like a dim organ note, still sounding after the touch that awakened, has quitted it. Above, the birds flit hither and thither, like attendant spirits of the place. Before us and around, unconscious worshippers pass silently along, their steps solemnized, and their looks lifted upwards, in token of uplifted thoughts.-To give a bare description of this noble spot would be idle, since nothing but being present within its influence can call forth feelings appropriate to its character. Pass we on, then, to another scene,“ different, yet O how like!"--different as a tragedy of Eschylus differs from a pastoral of Tasso-alike, as those two are alike, inasmuch as both are poetry. The lovely Walk round Christ Church Meadow is very dear to the memory of all who have
trod its sweet windings—dear for itself, and dearer for the many pleasant images and associations that the mere recollection of it cannot fail to call forth; but it will not bear much describing-especially after what I have said of a similar walk belonging to Magdalen College. The one before us resembles that in being artificially planted, and raised on the borders of a clear meandering stream ; but it differs from that in being much less still and secluded-more open, extensive, and various in the views it affords—and more gay, lively, and picturesque. Including the Elm Walk, it is more than a mile in length; and yet every part of it is kept in the most perfect order. The turf which clothes its sides down to the water's edge is like a velvet carpet-not the smallest tuft of grass is ever seen to disfigure its firm gravelled footway-not a twig of its innumerable shrubs is suffered to grow disorderly, or a plant to wither without having its place instantly supplied. If I were compelled to confine myself to one of these walks, I should certainly choose this of Chțist Church; yet not without confessing that the other possesses more unity of character, and is upon the whole more unrivalled, consistent, and complete.
We have sauntered under these delightful shades till the evening is closing in upon us, and there is scarcely light enough left to shew us yonder gay and glittering scene on the Isis. It is as if all Oxford were abroad, sporting and making holiday on the bosom of her beautiful river. But it is so every summer evening during Term time. Brightly painted boats of all sizes,—from the eight-oared cutter to the little skiff small enough to be taken up under the arm of its single occupant, are skimming the surface of the sun-lit waters. Some of these latter are floating heedlessly along, at “the river's own sweet will,” or making their way into secluded nooks, and lingering by the side of emerald banks, while their rapt inmates, perchance smitten with the love of old romance, are slumbering over “ this ignorant present,” and living a thousand years before they were born. Let us leave them to their imaginations: they cannot be more happy in them than I have been in mine, while thus conjuring up for myself and the reader another Summer's Day at Oxford.
On a pretty but poor Girl going to a Rout.
Quum peccare pudet Cinthia tuta sat est.”—Propert. lib. 2.
The finest museum of Art-
They 'll be very warm friends ere they part.
Amidst all this fashion and crowd here !
And blushes instead of red powder!
Were her teeth form’d of pearls from the East,
Would be fought for her-fortune at least.
Nor longer her merits discuss ;
And cry, “ She is not one of us !"