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GREAT NORTH BED-CHAMBER.
in my Collection, which I most highly value, is the Silver Bell with which the Popes used to curse the Caterpillars; a ceremony, I believe, now abandoned. La Hontan, in his Travels, mentions a like absurd custom in Canada; the solemn excommunication, by the Bishop, of the Turtle Doves, which greatly injured the plantations. For this BELL I exchanged, with the Marquis of Rockingham, all my Roman coins, in large brass. . The relievos, representing caterpillars, butterflies and other insects, are wonderfully executed. CELLINI, the artist, was one of the most extraordinary men in an extraordinary age. His Life, written by himself, is more amusing than any Novel I know." 6. The Engagement between the Lion and Elizabeth, in the year 1746, the young Pretender being on board the latter, which made the contest of great importance to the rival parties at that turbulent period. 7. Charlotte de la Tremouille, granddaughter of William the Great, Prince of Orange, and wife of James Stanley, Earl of Derby, who was beheaded in the Civil War. She defended Latham-house for several weeks against the Republicans !
The Great North Bed-chumber, hung with Norwich crimson damask, has a chimney-piece, designed by Mr. Walpole, from the tomb of W. Dudley, Bishop of Durham, in Westminster Abbey; and over the chinney-piece is a large picture of Henry the Eighth and his children.
Here are, 1. The original sketch of The Beggar's Opera-Walker, as Macheath ; Miss Fenton, afterwards Duchess of Bolton, as Polly ; Hippisley, as
GREAT NORTH BED-CHAMBER.
Peach'em; Hall, as Lockit-on one side, in a box, Sir Thomas Robinson, very tall and lean ; Sir Robert Fagg, a famous horse-racer, fat, with short grey hair, by Hogartubonght at the sale of John Rich, the well-known Harlequin, and Master of the Theatres in Lincoln’s-Inn Fields and Covent Garden, for whom the picture was painted. 2. Henry the Seventh, .a most capital portrait, on board, and incomparable for the truth of nature, and its expression. 3. The Wedding Gloves of Mrs. Hampden, wife of the celebrated John Hampden, in the reign of Charles the First. 4. An Agate Puncheon, with the arms of Gray the poet, given to Mr. Walpole by Dr. Brown and Mr. W. Mason, Mr. Gray's executors. 5. A silver-gilt Apostlespoon. Addison, in his Drummer, mentions Apostlespoons, as do also Beaumont and Fletcher in their Plays. This has a little figure at the end of the spoon's handle, which was an ancient fashion. 6. A Speculum of Kennel Coal, in a leathern case. It is curious for having been used, to deceive the mob, by Dr. Dee, the conjuror, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is called the Black Stone, into which Dr. Dee used to call his Spirits! 7. The Spurs worn by King William at the Battle of the Boyne, preserved in an Irish family, given to the late Earl of Harcourt when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and by the present Earl to Mr. Walpole ; in a red leather box, lined with green velvet. 8. Twelve Silver Dessert Plates, engraved with the history of The Prodigal Son. They belonged to Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and descended to his
great grand-daughter, the celebrated Duchess of Queensbury. 9. A Vase of Rock Crystal, carved with battles, unfinished, having been cracked in the workmanship, with a silver-gilt foot; bought out of the great Duke of Marlborough's Wardrobe by Sir Horace Mann, and sent to Mr. Walpole for the decoration of Strawberry Hill.
The Beauclerc Closet, hung with India blue damask, is an hexagon, built in 1776, on purpose to receive seven incomparable Drawings of Lady Diana Beauclerc, for Mr. Walpole's tragedy of The Mysterious Mother. These pieces were all conceived and executed in a fortnight.
Here are, 1. Count Schonallow, favourite of the CZARINA Elizabeth, whose image he holds. It is said of this worthy man, that, though he enjoyed absolute power for twelve years, he never did an injury, or made an enemy! 2. The Book of Psalms, with twenty-one inimitable illuminations, by Don Julio Clovio, scholar of Julio Romano. 3. Head of Jupiter Serupis, in bisaltes. The divine majesty and beauty of this precious fragment prove the great ideas and consummate taste of the ancient sculptors.
Such is the multifarious Collection of STRAWBERRY HILL; and, that no visitor may be deceived as to its precise nature and definite complexion, Mr. Walpole remarks, in a letter to a friend,-" The chief boast of my Collection is the PORTRAITS of eminent and remarkable Persons, particularly the Miniatures and Enamels; which, so far as I can discover, are superior
to any other collection whatever. The Works I possess of Isaac and Peter Oliver are the best extant; and those I bought in Wales for three hundred guineas, are as well preserved as when they came from the pencil!” Indeed, upon attentively surveying this profusion of Pictures and Busts, and Curiosities of every description, so tastefully collected and fancifully displayed, can we help congratulating the present ingenious Proprietor of it, in the language of the Poet ?
Hail to the Gothic roofs, the classic bow'rs,
MAURICE. I now close this long account, though very considerably, abridged from the original, with a sketch of
The Chapel, at Strawberry Hill. In the south-west corner of the Wood is the Chapel, built of brick, with a beautiful front of Portland stone, taken from the
tomb of Edmund Audley, Bishop of Salisbury, in that cathedral. On the opposite side is a Crucifix of bronze; a pedestal sustains the bust of an Angel ; and by the door is a Holy-water pot, of earthen-ware.
In the Window are the original Portraits of Henry the Third and his Queen, in painted glass, with other Saints, and coats of arms. Fronting the door, stands a magnificent Shrine, of Mosaic, three stories high; and beneath it, a Crucifix, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. On one side of the shrine, in a recess, stands a figure of an ancient King of France; and on the other side, the Virgin Mary, in bronze. On a tablet, over the door, is the following inscription :
“ The shrine in front was brought, in the from the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, in Rome, when the new pavement was laid there. This shrine was erected, in the year 1256, over the bodies of the holy Martyrs, Simplicius, Faustina and Beatrir, by John James Capoccio and Urina his wife, and was the work of Peter Cavalini, who made the tomb of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey. The Window was brought from the church of Bexhill, in Sussex. The two principla figures are, King Henry the Third and Eleanor of Provence, his Queen, the only portraits of them extant. King Henry died in 1272; and we know of no painted glass more ancient than the reign of his father, King John, of Magna Charta memory.
" This Chapel was erected by HORACE WALPOLE, in the year 1771. The façade was copied from a chapel-tomb in the cathedral of Salisbury."