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some passages from the Psalmist, Ovid, &c. "One of Burton's biographers describes him in the following terms, by stating, that he was “an exact mathematician, a curious calculator of nativities, a thorough-paced philologist, and an intelligent surveyor of lands; a devourer of authors, a melancholy, yet humorous man, merry, facete, and, although advanced in years, a juvenile companion; readily and dexterously interlarding his discourses with verses and sentences from classical authors.” Such is the account of the man, by one who appears to be rather partial: the following critique on his book is more discriminating, and, in my own estimation, is perfectly just. “I have attempted several times to read it, but was perpetually disgusted with crude fancies, verbose pedantry, dull common place, and eternal quotation, spun out in unceasing repetition; it has seldom happened that I was more fatigued, and so anxious to close a book; and I impute the sentence of approbation pronounced on it by Dr. Johnson, to Burton's chiming in with some favorite opinion, or to his perusing the work at a moment unfavorable to critical sagacity, similar to that in which he condemned Dr. Watts, and exalted the muse of Blackmore".” The work of Dr. Ferriar, that tended to excite some enquiry after the Anatomy of Melancholy, and gave it a temporary notoriety, was entitled, “Illustrations of Sterne.” In this work the Doctor endeavours to prove, that our witty and highly satirical Divine was indebted to Burton for much of his eccentric style, &c. and therefore accuses him of plagiarism. On comparing the writings of the two, there will be found but very few similitudes; for whilst Sterne is constantly displaying wit, satire, novelty, and fine writing, Burton's work is merely a heterogeneous common-place-book, more distinguished for its dulness than its vivacity or brilliancy. Besides, the writings of Sterne will be long read and admired, after those of Burton and Ferriar are forgotten, or disregarded. And such will ever be the happy pre-eminence of that writer who draws his literary pictures
* Lounger's Common-place-book, Vol. I. p. 169. Edit. 1805.
pictures from the fascinating and immutable face of Nature; , while the copyist, and dull critic, will become more and more obscured by shadow, as Time proceeds in his gradual career.
GoPsAL-HALL, or Goppeshull, the seat of the Baroness Howe, is about three miles north-west of Bosworth. This elegant mansion, according to Marshall, was built, and the grounds laid out, at the expense of 100,000l. “by the late Mr. Jennens, famous for his friendship to Handel and the Pretender.” Charles, Jennens, Esq. was descended from an opulent family of Birmingham, who had acquired a large fortune in business. Having purchased this estate, he built a spacious mansion, and adapted the whole for the reception of a great establishment. He died without issue in 1773, and left Gopsal to his nephew, Penn Asheton. Curzon, Esq. who married a niece of Mr. Jennens. This gentleman made a considerable collection of pictures*, and adorned the grounds with ornamented temples, &c. In one of these is a statue, by Roubiliac, of Religion, holding in one hand the book of life, and in the other a cross. The temple is consecrated to : the memory of Edward Holdsworth, who died at Coleshill, in : Warwickshire, in 1746. He was author of “Muscipula,” and “Remarks and Dissertations on Virgil.” On a cenotaph in the temple is a figure of Genius, represented in a pensive attitude; Virgil's tomb, and his bust, with various antique fragments; and a Latin inscription, complimentary to the talents of Holdsworth. Among numerous pictures in the house are the following:— A Landscape, by Teniers; Two Landscapes, with figures, by Poelemburg: a whole length Portrait of HAN DEL, by Hudson; two
* These were first displayed in his house in Great Ormond Street, Lon. don; and a list of them was published in “The English Connoisseur,” 2 vols. 12mo. 1766. By this list the collection appears to have been not only very numerous, but to have consisted of many pictures by the most eminent artists; though there were many of very inferior note.
two Views in Venice, by Canaletti: St. Peter delivered from Prison, the scene by De Neef, and figures by D. Teniers; a companion to this is, a View of the Interior of the Jesuit's Church at Antwerp, with the ceremony of the priest bearing the host, by the same artists; Infant Jesus Sleeping, by Murillio; Tobias curing his Father, by Rembrandt; two Landscapes, by Teniers; two pictures, representing a calm and a storm at sea, by Vanderweld; two Heads of a man and woman, by Denner; Landscape and Cattle, by Cuyp; a Crucifixion, by Wandyck; David and Solomon, by Rubens; and Hercules and Anteus, by the same painter; View of Scheveling, storm coming on, by Ruysdael; a Chalk Kiln, by the same artist; two Landscapes, by Claude; the Death of Richard the Third, by Hayman. This curious picture displays that incident in the battle when Richard had just lost his horse; and as Hayman was intimate with Garrick, it is presumed that he drew the character and expression of Richard from that actor's personification of him. Mr. Boultbee, of Loughborough, issued proposals, some time back, for publishing a large print from this picture. The library contains a considerable collection of books; and in the house are several portraits of the Stuart family.
Tooley PARK, once a great ornament to the hundred of Sparkenhoe, is now chiefly disparked, and appropriated to the purpose of farming. It formerly belonged to the honor of Leicester, and was attached to the castle of Earl's Shilton, when the Earls of Leicester resided there. It was possessed, for several generations, by the Boothby family.
EARL's SHILTON was formerly distinguished by its Norman castle; but this building is entirely destroyed, and its site only denoted by a mount, and a place called the Castle Yard, or Hall Yard. The court-leet belonging to this manor, says Burton, “is of large extent, to which the revenue of twenty-five towns belongs. This manor is now accounted part of the duchy of
of Lancaster, and has been so ever since Simon de Montford, Earl of Leicester, was slain at the battle of Evesham; upon which all his lands were given, by Henry the Third, to Edmund Crouckback, Earl of Lancaster, his second son.” This place is a chapelry to Kirkby Malory, in which village is KIRKBY HALL, the pleasant seat of Lord Wiscount Wentworth. This house is built of brick, and its principal front stuccoed. In the contiguous church are several monuments to different persons of the Noel family.
. At KIRBY MUXLoe, near Leicester, a chapelry to Glenfield, are the ruins of an old mansion, which was formerly moated round, and had towers at the angles. This house is traditionally said to have been built by Lord Hastings, as a place of refuge for Jane Shore. The Hastings family certainly possessed this estate and lordship for many generations.
RATBY, about four miles north-west from Leicester, is a village and lordship belonging to the Earl of Stamford. Within this parish is a large entrenchment, which is formed in the shape of a parallelogram. Throsby says, that the embankment includes an area of “nine acres and thirty-one poles; the slope is thirty-nine feet and a half.” From its lofty apex is obtained an extensive view of the circumjacent country. Our antiquaries have not described any Roman road in this direction; but it is extremely probable that the Via Divana, in communicating between Ratae and Deva Colonia, passed this encampment. Near it is a spring called Holywell; and the place is usually called the Springs. Contiguous is an estate called Steward's Hay, which formerly belonged to the Sacheverell family, to the memory of one of whom there is a monument in the church. He gave a considerable sum of money to purchase lands for the benefit of the poor of Ratby. It is said, that John of Gaunt also gave other lands here for the same purpose. Steward's Hay is now the hunting-seat of Lord Stamford, who, as Baron Groby, is owner also of Groby Castle.
BRAUNston HALL, the seat of Clement Winstanley, Esq. is situated in the northern angle of this hundred, at the distance of about two miles from Leicester. The house was built by the present proprietor about the year 1775, and is a neat plain edifice, situated in a part of the county that is finely wooded. This estate was purchased from the Hastings family early in the seventeenth century, by James Winstanley, Esq. an ancestor of the present proprietor. -- - -
ENDERBY HALL, the seat of Charles Loraine Smith, Esq. stands about four miles south-west of Leicester, near the village of Enderby. The scenery here partakes of the wild romantic features of the forest; presenting a rocky hill, with some fine : woods. In the contiguous church is a meat monument, to the memory of Richard Smith, Esq. who died in 1762, and who left500l. to propagate the gospel in foreign countries; 500l. to the marine society; the interest of 500I. to the vicars of Enderby; and 200l. to endow a school at the same place. Other branches of the same family are interred here. At the west end of the church is an handsome arch, decorated with the heads of men, animals, &c. and supported by fluted columns, with foliated capitals. - .
This manor belonged to Sir Robert Neville, in the time of Edward the first; and was purchased by the Smith family soon” after the year 1720. Previous to this the Smiths (one of whom came to England with William the Conqueror) were seated first in the county of Durham, and afterwards at Kirkharle, in the county of Northumberland.
OSBASTON HALL, the seat of Josias Cockshutt-Twisleton, Esq. is situated about two miles north-east of Markgt Bosworth. This estate formerly belonged to the Munday family, who ob-, tained some consequence in this county, and from whom it was purchased by the present possessor, who was High Sheriff of Leicestershire in the year 1789, and has since taken the name of Twisleton. *