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OSBORNE, THE MARINE RESIDENCE OF HER
MAJESTY, ISLE OF WIGHT.
Victoria's home, Victoria's choice,
Within the sea-girt Isle,
Within its spacious pile.
Which ever h me retains:
For there a mother reigns,
Most children like to know something about the place in which their King or their Queen resides. Such a place must be, in their estimation, the very height of perfection. Indeed, every idea of magnificence, luxury and ease seems centered in the word “ Palace.”
And so it ever has been. From the palaces of the Pharaohs of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzars of Babylon, and the Cæsars of Rome, down almost to the present time. The accounts of their different palaces—regal and imperial—their structure, furniture, luxuries, and embellishments, are but an array of extravagant magnificence ; and our Lord seems to express this when He says, in contrast to the character and circumstances of John the Baptist, “ Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings palaces.” Matt. xi. 8.
David, we read in 2 Sam. vii. had “an house of cedar," which Hiram, king of Tyre, sent carpenters and materials to build for him. Solomon had his palace, which took thirteen years to complete. (1 Kings, vii. 1.) No doubt but this was à gorgeous structure ; and, descending some hundreds of years in the scale of time, Nero, the emperor of Rome, and murderer
of the apostle Paul, had his “ golden house," which he erected upon the ruins of Rome, after he had reduced it to ashes, in order to satisfy his vanity in its rebuilding. The vastness of extent and the varied magnificence of this imperial residence, and its ornamental grounds, almost surpass belief. It is described as having been tiled with gold (whence its name), with which precious metal also the marble shealing of the walls was profusely decked. But these palaces
" Where gorgeous majesty had thus amassed
All treasure, all delights that eye or ear,
Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask,” with their builders, are again mingled with the dust, the common end of all earthly perfection and splendour,
But these are among the things that were. 'Tis not so much in splendid edifices, simply as such, that modern sovereigns delight. Of course there are exceptions ; but she who now fills the British throne and wields the British sceptre, seems more to enjoy the works of nature than the works of ait, and consequently, Osborne House, originally, with all its inconveniencies and its comparative obscurity, was preferred to a pompous building of historic fame. These inconveniencies have been gradually removed by the old house being taken down, and more commodious buildings erected, and now her Majesty's marine residence of Osborne is second to none either in appearance, convenience, or healthy situation.
Osborne, or as it was anciently called “Austerborne” is situate on the east side of the high road, on the summit of the hill from East Cowes.
It is not its historical associations, as I have before hinted,