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The Shell Seat, at the end of the pretty winding shaded walk, which is within view of the Gothic chapel, offers a bel riposo after the fatigue which pleasure ever imposes. This shell seat is a very curious carving in oak, designed by the celebrated Bentley. The shell is a chama.

The shell is a chama. Here the three Graces of the Paphos of Strawberry* were wont to repose, to the delight of their flattered and elegant host, who saw even his friends with the eye of an artist,

There is but little in the grounds of Strawberry to detain the steps of the visitor, except its beautiful little Chapel in the garden : an edifice of as true Gothic taste and design, as its being copied, à la rigueur, from par

*“ Strawberry Hill is grown a perfect Paphos it is the land of beauties. On Wednesday the Duchesses of Hamilton and Richmond, and Lady Ailesbury, dined there, and the two latter stayed all night. There never was so pretty a sight as to see them all three sitting in the shell. A thousand years hence, when I begin to grow old, if that can ever be, I shall talk of that event, and tell young people how much handsomer the women of my time were, than they will be then. I shall say, Women alter now; I remember Lady Ailesbury looking handsomer than her daughter, the Duchess of Richmond, as they were sitting in the shell on my terrace with the Duchess of Hamilton, one of the famous Gunnings! Yesterday, t'other more famous Gunning, Lady Coventry, dined there !" Correspondence of Horace Walpole, vol. ii.

ticular parts of the Cathedral of Salisbury, and the Abbey of St. Edmundsbury, can make it. The interior has all the character of the cells or oratories appertaining to churches or monasterieś in Catholic countries :-its altar-piece and altarpicture are curious from their antiquity; the beautiful windows of painted glass are emblazoned with saints and arms and the effigies of kings and queens; a superb shrine faces the door of entrance. In the front stands a superb crucifix, inlaid with mother-of-pearl; on either side, a King of France, and the Virgin Mary, in bronze and faïence, stand upon consoles. The story of the marvellous “trasferimento" of this “ holy house” is thus told on a tablet over the door. 6. The shrine in front was brought, in the year 1768, 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 Beatrix, by John James Capoccio and Vinia his wife; and was the work of Peter Cavalini, who made the tomb of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey."

Such is Strawberry, the cabinet, the toy, the retreat of the gifted son of a great minister, whose talents, intellect, and observation, well fitted him to run the career of his ambitious father : and who, had he been an ambitious or an interested man, had eminent opportunities of indulging either passion to their fullest extent.

"I am unambitious, I am disinterested, but I am vain," observes Mr. Walpole, in a letter to Lord Chatham. Into this frankly acknowledged foible, Strawberry Hill, and its precious collection, entered largely ; but the vanity of possessing and showing off this monument of his taste, and knowledge, and industry, and the objects of art they had gathered round him, did not blind Mr. Walpole to the incongruities of the whole, nor to the objections which the pedantry of archi-virtu and the cant of criticism would eventually level at the hochet of one, who had shown so little mercy to the unfounded pretensions and presumptuous mediocrity of that numerically powerful body, in all communities, whose claims to distinction are unsupported by those endowments which should alone command it :

“ In a house, affecting not only obsolete architecture, but pretending to an observance of the custom even in the furniture, the mixture of modern portraits and French porcelaine, and Greek and Roman sculpture, may seem heterogeneous. In. truth, I did not mean to make my home so gothic as to exclude convenience and modern luxury. But I do not mean to defend, by argument, a small capricious house. It was built to please my own taste, and realize my own visions. Could I describe the gay but tranquil scene where it stands, and add the beauty of the landscape to the romantic cast of the mansion, it would raise more pleasing sensations than a dry list of curiosities can excite: at least the prospect would recal the good humour of those who might be disposed to condemn the fantastic fabric, and to think it a very proper habitation-as it was the scene that inspired-the author of The Castle of Otranto!””

7

ARTS AND ARTISTS.

I NEVER raise my head from my writing-desk and look around me, without being struck by the conviction, that though our inferiors may admire, and our superiors notice us, for some quality of intellect which has contributed to their ease, or their amusement, it is by our equals only, or those who have pursued the same objects by the same efforts, (in various degrees) that we are truly appreciated. The apartment in which I usually scribble, is a little repository of precious objects, offered by those, who, like myself (but in a far more eminent and successful career) have owed their celebrity to their own efforts and genius. There are few eminent artists in Europe whom I have numbered on the list of my personal friends, to whom I do not stand indebted for some gracious and generous offering of good will and esteem: and who in return for the idle hour's amusement afforded them by some trifling production of mine, have not

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