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of their connection with those of the Basilicon. A mutilated* Virgin Mary attests the fanaticism of the presbyterian revolution, and shews the danger which the cathedral at that time incurred. The following monkish verse, traced on one of the walls, does not contain an exaggerated eulogium on this chapter house :—
"Ut rosa phlos phlorum, sic est doma ista domorum."
In another work I shall employ the notes which I made on the madhouse, (called the Retreat), which is under the direction of the quakers.
TO MR. A. BRIAVOINE.
We have yet a few miles to travel, and we shall reach the country of Walter Scott.
The traveller has scarcely entered the county of Durham before he is made aware of his approximation to Scotland, by the harsher characteristics of the climate as well as the scenery. Durham is
* A Virgin Mary at Newstead Abbey, more fortunate than that of York, inspired Lord Byron with one of the most poetical stanzas of his Don Juan.
a county palatine, a real ecclesiastical principality. The bishop is a prince, not only by reason of his title, but of his immense wealth, his privileges, and his vast revenues.* He is perpetual judge within his domains. If he enters in person any court of justice there, no matter what, he has the right of presiding in it. As refers to the civil administration, he is lord-lieutenant of the province, and nominates the high sheriff. Nor am I clear that in circumstances of invasion, he might not be again found, like the pontiffs of the feudal times, substituting the helmet for the mitre, the cross for tlie lance, and bravely assaulting the infidel or the marauder. This supposition may be allowed me, for as I did not visit the interior apartments of his dwelling, which are said to be magnificent, and furnished in the modern style, I was compelled to limit my admiration to the exterior; that is to say, to the remains of fortifications, ramparts, and all such features as rather announce a citadel than a pacific palace: and it was the warlike hand of William the Conqueror that laid its first stone.f In turning my eyes towards the
* My friend, C. Nodier, has involuntarily launched a bitter epigram against the palatine bishop. "Durham," said he, "passe pour une des villes les plus pauvres de l'Angleterre. Nous y trouvons pour le premier fois des mendians apres cent cinquant lieues de voyage!" Promt' node de Dieppe, p. 117.
What does his lordship do, therefore, with his enormous income? The canons have also very rich prebends.
f Some chroniclers record that the ruined castle of Durham was the spot where Wallace held a secret conference with Bruce for the deliverance of Scotland.;
belfries of the cathedral, I am rcinitided that his grace, as is reported, neither exhibited himself in the light of a charitable christian nor a chivalrous prelate on the trial of George IV.'s queen. On the death of that princess—frail, alas! as the wife of king Arthur, but more unfortunate—these ancient turrets, shaken by the joyous peals of the bells, might have felt surprise on finding the fate of a queen of England celebrated like a victory. What adulation to the royal husband !*
Nothing can be more picturesque than the aspect of this vast cathedral, and of the castle, crowning a semi-circular eminence, the base of which is surrounded by the Wear. The inferior ramparts, or foundations, which are of a sombre colour, are succeeded near the river by hanging gardens of the most enchanting effect. The variegated uplands which skirt the town —the town itself, its unequal streets, its grey houses, and its roofs of deep red; the elbow formed by the Wear; and the two elliptic arches of the singular bridgeof Framwelgate; all in short, that the eye surveys in the landscape, is magnificent or graceful. The influence of its contrasts is to be discovered in the poem of Harold the Dauntless with which they inspired Sir W. Scott; a picture of Saxon manners, when their rudeness had not been entirely mitigated by Christianity.
The Metropolitan Church of Durham, a curious
* This fact, denounced in a spirited pamphlet, was the cause of a scandalous trial, in which Mr. Brougham pleaded against the Bi«hop of Durham.
monument of the architecture called AngloNorman, recalls to mind one of the most extraordinary saints of the legend, St. Cuthbert, whose rich shrine and tomb Henry the Eighth was the first who dared to violate. The church still contains his mysterious body, which was deemed to have remained incorruptible in spite of the lapse of centuries, and a pilgrimage to which was at one time distinguished by a succession of miracles.
It is known that this pious abbot reposed in peace in his favourite isle of Lindisfane, when the monks, compelled to fly from the fury of the Danes, carried with them his coffin as their most precious relic, and stopped not, by the saint's order, till they reached the spot now occupied by Durham. This sacred corpse, which puttoflightthe enemies of the town where it found its last asylum, had a marked aversion for females. Two curious girls, who had disguised themselves in male attire in order to inspect it more closely, were detected, and condemned to do penance in a procession, clad in the indecorous costume which they had assumed. Queen Philipa, wife of Edward the Third, having come to see her husband when residing in the Priory, assumed her usual place after supper on the conjugal couch, in ignorance of the ungallant caprices of the worthy Saint Cuthbert. On a sudden, the affrighted monks ran and knocked at the door of the bed-chamber, which was opened by the monarch in person, whom they apprized of the dissatisfaction they incurred the risk of causing to their patron. Edward would have
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been shocked at the thought of giving the least umbrage to the church; he therefore ordered the queen to rise as quickly as possible and "hi tres devote princesse moulct marrie d'avrir peche par ignorance, sort du lict en chemise, et regagne le chastel, ou elle sommeilla seulette jusqu'au matin."
Did the present successor of St. Cuthbert inherit his aversion for the sex, including princesses?
In the county of Durham, we leave on the right the town of Sunderland, situated on a tongue of land, and celebrated for its iron bridge, invented by Thomas Payne. The more this arch, of two hundred and thirty-six feet in span, is surveyed, the more surprise is occasioned by its boldness, especially if a mast of one hundred feet in height be passing under it at the time. Sunderland has a rich trade in coal; but the coal pits of Newcastle possess a still more considerable importance. The subterranean towns, and farms at the latter place, deserve a visit from the curious, as well as those which cover the surface of the soil. Three or four hundred feet beneath the earth you traverse regular streets, like those of the better parts of London.
The miners are all distinguished by an air of satisfaction: they for the most part enjoy a regular health, because they are preserved from the vicissitudes of the seasons, and the air requisite is supplied in sufficient doses, frequently renewed. But all these subterranean wonders, including Davy's "wonderful lamp," vainly amuse the curiosity for