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venir des prêtres et des chapelains, il fit fouiller en leur presence dans le buisson. L'on y trouva un grand Bec d'Oiseau étranger, rempli de sang figé depuis long tems. Ce Bec étuit entouré d'un parchemin qui expliquoit d'ou il renuit
, et comment il avoit été apporté en Normandie. C'étoit Nicodeme, disciple de J. C. qui, en detachant son corps de la Croix, avoit recueilli une partie de son sang, l'avoit conservée dans sa maison, et laissée à sa posterité. Quelques Princes François croisés, eu connoissance de cette precieuse relique, l'avoient transportée en Europe : on ne sait point d'ailleurs, par quel hasard elle se trouvoit là. Quoi qu'il on soit, le Duc en fit tant de cas, qu'il crut ne pas pouvoir la trop bien loger, et fonda la magnifique Abbaie du Bec.” This is from L'Esprit des Journaux, Feb. 1781
, p. 207, and is quoted there from a very curious work now puhlishing at Paris, a volume at a time, entitled, · Melanges tirés d'une grande Bibliotheque.' In the · Melanges' the extract is said to be from a work of Henry Stephens, son of Robert
, eltitled, 'An Apology for Herodotus,' a treatise on the conformity between antient and modern Miracles; the idea of which work is very ingenious. It is well known, that Herodotus has been accused of often being very fabulous. Stephens, in order to enticise the errors and disorders of his own time, undertakes to jus. tify Herodotus, and compares the stories which this antient author wanted to put off as true, with the opinions received before Calvin's Reformation. His book contains 40 chapters.
“ You see to what difficulties we Rustics are reduced : we can only pore over old books, and refer our correspondents to them : whereas you who live in the world can inform us of what the living are meditating, those who have the advantage of standing upon the shoulders of their predecessors, and taking a more evlarged view of the regions of Literature. If you can spend your precious tiine in carrying on such a losing trade as this, I anı your chapman, as well as in every thing else yours very truly, J.C “ DEAR SIR,
Hardwick House, Jun. 1, 1789. “ How can I better begin the New Year than by doing away the offences of the old one? one of the greatest of which is up having so long neglected to write to my good Host at the Nepa tune *, Enfield. Summer excursions, and a most tedious antumnal fever, must say something for me. even before you begin to read, that I have inclosed for you are Engraving, which I hope you have not seen. It was designed for Bridges's - History of Northamptonshire,' and was given we this sunimer, with a few more, by his nephew, who lives at Ora lingbury in that County. The same gentleman shewed me the Drawings that were done for that History. They are chiedy executed in Indian ink, in a slight, but masterly manner
, by Peter Tillemans, who was retained by Mr. Bridges, at a guinea a with the run of his house. There cannot,' I think, be much fewer than 500; those that were dated were all, or chiefy
, dane A fine statue of Neptune then stood in the front of Mr. Gough's buvis but has since been removed into the Pleasure-grounds.
You will perceive
in 1719. Mr. Bridges pointed out to me a great box, which he said was full of copper-plates from these drawings. Some few he had impressions of, which he gave me ; unluckily he had given his last copy of Peterborough Cathedral to the present Bishop; the drawing of it is remarkably fine, and more highly finished than Tillernans's drawings usually are; but, if it was not better engraven than the specimens I have, I am not much concerned at having missed it. They were done by one Mott, a friend of Mr. Bridges, who, I perceived, had copied some of Tillemans's drawings (who never used a ruler) in a more accurate style. Mr. Bridges seems to expect, that one time or other the Proprietors of the History will be glad to purchase these drawings to embellish it. How that may be, I cannot say; but I think it pretty certain that the present possessor of them would have no objection to part with them. Among these drawings I cannot help mentioning one, for the sake of the original, which I had an opportunity of seeing soon afterwards, the Portrait of Queen Catharine Parr. There is every circumstance to induce belief that this is really of that Queen. One particular of her dress struck me much, which was the string of beads which she held in her hand, and which hung down before her. These were more laboured than other parts of the painting, in order to shew that they were embellished with sculptures representing human figures. This, I say, particularly attracted my notice; as I had a few days before seen at Bulstrode a most noble set of beads of this kind, 32 in number, made of plum-stones, exquisitely carved on each side with figures from the antique, to which they were scarcely inferior. T'hese are said to have belonged to Pope Clement VII. and supposed by Mr. Horace Walpole to have been executed by Benevenuto Cellini. They were brought into England, about ten years ago, by a Foreigner, and purchased by the Dutchess Dowager of Portland. This expensive and inconsistent piece of finery (for surely the heads and figures of Heathen Gods and Emperors seem to have little to do with Christian implements of devotion) was the mode at that time : for, if you turn to Montfaucon's Monarchie Françoise, you will see some of the ladies about that period so adorned.
“ After having surveyed the house and gardens at Stow, I wanted, as usual, to look into the contiguous church ; but the key was kept at such a distance that I could not conveniently get it. But, peeping through the North window of the chancel, I observed a figure of a female (I guess of the time of Charles the First), of white marble, lying on an altar-tomb of black; and I could read, that“ the ashes of the faire Penystone * are here intombed.” — Pray, who was this fair lady?
"I was much pleased with the modern church and adjoining mausoleum at West Wycombe, that have lately received a new tenant t. The mausoleum is a most singular structure, and I much wonder that no engraving has been given of it; for I see none is mentioned in your “Topography;' and so I suppose none is extant. The furniture of the Church is a pattern of elegance and propriety; and, to add to the rarity of all this, it was done at the sole expence of the late Lord Le Despenser — whos sowle God pardonne. Amen."
* Hester Lady Peniston, daughter of Sir Thoz. Temple, who died 1619. # Francis Lord Le Despenser died Dec. 9, 1981, s. p.
“Our friend George has now, very lately, for the first time found himself mortal. He got a very bad cold by riding home from Bury in the rain ; but his disorder has happily terminated by a large carbuncle on each maxilla, to the danger of his beauty.
“ Be a good Christian, and shew you forgive my long silence by letting me soon hear from you. I hope to re-visit your ree gions, as usual, cum Zephyris et Hirundine prima. In the mean time believe me yours sincerely,
John Cullux. “ Dear Sir,
Jan. 4, 1789. “To shew how ambitious I am of your correspondence, I will take a clear pen and fresh ink, to answer your favour of the Ist instant, and thank you for the Print.
“ Though you do not seem to have succeeded in your negotiation for any of the Suffolk Coins, I will ask what value you think Mr. Bridges sets on his Northamptonshire plates and drawings. They will hardly be so much demanded as he flatters himself, and as mere deposits in a museum they ought not to be sold extravagantly dear. Perhaps you may have an opportunity, as the French say, to entamer a negotiation.
R. G." “ DEAR SIR,
Hardwick House, Feb. 23, 1789. “ You hint in your last an inclination of my beginning for you a negotiation for the Northamptonshire drawings; but, as you was not decisive, I have done nothing; for at this distance I have no opportunity of sounding the proprietor about the price he may set upon them: I can only propose the question to him in direct terms: but, as you have not given me directions to that effect, that affair is in statu quo. However, I am ready to obey your orders on that score, or any other.
« The curiosities you mention that were lately found on Stan. more Heath, I had heard of; but not so particularly as from you. They belong to Mr. Capper of Bushy, a first cousin of mine, who has no taste for such matters. As to the Suffolk Coins, several of them, I hear, soon found their way to London, where the price of a guinea apiece was asked; many, I have reason to believe, are still kept private near the place where they were found; and, I suppose, will now be more than ever afraid of coming forth, for fear of being seized by the martial Lord of the Manor, who, you know, is now returned from his American expedition, and is more at leisure to attend to his own domestic concerns.
“I happened lately of a very neat engraving of “St. Osyth Priory, the seat of the Right Hon. the Earl of Rochford. Dunthorn del. J. Chapman sculp. Immediately upon my return home, I applied to the Topography,' to see if it were there men
tioned: but I find it is not. If you have it not, and will give me a line directly, I will secure one for you ; for, where I bought mine, I saw another, every thing at this time of the year going in pairs. What a collection of Topographical engravings is there at Holkham! It is in a small room at the end of the Statue Gallery. There are a full hundred of large folios, of Maps, Views, Buildings, &c. of different parts of the World: among them 31 that relate to England, Scotland, and Ireland. You will give me credit when I assure you, I should have been glad to have spent a day, upon bread and water, in that spot. Craven Ord and myself peeped into some few of them, and wished you had been with us. You see that, in that excursion, we did not confine ourselves to our blacicings; though we reaped a most plentiful harvest that way. The last we finished with was most capital. It is for Sir Hugh Hastings *, who died in 1347; it is nearly entire, in Elsing Church in Norfolk, not far from Dereham, where I was hospitably received by Mr. Fenn, who attended and assisted me in the operation, and seemed pleased with it. From the other specimens of engraving of that reign, I had no reason to think that that art had arrived to such perfection at that time, as this performance convinced me it had. By the bye, these old brasses will sometimes explain a passage in an old Poet, which even great Antiquaries talk nonsense about. I am much mistaken if our great St. Alban's brass may not be thus applied. Look at the shoes of the larger figure with a spear or halbertAre not · Poulis Windowes carven on his shose' of which Mr. Warton knew not what to make. (See History of English Poetry, vol. I. p. 379.) And I the rather wonder at this his ignorance, as these cross-barred shoes appear in some of the plates both of Montfaucon and Strutt.
“Pray inform me, what is now the opinion concerning these much-controverted Poems t; particularly, let me know whether you have made up your mind about them. I have not read either our President's or Mr. Bryant's performance. However, one thing is certain, that, whether they be genuine or forged, they are most singular curiosities. I should be glad also to know, who the Author is of the Travelling Anecdotes I,' lately published. They are not without some merit, in the Shandeyan manner, though the Author disavows all imitation. He is remarkable for being the first writer that I have met with (though I have often heard it in conversation) whu has hinted, in print, at not the most amiable part of the King of Prussia's character he is conversing with a Prussian Officer. I understand you; you
* See an elaborate description of this beautiful brass in the “Sepulchral Monuments," vol. 1. p. 98; and a faithful engraving of it in Carter's “Antient Sculpture," &c. No. III. and of one of the principal figures separately, ibid. No. VIII. illustrated by the late Sir John Fenn, from his own rich stores, augmented by those of Tom Martin. + The Poems ascribed to Rowley.
The. Rev James Douglas, F. S. A, better known by his valuable public cation, intituled, “ Nænia Britannia," &c.
hint the King has forsaken the charms of lovely women, and the dainties of Ăpician tables: perhaps he has forsaken the former for a variety of taste, and the latter as a necessary preservative of life.' Adieu! I am very much yours,
Hardwick House, Aug. 10, 176 “ My friend Mr. Gough sent me, about ten days ago, the inclosed proof of the Additions to Suffolk *, desiring I woald add or correct as I thought proper, and return them in the core that accompanied them; but, as no such cover accompanied istit, and as I conjecture he may be set off upon an excursion icio Lincolnshire, I judge I cannot do better than send them to you,
“ You will perceive that I have both added and corrected, and I could wish it might all be inserted : but, I doubt, there is tiot space enough in the page. At all events let Barrow, the radio dence of our friend Mr. Ashby, be inserted. Dalham too and Cowlinge should not be omitted. The first correction is of a grievous error, unfortunately, ipso in limine.
“You have my best wishes for your success in all your various and most useful labours, and I remain your humble servant
, “ To Mr. Nichols. “ Dear Sir,
Hardwick House, Not. 14,1789 “ The little assistance I could afford Maister Camden required no thanks. The information and amusement which you are constantly bestowing upon the publick have a right to demand
every kind of aid from every quarter.
Norfolk and Cambridge will, I am sure, fare well; the Antiquary of the latter, I hear, is better. Ashby will, 1 dare say, throw in his mite for Leices tershire, though he complains of your dropping his correspond ence, nor even noticing the receipt of his Spice Islands.
“ After your happy achievements in Lincoln-hire this bet summer, I am almost ashamed to give any account of my huma ble crawlings about the County of Kent. However, upon look ing into your “Topography' (which, next to the Bible, is the beach I most often consult), I can give you some satisfaction about one of your doubts there. The Collection of Family Pictures of Penshurst is not dispersed. What might perhaps give cause.com Granger's report was, that Lady Sherrard, the present Mrs Perry's sister, had a share of the Sidney pictures, which some years ago were sold by auction ; some of which Mrs. Perry para chased, and re-placed in their old situations; particularly Sibeauty seems not to have deserved all the encoiniums pared upon it: but what do not youthful Poets fancy when they love ?'- There is now a very good collection of very interesting Portraits; and, if Mr. Gale's Catalogue were published, might see what have been disposed of. Sir Philip Sidgey's Oak is also standing, about half a mile North of the bouse; a most venerable plant, just 24 feet in girth, about three feet from the ground, reduced to a rind, with a seat within it; yet it is so * The proof-sbeets of his edition of Camden.