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ONE of the first objects of attraction in of the long corridor of the committee-rooms London for the stranger, must necessarily that on the north to the Commons' lobby be the new Houses of Parliament. They and House, and that on the south to the are certainly the most noticeable of all the Lords. These splendid approaches occupy architectural displays in England.
altogether fully fifteen times the capacity Critics have quarrelled much with the of either House. The royal approach (from finical character of the work, and with the the great tower at the southwest corner) profusion of ornament; but their purpose, also fills about thrice the space taken by their size, their cost, and their durability the House of Lords, and includes, besides must excite always a great deal of wonder robing-rooms, &c., a splendid lobby, about and of curiosity.
45 ft. square, and a gallery 110 feet long, The present magnificent pile was erected 45 wide, and 45 high, being the largest room after designs by BARRY. There has been in the modern palace. Its decoration is no limit in the matter of cost; the final hardly yet begun. That of the House of and entire expense is estimated at sums Lords itself is nearly complete, and it has varying from twenty to fifty millions of been used since April, 1847. It may be pounds.
seen, during the session, on Wednesdays, The portions of the interior finished and between 11 and 4, by an order from the accessible to the public are the committee- Lord Chamberlain, (which is obtainable at rooms (occupying the greater portion of the an office near the temporary entrance ;) ar river front) and the two legislative chambers, without an order, on the days of hearing which are in the centres of the northern and appeals, when the House, being a judicial southern halves of the building. The gen- court, is of course open. It is (if not intrineral public entrance, when complete, will be sically, at least effectively) the richest chamthrough Westminster Hall, up a flight of ber erected since the fall of the mediaral steps at its south end, into a square vaulted church architecture ; a gorgeous effect being vestibule, called St. Stephen's Porch; thence, produced by gilding all the mouldings, turning east, up another flight, and along (which include the whole of the stone and the “St. Stephen's Hall,” a fine passage, most of the woodwork,) and covering the but a very poor substitute, alas ! for the remaining surfaces with minute colored petEdwardian chapel it replaces, into the octa- terng. The House is nearly an exact double gon hall, in the centre of the whole edifice. cube of 45 ft. ; the ceiling divided by cross This is about 60 ft. in diameter, and the ing beams into 18 squares, corresponding same in height, covered by a massive Gothic to the arched compartments of the Falls dome, on which is to be raised a light open which are all similar, except that the sis on stone lantern and spire nearly 300 ft. high, each side are occupied by windows with which are an addition to the original design. colored devices, and the three at each end From hence three passages will branch : by frescoes, a species of painting now first that straightforward leading to the centre attempted in England.
Post OFFICE, (GENERAL) St. Martin's le ticoes, the centre one forming the entrance to Grand, (covering the site of a collegiate a hall extending through the whole depth church of that name.) The present building and height of the building, to its rear, was erected, 1825-9, from a design by Sirwbere is another entrance. The Ionic order Robert Smirke, R. A. It is isolated, and throughout is similar to that of the British covers a large compact rectangle, and is Museum, the column being enlarged from faced on all sides with Portland stone; but that of the little temple (now destroyed) on on the west side, which is about 400 feet the Ilyssus, and the entablature that from long, with a façade of very plain Grecian Teos, stripped of all carving. character, to which are attached three por- |
SOMERSET HOUSE, in the Strand, was com. | architecture; and this is confined to the menced in 1776, by Sir William Chambers, clothing of the street front, 155 feet long, the last adherent to the systematic and reg. the river front about 600 feet, and the inulated architecture introduced from Italy terior of the quadrangle, 319 feet by 224 ; by Jones, and it may therefore be regarded the east and west sides of the exterior as terminating the third period, the brazen (though the latter is now the most exposed age, of English design. It consists almost of all) being abandoned to the ineffable hid. entirely of small rooms, used as public of. | eousness of the deceits required by brickfices, and, therefore, presents only external | laying respectability. All above the cornice
also has been left to grow into a forest of the main door of the house, the patbs were the elegant and varied inventions of the no longer distinguishable. After surveying chimney-doctor; it having by this time be this dismal scene for some time, I came come an admitted and established rule, that away with a strange feeling of curiosity. these, and many other parts of buildings (in “ Why should this place be so entirely de fact, to define them in short, all necessary serted and neglected ?" thought I. It was or useful parts) were excluded from the not like a fortress, a castle, or an abbey, architect's province-not expected to appear allowed to fall into ruins from extreme age, in his drawings, and, in the actual execution, because no longer appropriate to the habits made allowance for, as necessary evils, in- of the period. On the contrary, the buildvisible to the practised and tutored eve, ing I had seen was comparatively modern, which is expected to see the building not and had fallen to decay merely for want of as it stands, (and always will stand while in those timely repairs and defences of the use,) but as it would appear with the neces- weather that ordinary prudence prescribes. sary blots, the objects of vulgar utility, ab- “ Perhaps there is some sad history attached stracted.
to the spot," I thought; “or perhaps the race to whom it belonged bave died out; ar may be the cause of its destruction is noth
ing more tragical than a lawsuit !" From Chambers' “ Edinburgh Journal.”
As I returned, I inquired of a woman in THE DESERTED HOUSE.
the nearest village if she could tell me to
whom that desolate spot belonged. Having been detained by the illness of a “To a Spaniard,” she answered ; “ but he relative at the small town of Beziers, when is dead !" travelling a few years since in the south of “But to whom does it belong now!" I France, and finding time hang somewhat asked. “Why is it suffered to fall into heavily on my hands during the slow pro- ruin?" gress of my companion's convalescence, I "I don't know,” she said, shaking her took to wandering about the neighborhood head, and re-entering the hovel, at the door within a circle of four or five miles, inspect of which she had been standing. ing the proceedings of the agriculturists, During dinner that day I asked the best and making acquaintance with the country of the inn if he knew the place, and could people. On one of these excursions, seeing satisfy my curiosity. He knew it well, be a high wall and an iron gate, I turned out answered. The last inhabitant had been a of my road to take a peep at the interior Count Ruy Gonzalez, a Spaniard, whose wife through the rails; but I found them so had died there under some painful circumovergrown with creepers of one sort or an- stances, of which nobody knew the particuother, that it was not easy to distinguish lars. He had been passionately fond of her, any thing but a house which stood about a and immediately after her decease had gone hundred yards from the entrance. Finding, to reside in Paris, where he had also died. however, that the gate was not quite closed, As the place formed part of the lady's forI gave it a push; and although it moved tune, it had fallen into the hands of some very stifly on its hinges, and grated along distant relation of hers, who had let it; bat the ground as it went, I contrived to force the tenant, after a residence of a few months, an aperture wide enough to put in my head. left it, at some sacrifice of rent; and other What a scene of desolation was there! The parties who subsequently took it having all house, which was built of dark-colored speedily vacated under one pretext or aubricks, looked as if it had not been inhabited other, an evil reputation gathered round for a century. The roof was much decayed, and clung to it so tenaciously, that all idea the paint black with age, the stone steps of occupation had been relinquished. green with moss, and the windows all con- It may be conceived that this informatica cealed by discolored and dilapidated Vene- did not diminish my interest in the deserted tian blinds. The garden was a wilderness house; and on the following day I was quite of weeds and overgrown rose-bushes; and eager to see my invalid settled for her midexcept one broad one, in a right line with day slumber, in order that I might repeat
my visit and carry my investigations further. rately-carved gilt frames, designated this as
places, as if it had been battered with some
cidity-I added, that the appearance of the sister, and wbo now lived with her in the place, together with the little information I capacity of waiting-maid ; the other was had gathered from the host of the inn, had in- her cousin, Eugène de Beaugency, an orphan, terested me exceedingly. He looked grave and dependent on her father; his on as I spoke. I was about to question him re- having lost every thing he possessed, in garding the closed door, when be said—“I consequence of some political offence pre do not recommend you to remain long here: vious to the Revolution. It was even re the house is very damp; and as the win-ported that the Beaugency family had been dows are never opened, the air is unwhole nigh suffering the same fate, and that some some.” I did not know whether this was heavy fines which had been extracted from an excuse to get rid of me; but the atmo- them had straitened their means, and oblisphere was certainly far from refreshing, ged them to live in retirement. However and at all events I thought it right to accept this might be, Henriette appeared perfectly the intimation ; so I accompanied him out, contented with her lot. Eugène studied he locking the doors behind him. As we with her, and played with her; and they walked along, he told me that he visited the grew up together with all the affection and house every day, or nearly so; and that he familiarity of a brother and sister; whilst had never thought of sbutting the gate, old M. de Beaugency never seems to bare since nobody in the neighborhood would suspected that any other sentiment condi enter it on any account. This gave me an possibly subsist between them : not that opportunity of inquiring into the history of they took the slightest pains to disguise the place, which, if it were not impertinent, their feelings; and it was there very openI should be very glad to learn. He said he ness that had probably lulled the fatber's could not tell it me then, having a sick suspicions. Indeed, their lives floved so parishioner to visit; but that if I would smoothly, and their intercourse was so us come on the following day, at the same restrained, that nothing ever occurred to hour, he would satisfy my curiosity. I need awaken even themselves to the nature of not say that I kept the appointment; and their sentiments; whilst the affection that as I approached the garden gate, I saw him united them had grown so gradually under coming out.
the parent's eyes, that their innocent tens “A walk along the road would be more of endearment, and playful caresses, apagreeable than that melancholy garden," he peared to him but the natural manifestaticos said ; " and, if I pleased, he would escort me of the relation in which they stood to each part of the way back.” So we returned, other. The first sorrow Henriette had Fas and after a few desultory observations, I when Eugène was sent to Paris to study for claimed his promise.
the bar; but it was a consolation that ber “The house,” he said, “ has never been own regret scarcely exceeded that of bei inhabited since I came to live in this neigh father; and when she used to be counting borhood, though that is now upwards of the weeks and days as the period of his forty years since. It belonged to a family return drew nigh, the old man was almost of the name of Beaugency, and the last as pleased as she was to see their numba members of it who resided here were a diminish. father and daughter. Henriette de Beau- “All this harmony and happiness congency she was called : a beautiful creature, tinued uninterrupted for several years; I have been informed, and the idol of her but at length an element of discord, at first father, whose affection she amply returned. slight, seemed to arise from the appearance They led a very retired life, and seldom on the scene of a certain Count Ruy Got quitted the place, except to pay an annual zalez, who came here with the father and visit to the other side of the Pyrenees, where daughter after one of their annual excursions she had an elder brother married to a into Catalonia. He was an extremely handSpanish lady of considerable fortune ; but some, noble-looking Spaniard, of about thirty Mlle. Henriette had two companions who years of age, and said to be rich; but there seemed to make her amends for the absence was an air of haughty, inflexible sternness of other society. One was a young girl | about him, that repelled most people, more called Rosina, who had been her foster-than his good looks and polished manpas