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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 paths were the elegant and varied inventions of the no longer distinguisbable. 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 defact, to define them in short, all necessary serted and neglected ?" thougbt 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 habita made allowance for, as necessary evils, in- of the period. On the contrary, the buildvisible to the practised and tutored eye, 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; or 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 be 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 nos p" 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 bost 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, he 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 for. I gave it a push ; and although it moved tune, it had fallen into the hands of some very stiffly on its hinges, and grated along distant relation of hers, who had let it; but 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 anbricks, 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 information 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 mid. except 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 I found the gate ajar as before, and by ex- the lady's apartment. A third door, which erting all my strength, I managed to force was also open, showed me a bed in an alcove, my way in. I had not gone three steps with a blue velvet dais and fringed counterbefore a snake crossed by path, and the pane of the same material. Here I found a ground seemed actually alive with lizards; toilet-table, also covered with what had once but being determined to obtain a nearer been white muslin, and on it stood several view of this mysterious house, I walked china boxes and bottles. In one of the forstraight on towards it. A close inspection mer there were some remains of a red of the front, however, showing me nothing powder, which appeared to have been rouge; but what I had descried from a distance, I and on lifting the lid of another I became turned to the left, and passed round to the sensible of the odor of musk. The lookingback of the building, where I found the re- glass that stood on the table had a drapery mains of what had been a small flower-gar- of muslin and blue bows round the frame; den, with a grass-plot; and beyond it, and the old-fashioned mahogany chest of divided by a wall, a court surrounded by drawers was richly gilt and ornamented. mouldy-looking stabling: but, what was None of these rooms was papered; all apstill more interesting, I discovered an open peared to be plastered or stuccoed, and were door leading into the house. Somebody, elaborately adorned with designs and gilt therefore, must surely be within; so I mouldings, except in one place, which seemknocked with my parasol against the panel, ed to have formerly been a door-the door but nobody came; and having repeated my of a closet probably; but it was now built knocks with no better success, I ventured up-the plaster, however, being quite coarse in, and found myself in a stone passage, and unadorned, and not at all in keeping terminating in a door, which, by a feeble with any thing else in the room. It was allight emitted through it, I saw was partly so broken, indented, and blackened in several of glass.
places, as if it had been battered with some “Any body here?” I said aloud, as I open heavy. weapon. Somehow or other, there ed it and put in my head; but all was silent: was nothing that fixed my attention so much 80 I went forward, not without some appre- as this door! I examined it-I laid my hension, I confess; but it was that sort of band upon it. Why should it have been so pleasing terror one feels when witnessing a hastily built up to the disfigurement of the good melodrama. I was now in a tolerably. wall ?-for the coarseness of the plaster and sized hall, supported by four stone pillars, the rudeness of the work denoted haste. I and on each side of it were two doors. I was standing opposite to it, and asking spoke again, and knocked against them, but myself this question when I heard a heavy nobody answered; then I turned the handles.foot approaching; and before I had time to The first two I tried were locked, but the move, I saw the astonished face of an elderly third was not. When I saw it yield to my man in clerical attire standing in the doorhand, I confess I felt so startled that I drew way. I believe he thought at first I was back for a moment; but curiosity conquer- the ghost of the former inhabitant of this ed—I looked in. The dim light admitted by chamber, for he actually changed color the Venetian blinds showed me a small and stepped back. apartment, scantily furnished, which might “Pardon, mon père !" said I, smiling at have been a salon or an anteroom. Two his amazement: “I found the door open; small tables standing against the wall, a few and I hope you will excuse the curiosity chairs covered with yellow damask, and a that has led me to intrude ?" pier-glass, were all it contained; but at the “Une Anglaise !" said he, bowing ; "a opposite end there was another open door : traveller, doubtless. You are the first per50, half-pleased and half-frightened, I walked son besides myself that has entered these forward, and found myself in what had for- apartments, madame, for many a long year, merly been a prettily-furnished boudoir. I assure you !" Marble slabs, settees covered with blue vel. After giving him an explanation of how vet, chairs and curtains of the same, and I came to be there—an explanation which three or four round or oval mirrors in elabo- he listened to with much kindness and placidity-I added, that the appearance of the sister, and who now lived with her in the place, together with the little information I capacity of waiting-maid; the other vas had gathered from the host of the inn, bad in-ber cousin, Eugène de Beaugency, an orphan, terested me exceedingly. He looked grave and dependent on her father; his own as I spoke. I was about to question bim re having lost every thing he possessed, in garding the closed door, when he said—“I consequence of some political offence predo 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 ber; 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 have since nobody in the neighborhood would suspected that any other sentiment could 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 father's could not tell it me then, having a sick suspicions. Indeed, their lives flowed so parishioner to visit ; but that if I would smoothly, and their intercourse was so uncome 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 terms "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 manifestations 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 was 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 bouse," he said, “has never been own regret scarcely exceeded that of her 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 number members of it who resided here were a diminish. father and daughter. Henriette de Beau-l “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 Gonquitted 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 wbo 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 bis good looks and polished manners attracted them. These unamiable charac- tunity of declining his hand, trusting that teristics, however, appeared to be much would be the signal for his final departure. modified, if not to vanish altogether, in the But whether from caution, or because he presence of Mlle. de Beaugency, to whom it had penetrated her feelings, the expected soon became evident he was passionately offer was not made, although he assiduously attached; whilst it was equally clear that continued his attentions, and spent more of her father encouraged his addresses. Even his time at her house than at his own in Catathe young lady, in spite of her love for her lonia. At length Mlle. de Beaugency began cousin, seems to have been not quite insen to apprehend that he intended to wait the sible to the glory of subduing this magnif. result of his observations at her cousin's icent Catalonian, who walked the earth next visit; and feeling quite assured that if like an archangel in whom it was a con- the rivals met again, a quarrel would ensue, descension to set his foot on it. She did not, she persuaded her father to select that seatherefore, it is to be feared, repress his son for their own visit to her brother; attentions in the clear and decided manner whilst she wrote to Eugène, excusing their that would have relieved her of them absence, and begging him not to come to though, indeed, if she had done so, consider- see her at present. It is true, all this was ing the character she had to deal with, the but putting off the evil day; but she had a dénouement might not have been much less presentiment of mischief, and did not know tragical than it was. In the mean while, what to do to avert it; the rather that she pleased and flattered, and joyfully antici- was aware both ber father and brother pating her cousin's return, she was happy wished to see her married to the count, and enough; for the pride of the Spaniard that neither of them would consent to her rendering him cautious to avoid the possi. union with Eugène, who had no means of bility of refusal or even hesitation in accept- supporting her, nor was likely to have for ing him, he forbore to make his proposal till some years to come. It was not to be exthe moment arrived when he should see it pected that this arrangement should be eagerly desired by her. All this was very agreeable to the young lover : it was now well till Eugène came home; but then the his turn to be jealous; and instead of stay. affair assumed another color. Love con- ing away as he was desired, he set out postquered vanity; and the Spaniard, finding haste with the fixed determination of himself neglected for the young advocate, following them from their residence to began to exhibit the dark side of his charac-Catalonia, and coming to an immediate ex. ter; whereupon the girl grew frightened, planation with the count. But his jealous and fearing mischief, she tried to avert it by pangs were appeased, and all thoughts of temporizing-leading the count to believe revenge postponed, by finding his uncle at that the affection betwixt herself and her the last extremity, his mistress in distress, cousin was merely one of early habit and and Ruy Gonzalez not with them. Their relationship; whilst she secretly assured journey had been prevented by the sudden Eugène of her upalterable attachment. So seizure of M. de Beaugency, who, after a great was her alarm, that she tacitly de- few days' suffering, expired in his daughter's ceived her father as well as the Spaniard ; arms, quite ignorant of her attachment to and as the latter seemed resolved not to her cousin, and with his dying breath beyield his rival the advantage his own seeching her to marry the count. When his absence would have given him, she was affairs began to be looked into the motive actually rejoiced when the period of her for this urgency became apparent. He had cousin's visit expired.
been living on the principal of what money “The young man gone, Ruy Gonzalez re. | he had; and nearly all that remained of his sumed his former suavity of manner; and as dilapidated fortunes was this house and the he possessed many qualities to recommend small piece of ground attached to it. This him in a lady's eyes, he might possibly have was a great disappointment to the young won her heart had it been free; but as the couple, who, previous to their discovery, had matter stood, she ardently desired to get rid agreed to be married in six months the of him, and waited anxiously for the mo- lady believing her fortune would be suffi. ment when he would give her an oppor cient to maintain them both. But now mar.