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avail ourselves of the morning air for a stroll through the park. Ben Jonson, in the lines immediately following those we have already quoted, has sounded in sonorous strains its most celebrated attractions as well as its beauty. He says

"Thou hast thy walks for health as well as sport:
Thy mount, to which the Dryads do resort,
Where Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have made,
Beneath the broad beech and the chestnut's shade;
That taller tree, which of a nut was set,
At his great birth, where all the Muses met;
There, in the writhed bark, are cut the names
Of many a sylvan taken with his flames;
And thence the ruddy satyrs oft provoke
The lighter fawns to reach thy Lady's oak;

Thy copse, too, named of Gamage thou hast there,
That never fails to serve thee season'd deer,
When thou would'st feast or exercise thy friends."
These things may be seen here still: Sidney's oak-
"That taller tree, which of a nut was set,

Indeed, it hardly seems possible that, even in 1768although any Vandalic deed may be credited of that period-Sidney's Oak could have been destroyed by mistake: at any rate, there is no doubt at Penshurst that it is yet standing; and the tree so named agrees well with the accounts published previously to 1768 of the Sidney Oak. We accept the tradition.

Let us walk first to Sidney's Oak. It stands apart in a bottom, close by Lancup Well, a fine sheet of water, which might almost be called a lake. The oak is a very large one, and has yet abundant leaves, though the trunk has long been quite hollow. At three feet from the ground the trunk measures 26 feet in girth: a century ago, it measured 22 feet. The engraving (Cut, No. 3,) will, better than words, show its form. Though not to be compared with the Panshanger Oak, nor with some others known to fame, it is yet a handsome tree, and would be noticeable apart from its associations. The tree has other poetical celebrity besides that which the verse of Jonson has conferred. Waller has tried to impress his love to Saccharissa upon it:

"Go boy, and carve this passion on the bark

Of yonder tree, which stands, the sacred mark
Of noble Sidney's birth."

At his great birth, where all the Muses met;" the most attractive of all these objects, there is indeed some doubt concerning. Gifford says it was cut down by mistake, in 1768; and is properly indignant that such a mistake should have been possible. The oak which was felled was one known among the peasantry He was thinking of Jonson's lines, and forgot that the as 'The Bare Oak;' and the belief is constant at Pens- bark of a full-grown oak is hardly fit for such an inhurst that it was not that taller tree,' but the other, scription. The tree has gained nothing by this associawhich Jonson has celebrated as the 'Lady's Oak.' tion. It is hardly worth while to recal lesser poets'

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musings here. As long as it lasts, the oak will continue to be visited by those who are drawn by the fine affinities which the poetic mind no less than the prosaic, recognizes in those sensible objects that are associated with the personal being of the gifted of foregone days: and when the tree shall have perished, the spot itself will be visited; the feeling will remain, which led Southey to speak thus of it, believing that the oak was destroyed:

"Upon his natal day the acorn here

Was planted; it grew up a stately oak,
And in the beauty of its strength it stood
And flourish'd, when its perishable part
Had moulder'd dust to dust. That stately oak
Itself hath moulder'd now; but Sidney's name
Endureth in his own immortal works."

6

The Lady's Oak,' as we said, is gone. The copse, too, named of Gamage,' remains, or rather three or four shattered trees remain, which are pointed to as Barbara Gamage's Copse:' but it has for a long while failed to serve the seasoned deer.' The copse is said to have received its name from Barbara Gamage, Countess of Leicester, taking great delight in feeding the deer there. At no great distance was a beech grove that had won the name of 'Saccharissa's Walk,' from being the place where the lady whom Waller celebrated under that most unpoetical of poet's names, used to walk, and Waller to woo her. Of it only a very few trees are left standing. To our thinking one of the most noteworthy groups of trees in the park is the fine avenue which stands on the eastern side of the mansion.

The visitor to London picture-galleries will remember the noble picture which Mr. Lee painted of it a few years since.

Penshurst Park is of considerable extent, but was formerly of much greater. The surface gently undulates, and it is richly wooded. Several of the oaks are of large size and noble form. Beeches abound, and many of them are also very large; but the soil does not seem to be so well adapted for them. Some are very lofty and handsome trees, but they begin to decay rather early. From the higher parts of the park the views are very extensive and very beautiful. In the more thickly-wooded parts there are as delicious shady spots as on a summer's day could be desired. It is a place full of delights for the poet and the painter, and for the lover of nature.

But it is noon; we must return to the mansion. The door of the entrance-tower swings open, and the attendant is summoned. While we wait for her, we pass through to the First Court-yard.' (Cut No. 4). We are here by the oldest part of the building. The First Courtyard presents one of the most picturesque architectural combinations at Penshurst. Directly before us is the original chief entrance: with its battlements, its bold buttresses, and the handsome window over the door, and the turret at the angle, in itself a fine object. Behind it is the hall, its high roof rising far up against the dark blue of the sky. On the right, lying in deep shadow, are some of the Tudor buildings. A few roots of ivy have affixed themselves to the walls in front; a good-sized tree casts its branches before the wall, on our

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avail ourselves of the morning air for a stroll through the park. Ben Jonson, in the lines immediately following those we have already quoted, has sounded in sonorous strains its most celebrated attractions as well as its beauty. He says

"Thou hast thy walks for health as well as sport: Thy mount, to which the Dryads do resort,

Where Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have made, Beneath the broad beech and the chestnut's shade; That taller tree, which of a nut was set, At his great birth, where all the Muses met; There, in the writhed bark, are cut the names Of many a sylvan taken with his flames; And thence the ruddy satyrs oft provoke The lighter fawns to reach thy Lady's oak; Thy copse, too, named of Gamage thou hast there, That never fails to serve thee season'd deer, When thou would'st feast or exercise thy friends." These things may be seen here still: Sidney's oak"That taller tree, which of a nut was set,

At his great birth, where all the Muses met;"

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Indeed, it hardly seems possible that, even in 1768although any Vandalic deed may be credited of that period-Sidney's Oak could have been destroyed by mistake: at any rate, there is no doubt at Penshurst that it is yet standing; and the tree so named agrees well with the accounts published previously to 1768 of the Sidney Oak. We accept the tradition.

Let us walk first to Sidney's Oak. It stands apart in a bottom, close by Lancup Well, a fine sheet of water, which might almost be called a lake. The oak is a very large one, and has yet abundant leaves, though the trunk has long been quite hollow. At three feet from the ground the trunk measures 26 feet in girth : a century ago, it measured 22 feet. The engraving (Cut, No. 3,) will, better than words, show its form. Though not to be compared with the Panshanger Oak, nor with some others known to fame, it is yet a handsome tree, and would be noticeable apart from its associations. The tree has other poetical celebrity besides that which the verse of Jonson has conferred. Waller has tried to impress his love to Saccharissa upon it:

"Go boy, and carve this passion on the bark Of yonder tree, which stands, the sacred mark Of noble Sidney's birth."

He was thinking of Jonson's lines, and forgot that the bark of a full-grown oak is hardly fit for such an inscription. The tree has gained nothing by this association. It is hardly worth while to recal lesser poets'

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3. SIDNEY'S OAK.

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musings here. As long as it lasts, the oak will continue to be visited by those who are drawn by the fine affinities which the poetic mind no less than the prosaic, recognizes in those sensible objects that are associated with the personal being of the gifted of foregone days: and when the tree shall have perished, the spot itself will be visited; the feeling will remain, which led Southey to speak thus of it, believing that the oak was destroyed:

"Upon his natal day the acorn here

Was planted; it grew up a stately oak,
And in the beauty of its strength it stood
And flourish'd, when its perishable part
Had moulder'd dust to dust. That stately oak
Itself hath moulder'd now; but Sidney's name
Endureth in his own immortal works."

'

The Lady's Oak,' as we said, is gone. The copse, too, named of Gamage,' remains, or rather three or four shattered trees remain, which are pointed to as 'Barbara Gamage's Copse:' but it has for a long while failed to serve the seasoned deer.' The copse is said to have received its name from Barbara Gamage, Countess of Leicester, taking great delight in feeding the deer there. At no great distance was a beech grove that had won the name of 'Saccharissa's Walk,' from being the place where the lady whom Waller celebrated under that most unpoetical of poet's names, used to walk, and Waller to woo her. Of it only a very few trees are left standing. To our thinking one of the most noteworthy groups of trees in the park is the fine avenue which stands on the eastern side of the mansion.

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The visitor to London picture-galleries will remember the noble picture which Mr. Lee painted of it a few years since.

Penshurst Park is of considerable extent, but was formerly of much greater. The surface gently undulates, and it is richly wooded. Several of the oaks are of large size and noble form. Beeches abound, and many of them are also very large; but the soil does not seem to be so well adapted for them. Some are very lofty and handsome trees, but they begin to decay rather early. From the higher parts of the park the views are very extensive and very beautiful. In the more thickly-wooded parts there are as delicious shady spots as on a summer's day could be desired. It is a place full of delights for the poet and the painter, and for the lover of nature.

"

But it is noon; we must return to the mansion. The door of the entrance-tower swings open, and the attendant is summoned. While we wait for her, we pass through to the First Court-yard.' (Cut No. 4). We are here by the oldest part of the building. The First Courtyard presents one of the most picturesque architectural combinations at Penshurst. Directly before us is the original chief entrance with its battlements, its bold buttresses, and the handsome window over the door, and the turret at the angle, in itself a fine object. Behind it is the hall, its high roof rising far up against the dark blue of the sky. On the right, lying in deep shadow, are some of the Tudor buildings. A few roots of ivy have affixed themselves to the walls in front; a good-sized tree casts its branches before the wall, on our

left. The whole is rich in effect, yet wearing the sobriety of character that is proper to age. Prout or Roberts might paint it without needing to alter a feature -unless it were to replace the louvre on the hall-roof, and thereby complete the play of outline, and add the crowning finish to the composition.

We enter the old porch, and are led at once to the Hall; it is an admirable and almost perfect specimen of a great hall of the fourteenth century, when the hall was the chief room in the mansion, and was not only the audience-chamber on occasions of state and ceremony, but the ordinary refectory wherein the lord at the head of his family, and perhaps a hundred retainers, with as many guests as chance had brought together, assembled daily at the dinner hour. Though not so large as some other ancient halls still remaining in lordly mansions, it is a really noble room, and sufficiently spacious for all the requirements of old hospitality in its best days; and it is one of the least injured. The lofty walls support a remarkably fine high-pitched open roof of dark oak, having well moulded arched braces, resting on boldly carved corbel figures. At the farther end of the hall is the dais-a platform that is carried across the room, and raised a step above the rest of the floor; here the master and mistress of the house sat with their chief guests, as Chaucer tells in his Marriage of January and May:'

"

"And at the feste sitteth he and she With other worthy folk upon the deis."

The high-board, as the table at which they sat was called, still occupies its proper place on the dais: the other tables range along the sides of the hall. Across the lower end is a carved oak screen, supporting the minstrels' gallery. In the centre of the hall is the hearth, with the great fire-dog, or andiron, which supported the huge logs of wood that were burning on the hearth; but the louvre, or open lanthern, that was placed on the roof, immediately over the hearth, for the smoke to escape by, was removed many years ago. If in its present desolate condition the old hall is striking and interesting, how imposing must have been its appearance on some high festival in the good old times!

Let us try to realize a Christmas in the Penshurst Hall of Sir Henry Sidney.

We must look in on Christmas-eve, for the festivities begin on the vigil of the holy day. The hall has its ordinary decorations; the arras hangings upon the walls; arms and armour, and the spreading antlers of deer captured after some memorable huntings, are suspended around; banners glittering with many a gaudy emblazoning float overhead; but, in addition to these, every part from floor to roof is decked with bay, and rosemary, and laurel, and other evergreens, but chiefly holly: ivy is not there, though sometimes it is placed at this time in the churches:

"Nay, ivy, nay, it shall not be I wis

Let holly have the maistery as the manner is:
Holly stondeth in the Hall faire to behold,
Ivy stond without the door; she is full sore acold."

There is little company in the hall. Sir Henry and my lady are on the dais, and a few friends are standing by them; but they are not the rulers of this night's merriment. A Lord of Misrule has been appointed (as is "the custom at the house of every nobleman and person of distinction"), whose office it is to see that all goes gaily during Christmas-tide, and he is supreme now. The ladies, and the chief part of the guests who would be entitled to a seat at the high-board, are in the music loft, where they can most conveniently witness the night's revelry. The hall-fire is not lighted yet, but a vast heap of faggot-wood, and some stout branches lie ready on the hearth; a loud noise is heard outside; presently the sound of music mingles with the boisterous shouting; there is a busy movement of expectation in the hall. The hangings are held aside from the doors under the music gallery, and the Lord of Misrule himself, clad in a quaint showy habit enters, accompanied by his band of proper officers, dressed each in a fantastic livery of green and yellow, upon which is their chief's cognizance, and further bedizened with such "scarfs, ribbons, and laces, hanged all over with gold rings, precious stones, and other jewels," as their own stores can furnish, or the almoner will trust them with, or they can "borrow of their pretty Mopsies and loving Betsies." Thus gallantly attended, the master of merry disport' advances with affected state into the middle of the room, when turning round he waves his staff with much ceremony, and repeats with stentorian voice the formulary, which a poet of the following century rendered into flowing verse:

"Come, bring with a noise, My merry merry boys,

The Christmas log to the firing;

While my good lord he,

Bids ye all be free,

And drink to your heart's desiring."

The trumpets sound, and the yule log-the trunk of one of the largest trees of the year's felling-is dragged in, a score or more sturdy yeomen lending their arms to the ropes that are fastened around the huge tree, and as many more pushing at the sides and behind, all striving with might and main to speed its progress. Following it is a motley crowd of both sexes, including all those who are to share in the ensuing sports.

With so many willing assistants the log is soon duly poised on the andiron, and the lighter wood heaped around it; and now, at Misrule's bidding, the brand that was quenched last Candlemas, and then carefully and with a little mystery stored away, is produced, and lighted by the steward, who applies it to the heap. The dry boughs crackle and blaze, and wrap the old hall in a ruddy glow. Few among the revellers however care to notice how brilliant and sparkling is its appearance, as the flashing light glances upon the coats of mail and burnished shields, and shining weapons, and from beam to beam of the roof, gay with gilding and heraldic emblazonry, along the many-coloured banners, and plays about the shining holly bunches, and amongst the merry assembly that now fills the hall-lords and ser

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