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of them, however, will sustain a scrutiny into their claims. Still, as hitherto, the portraits chiefly interest the general visitor. Among the portraits we may give first place to the lady whom Waller made so widely known as Saccharissa, under which delectable name he wooed her favour and celebrated her beauty. As is well known, the lady rejected his suit, and he bore his fate with most exemplary but very unpoetical fortitude. She does not appear very charming in her picture; but she had sufficient charms to attach the affections of a far more worthy man than her poetic admirer, and sense enough to prefer him. In another room there is a portrait of the Earl of Sunderland, the successful lover of Lady Dorothy Sidney. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (who it will be recollected was the uncle of Sir Philip Sidney), is also here; and here is the portrait of Sir Philip, to which we before alluded. It is a quaint, hard production; but the painter, Mark Garrard, has somehow contrived to impart uncommon naïveté and character to his work. Sir Philip is represented with his arm round his younger brother Robert (the lord of Penshurst whom Jonson celebrates), and both the brothers, while they are remarkably alike in features, have decided individuality of expression.

Since Horace Walpole published his deprecatory notice of Sir Philip Sidney, a good many smaller wits have given utterance to their ill opinion of him. Walpole's scoff is easily accounted for. He delighted in paradox; was an habitual sneerer; frivolous and lax in mind and practice: cold, flippant, heartless; of all men least fitted to appreciate or even understand the lofty poetic seriousness of Sir Philip's character. His censure of the writer is sufficiently refuted by the unanimous opinion of every one who, having the smallest spark of poetry in his soul, has read Sidney's works. His condemnation of the man has an answer in the universal admiration of his contemporaries: and such contemporaries! He whose early death a nation mourned; whom the greatest minds praised with a devotion and lamented with an earnestness without parallel in his generation; and of whom so gifted a man as Lord Brooke, the favoured of sovereigns, so thought, as to cause to be placed on his tomb, as his highest eulogy, that he was "the friend of Sir Philip Sidney"—surely could not have been "a person of the slender proportion of merit" Walpole represents.

We must leave Penshurst. Many more things in these apartments might fairly claim notice, but we have already made too long tarriance here. When he returns to the park, the visitor will no doubt again look around the exterior of the building; at any rate, he should do so, as he will then more readily perceive the purpose and connection of the several parts. There is a passage in the first book of the Arcadia, in which Sidney appears to have been describing his family mansion; and as it has not been quoted in connection with the place which it characterises in so pleasant a manner, the reader will probably not be sorry to see it here: "They might see (with fit consideration both of the air, the prospect, and the nature of the ground) all

such necessary additions to a great house, as might well show Kalander knew that provision is the foundation of hospitality, and thrift the fuel of magnificence. The house itself was built of fair and strong stone, not affecting so much any extraordinary kind of fineness, as an honourable representing of a firm stateliness. The lights, doors, and stairs, rather directed to the use of the guest, than to the eye of the artificer; and yet as the one chiefly heeded, yet the other not neglected; each place handsome without curiosity, and homely without loathsomeness; not so dainty as not to be trod on, nor yet slubbered up with good fellowship; all more lasting than beautiful, but that the consideration of the exceeding lastingness made the eye believe it was exceeding beautiful.”

The beauty of the country about Penshurst has been already mentioned. Instead of now attempting to describe it, we shall again turn to the Arcadia, and borrow a passage, which is a sufficiently accurate sketch of the scenery in all its permanent features; while the landscape derives fresh delights from the exquisite oldworld air it breathes. This first picture may be understood to depict the park, which, it will be remembered, was in his time far more extensive than now:-" It is," he says, "truly a place for pleasantness, not unfit to flatter solitariness; for it being set upon such unsensible rising of the ground, as you are come to a pretty height before almost you perceive that you ascend, it gives the eye lordship over a good large circuit, which, according to the nature of the country, being diversified between hills and dales, woods and plains, one place more clear, another more darksome, it seems a pleasant picture of nature, with lovely lightsomeness and artificial shadows."

The following embraces the vicinity. It would be idle to praise the painting, (by the way, Master Izaak Walton has copied some parts of it,) but we may just point attention to the skilful introduction of the human and other accessaries, or, as a landscape painter would call them, "the figures :"-there be no such Idyllic shepherds and shepherdesses to be met about Penshurst now:-"There were hills which garnished their proud heights with stately trees: humble valleys, whose base estate seemed comforted with the refreshing of silver rivers: meadows, enamelled with all sorts of eye-pleasing flowers: thickets, which, being lined with most pleasant shade, were witnessed so, too, by the cheerful disposition of many well-tuned birds: each pasture stored with sheep, feeding with sober security, while the pretty lambs, with bleating oratory, craved the dams' comfort: here a shepherd's boy piping, as though he should never be old: there a young shepherdess knitting, and withal singing, and it seemed that her voice comforted her hands to work, and her hands kept time to her voice-music. As for the houses of the country, (for many houses came under their eye,) they were all scattered, no two being one by the other, and yet not so far off as that it barred mutual succour : a show, as it were, of an accompanable solitariness, and of a civil wildness."

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Our notice of the remaining manor-houses must be very brief. Knole park is immediately contiguous to the quiet old market-town of Sevenoaks, and about six miles from Tonbridge. You enter the gates opposite the church, and shortly arrive at a long avenue, which leads you in time to the mansion. It is an admirable way of approach. The road, or a path you may take after following it some distance, conducts you up a gentle elevation, from the summit of which you for the first time gain a view of the house, with a wide stretch of open park in front of it. Before you quite enter upon the open space, some splendid beeches make a frame to the picture, and add not a little to its pleasing effect. (Cut No. 5.) Knole House is an imposing structure, rather from its extent, however, than from any particular grace or grandeur. The principal front is plain in style, having little other ornament than the gables which appear in the upper story. This front consists of a lofty central gatehouse, embattled, and having square towers at the angles; and two uniform wings. The buildings are very extensive, covering an area of above three acres. The principal parts form a spacious quadrangle, behind which the inferior buildings are arranged irregularly.

In the reign of Henry VI. Knole was purchased by Fiennes, Lord Say and Sele, whose tragical fate during Jack Cade's rebellion forms so ludicrous an episode in the story of the Kentish captain's momentary triumph. Lord Say's son sold Knole, in 1456, to Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury; to whose successors it appertained till Cranmer found it necessary to make a voluntary surrender of it to the rapacious Henry VIII. It was transferred from, and forfeited to the crown several times after this, before Elizabeth, about 1569, granted the reversion of it to Thomas Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset; whose family have since retained possession of it-though for a while the freehold was alienated.

The mansion is of different dates. At what time the oldest portions were erected is not known: Bourchier is said to have rebuilt the house about the middle of the 15th century, but an examination of it leads to the belief that some portions of the older edifice were merely altered. The principal front is supposed to have been added by Archbishop Morton, towards the close of the 15th century; and the great hall by the first Earl of Dorset, in the 16th century. Since 1604, no material change has been made: some tasteless "improvements" of the last century have been of late judiciously removed, and the whole is now in an excellent state of preservation. (Cut No. 6.)

That part of Knole which is so generously and freely opened to the public is of such extent that it will be quite impossible here to go through the rooms; and if we could do so, it would be a tedious labour alike to writer and reader. Generally we may state that the rooms are more spacious than those of Penshurst, and from the house having been always occupied by the descendants of the first earl, the rich furniture has been

much better preserved. Though now merely "showrooms," the apartments at Knole are in perfect condition, and, better than almost any others that are open to the public, exemplifying the magnificence of the English nobles of Elizabeth and James. The great hall is, as has been seen, of some two centuries later date than that at Penshurst, and very different from it in style: it is a magnificent room, and in excellent condition-only the ugly close stove that stands out in the room (like the more hideous one at Hampton Court) interfering with its antique appearance. A long table, which was formerly used for the game of Shovelboard-our primitive billiards-still occupies its place on one side of the hall. Probably when this table was erected the custom of dining in a common hall was already passing away: but the "houskeeping" was on at least as expensive a scale, though probably it did not, as in former time, "win great favour of the commons." The third Earl of Dorset, for example, lived at Knole in great splendour: from household books, quoted by Bridgman, we can form a conception of the state maintained by a nobleman in the reign of James I. He says: "At my lord's table sat daily eight persons; at the parlour table twenty-one, including ladies-in-waiting, chaplain, secretary, pages, &c.; at the clerk's table in the hall, twenty, consisting of the principal household officers; in the nursery, four; at the long table in the hall, forty-eight, being attendants, footmen, and other inferior domestics; at the laundry-maid's table, twelve; and in the kitchen and scullery, six-in all a constant household of one hundred and nineteen persons, independently of visitors."

Perhaps the state bed-rooms at Knole are as striking examples of the enormous sums expended at this time on grand entertainments, as anything well can be. One is called the King's bed-room, from having been expressly fitted up for James I., and only used by him. The state bed alone is said to have cost £8,000; and the room altogether £20,000-a sum of course relatively very much larger than a like sum would be now. Of course where so much was spent upon the room in which he was to sleep, the entertainments prepared for the King would be on a proportionate scale. As may be conceived, the furniture of this room is very splendid; the bedstead itself is covered with furniture of gold and silver tissue, lined with richly-embroidered satin; and the chairs and stools have similar covering. The tables, the frames of the mirrors, and the candle sconces are of chased silver. There is also a chased silver toilet service, but it is said that it did not form part of the original furniture. The walls are hung with tapestry, and altogether the room is a splendid example of the taste of the age. Besides the articles mentioned, it has many other silver ornaments, and also a couple of ebony cabinets; one of which is very curious, and contains some pretty little feminine nick-nackeries. Another state bed-room has furniture also of this time, but it did not belong originally to Knole, having been presented by James I. to the Earl of Middlesex. This, which is called the Spangled Bed-room, though inferior


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to the other, is also a splendid apartment. There is yet another that will bear looking at, even after them; it was prepared for James II.; but he did not visit Knole, and it now bears the name of the Ambassador's Room, from its having been slept in by Molino, the Venetian Ambassador. The coverings of the furniture here are of green velvet, and there is a larger display of carving. There is a dressing-room en suite, in which are some good paintings; among others, several portraits by Reynolds (one of which is a fancy portrait of 'pretty Peg Woffington'), and a portrait by Mytens, of Anne, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery,' of epistolary fame.

Many of the other apartments are also both magnificent and interesting. The Retainers' Gallery is one of the most curious, with its singular carved-oak roof and panelling. The principal apartments are the Leicester Gallery, the ball-room, and the crimson drawing-room: all have antique furniture (though, of course, not all of it the original furniture of the rooms), and consequently wear a very pleasing old-fashioned air. Much of this furniture is of a very costly description, and will repay examination. The 'fire-dogs' should not be overlooked: Knole is very rich in these curious old articles. Some of them are of richly chased silver; that in the hall has the badge of Anne Boleyn it was bought at the sale at Hever. In the Leicester Gallery are two immense parchment rolls of the pedigree of the Sackvilles; they are mounted on stout oak stands, and unrolled by a winch. In all these rooms, and indeed all throughout the house, the walls are thickly hung with pictures. Some of them are by the great masters, undoubtedly genuine, and of a very high order of merit; and Knole would amply repay a visit, were there nothing beyond the pictures to see in it. The chief paintings are in the drawing-room, where are some by the old masters; a charming portrait of the fifth

Countess of Dorset, and some others, by Vandyke; and several of the more famous of the productions of Sir Joshua Reynolds-among others, the Ugolino,' the Fortune Teller,' the Robinetta,' and a 'Samuel.' Our English master holds his place well amidst the older men of renown. The ball-room is devoted to family portraits, in many respects a noteworthy collection. The Leicester Gallery has some splendid Vandykes; one of them,-the portrait of Sir Kenelm Digbyworthy to be placed alongside the famous Gevartius in the National Gallery: it ought not to be permitted to hang in its present wretched position. The Countess of Bedford is one of his graceful female portraits. There are also in this gallery several portraits by Mytens, who was much patronized by the Earl of Dorset: the most noticeable is a large full-length of James I., painted during his visit here. It is a marvellous work: the broad silly stare is hit off to perfection, and yet with an evident unconsciousness on the part of the artist that he was doing anything extraordinary. It, and the Fortunes of Nigel,' will give as lively an idea of our British Solomon as though we had talked with him. The Cartoon Gallery is a room, so called from its containing a set of copies made by Mytens of the Cartoons at Hampton Court. In it is one of Lawrence's portraits of George IV. We may pass over the hundred and one portraits in the Brown Gallery (though the visitor will not); but we must not pass over those in the Dining-parlour, which is filled entirely with the portraits of poets or other eminent literary characters. The Sackvilles have themselves a poetic fame: the first earl was the author of 'Gorboduc' and the designer of the Mirror for Magistrates,' to which he wrote the Induction; both works of great importance in the history of English dramatic poetry, and containing-the latter especially-passages of very powerful genius. Had he devoted his life to literature

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