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the sword or the pen: of the latter, the portrait ot Pope by Jarvis, accompanied by a letter of Pope's respecting it, is perhaps the most interesting. One of the rooms is called the Tapestry Room, from ite having held a curious set of three maps of the counties of Warwick, Worcester, and Oxford, nearly eighty feet square, worked by the needle. Gough, who has described them in his 'Topographical Antiquities,' says that they are the earliest specimens of English tapestry-weaving, which art was first introduced into England by William Sheldon, in the reign of Henry VIII. The Sheldon aims, and the date, 1588, are worked on each. They were presented to Lord Harcourt by Horace Walpole, who purchased them at a sale of the effects of a descendant of William Sheldon, at Weston in Warwickshire.* There was another piece of tapestry in one of the rooms not less interesting, it being the work of Mary Queen of Scots: the subject is an allegory, with figures of Justice, Wisdom, &c, with their emblems. It was long preserved at Windsor, and was given to Lord Harcourt, in 1805, by George III.
But the park is the grand attraction of Nuneham. It was laid out by Capability Brown; and as it now appears, gives a favourable notion of his talent; but nature has no doubt since his day re-assumed her pre-eminence here, and added somewhat of wildness to the " grace " he was
* These maps, I am informed, are now in the Theatre of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, to which society they were presented by the Archbishop of York some years ago. It is probable that some other of the objects described as being in the house may have been removed. I have not seen the interior of the building. . so renowned for bestowing. The grounds are extensive, consisting of 1200 acres, well stocked with large trees, and the surface greatly varied. Tall and steep banks, hung thickly with rich foliage, contrast with deep dells; on the slopes are welldisposed groups of lofty and spreading elms, and the uplands are crowded with close-set plantations. From the higher parts of the park the prospects are wide and rich on every side. Oxford, with its spires and domes, the sombre tower of Iffley in front and the woods of Blenheim beyond, is on the north; to the east are the hills of Buckinghamshire, stretching away from their union with the Chiltern Hills of Oxfordshire till they are lost in the distance. Southward and westward is the long range of the Berkshire downs, including the White Horse, and Faringdon Hill with the circular clump which crowns its summit; two or three villages are seen in this direction, and a tall spire marks the site of Abingdon; while the beautiful stream, sparkling in the sunshine and dotted with swift-moving boats, adds a new life and beauty to all the rest. As he strays about the park, now across the broad clear glades, and now among its glens, and by the wooded banks which dip into the river, the visitor will scarcely deem that Horace Walpole overpraised it when, in his somewhat pedantic way, he pronounced it to contain "scenes worthy of the bold pencil of Rubens, and subjects for the tranquil sunshine of Claude de Lorraine."
The pleasure-grounds and flower-garden near the house were once considered almost unrivalled. They are not only stored with plants and flowers, but at every turn are statues, busts, or tablets, with poetic inscriptions from Lucretius, Metastasio, Chaucer, Milton, or Marvel, or composed for the places they occupy by Whitehead or Mason. When the garden was in its prime it must almost have deserved the inscription placed at the entrance of it :—
"Here universal Pan,
The garden was designed by Mason, who may be supposed, from having written a didactic and descriptive poem on 'The English Garden,' to have had a congenial employment. Lord Harcourt was a man of refined taste, and delighted in the pleasures of his home and the society of men of letters. Mason and Whitehead were his fovourite authors, and owed much to his patronage. Whitehead—not him whom Churchill sent down with such an ill flavour to posterity*—but William Whitehead, the successor of Cibber in the laureateship, and the fashionable poet of his day, though now disallowed alike by gods, booksellers, and columns (except those of Nuneham), was the especial favourite of his lordship. He spent a large portion of his time here, and many of his verses are engraved on plinths, columns, and urns, and distributed about the park and gardens. He was one of those who, as Ben Jonson says in his sour way, "have but a kind of tuning and rhyming fall in what they write. It runs and slides, and only makes a sound. Women's poets they are called, as you have women's tailors:
* "May I (can worse disgrace on manhood fall ? ) Be born a Whitehead, and baptized a Paul!"
They write a verse as smooth, as soft as cream;
We have had too many of them. Mason, the other poet of the place, is best known from his connexion with Gray, but he was a man of superior ability, if not of genius.
At no great distance from the house stands the church, a somewhat singular-looking edifice, erected in 1764, at the expense of the second earl, " who himself gave the original design, which received a very slight alteration from (Athenian) Stuart." The most prominent feature in the exterior is a portico " of six Ionic columns that support a pediment, above which a dome rises in the centre." "Its interior form," says Lord Harcourt in the notice already quoted, "is simple and pleasing; its only ornaments are two tablets with the Harcourt arms in French tapestry, another piece of tapestry of large dimensions, representing the chiefs of the twelve tribes of Israel at the Passover, and a picture in the altar-piece (which was also after his design) by the Rev. Mr. Mason: the subject, which is the Good Samaritan, is well conceived, and has considerable merit. In the church there is a barrel-organ, upon which is set Mr. Mason's music for the responses to the Commandments, and his Sunday Hymns. The adjoining flower-garden was formed by him, and he suggested the alterations on the north terrace; so that in a very small space we have specimens of his genius in music, painting, and poetry, and of his taste in improving the beauties of nature." His genius was not probably very great in either of these things, but for music it appears to have been least adapted—the barrel-organ would be well fitted for his compositions, they