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WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

Westminster abbey has been pronounced a which desolated England during the fifteenth part of the English constitution. There are, in- century retarded the completion of Westminster deed, circumstances which invest this fabric with abbey, but by degrees the western parts of the a greater interest and call forth a deeper reverence nave and aisles and the west front were built, for it than can belong to any of our other ecclesi- though it was not till the time of Sir Christopher astical buildings. For, besides that it is of the Wren that the completion of the two western first order of architectural merit, it presents towers was undertaken: They were finished associations of a peculiar kind. It stands in as we now have them in 1735. that part of the metropolis which is the seat of Henry VII. commenced his chapel in 1502, government. Within its walls the sovereigns of on the site of that dedicated by Henry III. tó England have for centuries received their solemn the Virgin; and it was completed by Henry coronation. It contains the monuments, and in VIII., the total amount expended upon it being many instances the ashes, of the most illustrious 14.0001., equivalent to an enormous sum of our men who have done honour to our country. A present money. By Henry VIII. the monastery walk in Westminster abbey is a pictured lesson was suppressed, and Westăinster erected into a in British history. The expectation of being bishop's see: one prelate, however, alone sat enshrined here has urged on our heroes to vic- here. Its revenues at the time of the dissolution tory: “A peerage or Westminster abbey,” were were 3,9761. per annum, and it possessed two the words of Nelson previously to the battle of hundred and sixteen manors, besides other prothe Nile.

perty. The monastery was re-established by Prior to the establishment of Christianity in queen Mary, and finally dissolved under EliEngland, it is said that a heathen temple, dedi- zabeth. cated to Apollo, occupied the site whereon at This edifice shared the fate of most of our present stands Westminster abbey. As paganism, noblest ecclesiastical buildings in the troubles however, disappeared before the light of the occasioned by the great rebellion. In 1643 it gospel, the spot where sacrifices had been was converted into barracks for the parliamentary offered to a demon was destined to be conse- soldiers. Of course the usual outrages were crated to the worship of the true God. In or committed: the tombs were mutilated or desabout the year 604, it is supposed that Sebert, troyed, the altar rails were broken down and king of the East Saxons, a Christian convert, burnt, the organ was pulled to pieces, while the founded a church in Thorney Island, and dedi- venerable church itself was the scene of the vilest cated it to St. Peter. This island appears to have indecency—the troopers drinking, smoking, and been of a triangular form, which may even now committing, worse sacrilege within its walls. be traced, and marshy in its character, overgrown Little was done to repair the injuries thus suswith thorns, whence it derived its name. The tained, till the reign of William 1II. A parliachurch erected by Sebert was destroyed in a mentary grant was then obtained for its Danish invasion, and it was not till the reign of restoration, and Sir Christopher Wren, as already Edgar that it was restored. This monarch, at stated, employed. In the year 1809 the beauthe suggestion of the celebrated Dunstan, and, tifying of 'enry the Seventh's chapel was as it is said, to atone for a crime he had com- commenced under Mr. Wyatt's direction, 42,0001. mitted, rebuilt the church, and gave it, with being on the whole expended upon it. Much valuable endowments, to the order of St. has also been done during the present century in Benedict.

restoration and in repair of the parts injured by In 1220, Henry III. laid the first stone of a fire. chapel of the Virgin, and in 1245 he began At the western end of the abbey rise two lofty entirely to re-erect the abbey. The sums he ex- towers; but they are not, unfortunately, in acpended on the building were enormous: the cordance with the rest of the building, Sir amount laid out between 1245 and 1261 on the Christopher Wren having introduced ornaments lady clapel alone is stated to have been 29,605l. little in the Gothic style of architecture. The

The abbey was not completed in Henry the base of the southern tower is hidden by the gable Third's reign, and in 1297° it suffered much by of the Jerusalem chamber. Here a portal, above fire; it was shortly, however, repaired by the which is the great western window, gives adabbot, and in the succeeding century many ad- mission into the nave.

But the most imposing ditions were made. The eastern parts of the entrance is in the northern wing of the transept. nave and the aisles were rebuilt and finished in The general form of the abbey is a cross, but 1307 ; and between that time and 1386, when the outline is obscured by numerous chapels. the abbot, under whose direction the works At the centre is a very low tower, scarcely rising latterly were, died, the cloisters and the principal above the ridge of the roof. It was probably monastic building were erected. The civil wars intended to raise this to a greater altitude,

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THE NEW

MONTHLY BELLE ASSEMBLÉE.

JULY, 1844.

AND POETRY.

BY

GRACE

AGUILAR.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS, whom to expend some of those ever gushing affec

tions you lavislı so warmly on me and Minie -" CONSISTING OP TALES, ROMANCES, ANECDOTES,

And my father and Walter, do I not love them ?” laughingly interrupted Florence, kueeling down to caress her mother, as she spoke,

“ Nay, if I must enumerate all whom Florence

loves, I believe we must add Minie's kitten and FLORENCE; or, WOMAN'S FRIENDSHIP. Walter's greyhound, and all the mute animals

which come to her for protection and care,” re(A Domestic Tale.)

joined Mrs. Leslie in the same tone; “but, neveriheless, I have longed for you to find a friend, because I feel you stand almost alone.”

“ Alone, mother! with you and Minie? How can you speak so? Have I ever wished or sought

another ?“ To show us how divine a thing

“ No, love; but that is no reason why your A woman may be made."

mother should not wish it for you. Minie is a WORDSWORTI.

pet, a plaything for us all, younger in looks and inanner than thirteen years may justify, and no

companion for your present pursuits and opening CHAP. I.

pleasures."

“ But are not you “ Beware, dear Florence; I fear this warm attachment must end in disappointment, fully as I hearted girl, or all your fancy pictures me,” replied

I cannot be to you all I wish, my warm can sympathize in its present bappiness,” was the Mrs. Leslie, with difficulty suppressing emotion; warning address of Mrs. Leslie to an animated

“confined as I am, almost continually, to a sofa girl, who, on the receipt of a note, and its rapid or bed; often incapacitated from the smallest experusal, had bounded towards her mother with an ertion, even from hearing the gay laughter of my exclamation of irrepressible joy.

children; my sufferings are aggravated by the Disappointment, dearest mother? How can painful thought, that now you need female comthat be?" was her eager reply.

panionship and sympathy more than ever, I can“ Because friendship, even more than love, not give them. A few years ago you were still a demands equality of station. Friends cannot

child, and your natural light-heartedness bore you be to each other what they ought to be, if the up against all that might seem melancholy in your rank of one party be among the nobles of the land, home. But within the last year I have observed that of the other lowly as your own.”

that my sufferings have too often infected you with “ And so I told her, dear mother; at least so

more sadness than they inflict upon me; and conmy manner must have said, for she once called me inually to watch with me, and to bear with me, a silly girl to be so terrified at rank, and asked me and think for me, this is no task for you, my if I fancied, because 'Lady' was prefixed to her

Florence." name, it raised up an ia passable barrier between Ida Villiers and Florence Leslie. I loved her would not resign it for anything that other friends

"It is so precious, even in its sorrow, that I from that moment."

might offer, dearest mother. It is only the last “ No doubt,” replied her mother, smiling. iwo years I have been conscious of all I owe to “ Yet, my Florence, I wish the first friendship you, and all you endure, and all the trouble and your warm heart bad formed had been with some

sadness my wilfulness mi often have occasioned other than its present object. You do not know you. And if I have seemed more thoughtful and how often I have longed for you to find a friend of serious, it is because I have only now begun to your own sex, and nearly of your own age, on think and feel."

B

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