« PreviousContinue »
accident made her better known to her royal spouse, and caused a perfect reconciliation.
The king had made a voyage into Finland, and sent an exprefs with letters to the royal family, to let them know of his Tafe arrival. As the exprefs had orders to return as soon as poffible, they would all write to the king by the return of the meffenger; and the young duchefs of Sudermania having finished her letter, the went to the queen to tell her that the courier grew impatient at waiting, as no one elfe dared to interrupt her majefty while fhe was writing. The queen had just finished, and was going to give her letter to her Danifh gentlewoman to write it fair, as he ever used to do with all her letters; but the duchefs fnatched it up and ran away with it, faying the king fhould owe great obligation to her, for, having, by her means, a letter written by the queen's own hand. She fealed it up with her own letter, and feut it away. The king who had never feen the queen's hand writing before was furprifed and highly charmed with the contents. There was a delicacy of fentiment and a gentlenefs in the expreffions he had never found before in her letters. He read it aloud to fome of his favourites, with great fatisfaction; and after having finished he asked them, with a fort of triumph, what they thought of the letter? From the tender concern the queen expreffes for my health and welfare,' faid he, "I fhould almost have the vanity to believe that she loved me." A young gentleman prefent had the boldness to afk if his majefty had never known that before? The king Startled at the question, and answered, with a serious look, that he had fo many proofs to the contrary, that he never could perfuade himself the bad for him any real affection. The gentleman anfwered, that if his majeity would permit him to reply, he dared to affert that all fuch ideas were falacious, and put forth by perfons who had an interest in creating divifions in the royal family; and upon the king's afking him how he could be fo certain of the truth of his affertion, he frankly owned that he was upon terms of the greatest intimacy with a lady who had a good fare in the queen's confidence, and it was by that means he came by his knowledge of her majefty's fentiments; and that it now depended upon the king to affure himself of their reality whenever he pleafed. The king having a great opinion of the character of the gentleman, was almoft perfuaded; and in confequence he wrote a letter to the queen, full of the warmeft expreffions of esteem and friendship, affuring her, he should think himself happy if, at his return, he might be convinced of the reality of the fentiments expreffed in her letter; in the mean time he begged the favour of having another letter written by her own hand, that he might experience again the pleafure which the former had given him. The queen agreeably furprised at fo unexpected a change, anfwered according to the dictates of her heart; and when the king was expected home, The prepared a fplendid feaft for his return, and received him
with that modest tenderness fo flattering to it's object. That very evening they came to an explanation, and were convinced of their former miftake on each other's fentiments: the king conducted the queen to her apartments, and for a long time af ter he had no other bed chamber than hers. The Danifli gentlewoman being convicted of having altered the queen's letters, was difmiffed from her fervice, and fent out of the kingdom; the young gentleman who had undertaken the queen's defence was rewarded by many rich prefents from her majesty: and the king, as well upon that confideration as in respect to his merit, has fince raised his fortune in an eminent degree.'
It appears that the queen-dowager was far from being fatiffied at the reconciliation of her fon and his confort; and that, to the end of her life, the fecretly abetted the calumnies which were propagated of the latter, by those who were enemies to the domeftic tranquillity of the royal pair.
We are informed that the prince-royal of Sweden is generally allowed to be one of the most promifing youths of his age. When only seven years old, he could maintain a converfation with fenators, foreign ambaffadors, and others perfons who vifited the court; and he has been twice examined in the presence of the deputies of the four orders, with as much fatisfaction to them as encouragement to himself.
The character of the duke of Sudermania, and the duke of Oftrogothia, brothers to the king, are afterwards delineated; 'with a variety of political and biographical anecdotes relative to the affairs of the nation, and to perfons of eminence at the Swedish court. The work, however, abounds, in many parts, with frivolous detail; but it is calculated to afford amufement, and feems to give a faithful account of the present fituation of the court of Sweden.
An Hiftorical Account of the Royal Hofpital for Seamen at Greenwich. 1789. 4to. 12s. Boards. Nicol.
THE Royal Hofpital at Greenwich is not lefs confpicuous for the grandeur of the fabric, than for the benevolent and laudable purposes which gave rife to its foundation. But fuch an inftitution, confidered only in a political view, may justly be regarded as an object of great importance to the public; efpecially to a nation whofe fafety as well as greatness depends chiefly on the cultivation of her maritime power. If therefore any clafs of men be entitled to an ample retribution from the ftate, it is certainly those who have spent the vigour of their life amidst fatigues and dangers, and either exhausted their strength, or incurred perpetual infirmity, in the fervice of their country. It may appear furprifing, that an afylum for fuperannuated and difabled feamen fhould not have
been established at leaft as early as that for aged and infirm foldiers; but the inftitution of Chelfea Hofpital preceded the Hofpital at Greenwich by feveral years; and it appears that the latter owed its origin more to the humanity and compaffion of a pious princefs, than either to the fentiments of national intereft, or of public generofity and juftice. The fovereign who has the glory of this noble inftitution, was queen Mary, the confort of William the Third. The rev. Mr. Cooke and Mr. Maule, chaplains of the Royal Hofpital at Greenwich, and who are the authors of the prefent narrative, have submitted to the public a copy of the original grant, from king William and queen Mary, of king Charles the Second's palace at EastGreenwich, and the ground annexed to it, for the use of an hofpital for the relief of feamen, their widows and children; with a copy likewife of king William's commiffion for the purpofe, in the year 1695.
The rev. authors, after tracing the progress of this royal edifice, from its foundation to the year 1778, proceed to give a defcription of it in its present state.
Greenwich Hofpital is fituated about five miles from Londonbridge, on the southern bank of the Thames. It is elevated on a terrace about 865 feet in length towards the river, and confifts of four diftinct piles of building, diftinguished by the names of King Charles's, Queen Ann's, King William's, and Queen Mary's. The interval between the two most northern buildings, viz. King Charles's and Queen Ann's, forms the grand fquare, which is about 273 feet wide. Of the four diftinct buildings before mentioned, each of which is quadrangular, the authors give the following defcription:
The first, called king Charles's building, is on the weft fide of the great fquare; the eastern part of which was the refidence of Charles the Second, and was erected by Mr. Webb, after a defign of that celebrated architect, Inigo Jones; it is of Portland ftone, and rufticated. In the middle is a tetraftyle portico of the Corinthian order, crowned with its proper entablature, and a pediment. At each end is a pavilion formed by four correfponding pilafters of the fame order with their entablature, and furmounted by an attic order with a balluftrade.
In the tympanum of the pediment is a piece of feulpture confifting of two figures, the one, reprefenting Fortitude, the other, Dominion of the Sea.
• The north front, which is towards the river, presents the appearance of two fimilar pavilions, each having its proper pediment fupported by a range of the fame Corinthian columns. before mentioned, and their entablature. Over the portal, which joins these two pavilions, is an ornament of feftoons and flowers. In the tympanum of the eastern pediment which was
part of the palace, is a piece of fculpture reprefenting the figures of Mars and Fame, and, in the frize, is the following infcription :
Carolus II REX
A REG XVI
The fouth front of this building correfponds with that of the North, except the fculptures and infcription. The west front confifts of a brick building, called the bafs-building. In the middle it has a pediment with carving, in the tympanum, confifting of the national arms fupported by two genii, with marine trophies and other ornaments. The carving of the pediment is allowed to be well executed in alto relievo; it is 30 feet in length, and 7 feet 7 inches in height. On the other fide of the fquare towards the eaft, is queen Ann's building, having its north, weft, and fouth fronts nearly fimilar to king Charles's laft defcribed; but the fculptures in the pediments, as well as in the western pediment of the north front of the last mentioned building still remain unfinished.
To the fouthward of these are the other piles of building, with a Doric colonade adjoining to each. That to the west is called king William's, and that to the eaft queen Mary's.
King William's building contains the great hal', veftibule, and dome, defigned and erected by Sir Chriftopher Wren. The tambour of the dome is formed by a circle of columns duplicated, of the compofite order, with four projecting groups of columns at the quoins. The attic above is a circle without breaks covered with the dome, and terminated with a turret.
'The west front of this building is of brick, and was finished by Sir John Vanburgh, who was furveyor of the hofpital. In the middle is a tetraftyle frontifpiece of the doric order, the columns of which are nearly fix feet in diameter, and proportionally high, with an entablature and trygliphs over them, all of Portland ftone. At each end of this front is a pavilion crowned with a circular pediment, and in that at the north end is a piece of sculpture confifting of groups of marine trophies, and four large heads emboffed reprefenting the four winds; with a fea lion and unicorn.
The north and fouth fronts of this building are of stone; the windows of which are decorated with architraves and impofts rufticated, and the walls crowned with cornices. On the eaft ftands queen Mary's building, in which is the chapel, as before mentioned, with its veftibule; and a cupola corresponding to the other. These two buildings were named in honour of royal founders, and were intended to have been alike; but in the latter, however, more regard has been paid to conve nience than to ornament, and the whole front of it is of Portland ftone and in a plain ftyle.
'The colonades adjoining to these buildings are 115 feet afunder, and are compofed of upwards of 300 duplicated Doric colums and pilafters of Portland ftone, 20 feet high, with an enVOL. LXIX. March, 1790. Z tablature
tablature and balluftrade. Each of them is 347 feet long, having a return pavilion at the end 70 feet long.
The east and weft entrances of the hofpital are formed by two rusticated piers, with iron gates, having the porters lodges adjoining. On the ruftic piers of the weft entrance are placed two large ftone globes, each fix feet in diameter, one cœleftial, the other terroftrial.
On the former are inlaid with copper, in a very curious manner, twenty four meridians, the equinoctial, ecliptic, tropics, and polar circles; and a great number of stars of the first, fecond, and third magnitude, are reprefented according to their relative pofitions. On the latter, the principal circles are inlaid in the fame manner, with the parallels of latitude to every ten degrees in each hemifphere; the outline of the land and fea is alfo defcribed, with the track of lord Anson's voyage round the earth in his majesty's fhip Centurion. The globes are placed in an oblique pofition, agreeable to the latitude of the place in which they, ftand, and were delineated by Mr. Richard Oliver, formerly mathematical mafier at the academy at Greenwich.'
It appears, that in the different wards of this extenfive fabric, commodious apartments are provided for the governor and principal officers, and wards are properly fitted up for the penfioners and nurses; who, with the officers families, inferior officers and fervants, refident within the walls, amount to nearly 2500 perfons.
The authors next give an account of the revenue of the hofpital, confifting of various grants and donations, public and private, which have been applied to the purposes of the inftitution, fince the time of its commencement; concluding with an account of the various fources whence the whole revenue of the hofpital is at prefent derived. Thefe are ftated to be as follows:
rit, Sixpence per man per month for all feamen and marines belonging to his majesty's fhips, including thofe in ordinary. 2d, Ditto for all feamen employed in the merchants fervice. 3d. The duties arifing from the North and South foreland lighthouses.
4th, The ha'f-pay of feveral of the officers of the hofpital who are entitled thereto.
5th, The wages, with the value of provifions and other allowances, of the two chaplains of Woolwich and Deptford dockyards.
6th, The rents and profits of the Derwentwater estates, ineluding lead mines.
7th, The rents of the market at Greenwich, and of the houses there and in London.
8th, Interest of money invested in the public funds.
9th, Fines for fifhing in the river Thames with unlawful nets, and other offences.