Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

sionally residing, it would have answered many good purposes

to the town. He thought, further, that on a stranger’s entering the town from London, nothing would impress him with a higher opinion of the place, than an improvement of the façade of Pembroke Hall: it stands in a handsome broad part of the street, certainly; and if the other extremity was finished like the west end of the chapel, the entrance removed into the middle, handsome modern windows put in, and the roof properly marked by a balustrade, or parapet wall, it would contribute more to the ornament of the place, than perhaps any other college.

Mr. Ashby thought Clare Hall so complete, as hardly to allow of any improvement, except the removal of the mean dwarf walls, between the college and the bridge, and setting down the iron rails upon the ground; and that the similar walls, by the river side, should be taken away, for when the fine west front is viewed from the walks, these low dirty walls appear to form a vile looking brick base to a grand stone building; he adds, if Trinity College would be so obliging, as to allow the corner that projects into the street, next to St. John's College, being rounded off to the corner of St. John's College, and the gate leading into the back lane, between their college and St. John's, set level with the latter, and the high wall removed, which marks half their front, that society might exhibit a noble antique front, by bringing the east end of the chapel parallel with the rest, and finishing the other end with a similar wing, regulating the windows, roof, &c. as before recommended in Pembroke College.

Whether these were originally the unconnected hints of Mr. Brown, or make part of some regular plan of wished

improvements, matters not: they have been submitted to the reader, in Mr. Ashby's own words :-and the defects in our public walks, leading, by an association of ideas, to other defects, I should have been in danger of pursuing the subject still further, could improvements have been suggested as readily. But of evils, which scarcely admit of a remedy, it is fruitless to complain. Narrow, strait streets, and the paucity of genteel houses, for occasional residents, in a town with an excellent market, near which are such fine roads and walks, for daily exercise, and in which is an university, where a gentleman might sometimes like to superintend the education of his son, these are evils; but how will you re-, medy them?

Reverse, then, the picture, and consider the many real improvements made within a few years : little more than fifty years ago, the roads about Cambridge were very bad, some scarcely passable: they are now some of the best in England. Milestones, that great convenience, were first used on these roads : within a very few

back the town has been well paved and lighted. Contrast it as now seen with what it was in the time of Erasmus, who talks of taking a ride round the market place for exercise. In all directions from the town, east, west, north, and south, you have now neat and agreeable walks ; and on the west of the public walks you are beginning to have other walks agreeably planted :~so let us leave our university walks and public improvements. And let poor Cam still awaken some agreeable recollections, and plaintive feelings to those who have mused on his banks.

years

Qualis eram cum me tranquilla mente sedentem
Vidisti in Ripa, Came serene, tua.

Cowley.

CHAP. III.

PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

THOSE who take the range of the walks will, from different points of sight, have had a glance of several of our public buildings; and an occasion will present itself hereafter of speaking concerning particular colleges : we shall then only survey the square, adjoining the public walks: and we can but drop hints without minuteness of detail, or much formality of ichnographical description.

Leaving the public walks, to the west, you enter the grand square near King's College. The best point of sight will be two or three yards on the north side of St. Mary's, where, with that of other buildings, you have the completest home view that can be taken of the different parts of King's COLLEGE CHAPEL. From the very nature of the building, it no where appears to advantage in a distant prospect: Cambridge itself, too, by its situation, is little qualified for an imposing view; and from this point of sight you have an opportunity of remarking the objection that has been made to the construction of the buttresses, which leave at the bottom of King's Cha

pel the idea of an internal, enclosed cloister a It, however, no doubt, arises from that necessity to which every thing must yield: but a more proper place is left for a description of this inimitable building.

From this point, taking in view the whole square, it will be agreeable to an eye, that can look properly at objects, to observe no mixture of brick and stone. The different ranges of these buildings all displaying one hue of white, without any glare of red. The Senate House is built of Portland stone, and constructed according to the Corinthian order. Four fluted pillars support a rich pediment, and are accompanied with eight pilasters, the north and south fronts having nine windows above and eight below: the pediment is much ornamented; and above is a fine balustrade. The eastern front has three windows at top, and two at bottom : the elevation and fine proportions of this building are universally admired.

It has been thought by some, on a survey of the whole façade, that this building is more decorated than was requisite or is agreeable. The Corinthian order requires ornament, but it certainly may be overcharged. The superabundance of windows, too, in the north and south fronts has been frequently observed; and the correctness of the observations will appear, by comparing with them the eastern front, which has not, I apprehend, the same appearance, from being so much shorter, though its proportions, in windows, columns, and intercolumniations, are the same. Here the effect is more pleasing,' at least; and the beauty and perfection of this front have received unmingled praise. In Gothic buildings, the

a Mr. Dallaway's Observations on English Architecture,

great variety of windows has a happy effect on the inside perspective, for they have within arches and pillars, by which the rays of light are reflected, and intermingled, so as to produce something like picturesqueness to the sight: in Grecian buildings, without those accompaniments, the light is apt to be too glaring. It may be observed, too, that the interior of this tine building is not so well calculated to shew to advantage a grand assemblage of company on public occasions, like the Installation, as the Amphitheatre at Oxford. But waving these matters, the architectural skill displayed in the building is greatly admired, and the effect wonderfully fine. Here the degrees are taken, and the public business of the University is transacted.

The statues on the inside have been so often described, that I think it unnecessary to go over the same ground. They have been generally considered as very fine pieces of sculpture: the least to be admired, the STATUE OF GLORY, has been lately removed: this, as being that of the presiding genius, in a temple, where literary honours are conferred on the votaries of science, ought to have been of the best design, and the most perfect execution. To supply its place, a very beautiful statue, of white marble, has been erected, to the memory of Mr. Pitt, the late prime minister, representative of the University, and formerly of Pembroke Hall. Mr. Pitt is in an erect posture, and in his Master of Arts gown, as in the act of addressing a great assembly. I cannot help noticing two lines, written by a lady, on the occasion :

Sons of Sapience, you here a fair emblem display,

For wherever Pitt went he drove Glory away.
VOL. I.

R

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »