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removed not.” (The procession through the park is glowingly described, but her reception in the palace is all we can introduce in this place.) “Now were the citizens of London rowing up and doune on the Thames before them, every craft with his barge garnished with banners, flags, streamers, pencels, and targets, painted and beaten with the king's armes, some with her armes, and some with the armes of their craft and mysterie. There was a barge called the Bachellors Barke, richlie decked, on the which waited a foist that shot great pieces of artillerie; and in every barge was great store of instruments of divers sorts, and men and children singing and plaieng altogether, as the King and the Ladie Anne passed bye the wharfe. When the king and she were within the utter court, they alighted from their horses, and the king lovinglie imbraced her, kissed her, and bade her welcome to her owne, leading her by the left arme through the hall, and so brought her up to her privie chamber, where he left her for that time, while a great peal of artillerie was shot off from the tower of Greenwich and thereabout."
Such are a few of the particulars given by Holinshed of this matrimonial fete: but the account by Hall is still more circumstantial, and both afford vivid pictures of the regal splendour which characterized all the court pageants of that gorgeous reign. Little did Anne of Cleves imagine, as the magnificent view opened upon her, with Eltham Hall on her left, Greenwich on her right, Westminster and St. Paul's in the distance, a sovereign at her feet, and an assembled nation eager to do her homage-little did she imagine how dark would be the sunset of this bright day; and yet, compared with that which overtook her unhappy sisters—partners of the same throne—her destiny was rather to be envied than lamented,
The town of Eltham, of which our limits prevent a more deliberate notice, is still one of the most favourite retreats in the vicinity of town, and formerly could number among its residents many celebrated names. The church and churchyard are interesting, and contain several classic tombs and inscriptions. The environs are rich and picturesque, the society is select and intellectual, the air is salubrious; and within seven miles of the capital it would be difficult to find any point that offers so many inviting qualities for a quiet and cheerful residence as Eltham.
AUTHORITIES :- Camden. Stow. Blome.- -Collins's Peerage.—Buckler.— Notices of Eltham. Leland. -Grafton.—Hall.—Life of the Black Prince. —MS. Visit to Eltham, March, 1842.—Royal Halls. -do. Richard the Second.--Archæologia. --Gentle- For an admirable description of Greenwich Park man's Mag. Hasted. — Parliamentary Surveys.- and its vicinity, the reader is referred to Mr. Miller's Lambard. --Lysons.— Kilburue.—Graphic Illustrator. “Lady Jane Grey,"—“Banks of the Thames," etc. etc.
" $ we descended the hill towards Rochester, how solemn the appearance of
the Castle, with its square ghastly walls, and their hollow eyes rising over the right bank of the Medway, grey and massive and floorless-nothing remaining but the shell !” Such was the memorandum of her visit to this scene, left by the author of the Mysteries of Udolpho, as she descended Strood Hill, and gazed upon the magnificent ruin to which this portion of our work is to be directed. Viewed from this point—the hill above namedthe Castle appears to great advantage. Soaring in lofty pre-eminence over the surrounding buildings, and even the Cathedral, it conveys to the spectator's mind a deep impression of what it must have been in the palmy days of çhivalry, when mailed warriors lined its ramparts, when joust and tourney animated its courts, and banners floated from its towers.
In its present condition it bears that resemblance to its former self which a skeleton bears to
the living body. The framework is there, but the life is fled,—the light is extinguished; and in the full glare of day, like the wreck of mortality, it assumes only a more melancholy aspect. But still, the interest connected with this landmark of antiquity is increased, rather than diminished, by contemplation. Fancy repeoples its courts, rebuilds its towers, restores its original order and dimensions, till we enjoy the picture which imagination thus embodies, and seem for the time, as if we were transported into romantic ages and took a part in those historic scenes of which its walls were once the theatre. At every one of those loop-holes and unlatticed casements, we seem to discern the warlike forms that once animated the building, and hurled defiance on the assailants. We hear the sound of revelry in the hall, the clang of arms in the
bayle, and the rattle of the portcullis as it drops from the lofty archway, and fastens its iron teeth in the pavement.-- But we need not proceed with
a picture which so vividly presents itself to every imaginative pilgrim who halts on the bridge of Rochester, and surveys the vast and venerable pile which here crowns the adjoining bank, and takes undivided possession of the scene.
Rochester Castle is beyond doubt one of the most complete Norman strongholds that the slow waste of centuries and the ravages of war have left in our island ; and, in its noble style and elegant proportions, offers one of the best examples extant of that class of domestic fortresses by which the early barons rendered themselves so formidable to the crown.
The castles or
stone-built fortresses of England, previously to the Conquest, were few and inconsiderable. Those of Roman foundation had fallen into ruin; and although the great Alfred had strengthened the frontier and more assailable points of the country with fifty or more of these towers of defence, they had not been kept up with the same vigilance by his successors; and to this deficiency of national bulwarks may be attributed the speedy reduction of England to the Norman yoke.