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of Leicester, two of the most flattered and remarkable women of the day, and the latter the mother of Algernon Sidney ; next is the Duke of Northumberland, their father, by Lely; and full lengths of the unfortunate Arabella Stuart, a very pretty and interesting looking woman, and Rich, Earl of Holland, by Vandyck. On the opposite side of the room are the Countess of Warwick, Addison's wife, by Kneller, in a bright blue dress, She is here represented as decidedly handsome, having a high broad forehead, dark hair falling in natural ringlets, and with a sweet expression of countenance. To her right is her son, Lord Warwick, as a boy of twelve or fourteen years old, also in a light blue dress, and red scarf, by Dahl. On her left is a head of Lord Kensington, by Lely. A mother and daughter in two separate pictures, supposed to be by Lely; and the Earl of Warwick again as a boy.
Within the small department of the room, we find a halflength of Addison himself, also in light blue, which seems the almost universal colour of Kneller's drapery. He appears here about forty years of age, his figure fuller, and the countenance more fleshy and less spiritual than in either of the portraits at Holland-house and Northwick. Besides this, there is another portrait of the Earl of Warwick, by Kneller, as a young man; a head of Gustavus Adolphus, by Meirveldt; and lastly of the heiress of the house, Miss Addison herself. She is here a child, nor is there any one of her of a later age. If this portrait of her was done during Addison's life, it must have been represented as older than she really was; she could not be much more than two, and here she appears at least five years of age. It is a full length. The child stands by a table, on which is a basket of flowers, and she holds a pink flower in her hand against her bosom. She has the air of an intelligent child, and, as usual, wears one of Kneller's light blue draperies, with a lace-bordered apron,
and stomacher of the same.
Such are the paintings at Bilton. They include a most interesting group of the friends and cotemporaries of Addison, besides others. It is a rare circumstance that they have been permitted to remain there, when his library and his medals have been dispersed. Altogether Bilton is one of the most
satisfactory specimens of the homes and haunts of our departed literary men.
Of Holland-house, the last residence of Addison, it would require a long article to give a fitting idea. This fine old mansion is full of historic associations. It takes its name from Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, whose portrait is in Bilton. It was built by his father-in-law, Sir Walter Cope, in 1607, and affords a very good specimen of the architecture of that period. The general form is that of an half H. The projection in the centre, forming at once porch and tower, and the two wings supported on pillars, give great decision of effect to it. The stone quoins worked with a sort of arabesque figure, remind one of the style of some portions of Heidelberg Castle, which is what is called on the continent roccoco. Here it is deemed Elizabethan ; but the plain buildings attached on each side to the main body of the house, with their shingled and steeproofed towers, have a very picturesque and Bohemian look. Altogether it is a charming old pile, and the interior corresponds beautifully with the exterior. There is a fine entrance hall, a library behind it, and another library extending the whole length of one of the wings and the house upstairs, one hundred and five feet in length. The drawing room over the entrance hall, called the Gilt room, extends from front to back of the house, and commands views of the gardens both way; those to the back are very beautiful.
In the house are, of course, many interesting and valuable works of art; a great portion of them memorials of the distinguished men who have been accustomed to resort thither. In one room is a portrait of Charles James Fox, as a child, in a light blue dress, and with a close, reddish, woollen cap on his head, under which show lace edges. The artist is unknown, but is supposed to be French. The countenance is full of life and intelligence, and the “child” in it is, most remarkably," the father of the man.”
The likeness is wonderful. You can imagine how, by time and circumstance, that child's countenance expanded into what it became in maturity. There is also a portrait of Addison, which belonged to his daughter. It represents him as much younger than any other that I have seen In the Gilt room are marble busts of George IV. and William IV. On the staircase is a bust of Lord Holland, father of the second earl and of Charles Fox, by Nollekens. This bust, which is massy, and full of power and expression, is said to have brought Nollekens into his great repute. The likeness to that of Charles Fox is very striking. By the same artist there are also the busts of Charles Fox, the late Lord Holland, and the present earl. That of Frere, by Chantry, is very spirited. There are also, here, portraits of Lord Lansdowne, Lord John Russell, and family portraits. There is also a large and very curious painting of a fair, by Callot, and an Italian print of it.
In the library, down stairs, are portraits of Charles James Fox-a very fine one; of the late Lord Holland; of Talleyrand, by Ary Scheffer, perhaps the best in existence, and the only one which he said that he ever sate for; of Sir Samuel Romilly; Sir James Mackintosh; Lord Erskine, by Sir Thomas Lawrence; Tierney; Francis Horner, by Raeburn, so like Sir Walter Scott by the same artist, that I at first supposed it to be him; Lord Macartney, by Phillips ; Frere, by Shee; Mone, Lord Thanet; Archibald Hamilton; late Lord Darnley ; late Lord King, when young, by Hoppner; and a very sweet foreign fancy portrait of the present Lady Holland. We miss, however, from this haunt of genius, the portraits of Byron, Brougham, Crabbe, Blanco White, Hallam, Rogers, Lord Jeffery, and others. In the left wing is placed the colossal model of the statue of Charles Fox, which stands in Bloomsbury Square.
In the gardens are various memorials of distinguished men. Amongst several very fine cedars, perhaps the finest is said to have been planted by Charles Fox. In the quaint old garden is an alcove, in which are the following lines, placed there by the late earl
“Here Rogers sat—and here for ever dwell
With me, those pleasures which he sang so well.”
Beneath these are framed and glazed a copy of verses in honour of the same poet, by Mr. Luttrell. There is also in the same garden, and opposite this alcove, a bronze bust of Napoleon, on a granite pillar, with a Greek inscription from the Odyssey,
admirably applying the situation of Ulysses to that of Napoleon at St. Helena— “In a far distant isle he remains under the harsh surveillance of base men.”
The fine avenue leading down from the house to the Kensington road is remarkable for having often been the walking and talking place of Cromwell and General Lambert. Lambert then occupied Holland-house; and Cromwell, who lived next door, when he came to converse with him on state affairs, had to speak very loud to him, because he was deaf. To avoid being overheard, they used to walk in this avenue.
The traditions regarding Addison here are very slight. They are, simply, that he used to walk, when composing his Spectators, in the long library, then a picture gallery, with a bottle of wine at each end, which he visited as he alternately arrived at them : and that the room in which he died, though not positively known, is supposed to be the present dining room, being then the state bed-room. The young Earl of Warwick, to whom he there addressed the emphatic words—“See in what peace a Christian can die !” died also, himself, in 1721, but two years afterwards. The estate then devolved to Lord Kensington, descended from Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, who sold it, about 1762, to the Right Honourable Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland. Here the early days of the great statesman, Charles James, were passed; and here lived the late patriotic translator of Lope de Vega, amid the society of the first spirits of the age. It has been rumoured that the present amiable and intelligent possessor, his son, contemplated pulling down this venerable and remarkable mansion. Such a thought never did and never could for a moment enter his mind, which feels too proudly the honours of intellect and taste, far above all mere rank, which there surround his name and family.
Gay is certainly not one of our most eminent poets. He is clever, amiable, and displays much knowledge of life, both in town and country. It is rare, however, that he rises into anything like genuine poetry. When he does that, it is when he elevates his theme by a spirit of devotion, which, however, is not too often. The best instances of this are to be found, perhaps, in his Lines on Night, in the first canto of Rural Sports, in his Contemplation on Night, and in A Thought on Eternity. It were to be wished that description as vivid, had in Gay been oftener united to sentiment as elevated, in such lines as these:
“ To Neptune's bounds I stray
Now Night in silent state begins to rise,