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[52]

Journal.

May 20, 1815.—A few miles after we left the valley [Llangollen], to which we cast back many a longing, lingering look, we came to Chirk Castle, the seat of the Middletons; which seems, in all its more ancient division, one extensive monument of fidelity to the Stuarts. Even the old housekeeper, who showed us the apartments, was a thorough Jacobite. The banqueting-room was, filled with pictures which proved their sufferings from Cromwell, and their loyalty to their sovereign; and the chamber of state was preserved with a sort of reverence in the same condition, with the same tapestry, furniture, and bedclothes that it had when Charles I. slept there, on his way to his ruin at Chester. Among the fine pictures in the collection, I was struck with that of a beautiful lady, with an uncommonly meek and subdued expression of countenance, and dressed in the humble weeds of a nun. I inquired of the old housekeeper, who claimed to know the private history of every piece of furniture in the establishment, who the nun was. ‘She was the sister of Owen Tudor,’ the old lady replied, ‘but no nun at all, sir, for her seventh husband was a Middleton, and that's the reason the picture is here. They tell an odd story,’ the old lady went on, ‘that when she was riding to the burying of her fourth, the gentleman she was behind—for it was before carriages were known in England—thought it was best to be in season, and so put the question to her as they came home from the grave. She told him, she was very sorry indeed he was too late, but if she had that melancholy office to perform again, she would certainly remember him.’

Hatton, May 23, 1815.—Dr. Parr lives at Hatton, but four miles from Warwick, and I was resolved not to pass so near to one who is the best Latin scholar, and almost the best Greek one in England, without seeing him, at least for a moment. Mr. Roscoe had volunteered me a letter, but I left Liverpool half a day before I intended, and the consequence was, that I did not receive it till I reached London. So I went to the doctor's with a traveller's effrontery, and sent in a note, asking leave to visit him, as a stranger. He came out to the carriage immediately,—received me with a solemnity of politeness which would have been grotesque, if it had not obviously been well meant,—carried me in, asked me to stay to dinner,—and come again when I had more time; and, in fact, treated me with as much kindness as if I had carried a volume of introductions. He is, I should think, about seventy; and though a good deal smaller, looks


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