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The centre of astronomical science in this country, whence the Longitude is reckoned, and where the columns of the Nautical Almanac are calculated for the use of the adventurous mariner, is the Royal Observatory' at Greenwich. This curious edifice, seen far and wide, is, with its valuable instruments, minutely described in my JUVENILE TOUrist, under the article Greenwich. The very interesting account was furnished by my worthy and intelligent relative Thomas Simpson Evuns, LL, D., who lived for some years with the late Astronomer Royal, Dr. Maskelyne, and conducted for him the practical operations of the Observatory. Dr. Evans is now Mathematical Master at Christ's Hospital; his professional talents, known and duly appreciated, cannot fail of being rendered serviceable to his country.

I must conclude this epistle with a summary account of Windsor FOREST. This Royal Domain, like the New Forest, in Hampshire, was formerly of great extent, embracing a circumference of one hundred and twenty miles! At this time, having been much reduced, it is only fifty-six miles. In 1789 it contained 59,000 acres, including twelve parishes, and parts of others. The number of Deer, the ornament of all forests, is latterly diminished; sufficient, however, remain of these delicate and timorous animals, with their spotted hides, to vary and enliven the scenery.

The Officers of the Forest are a Lord Warden and his Deputy, with many inferior attendants. The present Lieutenant or Lord Warden is his Royal High

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366

POPE'S WINDSOR FOREST.

There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her chain,
And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain!"

Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays
Touch the fair fame of Albion's golden days;
My humble Muse, in unambitious strains,
Paints the green Forests, and the flow'ry Plains,
Where Peace descending bids her Olive spring,
And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing !
E’en I more sweetly pass my careless days,
Pleas’d in the silent shade with empty praise,
Enough for me—that to the list'ning swains
First in these fields I sung the SYLVAN STRAINS.

I subscribe myself,

My dear young Friend,

Yours, &c.

J. E.

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LETTER XII.

VISIT TO THE TOMB OF GRAY; STOKE CHURCH AND CHURCH

YARD ; ITS RURAL AND SEQUESTERED SITUATION; MANSION
OF THE PENNS; MONUMENT OF GRAY; HIS BIRTH AND EDU-
CATION; HIS LOW SPIRITS AT CAMBRIDGE; HIS ACCOMPANI-
MENT OF HORACE WALPOLE IN THE TOUR OF EUROPE; HIS
APPROACH TO ROME; ST. PETER'S CHURCH ILLUMINATED;
RUINS OF ROME; PREFERENCE OF RICHMOND-HILL AND WIND-
SOR TO ALBANO AND FRESCATI; ACCOUNT OF THE PRETENDER
AND HIS FAMILY; REFERENCE TO HORACE AND VIRGIL; GRAY'S
RETURN TO ENGLAND;, DEATH OF HIS FATHER, AND FRIEND
WEST ; REFLECTIONS ON THE DEATH OF FRIENDS; GRAY'S
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD; DEATH OF HIS AUNT
AND MOTHER; GRAY'S VISIT TO THE BRITISH Museum; VISIT
TO SCOTLAND; HIS FREFERMENT AT CAMBRIDGE; ODE ON THB
INSTALLATION OF THẾ DUKE OP GRAFTON; VISIT TO THB
LAKES; sun's LevBE; SUDDEN DEATH OF GRAY; HIS CHA.
RACTER AND WRITINGS; MISS SBWARD'S CENSURB OF JOHNSON,
AND EULOGIUM ON GRAY'S WRITINGS; HIS EPITAPH IN WEST-
MINSTER ABBBY; DINNER AT SALT HILL; REFLECTIONS ON THE
EXCURSION TO WINDSOR; RETURN TO ISLINGTON,

Windsor, July, 1810. MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, HAVING had more than once pointed out to me, when walking on the Terrace at Windsor, the Spire of Stoke church, where Gray lies interred, a wish sprang up within my breast to visit the hallowed spot.

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368

STOKE CHURCH-YARD.

For near a week we had been basking in the sunshine of Royalty, and now felt inclined to bend our steps towards the sable and undisturbed mansions of the dead. In the morning, accordingly, we set out, and did not return till the evening. The day was fine, and our curiosity was gratified.

Leaving Windsor after breakfast, we passed through the village of Eton, and crossing the great Bath and Bristol road at Slough, we found ourselves buried in the depths of the country. Sauntering along through fields spotted with daisies, and lanes shaded with exuberant foliage, we were for a time uncertain whether we had not lost our way. However, continuing our progress, we at length descried the Church of Stoke, and soon rested ourselves on one of the tombs in the church-yard. The Church itself is a small building, and had nothing calculated to attract our attention. The cemetery was overspread with the plain and unadorned memorials of the dead : Their name, their years, spelt by the unletter'd muse,

The place of Fame and Elegy supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach THE RUSTIC MORALIST to die! This church-yard contained the ashes of the poet Gray (the author of these exquisite lines), and I was anxious to ascertain the identical spot where they were deposited. A sexton, happening to be digging a grave for a child burnt to death a few days before, was interrogated respecting the Poet's tomb. He was altogether ignorant both of the Poet and his Tomb :

MANSION OF THE PENNS.

369

indeed, from the indifference with which he replied, it was evident he cared for none of these things! I inquired in vain of one or two persons crossing the church-yard. I then went over every memorial of the dead, not doubting of being ultimately successful. But the Tomb escaped me, and I was coming away, lamenting my disappointment. However, determining to make one effort more, I entered a cottage, when a woman told me where the Tomb was situated. I ran back, and instantly found it. It is close to the chancel of the church. That it eluded my notice can be no matter of surprise, for it has not even the Poet's name upon it; as if it were meant that his remains should be consigned to utter oblivion. It is but justice, at the same time, to remark, that at the extremity of the Church-YARD (not on consecrated ground) a HANDSOME MONUMENT is erected to the memory of Mr. GRAY, by one of the Penn family. And, indeed, from this cenotaph is seen the elegant seat of the Penns, the descendants of the great Legislator PENN

- distinguished, in an age of infidelity, violence and profligacy, for a steady faith in revelation, for the humanity of his disposition, and for an inflexible integrity. Adjoining the seat may be seen the Park, interspersed with obelisks, pillars and other appropriate embellishments. These, together with the Church and Church-yard, constitute a highly picturesque group of scenery. A more rural situation cannot be imagined. Here GRAY is said to have

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