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THE GREAT DRAWING-ROOM. This apartment is 47 feet long, 25 broad, and 20 high. It is furnished with excellent Tapestry, which, for colour as well as expreflion, engages the attention of the curious. It is the work of Vanderborght, and represents the four Quarters of the World, well expressed by assemblages of the natives, in their various habits and employments, except Europe, which is in Masquerade. Over the four Doors are the Seasons and Elements painted in a very peculiar style. These figures, in Claro Obscuro, appear as if starting from the Canvas. From the vast expression, yet exceeding light tint of these Pieces, the spectatoris at firit fight ready to pronounce them bas-reliefs in white marble.
The Chimney.piece is extremely fuperb, composed of rich Egyptian marble, executed by Carter. The Cornice is supported by highly carved and polished Figures of Ceres and Flora, about five feet high: the Drapery of these Figures, one in the ancient, the other in the modern style, as well as their Attitudes, are peculiarly striking and expressive. In the centre of the Freeze is a raised Tablet of the Choice of Hercules, Over it is a Painting of the Destruction of Pharaoh and his Host in the Red Sea.- Suitable to the other Ornaments of this apartment, the Ceiling consists of representations of the four Quarters of the World, with the Elements, and Seasons, in ftucco, interspersed with Fables and other Decorations; and surrounded by a full enriched Corinthian Entablature. -On the opposite fide to the Chimney-piece are two superb Glaffes, upwards of four feet in breadth, and nine feet high.-Under these Glaffes are two rich Tables of Egyptian marble, upon gilt and carved Frames; and on the other Piers-are two Girandoles of exquisite workmanship, by Ansell.
THE MUSIC-PARLOUR Is a smalt neat room, with a light and well executed Ceiling
THE DINING-PARLOUR, A very commodious apartment, of 27 feet by 25. The Walls, with the Cove and Ceiling, are decorated with varied compartments of highly finished Orna. ments, in ftucco. Over the Chimney is a Portrait of the late Duke of Shrewsbury.
The, Environs, or Gardens, are well laid out. A variety of beautiful scenes strike the spectator in a most agreeable succession. With very little appearance of art, nature has received much assistance from taste. To the fouth-west, lofty trees afford a moft refreshing shade, interspersed with openings edged with flowers. Eastward, a fmall stream is improved into a winding river, broke by cascades, whose banks are adorned with a curious fancybuilding called
THE MOSS-HOUSE. This edifice is covered with reeds, and constructed of ruftic oak; the inside is lined with moss of various colours, and the floor paved in Mosaic work, with horse's teeth polished. Upon entering this building, we have a striking view of two Cascades, which afford an agreeable surprise.
This piece of water is crossed by a stone bridge, under which is an engine that supplies the house with water; and above it, at the distance of about four hun. dred paces, is the most natural, if not the most striking of the Cascades found here. It is built with petrifactions, and other curious stones; and on the top is a Terrace, planted with powering shrubs.
From this bridge, in another direction through a grove, we ascend to a beautiful serpentine walk, also planted with flowering shrubs on each side, which terminates in an octagon Bowling-Green, where we com. mand several extensive, different, and most delightful prospects.
THE SEAT OF.
THE EARL OF HARCOURT.
T the general survey this manor belonged to Riparys, or Redvers. Mary, youngest daughter of William de Redvers, Earl of Devon (who, as well as his uncle William, was surnamed de Vernon), married Robert de Courtenay, Baron of Okenhampton, in 1214. -It is probable, that by this marriage the manor of Nuneham was carried into the family of Courtenay, and thence assumed the name of Nuneham-Courtenay.
After them succeeded (the Pollards) Sir John Pollard of Devon. From then it came to
Audley of the Court of Wards, called the Rich Audley.
From him to Robert Wright, Bishop of Litchfield, whose son, Calvert Wright, fold it to John Robinson, of London, Merchant, (temp. Ol, Cromwell), knighted in 1660, by King Charles II. and made Lieutenant of the Tower.
From the Robinsons it descended to David Earl of Wemys (who married Mary, daughter and coheiress of Sir John Robinson, Baronet), from whom it was purchased in the year 1710, by Simon, first Lord Harcourt, Lord High Chancellor of England.
The House was built by the late Earl, but has fince been much altered and enlarged (by the addition of a Court of Offices, &c.) according to the plans of Mr. Brown : it stands in a park of fix miles and an half in circumference, well wooded, and containing near twelve hundred acres, in which “are Scenes * worthy of the bold pencil of Rubens, or to be subjects for the tranquil
* See Mr. Walpole's Anecdotes of Painters, cctavo Edition, Va Luxae che second, page 145.
funshines of Claude Lorrain." The Gardens contain thirty-eight acres, and (except the Terrace and Flower, Garden) were laid out by Mr. Brown.
From the centre window of the Breakfast Room, round the south side of the Garden, and back again, is half a mile and fixteen poles.
From the same place along the Terrace, round the hill, at the termination of it, and back again, is a mile and a furlong.
In entering the House you pass through a Vestibule, which is ornamented with Doric Columns, and Carts of Antique Statues; and ascend by an oval Geometrical Stair-cafe, to
T H E SALOON, 30 Feet by 16, and 18 and an half high, hung with
blue Damask, and the following Pictures : Over one of the Chimnies, Susannah and the Elders, by Annibale Caracci. Over the other, two Beggar Boys, by Murillio. It came from Penshurit.
The following eight Heads hang on either fide of them : William fifth Lord Paget, by Sir Peter Lely; Lady Ann Finch, second daughter of Sir Thomas Finch, Bart. and first Earl of Winchelsea, wife to Sir William Waller, General of the Parliament Army in the Civil War, by Vandyck. A Portrait of one of the Harcourt Family, by Mirevelt ; fine. George Simon Viscount Nuneham (now Earl Harcourt), at the age of seventeen, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, capital.
Another Portrait of one of the Harcourt Family, which, as well as the former, was a present from Harcourt Powell, Esq. Simon Harcourt (afterwards Viscount and Earl), only son of the Hon. Simon Harcourt; the Head by Sir Godfrey Kneller; Mrs. Siddons, the celebrated Actress, in the character of Isabella' in the Fatal Marriage, by Hamilton; Elizabeth, daughter of King James the First, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia, by Honthorst; a present from her to Sir Simon Harcourt. Over the centre Door, a Nymph
with Cupids, representing Evening, by Valerio Castelli. Over the other two Doors, Aubrey Vere, twentieth and last Earl of Oxford of that House, by Walker. Baron Rhynwick, by Mirevelt; a very good Portrait ; the Hands reinarkably fine. At one end of the room, Henrietta Maria, Queen to King Charles the First, by Van dyck ; under it the Nativity, by Pietro da Pietri. At the other end of the room, Lady Mary Tufton, fifth daughter of John, fecond Earl of Thanet, first wife to Sir William Walter, Bart. of Sarsden in Oxfordshire, by Sir Peter Lely: under it, Dead Game, by Fytt, from the collection of Mr. Bagnols.
THE ANT E-ROOM,
24 feet by 15, and 18 and a half high. Over the Chimney, Sarah, daughter of Richard Jennings, Esq. of Sandridge in Hertfordshire, wife to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, by Sir Godfrey Kneller ; a present from her to the first Lord Har. court. Over one Arch a View of part of the Quay and Bay of Naples, by Gaspar Occhiali. Over the other Arch, a View of part of Rome and the Tiber, by the same hand.
Under them, two Heads, by Cornelius Jansen, At one end of the room, King William, hunting, with several Figures, by Wooton. ' Under it the two following Pictures: a Herdsman with Cattle, by Peter Vander Leuw ; from the collection of Mr.- Bagnols : a Landscape, with Cattle, by Rogman. At the other end, a ruined Bridge, with Figures, by Crabetje. Under it the two following Pictures : Christ driving the MoneyChangers out of the Temple, on marble, by Bassan; the Holy Family, by Albano. Over one Door, the Hon. Simon Harcourt, only son of Simon first Viscount Harcourt, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Over the other Door, Elizabeth, daughter of John Evelyn, Esq. of Wooton in Surrey, his Wife, by Dahl.