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bridge and lower piece of water, form an assemblage of great and beautiful objects in no other place to be met with.
The ground on the south-east is a happy contrast to the south-west fide: the Gardens here seem to lose them. felves in the Park, amidst a profufion of venerabile oaks and intersected avenues, from whence they derive an air of most indeterminate extent, which is very pleasing. Lastly, the beautiful plain in the front of the House, and the picturesque effect of the Village rising out of the Wood below, call for our attention. :
These Gardens have been confiderably enlarged, and thrown into the form they now wear, by the present Duke, who has likewise farther beautified them by the addition of some judicious and well-placed ornaments ; particularly the Temple of Diana, and an elegant little temple in what is called the Flower Garden : To which we may add two noble Bronzes, and some copies of An. tique Vases, in stone.
THE PARK Is eleven miles in circumference, and contains many delightful scenes. The lover of rural variety will be entertained here with every circumstance of beauty which he can expect from diversified nature; from hill and valley, water, and woods.
The pleasure-grounds have lately received a confiderable improvement and enlargement, by throwing a ncat Chinese bridge over the lake', near the cascade ; and inclosing and laying down, in the most elegant ftyle, a pretty large iract of the opposite bilt. In this delightful spot several grottos are so naturally introduced, that art scarcely appears. But the most capital object is a magnificent fountain, a present to John Duke; of Marlborough; which, after lying neglected for many years, has been recently erected in the vale, near the eastern limits of the new improvements. On one side of this fountair, is the subsequent Latin infcription, and on the
three other fides is the same in three different languages, Greek, Italian, and Spanish.
Ad Innocentium XI. Summum Pontificem.
Pro. Carolo. II. Hispaniarum Rege.
Murchio. De. Carpio. Et. Helicheo Orator.
Ab Equite. Bernino. Opus. Hoc. Extrui.
Dum perficeretur. Defunctus.
Mentis. Fæcundiatem Claufit.
Anno D. M.DC.LXXXI.
At a small distance from this noble piece of sculpture is a mineral spring, commonly called Newfound Well ; which, flowing into a beautiful antique balon, externally adorned with numerous figures in baffo relievo, is from thence discharged by the mouths of two lions near the top, and immediately disappearing, foon enters the lake.
About the middle of the grand approach is a magnificent Bridge, chiefly confifting of three arches, the centre one of which is larger than the Rialto at Veniçe: the water is formed into a spacious lake, which covers the whole extent of a capacious valley, surrounded by an artificial declivity of a prodigious depth, and is in. disputably, both with regard to its accompaniments and extent, the most capital piece of water in this kingdom.
In this Park originally food a Royal Palace, where King Etheldred called a Parliament. Henry I. inclosed the Park with a wall, part of which is now remaining. His fucceffor Henry II. principally refided at this seat, and erected in the Park a house encompassed with a Labyrinth of extraordinary contrivance, for the habitation of his concubine Fair Rofamond. This romantic re. treal, commonly styled Fair Refamond's Bower, was fitu.
ated on the hill, to the north-west of the Bridge, above a remarkable bath, or Spring, called at present Rosa. mond's Well.
In this Palace Edmund, the second son of Edward I. was born, and thence denominated Edmund of Woodstock; as was Edward the Black Prince. The Princess Elizabeth, afterwards Queen, was kept a prisoner here, under the persecutions of Queen Mary.
This Palace retained its original splendour, and was johabited by our kings, till the reign of Charles I. but began to be demolished in the succeeding times of confufion. Its magnificent ruins were remaining within the memory of man, near the bridge, to the north, on the spot where two Sycamores have been fince planted as a memorial. .
The Park and Manor of Woodstock, with other appurtenances, were granted with concurrence of Parlia. ment, by Queen Anne, in the fourth year of her reign, to John Duke of Marlborough, and his heirs, in recompence of the many illustrious victories obtained under his command against the French and Bavarian armies; particularly at Blenheim.
The grant of the Crown, and the services of the Duke, are fully specified on the pedestal of a stately Column, 130 feet in height; on the top of which is a Statue of the Duke, situated in a grand avenue. On one fide is the following Inscription, supposed to be written by the late Lord Bolingbroke. The Castle of BLENHEIM was founded by Queen ANNE,
In the Fourth Year of her Reign,
In the Year of the Christian Æra 1705.
Near the Village of Blenbeim,
On the Banks of the Danube, By JOHN Duke of MARLBOROUGH, The Hero not only of this Nation, but of this Age;
Whole Glory was equal in the Council and in the Field;
Who, by Wisdom, Justice, Candour, and Address;
Acquired an Influence
Became the fixed important Centre,
The principal States of Europe ;
Broke the Power of France,
Rescued the Empire from Desolation ;
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE EARL OF LITCHFIELD.
ITCHLEY is a modern fabric, lofty, and ele.
mands much of the country, having Blenheim, Oxford, and the hills beyond it in full view. Over the front of the house are two grand ftatues, Loyalty and Fame,
Carthage; and DI T C H L E Y. with their proper emblems. The offices, which form two beautiful wings, have a communication with the principal building by circular colonnades. - In the house are many valuable and masterly portraits by Rubens, Vandyck, Sir Peter Lely, Johnson, and Wotton.
THE HALL. This room is finely proportioned and elegantly decorated. Its fides and roof are 'ornan nted with stucco, which is at once bold and delicate. Its door-cases, pediments, entablatures, and columns of the Corinthian and Compofite orders, are all richly ornamented with gildings, &c. The Ceiling contains an Assembly of the Gods, painted by Kent. Two of the compartments are filled with historical pieces from the Æneid, by the fame hand; one of which represents Æneas meeting
, the other, Venus presenting Æneas with the new ifirmour. The Sciences are introduced as ornaments, with bufts of Philosophers, Poets, Hiftorians, and Orators, viz. Socrates, Virgil, Homer, Cicero, Sappho, Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton, and Livy. Over the statues are bas-reliefs, copied from antiques out of the Florentine Museum, properly disposed; and a statue of the Venus de Medicis. Here is also a curious model of the Radclivian Library at Oxford.
The Chimney-piece is fuperb and lofty, decorated with a portrait of Henry Earl of Litchfield, by Aker.
THE MUSIC-ROOM Is well constructed for Music, and has several paintings in it, viz. The Grandfather and Grandmother of the late Earl of Litchfield ; the late Earl; the two late Dukes of Beaufort; the Honourable Mr. Lee, and Siz Watkin Williams Wynne, by Hoare ; Rubens and his Son, hunting wild beasts; two Venetian Courtezans a Shooting-piece, and two Hunting-pieces, by Wotton In the Shooting-piece the two late Lords are introduced