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THE LIBRARY, Which is a fuperb room, 83 feet in length, and zo in height.
The Ornaments of this room are masterly : they confift chiefly of the moft elegant and highly finifhed fucco, by the late and present Mr. Roberts of Oxford; the designs of which are admirably adapted to the par. poses of the place.
On the north fide are seven Recesses, one of which is the entrance from the Hall, and the other fix are filled with elegant Book-cases, over which are curious Medallions of Cicero, Plato, Thucydides, Homer, Shakespeare, and Inigo Jones. In this fide are also two superb Chimney-pieces, by Carter, composed of rich antique marble. The entrances at each end are formed to correspond with the other Recesses; the femicircular Arches over which, as well as that leading from the Hall, are ornamented in stucco with Fables from Æsop, admirably executed; with a Medallion of the fame kind over each Chimney. The south side, which fronts the Garden, confifts of eight magnificent windows, with a pair of folding Glass Doors, which open to the Tersace, and afford a moft delightful and extenfive prospect.
The Ceiling, which is entirely plain, is fupported by columns of the Corinthian order; and is encompassed by an exceeding rich Ionic Entablature. This room is likewife enriched by pendent Ornaments, in alto relievo, of Still Life, Military, Musical, and Mathematical Instruments, with a judicious mixture of Fruit and Flowers.
THE SMALLER DRAWING-ROOM Is furnished with Genoa Flowered Damask, and has a Chimney-piece of fine marble, and very curious work. Inanship. The Ceiling and Cove are in Fretwork Compartments, ornamented with Birds, Foliages and Fere foons of Flowers.
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 expression, 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 itarting from the Canvas. From the vast expression, yet exceeding light tint of these Pieces, the spectator is at first sight ready to pronounce them bas-reliefs.in white marble.
The Chimney-piece is extremely superb, 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 pe. caliarly Atriking 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 Hoft in the Red Sea.-Suitable to the other Orna. ments of this apartment, the Ceiling confifts of reprefentations 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 Entablacure. On the opposite fide to the Chimney.piece are two fuperb Glatfes, upwards of four feet in breadth, and nine feet high.--Under there Glaffe's are two rich Tables of Egyptian marble, upon gilt and carved Frameş; and on the other Piers are swo. Girandoles of exquisite workmanship, by Ansell.
THE MUSIC.PARLOUR Is a small neat room, with a light and well executed Ceilings
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 va. riety of beautiful scenes strike the spectator in a most agreeable succeslion. With very little appearance
of art, nature has received much assistance from taste. To the south-west, lofty trees afford a moft refreshing shade, interspersed with openings edged with flowers. Eastward, a Small 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 rustic oak; the inside is lined with moss of various colours, and the floor paved in Mosaic work, withi 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 crosfed by a stone bridge, under which is an engine that supplies the house with water ; and above it, at the distance of about four hundred 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 Terrace, planted with flowering shrubs.
Froin this bridge, in another direction through a grove, we afcend to a beautiful serpentine walk, also planted with flowering shrubs on each side, which ter. ininates 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 førvey this manor belonged to
Richard de Curcy : afterwards to the Family of Riparys, or Redvers. Mary, youngeft daughter of William de Redvers, Earl of Devon (who, as well as his uncle William, was furnamed 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 fucceeded (the Pollards) Sir John Pollard of Devon. From them it came to
Audley of the Court of Wards, called the Rich Audley.
From him to Robert Wright, Bidop of Litchfield, whose fon, Calvert Wright, sold 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 defcended 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, firf 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 Anecdvies of Painters, octavo Edition, Vo: Iome the second, page 143.
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 Cafts of Antique Statues ; and afcend by an oval Geometrical Stair-cafe, to
THE SALOON, 30 Feet by 16, and 18 and an half high, hung with
blue Damak, and the following Pictures : Over one of the Chimnies, Sufannah 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 fon 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 Honthorft ; 'a present from her to Sir Simon Harcourt. Over the centre Door, a Nymph