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meaning of the rude sculptures on its square sides. Some suppose them to represent the history of St. Birinus, the apostle of the West Saxons, and consider it the workmanship of the seventh century. “But this,” says Dr. Milner, “is evidently dating it too far backward; for certainly baptism by immersion, which was performed by means of a bath made for this purpose, in a building distinct from the church itself, called a Baptistery, was the practice of the church in this kingdom, as well as in other parts, at the time in question, and for above two centuries later. Now the font before us is not calculated for this mode of baptizing, but rather for that of infusion Winchester Font. or aspersion.” The Doctor's own notion on the hieroglyphics is, that they allude to the miracles of St. Nicholas, of Myra, who lived in the fourth century, and was the patron saint of little children. But we can do no more than call attention to the font itself, which is large and square, formed out of a sort of serpentine marble, resting on a circular grooved pillar and four smaller
Winchester Font. pillars. We shall avail ourselves of a passage from Dr. Milner to lead us out of the cathedral. It carries us back to the time when the cathedral afforded a much more magnificent show than it does in the present age.—“ The only remaining object that claims our attention in the north aisle, previously to our quitting the cathedral, is the tribune which w closes the upper part of it at the western extremity, being of the same workmanship with the rest of
Winchester Font. Wykeham's fabric, and of course part of his original plan. This is at present made use of as an ecclesiastical court, but seems to have been erected in order to contain the extraordinary minstrels who performed on grand occasions, when some prelate, legate, or king was received at the cathedral in solemn state by a procession of the whole convent. At such times the crossbearers, acolyths, and thurifers led the way, the bishop, prior and other dignified clergy in their proper insignia and the richest vestments, closing the ranks. In the meantime, the church was hung from one end to the other with gorgeous tapestry, representing religious subjects, the large hooks for supporting which still remain fixed to the inside of the great columns; the altars dazzled the beholders with a profusion of gold, silver and precious stones, the lustre of which was heightened by the blaze of a thousand wax lights, whilst the well-tuned voices of a numerous choir, in chosen psalms and anthems, gave life and meaning to the various minstrelsy that was performed in this tribune."
The path of the visitor to the college is across the southern precinct of the cathedral, over a trimly kept green lawn, inclosed by the most comfortable and spacious residences, suggestive of the best of creature
comforts. Indeed, the whole air of the parts immediately contiguous to the cathedral is so extremely orderly and respectable, that something of the picturesque is even lost thereby.
We leave the cathedral by one of the doors on the south side, and may saunter for a time on the trim velvetty lawn, beneath cool shades, which decorate the precincts of the church. After bestowing observation on some timber-built houses, apparently used at the present time for prebendal stables, and not stopping to examine minutely the Prior's Hall, now part of the deanery, or the old Refectory and Kitchen still standing, but not very easy of access for strangers, we make our exit from the cathedral precincts through an old arched gateway, on which
the exuberant loyalty of the dean and chapter has suspended a most unsightly sign-board of the royal arms. Their predecessors, three centuries back, would rather have employed a basrelief curiously “intailed” in free stone. A few paces take us into College - street, along which our road lies to St. Cross,—but we must
first stay awhile to notice Close Gate.
Wykeham's College itself, which has some picturesque features in its original portions. We wish we could honestly say as much of the modern additions. The street front is not unpromising—but as soon as you get into the back settlements, anything more characteristic of the money-grubbing spirit which called the buildings into being, it would be difficult to conceive. Wykeham's College is made the cat's-paw to enable some functionary to make a profit on the education of numerous foreigners to the institution. On one side stand the venerable stone walls of the ancient college, its dormitories, hall, chapel, cloisters, &c., solid, grey with age, and bidding defiance to old Time,-suggestive of study and solitude, offering a picture at every angle:-on the other, an enormous wen of red brick, thin, lath-and-plaster looking buildings, bald, naked lines of brickwork, without the slightest shadow of ornament-constructed on the rigid utilitarian principles of just sheltering the utmost number of scholars, the merest sufficiency of housing, recalling at best the notion of an uncomfortable barrack. There are undoubtedly very cogent reasons to be urged against such an unpicturesque mode of housing even a private school : here there seems a positive antagonism at work, when we find such a thing as an appendage to an old college—the latter founded in what are called “the dark ages" of the human mind, whilst the former is the product of the most approved period of its most rapid march. If for no other consideration, we abominate the new brickwork on account of its unsubstantial ugliness : we find comfort, however, in the assurance that Wykeham's walls will long outlast such contemptible flimsy neighbours.
tion of its gateways, quadrangles, turrets, statues. Without having any very precise similarity in its architectural details, it calls to mind rather Wayneflete's Magdalen College than its founder's own New College at Oxford, to which Wykeham intended it to serve as a preparatory school : not that Wykeham,—whose motto, “manners maketh man,” showing the great importance he must have attached to teaching,—was the first founder of a school at Winchester. The city is said to have possessed a grammar school from a much earlier period. The Chapel, the Library and Cloisters, are all of them places in the College worth minute study. The character of the first has been changed by the insertion of heavy pannelling, not bad of its kind, but misfitting here—the walls are completely lined with it—and an ante-chapel is formed by a screen of the Ionic order. The original altar too has been entirely covered up with the pannelling, but portions are still seen in their ruins of “bice" and gilding, where parts of the screen have been removed. The lights are all filled with stained glass, and half an eye may detect that only the glass of the east window, representing the root of Jesse, is ancient, whilst that of the side lights, in which figures of the prophets are set out, is but a dull affectation of antiquity. There are several brass effigies here, many concealed by the ruthless manner in which the modern woodwork has been fixed. A flight of stairs hides nearly the whole of one of the most interesting of them. But perhaps the most genuine remains in this chapel are the old Miserere seats at the entrance, in which the carving exists as fresh as when chiselled four hundred years since. Though the cloisters are not very remarkable in their architectural features, they abound in pictures for those who can see them. A Cattermole or Nash may find endless subjects, as the several parts of the old collegemits towers, the chapel, the library in the midst of the quadrangle--appear through the arched openings, fringed with ivy and light swinging creepers. The cool deep shadows and old grey stone-work contrast delightfully with the random gleams of sunshine stealing along the mullions. Many ancient brasses, chiefly inscriptions commemorative of the members of the college, are inserted on the walls of the quadrangle. The library, which stands in the centre of the open quadrangle, looks as if it had anciently been a chapel. There is that quiet undisturbed repose about all its appurtenances, which is only to be seen in collegiate libraries. It seems to be useless except as a sight. Drowsiness reigns supreme; you might imagine yourself straying into a room of the Sleeping Beauty's palace, but that the attendant is by, to remind you of his expectations of a fee. The great popular curiosity of the place is the tome which registers the gifts of books-a sort of sepulchral monument made to record when the book is consigned to the everlasting stillness on a shelf. There is some old stained glass in the lights of this library, said to have been brought from the chapel, when new windows were inserted in that part.
To proceed from the College to the Hospital of St. Cross, pursue College-street to its termination, and arriving at one of the streams of the Itchen, follow its descent, passing close to a water-mill. The Hospital is about a mile distant from the city. The footpath, through ever-verdant meadows, is one of the most delightful of its kind. It is close to the banks of the clear rapid streams of the river-sheltered by the cool shade of the foliage of willows, walnut-trees, &c., from the strong reflected sunlight and heat cast by the distant chalk hills—the
give Winchester or Winton its name. There are several water-mills those always picturesque objects in a landscape-tempting places to rest at, and watch the foam and dash of the waters, the Aickering lights, and deep reflected shadows. The square tower of the Hospital, reposing among fine lofty trees, is conspicuous throughout the walk. We say walk, because every one who can should go by the river side, but there is an excellent coach-road, nearly parallel with the railway. Arriving then by the footpath, at the precincts of the Hospital, it may be entered either on the north side through the gateway, or the south side by the churchyard. The visitor should choose the north for entrance, the south for departure.
“ There is not,” says Dr. Milner, “within the island any remnant of ancient piety and charity of the same kind, which has been so little changed in its institution and appearances as this before us. The lofty tower, with the grated door and porter's lodge beneath it, the retired ambulatory, the separate cells, the common refectory, the venerable church, the black flowing dress, and the silver cross worn by the members, the conventual appellation of brother, with which they salute each other; in short, the silence, the order and the neatness that here reign, serve to recal the idea of a monastery to those who have seen one, and will give no imperfect idea of such an establishment to those who have not had that advantage. This, however, never was a monastery, but only a hospital for the support of ancient and infirm men, living together in a regular and devout manner; of which sort there was formerly an incredible number in the kingdom. It is true, that soon after the conversion of the island to Christianity, a monastery had been erected on the same spot, the original name of which was Sparkford ; but this having been destroyed by the Pagan Danes was never afterwards rebuilt. The first founder of the Hospital was Henry de Blois, the celebrated Bishop of Winchester, and brother to King Stephen, who instituted it about the year 1136, to provide thirteen poor men, who were otherwise unable to maintain themselves, with every necessary. They were required to reside in the house, and they were allowed each of them daily a loaf of good wheaten bread, of 3 lb. 4oz. weight, and a gallon and a half of good small beer. They had also a pottage called Mortrel, made of milk and Wastel bread; a dish of flesh or fish as the day should require, and a pittance for their dinner; likewise one dish for their supper. Besides these thirteen resident poor men, the foundation required that one hundred others, the most indigent that could be found in the city, but of good character, should be provided every day with a loaf of bread, three quarts of small beer, and two messes for their dinner, in a hall appointed for this purpose, called, from this circumstance, ‘Hundred Mennes Hall,' and as this was a very ample allowance, they were permitted to carry home with them whatever they did not consume on the spot. There was also a foundation for a master, with a salary of from 71. to 8l. annually, together with a steward, four chaplains, thirteen clerks, and seven choristers, the latter of whom were kept at school in the hospital, besides servants. The comptrollers and head administrators of this charity were, by the appointment of De Blois, the religious hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, whose peculiar institute was to take care of hospitals, and who had a preceptory at Baddesly, near Lymington in this county. But the succeeding bishop, Richard Tocclyve, disagreeing with the Hospitallers concerning the
administration of the hospital, at the instance of the sovereign Henry II., and on certain conditions agreed upon between the parties, they resigned their charge into the hands of the prelate and his successors. Tocclyve being bent upon the improvement of this charity, provided that an additional hundred poor persons should be supported on it, besides those appointed by his predecessor. In the end, however, he seems to have built and founded an hospital of his own, on the opposite side of the city.” Subsequently this hospital was much abused, and then reformed by William of Wykeham, who seems eminently to have succeeded in his many undertakings. Additional endowments were also conferred upon it by Cardinal Beaufort, for more priests and residents, and three nuns were added to it as attendants upon the sick brothers. A great part of the present structure was rebuilt by the Cardinal, whose kneeling statue is still existent in a niche on the upper part of the tower seen on entering the first court.
The Reformation did not suppress this hospital, like most others, but pared it down from seventy residents to thirteen. It abolished the Tv hundred menne's” daily dinner, but left the crust of bread and horn of small beer, of which numbers still partake daily. The charity puzzles the teetotallers, who reject the beer, and grumble at not receiving a double portion of bread.
Having passed the first gateway, and crossed a little court of low and stable-like buildings—those on the east having once been the Hundred mennes Hall, now a brewhouse- the visitor will receive at a little portal beneath the second gateway his crust of bread and horn of beer. Whilst thus regaling himself, he will not be insensible of the great beauty of the interior court, and the variety of each of its sides. On the south, the church and open meadows-on the west the low storied dwellings of the brothers, each with its lofty chimney-on the east, the cloistered ambulatory leading to the church. Here too he will find a brother of the hospital, who will act as his cicerone, and will conduct him through the church and the various buildings of the establishinent. He will leave him, too, to his own meditations, if the visitor desire it, and this privilege is especially welcome in the church, which as a specimen of early Norman architecture, cunningly devised and elaborately ornamented, is particularly deserving of careful study.
However, before visiting the church, which should be reserved as the last object, the visitor should see the refectory, pretty much in its original state, except its loss of stained glass, of which only remnants of Beaufort's arms and mottoes are left-not overlooking a triptich of the Virgin and Saints of about the age of Mabuse, hanging at the east end;—the kitchen, picturesque in every corner, with ancient apparatus and a most huge chimney ;-the rooms said to have been tenanted by Cardinal Beaufort himself, not suggestive of over much comfort according to modern notions, with their plastered flooring and imperfect means of ventilation, situate one above the other, high up a narrow corkscrew staircase, inconvenient of access for old or gouty legs;—the bird's-eye view of the hospital and its neighbourhood from the tower;—the nuns' rooms and the view into the north transept of the church from them. The visitor should miss none of them.
This hospital has suffered little from alterations of any kind, and all its remains are essentially the same as in their original structure. All parts abound in subjects for picture inaking, but no part possesses so