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amounts to about 7000; and, with the exception of a few modern works of imagination, there is scarcely a volume that does not possess great intrinsic value, as well as the fictitious value which certain bibliomaniacs attach to tall folios, morocco and crimson velvet bindings, &c. A brief notice of a few of these treasures, selected for description almost at random, may be acceptable to some of my readers.
An illuminated MS. on vellum, of " BOCHA'S FALLES OF PRYNCES, IN INGLYSCH." The capital letters of this manuscript are beautifully illuminated. It is of the time of Richard III., and was translated at his command, while Duke of Gloucester.
MISSALE ROMANUM-MS. on vellum, embellished with miniatures, the borders consisting of flowers and fruits, with grotesque and arabesque ornaments, very highly finished.
BREVIARIUM ROMANUM-MS. on vellum, with illuminations of grotesque borders and ornaments. The dresses of the figures are evidently Saxon; and it is presumed, that it was executed in the reign of Henry II.; as many of the sports and games of the English are represented at the bottom of the page. Folio.
MS. on vellum, of LES REMEDES DE LA BONNE ET ADVERSE FORTUNE, by Petrarque. Besides illuminated capitals, and arms of Louis XII., to whom the work is dedicated by the translator, each volume is ornamented with a beautifully executed emblematical frontispiece, and arabesque borders finished in the highest manner. The frontispiece in the second volume represents Fortune in the distance, blindfolded, and holding a wheel: a group of figures in the foreground;-" Adversite," sitting on a stool, in rags, with bare feet and legs, and her hand on her heart; "Craintle," as a nun in black garments and hood; "Raison," as a female in blue garments, with white veil.
There are also manuscripts of more modern date, either relating to Belvoir Castle, or written by members of this noble family. Of these the most remarkable are a "Pindarique Ode on Belvoir Castle," written in 1679. This poem was first printed in the Harleian Miscellany, vol. iv. p. 527; and afterwards by Nichols, in the appendix to the second volume of his History of Leicestershire. It is valuable chiefly on account of the description it gives of the character of Belvoir Castle at the period in which it was written, and of the works of art, which the Castle then contained.
A second series of Manuscripts is described as "Letters from Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, and various other letters and papers, from 1591 to 1609;" "Letters from Elizabeth, Lady Annesley, afterwards Countess of Anglesey, to her mother, Frances, eighth Countess of Rutland;" "Letters and Papers (miscellaneous), from 1564 to 1661. Amongst these papers is a very curious letter from the Earl of Huntingdon, relative to the Gunpowder Plot, dated 7 Nov. 1605."
The Library is rich in divinity, classics, and illustrated works. I noticed on the shelves the following, which may serve as a specimen of its general character:-Kennicott's Biblia Hebraica, Oxon. 1780; a splendid folio copy of the Septuagint, Frankfort, 1597; Walton's Polyglott, 4 vols. folio, London, 1657;-several of the ancient Fathers, of editions from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, published chiefly on the Continent;—the principal works of the Reformers and most eminent Divines of the Anglican Church. Of illustrated works, I may mention Dugdale's Monasticon, folio, large paper, London, 1817-1830; Lodge's Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, 4 vols. folio, large paper, London, 1821-1832; Claude's Liber Veritatis, engraved from the originals in the possession of the Duke
of Devonshire, Boydell, 1777; Horsley's Britannia, folio, large paper, 1732.
There is also in one of the lock-up cases, (No. 11,) a very interesting collection of original drawings by the great masters :-Claude Lorraine, Polidoro, Agostino and Annibale Caracci, Domenichino, Berghem, Correggio, Vanni, Schidone, Titian, Rothenhamer, Apresso, Tintoretto, Parmegiano, Raffaele, Giorgi Vasari, Breughel, (a study of birds,) Guido Reni, Swanvelt, Rembrandt, Pietro da Cortona, Andrea del Sarto, Girolamo Mazzuolo, Elsheimer, Rubens, Pordenone, Ludovico Caracci, Guercino, Poussin, "Van Dyck f. 1622," Leonardo da Vinci, Julio Romano, Pyrrho Ligoris, (study of heads,) Mola, Barocci, Sachtleven, Ostade, Wouvermann, Paolo Veronese, Botticelli, Bassano, (adoration of the shepherds,) &c.
Over the fireplace, there is a full-length portrait, the size of life, of Suleima, successively Persian interpreter to the late Lord Exmouth, and the present Queen; painted by Hayes. He is represented as a handsome man, in Turkish costume, standing at a table, with books and manuscripts open before him. Suleima was formerly an occasional visitor at Belvoir Castle; and is described as a man of a highly intellectual character, with great suavity of manners.
Going out of the library, through folding doors, opposite to those by which we entered, we proceed into an anteroom, communicating with the chapel, the apartments of the late Duchess, and a passage to the private apartments of the family.
In this anteroom are the following portraits :- Lady Chaworth (knee-piece); whole-length of "John, ninth Earl, created Marquis of Granby and Duke of Rutland, 1703;" Bridget, wife of the third Duke of Rutland, and heiress of Robert Sutton, Lord Lexington (in a sitting
posture); Lucy, second wife of the second Duke of Rutland. These portraits were all painted by Sir Peter Lely. The figure in black is said to have been painted by Van Dyck.
Passing through the dressing-room, (21 feet by 10,) we come to the
BOUDOIR OF THE LATE DUCHESS,
left precisely in its original state. To this sweet apartment, it was the custom of the lamented Duchess to retreat, whenever an intermission in the demands of her elevated rank permitted her to indulge in pursuits congenial to her highly cultivated mind. And a more appropriate retreat can scarcely be imagined. The oriel window commands a view of those splendid masses of foliage on Blackberry-hill, in the formation of which, her own creative taste was so eminently distinguished. And amidst this beautiful scene, which she loved so well in life, it was her anxious desire to rest in death. The two silver firs, whose tops may be distinguished above the surrounding foliage, mark the spot which she had chosen for her resting-place, and the site of the mausoleum where her remains are interred.
From the other window, the landscape, though greatly varied, is, if possible, still more beautiful. The eye, passing over the foliage on the terraces immediately below the Castle, is refreshed by a beautiful expanse of water; immediately beyond which, is rising ground covered with plantations. The village of Woolsthorp, in the valley, a little to the left, with the spire of its simple church, is sufficiently distant to form a sweet feature in this scene of rural repose. At a more remote distance, the magnificent mansion of Mr. Gregory forms a terminal point for the eye to rest upon, near the horizon of the landscape.
The internal character of this room is rather that of simple elegance, than elaborate decoration. It is 22 feet 4 inches long, by 19 feet 6 inches wide; the length being increased by the depth of the bay, 6 feet 3 inches more. The ceiling is coved, and decorated with gilded mouldings and cornice. Beneath the latter there is a series of classical designs, bronzed on a warm, salmon-coloured ground, emblematic of the elegant taste, and accomplishments, and useful pursuits, of the Duchess :-Apollo and the Muses; Minerva, and female attendants with fruit and flowers; Mercury, accompanied by females holding various emblems There are also, in single panels round the
room, many repetitions of Venus and Cupid.
There are a few first-rate gems of the pictorial art in this room, intermixed with others, whose principal value is of a domestic kind.
A view of Belvoir Castle. Wright. This view gives the south-east and north-west sides, which includes the tower, in which this room is situated.
The present Marquis of Granby. Ferneley. The marquis is represented as a child on a grey pony, attended by a groom (Akerman) with dead hare and greyhounds.
Battle-piece. Van der Meulen. On panel; about 7 inches by 6. £10.
ANTHONY FRANCIS VAN DER MEULEN, born at Brussels, in 1634, was a disciple of Peter Sneyers, an eminent battle painter, under whom he improved with extraordinary rapidity. While he was pursuing his profession at Brussels, it happened, that some of his works were taken to Paris, and shown to the minister, Colbert, who was so pleased with them, that he invited him to Paris, on very honourable and advantageous conditions. His talents as a battle painter recommended him to Louis XIV., whom he always accompanied in his campaigns. He designed on