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only ceased to form a part of the landscape which we are attempting to describe, but to be the proud ornament of the country round it. Some years ago it was destroyed by fire, and another phoenix has not yet arisen from what little the conflagration spared.
Such are the beauties of which Cookham possesses the view, and to which it offers in return its village scenery; in which the tower of the church is seen to predominate.
TAPLOW HOUSE is an ancient edifice, belonging to the Earl of Orkney, the possessor, also, of what once was Cliefden, and is a very picturesque object on the southern point of the long range of woody hills, whose northern and more elevated extremity was occupied by Cliefden. The walks formed in the hanging woods, that fall from and adorn it, are of considerable extent; and from buildings judiciously placed in commanding points, or openings, tastefully made, as inlets to particular objects, the country is seen in various directions; and the circumstances of it selected into distinct pictures. From an opening at the termination of the upper walk, what may now be called the mutilated brow of Cliefden, is seen across a woody chasm. In the bottom, the Thames appears divided into two branches, which form an island, whereon is distinguished the mansion of Sir George Young: beyond are the insulated grounds of Cookham House, the meads of Hedsor, and the rising country of Buckinghamshire. The lower walk, in Taplow woods, though it loses the great expanse of prospect, acquires something better in the perspective distinctness of its objects. The extent of horizon is lost, but the partial glimpses of it from particular points, or through selected openings, which the hand of taste has curiously provided for particular scenes, produces in the mind a more composed delight. From one shady seat, Windsor Castle appears insulated in foliage; and, from another, Eton College is seen in a similar frame-work of branching verdure. But this is not all:-many circumstances, both natural and accidental, which, from the higher stations, are either overlooked or involved in the wide circumference of prospect, acquire, from the more distinct and insulated view, an individual and interesting importance instead of being lost, as it were, in the extent of
surface, over which the eye hurries with indiscriminating impatience, they become predominant features in the chosen landscape.-The mills, which stretch from the banks of the river to the islands, with their rushing waters; the farms and cottages that are scattered about the nearer part of the country; the rural mansions which grace the shore, with all the navigating machinery of the stream, enliven, vary, and complete the prospect.
Taplow House was a place of confinement to the Princess Elizabeth, during the reign of her bigotted and tyrannic sister, Mary: and, in a predominating situation in the park, is a venerable oak, which tradition represents as having been planted by her during the period of her solitary residence at this place: but its present state of decay appears to suggest a much earlier period for its infant growth, if we may compare it with the Fairlop oak, and other trees of the same class, whose far greater antiquity has been clearly ascertained.