Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 276 by Various

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Page 1

The present cathedral is represented to have been merely the church of
the monastery, which was entirely rebuilt in the commencement of the
fourteenth century. The style of architecture in the different parts of
this cathedral is accurately discriminated in the following account from
the pen of Bishop Littleton, F.S.A.:--"The lower parts of the chapter
house walls," says he, "together with the door-way and columns at the
entrance of the chapter-house, may be pronounced to be of the age of
Stephen, or rather prior to his reign, being fine Saxon architecture.
The inside walls of the chapter-house have round ornamental arches
intersecting each other. The cathedral appears to be of the same style
of building throughout, and in no part older than Edward the First's
time, though some writers suppose the present fabric was begun in king
Stephen's time; but not a single arch, pillar, or window agrees with
the mode which prevailed at that time. The great gateway leading into
the College Green is round-arched, with mouldings richly ornamented
in the Saxon taste." From this account it appears probable that the
chapter-house and gateway are all the present remains of the ancient
monastery. The mutilations which the cathedral of Bristol has undergone,
are not entirely to be referred to the era of the dissolution of the
monasteries, since this structure suffered very considerably during
the period of the civil wars. The ruthless soldiers discovered their
barbarism by violating the sacred tombs of the dead, and by offering
every indignity which they supposed would be considered a profanation of
the places which the piety of their ancestors consecrated to religion.
At such instances of the violence of civil factions, the sensitive mind
shudders with disgust.

The cathedral of Bristol is rich in monumental tributes to departed
worth. Among them is an elegant monument, by Bacon, to Mrs. Elizabeth
Draper, the _Eliza_ of Sterne; and the classical tomb of the
Hendersons. Here, too, rests Lady Hesketh, the friend of Cowper; Powell,
of Covent Garden Theatre; besides branches of the Berkeley family, and
various abbots.

The bishopric of Bristol is the least wealthy ecclesiastical promotion
which confers the dignity of a mitre. Its revenue is generally stated to
amount to no more than five or six hundred pounds per annum. In the list
of bishops are Fletcher, father of the celebrated dramatist, the
colleague of Beaumont; he attended Mary Queen of Scots on the Scaffold;
Lake, one of the seven bishops committed to the Tower in the time of
James I.; Trelawney, a familiar name in the events of 1688; Butler, who
materially improved the episcopal palace of Bristol; Conybeare and
Newton, names well known in literary history; with the erudite
Warburton, whose name occurs in the list of deans of Bristol.

* * * * *


The time is out of joint.--_Hamlet._

A man of my profession never counterfeits, till he lays hold upon a
debtor and says he _rests_ him: for then he brings him to all
manner of unrest.--_The Bailiff, in 'Every Man in his Humour.'_

Run not into debt, either for wares sold or money borrowed; be content
to want things that are not of absolute necessity, rather than to run up
the score: such a man pays at the latter a third part more than the
principal comes to, and is in perpetual servitude to his creditors;
lives uncomfortably; is necessitated to increase his debts to stop his
creditors' mouths; and many times falls into desperate courses.


"The greatest of all distinctions in civil life," says Steele, "is that
of debtor and creditor;" although no kind of slavery is so easily
endured, as that of being in debt. Luxury and expensive habits, which
are commonly thought to enlarge our liberty by increasing our
enjoyments, are thus the means of its infringement; whilst, in nine
cases out of ten, the lessons taught by this rigid experience lead to
the bending and breaking of our spirits, and the unfitting of us for the
rational pleasures of life. All ranks of mankind seem to fall into this
fatal error, from the voluptuous Cleopatra to the needy philosopher, who
doles out a mealsworth of morality for his fellow-creatures, and who
would fain live according to his own precepts, had he not exhausted his
means in the acquisition of his experience.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Wed 3rd Jun 2020, 4:23