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Chester was a station of considerable importance in the time of the Romans. In all probability Christianity had, under their rule, extended its blessings to this remote corner of the world. But, when the legionaries were recalled to Italy, and the Saxon pagans had overspread the land, the light of the gospel was well-nigh, if not entirely, extinguished here. Ere long, however, Christianity was again introduced, and paganism entirely rooted out. There is a legend-it does not appear to deserve a better name-that Wolphere, the first Christian king of Mercia, founded a nunnery at Chester in 670, for his daughter Werburgh and some other virgins. But, whatever foundation there may be for this story, it would seem certain that there was here, pretty early in the Saxon times, a religious house, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, to which it is said that in 875 the relics of St. Werburgh were brought, as to a place of safety. This monastery was afterwards repaired by Elfleda, countess of Mercia, as a foundation for secular canons, and it was also largely indebted to the munificence of kings Edmund and Edgar, and other benefactors. But in the year 1093, at the instigation of the celebrated Anselm, then archbishop of Canterbury, Hugh Lupus, earl of Chester, ejected the seculars, and settled in their place a company of Benedictine monks from Bec, in Normandy, Anselm's own monastery; Richard, Anselm's chaplain, being the first abbot. In the possession of this order St. Werburgh's church continued

Winkles's Cathedrals and other accounts have

been consulted. It is satisfactory to see that Winkles's work is now likely to be completed.






(London: Joseph Rogerson, 24, Norfolk-street Strand.)


till the dissolution by king Henry the eighth.

It seems probable that Chester was in the early Saxon times the seat of a bishop. In a later age we know that it was united to the see of Lichfield, and that, shortly after the conquest, the bishops of Lichfield fixed their residence here for many years. At the reformation, a separate see was erected in this city; and the abbey-church of St. Werburgh became the cathedral of the new diocese, being dedicated to Christ and the blessed Virgin.

No part of the present fabric can be supposed earlier than the time of Hugh Lupus; and even the portions of that date are few. They are chiefly to be found in the north transept, the northern aisles of the nave and choir, and a part of the cloister court. The choir, as at present existing, is supposed to have been begun about the middle of the thirteenth century; while the nave was not completed as it now stands till nearly three hundred years later.

Chester cathedral is in the form of an The western front is not irregular cross. imposing in fact, it is in an unfinished state, and is disfigured by a building jutting out against it. It was doubtless the original design to erect two western towers; and of the northern one the foundations still remain : the place of the southern is occupied by the consistory court. The west entrance exhibits a Tudor arch, inclosed within a square head. On each side are four niches, and pedestals, on which statues were placed. Above is the great west window of eight lights, with elaborate tracery. This front is flanked by octagonal turrets, with belts of panelled


tracery, and embattled parapets. On turning | noble buildings, as it were into distinct por

tions, by lofty screens, destroying thus the sense of vastness which their magnitude and the character of Gothic architecture are well calculated to inspire in the spectator: but nowhere have I seen, except in Scotland, an interior so marred as in Chester cathedral. There are actually two churches formed under the same roof. For not only is a heavy screen and organ interposed between the nave and choir, but the southern wing of the transept is partitioned off to make a parish church. There may be a scarcity of churches in Chester, and this, as a temporary expedient, might be unobjectionable; but surely an additional church ought to be erected, and the cathedral left free to its own particular office.

The central tower stands on four massy piers: above the arches is a flat wooden ceiling. Five pointed arches separate the choir from the aisles on each side: above these is an arcade of pointed arches, support

to the south, we find behind the consistory
court a rich and deep porch. The south
side of the nave with its aisle is plain, yet
striking; but the most remarkable feature of
this part of the church is the south wing of
the transept. Instead of resembling the
northern wing, as is generally the case, this
is nearly as long as the nave or the choir,
broader than either, and with aisles on each
side; while the north wing is very short,
only as broad as a side of the central tower,
and without aisles. The aisles of the choir
extend to the east beyond the choir itself, and
form the aisles of the Lady chapel at the
extreme eastern end of the church. The
eastern window of the choir is seen over this
chapel; but the whole of this part of the
cathedral is of very plain pretensions. On
the north side is the chapter-house and clois-
ter, to which is attached a building used as a
school. By far the best external feature of
this cathedral remains yet to be described.
This is the central tower, rising at the inter-ed
section of the transepts with the nave and
choir. It is only of one story above the roof:
still it is lofty, and of imposing appearance.
In each side are two pointed windows, with
a single mullion down the middle, and a quatre-
foil at the top. All of them have crocketted
canopies with finials. At the four angles of
the tower are four octagonal turrets, termi-
nated, as the tower itself is, with an embattled
parapet. The material of which this church
is composed is a red and crumbling sand-
stone. This detracts from its character,
causing it, on nearer inspection, to look dila-
pidated: still it is not under some circum-
stances a disadvantage. When the writer
first visited Chester, it was on a splendid
summer's evening that he approached this
antique city. The rays of the departing sun
gave the old tower of the cathedral a richer
hue, and its dark red walls glowed with the
mellow light, impressing on his memory a
picture which will not easily be effaced.

Entering through the western doorway, we descend by several steps into the nave; and the first feeling is perhaps one of disappointment. There is no triforium: the ceiling is flat, and of wood, resting on wooden brackets. It would seem, however, that it was the original plan to vault the roof with stone, and some indications are left of the commencement of this work. The clerestory is lofty; the windows deeply recessed with galleries, constructed through the intervening piers. The pillars of the nave are clustered with rich bases and foliated capitals; the arches are pointed. I have before had occasion, in describing other cathedrals, to animadvert on the miserable taste which separates these

by slender shafts: higher still are the clerestory windows. The pavement is of black and white marble; and there are stalls on each side. The bishop's throne is interesting. It is the stone case of the shrine of St. Werburgh, and is a rich specimen of Gothic architecture, finely decorated with carved work, and embellished with a range of thirty curious little statues, variously habited and gilt, holding in their hands scrolls originally inscribed with their names, but now defaced. It has been supposed that they were intended to represent kings and saints of the royal Mercian line, relatives of St. Werburgh. In the south aisle of the choir is an altar tomb, which tradition appropriated to Henry the fourth, emperor of Germany; but, as this prince was interred first at Liege, and afterwards at Spires, it seems difficult to imagine what connexion he could have with a sepulchre in Chester cathedral. The tomb was doubtless that of one of the later abbots. In the choir are also the monuments of

bishops Stratford and Peploe. Under the east window is an arch opening into the Lady chapel, which consists of a middle and two side aisles, the stone vaulting of which is ornamented with richly carved key-stones.

The chapter-room is an elegant building, 35 feet high, 50 feet long, and 26 broad. The cloisters form a quadrangle of 110 feet square: the south walk and the dormitory over the east walk are destroyed.

The dimensions of the cathedral are

Length from east to west
Length of nave..
Length of choir
Length of Lady chapel
Length of transept from north to south

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80 0

persons clustered together, and one standing by himself a little way apart. The former seemed to be raising something from the ground. A horrid suspi-cion at once flashed upon my mind, and I hurried across the field to the group; and O! shall I ever forget the spectacle? there lay a gentleman upon Breadth of north wing of transept....... 39 0 the grass, his head just supported upon another's The first bishop, on the erection of the see knee, while a surgeon was examining a wound in his in 1541, was Bird. Among later prelates side, from which the blood trickled fast: blood was who have sat on the throne of St. Werburgh, also gushing from his mouth. A pistol had fallen at we find the eminent names of Morton, Brian his feet; and at a little distance stood his unhappy Walton, Wilkins, Pearson, Porteus, Blom-antagonist, pale and haggard, still grasping the deadly field, and Sumner. weapon in his hand, and fixing intently his eyes upon his fallen victim. They were both personally known to me: the wounded man was a Mr. H., at whose hospitable board I had sat but that day week, and

The old diocese of Chester contained the counties of Chester and Lancaster, with parts of Westmoreland, Cumberland, Yorkshire, Denbighshire, and Flintshire. By the new arrangement it is to comprise Cheshire, Flintshire, and part of Shropshire, and to be altogether in the province of York.

saw him in health and cheerfulness, the beloved The other was a

husband, the honoured parent.

captain F., an officer quartered at a neighbouring


market-town. Just as I reached the spot, the surgeon, rising, said in mournful accents, "I am deeply grieved to tell you that there is no hope: the wound must prove mortal in a few hours." Captain F. POSTHUMOUS PAPERS OF ISAAC EMERSON. slapped his forehead vehemently with his hand :

No. VI.

"Merciful God, forgive me! am I then a murderer?"
He staggered a few paces and leaned against a tree,
almost overcome with mental agony.

ABOUT a mile from my residence at E- was a retired little nook, whither in summer I used often to resort with some favourite volume, on which I could occupy myself secure from interruption. In order to reach this sequestered spot, I had to turn off from the high road just by a water-mill, where a narrow winding lane conducted me to the entrance of a small wood. Passing through this, I came into a triangular field, enclosed on two sides by the wood, and on the third by a remarkably high quick-set hedge. In this field a few cows were generally grazing; but other living being was rarely seen there. At the farther extremity I used to climb a gate, and, pursuing for a few yards a tangled path, I turned short round a jutting limestone rock, and found myself in a kind of natural alcove, with overhanging trees, and a clear stream murmuring and sparkling about twenty feet below me. I took a little pains to make myself a rude seat; and here I often spent an hour in the freshness of the morning, or sought shelter from the hot rays of the noon-day sun.

One day in the latter end of June I had risen early, and, with my favourite Herbert in my pocket, sought my pleasant hermitage. After reading about an hour, I was reminded by the distant church-clock striking seven, that it was time to return home to my solitary breakfast. I therefore closed my book, and, while gazing for a moment at the ocean, which I could just see through a break in the range of hills to the far east, glowing like molten gold in the sun, I was startled by the double report, as it seemed, of a gun at no great distance behind me. It was not the shooting season, and I could not at first account for the explosion; but, soon settling it in my mind that some farmer's boy was protecting, as he imagined, his master's corn, I commenced my walk homeward. I had just climbed the gate into the meadow, when before me, by the side of the wood, I espied three or four

Breadth of nave, choir, and aisles
Height of nave and choir

Height of Lady chapel
Height of tower

Length and breadth of south wing of tran


74 6
78 0
33 0
127 0

It was deemed unadvisable to convey Mr. H. to his own house, and therefore he was carried as gently as possible to the mill at the head of the lane turning from the high road, which was but a quarter of a mile distant. Here he was laid upon a humble but very clean bed, and received every attention that could be paid him from the miller's family; while I was despatched on the miserable errand of acquainting Mrs. H. with the fearful tidings. I was soon at H-park, and as I passed up the avenue-endeavouring with little success to calm my own mind, so as in the gentlest way to break the news-I was unexpectedly met by Mrs. H. herself, who, leading one of her little boys by the hand, was enjoying a stroll through the delightful grounds. "Good morning, Mr. Emerson," she said, "I hope you are come to breakfast with us. I expect my husband every moment: he went out about an hour ago to give some directions, I fancy, at the farm. He will be delighted to see you." Then observing my uncontrollable emotion, she suddenly changed her tone-" O! Mr. Emerson, are you ill? or has-has-any accident happened?" I cannot describe the scene which followed: it was one of the most painful moments of my life. She was speechless for some moments. I feared she would have fainted. But Mrs. H. was a real Christian, and she looked in that trying hour for more than earthly help. At last she said-"This is indeed a heavy dispensation." Kneeling upon the grass, she made her child kneel too, and raising her clasped hands and streaming eyes to heaven, "O my God, my compassionate Saviour," she cried, "lay not upon me a weightier burthen than thou wilt enable me to bear: O Father of the fatherless, Husband of the widow, have pity upon us." Little Henry sobbed too; but he was too young to comprehend the extent of his misfortune. Then, suddenly rising, she said to me-" Lead me to him: I must go to him directly." The child was carried back

to the house by a servant, and I attended the unhappy | Mr. and Mrs. H. Stretched upon the bed, pale and
lady to the mill.

motionless, his anxious eye gazed unquietly upon her
as she entered. He had but just recovered his con-
sciousness, and still could not utter articulate words.
But O how angel-like did gentle, Christian, woman
minister beside that couch of anguish! Suppressing
her own emotion, she moistened his parched lips, she
cooled his burning brow, she pressed his clammy
hand, she spoke of the compassionate Saviour; and,
with soft but sometimes faltering voice, urged on her
beloved one the virtue of that blood which can wash
all sin away.

After offering a brief prayer I left the house, and
sought capt. F. Incapable of flight, he had been
apprehended by the peace-officers, and was then
awaiting an examination before a neighbouring ma-
gistrate. I never witnessed greater agony of spirit.
"O, Mr. Emerson," he cried, when he saw me,
"would that I had borne all the taunts that could
have been flung upon me!-would that I had risked
all consequences—aye, even quitted my profession—
rather than embrue my hands in blood. Unjust
compulsion-fatal compliance! I would give ten
worlds, if I possessed them, to undo this dreadful

At an early hour in the afternoon, I was summoned
by a hasty messenger to the mill-house. Mr. H.
was dying. As I entered, I saw that indeed all was
almost over. His unhappy wife was kneeling beside
him; but he seemed to know her not. A thick film
was stealing over his eyes, and the hand of death
plainly was on him. His two eldest children, brought
to see their father for the last time, were standing in
frightened sadness at the foot of the bed. The bible,
which Mrs. H. had been reading, yet lay open. He
had been glad to listen to her, but scarcely had he
been able to say anything to her. Occasionally he
muttered something; and I thought I could distin-
tinguish-" God be merciful to me a sinner." I took
up the book, and read from the sacred page the
words which first caught my eye-" Let the wicked
forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his
thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he
will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will
abundantly pardon." He evidently understood the
words, for he made a strong effort to speak; but it
was too much for him. After a short struggle, his
head sunk back upon the pillow, his features settled,
his jaw gradually dropped, and in a few minutes
Arthur H. had left, at the early age of 26, his chil-
dren orphans, his wife a widow. Over his untimely
fate I must drop a veil. It is not for me to judge
how an all-merciful but yet an all-just God may have
dealt with him: to the great day of final retribution
that secret must be left; but this I must say, that, if
such a death-bed does not altogether exclude a hope,
it cannot extinguish fear.

Captain F. was tried, and acquitted because, as
usual in such cases, it was esteemed sufficient that
there had been nothing unfair in the duel. He con-
tinued, however, as long as I knew him, a melancholy
man. In about two years his regiment went to India,
and some months afterwards I saw his death in a

Mrs. H. exhibited a rare example of Christian

But what was the cause of this fatal quarrel? Mr. H. and captain F. had met two days before at the town of Ton an occasion of public business, which was terminated by a dinner. In the evening a disagreement had taken place on some trifling topic, and, an opinion in rather strong terms having been given by the captain, Mr. H. had hastily, and perhaps somewhat excited by wine-though let me carefully say that he never indulged to a degree at all approaching intoxication-expressed himself contemptuously both of the opinion and of the individual who had uttered it. Friends immediately interfered, and separated the disputants. Next morning captain F., who was a mild-tempered man, was very willing to overlook what had passed; but his brother-officers, observing his hesitation, gave him distinctly to understand that his honour required satisfaction, and that, unless he demanded it, they should be compelled to take very unpleasant steps. The captain was brave: he had distinguished himself in action; but he could not brook the idea of incurring the scorn of his companions: he therefore deputed a friend to wait on Mr. H. Mr. H. was good-natured, but highspirited he had been debating in his own mind whether he had not been most in the wrong, and whether he ought not to make some retractation; but, the moment he was apprised that satisfaction was demanded, his pride took fire-he should be deemed a coward to yield a jot. The preliminaries were therefore adjusted by the seconds, the parties met in the place I have described, and this was the result. For a hasty word, which both parties were afterwards anxious to forget, the laws of honour had required blood.


Never, surely, is language more prostituted than when the term honour is so used. Honour, indeed! Is it honour to break God's strict command, and shed the blood of a fellow-creature? Is it honour proudly to resent a very often but imaginary offence; and, for it, to send a brother, with all his sins upon his head, to the bar of the eternal Judge? But it is courage. A man shews thereby that he dares venture his own life. Nay, it is rather cowardice. It is because he dares not withstand the world's contumely that, with an aching-aye, and with a trembling heart, he goes to take his appointed station. But it is necessary for keeping society in order, and checking the insults which would otherwise have to be endured, and would destroy the courtesy in which gentlemen must live together. Then I suppose the clergy, who are exempted from the operation of this said law of honour, are subjected to daily insults! Nay, a more studied respect is every where on this very account paid them; and he that should presume, on their allowed inability to demand a bloody satisfaction, to insult a clergyman, would, by common consent, be as much banished from society as he who refuses to fight a duel with a layman. O when will juster, more Christian, more humane notions prevail; and this practice, fit only for the barbarism of the savages we despise, be swept by the indignant public voice from our land?

Deeply affecting was it to witness the meeting of

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