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sense is not lost in sound. When the subject naturally admits of music in real life, to persons of taste the opera must unquestionably be a refined and exquisite entertainment. *
Before I mention one or two public collections of pictures, &c. in Pall Mall, it will be proper to attempt a description of CARLTON HOUSE, the palace of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent. Let me bespeak the candour and indulgence of the reader : the difficulty of free access to a royal palace like this, is easily conceived ; and without a loug, laborious, and constant personal investigation, it is impossible to do that justice to the description, which such a building necessarily demands. With the aid of Mr. Malcolm, and two personal visits to the palace, I have endeavoured to give the reader all the information I have been able to collect.
The front of Carlton House is too low, and consequently affords but one range of spacious apartments, recently connected by large folding doors, and thus opening to an enriched Gothic conservatory; but it allows of nothing more than a diminutive attic, with very small windows.
The façade has a centre and two wings, rusticated, without pilasters, an entablature, and balustrade which conceal the roof. The portico consists of six Composite columns, and a pediment with an enriched frieze, and a tympan, crowned with the prince's arms; but all the windows are without pediments, except two in the wingry.
The screen ought to be removed; though the architect has selected the Ionic order with judgment, as next to that of the palace. On the centre of the entablature of this handsome colonnade is a very neat military trophy, between the royal supporters. The capitals and cornices are modelled from clumsy and imperfect remains of antiquity, in preference to those imitated by Inigo Jones at the Banqueting house. Besides this error, he has made his basement high enough for a wall; indeed, it effectually screens the palace even from the opposite pavement,
aud • Geat. Mag. En. Brit, and Rees's Cyclopedia.
and gives it altogether a dark and heavy appearance. There are several magnificent apartments in this building, and the finest armoury in the world. The collection is so extensive, as to occupy four rooms, and consists of specimens of whatever is curious and rare, in the arms of every modern nation, with many choice specimens of ancient armour.
The gardens behind Carlton House are very beautiful, and fall as retired as if in the country. At the east end of the Palace are the stables, which are of brick, and semicircular : to say they are admirably contrived for the accommodation of the noble animals they contain is superfluous, when the predilection of the Prince for his stud is remembered.
Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of his present Majesty, purchased the original Carlton House and Gardens in the year 1732, of the Earl of Burlington. The necessary alterations for the reception of the Prince were begun in January 1733.
Flitcroft is said to have drawn a plan for the Prince in 1734, intended as an improvement to Carlton House; and Kent designed a cascade for the garden in the same year, where a saloon was erected in 1735, and paved with Italian marble brought to England by Lord Bingley and George Doddington, Esq. The walls are adorned by rich paintings and statues, and the chair of state was of crimson velvet embroidered with gold, which cost five hundred pounds. A bagnio near it consisted of encrusted marble.
Rysbrack sculptured statues of Alfred and Edward the Black Prince, which were placed on marble pedestals in the garden, 1735. The following inscriptions marked the characters of the two Princes :
“ Alfredo Magno, Anglorum Reipublicæ libertatisque Fundatori Justo, forti, bono, Legislatori, Duci, Regi, Artium Musarumque Fautori, emditissiino Patra Patri, posuit, F. W. P. 1735."
" Edwardo Edward Fertii Regis filio, optimo, piisrimo, Galliæ Debellatori, qui partio stresmè victoriis, modesté et clenierter usus laudem; anicuri alti, benevoti. verecundi, lauru omni triumphali, potiorem honestioremque merito sibi vindicavit, Principi prædarissimo antecessori et exemplari suo posuit, F. W. P. 1735.”
Such was Carlton House previous to 1788, when it was modernized at a vast expense. Mr. Holland was the architect. Report stated that this House is to be converted into an Egyptian Etruscan Palace, the extravagant coalition of the styles of the day; if so, the superb pillars of the hall, the niches, statues, cornices, ornaments, and enrichments of the state apartments must perish; for the graceful swells of the Grecian manner caunot be wrested to the uncouth forms of the Egyptian, which has nothing but novelty to recommend it to the British eye.
This report was very current a few years ago ; but is now, I believe, proved to have been unfounded. It is, however, intended to take down the clumsy screen, already described ; aud at this time (1815) many alterations are making in the interior, a circumstance which almost necessarily prevents me from going into minutiæ in this description.
The grand staircase, however, merits particular notice.
The directions given by Andrea Palladio respecting the formation of staircases are worth our observation, when describing this part of Carlton House. “ There ought,” says that great architect, *“ to be great care taken in the well placing the stair
for there is not a little difficulty to find a place convenient, so as the stairs may be distributed without prejudice or
See « The First Book of Architecture, by Andrea Palladio. Translated out of Italian ; with an Appendix touching Doors and Windows, by Pr. Le Muet, translated out of French, by G. R. (Godfrey Richards). To which are added Designs of Floors, lately made at Somerset House ; and the Framing of Houses after the manner of English Building, with their Proportions alle scanthings." Small 4to, 1663.