Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/175

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150 YORK MINSTER.

the Dispensary, the Retreat for the Insane, the Insti tution for the education of the Blind, the Charity Schools, and the twenty parish churches that diversify its bounds.

It seems impossible to be disappointed in York Minster, however high may have been previous expec tations. When you first gain a view of this mountain of ecclesiastical architecture, or, at entering, cast your eye through a vista of five hundred and twenty-four feet, or from the tessellated marble pavement gaze through column and arch up to the ribbed and fretted dome, ninety-nine feet above you, or catch the light of a thousand wreathed and trembling rainbows, through gloriously refulgent windows, you are lost in wonder and astonishment. Its different parts, nave, transept, choir, chapter-house, and crypt, with the rich decora tions of screen, statue, tracery, and monument, where sleep the illustrious dead, require many surveys, and repay all with the fulness of admiration. The original erection on this site is of great antiquity, and the pres ent edifice, though more than one hundred and fifty years in building, displays, amid variety of taste and style, great unity of design. It has loftily withstood the attacks of time and the depredations of war, but some portions have been considerably injured by recent conflagration, and are now in the process of repair. The magnificent swell of the organ, and the majesty and sweetness of the chants, especially during the Sabbath worship, seemed unearthly. Twice, on every weekday, the service of prayer and praise ascends

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