Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/256

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The ancient Norman castle of Harewood, that stood a few hundred yards from the modern mansion, was more remarkable for beauty of situation than strength. Its remains form a pleasing ruin, rearing their ivy-mantled walls from the broad declivity of a hill, which overlooks the wide vale watered by the river Wharfe. Its history is buried in the darkness of past ages;

" It has no name, no honourable note,
" No chronicle of all its warlike pride,
" To testify what once it was; how great,
" How glorious, and how fear'd."—

Its founder is unknown; and all that can be gathered of its history, is a barren list of the names of the families which successively possessed it, till its demolition by the Parliamentarian forces in the civil wars: its lords have been the De Courcies, the Fitz-alans, and the De Redvers. We extended our walk for half a mile beyond the castle, to visit the spot which had given occasion to one of the most beautiful dramatic compositions in our language—the play of ' Elfrida,' by Mr. Mason; who sacrificing historical truth to effect, has converted the perfidious wife of Athelwold into an angel of light, and fascinated us with a bewitching picture of ideal truth and constancy. The spot in which