Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/224

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A drive of five miles brought us from Warwick to Kenilworth. It is scarcely necessary to say, that the ruinous, yet still beautiful castle, constitutes its sole claim to celebrity. Amid this antique edifice, vestiges still remain of the portions erected by "Old John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster." In better preservation are the Leicester buildings, reared by the haughty nobleman on whom Elizabeth bestowed the castle. Almost three centuries have passed since she so freely taxed the hospitality of her lavish favorite, and still the echo of their banqueting, which for seventeen days knew no interval, seem to reach our ears through the wizard pages of Sir Walter Scott.

Though, in the civil wars between Charles and Cromwell, falling into the possession of the latter,—it was dismantled and despoiled, I was not prepared to find it so entire a ruin. Dense masses of luxuriant ivy clasped and enfolded those broken arches and mouldering turrets, whence issued the pageantry and revels of royalty.

All silent! all deserted! The absence of life and