15. COVKNT GARDEN.
above, which contains the most curious object in the whole collection.
This is an Egyptian sarcophagus, found in IS IT by Belzoni in a tomb in
the valley of Beiban el Maluk, near the ancient Thebes, and consisting
of a piece of alabaster or arragonite, 9 ft. 4 in. long, 3 ft. 8 in. wide,
and 2 ft. 8 in. deep at the head, covered both internally and externally
with hieroglyphics and figures. A light placed in the sarcophagus shines
through the alabaster, which is 2'/2 inches in thickness. The hieroglyphics
are interpreted as referring to Sethos I., father of Ramses the Great. On
the E. side of this, the lower part of the Museum, is the Monlment Court,
with an 'architectural pasticcio', showing various styles, in the centre.
The above mentioned chapel, which is known as the Monk's Parloik,
contains objects of mediaeval and Renaissance art and some Peruvian
antiquities. The Oratory, in its N.E. corner, contains a fine Flemish
wood-carving of the Crucifixion. The remaining rooms on the ground-floor
(to which we now re-ascend) are filled with pictures, statuary, architectural
fragments, models, and bronzes. In the Breakfast Room are some choice
illuminated MSS., including the 'Conversion of St. Paul by Giulio CloVio
after Raphael, and Stoning of St. Stephen after Giulio Romano, with fine
ornamentation. Also a pistol which once belonged to Peter the Great.
The first floor contains, among numerous other articles, the celebrated
series of pictures of the Rake's Progress, by Hogarth (8 in number), and
a carved ivory and gilt table and some chairs from the palace of Tippoo
Sahib at Seringapatam. In the second room , at the window, is a small
but choice collection of antique gems, chiefly from Tarentum. It also
contains a 'Landscape by J. van Ruysdael; a Sea-piece by Turner: The
Cave of Despair, by Eastlake; and various architectural designs by Sir
John Soane. In the glass cases in the middle of the room are ex¬
hibited the first three folio editions of Shakspeare, an original MS. of
Tasso's 'Gerusalemme Liberata', and two sketch-books of Sir Joshua
Reynolds. On the second floor are exhibited cork-models of ancient
temples and several more pictures.
The museum also contains a collection of valuable old books
and MSS., most of which are only shown to visitors by special
permission of the Curator. The most interesting of them are,
however, those exhibited on the first floor (see above).
The Floral Hall (PL L9), in Bow Street, adjoining the Royal
Italian Opera, Covent Garden, a Crystal Palace in miniature, will
scarcely repay a visit. It is sometimes used for concerts, in
connection with the Covent Garden Theatre (p. 34). Near it is
Bow Street Police Court, the most important of the thirteen metro¬
politan police courts of London. In the immediate vicinity, between
Catherine Street and Drury Lane, is Drury Lane Theatre (p. 35).
Covent Garden Market (PI. L9), the property of the Duke of
Bedford, is the principal vegetable, fruit, and flower market in
London, and presents an exceedingly picturesque and lively scene,
particularly between 4 and 7 on the mornings of Tuesdays, Thurs¬
days, and Saturdays, the market-days (comp. p. 21). The show
of fruit and flowers is one of the finest in the world, presenting
a gorgeous array of colours, and diffusing a delicious fragrance.
The neighbourhood of Covent Garden is full of historic mem¬
ories. The name reminds us of the Convent Garden belonging
to the monks of Westminster, which in Ralph Aggas's Map of Lon¬
don (1652) is shown walled around, and extending from the Strand
to the present Long Acre, then in the open country. The Bedford
family received these lands (seven acres, of the yearly value of
Baedeker, London. H