Belle Skinner Journal Friday, August 26, 1887
Friday, Aug. 26
This morning we started on a long, long drive. We went first to Warwick Castle, and as the family was not at home, we were allowed to go see some parts of the buildings. We were shown three different drawing-rooms magnificently furnished, some rare and beautiful old china, a few paintings, and a fine collection of armour, among which was that worn by the giant Guy. Also his “porridge bowl”, a huge iron affair capable of holding enough food for one hundred men. The grounds about the castle are superb, filled with the real Cedars of Lebanon. In the Conservatory is the famous and marvelously beautiful Warwick vase. We climbed a high tower to get a view of the surrounding country, but were hardly paid. I don’t think towers are in our line. We next went into a dungeon, black as night, and
villainously damp, where several kings had been confined. It seems impossible to live more than a few days in such a place. Leaving Warwick, we drove on to Stratford-on-Avon. First getting a lunch, we went to Shakespeare’s house which was very interesting. We saw the room where he was born and many likenesses of him. Several letters written by him and the only letter in existence addressed to him. The fire-place in the sitting-room was huge with seats inside of it. In the adjoining museum we saw many relics of him such as his chair, etc. From his house we went to the village church, the birth burial place of Shakespeare. On the slab are the well-known lines-
“Good friend for Jesus sake forbear
to move the dust enclosed here.
Blest be he who leaves these stones
and cursed be he who moves my bones.”
In the church-yard is a stone on which is this inscription—
“The faults you saw in me
Pray try to shun?
And look at home
There’s something to be done.”
In the crypt we saw an old dunking machine for punishing scolding wives. We got several pictures of it. On our way back we saw the place where Shakespeare lived in his more prosperous years, but the house had been destroyed by fire. Then we saw the monument that Mr. Childs of Philadelphia is building to the memory of Shakesepare. It is to be a public fountain. This completed our sight-seeing for the day, and we drove back to Leamington “to[sic] full for utterance.”