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French T roeps Massacred -

Alarm at Athens. ---------------










WELSH COUNTRY HOMES. XVII I-Green meadow. a LORD BEACONSFIELD'S VISITS. A Great Statesman's Romance. The natural sequel to the article which we published last week dealing with the ancient-, home of the Lewis of Van family, is one des- cribing their present residence at Green- meadow where Col. and Mrs Henry Lewis worthily maintain the fine old traditions which charact erised their ancestors in the past. Greenmeadow nestles in a hollow of green- ery on the eastern slope of the Taff Valley, some four miles north of Cardiff on the road to Pontypridd, and adjacent to the hamlet of Tongwynlais. Above it frowns the towers of Castell Coch, which occupies the site of the ancient citadel of Ivor Bach, from whom, through the Lewises of New House and of Llanishen and the Lewises of Van, Col. Lewis can claim direct descent. An Old Religious House. The present mansion, which faces nearly due south, occupies the site of an ancient religious house. Documentary records regarding the latter are very scanty, but it would appear to have been fortified, a very necessary precau- « GREENMEADQW, THE MAIN FRONT. tion one would suppose, considering its position in the disputed area between Celt and Norman, which was the cockpit of so many skirmishes and raids centuries ago. In those days it had a wall all round it; in fact, this re- mained until well on into the last cen- tury, for Col. Lewis recalls the fact that his father, the late Mr Henry Lewis, told tiirn that as a boy he remembered seeing the wall. The late Mr Henry Lewis was born in 1815, so that this outer defence must have stood till about 1830 if not later. This wall was of extraordinary thickness, so much so, in fact, that it t would have been possible to drive a coach round the top of a portion of it. The Present Mansion. When the present house was erected much of the old religious building was built into the the new fabric, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that the newer was built on to the older, for the existence of the massive walk of the old edifide would appear to have dictated in some measure the lines of the pre- sent house, which was erected about the beginning of the last century. At that time the present front, an illustration of which we append, was erected, but from time to time additions have been made, the latest of which includes a charming room which was built by the present owner on to the eastern end. Looking at the front one would be unable to I form any idea of the age- of portions of the I house, but when you come, under the kindly guidance of Col. Lewis, to explore the long I and narrow passages at the back of the in- terior you soon begin to realise that they are I of a period far more remote than a century ago. -The walls here are in parts fully three feet in I THE DINING-ROOM WITH CARVED OVERMANTEL AND SIDEBOARD. I I thickness, and the general arrangement with its endless corners and staircases is quite in harmony with the theory that its architect WaIJ one of mediaeval ideas. Lord Beaconsfield and Greenmeadow. Before describing the interior of the house, reference must be made in passing to the charming romance which has been woven about Greenmeadow by its associations with the Earl of Beaconsfield.. When the great statesman published his novel Sybil he dedicated it to one whose noble spirit and gentle nature ever prompted her to sympathise with the suffering. To one whose sweet voice i has often encouraged, and whose taste and judgment have ever guided its pages, the most severe of critics, but a perfect wife." That was the beautiful tribute of Benjamin Disraeli himself to the lady who, before he married her, waA Mrs Wyndbam Lewis. Mr Disraeli was once private secretary to Mr Lewis, and it was aa the result of his influence and support that the future Prime Minister, then a young and unknown man, first entered Parliament for Maidstone. On the death of her first husband Mrs Wyndham Lewis resided at Greenmeadow, and it was hither that Mr Disraeli, during the scant and hard-earned leisure that his politicaf and literary labours left him, ilsed to come and pay,his addresses to her. Mr Disraeli on these occusions used to stay at laandaff, whence he would ride o^ walk across, stopping ofttimes to chat with mine host of the Cow and Snuffers," either going or returning. After Mrs Lewis became Mrs Disraeli they used Greenmeadow as their country house until they bought Hughenden, when Greenmeadowwas handed over to Mrs Henry Lewis, the grandmother of the present owner, who, with her family, went to reside there. An Ideal Marriage. Mrs Wyndham Lewis was a very bright and vivacious woman. Mr Disraeli's first impres- sion of her was that she was a flirt and a rattle," and he adds, she told me she like d silent, melancholy men. I answered that I had no doubt of it." But fuller knowledge of her character brought to light nobler traits of womanhood, and one likes to reflect upon the fact that the marriage so romantically initiated proved an ideally happy one. Let us leave this charming association of Greenmeadow with the well-merited tribute of which the famous historian, James Anthony Froude, paid to Lady Bear-onsfield She de- voted herself to Disraeli with a completeness which left no room in her mind for any other thought. She was his helpmate, his confidante, his adviser. From the first he felt the extent of his obligation to her, but the I sense of obligation, if at first felt as a duty, became a bond of friendship perpetually re- newed." Lord Beaconsfield used to visit at Greenmeadow during the lifetime.of the late Mr Henry Lewis, and Col. Lewis remembers, as a boy, seeing the great statesman there, and talking with him. Greenmeadow To-day. But the interests of Greenmeadow are not bounded by the associations of the past, for the present hospitable owners have enriched the interior of the house with spoils which they have accumulated in all parts of the world"; every nook and corner contains objects of beauty and interest which speak of delight- ful holidays spent in districts far remote from the tracts of the ordinary wayfarer. We arc indebted to Col. and Mrs Henry Lewis for a most enjoyable morning spent at. Greenmeadow recently, which enabled us to obtain many of the- facts set forth in this article. The house, though not as coun- try mansions go a very large one, possesses what, after aM, is much more, namely the virtue of comfort. When the newer portion was added, a century back, well proportioned rooms were built at the front, and here, to the right and left respectively of the pretty en- trance hall, are the dining-room and the draw- ing-room. Notable features of the dining-room are a fine carved oak mantelpiece and side- board, the latter of which is covered with old silver plate, some of which has a story to re- late. "Kati Coch Hunt at the Heath. Among the silver which adorns the side- board is an old whistling jug, so called be- cause at the bottom of the handle is a whistle, the idea of the maker being, no doubt, that when the person, quaffing his ale from the jug, had emptied it. he should whistle for more A century ago this jug was in the possession of Madame Price, of The Pare, at Capel Llan- hiltern. and she had in her service a maid named Kati Coch or Katie of the red hair. A gipsy made love to Katie, and the scamp succeeded in inducing her to assist him in stealing some of the silver from the house, among the stolen property being this jug. The gipsy, the instigator of the crime, got away, but poor Katie paid the penalty on the gallows at The Heath. She was the last woman who was hung there. Tale of an Eye-Witness. In connection with the hanging of Kati Coch," Col. Henry Lewis relates an interesting story. He recalls the fact. that years ago an old man named Abraham Williams told him that he was an eye-witness of that execution. Williams, who when he related the story was a great age, said that he himself saw Katie being driven in a cart to the gallows, and that she was sitting on her own coffin, and her red hair was hangmg over her neck and shoulders. Few people in Cardiff to-day know the exact Kfeite of the old gallows on The Heath. They were, says Col. Lewis, situated close to the readway which leads from Aliens bank-road to the house and on the present Heath estate. They occupied a site which may still be identi- fied, as there is a little tump there and a chimp of trees. Among many interesting pictures on the dining-room walls is an authentic portrait of Prince Charlie, one of those which Prince Charlie himself gave to his chief supporters, and which through the Duke of Orkney came subsequently into the possession of Mrs Lewis. I A Collection of Quaint Jugs. One of the prettiest rooms in the house is that which has within the past few years been built on to the eastern end of the house. This apartment has many interests, not the least of which is Col. Lewis' collection of Toby jugs, of which there a about 250, and hardly any two of which areVlike. These are arranged on a high shelf all the way round the wall, form- ing a sort of frieze, while round the fireplace recess there are several rows. They form the quaintest collection imaginable, and are in such endless variety that a very amusing hour or more may be spent in examining them. They have many of them been obtained by Col. Lewis himself from Welsh cottages. On a wall at the end of the room is a painting of." Little Chariie," the first Welsh horse that won the Grand National. It was owned by the late Mr Henry Lewis, and was ridden by Fred Archer's father, and won the classic event after starting at the useful price of 10 to 1 against. There are some interesting specimens of ancient arms on the wall, includ- ing a Dervish sword, and another sword which was used at the battle of St. Fagan's. On a stand in the corner hangs a driving whip which once belonged to King George IV. Quaint and Rare Curios. There are several large cabinets in this room which are filled with rare curiosities, brought by Col. and Mrs Lewis from the ends of the earth. Notably among these are many treasures from the tombs of the Incas, wondrous ex- amples of ancient Peruvian civilisation of ages past. Many of these are of silver. There are also many notable finds from African tombs on the Upper Nile and other districts. • Then there are examples of the lares and penatefl ot South Sea Islanders, curiosities from China I and Japan, and there is a cabinet of costly } Nantgarw china, including one dainty tea- cup which was sent out from the pottery, which, of course, was only two or three males distant, without being painted. In the Drawing-room. The drawing-room at Greenmeadow, like so many other parts of the house, be- speaks the clever artistic tastes of its gracious chatelaine. The ceiling, which is quite a triumph of the decorative art, is blue, and is representative of the firmament. There, as you sit in an easy chair and gaze upwards, you may see Ursa Major, and Orion and Cassiopeia, and the other con- stellations, all radiant above while the moon in her jour quarters fills the corners. The whole idea is daring, but it is wooderfaUy effective. Space does not permit of a mention of a tithe of the interesting contents of the drawing-room, which includes one of the last of the Bison rugs brought by Col. and Mis Lewis from the extreme north of North America, and some fine Japanese cabinets. The entrance hall and stairc £ ifc are also filled with interest- ing objects which beguile one to tarry and ex- amine them at leisure. Here in a cabinet is a daintily fashioned tea service of either Cope- land or CoaJport china, beautifully painted by Mrs Lewis herself, while on the long shelf to the left hand of the staircase is a large collec- tion of bowls, the accumulation of which has been a great delight to her. Some of them are representative of English potteries, inclnd- ing the products of Worcester and Lowestoft, while others are' fine Nankeen and other oriental makes. A Lewis of Van. Prominent upon a side-table at the top of the staircase is a fine bust of Thomas Lewis, of Van, who died in 1736, and whose daoghter married the third Earl of Plymouth. On the walls of the staircase, as in other parts of the house, are many water colour drawings, which are the work of Mrs Lewis. Many of them display a deal of real artistic feeling, but she herself modestly disclaims any merit and remarks that she values them because they bring back to her mind many charming scenes which she and CoL Lewis have visited in their long travels. Mrs Lewis has in her boudoir a very fine overmantel of Elizabethan date. Here also are bookshelves galore, filled to over- flowing. with well chosen and well read volumes, evidence of their owner's wide literary appre- ciations. One of the treasures of this cosy apartment is a charming little painting of primroses, the handiwork of Francois Millet, the son of the creator of The Angelus and The Sower," and presented by him to Mrs Lewis. In other corners of this delightful country home the spo instincts of Col. Lewis are manifest in fine old prints of hunting scenes and other countryside pursuits or in pictures of favourite dogs of which Col. Lewis has a faithful and well cared for retiirael always in attendance upon him. Greenmeaidow, in a word, reflects in every nook and corner the tastes and instincts .of its kindly and hospit- able owners. Next week-DYNEVOR CASTLE.




Prince's Record Climb. .

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