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hitherto treated him.
with a total loss of all honour, and a great portion of
* Your ladyship knows that I sent you a scrawl that consideration with which his Bath subjects had
* Last night, to attend at your ladyship’s call ; He received this fall through
• But I hear that your ladyship went to the ball.'
- O Fitchet !-don't ask me--good Heaven's preserve entering into a confederation with the keepers of a new
'I wish there was no such a thing as a nerve : game, called ' E.O., ' set up on purpose to evade the
‘Half dead all the night, I protest—I declarelaw, a certain portion of the profits of which he pock
“My dear little Fitchet, who dresses your hair ? eted, in consideration of the company he drew to it. "You 'll come to the rooms; all the world will be there!" Poor Nash was not a bit more corrupt than the mass of society at the time; but his position made it necessary for that society to turn its back upon him to save its Out of such materials as these Nash managed to own honour! The moral condition of Bath about the construct that social life which made Bath so famous middle of last the century, was, we confess, at the lowest in the last century, and which led to its material reebb, and its intellectual life was melancholy indeed. construction by the genius of the architect Wood. One forcible contrast will perhaps show the depravity We have before dwelt upon the insignificant appearof the period better than a thousand words.
ance of the city at the beginning of the eighteenth In the year 1760, subscription-rooms were opened century: at that time, it contained but two houses fit for prayers at the Abbey, and gaming at the rooms. At to receive any personages of condition ; but before its the close of the first day the number of subscribers for close it was one of the most splendidly-built places in prayers was twelve, and for gaming sixty-seven. This Europe. In the few minutes' breathing-time which is circumstance occasioned the following lines at the time : allowed at Bath, in the rapid rush from London to the “ The Church and Rooms the other day
West, the traveller has, from the platform of the railwayOpen’d their books for Prayer and Play:
station, a splendid view of the city. The foreground The Priest got twelve, Hoyle sixty-seven;
he sees filled with spires of churches—the Abbey sitting How great the odds for Hell 'gainst Heaven!" like a mother in the midst; the back-ground closed in
by the Lansdowne hills, up which terrace and crescent Not only in the universal love of gambling was the climb, until they appear almost to kiss the sky. Amid vice of the period exhibited, but in the shameless in- this splendid scene, however, he singles out one mass trigues which were carried on, but which Beau Nash-of buildings immediately beneath his eye, which stands we must do him the justice to say—exerted all his with an air of great dignity, and seems to carry with it influence to put a stop to. He was the Marplot of recollections of bygone glory. The North and South Bath ; in fact, whenever a clandestine marriage was on Parade, which we allude to, was one of the earliest the tapis, and as far as lay in his power, he acted as the works of Wood. Its broad and ample terraces,—where conscientious guardian of those young ladies of fortune now but a few invalids catch the warmth of the sunny around whom the swindlers of the place constantly South, or breathe the bracing air of the Downs; in the gathered. His manner of warning parents was some- time of Nash, and still later, was the resort of all the times brusque enough. On one occasion be highly fashion of the land. What a sidling of hoops, a clopoffended a lady of fortune at the Assembly-room, by ping of delicate red-heeled shoes, a glistening of swordtelling her she had better go home : this speech he con- hilts, a raising of cocked hats, and a display of black tinued to repeat to her; and at last, piqued and offended, solitaires, and patches à la Grecque, was there once she did go home, and there discovered the meaning here, of which a dusty death has long swallowed up of his apparently rude advice in a coach and six at all! Wood commenced these buildings about the year the door, which some sharper had provided to carry off 1730; and soon after, Queen Square, with its very her daughter. As for the manner in which the com- marked and noble style of architecture, the Circus, and pany got through the day, a description of it is melan- a crowd of other elegant buildings, which we shall choly enough. The bath occupied the morning; the notice hereafter, followed, displacing meaner erections, noon was spent (by the young) in making-believe to spreading far out into the then country, and supplying drink the waters in the Pump-room, but really in flirt- that architectural magnificence which the wealth and ing, according to the ingenuous Miss Jenny of Anstey's fashion now filling the city demanded. poem, who admits that the springs she never tastes, Nash died in 1761, and for some time no dispute as but that her chief delight is
to the succession arose ; but in 1769, a civil war took “Near the Pump to take my stand,
place, in consequence of two Masters of the Ceremonies With a nosegay
being elected. The partisans of the rival monarchs, And to hear the Captain say,
among whom the ladies were most prominent, actually • How d’ye do, dear Miss, to-day ?'”
came to blows in the Pump-room, whose walls wit
nessed the most extraordinary scene that perhaps ever whilst the old tabbies
took place in a polite assembly. Imagine, good reader, “ Come to the Pump, as before I was saying,
a crowd of fashionables of the present day falling to And talk all at once, while the music is playing:
pulling noses, and tearing caps and dresses! Yet such *Your servant, Miss Fitchet :'‘Good morning, Miss Stote;' deeds took place among the 'mode' in Bath, not seventy My dear lady Riggledam, how is your throat ?
years ago :
“Fair nymphs achieve illustrious feats,
be prosecuted for attempting to vend, so grossly indecent Off fly their tuckers, caps, and têtes ;
were they : yet in those days they were perused Pins and pomatum strew the room,
openly by maid, wife, and widow,--and doubtless withEmitting many a strange perfume;
out raising a blush upon the hardened cuticle of the Each tender form is strangely batter'd,
eighteenth century. Without being too pharisaical, And odd things here and there are scatter'd. In heaps confused the heroines lie,
the city might compare her present with her past moral With horrid shrieks they pierce the sky :
condition with much complacency. The tone of manTheir charms are lost in scratches, scars,
ners is immeasurably purer, and the life more moral; Sad emblems of domestic wars!”
than it was in times of old.
And it was not until the Riot Act had been read three
The Hot Baths. times, that the fury of the combatants was appeased !
The social condition of Bath, which we have been The Medicinal Baths of this city, so famous in the mainly following, continued pretty much the same as time of the Romans, appear to have lost all their attracNash left it, until the end of the last century ; from tions about the middle of the sixteenth century, mainly that period, however, to the present time, a marked owing to the breaking-up of the monastery, in the change has slowly been taking place in it. The prior and monks of which they were vested. So little public life of the city has gradually subsided, and is were these baths known throughout the kingdom, and now pretty well extinct. The gambling spirit of old so few did they attract to their healing waters, that times has degenerated into shilling whist at the Wed- Dr. Turner, who wrote a treatise upon the Properties nesday night card-assemblies; and the public balls, of the Baths of England,' in 1562, and which he dedithose magnificent reunions which, in the old time, under cated to the Duke of Somerset, says, that it was only Nash, always commenced with a minuet danced by the after visiting the baths of Italy and Germany, " that I highest people of quality' present, although still well hard tel that there was a natural bathe within your attended, yet shine with a diminished lustre. Bath, in father's dukedome :" and farther on, he denounces the fact, from a place of resort for the valetudinarian, and " nigardishe illiberallite" of the rich men of England, for the pleasure-seeker during the winter season, has for not bettering and amending them, “I have not become a resident city of 80,000 inhabitants, in which hearde,” he tells us, "that anye rich man hath spente the domestic life has gradually encroached upon the upon these noble bathes, one grote these twenty years." public life that once distinguished it. Private parties The Doctor's reproaches do not seem to have had have taken the place, to a considerable extent, of the much effect, for we find that during the reigns of Elisubscription-balls, and friendly visits between families zabeth and James the most extraordinary disorder have emptied the Pump-room of much of that crush of existed in them. The baths, we are told, were like so fashion and galaxy of beauty which once trod its floors, many bear-gardens, and as for modesty, it was a thing when the city was a nest of lodging-houses, and the which had no existence in them. The custom of both inhabitants a set of loungers, or a flock of incurables, sexes bathing together in a perfect state of nature existed who only visited it to air themselves in the eyes of the even a century before. Bishop Beckyngton having genteel world, or to wash themselves out with the mine- endeavoured, in 1449, to remedy the evil by issuing a ral waters before making their final exit.
mandate forbidding men and women to bathe together Another reason why the public amusements of the without "decent clothing;" his efforts, however, did place have fallen off so of late years is to be found in not prove of much effect, for in 1646 we find the scanthe religious spirit which has developed itself. The dal grown so great, that the corporation was obliged modern history of Bath is but an amplification of the life to interfere and enforce the wearing of bathing-clothes. of many of its fine ladies of old : beginning their career The filthy condition of the bath was almost as bad with all kinds of dissipation, progressing amid scenes as the morals of the bathers : "dogs, cats, pigs, and of scandal and intrigue, and ending by becoming a even human creatures, were hurled over the rails into devotee : what changes the individual underwent within the water, while people were bathing in it.” By the the human pan society has repeated during the flight rigid enforcement of by-laws the corporation amended of a century and a half.
the nuisance, and the good effect of their interference was As one passes along the streets and looks into the seen in the crowds of people who flocked to the city booksellers' windows, the ascendancy of the evangelical from different parts of England, both for the purpose of church-party in the city is manifest by the portraits bathing and drinking the waters. Pepys, who visited of young clergymen everywhere meeting the eye, and the city in 1668, and of course pried into the baths, the multitudes of religious books, with third,' or did not think them particularly clean, in consequence 'fourth,' edition of the tenth,''twentieth,' or thirtieth' of the great resort to them. His gossiping sketch thousand inscribed upon their title-pages.
is full of interest : “ 13th (June) Saturday, up at four Many of the publications issued in Bath, when in o'clock, being, by appointment, called up to the the heyday of its fame, were lewd and gross in the Cross Bath, where we were carried one after another, extreme : we ourselves have seen many volumes which myself, and wife, and Betty Turner, Willet, and W. any Holywell Street publisher of the present time would Hewer. And by-and-by, though we designed to bave
done before company came, much company came ; very | the same bath continued down to the present century. fine ladies ; and the manners pretty enough, only Anstey has a fling at the custom in his satirical poem : methinks it cannot be clean to go so many bodies
“Oh!'t was pretty to see them all put on their flannels, together in the same water. Good conversation among
And then take the water like so many spaniels : them that are acquainted here and stay together.
And though all the while it grew hotter and hotter, Strange to see how hot the water is; and in some
They swain just as if they were hunting an otter; places, though this is the most temperate bath, the
’T was a glorious sight to see the fair sex springs are so hot as the feet not able to endure. But All wading with gentlemen up to their necks; strange to see, when women and men here, that live And view them so prettily tumble and sprawl, all the season in these waters, cannot but be parboiled,
In a great smoking kettle, as big as our hall; and look like the creatures of the bath! Carried away,
And to-day, many persons of rank and condition wrapped in a sheet, and in a chair, home; and then
Were boild, by command of an able physician!" one after another thus carried, I staying above two The bath for a long time was a fashionable amusehours in the water, home to bed, sweating for an hour; ment for the ladies. A foreign traveller, who visited and by-and-by comes music to play to me, extraordi- England towards the end of the last century, speaking nary good as ever I heard at London almost, or any of those in this city, says, “In the morning the young where : 58."
lady is brought in a close-chair, dressed in her bathingWhat an amiable picture this! the Clerk of the Acts clothes, to the Cross Bath. Then the music plays her (an officer filling the post of a modern Secretary to the in the water, and the women who attend her present Admiralty), his wife, and male and female servants, all her with a little floating-dish like a basin, into which dipping into one bath together! Somehow or other, the lady puts a handkerchief and a nosegay, and of the social liberty of those days of despotism was greater late a snuff-box is added. She then traverses the bath, than that which exists at present, notwithstanding our if a novice, with a guide ; if otherwise, by herself; and free institutions. Fancy a fine lady of 1848 treating having amused herself nearly an hour, calls for her her waiting-maid on the like equal terms.
chair and returns home.". The while the lady thus The fashion of ladies and gentlemen appearing in amused herself with her little floating-dish, she was well
aware of being "the cynosure of neighbouring eyes;" | means of the "great unwashed.” The temperature for the gallery of the bath was generally the resort of of the water is about 950. The Hot Bath is so young gentlemen who ogled the fair to their heart's named from the great heat of its springs, the thercontent. There is a story told of a gentleman once mometer standing in it as high as 116° : a temperature looking at his wife while she was bathing in the King's so great that it seems almost to scald the skin upon Bath, and who was so charmed with her increase of the first immersion. In addition to these public baths beauty that he could not help complimenting her upon (which belong to the Corporation), there are a number it, which a king of Bath hearing, he instantly took him of private bathing-establishments, fitted up with every by the heels and hurled him over the rails into the elegance and improvement that the present day has water-by way of marking, we suppose, his sense of the suggested. There are also the Abbey Baths, likewise impropriety and mauvais ton of admiring one's own very commodious, and situated upon the site of the partner.
old Roman Thermæ. In 1833, an analysis was made, The public baths of the city are four in number—the by the Oxford professor of chemistry, of the gas King's Bath, the Queen's Bath, the Hot Bath, and the emitted by the waters, and he found that within the Cross Bath. The King's Bath is the largest and most twenty-four hours 222 cubic feet was given off, which important of them all, and royalty has on many occa- contained a variable quantity ; viz., from 41 to 13 per sions disported in its waters. A remarkable circum- cent. of the whole; and the rest consisted of 96 per stance is related to have occurred in it while Queen cent. of nitrogen, and 4 per cent, of oxygen. The Ann, consort of James I., was bathing here. A flame learned professor, we are also told, drew the inference of fire, it is said, ascended to the top of the water, so comfortable to Bathonians, that their city owes its spread itself into a large circle of light, and then hot springs to the action of a volcano immediately became extinct. This so frightened her Majesty that beneath it! she immediately departed for the New Bath, close at This is a mere conjecture, however, as philosophers hand; which ever afterwards went by the name of the are still entirely in the dark as to the causes of the inQueen's Bath. Another circumstance, still more singular ternal heat of the globe. The old Bathonians had an in connection with it, is mentioned by Stukeley in his opinion of their own on the subject : they attribute the • Itinerarum.' “It is remarkable,” says he, " that at springs themselves to the Royal necromancer, Bladud ; the cleansing of the springs, when they set down a new and their composition, and the origin of their heat, is pump, they constantly found great quantities of hazel- set forth in rhyme, which, five centuries ago, was held nuts, as in many other places among subterraneous to be very good reason : we quote the following lines timber." The comment of this old author upon the as far as they bear upon the subject : circumstance is, however, a thousand times more strange
“ Two tunne ther beth of bras, than the thing itself. “ These," he adds, “I doubt not
And other two maked of glas ; to be the remains of the famous and universal Deluge,
Seven salts there beth inne, which the Hebrew historian tells us was in autumn ;
And other thing maked with ginne; Providence by that means securing the revival of the
Quick brimstone in them also, vegetable world.” (!)
With wild fire maked thereto.
Sal Gemme and Sal Petræ, The dimensions of this Bath are 65 feet wide by
Sal Amonak then is eke; 40 broad, and it contains 364 tons of water ; the heat
Sal Alfrod and Sal Alkine, at the springhead is 116° of Fahrenheit. In the
Sal Gemmæ is mingled with brine; centre of the Bath there is a statue of the favourite
Sal Conim and Sal Almetre bright, Bladud, and the bather stands astonished as he reads
That borneth both day and night. the following inscription in copper upon it:
All this is in the tonne ido,
And other things many mo,
All borneth both night and day,
That never quench it we may.
In vour well springs the tounes laggeth,
As all the philosophers us saggeth.
The hete within, the water without,
Maketh it hot all about."
This, translated into modern English, means that
Bath two tons of burning brass and two of glass,-
the latter of which contained a composition of seven In connection with the King's Bath is a spacious salts, brimstone and wildfire, which precious compositepid Swimming Bath, designed by that true artist and tion being set potwise over the four springs, fermented, master of the classic style of architecture, Decimus and thus caused that great heat which now exists, and Burton. The Cross Bath has of late years been con- is to last for ever! Modern chemists would like to be verted into a Tepid, Plunging, and Swimming Bath, able to produce perpetual heat on the same terms; it the price of admission to which brings it within the would be finding a motive power at a very cheap rate
--indeed it would solve the problem of perpetual | old coaching time resounded throughout the day with motion without more ado.
the rattle of the stages and mails running between The waters are reported to be beneficial in all chronic London and the West, gives the stranger no idea of the distempers, with the exception of those arising from beauty of the modern town. The gable ends of the diseased lungs, or from hæmorrhage and inflammation. houses, the country-town like character of the shops, Gout, stone, rheumatism, indigestion, palsy, and bilious and the appearance of the inhabitants, presents another obstruction (this accounts,we suppose, for the multitudes world to that which exhibits itself in Milsome Street. of liverless old Indians to be found in Bath ;) and cu- As we proceed along Stall Street, architectural taneous diseases are said to be benefited by the use of beauties begin to unfold themselves.
The Pumpthese springs, whether administered externally or in- room, the crescent-shaped Piazza which commences ternally. A collection of all the treatises which have Bath Street, the King's Bath, and the Colonnade, been written upon the efficacy of the Bath waters would through which the beautiful west-front of the Abbey is make a very decent-sized library, as in former times seen, furnish a number of effects all charming in themsuch works were the means by which young physicians selves. At this spot the genius of Bath still seems to introduced themselves to practice. It is not a little linger: the chairmen hang about, reminding one of old amusing to look over the more antique of these pro- times, and the lounger, too, seems to love it. The ductions, published in the days of Brobdignagian Pump-room, which was built upon the site of the old type, oceans of margin and rude initial letters, and one, in 1796, presents, in combination with its two obserse how the old practitioners managed to hide their wings, the King's Bath and the Colonnade, a very real ignorance of internal complaints by generalizing beautiful appearance. Its interior, which is 60 feet them under such appellations as “the grosser humours long by 56 wide, is noble-looking and elegant. The of the body," or "the vapours which arise to the brain," band, long famous for its performance of ancient music, and which these waters were to drive forth. We do still attracts much company on Saturday—the fashionnot wonder at Dr. Radcliffe's threat “to cast a toad able day of the season. (Cut, No. 3.) into the spring,” when we consider the outrageous At the bottom of the room a statue of Nash used to manner in which their waters were quacked by the stand, between two busts of Newton and Pope. Lord physicians of a past generation.
Chesterfield, who had a keen eye for the ridiculous, let fly an epigram upon the incongruousness of the juxta
position; the last stanza of which is biting enough: A WALK THROUGH BATII.
“The statue placed these busts between The high level at which the Great Western Railway
Gives satire' all its strength :
Wisdom and wit are little seen, passes through the suburbs enables the traveller to take in a very comprehensive view of the city. It lies before
But folly at full length." him almost like an Ordnance map, a very dirty corner This keen shaft had the effect of separating the trio ; of which he crosses ; for however handsome the all- the poet and the philosopher have been banished, and prevalent free-stone is in appearance in buildings of the Beau now holds an undivided reign, not exactly any pretension to architectural effect, yet when employed over the scene of his former triumphs--for that vanished in the meaner buildings of the artisans it has a very with the old room-but still over the spot where the grim and mean appearance, quite melancholy to witness. genius of the city still dwells. Across a perfect nest of courts and alleys, the traveller, The modern rooms have few associations. Old Queen as we have before said, is hurried, and he cannot wit- Charlotte, when she visited Bath, in 1817, held her ness the wretched poverty at his feet without bitterly morning levees here, at which the chief company of the contrasting it with the palace-like erections of the city and neighbourhood were presented to her. Madame Lansdowne Hill-side.
D'Arblay, in her interesting Diary,' gives us an If we approach Bath by way of the old bridge which affecting picture of the presentation of her husband crosses the Avon, we shall gain a juster knowledge of to her Majesty, and of the exhaustion of the sufferer, the city than by any other entrance. This bridge, in who was in the last stage of disease, when the interview old times, was quite sufficient for all the traffic which
The old king was to have accompanied the passed over it; but with railroads a new epoch has com- queen on this visit, and three houses had been taken menced, and its ancient piers are now made to carry a for them in the Royal Crescent; but just as he had wooden roadway overhanging on either side. A little arranged for the excursion he was afflicted with blindhigher up the stream, the railroad crosses the river by ness, and then, as Madame•D'Arblay says, he would a skew-bridge, in which Brunel seems to have courted
“ for what,” said he, was a beautiful city a difficulty merely to vanquish it. As the eye wanders to him who could not look at it." over the complication of iron girders and ponderous It was whilst her Majesty was sojourning in this city beams of which it is composed, it assumes an aspect of that the melancholy news arrived of the death of the daring power, that seems to typify the dauntless spirit Princess Charlotte, which event hurried her off to of the present age as contrasted with the old bridge Windsor; but she did not much love her Royal grandwhich slowly creeps across the river on five cumbersome child, and three weeks saw her again drinking the Bath arches. (Cut, No. 2.) Southgate Street, which in the waters.
not come ;