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There are no churches of any antiquity in Bath, the | alone sufficient to draw those who take an interest in Abbey itself not dating earlier than the fifteenth century; such things to Bath, for no Institution in England is but at the top of Holloway, the straggling suburb that so rich as this one in those architectural remains and climbs the Beechen Cliff, there is a chapel, dedicated pieces of sculpture, which are the most perfect tracks to St. Mary Magdalen, that was founded in the twelfth left by the Roman Colonists of their magnificence, century, and repaired and enlarged of late years. The whilst sojourning in this island. As building goes on, city is, in fact, remarkably wanting in early English and excavations are made, the Collection is continually remains of any kind. Bellet's Hospital, in Beau increasing. The last, and not the least interesting, speciStreet, founded by Lord Cecil, in James the First's men of Roman remains found, was the entire groundtime, and devoted to the use of poor persons using plan of a villa, exposed, a few miles from Bath, during the medicinal-baths and waters of the city, is, perhaps the construction of the Great Western Railway. A the most interesting old building in Bath ; and its fine specimen of tesselated pavement was removed low appearance, and pompously-carved porch, which from it to the Institution; where it now remains, and, rises as high as the roof itself, is singular enough, as together with the other antiquities, is politely shown we look upon it suddenly from out the great modern to strangers by the officers of the establishment. thoroughfare of Stall Street. Beside it rises the regular Among the Charitable Institutions of Bath, the most façade of the Bath United Hospital : a handsome classic interesting, and perhaps one of the most useful is Partis's building, and no doubt replete with every modern con- College, a very handsome pile of Grecian buildings, on venience; but still it lacks entirely that old familiar, Newbridge Hill, a little way out of the city, and well sociable, indigenous look which characterize its uncouth seen from the railway. Here, by the will of the little neighbour's appearance. Still more interesting founder, thirty reduced ladies, ten of whom must be specimens of antiquity are the remains of the ancient the widows or daughters of clergymen, are provided walls of the city, yet to be seen in the Upper Borough for. The Bath General Hospital was originated by Walls, nearly opposite the General Hospital, and in Beau Nash, in 1738. There is a presence about the the Grove at the back of the Market. Its most per- building which always strikes the stranger in his fectly-preserved portion is in Boatstall Lane, where the rambles about the city. Charity covereth a multitude wall is complete even to the battlements; the eye has of sins; and we suppose the Beau, in its erection, conto carefully trace it out, however, as it is incorporated sidered that he should expiate the crime of passing with the fronts of the houses built upon it. The three a life in foolishness and utter vanity. His position great epoch of the city's, nay, of the country's, history, enabled him to command the pockets of a great number are written on this wall in enduring characters of stone. of persons,-in fact as King he could dip into his subIts foundation is formed by the old Roman fortifica- jects pockets, with almost as much impunity as other tions which originally protected the city, and secured a monarchs, and the sums he collected for this Institution foreign supremacy. The walls themselves (Saxon and were accordingly great. An anecdote is told of the art early English), speak of the second period of brute with which he managed to make indifferent people force, when they served the double purpose of a strong-" bleed,” that is worth repeating. Whilst in Wiltshire's hold against invaders, and a bulwark against the inter- Rooms (a celebrated gambling-house of the day) one nal foe during an age of civic strife. The row of houses morning, collecting money for the hospital, a lady which now surmounts them-each one an English - entered who was more remarkable for her wit than her man's Castle"—is the expression of the final triumph charity, and not being able to pass by him unobserved, of law and order. We wish we could also say that the she gave him a pat with her fan, saying, “You must scene immediately below them speaks of the conquests put down a trifle for me, Nash, for I have no money in of sanatory science; but, unfortunately, it is quite the my pocket.” “Yes, madam,” said he, “that I will, contrary : slaughter-houses flourish in all their disgust. with pleasure, if your grace will tell me when to stop ;" ing filth, and we much question if so much blood was then taking a handful of guineas out of his pocket, he to have been seen here even after the destructive battle began to tell them into his white hat, “One, two, three, in which King Arthur is said to have slain 450 Saxons four, five." "Hold, hold !” said the duchess, consider with his own hand, as now pollutes the very centre of what you are about.” “Consider your rank and fortune, a city especially devoted to health.
madam," cried Nash, "and don't interrupt the work The Literary and Scientific Institution, (Cut No. 9,) of charity ; eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen." built upon the site of the Lower Assembly-rooms, is a Here the duchess stormed, and caught hold of his hand. very commodious and convenient edifice, containing a " Peace! madan,” replied Nash, “ you shall have your lecture-room, library, reading-room, and a range of name written in letters of gold, madam : sixteen, sevenvaults which contain the Roman Antiquities before teen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty."
“ I won't pay a mentioned. There is also a museum stored with a col- | farthing more," said the duchess. " Charity hides a lection of minerals, and a series of geological specimens ; multitude of sins," replied Nash. “Twenty-one, twentyshowing the stratification of the entire South Coast of two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five.” “Nash!" our island.
The Conchological Exhibition is also at length broke out the lady, “I protest you frighten worthy of inspection. But the chief attractions to the me out of my wits : Lord, I shall die!" "Madam, you séranger are the classical remains of antiquity, which are will never die doing good; and if you do it will be
better for you," and was about to proceed; but per- | ing a vast body of water, while the Avon is little better ceiving her grace had lost all patience, a parley ensued, than a canal, for its sluggish stream is impeded at about when he, after much altercation, agreed to stop his every other mile of its length, between a spot bigh above hand and compound with her for thirty guineas. The Bath down to Bristol, with lock-gates and weirs. The duchess, however, seemed displeased the whole evening, consequence is, that all the filth which flows into it is and when he came to the table where she was playing, merely deposited at the bottom, and there generates she bade him stand further for an ugly devil, for she hated noxious gases at “its own sweet will.” We must the sight of him (this, it appears, was the wit of the last confess that we do not envy the fair naïads of the century). But her grace afterwards having a run of good stream (if they have not all been scared long ago), luck, called Nash to her : “Come," said she, “I will the difficulty they must have in picking their way along be friends with you though you are a fool, and to let the bottom of the river. We wonder again why the you see that I am not angry, there is ten guineas more Bathonians allow the banks on either side of the old for your Charity. But this I insist on, that neither my bridge, the chief entrance to the city, to be lumbered name, nor the sum shall be mentioned." Until very with such ruinous buildings as skirt the Lower Bristol lately it was a condition of the hospital that no inbabit- Road, and the mean cottages to be seen on every hand. ant of Bath should participate in its benefits. This ab- The stranger would look for a promenade beside the surd law has been very properly abolished. The United river of such a city as Bath as a matter of course ; but Hospital, which we have already spoken of, contains he finds instead every condition unfavourable to health in itself the old City Dispensary, Infirmary, and Casu- and disgusting to the senses. But we are only at the alty Hospital. There are also several alms-houses and beginning of our knowledge of the great science of charity-schools in the city. The Grammar-school is, | Hygien, and are wrong to expect Bathonians to underhowever, a very small establishment to supply the stand it better than their neighbours. educational wants of such a large city as Bath, only The river is spanned by a number of bridges, which ten boys being provided with a gratuitous classical differ widely in their character. The highest up the education. We have now traced the principal streets of stream is a pretty little toy suspension-bridge, at the Bath, and noticed its more remarkable buildings and back of Grosvenor Place; then comes the Bathwick institutions, and shall conclude with a word or two bridge, connecting the London Road and the parish of about the Theatre, the life of which seems sadly on the Walcot, the general appearance of which is solid and wane. These boards once developed the talent of Mrs. ornate. The next we arrive at is the gloomy structure Siddons, Mrs. Abingdon, Miss Brunton, and that of which carries Bridge Street on its broad back. There Incledon, Henderson, Edwin, and Elliston. Indeed, is something quite terrible in the appearance of this together with the Bristol stage, which was generally bridge, viewed from the weir in front of the Bathwick under the same management, it sent up to the metro- mill. The three dark arches, through which scarce any politan boards a greater number of eminent actors than light is seen, and the sombre character of the tall houses any city in the kingdom ; now, we fear, the supply of which form the back of the Grove, and rise in all the talent is entirely stopped, and the tone of the society of gloomy manner of one of Dante's creation, is conthe city keeps away the citizens from its doors. “The trasted with the long, ghost-like, white line of foaming New Theatre Royal,” as it is called, has a handsome water which rushes over the dam, and completes a classic front, and its interior is excellently arranged, picture which stamps itself on the mind for ever. An and very elegant in appearance : indeed, few provincial old dramatist would instantly seize upon it for the scene buildings of its kind can vie with it either in beauty or of some imaginary horror. (Cut, No. 10.) After dwelling the excellence with which it is constructed as regards upon its strangely tragic appearance, the light effect of sight and sound.
the North Parade Bridge seems to relieve the mind like
a vaudeville after a heavy melo-drama. The span of this THE RIVER AVON AND ITS Bridges.
elegant structure is 108 feet, and its whole effect is The river which traverses the city in a winding pretty. The two railroad bridges come next, then the direction, from east to west, has certainly something to old bridge, and, lower down the river, towards the complain of in the manner in which it is treated in its village of Twerton, there are two more on the suspenpassage. The river God, who disports himself in the sion principle. We question if any city in England tolerably clear stream skirted by the Bathwick is spanned by so many roadways as Bath. The village meadows, must, we are sure, both hold his nose and of Twerton is well worth visit, as in this place still shut his eyes, or dive, or execute some other mancu- lingers the old manufacture of the place, in the shape vre, to escape the unpleasant odour and prospect which of an immense woollen factory, which turns out a vast would otherwise meet him on his way through Bath. amount of the still celebrated West of England cloth. It would be somewhat unfair to reprove the citizens for allowing the public sewers to discharge into the
LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS OF BATH AND stream, when great and opulent London, the centre of
ITS NEIGHthe sanitary movement, does the same thing ; but the evil is not to be viewed by the metropolitan error, for For those associations, of which Bath has most the Thames is at least a swiftly running river, contain reason to be proud, we must sweep the horizon. To
the north-west, stands the solitary tower, on Lans- stands. The way in which the Bishop became acquainted downe, built by that great and magnificent genius with Allen is a singular instance of the manner in Beckford ; to the south-east, where Coomb Down which a whole life--nay, the destinies of a family,rises four hundred feet above the vale, Prior Park might be decided by an accident. It is related that rears its long and splendid façade. This mansion, whilst Pope was on a visit at Prior Park he was handed once the seat of Ralph Allen, Esquire--the Allworthy a letter, the reading of which seemed to give him some of Fielding's novel of 'Tom Jones,'—is now erected perplexity ; and his host inquiring the cause, was ininto a Roman Catholic College. To get to it we formed that a Lincolnshire clergyman had written him must cross the Old Bridge -- having in our face the word that he would be with him at Twickenham in a bold acclivity of Beechen Cliff, which rises to several few days. Mr. Allen suggested that the friends could hundred feet in height, and seems to hang with its as well meet at Prior Park as on the banks of the woody summit directly over the city--and proceed for Thames; and the result was, that Warburton arrived, some little distance along the left bank of the Avon, and in process of time married Allen's niece, became, until we turn up the lovely Vale of Lyncomb. This through his influence, Bishop of Gloucester, and ultibeautifully wooded valley is studded with cottage ornées mately inherited Prior Park and a large portion of his and handsome residences, and is evidently a favourite estates. Pope, we must confess, did not behave towards spot with those who desire a mild and sheltered situa- Allen with very much delicacy, for he actually brought tion. At length our footsteps are arrested by a couple down to his house his mistress, Martha Blount; but of gates, forming the entrance respectively to the New his friend even bore this insult with temper : a coldBath Abbey Cemetery, and to the Catholic College of ness, however, took place between the lady and Mrs. Prior Park. If we scale the greater height, we shall Allen, as might have been expected. The only wonder soon find ourselves in front of the latter building. is, that her visit should have been allowed; but that Prior Park was erected in 1743, by Mr. Allen, who such was the case might be seen, from Allen's converwas originally a clerk in the Bath Post-office; but sations with Pope on the subject, and his letters to having luckily been enabled to give General Wade Mrs. Blount, which appear in Bowles's edition of some intimation of a wagon-load of arms coming to Pope's Works. Warburton took up his residence here the town for the use of the Pretender's adherents during after Allen's death, and from this place issued the major the rising of 1715, he was rewarded by the Govern part of that divine's controversial works. In 1829, ment, at the recommendation of that officer, with the Dr. Baines, the Roman Catholic Vicar-Apostolic of the situation of Postmaster of the city. Whilst in this trust Western district, purchased Prior Park, and converted he got the Government to adopt an ingenious plan of it into a college for the instruction of youth. For this his for the multiplication of cross posts, by which the purpose he enlarged the building by adding two very revenue was vastly increased, and the proposer, who extensive wings to the original fabric, and the whole formed the department, was rendered independent. façade has now a very noble appearance. The gardens
The Post-office seems to have been mainly indebted to were remodelled by the same tasteful hand, and the Bathonians for the improvements which have been made interior enriched with statues and paintings, which the in its management; for the first revolution which took vicar had brought from Italy. A theatre and an obplace in the speed with which letters were transmitted servatory were also added to the building, and such was brought about by another of her sons, Mr. Palmer, was the magnificence to which the whole establishment who originated the plan of despatching the letter-bags had attained under Dr. Baines's guidance, that a few by mail-coaches, and who was rewarded for his idea by years ago the place was the lion of the neighbourhood. the post of surveyor and controller of the Post-office, and A very disastrous fire took place, however, in 1836, by a grant of £50,000. But to return to Prior Park which entirely consumed the interior of the centre, or and its builder, between whom and Pope an intimacy old portion of the building erected by Allen, and prohad sprung up, occasioned by Allen's admiration of the perty to the amount of £18,000 was destroyed. This letters of the poet, published in 1734. Pope, who loss, together with the death of Dr. Baines, in 1843, loved " to fall in pleasant places,” if his lines did not, seems to have reduced the fortunes of the place, and was a constant visitor to the palatial residence of his now visitors are not so easily allowed admittance; the friend, and to this day a walk in the neighbourhood is present head of the establishment not wishing, it is known as 'Pope's Walk.' It was to his worthy host said, to expose the reduced fortunes of the place. that his fine compliment is paid which has passed into We have not many particulars of Fielding's connection so common a quotation :
with Prior Park, but there is no doubt that he laid
The “Let humble Allen with ingenuous shame
the early scenes of • Tom Jones' at this place.
novelist must have been a bit of a courtier as well as Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.”
the Bishop; for his portrait of Allworthy drew from It was originally written, “ Let low-born Allen,” &c. ; the original a present of £500. A description of Mr. but the best of us have a vein of pride lurking about Allen's grounds and the distant landscape is given in our hearts, and Pope did not exactly please his friend Tom Jones,' which, as one of the old guide-books by this allusion to his early life, and, at the suggestion says, " allowing for the introduction of an imaginary of Warburton, he substituted the phrase as it at present sea, distant island, and ruined abbey, is tolerably cor