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rect !" The objects the imaginative painter has intro- There is an air about all cemeteries of insincerity : duced into his landscape are evidently drawn from the grief is too gilded--the sentiments too strained some high point near neighbouring Clifton, where the by which survivors attempt to keep alive the memory features of a river and sea, and a distant island, lie before of those buried in them. The churches in such places the spectator. Fielding might have copied faithfully, are but pretty toy-buildings, to which neither veneration however, the prospect from Coomb Down; for if he had nor respect attaches. The Saxon edifice in this Cemeno ocean-prospect to terminate his view, the city, with tеry is particularly wanting in dignity. Looking, the its picturesque spires, and its noble buildings was there other day, from this spot, down the vale towards the to supply the scene with a moral life far more attractive antique little church at Widcomb, over which old Time than a monotonous expanse of ocean. Allen, independ has been for ages festooning the ivy, we could not help ently of his patronage of men of letters and his abundant contrasting in our mind the country churchyard and benevolence, might be considered as having been a very church with the genteel cemeteries of modern growth. important agent in the construction of modern Bath. The church was only a few hundred yards distance, It was he that opened the vast quarries of oolite or and we walked towards it, expecting to have a ramble freestone upon Coomb Down, from which, as from a among its " forgotten graves,” but found the hatch womb, the splendid city at its side sprang forth. This shut and locked; so instead of musing among the quarry is well worth a visit in itself, The great oolite silent tombs-a privilege which should not be denied formation in which it works is 130 feet in thick- any man; for to close “God's acre" is to fasten down ness, and the blocks taken out are sometimes of an a leaf of that great book of mortality which all of us enormous size. The roof of this quarry is supported are the better for sometimes reading—we were perby numerous lofty pillars and arches, through which force obliged to take a survey of the impounded dead the subterranean passages extend a considerable dis- over the low churchyard wall, and soon saw that none tance. A tram-road, on an inclined plane, conveys the but the elite of the departed were here buried. The stone to the Avon, whence it is shipped in barges to whole place wore an air of mouldering exclusiveness, all parts of the kingdom-its bardness and durability which a distant view of the picturesque little tower did making it a favourite material with builders.
not lead us to expect. More lieutenant-colonels and The view from the top of Coomb Down is very ex- major-generals of the East India Company's service tensive. Salisbury Plain stretches across on the left ; | have here their glorious deeds blazoned forth on urn and, on sunny days, the White Horse cut, on Westbury and slab, and we turned away with a full persuasion Hill side, is very distinctly seen. Claverton Down, that Bath was the natural resting-place of that class which rises to an equal height with Coomb Down, is of individuals, the type of which Ingoldsby has given not very far distant, and on it stands Sham Castle, the to us in his . Legend of Hamilton Tighe,' as follows: mere shell of a fortress-like building, erected by Allen to diversify the landscape.
“There is an old yellow Admiral living at Bath, Returning by the way we came, through Lyncomb
As gray as a badger, as thin as a lath; Valley, the Abbey Cemetery must claim our attention
And his very queer eyes have such very queer leers, for a few minutes. A more beautiful spot for the pur
They seem to be trying to peep at his ears.
That old yellow Admiral goes to the Rooms, pose it is devoted to could not have been chosen, and
And he plays long whist, and he frets and he fumes." the most has been made of the natural beauties of the
&c. &c. &c. ground by the art of Loudon, who laid it out. There are not as yet very many monuments, for the Cemetery The portrait is undeniable; we meet the original at was only formed in 1843. The remains of Mr. Beck- every turn in the more aristocratic portions of the city, ford were interred here in 1844, but his body has and we have seen by the obituaries in the churchyards lately been removed to its resting-place within his own and cemeteries that they make Bath their last long grounds on Lansdowne. When the workmen were home. making the roadway to the chapel in this Cemetery, We must mount again to the hill-top to seek the they discovered three stone coffins containing skeletons, retreat of genius. Beckford's Tower, to which we bend together with another skeleton, and two Roman coins, our steps, stands on the brow of Lansdowne Hill; full one of Carausius, the other of Constantine. A monu- eight hundred feet above the level of the city. Our ment has been erected over these coffins, the presence way is along Belmont and Belvedere, toiling painfully of which prove that the spot must have been a place of up the steep, but everywhere meeting with signs of burial at a very early period.
the aristocratic nature of the quarter we are traversing. A person walking over the ground cannot help re- At length we reach Lansdowne Crescent, one of the marking the number of Indian officers among the dead. highest buildings in the city, and only second to the Every third tombstone, almost, rises resplendent to the Royal Crescent in beauty. Mr. Beckford used to occupy merits of some lieutenant-colonel or major-general in two houses here, one of which formed the corner of a wing the Bombay or Madras armies. “ Bath must indeed detached from the main building by a narrow roadway. be a great place for bad livers,” are we should think In order to form a communication between the two, he the unconscious words that arise in most people's threw an arch across, of good proportions and simple minds who visit it.
form ; and in this Siamese residence lived the great recluse, -a puzzle, nay almost a fear, to the good citi- to grow; Beckford replied, " that he should put up cast zens of Bath.
His retreat was a kind of Blue Beard iron ones, then, until they did!" chamber, of which all kinds of mysterious reports were This notion of " making up" Nature after the manner spread. Mr. Beckford had a dwarf, who served as of some favourite painters effects was carried out by porter to his habitation ; this unit the good gossips him in his own garden to a considerable degree. He multiplied into a dozen, and gave each some weird converted an old quarry into a charming, half-cultivated employment. The proud, reserved nature of Beckford scene, reminding one of a picture by Polemburg. aided the mysterious awe in which everything belonging Cype and Paul Potter he reproduced in his little meato him was held. Toned as bis mind was so far above dow, spotted with his favourite cows; and the more that of the fribbles who constitute the ton of Bath, and gloomy spots of bis shrubbery brought N. Poussin to despising as he did their petty conventionalities and com- mind, with his classic melancholy landscapes. mon-places, he neither sought their company'nor would A rapid effect was a thing which Beckford delighted permit their vulgar curiosity to intrude upon himself. in. He used to chuckle over the sudden change he A few artists anil literary men, in consequence, formed made one winter in the appearance of a considerable his only society, and the only times in which he was portion of Lansdowne Hill, by planting a vast quantity seen in public was when he dashed along the thorough of trees. “ The Bristol folks," said he, “who travel fares on his white Arabian. To those with whom the Lower Road, seeing trees upon Lansdowne, he did chose to associate, however, his affability was where none appeared before, rub their eyes--they can't extreme, and his conversation one of the most charming believe their sight.” Mr. Beckford died in 1844, things in the world. His residence was the repository almost suddeniy. His last note, summoning his beof the rarest works of art; but it was in his tower on loved daughter, the Duchess of Hamilton, is very the hill that he realized all his Eastern dreams. Here, touching; it contains only these three words—“Come, too, he walled himself up from the rest of the world, quick! quick!” His remains were deposited in the and played the great Caliph to perfection. The Lans- monument he had constructed for himself, (which downe Tower is so conspicuous an object, that every visitors must have remembered to have seen, during one who has travelled the Great Western road must his lifetime, standing amid the Shrubbery, just under have seen its exterior ; yet very few of late years the tower, and close to the little tomb he had erected to gained admittance to its interior, or into the charmed his dog “ Tiny,") and transferred to the Bath Abbey circle of its grounds. When it was first erected, Cemetery. This removal was contrary to his instrucMr. Beckford allowed persons freely into it; but he tions, and as it proved to be the decree of fate ; for upon afterwards shut it up almost entirely. This elegant the property being sold, it fell into the hands of a building (of which we have given a Cut) is, at the base, person who determined to make it a place of public constructed like an Italian villa, upon which rises a amusement: but the Duchess of Hamilton could not campanile, and this in its turn is crowned with a brook this desecration of the spot she held sacred; the Grecian Lantern. The interior of the tower was a grounds were accordingly repurchased by her, and preprecious jewel-house, - cabinets of ebony, inlaid with sented to the Rector of Walcot as a Cemetery; the first lapis lazuli, onyx and agates, vases of verd, antique person who was buried here being its late owner, and in pieces of statuary, and the rarest pictures of the first the very spot he had chosen for himself.
His tomb, masters, adorned its walls and chambers. At one time formed of red granite, simple and massive in effect, the value of these works of art was not less than seems like, what it is, an expression of his own mind. £100,000; but an attempt having been made to break On each end of the mausoleum is this inscription : into the tower, the more precious portions of its contents
WILLIAM BECKFORD, Esq., late of Fonthill, Wilts, were taken to his residence. (Cut, No. 11.)
died May, 2nd, 1844, aged 84. The Lantern was the favourite room of Mr. Beckford, he had so constructed it that each window formed a Beneath this, at one end, is a quotation from 'Vathek :' frame to some splendid natural landscape ; the view from the west opening is especially beautiful. The
“ Enjoying humbly the most precious gift of Heaven-hope!" river Avon winds along the valley like a thread of and on the other, the following lines from a prayer silver, and in the distance the mountains of Wales rear composed by himself: their purple heads. In the middle distance runs a line
“ Eternal power! of hills that used to displease Mr. Beckford by the
Grant me through obvious clouds one transient gleam monotonous appearance of its outline, and the manner
Of Thy bright essence on my dying hour.”. in which he proposed to remedy this defect shows the originality and daring character of his mind. H. It would be difficult to conceive a more beautiful endeavoured to buy the highest of the range, with the cemetery than these grounds make, and Bath can boast, idea of planting it with firs, so as to have made it without fear of denial, of two of the most beautiful resemble Rembrandt's famous etching of “The Three resting-places for the dead in the kingdom. Trees.” A person to whom he related this extra- We have not mentioned any literary associations ordinary idea of copying in nature a grand effort of when speaking of Lansdowne, but personal recollections art, objected that the trees would require some time of the author of 'Vathek,' and the not less celebrated
I citi- to grow; Beckford replied, “ that he should put up cast
monument he had constructed for himself, (which ry visitors must have remembered to have seen, during ist bis lifetime, standing amid the Shrubbery, just under rs the tower, and close to the little tomb he had erected to ed his dog “ Tiny,") and transferred to the Bath Abbey d, Cemetery. This removal was contrary to his instruche tions, and as it proved to be the decree of fate; for upon nt the property being sold, it fell into the hands of a e, person who determined to make it a place of public
amusement: but the Duchess of Hamilton could not
brook this desecration of the spot she held sacred; the a grounds were accordingly repurchased by her, and preth sented to the Rector of Walcot as a Cemetery; the first ue
person who was buried here being its late owner, and in st the very spot he had chosen for himself. His tomb, ne formed of red granite, simple and massive in effect,
seems like, what it is, an expression of his own mind. ik On each end of the mausoleum is this inscription : WILLIAM BECKFORD, Esq., late of Fonthill
, Wilts, died May, 2nd, 1844, aged 84. d,
Beneath this, at one end, is a quotation from 'Vathek:'
11.- LANSDOWNE TOWER.
· Letters from Portugal,' which we give on the autho- pervaded the upper-classes towards the end of the last rity of a paper in The New Monthly,' some years since, century, when scribbling poetry of the Della Cruscan written by those who knew him, cannot be without school was all the rage, and which Gifford so unmercideep interest. We do not know, indeed, whether the fully lashed in his · Baviad and Mæviad :' Mrs. Piozzi, associations that cling to Lansdowne are not more who, when Mr. Thrale was the friend and intimate of pleasant than those attaching to Prior Park. The Johnson, joined the Della Cruscans, when on a visit to former building certainly bears the impress of a Italy, with her husband, and was one of the most active stranger individuality.
contributors to the 'Florence Miscellany,' but this was The only other direction in which we can look for long after the break-up of the Batheaston poetasters. any literary associations connected with Bath, is to the Mrs. Piozzi died in Bath at a very advanced age, in beautiful suburb of Batheaston ; but these we 1821, writing love verses almost up to the day of her afraid are only bastard ones. Sir John and Lady | dissolution. Bath can at the present moment, however, Miller (the lions of the neighbourhood) had, it appears, boast of the residence of a true poet, and one of the most purchased while on their tour in Italy (of which Lady delicate, graceful, and original prose writers of the age, Miller published an account), an antique vase found in the gifted Walter Savage Landor. In artists also at Frescati in 1759 : this was brought home and the city has not been wanting. Barker has made himplaced in their villa at Batheaston, which was now self a name as a landscape painter, and Gainsborough, converted into a temple of Apollo ; the Lady being the although not a Bathonian, yet lived many years here high-priestess and the vase the shrine of the deity. A and sketched much from its surrounding scenery. The general invitation was issued to all the sons and celebrated Wick Rocks in the neighbourhood was one daughters of fashion of the neighbouring city "the of his favourite haunts and supplied his portfolio with mob of gentlemen who write with ease,” every Thurs- numberless sketches. day and Friday. Here the company were ushered into a room where they found the old Etruscan vase
THE SANITARY CONDITION OF THE City. was placed upon a modern altar, and decorated with sprigs of laurel ; and as each gentleman or lady passed
It is now as common to inquire respecting the the venerable relic, an offering was made of some ori- sanitary condition of a town, as of the health of a ginal composition in verse : at first merely of what the person. Necessity forces us to deal with man in the French term bouts rimés or rhyming terminations, which aggregate as well as with the individual. Sir Henry had been filled up by the candidates for poetical fame; De la Beche's report of the condition of the city is a but afterwards of short papers on particular subjects rather favourable one, and doubtless from the situation given out the preceding week. The assembly having of a greater portion of it, the city should be eminently all contributed their morceaux, a lady was selected from healthy. The buildings on Lansdowne Hill, for the circle who, dipping her fair hand into the vase, drew instance, are based on the inferior oolite sands which, the papers out haphazard as they occurred, and gave together with the rapidly sloping nature of the ground, them to a gentleman to read aloud. This process being renders them dry and healthy in the extreme. Other concluded, a select committee was named to determine portions, again, of the city, are constructed on marl upon the merits of the poems and adjudge the prizes ; and limestone foundations, which make them tolerably these retired into an adjoining room and fixed upon the wholesome. The lowest parts of Bath, however, such four best productionsthe blushing authors of which, as Great Pulteney Street, Bathwick, and the neighbourwhen they had identified their compositions, were hoods bordering the river, stand entirely on alluvial presented by the high-priestess, the lady of the man- ground, composed of clay, which naturally causes sion, with a fillet of myrtle, and crowned amidst the damp, and produces disease. Great Pulteney Street is, plaudits of the company. The most sensible part of | however, protected in a measure from this evil by the the gala, a genteel collation, concluded the business. deep vaulting on which the houses are erected. The This attic pastime continued for several years ; till the number of deaths, in proportion to the population, is wicked wit of an unknown wag having contaminated fewer than in most towns; but we scarcely think the the purity of the urn by some licentious and satirical public health is so good as it might be, when we consicomposition, to the extreme horror of the ladies assem- der the natural advantages of the place as regards drainbled to hear the productions recited, and the equal age and the free currents of air which circulate through chagrin of the host and hostess, who expected the usual the valley in which it lies. It might be said that the weekly tribute of adulatory compliment: the sacred | average length of life in the city is lowered by the numvessel was henceforth closed, and the meetings were ber of invalids who come here merely to die ; but this is, discontinued for ever. Such is the account given of we think, quite balanced by the vast proportion of persons this namby-pamby affair, by Warner the Bath historian; it contains who live in comfortable circumstances, and and we should scarcely have thought it worth our many of whom attain to a great age. Bath, it must be while to repeat it, still less to place the silly actors in remembered, has no manufactures, and does not, thereit beside those bright literary lights whose memories fore, breed up on its bosom a class of persons who are still illumine the horizon of the city, but that these pro- peculiarly open to the attacks of disease : that there is ceedings show the tone of the literary spirit which a vast amount of squalor in the lower parts of the