Imatges de pàgina
[ocr errors]

of the corporation : a table of fines is printed, and they are coin pellable to carry the chair five hundred yards for fix-pence, and a

proportional greater distance for a filling, · Projected Improvements. — Till the check the rage for building experienced at the breaking out of the war, Bath bid fair shortly to double its present bulk; and it must be confessed, that no place affords greater encouragement to a spirit of adventure, whether we consider its natural or acquired advantages. All who have ever vi. sited it, acknowledge it to be unique, and captivating in the highest degree; and when even the improvements now determined on aię carried into exécution, it will be still more fascinating to the eye of tutte.

• In the year 1986, the corporation procured an act of parlia. ment, for widening and enlarging the principal avenues in the lower, or old town, and for making five new streets. The first of these is to lead from Burton-street to Stall-ftrect; the fecond, froin the west side of Stall-street to the Cross Bath; the third, from the north side of the Cross Bath to Westgate-street; the fourth, from the south side of the Cross Bath to the Borough Wall; and the fifth, from the west side of Stall-street to the Borough Wail.

• A new road is to be made through Bathwick meadows, communicating with the New Bridge, by which a considerable ítretch of the London road through Walcot, &c. will be cut off. On the Pulteney estate, there are to be many more new streets, a square, a circus, and a crescent.'

The amusements are generally known; but we cannot pass over the following remarks on the prints given in this work, which we highly applaud, and indeed regard the contrary practice with contempt, as a species of literary forgery.

And here in justification of ourselves, if it should ie urçed against us, that, by copying too rigidly, we have facrificed beauty to minute veracity, let us beg our readers' patience, while we candidly animadvert on a modern retinment in one branch of descriptive art, which seems to threaten the ruin of one species of integrity: a refinement, if falfe, that cannot be too strenuously opposed, as it comes from an authority, even we who condern it, acknoryledge to be respectable, and with which we often are happy to coincide.

"We have been industriously taught of late, that, when delineating a view from nature, we are not only permitted, but obliged, if we would gain the approbation which all artists seek, to correct any deform.tics or discords we may nicet with in the objects bctore 115. Now, if this practice be once admitted and fanctioned, adieu to all referblance in landicape, and to all those pleasing emotions which are excited when we trace on canvas the haunts of our youth, pr the scenes endeared to us by circumstances of iocial or dometric


felicity. All deviation from beauty is not ugliness, all want of harmony is not grating discord. Perhaps, the strait line, or unfortunate angle was the feature which gave character to the view; and without it all comparison may be vain.

• Another strong objection to the practice here reprobated, is, that the ideas of hardly any two will agree respecting beauty, and, con{equently, that what one artist would reject as itiff, heavy, or inharmonious, another may adopt as sublime and contrasting.

When we are employed to compofe a junction of pi&turesque objects, we are undoubtedly at liberty to pillage all the store-houses of nature, to groupe, to transpose, and to riot in all the luxuriance of fancy; but a portrait must be a resemblance, or it is worth little to the poffeffor; and if we assume to ourselves the licence of planting and felling trees, cleaving mountains, and bending rivers, what is to deter us, when depicting the human form, from amending in it whatever we think faulty ?

When, exercising our tafte without restraint, we seek a spot affording a subject for the pencil, we are not compellable to take such as thwart our ideas of picturesque beauty; but when we are instructed as to the composition of our picture, surely fidelity demands that it fhould be a copy, and not a creation.

• We must often caricature improprieties before we can judge how far small deviations will lead us astray. Suppose, then, we are directed, in a strongly-featured country, to a level encompassed with dusky rocks, barren, and, to use the n'dern phrase, impracticable: suppose the middle of the plain affords us some acres of a lake rectilinear in its boundaries, that the back-ground is formed of a mountain divided in the middle by an angular opening; and that the foreground, on one hand, gives us an acclivity nearly answering to one of these masses. The picturesque painter turns with abhorrence from such a jargon of crossing lines, till recollecting that a wood in the farthest distance, a ragged piantation on one of the rocks, a graceful bend of the water, and a little chizeling of the fore-ground, or the partial concealment of it by an old oak, will make it an agreeable view, he sets to work, and presently produces a creation, it is true, of his own brain, but not a representation of an awful, frerile country.

« On the whole, as to falsify is to deceive ; and as to attempt ornament is often to deform what was not designed for it, we, in this work are content to take our views as they really exist, aiming at nothing higher than making the most of them, by chusing a good point of view, and satisfied with the praise of scrupulous fidelity.'

It is proper to inform our readers, that there is but one view of Bath, or its environs : thirteen, out of sixteen prints, relate to the Hotwells of Bristol, the Avon, and the Severn:

but the vacuity of decoration, in the first part of the book, is compensated by the abundance in the latter division.

The journey from Bath to Bristol, and the account of the Jatter city, we need not detail; but is doubtful that Bristol is now, next to London, the chief mart of English commerce, as Liverpool has, perhaps, greater pretensions to that distinction; the manufactures of this country gradually moving north, as labour becomes more expensive in the already opulent fouth. The description of the Well-house, of which there are two good views, we shall transcribe:

• The Well-house is situated at the foot of the romantic rocks of St. Vincent, and under the steep crags of Clifton, and obtrudes itself several feet into the Avon. It has a good effect when viewed from almost any point; and, for a building of the fort, may be termed picturesque. Its gable ends are converted into chimnies. The crescent, that extends towards what is called the Rock-house, varies the forms of this composition very happily, and it is backed by abrupt rocks, well covered with verdure, and affording an agreeable repose for the eye. The Well-house harmonizes with this scene, and prevents the stupendous cliffs from bursting on the fight at an improper distance, and thereby lessening their picturesque effect. Passing under the piazza, and through the passage of the house, the view is grand, even to a degree of awfulness. Some violent effort of nature appears to have rent the solid rock to form a bed for the river Avon, which rolls in a tremendous chafm for more than two miles.

The water of the Hot-well, commonly known by the name of Bristol water, issues out of a rock on the north side of the river Avon, and when first drawn, is warm and of a whitish colour; but this hue it loses as it cools. Bubbles rise in it on its first exposure to the air; the taste is very soft and milky, but it leaves a peculiar styptic sensation on the palate. The elasticity of the air with which it is impregnated, makes it necessary to drink it quickly. An impregnation of lime, fulphur, nitre, and iron, with the addition of an alkaline quality, is discovered in this water by the usual chemical process. It dissolves fal-ammoniac with a confiderable effervescence. Oil of tartar will make it efervesce, and increases the milky appearance, which, in going off, leaves a light earthy precipitate. Diffolved soap curdles it, and covers the furface with a greasy substance, the water below at the same time becoming tur. bid. Solution of filver will produce an inky appearance in the water. A gallon of water contains about thirty-four grains of a light grey brackith fediment, with a latent bitterness, perceptible in the throat. This sediment ferments with acids, and is turned green by fyrup of violeis. • Amongst the writers who have treated of the Bristol water, Dr.

[ocr errors]

Keir, Dr. Higgins, and Dr. Randolp!1, are the most conspicuous: The degree of heat by Fahrenheit's thermometer is judged to be feventy-fix.

• Those who resort hither for health, drink the water early in the morning, and about five in the evening, usirg gentle exercise after it. A less quantity is taken at firit than afterwards, and it must be persevered in daily: it may be drank at meals, and agrees well with wine and malt liquers; but, in common with most other means of restoring or preserving health, it is highly inimical to all fpirituous liqvors.

• The effects of firit taking this water are unpleasant, and far front encouraginç, unless the patient is aware that they are to be confidered as indications that it agrees and will produce benefit. The fymptoms are nevly those of intoxication, but in a few days they

cense to be troubl fome. . “This water is faid to have been discovered by some failors, who

coining from long voyages, much atnitted with the scurvy, as they pasied from King-road to Bristol, here drank and wafied, and found relief. For all eruptions of this nature, for obstructions, for internal imammation, for consumpi ve habits, and sometimes even in scrophulous and cancerous diseases, this water has been found a remed:', if applied to in an early stage of the disorder ; and in chro. nic disorders it has afforded great relief.

• The wells have the necesiary attendant of such a place, gaiety: The refort to them is great, and during the summer months, a band of music attends every morning. Here is a master of the ceremonics, who conducts the public balls and breakfasts, which are given tirice a week.

The environs of Bristol are described with great minuteness, and are illustrated with many prints; but our limits will not permit us to extend our extracts. Bristol Channel, Tintern Abbey, Chepstow, &c. furnish additional subjects to this entertaining work, which is among the best of the picturesque description.

The History of the Poor; their Rights, Duties, and the Laws

respecting "Thom. By. T. Ruggles, Esq. F. A. S. 8vo.

Vol. II. 55. Boards. Deighton. 1797. of the former volume of these Letters we gave an account

v in our Review for July last. In the one now before us, the author profecutes the subject with great precision ; taking a view of the several productions which have lately been write ten on this important inquiry, and pointing out both the merits and defects, as they appear such to him, of the plans suggested by different writers.

With respect to the expedient proposed by some, of leaving the support of the poor to private contributions, it would, our author thinks, in the present state of civilization, reinement, and general apathy to religious matters, be a cruel and unjust direliction. He maintains the neceility of a regular provision sanctioned by the legislature; but that previously to every public impoft for the support of the poor, the occupiers of the lands at present pertaining to the church, as well as of those alienated at the Reformation, ought to relign, for that purpose, at least a fourth part of their revenue, as being a moderate proportion of wh:t was originally granted chiefly for the maintenance of the poor, and which, during many ages, was exclusively applied to their relief. This however, is a proposal, which the author entertains no fanguine expectation of ever being carried into effect.

Some writers having recommended a total repeal of the law of settlements respecting the poor, the author is of opinion that such a measure might, in the present state of things, promote vagrancy, which is a disorder both in morals and indus. try, tending to the worst consequences that can arise from po. pulation. He therefore thinks that a modification of the ferdements, on principles more consistent with the general advantage of society, is the whole that should be attempted.

• If the poor, says he, were permitted to remove from place to place, as best suited the interests of industry; it would be reasons able, that the fame authority which granted them the liberty, thould connect it with such regulations as are necesary to the safety and advantage of the state ; which might probably be effected by preventing that liberty, which was intended for the encouragement of industry, degenerating into vagrancy; by making it of immediate ufe, in diminishing the expences of their maintenance; and by offering a prospect of advantage to posterity, from the certain good tendency of an industrious education.

• To effect the first end, box-clubs llould be the means; which should be obligatory on all the poor while in liealth, and without a family of children; or possibly the Lex trium liberorum might with propriety be the point of exemption; but those who migrate, as the only good reason for their migration must be larger wages, should contribute a larger proportion of their earnings; if one-thirty-sixth were the general proportion, one-twenty-fourth might be a proper proportion of the earnings of those who leave their parishes.

Government has an undoubted right, on every principle of natural justice, to direct, in some measure, the education of those chile dren whose parents are chargeable to fociety ; and this arises from the reciprocity on the part of government, to preserve all the governed from perishing by want.

" Where

« AnteriorContinua »