« ElőzőTovább »
DEPARTURE FROM LONDON ; KNIGHTSBRIDGE; KENSINGTON; HOLI : LAND HOUSE; CHELSEA; BATTERŠEA ; HAMMERSMITH; CHIS
WICK; HOGARTH'S TOMB; TURNAAM GREEN ; BRENTFORD; SION-HOUSE; SIR JOSEPH BANKS'S SEAT; HOUNSLOW ; HOCNS. LOW-HEATH ; BELFONT ; STAINES; RUNNYMEDE; EGAAM; BAGSHOT; MURREL'S-GREEN, BASINGSTOKE; ANECDOTE OF THE : RAVAGES OF CIVIL DISSENSION,
DEAR SIR, AGREEABLY to your request I sit down to give you a narrative of the incidents of my journey into the West; at least I shall notice those things which appear most worthy of attention. Your never having visited this part of Britain, will induce me to enter into a detail which, otherwise, "might have been deemed unnecessary. Travelling during the summer season, has become a fashionable amusement. However laborious such excursions may prove, yet, in our beloved island, its scenery affords a rich repast to the imagination. To the tourist, indeed, the West of England has been long the subject of panegyric, and justice demands from me the declaration, that my expectations were not disappointed.
KNIGHTSBRIDGE. Taking leave of London, in the direction of the great Western road, and having passed HydePark Corner, near which is that noble infirmary St. George's Hospital. Here, on the 16th of October, 1793, the celebrated anatomist Dr. John Hunter dropped down dead, through a spasmodic seizure of the heart. We soon reached Knightsbridge. It is remarkable only for its barracks, which bave been erected of late years, and are
of considerable extent, though inferior to others · which may be found throughout the kingdom. At the extremity of the wall which divides HydePark from the road, stands Kensington, once famed for its palace, the favourite abode of William the
Third, and George the Second; both of these monarchs breathed their last within its walls !
King William, indeed, purchased it of Lord Chan-cellor Finch, whose seat it was,--and caused a road, properly lighted, to be made to it through St. James's and Hyde-Parks, from Whitehall. This spacious fabric is decorated with several curious paintings, particularly those representing yeomen of the guard and spectators; among whom are Mr. Ulrick, commonly called the young Turk, having on the Polonese dress in which he waited on George the First-Peter the Wild Boy—and a Dutch Winter Piece, exhibiting the diversions peculiar to Holland. Nor must we pass over in silence the Gardens belonging to this palace, about three miles in circumference, which are even to this day visited in the summer season, by crowds of almost every description. They were originally
thi ce mi Garut
KENSINGTON. only twenty-six acres, but Queen Anne added thirty to them; and Queen Caroline took in nearly three hundred acres from Hyde-Park; the Gardens have, at different times, undergone considerable improvement.
A little beyond Kensington, at the summit of a lawn, stands Holland House, (near which the unfortunate Lord Camelford fell in a duel) a Gothic structure, venerable in its appearance, and reared by bold chiefs of Warwick's ancient race! Addison having married the Countess of Warwick, lived here,—and here was the scene of his last moments, when he is said to have sent for a proAligate young Nobleman, that he might be witness to the calmness of his dissolution. “ See," exclaimed the departing statesman, “how a Christian can die !” The sight had the desired effect, for it accomplished his reformation. Nor will it be improper here to mention, that the late celebrated Charles James Fox passed much of his time within these walls. The History of the Period just before the Revolution of 1688, written by him, and published since his decease, by his excellent kinsman, Lord Holland, constitutes a permanent memorial of his pure and unadulterated love of civil and religious liberty.
From this little ascent we enjoy a distant view of Chelsea, a large and populous village; in whose church yard is the monument of Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the British Museum. The turrets of its College attract attention, and remind us of the extent and magnificence of national liberality. CHELSEA. The building cost the immense sum of 150,0001. constituting a noble monument of British humanity! It was founded in the time of Charles the Second, for sick and wounded soldiers who have served in the army twenty years. The number of the residents are above four hundred, beside officers of the college, and there are near nine thousand out-pensioners! The army pays poundageevery officer and soldier also appropriating one day's pay in the year to the fund. Sir Christopher Wren built the College, and its interior affords every convenience for so laudable an institution. A bronze statue of Charles the Second, standing opposite to the centre of the building, points out the period of its origin, and must excite in the breast of the superannuated soldier emotions of gratitude. It is a source of gratification to hear from the lips of these veterans the adventures of past days. Hence Goldsmith takes care to delineate his benevolent clergyman, as sympathizing with such a character, well knowing that it proved an indulgence to the benevolent feelings of the heart:
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
An extensive building has been lately erected, called the Royal Military Asylum, for educating about five hundred children belonging to noncommissioned officers and soldiers: the expense
HAMMERSMITH, was defrayed by a sum of money which parliament granted, and each regiment contributes one day's pay towards it. At Chelsea is a Botanic Garden, belonging to the Apothecary's Company; and the inspection of the coffee tree, tea shrub, and sugar cane, must be gratifying to the curiosity of those, who have never visited either the Eastern or Western regions of the world.
But quitting Holland House, and its prospect, we find ourselves soon entering Hammersmith, a long and scattered village, having many pleasant spots in its vicinity. Its mall, close to the river side, is delightfully situated, and has become the abode of several families of respectability. A sad accident happened here in January 1803: the village was disturbed by some silly reports respecting a ghost, when a Mr. Smith, an exciseman, sallied forth one night in quest of this sad apparition. Meeting a man dressed in white, he called to him, but receiving no answer, immediately fired and killed him on the spot. Smith was tried at the Old Bailey, and condemned to die; but, from his good character, and the very singular nature of the case, he was properly made an object of the Royal Mercy. He was much and justly affected on the awful occasion.
Beyond Hammersmith is Chiswick, a small place on the banks of the Thames; its church-yard contains the remains of the celebrated Hogarth, many of whose caricatures, notwithstanding their eccentricity, hold out salutary lessons of improve