INTERIOR OF THE ROTUNDA IN THE BANK OF ENGLAND. (Page 297.)
THIS Plate is an accurate representation of one of the busiest scenes in the metropolis. The apartment itself is a circular building of stone, the top of which is a noble dome. The light is admitted through a cupola, supported by female figures, representing the twelve months of the year. In the centre of the cupola is a wind dial. The spectator is supposed, in this view, to have entered the Rotunda from the Bank gate in Bartholomew-lane, passing on his right and left the Bank Stock Office and the Three per Cent. Consols Office.
The opposite entrance, under the clock, is from a vestibule, which leads into the front court of the Bank facing Cornhill.
On one side of the Rotunda is the Transfer Office of the Three per Cent. Consols, and on the other the Office of the Four and Five per Cent. Stocks.
The body of the Rotunda is filled by brokers, jobbers, and other persons bargaining in the funds; and the artist in this drawing has very happily succeeded in sketching the character of the various groups which are to be daily seen in this place, from the hours of twelve to two. In the centre, and round the room, are placed desks and forms for the convenience of writing; and in the recesses there are seats with fireplaces.
To a person of observation this scene will not fail to afford the highest entertainment. The anxiety of those who are compelled perhaps to sell their stock at any price which the state of the market offers; the avidity of others who are catching at every opportunity to buy; the busy faces of the brokers, and the vacant or astonished countenances of the country stockholders, are contrasts of the human character which may be seen here in perfection.
Notwithstanding the seeming confusion of this scene, where the noise is frequently so great that persons standing close together are unable to hear each other, and where the throng is sometimes so violent that it is dangerous to stand in the crowd, yet such is the admirable regulation of the business transacted that, in the midst of this apparent mob and uproar, property to the amount of hundreds of thousands of pounds is daily transferred from one owner to another with a facility and correctness almost incredible.