The map below locates twenty-two plates of sights and landmarks taken from Modern London, an 1804 guide to the city published by Richard Phillips. The descriptions from the guide are also provided. For more details about Modern London, please see the introduction. The images here are from British Library General Reference Collection 10349.h.13.
|THE CITIES OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER. |
THE CITIES OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER, Copied from the Camera Obscura in the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. (Frontispiece.)
IT is impossible to conceive a more lively or more accurate view of the Metropolis than that which is given in this Plate. It embraces the whole of the grand outline, and every principal feature of London, together with that part of the Thames which exhibits most of that busy scene of navigation and commerce for which it is so highly celebrated. The view is taken from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich-park, and is actually copied from the table of the Camera Obscura there, by permission of the Astronomer Royal: speaking of which, Mr. Addison, in his Spectator, No. 414, says, "The prettiest landscape I ever saw was one drawn on the walls of a dark room at Greenwich, which stood opposite, on one side, to a navigable river, and on the other to a park. The experiment is very common in optics. Here you might discover the waves and fluctuations of the water in strong and proper colours, with the picture of a ship entering at one end, and sailing by degrees through the whole piece. On another there appeared the green shadows of trees waving to and fro with the wind, and herds of deer among them in miniature." — "The scene," says Dr. Blair, in his Critical Examination of the Style in the Spectator, "which Mr. Addison refers to is Greenwich-park, with the prospect of the Thames, as seen by a Camera Obscura, which is placed in a small room in the upper story of the Observatory; where I remember to have seen, many years ago, the whole scene here described, corresponding so much to Mr. Addison's account of it in this passage, that, at the time, it recalled it to my memory."
The foreground of the Plate is the foot of the park, beyond which is the town of Greenwich, the building with the flag being Greenwich-church. The town to the left is Deptford. The broad expanse of water to the right is the part of the Thames called Deptford Reach; in which is the King's yard, distinguished by a man of war on the stocks with flags flying, seen beyond the tower of Greenwich-church. Several men of war are seen in the lower part of the Reach.
On the right of the river is the Isle of Dogs, in which the West India Docks are situated. The manner in which the river winds may be partly traced in this view. The light line running through the centre of the Metropolis marks the course of the river, which winds, in a very luxuriant manner, from the western to the eastern extremity of the town; and, afterwards making a great sweep round the point outside of the right of the Plate, stretches again to the left, forming that part which is called Deptford Reach.
The church in the distance, and on the right, is Limehouse-church; and that which is nearer the Reach is Rotherhithe (usually called Redriff), on the south bank of the Thames. The next church is St. George's in the East. St. Paul's standing conspicuously in the centre; and Westminster-abbey, with its noble towers, at the extremity on the left; form bold and beautiful objects in this fine picture.
The beautiful pillar which rises to the right of St. Paul's is the Monument; and the extensive square building below, with its turrets, is the Tower of London. In the background, on the right of the picture, are seen the hills of Highgate and Hampstead, which rise in great beauty and grandeur, bounding the northern side of the town.
|GREENWICH HOSPITAL, THE WEST INDIA DOCKS, &c. |
GREENWICH HOSPITAL, THE WEST INDIA DOCKS, &c. (Page 169.)
THE house in the foreground is that of the Ranger of Greenwich-park. Beyond, are the southern divisions of Greenwich-hospital, with their beautiful colonnades and domes. Through the interval between these is seen the centre of the grand terrace which runs along the whole front next to the river. A man of war is passing up the river, and is seen in this opening. The extensive range of buildings, toward the background, is the finished warehouses of the West India Docks. They are erected on the northern side of the dock for unloading inward. Nothing can be imagined more complete than they are. This dock covers thirty acres; and will contain nearly three hundred sail of West Indiamen. To the south is a smaller dock for loading outwards. The ground between these docks and the river is a marsh, called The Isle of Dogs. It is a peninsula, and is intersected by a canal cut for vessels and craft, permitted to go through this short passage on the payment of certain rates. The church to the left is St. Anne's, Limehouse. The whole site embraced by this Plate is peculiarly worthy to be visited.
|GREENWICH PARK. |
GREENWICH PARK. (Page 176.)
THIS is a spot of great natural beauty; and in the Easter and Whitsuntide holidays presents a very gay, busy, and festive scene. The broad avenue on the hill, seen in the Plate, is the principal attraction to the merry-making folks. It is extremely steep, and usually thronged; and, every now and then, a group of young men and women, locked hand in hand, rush down this path at full speed; the grand jest and enjoyment of the scene consisting in the falls that happen to the females as well as males in this slippery enterprise. Greenwich is crowded at these holidays. In the public-houses is dancing from morning to evening. Almost every private house of the lower and middle sort make tea and coffee; yet it is often difficult to find room even for a small company; and it is very usual for parties to take a cold repast and wine with them, and dine beneath the trees in the Park, in spots a little retired from the throng. At such times, it is supposed that from ten to thirty thousand of these holiday keepers have been collected in this Park in a single point of view. The hills of this Park afford various beautiful views of London, and the Thames with its moving forest of masts. The building on the brow of the hill is the Royal Observatory. The astronomical apparatus is very excellent; and the whole is worthy of being visited by the curious.
|COURT OF KING'S BENCH. |
COURT OF KING'S BENCH. (Page 233.)
THIS Court is an enclosure, formed by a handsome Gothic screen, at the upper end of Westminster-hall, on the left; another enclosure on the right, corresponding with this in style, being the Court of Chancery. The four judges are seated on one bench under a canopy in the Gothic style; lined at the back with tapestry embroidered with the King's arms, the fasces and other emblems of justice. Before each is placed a small desk. The Chief Justice takes the second seat on the left of the Plate; the oldest of the puisne judges being on his right. This is the chief of the common law courts, and has its name from the King having anciently presided therein in person. All criminal causes and pleas of the crown are determined in this Court exclusively, as well as civil actions; and the judges hold their offices non durante placito, but quamdiu se bene gesserint.
The judges have no less than five different dresses for various occasions; namely, robes of fine scarlet cloth, trimmed with white ermine; black cloth with white ermine; purple cloth with blue and red shot silk cape and cuffs; scarlet with brown silk cape and cuffs; and gowns of black silk. The four first are robes of ceremony; and with them is worn the large full-bottomed wig. The last is seldom worn but when the judge sits at Nisi Prius; and with it is worn the tie wig. The silk gown of the Chief Justice is distinguished from the rest by a train. Immediately below the judges are seated the clerks of the court; viz. the master and other clerks of the Crown Office, the master of the King's Bench Office with his deputy, and the clerk of the Rules with his deputy. Their duty is to take minutes of the several rules and orders of the court according to their respective departments. These wear a black silk gown and tie wig. The space immediately below the clerks, and between them and the counsel, is allotted to strangers, and to attorneys and other persons concerned in causes. The counsel are seated on benches, enclosing this space in the form of an amphitheatre. A partition called the bar separates the King's counsel's seats from those behind: the former are distinguished also by wearing silk gowns and full-bottomed wigs on the first day of Term, and when pleading before either house of parliament; but on other occasions they appear in tie wigs as other barristers, who wear princes-stuff gowns and tie wigs on all occasions. On the left of the Plate is the jury box; and on the right a box for the law students. Behind the counsel's benches is a space usually filled with strangers. The three royal figures in Gothic niches over the canopy are very ancient, and represent William Rufus, Henry I. and King Stephen. On the other side of the Hall in the Court of Chancery are three similar statues of Henry the Second, Richard the First, and King John. The most probable conjecture is that they were placed there about the time of Henry the Third; for although the Hall was rebuilt by Richard the Second, yet the old south wall appears not to have been taken down. Strangers of distinction are usually invited to sit on the bench, on the left of the judges. This Court has no gallery; and is so small, that the inconvenience to all who have business in it is extremely great. On the first day of each Term the judges of all the four courts, after breakfasting with the Lord Chancellor, proceed in state, attended by their respective officers, to Westminster-hall, according to their rank of precedence; the Lord Chancellor going first; next the Chief Justice of the King's Bench; then the Master of the Rolls; the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; the Chief Baron of the Exchequer; and then the Puisne Judges according to the priorities of their respective courts. The Serjeants in their robes are drawn up in a line on the right hand side of the Hall to receive them as they pass, when each judge shakes hands with every serjeant, and wishes him a Good Term.
|THE MALL IN ST. JAMES'S PARK. |
THE MALL IN ST. JAMES'S PARK. (Page 256.)
THE avenue seen in the Plate is the grand Mall leading from Spring Garden-gate to Buckingham-house, which is seen at the end of the hall. The building on the right is St. James's Palace, representing the garden front of the drawing-room and presence-chamber. It is of brick ornamented with stone. The Park was enclosed by Charles the Second, who planted the avenues, made the canal and the aviary adjacent to the Bird-cage Walk, which took its name from the cages hung in the trees. The Mall used formerly to be much frequented by company, great part of which was often of the highest fashion. It was common for it to be so crowded, as to make it very difficult even to pass along. It is still a Sunday promenade; but its visitors are comparatively few; the fashionable walk at present being the Green-park of an evening, and Hyde-park and Kensington-gardens in the morning. Peers, Privy Counsellors, Ambassadors, and other persons of distinction, generally have permission to pass through the Park, either on horseback or in carriages, by license from the Secretary of State; and a list of persons enjoying this privilege is hung up in the passage of the Horse-guards, for the direction of the soldier on duty. The road lies immediately under the walls which separate the gardens of Pall-mall and of the palace from the Park. On the right of the Plate are seen two of the horse-guards, two of whom regularly patrol the Park when the Royal Family are in town.
|HYDE PARK. |
HYDE PARK. (Page 262.)
THE foreground of this Plate represents the entrance of Hyde-park from Piccadilly. The building on the left is the under-keeper's lodge; the horse-road to the left is the celebrated ride called Rotten-row, which on Sundays, during the spring, if the weather be fine, is crowded by persons ambitious of equestrian fame, or proud of their horses, from those of the highest quality to the apprentice and shopman, who hire their hacks at a livery stable for half a guinea a day. This hobbyhorsical exhibition has been justly ridiculed in a well-known Prologue, where, alluding to the lateness of the spring, it is said,
"Hors'd in Cheapside, scarce yet the gayer spark
On the right hand of the ride is a footway leading to Kensington-gardens, which on fine Sundays is crowded from one extremity to the other. The road to the right of the Plate leads to Grosvenor-gate, opening into Park-lane, and to Cumberland gate, opening into Oxford-street. Part of that beautiful piece of water, the Serpentine-river, is seen in this view, and in the background are the trees of Kensington gardens, with the dormitory in the front of them, which, at this distance, forms a pleasing object, although it is now literally nothing more than a shelter for cattle from the heat of the sun.
The Plate affords a very lively picture of this bustling scene, which well deserves a visit from the stranger. Half the confusion of this place is occasioned by the want of sufficient provision for the foot passengers, and of a second gate for carriages and equestrians; by which all going in might have one gate, and all going out another gate.
|THE HORSE GUARDS, OR WAR-OFFICE, AND PARADE OF THE FOOT GUARDS. |
THE HORSE GUARDS, OR WAR-OFFICE, AND PARADE OF THE FOOT GUARDS. (Page 234.)
THE building in the centre represents the War-office, or Horse-guards, so called from being the station where that part of his Majesty's troops usually do duty. It was erected after a design by Vardy, and cost above 30,000l. The next, on the right of the Plate, is Lord Melbourne's town residence; it was built (under the direction of Holland) for the Duke of York, who exchanged it with the present possessor for a house in Piccadilly, upon the site and gardens of which a very extensive range of buildings called Albany-place has since been erected. The building at the extremity of the Plate on the right is The Treasury; at the west end of which, enclosed with a wall, are the gardens of the house, occupied by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. All these are of stone, and produce a fine effect; which however is lessened by the buildings, seen on the left of the Plate, being of brick. The building on the left is The Admiralty, and the house adjoining to the right, the residence of the First Lord of the Admiralty. On the top of the former are the Telegraphs, which communicate with the coast. At the extremity of the left, in the background, is the tower with the spire of St. Martin's church, near Charing-cross. The ground in front is the Parade of the Foot-guards, and a detachment is represented as marching to the palace to relieve the King's guard, which is done every morning after parade: it is very spacious, is laid with gravel, and is excellently adapted to the purpose. On the north side of the Parade is placed a fine Turkish piece of ordnance of uncommon length, brought by our troops from Alexandria; it is mounted on a carriage of English workmanship, ornamented with very elegant and appropriate devices.
The coup d'oeil of the public buildings on this spot is one of the finest about the metropolis. It contains in one view the three principal offices connected with the government of the country; The Treasury on the right, The War-office in the centre, and The Admiralty on the left.
|WESTMINSTER FROM LAMBETH. |
WESTMINSTER FROM LAMBETH. (Page 265.)
THE view from this spot is uncommonly beautiful. In the foreground are Lambeth-palace stairs; and on the right, within the cross railing, is the walk, which is separated from the palace gardens by a high wall, and shaded by lofty and venerable trees. Both are in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury's palace. The opposite side of the river embraces an uncommon portion of striking objects. On the left is the Abbey; at the eastern extremity of which is the roof of Henry the Seventh's chapel. St. Margaret's church is distinguished by a flag on the tower. The large building, with a turret at each end, is Westminster-hall. The trees between that and the river are in the gardens of the Speaker of the House of Commons. In the opening of those trees, toward the left, is seen the east end of the House of Commons, which looks into the Speaker's garden; and a little further to the left, at the upper end of the hall, is seen the House of Lords.
Adjoining to the lower end of the great hall, is a low range of buildings in which the famous Court of Star Chamber (so called from Starra, the Jewish covenants being deposited there in the time of Richard the Second,) was held, which is now occupied by the offices of the Duchy of Lancaster. Adjoining thereto is the Speaker's house. It is faced with stone, and in the Gothic style.
The tower and cupola seen immediately above the trees, to the right, are those of the Horse-guards; they are surmounted by a gilt ball, with a vane, and form a pleasing object in the view. The church seen beyond the Horse-guards is that of St. James's, in Piccadilly; the large church to the right and more advanced to the front is St. Martin's, near the Strand; and that beyond it St. Giles's in the Fields. The pyramid below the bridge is the Hungerford water-works, which supply Piccadilly, St. James's square and street, and that neighbourhood, with water. The lofty building on the right, with a tower on the top, is Drury-lane Theatre. On the right of the Horse guards, that building which overtops the rest is the Banquetting-room, Whitehall, the upper colonnade being seen with the light falling upon it. The houses between Whitehall and the river are in Privy-gardens. The mass of building below the bridge, resting upon arches, is the Adelphi, which has a magnificent terrace upon the water.
Westminster-bridge, which is one of the grandest and most beautiful in Europe, is seen to great advantage from Lambeth-walk. The expanse of water here is extremely fine. The Plate represents the river at high water; or rather the tide just turned, and running out; and gives a lively idea of this beautiful scene. In the background are seen the range of hills which run on each side of Hampstead from east to west.
|THE ROYAL PROCESSION TO PARLIAMENT. |
THE ROYAL PROCESSION TO PARLIAMENT. (Page 267.)
THE Plate represents the large open space before the principal entrance to the House of Lords. The state carriage is very massive, and profusely decorated with carving and gilding. It is drawn by eight cream-coloured horses, the off-horse of each pair being led by one of the King's footmen. The coachman and footmen wear scarlet turned up with blue; the postillion blue; and these liveries are almost covered with broad gold lace. His Majesty is usually accompanied in the carriage by a Lord of the Bedchamber, and the Groom of the Stole, who assist him to robe after he arrives at the House. A yeoman of the guards walks on each side of the carriage. A strong detachment of the horse-guards accompanies the carriage; others of those guards keep the middle of the street clear from carriages and horse and foot passengers, till the procession is closed. The manner of that duty is accurately represented in the Plate.
The Master of the Horse precedes his Majesty in a state chariot drawn by six horses; as also do some of the other great officers of state, in three coaches drawn each by six horses. The portico on the right of the Plate is the principal entrance to the House of Lords. The house with a balcony is Waghorn's coffee-house, with an entrance into the lobbies of the House, and is principally appropriated to the use of the peers or members of the House of Commons, who may be desirous of taking refreshments. Almost immediately under this house is the entrance to the cellar or vault in which Guy Faux and the other conspirators of 1605 lodged the barrels of gunpowder, designed at one blow to annihilate the three estates of the realm, when assembled in parliament. The adjoining house, whose gabel-end is seen, is the Ship tavern. The house in the foreground to the right is the Star and Garter tavern. All the buildings contiguous to these, in the Plate, contain apartments and offices of the two houses of parliament, with the exception of the lofty gabel-end crowned with a turret, which is the south end of Westminster-hall.
The Gothic building on the left of the Plate is Henry the Seventh's chapel. The flag seen over the roof is placed on the top of St. Margaret's church. The modern building beyond, with wings projecting and higher than the centre, is the Ordnance-office.
|THE HOUSE OF LORDS. |
THE HOUSE OF LORDS. (Page 268.)
THE Plate represents his Majesty meeting the parliament at the opening of a session. The King on this occasion wears the coronation robes, which are crimson velvet, trimmed with white ermine spotted with black. The coronation diadem is on his head, and the sceptre in his right hand. He is seated on the throne.
On his right the Prince of Wales is seated in a chair of state; and on his left are chairs of state for his six younger sons, the Dukes of York, Clarence, Kent, Cumberland, Cambridge, and Sussex. On each side are ranged the great officers of state, the Lord Chamberlain, the Master of the Horse, the Lord Steward of the Household, &c. The figure in the view, immediately on the right of the King, is one of the great officers of state bearing the Cap of Maintenance; that immediately on the left is the Lord Chamberlain with a white staff in his hand; and the next to him is another great officer bearing the sword of state. All the Heralds are also among the King's attendants. The Lord Chancellor's place is a little advanced on the right of the King.
The peers are robed, and standing; as they always are when his Majesty is present in parliament, until he signifies his permission for them to sit. The archbishops and bishops are on the right of the throne; the dukes, marquisses, earls, and viscounts, on the left, in succession; and the barons stand across the House below the table, and on the left below the fireplace. The four figures on the left of the view, with their backs to the spectator, and black patches in their wigs, as well as the four on the right of the plate, are the Judges, in their dress of ceremony. The figures with their backs to the spectator are the House of Commons; the figure in the centre being the Speaker, in his dress of state. On his right is the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. The Commons stand below the bar, which is a dwarf partition running across the room, at the bottom, dividing off about one-fifth of its length. Ladies are permitted to be present (by peers' orders) in the manner the Plate represents. A few strangers are also admitted below the bar, standing behind the Commons; a space (on the right of the plate) being raised two steps above the floor, and enclosed with a rail, for the foreign ministers and other foreigners of distinction.
The robes of the peers are scarlet cloth trimmed with white ermine and gold lace, and lined with white silk. The Lord Chancellor's robes, on state occasions, are of black figured damask silk ornamented with gold lace. The different ranks of the peers are distinguished by the number of broad gold laced stripes on each side of the slash on the right side of the robe: a duke having four before the arm and four behind; a marquis, four before and three behind; an earl, three before and three behind; a viscount, three before and two behind; and a baron, two before and two behind. The Commons (except the Speaker) have no dress of state.
The House of Lords is a very handsome, but not a splendid room. It was formerly the Court of Requests, and used merely as a passage to the old House of Lords, which was deemed insufficient after the Union. The tapestry and other ornaments were removed from the old house. The canopy of state is very accurately represented in the Plate: it is of crimson velvet, ornamented with gold and silver; the arms of the united kingdom, over the chair, being embroidered in silk, and the supporters in silver. The throne is an armed chair, elegantly carved and gilt, and ornamented with crimson velvet and silver embroidery. The chair is covered, and its back turned to the House, except when his Majesty is present, or when bills are passed by commission.
Before the throne, with an interval of several feet, is a woolsack, in the centre, which is the seat of the Lord Chancellor, or Lord Speaker, when the King is not present. There are two other woolsacks, extending from the latter down the room. On these are seated the Judges when they attend, to afford legal advice to the House, which they do at any time upon order; and also two Masters in Chancery, who are in constant attendance upon the House, being their messengers to the Commons. Below these woolsacks is a table, on which are laid bills in progress before the House, and all petitions and other papers received by the House. On each side, and across the room at the foot, are rows of seats with backs, for the peers. The woolsacks, table, and seats, are covered with fine crimson baize. The walls are decorated with that beautiful and interesting tapestry representing the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. It was made by order of the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral and Commander in Chief on that glorious day. The Earl sold it to James the First. The design was drawn by Cornelius Vroom*, and executed by Francis Spiering. It was not, however, put up until the year 1650. The story is divided into compartments by broad frames of wainscot; and the heads, which form a border to each design, are portraits of the several gallant officers who commanded in the English fleet on this memorable occasion. The whole floor is covered with matting. The House is lighted by three brass branches pendant from the roof; and sconces (of bronze, and of a peculiarly elegant form,) fixed to the walls.
When the House is in its usual sittings, all the space above the Lord Chancellor's woolsack is deemed out of the House, and members of the House of Commons and peers' sons are permitted to stand there. The mace of the Lord Chancellor, and the great seal, in a purse or bag of state richly ornamented with gold and silver embroidery and the royal arms, are placed on the woolsack, while the House is sitting. The Commons, as a house, enter by large folding doors at the bottom of the room. The door for the Lords is at the upper end, and is that which appears on the right of the Plate. At that end of the House is the King's robing-room. When bills are passed by a commission, which is always directed to the great officers of state, the three who are present, of whom the Lord Chancellor is always one, take their seats in their robes upon a bench immediately before the throne, with their hats on; and the Commons being sent for, the Speaker and the members, with the officers of the House, are introduced by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. The commission being read by one of the clerks at the table, and afterwards the titles of the bills, the royal assent is pronounced by the Clerk of the Crown, who, after bowing three times to the Lords Commissioners, if it be a money bill, says, Le Roy remercie ses loyaux sujets, accepte leur benevolence et ainsi le veut. For a public bill of a general nature, the words are, Le Roy le veut; and if it be a private bill, Soit fait comme il est desirée. But in case the King should refuse the bill, the answer is, Le Roy s'avisera.
When bills are brought up from the Commons, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod announces at the bar a message from the House of Commons; upon which the Lord Chancellor puts the question whether the messengers shall be called in; which being ordered, he comes down to the bar of the House bearing the bag of state, containing the great seal, when the Commons are introduced with three bows, and the member who brings up the bill reads the title of it at the bar, and then gives it to the Lord Chancellor, who, from the woolsack, informs the House of the purport of the message. Three Lords are considered as sufficient to constitute a House; and prayers are always read by the junior Bishop before they proceed to business, except it be on a Committee of Privileges, when prayers are read afterwards.
* Vroom had a hundred pieces of gold for his labour. The arras itself cost 1628 pounds sterling.
|HOUSE OF COMMONS. |
HOUSE OF COMMONS. (Page 270.)
THE House of Commons, since the reign of Edward the Sixth, has held its sittings in this room, which was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. Stephen the Protomartyr. It was originally built by King Stephen, and rebuilt in 1347 by King Edward the Third in a very magnificent manner; some curious remains of which were discovered on the House being enlarged, occasioned by the Union with Ireland, the walls appearing to be most richly ornamented with illuminated paintings.
The Plate represents the House sitting. The Speaker's chair stands at some distance from the wall at the upper end of the room. It is of oak, slightly ornamented with gilding, with the King's Arms at the top. The Speaker is usually dressed in a train black silk gown, with a full-bottomed wig. On occasions of state, he wears a robe, similar to the state robe of the Lord Chancellor. Before him, with a small interval, is a table, at which three clerks of the House are seated, with their backs to the Speaker, whose business it is to take minutes of the proceedings of the House, read the titles of bills in their several stages, hand them to the Speaker, &c. They are dressed in plain black silk gowns, and tie wigs. On this table, in front, the Speaker's mace always lies when the House is sitting; except when the House is in a Committee, and then it is placed under the table, and the Speaker leaves the chair, there being a perpetual Chairman to the Committee of the Whole House. In the centre of the room, between the table and the bar, is an extensive area. The members' seats occupy each side, and both ends of the room, with the exception of the passages, in the form seen in the Plate. There are five rows of seats, rising above each other, with short backs and green morocco cushions.
The seat on the floor, on the left of the Print, is that which is called the Treasury Bench, on which the chief members of the administration sit; and the opposite seat is usually occupied by the leading members of Opposition. The Speaker sits with his hat off, except on particular occasions. All the members must be seated, except him who is addressing the Chair; but they wear their hats or not, at pleasure, except when speaking. A gallery, supported by very elegant pillars of iron, with gilt Corinthian capitals, runs along the two sides and the west end of the room. That part which crosses the west end is the strangers' gallery, and will hold about one hundred and thirty persons. The gallery on each side is reserved for members. Sometimes a member speaks from the gallery. The walls are lined with wainscot; and the gallery and the backs of the seats are also of wainscot. The House, when full, presents a very pleasing coup-d'œil; and it is admirably adapted to the purposes of debate, as a very moderate voice may be distinctly heard in every part.
|INTERIOR OF THE ROTUNDA IN THE BANK OF ENGLAND. |
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.
|THE ROYAL EXCHANGE, BANK, &c. |
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE, BANK, &c. (Page 304.)
THE foreground in this Plate is Mansionhouse-street, a spacious area in front of the Mansion-house. The coup-d'œil eastward is as rich and various as any in London. The extensive building with the lofty tower is the Royal Exchange; whose principal front is in Cornhill, on the right of the Plate, and the other in Treadneedle-street, the extremity of the Plate on the left. The range of houses in the centre is Bank-buildings, with Richardson and Goodluck's Lottery-office immediately in front. The Bank is the noble building, with colonnades, on the left. The front is a sort of vestibule; the base rustic; the ornamental columns above Ionic. It was built in 1733 upon the site of the house of Sir John Houblon, who was at the same time Lord Mayor of London, a Lord of the Admiralty, and the First Governor of the Bank of England.
The church of St. Bartholomew is beyond; and in the background is seen the dome of the church of St. Peter le Poor, Broad-street, rising above the north end of the Royal Exchange. On the right of the Plate is seen part of the beautiful Gothic tower of St. Michael's, and beyond the spire of St. Peter's, both in Cornhill. At the bottom of Cornhill, and in the corner house, which divides the former from Lombard Stand (now occupied by a glover), stands the house and shop in which the celebrated Thomas Guy, by the exercise of the pious trade of selling Bibles and Prayer-books, made the greatest fortune ever accumulated by the industry of one individual. Besides building and endowing three wards of St. Thomas's Hospital, he was the sole founder of another which bears his name. The expense of the erection amounted to 18,793l. 16s. and he left the enormous sum of 219,499l. to endow it. Besides his public expenses, he allowed small annuities, during his life, to many of his poor relations and others; and to his aged relations he left by his will 870l. in annuities; and to his younger relations and executors 75,589l.! This incredible fortune was amassed from a very small beginning, chiefly by purchasing seamens' tickets in the reign of Queen Anne, by his great success in buying and selling South Sea Stock, and by the sale of Bibles: thus profiting both of God and Mammon.
The active part of this scene is uncommonly curious. A prodigious crowd is seen passing in Cornhill; and another in front of the Bank. Beyond the carriage from which a lady is stepping, and over its roof, is seen a stage-coach, with passengers on its top. In the foreground, on the left, is a brewer's dray, with porter-butts; and under the north-west corner of the Royal Exchange is one of the Islington stages.
|THE ROYAL EXCHANGE. |
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE. (Page 306.)
THE Plate represents the inside of the Royal Exchange. The piazza on the left is the south, in which is the principal entrance leading from Cornhill. The piazzas are divided into walks for the various trades in the following manner: The South Piazza contains the Virginia, Jamaica, Spanish, and Jews walks; and the south front in the area the French, Oporto, and Barbadoes walks. The West contains the Norway and East India walks; and in the area the Silkmen, Clothiers, and Turkey walks. The North contains the East Country, the Irish, Scotch, and Jewellers walks; and in front of the area the Clothiers, Silkthrowers, Skinners, Salters, and Dutch walks. The East contains the Armenian and Portuguese walks; and in the area the Italian walk. In the Centre of the area, toward the south, is the Canary walk; to the west the Grocers and Druggists; to the north the Hamburgh; and the east the Stockbrokers. Merchants, however, by no means confine themselves exclusively to their respective walks, but mix together without any regularity. The name of each walk is painted on tablets over the pillars, as represented in the Plate. A seat extends along the four walls of the piazzas. The two figures in the left corner of the Plate represent two persons seated, and in conversation. The piazzas are very broad and extensive, an entire regiment of the City Volunteers having sometimes gone through their usual exercise under their cover. The open area in the centre is a spacious commodious place for transacting business in fine weather.
The whole building stands upon a plot of ground two hundred and three feet in length, and a hundred and seventy-one in breadth, containing an area in the middle of sixty-one square perches. The building is fifty-six feet high, and from the centre in the south front rises a lantern and turret a hundred and seventy-eight feet high, on the top of which is a fane of gilt brass, made in the shape of a grasshopper, the crest of Sir Thomas Gresham's arms. The statue in the area is that of Charles the Second, which was undertaken by Gibbons, but executed by Quillin, of Antwerp. The statues seen in niches of the wall of the quadrangle, in the upper story, are those of kings and queens of England, beginning with Edward the First, on the south side, and ending with his present Majesty on the east. As far as Charles the First they were executed by Gabriel Cibber. The figure in the Plate, under the dial, is the statue of James the First, and the next, on his right, that of Queen Elizabeth. There are twenty-eight niches in the four walls under the piazzas for statues; but two only are occupied: these are on the west side. In one is the statue of Sir Thomas Gresham (by Gabriel Cibber), the original founder of the old Exchange, which was burnt down in 1666, the present one being soon after built, at an expense of 65,9791. 11s. In the other niche is that of Sir John Barnard, which was placed there in his life-time by his fellow-citizens, to express their sense of his great merit; upon which he made a resolution, to which he strictly adhered, never to enter the Exchange more.
The walls within the piazzas, and the pillars, are almost covered with boards, neatly framed and painted, announcing the residence and trades of various dealers, who have obtained permission thus to call the attention of the merchants on 'Change to their shops or warehouses. This, no doubt, is of mutual advantage to them and the merchant.
The rooms in the upper story of the Royal Exchange are applied to various purposes. Lloyd's Coffee-house and Subscription-rooms, so celebrated for the immense business transacted in them in insuring ships, and so endeared to every Englishman by the noble subscriptions made for humane or patriotic purposes, by the merchants who assemble there, are in this part of the Royal Exchange; and also the Merchant Seaman, Russia, and other public offices.
Here are also apartments in which the Gresham lecturers read their lectures, pursuant to the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, who bequeathed to the city and the mercers' company all the profits arising from the Royal Exchange, and other premises in Cornhill, in trust, to pay salaries to four lecturers in divinity, astronomy, music, and geometry, and three readers in civil law, physic, and rhetoric, who were to read lectures daily. The trustees were however prevailed upon to regulate the readings according to the practice of the universities (where they only read in Term-time), although in direct opposition to Sir Thomas Gresham's will. By this management, the professors' places are almost made mere sinecures; for instead of each reading fifty-two lectures annually, they seldom exceed sixteen.
|ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, WITH THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW ON THE WATER. |
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, WITH THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW ON THE WATER. (Page 308.)
ON the 9th of November, annually, the Chief Magistrate of the City, being newly elected, proceeds by water to Westminster-hall, where he is sworn into his office before the Barons of the Exchequer. He embarks on board his own barge, at Three Cranes Stairs, accompanied by the aldermen, sheriffs, and the liverymen of the company of which he is a member, and is followed by the various free companies of the city in their respective barges. The barges are all built on the same plan; the Lord Mayor's being more profusely decorated with flags. Each has a large and handsome state room; on the roof of which is placed a numerous band of music, who play during the procession. Flags decorate the bow, stern, and deck of the barge. A prodigious number of boats and wherries, with private companies, attend his Lordship on this occasion. The whole forms a very lively and pleasing scene if the weather be fine, which at that season of the year is seldom the case.
In the background of the Plate is a grand view of the south side of St. Paul's cathedral.
|ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. |
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. (Page 363.)
THIS Plate presents to our view a prospect of the grand entrance to this magnificent structure, taken from the north-west corner of St. Paul's church-yard. The great fire of London, by which the old cathedral was destroyed, made way for the restoration of this magnificent pile by Sir Christopher Wren, surveyor-general of his Majesty's works, and an architect worthy of so grand a design.
It was certainly the intention and desire of Sir Christopher Wren to have taken the church of St. Peter at Rome for his model, and to have adopted one single order instead of two, with an attic story, as in that structure. This appears by his two first designs, which were however objected to; and the third produced the present noble pile, which has in some respects been preferred by a judicious writer to even the Roman Basilica. The magnificent portico of the church of St. Peter is certainly not to be equalled; but the whole front of that structure is terminated in a straight line at the top, which has neither so good an effect, nor that agreeable variety, which are given by the elevation of the pediment in the middle, and the beautiful campanile towers at each end of the front of St. Paul's, which are represented in the Plate.
It is much to be lamented that all Sir Christopher Wren's exertions could not obtain a greater open space, which might enable the spectator to view his noble structure to full advantage. Unfortunately, the commissioners for rebuilding the city had marked out the streets before his designs were decided upon, and great progress had been made in rebuilding houses before he could even begin to remove the ruins of the old church.
The two turrets on the right and left of the front are each two hundred and eight feet in height. In the one on the southern side is the great clock, the bell of which may be heard in the most distant part of London when the wind is in that quarter. In the construction of the dome, which is one hundred and twelve feet in diameter, St. Paul's differs both from the Pantheon at Rome and St. Peter's. The Pantheon is no higher than its diameter, which is too low; and St. Peter's is twice its diameter in height, being an excess the other way. Sir Christopher has taken a mean proportion, which shews its concave every way. Thus the windows of the upper order strike down the light through the great colonnade that encircles the dome without, and serves for its abutment.
The inside of the dome is painted by Sir James Thornhill, and contains, in eight compartments, the histories of St. Paul. It was Sir Christopher's intention to have beautified the inside with the more durable ornament of Mosaic work, similar to Su Peter's, which has a most magnificent and splendid appearance, and is as durable as marble, without the least decay of colour. The art was not however understood in England, and although Sir Christopher had engaged four eminent artists from Italy, apprehensions of the expense, and the length of time it would take to finish, occasioned the design to be dropped.
The conversion of St. Paul, on the triangular elevation of the pediment, seen in the Plate, the bas-reliefs under the portico, and the statue of Queen Anne, with the figures of Britain, France, Ireland, and America, at the base, were all executed by Francis Bird
|INSIDE OF ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, WITH THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLAGE OF THE CHARITY CHILDREN OF THE METROPOLIS. |
INSIDE OF ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, WITH THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLAGE OF THE CHARITY CHILDREN OF THE METROPOLIS. (Page 365.)
ONCE in every year, usually in the last week in May, or the first in June, a charity sermon is preached at St. Paul's, by one of the bishops or some other dignitary of the church, in aid of the charity-schools of the several parishes in London.
The Plate represents this interesting scene. Against the pillars of the great circle beneath the dome are erected temporary galleries on all the eight sides, except that next the western aisle, which is left open for spectators. In these the children are seated; the boys in the upper rows, and the girls below: they usually amount to six thousand!
On the north and south sides are temporary staircases, leading into the galleries, the entrance of which will be seen on the right and left of the Plate. The galleries are partitioned into divisions, equal to the number of the several schools; each school being distinguished by its flag, with the name of the parish, raised on a pole above the back of the scaffolding, in the manner represented in the Plate.
A seat runs round the foot of the galleries, on which are placed the masters and mistresses of the several schools. The eastern half of the circle is divided into pews for the lord mayor, aldermen, and their friends, the dean and residentiaries, and other persons of distinction.
Across the circle, from north to south, is left a broad path, for the stewards and others who regulate the ceremony. The remainder of the circle, and the whole of the west aisle, are occupied with rows of benches for the other parts of the congregation. A temporary pulpit is erected on the eastern side of the circle.
Against the organ-loft is a temporary gallery for the choristers of the cathedral, who assist in the service: the children also join in the chanting, following their singing-master, who is elevated on a seat above the galleries to the left of the organ. Persons are admitted to this service only by tickets; and a collection is made, which usually produces from three to four hundred pounds.
The Plate represents part of the inside of the dome of St. Paul's. The whispering gallery is within the iron-railing which runs round the dome immediately above the arches. The view of the choir, as it is seen behind the organ-gallery, gives an accurate idea of the aisles of this church. Above the windows are the paintings of Sir James Thornhill.
The following are the flags seen in the Plate:—That to the left was taken from the French at Fort Bourbon, in the island of Martinique; the two next were taken in Lord Howe's victory, on the 1st of June 1794; the two most to the right of the other three were taken by Lord Duncan from the Dutch fleet, at Camperdown; and the left of the three was taken by Lord Elphinstone from the Dutch Admiral, Lucas, at the Cape of Good Hope.
|WESTMINSTER ABBEY. |
WESTMINSTER ABBEY. (Page 376.)
THE Plate contains a view of the north side of this noble specimen of Gothic, or rather Saracenic, architecture; for, as Sir Christopher Wren justly observes*, "The Goths were rather destroyers than builders, whereas the Saracens wanted neither arts nor learning: and after we, in the west, had lost both, we borrowed again from them, out of their Arabic books, what they, with great diligence, had translated from the Greeks."
The present structure was begun by King Henry the Third, who pulled down the old Saxon pile. It was however far from finished in his life-time; the great tower and two western towers remaining incomplete at the Reformation; after which the two present towers arose; but they were left extremely imperfect, one being much higher than the other, until Sir Christopher Wren perfected them in their present elegant form.
It is much to be lamented that the Norman architects, who were originally employed in building this beautiful structure, chose a species of Caen stone, which is more beautiful than durable, and so extremely tender that the finer ornaments are speedily destroyed by the weather. When Sir Christopher Wren made his survey, in order to complete the whole structure upon a regular plan, he found the stone decayed four inches deep; and his first care therefore was to cut away all the ragged stone, and supply it with better. The great north window, commonly called the Rose Window, seen in the Plate, he entirely rebuilt of Portland stone, to answer to the south Rose Window, and restored it to its proper shape: but his design of building a tower over the centre of the cross, which would have finally completed the whole structure according to the plan of the original architect, has never been executed.
This magnificent pile was formerly adorned on the outside with the statues or figures of those Princes who had contributed to the building; they were placed in niches cut in the buttresses, but few of them now remain. The windows were also formerly all of painted glass, but some only remain at the east and west ends. In the south-west window is the portrait of Edward the Confessor, with his arms. The paintings with which the walls were formerly adorned are now defaced, or obscured by the numerous monuments which, as Mr. Pennant observes, "furnish materials for an excellent lecture upon the progress of these efforts of human skill, from the simple altar tomb to the most ostentatious proofs of human vanity."
On the left of the Plate is seen the tower of St. Margaret's church. It was built in the time of Edward the Fourth; and in 1735 the tower was cased, and the whole almost rebuilt, at the expense of 3, 5001. granted by Parliament, it being the church in which the House of Commons attend divine worship. In this church are deposited the remains of the ill-fated Sir Walter Raleigh, who was interred here the day on which he was beheaded in Old Palace-yard. It was left to a sensible churchwarden to record the fact, who inscribed it on a board about fifty years ago. The east window, of fine painted glass, is particularly worthy of notice, being a beautiful composition of figures. The principal subject is the Crucifixion. In a compartment on one side is Henry the Sixth kneeling, and above him his patron St. George; on the other is his queen, and above her St. Catherine.
The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, with the most laudable spirit, have very recently given directions to pull down a number of old ruinous houses which totally obscured the north side of Henry the Seventh's chapel, and part of the east end of the Abbey. These disgraceful incumbrances were loudly complained of by Sir Christopher Wren, but their total demolition was reserved for the present day.
The total length of the Abbey within the walls is 489 feet, and the height of the middle roof is 92 feet.
* Parentalia, p. 297.
|THE SOCIETY OF ARTS. |
THE SOCIETY OF ARTS. (Page 406.)
THE public spirit of this age is perhaps in no instance more evident than in the rapid progress and present flourishing condition of this valuable Society. It was set on foot by Lord Folkestone, Lord Romney, Dr. Hales, and seven or eight private gentlemen, who were brought together by the unwearied pains of Mr. William Shipley, a person little known, who had long laboured to reduce into practice a scheme he had projected for this purpose. Their first meeting was at Rathmill's coffee-house, March 22, 1754, when those noble Lords not only approved and patronised the undertaking, but offered to make good any deficiencies of subscription which should be found at the end of the year. Premiums were accordingly offered for the discovery of cobalt, for designs in drawing, and for the planting of madder. From this beginning the Society has increased to the present extent, and is annually adding to the list of its subscribers and the number of premiums.
The Plate represents this fine Institution in the interesting moment of distributing its annual prizes for the encouragement of arts, manufactures, and commerce. The room is an oblong square, elegantly proportioned: the seats are ranged round the table in an oval form. Many of the figures in this Plate are portraits. The President, his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, is presenting a medal to a successful candidate. On his right is the Secretary, Mr. Charles Taylor; on his left Mr. Thomas Taylor, the Assistant Secretary. The seat immediately round the table is occupied by the Vice-Presidents and Chairmen of Committees. The second seat on the right of the President is reserved for ladies of rank. Among those represented in the Plate are the Duchess of Northumberland and her daughters. The second seat on the left of the President is allotted to foreign ministers, and other foreigners of distinction. The person immediately below the bar, with a white wand in his left hand, is Mr. Pearsal, one of the Managers for the day; the other, with a white wand, is Mr. Tooke, another Manager; and the gentleman handing a lady to her seat is Mr. Gold, a third Manager.
The figure entering the room, with his right hand extended, represents a Candidate. I n the area which is seen below the bar are seated ladies, Candidates. The other seats all round are occupied indiscriminately by members and visitors; but, as the Plate represents, the number of ladies who honour the Society with their presence on solemn occasions nearly fill the seats. The gentlemen, members and visitors, are standing in the area round the extreme seat.
The walls are decorated with a series of six paintings by Barry, representing the progress of man in civilization: they are among the finest productions of the age. For any adequate feeling of their merit we refer the reader to a view of them. Two of these pictures, and part of a third, are seen in the Plate. That over the President is part of the Olympic Games, a composition unrivalled in modern times. The group seen in the Plate is remarkable for the refinement of its taste and the sweetness of its effect. An old man is represented as borne on the shoulders of his two sons, severally victors in the games.—The next picture is the Triumph of Navigation. Father Thames is seated in his car, drawn by river nymphs. The pillar seen to the right is a naval pillar of a very novel kind, lately added by the painter: it is designed with exquisite fancy, and painted in a bold and finished style. A gallery winds on the outside of the pillar to the top, to enable the spectator to ascend and examine the bas relief on the shaft. The pillar is supported by Tritons, on sea-horses. The steeds and riders are executed with uncommon spirit.
The picture on the right of the Plate represents the distribution of the rewards of the Society. All the figures in it are portraits. That with his hat on is the late Lord Romney, the then President of the Institution. The figure in robes, nearer the foreground, represents his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The person sitting in the left corner of the picture is Mr. William Shipley, the founder of the Society. The female figure near the centre, with two girls near her, represents the late Mrs. Montague, who was an active member of the Society for fifteen years.—The portrait seen between the two last pictures represents the late Lord Romney; and below is a bust of the Prince of Wales. The small pictures behind the President are paintings and drawings of Candidates. The statues seen at the upper end and at the bottom of the room are casts of Venus and Narcissus, by the late Mr. John Bacon. This room, especially when the Society is in one of those sittings represented in the Plate, affords one of the finest spectacles in Europe.
|INSIDE OF DRURY-LANE THEATRE. |
INSIDE OF DRURY-LANE THEATRE, As seen from the Stage during the Performance. (Page 451.)
THIS is one of the most elegant and beautiful Theatres in Europe. It has four ranges of boxes, besides the private boxes, which are a row, on a level with the most elevated part of the pit. The boxes are painted a light green, relieved with red, and ornamented with bas-reliefs of composition, designed and executed in a very fine taste. They are supported by slender pillars of iron, washed with silver: they terminate at top with a pointed Gothic arch; and the whole form of the interior is a mixture of Grecian and Gothic architecture. This is the principal fault of the building; which, however, produces a grand effect to an eye not too nice and critical. The boxes are perhaps too lofty. The stage is of prodigious dimensions. It requires an uncommonly strong and articulate voice to fill the house. The third row in the front is the two-shilling gallery; and the highest row the one-shilling gallery. The whole range of boxes on the level of the pit are private boxes. That on the stage, seen to the right of the Plate, is the Prince of Wales's box; the box immediately above is a public box, distinguished by the name of the stage-box; the one next above that is the Duke of Bedford's box; and the highest on that side is the Duchess of Devonshire's.
The Plate gives a very accurate idea of the coup-d'œil of the Theatre when filled. The dimensions of this Theatre between the walls are, 192 feet long, and 87 wide.
The receipts of this Theatre, when crowded, amount to between 700 and 800l.
|INSIDE OF COVENT-GARDEN THEATRE. |
INSIDE OF COVENT-GARDEN THEATRE, Viewed from the front Boxes, during the Attendance of the Royal Family and the Performance of Pizarro. (Page 452.)
THE Plate represents the Royal Family attending the play at this Theatre. His Majesty's box is in the second row, as seen on the left of the Plate: eight of the ordinary boxes are thrown into one for his accommodation. Over the centre is a canopy of crimson velvet, embroidered with gold, and surmounted with a crown. The pannels in front are of crimson velvet, decorated with a crown, and with the initials of their Majesties, embroidered with gold. The box is lined with blue satin: curtains festooned run round the top. The back of the box is taken away on these occasions, and a crimson curtain is drawn across, which opens into an ante-room lined with white satin. Three of the boxes over their Majesties are occupied by the officers of the horse and foot-guards, and the King's pages. The Lord Chamberlain, the Lord in Waiting, and other officers, stand behind the King during the representation; and the Ladies in Waiting, and other Ladies, behind the Queen. The Princesses sit on each side of their Majesties. The King is dressed either in regimentals, or a plain suit: her Majesty and the Princesses are usually much dressed, the queen generally wearing a great quantity of valuable diamonds. When the King enters, the band plays God save the King: and, of late years, it has been the custom for the vocal performers to sing that song; the whole audience standing, and the men being uncovered. The same is done at the conclusion of the night's amusement.
The Stage, in this Plate, represents a scene in Pizarro. Mr. Kemble is playing Rolla, and is in the act of carrying off Alonzo's child from Pizarro. The dimensions of this Theatre are at present, from wall to wall, 158 feet long, and 60 feet wide, the room allowed for the stage being nearly equal to that set apart for the audience. It has been much enlarged within these few years. It will hold between five and six hundred pounds.
|VAUXHALL GARDENS. |
VAUXHALL GARDENS. (Page 456.)
THE Plate represents the orchestra at the time when the performers are singing, and the company are gathered round in front. The orchestra is very elegant in its form, is painted white, ornamented with gilding, and almost covered with small variegated lamps. A beautiful grove of large trees surrounds the orchestra. On the trunks and branches of the trees small lamps of various colours are disposed in great profusion, and with peculiar taste; the light of the lamps giving the leaves an almost transparent appearance, and producing a brilliant effect. Piazzas run in various directions in the garden, illuminated with thousands of various coloured lamps, and decorated with arches with transparent paintings. Specimens of these elegant arcades are seen in the Plate, on the right and left of the orchestra, among the trees. To the left of the orchestra is a very spacious room, ornamented in a most fanciful manner. The amusements are singing, music, fireworks, and a sham cascade. The company in the latter part of the evening (or rather early in the morning) amuse themselves beside with dancing to bands of Italian or German musicians. When the evening is fine, and the gardens full, the whole presents a scene that is something like the realizing of fairy dreams.
The refreshments here are cold collations, served in a very elegant style. The boxes are numerous and very handsome; each being ornamented with painted pannels.
Three nights in the week are gala nights; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The price of admittance is then three shillings; on other nights it is only two shillings.