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union-jack "that for years has braved the battle and the breeze" floats triumphantly above them all.
From the Prince's dock the view is extremely fine. To the southward you can see the Cheshire woods in the distance, and northward the Irish channel, Bootle Bay, Crosby on the Lancashire coast, the Rock Light-house and Fort. Here the eye takes in all the Cheshire coast, New Brighton, Egremont, Seacomb, Woodside, Birkenhead, Tranmere, Rock, New and Eastham Ferries. The length of the Prince's dock is 500 yards, the breadth 106, having an area of 57,129 yards. Outside the western wall is a marine parade 750 yards in length, 11 in breadth. The Waterloo Dock has water accommodation of 30,764 yards. Here are some splendid American liners. I went on board the "Henry Clay," of New York, 1,464 tons, and received the greatest attention from her courteous commander, Capt. Nye. Nothing can exceed the beauty of this ship: she is quite a model for a frigate. Her accommodations are superior to any sailing vessel that I ever saw. The saloon and sleeping berths are commodious and airy, and there are many comforts on board little known to those who are so often literally "cabined, cribbed, confined" in dark holes six feet by three. The Victoria Dock has a water space of 30,000 square yards; the Trafalgar, 33,000. The Clarence Dock, graving and half-tide, which is exclusively for steam-vessels, has, including the lock, water accommodation to the extent of 29,313 square yards. Here there are some splendid Glasgow packets. I was much struck, in my ramble through the docks, with the fine appearance of the Liverpool pilot boats: they are strongly-built sloops, painted white with a green stripe, and are admirably adapted for their perilous avocations.
The southern docks consist of George's Dock, 26,793 square yards water space, 1,001 yards quay space, 246 yards in length, and 100 in breadth; the Canning (graving), Salthouse, Albert, the Duke's (late Duke of Bridgewater), King's, Queen's (graving), Union, Brunswick (half tide and graving, the most extensive of any, having 60,284 square yards of water space), Coburg, Toxteth, Egerton, and Herculanean. A new dock, to be called the " Garston," is projected for receiving inland coals for exportation.
The quarantine ground is nearly opposite the New Ferry, about four miles up the river. Among the hulks may be seen the once truly celebrated craft, the "saucy Arethusa," immortalized by Dibdin in one of his most popular sea songs; as also the Spanish "Santissima Trinidada," captured by Nelson, in that action which shed such a lustre over the naval force of Old England.
During one of my morning perambulations, I saw the celebrated American screw-auxiliary vessel, "Massachusetts," which had arrived a few days previous from New York, in seventeen days and eleven hours. She is the first of a screw-auxiliary line to sail between Liverpool and New York, built at Boston by Mr. Samuel Hall. She is 800 tons burden, American measurement, 155 feet on deck, 178 feet from billet-head to taffrail, 33 feet beam, has engines of 280 horse power, and is ship rigged, with a few exceptions, the most striking being that her topmasts are fixed abaft the mast. Her screw is of a
novel construction: it can be drawn completely out of the water at pleasure, by a simple process, and placed in a perpendicular position against the stern, leaving the vessel, to all intents and purposes, a regular sailing craft. She has four life-boats, and every bench, seat, and stool are made of iron, with air-tight compartments, thus forming life-preservers" for the million." On the water she is a handsome craft, with sharp bows, and a good run fore and aft. Her accommodations are excellent, the cabin and sleeping berths being quite first-rate.
Before I quit the waterside, I cannot help giving my readers an account of some celebrated feats in swimming that came off in the Mersey some eighteen years ago, and which, to use an American phrase, quite beats Leander's exploit "by a long chalk." In the sporting records of Liverpool we find the following account:-" In July, 1827, a surprising feat in swimming 'came off here. A match had been made between Dr. Bedale and a person of the name of Vipond, both Manchester men, to swim from Liverpool to Runcorn, a distance of twenty miles, in one tide. This was won by the Doctor, who accomplished his task in three hours and thirty-five minutes, beating his opponent by about five minutes. Some misunderstanding having arisen, the vanquished hero challenged his successful competitor in the ensuing summer, to swim against tide from Rock Point to Runcorn, a distance of twenty-six miles. For some reason the Doctor declined the contest, and Vipond performed the task in a little more than four hours." Happily, neither of the Manchester men shared the fate of the youth of Abydos, and fell victims to their temerity, although probably they may have experienced that which occurred to our noble poet Byron, after swimming from Sestos to Abydos, and which he thus describes, in a comparison between himself and the enamoured Leander :-
""Twas hard to say who fared the best:
Sad mortals! thus the Gods still plague you!
For he was drown'd and I've the ague."
I now return to Liverpool, where the space allotted to me in this paper only enables me to give a brief description of its principal sights. The Town Hall is a handsome building: it contains the portraits of George the Third by Lawrence; of George the Fourth when Prince of Wales, by Hopner; of the Duke of York, by Phillips; and of William the Fourth, when Duke of Clarence, by Sir M. Shee.
The new Exchange, which is a noble structure, was opened Jan. 1, 1809, the first stone having been laid the 30th of June, 1803. The cost was 110,8487. In the centre of the area is the Nelson monument, modelled by Westmacott from the designs of M. C. Wyatt, Esq. It is of iron, weighing twenty-two tons, the expense of which was 9,000l. The Custom House and Post-Office are well suited for their respective purposes. The long room at the Custom House is one of the finest in England; and the whole building is admirably adapted to its double purpose of customs and post-office. The Zoological and Botanical Gardens are extremely well kept up, and the
different cemeteries are worthy a visit. Poor Huskisson's monument is chaste and pure, and a building at the entrance of the cemetery, which contains the remains of that lamented statesman, is as fine a specimen of architecture as can be found in this anti-architectural country. The Royal Assembly-Rooms are large and convenient. The Athenæum, alluded to by Washington Irving in his sketches, has an excellent reading-room, and a well stored library. Here may be seen a fine picture of the death of Lorenzo de Medici, by Fuseli, and presented to the institution by Roscoe. The Lyceum readingroom, the Rotunda billiard tables, the Palatine Club, are extremely well kept up, and are accessible to the stranger through the courtesy of the proprietors. In wandering through the streets, I found many associated with agreeable reminiscences. Duke-street has some degree of interest attached to it, by being the street in which the talented Mrs. Hemans was born in 1794. She was the daughter of a Liverpool merchant of the name of Brown. Here, too, lived the modern Sardanapalus, George the Fourth, when Prince of Wales, and his kind-hearted brother the sailor-king, William the Fourth, then Duke of Clarence. The house, too, No. 46, may be seen, where Bellingham-who shot Mr. Percival, May, 1812-resided. He was a native of Huntingdonshire, and, after many changes and chances, settled in Liverpool in 1802 as a ship and insurance broker. Some supposed or real injuries received from the Russian government, and which the British minister declined attending to, caused this fatal deed.
Where the Adelphi hotel now stands, the White House, or Ranelagh Tea Gardens, so called after the celebrated Ranelagh of the metropolis, formerly existed. The last exhibition in these gardens took place in 1760.
The hotels of Liverpool are extremely good: the Adelphi and Waterloo are the principal ones. I give them alphabetically, so as not to incur the charge of favour, partiality, or affection; and to those who are devoted to the occidental luxury," the love of the turtle," their gourmet propensities may be gratified to their heart's, or more properly speaking stomach's, content. The punch too, like its popular namesake, is piquant in the extreme.
I cannot take leave of Liverpool without expressing my grateful acknowledgments to those kind friends who rendered my stay there so agreeable. Nothing could exceed their attention and hospitality; and when one considers how valuable time is to those who do not pass their lives in idleness or fashionable frivolity, the obligation is considerably enhanced. With this feeling, I can only hope that this modern Tyre will ever retain its pre-eminence, that its commerce may prosper, and, in a slight variation from the saying of the worthy Glasgow Baillie, from my heart I exclaim" May Liverpool flourish!"
*Since writing the above I have put the Waterloo turtle to the test, or rather taste it is faultless. Mr. Lynn sends it to all parts of the country "ready dressed" at a moderate charge. I shall again advert to the subject of one of the best hotels in Europe, and the spirited proprietor of it.
PENCILLINGS IN THE PROVINCES.
"THE CHALKED OFF COACHMAN."
Sedate, unsophisticated Nature! thou reignedst supreme in the provinces until thy features became disfigured by the omnipotence of steam; Wonders, Defiances, Tallyhoes, and Telegraphs courted thy presence with their admiring party-coloured loads, and ran through thy precincts with 16-mile-an-hour dispatch. Now Railway Kings divide your territories, gauges intersect your landscapes, hammer stories the pastures proclaim, and Nature seems stupified at their demoniacal contortions.
Sitting at a neat little inn, in a neat little country town, a railway bus drove up, drawn by two old worn-out bow kickers, that had done the state some service in the palmy days of coaching. It was a rustic contrivance, unlike the L. C. C. conveyances, or the more aristocratic Paragons and Nelsons; it was a human hearse wending its way to the railway terminus, driven by an ancient Jehu, who had numbered three score years and ten, by the aid of brandy and water, and the kind hand of Providence. An old stumpy tommy took the place of one of Ward's most improved fly flourishers; a moth-eaten horse-cloth encased his knees; no well-appointed West of England body coat enveloped his outer man, but gave place to a seedy, greasy mackintosh coat, which never looked so fresh as when newly constructed by Butler of Birmingham. "Now! any gent for the station?" shouted Jehu from his husky throat, as he threw the rusty reins on the horses' loins, and was busily employed in loading the bus.
The Inns in the country should be called Outs: they are full of nothing but executions. No well-appointed chariots drive up to their portals, resounding with "One and two turn out; horses in; all paid," &c.; the occupiers anticipating a severe debate or a division at St. Stephen's. It was really a treat to see the late Duke of Cleveland travel; four carriages-and-four occupied the train, and for the pace one would fancy him the head road-director. He was once travelling up to London, when the boys drew up at the Swan, at Doncaster, instead of the Angel. "Go back, you rascals!" shouted the Duke; "you know this is not my house.' "Please your Grace, the Angel is shut up," said the obsequious post-boys. The Duke raved; old Harry Smith who passed as the road-wit of his day, interposed, and putting on one of his blandest and most humbugging smiles, you please, your Grace, the Swan has pecked out the Angel's eyes." In fact, by a well-organized stroke of policy, he had purchased the Angel with the proceeds of the Swan, and shut it up. So, nolens vo
lens, the Swan horses were ordered, and his Grace was obliged to resume his seat for Newark.
A pair of sporting country squires took their places on the top, or summæ diligentiæ as we used to say in France, whilst the inside was tenanted with all the fashionable milliners of the place, votaries to fashion, frivolity, and victimization; while I, humble Whiz, engaged the box seat. We wended our way through the town, amidst droves of sheep and oxen, the baying of dogs, and the busy hum of farmers; for it was market day. I had emerged from a long vista of woods to an open common. After eyeing my companion. with all the sagacity of a boysman,
"Your face is very familiar to me on the North-road, coachman?” said I.
"May be, it is, Sir: I drove the York Highflyer five-and-twenty years; and although I have driven some out-and-out rum ones in my time, never had a mishap; and I should have been there now had it not have been for them demd teakettles of engines, looking for all the world as if they was a dragging a slice of Brummagem or Leeds after them."
Here we pulled up at a little road-side public: it rejoiced in the name of the "Straggler," or half-way watering-house for the 'buses. The old man went to fetch the bucket from the pump, as there was no ostler as in days of yore, no rubicund smiling servant maid, bringing out glasses of ale to frosty warehousemen in oilskin hats and worn-out mackintoshes; or glasses of brandy for squeamish old ladies. Economy seemed the order of the day, and our orderly load kept their seats. In a minute or two we were on the move again.
"Now, that little place we have just left was as good a house as any on the road, until railways ruined us all," resumed Jehu. "Poor old Barbottle, the landlord-he died t'other day, of a broken heart, although four men before him made their fortunes there. And poor old mother Barbottle, she can hardly get a living. Never were such times. I think, Sir, the rich gets richer every day, and the poor poorer. What do you think? That is my opinion, and I don't care who knows it."
"What has become of that pretty smiling bar-maid, who used to live there?"
"Oh, smiling Sukey," said the old man, with a knowing grin, and his eye struck fire like an old flint. "You knowed her, did ye? Why she has bundled up her traps, and married Jem the ostler, and gone to London to start in the oyster line."
The three spires of the Cathedral rose from the earth like large needles, and the ancient city appeared in view, as we crowned the three-mile hill; the white smoke of the engine curled through the valley, and at intervals the hissing train was seen on the ponderous embankment, and we entered the station amidst noise and bustle. What a change from the "Straggler!" They were awaiting the express train from York, with the Railway King.