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There is a Theatre here, which is called a royal one; for the manager had the honor of the King's visiting it, when at Cheltenham, as he does that at Weymouth.
I wish it could be said of the Theatre. as I have spoken of the public rooms, in respect to their neatness and elegance; but the Cheltenham Theatre is deficient in both; the house is small and uncomfortable, lighted with a few of the commonest tallows candles; the stage-lights, as they are called, present themselves to you as something in the shape of a long dripping-pan, and so scantily illuminated, that one would suppose a few black and casual cinders had fallen into it, and produced a blaze; for it has that appearance to the eye, and, in respect to smell, the nose will bear the eye a faithful evidence.
The performers have the least salaries, and, consequently, the least degree of theatrical ability of any set I ever saw; this may proceed from a depression of spirits, for, if an Englishman has but little to eat, he has little inclination to do any kind of business as it should be.
A man or woman, who has only eight or nine shillings per week, with the appendage often of a large family, must summon up a considerable degree of philosophy indeed, who can exercise their talents with any portion of reputation to themselves, or satisfaction to an audience, when so narrowed in their circumstances.
The walks about this place have been taken a great deal of pains with, in respect to their beauty and convenience; they are well shaded and well gravelled, which was judicious from the first idea, because, as it is only in the summer-season that Cheltenham is visited, the water-drinkers have always a retreat from the glare: and heat of the sun, by retiring to the shade.
The Pump-room is about a quarter of a mile distant from the town, the greatest part of which you are sheltered with tall embowering trees; and, on your turning round, when you get to the well, the church, which has a handsome spire, presents itself like a tall and stately obelisk, terminating the north end of the
The Earl of Fauconberg has a charming residence here, standing on a'rising ground a little distance from the Well, from which he
possesses a prospect of the Malvern-hills in Worcestershire, and greatest part of the extensive vale of Gloucester. His Lordship, with that complacency which does him credit as a man and honour as a nobleman, throws open all his gates, even to the threshold of his house, for the accommodation of the indiscriminate company
may wish to lounge about his grounds.
The taste of the waters at Cheltenham resembles that which has been strongly impregnated with Glauber's salts, and has much the same effect upon those that drink them; they are said to relieve an aching head, clear
an over-charged stomach, and produce a' good appetite; disorders naturally brought on by the mode of living, the. lack of rest, and want of air in London; and such do well to visit this Lethe to the mind, and comfort to the body, who may be so circumstanced as to have it in their power to make it a temporary retreat in the summer,
The markets are well supplied, and the provisions in common are tolerably cheap, considering it a place of pleasure.
The regulation of the markets are attributed to Mr. Moreau, who for many years presided as Master of the Ceremonies at Cheltenham, and filled that situation with a great degree of reputation to himself and satisfaction