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water to have finished the scene, a judicious painter might have formed a picture equal to the best of Claude Lauraine.
The village of Presbury lies two miles on the north side of Cheltenham, to which you may better walk than ride; and so secluded in orchards and other trees, that one neighbour can hardly see another's house, from the redundancy of the foliage that surrounds it.
Here the wanderer will be surprised to find a neat hotel, with good accommodation, and a garden laid out with peculiar taste and fancy, and which has had more pains taken with it than is generally to be met with in so circumscribed a spot; a beautiful thatched grotto-hermitage, decorated with shells and fossils of various kinds, and displayed in the most ingenious manner; small Gothic windows with old painted glass, the floor tessalated, and different parts decorated with round convex mirrors; the whole is rendered the more impressive on the mind from the various and negligent shrubs that shelter it, giving the interior part a solemn effect; in this situation, I could not help calling to mind a couple of lines in Shakespeare's As You Like It:
“ Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Opposite to the back door of the house, and on a terrace raised at the upper end of the garden, is a Chinese temple, used as a tea-room for coin
pany, and round it an appropriate balcony, sheltered by an awning from
There is also a tower or beacon at a little distance from the temple, in which there are two octagon rooms, remarkably neat, on the first and second stories; above-those are the battlements, from which
you view of the whole village. Here the lounger will often refresh himself with tea or wine, or whatever may suit his faricy.
The proprietor, having a botanical taste, has taken care to display it, by decorating the ground with
great variety of flowers, which diffuse their essence around you, while you are regaling in the shade.
Cheltenham is ninety-one miles from London, and the post-towns through which you pass are Brentford, Colnbrooke, Maidenhead, Henley upon Thames, Benson, Oxford, Witney, Burford, Northlech, and so on by way of Frogmill to Cheltenham.
Should the traveller have time, he would do well to spend a day or two in Oxford, where he would have an opportunity of exploring the beauties of one of the neatest, cleanest, and most magnificent Gothic cities (for its size) in Europe.
The Malvern-wells are situated on the brow of that extensive range of lofty mountains commonly called the Malvern-hills, in the county, and about
eight miles from the city of Worcester.
The waters here are said to be a chalybeate, and are a kind of cordial for low spirits; that the air is pure is natural enough, as the Wells lie so eminently high; the prospects are
; beautiful and of vast extent, reverting the view which you have from Cheltenham to Malvern, by looking back again over the vale of Gloucester from a north-west point.