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for the middling kind of his Majesty's subjects here, except those in the lower town, which are intolerably bad and extravagantly dear: they are chiefly on the left hand, as you enter the Pantiles from the London road, parallel to the shops, or rather sheds, for there are few of them that are much larger than a good-sized stagecoach ; most of these shops are miserably furnished, and poorly attended in respect to customers; and, though they lie in the low part of the old town, yet the lodging-houses for people of a scanty fortune are still situated in a declivity from them, generally full of ragged noisy children ; their back views are into a dirty brook, which divides the counties of Kent and Sussex.
Here Here if
should wish to look out, in order to regale yourself with the breathings of the morning-air, your ears are perpetually annoyed with the grunting of pigs, and your nose with the essence of their styes.
Every article of life is uncommonly dear, and there is a difficulty of getting your food dressed, unless you should take up your quarters in an inn, and there you are ever sure to find your pockets lightened, in the space of four-and-twenty hours, and it is a doubt if, by that time, you do not begin to contemplate a retreat, for the sake of your peace, and a respect to your purse.
There are two libraries, one at each end of the Promenade; that near the pump is very sinall, but neat; the other is a long slip, of about four feet deep, exposed to the open air, without a window,--something like to the front of a a fishmonger's shop in London.
The rides about the Wells are more pleasant than numerous; that to Beyham-abbey is well diversified with rural objects: it is about seven miles from the Wells, standing in an extensive and beautiful meadow, skirted round with woods, many of which have walks cut through them, and enchanting labyrinths, with here and there a seat in the shade, which has been erected for the hospitable purpose of accommodating the weary raveller, whose curiosity might have
led him to that distance in order to gratify his eyes with so voluptuous a scene.
The ruins are the most picturesque, and kept in the best state of perfection of any romantic pile of that description in England. They are lofty, and from what is left of them, which is very considerable, there is a display of much Gothic elegance. The stately ailes, where once the holy priests their slow processions led, and veiled virgins, in seraphic strains, have sung their pious orgies to their Maker's praise, are now unroofed; the marble pavement gone, and in its stead a level mossy walk, while
the walls the creeping ivy climbs, and
various flowers adorn the important base. The only occupants are now the blinking owl and fluttering bat.
Along the meadows, and before the family-house, which is inhabited by part of the Camden family, meandering, runs a wide and clear refreshing stream, adding greatly to the tranquil scene. The whole of these delectable domains belong to the above family. In the winter, when all the rest of the feathered tribe are silent grown, the robin red-breast, on some jutty of this ancient pile, will often perch and sing his Christmas carrol to the jolly rustic, huddled round his fire, and drinking down his horn of wholesome ale.