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quity, and generally appears very lively from its internal trade and navigation. The environs are beautiful, and the rides about it numerous,
The Assembly-room is handsome but inferior to those of Brighthelmstore and Margate, yet it is pleasantly situated in respect to its view to the water, the New Forest, and the Isle of Wight; but its approach is en: tangled with little, zig-zag streets, and to those in carriages, in the night, it is sometimes dangerous ; the rooms are in the hands of a very respectable merchant of this town; and it is pity there could not be con: trived a more agreeable access.
There is a small Theatre, which is generally better attended than those other summer watering-place,
This is more a providential circumstance to the proprietor than to desert, in respect to the abilities of his company. Baker's Library is in the centre of High-street, well furnished with books, and well attended by customers; himself as well as family, who preside in the Library, are more inttelligent, attentive, and obliging, than most that you will meet with in that profession. z 31
There is an excellent market well supplied, but in the watering season every article of life is extremely dear; although well furnished with fish, yet it is sold at such an exorbitant rate, that none but those who are possessed of good fortunes can gratify themselves with a dish of it, without its going against their stomachs, by thinking of the price while they are making a meal.
The bathing here is safe, and the mode decent, in the manner of a cold bath, built close to the water's edge, which is filled and emptied every tide; but there are no machines.
The Polygon is composed of eight. very noble and elegant built houses, at an equal but convenient distance from each other; forming a rotundity; it is about a quarter of a mile's distance from the town; stands high, and so contrived, that every house has a variety of prospect.
The favorite ride is to Netley-Abbey and its neighbourhood, being about two miles and a half from Southampton, standing near the beach of the same arm of sea which runs up to Southampton. The ruins are ancient; venerable, and extensive, and form so
picturesque a scene, that many gentlemen of the pencil have exercised their talents by taking a copy, and published it to the world.
Some years ago, being excited to ramble from Southampton to this mouldering pile alone, where contemplation full many an hour battens on the solemnity of the scene, ruminating on its present and its former state, I left it, and wandered towards the sea, where I perceived a single sailor, with seemingly an agitated mind ; his arms were folded, while he walked impatiently to and from a large bason of water which had been left by the tide; sometimes he would look into it significantly, and sigh, then turn away from it again, beating his forehead with an uncommon emotion ; by his manner, con
ceiving him in distress, my apprehensions were such, as led me to an idea that there could be no impropriety in my addressing myself to him, lest his mind should be driven to that state of despair which might excite him to commit some act of violence upon himself.
On my accosting him, he soon made me acquainted with his disorder, by giving me to understand, in his way, that he came from Southampton, and had been in the neighbourhood of Netley-Abbey, in quest of a man who had borrowed some money of him some time ago, and (pointing to the house) said, he could not find him at home; that he was under the necessity of being at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, or that he should be