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The city of Chester has an antique physiognomy, not exactly of classical, but rather barbarous antiquity. The streets are in the houses ;the ground-floor is hollow, and open to the public, -a sort of covered gallery, dark, dirty, and crooked, and
and down, with unexpected steps, down which you run the risk of falling every moment. The origin of this singular style of architecture is traced back to the times when the neighbouring Welsh made inroads on the frontier town of Chester, when the inhabitants defended themselves to advantage from their galleries. They are still of great use against an enemy, to whose attacks they are as much exposed as ever,-frequent rains. The city has a thick wall, on the top of which is a public walk,-the country on one side, and the town on the other. The houses of the modern part of Chester have no galleries, and resemble those of the rest of England ;--that is to say, they are very clean and convenient.
The country we saw to-day was cultivated like a garden. We finished our day's journey by crossing the river, or rather arm of the sea, at Liverpool-a long, inconvenient, and expensive ferry, (28s.) and we have been landed on the quay of this great town with our carriage without horses, without knowing where to find any, where to go, or to whom to apply. After some unsuccessful attempts to procure private lodgings, we were obliged to put up at the Liverpool Arms, a sort of Noah's ark, like all great inns in sea-port towns.
August 1.-Mr. G. of London, whom I had the pleasure of meeting sometimes at Sir Joseph Banks's, but on whose attentions I had no sort of claim, sent me, the day before our departure from
London, letters to some of his friends at Oxford, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. I take pleasure in mentioning here this instance of kindness (for it surely deserves a higher name than politeness) to a mere stranger. One of these letters was for Mr. Roscoe, well known as the historian of the Medici. I was surprised to find him at the head of one of the first banking-houses in Liverpool,-a great agriculturist,—an architect, and a lover of the fine arts; -these are points of resemblance with his hero. Mr. Roscoe has a numerous family, seven sons, but none of them will be pope, the trade being now good for nothing. We breakfasted yesterday at his house in the country. His family is remarkable for cultivation of mind, and simplicity of man
In stature and physiognomy, Mr. R. bears some resemblance to Washington.
There is a manifest antipathy between men of business and men of letters; yet they are surely not rivals, and I do not see why those who seek after fame should complain that they do not find fortune, or those whose object is wealth, that they do not get renown:
Chacun se doit contenter de son bien,
Tout uniment sans se vanter de rien. It is uncommonly fortunate to have run both races at once, and gained both prizeș.
Mr. R. has a few good pictures, and had just acquired a new one; the history of which I`understood to be as follows. Raphael had painted the portrait of his patron Leo X. On the second Medicis coming to the pontifical chair, the Duke of Florence having desired to have that portrait, the new Pope gave orders accordingly; but either with his knowledge, or without, a copy was sub
stituted. After a few years, the trick was discovered, and the Duke complaining, the original was sent. A second copy was, however, previous.. ly made, and perhaps again sent to the Duke, deceiving him a second time. Whether the one taken at Florence, and now at Paris, is the original or not, or which of the three Mr. Roscoe's is, it is, at any rate, a fine picture ;-great simplicity in the attitudes, and much of the expression one would attribute to Leo ;-a liberal, well-informed gentleman, without extraordinary genius. His relation standing by him, the future Pope, has more mind and vigour. Leo is as large as life, seated near a table, a missal open before him, richly illuminated; a large silver bell and his spectacles in his hand.
Mr. R. had the goodness to shew us his valuable collection of etchings of great painters, by themselves ; beginning by the masters of the art, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, &c. and ending, I think, with Vandyck, beyond whom the practice has not been continued. Some of these painters have left only two or three etchings, and the ardour of the dillettanti to get them, and find out the true ones, and the mistakes, and cheating, and quarrelling about these scraps (some of them very bad certainly), is a caricature of the true taste of the art. It is like the faith in relics, compared to piety. Mr. R. mentioned a German work in three volumes, giving the history of all these etchings, with explanatory engravings, teaching how to know the true ones. Those of Berghem and Vandyck appeared to me the best, with a few of those by Salvator Rosa.
Liverpool a good deal resembles New York. The latter town is larger, (96,000 inhabitants, instead
of 80,000), and perhaps better built as to common dwellings; but the public buildings of Liverpool are more numerous, and in a better style of architecture. There are several literary establishments, with respectable libraries, in large and convenient apartments, and well attended by the inhabitants of this great commercial town, who are not nearly so exclusively merchants as those on the western continent. The docks are built of freestone, instead of trunks of trees, and every thing is more substantial. The harbour is otherwise very inferior to that of New York, which is one of the finest in the world. Liverpool is the port in England most frequented by the Americans ; there are now here 200 of their vessels. They now bring annually, in the single article of cotton, L. 2,000,000 sterling; and yet I can remember having seen the first samples of sea island cotton shewn as a curiosity at New York, twenty years ago. The warehouses here are prodigiously high; I observed many nine stories high, and have heard of thirteen; the interval between each floor is not more than seven or eight feet, and these foors often of iron. Land lets in the neighbouring country at 45s. an acre, (double the common statute acre) and sells at thirty years purchase. Labour 25. 6d. to 3s. aday. Our bill at the hotel was L. 7 for three days, which is tolerably exorbitant. The price of every thing indeed is nearly the same as in London.
English commerce does not seem to have suffered materially by the political experiment to which the United States have had recourse, in 1807, under the name of embargo, afterwards non-intercourse, &c. Navigation has certainly benefited by it; and if manufactures have suffered, it is not so much as might have been supposed. The United
States imported from England, before the embargo, manufactured goods to the amount of eight millions sterling annually, but re-exported two millions of these same goods to Spanish America alone, besides what went to other places. This is now done by England directly; and as to the internal consumption of the United States, although diminished, it is not destroyed; and a contraband trade is now organizing, the expense and risk of which may not be much more than the duty saved. New channels of trade have, in the meanwhile, been opened to England by the Spanish revolution, and that of her colonies, and even on the continent of Europe, guarded as it is by arned douaniers.
The light troops of English commerce have found certain secret passages and entrances by which they penetrate ; and it is curious to see how artfully their maneuvres are conducted. The goods are packed up in small packages, fit to be carried by hand, and made to imitate the manufactures of the country to which they are sent, even to the very paper and outward wrapper, and the names of foreign manufacturers marked on the goods. Prudent people seem to apprehend more danger from the acquisition of the new trade in South America, than from the loss of the old in North America. The avidity of adventurers has mistaken the state of things there. With liberty, or rather with civil war and anarchy, the Spanish colonists have not yet acquired new wants; and it is not presumable that they will consume articles to which they were not accustomed, or more than they used to receive from the mother country. Instead of which, articles the most foreign to the manners and climate, have been sent by whole cargoes. Some of the ships have brought back their