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ple. I trust that the time is not remote when we may see the plan accomplished, of uniting these two great objects on a scale never yet attempted.
1.67*, : It has long been a subject of remark, that the English have paid less attention to public baths, than the people of any other country, either ancient or modern. "The Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans regarded them as objects of the first importance, whether as they contributed to health, cleanliness, or luxury. These structures were on the most magnificent scale: they contained not only the baths, replete with every accommodation, but also numerous halls and galleries, constructed of the most costly materials, and decorated with splendid works of art, surrounded by gardens and public walks, and frequented by every description of persons from the most elevated in the state, to the humblest citizen. Of these celebrated edifices, sufficient remains still exist in many places, to bear testimony to their former grandeur : many noble statues and valuable works of antiquity have been recovered from amongst their ruins, and now form conspicuous ornaments of the first galleries in Europe. -Nor has this attention to baths been confined to those great nations of antiquity. The Mahometans, from the establishment of that faith, have considered them as being amongst the greatest requisites and luxuries of life.
It may be said that these were the habits and wants of warmer countries, and that they are not requisite for the colder climate of England; but this is an error, which has of late been combated with much success; and the importance of baths of various descriptions to the health of every class of society is now, I believe, almost universally allowed; and that scarcely a greater benefit could be conferred on the community than to place them within the reach of those in the lowest circumstances, and in gradation increasing in accommodation and luxury according to the station or means of those for, whom they were designed.
They should be hot and cold, of fresh and sea water, simple or medical, as the case may require,
I doubt not but arrangements could be formed to secure an ample supply of sea-water every tide, and at a moderate expenses 2
Many objects presenting a smaller prospect of success, and inferior in public utility, are seized on with avidity, and large sums subscribed in a few weeks for their establishment. Other nations, and in a more northern climate than ours, have seen the importance of this subject, and have acted on that conviction.
It might perhaps be thought to come within the duties of a permanent Board, who had under their superintendance such measures as could promote the improvement and the decoration of the
Metropolis, to direct a portion of their attention to the expediency of such edifices becoming national objects, or at least as regards the selection and reservation of suitable sites for their erection, by such associations as may be disposed to undertake similar measures.
Thus far as regards the health, the accommodation, and the luxuries of the living. I now turn to a subject which only requires to be investigated, to bring conviction to every mind that some change is indispensable-I allude to the cemeteries of the dead.
The every day scenes that occur in the burying-grounds of the Metropolis, and many other parts of the kingdom, and which I have beard froni authorities which it is impossible to doubt, are to the last degree revolting, and highly dangerous to the health of the people.
Where are to be found, all which remains of those who but recently look the lead in the active scenes of this great Metropolis? Cannot even the labors of a long and a successful life
an undisturbed sepulchre ? Cannot gratitude, affection, friendshiip, or feeling, command from the living to the dead a place where they may remain undisturbed, and which last testimonial of respect we also shall so soon require from our successors ?
It is true we have Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's, where a nation offers its tribute to the illustrious dead. The great and the affluent have their family-vaults, and many in private life regard with reverence the tombs of their departed friends. But what is the common usage in this respect? I speak broadly and generally, and the exceptions comparatively are but few. The almost universal practice in our burial-grounds cannot be exceeded, in an utter defiance of all the common feelings of our nature, by the most uncivilised people of the most barbarous age.
In the present state of things there is not one-tenth part of the Tequisite space appropriated to this purpose; and the occupier of a new-made grave becomes, as it were, the tenant of a day, until brutally disinterred for the base and mercenary purpose of again selling the space which had thus been occupied." li is worthy of the Legislature to rectify this evil, and to take such measures and provide such space, that every human being, however humble or obscure, should at last have an undisturbed grave.
It is not less deserving the attention of every individual, who has a single being on earth connected with him by the ties of kindred or affection, to concur in measures by which he may be assured that their dust should repose in peace. As it is, we follow the remains of our friends in all the pomp of grief to a grave
which may shortly be violated, and we expend more in the mockery of the moment than would secure the reality for ever.
Cemeteries might be formed on a scale which would do honor to the country, with every means to prevent the violation of the tomb. Even the common avidity for gain in a speculating nation might form such an establishment and turn it to account, and where vaults for families, or space for individuals, might be purchased as a freehold. Some plans have already been proposed for such an object, to supply designs for wbich would afford ample scope for an architect of feeling and judgment. Where tombs or other testimonials of respect, according to the station the deceased had filled in life, might be erected by their surviving friends over their remains where it might be possible to visit the graves of the dead without exciting the horror of the living, and where we might with mournful satisfaction contemplate the spot in which slept the last remains of those who had been dear to us in life,and within these ample grounds might perhaps be erected some of the churches recently voted by Parliament, or especial acts undoubtedly might be obtained for such a purpose.
The indifference or neglect of this country and of the present generation to this subject, is truly astonishing; it but ill accords with the progress of civilisation in almost every other respect, and forms a striking contrast to the veneration with which nearly all the great nations of antiquity, and the untutored savage of every age and of every country yet discovered, regarded the sanctity of the tomb and the remains of their ancestors.
The health and feelings of the living, respect to the memory of the dead, and the character of England as a civilised state, equally require that the present practice of disturbing those only recently ioterred, to make room for the still more recently dead, should be done away with for ever; and that sufficient space, and in proper situations, should be set apart for this purpose, to the full extent that the importance of the object can require.
It may be argued, that the expenditure attendant on various improvements conducted on so extended a scale, might form an insuperable objection; yet perhaps it would not be an improvis dent use of the public resources, were we, within the space of a few years and during a period of profound peace, to devote as large a sum to the embellishment of the British capital and other parts of these kingdoms with many noble works of utility and splendor, in cultivating the arts, and employing thousands and tens of thousands of the inhabitants, as formerly, during a long period, we expended in every single montb, in the prosecution of war; and if that war was supported with firmness and constancy by the nation, it is not to be doubted that the same people would as rea
dily concur in the establishment of these durable monuments of the greatness of their country in arts, as they did to sustain its glory in
I believe we were first indebted to Sir Christopher Wren for the idea of forming a lofty terrace on arches along the banks of the Thames, but his plans I have not seen, nor yet those more recently proposed; neither have I had the honor of conferring with Colonel Trench, nor any of those distinguished architects who have turned their attention to this subject. I may therefore be going over ground already better occupied by others, and I may likewise overlook very important points before suggested ; but my attention was called to that part of the subject which regards the banks of the Thames, by the proceedings of the meeting which recently took place. After the development of the plans then brought forward, it has become a less difficult, and I hope will not be deemed a presumptuous office, to propose the farther extension of what has been so ably commenced." With such feelings I venture to offer these suggestions to the indulgent consideration of the public.
Those observations, which regard the general improvement of the Metropolis in other respects, are the result of various crude thoughts on the subject, which had at times presented themselves to my view, but had been suffered to remain dormant in my own mind, until the measures under consideration induced me first to commit them to writing, and now to offer them in their present form, under the hope that others more equal to the task may be incited to give their serious attention to such important objects as the future improvement and embellishment of this great Metropolis of the British Empire.
The general attention which of late has been directed to subjects of this nature, cannot fail to have had the most encouraging effect on all who feel the great importance of a right direction being given to the public taste, who connect the cultivation of all the arts of civilised life with the moral improvement of the country, and who view a just combination of public utility and national splendor, as being amongst the surest indications of an enlightened government and a polished people,
28th July, 1824.
This paper which was received by us at the time of its date, and was designed by its Author for insertion in our last Number : but our arrangements, then made, prevented its admission. , ED.