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invited to a private or public breakfast at one of the Assembly-Rooms or Spring Gardens, on the other side of the Avon, opposite to the Grove, a sweet retreat laid out in walks and ponds and pastures of flowers. There are public breakfasts there every Monday and Thursday, to the accompaniment of French horns and clarionettes and occasionally vocal music, at a charge of 1s. 6d. a head. Private breakfast parties can be held there, without music, for a shilling a head; and in the open air too, if we affect the fashion and the weather be fine. It was not, perhaps, a very sumptuous repast, but there are the much-advertised 'Spring-garden cakes and rolls,' fresh each morning, and the celebrated 'Sally-Luns,' called after the confectioner of that name in Lilliput Alley:
'Here in the broiling sun we swallow tea,
And, charm'd with tweedledum and tweedledee,
We must, however, bear Thicknesse's advice in mind, and not imitate the subjects of his scorn, who
'will go on in loading their bodies with distemper, pain, and sorrow, till life is not worth accepting, and then repair to Bath, as if the aid of these fountains, without their own, were capable of working miracles. And yet' (he continues) 'I daily see people who professedly come to Bath for these purposes first drink three pints or a quart of the Bath Waters, and then sit down to a meal of Sally Luns or hot spungy rolls, rendered high by burnt butter. Such a meal few young men in full health can get over without feeling much inconvenience; and I have known and seen it produce almost instantaneous death to valetudinarians.' ('Valet. Guide,' p. 23.)
Sometimes after breakfast a dance is arranged, and a minuet or a cotillon performed on the lawns. Or perhaps it may have been a concert-breakfast we were at, the expenses being defrayed by the gentlemen and ladies invited. These entertainments,' says Wood (ii, 439), 'were esteemed as some of the politest of the place; they came to meer trifles to individuals; and such people of rank and fortune as were well skilled in music took a pleasure in joining on these occasions with the common band of performers.' And, as the expenses of these concertbreakfasts fell short of the subscription to them, not
withstanding the tickets came to no more than 1s. 3d. apiece, we have the satisfaction of knowing that our pleasure is contributing to the funds of the General Hospital. Or, if we wish quiet or cheapness, we can breakfast by ourselves at a coffee-house on 'buttered rolls or Bath buns, not to be equalled elsewhere, with the best of chocolate, tea, or coffee, paying for each roll or bun the sum of fourpence, and sixpence for a dish of tea or a cup of coffee.' Thereafter, if we do not care for dancing so early, we can quietly read the papers in the Gentlemen's Coffee-house, our ladies going to their own, or we may attend a lecture on art or science. Young girls are not admitted into the Ladies' Coffee-house library, as
'the conversation turns upon politics, scandal, philosophy, and other subjects above our capacity' (so says Lydia Melford); but we are allowed to accompany them to the booksellers' shops, which are charming places of resort, where we read novels, plays, pamphlets, and newspapers for so small a subscription as a crown a quarter; and in these offices of intelligence (as my brother calls them) all the reports of the day and all the private transactions of the Bath are first entered and discussed. From the bookseller's shop, we make a tour through the milliners and toymen, and commonly stop at Mr Gills, the pastry-cook, to take a jelly, a tart, or a small bason of vermicelli.' (Humphrey Clinker,' i, 79.)
By noon we must be in full morning dress to appear on the Grand Parade or in Queen's Square, and promenade there to meet our friends and make arrangements for the evening; after which, if we are so disposed, we can walk in the meadows and refresh ourselves at one of the eating-houses on King's Mead. But we must not overdo the refreshment, as we dine at four in our rooms, and the dinner is good.
'Visitors' (says Wood) are sure to find their tables covered with the best of provisions of all kinds. Our mutton is celebrated, and that which is really fed upon our own Downs has a flavour beyond comparison; our butter cannot be exceeded, the herbage in the neighbourhood being sweet; the housewifery neat and clean; and we have fish in great plenty as fresh and as good as even the greatest epicure can desire. So that if good provisions may be called an addition to the pleasures of any place, Bath will yield to none in this point,
especially since no city in the world can be furnished with better or cleaner cook-maids to dress them' (ii, 442).
After dinner there are evening prayers to attend in the Abbey Church, as a preliminary to joining the entire company at the Pump-room, thence to tea at the Assembly-houses, and then visits or cards or dancing or a theatrical entertainment. There were always large balls at Harrison's, the old ball-room, on Tuesdays and at Thayer's, the newer one, on Fridays. Thayer's in our time was managed by Mrs Hayes, a widow who married Lord Hawly, who also kept a gaming-table, as the Duke of Chandos kept a lodging-house, and Archdeacon Hunt sold wine. The balls commenced at six o'clock and ended at eleven. Each ball opened with a minuet, danced by the lady and gentleman of the highest rank present. When this was concluded, the lady returned to her seat; and the Master of Ceremonies brought the gentleman to another partner, with whom she danced a second minuet, after which both retired. This ceremony was observed with every succeeding couple, each gentleman dancing with two ladies until all had taken part in this dance, which usually occupied a couple of hours. Formality was slightly relaxed after eight o'clock, when the country dances began; but etiquette was still so far insisted on that ladies of the highest rank stood up first. At nine o'clock there was an interval for tea, and sometimes for more elaborate refreshments, as Sarah Montague found that in 1745 there was a table of sweetmeats, jellies, wine, biscuits, cold ham and turkey, set behind two screens, which at nine o'clock were taken away and the table discovered. . . . Above stairs there was a hot supper for all that would take the trouble to go up.' After refreshment dancing was resumed until eleven o'clock, when Nash would enter the ball-room and hold up his hand to the musicians to stop. Then there was allowed a short time for the company to cool, when the ladies were handed to their chairs. And so the public evening came to an end. There was no theatre worthy of the name at Bath before 1747, but theatrical representations were common enough. Nash did not encourage private parties or coteries, 'acting upon the grand principle of congregating the devotees of fashionable amusement, regularly and frequently, into a brilliant focus.' 'Tis a
crime here not to appear in public,' wrote Lady Orkney to the Countess of Suffolk on September 14, 1711.
So, you see, we had plenty of amusement under King Nash, who took care that every hour of the day should have its diversion. Let 'The Register of Folly' describe the continual round of pleasure :
'At Bath I'm arrived, and I freely declare
I do nothing but wonder, ask questions and stare;
Such bustling and jostling, such hurries are made,
You may vow there is nothing to do at Bath, but you
It is a tedious circle of unmeaning hurry, anxiety, and fatigue, of fancied enjoyments and real chagrins. . . . Nothing can be more trifling than the life of a lady, nor more insipid than that of a gentleman, at Bath; the one is a constant series of flirting and gadding about, the other of sauntering from place to place without any scheme or pursuit. Scandal or fashions engross the conversation of the former; the news of the day, the price of fish, the history of the preceding night at the tavern, or savoury anticipations of their next debauch, furnish out the morning entertainment of the latter.'
Elizabeth Montagu is also severe in her strictures. 'I think no place can be less agreeable,' she writes. "How d'ye do?" is all one hears in the morning, and "What's trumps?" in the afternoon.'
After all, however, there is one serious business to be got through-bathing-the real or imaginary pretext for most of the visits paid to Bath. There are five baths.
'The oldest, close by the Abbey Church, was the King's Bath, fifty-nine by forty feet, and when filled-in about nine and a
half hours from a spring in the centre, contained over four hundred tons of water. There were niches on each side for the bathers to shelter from wind and rain, and those on the east and west sides were called the Kitchen, owing to the great heat of the water in that part. At each corner were steps leading to apartments for dressing and disrobing, but these, Dr Sutherland said in 1760, resembled cells for the dead rather than rooms for the living.' (Melville, p. 127.)
In the midst of it was a wooden structure, surmounted by a tower and an effigy of Bladud, with an inscription to this great philosopher and mathematician, the first discoverer and founder of these baths.' When Queen Elizabeth visited Bath she erected a cistern, the New Bath, for the poor, which was fed by the overflow of the King's Bath. After Queen Anne, consort of James I, used it in 1615, it was called the Queen's Bath. is the account of how Queen Anne came to use it.
'As the Queen was bathing in the King's Bath, there arose from the bottom of the cistern, just by the side of Her Majesty, a flame of fire, like a candle, which had no sooner ascended to the top of the water than it spread itself upon the surface into a large circle of light, and then became extinct. This so frightened the Queen that, notwithstanding the physicians assured her the light proceeded from a natural cause, yet she would bathe no more in the King's Bath, but betook herself to the New Bath, where there were no springs to cause the like phenomena; and from thence the cistern was called the Queen's Bath. It was soon enlarged; and the citizens, erecting a tower or cross in the middle of it, in honour of the Queen, finished it at the top with the figure of the crown of England over a globe, on which was written in letters of gold, "Annae Reginae Sacrum." (Melville, p. 129.)
In the south-west part of the city were the Hot Bath, the Lepers' Bath, and the Cross Bath, so called from the cross in the middle of it. This last was 'temperate and pleasant, having eleven or twelve arches of stone in the sides for menne to stand under in tyme of reyne.' It was used almost exclusively by the gentry.
The hours of bathing were from six to nine in the morning. The bathers were exposed to wind and rain and also to the public gaze, an idle crowd looking on from the galleries. A band played. The bathers joined