« السابقةمتابعة »
& voyage from the Temple Stairs to Vauxhall. We find also in the Connoisseur, No. 68, a very humorous description of the behaviour of an old citizen, who, notwithstanding his penurious disposition, had treated his family here with a handsome supper. Jonathan Tyers, Esq. having taken a lease of the premises in 1730, opened Vauxhall (then called Spring Gardens) with an advertisement of a Ridotto al Fresco. The novelty of this term attracted great numbers; and Mr. Tyers was so successful in occasional repetitions of the same entertainments, as to be induced to purchase one moiety of this estate of George Doddington, Esq. for the sum of 3800/. in 1752, and a few years afterwards, the remainder, and opened thu gardens every evening during the summer. Mr. Tyers was at a great expence in decorating the gardens with paintings, by the humorous pencils of Hogarth, Hay man, and other eminent masters. He likewise erected an orchestra, engaged a band of music, and placed a fine statue of Handel, by Roubiliac, in a conspicuous part of the garden. After his death it passed to several proprietors, and is now principally the property of Mr. Barrett.
The season for opening the gardens commences some time in May, and continues till towards the end of August. Every evening (Saturday and Sunday excepted) they are opened at half past six. The gala nights are usually on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The great gate is at the end of a short avenue from the road, where the admission is three shillings. The first scene that salutes the eye is a noble gravel walk, nine hundred feet long, planted on each side with a row of stately elms which form a fine vista, terminated by the representation of a temple, in which is a transparency, emblematic of gratitude to the public.
A few steps to the right, is a quadrangle, called the Grove. In the centre a magnificent Gothic orchestra, is ornamented with carvings, niches, &c. The ornaments are plastic, a composition imitating plaster of Paris. In fine breather the musical entertainments are performed here by a band of vocal and instrumental performers. At the upper
extremity extremity of this orchestra, is a fine organ; and, at the foot of it', are ihe seats and desks for the musicians, placed in a semicircular form, leaving a vacancy at the front for the vocal performers. Tlie concert is opened with instrumental music at eight o'clock, after which the company are entertained with various songs and concertos till the close of the entertainment, at eleven.
In the front of a large timber building, approached from the middle of the great room, is a painting called the Day Scene. At the end of the first act, this is drawn up, to exhibit the scene of a cascade, with a very natural representation of a water-mill, and a bridge, with a mail-coach, a Greenwich long stage, &c. This exhibition lasts ten minutes. A glee and catch, in three or four parts, are perT formed in the middle and at the end of the musical bill of fare, which consists of sixteen pieces.
In the Grove, fronting the orchestra, tables and benches. are placed for the company, and a pavilion of the Composite order, built for Frederick prince of Wales. Behind is a drawing room, entered from the outside of the garden, for the admittance of the royal family.
The Grove is illuminated by about two thousand glass lamps, and a great number of variegated lamps are interspersed, which produce a fine effect.
In cold or rainy weather the musical performance is in a rotunda, seventy feet in diameter, and nearly opposite the grand orchestra. Along the front is a colonade, formed by a range of pillars, under which is the entrance from the Grove to the room in which is the little orchestra. The roof is a dome, slated on the outside, and is so contrived, that sounds never vibrate under it; so that the music is heard to the greatest advantage. This pavilion is made to represent a magnificent tent, the roof of which is of blue and yellow silk in alternate stripes; it seems to be supported by twenty pillars, representing Roman fasces gilt, and bound together by deep rose-coloured ribbands, with military trophies in the intervals. The sides drawn up, in the form of festoons, produce the beautiful appearance of a
flower flower garden; the upper part being painted all round lUcs a sky, and the lower part, above the seats, with shrubs, flowers, and other rural decorations. At the extremity, opposite the orchestra, is a saloon, the entrance of which is formed 1)V columns of the Ionic order, painted in imitation of scagliola; the rqof is arched and elliptic, ornamented with two little cupolas; from the centre of each descends a large glass chandelier. Adjoining to the walls are ten •hree.quarter Ionic columns, painted in imitation of scaghola. Between these columns are four pictures, (in mag«i6cent gilt frames) by the masterly pencil of Hayman.
Theifirst represents the surrender of Montreal, in Canada, to general Amherst. On a stone, at one corner of the picture, is inscribed:
*' fower «serted, Conquest obtained, Mercy shewn! 1760."
The second represents Britannia, holding a medallion of George III. and sitting on the right hand of Neptune, in ids chariot drawn,by sea horses. In the back ground is the defeat of the French fleet by Sir Edward Havyke, in 1759. 'Round the chariot of Neptune are attendant sea-nymphs, holding medallions of the most distinguifhed admirals in tbat glorious war. For1 that of admiral Hawke (afterwards .lord) he sat to the painter. The third represents lord Clive receiving the homage of the nabob of Bengal. The fourth represents Britannia distributing laurels to the following principal officers who served in that war; the marquis of Cranny, the earl .of Albemarle, general (late marquis) Townsbend, colonels Monckton, Cpote, &c.
The entrance into this saloon, from the gardens, is through a Gothic portal, on each side of which, on the inside, are the pictures of king George III. and queen Charlotte,, in their coronation robes.
A tew years ago, a new room, one hundred feet by forty, was added to the rotunda. It is now opened as a supper .room. In a recess, at the pnd of it, is the beautiful marble .statue of Handel, formerly in the open gardens. He is represented, like Orpheus, playing .on the lyv^. Thjs was
\jU..y. No. 103. v V the the first display of the wonderful abilities of Roubiliac. Although not so large as the life, it is very like the original, and the excellence of the sculptor exhibits a model of perfection, both in the design and execution.
The Grove is bounded by graveUwalks^ and a number of pavilions, ornamented with paintings; and each pavilion has a table that will hold six or eight persons. The first on the left hand, from the principal entrance to the garden, represents two Mahometans gazing in astonishment at the beauties of the place: 2. A shepherd playing on his pipe, and decoying a shepherdess into a wood r 3. New River Head, at Islington: 4. Quadrille, and the tea-eqnipage:
6. Music and singing: 6. Building houses with cards:
7. A scene in the Mock Doctor: 8, An Archer: 9. Dances round the May-pole: 10. Thread my needle: 11. Flying the kite: 12. Pamela revealing to Mr. B.'s house-keeper her wishes to return home: 18. A scene in the Devil to Pay: 14. Shuttlecock: 15. Hunting the whistle: 16. Pamela flying from Lady Davers: 17. A scene in the Merry Wives of Windsor: 18. A sea engagement between the Spaniards and Moors.
The pavilions continue in a sweep leading to a beautiful piazza and colonnade five hundred feet in length, in, the form of a semicircle, of Gothic architecture, embellished with rays. In this semicircle are three large temples, each adorned with a dome; the two latter arc now converted into portals, (one as an entrance into the great room, and the other as a passage to view the cascade) which are directly opposite to each other: the middle temple, is still a place for the reception of company, and is painted, in the Chinese taste, with the story of Vulcan eirtraping Mars and Venus in a net. On each side the adjoining pavilion is decorated with a painting; that on the right represents the entrance into Vauxhall; and that on the left, Friendship on the grass drinking. The paintings in the upper pavilions of this sweep are landscapes. A sweep of pavilions thence load into the great walk: in the last of these i* a. painting of Black-eyed Susan returning to shore. * >
.5 .; Returning
Returning to the Grove, and beginning at the east end, behind the orchestra, and opposite the semicircle above mentioned; the pavilions are decorated with the following pieces: 1. Difficult to please; 2. Sliding on the ice; 3. Bagpipes and hauthoys; 4. A bonfire at Charing Cross; the Salisbury stage overturned, &c.; 5. Blindman's buff; 6. Leap frog; 7. The Wapping landlady, and the tars just come ashore; 8. Skittles.
Another range of pavilions, is adorned with paintings, forming another side of the quadrangle. These are, I. The taking of Porto Bcllo; 2. Mademoiselle Catherina, the dwarf; 3. Ladies angling; 4. Bird-nesting; 5. The play at bob-cherry; 6. FalstatPs cowardice detected; 7. The bad family; 8. The good family; 9. The taking of a Spanish register-ship, in 1742.
In the centre of a semicircle of pavilions, with a temple and dome at each end, is the entrance of an anti-room, leading to the Prince's Gallery, built in 1791, and opened on masquerade and gala nights only. It is near four hundred feet long, and adorned on each side by landscapes in compartments, between paintings of double columns, encircled in a spiral form by festoons of flowers. At one end, is a fine transparency, representing the prince of Wales in armour, leaning against his horse, held by Britannia, while Minerva is holding the helmet, and Providence fixing the spurs; Fame appears above, with her trumpet, and a wreath of laurel. The anti-room, erected in 1792, is fitted up with arabesque ornaments, between fluted pillars.
Tbe remainder of the paintings in this range are, 1. Birdcatching; 2. See-saw; 3. Fairies dancing by moonlight; 4. The milk-maid's garland; 5. The kiss stolen.
The turning on the left, leads to a walk along the bottom of the gardens; on each side of which are pavilions; those on the left hand are decorated with the following paintings: 1. A prince and princess in a traineau; 2, Hot cockles; 3. A gipsy telling fortunes by coffee-cups; 4. A Christmas gambol; J. Cricket.
E 2 . . • The