vol II date / index
St. Philogonius, Bp. of Antioch, A. D. 322. St. Paul, or Latrus, or Latra, A. D. 956.
THE BATH SEASON.
Mr. Foster's letter, inserted on the 17th instant, occasions the seasonable recollection, that this is the time when, in fashionable language, "every body" goes to Bath.
According to fabulous history, the virtues of the hot springs at Bath, were discovered long before the christian era, by Bladud, a British prince, who having been driven from his father's house because he was leprous, was reduced like the prodigal son to keep swine. His pigs, says the story, had the same disease as himself; in their wanderings they came to this valley, and rolled in the mud where these waters stagnated; and healed them. Whereupon prince Bladud, attaining "to the height of this great argument," tried the same remedy with the same success, and when he became king, built a city upon the spot—the famous city of Bath.
Beau Nash, the founder of the theatre at Bath, made laws to regulate when and where the company should assemble, and when they should separate; arranged the tactics of the dance; enacted the dress in which ladies should appear; and, if they ventured to disobey, whatever was their rank, turned them back. His strong sense and sarcastic humour, being supported by a prevailing sense of propriety, kept offenders of this sort in awe. It has been said that such a man in old times, would have been selected for the king's fool; he seems to have considered himself in that relation to the Bath visiters, and made use of the privilege the character allowed him. He lived on the follies of mankind, and cultivated them. He gambled, and his profits and his office required and enabled him to live expensively, sport a gay equipage, and keep a large retinue. Yet he became old and helpless, and lived to need that charity which he had never withheld from the needy, but which none extended to him. He died poor, neglected, and miserable; and the inhabitants of Bath rewarded his services and genius, in the usual manner; they erected a statue to the honour of the man whom they had suffered almost to starve.
His loss, to the assemblies was exemplified in a very remarkable manner. Two ladies of quality quarrelled in the ball-room. The company took part, some on one side, some on the other: Nash was gone, and his successor in office did not inherit his authority: the partizans as well as the combatants became outrageous, a real battle-royal took place, and caps, lappets, curls, cushions, diamond pins, and pearls, strewed the floor of those rooms, wherein during Nash's time order was supreme.
Stone Pine. Pinus Pinea.
Dedicated to St. Philogonius.