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History, Biographical Traits, . te.
EPITOME OF BRIGHTON.
(Continued from page 55).
GENERAL MARKET.-The general market of the town is centrally situated, between Black Lion-street and East-street, forming part of the place, called the Bartholomews, which took its name from the convent that was erected there in ancient times, and is immediately facing the late poor-house.
The market-house was built in 1734, but since which period it has undergone many improvements, and is, at this time, remarkable for its neatness, and the order in which it is kept.
The proceeds of this market, and its management, are vested in the Commissioners; but, it is a curious fact, the local Act of Parliament does not allow them to aid the public finance of the town, by the collection of any toll on the sale of commodities brought thither; the revenue thereof being limited to the rents of the various stalls, which are let by the day, week, or year, as most convenient to the vendors, or as they and the Commissioners can agree.
One compartment of this market is appropriated for the retail of fish ; another for butchers' meat, bacon, pork, butter, &c.; and the more open space, with covered stalls, for vegetables, fruit, &c.-in every requisite of which, perhaps, there is no market in the kingdom better supplied.
The principal market days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; though it is open and well furnished for business, every day in the week, Sunday excepted.
WORKHOUSE AND TOWN-HALL.-Immediately facing the market, to the west, is the late parish Workhouse, and Town-hall. In the latter, the local Magistracy formerly held their sittings, every Monday and Thursday, and more often when required; but which, in 1821, were removed to a more spacious apartment in the Old Ship tavern, and from thence to the New Inn.
The town-hall, from its confined dimensions, is by no means adequate to the purposes required of it, nor does it exhibit any
thing in its constructure worthy of notice—it is, in fact, nothing more nor less than a small mean-looking room; but as the Commissioners, by the last act of Parliament, possess the power of furnishing the town with a better, it is to be hoped that the time is not very distant, when such a desideratum will be obtained.
The workhouse was erected in 1733, upon the site of a chapel or chantry, attached to the convent of mendicant friars, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, and which was built by the prior of St. Pancras, at Lewes, who obtained a grant of the ground from the Lord of the Manor, subject to a quit-rent of three pence per annum. The convent, it appears, was occupied by its religious order of mendicants, until 1513, when the French are said to have made a descent on this part of the coast, and who pillaged and set fire to the town. The chapel, at this period, is understood to have been partially destroyed by the flames, and the northern part of the adjoining pile, to have totally escaped the conflagration ; the latter was fitted up as a Vicarage, though long after distinguished as the Prior's Lodge.
The poor in the workhouse are kept remarkably clean, and plenteously supplied with good wholesome food; such as are able to work have employments assigned to them by the local officers; and of such as are not, due care is taken.
There is no manufactory carried on here to give regular employment to the poor ; a circumstance now not much longer to be regretted, as a new workhouse has been erected on a healthy site, the church down, upon much enlarged dimensions, in which establishment manufactories will be included, and other advantages to the town, and its dependents.
VICARAGE-HOUSE.-Though the Vicarage-House still retains its original situation, yet that which was called the Prior'slodge, was pulled down in 1790, and the present building erected : in digging the foundation here, various human skeletons and disjointed bones were discovered ; and similar and more plentiful remains were found in laying the foundation of the workhouse; the latter giving rise to the feasible conjecture, that the principal burial ground of the chantry had formerly been confined to that place; and near which cemetry, in 1771, a small brass figure was found, supposed to be a votive offering of some person who had escaped from the horrors of shipwreck.
THE CHURCH.-The parish church, which stands on the hill to the north-east of the town, about one hundred and Afty feet above the level of the sea at low water, is dedicated to St. Nicholas. It has a square tower containing a very good ring of eight bells, which were hung in the belfry there in 1777. The tenor weighs sixteen hundred weight, and is pitched in the key F. On the summit of the tower is a small spire, ornamented with a gilt vane in the form of an arrow. Upon this spire the British flag is raised on all rejoicing occasions. From its elevated situation this, building is plainly discernible to a very great distance at sea, and serves as an excellent landmark.
By many, this church is supposed to have been built in the reign of Henry VII. and by others, long before that period, though the interior of the structure contains no positive marks of its existence antecedent to that date, the font excepted, which is regarded as a curious piece of antiquity, and an interesting specimen of ancient sculpture. It is of a circular form, and surrounded with basso-relievos, divided by columns into different compartments, and separately containing representations of scriptural or legendary subjects. The largest of these is evidently designed to represent the last supper, but with this singularity, that six of the apostles only partake of this repast. A tradition has existed, that this curious piece of workmanship was brought to England in the time of the Conqueror, from Normandy, but where it was first deposited in this country, no mention appears to have been made. Among various conjectures concerning it, that it is of Saxon origin, and was fabricated in this country, appears the most feasible ; though an ingenious writer, in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1807, declares, “ That, after a careful examination, he considers all that has been said of it as a trick upon antiquaries; and from the freshness of the work, and modern initials, with the date 1745, on the plinth, he is led to conclude, that it was executed in that year.” But there are living proofs to establish the contrary of this, and afford sufficient testimony, that long before 1745, it underwent remarks not dissimilar to those of the present day, and with the strongest reasons to infer, that such had also been the case even centuries before.
Many alterations and additions have taken place, to render the church more commodious to the congregations of late years, though in its ornamental decorations or monuments, there is but little deserving of mention.
(To be continued.)
MOUNTAIN OF MISERIES-A VISION.
By outward shew,
Alike in what it gives and what denies. Pope. It was a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed
among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them, by such a division Horace has carried this thought a great deal further; which implies, that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us than those of any other person would be, in case we should change conditions with him.
As I was ruminating on these two remarks, and seated in my elbow-chair, I insensibly fell a-sleep; when on a sudden, methought there was a proclamation made by Jupiter, that every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities, and throw them together in a heap. There was a large plain appointed for this purpose. I took my stand in the centre of it, and saw with a great deal of pleasure the whole human species marching one after another, and throwing down their several loads, which immediately grew up into a prodigious mountain, that seemed to rise above the clouds.
There was a certain lady, of a thin airy shape, who was very active in this solemnity. She carried a magnifying glass in one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose flowing robe, embroidered with several figures of fiends and spectres, that discovered themselves in a thousand chimerical shapes, as her garment hovered in the wind. There was something wild and distracted in her looks. Her name was Fancy. She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having very officiously assisted him in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart melted within me to see my fellow-creatures groaning under their respective burthens, and to consider that prodigious bulk of human calamities which lay before them.
There were however several persons who gave me great diversion upon this occasion. I observed one bringing in a fardel very carefully concealed under an old embroidered cloak, which upon his throwing it into the heap, I discovered to be poverty. Another, after a great deal of puffing, threw down his luggage ; which, upon examining, I found to be his wife.
There were multitudes of lovers saddled with very whimsical burthens, composed of darts and fames ; but what was very odd, though they sighed as if their hearts would break under these bundles of calamities, they could not persuade themselves to cast them into the heap when they came up to it; but after a few faint offorts, shook their heads and marched away, as heavy laden as they came. I saw multitudes of old women throw down their wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawney skin. There were very great heaps of red noses, large lips, and rusty teeth. The truth of it is, I was surprised to see the greatest part of the mountain made up of bodily deformities. Observing one advance towards the heap with a larger cargo than ordinary upon his back, I found upon his nearer approach, that it was only a natural hump, which he disposed of with great joy of heart, among this collection of human miseries. There were likewise distempers of all sorts, though I could not but observe, that there were many more imaginary than real. One little packet I could not but take notice of, which was a complication of all the diseases incident to human nature, and was in the hand of a great many fine people : this was called the spleen. But what most of all surprised me, was a remark I made, that there was not a single vice or folly thrown into the whole heap : at which I was very much astonished, having concluded within myself, that every one would take this opportunity of getting rid of his passions, prejudices, and frailties.
I took notice in particular of a very profligate fellow, who I did not question came loaded with his crimes, but upon searching into his bundle, I found that instead of throwing his guilt from him, he had only laid down his memory. He was followed by another worthless rogue, who flung away his modesty instead of his ignorance.
When the whole race of mankind had thus cast their burthens, the Phantom which had been so busy on this occasion, seeing me an idle spectator of what passed, approached towards me. I grew uneasy at her presence, when, on a sudden, she held her magnifying glass full before my eyes. I no sooner saw my face in it, but was startled at the shortness of it, which now appeared to me in the utmost aggravation. The immoderate breadth of the features made me very much out of humour with my own countenance; upon which I threw it from me like a mask. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his visage, which, it seems, was too long for him. It was, indeed, extended to a most shameful length : I believe the very chin was, moderately speaking, as long as my whole face. We had, both of us, an opportunity of mending ourselves ; and all the contributions being now brought in, every man was at liberty to change his misfortune for those of another person.
As we were regarding very attentively this confusion of miseries, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter issued a second proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to change his affliction, and to return to his habitation with any other such bundle as should be delivered to him.
Upon this, Fancy began to bestir herself, and parcelling up the wbole heap with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet. The hurry and confusion at this time was not to be expressed. Some observations which I made upon the occasion, I shall communicate to the public. A venerable greyheaded man, who had laid down the cholic, and who I found wanted an heir to his estate, snatched up an undutiful son that had been thrown into the heap by an angry father. The grace