Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/24

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merous handsome mansions, the quiet retreats of its successful citizens, forming a rich picture of rural decoration; in which, however, it must be confessed, that expence, generally speaking, is more predominant than taste. But all elegance is confined to the outside of the city, for its entrances are bad, and its streets for the most part ill-built and inconvenient, and rendered, indeed, in some degree dangerous by the formidable sledges which are used here instead of carts; and which, pursuing a zig-zag course, threaten to crush or over- turn any lighter carriage they may chance to encounter in their devious way. Standing partly in the county of Somerset, and partly in that of Gloucester, Bristol belongs to neither of those shires, but is a county in itself, and has its own magistracy and peculiar jurisdiction.

The situation of this place is at once pleasant and salutary, a rising ground between the rivers Avon and Frome, up the northern acclivity of which the city has gradually crept, and was still extending its progress, when some failures among the principal adventurers suddenly checked its growth, and left a large proportion of the most elegant edifices that Bristol could boast, in a state of incompletion. Nor is it probable that these additions to the parent city will ever be finished;