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The arch, under which there is a very sudden descent to the shore, has an awful appearance; indeed this, and other imitations of antiquity, give the spot a melancholy air; you seem withdrawn from the world into the deepest retirement. One of the towers has an inscription upon it,- I waded to it through a field of ripe corn,-it records a bloody battle fought there between certain invaders and our ancestors, in the earliest period of our history.
Still keeping along the coast, we reach the North Foreland, which is almost the extreme east point of England. It projects far into the sea, after the form of a bastion, on which a light-house exalts its head; whence patent lamps with reflecting lenses impart a strong and brilliant light, for the guidance of ships traversing this part of the
The light, attended by two men, who watch in turns, may be seen, in clear weather, more than ten leagues off; the whole building being white-washed, is seen farther in the day, and becomes more illuminated throughout the night. Every British ship going round the Foreland pays two-pence, and every foreign one four-pence per ton, for the support of this structure, raised to ensure their safety. It is under the regulation of the Trinity House, Deptford.
I ascended this tower, which is kept uncommonly neat, and the inspection of the lamps gratified my curiosity. The prospect is fine and highly variegated; it does very well in the summer season, but in the winter it is oftentimes dreadful. Sea and
408 land then conspire by their rugged aspect to terrify the imagination and agitate the heart.
Proceeding in the way to Ramsgate, on the left we perceived Broadstairs, a small neat place, in a retired situation. Its libraries are pleasant in a high degree, and the parade before them has an extensive view of the ocean. Here a number of vessels are fitted out for the North Sea and Iceland cod-fishery. A whale came on shore here in 1762, of prodigious dimensions. But the throat was so narrow as scarcely to admit of a man's arm. Let it, however, be remembered, that it was not a whale, but a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; therefore infidelity loses one objection to Revela
Broadstairs has been lately visited by the more genteel classes of company, who wish to be withdrawn from the bustle in which Margate and Ramsgate are generally involved. The parish church is St. Peter's, and here is a dissenting place of worship of the General Baptist persuasion, lately much enlarged and improved. Its minister is not a man of education; but his good sense, his modesty, and his simplicity, gain him many friends. His hearers bear willing testimony to his benevolence and piety. Opposite to this place, about two leagues from the shore, and about ten miles in length, the Goodwin Sands stretch themselves—always the terror, and not unfrequently the destruction, of mariners. Here, in the great storm, 1703, the Stirling Castle, Restoration, Northumberland, and Mary, with Vice
admiral Beaumont, and 1,100 seamen perished ! More recent losses have been experienced, which are fresh in our memory.
RAMSGATE is situated about five miles from Margate, in the cove of a chalky cliff-formerly an obscure town, built for the convenience of the fishery. The old town, built in the form of a cross, has many good houses. It has been of late raised in its importance, by its trade to Russia and the East country. Noble families have for years past honoured it with their residence during the
Chapel Row, Prospect Row, Sion Hill, and Albion Place, are extremely pleasant. It has good inns, a toy-warehouse, and two large libraries. The bathing-place is on the east side of the harbour, under the cliffs—the bottom being chalk covered with sand. The piers, forming the new harbour, are objects worthy of attention; and the prospect hence, of the Downs, the French coast, South Foreland, &c. is delightful. The eastern one extends itself near 800 feet into the ocean, built of white Purbec stone. The western one is partly wood and partly stone; the bason is commodious; and the harbour forms a refuge for ships exposed to the utmost danger in the Downs. The expense of building it was immense; but it is an object of national utility. From 1790 to 1791, upwards of 600 sail entered it for safety, of which more than 300 were bound to and from London. Mr. Smeaton, the famous engineer, observes, in his Report of Ramsgate Harbour, published by order of the Trustees,
SANDWICH. 1791, “ that if every thing be duly and attentively performed, I doubt not but to see the time when it will be said (notwithstanding its misfortunes, and the obliquy that has been occasionally cast upon it,) to be a work worthy the expense it has incurred."
Jacob's Ladder, by which you ascend from the harbour to the cliff, is a curiosity. On the farthest end of the cliff are just erected warm baths upon the neatest construction: they are the subject of general admiration. Frequent embarkations take place from Ramsgate for Ostend and Waterloo, or any part of Flanders.
SANDWICH, the next town, near a mile and a half from the sea, is a place of antiquity. It contains titree very old parish churches, a grammarschool, three hospitals, and a town-hall, over which is a council-chaher. It is incorporated by the name of the mayor, jurats, and commonalty. Mr. Lysons, in his Environs of fumdon, says, that gardens, for raising vegetables for sale, were first cultivated about Sandwich. The sofl about this part is good, and, of course, the seeds raised in it are in repute. The town is, for the most part, watered by a narrow stream called the Dengh, which runs through it. An elegant assembly-room has been lately built, and there are many wealthy inhabitants. The late William Boys, Esq. in the year 1792, published an account of Sandwich, embellished with several engravings. The town seems uncommonly dull, though I never understood that the inhabitants were remarkable for their gravity.
411 Quitting Sandwich, we soon came in view of DEAL, extending itself along the sea-coast. Its inhabitants, therefore, must be in the habit of hearing
The billows break upon the sounding strand,
And roll the rising tide impure with sand ! Deal, in the time of Leland, was a fishingtown, but since that period it has been improved. It now consists of three narrow irregular streets ; and its inhabitants are either in the seafaring line, or employed in offices under government. St. George's Chapel of Ease is elegant and spaciousthe cemetery, also adjoining, is ornamented by tombs belonging to seafaring gentlemen; whose epitaphs tell you, that after having visited every clime, and braved the tempest on almost every ocean, they are here at last sheltered from the storms of life in the dark and silent
The trade of the place arises from its connexion with the Downs, which lie opposite the town, where ships of war and merchandize ride, previous to their departure for distant regions of the world! To behold so many stately vessels at anchor forms an interesting spectacle; the mind is thrown into & variety of pleasing speculations upon the maritime importance of our country :
Mark the surrounding seas o’ershaded ssith our fleets ;