CLIFTON.

THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE

“Scared at thy presence, start the train of Death,
And hide their whips and scorpions; thee, confused,
Slow Fever creeps from; thee the meagre fiend
Consumption flies, and checks his rattling cough!”
ADDRESS TO THE BRISTOL FOUNTAIN.

The village of Clifton has long been distinguished among our native watering-
places as the Montpelier of England. In point of situation, and the beautiful and varied
scenery it commands, it is without a rival among those numerous springs which, from
their medicinal virtues, have risen into universal repute. It occupies a very elevated
position; and from the windows of his apartment the visitor may enjoy enchanting views
of the western part of Bristol, the Avon, and the numerous vessels that glide to and
fro upon its waters. The plateau, which terminates a gradual ascent from the river, is
covered with elegant buildings that furnish excellent accommodation to the numerous
visitors who annually resort to these salubrious fountains. Many private families of
opulence and respectability make this their principal residence, and with justice, for
few situations in the British Empire can supply more varied and rational sources of
enjoyment. Those who seek to combine the blessings of health with rational amusement
and mental cultivation will very rarely be disappointed in selecting the now “classic”
shades of Clifton as a residence.

The Bristol hot-well — “Bristoliensis aqua” — is a pure thermal, slightly
acidulated spring. The fresh water is inodorous, perfectly limpid and sparkling, and
sends forth numerous air-bubbles when poured into a glass. It is very agreeable to the
taste, and in specific gravity approaches very nearly to that of distilled water; a fact
which proves that it contains only an extremely minute admixture of foreign ingredients.
The temperature of this water, taking the average of the most accurate observations,
may be reckoned at 74°; a degree of temperature which is scarcely, if at all, influenced
by the difference of season. The water contains both solid and gaseous matter, and the
distinction between the two requires to be attended to, as it is owing to its very minute
proportion of solid matter that it deserves the character of a very fine natural spring.
To its excess in gaseous contents it is principally indebted for its medicinal properties,

— whatever these may be, — independently of those of mere water with an increase
of temperature. The principal ingredients of the hot-well water are a large proportion
of carbonic acid gas — fixed air — a certain portion of magnesia and lime in various
combinations with the muriatic, sulphuric, and carbonic acids. The general inference
is that it is remarkably pure for a natural fountain, from the fact of its containing no
other solid matter — and that in less quantity — than what is contained in almost any
common spring water. Much, however, of the merit ascribed to the Bristol and Clifton
wells is due to the mild and temperate climate of the place, which of itself is sufficient to
recommend Bristol as a desirable residence for invalids.

Independently of its medicinal waters, Clifton has many attractions, which
from time to time have been the subjects both of painting and poetry, and made it the
favoured residence of many distinguished individuals. Of the latter, none have deserved
better of their country than Mrs. Hannah More, whose writings breathe the purest
sentiments of religion and morality, and whose personal Memoirs form one of the most
interesting volumes in English biography.

The Suspension Bridge, which forms so prominent a feature in our engraving, is
unfortunately still far from that state of completion in which the artist has been pleased
to depict it Many years have passed since its commencement, and still more thousands
of pounds have been expended in preparation, and yet this great and useful work
remains a monument of misapplied capital and wasted labour.

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