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PORTSMOUTH is a spot which claims our attention on many grounds. First, it is a Government Arsenal conducted on a vast scale, and comprising many distinct establishments connected with the defence of the country. There is a dockyard for building ships, with all the necessary arrangements for repairing ships already built. There are all the countless stores for supplying these ships for their sea-service, whether for actual navigation or for war, from a nail or a ball of twine to an anchor or a sail. There is the victualling-department, whence the thousands who man these ships can at a short notice be provided with their rations. There is the splendid harbour, where the majestic floating fortresses can take up a temporary station when not in active service. There are the fortifications surrounding Portsea and Portsmouth, rendering them conjointly the best-defended spot, perhaps, in England. There are the military arrangements connected with these defensive works ; and the noble Hospital at Haslar, for the sick and wounded. There are the fine open ground at Portsdown, and the old Castle at Porchester ; the pleasant sea-bathing places at SouthSea and at Hayling; Spithead and the Solent, and the mighty fleets that have so often anchored there :-the delightful Isle of Wight inviting you on the one hand, and the Southampton Water on the other.

The situation of Portsmouth is not a little remarkable. We find, on inspecting a map of Hampshire and the neighbouring counties, that a straight line drawn from the Isle of Purbeck to Selsea Bill passes through the middle of the Isle of Wight, so that this Isle is situated in a kind of bay included between those two limits. If the Isle of Wight were away, the mouth of Southampton Water would be the innermost or deepest part of this imaginary bay; but as things really are, the Isle seems to fill up a sort of gap; its northern shore being very similar in shape to the opposite shore of Hampshire. Between the two is a sea-channel, of which the eastern half constitutes Spithead, and the western half the Solent. The Southampton Water branches up north-westward, from a point between the Solent and Spithead; and the Hampshire coast from that point to Hurst Castle proceeds pretty nearly south-west. On the other hand, the Hampshire coast, in the direction from Southampton Water towards Selsea Bill, bends round towards the south-east. In this middle of the distance, the shore is broken up by a remarkable assemblage of bays, islands, and peninsulas, to which Portsmouth owes its formation and its importance. First we have Portsmouth Harbour-an inlet of the sea, narrow at its entrance, but widening considerably as it extends northwards ;—then we have the peninsula, or Isle of Portsea, suspended as it were from the main land at Portsdown Hill, and hanging down into the sea : at the south-west corner of this isle the towns of Portsea and Portsmouth are situated. Going further east, we arrive at another deepindentation of the sea, to which the name of Langston Harbour has been given: it is as large as Portsmouth Harbour, but its smaller depth and other circumstances have prevented it from assuming such maritime and commercial importance. Then we come to Hayling Island, at least two-thirds the size of the Isle of Portsea, and noteworthy chiefly as a sea-bathing and invalid holiday-place. Further east we have another inlet or bay, sometimes called Chichester Harbour, in which are Thorney and Pilsey Islands, and the eastern margin of which is formed by the county of Sussex. If we further imagine a lofty hilly ridge, stretching east and west at a small distance northward of Portsmouth and Langston Harbours, we shall have some idea of the general nature of the district. The coast of Sussex, as we have said, forms the eastern boundary of this family of bays and islands; the road from Gosport to Fareham forms the western ; the road from Fareham through Havant to Emsworth, the northern ; while Spithead and one corner of the Isle of Wight front it on the south. This singularly varied district runs about fifteen miles from east to west, and five miles from north to south: it is composed, mainly, of three sheets of water, separated by two masses of land ; on the westernmost of which is situated the town about to engage our attention.

Portsmouth is now in possession of two railway arteries to London, wholly distinct throughout. The South-Western Railway, which has its terminus on the Gosport side of the Harbour; and the Brighton and South-Coast Railway, which has its terminus on the Portsmouth side: a short line running at the back of the harbour connects these lines; on both the lines the fares are the same. That Portsmouth, with its harbour and its dockyard, its fortifications, and its ships · in ordinary,' will, in the coming summer, be the destination of many a pleasure party, to whom pleasure will not be less welcome for being accompanied with much that is instructive; and that . Excursion-trains' thither will be in request, may safely be anticipated.

HISTORY OF PORTSMOUTH.—In going back to the early times of Portsmouth, we find, from Warner's • IIistory of Hampshire,' that in the time of the Romans, Portchester, or Porchester, or Port Ferris, situated to the north of Portsea and the present harbour, was a seaport of great note; but that, in consequence of the retirement of the sea, the inhabitants abandoned that spot, and retired to Portsea, where they gradually built Portsmouth. Beyond these simple statements, very little seems to have been recorded concerning the state of Portsmouth before the Conquest. William the Conqueror and his Norman successors frequently made Portsmouth a place of embarkation and debarkation in the course of the various movements, warlike or political, in which they were occupied. The narratives of embarkations and debarkations, so carefully treasured up in county histories, are not worth much in themselves; but they are so far useful as showing that Portsmouth was a port of much note six or eight centuries ago. In the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, we have abundant evidence of its naval importance, when fleets of small transports were passing ever and anon to the opposite shores, to carry on the wars of royal ambition.

The commencement of the sixteenth century, and the reign of Henry VIII., brings us to a period when, by the establishment of dockyards, Portsmouth and two or three other seaport towns arose greatly in distinction. It may be well to see what Leland says of Portsmouth, as it existed in his day (the reign of Henry VIII.) :-" The land here, on the east side of Portsmouth Haven, runneth farther by a great way straight into the sea, by south-east from the haven mouth, than it does at the west point. There is at this point of the haven, Portsmouth town, and a great round tower, almost double in quantity and strength to that that is on the west side of the haven right against it; and here is a mighty chain of iron, to draw from tower to tower. About a quarter of a mile above this tower, is a great dock for ships, and in this dock lies part of the ribs of the Henrie Grace de Dieu, one of the biggest ships that has been made in hominum

memoriâ. The town of Portsmouth is measured from the east tower a furrow length, with a mud wall armed with timber, whereon be great pieces both of iron and brass ordinances; and this piece of wall having a ditch without it, runneth so far flat south south-east, and is the place most apt to defend the town there open on the haven. There runneth a ditch almost flat east for a space, and within it is a wall of mud like to the other, and so thus goeth round about the town to the circuit of a mile. There is a gate of timber at the north-east end of the town, and by it is cast up an hill of earth ditched, whereon be guns to defend the entrance into the town by land. There is much vacant ground within the town wall. There is one fair street in the town, from west to north-east. I learned in the town, that the towers in the haven mouth were begun in King Edward IV.'s time, and set forward in building by Richard III. King Henry VIII. ended them at the procuration of Fox, Bishop of Winchester. King Henry VIII., at his first wars into France, erected in the south part of the town seven great brewing-houses, with the implements, to serve his ships at such time as they should go to the sea in time of war.”

There is much in this description to show that Leland found the rudiments of the greatness of Portsmouth in a forward state of development. The fortifications, the harbour, the docks, the victualling offices—all are mentioned ; and though we may well be prepared to expect that they were humble in comparison with those of recent times, yet it is interesting to see the lower rounds of the ladder which leads to national greatness. The time had come when England, no longer depending on her military power, was about to assert that naval superiority which has almost uniformly been awarded to her ever since by the other states of Europe.

By the end of the seventeenth century, many circumstances indicate that Portsmouth had risen to great importance as a naval station. In 1684, a list was drawn up of the ships at that time in Portsmouth: it includes three first-rates, three second-rates, thirteen third-rates, five fourth-rates, three fifth-rates, one sixth-rate, and ten fireships. From the Revolution, up to our own day, Portsmouth, recognised as a most important naval station, engaged the attention of every Government, whether peaceful or warlike ; and became the centre of a vast system of offensive and defensive arrangements. The town itself could not but grow to accommodate the increased Government establishments; and as mostly happens where towns depend more on the expenditure of public money than on private commerce or manufactures, Portsmouth has known but very few periods of distress. So long as armies and navies are kept up, those who supply the wants of soldiers and sailors can pretty well measure the solvency of the paymaster.

THE TOWNS AND RAMPARTS OF PORTSMOUTH AND PORTSEA.--We will suppose the reader to be a rambler, endeavouring to see as much of Portsmouth and its vicinity as can be seen in a short space of time. We will join company with him, and gossip of the many things that claim our attention on all sides. Perhaps it will be well to begin with Portsmouth and Portsea simply as towns, since we can afterwards turn in all directions to the more attractive objects. Be it however understood, at the outset, that Portsmouth and Portsea are anything but beautiful towns. The streets and open places, the buildings and visible objects generally, are not such as to induce one to linger amongst them. The towns seem made for the arsenal, and not the arsenal for the towns. Everything looks, and breathes, and smells of soldiers, and sailors, and docksmen—the three classes who rule the state of society there.

Portsmouth and Portsea are both regular fortified towns; having ramparts and bastions and ravelins on all sides, except towards the sea. It follows, therefore, that they cannot increase in size; and any increase in the area covered with houses must be in the vicinity. This gives us the history of Portsea. Portsmouth is the old town, and northward of it was formerly an open ground occupied by fields and a wide common, called Portsmouth Common; but by degrees houses became built there, as a suburb of Portsmouth; and towards the close of the last century, this new suburb was also surrounded with fortifications. We may therefore, for the convenience of impressing the site on the memory, consider Portsmouth and Portsea to form one town, bounded on the west and north by strong fortifications; and further, that they are divided into two parts, Portsea on the north, and Portsmouth on the south, by a line of fortifications running between them; so that we cannot get from Portsmouth to Portsea, or from either of them to the suburbs, without passing through or under the fortifications.

High-street, the best street in Portsmouth, runs through the town from southwest to north-east, and three or four other streets run parallel with it. The streets at right angles to these are mostly of a smaller character: those which are nearest to the water are principally occupied by shops for supplying some among the countless varieties of sea-stores. If we look at the cheap print-shops, or the songstalls, we cannot fail to see how Jack-tar rules the taste of those regions: the practical jokes and the long yarns; the Dibdin songs; and the splendidly coloured pictures of Jack taking leave of his mistress; all are plentiful enough in the smaller streets of Portsmouth and Portsea. The churches, the chapels, and meeting-houses, the market-house, the poor-house, the jail, the almshouses, the theatre, the hotels—if they are equal in merit to the average of provincial towns, it is as much as we can say for them. But we ought, perhaps, to mention in passing, that in High-street the house is still standing in which Felton assassinated George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, on the 23rd of August, 1628.

Portsea, so far as concerns its streets and non-official buildings, is a little smaller than Portsmouth. Its chief street, Queen-street, is not equal to the High-street of Portsmouth. There is a tolerably open place called St. George's-square, in which St. George's Church is situated. Considered as a commercial port, the dock or harbour of the two towns is a piece of water called the Camber, which forms a sort of small bay within a bay; and which would be rendered yet more efficient if there were any prospect of Portsmouth being made a packet-station for the West Indies.

Let us, however, get out of the towns as soon as we can, and ramble about and among the fortifications which surround them.

The various barracks, within the lines of fortification, are the first of the Government establishments that meet the glance. There are in Portsmouth the Four House Barracks and the Marine Barracks (still so called, though the marines are no longer stationed in them, having been removed to Forton barracks, Gosport), on the south-west margin of the town; the Cambridge Barracks, on the east; and the Colewort Barracks on the north ; while new barracks have been erected at the end of High-street. The fortifications beginning at the great Circular Tower in Broad-street, and passing by where stood the old Semaphore House, and proceeding thence round Portsmouth, comprise the following portions :-First is the Platform, where honorary salutes are discharged on various occasions of military and naval etiquette ; then come, in succession, the Main-Guard, the Spur Redoubt, the King's Bastion, the King's Counterguard, the King's Ravelin, Pembroke Bastion, Montague Ravelin, East Bastion, East Ravelin, Town Mount Bastion, Landport Ravelin, Guy's Bastion, and Beeston Bastion. A sheet of water, called the Mill-dam, intervenes between the Portsmouth fortifications and those of Portsea ; and across this sheet of water two roads, or passages, are formed, well overlooked by the neighbouring ramparts. Then, in crossing over into Portsea, we have the Mill Redoubt, the Right Demi-Bastion, the Right Ravelin, Townshend

Bastion, the Lion Ravelin, the Duke of York's Bastion, the Unicorn Ravelin, the Left Demi-Bastion, and lastly the Sluice Bastion, which abuts against the harbour near the dockyard, and thus completes the warlike envelope of the two towns.

A right pleasant stroll it is along these ramparts. They are open to pedestrians from end to end. Generally speaking, the line of fortification consists of a raised earthen terrace, exterior to all the streets of the town, and elevated several feet above their level. This terrace is gravelled at the top, and has in many parts rows of fine elms, which contribute eminently to its beauty as a promenade. On the outer edge of this terrace is a breast-work, or earth-work, connected with the outer fortifications, and raised four or five feet higher than the terrace. The bastions, of which there are several, are deeply embayed recesses, into which the terrace recedes farther from the centre of the town. These recesses are mostly four-sided spaces of ground, surrounded by the breast-work, through which are pierced holes for the mouths of cannons. Without being deeply learned in military matters, we can manage to form a guess at the use of these bastions, when we stand on the terrace and see in what direction the guns point: they command the exterior fortifications on all sides ; so that should an enemy gain possession of the latter, he would still have a warm reception from the defenders within. The external fortifications here spoken of consist chiefly of ravelins, which are triangular spaces of ground, where ditches, ramparts, covered ways, and the sloping glacis, spread over an immense arca, and give one some foretaste of the machinery involved in the terrible art of besieging and defending a town. These fortifications are for the most part kept in perfect order; but still the nice green sward with which most of the earth-works are covered, renders the ramparts or terraces a very acceptable promenade ; and when the garrison band is playing on the green in front of the governor's house, near the King's Bastion, the enlivening scene is only such as can be displayed in a garrison town. But how, it may be asked, do the Portsmouth people gain access to their green

fields or their suburbs? At three different points in the circuit of Portsmouth are roads, cut through the ramparts, by means of arch-work, and communicating from the interior to the exterior. One of these is the Quay-gate, another the Landport-gate, and a third the Spur-gate; and there are two of a similar kind at Portsea, called the Liongate and the Unicorn-gate. These gates and roads are so completely overlooked by lines of fortification, that the out-goers and in-comers, whether men, or horses, or vehicles, are wholly at the mercy of those who govern the ramparts for the time being. The ramparts, or terraces, pass continuously over these roads; and there are at intervals flights of steps, or sloping paths, to lead down from the ramparts to the streets within the town, but none to the exterior. Thus the interior and the exterior are certainly widely different in appearance; for while the town presents a mass of streets, cooped up within limits incapable of expansion, the suburbs present much liveliness and openness of view.

The reader will probably be prepared to believe that the wealthier portion of the Portsmonth inhabitants do not reside within the two walled towns. The shopping and shipping streets are not the most respectable for private residents; and thus it arises that the suburbs (of which we shall speak by-and-by) present long rows of goodlooking private houses. The private society has, of course, a considerable sprinkling of the military and the maritime about it.

THE DOCKYARD.-Sir John Barrow makes an observation, which is useful, as illustrating and explaining the somewhat scattered arrangement of all our dockyards: “From the first establishment of the King's dockyards to the present time, most of them have gradually been enlarged and improved by a succession of expedients and

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