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(71) Plate XXXIII/a

(71) Plate XXXIII/a -

                                                         Plate XXXIII.

                                    SAINT BERNARD'S WELL.

THE beautiful little Temple, erected on the spot, known by the name of Saint Bernard's Well, owes its
existence to that benevolent Nobleman, the late Lord Gardenstone. This building, which is from a
design of Mr. Nasmyth, is not unsimilar to the Sibyls Temple at Tivoli, and which the artist probably
had in his recollection, when he formed this plan. It is circular and open, with a dome supported by
pillars of the Doric order. The Temple is dedicated to the goddess of Health, but the statue of Hygeia,
which stands in the centre, is infinitely too large for the building. This circumstance has given rise to a
Latin epigram inserted in the "Travellers Scotch Guide."

The Doric Temple is placed on a formal rustic story below the level of the walk, which contains the
spring. "Had this part been executed," says the author of Local Scenery, "according to the original
sketch, the effect of the whole would have been much superior to that of the present mass. The ingeni-
ous artist had designed a base resembling the adjoining rock, overhung with ivy and other wild creeping
plants, and having a cavern-like entrance instead of a door, which on Lord Gardenstone's death was sub-
stituted by the ignorance of the workmen. Such an edifice, in such a spot, is perfectly characteristic and
in harmony. Here is not the deep seclusion, or the wild horror, which banishes every idea of human
operation; nor are the picturesque features of the landscape so bold and massy as to preclude all associa-
tion with the simple elegance and regularity of the Temple."

The water of this Well issues from a rock close to Leith water, into which it runs a little above
Stockbridge. It is of a sulphurous quality, and slightly impregnated with iron. It has been
found of use in many disorders, and being situated amidst some very beautiful scenery, and at a very
short distance from Edinburgh, was at one time visited by almost all its inhabitants; but like most things
of the same nature, fashion and whim have, at different periods, exalted it above and sunk it below its true
value. The scenery about it is most beautiful, though the prospect is confined. The river winds round
a rocky point, or dashes over a stony bottom, while the walk, following its course with artless irregula-
rity, presents to the view sometimes bare cliffs, and at others rich woody slopes. This view was made
in 1799.

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