Sketch of the Plan of the Grand Imperial Neptunium, or New Salutiferous, Piscatory, and Saline Company, for forming an artificial Sea in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis
Mr Peregrine Project, Surveyor, Civil Engineer, Landscape Gardener, &c. &c. &c. begs to call the attention of the Wealthy, the Magnificent, and the Voluptuous, the Economical, the Prudent, and the Valetudinary, to a Scheme replete with comfort, advantage, and delight to these and indeed to almost all descriptions of persons.
The Metropolis of the British Empire has long been acknowledged as the centre of both intellectual and sensual enjoyment; and as well the man of genius and learning, as the man of pleasure, quits it with reluctance and returns to it with delight. It has, notwithstanding, for years past been the fashion to quit this delectable sojourn during part of the year, for some of the places of resort on the sea-shor, in order to lave the languid limbs in the refreshing wave, and brace the relaxed fibres in the health-impregn’d breezes of the ocean: the exhausted purse of pleasure’s votary, and the unwilling coffers of the plodding and prudent son of trade, must alike furnish almost countless sums to feed the rapacity of the Brightonians, Margatians, Eastbournians, Bognorians, &c. &c. &c.
Now what an inestimable benefit would be rendered to this vast city, if all the wealth lavished by idlers at bathing places were bestowed upon the industry of its citizens, and all the expense squeezed by flaunty wives and daughters from its unwilling traders saved to increase their capital?
This is what is proposed by the IMPERIAL NEPTUNIUM!
Upon an enlarged scale of operations similar to those so often practised by the fresh water companies, we propose to bring the genuine sea water to London from the Essex coast, in iron pipes of about six or seven feet in diameter, and to form an Inland Sea. The spot selected after mature deliberation is one that Mr Project is convinced will meet with general approbation. It is proposed that this grand Aquarium should form a magnificent feature in conjunction with the Regent’s Park, spreading into an expanse of waters where are now the meadows about St John’s Wood, sweeping round the promontory of Primrose Hill, adorning the foot of the hills of Hampstead and Highgate, and extending to the then marine village of Camden Town.
It would be endless, as well as unnecessary, to expatiate on the numberless beauties, conveniences, and advantages to be derived to the whole neighbourhood by this scheme, and above all to the new Regent’s Park, which will then not only be a rus in urbe and an urbs in rure, but an inland, marine, metropolitican and rural residence unequalled in the world: while the immediate vicinity of our Sea to some of the best-inhabited parts of the Town, and its easily-attainable distance from the rest, will enable those who cannot be blest with a dwelling on its shores to enjoy its refreshing breezes and lave in its restorative waters.
As it is not the object of this short exposé to go into the minutiae of the Plan, which will be explained by Mr Project at his office to those who are disposed to countenance it; suffice it now to say that the revenues of the Neptunium, which may be safely anticipated as a source of unfailing wealth to all who are fortunate enough to share them, are to be collected by a slight toll upon those who perambulate its banks; the fees of the Warm Sea Baths an Bathing Machines; the profits of the Naumachia to be established on the anniversaries of the most celebrated Naval Actions, or upon National or Regency Fêtes for which this will afford an admirable site; the produce of a Saltern to be erected in order to use up the superfluous water, that a constant fresh supply may be poured in from the ocean, and of the Fishery to be established when the Aquarium has been stocked with a selection of the finest sea fish, by an excellent method invented by the Engineer. This latter article, by the way, will be an immense advantage to the Epicure, the Housekeeper, and the fair-dealing Fishmonger, as it will furnish fish in perfection at reasonable rates, and keep down the combination of the great fishmongers to pillage the public.
Nay more, it is not impossible when the scheme is fully carried into effect, but branches of it may be established to send the salt water in iron or stone pipes to every street in the Metropolis, and afford to every one the means of a mareluvium in his own house.
In short, enough it is hoped has been said to convince the most sceptical, and to induce every person of sense, taste, and wealth to call at Mr Project’s office in Air Street, to see the detailed plans, and to become a subscriber to so laudable, useful, salubrious, and profitable an undertaking.