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COLLEGE STREET, DUBLIN.
Hold fast thy fortitude, fair Western Isle !
Secure in England's justice and her love;
Thus to her sister-care thy title prove.
The building to which this beautiful colonnade gives entrance, is constructed of granite, “hard as the living rock," quarried in the neighbourhood of Dublin; and is fronted with Portland stone. The Portico was erected in the year 1785, at an expense, as it is said, of £25,000.
On the fourteenth of August last, College Street, and the Bank of Ireland in particular, presented a spectacle never to be forgotten even by the youngest of those who witnessed it. On that day, a troop of the Enniskillen Dragoons was drawn up immediately before the statue of King William, and facing the entrance to the College; a company of the seventeenth Lancers being also stationed near the Bank; on the roof of which, multitudes of persons were collected. Many of these persons had grouped themselves around the statues, which, as we have mentioned, adorn the facade of the Eastern Portico ; and very novel and picturesque was the appearance presented by Fortitude, Justice, and Liberty, as they looked forth from the “gaping crowds” by whom they were surrounded. Every available space, in short, which the Bank or its vicinity afforded, was eagerly occupied; and intense was the anxiety with which the assembled thousands awaited the arrival of VICTORIA, THE QUEEN!
Now, hark ! a hum of voices,
A murmuring distant sound,
Floats loud, and louder round.
And now the bright procession
Is in long pomp display'd;
Through arch and colonnade.
At length, ʼmid shouts of greeting,
Right princely in her mien,
Appears Britannia's Queen.
The Royal cortége, in short, is in sight; and in consequence of the width of Westmoreland Street, and the admirable arrangements adopted, it is seen to the utmost advantage. Every window and housetop, throughout the whole length of the noble street, is alive with spectators; as are also the balconies and other temporary erections,
in the line of the splendid procession. Banners wave, and flowers, wreathed into a thousand loyal devices, bear witness to the prevailing feeling of the day. “Welcome Victoria;” “God save the Queen;" and other ingeniously-wrought floral mottoes, meet the eye in every direction ; while the loyal shouts of the people; the standard of England proudly waving from the top of Nelson's pillar; and the flags and streamers everywhere floating on the breeze, give expression to the one pervading sentiment, “CEAD MILLE FAILTHE,” “A hundred thousand welcomes," to the Queen.
“ At her coming streams grow brighter,
Skies grow clearer,
Having inspected the Bank, the Queen passed on to the Gallery of the Royal Irish Institution ; a building situated to the right of the Eastern Portico, and ranging with the dwelling-houses of College Street. This Institution was established in the year 1813, with a view to "the encouragement and promotion of the Fine Arts in Ireland.” The noble building appropriated to the purposes of the Royal Irish Institution, consists of two stories; a basement story, pierced by circular-headed windows, and intersected by a carriage-road; and an upper story, decorated by plain pilasters, and supporting an elegant entablature; the intermediate spaces between the pilasters being occupied by architraves, and other architectural decorations. The lower portion of the building contains an Entrance Hall of good proportions; a board-room; and the various apartments appertaining to the conservators of the Gallery; while the upper story consists of one spacious octagonal hall, or saloon, lighted by a lofty lantern. This noble apartment was built in 1827, and opened to the public for the first time in 1829; on which occasion, the judgment and skill exhibited by its designer, especially with regard to the mode of lighting it, was generally acknowledged.
The opposite side of College Street is occupied by one of the sombre and lofty walls which enclose the chambers of Trinity College-sombre, perhaps, generally; and certainly presenting the grave and reverend appearance which ought to mark the exterior of a Collegiate structure ; but reflecting, on the festive occasion of the royal visit to which we have alluded, its full proportion of the light and life which everywhere tracked the steps of the QUEEN. The stately trees which flourish within the precincts of this seat of learning, tower above its venerable walls; or, occasionally drooping across them, throw their grateful shade upon the path beneath ; while one of the lofty pavilions of the Grand Front of the College, rears its head above the foliage, which during the season of summer, embowers it in luxuriant beauty.