on to the street doors.... In the winter time the air couldn't be got out of the Castle, and in the summer time it couldn't be got in.... It was not naturally a fresh smelling house; and in the window of the front parlour, which was never opened, Mrs. Pipchin kept a collection of plants in pots, which imparted an earthy flavour of their own to the establishment."
Little Paul afterwards went to Dr. Blimber's, which "was a mighty fine house fronting the sea"; this has been identified as being on or near the site now occupied by the Metropole. Thackeray, whose verdict on the town is quoted at the head of this chapter, laid several scenes among these squares and crescents and gave to one of his greatest characters the town's best known feature as a title.
The extraordinary and incongruous building in the Steyne known as the Pavilion was built by Nash at the instigation of George IV. The architect cannot be entirely blamed for the monstrosity, the general idea and "style" was no doubt conceived by his patron. This is how the Pavilion impressed Cobbett: "Take a square box the sides of which are three feet and a half and the height a foot and a half. Take a large Norfolk turnip, cut of the green of the leaves, leave the stalk nine inches long, tie these round with a string three inches from the top, and put the turnip on the middle of the top of the box. Then take four turnips of half the size, treat them in the same way, and put them on the corners of the box. Then take a considerable number of bulbs, of the Crown-Imperial, the narcissus, the hyacinth, the tulip, the crocus and others; let the leaves of each have sprouted to about an inch more or less according to the size of the bulb; put all these pretty promiscuously but pretty thickly on top of the box. Then stand off and look at your architecture."
The building now belongs to the town, and the stables (The "Dome") form a very fine concert hall. The adjacent buildings, all part of the Pavilion, are used as Museum, Library and Picture Gallery. The residence of Mrs. Fitzherbert still overlooks the Steyne, up the steps of this house Barrymore drove his carriage and