The view from the edge of the Terrace is exceedingly picturesque. On the Esplanade, which runs to the edge of the Lake, is the Bethesda Fountain, with its sparkling jets and silvery drip from the upper to the lower basin. Across the Lake is its bold northern shore, with grey rocks, whose ruggedness is softened by deep foliage; then comes the green of the Ramble, with the grey tower of the Belvedere in the background, the whole being half framed in by the soft green mounds that rise on either side of the Esplanade. In the main basin of the Bethesda Fountain are a number of rare water plants. These are all completely labeled and include the Lotus, the beautiful, flesh-colored India water lily, the Papyrus plant and the beautiful South American floating pond-weed.
The Bethesda Fountain is a representation of the story of the Pool of Bethesda, St. John (5, 2-4). Its crowning feature is the figure of an angel who appears to have just alighted on a mass of ro««k, and extends her hands as if blessing the waters which gush from it into the upper basin of the fountain, overflowing this and dripping into the lower basin, throwing a silvery veil over four figures symbolic of Temperance, Purity, Health and Peace. The fountain was designed and the figures were executed by Emma Stebbins.
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TSXT CREDIT: New York and its environs Author: Gustav Kobbé. Publisher: Harper & brothers, 1891. Original from: the New York Public Library. Digitized: Dec 19, 2005. Length: 282 pages. Subjects, New York (N.Y.)