Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Picturesque Sketches of London, Past and Present
Author: Miller, Thomas
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Picturesque Sketches of London, Past and Present" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



produced from images available at The Internet Archive)



                              PICTURESQUE
                          SKETCHES OF LONDON.



                                LONDON:

                PRINTED BY ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLYN,
                    Great New Street, Fetter Lane.

                  [Illustration: Y^{E} TRAITORS GATE

                           DOMINE DIRIGENOS]



                              PICTURESQUE

                          SKETCHES OF LONDON,

                           Past and Present.

                            [Illustration]

                           BY THOMAS MILLER,

             AUTHOR OF THE "HISTORY OF THE ANGLO-SAXONS,"
                         "LADY JANE GREY," &c.

                            [Illustration]

                          LONDON: 227 STRAND.



                              PICTURESQUE

                          SKETCHES OF LONDON

                           Past and Present.

                           BY THOMAS MILLER,

     AUTHOR OF A "HISTORY OF THE ANGLO-SAXONS," "LADY JANE GREY,"
           "FAIR ROSAMOND," "PICTURES OF COUNTRY LIFE," &c.

                       WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS

                                  OF

      CHURCHES, PUBLIC BUILDINGS, ANTIQUITIES, STREET VIEWS, &c.

                            [Illustration]

                                LONDON:

              OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL ILLUSTRATED LIBRARY,

                              227 STRAND.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.

 .....PAGE

 ANCIENT LONDON--the dawn of history--Roman London--Saxon London--old
 London Bridge--remains of ancient London--old roads and streets.....17

 CHAPTER II.

 ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL--Anniversary meeting of charity
 children--interior of St. Paul's--the _Times'_
 office--Doctors Commons--Prerogative Court--Examiners of
 wills--Shakspeare's will--Porters of the neighbourhood--Paul's
 Wharf--Knightrider-street--Old London thieves--Church of
 St. Mary Somerset--Cromwell and the clergy--Saracen's
 Head, Friday-street--Baptism of John Milton--Gerard's
 Hall--Painter-stainers' Hall--Queenhithe--St. Mary, Aldermanbury--Bow
 Church.....29

 CHAPTER III.

 CHEAPSIDE--London thoroughfares--Southwark
 Bridge--Whittington--Bucklersbury--Walbrook--Roman remains found in
 Cannon-street--London Stone--The Mansion House--Lombard-street--London
 bankers--Bankers' clerks--The Monument.....56

 CHAPTER IV.

 LONDON BRIDGE WHARF--Billingsgate--Coal Exchange--Custom House--St.
 Dunstan's Church--Mark-lane--Church of Allhallows Barking--East India
 House.....78

 CHAPTER V.

 THE TOWER--The White Tower--Hentzner's description of the Tower
 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth--Anecdotes of lions--The Crown
 Jewels--The Armoury--Execution of Lady Jane Grey--Prisoners in the
 Tower--Regulations of the Tower.....103

 CHAPTER VI.

 LONDON DOCKS--Emigrants--Canterbury colonists--London
 sempstresses--Emigration.....126

 CHAPTER VII.

 WHITECHAPEL--Row of butchers' shops--Articles sold in them--Rag
 Fair--Church of St. Catherine Cree--Crosby Hall--Four Swans'
 Inn.....141

 CHAPTER VIII.

 GUILDHALL--Lord Mayor's Banquet--Lord Mayor's Show--Description
 of, in time of Charles II.--Duties of the Lord Mayor--Gog and
 Magog--The Sheriff's Court--Monuments in Guildhall--St. Giles's,
 Cripplegate.....155

 CHAPTER IX.

 CHRIST'S HOSPITAL--Foundation of, by Edward VI.--Description of supper
 in--Description of Christ's Hospital as it was two hundred years
 ago--Christ's Church.....166

 CHAPTER X.

 SMITHFIELD MARKET--Drovers and their dogs--Smithfield
 butchers--Countrymen in Smithfield.....174

 CHAPTER XI.

 NEWGATE--Scenes at executions.....183

 CHAPTER XII.

 FLEET STREET--Whitefriars--St. Bride's Church--Description of London
 Lodging-houses--St. Dunstan's Church--the Cock Tavern.....191

 CHAPTER XIII.

 CHURCH OF ST. CLEMENT'S DANES--The Strand May-pole--Church of
 St. Mary-le-Strand--Somerset House--Church of the Savoy--The
 Adelphi--Arches at the Adelphi--Covent-Garden Market--Church of St.
 Paul's, Covent Garden.....201

 CHAPTER XIV.

 WESTMINSTER ABBEY--Monuments--Horse-Guards--St. James's Park--Hyde
 Park--Regent's Park--New Parks.....217

 CHAPTER XV.

 ST. GILES'S--The Rookery--Church of St. Giles's--Queen Anne's
 Bath.....229

 CHAPTER XVI.

 LONDON FOG.....243

 CHAPTER XVII.

 THE OLD BOROUGH OF SOUTHWARK--St. James's Church--Tabard Inn.....249

 CHAPTER XVIII.

 STREET AMUSEMENTS--Punch and Judy--Organ-boys and monkeys--Fat
 boys--Tumblers--Stilt-dancers--Jack-in-the-green--Guy Fawkes.....254

 CHAPTER XIX.

 SPRING-TIME IN LONDON.....262

 CHAPTER XX.

 LONDON CEMETERIES--Ancient mode of burying the dead--Intramural
 interments--Ravages of the cholera in 1849.....269

 CHAPTER XXI.

 GREENWICH PARK--Old pensioners--Telescopes--Gipsies--Blackheath.....283

 CHAPTER XXII.

 HOLIDAYS OF THE LONDON POOR.....293

[Illustration]



LIST OF ENGRAVINGS.

[Illustration]


                                                                    PAGE

Frontispiece.

Vignette in Title.

Roman Hypocaust, Thames-street                                        22

Roman Remains, found in Thames-street                                 23

St. Paul's Cathedral.--Charity Children's Anniversary Festival        31

Prerogative Court.--Doctors' Commons                                  39

Saracen's Head, Friday-street                                         48

Roman Lamp                                                            49

Gerard the Giant                                                      50

Gerard's Hall Crypt                                                   52

Bow Church, Cheapside                                                 54

St. Stephen's, Walbrook                                               61

Roman Vessels found in Cannon-street                                  63

The London Stone                                                      64

Lord Mayor's Jewel                                                    65

St. Michael's Church, Cornhill                                        68

Lombard Street                                                        71

St. Mary's Woolnoth                                                   73

Old Billingsgate                                                      83

St. Dunstan's-in-the-East                                             92

Silver-gilt Shrine                                                    95

Tippoo's Elephant Howdah                                              97

Ajunta Caves                                                          99

Tower of London                                                      107

Queen's Diadem, Queen's Coronation Bracelets, Prince of Wales' Crown,
Old Imperial Crown, Queen's Crown, Spiritual Sceptre, and Temporal
Sceptre                                                              115

Imperial Orb, Ampulla, Golden Salt-Cellar of State, Anointing Spoon,
and State Salt-Cellars                                               117

Mast-House, Blackwall                                                129

London Docks--Outer Basin                                            140

Butcher Row, Whitechapel                                             143

The Four Swans' Inn Yard                                             151

St. Giles's, Cripplegate                                             165

Old Staircase in Christ's Hospital                                   171

Christ's Church                                                      172

Smithfield                                                           179

Newgate                                                              185

Somerset House                                                       204

Church of St. Mary-le-Savoy                                          205

Interior of the Savoy Church                                         206

Westminster Abbey                                                    218

Horse-Guards                                                         222

The Rookery, St. Giles's                                             231

Queen Anne's Bath                                                    241

Street Performers                                                    258

Highgate Cemetery                                                    271

One-Tree Hill, Greenwich Park                                        284

Old Pensioner, Greenwich Park                                        285

Telescopes, Greenwich Park                                           286

Gipsies, Greenwich Park                                              287

Greenwich Park                                                       289

[Illustration]



ADVERTISEMENT.


The greater portion of the following work originally appeared in the
columns of the _Illustrated London News_. The beauty of the sketches,
and the permanent interest attached to them, led the proprietors of the
_National Illustrated Library_ to believe that a reprint of them would
form a valuable and welcome addition to that series of illustrated
works. The various articles have accordingly been carefully revised by
the author; many additions have been made, and curious extracts from
rare old works have been introduced, more completely to illustrate the
various scenes and objects described.

The engravings, which consist chiefly of views of churches and other
public buildings, of antiquities, views of streets and markets, sketches
of street scenes, &c., have been carefully executed from original
drawings.

The work is not to be considered as a guide-book, but as a series of
sketches in "poetic prose" of various parts of London, in which, while
perfect accuracy is preserved, the dulness of a mere itinerary is
avoided; in which London of the _present_ is sketched from constant
personal observation, and London of the _past_ from the rich historical
and legendary lore that exists regarding it, and in which the thoughts
that arise in "a free mind and loving heart," from a contemplation of
the various objects and scenes described, are expressed in eloquent and
forcible language.

Nor must the work be considered as exhaustive of the subject. The places
and scenes chosen for "Picturesque Sketches" are chiefly in the eastern
or older part of London. To have included the whole of the metropolis
would have required not one volume, but many. Nevertheless, it will be
found that the subjects to which chapters are devoted are the most
interesting in London, and that though the work is not complete as
regards the whole of this mighty city, yet each chapter is complete as
far as regards its individual subject.

_227 Strand, July 1, 1852._



PICTURESQUE SKETCHES OF LONDON.



Ancient London.


Instead of wasting words on traditions which few can believe, or filling
my pages with accounts of the fabulous kings who are said to have
descended from Æneas, and to have reigned in Britain centuries before
the Roman Invasion, I shall commence the present work by shewing that
the remote past will ever remain a mystery which man is not permitted to
penetrate. The following opening to my _History of the Anglo-Saxons_
applies to the "unknown" origin of London--the new Troy of ancient
fiction--the Augusta of the Romans--for in it I have described my
impression of the unwritten History of the Past:

"Almost every historian has set out by regretting how little is known of
the early inhabitants of Great Britain and its metropolis--a loss which
only the lovers of hoar antiquity deplore, since, from all we can with
certainty glean from the pages of contemporary history, we should find
but little more to interest us than if we possessed written records of
the remotest origin of the Red Indians; for both would alike but be the
history of an unlettered and uncivilised race. The same dim obscurity,
with scarcely an exception, hangs over the primeval inhabitants of every
other country; and if we lift up the mysterious curtain which has so
long fallen over and concealed the past, we only obtain glimpses of
obscure hieroglyphics; and, from the unmeaning fables of monsters and
giants, to which the rudest nations trace their origin, we but glance
backward and backward, to find that civilised Rome and classic Greece
can produce no better authorities than old undated traditions, teeming
with fabulous accounts of heathen gods and goddesses. What we can see of
the remote past through the half-darkened twilight of time, is as of a
great and unknown sea, on which some solitary ship is afloat, whose
course we cannot trace through the shadows which every where deepen
around her, nor tell what strange land lies beyond the dim horizon to
which she seems bound. The dark night of mystery has for ever settled
down upon the early history of our island, and the first dawning which
throws the shadow of man upon the scene, reveals a rude hunter clad in
the skins of beasts of the chase, whose path is disputed by the maned
and shaggy bison, whose rude hut in the forest fastnesses is pitched
beside the lair of the hungry wolf, and whose first conquest is the
extirpation of these formidable animals. And so, in as few words, might
the early history of any other country be written. The shores of Time
are thickly strewn with the remains of extinct animals, which, when
living, the eye of man never looked upon, as if from the deep sea of
Eternity had heaved up one wave, which washed over and blotted out for
ever all that was coeval with her silent and ancient reign, leaving a
monument upon the confines of this old and obliterated world, for man in
a future day to read, on which stands ever engraven the solemn sentence,
'Hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther: beyond this boundary all is
mine!'

"Neither does this mystery end here; for around the monuments which were
reared by the earliest inhabitants of Great Britain there still reigns a
deep darkness; we know not what hands piled together the rude remains of
Stonehenge; we have but few records of the manners, the customs, or the
religion of the early Britons: here and there a colossal barrow heaves
up above the dead; we look within, and find a few bones, a few rude
weapons, either used in war or the chase, and these are all; and we
linger in wonderment around such remains! Who those ancient voyagers
were that first called England the 'Country of Sea Cliffs,' we know not;
and while we sit and brood over the rude fragments of the Welsh Triads,
we become so entangled in doubt and mystery as to look upon the son of
Aedd the Great, and the Island of Honey to which he sailed, and wherein
he found no man alive, as the pleasing dream of some old and forgotten
poet; and we set out again with no more success to discover who were the
earliest inhabitants of England, leaving the ancient Cymri and the
country of Summer behind, and the tall, silent cliffs to stand, as they
had done for ages, looking over a wide and mastless sea.

"We then look among the ancient names of the headlands, and harbours,
and mountains, and hills, and valleys, and endeavour to trace a
resemblance to the language spoken by some neighbouring nation; and we
only glean up a few scattered words, which leave us still in doubt, like
a confusion of echoes, one breaking in upon the other; a minglement of
Celtic, Pictish, Gaulish, and Saxon sounds; where, if for a moment but
one is audible and distinct, it is drowned by other successive clamours
which come panting up with a still louder claim; and in very despair we
are compelled to step back again into the old primeval silence. There we
find geology looking daringly into the formation of the early world, and
boldly proclaiming that there was a period of time when our island
heaved up bare and desolate amid the silence of the surrounding
ocean--when on its ancient promontories and grey granite peaks not a
green branch waved nor a blade of grass grew; and no living thing,
saving the tiny corals, as they piled dome upon dome above the naked
foundations of this early world, stirred in the 'deep profound' which
reigned over those sleeping seas. Onward they go, boldly discoursing of
undated centuries that have passed away, during which they tell us the
ocean swarmed with huge monstrous forms; and that all those countless
ages have left to record their flight are but the remains of a few
extinct reptiles and fishes, whose living likenesses never again
appeared in the world. To another measureless period are we fearlessly
carried--so long as to be only numbered in the account of time which
eternity keeps--and other forms, we are told, moved over the floors of
dried-up oceans--vast animals which no human eye ever looked upon alive;
these, they say, also were swept away, and their ponderous remains had
long mingled with and enriched the earth; but man had not as yet
appeared, nor in any corner of the whole wide world do they discover, in
the deep-buried layers of the earth, a single vestige of the remains of
the human race.

"What historian, then, while such proofs as these are before his eyes,
will not hesitate ere he ventures to assert who were the first
inhabitants of any country, whence they came, or at what period of time
that country was first peopled? As well might he attempt a description
of the scenery over which the mornings of the early world first
broke,--of summit and peak which, ages ago, have been hurled down, and
ground and powdered into atoms. What matters it about the date when such
things once were, or at what time or place they first appeared? We can
gaze upon the gigantic remains of the mastodon or mammoth, or on the
grey silent ruins of Stonehenge; but at what period of time the one
roamed over our island, or in what year the other was first reared, will
for ever remain a mystery. The earth beneath our feet is lettered over
with proofs that there was an age in which these extinct monsters
existed, and that period is unmarked by any proof of the existence of
man in our island. And during those not improbable periods, when oceans
were emptied and dried amid the heaving up and burying of rocks and
mountains,--when volcanoes reddened the dark midnights of the world,
when the "earth was without form and void,"--what mind can picture aught
but His Spirit "moving upon the face of the waters?"--what mortal eye
could have looked upon the rocking and reeling of those chaotic ruins
when their rude forms first heaved up into the light? Is not such a
world stamped with the imprint of the Omnipotent--from when He first
paved its foundation with enduring granite, and roofed it over with the
soft blue of heaven, and lighted it by day with the glorious sun, and
hung out the moon and stars to gladden the night, until at last He
fashioned a world beautiful enough for the abode of his "own image" to
dwell in: then He created man. And what matters it whether or not we
believe in all these mighty epochs? Surely it is enough for us to
discover throughout every change of time the loving-kindness of God for
mankind: we see how fitting this globe was at last made for man's
dwelling-place; that before the great Architect had put his last finish
to his mighty work, instead of leaving us to starve amid the Silurian
sterility, He prepared the world for man, and in place of the naked
granite, spread out a rich carpet of verdure for him to tread upon, then
flung upon it a profusion of the sweetest flowers. Let us not, then,
daringly stand by, and say thus it was fashioned, and so it was formed;
but by our silence acknowledge that it never yet entered the heart of
man to conceive how the Almighty Creator laid the foundation of the
world.

"To his great works must we ever come with reverential knee, and before
them lowly bow; for the grey rocks, and the high mountain summits, and
the wide-spreading plains, and the ever-sounding seas, are stamped with
the image of Eternity; a mighty shadow ever hangs over them. The grey
and weather-beaten headlands still look over the sea, and the solemn
mountains still slumber under their old midnight shadows; but what human
ear first heard the murmur of the waves upon the beaten beach, or what
human foot first climbed up those high-piled summits, we can never know.

"What would it benefit us could we discover the date when our island was
buried beneath the ocean; when what was dry land in one age became the
sea in another; when volcanoes glowed angrily under the dark skies of
the early world, and huge extinct monsters bellowed and roamed through
the old forests and swam in the ancient rivers, which have perhaps ages
ago been swept away? What could we find more to interest us were we in
possession of the names, the ages, and the numbers of the first
adventurers who were perchance driven by some storm upon our sea-beaten
coast, than what is said in the ancient Triad before alluded to? "There
were no more men alive, nor any thing but bears, wolves, beavers, and
the oxen with the high prominence," when Aedd landed upon the shores of
England. What few traces we have of the religious rites of the early
inhabitants of Great Britain vary but little from such as have been
brought to light by modern travellers who have landed in
newly-discovered countries in our own age. They worshipped idols, and
had no knowledge of the true God; and, saving in those lands where the
early patriarchs dwelt, the same Egyptian darkness settled over the
whole world. The ancient Greeks and Romans considered all nations,
except themselves, barbarians; nor do the Chinese of the present day
look upon us in a more favourable light; while we, acknowledging their
antiquity as a nation, scarcely number them amongst such as are
civilised. We have yet to learn by what hands the round towers of
Ireland were reared, and by what race the few ancient British monuments
that still remain were piled together, ere we can enter those mysterious
gates which open upon the history of the past. We find the footprint of
man there, but who he was, or whence he came, we know not; he lived and
died, and whether or not posterity would ever think of the rude
monuments he left behind concerned him not; whether the stones would
mark the temple in which he worshipped, or tumble down and cover his
grave, concerned not his creed; with his hatchet of stone, and
spear-head of flint, he hewed his way from the cradle to the tomb; and
under the steep barrow he knew that he should sleep his last sleep, and,
with his arms folded upon his breast, he left the dead past to bury its
dead: he lived not for us."

At what remote period of time the spot on which London now stands was
first peopled can never be known. A few rude huts peering perchance
through the forest-trees, with grassy openings that went sloping
downwards to the edge of the Thames, where the ancient Briton embarked
in his rude coracle, or boat made of wicker and covered with the hides
of oxen,--a pile of rugged stones on the summit of the hill which marked
the cromlech, or druidical altar, and probably stood on the spot now
occupied by St. Paul's, and which nearly two thousand years ago was
removed to make room for the Roman temple dedicated to Victory--was,
from all we know of other ancient British towns, the appearance of
London soon after the period when the old Cymri first landed in England,
and called it the "Country of Sea-Cliffs."

We next see it through the dim twilight of time occupied by the Romans.
Triumphal arches and pillared temples and obelisks look down upon the
streets of the Roman city. Then comes Boadicea thundering at the head of
her revengeful Britons in her war-chariot: we hear the tramp of horses
and the dealing of heavy blows; see the tesselated pavement stained with
blood; behold pale faces upturned in the grim repose of death; then many
a night of darkness again settles upon the streets of the old city.

[Illustration: ROMAN HYPOCAUST, THAMES-STREET.]

But deep down it is rich in Roman remains; far below the invading
legions tramped, upheaving the victorious eagles above the dim old
tesselated pavements; for London has its Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Unnumbered generations have trampled into dust its splendour, even as
our own glory may one day be mingled in the urn that holds the ashes of
empires. Crushed Samian ware, a rusted demi-god, a headless hero, whose
very memory has perished; the coins of conquerors, whose features time
and decay have corroded, and whose mere names (without a good or evil
deed to tell how they came there,) are just catalogued in the "lots" of
history; these are the mouldering remains of conquest, lying as far
beneath our feet as we in intellectual arts have towered above their
former possessors. We belong to the future, as they do to the present;
and when we perish, our glory will be found lettered in every corner of
the rounded globe. The finger of the shattered giant will be picked up
in the remotest continent, and unborn generations will sigh, as they
exclaim, "Here lies a fragment of the once mighty England that gave us
life."

Westward of London we turn backward, and endeavour to obtain a view of
that ancient neighbourhood as it looked when the Roman city stood upon
the hill; and the Strand, as it is still called, was a low, waste, and
reedy shore, over which the tide came and went, and rocked the tufted
reeds which waved over many a surrounding acre. Something like what it
was in ancient days may yet be seen in those reedy and willowy inlets
above the Red House at Battersea; and could we have stood and looked
across the river while the spot on which Westminster now stands was an
island, covered with thorns, and down to the water edged with green
flags and rushes, we should have seen, far below what was called the
Long Ditch (where the river divided, beside a low, lonely shore, on
which the waves went lapping and surging, as they still do about those
dreary bends that skirt the marshes of Woolwich), the fisherman in his
coracle, the only figure that moved beside the sedgy margin of that
mastless river, over which the piping of the tufted plover might then
have been heard.

[Illustration: ROMAN REMAINS, FOUND IN THAMES-STREET.]

Turning to the ancient city, Erkenwin the Saxon first appears with his
boasted descent from Wodin, the terrible god of battle, conquers the
remnant of the ancient Britons, tramples upon their standard of the red
dragon, and plants the banner of the white horse upon the rude
fortifications of their capital. After many convulsions we see the
kingdoms of the Octarchy overturned by Egbert, the first king of all the
Saxons; and in some old hall, with its low stunted pillars and heavy
vaulted roof (centuries ago levelled to the earth), we behold him seated
gravely with his witenagemot, or assembly of wise men, deliberating upon
the best means of repelling the incursions of the Danes. Under the reign
of Ethelwulf the city is plundered by the stormy sea-kings and their
fearless followers. We next see the army of Alfred hovering between the
outskirts of the city and the foot of Highgate-hill, and protecting the
old Londoners while they gather in their harvest; for Hastings, with his
ivory horn swung to his baldric, was encamped with his Danish army
beside the river Lea, and Alfred had thrown himself like a shield
between the city and its enemies. We behold Etheldred the Unready escape
into Normandy, and Sweyn, king of Denmark, passes the low-browed archway
which leads into the capital. The old grey wall which stretched beside
the Thames, where wharves and warehouses now stand, is defended by
Edmund Ironside and his followers against Canute the Dane, and ships
bearing the banner of the black raven are moving below the rude bridge,
which at that early period stretched over into Southwark. Harold, the
last king of the Saxons, next crosses that old bridge, in the sunset of
an autumnal evening, on his way to the fatal field of Hastings; and when
we again look upon those ancient streets they are filled with Norman
soldiers, and echoing to the bray of Norman trumpets, for William the
Conqueror is passing through the city to take possession of the remains
of the old Roman Tower.

We next glance at that ancient bridge, covered with houses, which
spanned across the Thames, part of which stood even a few years ago, and
had, after much patching and repairing, endured the wear and tear of
time, with all the assaults of wind, water, war, and fire, for above six
hundred years. Even until within the last half century the wheels of the
great water-works first erected by Peter the Dutchman continued to moan
and groan, and splash and dash, just as they had done for many a weary
year,--for those ever-moving water-wheels seemed like the living spirit
of the old bridge; and when they stopped, the ancient fabric, which had
so long tottered to its crazy foundations, was soon swept away and
numbered amongst the things that have been. Narrow, dark, and dangerous
was the gloomy old street that, hung between the water and the sky, went
stretching across the broad bosom of the Thames. Great darksome gables
spanned overhead every way; and if you looked up in the twilight of
those past days, you saw grinning above you, and looking down from the
battlements, the ghastly and gory heads of murdered men, which were
stuck upon spikes and left to bleach in the sun, wind, rain, and
darkness, day after day and night after night. When you looked down,
you still seemed to see them, as if they moved side by side with you,
past the windows of the old chapel, underneath the low-browed arches,
beside the ancient shops; and ever below went the mad waters, gibbering
and groaning and hissing; and in the deep midnight, when the old piers
echoed back every footfall, you almost fancied that all those bodiless
heads had leaped off the battlements, and, with their gory locks
streaming out, were at your heels, hallooing and shrieking above and
below the bridge, and "mopping and mowing" from every overhanging gable
you hurried under.

When the wind was high, it ever went singing through those old houses
and that silent chapel all night long; and the crazy old water-works
sent out a thousand strange supernatural sounds; while all the rickety
casements chattered again like a thousand teeth that have no power over
the bitter blast which set them in motion. Then, too, the old
swing-signs, which the least wind shook, swung and groaned upon their
rusty hinges, one against the other; and what with the creaking of the
signs, the whistling and moaning of the wind, that went booming with a
hollow and unearthly sound under and over the vaulted street, mingled
with the rush of the waters, and the cries for help from those beneath,
who had run foul against the jutting sterlings, you wonder how any one
could ever get a wink of sleep in those high old houses. That ancient
bridge was the only highway into Kent and Surrey, and many a time had it
been crossed by the conqueror and the conquered--one day a kingly
procession, the next a train of prisoners in chains. It was alternately
shaken by the shouts of Wat Tyler and his rebels, then by the acclaim
which greeted some heroic king from the throats of the assembled
citizens. And sometimes the drawbridge was raised, and the inhabitants
of Southwark left to defend themselves as they could, while the citizens
on the Middlesex side were safe, for between them there yawned an
impassable gulf.

Below the Tower we find a few old churches and ancient mansions, which
stood long before the Great Fire went reddening and blackening through
the streets of the old City. The row of picturesque shops at the
entrance of Whitechapel will recall the period when this was the court
end of London. The second house, with the projecting bay-windows, is
rich in ornamental details. The Prince of Wales's feathers, the arms of
Westminster, the _fleur de lis_ of France, and thistle of Scotland are
still standing on the front of this ancient mansion; and it is just
possible that the house was once the residence of Prince Henry, son of
James I., as the monogram, yet visible, bears the initials H.S.,
surmounted with plumes, which, very probably, stand for Henry Stuart.
The Earls of Northumberland, the Throgmortons, and many noble families
and wealthy merchants, in former days, resided in this neighbourhood;
for, beside the Tower, there was Crosby-place at no great distance,
where the Protector, afterwards Richard III., held his court.

How changed is this ancient neighbourhood! The very house in which the
Black Prince lodged when he resided in the City had long before Stowe's
time been turned into an hostel, and the apartments in which grave
councils were held, and where many a glorious victory was planned, even
then echoed back the voice of some Francis, as, amid "the clinking of
pewter," he exclaimed, "Anon, anon, sir;" or, "Score a pint of bastard
in the Half-Moon." The citizens had at that early period turned into
bowling-alleys the quaintly laid-out gardens in which the Percies of old
Northumbria "took their pleasure;" and where some pretty Kate, shewing
her pearly teeth, had no doubt threatened to "break the little finger"
of her fiery Hotspur, who was too eager to leave her dainty bower and
hasten to the wars.

He also has long since vanished--the haughty Prior of the Holy Trinity,
who, with "jingling bridle" in hand, bestrode his prancing palfrey, and
rode "second to none" amongst the rich aldermen of London, proud of his
broad domains, which in those days extended to the margin of the Thames,
and over many rich acres beside those on which Whitechapel now stands.
No Earl of Salisbury now goes "sounding" through the City streets, with
his long train of five hundred mounted followers, clad in his household
livery, and causing the old shopkeepers to cease their cry of "What do
you lack?" while they watched the gay cavalcade until it was lost under
the low-browed archway that stood before his ancient City mansion by
Dowgate.

Baynard Castle, where Henry VII. received his ambassadors, and in which
the crafty Cecil plotted against Lady Jane Grey, almost before the ink
was dry with which he had solemnly registered his name to serve her, has
long ago been numbered amongst the things that were; and seldom do the
"silver snarling trumpets," with their loud acclaim, disturb the deep
sleep of the old City, to announce the in-coming or the out-going of
royalty. The archers of Mile-end, with their chains of gold, have
departed. The spot on which the tent stood where bluff Hal regaled
himself after having witnessed their sports, is now covered with
mean-looking houses: the poetry of ancient London is dead. The voice of
the stream is for ever hushed that went murmuring before the dwellings
of our forefathers, along Aldgate and down Fenchurch-street, and past
the door of Sir Thomas Gresham's house in Lombard street, until it
doubled round by the Mansion House and emptied itself into the river.
There is still a sound of waters by the wharf at London Bridge; but,
oh, how different from the "brawling brook" of former days is the evil
odour that now arises from the poisonous sewer which there empties
itself into the Thames!

Remains of ancient London are still to be found in the neighbourhood of
Smithfield. The courts and alleys about Cloth Fair, and behind
Long-lane, are perfect labyrinths, and so full of ins and outs, that
they astonish the stranger who ventures to thread his way through them.
Bartholomew's Church is also one of the very oldest in the City; and we
never look upon its weather-beaten tower without recalling the scenes
which have taken place in the vast area which stretches out before it.

There is no spot in London richer in historical associations than
Smithfield. There the marshal of England presided over the lists; and
there also the mitred bishops congregated to gaze upon the poor martyr
who was burnt at the stake: that old church-tower has many a time glared
redly as it was lit up by the blaze of those consuming fires; its
vaulted roof has echoed back the clang of arms, when battle-axe and
sword clashed against helmet and shield, while scarcely a murmur arose
from the lips of the mighty multitude that stood silent and breathless
around the combatants.

Shakspeare and Ben Jonson have doubtless passed through those old narrow
courts which still surround Bartholomew's Church. It was to Smithfield
Bardolph went to buy a horse, which we know he would steal if once
allowed to get astride, and that, if any inquiries were made after it at
the Boar's Head in Eastcheap, Falstaff would avouch for Bardolph's
honesty. To us the whole neighbourhood is hallowed by a thousand
poetical associations, and we never journey through it without feeling
as if we were living again amid the past. As for Bartholomew Fair,
though it now only lives in name, it will be remembered for ever in the
works of rare Ben Jonson. To the thoughtful man it is a land of pleasant
and solemn memories.

Then the streets of ancient London, what must they have been? In the
west the roads were in such a state that the king could not open
parliament in wet weather, unless faggots were first thrown into the
deep pits and ruts. Foot and carriage-way had no other distinction than
a row of posts; and if the passenger missed running his head against the
low pent-house-lids, which here and there projected over the way, ten to
one he came to some opening where a grim-headed and grinning spout sent
down its torrents of water from the old-fashioned gabled building, and
drenched him to the very skin. If he rushed out into the road, there

    "Laden carts with thundering wagons meet,
     Wheels clash'd with wheels, and barr'd the narrow street."

The roads of London were full of pits and hollows even in William and
Anne's time; and the coach-box was then a box indeed--a regular
coach-repairer's shop on a small scale; for to get through a long street
in bad weather without either sticking fast, breaking down, turning
over, or being turned over by some reckless carman, was something to
boast about in those days. The coachman had then need to be a good hand
at repairs, and was oftener seen tinkering up his vehicle than mounted
on his box, which in time was covered with the hammer-cloth, to conceal
the materials and implements which almost every hour were called into
use. What a night-journey was in those old unpaved streets may be
readily imagined, when it is known that there were not more than a
thousand lamps to light the whole City--that these were only kept
burning until midnight during one-half of the year, and the remainder of
the season were never once lighted. Such was the London we now live in,
a hundred years ago. Little link-boys then generally lay in wait at the
corner of every street, either ready for a few pence to light the
benighted wanderer home, or more probably to lead him astray, and
extinguish the light at some dangerous spot, where the thieves he was
associated with were in waiting.

Over thousands of troubles and trials rolled the rapid years; then the
"Great Fire" broke out, and nearly every ancient landmark was destroyed;
and now we have to grope our way through the twilight of dim records and
a few rudely executed prints, to catch a glimpse of the old London in
which our forefathers lived. This we shall endeavour to do as we thread
our way through city and suburb; now glancing at the London of the
present day, then turning the eye of the imagination to the ancient
metropolis, which Briton, Roman, Saxon, Dane, and Norman have in
succession traversed.

The old highway to London is that which the daring sea-kings poetically
called "the road of the swans"--the broad bosom of the sea,--and then
along the majestic river which leads to her grey old fortress, the
Tower. But the railroad has ploughed up the country, and this ancient
"silver pathway" is abandoned to commerce and pleasure-parties; so rapid
is the transit from every point of the coast, that few care to thread
the winding river when they can reach London by the railroads almost as
direct as "the crow flies." Such remains of ancient London as fall in
our way we shall again glance at; and shall now commence our
"Picturesque Sketches of London" by describing the most prominent
landmark in the City--St. Paul's Cathedral, together with a few of the
most interesting objects in the neighbourhood.



CHAPTER II.

ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL--DOCTORS' COMMONS--THE OLD CITY STREETS.


The Cathedral of St. Paul's is the great landmark of London. Long before
the eye of the approaching stranger obtains a glimpse of the graceful
spires, grey massy towers, and tall columns which ascend from every
corner of the outstretched city, it rests upon that mighty dome, which
looms through the misty sky, like some dim world hanging amid the
immensity of space; for so does it seem suspended when the smoke from
ten thousand homes throws a vapoury veil over the lower portion of the
invisible building. From the long range of hills that overlook Surrey
and Kent, from the opposite heights of Highgate and Hampstead, and for
miles away in the level valley through which the Thames ebbs and flows,
that rounded dome is seen standing sentinel day and night over the
two-million peopled city. Above the busy hum of the multitude it keeps
watch by day, and through the hushed night it looks up amid the
overhanging stars, and throws back from its golden cross (emblem of our
salvation) the silvery rays of the bright moon, when all the miles of
streets below are wrapt in drowsy silence. High up it towers, a tribute
of man to his Maker, carrying our thoughts almost unconsciously to God
while we gaze upon it, and pointing out to the unbelieving heathens who
have crossed the great deep a Christian land: an image of religion
reflected in the deep tide of our commerce, shadowing forth a haven
beyond the grave, when the fever and the fret of this life will have
died away like a forgotten dream. It stands like a calm bay amid the
ever-heaving sea of restless London, into which the tempest-tost mariner
may at any time enter and anchor his barque nearer the shores of
eternity; for while all around him the wild elements of worldly gain are
raging, scarcely a sound from without falls upon his ear to break the
solemn silence which reigns in that mighty fabric.

No stranger can say that he has seen the vastness of London until he has
mounted the hundreds of steps which lead to the Golden Gallery, and
looked out upon the outstretched city and suburbs below. It is a sight
never to be forgotten; the passengers underneath scarcely appear a foot
high, and the omnibuses so diminished, that you fancy you could take one
under your arm and walk off with it easily. But it is the immense range
of country which the eye commands that astonishes the stranger. Here
railroads branch out, there the noble river seems narrowed by distance
to an insignificant brook; while weary miles of houses spread out every
way, and the largest edifices of the metropolis are dwarfed beneath the
lofty height from which you gaze. There are hills before and hills
behind: to the right, a dim country, lost in purple haze; to the left,
thousands of masts, which look like reeds, while the hulls of the ships
seem to have dwindled to the smallness of boats.

Never did that cathedral appear to us more holy than when we visited it
last summer during the Anniversary Meeting of the Charity Children;
never did the sunbeams which occasionally streamed through the vaulted
dome seem so much like the golden ladder on which the "angels of God
ascended and descended" in the dream of the patriarch of old, as when
they shone for a few moments upon the heads of those thousands of
children who were congregated beneath. We seemed to picture Charity
herself newly alighted from heaven, and standing in the midst
overshadowing them with her white wings, while her angelic smile lighted
up the holy fabric, as she stood with her finger pointing to the sky. It
was a sight that went home to every heart, and made an Englishman proud
of the land of his birth, to know that thousands of those children, who
were fatherless and motherless, were watched over and tended by the
angel of charity; and that hundreds who waited to do her bidding, with
willing hearts and open hands, were assembled in the temple which her
overpowering presence then hallowed. Then to know that so vast a
multitude formed but a portion of the numbers which English charity
clothed, fed, and educated; and that, if all could have been assembled
tier above tier, as they then sat, they would have reached to the very
summit of the dome itself, extending, as it were, to heaven, and with
folded hands and meek supplicating faces seeming to plead in our behalf
before the footstool of God.

It was a sight never to be forgotten, to see those thousands of clean
and neatly clad children ranged one above another, to the height of

[Illustration: ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. CHARITY CHILDREN'S ANNIVERSARY
FESTIVAL.]

twenty feet, beneath the huge overshadowing dome; to see the girls at
the beginning or ending of a prayer (as if touched by the wand of some
magician) raise or drop their thousands of snow-white aprons at the
self-same instant of time, was like the sudden opening and folding of
innumerable wings, which almost made the beholder start, as if he had
stepped suddenly upon the threshold of another world. The gaudiest
gardens that figure in oriental romance, with all their imaginary
colouring, never approached in beauty the rich and variegated hues which
that great group of children presented. Here the eye rested upon
thousands of little faces that peeped out from the pink trimmings of
their neat caps; there the pretty head-gear was ornamented with blue
ribands, looking like blue-bells and white lilies blended together;
farther on the high range of heads stood like sheeted May-blossoms,
while the crimson baise which covered the seats looked in the distance
as if the roses of June were peeping in between the openings of the
branches. The pale pearled lilac softened into a primrose-coloured
border, which was overhung by the darker drapery of the boys, upon whom
the shadows of the arches settled. Ever and anon there was a sparkling
as of gold and silver, as the light fell upon the glittering badges
which numbers of the children wore, or revealed the hundreds of nosegays
which they held in their little hands, or wore proudly in their bosoms.
High above this vast amphitheatre of youthful heads, the outspreading
banners of blue, and crimson, and purple, emblazoned with gold, were
ranged, all filled with

                  "Stains and splendid dyes,
    As are the tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings."

And when the sunlight at intervals fell upon the hair or the innocent
faces of some snow-white group of girls, they seemed surrounded with

                      "A glory like a saint's.
    They look'd like splendid angels newly drest,
    Save wings, for heaven."--KEATS.

Eastward the organ rose with its sloping gallery of choristers, selected
from Westminster, the Royal Chapel, and St. Mark's; and from thence the
full choir burst, and the sounds were caught up and joined by thousands
of voices, until the huge building seemed to throb again beneath that
mighty utterance. The eye fairly ached as it rested on the vast plane of
human faces, which inclined from the west end of the cathedral, and came
dipping down almost to the very foot of the choir, so chequered was the
richly-coloured field it fell upon.

As the anthem stole upon the ear, we seemed borne away to another
state, to that heaven of which we catch glimpses in our sweetest dreams,
when all those childish voices joined in the thrilling chorus; when we
beheld thousands of childish faces in the ever-shifting light, we could
almost fancy that we stood amid those ranks "who veil their faces with
their wings" before the blinding glory of heaven. Over all pealed the
full-voiced organ, sounding like music that belongs not to earth, now
high, now low, near or remote, as the reverberated sound rose to the
dome or traversed the aisles, coming in and out like wavering light
between the pillars and shadowy recesses, spots in which old echoes seem
to sleep, old voices to linger, which only broke forth at intervals to
join in the solemn anthem that rose up and floated away, and would only
become indistinct when it reached the star-paved courts above.

There was something pleasing in the countenances of many of the girls,
something meek and patient in the expression they wore, especially in
the little ones. You could almost fancy you could distinguish those who
were orphans, by their looking timidly round, as if seeking among the
spectators for some one to love them.

From such a scene our mind naturally turned to the huge amphitheatres of
old, when the populace of ancient cities congregated to see some
gladiator die, or to witness the struggle between man and the savage
beast, while the air was rent with applauding shouts, as the combatants
bled beneath each other's swords, or were torn by the tusks of
infuriated animals. How great the contrast! Instead of the shouts of the
heathen multitude, here the solemn anthem was chanted by thousands of
childish voices, while every heart seemed uplifted in silent prayer to
God. Here we saw the youthful aspirants of heaven tuning their notes
like young birds, dim, half-heard melodies, which can only burst forth
in perfect music when they reach that immortal land where "one eternal
summer ever reigns;" and we sighed as we thought how many thousands
still uncared for were scattered through the streets and alleys of
London, and left to live as they best could amid ignorance, rags, and
hunger, with no one to teach them that, outcasts as they are on earth,
they have still a Father in heaven who careth for them. Charitably
disposed as England is to her poor children, she has yet much to do
before her great work is perfected; she has yet to bring together her
homeless thousands who have neither food nor raiment, nor any place at
night where they can lay their weary and aching heads. The time will
come when she will be convinced that she must do more than save a
remnant, when there will be none left in hunger and ignorance to hang
about her great cathedral, as we saw them then, envying the thousands of
clean and healthy-looking children, who, more fortunate than they, were
under the care of charitable guardians. All these her protecting arms
will in time encircle in one warm motherly embrace, without distinction.
God send that the time may be near at hand!

Many a "rapt soul" looked out with moistened eyes from that assemblage,
which, when this earthly pilgrimage is ended, shall hear the voice of
the great Master whom they have served exclaim: "For I was an hungered,
and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a
stranger, and ye took me in." Such we could distinguish, who felt no
greater pleasure than in sharing their wealth amongst the poor and
needy; on whose brow benevolence had set her seal; who do good by
stealth, and "blush to find it fame." Such as these feel an innate
pleasure which the miser never experienced while gloating over his
hoarded gold; and when the Angel of Death comes, he will bear them away
gently; and in the soft beating of his dark wings they will hear again
the sweet voices of those dear children singing a little way before, as
if they had but to shew their faces, when the gates of Paradise would

    "Wide on their golden hinges swing;"

while outstretched arms would be seen through the surrounding halo,
holding forth the crowns of glory which had been prepared for them "from
the foundation of the world."

Glancing at the building, we must state that, from the base to the top
of the cross, which overlooks the dome, the height is 400 feet; and that
of the campanile towers, which front Ludgate-hill, 220 feet; the length
of the building, from east to west, is 500 feet; and the breadth 100
feet; while the ground enclosed by the palisade measures upwards of two
acres. As all the world knows, the architect was Sir Christopher Wren,
whose grave is in the crypt below, and whose monument is the building
itself; such a pile as no monarch ever erected to his own memory. The
choir is enriched by the beautiful carving of Grinling Gibbons, who
ought to have slept beside the great architect of St. Paul's in the
vault beneath. The sculpture on the west front is by Bird, and the
beholder will be struck by the colossal size of the figures, if he
pauses to look out as he ascends the dome. They are, Paul preaching to
the Romans, his Conversion, &c.; while those at the sides represent the
Evangelists. The minute-hand of the clock measures eight feet, and the
dial is fifty-seven feet in circumference; while the great bell, which
strikes the hour, weighs between four and five tons. It is only tolled
at the deaths and burials of the royal family, and a few others, who may
have been connected with the cathedral.

The Whispering-gallery, the Clock-room, the Library, and Model-room,
have been so often described, that we shall pass them by, and briefly
glance at the monuments.

The monument to Nelson, by Flaxman, interests us all the more through
knowing that the remains of the hero of Trafalgar, encased in a portion
of the mainmast of _L'Orient_, repose below. The memorial to
Abercrombie, by one stroke of genius, carries the mind to Egypt, while
gazing on the symbols which are introduced. There are statues or
monuments to Lord Cornwallis, Sir John Moore, Lord Heathfield,
Collingwood, St. Vincent, Howe, Rodney, Ponsonby, and Picton, and many
other naval and military heroes. John Saunders, in _Knight's London_,
says, "There must be something shocking to a pure and devout mind filled
with the spirit of Him who came to preach 'peace on earth, good will
among men,' to find the records of deeds of violence and slaughter
intruded upon his notice in the very temples where he might least expect
to find such associations, ... to make every pier, and window, and
recess in our chief cathedral repeat the same melancholy story of war,
war, still every where war. There are now about forty-eight monuments in
St. Paul's, of which there are but seven devoted to other than naval and
military men ... 'paragraphs of military gazettes,' to use Flaxman's
phrase." The other monuments are to Howard the philanthropist, Dr.
Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir William Jones, Bishop Heber,
Babington, Middleton, and Sir Astley Cooper.

The paintings by Sir James Thornhill look dim and faded, and can
scarcely be seen at all except through a few chinks in the dome, which
you cannot peep down through without feeling dizzy, such a depth yawns
beneath. This door, or trap, or whatever it is called, that opens above
the dome, is for the convenience of hoisting up great and celebrated
visitors, who are too distinguished and too lazy to climb the 600 steps
which lead to the summit of St. Paul's. Speaking of the summit recals to
our recollection that, when we looked from it in the afternoon sunshine,
the shadow of St. Paul's extended to the Bank, while the dome threw all
the houses on the left of Cheapside into the shade, and its rounded
shoulder darkened the crowded buildings far behind, thus depriving
hundreds of the citizens of sunshine.

In conclusion, we have only to add that Divine service commences at a
quarter past ten in the morning, and a quarter to three in the
afternoon; and that to see the whole of the building, above and below,
the visitor must submit to pay the sum of 4_s._ 4_d._; "which," as
gossiping old Pepys says, "is pretty to observe"--we mean, the amount.

There is but little to detain us in the streets behind Ludgate-hill,
running into Upper Thames-street and Earl-street, beyond the mere
mention of Apothecaries' Hall, which stands in the Broadway, that unites
with Water-lane, and which was built soon after the Fire of London.
There is a portrait of James I., and a statue of Delware, at whose
intercession James granted a charter of incorporation. The controversy
between this Company and the College of Physicians called forth Garth's
poem entitled "The Dispensary," which was very popular at that period,
and is still worthy of perusal.

The _Times_ Office, in Printing-house-square, is the great lion of this
neighbourhood; and the same spot was occupied by the king's printers at
least as far back as the reign of Charles II. A description of this
mighty lever of the "fourth estate" does not come within the compass of
our light pages.

Neither St. Andrew's-hill nor Addle-hill requires much notice, though
the former contains one of Wren's churches, called St. Andrew by the
Wardrobe; also a beautiful monument to the Rev. W. Romaine. Paul's Chain
and Bennet-hill bring us back again to St. Paul's; and here our readers
will consider that we make a fair start eastward, with the intention of
describing the principal objects of interest that lie between the
nearest great thoroughfare and the river on the south side of the way,
while a few of the principal objects in the streets on the north will
arrest our attention as we return on our journey westward.

Paul's Chain took its name from the chain thrown across the road during
the time of Divine service; a duty now performed by policemen, who,
although they do not bar up the way, caution the drivers to go on slowly
during service-time.

We have now arrived at Doctors' Commons, and our engraving over-leaf
represents the Prerogative Court, one of the chambers in which the wills
of the dead are deposited. Through those doors many a beating and
anxious heart enters to return disappointed, or half delirious with
delight, through dreaming of the many pleasures which riches will
procure. What thousands of human beings, fluttering between hope and
fear, have passed through the shadow of that arched gateway which opens
into St. Paul's Churchyard; many to repass the possessors of riches, but
never again to find that sweet sleep which hard-handed industry brought,
and which moderate competency had never before heaved a sigh for!
Legacies left, which proved a curse instead of a comfort, by arousing
ambitious thoughts to soar amid airy speculations, where hundreds of
captivating bubbles floated, tinged with the richest hues, until all in
a moment burst, and left but a naked desolation behind--a hideous
barrenness--never seen while those painted vapours danced before the
eye. Wealth, over which Care ever after kept watch with sleepless eyes
and furrowed brow, uncertain into which stream of enjoyment he should
launch with his freight, and so pondered until old age and then death
came, and instead of the castle he had so long contemplated purchasing,
he was installed without a tear into the narrow coffin, and borne
without a sigh to the grave. Others, again, raised from enduring and
patient poverty to undreamed-of comfort, because he who would not have
advanced them a shilling, would it have saved them from starvation and
death, was now powerless; his greatest agony, when he passed away, being
the thought that he could not carry his unforgiving vengeance beyond the
grave; that he had not power to disinherit the child whom he spurned and
hated. We have gazed on those dark-bound volumes in the Prerogative
Will-Office, and thought that if the dead were permitted to return
again, what ghastly forms would enter that room, shrieking aloud names
once beloved, and blotting out for ever such as they had in their blind
passion inserted. One stroke of the pen, and she who sits weeping and
plying her needle in one of the neighbouring attics (her children crying
around her for bread) might have been trailing the roses around the
trellised porch of some beautiful cottage, while they were playing on
the green lawn, strangers to sorrow and hunger.

Let us pause for a few moments and examine the attitudes and
countenances of those who are perusing the wills. See how that woman's
hand shakes as she turns over the leaves; look at the working of the
muscles of that young man's face; behold the play of light over the
wrinkled features of that old lady; see how she clasps her hands
together and is looking upward; and you may tell what each has
discovered as clearly as if you knew them, had stood beside them, and
had read every line which they have been reading. That low sound,
falling on the ear like the faint dropping of the summer rain on the
leaves, is caused by the tears shed by that pale young lady in deep
mourning; they fall quicker and quicker on the pages, and she rests her
head on her hand, for she can no longer see to read through those
blinding tears. The old objects of a once happy home are floating before
the eye of her imagination; it may be that they are all there
enumerated; that she has in fancy been passing from room to room,
looking into the mirror that threw back her image in happy childhood,
leaning from the window where stood the box of mignonette which she
watered in the dewy morning, while her shadow fell upon the sunshine
which slept on the chamber-floor. Old faces and old voices have again
been before and around her; and she weeps not at finding that she is
forgotten, but because those she so fondly loved are either no more or
far away, and refuse to countenance her for marrying the object of her
love, a man rejected by all her family only

[Illustration: PREROGATIVE COURT, DOCTORS COMMONS.]

because he was poor. In that great mustering-ground beyond the grave,
who would not rather occupy the place of that sufferer than stand ranged
amid the ranks of those who have thus neglected her? Contrast her
deportment with that of the young man at the end of the desk; his fists
are clenched, the nails of his fingers are embedded in the palms of his
hands, his teeth set, his eyebrows knit; he strikes his hat as he places
it on his head, closes the door with a loud slam, and curses the memory
of a dead man, because he has left a reckless spendthrift just enough to
live on all his life without working, yet so bequeathed it that he can
but draw a given sum monthly. He is savage because he cannot have the
whole legacy at once in his possession. If he could, he would be likely
enough to squander it all away in a single night at some notorious
gambling-house.

On another countenance you behold utter amazement slowly changing into
the expression of contempt, disgust; and at last it settles down into
black and sullen hatred. She, whose features have in a few moments
undergone so many sudden alterations, finds that all her deeply-laid
schemes and subtle plans have been of no avail, but that the poor
relative, whose character she was ever disparaging in the eyes of the
old man, and whom she kept from his bedside by the falsehoods she
uttered to both, is now the possessor of all his riches. She is gnawing
the end of her glove through sheer vexation: all he has left her is a
book, an old volume, entitled, _The Value of true Sincerity_. The
hypocrite is justly rebuked in his last will and testament. She departs
burning red through shame and anger, and would give the world could she
but leave her conscience behind her.

Watch that old man tottering on the very verge of the grave, and with
hardly strength enough to lift the volume which he so eagerly scans:
although he could already bury himself in gold, and leave the yellow
lucre piled high above his narrow bed, he still covets more. He who has
neither appetite nor taste for any rational enjoyment, who is compelled
to sit up half the night because he cannot rest, is still eager to
increase his riches. For what? the love of money alone. If he lends it,
he never considers for what object; it may be good or evil, that
concerns him not; all he looks to is the security, and the interest he
is to receive on his capital: it may be to bring waste lands into
cultivation, to aid a poor and industrious people; but one per cent
more, and he would supply any armed tyrant with funds to destroy the
whole peaceful populace, to leave their homes a mass of burning ruins,
and the furrows of their fields running red with blood.

Here is the last Will and Testament of the immortal Shakspeare; the very
handwriting of the mighty bard "who was not for an age, but for all
time." On that document his far-seeing eyes looked, on that page his
hand rested; the same hand which obeyed the influence of his high-piled
thoughts while he drew Hamlet, and Lear, and Macbeth, Desdemona,
Ophelia, Perdita, and Imogen, held the pen which traced the very lines
we now look upon. But for such old home-touches as these, we should
almost doubt whether that god-like spirit ever descended to the common
duties of this hard work-a-day world. But here we find him

    "Not too bright or good
     For human nature's daily food."

But for proofs like these, we might fancy that such a soul had but
mistaken its way while wandering from the abodes of the gods, and
brought with it to the earth all the wisdom and poetry which it had
taken an immortality to gather; that when he returned to his native
home, the gates of heaven closed not suddenly enough upon him to shut
out the undying echoes of his golden utterance; but that for ever the
winds of heaven were chartered to repeat them--to blow them abroad into
every corner of the earth--nor cease their mission until the language he
spoke shall be uttered by "every nation, kindred, and tongue." Such a
deed as this alone proves his mortality; for the creations of his genius
carry him as far away from the common standard of men as heaven is from
earth.

What records have we here of old families long since passed away!--their
very names forgotten in the places where they once enjoyed

    "A little rule--a little sway,
     A sunbeam on a winter's day,
       Between the cradle and the grave."--DYER.

Perhaps the last of the race perished a pauper in some obscure
poorhouse; it may be, the one which his ancestors founded a century or
two ago.

Another visits the Will-Office, who gained information of the death of
some near and wealthy relative by chance--perhaps through the scrap of
an old newspaper which formed the wrapper of the pennyworth of butter or
cheese purchased at the little huckster's shop at the corner of the
filthy court in which for years the poor family have resided,--spots in
which misery clings to misery for companionship. Letter after letter had
they written, but received no answer; no one would take the trouble to
reply. Then they sank lower and lower, and removed from place to place,
until, at last, one single room in an undrained and breathless alley
held all their cares and all their heart-aches; and there they tried to
forget their wealthy relatives--to bury the remembrance of what they
once were.

Meantime, he who had long been dead had remembered them on his
deathbed; letters had been written and advertisements had appeared,
announcing "something to their advantage," but they had fallen amongst
the very poor, who, though living in the heart of London, concerned not
themselves with matters foreign to their own wretched neighbourhood,
unless it were some execution or low spectacle, suited to their depraved
tastes. Poverty had long ago prostrated all their finer feelings. Even
such as these have we seen enter the doors of the Prerogative Court,
after they had with difficulty raised the shilling which they were
compelled to pay before searching for the will, and come out exultingly
the possessors of thousands.

A strange place is that Prerogative Court, a fine picture of the great
out-of-door world; for there Hope and Despair stand sentinels at the
doors, and the living seem to jostle the dead in their eager hurry to
hunt after what those in the grave have left them. There is a smell as
of death about the place, as if grey old departed spirits lurked in the
musty folios, and had scattered their ashes amid the yellow and
unearthly-looking parchments, which rise up again in clouds of dust,
while you turn over the mouldy and crackling leaves, making you sneeze
again, while a hundred old echoes take up the sound, until every volume
seems to shake and laugh and mock you, as if the grim old dead found it
a rare spot to make merry in--to "mop and mow," and play off a thousand
devilish antics upon the living. That court is the great mart of
merriment and misery, and its open doors too often lead to madness;
groaning and moaning, when they open or shut, as if the spirits within
wailed over those who come in search of wealth, to return disappointed.
Beauty, Virtue, and Innocence also enter there, preceded by Pity; while
Hope, with downcast eyes, leads them gently by the hand--her smile
subdued, and her sweet countenance sorrowful. But these are angel
visitants, who are compelled to appear in that court--who come in tears,
and, when their duty is done, pass away for ever. There is a sound of
sighs within those walls--a smell of green, stagnant tears: if you
listen, you seem to hear the dead rustling among the old parchments:
they move like black-beetles, and murmur to one another in an old Saxon
language. Wickedness and Wrong have also their lurking-places
there--where they lie concealed, and laugh at Right and Justice amid a
pile of black-lettered laws, beneath which you find injured Poverty
mourning unpitied. The grim judge, who has sat here for hundreds of
years, is deaf and blind: he acts but for the dead--the living he can
neither hear nor see--but ever sits with his elbow resting on a pile of
musty volumes, mute as a marble image. It is a place filled with solemn
associations--the ante-room of Life-in-Death.

Knowing fellows are the porters who hang about this neighbourhood; you
can tell that they have not plied there for years without picking up "a
thing or two;" they appear almost as "'cute" as the learned proctors
themselves; and should you find yourself the possessor of a fat legacy,
and be so ignorant as to apply to these white-aproned messengers as to
the best way of getting it at once, they will undertake to introduce you
to a gentleman, who, from what you hear, you almost believe to be so
clever that he could whip your name into a will if he chose, and obtain
for you a fortune, if even you had no legal claim to a single shilling.
"God bless you, sir, we knows plenty of people what's got thousands as
never expected to have a blessed mag whatsomdever." And green countrymen
follow these plump images of Hope, and treat them to whatever they
please to take.

Besides the Prerogative Will-Office, Doctors' Commons contains the Court
of Arches, a name well known to all the readers of newspapers; the Court
of Faculties and Dispensation, having a good deal to do with
marriage-licenses, and many other less lawful matters; the Consistory
Court of the Bishop of London, and the High Court of Admiralty, so that
"all is fish" which falls into the net of these courts--from a lady
running away from her husband, to one ship running down another. A
captive of Cupid's or a capture in war, is all the same to these able
practitioners, where either the owner or the husband of the Nancy Dawson
may find redress--for either ship or spouse come alike to advocate or
proctor.

Here we have, also, the Heralds' College, well worthy of notice, as it
contains many curious rolls and valuable manuscripts.

At the bottom of Bennet's-hill stood Paul's-wharf--a famous
landing-place before the Great Fire; the church still bears the name of
St. Bennet, Paul's-wharf. Here Knightrider-street and Carter-lane extend
in the line of the river. Carter-lane has become classic ground, through
one Richard Quyney having directed a letter from the Bell Inn, which
formerly stood there, to Shakspeare. Little did Quyney dream how much
the handwriting of the poet he was then addressing would one day be
valued--of the hundreds of pilgrims who would visit the adjoining Court
to see the will of Shakspeare. The society which bears his name are
doing "good service" by hunting up and publishing such records as these,
for they throw a charm around the old poetical neighbourhood of
Blackfriars Bridge, and give to such places as Carter-lane an interest
which they never before possessed;

    "For there is link'd unto a poet's name
     A spell that can command the voice of fame."

Knightrider-street, Stowe tells us, derived its name from the knights of
old riding through it on their way from the Tower to Smithfield to hold
their jousts and tournaments. It was in Knightrider-street that the mace
was found which was stolen from the Lord Chancellor's closet, in Great
Queen-street, on Tuesday night, February 6th, 1676. A small quarto
pamphlet, of eight pages, published in 1676, bears the following
title:--"A perfect Narrative of the Apprehension, Trial, and Confession
of the five several persons who were confederates in stealing the Mace
and the two Privy Purses from the Lord High Chancellor of England, as it
was attested at the Sessions held at Justice Hall, in the Old Bailey,
the seventh and eighth of March, anno 1676." The following extract is
curious, as a picture of the old London thieves, and also of the
lodging-house keepers, many of whom still inherit the gift of "opening
the lock with a knife," or any thing that first comes to hand:--"The
manner of their apprehension was thus: some of the head of the gang had
taken a lodging in Knightrider-street, near Doctors' Commons, and there,
in a closet, they had lodged the mace and purses. The woman's daughter
of the house going up in their absence to make the bed, saw some silver
spangles, or some odd ends of silver, scattered about the chamber, which
she with no small diligence picked up, not knowing from whence such
riches should proceed. In this admiration she paused awhile, and it was
not long before her fancy led her, like the rest of her sex, to pry into
and search the furthermost point of this new and strange apparition; and
directing her course to the closet-door, she through the keyhole could
discern something that was not commonly represented to her view, which
was the upper end of the mace, but knew not what it was; however, she
thought it could not be amiss to acquaint her beloved mother with what
she had beheld; and with this resolve she hastens down stairs, and with
a voice betwixt fear and joy she cries out, 'O mother, mother! yonder is
the king's crown in the closet. Pray, mother, come along with me and see
it.'

"The admiring mother being something surprised at her daughter's report,
as also having no good opinion of her new lodgers, makes haste, good
woman, and goes to the closet-door, and opening the lock with a knife,
she entered into the closet, where she soon discerned it was not a crown
but a mace, and having heard that such a thing was lost, sends
immediately away to acquaint my Lord Chancellor that the mace was in her
house; upon which information a warrant was soon granted, and officers
sent to Mr. Thomas Northy, constable of Queenhithe ward, who, with a
sufficient assistance, went into Knightrider-street to their lodging,
and very luckily found them, being five in number, and of both sexes,
viz. three men and two women, whom they carried before the Right
Worshipful Sir William Turner, who, after examination, according to
justice, committed them to the common jail of Newgate."

It was only five years before that Colonel Blood had attempted to steal
the crown from the Tower, but he--more fortunate than Sadler--escaped
with his life, while the latter was hanged at Tyburn; the only one, we
believe, who was executed for stealing the Lord Chancellor's mace and
purses.

What melancholy processions passed through Knightrider-street, as
prisoners to the Tower, the old historian Stowe mentions not: like many
another ancient street, it was often the highway of merriment and
misery.

St. Paul's School was founded by the venerable Dean Colet about the year
1500, who made the Company of Mercers his trustees. The present building
was erected in 1824. At the commencement of June, when Anne Boleyn
passed through the City on her way from the Tower to Westminster, to be
crowned, we find, in Hall's _Chronicle_, that "at St. Paul's School, on
a scaffold, stood two hundred children, well appareled, who recited
various English versions of the ancient poets, to the honour of the king
and queen, which her grace highly commended."

To the church of St. Austin, or Augustin, Old Change and Watling-street,
was united that of St. Faith under St. Paul's, after the Fire. The
present church was built by Wren. The church of St. Faith stood in the
crypt of old St. Paul's, beneath the choir. Fuller called it the "babe
of old St. Paul's." The author of the _Ingoldsby Legends_, who has never
been surpassed in the art of grafting modern incident on the stem of old
ballad lore, was the rector of St. Augustin's.

To see this closely-crowded neighbourhood thoroughly would require many
"ups and downs." Old Fish-street was formerly the great fish-market of
London, when Queenhithe rivalled Billingsgate, and was the greatest
landing quay in the City; the church of St. Mary Somerset, built by
Wren, stands here. The former church was called St. Mary's Mounthaut, or
Mounthaw, as I find it spelt in an old pamphlet, which states that Mr.
Thrall was "sequestered and shamefully abused" when the clergymen of
London had to make room for the Puritans. Old Fish-street-hill had then
two churches, but after the Great Fire that of St. Mary's Mounthaw was
not rebuilt. This is the old Saxon name of the berry of the hawthorn,
and there was a time when Old Fish-street-hill was celebrated for its
hawthorns, when it was called Hagthorn-hill or Mounthaw, long before old
St. Mary's was built upon it. The pamphlet I have alluded to was printed
in 1661, and is entitled, "A general Bill of the Mortality of the
Clergy of London, or a brief Martyrology and Catalogue of the learned,
grave, religious, and painful Ministers of the City of London, who have
been imprisoned, plundered, and barbarously used, and deprived of all
livelihood for themselves and their families, in the late Rebellion, for
their constancy in the Protestant religion established in this kingdom,
and their loyalty to the king under that _grand_ Persecution. London:
printed against Bartholom' Day." This pamphlet, as the date shews, was
issued soon after the restoration of Charles II., no doubt with the view
of giving him a broad hint that their loyalty and sufferings ought not
to be forgotten in the then "good time coming." Whether or not any thing
was done for them by the "Merry Monarch," we have no means of
ascertaining. We shall occasionally refer to this curious list, to shew
the sufferings of the clergy during the period of the Commonwealth.

Stowe tells us that the monuments of the old church of St. Mary Somerset
were defaced; but whether by time or sacrilegious hands, he says not,
nor can we now know, for the Great Fire destroyed all the traces that
time had so long spared. We would rather the old church with the
poetical name had been rebuilt on the ancient Hawthorn Mount than this.
Stowe thinks that the old name of St. Mary Somerset was Summer Hithe.
Summer and hawthorns! how we love the memory of the old historian for
calling up these pleasant associations! We may be wrong in the name,
but, for the sake of the poetry, we must picture the pretty Saxon maids,
before London was a city, wandering down Mounthaw to Summer-wharf
between long lines of hawthorn hedges, to see their lovers return from
fishing in the Thames, or to watch the arrival of some corn-barque lower
down the bank by Queenhithe. In Fish-street we have still a portion of
the old burial-ground that belonged to St. Mary's Mounthaw.

St. Nicholas's Cold Abbey stands at the corner of Old Fish-street-hill,
and is one of the first churches completed after the Fire. There is
nothing either remarkable about this church or the neighbouring one
called St. Mary's Magdalen in Old Fish-street, except that both were
rebuilt by Wren. In the pamphlet before alluded to I find the following
entry: "St. Maudlin, Old Fish-street, Dr. Griffith sequestered,
plundered; wife and children turned out of doors; his wife dead with
grief. Mr. Weld, his curate, assaulted, beaten in the church, and turned
out." Rather rough handling of the old royalist clergymen in the stormy
times of Cromwell. What talk there must have been amongst the
parishioners of old St. Mary's Magdalen, or Maudlin, when the Ironsides
walked into the ancient City churches, and thus dragged out and beat the
venerable pastors. These brief entries bespeak volumes; and yet we wish
the details were more fully given. Some of the worthy citizens no doubt
dealt a blow or two in defence of their ministers. Poor Mr. Chestlin
seems to have made his escape for a time only to be recaptured. "St.
Matthew's, Friday-street, Mr. Chestlin sequestered, plundered, and
imprisoned in Newgate, whence being let out, he was forced to fly, and
since imprisoned again in Peter House."

Peter House stood in Aldersgate-street, and was used by Cromwell as a
prison at this period, as were also several other celebrated houses.

Friday-street was famous in former times for its taverns. Our engraving
represents the Saracen's Head, which was taken down about seven years
ago.

[Illustration: THE SARACEN'S HEAD, FRIDAY STREET.]

The stone beside the door in the wall of Allhallow's, Bread-street, and
in Watling-street, tells us that here John Milton was baptised on the
20th of December, 1608--that is, in the old church before the Fire. The
well-known lines, commencing "Three poets in three distant ages born,"
&c., are engraved on the same stone that records the date of Milton's
baptism. We wish that all the City churches had their names engraved on
some stone, like that of Allhallow's, Bread-street. We shall scarcely be
believed, when we say, that in one or two instances the people living
next the church did not know its name. When we consider how many
churches are crowded together here, on the space of a few acres of
ground, we think it would be of service to strangers visiting London,
and to thousands who reside in the City and suburbs, to have the names
either legibly engraved or painted on each building. Lower down is the
church of St. Mildred, also built by Wren. The interior is rather
pleasing, and there is some beautiful work about the pulpit; but we know
nothing of any interest connected with the church or the street, beyond
that Milton was born in it, which, to dreamers like ourselves, makes
Bread-street hallowed ground, although the Fire has swept away every
trace of the building in which the God-gifted poet first saw the light.
That this, the spot on which the great poet was born, was classic ground
long centuries ago, the portion of the Roman wall, and the ancient lamp
(which we have engraved), and which were discovered in Bread-street
about five years ago, fully prove. Who can tell what foot, renowned in
Roman history, may have trampled on the spot where the author of
_Paradise Lost_ was born?

[Illustration: ROMAN LAMP.]

Bread-street formerly contained a famous tavern and a prison. The
Mermaid is mentioned by Ben Jonson. There seems to have been a
celebrated tavern here long before the time of Stowe, for he mentions
Gerrarde's Hall in his days as a hostelry for travellers, and, in his
gossiping way, gives us an old-world story about the old building, which
stood above the ancient crypt, which we have here engraved (as one of
the vestiges of the London of our forefathers, doomed to be sacrificed
to modern improvement), and in it he gives us a giant, and a long pole,
which this son of Anak is said to have wielded in the wars. We have
heard that this Gerrarde the giant was buried under the ancient crypt,
which to this day sounds hollow to the tread. But the good old
historian, with his simple and child-like belief, and love for all
undated traditions, shall "tell the tale."

[Illustration: GERARD THE GIANT.]

"On the north side of Basing-lane is one great house of old time, built
upon arched vaults, and with arched gates of stone, brought from Caen in
Normandy, the same is now [about 1600] a common hostelry [inn] for
receipt of travellers, commonly and corruptly called Gerrarde's Hall, of
a giant said to have dwelt there. In the high-roofed hall of this house
some time stood a large fir-pole, which reached to the roof thereof, and
was said to be one of the staves that Gerrarde the giant used in the
wars to run with [away?]. There stood also a ladder of the same length,
which (as they say) served to ascend to the top of the staff. Of later
years this hall is altered, and divers rooms are made in it. [Alas,
then, as now, they would improve; and cared not for their home
antiquities even in good old Stowe's time!] Notwithstanding, the pole
is removed to one corner of the hall, and the ladder hanged broken upon
a wall in the yard. The hostelar of that house said to me, 'The pole
lacketh half a foot of forty in length.' I measured the compass thereof,
and found it fifteen inches. Reasons of the pole could the master of the
hostelry give me none; but bade me read the 'great' Chronicles, for
there he heard of it. [Our hosts were reading men we see in the time of
Elizabeth; and we love the epithet '_great_' before Chronicles, for we
believe it was the host's word and not Stowe's.] I will now note what
myself have observed concerning that house. I read that John Gisors,
Mayor of London in the year 1245, was owner thereof [it might have been
old then, for Stowe does not say that the mayor built it]; and that Sir
John Gisors, constable of the Tower, 1311, and divers others of that
name and family since that time owned it. [The Gisors must have been men
of eminence for one to have become constable of the Tower in that
jealous age, when the Normans ruled with an iron hand.] So it appeareth
that this Gisors' Hall of late time, by corruption, hath been called
Gerrardes' Hall for Gisors' Hall. The pole in the hall might be used of
old time [as then the custom was in every parish] to be set up in the
summer, as a May-pole. The ladder served [serving?] for the decking of
the May-pole and roof of the hall."--_Stowe._

Surely this crypt ought to be spared for the sake of Stowe, and Gerard
the giant, and the May-pole--the compass of which the honest old
historian measured. What a picture it would make--Stowe, the host, and
the ostler, with the old building and the broken ladder! what rich
material for a chapter in an historical romance! If we live, we will do
it some day. Of course the old hall was swept away in the Great Fire,
and Gerard the giant (which we have here engraved) grew up after the
flames had died out; though they went roaring and reddening above the
ancient crypt, over which the generations of six centuries have
trampled. The vaults are of great antiquity--at least as old as the
building mentioned by Stowe--the date of which he does not give,
although he mentions John Gisors, Mayor of London, as a resident there
in 1245, that is, more than 600 years ago.

In Little Trinity-street we have Painter-Stainers' Hall, well worth a
visit, although it is so badly lighted, that it is difficult to see the
portraits. The principal pictures it contains are, Camden, Charles II.
and his queen, William of Orange, by Kneller, and Queen Anne. The
company also possesses a curious cup left by the celebrated antiquary
Camden, and which is still used at their anniversary dinners. The church
of the Holy Trinity was destroyed in the Great Fire, and not rebuilt: a
small chapel, of which we know nothing, stands on the site of the old
church.

[Illustration: GERARD'S HALL CRYPT.]

The church of St. Michael, Queenhithe, is remarkable for nothing except
some carving at the east end, and the vane, which resembles a ship, and
is said to be large enough to hold a bushel of corn.

The dues derived from the quay of Queenhithe belonged to the queens of
England from a very early period, probably ever since the Norman
conquest. Mention is made of Eleanor, so famous in our old ballad lore
as the rival and poisoner of Fair Rosamond, as possessing all the dues
obtained from this royal landing-place. Raising the old drawbridge of
London Bridge every time a ship went under, with all the trouble and
stoppage of vehicles, when this was the only bridge leading into London,
did, no doubt, as much for increasing the traffic of Billingsgate as if
a law had been passed to make it a royal quay.

At the foot of Southwark Bridge stands Vintners' Hall. We can readily
imagine that the old company of Vintners have ever been "right royal,"
and great advocates for processions; that, when the City conduits ran
wine, a great portion of the cost found its way into their coffers.
Pepys tells us that, when Charles II. rode through the City the day
before his coronation, "Wadlow the vintner, at the sign of the Devil, in
Fleet-street, did lead a fine company of soldiers, all young comely men,
in white doublets;" and we now find in the hall portraits of Charles
II., James II., and others. That prince of rough wits, Tom Brown, in a
bantering letter "from a vintner in the City to a young vintner in
Covent Garden," says, "You desire to know whether a vintner may take an
advantage of people when they are in their cups, and reckon more than
they have had? To which I answer in the affirmative, that you may,
provided it be done in the way of trade, and not for any sinister end.
This case has been so adjudged, many years ago, in Vintners' Hall, and
you may depend upon it."

Bow-lane is the only place to obtain a good view of the beautiful tower
of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, one of the finest, in our opinion, in the
City. This is another of Wren's edifices, erected after the Fire. It is
said to be a model of the former building, and that the great architect
was compelled to adopt the style through the conditions of a bequest,
according to Malcolm's statement, of "Henry Rogers, Esq., who,
influenced by sincere motives of piety, and affected with the almost
irreparable loss of religious buildings, left the sum of 5000_l._ to
rebuild a church in the City of London." He died before the building was
commenced, and left his lady executrix of his will; and so the present
church was erected after the model of the one built by Henry Kebles, it
is said, who died at the commencement of the fifteenth century. Stowe
says it was called Aldermary, because it was the oldest church in the
City dedicated to St. Mary. It is said that the crypt of the old church
still remains under two of the houses now standing in Bow-lane. The
tower, as seen from Bow-lane, is splendid, but little of the church is
visible from Watling-street; nor have we any thing further to notice in
this old Roman highway, for such, no doubt, it formerly was, saving the
church of St. Anthony, or Antholin, rebuilt by Wren, the dome of which
is supported by columns. The early prayers at St. Antholin's are alluded
to by our old dramatists. Here we have only to turn up a court, a little
farther on, and we are at once in Bow Churchyard, and under the very
shadow of the tower in which swing the far-famed bells. Our engraving is
a view of Bow Church as seen from Cheapside, one of the busiest
thoroughfares in the whole City of London. Old Bow Church would of
itself form a history, but, as we have not even described old St.
Paul's, and as we wish to make our readers acquainted with the London of
to-day as well as the old City, which never arose again from its ruins,
we shall glance briefly at the present neighbourhood, and pass on our
way eastward.

[Illustration: BOW CHURCH, CHEAPSIDE.]

Bow-bells have become a by-word, more probably through those who were
born within the sound of their peal being called true cockneys, than for
the superior quality of their music. The steeple is very beautiful; from
the ground to the nave there is a harmony about it, and a lightness in
the pillars, which seem as if they only required the air to rest upon.
The form of the galleries is by some considered a beauty, by others a
blot, as destroying the effect of the interior. The present church is
built on a fine old crypt, perhaps as ancient as any remains to be found
in the City, as the original Bow Church seems to have been the first
that was built on stone arches. It is mentioned as far back as the time
of William the Conqueror, and from it the Court of Arches takes its
name. The old church suffered from tempest, fire, and siege. Murder was
at last committed in it, and then it was pronounced unholy, and its
doors and windows were filled with thorns, for

    "Something ail'd it then,--
     The place was curst."

In former times it contained a balcony, from which the royal processions
and civic parades were viewed, though, in comparatively modern times,
these processions were seen from the houses opposite Bow Church. 1681:
"Soon after twelve, their majesties arrived at a house in Cheapside,
opposite Bow Church, and were there diverted by the pageant," or Lord
Mayor's show. So, again, with King William and Mary, in 1689. Queen Anne
also witnessed the procession in 1702; and in 1761, George III. and the
royal family, "from the house of Mr. Barclay, opposite Bow Church."
Before the Fire, these old City splendours were witnessed from a stone
building called a "seldam, or shed;" which Stowe says, stood "without
the north side of Bow Church, and greatly darkened the windows and
doors."

About the meeting of the dragon on Bow Church steeple, and the
grasshopper on the Royal Exchange, there are many quaint old-world
prophecies in existence, which would be of but little interest to our
readers. Here we must close this section of our work, having now reached
Queen-street, Cheapside, and the cast-iron bridge of Southwark, and
described all that lies within the compass of the heading to the present
chapter.



CHAPTER III.

CHEAPSIDE AND LOMBARD STREET.


We have often wondered what effect Cheapside produces upon a countryman
when he first visits London. The whole street is alive with cabs, carts,
chariots, omnibuses, drays, wagons, and trucks, the latter of which are
often drawn by boys, and we marvel that they are not flattened up amid
the crowded ranks of vehicles, which form one continuous chain as far as
the eye can penetrate.

The splendid shops must strike a stranger with amazement, although far
inferior to many which have lately been built at "the West End:" at
every two or three strides we take along the frontage, we pass houses
for which two or three hundred a year rent is paid; half-a-dozen houses
produce yearly nearly double the income of numbers of the foreign
nobles, and many an old lady and gentleman live retired in the quiet
suburbs on the rent derived from a single house which stands in this
costly thoroughfare. Nearly every floor is a separate department of
commerce. Up every flight of stairs which you climb there are attendants
in waiting to receive you. Temptation follows temptation--each door but
opens into richer scenes; each room is hung with costlier articles; and
you stand bewildered, as if entangled amid the mazes of those splendid
palaces which figure in the dreams of oriental romance. Silks from
almost every land in the sunny south, shawls woven in the rainbow looms
of India, are mingled with the products of flowery Cashmere, and blended
with the gaudy plumage of birds of paradise; and vases, emblazoned with
the dazzling dyes of China, that glitter amid piles of purple and green
and crimson velvets hemmed with silver and gold, and hangings which
might have swept their costly fringes upon the cedar floors of Haroun al
Raschid, while the weight of gold and silver seems heavy enough to bow
down the windows.

Let the uninitiated be careful how they stand, whilst loitering and
looking in through those costly plate-glass windows upon such gorgeous
productions, for upward and downward, all day long, the rapid current of
human life is ever rolling in living eddies, from east to west, and
jostling, in its mighty strength, every idle object it meets with on its
way; and, in this ever-moving ocean, each human wave has its allotted
mission, each tiny ripple "its destined end and aim."

How different from the London of the present day--from the splendid
streets and shops which stretch from Temple-Bar to Whitechapel, and
westward from those ancient City gates to a land of theatres, squares,
and palace-like buildings--were the old narrow streets, with their high
houses and overhanging gables, that rose tier above tier, their huge
projecting signs, even at noon-day making a dim dreamy kind of twilight;
while the cry of "What do you lack?" drawled forth by either master or
apprentice, as they paced to and fro before their open-fronted and
booth-like shops, gave a drowsy kind of murmur to the close ancient
neighbourhood of the old City. How different from what we now see!

To the quays, stations, halls, houses of business, and courts of
justice, which abound in this mighty city, are thousands by unforeseen
circumstances yearly driven; and those who have never seen each other
since the days of their youth, are sometimes jostled together
unexpectedly in this great human tide. The old citizen is suddenly
summoned from the suburban retreat, where he had resolved quietly to
spend the remainder of his days, and never again to "smell the smoke of
London;" for his house has been broken into, the property is discovered,
the thief is in custody, and the old man once more elbows his way
through the crowd of London, in wonderment at the many changes which
have taken place since he first retired from business. Another hears
that he has not been fairly dealt with, and has come many a long mile
that he may with his own eyes examine the will which is deposited in the
Court of Doctors' Commons. The invalid loiters with feeble step, halting
every now and then to peep into the attractive windows, before he
embarks in the vessel which lies in waiting to carry him to a more
congenial climate. You see the ruddy-faced, top-booted countryman, who
is either attending a committee, or summoned as a witness upon a trial,
waiting patiently to cross the street, and marvelling in his own mind
what strange procession it can be that is made up of such a long train
of all varieties of vehicles! You can at a glance detect the man of
business from the man of pleasure, by the hurried and earnest manner of
the one, and the idle and easy gait of the other. The down-looking thief
is dragged along by the policeman almost unheeded, except by the lazy
rabble of boys who follow their heels, with the poor woman on whose
features crime and anguish have placed their stamp, and who exchanges a
few low words with the culprit as he is hurried onward to prison. The
undertaker rushes past, wrapt up in calculating the profits he shall
derive from the funeral he has just received the order "to perform;" he
sees not the sweet face of the intended bride, who, leaning upon her
lover's arm, is gazing with smiling looks upon the richly-decorated
window, and making choice of her wedding jewels. The porter, with his
load, runs against the "exquisite" in full-dress, and disarranges either
his carefully-twirled ringlets or jauntily-set hat; a curse or a growl
is exchanged on both sides, and they again pass on. The dandy goes by
brandishing his light cane, followed by the stout and sturdy citizen,
the very tapping of whose stick denotes him to be a man of substance;
while the broad-built country bumpkin, with a fair cousin on each arm,
occupies the whole breadth of the foot-way, and seems astonished at the
rudeness of the "Lunnuners," who jeer him as they pass. So rolls on this
mighty river, with its six currents, bearing onwards those who pass and
re-pass on each side of its shorelike pavement, and the rapid vehicles
which glide swift as full-sailed vessels through its mid-channel.

All at once there is a stoppage; some heavily-laden wagon has broken
down, and the long line of carriages of every description is suddenly
brought to a stand-still--all are motionless. You see the old
thorough-bred London cabman--who has promised to take his fare either
east or west, as the case may be, in a given number of minutes--dodge in
and out for a few seconds, through such narrow openings as no one except
a real Jehu born on the stand would ever venture to move in, until he
comes to the entrance of some narrow street, the ins and outs of which
are only known to a few like himself, when, crack, bang! and he has
vanished, giving one of his own peculiar leers at parting at the long
line he has left stationary.

Now there is a slow movement, and the procession proceeds at a funeral
pace. The donkey-cart laden with firewood heralds the way, and is
followed by the beautiful carriage with its armorial bearings. Behind
comes the heavy dray with its load of beer-barrels; the snail-paced
omnibus follows; the high-piled wagon that rocks and reels beneath its
heavy load next succeeds, and you marvel that it does not topple over,
extinguish some dozen or so of foot-passengers, and smash in the
gorgeous shop-front. The wreck which left the street so silent for a few
minutes is now drawn aside, and all is again noise and motion. The
police-van rolls on with its freight of crime, and is followed by the
magistrate's cabriolet, as he hurries off to a West-end dinner;

    "And all goes merry as a marriage-bell."

Queen-street is in a direct line with Guildhall and Southwark Bridge,
and is remarkable for the loftiness of many of the warehouses at the
Thames-street end. It was formerly called Soper-lane, and is frequently
mentioned in the old processions; for, facing the end of Guildhall, no
doubt some of the finest arches were erected there when royalty paraded
the City. In an old pamphlet, printed by Richard Tothill about 1558,
entitled "The Passage of our most drad Soveraigne Ladye Queene Elyzabeth
through the Citie of London to Westminster, the Day before her
Coronation," we have the following allusion to Soper-lane, now
Queen-street: "At Soper-lane end was another pageant of three open
gates; above the centre of which, on three stages, sat eight children,
explained by this inscription:

     The eight Beatitudes, expressed in the V. chapter of the Gospel of
     Saint Mathew applyed to our Soveraigne Ladye Queen Elyzabeth.

The Three Cranes in the Vintry was formerly a celebrated tavern in this
street; and near to where the bridge now stands were the old watering
stairs, from whence the Lord Mayor embarked on his way to Westminster
Hall. The old burying-ground of St. Thomas the Apostle is in this
street; but the church was not rebuilt after the Fire.

Southwark Bridge here spans the river. It consists of three cast-iron
arches, the centre one wide enough for the Monument to float through
cross-ways, and then leave a space of more than thirty feet. The weight
of iron employed in its construction was nearly 6000 tons. To look up at
the arches from the river, when underneath, recals the chambers built by
the old enchanters; so many gloomy cells branch out and run into each
other, that they appear marvellous, and compel you to respect the
inventive genius of John Rennie, the architect of this wonderful
structure, which was erected when railroads were unknown, and a tubular
bridge across the Menai Straits undreamed of. These things ought to be
borne in mind while looking at the cast-iron bridge of Southwark.

College-hill appears to have derived its name from a college founded on
it by the famous Whittington, who lived in the time of Chaucer, and who
was so many times Lord Mayor of London. The last Duke of Buckingham
resided on this hill, but at what period we have not been able to
discover. There does not appear to us the remains of any house
sufficiently imposing enough to have been his residence, nor any thing
extant beyond a court-yard, which is said to have belonged to his
princely mansion. Strype says he resided here "upon a particular
humour;" and we cannot contradict him, though to us it seems very
strange, knowing that the City had at this time ceased, with but few
exceptions, to be occupied by the nobility. We know that he sold his
house in the Strand in 1672, and it is just probable that he may have
resided here about this time; if so, it must then have been a new house,
for the Great Fire occurred in 1666; and how such a mansion came to be
taken down, and when and for what purpose, we cannot explain.

Here we have the Mercers' School, which formerly stood beside the hall
and chapel of this ancient company in Cheapside. It is said to be one of
the oldest endowed schools in London, and to occupy the ground on which
formerly stood "God's Hospital," founded by Whittington, now removed to
Highgate, a great improvement on the original situation, considering
that there is no longer any "flower-show" in Bucklesbury, and that the
old Stocks Market has been removed to make room for the present Mansion
House. St. Michael's, College-hill, was rebuilt by Wren; it contains an
altar-piece by Hilton, and is remarkable for nothing save that it was
made a collegiate church by Whittington's executors, and that the
far-famed Lord Mayor is buried here--not forgetting an old poet
(Cleveland), of whom we have in another work made honourable mention,
for he was the first who called the bee "Nature's confectioner." His
description of the ruins of "Old St. Paul's" after the Fire ought to be
better known. His hatred of the Roundheads was "right royal."

Facing St. Pancras-lane, and running into Cheapside or the Poultry, is
Bucklesbury, alluded to by Shakspeare, who makes Falstaff compare the
dandies of his day to "lisping hawthorn buds, that come like women in
men's apparel, and smell like Bucklesbury in simple time." It seems to
have been principally inhabited by apothecaries in former times; and, as
we know the faith our forefathers had in herbs, which they distilled and
took in all kinds of forms as medicine, we can readily imagine what an
aroma there was about the shops of these ancient herbalists.

Walbrook is so called from a brook which formerly flowed from the City
wall into the Thames, but in Stowe's time was built over and "hidden
under ground, and thereby hardly known." We have here the beautiful
church of St. Stephen's, Walbrook. "This church," says Mr. Godwin in his
work entitled _The Churches of London_, "is

[Illustration: ST. STEPHEN'S, WALBROOK.]

certainly more worthy of admiration in respect to its general
arrangement, which displays great skill, than of the details, for they
are in many respects faulty. The body of the church, which is nearly a
parallelogram, is divided into five unequal aisles (the centre being the
largest, and those next the walls on either side the smallest,) by four
rows of Corinthian columns. Within one intercolumniation from the east
end, two columns from each of the two centre rows are omitted, and the
area thus formed is covered by an enriched cupola supported on eight
arches which rise from the entablature of the columns. By the
distribution of the columns and their entablature (as may be observed in
the engraving) a cruciform arrangement is given to this part of the
church, and an effect of great elegance is produced, although marred in
some degree by the want of connexion which exists between the _square_
area formed by the columns and their entablature, and the cupola which
covers it. The columns are raised on plinths of the same height as the
pewing. The spandrils of the arches bearing the cupola present panels
containing shields and foliage of uncertain and unmeaning form,
perfectly French in style; and of the same character are the brackets
against the side walls, in the shape of enriched capitals introduced to
receive the ends of the entablature in the place of pilasters. At the
chancel end pilasters are introduced, and serve to shew more plainly the
impropriety of omitting them elsewhere. The enrichments of the
entablature--itself meagre and imperfect--are clumsily executed. Above
it is a clerestory, containing windows of mean form and construction.
The cupola, around which runs a circular dentil cornice, just above the
arches, is divided into panels ornamented with palm-branches and roses,
and is terminated at the apex by a circular lantern light: the whole is
elegant in outline, and is much more in design than are other portions
of the church just now alluded to." St. Stephen's, Walbrook, is
considered, in spite of Mr. Godwin's architectural criticism, one of the
most beautiful of all Wren's churches, and for a comparatively modern
building, is the gem of the City. Outside there is nothing to admire;
but within it wears, in our eyes, a sweet cathedral-like look, so
gracefully does the light stream down, so artistically do the shadows
slumber. When the great architect planned this building, he must have
been blessed with one of those happy thoughts which sometimes come upon
a poet unaware, and for which he can no more account than he can for the
fragrance that floats upon the summer breeze. The grace of those
pillars, the beauty of that airy dome, haunt the memory long after they
have been seen; and when far away, come upon the mind like pleasant
recollections. The altar-piece by West finds many admirers; but the
greatest charm is the eloquence of the rector, the Rev. Dr. Croly, whose
literary works stand "second to none" of the many highly-gifted poets of
the day; for the author of _Salathiel_ has won himself a name which will
never be forgotten while the language in which he clothed the "Angel of
the World" is uttered.

Nearly bordering upon the ancient crypt in Basing-lane, at the depth of
12 feet 6 inches below the surface, some workmen recently came upon a
Roman tesselated pavement, a space of which comprising about 27 feet was
exposed. This pavement, which is composed of the common red tesseræ,
without pattern, is embedded in a thin layer of cement and pounded
brick, underneath which is a thick

[Illustration:

  1. Amphora, or wine vessel.
  2. Black cinerary urn.
  3, 4. Vessels of stone-coloured ware.
  5. Mortaria, studded with quartz, with potter's name.
  6. Black urn, diamond patter.
  7. Small Samian vessel.
  8. Earthen lamp.
  9. Small vessel, used probably for balsams or other funeral offerings.

ROMAN VESSELS FOUND IN CANNON STREET.]

stratum of coarse sand cement. A cutting contiguous to the site of the
pavement exhibits a section of chalk foundation, with layers of Roman
tile, over which, supporting part of a brick building now in course of
demolition, are the remains of a strong chalk wall, about 10 feet high
and 4 feet in thickness. About 18 feet from the Roman pavement is a
circular shaft, similar to that discovered near Billingsgate in
connexion with Roman pavements and other remains on the site of the
present Coal Exchange. This shaft is composed of chalk, and lined with
hard stone. A chalk-built vault had been demolished by the workmen
before it could be properly examined. Fragments of the fine red pottery
called Samian ware, some of them bearing an elegant pattern, were found
at a depth of nearly 20 feet; of these we give engravings. In other
parts of the excavation, and in the face of the cutting, about 4 feet
below the pavement, were picked out bits of the same kind of pottery,
and fragments from a large mass of carbonised wood imbedded in the clay,
and seemingly one of the piles which had served to support the Roman
edifice formerly occupying the spot, in like manner with those
discovered near Billingsgate. It is worthy of remark that the site of
these discoveries is, as nearly as can be ascertained, that formerly
occupied by the fortress of Tower Royal, being just about the same
distance east of Queen-street as the line once known as Tower
Royal-street, so designated to mark the locality of the ancient royal
fortress; and it seems not improbable that the chalk superstructure
above described may have appertained to the walls of this edifice. Tower
Royal stood in the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, in Watling-street,
and came down to the Thames with its gardens, stables, &c.

[Illustration: THE LONDON STONE.]

In Cannon-street, beside the church of St. Swithin, the old saint who,
in the country, is still believed to have a good deal to do with fair or
rainy weather, stands the far-famed London Stone, of which we give an
engraving: it is "let into" the wall of this church. The stone appears
to have stood on the opposite side of Cannon-street in Stowe's time, and
to have been "fixed in the ground very deep, and fastened with bars of
iron so strongly set, that if the carts do run against it through
negligence, the wheels be broken, and the stone itself

[Illustration: JEWEL.]

unshaken." The cause why this stone was set there, the time when, or
other memory hereof, is none." Camden believes it to have been one of
the old Roman milestones; but this, we think, is doubtful, as others
would have been found in some of the old towns which the Romans
inhabited. Every reader of Shakspeare will remember Jack Cade sitting
upon this stone and proclaiming himself lord of London. The Mansion
House was built about the year 1753: before this period, the Lord Mayor
was compelled to reside in his own house, or to give his entertainment
in some of the City halls. In the Egyptian Hall, the Lord Mayor
entertains his guests in such a style as few cities saving London can
afford, for the plate used on these occasions is alone valued at
20,000_l._ Few princes live in greater state than the Lord Mayor of
London; for he has his sword-bearer, his chaplain, mace-bearer,
sergeant-at-arms, carver, esquires, bailiffs, and we know not who
beside. To support this dignity, he is allowed 8000_l._ a year during
his mayoralty, which sum, if he is liberal, finds him comparatively in
little more than salt and servants; for the good citizens soon begin to
cry out if he does not "cook" pretty often, and invite them to the
banquet.

The sword of the Lord Mayor, which was presented to the Corporation by
Elizabeth, is four feet long; the handle is gold, richly chased, and the
scabbard set with beautiful pearls. The mace was the gift of one of the
Charleses, but whether the first or second we have not been able to
ascertain. In the _Illustrated London News_ of 1844, we find the
following description of the collar and jewel: "The collar and jewel are
badges of great beauty; the former is formed of pure gold, and is
composed of a series of links, each one formed of the letter S, which
formerly signified squire or gentleman, a united York and Lancaster, or
Henry VII. rose, and a massive knot. The ends of the chain are formed by
the portcullis, the celebrated badge of Henry VII.; and from the points
of it, suspended by a ring of diamonds, hangs the jewel. The entire
collar contains 28 S's, 14 roses, and 14 knots, and measures 64 inches.
The jewel contains in the centre the City arms cut in cameo of a
delicate blue on an olive ground. Surrounding this is a garter of bright
blue, edged with white and gold, bearing the City motto, 'Domine dirige
nos,' in gold letters. The whole is encircled with a costly border of
gold S's alternating with rosettes of diamonds set in silver." On
ordinary occasions the Lord Mayor wears a black silk robe, and in the
courts of Common Council one of blue; when on the bench, or on the
occasion of a royal visit, he has other robes of scarlet and crimson.

The Mansion House stands on the site of the old Stocks Market, where a
pair of stocks formerly stood, which were the terror of those who dealt
in stale fish or otherwise offended. A little more than a century ago,
the market was removed to opposite the Fleet Prison, and is still held
there, under the name of Farringdon Market.

In Suffolk-lane stands the Merchant Taylors' School, built on the site
of a mansion that formerly belonged to the Suffolk family; hence the
next turning is called "Duck's-foot-lane"--no doubt a corruption of
"Duke." The present building was erected a few years after the Great
Fire, although there have been additions made to it as recently as
twenty years ago. Many very eminent men have been educated at this
school; amongst them James Shirley, the dramatist, and author of that
beautiful poem commencing with--

    "The glories of our birth and state
       Are shadows--not substantial things;
     There is no armour against fate--
       Death lays his icy hand on kings."

In Thames-street, we have still a building bearing the name of Steelyard
or Stilliard, an old name still in use in the country for the beam
balance on which the portions of a pound are notched on the one side,
with figures giving the number of pounds, and a hanging and sliding
weight. It is principally used by butchers, and is known by no other
name than that of stilliards in the north of England: hence, no doubt,
the name of this ancient haunt of the Hanse merchants. The last church
on the west side of London Bridge, in Upper Thames-street, is called
Allhallows-the-Great; it was built by Wren, and contains a carved
screen, presented by the Hanse merchants, who obtained a settlement in
England a century or two after the Norman Conquest. At the Old Swan
Pier, or Swan stairs, timid passengers were wont to land who had not
courage enough to remain with the waterman in his wherry, and shoot the
dangerous arches of old London Bridge, but generally walked on to some
other landing-place below the bridge, where they again embarked.

New London Bridge is built of granite; and was first opened by William
IV. and the good Queen Adelaide, in 1831. It cost nearly two millions
sterling.

In King William-street stands the statue of King William IV., by Nixon,
looking towards London Bridge. This statue, which is of granite, cost
upwards of 2000_l._, of which 1600_l._ was voted by the Common Council
of London. It is considered an admirable likeness; and the folds of the
cloak are beautifully arranged, while the coil of rope reminds us of the
"Sailor King." The width and beauty of King William-street is very
striking, especially after emerging from the narrow streets and hilly
lanes which we have just described.

The churches of St. Michael and St. Peter, Cornhill, were both built by
Wren, except the tower of the former, which escaped the Great Fire, but
was rebuilt some fifty years after that terrible event. St. Peter's
possesses a rood-screen, a great rarity, and seldom found except in our
old country churches. From the pamphlet which records the doings of the
Puritans, and which we have before mentioned, we find the rector of St.
Michael's, Cornhill, "Dr. Brough, sequestered, plundered; wife and
children turned out of doors; his

[Illustration: ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH, CORNHILL.]

wife dead with grief; Mr. Weld, his curate, assaulted, beaten in the
church, and turned out." At St. Peter's, Cornhill. "Dr. Fairfax,
sequestered, plundered; imprisoned in Ely House and the ships; his wife
and children turned out of doors." One of the first Christian churches
built in England is supposed to have been St. Peter's, Cornhill. The
present church contains an ancient tablet which bears the following
inscription: "Be it known unto all men that the year of Lord God.
C.lxxix., Lucius, the first Christian king of this land, then called
Britain, founded the first church in London, that is to say, the church
of St. Peter, upon Cornhill," &c. &c. The inscription runs on to the
coming of Augustine, and the making of Milletus bishop of London, &c.

We give an engraving of St. Michael's, Cornhill, the tower of which is a
copy of the one that escaped the fire; the upper portion is very
beautiful--pity it is hidden by the houses in St. Michael's-alley.

As we are now in busy Lombard-street, so proverbial for its wealth, we
will pause a few moments, and look at it through the dim haze of former
years, how different from what it is now! As we gaze through the
twilight of past centuries, we catch glimpses of the objects and echoes
of the sounds that moved and floated over this ancient neighbourhood
nearly three centuries before the _Diamond_ let off her steam, or the
_Rob Roy_ omnibus carried thirteen "insides:" glimpses of vaulters, and
dancers, and bear-wards, and leaders of apes, crossing and crowding
where now the bank clerks hurry to clear out, carrying thousands of
pounds in their bill-cases; still, however, reminding you that the old
"rogueries" of London have not vanished, by the strong steel chains with
which they secure their banking books. What a roaring and barking there
must have been in that narrow thoroughfare in bygone days, when the bear
was followed by all the dogs "from some four parishes," as Ben Jonson
has narrated! What a stir there was on that merry morning when Kemp set
out from the house of the Lord Mayor to dance all the way to Norwich,
accompanied by his taborer, Thomas Sly; or when Banks (the Ducrow of the
Elizabethan period) exhibited his wonderful horse, named Morocco, in the
London streets, and many of the simple citizens believed that both he
and his marvellous steed had dealings with the old gentleman who manages
the fire-office below! What cramming and jamming there would be about
the Exchange on the day Queen Elizabeth ordered it to be opened by sound
of trumpet; what motions and raree-shows, and antics of wooden puppets,
such as Hogarth has preserved in his picture of "Southwark Fair," and
Jonson has called "a civil company" who live in baskets! Add to these
all the "street-cries," the balancers of straws and feathers, and all
other out-of-door amusements, not forgetting the hares that played on
tabors; the buzz also of the bearded merchants, who took up no small
space with their ample trunk-hose: then you have, in the mind's eye, the
whole of this ancient panorama, moving in that high narrow street, with
half the houses sleeping in shadow, while the other half caught the full
sunshine. Seated at those carven and diamond-shaped lattices, which went
bowing out far over the ill-paved pathway, were the wives and pretty
daughters of these "gray forefathers" of commerce; while below, many an
apprentice sat sighing over his desk, wishing it were Sunday again, and
he carrying the large clasped Bible behind his handsome young mistress,
while thinking more about the neat foot and ankle she displayed than the
sermon that was to be preached at St. Peter's or St. Michael's; or, as
he passed some richly-sculptured conduit, wondering when it would again
run with wine; or, if he walked that way, turning a longing look as he
passed towards the apple-trees that grew around St. Martin's Church, in
Ironmonger-lane, and thinking how he should like to make a party to rob
that City orchard. Such were the picturesque features of the London of
this period in the streets.

How different were the old ordinaries from the quiet chop-houses we now
find in every court and alley that runs into Lombard-street! In those
days, ten to one you had to fight your man after having finished your
dinner; for swash-bucklers abounded in every tavern. Still there were
merry doings; and Queen Bess's ruff at last bristled out with anger at
the tidings of the quantity of venison those "fat and greasy citizens"
consumed, and then the Lord Mayor and aldermen were called upon to
interfere.

Now merchants whose autographs to a cheque would load the bearer with
gold lunch in the neighbouring alleys on their humble chop and steak;
and gentlemen worth thousands turn up their cuffs and peel their own
potatoes--then hurry off by the train, or omnibus, or steamer, to their
snug suburban residences to dinner, except on rare occasions. They no
longer retire to the ancient hostels to smoke tobacco, which was sold
for its weight in silver, and to purchase which they looked out their
newest crowns and shillings to place in the opposite scale. Smoking then
was a different thing from "burning" tobacco as we do now; yet there
were men in those days who, no doubt, "blew a cloud" with Sir Walter
Raleigh and Ben Jonson; and even Shakspeare himself must have sat in the
society of these early smokers.

How the bankers of England sprang from goldsmiths and lenders of money
on plate and other pledges, is already matter of history; and were King
John now alive, he would hesitate before he dared to venture on a little
dental surgery to fill his exchequer; the bench would get judgment
signed a thousand times over with much more pleasure than he affixed his
signature to the Great Charter. Even the fiery daughter of Henry VIII.
would, under the existing state of things, pause before commanding the
citizens to take back the money she had borrowed of them, without
interest, in loan for which she demanded seven per cent should be paid,
and all their gold and silver

[Illustration: LOMBARD-STREET.]

plate deposited with her as security for the payment--a most original
and profitable way of "paying them back in their own coin."

[Illustration: ST. MARY'S WOOLNOTH.]

There is something very beautiful and almost poetical in the domestic
history of these early bankers, telling us that their honesty and honour
were upheld by a rigid adherence to pure morality, which is confirmed by
the many marriages which took place between the apprentices and their
masters' daughters. Day after day, and year after year, did these
youthful citizens live under the same roof, and under the strong control
of the same strict masters, practising every kind of self-denial for her
sake, whom they perhaps saw but once a day, or it might be at each
meal-time; or, in strict establishments, only once a week, when they
walked behind her to St. Mary's Woolnoth, which stood on the site of the
modern church our engraving represents. Through the dim light of bygone
years we are enabled to see a face here and an arm there, a faint
guarded smile, that would fall like a sunbeam all day long on the heavy
ledger, as the youthful lover bent over his desk and sighed for a moment
as he thought of his stern task-master; then, like Ferdinand in _The
Tempest_, exclaimed, as he conjured up the image of his beautiful
mistress--

    "Oh, she is ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed!"

At the present day there is nothing either grand or striking in this
wealthy street. You see, here and there, a name on a common brass plate
which, in the commercial world, is "a tower of strength;" except this,
there is no visible sign of the "unsunned treasures" that lie within.
The houses have a plain, substantial look--a kind of commanding
solidity, which seems in accordance with their unostentatious owners.
Enter, and you tread the true "Californian" regions, where the gold is
ready minted: bring a good cheque, and you need neither spade nor
shovel; the "digging and the washing" are not required here. What a
staff of clerks! all busily engaged. What a number of ledgers are in
use! And after the day's business is closed, all those account-books are
stowed away in a fire-proof room under ground, and brought up again in
the morning, and placed in readiness before the banker's clerks arrive;
and in some of these houses expensive machinery has been fitted up, to
facilitate the lowering and raising of the bulky ledgers in and out of
the fire-proof vaults below. Look at that young man, with his
banking-case chained under his arm; the rolls of cheques and notes he
holds in his hand probably amount to thousands of pounds; he only
catches the eye of one of the clerks, calls out the amount, hands the
bulky bundle over the brass railing, and departs, leaving the sum to be
counted over at leisure. See how carelessly the cashier handles that
heavy bag of gold: he has no time to count it, but thrusts it into the
scale as a coal-heaver would a sack of coals--so long as it's weight,
that's all he cares about; he then shoots it out into his large drawer,
and throws the bag aside as if he did not mind a straw whether a
sovereign or two stuck inside or not; this done, he begins to shovel it
out, and pay away. He counts sovereigns by twos and threes at a time;
you feel confident that he must have given you either too many or too
few, he appears so negligent: you count, and there they are to one--he
never makes a mistake.

Go and pay in a sum of money, or take up a bill, with gold that looks
light, and you will see another of his sleight-of-hand tricks. He jerks
the one out of the scale without touching it, except with the sovereign
he puts in, with such rapidity that you cannot catch the action, cannot
see how it is done; the sovereign seems to fly in and out as if by
magic. You might try for months and never be able to catch that peculiar
jerk. You fancy that he must be weary of counting sovereigns; that a
good pile of dirty brown coppers would be a great relief to him, equal
at least to a change of diet. You wonder that his countenance is not
yellow through bending over such piles of coin, and that, like the
buttercups in the meadows steeped in sunshine, his face does not

    "Give back gold for gold."

Sometimes these clerks are kept for hours beyond their usual time to
rectify an error of sixpence in the balance, when during the day
thousands of pounds have been entered. The mistake rests somewhere, and
must be discovered before they quit the banking-house; and column after
column is gone over again; that weary array of figures is summed up and
up, and compared and called over until the mistake is righted. They
would gladly pay the amount twenty times over to get away; but that
would be the ruin of a system the very stability of which rests upon its
being correct to the "uttermost farthing."

The following picture of an old-fashioned banker we select from a recent
work on _Banks and Bankers_: "He bore little resemblance to his modern
successor: he was a man of serious manners, plain apparel, the steadiest
conduct, and a rigid observer of formalities. As you looked in his face,
you could read, in intelligible characters, that the ruling maxim of his
life, the one to which he turned all his thoughts, and by which he
shaped all his actions, was, that he who would be trusted with the money
of other men, should look as if he deserved the trust, and be an
ostensible pattern to society of probity, exactness, frugality, and
decorum. He lived the greater part of the year at his banking-house, was
punctual to the hours of business, and always to be found at his desk."

We have, in our opening article, made mention of Sir Thomas Gresham, the
greatest of our old "merchant-princes," and have now only to notice the
three churches in Lombard-street, one of which, St. Mary's Woolnoth, we
have shewn in our engraving, and have but to add, that it was built by a
pupil of Wren's about 130 years ago. The following entry occurs in the
old pamphlet we have before quoted from: "St. Mary's Woolnoth: Mr.
Shuite molested and vexed to death, and denied a funeral sermon to be
preached by Dr. Holdsworth, as he desired." The church of Allhallows,
Lombard-street, partially escaped the Fire, but was not considered,
after careful examination, to be secure enough to stand, even when the
body of the old church had been coped with "straw and lime." The present
building is by Wren, and contains nothing remarkable. The other church,
St. Edward the King, is worth a visit, on account of one or two pictures
it contains, together with some beautiful modern specimens of stained
glass. Externally, we see nothing striking in the building.

Birchin-lane was in former times the Holywell-street of London, so far
as regarded the sale of second-hand garments. The church of St. Mary's,
in Abchurch-lane (that portion on the opposite side of King
William-street), is mentioned, as follows, in the old pamphlet: "Mr.
Stone plundered, sent prisoner, by sea, to Plymouth, and sequestered."
It was built by Wren, contains some excellent carving by Gibbons, and
the cupola is painted by the artist who decorated the dome of St. Paul's
Cathedral. St. Clement's, in Clement's-lane, is another of Wren's
churches; and the living appears to have been held by the same Mr. Stone
who held that of St. Mary's, Abchurch, at the commencement of the Civil
War; for under the name of the last-mentioned church we find the same
entry, with the addition that "Mr. Stone was shamefully abused."

With Gracechurch-street and Fish-street-hill we close this section of
our work. Gracechurch-street, with its conduit, is often mentioned in
the old processions. In 1501, when Catherine of Spain entered the city
by London-bridge, a pageant was erected in the broadest part of
"Grasschurch-street, in the middle of the street, where the water
runneth into the channel"--a primitive way of draining the street. In
the time of Elizabeth, it was changed from Grasschurch-street to
Gracious-street; and Dekker, in describing a royal procession in 1604,
says, "it was never worthy of that name (Gracious-street) it carries
till this houre." It is a great mustering-ground for omnibuses,
especially such as come from the Surrey side of the river.

The church at the end of Fenchurch-street is called St. Bennet's: it was
built by Wren. William Harrison was "minister" of Grace Church, and one
who signed his name to the following remonstrance, headed, "The
Dissenting Ministers' Vindication of themselves from the horrid and
detestable Murder of King Charles the First, of glorious memory:"
London, 1648. Calamy also signed the "Vindication." In no instance is
the saint's name affixed by them to the churches; some sign themselves
"pastor," one "minister of the word," another "preacher." We must do
these old Puritans the justice to state, that this remonstrance was
signed before the execution of King Charles, and during the time of his
trial, namely, January 28, 1648, that is, two days before the
ill-starred monarch was beheaded. We give the following spirited extract
from this old pamphlet, the whole of which only consists of six pages:
"We hold ourselves bound in duty to God, religion, the King, parliament,
and kingdom, to profess before God, angels, and men, that we verily
believe that which is so much feared to _be now_ in agitation--the
taking away the life of the King, in the present way of tryal--is not
only _not_ agreeable to any word of God, the principles of the
Protestant religion (never yet stained with the least drop of the blood
of a king), or the fundamental constitution and government of this
kingdom, but contrary to them, as also to the oath of allegiance, the
protestation of May 5th, 1641, and the solemn 'League and Covenant;'
from all or any of which engagements, we know not any power on earth
able to absolve us or others."

The Monument on Fish-street-hill, which was designed by Wren, is about
200 feet high, and stands as many feet distant from the spot where the
Fire first commenced on that awful Sunday, September 2, 1666, in
Pudding-lane. The ascent is by 345 steps up a spiral staircase, lighted
by what we might term, in old castellated architecture, arrow-slits. The
interior of the column is nine feet wide. Several persons have committed
suicide, by throwing themselves off the Monument; and it is now covered
in with a kind of cage-work, to prevent such awful self-destruction. The
view from the summit is not to be compared with that from St. Paul's;
and we should advise all sight-lovers to ascend the Monument first, on
that account, and peep at the "wilderness of shipping," and the
thousands of house-roofs that rise in ridging disorder, as if some dark
sea had suddenly been struck motionless, and so left silent with all its
edged waves. On one side of the base is the following inscription of the
destruction caused by the Great Fire, according to the translation of
Maitland: "Eighty-nine churches, the city gates, Guildhall (not
totally), many public structures, hospitals, schools, libraries; a vast
number of stately edifices, 13,500 dwelling-houses, 400 streets; of
twenty-six wards it utterly destroyed fifteen, and left eight others
shattered and half burnt. The ruins of the city were 436 acres, from the
Tower by the Thames side to the Temple Church, and from the north-east
gate along the city wall to Holborn-bridge. To the estates and fortunes
of the citizens it was merciless, but to their lives very favourable
(only eight being lost)." One poet of the period, in be-rhyming the
praiseworthy conduct of King Charles at the Great Fire, compares him to
Cæsar, coming "with buckets in his eyes." Pepys gives an interesting
account of the Great Fire. Dryden also describes it in his _Annus
Mirabilis_, commencing at verse 212.



CHAPTER IV.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF BILLINGSGATE, NEW COAL EXCHANGE, AND TOWER OF
LONDON.


All doubts about the immense population of London would vanish from the
mind of a stranger could he but stand on London Bridge Wharf, and see
the vast multitudes that embark on the steamers, either at Easter or
Whitsuntide, for Greenwich alone: he would behold such a sight as would
convince him that no other city in the world could pour forth so many
inhabitants; and all he had before seen would sink into insignificance
beside what he would witness on the Thames, to say nothing of the
numerous railways which throw out their iron arms into the country from
almost every corner of the metropolis. It is a sight never to be
forgotten, to see the steamers darting in and out amid the shipping
below London Bridge, as if they had wills of their own, and could pick
their way wherever there was space enough for them to pass, like aquatic
birds that ever keep sailing around each other playfully upon the
waters. Eastward, they hurry along to Woolwich, Erith, Gravesend,
Sheerness, Herne Bay, Margate, and all the towns that dot our coast;
while others move westward, under the bridges, and along the whole
length of the river-front of London, on their way to Twickenham and
Richmond: many of the smaller steamers also halting at almost every
pretty village that stands on the banks of the Thames between London and
Richmond. But we are wandering away from the neighbourhood we have now
reached, and glancing at subjects which belong to the suburbs of the
metropolis.

The church at the entrance of this wharf is called St. Magnus, and was
rebuilt by Wren. Miles Coverdale, whose name is associated with the
earliest printed version of the holy Bible, was rector of St. Magnus
above 300 years ago. He was buried in the church of St. Bartholomew, by
the Exchange; and when that building was taken down to enlarge the space
for the new Royal Exchange, his remains were removed to the present
church, and re-interred on the spot which he had hallowed by his pious
labours. But few who look at the projecting clock, as they await the
arrival or departure of the steamboats, are aware that the remains of
Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, and one among the first translators
of the Bible, rest so near the stir and traffic of that busy wharf.

The first turning on the opposite side of the way, behind the Monument,
is Pudding-lane, in which the Great Fire that destroyed nearly the whole
of the City first broke out. It now contains nothing worthy of our
notice: the same may be said of Botolph lane, so called from the church
which was destroyed in the Fire and never rebuilt.

On St. Mary's-hill stands a church partly built by Wren, and called St.
Mary's-at-Hill. On the 29th of May 1533, according to Hall's
_Chronicle_, "the mayor and his brethren, all in scarlet, such as were
knights having collars of SS, and the remainder gold chains, and the
council of the City with them, assembled at St. Mary's-hill, and at one
o'clock took barge. The barges of the companies amounted in number to
fifty, and set forth in the following order: First, at a good distance
before the mayor's barge, was a foist or wafter, full of ordnance,
having in the midst a dragon, continually moving and casting wild fire,
and round about it terrible monsters and wild men casting fire and
making hideous noises." This procession, that embarked at the foot of
St. Mary's-hill, above 300 years ago, was "commanded" by Henry VIII. to
go to Greenwich and bring Queen Anne Boleyn to London, to be crowned in
Westminster Hall.

It is on record that the old ports or quays of Billingsgate and
Queenhithe were the cause of as many squabbles in ancient days as were
ever witnessed in our own times by any two rival companies struggling
for pre-eminence; for when the customs derived from the latter furnished
the queen of Henry III. with pin-money, a sharp look-out was kept on the
river, and fines frequently inflicted on masters of vessels who landed
their fish at Billingsgate instead of the royal quay. But great London
soon burst through all these restraints: the old merchants were proof
against even royal mandates; they objected to passing through the
dangerous arches of the crazy old bridge--so at last obtained the
privilege of landing goods at whichever quay they pleased.

Those ancient fishmongers must have been able to muster together a
goodly company; for, hearing of the victory Edward I. had obtained over
the Scots, they paraded the City with above a thousand horsemen,
trumpets sounding and banners streaming, on which were emblazoned their
quaint old arms, and followed by all the pride of their honourable
guild.

What a stir there must have been about Fish-street and Fish-street-hill,
and all along the line of those streets which we have already described,
when that famous fishmonger Walworth, Lord Mayor of London, slew Wat
Tyler in Smithfield, and thus at one blow cut off the "head and front"
of the great rebellion! What a running to and fro and shaking of hands
there must have been! What talking along the quays about privileges
which would be extended to their own company, and which none other would
be allowed to share! And what disappointment must have been depicted on
their countenances when they found that all the reward the City was to
receive was an addition to its arms! If true, it was like giving the
chaff to him that had separated it from the wheat.

Those who were purveyors to the court had, in former times, the first
pickings of the market; not a single fish was allowed to be sold until
they had been served. We can picture the swagger with which the officers
of the royal household entered the fish-market in those days, when a
banquet was about to be given in the Tower. What pushing and cramming
would there be to obtain a nod of recognition! now recommending the
quality of some fish, then inquiring when the next execution would take
place--their conversation shifting from salmon to the scaffold--from
oysters, which, in those primitive times, sold for twopence a bushel, to
the means of obtaining the best place when the next nobleman was to be
beheaded.

There was a struggle for free-trade in those high narrow streets five
hundred years ago: from Billingsgate to Queenhithe all was a scene of
commotion; for the great fishmongers were aiming at monopoly, but the
poor hawkers who picked up their living, as they do in our day, by
crying fish in the streets, rose in a body, and so far carried the day
that they were allowed to hawk fish, but not to keep a stall, nor stay
in any of the streets a moment longer than while supplying their chance
customers; for there was a strict police ever on the look-out after the
poor hawkers, and the command of "Now then, move on there," is nothing
new. Nor were the fishmongers themselves free from "most biting laws;"
for they were only allowed, at one period, to take a penny profit in
every shilling, not to offer the same fish for sale (as fresh) a second
day, nor to water their fish more than twice a day. If they did, and
were found out, there stood the stocks ever in readiness, and up went
the beam, and in went their legs; and there they were compelled to sit
out the given time, no doubt to the great merriment of many of the
bystanders. Their stalls in these primitive times were only boards
placed beside the pavement. From these they got to erecting little
sheds, then shops and high houses. But the fronts of these were ordered
to be left open, and the fish exposed. They would not allow sales to
take place in dark and obscure spots; all must be done in the open noon
of day, or heavy penalties be paid for offending against the laws.

In remote times, long before the Norman invasion, frequent mention is
made of the English fisheries. To three plough-lands in Kent, a fishery
on the Thames is added. Ethelstan gave a piece of land for the use of
taking fish, and forty acres were given with fishing, on the condition
of every year receiving fifty salmon. The rent of land was frequently
paid in eels; and in Elphit's _Dialogues_, written for the instruction
of the Saxon youths, we find that the implements used were nets, rods,
lines, and baited hooks, which varied but little from those of the
present time.

Those who have once reached the Monument, may "smell" their way to
Billingsgate; for there is an old monastic odour about the shops,
recalling Lent and stock-fish, and telling you that you are hemmed in
with smoked haddock and salted herrings--which, when nothing else could
be had, it must have been a heavy penance to have lived upon, and caused
the poor sinner to have made many a wry face while devouring such dry
and thirsty food. Once in Lower Thames-street, and you are in a land of
danger. You come in contact with big men bending beneath bulky boxes;
huge hogsheads swing high above you, and make you tremble as you look
up, while treading the slippery pavement; and you know that if the
crane-chain were to slip, or the hooks to which the ponderous packages
are affixed to give way, you must be crushed like an egg which an
elephant tramples upon; for danger ever dangles in the air about
Billingsgate. The pavement is often blocked up by barrels of oranges and
herrings, and hampers of dried sprats, the latter crammed together as
close as white-bait in the stomach of an alderman when he has just dined
at Lovegrove's. Sometimes the atmosphere is so impregnated with the
smell of shrimps, that you almost fancy it has been raining shrimp
sauce.

You are now, as it were, in the very manufactory, where fish are brought
and emptied out to be sold; where there is no attempt at show; but,
rough and shining as when they flapped about on the ocean sand, or were
thrown from the first hand ashore, so do you see them here in the early
morning, rough and fresh as potatoes just dug out of the mould. There is
none of that clean blue twilight look which gleams and plays about the
shops of the West-End fishmongers, and is sometimes enlivened by the
sunny flash of the gold-fishes that float about the silver-looking
globes, which give such a picturesque appearance to the shops in that
more refined neighbourhood. Here all is of "the fish, fishy."

To this "rough and ready" market, those who wish to see how matters are
managed must come early; for a minute or two before five o'clock the
wholesale dealers are seated in their stalls, or recesses; while at the
end of the market, nearest the river, the porters are drawn up in a row,
each ready with his first load of fish, each standing within the
allotted line, like hounds eager to spring from the leash. The clock
strikes, and off they rush, helter skelter, every man Jack putting his
best leg foremost, each eager to be the first to reach the stall of his
employer. Slap goes the skate out of the baskets--they shoot out cod
like coke, pitching the plaice wherever they can find room; and off they
run for another load at the same rapid pace, nor cease until the
salesman has received the whole of his stock.

Then the sale commences, the seller fixing his price, and the buyer
offering what he considers to be the value; sometimes they "meet each
other halfway," as it is called, one lowering and the other advancing.
The fish are generally sold in lots without being weighed, and it
requires good judgment on both sides to reach the right mark. Although
there are so many salesmen, and generally such ample choice, the prices
vary much, as fish brought from one part of the coast are often superior
to what come from another.

But the fun of the market commences with the hawkers, when they come to
see what has been left by the large retail dealers: then you may hear a
little of what is called "Billingsgate;" though, instead of the old
renowned blackguardism, it is generally most good-natured "chaff."

"Fresh do you call these?" says one, who finds the price too high for
him. "Look how they rolls up the whites of their eyes, as if they vanted
a little rain. I should say they hasn't had a blessed smell of water for
this week past."

"Think I've been robbing somebody?" says another. "Vy, bless you, all
the whole bilin' of my customers hasn't got so much amongst them as
would buy the lot--no, not if they sold their toothpicks!"

Billingsgate is more like a wholesale warehouse than a fish-market,
although you may purchase a single mackerel in it. The hundreds of carts
which are drawn up in Thames-street, proclaim how far and wide the
produce of river and ocean is dispersed. From the next street to the
most remote suburb are the loads of fish borne, to be washed and laid
out temptingly in the thousands of shops which abound in London and the
surrounding suburbs. Nor is the supply limited to this circle; the rapid
trains carry off tons of fish to the distant towns, where they arrive in
time enough for dinner; thus sending

[Illustration: BILLINGSGATE.]

into the country the turbot and salmon as fresh as we receive it in the
metropolis; for what are a hundred miles on the great railways?

Old Billingsgate is now pulled down; the muddy dock, where so many
fishing-smacks have been harboured is filled up; and, instead of the
old-fashioned market which illustrates this chapter, a pile is erected
more befitting the greatest city in the world, and more like the noble
edifice--the New Coal Exchange--that faces it.

Eels cannot be brought to Billingsgate in such perfection as they
formerly were. We have now before us a Parliamentary report, given in
above twenty years ago, complaining of the poisonous state of the
Thames. The following evidence of Mr. Butcher, a fish-salesman, and
agent for Dutch vessels, will be interesting at this moment, while the
Thames is made the great sewer of London:

"Eight Dutch vessels arrived at Gravesend with full cargoes of healthy
eels in July 1827, and the following is the state in which they reached
the London market:

  First     15,000 lbs.    Reached market alive 4000 lbs.
  Second    14,000  "           "    "          4000  "
  Third     13,000  "           "    "          3000  "
  Fourth    14,000  "           "    "    about 4000  "

And so on in proportion, but little more than a fourth of the cargo
being marketed alive."

Mr. Butcher stated to the commissioners, that in 1815 (or twelve years
before), "one of these vessels seldom lost more than thirty pounds
weight of eels in a night in coming up the river; but that the water had
become so bad, that as it flowed through the wells in the bottom of the
vessels it poisoned the eels, and the quantity which died was more than
three times the quantity marketed."

Another witness (James Newland, master of a vessel, and sixteen years in
the trade,) says: "Eels have not lived in Thames water as they did
formerly. First observed the difference five or six years ago (before
1827), and find it gets worse every summer. Other fish are also affected
by bad water, and will endeavour to get out of it on pieces of floating
wood."

Another witness says, "An hour after high water, eels will die in so
short a time that I have had 3000 lbs. weight dead in half an hour."

"I have seen flounders," says Thomas Hatherill, "put up their heads
above the water; and if there was a bundle of weeds in the river, they
would get on it out of the water."

Mr. John Goldham, the yeoman of Billingsgate, deposed, that, "as clerk
of the market, it was his business to ascertain the quality of fish, and
seize and condemn that which was bad; that, twenty-five years ago
(1802), above and below London-bridge, between Deptford and Richmond,
400 fishermen, each having a boy and a boat, gained their livelihood by
fishing in the river; that he had known them take 3000 smelt and ten
salmon at one haul; the Thames salmon were then the best, and frequently
sold for 3_s._ or 4_s._ a pound; now the fishery is gone."

As early as 1307, the Earl of Lincoln complained before Parliament that
the river of Wells (Walbrook, Clement's Well, Skinner's Well, Clerk's
Well, Holy Well, &c.), running into the Thames, was obstructed by "filth
of the tanners, and such others." On this complaint being made, the
river was ordered to be cleansed.

Honest old Stowe says of the Thames in his day, "What should I speak of
the fat and sweet salmons daily taken in this stream, and that in such
plenty (after the time of smelt is past) as no river in Europe is able
to exceed it. But what store also of barbels, trouts, chevens, perches,
smelts, breams, roaches, daces, gudgeons, flounders, shrimps, eels, &c.,
are commonly to be had therein, I refer me to them that know by
experience better than I, by reason of their daily trade of fishing in
the same. And albeit it seemeth from time to time to be as it were
defrauded in sundry wise of these her large commodities, by the
insatiable avarice of fishermen, yet this famous river complaineth
commonly of no want, but the more it loseth at one time it gaineth at
another."

The immense traffic carried on in the winding Thames will never allow of
its being stored with "fat sweet" fish as in Stowe's time; but still we
hope the great changes which are in progress will at least turn this
mighty common sewer into something more like the ancient "silver Thames"
which our old poets sang about, and prevent so many dead and dying eels
being baked up into pies, and devoured by the poor purchasers of these
dangerous dainties, as there now are.

Mr. Simon's report to the City Commissioners of Sewers will, if we
mistake not, do more towards arousing the inhabitants of London to
agitate for pure air and sweet water, than any other remonstrance has
hitherto done. It is clearly, ably, and powerfully drawn up; and done in
such terse and simple language, that a child can understand it.

The following graphic description of the Babel of sounds heard at
Billingsgate, is from Mayhew's _London Labour and the London Poor_, a
work revealing more of the real life in London in the streets, courts,
and alleys, than was ever before made known:

"All are bawling together--salesmen, and hucksters of provisions, capes,
hardware, and newspapers--till the place is a perfect Babel of
competition. 'Ha-a-ansome cod! best in the market! All alive! alive!
alive O!' 'Ye-o-o! Ye-o-o! here's your fine Yarmouth bloaters! Who's
the buyer?' 'Here you are, governor: splendid whiting! Some of the right
sort!' 'Turbot! turbot! all alive, turbot!' 'Glass of nice peppermint
this cold morning, a ha'penny a glass!' 'Here you are at your own price!
Fine soles O!' 'Oy! oy! oy! Now's your time! fine grizzling sprats! all
large and no small!' 'Hullo! hullo here! beautiful lobsters! good and
cheap! fine cock crabs all alive O!' 'Five brill and one turbot--have
that lot for a pound! come and look at 'em, governor; you won't see a
better sample in the market.' 'Here, this way! this way for splendid
skate! skate O! skate O!' 'Had-had-had-had-haddick! all fresh and good!'
'Currant and meat puddings! ha'penny each!' 'Now, you mussel-buyers,
come along! come along! come along! now's your time for your fine fat
mussels!' 'Here's food for the belly and clothes for the back, but I
sell food for the mind' (shouts the newspaper vender). 'Here's smelt O!'
'Here ye are, fine Finney haddick!' 'Hot soup! nice pea-soup! a-all hot!
hot!' 'Ahoy! ahoy here! live plaice! all alive O!' 'Now or never! whelk!
whelk! whelk! whelk.' 'Who'll buy brill O! brill O!' 'Capes! waterproof
capes! sure to keep the wet out! a shilling a-piece!' 'Eels O! eels O!
Alive! alive O!' 'Fine flounders, a shilling a lot! Who'll buy this
prime lot of flounders?' 'Shrimps! shrimps! fine shrimps!' 'Wink! wink!
wink!' 'Hi! hi-i! here you are, just eight eels left, only eight!' 'O
ho! O ho! this way--this way--this way! Fish alive! alive! alive O!'"

The fishmongers of ancient times were not "scaly" men, in the present
acceptation of the phrase, when they were disposed to shew their
loyalty. On one occasion, Stowe says, "On St. Magnus' day, * * * * the
fishmongers, with solemn procession, paraded through the streets,
having, among other pageants and shows, four sturgeons gilt, carried on
four horses; and after, six and forty knights armed, riding on horses
made like 'luces of the sea:' and then, St. Magnus, the patron saint of
the day, with a thousand horsemen." These "luces" or pike, pleasantly
recall Shakspeare and the armorial bearings of Justice Shallow.

Stepping across the street, we arrive at the Coal Exchange, opened by
Prince Albert, at the close of 1849, at which period the following
description of the building appeared in the _Illustrated London News_.

"The _façades_ of the building are of very simple, yet bold and
effective design; and, with the exception of the cornice, but few
projections are introduced. The fronts in Thames-street and St.
Mary's-at-hill are respectively about 112 feet in width by 61 feet in
height. The unequal form of the plot of ground on which the Exchange
stands is skilfully masked at the corner by breaking the mass of
building, and introducing a circular tower in the re-entering angle,
within which is the entrance vestibule. This circular tower is 109 feet
to the top of the gilded ball, and 22 feet in diameter at the lowest
part, and is divided into three stories. The lowest story, containing
the vestibule, is of the Roman-Doric style of architecture; and there is
a striking peculiarity in the arrangement of this part, to which we must
advert. The wall of the tower not only shrines the vestibule by which
entrance to the hall or Rotunda is attained, but serves also as a centre
to flights of steps, which lead, on either hand, to a landing on the
first story of the building, and thence a spiral staircase is carried up
in the tower to the other stories. The first story is of the Ionic
order, carrying an entablature, and is lighted by windows. The top
story, fifteen feet in diameter, is ornamented by pilasters, with
windows between--the roof rising to a cone, and being crowned with a
gilded ball. This is, to our view, the least successful portion of the
edifice, the termination being stiff, and not so piquant as it should
have been. We should mention, the exterior is of Portland stone.

"Entering the Rotunda, the attention of the visitor is immediately
arrested by its beautiful effect and extremely novel arrangement. It
forms a circle of some 60 feet in diameter, and is crowned with a dome,
or, in fact, a double dome, as a lesser cupola rises from the eye of the
great dome to the height of 74 feet from the floor. The dome rests on
eight piers of light character; the space between each pier is divided
by stancheons into three compartments; and there are three galleries,
and from these entrance is obtained to the numerous offices of the
building. The stancheons, galleries, ribs of dome, &c., are of iron;
and, in fact, every part seems to be made of iron; and the arrangement
of patterns in the stancheons, brackets of galleries, and soffits of
galleries is original and good. There are about 300 tons of iron used in
the building, in the several parts, each rib, of which there are
thirty-two, weighing two tons. The ornament chiefly used is a cable,
twisted about in various patterns; and the balustrade to the galleries
is of loops of cable, at intervals broken by the introduction of the
city arms. The framework to the offices is of wood, and panelled with
rough plate-glass. By this means they receive light from the great dome
of the hall. The dome itself is glazed with large pieces of roughened
plate-glass of great thickness, the small upper dome having glass of a
yellow tint. The chief public offices surrounding the Rotunda are those
appropriated to the Corporation officers who have to collect the coal
dues, and who are, we understand, appointed by the Corporation.

"The floor of the Rotunda is composed of inlaid woods, disposed in form
of a mariner's compass, within a border of Greek fret. The flooring
consists of upwards of 4000 pieces of wood, of various kinds. The
varieties of wood employed comprise black ebony, black oak, common and
red English oak, wainscott, white holly, mahogany, American elm, red and
white walnut, and mulberry. The appearance of this floor is beautiful in
the extreme. The whole of these materials were prepared by Messrs.
Davison and Symington's patent process of seasoning woods. The same
desiccating process has been applied to the woodwork throughout the
building. The black oak introduced is part of an old tree which was
discovered in the bed of the river Tyne, where it had unquestionably
lain between four and five centuries. The mulberry wood of which the
blade of the dagger in the shield of the city arms is composed, is a
piece of a tree planted by Peter the Great, when he worked as a
shipwright in Deptford Dockyard.

"The coloured decorations of this Exchange have been most admirably
imagined and successfully carried out. They are extremely
characteristic, and on this point deserve praise. The entrance vestibule
is peculiarly rich and picturesque in its embellishments: terminal
figures, vases with fruit, arabesque foliage, &c., all of the richest
and most glowing colours, fill up the vault of the ceiling; and looking
up through an opening in the ceiling, a figure of Plenty scattering
riches, and surrounded _figurini_, is seen painted in the ceiling of the
lantern. Over the entrance doorway, within a sunk panel, is painted the
city arms. Within the Rotunda, the polychromic decorations immediately
arrest the eye. The range of panels at the base of the dome, and the
piers which carry the dome, are all fully and harmoniously decorated. We
shall commence our description with the piers in the lowest story: the
Raffaelesque decorations are very rich in character; and in each pier
the scroll supports and encircles four compartments; the lowest are
simicircular panels, within which are painted symbolic figures of the
principal coal-bearing rivers of England: the Thames, the Mersey, the
Severn, the Trent, the Humber, the Ayre, the Tyne, &c. Small oblong
panels, with marine subjects, are a little above the symbolic figures
just described; and above them, within borders of flowers of every kind,
are figures symbolical of Wisdom, Fortitude, Vigilance, Temperance,
Perseverance, Watchfulness, Justice, and Faith. These figures are the
most prominent objects in the decorations of the piers in the lowest
story; and in circles above them are painted groups of shells; whilst at
the top, in semicircles corresponding with those at the base of the
piers, snakes, lizards, and other reptiles, are introduced. In the first
story the leading feature in the arabesques is a series of views of
coal-mines, including the air-shaft at Wallsend, Percy Pit Main
Colliery, Wallsend Colliery, Regent's Pit Colliery, &c. Groups of fruit
and flowers are in small circles just above the views, and in oblong
panels beneath the latter the series of nautical 'bits' is continued. At
the base, in each pilaster, are representations of different specimens
of _Sigilaria_--a fossil found in coal formations. In the second story
the largest panels contain figures of miners at different portions of
their avocations; whilst nautical subjects, clusters and flowers, are
introduced amongst the arabesques.

"The third story contains, within oval panels, miners at work picking
the coal, &c.: flowers and small landscapes add to the richness and
variety of the decorations on this floor; and both in this and the
lower, calamites (fossils from the coal formations) are depicted in the
arabesques. The twenty-four panels at the springing of the dome, of
which we have before spoken, have oval compartments painted in them,
surrounded by a gracefully-flowing border of extremely rich and varied
design, being light ornaments on a dark ground. The spaces within the
oval borders are coloured of a turquoise blue tint, on which is painted
a series of representations of different fossil plants met with in the
coal formations. This portion of the decoration is extremely striking
and appropriate; and we need scarcely say, the representations of the
plants are strictly correct.

"Ere we leave the pictorial portion of the Exchange, we must not forget
the groups of mining implements, most skilfully treated, in the narrow
panels in the dome over the piers.

"The whole of the artistic embellishments of the building were designed
by Mr. Sang, whose taste and skill in such works is well known, and
executed under his immediate directions; and it may be considered a most
successful specimen of the Raffaelesque style of ornamentation, now so
extensively adopted in the mansions of the nobility.

"For originality of design, this building is the most striking which has
been erected in London for a long time past, and reflects the very
highest credit on the talented architect, J. B. Bunning, Esq.

"Mr. William Trego was the builder; and the iron-work was executed by
Messrs. Dewer of Old-street."

While digging for the foundation of the Coal Exchange, a Roman hypocaust
was brought to light, which has since been arched over and
preserved--another addition to the many Roman remains which have been
discovered in the neighbourhood of Upper and Lower Thames-street.

Before quitting this part of the neighbourhood, we must state that the
Custom-House stands close by the places we have just described; and as
this is the last object in Lower Thames-street that requires notice, we
will briefly glance at it, and then ascend to the higher streets.

The following mention is made of the Custom-House in a large volume now
before us, consisting of upwards of 1200 pages, and entitled, _The
Historie of the Life and Reigne of that famous Princesse Elizabeth_;
printed at Oxford, 1634: "About this time [1590] the commodity of the
Custom-House amounted to an unexpected value; for the queen being made
acquainted by the means of a subtle fellow, named Caermardine, with the
mystery of their gains, so enhanced the rate, that Sir Thomas Smith,
master of the Custom-House, who heretofore farmed it of the queen for
14,000_l._ yearly, was now 'mounted' [raised] to 42,000_l._, and
afterwards to 50,000_l._, which, notwithstanding, was valued but as an
ordinary sum for such oppressing [extortionate?] gaine. The Lord
Treasurer [Cecil?], the Earls of Leicester and Walsingham, much opposed
themselves against this Caermardine, denying him entrance into the Privy
Chamber, insomuch that, expostulating with the queen, they traduced her
[for] harkening to such a fellow's information, to the disparagement of
the judgment of her council, and the discredit of their case." [A little
"palm-oil," we guess, did this, in the shape of a free distribution of
rose-nobles on the part of Sir Thomas Smith. Bribery, bribery! But look
at the reply of that real John Bull-like old queen.] "But the queen
answered them, that all princes ought to be, if not as favourable, yet
as just, to the lowest as to the highest, desiring that they who falsely
accuse her Privy Council of sloth or indiscretion should be severely
punished; but [that?] they who _justly accused them_ should be heard."
[Glorious Queen Bess!] "That she was queen as well to the poorest as to
the proudest, and that therefore she would never be deaf to their just
complaints. Likewise [further?], that she would not suffer that these
_toll-takers_, like _horse-leeches_, should glut themselves with the
riches of the realm, and starve her exchequer; which, as she will not
bear it to be 'docked'(?), so hateth she to enrich it with the poverty
of the people." (Page 31, second part, or volume, translated out of the
French by Abraham Darcie. Initials of the original author, P. D. B., who
knew Cecil intimately, had access to the original letters, and was
present at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots.) The first book or volume
is dedicated to King James I. I have been thus particular in describing
this old volume, as it contains matter relating to London in the time of
Elizabeth which I have not found in any other history.

The "Long Room" of the Custom-House is worthy of its name, as it
measures 190 feet, with a breadth of 66 feet, and there is not a
pleasanter place for viewing the traffic on the Thames below London
Bridge than the parade of the Custom-House quay. The present building
has been erected but little more than thirty years. The revenue now
derived from customs is near twenty millions a year.

[Illustration: ST. DUNSTAN'S-IN-THE-EAST]

On St. Dunstan's-hill stands the church dedicated to the old Saxon saint
whose name it bears. This church partly escaped the Fire, and was
restored by Wren. The beautiful tower is all that remains of this great
architect's work, the body of the church being rebuilt from the plans of
Mr. Laing, to whom we are indebted for the present Custom-House.
Speaking of this church, Mr. Elmes tells us, on the faith of an
anonymous correspondent, "When Sir Christopher Wren made first attempt
of building a steeple upon quadrangular columns, he was convinced of
the truth of his architectural principle; but, as he had never before
acted upon it, and as a failure would have been fatal to his reputation,
and awful in its consequences to the neighbourhood of the edifice, he
naturally felt intense anxiety, when the superstructure was completed,
in the removal of the supporters. The surrounding people shared largely
in the solicitude. Sir Christopher himself went to London Bridge, and
watched the proceedings through a lens. The ascent of a rocket
proclaimed the stability of the steeple; and Sir Christopher would
afterwards smile that he ever could, even for a moment, have doubted the
truth of his mathematics." While giving the anecdote, Mr. Elmes doubts
the truth of it. The eastern window is said to be a copy of the one
which formerly adorned the old church.

Stowe, in his _Chronicle_, describes a quarrel which took place in this
church as follows: "In the year 1417, and on the afternoon of Easter
Sunday, a violent quarrel took place in this church, between the ladies
of the Lord Strange and Sir John Trussel, Knt., which involved the
husbands, and at length terminated in a general contest. Several persons
were seriously wounded, and an unlucky fishmonger, named Thomas
Petwarden, killed. The two great men who chose a church for their field
of battle were seized and committed to the Poultry Compter, and the
Archbishop of Canterbury excommunicated them. On the 21st of April, that
prelate heard the particulars at St. Magnus Church; and finding Lord
Strange and his lady the aggressors, he cited them to appear before him,
the Lord Mayor, and others, on the 1st of May, at St. Paul's, and there
submit to penance, which was inflicted by compelling all their servants
to march before the rector of St. Dunstan's in their shirts, followed by
the lord bareheaded, and the lady barefooted [rather too hard on the
lady], and Kentwode, Archdeacon of London, to the church of St. Dunstan,
where, at the hallowing of it, Lady Strange was compelled to fill all
the sacred vessels with water, and offer an ornament, value 10_l._, and
her husband a piece of silver, worth 5_l._"

Leaving Eastcheap, with its Shakspearean Boar's Head (long ago
destroyed), and Great Tower-street, memorable for the carousals of Peter
the Great, we come to Mincing-lane, where stands Clothworkers' Hall, a
company to which Pepys belonged, and which still possesses the "loving
cup" he presented to the Clothworkers.

King James I. was a member of this company; and the following extract
from Nichol's _Progresses_ furnishes us with the speech he made on the
day he enrolled himself among the Clothworkers: "Now, I drink unto all
my good brethren, the clothworkers; and I pray God to bless them all,
and all good clothworkers; and for proof of our especial favour to this
fraternity, and for their increase of mutual amity, I do here give unto
this company two brace of bucks yearly, for ever, against the time of
the election of the master and wardens of this society." This was on the
12th of June, 1607, after the king had privately dined "at the house of
Sir John Watts, then lord mayor."

In Mark-lane we find the great Corn Exchange (lately damaged by fire).
About three centuries ago, the corn-market was held at Queenhithe,
although the oldest place for the sale of corn was Cornhill, a market
having been held there, according to Stowe, "time out of mind."

In Knight's _London_, vol. iii. p. 364, we find the following curious
remarks on this great metropolitan corn-market: "The market-days are
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the first being by far the busiest day of
the three; and the hours of business are from ten to three. A bargain
does not become valid until an hour after the commencement of business
on the next market-day. The general commercial reader will perhaps be
interested in knowing that wheat is paid for in bills at one month, and
all other descriptions of corn and grain in bills of two months. But the
Kentish 'hoymen,' who may be distinguished by their sailors' jackets,
are privileged, by the custom of the market, to sell for ready money,
though, of course, they sell only what they bring up themselves. They
have stands free of expense, and pay less for metage and dues than
others. The Essex dealers also enjoy some privileges. Their origin, in
both cases, is said to have been in consideration of the men of Kent and
Essex having continued to supply the City at a time when it was ravaged
by the plague."

In Mark-lane stands the church of Allhallows Staining, which escaped the
Fire, though the tower is all that remains of the ancient edifice. Here
it is said Queen Elizabeth went to return thanks after her release from
the Tower; and when the service was over, she adjourned to the adjoining
tavern, the King's-head, in Fenchurch-street, where she dined off the
unladylike luxuries of pork and peas, in memory of which event the dish
and cover are still preserved. In the parish-books of Allhallows are the
following entries relating to old ecclesiastical holidays: "Paid unto
Goodman Chese, broiderer, for making a new mitre for the Bishop, against
St. Nicholas's night, 2_s._ 8_d._;" and again, "Paid for the hiring of a
pair of wings and a crest for an angel on Palm Sunday, 8_d._" Merry
doings were there in the olden time at church-ales and Easter-tide, and
many another ancient holiday which now lives but in name.

At the corner of Seething-lane stands the church of Allhallows Barking.
In this lane died Sir Francis Walsingham, who in Elizabeth's time
planted so many spies around the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots. Here
also lived Pepys, adjoining the old Navy-office. He makes frequent
mention of Seething-lane in his _Diary_. The church of Allhallows
Barking very nearly marks the site of the termination of the Great Fire
eastward; for though the church itself escaped destruction, its walls
were licked by the flames and the porch destroyed. A glance at the map
of London will shew its proximity to the Tower, and readily suggest that
many a headless victim was removed from the scaffold to the grave in the
old churchyard of Allhallows. The Earl of Surrey, who was beheaded in
1547, was buried here; also Bishop Fisher, beheaded in 1535, though his
body was afterwards removed; so were the remains of Archbishop Laud. The
first chapel founded on the site of the present church dates as far back
as the time of Richard I.; and there is an old tradition that the heart
of the king of the Crusaders was buried under the altar of that church.
Here Edward I. set up an image of the Virgin Mary, which almost became
as famous as the shrine of Thomas à Becket, so many were the pilgrims
who visited it. Our engraving represents a silver-gilt shrine, in which,
in ancient times, the relics of saints were deposited.

[Illustration: SILVER-GILT SHRINE.]

Richard III. (it may be, to make amends for the murders he caused to be
committed in the adjacent Tower) rebuilt this church, and founded within
it a college of priests. Even now it bears proofs of its great
antiquity, in its massive and stunted Norman pillars, old inscriptions,
ancient monuments, and early brasses, one of the latter dating back
nearly four centuries. There is a story about an explosion of gunpowder,
which destroyed twenty or thirty houses, and in which a cradle, "baby
and all," was blown on the leads of this church, and there found
uninjured.

Seething-lane runs into Hart-street, Crutched Friars, and Jewry-street,
Aldgate. In Hart-street stands the church of St. Olave, so often
mentioned by Pepys. It escaped the Fire, and contains a few tablets well
worth visiting. Some portion of the interior appears to be very ancient,
though I am not able to assign any date to these remains, nor when the
first church was built. Here Pepys and his wife (the "poor wretch" of
his _Diary_) are buried. The chapel in which the Crutched Friars dwelt
was, in Stowe's time, demolished, and its site occupied by a
tennis-court and other buildings.

On the right-hand side of Leadenhall-street stand the East India House
and Leadenhall Market, the latter of which need only be mentioned as
celebrated for its poultry and game. Stowe says, in his day it was used
for "the making and resting of pageants shewed at Midsummer, in the
watch; * * * * the lofts above were partly used by the painters in
working for the decking of pageants, and other devices for the
beautifying of the watch and watchmen." Those who visit Leadenhall
Market in Christmas-week will form some idea of the supply needed for
the two-million mouthed metropolis.

The East India House was built but little more than half a century ago,
though it contains portions of the older edifice, erected in 1726. The
present building is about 200 feet in length, and wears somewhat of a
princely look in its pillared portico and sculptured pediment, over the
centre of which Britannia is placed, while figures representing Asia and
Europe stand on each side of her. The ground-floor contains committee
and other rooms, in which the directors and proprietors transact
business.

The handsomest saloon in the East India House is occupied by the Court
of Directors, and is usually termed the Court-room: it is said to be an
exact cube of 30 feet; it is superbly gilt, and embellished with large
looking-glasses; the effect of its too great height being much
diminished by the position of the windows near the ceiling. From the
cornice hangs six pictures, representing the three presidencies--the
Cape, St. Helena, and Tellichery. Over the chimney is a fine piece of
sculpture in white marble, representing Britannia seated on a globe by
the sea-shore, receiving homage from three female figures--Asia,
Africa, and India. Asia offers spices with her right hand, and with her
left leads a camel; India presents a box of jewels; and Africa rests her
hand upon the head of a lion. The Thames, as a river-god, stands upon
the shore; a labourer is cording a bale of merchandise, and ships are
sailing in the distance. The whole is supported by two caryatid figures,
intended for Brahmins.

[Illustration: TIPPOO'S ELEPHANT HOWDAH.]

In another room there are six statues of Clive, Hastings, Cornwallis,
Coote, Lawrence, and Pococke--all men who won for themselves
distinguished names in India.

The upper part of the house, besides offices, contains the library and
museum: the latter is open on Saturdays from eleven to three; and with
the exception of the Tower, we know of no place where four hours can be
more agreeably and profitably spent in the City, than in examining this
rare collection. Here we see beautiful specimens of every
description--Goorkha swords, Sumatra shields, and Lahore gauntlets. In
another compartment we find models of Oriental manufactures: objects of
natural history are also there--animals, birds, insects, and shells of
the richest colours.

Here also is Tippoo Sultan's tiger. "It is a curious piece of mechanism,
displaying both the ingenuity and barbarism of the artist who produced
it, no less than the ferocity of nature which could induce a prince to
esteem it as a favourite toy. By turning a crank, like the handle of an
organ, sounds are emitted resembling the shrieks of a man in the jaws of
a tiger, while ever and anon a deeper tone is heard, intended to
represent the roar of the animal."

We find here Tippoo's howdah, or elephant seat, together with his
quilted corslet. The seat is of silver, and the bird forming the canopy
is of the same material, while the eyes are said to be of precious
stones. The padded shirt is said to have belonged to Tippoo Sultan; also
the corslet, which is lined with blue diaper.

There are Hindoo idols of gold and silver, marble and wood, remnants of
shrines and inscriptions, the very letters of which "would have made
Quintilian stare and gasp."

The Chinese curiosities are well worth examining, especially the
materials for engraving, writing, and printing; nor ought the mariner's
compass to be overlooked, for we must remember that this strange nation
have some claim to the invention of our "ocean guide," though rude,
perhaps, the first form may have been, and its bearings but little
understood.

From the _Illustrated London News_, we give the following description of
the paintings found in the Ajunta Caves, in India, copies of which have
lately been added to the Museum of the East India Company:--"These
paintings were found upon the interior walls and roofs of a series of
temples, excavated out of the solid rock, situated near the Ajunta Pass,
where the road from central Hindostan ascends the mural heights
supporting the table-land of the Dekkan. The town of Ajunta is about 200
miles north-east from Bombay; and in a ravine amongst the hills, some
four or five miles distant, occur the caves. According to Mr. Fergusson,
in his 'Memoir on the rock-cut Temples of India,' published in the
'Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' the entrance to the ravine is
nearly half a mile in width; but the ravine becomes narrower as the
traveller winds up it, until it terminates in a cascade of seven falls,
or leaps: the lowest is about 100 feet high, the others about 100 feet
higher. Immediately below the fall the

[Illustration]

ravine makes a sharp turn to the right, and it is in the perpendicular
cliff forming the outer side of the bend, and facing the fall, that the
caves are situated; the whole series extending about 500 yards from
north to south-east. There are in this space twenty-seven caves, which
are accessible by a sort of ledge or terrace of the cliff; but this has
given way at the southern extremity, and left the face of the cliff
perpendicular, to the height of about 300 feet. The general appearance
of the ravine and of some of the excavations is given in our engraving,
reduced from the original plate, forming part of Mr. Fergusson's
interesting illustrations of these and other Rock Temples delineated by
him in India.

"The Ajunta Caves are richly decorated with sculptured porticoes and
columns; but their peculiar feature is the embellishment of their roofs
and walls with paintings, which it is not yet determined to call
frescoes. They have suffered much from time and neglect; and to
counteract, in some measure, the further depredations of both, the Court
of Directors have instructed their local governments to take measures
for their careful delineation. An officer of the Madras Establishment,
Captain Gill, made copies of them, and sent home those now at the India
House. In one we have on the left a number of warriors apparently
setting out on an expedition. The chief, indicated by the umbrella, is
taking leave of his princess, whilst a group of women on the right are
also bidding them farewell. The men are characterised by the
intertwining of the hair with the cloth of the turban, a costume now
chiefly met with amongst the Burmas. It is doubtful if it is to be found
on the continent of India. There is nothing to denote the religion of
the persons represented; but in another painting a group very similar
are offering their adoration to a Chaitya or Buddhist monument, which is
conclusive as to their professing the Buddhist faith.

"In another section we have various groups, which belong to the interior
of the palace. The chief in one place is seated, in another standing,
and in both attitudes is evidently communicating orders or instructions.
This is probably a representation of Sakyasinha or Buddha, who admitted
females to become his disciples, and was allowed free access to the
female apartments. The privilege here is not confined to him, for in two
places are men bringing presents carried upon a pole, with slings, as
they are at the present day. In the right-hand corner we have what seems
to be a garden; in the left a group of elephants very accurately
represented--one appears to have triple tusks; a seated female in front
appears to hold a book.

"The third picture represents a very different series of figures from
either of the two preceding, and evidently belongs to the Saiva branch
of Brahminism. The much-defaced head in the centre, with a rich crown,
ornamented amongst other things with crosses, is a not uncommon
representation of Siva; and in the right compartment we have the same
divinity attended by some of his hideous train of goblins. In one place,
on the left, of two smaller figures the male is playing a flute. The
figures appear to be partly in the clouds, partly in edifices and in
gardens--perhaps the city of the God of Wealth upon the celestial
mountain Kailas is intended.

"The indications of Buddhism are, however, the prevailing subjects of
the paintings, although some of them are Saiva. Fragments of
inscriptions are found on two of them, which, although too imperfect to
be capable of translation, are valuable as guides to the age of the
paintings. The characters in which they are written went out of use
about the third century of our era, and the paintings in which they
occur must, consequently, be of prior date. They were painted, probably,
about the beginning of the Christian era."

Trinity-square, Tower-hill, in which stands Trinity House, is the last
object of any importance that claims notice in our present chapter. At
what period Trinity House was established is not, for certainty, known,
though it is believed to have been founded by Henry VIII., about the
time that he formed the Navy-Office. Like all other jurisdictions, it
gathered power gradually, through a long range of time, being at first
limited in its privileges and circumscribed in its limits, until
Elizabeth made the Company guardians of our sea-marks. Trinity House now
has the sole management of the light-houses and buoys, and its
operations may often be seen by a reference to the first page of the
_Times_, where it announces new marks laid down by wrecks, and different
changes made in beacons, "those watchmen of the sea."

[Illustration]



CHAPTER V.

THE TOWER.


The oldest remains of London, with few exceptions, nearly stand facing
each other, and are on opposite sides of the river. Thus, the Tower,
though some distance "below" bridge, looks on its ancient neighbour a
little higher up, the Church of St. Mary Overies, now called St.
Saviour's; while westward, Lambeth Palace confronts Westminster Abbey
and Hall, where they stand looking at each other, as they have done for
more than six centuries. Had that highway of waters which rolls between
these ancient edifices a tongue, what "deeds of other years" it might
babble forth! scenes mirrored on its surface, of which we have no
mention--events of which history has made no note, nor time preserved
any record.

At what period a fortress was first built on the spot now occupied by
the Tower will probably never be known, though it must have been a place
of some strength when Edmund Ironside defended it against the Danes, and
probably was centuries before that period.

No one doubts but that London was long inhabited by the Romans; and from
all we know of the many habits of those cautious warriors, we are
certain that they would not leave the river front of their city
undefended. Ancient foundations have been discovered in the Tower within
the last century, so strong and thick, as to call back Fitz-Stephen's
description of those large and strong walls which rose up from a deep
foundation, the mortar of which is "tempered with the blood of beasts."
Nearly seven hundred years ago did Fitz-Stephen write thus; so that the
"Tower Palatine," as he calls it, must have been so ancient even in his
day, that he knew nothing of its origin, more than that of the mortar
being "tempered with the blood of beasts." Nearly all our Roman remains
in Lower Thames-street have been discovered "deep down," and this goes
far in favour of those strong and undated foundations, laid bare within
the Tower, being Roman; the great width--three yards--corresponds also
with all we have seen of such ancient relics.

We know that the first London Bridge was built of wood, but we know not
the date of its erection, though it is mentioned many times long before
the Norman invasion. We also know that Edmund Ironside defended a walled
fortress which stood on the City side of the river; and that in those
days there was a bridge which Canute the Dane's ships did not pass
under, and that the battle on the river and on land was at the foot of
this old wooden bridge; and that the wall Edmund and his followers
defended must have been somewhere about the spot on which the Tower now
stands. This battle took place more than eight hundred years ago; and
after Canute's forces were repulsed by the London citizens, headed by
the son of Ethelred the Unready, the Danish king sailed out of the
Thames and landed in Mercia, somewhere near the mouth of the Humber.

This fortress was defended, and this wooden bridge stood, more than 150
years before Peter of Colechurch commenced his stone bridge in 1176; but
how much longer we know not. London must have been well fortified to
have held out as it did, against the invasion of Swein king of Denmark,
who came up to its very walls with his ships, and was compelled to
retreat. There must have been either tower or fortress beside the river,
for the Saxon citizens to have driven back such a powerful enemy.

It is generally admitted that Gundulp, Bishop of Rochester, was the
architect of the White Tower; and that it was built in the time of
William the Conqueror. Nor must we forget that soon after his first
entry into London, William the Norman resided in the Tower, in proof (if
true) that this fortress, whatever it might have been, was one of the
strongest in London--one of the safest to retire into in a land filled
with enemies, for he had then but few friends except his own soldiers.

What William the Norman built, and Rufus and Henry I. added to the old
Saxon Tower of London, cannot distinctly be defined, for we read of the
Great Tower, and a castle fronting the river beneath this Tower; and
then we pass over a few years, and find Flambard, the fighting Bishop of
Durham, a prisoner within the Tower walls, and from which, with the aid
of a rope, he made his escape.

Another Bishop, Longchamp, held the Tower against John and his retainers
while the lion-hearted King Richard I. was waging war in Palestine.
Here we see it used as a prison, and find it a fortress too strong for
Prince John and his followers to storm.

Henry III., who built the Lion Tower and kept leopards in it, made many
additions and improvements.

Mr. Bayley says, "The records of that era, which abound with curious
entries, evincing Henry's great and constant zeal for the promotion of
the fine arts, contain many interesting orders which he gave for works
of that kind to be executed in different parts of the Tower." Edward I.
strengthened the fortifications, and seems to have left the Tower much
in the state that we now see it; for, after this period, but few
alterations or additions appear to have been made. Edward III. repaired
it, and Mr. Bayley, in his _History of the Tower_, tells us how the sum
(nearly 1000_l._) was expended. The first interesting description we
have of the Tower was written by a foreigner named Paul Hentzner, in the
reign of Elizabeth, and is as follows:

"Upon entering the Tower of London we were obliged to leave our swords
at the gate, and deliver them to the guard. When we were introduced, we
were shewn above a hundred pieces of arras belonging to the Crown, made
of gold, silver, and silk; several saddles, covered with velvet of
different colours; an immense quantity of bed-furniture, such as
canopies and the like, some of them richly ornamented with pearl; some
royal dresses, so extremely magnificent as to raise any one's admiration
at the sums they must have cost. We were next led to the Armoury, in
which are these particulars: Spears out of which you may shoot; shields
that will give fire four times;(?) a great many rich halberts, commonly
called partisans, with which the guards defend the royal persons in
battle; some lances covered with red and green velvet, and the suit of
armour of King Henry VIII.; many and very beautiful arms, as well for
men as for horse-fights; the lance of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk,
three spans thick; two pieces of cannon--the one fires three, the other
seven balls at a time; two others made of wood, which the English had at
the siege of Boulogne in France; and by this stratagem, without which
they could not have succeeded, they struck a terror as at the appearance
of artillery, and the town was surrendered upon articles: nineteen
cannons, of a thicker make than ordinary, and in a room apart,
thirty-six of a smaller; other cannons for chain-shot, and balls proper
to bring down masts of ships; cross-bows and arrows, of which to this
day the English make use in their exercises. But who can relate all that
is to be seen here? Eight or nine men employed by the year are scarce
sufficient to keep all the arms bright. The mint for coining money is in
the Tower. N.B.--It is to be noted, that, when any of the nobility are
sent hither on the charge of high crimes punishable with death, such as
murder, &c., they seldom or never recover their liberty. Here was
beheaded Anne Bolen, wife of King Henry VIII., and lies buried in the
chapel, but without any inscription; and Queen Elizabeth was kept
prisoner here by her sister, Queen Mary, at whose death she was
enlarged, and by right called to the throne. On coming out of the Tower,
we were led to a small house close by, where are kept a variety of
creatures; viz. three lionesses, one lion of great size, called Edward
VI., from his having been born in that reign; a tiger, a lynex, a wolf,
exceedingly old: this is a very scarce animal in England, so that their
sheep and cattle stray about in great numbers without any danger, though
without any body to keep them. There is, besides, a porcupine and eagle:
all these creatures are kept in a remote place, fitted up for the
purpose with wooden lattices, at the Queen's expense.

"Near to this Tower is a large open space; on the highest part of it
(Tower-hill) is erected a wooden scaffold for the execution of noble
criminals; upon which they say three Princes of England, the last of
their families, have been beheaded for high treason. On the Thames,
close by, are a great many cannon, such chiefly as are used at sea."

Such was the Tower in the reign of Elizabeth, and such as it is now we
shall proceed to explain, enriching our description with several
engravings, which, though not placed exactly beside the text they
illustrate, will be clearly understood by the names affixed to each
engraving.

Passing through the entrance-gate, we reach the Lion Tower, which stands
at the corner of the moat or Tower ditch facing the Thames. Proceeding
eastward, with the river on our right, we come to the Middle Tower--then
the Bell Tower--the Lieutenant's lodgings--and the Bloody Tower, which
faces Traitor's Gate, to which there is a water-entrance. Passing these,
we either approach the White Tower in the centre, or visit the Salt
Tower at the east end; then the Brick Tower on the north side, in which
Lady Jane Grey was imprisoned, from thence to the Bowyer Tower, in which
the Duke of Clarence was drowned in a butt of malmsey; and last to the
west side, where stands the Beauchamp Tower, in which Anne Boleyn was
imprisoned. The chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, and the Jewel House, are
the last places we shall describe. In something like the plan we have
here adopted, we shall proceed to carry our readers with us while
describing the above-named portions of this ancient fortress.

The entrance is on the west side, leading to the Lion Tower, in which
the royal beasts were formerly kept. In Nicholl's _Progress of James
I._, we find the following:--"This spring of the year (1605)

[Illustration]

the king builded a wall, and filled up with earth all that part of the
moat or ditch about the west side of the lions' den, and appointed a
drawing partition to be made towards the south part thereof, the one
part thereof to serve for the breeding lioness when she shall have
whelps, and the other part thereof for a walk for the other lions. The
king caused also three trap-doors to be made in the wall of the lion's
den, for the lions to go into their walk at the pleasure of the keeper,
which walk shall be maintained and kept for especial place to bait the
lions with dogs, bears, bulls, boars, &c."

Ned Ward, of "merry memory," in his _London Spy_, published above a
century and a half ago, has left us the following anecdotes of the Lions
in the Tower.

"One of the keeper's servants, whilst he was shewing us his unruly
prisoners, entertained us with a couple of remarkable stories, which,
because the tragedy of the one will render an escape in the other story
the more providential, I shall proceed to give them to the reader in
their proper places--namely, that a maid, some years since, being a
servant to the keeper, and a bold, spirited wench, took pleasure now and
then in helping to feed the lions, and imprudently believing the
gratitude of the beasts would not suffer them to hurt her, she would
venture sometimes--though with extraordinary caution--to be a little
more familiar with them than she ought to be. At last she either
carelessly or presumptuously ventured too near their dens; and one of
the lions caught hold of her arm, and tore it off quite at the shoulder,
after a most lamentable manner, before any body could come to her
assistance; killing her with a gripe, before he would loose her from his
talons, till she was a miserable object of her own folly, the lion's
fury, and the world's pity.

"This story he succeeded by another, wherein was shewn as miraculous a
preservation of himself, contrary to the cruelty the lion had before
used to his unhappy fellow-servant, which he delivered after this
following manner, namely:

"''Tis our custom,' says he, 'when we clean the lions' dens, to drive
them down over-night through a trap-door into a lower conveniency, in
order to rise early in the morning and refresh their day apartments by
clearing them; and having through mistake, and not forgetfulness, left
one of the trap-doors unbolted, which I thought I had carefully secured,
I came down in the morning, before daylight, with my candle and lanthern
fastened before me to my button, with my implements in my hands, to
despatch my business, as was usual; and going carelessly into one of the
dens, a lion had returned through the trap-door, and lay couchant in a
corner, with his head towards me. The sudden surprise of this terrible
sight brought me under such dreadful apprehensions of the dangers I was
in, that I stood fixed like a statue, without the power of motion, with
my eyes steadfast upon the lion, and his likewise upon me. I expected
nothing but to be torn to pieces every moment, and was fearful to
attempt one step back, lest my endeavour to shun him might have made him
the more eager to have hastened my destruction. At last he roused
himself, as though to have a breakfast off me; yet, by the assistance of
Providence, I had the presence of mind to keep steady in my posture, for
the reasons before-mentioned. He moved towards me without expressing in
his countenance either greediness or anger; but, on the contrary, wagged
his tail, signifying nothing but friendship in his fawning behaviour;
and after he had stared me a little in the face, he raises himself up on
his two hindmost feet, and laying his two fore paws upon my shoulders
without hurting me, fell to licking my face, as a further instance of
his gratitude for my feeding him, as I afterwards conjectured; though
then I expected every minute when he would have stripped my skin over my
ears, as a poulterer does a rabbit, and have cracked my head between his
teeth, as a monkey does a small nut.

"'His tongue was so very rough, that with the few favourite kisses he
gave me, it made my cheeks almost as raw as a pork griskin, which I was
very glad to take in good part without a bit of grumbling. And when he
had thus saluted me, and given me his sort of welcome to his den, he
returned to his place, and laid him down, doing me no further damage;
which unexpected deliverance hitherto occasioned me to take courage,
that I slunk back by degrees till I recovered the trap-door, through
which I jumped, and pulled it after me; thus happily, through an
especial Providence, I escaped the fury of so dangerous a creature.'"

Ward also mentions two stuffed lions, one said to have been Queen
Mary's, the other King Charles's: and of the latter he says, he "had no
more fierceness in his looks that he had when living, than the effigies
of his good master at Westminster has the prescence of the
original."--_London Spy_, part 13.

We know of no historical incident of any interest connected with the
Middle Tower; but in the Bell Tower adjoining, Fisher, Bishop of
Rochester, is said to have been imprisoned. How much this venerable
bishop must have suffered before he wrote as follows to Cromwell we know
not: "I beseech you to be good, master, in my necessity; for I have
neither shirt nor yet other clothes that are necessary for me to wear,
but that be ragged and rent too shamefully. Notwithstanding, I might
easily suffer that, if they would keep my body warm. But my diet also,
God knoweth how slender it is at many times. And now in mine age [poor
old man, he was nearly eighty] my stomach may not away but with a few
kind of meats, which if I want, I decay forthwith."

How we feel to hate the brutal Defender of the Faith, whose supremacy he
refused to acknowledge, while perusing the catalogue of the venerable
prelate's sufferings.

The martyr and the murderer have long since gone to render an account of
their good and evil deeds.

The Lieutenant's lodgings contain a few old paintings, together with a
bust of James I., and a marble monument recording the names of those who
were examined regarding the Gunpowder Plot.

The Bloody Tower is supposed to have been the place in which the sons of
Edward IV. were murdered; but of this we have no proof; neither in the
discovery of the bones (which were found, in 1674, at the foot of the
staircase near the chapel in the White Tower,) any proof that the
princes were murdered in that part of the fortress. That they should be
buried near the White Tower chapel bespeaks a reverence for their
remains.

There is something ominous and gloomy about the grim gateway, with its
grated portcullis and grinning iron teeth, that leads to the Bloody
Tower, which even now seems to chill the blood as we pass beneath it.
Nor is this feeling at all diminished by the recollection that one of
the Earls of Northumberland either committed suicide or was privately
murdered within those very walls. It was at this gate where Sir John
Bridge seized Wyatt by the collar and shook him, when he was made
prisoner after the insurrection. "But that the law must pass upon thee,"
said the angry lieutenant, "I would stick thee through with my dagger."
To which Wyatt replied, holding his arms under his side, and looking
grievously with a grim look upon the lieutenant, "It is no mastery now,"
and so passed on.

The Salt Tower is remarkable for a curious engraving on the walls
representing the signs of the Zodiac, the work of Hugh Draper, of
Bristol, who was a prisoner in this turret in 1560. What a glimpse we
obtain of the superstitious ignorance of this period, when recalling the
"crime" he was committed for--that of practising the art of sorcery
against Sir William Lowe and his lady. The Brick Tower, on the
north-east side, near the mount, is said to be the spot in which Lady
Jane Grey, the "nine-days' Queen," as she is called by the old
chroniclers, was imprisoned.

In the Bowyer Tower, which stands behind the barracks, it is said the
Duke of Clarence was murdered, by being drowned in a butt of his own
favourite drink. The upper portion of this tower is modern, and the
whole was again greatly impaired in the fire which burnt down the great
storehouse in 1841, which also injured the Flint and the Brick Towers.

We next come to the Beauchamp or Wakefield Tower, in which are deposited
so many records. "This is perhaps the most interesting building of the
whole range, the White Tower not excepted," says Mr. Howitt, in his
_Tower of London_. "Employed for many years as a 'prison lodging,' its
walls are covered with the carved memorials of its unfortunate
occupants. Among those who have thus recorded their sorrows are John
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, 1553; Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, 1578;
Charles Baily, a Fleming, and agent of Mary Queen of Scots; Arthur and
Edmund Poole, grandchildren of George, Duke of Clarence, brother to King
Edward IV.; Thomas Fitzger, son of the Earl of Kildare, 1534; Sedburn,
Abbot of Joreval, 1537; Dr. Abel, chaplain of Queen Catherine of
Arragon; Thomas Cobham, son of Lord Cobham, 1555; Robert Dudley, Earl of
Leicester, the favourite of Queen Elizabeth; Sir Ingram Percy, son of
the Earl of Northumberland, 1537; Eyremot Radclyffe, son of the Earl of
Sussex, 1576; with many others. Couplets, maxims, or allegories are
sometimes added, as--

    'By torture strange my truth was tryed,
     Yet of my liberty denied.'--1581, THOMAS MYAGH.

This torture was the rack.

    'It is the poynte of a wyse man to try and then to truste,
     For hapy is he who fyndeth on that is juste.'--R. C.

The following is the conceit of a poor lover:

    'Thomas Willynagh, Goldsmithe. My hart is yours tel dethe.'

And by the side is a figure of a 'bleeding hart,' and another of
'dethe.' The initials, T. W. and P. A. on each side of the bleeding
heart, are doubtless those of the lover and his mistress."

This was the Tower in which Anne Boleyn was imprisoned. It is on record,
that, when she passed under the Traitor's Gate, she fell on her knees
and prayed, declaring herself innocent. When about to be beheaded on the
Green, she refused to have her eyes bandaged (those eyes into which her
brutal, tiger-like husband had so often fondly looked), but kept them
riveted on the headsman, who, while she gleamed on him, had not power to
strike the blow, until some one attracted her attention, and then, when
her eyes were turned away, he took off his shoes, strode forward
noiselessly, and struck off her head.

Another inscription in this tower, in Italian, runs as follows:

     "Since fortune hath chosen that my hope should go to the wind, to
     complain, I wish the time were destroyed, my planet being ever sad
     and unpropitious."--WILIM TYRREE, 1541.

One underground cell was called the Rats' Dungeon; it was below
high-water mark, and dark as the grave. At high-water, hundreds of rats
are believed to have sought shelter in this hideous cavern, until the
tide subsided. In this den, it is said, prisoners were sometimes thrust,
when the rack was found of no avail in extorting a confession. But all
the shrieks and struggles would be drowned deep down in this inhuman
hell, and only the Angel of Death left to look on the maddening horrors
of the wretched prisoners. The imagination shrinks back, as, through the
darkness of bygone years, it pictures for a moment the terrible
tragedies which must have been enacted in such a blood-stained dungeon.

We now come to the White Tower, with its four turrets, which may be seen
from many an eminence that overlooks London, and is always pointed out
as "The Tower." It is to the east of London what Westminster Abbey is to
the west, and St. Paul's to the centre of the city--the great object of
attraction. The interior consists of three stories (beside the vaults),
the first floor having two rooms, the roofs of which are no doubt as old
as the walls that surround them. In ancient times they were used as
prisons. The second story also contains two large rooms, in which are
deposited arms and other stores; and here also stands the chapel, the
most interesting of all the apartments, and shewing how great must be
the strength of a building to support such massy pillars and heavy
arches on its second story. It is a splendid specimen of true unaltered
Norman architecture, and unlike any thing we have seen in London, except
the interior of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield; not that it is so beautiful
as a whole as the church of the old Priory, but there is a massiness
about it in solemn keeping with the heavy and stupendous pile of
buildings which it stands upon and overlooks, for it rises to the very
roof of the Tower--the remainder of the third story forming the Council
Chamber, which is a large, heavy, plain-looking room, and arrests the
eye as soon as you enter. It is so unlike the chapel, that you are
amazed at its rude and primitive appearance, its flat timber ceiling and
plain rows of wooden beams, give to it something of a gigantic,
barn-like look; lost, however, when you glance at the pierced walls and
side arches, that tell you that all is in keeping with the solemn
fortress that has stood the shock of war, and the wear and tear of time,
through the long nights of nearly eight centuries. The scenes that have
taken place in this vast chamber are written in the pages of English
history, and are, with few exceptions, the most important in all our
annals.

We will now glance at the Jewel-house, and give a brief description of
the chief curiosities and treasures it contains.

The regalia appears to have been kept within the Tower from an early
period, as mention is made of jewels deposited there as far back as the
days of Henry III. These jewels were often pledged, and were sometimes
in the hands of French and Flemish merchants. Henry VI. was the first,
we believe, who went to "his uncle" to raise money on them; and Beaufort
advanced him 7000 marks with the true pawn-broker-like proviso, that if
they were not redeemed by a certain day, they were to remain his
(uncle's) property. Henry VIII., who melted down so many old monastic
treasures, lightened the regalia of many a rich relic, and, free-trader
like, dispersed it again in the shape of the current coin of the realm.
Those who possess the rose-nobles of that period may retain a portion of
the crown which once encircled the brow of one of his beautiful wives,
whom, Bluebeard-like, he butchered. He thought no more of melting a rich
sacramental cup than he did of a broken spoon.

During the civil wars the regalia was again diminished; but to what
extent we are not able to state, though mention is made of the sale of
such plate as bore the emblems of the cross, or was engraven with
"superstitious pictures." In its present state there will be found
worthy of notice the crown known as St. Edward's, first worn by Charles
II., and since that time used by all the monarchs who have ascended the
throne of Great Britain. This is the very crown that Blood stole, as we
have before stated, and the one placed on the head of her present
Majesty when she was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The new crown made
purposely for her Majesty is also here, and is formed of purple velvet,
hooped with silver, and richly adorned with diamonds. The ruby in it is
said to have been worn by the Black Prince, and the sapphire is
considered to be of great value: the crown altogether is estimated at
above 100,000_l._

The Prince of Wales's crown is formed of pure gold, without much
addition of jewels; while that of the Queen's consort is enriched with
pearls, diamonds, and other precious stones. The Queen's diadem was made
for Maria d'Este, the unfortunate queen of James II., who stood
sheltering in the rain under the wall of Lambeth Church on the night her
husband abdicated, when he threw the great seal into the Thames as he
crossed the river at Westminster to join her. Little did she dream, when
that golden diadem first pressed her fair brow, of the troubles she was
doomed to undergo.

St. Edward's Staff (why so called we know not, as the gold coronation
spoon is believed to be all that remains of the ancient regalia,) is
four feet seven inches long, bearing at the top an orb and cross; the
orb containing, it is said, a portion of the true cross. This staff is
made of beaten gold, to the bottom of which is fixed a steel spike, no

[Illustration: 1. Queen's Diadem. 2 and 3. Queen's Coronation Bracelets.
4. Prince of Wales's Crown. 5. Old Imperial Crown. 6. Queen's Crown. 7.
Spiritual Sceptre. 8. Temporal Sceptre.]

doubt intended for defence, as a strong arm would be able to drive it
through any assailant. Nothing is known of the history of this staff;
though we shall probably not be far wrong if we date the orb as far back
as the days of the Crusaders, on account of the portion of the "true
cross" which it is said to contain.

The Royal Sceptre is of gold, ornamented with precious stones; also with
the rose, shamrock, and thistle, all in gold; the cross is richly
jewelled, and contains a large diamond in the centre; the length of the
sceptre is two feet nine inches.

The Rod of Equity is three feet seven inches in length, and is made of
gold set with diamonds. The orb at the top is enriched with rose
diamonds, and on the cross which surmounts it stands the figure of a
dove with wings expanded. This is sometimes called the Sceptre with the
Dove. Another sceptre, called the Queen's Sceptre with the Cross, though
much smaller, is very beautiful in design, and thickly set with precious
stones. The Ivory Sceptre was made for Maria d'Este; and another
sceptre, found behind the wainscoting in the apartment in which the
regalia was formerly kept, is said to have been made for the queen of
William III. There are also two orbs well worthy of observation, as are
also the swords of Justice, ecclesiastical, and temporal, and the Sword
of Mercy, or Curtana, which is pointless. A few of these will be best
understood by a reference to the engravings, which shew the Ampulla for
the holy oil, formed like an eagle; the Armillæ, or coronation
bracelets, made of gold, and rimmed with pearls; the coronation spoon,
used for anointing the sovereigns, very ancient; and the golden
salt-cellar, shaped like a castle with turrets. There are several of
these state salt-cellars worthy of notice; also a baptismal font, and a
silver wine-fountain, beside many other valuable curiosities, which
would give our work too much the appearance of a catalogue were we to
describe them all.

On the south side of the White Tower stands the Horse Armoury, which was
erected about a quarter of a century ago. Many of the suits of armour
which these equestrian figures wear are very ancient; and a few are
highly interesting, through having been worn by kings and warriors who
stand proudly out in the annals of England. The first in supposed
antiquity is a Norman Crusader, said to be nearly as old as the time of
the Conqueror; and is formed of small iron rings, which make a kind of
net-work that must have given far more play to the body of the wearer
than the cumbrous mail worn on a later day. Similar armour was worn by
the Saxons before the reign of Alfred, as is shewn in a few of the
illuminated documents which have been preserved to the present day.
There is a kite-shaped shield, such as was used at this period, in the
Elizabethan Armoury, which

[Illustration: 1. Imperial Orb. 2. Ampulla. 3. Golden Salt-Cellar of
State. 4. Anointing Spoon. 5, 6, 7. State Salt-Cellars.]

ought to be removed and affixed to this figure of the Crusader. The next
in date that claims our attention, is the resemblance of a grim warrior,
armed from head to heel, after the fashion of the heroes who fought in
the days of Edward I. Here we have the long surcoat and rich emblazonry,
which is so often mentioned in the wars of Palestine: the prick-spears
are of a very primitive form, and worth examining, as is every portion
of the armour on this figure; for even what is modern is a strict
imitation of what was worn at this period. The next is a gorgeous
specimen of the time of Henry VI., both as regards the armour and the
trappings of the figured steed; the skirts and sleeves are splendid
specimens of chain-mail, and the fluted gauntlets, "beautiful
exceedingly." The breasts and back are made of flexible plates, that is,
loose, and put on in pieces; and the helmet, which is a salade, with a
vizor or pontlet, has a grand appearance, surmounted as it is with a
crest. All these it would require the skill of a Meyrick to describe
accurately; for he tells us of sollerets, and tuilettes, vambraces, and
rere-braces, camails, cuisses, and greaves, which are difficult to
explain, and still more difficult to comprehend, without the aid of
engravings. We then come to the reign of Edward IV., and here we find a
rich but very singular-looking suit of armour. The angular-shaped helmet
strikes the eye as being well adapted to throw off the point of a spear,
if struck on the volant piece, which stands out sharp and ridgy as the
point of a plough. The vambrace of the lance is very old, and shews how
the hand was protected; there is also an addition to the safety of the
wearer in the steel guard on the left side of the breast-plate, and also
on the elbow, compared to that worn in the preceding reign. Armour of
the time of Richard III. is placed on the next figure, very beautiful,
being ribbed or plated; and here we have rosettes on the shoulders,
which look like little wings or epaulets that have blown loose, and
stand erect. This suit was worn by the Marquis of Waterford, when
several gentlemen met to play at tournament at Eglintoun. Period of
Henry VII.: a warrior dismounted, the armour of German workmanship; the
figure remarkable for the change made in the helmet. Next to this
another suit of the same age, and the horse majestically armed,
especially about the head, neck, and upper parts of the chest. We now
come to a suit of what is called Damask armour, and this the great
wife-killer, Henry VIII., really wore--better for his fame if he had
been killed in it the first day he rode armed; but we have "said our
say" in a novel called _Lady Jane Grey_, and will pass on to mention
that there is another suit, said to have been presented to him by
Ferdinand, on his marriage with his daughter, Katherine of Arragon; of
this suit, Mr. Howitt, in his _Tower Armoury_, says, "The badges of this
king and queen, the rose and pomegranate, are engraved on various parts
of the armour. On the pins of the genouillères sheaf of arrows, the
device adopted by Ferdinand, the father of Katherine, on his conquest of
Granada; Henry's badges, the portcullis, the _fleur-de-lis_, and the red
dragon, also appear; and on the edge of the lamboys or skirts are the
initials of the royal pair, 'H. K.' united by a true-lover's knot." The
red dragon was the figure the ancient Britons bore on their standards in
their wars against the Saxons. It is frequently mentioned by the Welsh
bards who lived at that period, and also fought in these battles; but we
do not think they bore standards before the invasion of the Romans,
emblazoned with any devices. Passing by the armour of Edward VI., and
that said to have been used by Hastings Earl of Huntingdon, we come to a
suit that once covered the stately form of Dudley Earl of Leicester,
"the gipsy," as Essex called him, on account of those dark features that
Queen Elizabeth loved to look on. A suit, said to have been worn by his
once powerful rival, the Earl of Essex, is only divided from Dudley by
the armed figure that wears the mail assigned to Sir Henry Lea. Passing
by the figures of James I., Sir Maurice de Vere, and the Earl of
Arundel, we come to a beautiful suit of armour, made for Henry Prince of
Wales, who died young; it is gilt, and enriched with quaint designs of
ancient battles and stormy sieges, and other emblems of "grim-visaged
war." Then follow suits said to have been worn by the Duke of
Buckingham, James's favourite; Charles I., when Prince of Wales; and the
unfortunate Earl of Strafford, who was, like his royal master, beheaded.
The suit said to have belonged to James II., a curious head-piece,
believed to have been worn by Henry the Seventh's jester, and several
other curiosities, such as an ancient warder's horn, swords, &c., that
were formerly in the possession of Tippoo Saib, together with an old
suit of unpolished armour, are things which will be shewn, if the
stranger make himself agreeable to the warder.

Quitting this gallery, we enter Queen Elizabeth's Armoury by a
staircase, passing by two carved figures called "Gin and Beer," which
were brought from the old palace of Greenwich, probably at the time of
its destruction. We are again in the White Tower, and tread the very
rooms in which Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned, for no doubt he had
the privilege of stepping beyond what is called his sleeping-room. In
the recessed arch at the end of this groined and vaulted apartment,
stands the equestrian figure of Queen Elizabeth, in a similar costume to
what she wore when she rode to St. Paul's to return thanks for the
destruction of the Spanish Armada. It would but make a dry catalogue
were we to enumerate the whole of the miscellaneous articles in this
Armoury, which consist of shields, swords, bows, blocks, instruments of
torture, partisans, poles, match-locks, &c. &c., all hanging on the
walls, or standing upright, or huddled together like old iron in a
marine-store. There, however, is the axe with which Lady Jane Grey is
supposed to have been beheaded, nor can we in a more fitting place,
while the mind is filled with horror, which this "heading-axe" and block
(the latter comparatively new) call up, describe her execution, which we
copy from a work edited by J. G. Nichols, Esq., F.R.S., entitled the
_Chronicle of Queen Jane_, and another scarce pamphlet, called _The Ende
of Lady Jane Dudley_. The heroic spirit she displayed at her execution
was long the talk in the streets of old London, when Queen Mary ascended
her sanguinary throne.

"By this tyme was ther a scaffolde made apon the grene over agaynst the
White Tower, for the saide lady Jane to die apon. Who, with hir husband,
was appoynted to have ben put to deathe the fryday before, but was
staied tyll then, for what cause is not knowen, unlesse yt were because
hir father was not then come into the Tower. The saide ladye being
nothing at all abashed, (neither with feare of her owne deathe, which
then approached, neither with the sight of the ded carcase of hir
husbande, when he was brought in to the chappell,) came forthe, the
levetenaunt leding hir, in the same gown wherin she was arrayned, hir
countenance nothing abashed, neither hir eyes enything moysted with
teares, although her ij. gentylwomen, mistress Elizabeth Tylney and
mistress Eleyn, wonderfully wept, with her booke in hir hand, wheron she
praied all the way till she cam to the saide scaffolde, wheron when she
was mounted, &c."

From the last-named pamphlet the narrative is continued as follows:

"She sayd to the people standing thereabout: 'Good people, I am come
hether to die, and by a lawe I am condemned to the same. The facte,
indede, against the quenes highnesse was unlawful, and the consenting
thereunto by me; but touching the procurement and desyre therof by me or
on my halfe, I doo wash my handes thereof in innocencie, before God and
the face of you, good Christian people, this day,' and therewith she
wrong hir handes, in which she had hir booke. Then she sayd, 'I pray you
all, good Christian people, to bear me witness that I dye a true
Christian woman, and that I looke to be saved by none other meane but
only by the mercy of God in the merites of the blood of his only sonne
Jesus Christ: and I confesse, when I dyd know the word of God I
neglected the same, loved my selfe and the world, and therefore this
plague or punyshment is happely and worthely happened unto me for my
sins; and yet I thank God of his goodnesse that he hath thus geven me a
tyme and respet to repent. And now, good people, while I am alyve, I
pray you to assyst me with your prayers.' And then, knelyng downe, she
turned to Fecknam, saying, 'Shall I say this psalme?' And he said 'Yea.'
Then she said the psalme of _Miserere mei, Deus_, in English, in most
devout manner, to the end. Then she stode up, and gave her maiden,
mistress Tylney, her gloves and handkercher, and her booke to maister
Bruges, the levetenantes brother; forthwith she untyed her gown. The
hangman went to her to help her of therewith; then she desyred him to
let her alone, turning towardes her two gentylwomen, who helped her off
therwith, and also with her frose past and neckercher, geving to her a
fayre handkercher to knytte about her eyes. Then the hangman kneeled
downe and asked her forgevenesse, whome she forgave most willingly. Then
he willed her to stand upon the strawe; which doing, she sawe the
blocke. Then she sayd, 'I pray you dispatch me quickly.' Then she
kneeled down, saying, 'Wil you take it (her head) off before I lay me
downe?' and the hangman answered her, 'No, madame.' She tyed the kercher
about her eys; then feeling for the blocke, saide, 'What shall I do?
Where is it?' One of the standers-by guyding her therunto, she layde her
heade down upon the blocke, and stretched forth her body, and said,
'Lorde, into thy hands I commende my spirite!' And so she ended."

With a few of the names of the most celebrated persons who have been
imprisoned, and some of them beheaded in the Tower and on Tower-hill,
together with a slight notice of the chapel in which several of them lie
buried, we shall close our description of this ancient fortress. Early
in the fourteenth century, Wallace, the hero of Scotland, was prisoner
within these walls, from whence he was dragged to Smithfield, fastened
to the tails of horses, and there put to death, after enduring the most
cruel and horrible tortures. Hither Mortimer was brought from
Nottingham, laden with chains, having, we believe, been a prisoner in
the Tower before that time, and escaped through making his keepers
drunk. Here the brave Earl of Moray was confined for many weary years,
unable to raise the extortionate ransom King Edward demanded. The Duke
of Orleans was brought prisoner from the field of Agincourt, and long
detained in the Tower. The victims of Henry VIII, we pass over, as they
have a blood-stained page to themselves in English history. The Earl of
Essex, whose death embittered the last moments of Elizabeth, and an
account of which we extract verbatim from the scarce work we have so
often mentioned, entitled _The Life and Reign of Queene Elizabeth_; it
is as follows: "Wherefore on the same day was the Earle brought out
between two diuines, apon the scaffold in the Tower-yard; where sate the
Earls of Cumberland and Hartford, Viscount Howard of Bindon, the Lords
Howard of Walden, Darcy of Chile, and Compton. There were also present
some of the aldermen of London, and some knights, and Sir Walter
Rawleigh, to no other end (if we may beleeve him) then to answere him,
if at his death he should chance to object any thing to him; although
many intrepreted his being there to a worser sence, as though he had
done it oneley to feed his eyes with his torments, and to glut his hate
with the Earles bloud: wherefore being admonished that hee should not
presse on him now he was dying, which was the property of base wilde
beasts, he withdrew himselfe, and looked out upon him at the Armoury.

"The Earle as soone as he had mounted the scaffold uncovereth his head,
and lifting up his eyes to Heaven, confesseth, that many and greivous
were the sins of his youth, for which he earnestly begged pardon of the
eternall Majesty of God, through the mediation of Christ, but especeialy
for this his sinne, which hee said was a bloudy, crying, and contagious
sinne, whereby so many men being seduced, sinned both against God and
their Prince. Then he entreated the Queene to pardon him, wishing her a
long life, and all prosperity, protesting he never meant ill towards
her. He gave God hearty thanks that he never was an Atheist or Papist,
but that always he put his trust in Christ's merits. He beseeched God to
strengthen him against the terrors of death, And he entreated the
standers by to accompany him in a little short prayer, which with a
fervent ejacculation and hearty devotion he made to God. Then he forgave
his executioner and repeated his Creed, and fitting his neck to the
blocke, having repeated the first five verses of the 51 Psalme, he said:
'Lord, I cast my selfe downe humbly and obedeintly to my deserved
punishment: Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon thy servant that is cast
downe: Into thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit.' His head after that
was stricken off at the third blow, but the first tooke away both sence
and motion."

Against this charge Sir Walter Raleigh defended himself, in his last
speech, in the following words: "It is said I was a prosecutor of the
death of the Earl of Essex, and stood in a window over against him when
he suffered, and puffed out tobacco in disdain of him; but I take God to
witness I had no hand in his blood; and was none of those that procured
his death. My Lord of Essex did not see my face at the time of his
death, for I had retired far off into the Armoury, where I indeed saw
him, and shed tears for him."

Sir Walter Raleigh's execution is too closely interwoven with history to
dwell upon any of the events of his imprisonment. Of him it may be truly
said--

    "A little rule, a little sway--
     A sunbeam on a winter's day--
     Is all the power the mighty have
     Between the cradle and the grave."--_Dyer._

The night before his execution he wrote the following lines in a leaf of
the Bible:

    "Even such is time, that takes on trust
      Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
     And pays us but with age and dust;
      Who in the dark and silent grave,
     When we have wander'd all our ways,
     Shuts up the story of our days."

Russel, Sydney, Shaftesbury, Buckingham, Laud, Davenant, and a score or
more of others, whose names are mixed up with the stormy events of the
period in which they lived, were prisoners in the Tower. These past
away. Then came those who took part with the Pretender; some of whom
were executed, a few pardoned; while others, like the Earl of Nithsdale,
escaped. Then the names of Gordon, Burdett, and such like, of but little
note in the present century, and they end

    "This strange eventful history."

The chapel of St. Peter's ad Vincula stands at the north-west corner of
the Tower, and must formerly have been very beautiful, though now sadly
disfigured by modern innovators, who are cursed with such a taste as
ought to be left only to its free indulgence in the walls of Bethlehem
or St. Luke's.

Here were interred the headless bodies of Queen Catherine Howard, Anne
Boleyn, Margaret Countess of Shrewsbury, Lady Jane Grey: beauty, virtue,
and talent, each bared her fair neck--the blow was struck, and now,

    "After life's fitful fever, they sleep well."

Here also repose Sir Thomas More, Cromwell, Earl of Essex, Seymour the
Lord Admiral, and (strange retribution) his brother, the Protector
Somerset; Dudley, the husband of Lady Jane Grey; Robert Devereux, Earl
of Essex--all beheaded. The catalogue may be dismissed in the words of
Shakspeare, where he

    "Tells sad stories of the death of kings:
     How some have been deposed; some slain in war;
     Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
     Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd:
     _All murdered!_"

Macaulay, in his _History of England_, speaking of this chapel, says:
"There is no sadder spot on earth than this little cemetery. Death is
there associated, not, as in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's, with
genius and virtue, with public veneration, and with imperishable renown;
not, as in our humblest churches and churchyards, with every thing that
is most endearing in social and domestic charities, but with whatever is
darkest in human nature and in human destiny, with the savage triumph of
implacable enemies, with the inconstancy, the ingratitude, the cowardice
of friends, with all the miseries of fallen greatness and of blighted
fame."

We conclude with the following extract from the _Illustrated London
News_ of January 1843:

"The extent of the Tower within the walls is twelve acres and five
roods. The exterior circuit of the ditch--now a garden--surrounding it
is 3156 feet. On the river-side is a broad and handsome wharf, or
gravelled terrace, separated by the ditch from the fortress, and mounted
with sixty pieces of ordnance, which are fired on the royal birthdays,
or in celebration of any remarkable event. From the wharf into the Tower
is an entrance by a drawbridge. Near it is a cut connecting the river
with the ditch, having a water-gate, called Traitors' Gate, state
prisoners having been formerly conveyed by this passage from the Tower
to Westminster for trial. Over Traitors' Gate is a building containing
the water-works that supply the interior with water.

"Within the walls of this fortress are several streets. The principal
buildings which it contains are, the White Tower, the ancient chapel,
the Ordnance-office, the Record-office, the Jewel-office, the Horse
Armoury, the grand Storehouse, and the Small Armoury, besides the houses
belonging to the constables and to other officers, the barracks for the
garrison, and two suttling-houses, commonly used by the soldiers.

"The principal entrance to the Tower is toward the west. It consists of
two gates on the outside of the ditch, a stone bridge built over the
ditch, and a gate in the inside. These gates are opened every morning
with the following ceremony: the yeoman-porter, with a sergeant and six
men, goes to the governor's house for the keys. Having received them, he
proceeds to the innermost gate, and passing that, it is again shut. He
then opens the three outermost gates, at each of which the guards rest
their firelocks while the keys pass and repass. On his return to the
innermost gate he calls to the warders on duty to take the Queen's keys,
when they open the gate, and the keys are placed in the warders' hall.
At night the same formality is used in shutting the gates; and as the
yeoman-porter with his guard is returning with the keys to the
governor's house, the main-guard, which, with its officers, is under
arms, challenges him with 'Who comes there?' he answers, 'The keys,'
and the challenger replies, 'Pass, keys.' The guards, by order, rest
their firelocks, and the yeoman-porter says 'God save the Queen,' the
soldiers all answering, 'Amen.' The bearer of the keys then proceeds to
the governor's house, and there leaves them. After they are deposited
with the governor, no person can enter or leave the Tower without the
watchword for the night. If any person obtains permission to pass, the
yeoman-porter attends, and the same ceremony is repeated.

"The Tower is governed by its Constable, at present the Duke of
Wellington; at coronations and other state ceremonies this officer has
the custody of the crown and other regalia. Under him is a lieutenant,
deputy-lieutenant, commonly called governor, fort-major,
gentleman-porter, yeoman-porter, gentleman-gaoler, four quarter gunners,
and forty warders. The warders' uniform is the same as that of the
yeomen of the Queen's guards.

"The Tower is still used as a state prison, and, in general, the
prisoners are confined in the warders' houses; but, by application to
the Privy Council, they are usually permitted to walk on the inner
platform during part of the day, accompanied by a warder.

"The fire which took place towards the winter of 1841 destroyed a great
portion of the property in the grand Armoury, and materially altered the
exhibitorial features of the edifices. The Armoury, said to have been
the largest in Europe, was 345 feet in length, and was formerly used as
a storehouse for the artillery train, until the stores were removed to
Woolwich. A considerable number of chests filled with arms ready for any
emergency were in a portion of the room which was portioned off; and in
the other part a variety of arms were arranged in fanciful and elegant
devices.

"A fearful destruction of property, at once curious and valuable, took
place in this department; but one beautiful piece of workmanship was
happily preserved. It consisted of the celebrated brass gun taken from
Malta by the French, in 1798, and sent, with eight banners, which hung
over the same, to the French Directory by General Buonaparte, in _La
Sensible_, from which it was recaptured by the _Seahorse_, Captain
Foote. The sword and sash which belonged to the late Duke of York were
also saved, through the intrepidity of Captain Davies; who, however,
severely cut his hands by dashing them through the plate-glass frame in
which the sword and sash were enclosed."



CHAPTER VI.

DOCKS, SAILORS, AND EMIGRANTS.


Our rambles have now brought us to the Docks; but, before describing
them, we must glance backward at the scenes which in former years met
the eye on the very spots which these vast basins now occupy, for we
shall include them all in this chapter.

There are people still living who can remember when Blackwall-Reach had
for its landmarks grim gibbet-posts, on which the bodies of pirates
bleached and blackened in the storm and sunshine, "making night
hideous;" when the whole neighbourhood beyond the Tower, instead of
being the home of mighty ships--that seem to sleep after their perilous
voyages in the Docks--was a nest of ill-famed streets and dangerous
alleys, unsafe even in the open noon of day, and at night trodden with
dread by the peaceful passenger; when the Tower Hamlets disgorged their
lawless inhabitants to witness an execution on Tower-hill, attack a
press-gang, or rescue some sailor from the claws of justice, to be borne
in triumph to the nearest tavern, and amid flip, fiddling, and dancing,
bid defiance to every 'Charley' that for a mile around drawled out the
passing hours. In those days it was not uncommon for the drum to beat an
alarm, and a troop or two of soldiers to turn out of the Tower, to quell
the brawls which arose between the land-lubbers and the sons of the salt
sea; nor were the military always successful in putting down these
midnight riots; for whether Jack hunted a Jew or unroofed a crimping
house, he would not give in (unless overpowered) until he had chased
down the one and demolished the other.

Ned Ward, in his _London Spy_, describes the sailors he met with in his
day in this neighbourhood, and says, "Sometimes we met in the street
with a boat's crew just come on shore, in search of those land
debaucheries which the sea denies them; looking like such wild, staring,
gamesome, uncouth animals, that a litter of squab rhinoceroses drest up
in human apparel could not have made a more ungainly appearance....
Every post they came near was in danger of having its head broken; for
every one as he passed by gave the senseless block a bang with his
cudgel, as if they wished every post they met to be either the boatswain
or the purser. The very dogs in the street shunned them with as much
fear as a loitering vagrant would a gang of press-masters, being so
cautioned against their ill usage by the stripes they had formerly
received, that, as soon as ever they saw a seaman, away ran the poor
curs, with their tails between their legs, to avoid the danger of the
approaching evil. I could not forbear reflecting on the 'prudence' (?)
of those persons who send their unlucky children to sea to tame and
reform them."

Even now, after all the alterations and improvements which have been
made, there are places in the neighbourhood of St. Katherine and the
London Docks which present almost the same features as they did a
century or two ago, and such may be found within five minutes' walk of
the Docks we are describing. No contrast can be greater than that
between the west and the east end of London; the very houses, dresses,
and language of the inhabitants are different; for in the latter their
talk is "all of ships." Here, at the shop-doors dangle oil-case
nor'-westers, with long fantails behind, telling that, unlike the hats
in Bond-street, these are made to keep a billow that breaks over the
head out of the nape of the neck; while the rough pilot-coats that hang
like skins about the tent of a Russian bear-hunter, proclaim that they
were never made to be worn in "a lady's chamber," but to be donned where
the winds whistle, and the sea-gulls scream, and the big waves come
roaring after each other like a thousand unchained hungry lions. There
you see the gaudy handkerchief which Jack loves to leave a little out,
that it may be seen from his blue jacket-pocket; those slops, in the
whiteness of which he prides himself; and the checked shirt that he
delights to throw open about his sun-browned throat, while he leaves the
fringed corners of his black neckerchief to flutter like a pennon in the
breeze. There is a forecastle-smell about the streets, a minglement of
junk and rum, tar and biscuit, casks, ropes, and tobacco, not unpleasant
to one who is proud of the wave-washed island on which he was born.

But the grandeur of this locality is its magnificent
Docks--watery-squares surrounded with high-piled warehouses, and filled
with gigantic shipping, the tall masts of which tower proudly above the
loftiest houses. Here you see keels that have ploughed up the stormy
Atlantic--sails hanging idly in the breeze that have been filled with
the spicy gales of India--figures ahead that have looked down into icy
seas, or bent listlessly where the waves of the warm Mediterranean roll,
and the arch-backed dolphins tumble. It makes the heart of a true-born
Englishman, although he is not worth a groat, beat high when he enters
the gates that open upon such a scene of naval grandeur; and we forgive
those old sea-kings, while we gaze around, who all but conquered our
country, and blended their Danish with our Saxon blood. Warriors of old,
who guided their snorting seahorses along the road of the swans, and
swept the stormy Baltic to stand face to face with Alfred the Great, and
to be at last scattered like the ocean spray by the arm of the Island
King. Peace to their manes! they were the first who taught our grey
forefathers that England's wooden walls are its safest bulwarks.

Many a house had to be levelled with the earth, and many an old
graveyard to be dug up, before these mighty Docks could be made; even
the ancient hospital founded by Queen Matilda seven centuries ago was
demolished; and where oft the Sabbath-bell had tolled, and the old
Londoners paused to glance at the "narrow beds" where their fathers
slept, or wore the stones hollow with their passing feet--all were
doomed to be swept away, to make room for the "guardian giants that
prowl around our coasts." From this, good came; living London had not
room enough for her dead, and the green hills that look down upon her
glory were then turned into sepulchres; rural cemeteries sprang up, and
thither her departed sons and daughters were borne; instead of pent-up
city churchyards, our metropolis became surrounded with great gardens of
graves, which look like true resting-places. Over such, a poet might
fancy their peaceful spirits would linger, and look beyond to where the
vast city gradually grows in length and breadth from year to year,
until, as is not improbable, it may at last extend its foot to the edge
of the open ocean.

St. Katherine's, and the two adjoining London Docks--which alone cover a
space of more than a hundred acres--will contain six hundred ships, and
near half a million tons of goods. In the West India Docks, which lie
nearer Blackwall, merchandise valued at twenty millions of money has at
one time been deposited on the wharfs, in the warehouses, and in the
vaults below. The wealth of London lies not in her gaudy shops: beyond
the Tower stand her great storehouses. A stranger who passes on the
river on his way to Greenwich or Gravesend sees but little of these
enormous treasuries--the

[Illustration: MAST-HOUSE, BLACKWALL.]

tops of the tall masts alone point out their "whereabouts." These Docks
are surrounded by high strong-built walls, so lofty, that it would be a
puzzle to a most expert thief to scale them, on account of the finish of
the coping; and if even this were accomplished, a greater difficulty
would remain in getting over the bulky goods which are stored within.
The walls which encircle the two London Docks were erected at a cost of
sixty-five thousand pounds; and no less a sum than four millions was
expended in completing this vast establishment. The East India Docks are
at Blackwall, and our engraving is a view of the old Mast-House in the
Export-Dock--one of the most prominent objects in the landscape, when
the eye is turned in that direction, either from the summit of
One-tree-hill in Greenwich Park, or as seen from the right of the
Observatory.

It will be readily imagined that such improvements as these were not
made without meeting with much opposition, for it is on record that the
cargo of a large vessel often took up five or six weeks before it was
delivered: for before the Docks were made, goods were put into lighters
at Blackwall, and carried to the old-fashioned quays near London Bridge,
and after a long delay, occasioned even by the Custom House authorities
themselves, they were finally removed to the different warehouses in the
City. In these good old times river robbery was a thriving trade; and we
have more than rumour for asserting that many a fortune was made by this
systematic plunder. No marvel that when the first inroad was made on
these old vested rights, a clamour was raised by carmen, porters,
lightermen, and all the shoal of waterside labourers, who benefited more
or less by the very difficulties which attended the removal of
merchandise, and that from Wapping to Westminster the whole aquatic
populace raised their voices against the dock crusades. Even the Trinity
House itself murmured about an invasion of interests, and contended that
the Royal Dock at Deptford would be ruined. City limits and city
privileges were all in all to these sticklers for old rights; nor have
matters altered much even up to the present day, when a proposed
improvement in the sewerage of the City seems to create as much alarm as
if all its charters and privileges were about to be undermined and
swallowed up. All these claims and demands had to be bought up, and
thousands were expended in silencing their clamours before the Docks
were commenced; for there were legal quays beside the river, and
moorages within, and landing-places, that time out of mind had their
little perquisites. And when all the Joneses, Smiths, and Tomkinses were
satisfied, the mighty work began to proceed; and thus in time spread out
and rose up these broad city basins and high-piled warehouses, which are
the pride of England and the envy of so many surrounding nations.

But it is not the removal and storing of merchandise, in which as many
as five thousand men are sometimes employed, that alone engrosses the
eye of the observant stranger when he visits the Docks. There are other
scenes of painful or pleasurable interest, which fall upon the eye and
heart according to the humour of the man. One of those it is our
province to portray. About a year ago we dined on board a large vessel
in St. Katherine's Docks which had been chartered to carry out emigrants
to America; it was a few days before the ship was announced to sail. The
owner was a worthy gentleman; the party who had hired the ship, needy
adventurers, whose references had blinded all inquiries, and who were
only found out when interference was of no legal avail. For days "hired
vagabonds" had been "touting" at every wharf and public-house in the
neighbourhood; and the call, although not so openly made as that of an
omnibus conductor, only varied inasmuch as "America" was substituted for
"Charing-cross" or "Paddington." They took passengers for almost
whatever they could get, paying no regard as to whether or not they had
stores to last the voyage, or would starve before they were half over
the Atlantic. "It was a sorry sight," and the law had no power beyond
that of making a few arrangements that would contribute to the comforts
of the poor passengers.

We went down the hold, which was fitted up with berths--if such a name
may be given to the tiers of unplaned deal boards, which resembled large
hen-coops piled one above another; and stretched on mattresses upon
these wooden gridirons we saw many of the emigrants waiting wearily for
the appointed hour that was fixed for sailing. It made the heart sicken
to picture that hold, when out at sea with the hatches battened down,
and the vessel driving through a storm. There were then little children
running about, and playing at hide and seek among the bales and
casks--fair-haired, red-cheeked, blue-eyed beauties, whose sun-burnt
arms and necks told that they had had the run of the open village-green;
and such we found had been the case when we inquired. Both father and
mother were fine specimens of English peasantry: the grandfather and
grandmother were also there. They had fixed up the very clock in the
hold, which had for years ticked in the old familiar cottage, and
brought a few choice flowers in pots, which they hoped to plant about
their new home in a foreign land. An antique oak table, that had been in
the family for many generations, was also doomed to bear them company in
their long voyage. The old grandfather, whose countenance would have
enraptured an artist, sat in a deep Rembrandt-like shadow at one corner
of the hold, with the family Bible upon his knee. They appeared to be
well provided for the voyage, and were full of "heart and hope."

Another corner was occupied by a wretched-looking Irish family. All
excepting the old countryman and his family seemed to regard this
miserable group with an eye of suspicion more than of pity; for it was
whispered that a few biscuits and a little oatmeal were all the
provisions they had made for the voyage. The captain, however, who had
had some experience, considered that they were amply provided, and he
made the strictest inquiry. A bag of coarse bread, which had been cut
into slices and then browned in the oven, had that morning, he said,
been sent on board to assist them--it was the gift of a few poor Irish
people who lived in the borough of Southwark. This bread, he said, with
a little suet, would make excellent puddings; and he promised that Pat
should not lack the latter ingredient. It appeared that there were many
little things which a willing hand might do on board a ship, and, as he
said, "We never yet allowed one to starve; but this is a queer lot." If
we remember rightly, the number of passengers was not sufficient to call
for the interference of the Emigration Commissioners. The ship had been
chartered to carry a cargo, a part of which, from some cause or other,
was withheld; so the speculators endeavoured to make up the loss by
passengers. Our attention was too much engrossed in conversation with
those who were about to quit their native country, it might be for ever,
to enter fully into these legal matters, although we believe the number
at last became sufficient to call for this interference.

To our feelings there was something very revolting in married and
single, young and old, being thus placed together in the hold of a ship,
which was never intended for the accommodation of passengers; and we
think that government might be worse employed than in applying a remedy
to these evils. We fear that many who leave our shores with refined and
delicate feelings, who, however humble may be their station in life, are
gifted with that innate love of modesty which in no country has a more
natural growth than in our own,--that many such are doomed to quit
England, and through circumstances over which they have no control, land
great losers in this never-to-be-recovered gift.

A voyage to America in the hold of a vessel fitted up temporarily as we
have described, is a scene not likely to fall under the eye of a popular
author: it can only be sketched by getting the information from some
unfortunate fellow who has been bumped and thumped against those huge
beams which run inside the berths, and rolled about like a barrel, and
has been lucky enough to outlive all such pitching and tossing. A
state-cabin, in the roughest gale, must be a palace compared with such a
place in a moderate calm; and a common steerage, rendered as comfortable
as circumstances will permit, a perfect elysium. Picture those who have
never in all their lives encountered a stronger gale than needed a safe
hand to keep on the hat, turning all sorts of imaginable somersaults,
and who never heard any noise louder over their heads than when some
relative fell down drunk upon the chamber-floor at a feast-time, first
listening to the tramp, and thunder, and hurly-burly on deck, when the
ship is struck by a heavy sea, and every timber groans again in its deep
agony. No regular steward to assist--no servant to attend--berth moaning
to berth--child squealing against child--one praying here, another
cursing there--the hold all but dark, and where a glimmering of light is
seen, the sea rushing in like a cataract--and over all, the wind howling
like a raging demon, and every wave knocking at the ship's side, and
demanding admittance; and if such is not a picture of a certain nameless
place under the earth, it would convey no bad idea of one upon the sea.

And those dear children nestled together, with their little arms
encircling one another in their cheerless berths, their mother incapable
of comforting them! It gave one the heart-ache to think of what they
were destined to endure. We pictured them in their restless slumber,
murmuring like bees--dreaming of their cottage, then far away--or dizzy
with the rocking of the ship, recalling the swing which hung between the
apple-trees in the garden, and unconscious of the danger with which they
were surrounded. Then we remembered Him who "tempereth the wind to the
shorn lamb"--

    "Who moves in a mysterious way
       His wonders to perform;
     Who plants his footsteps on the sea,
       And rides upon the storm."

Wearily over the wilderness of waters would they journey onwards. Like
birds with ruffled plumage, that feel themselves strangers when they
have alighted upon a new land, the wild waste beside the ocean-shore
where they landed would at first be trod with an aching heart; there
would not be one old familiar object to comfort them. The Indian who
carries the bones of his relatives to the far forest which he is driven
into, and there erects a new hut, leaves scarcely an object of regret
behind, for his hopes are anchored upon his great hunting-ground beyond
the grave. One who soars into higher and purer realms in the dreams of
an hereafter, is chained to earth by greater regrets. The very tree in
the centre of the village-green wears a new charm when seen through the
"mind's eye" from a far distance, and the humblest objects become more
endeared to us when they are no longer within our grasp. Brighter and
broader landscapes may burst upon the view in a new world beyond the
ocean; but never shall we again find those familiar features in the
scene which we have left behind: oft

    " ... in the stilly night,
       When slumber's chain hath bound us,
     Fond memory brings the light
       Of other days around us."

A far different scene met our eyes not long ago in the East India Docks,
when the Canterbury Association sent out their emigrants to New Zealand.
What we then witnessed compelled us to take another view of emigration,
and to regret that many of our poor needlewomen were not numbered among
the comfortable-looking Canterbury colonists.

The scene seemed to carry us back to bygone years, when the Pilgrim
Fathers went forth over perilous seas (linked together by one faith) to
establish colonies in far-off lands, and build cities in wild wooded
wastes which had before borne no imprint but that of beasts of the
chase, or the footmark the Indian hunter left behind while pursuing
them. Stern men, such as Cromwell selected his Ironsides from, and staid
matrons who, during the civil war, laid aside their psalters to load
arquebusses, were the unflinching elements out of which our colonies
were formed in those stormy old times. Neither gaols nor workhouses were
emptied to people these early settlements, but firm, high-souled men and
women went out, accompanied by their ministers and grave elders--such as
in more ancient days assembled in our Saxon witenagemotes--full of moral
resolves, and gave them laws, and established another England, in which
they could worship God according to the dictates of their own
consciences. They weeded not the garden to transplant its sickly and
seedy roots, but (so to speak) took out the very seed and the purest
mould, and formed for themselves strong and healthy beds, that produced
such fruit as tempted and attracted others to sally forth and cultivate
their newly-discovered fields.

Of similar materials to these is the Canterbury Settlement, in New
Zealand, to be formed, and more than a million acres to be peopled, by
those who are of one faith--members of the English Church--and who are
to begin by building schools and erecting places of worship, and thus
providing for the intellectual and spiritual wants of the community.
Food and raiment and shelter are not all they undertake to supply, but
ample provision is to be made for much higher and holier purposes.

None who are really poor and wretched accompany them; such as go out, as
servants and labourers, are men and women of good character, and
members of the English Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury is at the
head of the association, which numbers amongst its members noblemen and
gentlemen, and those connected with the Church; in short, we shall not
err by calling it a religious community. Hunger, and crime, and sin, and
sorrow, and nakedness, and wretchedness they leave behind. Except the
working emigrants who accompany them, we believe that nearly the whole
of the settlers are large purchasers of land: some few of those who have
speculated remaining here. They are also at liberty to establish their
own form of government--to be, in fact, free and independent of England.
It will be seen that they set out with such wealth, respectability, and
numbers, as surpass all that our former colonists ever possessed, but
that they take away none of our unemployed and needy poor.

What we witnessed on board the vessel in the East India Docks awakened
no painful feelings, for they were not people actually compelled to
leave their country because they were unable to obtain a living in it,
like the many thousands who covet but the common necessaries of life,
and cannot obtain them. We turned from the well-spread tables then
before us, and thought of the poverty and wretchedness of those who drag
out a miserable existence in our over-crowded London streets; the
thousands who stand

          "Houseless near a thousand homes,
    And near a thousand tables pine for want of food;"

who bring no old memories into the crowded city, in which many of them
were born. Home, with all its green boughs rustling above the rippling
stream--the murmur of the bee--the shout of the cuckoo, and the mellow
song of the golden-billed blackbird, were never to them old familiar
sounds; they have nothing to sigh over, to look back upon and regret.
The word "Home" to many of them has no charm, has never been surrounded
with comfort; it is but a shifting from attic to attic, or from cellar
to cellar; it but conjures up unhealthy back-rooms and high dead-walls,
and breathless courts, which, when the wind reaches, it only stirs the
sleeping poison, and scatters wider the stench of a thousand stagnant
sewers. There they sit, in such neighbourhoods as Whitechapel and
Bethnal-green, and hear of holidays and merry seasons, in which they
have no share. The Christmas bells but ring out to them telling that
nights are long and coals dear; and they are compelled to sit and listen
to those sounds in the darkness, or by the glimmering of a handful of
fire, for they are too poor to purchase even a candle. Spring
processions and Whitsun holidays but tell them that there are pleasant
places somewhere, which people are rushing out of town to see, though
for them the flowers grow not, nor have they ever rested under the
cooling shadow of a green tree. All they know of time is by feeling
hungry, and struggling against sleep, while "stitch, stiching" for such
establishments as Mr. Mayhew has described in his _London Labour and
London Poor_, keeping no other record of the hours but by the number of
stitches they take, or how long it will be before they can afford to eat
again, while hunger is gnawing within, though the insufficient meal is
but just concluded. Their homes were places from which they were many a
time turned out because they could not pay the rent, then left to stand
shivering and starving in the street, until some one, who numbered as
many miseries as they, all but the want of a wretched roof for a
covering, invited them in--and they sat crouching beside the fireless
grate, thankful that, in addition to hunger, they had not to endure

    "The pitiless pelting of the outer storm."

They have nothing to offer one another but sympathy--nothing to give but
sigh for sigh, as they mingle tears with tears. What have they to throw
a charm over home? Where is the comfortable bed on which to repose when
their labour is ended? Behold that heap of rags and straw in the dark
corner of the room! Where are their pictures to enliven the walls? their
flowers, to tell that spring or summer has come? The imagination must
form a landscape where the mortar has broken away--the only white patch
in that dirty dwelling; their flowers of summer are dying in that broken
jug where the halfpenny nosegay is placed, purchased when hunger needed
appeasing, because memory was pining for nourishment, and the heart and
eye were weary of those black roofs and tall chimneys, and they wanted
to look on something which God had made; for,

    "Though man has power to build a town,
     He cannot make the thistledown,
       Which every wind doth shake."

Mighty England, with all her glory, has but left them heirs to misery.
When such as these are borne away to another country, we can almost
picture the guardian-angels that would accompany them hiding their faces
with their hands as they speed along with their white wings expanded
above the vessel, as if weeping for these poor outcast daughters. But
Hope, with her "golden hair" streaming out, would herald the way,
pointing to other homes beyond the rim of the horizon, far over the sea,
and bidding them remember that God is also there; and that there are no
crowded courts and starving populace in those lands, where Health would
stand with roses in her hands to plant in their pale cheeks, while
honest Labour waved his sickle to welcome them to the thatched hut,
which, stored with plenty, would send its blue smoke under the green
trees, and then in coiling shadows over the golden harvest-field. Alas!
these go not out with the Canterbury colonists. We should consider the
present emigrants as going before to prepare the way for their feebler
or poorer brethren. Their intelligence, capital, and enterprise will, we
trust, create such a demand for labour, that they will invite the misery
and poverty left at home to join them in the happy land of Canterbury,
where we hope plenty will be found for all. May their turn soon come,
and may they speedily join those who are now on their way; and, when it
does, may the sea on which they will sleep flow around them with a
gentle murmur--may the breeze visit them as softly as a mother's breath
when she bends over her slumbering infant, and so dream during their
long voyage over the ocean! May they at last anchor in a foreign land,
where they will find a home such as they have never known!

Here, where there is not even room for their dead, but where the last
silent tenant is removed to make room for the next comer, what have they
to weep over? Nothing! No one, perhaps, would be by to close their dying
eyes, or when they turned their faces to the cold wall, to bid "God
bless them!" No friendly hand to lift them down those stairs up which
they had so often gone with aching hearts, but be borne by pauper arms,
in a pauper's coffin, to a nameless grave, the very hillock of which
would be levelled within a month after they had been thrust beneath it,
as if there was neither room for them living nor dead. Who would not
pray to heaven to send them a prosperous voyage (as those were prayed
for who have gone before) as they fly from a shore which brings to
memory only misery, where the only hours of happiness they knew were
those which went winged over their unconscious childhood, when hunger
was scarcely felt while they played, and sorrow only forgotten when they
slumbered--when the Angel of Sleep came and carried away the very memory
of wretchedness until they awoke again. May the peaceful daisies soon
blow about their home in a land where there is plenty and to spare, and
human life is not made up of labour, hunger pangs, and short, fitful,
moaning snatches of slumber, which is not sleep. May they, like those
who are now preceding them, find a home around which to twine their
affections, with a few trees and flowers that they can love and call
their own, where the sun has room to get near them at morning, and can
give them a parting smile before he sets at night, where he comes
streaming free as when, first launched from God's almighty hand, he went
thundering with a golden trail of glory behind, until the voice of the
Omnipotent bade him stop in the immensity of space. May they find
verdant valleys over which no board ever looked, threatening the
wanderer with imprisonment for trespassing, but where the land is as
free as it is to the foot of the bird, and where in time the tall
churchspire may rise and the Sabbath-bell ring, and the hum of childish
voices be heard coming from beneath the blossoming trees in the orchard
where they are at play. When we turn to such a picture as this, and look
at the haunts of wretchedness they now inhabit, we are compelled to
acknowledge emigration a blessing.

If emigration is too expensive, let us not close our eyes to the fact
that there are millions of acres of waste land in England and Ireland
which might be brought into cultivation, and enable thousands to live
thereon in comfort, or be made to bring in a good rental, so as to
support those we cannot send out; and that this could be done at but
little more cost than we should have to pay to get rid of them and their
labour. Let us look at the quantity of fruit and cattle imported into
England every week, and which might be grown and fed in our own country,
if these wastes were brought into cultivation by the capital which we
are sending abroad; buying in food on the one hand, and on the other,
paying those to leave the country who might remain and produce it. A
wise king, in a remote and barbarous age, found it cheaper to divide his
kingdom with pirates and robbers than to be constantly at war with them,
though they were aliens; surely England ought to do for her own children
as much as Alfred did for the heathen Danes, if she will not send them
to other countries. Labour is the only true wealth that Nature ordained
when she provided us with the raw materials. The possessor of millions
is compelled to buy labour; his gold will neither clothe nor feed him;
with it he calls in hard-handed industry to his aid. These are old
truisms which no arguments can overthrow. Have we exhausted all our
resources of employment, that we are compelled to drive so many
thousands who are willing to labour from the land? This is a question
more important than any other, and of a thousand times more consequence
than the money even now spent in sending out emigrants. How many little
freeholds might be reared in our wastes, with our facilities, with what
we are spending annually in emigration? and how much closer would these
little spots bind the affections of the occupiers to the soil, and make
them struggle proudly to bear their share of the burdens which are
necessary to support the state! Let a large portion of these millions of
acres be brought into cultivation at any cost; and then, if our busy
hive is overstocked, send a swarm abroad. Women are needed in our
colonies; let them go--at least, as many as we can safely spare--and
spread sweet images of themselves over distant lands,--faces to look
upon in after years, which will call up the England their mothers were
compelled to leave; such as we see breaking the evening shadows with
their smiles, as they play until bed-time on the village-green. Any
thing to lessen the vice and wretchedness which is eating like a canker
into the heart of our over-crowded cities. Such as these the Canterbury
colonists will not take with them; and if we cannot afford to send them
abroad, let us see what can be done for them with our waste lands at
home, instead of leaving them to pine and die, unwept and uncared for,
in our over-crowded cities. This matter forces itself on all thinking
men who visit the London Docks during the present high fever of
emigration.

[Illustration: LONDON DOCKS--OUTER BASIN.]



CHAPTER VII.

WHITECHAPEL, AND THE OLD REMAINS IN BISHOPSGATE-STREET.


Hitherto our course has been eastward; we must now turn our faces
towards the west, and describe a few of the objects which lie on our
right hand, as we retrace our steps, and journey to where the sun sets.
To the point from whence we started at the commencement of our work (the
foot of Blackfriars Bridge) we shall find but little to detain us; for
the Bank and Exchange are too commercial for our pages, as we have not
undertaken to write a Guide-Book, and fear that we have already dwelt
too minutely on many of the uninteresting portions of the City which we
have already described. But, up to the Tower, the neighbourhood we have
gone over lies like a mere edging on the great skirt of London, compared
to the labyrinths of streets that spread north and west--to say nothing
of the Surrey side of the Thames. A mere glance at the map of London
appals us. We shall therefore select a picturesque object here and there
after having quitted the city, just as fancy guides the way.

Turning our back on the Docks, and taking the nearest cut to the
Mile-end-road, we will at once dash into Whitechapel; for all behind us
belongs to the suburbs, and our present descriptions lie not there.

We have in our opening article, entitled "Ancient London," glanced at
the picturesque appearance of this neighbourhood in former years, and
now turn to the present to find that these old-world splendours have
given place to gin-shops, plate-glass palaces, into which squalor and
misery rush, and drown the remembrance of their wretchedness in drowsy
and poisonous potations of gin;--splendour and squalor, the very
contrast of which makes thinking men pause, but are disregarded by those
who contribute to the one and recklessly endure the other.

Our engraving represents the well-known row of butchers' shops; for the
Whitechapel butcher still belongs to the old school, taking a delight in
his blue livery, and wearing his steel with as much satisfaction as a
young ensign does his sword. He neither spurns his worsted leggings nor
duck apron; but, with bare muscular arms, and a knife keen enough to
sever the ham-string of an old black bull, takes his stand proudly at
the front of his shop, and looks "lovingly" on the well-fed joints that
dangle above his head. The gutters before his door literally run with
blood: pass by whenever you may, there is the crimson current constantly
flowing; and the smell the passenger inhales is not such as may be
supposed to have floated over "Araby the blest." A "Whitechapel bird"
and a "Whitechapel butcher" were once synonymous phrases, used to denote
a character the very reverse of a gentleman; but in the manners of the
latter we believe there is a very great improvement, and that more than
one "knight of the cleaver," who here in the daytime manufactures sheep
into mutton-shops, keeps his country-house.

The specimens of viands offered for sale in these streets augur well for
the strength of the stomachs of the Whitechapel populace; no gentleman
of squeamish appetite would like to run the risk of trying one of those
out-of-door dinners, which ever stand ready-dressed. The sheep's
trotters look as if they had scarcely had time enough to kick off the
dirt before they were potted; and as for the ham, it appears bleached
instead of salted; and to look at the sandwiches, you would think they
were veal, or any thing except what they are called. As for the fried
fish, it resembles coarse red sand-paper; and you would sooner think of
purchasing a pennyworth to polish the handle of a cricket-bat or racket
than of trying its qualities in any other way. The black puddings
resemble great fossil ammonites, cut up lengthwise; for while you gaze
on them you cannot help picturing these relics of the early world, and
fancying that they must have been found in some sable soil abounding in
broken fragments of gypsum, which would account for the fat-like
substance inside. What the "faggots" are made of, which form such a
popular dish in this neighbourhood, we have yet to learn. We have heard
rumours of chopped lights, liver, suet, and onions being used in the
manufacturing of these dusky dainties; but he must be a daring man who
would convince himself by tasting: for our part, we feel confident that
there is a great mystery to be unravelled before the innumerable strata
which form these smoking hillocks

[Illustration]

will ever be made known. The pork-pies which you see in these windows
contain no such effeminate morsels as lean meat, but have the appearance
of good substantial bladders of lard shoved into a strong crust, from
which there was no chance of escape, then sent to the oven and "done
brown." The ham-and-beef houses display the same love of fatness, as if
neither pig nor bullock could be overfed that comes to be consumed by
the "greasy citizens" of the east end of London.

As for fish! the very oysters gape at you with open mouths, as if they
knew how useless it would be to keep closed in such a ravenous-looking
neighbourhood. They seem to cast imploring glances at the passers-by, as
if begging to be taken out of the hot sun, and devoured as quickly as
possible. You see great suspicious-looking whelks, sweltering in little
saucers of vinegar; and you cannot help wondering what would be the
result if you attempted to eat one; and while you are thus doubting,
without "doating," some great broad-shouldered fellow comes up, throws
down his penny, and, making but one mouthful of the lot, lifts the
saucer to his lips, and drains the last drop of vinegar, then goes, for
a finisher, into the nearest gin-shop. Pickled eels, cut up into
Whitechapel mouthfuls, are fished up from the bottom of great brown
jars, and devoured with avidity. You can never pass along without seeing
brewers' drays unloading somewhere in the streets; and you cannot help
thinking what hundreds a year Barclay and Perkins might save, in the
wear and tear of men and horses, if they laid down pipes all the way
from their brewery in the Borough to Whitechapel.

What little _taste_ they display (if we may make use of so classical a
phrase in contradistinction to their "palatal" or gastronomic
propensities), is shewn in their love of pigeon-keeping; and many of the
"fanciers" in this district can boast of possessing both a choice and an
extensive stock of these beautiful birds. From this taste arise good
results, inasmuch as it leads them into the suburbs, especially on
Sundays, when they either carry the pigeons with them in bags or thrust
them into their coat-pockets, and so wander for three or four miles out,
when they turn the birds loose, both parties thus enjoying the luxury of
a little fresh air. They are excellent hands at decoying pigeons, for
all the "strays" that alight in the neighbourhood are pretty sure to
become "Whitechapel birds." What means they use for entrapping these
feathered favourites we have not been able to ascertain, though one
knowing fellow told us, with a deep-meaning wink, that "it was the
fineness of the climate, and a little hanky-panky' business." We paid a
pot of beer for the information, without asking for any clearer
definition of the latter phrase.

Having thus become enlightened in the art of pigeon-stealing, we turned
up Houndsditch, and visited the real Rag Fair. The price of admission is
"von halfpenny," a toll from which neither Jew nor Gentile is exempt.
This market or fair for old rubbish of every description is well worth
seeing; and to whatever use the trash could be turned that met our eye
in every direction, did at first, as old Pepys says, "puzzle us
mightily."

Rag Fair is a market consisting of long rows of standing or sitting
places, having neither back nor front, but covered in by narrow
penthouse roofs, supported on beams, under which the sellers or
exchangers take their places: the wind and rain blow and beat through
these open sheds, both drenching and sweetening the fusty rags that are
exposed for sale. Those who wish to purchase pass up and down the
"ragged" alleys. We were detained at the narrow entrance of the first
row for several moments by two ancient and bearded children of Israel,
who were endeavouring to bargain. The seller had the portions of two
pairs of old shoes in his hand; one pair "soleless," the other nearly
"upperless."

"How much for these, Mo'?" inquired the purchaser.

"Twopence," answered the other; "they be dirt-cheap."

"Bah!--won't do, Mo'," was the reply, after having examined them; "could
not cut off enough to stop up a mouse-hole. Say von penny!"

"Vell, den, three-halfpence!"

We passed on, and did not witness the close of the bargain, our ears
being now assailed with such cries of "Who vants three vaist-coats for
old coat?" "Who vants old hats for old shoes?" "Two shirts for von pair
of strong preeches!" and so on. There we saw the hook-nosed, large-eyed
collector of "old clo'" whom we had that very morning stopped to look at
while he carried off a whole suit in exchange for two geraniums which
looked as if they could not live a week. The very things he was then
running down, as he pointed out every thin spot and speck of grease to
the little Cinderella he was bargaining with in the Borough, he was now
extolling, and vowing that they had but been worn "wery leetle, wery
leetle indeed." With keen eye the intended purchaser traversed every
inch, examined carefully the knees of the trowsers, the arm-pits,
elbows, and sleeves of the coat; then discovering something at last, as
he shined it before the light, he pointed to the spot, and looked at the
other in silence. "Vell, vot of dat?--Look at the pryshe!" was the reply
of the geranium exchanger.

There is an old and mouldy smell about the place, telling that dank and
fetid corners have been rummaged out to contribute to the stock of
filth there accumulated. And yet, through the dirty mass the eye may
here and there detect the trappings of pride. Court-dresses, from which
the former owners would now run, exclaiming with Hamlet--

    "And smelt so? Pah!"

Small satin slippers which had once been white, but now wore a little of
the hue of every foul thing they had come in contact with. The worn-out
wedding-dress, now a heap of rags, bundled up beside the thread-bare
blackness of the poor widow's cast-off weeds. One might almost fancy
that Pride had come here to crawl out of its shabby habiliments, and
gone and laid down in some one of the dark alleys in the neighbourhood
to die, having "shuffled off" the last vestiges of respectability.

    "To what vile uses do we come at last!"

Rags that may have touched a young and beautiful duchess, not now fit
for dusters. A remnant of the dress-coat of some young lord, thrown down
with disdain by the hunger-bitten jobbing-tailor, because he cannot get
a patch out of it large enough to seat the "continuations" of the
Whitechapel hawker.

Passing on to Leadenhall-street, and nearly facing the East India House
(which we have already described), we come upon two old churches,
standing nearly together, that escaped the Great Fire, namely, St.
Andrew's Undershaft and St. Catherine Cree. In the first Stowe was
buried, and there his monument still stands; and the second (according
to the authority of Strype) contains the remains of Hans Holbein, the
great painter; also of Sir Nicholas Throgmorton.

Part of the tower is said to be very old, though the body of the church
was rebuilt in 1628, and, as it appears, without much disarranging the
interior, though one magnificent window has been walled up, as may be
seen by looking at it from the adjoining alley. Prynne has left us a
splendid piece of half-quizzical and satirical description of the
consecration of this church in 1630 by Laud, Bishop of London, which
will not seem out of place in this age of Puseyite performances. "When
the bishop approached near the communion-table, he bowed, with his nose
very near the ground, some six or seven times; then he came to one of
the corners of the table, and there bowed himself three times; then to
the second, third, and fourth corners, bowing at each corner three
times: but when he came to the side of the table where the bread and
wine was, he bowed himself seven times; and then, after the reading of
many prayers by himself and his two fat chaplains which were with him
(and all this while were upon their knees by him, in their surplices,
hoods, and tippets), he himself came near the bread, which was cut and
laid in a fine napkin, and then he gently lifted up one of the corners
of the said napkin, and peeping into it till he saw the bread (like a
boy that peeps into a bird's nest in a bush), and presently clapped it
down again, and flew back a step or two, and then bowed very low three
times towards it and the table. When he beheld the bread, then he came
near and opened the napkin again, and bowed as before; then he laid his
hand upon the gilt cup, which was full of wine, with a cover upon it: so
soon as he had pulled the cup a little nearer to him, he let the cup go,
flew back, and bowed again three times towards it: then he came near
again, and lifting up the corner of the cup, peeped into it; and seeing
the wine, he let fall the cover on it again, and flew nimbly back and
bowed as before. After these and many other apish, antick gestures, he
himself received and then gave the sacrament to some three principal men
only, they devoutly kneeling near the table; after which, more prayers
being said, this scene and interlude ended."

Could the cross, crop-eared old Puritan ever have been like other boys,
and gone a bird-nesting? The simile seems to call up such a question, as
if in his grim humour he reverted to his youthful days, little dreaming
then that he should have to lose his ears and stand in the Westminster
pillory. And Laud--he too (after all his pious "anticks," as Prynne
calls the ceremony of the consecration of St. Catherine Cree) was
beheaded at the Tower. While we stood within this old church, we
pictured those two earnest men in that cold January morning--the one
religiously performing his duties, with no doubt reverential awe; the
other, with a sneer on his lips, leaning, perhaps, near the effigy of
the recumbent knight, and scarcely able to suppress the contempt he felt
for the ceremonies which such as he and the stern-souled Cromwell
despised, with many others who were so soon to shake a throne, and
trample on the "divinity of kings," as if it were but dust. But we are
forgetting Stowe and the adjoining church of St. Andrew's Undershaft.
Why it was so called, the pleasing historian, who has long slept (not
undisturbed) within the church, shall tell us in his own sweetly-quaint
old language; for though "dead, he yet speaketh," and never hath London
before or since had so pleasing a chronicler. He says, "because that of
old time every year, on May-day morning, it was used that an high or
long shaft or May-pole was set up there before the south door of the
said church." And he had often seen that "long shaft" set up--perhaps in
his younger days danced around it, eyeing askance some citizen's pretty
daughter: it may be she who outlived him, and at her own expense raised
the present monument to his memory; and as she came in after-days to
look at it, sighed as she thought of the bygone years when they danced,
hand in hand, together around the May-pole, or of their walks in the
summer evenings, when he pointed out to her some old surviving landmark
that to him was hallowed by its historical associations, little thinking
then that to him after-ages would be so much indebted for all that is
known of ancient London. Peace to his venerable ashes! his shadow seems
to fill the old church, and we think only of him. The ribbed roof and
"deep-dyed" window are all we can remember; but what the stained glass
represents we cared not to inquire, so much was our mind occupied with
Stowe and the merry May-days of old London.

We will now turn up Bishopsgate-street, and glance at Crosby Hall
(endeared to us through Shakspeare having made mention of it).

Crosby Hall, or Place, was built by Sir John Crosby; who, according to
Stowe, obtained a lease of the ground, in 1466, of Alice Ashfield,
prioress of the adjoining convent of St. Helen's, for ninety-nine years,
at an annual rent of 11_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._ From grocer and woolman he
became alderman of London, and was knighted by Edward IV. in 1471. His
monument yet stands in the church of St. Helen.

Sir Thomas More states that it was in Crosby Place where Gloster,
afterwards Richard III., planned the murder of the princes in the Tower,
and by their removal paved his way to the throne. He says, "By little
and little, all folk withdrew from the Tower, and drew to Crosby Place,
in Bishopsgate-street, where the Protector kept his household. The
Protector had his resort, the king (prince?) in a manner desolate; while
some for their business made suit to them who had the doing; some were
by their friends secretly warned that it might haply turn them to no
good to be too much attendant about the king without the Protector's
appointment; who removed also divers of the prince's old servants from
him, and set new about him. Thus many things coming together, partly by
chance, partly of purpose, caused at length, not common people only, who
wave with the wind, but wise men also, and some lords eke, to mask the
matter and muse thereon."

Shakspeare makes Gloster appoint the place of meeting with the murderer,
after he has given him the warrant, at Crosby Place. Here he also
requests the Lady Anne to "repair" while he inters the remains of the
king at Chertsey monastery. Marriage and murder were planned under the
very roof which we can still look at by that daring duke. It is one of
the few remaining places in the City in which the deeds recorded in our
history were plotted, and to which afterwards was given an enduring
name in the pages of England's greatest poet.

Here the rich Sir John Spencer resided; and when the Tower was the
court-end of London, it was frequently the residence of foreign
ambassadors. It is said to have been the dwelling of Sir Thomas More at
one period; but this assertion is not well authenticated. The hall, at a
first glance, appears somewhat narrow for its height--the latter
exceeding its width by about 13 feet, while its length is 54 feet. From
the depth of the oriel the dimensions appear magnificent, while the
innumerable dyes thrown out from the stained glass carry the imagination
back to "feast and revelry," when beauty and valour there congregated,
and all "went merry as a marriage-bell."

The hall was long used as a packer's warehouse; and during the period it
was thus occupied much damage was done to its ornaments. The work of
restoration commenced in 1836, and the building was re-opened in 1842.
It is now used as a Literary Institution.

The adjoining church of St. Helen was founded in 1216. What alteration
it has undergone, it is difficult to point out. It is a rich storehouse
of ancient monuments, and perhaps, with the exception of the little
church in the Tower, abounds more in these valuable records than any
other building in the City that escaped the Great Fire. Here, as we have
before stated, the founder of Crosby Hall is interred. The same
altar-tomb also contains the recumbent effigy of Ann his wife.

Here Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange, is also
buried: he died in 1579. The "rich Spencer," who bought Crosby Hall, and
was Lord Mayor in 1594, lies here: he is said to have been worth near a
million of money in his day, a sum which, multiplied according to the
value of the period, almost throws our Rothschilds into the shades.
These are but a few of the many interesting monuments dedicated to the
memory of the "grey forefathers" of the City.

On one of the walls stands a richly-sculptured niche, below which runs a
row of little open arches, through which the refractory nuns, it is
said, were sentenced to hear mass, while they stood in the crypt. These
nuns appear to have been an unruly race at times, and must often have
caused great anxiety to such worthy prioresses as Alice Ashfield; for it
was not safe to entrust them with the "latch-key," according to what is
whispered by a dean of St. Paul's, who, it seems, made a few unpleasant
inquiries about them in 1439, long before Crosby Hall was built, and
when all around the nunnery there stood old-fashioned tenements, full of
ins and outs, and which required some "sad (grave) woman and discreet"
to "keep the keys of the posterngate."

[Illustration: THE FOUR SWANS' INN YARD.]

It may be that many of the citizens' daughters were only sent hither to
be educated, and that they were not disciplined as rigidly as those who
took the veil and vowed to lead a secluded life; if so, this will
account for these little irregularities in those old devout days.

We have in Bishopsgate-street one of those real old-fashioned London
inns, with just such a yard and galleries as we may suppose were
occupied by our early dramatists, while the stage was in its infancy.
Our engraving requires no second glance to confirm the antiquity of the
Four Swans Inn-yard.

What merry masques have been played in that old open inn-yard--what
beautiful forms have leant over that antique and pillared gallery! Oh,
for a volume filled with the names and doings of those who have slept
under that sloping roof--who have peeped through the old ancient
bannisters of the wooden gallery! What saddling and mounting "in hot
haste" must there have been in former times at the doors of those
stables! What a tramping of feet on those spacious landing-places! What
a staggering of jolly old Englishmen, who, when in their cups, went up
those wide old-fashioned staircases.

Or we can picture some newly-imported nun, arriving in her litter, or
coming in with a string of pack-horses, staring about her for a few
minutes, until carried away by the lady-prioress of St. Helen's from the
old inn-yard and across the street, and along the grey weather-beaten
cloisters, never, perhaps, to see the green country again from which she
had journeyed.

Or we call up the figures of old carriers, such as Shakspeare has
described, exclaiming:

     "Pease and beans are as dank here as a dog; and that is the way to
     give poor jades the bots. This house is turned upside down, since
     Robin died. Poor fellow! never joyed since the price of oats rose:
     it was the death of him."--_Henry IV._ act 2.

Higher up the street we find another old house, in which Sir Paul Pindar
resided (who contributed so largely towards restoring old St. Paul's):
it is now a public-house, still bearing his name. The monument of the
worthy knight still remains in the adjoining church of St. Botolph's,
though the church has been rebuilt. It stands on the edge of what was
the old City moat, "without" the ancient gate which, in former times,
opened into the wide waste of fen and moor that lay beyond, and the
names of which are still retained in Finsbury and Moorgate. Stowe says,
"it continued a waste and unprofitable ground a long time, so that the
same was all letten for four marks the year, in the reign of Edward
II."

Thomas Falconer, Lord Mayor of London, was the first to break down the
old city wall, and to make walks over this fenny ground, so that the
citizens might get to the green fields beyond, though it was not until
nearly two centuries after this time that the fen was drained.
Throughout all these changes the church of St. Botolph stood, escaping
storm and fire, until in 1720 it was pronounced unsafe--worn out with
age.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VIII.

GUILDHALL AND THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW.


Although Guildhall was seriously scarred by the Great Fire, and but
little more left than the crypt and bare walls that had witnessed its
ancient splendour, we are still enabled, through old records and
time-honoured chronicles, to obtain glimpses of the pageants and
processions which, nearly four centuries ago, were held within those
grey old walls. Of the ancient hall, erected in 1411, I have met with no
satisfactory description; nor does it appear that any of our kings dined
in Guildhall before the time of Charles I., when, on November 25, 1641,
the ill-starred monarch partook of the hospitality of the Lord Mayor. I
have before mentioned that James I. dined privately with Sir John Watts,
the Lord Mayor in 1607, and was afterwards made free of the
Clothworkers' Company; but I do not find that he ever visited Guildhall,
or that on any occasion royalty was entertained there until on the
above-named day in 1641. But before describing the entertainment given
to King Charles I., we will give our own account of the Lord Mayor's
Banquet in November 1850.

To us, who from our boyish days have been dreamers "by the shores of old
romance," there was something startling in witnessing (for the first
time) the splendid banquet in Guildhall. In sitting down amongst the
guests within the very walls where Buckingham harangued the old citizens
in favour of making Gloster king, and for which the latter rewarded him
by chopping off his head; to know that those echoes had been broken by
the gentle voice of Anne Askew, when she boldly declared her creed, and
was for her sincerity sent by the Defender of the Faith to the stake;
that there Throgmorton nobly defended himself, and that, in those "evil
days," a jury of strong-souled citizens were daring enough to acquit
him;--while these thoughts passed through our minds, we looked upon the
monument of Beckford, who (it is said) bearded the king upon his throne;
then glanced at that of Nelson, who died in the service of his country;
and fancied that, if they were fronted by the statues of Charles and
Cromwell, the history of English liberty might be read at a look.

Although the roof of this ancient hall is all but gone, and the fire
which destroyed thousands of homes, nearly two centuries ago, has licked
those time-honoured walls with its flaming tongue, they still stand,
like giant oaks which bolt and blaze have blackened, venerable in their
ruins--grey and weather-beaten landmarks, that point out the spot where
the battle of English liberty has many a time been fought and won. To us
there is something emblematical of England in this blending of the past
with the present--in recalling the days when

    "Banners hung on high, and battles passed below."

Although the deep braying of the trumpets proclaimed a feast instead of
a fray, the sound was in keeping with the scene. The "bruised arms hung
up for monuments," overshadowed by banners, told that they need no
longer be worn by a nation who could stop the progress of an army by
refusing to sign a cheque. Picturesque as the old smoky cressets, and
chain-dropped lamps, and iron sconces may have been, we preferred the
thousands of gas-jets which ran like cords of golden light along the
tracery of the architecture, though they did reveal the modern flat roof
and the unsightly upper windows. The rude drinking-horns, and oaken
peg-cups, and wooden trenchers were well replaced by the glittering
glass and ornamental china which graced every table. And romantic as it
may have been to have carved a baron of beef with the dagger which, a
day or two before, had cut a Christian throat, we preferred the modern
instruments, which had been polished like silver by the "patent
knife-cleaner;" and thought that the mace looked better as an ornament
than if wielded by so brave a mayor as Sir William Walworth, who, if old
records tell the truth, killed Wat Tyler for burning down the stews his
lordship owned by the Bankside in Southwark. All these, and a hundred
other "old-world memories," floated around us while seated at the
banquet in that ancient City hall.

The gorgeous star in the west window made the eye ache while looking on
its brilliancy, and harmonised well with the Prince of Wales's plumes,
which overhung the ranged shields at the opposite end of the building,
above the baronial _daïs_. The massy chandeliers (high overhead), though
rich in colours as the gaudy plumage of the humming-bird, had a dull and
diapered look; and, in our eyes, appeared somewhat too heavy--a waste of
beauty placed beyond the reach of vision. The galleries over the
doorways filled with the musicians and singers, pleasantly recalled the
days when the minstrel struck his harp, and chanted his heroic strains,
before the "beauty and the chivalry" of bygone years.

Then came the procession around the hall, as the gorgeously-clad
trumpeters heralded the way, and went with stately march "sounding" to
the banquet. Judges, with solemn countenances, rendered more grave and
imposing by their large flowing wigs, stalked by in scarlet dresses;
ministers, whose thoughts seemed far away, as if concocting some state
despatch with as many meanings as there were turnings in Fair Rosamond's
labyrinth; brave sailor-looking men, bronzed by sun and wind, who rolled
in their gait as if treading the decks of the war-ship they commanded in
a stormy sea; soldiers, who would never run, though a bomb-shell
exploded at their feet; city lieutenants, who had shed no other blood
than that of the grape, though they had bravely stood before many a
"Kentish fire;" clergymen, with classic countenances, who glanced on the
tables as they passed, as if, amid their spiritual avocations, they had
still time to turn their eyes "upon the good things of this world;"
finely-clad young gentlemen, who marched along with a swing and a
swagger, as if they thought that "the eyes of all Europe were upon
them." Old men, who had grown grey over eating Guildhall dinners, and,
like the war-horse in Job, exclaimed "Ha, ha!" as they smelt the turtle
afar off; beautiful ladies, "mincing in their gait," and looking down
with modest eyes, while the light from the jewels they wore trembled on
their snow-white necks like moonbeams on the ripple of a river, as they
passed with noiseless step; then came the richly-dressed servants, with
elevated heads, seeming to say--

    "When linked to the great in name,
     We are partakers of their fame."

The costly plate, the piled flowers, and the rich viands which covered
the ample tables, were outshone by the many beautiful faces which graced
the feast. Pleasant was it to see the recognition, the friendly greeting
between many of the old citizens, who seemed as if they but seldom met
now, and who turned with pride to introduce their sons and daughters,
trained up to tread the paths in which they had walked with honour. That
old hall seemed in our eye a fit mustering-ground for such scenes as
these; it was all of a piece with the old Lord Mayor exchanging seats
with the new one--the natural changes of life.

The bill of fare we pass over, for it is written, as of old, in the
tongues of turtles and turkeys, pears, pine-apples, and preserved
ginger, with scores of other things, all excellent, as they always are.
To us the clearing of the tables was an amusing sight. Here came No. 60,
with a mountain of plates before him, from which projected the
drumsticks of turkeys and the legs of geese; here a fish's, there a
pheasant's tail; ruins of temples and castles, in broken pastry;
porcupines, whose quills would never again be erected; ices, melting
amid cakes and chips; and half-eaten apples, that stood up like first
formations amid old undated seas.

One thing we would fain have seen, instead of the plain crimson drapery
which covered the doorways, namely,

    "Arras rich with huntsman, hawk, and hound,"

to have corresponded with the ancient armour and blazoned banners that
were placed around.

After healths were drunk and speeches made, we ventured into the
retiring-rooms, which seemed set apart for love and beauty; and we
marvelled how there could be a bachelor in all London, while looking on
that long array of sweet faces. Not that they were all dwellers in the
City; but such as we often see in our suburban rambles pacing smooth
grassy lawns, or peering over green hedgerows, before the neat villas
that are scattered in hundreds around the skirts of this huge
metropolis. There was the soft hazel eye of England, a look from which
goes at once to the heart; lips that lay like roses resting upon each
other; hair so bright and soft, that the richest silk would be coarse in
comparison, though spun by the worms that fed on the mulberry-trees of
Eden. Ever and anon forms swam by us more graceful than swans--beautiful
as silver clouds sailing side by side over the noiseless blue of heaven.
Here one coquetted with her fan; there another played with her bouquet;
a third sat with her tiny hand half-buried amid a dark cluster of
flowing ringlets; while a fourth beat her little foot to some
well-remembered tune. On every hand stood flowers and choice
greenhouse-plants high-piled, while a chastened light fell on the
crimson carpet; and when we escaped, we scarcely knew whether we stood
on our head or our heels, so entangled were our senses in jewels,
flowers, rich dresses, bright eyes, long ringlets, and a thousand other
sweet temptations, from which we prayed to be delivered.

From a work now before me, entitled the _Royal Entertainments in
London_, (the title-page of which is wanting), I find the following
account of Charles I.'s entertainment at Guildhall:

"Among the most important of the preliminary arrangements was that of
providing a road for their majesties into the City, for the way from
Kingsland to Shoreditch was impassable 'in regard of the depth and
foulness of it.' A temporary approach was in consequence made across the
meadows, in a line from Moorfields to Barnes, near Kingsland, 'a
retiring-house of Sir George Whitmore,' who was then one of the
aldermen; the banks being thrown down, and bridges fourteen feet wide
thrown over the ditches. The previous night being rainy, and the morning
gloomy and cloudy, the Lord Mayor commanded his tent to be pitched in a
field, where his lordship and principal citizens, with some of the
nobility, reposed themselves until their majesties came.* * * *

"In Moorfields waited about five hundred horsemen, being the masters,
wardens, and prime men of each company, in velvet or plush coats, with
gold chains, every horseman attended by a footman with truncheons and
torches. Each company was preceded by a pendant of its arms; and
fourteen trumpeters, with bannered trumpets and scarfs, were placed,
four at the head of the troop, and two between every hundred horsemen.*
* * *

"At Guildhall their majesties' dinner was served up on the hustings,
which were almost two yards from the ground, and the floor (of which
was) covered with Turkey carpets. In the middle were two chairs under a
cloth of state, and before them was placed a table six yards long: two
yards from which, on the south, was 'a table of garnish,' or sideboard,
of three yards square; and on the north, a room for music of all sorts.

"Upon a lower platform, raised about a yard from the ground, and
extending from the hustings nearly to the door, were two tables for
lords and ladies; while in the west end of the hall was a long table for
his majesty's pensioners; and in other rooms were tables prepared for
the several sorts of their majesties' attendants.

"The dinner was served without confusion by means of two ranks of
liverymen, formed of eighty grave citizens attired in furs and liveries,
who, standing at about two yards' distance from each other, passed the
dishes from the dressers at the west end of the hall until the servers
received them and placed them on the table.

"Their majesties' meat was apportioned in four services. The first
consisted of fifty dishes of cold meats, as brawn, fish, and cold baked
meats, upon the garnish or side-table; the other three were of all sorts
of hot flesh and fish, boiled, roasted, and baked, to the number of one
hundred and twenty dishes: after which was served up a curious and
well-ordered dessert. To the two tables of the lords and ladies were
appointed ten messes, consisting of five hundred dishes.

"Only a few months after, on the 5th of January, the king came into
London under very different circumstances,--to demand the members of the
House of Commons whom he had accused of high treason, and believed to be
shrouded in the City. The populace greeted him with exclamations for the
'privileges of parliament;' and one Henry Walker, an ironmonger, threw
into his coach a paper whereon was written, 'To your tents, O Israel!'"

Stormy times followed soon after this visit, when Cromwell and his
Ironsides obtained the ascendency; until at last the Protector's fiery
spirit passed away in an accompanying storm of thunder and lightning.
Then Charles II. regained the throne, and together with his queen, more
frequently joined the Lord Mayor's banquet than any other monarch ever
did before or since.

We are enabled to present our readers with a graphic picture of a Lord
Mayor's Show, no doubt soon after the close of Charles II.'s reign, from
Ned Ward's _London Spy_. We have never before seen it quoted, nor do we
ever remember meeting with so truthful a description of an old London
mob, in the works of any other author, as is here given by one whose
work was published more than a century and a half ago.

"When the morning came that my Lord Mayor and his attendants were to
take their amphibious journey to Westminster Hall, where his lordship,
according to the custom of his ancestors, was by a kiss of the
calves'-leather (book) to make a fair promise to his majesty, I equipped
myself in order to bear with little damage the hustles and affronts of
the unmannerly nobility, of whose wild pastimes and unlucky attacks I
had no little apprehension. When I had thus carefully sheltered myself
under my ancient drabberries, I ventured to move towards Cheapside,
where I thought the triumphs would be most visible, and the rabble most
rude, looking upon the mad frolics and whimsies of the latter to be
altogether as diverting (providing a man takes care of the danger) as
the solemn grandeur and gravity of the former.

"When I came to the end of Blow-bladder-street (this street opened into
Cheapside out of Newgate-street), I saw such a crowd before my eyes,
that I could scarcely forbear thinking the very stones of the street, by
the harmony of their drums and trumpets, were metamorphosed into men,
women, and children. The balconies were hung with old tapestry, and
Turkey-worked table-cloths for the cleanly leaning of the ladies, with
whom they were chiefly filled, (and) which the mob soon pelted into so
dirty a condition with their kennel-ammunition, that some of them
looked as filthy as the cover-cloth of a led-horse that had travelled
from Margate to London in the midst of winter; the ladies at every
volley quitting their posts, and retreating into dining-rooms, as safer
garrisons to defend them from the assaults of their mischievous enemies;
some fretting at their daubed scarfs * * * others wiping their new
commodes, which they had bought on purpose to honour his lordship. * * *
The windows of each house from top to bottom were stuffed with heads; *
* * while such a tide of mob overflowed the place we stood in, that the
women cried out for room, the children for breath, and every man,
whether citizen or foreigner, strove very hard for his freedom. * * * *

"In this pageant was a fellow riding a cock-horse upon a lion, but
without either boots or spurs. * * * At the base of a pedestal were
seated four figures, representing, according to my most rational
conjecture, the four principal vices of the City, namely, Fraud, Usury,
Seeming-sanctity, and Hypocrisy. As soon as this was past, the
industrious rabble, who hate idleness, procured a dead cat, covered all
over with dirt, in which pickle it was handed about by these babes of
grace as innocent diversion; every now and then being tossed into the
face of some gaping booby or other, and making him look of as delicate a
complexion as if his cheeks had been painted by a chimney-sweeper. * * *

"Another pageant approached us, wherein an old fellow sat in a blue
gown, dressed up like a country-schoolmaster; only he was armed with a
scythe instead of a birch-rod; by which I understood this figure
represented Time, which was designed, as I suppose, to put the City in
mind how apt they are to abuse the old gentleman, and not dispose of him
to such good uses as the laws of man require. * * * When this pageant
was past, the ingenious rabble had got a leather-apron, which they tied
full of mud, as hard as a football, and afterwards pricked it full of
holes with a tailor's bodkin, then flung it from one to another, it
spouting its contents through the eyelet-holes upon every body it met
with, the mob crying out, when it had hit any body, 'All honey! all
honey!'

"The next pageant that moved was a most stately, rich, and noble
chariot, made of slit deal and pasteboard, and in it sitting a woman. *
* * The rabble had got bullocks' horns, which they filled with
kennel-water, and poured it down people's necks, and into their pockets,
that it ran down their legs into their shoes, the innocent sufferers not
readily discovering from whence it came.

"When they had exercised this new invention about a quarter of an hour,
the fifth pageant moved forward, wherein all sorts of trades were
represented." [What follows is so excellent that we have placed it in
italics.] "_A man working at a tobacco-engine, as if he were cutting
tobacco, but did not; a woman turning a wheel, as if she spun, but did
not; a boy as if he was dressing an old woman's hat, but was not; which
was designed, as I suppose, to reflect upon the frauds and failings of
the City-traders, and to shew that they often pretend to do what they do
not, and to be what they are not, and will say what they think not, and
will think what they say not; and that the world may there see cheats in
all trades._"--_The London Spy._ Part XII.

The 29th of September is the day set apart for the election of the new
Lord Mayor, when the liverymen meet in the hall, and the crier reads a
list of the names of the aldermen who have served as sheriffs; this
being a kind of city test, that those who are rich enough to serve as
sheriffs have more than half climbed into the civic chair; and only such
as have filled that high office are eligible for the mayoralty. The
person named is generally elected, and it is seldom that a poll takes
place; but if the party elected refuses the office, he is fined one
thousand pounds. When elected, he must be presented to the Lord
Chancellor, and approved of by the crown; after this, a few more
presentations, together with the usual oaths, and he is a "made man."

Although the Lord Mayor of London may to many seem to "repose upon a bed
of roses," yet there are thorns in this much-coveted couch, and heavy
duties ever arousing him from his comfortable slumber. He does not
always sit in state with his mace-bearer before him, and his
toast-master behind, drinking bumpers of champaigne, and emptying china
bowls of turtle-soup, but has as much business to go through as the most
plodding clerk that is compelled to labour for his daily bread.

He generally sits every week-day for three or four hours in the
justice-room of the Mansion-House; presides over the sittings of the
Court of Aldermen, where they do all but talk each other to death. He is
a judge of the Central Criminal Court, and of the Sessions at Guildhall;
holds eight courts a year as Conservator of the Thames; besides being a
justice of the peace for Southwark, a trustee of St. Paul's, and a
governor both of Greenwich Hospital and King's College. As to the number
of affidavits and other documents he has to sign for the colonies, and
of foreigners, "bearded like the pard," he has to receive, entertain,
and do "the amiable" to, we can just conceive that all the figures in a
_Ready Reckoner_ placed in a row would convey as clear an idea as we
have of the "star-dust," in the unfathomed nebulæ, which has yet to be
balanced in our planetary ledgers.

We have heard that the letters he receives average 200 a day; and
supposing only the tenth part of them to be from ladies, and not
answered! what abuse he gets privately, publicly, and by post, gratis,
must, as old Pepys says, "please him mightily."

Though shorn of its ancient grandeur by blocked-up windows and a flat
unsightly roof, there is still something very striking in the noble
dimensions of the hall, which is 152 feet long, 50 wide, and 55 feet
high. But it is in the crypt where we see the true architecture of the
building uninjured, where the clustered pillars throw out their reedy
ramifications to support the roof with all that wild grace which our
early architects so well understood when they copied the forest-avenues.

    "Those leafy temples, solemn, tall, and grand,
     Pillar'd with oaks, and roof'd by Heaven's own hand."

This relic of the past is, we understand, to be cleared of its dingy
covering--the accumulated dust and dirt of centuries--and thrown open to
the public: may it be done quickly! I find the following mention of
Guildhall and the Giants that stood therein at the time Ned Ward wrote
his _London Spy_. He says, "I entered [Guildhall] with as great
astonishment to see the Giants, as the Morocco ambassador did London
when he saw the snow fall. I asked my friend the meaning and design of
setting [up] those two lubberly preposterous figures; for I supposed
they had some peculiar end in it. 'Truly,' says my friend, 'I am wholly
ignorant of what they intended by them, unless they were set up to shew
the City what huge loobies their forefathers were, or else to frighten
stubborn apprentices into obedience; for the dread of appearing before
two such monstrous loggerheads will sooner reform their manners, or
would force them into a compliance with their master's will, than
carrying them before my Lord Mayor or the Chamberlain of London; for
some of them are as much frightened at the name of Gog and Magog as
little children are at the terrible sound of Raw-head and Bloody-bones.

"'Pray,' said I, 'what are yonder cluster of people doing, that seem as
busy as so many fools at the Royal-oak Lottery?'

"'Truly,' said my friend, 'you are something mistaken in your
comparison: if you had said knaves, you had hit it; for that is the
Sheriff's Court; and I must give them that character, that I never knew
one fool amongst them, though they have to do with a great many. All
those tongue-plodders who are chattering within the bar, are picking the
pockets of those that stand without. You may know the sufferers by their
pale faces: the passions of Hope, Fear, and Revenge have put them into
such disorder, that they are as easy to be distinguished in a crowd by
their looks, as an owl from a hawk, or a country esquire from a
town-sharper.'

"'He's a very comely gentlemen,' said I, 'that sits upon the bench, and
puts on so pleasing a countenance, as if, like a god, he viewed with
pleasure the fuss and discords of contending mortals, that fret and fume
beneath him.'

"My friend replied, 'He might well look merrily who sits the playing of
so many great games, and is sure always to be on the winning side. For
you must know,' says he, 'these courts are like public gaming-tables;
the steward's the box-keeper, and the clients the fools that are bubbled
out of their money.'

"'Pray, what is that crowd doing at the other end of the hall?' 'That,'
says my friend, 'is a court of Conscience, whose business is to take
care that a debtor of a sum under forty shillings shall not pay money
faster than he can get it. It is a very reasonable establishment for the
prevention of poor people's ruin, who lie at the mercy of a parcel of
rascally tallymen, and such-like unconscionable traders, who build their
own welfare upon the miseries and wants of others. There are several
other courts held here beside what we now see sitting; but this, I
think, does the most good of any of them, except to the lawyers, and
they look upon it with an evil-eye.'"--_London Spy_, 1699.

The principal monuments are those of Lord Chatham, William Pitt, and
Nelson; the inscription on the first was written by Burke, on the second
by Canning, and the last by Sheridan. In the Council Chamber there are
pictures of the death of Wat Tyler, Siege of Gibraltar, the judges who
sat after the Great Fire and settled all differences about rebuilding
the City; also a full-length portrait of Queen Anne. We feel
disappointed that there are so few relics of old London on the hundreds
of feet of bare walls that Guildhall and the courts within it
contain--there could hardly be found a more appropriate place for the
display of old city antiquities. It is true that the Library is enriched
with many interesting objects, the chief of which is the autograph of
Shakspeare appended to a deed, which is shewn in a glass-case for its
better preservation. How many rare deeds and scarce manuscripts might be
shewn if thus guarded! for there is much truth in the "old sayed-saw,"
that

    "Where there's a will there's a way."

There is one old church that escaped the Great Fire standing some
distance behind Guildhall which we must mention, and of which we give an
engraving, that is, St. Giles's, Cripplegate; for there Milton is
buried, whose name, like that of Homer, conjures up one of the greatest
poems ever written. Here, too, awaiting a joyful resurrection, rests
John Fox, the author of the _Book of Martyrs_; Speed, the historian and
topographer. Many of the actors at the Fortune Theatre, in Whitecross
Street, are also buried here. Oliver Cromwell was married in this
church; and it contains a tablet of one Constance Whitney, represented
rising from a coffin, erroneously believed to have been buried while in
a trance, and restored to life by the sexton digging up the body to
obtain possession of a ring upon one of her fingers.

[Illustration: ST. GILES'S, CRIPPLEGATE.]

Over the south-east door of the church is a figure of Time, with his
scythe, &c., beautifully sculptured. Part of the ancient City-wall is
still remaining on the south and east sides of the churchyard;
particularly one of the bastions, which is close against the back of
Barbers' Hall, in Monkwell-street.



CHAPTER IX.

CHRIST'S HOSPITAL.


We have often wondered how the mind of a stranger to London is impressed
by seeing bare-headed young men moving about our city-thoroughfares
wearing the costume of the period of the boy-king Edward VI.;--what he
thinks of the blue-gown, orange-coloured petticoat, leather belt, yellow
stockings, and clerkly band worn by the unmonk-like young gentry, who
have succeeded the old Grey-Friars, those who in their day were seen in
the narrow streets of ancient London. We have often seen a green-looking
countryman peeping through the palisades in Newgate-street, while the
boys have been at play in the open space before the hall; but could
never divine what he thought, though his open mouth and fixed eyes told
that something or another was passing through his brain; but whether he
was struck by the dimensions of the building, the quaint dress of the
schoolboys, or their cheerful laughter and merry romps, was alone known
to himself. How few, except they are lovers of history, know or care any
thing about Edward VI.! They may have heard that his brutal father
beheaded wives as fast as he married them; that Lady Jane Grey perished
on the scaffold; but of the events between, during the brief reign of
the boy-king, they know nothing. More than one of our old chroniclers
assert that he was poisoned. We often marvel that no one has closely
examined contemporary authorities, and, by comparing them with the many
documents of that period, which have of late years been brought to
light, endeavoured to settle this disputed point of history.

The remains of the monastery of Grey Friars were repaired for the
reception of the "poor fatherless children" in 1552; and before the
close of the year nearly four hundred found shelter within the old
monastic walls. At first they wore a dress of russet-cotton, which was
afterwards changed for blue, and which colour they have no doubt worn
ever since.

Stowe has left us a most interesting and beautifully-written account of
the origin of Christ's Hospital, with something so nervous and touching
in the language, that we feel the good old man's heart must have been
fixed on the subject while he wrote. He tells us how "Mr. Doctor Ridley,
then Bishop of London, came and preached before the king's majesty at
Westminster, in which sermon he made a fruitful and goodly exhortation
to the rich to be merciful to the poor; and also to move such as were in
authority to travail by some charitable way and means to comfort and
relieve them."

The boy-king was so struck by the appeal, that he sent for the bishop as
soon as the service was over, when the following scene took place, as
described by Stowe: "There were present no more persons than they two,
and therefore (the king) made him sit down in one chair, and he himself
in another, which, as it seemed, were before the coming of the bishop
there purposely set, and caused the bishop, maugre his teeth,[A] to be
covered, and then entered communication with him in this manner: first,
giving him hearty thanks for his sermon and good exhortation, he therein
rehearsed such special things as he had noted, and that so many, that
the bishop said, 'Truly, truly (for that commonly was his oath), I could
never have thought that excellency to have been in his grace, but that I
beheld and heard it in him. At last, his king's majesty much commended
him for his exhortation for the relief of the poor; 'but, my lord,'
quoth he, 'you willed such as are in authority to be careful thereof,
and to devise some good order for their relief; wherein, I think, you
mean me; for I am in (the) highest place, and therefore am the first
that must make answer unto God for my negligence, if I should not be
careful therein, knowing it to be the express commandment of Almighty
God to have compassion of His poor and needy members, for whom we must
make an account unto Him. And truly, my lord, I am, before all things
else, most willing to travail that way; and doubting nothing of your
long and approved wisdom and learning, who have such good zeal, as
wisheth help unto them, but also that you have had some conference with
others, what ways are best to be taken therein, the which I am desirous
to understand, I pray you therefore say your mind.'"

 [A] _Maugre_--in spite of, whether he would or not.

The bishop declared that he was so astonished he scarcely knew how to
reply: he, however, thought of the citizens of London, and proposed to
try what he could do amongst the wealthy merchants. The king at once
gave him a letter, and the good bishop had an interview that very
evening with the Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Dobbs, who agreed to do all he
could to carry out the boy-king's wishes. Next day there was a dinner
(no doubt the dinner did it); aldermen and other citizens were present;
so the matter was decided and placed before the king. In short, beside
many providing several other charities, the old monastery of Grey Friars
was given up for children of the poor; and thus the charitable and pious
son built up a blessing out of what his church-destroying father had
made all but desolate. Henry had sold all the consecrated vessels, or
appropriated them to his own use; for it is said that more than one
sacramental cup of precious metal, which in the last hour had been
pressed to the lips of the dying, was used in the drunken revels of the
brutal Defender of the Faith. Even the costly monuments and grave-stones
(many of them, no doubt, the tombs of pious benefactors) were torn up
and sold, to furnish supplies for the revels of this wife-killing king.

It must have caused the heart of the young king to have swelled with
pleasurable emotion, when those children were presented to him so
shortly after the conversation which took place between himself and the
bishop, and in (it is said) the very chamber of the palace where the
king received him after he had preached that memorable sermon; and which
event is preserved in the immense picture that still hangs in the hall
of that Hospital, in which he is portrayed presenting the charter to the
Lord Mayor.

Stowe again says: "And, for a further relief, a petition being made to
the king's majesty for a license to take in mortmain, or otherwise
without license, lands to a certain yearly value, and a space left in
the patent for his grace to put in what sum would please him, he,
looking on the void place, called for pen and ink, and with his own hand
wrote this sum in these words, 'Four thousand marks by the year;' and
then said, in the hearing of his Council, 'Lord, I yield Thee most
hearty thanks that Thou hast given me life thus long to finish this
work, to the glory of Thy name.' After which foundation established he
lived not above two days; whose life would have been wished equal to the
patriarchs, if it had pleased God so to have prolonged it."

And so the boy-king died in the sixteenth year of his age, after having
founded this grand hospital for boys--poisoned, as the old chroniclers
tell us, with a nosegay, which had been prepared purposely to hasten his
death. And children played around those cloisters while the young king's
favourite, Lady Jane Grey, was beheaded; and when, in Mary's reign, the
fires in Smithfield reddened over the bodies of pious men. And probably
in those days they could see the open space behind their play-ground
beyond the ditch, and hear the shrieks of women carried to the fiery
stake in that blood-stained and savage age; and in their dreams these
"poor fatherless children" would see these sights and hear these sounds.
But few very "poor fatherless children" are now inmates of Christ's
Hospital; and if the spirits of the dead can look down upon the deeds of
men on earth, the eyes of the good and gentle young king must have been
dimmed with tears, or flashed with anger, at witnessing the carriages
that sometimes draw up and take away such children as need not his
charity. When the Commissioners have done examining the title-deeds of
our Universities, let them come here; for we are widely misinformed if a
Whiston is not needed at Christ's Hospital. From the _Illustrated London
News_ of March, 1843, we have copied the following graphic description
of a supper in the hall of Christ's Hospital:

"One of the most interesting Lenten sights of the metropolis is the
supping in public of the scholars of Christ's Hospital on the evenings
of eight Sundays, terminating with Easter-day. On these occasions
admission may be obtained by tickets, liberally granted by the
president, governors, and other officers of the Hospital, 'the noblest
institution in the world.'

"These suppers are held in the magnificent hall, which, next to
Westminster Hall, is the noblest room in the metropolis. It measures 187
feet in length, 51 wide, and 46-1/2 high. It was designed by the late
Mr. Shaw, architect to the hospital, and is in the style of the last
period of pointed architecture, before its Italian debasement.

"Provided with your ticket, you enter the court-yard from
Newgate-street, where the rattling of carriages denotes the arrival of
the distinguished company; and the light streaming through 'the stately
range of beautiful windows, with their stained glass arms and devices,'
indicates that the hall is prepared for the occasion. The public are
admitted to the floor of the hall as well as to the gallery facing the
organ-loft. Assuming your privilege to be for the latter, you enter by
the arcade beneath the hall, whence you ascend on the left by a newelled
stone staircase to the gallery. The scene from hence is very impressive;
the vast apartment is lit with a double row of chandeliers with argand
lamps. Immediately above you is an immense picture, said to have been
painted by Holbein, of Edward VI. granting the Hospital charter to the
City; and on the long line of wall facing the windows is another great
picture--'Charles II. giving audience to a deputation from the
Hospital,' by Verrio. There are other paintings here, but they are seen
to less advantage than the flat-ribbed ceiling, the well-proportioned
windows, the tasteful oak fittings, and, in short, the beautiful as
well as gigantic architecture of the hall. The company fast pour in, and
'the trade boys,' a party to each table, bring in baskets of bread,
knives, &c.; leathern piggins, into which the beer is poured from a
leathern jack; and one brings candles, which are lit and set about the
tables, already laid with the cloth. The boys next stream in, and seat
themselves at their respective tables, each of which has its separate
nurse. All being thus prepared, precisely at seven o'clock the official
procession enters, consisting of the Lord Mayor, president, treasurer,
and governors, walking two by two; the organ rolls forth its 'billows of
sound;' the assemblage stand up _en masse_, and join in the hymn, which
is led by the singing-boys in the organ-gallery. Meanwhile the
distinguished personages take their seat on the raised daïs stretching
across the farther end of the hall. The Lord Mayor takes a carved chair,
made of oak from old St. Katherine's Church; behind him sit the official
personages, and next the distinguished visitors--invariably numbering
many elegantly-dressed ladies; whilst other visitors are accommodated
beneath the windows. On the opposite side a Grecian, or elder boy,
mounts the pulpit; and, silence being enforced by three strokes of a
hammer, he proceeds with the evening service, appropriate lessons,
prayers, &c., at the close of which the supper commences; the visitors
walking to and fro between the tables. It is a homely meal of bread and
cheese, relieved by sundry 'pulls' at the contents of the
piggins--carrying many a spectator back to his own school-days. After
supper, an anthem accompanied on the organ is sung, that on Easter-day
being composed by one of the senior scholars, and the subject of an
annual prize in the school: an impressive prayer or blessing follows.
The organ again peals forth; the singing-boys from the gallery join
their fellows; and the tables having been cleared, and the cloths rolled
up, the nurse of the first table leads the way, followed by the boys,
two and two, towards the Lord Mayor, where she curtsies, and they bow
two and two; the trade boys carrying the baskets, piggins, &c., and the
rolled-up cloths, which add grotesqueness to their etiquette. Having
passed the daïs, they return by nearly the whole length of the room to
the door by which they entered; and thus the obeisance continues until
the whole number of boys, upwards of 800, have disappeared. The official
personages then retire, the organ ceases, and by this time the majority
of the general company have quitted the hall. The spectacle is
altogether a most impressive one, awakening associations of general
benevolence, and an especial sense of the excellence of this right royal
institution."

     "Early to bed and early to rise,"

might be written up here for the benefit of visitors: for the boys, if
well, are compelled to rise at six in summer and seven in winter. Still
they have so many hours left for play, as they do not breakfast until
eight, after which school commences at nine, and breaks up at twelve;
they have then another hour and a half for washing, dinner, and play,
and are again liberated at four; more play, supper and prayers--and so
ends the day.

[Illustration: OLD STAIRCASE.]

From that scarce work, the _London Spy_, we quote the following
description of Christ's Hospital and its approaches as it appeared
nearly two centuries ago: "We went through a narrow entry which led us
by a parcel of diminutive shops, where some were buying gloves, some
smoking tobacco, others drinking brandy; and from thence into a famous
piazza, where one was selling toys, another turning nutcrackers, a
third, with a pair of dividers, marking out such a parcel of
tringum-trangums, [that] to understand the right use of which is [would
be] enough to puzzle the brains of Esculapius. From thence we passed
into another cloister, whose rusty walls and obsolete ornaments denoted
great antiquity, where abundance of little children in

[Illustration: CHRIST'S CHURCH.]

blue '_jackets_' and kite-lanthorned caps was very busy at their several
recreations. This, says my friend, was originally founded by Edward VI.
for the education of '_poor children_,' but has been largely improved
since by additional gifts, and is one of the noblest foundations in
England. No youth can have the advantage of a better education than is
here allowed them, [and they] are afterwards provided for according as
they are qualified, being either sent to sea, [to] trades, or the
university. There is a ridiculous story reported and credited by many
people, which is, that a gentlewoman, possessed of great riches, when
she came to die, gave her whole estate to this hospital, leaving behind
her a poor sister, for whom she neglected to make any provision, who,
having the expectancy of the estate after the other's decease, and
finding herself unhappily disappointed, reflecting upon her unfortunate
condition and the unkindness of her sister, broke her heart, and upon
her deathbed rashly pronounced the curse of some distemper always to
attend the hospital; ever since which time it has always been subject to
* * * But I look upon this tale to be very fabulous, for indeed it would
be very wonderful that so many hundred children, though looked after
with all the cleanliness imaginable, should at any time be all free from
all those distempers to which they are chiefly incident."--Part V. 1699.

We have given at page 171 an engraving of the old cloister which Ned
Ward mentions, shewing the ancient staircase also. Both are still
remaining. If the word "jacket" was understood in his day, as it is at
present, to mean a coat without tails, the costume has undergone an
alteration.

In Christ's Church, which was built after the Great Fire (that damaged
both the church and the old hospital) by Wren, the "Spital Sermons,"
which were formerly preached at Paul's Cross, are still delivered at
Easter. The children of Christ's Hospital attended then, as they do now,
these ancient Spital Sermons. In this church Baxter, author of _The
Saint's Rest_, is buried. It is well worth a visit to see the blue-coat
boys (as they are commonly called) seated in the galleries on each side
the organ. We have given an engraving of the church.

Lamb, Hunt, and Coleridge, who were all educated at Christ's Hospital,
have left pleasant reminiscences of this place in works which are in the
hands of so many readers, that their names need only to be mentioned
here.



CHAPTER X.

SMITHFIELD.


Smithfield-market will soon be numbered with the things that "have
been;" the defenders of dirt must give way, and the foul and musty
corners of the City be purified. Should the present work turn up in "a
lot" some century hence, our description of Smithfield may be as great a
curiosity to the reader then, as Ned Ward's picture of a Lord Mayor's
show one hundred and fifty years ago was to us, when we chanced to
stumble upon the remains of the tattered old quarto volume in which it
has been so long preserved.

There is something about this busy market unlike any other that we have
ever seen in England--in the mixture of cunning costermongers, and
ruddy-faced countrymen; for in it buyers and sellers congregate from
every corner of our sea-girt shores, and you hear the language of the
provinces, and see costumes from the "nooks and corners" of England,
which call up sweet green far-away places, where innocence and
simplicity still reside, ignorant of the "fast" life we in this huge
city are compelled to live.

But we will begin with the eating-houses in and around Smithfield.
Nowhere beside in London will you see such immense fat joints as they
here cook, or behold such rich marrow puddings; for the eating-house
keepers seem to understand the palates of their customers. They know
that they have to feed men who put a pound upon their plates at a time;
that they have come many a hungry mile through the open and breezy
country, and brought ostrich-like stomachs, which are capable of
digesting every heavy and solid thing they devour.

But watch one of those drovers, after his cattle are safely penned, blow
off the foam from a full pot of porter and drink. You can fairly trace
the current outside his ruddy throat, as gulp after gulp goes down,
long, deep, and vast; you wonder how ever the fellow can hold his
breath. If he does not empty the whole pot at a draught, he will not
leave enough in the bottom to drown a fly. He brought in his throat the
dust of many a weary mile; and, when you recal the shouting and
hallooing which is so necessary in driving his cattle, you marvel not
that he feels as thirsty as a lime-burner. Nor does his dog lose a
moment before he visits the adjoining cab-stand, where he makes friends
with the waterman, and, like his master, quenches his thirst. No dogs
are more sagacious than those which have been well trained by a
Smithfield drover--a look or a motion is sufficient to direct them: they
need no telling to drive the sheep aside when a vehicle is passing; a
runaway needs no pointing out to them, they are up and over the backs of
the whole flock in a moment; and, having placed the deserter again in
marching order, the side of the master is once more their post. As they
look into his face, you might, from their actions, fancy that they read
his very thoughts, and foresaw his wishes. Many of these men love their
dogs as dearly as their children; and well do the faithful animals
return such affection. We have seen a drover asleep on the pavement in
summer, with his dog coiled up beside him, and ready to spring upon the
first assailant who could be found bold enough to disturb his owner's
slumber. The watchfulness of the dog and the attitude of the sleeper
would have delighted the eye of Landseer.

To our ears there is something in the lowing and bleating sounds that
fill Smithfield on a market-day that carries us away into the green
quietude of the country; and we cannot look upon the flocks and herds
without conjuring up the sloping hills and pastoral valleys from whence
they have been driven. They call up images of homesteads and thatched
granges, far off amid the dreamy murmur of open fields, where even the
smell of the smoke has a pleasant aroma, and the dust on the road-side a
clean look. Somehow, we seem to dislike seeing the little white lambs
imprisoned in those strong and crowded pens; there is a pitiable
plaintiveness about their bleat, which tells that they are not kindly
used--as if they felt it hard to be driven away from the young round
daisies which were just beginning to peep forth--that they missed their
merry gambols on the breezy upland, and pined for their range over the
wide and open fields. With an old or middle-aged sheep we have no such
sympathy--it has lived until it has grown into mutton, to become as
great an ornament to the table as it once was to the field. What a
beautiful expression may sometimes be found in the face of an heifer,
with its large mild eyes and finely-moulded head! Let any one walk down
the foot-way on a Monday, between the posts to which they are secured,
and he will be struck by the calm and patient countenances of many of
the cattle; for they are prisoners that awaken our pity. Nor is their
colour less admirable. What a rich glossiness do we find about the red
and black patches! while the white portions look clean and spotless as
untrodden snow.

In no city in the world can there be found such a splendid assemblage of
cattle as Smithfield produces on a full market-day. A foreigner wonders
no longer at the thews and sinews of Englishmen after he has seen the
substantial material on which they feed. A drover with his sharp
clasp-knife in his hand, and a mountain of beef before him, is no bad
emblem of one of John Bull's bulwarks.

We have often wondered if the inhabitants around Smithfield ever sleep
on a Sunday night; to us it has seemed impossible to close the eyes amid
such an uproar as is then heard. Babel was never shaken by a greater
confusion of sounds: the barking of a hundred dogs blend with the
hallooing of a hundred drovers; sheep, whose number is legion, join in
the chorus; then comes the deep bass of the bullocks, mingled with the
shrill squealing of swine--a sound which sets the very teeth on edge;
and this loud concert is kept up without ceasing until day opens its
broad eyes in the east. Should the unwilling listener--worn out--begin
to doze about the dawn, up comes the thunder of scores of butchers'
carts, making the old casements chatter again, and causing the houses to
jar to their very foundations. Night is not a season of rest in this
ancient neighbourhood.

Many of those Smithfield butchers can tell to a few pounds what a
bullock will weigh by only looking at it: you will see them walk once
leisurely round, muse for a few brief seconds, then make an offer;
should the salesman argue that it will weigh so much to the quarter,
they are ready in an instant to back their own judgment with a
five-pound note. They seem to carry their scales in their eyes, to lift
up the bullock and weigh him by only raising their eye-lids; as to sheep
and pigs, we believe some of them would be ready to bet that they
guessed the weight to a few ounces.

But Friday is the great day to see Smithfield, if a stranger wishes to
peep at a few of our real London characters. Such a motley group as is
there congregated can never be found together in any other spot in the
metropolis. There the costermonger shews the paces of his donkey, and
the dustman forces his broken-kneed jade into a trot, while the knacker
looks on with eye intent, selecting out such as he feels confident will
have to be carried home. What riding, and running, and trotting to and
fro, is there to be seen! You wonder what secret the men possess to get
such poor and broken-down horses to go at the speed they do. True, one
or two fall now and then; but that, of course, is always the fault of
the pavement, as they say. It puzzles you to see them dispose of animals
that possess so many excellent qualities. Only to listen, you might
fancy that the poor horse, which seems to stand with so much difficulty,
could draw St. Paul's if it were loose; that "Eclipse" was hardly to be
named beside it for speed; and as for eating (the most wonderful of
all), its keep costs less than nothing. Should the horse have swollen
legs, they assign a reason, and swear it is a proof of its great
strength; should the bones shew through the skin, it is tough and wiry;
if broken-winded, it has only caught a slight cold. In short, they have
a good for every evil, and would beat your practised horse-dealers
hollow--even if they came from Yorkshire.

One, whose hair peeps through his cap, has thrown an old bridle around
his neck, and this he recommends as better than new, because it has got
seasoned. A second, whose ragged suit would not fetch a crown, were he
to try all Petticoat-lane, has an old saddle to dispose of; you see the
hay it is stuffed with peeping out at a dozen openings. Another, having
got rid of his donkey, wants a purchaser for his cart, which you fancy,
from the look of the wheels, he must have brought thither on his head.
Some are trying to recommend their whips by the loud cracking they are
ever making within a few inches of your ear; while others gather in
little knots around a celebrated trotter, and listen with delight at the
distance he has "done" in his day. And over every bargain that is made,
the huge pewter pot is filled and emptied, or the fiery gin chucked down
at a single swallow.

Some we have seen--driven doubtless by hard necessity to sell--part with
their favourite animal, with a full heart and a tearful eye: and on one
occasion we saw a poor sweep kiss the forehead of his donkey, and when
it was led away he heaved such a sigh as would have caused Sterne to
have hugged his "innocent blackness."

We have often wondered into what sort of holes and corners these poor
over-worked and ill-fed horses are thrust by their owners. We have
peeped about into all kinds of strange places where we have seen the
carts of the costermongers standing; but, for the life of us, we have
never been able to discover their "whereabout" clearly. True, we have
occasionally seen them enter doors, and go into houses; but whether they
were occupiers of the ground-floor, or the ground in the back-yard, we
have only in a few cases arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. Once we
were bold enough to ask a rough-looking fellow, with a most awful
squint, what he did with his donkey when he got it inside, and he
answered, "Make a pillow of it, to be sure."

Besides its cattle, Smithfield has its hay-market; and we have many a
time wondered, while reading the names of the places on the carts and
wagons, at the great distance from which they have come. Sometimes,
overpowering every other poisonous smell, we have caught a sniff as if
from a hay-field, telling us a sad tale of some poor farmer who had been
compelled to bring the produce of his little field to market before the
smell of the sweet grasses had died away. Nor less melancholy is it to
witness some old countryman driving his cow and calf before him, and
looking around with astonishment, in the cold grey of the early morning,
on the high houses and the busy scene. Oh, how different from the calm
repose of his own humble cottage! You see care in his very countenance,
and know that there is some unwritten history of poverty and trouble
that compels him to make such a sacrifice.

It was once our lot to meet such a character in the open area of
Smithfield. Time had silvered his hair, but left a ruddy and youthful
bloom upon his patriarchal countenance. He had driven his beautiful cow
and calf into their allotted place, and stood with a short clean pipe in
his hand, as if wondering how he should obtain a light: no doubt his
morning pipe had long been to him a comfort. He glanced a moment at the
cigar we were smoking, but was too diffident to ask for a light; it was
not needed: an extra draw, the ash shaken off, and we offered him the
fiery end, which glowed like charcoal. He "louted not low," but made a
bow that would have done honour to a herald. It required but little
trouble to get him to enter into conversation: He had set out long
before midnight; had driven his cow and calf above twenty miles, from a
beautiful village in Surrey, and was about to sell them to purchase the
discharge of his son, who was a soldier at Chatham. We turned away with
a sad heart, for a tear gathered in the old man's eye as he ended his
simple narrative; and we thought that Smithfield still contained its
martyrs. Once also we saw a young Gipsy mother and her dusky child
standing silently beside her ass: she had brought it to market to sell,
to release her husband from the prison, into which he was committed for
poaching. But many a market in England is attended by such sufferers as
these, besides Smithfield.

This great market, like Bartholomew-fair, is doomed to be swept away,
and Smithfield to be shorn of its glory, and the old houses left to
mourn in silence. A horned and angry bullock is not the most fitting
object to rush through our crowded thoroughfares, to the terror of
pretty nursery-maids and little children. But, as the inimitable
Matthews said, "We cannot take a hackney-coach for it;" nor can such a
danger be got rid of without great injury to many of the old
inhabitants, whose very bread depends upon the market. It is a

[Illustration]

question of "pitch and toss," whether the few are to be tossed up, or
the many thrown down;--whether it is better for a few Joneses and Smiths
to be thrown occasionally over the battlements of Blackfriars-bridge, or
the eatinghouse-keepers and tavern-keepers about Smithfield to give up
boiling, baking, and brewing. It is fat joints, marrow puddings, and
everybody's entire, with no end of etceteras in the form of tollage,
against the lives and limbs of her gracious Majesty's liege subjects. As
the boys say, "If heads, I win; if tails, you lose." Whichever way it
ends, the poetry of old Smithfield will still remain.

Fat Ursula, who sold roasted pig, still lives in the pages of Rare Old
Ben; and while his works exist, the memory of Bartholomew-fair will
never be forgotten. Its old mummings, and masques, and mysteries, are
numbered amongst the things that were. The merry din of ancient days
will never resound again through the bars of Smithfield. The archers,
who made it their great mustering-ground, have ages ago shot their last
shaft. Death stept in and struck through the target, and they never
again appeared. What visions of the past float before us while wandering
around the old borders of Smithfield! What pictures have perished for
ever that once glowed in all the colours of life upon that wide-spread
canvass! Kings and heroes and martyrs; processions of solemn monks
hymning along as they moved beneath the archway that leads to
Bartholomew's ancient church; and figures of brutal and bearded men, who
fed the reddening fires--of shrieks and groans that pierced through the
star-paved floors of heaven--and curses that went deep and hollow into
the nethermost depths of dark perdition.

In the early morning have we traversed that solemn neighbourhood, when
neither the stir of trade nor traffic disturbed the silence. And at such
times the past has seemed again to open its silent doors, and the
phantoms of the departed dead to glide before us. Battle and banner have
again been displayed: pale and bleeding we have in fancy seen Wat Tyler
fall, struck down by the arm of the powerful Mayor of London. Then came
the shadow of the king, who had broken faith with the brave rebel,
flying before his murderers. The Bastard of Burgundy and Earl Rivers
next passed with their visors down, and paused on the spot where the
lists were erected, when all London rushed into the open square to gaze
upon the single combat they there fought. We saw pale faces upraised
amid the flames, lips silent, yet moving with inward prayer. The ancient
watch passed by half-buried in the smoke of the burning cressets. A dark
funeral swept slowly along under the dusky archway, and was lost in the
shadow of the old church. Then the morning sun fell upon a gay bridal
party: they entered the low porch, and the door that opened into the
gable-ended overhanging mansion was closed upon them for ever.

The high-piled City stands upon the dust of her millions of sons and
daughters, who have ages ago sunk into the earth from whence they
sprung. Even into the ancient church of Bartholomew itself we have now
to descend as we enter--the remains of the forgotten dead have risen
high above the antique floor; the youth and beauty of departed years are
but a portion of the dark mould which rises around the hoary edifice.

    "They loved, but whom they loved the grave
       Hath lost in its unconscious womb;
     Oh! they were fair, but nought could save
       Their beauty from the tomb."--_J. Montgomery._

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XI.

NEWGATE.


Around and within London lies a land chequered with lights and shadows,
close city courts, and stifling suburban alleys, in which the sunshine
only lingers for a few minutes during the day (where it seems imprisoned
and in a hurry to escape above the dusky chimneys); and in this vast
metropolis these scenes are contrasted with broad green, airy parks, and
long lines of palace-like streets, which stretch westward and dip into
the open and surrounding country. Its living crowds are ever in
motion--now to witness a royal procession; then cleaving a November fog,
or rolling eastward to gaze upon a "Lord Mayor's Show;" or, while
darkness still reigns over the solemn-looking streets, from its blind
alleys and secluded nooks--haunts of vice and infamy--the uneducated
heirs to crime and wretchedness grope their way towards Newgate, to see
the black and ominous stage erected, on which a real and living actor is
about to die, to glut the gaze of those who are assembled to witness
this legal tragedy. From the first hour after the deep-toned bell of St.
Paul's had struck the death-knell of the departed Sabbath, the crowd
began to congregate--only a few days ago--at the front of those
forbidding barriers, the doors of the neighbouring coffee-houses and
gin-shops were thrown open, and those who were not content to mingle
with the mob below, and witness the horrible exhibition gratis, began to
rush in, and bargain for their places. Then rang upon the ear the cries
of "Comfortable room!" "Excellent situation!" "Beautiful prospect!"
"Splendid view!" as each in turn recommended what may be termed the
box-places at the windows, or the open and airy gallery on the roofs;
for the pit lay dark and crowded below, and there the audience had free
entrance. From every avenue this human crowd rushed in; up narrow
courts, and the wide openings of the streets, they came in dusky groups,
that passed through light and shadow as they crossed over where the
glare of the gas-lamps fell--then merged into the dark mass of human
forms on which the gloomy shadow of Newgate settled down.

All night long were the workmen busily employed in erecting the gloomy
scaffold: the sound of their hammers and saws fell upon the ear at
intervals; these again were drowned by the loud jeers and coarse jests
which were ever and anon uttered and responded to by many in that brutal
mob. One after another the huge pieces of black wood were brought out
and fitted together, until high above the crowd rose the grim stage on
which the death-ending drama was to be represented. Even on the
countenances of those who erected the pile no expression of pity could
be traced; they hammered and sawed as if they were erecting a gay
mansion for the living, instead of a place on which the doomed victim
was a few moments to plant his feet, look around him, and--die! The
posts, which supported the planks on which so many trembling actors had
trod, were fitted into the same holes in the ground--foundations which
had been dug long years ago, and stood firmly, with all their load of
sorrow and crime, through scores of heart-aching executions: spots which
the thoughtful man never passes without heaving a sigh, and where the
brutal and the vicious only congregate to jest at degraded humanity.

Ranged along the lines of the barriers, like hounds that are ever in
foremost at the death, are seen those whom neither rain, snow, storm,
nor darkness ever prevented from attending an execution. Their
conversation is about their companions of former years--of those who
were long ago imprisoned, transported, or hanged; while they alone,
though often within the clutches of the law, are still at large, with
all their crimes. Some of these, whose hair age and guilt have whitened,
remember the days when men were hung up in a row--can tell who died
basely and who bravely; and on his memory who met death in sorrow and
repentance they cast reproach and shame; while he who plunged daringly
into the darkness of eternity, as if he gloried in his iniquity, they
hold up as an example to be followed. No rocking nor swaying of the
crowd from without can remove these old idolaters of the gallows: the
mass of human bodies behind may roll to and fro, like the waves of the
ocean--the motion affects them not; they are anchored like rocks at the
foot of the gloomy headland, which stands with its dark beam reared high
above the billowy multitude. Nearly every countenance along those
foremost ranks seems marked with the lines which witnessing such public
executions have imprinted there--as if the very cordage had

[Illustration]

left its twisted impress upon their visages, and the dark beam its
ominous line upon their furrowed brows, giving to them the very reflex
of the gallows itself, while watching its workings.

From the expression of such countenances we can see that the exhibition
they are awaiting has for them no terrors; that it is but calculated to
harden their hearts, by making them more familiar with the image of
death; and that, instead of repenting, they are more likely to go and
take away life; thus following the example which the law itself has set
before their eyes. Here and there, mingled among the crowd, are seen the
figures of women; some, whose countenances are marked with dissipation,
yet bearing faint traces of former beauty, as if Nature was still
reluctant to obliterate the fair image which she had first formed,
though every trace of the pure spirit, which had once given it such
light and animation, has long since perished. If they speak together in
tones of pity, it is the besotted sympathy of maudlin inebriety. There
is a rocking of the head, a swaying of the body, and a folding of the
arms, which tell how low they have sunk,--that the once clear intellect
is prostrated before the power of ardent spirits; while the crushed
bonnet, the dirty shawl, the gown fastened with a single hook upon the
back, and that slip-shod slovenliness of the feet, proclaim that all the
pride of the woman has vanished. Girls and youths, too, are there, on
whose countenances the impress of innocence is still stamped, though the
white purity of the flower is sullied with the trail of the slimy soil
in which it has grown. It makes the heart ache--while looking upon these
stained and drooping flowers, that are growing amid such a wilderness of
full-blown weeds--to reflect upon the deathly blight which must at last
settle down and destroy them, unless they are transplanted by some kind
and nurturing hand into a more favourable soil. Surely that law which
can take away life might throw its protecting power over such as these,
and a score or two of policemen be stationed to prevent them from
witnessing such a scene as an execution, which is only calculated to
brutalise their youthful minds. Pocket-picking, fighting, drunkenness,
and profanity in almost every form, are the only examples to be picked
up by these young frequenters of the gallows. No man can venture there
with a kind and feeling heart, unless impelled by such motives as would
lead him to plunge into a pest-house in the hope of restoring again to
health some of those whom the plague has stricken down. They think not
of the heart-broken relatives who have taken a last farewell as they
stood within the massy and low-vaulted corridors behind that forbidding
and impassable barrier of iron bars--nor of the condemned cell in which
the doomed prisoner has passed so many hours of bitter remorse, looking
with an inward eye of awe into that mysterious future into which he is
now to be suddenly launched.

Many a mechanic, who set out with his dinner in his basket and his tools
upon his back, on his way to his daily labour, is tempted by those he
there meets with to stay beyond his allotted hour--until finding that it
is too late to accomplish a full day's work, he returns to some
neighbouring tap-room, and so the time is passed in recounting and
listening to a long history of former executions, until night and
drunkenness overtake him, at the very hour when the faithful wife,
having prepared his evening meal, is sitting with pale cheek patiently
awaiting his return. Many an unfortunate man may date his ruin from the
day he first witnessed an execution--as the first hour that threw him
amid the group who haunt the foot of the gallows; and as human nature is
more prone to stoop to vice than to soar aloft to virtue, so from that
moment he sank never more to rise again, all his finer feelings blunted,
and he himself lowering all who were once endeared to him to his own
vicious standard. Such as the herds among have no pity for the dead;
they pick out every sentence uttered by the witnesses in favour of the
culprit who is about to suffer--they turn not to the widowed wife, the
weeping children, and the once happy home which the deed he has done has
left dark and desolate. They argue that drink or anger, temptation or
poverty, or a weariness of life, drove him to the act, and that, saving
the momentary pang which for ever ends his troubles, his last hours were
soothed by kindness and attention; and that, for their parts, they would
sooner prefer such an ending than to be left to die amid disease, want,
neglect, and wretchedness, with no human being near to breathe a word of
hope and comfort. Time after time they have witnessed the worst--have
seen the law armed, and in full power strike with all its might--and
turned aside without a feeling of terror. Life has been taken away
before their very eyes; they have seen a fellow-creature hanged "to make
an English holiday," and they have gone and again aroused the vengeance
of "Justice," have destroyed life as they have seen it destroyed, have
made that their own act and deed, which the law is more formally--for
lack of other merciful modes of punishment--again compelled to follow as
an example, taking life for life, and visiting evil with evil, not in a
spirit of hatred or revenge, but because custom has sanctioned the
necessity. Above the murmur and tumult of that noisy assembly, the
lowing and bleating of cattle, as they were driven into the stalls and
pens of Smithfield, fell with a strange and unnatural sound upon the
ear, calling up for a few moments the tranquillity of green hill-sides,
and broad, level pasture-lands, where the fever, and the fret, and the
crime from crowded cities never came. What a contrast to the scene that
stretched below, the cold grey dawn of the raw morning breaking upon the
dark and weather-stained front of the prison, and giving to those
iron-coloured and windowless walls an almost unearthly appearance. The
very stones seemed to shape themselves into the faces of the dead, as if
from the hard granite had started out the grey and eyeless faces of all
the children of crime who had suddenly stept from that gloomy scaffold
into the grave. Carts rolled by, bearing the produce of quiet fields and
tree-sheltered gardens, to the market; the rustic driver turned his head
for a moment; then, with eyes bent upon the ground, went musing along
his way. The coach moved slowly along, severing in its course the
closely-packed crowd; the warm-clad passengers glanced down the wide
thoroughfare, with its dark pavement of human heads, upon the black and
ominous beam that went spanning across, like the bridge of death, and
ever would the same vision rise up before them all day long. They would
see it in the arms of the trees which hung over the winding
country-roads: it would fall like a blot upon the leaden-coloured sky,
wherever a black and naked spray threw out its arm above the rounded
horizon. In the rolling of the river they would hear the murmuring of
the multitude; and the echo of the bridge over which they passed would
send out from the mouths of its wide-spanning arches curses that would
come floating deep and singly, as if from above the heads of that
dimly-remembered crowd.

Hush! the unceasing murmur of the mob now breaks into a loud deep
roar--a sound as if the ocean had suddenly broken through some ancient
boundary, against which its ever-restless billows had for ages battered;
the wide dark sea of heads is all at once in motion; each wave seems
trying to overleap the other, as they are drawn onwards towards this
outlet. Every link in that great human chain is shaken; along the whole
lengthened lines has the motion jarred, and each in turn sees, coiled up
on the floor of the scaffold, like a serpent, the hangman's rope! The
human hand that placed it there was only seen for a moment, as it lay,
white and ghastly, upon the black boards, and then again was as suddenly
withdrawn, as if ashamed of the deed it had done. The loud shout of the
multitude once more subsided, or only fell upon the abstracted ear like
the dreamy murmur of an ocean-shell. Then followed sounds more distinct
and audible, in which ginger-beer, pies, fried fish, sandwiches, and
fruit, were vended under the names of notorious murderers, highwaymen,
and criminals, famous in the annals of Newgate for the hardihood they
had displayed in the hour of execution, when they terminated their
career of crime at the gallows. Threading his way among these itinerant
venders, was seen the meek-faced deliverer of tracts--the man of good
intentions--now bonneted, now laughed at, the skirt of his seedy black
coat torn across; yet, though pulled right and left, or sent headlong
into the crowd by the swing of some brutal and muscular arm, never once
from that pale face passed away its benign and patient expression, but
ever the same form moved along in the fulfilment of his mission, in
spite of all persecution. Another fight followed the score which had
already taken place; this time two women were the combatants: blinded
with their long hair, they tore at each other like two furies; their
bonnets and caps were trodden under foot in the kennel, and lay
disregarded beside the body of the poor dog, which, while searching for
its master in the crowd, was an hour before kicked to death by the
savage and brutal mob.

Another deep roar, louder than any which had preceded it, broke from the
multitude. Then came the cry of "Hats off!" and "Down in front!" as at a
theatre. It was followed by the deep and solemn booming of the
death-bell from the church of St. Sepulchre--the iron knell that rang
upon the beating heart of the living man who was about to die; and, with
blanched cheek and sinking heart, we turned away from the scene.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XII.

FLEET-STREET, OLD ALSATIA, AND LONDON LODGING-HOUSES.


We have again reached the point from which we started at the
commencement of our work, leaving behind us undescribed many objects of
great interest to such as love to dwell upon the past, beside others of
importance belonging to the present, but possessing not those
picturesque features which we prefer dwelling upon. Here we shall pause
for a while, and, as there is but little around us in the shape of
"bricks and mortar" to arrest our attention, take a glance at the lights
and shadows of busy life. We have now arrived at Fleet-street, which,
with its ramifications to the right and left, is as jagged as a spray of
fern. Branching from this busy street you enter courts and alleys, such
as if a stranger to the neighbourhood once got entangled amongst, he
would scarcely find his way out of again, though he tried for a full
hour by the clock, unless he made many inquiries: courts which somehow
seem to have run into a knot--so ravelled that you can neither find
beginning nor end, so often are you stopped by a dead wall here, and
thrown into a whirlpool of alleys a little further on, as if they had
been run up by hundreds of builders from different points in the dark,
who, when daylight came, found themselves in all sorts of zigzag ways
endeavouring to brick up one another. And in these places you will
always find "Apartments to let." True, they are very close, but then
they are very central, for what part of London is there that the great
main artery of Fleet-street does not lead into? If you are struck by the
planet Venus, whatever astronomers may say to the contrary, there you
will find that she has her satellites that are ever moving round and
round. Should you happen to be overtaken by drink--a demon who ever lies
in wait in this neighbourhood--there you have station-houses and
policemen at hand; if in debt, there are sponging-houses with their
doors open to receive you. Should you even have the honour of being
hanged, you cannot well miss finding your way to Newgate.

Whitefriars, in Fleet-street, appears to have been one of the most
notorious places in London. We all remember Sir Walter Scott's
description of Alsatia (a name given to this locality about 1600) in the
_Fortunes of Nigel_; and from the same work we have so often quoted, we
are enabled to bring the spot once more before the "mind's eye" of our
readers, as it was in its decay. It first commences with Salisbury court
as follows:

"Every two or three steps we met some old figure or another which looked
as if the devil had robbed them of all their natural beauty * * * and
inspired (into them) his own infernal spirit; for nothing but devilism
could be read in every feature. Theft, homicide, and blasphemy peeped
out at every window of their souls; lying, perjury, fraud, impudence,
and misery were the only graces of their countenances.

"One with slip-shoes, without stockings, and dirty linen, visible
through a crape dress, was stepping from the ale-house to her lodgings
with a parcel of pipes in one hand and a gallon-pot in the other; yet
with her head dressed up to as much advantage as if the other members of
her body were sacrificed to keep her ill-looking face in a little
finery. Another, I suppose taken from the oyster-tub and put into
(similar) allurements, made a more cleanly appearance, but became her
ornaments as a cow would a curb-bridle or a sow a hunting-saddle. Then
every now and then would bolt out a fellow, and whip nimbly across the
way, being equally fearful, as I imagine, of both constable and
sergeant, and looking as if the dread of the gallows had drawn its
picture in his countenance. * * * *

"We soon departed hence, my friend conducting me to a place called
Whitefriars, which, he told me, was formerly of great service to the
honest traders of the city, who, if they could, by cant, flattery or
dissimulation, procure large credit amongst their zealous fraternity,
would slip in here with their effects, take sanctuary against the laws,
compound their debts for a small matter, and oftentimes get a better
estate by breaking than they could ever propose to do by trading. But
now a late Act [he must here allude to the Act passed about 1696,
William III.] of Parliament has taken away its privileges; and since
knaves can neither break with safety nor advantage, it is observed that
there are not a quarter so many shopkeepers play at bo-peep with their
creditors as when they were encouraged to be rogues by such cheating
conveniences. * * *

"We came into the main street of this neglected asylum, so _very_ thin
of people, the windows broken, and the houses untenanted, as if the
plague, or some like judgment from heaven, as well as execution on
earth, had made a great slaughter amongst the poor inhabitants."--_London
Spy_, 1699. Part 7.

It seems strange that such a lawless community should then have dwelt
almost within the very sanctuary of the law, for the author (Ned Ward)
just quoted tells us, that "he passed through the little wicket of a
great pair of gates into the Temple."

We must not pass without noticing St. Bride's Church, situated by the
office of our merry neighbour _Punch_, who does his "spiriting gently,"
and is as great a "terror to evil-doers" as the constables were in the
olden time to the sinners of Alsatia.

This is another of Wren's beautiful churches, and is enriched by stained
glass, copied from Rubens, the subject the Descent from the Cross. The
steeple was struck by lightning in 1764, and when repaired was reduced
in height, though it still towers a graceful and noble monument above
the surrounding houses, as it

    "Points its silent finger to the sky,
     And teaches grovelling man to look on high."

In the old church, destroyed in the Great Fire, was buried the famous
printer Wynkin de Worde, whose works are now worth their weight in gold,
and are almost as scarce as those which were issued from the press by
Caxton. Here also was buried the notorious Mary Frith, commonly called
Moll Cut-Purse. On her adventures Dekker and Middleton founded the play
entitled _The Roving Girl, or Moll Cut-Purse_. She died in the
seventy-fifth year of her age, at her house in Fleet-street, next the
Globe tavern, in 1659. In her will she left 20_l._ for the conduit to
run with wine at the Restoration of Charles II. It was Moll who robbed
General Fairfax on Hounslow Heath. Her life was published in 1662. She
was, says Granger, "a fortune-teller, a pickpocket, a thief, and a
receiver of stolen goods." She died of the dropsy, and her life is
supposed to have been prolonged through the large quantity of tobacco
which she smoked. Our great Milton at one time lodged in St. Bride's
churchyard. It would form a goodly catalogue of celebrated names to
enumerate all who have been buried in St. Bride's, or lived in the
adjoining neighbourhood.

Many of the houses, as in the time of Milton, in the back streets and
alleys are let out in lodgings; and we will now give, from our own
experience, a specimen of a downright London lodging-house--we mean, one
in which the landlord lives entirely by letting lodgings--for we allude
not to hotels, or respectable boarding-houses, but to places where you
are "taken in and done for."

An author, during his early career, is compelled to become acquainted
with the "ins and outs" and "ways and means" of London lodging-houses;
and as his occupation keeps him more within doors than those who hold
situations, or are otherwise engaged, he is, to use a more expressive
than elegant phrase, "Up to their moves and down to their dodges." We
have in our day known more than one gentleman who kept his own gridiron,
and brought home his rump-steak--taught by experience that half a pound
of his own cooking was equal to a pound after it had been entrusted to
the Cinderella or the Cerberus of the kitchen. We have known whisky in
such places (which overnight was above proof) become so weak in a single
day during our absence, as never to require water; and have seen a
shoulder of lamb, which, after our frugal dinner, was carried away with
a gap in it scarcely wide enough to admit of our two fingers, return at
supper-time with a hole in the middle big enough to shake hands through,
without touching any thing on either side except the knuckle, or the
edge of the bare blade-bone. It was wonderful how often the cat got to
our meat, and what trouble our landlady had been at, according to her
account, to cut off the portions puss had mangled, before it was again
fit to appear on the table. Cruel woman! she was always beating the cat
whenever we had a cold joint. As for our tea-caddy, we tried
half-a-dozen various kinds of locks; but they were picked with far more
ease than the clever American managed to pick Chubb's patent. When we
did at last get an unpickable lock, caddy and tea went altogether, and
Cinderella said her mistress had had a strange sweep, and that sweeps
were always sure to carry something or another away in the soot. The
next day we found a sixpenny tin tea-caddy in our cupboard, so took the
hint, and never sent out for more than two ounces at a time; and the
landlady seemed to settle down satisfied with little more than half of
it, so we had it "fresh and fresh" every day. We found that a twopenny
French roll went as far as a half-quartern loaf, as we were never
allowed to look a second time upon the remains of either. They charged
us for cream and gave us milk-and-water; but perhaps this was done out
of a tender regard for our health. How broth was made in these old model
lodging-houses, we never could clearly comprehend; but the landlady had
an herbalist book, and we believe made out her bill from the index,
beginning at agrimony and ending at yarrow-root. A bottle of wine when
decanted in the kitchen cost about eighteenpence a glass; walnuts, a
penny each; filberts came up so ripe that we found one in a cluster
where four or five had originally nestled together; lobsters always
lost their claws down-stairs, and very often came up with one side of
the shell empty. Bottled stout was always going off in the cellar, and
they shewed us the corks which had been blown out--indeed in these
matters they were rather particular. They were dreadfully troubled with
bluebottles in summer, and the largest joint would not keep beyond a
day.

The game you brought home yourself was never sweet; what the landlady
purchased for you was always good. Many cheap game-hawkers came to the
door; and sometimes the landlady was dining off a fine pheasant, while
your own was thrown into the dust-bin.

The whole household were troubled with bad memories, and were always
making mistakes. If you laid out a pair of trousers or a coat to be
repaired, you found sixpence or ninepence on the mantelpiece a morning
or two after, which was all the old clothesman would give for them. Then
they were very sorry, but that stupid girl was always making some
mistake or another, and the landlady would call on the tailor herself
another time. There were no queen's-heads in those days; and when we
sent the money to prepay a letter, they invariably forgot to stamp
"paid" on it at the post-office, though the girl knew to an inch where
she had put the money at the time, and could remember every thing that
was on the counter; and sometimes she said she had put the money in the
scales, and was sure it could not have rolled off and fallen on the
floor. Butter in these houses was very solid: it was wonderful what a
thin slice you had for half a pound, though the Cinderella of the
establishment swore that she saw it bump the scale down. Your linen wore
out very fast, and, after the buttons began to come off, they were never
fit to be sent to the laundress again. Your stockings stood darning
twice; pocket-handkerchiefs and light gloves the landlady was kind
enough to purchase for you every week. Your brushes, hair-brushes,
combs, &c. were, of course, common property. They sent you up the
newspaper about five minutes before the boy called for it, provided
every body below had done with it.

In some of these houses every thing about you is cold, hard, bright, and
uncomfortably clean, as if always ready to be let--"got up," as it were,
to strike every new comer. If you drop a crumb on the carpet it is
picked up before your face, by way of a gentle hint; a stain of ink on
the table-cover you would never hear the last of. Some mysterious kind
of white cabbage-network covers the back of the easy chair, and lies
grinning at you, full of holes, all over the sofa; you see nothing but
knots, and would as soon think of finding ease were you to lie down on a
stone floor strewn with bullets as on that hard white knotted cordage.
Everything in the room is for show, nothing for comfort. The
mantelpiece is covered with articles which are neither ornamental nor
useful: shells, four a shilling; a couple of white delf candlesticks;
two old hand-screens, picked up dirt-cheap at an auction; in the centre
three ugly-shaped earthenware articles, red, blue, and gilt tarnished,
holding about a dozen spills each, which are never used--you are sick of
seeing them reflected in the long mirror which was bought a bargain. If
you have a handful of fire in the cold glittering grate on a bitter
winter night, it makes you shiver to look at it: the poker looks so
bright and chilling, you are afraid to touch it; and if a piece of coal
falls out, they come in to see if you called, for they are always
listening. Sometimes you shove your boot toe into the fire in utter
desperation, or walk up and down the room, and storm heartily for
exercise. You feel as if you would like to kick the couple of cursed
carpet-covered hassocks about to warm you, and end by knocking down the
fire-irons, to break the homeless silence. Never, in such places, on any
account, begin to sharpen your razors near midnight, for the Evil One
seems ever to be lurking in the gloomy corners of such cheerless houses,
and there is no knowing what thoughts he might put into your head.

These are the class of houses in which you see neat bills in the
windows, announcing "Respectable Apartments for Single Gentlemen." They
never admit children into these old, keen, money-making lodging-houses:
the echoes of those houses are never broken by childish laughter, nor
these creaking floors shaken by merry romps; they like your shy, silent,
bashful man, who submits quietly to every imposition; for they care not
what he thinks, so long as he complains not openly.

In some streets you find lodging-houses inhabited by three distinct
classes, who are as much separated from each other as if they lived
fifty miles apart. The poor inhabitant in the attic may be dying while
the first-floor lodger is entertaining a party of friends; and although
they have both dwelt under the same roof for years, it is likely enough
that not a single word was ever exchanged between them.

The lodger who occupies the first floor seldom condescends to speak to
the "common people" who live in the garrets, for there is almost as much
difference in their habits as there is between the aristocracy and the
quiet plodding citizen. He who occupies the attic is very probably an
honest hard-handed mechanic, who comes home to his dinner regularly at
twelve o'clock, gives one loud single knock at the door, and is admitted
by his poor but clean-looking wife: he wipes his feet carefully before
going up stairs--first and second-floor doors never by any possible
chance opening in the mean time. Second-floor comes with a bold
double-knock, something between a bum-bailiff's, a postman's, and a
tax-gatherer's; he dines at one or two, and is on nodding terms with the
first-floor; he persevered for months trying on a "Fine morning, sir,"
and at last was made happy by a most surly "Very, sir." He progressed a
step farther one day by saying something unpleasant about the "common
people up-stairs." First-floor dines at three or four, if he is a clerk
or holds some slight situation under government, obtained, perhaps,
through his father selling his vote at a country election: he gives a
regular "ran-tan-tan-tirra-irra-tir-tir-tir," for he keeps a little
draggle-tailed, dirty, poor parish-child, and she answers the door--that
is "our servant." The ground-floor people--that is, generally, the
landlord and his family (if they do not live in the kitchen)--bow and
smile at the first-floor from the parlour window: he is such a
respectable "gent," and pays so regular; has a gallon of spirits sent in
at a time, and never disgraces the house by having in such beggarly
things as half-a-hundred of coals and two bundles of wood.

But the picture is not complete without the children. First-floor have
their hair plaited behind (if they are girls), and the ends of these
long tails are tied with either blue or pink ribbon; they also wear
little trousers, frilled about the ankles like little bantam-cocks, and
strut about before the door like the above-named bird. Second-floor
children are very tidy, as most of the washing is put out, and the
mother can spare time to look after them; they are taught to "toady" to
first-floor as soon as they have learned to talk; to call them "miss" or
"master," and their father and mother "pa" and "ma." Your heart aches
while you look on the canting little creatures, whose every motion is
watched by the eyes of the parents. Second-floor's children are always
to blame if any thing goes wrong, and the lick-spittle parents chide
their children for the faults of the others, to keep in with
first-floor. You have in those dear children a true picture of the
humbug and hollow-heartedness of the insincere portion of mankind.

Mean time, third-floor are sitting on the top landing, eating dry bread,
their hands and faces very dirty through playing with the coal-scuttle,
while their poor, pale, industrious mother is busy washing. But they
will be taken out for a walk somewhere on Sunday, and for one day in the
week be the happiest party under that roof. We are sorry that this
savage-looking picture is true to nature; but on scanning it narrowly,
there is not a single feature that we ought to soften down.

Happy are they who can find lodging-houses in London in which they can
feel "at home." That there are thousands of these comfortable places, we
entertain no doubt of; the worst of it is, young men are too fond of
shifting about, and have not patience to wait until they become
accustomed to the ways of these really respectable people. "Slow" has
become a bad word of late; and they are generally empty-headed,
think-much-of-themselves, "fast," frothy fellows, who use it. "Slow and
sure" was an old saying, often quoted by our wise forefathers.

Considering how cheerless and comfortless many of these lodging-houses
are, we cease to wonder at the number of taverns and coffee-houses which
abound in London, and should be glad to see a few more such admirable
institutions as the Whittington Club, for we here see at least one cause
why they are so much frequented. How lonely seems a place (except to a
man whose studious habits require solitude), on a long winter night,
where a young man has to sit five or six hours without having a living
soul to speak to. He lights his lucifer-match, and, as the faint blue
speck slowly bursts into flame, he looks round upon the voiceless
solitude, and sighs. He sets a light to the sticks and coal which the
char-woman or the dirty Cinderella placed in the grate, after they had
arranged his bedroom in the morning, and for a time the crackling of the
fire seems like pleasant companionship. Then the church-clock tolls
slowly and sadly, and he yawns while he thinks of the weary hours that
have yet to pass away before bedtime. He makes his own tea--or,
perchance, the little dirty servant, who has sixpence a week and her
"wittals," brings it up: when he has finished, he rings the bell, the
things are cleared away, and then he may hang himself if he pleases,
quite certain that the deed would never be discovered until the morrow.
Were he taken ill, and to ring the bell, the little servant would be
sent to fetch a doctor, if the lodger had the wherewithal to pay; if
not, they would advise him to go to one of the hospitals. If he required
attendance, some old woman (fond of gin), who had perhaps been
discharged from the hospitals for drunkenness, would be hired to nurse
him, grumbling every time she entered the room, and declaring that she
could not find a single thing she wanted in the house. Perhaps on the
first day of his illness he would receive notice to quit the apartments
at the end of the week: we have witnessed such conduct in a keen
money-making London lodging-house in our day, and had much ado to
prevent ourselves from throwing the mercenary wretch down-stairs who had
given the helpless lodger warning to leave. In such houses as these
there are always apartments to let, for very few stay a day longer than
they are compelled.

We have here described the worst class of London lodging-houses, such as
are kept by unprincipled persons who have no other means of living
except what they make by their apartments and by robbing their lodgers.
A stranger cannot wholly avoid these man-traps; but, if he take our
advice, he will stay at some decent coffee-house or tavern until he gets
settled, and not venture into apartments, unless those who have them to
let can be recommended by such acquaintance as he is pretty sure to meet
with when he has once found employment. Poor people do not rob each
other in this manner; it is that hungry class which "apes
gentility"--who "smile, and rob while they do smile."

There are thousands of places to be found in London where it is their
study to make a lodger feel "at home;" where a man may sit and sun
himself in the smiles of a warm domestic hearth, and, though a stranger,
never know what it is to feel lonely. But these are not houses in which
people live alone by letting lodgings, neither will you find more than
one or two lodgers under such a roof. Changes, such as they foresaw not,
compel them to add a few shillings a week to their income--for they have
lived so many years in the same house that it would make them miserable
to leave it. A son is in a situation, or a daughter has got married, and
they have no longer any use for the rooms they occupied; or the landlord
cannot do so much work as he formerly did. These, and a hundred other
causes, open the door to the most comfortable of all London lodgings,
and fortunate is the stranger who finds a home under such a roof. Such
people would scorn to take away the value of a pin that was not their
own; and the only discomfort you feel is in the fear that they do not
charge enough to remunerate them for their kindness and attention.

Young men and "fast men!" if you are fortunate enough to dwell in such a
home, where their circumstances will not allow them to keep a servant,
but where a modest daughter honours you by her attendance, respect her
as you would a sister. Remember, also, that it is poverty which compels
the servant to wait upon you, and that it is your duty to respect her
for those services. Remember that

    "He prayeth best who loveth best
       All things both great and small;
     For the dear God who loveth us,
       He made and loveth all."
          COLERIDGE'S _Ancient Mariner_.

Although the old "memories" that float about Fleet-street would fill a
volume, we must not pass on without glancing at St. Dunstan's Church,
though it is a new building, and the figures, so often gazed on in
"wonderment" by the gaping crowds of other days, no longer step out in
their wonted place to strike the hours. For the origin of these wooden
"puppets," see Douglas Jerrold's _St. James's and St. Giles's_, in which
he reads as severe a lecture to hard-hearted overseers as the old ballad
of _The Babes in the Wood_ does to "wicked uncles." Before the statue of
Queen Elizabeth, which stands over the doorway fronting Fleet-street, a
poor simple-hearted Irishwoman was one morning, not long ago, observed
kneeling, and repeating her prayers: she mistook it for the figure of
the Virgin. This statue is supposed to be the only relic preserved when
Ludgate (one of the city-gates that stood on Ludgate-hill,) was taken
down in 1760. It ornamented the old church of St. Dunstan, as it now
does the present one.

Nor must we omit a word or two before we pass through Temple-Bar about
the Cock Tavern, to which our living poet laureate Alfred Tennyson does
"most resort," according to his own confession, in "Will Waterproof's
lyrical monologue made at the Cock," in an old box

              "larded with the steam
    Of thirty thousand dinners."

Many of the old taverns in Fleet-street--Dr. Johnson's favourite "Mitre"
for example--have rich recollections of the wit and wisdom of the wits
and sages of former days. With many of these our readers are doubtless
familiar, but they perhaps never heard of the "Cock" before reading
Tennyson's poems. Nevertheless there is a fact in the history of this
old tavern worth knowing. The bird that gives name to this "haunt of
hungry sinners" was, according to our laureate,

              "Of a larger egg
      Than modern poultry drop,
    Stepped forward on a firmer leg,
      And crammed a plumper crop."

He was, indeed, a regal fowl, for he not only coined copper money, but
stamped it with his own effigy and circulated it amongst his customers
in the form of tokens. If a man who had newly dined required change out
of the money for his dinner, he received it, not in pence, but in copper
cocks, which were afterwards duly honoured by the worthy landlord, who
gave to their bearer full value in generous food and liquor. This
currency was so extensive that when, during the ravages of the Great
Plague in London, the door of the Cock was closed, "when the plump head
waiter" and all other subordinates were dismissed, and the landlord had
fled to the country to escape the scourge, public notice was given of
the time when the house would be again opened, and that the copper
tokens would be duly honoured. One of these is still carefully preserved
as "a relic of the olden time."

The Temple alone would occupy a long chapter, and detain us in this
locality far beyond the limits that our pages allow, so we shall without
further apology pass through Temple Bar and enter the Strand.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE STRAND, ADELPHI, AND COVENT-GARDEN MARKET.


We have now quitted the City and entered the Strand; before us stands
the Church of St. Clement Danes, on the right of which an archway opens
into Clement's Inn; beyond that is the old Angel Inn, from which Bishop
Hooper was taken before he suffered martyrdom at Gloucester three
centuries ago. Justice Shallow says: "I was once of Clement's Inn, where
I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet;" and no sooner is his back
turned than Falstaff says: "I do remember him at Clement's Inn, like a
man made after supper of a cheese-paring;" * * * "he was for all the
world like a forked radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it
with a knife."

Of the early church that occupied the site of the present one but little
is really known. Stowe tells us that it was "so called, because Harold,
a Danish king, and other Danes, were buried there." There is a doubt
whether Harold, who ascended the throne after Canute, was in any way
related to the latter; his pretended mother, Algigiva, was never married
to Canute, and it is recorded that she never had a child, but that
Harold, who passed for her son, had no higher origin than a poor cobbler
for his father. Harold was buried at Westminster; but when Hardicanute
(the legitimate son of Canute) came to England, he ordered the body of
Harold to be disinterred, decapitated, and thrown into the Thames. The
body was taken out of the river by some Danish fishermen, and again
interred in a cemetery in London, where only the Danes buried their
dead. We have not entered into the reign of Harold at all; these few
facts are all that history records of the origin of St. Clement Danes.
The present church was built by Pierce under the guidance of Wren. The
old church was pulled down in 1660. Dr. Johnson had a sitting in the
present church. The interior is heavily decorated with festoons and
drops, and contains two tolerable statues of Moses and Aaron. Facing
this church stands the office of the far-famed _Illustrated London
News_, in the columns of which paper the greater portion of these
sketches originally appeared.

You still hear a few of the old London cries in the by-streets that
branch out of this busy neighbourhood, though many, which the "oldest
inhabitants" can just remember, are heard no more.

The cry of "green boughs" to deck the summer parlours, and "green
rushes" to strew upon the floors, has long since ceased. The fire-place
is no more adorned with bunches of the blossoming hawthorn, branches of
sweetbrier, and huge pots filled with the fragrant and trailing
honeysuckle: art, with its paper ornaments, has driven away these
beautiful products of nature, and the less healthy carpet has carried
off the meadow-like smell of the rushes. "Cherry ripe" we occasionally
hear, sung out as clear and silvery as when Herrick composed his
inimitable little song, though Ben Jonson, by the way, wrote one long
before Herrick, on the same subject. "Watercresses," though no longer
borne by a nymph, who paused every now and then to throw aside the long
hair which fell over her nut-brown and weather-stained cheeks, is a cry
we still hear; but the figure that conjured up Sabrina and the "glassy
cool translucent wave" has long since departed. Lemons and oranges are
cried by the wandering race, whose dark-haired mothers, in ancient days,
poured forth their songs in the land of Israel. The primroses and
violets of spring are still sold in these streets, but the cry of "Come
buy my pretty bow-pots" is now rarely heard. The apple-stall, with its
roasted chestnuts, the oyster-stall (a simple trestle), and the pieman
who is ever ready to try his luck at pitch-and-toss, still haunt the
corners of a few of our obscure streets, as they did in bygone days. The
grinder and the tinker, and those who yet follow many a primitive old
calling, and who set up their workshops in every open street where they
can find a job, have been driven, with their quaint cries, into the
suburbs, and the men themselves are but shadows of the jolly tinkers and
merry pedlars who figure in our ancient ballad lore. The rattle, and
roll, and thunder of our modern vehicles have drowned their
old-fashioned cries in the great thoroughfares of Fleet-street and the
Strand.

But though many of these old cries are heard no more, there is still
many a poetical association thrown around this busy neighbourhood.

Who has not heard of the May-pole that stood in the Strand, how it was
removed by command of the stern protector Cromwell, and how, at the
restoration of Charles, a new one was erected, amid the beating of
drums and loud-sounding music, and the cheers of assembled thousands,
who were weary of the puritanic gloom which had so long hung over merry
England? What a buzzing there would be in that neighbourhood on the
occasion, while May-garlands hung across the streets, as we have often
seen them in our day, in a few out-of-the-way old fashioned towns, where
the manners and customs of the people have undergone but little change
during the last two centuries.

In an old volume printed before the Great Fire of London, entitled, _The
Citie's Loyalty displayed_, we find the following account of the
May-pole that stood in the Strand.

"This tree was a most choice and remarkable piece (134 feet high): it
was made below bridge, and brought in two parts up to Scotland-yard, and
from thence it was conveyed, April 14th, to the Strand to be erected. It
was brought with a streamer flourishing before it, drums beating all the
way, and other sorts of music. It was supposed to be so long, that
landsmen could not possibly raise it. Prince James, the Duke of York,
Lord High Admiral of England, commanded twelve seamen off aboard to come
and officiate the business; whereupon they came, and brought their
cables, pullies, and other tacklins, with six great anchors. The
May-pole then being joined together, and hooped about with bands of
iron, the crown and vane, with the king's arms richly gilded, was placed
on the head of it, [and] a large top like a balcony was about the middle
of it; this being done, the trumpets did sound, and in four hours space
it was advanced upright." [Four hours to draw up a May-pole! a slow age,
my masters; they could not have built Hungerford Suspension-Bridge in
those days, which is a toy compared to that now stretched across the
Menai Straits. But to proceed with our extract.] "After which, being
established fast in the ground, six drums did beat, and the trumpets did
sound: again great shouts and acclamation the people gave, that it did
ring throughout all the Strand. * * * * It is placed as near at hand as
they could guess in the very same pit where the former stood, but far
more glorious, bigger, and higher than ever any one that stood before
it. * * * Little children did much rejoice, and ancient people did clap
their hands, saying, 'Golden days begin to appear.'" This was in 1661.
Whether a May-pole was erected after the one given to Sir Isaac Newton,
it "being old and decayed," we have not discovered. The one given to
Newton was afterwards used for raising a telescope at Wansted in Essex.

Cleveland, the bold cavalier colonel under Charles I., has a few
spirited lines on the May-pole, but which are scarcely quotable, so
hard does he hit the puritanical Tabithas and Obadiahs; we quote a few
lines:

    "Whether it be a pole painted, or wrought
     Far otherwise than from the wood 'twas brought,
     Whose head the idol-maker's hand doth crop,
     Where a profane bird, towering on the top,
     Looks like the calf in Horeb, at whose root
     The unyoked youth doth exercise his foot:

           *       *       *       *       *

     How canst thou chuse, but, seeing it, complain
     That Baal's worshipp'd in his groves again?"

The last line might have been uttered by some crop-eared holder-forth,
who fought as well as preached under Cromwell. The church of St.
Mary-le-Strand stands on the spot where the May-pole was formerly
erected. It was built by Gibbs (1717), whose portico of St.
Martin's-in-the-Fields remains unrivalled for its beauty. The old church
stood nearer the river, and was pulled down by the Duke of Somerset,
1549, who used the materials for building Somerset-place, but was
beheaded before he had completed it. We forget in what old work we found
a long account attempting to prove that he lost his head through
destroying the church of St. Mary and the Innocents, as the old church
was called.

[Illustration: SOMERSET HOUSE.]

Passing the present Somerset House (which is now used as Government
offices, and of which we merely give an engraving) and Waterloo Bridge,
both of which are deserving of a separate article, we will turn down to
the left and glance at the old church of St. Mary-le-Savoy, which is all
that now remains of the once famous Savoy Palace, first built above six
hundred years ago, but destroyed by Wat Tyler and his rebels; after
which it lay in ruins for above a century and a half. The present
chapel, as it is called, was built in 1505. Our engravings represent the
exterior and a portion of the interior. It contains several old
monuments and crosses.

[Illustration: CHURCH OF ST. MARY-LE-SAVOY.]

We now reach the Adelphi, a mass of large dwelling-houses and
warehouses, built by the brothers Adam about 1770, on such a labyrinth
of arches as startle a stranger who enters them for the first time.

Those noble streets which open into the Strand, now known as the
Adelphi, are built above the ground formerly occupied by Durham House
and its princely gardens, from whence Lady Jane Grey, the "nine days'
queen" (as our old chroniclers call her), was led, with loud acclaim, to
the Tower, and then--in tears, to the scaffold. The ground itself on
which she walked, and meditated, and saw her garden-flowers blow, is at
noonday overhung with midnight darkness, excepting where, here and
there, a gaslight throws its dim rays, and feebly illumines the
cavernous gloom: where her youth and beauty once threw their sunshine a
melancholy blackness now reigns. To us this dark land is filled with sad
associations; and, though the grave hath long since closed over those
who placed the crown upon her head, and then left her to bleed upon the
block, we never walk through these sounding arches without thinking of
their treachery.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE SAVOY CHURCH.]

Thousands who pass along the Strand never dream of the shadowy region
which lies between them and the river--the black-browed arches that span
right and left, before and behind, covering many a rood of ground on
which the rain never beats nor the sunbeam rests, and at the entrance of
which the wind only seems to howl and whine, as if afraid of venturing
farther into the darkness. Many of our readers will no doubt conclude
that such a dreary place as this must be deserted and tenantless: such
is not the case. Here many of those strong horses which the countryman
who visits London looks upon with wonder and envy, are stabled--huge,
broad-chested steeds, such as may be seen dragging the heavily-laden
coal-wagons up those steep passages which lead into the Strand, and
which seem "to the manner born."

Cows are also kept here, which, rumour says, never saw any other light
beyond that of the gas which gleams through their prison-bars, or, by
way of change, the cheering rays from a lantern, when they are milked or
fed: that here many of them were calved, and have lived on, giving milk
to a good old age--buried like the main-pipe that supplies us with
water, and finding its way into our houses, without our once inquiring
how. We have often pitied the London cows, which we have seen driven up
one street and down another, and have fancied that what little milk they
had must have been churned into indifferent butter, as they ran on, to
escape the stones thrown after them by boys, while mongrels were ever
sallying out, and either biting or barking at their heels; but we had
not then seen those which are doomed to dwell in the unbroken darkness
of the Adelphi arches, without ever breathing any other than the
sepulchral air which stagnates in this murky purgatory. Assuredly, they
ought to be taken out for a little fresh air now and then, and be led by
the horns to

    "Fresh fields and pastures new;"

for we can readily conceive how pleased and patiently they would go
"blinking" along compared to those horned blackguards who come with a
butt and a "a boo" at us as they return from Smithfield, and, before we
have time to say "Now, stupid!" pitch us over the battlements of one of
the bridges, and leave us to sink or swim.

The Adelphi arches form a little subterranean city; there is nothing
like it in London: in some places you catch a glimpse of the river; a
small loop-hole then lets in the light like the end of a railway-tunnel,
yet seeming to diminish more than these tunnels, on account of the steep
descent, until one of the steamers, in passing, appears to fill up the
opening like a half-closed door. Beside these arches, there are narrow
passages which go dipping down to the water-side, where on either hand
houses stand looking at one another in the openings between the
darkness. There is a dismal and solitary look about these tall
imprisoned houses; you cannot conceive how they are entered, for there
appears to be no way to them, and you conclude that they are empty. Or,
if they are inhabited, you wonder if the people ever look out of these
dim, dirt-ditched windows at the dead-looking walls opposite. We have
turned back, and hunted up and down looking from below, but nowhere
could we obtain a view of the entrance to those murderous-looking
houses. We once saw a butterfly which had lost its way, and got into the
little light which had stolen out to look at the entrance of these
arches: it went up and down, and hither and thither, seeming to become
feebler every moment, as if it had given up all hope of ever swinging
with folded wings, like a peabloom, on the flowers again, and we doubted
not but that it found a grave amid the green decay of some rotten
water-butt.

There was a time when the great thoroughfare between Westminster and
Temple Bar was all but impassable, when a petition was presented for the
repairing of the highway, in which the petitioners complained that the
foot-road was so overgrown with thickets and bushes that the wayfarer
had difficulty to get along. Besides the brambly and thorny footpath,
there were three old bridges to cross between Temple Bar and the village
of Charing, which spanned the sweet streams that came tinkling all the
way from Highgate-hill, passing along and edging the velvet green of
many a pleasant meadow, like braids of silver, before they sent their
sailing foam-bells into the bosom of the Thames. Ivy Bridge-lane and
Strand Bridge-lane still mark the sites of two of these old bridges. The
third was only discovered a few years ago; and, as it was but eleven
feet long, every ancient stone might have been preserved and built up
again over the Lee or some narrow water-course, so that we might have
had another relic of bygone days to have looked upon, a bridge over
which conqueror and captive had passed--tears and triumphs--from the
Tower to Westminster, and from thence to the Tower again. Bolingbroke
weeping--the hero of Agincourt--what a chapter could we have written on
that old bridge, which was discovered while making a sewer near the
church of St. Clement the Dane! It had been buried so long that not an
antiquary mentions it--nowhere is it recorded by our old historians.
When it was discovered, it was broken up, removed, and no one seems to
know what became of the fragments. Perhaps Alfred himself might have
crossed that ancient bridge when he pursued the daring Sea-King
Haestings; perhaps---- But it is gone; and we should like to know the
name of the surveyor who allowed it to be destroyed; in these pages he
should have a "local habitation and a name" such as he deserves.

There are still standing in Holywell and Wych-street a few houses which
bring before the eye the old London our forefathers inhabited--when
Bluff Hal beheaded a wife before he breakfasted; and Queen Elizabeth
measured not her words to her ministers if they offended her, and
thought nothing of striking a nobleman, as she did the Earl of Essex,
when not in a loving mood. In her endearing moments, we often picture
her like a grim lioness at play with the king of the forest. We often
wonder where Shakspeare was during the Sunday Essex broke out, and
locked up the queen's officers. We dare wager a silver groat, that he
looked on that stormy scene in the Strand, and that, were he here to
answer, we could point our pen to passages in his works which were
suggested by what he either saw or heard on that memorable day.

How the warlike old barons would stare in wonderment, if it were
possible that they could again "revisit the glimpses of the moon," and
see the rent-roll produced from the ground on which their towered and
loop-holed palaces stood; could peep at the productions exhibited at the
Society of Arts, in the Adelphi, and look back again upon the days when
a flexible gauntlet, that could guard the hand yet give freedom to the
grasp, or a visor through which they could see yet with the bars so
tempered as to resist the point of a lance, were considered as the
greatest wonders of art! How they would rub their dim old eyes at the
sight of an express-train; stare at a steamer, and think what a smash
and crash a couple would have made, to have run into each other at their
water-quintains! Then, to send a message from Tilbury Fort to Kenilworth
by the electric telegraph, where the amorous old queen was coquetting
with Leicester, and she ignorant of such an invention, to tell her that
the Spanish Armada was coming, would have consigned the messenger who
came from the station to something like the Spanish inquisition, if not
a stake at Smithfield. Oh, that we had a photographic portrait of the
dear old lady, with all those nicely marked shadows, to which she had so
great an objection, down to the "cunning wrinkles round her eyes!"

But we will cross over the way, and visit Covent-Garden Market, the
ever-open flower-show of London. Here, when "the wind and rain beat dark
December," the costly chrysanthemum may be purchased, with which beauty
decks her waving ringlets, as she shoots the arrows of love from her
eyes, regardless on whom they may alight. In spring, summer, autumn, or
winter, the choicest treasures of the floral world are here collected;
from the conservatory and the humble cottage-garden, flowers of all hues
are gathered to grace the Covent-Garden colonnades. Few places surprise
a stranger more than when he emerges suddenly from that great, crowded,
and noisy thoroughfare, the Strand, and finds himself all at once in
this little world of flowers. In this spot are to be found the first
offerings of spring; the snow-drop that comes "like an unbidden guest,"
violets and primroses which have been gathered in many a far-off dell
and sunny dingle, come to tell us the progress that Nature is making in
the green and out-of-door world. Many a sad and many a pleasing thought
must have been awakened in the bosoms of thousands who have long been
in-dwellers in this mighty city, by walking through the ranks of flowers
which are here placed. They must have recalled the image of some old
home far away, and probably never again to be visited by them--the
porch, over which the woodbine or jasmine trailed, and the garden-fence,
along which the clustering moss-roses hung. Many a flower is thus borne
away and treasured for the old memories it awakens, for the tender
recollections it recals--feelings to which the heart had long been a
stranger. For Byron has shewn how small a key can open the human
heart--how slight a chord may be struck, and some slumbering affection
be in a moment aroused:

              "It may but be a sound--
    A tone of music--summer's eve--or spring--
    A flower--striking the electric chain."

Here are purchased the cut flowers that decorate the banquet and
ball-room--the posy which the blushing bride bears with downcast look in
her hand--the bouquet which is rained down at the feet of our favourite
actresses; and here also affection comes for its last tribute to place
beside the pale face of the beloved dead, or plant around the grave in
the cemetery. The house of mirth and the house of mourning are both
supplied from the same common store. Pride, love, interest, fame, and
death come here to select their garlands.

Here the young lover purchases for his fair one the blue forget-me-not;
the graceful acacia, emblem of elegance; the myrtle, the old Grecian
symbol of love; pansies--"that's for thoughts;" the red-streaked
woodbine, which denotes devoted affection; the lily, that ancient
representative of purity of heart; the rose, the queen of beauty, and
for the earliest of which five or ten shillings is no unusual sum to
pay; with every flower that makes up the great alphabet of love.

The epicure may here feast his eyes with delight; and, if he is wealthy
enough, purchase the natural produce of April or May while the snows of
February are whitening the ground; for so has science triumphed over
nature, by the aid of heat and manures, that there is scarcely any thing
too difficult for your forcing-gardeners to accomplish. New potatoes,
peas, and fruit of almost every description, are here to be found, fresh
gathered, before spring has hung out a single leaf upon the oak. Green
April is made to produce green gooseberries; and marrow-fats come in
with the blossoms of May. Here conservatories are also formed over the
colonnades; and the choicest and most delicate flowers that ever
bloomed in kingly gardens may be found as healthy and beautiful amid
London smoke as if flourishing a hundred miles away in the country.

Those itinerant dealers who make the streets of London ring with the
pleasant spring-cry of "All a-blowing, all a-growing!" as they move
along with barrow, basket, and cart, are generally supplied from this
market; and few would credit the many hundreds of pounds expended in the
metropolis for the purchase of flower-roots, to be re-planted in the
little back-yards called gardens, which are a peculiar feature in most
of the London streets beyond the city boundaries. Places which, to pass
in front, a stranger would think no green thing had ever grown for years
near such a neighbourhood; yet in the rear they contain choice
wall-flowers, sweet-williams, carnations, Canterbury-bells, hollyhocks,
sun-flowers, and fancy dahlias, which have been grown within a mile or
so of the bridges, and have been sent forth to "dispute the prize" at a
flower-show. Many a poor man has often expended his shilling when he
could ill spare it, to purchase a choice tulip or dahlia, which he
treasured as the pride of his garden; and this is one amongst other
pleasing sights to witness in this market. The artisan here finds
enjoyment as well as the wealthy citizen, or the aristocratic lady, who
treads with "mincing gait" through the arcade, attended by John the
page, and all his "eruption of buttons." Fine specimens of English
beauty are often met with here--faces that look not unlike our own
island roses; the fine blue-eyed Saxon cast of countenance, and the long
fair hair, such as centuries ago drooped about the brow of Rowena, and
were the cause of King Vortigern losing his kingdom and his life.

In contrast to these are our Covent-Garden portresses--sturdy daughters
of Erin, clad in almost manly attire, and, with scarcely an exception,
every soul a smoker and drinker of neat gin. Wonderful are the loads
which these "juvenile antiques" carry; they would make the neck of a
strong man, unused to bearing such burdens, ache again, were he only to
carry one a moderate distance. Their faithfulness and honesty are
deserving of the highest praise: no matter how valuable the load may be
that you purchase, or how great the distance it has to be borne into the
suburbs, you have but to pay the trifle agreed upon, furnish the right
address, and when you return home, there you will find every bud and
blossom uninjured, for Biddy may be trusted with uncounted gold. They
are all a sturdy, short-necked race; moving caryatides, strong enough to
support a temple, although such forms never mingled with the dreams of
our ancient sculptors. Beside a good-natured, it requires a strong-armed
man to help to replace the load upon their heads when they have rested;
and few gentlemen, we hope, resist the appeal of "Will your honour plase
to lend a lift to the basket?"

At a very early hour in the morning, and while the rest of
London--excepting in the markets--seem wrapt in sleep, the whole of the
streets which open into Covent Garden are thronged with vehicles, and
buyers and sellers; for either the greengrocer or his man must be here
early, if our dinner-table is to be supplied with first-rate vegetables;
and from the most remote street of the suburbs the greengrocers are
compelled to come either to the Borough, to Farringdon, or Covent-Garden
markets, for their stock; for these, with the exception of Spitalfields,
which is celebrated for potatoes, are the only garden-markets. From one
or other of these places have all those tempting shows of flowers,
fruit, and vegetables, which give such a country-look to the
greengrocers' shops, been brought at an early hour.

Here an imaginative lover of good living may feed his fancy, and feast
his eyes with the first rhubarb-pie of the season--conjure up the roast
shoulder of lamb that is to accompany the asparagus--match the new
potatoes with the brown veal cutlet--see a couple of ducks lying
prostrate beside a dish of green peas--run streaks of fanciful pastry
between the rich lines of raspberries--thrust bundles of sage and onions
inside some stubble-fed goose, or call up the plump leg of mutton that
is to be boiled along with those lily-white turnips; while cauliflowers,
spinach, brocoli, and greens of every description may be found to match
with the finest joints that either Leadenhall or Newgate markets can
produce; for here they are to be seen "thick as leaves that strew the
Vale of Vallambrosa."

The poet may also ramble here, and call up visions of the Garden of
Eden, where our first mother stood "half-spied, so thick the blushing
roses round about her blowed;" or the golden fields of Enna and
Proserpina, and her nymphs; and the wheels of that gloomy chariot, which
ploughed up the waving flowers,--of Cupid and Psyche; and the beautiful
vale of Arcady, and Venus mourning over her beloved Adonis, from whose
blood there sprang a rich array of peerless blossoms.

But, independent of these associations, Covent Garden has an interest of
its own. Above six hundred years ago it bore the name of Convent Garden,
and originally belonged to Westminster Abbey. A pleasant walk must it
have been, a few centuries ago, from that grave and venerable pile to
the garden, before even the village of Charing existed, and when
probably the whole line of road from the Abbey consisted of avenues of
trees and open fields, where the daisies blowed and the skylark built
and sang. We can picture those early fathers of the Church, with the
rich missals in their hands, wiling away the hours in pleasant
meditation, as they sauntered leisurely along between the Abbey and the
Covent Garden, "in cope and stole arrayed." Within the last three
hundred years it was walled round, and covered with trees, whose
blossoms waved white and beautiful in the breezes of spring, and in
summer displayed a rich array of trembling green; while half a dozen
thatched cottages and a convent were the only habitations that then
heaved up in this small neighbourhood. A few noblemen's mansions were
all that at this time stood beside the river from Temple Bar to the
Abbey; and these, with their beautiful gardens, sloped down by the edge
of the water. Only a few years ago Covent Garden consisted of a mass of
unsightly wooden sheds and open standing-places, inferior to the market
of many a common country town; and it was not until about 1828 that this
mass of rubbish began to be swept away, and the present market to be
built. The foundations of the old convent, from which no doubt this
place takes its name, are not yet wholly swept away, a considerable
portion being at present enclosed within the house occupied by Mr. Bohn,
the bookseller, in York-street. Here two or three bulky piles of
masonry, no doubt containing the remains of the early fathers, who
wandered about this ancient neighbourhood, while, with the exception of
the convent, it was all one garden-ground, may still be seen. This
convent, if we remember rightly, has escaped the notice of several of
the London historians, who, because it was built on land belonging to
the Abbey, seem to have lost sight of it as a separate structure.

It was not until the time of Charles I. that any material improvement
commenced in this neighbourhood. The name of Inigo Jones is connected
with the first advances architecture made in this direction, through the
spirited exertions of the fourth Earl of Bedford. A few of the princely
mansions which rise up in the neighbourhood of Lincoln's Inn are fine
specimens of the buildings which were erected about this period.

What an uncomfortable place must the old City have been, with its little
poking market in Honey-lane, now covered by the City of London School
and the Stocks Market, long since removed, and with only one bridge
leading into this large London, which was then rapidly bursting its
ancient barriers and shooting out far beyond its weather-beaten walls,
while all propositions for improvement were considered as death-blows
aimed at its old and barbarous privileges. Our forefathers never knew,
nor needed, such places as the present Covent Garden Market.

We read, in old plays, of the apple-woman at the corner of the street,
and the vendor of herbs who passed through those ancient thoroughfares;
but of the greengrocers, like those of our own day, we find no mention,
for they had no predecessors; and, excepting the cabbage and the
parsnip, peas and beans, and the radish mentioned by Izaak Walton, there
seems but to have been a scanty supply of vegetables. The potato is of
comparatively modern introduction, while fruit-trees appear to have been
grown in England from time immemorial; even as far back as the days of
the Saxons, we find the vine cultivated in the gardens of the
monasteries, and that the monks made their own wine. Their vegetable
diet was very limited; and we need no further proof than the quantity of
cattle slaughtered for the winter consumption, and salted for the sole
purpose of saving the food they would require. Indeed, with the
exception of beans, peas, wheat, barley, and a kind of cabbage called
kale, we scarcely find any other mention of the vegetables used by our
Saxon ancestors. Even in the time of Elizabeth, according to old Tusser,
a supper of bacon broth was not to be despised, and a breakfast off the
same substance cold, with the addition of a piece of cabbage in its cold
state, and a lump of barley-bread, formed the chief diet of the English
farmer, washed down, no doubt, by a draught of beer.

Still the Londoners seem always to have been a flower-loving people, and
although the stern Puritans banished their May-poles and Whitsuntide
games, they were revived again at the Restoration, and continued, but
with little alteration, until the middle of the last century. Even
chatty old Pepys allowed his wife to go down into the neighbourhood of
Greenwich, so that she might rise early and wash her face in May-dew;
and bluff Hal, attended by his queen and nobles, went out to "do
observance to the May" at Shooter's Hill. We cannot help marvelling,
while such a love for the beauties of nature prevailed, that no such
thing as a regular flower-market should exist. It is true the dramatists
mention the smell that pervaded Bucklersbury; and no doubt a few
centuries back this was the chief spot where the country-people
assembled and sold the flowers and fruits they brought from the country.
That thitherward they came, streaming from the wild woods of Hampstead
and Highgate, or from the wilder wastes on which Norwood now stands,
each bearing their burden into "Bucklersbury at simple-time," when only
one bridge spanned across the Thames.

Yet it must have been a merry London when, to quote the words of an old
chronicler, "the king himself rose early in the morning to fetch May or
green boughs--he fresh and richly appareled; and all his knights,
squires, and gentlemen clothed in white satin; his guards and yeomen of
the crown in white sarsenet. And so went every man with his bow and
arrows, shooting to the wood; and so repaired again to the court, every
man with a green bough in his cap." This was the time when, although
London was without its Covent Garden Market, in May, according to
Herrick's description:

    "Each field became a street--each street a park,
     Made green, and trimm'd with trees.
     Devotion gave each house a bough, a branch;
               Each porch and door
     With white-thorn neatly was inwove,
     As if they were the cooler shades of love."

In the first volume of the _Illustrated London News_ we find the
following description of the church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden.

"When Francis Duke of Bedford, in the reign of the first Charles,
proposed to erect a place of worship for his tenantry in the then thinly
populated locality of the Covent Garden, he called to his councils the
celebrated Inigo Jones, suggesting, as we find it recorded, that 'any
thing--a barn would do;' an expression sounding more of the prudence
than of the piety of the said Francis. The architect took the hint; and
thence arose, in 1640, the Palladian structure of which we now behold a
duplicate; the original building having been destroyed in 1795, through
the carelessness of some workmen engaged in its repair. The
contemplation of this edifice has given rise to a shrewd suspicion in
our mind, that the above venerable anecdote relating to its origin may
have been the after-thought of some architectural critic, whose
admiration for the designer of Whitehall was stronger than his respect
for the memory of the duke. Be that as it may, the structure, for
several years, was merely known as the Chapel of Ease to St.
Martin's-in-the-Fields, until 1645, when it was erected into a separate
living, and, in the year of the Restoration (1660), the patronage was
vested in the Duke of Bedford; the whilom chapelry becoming known as the
church and parish of St. Paul's, Covent Garden.

"St. Paul's, Covent Garden, has some peculiarities in its structure. The
Tuscan portico, with its _prazzi_, being placed in the _rear_ instead of
the _front_ of the edifice, which latter stands in the quiet by-way of
Belford-street. Hence the _back_ of the altar is (to use a palpable
Hibernicism) the _front_, the lantern and principal entrance being at
the western extremity of the church. Popularly speaking it is right; for
this is the elevation which has looked down on the many glorious rows,
cracked crowns, and mêlées consequent upon each recurrence of a
Westminster election, the hustings-hammering high bailiff of that
ancient borough and city having made this spot memorable as 'the field
of a thousand fights,' by here fixing the polling-place for the return
of members to represent it in Parliament. Here, then, were the tag-rag
and bob-tail of this ancient and radical borough wont to disport
themselves in fighting, roaring, drinking, and swearing, during the
fourteen days saturnalia of each contested election. But these scenes
are no more; the Reform bill, by dividing the constituencies and the
erection of district polling-booths, has destroyed the glorious anarchy,
the rude liberty of the Westminster canaille; and we may look with equal
success for the May-pole in the Strand or the Standard on Cornhill, as
for an election-mob, such as in the days of Fox, Burdett, Hobhouse,
Maxwell, or Sheridan, crowded the front of St. Paul's, Covent Garden.
But if the history of the hustings of Covent Garden would be the history
of political party for the last hundred years, not less would the
history of the hotels and coffee-houses, which occupy two sides of the
quadrangle, comprise the anecdotal annals of the last century, and the
earlier portion of the present. The early companions of George IV. here
revelled; and a host of buried talent, senatorial, literary, forensic,
and dramatic, has the 'venue' of its brightest witticisms and most
brilliant sallies laid in the hotels of 'the Garden'--in the Bedford,
the Russell, the Piazza, Offley's, Mother Butler's, and the rest.

"All around the subject of our article has experienced its full share of
change. There is a painting by Hogarth, from which an etching has been
published, representing Covent Garden in 1745. There stands the
predecessor of the present church, alike in every respect (except the
illuminated clock in the pediment); but here the resemblance ceases. The
area now occupied by the handsome market, with its granite columns,
plate-glass windows, covered arcades and conservatories, is in Hogarth's
picture an uneven space divided by posts and chains, with a pump in its
centre. Here and there a market-woman, with looped-up petticoats and
exposed neck, presides over heaps of vegetables scattered on the ground,
while among mounds of turnips, carrots, and cabbages, strut several
formal figures in the uncouth head-dresses, pinched stomachers, and
stiff diamond-quilted skirts of a century ago, accompanied by
puppy-dogs, and beaux as precise and quaint in attire as themselves. But
to return. The design both of church and piazza of the present building
is said to have been borrowed from a place built by Cosmo de Medicis at
Leghorn. The bold projecting cornice outside, and the eight Corinthian
columns of the altar-piece within, have found many admirers among the
cognoscenti. In conclusion, we must add, that the inimitable author of
_Hudibras_ is also buried here, and no less a humorist than Dr. Walcot,
the well-known 'Peter Pindar:' their monuments ought to be preserved."



CHAPTER XIV.

WESTMINSTER ABBEY AND THE PARKS.


What a crowd of solemn associations gather around the mind of the
intellectual visitor on first entering these ancient walls! the very
silence which reigns around the vast edifice is startling, and the sound
of a falling footstep seems to awaken a thousand sleeping echoes that
were mute and voiceless as the surrounding tombs. We feel that we are in
the presence of the mighty dead; and, as we gaze around, the deeds which
throw a grandeur and a gloom over the pages of English history pass in
vivid succession before the eye of the mind. The very pavement seems
strewn with the ruins of crowns, sceptres, helmets, and swords, mitres
and croziers, bent, crushed, dented, and broken; while, amid the dim
gold and the rusted steel, the green laurels of the poet alone remain
unchanged. What moving scenes have broken the lengthened shadows which
those high-piled pillars throw over aisle and choir! the christenings,
coronations, marriages, and funerals of departed monarchs, who have
returned to the dust from whence they came. Light and darkness, summer
and winter, have brightened and deepened thousands of times over the
shadowy crypts in which their ashes repose--every thing grand and
imposing is swept away excepting the mighty monuments, which scarcely
seem the work of human hands; they rise like images of eternity, ever
bending and keeping watch above their silent graves.

Here, in the Pix-office, we are surrounded by Saxon architecture. How
massive, plain, solid, and majestic, is this portion of the venerable
pile! As it stands now, so it stood before the shores of England were
startled by the sound of Norman trumpets--a monument worthy of the
descendant of Alfred the Great! The beautiful Mosaic pavement that lies
before the altar in the choir, was brought from Rome by the good old
Abbot Ware, about the close of the reign of the third Henry--a king to
whose liberality we are indebted for a great portion of the erection of
the Abbey: for the completion of the whole was the work of many eventful
years; and before its towers rose, as they do now, pointing to the sky,
many a crowned head sunk in succession into the dark quietude of the
tomb. Suns rose and set, and the mighty work grew up; and amid the trump
and thunder of a thousand battles, it has stood unshaken: it is too
strong for the destroying hand of man; and Time, as if in reverence, has
trod lightly as he stepped over it.

[Illustration: WESTMINSTER ABBEY.]

Amid such an assemblage of architectural grandeur as the Abbey presents,
the mind is filled with a rich confusion of imagery, as if incapable of
grappling with the whole. It seems like the sunlight that flames in
through the deep-dyed windows; we stand amid a dazzle of blaze and
brightness that appears to have neither beginning nor end; here
flashing like gold, there stealing into the dim purple twilight, and
gilding as it passes a shrine or a stony shroud; then settling down amid
the vaulted shadows of the tombs, or just lighting faintly in its
passage the uplifted hands of the recumbent image, that have been
clasped for centuries in the attitude of silent prayer. We know not
whether to start from the shrine of Edward the Confessor, or the
coronation-chair, to count our footsteps through the long chapters of
history; for the forms of the actors themselves come crowding around us;
gazing upon the one, then seating themselves in the other--a rapid
succession of phantoms, each dazzling the eye for a moment by its
splendour, then sinking down again into the cold stony image that is
doomed to hold its hands in the mute, meek penance of unceasing prayer,
as it has done through the grey old years of departed centuries. How
beautiful is the figure which graces the tomb of Queen Eleanor! Gaze on
the calm loveliness of that matchless countenance, and you will fancy
that a sweet sleep has stolen over it--that it has but laid down to rest
awhile, and while dreaming, its beauty burst forth and dispelled every
shade of sorrow, as if Time himself had kept watch over it, and
sheltered it from dust and ruin with his wings, and guarded it with his
scythe, allowing no mortal finger to touch the hallowed shrine over
which he has long kept jealous watch. Death seems never to have entered
that cold grey marble palace of beauty. Here lie the remains of Richard
II. and his Queen; and while we gaze upon his monument, and recal his
"sad, eventful history," we think of the undying poetry in which
Shakspeare has enshrined him, and feel as if we could sit for hours upon
the pavement and tell "sad stories about the death of kings."
Bolingbroke ought to have been buried by his side; and for the sake of
Shakspeare there would be no feeling outraged, nor no disrespect shewn
to the dead, if his remains were exhumed and placed side by side of the
monarch he dethroned. How rich and magnificent is Henry the Fifth's
monument, every way worthy of the hero of Agincourt! Strange that even
amid the solemnity of death, the eye of an Englishman kindles while he
recals the splendid achievements of this brave king, that neither the
horrors of war, nor the blood shed at that victorious banquet, throw a
sickening sensation over the heart while we gaze upon the tomb of the
conqueror. The far past seems to deaden these sympathies; and we look
upon the actors as we do upon the words on a time-worn monument, which
tell how those who sleep below once lived and were famous in their day,
that they died, and were buried: and we read and pass on with a feeling
of pride, respect, or sorrow; and the next moment finds us gazing with
similar thoughts and sympathies upon the grave of another. Above hangs
the helmet which the warrior king wore in battle, shewing by the deep
dents which are imprinted upon it, that it was borne into the very
thickest of the strife, and had its share of blows dealt heavily, when
men lived but to "conquer or to die."

There is a strange want of harmony between the ancient and modern
monuments. Our ancestors understood the "keeping" of their subjects
within the pale of style, beauty, and order better than we do or have
done. They made their ornaments and furniture to correspond with the
venerable and costly edifice which their taste and piety had reared; and
in the fulfilment of their solemn ceremonies, allowed no meddling
undertaker to disfigure the hallowed mansion with his grave mockery. A
glance at the tombs of our old kings is the proof--they have become a
portion of Westminster Abbey, while the additions made during the last
two centuries are, with a few exceptions, sadly misplaced. We look
around, and feel as if, while in the midst of some impressive ceremony,
a group of strange maskers had suddenly broken in, snapped the train of
our thoughts, and by their antics diverted both mind and eye from the
imposing subjects with which they were before so earnestly engrossed.
Statues or monuments, that would look well in open squares or spacious
halls, startle us by their very nakedness, when they step out between
the shadowy and solemn crypts, where death itself is roofed over and
vaulted in at the foot of the mighty mound whose very majesty is
overwhelming. It is as if the eye, while contemplating the grandeur of
Parnassus, was disturbed by the white butterflies that are ever crossing
each other at its base. Mere inscriptions on some Gothic tablet would be
better than these abortions: a list of names would not offend, like many
of these pale, inexpressive countenances, that "fright" the aisle "from
its propriety" in marble. The name alone in such a place would strike
the right chord, while the ... but we are standing amongst the mighty
dead.

The beautiful screen erected by Blore is a splendid exception to the
mass of modern innovations. Turn to the monument of Sir Francis Vere, in
the eastern aisle of the transept, and there you see what true genius
can produce.

We will now glance at the Poets' Corner, a spot haunted by sad and sweet
associations. Here stands the massy and solemn-looking tomb of Chaucer,
that "morning star" of poetry which first dawned through the long night
of Egyptian darkness. He, the earliest child of English song, was the
first bard interred within this great national mausoleum; and it now
appears that the monument was erected soon after his death: there is an
antique look about it which would leave a stranger to conclude that the
tomb was almost as old as the Abbey itself. Gentle Spenser, author of
the immortal "Faëry Queen," was the next heir to undying fame interred
in this beautiful sanctuary; and Shakspeare and Jonson were no doubt
mourners at that great funeral. Beaumont and Drayton were the next
successors who sank into this silent city of the dead. "Rare Ben Jonson"
soon followed; but he was buried in the northern aisle of the nave--it
is supposed, very near to Killigrew's monument. Cowley, Dryden, Gay,
Prior, and Addison, although the latter was buried in another part of
the Abbey, may be numbered among the illustrious dead who sleep their
long sleep within those ancient walls. Many other monuments stand here
erected to the memory of our celebrated poets, whose remains lie far and
wide apart--some in the beautiful churches of London, others in the
quiet seclusion of the country. The author of the "Pleasures of Hope,"
whose mortal part we followed to the shallow grave which was opened near
the front of Chaucer's tomb, was the last true poet consigned to his
"narrow cell" in this great graveyard of genius. Grand and solemn were
the tones which the mighty organ poured out amid that listening
silence--sounds which seemed more allied to heaven than earth; echoes
that rolled on, then died away amid the shadowy crypts and pillared
recesses, sounding as if the voices of the shrouded dead had found
utterance, and were welcoming home another immortal spirit. Never was
the funeral service more beautifully or feelingly read than on that
occasion, by a brother poet. And that old Jerusalem Chamber in which we
assembled, with its ancient tapestry, is itself a history. Here the
great have, after death, lain in state; and the "props and pillars" of
the nation have here assembled to make war or peace; and here also,
stretched upon a pallet before the fire, Henry IV. died: the portrait of
the ill-starred Richard II. hangs in this very chamber where Bolingbroke
expired.

If one portion of the splendid Abbey more than another calls up the
scriptural image of "a temple not made with hands," it is Henry the
Seventh's Chapel. The opening of those beautiful gates which lead
therein seems to reveal such a glimpse of heaven as we sometimes see in
our sweetest dreams. The very roof appears buoyed up by the air, as if a
thing so light and beautiful needed no more support than its own
graceful interlacings, censers held up by invisible hands; a fretwork of
innumerable wings, netted and open like those which the gaudy dragon-fly
displays, seem as if they were frozen while fluttering over an endless
succession of flowers. On each side hang the banners of the Knights of
the Bath, drooping without motion over the monuments of the dead, above
the head of the once haughty Queen Elizabeth, who sleeps beside her
sister Mary in the northern aisle. The brass screen which encloses the
tomb of Henry VII. is of exquisite workmanship, and speaks much for the
advance of art in this department. In this chapel, the stern Protector,
Cromwell, was interred; but his body was afterwards dragged out of its
grave by the consent of Charles II., drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn, hanged
upon the gallows until sunset, then taken down and beheaded, and
afterwards thrown into a pit at the foot of Tyburn-tree, where, "after
life's fitful fever, he sleeps well," awaiting the same blast of the
last trumpet that will arouse his headless victim and heartless
persecutor.

[Illustration: HORSE-GUARDS.]

Those who wish to witness the out-of-door pomp and pride of mighty
London must enter by the Horse-Guards and visit the parks; for there all
the array of rank and fashion and aristocratic beauty congregate, under
the open eye of heaven: mounted on splendid horses, or seated in richly
ornamented chariots, and arrayed in the most approved costumes, they
confer a mutual pleasure upon all, by issuing forth to see and to be
seen. Here, from the humble pedestrian--the nursery-maid, with her
children, walking within the Enclosure--the man-about-town, fashionably
dressed, and who may either be taken for a member of the swell mob or a
marquis,--the ranks ascend to celebrated statesmen, soldiers of renown,
and lords and ladies, whose titles have figured for centuries in the
pages of history, and who all appear to have no other object than that
of inhaling the fresh air, and enjoying the beauty of the scenery. For
in these places the leaves wave, and the flowers blow, and the waters
run, as green, and sweetly, and freshly, as if the huge city, with its
millions of murmuring voices, had been removed miles away. Yet, all is
London; only a wider space in that great unbroken chain of streets and
houses, whose squares are but the openings in the links that are locked
together, in and out, and under and over, to the very ending.

St. James's Park, in the reign of Henry VIII., appears to have been
nothing more than a wide space of open fields, formerly occupied by an
hospital; on the site of which bluff Hal erected a palace, and formed a
park, which he enclosed with brick walls. To this park he added a chase,
which he threw out like a wide open noose, from his palace at
Westminster, and where the line fell it formed the circle which ran from
St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, up by Islington, round Highgate and Hornsey,
Hampstead Heath, and back again to St. Giles and Westminster; and all
subjects of every degree were forbidden either to hawk or hunt within
these boundaries. Only three centuries have passed away since this
proclamation was issued. Old Death himself, with dart in hand, hunted
down Henry soon after he had taken possession of his new chase; and,
after the leading hart of the herd had fallen, the whole chase was soon
disafforested. Edward VI. possessed not his father's organs of
destructiveness; but, instead of forming parks, founded hospitals; one
of which will cause the name of the Boy-King to be reverenced throughout
all time. But few features of that old park now remain, although there
are spots about it in which the spectator may stand in such a situation
as to shut out every other object, excepting the grey old Abbey of
Westminster, against which the trees seem to rest, half burying it, as
they no doubt did three hundred years ago.

There are many "pretty bits" about St. James's Park, as you look up
towards where the pale marble arch formerly stood, on which the royal
banner of England, that threw out its golden lions upon the breeze, used
to float; when, seen through the opening green of the foliage, it seemed
to carry back the imagination into the land of old romance and chivalry.
Nor is the Palace itself less pleasing; for although in many points
deficient of architectural beauty, it throws the old black-bricked,
gloomy pile of St. James's altogether into the shade. But the most
beautiful walks lie beside the canal, or sheet of ornamental water,
which is fairly alive with water-fowl, brought from almost every corner
of the globe. Around this part there are many fine trees, which throw
their green shadows into the water, broken at times by a hundred tiny
ripples, which have been raised by the paddles of some strange-looking
duck, or thrown up by the silver-breasted swans. We have seen little
morsels mirrored in these "cool translucent waves" of the richest colour
and beauty--the drooping gold of the laburnum, and the pearly white of
the hawthorn, dangled amid moving shadows of green; while deep down, the
blue sky lay sleeping, like another heaven, motionless, and without a
cloud. This is the favourite haunt of children and nursery-maids; and
few fowls are better fed in summer-time than those which skim about the
water in the Park, for the handfuls of bread and biscuit which are
thrown in by the "little dears" for the little ducks, and often gobbled
up by the larger ones, would almost feed a workhouse. It has been a
celebrated spot for love-making ever since the days of Charles II., and
is frequently mentioned in the works of the dramatists who wrote at that
period. In this it has not degenerated up to the present day, for many a
"Corydon and Phillis" may yet be seen breathing out gentle vows in the
most secluded retreats, some of the maidens with countenances as
beautiful as ever figured in that gallery of graceless Graces which
formed the seraglio of the Merry Monarch. In this park King Charles
often amused himself by playing with his dogs, or feeding the ducks; or
sometimes he stole away to have a gossip with Nell Gwynn, the Duchess of
Cleveland, or Lady Castlemain, all of whom resided in the neighbourhood.
Here he also played at "pall-mall," for so is that game called by
garrulous old Pepys. Horace Walpole makes mention of the Mall, and also
tells us that pretty ladies were sometimes mobbed in the Park.

The Green Park possesses but little to interest us, beyond a walk beside
the gardens which run up in a line with James-street, although far
behind it. But those who know the locality will not pass without pausing
to gaze at one house, conspicuous by its large bow-windows, the upper
one of which is encircled by a gilt palisade. This is the residence of
Samuel Rogers the poet. Within that house every distinguished literary
man of the last half-century has been a guest. Here Scott, Byron,
Shelley, Coleridge, and Campbell have many a time discoursed with the
venerable poet. What a rich volume would that be, were it possible to
write it, that contained all the good sayings which have been uttered
beneath that roof! Here we first sat a guest, roaring with laughter at
the wit of the late Sydney Smith; and here also we have listened with
"bated breath" to the music murmured by the lips of Moore. Within those
walls we first saw that true poetess and injured lady, Mrs. Norton; and
from the host himself, in our early career as an author, received that
encouragement and kindness, without which we might have "fallen on the
way." A description of this celebrated house, all it contains, and the
guests it has received, would require the hand of another Walpole to
illustrate. The name of Samuel Rogers would alone save the Green Park
from oblivion, and give it a popularity which it would never, but for
him, have possessed.

No stranger would ever think of entering Hyde Park without first casting
a look at Apsley House, the abode of "the" Duke; if he did, the statue
of Achilles, which seems stationed as if to point it out, would remind
him where he was. This is the very maze and centre of fashion; here the
pride and beauty of England may be seen upon their own stage; and on a
fine day, in what is called the "season" in town, no other spot in the
world can out-rival in rich display and chaste grandeur that which is
here presented. It far excels St. James's in pure rural scenery--there
is less of art and more of nature in its appearance, and this is
increased by the beauty of the Serpentine river. Then, be it remembered,
we are in the vicinity of "Tyburn Tree," the history of which has yet to
be written. We have often pictured, while wandering here in the
deepening twilight, the mouldering bodies of the stern Protector,
Ireton, and Bradshaw, dangling upon that "triple-tree" in the sunset of
a winter's evening, after they had been dragged out of their graves in
Westminster Abbey. This was indeed carrying revenge beyond the grave,
and is one of the blackest blots that stain the memory of the Merry
Monarch. Evelyn has a savage and unfeeling note in his "Diary" on the
revolting exhibition. "On the 30th of January," he says, "the carcases
of those rebels--Cromwell, Bradshaw, the judge who condemned his
Majesty, and Ireton (son-in-law to the Usurper)--were dragged out of
their superb tombs in Westminster, among the kings, to Tyburn, and
hanged on the gallows there from nine in the morning till six at night,
and then buried under that fatal and ignominious monument in a deep pit,
thousands who had seen them in all their pride being spectators."

Cromwell had a narrow escape in Hyde Park while driving his own coach;
the horses ran away, and the stern Protector was thrown off the box, and
falling on the pole, while his feet were entangled in the harness, he
was carried some distance. On this accident the old rhyming cavalier
Cleveland wrote the following lines:

    "The whip again! away! 'tis too absurd
     That thou should'st lash with whip-cord now, but sword.
     I'm pleased to fancy how the glad compact
     Of hackney-coachmen sneer at the last act.
     Hark how the scoffing concourse hence derives
     The proverb, 'needs must go when the devil drives.'
     Yonder a whipster cries, ''Tis a plain case,
     He turn'd us out to put himself i' the place;
     But, God-a-mercy, horses once, for ye
     Stood to 't, and turn'd him out as well as we.'
     Another, not behind him with his mocks,
     Cries out, 'Sir, faith you were in the wrong box;
     He did presume to rule, because, forsooth,
     He's been a horse-commander from his youth;
     But he must know there's difference in the reins
     Of horses fed with oats and fed with grains.
     I wonder at his frolic, for be sure
     Four hamper'd coach-horses can fling a _Brewer_:
     But 'Pride will have a fall,' such the world's course is,
     He who can rule three realms can't guide four horses;
     See him that trampled thousands in their gore,
     Dismounted by a party but of four.
     But we have done with 't, and we may call
     This driving Jehu, Phaeton in his fall:
     I would to God for these three kingdoms' sake,
     His neck, and not the whip, had given the crack."

We wonder whether Cromwell remembered the wish conveyed in the last line
when the old royalist colonel had to petition the Protector for his
deliverance from Yarmouth gaol. The letter he sent (now before us) is
headed, "To the Protector, after long and vile durance in prison. May it
please your Highness," &c.

Hyde Park is mentioned as early as the reign of Edward VI, and was no
doubt enclosed long before that period. During the time of the
Commonwealth it was put up to auction and sold in lots, the deer alone
being valued at near upon a thousand pounds. At that period it extended
to the Acton-road one way, and to Knightsbridge the other; the boundary
citywards being, as now, near Park-lane, while the distance it extended
westward is at this day unknown. The consort of George II. was allowed
to possess three hundred acres of this Park in her day, and early
writers state that Queen Anne had enclosed thirty acres within
Kensington Gardens.

Hyde Park was the great mustering-ground for the May-day holidays in the
olden time. Cleveland, who wrote and fought in the time of the first
Charles, makes mention of it in a poem entitled "May-day," which
contains many beautiful lines. He speaks of "Delight beating her silvery
wings," warbling over the "dappled lawns;" of "snow-white milk-maids
crowned with garlands;" of the youths and maidens tumbling and rolling
upon the grass, and of revelling in the luxuries of "curds and cream."
Even Cromwell, with all his gloomy Puritanism, went to witness the
wrestling in Hyde Park, little dreaming that after he had been long dead
and buried, his body would be hanged on the neighbouring gallows, which
must have loomed ominously above those merry-makings. Gossiping
good-natured old Pepys regrets, in his "Diary," that he could not be in
Hyde Park one May-day among the great gallants and fine ladies.

Regent's Park has greater attractions than its scenery, although many
portions of it are very beautiful. Here we find the Zoological Gardens
and Colosseum, both important enough to deserve a separate notice in our
Sketches of London, had we the space. On entering the Gardens you see a
beautiful terrace, which reaches from the rural lodges to some distance,
while below are placed the cages which contain the noble animals; and
these are very commodious and airy. Beyond this terrace there is a
pleasant rustic walk, hemmed in by luxuriant foliage, at the end of
which there is an opening commanding an extensive view of the Park. To
the right you have the domestic aviaries, well worth visiting, as they
contain some fine specimens of the fowls of Peru and Mexico. To the left
of the terrace there is a little morsel of real Watteau-like scenery,
with its smooth lawn and clear pond, near to which are placed the
gorgeous macaws, whose hues out-rival the colours of the rainbow.
Further on there is another "green nestling spot," adjoining a sheet of
water, which, with its fountain and variety of aquatic fowls and
beautiful beech-trees, tempted us to linger longer. Then there is the
mossy rock, where the otter is located, with its silent water, into
which live fish are thrown, when the long-bodied inhabitant plunges in
after them, compelled to wet his jacket before he can enjoy his dinner.
But were we to describe the monkeys and parrots, and every variety of
bird and beast which are here assembled, we should require the whole
space of our volume. The catalogue sold at the Gardens consists of
nearly thirty pages, and to this we refer our readers when they visit
Regent's Park.

The ground occupied by Regent's Park is not without its interest. The
old monastic house of Marylebone stood within its boundaries in former
days, and had in the time of Elizabeth its park and deer. Here also was
a famous bowling-green, which the Duke of Buckingham in his day visited.

The new Parks which are now forming around the metropolis do great
credit to Government, and will, like charity, cover a multitude of minor
transgressions; for those who legislate for the benefit of posterity
must be influenced by something more noble than narrow and selfish
views. Breathing-room has been sadly neglected of late around the
metropolis. Let any one cross over London Bridge, and turn up by St.
George's Church in the Borough, along the Old Kent Road, and as far as
New Cross, he will find it one continuous and unbroken chain of
buildings. Yet here is space ample enough, and grounds of but little
value, that might be formed into a spacious park. If this is not done,
those who twenty years hence live in this neighbourhood of railways will
be compelled to wander as far as Blackheath or Greenwich Park, to obtain
a mouthful of pure air. Kennington Common is but a name for a small
grassless square, surrounded with houses, and poisoned by the stench of
vitriol-works, and black, open, sluggish ditches; what it will be when
the promised alterations are completed we have yet to see.

Walworth Common has vanished; and the little fairy Green before the Swan
at Stockwell is now no more; while even Clapham Common seems in our eyes
to lessen every year. Wandsworth had set out in good earnest to reach
Lambeth, and would soon have been near the Nine Elms station, had not
Government stopped its career, by stepping in between at Battersea
Fields. Cross the water, and some of the miscalled Parks are like the
one named Whetstone--thrust into the corner of a square. Barnsbury Park
is in any street which the conductor of the Islington omnibus may please
to set you down at; while Islington, Highbury, Pentonville, and King's
Cross are all so jostled together, that you cannot tell which is the
beginning or the end of either the one or the other. We have heard of a
neighbourhood that stretches somewhere behind Houndsditch and
Bishopsgate, and seen something of it while gazing from the dome of St.
Paul's; but from the view thus obtained of it, we should as soon hope to
find our way out of the Cretan labyrinth, if once in it, as to extricate
ourselves from this maze of streets and alleys. We can imagine some
stranger losing his way in this perplexing maze, and ever moving on
until he grew grey, without a hope of finding his way out again. The new
Park in progress near this neighbourhood may, at last, be something like
a landmark by which we can see through such an unknown wilderness. How
the inhabitants of such localities as these must pine for

    "The populous solitude of bees and birds,
     And fairy-form'd and many-colour'd things,
     Who worship Him with notes more sweet than words,
     And innocently open their glad wings,
     Fearless and full of life; the gush of springs,
     And fall of lofty fountains; and the bend
     Of stirring branches, and the bud that brings
     The swiftest thought of beauty."--_Byron._



CHAPTER XV.

ST. GILES's.


By way of contrast, we will stride from splendour to squalour--from St.
James's to St. Giles's, whose names Douglas Jerrold has rendered
inseparable in his fearless and life-like novel.

As St. Giles's folds within its arms a portion of the fashion-frequented
neighbourhood of Oxford-street, so do the low alleys of Tothill-fields
hem in the palaces of Westminster, creeping up to the very walls of the
grey old abbey, and dipping down to the rim of the river; while,
eastward, the city of merchants is bounded by the wretchedness of
Whitechapel on the one hand, and deep behind again by the
thickly-inhabited parish of Shoreditch. Wealth cannot wholly seclude
itself; to wheresover it moves poverty follows for companionship, for
without its dependents it is useless: riches cannot dwell apart, without
looking worse than the gold on gold in bad heraldry. The fungus and the
lichen cling to the sound gigantic oak, the same as to the trunk of the
decayed pollard. True, the wedge has been driven into the rotten heart
of the old Rookery of St. Giles's, and New Oxford-street has sprung up
from the corruption; but what has become of the inhabitants who battened
on the core of the decayed tree? Like a nest of ants, they are turned
loose to overrun other neighbourhoods. The new houses and splendid
streets which have risen above the old sites of sorrow, misery, and
wretchedness, have but driven them from their ancient haunts, and
compelled them to seek shelter in other quarters, where the
poverty-stricken populace

    "Most do congregate,"

where misery clings to misery for a little warmth, and want and disease
lie down side by side, and groan together; where

    "But to think is to be full of sorrow,
        And leaden-eyed despair."--_Keats._

Let us look these evils steadily in the face for a moment or two without
blenching. The air which now blows through the open windows of the
emblazoned carriage in which the diamonded duchess is seated, a few
seconds ago swept over the poisonous avenues of Church-street and
Carrier-street, and is laden with odours from the sink and sewerage of
St. Giles's. Yes, the self-same breeze which now uplifts those dark
ringlets, a minute ago filled the lungs of Wiggins; those parted lips
inhaled the poison that arose from the rotten garbage of these streets,
the gases arising from the churchyard, and every other smell that is
born of death and decay. How essential is it, then, fair lady, for thy
own sake, to aid us in cleansing these Augean stables, in purifying
these pest-houses of poor humanity. You may build yourself a fine house,
my lady, and hem it round with a lofty wall; but you must, while in
town, still breathe the poisonous air which they breathe, until these
grievous evils are remedied.

We will enter these streets and peep into those dark, close, unhealthy,
and forbidding-looking rooms. In this narrow alley a dusky twilight
reigns throughout the sunny noon of day. We have to feel for the noisome
staircases which open on either hand; and now we have found one, we will
grope our way through this land of gloom and shadows. What a dead smell
floats around us! a close noisome air, such as arises from an
over-crowded vault, even more death-smelling than many a vault we have
in our day visited. The staircase is encrusted with dirt, a kind of
black greasy mud, which has been trampled into toughness, not unlike
what covers the City streets after rain or snow in winter; but "that" is
"clean" dirt in comparison to this, for here we tread upon old filth,
the accumulation, it may be, of years; for by the side of the staircase,
where it is least trodden, it is mildewy and mouldy. The smoke of our
cigar is the only wholesome aroma that rises amid these stifling rooms.
The perfume of flowers could never pierce through the weight of this
dense atmosphere, but would fall back again and die amid the petals
whence it arose; even the strong sweet-smelling May-blossoms would
struggle in vain to disperse the poison of this motionless air.

Now we have reached the room, we cannot see what forms are before us, so
little light streams in through that "dirt-ditched" and cobweb-covered
casement, which appears as if it were never opened,

[Illustration: THE ROOKERY, ST. GILES'S]

as if they knew that the noisome air was better kept out than in. There
is no ventilation, no "thorough-draft" through any of these miserable
rooms; the walls are damp through so many breaths, for where the moist
air falls there doth it rest, hanging like cold beaded drops on the brow
of one who wrestles sternly with death.

It must have been many years since these apartments were either painted
or whitewashed; a black grey hue pervades every thing, as if the very
atmosphere had itself grown dark through hovering here so long and
motionless, as if it were compelled to stand and sicken between the
stench from below and the black vapours above--the one arising from the
foetid cellars, the other hurled down by the rain from the
soot-covered roofs--exhalations of the earth earthy--of the sewer
sewery--of the filth filthy--poison ever propagating poison--gutters
ever generating deadly gases, and creeping into the blood of the
inhabitants; and yet strange, in spite of its filth, this neighbourhood
was passed over lightly by the "fell destroyer," compared to others
which He ravaged during the last dreadful epidemic.

Behold! the curtain is at last uplifted, and those are living and
breathing forms that sit or stand before us, and such--however much we
may shun them here--as we shall be doomed to dwell amongst hereafter.
That poor girl is tying up her water-cresses in bunches, ready for
to-morrow's sale; she has no other place but the floor to lay them on
before she puts them into her little basket ready bunched. The green
bunches at her feet will be sold and eaten on the morrow by those who
never bestow a thought on the filthy floor on which they now lie. In
that room they will be kept all night, amid the breathing of above a
dozen sleepers. Those cabbages which the man is piling up in the corner
are the unsold remainder of to-day's stock; he will strip off the outer
leaves in the morning to give them a fresh look: they will also be eaten
on the morrow, in spite of the poisonous exhalations they are steeped
in. He will sleep beside them all night; the man with the three dogs
will share his bed, and perhaps the dogs themselves may find a couch
amongst the cabbages. The woman who has just brought in that bundle of
filthy rags (too late to be sold to-day in Monmouth-street) is also a
lodger, and will no doubt make a pillow of her dirty burden. That pile
of shavings, sacking, straw, and rags will be dragged out of the corner
when they feel disposed to sleep, and one will lie down here and another
there, and for a few hours bury their miseries in forgetfulness. How so
many manage to sleep in one apartment, especially in hot weather, is
only known to themselves. In the bleak bitterness of the chilling winter
we can picture them crowding together for warmth. But we must retreat;
for we find a difficulty in breathing, and pant like a robin that has
flown by mistake into a baker's oven while it was gradually heating.

Here we are again in the filthy street; for they have no back-yards into
which to throw their refuse, so must either keep it to putrify and decay
in the overheated rooms, or throw it out, and let their neighbours go
"share and share alike" in the sights and smells which pervade the
uncleansed neighbourhood. True, there is a man employed to clear away
the garbage; but, when this is done, they have no water, saving what
they beg, and not a drop can they spare to wash down the gutters.
Wherever a sunbeam alights, you see it steaming with the filth, and
behold the golden ray dimmed with the vapoury and deadly exhalations.

Yet these poor people are not naturally dirty. From many of the windows
you see their tattered garments hanging out to dry, though, from the
colour, you have a difficulty in persuading yourself that they have ever
been washed, and come to the conclusion that they are only hung there to
be aired. The colour is not their fault; such an atmosphere would turn a
root of milk-white daisies to the hue of parchment in a month, if it
were possible that they could live so long in those breathless and
airless alleys, where not a green leaf has grown for years.

Sometimes little Jack, or his half-clothed sister, when playing about
the room (for children play even here), catch the end of the prop on
which the rags are suspended, when down comes the whole washing into the
gutter; and, unless the poor washerwoman is pretty nimble in looking
after them, the first dishonest passer-by will be likely enough to pick
up the whole wardrobe, and to see what it weighs at the nearest
rag-shop. They have not the means of keeping themselves clean; like the
Israelites of old, they cannot complete the task without the straw; and
in many places what little water there was, has, like other
conveniences, been cut off while the new buildings were proceeding.
Baths and wash-houses will no doubt in time supply these deficiencies;
but until they are opened, we suppose the inhabitants must be left to
shift for themselves as they best can, for the "improvements" as they
are called have subjected many of the people in this poor neighbourhood
to such privations as they never before experienced.

Let us lift up the flap of this cellar, and see what is going on below;
for that gleam of fire, or candlelight, shews that these underground
regions are inhabited--that the habits of the ancient Britons are not
wholly abandoned, but that the descendants of those old burrowers of
hill and rock have but changed the twilight of their dry caverns for the
damp and darkness of these sewer-like habitations. Here we behold
another human hive busily preparing for dinner, although it is so late
in the day; for, like our wealthy merchants, they must get through
whatever business they may chance to have on hand before they have (the
means or) time to eat. Saw you ever such a medley as is now frizzling in
that capacious frying-pan? Parings of a loin of mutton, two beef
sausages, a thin rasher of pickled pork, ditto of bacon, the scrag-end
of a neck of mutton, a piece of beef-skirt, a small steak, and a kidney.
That old fellow with the wooden leg quite enjoys the job of cooking, and
has got a jug of water in readiness to make "gravy" for the whole
community, who have clubbed towards the contents of the frying-pan.
Those who sit on the unboarded and unpaved floor beside the wall, and
who look on so wistfully, have nothing to cook--nothing to eat; they
paid the last penny or twopence they possessed to be allowed to sleep on
the floor of that cellar until morning. When those dinners or suppers
are over, the broken table, the bottomless chairs, and old butter-tubs
which are used for seats, will be set aside, and the whole of the naked
cellar strewn over with straw or shavings, on which they may (if they
can)

    "Look round and take their rest."

And right glad will those foodless and moneyless creatures be when all
the cooking and eating, in which they cannot become partakers, ceases,
and when, amid sound asleep on the unboarded and unpaved floor, some
kindly vision may come through the mysterious murmurs of the night, and

    "Cloy the hungry edge of appetite
        By bare imaginations of a feast."

In wet weather the inhabitants of these subterranean dwellings sometimes
stand peeping through the open cellar-lights at the feet which pass over
the pavement; and, while doing so, their faces are spotted like leopards
with the mud. They seem as if they were ever looking at other people's
steps instead of taking heed of their own ways. Happy might they be if,
like the long-tailed field-mouse, they could, in their burrows, store up
provisions for the winter, while in summer they nibbled the herbage or
fed on the acorns which fell from the broad hoary oak, quenching their
thirst at the woodland brook; and, like the old barbarians who first
landed on our island shore, have no care, beyond what they should eat
and drink, about the morrow. Yet even they have something to be proud
of; for they have only to issue out of their black and breathless courts
through the breezy thoroughfares which open into Oxford-street, and
there the same window, which the dandy shopman in the "white choker" and
neat black suit "dressed" to allure the wealthier classes, is open for
their inspection; and more than one merry laugh have we heard while
passing by, as some half-drunken Pat pictured his (far-from-sober) Biddy
in a long Cashmere shawl and bonnet, plumed with the bird of paradise.

Sometimes you may see one of the inhabitants halting outside the
huckster's shop, and endeavouring to squeeze a penny out of the sixpence
(which has to purchase tea, sugar, bread, butter, tobacco, and a candle)
for gin; and so accommodating are some of these shopkeepers, that they
make halfpenny-worths of every thing they sell, and are ready to cut
either a candle or a penny-loaf in two with the same knife.

We well remember passing through the Rookery of St. Giles's when the
work of demolition first commenced; when those who had found no other
residence were allowed to remain until the workmen began to pull the
houses down. Many of the inhabitants who were then old were born in
those tumble-down houses, then doomed to stand no longer. There they had
tended the sick couch, and through those dilapidated doorways carried
out their dead; smiles and tears had brightened and fallen in those
apartments, which to them bore the endearing name of home. We looked up,
and through the broken lattices saw the faces of little children--dirty
images of innocence--dear to the hearts of their poor mothers. And many
houses similar to these are still standing in St. Giles's, with leaning
door-posts and windows all awry; some propped up with beams, on which
they rest, as if they had a stitch in their sides, and had placed their
hands there to relieve the pain. Many of the door-posts are worn smooth
and bright, through the idle loungers, who have rubbed and rested
against them while smoking and looking out into the streets, hour after
hour, and day after day,--men who seem to have no business upon earth,
having to smoke and sleep, and when they awake, to smoke and lean
against the self-same doorways until it is time to sleep again. On the
steps, and on the edges of the pavement, or at the entrance of those
unexplored courts, withered old women sit with folded arms scowling at
you as you pass, and proclaiming by their looks that you are an
intruder. And fortunate may a decently-clad man consider himself if he
meets with nothing more serious than black looks while passing through
the still dangerous neighbourhood of St. Giles's.

All are not idle, be it remembered, who frequent such haunts as these;
many have seen "better days," and only fell because they possessed not
fortitude enough to struggle against unfortunate circumstances. Others
had never been taught any trade, and when they lost such situations as
ten thousands were capable of taking, they never raised their heads
again, although they went many a weary day, week, and month afterwards
in quest of employment, returning at night to sleep in such dens as we
have here described, sick and sad at heart. At length their attire
became too shabby for their admission into respectable houses only to
ask for employment, and then they sank with a kind of sullen
recklessness amid the filth and squalor of St. Giles's, and from that
wretched state never emerged again. But these are the exceptions; the
majority of the inhabitants are "to the manner born."

Glancing at the remote past, it was in St. Giles's where the criminal
stopped in ancient times, and drank his last draught of ale on his way
to Tyburn tree; and about the time when Chaucer died, the gallows was
removed from Smithfield into this parish, probably because here it was
more frequently needed. In the reign of Charles II. an attempt was made
to improve this neighbourhood by a better class of houses, and for years
some of the streets wore a look of respectability; then a change took
place, and the old primeval dirt and darkness settled down again. Our
modern improvers have commenced by rooting out the inhabitants; may we
not expect a new St. Giles's to rise up in some other corner of this
vast metropolis?

The following description of the Church of St. Giles's is quoted from
Vol. V. of the _Illustrated London News_:

"Many a reader may start at the adjunct of 'in the fields,' to the
dedicatory name of this metropolitan church; and the surprise is natural
enough when we recollect that the structure is situated on the south
side of the High-street, St. Giles's, which probably was one of the
narrowest roadways in this overgrown city. The name of the church
receives its addition from the circumstance of being formerly _in the
fields_, and to distinguish it from the Church of St. Giles's,
Cripplegate. This parish was anciently a village of the same name, and
its church is supposed to owe its origin to the chapel which belonged to
the hospital founded about 1117, by Queen Matilda, consort of Henry I.,
for the reception of leprous persons belonging to the City of London and
the county of Middlesex. In 1354, Edward III. granted this hospital to
the master and brethren of the order of Burton, St. Lazar, of Jerusalem,
in Leicestershire, for certain considerations, for which it became a
cell to that order, till the general dissolution of religious houses by
Henry VIII., who, in 1545, granted it to Lord Dudley. Soon after this
period, the chapel or church was made parochial; and on the 20th of
April, 1547, William Rawlinson was instituted rector.

"The ancient church being very small, and much dilapidated, was taken
down in 1623, and a church of brick was erected in its stead. This also
became in its turn too small and inconvenient, when the inhabitants
applied for an Act of Parliament to enable them to rebuild it;
accordingly, the old fabric was taken down in 1730, and the present very
handsome edifice was erected and completed in 1733; this being the third
church built upon the site.

"Mr. Elmes, in his diligently compiled _Topographical Dictionary of
London_, attributes the design to Gibbs; but the following statement is
more circumstantial: 'It is curious that this edifice, which has given
to Flitcroft his reputation, should be attributed, in the Report of the
Church Commissioners to the House of Commons, to Hawksmoor, who, they
say, expended 8605_l._ 7_s._ 2_d._ upon it; but there is no doubt but
Walpole, and the View, published in 1753, are correct in ascribing it to
Flitcroft, who was probably employed by Gibbs, and not by the
commissioners.'--Knight's _London_.

"The church is built of Portland stone, as are also the tower and the
tall and graceful spire, which are 160 feet high to the vane. The
interior is 75 feet in length, exclusive of the recess for the altar,
and 60 feet in width: it has a wagon-headed ceiling, and is divided into
nave and aisles by fluted stone Ionic columns, which assist the main
walls in carrying the roof. The effect of the entire composition is more
than usually chaste and beautiful.

"A new entrance-gateway, of considerable beauty, has, within these forty
years, been erected from the designs of William Leverton, Esq., in which
is introduced an ancient piece of sculpture, of more curiosity than
beauty, representing the last judgment. This work was taken from 'The
Resurrection Gate' of the old church, which had also many rich
monuments, one of which, to Sir Roger L'Estrange, the well-known
loyalist and writer, still remains. Andrew Marvel was also buried here,
'a man in whose reputation the glory of the patriot has eclipsed the
finer powers of the poet.' St. Giles's also preserves the ashes of
Chapman, the translator of Homer; and Flaxman, the truly great sculptor,
was buried here on December 15, 1826, his body accompanied to the grave
by the president and council of the Royal Academy. For once, an
inscription speaks simple truth; we read here, 'John Flaxman, R.A.,
P.S., whose mortal life was a constant preparation for a blessed
immortality: his angelic spirit returned to the Divine Giver on the 7th
of December, 1826, in the 72d year of his age.'

"There is a peculiarly interesting circumstance connected with his
death, told by Allan Cunningham in his _Lives of the British Sculptors_
(p. 359), which we cannot resist the temptation of transcribing. He says
'the winter had set in, and, as he was never a very early mover, a
stranger found him rising one morning when he called about nine o'clock.
'Sir,' said the visitant, presenting a book as he spoke, 'this work was
sent to me by the author, an Italian artist, to present to you, and at
the same time to apologise for its extraordinary dedication. In truth,
sir, it was so generally believed throughout Italy that you were dead,
that my friend determined to shew the world how much he esteemed your
genius, and having this book ready for publication, he has inscribed it
_Al Ombra di Flaxman_. No sooner was the book published than the story
of your death was contradicted, and the author, affected by his mistake,
which, nevertheless, he rejoices at, begs you will receive his work and
his apology.' Flaxman smiled, and accepted the volume with unaffected
modesty, and mentioned the circumstance, as curious, to his own family
and some of his friends. This occurred on Saturday the 2d of December,
when he was well and cheerful; the next day he was taken suddenly ill
with cold, and on the 7th was dead.

"In the churchyard, too, is the tomb of the Pendrells, who aided in the
escape of Charles II.; and a few years since was revived the custom of
decorating this tomb on Restoration Day (May 29), with branches of oak,
in commemoration of Pendrell's loyalty and attachment to the
'unkingship.'

"In the tower is a clock, the dials of which are illuminated at night
with gas; this being, if we remember rightly, the first improvement of
the kind introduced into the metropolis.

"The church is a rectory, in the county and archdeaconry of Middlesex,
in the diocese of London, and the patronage of the Lord Chancellor.
"Although the church is very capacious, it is altogether inadequate to
the spiritual wants of the parish.

"It was in front of the site of St. Giles's Church that Sir John
Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, was so savagely burnt during the reign of Henry
V., his early friend. The phrase, 'St. Giles's Bowl,' will remind many
of the custom that formerly prevailed here of giving every malefactor on
his way to Tyburn a bowl of ale, as his last worldly draught. Thus is
the site associated with the fierceness and coarse spirit of bygone
ages; and probably the most grateful relics are the trees in the
churchyard, which carry the mind's eye back to 'the fields.' The
illuminated clock and the wood pavement of the roadway are
unquestionably of our own time."

Besides the church, there is a curious old bath in the neighbourhood of
St. Giles (of which we give an engraving), accompanied with the
following quotation from the _Times_:

"In the thick of the once renowned 'slums' of St. Giles's there has
existed one of the finest springs in the metropolis, which has been
'known to local fame,' and esteemed for its medicinal properties, for
the last two centuries; and, if the gossip of tradition may be relied
on, it was once the favourite _bagnio_ of Queen Anne, whose name it
still bears to this day: it is to be seen at No. 3 Old Belton-street,
between Holborn and Long-acre, in the direct line of the new street
between Holborn and the Strand; one side of the street in question has
already been pulled down, so that the bath is now once again brought to
light, though sadly shorn of its ancient splendour. It is a curious and
interesting relic of bygone days: it is a large tank, paved at the
bottom with black and white marble, and lined throughout with good Dutch
tiles, of the time apparently of William III. or Queen Anne, having a
lofty French groined dome roof. Being supplied direct from the spring,
which is perpetually running into it, so that it is always fresh, it is
much used by the inhabitants in the neighbourhood, as it is supposed to
be a good cure for rheumatism and other disorders, is a powerful tonic,
and, from its colour, evidently contains a considerable trace of iron.
The spring from which the bath is supplied has been traced, I believe,
from Highgate; and as it does not appear to be known to, or treated on
by antiquaries who have written on these matters, I have been induced to
direct your attention to it, in the hope that such a valuable spring may
be rendered available for the benefit of the poor inhabitants of this
great metropolis."

[Illustration]

[Illustration: QUEEN ANNE'S BATH.]



CHAPTER XVI.

LONDON FOG.


Such of our readers as have never been in London in November can
scarcely imagine what it is to grope their way through a downright
thorough London fog. It is something like being imbedded in a dilution
of yellow peas-pudding, just thick enough to get through it without
being wholly choked or completely suffocated. You can see through the
yard of it which, at the next stride, you are doomed to swallow, and
that is all. It is a kind of meat and drink, and very sorry sustenance
for those who are asthmatical, as you may tell by hearing one old cough
answering to another from opposite sides of the street, and which,
although you cannot see the passengers, you can tell, from their
grumbling, that they do not like the fare at all. You have the same
soft-soapy atmosphere served up at breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper;
every time you open your mouth you partake of it, and all day long you
are compelled to burn lights, and, in addition to the fog, inhale the
fumes from gas, candle, or lamp, which have no more chance of escape
than you have, so burn on dim, yellow, and sulkily, as if the very
lights needed all the warmth they could obtain, and thus confine
themselves to illuminating the smallest possible space. The whole city
seems covered with a crust, and all the light you can see beneath it
appears as if struggling through the huge yellow basin it overspreads.
You fancy that all the smoke which had ascended for years from the
thousands of London chimneys had fallen down all at once, after having
rotted somewhere above the clouds; smelling as if it had been kept too
long, and making you wheeze and sneeze as if all the colds in the world
were rushing into your head for warmth, and did not care a straw about
killing a few thousands of people, so long as they could but lodge
comfortably for a few hours any where. You blow like a grampus in a
quicksand, with the keel of a seventy-four on his back, and get about as
much fresh air as if you were in his situation: a pair of bellows with a
hole in the side, through which you might cram your double fist, would
make perfect music, when blown, compared to the noise of your own
breathing. You seem as if you had swallowed six broken-winded horses;
that they were inside of you alive and kicking; and, for the soul of
you, you cannot get rid of one.

You step gingerly along, feeling your way beside the walls, windows, and
doors, whenever you can, until at last you tumble headlong into some
cellar--perhaps on the shoulders of the little cobbler who is at work
below, and who chances to have his sharp awl uplifted at the moment; or
perhaps it is an underground coal-shed, and you alight on the back of
the black-looking woman weighing coals, and double her up in her own
scale--receiving, in return, a couple of black eyes from her husband.
After a hearty drubbing, you escape once more into the street; and, as
you cannot see a yard before you, break your shins over a milkman's can,
and upset the contents on the greasy pavement; he tries to collar you,
but your blood is now up, and you give him a "straight-armer," which
sends him into the area, upsetting the fat cook as he falls. You then
run for it, and come full butt against the "bow-window" of a respectable
old gentleman, with whom you have a roll or two in the gutter, thankful
that you did not fall on the other side, and stave in the shop-front.
You shake yourself, and are glad that you are as you are; for a foot
beyond where you fell there yawns an open grating, beneath which runs
the huge sewer that empties itself into the Thames; and you wonder how
many have slipt in during the day. You tumble into a heap of unslacked
lime; but that you think nothing of, too thankful to find it was not a
fire. You turn up what seems to be a court, to give yourself a rub-down,
and run your head against a pail of whitewash, which hangs suspended
from a ladder: the whole contents flow over you, and, before you can see
where you are, you fall over a sweep, who is tying up his blanket of
soot, roll into the midst of it, and come out a pretty picture--something
like the inside of an old chimney and the outside of a rough-cast wall,
just mortared.

Some good Samaritan in the court takes pity on you by lending you a
towel, and furnishing you with a pail of water, and you make the best of
a bad job by cleansing yourself as you can. This done, you sally out
again, more cautious than ever--the deep yellow darkness meantime
increasing; you proceed slowly, and feel every foot of your way, for
seeing is out of the question beyond arm's length. Cautiously you grope
along by the board of a fishmonger's shop, on which lie three or four
large black live lobsters; one with his claws open closes on your hand
like a vice, and you run shrieking for very life. The fishmonger catches
sight of the lobster dangling from your hand, and, believing you have
stolen it, follows with a loud cry of "Stop thief!" He is brought up,
with his head in the tar-barrel, at the front of his neighbour the
oilman's door; and the monster, by being banged against the wall, having
by this time loosed his hold, you go along writhing and groaning, and
wondering what will next befal you.

Porters with heavy burdens, women and men with fish, watercresses, &c.,
you run against every few minutes, and think nothing of. Sometimes you
are knocked down, then again it is their lot to fall; and finding that
the average runs pretty fair for and against the feller and the fallen,
you rest contented on that score--considering the running of the edges
of half a dozen umbrellas into your mouth as so many little ones in. If
you mistake a dimly-lighted shop-front for some turning, and chance to
shove your head through a pane of glass, all you can do is to walk as
quietly on as if nothing were amiss--two strides and you are in safety,
and as far out of sight as if buried in Egyptian darkness; and they are
sure to seize the first unfortunate fellow they can lay hands upon, who
might have been just as likely to have made the mistake as yourself--to
know which is some comfort. That two or three dogs have run full gallop
between your legs, and thrown you down as many times, are accidents too
common to need recording. As for your watch, that of course went before
you had walked one hundred yards: you saw the fellow's arm that dragged
it out of your pocket, and that was all; it was a jerk amid the deep
fog, a rush, in which your nose came against a dead wall, and by the
time you had rubbed the grazed tip a little, you thought that you might
as well hunt for a needle in a bottle of hay, as attempt to follow the
thief in that dusky, woolly, and deceptive light.

With great difficulty, and after many inquiries, you find a tavern; for
you know no more than the man in the moon what part of London you are
in. You enter a dim, cheerless room without a fire, in which the gas
burns faintly, as if unable to pierce the fleecy fog which surrounds it.
You wonder whether the peg on which you hang your hat would bear your
weight; and, as you lay hold of the bell-rope, cannot help trying the
strength of it: the height of the ceiling also catches your eye, and you
marvel that more people do not hang themselves on such a day. The very
poker in the fireless grate has a cold, clammy, and murderous look; and
when the waiter enters, you fancy that he has just been cut down. You
light a cigar, and begin to think a little better of matters, and to
reckon how many glasses of hot brandy-and-water would throw you into a
state of oblivion--that is, leave you dead drunk until the dawning of
another day. These thoughts vanish with a second glass, and you again
venture forth, resolved this time to get into an omnibus, should one be
found bold enough to venture out on such a day. After waiting for some
time, and hailing by mistake half a dozen coal-wagons and carriers'
carts, you perceive an omnibus creeping by at a snail's pace, enter, and
squeeze yourself into a seat behind the door. You cannot see to the top
of it for the fog, so have no fear of your tailor recognising you,
should he happen to be inside--one comfort out of so many evils. While
you are sitting, and congratulating yourself that you have escaped so
well, up comes a cab-horse with his head through the open door, and his
hot nostrils on your face. A few rough compliments are exchanged between
the cab-driver and the conductor, during which something is said about
the glanders, which haunts you for days after; the more so through your
nose being red and raw by grazing it against the wall when the thief ran
away with your watch. To what quarter the omnibus is going gives you no
concern, for you are glad to get any where to be out of the way on such
a day. Great, however, is your indignation, after having been carried
some three-score yards, to find that you are at the Cross Keys, in
Fleet-street, having got in at the corner of Bride-court, and that the
omnibus goes no farther. You pay your threepence with a protest, and are
thankful that you cannot see the passengers, who are laughing at you.
You have, however, the satisfaction of seeing a heavy old gentleman
plant one foot into a basket of oranges on the edge of the pavement, and
that puts you into a little better humour, especially when, at the next
step, he plunges his head into the window of a book-shop, and knocks
down the middle of three rows of richly-bound volumes, besides smashing
no end of panes of glass.

On such a day the man who milks his cow in the street is compelled to
lay hold of her tail, for fear of losing sight of her; while the
butcher-boy who carries out meat is often minus a joint or two when he
reaches the door at which his orders ought to have been delivered.
Should such a day be Smithfield market, all the cellar-flaps in the
little by-streets are left open, in the hopes of catching a few stray
sheep, and having a stock of mutton for nothing; should a prize bullock
tumble in, they make no bones of him, but salt down what is left, and
bless the fog for supplying them with so much excellent beef.

A stranger to London, when the fog sets in at night, and he looks upon
it for the first time, fancies his apartments filled with smoke, and
begins by throwing open his doors and windows; thus making bad worse, by
destroying all the warm air in the rooms. Even one well accustomed to
the ins and outs of our far-stretching city is strangely deceived in
distance, and the size objects assume, as they loom in dim and gigantic
dimensions through the heavy fog. The gas-lamps appear as if placed
three-story high, unless you stand close beneath them, for what light
they emit is nearly all thrown upward; while a cab comes heaving up (to
appearance) as large as the huge caravan which Wombwell formerly used
for the conveyance of his stupendous elephant. Once take a wrong
turning, and you may consider yourself very fortunate if you ever
discover the right road again within three hours; for the houses wear a
different appearance, and the streets appear to be all at "sixes and
sevens."

Although a real Londoner looks upon a dense December fog as a common
occurrence, and lights up his premises with as little ceremony as he
would do at the close of the day, yet, to one unused to such a scene,
there is something startling in the appearance of a vast city wrapt in a
kind of darkness which seems neither to belong to the day nor the night,
at the mid-noon hour, while the gas is burning in the windows of long
miles of streets. The greatest marvel, after all, is that so few
accidents happen in this dim, unnatural light, in the midst of which
business seems to go on as usual, and would do, we believe, were the
whole of London buried in midnight darkness at noonday, which would only
be looked upon as a further deepening of the overhanging gloom. The
number of lighted torches which are carried and waved at the corners and
crossings of the streets add greatly to the wild and picturesque effect
of the scene, as they flash redly upon the countenances of the
passengers, and, in the distance, have the effect of a city enveloped in
a dense mass of smoke, through which the smouldering flames endeavour in
vain to penetrate.

During a heavy fog many accidents occur on the river, through barges
running foul of each other, or vessels coming athwart the bridges; for
there is no seeing the opening arch from the rock-like buttress, as the
whole river looks like one huge bed of dense stagnant smoke, through
which no human eye can penetrate. If you lean over the balustrades of
the bridge, you cannot see the vessel which may at that moment be
passing beneath, so heavy is the cloudy curtain which covers the water.
At such times the steam-boats cease running, and rest quietly at their
moorings, for the man at the wheel would be unable to see half the
length of his vessel. Sometimes a steamer coming up the river takes a
fancy to a shorter cut, by trying to clear Blackwall Reach, and come
overland through the marshes below Greenwich, or by running her head
into the Isle of Dogs, where she lies aground until the next tide.

Many lives have been lost through foot-passengers mistaking the steps at
the foot of some of the bridges for the opening of the bridge itself,
and, ere they were aware of it, rolling head-foremost into the river.
Strong iron-railings have been erected during the last few years, and
have put an end to such dreadful accidents: at the foot of
Blackfriars-bridge, many, we have heard, thus lost their lives.

At this time the pavement is greasy, and, though you keep lifting up
your legs, you are hardly positive whether or not you are making any
progress. You seem to go as much backward as forward; and some old
Cockneys do aver that the surest way of reaching Temple-bar from
Charing-cross would be to start off with your face turned towards King
Charles's statue, to walk away manfully without once turning your head,
and that, by the end of three hours, you would be pretty sure of
reaching the point aimed at, should you not be run over.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XVII.

THE OLD BOROUGH OF SOUTHWARK.


The first object that still strikes the eye when we have passed over
into the Borough is the beautiful old church founded by a Saxon maiden
called Mary of the Ferry, which in time was corrupted into Mary Overy,
and is now called St. Saviour's. No young poet need wish for a finer
subject to try his hand on than this beautiful half holy old legend of
the Ferryman's Daughter, who, day after day, winter and summer, was seen
with her quaint old-fashioned Saxon boat, ready to row passengers from
the Borough to the City, and back again to the landing-place, where the
Ferry-house had stood centuries before a bridge united the two shores.
Pleasant to her ear must have been the lapping of the waves as they
washed her little freehold, and fell with a dreamy murmuring upon the
ear, while she sat revolving in her mind how she should begin to build a
house for the reception of a few poor and pious sisters, in which they
might live in content and comfort, and holy quiet; and when she was no
more, there pray for the soul of Mary of the Ferry. And thus was the
present St. Saviour's first founded. In this ancient cathedral-like
church, Gower, the contemporary of Chaucer, lies buried; his beautiful
monument still exists. Our own immortal Shakspeare was no doubt a
mourner here two hundred years ago, on the last day of December, 1607,
when in the forenoon he attended the funeral of his brother Edmund.
Perhaps the funeral took place earlier in the day, on account of the
merry-making which our forefathers held at the close of the old year,
and kept up until the new year had grown far into the day; and that this
was the cause why Edmund Shakspeare was buried in the church "with a
forenoone knell of the great bell." Edmund was himself a player, and we
can readily conjure up the images of those who witnessed his interment.

Were we to dwell upon the solemn memories which float around this hoary
pile, they would alone fill this chapter; for Fletcher is buried here,
so is Massinger; but not, as was supposed, "in a gloomy corner amid a
mass of misshapen and melancholy graves," for he is buried "within the
church."

But the spot to which the lover of poetry still directs his steps is to
the Tabard--Chaucer's old inn, still standing on the very spot, if not
the identical building itself, from which the father of English poetry
set out, when he accompanied his merry pilgrims to Canterbury. The
portion of this old hostelry still remaining dates much further back
than the period of Charles II., a proof that it escaped the terrible
fire which raged in Southwark in the year 1676. The very style of the
building needs not a second glance to proclaim its antiquity; it is
beyond doubt the very inn which the old chronicler Stowe mentions by the
name of the "Tabard," and which he himself had no doubt seen in 1598,
and called the "most ancient of the many fair inns in Southwark for
receipt of travellers." The old sign of the Tabard formerly hung
swinging and creaking across the road, and there were then no houses in
front to shut it in, as now; it lay openly and temptingly, as when
Chaucer's host, the merry "Harry Baily," stepped out in the front in the
sunny mornings of Spring and Summer, to see what the old Kent and
Newington roads were producing him, and what sort of customers were
riding up.

Even now there is something venerable in the old weather-beaten and
iron-bound posts which prop up its comparatively modern gateway; they
tell of the grazing and grinding of thousands of old wheels, while the
stones are worn away with the tramping of many a worn-out steed.

Merry doings were there in that old inn-yard, on an April morning, five
hundred years ago, for Harry Baily, the host was

                    "The early cock
    That gather'd them together in a flock."

And you might then have seen the Wife of Bath, leaning aside and
listening as she sat in her saddle, for she could not hear very well, as
she tells us Jankin, her fifth husband, had given her such a blow,

    "For that she rent out of his book a leaf,
        That of the stroke her ear was always deaf."

Let those who have never read Chaucer, and who wish to become acquainted
with the most minute and beautiful painting of character which poetry
ever produced, only read the Prologue to his _Canterbury Tales_; it
scarcely occupies more than twenty moderate pages of print. If, after
reading these, they are not tempted to proceed further, it will be
because "they have no poetry in their souls." In no work can we find
such a faithful description of the dress, manners, customs, and language
of our forefathers, as in the pages of Geoffrey Chaucer.

Nor is the "Talbot," as it is now called, the only ancient inn in the
Borough. There are others which contain their surrounding galleries, and
spacious yards open to the sky. Some years ago we glanced at other
portions of this ancient Borough--especially that part called the old
Mint. This is now fast disappearing; many of the houses that escaped the
fire in 1676 have of late been pulled down. The following is a
description which we wrote seven years ago, after visiting the remains
of this dilapidated neighbourhood. Stretching from St. George's Church,
in the Borough, into the high road which leads to the cast-iron bridge
of Southwark, are no end of narrow courts, winding alleys, and ruined
houses, which a bold-hearted man would hesitate to thread after dusk.
Here stand numbers of houses which are unroofed and uninhabited. Years
ago they were doomed to be pulled down, and it was resolved that a wide,
open street should be built upon the space they now occupy: years may
still roll away before they are removed. There is no place like this in
the suburbs of London--no spot that looks so murderous, so melancholy,
and so miserable. Many of these houses, besides being old, are very
large and lofty. Many of these courts stand just as they did when
Cromwell sent out his spies to hunt up and slay the Cavaliers, just as
they again were hunted in return, after the Restoration, by the
Royalists, who threaded their intricacies, with sword and pistol in
hand, in search of the fallen Roundheads. There is a smell of past ages
about these ancient courts, like that which arises from decay--a murky
closeness--as if the old winds which blew through them in the times of
the Civil Wars had become stagnant, and all old things had fallen and
died just as they were blown together, and left to perish. So it is now.
The timber of these old houses looks bleached and dead; and the very
brick-work seems never to have been new. In them you find wide,
hollow-sounding, decayed staircases, that lead into great ruinous rooms,
whose echoes are only awakened by the shrieking and running of large
black-eyed rats, which eat through the solid floors, through the
wainscot, and live and die without being startled by a human voice. From
the Southwark-bridge Road you may see the roofs of many of these great
desolate houses; they are broken and open; and the massy oaken rafters
are exposed to the summer sun and the snow of winter. Some of the lower
floors are still inhabited; and at the ends of those courts you will
see standing, on a fine day, such characters as you will meet with
nowhere beside in the neighbourhood of London. Their very dress is
peculiar; and they frequent the dark and hidden public-houses which
abound in these close alleys,--places where the gas is burning all day
long. Excepting the courts behind Long-lane, in Smithfield, we know no
spot about London like this, which yet fronts St. George's Church, in
the Borough.

Southwark, as all remember who are at all acquainted with history,
beside containing Shakspeare's Theatre, at Bankside, was, in former
days, famous for its Bear-garden; which, we fear, was often more crowded
than the spot where the author of "Hamlet" so frequently played.

What a different feature does the Southwark entrance to London Bridge
present to what it did only a few brief years ago! Every few minutes
omnibuses are now thundering to and from the railway terminus; while
passengers think no more of journeying to Brighton and back, and
remaining eight or ten hours there, on a long summer's-day, than they
formerly did of travelling to Greenwich; for it took the old slow
stage-wagons as long to traverse the five miles to the latter as our
iron-footed and fire-fed steed can with ease drag the five hundred
passengers at his heels, and land them within sight of the wide,
refreshing sea.

Were it possible to revive again the forms of those old Canterbury
Pilgrims, and, instead of sending them out of the Tabard-yard on
horseback, to place them in an express train, then start them off with
all the quaint, queer notions which haunted their living brains, what
strange conclusions they would come to. Even the "perfect knight," who
had fought in "fifteen battles," and seen many a strange sight in
heathen lands, would, with all his wisdom, think he had at last fallen
into the hands of the evil one, while gentle Chaucer would renounce his
disbelief in fairy lore, and be ready to admit that the land was now
filled with greater wonders than

    "In old days of the King Arthur,
     Of which the Britons speak great wonder;
     When all the land was filled full of faery--
     The Elf-Queen, with her jolly company,
     That danced full oft in many a green mead."
               _Wife of Bath's Tale._

What a change! to look up the ascent which led to that old
London-bridge, with its Traitor's-gate and ghastly heads grinning above
the vaulted gateway, and the scene that now meets the eye! Living heads
piled high on moving omnibuses, and journeying in every direction, for
twopenny or threepenny fares; steamboats passing from east to west, and
carrying passengers for one halfpenny per head; such changes has the old
square tower of St. Saviour's overlooked--such things has the
wonder-working hand of man accomplished. And yet the world is believed
by many to be still in its infancy; that two more centuries will see
mankind as far advanced and improved as the last two have placed us in
the lead of our forefathers. That the London of the present day will
then be as great a matter of curiosity to some future antiquary as old
London-bridge and the ancient borough of Southwark is to us; that others
will follow and exclaim as we do now:

                    "The race of yore,
      Who danced our infancy upon their knee,
    And told our marvelling boyhood legends store
      Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea,
    How are they blotted from the things that be."--_Scott._

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XVIII.

STREET AMUSEMENTS.


At different times several ephemeral little treatises have appeared
professing to teach the inhabitants of London how to live upon 50_l._,
100_l._, and divers other sums a year, not one, however, pointing out
the way by which any of these incomes were to be obtained. Mrs. Glasse
went very differently to work when she attempted to throw a new light
upon the economy of cooking, by advising her readers to "first catch
their hare," thereby conveying most sensible information in one brief
unmistakable sentence, and leaving them to proceed with the receipt, or
not, just as they were or might be provided with the animal treated of.
Although this introduction is hardly to the point, it will serve to lead
us to the ways and means hundreds have recourse to of obtaining a
livelihood, by appealing to our eyes and ears, by the sights and sounds
which they produce in our busy streets; causing those within doors to
curse their deafening clamour, and those without, who are interrupted by
the assembled crowd, and prevented from passing on their way, to utter
any thing but blessings upon their "devoted heads," proving the moral of
the old fable, that what is fun to one is death to another, by one class
being amused at the expense of another's annoyance.

For our part we look on these street performers with a very lenient eye,
knowing that they are struggling to live in the best way they can, and
that their humble endeavours to please afford amusement to thousands.
Look how the little urchins run at the first sound of Punch's well-known
voice; what a pattering there is of shod and unshod feet from every
court and alley in the neighbourhood as soon as his "chuck, chuck,
churee" is heard, startling the silence of the street! They whip up
their marbles, and start off with their pegtops half wound to get a
front place; for the hardened old rogue was a favourite with their
forefathers, and they are never weary of seeing him bang Judy with his
truncheon. They have a keen relish for his rather coarse jokes--the only
objectionable point in this old exhibition. How they dance round an
Italian boy with his organ, forgetting all their poverty and hunger for
the moment, while some little rascal, the raggedest in the group, keeps
excellent time with his castanets, which are four bare bones placed
between the fingers of each hand, and rattled over his head with
laughter and delight, while he thinks himself the chief contributor to
the amusement.

But Punch and Judy are the chief characters in our sketch. Punch was a
different performance in our youthful days: then he went out, got drunk,
came home and quarrelled with his wife; from words they got to blows,
and there used to be a tremendous fight between them, and sorry we are
to say the drunken old rascal swore dreadfully. At last he struck Judy a
tremendous blow with his truncheon, and she fell down senseless, as if
dead. Then the conscience of the hump-backed villain smote him, and he
wept and wailed over her, until at last the doctor came, felt her pulse,
and pronounced her dead. Punch was inconsolable for her loss, pronounced
the doctor a quack, and then they went at it. Oh, what a fight that was
between Punch and the Doctor! but the man of physic fell beneath the
truncheon of the hooked-nosed old blackguard, and appeared as if dead.
Punch was next tried, and knocked the judge off the bench for finding
him guilty of murder, and sentencing him to be hanged. Then the gallows
was brought out, and you made sure that the old villain's career of
crime was ended; but not a bit of it; like Mat Prior's thief, he

    "Now fitted the halter, now traversed the cart,
     And often took leave, but was loth to depart."

He seemed willing enough to be hanged, but did not know how to place his
neck in the halter; sometimes he put his arms through the noose, then
half his body, but never by any chance did he allow the cord to touch
his neck. At length he succeeded in persuading Jack Ketch to shew him
the right way: the hangman did so, placed his own neck in the noose,
received a crack on the head with the staff and a kick behind, and there
he hung and swung to the delight of every beholder. Then came the Devil,
horned, hoofed, tailed, saucer-eyed, and black as ebony; but Punch was
game to the back-bone, and fought with all his might, causing the Devil
himself to retreat several times before he would give in. Nor did we
ever think the Devil beat him fairly; for he came behind, like a
sneaking thief as he is, pinioned both the arms of Punch, while the
latter had his face turned towards us in triumph, and bore him away on
his back: we could even hear the prominent-paunched old hero swearing,
as his horned antagonist vanished with him below the green baize.

The dog Toby is a modern innovation. He belonged not to the Punch and
Judy of our boyish days.

But our picture is not complete without the spectators. Look at that
ragged woman holding up her dirty child. The little rogue claps his tiny
hands, and crows again at every blow Judy receives; and that poor mother
is more delighted with the pleasurable expression of her dirty darling's
countenance than she is with the exhibition, for her heart and eyes are
fixed on her child. But for Punch sounding in the street, the urchin
would probably have been creeping about the house, or seated upon the
hearth crunching the cinders he picked up from under the grate. Even
that thin pale-faced girl, who holds up a baby half as big as herself,
and throws the long loose hair aside which fell over her clear blue
eyes, as she came running and panting up with her heavy burden, stands
looking on delighted. That respectable-looking old gentleman also halts,
though half ashamed of being seen in such a motley assembly; then passes
on with a smile on his face, for he remembers pausing many a time, when
going or returning from school with his books swung idly over his
shoulder, to look at Punch and Judy; and while he walks along his mind
turns back to the days of other years. Then the drum--what a
spirit-stirring sound it makes! and the shrill pandean pipes, stuck in a
stock of faded crimson velvet, how clear and shrilly they sound!--the
man's head seems as if placed on a swivel, and he hammers and blows away
as if for very life.

But whither is the crowd running? To see an organ-boy and his monkey.
What an excellent tumbler Jocko is! his long tail seems no incumbrance
to him, but head over heels he goes. What a strange language his
jabbering seems, a running of one word into another! and he looks at us
as if pitying our ignorance for not understanding him. There is
something about his countenance conducive to merriment; something so
old-manish in the expression of his face, that we cannot forbear
laughing at him. See how he cracks that nut,--how nimbly he plies his
fingers, and how knowingly he looks up at us all the time, as if
wondering whether he shall get another or not when that is eaten. What a
living caricature he is of our race; now an indignant ugly old man,
jabbering and spitting out his vexation; then a mischievous boy, playing
all kinds of tricks, and, though grumbled at, liked by every body. Poor
fellow! we almost regret that he was ever caught and shoved into that
scarlet jacket, to add to our street

[Illustration]

amusements; and when we see him looking sorrowful, we fancy that we can
read his thoughts, can imagine that his memory has wandered far away, to
where he hung upon his "old ancestral trees" by his prehensile tail,
before the days of his captivity, chattering to his brother monkeys, who
could comprehend every word he uttered, or pelting his venerable old
grandfather with nuts from the topmost bough of the highest tree that
waved amid his native forest. Heigho! The longer we look the more do we
feel convinced that we in a thousand ways resemble him, for we are all
of us more or less monkeys. Mary Howitt says that he gambolled about and
played the very devil in the ark, without bestowing a thought on the
wind and rain that blew and beat on the roof; and no one living can
contradict her.

But what have we here? A caravan, and a wonderful fat boy in it: charge
for admission, one halfpenny. What dodging they have to elude the
police--pulling up at the end of every street, if it be only for five
minutes--for the fat boy must be fed: were he to get thin, the whole
establishment would be ruined. All, saving himself, are thin, the horse
almost a skeleton. We can picture the fat fellow crying out that he is
falling off pounds if his dinner is delayed an hour behind the usual
time--and what a running about there must be to supply him with food! He
looks a lazy rascal--a human hog. Dwarfs also, in our eyes, always look
spiteful,--little morsels of humanity that would pinch and bite us, if
they dare. And well they may be: we should feel so ourselves were we
caught, imprisoned, and shewn to all comers at sixpence or threepence a
head.

Look at that little girl in the spangled frock; she is brought out like
another Samson, to make sport for the Philistines. How prettily she
dances on that board--four feet by three! Through dirt and wet she is
compelled to trudge; for she and that unsailor-like fellow, who dances
the sailor's hornpipe, have to supply the whole party with bread. He who
drums and pipes also contributes his share. The other two shout, and go
round to the crowd, hat in hand, to obtain what they can. Sometimes a
similar party is accompanied by a tumbler,--a man whose feet appear to
be of no other use to him than to kick them about in the air,--who can
walk best on his hands,--and who, we fancy, must be many years in
wearing out a pair of shoes. Into what shapes does he twist his body! He
seems lithe as a serpent--must have been born without a spine--is all
skin--all angles--the spokes of a wheel--a worm rolling in salt--a
monkey's tail that has been thrust into the fire. One would hardly be
surprised to see such a limber elf jump clean out of his skin, rattle
his bare bones like castanets for a few seconds to amuse us, then slip
into his hide again, with less trouble than we could put on our coat.

The next are the balancers,--from a feather to a fir-tree, nothing comes
amiss. That fellow will balance a sword on his naked chin with the point
downward; you look under his throat, and expect to see it come through
every minute, and are greatly disappointed to behold it spinning round
without making an incision. Now he takes a ladder, high enough to reach
a second-floor window, and up it goes on his chin, as if it were no
heavier than the straw he has just thrown down. Mercy on us! whatever is
he going to do with that little boy in the harlequin dress? See, the
daring child steps from the balancer's shoulder to the ladder: higher
the little fellow goes, slowly, cautiously--the ladder still on the
man's chin. It looks dangerous, and (self-preservation) you begin to
think that if the ladder were to fall, it would be much safer to stand a
few feet farther back.

The Stilt-dancers are not so common in our London streets as they were a
few years ago, when they came popping up suddenly at our first-floor
windows, and startled us in some occupation which we had no wish to be
overlooked,--perchance trying on a peruke, so well-made, that all our
friends gave us credit for wearing our own hair. Then, perhaps, they
understood not a single word of English; and if you bade them go to Old
Harry and shake themselves, they still kept smiling and smirking at you
through the window, until their immovable goodnature overcome your
slight anger, and you sent them away quite happy, and perfectly
unconscious that you had given utterance to one angry word. We also miss
the pipe and tabor, and those droll back-kneed fellows the dancing-dogs:
these the new police act have driven away, or they are only to be met
with in the far-off country.

To what different objects the telescope is now turned from what Horace
Walpole describes witnessing, when the heads of unfortunate rebels were
placed on Temple Bar: for a penny we may peep at the mountains in the
moon, or hear a poor but intelligent man describe the wonders of the

    "Spacious firmament on high,"

instead of paying to peep at those mangled and goary heads--a great
improvement on those old barbarous street-sights. White mice and
guinea-pigs are still to be met with as "plentiful as blackberries" in
the yellow month of October; and from the sound of hurdy-gurdies and the
droning of bagpipes, who has not prayed to be delivered? while from our
hearts we pity those poor white-haired, pink-eyed mortals, who go
winking and blinking hand in hand along the crowded pavements, gazed at
in wonder even by the swarthy Lascars, who are ever thrusting tracts in
our faces.

Nor must we forget the "chummies," with their Jack-in-the-green, who,
instead of sooty garments, cover in May their "innocent blackness" with
spangles and tinsel. How Jack reels and staggers in the midst of his
green portable arbour towards the close of the day! lurching aside like
the massy trunk of a tree buried in ivy, which you expect every minute
to fall; reminding us of Orpheus, and the life he put into the timber
toes of the hoary old oaks when the forest trees stood bough linked with
bough as they danced a merry reel, making all their green array of
leaves to tremble again. Merrily does the "Sweepess," or "Jackess" of
the green, jingle her bright brass ladle before the doors; and freely is
the produce of that day spent in gin, until the drinking and fighting is
ended, when, disrobed of their tinselled trappings, they snore happily
on a couch of soft soot.

Guy Fawkes still forms one of our London street amusements, though we
regret to say that Guy is now oftener personated by some great hulking
gin-drinking lazy fellow, than the old, uncouth stuffed figures which
were frequently carried about, with one foot hanging down before and the
other behind.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIX.

SPRING-TIME IN LONDON.


The cries of "All a-blowing! all a-growing!" are the first sounds with
which the spring-flowers are ushered into the streets of London; and
although not uttered by the lips of such fabled nymphs as the poets of
old clothed in the richest hues of their imagination, and sent forth as
attendants on blossom-bearing Spring, the voices still come like gentle
greetings from old friends, all the sweeter through having been so long
absent. Sometimes we see a pretty face looking out, through the homely
bonnet, and behold a light and graceful form, and hear a clear musical
voice calling out "Sweet primroses!" Another hurries along from street
to street with the little basket balanced on her head, while with one
hand she ever keeps throwing back the long silky hair that falls down
and veils her deep violet-coloured eyes; and we think how some such
figure haunted the poet's fancy when he peopled the vales of Arcady with
the "sweet spirits of the flowers."

Now windows, which have been closed throughout the long winter, are
again thrown open, and the pleasant breeze which has come from "far away
o'er the sea," again blows freshly into those close and
unhealthy-smelling rooms. Over dead walls and high houses has the
refreshing air climbed--escaping from courts in which there was no
thoroughfare. Through the steam of suffocating sewers it struggled; it
shook off the malaria that clung to its skirts, as it swept over dark
and stagnant ditches; over bone-boiling houses it hurried, and left the
old poison behind to float around the places where it was first
engendered; and, though somewhat shorn of its sweetness and its
strength, it comes like a welcome guest in at the open doors and
uplifted casements of the poor. By it the grey hairs of that thin,
pale-faced old man are uplifted; it tosses aside the long brown locks of
the little grandchild that stands between his knees, fatherless and
motherless; for the wind an hour ago blew over the empty house beside
the black putrid ditch, where so many died during the past summer, and
where that little orphan then lived. Even the imprisoned lark that hangs
by the window feels his plumes ruffled by the breeze, and fancying for a
moment that he is free, sends out his voice through the wiry cage, and
sings as if he were again shivering his wings in some silvery cloud high
above the opening daisies.

The blessed breeze and the sweet sunshine have aroused the poor children
who vegetate in courts and alleys; and these dirty images of innocence
have descended from the close, high attics, and climbed out of the low,
damp cellars, and now, bare-headed and barefooted and scantily clad,
they are chasing each other like swallows, and appear as happy as if
neither rags nor hunger existed in this great city of palaces,
poor-houses, and prisons. A drum battledore with its gilded shuttlecock
they never saw, nor would such things make them happier than those they
have manufactured out of the corks they picked up among the sweepings of
the gin-shop, and the feathers from the stall of a distant poulterer;
while the bottom of a saucepan, or the crown of a hat, even the
fire-shovel (if nothing else is to be had) furnish them with
battledores. Somewhere those little ones have been and thrust their tiny
arms through the railings where a lilac-tree was in leaf, and they have
dug up the stones in the court, and stuck the green lilac-twigs in the
ground, and made themselves a garden, which they are watering out of
oyster-shells and broken bits of pots; for the same instinct that leads
a bird to build its nest causes them to imitate the making of gardens.
They collect the leaves of the turnip-tops which the greengrocer has
thrown into the street, and, placing them on their little bare heads,
march up and down the court, crying "All a-blowing! all a-growing!"

You peep through the open doors of little houses, at the fronts of which
men and women are bartering old garments for roots or flowers, and
through those open doors you see a little sunless spot between two dead
walls, by the side of which a small portion of dark damp mould is
portioned off, somewhere about a yard in width by eight feet in length,
and those are the two garden-beds into which the "penny roots" will be
stuck. Here they grow mustard-and-cress, on which the cats fight, and
over which Cinderella shakes her doormats, while scores of little black
flies play at hide and seek amongst the leaves; nor will all the washing
in the world cleanse your salad from these little superfluities. Then,
just as the penny wallflower had struck, and the two roots of daisies,
which cost per ditto, were beginning to try to open, and the hollyhock
looked as if it might live, and the lupin had still a few leaves left,
and the Canterbury-bell had one live shoot on,--just as "the garden" was
really promising to rear at least one root, the woman that lived in the
two-pair back hung a heavy coverlet on the clothes-line (the line itself
consisting of six separate pieces), and it broke, and every root broke
too, and not one again raised its head. Then Billy was always bowling
his hoop, and could never turn it without going on the other bed; and
the dustman had placed his basket on the two scarlet runners that were
coming up; and where the nasturtiums were set earwigs were ever creeping
in and out, and long-bodied wire-worms, that looked up at Billy as if
they would like to taste of his little bare legs, and from which he
always ran in screaming. Then they had told Mrs. So-and-so to save her
soapsuds, to pour on the roots of the little bit of grape-vine which
only shewed a leaf here and there; and she, wishing to oblige her
landlady, had put the suds in the saucepan again, blown the fire, and
emptied the contents, boiling hot, into the hole she made by the
grape-vine!

"All a-blowing! all a-growing!" Saw you that poor woman turn round at
the well-known sound? Had you been nearer you might have heard the low
sigh she heaved. See, she has purchased with her last halfpenny a bunch
of bluebells and primroses, and these she will place in water on her
window-sill; and, while her face rests upon her hand, she will see miles
beyond the little back yard, with its water-butt and cinder-heap, which
her window overlooks, even as far off as the home of her childhood. The
little cottage beside the wide open common, which was yellow with gorse
and broom in summer, and purple with heath-bells in autumn, will again
rise before her. In fancy she will hear the bees murmur as they went to
and fro from her father's garden--will see the beds of flowers which she
called her own; the old apple-tree, robed in white and crimson blossoms;
hear the very chirp of the sparrows that built in the thatched roof,
under which the honeysuckle climbed. She will again picture the rustic
stile--the walk along the green lane, when the hedges were white with
May, when his arm was placed gently around her waist, who is now working
in chains in some penal settlement. He, who was so good and so kind to
her, until he was allured to London, where he met with evil companions,
and first starved, then, stupified with gin, went forth in the stilly
dark night, and returned home a housebreaker. See! her eyes are
closed--she has fallen asleep in her broken chair; a tear still lingers
in her eyelashes, and a faint sad smile rests on her wan lips--for she
fancies that she again hears the village-bells ringing, and that she is
walking between those rows of graves, beneath the avenue of elms, with
her bible and prayer-book in her hand, and about to enter the humble pew
in which her father and mother (long since dead) knelt beside her in
prayer. She awakes with a sigh; the sunshine falls on the chimney-pot
opposite. She hears the drunken dustman, who lives beneath her, again
quarrelling with his wife; the cry of "Beer!" in the street, then the
smell from the sewer ascends; and, bringing in her flowers, she closes
the window, and sits down to earn one-halfpenny per hour at the
needlework supplied to her by that heart of nether millstone, the Great
Nebuchadnezzar, through whose fiery furnace so many are compelled to
pass, and in which such numbers perish, as they yield to his stern
decree, because they know no other way by which they can obtain bread;
garments made beneath burning sighs and scalding tears, that seem hot
enough to blister the backs of those who wear them. God help thee, poor
woman! thou canst not see it, although we can; there is an angel's face
shining through every tear thou hast shed over those flowers, and
looking upon thee with mild and pitying eyes.

See those old men and women "pottering" about the bit of ground before
the almshouses; they also feel the cheering influence of spring.
Although each plot or bed would but little more than make a grave, were
a tolerable breadth of walk left between, they find a pleasure in
cultivating so small a patch of earth, every inch of which brings
something to remembrance as it is turned over: that root was given by
old William, who is dead; the other by John, who is dying; from this,
last summer, were cut the flowers he placed in a comrade's coffin; that
his wife, long dead, brought all the way from the country, when she went
to see her daughter at Croydon, and was so poor, that she had to walk
back--and that walk caused her death; for, while heated, she sat before
the door in the cool, calm April evening--it "chilled" her, and she
died. Honest old bedesman! I could kiss off the tear that fell on the
blue sleeve of thy old coat, were it not for pride or shame. "Two years
ago, sir; she was but seventy!" and thy heart still softens, and thy
tears fall when her image rises before thee, for in thy eyes she never
looked aged, but rose green and fresh through the memory of other years,
even as when thou first didst woo her, walking between the quiet woods
along the canal near Croydon, when the forget-me-not looked into the
water at its shadow, and the crimson foxglove made a red streak like
sunset in the crystal mirror, and no one then dreamed that a railway
would bare its iron back where the silver water reflected both your
images and the broad-branched oak, beneath which ye were then seated.

Spring brings with it Easter--the first holiday that brightens on the
departing gloom of winter. Then we hear mingled with the cry of "All
a-blowing! all a-growing!" the reedy notes of penny trumpets, and the
beat of tiny drums, and the shrill pipings of yellow wooden whistles:
and tired children walk home from Greenwich with little dolls on their
arms; and mothers carry their sleeping babies without murmuring; and
little feet, that "scarcely stir the dust," come plodding on, just as
their young fathers and mothers had done some three or four-and-twenty
years ago. Here, one on each side clung to her gown, there he carried
another pick-a-back, who kept grinding his organ as he rode; while the
fourth slept, covered over with the shawl, regardless of the busy crowds
that were hurrying to and fro. Surely there was no selfishness in the
enjoyment of the day on the part of the parents, shared as it was by
those dear dusty children, the eldest not five years old, the youngest
not so many months; and two of them carried every inch of the five miles
back. For days after will those children talk about what they saw in the
park at Greenwich, in the fair, and on the road; and their dreams will
be of gilt gingerbread horses, and swings high as the tall trees, and
booths, and music, the distant river, old pensioners with wooden legs
and spyglasses, donkeys on Blackheath, swarthy gipsies, drinks of beer,
and the heads and tails of shrimps. They will mimic the sights, and try
to imitate the sounds, and go sounding and drumming through the house
until the trumpet refuses to speak, and the drum is burst, and not a
wire is left inside the threepenny organ. Then their grandfathers and
grandmothers (if they were not with them) will come and ask a hundred
questions as to what they saw, and what they did, and whither they went;
and, from the answers they receive, go away convinced that there are no
other children in this huge overgrown London to be compared with their
grandchildren. May heaven shower its blessings on the conceit, and they
never have cause to think otherwise!

Besides such groups as these, the pavements were almost blocked up with
little carts, in which many a kiss and many a scratch were exchanged,
and in these children squalled and smiled as they were dragged part of
the way to the fair. And the little nurserymaid, who still wore her
workhouse dress, was compelled to turn round every few minutes and to
threaten what she would do at the impudent but good-natured boys who
would help to shove on the little chaise, and cram a portion of their
oranges or gingerbread into the children's mouths. Then one
fine-looking, dark-eyed lad, after a harmless fight with the little
maid, by some kind of freemasonry, was a minute or two after helping her
to draw the chaise, and they went on chatting and laughing together,
while he divided his fairings with her. On looking at that lad more
closely, we remembered that for a month he brought our water-cresses,
that for a fortnight he knocked at our door and called "Butcher!" then
we lost sight of him for some weeks, and when he made his appearance
again he came with our daily newspaper, followed by a dog, which he set
on our favourite cat. Times got worse, and he came with another boy; and
they swept the snow from the pavement for a penny, and as much bread and
cheese as they could eat. Then he opened and shut a shop, but had the
misfortune to break a pane of glass; and as it was on Tuesday when the
accident took place, and he was informed that the price of the pane
would be stopped out of his week's wages; and as he calculated what that
would amount to, and found that it would swallow up his whole week's
earnings, why he went to breakfast, and never returned; and, just before
Easter, he had raised a basket, and, either by money or credit, obtained
a goodly show of roots and flowers, and, instead of "Water-cresses!"
"Butcher!" or "Paper!" we heard his cheerful and well-known voice in the
street, crying "All a-blowing! all a-growing!" He is now aspiring to a
donkey and cart, and if we err not, to the little nursery-maid in the
mob-cap and workhouse dress, and sweet smiling countenance (when
pleased), which proclaims her to have come "of gentle kin."

Now bundles of rhubarb, that run all to water in the pies and puddings,
may be seen in the greengrocers' shops; and little new waxy potatoes,
that have no taste, are ticketed a shilling a pound; and small
gooseberries, that have the flavour of green-tea leaves, given to the
old charwoman, and which she has kept stewing on the hob for a full
hour, are ditto per half pint; and asparagus, that looks like
candle-wicks, is tied up in bundles; while little salads made of two
radishes, a couple of onions, a few slices of beet-root, mustard, cress,
and a halfpenny bunch of water-cresses, sit in little baskets marked
sixpence, and try to tempt the passers-by to purchase. Now men, who
smell of the aroma of old woods, stand before the doors of
public-houses, with young honeysuckles and eglantine, the roots buried
in moss; and violets and primroses, fresh and blowing in their own
native earth, just as they were dug up on the sunny banks by
Sanderstead, or in the tree-shaded lanes around Cobham.

Finally, old hats, boots, shoes, and cast-off garments of every
description are routed out at the cry of "All a-blowing! all a-growing!"
and exchanged for flowers, the bearers of which barter on the principle
of getting all they can and giving as little as possible in return.
Even the lady of the house cannot resist the entreaties of her children,
who, attracted by the well-known call, and the sight of the basket of
flowers outside the window, drag her to the door, and let her have no
peace until she has purchased the lovely heath, the beautiful Iris, the
pot of American primroses, or the gaudier group of gold and
silver-coloured crocuses. The servant-girl must also have her flower-pot
in the high attic window, and she looks at it the first thing in the
morning and the last at night, and feels thankful, in the words of
Solomon, that "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the
flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XX.

LONDON CEMETERIES AND THE EPIDEMIC IN 1849.


That it was customary in ancient times to bury the dead outside the
city-walls the holy Bible bears witness, even as far back as in the
early chapters of the Book of Genesis, where it is recorded how Abraham
bought the field of Macphelah of Ephron the Hittite, "and the cave which
was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, (and) that were
in all the borders round about." (Chap. xxiii.) Here we find a rural
cemetery in a green field bordered with trees, in which the venerable
patriarch buried his wife nearly four thousand years ago, while we, with
all our boasted improvements, are in the present day thrusting the dead
together in countless thousands, in the very heart of our close and
over-crowded cities--where the living have scarcely room enough to
breathe, and the dead of to-day are crammed amongst the remains which
have been disinterred to give them a short lodgment; when they again in
turn are cast out, and mysteriously consumed or pounded into the
smallest possible compass under our very eyes, in so unfeeling,
heartless, and brutal a manner, that we dare not shock our readers with
the revolting details.

The head-stone, reared by the hand of pious affection, instead of
pointing to the remains it was erected to commemorate, stands over the
graves of strangers, and we shed our tears over those whom we never
knew; while the sexton and the grave-digger grin at us behind the
neighbouring tomb-stones, chinking the silver in their pockets, and
laughing to think that the paupers whom they shoved into "our" grave on
the previous night in a "huggermugger" way should be wept over by the
broken-hearted mourner whom they have thus cheated. With these facts
dinned into our ears every day by the uplifted voice of the press, are
we not guilty of disrespect towards the dead by burying them in these
ever-changing and common lodging-houses? We know not where their remains
are to be found at the end of the year; cannot tell whether they have
been removed to lay the foundation of a new road, or sold and ground up
to manure some distant field.

Let us not forget that when the heathen Greeks and Romans brought the
remains of their heroes and poets into their ancient temples, the bodies
were first burnt, and only the ashes preserved in richly sculptured
urns, on which the achievements of the dead were pictured: their
classical minds fashioned "a thing of beauty" out of the ashes of the
departed; they gave to the dead a beautiful dwelling-place, and those
who were buried unscathed by the funeral fire were interred in
cemeteries where trees were planted over them, and marble monuments
erected; and, idolators though they were, such places were held sacred,
and were called "the silent cities of the dead," and were ever remote
from the abodes of the living.

I have before remarked, in my _Pictures of Country Life_, that, amid the
din and tumult of a populous city, the dead are sadly misplaced. I never
look upon those close unhealthy corners, crowded with graves, without
feeling that it is wrong to bury the dead there; that they ought to be
removed from such shadowy and sunless spots to where the tall trees
would make a soothing murmur above their heads, and all around them be
"gentle images of rest." Their business with this world is ended; they
have finished their long day's work; the roll of carriages, the tramp of
busy passengers, and living voices, clamorous for gain, ever in my ear
sound harshly when they come grating and jarring amongst the
resting-places of the dead. The price of corn, the state of the
money-market, or the rising and falling of the funds, are matters which
ought to be discussed far away from those we followed, and wept over,
and consigned to their silent chambers, there to sleep till the last
trumpet sounds.

In the open Cemetery, we seem to walk through a land lettered with
living affections, and strewn over with tokens of existing love. Our
sympathies are divided between the mourned and the mourners; our sorrow
is not alone for the dead; the flowers at our feet remind us that there
are those behind us somewhere who come here now and then to weep. If we
picture Grief standing there with bowed head, and hair unbound,
"refusing to be comforted," Pity seems to kneel before us at the same
time; and, while she looks up timidly into the pale face of Grief,
appears as if entreating of her to remember the mourners, who only
survive to weep; while Memory, with downcast

[Illustration: HIGHGATE CEMETERY.]

eyes and folded arms, seems musing over the flowers which Affection has
planted on their graves. In a dimly-lighted, breathless City churchyard,
such images are not seen: our affections are there fettered--the
imagination is chained down, and endeavours in vain to soar heavenward.
If we call up the dead, they seem to sit weeping with bent head and
folded wings among the dark shadows of the mouldering monuments on which
the sunlight seldom falls.

Against these unhealthy graveyards sentence has been pronounced: they
are doomed to be closed. It is useless for selfish and mercenary men to
oppose the fiat which has gone forth, for the air of this mighty city
has too long been poisoned through men who live by the dead. Let us
create a good out of this evil; and after these unhealthy churchyards
have been closed long enough to destroy the injurious exhalations which
have of late numbered so many of the living with the dead, then let the
grounds be planted with trees and flowers, and they will become sweet
breathing-places, like our squares, and amid the brick walls call up
images of the far-away country. The old monuments need not be disturbed.
To see the drooping branches of a green tree falling over them, will add
to their beauty and solemnity; and in the centre of our cities we can
wander among groves rendered sacred by the remains of our
forefathers,--can in the dim twilight-shadows which the flickering
leaves will ever make, hold communion with the spirit of John Bunyan,
while we peruse his immortal work in the burying-ground of
Bunhill-fields; for by such association would these spots become
hallowed. Nor would the records of the dead, who sleep without the walls
of the church, be held less sacred, if their names were engraven on
marble tablets, and placed within the consecrated buildings around which
their dust would repose, beneath beds of blowing flowers and
close-leaved evergreens.

The old grey weather-beaten tombs of the founders of charities would
look more venerable overtopped by the tall elm, the sable yew, or the
weeping willow, that seems ever to droop sadly above the dead. No busy
builder should ever be permitted to rear a wall within these sacred
enclosures, or disturb the robin that would pipe his sweet anthem in
autumn, or drive away the belted bee, that would come over the high
houses from some distant meadow, to make a plaintive murmur in the heart
of this vast city as he flew in and out among the flowers that waved
above these old households of the dead.

Let us not sow these places with salt, nor strew them with lime, to
destroy every trace of what they really are--spots sanctified by tears
and prayers, and the bodies of our brother men; but, if necessity
demands it, remove some of their remains tenderly to other places of
sepulture, and make gardens over the graves of those who are left
undisturbed--spots above which the blue sky might be seen, while the
sunshine slept below; amid which we could obtain glimpses of the face of
heaven, while musing over the memory of those who have long since
entered the gates of the "golden city." Let not these old burial-grounds
be closed with no more reverence than if we were shutting up a common
sewer; let us not speak of them as loathsome, disgusting, and revolting,
because they are made so by unfeeling, money-loving men--gnomes, who
feed and fatten on the dead--who look on coffins as they do on
cabbages--digging, planting, cutting down, and re-setting the ground,
and only studying how to make more money; but let us remember that the
mute and inoffensive dead contribute not unto the evils complained of
until they are dislodged with brutal violence--that they cannot defend
themselves, for

    "They are very mild and meek;
     Though (sextons) smite them on the cheek
     And on the mouth--they cannot speak."

The inhuman vultures who prey on them injure the living, and only insult
the dead through our sensitiveness. To the dead it matters not:

    "They hear not (Poor-law guardians) rave,
     Nor moaning household shelter crave
     (When carted from each thrice-sold grave)."

When our old churches were first built, they stood in wide, open, breezy
spaces, at the remote ends of parish boundaries: such was Bartholomew
Church, when Smithfield was really a field, and the lofty elm-trees
towered high above the ancient gallows which was erected there. We have
hemmed in the spots with streets and tall warehouses which our
forefathers left free and open between the living and the dead, until
they have become so close and breathless, that even the sparrows forsake
their "old ancestral eaves," and seek for other roosting-places.

Open cheap cemeteries, and conveyances thither, will spring up rapidly
enough; funeral omnibuses will be started at little more than the
present fares. If nothing else will do, let us be rated for burying our
dead: we do not murmur at supporting them while living, nor should we
begrudge the slight tax that would be required for interring them in
Suburban Cemeteries. There are thousands of acres of land to be sold
within five miles of the City of London; if we go to the distance of ten
miles it will be all the better for our children's children; but let no
buildings be erected within a measured mile of these Silent Cities of
the Dead, but each for ever remain a Great Garden of Graves.

Affection would often visit this Land of the Dead; the widow would take
her children by the hand, and lead them into the country, to shew them
the little freehold in which their father slept. The poor would become
more pious, and amid their troubles thank God that they had at last a
tranquil haven, in which they could for ever moor their storm-tossed
barques: to them suburban cemeteries would become spots filled with
solemn associations--homes to which they were fast hastening with
patient resignation.

To us there is no feeling of loneliness while wandering through a
beautiful cemetery. The dead seem to belong to us; they are of our
company; they have but taken their berths in the great ship, and are
sleeping until we come to join them, to be fellow-voyagers with them
into the unknown sea of eternity--trusting ourselves to the care of the
same Almighty Captain whose "ministering angels" fill the sails. Around
the cemetery we see the wide unwalled country, where we have so often
walked and talked with those who now "sleep their long sleep," and,
while gazing over the landscape, they seem to accompany us, and to live
again in our thoughts; or we stand, as it were, in a great
picture-gallery, surrounded with portraits of the dead: not a single
object rises up to shock our feelings;--the open country beyond--the
trees around--the flowers that cover the graves by which we stand--cause
us to contemplate death kindly, and, instead of becoming hideous, he is
but a gentle porter, who sits patiently without the gates of heaven, and
welcomes all who are prepared to enter.

To plant a grave with such flowers as "the poor inhabitant below" loved
whilst living, is a pious pleasure: it is a living link between us and
the dead, and keeps alive an affection which belongs not to the world;
though a "poor thing, it is our own;" for we know that the flowers are
kept alive by an invisible hand, that in the still dark night they
continue to grow, while we are wrapt in as sound a slumber as that which
falls upon the dead--the only difference being that we perchance may
again awaken. There is no such link between us and them in a cold, grey,
hard, dead tomb-stone: the tears which fall upon the flowers are not
lost, for we know not but that the perfume may be wafted to heaven.

We believe that the dead will again arise--that in some other state we
shall again meet with them; and yet there are those who make their
remains a source of profit. Perchance, the Angel of Death holds his
court beyond the grave, and they may be summoned before him to account
for their deeds. We, in our boyish days, were taught to take off our
hats when we entered a churchyard, and to walk amongst the dead as
reverentially as we did up the aisle of the church--to look upon the
grave as the gate which opened into heaven, as the only road which leads
to the realms of eternal happiness.

I have, in the work formerly alluded to, endeavoured to paint an ancient
funeral procession, from the pages of holy writ, and to shew how great
was the respect paid to the dead in the patriarchal ages. Through what a
laud of poetry and peril was the dead body of Joseph brought out of
Egypt! We marvel that no painter has been bold enough to grapple with so
sublime a subject. Amid the plagues that struck consternation into the
hearts of the old Egyptians, there stood the coffin ready to be borne
away: in the deep darkness which overshadowed the land--it stood black
and silent amid the deep gloom. When the Israelites departed they bore
it away: the pillar of fire flashed redly upon it by night, and by day
it was slowly carried behind the pillar of cloud: through the Red Sea it
was borne; below that high and terrible wall of water did the body of
that dead man pass; then the sleeping billows rolled back, and there the
haughty Egyptians found a grave. Through storm and battle, and the
perils of the wilderness, and the thunder which shook Mount Sinai, was
the body of Joseph carried; and when Moses held up his wearied arm and
conquered Amalek, it was still there. On the waves of war it was at last
washed to the Promised Land; it followed the Ark of God when Jordan was
divided, and was at length buried in the field of Shechem, in the ground
which Jacob had long before purchased of the sons of Hamor. In the whole
annals of time, there is no funeral procession that in sublimity and
grandeur approaches his, who when young was sold as a slave to the
Egyptians. That dead-march through the God-dried ocean, and over the
desert, led by Moses--the man who had spoken to his Maker, and who was a
mourner at that solemn funeral--causes the eye to quiver beneath its
gloomy and awful grandeur: we see the dead and the living pass away amid
the roar of the ocean, the thunder of the Mount, and the clashing of
battle upon battle; and while we read, we feel as if we stood trembling
in the presence of God.

I will not break the chain of the reader's thoughts while pondering over
this great and grand funeral procession, by pointing to the desecration
of the dead in the present day, further than stating that the revolting
and impious evil can only be remedied by suburban cemeteries; for around
such places there reigns a silence in keeping with the solemnity of
death: there no jarring sounds fall upon the ear, for the lulling murmur
made by the leaves is in keeping with the repose of the dead. Flowers
planted upon a grave seem like sacred objects; in our minds they somehow
appear to belong to the dead, as if hallowed by the soil in which they
have grown. There are numberless passages in our old poets abounding
with descriptions of flowers which were dedicated to the dead; and we
may, in some future work, return to the subject, and string together a
garland of funeral emblems; for

                    "Methinks the flowers
    Have spirits far more beautiful than ours."--_Withers._

The gentle hearts of the old poets clung to the flowers with a fond
affection; in their eyes they were sweet messengers, bearing meanings
and thoughts "too deep for tears," ever hinting of love which dieth not,
but liveth on for ever in another state of existence. They traced in the
flowers fanciful resemblances of fond passions--likenesses of what they
loved and cherished all the more since the original forms which they
fancied the flowers resembled were transplanted into the gardens of
heaven.

We who sojourned during the whole of that summer in the very heart of
the district which suffered the most severely during that calamitous
visitation, almost unconsciously gathered materials for one of those
gloomy pictures which so few living witnesses survive to paint, and
which we hope may never again darken our pages. We seem like those who,
having escaped some perilous shipwreck, sit shuddering on the rock on
which they have been thrown, their faces buried in their hands, yet
unable to shut out the appalling spectacle they beheld, even after it
passed away. Fancy still calls up the phantoms, amid the white foam and
the tumbling waves, as they float by, with pale faces, uplifted and
beseeching hands; youth and beauty with her long hair unbound, and
crisped with the boiling spray, while manly vigour buffets in vain with
the billows, until darkness and destruction sweep over all; and we, like
the mournful messenger in Job, "only escaped alone to tell thee."

The Land of Death in which we dwelt was Newington, hemmed in by Lambeth,
Southwark, Bermondsey, and other gloomy parishes through which the
pestilence stalked like a Destroying Angel in the deep shadows of the
night and the open noon of day, while in every street

    "There was nought but mourning weeds,
       And sorrow and dismay;
     Where burial met with burial still,
       And jostled by the way."--_Hogg._

The "Registrar-General" but gives an account of those who died; but
marshals up the forces which have joined the ranks of Death; how and
where they fell are briefly touched upon; but a description of the
battle-ground, with all those little accessories of moving light and
shadow which enrich the picture, he leaves to other hands, for they come
not within the compass of his graver duties. Though the task is far
removed from a pleasant one, it is necessary that we should preserve
some record of this eventful season, so that in after-years, when our
pages are referred to, a faithful photograph, taken at the true moment
of time, may therein be found. All day long was that sullen bell
tolling--from morning to night, it scarcely ceased a moment; for as soon
as it had rung the knell of another departed spirit, there was a fresh
funeral at the churchyard-gate, and again that "ding-dong" pealed
mournfully through the sad and sultry atmosphere. Those who were left
behind, too ill to join the funeral procession, heard not always the
returning footsteps of the muffled mourners, for sometimes Death again
entered the house while they were absent; and when they reached home
they found another victim ready to be borne to the grave: then they sat
down and wept in very despair. Death came no longer as of old, knocking
painfully at the door of life, but strode noiselessly in, and, before
one was well aware, smote his victim--no one could tell how, for the
strong man, who appeared hale and well one hour, was weak and helpless
the next, and fell without knowing whence the blow came.

Little children were clothed suddenly in black, almost before they could
reconcile themselves to the belief that they had lost their parents.
Before they could well understand why their father slept so long, or was
placed in a dark box, and carried out at the door in such haste, the
mother had also ceased to live; and then they began to comprehend their
loss, and wept bitterly to find themselves fatherless, motherless, and
destitute. Some of these were so little, that they could but just repeat
their prayers. Never more would they kneel at the feet of that dear,
fond mother, as they had done but a night or two before; never more
would those eyes beam on them again, or that sweet voice patiently
instruct them, and, with a smile, repeat the words over and over again,
until they knew them all by rote. Alas! they were the other night borne
to a strange bed; a strange face bent over them--and, when they rose to
kiss it, it turned away. Then the little orphans pressed each other more
closely, and wept louder for the loss of their mother. At last, their
sobbing subsided, though not until long after they had fallen asleep,
perchance on the hard workhouse bed--even those who were before nursed
so delicately that the cold wind had never visited their tender cheeks.
Many such sudden changes as these have we met with; homes in which one
day happiness and comfort reigned, changed on the morrow to the abodes
of sorrow, anguish, and naked destitution; or, by the end of the week,
empty and closed!

          "Life and thought have gone away side by side,
        Leaving door and windows wide;
                Careless tenants they!
    All within is dark as night: in the windows is no light,
    And no murmur at the door, so frequent on its hinge before.
              Close the door--the shutters close,
                Or through the windows we shall see
                The nakedness and vacancy
              Of the deserted house."--_Tennyson._

In some houses all died; and after the dilapidated building had been
closed a few days, other tenants took possession, and, in two or three
of these changes, the new tenants also perished--the mercenary landlords
never breathing a word about what had befallen the others. The putrid
cesspool and stagnant sewer still yawned and bubbled and steamed in the
sunshine, and poisoned all who inhaled the deadly gases; and when but
few human beings were left, an investigation took place, and the evil
was removed. In several death-engendering courts the whole of the
inhabitants were driven out, and fresh shelter found for them until
their wretched dwellings were purified.

So few at first escaped after they were attacked by the malignant and
mysterious disease, that you looked upon them as persons who had trodden
the confines of another world--as beings rescued from the jaws of death,
and destined to accomplish some great mission. You gazed on them in awe
and wonder. Those in the prime of life, and ruddy with apparent health,
fell around you like summer flowers beneath the scythe of the mower.
Then medical men of long standing began to drop off: you missed one
here, and another there, and with them hope at last fled. "They cannot
save themselves," exclaimed the terror-stricken populace; "then how can
we hope to escape if the disease overtake us?" Old nurses who had grown
grey in the service of Death shrank back and shuddered as they heard
themselves summoned to attend the sick. Thousands who had the means fled
into the country and hastened to the sea-side, where they thought
themselves secure; but the wings of the Angel of Death threw a
melancholy shadow over the whole land.

Stout-hearted men who had families started suddenly from their sleep in
the dead of night, if they only heard one of their children moaning in
its slumber: words muttered in a dream were like a sharp icicle thrust
into the heart, for they feared that the Destroyer had come; and they
knew that he seldom retired without carrying off his victim. In old
tavern-parlours, where the same company had assembled for years, the
sounds of merriment were no longer heard. Men spoke to one another "with
bated breath;" inquired who was dead, and who dying; and if some old
acquaintance was but a few minutes behind his usual time, they sat
gazing on his vacant chair in silence, or perchance one ventured to
inquire in a whisper if he had been seen that night. Many shook hands at
the tavern-doors, went home, and never met again. Four in the morning
was a dreaded hour, and numbers no doubt died through fright who were
attacked in the faint dawning of the day, for they believed that time to
be fatal. In some streets five or six shops that stood together were
closed--many were not opened again for several days. You saw the windows
standing open day and night, but not a living soul stirred within those
walls. Many who died were removed in the night: sometimes twenty were
buried in one grave.

Then the cry arose that the churchyards were too full, that there was no
longer any room for the dead. "I must find room, or I shall be ruined,"
exclaimed the sexton; "it cost me all I had in the world to get
elected." The grave-digger threw down his spade, wiped the perspiration
from his brow, and said, "Our occupation's gone." The cry increased; and
then the incessant tolling of the bell ceased; for an order was issued
that the dead should no longer rout the dead, or their sleep be broken
almost before the features had been effaced by slow decay. Then Death
ceased to become his own avenger; for when he found that the secrets of
his dark dominions were no more to be laid bare to the open eye of day,
he no longer smote those who trod reverentially on the verge of his
territories. The streets were no longer darkened with funerals; you no
longer saw men running in every direction with coffins on their heads,
knocking at doors, and delivering them with no more ceremony or feeling
than the postman delivers his letters. The solemn hearse and the dark
mourning-coach now moved slowly along, and the dead were borne away to
green and peaceful cemeteries, far removed from the dwellings of the
living. Nuisances were removed--sewers were cleansed--the abodes of the
poor purified, and at last rendered habitable; and then "the plague was
stayed."

It seemed as if the winds of Heaven, which had been driven away for want
of breathing-room, came back again, and flapped their "healing wings"
above the homes of mankind; as if they were weary of wandering over the
houseless sea, and gladly returned to sweep through the lofty streets
and open squares, from which they had been driven by the poison-traps
which were set every where to destroy them. The sun again gladdened the
day, and the round moon walked up the starry steep of heaven, while the
sky bared its blue bosom, and shewed that the silvery clouds still
slumbered there as tranquilly as if the Destroying Angel had never
thrown his shadow betwixt earth and heaven.

Alas, the sun rose upon a shore strown with wrecks, and blackened with
the bodies of the dead! If the eye alighted upon the living, it every
where settled upon a group of mourners. Death had gone like a gleaner
through the land, and taken an ear from every field. Where before had
stood a bed of flowers, one resting upon and supporting another, a bare
and open gap was found; and too often the tallest, around which the rest
clung, had withered, and fallen and died. The place they had once known
"would know them no more for ever." The young bride, before the
honeymoon had waned, came forth in her widowed weeds. Their first-born
child came too late into the world to look on the face of its father.
Sometimes the young mother fell before her infant had seen the light:
the opening rose and the unfolded bud perished together. Respectable
families fell from a state of comfort to almost naked destitution in a
single night, leaving no mark on the steps of the ladder of time, by
which men rise and fall, but plunging headlong to the foot of it in a
moment. Some had passed many years in faithful servitude, and at last
attained the long-coveted promotion. The larger house, so often talked
of, was taken; they entered, and so did Death: the father fell, and with
him all their hopes for ever perished. Since that day the garden-roller
has never been moved, and where the spade was thrust into the ground
when the improvements first commenced, there it rests: perchance the
robin may alight upon the handle, and there chant his mournful anthem;
but one branch is sawn from the overhanging tree that darkened the
drawing-room window; all the rest remain untouched, for the workmen have
departed. The merry Christmas so often talked of was a mournful meeting
within those walls. What at another period would have formed a little
history of trial, patient endurance, slow change, and long coming
misfortune, was now accomplished almost as soon as one could say "It
lightens."

None knew whence the Destroyer came, nor in what hidden corner he
lurked. The Registrar for the district we are describing closes his
return for Walworth, for the week ending Sept. 8, 1849, in the following
words: "It (the disease) has spread over the whole district--into almost
every street--and taken persons of all classes, from the most
respectable to the poorest." Men hunted for it in the unhealthy drain,
and endeavoured to destroy the unwholesome vapour; they searched for it
in what they drank, and hoped to get rid of it by boiling the water;
they impregnated the air with lime, and in every court and alley you
passed you inhaled the powerful chloride. Then a change was produced,
and the returns of deaths gradually lessened every day; and those who
for days and weeks dare not look into a newspaper, for fear of
encountering those dark tables of death, were now eager to see the
returns, and congratulate their neighbours on the daily decrease. "From
the painless nature of the attack," says the same Registrar, "persons
seemed to be unconscious how highly necessary it is that immediate
attention should be paid to it." Thousands fell through this neglect,
who, if the disease had first made its appearance attended by severe
pain, would not have lost a single hour without seeking medical aid.
Like a flood that slowly undermines a bank, and which the proprietor
regards not when he sees so tiny a current dribbling and oozing through,
and scarcely bowing the grass between which it trickles, so came the
Destroyer--slowly and almost imperceptibly undermining the current of
life, and eating out the foundations, until there needed but one mighty
rush, and all was over beyond recovery, and the work of destruction was
completed. A little precaution would have saved thousands of lives in
London alone.

Let us then agitate for pure air and pure water, and break through the
monopolies of water and sewer companies, as we would break down the door
of a house to rescue some fellow-creature from the flames that raged
within. It rests with ourselves to get rid of these evils; and scarcely
one in a hundred will be foolhardy enough to oppose the sanitary
measures which are already in motion. To aid these proposed
improvements, we deemed it our duty to add to the "Picturesque Sketches
of London" a brief but faithful description of the dreadful disease
which caused almost every street in the metropolis to be hung in
mourning.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXI.

GREENWICH.


Beautiful as Greenwich Park is within itself, with its long aisles of
overhanging chestnuts, through whose branches the sunlight streams, and
throws upon the velvet turf rich chequered rays of green and gold, yet
it is the vast view which stretches out on every hand that gives such a
charm to the spot. What a glorious prospect opens out from the summit of
One-Tree Hill! London, mighty and magnificent, piercing the sky with its
high-piled towers, spires, and columns, while St. Paul's, like a mighty
giant, heaves up his rounded shoulders as if keeping guard over the
outstretched city! Far away the broad bright river rolls along until
lost to the eye in the dim green of the fading distance, while its
course is still pointed out by the spreading sail, which hangs like a
fallen cloud upon the landscape. Along this ancient road of the swans do
vessels approach from every corner of the habitable globe, to empty
their riches into the great reservoir of London, from whence they are
again sent through a thousand channels to the remotest homes in her
islands.

About June, Greenwich Park may be seen in all its bloom and beauty; the
fine old hawthorns are then generally in full blossom, and the hundreds
of gigantic elms and chestnuts are hung in their richest array of
summer-green, while here and there the antlered herd cross the shady
avenues, or crouched amid what is called the Wilderness, lie half buried
in the fan-like fern. The hill above and the plain below are crowded
with the gay populace of London, all clothed in their holiday attire,
the ladies looking in the distance like a bed of tulips, so rich and
varied are the colours of the costume and parasols. At every few yards
you meet with a new group, while the long avenue which leads up to
Blackheath is one continuous stream of people. On the brow of the hill,
and at the front of the Observatory, you see the

[Illustration: ONE-TREE HILL.]

old pensioners with their telescopes and glasses of every colour, which
seem to give a golden or a purple hue to the landscape, or sometimes to
change the scene to that of a country covered with snow. Some of these
old heroes have lost a leg, others an arm, and yet they go stumping
about as happy, to all appearance, as the credulous cockneys whom they
delight to cram with an improbable yarn, while they shoot cannon-balls
to a distance which can be compared with nothing except Warner's
"long-range."

[Illustration: OLD PENSIONER.]

Rare fun is there amongst the younger visitors, as they scramble for the
oranges, which are often bountifully rolled down the hills. Off goes the
luscious fruit, cantering like a ball of gold along the greensward. It
strikes and clears the head of the first youngster who rushes on to
catch it: a second misses it, and falls; and it vanishes somewhere
amongst a round dozen of the competitors, who are all tumbling and
struggling hicklety-picklety together, like a pack of hounds who are in
at the death. Farther on you see a little love-making; you can tell by
the half-averted head and downcast eyes that the little lady has not yet
made up her mind whether to accept the offered arm or not. But see--her
boy-lover has purchased some oranges. She accepts one; he sends another
down the hill. You hear her clear merry voice ringing out like a silver
bell with joyous

[Illustration: TELESCOPES.]

laughter. Ten to one it is a match--at least for the remainder of the
day. Old and young are alike happy: the former sit in little groups
talking of bygone times; the latter are tumbling head and heels upon the
grass without a care about the coming morrow. Business and pleasure go
hand in hand. If you take every card that is offered, you will have a
score or two before you cross the Park:--"Tea, eightpence--with a
pleasant view of the river." "Tea made with shrimps, ninepence"--a
beverage we have no wish to taste; but, poor woman, she is unconscious
of the mistake, and no doubt the printer faithfully followed his copy.
They are the most accommodating people in the world at Greenwich. You
can walk into almost every other house, order tea, and receive thanks at
your departure, for only a few pence. Numbers come into the Park ready
provided. They eat and drink while on the steam-boat, feel a fresh
appetite as soon as they have climbed the hill, are hungry and thirsty
again after a donkey-ride on Blackheath, and should any thing remain, in
either basket or bottle, they finish it as they return by the steamboat.

[Illustration: GIPSIES.]

Observe the stealthy step of that black-eyed gipsy; this is her harvest,
and many a fortune will she tell before moonrise. She has golden
promises for all; would that the world could roll on as she prophesies,
there would be but little of either sighing or sorrow in it. What though
she is an arch impostor, she has by her promises added another pleasure
to the day's delight; happiness now and happiness in store may gladden
many a future hour, which would otherwise be gloomy but for the hope
with which the gipsy has gilded the future. It is a question, after all,
whether the sixpence could have been better spent, though it has but
purchased a harmless string of pleasing falsehoods, "which give delight
but hurt not." The poor gipsy-woman must live, and she is at the worst
but an open and honestly-avowed cheat--a holiday evil, that might be
worse employed than in telling fortunes. What a burst of laughter! It is
just as we expected; the jolly sailor, with the corners of his
neckerchief streaming out like the mane of a war-horse, has gone down
the hill with a roll, and carried his partner, the dashing lady from
Wapping in the pink bonnet, along with him. There will be many similar
disasters before night, which end at the worst in a crushed hat or
bonnet, or a few harmless bruises.

Much as we have murmured about trespassing, and prosecution, and
enclosures, we really feel grateful to the Government for throwing open
such a splendid park as this, over which we can wander at will, without
being cautioned to keep on either foot-path or open road, but have
liberty to tread on the grassy knolls, and are left as free as the
antlered deer that walk and browse wherever they please. Fifteen minutes
by the railway, and about thrice that time by the steamboat, and here we
are treading the elastic sward, which on the hill yields to the
footsteps like a rich carpet. What beautiful dips and rises lie every
way, especially to the left of the Observatory! What mighty revolution
of nature threw up that vast hill, sheer and abrupt from the valley, we
can never know. Those ancient burrows, which lie scattered about the
park, are the resting-places of the early inhabitants of Britain;
beneath them lies the dust of the old Cymri,--disturb it not.

Let us pause on the brow of this hill, and recal a few of the stirring
scenes which these aged hawthorns have overlooked. They are the ancient
foresters of the chase, and many of them have stood through the wintry
storms of past centuries, and were gnarled and knotted, and stricken
with age, long before Evelyn planned and planted those noble avenues of
chestnuts and elms. Below, between the plain at the foot of the hill and
the river, stood the old Palace of Greenwich, in which Henry VIII. held
his revels, and where Edward VI., the boy-king, died. That ancient
palace was no doubt rich in the spoils of many a plundered abbey and
ruined monastery,--in

[Illustration: GREENWICH PARK.]

vessels of gold and silver which had once been dedicated to holy
purposes, but were then red with the dregs of the wine shed at many a
midnight revel by the Defender of the Faith and woman-murdering monarch.
Perhaps the walls of that old palace were hung with the portraits of the
wives he had caused to be beheaded, while his own likeness in the centre
looked like a tiger out of the frame upon its prey.

On this hill Cardinal Wolsey may have meditated with all his "blushing
honours thick upon him." Katherine, the broken-hearted queen, may here
have reined-in her palfrey; or from this aged hawthorn have torn off a
spray, when it was, as now, fragrant and white with May-blossoms, and
presented it with a smile to the royal savage who rode beside her. On
yonder plain, where so many happy faces are now seen, in former days the
tournament was held. There gaudy galleries were erected, over which
youth and beauty leant as they waved their embroidered scarfs. We can
almost fancy that we can see the crowned tiger smile as he closes the
visor of his helmet, bowing his plume while he recognises some fair
face, which was soon to fall, with its long tresses dabbled in blood,
upon the scaffold--the blood which then ran so clear and joyous through
the violet-coloured veins which streaked the ivory of that graceful
neck. In this park the crafty Cecil mused many an hour as he plotted the
return of the Princess Mary, while the ink was scarcely dry with which
he had recorded his allegiance to the Lady Jane Grey. The whole scenery
teems with the remembrance of old stirring events, and grave historical
associations. Hal, the murderer, comes straddling and blowing up the
hill; the pale and sickly boy-king rides gently by, and breathes heavily
as he inhales the sweet air on the summit; the titter and merry laugh of
the ill-starred queens seems to fall upon the ear from behind the trees
that conceal them. Then we have voices of mourning and loud lament from
fair attendants--who refuse to be comforted--for those whom they loved
and served were there no more.

Blackheath, which is only divided from its aristocratic neighbour the
Park by a wall, pleasantly overlooks a portion of the counties of Kent
and Surrey, and affords such extensive views of the distant scenery as
can only be exceeded by climbing Shooter's Hill, or some of the
neighbouring heights on the left of the heath. In past times it was
planted with gibbets: the bleached bones of men who had dared to ask for
an extension of liberty, or who doubted the infallibility of kings, were
here left to dangle in the wind. In the distance, the ancient palace of
Eltham heaves up like a large barn, attracting even the eye of a
stranger by its bulkiness, for not an architectural ornament from hence
is visible. Blackheath at Whitsuntide, and all summer long, is infested
with asses, which ever stand, saddled and bridled, in readiness for the
first comer. A donkey-ride is one of the favourite amusements of our
holiday-loving Londoners of both sexes, nor is the day's pleasure
considered complete without it. The charges vary from a penny to a
shilling, according to either the time or the distance; and a strange,
rough, and inharmonious family are the proprietors, who beat and let out
these animals. Their chief delight appears to consist in abusing one
another, and running down the qualities of the poor long-eared
quadrupeds--each applicant at the same time extolling the strength and
speed of his own donkey. Here they may be found with side-saddles for
the ladies, and neat chairs, covered with white drapery, and so secured
that the little children can ride with safety.

A countryman who went by water for the first time from London to
Greenwich, would be astonished to find that, with the exception of a few
yards here and there, the whole five miles, on each side of the Thames,
was one continuation of houses, warehouses, docks, and manufactories;
that he could not for the life of him tell where London began nor where
it ended; that when it ceased to stretch beside the river, it was still
continued in a long line behind the marshes and the Isle of Dogs up to
the Blackwall pier; and from no height in the neighbourhood could his
eye at once glance over this lengthy range of continued streets. Twelve
miles would scarcely exceed the almost unbroken link of buildings which
extends from Blackwall to far beyond Chelsea, where street still joins
to street in apparent endless succession. And all around this vast city
lie miles of the most beautiful rural scenery. Highgate and Hornsey and
Hampstead on the Middlesex side, hilly, wooded, and watered; and facing
these, the vast range called the Hogsback, which hem in the Surrey side,
from beyond Norwood, far away to the left, to where we have carried our
readers in this chapter; while the valleys on both sides of the river
are filled with pleasant fields, parks, and green winding lanes. Were
London to extend five miles farther every way, it would still be hemmed
in with some of the most beautiful rural scenery in England; and the
lowness of fares, together with the rapidity of railway travelling,
would render as nothing this extent of streets. Even the very poor are
now satisfied, as they can travel from one end of the kingdom to the
other by paying one penny per mile.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXII.

HOLIDAYS OF THE LONDON POOR.


Food and raiment, household shelter and a grave, are all the Poor-Law
allows to the pauper; for there is no clause in that act permitting him
the enjoyment of the sweet air of heaven, or the open and unwalled
sunshine (the gold which God scatters down for all), beyond what blows
and beats upon the narrow court-yard in which he is doomed to walk--the
Prisoner of Poverty. The birds he there hears sing are the dirty
sparrows that roost under the soot-blackened eaves, and weary the heart
with their unchangeable chirrup. The hum of his insects is the buzz of
the bloated blue-bottle, ever hovering around, and endeavouring to blow
and spoil the morsel of meat that is doled out to him with a niggard
hand. The murmur of his streams is heard in the flushing of the
poisonous sewers. The waving of his trees, the coarse garments that
dangle on the clotheslines--for in such places it is ever washing-day.
His blue sky is the little morsel of the face of heaven which (by
straining his neck) he can see roofing the tall bare walls that surround
him. His flowers are the morsels of chickweed, the two or three
dwindling blades of grass, or the dank green moss, that shoot up beside
the damp wall, or between the fissures of the pavement. His fragrance, a
life-destroying atmosphere, a compound of all unwholesome smells.

Day after day, week after week, month after month--throughout the
budding spring--all the while the long-leaved summer reigns--when autumn
is throwing her rainbow-hues over the forest, and winter comes forth,
blowing his blue nails, and with the snow-flakes hanging on his
hair--throughout all these changes he feels but cold and heat: can only
tell when it is spring by hearing the cry of "primroses" without the
walls; summer, by the hot pavement on which he treads; autumn, by the
drawing in of the days and the chilly evenings; and winter, by the cold
that seems to eat into his very bones. This is his life; these all the
changes he knows, unless the rolling of the monotonous year is varied by
the days he never left his sick-bed, or the weeks he spent in the
hospital. The weary walls are ever the same; he has counted every
fissure in the pavement; almost every morsel of gravel is familiar to
his eye: he knows how many slabs are cracked and broken; at what hour he
shall have gruel, when a change to potatoes. Meat-days are little
feast-days; his spoon and porringer and plate his only comforters, until
sleep comes and steeps his senses in forgetfulness. He knows when it is
Sunday by receiving his clean shirt, and attending church.

Poverty in the country--however poor it may be, however low it may have
fallen--is still surrounded with a few fragments of the Paradise which
was once man's possession. There we see the blue of the sky bending and
resting upon the dim rim of the horizon, or losing itself in the
twilight of other worlds. The bladed green of the refreshing earth lies
below like a rich velvet carpet which God hath diapered with flowers of
"all hues," and thrown down for man to tread upon. The solemn avenue of
stately trees rises like a tall temple, roofed in by his mighty hand;
and as we gaze upward, we feel the heart worshipping Him unawares, and
walk along surrounded with the awe of an old religion. Every rounded
pebble beside which the stream plays and murmurs, sends up its tiny
voice through the bubbling silver, and fills up the pause in the great
anthem which Nature hymns in His praise. In the greenless and sunless
streets of the busy city we see not this God-created life, this old
world, which has lived on ever since a broad leaf waved; long perchance
before Eve planted her white and naked foot on the rounded daisies that
blowed in Eden, when the voice of God was heard "walking in the garden
in the cool of the day" (Genesis iii. 8).

The visions which St. John the Evangelist obtained of heaven were of a
city whose golden gates were never closed; of a river clear as crystal,
and trees bending beneath their load of fruit. Isaiah also saw there
"the glory of Lebanon: ... the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box
together, to beautify the place of [his] sanctuary." And in our own
dreams of those immortal realms, we but catch dim glimpses of what is
beautiful on earth--a peaceful country, green and flowery; and over the
sunshine which sleeps thereon the shadows of angels are ever passing.

Those who never see the beauties which God hath scattered over the face
of the earth, can scarcely imagine any thing of heaven, or dream of
delights beyond the worship which they join in here below.

Our forefathers were a holiday-loving people. With what delight they set
out to bring home May! Herrick has told us, in undying verse: they hung
a green bough on every door, and suspended from window to window, in the
centre of the streets, endless garlands of flowers. The dance under the
May-pole was surely preferable to reeling out of a gin-shop; and the
archers practising in the cool of a summer evening, under the trees in
Moorfields, much better than a stifling skittle-ground, reeking with
tobacco, gin, and beer.

If the country is a little farther from London than it was in those
days, we are enabled to reach it as soon as they did, when linked to
that space-cleaving thunder-bolt, a railway engine; and quick and far
away as the flowers have flown, we can still overtake them in a few
minutes.

We have great faith in these holidays of the poor; for whatsoever
contributes to their happiness removes a portion of what is evil, and
supplies the place with what is good. To make a poor weary heart happy
and contented for only a few hours, is to lessen the evils of life--it
is a rest in the desert, a spring throwing its "loosened silver" through
the arid sand, at which they drink, and taking heart, go on their way
again more cheerfully. A more selfish and depraved class live not, than
those who only think of their own pleasure; who never dream of the
delight there is to be found in making others happy.

How grateful the generality of the poor are for favours! They return the
donor thanks, sincere thanks--they can offer God no more.

We pay our poor-rates because we are forced; but is a parochial board to
be the limits of our charity, is there nothing required beyond food,
raiment, and household shelter, for the poor? Ask Joseph Brown, and he
will point with a proud finger towards Bethnal-green, to those whom he
led forth like a second Moses, out of a wilderness of bricks, mortar,
and ruins, to a land where summer reigns, where he smote the rock, and
sent the gushing waters bubbling and sparkling among a thousand
brick-dried and dusty hearts.

At his bidding the little doubled-up old woman left off roasting
chestnuts at the corner of the street, and went out to see them grow;
the pale-faced girl for one day ceased her cry of water-cresses, and saw
the clear brook in which they stood; while the pretty flower-girl gazed
with wonderment over the gardens of Havering Bower, and thought how
fresh and beautiful the flowers looked there compared with those she
sold in the streets of London. The old man, bent with age, left his box
of lucifer-matches (the beggar's last shield) at home, and went to see
the butterfly once more alight on the blossoms. And Joseph Brown walked
at the head of these immortal souls, these poor outcasts of earth--many
of them we trust angels on their march to heaven, whose folded wings
may in another state touch our own, when we kneel with bowed head and
clasped hands on the star-paved floor of heaven, blushing to think how
many tribulations they waded through without a murmur, while we looked
on nor extended a helping hand.

The last trumpet, when it awakes the dead, will have no soft and silvery
sound for the silken sons and daughters of luxury, but send out the same
earth-rending peal, and startle all from their long deep slumber.

These Bethnal-green holiday-people were a poor and homely race, looking
what they really are, a badly-fed and badly-housed populace. They are
small in stature and limb, and unwholesome in appearance, like flowers
crammed into the bit of ground behind the smoky alleys in which they
live, that dwindle and pine, and get less and less every year they live:
so were these poor people--they had neither bulk, bone, nor muscle: they
were like the trees in our city streets compared with the giant oaks of
Sherwood Forest. Some of the girls were rather pretty but pensive; they
seemed happy, and yet it did not look natural for them to appear so; you
could not tell how it was, yet you "felt" it to be so. The ugliest and
dirtiest were to all appearance the happiest; they saw only the present,
they left the past behind them, quite sure that the old cares,
privations, and sorrows would not run away while they were absent. Peace
be with them, and all happiness attend such careful pastors as the Rev.
Joseph Brown, Rev. Thomas French the curate of Bildeston, the Rev. R. H.
Herschell, and all the kind friends who assist them by contributing
their mite to these Holidays of the Poor. We place their names in our
pages with a feeling of pleasure.

During one of our rural wanderings in summer, we chanced to stumble upon
a holiday group of charity-school children, both boys and girls, which
had been brought into the quietude of the country by half-a-score of
pleasure-vans. They had not all the freedom we should have liked to have
seen them enjoy: if one or two straggled a little out of bounds, they
were called back. Poor little things! they seemed to envy the bees and
birds that flew about, and to wish that they had no teachers to watch
over them. We fancied how little some of them had slept on the previous
night, through thinking about their country excursion; how often they
had looked at the sky, and hoped that it would not rain--that it would
surely be fair one day in the year, the only day on which they had a
holiday. It made us sigh to look at some of them--they were such little
specimens of humanity, especially when, on inquiry, we found that many
of them were fatherless and motherless. They seemed to look on Nature
with that childish wonder which is pleased with every thing it sees:
they gathered the white dead-nettle, the ox-eye, and red poppy, and
thought that such were beautiful flowers; little darlings, that could
only sob and weep when they were beaten, and nestle closer to one
another for comfort, seeming to look about with their pretty eyes as if
seeking for some friend to protect them. Others we saw with forbidding
countenances, who had no doubt been beaten and starved, and felt a
savage satisfaction in punishing such as were less than themselves, as
if copying the examples they had suffered under.

Some had eaten their dinners before reaching their journey's end, and
gazed with longing eyes on such as had been more provident; though we
strongly suspected that many had been tempted by false promises and the
hopes of sharing the dinner of their companion--hopes not likely to be
realised in many cases, judging from what we saw.

Oh, how we longed to have had those children under our own guidance for
the day, to have taken them to one or another of the sweet spots we
knew, so different from the dusty patch of green by the road-side, where
the pleasure-vans were drawn up! such spots as we have often
described--roads and lanes that lead only to fields; green nooks that
seem too beautiful ever to be broken up into highways, as if it would be
a sin to crush those lines of white daisies that seem to stretch onward
and onward, as if trying to find their way to where, in spring, the
primroses and violets and blue-bells nestle on the wood-side banks;
spots which for ages have formed an old highway of flowers, over which
have flown armies of birds and bees and butterflies; places beside which
there ever went singing along with subdued voice some little brook, that
seemed to chafe if only a pebble checked its course, as if it murmured
at being kept away from the flowers that grew farther on, and which it
had come a long way down the hills to look at, from whence the breeze
had first blown the tidings about the beauty of the spot in which they
grew; and ever over the stream the drooping May-buds waved, as if they
tried to match their whiteness against the silver cloud that lay
mirrored below, while here and there great trees threw their green arms
across it, chequering its onward course with cooling shadows, as if for
a little time to give it a pleasant resting-place before it went on
again to where the unclouded sunshine falls; for where that pleasant
stream goes broadening out, the gaudy dragon-flies meet together to
play, and where it runs narrowing in, the black bulrushes, the feathery
reeds, and the golden-flowered water-flags nod and bend and rustle
together, as if they were never weary of telling one another how
pleasant is the scenery around which they grow; spots where the birds
seem to come for new songs--sweet notes which they gather from the
lapping water and the whistling reeds, and these they sing to the
blossoms, and the blossoms breathe them back again to the bees, and the
bees whisper them into the bells of the flowers they plunge into, and
every insect that alights thereon catches the note, and all day long is
humming the low tune high up in the air. To such places as these ought
the dear children to be taken, while the pleasure-vans await their
return beside the dusty high-road, where only the plantain, the ox-eye,
the dead-nettle, and the hemlock grow.

But while the railway rushes on in its lightning-like speed, and the
steam-boat tosses the water aside with proud disdain, as if angry that
it should for a moment check its course, the slow moving canal-boat,
drawn leisurely along by horses, has also its crowd of holiday-people.
This is, no doubt, one of the cheapest and safest methods of spending
the day after all. Here there is no rushing and thronging as on the
railway, no dashing and rocking as in the steam-packet, nor any shaking
in going over the ground as in the pleasure-vans. The ripple the boat
makes is scarcely heard. You can even distinguish the rustling of the
tiny waves among the sedge that sways idly to and fro on the banks of
the canal. It is a beautiful sight to see these boats full of holiday
passengers, gliding slowly along within a yard or two of the shore in
the summer sunshine; to look down and see them all mirrored in the
water, even to the little girl that is leaning over the side, and
rippling the surface with her hand, beside the woman in the red shawl,
that deep down is clear-shadowed. Pleasant it is to stand a little way
off; and, while the boat is towed lazily along, to hear some old solemn
hymn chanted: low at first, then gradually swelling higher, and to
distinguish the children's voices mingling with those of men and women;
and nothing to drown the harmony saving the measured tramp of the horses
which haul the boat, the creaking of a gate, or the short sharp crack of
the driver's whip--sounds which disturb not your thoughts. Not that we
would have them always singing hymns, or listening to pious addresses,
but leave them a little breathing-time to look on nature, to "commune
with their own hearts," to enjoy themselves on the lawn (as the kind
curate of Bildeston allowed them to do a year or two ago, after giving
them a hearty meal of plum-cake and tea; and, when wearied with their
sports and pastimes, sending home, as he did, every poor child with a
huge lump of plum-cake in its hand).

In the north of England the school-feasts are called "Potations," for so
is the word sounded, the origin of which we have never been able to
discover, nor to find any other meaning for it than that of drinking;
yet it signifies a childish feast or holiday in the midland counties. We
want a better compound word than "Pic-nic" for these Holidays of the
Poor, and hope that some of our learned readers will help us to one.

[Illustration]



INDEX.


Abercrombie, 36.

Adelphi, by whom built, 205;
  on what ground built, 205;
  connected with it Lady Jane Grey, 206;
  neighbourhood of it between Strand and river, 206;
  to what purposes used, 207;
  descriptive notes of, 208,
  descriptive notes of neighbourhood in old times, 208.

Addle-hill, 37.

Aedd the Great, 18.

Aldgate, 26.

Alfred, 24.

Algigiva, 201.

Allhallows Church, 76.

Ancient bridge, 25;
  only highway to Kent and Surrey, 25;
  by what parties traversed at different times, 25.

Ancient lamp, 49.

Ancient names of headlands and harbours, hills and valleys, 18;
  endeavour to discover language by, 18, 19;
  mixture of sounds in, 19.

Andrew's-hill, 37;
  church and monument on it, 37.

Angel Inn, old, from whence Bishop Hooper was taken to martyrdom, 201;
  where situated, 201.

Anthony, St., church of, built by Wren, 54.

Apothecaries' Hall, 37.

Appearance of spot in ancient times where Westminster stood, 23.

Apsley House, 225.

Augusta, 17.


Bartholomew's Church, 27.

Bartholomew Fair, 27.

Bartholomew, 79.

Basing-lane, 62;
  Roman tessalated pavement discovered in, 62;
  extent and composition of pavement, 62;
  in what embedded, 63;
  building and wall exposed by cutting, 63; vessels discovered, 63;
  circular shaft discovered, 63;
  remains of piles discovered, 64;
  site of these discoveries that formerly
     occupied by fortress of Tower Royal, 64.

Baynard's Castle, 26;
  various historical associations connected with detailed in 26 and 27.

Baxter, author of "Saints' Rest," where buried, 173.

Ben Jonson, 27.

Bennet's-hill, 37.

Billingsgate, 79;
  free trade in, 500 years ago, 80;
  laws connected with fishmongers in, 80;
  punishment for infringement of, 80;
  stalls in, 80;
  houses originating from, 81;
  various descriptive notes of, 81, 82;
  hawkers connected with, 82;
  supplies from, 82;
  railways in connexion with, 85;
  old Billingsgate pulled down, 85;
  new pile erected, 85;
  allusion to Mayhew's work, in connexion with it, 86.

Bird, sculptor, 35.

Bishopsgate-street, 149;
  old-fashioned inn in, 153;
  details and characteristics of, 153.

Bow Church, old, 54, 55.

Bridge, ancient characteristics of, 24, 25.

Broadway, 37.

Bucklersbury, 60;
  descriptive details of, 60.


Canterbury Tales, 250.

Canute, 24.

Carter-lane, 44.

Catherine of Spain, 76.

Cheapside, 56;
  effects of it on a countryman, 56;
  splendid shops in, 56;
  rent paid for, 56;
  articles sold in, 56;
  difference of London in the present day from
     that of old, manifested by shops, 57;
  various characters described, 57, 58;
  accident described, 58;
  vehicles described, 58, 59.

Christ's Hospital, 166;
  custom connected with, 166;
  allusion to founder of, Edward VI., 166;
  monastery of Grey Friars repaired for reception of children, 166;
  costume worn by, 167;
  Stowe's account of the origin of Hospital, 167;
  Ridley Bishop of London, his connexion with, 167;
  Lord Mayor's connexion with, 168;
  picture illustrative of 168;
  sum voted by king for relief of hospital, 168;
  notices connected with, hospital, 168, 169;
  abuses incidental to, 169;
  quotation from _Illustrated London News_ of supper given in, 169, 170;
  quotation from "London Spy" illustrative of
     hospital and its approaches, 171;
  Christ's church, 172;
  story connected with hospital, 173;
  illustrious parties there educated, 173.

Clement Danes, St., why so called, 201;
  church of, by whom built, 201;
  under whose guidance, 201;
  old church, when pulled down, 201;
  neighbourhood of, 202;
  subjected to London cries, 202;
  various ones noticed, 202;
  diminution of them, 202;
  noise of vehicles one cause of this, 202.

Clement's Inn, where situated, 201.

Cloth Fair, 27.

Coal Exchange, new, 85, 87;
  descriptions connected with the opening
     of the building quoted from the _Illustrated London
     News_, 87, 88, 89, 90;
  coloured decorations of, worthy of admiration, 89;
  various subjects forming them, 89;
  architect of, 90;
  builder of, 90;
  decorator of, 90;
  furnishers of ironwork for, 90;
  Roman hypocaust found in connexion with, 90.

Cock Tavern, 200;
  Tennyson's, the poet's connexion with, 200;
  currency connected with, 200.

Coins of conquerors, where lying, 22.

College-hill, descriptive notice of, 59;
  name derived from a college founded by Whittington, 59;
  who resided there, 60;
  Strype referred to, 60.

Country of Sea Cliffs, name of England, 18.

Covent Garden, 209;
  flowers collected there in season, 209;
  feelings awakened by a walk through it, 210;
  images recalled by such, 210;
  supplies furnished by, 210;
  parties frequenting it, 210;
  itinerant dealers connected with, 211;
  places in which they grow flowers, 211;
  enjoyment afforded to various parties by Covent Garden, 211;
  portresses connected with, 211;
  their honesty and strength, 211;
  characteristics of, 211, 212;
  hours at which Covent Garden market is attended, 212;
  historical associations, 212;
  original name, 212;
  belonged to Westminster Abbey, 212;
  walk to it a few centuries ago, 212;
  walled round within three hundred years, 213;
  description of its neighbourhood, 213,
  foundations of old convent from which it
     is named exist still in Mr. Bohn's house, 213;
  Inigo Jones connected with first advances to improvement, 213;
  under the direction of the Earl of Bedford, 213;
  specimens of the architecture of the period in Lincoln's Inn, 213;
  supply of vegetables in old times, 214;
  love of flowers habitual to Londoners, 214;
  Henry VIII's. visit to Shooter's Hill in illustration of this, 214;
  quotation from _Illustrated London News_
     describing the church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, 215.

Coverdale, Miles, associated with earliest
     printed translation of the Bible, 78.

Crosby-place, 25;
  one of the few places in the city where
     deeds historically recorded were plotted, 149, 150.

Crosby-hall, by whom built, 149,
  lease obtained from prioress of convent, 149;
  progress of purchaser, 149;
  monument of same, 149.

Custom House, where situated, 90;
  mention of in the reign of Elizabeth, 91;
  long room in, 91;
  parade of the quay, 91;
  revenue derived from, 91.


Delware, statue of, 37.

Description of street across the Thames, 24.

Descriptive details of Canterbury settlement, 136.

Descriptive details of the borough, 25.

Dispensary poem, cause, and by whom written, 37.

Dissenting ministers, vindication of themselves, 76.

Doctors Commons, 37;
  approach to, 37;
  feelings of parties passing it, 37;
  various parties described, 38, 39;
  description and characteristics of, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44;
  prerogative and will office, 38;
  detailed description of court of arches, 44;
  court of faculties and dispensations, 44;
  consistory court of the Bishop of London, 44;
  high court of Admiralty, 44;
  Herald's College, 44.

Docks, 126;
  Blackwall reach, 126;
  neighbourhood of Tower, and state of society in, 126;
  quotation from "London Spy," illustrative of the same, 127;
  description and characteristics of, 127;
  origin of rural cemeteries in connexion with making the docks, 128;
  hospital of Queen Matilda demolished, 128;
  size of St. Catherine's and London Docks, 128;
  amount of ships capable of containing, 128;
  West India Docks, 128;
  value deposited in, 128;
  wealth of London contained in docks, 128;
  cost of walls surrounding, 131;
  East India Docks, Blackwall, 131;
  mast-house, 131;
  time taken in delivering cargo of vessel, 131;
  method of doing so, 131;
  river robbery, 131;
  opposition to docks in consequence of, 131;
  also by Trinity House, 131;
  difficulties met with in making docks, 131;
  emigrants departing from, 132;
  descriptive details of, 132, 133, 134;
  Canterbury Association in connexion with, 135;
  description and characteristics of, 136.

Dowgate, 26.


Eastcheap, 93.

East India House, 96;
  where situated, 96;
  when built, 96;
  purpose of, 96;
  court-room in, 96;
  ornaments and size of, 96;
  Tippoo's elephant Howdah, 97;
  statues of Clive, Hastings, Cornwallis, Coote, Lawrence, and Pococke, 97;
  Library and Museum, where contained, 97;
  latter is open on Saturdays, 97;
  and well repays a visit, 98;
  articles contained in, 98;
  Tippoo's Tiger, 98;
  Hindoo idols, Chinese curiosities, 98;
  description of Ajunta caves in India--copies
     of which have been lately added to the
     museum--taken from _Illustrated London News_, 98.

Edward I., 79.

Edward VI., 168.

Eels, rent of land paid in, 81;
  not as good as formerly, 85;
  affected by poisonous state of the Thames, 85;
  evidence of Mr. Butcher in connexion with, 85.

Egbert, 24.

Elphitt's dialogues, implements mentioned in, 81.

Emigration, 139.

England, description of at Aed's landing, 21.

Erkennin, the Saxon, 23.

Etheldred, 24.

Ethelstane, 81.

Ethelwulf, 24.


Fat Ursula, 181;
  still lives in the pages of Ben Jonson, 181;
  in the same pages is memory kept of Bartholomew fair, 181.

Fenchurch-street, 76.

Fish-street Hill, 76;
  monument on, designed by Wren, 77;
  height of, 77;
  distance from the spot where the fire commenced, 77;
  ascent of 77;
  interior of column, width of, 77;
  suicides committed from, 77;
  view from the summit, 77;
  characteristics of it, 77.

Fishmongers, ancient, 79;
  on what occasion they paraded the city, 79;
  in what numbers and order, 79, 80;
  manner of selling fish in olden time, 80;
  characteristics of those engaged in, 80;
  allusions to fishmongers, 87;
  by Stowe, quotation, 87.

Fleet-street, 191;
  characteristics of its neighbourhood, 191;
  central situation of, 191;
  Whitefriars in, 192;
  alluded to by Sir Walter Scott, 192;
  quotation from "London Spy" illustrative of
     various features connected with it, 192.

Fog, London, time of its occurrence, 243;
  nature and characteristics of it, 243;
  atmosphere of, 243;
  appearance of city in, 243;
  variety of accidents occasioned by, 244, 245;
  appearance of tavern in fog, 245;
  appearance of London at night in fog, 247;
  accidents on the river in fog, 248.


Geology, revelations made by, 19;
  and discoveries attendant on, 19.

Gerard's Hall, mentioned by Stowe, 49;
  Giant connected with, 49;
  tale connected with, 50;
  Gisor's Hall, proper name of, 51;
  swept away in the Great Fire, 51.

Gibbs, architect of St. Martin's portico, 204.

Gracechurch-street, 76;
  its conduit mentioned, 76;
  pageant erected in to Catharine of Spain, 76;
  primitive way of draining mentioned in connexion with, 76;
  name changed in Elizabeth's reign, 76;
  ground for omnibuses at present, 76.

Great Fire, date of commencement, 77;
  place of likewise, 77;
  inscription detailing destruction caused by, made on the monument, 77.

Green Park, 224;
  house of Samuel Rogers in it, 224;
  parties associating there, 224.

Greenwich, beauty of Park, 283;
  description of, 283;
  London seen from One-tree Hill in, 283;
  appearance of described, 283;
  chief beauty of park appears in June, 283;
  crowded by visitors, 283;
  Observatory, 283;
  pensioners, 284;
  characteristics of, 285;
  various amusements practised, 285;
  refreshments, appetite for, and cheapness of, 287;
  Gipsies connected with, 288;
  characteristics of, 288;
  advantages derived from the opening of the park, 288;
  historical associations connected with, 288, 291;
  Blackheath connected with, 291;
  view from, 291;
  palace of Eltham seen from, 291;
  donkeys to be procured there, 292;
  appearance of river from London to Greenwich, 292.

Guildhall, 155;
  scarred by great fire, 155;
  ancient hall, when erected, 155;
  first king who dined there, 155;
  historical associations connected with, 155;
  descriptive details of the banquet, 156;
  and procession attendant, plate, flowers, bill of fare, 157, 158;
  description of Charles First's entertainment, 159, 160, 162;
  Lord Mayor's election, 162;
  forms connected with, 162;
  heavy duties of office, 162;
  amount of letters received by, 162;
  crypt of Guildhall, 163;
  length of Guildhall, 163;
  architecture of, 163;
  quotation from "London Spy," illustrative of giants in Guildhall, 163;
  monuments in, 164;
  of whom in memory of, 164;
  picture in Council Chamber, 164;
  subject of, 164;
  library, 164;
  autograph of Shakspeare in, 164.


Hall's Chronicle, description of fête, quoted from, 79.

Harold, 24;
  notes connected with, 201.

Harrison, William, 76;
  connected with pamphlet, 76.

Hastings, 24.

Henry VIII., abuse of consecrated vessels, 168.

History, opening of Anglo-Saxon, applicable to origin of London, 17.

History of the past, 17.

History of our island, 18;
  darkness of early part, 18;
  first dawning of it by what discovered, 18.

History of life and reign of Elizabeth, 121.

Historical associations connected with houses
     in Holywell-lane and Wych-street, 208, 209.

Holidays of the London Poor, 293.

Holy Trinity, church of, destroyed by fire, great, 51;
  Holy Trinity, prior of, 26.

Honey Island, 18.

Houndsditch, 146.

House connected with Black Prince, 26.

House at the entrance of Whitechapel, description of, 25;
  whose residence possibly, 25;
  emblems and ornaments on, 25, 26.

House in which Sir Paul Pindar resided, 153.

Hyde Park, 225;
  Apsley House, and statue of Achilles, 225;
  character of in season, 225;
  rural scenery of, 225;
  in vicinity of "Tyburn tree," 225;
  Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, in connexion with, 225;
  escape of Cromwell in Hyde-park, 225, 226;
  Hyde-park when first mentioned, 226;
  mustering-ground for "May-day holidays," 226, 227.


Illustrated London News, office of, where situated, 202.

Importation of fruit and cattle, 139.

Inhabitants of our island, early, very doubtful, 19;
  reasons for this, 19.

Ironside, Edmund, 24.

King William-street, statue of William IV. in, 67;
  by whom made, 67;
  aspect of, 67;
  cost of, and by whom voted, 67;
  width and beauty of street, 67.

Knight-Rider-street, 44;
  descriptive details of, 45.


Labour, thoughts connected with, 139, 140;
  waste land in England and Ireland in connexion with, 139;
  duty of England in connexion with, 139.

Laud, where beheaded, 148.

Leadenhall-street and market, alluded to by Stowe, 96.

Lodging-houses, 193;
  variety of, 193;
  descriptive details of a real lodging-house, 194;
  various characteristics of the habits of servants in such, 194, 195;
  various illustrations of diet, tenants, economy,
     furniture connected with such, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199.

Lombard-street, 69;
  aspect of it, 69;
  for what proverbial, 69;
  appearance of, different now from what it was three centuries ago, 69;
  in what respects, 69;
  bear-baiting in it anciently, 69;
  related by Ben Jonson, 69;
  notices, historical incidents, 69;
  Banks and his horse, 69;
  opening of Exchange by Queen Elizabeth, 69;
  details of street cries and various parties incidental
     to neighbourhood, 69;
  characteristics of social state in olden time, 70;
  Bankers of England in connexion with, 70;
  characteristics of business done by them, 74;
  and manner of doing it, 74;
  old-fashioned banker, picture of, 75;
  church in Lombard-street, built by a pupil of Wren's, 75;
  entry in old pamphlet connected with, 76.

London, when first peopled, unknown, 21;
  first probable origin of, 21;
  appearance of, in early times, 21;
  during the occupation of the Romans, 21;
  remains of ancient London, 27;
  to be found still in neighbourhood of Smithfield, 27;
  streets of London in olden time, 27;
  state of roads in, 27;
  by what evidenced, 27;
  progress of passenger in, 27;
  roads of London in William and Anne's time, 28;
  evidenced by characteristics of coachmen, 28;
  numbers of lamps then used, 28;
  old highway to London, poetically called "the road of the swans," 28.

London cemeteries, 269;
  custom of burying the dead in ancient times, 269;
  from whence derived, 269;
  opposite character of present customs, 269;
  objections to, 270;
  ashes of the dead only brought within the temples anciently, 270;
  misplacing of our dead in cities, 270;
  arguments in favour of open cemeteries, 270;
  remarks on both, 273, 274;
  different position of our churches when first built, 274;
  proposed rating for burial of dead, 274;
  opportunities offered for suburban cemeteries, 273, 275;
  death less repulsive in a cemetery, 275;
  allusion to and description of Joseph's funeral, 276;
  epidemic referred to in connexion with present subject, 277;
  various characteristics of, 278, 279, 280, 281;
  sexton and grave-digger how affected by, 280;
  pure air to be agitated for in connexion with extra-mural
    interments, 282.

London poor, characteristics of, 136;
  habits of life comfortless, 136;
  neighbourhood of Whitechapel and Bethnal Green, inhabited by, 136;
  associations connected with "Home" in their life, 136;
  hunger, and work, and sleeplessness, modes of reckoning time, 137;
  Mr. Mayhew's work alluded to, 137;
  their condition reflected on, 137;
  emigration in connexion with, 138;
  holidays of the, 293.

London Bridge, old, 25;
  descriptive and historical references, 25.


Mansion House, 65;
  when built, 65;
  before which Lord Mayor resided in his own house, 65;
  Egyptian Hall, where Lord Mayor entertains his guests, 66;
  value of plate then used, 66;
  princely style of Lord Mayor, 66;
  allowance made him to support the dignity,
    sword of Lord Mayor described, 66;
  mace likewise, 66;
  collar and jewel, description of, taken from _Illustrated London News_, 66;
  costume of Lord Mayor, 66;
  Mansion House, where standing, 66.

Market held under name of Farringdon is still held, 66.

Markets, vegetable and fruit, 212.

Mark Lane, 94.

Mary Frith, where buried, 193;
  her exploits, 193.

Mary Overy, or Mary of the ferry, 249.

May-pole in the Strand, 202;
  by whom removed, 202;
  at what time restored, 202, 203;
  account of in the "City's Loyalty displayed," 203.

Merchant tailors' school, 66;
  connected with it Duck's foot lane, corruption of Duke's foot lane, 66;
  eminent men there educated, 67;
  among whom James Shirley, 67.

Mercers' School, 60;
  former situation of, 60;
  said to be one of the oldest schools founded in London, 60;
  what ground occupied by, 60;
  by whom founded, 60.

Mermaid tavern, 49;
  mentioned by Ben Johnson, 49.

Michael's, St., College-hill, 60;
  by whom built 60;
  altar-piece contained in, 60;
  what made by Whittington's executors, 60;
  who is there buried 60.

Mildred-street church, built by Wren, 49.

Milton's baptism recorded on a stone in
     the wall beside a door in Allhallows, 48;
  together with other names, 48.

Mincing-lane, 93.

Monument, descriptive notices of, 77.


Nelson's monument, 36.

New parks, 227;
  necessity of, illustrated by various details, 228.

New London Bridge, 67.

Newgate, 183;
  neighbourhood peculiar to, described, 183;
  crowd assembled to see execution in, 183;
  of whom composed, 183;
  time allotted for execution, 183;
  cries attendant on, and caused by, 183;
  characteristics of workmen erecting scaffold, 184;
  characteristics of parties attending executions, 184;
  exhibition of such devoid of any terror to them, 185;
  effects of it on them, 185;
  youthfulness of parties attending, 185;
  various details illustrative of pernicious effects of
    thus witnessing, 188;
  details of prisoner forexecution, 190.

Northumberland, Earls of, 26.


Objects dwelt on in this work, 191.

Octarchy, when and by whom destroyed, 24.

Olave, St., 96.

Old change and Watling-street, 46;
  church of St. Austin, in connexion with, 46.

Old Fish-street, contains church of St. Mary's Somerset, built by Wren, 46.

Old Mint, 251.

Old city moat, 153;
  neighbourhood of land in description of, 153.


Paper-staining Hall, 51;
  pictures and antiquities connected with, 51.

Parks, 222;
  characteristics and purposes of, 222, 223.

Park, St. James's, 223;
  in the time of Henry VIII., 223;
  chase added to it by him, 223;
  localities comprised in, 223;
  laws connected with, 223;
  death of Henry soon after, 223;
  few features of the old park remaining, 223;
  connected with it Buckingham Palace, 223;
  beauty of walks beside the canal, and water fowl nurtured in, 224;
  fine trees connected with, 224;
  spot for love-making since the days of Charles II., 224;
  mention of the "Mall," by Horace Walpole, 224.

Park, Green, 224;
  possesses little interest--house in it, residence of Samuel Rogers, 224;
  distinguished men who have been guests
     there during the last half century, 224.

Park, Hyde, various characteristics of detailed, 225, 226.

Park, Regent's, attractions to, 227;
  Zoological Gardens and Colosseum, 227;
  old house of Mary-le-bonne in connexion with, 227;
  bowling-green of the Duke of Buckingham, 227.

Paul's wharf, 44.

Peter House, note connected with, 48.

Peter the Dutchman, 24;
  works erected by, 24.

Pilgrim fathers, 135.

Poor, holidays of the London, 293.

Prerogative court, 37.

Pudding-lane, 79.

Punch, reference to, 193.

Purveyors of fish to the court, notices of, 80.


Queenhithe quay, 53;
  notices connected with, 53.

Queenhithe, 79.

Queen-street, notice of, 59.

Queen of Henry VIII., pin-money furnished by customs from Queenhithe, 79.


Rag-fair, 146;
  price of admission to, 146;
  details descriptive of, 146;
  exposure to weather in, 146;
  scenes occurring in described, 146;
  various characteristics of, 147.

Richard III. rebuilt the church of Allhallows-Barking, 95, 96;
  great antiquity of it proved by pillars,
     inscriptions, monuments, brasses, 96.

Roman lamp, 49.

Roman hypocaust, 22.


Samian ware, where lying, 22.

Seething-lane, 94;
  church of Allhallows, Barking, connected with, 94.

Shakspeare, 27.

Sheriff's court, descriptive details of, 163, 164.

Shrine, silver-gilt, 95.

Simon's report to commissioners of sewers, allusion to, 86.

Sir John Watts entertained James I., 155.

Smithfield, 174;
  intended abolishment of market, of, 174;
  descriptive notices of, 174;
  eating-houses connected with, 174;
  drover connected with, description of, 175;
  dogs connected with, description of, 175;
  descriptive notices of, 175;
  characteristics of it on Sunday night, 176;
  Smithfield butchers, capabilities of, 176;
  Friday, day on which to see it, 176;
  haymarket connected with it, 178;
  characteristics illustrative of it, and incidental to it, 178, 179;
  illustrative description of it, and connected with it, 179;
  historical details connected with, 181.

Somerset House, 204;
  to what purposes used, 204.

Southwark entrance to London, 252;
  contained in former days Shakspeare's theatre and Bear-garden, 252;
  different feature presented by it at present day, 252;
  specially in connexion with vehicles, 252.

Spital Sermons, where preached, 173.

Statue of Queen Elizabeth, anecdote connected with, 199.

St. Andrew's-Undershaft, 147;
  why so called detailed by Stowe, 148;
  who is buried there, 147.

St. Catherine-Cree, 147;
  by whose authority said to be buried there, 147;
  Hans Holbein and Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, 147;
  consecration of the same described by Prynne, 147.

St. Clement's, 76.

St. Clement Danes, why so called, 201.

St. Dunstan's church, 92;
  Mr. Elmes' notice of Sir Christopher Wren in connexion with, 93;
  quarrel in it described by Stowe, 93.

St. Giles's, Cripplegate, 164, 165.

St. Helen's, 150;
  monuments in, 150;
  buried there Sir T. Gresham and the rich Spencer, 150;
  allusion to nuns connected with, 150.

St. James's and St. Giles's, origin of wooden
     puppets--_see_ "Douglas Jerrold's Magazine," 199.

St. Magnus, 78.

St. Mary's-Mounthaw--the Saxon name of the hawthorn berry, 46.

St. Mary's-Woolnoth, 75;
  Dr. Shuite connected with, 75.

St. Mary's church, Abchurch-lane, 76.

St. Maudlin, notice connected with, 47.

St. Michael and St. Peter's churches, Cornhill, 67;
  notices connected with, 67.

St. Mary-le-Savoy, 205;
  of what it is the remains, by whom destroyed, 205;
  present chapel when built, 205.

St. Nicholas's Cold Abbey, 47.

St. Paul's, 29;
  appearance of, 29;
  characteristics of, 29;
  charity children connected with, 30;
  festival, description of, 30;
  appearance, contrasted with that of ancient amphitheatres, 34;
  detailed description of the building, 35;
  architect, 35;
  size of clock, 35;
  bell striking the hour, 35;
  weight of it, 35;
  whispering gallery, 35;
  clock-room, 35;
  library, 35;
  model room, 35;
  monuments in, to Nelson, 36;
  Abercrombie, 36;
  Lord Cornwallis, and various others, 36;
  paintings in it by Sir James Thornhill, 36;
  door in the dome, purpose of, 36;
  shadow of St. Paul's indicative of its size, 36;
  hours of divine service, 36.

St. Paul's school, 46;
  by whom founded, 46;
  trustees to it, 46;
  notice of its connexion with Anne Boleyn, 46.

St. Saviour's church, founded by Mary of the Ferry, a Saxon maiden, 249;
  legend connected with her, 249;
  buried there, Gower, Fletcher, and Massinger, 249;
  Shakspeare attended brother's funeral there, 249.

Stonehenge, 19.

Stone, Mr., 76.

Strand, early appearance of, 22.

Street amusements, 254;
  a means of livelihood to many, 254;
  Punch and Judy, 255;
  illustrative description of their influences, 255;
  descriptive details of Punch and Judy, 255;
  descriptive details of spectators, 256;
  organ-boy and monkey, 256;
  descriptive details of monkey, 256-259;
  caravan and fat boy, 259;
  characteristics of, 259;
  dancing girl, 259;
  tumbler, characteristics of, 259;
  balancers, description and characteristics of, 260;
  stilt dancers, performances of, 260;
  street telescopes, 260;
  Jack-in-the-Green, 261;
  Guy Fawkes, 261.

Surrey, earl of, where buried, 95.


Thames-street, 67;
  notices connected with, and crowds witnessed in, 78;
  steamers calling at places on Thames, 78;
  evidencing population of London, 78;
  Lower Thames-street, description of, 81.

Thames, poisonous state of, for fish, 85;
  Mr. Butcher's evidence in connexion with, 85;
  James Newland's evidence in connexion with, 85;
  description by Stowe, 86;
  traffic on it opposed to supply of fish, 86.

Three-cranes, Vintry-street, notices connected with, 59.

_Times_' office, Printing-house-square, 37.

Tower, 103;
  remains of London mentioned in connexion with, 103;
  ancient foundation discovered in last century, 103;
  Fitz-Stephen's description alluded to, 103, 104;
  various notices in connexion with this building;
  defence of;
  purposes for which used;
  money expended on it, 105;
  wall defended by Edmund Ironside where tower now stands, 104;
  William the Norman, Rufus, and Henry I. in connexion with, 104;
  architect of White Tower, Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, 104;
  Longchamp held the tower for Richard I.;
  Henry III. beautified it, 105;
  strengthened by Edward I., 105;
  repaired by Edward III., 105;
  description of by Paul Hentzner, a foreigner in the
     reign of Elizabeth, 105;
  Nichols' progress of James I.;
  description of Lion tower, 106;
  stories from "London Spy," illustrative of lions' habits, 109;
  Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, imprisoned in Bell Tower, 110;
  letter to Cromwell from him, 110;
  Bloody tower, notices connected with, 111;
  Salt tower, notices connected with, 111;
  Bowyer tower, notices connected with, 112;
  Rats' dungeon, 113;
  White tower, 113;
  Jewel tower and description of regalia, 114, 115, 116;
  description of horse armoury, 116;
  description of Queen Elizabeth's armoury, 119;
  chronicle of Queen Jane, 120;
  "Ende of Lady Jane Dudley." 120;
  quotations from, 120, 121;
  names of celebrated persons confined in tower,
     121, and anecdotes connected with them, 122, 123;
  extract from _Illustrated London News_, 124.


Use of donkey, 177.


Various pageants at Lord Mayor's Show in olden times, 160.

Vintners' Hall, notices of, and historical details connected with, 53.

Virgin Mary's Image set up by Edward I., 95.


Walbrook, descriptive notices of, 60;
  church of St. Stephen's connected with, 61.

Walworth, lord mayor, slew Wat Tyler, 80.

Waste land in England and Ireland, 139;
  cost of reclaiming, 139.

Wat Tyler, picture of the death of, 160.

Westminster Abbey, associations connected with,
     and feelings arising from, 217;
  Pix office, 217;
  Saxon architecture of, 217;
  various details, architecture, pavements, and
     other matters connected with the abbey, 218, 219;
  its present aspect same as it was before Norman invasion, 218;
  mosaic pavement, brought from Rome by Abbot Ware, 218;
  great portion of abbey by Henry III., 218;
  shrine of Edward the Confessor, 219;
  tomb of Queen Eleanor, 219;
  Richard II. and his queen, connected with Shakspeare's
    mention of him, 219;
  Bolingbroke, in connexion with, 219;
  Henry the Fifth's monument, feelings awakened by, 210;
  want of harmony in monuments, 220;
  art with reference to them better understood formerly than now, 220;
  proved by the tombs of our kings in Westminster Abbey, 220;
  and by the introduction of modern statues and ornaments, 220;
  screen erected by Blore, 220;
  monument of Sir Francis Vere in eastern aisle of the transept, 220;
  Poet's Corner, associations connected with, 220;
  Chaucer's monument, 220;
  first poet buried here, 220;
  Spencer next poet buried here, 221;
  his funeral, by whom probably attended, 221;
  Beaumont and Drayton, Ben Jonson, Cowley, Dryden,
     Gay, Prior, and Addison, buried here, 221;
  monuments erected to poets buried elsewhere, 221;
  the author of the "Pleasures of Hope," the last true
    poet buried here, 221;
  notes descriptive of his funeral, 221;
  Henry IV., death referred to, 221;
  Henry Seventh's chapel, details illustrative of its beauty, 221;
  brass screen enclosing Henry the Seventh's tomb, beauty of, 222;
  Cromwell, where buried, 222;
  to where taken afterwards, 222.

Where horses are kept by owners in London, difficulty of ascertaining, 177.

Whitechapel, 141;
  number of objects in neighbourhood, and extent of
     interesting portion, make selection a difficulty, 141;
  neighbourhood of Whitechapel alluded to in article "Ancient London," 141;
  contrast between present and past appearances, 141;
  butchers' shops in, 142;
  old-school class of butchers, 142;
  characteristics of, 142; viands sold in, 142;
  characteristics of dinners there, 142;
  ham and beef houses, 145;
  fish sold there, 145;
  pigeon-fanciers living there, 145;
  pigeon-keeping practised there, 145;
  good arising from this taste, 145;
  details connected with practice, 145;
  pigeon-decoying practised, 145;
  means of, explained, 145.

Whitefriars, of what service to traders formerly, 192;
  privileges taken away by Act of Parliament, 192;
  situation peculiarly ineligible from local neighbourhood, 193.

William and Anne, 28.

William the Conqueror, 28.


Zoological Gardens, 227;
  scenery in them described, 227;
  aviaries containing specimens from Peru and Mexico, 227;
  aquatic fowls, 227;
  varieties of every kind there assembled, 227.

                                LONDON:
                PRINTED BY LEVEY, ROBSON, AND FRANKLYN,
                    Great New Street, Fetter Lane.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NATIONAL ILLUSTRATED LIBRARY.

IN MONTHLY VOLUMES, 2_s._ 6_d._ EACH,

_Containing about Three Hundred Pages and Fifty Engravings._

Crown 8vo, handsomely bound in cloth gilt.


WORKS ALREADY PUBLISHED.

VOLS. 1 to 4.--BOSWELL'S LIFE of DR. JOHNSON. Elucidated by copious
Notes. Illustrated with numerous Portraits, Views, and characteristic
Designs, engraved from authentic sources. _Third Edition._

THE SAME, 4 vols. bound in 2, calf, half-extra, marbled edges, 18_s._

VOL. 5.--The BOOK of ENGLISH SONGS, from the 16th to the 19th century.
Illustrated with Fifty Engravings from original designs. _Third
Edition._

VOL. 6.--The MORMONS; or, LATTER-DAY SAINTS. Illustrated with Forty
Engravings from original sources. _Third Edition._

VOL. 7.--The ORBS of HEAVEN; or, the PLANETARY and STELLAR WORLDS. A
popular Exposition of the great Discoveries and Theories of Modern
Astronomy. Illustrated with Nebulæ, Portraits, Views, Diagrams, &c.
_Second Edition._

VOL. 8.--PICTURES of TRAVELS in the SOUTH of FRANCE. From the French of
ALEXANDRE DUMAS. With Fifty spirited Engravings on Wood. Unabridged
Edition. _Second Edition._

VOLS. 9 and 13.--HUC'S TRAVELS in TARTARY, THIBET, and CHINA, in 1844,
5, and 6. Translated by W. HAZLITT. Unabridged Edition. Two vols. crown
8vo, cloth. 2 vols. in 1, cloth, gilt edges, 5_s._

THE SAME, handsomely bound in calf gilt, marbled edges, 9_s._

VOL. 10.--A WOMAN'S JOURNEY ROUND the WORLD. Translated from the German
of Madame PFEIFFER. Unabridged edition. Illustrated with full-size page
Engravings printed in two tints, handsomely bound in One Volume. _Second
Edition._

VOLS. 11 and 12.--MEMOIRS of EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS. By CHARLES
MACKAY, LL.D., with 120 Illustrations from scarce prints, and other
authentic sources. Two vols. crown 8vo, cloth. _Second Edition._

     Two vols. 2_s._ 6_d._ each; or the Two Vols. in One, cloth, gilt
     edges, 5_s._

     THE SAME, elegantly bound, Two Vols. in One, calf gilt, marbled
     edges, 9_s._

VOL. 14.--BOSWELL'S JOURNAL of a TOUR to the HEBRIDES. Companion volume
to BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON. With Index to the "Life." By ROBERT
CARRUTHERS, Esq., of Inverness. _Second Edition._

VOL. 15.--NARRATIVE of a RESIDENCE at the CAPITAL of the KINGDOM of
SIAM. By FREDERICK ARTHUR NEALE, formerly in the Siamese service, author
of "Eight Years in Syria."

VOL. 16.--The ILLUSTRATED BOOK of SCOTTISH SONGS.

VOL. 17.--PICTURESQUE SKETCHES of LONDON, PAST and PRESENT. By THOMAS
MILLER, Author of the History of the Anglo-Saxons, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW BOOKS FOR JULY.


WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.


     Exhibiting the Origin, Orthography, Pronunciation, and Definition
     of Words; comprising also a Synopsis of Words differently
     pronounced by different Orthoepists; and Walker's Key to the
     Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin, and Scripture Proper
     Names. A New Edition, revised and enlarged, by C. A. GOODRICH,
     Professor in Yale College; with the addition of a Vocabulary of
     Modern Geographical Names and their Pronunciation. With Portrait of
     Dr. WEBSTER.

  Royal 8vo, extra cloth, 1265 pages            £0  16  0
  Strongly bound in russia, marbled edges        1   4  0
  Ditto, ditto, half-russia, marbled edges       1   0  0
  Ditto, ditto, calf gilt, ditto                 1   0  0
  Ditto, ditto, half-calf, ditto                 0  18  0

*** This valuable Dictionary of the English Language must not be
confounded with _Worcester's_, which, although similar in appearance and
price, is smaller, and, not so complete.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ILLUSTRATED MODERN GEOGRAPHY.

By JOSEPH GUY, JUN., of Magdalen Hall, Oxford,

Author of numerous popular Educational Works.

Demy 8vo, with about One Hundred Engravings of Cities, Costumes, and
Wonders of the World, &c. The Drawings are made with great care from
truthful sources--a desideratum so necessary in an Elementary Geography.
Nine Maps have been engraved by a patent process expressly for this
Work, and are corrected to the present period.

Demy 8vo, cloth, 2_s._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON DRAWING-BOOK.

Comprising a complete introduction to Drawing and Composition; with
instructions for Etching on Copper or Steel, &c. Illustrated with above
300 subjects for study in every branch of Art.

Demy 8vo, cloth, 2_s._

       *       *       *       *       *

HAZLITT'S

LIFE OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.

Vol. III. New Edition,

Revised and corrected by his son, WILLIAM HAZLITT, Esq.

  Post 8vo, with Portraits and Vignettes, per volume      £0  3  6
  Or handsomely bound in calf gilt, marbled edges          0  7  0

*** The Fourth Volume, which completes this interesting work, will be
ready on the 1st of August.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE

SQUANDERS OF CASTLE SQUANDER.

A New Novel by WILLIAM CARLETON, Esq.,

Author of "The Black Prophet," "Traits of the Irish Peasantry," &c. &c.
Two vols. crown 8vo, handsomely bound in red and silver, price each
volume, 2_s._ 6_d._

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

King Wiliam IV.=> {pg 67}

more gaceful than swan=> more graceful than swan {pg 158}

Arras rich with hunstman, hawk, and hound=> Arras rich with huntsman,
hawk, and hound {pg 158}

the unmannerly mobility=> the unmannerly nobility {pg 160}

our fprincipal vices of the City=> four principal vices of the City {pg
161}

Such as he herds=> Such as the herds {pg 188}

has became a bad word=> has become a bad word {pg 198}





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Picturesque Sketches of London, Past and Present" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home