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moving over our heads! What if they should come in contact with the arches, at low water! The whole place would be instantly filled, and wo to the lucl:less wight who happens to be in it! In case of such an accident, there is no chance of escape.*
The fair was amusing enough. The immense park I have described was the principal scene, and thousands of country beaux and lasses were cutting up all sorts of capers. Some were running down the steep hills, with dangerous velocity, and many a poor girl fell sprawling in the attempt. Some, in groups, were listening to a strolling songster— others looking through the telescopes and glasses, on the beautiful landscape. Here and there a ring was formed, in which the damsels challenged their swains, by throwing a glove, and then scampering away. The favored one gives chase, brings back the blushing fair one, and gives her a kiss in the centre of the ring. There were many very well dressed and passably pretty girls in the collection. I took place in the circle without ceremony, determined to make the best of the sport. It was marvellous what a sensation I produced! The girls threw the gaunt let as fast as I could overtake them, and merry chases they were.t
* A slight breach has since been made in the works, but no lives were lost. The tunnel is now completed beyond the deepest and dangerous part of the river. There are two arches for passengers in each direction, partly open to each other and lighted by gas. This undertaking,it is estimated, will cost about $5,000,000.
+ I presume our village damsels would scarcely take part in such unfeminine amusements.
You will recollect the funny meeting of gocd King Jamie' and Richard Moniplies in this same park, veritably related in the Fortunes of Nigel.' The great Elizabeth also kept her court in Greenwich, and it was from here to Deptford that she went in a barge to visit the Earl of Suswhich voyage I have just finished, but there is no Sussex there now.* Speaking of Nigel, my lodgings in Norfolk-street are in the near vicinity of the Temple and the classical Alsatia, the ancient city of refuge,' or sanctuary for delinquents; but I doubt whether it would now be a safe retreat from either court warrants or the police.
To-morrow I propose to leave for Scotland, and I shall have something more to say of London, perhaps, on my return. Meanwhile, if you are not already versed in the peculiarities, topography, and general appearance of London, a recent work called the Great Metropolis, with a good map, will picture the huge city before your mind's eye as vividly as any thing short of a visit to it. As you will
* See Kenilworth. The inn where the scene of that splendid romance opens at Cumnor, is yet used as such, but the sign had been altered. When the novel was published, the Oxford students sent a deputation to mine host at Cumnor, and persuaded him to reinstate the original portraiture of the Bear.' The bishops Ridley and Latimer were burnt in Broad-street, Oxford, and Antony Foster there acquired his nickname by firing the faggots.
The following extract from a review of this work in the North American, is so graphic and beautiful, that we cannot refrain from copying it:
"We have an affection for a great city. We feel safe in the neighborhood of man, and enjoy the 'sweet security of streets.'
easily imagine, there is every variety, from the palace to the hovel, from St. James to Billingsgate; mud, smoke,
The excitement of the crowd is pleasant to us. We find sermons in the stones of side-walks. In the continuous sound of voices, and wheels, and footsteps, we hear 'the sad music of humanity.' We feel that life is not a dream, but an earnest reality; that the beings around us are not the insects of a day, but the pilgrims of an eternity; they are our fellow creatures, each with his history of thousand fold occurrences, insignificant it may be to us, but allimportant to himself; each with a human heart, whose fibres are woven into the great web of human sympathies; and none so small, that, when he dies, some of the mysterious meshes are not broken. The green earth, and the air, and the sea, all living and all lifeless things, preach unto us the gospel of a great and good providence; but most of all does man, in his crowded cities, and in his manifold powers, and wants, and passions, and deeds, preach this same gospel. He is the great evangelist. And though oftentimes, unconscious of his mission, or reluctant to fulfil it, he leads others astray, even then to the thoughtful mind he preaches. We are in love with Nature, and most of all with human nature. The face of man is a benediction to us. The greatest works of his handicraft delight us hardly less than the greatest works of Nature. They are 'the masterpieces of her own masterpiece.' Architecture, and painting, and sculpture, and music, and epic poems, and all the forms of art, wherein the hand of genius is visible, please us evermore, for they conduct us into the fellowship of great minds. And thus our sympathies are with men, and streets, and city-gates, and towers from which the great bells sound solemnly and slow, and cathedral doors, where venerable statues, bolding books in their hands, look down like sentinels upon the church-going multitude, and the birds of the air come and build
General View of the Great Metropolis.'
fog, narrow lanes, and stately terraces; omnibuses, cabs, boatmen, great men and rogues.
their nests in the arms of saints and apostles. And more than all this, in great cities we learn to look the world in the face. We shake hands with stern realities. We see ourselves in others. We become acquainted with the motley, many-sided life of man; and finally learn, if we are wise, to 'look upon a metropolis as a collection of villages; a village as some blind alley in a metropolis; fame as the talk of neighbors at the street door; a library as a learned conversation; joy as a second; sorrow as a minute, life as a day; and three things as all in all, God, Creation, Virtue.'*
"Now of all cities is London the monarch. To us likewise is it the Great Metropolis. We are not cockneys. We were born on this side of the sea. Our family name is not recorded in the Domesday Book. It is doubtful whether our ancestral tree was planted so far back as the Conquest. Nor are we what Sir Philip Sidney calls 'wry-transformed travellers.' We do not affect a foreign air, nor resemble the merry Friar in the Canterbury Tales, of whom the Prologue says;
"Somewhat he lisped for his wantonnesse,
To make his English sweet upon his tongue,"
Nevertheless to us likewise is London the monarch of cities. The fact, that the English language is spoken in some parts of it, makes us feel at home there, and gives us, as it were, the freedom of the city. Even the associations of childhood connect us with it. We remember it as far back as the happy days, when we loved nursery songs, and 'rode a-horseback on best father's knee.' Whittington and his cat lived there. All our picture-books and our sister's dolls came from there; and we thought, poor children! that every body in London sold dolls and picture-books, as the
* Jean Paul.
country boy imagined that every body in Boston sold gingerbread, because his father always brought some home from town on market days. Since those times we have grown wiser. We have been in Saint Paul's church-yard, and know by heart all the green parks and quiet squares of London. And now, finally, for us, grown-up children, appears the New London Cries, this book of The Great Metropolis.
Forty-five miles westward from the North Sea, in the lap of a broad and pleasant valley watered by the Thames, stands the Great Metropolis, as all the world knows. It comprises the City of London and its Liberties, with the City and Liberties of Wesiminster, the Borough of Southwark, and upwards of thirty contiguous villages of Middlesex and Surrey. East and west, its greatest length is about eight miles; north and south, its greatest breadth about five; its circumference from twenty to thirty. Its population is estimated at two millions. The vast living tide goes thundering through its ten thousand streets in one unbroken roar. The noise of the great thoroughfares is deafening. But you step aside into a by-lane, and anon you emerge into little green squares half filled with sunshine, half with shade, where no sound of living thing is heard, save the voice of a bird or a child, and amid solitude and silence you gaze in wonder at the great trees 'growing in the heart of a brick-and-mortar wilderness.' Then there are the three parks, Hyde, Regent's, and St. James', where you may lose yourself in green alleys, and dream you are in the country; Westminster Abbey, with its tombs and solemn cloisters, where with the quaint George Herbert you may think that,' when the bells do chime, 'tis angels' music;' and high above all, half hidden in smoke and vapor, rises the dome of St. Paul's.
"These are a few of the more striking features of London. More striking still is the Thames. Above the town, by Richmond Hill and Twickenham, it winds through groves and meadows green, a rural silver stream. The traveller who sees it here for