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go up for three-pence, and that the provisions of the penal code will be enforced against any persons beating carpets against the monument. While in this neighborhood, and out of respect for my honorable profession of journalist, I visited Billingsgate; but the place was a disappointment, and furnished me no new ideas. It is now a very commonplace fish market, where the language is up to the average of that of an editorial association, and a good deal more decent than that of an American newspaper fight.
St. Paul's cannot be described. It has all the majesty — and more-of the old Catholic edifices, and is, withal, suited to Protestant services. The only fault with this building architeoturally is the statues on the roof, which look like stone "hoodlums" who have climbed up there without permission.
How dear to the youthful heart are the recollections of Newgate! How precious the spot to the readers of Mr. Ainsworth's lurid works! It is but a step from St. Paul's - a powerfullooking building, with a sweet festoon of shackles, handcuffs, balls, chains, and other jewelry, over the main entrance. A few years ago executions took place in the open space in front of the prison. A dense crowd filled this space, cursing and jostling all night long prior to a hanging. A spectator of one of the last public entertainments of this kind told me that the mob got to knocking off the hats of the police officers, and that the hats rolled over the heads of the mass like balls in a bowling alley. This is all over now, and “Newgit,” like many another institution of the “good old times,” is not "what it used to was.”
The transition is a sudden and almost irreverent one, but it is only a few steps from this dreadful old place to Bunhill Fields, where some of the best men and women who ever lived and died are buried. This ground is a relic of the old times when the Dissenter was allowed to carry his dissent to the grave, if not beyond it, and be buried separately from members of the Established Church. It opens directly on the street, and is so crowded with tombstones that you can hardly walk about. Here are the monuments of Dr. Watts and other hymn-writers; here is buried the mother of the two great Wesleys; and “behold a greater than these,” for here is buried John Bunyan, who, though, as he tells us, while he “walked through the wilderness of this world, lighted upon a certain place where was a den," made for us all, good and bad, a "dream" full of well-nigh unearthly brilliancy. Here, too, is buried Daniel Defoe, who, as the author of Robinson Crusoe, has sent more boys to sea than all the shipping offices; a man who was rewarded for his services to mankind by mutilation and the pillory, and of whom the great Mr. Alexander Pope was not too much of a gentleman to write, “Earless on high sat unabashed Defoe.” Of this old burial-ground, I venture to say that there is more scripture and hymn-book in Bunhill Fields than in all the other London cemeteries put together. But one sees here no military or naval monuments, yet those sleep here who have fought and have won. The inscription tells us of one who, though living in a humble sphere, was yet a worthy champion of honest government, and that he did not die until he had seen his fondest hopes realized in the passage of the Reform Bill. Of victors there are many, being those, as the gravestones tell us, who “achieved a signal triumph over death."
It is out-of-doors that the English display the finest artistic qualities. The parks and pleasure-grounds are their finest pictures, for they are wrought in the soil which the Englishman
loves. St. James Park, Green Park, Hyde and Regents Parks,. are all near together, and all are lovely places. The scrubby trees of the Champs Elysées do not compare with the noble oaks and chestnuts in the great London pleasure-grounds. In fact, nothing can be mentioned in comparison with them except the Central Park of New York, which is unquestionably the finest park in the world.
The attraction of Hyde Park is the fashionable drive, which retains — because it happened once to get it - the detestable name of Rotten Row. In Rotten Row you may see the aristocracy in full feather in gorgeous equipages, and attended by the most imposing flunkeys. The two things which most impressed me, were first, the exceeding personal ugliness of the “hupper classes," and second, the legs of the footmen. I may say under the first head, that in my opinion the countesses and duchesses of England, in the matter of beauty, cannot approach the barmaids and the waitresses at the railroad stations. The aristocratic female in England has a tendency either to grow thin - in which case her countenance assumes all the angles of a gun-lock-or she gets stout and red in the face, and becomes a burden. I saw in the Row one day a lady clad in silks, who actually seemed a load for a pair of horses. The English gentleman is generally fine looking. The horsemanship displayed by him, though doubtless very fine, looks odd to an American. The cavalier of Rotten Row rises from his saddle at every step of his horse, affording the passer-by a fine view between his legs of the country beyond. But while I have been talking of this and that, I have forgotten Mr. Yellowplush and his calves. The male leg is not usually a matter of interest, but the shanks of these high-bred minions greatly interested me. Such development I never saw. I have no idea where such a breed of legs originated. We have nothing like it in America.
The attraction at Regents Park is the Zoölogical Garden. A man can well afford after visiting the “Zoo" to renounce all future "animal shows." There is nothing else like it. Here are literally droves of kangaroos; a barnyard full of giraffes ; deer of every description; hippopotami, half a dozen of them; all sorts of water fowl; a wilderness of monkeys; a houseful of lions; the most gorgeous parrots and other tropical birds — and all in the most elegant residences ever occupied by birds and beasts. It would be delightful even if the monkeys were taken away. Lectures are delivered here on the habits of the animals, even more instructive than those I have heard from the lips of Major Tom Anderson. On Saturdays a military band performs, and the children ride the elephants, who start around, of course, “when the band begins to play.”
The flower-beds and the turf of these great parks are perfection; they are the resort of rich and poor, and the parade grounds of the military; they are the beauty, the pride, and, in a sanitary point of view, the salvation of London.
I have spoken of the minor squares of London, and it remains to refer to the outdoor statuary, which is very plentiful and also very ugly. The great men of England glare at you in bronze or marble at every turn. The sharp nose of the Duke of Wellington points to every quarter of the horizon. In the matter of hideousness, the bronze Achilles in Hyde Park unquestionably leads. It looks like a big colored roustabout going up a gang plank with a car wheel. This terror was erected by a subscription of the ladies of England. The Duke of York column is
another monstrosity. “Who was the Duke of York?” was my first inquiry. He was a brother of King George IV, and so on, was answered. But why he was placed on the column I never knew, until a tailor informed me one day that it was to get him out of the reach of his creditors. The Nelson monument, in Trafalgar Square, is no better, and four more beastly lions never were cast than those of Landseer, which form a part of the structure. The statues of Palmerston and others are better; and now I come to speak of another, to me most interesting of all.
I lodged most of the time while I remained in London at a house in Burton Crescent, and in the little square or crescent opposite was the statue of an old bald-headed man seated in a chair. The last day of my stay, I went into the inclosure with my fellow-lodger, Captain Arthur Shaw, the brother-in-law of Thackeray, and read for the first time the inscription. Ignoring the “break-lines” of the epitaph, this is what it said:
"John Cartwright, born 25th Sept. 1740, died 230 Sept. 1824.
"The firm, consistent and unswerving advocate of universal suffrage, equal representation, vote by ballot, and annual Parliaments.
He was the first English writer who openly maintained the independence of the United States of America, and although his distinguished merits as a naval officer, in 1776, presented the most flattering prospects of professional advancement, he nobly refused to draw his sword against the rising liberties of an oppressed and struggling people.
“In grateful commemoration of his inflexible integrity, exalted patriotism, profound constitutional knowledge, and in sincere admiration of the unblemished virtues of his private life, this statue was erected by public subscription, near the spot where he closed his useful and meritorious career."
With this notice of an old forgotten friend of ours, who carried his wise old head far in the advance of the marching column of humanity, we close these first impressions of London.