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soldier has a little room of his own. The wives of the old men are allowed to remain here also, and I saw red-faced old women who had followed the marchings of the British army for twentyfive years. There is a great hall, said once to have been a splendid place, and in one end of the hall is this: “Memorandum that King James the First was right nobly entertained at a supper in this hall by the Honorable Sir Fulke Greville, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and one of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, upon the Fourth Day of September, Anno Domini, 1617. God save the King." Those who would know how His Majesty munched, and romped, and joked, and slobbered on that occasion, should read the “Fortunes of Nigel.” When I saw this sacred place it was partly filled with washtubs.
My guide was an old soldier with a fiery countenance, a red wart on one eyelid, and a breath which I judge had been through several wars and had assisted at the storming of several distilleries. He told me all about the establishment, and showed the badge which each veteran must wear the bear and ragged staff. He said that but one of the badges had ever been lost, although generations of old soldiers - the wearers thereof — have gone to the “eternal camping-ground.” He exhibited a piece of embroidery by the unfortunate Amy Robsart, and said that the handsome frame was purchased by an American gentleman, Mr. Charles O'Conor, of New York. I was very anxious to see the master of the hospital, Rev. Mr. Harris, and get from him some reminiscences of Hawthorne's visit, but was unable to find him “at home.”
I was curious to know how the gratuity business was to be
managed. It was very neatly done. My old military friend assured me that he and his brethren wanted nothing; but that the late Earl of Leicester had neglected to make any provision for the widows of old soldiers; that a fund was now being raised for that purpose; and if I would like to contribute a little something, etc. I strongly suspect that my shilling went to keep up the fine old military breath of my guide; and if so, it is well. Long may it be before he takes that jolly red nose out of a beer mug for the last time, and long may the good bounty of the wicked Earl be well dispensed, and the “broken soldier kindly bade to stay."
The sun scarcely shone while I was at Warwick, and the faint gray sky seemed to harmonize with the gray walls of the hoary castle; the quiet streets of the faded, aged town; the dim aisles of old St. Mary's; the brown flood of the gliding Avon. The town crier, whom I met in his cocked hat and a long flaming red coat, carrying his noisy bell, was quite out of character. Methought he was far too gay for such a venerable and time-worn place, where there should be nothing vivid in color, or more harsh in sound than the mill-wheel's drowsy hum and the decorous singing of staid and ancient birds.
The train bore me away in the early afternoon to Leamington; to Banbury, famous in the nursery rhyme; to Oxford, with its great university; and so at last I saw shining in the distance, like the Delectable Mountains in Bunyan's dream, the towers, the skirting battlements, the great walls, white and fair, of Windsor castle. Then, as one beholds at sea the crest of wave rising behind wave, miles away to where the sky comes down, so I saw lines on lines of roofs, red and black, one behind another, acres on acres of them, to the right, to the left, to the front; and over all hung a blue smoke like that which rolls away from a battlefield when the day is won and lost.
SOMETHING ABOUT LONDON.
WHERE are several villages of considerable importance in
England, such as Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, but there is but one town, and that is London. To go to “town," is to go to London; and, no matter from what point of the compass you start, it is always “up” to London.
People confuse and overwhelm themselves in trying to take in the idea of London as a single city. The “City” proper, as everybody is supposed to know, is a small spot in London comprising between three and four hundred acres; and from that center London has spread like a prairie fire, until it is simply a county covered with houses. I have never heard a man say how many people there are in London; the usual expression is, "from three and a half to four millions”—a few hundred thousand, more or less, make but little difference. This immense populated region that we call London, is, however, easily traversed; and it is no more difficult for a visitor to find any locality in London, than it is for a Western man to find the “n.e. I of the n.w. I of 6, 11, 15." There are many streets of the same name in London, and it is somewhat important that you should know whether you want to go to Queen street, Hackney, or Queen street, Kensington, as they are some miles apart; but if you do know this much, you can hardly go wrong, inasmuch as the city is also divided into parts designated by initials, as W., west; W. C., west central, and so on. The immense populated country, then, that we call London, is geographically divided in a simple manner; is admirably paved, well lighted at night, and guarded by an army of perfectly-drilled, neatly-uniformed, quiet, civil, intelligent police — the stranger's best friends.
The growth of London in all directions, is shown by names which have now lost their significance. There are “fields” where there are no fields. Bunhill Fields, the Dissenters' cemetery, where Bunyan is buried, is miles from anything resembling a field; so are the churches of St. Martin-in-the-fields, and St. Gilesin-the-fields. These names once given, will probably always remain; for in England things change, but names seldom or never.
London is really a modern city, and still a growing one. It is true that a city called London has existed for very many centuries, still but few traces of that old city remain. Nearly everything one sees in London dates back not over three hundred years. Westminster Abbey and the Tower are exceptions; but the Houses of Parliament are new; St. Paul's is not a very ancient edifice; and, in fact, an American is very apt to look with great reverence on certain things in London which after all are not much older than Boston. I believe the oldest equestrian statue in London is one of Charles I, in whose days America had already become a promising youth. The names of localities, as they existed before modern London came into being, still remain. Why a street should be called Old Jewry in a city where a Rothschild has been knighted, and in a country ruled by the son of an Israelite, and himself called Disraeli, is a conundrum that must be left to Dundreary. In the old time there was a thoroughfare called Thieving Lane, near the palace of Westminster. If an