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The CONTRAST, written under Windsor Terrace, 17th Feb. 1820.
[By Horace Smith, Esq.]
Walking in health and gladness;
Not a single look of sadness.
Blithely the birds were singing ;-
And the bells were merrily ringing.
When not a word was spoken,
And the silence by sobs was broken.
To the muffled drum's deep rolling;
Drowned the death-bell's tolling.
To the grave till I saw him carried,
But to him a night unvaried.
The foe of our land we had tumbled;
For whom that foe we humbled.
And a son's sole child had perished;
By which they were fondest cherished.
And be sat in his age's lateness,
Of the frailty of human greatness.
Unvexed by life's commotion,
On the calm of a frozen ocean.
Still o'er him oblivion's waters lay,
Though the stream of time kept flowing;
That the old man's strength was going.
He is gone at length—he is laid in dust
Death's hand his slumbers breaking ;
Is a sure and blissful waking.
And should a sculptured stone be denied him,
We lay our heads beside him.
ACCESSION. 30.-KING CHARLES I, MARTYR. For various historical illustrations of this day consult our previous volumes, particularly the last, p. 13, as to the man who actually beheaded K. Charles.
31. 1820.-KING GEORGE IV PROCLAIMED.
Ancient London. There are very few persons, we apprehend, that have more than vague and general notions of the magnitude of the increase which London has received within the last half century; still less have they any ideas of the recent dates at which many of the ancient nuisances have been supplanted by more elegant and convenient structures. The ancient capital of England, under the earlier Roman conquerors, was Verulam, or the modern St. Alban's. It is doubtful whether Julius Cæsar ever saw London, the walls of which were first built by Theodosius, governor of Britain, A.D. 369. Lyn-din, or the City of the Lake, was then bounded on the east by the Fleet, on the west by the Wallbrook, and on the north by an extensive morass, beyond which was an immense forest, the niorass running in the line of Holborn and Smithfield. On the south was the lake, formed by an immense bend of the banks of the Thames, since filled up, or much straightened by wharfs and embankments. On the site of London Bridge was a ferry, the property of the monks of St. Mary Over-eye (over the water). In 1000, these monks built the first wooden bridge over the Thames, which was deemed so impregnable by Canute, that he cut a canal from Rotherhithe, to let his feet pass above the bridge, for the blockade of London. This bridge was burnt, and in 1176, in the reign of Henry II, the present London Bridge was erected on its site, so that it has stood no less than 650 years. There are persons yet living who remember the old rows of houses upon this bridge, over-hanging the huge starlings on each side, with the dirty, dark, and narrow passage between them. These houses were inhabited by pin-makers, the first of whom was a
Spanish negro, who introduced the manufacture into England. The drawbridge in the centre was then guarded by an antique tower, and another fort stood at the foot of the bridge, to protect it from the people of Southwark. These fortifications, with the old moth-eaten houses on the bridge, and all the city gates and bulwarks, were removed by an Act of the 1st Geo. III, in the year 1760. It was not until 1738 that London Bridge was found insufficient for the convenience of the inhabitants; and in that year Westminster Bridge was built by Labelye, a Swiss. In 1761, the second year of the late king's reign, Blackfriars' Bridge was built by Milne. The first was thirteen years constructing, and cost £389,000; the second was built in ten years, and cost only £152,840. Waterloo Bridge cost nearly a million.
The most ancient relic in the city is London Stone, which may still be seen inserted in the wall of St. Swithin's churcb, Cannon-street. This stone was wont to be regarded with superstitious reverence; and when Jack Cade entered London, he struck his sword on this stone, saying, Now is Mortimer lord of this citie. The fine old Gothic cathedral of St. Paul's, or Eastminster, was consumed in the fire of 1666. In front stoad Paul's Cross, a pulpit of wood, noted for political sermons: it was demolished in 1641, by the Long Parliament, together with the beautiful cross of Queen Eleanor, in West Chepe (Cheapside), and the May-pole, which stood on the site of the New Church, Strand, was removed by Sir Isaac Newton to Wanstead-park, to support his large telescope. In 1560, Finsbury, Holborn, St.
Giles's, and St. Martin's, were distinct villages, and the nobility bad their town houses in Aldgate. In the village of Charing, another of Eleanor's crosses stood, where now stands Le Soeur's statue of Charles I. It was an immemorial custom for the twelve judges, on the first days of term, to breakfast at the village of Charing, on their way to Westminster Hall. The present Whitcombstreet was once Hedge-lane; and on the top of the Hay-market stood the gibbet of Sir Thomas Wyat. At Spring-gardens were a species of Vauxhall, and a celebrated howling-green, famous for its piccadillas, a species of cake, from wbich Piccadilly derived its name. The Chevalier de Grammont gives a pleasant account of the grand fête given at this Vauxhall, or Spring Gardens, by the Lord Howard, where the gallantries of Sidney with the Duchess of Shrewsbury led to the fatal duel in which one of the seconds was killed, and Sidney severely wounded. Clarendon speaks of the Earl of Bedford, and other noblemen, meeting, under pretence of playing bowls, at a country tea-garden in Piccadilly, the real object being to mature designs against the court. To the north of the Earl of Leicester's house (now Leicestersquare) stood King-square, on one side of which was the Dake of Monmouth's house, after whose execution his friends' changed the name to Sobo-square, Soho being the watch word with which
he advanced to the fatal battle of Sedgemoore. Hanover and Cavendish squares were built about the year 1720, in the reign of George the First--the latter by the Duke of Chandos, who, in anticipation of immense profits from the South Sea scheme, de. signed the north side for his own palace, one wing of wbich, in tended for the servants, was the corner house of the square and Harley-street, recently the residence of Mr. Hope, now converted into about six houses.
In 1720, Oxford-street or road extended only to Princesstreet, and Bond-street terminated at Conduit-street. The present Trinity Chapel, Conduit-street, was originally a popish cha. pel of wood, mounted upon wheels, which followed the camp of James II to Hounslow, where it long remained, till Archbishop Tennison, then Rector of St. Martin's, brought it back to its present position, and built it of more durable materials. Westminster Abbey then stood upon Thorney Island, surrounded by a creek, that supplied the canal in St. James's Park with water from the Thames. Westminster Hall, built by William Rufus, is almost the only remain of the once immense palace of Edward the Confessor, which extended to Whitehall. Charles the Second inclosed and planted St. James's Park. The magnificent palace of Whitehall was designed by Inigo Jones, to consist of six distinct courts, of which only the hall was finished. The previous palace occupied both sides of the way, and stood upon the site of the present Horse Guards, the Treasury, and the Home Office. Where the Admiralty now stands was formerly the house of the infamous Countess of Essex, from the roof of wbich Archbishop Laud bebeld the execution of his master, Charles L. Scotland-yard is the site of the extremely ancient palace of King Kenneth.
After the fire of 1666, Sir Christopher Wren's plans for the improvement of London, though supported by the king and nobles, were successfully resisted by the corporation. He, however, effected so much in point of cleansing and ventilating the city, that although the plague, in the year preceding the fire, bad carried off 160,000 persons, it never after returned. It is singular, that in 1766, an architect named Gwynn, addressed proposals to the late king for the improvement of London, most of his plans being precisely those recently effected; and particularly the building of a bridge where Waterloo Bridge now stands, and the pulling down of the King's Mews. Northumberland-house, at Charing-cross, was formerly the Hospital of St. Mary Rounceval. In the reign of Charles II, Exeter 'Change was the fashionable lounge and parade of the beau monde, while in the reign of Queen Anne, the grand mall was Tavistock-street, Covent-garden. From thence it shifted to Bond-street, aņd now vibrates between that street and Regent-street. There are persons yet living who remember when the last house in Bond
street was the most northern bouse of London, whilst many recollect the snipe-shooting in the swamps of our present Manchester-square.
This last square, with Baker-street, was erected by the capital of the celebrated Elwes, the miser. It is less than thirty years ago that Guildford-street was a turnpike road, the north side of Bloomsbury-square consisting of the
Duke of Bedford's house, the present Russell-square forming his gardens.