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lord mayor and aldermen, who, after not imply exclusively what it does now visiting them on horseback, on the 18th Chaucer talks of the 'merry organ at of September, hunted a hare before the mass. But it appears to have had dinner, and a fox after it, in the Fields a signification still more desirable—to near St. Giles's.' Hours, and after-din- have meant the best condition in which ner pursuits, must have altered mar- anything could be found, with cheerful. vellously since those days, and the body ness for the result. Gallant soldiers of aldermen with them.
were 'merry men.' Favourable weather " It was not till the reign of Henry was 'merry.' And London was 'merry,' V. that the city was lighted at night. because its inhabitants were not only
“ The illumination was with lanterns, rich, but healthy and robust. They slung over the street with wisps of rope had sports infinite, up to the time of the or hay. Under Edward IV. we first hear Commonwealth-races, and wrestlings, of brick houses ; and in Henry the archery, quoits, tennis, foot-ball, hurlEighth's time, of pavement in the middle ing, &c. Their May-day was worthy of the streets. The general aspect of of the burst of the season; not a man London then experienced a remarkable was left behind out of the fields, if he change, in consequence of the dissolution could help it; their apprentices piqued of religious houses ; the city, from the themselves on their stout arms, and not great number of them, having hitherto on their milliners' faces; their nobility had the appearance of a monastic, ra- shook off the gout in tilts and tournather than a commercial metropolis.' ments ; their Christmas closed the year The monk then ceased to walk, and the with a joviality which brought the very gallant London apprentice became more trees indoors to crown their cups with, riotous."-pp. 15, 16.
and which promisd admirably for the
year that was to come. In everything British London is supposed to have they did, there was a reference to been about a mile long and half-a-mile
Nature and her works, as if nothing wide. Modern London occupies more
should make them forget her; and a than eighteen square miles, densely Health and strength, as the foundation of
gallant recognition of the duties o* populated. London is probably the
their very right to be fathers."-p. 24. healthiest city in the world; but it owes its health to the successive purifications of plague and fire; the first
That increased happiness may be compelling cleanliness, and the other
the condition of future society, and having given the opportunity of more
that England may, in a higher sense open buildings, and clearing away
than the words have yet borne, be nests of impurity and contagion.
“merry England,” we believe with Much remains to be done, and the
Mr. Hunt ; and we incline to think fear of cholera is even now doing it.
that the opportunity will be given, not In Elizabeth's days, the London
by creating again any of the phases houses were for the most part of wood, through which society has passed, but, built with one story projecting over
most probably, by the advances of another. Neither ground nor mate
science, enabling future men to support rials were then spared, and there
their families with less of bodily and were courtyards which answered well
mental toil, and thus leaving more for theatres and long-rooms, and gal time and heart for manly bodily exleries, which did well for dances. It
ercises. The importance of fresh was “merry England,” a name that
air is felt ; and dens of pollution it continues still to bear, though per
will not be suffered to accumulate in haps with less right to the designation.
the heart of cities. Railroads will The exuberant happiness resulting
enable thousands to live far away from from health seems more the thought the smoke and noise of cities, for onein this word "merry" than any other;
half of their time. Domestic life,
which in no true sense existed in old but interpret it as you will, its colloquial meaning is now different from
days, will be the result of this separaany that can be assigned to it in this
tion of the place of business from the old expression, but on this we must proper home ; and happiness will be let Mr. Hunt speak
the effect. In England, there is the
perfect honesty and truthfulness of “ A word or two more on health, and purpose, that will attain its ends at our modes of living. London was onco
last. Mistake there often is, never wilful called • Merry London,' the metropolis mistake; and with all their faults, we of Merry England.' The word did think it absolutely impossible that the
vast overbalance of good accompany- our author, “in Cheapside, is an acing the daily discussion of every tual-visible, even ostentatiously, visible question in the newspapers, must not tree, to all who have eyes to look compel everywhere an examination about them. It stands at the corner of these questions of health of body of Wood-street, and occupies the space and of mind, on true principles. of a house."
Hunt tells us, what we were not The passage reminded us of prepared for, “ that there is scarcely Wordsworth's poem,“ The Reverie a street in the city of London, perhaps of Poor Susan," and we at once placed not one, from some part of which the Wordsworth’s thrush in the very tree. passenger may not discover a tree." We will print the poem, as it remains In Cheapside, it was supposed to be in our memory:out of the question. “Yet,” says
* At the corner of Wood-street, when daylight appears,
There's a thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three years:
“ 'Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees
A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.
Down which she so often has tripped with her pail ;
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade :
Alas! we can make nothing of it. Whenever a tree was mentioned, she The thrush was a caged thrush which thought it was that and no other. awaked poor Susan's heart, as we She had no conception even of the relearn, from accidentally looking at mote tree in Cheapside.
This apa later edition of the poem, where the pears,” adds Mr. Hunt, “incredible; second line is printed :
but there would seem to be no bounds " Hangs a thrush that sings loud, it has sung for
either to imagination, or the want of three years ;"
Assume the fact of the child having So we must give up the fancy of seen no other tree, it goes far in the making Wordsworth's thrush a visitor way of evidence against Mr. Hunt's of the Wood-street tree. The heart notion of trees being far from singular of the poor servant girl from the objects in the city, but however this country, wakened by the note of the be, if the one tree were the only one caged bird is, perhaps, better for the child ever saw, we do not feel any Wordsworth's purposes ; but the al surprise at her thinking it was meant teration of the passage, which disproves when a tree was mentioned. In fact a point of our own, can scarcely be re- we think it must have been so, if pergarded by us with complacency, and we sons are right who think that a child wish Mr. Wordsworth would cease actually, in the first instance, mistakes, mending his poems. Mr. Hunt tells us when it calls the second man it notices “ There was a solitary tree, the other “papa." That a child having seen day, in St. Paul's churchyard, which but one tree, should think the world has now got a multitude of young contained no more than one, is no companions. A little child was shown more strange than that the sight of us, a few years back, who was said Westminster Abbey or the Monunever to bave beheld a tree, but that ment should never suggest to her single one in St. Paul's churchyard. the existence of similar buildings.
We are far from sure that in the There is some reason to think it was notion of a tree or any other object a burying-ground of the ancient Briof thought which we have first ob- tons, because when Sir Christopher tained by means of the eye,-extend it to Wren dug for a foundation for his however many individuals you please, cathedral, he found abundance of ivory or vary it as you will by any process of pins, and wooden ones, apparently of abstraction or generalization,—the box, which are supposed to have fasfirst individual tree or other object tened their winding-sheets. The graves which has attracted the attention, is of the Saxons lay above them, lined not a part of any after conception. with chalk-stones, or consisting of
The citizens of London are fond of stones hollowed out; and in the same flowers. In the heart of the city, row with the pins, but deeper down, Hunt calls our attention to the names lay Roman lamps and lachrymatories. of Vine-court, Elm-court, &c. “There Sir Christopher dug down till he is a little garden in Watling-street; it came to sand and sea-shells, and Lonlies completely open to the eye, being don clay. “So that,” says our audivided from the footway by a railing thor, “the single history of St. Paul's only." Milton and Shakspere lived in churchyard carries us back to the what were called garden-houses. “A remotest periods of tradition, and we tree or even a flower put in the win- commence our book in the proper dow in the street of a great city, sheds style of the old chroniclers, who were a harmony through the busy discord, not content unless they began with and appeals to those first sources of the history of the world.” emotion which are associated with the Sir Christopher's operations, going remembrance of all that is young and back to the birth-day of creation, disinnocent. They present us with a turbed not a little of the antiquarian portion of the tranquillity we think we rubbish with which the imagination of are labouring for, and the desire of the prosiest of all mankind had enwhich is felt as an earnest that we cumbered the spot. A temple of shall realise it somewhere, either in Diana had been fancied as an edifice this world or the next. Above all, occupying, in remote days, the site of they render us more cheerful for the the present church. The temple-fanperformance of present duties; and ciers of course found the proofs which the smallest seed of this kind, dropt they were predetermined to find. Sa. into the heart of man, is worth more, crificial knives and vessels were found and may terminate in better fruits, in suspicious proximity with rams' than anybody but a great poet can horns and boars'tusks; and—something tell us."
more exquisite still—in digging beIt is natural that Hunt, a poet, tween the deanery and Blackfriars, a should everywhere and in everything brass figure of the goddess was found, refer to the poets. It confirms the and the old tradition was given by truth of his view, that everywhere Woodward a life of some fifty or sixty through the scriptures analogies are years more. Wren thought his exami. suggested between the spiritual being nation of the ground disproved the of man and the growth and progress pagan tradition, but he saw of vegetable life. The tenderest and reasons for not refusing credit to what most beautiful illustrations are for he calls authentic testimony, recording ever drawn from the forest and the that a Christian edifice was built here, field; they must start up at once into and “a church planted by the apostles every reader's mind, and they have themselves." the advantage that they can scarcely The authentic accounts, however, be marred by individuals connecting of St. Paul's, establish that a Christian with them accidental associations cal- church has existed on the spot since culated to spoil their effect. They the conversion of England by St. remain as pure symbols as they were Augustine. The first structure was when first used by prophet and apostle, of wood, and was burnt down and reand greater than apostle or prophet. newed more than once. In the year
Under Mr. Hunt's guidance, the 1087, a stone edifice was commenced, traveller through London streets be- and “ men at that time judged it would gins at St. Paul's. It is probably the never be finished,” so vast was the oldest ground built upon in London. design, “so wonderful was it for
length and for breadth.” It was not finished for more than two hundred years, and after it was finished, there were from time to time cumbrous addi. tions. At length the great fire of London swept all away, and gave space and opportunity for the present building.
We have not room for Mr. Hunt's description of the old edifice, and its successive additions, nor could we hope to render any description of it intelligible, without the aid of pictorial illustrations. Hunt gives us a spirited engraving of the west front of old St. Paul's, with Inigo Jones's portico. Nothing could be more incongruous with the rest of the building than this Corinthian portico, which, singly considered, was a beautiful composition. “ Fourteen columns, each rising to the lofty height of forty-six feet, were so disposed, that eight, with two pi. lasters placed in front, and three in each flank, formed a square (oblong) peristyle, and supported an entablature and balustrade which was crowned with the statues of kings, who claimed the honour of the fabric :-*
the venerable edifice, Waller commemorates by a pair of references to St. Paul's history, not unbappily applied: he says the whole nation had combined with his majesty
“Denham's prediction did no credit to the prophetic reputation of poetry. Of the fabric which was to be unassail. able by zeal or fire, the poet himself lived to see the ruin, begun by the one, and completed by the other; and he himself, curiously enough, a short time before his death, was engaged as the king's surveyor-general in (nominally at least) presiding over the erection of the new cathedral
the successor of the 'sacred pile,' of which he had thus sung the immortality.”—Pp. 34–36.
“ It is of the cathedral, as thus renovated, that Sir John Denham speaks in the following passage of his 'Cooper's Hill':
- That sacred pile, so vast, so high,
“ • The best of poets' is his brother courtier Waller, who had some time before written his verses
Upon his Majesty's repairing of St. Paul's,' in which he compares King Charles, for his regeneration of the Cathedral, to Amphion and other 'antique minstrels,' who were said to have achieved archi. tectural feats by the power of music, and who he says:
-Sure were Charles-like kings, Cities their lutes, and subjects' hearts their strings ; On which with so divine a hand they strook, Consent of motion from their breath they took.'
“ Jones's first labour, the removal of the various foreign encumbrances that had so long oppressed and deformed
The incongruities of architecture, where you had a Corinthian portico with a Gothic pediment, and obelisks, and turrets, was “nothing to the several deformities" within. Old St. Paul's was from the first "a den of thieves.” To go round the wall of the churchyard, was felt by the busy Londoners to be too great a circuit; and, even in the reign of Henry III., the church itself became a thoroughfare. Loiterers, led by devotion or love, lingered in the aisles, or round the altars. In the reign of Edward III. the king complains that the eating-room of the canons had become “ the office and workplace of artisans, and the resort of shameless women.' Kings remonstrated, and bishops fulminated mandates and excommunications in vain. Parliaments tried their hand with not much better success. From an Act of Philip and Mary the church appears to have been a com. mon passage, not only for beer, fried fish, flesh, &c., but for mules, horses, and other beasts. In Elizabeth's reign idlers and drunkards were allowed to sleep on the benches at the choir-door.
Are we to consider the uses in which great portions of the church were employed as encroachments on the rights of the dignitaries, in whom the property was vested, or were they parties to the kind of tenancy in which it
* “Survey of London."
seems to have been held “ in great sources of information on such subEliza's golden days ?”
jects, but very pleasantly and conveOf the chantry and smaller chapels, niently I brought together. The forsome were used as storehouses-one tunes of the church, and the varied was a school, another was a glazier's scenes enacted through the great shop, and the author, from whom we changes of religious opinion, are then transcribe the last fact, says that the dwelt on till we come to the days of windows were always broken. Part the Commonwealth :of the vaults beneath the church were occupied by a carpenter, the remain
“The parliamentary soldiers annoyed
the inhabitants of the churchyard by der was held by the bishop, the dean,
playing at nine-pins at unseasonable and the canons ; “one vault, thought hours-a strange misdemeanour for to have been used for a burial-place, that church militant.' They hastened, was converted into a wine-cellar, and also, the destruction of the cathedral. a way had been cut into it through the Some scaffolding, set up for repairs, walls of the building itself.” Houses had been given them for arrears of pay. were built against the walls, one was
They dug pits in the body of the church a playhouse, another a bakery, with a
to saw the timber in; and they removed place for the oven excavated in the
the scaffolding with so little caution, that cathedral wall.
great part of the vaulting fell in, and lay “ The middle of St. Paul's," we
a heap of ruins. The east end only and a
part of the choir, continued to be used transcribe from Mr. Hunt, “was also for public worship, a brick wall being the Bond-street of the period,' and re- raised to separate this portion from the mained so until the time of the Com. rest of the building, and the congregamonwealth. The loungers were called tion entering and getting out through Paul's walkers." “ The walkers in
one of the north windows. Another Paul's,” says Mr. Malcolm, “ during part of the church was converted into Elizabeth's and the following reigns,
barracks and stables for the dragoons.
As for Inigo Jones's lofty and beautiful were composed of a motley assembly of
portico, it was turned into shops,' says the gay, the vain, the dissolute, the
Maitland, 'for milliners and others, idle, the knavish, and the lewd." In
with rooms over them for the conveBen Johnson's “ Every Man out of his nience of lodging ; at the erecting of Humour," we find that advertisements which the magnificent columns were were posted on the columns in the piteously mangled, being obliged to aisle, and Shakspeare makes Falstaff make way for the end of beams, which say of Bardolph, “ I bought thee in penetrated their centres. The statues Paul's.” In William and Mary's time
on the top were thrown down, and it would seem that treasonable meet
broken to pieces.”—p. 62. ings were held here by the Jacobites. The fire of London destroyed the
Of the boy-bishop, and of some of old building. But let us listen to the old pageants, we have amusing ac- Dryden. The passage is one of the counts, taken from the ordinary noblest in English poetry:
" As when some dire usurper heaven provides
To scourge his country with a lawless sway;
And sets his cradle out of Fortune's way.
And hurries him to mighty mischiefs on ;
And wants the power to meet it when 'tis known.
“ Such was the rise of this prodigious fire,
Which in mean buildings first obscurely bred,
And straight to palaces and temples spread.
“ The diligence of trades and noiseful gain,
And luxury, more late, asleep were laid ;
No sound the rest of Nature did invade.