« 前へ次へ »
faintest image simulating the truth. Description price than mines of silver and gold. The glitby any hand, by even our own! would scarcely tering and perishable baubles of modernism have be worth the paper spoiled by it. Let him who supplanted these once reverenced mementos; would see them as they are, changing in aspect and the solemn and sad-coloured veil, which with every changing hour, walk forth among mysticism threw around the cherished remnants them, look at them, and at what is passing of fleeting times, is now rudely torn asunder by within them, and he shall see A $IGHT.
the daring hands of puny upstart flaunting Manounce them as such; we argue nothing ; we dam Change. The scenes and the monuments describe nothing; we merely assert.
of the olden age are
to stand before our Within the last dozen years a mighty change eyes in sacred uncertainty no more ; no more has come o'er the spirit of London streets. Such may we behold them as arrayed in the beautiful erasions, such alterations, such improvements! garb which the imagination once gave to their High-ways made and bye-ways hermetically outlines, to challenge our awe and admiration. sealed; humble dwellings pulled down, and 0! this thirst for change! Our very children palaces built up; fields once verdant piled with eschew that which imparted measureless delight houses, their freshness no longer visible; the to their baby ancestors ; the brilliant gold that air which once might be inhaled in its balmy once dazzled the infant vision as it sparkled on purity now skulking suffocatingly and feloniously gingerbread spectacles, is now rejected, despised, down the trachea, saturated with unholy, whity- contemned. The tales and the histories of the brown, miasmatic dust; acres of tenements mighty of other days please and enohant no swept from the face of the land, and their sites more; he who, though brief in space and of staconverted into sights of squares, “ places,” and ture small, was, nathless, mighty in valour and circumbendibi ; trees cut down, canals cut out, fame,—the redoubted Jack, the demolisher of churches levelled to the earth, graves desecrated, giants, has ceased to entrance the childish heart, bodies exhumed the veritable realization of the to teach the young idea how to slay. The movision of dry bones!
dest Goody Two-shoes, too, now fails to point The less that is said, then, at the present junce to the paths of infantine morality; the sorrows ture, about the streets, per se, the better; for this of Little Red Riding-hood excite no more heartsimple reason, that London seems just now in breaking sobs; and as for Cock-Robin, his tomb course of being rebuilt ; and what it may be in is closed for ever: the bard who sung his sad even a few months of time, it would be difficult sweet requiem is forgotten quite, and the last to foretell. Never, surely, was there in any tear to his loved memory has been shed. All stage of the world's duration such cutting and have passed away, their glory utterly extinct ; clipping of bricks and mortar as now. Masons and pyronomics, hydrostatics, phrenology, maare indeed the only beings who realize our young thematics, and other crabbed sciences, are the ideas of the magicians of old; living Alad- horn-books of infancy in these our days. dins they seem, each with his Wonderful Lamp, Where be the streets whose narrowness made for they pull down and build up at a rub. No- neighbourhood among the habiters therein, when thing less than magic trowels could effect the man could shake hands with his fellow-gossip on wonders they achieve. You walk to the spot the opposite side of the way; and venerable where, a little while ago, you spent such a con virgins, as they leant out of the first floor winvivial meeting at your friend's house: it is gone, dows, might chat scandal, and descant on the and with it scores of others—felled to the earth, mutability of human affairs ? Where be the all, as though they had not been. You turn your roads that made a journey an epoch in the lifeback, and anon a princely pile rears its proud days of humanity; an era ; a time to date by? front; but how it came there who shall declare? Where be the habitations whose structure The less we say about the streets the better. seemed imperishable, whose builders wrought for We might mislead; for what we tell this month, unborn ages ? Where be those comfort-giving, may be by the next-mere “ matter of history." capacious, and lugubrious vehicles, that once
Ethereal Powers! If our poor, dear, defunct rolled in slow and unupsettable solemnity along, fathers (rest their souls !) could but walk forth -the portly, well-fleshed quadrupeds, in whom from their deathy homes, and witness the won fleetness was a fault, and surety of foot a virders that CHANGE had of late effected, how would tue? Alas! all that once was deemed permanent they not lift up their eyes in very astonishment and endurable has passed into tinsel show and Old things given place to new, the venerable mockery; all that was once venerable has berelics of bygone ages mouldered and crumbled come a thing to scoff at by a novelty-loving into destruction; and the things which but a world. A change, mighty and terrible, has taken breath of time back were wont to exert such all. place; and the hearts and the doings of the powerful, all.subduing influences, scraped from people, their yearnings and their callings, arethe memory, with as much recklessness as the vanity, vanity, vanity! mud from your Wellingtons on a door-mat. Yet, nevertheless, the streets are streets, and
This contempt for the old, and love for the as such they may be very laudably gaped at as a new, is a very remarkable trait in the disposition wonder. of the present revolutionary times. Mankind The extraordinary difference in their characbow the head no more to the treasures of anti- ter is a somewhat hackneyed subject ; east, west, quity; no longer esteem its dust as of greater | north, and south, on whatever point located,
there is a visible alteration, not less in structural | prepared to “ retire” on their realized fortunes. particulars, than in the manners, modes of living, War, famine, and pestilence are said to be the and habits of action of the several natives. In three great agents by which nature reduces an the city, BUSINESS is the god before whose altars overgrowing population : why should gin, by all make sacrifice ; at the West End, show, glit. whom such hosts wither away into death, be ter, and aristocratical indolence are stamped on omitted in the category. The subject is a capital every stone and every strutter. Southwark, one for a mouthful of declamation,—but the pen. Whitechapel, Mary'bone, and other off-shoots, cil of George Cruikshank has preached, in one alike differ from one another in diversified ex page, a better sermon on it than we could do in tremes; all dissimilar, all palpable.
fifty. region you shall behold nothing but equipage, The city streets present an animating specton, lordly bearing, and the outward and visible tacle. At the hour of nine in the morning, they signs of luxury and affluence, in manifold abun are seen thronging with living beings, pouring in dance ; in another, streets crammed with human from every suburban radius to the great city bodies, hurrying hastily along in opposite cur centre, like a walking torrent. One would think rents, never ending, never stopping, continuous, that London was almost wholly populated by looking neither to the right hand nor to the left, clerks, so innumerable seems the mass. In busibut as if impelled by a resistless power. The ness-life, punctuality is one, the very chief, of countenances of these various grades in society cardinal virtues ; and as every poor devil lingers are a capital volume for the study of the thinker; at home till the very last second of time, they all and if properly perused, a glance will be quite appear to be walking for a wager, so fleetly do they enough for the dexterous—will afford both recre foot it away, to be at their posts in time! The ation and profit; emulation, ambition, wealth, omnibi and the stages, too, for the behoof of the want, grief, happiness, anxiety, pride, servility, more wealthy and the more indolent, join in the all the stimuli, in short, which agitate the bosom general race, so as to disgorge their cargoes of man, being depicted in most legible print. at the Bank or Exchange gates, precisely as Truly it is a brave book to read.
the various clocks are chiming the important The streets teem with variety ; dull, bustling, hour. The interval between the last stroke and noisy, quiet, dark, glaring in gas-light, wide, the quarter is filled up by the stragglers who, narrow,-in short, in every believable state and having loitered too long in bed or at the breakits antagonist (pure Hibernic !) that can comport fast-table, are obliged to make up in time what with possibility. Whatever can minister to the they have lost in space by running themselves need of man, in pleasure or in pain, in want or into a vulgar heat, blowing and perspiring like wo, in penury or wealth, are in them to be found. porpoises,-if porpoises perspire, a fact upon Hotels whose viands are as savoury as they are which we are not quite clear. We are almost costly, hospitals for the sick, theatres for the tempted to picture forth a city clerk in this place, gay, clubs for the social, police-offices for the the opportunity seems so inviting ; but he is too naughty, lock-up houses for the debtor, gaols for rich a bit to be disposed off by episode; besides, the felonious, gallows for the convicted, and do we not design to give a portraiture of some of dram-shops for the drunkard. By the by, among the leading London characters among our Sights? the things of splendour to be found in London At about ten a different class becomes visible, Streets, it would be a crying shame to omit men namely, the masters, in cab and carriage, each tion of those establishments where death and looking as though the affairs of the universe disease hold their chief court,—where vice and rested on his individual shoulders,—the comhuman misery, in every conceivable form, con pressed lip, the steady eye, the furrowed fore. gregate together,—where suicide, “ in progres- head, anxiety riding triumphant in every muscle. sion by succession of degrees,” is tolerated by This hour also brings into the field of vision a no license, –and where poison, though slow the less imposing variety, videlicet, those beings who surest, is doled out to thousands at the small look big and do the dignified upon ten pounds price of two--pence the “kwartern"—the gin per annum and upwards of salary-augmentation shops. By day and by night are these deadly orer the small fry, as senior clerks. Compared dens crowded : but chiefly during the night sea with these, their very employers are infinitely son are the orgies perpetrated. These shops are less in self-consequence and importance. By fitted up in most costly style, brilliantly deco about this time the city may be considered to rated, and in one general blaze of light; crowded have received its full complement of labouring at all hours to their very corners by all that is humanity, and the bustle of the day is fairly comworthless, depraved, disgusting, abandoned in menced. human life ;—men, women, children, and even Noise is a prime ingredient in the mass which babes on the mother's bosom, partaking of the constitutes London. An incessant din, one everdeadly draught. Here drunkenness and pollu- lasting rumble is present; the cries of the tion go hand in hand;—and amid the unceasing cadmen blending with the hollow roll of the din of oaths and brawling, vice receives its most carriages, the murmur of myriad tongues mixing goading spur. Thousands are expended by the with the undefinable ear-splitting something, proprietors in the purchase of the “ Free-will,” coming within the sense of sound. It has always as it is called, of these “ Establishments ;” and been bad enough, but. latterly, it has become in a brief space, they are well nigh all to a ma fearfully worse,
Within the last few months, the leading | bus tyranny. The public was once wont to loiter thoroughfares have presented a novel aspect. in the streets, and, gazing on the exhibited Some three or four years back, an unhappy wonders in each window, haply be decoyed to wight, in evil hour, concocted, for the blessing of buy ; but now, a portion of the public is in the the public, a piece of mechanism, to which he omnibus, far removed from the temptation of the appended the name of Omnibus; an ungainly shop windows; and the eyes of the rest are obliged oblong box, upon four wheels, sufficiently huge to be directed exclusively to personal safety, and to encompass fourteen souls, (bodies annexed,) they are glad to hurry on, uninspective of, and and designed to “run” from the city Exchange to so, unallured by the choice exposures. a suburban locality named Paddington. It is said Apropos of noise : it is doubtful whether the that the deviser had been Jong in possession of taste for street music was originally generated a couple of hearses which—either people wouldn't by the French and other foreign organ-grinders, die fast enough about that time, or the survivors who, since the peace, have visited our shores ; of those who did, liked not the expense of hearse certain it is, that we are becoming fast a musical hiring—he was unable to bring into profitable nation. It is in the nature of improvement, (as employment. The brilliant idea shot across his of man,) to look contemptuously on the means prolific mind that by“ striking” the feather pegs by which it was first advanced ; so that barrel. on the top of said hearses, knocking out a window organs are fast falling in general estimation. or two on either side, and covering the sooty Music of a higher cast, and masters of deeper suit of his vehicles with a plentiful layer of science and more skilled execution, are, thereyellow varnish, he might turn them to some ac fore, in nowaday request. Some of the street. count as a means of conveyance-if not for the bands of the present era are, in sober verity, dead, at least for the quick. The public love getting to be of a really listenable quality; and a novelty to their very hearts. Our hearses if they proceed in their calling, with the same (now severally rejoicing in the name of omnibus,) extent of excellence and rapidity which has retook amazingly ; and in process of time they cently marked their progress, Meyerbeers and multiplied exceedingly. In a great commercial Rossinis will spring up among us, thick as mushcity, a new idea is bread and cheese to thousands:
We make honourable mention of these the omnibus trade became too flourishing to be pleasant itinerants, not only because they give limited to what are called the, “ metropolis a certain degree of character to the streets, but roads;" and, in due course, the leading streets because we consider that this meed of praise will, soon became themselves its chief mart; and so as an equivalent, justify our non-distribution, for omnibi are, at this hour, as thick as rogues and some time to come, of the “ superfluous pence" blackberries. For the convenience thus afforded which we are too prone to disburse among them. to every one individual passenger, hazard to life This is a benefit to both parties, and a loss to and limb is occasioned to innocent dozens ; in neither. deed, nothing could have been more capitally The most incongruous intermixtures are often contrived for the peril of person to his Majesty's to be found “on the stones.” Sometimes a funelieges, and for loss of trade to harmless shop- ral procession is seen moving slowly along; its keepers, than these rolling monsters. Competi- solemnity made ridiculous by a motley and intion, at all times an excellent thing, has had the terminable string of waggons, hackney-coaches, fortunate effect of making their numbers num cabs, and drays, all following apparently as an berless ; and as the respective proprietors are integral part of the mourning train ; at another enthusiastic in their rivalry to benefit a liberal time some lusty carter is heard oathing a bit of and enlightened public, it not unfrequently hap- the blood patrician for “ cutting him out," with pens, that in their meritorious ardour to recom all the force that slang abuse can administer ; a mend to its notice the best, the cheapest, and dustman's cart in close succession to the noble's the fleetest vehicle, some slight mistakes occur carriage; the grimy, cindery, unshorn knaves, in the occasional fracture of a few bones, belong-cracking their coarse jokes at the “warmunts ing to people who are not sufficiently alert to wots keeping the old 'un's back warm" within ; get out of the way. Messieurs les conducteurs the powdered and bedizened footmen the while Cads in the vernacular-are discreetly selected, looking volcanoes at the ineffable audacity of in general, from among the most incorrigible the filthy varlets' mistimed frolic. A “ stopruffians which guilty London teems withal; and page” is sure to provoke a bit of fun of some the altercations between these worthies, by no kind ; every one knows it is of no use to be in means unfrequent, if not in strict accordance a blockhead hurry, and all very contentedly with classic taste, is, at least, managed with an await the removal of the distant and unseen obeloquence singularly vehement, and, now and struction, ripe and ready for any “ lark” that then, peculiarly striking. Although almost every may offer itself to beguile the tedium. It would leading street is infested with these vehicles and be wormwood to many a proud aristocrat, if he their insolent appendages, to the hindrance of all suspected by what ignoble cause his passage was other locomotive traffic, the nuisance is tolerated oftentimes arrested, and his lordly pleasures as of course ; for nothing can be put down in this delayed—some costermonger's cart-wheel off, or land of law and liberty except by act of Parlia- haply his donkey down; occasioning as effectual a ment. The unfortunate shopkeepers, too, find suspension of movement to a mile of vehicles as themselves in a bitter bad plight from this omni- the preventive slap of a harlequin's wand. Be
it, however, what it may, he must put his indig- of Smith's family pills, for the 'cure of all dination in his pocket, be he duke or dog's-meat seases of the human body ; the unapproachable Such an
occurrence is priceless, for it excellence of Thomas's steel pens; the advanteaches a rare lesson of philosophy to those who tages of Frisby's filter, and so forth : others are are inclined to learn it.
cased in a couple of boards, cuirassier fashion, A rainy day in London is a treat alike to the on which, conspicuous in four-inch type, is set sheltered and the shelterless. Business may not forth the wonders of Mechi’s razor paste; the be stopped for a shower; and if it please the speed of the Brighton Quicksilver, the hour clouds to pour down Perth pebbles instead of when, and the place from which it daily starts; water drops, those with whom business peoples the bear, just killed, whose grease will restore the streets are not allowed to indulge in love of hair to the bald ; the public meeting, to be held idle creature-comfort. None but the foolish ever this day at the Freemasons' Tavern, at twelve dream of having recourse to umbrellas; but as or one o'clock, for the purpose of taking into the multitude are fools, so multitudinous are the consideration the propriety of petitioning the umbrellas mounted in such an extremity. As Legislature, for the removal of the odious, unpoliteness is admittedly at discount among the natural, and flagitious tax on French poodles, crowd in a storm, he alone whose arm is longest and similar matters of equivalent moment. But and strongest can hope to navigate his protector valuable as are the services of these walking adthrough the turbulent ocean of gingham visible vertisements, they are absolutely as nought comin a soaking day. Such poking and pulling, pared with their bill-sticking brethren. This such blood-mantling, such asperity! who in their latter respectable tribe are of a superior grade, senses might hope to escape the drench ? No; by reason, apparently, of a great natural giftlet all people in such extremity prepare for it alertness of vision. The sharpness of a hawk's like Stoics true ; umbrellaed or umbrellaless optics is a proverb ; but no hawk, surely, posthey must have it, and the wise know this. It sesses more intensely that searching faculty. If is fine to witness a pure legitimate London rain, a house, by any chance becomes tenantless, on a how it comes peppering down; not a given day, the next shall see its walls covered drizzle-n
-now a little harder, now a semi-cessa to the very chimney tops with posting bills, not tion; but a true, right-lined, continuous, equable a square foot unprofaned by paste. How they outpouring of water pellets from above ; each become possessed of the knowledge, no one may drop the fourth of an inch in diameter, and de- divine, excepting it be by intuitive perception. scending at the rate of thirty-three feet seven Cockneys are now so accustomed to the sight, inches per second of time, as correctly computed that they have ceased to be, if, by the by, they by the learned Leslie. You feel that the clouds ever were surprised at it; but to a stranger or really mean what they are about; no half mea a thinker, it wellnigh simulates a miracle. sure, no make-believe, but all in downright Times were, when walls were, under certain conearnestness. On such a day the rain is like the ditions, accounted “dead ;" but times are alterblood, in truth, a circulating fluid; for all are ed : instead of being dead walls they veritably in motion, man, beast, cab, coach, and omnibus, seem instinct with life, teeming with informa. --not a loiterer among them; all is pensive tion on every subject, most urgent to the necessubmission; and, like the impersonation of de
sities of mortal man. A placarded wall, housetected guilt, every eye is downcast.
front, or board, is in itself a volume full of inAfter the rain, comes, as meet it should, the terest, the perusal of which must inevitably mud; and is there anybody this side of Crim- make us wiser and happier; for every advertiseTartary, who has not heard of London mud? ment, large or small, is philanthropically designThe mud of no town, city, province, duchy, or ed for the comfort of mankind. Even to him who nation in civilized Europe is like it. Proverbial happens to be both wise enoughand happy enough for the peculiarity of its attributes, it stands un to need no further assistance, it shall be a source rivalled by any plebeian mud yet known. Gluey, of capital amusement ; for no cross-readings in well-kneaded, closely-packed, and slippy, it re Joe Millershall be found more pregnant with drolquires the foot of genius itself to maintain | lery and conceit. Perhaps there is not one in a undisturbed the proud distinction of man over million who has had the ingenuity to make this disthe lower animals-erectness of body. He or covery. Yet, let any lover of fun take this hint, and she who, without a fall, can walk the streets of planting himself in a secure position, minding his London carpeted with London mud, may walk pockets, being too even-tempered to be moved any portion of the earth's surface, fearlessly, by a jostle, while away ten minutes before a confidently, securely.
bill-pasted wall, he shall be upon the broad grin Notoriety is of such paramount importance in before two are expired, and in convulsions before commercial matters, nowadays, that the placard-five. But an hour ago we jotted down the fol. ing plan has universally obtained ; and a race of lowing ra medley :-“ Grace Huntly, and ragged peripatetics has accordingly sprung up, other entertainments, for the benefit of—The who announce, in various modes, the claims of Reverend Joel Byers. On Sunday evening will various individuals to the patronage of every be Preached a Sermon on the Nature and Attri. passenger. Some of this wandering tribe are butes of–J. Biffen, Bug Destroyer to their Mafurnished with handbills, for distribution to all jesties. Reward of L.50. Absconded — 5000 who will take, announcing the sovereign efficacy Acres of Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Land. To
be let on Building Leases—Burgess's Essence of fortable of all that are practised. It has its Anchovies. For Bombay and China ; will Sail schools of tuition, and learned professors, whereon Thursday – The Lothbury Bathing Rooms at, and by whom, men, women, and infants, are (Back of the Bank) for the Cure of—Fine York. instructed upon the most improved principles in shire Hams. Lost on Tuesday last, a Pocket every branch of the science: to whine, to halt, to book containing-Garraway's Coffee-House-All gasp, to feign convulsions, starvation, orphanism, that Capital Freehold Estate and— Marsden's widowhood, and every bodily affliction nameWarehouse for Bedding and Mattresses, Warrant able or conceivable. The progress of the schoed to be well Stuffed with-Industrious Fleas.” lar varies, of course, according to the aptitude This, however, is but a short and sorry sample or genius with which he is gifted : some, not compared with what may be sometimes picked many, make a sad, miserable botch of it ; but, geup.
nerally considered, the greater part evince great People engaged in the whirlpool of business talent. The facial expression of wretchedness are prone to snatch a glance at a curiosity for and hunger is frequently sublime-a perfect transient amusement's sake, whether it be in the study. Tattered garments, rags, and filth, are shape of a row, a thief-hunt, a fire, a show, a within the means of every one of these artists, skull-fracture, or any other novelty : novelty, and they, of course, are of no more value than we mean, compared with the tedium of business as being simple adjuvants ; but he, or she, to routine. Accordingly, here and there are to be whom nature, or good-luck, has imparted a spare found, in any waste spot, some juggler or sleight-tallowy face, a hump-back, ophthalmia, a distorted of-hand man, tossing balls, balancing wheels limb, a scrofulous nose, or any equivalent blessor live jack-asses [fact as death] on his chin, ing, and who has the gumption to set it off to casting somersets, and other deeds pertinent to advantage, is sure of never-failing success. The his vocation; our -everybody's—old friends, worst of it is, that a hit, whenever made, becomes Punch and Judy; or some such entertainments at once overdone and marred, by general adoption. got up for the relief of pence-encumbered pock “ Give me a ha'penny to buy a bit of bread," ets. Such things are an occasional relief to the a sentence got up a few years since, was, as a bit monotony of the scene; we wish they more of soul-stirring pathetic, one of the finest things abounded. But alas ! times are sadly altered ; of the kind on record; but it soon lost its power the good old days of dancing bears and creeping by becoming the one universal appeal. The little camels are gone by. The hackney coach horses, square bit of brown paper, with the words “ I in the march of improvement, got conceited and am starving" written in chalk, and though apaffected terror, so the foreigners were put pearing in multiplied copies throughout town, down.” Bah! all things are altered. The red-evidently by the same penman, is another clever letter daye in number now hardly exceed a couple hit; but like its precursor every beggar uses it. or so ; Lord Mayor's Day, Guy Fawkes' Day, We have daily passed a sly rogue who, to our May Day, being all that are left in the calendar, knowledge, has been starving for the last two and these are fast fading into desuetude. We years. He does his best to look wo-begone, it is may not let off a squib under fear of a fine ; true, and by constant practice he has succeeded every Jack-in-the-Green soot-scraper does not tolerably well in schooling his muscles into the know but he may be dancing towards the tread-required grin: but the cunning dog has been pickmill; and even the whole corporation of London ing up in fiesh weekly in spite of himself. By are trembling lest Charley Pearson should take practice also he has managed to get up a masit into his noddle “ to move”-and with him to terly teeth-chatter, and this he continues till the move is to “carry”—that there be no more pro weather gets so hot that the perspiration trickles cessions. Out upon such innovations !
down his cheeks. Beneficent London teems with charitable in If any fact were wanting to show the precostitutions, hospitals, asylums, refuges for the cious talents of infancy it will be found mani. destitute, the indigent, the sick, the lame, and fested in London. Lots of little urchins, but a the blind ; there is scarcely a calamity that mi. few spans high, are to be found, with and withserable humanity is liable to, for which Pity, in out brooms, as occasions require, running about, her aflluence, has not provided a palliative. Yet begging with a vehemence and vociferation quite are the streets thronged with beggary, beggary refreshing ; and it is astonishing how many silk the most abject and revolting. Our national handkerchiefs accidentally fall into their possesvanity may admit that in other countries beg- sion. The proficiency which these imps make in gary is in overmuch plenitude, because com their art must oftentimes be a source of proud pared with this, all other countries are less ad. and soul-glowing satisfaction to their parents or vanced in wealth, wisdom, and that perfection of employers, as well as of no inconsiderable profit. wisdom, law; but how it is, that in this first of The facility with which they can do the famished nations upon the earth's surface, and especially is often admirable. A knot of fouror five, sprawling in this first of cities among nations, beggary upon some door-step, shall be amusing themselves should be allowed to rear its fearful front, would at the game of toss-halfpenny, laughing and appear passing strange, were it not for a reason shouting to the top of their voices; their very that rarely shoots across the humane of heart. souls, if they have any, apparently absorbed in Beggary is a business, a profession, out-and-away the excitement of the play ; yet no sooner does the most thriving, profitable, secure, and com a passenger approach, than in a moment up start