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stuffed animals, preserved fishes, insects, &c. The costly vases form an attractive part of the curiosities. The collection of shells, minerals, and petrefactions seem to be almost endless. In addition to all these is a print room, and a medal room, The two last can only be seen by a few persons at once, and by particular permission. The entire museum, with these exceptions, is free to all who wish to go through it.
This great public institution originated with the will of Sir Hans Sloane, who had, during a long practice as a physician, accumulated, in addition to a considerable library of books and manuscripts, the largest collection of specimens of natural history, and of works of art, of his time. These he bequeathed to Parliarnent at his decease in 1753. Since that period, constant additions have been made, until around the nucleus thus fu rnished by the bequest of a single individual, has gradually been gathered, in less than a hundred years, the greatest public museum in the world. The present building, which is of the Grecian order, is still unfinished, and will be, when completed, one of the most imposing edifices in London.
ST. PAUL'S, AND WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
“ The Tower! the Tower!
The Tower of London is the finest relic of the past in Britain ; there is no other building so replete with historical associations. It is said that the first words of Daniel Webster, on his setting foot in London, were, “ Drive me to the Tower.” It has been, in turn, a prison, a palace, and a fortress, and sometimes all at once. Its history extends so far into the past, that it is difficult to ascertain at what time it was built. Some ascribe it to Julius Cæsar, but it is more generally believed to have been the work of William the Cone queror. In 1215 King John conquered London, but the garrison of the Tower refused to surrender till he had signed the Magna Charta.
It has been the place of confinement of more great men than any other prison in the world. “ He was committed to the Tower,” has been said of thousands both of the innocent and the guilty. The history of the Tower would involve the history of England. Its ancient walls are associated with more sin, suffering, and sorrow, than any other structure in Great Britain. It stands on the banks of the Thames, upon an eminence, and a gateway, now built up, once led from the inner court directly down to the water's edge. It was through this gate that prisoners were usually brought in, after having come up or down the Thames. To prevent confusion, persons are admitted to the interior of the Tower by ticket, and a warder accompanies every party of ten or twelve, to point out the objects of interest. What is now the court, was once “ Tower Hill,” where Lady Jane Grey and her husband, and many others, were executed.
In the Horse Armory, as it is called, there is ranged a series of equestrian figures, all clad in the armor of the periods which they represent, from Edward I., in 1272, to James II., in 1685. The room is one hundred and twenty-six feet in
length; and as these figures are ranged in a line, they appear like a series of knights conjured up from their respective places of sepulture, some having slept longer, and others shorter periods in the grave, all ready to do battle with a common enemy. By a passage formed in the wall, which is sixteen feet in thickness, we ascended into the White Tower, the oldest part of the building. It was here that the State prisoners were kept. I was shown the room where Sir Walter Raleigh was confined. Higher up is the one that was occupied by Lady Jane Grey. Only one or two of the rooms are shown, the others being used for government purposes.
The Crown and Jewels are in a building erected for the purpose, called “ The Jewel House,” which is also within the limits of the Tower, and of course protected by the garrison. These emblems of British royalty are surrounded by a grating of strong iron bars, and two soldiers accompany every party of twelve, not more than twelve being allowed to enter at one time. They consist of the ancient imperial crown, which was made for Charles II., to replace the one said to have been worn by Edward the Confessor, and which was broken up and sold
during the civil wars. It is made of purple velvet, faced with ermine, and richly ornamented with jewels. The Prince of Wales' crown is made of plain gold, without any jewels. When there is an heir apparent to the throne, this is placed be. fore his seat in the House of Lords. The ancient queen's crown is of gold, set with diamonds. The queen’s diadem was made for the consort of James II., and cost half a million of dollars. It consists of a circlet of gold, with large diamonds curiously set. St. Edward's staff is of pure gold, four feet seven inches in length. On the top is an orb and a cross ; a fragment of the real cross is said to be deposited in the orb. The royal sceptre, with the cross, is also of gold, two feet nine inches in length. The staff is plain, but the pommell is ornamented with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. The royal sceptre, with the rod of equity, of gold, is three feet seven inches long. The queen's sceptre with the cross, and her ivory sceptre, are very magnificent. The swords of justice and of mercy are both steel, the latter pointless. The king and the queen's orb, placed in the left hand at the time of coronation, are very resplendent. The golden eagle, a vessel containing the anointing oil,