Puslapio vaizdai

discipline is, what the school, and who submit to the “discipline," are things not generally known, but no doubt could be ascertained. It was hard by here that a few years ago a ghastly bit of sensation engaged the attention of the penny papers, and their special reporters who invaded these sleepy precincts. Two young men arriving from the country, flush of money, took up their abode in some disreputable house, where they revelled for a week till their resources were exhausted, when both attempted suicide, one succeeding. It proved that they had embezzled the moneys of their employer, and then fled to London, burying themselves in this obscure region, where they escaped detection. Farther on, we reach the green in front of the Hospital. This must have had a fine effect when the Hospital could only be seen from the bottom of this great expanse ; but now the high road has been ruthlessly cut across it, with no effect but that of convenience. The old overhanging publichouse, the "Duke of York,” is curious, and gives the locale a sort of rural air. But this, indeed, is shared by the King's Road, which has a sort of special country-town air, as distinct as what merry Islington offers. There is an air of retired and retiring simplicity in the shops and little by-streets.

The quaint old gardens belonging to the Apothecaries—a benefaction of Sir Hans Sloane-next attract the eye, were it only for the magnificent old yew which rises grim and sepulchral in the centre. Whether the apothecaries walk in this piece of ground and peep over the rails at the passing boats on the river—they surely do not "cull simples," for they can buy them cheaper than grow themis a mystery. We certainly never have seen apothecaries promenading there. But it is a pleasing enclosure—a surprise, considering its position-suited to calm tranquillity and meditation.

To steam down the river in one of the penny boats, to those who make a habit of it, is entertaining enough. For one with a headache, or overdone with work on a hot day in a “ stuffy" office, it is a pleasant restorative to zigzag across from pier to pier for half an hour. The company aboard is in itself a fruitful source of study; good humour is the characteristic, and during some years' voyaging now, when they have been often crowded to inconvenience, I have never seen a dispute about a seat. The faces and manners of the different persons who travel are in themselves a study. I have seen a peeress and a "noble lord" seated at the bows, inhaling the breeze, with ’Arrys and Jemimas about them “thick as peas," unconscious of “ the wind of nobility” that was wafted by 'em. In this there was a pleasant Bohenianism. Members of Parliament occasionally embark


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at Westminster bound for the City. It is a pity, however, that the " Express Boats," which went straight to their journey's end without stop or stay, have been abolished, so far as I know. It may be said that frequent journeys by this mode of conveyance might develop a promptness and readiness of mind, as everything is done without loss of a second-the gangways are thrust on board, the passengers file out, the voyagers embark, and away snorts “The Citizen," after a delay of three-quarters of a minute. A strict hierarchical advancement is maintained in this service," as it may be called ; and the urchin who sings all day long down to the engine-room “ease her," “ turn astarn," &c., rises surely, if he remain long enough, to be seated on the camp stool as the commander, whose ingenious code of telegraphy often excites one's admiration--the whole being conveyed by peculiar but significant motions of the fingers and hands.

Coming to Chelsea Hospital, on its river side, we reach an open space close to the Suspension Bridge, which a few years ago presented on Sunday evenings a most entertaining form of diversion. Numbers of persons on their way to visit Battersea Park were turned from their purpose by the spectacle that here met their eyes. A number of atheistical, or infidel, or, to speak more politely, “ Free Thought” preachers, made this their hunting- as well as their battleground, and the Free Thought often led to free fight. There were sometimes a dozen animated discussions going on, and presently extemporised pulpits were introduced, to give a better vantage. The air rang with the sounds of " Charles Bradlaugh," “ Free Thought," " Christian Imposture,” and the like. A foreigner named Kaspary, a strange dark-looking being, used to argue on these themes with much dramatic humour and energy ; and it was amusing when some orthodox Scotchman or City Missionary, moved to burning indignation by these heresies, would step forward to assail the lecturer. The latter was supported by aides, male and female, and the general wrangle became truly interesting to the bystanders, who used to shriek with enjoyment of the scene. All this again led to discussions among the listeners. Roman Catholics, Jews, &c. would take part, with much loss of temper, and all would be “hounded on ” by scoffing listeners. At last the police were compelled to interfere. One Sunday the leading lecturer was seen to be led off in custody, his pulpit being grotesquely carried behind him. The lectures were put down as an obstruction of the thoroughfare, and order now reigns at Battersea.

Crossing the strange if not positively ugly suspension bridge, we may stroll into Battersea Park—that excellent and successful attempt

NO. 1796.




2 Dated for the people. Not much can be Susisz son decoration, but there is an artistic Erk57aa to see. It is a drinking fountain der a concerte iroswork, originally suggested by the

Es 2535 T: 2t Brusse's. It is really excellent for its freecon anness of tacery, and is rather thrown away here. To see the cca i bere ca a Lack Hostay playing at “ Kiss in the Ring." and otherwise enjoying themselves, suggests a sort of Flemish merrymaksz. so resh and broadly conceived are the sports. But what always strikes the spectator is the comparative squalor of the men, women, and children when thus assembled; clean as they are, there is a shatliness of apparel that contrasts with the gaiety and even picturesqueness of foreign crowds, with their costume, &c. Then there is the unseemly accompaniment of the invariable bits of newspapers which enwrap portions of bread and other food, and the medicine bottles for brandy and beer, which, with the scraps of newspapers aforesaid, strew the grass. This attendant symptom is an unpleasant drawback to English mob festivity. Not so long since, a homely sort of band used to occupy the orchestra on Sunday evenings, and gave great entertainment to orderly crowds, who sat upon chairs in an enclosure and listened. But, possibly for the reason of its offering a rational entertainment apart from the public-houses, it did not thrive and is now extinct.

At Westminster Bridge opens out one of the most commanding views, of which London may well be proud. The Thames, broad, and now happily silvery, on a sunny day displays its noble bridges stretching across, its stately buildings, rising in a winding line, far down. The animation of the swift steamers as they puff by, the trains crossing, make up a most cheerful and brilliant panorama. In twenty years' time, when the projected buildings which have been planned--the new Mint, the new Opera House, and others that will presently be taken in hand; when the trees, already a fine and subHintal omament, have attained to double their size ; and when the Wetter hus trebled or quadrupled—the spectacle will be magnificent

, and the rol attractions and glory of the metropolis will lie along this

me and the meiner Strand, Fleet Street, and the rest be left to hunter lint, indeed, it may be prophesied that, by the time ten or In uns of neit century shall have gone by, London will have

ville and rebuilt atter the pattern of the solid mansions and Wheparin all the city. It will be noted that almost every new die hoxe, or house of business is being reared in stone,

that wip 1411 venies higher. Hence it is easy to foretell L'intry this assume.

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Magnificent and successful as the Thames Embankment is as a great modern work, much more remains to be done to make it thoroughly successful. There is nothing more delightful to look on than the noble row of trees, whose careful and admirable treatment during the ten years or so of their infancy has now ended triumphantly in placing them securely beyond the reach of all natural casualties. Never was an operation of the kind more successful. Week after week, careful nurses watched over their pruning, trimming, bending, tying; they were mere saplings at first, so that the dictum of Pope, “just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined," seemed to be strictly carried out—the stems were carefully lopped so as to enrich the foliage. The result is that, as they are at this moment, they form a noble row—sturdy and shapely-almost sufficiently developed. What they will be in another ten years may be conceived. This success contrasts singularly with the attempt that has been made to decorate in similar fashion another great thoroughfare, namely, Sackville Street, Dublin. There the trees have been planted and replantedbut only to die, with a perverseness that nothing can obviate-something in the soil or the air interferes and " forbids the banns," and the attempt has at last to be abandoned. This is the more hard, as, within the memory of living persons, there were rows of great stalwart trees lining the centre of the street-thick-trunked and shadymaking what was then known as “ The Mall.” The Corporation of the day, however, found them inconvenient, and ruthlessly cut them down. However, it may be said that trees in their earlier stage are more agreeable to the eye in street adornment than when they reach the great girth and shade of full-grown trees. This may be seen in Paris Boulevards, where the trees planted by the late Napoleon took the place of the old full-grown ones cut down during the Revolutions -as, indeed, the present ones are certain to be, as being “handy"too handy-for barricades; nay, positively inviting the construction of such things. The great trunks and branches stand in the way of cabs and carriages, and impede the light to windows. Pessimists will doubtless make the same forecast for the Embankment trees.

The little gardens or squares are pleasing in their way and heartily appreciated. But there is a vast deal more to be done to make the whole harmonious. As the late Mr. Brown would say, " there are great capabilities." The iron railing gives a meanness, as it amounts to no more than a frail iron fencing. A bold railing of bars, with some gilding, would have imparted dignity, and made us think more highly of the enclosures. But, above all things, a word for the poor, neglected, needlessly abused monument--Inigo Jones's fine

Water Gate-erst one of the most picturesque objects in form and situation, but now, unhappily, sunk in a sort of pit—the object of scorn and contempt. Till the Embankment was formed, this fine work stood at the water's edge, with steps down to the edge, and here ferry-boats and wherries would touch and land their passengers. You will notice in front of it a sort of alley or lane before the houses, with a few decaying trees. Now, this, a few years ago, was picturesque—a sort of river-side terrace; indeed, it had attracted the admiration of painters, for Canaletto painted it several times with cavaliers and dames promenading, and there are also some brilliant engravings. When the land, created artificially, spread away in front, its function was gone as well as its picturesqueness. But even now there can be seen what a pretty terrace it once was. The “incuriousness” that could neglect such a monument, by such a master, and despise an arch ready to hand, is strange, not to ray barbarvus. It should be moved at once to the Embankment and restored to its original function of a Water Gate.

But a far greater improvement than this because a social and moral one-might be made. Let us think what a promenade of a summer's evening this Embankment might become—the view of the river, the cool breezes, the open air, the flowers. But there would be more than this. We see the rough men and boys and the working women tramping up and down the hard flags and the uninviting trottoir without any purpose, indulging in horse-play and vacuous laughter. Now, some enterprising First Commissioner of Works might gain a cheap immortality if, with little expense and some trouble, he were to set himself to a plan for developing or utilising these elements. We could easily conjure up the scene under the new dispensation : a portion of the ground devoted to the gardens, either at Northumberland Avenue, or lower, near Waterloo Bridge, and cleared for an open place—all asphalted and marked round with lamps, with a sort of Café de la Rotonde at the top, where coffee and good beer and ices should be sold by competent caterers; a vast number of little tables with innumerable chairs ranged round; an orchestra in the centre, in which the band-say, one of the Guards regiments-might perform two or three times a week. How pleasant would be the pic. ture-an easy, rational, civilising amusement! The crowd listening, smoking an honest pipe, the boats on the river drawing close to hear, the day declining, the fine evening air! The expense, if undertaken by the City or Government, would be a thousand times recouped in the saving from prosecutions for intemperance and the offences arising from intemperance, and in the increased rațes paid by

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