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were, far beyond counting, those short, stubbed girls and women as typically cockney still as the costers ever were. They were of a plinth-like bigness up and down, and their kind, plain, common faces were all topped with narrow-brimmed sailor-hats, mostly black. In their jargoning hardly an aspirate was in its right place, but they looked as if their hearts were, and if no word came from their lips with its true quality, but with that curious soft London slur or twist, they doubtless spoke a sound business dialect.
When we traversed the dense body of the market and entered Roscoe Street from Whitecross, we were surprisingly soon out of its hubbub in a quiet befitting the silent sectaries, who once made so great a spiritual clamor in the world. We were going to look at the grave of George Fox, because of his relation to our colonial history in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and we thought it well to look into the Friends' Meeting-house on the way, for a more fitting frame of mind than we might have brought with us from Whitecross Street. A mute sexton welcomed us at the door, and held back for us the curtain of the homely quadrangular interior, where we found twoscore or more of such simple folk as Fox might have preached to in just such a place. The only difference was that they now wore artless versions of the world's present fashions in dress, and not the drabs of out-dated cut which we associate with Quakerism. But this was right, for that dress is only the antiquated simplicity of the time when Quakerism began; and the people we now saw were more fitly dressed than if they had worn it. We sat with them a quarter of an hour in the stillness which no one broke, the elders on the platform, with their brows bowed on their hands, apparently more deeply lost in it than the rest. Then
we had freedom (to use their gentle Quaker parlance) to depart, and I hope we did so without offence.
Cunningham says that Fox was buried in Bunhill Fields, but he owns there is no memorial of him there; and there is a stone to mark his grave in the grassy space just beyond the meeting-house in Roscoe Street. If that is really his last resting-place, he lies under the shadow of certain lofty warehouse walls, and in the shelter of some trees which on that sunny First Day morning stirred in the breeze with the stiffness by which the English foliage confesses the fall before it drops sere and colorless to the ground. Some leaves had already fallen about the simple monumental stone, and now they moved inertly, and now again lay still.
I will own here that I had more heart in the researches which concerned the ancestral Friends of all mankind, including so much American citizenship, than in following up some other origins of ours. The reader will perhaps have noticed long before that our origins were nearly all religious, and that though some of the American plantations were at first the effect of commercial enterprise, they were afterwards by far the greater part undertaken by people who desired for themselves, if not for others, freedom for the forms of worship forbidden them at home. Our colonial beginnings were illustrated by sacrifices and martyrdoms even among the lowliest, and their leaders passed in sad vicissitude from pulpit to prison, back and forth, until exile became their refuge from oppression. No nation could have a nobler source than ours had in such heroic fidelity to ideals; but it cannot be forgotten that the religious freedom, which they all sought, some of them were not willing to impart when they had found it; and it is known how, in New England especially, they practised
the lessons of persecution they had learned in Old England. Two provinces stood conspicuously for toleration, Rhode Island, for which Roger Williams imagined it the first time in history, and Pennsylvania, where, for the first time, William Penn embodied in the polity of a state the gospel of peace and good-will to men. Neither of these colonies has become the most exemplary of our commonwealths; both are perhaps, for some reasons, the least so in their sections; but, above all the rest, their earlier memories appeal to the believer in the universal right to religious liberty and in the ideal of peaceful democracy which the Quakers alone have realized. The Quakers are no longer sensibly a moral force; but the creed of honest work for daily bread, and of the equalization of every man with another which they lived, can never perish. Their testimony against bloodshed was practical, as such a testimony can still be, when men will; their principle of equality, as well as their practise of it was their legacy to our people, and it remains now all that differences us from other nations. It was not Thomas Jefferson who first imagined the first of the self-evident truths of the Declaration, but George Fox.
We went, inappropriately enough, from where George Fox lay in his grave, level with the common earth, to where, in Finsbury Pavement, the castellated armory of the Honourable Artillery Company of London recalls the origin of the like formidable body in Boston. These gallant men were archers before they were gunners, being established in that quality first when the fear of Spanish invasion was rife in 1585. They did yeoman service against their own king in the Civil War, but later fell into despite and were mocked by poets no more warlike than themselves. Fletcher's "Knight of the
Burning Pestle" was of their company, and Cowper's "John Gilpin" was "a train-band captain." Now, however, they are so far restored to their earlier standing that when they are called out to celebrate, say, the Fourth of July, or on any of the high military occasions demanding the presence of royalty, the King appears in their uniform.
UTSIDE the high gate of Bunhill Fields, we could do no more than read the great names lettered on the gate-posts, and peer through the iron barriers at the thickly clustered headstones within. But over against the cemetery we had access to the chapel where John Wesley preached for thirty years, and behind which he is buried. He laid the corner-stone in 1777 amid such a multitude of spectators that he could scarcely get through to the foundation, Cunningham says. Before the chapel is an excellent statue of the great preacher, and the glance at the interior which we suffered ourselves showed a large congregation listening to the doctrine which he preached there so long, and which he carried beyond seas himself to the colonies and founded among us the great spiritual commonwealth which is still more populous than any of those dividing our country.
The scene of his labors here was related for me by an obscure association to such a doctrinally different place as Finsbury Chapel, hard by, where my old friend, Dr. Moncure D. Conway, preached for twenty years. Whatever manner of metaphysician he has ended, he began Methodist, and as a Virginian he had a right to a share of my interest in that home of Wesleyism, for it was in Virginia, so much vaster then than now, that