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spot which the elms and poplars now hide, and it was cut off at two strokes.”
Cunningham is certainly very temperate in calling Lincoln's Inn Fields "a noble square." I should myself call it one of the noblest and most beautiful in London, and if the Calverts did not dwell in one of the stately mansions of Arch Row, which is "all that Inigo Jones lived to build" after his design for the whole square, then they might very well have been proud to do so. They are not among the great whom Cunningham names as having dwelt there, and I do not know what foundation the tradition of their residence rests upon. What seems more certain is that one of the Calverts, the first or the second Lord Baltimore, was buried in that church of St. Dunstan's in the West, or St. Dunstan's Fleet Street, which was replaced by the actual edifice in 1833.
The reader, now being got so near, may as well go on with me to Charing Cross, where in the present scene of cabs, both hansoms and four-wheelers, perpetually coming and going at the portals of the great station and hotel, and beside the torrent of omnibuses in the Strand, the Reverend Hugh Peters suffered death through the often broken faith of Charles II. In one of the most delightful of his essays, Lowell humorously portrays the character of the man who met this tragic fate: a restless and somewhat fatuous Puritan divine, who, having once got safely away from persecution to Boston, came back to London in the Civil War, and took part in the trial of Charles I. If not one of the regicides, he was very near one, and he shared the doom from which the treacherous pardon of Charles II. was never intended to save them. I suppose his fatuity was not incompatible with tragedy, though somehow we think that
absurd people are not the stuff of serious experi
Leigh Hunt, in that most delightful of all books about London, The Town, tells us that No. 7 Craven Street, Strand, was once the dwelling of Benjamin Franklin, and he adds, with the manliness which is always such a curious element of his unmanliness: "What a change along the shore of the Thames in a few years (for two centuries are less than a few in the lapse of time) from the residence of a set of haughty nobles, who never dreamt that a tradesman could be anything but a tradesman, to that of a yeoman's son, and a printer, who was one of the founders of a great state!"
Not far away in one of the houses of Essex Street, Strand, a state which led in the attempted dismemberment of that great state, and nearly wrought its ruin, had a formal beginning, for it is said that it was there John Locke wrote the constitution of South Carolina, which still, I believe, remains its organic law. One has one's choice among the entirely commonplace yellow brick buildings, which give the street the aspect of an old-fashioned place in Boston. The street was seriously quiet the afternoon of our visit, with only a few footpassengers sauntering through it, and certain clerklike youth entering and issuing from the doors of the builddings which had the air of being law-offices.
We used as a pretext for visiting the Temple the very attenuated colonial fact that some Mortons akin to him of Merrymount in Massachusetts, have their tombs and tablets in the triforium of the Temple Church. But when we had climbed to the triforium by the corkscrew stairs leading to it, did we find their tombs and tablets? I am not sure, but I am sure we found the tomb of that Edward Gibbon who wrote a History of the
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and who while in Parliament strongly favored "distressing the Americans," as the king wished, and made a speech in support of the government measure for closing the port of Boston. I did not bear him any great grudge for that, but I could not give myself to his monument with such cordial affection as I felt for that of the versatile and volatile old letter-writer James Howell, which also I found in that triforium, half - hidden behind a small organ, with an epitaph too undecipherable in the dimness for my patience. It was so satisfactory to find this, after looking in vain for any record of him at Jesus College in Oxford, where he studied the humanities. which enabled him to be so many things to so many masters, that I took all his chiselled praises for granted.
I made what amends I could for my slight of the Mortons in the Temple Church, by crossing presently to Clifford's Inn, Strand, where the very founder of Merrymount, the redoubtable Thomas Morton himself was sometime student of the law and a dweller in these precincts. It is now the hall of the Art Workers' Guild, and anywhere but in London would be incredibly quiet and quaint in that noisy, commonplace, modern neighborhood. It in nowise remembers the disreputable and roistering antipuritan, who set up his May - pole at Wollaston, and danced about it with his debauched aboriginies, in defiance of the saints, till Miles Standish marched up from Plymouth and made an end of such ungodly doings at the muzzles of his matchlocks.
It must have been another day that we went to view the church of St. Botolph without Aldersgate, because some of the patrician families emigrating to Massachusetts were from that parish, which was the home of many patrician families of the Commonwealth. In St. An
drew's Holborn, the Vanes, father and son, worshipped, together with the kindred of many that had gone to dwell beyond seas. It is a large impressive interior, after the manner of Wren, and at the moment of our visit was smelling of varnish; most London churches. smell of mortar, when in course of their pretty constant reparation, and this was at least a change. St. Stephen's Coleman-Street, may draw the Connecticut exile, as the spiritual home of that Reverend Mr. Davenport, who was the founder of New Haven, but it will attract the unlocalized lover of liberty because it was also the parish church of the Five Members of Parliament whom Charles I. tried to arrest when he began looking for trouble. It had a certain sentiment of low-churchness, being very plain without and within not unlike an Orthodox church in some old-fashioned New England town. One entered to it by a very neatly-paved, clean court, out of a business neighborhood, jostled by commercial figures in sack-coats and top-hats who were expressive in their way of a non-conformity in sympathy with the past if not with the present of St. Andrew's.
St. Martins-in-the-Fields, where General Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, was baptized, was, in his time, one of the proudest parishes of the city, and the actual church is thought to be the masterpiece of the architect Gibbs, who produced in the portico what Cunningham calls "one of the finest pieces of architecture in London." Many famous people were buried in the earlier edifice, including Nell Gwynne, Lord Mohun, who fell in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton, as the readers of Henry Esmond well know, and Farquhar the dramatist. Lord Bacon was baptized there; and the interior of the church is very noble and worthy of him and of the parish history. Whether General Oglethorpe drew
upon his native parish in promoting the settlement of Georgia, I am not so sure as I am of some other things, as, for instance, that he asked the king for a grant of land, “in trust for the poor," and that his plan was to people his colony largely from the captives in the debtors' prisons. I love his memory for that, and I would gladly have visited the debtors' prisons which his humanity vacated if I could have found them, or if they had still existed.
The reader who has had the patience to accompany me on these somewhat futile errands must have been aware of making them largely on the lordly omnibustops which I always found so much to my proud taste. Often, however, we whisked together from point to point in hansoms; often we made our way on foot, with those quick transitions from the present to the past, from the rush and roar of business thoroughfares to the deep tranquillity of religious interiors, or the noisebound quiet of ancient church-yards, where the autumn flowers blazed under the withering autumn leaves, and the peaceful occupants of the public benches were scarcely more agitated by our coming than the tenants of the graves beside them.
The weather was for the most part divinely beautiful, so tenderly and evenly cool and warm, with a sort of lingering fondness in the sunshine, as if it were prescient of the fogs so soon to blot it. The first of these came on the last day of our research, when suddenly we dropped from the clouded surfaces of the earth to depths where the tube-line trains carry their passengers from one brilliantly lighted station to another. We took three of the different lines, experimentally, rather than necessarily, in going from St. Mary Woolnoth, in Lombard Street, hard by the Bank of England, to the far neigh