"The people, ah, the people!" Not the same people
standing about in a crowd, but new people always,
streaming past like the waters of a river. Not excited
crowds, hurrying to a show; but, quiet and grave,
everybody intent on his own business, nobody dawdling
or looking about, on they pour in two streams, forward
and back. See, there is a countryman, he is peering
round to see where all the folk can be going; now he
has got in the way, and is jostled and pushed until he
finds his place. We are on London Bridge, and "Keep to
the right," and "Go straight on," are the rules by
which we must keep our footing.
Surely all London is not so crowded; let us try the
City. Yonder is the big round dome of St. Paul's to
guide us, the dome which is to London as the nose upon
its face. Still we hold our breath and say, "The
people, ah, the people!" Not the same sort of people,
however; most of these wear black coats, and look keen
and full of business. It is one o'clock, and the City
clerks are hastening to the eating-houses to lunch. We
wish to cross the street; somebody says, "Wait till the
road is clear"—a joke evidently. Does this roaring tide
of vehicles never ebb? On they go, up one side of the
street, down the other; the back of carriage or cab
under the nose of the horse behind. Yes, we are told,
there are times when this hurrying
 to and fro ceases. Come here on a Sunday, or late in
the evening, and you will find these noisy and crowded
streets empty and silent. The three and a half millions
of London people do not live here, but in the streets
of dwelling-houses which extend east and west, north
and south of the City. Three and a half millions of
inhabitants ! Why that is enough to people a country.
Holland has not many more; Switzerland, considerably
fewer. London is indeed a wonderful place; perhaps
there has never been in the world so large or so rich a
city, or a city with such a wide foreign commerce. A
walk of eight miles would hardly take you from the
farthest east to the farthest west end; and from north
to south is not short of six miles. To go round London
you must make a circuit of between twenty and thirty
Londoners have no time to walk much; omnibuses and
tramway carriages carry them about, and help to throng
the streets; streets so crowded, that a novel plan has
been hit upon to lessen the traffic. A tunnel, an
underground passage, has been bored, making a circuit
beneath the busiest and most crowded part of the
metropolis. Lines of railway are laid in this tunnel,
and there are stations above ground at many busy
points; people go from place to place by this
underground railway, and think no more of it than they
do of driving in a cab.
Not only underground, but under water, have the
Londoners bored. There is a Tunnel, a dry road, right
under the bed of the Thames from the Middlesex to the
Surrey side, a road twelve feet broad, which you reach
by a sort of shaft with one hundred steps for
passengers to go up and down by, and through which the
East London Railway now runs.
 TO return to "the City." The portion of London to
which this name is properly given is really but a small
part of the whole. Once the City was enclosed within
walls, and was entered by gates, and people who care
for relics of old times were sorry when old Temple Bar,
the last of the gates, was taken down quite lately. Now
there are no gates to show that you are within the
bounds, but the roar of business in Cheapside does not
leave you in doubt. The City is the very heart of
London, the seat of its vast commerce; and perhaps
Cheapside, always in a "very turmoil of trade," is the
heart of the City.
Running out of Cheapside, and indeed out of all the
City streets, are narrow byways, where the walls on
each side are so high that you look up at the bit of
sky between as from the bottom of a well. These are the
warehouses where the merchant princes keep their
precious stores. Now you see why the walls are so high.
Eoom, more room! is the cry here as in every corner of
the vast metropolis. Enormous as many of these stores
are, every inch of space, from roof to basement, is
crammed. Goods to the value of thousands of pounds are
bought and sold in one such warehouse every day. Well
may the men of the City look full of business! Very
busy, too, do they keep the "Old Lady of Threadneedle
Street;" so the clerks irreverently call the Bank—the
Bank of England. Strangers are allowed to go through
some of the rooms; and it is curious to see the rapid
way in which gold and notes are handled.
Then there is the Royal Exchange to be seen, "where
merchants most do congregate," but it is
 beyond us to understand anything about the great money
transactions which take place here. We can only look at
the outside of the noble building, and looking up we
catch the words, "The earth is the Lord's, and the
fulness thereof"—a pleasant, restful thought (chosen by
"Albert the Good"), for we are apt to forget that it is
as true of the wealth of this busy city as of the
fulness of orchard and corn-field.
We must not miss the Mint, where all our money is
coined, stamped with the Queen's head; and we must see
the General Post Office, one of the] great sights of
the City. We should be in time to see the red mail
carts come in from all parts of London, each with its
cargo of letters and parcels.
The Port of London, with which the City has much to do,
lies farther east, between^London Bridge and Blackwall.
Here are the Docks, the finest in the world. Those on
the Middlesex side are the London, St. Katharine, West
India and East JIndia Docks, and, farther on, the
Victoria. Along the banks of the river are warehouses
and wharves, and workshops and factories of every kind.
Here is, also, a dense mass of narrow streets and
crowded houses, the homes of the river-side population,
sea-faring folk, who have little to do with the rest of
WE must not leave this part of London without a visit
to its great church, the Cathedral of St. Paul, the
patron saint of the City, whose day was kept with great
rejoicings in old St. Paul's.
 It would be strange to us to see a church used as
was this old St. Paul's. The floor of the church was
laid out in walks, and it was a common thoroughfar
for porters and carriers; nay, mules and horses and
other beasts were driven through the aisles.
This cathedral was entirely destroyed in the Great Fire
of 1666, in which nearly all London was consumed,—a
terrible fire which raged from street to street for
four days and nights, while the people who had escaped
from their burning houses could but stand looking on,
helpless. They could not stop the raging fire-fiend;
in vain they tore down houses and brought water as they
could; the wind favoured the spread of the flames,
which rushed onward, king and people looking on in
despair. From the Tower to Fleet Street was as if a
volcano had burst in the midst of it and destroyed it.
The very ruins were reduced to powder.
It was a terrible misfortune at the time, but did not
prove a bad thing for London in the end. The old
streets were narrow, with overhanging stories, so that
people might almost shake hands across the street out
of their top windows; the houses were built of wood,
and were mostly very old, and not over clean. Worse
than all, the year before, London had been visited by
an awful sickness. There was hardly a house whose door
had not been marked by a red cross to show that some
one within lay sick of the plague. At night carts were
carried round the City for the dead; a bell was rung,
and "Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!" was
cried before every house.
The year after this sickness the fire came, and burnt
the old plague-stricken houses clean away; a merciful
thing, for perhaps it was the only way to save London
from being again a City of the Plague.
 The cathedral was gone; as it had stood in the middle
of the City, and on the highest point in London, no
better site could be chosen for the new St. Paul's, of
which Sir Christopher Wren was to be the architect. He
made a cathedral quite unlike any other in the country,
but very suitable for the great metropolis, spreading
and vast, as if to gather all London into its broad
aisles: then the dome—what would London be without the
great black dome of St. Paul's? Flying buttresses and
tapering spires would not suit our solid City half so
well. The tombs of many famous men were destroyed with
the old cathedral, but in the vaults beneath our St.
Paul's lie two of England's greatest sons; there, side
by side, rest the ashes of Wellington, our greatest
soldier, and Nelson, our greatest sailor.
The City of London is in many ways under the rule of
the Lord Mayor and his Council of Aldermen. Perhaps, in
the Guildhall, or by the Mansion House, we may get a
glimpse of them in their grand civic robes. But we must
hasten westward to another city with another minster,
for London includes two.
NOW we are within the much quieter old City of
Westminster, which was once divided from London City
by green fields and country lanes. There is the
splendid Westminster Palace—the new Houses of
Parliament, and Westminster Hall, and there is the West
Minster itself, the grey old Abbey. How beautiful it
is, with fretted stone-work, and sculptures, and airy
 with its ascending lines rising, light as flame,
towards the sky. What -a look of reverend age it bears!
It would seem removed by centuries from the bustle and
business of the City we have just quitted.
We go softly as we enter, for within lie the mighty
dead: the last honour England pays to her noblest sons
is a place among her Great in Westminster Abbey. Their
monuments crowd about us,—statesmen and soldiers, men
of science and men of letters—names which belong to
England's history. The poets have a corner, Poets'
Corner, to themselves; and in Henry VII.'s beautiful
Chapel rest all our Tudor sovereigns with the exception
of Henry VIII.
No monument is more interesting than the crumbling
shrine of the Confessor King; despoiled now of gold and
gems, but still surmounted by the iron-bound oaken
coffin which contains the ashes of the last Saxon king
Dear was the Abbey to him: he found it, even then, an
old minster; and to rebuild and beautify it was the
great work of his life. A tenth of his substance, in
gold, silver, cattle, and all other possessions did he
give to this work; and we may think of him as watching
its progress from his palace hard by, a palace of which
no trace remains.
Hither came the Conqueror to be crowned; and the
coronation of every king and queen of England, from the
Norman William to our Queen Victoria, has taken place
in Westminster Abbey; with one exception, the boy-king,
Nothing remains of the Confessor's work but a few
blackened arches. The Abbey, as we now see it, was
rebuilt for the most part by Henry III.
Not far from Westminster is Whitehall, the royal
 palace in which Charles I. was beheaded; and near it
are the Government Offices and other interesting
buildings which we cannot stop to speak of.
We must go through the parks, Hyde Park and St.
James's, and get into the West End. The West End is the
best end of London, the end where are the mansions and
stately houses of the rich people and noblemen; and for
a good reason. The wind which blows upon England most
days in the year is a west wind, a wind that blows up
from the Atlantic; the wind drives the smoke before it,
and the smoke from the chimneys of the West End is
carried east, towards the City.
The two finest streets of shops in this part of London
are Eegent Street and Oxford Street; very fine shops
they are, with such shows of silks and velvets and
furs, gems and laces, pictures and porcelain, in their
windows as country folk do not often see.
We have no room to speak of the British Museum, nor of
the National Gallery, nor of the statues of great men,
nor of a hundred other interesting sights; but we must
pay a visit to
THE TOWER OF LONDON
THERE it stands, on the bank of the Thames, a strong
fortress for the protection of the City, east of which
it lies. It is not one tower, but many, grey and old,
with walls so thick that a winding staircase has been
built in more than one place in the thickness of the
masonry. A Tower Palace, of which little remains, was
once enclosed with the fortress within the strong outer
walls. It is not for the sake of palace or fortress
 that every English person cares to visit the Tower:
since the days of the Conqueror, this has been the
State Prison of England.
In one or another of its narrow chambers have been
confined many of our country's heroes who have fallen
under the displeasure of the crown; and the walls of
many of the cells are scratched all over with brave,
patient words, or with the names of those dearest to
the noble prisoners. The IANE, IANE, scratched by the
poor young Lord Guildford Dudley is still to be seen.
His wife, Jane, was in another cell, and there is the
window at which she stood praying while she watched her
young husband led forth to be beheaded on Tower Hill,
within the walls of the fortress. The Lady Jane herself
was the next to suffer this traitor's death. Three
weeks before she had entered the fortress as Queen of
There is the Bloody Tower, in a chamber of which the
two young princes, Edward V. and his brother, were
smothered by order of their uncle, afterwards Eichard
III. In this Bloody Tower Sir Walter Raleigh was
confined by James I. for twelve dreary years for no
fault of his. There is the Traitors' Gate, a water-gate
fronting the Thames, by which the young Princess
Elizabeth, to her anger and dismay, was brought in from
her home, Hatfield House in Herts: she was shortly
Not so had it fared with the most gentle, witty, and
wise of statesmen, Sir Thomas More. He had been brought
hither from his pleasant house at Chelsea, in the
gardens of which he and the king had often walked up
and down in merry talk; but he would not tell a lie to
satisfy the king, and Henry VIII. would brook no
contradiction, so he, too, fell as a traitor.