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and belles, so soon as they learned that the India ships had arrived in the Thames, to take boat for Blackwall, and make numerous purchases on board. The celebrated Madame de Mazarin, as we learn from St. Evremond, was always ready to bear her part in an expedition of this character. The India houses, to which allusion is often made in the writings of contemporary dramatists and satirists, were no other than repositories for the importation of goods of Chinese manufacture. Usually they were to be found in the east end of London, and their proprietors seem to have been the only vendors of such commodities. It may be mentioned that the use of tea, in the opening years of the reign of Charles II., was so recent and so restricted by reason of its costliness, as to occasion no very great importation of it into the country. Throughout the sway of the Merry Monarch tea was regarded merely as a fashionable luxury, and persons who desired to drink it were enabled to do so only in the India houses, where in a small back room behind the warehouse a kettle was always kept boiling on a fire for that purpose. Among the young and gay of both sexes, it was a common practice to form parties for the express purpose of attending these India houses, where raffles were often held as a means of enabling the proprietors to dispose of some of their most expensive articles, and of facilitating the purchase of others. That parties of this description, in nine cases out of every ten, served as excellent pretexts for meetings which could not have been arranged elsewhere without attracting attention, may be taken for granted. In a letter of Lord Nottingham printed in Macpherson's Memoirs, there is an account of Queen Mary, consort of William the Third, visiting a number of India houses, partaking of all the raffling that went on at them, and crowning all by sitting down to dine in the house of one who was nominally a milliner but in reality a harlot.

Throughout the reign of Charles II., and indeed long afterwards, there were certain localities of London ever noted for particular trades and handicrafts. In Fleet Street stood the chief linendrapers' shops. Newgate Market was the chief mart for mutton. The fame of Leadenhall Market was great for beef, and not less renowned was St. James's for veal, Thames Street for cheese, Covent Garden for fruit, Moorfields for old books, and Monmouth Street for cast-off wearing apparel. The Royal Exchange and Change Alley, and the New Exchange, which was situated between Durham Yard and York Buildings, in the Strand, contained numerous milliners' shops, behind the counters of which stood numerous damsels gaudily attired, whose presence, as may be readily imagined, acted like a

magnet in attracting as purchasers dozens of empty-headed fops and exquisites, who lolled and wasted the hours away with their attentions and their chattering.

What may be termed the street economy and the police of the city of London before the Fire was a libel on the name. London was a city, cleaner perhaps, and possessed of more public conveniences than any other capital of Europe at that epoch, but, nevertheless, its condition was what would now be deemed the very reverse of favourable either to health, to comfort, or to security. Every square and open place was a repository for heaps of filth and rubbish, which gathered in heaps of abomination that were removed by the dustman about once in six months. From morn till eve the streets resounded with the bawlings of ballad-singers, with the cries of higglers, and with the melancholy notes of wandering merchants of every denomination. No preventive police existed for the regulation of the professions of pickpocket and ring droppers. Crowds of apprentices and street arabs pursued their sports, and snatched a fearful joy in urging the flying ball through the most crowded thoroughfares of the city, and many an apprentice, it may be imagined, was fain to record in his petty cash book some such significant item as this: "For mending the back shop sashes broken by the football, 2s. 6d.” 1

No more convenient highway existed between London and Westminster than the River Thames. There, at least, no carmen could engage in sanguinary conflict with the drivers of hackney coaches. More than four thousand watermen towed their wherries up and down its waters, bidding defiance to the keen competition which was offered by the drivers of the hackney coaches. Yet he who entrusted his person to their care found to his dismay that he had exchanged one evil only for another, since a more hateful, detestable, ruffianly crew than the Thames watermen were at that time it would be difficult, if not impossible, to conceive-none more fraught with horror to the unsophisticated squire on a visit to the metropolis, or an ancient dame proceeding to Blackfriars for an airing. The very shouts that they raised of "Next oars" and "Skullers" were alone sufficient to strike terror into the breasts of intending passengers. The boat had scarcely started on its way up or down the stream than every person, no matter who, in every other boat was assailed with volleys of "water compliments," compared with which the Billingsgate dialect of the present day, and the oaths to which Hotspur's wife gave utterance, fade into utter insignificance.2 Bad as were the conditions of those who walked by day, infinitely worse were they The Complete Tradesman, ii. p. 297.

2 Thomas Brown's Works, ed. 1730, iii. p. 288.

after the shades of night had fallen upon the city. Then it was that the real dangers of the streets began. No greater farce can be imagined than the system of police-the watchmen who, in nine cases out of every ten, were to be found at duty's call, peacefully slumbering in their boxes. Nominally, the principal streets were lighted after a fashion, every householder who could, hung out a lamp at the door; but these served only to make darkness visible. On moonlight nights no lamps were ever lighted. In every important thoroughfare robberies, accompanied with violence, were of daily Occurrence. Even the very linkmen were thieves, and never hesitated to take full advantage of the simple and the unwary, who had the misfortune to fall into their clutches. Whitefriars, the Savoy, the Mint, and the Clink afforded convenient places of refuge to innumerable bullies, cut-throats, pickpockets, and highwaymen, who, as soon as the evening shades began to prevail, emerged from their retreats to begin without delay their work of rapine and plunder. Nor were they the only bugbears, with the fear of whom before their eyes the pedestrians traversed the London streets after dark. Young men of rank, at their wits' ends to know how to kill their time, drank strong liquor to excess, and then prowled about the streets at night, subjecting all who had the misfortune to cross their path to the most brutal usage. This was the common practice of those who styled themselves the Scowrers, the Mohocks, the Hectors, the Muns, and Tityre Tus, and scores of others, known and unknown. It was in all probability some of these who accomplished the feat of breaking the windows of the house of John Milton in order to signalise their exultation at the restoration of monarchy. Most likely the poor blind poet had these wretches in his mind's eye when he composed the memorable lines:

And in luxurious cities, when the noise

Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,

And injury and outrage, and when night

Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons

Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.

Surely this was one of the reasonable terrors of streets guarded by decrepit old men, and during an administration of justice which was usually bribed by wealth and worked by rank.

One of the great features of the streets of London of the Restoration was the frequent processions of the twelve great companies to and from their halls, situated in Cheapside, the Poultry, and in Throgmorton Street. But these halls were remarkable for open timber roofs decorated with tapestry of the most costly description, for rich stores of plate bequeathed by pious donors-particularly the loving

cup, in which the master and wardens drank to the company at the sound of the trumpet and drum. The fair sex were never excluded from these feasts. Every new member was crowned with a garland, and occasionally pageants were performed in honour of the event. The funeral of a member of the company was always solemnized by a funeral dinner and a procession to the parish church. If the day happened to be a particularly bright one, they were to be seen apparelled in their gorgeous liveries rowing down the silvery Thames in their gilded barges, bearing the banners of their craft or profession, and accompanied by their almspeople.

Scarcely a day elapsed in that age without the quaint old London streets being enlivened by some stately procession or imposing pageant. The marriage of an alderman, the installation of a lord. mayor, the visit of a foreign ambassador to the Guildhall, the spectacle of some wretched individual in the pillory, the preaching of a sermon by some distinguished dignitary in the metropolitan cathedral, the reading of a proclamation in some important thoroughfare-these and many other events which it would be tedious to enumerate, all sufficed to gratify public attention and curiosity. If some city magnate departed this life, his funeral was the theme of universal comment ; and to behold the funeral banners, the torches, the tapers, and the escutcheons, to witness the squires bearing coat, armour, and pennons, the servants in their black gowns, and the members of the guild to which the deceased had belonged when in the flesh, following in their livery and hoods, the inhabitants of the whole parish turned out. If some day arrived upon which the choice of sheriff was to be made, it was proclaimed far and near by the barges of the aldermen, gay with streamers, and vociferous with trumpeters, shooting London Bridge, by the city waits sporting their red gowns, by the liveries donning their chains and velvet, by the ladies wearing their crimson gowns and riding through the streets in gilded coaches. When the day happened to be a hanging day, a melancholy cavalcade was to be seen slowly wending its way through Holborn to the gallows at Tyburn-the ordinary place of execution-followed by a seething mass of spectators and lewd fellows of the baser sort, loud in their execrations of the miserable occupants of the executioner's cart.

At this point we must bring our survey of London before the great Fire to a termination, although we have left almost untouched the subject of the manners, customs, and general social condition of those by whom it was then inhabited. Of what nature that was-of its strange exhibitions of pomp and misery-of its habitual striking contrasts between fine linen and rags-in short, of each phase of its many-sided life-it will be the object of some future article accurately to tell.



HEN Rome was built-not in a day,


But as you'd say, in mockery,

On hills not all of solid clay,

For one was broken crockery,'

To keep herself at first alive,

She murdered, robbed, and plundered;
But when she once began to thrive,
Rome found that she had blundered.

For what is might, apart from right?
Or what could be absurder
Than to let other towns delight
In robbery and murder?

Twelve laws then cried as softener
To sires of toughest fibre:
"Don't sell your children oftener
Than twice across the Tiber." 2

But poetry with siren voice

Allured her sons precocious,
Nor let them any more rejoice
In manners so ferocious.

In vain did ancient Cato scream

In no confused farrago,

But accents clear, his chosen theme,

"Delenda est Carthago."

The youth, unheeding, flocked to school

To learn the art rhetorical;

And listened to grammatic rule

With awe, as to an oracle.

"Mons Testaceus," so called because gradually formed of broken sherds.

2 Laws of XII Tables, No. IV., to repress paternal tyranny, enacted that a son sold by his father for the third time into a foreign country, i.e. beyond the Tiber, which was Rome's boundary, should be freed from paternal jurisdiction.

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