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for the mere lucre of gain, although the sight of it, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen know in their hearts, is light to a Londoner's eyes, and music to his ears. Let us never forget that the legislature treated Mr Buckingham's bill for the establishment of public walks near great towns, with almost silent contempt; and although they pass I know not how many enclosure bills every session, it was not without much unseemly debate that they were prevailed upon to grant for the recreation of the commoners, thus dispossessed without compensation of their immemorial inheritance, as much of the land to be enclosed as you could whip a cat in. Then, again, as to private individuals, as little or less, if less were possible, is to be expected from them;-an attempt is fresh within our recollection of the lord of the manor of Hampstead to enclose the heath, which, owing to the vigilance of an honest independent member of Parliament, was crushed in the bud. Primrose Hill, too, was marked out for enclosure by some of the joint-stock "sack-em-up" companies, for the purpose of being converted into a secondhand coffin manufactory, or something of that sort ;-this scheme went to the right-about, and a man may still for get his cares and troubles, as well as bring home a week's stock of unbought health, from a morning or an evening stroll, to dear delightful rural Primrose Hill. No thanks, however, to lord mayors, aldermen, or citizens, for this-no thanks to either House of Parliament-no thanks to lords of manors, who would enclose the sun of heaven himself, if they could let out his rays at so much a-year; such is the selfish love of lucre-natural, I had almost said to man, in an artificial state of society like ours, at least a second nature, which makes his interest the grand ambition, his breeches pocket the temple of his worship, and the money within it his god!
If there were no more solid reason than that monarchs might be enabled to be munificent for maintaining the monarchy in splendour, with me, that reason only would be reason enough.
St James's Park, sir-let us step aside into this shady walk, if you please was formerly part and parcel of the Abbey lands of St Peter's, Westminster, and was resumed with others in the reign of King Henry VIII.
"His Majesty (Henry VIII.) also enthe amusement of this (St James's Palace) closed the park, which was subservient to and the neighbouring palace of Whitehall. Charles II. was particularly fond of it, planted the avenues, made the canal and
the aviary, adjacent to the Bird cage Walk, which took its name from the cages which were hung in the trees. 'Charles,' says Colley Cibber, in the apology for his life, was often seen here amidst crowds of spectators, feeding his ducks, playing with his dogs, and passing his idle moments in affability, even to the meanest of his subjects, which made him to be admired by the common people, so fascinating in the great are the habits of condescension.'
In another account of the metropolis, ostensibly written originally in Arabic, by Ali Mahomet Hadji, physician to his Excellency Cossim Hojah, late envoy from the government of Tripoli to this Court, but in reality supposed to be the production of Grub Street, we are entertained with the following:
"At the west end of this city, near to one of the royal houses (St James's Palace), is a park-being a large extent of ground, with walks set with trees around it, and a canal in the middle also edged with trees, where, in the hot seasons, his Excellency's servants frequently diverted themselves with seeing the ducks swim. Its great beauty consists in its being, as it were, the country in the city; for a late nobleman, who had a seat near it, and being a man of a poetical genius, had this elegant couplet or distich composed on a stone, and placed over his portal, viz.
"'Tis my delight to be
"This is the place where people go to get rid of the dust, confusion, and noise of the city, and where the ladies, in fine weather, display their ornaments and charms, as well as their signals for intriguing. There are seats placed at convenient distances for refreshing the wearied joints of reduced officers, disappointed courtiers, and broken tradesmen ; and those, whose fortunes as well as their linen are generally reversed, sit promiscuously together, debating on the fate of princes and nations, as pertinently as though they were the immediate ministers and agents of all the powers in Europe, although, unhappy wretches, not one in nineteen of them knows where to procure a meal's meat. Yet, by their constant attendance on these seats, they are called Benchers of the Park, sitting with as much state and solemnity as those of the Inns of Court do at their halls in Commons!"
The anonymous author of A Trip through the Town; or, a Humorous View of Men and Things, gives the following amusing account of the Park of St James's as it was:
"For the benefit of this part of the metropolis, which includes the beau monde, the King has given liberty to all idle people to walk in St James's Park. Here is the Mall, famous for being the rendezvous of the gay and gallant, who assemble here to see and be seen, to censure and be censured the ladies to show their fine clothes, and the productions of the toilet -the men to show their toupees, observe all the beauties, and fix upon some favourite to toast that evening at the tavern. Every one here is curious in examining those who pass them, and are very nice and very malicious. In this place of general concourse, people often join into the company of those whom they either deride or hate; for company is not sought here for the sake of conversation, but persons couple together to get a little confidence, and embolden themselves against the general reflections of the place. They talk continually, no matter of what, for they talk only to be taken notice of by those who pass by them; for which reason they raise their voices for them who know them, not to pass without a bow en passant. At this place ladies walk four or five miles in a morning, with all the alacrity imaginable, who at home think it an insupportable fatigue to journey from one end of their chamber to another.
"I have seen a beau stand reconnoitring the Mall, divided within himself in as many minds as a lady in a lace chamber,
to think which set of company he shall annex himself to; and, to avoid the fatal consequences of making a false step, use as much caution as a prudent parent would do in the matrimonial disposition of a daughter. An escaping eye has often passed over a gentleman usher, when a groom of the bedchamber has been diligently pursued from one end of the Park to the other. A plain Irish lord shall be able to lead half a dozen laced coats up and down, like so many beagles in a string; and I have ere now seen him as much neglected as an honest poor family in distress, upon the sight of a ribbon, though 'tis surprising to think what an attractive quality every ribbon, according to its colour, hath in this place.
"I once happened to fall into a file of very fine fellows in this place, and remember that, when we began our march, we reckoned one French suit, though something sullied, three pair of clock stockings, one suit of Paduasoy, two embroidered waistcoats, the one a little tarnished, and two pair of velvet breeches. We made a most formidable show, carrying the whole breadth of the Mall, and sweeping all before us. We thought ourselves at least capable of acting on the defensive; but, by that we had got opposite to Godolphin House, we were convinced of our error, for here a puppy, in a French suit, pulling out a most extravagantly rich snuff-box, no less than three deserted at once, and went over to the enemy. As one misfortune seldom comes alone, a modern goldheaded cane, in the hands of a gamester, deprived us of two more of our company; so that, all on a sudden, our corps was dwindled away, like the South Sea project, and began to look as thin as a House of Parliament on a thirtieth of January sermon, or as an independent company of foot!
"In this plight the remains of us stood, staring upon each other as stupidly as the country people do when they go to view the royal apartments at Hampton Court, not knowing whether it was best to advance or retreat; fortunately for us, in this dilemma we enlisted one of the most beautiful sword-knots that ever came into the kingdom; we could perceive recruits coming to us from every quarter, and, in less than seven minutes, got ourselves into statu quo. Several revolutions of this kind happened to us in the space of about two hours, till at last I was left only with a little strutting fellow, who called himself got rid of by his fixing his eye upon a pesecretary to a foreign mission, and him I riwig that appeared to be made about a month later than mine was. ";
There exists now-a-days no parallel to this lively picture of the beau monde of a hundred years ago taking the air in St James's Park-the fashionable world has receded westward; and, instead of promenading the Mall of St James's Park, now exhibits itself in carriages and on horseback within the magic circle of the ride, and adown the long prospective of the once-celebrated Rotten Row.
St James's of late years has become bourgeois-it is now emphatically the park of the people.
To King William and Queen Mary the public is indebted for the privilege of entering this Park by Spring Garden gate, as well as to several considerable improvements in the enclosure itself. But we will for the present suspend our historical enquiries, and, as we are here, take a look at St James's Park as it is.
This seat, on the southern bank of the canal, nearly midway between the eastern and western extremities of the Park, affords one of the best points of view, embracing the whole extent of the enclosure, from the parade at one end to the esplanade at the other. How boldly and well the Horse. Guards fills up the view to our right! There it stands—a plain, honest, erect, downright military structure, on parade, as straight and as stiff as one of its own sentinels on duty. It is not, certainly, a handsome building, but it has the look of being adapted to the business transacted within it; and if it does not please the eye, assuredly does not disgust it, like its gingerbread friend on the opposite side. Behind the Horse-Guards we can just see the towering dome of St Paul'snorthward, the light and elegant spire of St Martin's is visible over the Admiralty and near it arises, in high contrast, the mustard-pot of the National Gallery-the pepper-boxes not being in this point of view visible. More to the westward, we have Carlton House Terrace, with the column erected to the memory of the late Duke of York-the dense foliage of the trees in the Mall shuts out the Palace of St James's, the residence of the Queen-Dowager, and the magnificent mansion of the Duke of Sutherland, from our view.
The vista to our left is terminated by Buckingham Palace, which was truly stigmatized by a Committee of
the House of Commons as temptible in every point of view, and a standing disgrace to English architecture." It is lucky for the fame of the architect that this thing is beneath criticism-people shake their heads when they look at it, and turn away with silent contempt; the thing is so disgustingly brutal, that to waste words in abusing it, would be to abuse the very faculty of speech. And to think that the fellow who perpetrated this standing disgrace to English architecture died with his shoes off who would be a petty larceny rogue, when a fellow like Nash escapes with impunity? In the first place, the thing is erected upon a declining site; it appears to be ashamed of itself, and seems to sneak down the off-side of the inclination on which it stands, as it would drown itself in the pond at the end of the Queen's gar den. In the second place, the thing, although covering a great deal of ground, is contemptibly diminutive in all its parts; and in the third place, all these diminutive parts and parcels of the great contemptible whole are frittered into still more insignificant littleness, by the profusion of ill-judged and unmeaning ornament plastered over it every where like gold leaf on gingerbread! A French architect in London, writing to his friend at Paris, gives an account of this concern, which would be sufficiently ludicrous if it were not unfortunately much too true. The letter opens as follows:
"My dear sair,—I shall now give you an account of de Royal Palace, called here de Buck-and-ham Palace, which is building for de English King in de spirit of Jean Bull plum-pudding and roast-beef taste, for which de English are so famous. It is great curiosity. In de first place, de pillars of de palace are made to represent English vegitable, as de sparrowgrass, de leek and de onion; den de entablatures or freizes are vary mosh enriched with leg of mutton and de pork, with vat dey call de garnish, all vary beautiful carved; den, on de impediment of de front, stand colossal figure of man-cook, with de large English toasting-fork in his hand, ready to put into de pot a vary large plum-pudding behind him, which is vary fine pudding, not de colour of black Christmas pudding, because de
architect say it would not look vell in summair time—it is vary plain pudding. Then de small windows of de kitchen on each side of de impediment at top story of de palace, have before them trophy of de kitchen, such as pot and de pan, and othare tings, which look well at de distance, only de poker and de tong are too big. On de wing of de palace, called de gizzard wing (de othare wing was cut off), stand the domestique servant, in neat dress, holding in de trays biscuit and tart and othare ting. The name of de architect is Mistaire Hash, de King's architect, who, I was informed, was roasted vary much. De English people seem vary much to like dis palace for de King, and do laugh vary much. Dere is to be in de front of de palace vary large kitchen range, made of white marble, vich I was told would contain von hundred of goose at von time. De palace, ven complete, will be called after von famous English dish, de Toad in de Hole!"
When will our English architects learn that the use of ornament is to break the uniformity of broad effects, and to relieve the cold dignity of grand conception? How many millions more must be sunk irrevocably in gingerbread palaces, before they will be taught, that although grandeur of architectural effect can subsist without ornament, ornament can never be admissible where there is not grandeur of architectural effect; that things diminutive in outline must be plainly filled up in the details; and that the five orders of architecture, carved on a cherry-stone, are seen to small advantage?
Let us, however, leave this disagreeable topic, and pursue our ramble through the Park.
The canal, you will observe, although somewhat diversified in outline, still retains, in shape, the memory of what it was, and is little more at present than a canal ornamented in some degree. From the esplanade facing the palace, looking down the whole length of the canal, is one of the best points of view in this Park, embracing the Horse Guards, the State Paper Office, Lady Dover's house. Behind these, the BanquetingHouse is partly visible; from hence, also, we have a favourable view of the grounds, which are not unpleasingly laid out, considering that the artist
was the afore-mentioned royal architect, Mistaire Hash, or Nash, of gingerbread celebrity. The gardens are not badly designed, although the late capability, Brown, could have done them vastly better-this Park being precisely the field for his wondrous creative faculty. Passing in front of the so-called Triumphal Arch, which seems intended to exhibit the dingy, dark, discoloured palace in the rear to the greatest disadvantage, we have a view down the long, umbrageous vista of the Mall: and here let us repose ourselves upon one of these seats-the resting places of the destitute in London. Upon these seats the unemployed artisan, the dismissed clerk, and the footman out of place, may be seen sleeping away the idle hours in forgetfulness of their misfortunes. the "swell cove out of luck," whose seedy habiliments exclude him from the penetralia of the enclosure, lounges languidly, cocking his worn-out gossamer on one side his head with a jaunty air, and affectedly tapping his vamped-up boot with a pinchbeckheaded cane; here, supernumerary penny-a-liners take the air, until Providence sends, of his goodness, some more substantial beverage; here, disappointed magazine-writers retire to read again their rejected article, and to curse the stupid editor who would not see its merit; here, Steele contrived to extract the matter of many a future Tatler, from the contemplation of his fellows in misfortune; and here, too, poor amiable Goldsmith, when without a dinner or the means of procuring one, used to take a turn, and "mend his appetite by a walk in the Park."
That poor young fellow in the fustian shooting-jacket and leggings, asleep on the further extremity of our bench, is a countryman who came to London for work and cannot get it. His money is done, and it is more than probable he has not tasted food to-day: to-morrow he will go over into Westminster and enlist for a soldier. You see a poor girl on the opposite bench-one of that class as truly as pathetically called unfortunate-she is, you observe, in tatters, and the paint has been washed off her cheeks with tears. She is an unfortunate among unfortunates. Where is her professional swagger now?-where her inviting leer and flippant toss of the
head?—where the tawdry finery purchased with the wages of her shame ? The roseate hue of health has long faded from her cheek, and the expression of that once happy face is now the expression of rooted and inextricable sorrow. Perhaps her thoughts have turned to her country friends and her rural home-to that home, her desertion of which, it may be, has brought the grey hairs of her parents with sorrow to the grave-she is hungry, too; for I am long enough acquainted with this place to distinguish the physiognomy of hunger. What does she say?-half a penny roll has been her food since this time yesterday!
Gracious eternal God! could the seducers of female innocence come hither, and behold their triumph in a spectacle like this! would they not hide their guilty and guilt-creating heads from the lightning, and hear, in every thunder-peal, the judgment of an avenging God?
Humane and gentle reader, when you come this way, let the poor unfortunate have a shilling. The air will do you good, the exercise will do you good, and the charity will do you good. You will not, believe me, dine less heartily for having contributed a mite to the poor victim of profligacy, who, without your timely assistance, had not dined at all.
We are now on the parade: but there is nothing here save a parcel of lounging life-guardsmen, and a dozen or so of recruiting sergeants. The hour of guard-mounting (ten o'clock in the morning) is long past, and "all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war, has marched back peacefully to its barracks on the other side of the Park. In the absence of any thing better to occupy our attention, we will turn our backs upon the parade, the great gun, and the greater mortar, together with the lounging life-guardsmen and recruiting sergeants, and indulge ourselves with a look at the ducks.
Who would have supposed that DUCK ISLAND, over the way there, where you see that desolate-looking heron perched upon one leg, was once a royal government, like the island of Barataria, whereof his Excellency Don Sancho Panza was whilome governor and commander-in-chief? Nay, now, don't laugh, for the thing is a fact, and very well attested. We
are informed by the accurate Mr Pennant, in his Survey of London, that "Duck Island was erected, in the time of King Charles II., into a govern. ment, and had a salary annexed to the office in favour of M. ST EVREMOND, who was the first, and perhaps the last governor."
Only think of a memorial on behalf of the widgeon addressed to his Excellency M. ST EVREMOND, Lordlieutenant General and General Governor of DUCK ISLAND and its dependencies: or a paragraph in the London Mercury, to the effect that "his gracious Majesty Charles II., attended by the Right Honourable the Earl of Rochester, and Mr Killigrew the joker, was graciously pleased to visit DUCK ISLAND, where his Majesty was received by his Excellency the Governor with the customary honours, the swans being drawn up in review order for the inspection of his Majesty, and the ducks, teal, and widgeon firing a royal salute!"
We delight in ducks. There is one little fellow in particular-black and all black, with an orange eye, and a crest like that of the peewit growing out of his occiput-who is perfectly irresistible. And that poor, ragged, attenuated old lady, with her large small family of thirteen downy ducklings-why, that poor family would eat a quartern loaf to their own cheek, and never be a whit the fuller. Pray, Mrs Duck, do you happen to be aware that there is now exhibiting in Pall Mall a steam young-duck manufactory, where all you have to do, when you want poultry, is to drop an egg into the engine, and after a few turns of the fly-wheel, out comes a delicious duckling ready for the spit, and to save trouble, stuffed beforehand with sage and onions!
We delight in ducks-young ducks especially, if associated, as young ducks should ever be, with the tenderest marrow peas, and stuffed scientifically;-but even while alive, your duck is a comical-looking rascal. There is an expression in his half-closed, wicked little eye, particularly when he winks, that stamps him a rum fellow; if he be not a humorist, then is there no tittle of truth in physiognomy.
Fond as we are of ducks, however, we are sorry to see them here, where their presence operates to the exclusion of human beings from the Park. We