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very seldom treat those who make inquiries with disrepect. They mostly put down the lowest prices of their articles, and are remarked by foreigners for the integrity of their dealings.
The emigrants from France, since the last Revolution, can bear sufficient testimonies of the liberality and obliging officiousness of the inhabitants of London, in alleviating their distresses, and in supplying their necessities.
If we take a view of other metropolitan cities, we discover every mode to prevent or forbid publicity; guards, walls, gates, passports, spies, and all the engines of suspiçion and slavery. But in London, such danger is unknown. As free and as open as her commerce, gates are rendered unnecessary; the reciprocal good understanding between London and the other districts of the empire, renders her safety and improvement of the bighest importance. It is therefore, a consequent reason, that the streets are better paved and better lighted than those of every other metropolis. The effect produced is remarkably grand, as well as of abundant utility.
Let it then suffice that London has arrived at a period of improvement and elegance unexampled in the annals of cities. Not Thebes with her hundred gates, Memphis, Babylon, or any recorded metropolis of antiquity; not Con. stantinople, Pekin, or any other modern metropolis, can equal her. Therefore, how happy must her inhabitants be at such an enviable era, when her riches have not made her proud; when the mildness of her government has rendered all around her happy; and when Virtue, Religion, Liberty, and the Sciences, have made her their residence. What can the historian do more than record so vast a period of prosperity! what can he wish, other than its continuance undiminished to the extent of future ages!
We conclude this part of our plan, by a few remarks on the increase of London from the year 1748 to the close of the last century.
Commencing at the north-east; the whole extent of ground from Goodman's Fields to Stepney, and from Whitechapel
road to Shadwell, has been nearly covered with buildings; beside the recent erection of the West India Docks. On the other side of Whitechapel road, from Hackney to Bethnal Green and Mile End, the whole has been covered with streets and houses.
The line of increase on the south-east side, proceeds from Deptford to Camberwell, Kennington, and Stockwell, and thence by Lambeth to Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges, taking in the whole space formerly denominated St. George's Fields, sufficient to form a considerable city.
Continuing towards Chelsea, Walham Green, Hammersmith, Turnham Green, Kensington, to Hyde Park Corner, the whole extent is covered with convenient buildings of ele. gant structure.
From Bayswater to Paddington, Hampstead, Highgate, by Highbury to Kingsland and Hackney, where the line of circumvallation meets, the whole of Lisson Green, Camden Town, Somers Town, Pentonville, Holloway, Highbury, and Kingsland, have risen within memory to an amazing extent. The tracts of ground have been formed into magnificent squares and streets of stately mansions. The improvements of greatest consequence have been mostly on the north side of the metropolis. Thus, the whole parishes of Paddington, St. Mary-la-Bonne, and Pancras, with the additional buildings in St. Giles in the Fields, have been wholly built; and the Middlesex and Foundling Hospitals, the paths to which were reckoned dangerous from the depredations of robbers, are now surrounded with handsome streets. The squares which have been formed are Portman, Manchester, Fitzroy, Bedford, Tavistock, Russel, and Brunswick; besides that magnificent range of palaces, Portland Place.
Ecclesiastical Government. Consistently with our plan of regularity, we subjoin some account of the ecclesiastical superintendance of London as a diocese *
* By the word diocese, is to be understood the circuit of a bishop's jurisdiction ; and as cities are not deemed within that jurisdiction by the canon law, the citations are directed to the clergy of the city and diocese.
: This city, in the time of the Britains, was supposed to be an archbishoprick; it was confessedly a bishoprick till the time of the Saxons; when chance having established the metropolitical see at Canterbury in the person of Augustine; by his appointment, one of his followers Melitus, was constituted the first bishop of London: one hundred and one prelates, mostly in regular succession, have presided in the see since his time to the present period.
The diocese contains the whole city, and the counties of Middlesex and Essex, with part of Hertfordshire, the subordinate jurisdiction of which, is under the authority of a dean, a chanter, a chancellor, a treasurer, the five archdeacons of London, Middlesex, Essex, Colchester, and St. Albans; of thirty prebendaries; and of the whole body of rectors and vicars within the circuit. The city and liberties formerly contained, one hundred and thirteen parish churches, twenty-seven monasteries, colleges, and chapels; twenty-eight parish churches and religious houses in Westminster and the suburbs, making a total of one hundred and sixty-eight places for divine worship. Before the great fire, the parish churches had been reduced to ninety-seven, of which eighty-four were destroyed, fifteen left single as before, and sixty-nine united into thirty-four; so that at present only sixty-one churches remain within, and ten without, the walls; nine churches in Westminster, and its liberties; and twenty in that part of the metropolis within the
county of Middlesex ; beside St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the churches within the Tower, the Temple, and the Savoy.
When, however, we state the whole of the religious establishment of this vast metropolis on both sides of the Thames, it will appear to contain two hundred and forty-two places for divine worship of the established religion ; one hundred and fifty meeting-houses for Dissenters of various denomi. nations; thirty chapels for foreigners, Roman Catholics, &c. and six synagogues for those of the Jewish persuasion ; besides four thousand and fifty seminaries of public and private education, which are appropriately classed under this head.
The account of the military establishment will be giveni under the head, THE ARTILLERY COMPANY
River and Canal Navigation. The first object of attention under this head is a summary description of the Thames,
This fine river from its source at Thames-Head in Gloucestershire to Shoebury-Ness, measures, by scale, between one hundred and twenty and one hundred and thirty miles, taking in a considerable portion of the central surface of England ; this distance, however, would nearly be doubled, were all the windings and deviations of its channel to be as certained.
Flowing in a calm and gentle manner, without rapid currents or cataracts, it does not assume the turbulence of a torrent, but taking its course from an elevated, rather than a mountainous tract, it is fitted for navigation, as soon as it acquires depth sufficient to bear a vessel ; and associating with streams which partake of its own property, commerce assumes her placid stately dominion, without the obstruction of rocks, or the struggles of a pent-up bed over-hung with crags.
In the estimate of its picturesque beauties, though the romantic constitute no part; the sweet, the soft, the sequestered, the rich, and the majestic, form a list of charms equally attractive, and bleuded in every possible variation.
Its scenes are composed of rural beauty and dignified opulence. Always elegant and sometimes grand; the artificial ornaments of villas, edifices, and pleasure grounds, which grace its banks, contribute to form those fascinating landscapes, which add to the elevated beauties of the surrounding country; whilst the stream itself, where its breadth graduates it into consequence, swells to the brink, and “ without o’erflowing full *,” is the capital object in view.
With all these charming and interesting qualities, there are such drawbacks, that to call the Thames the "
king of floodst ,'
” is an injury to its known good qualities; for
though its floods are not so sudden or violent as those of other rivers, it partakes of inundation and drought; its intrinsic merit, however, will always secure to it a respectable rank; for few of the most celebrated streams afford a length of navigation for large ships equal to that of the Thames, in point of safety, care, and regularity. Certainly no European metropolis is benefited by its river equal to London.
The water is so copious at Thames-Head, near Ciren. cester, that it throws up several tuns every minute into the Thames and Severn Canal. During the summer months, however, the visible connection with the current is precarious, and the Infant Thames is only discoverable at the village of Kemble, in Wiltshire; here it is crossed by a rude bridge, and here its strength is sufficient to turn a mill.
At the town of Cricklade, it receives the Churn. This, and the accession of other small streams, renders it, at the length of nine miles from its source, navigable for barges of six or seven tons burthen; but the scarcity of water in summer has rendered this navigation so precarious, that the upper stream has been disused for carriage, the preference having been given to the more certain navigation by the caval.
The Cole from Wiltshire, and the Coln from Gloucester. shire, enrich the Thames near Fairford; and, now sensibly widened, the river flows to Lechlade, where it is joined by the canal from the Severn. Here the addition of water renders the Thames capable of carrying barges of fifty or sixty tons burthen, though the summer drought and the winter floods too frequently form impediments to the passage. To remedy this inconvenience, several locks are formed, a continuation of which contrivance is rendered of importance at proper distances; but is considered unnecessary at Boulter's lock, below Maidenhead Bridge *.
* Though the Thames is said to be navigable one hundred and thirtyeight miles above bridge, yet there are so many flats, that, in summer, VOL. II. No, 30.