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coaches, which also adds greatly to the safety as well as the expedition of this important concern.

On the site of the present office, before the great fire, stood a much frequented tavern. When it was destroyed by that calamity, the convivial Sir Robert Viner replaced it with a large house for his own habitation. Sir Robert, during his mayoralty, in 1675, was honoured with the presence of Charles Il. His Majesty was for retiring, after staying the usual time; but Sir Robert, filled with good liquor and loyalty, laid hold of the King and sworeshall take t'other bottle."

The airy Monarch looked kindly at him over the shoulder, and with a smile and graceful air, repeated this line of the old song :

• He that's drunk is as great as a king." And immediately turned back, and complied with his landlord.

In Fenchurch-street, a continuation of the former, stood Denmark-house. In it was lodged the ambassador sent, in 1557, as Holinshed expresses it, from the Emperor of Cathaie, Muscovia, and Russeland. This was in consequence of the new discovery of the White Sea by Chancellor : for, till that time, Russia was quite impervious by any other way. Our Russian Company was formed three years previous to the arrival of this ambassador, but its commerce was carried on with redoubled success, after the Russians were thus made acquainted with our wealth and power.

The Hudson's Bay House, in this street, is the vast repository of the Northern furs of America, which are lodged here till they are sold, and esported to various parts of the world, even to China. In this hall is a vast pair of horns of the moose deer, weighing fifty-six pounds; and in another room, the picture of an Elk, the european murse,


killed in the presence of Charles XI. of Sweden, which weighed 12291b.

Having thus given a brief survey of London, wo shall conclude with an account of the Thames, to which it is so much indebted.

The River Thames rises beneath Sapperton Hill, just within the borders of Gloucestershire, a little to the south-west of Cirencester; instantly quitting this spot, it enters, for a short space, into Wiltshire, and re-enters its parent province near Lechlade, 138 miles from London, where it first becomes navigable, by means of locks, for barges of about 70

Here it leaves Gloucestershire, and forms the whole Southern boundary of Oxfordshire, or the northern of Berksire, and from thence is the southern limit of Buckinghamshire, At Great Marlow is the last lock. It divides Middlesex from Surry at a small distance from Windsor, and feels the last efforts of a'tide just above Kingston; from thence is a most important increase in depth. A little way below London-bridge, eighteen feet; and twenty at Deptford. The first brings ships of 250 tons, drawing 16 feet water, to the custom-house; the last, those of a thousand tons and upwards, drawing 23 feet, which waft the treasures of India, The Thames continues fresh at Woolwich, and even there is brackish only at spring tides. ịt is perfectly pure and salubrious.

Its whole course is much about 200 miles. Our author indeed contracts its length very considerably, in comparison of the usual estimation, for he limits its mouth to the spot between the west end of the isle of Grain, in Kent, and the eastern part of that of Canvey, in Essex. From those placos to the Naze in the latter country, and the North Foreland in Kent (which have hitherto been considered as its entrance) it ceases to flow in a single channel; it becomes a vast estuary, filled with

At the city sandbanks, many of which appear above water, at the recess of the tides.

The Thames, between its source and Woolwich, has almost every species of fish found in the British rivers, except the burbot, loche, cobitis tænia, or spiny loche, of late years discovered in the river Trent, and the small species of salmon, the samlet.

The fish of the Thames come as low as London, and even beyond it, while the water continues fresh. The barbel, however, is never seen below the bridge; but roch, dace, and bleak, are found plentifully. Eels get pretty far down the river, and small Aounders are frequently caught at Fulbam,

This queen of British rivers has been frequently celebrated by the poets; and well deserves the highest eulogia that genius can pay it, being richer than the fabled Pactolus*.

* For a more particular account of the British metropolis, see MODERN LONDON and that useful annual publication THE PICTURI QF LONDON,







HE illustrious universities of Oxford and Cam. bridge, are of tow much importance to be omitted in a work of this nature, or to be cursorily noticed. There are few persons of any condition, who are not in some respects interested in the one or the other; and to such as are wholly unconnected with those seats of learning, a description of them cannot possibly fail to be agreeable. We begin with Oxford, not from any partial design of giving it supereminence over its rival, but because its situation renders it a more common object of attraction,

Oxford lies on the great road from London to Gloucester, Worcester, Birmingham, Holyhead, and other remarkable places. It is distant fifty-four miles from the metropolis by one route, and fiftysix by another; for both the Henley and the Wycombe roads meet here. That through Henley is most admired.

The antiquity of this place is so great as to defy investigation; even in the times of the ancient Britons, it appears to have been consecrated to the muses. From its delightful situation, the Romans


gave it the name of Bellositum*; and after they abandoned this island, it gradually became the seat of learning, and the resort of all who wished to obtain distinction in the ample field of intellectual endowment. Certain it is that, before the time of Alfred the Great, students resorted hither; but that wise and excellent prince gave it a stability and reputation, as a university, which has since been constantly increasing, with little interruption. It is probable, indeed, that Alfred was the first who made any endowments here for the encouragement of students, and we know that he erected certain schools or halls for their accommodation; but we cannot allow him to have been the founder of this seat of learning, in the full acceptation of the term,

Before we enter on a tour of the colleges and academic buildings, it may not be amiss to give a brief survey of the city and its history. When it was first walled does not appear; but its fortifications were much strengthened, if not wholly rebuilt, by Robert D'Oyley, one of the chieftains who attended the Conqueror, and who, at the command of that prince, erected a strong castle here in 1071, of which the tower still remains a work of great strength; and the keep, in which a well of great depth was discovered not many years ago, On the site of the decayed building, a county gaol has lately been built, from a plan that does much honous to its projectors.

Before the invention of artillery and the erection of bridges over the rivers, which in a great measure surround Oxford, this place was a principal key of the north-west part of the kingdom.

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* The modern naine, Oxford, seems a corruption of Ouseny-ford, or the lord over the Ouse, a common name for rizers; or it may be derived from Osenęy Abbey, which stuod liere.

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