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correspondent. He does not pretend to give a complete description of the metropolis, and the manners of its inhabitants, but only to delineate a few features of general interest, in the vast picture spread before him. His selection has been very happy, embracing many subjects which a stranger to London frequently hears alluded to, but about which he is at a loss to find information. He introduces us at once into the theatres, the club-rooms, and the hells-places which we had often heard of, but could never before picture to ourselves with any distinctness. Above all, have we been interested in the volume describing the present state of periodical literature in the metropolis. The wonder-working power of the London press, exerted through the medium of newspapers and magazines, we had long known in its effects; but here we enjoy a peep behind the scenes we examine the vast machinery, with all its intricacies, viewing it in detail, from the application of the motive force, to the grand result. Unlike the spectator, who raises the curtain of the puppet show, and traces the secret wires and strings, we have risen from the perusal of these pages with increased wonder and admiration.

The first chapter, headed "General Characteristics," though short, is the most tedious in the book. The author seems principally intent on impressing his readers with the "enormous extent" of London; the dense crowds of human beings which it contains; and the everlasting din of its great thoroughfares. The laboured "commonplaces" by which he strives to accomplish his object, are sometimes truly ridiculous. The amount of information which we derive from the first page and a half, is, that if a person walk from one end of London to the other a distance of eight miles-he will be "quite wearied with the journey performed." Then we are told that in consequence of the rapid increase of population, "a great number of new houses are being constantly built;" and, again, that although the thoroughfares are so crowded, there are some streets, in the more retired parts of the town, in which there is little bustle, or appearance of business.

The present population of London, and its suburbs, is here estimated at about two millions; but supposing the author's data to be correct-that, according to the census of 1831, the population was 1,646,288, and that in five years it has increased ten per cent.-a very simple calculation will show that at present the city must contain about 1,810,916 inhabitants, and not "L as near as can be no less than 2,000,000." Such a palpable

We can account for these sapient remarks, only by the supposition that the author's lower extremities were, at the time he penned it, stiff and sore from his first serious experiment at walking, since he left the leading strings.

VOL. XXI. NO. 41.

30

blunder evinces great negligence, to use a very mild term; nor is our respect for the author's arithmetical skill increased by his assumption, that an increase of twenty per cent. every ten years, is the same thing as one of ten per cent. every five: there is, in our humble opinion, a material difference between these two rates. Some of the other calculations which he makes, with a view to excite the reader's wonder at the size of the city, and the constant change in its inhabitants, should, we suspect, be admitted with some grains of allowance, though we have not the means of determining the exact degree of credit which they deserve.

The following paragraph strikes us as evincing that the author was little observant of what passes every day under his eyes in "the Great Metropolis."

"There is no place in which the injunction, 'Mind your own business,' is so scrupulously attended to as in London. There is none of that prying into a neighbour's affairs, which is one of the great evils of all small towns. In fact, there is no such thing as neighbours in London-in the usual meaning of the word. You may live for half a century in one house, without knowing the name of the person who lives next door; it is quite possible, indeed, you may not even know him by sight. So intent is every one on his own business, and so little interested in that of others, that you may, if you please, walk on all fours in the public streets, without any one staying to bestow a look on you. The Irishman in America, who stood in an inverted position in order that he might be able to read a sign-board, turned upside down, would not, in all probability, had the circumstance occurred in London, have attracted the attention of a single passer-by." p. 10.

It was Garrick, we think, who, having made a bet upon cockney curiosity, collected a crowd around him in one of the principal thoroughfares of London, simply by walking into the middle of the street, and, with his eyes raised and fixed intently upon some pretended object, making exclamations of surprise or admiration. We ourselves remember seeing both sides of Fleet street lined with such a dense mass of wayfarers, who had stopped merely to look at the operation of paving the carriage way, that it was almost impossible to pass; and this during every hour of the day for at least a week. We ourselves have seen crowds of Londoners borne along by the stir of some trifling occurrence, when scarcely one in ten could tell, if asked, the object of his curiosity. In fact, the inhabitants of great cities are notoriously of gregarious propensities-the most trivial cause is often sufficient to collect a mob.

We cannot help noticing the encomiums which the author bestows upon the London police. They are certainly well deserved. Never was there a more efficient body organised. You meet a police-man at almost every corner, and a crowd cannot any where collect, which is not kept in awe by the

presence of a formidable number of these guardians of the peace. They are so numerous and well disciplined, that each is sure of support, and therefore acts with promptitude and energy. They use their power with such moderation, and, at the same time, such resoluteness, that it is scarcely ever disputed for a moment. If, on Holborn Hill, the most crowded street in the whole city, two vehicles come in contact, and their delay has obstructed a hundred others, which are all intermingled in an apparently inextricable maze, the presence of a few police-men soon restores order; they command and are obeyed, each movement is guided by their voices, and, in a few minutes, every thing goes on peaceably as before the accident.

Nor can we help contrasting this admirable establishment with the wretchedly inefficient systems of police in our own cities. The history of every year affords the most convincing and humiliating evidence that a mob can, at pleasure, take complete possession of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or any other city in the Union:-wreak their vengeance on odious public authorities, burn and pillage private property, shed the blood of obnoxious citizens on their own thresholds, or hang them on gibbets erected in the streets, or anticipate the arm of justice, by executing Lynch-law upon untried criminals. This is a melancholy-a frightful-but not an exaggerated picture.

The houses of London, with the exception of the public edifices, are generally built of dark brown-coloured brick. At the west end there are many modern erections of considerable splendour, but, in other parts of the city, little elegance or taste is displayed in the exterior of private buildings. The streets are well paved with stone-the ample side walks with large slabs-the carriage way, excepting in a number of streets which are McAdamised, with blocks of about nine inches cube, joining closely to each other, and forming a bed of solid ma

sonry.

It is curious to trace the gradual progress of fashion towards the west and north of the city. There seem to have always been certain precincts, beyond which the sensitive-plant of "respectability" could not flourish. Not a century has elapsed since Lincoln-Inn Fields, Covent Garden, Soho, and the neighbouring streets, which are but a short distance west of the city proper--London within the walls-were the fashionable district; but the aristocratic tide has since set westward, and left its old channels perfectly dry. All have been carried along with the current or have lost caste. Now it is not respectable" to reside east of Charing Cross or Leicester Square, and from thence westward to Hyde Park, and north

ward to Regent's Park, is the fashionable district. Some of the finest private edifices in the city are on Regent's street, near the park last mentioned. There is also a fashionable shopping district. Formerly Tavistock street, Covent Garden, enjoyed this distinction; then, Bond street became the favourite resort, but has of late been "supplanted in the good graces of the fashionables" by Regent's street. In every city, but more especially in those which possess a thriving and increasing commerce, these revolutions are continually taking place. Those parts which are occupied for purposes of trade, are neither a pleasant nor convenient residence for the votaries of high life. The dance of pleasure gives way to the bustle of business, and must grace a new quarter, until it is again interrupted and obliged to retreat by its untiring adversary.

In the second chapter, the theatres of the metropolis come into notice. Much statistical information is given in regard to their operations and present condition, with remarks on actors, dramatic writers, and other kindred subjects.

There are in London twenty-two theatres. First in rank stands the Italian Opera, or King's theatre, which is principally supported by the aristocracy of the west end. Next on the list are Drury Lane and Covent Garden, rivals in size, in reputation, and by locality; for they are by far the largest, and, after the Opera, the most fashionable houses, and are within a stone's throw of each other. All the rest are called minor theatres, though several of them are well deserving of notice, not only on the score of their present importance, but also of his torical recollections and associations. With the Haymarket were connected as managers, at different times, Cibber, Fielding, the novelist, Foot, and Mr. George Colman. Among the distinguished actors and actresses who have made their debut at this theatre, the author enumerates "Foot, Palmer, Jack Bannister, Matthews, Ellison, Liston, Young, Terry, &c. and Miss Fenton, (who afterwards became the Duchess of Bolton,) Mrs. Abingdon, Miss Farren, (the present Countess of Derby,) Mrs. Gibbs, Miss Wilkinson," &c. The English Opera House is a small but elegant building, in which repeated endeavours have been made to sustain the character of national operas against the rage for the Italian, which has so long predominated. This attempt, however, though the prospect was flattering at first, has entirely failed. Next we may mention Braham's theatre, which, "from its locality, is chiefly frequented by the fashionable world." The Olympic theatre was built by Mr. Astley, and originally intended for equestrian performances. From his hands it fell into those of Mr. Ellison, and is now held by Madam Vestris, who is herself the grand attraction, and draws crowded houses. Liston plays on this stage. It is at the Adelphi

that Mr. Matthews, who was one of its managers, performed his own inimitable characters. The Garrick theatre "is famed for being the house in which Garrick made his debut on his arrival in London."

The Italian Opera is more handsomely fitted up, as to the interior, than any of the other houses, but can accommodate only two thousand persons with comfort, while in Drury Lane there are seats for upwards of three thousand spectators, and five thousand have sometimes been crammed into it; and Covent Garden, though only intended to contain about two thousand eight hundred, has on several occasions held about four thousand.

"The persons who visit the King's theatre," says the author, "must all go in full dress. Any disregard of this regulation will be inevitably attended by the exclusion of the party, no matter what his rank. Some years ago, it was necessary for gentlemen to have three-cornered hats; but that regulation has been departed from, and gentlemen wearing hats of the usual shape are now admitted. It was customary, a short time since, for ladies and gentlemen to go, on levee and drawing-room days, to the opera in full dress. The display of fashion, when the house is full, is still imposing; on those occasions, it was magnificent in the extreme. It was absolutely dazzling to behold."

In Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres, the first tiers of boxes are open only to persons in full dress, and are hence called the dress-circles. The other parts of the houses are free to all who can pay the price of admission.

There seems to be some inconsistency between the author's representations of the great passion for theatrical performances, among all classes, in the metropolis, and of the great losses which nearly all the managers have sustained. He tells us that the number of persons visiting the various theatres, every night, averages at least twenty thousand, and yet we are afterwards informed that the last seasons have been very unproductive. Perhaps those who are better acquainted with the subject may be able to reconcile these apparently contradictory state

ments.

The prices paid by some of the nobility for the indulgence of their theatre-going propensities are enormous. "The late Duke of Gloucester, who was passionately fond of the Italian Opera, used to pay three hundred guineas for his box every season. The same sum is understood to be still paid by the Duke of Devonshire, and several other noblemen." Mr. Grant gives us some singular illustrations of the manner in which many fashionable personages contrive to lessen these heavy expenses, without foregoing the gratification of their pride and passion for histrionic exhibitions. We will make one or two extracts. "Supposing, for example, that Lord John Russell were relieved of the toils of office, and were disposed to enjoy the pleasures of the

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