Queen Elizabeth's Armory.
The Horse Armory.
The Crown Jewels.
The Warden On Night Watch.
Seven Dials, ST. Giles.
Into the "East End" of London, beyond the Tower, few tourists care to go, unless on errands of philanthropy or in the study of sociology. The recollection of a few hours passed there in the company of an officer has left an ineffaceable impres sion of sadness on my memory. That the extent and hopelessness of the misery prevailing there are appalling is evidenced by Englishmen themselves. Certainly, nothing worse could be said of the slums of London than is found in the pathetic pages of Charles Dickens; and, still more recently, they have been described by an English archbishop as "Hell without the fire." Professor Huxley, also, President of the Royal Society, has said of this part of London: "I have several times traveled around the globe, visiting, as I journeyed, the most savage and degraded peoples in barbarous lands; but I have never anywhere seen such degradation and misery as I have seen in the east end of my own city." Who can wonder, then, that many, weary of such an existence, fling their poor, half-starved, suffering bodies into the Thames, "Mad from life's history, Glad to death's mystery, Swift to be hurled, Anywhere, anywhere, Out of the world"?
Yet London is not heartless. Its charity is only less colossal than its poverty; for it gives away, in proportion to its population, more than twice as much as is given by any other city in England, and four times the amount bestowed in charity by any city on the Continent.
New Gate Prison.
To one who stands beside the Thames, comparisons present themselves between the imperial cities, respectively the capitals, of the past and present, - Rome and London. It is, for example, a remarkable fact that the two mightiest empires of the world have had their capitals situated on comparatively unimportant streams, and that the cities located on these diminutive rivers have become, in turn, the central ganglia from which the vital nerve forces of the Roman and the British governments have successively radiated through the world. There are, however, noticeable differences in these waterways. Their appearance, for example, is entirely dissimilar; for, unlike the tawny Tiber, colored by the clays through which it flows, the Thames rolls onward to its fate almost as free from sedimentary impurities as is the sea that welcomes it. Again, the difference in the amount of their commerce is enormous. The Tiber, even where it gilded with its yellow waves the sandals of Imperial Rome, was barely three hundred feet in width, and at its entry into the Mediterranean, sixteen miles away, had scarcely doubled these dimensions. Hence, few ships gathered at the port of Rome, partly because of the Tiber's contracted size, and partly, also, because the commerce of those days was insignificant compared with that of the present time. To the ancients, the navigable world was virtually limited to the Mediterranean, which was, indeed, a Roman lake; but to the modern Briton the Thames is but a doorway to a liquid plain whereon he circumnavigates the globe; and the Atlantic, from a boundary, has become a highway, much as the air which, to the fledgeling in the nest appears a barrier, becomes the element through which the free bird cleaves its fearless way from clime to clime. Is it not possible to trace a similarity between these streams and the two empires whose capitals have adorned their banks? The Tiber, at its terminus, is the same narrow, turbid current it has always been, and, like that river, Rome herself was narrow in her contact with the world. She conquered, but it was for Rome alone, and to her seven hills she brought back captives, to fight as gladiators in her amphitheatres, or toil as slaves for her patricians; while the best works of art and other treasures of the conquered swelled the triumphal pageants of the Sacred Way. She taught humanity the reign of law, but it was always Roman law, interpreted in favor of the Romans. Wherever the imperial eagles flew, Rome branded on her provinces the seal of her indomitable will; but strove so little to promote their individual welfare that, finally, she fell, because the conqueror and the conquered were but artificially united. The English river, on the contrary, although at London only nine hundred feet from bank to bank, rolls onward in an ever-widening channel, until it greets the ocean in an estuary six miles broad. Similarly, the Anglo-Saxon heir of Roman imperialism who, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, had absolutely no possessions outside of Europe, has so outgrown his former limitations that he now shapes the courses of civilization in Asia, Africa, Australia, and portions of America by means of colonies, united, however, not by force, but by the ties of mutual interests and kindred blood which, consciously or unconsciously, are working ever toward the federation and amelioration of mankind.