Page images
PDF
EPUB

so connected my walks in London with that "city which hath foundations," that those who are informed as to the one, shall not be altogetherunmindful of the other.

Old Humphrey.

WALKS IN LONDON

AND

ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.

OLD HUMPHREY'S

CITY GRATIFICATIONS.

Before I notice the sights of London and the neighbourhood, let me point out a few things which are to me sources of gratification. Wrong me not, however, by supposing me to be an idle lounger, an indolent stroller in public places. Sight-seeing may be useful as an occasional recreation, though it would be profitless as regular employment.

In the busiest life there are seasons of leisure; even in the six days appointed us in which to labour and do all that we have to do, occasional periods of relaxation occur, and I think it no evil, wherever I am, in town or country, to seek out innocent sources of enjoyments.

I like to pick up scraps of conversation as I pass my fellow-pilgrims in the world, whether at St. Giles's or St. James's: to notice peculiarities

B

in form, dress, demeanour, language, or action: to muse on the shrewdness of one man, the oddness of another, the churlishness of a third, and the kindness of a fourth: the Jew with his old clothes; the Mohammedan with his box of rhubarb; the whining beggar, defended by his matches from the interference of the police; the fish-woman at Billingsgate; the merchant on 'Change, and the Lord Mayor in his state carriage—all call forth the speculations of Old Humphrey.

I like to look in the shop windows, for many of them supply food for profitable speculation. I like to pause as the plumed hearse and mourning coaches, drawn by black horses arching their proud necks and lifting their feet high, slowly move among the crowded and busy streets, emphatically proclaiming to the passers by, " Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not," Job xiv. 1, 2.

I like to look on etchings, drawings, engravings, and pictures, and am oftentimes spell-bound by their influence, feeling regret that I cannot thank those who have so much contributed to my gratification. I like to glance, if I see only the title-page, on the works of authors that I believe to be in heaven, claiming kindred with them even there, knowing them, loving them, and longing to be like them. How many a kindred spirit, by

« PreviousContinue »