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menagerie are deserted. The Mint, also, once within the Tower has heen, long since, removed. I might speak here of the different Towers of the Inner Ward, or Ballium; of Bell Tower, Beauchamp, or Cobham Tower, and Develin's Tower, to the west; of Flint Tower, Bowyer Tower, Brick Tower, and Martin Tower, to the north; of Constable Tower, Broad Arrow Tower, and Salt Tower, to the east; and of Well Tower, Lanthorne Tower, and Bloody Tower, to the south; but my time is fast wearing away. Flint Tower is almost gone; Bowyer Tower has only its basement; Brick Tower is much altered from its ancient state; Martin Tower is now the Jewel Tower, and Lanthorne Tower is clean swept away.
It was in Beauchamp, or Cobham Tower, that the state prisoners were usually confined. The melancholy memorials left by them on the walls, from roof to vault, in the shape of inscriptions: coats of arms, and devices of varied kinds, are numberless. "A passage perilous maketh a port pleasant," and "Close prisoner 8 months, 32 weeks, 224 days, 5376 hours," are two of the inscriptions. I could muse for an hour on them both. Oh, what sorrow has sin brought into the world!
In Bowyer's Tower, according to tradition, and for aught I know, according to the records of the place, the duke of Clarence was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine, by order of Crookback Richard. When a boy, I learned to shudder at this and other inhumanities practised in the Tower.
The secret and subterranean passages of this strong hold used to be many, and no doubt a great part of them remain—noisome dungeons, dark and airless, flooded with water, and infested with vermin. Little-ease was a horrible place of confinement, and the Pit was a dark and wretched excavation, twenty feet deep.
I am now standing in the open space between the Grand Storehouse and the White Tower, and past events are flitting before me, strangely mingled in my thoughts. There is a tournament on the Tower Green; a press of knights, and a concourse of dainty dames. The massy walls give back the flourish of the trumpets. Minstrels and esquires, retainers, pages, and servitors crowd the place. The council chamber is filled. The sovereign is gorgeously attended in his palace. The drawbridge is up, the gates are closed, and glittering corslet and pike are reflected on the moat's dark waters. The secret dungeons are crowded; fetters, torturing-irons, and racks are ready; and officers, jailers, torturers, and executioners within call. A throng are assembled on Tower Hill, for there frowns the scaffold, and the richest and the best blood of the land is reeking on the soil.
I have passed through the Grand Storehouse, and gazed on its cannon and its mortars of wood, THE TOWER OF LONDON.
iron, and brass. I have ascended the Grand Staircase, and seen the various devices formed with pikes, pistols, bayonets, and other weapons, as well as the great depot of muskets. The Regalia, also, has been visited by me, and now I am on the top of Devilin's Tower, looking down on the new stone battery of six guns: the sentinel is regarding me attentively. Rusty locks, and harsh jarring hinges have turned for me. Trap-doors have been forced open for me, and I have visited the vaults and gloomy dungeons of the place, " by the taper dimly burning." In one of them the mouldy damp was an inch or two thick, and as white as wool. As I look round there seems to be sufficient matter for a century's meditations.
Once more I pass the guard at the entrance. Strange thoughts are crowding upon me as I leave the Tower. I entered it with a hatred of bondage, and I quit it with an increased love of freedom. In a country cottage, I could sing aloud for joy; but my thoughts are shadowy in this stronghold of power. There is that in its massy bulwarks that speaks of oppression, and a voice in the silence of its gloomy dungeons that tells of violence and blood. On Tower Hill I shall breathe more freely. Famous as is this shadowy pile, I like it not. Not always would I dwell within its moat-surrounded battlements for all the money that was ever coined within its walls: the atmosphere of the past has polluted it. Fit up the White Tower for my princely abode; clothe me with "purple and fine-twined linen;" give me the regalia for a bribe, and "ten thousand marks by the year" to keep up my state; and even then, if yecompel me to reside there always, I will not be master-general of the ordnance and constable of the Tower!
Since the above remarks were made, a terrible fire has destroyed the Grand Storehouse at the Tower. More than two hundred thousand stand of arms have been consumed, with other property to a very great amount. The flames were dreadful, flaring up high in the air, and melting into one amalgamated mass thousands of gunlocks, bayonets, and other arms. I have just spoken to a pious lady residing on Tower Hill, who, when told, on the night of the fire, that the surrounding neighbourhood would be blown up by the gunpowder in the magazine, was enabled calmly to reply, that such an event could not take place without God's permission, and again went to repose on her pillow. Oh, that we may be prepared for every trial; especially for that "day of the Lord" which will come "as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall meltwith fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up," 2 Peter iii. 10.
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL.
St. Paul's, the most gigantic, the most elevated, the most celebrated, and by far the most conspicuous building in London, is a fit edifice to be visited by a perambulator. It is, perhaps, the grandest church in the world, with the exception of St. Peter's at Rome. As an object of general interest, it is entitled to every consideration. In whatever part of the metropolis a stranger may be, he cannot long promenade the streets without catching a glimpse of this stupendous pile, which lifts its giant head and shoulders far above the buildings that surround it.
St. Paul's Cathedral stands in the wards of Castle Baynard and Farringdon, and in the parishes of St. Gregory and St. Faith. I am now looking up at the huge fabric, that somewhat oppresses me by its gigantic dimensions. The elegant iron balustrade that surrounds it, weighs, I am told, at the least, two hundred tons, and cost eleven thousand pounds.
The statue of Queen Anne, in the area, surrounded with the allegorical figures of Great Britain and Ireland, France and America; the