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Russias watching and weeping over the death-bed, and closing the eyes of Patrick Gordon of Auchluichries.
General Gordon is forgotten equally in the land of his nativity, and in the land of his adoption -sic transit gloria mundi. He was twice married to ladies of Dutch or German families, the daughters of officers in the Russian service, and had three sons, and two daughters, who were grown up. The sons turned out ill, or, at least, did not prosper in Russia, and were lost sight of. One daughter was married to a Russian, and her descendants, also, were mingled and lost in the mass of the Russian population. The other daughter married a Colonel Strasburg in the Russian service, and, on his death, came with her children to live with her father, and afterwards married a relation, Alexander Gordon, who was a major in General Gordon's regiment. Alexander Gordon, on the death of his father in Scotland, returned, in 1711, to his patrimonial estate of Achintour in Aberdeenshire, and died in 1752. He had attained the rank of Major-general in the Russian service. He was a man of considerable talent, and published a Life of Peter the Great, which was translated into German. A Life of General Gordon from 1684 to 1698, probably by the same author, was published in English, but the book is very scarce, and we do not remember to have seen it. Several works concerning General Gordon and his campaigns have appeared in the Russian language, being translations into Russian of Stritter's mutilated translation into German of General Gordon's original Diary written in the Scottish dialect of his times. It is to be regretted that the editors of the work before us, M. the Prince Obolenski and Dr. Posselt, have not published this important Diary to a later date than 1695; for during the four years, from 1695 to 1699, in which the Russian empire was extended to, and established on, the Don, the sea of Asof, the Euxine, and was secured from internal military insurrection, he was the commander-in-chief, the counsellor, the bosom friend of Peter the Great, developing and executing plans devised by, and only known to, himself and the Czar. In the second volume of this work, published in 1851, two years after the first volume, the editors promise a third volume in the course of a year or two, containing the remaining and most important portion of Gordon's Diary from 1695 to 1699, and also much of his private correspondence. We are unable to say whether this promise has been fulfilled, or whether the political considerations and agitation which the Russian aggression upon the Ottoman Empire was beginning, in 1852, to awaken throughout Europe, may have suspended the publication. It is but justice to
the Russian government to state that every assistance was given to the editors of the two volumes before us, both by access to such of the volumes of the manuscript as were in the Imperial Library at Moscow, and by searching for, and purchasing such of the volumes of the manuscript as were in the possession of private persons. The government encouraged the translation into Russian of Stritter's German version of Gordon's Diary, as a useful hand-book for the army and public functionaries. It would be a graceful acknowledgment of the important services rendered by this remarkable officer to the imperial dynasty of Russia, if the Russian government would now publish this Diary or autobiography in its original Scottish dialect or Aberdeenshire brogue, retaining the valuable notes and explanations that Prince Obolenski and Dr. Posselt have appended to it.
ART. III.—1. London in the olden Time. By WILLIAM NEWTON. London: 1855.
2. Post Office London Directory. London: 1856.
3. Reports and Tables relating to the Census of 1851. Presented by the Census Commissioners in 1851-2-3-4.
4. The Food of London; a Sketch of the chief varieties and supply of Food for a community of two millions and a half. By GEORGE DODD. London: 1856.
THE growth of a great city is one among the many curious though unmarked characteristics of the progress of society -unmarked because the changes are made, not suddenly, but by the addition of units to thousands. As the brothers and sisters who assemble around a domestic fireside are scarcely conscious of the advance of each of them from childhood to adolescence, because the change affects equally the observer and the observed; as those who dwell beneath the shadow of the oak scarcely heed its annual growth-so do the inhabitants of a gradually extending city fail to detect the daily increase which is going on around them. The amount of this increase on any day, in any week, or even in any month, is too small to attract attention; the London of to-day, to him who resides in it, is the same as the London of last week; for it is only after years have passed that the small increments accumulate to a total of appreciable magnitude. Say that an inhabitant of the central part of a growing city seeks a field-walk, be
yond its noisy, trading, smoky, crowded limits: no one week or month presents any obstacles to his progress very different from those which existed in the preceding week or month; but let him glance back to his experience in early yearslet the man recall the half-holiday gambols of the boyand what is then the picture? The old familiar field is cut up; the favourite blackberry hedge is cut down; the path along the mill-stream is closed; the well-remembered windmill has given place to a railway-station; the footway across the waving corn is no more; the stream in which he bathed is bordered by terraces and villas; the turnpike is gone; the little country alehouse at the corner has become a splendid ginpalace; the cricket field has been covered by a Building Society with poverty-stricken houses; the green lane has probably become Victoria Street, leading to Albert Square:'-indeed the change is almost oppressively palpable, when the recollections of boyish years are thus appealed to.
The Metropolis of England naturally takes the lead in the manifestation of such phenomena, by its enormous dimensions, vast accumulation of houses, and numerous population. Whether or not it be true, as some authorities have asserted, that Moscow, before the conflagration of 1812, covered more ground than London, on account of the large gardens attached to the principal houses, it is nearly certain that no other city covers forty square miles of area; and it is still less disputable that no other city presents so dense a mass of buildings as London. Curious, too, is it to observe that the elasticity, the expansibility, of this metropolis attracted the attention of observers two or three centuries ago, much in the same way as at present witness Freeman's Epigram on London's Pro'gress.'
'Why how now, Babell, whither wou'dst thou build ?
Are going to St. Giles his in the Field;
Saint Katerne, she takes Wapping by the hand.
I think she means to go to Islington,
To eate a messe of strawberries and creame.'
The citty's sure in progresse I surmise,
Or going to revell in some disorder
Without the walles, without the liberties,
Where she need fear nor mayor nor recorder.'
Freeman doubtless considered that this was pleasant banter, called forth by the rapidly increasing dimensions of London;
but he probably little dreamed how nearly the most extravagant of his guesses would be realised-nay, how much overpassedin the nineteenth century.
Although a Map of London may, to the eye, illustrate better than any tabulated pages the growth of the Metropolis, there are nevertheless two other sources of information which afford curious evidence on this matter. These are, first, the whole group of Directories, in all their wide diversities; and, secondly, the curious details and tables furnished by the Census Commissioners. A directory of London is in some sense a memoir of the Map of London-but only to a limited degree; for the maps extend much farther back than the directories, while the descriptions were yet earlier than the maps.
Before the construction of maps in the Tudor times, the extent of London could be arrived at only inferentially from scattered notices, few and indefinite. If the speculations of Sir Christopher Wren were correct- and there are not wanting many evidences in support of his opinion-that the whole of the valley comprised between Camberwell and the Essex hills was at one period a great frith or estuary of the sea, a natural reason may be assigned for the locality of the original metropolis of England. A spot just below London would in that case be practically the mouth of the Thames-all below or eastward of this limit being sea rather than river, salt water rather than fresh. There is, too, sufficient elevation in the ground, at this point on the north bank of the Thames, to render it suitable as a place of defence, and afterwards as the locality for a busy town. To archeologists and philologists must be left the discussion of the question whether the word 'London' implies town ' in a wood,' 'populous town,'' town in a plain,'' ship town,' or any other characteristic which has been made the subject of hypothesis: whether London, in short, before the Roman times, was really a considerable town, or only a grouping of houses around a landing place for craft ascending and descending the river. At best it could scarcely have been more than an assemblage of huts upon a dry spot in the midst of marshes, or upon a cleared space in a wood, bounded on the land side by earthen defences. A probable surmise is, that ante-Roman London could not have extended further than the Tower on the east, Dowgate on the west, and Lombard and Fenchurch Streets on the north-using the familiar modern designations of these places. Immediately beyond these limits, was unquestionably much fenny land; and on the north a large forest, part of which remained in the time of Henry II. During the six
hundred years of Roman influence in Britain, London must have extended widely-how widely we shall hardly know until a dozen more new broad streets shall have been constructed; for the digging up of old foundations is every year furnishing additional proof of the town-building powers of that remarkable people.
Let the Wall of London have been constructed at what period it may, it tells little concerning the extent of the Metropolis even at that time; for neither was it essential that the whole of the included area should be built upon and inhabited, nor that the exterior belt of country should remain unoccupied. But, without going back to those dusky times, there is abundant evidence that London was regarded as a mighty city centuries ago- mighty in wealth, size, and influence.
The English sovereigns in the Tudor ages viewed with uneasiness the rapid extension of the Metropolis: and the same feeling disturbed some of the Stuarts. Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I. all made attempts to stay its growth. Elizabeth issued a proclamation in 1580, forbidding the construction of any but large and fine houses within a certain distance of the city. One of the quaint conceits of King James was, that the growth of the Capital resembleth that of the head of a ricketty child, in which an excessive influx of humours draineth and impoverisheth the extremities, and at the same 'time generateth distemper in the overloaded parts.' And Charles I., in certain of his proclamations, forbade the entertainment of additional inmates in houses already existing. All such repressive means, however, were powerless; the land owners and leaseholders broke the rules, built new houses, paid the fines, and threw the burden upon the rental.
The topography of the metropolis in the Tudor ages has lately been presented to view in an elaborate manner by Mr. William Newton, author of a Display of Heraldry;' a map and a memoir being employed to illustrate each other, and the two together serving as a picture of London in the time of Henry VIII., before the dissolution of the monasteries. The map is on an ample scale, measuring about 5 feet by 3; and the memoir accompanying it occupies 120 folio pages. For ecclesiastical, as contradistinguished from commercial purposes, this map possesses great value, as it indicates the localities of all the churches and monasteries then existing in and near London, Westminster, and Southwark; but in truth it professes to include public buildings and places of all kinds. The trustworthiness of such a revival or restoration' must of course depend on the industry and sagacity with which old authorities