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ROYAL VISIT TO THE CITY
AND SOUTH LONDON.
In June last, before the news of King Edward's illness came like a thunderbolt on the Empire, it was in- tended that on the day succeeding the original date fixed for the Coronation, there should be a Royal procession to th« City and through th? South of Lon- don. When their Majesties were hap- pily crowned in August, it was feared that the King's strength, would not bo sufficiently restored for it to take place *t the same time; but now, after His Majesty's tour and rest in tho invigo- rating air of the Scotch Highlands, it was decided that the procession should take place on October 25th.
..Buckingham Palace started from, and the Parks in front of it crossed, an idea, of the day's route will best be gained from picturing to one self's/London town aa being a paralell ogram. The» Thames, goes through its centre from west to east-as it were, the backbone of a long fish - and London, tit« London proper of continuous strcots and squares of buildings, clusters along this- river. Tho town may be twelve miles long from west to east, and eight miles aoross from north to south.
The route of to-day's procession ex- tends through the central part, the mercantile and financial part, " the City," crosses the river to the south, and sweeps round to Westminster, where) it crosses tho Thames, and back .toain to Buckingham Palace.
F.gom Trafalgar-square, the procer ?ion strikes away to-day due east. Pass- ing through Duncannon-street, a short street of no comparativo interest, it comes into the West Strand. Every phase of lifo is here, The shops aro of tho very best; it contains Coutts's Bank, tie bank of the aristocracy ; there is an arcade out of the Strand, tha Low- ther, in which axe no less than a hundred three-storeyed toy shops, the Mecca of urohins not yet in their teens; but, above and beforG all, it ii the centrai mart of theatrical people. More than a dosen theatres are in the Strand, or closely adjoining it. In the daytime it is thronged u ith dawdlers, male and fe- male, cither engaged at. the adjacent theatres, or "resting"-neglected geni- uses many of them no doubt in their own eyes. At midnight, when the theatres aro emptying, the Strand is one crush of people in evening dress, one whirl of cabs and carriages, and people hurry- ing to and from supper rooms' until 12.30 next morning.
Tho Strand, or shore, was in olden '.days washed by the tide of the Thames, I where its southern skte is now built «rer, and tho old «tone steps for boots .«till remain. To the right of the pro- cession; lies the Savoy, where there was once a, palace built' m 1245 (it was once .attacked by Wat Tyler), afterwards a hospital, and where there aro now a theatre and a luxurious hotel. The Sa ¡roy Chapel still remains, looking pic- turesque in a small garden. Most cu- rious built-over streets that are dark and subterranean, lead from tho Strand to the Thames, and on this side is the (region known as the AdeJphi, a head- quarters of mon of science^ and' of the Socioty of Arts. Simpson's Tavern, the 'headanarteT» of the chess players of the 'world, is on the» south -side of the»
At this point comen tho/Hotel Cecil!, . the enormous structure where the colo- nial Premiers stayed. It is in it. «elf quite ai little township, and was erected a, few years ago by Jabez Spen- cer Balfour, who intended it for palatial 'residential chambers.
. Oa the north side of the Strand the procession will have caught a glrnrpso of Govont Garden, which was a market in tho 13th century. Tho handsome streets around it are retlolont of theatres and .their accessories, while many of the boat ¡publishers hava their establishments
nero. It is at tho same time tho favour- ed locality-of vendors of Church vest- ments and fittings. As to tho market itself, the whole night through waggons laden with vegetables, fruit, and flowers aro creaking through the streets to it. At 4 a»m. it is alivo with reailers from other narts of London to purchase, and it is in its central hall that the Lon- doner pays 2s. 6d. the lb. for tomatoes .at Christmas, 6s. for a medium sized ¡pineapple, from Maderia, and 4d. or Gd. for the rosy cheokod Tasmanian apple.
Traeos of the Romans abound near tho Strand. One of thet semi-subterranean I by-ways leads to an old^ath let into the
.floor of a semi-dungeon. It was made .unquestionably by Romans, of cither Caesar's or Vespasian's time. Through numerous ccntrts and alloys to the north ,the slums of Drury-lano lie, a couple of ihundred yards away.
A stupendous Italian Paihtce wül bo passed. It covers a stretch of land that .takes a level quarter of an hour to walk .round. This ia Somerset Honso, and it has one frontage to the Strand, and another to the Thames. Once it was a DocaJ, and once a Royal Palace. In tho courtyard in its centre 2>000 soldiers can be drilled. Nowadays it accommodates 1,000 Government clerks who extort in rcotne tax, and attend to probato of ,wills. King's College adjoins it.
A curious feature of the Strand aro ,two very large and ancient churches that istand right in the middle of the road- way, splitting the traffic into two streams. Ono of them, designed by Sir Christo- pher Wren, was attended by Dr. John- son, and his pew is to this day proudly chown. _
This is the region where the Strand merges into Fleet-street, and the procès-, sion passes the newspaper offices still . istanding, where Charles Dickens, a pri- vat« school educated boy, with no parch- ment certificates to flourish, was engaged as a Parliamentary reporter : to bp later in life summoned to Buckingham Palace, and. conversed with bj; Queen Victoria, who offered to make him a Privy Coun-
After a life in which his pen had proved that an ounce of mother wit-is worth several tons of clergy. Dickens was buried among many other gifted literary men in Westminster Abbey.
On every hand are situated the legal Inns of Courts - miniature townlets en- tered through hage archways, guarded by janitors. They are composed of «¿roots and srpraren of offices, amid foun taim and gardens, and have their own .chapel, halls, and libraries. Immense properties contribuía tbe> revenue of their corporate funds. Their governing ¡bodies "call to the bar" budding law students, and make them barristers. King Edward is a bencher of the Temple, ¡the moat famous of the Inns. It itrrigfarated in bein« a camp for crusaders, ftfce Knight Templars' and veritable jcrnsadersr gnevea are now in it» church I« apparent ruin outside, bnt inside one (of 'the most exquisitely beautiful interi- ore in the,world. The black marble from
jPuTbeck used to restore some of the pil- lia» cost £70,000, and it possesses one of l<b» dozen finest organs in the .world - . real «Father Schmidt." Oliver Gold- smith's grave is a court in the Temple.
' OB tile opposite side of the procession l*ra the Law Courts. They comprise ¡jome 30 Supreme Courts placed in gal flecies roana a central hall. The frorat f«fe of some 600 fee* is one of the finest putes of Spanish Gothic in the world,
¡and -they cost nearly £5,000,000. I f The Griffin marking where Temple Bar ¡stood having been passed, the procession ¡i» ia the Fleet-street proper of the (boney comb «f printing machines from «ellar to attie that are ceaseless in their fwoir, and of the telegraph wires that /look like aa unlimited spider's web over- load. This is the Fleet-street of the (traffic that is so dense in the day that at can rarely proceed at more than walk- ing pace, that stops not the whole night rtlrough when "pubiisherB' red carts dash ?dans; continnoosfv like fire engines, and St is the street of the newspaper offices ¡4at etaae mt during tho 24 henrrs of the îday or night, nor on any one of the isaren day» of the week, save» for two or [three hours about midday oa Sunday. Fleet-street contains what was once a Royal Palace. It is now a hairdressing establishment, but all the trappings of royalty are emblazoned on its walls, and carefully preserved.
THE CITY PROPER.
Up Ludgate Hill the cavalcade pro- ceeds, passing the Old Bailey, ,-and
reaches: Sir Christopher Wren's levia- than if somewhat gloomy- cathedral, St. Paul's, with its dome
"A huge, dun cupola, like a fool's cap
On a fool's head j and there is London
It towers oiver and dwarfs- all other buildings. A church stood op its site in the days of Ethelbort, the present «di fice being commenced iu 1675, ."_d oc- cupying some 20 yoars in building at a cost of over £700.000. Bulky would be the Jrolume in which could he recorded nil of history that it has played a part
Ono side of the ohurchyarcl now is built up entirely with warehouses; the other is crowded with drapers' establish
From here, past St. Martin's lo Grand, tho chief postal and telegraphic offices, the cavalcado goes along Cheapside, the narrow thoroughfare principally of jew- ellers' shops, with, 'all around it, halls that would suffico for the town-halls of an ordinary town. Thoy aro those of the city companies. Bow Bells aro in Cheap- side, io bo bom within sound of which makes ono a Cockney.
Turning out of Cheapside, a little to tho left, tho Guildhall-and ecclesi- astical sort of a building, comprising Courts of Justice, a library and museum, and a. vast banqueting hall will bo the scene of a halt.
The Mansion House is reached, the Lord Mayor's official residence, which cost £70.000, where the fabled feasts aro hold, aud where each Lord Mayor's Day too Primo Minister makes au im- portant speech. With tho Bank of Eng- land, and the millions of gold in its vaults, opposite, the Mansion Houso is surrounded by banks and wealth beyond tho dreams of imagination.'
Passing Lombard-street, the cavalcade, by King William-street, reaches London Bridge, which cannot be crossed with- out the wayfarer passing a groy horse so tho reality as well-as the legend hath it. On the one hand is Billingsgate, with it« daily out-turn* of thousands of tons of fish, tho monument towering over it, tho Tower of London in tho distance, and on every hand milo upon milo of wharves, docks, and shipping. Tho Bridge is crossed, and the> region of hops, tho Borough, dived into. Describ- ing a loop on the south side of tho Thames, fcho procession will go through two or three miles of squalor, dingy, faded, shabby gentoeldom, and busy manufactories, the
"Boe-liko, bubbling, busy hum
Of cities that boil over with their
until Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury's residence, comes in sight. The Thames i= re-crossed by Westminster Bridge, nnd tho parks lead once moro to Buckingham Palace.
The route described is timk originally selected, and it was since officially an- nounced that it would bo Adhered to exactly, or as nearly as possible. The King's health, and the altered period of the- year, may cause some slight depar- tures from it.