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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

''I was thinking' said Miss Frere


'What

for?'

'They held it to be in some sort a relic of heathen manners. Then under Charles II. it was set up again. And here, once, four thousand children were gathered and sang a hymn, on some public occasion of triumph in Queen Anne's reign.'

'It is not there now?'

'Oh, no! It was given to Sir Isaac Newton, and made to subserve the uses of a telescope.'

'How do you know all these things, Mr. Pitt.'

'Every London antiquary knows them, I suppose. And I told you, I have an old uncle who is a great antiquary; London is his particular hobby.'

'He must have had an apt scholar, though.'

'Much liking makes good learning, I suppose,' said the young man. 'A little further on is the church of St. Clement Danes, where Dr. Johnson used to attend divine service. About _here_ stands Temple Bar.'

'Temple Bar!' said Miss Frere. 'I have heard of Temple Bar all my life, and never connected any clear idea with the name. What _is_ Temple Bar?'

'It is not very much of a building. It is the barrier which marks the bound of the city of London.'

'Isn't it London on both sides of Temple Bar?'

'London, but not the City. The City

proper begins here. On the west of this limit is Westminster.'

'There are ugly associations with Temple Bar, I know,' said Miss Frere.

'There are ugly associations with everything. Down here stood Essex House, where Essex defended himself, and from which he was carried off to the Tower. _There_, in Lincoln's Inn fields, Thomas Babington and his party died for high treason, and there Russell died. And just up here is Smithfield. It is all over, the record of violence, intolerance, and brutality. It meets you at every turn.'

'It is only what would be in any other place as old as London,' said Mrs. Dallas. 'In old times people were rough, of course, but they were rough everywhere.'

'I was thinking'-- said Miss Frere. 'Mr. Dallas gives a somewhat singular justification of his liking for London.'

'Is it?' said Pitt. 'It would be singular if the violence were there now; but to read the record and look on the scene is interesting, and for me fascinating. The record is of other things too. See,--in this place Milton lived and wrote; here Franklin abode; here Charles Lamb; from an inn in this street Bishop Hooper went away to die. And so I might go on and on. At every step there is the memorial of some great man's life, or some noted man's death. And with all that, there are also the most exquisite bits of material antiquity. Old picturesque houses; old crypts of former churches, over which stands now a modern representative of the name; old monuments many; old doorways, and courts, and corners, and gateways. Come over to London, and I will take you down into the crypt of St. Paul's, and show you how history is presented to you there.'

'The crypt?' said Miss Frere, doubting somewhat of this invitation.

'Yes, the old monuments are in the crypt.'

'My dear,' said Mrs. Dallas, 'I do not understand how all these things you have been talking about should have so much charm for you. I should think the newer and handsomer parts of the city, the parks and the gardens, and the fine squares, would be a great deal more agreeable.'

'To live in, mother.'


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