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INDEX TO VOL. XLI.
Amanuensis, The, 376, 443
Voyage to New South Wales, Notes of a, 340
Archaic and Provincial Words, &c., Poems, by Miss Barrett, noticed, 265
Poems, by Mrs. Butler, noticed, 268
Practical Guide for Mothers, noticed,
Protestant Episcopal Church in Ame-
rica, noticed, 268
Rambles in Germany and Italy, no-
First Latin Grammar and Exercises,
Selections from the Writings of Syd-
ney Taylor, noticed, 336
Springs of Beauty, The Three, no-
Henry de Clermont, noticed, 267
Three Questions, The, noticed, 130
Wallace, Bruce, and the Bard, no-
Nation, The Spirit of the, noticed, ticed, 406
Walter Clayton, noticed, 127
New Royal Exchange, Wilson's De- Wild Love and other Tales, noticed,
Young Widow, The, noticed, 396
THE MODERN BABYLON.
ORIGIN-PROGRESS-PRESENT CONDITION-CONTINUED RAPID EXTEN
SION-AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF LONDON. In proposing a series of papers under this title, illustrative of the wonders and mysteries of the greatest city in the world, it may be proper to devote an introductory chapter to the origin, progress, and present condition of London.
The origin of London, like that of most of our European cities of note, is lost in the mists of antiquity. Nor is it within the pale of probability, that the mystery in which the foundation of our mighty metropolis is enshrouded, will ever be cleared up. Geoffrey of Monmouth dates the origin of London so far back as the year 1108 before the Christian era. He tells us, with a gravity and confidence of manner which show that be entertained no doubt on the point, that it was founded in that year by Bruto, a lineal descendant of Æneas. He adds, that its first name was New Troy; being so called in memory of the wondrous exploits performed at the siege of Troy. This would give London an antiquity of nearly three thousand years. The idea of its having been founded upwards of a thousand years before the birth of Christ, and under the circumstances which Geoffrey of Moumouth mentions, is so exceedingly improbable, that no subsequent writer has referred to it, except for the purpose of exposing it to ridicule. Other authors speak of London as having been founded so far back as seven hundred years before the Christian era; but they have not been able to adduce any feasible reason for their belief. The only thing certain is, that it did exist before the birth of Christ, and that it was then the capital of the Trinobantes—a people generally supposed to have recently come from Belgium, and constituting one of the numerous small nations which then inhabited Britain. Some surprise has been expressed that Julius Cæsar should not have noticed London in his « Commentaries." The conclusion has been come to by several writers, that the reason of his silence is, that London was not in existence at the time of his mention of this country; which, as the reader is aware, was in the middle of the century immediately preceding the Christian era. The inference is not warranted by the facts of the case. The presumption rather is, that the Roman conqueror, though he must have passed it, did not visit London in the course of his hasty invasion of Britain. Several intelligent writers even doubt whether he ever crossed Sept. 1844.—vol. XLI.-NO. CLXI.
the Thames at all within many miles of London, there being then no bridges over the river, as indeed there could not be; for its waters, instead of being confined by embankments as at present, spread over the greater portion of the extensive tract of flat ground lying between Wandsworth and Greenwich. But though there can be no question that London existed for a considerable time before the invasion of Cæsar, it could only then have been a place of very inconsiderable importance: had it been otherwise, Cæsar would not have failed to visit and mention it. Besides, it is agreed on all hands, that the abodes of its inhabitants consisted of miserable huts constructed of wood and mud.
The site of the original London was the elevated ground on Ludgate Hill and eastward of St. Paul's. The station which the Romans first occupied, was in the well-known locality called St. George's in the Fields. At what time they passed over the river, and took possession of London, which they called Londinium, has not been satisfactorily ascertained. It must, however, have risen rapidly into importance, after having fallen into their hands; for Tacitus, the first accredited writer who takes notice of it, describes it in his “ Annals” as having been, in the year 62, in the reign of Nero, a “ place of the first distinction for the number of its resident merchants, and its traffic with other places.” It is supposed to have been taken possession of by the Romans under the emperor Claudius, about a century after the invasion of Julius Cæsar. The commercial eminence to which it 80 soon attained under the Romans, was in a great measure to be ascribed to the circumstance of its conquerors not converting it into a military colony, but giving it the advantage of many of the most valuable of their own institutions, and encouraging the pursuits of trade and commerce in every possible way. The Romans treated the Britons with the greatest generosity; never doing anything which could have a tendency to perpetuate the remembrance of their being a subjugated people, but doing all in their power to obliterate from their minds the recollection of so mortifying a circumstance. They met the Britons on a footing of perfect equality, studiously taught them the arts of civilization, and sought to raise them to a level with themselves.
London was thus rapidly improving in civilization, and rising in commercial importance, when, in the year 64, Boadicea, queen of the Britons, with a boldness and spirit unparalleled in the history of female heroism, attacked and captured the city. It would have been well had her clemency been equal to her courage; unhappily her cruelty was as great as her bravery. She massacred the whole of the inhabitants who did not succeed in escaping by flight, showing no mercy either to innocent children or to those whose heads were grey with years, and were already