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Goeffry, prince of Wales, in the year 1234, broke his neck in the vain attempt to escape from its massy walls; but I can walk away unquestioned and unopposed.
The savage yells and howlings of wild beasts used to resound in sullen echoes from the outward parts of the fortress, but the dens of the old menagerie are deserted. The Mint, also, once within the Tower has been, 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 Devilin'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, Lanthrone 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 Lanthrone Tower is clean swept away.
In 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, torturingirons 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, 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 depôt of muskThe 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; compel me to reside there always, and I would not even willingly 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 66 as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up," 2 Peter iii. 10.
SAINT 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 double rows of black marble steps; the noble portico of twelve Corinthian columns, and eight of the composite order above them; the triangular pediment, with a representation of St. Paul's conversion; the statue of St. Paul on the centre, with St. Peter, St. James, and the four Evangelists at the sides, are all well worthy of attention.
I remember to have heard an anecdote about the motto "Resurgam" on the south front. It is said, that when sir Christopher Wren was undecided about the motto he should choose, he had occasion for something to put under a stone that was about to be placed in a certain position, when a workman brought him a piece of an old tomb-stone, on which was graven the word Resurgam. This word was instantly adopted as the required motto. Whether this story be true or not, a more appropriate motto could scarcely have been found.
I have often gazed on the weather-bleached stone work of St. Paul's, especially on the south side, without being able to determine the rule, or the natural laws, by which such an effect has been produced. Many of the pillars and prominent parts of the building are, here and there, almost as white as if covered with whitewash; while the adjoining stone work is much more like ebony than ivory. The winds, the rains,