« ElőzőTovább »
less anti-poetical than Lombard-street. Gray was born in Cornhill; and Milton in Bread-street, Cheapside. The presence of the same great poet and patriot has given happy memories to many parts of the metropolis. He lived in St. Bride's Church-yard, Fleetstreet ; in Aldersgate-street, in Jewin-street, in Barbican, in Bartholomew-close; in Holborn, looking back to Lincoln's-inn-Fields; in Holborn, near Red Lion-square; in Scotland-yard ; in a house looking to St. James's Park, now belonging to an eminent writer on legislation,* and lately occupied by a celebrated critic and metaphysician ;t and he died in the Artillery-walk, Bunhill-fields; and was buried in St. Giles's, Cripplegate.
Ben Jonson, who was born “ in Hartshorne-lane, near Charing-cross," was at one time “master” of a theatre in Barbican. He appears also to have visited à tavern called the Sun and Moon, in Aldersgatestreet; and is known to have frequented, with Beaumont and others, the famous one called the Mermaid, which was in Cornhill. Beaumont, writing to him from the country, in an epistle full of jovial wit, says,
Methinks the little wit I had, is lost,
The other celebrated resort of the great wits of that time, was the Devil tavern, in Fleet-street, close to Temple-bar. Ben Jonson lived also in Bartholomew-close, where Milton afterwards lived. It is in the passage from the cloisters of Christ's Hospital into St. Bartholomew's. Aubrey gives it as a common opinion, that at the time when Jonson's fatherin-law made him help him in his business of bricklayer, he worked with his own hands upon the Lincoln's-inn garden wall, which looks towards Chancerylane, and which seems old enough to have some of his illustrious brick and mortar remaining.
Under the cloisters in Christ's Hospital (which stands in the heart of the city unknown to most persons, like a house kept invisible for young and learned eyes)* lie buried a multitude of persons of all ranks ; for it was once a monastery of Grey Friars. Among them is John of Bourbon, one of the prisoners taken at the battle of Agincourt. Here also lies Thomas Burdett, ancestor of the present Sir Francis, who was put to death in the reign of Edward the Fourth, for wishing the horns of a favourite white stag which the king had killed, in the body of the person who advised him to do it. And here too (a sufficing contrast) lies Isabella, wife of Edward the Second,
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
Her “ mate’s” heart was buried with her, and placed upon
her bosom! a thing that looks like the fantastic incoherence of a dream. It is well we did not know of her presence when at school ; otherwise, after reading one of Shakspeare's tragedies, we should have run twice as fast round the cloisters at night-time as we used. Camden, “ the nourrice of antiquitie,” received part of his education in this school ; and here also, not to mention a variety of others known in the literary world, were bred two of the best and most deep-spirited writers of the present day, t whose visits to the cloisters we well remember.
In a palace on the site of Hatton-garden, died
* It has since been unveiled, by an opening in Newgatestreet.
+ Coleridge and Lamb.
John of Gaunt. Brook-house, at the corner of the street of that name in Holborn, was the residence of the celebrated Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brook, the “ friend of Sir Philip Sidney." In the same street, died, by a voluntary death of poison, that extraordinary person, Thomas Chatterton,
The sleepless boy, who perished in his pride.
He was buried in the workhouse in Shoe-lane ; circumstance, at which one can hardly help feeling a movement of indignation. Yet what could beadles and parish officers know about such a being ? No more than Horace Walpole. In Gray’s-inn lived, and in Gray's-inn garden meditated, Lord Bacon. In Southampton-row, Holborn, Cowper was fellowclerk to an attorney with the future Lord Chancellor Thurlow. At one of the Fleet-street corners of Chancery-lane, "Cowley, we believe, was born. In Salisbury-court, Fleet-street, was the house of Thomas Sackville, first Earl of Dorset, the precursor of Spenser, and one of the authors of the first regular English tragedy. On the demolition of this house, part of the ground was occupied by the celebrated theatre built after the Restoration, at which Betterton performed, and of which Sir William Davenant was manager. Lastly, here was the house and printing-office of Richardson. In Bolt-court, not far distant, lived Dr. Johnson, who resided also some time in the Temple. A list of his numerous other residences is to be found in Boswell.* Congreve died in Surrey-street, in the Strand, at his own house. At the corner of Beaufort-buildings, was Lilly's, the perfumer, at whose house the Tatler was published. In Maiden-lane, Covent-garden, Voltaire lodged while in London, at the sign of the White Peruke. Tavistock-street was then, we believe, the Bond-street of the fashionable world; as Bow-street was before. The change of Bow-street from fashion to the police, with the theatre still in attendance, reminds one of the spirit of the Beggar's Opera. Button's Coffeehouse, the resort of the wits of Queen Anne's time, was in Russell-street, near where the Hummums now stand; and in the same street, at the southwest corner of Bow-street, was the tavern where Dryden held regal possession of the arm-chair. The whole of Covent-garden is classic ground, from its association with the dramatic and other wits of the times of Dryden and Pope. Butler lived, perhaps died, in Rose-street, and was buried in Covent-garden churchyard ; where Peter Pindar the other day followed him. In Leicester-square, on the site of Miss Linwood's exhibition and other houses, was the townmansion of the Sydneys, Earls of Leicester, the family of Sir Philip and Algernon Sydney. In the same