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“About twenty years ago, when it was proposed to purify the medical profession from quackery and ignorance by legislative enactments, the late Dr, Gregory, of Edinburgh, published a letter on the subject, in which he remarked, that, ‘England is a free country, and the freedom which every freeborn Englishman chiefly values, is the freedom of doing what is foolish and wrong, and going to the devil his own way. This is strikingly exemplified in the present state of vaccination in Great Britain, compared with its state in other countries in Europe. In the latter, general vaccination was ordered by Government; no one who had neither cow-pock nor small-pox, could be confirmed, put to school, apprenticed, or married. Small-pox inoculation was prohibited. If it appeared in any house, that house was put under quarantine; and in one territory, no person with small-pox was allowed to enter it. By such means, the mortality from this disease, in 1818, had been prodigiously lessened. In Copenhagen, it had been reduced from 5500, during twelve years, to 158 during sixteen years. In Prussia, it had been reduced from 40,000 annually to 3000; and in Berlin, in 1819, only twenty-five persons died of this disease. In Bavaria, only five persons died of small-pox in eleven years; and in the principality of Anspach it was completely exterminated. In England, on the other hand-in England, the native country of this splendid and invaluable discovery, where every man acts on those subjects as he likes—crowds of the poor go unvaccinated; they are permitted not only to imbibe the small-pox themselves, but to 'go abroad and scatter the venom on those whom they meet. A few years ago it broke out in Norwich, and carried off more persons in one year than had ever been destroyed in that city by any one disease, except the plague. A similar epidemic raged in Edinburgh; and last year, it destroyed within one of 1300 persons in the London bills of mortality."
This document may be received as an epitome of general results, fully au. thenticated and confirmed in all parts of the world. Foreign climes have now more to fear from us than we from them; for it is in this enlightened nation alone, which gave birth to Jenner, that small-pox is cherished, and the existence of a loathsome disease, which is daily devouring its victims, and has ever been considered as the severest scourge to the human race, is shamefully and ungratefully nurtured. The unwillingness of the lower classes to receive the boon so readily conceded to them, of gratuitous vaccination, is deeply to be deplored. The full prophylactic property of this invaluable blessing is opposed by obstinacy, bigotry, and prejudice. The mild form of cow-pock presents an antidote by which neither suffering, mutilation, blindness, nor death, can supervene; it figuratively pourtrays the triumph of Innocence over Vice, or the ferociousness of the tiger subdued by the gentleness of the lamb!
LONDONIANA-THE STREETS. Among the endless variety of subjects for the pen of the “ ready writer” afforded by this immense metropolis, I do not recollect to have seen the streets touched upon. I do not mean in their brick garb and uninteresting profiles alone, but in the prominent characteristics of their eternally-moving scenery also. I believe Gay, the poet, has adverted to this subject, but not having his works at hand, I cannot tell in what mode he has handled it. Long years have elapsed since his time, the appearance of London is greatly changed, and fashions are entirely altered, so that it is most probable nothing bears now the aspect it did in his day. How curious to see a belle of the Augustan era of English literature, as it has been conceitedly denominated, and one of the present year, promenading side by side up Regent-street! How the fair sex would marvel at their sister of 1720, and the extraordinary spectacle her dress presented, though she were “Miss Meadows,” or “ dear Lepel” herself-though she were the prime beauty of the Court of St. James's, immortalized 'in song, as no dame of quality has ever been since.
Of all the works of man, the dwellings of the inhabitants of London are the most uncouth in aspect and the frailest in frame. The beaver's dwelling is an eternal edifice to their habitations of ill-burnt clay, united by a mixture of adhesive chalk-lime; their spongy timber, too, being peculiarly attractive of the dry-rot. They are calculated just to last the term of the lease of the ground on which their shallow foundations are laid. Fronts black from an atmosphere loaded with sulphur, or here and there brightened a little by what is called “ renovation,” which means their being washed, and then pointed with mortar, till they present the aspect of distorted chess-boards, justly formed a theme of reproach. Mr. Nash and Regent-street have broken in upon previous usage, and rudely interfered with the “ wisdom of our ancestors." A new era has begun, which, if it has brought no increase of durability to our urban residences, has at least the merit of increasing their external beauty. With all its failings, Roman cement is better than smoky brick; the harlequinade orders of Mr. Nash are beyond compare with the villainous ugliness of preceding civic architecture, not saying a word of the better proportions, nobler elevations, and more correct forms recently adopted. " Innovation," the ex-Chancellor's sworn enemy, has been fearfully at work of late. Reform has been busy in our streets. Liberal ideas have destroyed Swallow-street, (with all the associations so precious to thousands of recollections among its exiled inhabitants, as sundry cockney writers grieved, in their Jeremiads, on its disappearance.) Bills have passed the legislature to abrogate the brick fronts of the Flemish bond,* which came in with the Glorious Constitution of 1688. In short, our religion, constitution, and venerable brick-fronted houses, are going together—Catholicism, liberality, and Roman cement, bave formed a conspiracy, fatal to Magna Charta, and subversive of Protestant ascendency. At the time that venerable edifice of our forefathers, Exeter Change, was pulling to the ground, the Catholic Concession Bill was passing. Lords Winchelsea and Farnham were protesting, fulminating, and fighting; while Mr. Cross, with his wild beasts, and Mr. Clark, with his hardware, were grumbling and lamenting the devastation of their antique domicile, that rich example of the architectural wisdom and skill of our forefathers. .
On and prosper, Mr, Nash! we exclaim-build any thing but palaces, and thou shalt have our feeble applause! The streets of London already exhibit what a judicious reformation may do for a great metropolis. Let cavillers rail at details if they will; we desire the impartial to examine results, and they will confess the spirits of innovation and improvement have already worked miracles. Who, that has visited the Regent's Park, and walked down Regent-street, does not feel this to be true? Who remembers Charing Cross “part and parcel" of the old system, and will not allow that the tortuous strait there has been taken
• British bond, or the old mode of laying the bricks of buildings, was discarded for the Flemish on the accession of King William ; indeed, the fashion came over at the same time.
away to advantage, and that the buildings which have sprung up are preferable to those which were “consecrated” by the smoke and dirt of years? Is it not a happy exchange for the piled rubbish and scanty outlet of the olden time? Who sees the resurrection of St. Martin's magnificent pediment and desires its re-interment ?-- None! not even Lord Eldon himself, we will dare assert. Who, that has entered a crazy coach for the purpose of making speed into the city, though an aristocrat of the first water, and been jammed two hours in the narrow part of the Strand, does not applaud the Act of Parliament for widening it, and admit that the “ cursed liberality” of the time, to speak à la Newcastle, brings some solitary benefit in its train!
There are few but musi hail the different aspect of our metropolitan streets, where the hand of Improvement has been busy.; while there are none strangers to the variety of appearance our older thoroughfares present. Some are broad, dazzling with the splendour of their shops, and filled with busy passengers. These are mostly the great thoroughfares which run in a sort of parallel from Hyde Park-corner to the river, and thence to the East India Docks, nearly seven measured miles, and from Tyburn to Mile-end Road. Westward, the broad streets and ample pavements are trod by a different class of inhabitants from the narrow, gloomy avenues of the East, where traffic, scanty room, and mud of deeper blackness than that on the shores of the Styx, imparts its character to the Israelitish visages everywhere encountered. Of all the filth of all the cities we have ever seen, at home or abroad, commend us to the sable mud of the London thoroughfares on a damp day. It is the most uncompromising of pollutions; the most liberally bestowed with which a congregation of humanity was ever blessed. Battening upon its tenebrious exhalations, the thorough-bred cockney who travels (since steam-boats have come in, cockneys are no longer limited, in journeying, by Richmond to the West, and Greenwich eastward,) affects disdain at the dirtiness of foreign towns, and turns up his nose at odours in their streets, which are attar of roses to those which greet the nostrils in the Eastern part of his own metropolis. The pestiferous smells from the tallow-chandlers' and oilmen's shops in the midst of a July day, attempered, it is true, by the sulphurous smoke bearing thick showers of levigated coal in suspension, or depositing a never-ending shower of tenebrious particles, far exceed any thing we ever witnessed even amid the filthy streets of Lisbon. Barring the remains of a few dead dogs and cats, (and these may be found in great plenty in retired nooks and courts in London,) that city cannot outdo it. We speak now, of course, of the pleasant purlieus of Smithfield and the Barbican, of the Eastern alleys and Wapping, and not of the Western part. The pure cockney is principally a tenant East of Temple Bar, though he migrates occasionally, and to his domain these remarks are immediately confined ; not but that Drury-lane and St. Giles's have thoroughfares and culs de sac, that may vie with any in the Tower precincts, or Wapping, or Smithfield itself, on a drizzling day.
Amid the noise of vehicles that sets the stoutest nerves ajar, the man of traffic bustles on his way in the streets at the farther extremity of the metropolis, blending expressions mercantile with a brogue commercial or Judaic. Faces multiply there from all climates of the globe. The Lascar and Hindoo, the Mahometan and Greek, the Moor and
Negro, the Yankee and Armenian, render the scene motley enough from their varied costume.
At the West end comparative order and regality prevail. Gay equipages roll over smooth Macadamized avenues, as hollow beneath as the politeness of the inmates of these vari-formed vehicles. The five orders in Roman cement assume a patrician. appearance. The beau and belle ride by in luxurious ease, or promenade the ample pavements, surpassed for convenience by no other city in the world. All is ease and gentlemanly composure, the slow pace of rank and fashion being substituted for the hurry and bustle of the East end, while the sun, for an hour or two in the day, during the eight months' winter of the climate, breaks forth over Grosvenor-square and Park-lane, as if he were attracted by the superior appearance of the dieux mortels that sojourn in them. The very shopmen bave a stylish air, which, though not unimitated, is never attained at Whitechapel ; the smirking draper of Regent or Bond-street, being a totally distinct species of animal, a sort of retailing noble, compared with him of the Minories and Leadenhall.
Over the water, in the remote precincts of the Borough and the ultima Thule of St. George's Fields, there is a third species of biped which prevails, differing greatly in character from either of those before alluded to. In the Borougb, amid more than the dirtiness of Smithfield, the people look more ancient, savouring of the antiquity of mine host of the Talbot, but all chin-deep in worldly-mindedness ; while the poorer classes and inmates of the alleys are as squalid and miserable in appearance as their neighbours on the North side of the Thames. There is less elegance in the shops and houses. In fact, it seems a secondhand warehouse to the lords of commerce in the city. In every thing they seem to stick religiously to the venerable customs of our ancestors. It is as if they were determined that Innovation should never set its foot there, if they could avoid it, and that King James still governed in plenitude of glory. The new bridges, however, have caused dangerous reformations. In some quarters their avenues have intersected ancient lines, and proved fatal to things “ as they are." Around that glorious abuse of legislation, " the Bench," as it is called, a miserable race appears condemned to reside within certain limits, for the benefit of law officers and their jailer, and to await the issue of the Insolvent Court's decision. Placed, for not paying their debts, in a situation by which, if willing to pay, they are incapacitated for ever from fulfilling their wishes,--sad from hope deferred, and meagre from scantiness of fare, with a good sprinkling of knaves among them, they wander like ghosts on the shores of Lethe.
In the different thoroughfares and labyrinths of the “Fields,” a genus of vicious characters, dog-fighters, butchers, drovers, and marine storekeepers, may be met with, who seem to hold an intercourse only with the fag end of humanity.
He who has not penetrated into the retired courts and alleys which, by narrow entrances, frequently branch off from the great thoroughfares of London, can have little idea of the misery, filth, and vileness of the metropolis. Let the curious man leave his watch and best coat at home, and with but a few shillings in his pocket, to risk little loss, explore these dens of penury, nastiness, and low demoralization. He will, indeed, find matter of astonishment where he did not dream of its
existence; the state of the lower classes, in some of the more remote recesses of London, outdoes all that can be imagined of human wretchedness. The North American savage in his wigwam, surrounded by the majesty of nature, dark woods encircling him, and a glorious sky above, is a king to the beings to whom we allude. Little do the inmates of the luxurious chariots that roll by within a few yards of their dwellings, dream of the contrast to their own splendour presented by fellowbeings so near them. This state of misery and filth engenders the grossest vices. High rents mostly prevent the hire of the humblest apartments by one family only. Three or four are crowded together in a room, a medley of old and young of both sexes frequently, even without straw to repose upon,-a state to which the worst regulated of our prisons is a luxury. Thousands and tens of thousands sleep in this way every night; many never take off their apparel for weeks together. So far from Mr. Peel's statement of the increase of crime in London, being threefold more than that in the country, constituting matter for astonishment, it is rather marvellous how it is not more. When I have witnessed these scenes, I have thought that, contaminated as the morals of the metropolis are said to be, it is wonderful they do not lead to more ferocious vices. Misery is the parent of crime; want of separate lodgings ! fuel heavily taxed in an inclement climate, so that in the bitterest winters the poor are obliged to buy their meagre food ready cooked ! is it wonderful they should learn vice, and that the well-disposed, forcibly amalgamated with the abandoned, should soon become corrupt? These are causes sufficient to account for the multiplication of offenders against the laws—for that current of vice which flows on with incessant increase from the victims of penury, who, if it be contrary to their nature, are forced upon bad courses, to say nothing of the odious offences thus engendered against morals. How should it be otherwise, where the means of demoralization are co-operative with those by which existence itself is miserably sustained ? Every one must have been struck at times, in the better streets of the metropolis, in particular spots, at the miserable wretches, covered with filth and rags, who seem unaccountably to appear and disappear, no one knows whence coming or whither going.
The glazing and ornaments of some shops harmonize ill with the brick fronts and window-holes of others that rise near them, or sometimes remain over them; bere resembling a low range of stabling, there towering to four or five floors ; here worked up and pointed newly, there black with the dirt and smoke of a century. These incongruities, however, are rapidly disappearing. The renovated part of London is surpassingly excellent; and what Government has voted money to do, and still contemplates doing, will be the cheapest outlay the Exchequer ever issued.
Whoever wishes to see the streets of London in their most singular aspect should mount his horse and ride through them between three and four o'clock on a summer's morning. What a contrast do they present, compared with their appearance at the noon-day hour! their solitude is almost appalling. Now and then, a party of half a dozen persons may perchance be met returning home from the preceding night's revel. It seems, a city devastated by some dreadful calamity. The very watchmen are silent, and mostly asleep, in their boxes. The