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London's mighty monument of glass and iron was designed by Sir J. Paxton on the plan of a large conservatory. It is the scene of concerts, exhibitions, and festivals, and is a vast museum of sculpture and of objects of mechanical and scientific interest. During the World War the Royal Naval Division was trained here, and in 1919 it served as a demobilization station.

along with the sons and daughters of charwomen and night watchmen who also see daylight in Buckingham Parish, ten know that Nelly Gwyn lies buried there.

It is extraordinary, by the way, the influence this naughty little wench had on the London of her day. No one thinks of defending her. She is not even apologized for, any more than the Year of the Great Wind or Twickenham Ferry. She seems merely to be loved. The other day

her thimble was found and identified in a house in Chelsea, and all London seemed to wear a half smile. The old women, who because they sell blossoms on the isles in Piccadilly Circus are called flower

girls (see page 557), cherish her tradition. Americans, however, being doubly handicapped by a different accent and a suspected light-mindedness, will do well to approach these flower girls deftly. Some of them still uphold the bluffer English standards of retort.

One keys in to London's past and present at Trafalgar. Where Northumberland Avenue enters the Square stood that Northumberland House in which lived the lady of whom Suckling wrote,

"Her feet beneath her petticoat Like little mice stole in and out"; and next it is the Constitutional Club, where men of the most extraordinary

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A BASTION OF THE ANCIENT ROMAN WALL IN THE CHURCHYARD OF ST. GILES The wall which once encircled London was from 9 to 12 feet thick and 20 feet high and traditionally dates from the fourth century. The church is the burial place of John Milton.

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This curious burial ground, situated close to the Victoria Gate entrance to Hyde Park, contains only the pets of the aristocracy. It has been in existence some 40 years and was the idea of the late Duke of Cambridge. All the graves have neat stone borders and are planted with flowers.


dignity may be seen being served at table by pontiffs of a sort. In a little house which once stood here Ben Jonson wrote "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes," which some people hold to be one of the finest ballads in the English language, though deprecating the sentiment. Heine and Ben Franklin and Charles Dickens have roomed close by.



From Trafalgar, too, the visitor can peer through the fine Admiralty Arch down the Mall, at the farther end of which stands. Buckingham Palace. Eventually he will discover this to be a large and almost violently ugly stonefronted building behind a tall wroughtiron fence, and that time is wasted on it except during those stirring moments when the soldier

Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams LONDON'S FLOWER GIRLS HAVE GROWN UP (SEE TEXT,

guard is changed (see page 576).

He may recall that it was down the Mall that Charles I walked to the headsman's block, and that it was named after the French game of paille maille that Charles II played upon it. But more interesting, to my mind, is the story of the colloquy between Queen Caroline and the elder Walpole. She wished to close St. James's Park, through which the Mall


"How much would it cost," she asked, "to keep the public out?"

He replied with the most excellent courtesy,

"Only three crowns, Madame." Almost in front of St. Martin's-it was

PAGE 555)

truly in the fields when Nelly Gwyn was buried there-stands the hopelessly uninspired statue of Nurse Edith Cavell.

Across the Square is that of Charles I, perhaps the finest equestrian figure in London. One bridges centuries of English history by a glance at it. Queen Eleanor's Cross first stood upon this site the twelfth, or was it the thirteenth? cross erected by the sorrowing King Edward I to mark the places where her casket was set down for the night on the long route from Lincoln to her tomb in Westminster. That was in the thirteenth century.

The Puritans tore it down during the Commonwealth. After the execution of

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It is a gift rather than a trick to balance twenty bushel baskets on one's head and walk gayly through the crowd.

Charles I, his statue was sold by Parliament to a brazier to be melted down or broken up. The owner hid it in his back garden, however, and made a fortune by selling as souvenirs bits of old metal which were presumably fragments of the statue. Then royalty came again and it was placed upon its present site, which had first been prepared by the execution there of several regicides.

In the courtyard of Charing Cross Station that place of heartbreaks, from which so many English soldiers left for France during the World War-stands a doubtful replica of Queen Eleanor's Cross. It is not much to look at, but it does at least recall a royal love story.


Much is to be seen hereabouts in the compass of a short walk before definitely embarking on a cruise through London's streets. A turn to the left leads to Maiden Lane, where Voltaire and Turner once lived. One may pause at Rule's oyster house for a snack, not because of hunger, but because this has been the resort of English actors since 1750. Fielding and Pope and Goldsmith used to frequent it when it was "The Bedford Head" and the home of the Reunion Club. A vast white painted door, set with brass like the quarter-deck of a yacht, a populous bar behind which two lively maids are busy, a great fire under a marble mantelpiece.

Just around the corner is Covent Garden, once the convent garden of the Abbey of Westminster. It has been the great market for fruits and vegetables ever since 1634. A lively, sad, industrious place, in which the costers' donkeys furnish the comic relief. Under the great Piazza, which was a century ago London's most fashionable walk, old women sit all summer long shelling peas. Something of a comedown from the patches and ruffles, the smallswords and the snuff.



It is to be feared the Covent Garden At all Opera has somewhat declined. events, when we visited the fine old house two jazz bands were offering interminable tom-tomming for a horde of dancers.

Here is Bow Street and its police sta

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LONDON COSTERS IN FULL REGALIA The coster has an entirely original style of dress, which is worn only on important occasions, such as upon attendance at the Derby or on bank holidays, at Hampstead Heath.

tion, where the scarlet waistcoats of the "Bow Street runners" gave the world its first idea of a uniformed police force-or so Bow Street says.

On the Russell Street corner is Will's Coffee House, where Dryden sat in judgment on plays, and which is just as it used to be, above the street level. Charles Lamb lodged at No. 20 Russell Street and the National Sporting Club, most aristocratic of boxing clubs, is at 43 King Street. At No. 4 York Street De Quincey wrote his "Confessions." I do not apolo

gize for this guidebook-like catalogue. Half the charm of London is in its history.

Pass the Savoy and the Cecil hotels and dive down Carter's Lane to the Victoria Embankment, of which every writer on modern London has had something to say. All historic ground here. Here is the York Water Gate, far in on dry land, through which boats once landed wigged and furbelowed freight for York House. The Adelphi Terrace, built by the four brothers Adam on the Adelphi Arches, whose

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