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This picturesquely uniformed body originally formed part of the Yeomen of the Guard of Henry VII. Their popular name of "Beefeater" should properly be reserved for the military corps of the royal household, which was so dubbed in 1669 by Count Cosimo because of the large rations of beef which its members consumed. Some features of the dress of the Yeomen warders date from the time of Henry VIII, who, according to a familiar anecdote, wished them to look as fat as he.

The City-capitalized, please that square mile of money contained in the still traceable remnant of the Roman walls. Yet before mounting it is worth while to walk a few steps down a twisting, narrow lane, at No. 163a Strand, to the Roman bath. One might, if permitted, bathe in the stream of cold water that has gurgled through it for perhaps 1,700 years. The bricks, set in place by the Romans, are still to be found under the surfacing of marble taken from the bath of the Earl of Essex, once upon a time the unlucky favorite of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen herself may have taken a morning dip between these stones, when they were in place in the Essex manor near by. Few know of this bath, somehow, and fewer visit it. One would like to know why. SOMERSET HOUSE, WHOSE OWNER'S HEAD WAS CHOPPED OFF

As the bus rumbles and sways eastward, one sees two churches isolated in

the center of the Strand-St. Clement Danes (page 571) and St. Mary-le-Strand. Their beauty leaps to the eye in the midst of the turmoil. And here is Somerset House, of which the tourist rarely hears, although to my mind this huge, grayblack 18th-century quadrangle is one of the most majestic structures in Britain. The Lord Protector Somerset began its predecessor in 1547, and one is not sorry to know that he did not live to finish it, for his arrogant lordship pulled down the cloisters of Old St. Paul's for building

material.

Again we note that history is a living thing to its warders. Here wills are recorded and death duties paid and marriages registered, but to the old soldier at the gate the more important thing is that the Commons brought Somerset low. He positively smacked his lips:

"They chopped h'off 'is 'ead," he said.

He told us the vaults beneath are three stories deep, and men sometimes get lost

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in them for days. Because he wore a medal telling of gallantry in action and was lame I gave him an indefensible shilling. He immediately justified it:

"Sometimes," he said, "they do not get h'out for a fortnight."

WHERE FALSTAFF AND

SHALLOW ROAMED

On past the Law Courts, which suggest a de luxe version of Coney Island. Here Temple Bar once stood, decked at intervals for centuries with the heads of patriots and traitors. Even now the King of England must ask permission of the Mayor of the City of London before he can pass Temple Bar. One may query what would happen if he did not ask, but the question is fruitless. He always will (see, also, pages 588 and 591).

Humphrey Joel

THE DOMESDAY BOOK AND THE CHEST IN WHICH IT WAS FORMERLY KEPT

These two parchment volumes in the Public Record Office Museum contain the results of a statistical survey of England made in 1086 by order of William the Conqueror.

In the rear of the cheesecakery Law Courts once stood Clement's Inn, where Falstaff and Shallow "heard the chimes by midnight." One is disposed to abandon the bus here for a moment, only to find his steps drawn, as by a magnet, from one historic spot to another.

THE CHIEF SIGHT IN LONDON-THE DOMESDAY BOOK

Lincoln's Inn Fields, which one reaches through a maze of little streets behind the Law Courts, will be a surprise to me each time I see them, if that be ten times a day, for in the clattering center of the city they are as quiet as a country churchyard. In the 12 acres of the Fields duelists used to meet, but now peaceful old

sters dream away the days on the benches beneath the great plane trees.

Across the Fields lies the thirteenthcentury Lincoln's Inn, where each night curfew is rung upon a bell brought from Cadiz in 1596 by the Earl of Essex. One walks down Chancery Lane to the Tudor Building, in which is the Public Record Office. It was in a previous incarnation the House of Converts, intended as a place of worship for apostates from the Jewish faith.

According to the materially minded exsergeant who acted as our cicerone, when the church authorities ceased to pay boun

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

This picturesquely uniformed body originally formed part of the Yeomen of the Guard of Henry VII. Their popular name of "Beefeater" should properly be reserved for the military corps of the royal household, which was so dubbed in 1669 by Count Cosimo because of the large rations of beef which its members consumed. Some features of the dress of the Yeomen warders date from the time of Henry VIII, who, according to a familiar anecdote, wished them to look as fat as he.

Yet

The City-capitalized, please-that square mile of money contained in the still traceable remnant of the Roman walls. before mounting it is worth while to walk a few steps down a twisting, narrow lane, at No. 163a Strand, to the Roman bath.

One might, if permitted, bathe in the stream of cold water that has gurgled through it for perhaps 1,700 years. The bricks, set in place by the Romans, are still to be found under the surfacing of marble taken from the bath of the Earl of Essex, once upon a time the unlucky favorite of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen herself may have taken a morning dip between these stones, when they were in place in the Essex manor near by. Few know of this bath, somehow, and fewer visit it. One would like to know why. SOMERSET HOUSE, WHOSE OWNER'S HEAD WAS CHOPPED OFF

As the bus rumbles and sways eastward, one sees two churches isolated in

the center of the Strand-St. Clement Danes (page 571) and St. Mary-le-Strand. Their beauty leaps to the eye in the midst of the turmoil. And here is Somerset House, of which the tourist rarely hears, although to my mind this huge, grayblack 18th-century quadrangle is one of the most majestic structures in Britain. The Lord Protector Somerset began its predecessor in 1547, and one is not sorry to know that he did not live to finish it, for his arrogant lordship pulled down the cloisters of Old St. Paul's for building material.

Again we note that history is a living thing to its warders. Here wills are recorded and death duties paid and marriages registered, but to the old soldier at the gate the more important thing is that the Commons brought Somerset low. He positively smacked his lips:

"They chopped h'off 'is 'ead," he said.

He told us the vaults beneath are three stories deep, and men sometimes get lost

in them for days. Because he wore a medal telling of gallantry in action- and was lame-I gave him an indefensible shilling. He immediately justified it:

"Sometimes," he said, "they do not get h'out for a fortnight."

WHERE FALSTAFF AND

SHALLOW ROAMED

On past the Law Courts, which suggest a de luxe version of Coney Island. Here Temple Bar once stood, decked at intervals for centuries with the heads of patriots and traitors. Even now the King of England must ask permission of the Mayor of the City of London before he can pass Temple Bar. One may query what would happen if he did not ask, but the question is fruitless. He always will (see, also, pages 588 and 591).

[graphic][merged small]

THE DOMESDAY BOOK AND THE CHEST IN WHICH IT WAS FORMERLY KEPT

These two parchment volumes in the Public Record Office Museum contain the results of a statistical survey of England made in 1086 by order of William the Conqueror.

In the rear of the cheesecakery Law Courts once stood Clement's Inn, where Falstaff and Shallow "heard the chimes by midnight." One is disposed to abandon the bus here for a moment, only to find his steps drawn, as by a magnet, from one historic spot to another.

THE CHIEF SIGHT IN LONDON-THE DOMESDAY BOOK

Lincoln's Inn Fields, which one reaches through a maze of little streets behind the Law Courts, will be a surprise to me each time I see them, if that be ten times a day, for in the clattering center of the city they are as quiet as a country churchyard. In the 12 acres of the Fields duelists used to meet, but now peaceful old

sters dream away the days on the benches beneath the great plane trees.

Across the Fields lies the thirteenthcentury Lincoln's Inn, where each night curfew is rung upon a bell brought from Cadiz in 1596 by the Earl of Essex. One walks down Chancery Lane to the Tudor Building, in which is the Public Record Office. It was in a previous incarnation. the House of Converts, intended as a place of worship for apostates from the Jewish faith.

According to the materially minded exsergeant who acted as our cicerone, when the church authorities ceased to pay boun

ties for captured souls the supply of converts ran out and the chapel was put to other uses.

It is here that I would come if I had liberty to visit but one place in London. Here is the Domesday Book (see page 563), in which every plow and spade in England was set down, much to the distaste of the ex-sergeant. He seemed to think that William the Conqueror might have been in better business. And here are the contrasting signatures of Guy Fawkes, which carry one back to the cruel old days. When he signed his first confession, weak from torture, he fainted just as he put pen to paper. Only a brown smear of ink represents the "Fawkes." A few days later, his pain-wracked body having been restored by rest, his hand was steadier.

The ex-sergeant was a cynic, I fear, for he hurried us to a letter written by the Earl of Essex while he was in disgrace with the Good Queen Bess. "Listen to the wye 'e signs it," said the guide, and, rolling the syllables under his tongue, he told them off:

"Hast, paper, to that happy presence whence only unhappy I am banished. Kiss that fayre correcting hand which layes new plasters to my lightest hurts, but to my greatest woond applyeth nothing. Say thou camest from shaming, languishing, dispairing S. X."

The ex-sergeant smacked his lips. "W'en 'e wrote that 'e was 32 years old and she was 69!"

If I were the King of England, which I will never be if I have my rights, I would hang the first shack-building speculator who laid an impious hand on Clifford's Inn. Yet the old inn of Chancery is going. Some of it has already been built over, and there is a "For Sale" sign on the rest, yet one can still see what a charming place to the eye- medieval England must have been.

The crazy-flag walks that cross its cobbled pavements are growing with grass, for only an occasional messenger or a straying tourist marches on them now. A row of quiet houses remains, perhaps as they were when the inn was built, in 1345, for only one-No. 13 by a superstitious. chance was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666.

Another equally aged row is to be found

in Neville's Court near by, where are prefire houses hidden in tiny gardens behind brick walls. We found them while hunting for the Moravian Chapel, dating from the 1730's, and on which the Moravians hold a lease that has still 250 years to run. Not that this is at all surprising in London. Only the other day in Mayfair I found a fashionable house I might have for the term of 934 years.

Right alongside Clifford's Inn is Fetter Lane, where Praisegod Barebones lived, and one walks back to Fleet Street by way of Gough Square, in which is the house where Dr. Samuel Johnson, the tutelary divinity of this region, drenched with printer's ink, worked out his dictionary. It is furnished as it may have been in Johnson's time.

Before we climbed to the bus again we did what all Americans in London do, ate lark pie in the Cheshire Cheese. My heart misgave me at first, for a little, tender, innocent lark should not be sacrificed for a pie. But I feel better now, for the larks seemed to have been about the size of pigeons.

In any case, the Cheshire Cheese should be seen, for it has been preserved, alone among the public houses in London, so far as I know, as it probably was in Johnson's day, although the authority for declaring it one of Johnson's haunts seems to rest on insufficient authority.

"THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SMALL CHURCH IN CHRISTENDOM”

Through a tunnel-like passage we returned to Fleet Street, on the other side of which lies Prince Henry's Room. There is no proof that the boy ever lived here who said of Sir Walter Raleigh, "No one but my father would keep such a bird in such a cage," when Raleigh was in the Tower; but one is cheered out of spitefulness by the beauty of the room. The house was built in 1610 and by a miracle escaped the Great Fire.

Through a gateway one enters the Temple, with its memories of Goldsmith and Lamb. It was before a great fire in the Benchers' room that Sir Christopher Hatton so won Queen Elizabeth by his dancing that she took what is now Hatton Garden away from the Bishops of Ely and gave it to him.

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