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in 1652, the great architect Inigo Jones breathed his last ; and here, six years later, the body of the arch-regicide, Oliver Cromwell, lay in state. When the happy monarch, who “never said a foolish thing, and never did a wise one,” once more regained his throne, his mother, the dowager queen, returned to her old palace at Somerset House, and for five years kept court there. During this period she made great alterations and improvements, which Waller, the celebrated poet, commemorated in these lines :

“ Constant to England in your love
As birds are to their wonted grove;
Though by rude hands their nests are spoil'd,

There the next spring again they build." In 1665 the ill-used Catherine of Braganza resided here until she returned to her native country after the death of her faithless husband.

In October 1678 Sir Edmundsbury Godfrey, the great Protestant martyr, so the story goes, was murdered within these walls. The witnesses against his supposed murderers declared that he was waylaid and inveigled into the palace under the pretence of keeping the peace between two servants that were fighting; that he was strangled, his neck broke, and his own sword run through his body, and that he was kept four days before they ventured to remove him, and was then taken in a sedan chair to Primrose-hill. Popular fury ran high against the suspected murderers, and the men were executed, asserting their innocence to the moment of death.

From this period to 1763 the palace was used for the entertainment of foreign envoys. French, Dutch, Russian, and Venetian ambassadors followed each other in rapid succession, and held high revel in these stately halls.

And here the history of the old building ends, and with it the interest of the spot. The modern building, though a handsome pile, has no great or romantic association connected with it. It was erected in 1776 by Sir William Chambers, and has been used ever since for public offices. Perhaps the most interesting incident connected with it is the fact that here, from 1780 to 1830, the Royal Academy of Arts displayed its treasures, and Sir Joshua Reynolds delivered his last and best lecture.

I must now conclude. What I have written has been but a sketchy and incomplete outline of certain historical events connected with our walk up the Strand. It is but one page out of thousands that might be written upon the ruins of old London; but yet, though sketchy and incomplete, I hope I have succeeded in pointing out clearly to my readers the rich mine of gold that lies at our feet, only waiting to be explored.


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CHAPTER I. THE GEORGE AND DRAGO N. The pretty little town of Golden Friars-standing by the margin of the lake, hemmed round by an amphitheatre of purple mountain, rich in tint and furrowed by ravines, high in air, when the tall gables and narrow windows of its ancient graystone houses, and the tower of the old church, from which every evening the curfew still rings, show silvery-white in the moonbeams, and the black elms that stand round throw moveless shadows upon the short level grass—is one of the most singular and beautiful sights I have ever seen.

There it rises, as from the stroke of the enchanter's wand,' looking so light and filmy, that you could scarcely believe it more than a picture reflected on the thin mist of night.

On such a still summer night the moon shone splendidly upon the front of the George and Dragon, the comfortable graystone inn of Golden Friars, with the grandest specimen of the old inn-sign, perhaps, left in England. It looks right across the lake; the road that skirts its margin running by the steps of the hall-door, opposite to which, at the other side of the road, between two great posts, and framed in a fanciful wrought-iron border splendid with gilding, swings the famous picture of St. George and the Dragon, gorgeous with colour and gold.

In the great room of the George and Dragon, three or four of the old habitués of that cozy lounge were refreshing a little after the fatigues of the day.

This is a comfortable chamber, with an oak wainscot; and whenever in summer months the air is sharp enough, as on the present occasion, a fire helped to light it up; which fire, being chiefly wood, made a pleasant broad flicker on panel and ceiling, and yet did not make the room too hot.

On one side sat Doctor Torvey, the doctor of Golden Friars, who knew the weak point of every man in the town, and what medicine agreed with each inhabitant—a fat gentleman, with a jolly laugh and an appetite for all sorts of news, big and little, and who liked a pipe, and made a tumbler of punch at about this hour, with a bit of lemon-peel in it. Beside him sat William Peers, a thin old gentleman, who had lived for more than thirty years in India, and was quiet and benevolent, and the last man in Golden Friars who SECOND SERIES, VOL. H. F.S. VOL. XII.


wore a pigtail. Old Jack Amerald, an ex-captain of the navy, with his short stout leg on a chair, and its wooden companion beside it, sipped his grog, and bawled in the old-fashioned navy way, and called his friends his hearties.' In the middle, opposite the hearth, sat deaf Tom Hollar, always placid, and smoked his pipe, looking serenely at the fire. And the landlord of the George and Dragon every now and then strutted in, and sat down in the high-backed wooden arm-chair, according to the old-fashioned republican ways of the place, and took his share in the talk gravely, and was heartily welcome.

* And so Sir Bale is coming home at last,' said the Doctor. “Tell us any more you heard since.'

Nothing,' answered Richard Turnbull, the host of the George. Nothing to speak of; only 'tis certain sure, and so best ; the old house won't look so dowly now.'

* Twyne says the estate owes a good capful o' money by this time, hey ?' said the Doctor, lowering his voice and winking. • Weel, they do say he's been nout at dow.

I don't mind saying so to you, mind, sir, where all's friends together ; but he'll get that right in time.'

• More like to save here than where he is,' said the Doctor with another grave nod.

• He does very wisely,' said Mr. Peers, having blown out a thin stream of smoke, and creditably, to pull-up in time. He's coming here to save a little, and perhaps he'll marry; and it is the more creditable, if, as they say, he dislikes, the place, and would prefer staying where he is.'

And having spoken thus gently, Mr. Peers resumed his pipe cheerfully.

• No, he don't like the place; that is, I'm told he didn't,' said the innkeeper.

• He hates it,' said the Doctor with another dark nod.

* And no wonder, if all's true I've heard,' cried old Jack Amerald. • Didn't he drown a woman and her child in the lake?'

Hollo! my dear boy, don't let them hear you say that; you're all in the clouds.'

• By Jen!' exclaimed the landlord after an alarmed silence, with his mouth and eyes open, and his pipe in his hand, “why, sir, I pay rent for the house up there. I'm thankful-dear knows, I am thankful-we're all to ourselves !'

Jack Amerald put his foot on the floor, leaving his wooden leg in its horizontal position, and looked round a little curiously.

· Well, if it wasn't him, it was some one else. I'm sure it happened up at Mardykes. I took the bearings on the water my. self from Glads Scaur to Mardykes Jetty, and from the George and Dragon sign down here--down to the white house under Forrick


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