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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 Coffee-house, the resort of the wits of Queen Anne's time, was in Russell Street, we believe, near where the Hummums now stand. We think we recollect reading, also, that in the same street, at one of the corners 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 Churchýard ; where Peter Pindar the other day followed him. In Leicester Square, on the site of Miss Linwood's exhibition and other houses, was the town mansion of the Sydneys, Earls of Leicester, the family of Sir Philip and Algernon Sydney. In the same square lived Sir Joshua Reynolds. Dryden lived and died in Gerrard Street, in a house which looked backwards into the garden of Leicester House. Newton lived in St Martin's Street, on the south side of the square. Steele lived in Bury Street, St James's : he furnishes an illustrious precedent for the loungers in St James's Street, where a scandal-monger of those times delighted to detect Isaac Bickerstaff in the person of Captain Steele, idling before the coffee-houses, and jerking his leg and stick alternately against the pavement. We have mentioned the birth of Ben Jonson near Charing Cross. Spenser died at an inn, where he put up on his arrival from Ireland, in King Street, Westminster,—the same which runs at the back of Parliament Street to the Abbey. Sir Thomas More lived at Chelsea. Addison lived and died in Holland House, Kensington, now the residence of the accomplished nobleman who takes his title from it. In Brook Street, Grosvener Square, lived Handel ;
and in Bentinck Street, Manchester Square, Gibbon. We have omitted to mention that De Foe kept a hosier's shop in Cornhill; and that on the site of the present Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane, stood the mansion of the Wriothes
leys, Earls of Southampton, one of whom was the celebrated friend of Shakspeare. But what have we not omitted also ? No less an illustrious head than the Boar's, in Eastcheap,—the Boar's Head Tavern, the scene of Falstaff's revels. We believe the place is still marked out by a similar sign. But who knows not Eastcheap and the Boar's Head ? Have we not all been there time out of mind ? And is it not a more real as well as notorious thing to us than the London Tavern, or the Crown and Anchor, or the Hummums, or White's, or What's-hisname's, or any other of your contemporary and fleeting taps ?
But a line or two, a single sentence, in an author of former times, will often give a value to the commonest object. It not only gives us a sense of its duration, but we seem to be looking at it in company with its old observer; and we are reminded at the same time of all that was agreeable in him. We never saw, for instance, even the gilt ball at the top of the College of Physicians, without thinking of that pleasant mention of it in Garth’s “ Dispensary," and of all the wit and generosity of that amiable man :
"Not iar from that most celebrated place, *
Seems, to the distant sight, a gilded pill." Gay, in describing the inconvenience of the late narrow part of the Strand, by St Clement's, took away a portion of its unpleasantness to the next generation, by associating his memory with the objects in it. We did not miss without regret even the “ combs” that hung “ dangling in your face” at a shop which he describes, and which was standing till the improvements took place. The rest of the picture is still alive. (* Trivia,” Book III.)
# The Old Bailey,
“Where the fair columns of St Clement stand,
And wait impatient till the road grow clear.” There is a touch in the winter picture in the same poem, which everybody will recognise :
“At White's the harness'd chairman idly stands,
And swings around his waist his tingling hands." The bewildered passenger in the Seven Dials is compared to Theseus in the Cretan Labyrinth. And thus we come round to the point at which we began.
Before we rest our wings, however, we must take another dart over the city, as far as Stratford-at-Bow, where, with all due tenderness for boarding-school French, a joke of Chaucer's has existed as a piece of local humour for nearly four hundred and fifty years. Speaking of the Prioress, who makes such a delicate figure among his Canterbury Pilgrims, he tells us, among her other accomplishments, that
“ French she spake full faire and seatously ;" adding, with great gravity
“ After the school of Stratford-atte-Bowe;
For French of Paris was to her unknowe."
[NOTE.—The “eminent writer on legislation” mentioned in p. 40 as occupying Milton's house in Westminster, was Jeremy Bentham ; the previous tenant-a “celebrated critic and metaphysician "-was Hazlitt. The two “powerful and deep-spirited writers” alluded to as scholars at Christ's Hospital (p. 41), were Coleridge and Lamb. London has altered a good deal since this essay was written. The College of Physicians, for instance, has gone, and Picket Street, which Leigh Hunt mentions as a recent improvement (it supplanted Butcher Row), is now a thing of the past.–E. 0.]
ON THE HOUSEHOLD GODS OF THE
HE Ancients had three kinds of household gods,—the
Daimon (Dæmon) or Genius, the Penates, and the Lares.
The first was supposed to be a spirit allotted to every man from his birth, some say with a companion, and that one of them was a suggester of good thoughts, and the other of evil. It seems, however, that the Genius was a personification of the conscience, or rather of the prevailing impulses of the mind, or the other self of a man; and it was in this sense most likely that Socrates condescended to speak of his well-known Dæmon, Genius, or Familiar Spirit, who, as he was a good man, always advised him to a good end. The Genius was thought to paint ideas upon the mind in as lively a manner as if in a lookingglass; upon which we chose which of them to adopt. Spenser, a most learned as well as imaginative poet, describes it, in one of his most comprehensive though not most poetical stanzas, as
“That celestial Powre, to whom the care
That is our Selfe, whom though we do not see,
Of the belief in an Evil Genius, a celebrated example is furnished in Plutarch's account of Brutus's vision, of which Shakspeare has given so fine a version (Julius Cæsar, Act IV. sc. 3). Beliefs of this kind seem traceable from one superstition to another, and in some instances are no doubt immediately so. But fear, and ignorance, and even the humility of knowledge, are at hand to furnish them, where precedent is wanting. There is no doubt, however, that the Romans, who copied and in general vulgarised the Greek mythology, took their Genius from the Greek Daimon ; and, as the Greek word has survived and taken shape in the common word Dæmon, which by scornful reference to the Heathen religion came at last to signify a Devil, so the Latin word Genius, not having been used by the translators of the Greek Testament, has survived with a better meaning, and is employed to express our most genial and intellectual faculties. Such and such a man is said to indulge his geniushe has a genius for this and that art-he has a noble genius, an airy genius, an original and peculiar genius. And as the Romans, from attributing a genius to every man at his birth, came to attribute one to places and to soils, and other more comprehensive peculiarities, so we have adopted the same use of the term into our poetical phraseology. We speak also of the genius, or idiomatic peculiarity, of a language. One of the most curious and edifying uses of the word Genius took place in the English translation of the French “Arabian Nights," which speaks of our old friends the Genie and the Genies. This is nothing more than the French word retained from the original translator, who applied the Roman word Genius to the Arabian Dive or Elf.
One of the stories with which Pausanias has enlivened his description of Greece is relative to a Genius. He says
that one of the companions of Ulysses having been killed by the people of Temesa, they were fated to sacrifice a beautiful virgin every year to his manes. They were about to immolate one as usual, when Euthymus, a conqueror in the Olympic Games,