CHAPTER I. SCOTLAND AND ENGLAND.
After leaving Bristol, I went to London, the metropolis of the world. The first important place visited was Westminster Abbey, an old church, founded in the seventh century, rebuilt in 1049, and restored to its present form in the thirteenth century. Many eminent men and women are buried here. Chaucer, the first poet to find a resting place in the Abbey, was interred in 1400. The place where Major Andre is buried is marked by a small piece of the pavement bearing his name. On the wall close by is a monument to him. Here are the graves of Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Charles Darwin, and many others, including Kings and Queens of England for centuries. In the Poets' Corner are monuments to Coleridge, Southey, Shakespeare, Burns, Tennyson, Milton, Gray, Spencer, and others, and one bearing the inscription "O Rare Ben Jonson." There is also a bust of Longfellow, the only foreigner accorded a memorial in the Abbey. The grave of David Livingstone, the African explorer and missionary, is covered with a black stone of some kind, which forms a part of the floor or pavement, and contains an inscription in brass letters, of which the following quotation is a part: "All I can add in my solitude is, may heaven's rich blessings come down on every one, American, English, or Turk, who will help to heal this open sore of the world."
Concerning this interesting old place which is visited by more than fifty thousand Americans annually, Jeremy Taylor wrote: "Where our Kings are crowned, their ancestors lie interred, and they must walk over their grandsires to take the crown. There is an acre sown with royal seed, the copy of the greatest change, from rich to naked, from ceiled roofs to arched coffins, from living like gods to die like men. There the warlike and the peaceful, the fortunate and the miserable, the beloved and despised princes mingle their dust and pay down their symbol of mortality, and tell all the world that when we die our ashes shall be equal to Kings, and our accounts easier, and our pains for our sins shall be less." While walking about in the Abbey, I also found these lines from Walter Scott:
"Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards and kings;
Where stiff the hand and still the tongue
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung;
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some Angel spoke again
'All peace on earth, good will to men';
If ever from an English heart,
Here let prejudice depart."
Bunhill Fields is an old cemetery where one hundred and twenty thousand burials have taken place. Here lie the ashes of Isaac Watts, the hymn writer; of Daniel De Foe, author of "Robinson Crusoe," and of John Bunyan, who in Bedford jail wrote "Pilgrim's Progress." The monuments are all plain. The one at the grave of De Foe was purchased with the contributions of seventeen hundred people, who responded to a call made by some paper. On the top of Bunyan's tomb rests the figure of a man, perhaps a representation of him whose body was laid in the grave below. On one of the monuments in this cemetery are the following words concerning the deceased: "In sixty-seven months she was tapped sixty-six times. Had taken away two hundred and forty gallons of water without ever repining at her case or ever fearing the operation."
Just across the street from Bunhill Fields stands the house once occupied by John Wesley (now containing a museum) and a meeting-house which was built in Wesley's day. The old pulpit from which Mr. Wesley preached is still in use, but it has been lowered somewhat. In front of the chapel is a statue of Wesley, and at the rear is his grave, and close by is the last resting place of the remains of Adam Clarke, the commentator.
A trip to Greenwich was quite interesting. I visited the museum and saw much of interest, including the painted hall, the coat worn by Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, and the clothing he wore when he was mortally wounded at Trafalgar. I went up the hill to the Observatory, and walked through an open door to the grounds where a gentleman informed me that visitors are not admitted without a pass; but he kindly gave me some information and told me that I was standing on the prime meridian. On the outside of the enclosure are scales of linear measure up to one yard, and a large clock.
After the trip to Greenwich, I went over the London Bridge, passed the fire monument, and came back across the Thames by the Tower Bridge, a peculiar structure, having two levels in one span, so passengers can go up the stairs in one of the towers, cross the upper level, and go down the other stairs when the lower level is opened for boats to pass up and down the river. While in Scotland, I twice crossed the great Forth Bridge, which is more than a mile and a half long and was erected at a cost of above fifteen millions of dollars. There are ten spans in the south approach, eight in the north approach, and two central spans each seventeen hundred feet long. The loftiest part of the structure is three hundred and sixty-one feet above high-water mark.