London In 1731, By Don Manoel Gonzales

 -   On page 93 of this volume, old buildings at
St. Bartholomew's are said to have been pulled down in the - Page 2
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On Page 93 Of This Volume, Old Buildings At St. Bartholomew's Are Said To Have Been Pulled Down In The

Year 1731, "and a magnificent pile erected in the room of them, about 150 feet in length, faced with a

Pure white stone, besides other additions now building." That passage was written, therefore, after 1731, and could not possibly have been written by Defoe. But if the book was in Robert Harley's collection, and not one of the additions made by his son the second earl, the main body of the account of London must be of a date earlier than the first earl's death in 1724. Note, for instance, the references on pages 27, 28, to "the late Queen Mary," and to "her Majesty" Queen Anne, as if Anne were living. It would afterwards have been brought to date of publication by additions made in or before 1745. The writer, whoever he may have been, was an able man, who joined to the detail of a guide-book the clear observation of one who writes like an educated and not untravelled London merchant, giving a description of his native town as it was in the reign of George the First, with addition of a later touch or two from the beginning of the reign of George the Second.

His London is London of the time when Pope published his translation of the "Iliad," and was nettled at the report that Addison, at Button's Coffee House, had given to Tickell's little venture in the same direction the praise of having more in it of Homer's fire. Button's Coffee House was of Addison's foundation, for the benefit of Daniel Button, an old steward of the Countess of Warwick's, whom he had settled there in 1812.

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