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TO THE

KING'S

MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.

SIRE,

WITH humble Duty the Proprietor and Author of the History, Antiquities, and Modern State of the Metropolis of your United Kingdom, submit the Fruit of their Labours to your Majesty's gracious Protection, as the Head of the glorious Constitution ;-the Promoter of British Commerce the Patron of Arts and Manufactures--and, above all, the King and Father of a great and free People; in the fullest Confidence, that all Works tending to promote Utility and Information are certain of your Majesty's benign Patronage.

May your Majesty, your illustrious Successors, and the British Nation, be long preserved a bright Example of the joint Confidence, Esteem, and Gratulation of a beloved Monarchy, and a happy Country.

May such Happiness consolidate that Fabric which Discord cannot separate, nor Arrogance, with Impunity, invade.

Every Briton, possessing a Constitution replete with such united Blessings, must adopt in his Prayers

" ESTO PERPETUA!"

PREFACE.

By way of introduction we shall present our readers with a short discourse illustrative of our subject.

Tacitus describes the city of London " a famous mart of foreign and domestic trade;" were that judicious historian to see the extraordinary city, in her modern state, his opinion would be expanded in proportion to the extent and improvement it has undergone.

The vast advantages which the capital of the British empire enjoys, from the wealth of its inhabitants, the universality of its commerce, its admirable policy, the variety of its establishments for learning, science, and trade, its charming situation on the banks of the noblest, because the most useful, river in the world, and the generality of health which its inhabitants enjoy in a world of structure and scenery, must be constant subjects of admiration.

Yet these would never have raised the city of London to its present importance, lad not the genius of Liberty made it her peculiar residence; and dispensed around her inestimable blessings. By her means the springs of trade and commerce have been fostered and supported; hence it is that every sea is covered with British traffic, and that all the productions of nature or art are imported to this common store-house of mankind !

The enjoyment of rational liberty has afforded to the citizens of London, so high a degree of riches and politeness, that their stately houses,

their splendid equipages, and the sumptuous are rangements of their household economy exceed the magnificence of princes; whilst the liberality of their dispositions, and the urbanity of their manners, render the hospitality they dispense, a happy refuge to those of all nations who prefer the security of life and property in their comforts, to the glittering pomp and slavery, or the arbitrary will of tyrannic sway. To the cultivation of genuine liberty is also owing the splendor and stateliness of the public buildings, which for aggregate beauty are no where to be excelled; whilst the surrounding seats and crouded villages manifestly indicate the happiness which the citizens enjoy without abatement. This felicity, however, is not the upstart mushroom of the day; it is the gra• dual product of ages, which has been bravely obtained, carefully preserved, and wisely managed; so that like the sun, its influence has irradiated every quarter of the empire, and caused the surrounding nations to pay due homage to British freedom, fixed as it is, on a basis never to be shaken.

The city of London is the great centre of British trade, which, by the amazing circulation of various home commodities, supplies employment and riches to the remotest counties. It is not the country that brings riches to London; but London which dispenses riches to the country. The country may correspond with the city ; but the latter corresponds with all the world; the country supplies the metropolis with corn, malt, cattle, poultry, fish, coals, wool, &c. but the remittances in spice, sugar, wine, drugs, tobacco, all foreign productions, and more especially money, from the capital, which keeps the various manufactures in motion, and supports millions of industrious artizans, is more than an ade

quate

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quate compensation. Thus London answers the end of every trade abroad, and of every internal manufacture; it exports, consumes, circulates, and expends; in fine, it is the very soul of commerce to every part of the British dominions and the colonies, at the same time that it may be said to give credit to all the world!

From the city have sprung the greatest and most illustrious of the British nobility; whilst the riches and patriotism of her merchants have often preserved the state, when involved in seemingly inextricable ruin. Let it be an additional encomium, that the great Elizabeth was a descendant from Sir Godfrey Bullen, Lord Mayor of London.

“ I am infinitely delighted,” says the enlightened Addison, “ in mixing with the several ministers of commerce, as they are distinguished by their different walks (on the Royal Exchange) and different languages; sometimes I am jostled among a body of Arminians; sometimes I am lost in a crowd of Jews, and sometimes make one in a groupe of Dutchmen. I am a Dane, Swede, or Frenchman, at different times: or rather fancy myself like the old philosopher, who, upon being asked what countryman he was, replied, “ That he was a citizen of the world.”

“ When I have been upon the 'Change,” continues this writer, “ I have often fancied one of our old kings standing in person, where he is represented in effigy, and looking down upon the wealthy concourse of

people with which that place is every day filled. In this case how would he be surprised to hear all the languages of Europe spoken in this little spot of his former dominions; and to see so many private men who, in his time, would have been the vassals of some powerful baron, 3

negociating

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