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have been derived after the payment of one or two premiums. It seems strange that such narratives are needful in a dying world; but the old line is still applicable

“ All men think all men mortal but themselves." Certain it is, that any family man who neglects to assure his life, and yet has no provision ready for his offspring, is chargeable with a social delinquency which, were it less common, would be publicly reprobated.

Then, again, as to the individual's becoming his own Assurer, on the assumption that he does live the usual term of life at all times, and in all cases, an unwarrantable assumption—and that he does save: Will he always leave his savings untouched? Will he invari. ably and regularly put them out at compound interest ? Will not the consciousness of their existence and ready accessibleness lead to a sudden draw upon his banker, or drain upon his secret hoard ? Lastly, can the individual obtain compound interest upon small sums as the Life office can upon large ones? Can the man with ten or twenty pounds put out to interest as well as the office with ten or twenty thousand ? On no assumption whatever can the husband and father, who lives upon precarious income, be excused from the incumbent duty of assuring his life ; and—what we especially have in view as a consequent duty-on no ground can the said Assurer excuse himself from the pains of making himself acquainted with the principles and practice of Life Assurance, so as to secure the best office for his purpose. At present, he can hardly do this by proxy; and, therefore, he must needs do it personally. Had some of us ourselves followed the advice we now give to others, we should have been, pecuniarily speaking, happier men. It is very remarkable that the affairs of institutions, guaranteeing at this time about £200,000,000, should be, for all practical purposes, totally exempt from public check and inquiry, and by no means intimately known to their own constituents. Confidence is good when well founded, but not when it verges upon mere credulity.

All the arguments employed to induce men to assure their lives will bear, with redoubled cogency, upon working-men with reference to the assurance of their health. These men stand in the same relation to Benefit societies as those above them, in the social scale, stand to Life offices. The working man, indeed, is rather the more bound to enter a Benefit or Friendly society, because his health is his only capital, while the Assurer may continue his Premium after he has once paid it, whatever his health. But he who does not make any provision against sickness, is living daily upon a diminutiva and diminishing capital. Nor does he know how soon he will er. haust it. An accident; a cold, long neglected ; a contagious disease; any one of the thousand contingencies upon which bodily vigour and capacity depend, may, at one moment, make him bankrupt and beggar. Can any rational, much more religious man, dare to tempt the future so recklessly? Ought friends and families to suffer for this neglect ?

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Should not clergymen, Dissenting ministers, and employers, all combine to enforce these things upon the thoughtless artizan ? Let lectures be given in popular forms, and frequent illustrations be adopted, and every encouragement afforded to those who need to make such provisions; and who, without them, ever hang over an abyss of poverty and suffering, both in their own persons and in those of their innocent families, from which every good man ought to seek to warn them by every method and measure within his reach.

III.

“BY THE RIVER'S SIDE.”

HERE, beside Westminster Bridge, this bright May morning, it is pleasant to watch the crowds passing and repassing above, and the well-laden steamers gliding underneath, and the busy workmen pulling down the old bridge on the one side, building up on the other side the new, and all the while that human tide pouring so unceasingly along; and pleasant is it to look on that broad current below, spanned now by so many bridges, and bordered by so many lines of building--graced, too, by that truly royal structure that rises so queen-like on the very site of the old Palace of Westminster-and think over the changes of only three or four hundred years. It is a place to dream of the past in, although modern buildings are around us; for yonder are the old towers of Lambeth Palace, and not a stone's-throw from us that shrine of historical recollections, the Abbey; while, as though compelled to yield to the presiding genius of the place, even that stately New Palace is true, from base to turret and topmost pinnacle, to the traditions and the architecture of the “ olden times.”

Pleasant is it to picture to oneself this “ silent highway," as Charles Knight rather affectedly calls it—inappropriate enough is the title now when it bore the gilded barges, with their dainty freight of beauty, from the gardens that bordered its northern bank to the gallant tournaments of our later Plantagenets, or the quaint jousts of the days of Elizabeth in the Tilt-yard, when Lambeth was still little more than a mere wide tract of marsh-land, and the stately swans sailed forth in snowy fleets from their reedy coverts, fair and graceful as the “fayre damsels" who glided by ;--or that earlier day, when the Old Palace of Westminster arose on the water's edge, and the Abbey lands were half-submerged during the rainy season, but when high festival was held each Christmas, and Pasch, and Pentecostide, and the King summoned “all good men

and true," with herald-call and trumpet-blast, to feast right merry "at our royal Palace of Westminster;" and the solemn procession with the monarch crowned and sceptred, swept along each das a gorgeous state to the Abbey close by, welcomed by the Abbot ni his train with chant and incense, taper and banner. Yes, MAT changes has that old river seen, and many have been its changes. since that far earlier day-not the apocryphal one of Geoffres Monmouth, who tells how, some two thousand nine hundred rem ago, Brutus wandered by “the silver Thames," and chose the site of his city Troynouvant, but some eighteen or nineteen centuries ago,--when “ the city of the waters-Llyndun," a mere collection of wattled huts, the giant cromlech probably crowning the green eminence on which it stood—was first gazed upon by the mastaa of the world, who afterwards named it, in unconscious prophecy. “ Londinum Augusta.”

And this river, world-famed now-did it flow on then, bearin on its swelling current the carved and gilded galleys of the Rota legions ? Few are aware of the changes our ancient Thames has passed through, for few are aware of the changes which, even within the limits of the historic period, have passed over our land Tradition records-in Brittany as well as in Cornwall-that the whole space between St. Michael's Mount and the Scilly Isles mus once a fertile territory; they named it the district of the Lyonese and told how that, in King Arthur's day, it boasted many a fer church and strong castle : this is unlikely enongh, but that the Scilly Islands formerly joined the mainland, is a fact accepted to every geologist. That the Goodwin Sands extended over land are both cultivated and inhabited, has also been asserted by tradice and also been assented to by geologists, who consider that, s comparatively recent date, the district through which the Thamrs flows was a great basin, “ confined on the southern side by the mus of the Surrey Hills, and on the north by those high lands of wburb Highgate forms one of the highest northerly ridges "

le estuary, in fact, subsiding into bog and morass.

Strange enough does this appear to us; and strange enongh wald this view appear to our forefathers even five or six hundred your ago, when they were almost as proud of their river as they weru their ancient city. But there are many incidental facts wurd corroborate it--facts which have never received the attention the deserve, inasmuch as, while learned dissertations enongh have been written upon rivers of * classic fame," it has been thonght a task only worthy of some dull, plodding, London antiquary, to trace the history of that noble stream which bathes the metropolis of the world. Now, we have seen that the name of the city-be angsal Celtic name, " Llyndun "-is," city or town of the water :" we find that the name of the river-Celtic, too_* Tam-I ** DAL "a collection of waters :" a name that obviously could not hare been given to a river, but characteristic enough of the alternate marsh and lake which subsiding waters would form. Indeed, we

may remark that Ptolemy, the first writer who mentions the Thames at all, and who flourished in the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian, expressly terms our modern river “ Tamessc estuarium." It is by Tacitus that Londinum is first described, and he notices it as a flourishing city, celebrated even then for its wealth and its mercantile importance; but he, as well as later writers, is silent as to any water-way, and we know that merchandise, even until the twelfth century, was conveyed along the direct road from Dover to London.

A goodly city was Londinum Augusta, exceeding in extent any other Roman town in the kingdom, and, from a period very early in the second century, unquestionably the capital of the rich and fertile province of Britain ; a fair city, too, with stately buildingstemple, and palace, and forum; and adorned with noble statuary, and rich with tesselated pavements, in which glass tessere were mixed with the coarser material, and decked profusely with paintings which, from the small fragments Mr. Roach Smith has preserved, show to what high perfection art-culture had arrived, even in the capital of a remote province of the Roman empire. But while Roman London was thus flourishing, and her redundant population extending into Southwark, where the remains of many richly-decorated houses have been found, it is strange that we do not find the name of a single place for miles round bearing either Roman or Celtic designation, save “Isel-dun." All the villages that cluster round London-many now actually forming her suburbs-have strictly Saxon names. May we not, therefore, believe that during the five hundred years and more of Roman domination, the accumulated waters were gradually subsiding, leaving tracts ere long to be inhabited ; and that the noble river, probably as yet almost tideless, was slowly shaping out its future course ? That at this period, and centuries after, the Thames encroached largely on its present boundaries, seem proved by the name assigned by our Saxon forefathers to the road now at some distance from the northern bank, “the Strand.” It would be difficult to account for the application of such a name, unless the Saxons, on their first arrival, viewed the Thames as an arm of the sea. The name they gave, too, to that portion of the river, below bridge, and which is still retained, “the Pool," is utterly unintelligible as applied to a swift flowing river, for "pool" is the Saxon for lake; but, ere the alluvial deposits that form the headlands on either side of that part of the river were formed, the wide, tideless, accumulation of waters there must have spread out, just below Londinum Augusta, in a broad lake-like expanse--and, doubtless, thence the name.

How much there is that it would be pleasant to know about Roman London! Many thanks to Mr. Roach Smith for all he has done ; but, after all, how very fragmentary and disjointed are its scanty records ! During the later period of her history the walls were built. Tradition has assigned their erection to the Empress Helena, herself an Englishwoman; and perhaps in this instance, as

in many others, the tradition may be correct. Stout and strong, fitted to endure for many a long century, were these walls ; built, doubtless, for protection against the rude tribes who, during the decline of the Roman power, were attracted by the wealth and treasures of the chief city. But strange is it to find that a wall, though of a somewhat later construction, extended along the river. side. Fitzstephen, in the twelfth century, refers to it, although then no longer standing; but many antiquaries have disbelieved his statement. The careful researches of Mr. Roach Smith have, however, shown that a wall of considerable strength—from eight to ten feet thick-certainly did extend along the river-side ; for portions of it, far below the ground, still exist. It is curious to find that this wall, although strong, had been built up in many parts with sculptured stones—some of them portions of friezes—as though the inhabitants, unable to procure fresh materials, and perhaps in immediate apprehension of danger on the southern side, constructed it from the remains of buildings close at hand. Such a wall could never have been built-indeed, could scarcely have been needed had the Thames then flowed with the vigorous current of aftertimes.

But while we can obtain only very scanty notices respecting Roman London, her history, from the decline of Roman power even to the days when the kingdom of Mercia received its name and its wide heritage of English ground, might be written in a few lines. Who subjugated Roman London? How did it fall? By sudden attack of fierce, resistless barbarians; or did its wealth purchase, from time to time, a temporary respite, and its inhabitants, impoverished, diminished by continual exile, by war—perhaps by pestilence, too—at length became merged in the new dynasty? Probably the latter; for there is neither tradition nor history to show that the inhabitants of London, like those of Anderida, sustained a long siege, and eventually were put to the sword, and the whole city burnt; and we find notices, too—would that they had been more specific!even in middle-age writers, which seem to prove that many remains of Roman magnificence were even yet to be seen ; just as the stately forum and gilded tiles of her palaces were seen at Caerleon by Giraldus, even in the twelfth century. It is suggestive, too, that Aldhelm, in his curious Latin poem addressed to the conventmaidens of the newly-founded convent of Barking—he died in the year 709—alludes to luxurious habits of living, to costly jewellery, and varied and splendid apparel, as though London, in the seventh century, still contained—in part, at least—a highly civilized population.

Up to this period, whatever might have been the appearance of the Thames below London, it seems, westward of the city, to have been a mere collection of shallow pools, except in the rainy seasin, when it flooded the low lands and extended far over Lambeth and Westminster. The legend of Thorney Island proves that this was the case; and, silly as is the story, it is worthy of preservation for its topographical details.

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