Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - London by Day and Night, by David W.Bartlett, 1852 - Chapter 3 - Places and Sights

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CHAPTER III

PLACES AND SIGHTS.

CHRIST-CHURCH HOSPITAL.

WALKING one day towards Holborn, we came in sight, suddenly, of Christ-church Hospital and its droves of bluecote boys. We stopped before the great yard in front of the building, leaning against the iron railing which separated the spacious yard and the boys from the noisy street, and looked in upon the young children. They were all out at play in their long, blue "cotes," or rather gowns, and all were bareheaded. We believe they are not allowed caps, for we never yet saw one of them, whether at the hospital or threading the streets in all weathers, with any covering upon the head. Their gown, or "cote," as it is called, is of blue, under which is a yellow skirt. Their legs are dressed like those of an old squire clinging to the customs of an age long since gone to oblivion. Perhaps fifty of the boys were in the yard at play. Those who raced and leaped rolled up their gowns in a peculiar manner, so as to have their nether limbs free from incumbrance, preaching a silent sermon in favor of Bloomerisrn at the same time. Some played at ball, others at the old game of "bye," while others still stood listlessly around, gazing at the active ones. The sight of these boys brought our school-days vividly to mind, and while gazing at them we lived them over again.
    [-45-] We remembered that gentle Elia, quaint but tenderhearted Charles Lamb, once played in the yard before us, and frolicked like the boys we were now gazing at. Here was the spot where he was educated, and which he has so quaintly described in his sketches of his school-day life. Does not the reader remember where he tells about one poor "bluecote boy," who was noticed to conceal at dinner slight portions of meat; how for this he was watched and dogged by his fellows, as if he were ripe for Newgate, or the gallows and at last it became evident that he was a thief; that the bits of meat which he saved at dinner (from his own plate) were certainly carried every day away from the school, the Hospital, or its precincts, and disposed of in some strange and unaccountable manner? And how at last when the poor boy was looked upon as a little monster, it all came out: that out of his own dinner he had saved enough to keep a dear father and mother from starvation, suffering hunger himself, to help them in their dreadful poverty - and how the noble, noble boy received instead of a reprimand, a reward for his generous, and even heroic conduct?
    While we stood there, Elia's simple but pathetic story came fresh into mind, and we could not help looking upon the play-ground with a deeper interest because of it. Lamb never complained of the treatment he received while at Christ-church, and always held his old teachers in great esteem. And a kind teacher is always loved in after years by those to whom he has shown affection. There are few who are grown to manhood who do not cherish some of the warmest feelings for some kind old instructor, or it may be village schoolmaster, who wasted his life in preparing the young to enjoy the world. But if a kind teacher is never forgotten, it is quite as true that a cruel one is always remembered. A child forgets a single wrong which is counterbalanced by kindness, but never continued cruelty. If ever he meets the cruel [-46-] master in after life, he looks upon him with a shuddering disgust.
    Coleridge was educated here - he who sang so sublimely of "Sovran Blanc," before his eyes had rested upon it - and here used to laugh and play in his young days. But somehow he did not fare so well as Lamb, for he says he used to go to sleep so hungry sometimes, that he would dream all night of revelling among cakes and pies, and the choicest dainties; and that whenever in the day-time he passed the shops where tempting edibles were exhibited in the windows he so longed for them, that it was a pain to go past them.
    It was while he was at school here, that he caught a rheumatism which lasted him for life. Upon a holiday he, with some of his fellows, wandered up upon the banks of the New River. Accepting some foolish challenge, Coleridge plunged into the stream, or pond, and in his clothes swam across it. He remained in his wet clothes all day at play, and never recovered from the effects of his folly.
    But while we stood leaning against the iron fence, the boys suddenly left the play-ground, and entered the school room. Iii a minute the yard, which looked so pleasant amid so full of life just before, wore an air of sombre sadness. There was a gloom over the spot which never deigns to visit the green play-grounds in the country. We looked at the Hospital. It is a fine-looking structure-with gray and venerable walls, and a spire and turrets which are graceful without any compromise of dignity. It was erected as a hospital for poor boys. This was the intention of its originator, who gave the funds which support it, and yet in a strictly legal manner, the intentions of the donor are set aside. Only those boys can enter it now who have friends and considerable money, for it is looked upon as a fine berth for a boy. We forget the amount which is generally paid to secure a situation in it, but it is enough to keep out all literally poor boys. It is a very common [-47-] thing in this world to see in such benevolent institutions the wishes of the founder completely overlooked as soon as he is fairly hid from sight in his grave, but there is a peculiar cruelty in the case of Christ-church Hospital.

FIRES.

    We do not believe, in the matter of fires, that one half the number occur in London, in any given year, that occur in New York, in proportion to the number of buildings in both towns. During two years in London we witnessed only two fires - one an extensive one, and the other only a single building. Nor saw we any alarms of fire, which are such a daily occurrence in our own towns, though some of course occurred. There are no such fire-companies in London as exist in America. There are no organizations like those of Philadelphia, New York and Boston, and yet fewer buildings are consumed in the course of a year in proportion to the whole number, than are consumed in Philadelphia, New York or Boston. The city government, we believe, has not anything to do with fire-engines, companies, or fires-nothing whatever. The Insurance Companies take care of the city or town, and everybody feels that it is their business, and they prefer to attend to their own business, rather than leave it in the hands of independent companies. But, as some might at first imagine, they do not confine themselves to the houses which they insure, but exert themselves as heartily in extinguishing the fire n an uninsured building as in one insured. The reason, which as a matter of course is a selfish one, is obvious enough - a house uninsured, if left to itself, would soon set on fire a half-dozen insured houses, and the result would be a great loss to the Insurance Companies.
    Several fire-companies unite and provide disciplined bands of firemen, who act as leaders, for the crowd which always [-48-] gathers to see a fire, are made to assist. These bands have their rendezvous at convenient places, and are always ready for any calamity. One of these spots is a singular scene. At all hours of the day and night you will find several splendid fire-engines, well mounted upon strong cars, to which are attached two or four powerful horses. The gates are always open, the horses harnessed, and the lines in the hands of a driver. Besides the driver, there are to each team several firemen, dressed and ready for action, and there they stand, ready in a second's notice to fly to the scene of conflagration. A large number of engines and horses are on hand for use, and several are constantly harnessed and manned for service. There are several depots scattered over the metropolis from which the engines start. The costume of the firemen is fine, the horses are always spirited, and the sight when they are in motion, is one of' life and spirit.
    To insure the quick transmission of news of fires to headquarters, the policeman who on observing a fire, first gives notice at an engine-station, receives a reward amounting to about $2.50, and still another reward is given to the engine which first appears on the ground.
    Now suppose that news reaches an engine-station of a fire; instantly the word of advance is given to the horses, and the car flies with the speed of the wind over the stony streets. Everybody by law must get out of its way, and give it a clear path, for it is flying on an errand of mercy-to save life and property. The sight of one of these ears thundering over the pavement is really grand, as the uniform of the firemen is conspicuous, the engines are beautiful, and the horses full of mettle. 
    Arrived at the scene of the fire, and at once the hose of the engine is applied to the street-plug-for the water-companies only obtain charters on condition of giving all the water which is needed for fires, free of cost. A suitable band of [-49-] men for working the engines s soon gathered from the crowd, by offering twenty-four cents for the first hour, twelve for the next, and so on, besides a feast of bread and cheese and ale, to wind off with. Twenty to thirty men are needed to work each engine, but a fire never yet occurred in London where there was a lack of men for hire on these terms. The trained firemen attend to all the dangerous parts of the service, and the common laborers merely work the engines. The brigade-men, as they are called, wear a compact dress, with a stiff leathern helmet to protect the head, and often make courageous and dangerous attacks upon the devouring element. If it is necessary to enter a room full of smoke and flames, a fireman with a smoke-proof dress enters at once to the rescue of the perilled object. The work goes on coolly, but with. wonderful dispatch, and when all is over, all parties who have worked adjourn to the nearest public-house to partake of the beforehand-bargained-for bread and cheese and ale.
    There are in London forty or fifty engines managed by the Fire Brigade, and besides these there are two which are always floating on the Thames, which require a hundred men each to be worked effectively, and when in full operation, pour forth a volume of two tons of water, each, per minute
    The Fire Brigade belongs to some eighteen or twenty Insurance Companies, and has fifteen or sixteen stations. There are a Superintendent and Captains, and the men are promoted according to their energy and trustworthiness. We need not add that they are paid well, and only those employed who are stout, strong, and full of expertness. Here is one of the great advantages they have over the members of fire-companies in American towns who do not make it their business. They are not generally persons of extraordinary strength, and can never be so skilful as men who make the putting out of fires a profession.
    The whole cost of the establishment is not great, and the [-50-] Insurance Companies can well afford to pay large sums rather than dispense with their energy and skill. The men are as completely under the control of officers as are soldiers, and when one is commanded to undertake anything, if it be a work which is full of the most frightful danger, he no more thinks of flinching than the soldier on the battle-field.
    Centuries ago the business of preventing and extinguishing fires devolved wholly upon the municipal government. The town was divided into four great quarters by the Corporation, immediately after the great fire, of which the Fire Monument is commemorative, and the regulations which were then issued for the safety of London are still preserved among the archives of the city. We will copy one or two, which will awaken a smile on account of the quaintness of their phraseology:
   
"Item. That every of the said quarters shall be furnished and provided, at or before the feast of our Lord God next ensuing, of eight hundred leathern buckets, fifty ladders, viz., ten forty-two foot long, ten sixteen foot long, and ten twelve foot long; as also of so many hand-squirts of brass as will furnish two for every parish, four and twenty pick-axe sledges and forty shod-shovels."
    Another item obliged every Alderman who had passed the office of shrievality to provide "four and twenty buckets and one hand-squirt of brass," and all those who had been sheriffs to provide "twelve buckets and one hand-squirt of brass!"
    The amount of property insured in England against fire is astonishingly great. A tax laid upon all insurance-paper proves that more than five hundred millions pounds' worth is insured every year. 
    Some years since the aurora-borealis so completely deceived the London Fire Brigade, that from eleven o'clock at night till six in the morning, twelve engines with seventy-five men [-51-] were tearing about, all over the streets, in search of what they thought must be a fire.
    The Humane Society keeps in several streets a mechanical contrivance by which, in case of fire at night, persons may escape from the bed-chambers in high stories with safety to the pavement below. In some instances this contrivance is simply a ladder on wheels, so that it may easily be moved about ; in other cases it consists of a movable chair, which moves up and down a ladder-frame. A person throws himself into the chair from his window, and his weight causes it to sink slowly and safely to the ground. Often in night-walks we have noticed these simple contrivances moving about from street to street, but do not know how often they are successful in rescuing life from destruction by fire.

MADAME TASSAUD'S.

    One of the "lions" of London is Madame Tassaud's Exhibition of Wax Work in Baker-street. It is both brilliant and fashionable, and is constantly crowded. Its fame is worldwide, but no person who has not visited it with his own eyes, can gain any adequate conception of its completeness, brilliancy and startlingly natural appearance. It is situated in the West End, and was originated by Madame Tassaud, at an expense of more than $300,000. Her personal history is one of singular interest. She was born at Bern? in Switzerland, in the year 1760, about two months after the death of her father, and was adopted by her uncle M. Curtius, then a distinguished wax-modeller in Paris. She was singularly fortunate in making the friendship of such men as Lafayette,Mirabeau, Voltaire, and other celebrated men of that age. In 1782 she was employed in the art of modelling by the Priticess Elizabeth, sister of Louis XVI., and the palace at Versailles was her home.
    [-52-] During the awful reign of terror her patrons were murdered around her, and she, herself, ran great risks, and was exposed to the most imminent perils. Her genius was her safeguard, for the State could not spare her services, and the authorities made her State Modeller. She was obliged to take casts of many of the heads of her best friends, as well as bitterest enemies.
    In 1833 she opened in London her present unrivalled exhibition of wax-work, which has ever since constantly been receiving accessions. No celebrated character is unrepresented there, and although she has expended nearly a half million, yet the returns are enormous. She and her sons (she has died since our first visit to the place), are immensely rich, and are every day accumulating more.
    The evening is the time to see the gallery in its glory, for then its myriads of gorgeous gas-lights and chandeliers present an imposing appearance. The first evening on which we visited it, Madame Tassaud was alive and in good health, for one so much advanced in years. We entered the saloon in Baker-street through a beautiful hall richly adorned with antique casts and modern sculptures, passed up a flight of stairs magnificent with arabesques, artificial flowers and large mirrors, and halted at the entrance-door to deposit our fee of one shilling into the hands of the veritable Madame Tassaud herself, who sat in an arm-chair by the entrance, as motionless as one of her own wax-figures. It was well worth the shilling to see her.
    The sight from where we stood was gorgeous beyond description. Five hundred flames of light streamed forth into every nook and recess of the vast apartment, making an intense light, which was reflected and re-reflected a thousand times by a perfect wall of mirrors. The room is one hundred feet in length, and fifty in breadth, and its walls are panelled with plated glass, and decorated with draperies and gilt ornaments in the Louis Quatorze style. Two large aisles run through the apartment; upon the four sides of the room are ranged all the single figures and small groups, while the large and complicated ones have a central position.
    From the entrance-door, where we stood, the view was better than any other for gazing upon the whole group, of groups. The blazing light, the figures, and the mass of visitors, from the height of fashionable circles down to the poorest of the middle-classes, combined to make it a scene of gaiety and excitement. It seemed as if we had been ushered into the presence of the great dead, for the figures were natural as life. Washington and Napoleon, Danton and Robespierre were all around us, and Paganini with his violin, and sweet, artless Jenny Lind, without her voice. Splendid ottomans and sofas were ranged along the aisles, at convenient distances for the accommodation of the visitors, and really it was difficult always to distinguish the wax from the live flesh and blood!
    Over the entrance there was a gallery filled with musicians, who discoursed sweet and ancient airs, which added to the enchantment of the scene. As we passed down one of the aisles a figure, entitled "The Sleeping Beauty," arrested our attention; a young girl, beautiful as a poet's vision, "lying down to pleasant dreams," her gentle breast heaving to and fro like life - yet it was only wax. There was Jenny Lind, pure and artless Jenny, with smiles upon her face, and her lips looking so much like singing, with a song behind them ready to burst forth, that we involuntarily hushed our steps as if to hear! There was Kean in one of his finest characters, Macready, Ellen Tree (now Mrs. Kean), and all the celebrated actors and actresses in the world.
    There was Paganini, living, breathing-with his slight fingers grasping the veritable violin upon which he used to play His dark, brilliant, enthusiastic features sent a thrill [-54-] through us while we gazed at him, and it seemed as if we should hear those wondrous fingers once more startle the world with their magical performances upon the old violin. In close proximity stood Napoleon. He had on the same gray overcoat which he wore at Austerlitz and Waterloo. His smiling face looked down upon us disdainfully, and his hand was upon his sword. An involuntary martial-thrill ran through us as we gazed at his dark, small form, and thought of his victories. The next moment our eyes fell upon the statue of one so noble and even godlike that the tears started to our eyes as we exclaimed, "Look look! for there is Washington!" With his mild eyes and gray hair, his noble stalwart form, he stood forth in remarkable contrast with the little, swarthy, brilliant Napoleon. The one great and good, and with the thanks of millions encircling his republican brow; - the other great, but intensely selfish and intensely devilish, and with the curses of the millions he crushed beneath his iron heel screeching in his ears like Pandemonium.
    Oliver P., Carlisle's God, stood facing the gentle-eyed Charles, whom he executed; and eloquent Edmund Burke confronted the splendid but rapacious Hastings.
    There was William Cobbett in his plain farmer's dress, and by some unseen agency he kept bowing politely to the visitors. Wax figures were so placed on the borders of the aisle, some prominent and others receding, that it was often difficult to distinguish the wax from the live figures. A couple of our friends visiting the Gallery one evening, one of them trod upon a gentleman's foot, and of course begged his pardon. His companion laughed, saying, "You are begging pardon from a wax-figure!"
    Not long after, his companion who had laughed so heartily over his blunder, touched him, saying, "Look at this figure - is it not beautiful ?" The "figure," with a blush and [-55-] smile, turned away; young men have been known to make love to such "figures!"
    At the western part of the room there was the "golden chamber," a small apartment for the exhibition of George IV. and his coronation and state robes. Madame Tassaud purchased them at a cost of $90,000. Queen Elizabeth was here, all bedizened with jewels, and close at her side Queen Mary of Scotland - her victim - arrayed in a plain mourning suit.
    There was Mirabeau, with his great and splendid forehead; there were Robespierre and Danton, the Girondists. Milton, and Shakspeare, and Spenser, and the "wondrous boy," Chatterton, had each their niche of honor. One of the finest of the large groups was that of the royal family, Albert and Victoria, and their host of princes and princesses, all modelled to the life.
    There was one room called "The Room of Horrors," which was too horrible to gaze at. There were the heads of some of the victims of the French Revolution, all bloody and ghastly. The sight was enough to chill one's blood, and we came away from the apartment with a keen sense of relief.
    The exhibition as a whole, is probably the best in the world, and will well pay the stranger for an evening's visit. There is to us a pleasure in walking among the great of former ages in this manner, after we have become conversant with their lives through history. There is a pleasure in looking upon Napoleon's old gray coat, and Paganini's violin, and seeing, though but in wax, how they looked dressed like other men, instead of in marble, or steel engravings, or upon canvass!
    

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GUTTA PERCHA FACTORY.

    We made a visit one day to the "Gutta Percha Company's Works," and as they are the only company in the United Kingdom holding the original patent, and first imported gutta percha from "over the seas," and as a necessary consequence are at the head of the world in their manufactures, we will give a hasty sketch of what we saw on our visit. The manufactory is situated in the northern part of London, near a canal which runs into the interior of the country, and is large and commodious.
    We were introduced to the manager, who is a man of politeness and urbanity (qualities not too common in the business life of London), and sat down in his office for a few moments while he gave out orders for various and distant departments of the large manufactory without leaving his desk, by simply applying his lips to different mouth-pieces close at hand, the sound being carried through gutta percha tubes to the farthest corner of the vast building.
    In a few minutes, we repaired to the cutting department. Here the lumps of gutta percha are sliced into thin pieces by revolving knives, which cut six hundred slices per minute, propelled by steam. The gutta percha as it is imported from India is not fit for use - the collectors being careless - and it must undergo a process of purification here. The slices, when they drop from the revolving knives, are thin, and have the appearance of old leather. The manager next took us to the boiling and kneading-room. The slices are first put into enormous iron boilers, and boiled till of the consistency of tough dough, when they are thrown into a machine with rows of teeth, revolving eight hundred times per minute, and which tear the masses of gutta percha into infinitesimal shreds The shreds are put into cold water, the gutta percha [-57-] pure and unalloyed rising to the surface, while the dirt and refuse matter sinks to the bottom. It is then skimmed off, and put into lumps, to which a heat of 200 degrees is applied, and in this state the lumps, while plastic, are put into steam kneading-machines, to work out all the air and water that may exist in the pores of the substance. This process is a very curious and interesting one. After the gutta percha comes from the kneading-machine, it is by machinery moulded into the thickness of common leather, and is ready for use, or perhaps it is left in lumps, as occasion may require.
    We next went into the department where soles are made for boots and shoes. The gutta percha was in a plastic state, and while thus the soles are cut and shaped. The shoemaker, or mender, by applying enough heat, can shape the sole of the shoe, or any one can mend his own boots with slight trouble, by merely applying one side of the sole to a hot fire, and at once placing it to the bottom of the boot - when cold, it adheres better than if it had been pegged on, and will not only outwear leather, but will entirely keep out the wet. There were many boys in this department, and we ascertained that their wages were about one dollar and a quarter, or a half, per week - they, of course, boarding and lodging themselves.
    We visited the tubing department, and saw the process of manufacturing gutta percha tubes. A very long one was being tried ; it was for a mine, down in the country ; the mouth-piece was to be above ground, from which orders could be given to workmen in the vaults below. It was more than four hundred feet in length, and was well constructed. Here, too, pumps were made, pipes for fire-engines, and all manner of tubes. Here we saw the identical electrical wire, covered with gutta percha, which first connected England with France - the true chain of brotherhood. The manager gave us a piece, as a memento of the great feat of connecting the [-58-] English and French shores, though twenty miles of sea intervenes between them.
    Next we visited the most interesting department of all- that where the nicer and more delicate articles are constructed. Here we first saw a beautiful frame, with the borders exhibiting every appearance of the finest carving, and with the inner portions exquisitely gilded. We were surprised that plaln gutta percha could thus be made to resemble the choicest carved or gilded oak, rosewood, or mahogany. And not with the chisel, but merely by pressing the ungainly lumps into a mould, so that once a mould constructed, hundreds and thousands of beautiful frames are turned out with out the usual expense of artist-work. And they have a great advantage over wood in the fact that they never can be broken; dash them to the ground with all your strength, and it will not harm them. The manager took some delicate-looking flower-vases and threw them to the floor with violence; they bounded back into the air, but were not shivered. Here, too, we saw beautiful works of art - the head of a deer, with the ears falling, like real ears, the horns were slender and natural, but could not be broken. Impressions of faces and busts hung about the walls of the room, or were issuing from the hands of ingenious workmen. Some of the faces were those of distinguished Americans. We also saw some very clever stereotyping that had been done with gutta percha. There was a beautiful gutta percha life-boat, which though full of water, and without the usual air-buoys, will not sink, gutta percha is so much the lighter than water.
    There were sou'-wester hats for sailors-capital things, as they are impervious to water and the action of salt. With leather it is otherwise, for water saturates it, and salt is its deadliest enemy. There was lining for bonnets, soft and flexible as silk, yet made of gutta percha. What surprised as more was an array of liquid gutta percha in bottles, to [-59-] cure wounds and cuts and chilblains! There were stethoscopes, and battery-cells, and insulating-stools, speaking-trumpets, tiller-ropes, &c. &c.
    Yet the first sample of gutta percha which ever saw England was sent by Dr. Montgomerie, in 1843. The tree of which it is the sap, was discovered by an Englishman in the forests of Singapore. The tree bears a much-esteemed fruit, the timber is good, a kind of ardent spirits is made from it, a medicine, and the flowers are also used for food. The first year of the discovery only two hundred weight were imported into England, while last year over 30,000 cwt. were entered at the docks.

SAINT KATHARINE DOCKS.

    We received an invitation one morning from a gentleman connected with one of the largest mercantile houses in London, to visit with him Saint Katharine Docks and Vaults. We were never more surprised in our life - we had formed no adequate idea, of the extent of the vaults and docks- of the immense quantities of wines and merchandise lying in the docks. It will be remembered that this is only one of several docks, the London and West India docks being much larger.
    We started out from our home about nine o'clock in the morning, found the celebrated Aldgate Pump in our way, and had an exceedingly fine view of the Tower, and a party of soldiers who were being drilled inside the walls.
    Turning in at a little gate which was guarded by officers we entered the docks, and then passed into a little room, where our friend procured orders for us to descend into the vaults. We first visited the wine-vaults, A and B, as they are designated. We descended several stone steps into what looked like a dark cellar, and here in a little outer-room [-60-] lamps attached to long sticks were given to each of us, and a conductor accompanied us over the vaults: The outside walk of one of the vaults is a mile in length, and it runs underneath a city of houses and streets. We could hear the carriages and carts over our heads, dimly sounding like low and distant thunder. The wine-casks were piled one above another to the wall overhead, and little aisles were made running away across the vaults, so that they could be easily traversed. A kind of sawdust filled up the walks, so that the path was soft to the feet. 
    The fragrance of the place was really delicious - the air seemed loaded with a scent of grapes. Our friend remarked that the firm he was connected with had at that time in these vaults $260,000 worth of wines - Oporto, Sherry, and Madeira. He ordered the conductor to tap several casks to show the quality of the wine, as is the custom when trying to sell to customers. This is the way a majority of the wines are sold. As soon as they are imported the merchant stores them in the vaults, and sells them there we allude to the wholesale dealers, for in England a retail dealer in anything is not called a merchant. This gives rise to a great practice of giving orders to taste wine in the docks. Many a party of gay persons gets orders without the slightest intention of purchasing any wines. And many ladies of standing visit the vaults, and, however strange it may appear to American, yet it is true that often ladies of wealth and respectability come away from them tipsy. The conductor assured us that it was a common thing for ladies to leave the vaults in a state of inebriation, and that they must be from the respectable circles of society or they never could have secured the written orders from the importing merchants. An American Captain, who is a friend of ours, was once the witness in his own cabin of the drunken pranks of a party of ladies and gentlemen, who having made a tour of the vau1ts [-61-] finished the visit by coming on board his ship. They came to the docks in their fine carriages, but were so inebriated in his cabin, as to conduct themselves in the most vulgar manner.
    An immense quantity of wine is lost by leakage and drinkage every year from the vaults, as every one would imagine who has seen the casks tapped for tasters. We noticed some of the different marks on the casks of our friend's port wine -such as " Old Duke," "Vintage 1834," "Particular," "Extra Particular," &c. It seems to us that the effect of tasting Wines upon ladies who visit the vaults, was not such generally as to make them "particular," much less "extra particular," in their conduct afterward.
    After visiting two vaults we went to the engine-works, which are used to pump water into the docks at low water. The works are immense in size and power-the fly-wheels are 225 feet in diameter, and weigh each ten tons. The cylinder is so large that a man can stand up straight inside of it. By this machine one hundred tons of water per minute can be pumped into the docks; or 35,000 gallons.
    The bottling department is where the wine is put in bottles for those who wish to purchase it so, rather than in casks.
    The mixing department is where liquors of different strengths are mixed-brandies for instance - the result being an article of different quality and a certain measured strength.
    We saw in the tobacco warehouses enormous quantities of the yellow weed. The overseer remarked, that the day before, a manufacturer in Fleet-street paid $15,000 in duties on tobacco for cigars. It is a difficult thing to get a really good cigar in London-those that are really foreign, and of the first quality, sell high. We were much pleased with the indigo warehouses, and especially with the one devoted to dye gums, and so forth. The overseer gave us a bit of incense-gum, used mostly in cathedrals, and which sells as high as $250 the pound. We saw large quantities of guinea-grains, [-62-] the main use of which is to make strong gin! Almost all gin is drugged with it, and it must be a consolation to the gin-drinker to know that guinea-grains and water is in reality the stuff of which his "gin" is made. So in the matter of "port wine," the drinker may feel glad to know that far more "port" is drank every year in England, than is annually made at Oporto! Logwood is a fine ingredient, it is said, in manufacturing home-made "port" - grapes are scarcely necessary.

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