Westminster and the Bank: [22nd April]

Westminster Abbey K4

Westminster Abbey is a very fine sight. The building itself is exceedingly fine work, but the statues for men of merit in all lines-warriors, historians, poets, and superior geniuses; the paintings are also wonderful, and quite baffles my genius of description. The Bank of

Bank Rotunda

Bank of England Rotunda

England, in all its departments, is well worth seeing. I was in every one of them, the Exchange, the halls – where the meetings are held – with many other things. I was informed by a person concerned that there were about 600 people of one description or other employed in or about the Bank. I was taken through it all by a gentleman in public office. Greenwich Park and Hospital is a most delightful place, six miles down the river. The building itself is of the finest and strongest kind; fine paintings, and apartments for 2200 sailors. They are a strange group, wanting legs, arms, and other parts of their body, very much shattered; still they swear as hard as ever, and seem to envy people on board going up or down the river, which comes close to the foot of the court. The new docks on the opposite side, two miles up the river, are most extensive works; thirty acres of land taken out the depth to carry on water the best ship that sails. Warehouses and cellars are built alongside of them fit to take in all the goods that come up that length. A stone and lime wall, or bevelling breast work ten feet thick, surrounds the whole of these docks, which have cost £2,000,000 already, and will require a great sum still to complete them.

THE PEOPLE

As to particularising everything notable and wonderful, it was impossible for me in my short stay; though I was walking every day I was there from morn to evening. Every person behaved civilly that I spoke to, but pitiful to see the blackguard-looking creatures of both sexes, some from an early period gone into prostitution, and others that have been in that way going about miserable objects; their language is most abominable; swearing amongst the lower class is bad. Friday, attended Smithfield market; it was a much better and quicker sale than Monday, and everything sold off by one o’clock in the afternoon.

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