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a livelihood from carrying on this illicit manu
"Tis not those paltry counterfeits,
But our right diamonds that inspire,
It was in the house of one of his relations, in St. Martin's-le-Grand, that the reconciliation took place between Milton and his first wife, Mary Powell, when unexpectedly she threw herself at the poet's feet, and implored his forgiveness.
Between the church of St. Martin and Aldersgate Street stood Northumberland House, the residence of Harry Hotspur, Lord Percy, immortalized by the genius of Shakespeare and by his own valour. Stow informs us that Henry the Fourth, in the seventh year of his reign, conferred the mansion, "with the tenements thereunto appertaining," on his consort Queen Jane, and that from henceforward it was called the Queen's Wardrobe. When Stow wrote it was a printing-house.
Let us stroll into St. Paul's Churchyard. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth this spot appears to have been no less the resort of booksellers than at the present day. It is related of Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton,-so celebrated for his share
in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury,-that, when reduced to penury by the attainder and execution of his brother, the Duke of Norfolk, those hours, which were passed by others in enjoying the luxuries of the table, were occupied by him in poring over the contents of the booksellers' stalls in St. Paul's Churchyard.
Many of Shakespeare's immortal plays and poems were first published at the signs of the Green Dragon, the Fox, the Angel, and at other publishers in St. Paul's Churchyard. Nearly half a century after the death of Shakespeare, we find Pepys inserting in his "Diary,"—on the 31st of November 1660:-" In Paul's Church Yard I bought the play of 'Henry the Fourth,' and so went to the new theatre and saw it acted; but, my expectation being too great, it did not please me, as otherwise I believe it would; and my having a book, I believe, did spoil it a little." Again he writes, on the 10th of February 1662:-"To Paul's Church Yard, and there I met with Dr. Fuller's England's Worthies,' the first time that I ever saw it; and so I sat down reading in it; being much troubled that (though he had some discourse with me about my family and arms) he says nothing at all, nor mentions us either in Cambridgeshire or Norfolk ; but I believe, indeed, our family was never considerable."
The great Fire of 1666 occasioned fearful havoc among the great emporium of books in St. Paul's Churchyard. Evelyn bitterly laments the loss of
the vast magazine of books belonging to the Stationers, which had been deposited for safety in the vaults of St. Faith's Church, under St. Paul's Cathedral. Pepys also writes on the 26th of September, immediately after the Fire:-"By Mr. Dugdale I hear of the great loss of books in St. Paul's Church Yard, and at their Hall also, which they value at about 150,000l.; some booksellers being wholly undone, and, among others, they say, my poor Kirton." Again he writes on the 5th of the following month; -"Mr. Kirton's kinsman, my bookseller, came in my way; and so I am told by him that Mr. Kirton is utterly undone, and made 2000l. or 3000l. worse than nothing, from being worth 70007. or 80007. That the goods laid in the church-yard fired through the windows those in St. Faith's Church; and those coming to the warehouses' doors, fired them, and burned all the books and the pillars of the church, which is alike pillared, (which I knew not before); but being not burned, they stood still. He do believe there is above 150,000l. of books burned; all the great booksellers almost undone; not only these, but their warehouses at their Hall and under Christ Church, and elsewhere, being all burned. A great want thereof there will be of books, specially Latin books and foreign books; and, among others, the Polyglot and new Bible, which he believes will be presently worth 407. a-piece."
We learn from Anthony Wood, that Gerard
Langbaine, the biographer of the dramatic poets, was at one period apprenticed to a bookseller, of the name of Nevill Simmons, in St. Paul's Churchyard. Here also, or in the immediate neighbourhood, was born the great architect, Inigo Jones.
One of the most remarkable scenes which this spot has witnessed, was the execution, on the 30th of January 1606, of the once gay and gallant Sir Everard Digby, reputed to be the handsomest man of his day. Three of his fellow-conspirators in the famous Gunpowder Plot suffered at the same time with him,—namely, the notorious Robert Winter, John Grant, and Thomas Bates. The place of their execution was at the west end of St. Paul's Cathedral, apparently nearly on the spot where the statue of Queen Anne now stands. Sir Everard, Winter, and Bates, died admitting the justice of their sentence, but Grant was stubborn to the last. Sir Everard in particular, we are told, "died penitent and sorrowful for his vile treason, and confident to be saved in the merits of his sweet Saviour Jesus. He prayed, kneeling, about half a quarter of an hour, often bowing his head to the ground. In the same manner they all prayed, but no voice heard, saving now and then, 'O Jesu, Jesu, save me, and keep me!' which words they repeated many times upon the ladder." Anthony Wood relates a very startling fact, -on the authority of "a most famous author," whose name, however, he omits to mention,-that when Sir Everard's heart was plucked out of his body by the execu
tioner (who, according to custom, held it up to the people, exclaiming, "Here is the heart of a traitor!") Sir Everard made answer,-" Thou liest!" The "famous author," here alluded to, was no other than Lord Bacon, who, moreover, proceeds to relate facts even more incredible. "We ourselves," he says, "remember to have seen the heart of a man who was embowelled, according to the custom amongst us in the execution of traitors, which, being thrown into the fire, as is usual, sprung up at first six foot high, and continued leaping gradually lower and lower between seven and eight minutes, as far as our memory reaches. There is also an old and credible tradition, of an ox that lowed after it was embowelled. But it is more certain that a man, who suffered in the manner we have before mentioned, his entrails being taken out, and his heart almost torn away, and in the hands of the hangman, was heard to utter three or four words of a prayer."
We have incidentally alluded to the statue of Queen Anne at the west end of St. Paul's Cathedral. Among the Cole MSS. in the British Museum, are preserved the following lines, written upon this statue, which, it is perhaps needless to remark, have reference to a scandal prevalent in her life-time, that Queen Anne was too much addicted to intoxicating liquors :
Here mighty Anna's statue placed we find,