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troops collected in one place was unknown to the people, accustomed to large armies, but these hitherto always composed of foreigners; and we drove out one afternoon to pay a visit to General Floresco, then Minister of War and Commanderin-Chief. It was a burning afternoon, and a haze of yellow dust almost obscured the horizon; and as the sun set, a hot glow, painfully reminding one of Eastern nights in the desert, radiated from the flat plain upon which the tents of the brave army were pitched in lines. Water-carriers were laying the dust near the General's tent, and the spray seemed to hiss as it fell upon the ground. That distinguished officer received us with the greatest empressement, and actually turned out some regiments for our special benefit. He showed us muskets bought from French contractors, worth about a shilling apiece, for which enormous sums had been paid the Prince and the contractors probably sharing the spoilsand gave us a conical bullet, which would not fit, as a specimen. The fact was, they were all sorts of sizes; and the inconvenience of the bullet not fitting the rifle had been painfully tested in the recent skirmish with 250 Poles, in which the latter kept a division of the army at bay, and only succumbed to the appearance of the whole force.

As for the General himself, he was one of the most charming of all of his very plausible countrymen. He seemed very popular with the army-too much so to suit the Prince, who could not trust him for the coup d'état, but replaced him by General Mano. This latter I have not the honour of knowing; but I have a firm conviction that General Floresco will again be heard of in connection with these provinces. We looked very wise and military while we were inspecting the troops, and when asked to put them through some evolutions, we traded upon our slender Volunteer knowledge, and said some

thing about "deploying upon No. One Company;" but feeling we were getting beyond our depth, we boldly requested to see them form square to receive cavalry—a safe and simple command to give, but not so easy to perform, as became apparent when they attempted to do it, and all tried to get into the middle together, a feat physically impossible, so we looked cynically triumphant. The General changed the subject, and asked us if we should like to see them dance their national dances, which they performed with greater perfection than their military evolutions, and finally marched past when it got dark, with lanterns swung from their muskets. Some of the men were fine muscular fellows, more especially the regiments of frontier guards. The total strength of Prince Couza's army, of all arms, is 30,000; but he is daily increasing it and modelling it upon the French system.

We did not think it worth while to go to bed after seeing the review, as we had determined to start the same night for Kronstadt, in Transylvania. Morning found us approaching the lower spurs of the Carpathians; and we thoroughly enjoyed the lovely drive up the wooded valleys which lead into the Tæmischer pass, and, gradually leaving the dusty plains now so familiar to us, looked with delight upon overhanging masses of rock, upon a picturesque mountain population, upon pendulous beech-woods, and gushing torrents flinging themselves in white foam down the steep mountain-sides, until, late in the afternoon, we reached the summit and descended to the Austrian frontier, where we were detained some hours before we finally overcame the prejudices of the officials. One of these, who was unusually polite, succeeded at last in inducing his colleague to allow us to pass the guarded gates, although the legitimate hour was long past; and then we rattled down a zigzag

road through pine-woods, and entered Kronstadt at an hour too late to see its beauties, but not too late to experience the sensation of finding ourselves in a quaint oldfashioned town, most romantically situated. We devoted the following day to exploring its interesting environs, little known to the traveller in search of the picturesque, but well worthy a visit; and so on in two days to Hermanstadt, through primitive villages of Protestant Germans, contrasting curiously with the half-savage professors of the Greek faith we had just left, where all the houses stood with gables fronting the streets, covered with sacred mottoes and texts from the Bible, but in passing through which, in the dead of night, we, notwithstanding, had one of our portmanteaus cut off the back of the carriage by thieves; and, finally, wayworn and tired, arrived at the comparatively civilised seat of the Transylvanian Government, there to partake of the hospitality of the General commanding the troops, to accompany him on bear-shooting expeditions, in the course of which

we spent bright clear nights on the lofty summits of the Carpathians, sleeping round blazing log-fires under the stars, cooking the game we had shot, and feasting upon the same with ravenous appetites. A pleasant jovial time it was, after politics and town life in the Principalities; and though no admirers of Austrian institutions, we found the change to a more stable government not unacceptable. Nevertheless there is as much to be said about politics in Transylvania as in Wallachia, did time and space admit; for the British public, doubtless, know as little of the one as of the other; and since they will persist in settling their own foreign affairs, they ought not to be allowed to remain in ignorance of that phase of them pertaining to these parts. For the present, the fortunes of Prince Couza are of more immediate interest; nor will it be his fault if, sooner or later, he does not appeal to the Roumain population of Transylvania, to support him in creating an empire out of those materials which lie scattered round his frontier.


LONDON, as every one knows, contains a city within a city; and within that inner city there is yet another, the very heart of the metropolis. It is a small place. In a couple of minutes you may walk across it from side to side, from end to end. Yet it is the centre and citadel of our greatness-the heart whose pulsations are felt to the farthest extremities of the empire. There is to be found concentrated the spare capital of the nation; and from thence it flows forth, as from a fountainhead, in irrigating streams, to extend industry and increase employment and produce everywhere. There, our traders and producers obtain the loans and advances by means of which they carry on their immense business. There, lie concentrated the sinews of material strength alike in peace and in war. The occupants of the precinct have dealings with all the world; and from thence proceeds the power which helps on the civil isation of the globe. The railways which accompany the ceaseless advance of the White race into the prairies of the Far West of America the companies which explore and develop the resources of California and Australia. -the iron roads and irrigating canals which are maturing the prosperity of India-the enterprise which covers with tea-plantations the valleys and slopes of the Himalayas, and which carries our countrymen into new regions everywhere-are created or sustained by the ongoings in this little spot in London. The

wastes of Hudson's Bay-trading companies for the Nile-the cottonplanting which is invading Africa -ocean-lines of steam-ships, submarine telegraphs connecting dissevered continents, water-works for Berlin, gas for Bombay-these and a hundred other matters and projects engage the thoughts and employ the capital which is at the


command of this busy hive of operators. Almost every country is included in their operations, and almost every State is in debt to them. From gigantic Russia to petty Ecuador and Venezuela, they hold the bonds of every Government (those of Persia, China, and Japan excepted). Prosaic as their operations are in detail, taken in the mass they constitute a grand work, and may be followed as a noble as well as an honourable profession. Daily and hourly it is their business to scan in detail the condition of the world. They weigh the influence of the seasons, they investigate the produce of all manner of harvests-they know the condition of every mine, the prospects of every railway, the dividends of every company. They are ever feeling the pulse of trade, and watching the course of politics. They ponder the chances for the maintenance of peace or for the outburst of war; and when war is on foot, they follow the fluctuations of the contest with as keen an interest as either soldier or statesman. Everything concerns them that affects the condition of countries or the solvency of Governments. The very spirit and temper of nations, rebellious or loyal, warlike or industrious, is canvassed in that busy mart. It is no exaggeration to say that the progress of mankind is mirrored in the operations of this monetary metropolis. It is a city of money-dealers-a sanctuary of Plutus; a place where men think only of profits, and yet accomplish more good than all our philanthropists. Blot out that inner heart of London-paralyse the operations of that busy hive—and the whole world would feel the shock and suffer from the calamity.

London is best seen from the top of an omnibus. Hail one of those vehicles as they roll in ceaseless stream along the Strand and

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Fleet Street,-yield to the solicitations of the conductor who with uplifted finger calls out "Bank! Bank!"-and, mounted on the top, proceed eastwards to view the metropolis of Gold. Passing under the shadow of St Paul's, which towers above you like a splendid mountain of stone, you enter Cheapside, and with slow and halting course your vehicle wends its way through the currents of human life seething and battling in the too narrow street. The din is so great that even the famed Bow Bells, as they ring out from the spire overhead, hardly make themselves heard. At length you reach the Mansion House, the civic palace of London, whose festivities are known unto all men, and especially to aldermen, and your omnibus stops on the very threshold of the Golden City.


buildings rising aloft on all sides show that you have reached a peculiar precinct. A wide open space is before you, which seems, as you look down from your elevated seat, as if paved with the tops of omnibuses, cabs, and vehicles of all kinds, making their way through a black mass of busy humanity. No longer pent up in the defile of Cheapside, the current of busy life here branches out into many channels. To your right it pours down Lombard Street, and towards London Bridge, the entrance to which you see marked by the tall column of the Monument, rising against the blue sky of this sunny day in June. To the left, the current spreads through Princes Street-to or from Lothbury and Moorgate Street, which lie out of sight, hidden by the solid quadrangular mass of the Bank. In front, the busy throng is pouring along the wide channels of Cornhill and Threadneedle Street, leading eastwards from where you stand; and in an island between these two channels rises aloft, like a rocky promontory, the pillared front of the Royal Exchange. Stretching out in front of the Exchange there projects, almost to where you

stand, a triangular expanse of pavement-like a spit of sand-over which the wavelets of human life, the spray of the deep currents which roll around, are ceaselessly washing and intercrossing. Watching a favourable moment, dart through the perilous stream of vehicles and foot-passengers which separates you from that haven of rest, and take your stand (getting the mud brushed from your boots the while by one of the red-coated members of the Shoe Brigade) beside the equestrian statue of the Great Duke. As you look up at the bronze figure of the old warrior you remember his saying, that High interest means bad security; you think, too, of the words once placarded all round where you stand, "To stop the Duke, run for Gold!" and you begin to think that, after all, the site of his statue is not so inappropriate as you at first felt it to be.


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The Royal

But circumspice! Exchange, with its high pillared portico, surmounted by an entablature in which symbolic figures are crowded together as densely as the living crowds below-with its wide archways of entrance, and large inner court open to the sky-looks gay, affable, and accessible, a place of easy and lively resort, savouring (as the Greek style of architecture usually does, whether in palace or in temple) of a sunny, everyday world. As you look across Threadneedle Street, the low, heavy quadrangular structure of the Bank creates a very different impression. It has an imposing look; and the dead wall all round, scantily relieved by short pillars let into the front, almost windowless and doorless, and its entrances watched by red-mantled porters with grand cocked-hats, bespeak a sombre, jealously-guarded sanctuary. It is the treasure-house of Plutus, the sovereign and deity of the precinct. You feel an awe and sombreness in the façade, very accordant with all our notions of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. These two buildings, which far surpass in size

any of the surrounding edifices, fitly represent respectively the two powers, or agencies, whose conjoint action constitutes the life of this busy little world. The Bank represents money-the Exchange represents trade. Generally they act in harmony-sometimes, however, in rivalry; but at all times they deeply affect one another. A panic on 'Change makes a crisis at the Banka crisis at the Bank makes a panic on 'Change. They are like brother and sister. But Money is the stronger: it is the male principle-sombre and powerful. Trade is the femalegay, lively, and various in its forms; but dependent for its fertility upon money, and at times subjected by it to a cruel bondage. You will not be long in the neighbourhood before you find what vast issues are dependent upon the presence of Gold in that gloomy building in Threadneedle Street.

The mightiness of these two powers, which together hold sway in this little precinct, is evidenced to the eye by the stateliness of the capital which they have here built for themselves. All great phases of national life find expression in architecture. The present is peculiarly an age of money and of monetary trade; and Banks and financial companies adorn this sanctuary of money-dealers with conspicuous edifices. The place looks like an acropolis-a civic citadela peculiar precinct, where palatial edifices, clustering together, rise in close contact, and in marked contrast with the ordinary buildings of the city. Brick and dinginess give place to Portland-stone, ironpalisading, and highly-burnished door-panels. Banks, credit - companies, discount-houses, insuranceoffices, are yearly raising for themselves fine premises; and the area of the golden metropolis is gradually extending itself at the expense of the meaner districts which surround it. Stand at the northeast corner of the Royal Exchange, and you are in the centre of the precinct. From that point a radius of three hundred yards will include

the whole locality. Princes Street and Lombard Street bound it on the west and south; Lothbury and Throgmorton Street on the north; while to the east, beyond Birchin Lane and Finch Lane, it gradually merges in the region of the produce-markets and shipping-offices. Such are the narrow limits of this City of Gold,-a precinct which rises like an oasis of commercial palaces in the heart of London, and in which is concentrated an amount of wealth and power unrivalled elsewhere in the world.

The Royal Exchange, with its wide expanse of pavement alike in front and in rear, forms an islet amidst the rushing thoroughfares around; and on these paved open spaces groups may be seen standing engaged in absorbing conversation. But all around nothing is to be seen but motion and bustle. The streets are thronged with hurrying vehicles; the foot-pavement with bustling but steady-going passengers; the alleys, like Birchin Lane and Finch Lane, which connect the leading thoroughfares, are equally thronged; and hurrying steps are ever racing through those covered passages, lined with offices on either side, which form a peculiar feature in this part of London, and before whose entrances the stranger naturally halts, fearing to trespass on what seems, and indeed is, private ground. Young men and old men alike are seen hurrying to and fro, and all appear absorbed in their work. You may easily tell the office - clerks, racing on their errands to learn the latest price of some particular stock, from the less mobile but more absorbed seniors of this busy world. Engrossed as all are, you nevertheless see (in ordinary times at least) that theirs is not a sad work. The sight, in truth, is rather disappointing to a stranger who has heard of the cares of wealth and the deceitfulness of riches. As he looks upon the men who go past him, the sight does not realise the conception of "City" life which he has formed from books or from his own imaginings.

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