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EDWARD WEDLAKE BRAYLEY,
F.S.A. M.R.S. L. &c. &c.
« The Waies through which my weary steps I guyde,
[In this RESEARCHE of old ANTIQUITIE,]
And sprinckled with such sweet Varietie
to Eare or Eye,
And when I gin to feele decay of might,
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
In the long succession of ages which have elapsed since LONDON first became celebrated under Roman domination, it has been the theatre of the most important transactions in which man can be engaged, and every passion of the heart, whether of good or evil, has been unfolded and exemplified within its range. Its present greatness has been attained by progressive steps, in which the skill, the valour, and the industry of its inhabitants have been preeminently exhibited; and although its growth bas, at times, been checked by calamity, and its influence thwarted by war and faction, yet, to employ the boldly-figurative language of Southey, it has long been
“ The Seat wbere ENGLAND, from her ancient reign, Doth rule the OCEAN as her own domain!"
When we contemplate the almost inexhaustible nature of the subject, and the multifarious variety of circumstances connected with it, the appearance of a new publication upon this Capital can hardly excite surprise; and although the existing works
are both voluminous and abundant, it is trusted that there is still room for an effective circulation of · LONDINIANA.'
In the general design of this work, diversity of information, and accuracy in the details, have been the leading objects. No particular classification or arrangement, has been observed, and none was intended. Subjects of antiquarian and historical research, are mingled with the lighter graces of poetry, and the severity of local description is interwoven with sketches of biography and manners, traits of character, and personal anecdote. Let it, however, be recollected, that the main feature of this undertaking, is to illustrate the Topography of the Metropolis as it existed in former times; yet, still continuing its history to the present day, whenever the place or object noticed appeared to be deserving of that regard.
The extent of reading and inquiry essential to the production of this work has been far from inconsiderable. Several hundred volumes (both printed and manuscript) have been consulted, much personal labour endured, and every practicable endeavour exercised to obtain authentic and genuine information. With its lighter details, are involved many subjects of antiquarian interest and elaborate research ; yet, even in the latter respect, that succinct and perspicuous language has been employed