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for the last twenty-five years been diminishing at the rate of a foot a year. It is comforting to reflect,' said one of the great brewers, that the reason simply is, because the water which used to be buried underground is now brought up to fill the bodies, wash the faces, and turn the wheels of two millions and a half of people.'

If the underground stock of water is shrinking, it has increased vastly on the surface. The seven companies which supply the metropolis bring in between them forty-four million gallons daily a quantity which, large as it is, could be delivered in twenty-four hours by a brook nine feet wide and three feet deep, running at the rate of three feet per second, or a little more than two miles per hour.

The inability of figures to convey an adequate impression to the mind of the series of units of which the sums are composed renders it impossible to give more than a faint idea of the enormous supplies of food required to victual the capital for a single year. But the conception may be somewhat assisted by varying the process. Country papers now and then astonish their readers. by calculations to show how many times the steel pens manufactured in England would form a necklace round their own little town, or how many thousand miles the matches of their local factory would extend if laid in a straight line from the centre of their market-place. Let us try our hand on the same sort of picture, and endeavour to fill the eye with a prospect that would satisfy the appetite of the far-famed Dragon of Wantley himself.

If we fix upon Hyde Park as our exhibition ground, and pile together all the barrels of beer consumed in London, they would form a thousand columns not far short of a mile in perpendicular height. Let us imagine ourselves on the top of this tower, and we shall have a look-out worthy of the feast we are about to summon to our feet. Herefrom we might discover the Great Northern road stretching far away into the length and breadth of the land. Lo! as we look, a mighty herd of oxen, with loud bellowing, are beheld approaching from the north. For miles and miles the mass of horns is conspicuous winding along the road, ten abreast, and even thus the last animal of the herd would be 72 miles away, and the drover goading his shrinking flank considerably beyond Peterborough. On the other side of the park, as the clouds of dust clear away, we see the great Western road, as far as the eye can reach, thronged with a bleating mass of wool, and the shepherd at the end of the flock (ten abreast) and the dog that is worrying the last sheep are just leaving the environs of Bristol, 121 miles from our beer-built pillar. Along Piccadilly, Regent-street, the Strand, Fleet-street, Cheapside,

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and the eastward Mile-end-road line, for 7 miles, street and causeway are thronged with calves, still ten abreast; and in the great parallel thoroughfares of Bayswater-road, Oxford-street, and Holborn, we see nothing for nine long miles but a slowlypacing, deeply-grunting herd of swine. As we watch this moving mass approaching from all points of the horizon, the air suddenly becomes dark—a black pall seems drawn over the sky—it is the great flock of birds-game, poultry, and wild-fowl, that, like Mrs. Bond's ducks, are come up to be killed: as they fly wing to wing and tail to beak they form a square whose superficies is not much less than the whole enclosed portion of St. James's Park, or 51 acres. No sooner does this huge flight clear away than we behold the park at our feet inundated with hares and rabbits. Feeding 2000 abreast, they extend from the marble arch to the round pond in Kensington Gardens-at least a mile. Let us now pile up all the half-quartern loaves consumed in the metropolis in the year, and we shall find they form a pyramid which measures 200 square feet at its base, and extends into the air a height of 1293 feet, or nearly three times that of St. Paul's. Turning now towards the sound of rushing waters, we find that the seven companies are filling the mains for the day. If they were allowed to flow into the area of the adjacent St. James's Park, they would in the course of the 24 hours flood its entire space with a depth of 30 inches of water, and the whole annual supply would be quite sufficient to submerge the city (one mile square) 90 feet. Of the fish we confess we are able to say nothing when numbers mount to billions, the calculations become too trying to our patience. We have little doubt, however, that they would be quite sufficient to make the Serpentine one solid mass. Of ham and bacon again, preserved meats, and all the countless comestibles we have taken no account, and in truth they are little more to the great mass than the ducks and geese were to Sancho Panza's celebrated mess— the skimmings of the pot.'

Such, then, is a slight sketch of the great London larder. It may be imagined that many of these stores come to the metropolis only as to a centre for redistribution, and are again scattered over the length and breadth of the land. This, however, is not the case. The only line that takes food in any quantities out of London is the North-Western. This railway speeds into the midland counties, but especially to Birmingham, 350 tons of fish consigned to the country dealers, and to the nobility and gentry. As we have before seen, van-loads of fruit are often despatched in the same direction. The South-Eastern conveys large quantities of grain down the line, and the London and

Brighton

Brighton and South Coast takes annually to Brighton 26 tons of meat and 1100 cattle; and here all the food carried out of London in bulk ends. A constant dribble of edibles, it is true, is continually escaping by the passenger trains, of which the railways take no notice in their goods-department traffic; but it must be remembered that a much larger quantity is perpetually flowing unheeded into the London commissariat through the same channels. Of the stout and porter brewed in the metropolis by the great houses, again, one-seventh perhaps finds its way abroad -a drop in comparison to that which must be contributed by the 2482 smaller brewers of the town, and the great contingent supplied by Guinness, Allsopp, and other pale-ale brewers. This simple statement will suffice to make it evident that in the foregoing picture we have given anything but 'heaped measure.'

The railways having poured this enormous amount of food into the metropolis, as the main arteries feed the human body, it is distributed by the various dealers into every quarter of the town, first into the wholesale markets, or great centres, then into the sub-centres, or retail tradesmen's shops, and lastly into the moving centres, or barrows of the hawkers, by which means nourishment is poured into every corner of the town, and the community at large is supplied as effectually as are the countless tissues of the human body by the infinitely divided network of capillary vessels. According to the census of 1851 these food distributors are classified in the following manner :

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If to this total of 71,254 we add the wandering tribe of costermongers, hawkers, and stallkeepers, estimated at 30,000 persons, we shall have an army exceeding 100,000 persons; and, as indi

rectly

rectly there must be quadruple this number of persons employed, the merest pauper among the population has hundreds of invisible hands held out to provide him the necessaries and comforts of life. The smooth working of this great distributive machine is due to the principle of competition-that spring which so nicely adjusts all the varying conditions of life, and which, in serving itself, does the best possible service to the community at large, and accomplishes more than the cleverest system of centralization which any individual mind could devise.

ART. II.-1. The Bell: its Origin, History, and Uses. By the Rev. Alfred Gatty. London. 1848.

2. Paper on Bells, with Illustrations. By the Rev. H. T. Ellacombe, in Report of Bristol Architectural Society, 1850. THERE is abundance of literary evidence to show that in by

gone times the history and office of the bell engaged the attention of the learned. Mr. Ellacombe enumerates nearly forty distinct treatises of foreign origin, ranging from 1495 to the present century. Of these the best known is the work of Magius De Tintinnabulis.' The author, an Italian, was a civil judge in the Venetian service at Candia, when besieged in 1571 by the Turks. He was taken prisoner, and amused his captivity by writing the treatise which has preserved his name. His occupation could gain him no favour in a land where the bell was considered the symbol of sinful infidelity, and he was finally beheaded by order of a pasha. The productions of our native pens are mostly confined to the art of ringing, which is peculiarly an English accomplishment. In other countries there is no attempt at a musical peal, and the only object is to produce the utmost possible noise by a chance, irregular clanging. Such was formerly among ourselves the enthusiasm of the educated classes on the subject, that, in the reign of Queen Mary, Dr. Tresham thought there was no surer method of enticing the students at Oxford to mass than by promising to make the University peal the finest in England. The revived interest in all ecclesiastical studies has extended itself to bells; and the instructive work of Mr. Gatty and the researches of Mr. Ellacombe are worthy fruits of this newly-awakened spirit.

We are accustomed, to use the expression of Mr. Gatty, 'to hear the bell speak for itself.' From youth to age the sound is sent forth through crowded streets or floats with sweetest melody above the quiet fields. It gives a tongue to time, which would

otherwise

otherwise pass over our heads as silently as the clouds, and lends a warning to its perpetual flight. It is the voice of rejoicing at festivals, at christenings, at marriages, and of mourning at the departure of the soul. From every church-tower it summons the faithful of distant valleys to the house of God; and when life is ended they sleep within the bell's deep sound. Its tone, therefore, comes to be fraught with memorial associations, and we know what a throng of mental images of the past can be aroused by the music of a peal of bells :—

'O, what a preacher is the time-worn tower,

Reading great sermons with its iron tongue!'

The bell has had a continuous existence amongst civilised people from a very early time. For nearly fourteen centuries it has been employed by the Church, and it was known to ancient nations for perhaps as many centuries before our era. Consecrated to christian purposes, its sound has travelled with the light that has lighted the Gentiles; and, now that the Gospel has penetrated to the most distant regions of the globe, there is not perhaps a minute of time in which the melody of bells is not somewhere rising towards Heaven, as—

'Earth with her thousand voices praises God.'

For ages before the bell from its airy height in the old churchtower announced its cognizance of human events, diminutive bells were in common use. An eastern patriarch in the twelfth century quotes a writer who gravely avers that Tubal Cain, the artificer in brass and iron, formed the sounding metal into a rude kind of bell, and that Noah employed it to summon his shipcarpenters to their work. Less theoretical historians may be well contented to begin with the golden bells mentioned in the Book of Exodus as attached to the vestment of the high priest in the Sanctuary, in the same way that they were appended to the royal costume amongst the ancient Persians; or with those small bronze bells, apparently intended for horse and chariot furniture, of which a great number were found by Mr. Layard in a chamber of the palace of Nimroud. On being analysed, the curious fact was discovered that they contain one part of tin to ten parts of copper; and if, as Mr. Layard remarks, the tin was obtained, as probably was the case, from Phoenicia, it may actually have been exported nearly three thousand years ago from the British isles.

Amongst the Greeks hand-bells were employed in camps and garrisons, were hung on triumphal cars, sounded in the fishmarket of Athens, summoned guests to feasts, preceded funeral processions, and were sometimes used in religious rites in the

temples.

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