BLTC Press Titles

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The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Life in London

by Pierce Egan


Tha girls all admire him, and swear he is quite the tippy 0!

Old Ballad.

PREVENTION, either in days of yore or at the present enlightened period, has always been considered much better than cure; and, therefore, safety, at all times, should be the primary object of the traveller. The curious, likewise, in their anxiety to behold delightful prospects or interesting views, ought to be equally careful to prevent the recurrence of accidents. The author, in consequence, has chosen for his readers a Camera Obseura View of London, not only from its safety, but because it is so snag, and also possessing the invaluable advantages of Seeinc and not being seen. The author of the Devil upon two Sticks, it appears, preferred taking a flight over the houses for his remarks and views of society; but if I had adopted that mode of travelling, and perchance had fallen to the ground, an hospital might have been the reward of my presumption, and have also become a cripple during the remainder of my existence. Such a misfortune, it is true, might have been deplored, and even pitied, by the lovers of "hair-breadth 'scape adventures;" yet, with all their compassion, it would have been a great chance, perhaps, if it had not sooner or later have escaped from their lips, that the worst of bores and the most tiresome of all other companions is that of A Literary Cripple! Therefore, from this extreme caution, I hope to be enabled to proceed on my journey without stilts, and also to prove so strong on my legs as to walk over the ground without limping, or to require the need and assistance of any thing in the shape of a Crutch. This will be thought enough. The Camera Obscura is now at work; the table is covered with objects for the amusement of my readers; and whenever it is necessary to change the scene it is only requisite to pull the string, i.e. to turn over leaf after leaf, and Life In London will be seen without any fear or apprehension of danger either from fire or water; avoiding also breaking a limb, receiving a black eye, losing a pocket-book, and getting into a watch-house; picking up a Cyprian and being exposed the next morning before a magistrate for being found disorderly. Likewise in steering clear of all those innumerable rows and troubles incident or allied to "keeping it up, and loving of fun." It would have been fortunate indeed for poor Jerry and Corinthian Tom if they had possessed such advantages. But "experience makes fools wise," and as good-natured HawThorn and laughing Tom are now about to relate their adventures, for the benefit of fire-side heroes and sprightly maidens, who may feel a wish to "see Life" without receiving a scratch, it must be considered that the Metropolis is now before them.

London ! thou comprehensive word,
What joy thy streets and squares afford!
And think not thy admirer rallies
If he should add thy lanes and alleys.
Thy Independence let me share
Though clogged with smoke and foggy air;
Though I'm obliged my doors to make fast;
Though I can get no cream for breakfast;
Though knaves, within thee, cheat and plunder,
And fires can scarcely be kept under;
And many a rook finds many a pigeon
In Law, and physic, and religion,
Eager to help a thriving trade on,
And proud and happy to be preyed on;

Then it seems Only in London are the finishing touches of character to be obtained. To acquire "excellence" in the Metropolis is a circumstance so "devoutly to be wished," that it is the genuine passport throughout all the provinces in England; nay more, it is wafted across

The glorious sun himself has spots.

the briny deep, and this sort of "greatness" is acknowledged, admired, and sought after in all parts of the world.

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