Excerpt from The History of London: Illustrated by Views in London Westminister
Many costly, erudite, and elaborate works have been compiled descriptive of the rise and progress of the vast metropolis of England, containing much valuable and historical information, but they are principally of an early date, and so voluminous, that the reader is compelled to peruse a mass of desultory matter in order to attain the leading features of the history. Knowledge is now scattered "with so prodigal a hand" that it has become essentially requisite to condense with the utmost accuracy and perspicuity, the more material and characteristic facts, by comprising in a brief review those data, which may be considered the most important in affording interesting and useful intelligence. It has been attempted in the present work by comparative details, succinct but explanatory, to exhibit in a concise form, and to demonstrate by statistical accounts, the population, opulence, resources and magnitude of the commerce of London, the emporium of the world; making manifest the means by which the British capital has attained a zenith of grandeur and importance unparalleled in the annals of civilized nations. An effort has been thus made to concentrate the various information at present widely diffused, at the same time treating the subject more philosophically than has been hitherto essayed. The local objects deserving the attention of the antiquary or more casual observer have been minutely narrated; the manners, customs, and amusements of London at the more remote periods of history carefully described; ts civil, military, and ecclesiastical government cursorily reviewed, and the progress of literature and the advancement, of the arts and sciences diligently traced.
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