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the plague has not again appeared ! It is difficult not to admit the belief that the disorder owed either its origin or its progress to the state of things existing in that part of the town, or to a certain germ destroyed by the fire. It is remark. able, that these two successive devastations, the plague and the fire, far from diminishing permanently the town or its population, seem to have operated as an encouragement; for in 1686, (twenty years afterwards), we find the number of houses in London increased to 88,000, and the number of inhabitants from 500,000 to 695,000. It is true, that, besides these two extraordinary causes of inerease and prosperity, fire and the plague, there had been a third, still more active, although less local ; for Sir William Petty, a contemporary author of great reputation in political arithmetic, informs us, that in ten years of the same interval of time, the civil wars had destroy. ed the fortieth part of the people ; that is to say, twice as many all over the country as the plague had done in London. We find that during the time which preceded the cessation of the plague, the increase of population of London had been still more considerable in proportion, than during the twenty years which followed it, the num. bers having doubled at every period of 40 years : they were 77,000 in 1565, and 669,930 in the year 1682. The population of the rest of the kingdom did not increase near so rapidly; for the population of England, from 5,526,900 in 1565, came only to 7,360,000 in the year 1882, including London, which forms the eleventh part of the whole.*
Sir William Petty indulged himself in speculations on the future increase of London, and found, that, in 1802, it would contain 5,359,000 inhabitants, and all England, 9,825,000. This last prediction has been very curiously confirms ed by the event, for in 1802 the census gave 9,706,378 for England and Wales; but, far from finding such an enormous proportion of that po. pulation accumulated in the capital in 1802, we find only 899,439; therefore the increase of Lon. don, however great, has advanced at a very retarded rate, and it will be more and more retard. ed. In support of the possibility of this prodigious extent of London, Sir William Petty observes, that a well-cultivated space of country, forming the area of a circle of 70 miles in dia. meter, would suffice to feed this 5,000,000 of in. habitants, at two acres a head.* Notwithstanding this pretended possibility, the prophet mistrusted his own prediction, and fell into another mistake, pronouncing, that the increase of London would reach its maximum and stop before the year 1800, which has not happened, and is not likely to happen soon. The fact is, that the ratio of increase became slower much sooner than he expected; and, far from coming to its maximum, it is impossible to say when it will reach it. All the great towns in England united, from Manchester, which contains 84,000 inhabi. tants, to Cambridge, which contains only 10,000, gave, in 1802, a total of 1,076,000, that is, with London, 2,000,000 of town people, supported and defended by 7 or 8,000,000 of peasants, soldiers, sailors, &c. It is very possible that England might support twice its present number of inhabitants, considering the great quantity of uncultivated land; but these lands are probably inferior in quality, and might require twice the number of labourers sufficient for the good lands now in culture ; therefore, although the population of England might double, that of the towns
* Sir William Petty estimates the population of England at the Conquest, in 1066, at two millions only; which, compared to the late census, shews the population to have doubled every 360 years. None of the earlier calculations, however, are at all to be relied on.
* Political Arithmetic, p. 114. This calculation is certainly erroneous; such a circle would contain about 2,500,000 acres, and at two acres a-head would feed only 1,250,000 persons.
could not possibly; and there is no risk in predicting, that the population of London will never exceed a million and a half, and the other towns in proportion.
Following Sir William Petty in his conjectures, it is curious to see him foretell that London would extend principally towards the west, for, he
says, the wind is westerly three-fourths of the year, and driving the smoke from that part of the town over to the eastern part, gives the former a great advantage of atmosphere, which must de. termine people of easy fortunes to inhabit it in preference, drawing after them all the tradesmen, &c. who live by thèm.
« In five hundred years the king's palace,” he continues, "will be at Chelsea, (the King is now building a palace, at Kew, beyond ·Chelsea); unless indeed, by that time, we may be transplanted to America, and Europe wholly overrun and laid waste by the Turks, as the Eastern Empire was !”—Should this great emigration take place, we rather think it will not be owing to the poor Turks.
July 5.-Salisbury.-We are just arrived here in two days from London, by way of Salthill, Reading, Andover, &c. and we passed by Stonehenge two hours ago. Salisbury plain is a very extensive tract of country, perhaps fifteen or twenty miles across, without a tree or a house, and almost without any plant higher than a short
blade of grass, being fed down by immense flocks of sheep. The surface is not flat but undulating, and the higher grounds are marked by singular artificial mounds of earth, covering probably the bones of slain warriors. Near a cluster of five of these barrows we saw a circle distinctly traced by a shallow ditch, perhaps 80 or 100 feet in diameter, the purpose of which must have been religious rather than military; there is grandeur in the scene, and the mind is prepared for Stonehenge. The first sight of it, at about half a mile distance, is certainly not striking ; a confused heap of stones, covering a very small spot on the top of an eminence. On a near approach, however, and when you come quite close, the object appears quite wonderful; you find enormous blocks of stone standing up like pillars, in a circle; they are from 20 to 30 feet above-ground, 8 or 9 feet wide, and about 3 feet thick, 4 feet asunder, and surmounted by other smaller blocks, placed horizontally on the top of the pillars or imposts. Seventeen of these pillars are standing, seven or eight lie prostrate, and there appears to have been a greater number formerly; five only of the horizontal blocks are up, the others down. A second circle, 8 or 10 feet within the first, is composed of smaller pillars, 6 or 7 feet perhaps above ground; ten of these are standing; some down, and many more broken