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As I came down the Highgate Hill,
The Highgate Hill, the Highgate Hill,
As I came down the Highgate Hill
I met the sun's bravado,
And saw below me, fold on fold,
Grey to pearl and pearl to gold,
This London like a land of old,
The land of Eldorado.
- Henry Howarth Bashford, Romances
I came to Gotham, where I saw many who were fools, if not all.
[Lat., Veni Gotham, ubi multos,
Si non omnes, vidi stultos.]
- Richard Braithwait (Braithwaite) ("Corymbaeus"),
Drunken Barnaby's Journal
A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,
Dirty and dusty, but as wide as eye
Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
In sight, then lost amidst the forestry
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
On a fool's head--and there is London Town.
- Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
Don Juan (canto X, st. 82)
London is the clearing-house of the world.
- Joseph Chamberlain,
in a speech at Guildhall, London
If the parks be "the lungs of London" we wonder what Greenwich Fair is--a periodical breaking out, we suppose--a sort of spring rash.
- Charles Dickens, Greenwich Fair
London is a roost for every bird.
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
Lothair (ch. XI)
London is the epitome of our times, and the Rome of to-day.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
He was born within the sound of Bow-bell.
- Thomas Fuller (1), Gnomologia
Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks you dead.
- Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")
London! the needy villain's general home,
The common sewer of Paris and of Rome!
With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
- Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
London (l. 93)
Then in town let me live, and in town let me die
For I own I can't relish the country, not I.
If I must have a villa in summer to dwell,
Oh give me the sweet shady side of Pall Mall.
- Charles Morris, The Contrast
The way was long and weary,
But gallantly they strode,
A country lad and lassie,
Along the heavy road.
The night was dark and stormy,
But blithe of heart were they,
For shining in the distance
The lights of London lay.
O gleaming lights of London, that gem of the city's crown;
What fortunes be within you, O Lights of London Town!
- George Robert Sims,
a song in "Lights of London"
The lungs of London. (Parks)
- William Windham,
in a debate in the House of Commons, attributes it to Lord Chatham