London, thou art the Flower of cities all
WILLIAM DUNBAR, 1465-1530.
LONDON has a peculiar fascination of its own, and to a vast number of English-speaking people all over the world it appeals with irresistible force. So much has been said and written about it that the theme might seem to be worn out, yet there are still fresh aspects to present, still hidden charms to discover, still deep problems to solve. The huge, unwieldly mass, which cannot be managed or legislated for as other towns, but has to be treated as a county, enfolds within its area all the phases of human life. It embraces every gradation from wealth to poverty, from the millionaire to the pauper alien. The collection of buildings which together make London are a most singular assortment of innumerable variations between beauty and ugliness, between palaces and works of art and hovels of sordid and unlovely squalor.