The History of the Squares of London; Topographical & Historical

9780217116329: The History of the Squares of London; Topographical & Historical

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1907. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI RED LION SQUARE "Green is the plane-tree in the Square." Amy Levy, A London Plane-Tree. WHEN the industrious Pennant wrote his book on London, he could find nothing further to say about Red Lion Square, which Noorthouck calls a "neat, small square, much longer than it is broad," than to record an inscription on a monument which formerly stood in its centre. "I shall just mention Red Lion Square, not far to the south of this house," x he says, "merely for the sake of some lines written on the occasion of the erection of the clumsy obelisk lately vanished: OBTUSUM OBTUSIORES INGENII MONUMENTUM. QUID ME RESPICES, VIATOR VADE. Thus Pennant, who further informs us that there was formerly a stone watch-house at each corner; which does not add much to the otherwise scanty information he gives us about this Square, the houses of which would seem to promise almost as much of interesting associations as those of Soho or Golden Squares. The ubiquitous but hypercritical Ralph is overcome by more than his usual gloom when approaching the subject of this Square, for it is a sad, but according to his own statement a true, fact that he never entered it without being reminded of his latter end; it recalled too forcibly a cemetery for him to view it with equanimity. "The rough sod that heaves with many a mouldering heap," he writes, "the dreary length of its sides, with the four watch-houses like so many family vaults at the corners, and the naked obelisk that springs from amid the rank grass... 1 Powis House. form together a memento mori, more powerful to me than a death's head and cross marrow-bones."1 This is a sad enough picture, but by a view of the Square published about 1800, some fifty years after the good Ralph wrote his description, we can see that so great a...

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