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“ doubt your endeavours. But we have “ chatted beyond the usual hour : good “ night; if fine in the morning we will “ make our ramble longer than usual, as 6 I shall have no particular business to s transact.”
An Excursion to Greenwich.--- A Visit to
the Cavern at Blackheath The morning proving fine, Mr. Richardson ordered the coach early, to gratify his young people with a view of Greenwich. This excursion highly delighted them; nor did they fail to request all the information respecting the place their father was possessed of.
“ Greenwich,” said he, “ was the births place of both Queen Mary and Queen " Elizabeth, and there died the youthful “ King Edward the Sixth. A palace was « first erected there by Humphrey Duke "s of Gloucester, who named it Placentia. “. It was afterwards enlarged by Henry the “ Seventh, and completed by Henry the “ Eighth. This building being suffered “ to run to decay, was in, the time of “ Charles the Second, pulled down, and
" that monarch erected on the site the “ first wing of the college, then designed “ for a royal palace. He also enlarged " the park, walled it round, planted it, “ and erected a royal observatory on the “ top of the hill for the celebrated astro. “ nomer Flamstead.
“ King William gave this palace for the
use of disabled seamen, and for the “ wives and children of such as lose their “ lives at sea; and as he could not com“ pass so extensive a charity alone, desired '" the assistance of his subjects, who, both “ in his reign and the succeeding ones, “ have contributed largely, not only to “ finish the building in its present mag*** nificent state, but also to adorn and en“ dow it.”
On their reaching the hospital, the children were greatly pleased, and Mary exclaimed, in a rapture, “Ah, papa, you “ might well call it magnificent! This “ is indeed a palace ! I.ook, too, at the “ old men, how clean and merry they ap" pear! I shall always love the memory of
; ** King William for this noble generous 6 gift."
“ The institution,” returned Mr. Rich. ardson, “ is indeed highly to the honour “ of all concerned; for our seamen, after “ experiencing the hardships and dangers “ of a maritime life, have a just claim to “ expect to finish their days sheltered from “ want and the vicissitudes of fortune; s and it certainly must be a consolatory “ reflection to them, that in case of neces« sity they have such an asylum.” .
They then entered the building, the whole arrangement of which, and the beauty of the paintings, greatly pleased them; an old seaman leading the way, and explaining the various subjects, and giving every information concerning the management of the hospital.
« My dear Sir,” said Charles, “how “ truly did you say that good actions
communicate pleasure whenever they
are reflected on! for what a satisfaction “ must a survey of this charity have given si to those that willingly contributed to
“ wards it when it makes even my heart “ glow with delight, that am simply a “ spectator !"
Having examined every particular of the hospital, they walked to the park, whose beautiful situation and delightful views so entirely employed their thoughts, that their father was more than once obliged to remind them it was far beyond their usual dinner hour. At length they forced themselves away, and entering the carriage, Mr. Richardson ordered it to Blackheath, where they found a dinner provided for them at the inn.
Having made a hasty meal, they proceeded to view the curious cavern discovered in the year 1780, on the left side of the ascent to Blackheath ; and having procured a guide, they entered it. .
The guide led the way with a lanthorn, down a regular flight of steps composed of chalk, and at least fifty feet from the surface of the earth, at the entrance, and, as the guide informed them, at the