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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
London
By Thomas Fuller (1608–1661)
 
From ‘The Worthies of England’

IT is the second city in Christendom for greatness, and the first for good government. There is no civilized part of the world but it has heard thereof, though many with this mistake: that they conceive London to be the country and England but the city therein.  1
  Some have suspected the declining of the lustre thereof, because of late it vergeth so much westward, increasing in buildings, Covent Garden, etc. But by their favor (to disprove their fear) it will be found to burnish round about with new structures daily added thereunto.  2
  It oweth its greatness under God’s divine providence to the well-conditioned river of Thames, which doth not (as some tyrant rivers of Europe) abuse its strength in a destructive way, but employeth its greatness in goodness, to be beneficial to commerce, by the reciprocation of the tide therein. Hence it was that when King James, offended with the city, threatened to remove his court to another place, the Lord Mayor (boldly enough) returned that “he might remove his court at his pleasure, but could not remove the river Thames.”  3
  Erasmus will have London so called from Lindus, a city of Rhodes; averring a great resemblance betwixt the languages and customs of the Britons and Grecians. But Mr. Camden (who no doubt knew of it) honoreth not this his etymology with the least mention thereof. As improbable in my apprehension is the deduction from Lud’s-Town,—town being a Saxon, not British termination; and that it was so termed from Lan Dian, a temple of Diana (standing where now St. Paul’s doth), is most likely in my opinion.  4
 
 
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