Projectus Finalus: Textual Comparison

1880 Little Britain (Irving, Washington, 1783-1859)
In the centre[1] of the great city of London lies a small neighborhood,
consisting of a cluster of narrow streets and courts, of very venerable[2]
and debilitated houses[3], which goes by the name of LITTLE BRITAIN. Christ
Church School and St. Bartholomew's Hospital bound it[4] on the west;
Smithfield and Long Lane on the north; Aldersgate Street, like an arm
of the sea, divides it from the eastern part of the city; whilst[5] the
yawning gulf[6] of Bull-and-Mouth Street separates it from Butcher Lane,
and the regions of Newgate. Over this little territory, thus bounded and
[7, 8], the great dome of St. Paul's, swelling above the intervening
houses of Paternoster Row, Amen Corner, and Ave Maria Lane, looks down
with an air of[9] motherly protection.

This quarter derives its appellation[10] from having been, in ancient times,
the residence of the Dukes of Brittany. As London increased, however,
rank and fashion rolled off to the west, and trade, creeping on at their
heels, took possession of[11] their deserted abodes[12]. For some time Little
Britain became the great mart of learning, and was peopled[13] by the busy
and prolific race of booksellers; these also gradually deserted it, and,
emigrating beyond the great strait of Newgate Street, settled down
in Paternoster Row and St. Paul's Churchyard, where they continue to
increase and multiply[14] even at the present day.

But though thus falling into decline, Little Britain still bears traces
of its former splendor[15]. There are several houses ready to tumble down,
the fronts of which are magnificently enriched with old oaken[16] carvings
of hideous faces, unknown birds, beasts, and fishes; and fruits and
flowers which it would perplex a naturalist to classify. There are also,
in Aldersgate Street, certain remains of what were once spacious and
lordly family mansions, but which have in latter days[17] been subdivided
into several tenements. Here may often be found the family of a petty
tradesman, with its trumpery[18] furniture, burrowing among the relics of
antiquated finery, in great, rambling, time-stained apartments, with
fretted ceilings, gilded cornices, and enormous marble fireplaces. The
lanes and courts also contain many smaller houses, not on so grand a
scale, but, like your small ancient gentry, sturdily maintaining their
claims to equal antiquity. These have their gable ends to the street;
great bow-windows, with diamond panes set in lead, grotesque carvings,
and low arched door-ways[19].


Little Britain may truly be called the heart's core of the city; the
stronghold of true John Bullism. It is a fragment of London as it was in
its better days, with its antiquated folks and fashions. Here flourish
in great preservation many of the holiday games and customs of yore[20].
The inhabitants most religiously eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday,
hot-cross-buns on Good Friday, and roast goose at Michaelmas; they send
love-letters[21] on Valentine's Day, burn the pope on the fifth of November,
and kiss all the girls under the mistletoe at Christmas. Roast beef and
plum pudding are also held in superstitious veneration, and port and
sherry maintain their grounds as the only true English wines; all others
being considered vile, outlandish beverages[22].

[2] venerable
[4] bound (transitive verb)
[5] whilst
[10] appellation
[12] abode
[14] multiply
[15] splendor
[16] oaken
[18] trumpery

[7] thus [verb]ed
[9] with an air of [noun]
[11] [take] possession of
[17] latter [noun]

function words

[3] debilitated (used towards non-animate nouns)
[13] peopled (as a verb)


[1] centre
[19] door-ways
[21] love-letters

[8] bound (meaning "make a boundary"--can't figure out how to search for it)
[6] yawning [inanimate noun] (starting to make a comeback, and still can't distinguish animate from inanimate nouns)
mart (meaning center; too many tokens mean other things)
which it would [verb] a [noun] to [verb]
"former [noun]"
[20] yore
[22] beverages