Imagens das páginas

got to the Tower by water, to demolish ye houses about the graff, which being built intirely about it, had they taken fire and attack'd the White Tower where the magazine of powder lay, would undoubtedly not only have beaten downe and destroy'd all ye bridge, but sunke and torne the vessells in ye river, and render'd ye demolition beyond all exprossion for several miles about the countrey.

At my return I was infinitely concern'd to find that goodly Church St. Paules now a sad ruine, and that beautifull portico (for structure comparable to any in Europe, as not long before repair'd by the King) now rent in pieces, flakes of vast stone split asunder, and nothing remaining intire but the inscription in the architrave, shewing by whom it was built, which had not one letter of it defac'd. It was astonishing to see what immense stones the heat had in a manner calcin'd, so that all ye ornaments, columns, freezes, and projectures of massie Portland stone flew off, even to ye very roofe, where a sheet of lead covering a great space was totally mealted; the ruines of the vaulted roofe falling broke into St. Faith's, which being fillid with the magazines of bookes belonging to ye stationers, and carried thither for safety, they were all consum'd, burning for a weeke following. It is also observable that ye lead over ye altar at ye East end was untouch'd, and among the divers monuments, the body of one Bishop remain'd intire. Thus lay in ashes that most venerable Church, one of the most antient pieces of early piety in ye Christian world, besides neere 100 more. The lead, yron worke, bells, plate, &c. mealted; the exquisitely wrought Mercers Chapell, the sumptuous Exchange, ye august fabriq of Christ Church, all ye rest of the Companies Halls, sumptuous buildings, arches, all in dust; the fountaines dried up and ruin'd whilst the very waters remain'd boiling; the vorrago's of subterranean cellars, wells, and dungeons, formerly warehouses, still burning in stench and dark clouds


of smoke, so that in five or six miles traversing about I did not see one load of timber unconsum'd, nor many stones but what were calcin'd white as snow. The people who now walk'd about ye ruines appear'd like men in a dismal desart, or rather in some greate citty laid waste by a cruel enemy; to which was added the stench that came from some poore creatures bodies, beds, &c. Sir Tho. Gressham's statue, tho' fallen from its nich in the Royal Exchange, remain'd intire, when all those of ye Kings since ye Conquest were broken to pieces, also the standard in Cornehill, and Q. Elizabeth's effigies, with some armes on Ludgate, continued with but little detriment, whilst the vast yron chaines of the Cittie streetes, hinges, bars and gates of prisons, were many of them mealted and reduced to cinders by ye vehement heate. I was not able to passe through any of the narrow streetes, but kept the widest, the ground and aire, smoake and fiery vapour, continu'd so intense that my haire was almost sing'd, and my feete unsufferably surheated. The bie lanes and narrower streetes were quite fill'd up with rubbish, nor could one have knowne where he was, but by ye ruines of some Church or Hall, that had some remarkable tower or pinnacle remaining. I then went towards Islington and Highgate, where one might have seene 200,000 people of all ranks and degrees dispers'd and lying along by their heapes of what they could save from the fire, deploring their losse, and tho' ready to perish for hunger and destitution, yet not asking one penny for relief, which to me appear'd a stranger sight than any I had yet beheld. His Majesty and Council indeede tooke all imaginable care for their reliefe by proclamation for the country to come in and refresh them with provisions. In ye midst of all this calamity and confusion, there was, I know not how, an alarme begun, that the French and Dutch, with whom we were now in hostility, were not onely landed, but even entering the Citty, There was in truth some days before greate suspicion of those two nations joyning; and now, that they had been the occasion of firing the towne. This report did so terrifie, that on a suddaine there was. such an uproare and tumult that they ran from their goods, and, taking what weapons they could come at, they could not be stopp'd from falling on some of those nations whom they casualy met, without sense or reason. The clamor and peril grew so excessive, that it made the whole Court amaz'd, and they did with infinite paines and greate difficulty reduce and appease the people, sending troopes of soldiers and guards to cause them to retire into ye fields againe, where they were watch'd all this night. I left them pretty quiet, and came home sufficiently weary and broken. Their spirits thus a little calmed, and the affright abated, they now began to repaire into ye suburbs about the Citty, where such as had friends or opportunity got shelter for the present, to which his Matys Proclamation also invited them. Still ye plague continuing in our parish, I could not without danger adventure to our church.-See Evelyn's. Memoirs, vol. i, p. 391, et seq.

* 3. ,1739.-GEORGE LILLO DIED, Well known as the author of the Tragedy of George Barnwell, which, on account of its interest, and the useful lesson it teaches to youth, holds its place as a performance for holiday evenings, when the theatre is more particularly frequented by youthful visitants. All his pieces have merit, and especially · Arden of Feversham,' and · Fatal Curiosity:'

7.-SAINT EUNERCHUS. Eunerchus, or Evortius, was Bishop of Orleans, and present at the council of Valentia, A.D. 375. The circumstances of his election to this see were considered as miraculous, and principally ascribed to a dove, which alighted upon his head in consequence of the prayers of the electors.

*7. 1665.-PLAGUE IN LONDON. Mr. Evelyn, in his Diary for this day says, “There are perishing near 10,000 poore creatures weekly; however, I went all along the Citty and suburbs from Kent Streete to St. James's, a dismal passage, and dangerous to see so many coffines exposed in the streetes, now thin of people; the shops shut up, and all in mournful silence, as not knowing whose turn might be next.' Again, in the same Diary for October 11, he says, 'I went through ye whole Citty, having occasion to alight out of the coach in several places, about businesse of mony, when I was environed with multitudes of poore pestiferous creatures, begging almes; the shops universally shut up, a dreadful prospect!'

From Ethiopia's poisoned woods,
From stifed Cairo's filth, and fetid fields
With locust armies putrefying heaped,
This great destroyer sprung. Her awful rage
The brates escape: Man is her destined prey,
Intemperate Man! and o'er his guilty domes
She draws a close incumbent cloud of death,
Uninterrupted by the living winds,
Forbid to blow the wholesome breeze, and stained
With many a mixture by the sun, suffused,
Of angry aspect. Princely wisdom, then
Deject his watchful eye, and from the band
Of feeble justice, ineffectual, drop
The sword and balance: mute the voice of joy,
And bushed the clamour of the busy world.
Empty the streets, with uncouth verdure clad,
Into the worst of desarts sudden turned
The cheerful haunt of Men : unless escaped
From the doomed house, where matchless horror reigns,
Shut up hy barbarous fear, the smitten wretch,
With frenzy wild, breaks loose; and, loud to heaven

In a previous part of Mr. Evelyn's Journal, the progress of this dreadfal scourge is noticed under the following dates :

"July 16, 1665. There died of the plague iu London this weeke 1100, and in the weeke following above 2000.–August 8. Died this weeke in London 4000.-15. There perished this weeke 5000.'

[ocr errors]

Screaming, the dreadful policy arraigns,

and unwise. The sullen door,
Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge
Fearing to turn, abhors society;
Dependants, friends, relations, Love himself,
Savaged by woe, forget the tender tie,
The sweet engagement of the feeling heart.
But vain their selfish care: the circling sky,
The wide enlivening air, is full of fate;
And, struck by turns, in solitary pangs
They fall, unblest, untended, and unmourned.
Thus o'er the prostrate city black Despair
Extends her raven wings; while, to complete
The scene of desolation, stretched around,
The grim guards stand, denying all retreat,
And give the flying wretch a better death.

8.-NATIVITY OF THE VIRGIN MARY. A concert of angels having been heard in the air to solemnize this important event, the festival was appointed by Pope Servius about the year 695. Innocent IV honoured this feast with an octave in 1244, and Gregory XI, about the year 1370, with a vigil.

14.-HOLY CROSS. This festival was first observed in the year 615, on the following occasion: Cosroes, King of Persia, having plundered Jerusalem,carried away large pieces of the cross which had been left there by the Empress Helena. Heraclius, the emperor, soon afterwards engaged and defeated him, and recovered the cross; but, bringing it back in triumph to Jerusalem, he found the gates shut against him, and heard a voice from heaven saying, that the King of Kings did not enter into that city in so stately a manner, but meek and lowly, and riding upon an ass. The emperor then immediately dismounted from his horse, and walked through the city barefooted, carrying the cross himself. The holy-rood, or cross, when perfectly made, had not only the image of our Saviour extended upon it, but the figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John, one on each side; in allusion to John xix, 26,

« AnteriorContinuar »