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7. I went this morning on foot from Whitehall as far as London Bridge, through the late Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, by St. Paul's, Cheapside, Exchange, Bishopgate, Aldersgate, and out to Moorfields, thence through Cornhill, &c., with extraordinary difficulty, clambering over heaps of yet smoking rubbish, and frequently mistaking where I was. The ground under my feet was so hot, that it even burnt the soles of my shoes. In the mean time his majesty got to the Tower by water, to demolish the houses about the graff, which being built entirely about it, had they taken fire and attacked the White Tower where the magazine of powder lay, would undoubtedly not only have beaten down and destroyed all the bridge, but sunk and torn the vessels in the river, and rendered the demolition beyond all expression for several miles about the country.
At my return I was infinitely concerned to find that goodly church St. Paul's now a sad ruin, and that beautiful portico (for structure comparable to any in Europe, as not long before repaired by the king) now rent in pieces, flakes of vast stone split asunder, and nothing remaining entire but the inscription in the architrave, showing by whom it was built, which had not one letter of it defaced. It was astonishing to see what immense stones the heat had in a manner calcined, so that all the ornaments, columns, friezes, and projectures of massy Portland stone flew off, even to the very roof, where a sheet of lead covering a great space was totally melted; the ruins of the vaulted roof falling broke into St. Faith's, which being filled with the magazines of books belonging to the stationers, and carried thither for safety, they were all consumed, burning for a week following. It is also observable that the lead over the altar at the east end was untouched, and among the divers monuments, the body of one bishop remained entire. Thus lay in ashes that most venerable church, one of the most ancient pieces of early piety in the Christian world, besides near 100 more. The lead, iron work, bells, plate, &c., melted ; the exquisitely wrought Mercers' Chapel, the sumptuous Exchange, the august fabric of Christ Church, all the rest of the Companies' Halls, sumptuous buildings, arches, all in dust; the fountains dried up and ruined, whilst the very waters remained boiling; the voragoes 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 unconsumed, nor many stones but what were calcined white as snow. The people who now walked about the ruins appeared like men in a dismal desert, or rather in some great city laid waste by a cruel enemy : to which was added the stench that came from some poor creatures' bodies, beds, &c. Sir Thomas Gresham's statue, though fallen from its niche in the Royal Exchange, remained entire, when all those of the kings since the Conquest were broken to picces; also the standard in Cornhill, and Queen Elizabeth's effigies, with some arms on Ludgate, continued with but little detriment, whilst the vast iron chains of the city streets, hinges, bars, and gates of prisons, were many of them melted and reduced to cinders by the vehement heat. I was not able to pass through any of the narrow streets, but kept the widest, the ground and air, smoke and fiery vapour continued so intense that my hair was almost singed and my feet insufferably surheated. The bye lanes and narrower streets were quite filled up with rubbish, nor could one have known where he was, but by the ruins of some church or hall, that had some remarkable tower or pinnacle remaining. I then went towards Islington and Highgate, where one might have seen 200,000 people of all ranks and degrees dispersed and lying along by their heaps of what they could save from the fire, deploring their loss, and though ready to perish for hunger and destitution, yet not asking one penny for relief, which to me appeared a stranger sight than any I had yet beheld. His majesty and council indeed took all imaginable care for their relief by proclamation for the country to come in and refresh them with provisions. In the midst of all this calamity and confusion, there was, I know not how, an alarm begun that the French and Dutch, with whom we are now in hostility, were not only landed but even entering the city. There was in truth some days before great suspicion of those two nations joining ; and now, that they had been the occasion of firing the town. This report did so terrify, that on a sudden there was such an uproar and tumult that they ran from their goods, and taking what weapons they could come at, they could not be stopped from falling on some of those nations whom they casually met, without sense or reason. The clamour and peril grew so excessive that it made the whole court amazed, and they did with infinite pains and great difficulty reduce and appease the people, sending troops of soldiers and guards to cause them to retire into the fields again, where they were watched 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 repair into the suburbs about the city, where such as had friends or opportunity got shelter for the present, to which his majesty's proclamation also invited them.
37.--THE RED FISHERMAN.
PRAED. [WINTHROP MACKWORTI PRAED was the son of Mr. Sergeant Praed. In 1820, while at Eton College, he prepared and brought out, with the aid of other young men, a periodical work entitled “The Etonian,' which went through four editions. He was subsequently, while at Trinity College, Cambridge, one of the principal contributors to Knight's Quarterly Magazine.' Mr. Praed's university career was one of almost unequalled brilliancy. In 1831, having previously been called to the bar, he was returned to Parliament for a Cornish borough. His health was always somewhat feeble; and the promises of his youth were closed by his early death in 1840.]
The Abbot arose, and closed his book, Companionless, for a mile or more,
He traced the windings of the shore. And wandered forth alone to look
Oh, beauteous is that river still, Upon the summer moon :
As it winds by many a sloping hill, A starlight sky was o'er his head, And many a dim o'er-arching grove, A quiet breeze around;
And many a flat and sunny cove, And the flowers a thrilling fragrance shed, And terraced lawns whose bright arcades
And the waves a soothing sound : The honey-suckle sweetly shades, It was not an hour, por a scene, for aught And rocks whose very crags seem bowers, But love and calm delight ;
So gay they aro with grass and flowers. Yet the holy man had a cloud of thought But the Abbot was thinking of scenery,
On his wrinkled brow that night. About as much, in sooth,
Or an advocate of truth.
He did not mark how the skies in wrath But he did not tell the beads :
Grew dark above his head; If he looked to the Heaven, 't was not to He did not mark how the mossy path invoke
Grew damp beneath his tread; The Spirit that dwelleth there ; And nearer he came, and still more near, If he opened his lips, the words they spoke To a pool, in whose recess Had never the tone of prayer.
The water had slept for many a year, A pious Priest might the Abbot seem, Unchanged, and motionless;
He had swayed the crosier well ; From the river stream it spread away, But what was the theme of the Abbot The space of half a rood ; dream,
The surface had the hue of clay, The Abbot were loth to tell,
And the scent of human blood ;
The trees and the herbs that round it grew The line the Abbot saw hira throw
Had been fashioned and formed long ages And the birds that through the bushes flew ago :
Were the culture and the owl; And the hands that worked his foreign The water was as dark and rank
vest, As ever a company pumped ;
Long ages ago had gone to their rest : And the perch that was netted and laid You would have sworu, as you looked on on the bank,
them, Grew rotten while it jumped :
He had fished in the flood with Ham and And bold was he who thither came
Shem! At midnight, man or boy ; For the place was cursed with an evil There was turning of keys, and creaking
of locks, name,
As he took forth a bait from his iron box. And that name was 'The Devil's Decoy!'
Minnow or gentle, worm or flyThe Abbot was weary as Abbot could be, It seemed not such to the Abbot's
eye : And he sat down to rest on the stump of Gaily it glittered with jewel and gem, a tree :
And its shape was the shape of a diadem. When suddenly rose a dismal tone- It was fastened a gleaming hook about, Was it a song, or was it a moan ? By a chain within, and a chain without ; "Oh, ho! Oh, ho!
The Fisherman gave it a kick and a spin, Above,-below!
And the water fizzed as it tumbled in ! Lightly and brightly they glide and go :
From the bowels of the earth,
Strange and varied sounds had birth;
Now an old man's hollow groan He looked to the left, and he looked to Now the weak and wailing cry the right.
Of a stripling's agony ! And what was the vision close before him, That Aung such a sudden stupor o'er him? Cold, by this, was the midnight air; T was a sight to make the hair uprise, But the Abbot's blood ran colder,
And the life-blood colder run : When he saw a gasping knight lie there, The startled Priest struck both his thighs, With a gash beneath his clotted hair, And the Abbey clock struck one! And a hump upon his shoulder.
And the loyal churchman strove in vain All alone, by the side of the pool,
To mutter a Pater Noster : A tall man sate on a three-legged stool,
For he who writhed in mortal pain, Kicking his heels on the dewy sod,
Was camped that night on Bosworth plain, And putting in order his reel and rod.
The cruel Duke of Glo'ster! Red were the rags his shoulders wore, And a high red cap on his head he bore; There was turning of keys, and creaking His arms and his legs were long and bare ; of locks, And two or three locks of long red hair As he took forth a bait from his iron box. Were tossing about his scraggy neck, It was a haunch of princely size, Like a tattered flag o'er a splitting wreck. Filling with fragrance earth and skies. It might be time, or it might be trouble, The corpulent Abbot knew full well Had bent that stout back nearly double; The swelling form and the steaming smell ; Sunk in their deep and hollow sockets Never a monk that wore a hood That blazing couple of Congreve rockets ; Could better have guessed the very wood And shrunk and shrivelled that tawny skin, Where the noble hart had stood at bay, Till it hardly covered the bones within. Weary and wounded, at close of day.
Sounded then the noisy glee,
Or who would reig o'a riem E
If woman's beart vere zebel !
One jerk, and there a kiy 17.
A lady wondrous ; Stroke of knife, and thrust of fork :
But the rose of ba ip had faded aray, But where'er the board was spread,
And her cheek asasi zeandoidascias, Grace, I ween, was never said !
And ton was her raven isë.
“Ah ba!' said the Fishez. in very gaise, Pulling and tugging the Fisherman sate ;
“Her gallant was booked before ; : And the Priest was ready to vomit, And the Abbot heaved some pieces sig When he hauled out a gentleman, fine and For oft he had bless'd those deep bine syes, fat,
The eyes of Mistress Score With a belly as big as a brimming vat,
And a nose as red as a comet. There was turning of keys and creaking of A capital stew,' the Fisherman said, locks,
* With cinnamon and sherry' As he took forth a bait from his iron box. And the Abbot turned away his head, Many the cunning sportsman tried, For his brother was lying before him dead, Vany he flung with a frown aside ;
The Mayor of St. Edinond's Bury! A minstrel's harp, and a miser's chest, There was turning of keys, and creaking A hermit's cowl, and a baron's crest, of locks,
Jewels of lustre, robes of price, As he took forth a bait from his iron bor. Tomes of heresy, loaded dice, It was a bundle of beautiful things, And golden cups of the brightest wine A peacock's tail, and a butterfly's wings, That ever was pressed from the Burgundy A scarlet slipper, an auburn curl,
vine. A mantle of silk, and a bracelet of pearl,
There was a perfume of sulphur and nitre, And a packet of letters, from whose sweet As he came at last to a bishop's mitre!
fold Such a stream of delicate odours rolled, As the Fisherman armed his golden hook;
From top to toe the Abbot shook That the Abbot fell on his face, and And awfully were his features wrought
fainted, And deemed his spirit was half-way Look how the fearful felon gazes
By some dark dream, or wakened thought. sainted.
On the scaffold his country's vengeance Sounds seemed dropping from the skies, raises, Stifled whispers, smothered sighs, When the lips are cracked, and the jaws And the breath of vernal gales,
are dry, And the voice of nightingales :
With the thirst which only in death shall But the nightingales were mute, Envious, when an unseen lute
Mark the mariner's frenzied frown, Shaped the music of its chords
As the swaling wherry settles down, Into passion's thrilling words.
When peril has numbed the sense and will, "Smile, lady, smile!—I will not set Though the hand and the foot may struggle Upon my brow the coronet,
still : Till thou wilt gather roses white, Wilder far was the Abbot's glance, To wear around its gems of light. Deeper far was the Abbot's trance : Smilo, lady, smile!—I will not see Fixed as a monument, still as air, Rivers and Hastings bond the knee, He bent no knee, and he breathed no Till those bewitching lips of thine
prayer ; Will bid me rise in bliss from mine. But he signed, — he knew not why or Sinile, ladly, smile !--for who would win how,A loveless throne through guilt and sin? The sign of the Cross on his clammy brow.
There was turning of keys, and creaking As ever was heard in the House of Peers of locks,
Against Emancipation : As he stalked away with his iron box. His words had made battalions quake, Oh ho! Oh ho !
Had roused the zeal of martyrs ; The cock doth crow;
Had kept the Court an hour awake,
He stammered and he stuttered
He stuttered o'er blessing, he stuttered The Abbot will carry my hook in his
o'er ban, mouth;
He stuttered, drunk or dry,
And none but he and the Fisherman The Abbot had preached for many years,
Could tell the reason why ! With as clear articulation
38.-SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY.-II. (The 113th number of the Spectator' describes Sir Roger de Coverley falling in love with a beautiful widow. The paper is by Steele; and to a reader of the present day it may appear somewhat trite and mawkish. The good old knight looks back upon his unrequited youthful affection with a half-ludicrous solemnity. His mistress was a learned lady, who only gave him the encouragement of declaring that " Sir Roger de Coverley was the tamest and most humane of all the brutes in the country.” It is scarcely necessary to follow the disconsolate bachelor's relation of his disappointment. The following description, however, of the sheriff riding in state to the assizes will serve, with a little variation of costume, for a picture of the same scene in our own day: for who amongst our country readers has not heard the barbarous dissonance of the sheriff's trumpets, and smiled at the awkward pomp of his mighty javelin-men?]
"'I came to my estate in my twenty-second year, and resolved to follow the steps of the most worthy of my ancestors who have inhabited this spot of earth before me, in all the methods of hospitality and good neighbourhood, for the sake of my fame; and in country sports and recreations, for the sake of my health. In my twentythird year I was obliged to serve as sheriff of the county; and in my servants, officers, and whole equipage indulged the pleasure of a young man (who did not think ill of his own person) in taking that public occasion of showing my figure and behaviour to advantage. You may easily imagine to yourself what appearance I made, who am pretty tall, rid well, and was very well dressed, at the head of a whole county, with music before me, a feather in my hat, and my horse well bitted. I can assure you I was not a little pleased with the kind looks and glances I had from all the balconies and windows as I rode to the hall where the assizes were held. But, when I came there, a beautiful creature in a widow's habit sat in the court to hear the event of a cause concerning her dower. This commanding creature (who was born for the destruction of all who beheld her) put on such a resignation in her countenance, and bore the whispers of all around the court with such a pretty upeasiness, I warrant you, and then recovered herself from one eye to another, until she was perfectly confused by meeting something so wistful in all sho encountered, that at last, with a murrain to her, she cast her bewitching eye upon me. I no sooner met it but I bowed like a great surprised booby ; and knowing her cause to be the first which came on, I cried, like a captivated calf as I was, “ Make way for the defendant's witnesses." This sudden partiality made all the county immediately see the sheriff also was become a slave to the fine widow. During the time her cause was upp