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fellow that led the horse and cart, but when they came to the pit, they saw a man go to and again, muffled up in a brown cloak, and making motions with his hands as if he was in great agony, and the buryers gathered about him, supposing he was one of those poor delirious creatures that used to bury themselves,-he said nothing, but twoor three times groaned very deeply, and sighed as he would break his heart,- he was not a person infected, but one oppressed with a dreadful weight of grief indeed, having his wife and several of his children dead in the cart, which he followed in an agony of sorrow ;-a kind of masculine grief that could not give itself vent by tears ; calmly desiring the buryers to let him alone, he said he wou'd only see the bodies thrown in, and go away ; but no sooner were the bodies shot into the pit promiscuously, which was a surprize to him, (for he at the least expected they wou'd have been decently laid in, though indeed he was afterwards convinced that was iinpracticable,) I say, no sooner did he see the sight, but he cried out aloud, went backwards two or three steps, and fell down in a swoon ;in a little time he came to himself, and they led him away ;-che look'd into the pit again, but the buryers had covered the bodies immediately with throwing in earth, that tho' there were lanthorns placed all round the sides of the pit upon the heaps of earth, yet nothing cou'd be seen ”- The author describes other horrors of this pit, with a minuteness too terrific for this work, and concludes by saying, "I went directly home, where I could not but consider with thankfulness, the risque I had run, believing I had gotten no injury, as indeed I had not.”
For the remainder of this, and the following extracts,
Vide Brayley's London and MIDDLESEX..
Extract from an official account of the great
Fire, in the London Gazette.
“ White-LALL, Sept. 8th, 1666. « On'the 2d inst, at one o'clock in the morning, there happened to break out a sad and deplorable fire in Pudding-Lane, near New Fish-Street, which falling out at that hour in the night, and in a quarter so closely built with wooden-pitch'd
houses, spread itself so far before day, and with such destruction to the inhabitants and neighbours, that care was not taken for the timely preventing, as it ought to have been ; so that this lamentable fire, in a short time, became too big to be mastered by any engine, or working near it. It fell out most unhappily too, that a violent easterly wind fomented it, and kept it burning all that day, and the night following; [the fire] spreading itself up to Gracechurch-Street, and downwards from Cannon-Street to the water side, as far as the Three Cranes in the vicinity. The people in all parts about it (were] distracted by the vastness of it, and their particular care to carry away their goods; many attempts were made to preveni the spreading of it, by pulling down houses and making great intervals : but ail in vain; the fire seizing upon the timber and rubbish, and so continuing itself even thro' those spaces, and raging in a bright flame all Monday and Tuesday; notwithstanding his Majesty's own, and his Royal Highness's indefatigable and personal pains to apply all possible reinedies to prevent it, calling upon and helping the people, with their guards, and a great number of nobility
and gentry unweariedly assisting therein, for which they were requited with a thousand blessings from the poor distressed people, &c. &c. &c."
The following is from the Rev. T. VINCENT'S account, under the title of “God's terrible Voice in the City.”
“ It was in the depth and dead of the night, when most doors and senses were lock'd up in the city, that the fire doth break forth and appear abroad, and, like a myghty gyant refreshed with wine, doth awake and warm itself, quickly gathers strength, when it had made havoc of some houses, rush'd down the hill towards the bridge, crosseth Thames-Street, invadeth Magnus Church, at the bridge foot, and tho' that Church was so great, yet it was not a sufficient barricade against this conqueror ; but having scaled and taken this fort, it shooteth flames with so much greater advantage into all places around about, and a great building of houses upon the bridge, is quickly thrown to the ground; then the conqueror being
staid in his course at the bridge, marcheth backwards to the city again, and runs along with great noise and violence thro' Thames westward, where having such combustible matter in its teeth, and such a fierce wind upon its back, it prevails with little resistance unto the astonishment of the beholders ;-now hopes begin to sink, and a general consternation seizeth on the spirit of the people, &c. &c. &c."
SUM 2 ARY