« AnteriorContinuar »
quest were broken to pieces. 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. Nor was I yet 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 unsufl'erably surbated. The bye-lanes and narrow streets were quite filled up with rubbish; nor could one have possibly 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 were 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 run 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 crew 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, ana came home sufficiently wear)* 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.1
Still, the plague continuing in our parish. I could not, without danger, adventure to our church.
10th September. I went again to the ruins; for it was now no longer a city.
1 Subjoined is the Ordinance to which Evelyn alludes, reprinted from the original half-sheet in black letter: Chables B.
His Majesty, in his princely compassion and very tender care, taking into consideration the distressed condition of many of his good subjects, whom the late dreadful and dismal fire hath made destitute of habitations, and exposed to many exigencies and necessities j for present remedy and redress whereof, his Majesty intending to give further testimony and evidences of his grace and favour towards them, as occasion shall arise, hath thought fit to declare and publish his Royal pleasure: That, as great proportions of bread, and all other provisions as can possibly be furnished, shall be daily and constantly brought, not only to the markets formerly in use, but also to such markets as by his Majesty's late order and declaration to the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London and Middlesex have been appointed and ordained, ri'jr., Clerkcnwell, Islington, Finsbury-fields, Mile-end Green, and Ratcliff; his Majesty being sensible that this will be for the benefit also of the towns and places adjoining, as being the best expedient to prevent the resort of such persons thereunto as may pilfer and disturb them. And whereas, also, divers of the said distressed persons have saved and preserved their goods, which nevertheless they know not how to dispose of, it is his Majesty's pleasure, that all Churches, Chapels, Schools, and other like public places, shall be free and open to receive the said goods, when they shall be brought to be there laid. And all Justices of the Peace within the several Counties of Middlesex, Essex and Surrey, are to see the same to be done accordingly. And likewise that all cities and towns whatsoever shall, without any contradiction, receive the said distressed persons, and permit them to the free exercise of their tnann»l tr.ules; his majesty resolving and promising that, when the present exigence shall be passed over, he will take such care and order, that the said persons shall be no burthen to their towns, or parishes. And it is his Majesty's pleasure, that this his declaration be forthwith published, not only bv the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, but also by all other Sheriffs, Mayors, and other chief officers in their respective precincts and limits, and by the constables in every parish. And of this his Majesty's pleasure all persons concerned are to take notice, and thereunto to give due obedience to the utmost of their power, as they will answer the contrary at their peril. Given at our Court at Whitehall, the fifth day of September, in the eighteenth year of our reign, one thousand six hundred sixty-six. God save the Kirg.
VOL. II. C
18" BIAET OF LOTOOiT,,
13th September. I presented his Majesty with a survey of the ruins, and a plot for a new City,1 with a discourse on it; whereupon, after dinner, his Majesty sent for me into the Queen's bed-chamber, her Majesty and the Duke only being present. They examined each particular, and discoursed on. them for near an hour, seeming to be extremely pleased with what I had so early thought on. The Queen was now in her cavalier riding-habit, hat and feather, and horseman's coat, going to take the air.
16th. I went to Greenwich Church, where Mr. Plume preached very well from this text: "Seeing, then, all these things shall be dissolved," &c.: taking occasion from the late unparalleled conflagration to mind us how we ought to walk more holy in all manner of conversation.
27th. Dined at Sir William D'Oyly's, with that worthy gentleman, Sir John Holland, of Suffolk.
10M October. This day was ordered a general Fast through the Nation, to humble us on the late dreadful conflagration, added to the plague and war, the most dismal judgments that could be inflicted; but which indeed we highly deserved for our prodigious ingratitude, burning lusts, dissolute court, profane and abominable lives, under such dispensations of God's continued favour in restoring Church, Prince, and People from our late intestine calamities, of which we were altogether unmindful, even to astonishment. This made me resolve to go to our parish assembly, where our Doctor
1 Evelyn has preserved his letter to Sir Samuel Tuke, on the subject of the fire, and his scheme for re-building the City. Part of his plan was to lessen the declivities, and to employ the rubbish in filling up the shore of the Thames to low-water mark, so as to keep the basin always full.—In another letter to Mr. Oldenburg, Secretary to the Royal Society, dated 22nd December 1066, he says, after mentioning his having presented his reflections on re-building the City to his Majesty, that "the want of a more exact plot, wherein I might have marked what the fire had spared, and accommodated my design to the remaining parts, made me take it as a rata tabula, and to form mine idea thereof, accordingly: I have since lighted upon Mr. Hollar's late plan, which looking rn as the most accurate hitherto extant, has caused me something to r what I had so crudely done, though for the most part I still persist in my former discourse, and which I here send you as complete as an imperfect copy will give me leave, and the supplement of an ill memoir, for since that time I hardly ever looked on it, and it was finished within two or three davs after the Incendium."
preached on Luke, xix. 41: piously applying it to the occasion. After which, was a collection for the distressed losers in the late fire.
18th October. To Court. It being the first time his Majesty put himself solemnly into the Eastern fashion of vest.changing doublet, stiff collar, bands and cloak, into a comely dress, after the Persian mode, with girdles or straps, and shoestrings and garters into buckles, of which some were set with precious stones,1 resolving never to alter it, and to leave the French mode, which had hitherto obtained to our great expense and reproach. Upon which, divers courtiers and gentlemen gave his Majesty gold by way of wager that he would not persist in this resolution. I had sometime before presented an invective against that unconstancy, and our so much affecting the French fashion, to his Majesty; in which I took occasion to describe the comeliness and usefulness of the Persian clothing, in the very same manner his Majesty now clad himself. This pamphlet I entitled Tyrannus, or the Mode, and gave it to the King to read. I do not impute to this discourse the change which soon happened, but it was an identity that I could not but take notice of.
This night was acted my Lord Broghill's1 tragedy, called Mustapha, before their Majesties at Court, at which I was present; very seldom going to the public theatres for many reasons now, as they were abused to an atheistical liberty; foul and undecent women now (and never till now) permitted to appear and act, who inflaming several young noblemen and gallants, became their misses, and to some, their wives. "Witness the Earl of Oxford, Sir R. Howard,* Prince Euperl, the Earl of Dorset, and another greater person than any of them, who fell into their snares, to the reproach of their noble families, and ruin of both body and soul.' I was invited by
1 This oostume was shortly after abandoned, and laid aside; nor docs any existing portrait exhibit the King so accoutred.
* Richard Lord Broghill, created, shortly after this, Earl of Orrery; he wrote several other plavs besides that here noticed.
* Sir Robert Howard held the office of Auditor of the Exchequer; but was more celebrated as an author, having written comedies, tragedies, poems, histories,and translations. He was bor n in 1626, and died inlti'JH.
* Among the principal offenders here aimed at were Mrs. Margaret Hughes, Mra. EleanorGrwynne, Mrs. Davenport, Mrs.VphiU, Mrs. Davis, and Mra. Knight. Mra. Davenport (Soxolana) was " m v Lord Oxford's my Lord Chamberlain to see this tragedy, exceedingly well written, though in my mind I did not approve of any such pastime in a time of such judgments and calamities.
21st October. This season, after so long and extraordinary a drought in August and September, as if preparatory for the dreadful fire, was so very wet and rainy as many feared an ensuing famine.
28M. The pestilence, through God's mercy, began now to abate considerably in our town.
30M. To London to our office, and now had I on the vest and surcoat, or tunic, as it was called, after his Majesty had brought the whole court to it. It was a comely and manly habit, too good to hold, it being impossible for us in good earnest to leave the Monsieurs' vanities long.
31st. I heard the signal cause of my Lord Cleveland1 pleaded before the House of Lords ; and was this day forty-six years of age, wonderfully protected by the mercies of God, for which I render him immortal thanks.
14th November. I went my winter-circle through my district, Rochester and other places, where I had men quartered, and in custody.
15th. To Leeds Castle.
16th. I mustered the prisoners, being about 600 Dutch and French, ordered- their proportion of bread to be augmented, and provided clothes and fuel. Monsieur Colbert, Ambassador at the Court of England, this day sent money from his master, the French King, to every prisoner of that nation under my guard.
17th November. I returned to Chatham, my chariot overturning on the steep of Bexley-IIill, wounded me in two places on the head; my son, Jack, being with me, was like to have been worse cut by the glass; but I thank God we both escaped without much hurt, though not without exceeding danger. — ISM. At Rochester.—19th. Returned home.
23rd. At London, I heard an extraordinary case before
miss;" Hn. Uphill was the actress alluded to in connection with Sir R. Howard; Mrs. Hughe* ensnared Prince Rupert; and the last of the "misses" referred to by Evelyn was Nell Gwynne.
1 Thomas Wentworth, created in Feb. 1C26-7 Baron Wentworth of Nettlest*d, and Earl of Cleveland. He died in 1667