Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

in the derivation of our terms, testament, and attestation. As one of the principal agents of decomposition and gradual dissolution, the geologist will find his researches assisted by an examination into their rapid and astonishing powers of perforating and disuniting rocks of calcareous sandstone, limestone, marble, and even the hardest masses of granite and porphyry, wherever they come in contact with the ocean : and by a comparative examination of the different stratifications of marine testaceous depositions, he may eventually be led to some important conclusions as to the probable elevation of the general deluge''

SEPTEMBER.

· SEPTEMBER is composed of septem, seven, and the termination ber, like lis in Aprilis, Quintilis, Sextilis. This rule will also apply to the three following months, Octo-ber, Nov-ember, Decem-ber.

Remarkable Days

In SEPTEMBER 1820.

. 1.--SAINT GILES. Giles, or Ægidius, was born at Athens, but, after he had disposed of his patrimony in charitable uses, came to France in the year 715. He lived two years with Cæsarius, Bishop of Arles, and afterwards retired into solitude.

See Dr. Turton's excellent Conchological Dictionary of the British Islands,' with numerous plates ; an indispensable companion to every visitor of the sea-coast, and admirer of this interesting branch of natural history.

2.-LONDON BURNT. The fire of London broke out on Sunday morning, September 20, 1666, 0.S.; and being impelled by strong winds, raged with irresistible fury nearly four days and nights; nor was it entirely mastered till the fifth morning after it began. This most destructive conflagration commenced at the house of one Farryner, a baker, in Pudding-lane, near [New] Fish-stroet Hill, and within ten houses of Thames-street, into which it spread in a few hours; nearly the whole of the contiguous buildings being of timber, lath, and plaster, and the whole neighbourhood presenting little else than closely confined passages and narrow alleys. The fire quickly spread, and was not to be conquered by any human means.

In the following simple narrative of the fire of London, by an eye-witness (Mr. Evelyn), there is an unaffected pathos, far more impressive than the most laboured description could have made it :

Sept. 2, 1666. This fatal nigbt, about ten, began that deplorable fire near Fish Streete in London.

Sept. 3. The fire continuing, after dinner I took coach with my wife and sonn, and went to the Bankside in Southwark, where we beheld that dismal spectacle, the whole Citty in dreadful flames neare ye water side; all the houses from the Bridge, all Thames Street, and upwards towards Cheapeside downe to the Three Cranes, were now consum'd.

The fire having continu'd all this night (if I may call that night which was as light as day for 10 miles round about, after a dreadful manner) when conspiring with a fierce eastern wind in a very drie season; I went on foote to the same place, and saw the whole South part of ye Citty burning from Cheapeside to ye Thames, and all along Cornehill, (for it kindưd back against ye wind as well as forward), Tower Streete, Fenchurch Streete, Gracious Streete, and so along to Bainard's Castle, and was now taking hold of St. Paule's Church, to which the scaffolds contributed

exceedingly. The conflagration was so universal, and the people so astonish’d, that from the beginning, I know not by what despondency or fate, they hardly stirr'd to quench it, so that there was nothing heard or seene but crying out and lamentation, running about like distracted creatures, without at all at-, tempting to save even their goods, such a strange consternation there was upon them, so as it burned both in breadth and length, the Churches, Publiq Halls, Exchange, Hospitals, Monuments, and ornaments, leaping after a prodigious manner from house to house and streete to streete, at greate distances one from ye other; for ye heate with a long set of faire and warme weather, had even ignited the air, and prepar'd the materials to conceive the fire, which devour'd after an incredible manner, houses, furniture, and every thing. Here we saw the Thames cover'd with goods floating, all the barges and boates laden with what some had time and courage to save, as, on ye other, ye carts, &c. carrying out to the fields, which for many miles were strew'd with moveables of all sorts, and tents erecting to shelter both people and what goods they could get away. Oh the miserable and calamitous spectacle! such as haply the world had not seene the like since the foundation of it, nor to be outdone till the universal conflagration. All the skie was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning oven, the light seene above 40 miles round about for many nights. God grant my eyes may never behold the like, now seeing above 10,000 houses all in one flame; the noise and cracking and thunder of the impetuous flames, ye shrieking of women and children, the hurry of people, the fall of Towers, Houses, and Churches, was like an hideous storme, and the aire all about so hot and inflam'd that at last one was not able to approach it, so that they were forc'd to stand still and let yeflames burn on, wch they did for neere two miles in length and one in bredth. The clouds of smoke were dismall, and reach'd upon

computation neer 50 miles in length. Thus I left it this afternoone burning, a resemblance of Sodom, or the last day. London was, but is no more ! ..Sept. 4. The burning still rages, and it was now gotten as far as the Inner Temple, all Fleet Streete, the Old Bailey, Ludgate Hill, Warwick Lane, Newgate, Paul's Chain, Watling Streete, now flaming, and most of it reduc'd to ashes; the stones of Paules flew like granados, ye melting lead running downe the streetes in a streame, and the very pavements glowing with fiery rednesse, so as no horse nor man was able to tread on them, and the demolition had stopp'd all the passages, so that no help could be applied. The Eastern wind still more impetuously drove the flames forward. Nothing but ye Almighty power of God was able to stop them, for vaine was ye help of man. - Sept. 5. It crossed towards Whitehall; Oh the confusion there was then at that Court! It pleas'd his Maty to command me among ye rest to looke after the quenching of Fetter Lane end, to preserve if possible that part of Holborn, while the rest of ye gentlemen tooke their several posts (for now they began to bestir themselves, and not till now, who hitherto had stood as men intoxicated, with their hands acrosse), and began to consider that nothing was likely to put a stop but the blowing up of so many houses as might make a wider gap than any had yet ben made by the ordinary method of pulling them down with engines; this some stout seamen propos'd early enough to have sav'd neare ye whole Citty, but this some tenacious and avaritious men, aldermen, &c. would not permit, because their houses must have ben of the first. It was therefore now commanded to be practic'd, and my concern being particularly for the hospital of St. Bartholomew

? An abbreviation for his Majesty,

neere Smithfield, where I had many wounded and sick men, made me the more diligent to promote it, nor was my care for the Savoy lesse. It now pleas'd God by abating the wind, and by the industry of ye people, infusing a new spirit into them, that the fury of it began sensibly to abate about noone, so as it came no farther than ye Temple Westward, nor than ye entrance of Smithfield North; but continu'd all this day and night so impetuous towards Cripplegate and the Tower, as made us all despaire : it also broke out againe in the Temple, but the courage of the multitude persisting, and many houses being blown up, such gaps and desolations were soone made, as with the former three days' consumption, the back fire did not so vehemently urge upon the rest as formerly. There was yet no standing neere the burning and glowing ruines by neere a furlong's space.

The poore inhabitants were dispers'd about St. George's Fields, and Moorefields, as far as Highgate, and severall miles in circle, some under tents, some under miserable hutts and hovells, many without a rag or any necessary utensills, bed or board, who from delicatenesse, riches, and easy accommodations in stately and well furnish'd houses, were now reduc'd to extreamest misery and poverty.

In this calamitous condition I return'd with a sad heart to my house, blessing and adoring the mercy, of God to me and mine, who in the midst of all this ruine was like Lot, in my little Zoar, safe and sound.

Sept. 7. I went this morning on foote from White. hall as far as London Bridge, thro’ the late Fleete Streete, Ludgate Hill, by St. Paules, Cheapeside, Exchange, Bishopsgate, Aldersgate, and out to Moorefields, thence thro' Cornehille, &c. with extraordinary difficulty, clambering over heaps of yet smoking rubbish, and frequently mistaking where I was. The ground under my feete was so hot, that it even burnt the soles of my shoes. In the mean time his Maty

« AnteriorContinuar »