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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 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. 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.

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37. THE RED FISHERMAN.

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PRAED.

[WINTHROP MACKWORTHI 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,

And donned his sandal shoon,
And wandered forth alone to look
Upon the summer moon:
A starlight sky was o'er his head,

A quiet breeze around;

And the flowers a thrilling fragrance shed,

And the waves a soothing sound:

It was not an hour, nor a scene, for aught
But love and calm delight;

Yet the holy man had a cloud of thought

On his wrinkled brow that night. He gazed on the river that gurgled by, But he thought not of the reeds;

He clasped his gilded rosary,

But he did not tell the beads:

Companionless, for a mile or more,
He traced the windings of the shore.
Oh, beauteous is that river still,
As it winds by many a sloping hill,
And many a dim o'er-arching grove,
And many a flat and sunny cove,
And terraced lawns whose bright arcades
The honey-suckle sweetly shades,
And rocks whose very crags seem bowers,
So gay they are with grass and flowers.
But the Abbot was thinking of scenery,
About as much, in sooth,

As a lover thinks of constancy,
Or an advocate of truth.

He did not mark how the skies in wrath
Grew dark above his head;

If he looked to the Heaven, 't was not to He did not mark how the mossy path

invoke

The Spirit that dwelleth there;

If he opened his lips, the words they spoke
Had never the tone of prayer.

A pious Priest might the Abbot seem,
He had swayed the crosier well;
But what was the theme of the Abbot
dream,

The Abbot were loth to tell,

Grew damp beneath his tread;

And nearer he came, and still more near,

To a pool, in whose recess

The water had slept for many a year,

Unchanged, and motionless;

From the river stream it spread away,
The space of half a rood;

The surface had the hue of clay,

And the scent of human blood;

The trees and the herbs that round it grew The line the Abbot saw him throw
Were venomous and foul;
Had been fashioned and formed long ages

And the birds that through the bushes flew

Were the vulture and the owl;

The water was as dark and rank

As ever a company pumped ;

ago:

And the hands that worked his foreign

vest,

Long ages ago had gone to their rest:

And the perch that was netted and laid You would have sworn, as you looked on

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Lightly and brightly they glide and go: The hungry and keen to the top are leaping, The lazy and fat in the depths are sleeping; Fishing is fine when the pool is muddy,, Broiling is rich when the coals are ruddy! In a monstrous fright, by the murky light, He looked to the left, and he looked to the right.

And what was the vision close before him, That flung such a sudden stupor o'er him? "T was a sight to make the hair uprise,

And the life-blood colder run: The startled Priest struck both his thighs,

And the Abbey clock struck one!

All alone, by the side of the pool,
A tall man sate on a three-legged stool,
Kicking his heels on the dewy sod,
And putting in order his reel and rod.
Red were the rags his shoulders wore,
And a high red cap on his head he bore;
His arms and his legs were long and bare;
And two or three locks of long red hair
Were tossing about his scraggy neck,
Like a tattered flag o'er a splitting wreck.
It might be time, or it might be trouble,
Had bent that stout back nearly double;
Sunk in their deep and hollow sockets
That blazing couple of Congreve rockets ;
And shrunk and shrivelled that tawny skin,
Till it hardly covered the bones within.

them,

He had fished in the flood with Ham and Shem!

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,

As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
Minnow or gentle, worm or fly-
It seemed not such to the Abbot's eye:
Gaily it glittered with jewel and gem,
And its shape was the shape of a diadem.
It was fastened a gleaming hook about,
By a chain within, and a chain without;
The Fisherman gave it a kick and a spin,
And the water fizzed as it tumbled in!
From the bowels of the earth,
Now the battle's bursting peal,
Strange and varied sounds had birth;
Neigh of steed, and clang of steel;
Neigh of steed, and clang of steel;
Echoed from the dungeon stone ;
Now an old man's hollow groan
Now the weak and wailing cry
Of a stripling's agony!

Cold, by this, was the midnight air;

But the Abbot's blood ran colder, When he saw a gasping knight lie there, With a gash beneath his clotted hair,

And a hump upon his shoulder. And the loyal churchman strove in vain To mutter a Pater Noster: For he who writhed in mortal pain, Was camped that night on Bosworth plain, The cruel Duke of Glo'ster!

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,

As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
It was a haunch of princely size,
Filling with fragrance earth and skies.
The corpulent Abbot knew full well
The swelling form and the steaming smell;
Never a monk that wore a hood
Could better have guessed the very wood
Where the noble hart had stood at bay,
Weary and wounded, at close of day.

Sounded then the noisy giee,
Of a revelling company;
Sprightly story, wicked jest,
Rated servant, greeted guest,
Flow of wine, and flight of cork,
Stroke of knife, and thrust of fork:
But where'er the board was spread,
Grace, I ween, was never said!

Pulling and tugging the Fisherman sate;
And the Priest was ready to vomit,
When he hauled out a gentleman, fine and
fat,

With a belly as big as a brimming vat,

And a nose as red as a comet. 'A capital stew,' the Fisherman said,

With cinnamon and sherry!'
And the Abbot turned away his head,
For his brother was lying before him dead,
The Mayor of St. Edmond's Bury!
There was turning of keys, and creaking
of locks,

As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
It was a bundle of beautiful things,
A peacock's tail, and a butterfly's wings,
A scarlet slipper, an auburn curl,
A mantle of silk, and a bracelet of pearl,
And a packet of letters, from whose sweet
fold

Such a stream of delicate odours rolled, That the Abbot fell on his face, and fainted,

And deemed his spirit was half-way sainted.

Sounds seemed dropping from the skies,
Stifled whispers, smothered sighs,
And the breath of vernal gales,
And the voice of nightingales :
But the nightingales were mute,
Envious, when an unseen lute
Shaped the music of its chords
Into passion's thrilling words.
'Smile, lady, smile!-I will not set
Upon my brow the coronet,
Till thou wilt gather roses white,
To wear around its gems of light.
Smile, lady, smile!-I will not see
Rivers and Hastings bend the knee,
Till those bewitching lips of thine
Will bid me rise in bliss from mine.
Sinile, lady, smile!-for who would win
A loveless throne through guilt and sin?

Or who would reign o'r me and h
If woman's heart were rebel still!
One jerk, and there a lady lay

A lady wondrous fur;

But the rose of her lip had faded away,
And her cheek was as white and oridas clay,
And torn was her raven hair.
'Ah ha!' said the Fisher, in merry grise,
And the Abbot heaved some pineous sighs,
'Her gallant was booked before ;-
For oft he had bless'd those deep bize eyes,
The eyes of Mistress Store!

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,

As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
Many the cunning sportsman tried,
Many he flung with a frown aside;
A minstrel's harp, and a miser's chest,
A hermit's cowl, and a baron's crest,
Jewels of lustre, robes of price,
Tomes of heresy, loaded dice,

And golden cups of the brightest wine
That ever was pressed from the Burgundy

vine.

As he came at last to a bishop's mitre!
There was a perfume of sulphur and nitre,
From top to toe the Abbot shook
And awfully were his features wrought
As the Fisherman armed his golden hook;
Look how the fearful felon gazes
By some dark dream, or wakened thought.

On the scaffold his country's vengeance raises,

When the lips are cracked, and the jaws are dry,

With the thirst which only in death shall die:

Mark the mariner's frenzied frown,
As the swaling wherry settles down,
When peril has numbed the sense and will,
Though the hand and the foot may struggle
still:

Wilder far was the Abbot's glance,
Deeper far was the Abbot's trance:
Fixed as a monument, still as air,
He bent no knee, and he breathed no
prayer;

But he signed, — he knew not why or how,

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,

As he stalked away with his iron box. 'Oh ho! Oh ho!

The cock doth crow;

It is time for the Fisher to rise and go. Fair luck to the Abbot, fair luck to the shrine;

He hath gnawed in twain my choicest line; Let him swim to the north, let him swim to the south,

The Abbot will carry my hook in his
mouth;

The Abbot had preached for many years,
With as clear articulation

Against Emancipation:

His words had made battalions quake,
Had roused the zeal of martyrs ;
Had kept the Court an hour awake,
And the king himself three-quarters :
But ever, from that hour, 'tis said,

He stammered and he stuttered
As if an axe went through his head,
With every word he uttered.
He stuttered o'er blessing, he stuttered
o'er ban,

He stuttered, drunk or dry,
And none but he and the Fisherman
Could tell the reason why!

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 uneasiness, I warrant you, and then recovered herself from one eye to another, until she was perfectly confused by meeting something so wistful in all she 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 upon

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