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the extracts first, and I will afterwards endeavour to supply any omissions I may perceive.
Mr. CONSTANCE. Very well. The tract is called “God's Terrible Voice in the City,” and commences thus : “ It was the 2nd September, 1666, that the anger of the Lord was kindled against London, and the fire began. It began in a baker's house, in Pudding-lane, by Fish-street-hill. And now the Lord is making London like a fiery oven in the time of his anger, and in his wrath doth devour and swallow up our habitations. It was in the depth and dead of the night, when most doors and fences were locked up in the city, that the fire doth break forth and appear abroad ; and like a mighty giant refreshed with wine, doth awake and arm itself, quickly gathers strength, when it had made havoc of some houses ; maketh down the hill towards the bridge, crosseth Thames-street, invadeth Magnus Church, at the bridge foot; and, though that church were so great, yet it was not a sufficient barricado against the conqueror ;-but, having scaled and taken this first, it shooteth flames with so much the greater advantage into all places round about; and a great building of houses upon the bridge is quickly thrown to the ground. Then the conqueror, being stayed in his course at the bridge, marcheth back to the city again; and runs along with great noise and violence through Thames-street, 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.
« Fire! Fire! Fire! doth resound the streets; many citizens start out of their sleep; look out of their windows; some dress themselves, and run to the place. The Lord Mayor of the city comes with his officers; a confusion there is, counsel is taken away'; and London, so famous for wisdom and dexterity, can now find neither brains nor hands to prevent its ruin. The hand of God was in it;
the decree was come forth; London must now fall, and who could prevent it?
" That which made the ruin the more dismal, was, that it was begun on the Lord's-day morning: never was there the like sabbath in London ; some churches were in flames that day. Such warm preaching those churches never had ; such lightning-dreadful sermons never were before delivered in London.
“ Now the train-bands are up in arms watching at every quarter for outlandish men, because of the general fear and jealousies and rumours, that fire-balls were thrown into houses by several of them, to help on and provoke the too furious flames. Now goods are hastily removed from the lower parts of the city; and the body of the people begin to retire, and draw upwards. Yet some hopes were retained on the Lord's day, that the fire would be extinguished, especially by those who lived in the remote part; they could scarcely imagine that the fire a mile off should be able to reach their houses.
“ But the evening draws on, and now the fire is more visible and dreadful : instead of the black curtains of the night, which used to be spread over the city, now the curtains are yellow; the smoke that arose from the burning parts seemed like so much flame in the night, which being blown upon the other parts by the wind, the whole city, at some distance, seemed to be on fire. Now hopes begin to sink, and a general consternation seizeth upon the spirits of the people; little sleep is taken in London this night ; the amazement which the eye and ear doth effect upon the spirit, doth either dry up or drive away the vapour which used to bind up the senses. Some are at work to quench the fire with water; others endeavour to stop its course by pulling down of houses; but all to no purpose.
On the Lord's-day night the fire had spread as far as Garlick-hithe, in Thames-street, and crept up into Cannon-street, and levelled it with the ground; and still is making forward by the water-side, and upward to the brow of the hill on which the city was built.
« On Monday, Gracechurch-street is all in flames, with Lombard-street on the left hand, and part of Fenchurch-street on the right, the fire working (though not so fast) against the wind that way ; before it were pleasant and stately houses, behind it ruinous and desolate heaps.
“ Now the flames break in upon Cornhill, that large and spacious street, and quickly cross the way by the train of wood that lay in the streets untaken away, which had been pulled down from houses to prevent its spreading; and so they lick the whole street as they go; they mount up to the top of the highest houses; they descend down to the bottom of the lowest vaults and cellars; and march along on both sides of the way, with such a roaring noise, as never was heard in the city of London. No stately building so great as to resist their fury: the Royal Exchange itself, the glory of the merchants, is now invaded with much violence; and when once the fire was entered, how quickly did it run round the galleries, filling them with flames; then came down stairs, compasseth the walks, giving forth flaming vollies, and filleth the court with sheets of fire: by and by down fall all the kings upon their faces, and the greatest part of the stone building after them, (the founder's statue only remaining,) with such a noise as was dreadful and astonishing.
“ Now fearfulness and terror doth surprise the citizens of London; confusion and astonishment doth fall upon them at this unheard of, unthought of judgment. It would have grieved the heart of an unconcerned person to have seen the rueful looks, the pale cheeks, the tears trickling down from the eyes, (where the greatness of sorrow and amazement could give leave for such a vert,) the
smiting of the breast, the wringing of hands; to hear the sighs and groans, the doleful and weeping speeches of the distressed citizens, when they were bringing forth their wives (some from their child-bed) and their little ones (some from their sick bed) out of their houses, and sending them into the country, or somewhere into the fields with their goods.
“Now carts, and drays, and coaches, and horses, as many as could have entrance into the city, were loaden, and any money is given for help; 51. 101. 201. 301. for a cart, to bear forth into the fields some choice things, which were ready to be consumed: and some of the car-men had the conscience to accept of the highest price which the citizens did then offer in their extremity. I am mistaken if such money do not burn worse than the fire out of which it was raked.
“ Monday night was a dreadful night : when the wings of the night liad shadowed the light of the heavenly bodies, there was no darkness of night in London; for the fire shines now round about with a fearful blaze, which yielded such light in the streets, as it had been the sun at noonday. Now the fire having wrought backward strangely against the wind, to Billingsgate, &c. along Thames-street, eastward, runs up the hill to Tower-street, and having marched on from Gracechurch-street, making further progress in Fenchurch-street, and having spread its wing beyond Queen-hithe, in Thames-street, westward, mounts up from the water-side, through Dowgate and Old Fishstreet, into Watling-street: but the great fury of the fire was in the broader streets ; in the midst of the night it was come down Cornhill, and laid it in the dust, and runs along by the Stocks, and there meets with another fire, which came down Threadneedle-street ; a little further with another, which came up from Walbrook ; a little further with another, which comes up from Bucklersbury; and all these four, joining together, break into one great flame at the corner of Cheapside, with such a dazzling light, and burning beat, and roaring noise, by the fall of so many houses together, that was very amazing ; and though it was something stopt in its swift course at Mercer’s chapel, yet with great force in a while it conquers the place, and burns through it; and then, with great rage, proceedeth forward in Cheapside. .
" On Tuesday was the fire burning up the very bowels of London ; Cheapside is all in a light (fire in a few hours time), many fires meeting there, as in the centre ; from Soper-lane, Bow-lane, Bread-street, Friday-street, and Old Change, the fire comes up almost together, and breaks furiously into the broad street, and most of that side of the way was together in flames a dreadful spectacle! Now the fire gets into Blackfriars, and so continues its course by the water, and makes up towards Paul's church, on that side, and Cheapside fire begets the great building on this side, and the church, though all of stone outward, though naked of houses about it, and though so high above all buildings in the city, yet, within a while, doth yield to the violent assaults of the conquering flames, and strangely takes fire at the top : now the lead melts and runs down, as if it had been snow before the sun, and the great beams and massy stones with a great noise fall on the pavement, and break through into Faith Church underneath; now great flakes of stone scale and peel off strangely from the side of the walls; the conqueror having got this high fort, darts its fames round about. Now Paternoster-row, Newgate-market, the Old Bailey, and Ludgate-hill, have submitted themselves to the devouring fire, which, with wonderful speed, rusheth down the hill into Fleet-street. Now. Cheapside fire marcheth along Ironmonger-lane, Old Jewry, Lawrencelane, Milk-street, Wood-street, Gutter-lane, Foster-lane.
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