Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

tory to spreading through the whole popula- | all the bells of London tolled in dismal chime, tion. The dead-carts began to creak along the dull echoes never ceasing to sound in the almost deserted streets, and wagons and ears of those who feared every moment to be coaches filled the highways which led from seized with the frightful disease.* the metropolis, burthened with those whom terror had driven to seek refuge in the coun “Mr. Marr tells me how a maid-servant of Mr. try. Seventeen or eighteen hundred perished John Wright's, who lives thereabouts, falling sick every week. Friends shunned each other's of the plague, she was removed to an outhouse, presence; the father feared the son, the son

and a nurse appointed to look to her, who being feared the father-every one fearing, that window and run away. The nurse coming and

once absent, the maid got out of the house at the communication brought death along with it. knocking, and having received no answer, believed In the last week of August, 1665, the mor- she was dead, and went and told Mr. Wright so, who tality of London increased to 7,000, and in and his lady were in great strait what to do to get the first week of September it rose to nearly her buried; at last, resolved to go to Burntwood, 9,000. The inhabitants knew not what to hard by, being in the parish, and there get people do—where to seek safety. Thousands

to do it. But they would not : so he went home would have fled but possessed not the means; walking over the common, which frightened him

full of trouble, and in the way met the wench thousands had not the energy to fly, and worse than before ; and was forced to send people thousands fell victims to the disease almost to take her, which they did, and they got one of ere they were aware of its approach. It the pest-coaches and put her into it, to carry her seemed as if curse had fallen on the city. to a pest-house. And passing in a narrow lane, Men issued from their homes in vigorous Sir Anthony Broune, with his friends in the coach, health, and died ere they reached their desti; latter being a young man, and believing there nation. To-day a family was complete, and

might be some lady in it that would not be seen, to-morrow perhaps most of its members were

and the way being narrow, thrust his head out of carried forth to their graves. The social his own into her coach to look, and there saw meeting was dispersed by a whisper of the somebody looking very ill, and in as ill dress, wlio plague, and the few passengers in the streets stunk mightily, which the coachman also cried went out of their way to avoid meeting the out upon. . And presently they came up to some cart that conveyed the victims to their un

people that stood looking after it, and told our gal.

lants that it was a maid of Mr. Wright's carried consecrated graves. Nearly every one hold

away sick of the plaguc; which put the young ing a public office fled the town, and left the gentleman into a fright that nearly cost him his affairs of the nation to be ruled by chance, or life, but he is now well again.” by ignorant and inexperienced deputies. This was peculiarly unfortunate in times so anxious We perceive that our limits are rapidly and important, and it was then that Pepys drawing in; we must, therefore, with whatenjoyed the opportunity of affording an evi ever regret we may do so, pass on rapidly dence of his unflinching and fearless charac- through the diary, and leave unnoticed nuter. He remained at his post as a true solo merous interesting and curious passages. The dier remains under his standard when his plague grew upon the city; the river was companions have either fallen or fled, and ex- deserted, and the silent and melancholy erted his utmost energies to support the streets were covered with grass.

In the beheavy burthen of business which pressed ginning of October, however, the bills of morupon his department of the public service. tality decreased, and this fact, together with He, however, sent his family to Greenwich, the intelligence of several victories over the whither he himself also repaired as soon as Dutch, contributed to shed a little light upon the calls of business had been satisfied. The the general gloom which hung upon the pubDutch were on the English coast, and threat- lic mind. But this was but a temporary reened a descent upon Margate. Pepys was spite, for the disease recovered strength and resolved that for no fault of his should his continued to rage with greater fury than country lose a particle of its honor, and he ever; and so the year 1665 ended, and left applied himself with vigor to the task of reg. Pepys in a better condition than he ever was ulating the affairs of the English navy; and his steady application counterbalanced many * The pestilence is thus spoken of in the curious of the evils which would otherwise have re work from which we have already quoted :-“ But sulted from the absence or negligence of the the anger of the Lord was

kindled against the King other officials. And all this while the plague and against the people of England, and he smote the

land with a dreadful pestilence, insomuch that there was devastating the city, death striking down

died in one year upwards of sixty and seven thouhnndreds of human beings every day; and I sand persons.”

before. He had succeeded Mr. Pary as com- | thing of the spirit of enthusiasm at last missioner for the affairs of Tangier, and had, warmed the heart of London. When, howmoreover, been nominated to the post of sur ever, an engagement at length took place, veyor of the victualling department. His although the result showed a victory on the savings had increased from £1300 to £4400. English side, yet the success was not so great One fact, however, troubled him. Lord as to warrant any triumph, and the country Sandwich had fallen in the estimation of the was disappointed of its hopes. Court, and was sent as ambassador to Spain, We now approach the great catastrophe and the Duke of Albemarle had not risen in which struck London, ere it had recovered popularity. The pestilence now began to from the weakening effects of the plague. On weaken, and the weekly average of deaths the 2d of August, 1666, Pepys was awakened sank to a comparatively insignificant amount. from his sleep, at three o'clock in the mornLondon resumed by slow degrecs its wonted ing, by one of his maid-servants, who told aspect, and to his great joy Pepys was ena him that a great fire had broken out in the bled to establish his family again in town, city. Rising and looking forth from the winand to resume his usual manner of living. dow, he saw a mighty flame appearing in the

Of his domestic life, Pepys allows us from direction of Mark-Lane, and, as it then seemtime to time to catch many detached glimps-ed to him, retreating rather than advancing es, which, however, are too scattered and to his quarter. He then retired to rest again, slight to allow us to form any very accurate and at seven o'clock again looked out. The idea of his manner and mode of life at home. blaze had now reached Fish Street, and was He appears to have been, after a fashion, making rapid progress towards London fond of his wife, though he never allowed Bridge. Dressing, and walking out, he reher to express an opinion contrary to his own, paired to the scene of conflagration, and then, or to transact any affairs to wbich he was not for the first time, understood its serious naprivy. For instance, read the following : ture. Thousands of people thronged the

streets, the inhabitants of the houses were “12th. I and my wife to her closet, to examine flinging their goods either into the street or her kitchen accounts, and then I took occasion to into the river, or into the barges that lay fall out with her for her buying a broad-laced ready at hand. The poor clung to their handkerchief and a pinner, without my leave. For homes until they were scorched by the flames, this we both began to be angry, and so continued and multitudes of pigeons, unwilling to leave till bed.

“13ih. Up, without being friends with my wife. the houses, circled about them, or fluttered nor yet great enemies, being both quiet and at the windows until they dropped amid the silent."

burning mass. All the city was in a tumult.

The plague was a silent enemy; it came We find them, however, soon reconciled. stealthily, and did its noiseless work, exertWe find him one day recording the fact, that ing a sickening influence on the minds of the she was out of temper on account of his having people; but the fire continued its progress, checked her with some abruptness, for tell sending forth a loud and prolonged roar. ing long stories in the coach. “She do find The crowds were wild with fear and excitewith reason,” he says, " that in the company ment. The calamity was as sudden as it was of Pieree, Knipp, and other women that I alarming. love, that I do not value or mind her as I As yet none had proposed any measures ought." Nevertheless, bis private life ap- of safety ; none had thought of the possibilpears to have been chequered with few cross- ity of arresting the flames; all alike seemed es, and he seems to glide on, borne by a paralyzed with horror. The mayor of the smooth current, enjoying a happy and pros- city wept like a child ; and when a command perous existence.

was sent to him, at the suggestion of Pepys, The Dutch fleets, about the middle of the that he should pull the houses down, and year 1666, met with some important reverses, thus endeavor to stop the fire, he cried, being on several occasions driven to flight by “ Lord! what can I do? I am spent; people the efforts of the English commanders. But will not obey me. I have been pulling down a sudden alarm spread through London upon houses, but the fire overtakes us faster than the news that a great armament, fitted out we can do it." by Holland, was about to advance upon our

Carts laden with furniture, sick persons coasts, and recover the ground lost in their carried away in their beds, thousands of halfrecent defeats. However, good preparations clothed men, women, and children, pale with were made to meet this attack, and some fear, and scarcely knowing whither to turn,

[ocr errors]

filled the streets, some going one way, some

had been too startled, too alarmed, too irresanother; others rushing wildly, with no ob- olute to adopt any precautionary measures, ject in view save that of escaping with life now when the devastation had been accomfrom the mighty calamity. Pepys now began plished, applied their energies to the task of to occupy himself for the public safety. He renovation, and a new city began to rise from went amidst the crowds, directed the efforts the ashes of the old. of those employed to pull the houses down, Compliments and panegyries crowded upon encouraged them, assisted them, and labored Pepys. His society was courted, his converlike a hero wherever he found an opportunity. sation sought, and every mark of admiration The scene which presented itself to his view bestowed on him. But these empty honors, is vividly described :

though they flattered his vanity, would not

have brought much satisfaction to his mind, “We went as near to the fire as we could for had they not been accompanied by a continsmoke; and all over the Thames, with one's face ued, though gradual increase of his worldly in the wind, you were nearly burned with a

wealth. shower of fire-drops. This is very true, for

At the end of 1666, he finds himhouses were burned by these drops and flakes of self worth £6,200, more than he had hoped fire-three or four, nay five or six houses, one for. Himself and his family were in the perfrom another. When we could endure no more fect enjoyment of health, and he moreover upon the water, we to a little alehouse on the luxuriated in the pleasure, great as it was to Bankside over against the Three Cranes, and there him, of taking his meals off silver plates. staid until it was dark almost, and there saw the Public affairs, however, were in not so prosfire grow; and as it grew darker and darker, appeared more and more ; and in corners and upon who prophesied the

immediate and entire ruin

perous a condition, and there were even those steeples and between churches and houses as far as we could see up the hill of the city, in a most hor- of the kingdom—"from which,” says Pepys rid, malicious, bloody flame, not like the fine flame " God deliver us!” of an ordinary fire. We staid till we saw the fire of the following year we cannot pause to as only one entire arch of fire from this to the make much mention. One curious fact is other side of the bridge, and in a line up the hill spoken of as far on as March, when Pepys for an arch of above a mile long ; it made me weep to see it. The churches, houses and all on

he saw the smoke issuing from some celfire, and flaming at once, and a horrid noise the lars that had not been uncovered since the fames made, and the crackling of houses at their fire. Towards the middle of the

year,

the ruine."

city began to grow into shape again, streets

were marked out, and the work of renovation While working for the public safety, Pepys was carried on with some vigor. At the close did not neglect his own stores of gold, and of the year he lost his mother, whose last those which were under his charge at the words were, “God bless my poor Sam !" office; but conveyed them, with many valu- —words which affected him to tears. Anothable

papers and much plate, that same night er incident which he mentions as important is by moonlight to a deep cellar. The next day, a fierce quarrel between himself and Sir W. he, with several of his friends, busied them- Penn. “My heart,” he says, “is as full of selves in digging holes in the garden, where spite as it could hold; but God forgive both they deposited their wines, with some Par-me and him !” mesan cheeses, and numerous articles of And here, until the publication of the revalue. But his chief employment during the maining volumes, we take leave of Pepys. continuance of the fire consisted in endeavor. We have pursued his career from his humble ing to check its progress, and prevent it from clerkship in the Exchequer to the period when extending its ravages to those quarters of the he held one of the most honorable posts in city as yet uninjured. Through his efforts, to- that department. Our readers will have pergether with those of the men who took a ceived that he was a man of eccentric charpride in following his honorable example, it acter, and they will also have observed that was at length subdued, and by slow degrees the times in which he lived were well calcudied

away for lack of food. The city, how-lated to allow a man of his energy and ability ever, presented a wretched appearance. It to distinguish himself above his peers. While looked like an extinguished furnace, and huge we owe to Pepys a debt of gratitude for the clouds of damp smoke rose up from the rare and curious information he has beblackened masses of buildings. St. Paul's queathed to us, for the graphic and wellstood a shattered ruin, and numerous other colored pictures which he has presented public edifices formed its companions in the us of the times and the men among whom general scene of destruction. Those, how- he lived, we cannot help regretting the ever, who, during the continuance of the fire, I weakness that led him to the commission of

says

actions which history cannot record otherwise its highly gifted editor, Lord Braybrooke, has than with blame. But he has written his own performed his task, our thanks—the thanks character, his own praises, and also his own of all who read the work—are due to him. condemnation. We see him as he was. He Nothing can be more admirable than the inhas given us a faithful reflection of his mind, troduction and notes, which have transformed and the praise of sincerity is due to him. the rough diaries of Samuel Pepys into one Those, therefore, who wish to acquire a just large and consecutive, and clear and comidea of him and his period will do well to prehensive narrative. Pepys has been fortuconsult the volume before us. With regard nate in his editor, and Lord Braybrooke's to the form in which this diary has been laid valuable services will, without doubt, be apbefore the public, we shall only remark, that preciated in the literary world. for the care, ability, and judgment with which

THE COFFEE-HOUSE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

now

FOREIGNERS remarked that the coffee-house Garden and Bow Street, was sacred to polite was that which especially distinguished Lon letters. There the talk was about poetical don from all other cities ; that the coffee- justice and the unities of place and time. house was the Londoner's home, and that There was a faction for Perrault and the those who wished to find a gentleman com- moderns, a faction for Boileau and the anmonly asked, not whether he lived in Fleet cients. One group debated whether Paradise Street or Chancery Lane, but whether he Lost ought not to have been in rhyme. To frequented the Grecian or the Rainbow. another an envious poetaster demonstrated Nobody was excluded from these places who that Venice Preserved ought to have been laid down his penny at the bar. Yet

every
hooted from the stage.

Under no roof was rank and profession, and every shade of re a greater variety of figures to be seen—earls ligious and political opinion, had its own head in stars and garters, clergymen in cassocks quarters. There were houses near St. James's and bands, pert templars, sheepish lads from Park where fops congregated, their heads the universities, translators and index makers and shoulders covered with black or flaxen in ragged coats of frieze. The great press wigs, not less ample than those which are was to get near the chair where John Dryden

worn by the chancellor and by the sat. In winter that chair was always in the Speaker of the House of Commons. The warmest nook by the fire; in summer it stood wig came from Paris ; and so did the rest of in the balcony. To bow to him, and to hear the fine gentleman's ornaments, his embroid- his opinion of Racine's last tragedy or of ered coat, his fringed gloves, and the tassel Bossu's treatise on epic poetry, was thought which upheld his pantaloons. The conver a privilege. A pinch from his snuff-box was sation was in that dialect which, long after it an honor sufficient to turn the head of a young had ceased to be spoken in fashionable circles, enthusiast. There were coffee-houses where continued, in the mouth of Lord Foppington, the first medical men might be consulted. to excite the mirth of theatres. The at Doctor John Radcliffe, who, in the year 1685, mosphere was like that of a perfumer's shop. rose to the largest practice in London, came Tobacco in

any other form than that of richly daily, when the Exchange was full, from his scented snuff was held in abomination. If house in Bow Street, then a fashionable part any clown, ignorant of the usages of the of the capital, to Garraway's, and was to be house, called for a pipe, the sneers of the found surrounded by surgeons and apothecawhole assembly and the short answers of the ries, at a particular table. There were puriwaiters soon convinced him that he had better tan coffee-houses, where no oath was heard, go somewhere else. Nor, indeed, would he and where lank-haired men discussed elechave had far to go. For, in general, the cof- tion and reprobation through their noses ; see rooms reeked with tobacco like a guard Jew coffee-houses, where dark-eyed moneyroom; and strangers sometimes expressed changers, from Venice and from Amsterdam, their surprise that so many people should greeted each other, and Popish coffee-houses, leave their own firesides to sit in the midst of where, as good testants believed, Jesuits eternal fog and stench. Nowhere was the planned, over their cups, another great fire, smoking more constant than at Will's. That and cast silver bullets to shoot the king.-celebrated house, situated between Covent Macaulay's History.

From the Dublin University Magazine.

BRITISH INDIA.

1.-"Mill's History of British India." Edited, and now completed, by Horace

Hayman Wilson, M.A., F.R.S. 9 Vols. London: Madden. 1848. 2.-" The Life of Lord Clive." By the Rev. G. R. Gleig. London: Murray. 1848.

In a paper on the early history of India, which would correspond with the victories of published some time ago in this magazine, Alfred, or the landing of the Conqueror, in we commenced our observations by referring our domestic annals. to the indifference exhibited by the home We gladly admit that since the appearance public to all topics connected with our Asi- of our previous paper, this insensibility to atic empire; and we did so, as we then stated, Asiatic interests has been a good deal lessennot because the circumstance was either strik-ed. This is partly an effect, and one which ing or anomalous, but for the better reason of we anticipated, of the rapid, regular, and freits practical importance. “We could,” as we quent communication by what is miscalled then expressed ourselves,“ little bope for any the "overland passage,” which passes over marked improvement in the social condition no land except the hand's-breadth at Suez. of the natives of India, until the people of This acknowledged improvement must, howthese countries had such an acquaintance ever, be most of all ascribed to the felt with it, as that a public opinion could be formed jeopardy to which our Indian empire was on the subject, and was known to exist." exposed by the unexpected aggression of the " It was only," we added, “ to such pressure Sikhs. That taught us for, perhaps, the first from without that the difficulties which attend time, deeply to appreciate the value of our the promotion of Christianity in India—the imperial colony, and our views of interest main sanitary provision for all its ills, spirit- were blended with nobler feelings in the triual, moral, and even industrial—would ever umphs which followed. Although India is give way, and that one of the first steps immeasurably the most important of all our towards the formation of this public opinion, great dependencies, there is not another in was the diffusion of some knowledge of the regard to which we have an equal tendency history and statistics of the country.” In hum to indifference. The philosophy of the cause ble aid of this object we then took up our pen, of this appears to be, that it is the only one and with like purpose we now resume it. In with which we are not nationally identified regard to the fact of ignorance of, and apathy by colonization. Every Englishman who goes to, Indian interests, we find our views corrob- there hopes to return; nobody loves to live orated by what we believe we are entitled to there; none settle; no one regards it as his call the highest authority on such a point, the home. Hence the lack of personal interest Times newspaper, which, in a leading article in the country; and hence, again, the general of two years' later date—that is, on the 14th coldness of which we have been complaining. of June, 1847, dwells on the circumstance as The duties of all in office are performed faitha woeful truth, and cites the saying of “one fully and well ; but they are performed as of our most accomplished writers and speak- duties, and such sympathy as strangers feel ers, at this moment a member of her Majesty's is, like their connection with the soil, tempocabinet," whom most of onr readers will easi- rary. We notice the defect, not for the ly recognize as the able and eloquent Mr. purpose of disparaging our government of Macaulay; and who "avowed his conviction India, which is, beyond all question, the best that not one in ten of our most highly-educa- its nations have ever known-one which gives ted gentlemen had the faintest conception of them that great element of social happiness, those incidents of British Indian history, security of person and of property, and what

« НазадПродовжити »