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MINIATURE SKETCH OF
Aud all that I abhor, thou freckled fair,
The Great Plague, and the Great Fire (the avenging messengers of Heaven), have been the two direst calamities befalling the city of London in modern times. The PLAGUE, raging from May to October, 1665, carried off from 500 to 8000 weekly; altogether perished about 100,000 of the inhabitants! The Royal Exchange was deserted, and the grass grew in the principal streets of the city. The FIRE broke out at Eastcheap, Sept. 2, 1666, and raged for four days and nights with incredible fury. The ruins of the city were 436 acres, destroying 15 of the 26 wards, and consuming 400 streets, 13,200 dwelling houses, 89 churches, four of the city gates, Guildhall, many public structures, hospitals, schools, libraries, and a vast number of stately edifices. The property destroyed it is said amounted to ten millions sterling. The city, however, which was thus on the verge of destruction, arose in the course of four years like a phoenix out of the ashes! It was rebuilt with considerable improvements, and has been undergoing advantageous alterations from that period down to the present day.
To close this rapid sketch of the British METROPOLIS, I would recommend the young pupil to ascend Highgate or Hampstead Hills on a clear morning. He will then behold this unparalleled City stretching itself along the bosom of a fine THE METROPOLIS.
xxxi valley, from Limehouse in the east, to Chelsea in the west, throughout the extent of several miles. The towers and spires, here crowded together, and there scattered abroad, present a beautiful spectacle to the eye, whilst the stately Cathedral of St. Paul's, in the centre, confers upon it an overwhelming sublimity! A reflecting individual in the moment of contemplation exclaims, with patriotic enthusiasm
6 Yonder is the METROPOLIS of the British Empire, the seat of Legislation, the abode of Science, the emporium of Commerce, the glory of England, and the wonder of the World !”
Islington, March 1, 1818.*
* The best Histories of LONDON are Stowe's Survey of London-Malcolm's Londinum Redivivam-Pennant's Account of London—Northouck's New History of London--Chamberlaine's New and Complete History of London-Seymour's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster-Harrison's New and Universal History and Survey of London and Westminster -and Lambert's History of London. The Tenth Volume of the Beauties of England and Wales, by W. Brayley, affords an interesting account of the Metropolis of the British Empire. This elaborate work (now finished) constitutes a complete British topographical library.
359 - James Evans - John Evans.