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THIS great Metropolis is inundated. Let the daily papers speak the particulars.
London under Water.
On Friday the 28th of December, 1821, the inhabitants of London were thrown into the greatest alarm, by the unusually high rising of the spring-tide, aided by the floods occasioned by the late heavy rains. By seven o'clock, in the morning, the whole of the metropolis appeared like one huge sheet of water. We subjoin a narrative of some of the heart-breaking particulars.
Mansion House. The water ran, with considerable violence, through the lower apartments of this building, and carried away the state bed and the sword-bearer's table. The latter has not been heard of since. Luckily no monarch happened to be reposing in the former. Some ladies in the Egyptian Hall were obliged to climb up upon the shoulders of the Reverend Messieurs Clayton, Collyer, and C. S. Hunter, who very politely carried them to the London Tavern. We have not heard whether any clogs or pattens were lost.
Basinghull Street. The outer wall of the New Courts, erected for bankruptcy business, being too weak to resist the mass of water, suddenly gave way. The tide now rushed with great impetuosity through several of the apartments, carrying away a variety of day-books, ledgers, and balance-sheets, none of which have since made their appearance. Seventeen gentlemen, who had met to make a disclosure of their estate and effects, were in consequence unable so to do. The water mixing with a quantity of unslacked lime in Guildhall yard, completely soused the seventeen gentlemen, and gave them the aspect of having been white-washed. They floated off in tilburies and tandems towards Paddington. The commissioners adjourned the meetings to dry-day next.
Royal Exchange.-King Charles the Second was up to his knees in water, and seemed, as Grammont says, to be calling for "Progers" to "help him out of this well." The gentlemen on the West India walk with difficulty kept their heads above water. The clock was torn from its place, and thrown so high in the new steeple, as to be only visible through a telescope; the Gresham lecturer was obliged to dismiss his auditors, consisting of two school-boys who had lost their way, a deaf fruit-woman, and the door-keeper. Consols rose at one time to the height of 79, and the debt leant so hard upon the Bank, that it was feared the latter would give way. One hundred and twenty clerks were swept away from the Bank, stools and all. The directors were saved, by clinging to the ingots, but the sovereigns disappeared.
Saint Paul's.-The organist played Handel's Water-piece, and Arne's "Water parted." Notwithstanding which, the flood rose so high as to force the dean and chapter to take refuge in the whispering gallery. They were afterwards obliged to transfer their dinner from the Globe in Fleet-street, to that over the dome, which was newly gilt for their reception. The venison was rather too high.
London Bridge.-This venerable structure rocked with the violence of the water, to the great astonishment of Tooley-street. The Queen
street bridge did the same, which induced Sir William Rawlins to turn' back, although he had actually paid his penny. The tolls upon Waterloo-bridge rose seventeen-pence in one day; they sunk, however, to four-pence, on the abatement of the tide. Mr. Stephen Kemble stuck in the round-about on the Surrey side, and was chin deep before a collier could be towed to his assistance.
Mark Lane, Mincing Lane, and Billiter Square.-A great number of merchants were forced to quit their residences here, and took up their abode westward, being carried by the tide toward Connaught-place, St. James's-square, and Devonshire-street. Several of them have since been caught in the eddy, and driven within four walls in Saint George's-fields and Fleet-market. Mrs. Serres, attended by a waterbailiff, rowed from her residence in the last-mentioned place, to the King's Head in the Poultry, and the Cumberland Arms in the Cityroad; she then touched in Poland-street; but her expectations being damped by the humidity of the atmosphere, she returned to the hosier's at the corner of Fleet-market.
Lincoln's-Inn Hall.-The Lord Chancellor in the injunction suit "Paddington Canal versus Thames," directed the defendant to "keep within his banks." The order being disobeyed, the defendant was committed to the Fleet, to the great annoyance of all the prisoners in the lower apartments. Several of the debtors were bailed out in buckets. His Lordship sat in a washing-tub His Honour the Vice Chancellor in a mahogany cellaret, ornamented with or-molu.
Westminster Hall.-Messrs. Brougham and Denman rowed to the Court of King's Bench, in the Caroline wherry; that frail vessel went down at the door of Westminster Abbey, and the two learned gentlemen went down with her. They rose again, however, behind the bar, Mr. Denman uppermost. Both gentlemen lost their silk gowns. Mr. Jekyll was seen rowing about in a funny; M. Angelo Taylor in a cock-boat; Colonel Thornton in a life-boat: Sir William Curtis in a jolly-boat, and Lord Erskine in a fire-ship with a jury-mast. Mr. Scarlett's Poor bill was so completely soaked that its title was changed to Poor Mr. Scarlett's bill.
Paternoster Row.-The confusion here is not to be described. Thoughts on the present Crisis, quite soaked through, rotten Hints to Ministers, broken epics, pickled jests from Miller's repository, and dead bodies of Scotch metaphysics, were seen floating in all directions. Messrs. Leigh Hunt and Bysshe Shelly were driven with their respective establishments from Messrs. Longman's down Ave Maria-lane, and before they could utter a single paternoster, found themselves hurled with considerable violence against Vauxhall-bridge. The ladies were received into the Penitentiary, but the gentlemen sailed in a felucca for Pisa. Mr. Godwin venturing in the press to accost Mr. Malthus, got out of his depth, and if it had not been for the exertions of one Caleb Williams, the philosopher of Skinner-street would never have been heard of again. Mr. Hone was driven into Paternoster-row from Ludgate-hill in a pitiful plight; relying on the aid of some wooden cuts, they gave way, and he was all but lost. Messrs. Playfair and Stewart, in company with Doctor Coplestone, venturing into Mazepond, were caught in an eddy, which, after whirling them around until it made them giddy, left them where it found them. A packet of Mr. Southey's Heroics having been left in a low part of Saint
James's palace, was found diluted into hexameters. That gentleman's History of Brazil was also both diluted and dilated. The family of Mr. Sotheby were alarmed by a floating Beppo which entered that gentleman's library-window in Grosvenor-street. Luckily his "goods" are not injured. Mr. Blackwood, a gentleman from Edinburgh, picked up Mr. Hope's Anastasius in Albemarle-street, and laid it at Lord Byron's door. Mr. Hope, on the next day, dispatched a polite note, claiming his property, which was accordingly restored to him. Several paintings in St. James's-street have suffered much from the wet; those in water-colours escaped. In Paternoster-row great damage was done to the Novel line, by a Pirate, who swept all the booksellers shops, like Van Tromp, with a broom at the mast-head. The property carried away by this freebooter is valued at 40001.
Covent Garden Theatre.-The house overflowed at an early hour. The novelty of the day was a revival of the Escapes, or the Water-Carriers; with Undine. An accident, however, happened, which might have been attended with serious consequences. Messrs. C. Kemble, Young, and Macready were violently jostled together in the tide. Several spars, which floated in from the Shakspeare, were thrust out to assist them in swimming. Mr. Young seized a Hamlet, upon which he floated: Mr. Macready caught a Macbeth, which was too large for his grasp: Mr. C. Kemble might have got home upon a Cassio, or a Faulconbridge, but he pushed them both aside, and disappeared. Cleopatra's galley saved the proprietor. Miss M. Tree ascended the same vessel, and, in the hurry of the moment, shewed her legs. The audience were very indulgent. Mr. Liston's Newfoundland dog took care of himself.
Drury Lane Theatre.-The tide at one and the same moment touched Mr. Braham's stock (and Mr. Conway's knee-) buckle. Water will find its level. Mr. Elliston, with provident foresight, had built a wooden platform, from the front of the stage to the back of the pit, upon which he and the other actors escaped dryshod. Mr. E. afterwards attempted the same passage, in company with a Spanish gentleman from Dublin, but the tide set in against him, and blending itself with some combustibles in the pit, produced
"A sound of fear,
Unpleasing to an actor's ear."
Madame Vestris's red morocco boots were saved, but Mr. Elliston's "Epistolary Communications" could not be found. The band was treated with a wet. The house was a bumper. A beautiful young mermaid was caught swimming on a dolphin's back, and immediately received an engagement to sing for the season in a new piece that is to be got up for the occasion.
The Rev. W. L. Bowles got a ducking in Pope's Head alley. Lady Morgan's quarto was ungallantly boarded by Mr. Gifford, but her Ladyship stepped out into an octavo, and sailed away. Miss Taylor was pent in between a Cobourg audience in front, and a drop mirror in the rear: the poor girl did not know which way to look. Mr. Heaviside escaped by getting into Blow-bladder-lane. One Rowland Hill, a player, was washed over the way to the opposite theatre in Blackfriars'road, and as returning was impracticable, was under the necessity of
playing punch at the wrong booth. Potatoes rose in Covent-Garden market, Piazza high; but when the wind abated sunk basket-deep again. Mrs. Rundell's kitchen-garden suffered greatly. Cabbages, carrots, parsnips, and cauliflowers were floated from her premises into those of Mr. Murray, in Albemarle-street. Our reporter left the parties scrambling. A pike, measuring seven feet, was caught in Fludyer-street: it was claimed by a serjeant in the Guards. One Winifred Price lost a pail of milk which was upset at the stage-door of Covent-Garden theatre. The poor woman's commodity, mingled with the water, entered a new forthcoming comedy, and produced an effect too melancholy to detail. Colonel Drinkwater was seen in company with Lord Rivers in Port-soken ward. In several parishes the nave of the church was found in the pulpit. On the abatement of the tide, Mrs. Salmon was found dead upon Fish-street hill. The patentshot manufactory was saved by being dammed.
MUST I drink a health to thee,
With this revel all around me?—
Mirth and noisy wit have bound me
Must I drink a health to thee,
With this revel all around?—
Thou art thinking now of me
'Midst far other scene and sound;
Dream, and hie me to a sphere
may dream of foreheads white,
Of that prophet's paradise,
To that everlasting theme,
LETTERS ON ENGLAND.
BY M. DE SAINT FOIX.
[These letters, we understand, are the production of a distinguished Frenchman, whose original MS. journal has been obligingly submitted to us by a friend for publication. The Editor admits them on account of the ability which they seem to possess. For this special consideration, he makes in this one instance a departure from his general rule of not inserting any communications bearing the stamp of national prejudice. But he protests against being responsible for a single sentiment which they may contain.]
Dieppe, Thursday, Sept. 18, 1817. MY DEAR CLAIRE,-Contrary to your predictions, the attractions of Paris did not detain us a single day from the ultimate object of our journey. Thus it turns out that you do not know us quite so well as you would have us believe. The truth is, that as neither C▬▬ nor I, pride ourselves on the strength of our resolutions when temptations are in the way, we were pretty sure that, if we allowed Paris to detain us one day, there would be no answering for the extent of its influence; so with a prospective prudence which you will no doubt think very creditable to us, at Ville-Juif we paid our postillions for three or four stages forward, and, bidding them drive through Paris, pulled up the blinds of the carriage, and, as it was getting dark, silently composed ourselves into our respective corners; thus contriving to slip through the fingers of the enemy, against whom we might, perhaps, have failed in making a successful resistance. There is no denying that one of us (I can only answer for one) did not sleep very soundly, as he felt himself rattling over the pavé of the metropolis of the world; and he has a faint recollection of having been once or twice on the point of waking his companion, to consult with him on the inexpediency of proceeding farther that evening, intending to hint at the little chance there was of meeting with fitting accommodation at a country village, and to expatiate on the dangers of damp beds, the miseries of short suppers, and so forth. But perhaps all this occurred to him in a dream. Certain it is, however, that we both retained our corners silently till we had passed the Barriere de St. Denis, and felt ourselves on the terre again. Probably it was this change from noise to silence that waked us both; for we now soon found that we both were awake, and ready to consult on where we should pass the night. In pursuance of a sudden thought of C-we agreed to turn out of our road and sleep at Montmorency, that we might idle away a few hours there in the morning, for the sake of him who idled away some of the least unhappy years of his life there. We left Montmorency in the middle of Monday, supped at Ecouis, and then travelled on for the rest of the night, to make up for what you will call our lost time, arriving at Rouen early on Tuesday morning, where we staid till to-day.
You know Normandy is one of my chief favourites among our provinces, as Rouen is among the cities. There is infinite character about the latter, with its majestic cathedral, its noble boulevards, and its air of fresh, and as it were, youthful antiquity; and the former abounds in every variety of picturesque beauty. I hastened to the top of Mount St. Catherine as soon as we arrived, and found the view from thence, as it was when we saw it together five years ago,unrivalled by any thing I have