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The burning badge his shoulder bore,
The belt and oil-skin hat he wore,
The cane he had, his men to bang,
Show'd Foreman of the British gang.
His name was Higginbottom; now
'Tis meet that I should tell you how

The others came in view :
The Sun, the London, and the Rock,
The Pelican, which nought can shock,
Th’ Exchange, where old insurers flock,

The Eagle, where the new;
With these came Rumford, Bumford, Cole,
Robins from Hockley-in-the-Hole,
Lawson and Dawson, cheek by jowl,

Crump from St. Giles's Pound : Whitford and Mitford join'd the train, Huggins and Muggins from Chick Lane, And Clutterbuck, who got a sprain

Before the plug was found. Scroggins and Jobson did not sleep, But ah! no trophy could they reap, For both were in the Donjon Keep 10

Of Bridewell's gloomy mound !

E'en Higginbottom now was posed,
For sadder scene was ne'er disclosed;
Without, within, in hideous show,
Devouring flames resistless glow,
And blazing rafters downward go,
And never halloo "Heads below!"

Nor notice give at all :
The firemen, terrified, are slow
To bid the pumping torrent flow,

For fear the roof should fall,

Back, Robins, back Crump, stand aloof!
Whitford, keep near the walls !
Huggins regard your own behoof,
For lo ! the blazing rocking roof
Down, down, in thunder falls !

An awful pause succeeds the stroke,
And o'er the ruins volumed smoke,
Rolling around its pitchy shroud,
Conceal'd them from th' astonish'd crowd.
At length the mist awhile was clear'd,
When lo ! amid the wreck uprear'd,
Gradual a moving head appear'd,

And Eagle firemen knew
'Twas Joseph Muggins, name rever’d,

The foreman of their crew : Loud shouted all in sign of woe, “A Muggins! to the rescue, ho !

And pour'd the hissing tide. Meanwhile the Muggins fought amain, And strove and struggled all in vain, For rallying but to fall again,

He totter'd, sank, and died !

Did none attempt, before he fell,
To succour one they lov'd so well ?
Yes, Higginbottom did aspire
(His fireman's soul was all on fire),

His brother chief to save;
But ah! his reckless generous ire

Served but to share his grave ! 'Mid blazing beams and scalding streams, Through fire and smoke he dauntless broke,

Where Muggins broke before,
But sulphry stench and boiling drench
Destroying sight o'erwhelm'd him quite,

He sunk to rise no more.
Still o'er his head, while fate he braved,
His whizzing water-pipe he waved;
“Whitford and Mitford, ply your pumps,
You, Clutterbuck, come stir your stumps,
Why are you in such doleful dumps ?
A fireman, and afraid of bumps!
What are they fear'd on? fools ! 'od rot 'em!”
Were the last words of Higginbottom. 11

From Rejected Addresses by H. and J. Smith.



September 2, 1666.-This fatal night about ten began that deplorable fire near Fish Street, in London.

Sept. 3.- I had public prayers at home. The fire continuing, after dinner I took coach with my wife and son, and went to the bank-side in Southwark, where we beheld the dismal spectacle : the whole City in dreadful flames near the water-side. All the houses from the Bridge, all Thames Street, and upwards towards Cheapside, down to the Three Cranes, were now consumed ; and so returned exceedingly astonished what would become of the rest. The fire having continued all this night (if I may call that night which was as light as day for ten miles round about, after a dreadful manner), when conspiring with a fierce easterly wind in a very dry season, I went' on foot to the same place, and saw the whole South part of the City burning from Cheapside to the Thames, and all along Cornhill, (for it likewise kindled back against the wind as well as forward), Tower Street, Fenchurch Street, Gracechurch Street, and so along to Baynard's Castle, and was now taking hold of St. Paul's Church, to which the scaffolds contributed exceedingly. The conflagration was so universal, and the people so astonished, that from the beginning I know not by what despondency or fate, they hardly stirred to quench it, so that there was nothing heard or seen but crying out and lamentation, running about like distracted creatures, without at all attempting to save even their goods; such a strange consternation there was upon them, so as it burned both in breadth and length, the Churches, Public Halls, Exchange, Hospitals, Monuments, and ornaments, leaping after a prodigious manner from house to house and street to street, at great distances one from the other; for the heat with a long set of fair and warm weather had even ignited the air and prepared the materials to conceive the fire, which devoured after an incredible manner houses, furniture and everything. Here we saw the Thames covered with goods floating, all the barges and boats laden with what some had time and courage to save, as, on the othcr, the carts, etc., carrying out to the fields, which for many miles were strewed with moveables of all sorts, and tents erecting to shelter both people and what goods they could get away. Oh, the miserable and calamitous spectacle! such as haply the world had not seen the like since the foundation of it, nor will be outdone till the universal conflagration of it. All the sky was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning oven, and the light seen above forty miles round about for many nights. God grant mine eyes may never behold the like, who now saw above ten thousand houses all in one flame; the noise and cracking and thunder of the impetuous flames, the shrieking of women and children, the hurry of people, the fall of towers, houses and churches, was like a hideous storm, and the air all about so hot and inflamed that at the last one was not able to approach it, so that they were forced to stand still and let the flames burn on, which they did for near two miles in length and one in breadth. The clouds also of smoke were dismal and reached upon computation near fifty-six miles in length.

Sept. 4.—The burning still rages, and it was now got as far as the Inner Temple; all Fleet Street, the Old Bailey, Ludgate Hill, Warwick Lane, Newgate, Paul's Chain, Watling Street, now flaming, and most of it reduced to ashes; the stones of Paul's flew like grenades, the melting lead running down the street in a stream, and the very pavements glowing with fiery redness, so as no horse nor man was able to tread on them, and the demolition had stopped all the passages, so that no

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