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12th. The people die so, that now it seems they are fain to carry the dead to be buried by day-light, the nights not sufficing to do it in. And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within at nine at night all, as they say, that the sick may have liberty to go abroad for air.
13th. It was dark before I could get home, and so land at Churchyard stairs, where, to my great trouble, I met a dead corpse of the plague, in the narrow alley just bringing down a little pair of stairs. But I thank God I was not much disturbed at it. However, I shall beware of being late abroad again.
16th. To the Exchange, where I have not been a great while. But, Lord ! how sad a sight it is to see the streets empty of people, and very few upon the 'Change. Jealous of every door that one sees shut up, lest it should be the plague ; and about us two shops in three, if not more, generally shut up.
20th. To Brainford ; and there at the inn that goes down to the water-side, I light and paid off my post-horses, and so slipped on my shoes, and laid my things by, the tide not serving, and to church, where a dull sermon, and many Londoners.
After church to my room, and eat and drank, and so about seven o'clock by water, and got between nine and ten to Queenhive, very dark. And I could not get my waterman to go elsewhere for fear of the plague. Thence with a lanthorn, in great fear of meeting of dead corpses, carrying to be buried; but (blessed be God !) met none, but did see now and then a link (which is the mark of them) at & distance.
22nd. I went away and walked to Greenwich, in my way seeing a coffin with a dead body therein, dead of the plague, lying in an open close belonging to Coome Farm, which was carried out last night, and the parish have not appointed any body to bury it, but only set a watch there all day and night, that nobody should go thither or come thence ; this disease making us more cruel to one another than we are to dogs.
30th. Abroad, and met with Hadley, our clerk, who, upon my asking how the plague goes, told me it increases much, and much in our parish.
31st. Up, and after putting several things in order to my removal to Woolwich, the plague having a great increase this week, beyond all expectation, of almost 2,000, making the general bill 7,000, odd 100; and the plague above 6,000. Thus this month ends with great sadness upon the public, through the greatness of the plague every where through the kingdom almost. Every day sadder and sadder news of its increase. In the city died this week 7,496, and of them 6,102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead this week is near 10,000 ; partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others, that will not have any bell ring for them.
September 3rd (Lord's Day). Up, and put on my coloured silk suit, very fine, and my new periwig, bought a good while since, but durst not wear, because the plague was in Westminster when I bought it ; and it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done, as to periwigs, for nobody will dare to buy any hair, for fear of the infection, that it had been cut off the heads of people dead of the plague. My Lord Brouncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I, up to the vestry, at the desire of the justices of the peace, in order to the doing something for the keeping of the plague from growing ; but, Lord ! to consider the madness of people of the town, who will (because they are forbid) come in crowds along with the dead corpses to see them buried; but we agreed on some orders for the prevention thereof. Among other stories, one was very passionate, methought, of a complaint brought against a man in the town for taking a child from London from an infected house. Alderman Hooker told us it was the child of a very able citizen in Gracious Street, a saddler, who had buried all the rest of his children of the plague, and himself and wife now being shut up, and in despair of escaping, did desire only to save the life of this little child; and so prevailed to have it received stark naked into the arms of a friend, who brought it (having put it into new clothes) to Greenwich ; where, upon hearing the story, we did agree it should be permitted to be received and kept in the town.
20th. To Lambeth. But, Lord ! what a sad time it is to see no boats upon the river, and grass grows all up and down White Hall court, and nobody but poor wretches in the streets ! and, which is worst of all, the Duke showed us the number of the plague this week, brought in the last night from the Lord Mayor ; that it is increased about 600 more than the last, which is quite contrary to our hopes and expectations, from the coldness of the late season. For the whole general number is 8,297, and of them the plaguo 7,165 ; which is more in the whole by above 30 than the biggest bill yet : which is very grievous on us all.
October 16th. I walked to the Tower ; but, Lord! how empty the streets are and melancholy, so many poor sick people in the streets full of sores ; and so many sad stories overheard as I walk, every body talking of this dead, and that man sick, and so many in this place, and so many in that. And they tell me that, in Westminster, there is never a physician, and but one apothecary left, all being dead; but that there are great hopes of a great decrease this week : God send it !
29th. In the streets did overtake and almost run upon two women crying and carrying a man's coffin between them ; I suppose the husband of one of them, which, methinks, is a sad thing.
November 27th. I into London, it being dark night, by a hackney-coach ; the first I have durst to go in many a day, and with great pain now for fear. But it being unsafe to go by water in the dark and frosty cold, and unable, being weary with my morning walk, to go on foot, this was my only way. Few people yet in the streets, nor shops open, here and there twenty in a place almost; though not above five or six o'clock at night.
30th. Great joy we have this week in the weekly bill, it being come to 544 in all, and but 333 of the plague, so that we are encouraged to get to London as soon as we can.
January 5. I with my Lord Brouncker and Mrs. Williams, by coach with four horses to London, to my Lord's house in Covent Garden. But, Lord ! what staring to see a nobleman's coach come to town; and porters every where bow to us; and such begging of beggars ! And delightful it is to see the town full of people again; and shops begin to open, though in many places seven or eight together, and more, all shut; but yet the town is full, compared with what it used to be ; I mean the city end; for Covent Garden and Westminster are yet very empty of people, no court nor gentry being there.
13th. Home with his Lordship to Mrs. Williams's, in Covent Garden, to dinner, (the first time I ever was there,) and there met Captain Cocke ; and pretty merry, though not perfectly so, because of the fear that there is of a great increase again of the plague this week.
22nd. The first mceting of Gresham College since the plague. Dr. Goddard did fill us with talk, in defence of his and his fellow-physicians going out of town in the plague time; saying, that their particular patients were most gone out of town, and they left at liberty; and a great deal more, &c.
30th. This is the first time that I have been in the church since I left London for the plague, and it frighted me indeed to go through the church more than I thought it could have done, to see so many graves lie so high upon the churchyards, where people have been buried of the plague. I was much troubled at it, and do not think to go through it again a good while,
February 4th (Lord's Day). And my wife and I the first time together at church since the plague, and now only because of Mr. Mills his coming home to preach his first sermon, expecting a great excuse for his leaving the parish before any body went, and now staying till all are come home : but ho made but a very poor and short excuse, and a bad sermon. It was a frost, and had snowed last night, which covered the graves in the churchyard, so as I was the less afraid for going through.
Colton. [The following is an extract from "Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words,—a work originally published in 1820, and which attained a high popularity. The author was the Rev. C. C. Colton, who also wrote some satirical poems. His career, it is understood, was unfortunate; but he was a man of great ability and varied acquirements.]
What is earthly happiness? That phantom of which we hear so much and see so little; whose promises are constantly given and constantly broken, but as constantly believed; that cheats us with the sound instead of the substance, and with the blossom instead of the fruit. Like Juno, she is a goddess in pursuit, but a cloud in possession, deified by those who cannot enjoy her, and despised by those who can. Anticipation is her herald, but disappointment is her companion; the first addresses itself to our imagination, that would believe, but the latter to our experience, that must. Happiness, that great mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route. Aristippus pursued her in pleasure, Socrates in wisdom, and Epicurus in both; she received the attentions of each, but bestowed her endearments on neither, although, like some other gallants, they all boasted of more favours than they had received. Warned by their failure, the stoic adopted a most paradoxical mode of preferring his suit; he thought, by slandering, to woo her; by shunning, to win her; and proudly presumed that, by fleeing her, she would turn and follow him. She is deceitful as the calm that precedes the hurricane, smooth as the water on the verge of a cataract, and beautiful as the rainbow, that smiling daughter of the storm; but, like the mirage in the desert, she tantalizes us with a delusion that distance creates, and that contiguity destroys. Yet, when unsought, she is often found, and, when unexpected, often obtained; while those who seek for her the most diligently fail the most, because they seek her where she is not. Anthony sought her in love; Brutus in glory; Cæsar in dominion; the first found disgrace, the second disgust, the last ingratitude, and each destruction. To some she is more kind, but not less cruel; she hands them her cup, and they drink even to stupefaction, until they doubt whether they are men with Philip, or dream that they are gods with Alexander. On some she smiles as on Napoleon, with an aspect more bewitching than an Italian sun ; but it is only to make her frown the more terrible, and by one short caress to embitter the pangs of separation. Yet is she, by universal homage and consent, a queen; and the passions are the vassal lords that crowd her court, await her mandate, and move at her control. But, like other mighty sovereigns, she is so surrounded by her envoys, her officers, and her ministers of state, that it is extremely difficult to be admitted to her presence chamber, or to have any immediate communication with herself. Ambition, avarice, love, revenge, all these seek her, and her alone; alas ! they are neither presented to her, nor will she come to them. She despatches, however, her envoys unto them- mean and poor representatives of their queen. To ambition, she sends power; to avarice, wealth; to love, jealousy; to revenge, remorse; alas! what are these, but so many other names for vexation or disappointment. Neither is she to be won by flattery or by bribes ; she is to be gained by waging war against her enemies, much sooner than by paying any
particular court to herself. Those that conquer her adversaries, will find that they need not go to her, for she will come unto them. None bid so high for her as kings ; few are more willing, none more able, to purchase her alliance at the fullest price. But she has no more respect for kings than for their subjects; she mocks them, indeed, with the empty show of a visit, by sending to their palaces all her equipage, her pomp, and her train, but she comes not herself. What detains her ? She is travelling incognita to keep a private assignation with contentment, and to partake of a tête-à-tête and a dinner of herbs in a cottage. Hear, then, mighty queen! what sovereigns seldom hear, the words of soberness and truth. I neither despise thee too little, nor desire thee too much; for thou wieldest an earthly sceptre, and thy gifts cannot exceed thy dominion. Like other potentates, thou also art a creature of circumstances, and an Ephemeris of time. Like other potentates, thou also, when stripped of thy auxiliaries, art no longer competent to thine own subsistence; nay, thou canst not even stand by thyself. Unsupported by content on the one hand, and by health on the other, thou fallest an unwieldly and bloated fragment to the ground 87.—THE OLD ENGLISH ADMIRAL.
E. H. LOCKER. [The following graphic picture of “a true old English officer" was published in 1823, in The Plain Englishman,' a little periodical work which was amongst the first to recognise the necessity of meeting the growing ability of the people to read, by improving and innoxious reading. The editor and publisher of “Half-Hours' was associated in this endeavour with one of the worthiest of men, Mr. Edward Hawke Locker, who was then resident at Windsor, but subsequently filled the responsible and honourable posts, first of Secretary of Greenwich Hospital, and afterwards of Commissioner. Mr. Locker some few years ago retired from his official duties, under the pressure of severe illness, through which calamity his fine faculties and his energetic benevolence ceased to be useful to his fellow-creatures; and he died in 1849.)
Hamlet. My father-methinks I see my father!
He was a man, take him all in all,
Act l, Scene 2. Two-and-twenty years have this day expired since the decease of my muchhonoured father. The retrospect presents to me the lively image of this excellent man, and carries me back to a distant period, when I was a daily witness of his benevolence. It is natural that I should dwell with affection upon this portrait, and I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of thinking that it may interest my readers also. The carliest of my impressions represents him as coming to see my little sister and me, when we were but five or six years old, residing in an obscure village under the care of a maiden aunt. Nor should I, perhaps, have remembered the occasion, but for my taking a violent fancy to a rude sketch of a stag which he drew to amuse us on the fragment of one of our playthings. So whimsical are the records of our childish days! Only a few years before, he had the grievous misfortune to lose my mother in child-birth in the flower of her age, leaving him, with an infant family, almost heart-broken under this severe privation. I have often hcard him say, that, but for our sakes, he would gladly have been then released; and, indeed, he had every prospect of soon following her. He had recently returned in ill health from Jamaica, and the violence of his grief so much augmented his malady, that the physicians at one time despaired of his recovery. A firm reliance upon the goodness of Providence, and the strength of a powerful constitution, carried him through all his sufferings. He was by nature of a cheerful disposition; but though his spirits recovered with his health, the remembrance of his beloved wife, however mellowed
by time, was indelibly expressed by the fondest affection. He never mentioned her name without a sigh, or handled any trifle which had once been hers, without betraying the yearnings of a wounded heart. He attached a sanctity to every thing allied to her memory. Her ornaments, her portrait, her letters, her sentiments, were objects of his constant regard. When he spoke of her, his tremulous voice proved the unabated interest with which he remembered their happy union. When alone, her image was continually present to his thoughts. In his walks he delighted to hum the airs she was accustomed to play; and I remember the vibration of an old guitar, which had been preserved as one of her reliques, immediately drew tears from his eyes, while he described to us the skill with which she accompanied her own melody.
From all I have heard of her, she must have been a woman of very superior merit. With many personal charms, she was accomplished in a degree which rendered her society highly attractive. She had accompanied her father to the West Indies, where he held the chief command, and, during that period, she had abundant occasions of showing the sweetness of her disposition, and the steadiness of her resolution. Her father was an admiral of the old régime; and I believe it sometimes required all her discretion to steer her light bark amidst the stormy seas she had to navigate.
My father was no ordinary character. One of the most remarkable features of his mind was simplicity. He was the most natural person I ever knew, and this gave a very agreeable tone to all he said and did. I verily believe he hated nothing but hypocrisy. He was blessed moreover with a sound understanding, an intrepid spirit, a benevolent heart. From his father, who was a man of distinguished learning, and from his mother, who (as a Stillingfleet) inherited much of the same spirit, he derived a taste for literature, which, though thwarted by the rough duties of a sea life, was never quenched, and afterwards broke forth amidst the leisure of more gentle associations on shore. He had been taken from a public school too early to secure a classical education; but such was the diligence with which he repaired this defect, that few men of his profession could be found so well acquainted with books and their authors. In the retirement of his later years, he was enabled to cultivate this taste with every advantage, and numbered among his familiar friends some of the most eminent persons of his own time. Saturday was devoted to receiving men of literature and science at his table. On these occasions we were always permitted to be present, and looked forward with delight to this weekly festival, which contributed essentially to our improvement as well as to our amusement. He lost no opportunity of affording us instruction. All departments of literature had attractions for him; and, without the science of a proficient, he had a genuine love of knowledge wherever it was to be found. He was a great reader. I think Shakspeare was his favourite amusement; and he read his plays with a native eloquence and feeling, which sometimes drew tears from our eyes, and still oftener from his own.
He always considered himself a fortunate man in his naval career, although he persevered through a long and arduous course of service before he attained the honours of his profession. Having greatly distinguished himself in boarding a French manof-war, his conduct at length attracted the notice of Sir Edward Hawke, to whom he ascribed all his subsequent success. My father often said that it was that great officer who first weaned him from the vulgar habits of a cockpit ; and he considered him as the founder of the more gentlemanly spirit which has gradually been gaining ground in the navy. At the period when he first went to sea, a man-of-war was characterized by the coarseness so graphically described in the novels of Smollett. Tobacco and a checked shirt were associated with lace and a cockade ; and the manners of a British Admiral partook of the language and demeanour of a boatswain's mate. My father accompanied his distinguished patron to the Mediterranean