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PROSE AND VERSE.
THE GREAT CONFLAGRATION.
DREADFUL FIRE-DESTRUCTION OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT-THE
SPEAKER'S HOUSE GUTTED-REPORTS OF INCENDIARISM,
It is our unexpected lot to announce that the Houses of Lords and Commons, so often threatened with combustion, are in a state of actual ignition. At this moment, both fabrics are furiously burning. We are writing this paragraph without the aid of lamp or candles; by the mere reflection of the flames. Nothing is known of the origin of the fire, although it is throwing a light upon everything else.-Evening Star.
The devouring element which destroyed Covent Garden and Drury Lane, the Royalty and the Pantheon, has made its appear. ance on a new stage, equally devoted to declamatory elocution. St. Stephen's Chapel is in flames ! The floor which was trodden by the eloquent legs of a Fox, a Burke, a Pitt, and a Sheridan, is reduced to a heap of ashes; and the benches which sustained the Demosthenic weight of a Wyndham, a Whitbread, and a Wilberforce, are a mere mass of charcoal. The very roof that re-echoed the classicalities of Canning is nodding to its fall. In Parliamentary language, Fire is in possession of the House : the Destructive spirit is on its legs, and the Conservative principle can offer but a feeble opposition.-Daily Post.
The blow is struck. What we have long foreseen has come to pass. Incendiarism triumphs! The whole British Empire, as represented by the three estates, is in a blaze! The Throne, the Lords, and the Commons, are now burning. The cycle is com. plete. The spirit of Guy Fawkes revives in 1834! PART II.
England seems to have changed places with Italy ; London with Naples. We stand hourly on the brink of a crater; every step we take is on a solfaterra—not a land of Sol Fa, as some musical people would translate it; but a frail crust, with a treacherous subsoil of ardent brimstone! At length the eyes of our rulers are opened; but we must ask, could nothing short of such an eruption awaken them to a sense of the perilous state of the country ? For weeks, nay, months past, at the risk of being considered alarmists, we have called the attention of the legislature and 'magistracy to a variety of suspicious symptoms and signs of the times, and in particular to the multiplied chemical inventions, for the purpose of obtaining instantaneous lights. Well are certain matches or fire-boxes called Lucifers, for they may be applied to the most diabolical purposes! The origin of the fire cannot raise the shadow of a doubt in any reasonable mind. Accident is out of the question. Tell us not of tallies. We have just tried our milk-woman's, and it contained so much water, that nothing could make it ignite.-Britannic Guardian.
The Houses of Parliament are in flames. We shall stop the press to give full particulars. Our reporters are at the spot, and Mons. C-, the celebrated Salamander, is engaged to give a description of the blazing interiors, exclusively for this journal.Daily Times.
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
On Thursday evening, towards seven o'clock, I was struck by the singular appearance of the moon silvering the opposite chimneys with a blood-red light, a lunar phenomenon, which I conceived belonged only to our theatres. It speedily occurred to me that there must be a conflagration in my vicinity, and after a little hunting by scent as well as sight, I found myself in front of the Houses of Lords and Commons, which were burning with a rapidity and brilliancy that I make bold to say did not always characterize their proceedings. By favor of my natural assurance, which seemed to identify me with the firemen, I was allowed to pass through the lines of guards and policemen, who surrounded the blazing pile, and was thus enabled to select a
favorable position for overlooking the whole scene.
It was an imposing sight. The flames rose from the Peers' in a volume, as red as the Extraordinary Red Book, and the House of Com. mons was not at all behind-hand in voting supplies of timber and other combustibles. Westminster Hall reminded me vividly of a London
cry, “ Hall hot, Hall hot,” that was familiar in our child. hood—and the Gothic architecture of the Abbey seemed unusu. ally florid. Instead of dingy stone, the venerable pile appeared to be built of the well-baked brick of the Elizabethan age. Indeed, so red-hot was its aspect, that it led to a ludicrous misapprehension on the part of the populace. A procession, bearing several male and female figures in a state of insensibility, naturally gave rise to the most painful conjectures, inferring loss of human life by the devouring element, but I have reason to believe it was only the Dean and Chapter saving the Wax-Work. As far as my own observation went, the first object carried out certainly bore a strong resemblance to General Monk.
In the mean time a select party had effected an entrance into the Hall, but not without some serious delay, occasioned, I believe, by somebody within bringing the wrong key, that belonged to a tea-caddy. However, at last they entered, and I followed their example. The first person I beheld was the vete. ran Higginbottom, so unfairly, but facetiously, put to death by the authors of the Rejected Addresses; for no man is more alive to his duty. But he was sadly hampered. First came one Hon. Gent. said to be Mr. Morrison, and insisted on directing the Hose department; and next arrived a noble Lord from Crockford's, who wouldn't sit out, but persisted in taking a hand, and play. ing, though everybody agreed that he played too high. I mention this, because some of the journals have imputed mismanagement to the engines, and have insinuated that the pipes wanted organizing; indeed, I myself overheard a noble director of the Academy of Music lamenting that the firemen did not “play in concert.”
The same remark applies with greater force to the House of Commons. Here all was confusion worse confounded, and Higginbottom's station was enviable, compared with that of some of the poor fellows in St. Stephen's Chapel. A considerable num